But who did Peter really think Jesus was? Did Peter think Jesus was to be identified as "God," or did Peter really think that Jesus was simply to be identified as the son of that God? We must ask ourselves these questions. Since Peter made this confession before Jesus died on the cross, we must ask ourselves also whether anything changed when Jesus rose from the dead. Messiah and Son Peter first declared that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. There have been some men in history who have insisted that Jesus became the Christ when he was baptized at the Jordan. These people are usually called "adoptionists" because they are saying that God adopted Jesus as his Son at that time. This claim is not without Scriptural support. There is a certain terminology used in the Bible that has led those men to these conclusions. The words "Messiah" and "Christ" mean "Anointed One." In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells us that he was "anointed" by YHWH his God at the Jordan river. The word used here is chrio, a cognate of the word christos, "Christ," "Anointed One." Essentially, Luke says that Jesus was "christened" at the Jordan. The words used here indicate that one is "anointed" by the Holy Spirit. Now it came to pass, all the people having been baptized, and Jesus having been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." (Luke 3:21-22). John testified saying, "I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon him. "I did not recognize him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, `He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.' "I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God. (John 1:32-34). The Spirit of the Lord YHWH is upon me, because YHWH has anointed me. (Isaiah 61:1). The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because He has anointed me (chrio). (Luke 4:18; see Matthew 12:18). For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your Holy Servant-son Jesus, whom You anointed (chrio). (Acts 4:27). You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed (chrio) him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. (Acts 10:38). You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, your God, has anointed (chrio) you with the oil of gladness above your peers. (Hebrews 1:9). Those who are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:14). As the Father sent me, I also send you... Receive the Holy Spirit." (John 20:21-22). Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed (chrio) us is God. (2 Corinthians 1:21). But you have an anointing (chrisma) from the Holy One. (1 John 2:20). The anointing (chrisma) which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing (chrisma) teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (1 John 2:27). We can see here that believers are also "anointed" by God by receiving the Holy Spirit. Indeed, this is why they are called "Christ-ians." Jesus taught his disciples to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit from on high (Luke 24:47-49; Acts 1:8). Just as Jesus was sent by the Father, the disciples of Jesus are sent by him through the same anointing of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, Paul tells us that those who are led by this Spirit are sons of God. On the day of Pentecost, Peter tells the Jewish onlookers that Jesus of Nazareth had "received" the Holy Spirit from the Father and therefore God the Father had made him both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:33,36). Peter is not talking about Jesus receiving the Spirit in the same way he received the Spirit at the Jordan. He is referring to the fact Jesus is now bodily one with the Spirit in his resurrection glory. The Hebrews quotation refers to the same idea. Jesus was anointed in his resurrection in the sense of being consumed by the Spirit of God into glory such that he is now "life-giving Spirit" in the flesh of his divinized risen humanity. And Paul, referring to Jesus' resurrection quotes the Psalm, "Today I have begotten you," indicating Jesus was begotten a son upon his resurrection. Paul also makes a similar statement at Romans 1:4 and the Hebrews writer is referring to the same idea at Hebrews 1:5. So now we turn to our question at hand. The above passages can create a lot of confusion as to when Jesus was Messiah and the Son of God. Is it right to say Jesus became the Christ and the Son of God at the Jordan? Or perhaps even when he rose from the dead? If we look at the data above it appears that Jesus even became a Son upon his resurrection much less his baptism and even moreso, his birth. So how are we to understand all these things? We have already seen that Peter confessed Jesus to be the Messiah and Son of God before he rose from the dead and Jesus' response to Simon indicates Peter made a good confession. But was Jesus the Christ and Son of God before his baptism? The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35). Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11). And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. (Luke 2:26). So the answer to that question is settled, at least partly. We must still return to the question why Peter said at Pentecost that God had made him Lord and Christ upon his resurrection and why Paul indicated that God had begotten Jesus as a son upon his resurrection. The answer to the question is really quite simple. We simply need to ask who he was, what he did, and what he was. It is these three things which solve our problem. Jesus was the Son of God and Christ in "who" he was in his birth. This person, this soul, was the Son of God and the Christ. Jesus became the Son of God and Christ at his baptism in function, that is, it was at the Jordan that he began to function according to the divine purpose for which he was sent. Here Jesus began to function as the Son of God and the Christ in spirit. And lastly, Jesus became the Son of God and Christ in "what" he was in his resurrection. He became life-giving Spirit, that is, his fleshly body became divinized with the power of the Spirit. Another way to explain this is to say Jesus of Nazareth was a divine identity, the Son of God, and the Christ. This identity, this soul, this person, was the divine Son of God and the Christ. But this person was not always human. Although, the person was the Son of God and Christ by identity, the man Jesus became anointed and thus became the Son of God and Christ at the Jordan. In other words, the man Jesus was the Christ and the Son of God when he was born, but, the man Jesus had not always been a man and a time had to come when this humanity began to function according to his identity. The divine purpose of Christ has always been to die on Calvary. However this took place through time through a series of events, including the role of Israel under the Law. So Jesus had to be born a Jew under that Law and begin his ministry in human form in that realm. Having been baptized as a man at the Jordan, he now began to fulfill his role as Son of God and the Christ. And when he rose from the dead, the man Jesus who had been the Christ and the Son of God by identity at his birth, and then the Christ and the Son of God inthe function of his ministry, had now became the Christ and the Son of God in his humanity in what he was in form of substance. In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:7-10). When Jesus was Son of God and Christ Before Baptism After Baptism After Resurrection Who How What Christ by identity Christ in human function Christ in human substance Luke 1:35; 2:11, 26 Luke 4:18; 2:22; 4:27; 10:38 Acts 2:33,36; 13:33; Romans 1:4; Hebrews 1:9 Jesus identity was not subject to his nature. He had to subject his human nature to his identity. He began doing this at the Jordan and when he rose from the dead his human nature was made complete in that his human nature had become divinized in the Spirit and he had become the Son of God and the Christ in what he was. Jesus was indeed adopted as the Son of God and Christ at his baptism and his resurrection. However, this is not true as pertains to his identity. It is only true as pertains to his humanity. Jesus had been the Christ and the Son of God all along and now we can begin to see why Peter's confession was so great. Now another question must be asked. Was Jesus a person and the Son of God and Messiah before he was born in Bethelehem? The Bible also seems to answer this question rather clearly. No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. (John 3:13). He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; he who comes from heaven is above all. (John 3:31). Jesus said to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. (John 8:23). However, these passages are far more problematic than it first appears. Jesus often teaches in the gospel of John that his words are not his own but him who sent him. And the terminology of "descending" is very suggestive in John and seems to be an allusion to the Spirit descending upon Jesus in his baptism. Because of this problem we cannot conclude these verses are indicating Jesus was pre-existent person much less the Son of God and Christ prior to his human birth. However, there is another stream of passages which do answer the question for us. God sent his Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin. (Romans 8:3). For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:16). By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10). But when the fullness of the time came, God sent our His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the sonship. (Galatians 4:4-5). For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9). Let this mind be in you which [was] also in Christ Jesus, who, subsisting in the form of God, did not seize upon esteeming existence the same as God, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant becoming in the likeness of men, and being found as a man he humbled himself. (Php 2:5-7). The word "world" translates the Greek word kosmos which essentially means God's "creation." These passages seem to strongly indicate God sent his Son into the world. But again, it is not so clear. It does not necessarily follow that Jesus was a Son when he was sent. However, Philippians 2:5-7 strongly indicates that Jesus was a person who made a conscientious choice to humble himself and become a human being. Here we find that Jesus was a person before he was incarnated which strongly suggests that God in sending his Son was sending His Son who as also then a Son. Some have suggested Jesus became a son at his birth due to the following passage in Hebrews. If Jesus had been a Son in the days of the prophets, it is then claimed that God would have spoken to us through a Son at that time as well as at this time. God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son. (Hebrews 1:1-2). As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. (1 Peter 1:11). However, as we see, the prophets did indeed speak through the Spirit of Christ. Also, David spoke in the voice of Christ in the Psalms. The passage in Hebrews refers to the risen Christ's sonship. We need only to look ahead five verses to see the words, "Today I have begotten you" to understand the meaning of the words "in these last days He has spoken to us in a son." The Word of God The Bible identifies the Son of God as the Word of God. John tells us, "the Word became flesh and dweling among us." In addition to identifying Jesus as God's Word, John also refers to Jesus as God's "only-begotten Son." But when did God beget Jesus? In the opening words of the Gospel of John, we do not find the Word identified in personal terms. The Greek actually says, "this was in the beginning with God." And the capitalization of the word "Word" suggests to the reader John is talking about a person. But John used no such capitalization convention. So we need to ask ourselves why John referred to Jesus as "the Word." In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was deity. This was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through this, and apart from this nothing came into being that has come into being. (John 1:1-3). By the word of YHWH the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. (Psalm 33:6). The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God. (Revelation 3:14). He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (Revelation 19:13). God created by his word. He uttererd, begat, his Word out of himself. Jesus is the beginning of the creation of God. This does not mean Jesus is the first thing created. It means Jesus is the place where creation began, God's Word, the Alpha and Omega of creation. Revelation 3:14 is not saying Jesus had a beginning but was the beginning. He is the place where creation originated, the place where creation has its beginning. The Firstborn of all creation Paul says that the Son of God is the "firstborn of all creation," that is, "the first begotten of all creation." He also says all things were created through him (Col 1:15-16). Here Paul is referring to the "begetting" of the Son, God's only "begotten" Son. But does this mean the Son was begotten and had a beginning in time as the first created thing? Does it then mean that the Son was created? No, it does not. Christians too are begotten of God, born again. It does not mean that they did not previously have an existence. Christ was begotten out of the heart of the Father. When God begat his word, this was the beginning of creation, not the beginning of his word. Jesus is also the firstborn of the dead, the firstborn of the new heavens and earth. It does not mean he did not previously exist, not does it means he was created out of nothing when he rose from the dead. It does however mean he became a new creation. And it means the same thing here in Colossians 1:15. The Son did previously exist in the heart of the God as God's Word (John 1:18). However, when the Word was begotten out of God's heart, the Word became a new creation, not as having come into existence, but as having come into a new kind of existence, a Son. Before God uttered his Word of creation he was not a Father. He became a Father at the point he uttered the Word. It was here the Son began to exist and God became a Father by virtue of His having a Son. This also does not mean there was a time the Son was not. Creation is itself time and space by definition. Time is the measurement of things in motion. God created the ages through His Word (Heb 1:2-3). The point of Christ's birth is the beginning of creation. Christ was not created out of nothing but begotten out of the heart of God and creation came to be at the point the Word became a Son. However, this is not a point in a time continuum but the beginning of the time continuum. The Light of the World Genesis 1:3 is where we find the begetting of the Son of God. God did not create light out of nothing because God is light and dwells in inapproachable light. Nor is the light of Genesis 1:3 ordinary light such as the light of the sun. God did not create the sun and the other luminaries until fourth day. This light was a different light, Christ. Jesus is the "light of the cosmos." John alludes to this light in the opening words of his gospel. Jesus was that light. He himself proclaims, "I am the light of the cosmos." This light was the firstborn of all creation. This light did not suddenly appear from nothing as if God were waving a magic wand. It came forth out of God himself who is light. The Light of God is Christ that God sent forth out of himself and creation was made in the face of Christ, the Light of God. As such, this was not an event in time. It was the beginning of time, ground zero of creation. For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6). All things came into being through [the Word], and apart from [the Word] nothing came into being that has come into being.... The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it... There was the true Light coming into the world. (John 1:3,5,9). I am the Light of the World. (John 8:12; cf. 9:5; 12:46). The darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining. (1 John 2:8). Jesus is the Love of God God is love. John tells us Jesus is the love of God. God's logos, his word, his reason, his rational principle, his expression, is love. This love is Jesus and Jesus is this love. This is why Jesus, the Word become flesh, was presently unto the bosom of the Father. God's love is always the same love that resides in His own heart. God's Word is God's Logos, His outer expression of his inner reason. God's reason is love. Love is God's raison d'etre and love's raison d'etre is God. Nothing can separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:38). In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God. You do not have His Word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the Love of God in you. I have come in the name of my Father, and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the only God. (John 5:38-44). For God so Loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16). Whoever keeps His Word, in him the Love of God has truly been perfected. (1 John 2:5). Beloved, let us love one another, for Love is out of God, and everyone who loves is begotten of God and knows God. The one who does not Love does not know God, for God is Love. In this the Love of God was manifested among us, that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is Love, not that we loved God, but that He Loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so Loved us, we also ought to Love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we Love one another, God abides in us, and His Love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. (1 John 4:7-15). John is telling us more than God loved us in the act of sending his Son. God is love and His Word, His Logos, His expression is love. God's Word to us is His Love to us. God's Word is God's Love. John is telling us that God sent his own Love and the Son is the manifestation of that Love, not simply in what he did, but in what he was. John tells us this is how we can test the spirits. Those people who love one another have the love of God in them, that is, they have the Son of God in them. If one is not loving his brother, he cannot have the Christ in him because Christ is God's love. Therefore, that person cannot be begotten of God because God begets by love and his love is Christ. The Conception and the Birth of Jesus Before Jesus went to the cross, he prayed to be glorified with the glory he had with the Father before the foundation of the world (John 17:5, 24). Christians often tend to imagine Jesus shed his heavenly glory and coming down out of heaven to be born in a manger at that point. But this is not so. Jesus is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). Grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the times of the ages (2 Tim 1:8-9). Peter tells us that Jesus was foreknown before the foundation of the world, not simply before he was born in a manger (1 Peter 1:20). Because of this, Christians become chosen in Him who was chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4) and are chosen according to this foreknowledge God has with His Son (1 Peter 1:1-2). Jesus prays to be glorified with the glory the had before creation, not the glory he had before he was born in a manger. It was at Genesis 1:3 that God sent out his Word, his Son. It was then that Christ emptied himself of his glory (Php 2:6). The picture we have at Genesis 1:1-2 is a tomb picture. It is a picture of darkness before light. It is a picture of Mary, the bitter sea, before she was overshadowed by the Spirit of God and conceived the Christ. It is a picture of the tomb before the light of dawn, the day of resurreciton, the day of the Lord, the first Day. Was Jesus a person before his incarnation? It might be asked, "is a baby a person in his mother's womb before the baby is born?" Even further, is a baby a person when a man first loves a woman? Is this love a child in their hearts? Or does it become a child when they fleshly conceive? Your answer will be the same for Jesus. As far as God is concerned, His Son was born three days after Jesus died on Calvary, "Today, I have begotten you." Prior to this time, Jesus was the love of God's heart and God's seed, his Word was in creation, the conception of his Son. Jesus is referred to as the seed of God. The word of God is the seed of God. God had conceived Jesus in his creation long before the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary. God was loving creation with his child, the Christ, His own love. The Spirit took the seed of God, His love, and placed this love, this light of creation, into the womb of Mary so that God's love would become itself a human being. Just as the love between a man and a woman becomes manifested in a Son, so also the love of God for his creation was manifested in the birth of a Son. This birth took place when Jesus rose from the dead. It was here that Jesus was born out of the womb of earth and into the face of God. It is the greatest cosmic event which has ever occurred. It is here, Scripture says, that God exclaimed, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you." God's Word did not return void but full of grace and truth and in the fullness of the glory of the Holy Spirit. Was Jesus the Son of God and Messiah before he was born in Bethlehem? Yes, he was the Lamb slain at the foundation of the world. He was the Son foreknown at the foundation of the world, that is, he was known by God before at the beginning of time and space, at creation. The Life of Men John tells us the Word of God was in the world but the world had not known him. Jesus, the Word of God, was the light and life of men. He was the reason in every man. Without God, there is no such thing as life and Jesus is the life out of God to us. He is the love that makes the world go round. He is the soul of creation. Who do you say that I am? Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. He is the Word of God begotten at Genesis 1:3, the light out of God himself who is light. He is the Love of God who is love and God's Logos is Love, His reason, His expression, is Love. Jesus is the Word of creation, the Alpha and Omega of creation, the beginning of the creation of God, the place where creation began and the place where this creation will end when he returns in the glory of his Father who raised him from the dead in that glory. Jesus is the Love and Reason in a man in creation. In this way, he is the light and life of all men. This Word well reflected in the people of Israel God's suffering servant, became flesh and God's love tabernacled among humanity. By identity, this was the Word of God, God's Son being conceived in the womb of His cosmos, earth. A child must die to his mother to gain life in the world. In the same way, Jesus died to this world to gain life in heaven. He was born and so became heir of creation, the flesh of his mother, the dying cosmos the cosmic Rachel. -->
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