Is God And Jesus The Same Person?
Is God And Jesus The Same Person?
God Was In Christ Not “Incarnated” As The Christ
The Bible makes clear that Jesus was something more than just a “mere man”.
That “something more” was revealed in the manner of the Lord’s begettal (birth).
Paul taught that “God was in Christ” reconciling the world unto himself (2 Corinthians 5:19) not “incarnated” as the Christ. Jesus was the manifestation of God, as he himself testified (John 14:10). In nature he was the same as all mankind, “tempted in all points like his brethren” but in begettal (the manner of his birth) Jesus was divine for he was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit “without measure” (Acts 10:38; John 3:34) and it is in that sense that Jesus differed from all men before or since (Hebrews 4:14-15 and Hebrews 9:24).
“Jesus Christ”, the Son of God, is not the “second person” of an eternal Trinity, but the manifestation of the One Eternal Creator who is “above all and through all” (Ephesians 4:6), and “to whom are all things” (Romans 11:36). By God’s Spirit, this Creator begat (caused to be birthed) Jesus, who God deemed would be to Him a Son (Hebrews 1:5); by the same power God anointed him and dwelt in him and with him (Acts 10:38; 2 Corinthians 5:19). Allowing himself to be used by God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was Emmanuel, God with us, God manifested in the flesh-yet was, prior to his death, of like nature with mortal man, being made of a woman of the house and lineage of David, and therefore a sufferer in the days of his flesh (Matthew 1:23; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:7; Galatians 4:4)
Jesus Christ, therefore, must be considered from two points of view, one Deity, and the other Man. The man was the Son, whose existence dates from the birth of Jesus; the Deity dwelling in him was the Father, Who without beginning of days, is alone eternally pre-existent. God’s relation to the Son was made known in the event related in Luke 1:35, by which Paul styles as being ‘the mystery of Godliness;’ for God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory (1 Timothy 3:16).”
Jesus was “made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4), and, therefore, in nature, identical unto “his brethren” (Hebrews 2:17).
But he was also begotten “not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). The Holy Spirit came upon the virgin, Mary, and by this miraculous means, the Son of God was born (Luke 1:35). He was anointed with the Holy Spirit without measure (John 3:34) so that God overshadowed his development.
This was all for the purpose of saving those who accept Jesus as the Christ. Christ led the way to life eternal for all. As he was strengthened by God to overcome, believers can also be strengthened (Philippians 4:13); as he was crucified upon the cross, we too must learn to deny the flesh to serve God in truth (Galatians 5:24).
The very expressions that Christ constantly used, shows that he did not claim to be God in the absolute sense. He prayed: “Not my will but thine be done” (Matthew 26:39). He told his disciples: “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me” (John 7:16). If he claimed equality with God, he would not have used such expressions but would have claimed the will and teaching of the Father as emanating equally from himself. On the contrary, he taught: “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30), and “my Father is greater than I” (John 14:28).
It is true, that Jesus Christ, as the manifestation of God, as one who completely gave himself to the will and purpose of the Father, could say: “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30), yet this statement is often mistaken as a claim of equality with God, however, we overlook the fact that what Jesus claimed for himself, he also requested for his disciples. In (John 17:21) he prayed: “That they all may be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” If the former statement implies the equality of the Son with the Father, the latter statement includes it to involve all believers as being ONE!
There is a big difference between being a manifestation of something (something that was made known) versus being an incarnation of something; something (i.e. an entity, a deity, a spirit, an angel, a god) that is able at will to change its normal physical state of existence and “appear as” something else (i.e. appearing as a human being, a burning bush, a donkey, etc.). (See: Incarnation vs. Omnipresence)
God is called God because he has inherent abilities that nothing or no one (humans) possess. God appearing as a human (or dwelling within another human) is completely different than someone who is “totally human” (according to their definition and their attributes – See: Incarnation vs Indwelling). Humans can not “at will” change our normal physical state of existence and “appear as” something else other than what we are. The best we can do is pretend to be something else.
Although an incarnation is a type of manifestation, there I, however,r a significant difference that exists between the two that must be understood. Many things can be considered the manifestation of something or someone. We are the manifestation of Christ, who was the manifestation of God. We who follow Christ are likewise the manifestation of God yet we are not the complete “physical substance” of God literally but rather God is made known (manifest) through us. We have plenty examples showing the variety of ways the Bible uses this word manifest (Romans 1:19; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Galatians 5:19; 1 Peter 1:20-21; 1 John 3:9-10).
(2 Corinthians 4:10-14) “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest [but not in person literally] in our body. 11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest [but not in person literally] in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he [God] which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
However if we say God actually incarnated himself and if it were true then by definition, God would not cease being God. The only change would be that of his appearance, God would have become material (visible). God became a visible God, a God that went around literally talking and walking with men in his fleshly state while he retained all of his other Godly attributes, he still had, “all knowledge” and “all power” and therefore by definition he would not be “totally” human. The church is now forced to make the claim that God was either “playing a role” as Son or “acting as” a man (neither of which is what the Bible says) or we make Jesus be a liar.
God Was Revealed
(1 Timothy 3:16) – And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest (God was revealed, Not Incarnated ) in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
God was manifest in the flesh, not incarnated in the flesh, in other words, God made himself evident (his will or Spirit) through the man Jesus Christ. Jesus became a conduit to God through obedience which allowed Jesus to work in direct alignment with God’s will, in his power and with his authority. These were God-given attributes that Jesus availed himself to through obedience. God did not become Jesus rather he worked through Jesus (Acts 2:22); Jesus did not become God but allowed God’s Spirit to make God’s will, his word, and his plan, flow through his humanity (“the Father that dwelleth in me” – John 14:10) translating the will of God (a Spirit) into the acts/demonstration of Jesus (a man). Because of Jesus Christ’s obedience, God’s purpose was exemplified and demonstrated. God’s purpose was fulfilled, man was redeemed.
God gave specific criteria for the sacrifice that would satisfy the redemption of man, the humanity of, not the deity of Jesus Christ, satisfied that criteria. If you dilute the humanity of Jesus Christ and the overcoming of his human nature by submitting his flesh to an Almighty God, his example of being a human man with the same challenges and temptations that we face, we lose the significance of the sacrifice. It becomes God circumventing the natural order he created and the criteria he ordained and applying a human tendency of the end justifies the means. If we take away the humanity of Christ, we dilute the sacrifice. Jesus becomes a Man/God that never overcame the same temptations we face as human beings because he would have had the advantage of being God and perfect without ever having had the free will choice to submit his flesh to the cross.
God did not choose to be sinless, he was never anything but sinless and cannot sin so that is not unusual, but for a man (Jesus) to choose to be sinless in obedience to his father, unlike Adam who did disobey, that is a phenomenal feat and is what gives a sinful mankind hope.
The Issue The Church Didn’t Explain To You:
Either Jesus COULD sin or Jesus COULD NOT sin; WHICH IS IT?
Note: (Having the “ability” to commit sin (or disobey God) is different than putting that ability you have into practice).
If Jesus was NOT capable of sinning he would indeed be totally GOD; or on the other hand
If Jesus was capable (had the ability) of committing sin he would be human (or not “totally” God), because all “real” humans are capable of committing a sin against (or disobeying) God.
It is this aspect of Jesus total obedience to God (John 8:29-30, Romans 5:19) that was remarkable. God’s plan, even before the foundation of the world, was for Jesus to be our savior and redeemer. (1 John 4:14-15; Galatians 4:4-8; 1 Peter 1:19-21)
If Jesus was “totally” God it would be impossible for God to sin because God has no one to whom he must obey, Jesus would have never “truly” overcame the world as our example of being sinless flesh BY SURRENDERED WILL TO ANOTHER.
God’s Spirit (divinity) indwelling the human body of Jesus (humanity) demonstrated two different types of spirits in one body. This is why Jesus said the words he spoke were not his, but that of his Father [God] (John 12:49-50; John 14:24)