Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lord [Jesus Christ] Willing? God's Will and Christ's Will

posted 10/6/2014
last updated 11/6/2015

13    Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"---14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.- James 4:13-16
This sentiment is shared by other New Testament authors. See also Acts 18:21; Rom. 1:10; Rom 15:32; 1 Cor. 4:19; 1 Cor 16:7; Heb. 6:3 [in addition to the above verse of Jam. 4:15]. Clearly, such submission is to the authority and will of Almighty God. However, two of the above passages may actually refer to Christ. If so, then that would naturally imply that Jesus is Almighty God.

 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.- 1 Cor. 4:19

For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.- 1 Cor. 16:7
 If these two passages which refer to "Lord" are actually referring to Jesus, then that would be strong evidence that Paul considered Jesus as fully God, the absolute sovereign over all things. One can't too quickly dismiss these passages as referring to the Father as Lord since (while possible), the fact remains that the New Testament usually reserves the word and title "Lord" (kurios) to Jesus Christ. Only infrequently referring to God the Father as Lord/kurios. This is true of Paul's letters in general, as well as this epistle of 1 Corinthians.

Here's another passage:

13 Then Paul answered, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."14 And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, "Let the will of the Lord be done."- Acts 21:13-14
It's logically possible the the second mention of "Lord" refers to God the Father. However, its close proximity to the first "Lord" which is clearly Jesus would suggest that the second mention of "Lord" is also likely that of Jesus.

In light of the above, here's another passage that might refer to Jesus as having God's sovereignty:

12    When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord,13 my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.- 2 Cor. 2:12-13

However one interprets the above passages, the fact remains that supreme authority is ascribed to Jesus in the New Testament.

 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.- Matt. 11:27

 Compare the above passages regarding God's will with Acts 16:6-7:

6    And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.- Acts 16:6-7

 The Spirit of Jesus (verse 7) seems to be the same as the Holy Spirit (verse 6), which we know in other passages is the Holy Spirit of God (e.g. Eph. 4:30). This suggests a unity between Father and Son and Spirit that's compatible with Modalism or Trinitarianism. Modalism would affirm that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are actually the same singular person. While Trinitarianism would affirm that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct persons who share the one being or essence or substance of God.

 Notice also in this passage that the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus forbids and doesn't allow or give permission to the saints. This is similar to the kind of sovereign discretion that Almighty God alone possesses. While this doesn't prove the full deity of the Holy Spirit and/or Jesus Christ, it is nevertheless consistent with their full deity.

Finally, the original passage I quoted (Jam. 4:13-16; esp. v. 15) could also be interpreted to be referring to Christ since the book of James refers to Jesus and Almighty God as "Lord" without bothering to distinguish between which "Lord" he's referring to. Which, as I've noted in other blogposts, would be expected if the New Testament authors believed in the full deity of Jesus, the Father [and the Holy Spirit]. If they didn't believe in the full deity of each person [Father, Son, Holy Spirit] why then didn't they ALWAYS make it clear 1. which "Lord" they were referring to, and 2. in what sense Jesus or the Holy Spirit is Lord in a sense inferior to the Father?

On the contrary, Jesus is referred to as Lord as if He is or possesses the name, nature and attributes of YHWH/Jehovah/Yahweh (e.g. Phil. 2:10-11). The same thing regarding the Holy Spirit (e.g. 2 Cor. 3:18). I've documented this in my other blogs. See the following link for documentation:

The Most Important Blogposts in This Blog

See also my blog:

Trust in Jesus Is Apparently Trust in Jehovah 



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