This is the third part of a series; Is Jesus really God?
By Jimbo Braden
(5) Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, (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. (9) For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,(10) so at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,(11) and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(6) who, although He existed in the form of God
Jesus was in the very form of God!
Jehovah’s Witnesses will say, you see, Jesus was just in the form of God, but not really God.
Well my question is in the next verse (7) where Jesus takes the form of a human. So if one was to say Jesus was just in the form of God but not really God, one would have to interpret the next verse and say that Jesus really wasn’t a human just in the form of a human.
did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped
He did not hold on to the fact that He was equal with God. That is to say He did not cling to it, He did not grasp for it, but rather He set that aside and came as a human. Totally relying on the Father, and the Holy spirit, and not of Himself.
(7) but “emptied” Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
So He “emptied” Himself at His incarnation (meaning when He took the form of a human), but did not empty himself of His deity, that is to say; He traded His deity for humanity. No, but He did set aside of being face to face with the Father, and of being worshipped and the glory He had with the Father. Jesus said;
And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (John 17:5)
(8) Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Remember, Jesus is still God, but found in the appearance as a man. If Jesus had not humbled Himself and not died on the cross, He could not have been our High Priest making intercessions for us. This would be called His role, it is very different from His nature. We don’t need to get them mixed up. I will be saying this over and over because it crucial to know the difference when reading the bible.
(9) For this reason also, God also has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
Because, God the Father highly exalted Him, does not make Him inferior to God the Father, I’m talking about Jesus’s nature. On the other hand, the role He took is very different from His nature. But Jesus chose this role. Just like the Father has His role, and the Spirit has His role, they all have different roles in the plan of Salvation.
(10) so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, (11) and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
The name that is above every name, is Lord because in Jesus’s day they spoke Greek and that is why in the New Testament it was first written Greek and so if they spoke and taught in Greek what bible did they use and we find that they used the Greek Septuagint that is the Old Testament it came out in the third century B.C. and was completed around 132 B.C. and the hebrew name for God (Yahweh) was never translated in Greek so when you came across the name of God it just said Lord in Greek (kurios)= Yahweh. Paul says at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to Jesus. But in (Isaiah 45:23) it says to God.
I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath. (Isaiah 45:23)
Ok look at this for a minute, if I were a Jew, living before Christ came into the world. And read this verse, who would I say this verse is applying to? Well I would say God. To call Jesus Christ “Lord” is to say, you are God. Even Thomas said to Jesus my Lord and my God (John 20:28)
So what have we learned so far? That Jesus was already God. Then He became a human, but still God. He died on the cross for our sins. Then God the Father highly exalted Him, and remember during all of this time He relies completely on the Father and the Holy Spirit not of Himself. He did not cling to the fact that He was equal with God, but He set it aside. That was His role, as the “God Man” to bring us to His Father. The bible says without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:22)
Therefore take heed to yourself and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (Acts 20:28)
Who’s blood? Gods blood, and we know it was Jesus’s blood that was shed on the cross. The infinite Son of God. Who else could bear the sin of the whole world besides God. I mean, what is the number of people who have lived on this earth, impossible to number. Bible says;
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come in the volume of the book it is written of Me To do Your will, O God.” (Hebrews 10:5)
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin, but only push it back another year until the next (Yom Kippur) that is the day of atonement. Every year, on, and on, and on. Animal sacrifice could not do away with sin only push it back another year.
But a body You have prepared for Me.
The Father prepared a body for God the Son.
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.
The blood of bulls and goats is an endless cycle.
Then I said, “Behold, I have come in the volume of the book it is written of Me To do Your will, O God.” (Hebrews 10:5) and (Psalm 40:6)
This prophecy in (Psalm 40:6) was fulfilled in Jesus Christ to do God’s will. And Jesus said it is finished (John 19:30) To live a sinless life as a human, take the role He took by humbling Himself relying on His Father and The Holy Spirit, not of Himself, who was without sin and died on the cross. You see, Jesus, the Son of God had to come as a human being, just like you and me, because no one else, could live a sinless life, except Jesus who is God that come in the flesh. Even if someone could have lived a sinless life, that created being, could only have died for another created being. But the Son of God is infinite, uncreated that’s why he could bare the sin of the whole world.
Now to the Jehovah’s Witnesses
Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Jesus is Michael the archangel and that He was God’s first creation. And they go to Colossians (1:15) to attempt to prove this. We will look at that in a minute. So this is how it goes, God created Michael, then Michael created all other things. Then came to earth, born of Mary, then He is called Jesus,
[Note: He is known as Michael in heaven and Jesus on earth, same person]
Then Jesus, dies on a torture stake, He is buried for three days, on the third day He is resurrected back as a Spirit Creature, but not His body then God manifests a body for Jesus so that His disciples could see Him. Then Jesus talks to His disciples, ascends to heaven who is known as Michael a spirit creature and does not have a body now.
Just a few problems with this, well actually a lot of problems. Did we just not read in
(Philippians 2:9) at the name of Jesus every knee will bow those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the father.
Well appears that, Jesus is not known as Michael in heaven, according to God’s word. Heaven, earth or under the earth, all will bow the knee and say Jesus Christ is Lord not Michael. Now we will look at (colossians 1:15)
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. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
(16) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
It says, Jesus is the image of the invisible God, “to see Him is to see God!”
The firstborn over all creation.
Now Jehovah’s Witnesses are quick to point out and say see He is the firstborn of God’s creation. Meaning that the Father created Jesus. But if this was the only verse I have ever looked at well I would probably believe them. But I am, Sola scriptura, meaning I read all the bible and let scripture interpret scripture. So let’s start with what does the word “firstborn” mean? The firstborn son is usually the first son that is born. To receive a special blessing from the Father a double inheritance. However there are some people in the bible that are not born first and are called firstborn. Let’s turn to (Psalm 89:20) it reads;
I have found My servant David; With My holy oil I have anointed him, 21 With whom My hand shall be established; Also My arm shall strengthen him. 22 The enemy shall not outwit him, Nor the son of wickedness afflict him. 23 I will beat down his foes before his face, And plague those who hate him. 24 “But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him, And in My name his horn shall be exalted. 25 Also I will set his hand over the sea, And his right hand over the rivers. 26 He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’ 27 Also I will make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth. 28 My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him. 29 His seed also I will make to endure forever, And his throne as the days of heaven.
Here David is anointed for king and made firstborn. However we know that He had older brothers, several. He was the youngest, but God calls him firstborn. Meaning David is firstborn of other Kings around him. So firstborn can mean “preeminence” over things. Just like what you see in Colossians about Jesus, firstborn over all creation. Notice it didn’t say in creation but over creation. And others; Manasseh is born first, then Ephraim second. But Ephraim is set before Manasseh and is called firstborn.(Genesis 48:13-20) (Israel is called firstborn, among the other nations) (Exodus 4:22) and more.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
“preeminence” 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.
Only God is the creator.
(Isaiah 44:24)Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
And He who formed you from the womb:
“I am the LORD, who makes all things,
Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
(Isaiah 45:18)For thus says the LORD,
Who created the heavens,
Who is God,
Who formed the earth and made it,
Who has established it,
Who did not create it in vain,
Who formed it to be inhabited:
“I am the LORD, and there is no other.
Jesus is God
He is not made the firstborn again, because He is the first one from the dead. But rather He was already the firstborn before He died. That is to say He is the firstborn over creation that is from the dead.
that in all things He may have the preeminence.
And why does He have preeminence? Because God chose Him to be firstborn like He did David, Ephraim and Israel.
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Role=humbling Himself, of who He really was, putting faith in the Father to see Him through. He prays to God, He is just like you and me, except He is the God Man now and forever. He chose to enter His on creation, to live a sinless life. Had God the Father’s wrath poured out on Him, to save us.
Nature= His nature on the other hand, is that He is God. He is made of (not created) out of the same substance or essence of the Father and The Holy Spirit this is the one being of God that is called “Yahweh!” Because, Christian’s believe in one God. If we believed in three gods we would be no different from the pagan. Neither could we call ourselves Monotheists; which is the belief of one God.
So now we see that the role is different from the nature. This helps us to understand when Jesus says the father is greater than I. This is His role, I will try to give you an analogy. I work at a feed store my role is to run the cash register and drive a forklift.
Now the president of the United States, his role is to run America He is greater than I. He has a greater role but he is not any more human than me. The same is with Jesus and the Father different roles but equal in nature.