Jesus Christ - The Trilemma
Jesus Christ - Scripture That Reveals His Part in the Godhead
As we have seen in the prior scripture, Paul quotes Jehovah and applies it to Jesus Christ. The Bible is clear -- Jesus Christ is the name above every name.
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:8-9)
The fullness of God was in the flesh in Jesus Christ. The Greek word translated "Godhead", theotes (theh-ot'-ace, Strong's 2320), means "Deity" or "God," as in Jehovah God. The fullness of Jehovah God was in Jesus Christ.
There's some confusion over Colossians 1:13-17, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of every creature: For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist." (Colossians 1:13-17)
The confusion stems from Colossians 1:15, "Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of every creature..." The term "Firstborn of every creature" does not refer to Christ being born first before any creature. Obviously that would be a contradiction, as Christ wasn't born of Mary until many generations after Adam. Furthermore, it would contradict the following verse, "For by Him were all things created..." The term "Firstborn of every creature" refers to His preeminence as God Himself. The Greek word translated "Firstborn", prototokos (pro-tot-ok'-os, Strong's 4416), comes from the root "protos" (pro'-tos, Strong's 4413). Protos means literally "best", "chief", "most important". The Firstborn is supreme heir, not necessarily first-born, as we see throughout the Bible.
While Manasseh was born first, Ephraim was firstborn: "And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn." (Genesis 48:14)
"They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn." (Jeremiah 31:9) We see this again in the story of Jacob (Israel) and Esau.
Jesus Christ - A Warning for All of Us
Paul warns us against falling for a false Jesus Christ, a false Spirit, and a false Gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3-4). Peter explains why we must be careful: "And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:15-16)
Peter says that the ways of God are hard for us to understand and so some "wrest" (or misapply) them to their own destruction. We don't want to join their ranks. The Spirit of God is warning us through Peter.
It is hard for us to understand why God would humble Himself and submit Himself to such horrible abuse at the hands of His creation. It is hard to understand why God would endure such rejection and humiliation. It is hard to understand why He loves us so very much that He would die for our redemption. It is equally hard to understand how He could become man, submitting to God the Father, while remaining God the Son. But just because we can't understand it doesn't mean He can't and didn't do it. It pleased Him to do this whether we understand it or not! "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 55:8)
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