In part one, we saw that a false belief is taking hold that asserts that we can attain a relationship with Jesus through emotion at the expense of learning about Him through a study of God’s written Word. Now let’s see how such a notion leaves us with no knowledge of God and Christ and deludes us into accepting a god of our own creation as the true Creator.
From the seminaries, the pulpits, electronic media, and the pages of some of Christendom’s most popular writers, the siren song of an alluring message blares forth. Its simple and seductive philosophy, carried on the air of its confident maxims, deceives much of the public into accepting it as a more palatable Christianity than the faith once delivered to the saints.
This siren song is the sound of anti-theological, anti-intellectual emotionalism. You’ve no doubt heard some of its claims: “the Spirit is what is important,” “Jesus has to be discovered through relationship,” “we must stick with the simplicity that is in Christ,” “knowledge doesn’t save us,” “head knowledge is not enough,” “don’t forget that knowledge puffs up,” and so on. All of these assertions contain some truth, and that is what makes them all the more hazardous. When we go fishing, we hope the fish will swallow what is partially real food and partially deadly hook. As believers, we must insure that we don’t get fooled by the bait. To succeed, we must exercise our senses to discern good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). So, let’s examine some of these ideas.
It’s common for Christians to ask others if they are saved. Those people can answer with a mere yes while holding a completely wrong understanding of salvation. Another question asked is, “Do you know the Lord?” Again, the people asked can reply with a simple yes while holding entirely erroneous views of the Lord. Jesus, on the other hand, asked His disciples a question they could not answer with a yes or no. Jesus’ question is like a razor that splits humanity into two groups—those who answer correctly and those who do not. How would you answer? Who do you say Jesus is?
A. This question is usually posed and then answered by those who are trying to debunk Christianity. The answer they want their listeners to believe is that Jesus never claimed to be God, that Jesus being God is merely a myth that grew up around Jesus after His death. They certainly have a point that Scripture never records Jesus mouthing the words, “I am God.” Nevertheless, did Jesus use any other words to claim to be God?
So that we know what we are talking about, let’s begin with a definition. A basic formulation of the Trinity doctrine is, God is a Trinity of three Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. Many who teach against the Trinity misunderstand this formula. They make a wrong assumption about what is meant by God being a Trinity of three Persons. They assume this to be tritheism, a belief in three gods. What is meant by “Person” in speaking of the Trinity is that which has the attributes of personality. It comes from the Latin word persona. In the ancient world, actors wore masks. The actor’s mask was his persona. It showed the role he was playing. In the discussion of the Trinity, “Person” never means “person” as we commonly use it today; that is, it never means a free and independent consciousness with his own will. Nevertheless, it does mean that the Persons have an I-you relationship: as I will point out in the Scriptures cited in this article, they communicate with each other.
A. The verse in question says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” If you read the context, you will see that “he” in the verse refers to God, and “him” refers to Jesus Christ. So, the verse appears to be saying that God made Jesus to be sin for us. There are those who say that this is exactly what Paul is saying here; that, although we may not fully understand it and it may have to remain a mystery to us, we must accept that somehow God actually made Jesus to be sin for us. Others say that the verse merely means that God imputed our sins to Jesus.