Thursday: Jesus, the Divine Messiah

Peter knew not only that Jesus was the Messiah but that He was the Lord, as well. That is, by the time of these epistles, Peter knew that the Messiah was God Himself. Though the title “Lord” can have a secular meaning, the term also can be a clear reference to divinity. In 1 Peter 1:3 and 2 Peter 1:8, 2 Peter 1:14, 2 Peter 1:16, Peter is referring to Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ, as the Lord, as God Himself.

Jesus Protecting Earth

Image © Lars Justinen

Like other writers in the New Testament, Peter describes the relationship between Jesus and God with the words Father and Son. For example, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:3, NKJV; compare 2 Pet. 1:17). Jesus is described as the beloved Son (2 Pet. 1:17), and some of Jesus’ authority as Lord, and His heavenly status, comes from this special relationship that He has with God the Father.

Read 2 Peter 1:1, John 1:1, and John 20:28. What do they tell us about the divinity of Jesus?

Second Peter 1:1 says “our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (NKJV). In the Greek original, the same definite article (that is, “the”) is used for both God and Savior. Grammatically this means that both “God” and “Savior” are used of Jesus. Second Peter 1:1, then, stands as one of the very clear indications in the New Testament of the full divinity of Jesus.

As the early Christians struggled to understand Jesus, they gradually put the evidence of the New Testament together. In the writings of Peter, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct (for example, Father/Son:

1 Pet. 1:3, 2 Pet. 1:17; Holy Spirit: 1 Pet. 1:12, 2 Pet. 1:21), as indeed they are in the rest of the New Testament. Yet, at the same time, Jesus is portrayed as fully divine, as is the Holy Spirit. Over time, and after much discussion, the church developed the doctrine of the Trinity to explain as well as possible the divine mystery of the Godhead. Seventh-day Adventists include the doctrine of the Trinity as one of their 28 fundamental beliefs. Thus, we see in Peter a clear depiction of Jesus as not only the Messiah but as God Himself.

When you think about the life and death of Jesus and then realize that He was God, what does this tell you about the kind of God we serve and why we should love and trust Him? Bring your answer to class on Sabbath.


Thursday: Jesus, the Divine Messiah — 20 Comments

  1. The phrase "of our God und Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:1) clearly points out the divinity of Christ as expressed in His divine mission saving man from sin, which only God is able to accomplish. The word Saviour is related to Christ. Already the angel of the Lord has pointed out that Joseph shall call the Saviours name "Jesus", for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

    Moreover, the Greek name "Jesus" is the equivalent of the Hebrew word "Jeshua", which means "Salvation". In its absolute sense it expresses divine messianic salvation by God himself. (Isaiah 52:7; 1 Samuel 2:1; Deuteronomy 32:15)

    In giving Jesus this name, the interpreting angel has designated divinity to our Lord, which is the foundation of His divine, salvatory mission saving man from sin. Hallelujah!

    Winfried Stolpmann

  2. He lived a Godly life full of prayers. He even died for our sins so that we can be saved. We should love Jesus because he died for our sins. Trust must be in Him due to His rising from the dead. We will also rise if we die in His Arms. He has even promised to take his people to Heaven whoever keeps His commandments.

    • Katempa, you wrote, "We should love Jesus because he died for our sins." As I just now re-read your statement a thought came to my mind--we can't really Love God without receiving HIS Love into our hearts by His Spirit. We can give it back to Him by Loving His children that He died to save. He says it is the same as loving Him. This is how we can love Him and touch Him and care for Him in reality now.

  3. I need Him as my Saviour. The bible says He is the saviour and glory And Honor is to be given to Him in good and bad times. He is good and He will never change.

  4. 1 John 4:4
    You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

    He who is in you
    Is the Spirit dwelling in you?
    has the power to overcome
    Even the temptation of our wilderness and weakness.

    David and Goliath
    Everyone was looking at Goliath but David looked at God.
    Where is your focus today?

    If God is for us who can be against us.

  5. While I believe in the Godhead(Father,son and Holy Spirit) ;and that THEY are one, coming from a Catholic background ,we as Seventh-day Adventist need not abopt this word Trinity to describe our doctrinal believe ,as these catholic words may have a different meaning to the catholic than  for the Adventist.Let us be careful,because at the communion table am hearing the word Eucharist,that word means something different in the
    Catholic faith than to than to the Seventh-day
    Adventist.Let us be careful.

    • The use of both words actually predate the Roman Catholic church. The first use of the word "Trinity" (in its Greek form) to apply to the three/one concept of God was by Theophilus of Antioch, circa 180AD so it is a fairly early addition to the Christian vocabulary. The Greek form of the word "Eucharist" is used by Paul in 1 Cor 11:24 where it is used in the sense of thanksgiving.(eucharistēsas - having given thanks) So in a sense it is Biblical.

      There is no doubt that the word "Eucharist" has since been appropriated by the Roman Catholics and is essentially associated with the notion of transubstantiation - that the wafer is turned into the actual body of Christ. I would find it surprising to find it used in an Adventist context without some explanation about Paul's use of the word.

      While I can understand that someone, coming from a Catholic background wants to avoid the use of those words, it needs to be understood that not everyone has those associations and may use the words in the original sense.

      I am very much aware of the associations of meanings that we have with words. A good communicator is aware of how their listener interprets words. In an international environment one needs to be aware that we all have different backgrounds, education and culture. I live in Australia and we often have North American speakers come over here for camp meetings and other church gatherings. It is always humorous to listen to these speakers weave their way through Australian word meanings and associations even though we speak the same language.

      Perhaps in all of this we need to understand that the true meaning of Christianity is not in the way we interpret words such as these, but in the way we live our lives in Christian love, bearing one another's burdens, sharing our Christian love and experience, and being tolerant in an international community of believers when so may of us have such very different cultures and education. We are united in Christ in spite of our differences.

    • We are perfectly free to use the words "Trinity" or "Eucharist" or whatever, because what we mean is defined by OUR use, not that of others. Being careful is a unnecessary defensive use of our faith.

      • It would be nice it that was true Jordon, but in communication both the transmitter and the receiver must agree on the meaning of the words before it is effective. I have seen, even here on Sabbath School Net, prolonged discussions where the conversing parties have had a different meaning to the same word or phrase and have refused to accede, that their usage is different.

        We need to accept current agreed usage if we want to communicate with one another. As I pointed out previously, that aim is made more difficult now because so many of us communicate across international boundaries. I mentioned that I am Australian, and accept that their are certain Australian expressions that do not travel well, and know that I have been misunderstood by folk in other countries. (Is there any reader here who remembers my "ratbag" reference in 1997? I made some very good friends out of that faux pas.)

        In the case of the two words under discussion, the word Eucharist has become synonymous with the transubstantiation idea (the bread becomes the actual body of Christ) and that is how it would be understood today. Trying to change that would be like trying to stop the tide from coming in.

        The word "Trinity" is more complex because there are a range of meanings within the Christian community today. My personal preference is to avoid the use of the word within the Adventist context because of that. I don't condemn those who do use it, but prefer myself, to use other descriptions of the Godhead to avoid the unnecessary conflict of meanings and usage. There are big ideas about the Godhead that can be expressed without using the word.

        I gave the detail of the origins of both words because it helps us to avoid arguing that the words are of Catholic origin when clearly they both predate the formation of the Catholic Church and in fact the word eucharist is Biblical, and was used in the context of the communion service.

        • I commend your stand for complete communication. Perhaps we can add the role of persuasion, which includes, of course, the meanings of words. Over time, original meanings change as groups grow and usage rises and falls. Meaning are not fixed, but simply rooted in their original contexts and grow from there. Current usage can often be agreed upon, of course, except where one party wants to lock meanings to their past usage.

          "Language is the house of Being," wrote Heidegger, and it is true of religious language as much or more than any other.

  6. Some are afraid to acknowledge Jesus as Lord because then they will have to obey Him. But we need not fear commands from our Lord Jesus. We can trust He only wants what is best for us. The same One who has authority over us is the same Lord who laid down His life to save us. His laws and His will is for our eternal good. As Christians we are blessed to serve a Master who also calls Himself our Father, friend, husband and Savior. Indeed, there is no one like our God, there is none beside Him.

  7. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. He was born of a union between God and humanity in the person of a girl named Mary. Before Jesus was thus begotten He was "the Angel of the Lord", Micheal, Christ, the "Word" of the Creator.

    When He was incarnated in human flesh He was called Jesus. Many have been called Jesus since then, but One is the only begotten Son of God. We find that Jesus was not just the Son of God, but He was the embodiment of the whole Godhead--Mind, Body, and Spirit.

    Adam was also the son of God at creation, but not the "Only Begotten Son." Adam was connected with Divinity by sharing the Holy Spirit with God at his creation. We are invited to be children of God in the same way that Adam was made in the image and likeness of God-- by sharing the "Third Member of the Godhead."

    This gives us an advantage over our humanity, in that Divinity is actually working to save us from sinning. The only begotten Son of God saved us from the penalty of sin and His Spirit saves us from sinning by motivating us with His Love if we choose to allow it. The admonition is, "Watch and pray lest you fall." When? NOW.

    What tremendous opportunity we have within our reach if we will choose it! We can also be the embodiment of God through our union with Him. He has already chosen to give us His Love and Character via the work of His Holy Spirit. NOW, if we are living, we have a choice that must be made to complete the union of His Divinity with our humanity. We can be the "finger of God."

    Is this incredible? Let me know what you think.

  8. In 1 Peter 1:3, The Apostle Peter seems to place more importance in JESUS' resurrection than he does in JESUS' 33 plus or minus years here on this earth for humanity. I feel that JESUS' 33 years on this earth has just as much importance IF NOT MORE than HIS RESURRECTION. I am open, however, for any other thoughts on this subject.

    • We are born again through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead because it was His resurrection, and the Father's subsequent acceptance of His sacrifice on the cross, that enabled Him to begin His heavenly ministry of intercession on our behalf. This is the only source of our spiritual life. Without our being born again from above, nothing else would matter for us personally. Does this make sense?

      • The death and resurrection ARE Jesus's ministry on our behalf. The letters of Peter, which we are studying this quarter, do not teach some separate heavenly ministry.

  9. The Apostle Paul indicates that we are JUSTIFIED by Jesus' death
    and that we are SAVED by Jesus' life. That to me means JESUS' LIFE BEFORE AS WELL AS AFTER HIS RESURRECTION. And we have more SALVATIONAL information RECORDED about JESUS' life before HIS RESURRECTION than we do about HIM after that.

    • I think Paul would say that we are saved by Jesus' life IN us via His Spirit. His life gives us an example of how He lived that we can copy by inviting His Spirit of Love to motivate our lives and live our lives like He lived in human flesh.

      He said of Himself that He did nothing on His own, but that the Father taught Him everything He said and did. By the work of the Holy Spirit He was able to live as a human without sinning. We are given that same opportunity to receive of the mind of God via the Holy Spirit and live a life after His example connected with Divinity.

    • In the NT "Life" of Jesus doesn't mean his 33 years but his life-giving power or his living existence as resurrected.

  10. The original subject was Jesus the Divine Messiah. In spite of all of the different opinions and comments, the lesson gives their opinion regarding what Peter understood about the text Matt 16:16. I agree with that opinion. Read Luke 7:18 -20. None of the disciples understood. The argument over which of the Disciples was the most favored of Jesus. The mother of James and John asking Jesus to be on either side in the Kingdom as they perceived. Acts 1:6 is another example of their disbelief. The comment from the lesson is Wednesdays lesson, bottom paragraph. Was Jesus ever not Divine or the Messiah? The characteristics of Peter that we know are, bold, brash, impetuous, and outspoken, Spoke before giving careful thought to his words. He made promises he couldn't keep and ended up denying his Lord. Peter repented and sought a new experience with Christ. We may look for glimpses of the old Peter when His epistle was written. Especially as a prominent leader of the early church. By sheer numbers, the Apostle Paul has more contributions than the entire new Testament.

  11. God is self sacrificial. It is beyond human grasp to think of the Creator of all having voluntarily sacrifice Himself in humanity's place. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, NOT imputing their sins....why? Because Christ was MADE sin for us. God took on sin through Jesus being made sin for us, and extends, not our sin, but His righteousness to us. I believe it is this understanding the propelled the members of the early church to share Jesus far and wide.


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