Christ is God by Imputation

I believe that Christ is infinite and that in Him is life, original, unborrowed and underived. "He that hath the Son hath life" (1 John 5:12). I believe that the Son always co-existed with the Father. Furthermore, I interpret Romans 8:9 as saying that the Spirit of God is the Spirit of the Son. I wish that there were more verses like Romans 8:9 in the Bible to confirm my understanding of Paul's words. Nevertheless, I believe it's obvious to see and easy to count three persons in the heavenly trio: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They're all mentioned together in Matthew 28:19, Matthew 3:13-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2 and Revelation 1:4-5. I teach that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are unique representatives of God. I accept William Barclay's commentary on John 1:1:

William Barclay wrote:

Finally John says that "The Word was God". There is no doubt that this is a difficult saying for us to understand, and it is difficult because Greek, in which John wrote, had a different way of saying things from the way in which English speaks. When the Greek uses a noun it almost always uses the definite article with it. The Greek for God is `theos', and the definite article is `ho'. When Greek speaks about God it does not simply say `theos'; it says `ho theos'. Now, when Greek does not use the definite article with a noun that noun becomes much more like an adjective; it describes the character, the quality of the person. John did not say that the Word was `ho theos'; that would have been to say that the Word was identical with God; he says that the Word was `theos' --without the definite article-- which means that the Word was, as we might say, of the very same character and quality and essence and being as God. When John said `The Word was God' he was not saying that Jesus is identical with God; he was saying that Jesus is so perfectly the same as God in mind, in heart, in being that in Jesus we perfectly see what God is like. --The Daily Study Bible --The Gospel of John vol.1 III. [Revised Edition ISBN 0-664-21304-9]

If you think about it, there are many Scriptures that explain this representational status of the Son. Does an image represent an object? Yes. Then Christ represents God. "He is the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15). How is Christ being the Word of God representational? A word represents a thought. What thought is being represented? Christ is the perfect expression of the will and mind of God. In what other way does Christ represent God? I assume that radiance expresses glory in symbolic terms. Scripture says, "He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature" (Hebrews 1:3).

These are my conclusions:

Eugene Shubert wrote:

How perfectly does the Son represent the Father? What is the will of the Father in the way we receive His Son?

The Father has made the exalted nature of Christ fully known. The Son should be regarded as equal with the Father. Their natures are the same. The word of the Son is to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. Wherever the presence of His Son is, it is as if the Father is present. To worship the Son is to worship the Father. The Son represents the revealed will and mind of God so perfectly that He is rightfully called the word of God (John 1:1).

I don't believe that the church has any authority to declare traditional trinitarian doctrine to be the representation of God's Being according to Scripture. I teach that God declaring His Son to be God in Hebrews 1:8 or Christ declaring Himself to be God in John 14:9 is to be compared to the Bible doctrine of justification by faith. That's a logical possibility that Trinitarians have overlooked! Christians who sincerely trust in Jesus as their Savior have been justified (declared righteous) by God by virtue of the imputed merits of Christ's righteousness. Consequently--legally--we are perfect in Christ because God declares it to be so, but it's simultaneously true that we are still sinful. I use this illustration to explain that the Father is truly greater than the Son (John 14:28, John 10:27-29) but that the Father, because of His great love, declares His Son to be equal to Him nevertheless.

Another insight to the representational status of the Son and how the Son may be compared to the Father may be seen in the mathematical discipline called set theory. It is well known and easy to prove that infinities come in different sizes. (In transfinite arithmetic, the size of an infinite set is denoted by a special rank called a cardinal number). By analogy, the Father would rank like the set of all sets. (This object is so incomprehensible that all the rules of logic break down). Jesus could easily be infinite, not equal to the Father, and have an understandable rank like one of the infinite cardinal numbers. I propose that the Father knows the end from the beginning but the Son only knows all possible futures with perfect comprehension plus all that the Father reveals to Him. For excellent evidence in support of my thesis, please consider the straightforward meaning of Revelation 1:1:

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John. --Revelation 1:1.

Note the chain of command. God gives Jesus Christ a revelation. Christ makes it known by sending his angel. The recipient is John, a high ranking Apostle. This Apostle was to share it with seven churches so that all of Christ's servants would know what must soon take place.

Logically then, verses that assert that Jesus is God do not prove the traditional Trinity concept but verses that demonstrate that the glorified Christ really isn't equal to the Father refute that doctrine and support my explanation.

Exactly How Equal is Jesus Christ to the Father God?

In the history of the Christian church there was much persecution by Trinitarians against non-Trinitarians. The persecution began with the edict of the Roman emperor Theodosius in 380 AD, which compelled everyone to accept the Christian Trinity. While persecution has ceased during the last two hundred years or so, extreme wrangling still continues to this very day over the Trinity verses non-Trinity controversy.

Our doctrinal position on this issue is that there is an extremely fine line between the best Trinitarian view and the best non-Trinitarian view of God and that Trinitarianism is correct only if it's true by extra-Biblical revelation or if there is an instance of the use of the word God in the New Testament where God unquestionably means the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To test ourselves to see if we are like the worthy Bereans (Acts 17:11), I propose that we all investigate and be open to accept the predominant witness of the New Testament. The task at hand is to understand and harmonize many seemingly discordant Bible texts.

The God child

Micah 5:2
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting."

Footnote: The key phrase here is "goings forth." It is obviously very similar in meaning to begotten.

Why was Jesus given the title of the Holy Spirit and God the Father?

Isaiah 9:6
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

John 14:9
"He who has seen Me has seen the Father."

Titus 2
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

Matthew 1:22,23
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."

We are not to worship anyone but God

Revelation 19:10
"At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, `Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!' "

Revelation 22:8-9
"I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, `Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!' "

Jesus received and accepted worship

Matthew 2:1,2
"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, `Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.' "

Matthew 2:7,8
"Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, `Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.' "

Matthew 2:10,11
"When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh."

Matthew 4:8-10
"Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. `All this I will give you,' he said, `if you will bow down and worship me.' Jesus said to him, `Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' "

Matthew 14:33
"Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, `Truly you are the Son of God.' "

Matthew 28:9
"Suddenly Jesus met them. `Greetings', he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him."

Matthew 28:17
"When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted."

Luke 24:52
"Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy."

John 9:38
"Then the man said, `Lord, I believe,' and he worshiped him."

John 20:27-29
"Then he said to Thomas, `Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.' Thomas said to him, `My Lord and my God!' Then Jesus told him, `Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.' "

Hebrews 1:6
"And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, `Let all God's angels worship him.' "

Who is Jesus?

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6.

"And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." 1 John 2:2.

Jesus is God

1 John 5:20
"We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true--even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life."

Jesus is the bread of life

John 6:44-58
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: `They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."
John 6:63
"The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life."

The Divinity of Jesus

John 8:51-59
"I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."
At this the Jews exclaimed, "Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?"
Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."
"You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I AM!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

Exodus 3:13-14
Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, `What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?"
God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.' "

Philippians 2:3-8
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!"

Hebrews 1:3
"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word."

Colossians 1:15-20
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."

Colossians 2:9
"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.

Who is the Alpha and the Omega?

Revelation 1:8
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

Revelation 22:12,13,16
"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. ... I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."

From His Intrinsic Attributes, the Father Outranks the Son

"You heard me say, `I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I" (John 14:28).

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand." John 10:27-29.

The Father is a God above Jesus

Matthew 27:46
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, `Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' "

John 20:17
Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, `I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "

Romans 15:6
"
so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

2 Corinthians 1:3
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort."

2 Corinthians 11:31
"The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying."

Ephesians 1:3
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ."

Ephesians 1:17
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better."

Colossians 1:3
"We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you."

Hebrews 1:9
"You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy."

1 Peter 1:3
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!"

Revelation 1:4-6
"To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

"To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father--to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen."

Revelation 3:12
"He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name."

Jesus Obeys the Father

John 6:38
"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."

Luke 22:42
"Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."

John 8:42
"Jesus said to them, `If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.' "

John 5:30
"As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me."

John 8:50
"I do not seek My own glory."

John 7:16
"So Jesus answered them, `My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.' "

The Father is the only True God

"Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. But not everyone knows this." 1 Corinthians 8:6-7.

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." (John 17:3).

"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." (1 Timothy 1:17).

God is the Father

John 5:18
"For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God."

John 6:27
"Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."

John 6:45
"It is written in the prophets, and they shall all be taught of God. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
"

John 6:46
"Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father."

John 8:41
"You are doing the deeds of your father. They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God."

John 8:42
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me."

John 8:54
Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say,  `He is our God'."

John 13:3
"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God."

John 20:17
Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them,  `I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God'."

Acts 2:33
"Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear."

Romans 1:7
"to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

1 Corinthians 1:3
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

1 Corinthians 8:6
"yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him."

1 Corinthians 15:24
"then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power."

2 Corinthians 1:2
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Galatians 1:3
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Galatians 1:4
"who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father."

Ephesians 1:2
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Ephesians 4:6
"one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."

Ephesians 5:20
"always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Ephesians 6:23
"Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Philippians 1:2
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Philippians 2:11
"and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Philippians 4:20
"Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen."

Colossians 1:2
"To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father."

Colossians 3:17
"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."

1 Thessalonians 1:1
"Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace."

1 Thessalonians 1:3
"constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father."

1 Thessalonians 3:11
"Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you."

1 Thessalonians 3:13
"so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus."

2 Thessalonians 1:1
"Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:"

2 Thessalonians 1:2
"Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

2 Thessalonians 2:16
"Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace."

1 Timothy 1:2
"To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."

2 Timothy 1:2
"To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."

Titus 1:4
"To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior."

Philemon 1:3
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

James 1:27
"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

1 Peter 1:2
"according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure."

2 Peter 1:17
"For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying,  `This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased'."

2 John 1:3
"Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love."

Jude 1:1
"Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ:"

Christ is called God and "the angel of the LORD" in Exodus 3

Exodus 3:1-4
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight--why the bush does not burn up."

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!"

Exodus 3:15
God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, `The LORD, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob--has sent me to you.' "

1 Corinthians 10:1-4
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

There's a clear distinction between God and Jesus

Daniel 7:13
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him."

Luke 1:32
"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David."

Acts 3:13
"The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him."

Acts 5:30
"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross."

Acts 22:14
And he said, "The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth."

1 Corinthians 11:3
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."

Galatians 1:1
"Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead)."

1 Timothy 2:5
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

Revelation 21:22
"And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it."

God is a personal, singular being

Matthew 4:10 
Then saith Jesus unto him, "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

Matthew 6:30 
"Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?"

Matthew 6:33 
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Mark 12:27 
"He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err."

John 3:16 
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

John 3:17 
"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

John 4:24 
"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."


The Meaning of Sonship


Let's consider what the word "son" means

1. A male child; the male issue, or offspring, of a parent, father or mother.

Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son. --Gen. xxi. 2.

2. A male descendant, however distant; hence, in the plural, descendants in general.

I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings. --Isa. xix. 11.

I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. --Mal. iii. 6.

3. Any young male person spoken of as a child; an adopted male child; a pupil, ward, or any other male dependent.

The child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. --Ex. ii. 10.

4. A man considered as if in a relationship of child to parent.

A son of the soil.

5. A native or inhabitant of some specified place.

Sons of Albion; sons of New England.

6. A person closely associated with or deriving from a formative agent.

i.e., from a nation, school, or race.

7. One personified or regarded as a male descendant.

Pinocchio. "He is my son."

8. The produce of anything.

Earth's tall sons, the cedar, oak, and pine. --Blackmore.

9. The son of man.

God's messiah destined to preside over the final judgment of mankind. (Note: Jesus is not literally the son of any man).

10. The sons of God.

Adam and the angels are called sons of God (Luke 3:38, Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7). Peacemakers will have that title (Matthew 5:9). True Christians are the sons of God right now (Galatians 3:26, Romans 8:14 cf. 8:19, 9:26).

Note: The expressions son of pride, sons of light, son of Belial, are Hebraisms, which denote persons possessing the qualities of pride, of light, or of Belial, as children inherit the qualities of their ancestors. The sons of Zebedee were called "Sons of Thunder" (Mark 3:17).

11. The Son of God.

In a royal family, a son is a person not in the servant class but in the family class. Note to self: All created beings are in the servant class (Revelation 22:8-9, 19:10, 19:5-6). Compare that with Jesus' high standing (Matthew 21:33-44, John 3:16, 5:18, 5:22).

We . . . do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. --1 John iv. 14.

Who gave His Son sure all has given. --Keble.

12. The Obedience of the Son

"Time and time again the Gospel of John speaks of God sending Jesus into the world. Time and time again we see Jesus praying to God. Time and time again we see Jesus unhesitatingly and unquestioningly and unconditionally accepting the will of God for himself." --William Barclay.

The Holy Spirit is Another Comforter


John 15
26 But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

John 14
15 If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

25 These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

John 16
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

It's interesting that the Spirit doesn't have the authority to speak. He does what He's told. Recall that "the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets" (1 Corinthians 14:32). Similarly, the servant role of the Holy Spirit is plainly evident in the book of Revelation. There, the seven Spirits of God are before God's throne and do not sit upon it (Revelation 1:4-5, 3:1, 4:5, 5:6).


Footnotes

For centuries there has been an unsolved yet troubling mystery in the Bible. At the same time there has been a great confidence that no understanding of the mystery could be achieved. The mystery is that the Bible seems to have three contradictory definitions of God:

God is

1. The Father (1 Corinthians 8:6-7, John 17:3, 1 Timothy 1:17).
2. The Son (Isaiah 9:6, John 8:58, Hebrews 1:7-8).
3. The Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17,18).

The mystery deepens because the Bible insists that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 45:21-22, Mark 12:28,29). The mystery is a good one; it is clear that the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are separate persons. We only need one Scripture to prove this. Jesus said he would return to the Father and send the Spirit (John 16:5,7,8).

The answer to the ancient mystery, I believe, is to regard the Father as truly God and the Son of God and the Spirit of God as perfect representatives of the one true God.

Jesus did say, "He that hath seen me hath seen the father." This is obviously a direct representational reference.

_____

When John said the Word was God, I think John only meant that the representation is perfect in an absolute sense. It cannot be surpassed. "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form" (Colossians 2:9). Pure and simple, all the fullness of Divinity dwelling in bodily form is a representational aspect.

'Deity' in Colossians 2:9 of the NASB (and Godhead in the KJV) is a translation of the Greek theotees, which is "an abstract noun for theos," the usual Greek word translated 'God.' (Greek-English Lexicon, Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich) "An abstract noun is one indicating a quality, as goodness, beauty." (Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary, International Edition).

Dictionary.com has a correct definition of Godhead:
1. the essential being of God;
2. Divinity; Godhood.

_____

How can there be a representational aspect? Consider John 1:1. Why is the Son called the Word of God? (Rev 19:13). I say it means that the Son is the revealed will and mind of God. Equating the word of God with Christ is clearly saying that Christ is the perfect spokesperson and representative of God.

You mustn't just read John 1:1. You must interpret it also. The question has been asked: is there a representational aspect present in John 1:1? Not only did I answer in the affirmative but I pointed out exactly where the representational aspect was.

Language must be interpreted. When John wrote that God is love (1 John 4:8,16), John wasn't equating God with agape literally; he was comparing God with love as revealed by God in Christ. This is a representational aspect.

This is clear corroborating evidence that the comparison between the Word and God in John 1:1 is also representational.

Therefore, I hope you realize that you haven't refuted my statements. You have merely confirmed my thesis by repeating the ancient yet irksome chant: The Godhead is a mystery because we insist that it is.

_____

Following my explanation that Christ is God by imputation, suppose that you will go to church next week and the pastor will preach that your standing before God is "justification by grace through faith" and that "justification" means perfect forgiveness, "just as if you have never sinned." Will you protest and "attempt to correct" the pastor on the basis that "all have sinned"?

_____

II'm not a Greek or Hebrew scholar but I do believe that I have the discernment to distinguish between truth and error. From my studies of reliable commentaries, I do recall that in the original language of Scripture the Holy Spirit is sometimes literally referred to as It. Nevertheless, I believe that It is a divine Person. One evidence for that is that we can grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) and lie to It (Acts 5:3-4). Better yet, I believe that the Personhood of the Holy Spirit is best established on 1 Corinthians 2:10-11. "The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."

_____

My definition of the Godhead:

The Godhead is a heavenly trio of three living persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, 3:13-17, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Ephesians 4:4-6, 1 Peter 1:2 and Revelation 1:4,5).

The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight.

The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested (Colossians 2:9 cf. John 1:1). He is the express image of His Father (Hebrews 1:3 cf. Colossians 1:15).

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Son (Romans 8:9). This is an enlightening and sanctifying power. It is a distinct Person, a perfect representative of the Father and the Son (John 14:16-17, 15:26, 16:13-15). The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead.

Discuss this article here.

 modified July 15, 2014


  Our Fundamental Beliefs | I Want To Be Disfellowshipped From The SDA Church |  The Endtime Message

Have a question or comment?
Follow it up in our
Discussion Forum.