Arminian Today

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>If Jesus Was God, How Can He Worship God?

>I recently was witnessing to some Jehovah’s Witnesses and they questioned me and another brother by asking a question that JW’s are taught to ask, “To whom did Jesus pray to?  To whom did Jesus worship?” The obvious answer is that Jesus prayed to His Father (John 11:41-42) and He taught His disciples to pray to His Father (Matthew 6:9).  Jesus likewise worshiped His Father (Matthew 4:10).

But the problem with the JW’s question is an age old question.  I was watching a National Geographic video online about Muslims visit to Mecca and one convert to Islam was a woman from Texas who was raised Catholic and converted to Islam while in college.  She said that what was the drawing point for her was when listening to call in show on the radio, a person asked, “If Jesus is God why did He worship God?”  This, she said, caused her to rethink Jesus and consider other religions in which she ultimately became a Muslim.

People have often wondered about many sayings about Jesus such as His teachings on praying to His Father or to passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:23-28 that seem to put Christ below the Father.  If Jesus is God, the question is asked, how could He become a man and still be God?

The problem with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslim understandings about Jesus is the mystery of the incarnation of God.  Philippians 2:5-11 speaks of the incarnation of Jesus Christ.  Here Paul says that Jesus laid down certain attributes of God when He became a man.  He never ceased to be God but He did voluntarily lay down certain attributes.  For example, the New Testament says that Jesus was thirsty (John 19:28), He was weary (John 4:6), and He slept (Mark 4:38) yet the Bible says that none of these things are things that God does.  Yet as a man, Jesus did these things.  In fact, Jesus was tempted by sin yet the Bible says that God cannot be tempted by sin (James 1:13) but as a man Jesus was indeed tempted to sin (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Passages such as Matthew 6:9 or Matthew 24:36 or 1 Corinthians 15:23-28 must be seen in light of the incarnation of Jesus (Matthew 1:23).  When we enter into eternity, all enemies will be defeated and Christ will present the perfect kingdom to the Father (Matthew 28:18).  This doesn’t mean that Christ is not co-equal and co-eternal with the Father but it shows the beauty of the trinity involved in the plan of full redemption.  At this point, all of God’s creation will be laid at His feet.

Furthermore, Jesus said that if we have seen Him we have seen the Father (John 14:9).  Jesus never said not once in the New Testament that He was the Father but He did say that He and the Father are one (John 10:30).  Colossians 1:15-18 makes it clear that Jesus possesses all the divine attributes of God and Colossians 2:9 says that all of the fullness of God was in Christ Jesus.  John 1:1 says that Jesus has always been God and He remains God.  Romans 9:5 says that Jesus is God in the flesh of a Jew.

The JW’s went on to ask us, “To whom does the Father worship?”  My friend with me didn’t skip a beat and he said, “According to Hebrews 1:8-9, the Father calls the Son God so the Father praises the Son.”  The JW didn’t know what to say.  Even the poorly translated New World Translation has Hebrews 1:8-9 translated much the same.  The Father, who is God, calls the Son God in Hebrews 1:9.  That is incredible.  Even in the New World Translation calls Jesus God in John 20:28 which would be blasphemy if in fact Jesus were not God.

Jesus is God the Son and the wonderful truth is that He sits at the right hand of God the Father to make intercession for the saints of God (Hebrews 7:25).  Unlike the Muslims, we have one who sits at God’s right hand for us.  Hebrews 10:19-22 tells us that we can come before the Father because of the incarnation of God.  Jesus cries out before the Father for us (Romans 8:34).  I don’t have to earn God’s righteousness as the JW and Muslim does.  I have God’s righteousness in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:22-24; Philippians 3:9).  I don’t pray out of obligation nor do I offer vein prayers with the same words over and over again as many religions including Islam does (Matthew 6:7-8).  I come into God’s presence because of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 John 1:7).  I come before the Father not fearing that He hates me but knowing that He loves me in His Son (Romans 5:8-9).  I am able to worship God in spirit and in truth because of Jesus Christ (John 4:23-24).  I don’t have to fear death because of Jesus (Hebrews 2:9).

As I watched this video on Mecca and the Muslim pilgrimage, I am thankful to be a Christian.  I don’t have to go to Jerusalem to find God.  I don’t have to fear coming before God.  I don’t have to wonder if God knows me or if He is satisfied with me.  I don’t have to go through vein rituals to come into God’s presence.  I don’t have to spend my energy walking the streets of Mecca or Jerusalem or any other city for God came to me in the person of Jesus and I am saved through Him (John 3:3-7).  I urge you to pray for the nearly 1 billion Muslims to hear the gospel and repent and be saved (Acts 17:30-31).  Like the Jews whom Paul prayed for in Romans 10:1-4, I pray this for the Muslims and Jehovah’s Witnesses and many other religions.  Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6) and these poor Muslims are seeking in vein for a god who doesn’t exist.  Unless they repent, they will die (Luke 13:5; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; Revelation 21:7-8).  My prayer is that the gospel will bring eternal life through Christ into Saudi Arabia and to Jehovah Witnesses as well (Romans 6:23).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/27/2011 at 5:56 PM

3 Responses

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  1. >I remember watching that same video on Islam and Mecca. As I recall, she had grown up in Roman Catholicism, and her move to Islam was in some ways a reaction against that.How horrible that perversions of Christianity have inoculated so many people against the truth of Christ. And I'm not just putting down the Roman church, either; the evangelical church in America has also drifted far from biblical Christianity, basing its values on those of man rather than those of God.God's grace and mercy on us all, Muslim and professing Christian alike.

    Chris Bloom

    01/28/2011 at 5:31 PM

  2. >That is the same video Chris. I agreed with your assumptions about what she must have seen as a RC to embrace Islam. I wanted to talk to this lady and ask her questions about her RC faith because I am sure she was probably ignorant even about RC doctrines.

  3. >Great post. I think the things we can't forget are the divine attributes of God, and how those are different from Jesus. Keep up the good work.


    05/05/2011 at 4:40 PM

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