Tuesday October 2, 2018
God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son. To take this to mean that Christ became a Son at the incarnation robs it of all meaning and force. The value and the greatness of the gift fully depends on the identity of the Son.
If God had given His son who was one of His creatures, His love would be less than that of a man who lays down his life for his fellows. If Christ had failed then God could have made another messiah, and another and another until someone got it right. Creating is easy for God.
The character of the gift shows us essentially that the Son was one with the Father from all eternity. They are One in the Godhead.
Jesus said, “Before Abraham, I am.” He did not say, “Before Abraham, I was,” which is what He would have said if He only wanted to state His preexistence. He purposely takes the language that God used to Moses when Moses asked for His name, “I am has sent me unto you.”
God demonstrates His own love toward us. If He created someone to die for us, then how does He reveal His own love?
ROM 5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
ROM 5:7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
ROM 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
And if God creates a being to do His will as Jesus did, would such a creature be forced to do that will? If God said to His creature, “I have made you for this purpose,” is the creature then forced to do it? Yet the Lord clearly stated that no one takes His life from Him and that He lays it down voluntarily.
As ‘the Son,’ Christ is derived eternally from the Father, and He is of one substance with the Father. As ‘the image’ Christ is, in that one substance, the exact likeness of the Father, in all things except being the Father. The Son is the image of the Father, not as the Father, but as God: the Son is the Image of God … God’s unbegun, unending reflection of Himself in Himself, but also the organ whereby God, in His essence invisible, reveals Himself to His creatures. [Vine’s Topical Commentary: Christ]
The fulness of Deity dwells in Him.
COL 2:9 For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
COL 2:10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
He is the eternal life with the Father.
1JO 1:1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life —
1JO 1:2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us
“the eternal life, which was with the Father,” could not be any clearer. He was with the Father (John could have written “with God”) while at the same time being eternal life, and so He is the Son eternally.
He is the first and the last.
ISA 41:4 "Who has performed and accomplished it,
Calling forth the generations from the beginning?
'I, the Lord [Yavah], am the first, and with the last. I am He.'"
ISA 44:6 "Thus says the Lord [Yavah], the King of Israel
And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
'I am the first and I am the last,
And there is no God besides Me.
ISA 44:7 'And who is like Me?
Let him proclaim and declare it;
Yes, let him recount it to Me in order,
From the time that I established the ancient nation.
And let them declare to them the things that are coming
And the events that are going to take place.
ISA 44:8 'Do not tremble and do not be afraid;
Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it?
And you are My witnesses.
Is there any God besides Me,
Or is there any other Rock?
I know of none.'"
ISA 48:12 "Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called;
I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.
ISA 48:13 "Surely My hand founded the earth,
And My right hand spread out the heavens;
When I call to them, they stand together.
We have noted in COL 1:16 that Jesus is the first-born of all creation. The Creator of all things.
Yet, what is especially clear is that the title “I am the first and the last,” is a title for Yavah.
In His final revelation, given to John, Jesus declares Himself to be the first and the last.
REV 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
Well, maybe “Alpha and Omega” is not the same as “first and last.” Not a chance.
REV 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,
REV 1:18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
REV 22:12 "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.
REV 22:13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
God the Father is the first and the last.
And, on top of this, the title is used by John in the same revelation specifically for God the Father.
REV 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.
REV 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
REV 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them,
REV 21:4 and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."
REV 21:5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true."
REV 21:6 And He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
REV 21:7 "He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.
REV 21:8 "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
God’s love is revealed in sending the Son. If the Son is created, then the love of God is insufficient.
Again, ROM 5:8 states: “God demonstrates His own love toward us.” If He created someone to die, then how does He reveal His own love?
1JO 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1JO 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1JO 4:9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
1JO 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
When God sent His Son, He sent His all. He sent Himself.
He could give no greater gift. The infinite value of Christ discloses the magnitude of His love.
Sending His Son obviously means that Christ was the Father’s Son before the virgin birth. The prophecy is that “a body has Thou prepared for Me.”
GAL 4:1 Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything,
GAL 4:2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.
GAL 4:3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world.
GAL 4:4 But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
GAL 4:5 in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
GAL 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"
GAL 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
This leads us to our final topic, for now, under the doctrine of the Trinity.
We are not remotely finished with the doctrine of the Trinity or of God the Father as a member of the Trinity and Father to our Lord Jesus Christ.
We will complete more of this doctrine as we progress through Ephesians. Yet, before we return, we must look into the role of the Father to all believers in this age.
We have seen the Father related to all creation, to Israel specifically, and to God the Son. Now we look at the Fatherhood of all believers.
God the Father of all believers.
All people long to be connected to another in devotion and love. However, man is flawed. Even the best believer is not capable of filling this need. Yet God has given to us His devotion and love in Christ. All believers can call God their Father.
The scripture clearly states that all men are born spiritually dead and that they always remain in this condition unless they are born again or born from above.
The new birth in Christ through faith is a great mystery. It, like the blowing of the wind, is discernible as to its effects, but not disclosed to man as to its operation. [Chafer]
JOH 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;
JOH 3:2 this man came to Him by night, and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."
JOH 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
JOH 3:4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"
JOH 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
JOH 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
JOH 3:7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
JOH 3:8 "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
Men are either perfectly lost or perfectly saved. Only God is able to accomplish it and He did so through the cross of Christ. Redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation were all accomplished at the cross.
When a man believes in Christ as his Savior, the Holy Spirit enters him into union with Christ and makes him a brand-new creature in Christ.
One of the many blessings that the believer receives is the Fatherhood of God while he becomes a son of God.