Pt. 10 Ch. 1. Is Christ Truly God: The Doctrines That Divide By Erwin Lutzer (NKJV)
November 15, 2018
The End of the Debate
After all views were presented at the council, the compromise of Eusebius was dismissed. Since the consensus seemed to be leaning more toward the belief that Christ was the same substance of God the Father, the Emperor being a babe in Christ, and a politician intervened. He sided with Athanasius, who proclaimed Christ to be of the same substance of God the Father. Hence, the Nicene Creed was born. It was named after the city Nicaea, where 318 bishops met in 325 A.D. to wrestle with the deity of Christ. But it does not matter how many Christian leaders and politicians decide, the Bible has proclaimed Christ to be fully God:
Col. 2: 8 “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”
John 1: 1 “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it; 14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
It boggles the mind how that the creation thinks that we can decide who or what God is and what substance He is. The Bible speaks clearly about the deity of our LORD. The question mankind really needs to wrestle with is whether we believe what His Word says. And even if we choose not to believe The Word, what we think does not alter the truth one iota:
Psalm 100: 1 “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.”
If the 7 billion people on this planet all decided that Christ is not of the same substance of God the Father, that will not make what is true untrue. We don’t get to be the judge here. However, we get to be judged. The Bible says that God is a Spirit, and we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. This tells me that God’s substance is spirit. And let’s face it, we don’t really know what spirit is. The laws of physics cannot measure or determine what a spirit is. The realm of the spirit is beyond our five senses. How dare any of us determine to know whether Christ is the same substance of God the Father when we’ve never come in contact with Him on this physical plane. The Word became flesh, but no one saw or touch His spirit. The Godhead resides in every Born Again, Spirit-filled child of God, nevertheless, we cannot see, feel, hear, smell, or touch them. You might say, “I heard the voice of God”, no you didn’t. What you heard was the product of your spirit in communion with the Spirit of God. And because of this communion, our spirit uses the voice of our conscience to speak to us what God wants us to do or not do. Our Born Again recreated spirit is the voice of our conscience. The Apostle Paul gave us this example:
2nd Cor. 1: 12 “For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.” The conscience testifies to you the wisdom of God.
1st Tim. 4: 1 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”
Paul balances the difference between a conscience that is sensitive to the voice of God, and one that is not. He says a good conscience will guide us in simplicity and godly sincerity. This means if your conscience is pure, it will show you the difference between right and wrong. On the other hand, if your conscience has been seared with a hot iron, you will follow whatever your carnal nature desires. In this instance, you could say figuratively speaking, that the conscience has been cauterized or rendered insensitive.
My point is this. We do not have the ability to understand God’s substance. All we know is what has come to us by way of revelation. We know that God is a Spirit because Jesus has revealed that to us. We know that the Holy Spirit is a spirit because it’s obvious. And Jesus has a Glorified body, and we won’t know what that is like until that blessed day. The wisdom and philosophies of men just don’t apply. The Nicene Creed is a document forged by the wisdom of men. God will not fall off His throne if you don’t recite these creeds based on the traditions of men. I say that because I have run across too many Christians who know creeds by heart, but if you try breaking the bread of The Word of God with them, they are lost. To be continued…