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Give us your absolute bottom-line Christian essentials

Joined
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Hey Randy,
The absolute bottom line for being a Christian is that you must believe Jesus is God and that the resurrection happened.

Every sentence in your post is wrong.

Why did you put "YES" after Christian?

There are not 3 gods.
There's only ONE GOD.
Try to learn the order of the Trinity.
That would be why Jesus said to the Father: Into your hands I commit My spirit.
God, the Son, the Holy Spirit.

The Son became flesh in Jesus. Jesus as a human was speaking to God the Father. No mystery.

Jesus is NOT God's firstborn, in history at some time before all began.

JESUS WAS NOT CREATED. Jesus always was and always will be.
Something created cannot be God. The spirit that created him would be God, but not him. Think about it.

Jesus is the breath and word and reason of God become human 2,000 yrs ago.

Colossians 1:16-17, which you posted, can be compared to
John 1:1

Jesus was the Word of God. The Word was from the beginning, because the Word IS God.

You said that God never dies.
Right.
But Jesus was fully God and fully human.
As Jesus He DID die.
As GOD He was resurrected 3 days later.

The trinity is maybe difficult to understand, but if you want to call yourself a Christian, you'll have to believe it.
Jesus=>"Today you shall be with me in paradise"
Jesus=Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
Peter=For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

John 1:1 is consistent with the Son I believe in. He was at the beginning of creation. The creation was made through Him. He is all that the Father is. God in that context. Because the fullness was pleased to dwell in Him.

Jesus is a living being not a word and it was the Father living in Him doing His work. And Jesus knows the "Fathers" words lead to eternal life.

Jesus=>I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."

Jesus calls the Father the one true God. If Jesus always was and alway was God how then do you believe in ONE God for Jesus stated on the cross ,"Father into your hands I commit my spirit"?
I follow Him thats what makes me a christian=>Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

I would state the Son who was, (his spirit), was in the tent of the body God prepared for Him.
 
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Jesus never dies! As the eternal spirit dwells in Him. The Father
It always amazes me that people hold that Jesus always was and always was God but that he could truly die.

Same language in regard to those who believe Jesus shall never die.
John 11:25-26 NIV Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
 

JLB

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life
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I will answer and inquire as well in accordance with what you would encounter presenting the Gospel to a millennial:

Perhaps my own 110 words: (in brown is our example millennial hipster) (once again the comments below are what you could encounter with a hipster millennial)
  1. You are a created being in a created universe, wholly dependent on the creator God.: Ok I'm tracking, this uncreated Creator made everything and we are all subject to the Creator's sovereign design. Ok, I'm tracking this is interesting.
  2. God is perfectly holy, just and loving. Who says? Didn't God kill a bunch of innocent people in Palestine just to give it to Jews with that Joshua guy? How is genocide just? Plus the Bible you just handed me says God is "Holy Holy Holy" that's three times it says that in your own Bible in Isaiah 6:3. Does this have anything to do with the Trinity that Lutheran guy in our Biology class was yapping about a few days ago?
  3. You and other humans have breached your relationship with God through disobedience and unrighteousness. Ok that sounds kind of judgmentally and all. I'm a good person and never hurt a fly. I'm vegan too. I saw you eat a hamburger yesterday. How have "I" breached a relationship with God through disobedience and unrighteousness? Do you have something in the Bible you can prove this to me with?
  4. You cannot repair the breach through your own efforts. Who says? There's this Wesleyan dude in my Astrophysics class who says salvation is all on me I just need to reach out and grab it. Plus not understanding what repairing the 'breach' again. I'm a good person. You would have to compare me to someone really good to prove I'm not good enough. I'm relatively good dude.
  5. God offers forgiveness and reconciliation through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Is Jesus God? Because I heard only God can forgive sins and stuff. Why did God have to do such horrible things to his own son to 'save' horrible sinful people? Plus what's your evidence that Jesus rose from the dead? I mean, look at my t-shirt...It says "Jesus is my life coach." That's the real Jesus dude, get on board.
  6. You can receive forgiveness and participate in the reconciliation by acknowledging and repenting of your disobedience and unrighteousness, prayerfully accepting God’s offer of forgiveness, asking the Holy Spirit to transform your life, being baptized, and prayerfully doing your best to follow the teachings of Jesus as set forth in the four gospels. Ok, you will have to answer my previous questions before I can address all this judgmentally stuff you just threw at me. Plus, I'm confused you mentioned God. Is that like the Father as in the Our Father prayer the Lutheran dude keeps talking about? Then you mentioned Jesus. Now the Holy Spirit. Dude are we talking about the Trinity again?

Good stuff
 
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Jesus never dies! As the eternal spirit dwells in Him. The Father
It always amazes me that people hold that Jesus always was and always was God but that he could truly die.

Same language in regard to those who believe Jesus shall never die.
John 11:25-26 NIV Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
I have to log off.
But JESUS died
NOT the SON, the second person of the Trinity.

You either have to accept the Trinity to understand the N.T. well,
or you have to believe Jesus is not God.

If He's not God, WHO is He??
 
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I will answer and inquire as well in accordance with what you would encounter presenting the Gospel to a millennial:

Perhaps my own 110 words: (in brown is our example millennial hipster) (once again the comments below are what you could encounter with a hipster millennial)
  1. You are a created being in a created universe, wholly dependent on the creator God.: Ok I'm tracking, this uncreated Creator made everything and we are all subject to the Creator's sovereign design. Ok, I'm tracking this is interesting.
  2. God is perfectly holy, just and loving. Who says? Didn't God kill a bunch of innocent people in Palestine just to give it to Jews with that Joshua guy? How is genocide just? Plus the Bible you just handed me says God is "Holy Holy Holy" that's three times it says that in your own Bible in Isaiah 6:3. Does this have anything to do with the Trinity that Lutheran guy in our Biology class was yapping about a few days ago?
  3. You and other humans have breached your relationship with God through disobedience and unrighteousness. Ok that sounds kind of judgmentally and all. I'm a good person and never hurt a fly. I'm vegan too. I saw you eat a hamburger yesterday. How have "I" breached a relationship with God through disobedience and unrighteousness? Do you have something in the Bible you can prove this to me with?
  4. You cannot repair the breach through your own efforts. Who says? There's this Wesleyan dude in my Astrophysics class who says salvation is all on me I just need to reach out and grab it. Plus not understanding what repairing the 'breach' again. I'm a good person. You would have to compare me to someone really good to prove I'm not good enough. I'm relatively good dude.
  5. God offers forgiveness and reconciliation through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Is Jesus God? Because I heard only God can forgive sins and stuff. Why did God have to do such horrible things to his own son to 'save' horrible sinful people? Plus what's your evidence that Jesus rose from the dead? I mean, look at my t-shirt...It says "Jesus is my life coach." That's the real Jesus dude, get on board.
  6. You can receive forgiveness and participate in the reconciliation by acknowledging and repenting of your disobedience and unrighteousness, prayerfully accepting God’s offer of forgiveness, asking the Holy Spirit to transform your life, being baptized, and prayerfully doing your best to follow the teachings of Jesus as set forth in the four gospels. Ok, you will have to answer my previous questions before I can address all this judgmentally stuff you just threw at me. Plus, I'm confused you mentioned God. Is that like the Father as in the Our Father prayer the Lutheran dude keeps talking about? Then you mentioned Jesus. Now the Holy Spirit. Dude are we talking about the Trinity again?
LOL
Thanks!
 
R

Runner

Guest
Jesus=>"Today you shall be with me in paradise"
Jesus=Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
Peter=For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
Well, Randy, for what it's worth I certainly consider you a Christian brother and have no huge quibble with your understanding.

The verse you cited, 1 Corinthians 8:6 ("for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him"), does, I believe, reflect the predominant early Christian understanding. The Father was God and Jesus was His only begotten Son, the Lord of creation. While there are some verses that do seem to equate Jesus with God, in general the NT writers are very careful in distinguishing between God and Jesus the Lord.

While recognizing the uniqueness of Jesus, the early Christians did seem to struggle with exactly who He was. This struggle is reflected in the different NT verses, some of which seem to have been intended to address specific areas of dispute or confusion. If one insists on trying to harmonize all of the verses, an approach favored by many on these forums because "God is not the author of confusion," one is going to have to do some very fancy tap-dancing.

Did Jesus become the Son at His birth, His baptism, His resurrection or His ascension, or was He a preexisting heavenly being who was the Son before He incarnated (and did His begetting occur at a point in time after God already existed, at which point God became the Father)? The first four, as you probably know, are species of "adoptionism," a view that was held by some. Arius, who believed that the term "begotten" necessarily implied that there was a time when the Son did not exist, was not some wild and crazy heretic but the proponent of a view that was a powerful threat to Trinitarian thinking. The issue was "settled" in favor of the Trinity at the fourth century councils through a process of debate, negotiation and political intrigue.

For the foregoing reasons, it is impossible for me to see the Trinity or any other notion of Jesus as God as essential to being a Christian. I accept the Trinity as the most useful way of thinking about God and recognizing the exalted status of the Son, but without any confidence that it really tells us much of anything about the nature of the transcendent being we think we are describing. Certainly the Trinitarian notion of the Son as "eternally begotten" is virtually unintelligible - certainly less intelligible than the Arian position.

The essential, I continue to believe, is to recognize that forgiveness, atonement and salvation are offered to humanity through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Having read through your posts, I would not call them un-Christian in the slightest (not that this should give you any confidence, since my own posts are often viewed as un-Christian!).

I'm increasingly beginning to think there are two entirely different things:
1. Jesus and His teachings.
2. Christianity, which is a form of insanity.​
 
Joined
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Well, Randy, for what it's worth I certainly consider you a Christian brother and have no huge quibble with your understanding.

The verse you cited, 1 Corinthians 8:6 ("for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him"), does, I believe, reflect the predominant early Christian understanding. The Father was God and Jesus was His only begotten Son, the Lord of creation. While there are some verses that do seem to equate Jesus with God, in general the NT writers are very careful in distinguishing between God and Jesus the Lord.

While recognizing the uniqueness of Jesus, the early Christians did seem to struggle with exactly who He was. This struggle is reflected in the different NT verses, some of which seem to have been intended to address specific areas of dispute or confusion. If one insists on trying to harmonize all of the verses, an approach favored by many on these forums because "God is not the author of confusion," one is going to have to do some very fancy tap-dancing.

Did Jesus become the Son at His birth, His baptism, His resurrection or His ascension, or was He a preexisting heavenly being who was the Son before He incarnated (and did His begetting occur at a point in time after God already existed, at which point God became the Father)? The first four, as you probably know, are species of "adoptionism," a view that was held by some. Arius, who believed that the term "begotten" necessarily implied that there was a time when the Son did not exist, was not some wild and crazy heretic but the proponent of a view that was a powerful threat to Trinitarian thinking. The issue was "settled" in favor of the Trinity at the fourth century councils through a process of debate, negotiation and political intrigue.

For the foregoing reasons, it is impossible for me to see the Trinity or any other notion of Jesus as God as essential to being a Christian. I accept the Trinity as the most useful way of thinking about God and recognizing the exalted status of the Son, but without any confidence that it really tells us much of anything about the nature of the transcendent being we think we are describing. Certainly the Trinitarian notion of the Son as "eternally begotten" is virtually unintelligible - certainly less intelligible than the Arian position.

The essential, I continue to believe, is to recognize that forgiveness, atonement and salvation are offered to humanity through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Having read through your posts, I would not call them un-Christian in the slightest (not that this should give you any confidence, since my own posts are often viewed as un-Christian!).

I'm increasingly beginning to think there are two entirely different things:
1. Jesus and His teachings.
2. Christianity, which is a form of insanity.​
I think, "can anyone explain the trinity is a common outcry" ,the answer is no with the premise Jesus always was and always was God
In regard to 1corth 8:6 there is an distinction that is being made that isn't captured by orthodox trinity statements.
I have the Spirit of Christ in me so I know I belong to Jesus. I asked with great selfishness for that gift and like Jacob wasn't going to let go of the Lord until He blessed me. NOTE:I was baptized lutheran as an infant and while I always though the lord was around I never had the inward sign to my spirit until after I asked.
 
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Well, Randy, for what it's worth I certainly consider you a Christian brother and have no huge quibble with your understanding.

The verse you cited, 1 Corinthians 8:6 ("for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him"), does, I believe, reflect the predominant early Christian understanding. The Father was God and Jesus was His only begotten Son, the Lord of creation. While there are some verses that do seem to equate Jesus with God, in general the NT writers are very careful in distinguishing between God and Jesus the Lord.

While recognizing the uniqueness of Jesus, the early Christians did seem to struggle with exactly who He was. This struggle is reflected in the different NT verses, some of which seem to have been intended to address specific areas of dispute or confusion. If one insists on trying to harmonize all of the verses, an approach favored by many on these forums because "God is not the author of confusion," one is going to have to do some very fancy tap-dancing.

Did Jesus become the Son at His birth, His baptism, His resurrection or His ascension, or was He a preexisting heavenly being who was the Son before He incarnated (and did His begetting occur at a point in time after God already existed, at which point God became the Father)? The first four, as you probably know, are species of "adoptionism," a view that was held by some. Arius, who believed that the term "begotten" necessarily implied that there was a time when the Son did not exist, was not some wild and crazy heretic but the proponent of a view that was a powerful threat to Trinitarian thinking. The issue was "settled" in favor of the Trinity at the fourth century councils through a process of debate, negotiation and political intrigue.

For the foregoing reasons, it is impossible for me to see the Trinity or any other notion of Jesus as God as essential to being a Christian. I accept the Trinity as the most useful way of thinking about God and recognizing the exalted status of the Son, but without any confidence that it really tells us much of anything about the nature of the transcendent being we think we are describing. Certainly the Trinitarian notion of the Son as "eternally begotten" is virtually unintelligible - certainly less intelligible than the Arian position.

The essential, I continue to believe, is to recognize that forgiveness, atonement and salvation are offered to humanity through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Having read through your posts, I would not call them un-Christian in the slightest (not that this should give you any confidence, since my own posts are often viewed as un-Christian!).

I'm increasingly beginning to think there are two entirely different things:
1. Jesus and His teachings.
2. Christianity, which is a form of insanity.​
So what you're saying is that Christianity is just like every other religion.
Jesus does not necessarily have to be God.
And who knows if the resurrection ever took place.

Is this what you're saying?

Too tired, but two comments:

1. If Jesus is not God, there is not Christianity.
At least not the way we understand it and if we've been lied to for the last 2,000 years, I, for one, am of NO religion.

2. If Jesus was not God, I repeat, WHO was He?
Some maniac crazy person who thought He was?
Or are the Apostles lying to us?
IF they're lying to us about THAT, why would I believe them about ANYTHING??

Jesus does not leave us any room to believe He was a good teacher.
He was either God or He was crazy and there IS NO Christian religion.

3. Begotten DOES NOT mean, created or made or that Jesus did not exist at any given time.
It just means unique.

Jesus was born 2,000 yrs ago. He became the Son of God, the Son of Man.

As the Word of God, He ALWAYS existed.
Is it so difficult to make the distinction??

If God created Jesus, He could not be God.
God always was, nothing or no one created Him.

Who can understand God?
Job 38
 
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I think, "can anyone explain the trinity is a common outcry" ,the answer is no with the premise Jesus always was and always was God
In regard to 1corth 8:6 there is an distinction that is being made that isn't captured by orthodox trinity statements.
I have the Spirit of Christ in me so I know I belong to Jesus. I asked with great selfishness for that gift and like Jacob wasn't going to let go of the Lord until He blessed me. NOTE:I was baptized lutheran as an infant and while I always though the lord was around I never had the inward sign to my spirit until after I asked.
Of course.
Infants that are baptized must ACCEPT their baptism one day, if they want to.
It's not a miracle drug.
 
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God knew about his son from the beginning, the prophets knew, King David knew, all who heard about the Jewish Messiah knew.. But I don't think Jesus knew at first. IMO Jesus had to learn who he was, maybe not from to early age, I think he enjoyed a normal early childhood. He was born into a Jewish family but he began to notice maybe he was different as he learned the Torah, I don't believe he had any particular advantage as in his mother being sinless but she was a fine mother and Joseph was an honorable father . Jesus was sinless and that give him an unobstructed access to his Father God as he learned . I think he began to be aware it was him the prophets were talking about probably by the time he stayed behind at the temple his Fathers house . How great is that if true? He , God in the flesh came as a man to show us how to live and act perfect toward God and man, he did it all through learning, praying, hearing and doing .. Then he fulfilled all things, all alone at times then he even willingly died to his Father, a perfect lamb for our sake to associate with us when his Father was probably ready to condemn us all to hell for our crime , then he even resurrected to prove to us life after death. I'm telling you we serve a mighty good God in our Lord Jesus
 
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So what you're saying is that Christianity is just like every other religion.
Jesus does not necessarily have to be God.
And who knows if the resurrection ever took place.

Is this what you're saying?

Too tired, but two comments:

1. If Jesus is not God, there is not Christianity.
At least not the way we understand it and if we've been lied to for the last 2,000 years, I, for one, am of NO religion.

2. If Jesus was not God, I repeat, WHO was He?
Some maniac crazy person who thought He was?
Or are the Apostles lying to us?
IF they're lying to us about THAT, why would I believe them about ANYTHING??

Jesus does not leave us any room to believe He was a good teacher.
He was either God or He was crazy and there IS NO Christian religion.

3. Begotten DOES NOT mean, created or made or that Jesus did not exist at any given time.
It just means unique.

Jesus was born 2,000 yrs ago. He became the Son of God, the Son of Man.

As the Word of God, He ALWAYS existed.
Is it so difficult to make the distinction??

If God created Jesus, He could not be God.
God always was, nothing or no one created Him.

Who can understand God?
Job 38
YOU ask who Jesus was:Gods firstborn before the world began and after His birth into this world the Christ the Son of the living God was Peters testimony that Jesus stated Peter learn from His Father not man.

It was the Father living in the Son doing His work. The word Of the Father. (God). Hebrew 1:1 in these last days God spoke to us by His son. So I guess the Fathers words do lead to eternal life and are not the sign of a crazy man.

I believe Jesus can save(give life)=>For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

Since I state the Son that was, His Spirit, was in the tent of the body God prepared for Him I don't hold that Jesus's Spirit was begotten at that time only the body in the virgin Mary. "today I have begotten you"

But I do hold Jesus has always been the Son. Gods Firstborn - a beginning but no end.
 
R

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So what you're saying is that Christianity is just like every other religion.
Jesus does not necessarily have to be God.
And who knows if the resurrection ever took place.

Is this what you're saying?

Too tired, but two comments:

1. If Jesus is not God, there is not Christianity.
At least not the way we understand it and if we've been lied to for the last 2,000 years, I, for one, am of NO religion.

2. If Jesus was not God, I repeat, WHO was He?
Some maniac crazy person who thought He was?
Or are the Apostles lying to us?
IF they're lying to us about THAT, why would I believe them about ANYTHING??

Jesus does not leave us any room to believe He was a good teacher.
He was either God or He was crazy and there IS NO Christian religion.

3. Begotten DOES NOT mean, created or made or that Jesus did not exist at any given time.
It just means unique.

Jesus was born 2,000 yrs ago. He became the Son of God, the Son of Man.

As the Word of God, He ALWAYS existed.
Is it so difficult to make the distinction??

If God created Jesus, He could not be God.
God always was, nothing or no one created Him.

Who can understand God?
Job 38
I think perhaps you are tired.

Why is it required for Jesus to be God in order for Him to be God's Son and God's chosen means of salvation? To my mind, it is "required" only because someone decided the Trinity would be the creedal doctrine, and this has become so entrenched that it is now viewed as what one must believe even though the early Christians did not and the Bible does not compel such a doctrine. As a Trinitarian, I accept the doctrine as true (at least to the degree I've described) but cannot see how it can possibly be understood as essential.

If one believes that Jesus is God's only Son and God's chosen means of salvation, how does this make Christianity like every other religion? It does not. No other religion purports to offer salvation through God's only Son.

When you state, "If Jesus was not God, I repeat, WHO was He? Some maniac crazy person who thought He was?" - this is just silly. You are either very, very tired or much, much denser than I believe you are. You have participated in this thread from the outset and know perfectly well what I am saying. I find your latest post nothing short of bizarre.

I'm not sure what Randy believes at this point, but certainly the Bible can be read - and the early Christians did read it - as teaching that Jesus is God's only begotten Son who existed before the creation of all else and who incarnated as God's means of salvation for humanity - but not, Himself, God. Only God is God. God is the "Father" because Jesus is the Son. Such a non-Trinitarian view still recognizes the unique and exalted status of Jesus. The adoptionist views are somewhat less exalted in their Christology, but in no way do they reduce Jesus to a "maniac" or "just a good teacher." Like C.S. Lewis, who is now regarded as a far less profound Christian thinker than he used to be, you are setting up a false dilemma.

"Begotten" does not mean "unique." "Only" means "unique." "Eternally begotten" is an oxymoron, an unintelligible grammatical construction. It is the best Trinitarians can do, but pondering the meaning of "eternally begotten" will do nothing but give you a headache.

I do believe that a belief in the resurrection is a Christian essential. It is the stamp of authenticity, the proof that Jesus was not delusional or just a good teacher. But a belief in the resurrection does not mandate a belief in the Trinity or require the conclusion that Jesus is God.
 
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Just for the record I hold to a bodily resurrection of Jesus.
To me Jesus willed it so at the Fathers command and the Spirit of God raised Him from the dead so that the statements Jesus laid down His life and took it up at the command of the Father and God raised Jesus from the dead are both true. For the Spirit is the Spirit of our heavenly Father. Not a separate diety or person and Gods own Spirit would be divine. But the resurrection was proof to mankind of the testimony of Jesus. Jesus never dies. (his spirit) Don't you believe as Peter wrote alive in the spirit he went and preached to the spirits in prison?That was prior to the resurrection of the body.

1 peter 3
For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19After being made alive,d he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—
 
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I have to log off.
But JESUS died
NOT the SON, the second person of the Trinity.

You either have to accept the Trinity to understand the N.T. well,
or you have to believe Jesus is not God.

If He's not God, WHO is He??
Well His Spirit didn't die. Isn't that Jesus's being? "Father in your hands I commit my spirit"
 
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Jesus death was both physical and spiritual ''spiritual meaning separated from God his Father not ceasing to exist'' . An interesting side note you all probably know but I saw somewhere when Jesus died and the veil was torn was the exact time the high priest was to sacrifice the Passover lamb for Passover . The traditional lamb escaped as Jesus become the lamb of God.. Feel free to correct me anytime, I'd rather be right than proud.
 
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Jesus death was both physical and spiritual ''spiritual meaning separated from God his Father not ceasing to exist'' . An interesting side note you all probably know but I saw somewhere when Jesus died and the veil was torn was the exact time the high priest was to sacrifice the Passover lamb for Passover . The traditional lamb escaped as Jesus become the lamb of God.. Feel free to correct me anytime, I'd rather be right than proud.
I read put to death in the body or flesh but made alive in the spirit. There are those that believe dead is dead. I don't believe the Father ever left the Son from His beginning at some point in history before the world began.
 
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I think perhaps you are tired.

Why is it required for Jesus to be God in order for Him to be God's Son and God's chosen means of salvation? To my mind, it is "required" only because someone decided the Trinity would be the creedal doctrine, and this has become so entrenched that it is now viewed as what one must believe even though the early Christians did not and the Bible does not compel such a doctrine. As a Trinitarian, I accept the doctrine as true (at least to the degree I've described) but cannot see how it can possibly be understood as essential.

If one believes that Jesus is God's only Son and God's chosen means of salvation, how does this make Christianity like every other religion? It does not. No other religion purports to offer salvation through God's only Son.

When you state, "If Jesus was not God, I repeat, WHO was He? Some maniac crazy person who thought He was?" - this is just silly. You are either very, very tired or much, much denser than I believe you are. You have participated in this thread from the outset and know perfectly well what I am saying. I find your latest post nothing short of bizarre.

I'm not sure what Randy believes at this point, but certainly the Bible can be read - and the early Christians did read it - as teaching that Jesus is God's only begotten Son who existed before the creation of all else and who incarnated as God's means of salvation for humanity - but not, Himself, God. Only God is God. God is the "Father" because Jesus is the Son. Such a non-Trinitarian view still recognizes the unique and exalted status of Jesus. The adoptionist views are somewhat less exalted in their Christology, but in no way do they reduce Jesus to a "maniac" or "just a good teacher." Like C.S. Lewis, who is now regarded as a far less profound Christian thinker than he used to be, you are setting up a false dilemma.

"Begotten" does not mean "unique." "Only" means "unique." "Eternally begotten" is an oxymoron, an unintelligible grammatical construction. It is the best Trinitarians can do, but pondering the meaning of "eternally begotten" will do nothing but give you a headache.

I do believe that a belief in the resurrection is a Christian essential. It is the stamp of authenticity, the proof that Jesus was not delusional or just a good teacher. But a belief in the resurrection does not mandate a belief in the Trinity or require the conclusion that Jesus is God.
Hi Runner,
The Trinity took time to develop, but Jesus was always thought of as being God.
We cannot get to this conclusion using only the bible, but the writings from the early Christian theologians who were taught by the Apostles - the second generation of believers who had contact with the first generation, or, the Apostles themselves.

If we look at the book of Galatians, we see the Paul was telling Jews that wanted to turn back to the Law, or Judaism, that they were making a mistake.
We can understand from this that many Jews of the time were afraid to become Christian because they had been raised and were ingrained with the teaching that there is only one God, and the first commandment states this and it was the most important one. The Sanhedrin killed Jesus because He claimed to be God,,,so important was this teaching that there is only one God.
Deuteronomy 4:6

I feel it's a very important fact that so many Jews became believers in Jesus. To me, this means that if they were to worship Jesus, they must have believed He was God.

I do want to say that I don't believe one has to understand the Trinity to be Christian. But they do have to believe that there is, in this trinity, only one God.
And they do have to believe that Jesus is God.

As I've said before, if He wasn't, then we cannot trust the Apostles.

I'm going to post some writings of the early church doctors, who were taught by the Apostles, John, for sure being one of them. Ignatius of Antioch studied with him.

If these men believed Jesus to be God, who am I to doubt it??

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PART 1 of three
 
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PART TWO of three

IGNATIUS (30 - 107? A.D.)

Ignatius was appointed as Overseer or Bishop of Antioch in 69 A.D. He was a Christian during most of the Apostle John's lifetime and one of John's disciples. It was probably the Apostle John who appointed Ignatius as Overseer of Antioch.

It has been proven that the longer versions of Ignatius' writings have been tampered with, therefore these excerpts are taken from his shorter versions which have been proven authentic.

WHAT IGNATIUS SAID ABOUT JESUS CHRIST

LETTER TO THE EPHESIANS

"The source of unity and election is genuine suffering which you undergo by the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ, our God .....You are imitators of God; and it was God's blood that stirred you up once more....I received your large congregation in the person of Onesimus, your bishop in this world..." (Possibly the Onesimus Paul wrote about in the book of Philemon).

"There is only one Physician: He who in the flesh and Spirit alike, begotten and unbegotten, is God come in the flesh. He who in death is true life, who sprang from Mary and from God, who first suffered and then did not suffer pain anymore, Jesus Christ our Lord ......."

Our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived of Mary of the seed of David and yet of the Holy Spirit according to God's plan of salvation.....God was revealing Himself in human form to bring newness of eternal life."

LETTER TO THE ROMANS

"with the love of Jesus Christ our God.......abundant greetings in blamelessness in Jesus Christ our God.......Our God Jesus Christ, indeed, has revealed himself more clearly by returning to the Father....Pray to Christ for me that through these means I may be found a sacrifice to God ....let me be an imitator of the sufferings of my God. If anyone has him within himself, he must understand what I want......

My love has been crucified. That fire which burns for earthly things is not in me. There is, however, living water speaking in me and saying within me, 'God up there, go to the Father !'."

LETTER TO THE SMYRNAEANS

"I extol Jesus Christ, the God who has granted you such wisdom......For He suffered all this so that we might be saved and he truly suffered just as he truly raised himself......

For I know and am confident that even after the resurrection he was in the flesh.....And after the resurrection he ate and drank with them as a being of flesh though he was spiritually united with the father.......

How does anyone help me if he praises me but blasphemes my Lord and does not acknowledge that he is clothed in flesh.

I bid you farewell as always in our God, Jesus Christ. May you abide in him and so share in the divine unity and be under God's care....."

LETTER TO POLYCARP

"Wait for him who is above a moment of time - Eternal; Invisible, for our sakes visible; Intangible; impassable, for our sake passable - him who in every way endured on our behalf.....I bid you farewell always in our God Jesus Christ...."

Without doubt, Ignatius, a man who was taught directly by the apostles, believed that Jesus Christ was God! This was 200 years before the Nicene Council!