The Holy Bible teaches that the Father gave the Son all things:
"All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." Matthew 11:27
"the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand." John 3:35
"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God," John 13:3
Some have deduced from the preceding verses that Jesus is not God since he is receiving all things from some one else, and this other entity must be the one who is God since he has all things to give to whom he wants. After all, God doesnt receive anything from anyone.
In the first place, it is true that God doesnt receive anything in the sense that he needs something or depends on his creatures to grant him certain things. Yet this tells us absolutely nothing about the inner relationships that exist within the Godhead. For instance, the Bible teaches that there are three distinct Persons of Deity who have distinct roles from one another. One Divine Person is the Father, the other is the Son, and the third is the Holy Spirit. Due to the personal distinctions and unique roles that exist among the Divine Members of the Godhead, it is quite conceivable for one Person of Deity to give certain things or assign specific tasks to the other Divine Persons. This giving of one Divine Member to another doesnt violate God being self-sufficient and independent of all needs since God isnt receiving anything from anyone outside of himself, outside of his own infinite Being. Rather, it is the individual Persons within God that are giving to one another.(1)
This leads us to our second and more important point. What the foregoing assumption erroneously overlooks is that the reason why Jesus is said to receive all things is because he is Gods Son and therefore the Heir. The Holy Scriptures teach that the Father created all things through, in, and FOR the Son:
"giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities -- all things were created through him and FOR HIM. HE IS BEFORE ALL THINGS, and IN HIM all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent." Colossians 1:12-18
Paul teaches in the above passage that Jesus existed before all created things, which means that he is eternal, that all created things were made in, through, and for him since he is Gods beloved Son. Paul also states that the Son is actively sustaining all creation, a function which God alone performs.
This explains why Paul calls Christ the Firstborn of all creation, a title which in light of the OT background serves to identify Jesus as the Heir and the One having preeminence over all things:
"If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other disliked, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the disliked, and if the first-born son is hers that is disliked, then on the day when he assigns his possessions as an inheritance to his sons, he may not treat the son of the loved as the first-born in preference to the son of the disliked, who is the first-born, but he shall acknowledge the first-born, the son of the disliked, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the first issue of his strength; the right of the first-born is his." Deuteronomy 21:15-17
"Of old thou didst speak in a vision to thy faithful one, and say: I have set the crown upon one who is mighty, I have exalted one chosen from the people. I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him; He shall cry to me, You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation. And I will make him the first-born, the highest of the kings of the earth." Psalm 89:19-20, 26-27
Note that David is identified as the firstborn, not in the sense that he was the first Israelite king seeing that Saul preceded him in that respect, nor in the sense of being the first one born in his family since he was the youngest of eight sons (cf. 1 Samuel 16). He was firstborn in the sense of being supreme over all the other earthly rulers.
What the foregoing shows is that the one having the status of firstborn meant that he or she is both supreme over the rest of the members and the heir of the estate.
Thus, Christ being the Firstborn implies that he is both the Heir of all things and Supreme over everything, especially over all the other believers who also share in Gods inheritance by virtue of becoming adopted children through faith in Jesus:
"And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified." Acts 20:32
"and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren." Romans 8:17, 29
"And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." Galatians 3:29
"But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba! Father! So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir." Galatians 4:4-7
"so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life." Titus 3:7
Paul wasnt alone in stating that Christ is the Creator and Heir, the beloved Son who owns all the things that the Father possesses:
"He had still one other, a beloved son; finally he sent him to them, saying, They will respect my son. But those tenants said to one another, This is THE HEIR; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours." Mark 12:6-8
Christ, in this parable, expressly identifies himself as the Fathers beloved Son and the Heir.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own, and his own received him not And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father." John 1:1-3, 10-11, 14
John presents Jesus as the eternal Logos or Word whom God used to create everything, to whom all things belong.
"In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed THE HEIR OF ALL THINGS, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of his glory and the exact imprint of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, And, You, Lord, did found the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all grow old like a garment, like a mantle you will roll them up, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never end." Hebrews 1:1-3, 10-12
Notice how the author of Hebrews says that Jesus is the Son who, along with his Father, created the universe and actively sustains it by his powerful word.
These texts are essentially teaching that Jesus is Gods beloved Son and the Heir for whom all created things exist. Hence, the Son was given all things from the Father in the sense that God created everything for him. The foregoing expressly shows that it was Gods specific will from the very beginning, even before creation, that Christ would end up possessing all the things that belong to God since he is the Fathers Son and Inheritor:
"All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you." John 16:15
"I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours; all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in you name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled." John 17:9-12
And because God created all things for the Son, it is therefore not surprising to discover that Christ is the One who comes to redeem the believers since they are his very own possession:
"All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:37-40
Christ claims to have the very prerogatives of God alone, namely the ability to grant eternal life, preserve all true believers, and raise the dead on the Last Day or the Day of Judgment:
"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand." Deuteronomy 32:39
"The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up." 1 Samuel 2:6
"On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined. And he will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Isaiah 25:6-9
"Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn, that he may heal us; he has stricken, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him." Hosea 6:1-2
"Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your destruction? Compassion is hid from my eyes." Hosea 13:14
Hence, God granting the Son all things doesnt refute his being fully and eternally God. It only demonstrates that Christ is the beloved Son and Heir that fully possesses and completely owns everything that God has brought into being.
(1) Although it is definitely correct that God doesnt need anything from anyone, and doesnt need anyone, it is also true that God does receive and inherits from people just as the following passage teaches:
"Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!" Psalm 82:8
In the context of this particular Psalm, God is not inheriting something which he does not have but receiving back what he had entrusted to others, specifically the care and judgment of the nations. What the Psalmist is saying is that God will take back the nations which he entrusted to certain judges to rule, but who had failed to maintain perfect justice. The Scriptures do teach that God has given man the right to rule and possess the earth:
"Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Genesis 1:26-28
"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas." Psalm 8:3-6
"The heavens are the LORD's heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man." Psalm 115:16
Yet God still maintains ultimate control over all his creation and can recall it from those whom he has appointed as caretakers and inheritors:
"You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all--you are the head of gold." Daniel 2:37-38
"this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?" Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble." Daniel 4:24-25, 31-32, 34-35, 37
And according to Scriptures, a time will come when the Lord Jesus will abolish all opposing rule and bring everything into complete subjection to the triune God as the one sole ruler of all creation:
"Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For God has put all things in subjection under his feet. But when it says, all things are put in subjection, it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all." 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
Thus, if God inheriting something doesnt diminish his Deity then why should it diminish the Deity of Christ when the Scriptures teach that God appointed him Heir of everything?
Articles by Sam Shamoun
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