Jesus free will ”subordination” to the Father doesn’t contradict the TRINITY

godJesus lived in another shape long before his start as a human being in Mary’s womb

We know that Jesus Christ didn’t start to exist only some 2000 years ago when he by his own free will was placed as a seed inside Mary, but he existed long before then – from all eternity – albeit not in flesh.

John. 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee BEFORE the world was.— 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me BEFORE the foundation of the world.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.—14 And 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.

He was also together with the Israelites during the Exodus, probably in the form of the Angel of the Lord (not a created angel). This also occurred long before he was born in flesh.

1 Cor. 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;—4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST. — Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

We also know that there is ONE GOD alone, and we know that 1) the Father, 2) Jesus Christ the son, and 3) the holy Spirit, have each been referred to as GOD in the Bible. The only way to combine these truths is to use the concept of the Trinity, and this is also what the early church Fathers did as can be seen here. It’s hard to know exactly how the Godhead functions since it’s the Almighty GOD we are talking about (and we are not required to know exactly how our Creator GOD works as long as we don’t believe in contradictions), but at least we know that Jesus is fully GOD – which is also confirmed by his own Father in Hebr. 1:8.

Col. 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the GODHEAD bodily.

The fact that Jesus always chose to do the Father’s will doesn’t contradict the Trinity, nor does it mean Jesus is of another nature than his Father 

Wouldn’t it be more strange if Jesus did NOT do the Father’s will? God the Father remained in heaven when Jesus chose to be born as a baby on earth, and as a man Jesus was lower in rank than the angels – which means that during this time Jesus must have been lower in rank than his Father. However, that’s certainly not the position that Jesus held prior to being born in flesh.

If Jesus would have claimed that he always spoke on his own initiative, there would be reasons to doubt his shared life with the Father, but Jesus often claimed to do the works of his Father – just a he also claimed to have a will of his own.  This means that every ”he sent me”, and ”I only do as told” and ”I speak not from myself” should not be construed as evidence against the Trinity, because these expressions are statements of continuity with the Father, rather than indications of their discontinuity. Jesus had no personal agenda to carry out, and he wanted his audience to understand this. That’s why he constantly spoke to them about ”God’s kingdom” and ”my Father”, in order to highlight that he didn’t come to preach about a new religion or a new God.  Jesus emphasized that he always chose to act according to his Father’s will, because he wanted his audience to realize that his words were trustworthy – being completely those of God the Father – the God that the israelites had worshiped all along.

What would his audience think if Jesus would have said: ”I have come to do MY will, not the Father’s will! I have come without being sent by the Father–but on my own initiative. The gospel that I preach is my own, and NOT that of the Father. I have come in my own name, and not in the name of the Father”? The son would never take any actions that would interfere with the will of the Father, or in any way place himself over the Father. If the son is capable of choosing to do whatever the Father does, he must be as divine as the Father since he obviously has the power to obey or disobey GOD himself!

Jesus chose to give his own life for us, which means that he had the power to choose to do otherwise

If Jesus wouldn’t be able to choose to lay down his own life, it would be dishonest to claim that this is exactly what he did for us. Either he had this free will capability to make this decision, or he was forced to lay down his life by his Father, having no choice in the matter. Even if the Father first had to make him ”willing”, it would still be filed under ”Forced” since it would involve a manipulation of the will.

John. 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Matt. 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends

Let’s also remember that both God and Jesus are referred to as having created the heavens and the earth ”with his own hands” (see for instance Hebr. 1).

Being SENT by someone doesn’t indicate that you’re of another nature than the Senderdove 2

Human messengers sent by human rulers, are certainly not LESS human themselves, and if someone by free will places himself in a lower rank than another person, neither does this humble free will decision make him any less human. It’s absolutely possible that the persons in the Godhead made a joint decision to carry out the creation in a certain way that they felt pleased about, and also to carry out the salvation plan in their own preferred way. Such a decision would mean that the Father and the son couldn’t BOTH be born as babies on earth, and the Father and the son couldn’t BOTH remain in heaven while none of them stepped down to earth to live as a man in flesh.

It’s a good thing for us that the persons in the Godhead decided to adopt separate roles within their own nature. ”The Father is greater than I” should not be taken to mean that Jesus is not God.  Neither would anyone assume that a statement like ”the prime minister is greater than I”, would indicate that he is more human than the speaker, nor that he is greater than all others in ALL areas of life. On top of this, a prime minister isn’t a prime minister for eternity, and he can choose to step down and take on a much less authoritative position.

A Managing Director is ”greater” in authority than all his employees at work, but off duty he might be a Board member in a Boat club where he is ”only” a secretary, and one of his employees (from work) might be the Head of the Board with greater authority when it concerns the Boat club. Maybe this particular Managing Director even had the opportunity to be the Head of the Board for this Boat club but declined, or maybe he even used to be the Head of the Board but stepped down by free will to offer his position to this other person – despite that he had the chance to continue in the highest position. Moreover, this Managing Director – particularly if it’s a female – might not be the top authority in her own home but only at work. Just because you’re in the highest position at work doesn’t mean you’re in the highest position at home. It’s absolutely possible to voluntarily grant another person the authority over oneself – at least in part. As soon as we accept a job position, we will likely have a boss as an authority over us who is much greater in rank at work (and not outside of work).

Let’s say that three friends would like to start a business together, where all three individuals would not be able to fill all job positions in the company. It’s a lot smarter to split the duties to make the company work so much better, and this method wouldn’t change the fact that they are all equal co-owners of the company that they founded together (equal shareholders). Maybe one of them by free will offers to be the one who travels across the world to meet new customers, and he must therefore leave the daily administration of the company to his colleagues, and maybe also all the fancy titles. Again, this doesn’t mean that he is of an another nature than his partners, and neither does it mean that he is inferior to them. They just have a mutual goal to make the company work fantastic, and that’s why every single one of them can’t hold the highest position of the company. Splitting the duties and the titles would be beneficial for all of them and for the entire company. It’s also possible to make an arrangement where they take turns holding the various positions and job titles, or they could decide to keep their positions until the very end, and let only one of them do the hard work away from the office (but also make the decision to reward this particular person abundantly when the final goal has been achieved).

The point is that it’s not possible to use statements such as ”the Father is greater than I”, or ”I will put everything under his feet”, as evidence for the idea that Jesus is not God. That would be like comparing apples with oranges, because Jesus nature doesn’t have anything to do with the free will arrangement within the Godhead (whether in short-term or long-term). Jesus was in the form of GOD but decided to step down from his position in heaven to become a servant and in the likeness of men. This means that Jesus would start to exist in a completely new form and under totally different circumstances compared with before – by his own free will. Suddenly he lived as a man just like other human beings, and he started out as a little baby just like the rest of us. I don’t think he reasoned and behaved like a 30-year-old man trapped in the body of a little baby, but I truly believe he was like any other human baby with corresponding mental limitations. He still grew up without sin, and probably started to realize exactly who he was when he matured. Luckily God the Father didn’t have to go through the same stages, and God wouldn’t have the ultimate control of this universe if the entire Godhead would suddenly end up as a little baby and could only reason as a baby.

If Jesus wouldn’t be God (which the Father says he is), then it’s strange that the Father wants every knee to bow down before Jesus rather than himself? Is it only to confuse us into believing that Jesus is God?

Phil. 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:7 But MADE HIMSELF of no reputation, and TOOK UPON HIM THE FORM OF A SERVANT, and was made in the likeness of men:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

When Jesus lowered himself and washed the feet of the disciples, this was a voluntary action and doesn’t mean that he therefore was a lesser human being than his disciples and inferior to them. In Romans 15:8 Paul says ”For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth”, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that Jesus was inferior to the Jews. There is a non-correlation between ”submission” and ”inferiority”. The Holy Spirit is said to be sent by the Father, and also said to be sent by the Son. Does this in any way make inferiority-assertions about the Spirit of God? No, since it’s only a matter of free will roles within the Trinity.

Jesus speaks of “my Father” and “your Father”,  but never “our Father” 

Suggesting that God is ”our” Father might simply mean that he is our God, but Jesus often spoke in such a way that his audience understood that he made more serious claims than that. Jesus made himself EQUAL with God and he made himself GOD. (If you’re called God you’re either the creator-God or a false god which you can read more about here and here). The jews didn’t understand his words to express subordination to God, but to full equality and being no one else but God. That is the reason they wanted to kill Jesus – due to blasphemy. It can’t be more clear than that.

John 5:18 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.

John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 

Phil. 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God

John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. (NASB) (KJV ”only begotten son”)

It’s also well-known that Jesus used God’s own name on himself (IAM, and the alpha and omega) and constantly allowed people to worship him.

The Shekinah glory of the OT is the very presence of God – in the form of a cloudcloud

Jesus is called ”the glory of the Father” alluding to the Shekinah glory which was the very presence of God in the tabernacle/temple – not just a representation or manifestation.

When God in form of the angel of the Lord (probably Jesus as can be seen here) appeared to Moses in a burning bush, surely the heaven was not devoid of a GOD? If God was in the burning bush, does this mean that he was unable to appear also before other people at the same time, or does it mean that he was unable to behold each person’s activities on earth because he was too occupied with the conversation that he had with Moses? Is it hard to imagine that our holy Creator can be in multiple places at the same time, and that this divine power doesn’t turn him into several gods?

Ex. 3:2 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.4 And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.7 And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

In Exodus God also appeared in the form of a cloud during the day and as fire during the night. In some verses GOD is said to have done it, in other places the angel of the Lord is said to have done it and in 1 Cor. 10 even Jesus Christ is said to have done it. Either the Bible is confusing (and we have several gods) or the cloud can be explained by the Trinity-God.

Ex. 40:38 For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

1 Cor. 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;—4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST. — Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

We can also read about the real presence of God in form of a cloud, being in the midst of the priests in the house/temple of the Lord. God was in this cloud (just like he was in the fire in the burning bush) and spoke to those who were present in the form of the Almighty God. The same questions can be asked here. Surely the heavens and the rest of the earth were not devoid of a God, when God was in the form of this holy cloud? Surely God can be in several places at the same time without being accused of being several gods? Surely the God in the burning bush and in the holy cloud was not a lesser God than God in heaven or of another nature? Would we consider the God in the burning bush or in the cloud to be subordinate to God in heaven? Or would we consider the God in the cloud to be inferior to God in heaven only because the former was ”sent down”?

2 Chron. 5:13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God. (+ 1 King 8:10-11)

Ez. 10:3 Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court.4 Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord’s glory.5 And the sound of the cherubims’ wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh.18 Then the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.19 And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord’s house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.

Ez. 43:2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: —4 And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.6 And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.7 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.

Jesus is able to be in the midst of two or three persons who gather in his name, but what happens if more than one group of people gather in his name? Is Jesus only able to visit one group at a time? OR, does he have the power to attend several meetings at the same time and still not be charged of being several ”sons”?

Matt. 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

He has put all things under his feet?

Jesus has gone through several stages in his life time, and certain stages are yet to come in the future. Jesus never stopped being God throughout these stages but it has been necessary to say no to some of his divine powers, like when he was in the stage as a human being – and especially as a little baby with reduced mental capabilities. As a human being he was lower than the angels, but before and after this stage the angels were inferior to him and were supposed to worship him (no one should worship anyone else but GOD). Jesus….

  1. He is the Creator of the world and absolutely nothing was before him (1 Col. 1:16, 1 Hebr. 1:8, etc)
  2. He has lived in the form of the angel of the Lord (called Jahve) and communicated with Jahve in heaven
  3. He has by free will been placed as a human seed inside Mary
  4. He has been a baby, a little boy and a full grown man
  5. He has proved to be the promised Messiah
  6. He has shared the gospel of God on earth
  7. He has died a physical death
  8. He has resurrected from the dead
  9. He has been glorified
  10. He will return once again to earth and destroy Antichrist and bring home his Bride
  11. He will reign in the new Jerusalem, where no sun is needed because the LAMB will be the source of light

Much has been made of 1 Cor. 15:27, and people are ready to ditch all sorts of clear verses about the deity of Christ due to this verse which they prefer to interpret in the wrong way.

1 Cor. 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.24 Then cometh the end, when he [Jesus) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Remember again, that Jesus chose to be born as a baby on earth to carry out a mission, which means that he left his secure place in heaven and some of his divine powers and became even lower than the angels in rank. This means that he must be restored once again when he has completed his task, and who else can restore him but God the Father in the same Godhead? At no time did God the Father lower himself from his highest position that he had together with his son, but always had all the power in the world. As a mediator Jesus will lay down his office at the feet of the Father when he (Jesus) has completed his work to the very end, because the dominion of Christ will one day terminate. Jesus will finally reclaim his divine sovereignty when he has overthrown his enemies – including Antichrist himself (2 Thess. 2:8). Submission can be a voluntary act, and Jesus life on earth was also meant to serve as a model for believers to follow.

The last verse above might tell us that Jesus is actually not subject to his Father at this particular point but later ”when all things shall be subdued unto him, THEN SHALL the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him”. This looks like the redemptive post-resurrection son is currently not under the subjection of the Father. This means that Jesus is not and has not been eternally subordinate to his Father, but that his redemptive work has something to do with it. The fact that the son is said to become subject unto the Father in the very end of this stage is because ”God may be all in all”. It probably means that they will no longer be separate with a need for one of them to be in the form of an angel of the Lord or as a human being, but they will be united in one permanent role in the Godhead.

Jesus has been given the authority to judge, not because he is the son of God but because he is the son of man who has successfully accomplished what he has purposed to do for mankind. (John 5.27). It looks like Jesus can create, forgive sins, judge, give eternal life, be worshiped, be called IAM just like God the Father, despite that God clearly states that he shares his glory with NO ONE. Only the Trinity can solve this puzzle.

Jn 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.21 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.—27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

Rev. 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

The Father and the son are ONE in a totally different way than the body of Christ is ONEJesus5

We can be ”one” in various ways and the context of  ”I and my Father are one” in John 10:30 is entirely different from John 17:21-22. In the latter the context is about having the same goal and attitude (as in not having divisions among christians), but in the former passage it’s about being one with the same authority, spirit and nature. The jews understood this too well since they immediately picked up stones to kill him after having made this statement. No one deserves a death sentence for claiming that believers should have the same goals and attitudes, but it’s certainly a death sentence for claiming to be equal with God. God is not the author of confusion, and he is able to express himself in a way that listeners and readers can understand.

John 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.—28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.30 I and my Father are one.31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Kommentera

Fyll i dina uppgifter nedan eller klicka på en ikon för att logga in:

WordPress.com Logo

Du kommenterar med ditt WordPress.com-konto. Logga ut / Ändra )

Twitter-bild

Du kommenterar med ditt Twitter-konto. Logga ut / Ändra )

Facebook-foto

Du kommenterar med ditt Facebook-konto. Logga ut / Ändra )

Google+ photo

Du kommenterar med ditt Google+-konto. Logga ut / Ändra )

Ansluter till %s