Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 15 No. 5 May 2013
Page 10

Jesus Was Not Perfect
Until His Resurrection?

D. Gene West

D. Gene WestThe basis for all that claims to be Christian is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived a perfect life and died a perfect death, arose to bring redemption to all who would call upon God through Him. Yet, one cult teaches that Jesus attained His perfection after His resurrection from the dead. That, of course, means that He was not perfect before He arose from the new tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea. Lest the readers think these folk are being misrepresented, we quote from their leading dignitaries. A contemporary of the founder of this religion wrote:

That Jesus attained perfection following his resurrection is confirmed in the… It records the visit of the resurrected Lord to the people of ancient America. There he repeated the important injunction previously cited, but with one very significant addition. He said, “I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect” (3 Nephi 12:48). This time he listed himself along with his Father as a perfect personage. Previously, he had not (See Matt. 5:48).

Let it first be noted that the Matthew 5:48 text is used out of context. Look at the theme of our Lord’s statement. He was speaking to His disciples regarding love, and He told them to be perfect in love as our Father is perfect in love. He did not, even remotely, imply that the Father only is perfect, and that He was not. If He had not been perfect before His resurrection, He could not have been the propitiation for our sins, since that required a perfect sacrifice. Time and again the Bible speaks of the perfection of Christ. We are told that He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin! One without sin is perfect! He was the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world. As that Lamb, slain for our redemption, He had to be without spot and blemish. That is perfection and nothing less.

John declared that Jesus was God before He came to earth (John 1:1-2). Did He lose His perfection, or is the Father imperfect too? Paul testified that Jesus did not consider His being in the form of God a thing to be clung to, but came in human form, humbled Himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross. John also said after Jesus came to earth, or after the Word became flesh, the disciples beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Paul declared that in Christ dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily. To declare Jesus to be perfect only after His resurrection is to fly into the face of biblical teaching that is so clear as to make us wonder how people ever missed it. Furthermore, such passages as Matthew 10:37; John 5:23; 14:1 and Hebrews 1:6 teach Jesus is worthy to receive honor, love, faith and worship as is the Father. Long before Jesus ever came to this earth, God the Father called him “God” (Psalm 45:6-7; Hebrews 1:8-9). One is simply amazed at the temerity of false prophets and the biblically ignorant pronouncements they make about the Savior of the world! It is so shocking that we wonder how they can deceive anyone into believing these things. Although the fact that they do, speaks of the ignorance of our people of the Christ of the Scriptures and the Scriptures themselves.

Dear reader, Jesus is God. He has always been God. He is the Creator of the universe (Colossians 1:16-18), one of the personalities of Elohim who created all things in the beginning. We do not worship three gods, we worship only one God who is manifested in three personalities. We worship one Deity presented to us in Scripture as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The folk of whom we write worship, or at least have, as one of them said, perhaps millions of gods, but true believers in Yahweh worship only the divine Godhead. Paul said that Godhead was in Christ when he lived in this vale of tears and sin. There is no such thing as God’s being imperfect in any sense.

Evidences of Christianity

Donald R. Fox

Donald R. FoxI was browsing through a book that I read many years ago. Maybe you like to browse through old books also. The title and the subjects of the book are The Evidences of Christianity, A Debate between Robert Owen and Alexander Campbell. The oral debate was held in Cincinnati, Ohio in April 1829. Further, Mr. Owen supported and defended his “Social System” that he desired to spread throughout America. I remembered a statement that stuck with me over the years, as follows: “But as I am brought forward to this most wonderful of all events, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is, too, the capital item in the apostolic testimony; and the fact on which the whole religion, and hopes of Christianity depend and terminate, I felt strongly disposed to show that this is the best attested fact in the annals of the world…” (312-313).

You see, Mr. Owen had run “out of soap.” From this point of the discussion Mr. Campbell started a remarkable evaluation of the evidences of Christianity. Mr. Campbell used the Word of God, the Bible, and numerous writings of historians, philosophers, a host of unbelievers, a very large assortment of sources to the proving of “the resurrection of Jesus Christ” and thus Christianity “is the best attested fact in the annals of the world.” As noted on page 437, “(The above speech commenced on Friday at three o’clock, and, in all occupied twelve hours.)” As one who was present for the debate commented and was “not in sympathy with Mr. Campbell”… “I have been listening to a man who seems as one who had been living in all ages” (M.M. Davis, The Restoration Movement 141). As we study and discuss Christianity, it is vital to grasp the problem of the corruption of Christianity.

Uncontaminated Christianity was prophesied in the Old Testament and revealed on the pages of the New Testament of Jesus Christ. Mr. Campbell addressed this great, worldwide problem of the corruption of Christianity. As an example, we will copy a portion of this discussion as follows:

Mahometanism is only a corruption and perversion of Judaism and Christianity. Idolatry is but a perversion and corruption of patriarchal and Jewish dispensations. The apostasy or anti-Christ is but a corruption of Christianity, a heterogeneous commixture of Judaism, paganism, and Christianity. There has been but one religion ever in the world. In other words, the fountain whence all superstitions have originated was one and the same. Hence we find the prominent ideas of divine revelation in every superstition on earth. As we trace languages to a common fountain and origin, so we trace religions. Idolatry and polytheism were the worst of all the corruptions in degrading man. But as the sweetest wine will make the sourest vinegar, Christianity when corrupted has exhibited the most cruel and wicked tribunal upon this earth. The fine, vigorous, plethoric constitution, when subdued by a malignant fever, exhibits the greatest mass of corruption. But who argues hence that a fine, vigorous, and healthy constitution is a curse, shocks all common sense. (Campbell-Owen Debate 399,)

Concerning the developing and onslaught of manmade creeds, mixed with the philosophy of men and how they affected Christianity, Mr. Campbell in part stated, “From these unhallowed commixtures spring the creed systems of ancient and modern times, so that finally almost every vestige of the ancient simplicity and the true genius of Christianity disappeared, and various schemes of sectarian and philosophic Christianity succeeded and supplanted it” (399). Friends, the need is simple; back to the Bible is the answer to divisions that separate us.

“A proposition of fact is proved, when its truth is established by competent and satisfactory evidence.” (Simon Greenleaf, The Testimony of the Evangelists 24). “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence” (John Adams).

“This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses” (Acts 2:32 KJV). “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

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