Nature of God

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Jesus is deity but not part of a Trinity:

The Bible tells us Jesus was not a God-man (fully God & fully man at the same time)

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

The Trinity doctrine claims that the Lord Jesus was a God-man or fully God and fully man at the very same time while He was walking the earth in the flesh before His resurrection. If the Lord Jesus was indeed fully God and fully man, then one should stop and think about whether such a claim makes any sense instead of just believing what one has always been taught. The following (not a comprehensive list) would immediately come to mind as contradictory to the Bible.

 

 

1) How can the same person be fully God and fully man at the same time? God is all-powerful, all-knowing and is present everywhere. Man obviously does not have any of these traits; man has the diametric opposite traits. The two states of being cannot exist together and are mutually exclusive. The nature of God would completely overwhelm and dominate the nature of man.

 

The Lord Jesus was not a God-man which is an oxymoronic term. It is like oil and water which do not mix. If God is the oil and man is the water, then God must change us to become like Him: He changes us into oil. This is indeed the actual process that God is doing. He will change our mortal bodies into something more than mere flesh and bone; He will give us glorious new bodies. This is the Lord’s example that awaits us and is completely Biblical.

 

However, nowhere does the Bible state the Lord Jesus existed in a mixed form when He came in the flesh.

 

The forms the Lord Jesus took are quite clear: spirit => man => a combination of spirit and man. The last one is the model we follow as man => a combination of spirit and man. At no point in His time here on earth before His resurrection was Jesus also God. If He was, He would not qualify as our sympathetic High Priest and mediator (see item #4 below).

 

Yet, true believers of Bible truth were persecuted and martyred for following God’s truth and not the illogical traditions of man which this “God-man” doctrine surely is:

 

"We are judged to be heretics because we can no longer believe in essence, person, nature, incarnation, as they want us to believe. If these things are necessary for salvation, it is certain that no poor peasant Christian be saved, because he could never understand them in all his life."

- Francis David (1510-79)

 

 

2) If the Lord Jesus was half God, why would He need to be empowered with holy spirit and ministered to by angels (Matthew 3:16; Luke 4:1; Mark 1:13; Luke 22:41-44)? Surely any part of God much less half (how much is half of infinity?), would be greater than any angel, but yet we are told He was made lower than the angels, which is to say He was made a man.

 

Hebrews 2:

7     You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands.

8     You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.

9     But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.   (NKJV)

 

 

And if one insists He could be half God and half man and still require holy spirit and angels to assist him in His mission, then think: He must have been barely God, because He was weaker than an angel (which the Bible tells us is what a man is). Otherwise, the Lord Jesus was pretending to be weaker than He was.  

 

Of course, either scenario goes away as untruths when we simply accept God’s word when it says that Jesus became a man – weaker than the angels.

 

 

3) Philippians 2:6-8 says the Lord gave up His divinity to become a man and die at the cross.

 

Philippians 2:

6     who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

7     but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

8     Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.   (NASB)

 

 

In churches today, people are taught that Philippians 2:6-8 means the Lord gave up His equal position in the godhead to submit Himself to His father’s will/authority, but never gave up His deity (hence He was both fully God and fully man at the same time and also was subordinate to His father). However, that is not what the Bible is saying.

 

Even if we ignored what the word equality means which we discussed in the article Is Jesus equal to His father - what equal really means in the Bible, what the Bible is really saying is that the Lord Jesus was not so proud to hold onto His divinity, but gave it all up and humbled Himself to become a man in order to be our substitute for the payment of sin. These verses indicate He emptied Himself which is to be understood that He completely did so; there is no mention of retaining a part or half, etc. The reason why He had to completely empty Himself is given below.

 

 

4) If the Lord Jesus was fully God, yet also man, then His suffering and temptation would not be true suffering or true temptation (a true test/trial) and He would be cheating, because Jesus had to fully be a man in order to overcome sin that Adam could not, and only then rightly overcome the enemy and be the source of our eternal life.

 

Also, He had to be completely sympathetic to the weaknesses and ordeals of man to become a faithful and compassionate intercessor. He can only do this if He was completely a man. He had to be tempted and endure all things to be perfected in His role as our Savior.

 

Calling the Lord Jesus a God-man during His temptation and suffering is not only untrue, but it takes away from His awesome act of humility to give up His deity and also the magnitude of the trials He went through and overcame to obtain ultimate victory for us.

 

1 Corinthians 15:

45   And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being."

     The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.   (NKJV)

 

Hebrews 2:

14   Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,

15   and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

16   For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.

17   Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

18   For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.   (NASB)

 

Hebrews 4:

15   For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.   (NASB)

 

 

But we are told that God cannot be tempted:

 

James 1:

13   Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil,

     and He Himself does not tempt anyone.   (NASB)

 

 

 

Therefore, the idea of the Lord Jesus being a God-man contradicts the Bible and makes the Bible contradict itself. The Bible says He was tempted, but the Bible says God cannot be tempted. The fact that He could be tempted means He was not God or even half God when He walked in the flesh.

 

If some say the temptation only applied to His “human” side, then this would not be a fair trial for Him to overcome, because His God half could not be tempted and would carry Him through the trial. This would disqualify the Lord’s work to save us and be our intercessor.

 

The Lord Jesus can only be a compassionate and sympathetic mediator if He experienced everything a man does as a completely human person and as this man resists all temptation to sin and overcomes it. Anything short of this means He could not mediate between God and us.

 

The summation of the issue is aptly put in the quote below:

 

"The Chalcedonian formula [the council's decision declaring Jesus both God and man] makes genuine humanity impossible. The councilor definition says that Jesus is true man. But if there are two natures in him, it is clear which will dominate. And Jesus becomes immediately very different from us. He is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. He knows the past, present and future...He knows exactly what everyone is thinking and going to do. This is far from ordinary human experience. Jesus is tempted but cannot sin because he is God. What kind of temptation is this? It has little in common with the kinds of struggles we are familiar with."

- To Know and Follow Jesus, Roman Catholic writer Thomas Hart (Paulist Press, 1984), 46.

 

 

 

5) In 1 Timothy 2:5, we are told He was a man when He walked the earth – nothing more.

 

1 Timothy 2:

5   For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,   (NKJV)

 

 

Note also below, we are told He became a man and that God gives help to the descendant of Abraham (man).

 

Hebrews 2:

14   Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,

15   and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

16   For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.   (NASB)

 

Also:

 

Acts 17:

30   "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,

31   because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."   (NASB)

 

1 Corinthians 15:

21   For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.   (NASB)

 

 

Comment: He was not a God-man by the simple truth in 1 Corinthians 15:21. If death came by man, then overcoming death must also come by a man. The Lord Jesus came as 100% human to do what Adam failed to do. There is no mention of being “part man and part God”.

 

 

 

6) If the Lord Jesus was a God-man, then the Lord was lying when He calls us His brethren. We are not half man/half God brethren of His, but we can only be called His brethren if He was fully a man as we are.

 

Hebrews 2:

11   For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

12   saying, "I will proclaim Your name to My brethren, In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise."

 

17   Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

(NASB)

 

 

 

7) The Bible tells us that God cannot weary or require rest:

 

Isaiah 40:

28   Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.   (NASB)

 

 

But yet the Lord Jesus tired and slept.

 

This is proof positive that when the Bible says He is deity and gave up His deity at a point of time to become a man, it was complete – He walked the earth as a man.

 

This is why the Lord Jesus can tire, need sleep, need food, can cry, feel pain, sweat drops of blood, and die. And there is no contradiction that though He is the Lord of the Sabbath, yet He Himself had to rest and sleep.  He was deity and became a man to suffer, die and pay the penalty for our sins, but He was always the same person.

 

 

8) If the Lord Jesus was fully God and fully man, then what happened at His death? Which died? Who died? Was it just the man part or both? If the God part did not die, what happened to it? But is the Lord Jesus not just one and the same person? Where does the Bible say a God aspect of His person died? It never does – it just tells us He died. Instead, the Bible tells us over and over that He became a man like we are to suffer, be tempted and taste death for us. He died as fully a man, not a God-man.

 

 

 

The overarching message of the Bible is that the Lord Jesus as the Second Adam must be fully man. Only in this way can He overcome death and sin and become the compassionate and merciful High Priest who intercedes between God and us. If we say that He was a God-man, then you might as well say that the Lord Jesus cheated and was not tempted at all, because God is greater than Satan. However, the Bible says the Lord Jesus was made lower than the angels and therefore can be tempted by Satan. He was tempted, but never sinned (as we saw in Hebrews 4:15).

 

The unparalleled beauty of the Gospel of God and the Lord Jesus’ love and sacrifice for us can only begin to be understood if we realize all He gave up in heaven and all He had to experience and overcome as fully just a man. However, if we believe He was a God-man, then we are not giving proper appreciation that is due Him for all He has done – and why and how He did it.