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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Should Jesus Christ be Worshipped?

A question for those Christians who believe in one God verse a trinitarian God is how can Jesus receive worship and yet not be God? For if you believe in the trinity then worshipping Jesus is not even a matter of concern. The problem for oneness believers is that the bible does say Jesus receives worship (Phil 2:9-10, compare to Isaiah 45:22-25, John 5:23,) As a oneness believer I myself cannot deny that Jesus is to receive worship. Every knee will bend means worship. Every knee is to bend to YHWH God as savior in Isaiah 45:22-25 but in Phil 2:9,10 we see every knee is to bend to Jesus. In John 5:23 we see that Jesus said he is to be honored just as the Father is honored. Yet I know from my study of God's word that YHWH God is one and there is no other gods before him or after him. He is the only true God, the Father and creator of us all, even Jesus Christ. So how is it that Jesus is to be worshipped but yet not be God?

God said in the law, the ten commandments at Exodus chapter twenty:

Ex 20 And God proceeded to speak all these words, saying:
2 “I am Jehovah your God, who have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slaves 3 You must not have any other gods against my face. 4 “You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth underneath or that is in the waters under the earth. 5 You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion. See also (Levi 26:1 Deut 4:16, 5:8, Rev 9:20)

The point I am making is that God said not to make idols for yourselves. Now if God had an idol made and told you to worship it, would that be against the law? No, because he had it made. The law does not say not to worship idols. It says not to make idols for yourselves. So no man made idols would be acceptable to God but if God told you to make an idol and told you to worship it then you would be required to worship it and it would not be against the law of God.

God did in fact have idols made and the Israelites were required to use them in worship such as the ark of the covenant, which was made of human hands and had the likeness of cherubs on it. Another example of this is found at Numbers twenty one.

8 Then Jehovah said to Moses: “Make for yourself a fiery snake and place it upon a signal pole. And it must occur that when anyone has been bitten, he then has to look at it and so must keep alive.” 9 Moses at once made a serpent of copper and placed it upon the signal pole; and it did occur that if a serpent had bitten a man and he gazed at the copper serpent, he then kept alive.

Looking at this verse you would have to agree that unless Moses was directly told by God to make this idol, it would be a violation of the law to make such a thing especially since a man was making it and it was an image of something on earth and on top of that it was a serpent of all things! Yet the Israelites were required to gaze at it in order to live. This is compared with Christ being put to death in John chapter three.

14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life.

Before Christ came, Jehovah God was the only known means of salvation. He gave instructions to his people through PROVEN prophets such as Moses and when the people listened to the prophets they were saved and if they didn't they paid the price. God has now revealed his son as the means by which all mankind can be saved. All must have faith in the son in order to have life. Everyone must in an act of worship bend their knee or bow down to Christ and acknowledge that he is lord and the means by which God saves. Does this mean worshipping him as the almighty God? No. Because even in Phil 3:10 every knee is to bend in the name of Jesus but to the glory of God the Father.

1 Cor 8:4 Now concerning the eating of foods offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no God but one. 5 For even though there are those who are called “gods,” whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many “gods” and many “lords,” 6 there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and we through him.

Paul does not say there is one God in three persons, God the father, God the son and God the holy spirit but says there is one God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus,

Eph 4:6 one God and Father of all [persons], who is over all and through all and in all.

Jesus receives worship because of his highly exalted position as God's means of salvation and accomplishing his will, not because he is God Almighty. We worship God through Jesus thus he is a integral part of the worship of God.

In conclusion God does accept worship through idols as long as the idols are approved by him. No idol made by man is acceptable. God has approved of his son as the focus of worship thus worship through Christ is acceptable.

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