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Who is manifested?

Submitted: 1/21/2008
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Question: Who is manifest, God or the Son of God?

Answer: The word 'manifested' means to appear or to become evident. 1 Timothy 3:16 says that 'God was manifested in the flesh....' God was invisible to the human eye until such time as He appeared as a human being, born of Mary in Bethlehem. For this reason Jesus could say, 'He who has seen Me has seen the Father' (John 14:9). 1 John 3:5 also speaks of God's manifestation in flesh when it says, 'And you know that He [God] was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.' This is saying that the reason God became a man was to take away our sins by bearing them in 'His own body on the tree' (1 Peter 2:24).

In contrast, 1 John 3:8 says, 'For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.' The Son of God was the man. In this since, He is the manifestation of God in flesh. When John says that the Son was manifested, He is speaking of the fact that the man Jesus was fully recognized as being the Son of God by His resurrection. This idea is captured in Romans 1:3-4, which says, 'Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.' It was by means of the resurrection that Jesus destroyed the works of the devil, the primary work being death. As Colossians 2:15 says of Jesus, 'Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.' And as Hebrews 2:14 says, 'He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.' Jesus conquered death by dying Himself in the flesh and then resurrecting His own dead body from the grave. This was the manifestation of the Son of God. This is how we no absolutely for certain that Jesus is the Son of God. This is the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.