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Jesus Christ and God the Father

Submitted: 5/27/2005
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Question: I had a question posed to me earlier this week regarding Galatians 1:1-3. Here Paul writes and references Jesus Christ AND God the Father. If Jesus Christ is God, and we know He is, why then does Paul express himself this way? Paul, here, seems to be describing them as two (2) different people. Galatians 1:1 'Paul, an apostle (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead),'

Answer: Paul and the other New Testament writers frequenty used this type of language in their salutations. Their purpose was to distinguish the true God from all other concepts of God by reminding His readers that the true God is the One who was manifested in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). By referencing both Jesus Christ and God the Father, Paul is distinguishing God's human manifestation from the God who was manifested. This does not constitute two divine persons or being, only one God (who is eternal Spirit) becoming manifested in humanity (who is the Son who was born).

In 1 John 5:20 the apostle writes, 'And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.' Eternal life is for those who recognize the true God as the One who has come in the flesh. It is by the knowledge of the Son (the human manifestaion) that we come into a saving knowledge and understanding of the Father (the invisible Spirit).