January 12, 2005
PLAINER WORDS . . . WHO IS GOD OUR SAVIOR?
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3). KJV
When these verses are read, there is only one conclusion that is possible. The One set forth in Isaiah as the Creator is the One set forth in John 1:1-3.
Not only that, but the Lord declared in Isaiah; “there is no Savior beside Me.” Therefore, it would be correct to say that there is One and Only God/Savior.
John 1:14 identifies the “Word” in verses 1-3; “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” “Became flesh” means the Word took on a new form of being—that of the Man Jesus Christ. The NIV words it:
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” NIV
This informs us that The Infinite One is God, the Word; the great Creator Who became a Man in this world. He became an Israelite in Palestine and was such for thirty-three years. This is our Lord Jesus Christ; He is our Savior; He is our God.
Admittedly, the truth regarding Deity is very complex (1 Tim. 3:16). The natural mind cannot comprehend it.
“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:13-14) NIV
As John 1:18 is considered, it must be emphasized that “the words taught by the Spirit” teach “spiritual truths in spiritual words.” Or, as the Psalmist has said; “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Ps. 12:6) KJV. The Lord has taken the words of man and purified them seven times, just like silver is separated from the dross in a furnace of clay.
“No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known” (John 1:18) NIV
The Greek “spiritual words” used in John 1:18 do not have the word “Son” in it at all. The word “Son” is “Huios” and it is absent in the Greek text. Instead, the word “Theos” is used which, being translated is the word “God.” “Monogenes Theos” are the two spiritual words used to teach the spiritual truth that no-one has ever seen God but God the One and Only, Who is Jesus Christ.
John 1:14 and 18 are sufficient, manifest truths to establish the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Since God has spoken, as believers, we are to believe the revelation He has given us on this matter. We should not let go of this Truth because we cannot answer all questions concerning it.
GOD OUR SAVIOR AND JESUS CHRIST
In our consideration of similar expressions, as above, the word “and” needs to be understood in light of its’ context.
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Tim. 1:1-2) KJV.
“And” is the word “kai,” and according to Strong’s Concordance NT:2532, it is translated in the KJV as “and, also, both, but, even, for, if, or, so, that, then, therefore, when, yet.”
The “and” is not used in the sense that the two Names are two different Persons. In the Appendix No. 6 in the Companion Bible, the use of “and” can be a figure of speech; a “Hendiadys:” two for one. Two words used, one thing meant.
Thayer, in his Greek Lexicon, states that kai (NT 2532 for “and”); “It annexes epexegetically both words and sentences so that it is equivalent to indeed, namely.” In plainer words, the second name Paul used, “Lord Jesus Christ,” explains the first, “God our Saviour.”
“God our Savior, namely Lord Jesus Christ” (vs. 1).
“God our Father, namely Jesus Christ our Lord” (vs. 2).
In the book, “Figures of Speech Used in the Bible” by E. W. Bullinger, he states that the “and” employed as a Hendiadys is where two words are used, but only one thing, or idea is intended. “One of the two words expresses the thing, and the other intensifies it by being changed (if a noun) into an adjective of the superlative degree, which is, by this means, made especially emphatic.” Bullinger, also, said that the figure, Hendiadys, is one of the most important figures used in the Bible. “The figure is truly oriental, and exceedingly picturesque.”
The “Hendiadys always raises the qualifying word to the superlative degree.” He gives an example in Ephesians 5:5; “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and (kai) of God” KJV.
The “kingdom of Christ” and the “kingdom of God” are not two kingdoms, but one. That is, the “kingdom of Christ, yes—of Christ Who is truly God.” Bullinger said that is the way the “Hendiadys” should be understood.
With this in mind, another look at 1 Timothy 1:1-2 should be understood as:
“God our Saviour, yes—Jesus Christ” (vs. 1)
“Yes—Jesus Christ” is to be considered a superlative adjective that modifies “God our Saviour.”
“God our Father, yes─ Jesus Christ our Lord” (vs. 2)
Paul’s short epistle to Titus clearly cements the fact that Jesus Christ is God our Savior.
“But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and (kia) the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Titus 1:3-4) KJV
If the figure, Hendiadys, is not recognized, there are two Saviors in these two passages: God our Savior, and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. By recognizing the figure, we should understand the Spirit is teaching with spiritual words and saying: “from God the Father, yes—the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.”
Titus 2:13 is a very interesting and blessed passage. Here, we find two Hendiadys.
“Looking for that blessed hope, and (kia) the glorious appearing of the great God and (kia) our Saviour Jesus Christ;” KJV.
Paul is not stating that we are looking for two hopes, that is to say; (1) the blessed hope, and (2) the glorious appearing. The Apostle clearly pointed out in Ephesians 4:4 that, for us, there is but “one hope.”
Neither was Paul suggesting that we were to be looking for two Persons; (1) the great God, and (2) our Savior Jesus Christ. The conjunction “kia” is employed twice in the verse and should be understood as Hendiadys. Therefore, our understanding should be:
“Looking for that blessed hope, yes—the glorious appearing of the great God, yes—our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Now, this brings us to 2 Timothy 4:1 in which, again, two Hendiadys are employed.
“I charge thee therefore before God, and (kia) the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and (kia) his kingdom;” KJV.
Paul is not charging Timothy before two Masters; God and Jesus Christ. The Biblical principle is clear—you can only serve one master. Neither is the Apostle suggesting that there are two future events in which the living and dead will be judged; (1) His appearing, and (2) His kingdom.
The word “appearing” in 2 Timothy 4:1 is epiphaneia which means the shining forth, or the blazing forth of the glory of Jesus Christ. Again, using the fact that the Lord uses “spiritual words to teach spiritual truths,” the verse is implicit in its meaning:
“I charge thee before God, yes—the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His blazing forth, yes—His kingdom.”
Here, two Names are mentioned (God and Jesus Christ), but One person is intended. Two nouns are used (appearing and kingdom), but one event is intended. Two for one.
Many folks think that when Christ judges the quick and the dead that it refers to the time when He condemns, or rewards, as if in a trial. The word “judge” is krino; “it properly means to distinguish, or to decide” (see Strong’s Number 2919).
When He judges the quick and the dead, He determines, or decides, who shall be worthy to live under the long duration of His Kingdom rule, or reign from Heaven. This does not refer to His Parousia or His 1000 year reign on earth
Tom L. Ballinger
From Plainer Words
Who Is God Our Saviour
Posted in: 2005
By Tom L. Ballinger
Mar 5, 2008 - 10:37:28 PM
Mar 5, 2008 - 10:37:28 PM
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