Understanding Jesus In The Trinity

Photo by Sharon Santema on Unsplash

Turn with me to John chapter 5.

Not long ago we talked about the man Jesus healed on the Sabbath day, the man who had been crippled for 38 years. Jesus approached him as he lay on a porch overlooking the pool Bethesda. Jesus told the man to “Rise, take up your bed, and walk” (vs 8) – and the man immediately was healed and did just that. Because Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath day, “the Jews … sought to slay Jesus” (vs 16). Jesus told the self righteous Pharisees:

John 5:17-18 … My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Jesus Made Himself Equal With God

Jesus did TWO things that offended the Pharisees. He broke the sabbath, but He also said God was his Father, making himself equal with God. This was highly offensive to the Jews. To say that “God is my Father” is to claim equality with God.

I was born to E. J. Buffaloe, Jr. That was my daddy. Being born from him, I am of the same composition, the same genes, the same DNA as my father. I have certain traits that were passed down from my daddy. I look a lot like my daddy. I have diabetes and high blood pressure, just as my daddy did. My daddy had seniority on me, and I respected him as my daddy – he was the head of our family. But we were equal physically because of birth.

No Jew would claim God to be his Father. There are places in the Old Testament where God is called “Father” of Israel as a nation. But you will not find God calling Himself “Father” to an individual.

A few examples. God told Moses to tell Pharaoh:

Exodus 4:22 – 23 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

Israel the nation is the son of God. God said through the Prophet:

Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

It is the nation Israel – not an individual but the group – that are “God’s son”. When the priests of Israel failed to bring glory to God (for they did not “keep God’s ways, but were partial in the law” [Malachi 2:9]), the Prophet told Israel:

Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

God is the “Father” of Israel. “He was their Savior” (Isaiah 63:8). God saved Israel His son from Egypt. And though Israel wandered from God as a prodigal son, God loved Israel anyway. It was and is His child (Isaiah 63:16; 64:8).

Word Study: “Father” is the favorite title that Jesus uses for God. The word “Father” is found 116 times in the Book of John alone, most of these times in reference to God. Jesus said that “God was his Father”. The word translated “” is the Greek πατήρ patḗr, (pronounced pat-ayr’), which means “the generator or male ancestor, the parent of”. This word is used instead of the word Ἀββᾶ Abbâ, (pronounced ab-bah’), which is often used as a term of endearment.

How is God the “Father” of Jesus Christ? Did Jesus only come into being when He was born of the virgin Mary? No, absolutely not. The Bible teaches that God the Father is God:

Philippians 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father..

but Jesus is also God. We are told in:

Colossians 2:9 For in {Jesus Christ} dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

In Hebrews, the Father told the angels when Jesus was brought into this world through Mary:

Hebrews 1:6 … let all the angels of God worship him.

Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. The Father told Jesus, Thy throne, O GOD, is for ever and ever..” (Hebrews 1:8). Jesus is God. He was there at the creation of humanity. We are told in:

Genesis 1:26 … and God said, let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness …

Jesus is God the Son Who, with God the Father and God the Spirit created all things. The Bible says that Jesus is …

Colossians 1:15-17 (ESV) … the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Word Study: Jesus is equal with God. He is the image”, Greek εἰκών eikṓn, {pronounced i-kone’}, the “likeness, profile of, manifest vision of”. The same word is used when Jesus, speaking of a Roman coin, asks “whose image is this?” (Matthew 22:20). Though Caesar was not with the disciples at that moment, the eikṓn on the coin was Caesar. Though the Apostles could not see God (for the Bible says NO MAN HATH SEEN GOD AT ANY TIME – John 1:18; 1 John 4:12), they could see God the Son for He is the manifest Member of the Godhead. The Angel in speaking to Joseph, quoting Isaiah 7:14, said of Jesus:

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Jesus Christ is EmmanuelGod with us

There are so many other things I could tell you, where Jesus, according to the Scriptures, is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit.

Jesus as God has no beginning and no end. Jesus as perfect Man has a beginning through the virgin Mary.

In His Unique Nature, Jesus Is
BOTH Equal To AND Lesser Than God

When Jesus is called “the Only Begotten Son” (John 1:18; John 3:16, 18; Hebrews 11:17; 1 John 4:9) or “the Only Begotten of the Father” (John 1:14), this is addressing the humanity of Jesus. The humanity of Jesus Christ has a beginning in the virgin birth. To Mary, Gabriel declared “the Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the highest shall overshadow you; therefore that holy thing which shall be born to you shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Jesus as God has no beginning nor end, but as Man has a beginning. Jesus as God is equal to Father and Spirit, but Jesus as Man follows the direction of God. Though Jesus made Himself EQUAL to God in His eternal state, in His human state Jesus followed God. He said:

John 5:19-20 Then answered Jesus and said unto them {the Pharisees}, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

When Jesus took upon Himself humanity – allowing Himself to enter the world through Mary – Jesus lowered Himself to our level (but WITHOUT SIN). When Jesus says, The Son can do nothing of himself, He was speaking of Himself as “the Son of Man”.

  • As the “Son of God” Jesus is one with God, i.e. co-equal and co-eternal, with infinite power and knowledge. In His “Godness” we see scriptures affirming:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 10:30 I and My Father are ONE.

John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

  • As the “Son of Man” Jesus is subservient to God. Jesus lowered Himself from Heaven’s Throne to be like us – yet without sin. In His “humanity” we see scriptures affirming:

John 5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

As “Son of Man” Jesus walked this earth PERFECTLY doing the will of the Father. Whatever Jesus did while He ministered among us, it was endorsed and directed by the Godhead. Jesus repeatedly said in His humanity that

I do nothing of myself” (John 8:28)
“The Father Who sent Me gave Me a commandment” (John 12:24)
“My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28)
“I have kept My Father’s commandments” (John 15:10)
“Father, I gave them the words You gave Me” (John 17:8)

Jesus Christ as “The Son of Man” (a term used for the Messiah through the Prophet Daniel. See Daniel 7:13) is the visible member of the Godhead, the Trinity. He came as God’s Representative to fallen mankind. Here is an important point we all need to understand.

Though the Trinity is three Divine Persons, each Person has His function. The Father leads and decrees. The Son is sent as the Mediator. The Spirit empowers and assists the Son. There is no jealousy nor diminishing within the Trinity. Each Person does His part in union with the other Persons, each working flawlessly and perfectly in union with the next. The Trinity is “One God”.

Before Jesus started His earthly ministry, He went to John the Baptist to be baptized in the Jordan River. John initially refused to baptize Jesus, but Jesus told him, “It is necessary for US to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). Jesus had to be publicly baptized as “The Son of Man”, just as all believers in Christ are publicly baptized. Once Jesus fulfilled what He, as the Son of Man was to do, we read:

Matthew 3:16-17 … the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

The Father is not seen, but heard. The Spirit is seen, but not heard. Each member of the Trinity does His part for the salvation of mankind.

The Trinity Made A Decision In The Garden Of Eden To Save Whosoever Will THROUGH JESUS

God told Adam to not eat of that which was forbidden, saying,

Genesis 2:16-17 … Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Adam was promised that he would die in the day that thou eatest what was forbidden. In the day. Though Adam continued to live physically after he disobeyed God, he died spiritually immediately. In the day. From that moment onward, every human born into this world were born physically alive but spiritually dead. In Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional (August 30, 2021), he writes:

Human beings are composed of a body by which they interact with the world around them, a soul with which they relate to themselves and others, and a spirit through which they can commune with God. If the spirit is dead in “trespasses and sins,” the person may still lead a successful earthly life, but he won’t be able to connect with God … However, the good news is that no one has to stay dead. Whenever anyone turns from sin and trusts in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, God in His mercy makes that person alive with Christ.”

This is what Jesus is talking about in this next section. Read with me:

John 5:21-24 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Word Study: The word quickeneth is the Greek “ζωοποιέω zōopoiéō, {pronounced dzo-op-oy-eh’-o}”, which means “to bring to or make alive, to cause to live”. God the Father has the power to quicken. God said in the Old Testament:

Deuteronomy 32:39 … I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

The power of life and death is in God’s hands ALONE. When Jesus says the Son quickeneth whom he will, He is making His power equal to the Father’s power. God is the Source of all life, and He alone can give life to the spiritually dead. Jesus Christ is God. Jesus further states that the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. This declares the exclusivity of Jesus Christ in salvation. The Bible says:

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

All authority to give life is vested in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ ALONE. In an article in Relevant Magazine entitled “Survey … Jesus Isn’t The Only Way To Salvation” notes:

“… of the born again Christians between the ages of 18-39 surveyed, 60 percent agreed with the statement ‘Buddha, Muhammad and Jesus are all valid paths to God.’ … ”

If this is true, then Jesus Christ is a liar. For Jesus said the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. Not just some, but ALL. There is no life apart from the Father and the Son, and the Father has given all judgment to the Son. The pathway to spiritual life is, indeed, a “narrow way” (Matthew 7:13). The devil would have us call Jesus a liar, and preach instead that “wide is the gate that leads to life”. But this is not what Jesus said.

Only God can save. God has decreed that
all salvation come through His Son Jesus.

1 Timothy 2:3-6 (ESV) This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

As I read that article in Relevant Magazine, it became apparent to me that the phrase “Born Again” has been hijacked from the Scripture by the devil, just as he has hijacked the rainbow of Genesis. You cannot be “born again” outside of faith in Christ. What did Jesus say?

John 5:23 all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

Jesus is to be treated with exactly the same respect that you treat God the Father. God the Father has decreed that salvation from spiritual death and the second death (eternal damnation) can only occur through faith in Christ Jesus. Jesus said:

John 5:24-26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

Those who hear the voice of the Son of God – not of Buddha nor of Muhammad nor of Joseph Smith nor of some Hindu god – but the voice of the Son of God. Jesus said My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28).

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Savior. The world despises this message, and constantly pushes the Church to adjust the Gospel call. But Beloved, we cannot because God has not. Jesus Christ is the only Savior, and faith in Him the only way to be saved.

When the Russian Comedian Yakov Smirnoff came to America, someone asked him what he loved most about our nation. Smirnoff said, “I love American grocery stores. I walked down an aisle and saw powdered milk; just add water and you get milk. Right next to it was powdered orange juice; just add water and you get orange juice. Then I saw baby powder and I thought to myself, ‘What a country!’”.

In America we have great technology, great products, and do great things. But we cannot change God’s formula for salvation. If a person wishes to be saved, that person must know the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. Then you must believe that He – Jesus Christ – died for your sins, and rose from the grave to lead you daily throughout the rest of your life. Listen Beloved. “What does the Lord thy God require of you?” (Deuteronomy 10:12). You are to “fear the Lord your God, and to walk in His ways, to love Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and soul”. There will be many who will stand before Jesus as He sits on a Great White Throne and judges the dead. All judgment is committed to Jesus’ hand. The Father has given all judgment into Jesus’ hand. We close with this:

John 5:27-29 {the Father} hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Those that have done good are those who believed on the name of Jesus, and were saved because of that faith. The ones who have done good will have “believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). Jesus very clearly stated:

John 6:29, 40 … This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. … 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Have you believed on Him? Have you received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior? If not, I pray that you will do so this very day. May God cause this to be, through His Word and His Spirit. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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