Pt. 5 Ch. 1. Is Christ Truly God: The Doctrines That Divide By Erwin Lutzer (NKJV)

October 12, 2018

Outlining The Issues

What were the most prominent views of the country (A.D. 250)? There was a Theologian by the name of Origen from Alexandria from Egypt. He believed Christ, the Son of God was subordinate to God the Father. He addressed the Son as the Theos-Deuteros i.e. the second God. While simultaneously claiming Christ as deity. It is not clear as to why he asserted that the Son was subordinate the Father.

Then came another by the name of Arius who took it a step further. He proclaimed since the Son has a different essence than that of the Father; the most logical conclusion would be that He was a created being. Therefore, if the Son was created, it stands to reason that He would be subordinate to God the Father. He used John 14: 28 which says, “You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.” In this setting Christ, being the Incarnate Son of God did become subject to the Father. He also would quote Mark 13: 32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”; John 5: 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.” In conjunction with 1st Cor. 15: 28 “Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”

These verses must be taken in light of linear time, which has a beginning and an end. There are events in scripture that deal with the reign of Christ in relation to mankind as counted in measurable time, such as Christ birth and His time spent on earth. For example, let us take a look at what Moses prophesied concerning Yeshua HaMashiach:

Deut. 18: 15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ 17 “And the Lord said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.” And the Prophet Isaiah:

Isaiah 9: 6 “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

Moses speaks of a Prophet who will be like him. This Prophet would relate to mankind from a linear perspective. The Prophet Isaiah combines both linear and eternity. However, in the Book of Hebrews the first chapter, Christ is looked upon as an eternal being, co-equal with God the Father:

Hebrews 1: 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.”

The term ‘firstborn’ in relation to Christ is usually in reference to Him having preeminence over all things. He was not the firstborn man, on the other hand, He was the Firstborn of His kind. In Hebrews 1: 6 He is worshiped as God by saying “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” In 7 He is separate from angels; in 8 He is God who has a throne that surpasses linear time; in 9 He is in the past tense as having “loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;” This refers to His ministry on earth as that Prophet spoken of by Moses. It also says “Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You.” Moving on to 10 He is acknowledged as the creator of the heavens and the earth. But in verse 11 we see that Christ is nonperishable. He is separate from time as we understand time. In verse 12, everything that we see, hear, taste, smell, and can touch will be folded up “Like a cloak”; it is all subject to change, but Christ is not, “But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.”

Someone has said that “if you look hard enough, you can get the Bible to say anything that you want.” Origen and Arius did just that. There will always be intellectuals with one goal in mind, i.e. proving themselves to be right. Some are even sincere in their efforts, nevertheless, being human…we all can be sincerely wrong. Thereby leading others astray. Arius said, “If the Father begat the Son, he that was begotten had a beginning of existence.” He went on to say, “from this it is evident, that there was a time that the Son was not.” While simultaneously overlooking the fact that Christ claimed to be The Alpha and Omega in Rev. 1: 8; 22: 13. God the Father said the same of Himself in Rev. 21: 6. I will close today with a few of my favorite:

John 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” To be continued…

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