OceanSide church of Christ
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JESUS: ETERNAL, NOT CREATED
Victor M. Eskew
A. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, he told her that her child would be called “the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
B. At least seven different persons or groups acknowledged that Jesus is the Son of God during His earthly ministry.
1. John the Baptist (John 1:34).
2. Nathanael (John 1:49).
3. The demons (Matt. 8:29; Mark 3:11; 5:7; Luke 4:11).
4. All the disciples (Matt. 14:33).
5. Peter (Matt. 16:18; John 6:69).
6. Martha (John 11:27).
7. The centurion at the foot of the cross (Matt. 27:54; 15:39).
C. It is imperative that we also make this confession if we desire to be saved.
1. I John 4:15.
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
2. Romans 10:9-10.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
D. This confession means that we understand that Jesus is God.
1. Jesus is deity. Jesus is one of the members of the Godhead.
2. The Jews understood that this is what the phrase, “Son of God,” means (John 5:18).
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he had not only broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
E. There are some religious groups who would like us to believe they are “Christian,” but they have a perverted view of Jesus Christ. One of these groups is the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs).
1. They do not believe that Jesus is God.
2. They believe that in His pre-human state that He was a created being, an angel, in fact, Michael the archangel.
3. We want to deal with this doctrine in a series of two lessons.
I. THE CLAIMS OF THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
A. It is imperative that we establish the truthfulness of our claims. To merely assert that the JW’s believe Jesus is a created being is not proof.
B. Two quotes:
1. In the book, Should You Believe in the Trinity? Is Jesus the Almighty God?, published by the Watchtower Society of the JWs, the following statement is made about the pre-human existence of Jesus on page 14:
“But was it as one of the persons in an almighty triune Godhead? No, for the Bible plainly sates that in his prehuman existence, Jesus was a crated being, just as angels were spirit beings created by God. Neither the angels nor Jesus had existed before their creation.”
2. In another publication by the Watchtower Society, they assert the following about Jesus:
“This One was not Jehovah God, but was ‘existing in God’s form.’ How so? He was a spirit person, just as ‘God is a Spirit’; he was a mighty one, although not as mighty as Jehovah God is; also he was before all others of God brought forth. Hence he is called ‘the only begotten Son’ of God, for God had no partner in bringing (sic) forth his first-begotten Son. He was the first of Jehovah God’s creations” (Let God Be True, p. 32).
C. There you have it. These quotes are from the Watchtower Society of the JWs. They believe that Jesus Christ is a created being.
1. We ask: “How could they believe this?”
2. Did you listen closely to one of the quotes? It said: “No, for the Bible plainly states that in his prehuman existence, Jesus was a created being…” (emp. mine, vme).
II. THE “PROOF-TEXTS” THAT JESUS IS A CREATED BEING
A. There are three major verses used by the JWs in an attempt to prove that Jesus is a created being.
B. Proverbs 8:22.
The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
“Jehovah himself produced me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago.”
3. In the context, wisdom is being discussed.
a. Some believe that wisdom is a term substituted for the Son of God.
b. In the book, What Has Religion Done for Mankind?, the JWs take this position. Here’s what they say on page 37: “In the proverbs of wisdom he (Jesus) speaks of himself as wisdom and calls attention
to his being a creation of the eternal heavenly Father.”
a. Number 1: Do no deny that the Hebrew word in Proverbs 8:22 means only “possessed” and not “produced” or “created.” The context determines how the word is to be translated.
b. Number 2: This passage is not giving us a description of the origin of the Second Person of the Godhead, but rather sets forth the value of wisdom. Wisdom is older than the creation and therefore deserves to be followed by all.
C. Colossians 1:15, 18.
1. In Colossians 1:15-18, the apostle Paul sets forth a lengthy description of the Christ.
2. The JWs use two of these descriptions in an attempt to prove that Jesus is a created being.
a. The firstborn of every creature (Col. 1:15), first created.
b. Who is the beginning (Col. 1:18), the beginning of all things.
3. Answer: The best answer to their doctrine is found right in the context of these two statements (Col. 1:16).
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.
The text states that Jesus created “all things.” If He is a created being, then He had to have created Himself. Such is an absurdity.
4. How, then, is Jesus the “firstborn of every creature” and “the beginning”? He is the origin, the cause, the author, the active force that created all things. He is the uncaused first cause.
D. Revelation 3:14.
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; these things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.
1. The JWs argument stems from the phrase, “the beginning of the creation of God.” By “beginning,” they believe He was the first to be created.
a. Number 1: The Greek word translated as “beginning” is arche (746). It means “the origin” or “the active cause.” Jesus was the author, the One who commenced the creation.
b. Number 2: In Revelation 21:6, God the Father is referred to as “the beginning.”
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him the fountain of the water of life freely.
1) The Greek word is “arche,” the same word found in Revelation 3:14.
2) If Jesus had a literal beginning because He is the beginning, then did the Father also have a beginning? No. He, too, is the author and originator of all things.
A. In this lesson, we have done three things.
1. Shown the essential nature of the confession that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God.
2. Shown that the JWs believe that Jesus is a created being.
3. Examined and answered three proof-texts used by the JWs in an attempt to prove their doctrine.
B. These individuals may be sincere, but they are wrong, dead wrong about the Christ. He is the eternal God.
C. In a second lesson, we will prove this beyond measure.