Hello everyone. Some of you might be seeing this and thinking that the new blog post is going up early for a Saturday. Well I’m going to be going to see the movie “Adam” with some friends tonight and so I would prefer to get in bed after the movie rather than have to write a blog post when I’m battling to stay awake. For those interested, my roommate and I had a good meeting today with the Jehovah’s Witnesses on the question of what happens when people die, so much so that they want to continue it with us next week. Pray for our wisdom and that God will remove the scales from their eyes and that they will see Jesus as God has revealed him.
Tonight, our study of the Trinity will continue, but we’re not going to study a Trinitarian text per se. We’re going to be studying a text that tells us why the doctrine of the Trinity is so important, especially in our understanding of who Jesus is. We’ll be looking at 2 Corinthians 11:1-6.
1I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. 2I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 5But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” 6I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.
Paul is here countering the super-apostles that were at the Corinthian church and leading the people astray. By the way, he later describes them as servants of satan, which kind of eliminates the idea that Paul was entirely friendly and non-combative with his opponents. One point my roommate and I stressed with the Witnesses today is that we have an idea often of a God who is only love and would never hurt anyone. The apostles weren’t afraid to offend and saw themselves as doing the work of God in protecting the sheep from the wolves.
Our emphasis tonight is that Paul is telling about another Jesus. Today, it is not enough to say that one believes in Jesus. Consider some difficulties with that. Mormons believe in Jesus, but this Jesus is the spirit-brother of Lucifer. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in Jesus, but this Jesus is God’s first creation and is the archangel Michael. Now the latter belief is not in itself heretical, but the first one is as it makes Jesus less than God in nature. Muslims believe in Jesus affirming that he was virgin-born, sinless, did miracles, will return again and slay the antichrist, and was the greatest prophet before Muhammad, but they reject his deity as well. Other religions respond differently but do not accept the biblical claims of Jesus.
When we speak about Jesus, we must be clear on who we mean. This is why God is so easy to talk about. So many people want to say that they believe in God, which is one of the most meaningless words today simply because everyone just puts in their own definition of what they mean by God without seeing what he is truly like. Different concepts of God result in different ways of viewing the world.
The same is the case with different views of Jesus. If you have a Jesus who is less than God, I can understand why you’d want to work for your salvation. I’d also understand why you have a simpler god as well. The Trinity definitely puts God beyond our comprehension and I am amazed with how many people I meet who seem to imply that because they cannot comprehend something, it is automatically false.
Jesus said unless we believe he is who he claimed to be, we will die in our sins. (John 8:24) Paul saw teaching another Jesus as dangerous to the witness of the gospel. So should we.