Presbyterians/is Jesus God
I have a question relating to some verses I have read. I was hoping you could provide an answer for me
Can you please explain just who Jesus is in relation to God. Is he the Almighty, is one individual that makes up the Almighty, if he is one of three individual that makes up the Almighty, Are he and The Father and the Holy Ghost all considered to be Gods in their own right. Or is Jesus one aspect of the One God.
So when we read God in the Bible just who is that referring to? This has to do with the following verses as they seem to be saying Jesus had a God the same God that his followers had
John 2:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
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.
Colossians 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Thank you for your time
Those are excellent questions, and by asking them you are doing the task of theology, which is to taking what the Scriptures say and laying out a "map" that encompasses all the data points.
God, the creator of the universe is transcendent of and "other" than the created universe, and is thus in a category by himself. As he reveals himself, however, we learn about this God we could not otherwise know.
One of the names for God in the Hebrew Scriptures is "Elohim" which is a plural noun, always used with singular verbs. This is not conclusive, but rather indicative that there is something "plural" about this one God. Likewise in the creation of mankind, when God says "Let US make man in OUR image and according to OUR likeness" (Gen 1:26). While some have suggested that this is speech directed toward an angelic court, this is no indication in any portion of the Scriptures that man is made in the image of angels. The next verse (1:27), "So God created the human being in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Again, this is not conclusive, but indicative of some kind of plurality in God.
Although there are numerous passages of Scripture I could direct you to, perhaps one of the most interesting is Zechariah 2. God is referred to there by his covenantal name, Yahweh (translated at LORD). While "the gods" are sometimes referred to with the name "Elohim," this name is reserved only for the one true God who creates and redeems, and who "is one" (Deut. 6:4). Yet interestingly in this passage, Yahweh is said to speak to Yahweh and, and Yahweh is said to send Yahweh to Jerusalem.
What is all means only becomes clear when we come to the new testament:
Echoing the opening of the book of Genesis, John writes in his Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." (Joh 1:1-2 NAS). John says that this Word "was God." The imperfect tense of being verbs in Greek indicates what something was and continues to be. While some have suggested the translation of "the word was a god," Greek grammar will not allow this translation (and if this were proper grammar would require the translation "There came a man sent from a god" in v.6).
Col 2:9 says, "In him (Jesus) all the fullness of the deity dwells in bodily form."
In the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to himself numerous times as "I Am," a designation by which God identifies himself in Ex. 3, and closely related to the name Yahweh in Hebrew. In John 8:58 Jesus makes the startling statement, "Before Abraham was, I Am." The religious leaders of he day, who rejected Jesus as the Messiah, picked up stones to stone him, recognizing that those words were a claim to be God, but they, disbelieving him, thought the words to be blasphemy.
Throughout the Gospel accounts, people render to Jesus, and Jesus receives worship. Yet in the New Testament both devout men (Acts 10, 2326, 14:13-16) and holy angels (Rev. 19:10, 22:9)refuse worship if it is offered to them.
The tragedy of the NT is that those who professed to be worshipers of God did not recognize him when he came to them. But the recognition of who Jesus was dawned slowly even on his own disciples. When he rebuked and stopped a storm, the disciples asked in amazement, "Who is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mk 4:41).
These are only a small sample of the passages that indicate that Jesus is God, but it is only "half" of the story. The other half is what has been called the incarnation - that God became man, or as John puts it "The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us." (Jn 1:14). The book of Hebrews as a whole and numerous other passages indicate that God did not some simply looking like a man - he really became a man, to be the Last Man and Second Adam (1 Cor. 15). As a man, he is bound to worship and obey God ("I thought Jesus WAS God?" - Yes, remember the indications of plurality in God from the OT).
The data points to be encompassed, then, are these:
1. There is one God (Dt 6:4 and other places)
2. There are indications of plurality in this one God
3. God is often called "Father."
4. The NT indicates that Jesus is God.
5. The NT indicates that the Holy Spirit is God (a whole other discussion)
6. The NT indicates that Jesus is really and truly a man.
Historically, the church encompassed all these data points with the word "Trinity" which was coined by Theophilous of Antioch about 170 A.D. The doctrine is sometimes understood well, sometimes not understood so well by theologians today.
The words of Basil of Cesarea (c. 350) are helpful: "When the Lord delivered [the revelation] of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, he did not make arithmetic a part of the gift. He did not say, 'In the first, the second, and the third,' or 'in one, two, and three.' But he gave us the knowledge of the faith that leads to salvation by means of holy names (Father, Son, Spirit). . . . Numbers have been devised as symbols indicative of quantity . . . . Count if you must, but do not damage the faith by doing so. There is one God, even the Father, one Only-begotten Son, and one Holy Spirit. We proclaim each one . . . singly; and if we must use numbers, we will not let an ignorant arithmetic lead us astray to the idea of polytheism."
Thanks for a great question. The Lord bless and keep you.