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19
Nov

Is the Son the Exact Same Person as the Father? #4

Jesus

#4 in a series

QUESTION:  “Is Jesus the same as God?  A friend at work claims that these are two different designations for the same person.  What do you think?”

ANSWER:  This is an important question.  Many sincere people are confused about this matter.  Let’s see what the Bible says:

Continued from last week:

  • Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.”  John 8:54
    • Question: According to this passage, Who was giving honor/glory (KJV) and Who was receiving honor/glory?
    • Yes or No: If the Son is the exact same person as the Father then Jesus was glorifying Himself.
    • Question: Since Jesus explicitly said that He wasn’t glorifying Himself, Who was glorifying Him?
    • Question: What does it say about Jesus’ integrity (i.e., sinlessness—Isa. 53:9; Mat. 27:24; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 2:22; 1 John 3:5) if He claimed that His Father honored Him, but actually He was only honoring Himself?
  • Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and toMy God and your God.’  John 20:17
    • Question: Who would be ascending—the Son or the Father?
    • Question: To Whom would Jesus be ascending?
    • Yes or No: Does the language of this passage imply a distinction between God the Father and God the Son?
    • Question: What are the implications about the Son of God if He told Mary that He was ascending to the Father, when He was actually only returning to Himself?
  • Jesus said to His disciples, “You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming backto you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.”  John 14:28
    • Question: If the Son of God is the exact same person as the Father God as Oneness Pentecostals claim, how could Jesus say, “My Father is greater than I?”
    • Question: If the Father and Son are only one person and Jesus was just talking about Himself, how could He be greater than Himself?
    • Question/Illustration: If I told you that my father, when he was a young man, was GREATER than I am now as a young man, would you think I was only talking about one person?
  • And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last. Luke 23:46
    • Question: To Whom was Jesus referring when He cried out, “FATHER, into YOUR hands…?” (emphasis mine—mb).
    • Question: Was Jesus crying out to Himself?
    • Question: To Whom was Jesus committing His spirit?
    • Yes or No: If Jesus wasn’t crying out to anyone but Himself, didn’t He use deceptive language when He uttered these words?

No, God the Father and God the Son share the same essence, but they are not the same person.  See “Is God One or Three?” and “Is the Godhead Equal?”

15
Nov

What Will Be Your Legacy?

fatherson

WE BUILD OUR lives day by day, decision by decision.

Both the small and the large choices we make add to the mix as we build our legacy.

You might be tempted to say, “Wait a minute.  I’m not wealthy, so how can I leave a legacy?”

Our legacy is not just what is specified in our will. 

It is the moral influence that we have had on other people.

It is the trail through life that we have left behind us.

Don M. Aycock & Mark Sutton, “Building Your Legacy,” STILL GOD’S MAN, 358

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  Joshua 24:15

14
Nov

Philippians 3:12-16

laps 2

12
Nov

Is the Son the Exact Same Person as the Father? #3

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#3 in a series

QUESTION:  “Is Jesus the same as God?  A friend at work claims that these are two different designations for the same person.  What do you think?”

ANSWER:  This is an important question.  Many sincere people are confused about this matter.  Let’s see what the Bible says:

If the Father and the Son is/are the exact same person, then Jesus—at the very least—employed deceptive (Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29; Psa. 92:15; Mal. 3:6; Rom. 3:4; Titus 1:2; Jas. 1:17-18) language throughout the gospel accounts.  Note:

  • Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38
    • Yes or No: Did Jesus say He came to earth to do His own will (cf. 4:34)?

    • Question: Specifically Who sent Jesus from heaven (cf. 6:33, 38-39, 41, 42, 50, 51, 58)?
    • Yes or No: Does the text distinguish between the will of Jesus and the will of Him who sent Jesus?
    • Observation: If Jesus is the exact same person as God the Father in all respects, then Jesus a) sent Himself (a person can “go” himself, but he can’t “send” or commission himself—John 1:6, 22, 24; 17:18), and b) He actually lied and came from heaven to do His own will.
    • Question: What are the eternal implications, if in fact, Jesus came to do His own will and not the will of the Father?
  • Jesus said, “My Father, who has given them (i.e., sheep—mb, John 10:14-15) to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” John 10:29
    • Yes or No: Does the text distinguish between “My Father” and “Me”?
    • Question/Illustration: If I told you that my father has given me a set of new hand tools, would you think that I was only talking about one person or two?
    • Question: According to the passage, Who did the giving and Who did the receiving?
    • Observation: If Jesus is the exact same person as God the Father in all respects, then Jesus mentioned two persons in this passage, when He was really only talking about one person, and was therefore deceptive.
    • NOTE: In the very next verse (John 10:30), Jesus said, “I and My Father are one.”
      • Yes or No: Is Jesus saying that He and the Father are the exact same person?
      • Question: In the context of this chapter, in what sense are Jesus and the Father one?  (Answer:  The two are one in their care for, and protection of, the sheep).
      • Question: In what way(s) can two or more people be “one”?  (Answer:  They can be one in a) mind, attitude, and purpose:  24:3; Acts 4:32; 5:12; 8:6; Rom. 15:5-6; 1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 1:27; 2:2; 4:2; 1 Pet. 3:8, and b) flesh—Gen. 2:24; 4:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:16).
  • Jesus said, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” John 15:9
    • Question: How many individuals or groups of individuals are mentioned in this verse?
    • Yes or No: Jesus tells us that He loved us as He loved Himself.
    • Question: According to this passage, Who loved Jesus?
7
Nov

1 Timothy 2:9-10

porn immodesty

5
Nov

Is the Godhead Equal?

podium

#2 in a series

QUESTION:  “Are all three members of the Godhead equal to one another?  Please explain.”

ANSWER:  This is a vitally important question.  Consider:

  1. Each member of the Godhead IS EMPHASIZED AS EQUAL in Scripture. Study the following passages:
  • “When He had been baptized, JESUS came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and he saw THE SPIRIT OF GOD descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying, ‘This is MY beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mat. 3:16-17; cf. Luke 3:22).
  • “But if I cast out demons by THE SPIRIT OF GOD, surely the kingdom of GOD has come upon you” (12:28).
  • “The grace of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, and the love of GOD, and the communion of THE HOLY SPIRIT be with you all. ”  2 Cor. 13:14
  • “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of (i.e., by the authority—cf. Mat. 7:29; 8:9; 21:23-24, 27; Col. 3:17) the FATHER and of the SON and of the HOLY SPIRIT.” 28:19
  • “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 14:26
  • “And being assembled together with them, HE commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the FATHER, ‘which,’ HE said, ‘you have heard from ME.’” Acts 1:4
  • “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of GOD, and having received from the FATHER the promise of THE HOLY SPIRIT, HE (Jesus—mb) poured out this which you now see and hear.” Acts 2:33
  • “How GOD anointed JESUS of Nazareth with THE HOLY SPIRIT and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Acts 10:38
  • “And declared to be the SON of GOD with power according to THE SPIRIT of HOLINESS, by the resurrection from the dead.” 1:4
  • “How much more shall the blood of CHRIST, who through THE ETERNAL SPIRIT offered HIMSELF without spot to GOD, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” 9:14
  • “Elect according to the foreknowledge of GOD THE FATHER, in sanctification of THE SPIRIT, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of JESUS CHRIST.” 1 Pet. 1:2
  1. However, while God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit are, in fact, equal—because they share the same divine essence—EACH IS OF DIFFERENT RANK in accordance with divine order.  Note: 

The inspired apostle Paul said the Son is equal to the Father (Phil. 2:6), and yet the Son willingly obeyed the Father throughout His earthly sojourn (cf. John 4:24; 50:30; 8:29; 12:49; 14:31; Heb. 10:7).  Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38).

A believing husband and wife are equal in terms of their spiritual status before God (Gal. 3:28); they are “heirs together” of the grace of life (1 Pet. 3:7b).  Even though the husband is head of the wife (Eph. 5:23), a wife’s different station and function in the home certainly doesn’t make her any less of a Christian.  In a similar fashion, the Son’s submission to His Father in no way depreciates His status as Deity.  It simply means that He had (and has) a different role and function in heaven’s hierarchy.

ALL CAPS emphasis in Scripture is mine—mb.
1
Nov

How Can I Be FILLED with the Spirit?

filling a glass with water

“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18; cf. Col. 3:16a).

“To be filled with the Spirit,”…means to allow the Holy Spirit to have an influence in our lives.

This is not some direct operation as some are suggesting, since it is clearly the obligation of the individual here to allow something to occur.

“[YOU] be filled with…”

In addition, it is something that, once done, results in certain obligations and responsibilities being evident in our lives.

We thus “sing,” “give thanks,” and “subject” ourselves to one another.

All are clearly personal responsibilities that occur as a result of being “filled with the Spirit.”

…If we are to be controlled by the Spirit, we are subject to the Spirit’s leadings, all of which appear in the word.”  Tom Wacaster, Studies in Galatians & Ephesians, 459

31
Oct

Ephesians 5:19

It is possible to engage our LIPS in

29
Oct

Is God One or Three?

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#1 in a series

QUESTION:  “Is God absolutely alone?  Is He only one person?”

ANSWER:  Let’s  go to the Word of God for an answer:

God is ONE. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deut. 6:4; cf. Isa. 44:6; Mark 21:29; 1 Cor. 8:4; Eph. 4:6; Jas. 2:19).  “The intent of these words was to give a clear statement of the truth of monotheism, that there is only one God.  Thus, it has also be translated ‘the LORD is our God, the LORD alone.’  …The same word is used in Genesis 2:24, where the husband and wife were said to be ‘one flesh.’1  Deuteronomy 4:35 serves as a good commentary on 6:4: “To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; THERE IS NONE OTHER BESIDES HIM”.

There is ONE Infinite Spirit Being—God, and yet within that one being there are THREE distinct persons. Note:

  • The Father is God—“Blessed by the GOD AND FATHER of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), but He is not the Son (1 John 4:14), nor is He the Holy Spirit (John 14:6).
  • The Son is God—“But to the SON He says: ‘YOUR THRONE, O GOD, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom’” (Heb. 1:8), but He is not the Father (2 John 3), nor is He the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38).
  • The Spirit is God—“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to THE HOLY SPIRIT and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own?  And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?  Why have you conceived this thing in your heart?  You have not lied to men but to GOD’” (Acts 5:3-4), but He is neither the Father (John 15:26), nor is He the Son (John 16:13-14).

These three distinct persons each share in, and partake of, THE SAME DIVINE ESSENCE (cf. 2 Cor. 13:14). When the Bible tells us that “the LORD is one”, it’s referring to a numerical one, i.e., there is one God as opposed to many gods.  When the Bible tells us that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are/is God, it’s referring to a united one, i.e., they each share the attributes which deity alone possesses2 and are therefore referred to collectively as the Godhead (Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:20; Col. 2:9 (KJV).  Study the following verses carefully:

  • “Then God (Hebrew—Elōhīm, is a plural pronoun) said, ‘Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness… So God created man in His own image; in the image of God HE created him; male and female HE created them’” (Gen. 1:27a-28).  Note the plural pronouns “Us” and “Our” (x2) in verse 27, but then that observe the singular pronoun “He” (x2) is employed in the very next verse.
  • “Then the LORD GOD said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of US…’” (Gen. 3:22a).
  • “Also I heard the voice of THE LORD, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for US?’” (Isa. 6:8).

We need to caution against a) blending the three divine personalities so strongly that we make absolutely no distinction between them, and/or b) over-emphasizing the individuality of the three and inadvertently creating a doctrine of Tritheism—or three Gods.

Other verses to consider and study include: Mat. 3:16-17, Mark 13:32; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Cor. 15:24.

1 John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, 207.
2 Examples:  eternality (Deut. 33:27), immutability (Mal. 3:6), holiness (Exo. 15:11), righteousness (32:4), omnipotence (Jer. 32:17), omnipresence (Psa. 139:7-10), omniscience (Psa. 147:5).
3 ALL CAPS emphasis in some text as well as verses of Scripture is mine—mb.
25
Oct

Psalm 19:1

bang