Chapter 4: The Nature of Christ Before He Became Man

In this chapter we will examine the nature of Jesus Christ before He came to earth as man. We will show that He was God – fully God.

Before we do that we need to understand what makes God divine. We also need to understand the difference between a being that is fully God and a being that is God in identity but not God in capability.

The attribute that makes God divine is that He is not created. He must have no beginning and no end. He must always exist. This is because a created being, by definition, comes into existence through the act of another being. This creator is God to that which He created, and to anything that His creation creates. If God were created then His creator would be God, not the being that was created.

By this definition, any being that is not created is God. Other properties of the being (like omniscience, omnipotence, and other infinite properties, may exist and change but they are not essential for divinity). They provide the fullness aspect. That is, for a being to be fully God the being must have infinite values for any attribute that a human has in finite amounts. That is, if a man sees, God sees infinitely; if a man has power, God has infinite power; if a man has intelligence or understanding, God has these in infinite amounts; if a man can be good, God can be infinitely good, and so on.

So what about Jesus? Was he divine before He became man? Was He fully God?

My answers to both these questions are, "Yes." Let’s look at Scripture to affirm that.

Jn 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

In Jn 1:1 John clearly states that the Word (who, based on the rest of the chapter (Jn 1:17 for example), we know refers to Jesus) was God.

Note that John says that the Word was there in the beginning, indicating that He was not created, showing that by definition, He was God – because as we just said, God (by definition) is not created. In fact, that is why, in verse 3, John elaborates that He was the Creator.

John repeats the creation bit in verse 10.

Jn 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

Next, in 1 Cor 8:6, in saying that ‘we exist through Him’ Paul also affirms that Jesus was the Creator.

1 Cor 8:6 yet 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.

Paul tells the Colossians the same thing in Col 1:15-17.

Col 1:15-17 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Some people misunderstand Paul when he calls Jesus the firstborn of all creation. But Paul explains what he means by that phrase in the next verse (notice the ‘for’ in the next verse) – that Jesus was the creator of all things. The word ‘firstborn’ means ‘creator’; it doesn’t mean Jesus was the first thing to be created.

Heb 1:2 echoes the same thought.

Heb 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

So we see that Paul and John and the writer to the Hebrews, all professed that Jesus was the creator of all things, thus making Him God.

Jesus Himself acknowledged His deity in Jn 8:58.

Jn 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."

The Jews understood what Jesus was saying and thought He was blaspheming. That is why the next verse tells us that they picked up stones to throw at Him. In fact, they already got a dose of such teaching in Jn 5:18.

Jn 5:18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

So we see that Scripture very clearly teaches that Jesus was God.

Now for you scientific buffs who are reading this, there is a scientific way to also show that Jesus was God. It is based on the theory of General Relativity – a theory that has been tested more carefully than any other theory, and has passed every such test. Let me explain.

As I said earlier, what makes God God is that God is the creator of all things.

Consider Jn 1:3.

Jn 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Jn 1:3 tells us that it was through Jesus that all things were made. So He was co-creator of all things.

In particular, God created the universe through Christ.

So one can ask, did the Father create Jesus? I submit that that is impossible. Let me explain why.

Now we know, from Einstein’s General Relativity that matter, energy, space and time – all of these – came into being when the universe began.

In particular, time did not exist before the creation of the universe. So time was created through Christ.

Since time was created through Jesus, therefore Jesus must transcend time. This implies that Jesus was never created. And therefore, Jesus must be God.

This is because the concept of creation is only meaningful in the context of time. That is, if there is no time there is no creation. When something is created it is created at a certain time. If time is not defined then creation cannot happen.

I’ve not said too much here about Jesus being fully God, but that becomes clear in the next chapter where we examine verses like Phil 2:5-6 and Jn 17:5 and Col 1:19 in detail. Those verses point to the pre-existence of a fullness that was emptied when Christ became man, thereby indicating that before Jesus became man the fullness of deity dwelt in Him.

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