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Teke
May 11th 2007, 04:52 PM
This thread is an attempt to better explain to those seeking, how God has effected salvation to humanity. How it works, in relation to our being created in His image and likeness.

I've decided these verses would be a good starting point to explain some of the vast wisdom on this subject. My main focus will be on the 4th verse, with reference to the first 3 verses. Tho verse 5 should be included in this section of scripture with these before a pause, I am not including it, to keep from drawing attention from the focus, verse 4.

First I'll give a brief comment on these verses and then introduce some of the Greek words used in the verses and patristic writings to better understand what is being said in these verses. As the English translation does not translate them as the Greek words are understood, because no English word that is equivalent is known.


Jhn 1:1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jhn 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

Jhn 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Jhn 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.


The above verses are part of St John's prologue (1:1-18), proclaiming Christ is God.

1:1 In the beginning recalls the creation but speaks of the Creator Himself. As Gen. 1:1 introduces the original creation, by itself an incomplete existence, this verse reveals the new creation, a fulfilled and complete existence.

Was the Word (Gr. logos): Was indicates existence without reference to a starting point. Therefore, In the beginning was the Word emphasizes (1) the Word's eternal existence in the Father without beginning, and (2) His oneness with Him in essence. Logos signifies wisdom and reason as well as word: the Creator. ("Creation" is Gr. logikos, participating in the Divine Word). With the Incarnation, the Logos fully participates in human nature.

The Word was with God: With in the Greek shows that the Word, the Son, is (1) a distinct Person from the Father and (2) in communion with the Father.

The Word was God: The OT prophets saw the Word of God as the presence of the Lord. The phrase reveals He is not only from the Father, He is coequal and co eternal with the Father: one in divinity with Him. "I and My Father are one"(10:30)

1:3 The Word is co-Creator of all things with the Father (Gen. 1 and Ps. 33:6,9) not merely an "instrument" or a "servant" of creation. Will, operation, and power are seen to be one in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Through Him shows the Word is not included in all things created by the Father. His eternal birth is by generation from the Father, whereas the works of creation are made. Thus, the heavens and the earth are the works of the One who made them, while the Son alone is born from the Father. Even when He comes in human flesh, the Word forever remains God, the Creator.

1:4 As the Divine Word incarnate, Christ is also the source of life and enlightenment. Because the Word is God, He is life: only God has life in Himself.

And the life was the light: By seeing and participating in Christ's life believers become light and children of light (12:36). Moses saw this light in the burning bush (Ex. 3:2), Isaiah saw it in his heavenly vision (Is. 6:1-5), and Peter, James and John saw it on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:2, the Taboric light)

Verse 4 tells us, believers, get life from the Light that is Life. Scripture is plainly telling us this, so now we must understand how this comes to be.

At this point, let me introduce some Greek words to help better understand this concept.

LOGOS (mind and reason, the Word)

LOGIKIO (reasoning, as by reasoning creatures of creation)

NOUS, which refers to the `eye of the heart' and is often translated as mind or intellect.

NOETIC (noeros), the adjective related to "nous".

PRAXIS (action) and THEORIA (vision) generally refer in the patristic writings to ascetic practice and the vision of God respectively.

NEPSIS (sober-minded vigilance)

NEPTIC the adjective of "nepsis".

HESYCHIA (stillness)

HESYCHASM, the practice of stillness in the presence of God.


While I may not refer to all of these words, I will likely refer to them in some way in my explanation. So I've listed them and their meaning in the hope that the Holy Spirit will illuminate the seeker.

Here is a quote by Theophylact which relates what I am pointing out on the Logos/Word/Light and our relation.



The Evangelist names the Lord Life, because it is He Who sustains the life of every living thing, and Who gives spiritual life to all reason endowed creatures. He is Light, not light perceivable by the senses, but noetic light which enlightens the soul itself. He does not say that the Lord is the light of the Jews only, but of all men. For we can say that all men have been enlightened by Him, inasmuch as we all have received mind and reason [logos] from the Word [Logos] Who created us. For the reason bestowed upon us, by which we are called rational [logikoi] creatures, is a light to guide us into what we ought, and ought not, to do.

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. John
by Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria


.....the life was the light of men. Jn. 1:4

Comments or questions ??

Theophilus
May 11th 2007, 04:56 PM
My comment is to proceed when you're ready...most excellent Teke. :)

Redeemed by Grace
May 11th 2007, 06:48 PM
This thread is an attempt to better explain to those seeking, how God has effected salvation to humanity. How it works, in relation to our being created in His image and likeness.

I've decided these verses would be a good starting point to explain some of the vast wisdom on this subject. My main focus will be on the 4th verse, with reference to the first 3 verses. Tho verse 5 should be included in this section of scripture with these before a pause, I am not including it, to keep from drawing attention from the focus, verse 4.

First I'll give a brief comment on these verses and then introduce some of the Greek words used in the verses and patristic writings to better understand what is being said in these verses. As the English translation does not translate them as the Greek words are understood, because no English word that is equivalent is known.


Jhn 1:1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jhn 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

Jhn 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Jhn 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.


The above verses are part of St John's prologue (1:1-18), proclaiming Christ is God.

1:1 In the beginning recalls the creation but speaks of the Creator Himself. As Gen. 1:1 introduces the original creation, by itself an incomplete existence, this verse reveals the new creation, a fulfilled and complete existence.

Was the Word (Gr. logos): Was indicates existence without reference to a starting point. Therefore, In the beginning was the Word emphasizes (1) the Word's eternal existence in the Father without beginning, and (2) His oneness with Him in essence. Logos signifies wisdom and reason as well as word: the Creator. ("Creation" is Gr. logikos, participating in the Divine Word). With the Incarnation, the Logos fully participates in human nature.

The Word was with God: With in the Greek shows that the Word, the Son, is (1) a distinct Person from the Father and (2) in communion with the Father.

The Word was God: The OT prophets saw the Word of God as the presence of the Lord. The phrase reveals He is not only from the Father, He is coequal and co eternal with the Father: one in divinity with Him. "I and My Father are one"(10:30)

1:3 The Word is co-Creator of all things with the Father (Gen. 1 and Ps. 33:6,9) not merely an "instrument" or a "servant" of creation. Will, operation, and power are seen to be one in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Through Him shows the Word is not included in all things created by the Father. His eternal birth is by generation from the Father, whereas the works of creation are made. Thus, the heavens and the earth are the works of the One who made them, while the Son alone is born from the Father. Even when He comes in human flesh, the Word forever remains God, the Creator.

1:4 As the Divine Word incarnate, Christ is also the source of life and enlightenment. Because the Word is God, He is life: only God has life in Himself.

And the life was the light: By seeing and participating in Christ's life believers become light and children of light (12:36). Moses saw this light in the burning bush (Ex. 3:2), Isaiah saw it in his heavenly vision (Is. 6:1-5), and Peter, James and John saw it on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:2, the Taboric light)

Verse 4 tells us, believers, get life from the Light that is Life. Scripture is plainly telling us this, so now we must understand how this comes to be.

At this point, let me introduce some Greek words to help better understand this concept.

LOGOS (mind and reason, the Word)

LOGIKIO (reasoning, as by reasoning creatures of creation)

NOUS, which refers to the `eye of the heart' and is often translated as mind or intellect.

NOETIC (noeros), the adjective related to "nous".

PRAXIS (action) and THEORIA (vision) generally refer in the patristic writings to ascetic practice and the vision of God respectively.

NEPSIS (sober-minded vigilance)

NEPTIC the adjective of "nepsis".

HESYCHIA (stillness)

HESYCHASM, the practice of stillness in the presence of God.


While I may not refer to all of these words, I will likely refer to them in some way in my explanation. So I've listed them and their meaning in the hope that the Holy Spirit will illuminate the seeker.

Here is a quote by Theophylact which relates what I am pointing out on the Logos/Word/Light and our relation.



.....the life was the light of men. Jn. 1:4

Comments or questions ??

Teke,

I'm stuck on this phrase and can't contiue to move forward yet to read through your whole post....


Would you mind elaborating a bit more so that I understand what you are preaching?

Thanks

Teke Wrote: "...His eternal birth is by generation from the Father...."

Teke
May 11th 2007, 07:38 PM
Teke,

I'm stuck on this phrase and can't contiue to move forward yet to read through your whole post....


Would you mind elaborating a bit more so that I understand what you are preaching?

Thanks

Teke Wrote: "...His eternal birth is by generation from the Father...."

I believe the phrase is another way of saying "begotten" while also saying He is eternally joined with the Father. Making the connection or difference between created and uncreated. IOW the Son is not created.

Redeemed by Grace
May 11th 2007, 07:54 PM
I believe the phrase is another way of saying "begotten" while also saying He is eternally joined with the Father. Making the connection or difference between created and uncreated. IOW the Son is not created.

The bolded part helps, thanks...

So just curious, are these your words exactly, someone else's work, or a paraphrase from someone else's work?

For birth and by generation mean 'come from another' to me and it seems to contradict your explanation above, again the way I see it written from your post.

Tx,

Teke
May 11th 2007, 08:02 PM
Something I'm attempting to bring out, is the Light and it's noetic characteristic and how that relates to the "nous". As noetic understanding is not intellectual, but comes from immediate spiritual experience.

The immediate spiritual experience is experienced thru prayer in worship. Thru hesychasm we prepare the nous to recieve the Light (the same applies in preparing for holy communion). Becoming as the psalmist wrote, "Psa 18:28 For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.", and as Simeon proclaimed at the temple, "Luk 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."

Our darkened nous receives the Light as it is able (prepared). The praxis and theoria of the nous.

Pilgrimtozion
May 11th 2007, 08:05 PM
Something I'm attempting to bring out, is the Light and it's noetic characteristic and how that relates to the "nous". As noetic understanding is not intellectual, but comes from immediate spiritual experience.

The immediate spiritual experience is experienced thru prayer in worship. Thru hesychasm we prepare the nous to recieve the Light (the same applies in preparing for holy communion). Becoming as the psalmist wrote, "Psa 18:28 For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.", and as Simeon proclaimed at the temple, "Luk 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."

Our darkened nous receives the Light as it is able (prepared). The praxis and theoria of the nous.

Correct me if I interpret your words wrongly...

But what I hear you say is that true knowledge is not intellectual but goes deeper, penetrating the spirit and heart of man. Corresponding with this, Jesus says that "that comes forth from flesh is flesh; that which comes forth from the Spirit is spirit." In other words, no emotion or intellectual thought, no matter how exalted or lofty, wille ver be able to produce spiritual life or growth. Only revelation in the heart, the light of God's Word, can produce faith, which produces spiritual life.

Is that a correct rendering of your thoughts?

Teke
May 11th 2007, 08:16 PM
So just curious, are these your words exactly, someone else's work, or a paraphrase from someone else's work?



I'm paraphrasing with my words from many others works (patristic writings of the Church). That particular phrase is a paraphrase from the Council of Chalcedon.

This is the way I usually teach. Using Greek terminology and patristics (including those from the first seven councils).
Knowing that is not the norm of most on this board, is why I posted the Greek words and meanings.

If this was a proper Orthodox writing I would also list all references. And if any interest is shown in any of those, I will reciprocate.
Presently, for the sake of saving time, I am not listing all references immediately.

Teke
May 11th 2007, 08:30 PM
Yes, I believe you are understanding.


Correct me if I interpret your words wrongly...

But what I hear you say is that true knowledge (theoria)is not intellectual but goes deeper, penetrating the spirit and heart of man.(meaning the "eye of the heart"/nous comprehends it or not, as in John 1:5) Corresponding with this, Jesus says that "that comes forth from flesh is flesh; that which comes forth from the Spirit is spirit." In other words, no emotion or intellectual thought, no matter how exalted or lofty, wille ver be able to produce spiritual life or growth. Only revelation in the heart,(when the nous sees the Light/God, IOW experiences the vision, theoria) the light (Light)of God's Word, can produce faith, which produces spiritual life.

Is that a correct rendering of your thoughts?

Faith's connection is rendered in this quote by Kallistos Angelikoudis (14th century, On Union with God and Life of Theoria).

"A nous which uses its imagination to contemplate (gr. theoria) the ineffable is guided by faith (gr. pistis). When it receives the illumination of the Grace, it is assured with hope. And when the divine light takes hold of it, it becomes a treasury of love towards the people, and much more so towards God. Thus, the triple alignment and movement of the nous with faith, hope and love, becomes perfect and deifying, certain and immutable. And when it arrives at that spaciousness of the summit (gr. acropolis), as one could say, it has insured itself in the fortress of love. And then that which Paul said happens: "Love embraces all and endures all" for the sake of the virtue of faith and hope; "love never fails", on account of its fervent union and its indescribable binding to God. "

This follows along the same line of thinking of the Light (noetic, spiritual) that we receive light (thru the nous, eye of the heart) from.

Scruffy Kid
May 11th 2007, 09:03 PM
.....the life was the light of men. Jn. 1:4

This thread is an attempt to better explain to those seeking, how God has effected salvation to humanity. How it works, in relation to our being created in His image and likeness. ...

My main focus will be on the 4th verse, with reference to the first 3 verses. ...

1:3 The Word is co-Creator of all things with the Father (Gen. 1 and Ps. 33:6,9) not merely an "instrument" or a "servant" of creation. Will, operation, and power are seen to be one in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Through Him shows the Word is not included in all things created by the Father. His eternal birth is by generation from the Father, whereas the works of creation are made. Thus, the heavens and the earth are the works of the One who made them, while the Son alone is born from the Father. Even when He comes in human flesh, the Word forever remains God, the Creator. ...

.....the life was the light of men. Jn. 1:4

Comments or questions ??


I. Why I am excited about this thread

This is potentially an important thread for me, because I am trying -- not terribly successfully -- to draw closer to God and to get His help in becoming more the man He wants me to be, by focussing my heart on Him more.

For me the verse that Teke wants to focus on could be crucial. God alone, as Teke notes, has life in-Himself. Our life is derivative.

This is evident, BTW, IMO, in the image of the burning bush, and the associated revelation of God's name as YHWH ("I am that I am"). He is aflame with the eternal brightness of His own life of love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The bush is alive, brilliantly alive, pouring forth light and warmth to us, to Moses, but it is not consumed. God pours out his life to us, but this does not at all diminish or exhaust that life, for God's life is self-sufficient, self-generated, the source of its own life and energy. Therefore He is the "I am that I am", the Source absolute, the Source of our being, of course, but the inexhaustible Source of His own being.

As the He is the Source of all being, naturally it follows that God is primal, "before all things" (Col. 1:17) and Creator of all (1:16), and therefore exists "in the beginning" prior to the beginning of any created thing (including time, space, angels, men, our reasonings, matter, etc.) John is saying the same thing. And the Exod. 3 passage is also saying this in several different ways -- in revelation of the Divine Name, and in the revelation of the bush. The way that the Creation Hymn in Genesis 1 starts, also, presents a similar thought to us: God's creation starts from pure light. (Again, I John 1:5) says "God is light and in him is no darkness at all." Cf. Ps 139:11-12; John 8:12)

Here in the passage we are discussing, John states that the Word, that is Christ, who has life in Him, is "the light of humanity [anthropoi]." His follow-up in v. 5, "the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot [does not] grasp [katalambano] it" recalls the burning bush, recall the light of Christ going forth into our darkened lives, which cannot quench or stifle or sully it, but rather which can be illuminated by it, transformed by it -- if we will receive [lambano, paralambano] it (vv. 11, 12, 16).

So the point, for me, is that I want to turn my heart so as to receive the light that is Christ and his truth, shining in the world, and to be transformed, transformed more into a child of God. (vv. 12,13; cf. I John 3:2-3).

For me, this is exciting not because of theology or Scripture as some kind of academic study but because I long to learn more how to let Christ's light into my life and be transformed. Me and my world transformed, but there's a lot to start with in getting my heart open to Christ's light, Christ's life.

I really need this. Pray for me sisters and brothers.
My life is so much lived routinely, and for myself.
Mostly, I think, because I'm afraid to step out.

So I'm looking forward to discussion on the thread, which I think will encourage me as Teke and various others look at these key verses in John. I hope God's goodness will be with us all, strengthening us in faith -- and even building us up further as a board community!


II. RbG's question

I'm stuck on this phrase and can't contiue to move forward yet to read through your whole post. ... Would you mind elaborating a bit more so that I understand what you are preaching?

Teke Wrote:
"...His eternal birth is by generation from the Father...."

This phrase, I think, aims to make clear that Teke understands that Christ Jesus is truly God. He does not simply come-into-being as creatures (created things) at a point in time, or even at the first point in time.

He, Christ, the Eternal Word, is eternally God, and exists eternally, prior to any act of creation. He is God's Own Son, and therefore Himself God. His existence is as Eternal as the existence of God the Father -- in fact the Eternity of his life is the same as the Eternity of the Father and the Holy Spirit.

He came into human existence, at a point in time (our time) of course. "The word became flesh and dwelt among us." That act of incarnation (enfleshing) is from all Eternity as it proceeds from God. But it is located, as human life, as the Word-made-flesh -- all human life is located in time and space -- at a particular point in time. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit around the time of Gabriel's announcement to His mother, and born in Bethlehem.

But the person who took on flesh -- God the Word, God the Son -- was Eternal and God with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Eternal Word and Son of God, thus, did not come into being at some particular moment, but is the son of (that is, generated by, begotten by) the Father in the fullness of God's Eternal existence.

That's what I understand Teke to be saying when she says "...His eternal birth is by generation from the Father...."


So ... are these your words exactly, someone else's work, or a paraphrase from someone else's work?

... birth and ... by generation mean 'come from another' to me and it seems to contradict your explanation
These kinds of phrases come up in the context of the Arian controversy. Arius (in the early 4th century) denied that Christ was Eternal. He claimed that to speak of Christ as "begotten of the Father" implied that the Father existed first, and later the Son. These phrases, emphasizing eternal birth, and generation from the Father (before all times) were used, from the time of the council of Nicea onward, to make clear that Christ existed before time, eternally, with the Father, and that the sense in which the Son is the son of the Father referred not to coming-into-being in time, and subsequent to God the Father, but as the inherent and eternal life of the Trinity.

Christ of course, not only in his human life, but as the Eternal Son, or Eternal Word, must in some sense "come from" God. That's implied when we speak of Him as God's Son, and when Christ calls Him "Father". So the point of these phrases is to clarify that this is not just an honorific way of refering to some created being, but refers to the Son as Eternally God, Eternally in fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, the Father is the "source" of Godness within the Trinity: He is God the Son, the eternal son of the Father; He is God the Word [logos], eternally spoken by God the Father, the full expression and image (Col. 1:15) of the Father, in whom all the fullness of God dwells (Col 1:19, 2:9).

Redeemed by Grace
May 12th 2007, 02:17 AM
Teke and Scuffy Kid,

I want to be very careful as to understand both your posts here....

My take away from your posts is that you both are saying roughly the same thing... ie that 'Jesus comes from God' -SK, and 'His eternal birth is by generation from the Father' - Teke, and in saying this, positions to me that you are saying that Jesus is not God, but of God or from God....

I want to make sure I'm hearing and understanding you correctly, for I'm hoping that this is not what I am reading.

So am I correct in understanding your position correctly?

Teke
May 12th 2007, 12:37 PM
Teke and Scuffy Kid,

I want to be very careful as to understand both your posts here....

My take away from your posts is that you both are saying roughly the same thing... ie that 'Jesus comes from God' -SK, and 'His eternal birth is by generation from the Father' - Teke, and in saying this, positions to me that you are saying that Jesus is not God, but of God or from God....

I want to make sure I'm hearing and understanding you correctly, for I'm hoping that this is not what I am reading.

So am I correct in understanding your position correctly?

We're both speaking of Jesus as God, and we are putting that in the context of the Trinity. I don't see where either of us has said that Jesus is not God, but confirmed it and put it in perspective.

We have presented nothing contrary to the Nicea Creed and the councils which confirmed His Divinity.


'Jesus comes from God'

Within the Trinity, He "proceeds" from the Father, being of the Father.


but of God or from God

He is both of God (Logos) and from God (in the Incarnation) and is God. We have tried not to confuse the matter, as the RC did with the a clause of the Nicea Creed. Both the Son and Holy Spirit proceed from the Father. The HS doesn't proceed from the Son. A study of the council of Nicea will put this in perspective. But that is not the subject of this thread.

I will testify for Scruffy and his posts here, that he has never posted contrary to the Creed, and he is well studied on the matter.:)

Teke
May 12th 2007, 03:53 PM
As we approach this subject, let's keep in mind that the noetic light doesn't cancel out the natural world. Some might take it to mean the gospel doesn't need to be preached anymore. And that would be incorrect.

The natural man still receives his info from the natural world. ie. hearing the gospel
The spiritual man receives knowledge of God (theoria) in prayer. IOW spiritual things.

There is natural knowledge and spiritual knowledge. The first begets faith, the second is begotten of faith.

Scruffy Kid
May 12th 2007, 07:04 PM
Dear Redeemed by Grace,


Thanks!

Thanks ever so much! :hug:

Thanks both for what I understand to be your ardent concern that Teke and I believe and acknowledge that Christ Jesus is God, fully God, truly God, eternally God --this of course is most important!;

and thanks also for your cautious and polite questioning, without jumping to conclusions, about things we said that suggested to you that we thought otherwise.

And thanks for the opportunity to clarify what I meant.

Really, it is a privilege to be in conversation with you! :pp

Teke and Scuffy Kid,

I want to be very careful as to understand both your posts here....

My take away from your posts is that you both are saying roughly the same thing... ie that 'Jesus comes from God' -SK, and 'His eternal birth is by generation from the Father' - Teke, and in saying this, positions to me that you are saying that Jesus is not God, but of God or from God....

So am I correct in understanding your position correctly? However, I'm utterly perplexed about how you came to doubt that I was saying that Jesus is God! :hmm: And even have thought that perhaps "you are saying that Jesus is not God." I was saying just the opposite!


Jesus Christ is God, and Lord of All

Jesus is God! Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is God.
He is fully and truly God. He is eternally God.

God has eternally existed as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The persons of the Godhead are each fully God, and equally God. None is greater or less than another, and indeed could not be, since each is God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God, in complete unity of being -- their glory and majesty being co-eternal and co-equal. This was a large part of what I was saying, and I said it repeatedly, although I took it for granted that this was assumed -- assumed by Teke, by all Christians, taught clearly by the Bible, and clearly affirmed by the Church through the ages -- believed (as Vincent of Lerin put it) by everyone, everywhere, and always).


My post confessed Jesus Christ as God

I don't see, really, how I could have indicated this much more clearly than I did.

My post was entitled "Praise God for his Beauty, Power, and Love!! And for coming to be with us! (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1257105#post1257105)" Naturally, his "coming to be with us" referred to Jesus (Immanuel, God with us, Matt 1:23) and modified "God", making it clear, I thought, that I was understanding Christ Jesus as God.

I said, in discussing your question, that Teke understands and was trying to emphasize "Christ Jesus is truly God" I immediately went on to say [] "He, Christ, the Eternal Word, is eternally God, and exists eternally, prior to any act of creation. He is God's Own Son, and therefore Himself God. His existence is as Eternal as the existence of God the Father."

After acknowleding that Jesus was indeed a flesh and blood human being, truly man as well as truly God (and of course the Bible and the historic Christian faith emphasize Christ's full humanity as well as His being truly and fully God, e.g. I John 4:2-3), I then immediately reiterated (introducing the phrase with "but" to emphasize that the statement of Christ's humanity was not to be taken as any kind of denial or diminution of the confession of His divinity, ie. His being truly and fully God) that Christ Jesus, "the person who took on flesh -- God the Word, God the Son -- was Eternal and God with the Father and the Holy Spirit." [II parag. 4]

After noting that I thought that Teke (in her phrase "...His eternal birth is by generation from the Father...." as well as elsewhere) was affirming these very same things [II parag. 4] I explained that the terrible heretic Arius, in the fourth century, had denied Christ's being God, and the phrases Teke and I were using were the phrases developed to refute (argue against, repudiate, deny, and condemn) what the heretic Arius was saying: that is, the phrases about "eternal ... generation" were phrases whose whole purpose was to affirm that Jesus Christ is God, fully and truly God. [II parag. 5]. I said explicitly, in the next and final paragraph, that "the point of these phrases is to clarify that" speaking of Jesus as "God's son" was not just honoring Him as some very good man or other exalted being but "refers to [Christ Jesus] the Son as Eternally God": ... "He is God the Word [logos], eternally spoken by God the Father, the full expression and image (Col. 1:15) of the Father, in whom all the fullness of God dwells (Col 1:19, 2:9)" [II parag. 6].

While the post ended there, the use of Colossians in that final paragraph -- especially 1:15 and 1:19 -- was in the context of my earlier quoting of that same passage in Colossians 1 in the former part of my post (I para. 4).

I said there "As the He is the Source of all being, naturally it follows that God is primal, "before all things" (Col. 1:17) and Creator of all (1:16), and therefore exists "in the beginning" prior to the beginning of any created thing." While the "He" who is "the Source of all being" was meant, in that sentence, simply as God (the One and Only God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) without particular reference to any of the persons in a differentiated sense the passage in Colossians [as my final paragraph II para. 6 made clear] is speaking specifically of Christ.

Thus I was saying, also, in that former portion, by implication, that Jesus Christ (Himself being one single person, being, and hypostasis or entity, source of action and energy) is "Source of all being" and "before all things (Col. 1:17) and "Creator of all (1:16)" and primordially (from the very beginning -- not just of creation but before, from the eternal life of God) "God." In any case, to say that Christ is "source of all being" or "creator of all" or even "before all things" itself unmistakably implies, IMO, that Christ is God.


Other Related Points

(1) Teke, focussing on John 1:1-4 or 1:1-5 in her thread, was setting forth from a passage which emphasizes that "the Word" [[I]ho logos] was God. By "the Word John clearly and unmistakably means Jesus Christ. John affirms that the logos, Christ Jesus, "was God" [ho Theos: "the God", that is, not just Divine, but was actually the one and eternal God] and was "with God. Thus John here clearly teaches that Christ and the Father are two persons, who are "with" one another (he says this twice" yet Christ [the word] also is God.

(2) To affirm the full and equal Deity (the "being God") of Christ, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, however, goes together with affirming the full and true humanness of Christ. Again, John is strong on this point: he "became flesh and dwelt among us" (1:14), and so on.

(3) Likewise, to affirm the full and equal Deity of Christ with the Father and the Holy Spirit goes along with affirming (and does not contradict) that Christ is "the Son" and God the Father is "the Father".

This is the way Jesus speaks over and over (speaking of "my Father", "O Father", "Abba, Father"), and all the writers of the NT (speaking both of the "Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" and of Christ as His "Son") do the same-- both in their own words (eg. Heb 1:2), and quoting from the OT (e.g. Heb. 1:5). The Bible's usage is authoritative, here. Also, it reflects Christ's own usage which is authoritative.

Yet to speak of God (i.e. God the Father) as "the Father" -- first, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and then our Father -- is necessarily to be speaking of Christ, the Eternal Word, as eternal Son. To be a Father implies a begotten offsping; to be a Son implies having a Father. (Thus one [I]could even argue (with Basil) that the term "Father" in regards to God the Father is a more primary designation than "God", for it is merely the creation (us) that calls Him God (for to us he is God) but to the Son he is first and foremost "Father".) Thus there must be a sense in which God the Son is "from the Father" and "the Son of the Father."

That is what I (and Teke, no doubt) meant to noting that Christ is "from the Father" and "eternally generated" by the Father.

(4) In fact this usage is precisely that of the Nicene creed, whose central purpose was to affirm the full and true Deity of Christ (i.e. that Christ is God).

I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things seen and unseen,

And in Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of the Father before all ages
God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God
begotten, not made,
of the same being [homoousias] with the Father,
by whom all things were made.
The assertion that Jesus is the Eternal Son of God, not created in a temporal process (not "in time", and therefore not in existing in such a way that there was a time when He did not exist) and utterly one in his being with the Father, goes together with, not against that Christ is "from God" -- specifically "God from God" and "True God from True God."

This is why He, Christ Jesus, is the "Son of God" (e.g. Mk. 1:1) and God is "the Father" and the Gospel proclaimed and people baptized "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" -- this is the affirmation that there is one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that Christ is God, and that God's eternal nature as God is that of love and unity among Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Back to the development of the Thread

All this is vitally important. But its importance is not some distant or abstract importance. The immediacy, vitality, and direct relevance to our lives of these affirmations is what, I suppose, Teke started the thread to help us encourage one another in.

That's why the thread excites me.

And it's what John's purpose is in the prologue to His Gospel (and Paul's in the Christological Hymn in Phil. 2:5-11, and in his portrayal of Christ's hyper-cosmic status in Col. 1, and so on): these high Christological passages are about [I]our life, as well as about God and Christ.

Thus here, John (as Teke emphasizes) is talking about Christ having Life (True Life, Eternal Life) in Him to emphasize that this Life in Christ is "the light of men (anthropoi)", shining into our lives. (1:4-5) The point is that the Light that Christ is can "enlighten each man, each human being (anthropos): He is God's transformative and regenerating Word to us. Again, in emphasizing Christ's true Sonship, John is also emphasizing that this gives us the amazing opportunity to be transformed in our lives, the incredible possibility for us to "become the Children of God" being born from God.


My own central desire

My own central desire is that, by his mercy, grace, kindness, and unmerited favor, God will make me more and more His, more and more like Christ -- despite all my unworthiness and weakness -- transforming me into Christ's likeness, making me His servant, using me to bring knowledge of God into people's lives, healing the brokenness of this world, and drawing me to himself.

It seems crazy when I look at how paltry and misguided my days are, but (thank God!) it is his intention and promise, even to scruffy goof-offs and stumblers like me, and that's why I want to learn more about this topic that Teke has started us on.

Redeemed by Grace
May 12th 2007, 10:59 PM
Thanks Teke and Scruffy Kid for your reply and equal graciousness, for they help me better understand your thought towards the Trinity of God.

This is always a very difficult subject and what makes matters even more challenging is how words are laid down in explanation, and many times one little article here, or an inadvertent adjective there and something we meant to say was still in our mind and not on the paper. That’s how I view your words…

Jesus is God. AMEN! John’s gospel is evidential case written to say He is God, eternally God. The question I raise was to not your doubting Jesus as God in-as much as I saw an offering through your posts a position that Jesus may have been created… ie as stated “His eternal birth is by generation from the Father…” and “Jesus comes from God”, for these words state that Jesus was born from the Father. I’m not focused as to the Trinitarian roles as you so graciously describe within your posts, but was stopped by the positional statement that Jesus is God…but then with the additional modifier that His eternal birth is by generation from the Father.

So it that’s not what you meant, then I’m glad to now know this .

For God’s Glory…

Scruffy Kid
May 13th 2007, 02:35 AM
Jesus is God. AMEN! ...

The question I raise was to not your doubting Jesus as God in-as much as I saw an offering through your posts a position that Jesus may have been created… ie as stated “His eternal birth is by generation from the Father…” and “Jesus comes from GodWell, I think it's helpful to all of us to think these things through together, and understand one another and God's truth. So again, thanks, RbG.

I didn't fully understand before your last post the point you just made, so let me speak specifically to that.

Your concern, as I now understand it, was that language about "generating" and "birth" might suggest that Jesus's origins (as the Son of God) were in time, which is to say that He would be implied to be a created being. But of course he cannot be just a created being, because He is the eternal God. To say that He was a mere creature (created being) would be a denial that He was Gode, for God is eternal.

So, to clarify, language about Christ's "eternal birth is by generation from the Father" is the kind of language that was devised by the Church in the fourth century exactly to make the point that you are trying to make.

That is, it was language meant to indicate that as Son of God and Word of God, Christ's origin was not temporal (in time) but Eternal -- that though he was the "Son of" God, and "begotten" by the Father, that this did not refer to an earthly or temporal or corporeal (bodily) begetting, but rather to His Eternal Sonship. Christ Jesus comes "from God" (John 8:42, 13:3, 16:27) only in the sense that he is (and so to speak "has been")always "with God" (John 1:1, 1:2), that is, "with the Father" (John 8:29, 8:38, 16:32, 17:5, I John 1:2, cf. John 6:62)

If we imagine a flame burning, eternally, and a ray of light coming from the flame (so the Fathers said) the ray "comes from" the flame, but not afterwards, rather at all times, and eternally. God from God, light from light, true God from true God.

IOW, its whole point was to make clear -- what you also want to make clear -- that Christ is not a mere Creature, but Eternally God; and that any language about Sonship is not meant to imply that Christ is subsequent to the Father, but rather that there is an Eternal relation of Fatherhood-and-Sonship between them, in their Eternal being, as each fully, truly, and wholly God, from far before the creation of the world.

Redeemed by Grace
May 14th 2007, 01:48 PM
Well, I think it's helpful to all of us to think these things through together, and understand one another and God's truth. So again, thanks, RbG.

I didn't fully understand before your last post the point you just made, so let me speak specifically to that.

Your concern, as I now understand it, was that language about "generating" and "birth" might suggest that Jesus's origins (as the Son of God) were in time, which is to say that He would be implied to be a created being. But of course he cannot be just a created being, because He is the eternal God. To say that He was a mere creature (created being) would be a denial that He was Gode, for God is eternal.

So, to clarify, language about Christ's "eternal birth is by generation from the Father" is the kind of language that was devised by the Church in the fourth century exactly to make the point that you are trying to make.

That is, it was language meant to indicate that as Son of God and Word of God, Christ's origin was not temporal (in time) but Eternal -- that though he was the "Son of" God, and "begotten" by the Father, that this did not refer to an earthly or temporal or corporeal (bodily) begetting, but rather to His Eternal Sonship. Christ Jesus comes "from God" (John 8:42, 13:3, 16:27) only in the sense that he is (and so to speak "has been")always "with God" (John 1:1, 1:2), that is, "with the Father" (John 8:29, 8:38, 16:32, 17:5, I John 1:2, cf. John 6:62)

If we imagine a flame burning, eternally, and a ray of light coming from the flame (so the Fathers said) the ray "comes from" the flame, but not afterwards, rather at all times, and eternally. God from God, light from light, true God from true God.

IOW, its whole point was to make clear -- what you also want to make clear -- that Christ is not a mere Creature, but Eternally God; and that any language about Sonship is not meant to imply that Christ is subsequent to the Father, but rather that there is an Eternal relation of Fatherhood-and-Sonship between them, in their Eternal being, as each fully, truly, and wholly God, from far before the creation of the world.


Good Morning Scruffy Kid!

I can't put my finger on it exactly -- yet, but there is something within your explanation that still doesn't sit well within my understand.


Jesus is God, and he is also described as the Son of God as well as the Son of man... among many other titles - IE The Alpha and Omega, Lord, The Christ, etc... so the language that "His eternal birth is by generation from the Father" strongly states that Jesus is of the Father, whereas Scripture states that He and the Father are one...

Now there are roles that I see each the Father and Son and Spirit having distinction in, but it would be wrong exegesis of all scripture for me to say that Jesus' eternal birth is by generation from the Father.

Again, Jesus is God, and I love this passage within Hebrew 1 that shows Jesus' deity and His work in creation.

Hebrews 1:8-12
8 But of the Son He says,
"YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER,
AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM.
9 "YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS;
THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU
WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS."
10 And,
"YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH,
AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;
11 THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN;
AND THEY ALL WILL BECOME OLD LIKE A GARMENT,
12 AND LIKE A MANTLE YOU WILL ROLL THEM UP;
LIKE A GARMENT THEY WILL ALSO BE CHANGED.
BUT YOU ARE THE SAME,
AND YOUR YEARS WILL NOT COME TO AN END."

So setting aside the early churches' proclamation within the various creeds that state that Jesus is begotten of the Father, I just don't see this as being so....
[Again, One God, three Persons, and not speaking of collective role, but of origin...for Father, Son, Spirit are God]

I will be seeking God's word and praying that I can better explain where I see the difference within the Purple Highlights and hopefully, can follow-up better that I have.


Have a great day as God directs.

Teke
Aug 11th 2007, 04:23 PM
Good Morning Scruffy Kid!

I can't put my finger on it exactly -- yet, but there is something within your explanation that still doesn't sit well within my understand.


Jesus is God, and he is also described as the Son of God as well as the Son of man... among many other titles - IE The Alpha and Omega, Lord, The Christ, etc... so the language that "His eternal birth is by generation from the Father" strongly states that Jesus is of the Father, whereas Scripture states that He and the Father are one...

Now there are roles that I see each the Father and Son and Spirit having distinction in, but it would be wrong exegesis of all scripture for me to say that Jesus' eternal birth is by generation from the Father.

Again, Jesus is God, and I love this passage within Hebrew 1 that shows Jesus' deity and His work in creation.

Hebrews 1:8-12
8 But of the Son He says,
"YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER,
AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM.
9 "YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS;
THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU
WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS."
10 And,
"YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH,
AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;
11 THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN;
AND THEY ALL WILL BECOME OLD LIKE A GARMENT,
12 AND LIKE A MANTLE YOU WILL ROLL THEM UP;
LIKE A GARMENT THEY WILL ALSO BE CHANGED.
BUT YOU ARE THE SAME,
AND YOUR YEARS WILL NOT COME TO AN END."

So setting aside the early churches' proclamation within the various creeds that state that Jesus is begotten of the Father, I just don't see this as being so....
[Again, One God, three Persons, and not speaking of collective role, but of origin...for Father, Son, Spirit are God]

I will be seeking God's word and praying that I can better explain where I see the difference within the Purple Highlights and hopefully, can follow-up better that I have.


Have a great day as God directs.

RBG I hope you've thought about this some more and can see that Jesus is the "only", as in 'one of a kind', 'begotten' in relation to Incarnation of God.
Meaning Jesus is God Incarnate in flesh.:)