Tag Archives: son of God

SON OF GOD TAKES ON HUMAN NATURE (Philippians 2:5-11)

What additional nature did the Son take upon Himself when came to earth? Paul explains it this way:

‘Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

Notice the truths that Philippians 2:5-11 states about Jesus. We will look at the passage verse-by-verse:

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. Here we are told that the same humble, condescending, benevolent, disinterested, self-denying disposition be in us which was also in Christ Jesus.

Who, although He existed in the form of God. In the form of God, describes our Lord’s essential, and therefore eternal, being in the true nature of God, while the “taking on Him the form of a servant” as we will soon see refers to His voluntary assumption of the true nature of man.

Did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped. The Bible says Jesus did not ‘consider EQUALITY with God’ to be grasped, utilized or used to his advantage. Jesus did not regard his equality with God as an object of solicitous desire; that is, though he was fully God and equally divine with the Father, He did not eagerly seek to retain or grasp on to this equality for his own advantage, but voluntarily took on himself a humble condition – even that of a servant. Because Christ was God, He could have taken advantage of His Godhood, glory, and honor and stayed in heaven, and ignored sinful humanity. No! He did not take advantage of His Godhood or equality with God. By the way, why would Jesus even consider EQUALITY with God unless He was EQUAL? How can Christ’s decision NOT to grasp at “equality” with God at Philippians 2:5-7 be an example of humility if Jesus was not already entitled to claim equality? That is because Jesus is divine as the Father is divine, and is equal to the Father in divine nature, essence, substance.

But emptied Himself. He emptied himself; not His divinity or deity, but of its manifestation, its glory.  He emptied himself voluntarily of the “glory which He had with the Father before the world was” (John 17:5) How?

Taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Now the Son, is not just God, but he also takes on humanity, THUS becoming also the Son of Man. He is Son of God and Son of Man.  Thus, He becomes this unique God-Man. It would have been an infinite humiliation for God of glory to have assumed humanity; but our God went beyond this. Not only did he take on human likeness, but also the very nature of a humble servant. The Son who created even angels, now was “made lower than the angels” (Hebrews 2:9).

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Aftermanifestation of Himself to the world in all the weakness of humanity, meaning He had not only laid aside the symbols of His divine glory, and become a man; but when he was a man, he humbled himself, and He obeyed even when His obedience terminated in death, which was a long lingering, painful, humiliating death of the cross. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45).

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him. “For this reason” meaning because the Son who did not hold onto his divinity, instead, voluntarily laid aside his glory and became this new God-Man,and died on the Cross for humanity, Father now exalts the Son back to the highest place and highest glory in response to the Son’s humility and achievement.Christ humbled himself, and He is not going to exalt himself. That would be prideful and that is not the nature or the character of God. ‘For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted’ (Matthew 23:12). Instead it is God the Father who exalts Jesus, now note this again, not as ‘God’ (which was Jesus’ pre-existence before He came to this earth), but as this humble God-Man, who was humiliated at the cross, but was resurrected defeating the power of death. Therefore, after His resurrection, Jesus is being declared or made “better than angels” (Hebrews 1:4), in contrast to His being “made lower than the angels for a little while” while on earth (Heb 2:9).

And bestowed on Him the name which is above every name. The name given is not the name Jesus, which was given him at his circumcision, but the name Jehovah (Philippians 2:11), which was indeed his before he became Messiah, and is given now to Jesus as not as God (which He existed from all eternity), but now as this God-Man, who humbled himself, added human nature to divine nature, died and rose again. The dignity and glory is expressed by “above every name”.

Notice a similar thing happens to Christ’s title as the Son of God:

‘Who was declared the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Romans 1:4).

Why would Christ be appointed or declared to be Son of God at the resurrection if he was already the Son of God before? The declaration is a confirmation of the resurrected divine Son of God that he truly is divine. When a king was enthroned in the Old Testament, there was an acclamation or declaration that he was formally taking up his title and inheritance which had been his by birth. Similarly, Christ our King is taking up his name, title as Jehovah, which is His by inheritance, in a newer sense as the victorious God-Man at His ascension to the Father.

So that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth. The knee should bow, or bend, in token of honor, or worship at the name of Jesus. Only to Jehovah we must bow. If you still have any doubts if Jesus is and has been the Almighty Jehovah, notice this verse, speaking of the one true Almighty God, Isaiah prophesied: ‘Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am Godand there is no other. By myself I have worn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear’ (Isaiah 45:22-23).

Jehovah God says that there is no God beside Him, and that every knee will bow to Him only, and every tongue will swear that He is God. Who is the Lord God that every knee will bow?

And that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. What is the name above every name? The word “Lord” is the word constantly used in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament to refer to Jehovah. The context would suggest that meaning here, for the worship paid is obviously to God alone. Every true believer will acknowledge that Jesus is Jehovah Almighty.

To the glory of God the Father. The acknowledgment of the glory of Christ is the acknowledgment of the glory of the Father. “That all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him” (John 5:23).


Hence, before Jesus came to this world, the Bible teaches us that He existed continually as the eternal Son of God (or even God the Son), but when He came into this World some 2000 years ago, He was made flesh through a virgin, made lower than angels, meaning he became a human being to become our messiah, our sacrifice, the Son of Man, and High priest and more. So, remember, the Word was not always ‘flesh’ before entering the human race some 2000 years ago. Neither was the ‘Word’ the Messiah or Christ in His eternal existence. “Christ” comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning “anointed one” or “chosen one.” What a God! What a Savior! To say that the Son was not equal with God, or that the Son was not fully God, or not the God of the Old Testament is an insult to our Lord and the truth of Scripture.

See:

The Only Begotten Son (John 1:1-18)

Father gave the Son to have life in Himself? (John 5:1-27)

Father gave the Son to have life in Himself? (John 5:1-27)

Let’s review John chapter 5:1-27. In John 5:1-15, Jesus heals a paralytic man on the Sabbath, and asks him to pick up his stuff and go. Jews get furious with Jesus as the Torah prohibited carrying or bringing in any “burden” on the Sabbath (Jeremiah 17:21), and doing any work (Exodus 20:10; Exodus 16:29). Jesus was healing, which was lawful, but the Jews were trying to find fault with him telling him, Jesus could have done such work on other days.

Now let us turn to verse-by-verse study on John 5:15-27.

“So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” (John 5:16-17)

Jews understood that people rest on the sabbath, but only God works on the Sabbath. This idea was taught by the rabbis. Here, Jesus says, My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I [Christ] too am working.”  Here, Jesus was equating himself to the Father, claiming to be God himself who works on the Sabbath.

For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18)

So, Jews were even more furious because they knew that Jesus was claiming to be equal with God, but Jews misunderstood that Jesus was claiming to be another God. So, the two accusations being made against Jesus by the religious leaders are: number one, He broke the Sabbath, and number two, He’s claiming to be equal with God (John 5:18). The tension has now reached a level where they’re persecuting (more appropriately prosecuting) Jesus with the intent to put Him to death. The verses that follow, begins with Jesus’ defense to those charges. Jesus’ defense will not be, “I didn’t do it!” Jesus’ defense will be, “I did do it because I am God”.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner (John 5:19)

The Son can do nothing of Himself unless it is something He sees the Father doing. Since Jews thought she was claiming to be a different God, and doing things in opposition to God of the Old Testaments, Jesus corrects them and says he cannot and will not do anything by himself or on his own accord, because He is not a separate ‘being’ claiming equality with the Father. It’s just simply not possible for Jesus to ever be out of alignment or unity with the Father. So now stop and think about this. These are the religious leaders who claim to be representing God, who claim to know the ways of God. They’re accusing God who became flesh that He is somehow doing things in opposition to God of the Old Testament.

For whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. All that the Father does the Son likewise does. Who can claim that whatever the Father does, I can do? If one does “all” that another does or can do, then there must be equality. If the Son does all that the Father does, then, like Father, He must be almighty, omniscient, omnipresent, and infinite in every perfection; or, in other words, he must be fully God.To help those who struggle to see the equality of the Son to the Father, Augustine provides a concrete example. From the Gospels, we know that Jesus walked upon water. Where, in the Gospels, do we see the Father walking on water? If the Son only does what he “sees” the Father doing, then must it not be the case that the Father walked on water as well? John 14:10 reminds us that the Father abiding in the Son does His works. Thus, the Son’s water-walking is the work of the Son and Father. This, Augustine explains, is precisely the point Jesus makes in John 5:19. Similarly, the God created the world (Genesis 1). The Son who made “all things” created the world. The Son did not create another world by “watching” the Father. On the contrary, the world was created by the Father through the Son. Thus, another reason the Son can do nothing of himself (John 5:19) is simply because “the Son is not of himself”. The Son is not another God. The Son and the Father share one divine nature, because Son is begotten from the Father. Augustine further explains, “The Father [made] the world, the Son [made] the world, the Holy Spirit [made] the world. If [there are] three gods, [there are] three worlds; if [there is] one God, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, one world was made by the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit”.2

For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel (John 5:20)

Jesus is saying to the religious leaders, “You ain’t seen nothing yet. There’s going to be so much more that will give you evidence that I am indeed God in the flesh, and this is flowing out of a love relationship between the Father and the Son.

For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes (John 5:21)

Jesus is saying that God is the One with authority over life and death.  Raising the dead and making alive are attributes of God. “It is I who put to death and give life” (Deuteronomy 32:39) Similarly, the Son, who is himself God, has authority to give life to whom He wishes.

For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father (John 5:22-23)

Father has the authority to judge; He’s given that authority to Jesus, even in His status as the Son of Man. So again, picture this scene where the religious leaders, supposedly representing God, are prosecuting Jesus. They’re judging Jesus! And what Jesus is saying is, “Oh, by the way, I am God in the flesh, and at the end of the story, you don’t judge Me, I judge you!”. “If Jesus is who He says He is, maybe they should back up and rethink some things.” In verse 23, then, Jesus essentially says, “If you don’t honor Jesus for who He is, and what He came to do, you stand no chance of honoring the Father. Identifying Jesus for who He is and what He came to do is the only way to honor the Father. If you don’t go through Jesus, you have no chance of getting to the Father.

“Truly, truly, (It’s absolutely true.) I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life (John 5:24)

Faith in the Father, who sent his Son, is here represented as being connected with everlasting life; but there can be no faith in the Father who “sent” his Son, without faith also in him who is “sent”, and His words. It’s very clear he who hears and believes, not “will have” eternal life. It’s not future tense but “has” eternal life; its present tense. Eternal life doesn’t start someday; it’s not a duration of life; it’s a quality of life. It starts the moment we believe, the moment we repent and trust Jesus as Savior and believe that Jesus has forgiven our sins, and that Jesus then makes it possible for us as sinful men and women to stand right before a holy God. When He talks about passed out of death into life, we know from John chapter 3 that there’s not just a judgment coming one day, but we’re already judged. We’re born spiritually dead because of our sin. We are cut off from a relationship with God. Once we believe; we receive; we trust Jesus as Savior. The Greek language there would describe it as going over a mountain pass. It’s a great description—you’re spiritually dead but, because of Jesus, you pass out of death and into life. Who has the authority to give life? God! And God has given that to Jesus, and Jesus gives it to those who believe.

Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live (John 5:25)

He’s referring to those who are spiritually dead, and what he’s saying is there is an hour coming, and it’s already here (now is). This is before Jesus died on the cross. This is before Jesus rose from the dead. This is before He has brought the fulfillment of the promises of the old covenant. So He’s headed there to usher in the new covenant and all of its promises. But already people are listening to what He has to say and what He promises. And already they’re experiencing new birth—new life— because they choose to believe Jesus tells the truth. The best example of that would be the Samaritans. Before Jesus even gets to the cross, they’re believing what He’s saying. They’re believing what He came to do. The text even told us they believe this is the One who has come to be the Savior of the world. So, Jesus is saying it’s already happening, and it’s going to happen a lot more, of course, after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man (John 5:26-27)

For just as the Father has life in Himself. Where does life come from? It would have to come from someone who has always been alive—eternal life. Life originates in God, so only God has the authority to give life. Here Father is said to have life in Himself.

Even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself and. The Father gave the Son to have life in Himself because of His status as?

And He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Giving Son to have life in himself and authority to execute judgment appear to be primarily related to His status as the “Son of man”, the Word who became flesh.

“But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins: (Matt. 9:6)

If you go back to John 5:24 we see that the “life” Jesus is talking about is the eternal life that we receive from God when we hear Jesus and believe in him. For as the Father has life (that is, eternal life to give to those who believe in Jesus) in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life (that is, eternal life to give to those who believe in the Son) in himself. This is primarily because of His status as the Son of Man, the God who became flesh. John explains, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11–12). Therefore, the context tells us that the life that the Father granted to the Son is the authority to give eternal life to the believers, specifically in His status as the Son of Man.

However, since the Son is begotten from the Father, it can be also said that the life that the Father shares with the Son is as eternal as the Father. For this reason, the Son too has life in himself. Augustine explains that “the source and origin of deity is the Father”. He explains that the Father “begot [the Son] timelessly in such a way that the life which the Father gave the Son by begetting him is co-eternal with the life of the Father who gave it . . .”. Thus, we should not think of the generation of the Son like “water flowing out from a hole in the ground or in the rock, but like light flowing from light”.2 There never was a time when the Son was not. See: The Only Begotten Son (John 1:1-18)

Hence, John 5:1-27 is another instance where the Son’s divinity is emphatically explained. He is identical to Father in works (John 5:19), love (John 5:20), life-and-death power (John 5:21), judgment (John 5:22), honor (John 5:23), eternal life itself (John 5:26) .

Referenced:

  1. Barret, Matthew, “What is Eternal Generation” (May 2021: https://tabletalkmagazine.com/posts/what-is-eternal-generation/
  2. Johnson, Keith,Trinitarian Agency and the Eternal Subordination of the Son: An Augustinian Perspective”: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/article/trinitarian-agency-and-the-eternal-subordination-of-the-son-an-augustinian-perspective/

E-Book: Jesus – He is Who He is

The long wait is over! I always wanted to share a defense on the divinity of Christ, and the Trinity or Godhead of the Bible. The more I spoke to Christians, not the Jehovah Witness’ and Muslims, I found that they were not very clear about the divinity of Jesus, and the doctrine of the Trinity. In my e-book, available now on Amazon, I have responded to some of the main arguments against the Divinity of Christ, and shown how the Bible shows the doctrine of the Trinity.

My e-book covers the following topics:

THE DIVINITY OF JESUS: IS JESUS GOD?
JESUS IS A LESSER GOD?
JESUS HAS THE NAME JEHOVAH?
NO MAN HAS SEEN GOD
WHAT DOES SON OF GOD MEAN?
ONLY GOD IS TO BE WORSHIPED
JEHOVAH THE MAKER BY HIMSELF
HEAD OF CHRIST IS GOD
WHY CALL ME GOOD
JESUS DID NOT KNOW THE HOUR
WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?
JESUS IN THE MIDST OF THE THRONE
ANOTHER PERSON CALLED JEHOVAH
THE HOLY SPIRIT
GODHEAD OR TRINITY
COUNCIL OF NICEA

 

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Here’s the link to my e-book: