Dear Biblical Unitarian,
I have to say this paper was quite confusing as it meandered all over the place. It made it difficult to follow any particular train of thought. There’s a rather long excursus in the middle which has nothing to do with “the Word” of John 1:1 which is, in and of itself, a topic of its own. So I’ll just get that out of the way first in order to concentrate on the more salient points.
Here’s a list of the verses brought up in the excursus (Gen 1:26-27; Mark 10:6,9; Col 1:16:17; Mark 13:19; Eph 3:9; Acts 17:24-25; Mal 2:10; Psa 33:6; Rev 4:11; Acts 4:24; Psa 50:10-12; Rom 8:17; Matt 4:8-10; Rev 3:21; Luke 1:35; Rom 1:4; Matt 28:18; Heb 1:3; Col 1:19). (more…)
1 In The beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
…And the Word became flesh…
This passage is one of those really contested ones. I will start out with the most common Trinitarian interpretation and then give my rebuff. On average a person interprets it something like “Jesus is the Word, Jesus was in the beginning, Jesus was with God, and Jesus is God” “Then Jesus created all things”. Basically as Jesus=Word. Then we read the incarnation where Jesus takes on the human nature and becomes a man.
Let’s start with John 1:1 – So here is the first problem, everyone agrees that the “God” in the second clause is the Father, which I totally agree. All the arguing is about how “God” is used in the third clause. Now the standard Trinitarian argument is that it is qualitative. That part I agree with as well, I think it is qualitative. [I’m not going to go into explaining why right now] Meaning the qualities of the “word” = qualities of God. The departure I make here is that most people think of this as “divinity”. So a better way to say the standard argument is that Jesus is “divine”, as God is “divine”. This is where the famous “substance” in the Trinity comes from. My problem is that it turns the one God into a “substance” or “divine quality”. This is how the Trinity works though. Now each person can be fully God because they share this divine nature. I don’t think that John meant that, I think he just wanted to express that the Word is fully expressive of God, just as my words expresses myself. This is a much better interpretation since in order to view the Word as “divinity” it changes God into a quality, God fundamentally becomes one “it”. (more…)
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us … sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30).
To complete the picture from Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest.” This is the July 23 entry:
The Life Side. The mystery of sanctification is that the perfect qualities of Jesus Christ are imparted as a gift to me, not gradually, but instantly once I enter by faith into the realization that He “became for [me] … sanctification….” Sanctification means nothing less than the holiness of Jesus becoming mine and being exhibited in my life. (more…)
This is the will of God, your sanctification . . . ” (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
I took this from Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest” devotional for July 22:
The Death Side. In sanctification God has to deal with us on the death side as well as on the life side. Sanctification requires our coming to the place of death, but many of us spend so much time there that we become morbid. There is always a tremendous battle before sanctification is realized-something within us pushing our resentment against the demands of Christ. When the Holy Spirit begins to show us what sanctification means, the struggle starts immediately. Jesus said, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate … his own life … he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). (more…)
The past few years I have been to several funerals. Most of them were for older persons who had passed away after having lived a comparatively long life. Just a few weeks ago, however, was the first time I attended a funeral for someone younger than me. We had grown up together in Brazil and I have nothing but the most cherished memories of a good childhood friend.
Though the occasion was sad, there was a sense of celebration because she was such a deeply committed Christian. Of course we cried and felt a profound sense of loss because for a little while we have been separated from her. Jesus cried too at the loss of his dear friend Lazarus (John 11:35). And so, even if by faith we know we shall see her again, there is still much sorrow at the loss of a loved one. (more…)