« PreviousContinue »
excellent glory, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
Jesus is said to be sent by the Father. “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world,” 1 John iv. 14. And many passages to the same effect. Jesus says he speaks not of himself but is taught by the
Father. “But He that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him. They understood not that he spake to them of the Father," John viii. 26, 27. “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself,” John xiv. 10.
Jesus is said to do nothing of himself. “I can of my own self do nothing," John v. 30. “I do nothing of myself,” John viii. 28. The Father is said to do the works which Jesus wrought.
“The Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works," John xiv. 10. “I told
believed not; the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me,” John x. 25.
Jesus is said to do the will of the Father. “I came down from Heaven not to do my own will, but the will of Him that sent me; and this is the Father's will, who hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me,” etc., John vi. 38, 39. “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me, nevertheless not my will, but Thine be done; and there appeared an angel unto him from Heaven, strengthening him,” Luke xxii. 42, 43.
The Father is said to give the Son commandment.
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love," John xv. 10. “I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak,” John xii. 49, 50. Authority and power are said to be given to Jesus.
“Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands,” John xiii. 3.
“ All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth,” Matt. xxviii. 18.
Jesus is said to be sealed by the Father. “Him hath God the Father sealed," John vi. 27. Jesus is said to have life in himself from the Father.
As the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in himself,” John v. 26. “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father,” John vi. 57. Jesus receives authority to judge from the Father.
“And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man,” John v. 27. Jesus is said to be Lord to the glory of the Father.
“Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in the earth, and things
under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” Phil. ii. 9–11.
Now if we accept the simple doctrine revealed, that the Father is the only true God, and that He dwelt in Jesus Christ, how in harmony with it are all these passages ! But if we take the opposite doctrine, that there are three persons in the Deity, all three forming one God, and all equal, and each no less God than the three together; how can we reconcile the fact that Christ, in what is represented as his human nature, appeals, as the source of his authority and power, never by name to God the Son or God the Holy Ghost, but so invariably to the Father? He is sent by the Father, approved by the Father, does the commandment of the Father, teaches what he has heard from the Father, does the works of his Father, lives by the Father, has the Father as his witness, has judgment committed to him by the Father, and is Lord to the glory of the Father.* If, as Mr. Bickersteth says, “ It were impossible for him to empty himself of his Godhead,” how strange it would be that “an angel should appear unto him from Heaven strengthening him," and that he should say, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love." And when Mary Magdalene beheld him after his resurrection, his
“ Touch me not, for I am not yet as
* “As man working his miracles, not by virtue of his divinity ever inherent in him, but by virtue of a perfect faith in the power of the Father.” — Rock of Ages, p. 74.
cended to my Father ; but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God."*
I proceed to mention two or three facts in connection with our Lord's ministry and the Apostolic age. The first is that though the Jews held the doctrine of the divine unity in its strictest sense, and did not expect the Messiah to be himself God, our Lord did not intimate to them that in these respects they had misinterpreted Moses and the Prophets. Of course the first disciples, who were Jews, might have been mistaken in their conception of him, as they were in that of the true nature of his kingdom, which they imagined would be a temporal one; but he corrects their mistake on the latter subject; whereas, with regard to the divine unity, he takes up the very words of Moses, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord !” And elsewhere he says, “We (the Jews) know whom we worship, for salvation is of the Jews." And then he goes on to say, “The true worshippers worship the Father," &c.
It may be urged, however, that the Godhead of Christ would naturally be under a veil while he was in the flesh, but that when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost to reveal all truth, the doctrine of his Deity would be prominently set forth. where is the proof, where are the traces of this ? So far from there being any token, any indication of
* In the Book of Revelation the phrase, my God, repeatedly occurs; and it is so in ii. 7 in Griesbach, though not in our Common Version : “ To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life in the paradise of my God.”
the supposed change, all that we read of the preaching and conduct of the apostles, as recorded in the Book of the Acts, is one strong continued testimony against such a supposition. On the memorable day of Pentecost, immediately after the effusion of the Holy Spirit, Peter, standing up in the midst of the Jews, thus addressed them: 'Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles, and wonders and signs, which God did by him .... ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. .... This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. And he concludes his address with these words: Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ.'
I ask, therefore, is it within the compass of reasonable belief that the apostle Peter in the very freshness and ardor, as we are told, of his new convictions, should have begun his address to the Jews by calling Jesus of Nazareth a man approved of God, and concluding with the declaration, that by God he had been raised from the dead, and by Him had been made both Lord and Christ? .... The discourses of the apostle Paul, as reported by the evangelist Luke, are all in perfect unison with those of the apostle Peter. At Antioch, at Athens, before king Agrippa, his testimony to the resurrection of Jesus, and to the power and authority which God had conferred upon him, is full, clear and conclusive. But in none of his addresses will you find one word concerning the Deity of Christ; not one word concerning his equality with the Father;