Have you ever had a scripture that bothered you for years? I’m not trying to give you another one!
But by sharing with you one that has been a burr in my saddle for 19 years, you can not only understand this scripture better but you can learn how to deal with a bothersome scripture.
In 1 Corinthians 8:6 Paul wrote, “Yet for us there is only one God, the Father … and one Lord Jesus Christ…”
In 1996 some claimed that Paul said Jesus is Lord but not God: “only one God, the Father…” How do you argue with that?
You must see what the rest of the Bible says! And start with what Paul also says …
Paul also wrote in Titus 2:13, “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” The author of Hebrews, generally regarded as Paul, clearly referred to Jesus Christ being Melchizedek who had no mother and father or beginning of days (Hebrews 7:3). And Hebrews 1:8 says the Son was God.
- Jesus was called Immanuel—“God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
- “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
- Jesus was the God of the Old Testament—before Abraham was and the Rock Who followed them.
- Jesus asked the Father to restore Him to His former glory (John 17:5).
- Jesus let people worship Him.
What did the deity deniers say about all that? Mistranslations!
My own take back in 1996 was that putting all the scriptures together, a must principle for rightly dividing the Word of Truth, the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is God.
The best I could do back then was fall back on Peter’s analysis about Paul—that he has written “some things hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16).
Burr removed in 2011!
We must look at the second half of Paul’s scripture, not just the first. Does “there is one Lord, Jesus Christ” mean that the Father cannot also be Lord?
Matthew 11:25 says “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.” The Father is called Lord in Psalm 110:1 and Revelation 11:15.
The Father and Jesus Christ are family—so united—so one—and are both intimately involved in relationship with us as Their children—that Jesus can be called “Father” in Isaiah 9.
More understanding in 2015: Read the whole verse!
What really clears up this bothersome verse for me is to read Paul’s whole statement—not isolate five words—as I did in 1996! The “one God … of whom are all things” I’ve always known to be the Father! The “one Lord … through whom are all things, and through whom we live” I’ve always known to be Jesus Christ!
This scripture bothers me no more. Yet how many times do we come back to a verse in the Bible and discover even more depth of understanding! Guess what: Paul has way more for us in this one verse. Don’t miss my next post.
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