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Oneness to One - Page 4

It is an ironic tragedy of theology and faith that the determination to make Jesus a "super-being" ultimately demeans him.3 The Oneness view takes a similar perspective as other "super-being" theologies and in the process declares the "man" Jesus to be the "flesh part" or simply a "robe of flesh" that God took upon himself. This corresponds to the unfortunate Trinitarian view of Jesus having an "impersonal human nature" (anhypostasia).4

We here today do not devalue Jesus Christ by recognizing him for who and what he really is: the true - sinless - virginally begotten – human son of God. It is "super being" theologies that devastate the man Christ Jesus by often making him less than those he saves. Can you imagine the angel saying to Mary: "And you shall conceive in your womb and bring forth an impersonal human nature"? Or, can you picture Gabriel saying to her: "you will bring forth a robe of flesh for God to wear"? The awkward augmentation in the non-scriptural phrase "fully man" highlights a telling weakness in "super-being" theologies. Those in the Bible who genuinely believed that he was a man found it quite sufficient to say: "Jesus Christ a man" (Acts 2:22, 13:38).5

I began to realize that in all of the "super-being" theologies, Jesus loses the honor that is rightly his as the only begotten human son of God. Oddly, any theology that makes Jesus more than God's human son diminishes the glory of the "man" Christ Jesus. That is the glory that he should receive as a "true" human being for trusting and obeying God and setting the matter of our disobedience aright. The man Christ Jesus deserves the credit for undoing what Adam did against us. When we say that Jesus "had to be God" or a pre-existent "angel-like" being to purchase our salvation - we are saying that the only begotten son of God - the man Jesus was not good enough. In Oneness theology degradation of the son of God begins with his being theologically reduced to a "body of flesh." This depravity often finds its ultimate sting in the thought that in the end, the son, will be the no longer needed "part" that will be "done away with." 6 Imagine that the one that died so that we could have unending life will himself not enjoy an unending life. He, being "no longer needed," will be dispatched into non-existence.

And yet the theological tragedy goes on. In "super-being" theologies such as Oneness, Binitarianism, Trinitarianism and Arianism, God loses glory that is due him. Think of all that he did for and through the man Christ Jesus. It was God who caused him to be conceived.7 It was God who nurtured Jesus and blessed him so that he might become the savior of the rest of us.8 It was God who answered his prayers and empowered him to do all that he did.9 It was God who raised him from the dead10 and set him at his own right hand.11 It was God who had the plans for all of these amazing things - from before all time. God deserves all of the glory for what he has accomplished for us through the man Christ Jesus. When we say that Jesus himself did these things because "he" was God or some form of “super-being” - we have robbed God of glory due only him.

Oneness and other "super-being" ideologies are all theological paradigms that perpetuate this terrible diminishing of the man Christ Jesus while at the same time robbing his Father of glory: the same Father whom Jesus describes in John 17:3 as "the only true God." Clearly, it did not take a "God-man" to accomplish the work of salvation. Rather it took God and a man - his only begotten son. It did not take an “angel-man” to bring humanity hope. It took God and his true human son to bring grace to human beings.

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3 Super-being theologies make Jesus either a “God-man” (Trinitarianism, Binitarianism, and Oneness) or an “angel-man” or “angel-like man” (Arianism).

4 Many Christians who often refer to Christ as “fully God and fully man” are also surprised to learn that orthodox Trinitarianism holds that Jesus had an “impersonal” human nature – that he had no “human” personality as such. Hence, in orthodoxy, Christ can be referred to as “man” but never as “a man”: as “human” but never as “a human.” This concept terribly demeans the man Christ Jesus. That unfortunate doctrine is referred to as “anhypostasia.”

5 It is interesting to note that many common words and phrases used to express the divinity of Christ are actually not in the Bible and are post-biblical in origin. Such phrases include: “God-man,” “Fully God and fully man,” “Two-Natures,” “Dual-Nature,” “God the Son,” and others.

6 One author expresses the end of the son in this way: “At the end of the age then shall the Son deliver the kingdom to the Father. There will be no more need of Sonship.” (C. E. Hobbs, Whom Say Ye That I Am, p. 65, Lansing, Ill.). Another writes: “…when the thousand years are expired, the Sonship ministry of Jesus Christ will have been climaxed, completed, and fulfilled. Very reverently I say that it will have become obsolete.” (Gordon Magee, Is Jesus in the Godhead or is the Godhead in Jesus, p. 25, Pasadena, Tx.). These unfortunate assaults on the man Christ Jesus are typical in Oneness theology. This terrible aspect of Oneness misses the clear declaration of Jesus himself that “The Son abides in the house forever” (John 8:35) and the incredible assurance of the Scriptures that the son will be a priest and intermediary “forever” (Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 7:24-28).

7 Luke 1:35

8 Acts 5:30-31

9 Acts 2:22, 10:38

10 Acts 4:10

11 Ephesians 1:20

 

 

 





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