Hello brothers and sisters of Testify God,
My name is Feifei. I’ve seen that all of you have some particular insight into the Scripture—this has been so helpful and edifying for me. Today, I’d like to ask everyone about something that’s perplexed me for years. As Christians, many of us have the notion that the Lord Jesus is God’s Son because there are a number of mentions in the Bible of “beloved Son” and “heavenly Father.” Just like it clearly states in Luke 3:22: “And a voice came from heaven, which said, You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Plus in the Lord’s Prayer the Lord Jesus called God in heaven “Our Father which are in heaven.” The Lord Jesus Himself said that, and that’s what the Holy Spirit gave testimony to, so nearly everyone who follows the Lord Jesus thinks that He is God’s Son. But I’ve also seen a lot of places in the Bible where it says that God is the only one true God who created the heavens, the earth, and all things, that there is only one God. So then why would there be any mention of a Father and a Son? Isn’t that contradictory? So was the Lord Jesus the Son of God or was He God Himself? I really can’t figure this out, so I wanted to ask you in seeking.
Before having fellowship on this, we should first understand that everything God does is correct and without error. God’s words cannot contradict each other, and God’s wisdom is unfathomable to us as human beings. So, whenever we’re confused about something we need to seek the truth with a humble heart. The Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). If we have a heart of longing for the truth, I believe the Lord will lead us.
Something we really need clarity on is whether the Lord Jesus Christ was God Himself or God’s Son. First let’s take a look at the origin of the idea that the Lord Jesus was the Son of God. In Genesis there was no mention of God having a son, and Jehovah God didn’t mention a son during the Age of Law, either. It wasn’t until the Age of Grace, after the Lord Jesus had become flesh and come to the earth to work that we speculated that there is a Father and a Son from some things written in the Bible. No one knew if this was accurate or not, nor did anyone try to seek out the facts to find out what this really was. But in fact, the Lord Jesus had already disclosed this mystery to us, and it’s something we can find out if we just pay a bit of attention. Back in the Age of Grace, Philip didn’t know God at all. He thought that the Lord Jesus had God, His Father, up in heaven, so he asked the Lord to have the Father show Himself to them. And what did the Lord Jesus say? John 14:9–11 says, “Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known Me, Philip? he that has seen Me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father? Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwells in Me, He does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” And in the Gospel of John 10:30, the Lord says, “I and My Father are one.” We can clearly know from the Lord Jesus’ words that there is only one God. The Father is the Son, and the Son is the Father. The Father and the Son are one Spirit, which is to say that the Lord Jesus was God Himself and there was no such thing as a separate Father and Son. There will probably be a lot of people who, reading this, may have a number of uncertainties about the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ was God Himself. The key to resolving these confusions is to understand what Christ really is, and then we’ll have clarity on this issue.
Let’s take a look at a couple of passages: “The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood but is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself. Be it His humanity or divinity, both submit to the will of the heavenly Father. The substance of Christ is the Spirit, that is, the divinity. Therefore, His substance is that of God Himself.” “The incarnate flesh originates in the Spirit: He is the incarnation of the Spirit, that is, the Word become flesh. In other words, God Himself lives within the flesh. … For this reason, even though He is called ‘man,’ He does not belong to the human race, and has no human attributes: This is the man in which God clothes Himself, this is the man that God approves. Within the words is embodied God’s Spirit, and the words of God are directly revealed in the flesh. This makes it all the more clear that God lives in the flesh and is a more practical God, from which it is proven that God exists, thus bringing to an end the age of humanity’s rebellion against God.”
From these passages we can very clearly understand that Christ is God in the flesh, and what the “incarnation” refers to is God’s Spirit clothed with regular flesh, as a human being. From the outside, Christ looks just like a regular, average Son of man, but in fact He possesses the divinity of the Creator, and it is His divinity that guides Him in expressing the truth and doing God’s own work. That is a role that no created being could play—only Christ, with His divine essence, could do that.
The Lord Jesus was God in the flesh, and He was Christ. In spite of the ordinariness, the normalness of His flesh, He was the embodiment of the Spirit of God and His work and words were full of authority and power. Whatever He said, was; whatever He commanded to be, became. The moment it left His mouth, it was truly accomplished. He could pardon anyone’s sins with a single word, He could bring the dead back to life, calm the wind and the sea, and feed five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes. Without exception, these miracles were manifestations of the authority of God Himself, the unique. The Lord Jesus was able to do the work of God Himself. He expressed the truth, provided the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and the path for people to repent. He brought mankind into the Age of Grace and concluded the Age of Law. He expressed a disposition of love and mercy and was crucified for the sake of all mankind, thus completing the work of redeeming humanity. None of this work could have been done by a human being. On top of that, we can see God’s mercy as well as His righteous disposition from the Lord Jesus’ attitude toward people. As an example, Jesus was extraordinarily tolerant and forgiving with sinners who were kind people, but He rebuked and condemned the Pharisees, who despised the truth. All of these things were true revelations of God’s disposition. And during His entire time in the flesh, not once did the Lord Jesus lord over others; instead, He very quietly hid inside of the flesh doing His own work. Think of His response to Philip’s question: “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me.” If He had been one of corrupt humanity, He certainly would have said something like “I am the Father, and the Father is Me.” This also allows us to see God’s disposition of being humble and hidden. From these facts, we can be certain that the Lord Jesus was God Himself in the flesh.
Why is that when the Lord Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit Himself bore witness that He was God’s beloved Son? There’s something behind this that we really must understand. When God incarnates, it’s His Spirit hiding within the flesh. The flesh itself cannot feel it at all, just as we humans cannot feel our souls. In addition, when God’s Spirit was within the flesh He didn’t carry out supernatural acts, so if God’s Spirit hadn’t uttered words to testify that He was God Himself, even the Lord Jesus would not have known that He was God incarnate. Thus, it wasn’t until He officially took up His post that the Holy Spirit bore witness that He was God in the flesh, and it was only then that the Lord Jesus knew that He had come to do the work of redemption. So it was only by the Holy Spirit testifying that the Lord Jesus was God incarnate that He Himself knew His true identity.
Something else that we should understand is that the people of the time had no concept of God becoming flesh. Although the Lord Jesus uttered many words, showed many miracles, and entirely displayed the authority and power of God, people then didn’t recognize from His work and words that He was God Himself, that He was the appearance of God. God acted according to people’s stature at the time and didn’t push them beyond what they were capable of. The Holy Spirit bore witness that the Lord Jesus was the beloved Son of God in accordance with what people could achieve, allowing people to see Him as God’s Son for a time so that it would be in line with people’s notions and easy for people to accept. The Lord Jesus was then doing the work of redemption, so no matter what people called God, as long as they accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior and were absolved of their sins, that was enough. At this point I’m sure we’ve come to understand a little bit of God’s will within this.
Since the Lord Jesus was God Himself, why did He call out to the heavenly Father in prayer? There’s truth within this that we can seek as well. Let’s read another passage: “When Jesus called God in heaven by the name of Father as He prayed, this was done only from the perspective of a created man, only because the Spirit of God had put on an ordinary and normal flesh and had the exterior cover of a created being. Even if within Him was the Spirit of God, His exterior appearance was still that of an ordinary man; in other words, He had become the ‘Son of man’ of which all men, including Jesus Himself, spoke. Given that He is called the Son of man, He is a person (whether man or woman, in any case one with the exterior shell of a human being) born into a normal family of ordinary people. Therefore, Jesus calling God in heaven by the name of Father was the same as how you at first called Him Father; He did so from the perspective of a man of creation. Do you still remember the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught you to memorize? ‘Our Father in heaven….’ He asked all man to call God in heaven by the name of Father. And since He too called Him Father, He did so from the perspective of one who stands on an equal footing with you all. Since you called God in heaven by the name of Father, this shows that Jesus saw Himself to be on equal footing with you, and as a man on earth chosen by God (that is, the Son of God). If you call God ‘Father,’ is this not because you are a created being? However great the authority of Jesus on earth, prior to the crucifixion, He was merely a Son of man, governed by the Holy Spirit (that is, God), and one of the earth’s created beings, for He had yet to complete His work. Therefore, His calling God in heaven Father was solely His humility and obedience. His addressing God (that is, the Spirit in heaven) in such a manner, however, does not prove that He is the Son of the Spirit of God in heaven. Rather, it is simply that His perspective is different….”
It’s evident from this passage that when the Lord Jesus prayed to God in heaven as the Father, in fact it was God incarnate standing in a position equal to our own, praying to God’s Spirit as a created being. Before He was crucified, the Lord Jesus was working on earth as the Son of man; He ate, drank, clothed Himself, slept and walked just as all of us do. There was nothing supernatural about that. This is why He prayed to the heavenly Father from the perspective of the flesh, which also allows us to see God’s humility and hiddenness. But no matter from what perspective the Lord Jesus prayed, He was Christ; He was the embodiment of God’s Spirit. He could express the truth and was able to bring us the way to repent and be saved; He could reveal miracles and do all of God’s work. And in spite of the fact that the Lord Jesus worked in the flesh, no matter how weak His flesh became or how arduous His work was, He was able to obey the will of the heavenly Father unwaveringly. This adequately shows the Lord Jesus Christ’s true identity.
Sister Feifei, that’s all for our fellowship today. I think that now we should be able to see that the Lord Jesus was the appearance of God Himself from these facts of God’s work. That’s because aside from God Himself, no one is able to reveal such a humble, hidden disposition as God. Aside from God Himself, no one is capable of absolute obedience to God’s will or acts solely for the achievement of God’s management plan. Aside from God Himself, no one can express the truth, do God’s own work, save humanity from the bonds of the law, or redeem all of mankind by being nailed to the cross. Knowledge of God is a critical subject for us as Christians to study. We can only avoid arbitrarily delimiting God based on our own notions and imaginations if we gain knowledge of Him, and only then will we be able to truly treat Him as God and develop true hearts of reverence and love for Him.
Thank God. May God lead you!