Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Lord Jesus Christ (Christology) --- Person of the Trinity (TBC Carpenter Flock teaching notes)

What We Teach at Tulsa Bible Church
IV. The Lord Jesus Christ (Christology)
A. Person of the Trinity
1. We teach that Jesus Christ is the second Person of the Trinity.1 He is a divine person possessed of all of the attributes of Deity.2 In these He is co-equal, co-substantial (“of the same essential nature”), and co-eternal with the Father.3
John 10:30 I and My Father are one.
John 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
2. We teach that God the Father created all things according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ,4 and in Him all things hold together.5
John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Colossians 1:15-17 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
1 John 10:30; John 14:9  2 Colossians 2:9  3 John 1:1  4John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2    5 Colossians 1:15-17
B. Incarnation     C. Life and Ministry     D. Redemption     E. Resurrection     F. Return



Three reasons it matters:

Discussion Questions:
· Why do you think someone would deny the full Deity of Christ?
· Do you remember when you first believed that Jesus was God?  How did that affect your perspective and priorities?
· How does our view of Christ affect our relationship with Him?
· What would be the best approach, attitude to take with someone who denies the deity of Christ?  What considerations or circumstances would affect your approach?

Arius and the deity of Christ
Arius was a cultured and ascetic presbyter (256-336 AD), a popular preacher from Libya. He was tall, handsome, earnestly religious, and eloquent in his arguments. He gave the impression of being arrogant.
He lived at a time when the Eastern Church was divided because of the Christological dispute which he was instrumental in starting. He taught that Christ is not divine, but created.
Arius was strongly opposed by his bishop Alexander, who was bishop of Alexandria from 313 AD. Alexander insisted that the Son was fully and truly God, in as absolute a sense as the Father was. The problem for Alexander was to show that this (orthodox) truth did not lead to a belief in two Gods, as Arius maintained that it did.

John 5.21
co-substantial (“of the same essential nature”), and
John 1.1
Isaiah 6 & John 12.41

co-eternal with the Father.3
Hebrews 1.8 
also John 8:58 "Before Abraham was, I Am."

If Arianism is right, it makes a difference in many ways; I'll mention briefly three.
1)   God did not send a creature to show us how.    "...the Son cannot be a bridge between God and humanity if the bridge doesn't fully reach to both ends."
2)   "Christ does not offer a secondhand, indirect knowledge of God, but he direct experience of relationship with the eternal God who calls us to know him.  If Christ does not fully know God, can we fully trust Him to deliver us?"
3)     The god of Arius does not give of himself, but sends another.  Orthodoxy is far more radical (and personal) than that!

——"Arianism" by Micheal B Thomson in Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why it Matters What Christians Believe

John 5    A Man Healed at the Pool of Bethesda then ...
16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him,[c] because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

John 12  following the triumphal entry
The Fruitful Grain of Wheat  
20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
Jesus Predicts His Death on the Cross   
27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”
29 Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”
30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.
34 The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”
35 Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
Who Has Believed Our Report?
37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:
“ Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”1
39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:
40 “ He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”2
 41 These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.
1 Isaiah 53.1   2 Isaiah 6.9

Isaiah 6
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:
      “ Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
      The whole earth is full of His glory!”
 4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 So I said:
      “ Woe is me, for I am undone!
      Because I am a man of unclean lips,
      And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
      For my eyes have seen the King,
      The LORD of hosts.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said:
      “ Behold, this has touched your lips;
      Your iniquity is taken away,
      And your sin purged.”

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
      “ Whom shall I send,
      And who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here
am I! Send me.”
9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people:
      ‘ Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
      Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
10 “ Make the heart of this people dull,
      And their ears heavy,
      And shut their eyes;
      Lest they see with their eyes,
      And hear with their ears,
      And understand with their heart,
      And return and be healed.”

There are five uses of the word God in John 1 that do not have an article. Can you see how they are translated in the NWT?  The references to Christ (1,18) are both with a small "g" and the three references to God in general (12, 13, 18)have a capital "G." 

Bible: New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures

John 1:1-51

1 In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. 2 This one was in [the] beginning with God. 3 All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.
What has come into existence 4 by means of him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light is shining in the darkness, but the darkness has not overpowered it.
6 There arose a man that was sent forth as a representative of God: his name was John. 7 This [man] came for a witness, in order to bear witness about the light, that people of all sorts might believe through him. 8 He was not that light, but he was meant to bear witness about that light.
9 The true light that gives light to every sort of man was about to come into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world came into existence through him, but the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own home, but his own people did not take him in. 12 However, as many as did receive him, to them he gave authority to become God’s children, because they were exercising faith in his name; 13 and they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man’s will, but from God.
14 So the Word became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father; and he was full of undeserved kindness and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, yes, he actually cried out—this was the one who said [it]—saying: “The one coming behind me has advanced in front of me, because he existed before me.”) 16 For we all received from out of his fullness, even undeserved kindness upon undeserved kindness. 17 Because the Law was given through Moses, the undeserved kindness and the truth came to be through Jesus Christ. 18 No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is in the bosom [position] with the Father is the one that has explained him.
 Jehovah's Witnesses deny the deity of Christ, and claim that John 1:1 merely calls him “a god,” but not full deity. They rest their case on three facts of Greek grammar:
1. There is no such word as “a” or “an” in Greek, so we sometimes have to add “a” to translate into English, (Acts 28:6).
2. The Greek word used here (theos) has two meanings: usually the supreme God revealed in Scripture, but sometimes lesser beings like the gods of Greek mythology.
3. The Greek word “the” is often attached to the word “God” or theos, but it does not appear in John 1:1. Hiding behind the Witness rendering of the verse is an unspoken equation: God + “the” (ho theos) = Jehovah, the Almighty God, God - “the” (theos) = a created being with divine qualities. Witnesses claim that the apostle John deliberately omitted a “the” in the final phrase to show the difference between God and the Word. As the New World Translation (p. 775) explains:
John's inspired writings and those of his fellow disciples show what the true idea is, namely, the Word or Logos is not God or the God, but is the Son of God, and hence is a god. That is why, at John 1:1,2, the apostle refers to God as the God and to the Word or Logos as a god, to show the difference between the Two.
Is this the proper translation?
No. The equation underlying the Witness rendering breaks down within a few verses. John 1:18 contains theos twice, without “the” either time. According to Watchtower assumptions, we would expect to translate both as “god” or “a god.” Instead, the New World Translation says “God” the first time and “god” the second time. The context overrules their rule.
Why did John choose not to put “the” on the word “God”?
1. To show which word was the subject of the sentence. In English, we can recognize the subject of a sentence by looking at word order. In Greek, we must look at the word endings. John 1:1 is trickier than most verses, because both “God” (theos) and “Word” (logos) have the same ending. The usual way to mark off the subject clearly was to add “the” to the subject and leave it off the direct object. That is precisely what John did here.
2. To conform to standard Greek grammar. E.C. Colwell demonstrated in an article in the Journal of Biblical Literature in 1933 that it was normal practice to omit “the” in this type of sentence. John was simply using good grammar, and making it clear that he intended to say, “The Word was God” rather than “God was the Word,” a statement with some theological drawbacks. John constructed his sentence in the one way that would preserve proper grammar and sound doctrine, declaring that “the Word was God.”
Author: Dr. John Bechtle

Hebrews 1

God’s Supreme Revelation
 1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
The Son Exalted Above Angels
5 For to which of the angels did He ever say:
“ You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You”?
   And again:
“ I will be to Him a Father,
And He shall be to Me a Son”?
6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:
“ Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
 7 And of the angels He says:
“ Who makes His angels spirits
And His ministers a flame of fire.”
 8 But to the Son He says:
“ Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
10 And:
“ You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
11 They will perish, but You remain;
And they will all grow old like a garment;
12 Like a cloak You will fold them up,
And they will be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not fail.”

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