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doulosXristous
Jan 28th 2008, 05:46 AM
Here is a dichotomy I have not been able to reconcile. I'd be interested in your thoughts.

1. Jesus is God
2. God cannot die
3. Jesus died for our sins
-------------------------
contradiction

I don't seen any way of having all three.

dhtraveler
Jan 28th 2008, 05:49 AM
google Hypostatic union and learn about the God-man. that may help you to reconcile what does not seem clear to you.


dht

doulosXristous
Jan 28th 2008, 05:53 AM
I have been thinking about the hypostatic union and have really come to question how this really resolves the dilemma. For example, generally the response comes back that when Jesus died only his human nature died, not his divinity. On the surface, this seems to resolve the problem because Jesus' divine nature (that which makes him God) doesn't actually die. But there is still a problem: Jesus still died. If we redefine death to be the separation of his divine from his human natures then that doesn't change the fact that he still died but this is impossible because God is immortal.

thoughts?

Athanasius
Jan 28th 2008, 06:03 AM
Jesus was fully human, and humans die.
Along with the hypostatic union, that's it.

Being without sin, Jesus was the only one able to conquer and be victorious over death.
The wages of sin is death--who was without sin? That's not to say that Jesus didn't die, just that he rose again and defeated death (essentially, sin).

RoadWarrior
Jan 28th 2008, 06:11 AM
Here is a dichotomy I have not been able to reconcile. I'd be interested in your thoughts.

1. Jesus is God
2. God cannot die
3. Jesus died for our sins
-------------------------
contradiction

I don't seen any way of having all three.

Augustine said about the trinity:

The Father is God.
Jesus is God.
The Holy Spirit is God.
The Father is not Jesus.
Jesus is not the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is not the Father.
There is only One God.

Aside from that Augustine wrote 15 books to explain the trinity.

And it is still a mystery.

markedward
Jan 28th 2008, 06:31 AM
I have been thinking about the hypostatic union and have really come to question how this really resolves the dilemma. For example, generally the response comes back that when Jesus died only his human nature died, not his divinity. On the surface, this seems to resolve the problem because Jesus' divine nature (that which makes him God) doesn't actually die. But there is still a problem: Jesus still died. If we redefine death to be the separation of his divine from his human natures then that doesn't change the fact that he still died but this is impossible because God is immortal.

thoughts?Death in the sense that Jesus died was merely physical death. His spirit was not destroyed, only the physical body that carried it. Jesus' human body having died does not mean He as a Spirit being disappeared from existence anymore than that my human body will die but my spirit will continue to exist afterward. Just because Jesus' Spirit left His body doesn't mean He isn't God. God transcends physical existence, yet He manifested Himself as a man. God trandscends death, yet His manifestation died. We may not understand the "how," but that doesn't mean it's impossible or a "contradiction."

But, it should be stated, if we as mere men could ever fully comprehend how God "works," He wouldn't be God, would He?

Tanya~
Jan 28th 2008, 06:36 AM
It's clear from Scripture that Jesus was put to death "in the flesh" not spiritually.

Col 1:21-22
And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight —
NKJV

God is not flesh and God does not die, He is immortal. But He manifested Himself in the flesh and died in the flesh, because we are flesh. He did this to identify with us and die for us.

Heb 2:14-18
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
NKJV


It didn't separate His divine and human natures. It separated His spirit which is both human and divine, from his human body which was a body of flesh. That body of flesh then was raised up again in glory.

So Jesus experienced death just as any other human would experience death, where the body ceases to function and the spirit departs from that body. Only Jesus had the power to rise from the dead, because being God, He has the power of life in Himself.

9Marksfan
Jan 28th 2008, 11:38 AM
Jesus was fully human, and humans die.

But there was nothing inevitable about Jesus' death as a human - because He was sinless. He chose to die in fulfilment of the Father's will.

9Marksfan
Jan 28th 2008, 11:40 AM
It's clear from Scripture that Jesus was put to death "in the flesh" not spiritually.

Great point - it's also in 1 Pet 3:18, which I happened to be sharing at our communion service yesterday: "...having been put to death in the flesh..."


So Jesus experienced death just as any other human would experience death, where the body ceases to function and the spirit departs from that body. Only Jesus had the power to rise from the dead, because being God, He has the power of life in Himself.

But don't forget that his physical death wasn't inevitable, because that is a result of sin - and Jesus was sinless. He chose to lay down His life because that was the purpose of His coming.

tgallison
Jan 28th 2008, 12:07 PM
Here is a dichotomy I have not been able to reconcile. I'd be interested in your thoughts.

1. Jesus is God
2. God cannot die
3. Jesus died for our sins
-------------------------
contradiction

I don't seen any way of having all three.

doulosXristous Greetings


God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth. God was manifested in the flesh. That flesh was in all manner like us. That flesh was crucified. And the Spirit was given a new body, so that we might know that Jesus was resurrected.

There are many things hard to be understood.

When the Father sent the Son, one would have thought that they were separated. They were not separated, the Father was with him.

terrell

watchinginawe
Jan 28th 2008, 02:55 PM
I have been thinking about the hypostatic union and have really come to question how this really resolves the dilemma. For example, generally the response comes back that when Jesus died only his human nature died, not his divinity. On the surface, this seems to resolve the problem because Jesus' divine nature (that which makes him God) doesn't actually die. But there is still a problem: Jesus still died. If we redefine death to be the separation of his divine from his human natures then that doesn't change the fact that he still died but this is impossible because God is immortal.

thoughts?As TanyaP offered, here is a key point:

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

Now, we know that Jesus died as a man, because that is how He became victorious over death and the devil and delivered us from the bondage of death (sin).

Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

But, Jesus could not be holden to death, and thus was ressurrected. Jesus was victorious as a man and over death.

Man could not have saved himself. Now, as you have pointed out, God could not have died, thus Jesus took on the nature of man for that very purpose.

You can also look at this from the viewpoint of reconcilliation. Jesus Christ reconciled man to God eternally. Only by having the "dual nature" of both God and man could that have been accomplished. A man did not reconcile man to God, that would have taken God.

BTW, as for the Trinity, that is the only way that i can see how what was accomplished in the birth, life, ministry, death on the cross, and ressurrection of Jesus Christ were accomplished.

God Bless!

doulosXristous
Jan 28th 2008, 03:06 PM
So Jesus experienced death just as any other human would experience death, where the body ceases to function and the spirit departs from that body. Only Jesus had the power to rise from the dead, because being God, He has the power of life in Himself.


Ok. So we all agree that God is immortal (1 Tim 1.17; 6.16). In other words, it is a property of God that he can not die. Now, let us investigate what it means to die.

I personally believe that at death one ceases to exist until resurrection. Often in Scripture the metaphor employed is sleep. Obviously, this implies a lack of consciousness.


Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.



For there is no mention of You in death; In Sheol who will give You thanks?

more about this very biblical and non Platonic view of death here (http://www.kingdomready.org/topics/death.php)

No doubt, many of you (especially when it comes to Jesus) assume that Plato's definition of death (separation of mortal body from immortal soul) is more accurate than the ancient Hebraic understanding (the person, not just their body, dies). Be that as it may, it has no relevance to my conundrum between the Trinity and the Atonement.

How one defines death does not enter the picture. If one defines death as the separation of the soul from the body (a la Plato & Greek philosophy) then Jesus cannot do that because he is God and God cannot die. Do you see?

RoadWarrior
Jan 28th 2008, 04:17 PM
How one defines death does not enter the picture. If one defines death as the separation of the soul from the body (a la Plato & Greek philosophy) then Jesus cannot do that because he is God and God cannot die. Do you see?

I see that this is how you are believing. That link, is that where you are getting your theology?

I think the understanding of death is key to this discussion. How did Adam and Eve die on the day that they ate of the fruit in the garden?

dhtraveler
Jan 28th 2008, 04:24 PM
Someone suggested that because of His sinless divinity, the grave could not hold Him. This is true in my opinion. His sinless and stainless blood paid the ransom price which is death, for all. Through His death, we all shall live who believe. The Grave is conquered and in Jesus we are victorious. The grave is for the dead, not the living.

dht

ravi4u2
Jan 28th 2008, 04:47 PM
Ok. So we all agree that God is immortal (1 Tim 1.17; 6.16). In other words, it is a property of God that he can not die. Now, let us investigate what it means to die.

I personally believe that at death one ceases to exist until resurrection. Often in Scripture the metaphor employed is sleep. Obviously, this implies a lack of consciousness.






more about this very biblical and non Platonic view of death here (http://www.kingdomready.org/topics/death.php)

No doubt, many of you (especially when it comes to Jesus) assume that Plato's definition of death (separation of mortal body from immortal soul) is more accurate than the ancient Hebraic understanding (the person, not just their body, dies). Be that as it may, it has no relevance to my conundrum between the Trinity and the Atonement.

How one defines death does not enter the picture. If one defines death as the separation of the soul from the body (a la Plato & Greek philosophy) then Jesus cannot do that because he is God and God cannot die. Do you see?
Basically, your whole thought process stems from the idea that Jesus is not God but the Son of God. My opinion, this thread should go to the World Religions Forum or Controversial Issues.

Teke
Jan 28th 2008, 04:54 PM
Ok. So we all agree that God is immortal (1 Tim 1.17; 6.16).

I quoted St Basil in a Trinity thread in Contro, but I'll quote him again here for understanding.

Basil wrote:

"In a brief statement, I shall say that essence (ousia) is related to substance (hypostasis) as the general to the particular. Each one of us partakes of existence because he shares in ousia while because of his individual properties he is A or B. So, in the case in question, ousia refers to the general conception, like goodness, god-head, or such notions, while hypostasis is observed in the special properties of fatherhood, sonship, and sanctifying power. If then they speak of persons without hypostasis they are talking nonsense, ex hypothesi; but if they admit that the person exists in real hypostasis, as they do acknowledge, let them so number them as to preserve the principles of the homoousion in the unity of the godhead, and proclaim their reverent acknowledgment of Father, son, and Holy spirit, in the complete and perfect hypostasis of each person so named." Ep.214.4.


The proper understanding of the human persona is found in the Cappadocian rule of faith "what is not assumed (into Christ's humanity) is not saved".
:)

doulosXristous
Jan 28th 2008, 05:24 PM
I see that this is how you are believing. That link, is that where you are getting your theology?

I'm getting my theology from the Bible and History. According to JewishEncyclopedia.com the idea of the immortality of the soul came to the Jews during the intertestimental period through contact with Greek philosophy. Read the article for yourself here. But, as I pointed out before it doesn't really matter what your understanding of death is. Clearly if Jesus is God, he cannot die (however you define it).


I think the understanding of death is key to this discussion. How did Adam and Eve die on the day that they ate of the fruit in the garden?


Again, the understanding of death does not matter. Let say someone thinks that death = jumping. If we say God cannot die then in this context, God cannot jump. Then if we see Jesus jump, we have to say that there is a problem. Do you see?

With respect ot Adam and Eve, they did not die. God's command was that they should die the very day they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, he decided to show mercy for the first time in the Bible. He had every right to end the humanity experiment then and there, but in a wild act of mercy he decided to instead instantiate a plan to redeem humanity from within (Gen 3.15...the descendant of the woman).

I hope that helps to clarify.

doulosXristous
Jan 28th 2008, 05:29 PM
I quoted St Basil in a Trinity thread in Contro, but I'll quote him again here for understanding.

Basil wrote:

"In a brief statement, I shall say that essence (ousia) is related to substance (hypostasis) as the general to the particular. Each one of us partakes of existence because he shares in ousia while because of his individual properties he is A or B. So, in the case in question, ousia refers to the general conception, like goodness, god-head, or such notions, while hypostasis is observed in the special properties of fatherhood, sonship, and sanctifying power. If then they speak of persons without hypostasis they are talking nonsense, ex hypothesi; but if they admit that the person exists in real hypostasis, as they do acknowledge, let them so number them as to preserve the principles of the homoousion in the unity of the godhead, and proclaim their reverent acknowledgment of Father, son, and Holy spirit, in the complete and perfect hypostasis of each person so named." Ep.214.4.


The proper understanding of the human persona is found in the Cappadocian rule of faith "what is not assumed (into Christ's humanity) is not saved".
:)



Teke, what a fine example of the extravagant lengths that the philosopher/christians had to go to in order to avoid contradiction. Rather than just taking the Bible's functional approach to christology, Basil and his two buddies decided they would develop hairline distinctions in order to construct something so fearfully complicated that it is often said:


If you try to understand the Trinity you will lose your mind
If you don't believe the Trinity you will lose your soul

That saying puts it rather well. I mean, what is the difference between substance and essence? What is the difference between person and being? This is so esoteric. What does the Scripture say.

Jesus died for our sins.

That's where my faith is, not in some neo-platonist who spent too much time studying pagan philosophy and no time investigating the historical Jewish context of the 1st century.

lellison
Jan 28th 2008, 05:31 PM
Here is a dichotomy I have not been able to reconcile. I'd be interested in your thoughts.

1. Jesus is God
2. God cannot die
3. Jesus died for our sins
-------------------------
contradiction

I don't seen any way of having all three.

I would add to your original premise a bit...

1. Jesus is fully God
2. Jesus is fully human
3. God cannot die
4. Jesus died for our sins

It is true that God cannot die. The second person of the Trinity (prior to the incarnation) cannot die. But He was manifested in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). The fullness of God dwelt in Him (Colossians 1, John 1). As one who is fully human He could die. When God took on flesh His actual physical body was now able to experience death.

In dying He never became less divine. His divinity was not subject to death - thus the resurrection. There is no contradiction. It's not easy to explain or understand. There's a huge amount of faith and study involved. It took the early Church 300 years to establish the details of the Trinity.

doulosXristous
Jan 28th 2008, 05:35 PM
Basically, your whole thought process stems from the idea that Jesus is not God but the Son of God.

Ravi, I do not appreciate your oversimplification of my position. I do not believe as you say, that Jesus is not God. The Bible clearly calls Jesus God at least twice in John 20.28 & Hebrews 1.8 (possibly several more times Rom 9.5; Titus 2.13; 2 Peter 1.1; John 1.18; etc.). That Jesus is God is not what I am questioning. The tension (contradiction?) between the trinitarian understanding of what it means for Jesus to be God vs. the atonement is what I'm trying to get some answers on. I want to see where my flaw lies if there is one. I repeat the three statements here:

1. Jesus is God
2. God cannot die
3. Jesus died

Most people here are attempting to deny #3 by saying that Jesus didn't really die, just his body did. But of course, to say "Jesus' body died" is to say "Jesus died" so that doesn't help any.

I would work on redefining #1 from the typical ontological perspective to a representative understanding. But I don't want to tell you how I resolve these 3 true statements before I get more insight on what other people are thinking.

Tanya~
Jan 28th 2008, 05:56 PM
I don't think anyone is denying that Jesus died. What you are missing is that Jesus is both God AND human. God cannot die, but humans do, and Jesus did. God HAD to be manifested in human flesh IN ORDER to die for us.

Heb 2:9
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
NKJV

Col 1:21-22
And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death
NKJV

1. Jesus is God AND man.
2. God cannot die; man can die
3. Jesus died.

lellison
Jan 28th 2008, 05:59 PM
I would work on redefining #1 from the typical ontological perspective to a representative understanding.

How do you redefine the perspective in light of these Scriptures?
1 Timothy 3:16 - Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:

He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.

Colossians 2:9 - For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily...

Colossians 1:19-20 - For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

John 1:18 - No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

John 14:10 - Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
These verses seem to make it very clear that Jesus is God. Colossians 1:19-20 even directly relates deity to the cross.

Only someone who is infinitely God could bear the full penalty for all the sins of all those who would believe in Him - any finite creature would have been incapable of bearing that penalty. Salvation is from the Lord (Jonah 2:9), and the whole message of Scripture is designed to show that no human being, no creature, could ever save man - only God Himself could. Only someone who is truly and fully God could be the one mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), both to bring us back to God and also to reveal God most fully to us.

I'm going to throw out a Calvin quote...

"Finally, since as God only He could not suffer, and as man only could not overcome death, He united the human nature with the divine, that He might subject the weakness of the one to death as an expiation of sin, and by the power of the other, maintaining a struggle with death, might gain us the victory."
Through the weakness of the human nature He could taste death and through the strength of His divine nature, He could overcome it.

Scripture says that Jesus was God. Scripture says that "He poured out His soul unto death" (Isaiah 53:12) and He gave "Himself for us" (Ephesians 5:2). Jesus Himself says that He can (and will) die and this death is a command from the Father.

John 10:17-18 - For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father."
What do you think in light of these verses?

RogerW
Jan 28th 2008, 06:18 PM
Ok. So we all agree that God is immortal (1 Tim 1.17; 6.16). In other words, it is a property of God that he can not die. Now, let us investigate what it means to die.

I personally believe that at death one ceases to exist until resurrection. Often in Scripture the metaphor employed is sleep. Obviously, this implies a lack of consciousness.

more about this very biblical and non Platonic view of death here (http://www.kingdomready.org/topics/death.php)

No doubt, many of you (especially when it comes to Jesus) assume that Plato's definition of death (separation of mortal body from immortal soul) is more accurate than the ancient Hebraic understanding (the person, not just their body, dies). Be that as it may, it has no relevance to my conundrum between the Trinity and the Atonement.

How one defines death does not enter the picture. If one defines death as the separation of the soul from the body (a la Plato & Greek philosophy) then Jesus cannot do that because he is God and God cannot die. Do you see?

Scripture says otherwise. Christ is the giver of eternal life and those who are in Him never perish, or never cease to have life. Christ and the Father are one, and as the Father has life in Himself, so has He given the Son to have life in Himself. That would mean that though Christ died, He never ceased to have life.

Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.
Joh 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

Perhaps an investigation of flesh would be beneficial?

In the beginning God created man, beast, and every fowl of the air of the dust of the earth. The creature exists, but without the breath of life. All that was created from the dust of the earth became a living soul when God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. So we have created from the dust of the earth bodies of flesh, of various kinds, who simply remain inanimate creatures until God breathes into them the breath of life.

Ge 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Ge 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

What happens to these bodies of flesh, made from the dust of the earth when they die? These bodies without life once again become inanimate creatures without life, and they return to the dust of the earth from where they came.

Ec 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
Job 34:15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.

Where does the spirit of man, or ruwach which is the breath of life go? Why does Solomon ask “Who knows the spirit of man that goes up, and the spirit of the beast that goes down to the earth?” The spirit of the man, or his rational soul is preserved after death, if that man has been made Spiritually alive, and returns to God Who gave it. But Solomon tells us the spirit of the beast goes downward to the earth. So God distinguishes between the life of man, and the life of beasts.

Ec 3:21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

Solomon sees the place of judgment under the sun, and he questions himself regarding the fate of the sons of men, and asks that God might reveal to them (sons of men) that they themselves are like the beasts, and the very thing that befalls the beasts will also befall the sons of men, who are themselves beasts. Solomon says of the sons of men who are as the beasts of the earth, they, like the beast will die and return to the dust, for like the beast so are they.

Ec 3:16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
Ec 3:17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
Ec 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Ec 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
Ec 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
Ec 3:21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
Ec 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Couple the words of Moses, Solomon and Job with the teaching of Christ telling us that no man will see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. The new birth is not of flesh, for that which is born of flesh is flesh, but that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Christ wants us to know that unless we receive the Spirit (born again) our flesh will return to the dust from where it came, and the breath of God that that gave it life at birth ceases. No man dying without re-birth will see the kingdom of God because the spirit (breath of life) that God gave the sons of men (natural man) at birth remains like the beast without Spiritual life and so goes downward to the earth like the beasts.

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
This is not the state of the one who is born again. Christ’ resurrection shows us that all who are given Spiritual life, though their bodies physically die, they will never die. Their breath of life returns to the Lord to await the fullness of time. Just as the breath of life returned to Christ bodily, so to all who die in Him.

Lu 24:37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
Lu 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Lu 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Joh 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Joh 17:24 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.
Php 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

Many Blessings,
RW

lellison
Jan 28th 2008, 06:21 PM
We do all agree that God cannot die. Death exists only because of sin. God, being sinless, cannot die. The second person of the Trinity, being sinless, cannot die. On the cross, Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the world.

2 Corinthians 5:21 - For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.When He subjected Himself to our sin He was also able to die.

obeytheword
Jan 28th 2008, 07:06 PM
Ravi, I do not appreciate your oversimplification of my position. I do not believe as you say, that Jesus is not God. The Bible clearly calls Jesus God at least twice in John 20.28 & Hebrews 1.8 (possibly several more times Rom 9.5; Titus 2.13; 2 Peter 1.1; John 1.18; etc.). That Jesus is God is not what I am questioning. The tension (contradiction?) between the trinitarian understanding of what it means for Jesus to be God vs. the atonement is what I'm trying to get some answers on. I want to see where my flaw lies if there is one. I repeat the three statements here:

1. Jesus is God
2. God cannot die
3. Jesus died

Most people here are attempting to deny #3 by saying that Jesus didn't really die, just his body did. But of course, to say "Jesus' body died" is to say "Jesus died" so that doesn't help any.

I would work on redefining #1 from the typical ontological perspective to a representative understanding. But I don't want to tell you how I resolve these 3 true statements before I get more insight on what other people are thinking.

May I ask what your specific belief is in the nature of each aspect / person of God?

I ask this for a rather simple reason actually. Do you understand God to be:

1 - Both one person and three persons at once?
2 - One person with 3 distinct aspects or representations, but one essence?

The honest truth is that is not nearly as easy of a question to answer AND fully back up with scripture as some would believe. If you believe #1 - the question you are asking is if we will all be honest much more difficult to answer. I personally believe the scripture is rather clear #2 is truth, and as such, it is honestly rather easy to understand what happened, and all the scriptures in question make rather more sense.

I will be happy to explain my position in regards to #2 more fully if you need me to, but do not want to derail this thread if you do not want/need me to.

Be Blessed!

David Taylor
Jan 28th 2008, 07:36 PM
**WR-Moderator Note**

doulosXristous,

I am the moderator of this WR subforum.

Just wanted to remind you of a couple of things.

(no, you are not in trouble).

Your thread here, is an interesting thread, and I hope the membership here is able to provide answers to questions that are interesting you about what you posted. I look forward to the continued edification and growth of this thread.

However, I want to be very clear about a few things before this thread grows any further...(because this type of thread, could easily take a turn in a bad direction)

Everyone familiarize yourselves with the WR posting Guidelines here (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=108705).

Be absolutely clear, when you have done so, and are ready to post further in this thread, that this subforum and this website is not in the business of catering to views or teachings that criticize, question, or minimize the eternal divine deity of Jesus Christ....in any way.

Anyone wanting to do this, or anyone who doesn't accept the mainstream Protestant view as described in the link above, concerning the Deity of Jesus Christ, shouldn't step over this line.

I am only saying this because, often in threads of this nature, it draws those types of folks to it like flies, and after awhile, it turns into a platform by someone to attempt to teach us why Jesus is not God, and Protestantism is wrong for believing this.

Don't want anyone to turn this thread in that direction.

doulosXristous I mentioned you specifically by name, not because you are doing so; but because this is your thread, and it has the potential to be turned easily in that direction.

If anyone has any question or uncertainty about posting something because of what I have just stated, feel welcome to start a post in "the Chat to Moderators" forum, and ask your question there first....so we can be sure we are all on the same page.

Thanks to all, and back to the discussion.

dhtraveler
Jan 28th 2008, 07:50 PM
I think I am not very good with all this intellectualizing so I will steer clear from here on out.

simply put, Jesus The Son of God became Flesh and dwelt among us. He did not give up His divine nature (being God). In fact, He thought it not robbery to be equal with God. ( Can't steal whats yours already ). But he came low as a man. Taking on the nature of a man. Meaning, He added a second nature to Himself. Now with Two natures. One being fully God, the Other being fully Man, He lived a sinless life even though He was tempted such as we are. And when the fullness of His time was completed here, He allowed Himself to surrender under the Will (Plan) of God the Father and died upon a cross to pay the penalty which is required for all who sin. He took sin upon Himself ( Our sins , past present and future), and sin was nailed to the cross by the plan of God so that You and I might by faith, have everlasting life.
The grave could not contain Him because the grave is the punishment for sin. Jesus was without sin and His sinless blood fulfilled the righteous requirement of the Law against mankind ( for all who believe).

He Physically Rose again by the power of the Holy Spirit. He forever lives now in heaven in physical body , carrying the scars which were due us as evidence of His payment. The nails scars, strips, etc. still evident .
He even showed them to Thomas before he ascended back into heaven.

I am rambling now so I will stop. This is the simplicity of the Gospel

dht

Teke
Jan 28th 2008, 08:59 PM
Teke, what a fine example of the extravagant lengths that the philosopher/christians had to go to in order to avoid contradiction. Rather than just taking the Bible's functional approach to christology, Basil and his two buddies decided they would develop hairline distinctions in order to construct something so fearfully complicated that it is often said:



That saying puts it rather well. I mean, what is the difference between substance and essence? What is the difference between person and being? This is so esoteric. What does the Scripture say.

Jesus died for our sins.

That's where my faith is, not in some neo-platonist who spent too much time studying pagan philosophy and no time investigating the historical Jewish context of the 1st century.

Dear poster, using "relativity" to disregard an explanation is very shallow. IOW because someone studied Plato, Aristotle or others, does not make the person only able to explain in those terms. It actually helps their understanding steer clear of such thinking.

Grant it they were showing that it was possible to explain in Greek terms, and not only Latin or some other. Nonetheless they were completely biblical about it, as well as led by the Holy Spirit.

As to questions of person and essence, not only is that to be looked at in defining the Son of the Trinity, but also what are angels in this aspect. Angels are not persons, but heavenly powers. God is a person, and Jesus shares that essence with the Father and Holy Spirit.
There is also the "energies" of God, which we all share in. ie. love, mercy, charity etc.

The statement "Jesus died for our sins" can be understood in a number of ways, depending on ones theology. While your theology on that matter is likely that of penal substitution, that is not the view the early church held on the matter.

IOW Jesus died because He was human and in the flesh, and death is part of life. It is part of the created order.

As Jesus said,
Jhn 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

As Paul said,
1Cr 15:36 [Thou] fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

Jesus, did not come to change the created order. And 1st century Judaism was in error, which is why He corrected them.

markedward
Jan 28th 2008, 10:24 PM
Ravi, I do not appreciate your oversimplification of my position. I do not believe as you say, that Jesus is not God. The Bible clearly calls Jesus God at least twice in John 20.28 & Hebrews 1.8 (possibly several more times Rom 9.5; Titus 2.13; 2 Peter 1.1; John 1.18; etc.). That Jesus is God is not what I am questioning. The tension (contradiction?) between the trinitarian understanding of what it means for Jesus to be God vs. the atonement is what I'm trying to get some answers on. I want to see where my flaw lies if there is one. I repeat the three statements here:

1. Jesus is God
2. God cannot die
3. Jesus died

First of all, to say that God cannot "die," we first need to define the act of "dying." Death in a physical sense is to have a dead body, a body that ceases to function. God cannot "die" in the physical sense because He transcends the physical universe, so for God to "die" physically, He would need a body, which He does not have. Death in a spiritual sense is to have a dead spirit, a spirit of sin. God cannot "die" in the spiritual sense at all because He is absolutely without sin. For God to die spiritually, He simply could not be God at all, ever, period. And for God to die physically, He would need a physical body that could die. The "prerequisite" for dying spiritually is to sin, which God cannot ever do. The "prerequisite" for dying physically is to have a mortal body, which God never had... until the Son was incarnated as Jesus.

- Jesus has always been God.
- Jesus, however, was made "a little lower than the angels," namely, as a man. And, since Jesus was made as a man, He took on a mortal body, meaning He took on the ability to die physically and the ability to die spiritually.
- Jesus was fully man and fully God at the same time. But what is important to keep in mind is that, as a human being, in the form of a created being, Jesus as a man was capable of dying. When Jesus took on the form of being a man, He was still God, but He "gave up" His 'Godhood' while He was a man. Anything and everything that Jesus did while He was a man was done by the Father's will, not His own.
- So as a man, Jesus "gave up" His 'Godhood,' in order to be fully man. Jesus as a man was not omniscient, He was not omnipotent, He was not omnipresent, He directed all worship to the Father, He gave all credit to the Father, etc., etc. In every sense of His actions while He was on earth, He was a man and mortal.
- We see in the Bible that Jesus never died spiritually. He was without sin, so He was always, so He retained His sinlessness. But as stated before, to be able to die physically, God would need a physical body. Now He had one, so He was now able to die physically. God being God, He could never die spiritually, but God could die physically if He had a mortal body, which He did have when Jesus was born as a human being.

I'll try to summarize myself:

1 - As God, God simply cannot die spiritually. But if God made Himself a mortal body, He could die physically.
2 - Jesus became "lower than the angels," as a man. He was fully man, and in essence gave up His "Godhood" during His time as a man.
3 - As a human being, Jesus had a mortal body, and that mortal body was capable of dying.
4 - Jesus' physical, mortal body died. He never died spiritually, only physically.

The closest allegory I can make is comparing the situation to a video game: Let's say I'm playing, say, Legend of Zelda. I am, in allegory, the counterpart to God, while my "video game manifestation" would be Link, the counterpart to Jesus. I am not Link, and he is not me, but we are the same person, and his will is to do my will. This allegory, of course, isn't perfect, but hopefully you catch the gist of what I'm trying to get across.


Most people here are attempting to deny #3 by saying that Jesus didn't really die, just his body did. But of course, to say "Jesus' body died" is to say "Jesus died" so that doesn't help any.I haven't seen anyone deny that Jesus really died... just that they are trying to clarify what sort of death Jesus actually died. Yes, Jesus' body did die, and no one has said anything to contradict that; what people are trying to do is point out that the Bible makes a distinction between physical death and spiritual death. God as God simply cannot die spiritually. But God's ability to die physically depends on whether or not He has a physical body in which to die physically; as a God who transcends the physical universe, God cannot die physically, but when Jesus took on a physical body, God was then able to die physically. But it also seems that you're not making a distinction between the Father and the Son. The Father has always been God, and has always transcended the physical world, but the Son, while always God, has repeatedly appeared in physical manifestations that appeared to look like a man throughout time, and then He made His final physical manifestation that of an actual mortal man in a mortal man's body.

threebigrocks
Jan 29th 2008, 03:16 AM
- So as a man, Jesus "gave up" His 'Godhood,' in order to be fully man. Jesus as a man was not omniscient, He was not omnipotent, He was not omnipresent, He directed all worship to the Father, He gave all credit to the Father, etc., etc. In every sense of His actions while He was on earth, He was a man and mortal.
- We see in the Bible that Jesus never died spiritually. He was without sin, so He was always, so He retained His sinlessness. But as stated before, to be able to die physically, God would need a physical body. Now He had one, so He was now able to die physically. God being God, He could never die spiritually, but God could die physically if He had a mortal body, which He did have when Jesus was born as a human being.

What is it that you are saying here, markedward? That Jesus wasn't fully God and fully human?

markedward
Jan 29th 2008, 04:11 AM
What is it that you are saying here, markedward? That Jesus wasn't fully God and fully human?No, I did not say that. I said that Jesus, while fully God, became fully man. Jesus was always God, but He took on the form of a corruptible mortal body. God is incorruptible, is immortal, and has no body. God in the form of a man has a corruptible, mortal body. Jesus was God before He took the form of a man, Jesus was God while He was a man, and Jesus was God after He was a man. Jesus gave up His "Godhood," His Godly nature as a man, meaning His omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, but not that He was not God.

Teke
Jan 29th 2008, 01:08 PM
It is a form of Arianism to say that Jesus was a created being as we are. He was literally something new to creation. God partook of humanity by Incarnation, He transformed it at the Transfiguration, and resurrected it by the Resurrection.

The crucifixion was part of His life, as was all of His life, sacrificial, as a priest who makes sacrifices for the people.
It is an ontological reality for us.

David Taylor
Jan 29th 2008, 04:34 PM
It is a form of Arianism to say that Jesus was a created being as we are. He was literally something new to creation. God partook of humanity by Incarnation, He transformed it at the Transfiguration, and resurrected it by the Resurrection.

The crucifixion was part of His life, as was all of His life, sacrificial, as a priest who makes sacrifices for the people.
It is an ontological reality for us.

I didn't see anyone saying Jesus was a created being like us.
If that were so, he would have sinned, and needed a Saviour for his own sins, and couldn't have been anyone elses Saviour.

That is where groups like the Watchtower and others who make Jesus into a creation that is not eternal God fall apart. Their Jesus can't save himself from his own sins, much less save anyone elses sins.

But I didn't see MarkedWard or anyone else saying Jesus is a created being.

Jesus took on a second nature, and robed Himself in humanity (Philippians 2)....however, He was/is eternally existent (John 8:59).

dhtraveler
Jan 29th 2008, 04:48 PM
No, I did not say that. I said that Jesus, while fully God, became fully man. Jesus was always God, but He took on the form of a corruptible mortal body. God is incorruptible, is immortal, and has no body. God in the form of a man has a corruptible, mortal body. Jesus was God before He took the form of a man, Jesus was God while He was a man, and Jesus was God after He was a man. Jesus gave up His "Godhood," His Godly nature as a man, meaning His omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, but not that He was God.

there is a suttle shade of this statement that does not set well with me. It starts with the sentence "Jesus WAS God BEFORE He took the form of a man. Jesus GAVE UP His "Godhood".

Jesus did not give up His Godhood at all. He declared " I AM HE", telling them He IS God. What Jesus did was willingly placing Himself under the authority of God the Father as a man without giving up his Divine nature what so ever, no way, no how. He lowered himself only by Adding to his divine nature, a human nature. Both natures were in full function at all times. Jesus chose to not perform His Divine abilities for a time in order that He perfect sacrificial lamb. Perfect in obedience and sinless. The very fact that God the Son performed miracles and raised Lazareth from the dead shows that He did not give up His Omnipotence.. Omnipresence, or Omniscience.

dht

markedward
Jan 29th 2008, 05:33 PM
there is a suttle shade of this statement that does not set well with me. It starts with the sentence "Jesus WAS God BEFORE He took the form of a man.Please read the whole extent of what I said:


Jesus was God before He took the form of a man, Jesus was God while He was a man, and Jesus was God after He was a man.When we say God "was and is and is to come" we aren't implying there was a period of "was not" when we say "was." "Was" simply refers to the past. God "was" God in the past. God "is" God in the present. God "will be" God in the future. I'm not saying Jesus wasn't God while He was a man, I've repeated myself twice now, stating that Jesus was God while He was a man.


The very fact that God the Son performed miracles and raised Lazareth from the dead shows that He did not give up His Omnipotence.. Omnipresence, or Omniscience.Elijah called fire down from heaven, he raised a widow's son to life, he prophesied, and so on. Many times that we see prophets perform such miracles, it only occasionally says that God was the cause of these miracles, yet we know without being told that it could only have been God. Jesus was born as a man, He grew up as a man, He lived as a man, He acted as a man, but as a man He only did anything as the Father willed. A careful reading of the Gospels shows us that when Jesus lived as a man, He was not omnipotent. Read Mark 5, when the woman touches His clothes in order to be healed. Jesus and His disciples are completely surrounded, and the woman manages to touch His clothes and get healed. Jesus felt "power had gone out from Him," but He did not know who had touched Him with the faith to be healed. He turned around in the crowd and questioned to see who had just touched Him, but we can plainly see He did not know who it was: "But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it." Jesus simply didn't know; He had "given up" His omniscience during the time He was a man, but not once did I say He was not God during the time He was a man. I am not denying Jesus' divinity, just to clarify.

dhtraveler
Jan 29th 2008, 05:38 PM
I disagree. There are many times when Jesus said things to man as if He didn't know the answer himself. This was not because He didn't know. I believe your example only shows that He could not see the person among the crowded people and he knew it was not one of them. He was trying to see the person, not that he didn't know who the person was.


dht

markedward
Jan 29th 2008, 05:47 PM
I suppose on this matter we'll just have disagree, but I hope you keep in mind that I have stated multiple times that Jesus, even while He was a man, was God. There was no "subtle shade" that intended to reduce or take away Jesus' divinity in any way.

Teke
Jan 29th 2008, 05:56 PM
I didn't see anyone saying Jesus was a created being like us.
If that were so, he would have sinned, and needed a Saviour for his own sins, and couldn't have been anyone elses Saviour.

That is where groups like the Watchtower and others who make Jesus into a creation that is not eternal God fall apart. Their Jesus can't save himself from his own sins, much less save anyone elses sins.

But I didn't see MarkedWard or anyone else saying Jesus is a created being.

Jesus took on a second nature, and robed Himself in humanity (Philippians 2)....however, He was/is eternally existent (John 8:59).

"Jesus gave up His "Godhood," His Godly nature as a man, meaning His omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, but not that He was God."

Without His "Godhood" He is a created being. Scripture shows His use of His "Godhood" in examples like walking on water, commanding the elements of nature (wind, water etc.)

markedward
Jan 29th 2008, 06:09 PM
"Jesus gave up His "Godhood," His Godly nature as a man, meaning His omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, but not that He was God."I just noticed a typo on my part, I apologize for that:

"Jesus gave up His "Godhood," His Godly nature as a man, meaning His omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, but not that He was not God."

I believe Jesus was, is, and always will be and always has been God. However, I believe that when Jesus became a man, EVEN THOUGH HE WAS STILL GOD, He made Himself as low as a man, allowing Himself to be without His omniscience, His omnipotence, His omnipresence during that time, and that as a man He could only do any sort of miracle through the power of the Father, just as it was with the other prophets.

obeytheword
Jan 29th 2008, 06:30 PM
Not to sound annoying or anything, but I believe we are making this way way more complicated than scripture clearly shows it is.

Jesus WHILE WALKING ON THE EARTH in his un-resurrected body did NOT keep all the Godly attributes, such as omnipotence, omnipresence, etc in and of himself. He achieved what he achieved because he was FILLED with the Holy Spirit.

He was not everywhere at once - that is pretty easy to understand I would think. He was our example of what could be achieved IN A HUMAN BODY when one was fully and totally surrendered to God, and filled with the Holy Spirit.




8Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."
9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2014;&version=31;#fen-NIV-26675c)] in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."



Long quote, but it does a decent job of explaining a few of the primary portions without having to go to several different places.

God is ONE - that is very very clear. We as christians for whatever silly reason want to make the idea of the "trinity" so so much more complicated than it is. It is in all honesty rather easy to understand.

Just like we are 3 parts (Spirit, Soul, and Body) God is ALSO. We were created in his image. That is the primary thing that is meant by us being in his image.

Jesus, The Father, and The Holy Spirit ARE ONE - they make up the parts of ONE GOD. They are distinct ALSO. Just like your Body, Soul, and Spirit are all distinct.

Your BODY can die - but that is NOT you dying - just your body. In the same way Jesus could DIE - since he was the bodily representation or aspect of GOD in a NON-RESURRECTED body.

They were the same - all one essence. WE CAN DO MORE THAN JESUS DID WHILE ON THE EARTH - he said so. If he HAD all his Godly attributes such as omnipresence, omnipotence, etc then I do not see how we could think to be arrogant enough to think we could do more than Jesus. By implication that would mean we could do pretty much anything, which is not the case.

Notice verse 13? JESUS is who does stuff when you pray to the father in his name. It is NOT the father actually doing it, it is JESUS.

Father = Soul - The will, the aspect that DECIDED what to do, makes the plan, etc
Son = Body - the aspect that actually DOES things. If you look at John 1 it is very very clear that Jesus is who actually DID creation. it was the Fathers idea, and the Son executed it.
Holy Spirit = Spirit - The breath of Live - Binds all together.

All three parts ARE DIVINE - so HOW did Jesus actually die if he is divine? As the sacrifice he RECEIVED all sins. What BECAME his sin is what allowed him to die. He was then resurrected, and now in a resurrected body cannot die.

Teke
Jan 30th 2008, 12:57 AM
Just like we are 3 parts (Spirit, Soul, and Body) God is ALSO. We were created in his image. That is the primary thing that is meant by us being in his image.



God is a simple, not an aggregate being, this is the doctrine of Divine simplicity which is part of Trinity theology.
I am not posting these things to debate this with anyone. Just want to point these things out. Others may want to explore this subject more to become more familiar with Trinity theology.:)


Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity) is the Wiki on Trinity
<snip>
This co-indwelling may also be helpful in illustrating the Trinitarian conception of salvation. The first doctrinal benefit is that it effectively excludes the idea that God has parts. Trinitarians affirm that God is a simple, not an aggregate, being. The second doctrinal benefit is that it harmonizes well with the doctrine that the Christian's union with the Son in his humanity brings him into union with one who contains in himself, in St. Paul's words, "all the fullness of deity" and not a part. (See also: Theosis). Perichoresis provides an intuitive figure of what this might mean. The Son, the eternal Word, is from all eternity the dwelling place of God; he is, himself, the "Father's house," just as the Son dwells in the Father and the Spirit; so that, when the Spirit is "given," then it happens as Jesus said, "I will not leave you as orphans; for I will come to you" (John 14:18)<snip>


And Divine simplicity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_simplicity)

Teke
Feb 1st 2008, 08:46 PM
An additional comment.:)
Those studied in Trinity theology would never consider such doctrines as "predestination", because they are incompatible, and "predestination" views were condemned early in the church by ecumenical councils (unanimous agreement).