In this post, I think I can guarantee that you that, no matter how many years you have been a Christian, you will learn something new and exciting–because this 46-year Christian has and I’m sharing it with you!
In my previous post, we saw that Paul was not claiming that Jesus was not God in 1 Corinthians 8:6.
Paul was writing about meat sacrificed to idols who were many so-called gods and lords. He was teaching that in contrast, the truth is that there is only one God. He knew that this one God is a family that currently has the Father and the Son—but imagine how difficult it would have been to clearly explain that in this situation! He would have likely really confused them even more than Peter says He usually does (2 Peter 3:16). Talk about TMI!
The Bible gives Paul credit for always striving to “become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). So we see that Paul was very carefully choosing his words.
He was acknowledging God the Father as being the Supreme Being Who rules through His Son Jesus Christ whom Paul usually calls Lord in his writings.
Contrary to common belief that Jesus and the Father are co-equal, Jesus said the Father is greater than He is (John 14:28). Jesus said all things have been put under His feet—except the One who did the putting (1 Corinthians 15:27). Jesus said He came to reveal the Father, and lately we have been learning new insight about the preeminence of the Father.
Remember John 1:1? The One Who became the Son was the Word; the One Who became the Father was God. John in his writings—including 1, 2 and 3 John and Revelation—often refers specifically to what the Father does and what Jesus does, but his use of the term “God” in most cases refers to the Father. The same goes for the other New Testament writers including Paul. I hope you get excited as you start to notice this in the New Testament!
This explains why Jesus in His final recorded prayer to His Father sounded like Paul when He said “You, the only true God” (John 17:3). And of course, at that time Jesus was limited in power while God and human (John 5:30).
Jesus is honored as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and rightly so. Technically the Father could be dubbed King of King of Kings, but the Bible doesn’t bother fussing over titles because the Father and Jesus are so one—so united. The part to notice in grateful thanks is that we have the blessing of becoming the Kings (Revelation 1:6, 5:10)!
So Paul’s statement about the preeminence of the Father pertains to us. God the Father and Jesus Christ our Brother, also God, are reproducing themselves. Eventually they will bring billions more to glory (Hebrews 2:10) in their God Family and Kingdom—more Gods but never with the same beginning, authority and position as them. We are “a new creation” with beginning of days! We will be happy to always humbly submit to them and carry out their will for eternity.
One day I was amazed to notice something Paul wrote in Romans 1:19-20: “What may be known of God is manifest to them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen … even His … Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”
Contrary to common belief, the Godhead is not a closed triangle where “He who has tried to understand the mystery fully will lose his mind” (Harold Lindsell and Charles Woodbridge, A Handbook of Christian Truth, 1953, pp. 51-52). It’s a welcoming family circle!
Paul says we have no excuse not to understand the Godhead—the nature of God . We can understand because we understand families. Thank God for family! Yes, even your family! And what we can learn from it to become part of the God family!
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