ChristadelphianBooksOnline
Rick O'Connor
The Things Of The Kingdom And The Things Of The Name
God In Manifestation

JESUS CHRIST, SON AND MANIFESTATION OF GOD

Jesus of Nazareth was:

“a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you” (Acts 2:22)

The Only Begotten Son

But he was more than merely man. He was God’s only begotten son. The angel of God showed this before his birth to Mary, his mother:

“Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David ...

“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost (Spirit) shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:31-35)

So Jesus is God’s son - not “God the Son”, a phrase nowhere found or hinted at in Scripture. As son of God, he is neither co-equal nor co-eternal with the Father. His existence began at his birth some 2,000 years ago.

But being son of God, the mental and moral family likeness to his Father is evident in Jesus, as we would expect.

“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” (John 1:14)

Mental and Moral Image of God


So close is and was this mental and moral likeness to his Father that Jesus is called:

“The image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature... For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Colossians 1:15,19)

Being the image of God in character, it is clear he is not God, but a manifestation who shows us God’s thoughts and ways - which we could not otherwise see.

Jesus is shown to us as being in character in the form of God:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (Better translated - Considered not equality with God a thing to be grasped - Revised version and Revised Standard Version) but made himself of no reputation... and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross... Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him (Philippians 2:5-9)

This passage is the climax of an exhortation by the Apostle Paul for us to avoid an attitude of pride and selfishness. And to enforce the exhortation strongly, he illustrated that Jesus himself achieved his reward and exaltation by showing just such a character - humble and unselfish.

He was in the form of God, that is, he showed in his character all the virtues of God, yet he did not seek to usurp the reverence due to God - but rather emptied out pride and became humble as a servant (Philippians 2:7). And Jesus perfected his work of service in obeying God right up to death on the cross. Christ’s relationship to God is clearly shown here - he was in God’s form mentally and morally - that is a copy of God’s character. And he was obedient to God as a servant and son.

Of One Mind with God

The likeness of Christ as son of God to his Father in character and virtue is illustrated in his own words in John 10:30-36:

“I and my Father are one” (verse 30)

The Jews misunderstood this. They thought he was claiming to be God, just as Trinitarians today misunderstand him (verses 31-33). So Jesus makes clear that the unity he means is a mental, moral unity, a likeness of character founded on his complete absorption of the word of God - and that a similar oneness of mind with God is for others beside him, at least in measure (verses 34-36).

So Christ shows the source of the doctrine and power he possessed to have been his Father (John 7:16; 8:28-29, 38, 42).

The Word Made Flesh

Christ’s character and his whole way of life were formed by God’s word. So complete was its effect on his mind that he is described as the “word made flesh” (John 1:14). This means that the mind of his Father exhibited in the Bible was so indelibly engraved in Jesus’ heart that all his thoughts and actions were generated by his Father’s will. The book of Hebrews confirms this:

“Lo, I come to do thy will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7)

God’s will for Christ was that God should perfect in him an unblemished character by His word and strength and then Christ should lay down his life as a sacrifice, crucified to save all who believe in him.

Jesus espoused this purpose with all his heart, and in love for God and us, gave himself wholly to God to perform that work in him:

“Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:8-9)

He is shown to be son and servant of God - not part of the Godhead - and to have given to God the obedience his position as son and servant required.

God Manifest in Flesh

This great Bible doctrine of God manifest (or shown forth) in flesh is summarised in 1 Timothy 3:

“Without controversy great is the mystery (or secret) of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh...” (verse 16)

Here is God’s explanation of how Jesus’ perfect life and character came to be. He was a man, human flesh, and subject to the same weakness and temptation as we are. But God showed himself in Jesus - he formed Jesus’ character and virtues in him by the indwelling of His word.

This is said to us to show us how we may “know how we ought to behave ourselves in the house of God” (verse 15). In fact God seeks to manifest himself in us as he did in Christ.

The Relationship of Jesus To His Father

ON THOMAS’ STATEMENT - John 20: 28

The basis of understanding this is in John 10:27-36.

A quote from Psalm 82:6 is made by Jesus. The Psalm shows that the judges of Israel are called “gods” (Elohim) on the basis that the word of God came unto them.

Ephesians 1:3 God was the God of Jesus as well as his Father (cp. .John 20:17).

John 17:1-3 v3 is the key to life eternal. THE FATHER IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD - Jesus excludes himself = he is the servant of God (e.g. Isaiah 52:13; 53:9-11).

1 Corinthians 8:4-6 - there is only one true God.

1 Timothy 2:3 - the reason for this title is in v4, note v5 this was written approximately A.D.65 - 30 years after Jesus had ascended to heaven. Jesus is still called man - therefore he is not God. But, further as a mediator he is drawn from mankind. He can only be a mediator if he is not God.

John 17:5 is to be understood that the Father’s purpose of glory was known to the Father before the world was and He foresaw His son at the head of this glorified family, see vv2l-22.

(Why we do not have a paid ministry:

Acts 20:28-34; 1 Peter 5:2-3; 2 Peter 2:1-3 (feigned = counterfeit) - i.e. they buy you and do it with counterfeit currency.)

Matthew 11:10; Luke 7:24; 9:52; James 2:25 - angels translated as messengers.

Homework: On God manifestation John 6:27-29,51,63 – read the whole chapter

John 3

John 3:2 -         Nicodemus is implying that they could not understand what Jesus was saying.

John 3:3 -         Jesus uses “see” in 2 senses.

John 3:4 -         the problem was they took literally figures of speech and they took as figurative what he spoke literally.

John 3:13 -         is one of the heavenly things - i.e. if you look at it from a human viewpoint you’ll get it wrong. If you look at it from a Divine viewpoint you’ll get it right. “The son of man” is the subject of the verse - he ascended, came down from and is in heaven. God speaks of all these things as having occurred because He has foreseen these things. Jesus’ life was of spirit. His character developed by the Spirit and after resurrection changed to Spirit nature (cp. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

(John 20:21-28 Thomas convinced of the corporeal resurrection of Jesus; Mark 16:9-14 cp. Luke 24:13,29-3l.)

Christ was in heaven in outlook cp. Ephesians 1:1-2,3. We too are to be in “heaven”, Ephesians 2:4-6; Colossians 3:1-4; Matthew 6:19-21 cp. Isaiah 55:8-11 conveys several of the ideas of John 3.

John 6

John 6:38 - Jesus is subject to the will of a greater One.

John 6:39 -         His works are of the Father’s will.

John 6:44 -         Except you have an influence from heaven you will never understand me.

John 6:46 -         Jesus has totally and clearly perceived the Father’s character.

John 6:51 -         Where was the flesh made? On earth of course. There it cannot mean the actual descent of a being from heaven, but the creation of a being upon earth.

John 6:60 -         cp. John 3:13 see the Son of Man go back - as spirit the descent occurred he went back as a spirit man.

John 6:63 -         Confirms that it is the spirit descending and giving life which is the vital point, not the flesh.

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