Chapter 2: Jesus is God
SEMUON Ki-Dong Kim
“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
I have been established from everlasting,
From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no fountains abounding with water.
Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was brought forth;
While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields,
Or the primal dust of the world.
When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
When He established the clouds above,
When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
When He assigned to the sea its limit,
So that the waters would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
And my delight was with the sons of men.”
God is the Creator. All the gods that are found in this world are created beings that have been created by God. God alone is the Self-Existent One. When we speak of God as ’the One and Only God’, we mean that God is the Unique God who is Self-Existent. There is not one being in this creation that is self-existent. They have all been created by God.
The Lord Jesus taught us to pray, ‘Our Father in heaven.’ This heaven does not refer to the blue sky up where we see the birds travel, and it does not refer to the space where we see the stars shine. This heaven refers to the heaven of the gods, where the angels serve the throne of God. To be more specific, we are speaking of the spiritual world to where Jesus ascended after His Resurrection. Some people misunderstand that God needs heaven to exist. God abided by Himself even before He created heaven. Because God is Self-Existent, He does not require heaven for His dwelling. If heaven was something with God from before all eternity, God would no longer be the One and Only God. And if heaven existed even before God, then God could certainly never be the One and Only God. Therefore, heaven is a creation of the Creator, who is God.
The size of the earth in which we live is extremely large. However, the created universe is even larger than the earth. Scientists say that the travel of a beam of light, which can encircle the circumference of the earth 7.5 times in one second, would take several billions of years to travel from one end of this created universe to the other. However, in comparison to the size of the heaven of the spiritual world, even this immensely large size of the created universe would barely be comparable to the size of a small village. So, then, how great is the size of this heaven! But what is more unimageable is that God is even larger than the size of this heaven.
The Bible states in 2 Chronicles 2:6, “But who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? Who am I then, that I should build Him a temple, except to burn sacrifice before Him?” God is greater than heaven and the heaven of heavens to the extent that no matter how large a building or place can be built on the earth, it cannot ever possibly contain or serve God. Jesus said, “My Father is greater than all” (John 10:29). God is, therefore, greater than heaven.
When God created all things, Jesus Christ, who was in the bosom of the Father, created all things with the Father. In John 1:3, it says, ‘All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.’ Hebrews 1:2 states: ‘[God] has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.’ And in Colossians 1:16-17, it states: ‘For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.’ So we can see that in the beginning, He was with God and He was with God as the Creator when God created all things (Proverbs 8:22-30).
The reason people do not believe in Jesus is that they do not accept the truth that Jesus is God. This is because they see Jesus as a mere human being among many others in this world. At best, they think of Him as just one of many great religious leaders. Jesus is not some initiator of a religion, but He is the Creator who created all things. Believing in Jesus is completely different from choosing one religion out of many, having the purpose only of satisfying one’s own sentimental desires. Some say, “Christianity is a western religion. Why, then, do Asians believe in a western religion?” Jesus is not the founder of a western religion, but He is the Savior who saved mankind. He saved our souls, which were destined to go to hell, and He gave us eternal life. The salvation that we have received is not a mere change of ideology, but it is the salvation which gives a life-creating salvation, something which can only possibly be given by the Creator Himself.
Although Jesus Christ came as a man, He is, by nature, God. In John 1:18, it states, ‘No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.’ Saying that Jesus is the Only Begotten God means that Jesus is the Only One who can manifest God. No one can see God unless Jesus Christ did not manifest Him to us. Even though Jesus came into the world as a descendant of Abraham, He was already with God even before Abraham had dwelled on this earth, and He was the One who created the heavens, the universe and the material world that we live in. Jesus humbled Himself by appearing as a Man, and He manifested God to us. In reply to Philip, who had asked Jesus to show him the Father, Jesus spoke the words, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9).
People often find it difficult to clearly understand the description of the relationship between God the Father and the Son. In the context of human relations, a father and a son each have their own fleshly human bodies. Since the fleshly bodies of humans are temporal and not eternal, they require the distinct formation of the individual fleshly bodies of a father and a son in order to continue the reproductive cycle of the next generation. God, however, has no need to continue any lineage. It is a big misunderstanding to think of Jesus Christ and the Father as having separate forms. Jesus Christ is the form of the Father. And as the form of the Father, He lowered Himself, and came on this earth as a Man. He revealed God to us, and He became the Savior of all mankind.
Our faith is to believe that Jesus is God. All religions have their founders, yet they all have their own individual dates of birth. However, Jesus Christ has been with God before the appearance of mankind on this earth, before the formation of the material universe, and before the creation of heaven. The One who said, “My Father is greater than all” (John 10:29), also said, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). Therefore, our faith is not to believe or serve any created being, but to believe in God who was with God who created all things.
So consider how great is the object of our faith? The level of our faith is absolutely incomparable to that of the superstitious religious faith that others pursue, which aim to seek only after the blessings of the world, assuming that they are given by the gods carved out of wood and stone. Our faith is not a superstitious and religious zeal. This kind of zeal comes from the human heart and seeks only after worldly prosperity. (Such superstition was abundant among the Rice Christians that were in Korea in the past.) Our faith is to believe in and to serve the God who is greater than heaven and who was from before all eternity.
One might be burdened by the requirement to believe both in God and in the Lord Jesus. They will say, “I feel guilty to God when I am serving Jesus, and I feel guilty to Jesus when I am serving God”. Thus, they get confused. Jesus is God. God sent the Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that God could manifest Himself to us. Jesus is the God who showed us the God who is bigger than heaven and who existed before all eternity. But people do not see Jesus as God. Instead, they see Him merely as one member of mankind. There are some theologians that have even advocated this. However, our faith is to believe in the truth that Jesus is God and to obey the truth that Jesus is God.
Jesus is God. This is why He can give us life, give resurrection to the dead, give eternal life, and pour out His unlimited blessings on us. This is also why He can answer our prayers, give us His help, and guide our souls. If He was just a man, He would only be some kind of motivational leader who gives only an ideological salvation. If that was truly the case, then He could never be the Savior who saves our souls. However, He is God the Creator. That is why He can save us and make our souls born again. The reason why we have been united with Christ, have finally attained to the resurrection, and have received the perfect salvation that takes us to Heaven, is because He is God.
Merely coming into the front yard of the church building is not faith. We should believe that Jesus is God; otherwise we will not receive eternal life. Our faith, that is, to believe that Jesus is God, is a truly great faith and a faith that is on the highest level. This faith is such an amazing faith that even the angels do not underestimate this faith. On the contrary, they greatly envy it. God the Creator showed Himself to us by becoming Man, and also became our Savior. Jesus, who gave us salvation, is the One who is one with God. He is the One who created all things, and He is also greater than all things. Therefore, we must confess this faith from deep within our souls. We must confess, “Jesus is the God!”