|Vol. 16 No. 10 October 2014||
Should We Worship
Jesus Since He is God?
Louis Rushmore, Editor
Students who handle correctly the Word of God acknowledge that the three persons of the Godhead possess equally the divine characteristics of deity. There is “one God” (Malachi 2:10; Mark 12:32; Romans 3:30; James 2:19). “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV). Though there is only one essence of God, there are three divine persons who possess the essence of God, namely God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). These three persons comprise the “Godhead” (Acts 17:29; Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9) or what the Bible means when it refers to “one God.” The Greek words translated as “Godhead” simply mean “divinity”; all three persons of the Godhead possess the essence of being God or divinity.
On the other hand, there is the consideration of mankind. Mankind has to do with humanness or possessing the essence of being a human. Presently, over seven billion persons possess the essence of being human or membership in mankind. The number of persons being added to mankind amounts to an increase in human population of over 62 million annually; however, the number of persons in the Godhead or the persons who possess the essence of being God or divinity remains at three.
Should we worship Jesus since He is God or possesses the essence of deity, that is, divinity? Well-meaning students of God’s Word err if they imagine that they have proved that we should worship Jesus simply by noting that our Lord possesses the essence of deity or divinity. Is Jesus Christ worthy of worship? Yes! However, simply being worthy of worship does not prove that human worship ought to be directed to Jesus Christ, or at least, that it would be permissible to direct worship to Him.
What is overlooked by many is the subject of roles performed by each of the three persons of the Godhead. Regarding humanity, there are God-assigned roles for males and females. Though the roles differ for men (1 Timothy 2:8; Ephesians 6:4) and women (1 Corinthians 14:34; 1 Timothy 2:12; Titus 2:5) in the home and in the church, both men and women enjoy spiritual equality and have equal access to salvation (Galatians 3:28).
Likewise, each of the three persons of the Godhead have differing roles, though they are equal in all of the qualities of being God or divine. It is because of these differing roles, though, that are occupied respectively by the three persons of the Godhead that Christians are supposed to pray to the Heavenly Father. The New Testament does not authorize humans to pray to dead “saints,” to angels, to the Holy Spirit or to Jesus Christ.
Our Lord Jesus Christ specifically answered the inquiry of the apostles respecting to whom to pray. “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). Jesus Christ is the one through whom we pray, or He facilitates the prayers of faithful Christians. “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17; see also John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23, 26). In addition, the Holy Spirit assists Christians in feeble, unspoken prayers by interceding for them, but the Holy Spirit is not the One to whom prayers ought to be directed. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).
Each aspect of New Testament worship, not just prayer – one avenue of worship, ought to be directed to God the Father. There is no human-like jealousy among the three persons of the Godhead that would foster resentment for directing worship to the Father. The Godhead is united, but with complementary roles.
Louis Rushmore, Editor
Jesus was not the Son of God in the eternity before the foundation of the world and on earth while He was serving for His Father. But He is Son of God after He ascended to the heaven and after His Coronation as king over the spiritual Israel.
There are several souls apart from the angels in heaven. God chose one of the best souls and made him as His Son and sent Him to this earth.
The two quotations above come from two sources, and presenters of the respective declarations appear to disparage the deity of Jesus Christ, supposing that He is a created being selected for a task by God and appointed to a position. These theories are without biblical basis, and therefore, they are both false. In addition, there is no biblical information respecting persons in heaven aside from the Godhead and one kind of angel or another.
It is true that the Second Person of the Godhead best known to us as Jesus Christ did not always occupy the role of Messiah or Savior. It was at a particular junction in human history that our Lord was declared to be such or accepted that role. Jesus Christ was validated as Messiah and Savior upon His resurrection from the dead never to return thereto (Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:30-35; Romans 1:4).
However, Jesus Christ is eternal and one of the three persons of the Godhead (Acts 17:29; Matthew 28:19). Speaking of Jesus Christ, note the opening verses of the Gospel According to John. “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 were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4 NKJV). “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, God was manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 1:23).