Do You Love God’s Child?
1 John 5 was especially significant for our family about a year and a half ago when I was coming to understand that God is One and that Jesus is His human Messiah. My wife points out the irony in the fact that while Trinitarians often go to the Gospel of John and the Epistle of 1 John for presumed evidences of the deity of Jesus, it was these two books that showed us that God is One person, and Jesus is God’s designated human Messiah (Christ).
1 John 5:1 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whomever has been born of Him.”
How tragic that people who believe that Jesus is God condemn those who believe that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah). They say that unless you believe that Jesus is God, you are “denying Christ”. What a strange twist of Scripture. The Scripture says that “anyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) is born of God…”
This Scripture does NOT say you are born of God if you believe that Jesus is:
- a God-Man
- co-eternal (“pre-existing”) and co-equal to the God the Father
- of the same substance as God, the Father.
- one person of a trinity in a godhead.
- God who dressed up in human flesh.
These are all human inventions. We should not cling to human inventions (5:21) while abandoning God our Father’s revelation of Himself and His testimony that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah). We don’t want to call God a liar (5:10) by twisting or distorting what God said, or by claiming God said something He didn’t say.
If believing that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) does not mean any of those things listed above, what does it mean?
“Jesus” is the name of the human person, born in Bethlehem. It is not the name of a pre-existent person of an eternal godhead (Matt. 1:25, Luke 2:21).
This human Jesus is the Christ (Messiah). Many people seem to think that “Christ” is a title for deity. It most definitely is not. Christ/Messiah is never, never, ever God in the Bible. To make “Christ” a title of deity is a perversion of Scripture.
“Christ” (Hebrew, “Messiah”) means “anointed”. Grammatically, the word is an adjective with a passive sense. One who is anointed has been acted upon by someone else. The one doing the anointing is not the anointed. In the Bible, God is the Anointer, and the one whom God has anointed is the Christ (the Messiah). The Anointer is not the Anointed.
To be anointed meant to be chosen by God for a specific role or task. The Persian king Cyrus was anointed by God as a Messiah/Christ for the role of restoring God’s people to their land (Isa. 45:1). Aaron and his descendants were anointed to serve God as priests (Exo. 28:31, 30:30). The descendants of David were selected, designated, that is, anointed by God (through human agents) to be king (1 Sam. 16:12, 1 Kings 1:34, cf. 1 Sam. 15:1, 2 Kings 9:3). This is the essence of what “Christ/Messiah” means: to be the God-chosen, designated, equipped, human priest and/or king. To believe that Jesus is the Christ means to believe that Jesus is the one anointed by God.
The Christ/Messiah in the Bible can’t be God, because it is God who chose and anointed the Christ.
In the Bible, Jesus is the Christ of God, never the Christ who is God.
- “He (Jesus) said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered, ‘The Christ of God.’” (Luke 9:20).
- “But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled” (Acts 3:18).
Son of God or God the Son?
This same human Jesus who is the Christ is the “Son of God” (1 John 5:5), a title which is parallel to and in many ways synonymous with “Messiah/Christ” (2 Sam. 7:14, Psa. 2:1-7, 1 Chron. 28:6). “Son of God” does not mean “God the Son”. There is no “God the Son” in the Bible. “God the Son” is an invention of the human mind.
Do you Love God’s child?
The person who believes that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) is a child of God. If you love God, you will love the person, God’s child, who believes that Jesus is the Christ. If do not love that person, or reject that person, or call that person a heretic, the implication is that you do not love the Father (God). Because whoever loves God the Father loves God’s child (1 John 5:1).
Let me repeat that. If you reject as a heretic someone who believes that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah), the implication is that you do not love God, the Father of that person.
To love God’s child (the person who believes that Jesus is the Messiah) is a commandment from God (1 John 5:2-3; 3:23).
This article was first published 2019-09-27 at Bill Schlegel’s website Land and Bible Blog
Bill is the author of the “Satellite Bible Atlas” Satellite Bible Atlas.