Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Jesus Only?

All scripture references are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The Hebrew and Greek meaning of the words mentioned are from Strong's Hebrew Greek Dictionary.
I guess that I have heard the phrase, "Jesus only," referred to the United Pentecostal Church, e.g., believing in the Oneness of God, from the time of my conversion in 1965. My understanding has been that it was meant in a pejorative way.  I looked up the word pejorative and copied and pasted the definition  from the Mirriam-Webster online dictionary below.
"...: a word or phrase that has negative connotations or that is intended to disparage or belittle : a pejorative word or phrase"
As a result, I took some umbrage at the term. While some folks might have meant it in a negative way I like the response that I have also heard more recently from Oneness folks that the Lord is more Jesus everything than Jesus only.

The term "Jesus only" may indeed be meant as a backhanded compliment at the Oneness position, but let me take a measured look at my Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ from a Bible perspective. By no means will I cover every reference. The Lord declared in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." If what He said is true, (and I certainly believe  it is) then He is the only way to heaven, He is the only truth worth considering and He is the only life worth living. What's more, The Lord Jesus is the only access we have to the Father. Colossians 2:9 says that, " him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And according to Colossians 2:10, I am complete in the Lord Jesus and don't need anyone else. Again according to John 14:6, for me, Jesus in the only One I need to make heaven my home.

The Lord Jesus is the only Saviour of men. At least He is called the Saviour in 1st John 4:14 where John said, "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." Now if God had sent someone in addition to His Son to be the Saviour of the world then I would have to agree that the saying that Jesus is the only Saviour of men is wrong. But I don't find in scripture that there is any other Saviour than only the Lord Jesus. That is of course unless we look at God as being another Saviour. It does say in Isaiah 43:3a where God, speaking by the prophet said, "For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:" Now if God said "...I am the LORD thy God...thy Saviour," and there are many more scriptures that declare God to be the Saviour, (for instance in Jude 1:25a,  "To the only wise God our Saviour ...") then the same Bible that calls God the Saviour and says Jesus Christ is the Saviour, is either wrong or Jesus was God manifested in the flesh.

Have you ever wondered how the Lord Jesus could be the Son of God and God the Son at the same time? If He is God the Son who co-equally and co-eternally exists with God the Father and God the Holy Ghost, and at the same time the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, the man Christ Jesus who was born of a virgin, who grew up, preached to the Jews, went to Calvary and died, and finally rose up from the dead, was God the Son in heaven looking down at the Son of God. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. But if the Lord Jesus preexisted as God, before the incarnation, and in the fulness of time was manifested in the flesh as Mary's baby well that makes sense to me. Someone might say, "but He preexisted as the Word! See the Gospel of John, chapter one, verse one!" True. Jesus preexisted as the Word for the Bible says in John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  (emphasis mine) Notice that the Bible doesn't say "and the Word was God the Son." Then in verse 14 John goes on to say, "And the Word was made 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." The Word that was God in the beginning was made flesh and we beheld the Son of God, God manifested in the flesh. (See 1st Timothy 3:15)

I don't profess to understand everything about God. After all, God said of Himself in Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." God the Father has chosen for all the fulness of the Godhead (The word Godhead, by the way, θεότης theotēs theh-ot'-ace, means divinity according to Strong's Hebrew Greek Dictionary) to dwell in the Lord Jesus. And again, according to Strong's Hebrew Greek Dictionary, κατοικέω pronounced katoikeō, e.g., kat-oy-keh'-o... means "to house permanently," then the fulness of Divinity, that is God, has no other permenent dwelling place. (See Colossians 1:19 and 2:9)

Let me conclude this little dissertation by saying Jesus only is the Way the Truth and the Life. Jesus only is the means I can get to the Father. Jesus only is the permenent dwelling place of the fulness of Divinity. Jesus only is the One in whom I am complete. Jesus only was the Word that was God in the beginning. Jesus only is the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. And in John 10:1-5, Jesus told the Parable of the Sheepfold. In verse 1, the Lord said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." Then in beginning His explanation of the parable in John 10:7, Jesus said that He, Himself was the Door. It is a serious thing to be counted, "as a thief and a robber," by God. But for those who try to get to the God the Father without going through the Son of God are like those in the parable. (See also 1st John 2:23) Much more could be said on this subject but yes, if believing that the Lord Jesus is the only way to the Father, then I will gladly bear the title, Jesus only.

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