Did Jesus use His own divine attributes...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by canadyjd, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    ...or live as a fully human man (though never ceasing to be fully God...simply never using His own divine abilities) who was enabled by God, Holy Spirit, to perform miracles while accomplishing redemption of mankind?

    IOW's, did Jesus ever use His own divine power, or did He rely completely on God the Father to accomplish the miracles recorded in scripture?

    First, I recognize the difficulty of attempting to distinguish the persons within the Godhead so much as to harm the concept of the oneness that exists as God.

    However, I have wondered if the person of the Christ, Jesus, never used His own divine attributes prior to His resurrection, but relied completely upon the power of God the Father, through God Holy Spirit, to accomplish all miracles.

    Some thoughts:

    1. There is no record of Jesus performing miracles prior to Holy Spirit coming upon Him at His baptism. Even as an infant, He had to rely on His parents fleeing to Eygpt after being warned by an angel, to avoid the slaughter of babes by Herod.

    2. Matt. 4: The temptation of Jesus

    Jesus clearly rejected using His own divine ability (to change stone into bread) or using His status within the Godhead (to force the angels to save Him from harm) or His position as King of the universe (to avoid the shame of the cross to redeem humanity)

    Even after the temptation, Jesus still had to rely upon angels to come and minister to him.. that is to nurse Him back to health after fasting for 40 days/nights. He must have been near death, but continued to refuse to use His divine attributes to heal Himself. At least, that is how I see Matt: 4:11.

    3. Or, consider this passage from John

    John 14:10 "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works." (emphais mine)

    Thanks in advance for the thoughtful, biblical responses. :love2:

    peace to you:praying:
     
  2. Winman

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    Actually, you did a pretty good job there, and I think you answered your own questions. As you pointed out, Jesus performed no miracles until he was baptized and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon him. After that he did perform miracles.

    At the same time, he got hungry and thirsted, he was weary at times and needed rest as when he slept in the boat during a storm. He must have been very tired to do that, it must have been very difficult to minister to many thousands of people as he did all the time.

    This is a tough question. Sometimes he showed his glory as when he was transformed on the mount of transfiguration, and at other times he seemed like a perfectly average person.
     
  3. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    While I'm meditating on this question, I wonder what is the consequences of the answer.

    If Jesus never used His own divine attributes, is that in someway necessary for the redemption of mankind?

    IOW's, was it essential for the redemption of mankind that Jesus lay aside the use of His own divine abilities and accomplish redemption as a human being empowered by the power of God, Holy Spirit, working in His life?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  4. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I think Jesus set aside his glory, not any divine attributes, in order to add mere humanity to his nature. This is why the Mt. of Transfiguration is such a big deal - he did reveal his glory there, for a brief time and only to 3 disciples. This was a supernatural event, since Moses and Elijah were there, more than an normal event.

    He knew what people were thinking, about who they were and their past, and what they were going to do. This is demonstrated throughout the Gospel accounts.
     
  5. preachinjesus

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    Great idea for a post! Hopefully it will bring healthy discussion.

    I am not a supporter of the "kenosis" theory attached to the incarnation. The scripture that speaks of Christ emptying Himself is IMHO using the metaphor of a glass emptying it's contents into another glass. I believe Jesus had causal access to His divine attributes and used them in relation to the mission and need.

    I don't believe that Jesus needed the anointing of the Holy Spirit for access to His gifts and divine power, rather that the sign of the Holy Spirit was the commission on Him from the Trinity.

    Well I will add more but it is late here and I have an early morning. Cheerio!
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    wow no replies, maybe I'm a thread killer...d'oh!

    This is a pretty hot topic in theological circles so I hope others will toss in...thanks! :)
     
  7. Marcia

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    I think it was sort of discussed on the other thread which is why maybe you are not getting much here.
     
  8. Aaron

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    He told the Jews straight out, I do nothing of myself, John 8:28. Jesus committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously in every aspect of life. He did so as our substitute and as our example.
     
  9. OldRegular

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    The Apostle Paul states: For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. [Colossians 2:9]

    The Apostle John states: [/i] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.[/i] [John 1:1]

    Jesus was fully God as well as fully man. All His Divine attributes were shared with the Godhead though He did lay aside His Glory in the incarnation. It seems meaningless to talk about the Divine attributes of the Son apart from the Divine attributes of the Father and the Holy Spirit since there can be no division of thought or attributes within the Godhead.
     
  10. canadyjd

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    I am not questioning whether the Son had divine attributes, I am asking if He used them.

    It seems to me that the temptation of Jesus by Satan may have revealed something of the method of the plan of redemption.

    Perhaps Jesus would only rely on the humanity He had assumed... empowered by God to accomplish miracles... resulting ultimately in the cross and the redemption for mankind.

    Although the miracles of Jesus were certainly numerically greater than anything seen before,.... and some miracles were unique only to Him in all of human history... I don't believe Jesus performed any miracles that could not have been performed by any other human being that had been so empowered by God, Holy Spirit.

    Others, empowered by God, healed many diseases and even raised people from the dead.

    Jesus even promised His disciples that they would do even greater "works" than what He performed.

    What Jesus did that no other human being could do was to offer Himself as a perfect, sinless sacrifice and then resurrect Himself from the dead.

    If it is true that Jesus relied only on His own humanity, empowered by God to accomplish the will of God, wouldn't that give us an example to hope for and strive for?

    Would that tells us that we could accomplish the will of God, even though we are hindered by our own humanity?

    Just a thought.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  11. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    I had to look, but the word for "transfigured" is a passive verb in Matt. 17:2. That means God the Father transformed Jesus into the state of Glory He was in on the mountain. He didn't transform Himself by His own power.
    It is also true that there were many things He didn't know, or had to learn.

    Could it be that Jesus only knew those things revealed to Him by the Father? Just like any other human being that had been given divine revelation?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  12. canadyjd

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    John 8:28 (cont.) "...but I speak these things as the Father taught Me."

    Clearly, Jesus says He has received revelation from God the Father concerning His ministry. In fact, a case could be made from this verse, IMHO, that Jesus only spoke the truths that were revealed to Him by God the Father.

    IOW's, Jesus didn't use His own divine knowledge, but relied only upon what His Father revealed to Him in His humanity.

    Thanks Aaron

    peace to you:praying:
     
  13. Craig CrossWise

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    I know this thread is quite old, but I wanted to comment. I’ve been studying the kenosis issue for a while now. Your question is a good one. The answer is “yes.” While Jesus is always in a subordinate relationship with the Father, He did at times utilize His own divine attributes rather than the rest of the Godhead while Incarnate:

    18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just at they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”

    24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” [John 5:19-27, NKJV]


    The key verses are latter half of 5:21, “even so the Son gives life of whom He will” and 5:25, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.” This points to Jesus Christ giving life, which only the Divine could do, in and of Himself in the then present.

    As one other example, consider the calming of the storm. I do believe a careful reading of the relevant Synoptic passages will reveal that this was not Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit (or God) as it appears this was Jesus Himself. Furthermore, I don’t believe you’ll find NT witness of anyone else effecting a ‘nature miracle’. This seems to be reserved strictly for the Godhead of which Jesus Christ as the Word made flesh was/is fully [as “Oldregular” so aptly posted above - Col 2:9]. The point is that we cannot perform a nature miracle by the power of the Holy Spirit. If we assume Jesus did all His earthly miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit as a model for us, then we should be able to calm any storm. I don't believe we can.

    Moreover, the Word had to use all the ‘omni’ traits in order to sustain the cosmos [cf. Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:3]. To claim these were done instead by God or the Holy Spirit is to read into these Scriptures.

    For the record, what is described in this post is known as “functionalist” kenosis – the view that the Word maintained all divine attributes yet refrained from using some or all of these while Incarnate.
     
  14. JesusFan

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    Think that Jesus was both fully God and man, but he was "perfect" humanity, as Adam was when cretaed, w/o a sin nature residing in Him...

    While on earth as a man, jesus "limited: the use of His divine attributes, and when facing His tempting, he relied upon His relationship to his fatyher and in power of the HS, as we all need to do...

    Jesus always was God incarnate, just lived out his life in power of the HS, as he had "words" of knowledge/gifting to heal etc from the person/power of HS in Him...

    remember when woman touched him, and he felt "power" being released out from Him to heal?
    that he needed to pray to the father and "recharge" His spiritual cell, so to speak?

    NEVER ceased being God in Human flesh, but did cease to use those asttributes while on earth, as I tend to see the HS in Him"power of God" in jesus doing the miracles through Him!
     
  15. Craig CrossWise

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    JesusFan,

    Jesus was certainly 'perfect man'. And, of course, He ate, He slept and did other things as normal humans do. However, if your theory is correct we should expect the Apostles or perhaps Holy Spirit indwelled believers of today performing nature miracles such as stilling the wind/waves, stopping an earthquake mid-quake and repairing the resultant crack with a mere command or some such. Do you believe this has happened or will happen?

    And, taking John 5:21 above, "For as the Father raises the dead...so the Son gives life to whom He will." - It would seem that to claim it was the Holy Spirit or the Father who provided the miracle of giving life rather than Jesus in and of Himself would be reading much into the text. Even so, would you think that we have the power to "give life" to whom WE will?

    And, to think that Jesus retained yet refrained from using His 'omni' attributes for the entirety of the Incarnation would seem to involve a rather substantial change in the Word thereby violating immutability - historically an essential divine trait. Recall Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever."

    God is Spirit. Jesus is God. So, it follows that Jesus is also Spirit. This is necessary for the divine trait of omnipresence. The Word was not constrained to merely the flesh body of Jesus Christ; He was also sustaining the cosmos [Col 1:17; Heb 1:3] extra carnem - outside the body. This is explained in theological terms as the extra calvinisticum or, some say, extra catholicum.

    All of this I do believe is of extreme importance as there are many out there who claim what I'll call the Annie Get Your Gun doctrine: 'Anything Jesus did I can do better' citing John 14:12 as "proof."
     
  16. Luke2427

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    This is a great question.

    It really has to do with the nature of the incarnation and hypostasis.

    There are two views which fall within the boundaries of orthodoxy. Most others are heretical.

    There is the Classical Christological View as set forth in the Council of Chalcedon in, I think, 421 AD.

    This is also known as the "two minds" view.

    Then there is the Kenotic view which is newer but doesn't necessarily contradict any orthodox teaching on the matter.

    The Kenotic view gets its name from the greek word for "emptied" - kenosis, in Philippians 2 where Scripture says that Christ emptied himself and became a man.

    The proponents of the Kenotic view purport that that means he emptied himself of his divine power (omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience) so he could become a real man.

    It probably actually means he emptied himself of his divine prerogatives (his rights, etc...).

    I espouse the Classical view.
     
  17. Winman

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    I also believe Jesus emptied himself, he basically lived just like a born-again believer today, he depended on the Father for knowledge, power, etc... We see Jesus performed no miracles until after the Holy Spirit descended on him after he was baptized.

    The reason (I believe) that Christians are not performing miracles today is because the ministry of the Holy Spirit has changed. We are not empowered to do miracles, but to be witnesses.

    Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.

    The apostles could perform miracles at first, this was necessary to convince people (Jews especially) they were of God, but the primary purpose of Holy Spirit power today for Christians is to be bold and persuasive witnesses.

    Acts 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

    I believe this is how Jesus lived, just as a believer empowered by the Holy Spirit.
     
  18. convicted1

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    The question(s) that needs to be asked is 1.) Could Jesus, as a man, perform any miracles prior to being baptized, and 2.) Or did he choose not to unto the age of 30? I believe that Jesus chose not to do any miracles, but could have done them. He was God manifested in the flesh.


    Here are two passage to back up my beliefs:

    Luke 2:48-50
    Luke 2:48-50
    48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

    49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

    50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.


    Jesus stated this to His mother, Mary, at the age of twelve. At this young age, He knew who His real Father was, and that was not Joseph.


    John 1:29-34
    29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

    30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

    31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

    32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

    33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

    34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.


    Jesus' baptism didn't make Him any more Christ, but was a witness to John, that He was indeed, the prophesied Messiah to come into the world. Jesus was as much God as an infant in the manger as He was on the cross. He was God in the womb, even.


    Jesus, as God in the flesh, may have limited Himself, because even He did not know when the end is to come. But, He never left Himself powerless. He knew at the age of twelve that He was the Son of God.
     
  19. Craig CrossWise

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    We are told to test all things. So, let's test the thesis that Jesus performed all his miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit rather than by Himself. For this to be unequivocally true, then this must be true 100% of the time. For it to be false, then it need be shown to be untrue just one time. I hope we all agree.

    In John 5:21, as I've already noted above, Jesus claims to "give life to whom He is pleased to give it." By the full context, I hope we can agree that He is speaking of giving eternal life in the then present and not 'merely' raising the dead physically. Keep in mind the thief on the Cross who was given life before Jesus made Atonement.

    If we were to assume that Jesus performed John 5:21 by the power of the Holy Spirit [which requires reading into the text rather than letting the text speak for itself] then it follows that the Apostles would have been able to give life to whom THEY wanted in and of themselves. Obviously, that could not be as that would have made THEM Messiahs.

    The same would apply for calming the storm. Did/could they Apostles do that? I think the answer is a clear "no." Look at how the account ends:

    41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” [Mark 4:41, NIV 1984]

    Commentaries state that the Apostles had an epiphany - an "aha" moment. This really was God in their midst (Psalm 107:29)! Why didn't Jesus correct their question, "Who is this?" by explaining that it was the Holy Spirit and not He Himself who rebuked the wind/waves?

    Of course, Jesus also raised Himself from the dead (John 2:19; 10:17-18) which I'm sure we will agree that neither the Apostles nor we can do!

    But this, to me, is the real kicker: Jesus was/is God; the Holy Spirit was/is God; the Father was/is God. God is Spirit. We worship ONE GOD; one God in three 'persons'. God performed all those miracles. Just as God works through each and every Spirit-born (born again) believer (John 3:5).

    Jesus' Resurrection was actually performed by the Trinity: God the Father (Gal 1:1; Acts 13:34), God the Son (John 2:19; 10:17-18) and God the Holy Spirit (Romans 1:4; 8:11). Jesus and the Holy Spirit have just as much divine power as the Father yet are both subordinate to the Father. (Keep in mind the Holy Spirit's role as defined by Jesus in John 14:15 - 16:15.)
     
  20. Herald

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    Jesus never emptied Himself of His divine power, He simply veiled it. It's sort of like putting a blanket over a light. You can still see the light through the blanket but it doesn't fill the entire room with its light. If Jesus displayed His full glory during His first advent no man could stand in His presence. Jesus was fully God and fully man. However, in first advent He was in a pre-resurrection body. When He returns it will be in a glorious post-resurrection body. There will be no comparison.

    As far as Jesus performing miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit; that requires a "yes" and "no" answer. The Spirit did come upon Him. Of that there is no doubt. However, Jesus was still God; He still possessed His divinity. When He ordered Lazarus to come forth, He was the one who did it. I don't believe it's necessary for Scripture to specifically state He did so on His own.
     

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