Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Struggling with this question…opinions please. :)

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Struggling with this question…opinions please. :)

    I’m not a new Christian really but I have only recently become more involved in reading the Bible and really learning and living the way I should….or trying to I guess. I fail miserably a lot of times but I’m working on it.

    For as long as I remember I have been told that God, Jesus and the Holy Sprit are one in the same…and I have excepted that as the truth. Recently however I have made a new friend at work who is a Jehovah’s Witness and man let me tell, he has some very different views than what I have been taught in the past. Now please understand I’m not in any way criticizing him, in fact he’s a wonderful person and if nothing else has made want to learn even more.

    Anyway, he makes the argument that Jesus said that his Father was greater than Himself, he prayed to God and he is referred to as the Son of God…not necessarily God Himself. He tells me that when Jesus said that He and God are one, he means in likeness…like Family I guess.

    Anyway, I consider this to be a very important question…huge question really. I don’t know scripture well enough to argue with him or even tell him why I disagree. It does however make me want to research the question and I would like to get your opinions please.

    So please do share your thoughts, scriptures etc…

    Thanks J

  • #2
    Hi, there are specific Scripture portions that refer to Jesus as God.

    E.g.

    Mat 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive in her womb, and will bear a son. And they will call His name Emmanuel," which being interpreted is, God with us."

    Joh 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

    Joh 10:30 "I and the Father are one!" (indirectly)

    Titus 2:10-13 "not stealing, but showing all good faith, so that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. (11) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (12) teaching us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly, righteously and godly, in this present world, (13) looking for the blessed hope, and the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ"

    2 Pet 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of our God and our Savior Jesus Christ,"

    etc.
    Joh 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

    Comment


    • #3
      I hope the following will help you defend against the heretical doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses. RW

      The Doctrine of the Trinity

      by Walter Martin


      An article from the From The Founder column of the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 6: Number 2, 1993.
      The Editor of the Christian Research Newsletter is Ron Rhodes.


      The Doctrine of the Trinity teaches that within the unity of the one Godhead there are three separate persons who are coequal in power, nature, and eternity. This doctrine is derived from the clear teaching of Scripture, and is not a man-made doctrine as some (such as the Jehovah's Witnesses) have claimed. Let us briefly examine some of the New Testament evidences for this important doctrine.
      • 1. The Incarnation. The birth of the Lord Jesus Christ as described in the accounts in Matthew and Luke show that the doctrine of the Trinity was not a later invention of theologians. Luke records what an angel said to Mary: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35).
        Since other passages of Scripture reveal that the term "Most High" refers to God the Father, we have in Luke a concrete instance of the Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son all being mentioned together in the supernatural event of the Incarnation.

        2. The Baptism of Our Lord. When Jesus Christ was baptized, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit "descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased'" (Luke 3:21-22). In these verses we see the Son being baptized, the Spirit descending upon Him, and the Father bearing testimony.

        3. Discourses of Christ. In John 14--16 Christ speaks of the persons of the Trinity in His Upper Room Discourse. Jesus declared to the disciples, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever -- the 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 in you" (John 14:16-17). Our Lord here prays to the Father for the Spirit, and His emphasis on triunity is quite apparent. In John 14:26 and 15:26 Christ uses the same formula, mentioning the three persons of the Deity and indicating their unity, not only of purpose and will but of basic nature.

        4. Paul's Letters. The apostle Paul definitely taught the triune nature of God. He wrote: "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (2 Cor. 13:14). It would have been difficult for Paul to give this benediction if the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were not equal persons within the Godhead.

        5. The Great Commission. In Matthew 28:18-20 the Lord Jesus commissions the disciples to go out and preach the gospel and to make disciples of all nations. He commands them also to baptize "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Taken with the other passages bearing on the subject, this becomes an extremely powerful argument for the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

        6. Creation. Although the Bible does not explain to us how the three persons are the one God, it tells us most emphatically that the Spirit of God created the world (Gen. 1:2), the Father created the world (Heb. 1:2), and the Son created the world (Col. 1:16). If you check the creation references in the New Testament, you will see that these particular references are bolstered by several others teaching the same things.

        The apostle Paul declared in Acts 17:24, "the God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands." This forces us to an irresistible conclusion. As creation has been attributed to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit singly and collectively, they are the one God. There cannot be three gods. The Scripture declares: "Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other" (Isa. 45:22). Hence there is unity in trinity and trinity in unity.

        7. The Resurrection of Christ. A final instance of Trinitarian emphasis is that of the resurrection of our Lord. In John 2 Christ declared to the Jews, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days" (v. 19). John hastens to tell us that Jesus was speaking of the resurrection of His earthly body (v. 21). Other Scriptures, however, state that Christ was raised by the agency of the Holy Spirit (e.g., Rom. 8:11). And Peter explicitly states that the Father raised the Son (Acts 3:26). So, again, God's Word affirms the triune nature of God.
      We may not fully understand the great truth of the Trinity. However, we can see the rays of light which emanate from God's Word and which teach us that, in a mysterious sense beyond the comprehension of man's finite mind, God is one in nature but three in person.

      This article was adapted from Dr. Martin's book, Essential Christianity. It may be ordered from CRI for $7.00.



      End of document, CRN0063A.TXT (original CRI file name), "The Doctrine of the Trinity" release A, July 15, 1994 R. Poll, CRI A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help in the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.

      Copyright 1994 by the Christian Research Institute.
      COPYRIGHT/REPRODUCTION LIMITATIONS:
      This data file is the sole property of the Christian Research Institute. It may not be altered or edited in any way. It may be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware," without charge. All reproductions of this data file must contain the copyright notice (i.e., "Copyright 1994 by the Christian Research Institute"). This data file may not be used without the permission of the Christian Research Institute for resale or the enhancement of any other product sold. This includes all of its content with the exception of a few brief quotations not to exceed more than 500 words. If you desire to reproduce less than 500 words of this data file for resale or the enhancement of any other product for resale, please give the following source credit: Copyright 1994 by the Christian Research Institute, P.O. Box 7000, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688-7000.

      Comment


      • #4
        Here is a link to another good article defending the FACT that Jesus is God! RW

        http://home.flash.net/~thinkman/articles/jesusgod.html

        Comment


        • #5
          I struggle with this as well. The bible seems to contradict itself.

          Comment


          • #6
            Here is a link to a really good website that explains what JW is about, how their belief contradicts the bible, and verses that support this (there is also info on other different religions and cults):
            http://www.carm.org/witnesses.htm

            I've found it to be a reliable site and the info they provide is pretty extensive. Hope this helps.
            In memory of Corinne Joy Berndtson
            Nov. 15, 1999 - Nov. 14, 2003



            Some people's prayers need to be cut short at both ends and set on fire in the middle - Dwight L. Moody

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BSC View Post
              I’m not a new Christian really but I have only recently become more involved in reading the Bible and really learning and living the way I should….or trying to I guess. I fail miserably a lot of times but I’m working on it.

              For as long as I remember I have been told that God, Jesus and the Holy Sprit are one in the same…and I have excepted that as the truth. Recently however I have made a new friend at work who is a Jehovah’s Witness and man let me tell, he has some very different views than what I have been taught in the past. Now please understand I’m not in any way criticizing him, in fact he’s a wonderful person and if nothing else has made want to learn even more.

              Anyway, he makes the argument that Jesus said that his Father was greater than Himself, he prayed to God and he is referred to as the Son of God…not necessarily God Himself. He tells me that when Jesus said that He and God are one, he means in likeness…like Family I guess.

              Anyway, I consider this to be a very important question…huge question really. I don’t know scripture well enough to argue with him or even tell him why I disagree. It does however make me want to research the question and I would like to get your opinions please.

              So please do share your thoughts, scriptures etc…

              Thanks J
              The first ecumenical councils of the Church addressed this thoroughly to refute heresy on the subject and define the beliefs of the Church. Anyone disputing the Trinity would have to address those councils to even be worth hearing IMHO.

              Here is the "Wiki" on it.
              Orthodox Christians worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—the Holy Trinity, the one God. Following the Holy Scriptures and the Church Fathers, the Church believes that the Trinity is three divine persons (hypostases) who share one essence (ousia). It is paradoxical to believe thus, but that is how God has revealed himself. All three persons are consubstantial with each other, that is, they are of one essence (homoousios) and coeternal. There never was a time when any of the persons of the Trinity did not exist. God is beyond and before time and yet acts within time, moving and speaking within history.

              God is not an impersonal essence or mere "higher power," but rather each of the divine persons relates to mankind personally. Neither is God a simple name for three gods (i.e., polytheism), but rather the Orthodox faith is monotheist and yet Trinitarian. The God of the Orthodox Christian Church is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the I AM who revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush.

              The source and unity of the Holy Trinity is the Father, from whom the Son is begotten and also from whom the Spirit proceeds. Thus, the Father is both the ground of unity of the Trinity and also of distinction. To try to comprehend unbegottenness (Father), begottenness (Son), or procession (Holy Spirit) leads to insanity, says the holy Gregory the Theologian, and so the Church approaches God in divine mystery, approaching God apophatically, being content to encounter God personally and yet realize the inadequacy of the human mind to comprehend Him.

              The primary statement of what the Church believes about God is to be found in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.

              http://orthodoxwiki.org/Trinity
              And the Nicene Creed of the Church.

              Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed

              Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (also called the Nicene Creed, the Symbol of Faith, the Pistevo, or simply the Creed) is that creed formulated at the First and Second Ecumenical Councils. It was defined by the Holy Fathers of those first two councils (held in Nicea and Constantinople, respectively) to combat various heresies notably Arianism, Apollinarianism, Macedonianism (also called Pneumatomachianism), and Chiliasm.

              Some scholars believe that the Creed promulgated by the First Ecumenical Council was based on an earlier baptismal creed used in Palestine, while others regard its more likely origin as being a creed issued early in 325 A.D. in Antioch, a so-called "Syrian Creed."

              The Creed as it now stands was formed in two stages, and the one in use today in the Orthodox Church reflects the revisions and additions made at the Second Ecumenical Council. Some centuries later, the Roman Catholic Church attempted a unilateral revision of the Creed by the addition of the Filioque, thus being one of the causes of the Great Schism between Rome and the rest of the Church.

              The Coptic church has a tradition that the Nicene Creed was authored by St. Athanasius of Alexandria, whose theology was instrumental at the Nicene council, despite his being only a deacon at the time.

              __________

              The Creed of Nicea (325 A.D.)

              We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things, visible and invisible;

              And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten from the Father, only-begotten, that is, from the essence of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one essence with the Father, through Whom all things came into being, things in heaven and things on earth, Who because of us men and because of our salvation came down and became incarnate, becoming man, suffered and rose again on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and will come again to judge the living and the dead;

              And in the Holy Spirit.

              ___________________

              The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (381 A.D.)

              In English:

              We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;

              And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made:

              Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man;

              And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried;

              And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures;

              And ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father;

              And He shall come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.

              And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets;

              And we believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

              We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.

              We look for the Resurrection of the dead,

              And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BSC View Post
                I have made a new friend at work who is a Jehovah’s Witness
                I don’t know scripture well enough to argue with him or even tell him why I disagree.
                The JW's have their own reworded translation of the Bible which is known as the New World Translation. On the other hand I am assuming you use a reliable and trustworthy translation such as the KJV, NKJV, NIV, or even better the NASB.
                Since you have said you don't know Scripture well enough to argue with this JW, then it's probably wise to not get into deep discussions with Him about theology. Leave the arguing to those who know Scripture better, and know JW doctrine. Don't let this JW deceive you. JW's have a lot of false teachings.

                Lastly keep in mind what Jesus said:
                John 14:9 Jesus said to Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
                If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. - Augustine

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well I use both NIV and The Message and go back and forth between the two for understanding when I’m struggling with something.

                  Anyway, thank you for all the replies. I will be reading the links and whatnot….

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just the fact that you are asking tells me you have some doubt as to the validity of this. The least you are questioning to get the truth.

                    I say study for yourself, and learn what scripture says about Him. This is an example opf listening to man's doctrine, and where that could possibly lead.

                    Pray God to open your eyes to the truth, and He will give it to you.

                    I agree you will want to limit discussions with the JW's just based on the fact that it may not yet be easy to discern for you, what scripture really says, or what they have come up with.
                    Jer 6:16 Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
                    2Jn 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
                    If it's not done out of unselfish love, then it's hardly righteous.
                    http://disciple2yeshua.wordpress.com/



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BSC View Post
                      Well I use both NIV and The Message and go back and forth between the two for understanding when I’m struggling with something.

                      Anyway, thank you for all the replies. I will be reading the links and whatnot….
                      OK, but rememebr "The Message" is only a paraphrase, and not a trustworthy translation. In other words when what you read in The Message disagrees with what you read in the NIV, then always side with the NIV wording rather than wording of The Message.
                      If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. - Augustine

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jesusinmyheart View Post
                        Just the fact that you are asking tells me you have some doubt as to the validity of this. The least you are questioning to get the truth.
                        Well like I said, I’m new to really reading and trying to learn and understand the word of God.

                        So this is kind of the first time I have really tackled the question but it’s such a huge thing that I really wanted to know the truth.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BSC View Post
                          I’m not a new Christian really but I have only recently become more involved in reading the Bible and really learning and living the way I should….or trying to I guess. I fail miserably a lot of times but I’m working on it.

                          For as long as I remember I have been told that God, Jesus and the Holy Sprit are one in the same…and I have excepted that as the truth. Recently however I have made a new friend at work who is a Jehovah’s Witness and man let me tell, he has some very different views than what I have been taught in the past. Now please understand I’m not in any way criticizing him, in fact he’s a wonderful person and if nothing else has made want to learn even more.

                          Anyway, he makes the argument that Jesus said that his Father was greater than Himself, he prayed to God and he is referred to as the Son of God…not necessarily God Himself. He tells me that when Jesus said that He and God are one, he means in likeness…like Family I guess.

                          Anyway, I consider this to be a very important question…huge question really. I don’t know scripture well enough to argue with him or even tell him why I disagree. It does however make me want to research the question and I would like to get your opinions please.

                          So please do share your thoughts, scriptures etc…

                          Thanks J
                          BSC,

                          What your JW friend is telling you does have some truth to it, though not completely.

                          Basically it comes from a lack of understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity which DOES affirm that "Jesus said that his Father was greater than Himself, he prayed to God (the Father) and he is referred to as the Son of God (the Father)…not necessarily God(the Father) Himself".

                          The doctrine of the Trinity completely agrees with the above affirming that The Father and the Son are 2 distinct persons. There is no question about it.
                          Most JWs are not aware of this.

                          Where the JWs go wrong is they then affirm arianism, which is the denial of Christ's deity. They confess Him as a created being and not as eternal God when they state things such as "when Jesus said that He and God are one, he means in likeness" and such.

                          The doctrine of the Trinity affirms that while the Father and the Son are distinct persons they are one in essence. The Son, as much as the Father, is eternal and not created. As Teke very correctly points out the early Church addressed this very doctrine, arianism, and it has forever in the orthodox Church been found to be heretical.

                          As she pointed out the Nicene creed addressed this very issue:

                          We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.

                          And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;

                          by whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth];

                          who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man;

                          he suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven;

                          from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

                          And in the Holy Ghost.

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed
                          The above creed shows the consensus of the early Church regarding the deity of Christ.

                          The easiest way I have found to prove the deity of Christ though is from the scriptures. Observe:

                          Jesus was worshipped over a dozen times in the book of Matthew and NEVER rebuked a single person for doing so. Here is a link to those verses:
                          http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/...der&version=9;

                          Jesus was paraphrasing Deuteronomy 6:13 when He told Satan "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
                          Deuteronomy 6:13 - "Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name."

                          If only God can be worshipped according the Law then Jesus would have been sinning by not rebuking those who worshipped Him, if He were not God.
                          Notice that both Peter (Acts 10:25-26) and the angel in Revelation (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...0;&version=50;) both rebuke those who try to worship them and reiterate that only God is to be worshipped.

                          You might also want to study some of these links:
                          Trinity
                          http://www.carm.org/doctrine/whatisthetrinity.htm
                          http://www.carm.org/doctrine/trinity.htm
                          http://www.carm.org/doctrine/trinitylook.htm
                          http://www.carm.org/misc/plurality.htm
                          http://www.carm.org/doctrine/trinityquotes.htm
                          http://www.carm.org/doctrine/trinityplural.htm

                          Christ's deity
                          http://www.carm.org/doctrine/2natures.htm
                          http://www.carm.org/doctrine/properties.htm
                          http://www.carm.org/doctrine/Jesusisgod.htm
                          http://www.carm.org/doctrine/Jesusisaman.htm
                          http://www.carm.org/doctrine/isJesusGod.htm
                          http://www.carm.org/doctrine/Jehovah_is_Jesus.htm
                          http://www.carm.org/doctrine/Jesusquestions.htm
                          WDJD - what DID Jesus do

                          He died on a cross for our sin and rose from the dead,
                          securing, for all who believe, eternal life and forgiveness of sin

                          Toolman

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BSC View Post
                            I’m not a new Christian really but I have only recently become more involved in reading the Bible and really learning and living the way I should….or trying to I guess. I fail miserably a lot of times but I’m working on it.

                            For as long as I remember I have been told that God, Jesus and the Holy Sprit are one in the same…and I have excepted that as the truth. Recently however I have made a new friend at work who is a Jehovah’s Witness and man let me tell, he has some very different views than what I have been taught in the past. Now please understand I’m not in any way criticizing him, in fact he’s a wonderful person and if nothing else has made want to learn even more.

                            Anyway, he makes the argument that Jesus said that his Father was greater than Himself, he prayed to God and he is referred to as the Son of God…not necessarily God Himself. He tells me that when Jesus said that He and God are one, he means in likeness…like Family I guess.

                            Anyway, I consider this to be a very important question…huge question really. I don’t know scripture well enough to argue with him or even tell him why I disagree. It does however make me want to research the question and I would like to get your opinions please.

                            So please do share your thoughts, scriptures etc…

                            Thanks J

                            It helps to understand that once the body of Christ was prepared for God to dwell in, that it is now holy also, and that is why He/Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. His body will never be destroyed. It is God's "physical" person.
                            And it helps to remember that Jesus IS "fully MAN, and fully GOD". The fully man is probably the Person saying the Father is greater than me. But Jesus also said, "Before Abraham was, I am", the same "I am" from Exodus.
                            And also, Jesus is the Son of Man/Adam, who is the son of God, if you check out the geneology of Jesus in LUke, I think you will find that. And He was the Son of God, in that God made Mary's body become pregnant.

                            And God in the OT calls Himself their Saviour, and God and beside HIm He knows of no other. Check out the prophets, I think that is where you will find it.
                            Oh, and JW's believe that Jesus is "a" god. A lesser god, you have to show them first that there is only ONE God, using the OT is good for that. And if I am not mistaken, Zecheriah 12:10 is a good example for them, since it is God who is speaking through a prophet about Himself.



                            God be with you!
                            Don't seek too much knowledge. You just may be putting more weight on your shoulders than you're able to bare. Let God be the one to decide how quickly you grow.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              One thing that helped me a ton on this subject is Gen 18. It is when God visits Abraham and Sarah. Back and forth the Lord is refferred to as God, and as the three men. Abraham has Sarah prepare three meals. This made me think. It didn't confuse Abraham, so why should it me. I believe the Bible and every word in it so I just accept the trinity. I don't claim to understand it, but I know in my heart it's true. I know secularly minded people would tear me to pieces on thinking like that but so be it. God is God and God is Jesus. They are seperate and they are the same. Luckily for me there is no quiz at the end or I'd be in trouble. God Bless

                              Pat

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X