2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Christology: The Preeminence of the Lord Jesus Christ
All our hope, faith and salvation hinges on who is the Lord Jesus Christ. Was He who He claimed to be God in the flesh, or was He just a man? If the Lord Jesus truly is God then we have hope and all eternity to look forward to as believers in Christ. But if He’s just a man (creature) as many cults believe then we’re all lost and dead in our sins.
1 Corinthians 15:14, 17 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. … And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Christology is the study of the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who He is, His claims, the miracles He’s done. The greatest attack on Christianity is from cults and world religions who try to refute His (Jesus) claim as the Son of God, being in the very nature of God and saying He’s anything less. Today we will look at the heretical claims of one such cult called the Christadelphians.
What do the Christadelphians believe?
To quote directly from their home page.
The Wrested Scriptures Page lists passages commonly used to defend the erroneous views and outlines the correct understanding of these passages.
In referring to ‘Mainstream Christianity’, we speak of the principal Christian groups, such as Catholics, Baptists, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, etc.
Please excuse the directness of the sections below; due to the nature of the media, we felt it was best.— Christadelphians
There’s one thing to note before delving into what they believe. All cults have similar things in common but what they all have in common is they say “they’re the only true church” or “they alone hold the truth”. Christadelphians, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Oneness Pentecostals and Catholics all make this “truth claim”. The Jehovah Witnesses also say that Christendom is all false as well as the Christadelphians, therefore by each of these groups saying “all Christendom is all false” also means that Jehovah Witnesses and Christadelphians would have to say they’re both wrong. Maybe that’s a topic for another post. Let’s get to it.
The bulk of all Christianity teaches unequivocally that Jesus is God. This claim is made without qualification. Typically, it is said that Jesus is 100% man and 100% God: that Jesus was fully God, and never ceased to be God while on earth. And usually, when it really gets down to the nitty-gritty, it is said the whole issue (the Trinity) is a mystery. — Christadelphians
To begin Christianity didn’t teach that Jesus Christ is God, the Lord Jesus Christ said He’s God and the Bible teaches that He’s God that’s where we get our theology straight from God’s word. As Christians, we believe what Jesus said to be true. Not only does the New Testament give direct evidence that Jesus is God, but it also provides indirect evidence. There are many indirect references that could be cited. Some of these include.
Jesus Possesses The Attributes Of Deity: According to Scripture, Jesus possessed certain attributes that belong to God alone.
Jesus Is All-Knowing:
God’s word says that Jesus is all-knowing. He knew the thoughts of people.
Luke 6:8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.
Jesus was able to tell the Samaritan woman her past history without previously meeting her before.
John 4:18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
The Samaritan woman went back and said to the people in her village.
John 4:29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
A mere man wouldn’t be able to know the thoughts of others. It shows forth God’s ability to be all knowing. The disciples themselves also recognized that the Lord Jesus knew all things.
John 16:30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
Psalms 147:5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
We praise God for His divine understanding His Omniscience because He knows all things better than any of us can (Psalms 147:4, Isaiah 40:28, Jeremiah 1:5, 23:24).
He’s Both Fully God and Fully Man
Mortality and Immortality are mutually exclusive characteristics. If Jesus is God, he couldn’t have really died, for God is immortal by nature. Likewise, if Jesus died, he couldn’t really be God, for God cannot die. Immortality is not a fluctuating quality! A being is either mortal or immortal. You can’t have it both ways with this. Either Christ died, and he was mortal during his time of ministry 2000 years ago, or he’s God and could have never died. Pick one alternative, as holding both is simply untenable. Traditional Christians typically respond to this point with the idea stated above in the introduction, that Jesus was fully human and fully God. But look at the next point. — Christadelphians
The Christadelphians reject the divinity of Christ, they cannot grasp the foundational truth that Christ always existed before time. He is eternal and shares the same nature as the Father. Christadelphians demoted the Lord Jesus to a mere man in their theology one who has no power to save; another Jesus as Paul the apostle said (2 Corinthians 11:4). As Christians, we reject this idea that the Christ Jesus was a powerless man.
The word of God shows that the Lord Jesus was God manifest in the flesh, both fully God and fully man. Speaking of the Jesus the writer to the Hebrews wrote of Christ preexisting all of creation without beginning.
Hebrews 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
John the Apostle also wrote in one of the most well-known verses in the Bible speaking of His divinity.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
when looking into the Greek language it says that He (Jesus) was face to face with God (Father), He (Jesus) was always there.
πρός prós, pros; a preposition of direction; forward to, i.e. toward (with the genitive case, the side of, i.e. pertaining to; with the dative case, by the side of, i.e. near to; usually with the accusative case, the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, i.e. whither or for which it is predicated) In the comparative case, it denotes essentially the same applications, namely, motion towards, accession to, or nearness at.
John goes on to say in his Gospel that all things were made by the Lord Jesus in pertaining to creation.
John 1:2–3 The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
We can also connect these verses to others which say that God alone created all things by Himself.
Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
The question must then be asked if God says He created all things by Himself then are their two Creators? Of course not that’s because when the Bible speaks of God it’s referring to His being. We also see the plurality and the distinction of Persons in the Godhead, therefore it makes sense when Jesus is attributed to be the Creator of all things.
Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
The Temptation of Christ
For the temptations of Christ to have been in any way real, there had to exist the possibility that he could sin. If Christ is God, it is impossible that he could have sinned, for God is perfect by nature. Jesus pointed this out in Mt 19:17, marking the distinction between himself and God (only ONE is good…).
If Christ was God, and therefore couldn’t sin, all his ‘temptations’ were faked, and his identification with mankind a cruel sham! And for those affirming the “fully God/fully man” idea, do you really see God locking Himself into a nature that could potentially sin? Finally, James explicitly states that God cannot be tempted by evil (1:13–15). — Christadelphians
What the Christadelphians are saying is because satan attempted to tempt the Lord Jesus means that He couldn’t have been God? This makes no sense just because satan tried to foil God’s plan doesn’t take away the fact that Jesus Christ is God. Do they really expect that satan was going to sit back and not at least try even though he would never be successful?
The temptations were not “faked” just because Jesus is God, satan in his failing attempts try to get Christ to display His power as a result of pride. The nail in the coffin is that the writer to the Hebrews addressed this saying.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
The Lord Jesus was like us in the sense that He felt the same things we did, He experienced the same emotions and knows the same hardships we face. He took on the likeness of sinful flesh.
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
The scriptures say that He took on our nature that is human nature, the seed of Abraham. This also speaks to the virgin birth.
Hebrews 2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
Let’s not also forget that the Lord Jesus is in the order of Melchizedek, He’s our great high priest and has the eternal priesthood.
Hebrews 7:21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
But God the Father Himself in talking with the Son He calls the Son God, if God the Father can call the Lord Jesus God then why won’t the Christadelphians?
Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
Jesus Christ is God because mankind is a fallen creature through the downfall of Adam sin came into the world and death by sin, therefore every human being born is a sinner by nature we cannot escape the fact that we we’re in bondage to sin.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
Since the Lord Jesus is God He alone was able to purchase is from the slave market of sin, He alone had the means necessary to accomplish this redemptive act. This is why we can sing the song, “Redeemed, How I love to Proclaim it!”. We were redeemed with incorruptible things His blood which is precious and cleanseth us from all unrighteousness.
1 Peter 1:18–19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
All those believers who are blood bought by the Lord Jesus Christ will sing and proclaim in Heaven the great truth of His redeeming power.
Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
It goes to show that Jesus had to come in our likeness under the law to redeem us who couldn’t save ourselves. An angel cannot die for our sins nor any other creature, only human life had to be given for human life. While at the same time our Redeemer had to be in the position or have the means by which He could purchase us, and being God in the flesh His blood was spotless and pure without sin. How glorious is our Saviour!!!
The Power of Jesus Christ
God is undeniably all-powerful, while Jesus always acknowledged that his power was received from God, not inherently his own (ie. John 7:16, 8:28, 12:49–50, 14:28). He said this about his teaching as well, in many places. Why would he say this if he and God were the one and same? In addition, when the disciples requested to sit at his right hand and at his left, he said that this was not his to give, but the Fathers’ to decide (Matt. 20:23). The usual response to this is that the different persons of God have different domains of authority; but there you would venture out onto thin ice indeed, as it is very difficult to be One, yet have multiple and distinct personhoods, with distinct levels of authority. — Christadelphians
Another mistake the Christadelphians argue is that Jesus acknowledged His power being received from God. This is where the Humanity of Christ is displayed in its splendour. The apostle Paul when addressing the saints at Philippi brought the human nature of Christ to their remembrance.
Cults like the Christadelphians always overlook the book of Philippians and this wonderful passage of scripture which speaks of His Humanity and Divine nature; fully God and fully man.
Philippians 2:5–8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
He (Jesus) is equal to the Father but even though He humbled himself and took the form of a servant made in the likeness of men and was obedient unto the death of the cross. God came off His throne stepped into His own creation that He might take the punishment we deserve because of our sins. He paid the ultimate price for us that we could be set free from sin and death. The prophet Isaiah also made mention of this redemptive act.
Isaiah 53:3–7 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
God Is By Nature Invisible
God is by nature invisible and never seen (Jn. 1:18, I Tim. 6:16, I Jn. 4:12); Jesus was of course seen. To say that God was never seen, and then to continue that Jesus is God just doesn’t make sense. The idea that Jesus is God isn’t a mystery or some profound biblical truth too deep to understand — it just doesn’t make sense. — Christadelphians
At least the Christadelphians are saying they don’t understand and that’s ok but just because you cannot understand something doesn’t make it not true. When the Bible speaks of God not being seen that’s speaking of the Father. Moses asked to see God and was told He would die.
Exodus 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
It makes perfect sense that when the scriptures speak of Jacob wrestling with God, Isaiah being undone when seeing Christ in His glory, and John in Revelation falling at His feet as dead. The power and majesty and Holiness of God because He’s so pure reveals our sin in us, how unclean we are.
Genesis 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
Revelation 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
This cannot go without saying that the apostle Thomas said speaking of the risen Christ.
John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
God the Lord Jesus Christ was standing in the midst of them, we have a personal God one who’s interested in His creation and loves us so very much!
God the Father
In the Bible, God = the Father, and no other. See Rom. 1:7, Col.3:17, I Thes. 1:1, II Tim 1:2 and many more (for example, the introductory words of almost all Paul’s letters). The appelations “the Father” and “Jesus” are never used interchangeably in the Bible. — Christadelphians
They miss the fact that the Son shares the same divine nature of the Father, just as the Holy Spirit shares the same divine nature as well. As Christians, we never believed that the Father is the Son are the same Persons in the Godhead; we believe in 1 God who has revealed Himself in 3 distinct persons who all share the same divine attributes.
On a number of occasions, Jesus is associated with God in an equal manner. For example, in baptism, He’s put Jesus on an equal level with God the Father. This is also true of the apostolic benediction.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
As we also know that a name also bares authority, when a police officer says stop in the name of the law he’s coming in the authority of the law. It’s why the Pharisees asked the apostles Peter and John the question:
Acts 4:7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
Notice the Pharisees asked by what power or name they associated a name with authority, this is why later in the scriptures it says:
Philippians 2:10–11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Notice 1 Timothy 3:16 says “God was manifest in the flesh”, God came in the form of a man. How can the Christadelphians deny such truth? It’s because they’re a cult and that’s what cults do.
As we can plainly see that the Christadelphians are not Christians, a cult is a group which would claim to be Christian but deviates from one or more foundational doctrines from God’s word. There are many more erroneous teachings the Christadelphians believe which are heretical. They share the same views as Arius of Alexandria which was deemed heretical by the early church fathers.
Arius of Alexandria was cast out of the church as a heretic during the council of Nicea in the early fourth century AD. One of the earliest and probably the most important item of debate among early Christians was the subject of Christ’s deity. Was Jesus truly God in the flesh, or was Jesus a created being? Was Jesus God or not? Arius denied the deity of the Son of God, holding that Jesus was created by God as the first act of creation and that the nature of Christ was anomoios (“unlike”) that of God the Father. Arianism, then, is the view that Jesus is a finite created being with some divine attributes, but He is not eternal and not divine in and of Himself.
We still are seeing the effects of Arianism in the likes of Christadelphians, Jehovah Witnesses, Islam and Mormonism. Just like the early Christians then we as Christians today must stand up against this heretical teaching. The epistle of Jude puts it this way.
Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
If you’re part of the Christadelphians this is to show you the errors you’re holding onto, our hope and prayer would be that you would come to know the real Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible and not the false Jesus you currently believe in. If you have the right Jesus you’ll be right for all eternity, but if you have the wrong Jesus you’ll be wrong for all eternity.