2.      God, the Father and the Son

Doctrinal Statement: There is but one God. God is supreme over all creation, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.

 

The Bible reveals “God” is a word that has a singular and a plural context. That is, it sometimes is best understood in the plural sense and at other times best understood in the singular sense. This is not peculiar in as much as there are a number of words like this. For example, “Fish” refers to both many as in “a school of fish” and to only one as in  “he had a fish on his hook.” Deer is another such word. We also have words that are singular in usage but plural in content. An example would be “Family.” For example, the Smith family is a single entity made of several people. Nation is another such word. Notice however, that the singular aspects are not the same as the plural aspects. That is, John’s dad is not John and John is not his dad although they probably have much in common. Another interesting thing about the term God is its usage and its modifiers. Through out the first chapter of Genesis “God” is always “Elohim,” a plural form, then suddenly in chapter two the plural form is preceded by the term “Lord,” that is to say the “Lord God.” A look at Strong’s Concordance reveals that the singular term “Jehovah” is modifying the plural form “Elohim.” I suggest that this is not unlike telling the story of Jack and Jill, the “Smith’s” creating a retirement community and then reverting to some of the specifics in the story. Perhaps together they shared a vision for the project and Jill has drawn up the plans and together they worked out other details. Now the story gets more specific, Jack Smith made the roads, did the landscaping, and built the homes. There remain many other questions about terms, many I probably could not answer. But let me elaborate on what we have established thus far. With the above in mind let’s see what the Bible has to say about God; especially the One Jesus refers to as His Father. But first keep in mind that Jesus refers to His Father, God, as our Father as well.

 

Let’s start with a few scriptures, some may appear to be contradictory.

  1. (John 1:18 RSV)  No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.
  2. (John 5:37 RSV)  And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness to me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen;
  3. (Exo 24:8-11 RSV)  And Moses took the blood and threw it upon the people, and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant which the LORD (Jehovah) has made with you in accordance with all these words." {9} Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, {10} and they saw the God (Elohim) of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. {11} And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God (Elohim), and ate and drank.
  4.  (John 1:1-3 RSV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} He was in the beginning with God; {3} all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
  5. (John 1:14 RSV)  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
  6. (John 4:24 RSV)  God is spirit (essentially), and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
  7. (Mat 6:9 RSV)  Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
  8. (John 14:8-11 RSV)  Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied." {9} Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? {10} Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. {11} Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.
  9. (John 14:28 RSV)  You heard me say to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.
  10. (Gal 1:1 RSV)  Paul an apostle -- not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—
  11. (Rom 6:4 RSV)  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
  12. (Exo 3:14 NIV)  God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
  13. (John 8:58 NIV)  "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"
  14. (John 17:20-22 RSV)  "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, {21} that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. {22} The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,
  15. (Heb 4:15 RSV)  For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
  16. (James 1:13 NIV)  When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
  17. (John 17:5 NIV)  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Some Conclusions

*   No one has ever seen the Father (God). {1 & 2}

*   However, it is recorded that many people have seen God and heard His voice. {3}

*    Jesus is the Word of God and was at the creation with God. Jesus is identified as the creator God by whom the Father (God) created all things. {4 & 5}

*   It was the Word (God) that was seen by many people. {16}

*   It was Jesus, before He was born as Jesus, which Israel knew as God. Proof: Jesus declared Himself the “I AM” which is the identity of God in the Old Testament. {12 & 13}

*   The Word became man and therefore was no longer God. Proof: Jesus was tempted but God is not tempted. Proof: Jesus died but man could not kill God. Proof: The Father raised Jesus from the dead, He did not raise himself from the dead. {5, 10, 11, & 15}

*   Although The Father and the Son are “One” they are not the same. {14}

Homework

*   Review the scriptures to see what you can find either for or against my conclusions.

*   Make a list of questions that you would like answered and then find the answers if possible.

*   What does it mean to be “One”?

*   What does it mean to be immortal?

*   Show that although Jesus was human he was also divine. Define divine.

*   Show that Jesus regained his deity or glory that he had previously enjoyed with the Father. Define deity.

A Few Closing Thoughts

The love that caused the Father to offer Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins and the love that caused Jesus to voluntarily give up his immortality and glory to die an awful death to redeem us is beyond my ability to comprehend. This is an age-old question that testifies to how much God loves us!

*   (Psa 8:3-4 NIV)  When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, {4} what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

*   (Heb 2:6 NIV)  But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

*    (Job 7:17 RSV)  What is man, that thou dost make so much of him, and that thou dost set thy mind upon him,

*   (2 Chr 6:18 NIV)  "But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!

Let me share

*   It would be remarkable if God came to die for men. How much more remarkable that God would give up being God to die for men?