Jesus is not God

The description of God as a separate entity who interacts with Jesus is found in many passages in the Bible. There are several examples in Acts 10, where Peter explains the basic news about Jesus:

v38    God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit

v38    God was with him

v40    God raised him on the third day

v42    Jesus is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead

Clearly this is describing Jesus as someone who is distinct from God. There are two ways in which this is indicated. First, the passages describe occasions where God has done something for Jesus. The fact that the passage tells us that God was with Jesus shows that Jesus is not God; similarly the fact that God appointed Jesus as judge shows that God and Jesus are different beings.

Second, in each case Jesus is under the authority of God. Jesus has the Holy Spirit because God gives this to him. He is appointed by God to be judge. This is a case of the greater exercising authority with the less.

This picture, of Jesus who is not God but who represents God and is the Son of God is a consistent picture from the Apostles, and indeed a picture which is found throughout the Bible.

The Bible always makes a very clear distinction between Jesus and God. The points in Acts 10 are simply examples of a description which happens well over 100 times in the New Testament - where God is clearly distinguished from Jesus.

 

There are some other references of a similar kind in Ephesians chapter 1.

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."             (Ephesians 1:1,2)

 

Notice the way that the text distinguishes carefully between “God our Father” and “the Lord Jesus Christ”. There are two different entities here, and only one of them is described as God. This kind of passage appears over and over again throughout the New Testament.

 

However, there is more. Consider the next verse in the chapter:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,"                    (Ephesians 1:3)

This text not only tells us that God and Jesus are separate, it tells us that Jesus has a God. There are many other examples of this in the Bible:

"that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,"                    (Ephesians 1:17)

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'"                    (Matthew 27:46)

"The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name."                                                               (Revelation 3:12)

In this last passage the person speaking is Jesus. He tells us that he has a God four times.

 

The point of these passages is that Jesus has a God. This means that he is not the supreme being.

 

Of course, one can tell that Jesus is not God quite simply from first principles. The fact is that Christ died on the cross, something which is at the core of Real Christianity. Without the death of Jesus we have no mechanism for the forgiveness of our sins. God, however, does not die. God is the source of life for everyone and everything else. God is the living God.

 

The Bible is clear: Jesus is not God.

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