The God of Jesus by Peter BarfootIs the phrase “the God of Jesus” scriptural? In Ephesians 1:17, the apostle Paul writes of “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory.” It was clear to Paul that the God of Jesus is the Father of glory. Beginning his letter to the Ephesians, Paul blesses “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In closing, he blesses them with “peace…and love with faith, from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:3; 6:23).
In John 20:17 Jesus tells Mary, “I ascend to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”
In John 17:3 Jesus refers to his Father as “the only true God.” Jesus was a unitarian believer in the One God.
Those who believe in the doctrine of the Trinity say that a denial of an eternally preexistent “God the Son” diminishes Jesus by stripping him of divinity. But one can reject the doctrine of the Trinity and yet still affirm Christ’s “divine nature” by pointing to his unique origin as Son of God. When the “power of the Highest” overshadowed Mary, the “Son of the Highest” was begotten (Luke 1:32, 35). God declared His fatherhood of Jesus when He called him, “My beloved Son” (Matt. 3:17). Christians too are to be filled with the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19).
Some believe that Jesus Christ was a “mere man” — no different from any other — except that he was sinless. They diminish Christ. In standing against the error of the Trinity they sometimes reduce the status of Jesus. There is no need to overreact. The inspired writers of the New Testament speak of Jesus in superlatives. The exiled John’s graphic figures of speech describe an otherwise indescribable risen Lord! (Rev. 1:14-16).
Jesus is “the image [icon] of the invisible God” (in whom we see the Father clearly); “the brightness of His glory” (mirrored on our faces); and “the exact image of His person” (stamped on us, leaving a lasting impression)! How can we not rejoice in our wonderful Lord?
We should not think that God is more exalted when His Son is diminished. What son’s accomplishments do not reflect well on the person of his earthly father? How much more, then, is the Father of Jesus glorified when we praise the spotless life, excellent works and selfless sacrifice of his Son? And his revelation of the secret of immortality in his Gospel of the Kingdom (II Tim. 1:10).
“And whatsoever you shall ask in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:13).
The spirit of God opens up truth concerning God and his Son, but only to the genuine seeker after Truth. It certainly is a matter of perception, something like buying a new car and then seeing so many of the same make and model on the road. We find the One God of Jesus where we had never seen Him before. We are encouraged and inspired by the Bible, but only when the Lord “opens our eyes” to how little we know, do we realize how much we’ve missed.
An example of this lack of perception is how we either see or don’t see the significance of 1 Corinthians 8:6, which clearly informs us that “there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” How is it possible for the “one Lord” to be seen as co-equal with the “one God”?
Tradition answers that the One God is comprised of three Persons: a co-equal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We should never underestimate the ability of tradition to accommodate Bible truth before veiling it in mysticism.
How many hours in how many months over how many years did the theologians of the Church debate the question about Jesus’ part in sending the spirit? The eastern and western church actually excommunicated one another over this question! A quick look at Acts 2:33 would have resolved the issue immediately: “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he [Jesus] has shed forth this, which you now see and hear.” The words of Jesus in John 16:7 confirm that the Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son.
We find it difficult to believe that the same Martin Luther who defied the Church of Rome in stating “the just shall live by faith” actually referred to the book of James as “an epistle of straw” and was openly and actively anti-Semitic.
We are horrified to learn that the great Calvin could order Servetus, a brother in Christ, to be burned to death at the stake (slowly, on green wood). What terrible heresies did Servetus profess? He taught that the rite of infant baptism and the Church’s belief in the Trinity were unscriptural.
My belief is that Christians in years to come will see the doctrine of the Trinity for what it is: the product of a gathering of bishops convened by Constantine the Great to unify the teaching of the Christian Church in the disputed matter of the Godhead. Under pressure, some bishops capitulated against their better judgment and the matter was settled. It was set in stone and used to “club” others into conformity.
Only when the Church accepts 1 Corinthians 8:6 as the true definition of the Godhead will it be able to proclaim to the Jews: “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is also the God of Jesus — your Messiah and ours!”
Around the globe two strong forces are locked in conflict: the Spirit of Christ and the spirit of antichrist.
When Jesus returns, one body comprised of both Jew and Gentile — but inseparable in faith and in confession of the One True God and His Son, Jesus Christ — will rise to meet the Lord in the air, and then descend with him to rule the nations.
“And so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
The above was taken from
Focus On The Kingdom Vol. 9. No. 7