(Average read: 5 Minutes).
This is the third instalment where I set out to show the simple inconsistencies and the poor reflection on the Scriptures from “Christ In Me International” (Pretoria, SA). From here on, I will refer to ‘Christ in Me International’ in abbreviated terms as ‘CIMI’. The availability of their article is found at their site under the title: ‘One God’.
Let us look at their perspective and reply to it step by step.
Please consider the following statements:
Jesus never referred to himself as GOD, but to reiterate, he always called GOD his FATHER.
There are more than forty scriptures in the Bible where Jesus Christ refers to GOD as his FATHER, but no scripture wherein he refers to himself as GOD.
The Gospels clearly reveal that Jesus claimed to be God in such a way that even the Jews of his day acknowledged his supposed blasphemy (Mark 14:61-63, John 8:58). In the Jewish Milieu, if Jesus explicitly said ‘I am God’, the very audience would have confused the fact that He WAS the Father. However, Jesus was not the Father and therefore reiterates that he was one with the Father in essence (‘ousia’) but another person (‘persona’) as the Father. Jesus clearly shows that He is the actual revelation of the Father (John14:7, 9-10) making Himself equal [Greek – ‘eison’] with the Father, pre-existing (John 8:58, 10:30, 36-39), coming from the Father (John 7:29-29). When CIMI states Jesus never mentioned He was God it simply shows a lack of understanding the scriptures.
There is also no reference to him as ‘GOD the Son’, by himself or by any of the apostles.
Here is an element, which is seemingly void in the Christological conception of CIMI. For CIMI Jesus was the first ‘Son’ of God amongst many Sons that would be brought into glory (Heb.2:10). This reality is even evident in orthodox Christianity, but, Jesus is seen as the ‘unique’ Son of God (John.3:16, 1:14, 18) but we are Sons of God by adoption (John 1:12-13, Rom.8:14-17, Eph.1:5, Gal.4:4-5). This does not lessen Christ’s complete work He wrought for our adoption, but maintains the specialness of the Unique Son (Greek: ‘’monogenes Theos’’) as we see mentioned in Johns Gospel (John 3:16; 1:14, 18). To posit as CIMI that Jesus was not God because He was not referred to as ‘’God the Son’’ is simply ignorant of the explicit Biblical text. John 1:1 in the Greek asserts explicitly that the Son [the Word] was God [Greek: ’Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος’] and even the author of the book of Hebrews affirm that the Son was the very expression of the Fathers being and the Father affirmed the Son to be God (Heb.1:3,8).
Jesus Christ teaches us that GOD is one GOD – our FATHER.
Although Luke 3:22 says that the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form upon Jesus Christ, Jesus never refers to it as the Holy Spirit dwelling in him but always as the FATHER abiding in him.
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me…
It has never been the mind of the Apostles that Jesus Christ is GOD. They always referred to GOD being the FATHER of Jesus Christ (Rom 15:5-6, 1 Cor 8:6, 2 Cor 1:2-3, 2 Cor 11:31, Eph 1:3, Col 1:3, 1 Pet 1:3).
Jesus Christ, therefore, does not teach us that the Holy Spirit is another God living inside him, but rather that it is the One True GOD – GOD who is SPIRIT (John 4:24), who is also his FATHER – who lives in him.
CIMI denies the distinctiveness of the Holy Spirit and state that the Spirit of God is synonymous with Father God. First, there is no denial that the Holy Spirit is a ‘person’ in the Scriptures. He guides (Acts 8:29; 10:19-20, 13:2, 16:7,9, 20:28) can be lied to (Acts 5:3), blasphemed against (Matt.12:31-32), tested (Acts 5:9), resisted (Acts 7:15, 1 Thes.5:19), and grieved (Eph.4:30). Second, we recognize emphatically that the Spirit of God is distinct from the Father God (John 14-16). The Scriptures constantly refers to the Spirit apart from the Father in the third person as ‘he’ (Joh.14:16-17, 25-26, 15:26, 16:12-15). Paul the Apostle clearly refers to the Holy Spirit as a distinct person apart from the Son and the Father (1 Cor.12:4-6, 2 Cor.13:14, Gal.4:6, Eph.2:18; 4:4-6, Titus 3:5-6). At the very baptism of Jesus, we recognized the Spirit ascending on Jesus in a form of a dove and God’s voice coming from heaven which notes a clear distinction of actions between two persons and Jesus clearly commissioning His disciples in the distinct name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt.28:19). The rest of the Gospels show the distinct persons of the Trinity which CIMI denies. God does miracles through the agency of the Son and the Spirit (Heb.2:3-4), the Triune God acts completely in our sanctification (1 Pet.1:2), and Jude even encourages us with a Triune benediction (Jude 20-21).
Please also see the following very simply stated arguments:
Jesus prayed. Does GOD pray? If so, to whom would GOD pray? And why would Jesus need to pray if he was GOD?
Jesus prayed to inform Christians about the importance of communicating with God. Jesus taught Christians how to pray (Matt. 6:9) and Jesus is our example. John 13:15 says “For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” Why did Jesus need to pray at all? Why did Jesus pray out loud, audibly? Could God the Father hear his Son if He prayed silently? Of course! However, Jesus told us why He prayed right before He raised Lazarus from the dead: “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me,”(John 11:41-42.) Jesus prayed audibly for everyone else‘s benefit so that the people would believe and the Bible could be written. Jesus and the Father are one (John 8:58), that is one in purpose and one in essence. They are totally united, one in purpose, one in thought and one indeed. Jesus is unique as God, the only human being who is God incarnate.
Jesus prayed to the FATHER, he did not worship himself.
To assume Jesus was the Father shows the absolute inept understanding of the Church leaders (leermeesters) to describe even the most basic understanding of Christian orthodoxy. Jesus was not the Father, in praying to the Father he clearly demonstrates His distinctiveness from the Father. To assume Jesus prayed to Himself is based on an ancient heretical idea deduced from modalism.
Jesus died on the cross (GOD cannot die).
When orthodox Christians (affirmers of the Trinity and the Incarnation) claim that the human-divine Jesus died, they/we mean that he died in his humanity, not his divinity. The divine Son assumed a human nature (John 1:14) precisely so he could offer a perfect human sacrifice on the cross. By being both human and divine, he was able to take a fallen, damaged human nature and sanctify/transform it through a life of perfect obedience, and then offer it to the Father through death on the cross. It is also worthy to note that death does not mean a cessation of existence and when the Son died it was not the cessation of the Being of God, simply the Son, laying down His life from His own personal volition for our salvation (John 10:18). For another interesting discussion, surrounding this question read the reply I wrote to Muslim scholar Ibn Anwar on this very question: Can God Die? A reply to Ibn Anwar
Jesus did the will of his FATHER, not his own will.
This is exactly what we would expect from an obedient Son (John 5:19, 30; 8:28). The fallacy is thinking that Jesus lesser than the Father in essence because in His incarnation He functioned as a servant of the Father (Mark 10:45, Phil.2:5-8). This perspective is simply oblique and cannot reasonably explain the full extent of the Christian Scriptures that identify Jesus as being equal with God in essence (John 10:30) even though in the incarnation the Son vested Himself with a human form to accomplish the Fathers will (cf. John 5:16-30). Jesus clearly denotes that He at His ascension He will receive back the full equality of essence He shared with the Father (John 6:62, 17:5, Phil.2:6, 1 Pet.1:21).
Before he received the SPIRIT at his baptism, Jesus never did any miracles, nor did he tell any parables, according to the Bible. He only started with this from the day he received the SPIRIT of GOD. From there only, being anointed by GOD, he was able to do all things through Christ who strengthened him (Acts 10:36-38).
Orthodox Christian affirm that Jesus did miracles not necessarily from His divine prerogatives but from His human constitutes as an anointed man and perfect example. This does not negate His divinity though; it simply shows that in the earthly ministry of Jesus He functioned as a perfect man (Phil.2:5-11). This is exactly what we can expect because He came in the likeness of a man accomplishing the will of the Father by relying on the Spirit’s potency (Luke 4:18-21, Rom.1:3) becoming our perfect High Priest in service to the Father (Heb.2:14-18) but in that did not cease to be God (Heb.1:8, 8:1, 3; 10:21). As Theologian Bruce Ware writes: “He [Christ] lived His life as one of us. He accepted the limitations of his humanity and relied upon the guidance of the Father would give him and the power the Spirit would provide him to live day by day in perfect obedience to the Father.”
If Jesus is GOD, then I am also GOD. Romans 8:29 says that Jesus was the firstborn of many sons to come. GOD is definitely not my brother; HE is my FATHER. Everyone who is born again (Jesus included), is born of the same Seed/Word/Logos (1 Pet 1:23).
GOD says in Genesis 1:26 that man must reign on the earth. GOD will go against HIS own Word if Jesus is GOD on earth, for man was appointed to reign on earth.
Reply: Here the authors over esteem their own uniqueness at the expense of Christ’s worth. I have already shown above that Jesus Christ was unique in His conception, mission, and revelation of the Father. We do not deny the significance of Christ bringing many sons into glory, but we see quite clearly that Jesus Christ possessed the unique glory of God and uniquely reveals the nature of the Father (John 1:9,18; 17:3; 14:9-1). We are created in the ‘imago Dei’, but nowhere do we essentially define the Father or are we little gods as CIMI would propose. Theologian Millard J. Erickson sums it up nicely when he wrote, “The image of God in humanity comprises those qualities of God which, reflected in man, make worship, personal interaction, and work possible.”  What is startling is that CIMI hold that Jesus was ‘born again’ and that we are of the same seed. This essentially negates His sinless perfection undermining the essential person and work of the spotless Lamb of God. It is of necessity that we should be born again and for the Image of God to be restored to us which Adam had lost (John 1:12-13, Gen.1:27, Rom.5:19). We are ‘born again’ and become children of God by placing our faith in the finishing work and persistent Lordship of Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13, Eph.4:24, Gal.3:26). Jesus was already perfectly God (John 1:1) and did not need to be born again but was our perfect example of how we should walk by the Spirit of God (Luke 24:49, John 12:12-18, Acts 1:5).CIMI laments the fact that man should reign on earth and if Jesus was God it would disqualify Him from His divinity. However, they forget he was the perfect man and the perfect God and Scripture says Christ will reign with a sceptre of righteousness (Heb.1:8) on the throne of His Father David and Jacob forever (Luke 1:32-33, Rev.11:15), where every knee and name will be subservient to Him forever (Phil.2:10). As Abram Kuyper said, “there is not a spot anywhere on this earth where Jesus does not declare mine!” The Author of Hebrews (1) makes it emphatic that His rule is current, present, and as the perfect God-Man forever. Not Xandre or any other King is necessary!
Clearly, an internationally acclaimed Church that has the only supposed decree from God struggle to grapple even the essential components of Christology and the basic imperatives from the Christian Scriptures. We recognize time and again that the leadership of this community has no foundational understanding of sound biblical hermeneutics or any concern with the objective well-being of its members. Let us persist in our prayers for them and pray that God will enlighten their understanding and bring those who are His close to Himself.
PS Rudolph P. Boshoff.
 Christian Theology, Pg.514.