About three years ago I posted an article entitled, “Getting to Know Jesus,” wherein the observation is made: “Knowing Jesus involves more than a mere subjective, emotional experience. One will never truly know him without spending a significant amount of time in the scriptures that testify of him (John 5:39) and then living one’s life accordingly [1 John 2:3-6]” <Link>. Today’s post is an introductory piece marking the beginning of a long-overdue follow-up series. Over the next few weeks, Lord willing, studies will be posted exploring biblical information about Jesus aimed at getting to know him better (Phil. 3:8-10a).
The first article will address Christ’s deity. Was he merely a man who was later afforded divine status by his followers, or was he more than just a man? Is he fully divine, or perhaps some sort of demigod? Has he always existed and will forever exist as God?
The next study will examine Jesus as the Son of God. If he is, by nature, truly divine, how did he come to be known as the Son of God, and what is the significance of this role and title? As the Son of God is he subordinate to God, equal with God, neither, or both? And when did this Father-Son relationship begin, or has it always been?
Next we will consider Jesus as the son of man. While this is one of the most fundamental doctrines of the Bible, historically it has been overshadowed by weighty emphasis on his deity and divine Sonship to the point of virtual disregard. However, it is just as much a departure from biblical truth to underappreciate Christ’s humanity as it is to underappreciate his divinity (1 John 4:2; 2 John 7).
Finally, we will consider the extent of Christ’s sacrifice in becoming a flesh-and-blood human being. With respect to his role as Son in relation to the Father, has he always been and forever will be subservient to the Father (Eternal Sonship), or did the Father-Son relationship begin when Jesus took on human flesh (Incarnational Sonship)? If the latter is true, did Jesus return to full equality with God at his ascension (Epochal Sonship), or will this occur only after the final judgment (Extended Epochal Sonship), or will Jesus the Son forever remain subservient to the Father (Everlasting Sonship)?
I invite you to examine and critically evaluate these studies with an open mind and an open Bible, uninhibited by inflexible presuppositions, as we engage in this worthwhile albeit challenging investigation. I’m not expecting everyone to agree with every conclusion, at least not initially, and I welcome any constructive feedback. I readily acknowledge that after many years of searching the scriptures, I’m still learning! My purpose here is to challenge us to develop, maintain, and/or increase our desire to know Jesus better and to move closer to that goal.
--Kevin L. Moore
Image credit: http://churchinvancouver.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/gtkj1.png