There can be no doubt that Jesus saw himself as someone who was quite distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. He constantly referred to his Father, spoke to his Father, and lived in continual submission to the Father’s will. He promised that he would send the Spirit, who could not come until Jesus returned to the Father. Now, the Scriptures are also extremely clear on another point: there is only one God. Although demons, powerful people, or even things such as wealth, may be considered “gods” and worshipped as “gods”, in truth there is only one God, the Almighty One, the Creator and Lord of all things. The prophet Isaiah wrote over and over again what God told him:
“This is what the Lord says -Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” [Is. 44.6] “Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” [Is. 44.8] “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” [Is. 45.8]
Furthermore, the Lord declares openly that, as the only God, as the First and the Last, he will not share his glory with another [Isaiah 42.8]. He is the only Creator, the one who laid out the heavens and the earth by himself: “I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.” [Is. 44.24]
Almighty God, who alone made the heavens and the earth, who is the First and the Last, is also the only Saviour: “I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no saviour.” [Is. 43.11]
The Scriptures proclaim openly that there is but one God, the Almighty. The New Testament, too, states clearly that there is only one Lord, and yet Jude refers to Jesus as “Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord”. [Jude 4]. Only God is Sovereign and there is only one Lord. Why then, does this Scripture apply to Jesus the titles of the one God?
But this is not the only time we find this happening. Over and over again, Jesus is given titles that the Almighty God of the Old Testament has taken for himself. Isaiah states that God alone created all things, echoing Genesis 1.1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”. Yet in John 1.1-3 we read: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
The identity of the Word is revealed in verses 14 and 17: “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth…grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”
What a statement this is: the Word was God, and yet was with God. God alone made the heavens and the earth, and yet Jesus, the Word, made everything that has been made. How can this be? Because he is God. There are not two Creators.
The man who wrote those words under the inspiration of the Spirit was John, the beloved apostle, the man who knew Jesus best of all his earthly friends. But there are other witnesses also. Paul, a man who was very sensitive to the Scriptures, a Hebrew of the Hebrews and learned in the Law and the Prophets, made this astonishing statement about Jesus:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” [Col. 1.15-17]
Why is he supreme? Because he made everything, because he is the invisible God made visible, the “image of the invisible God”. As John said: “No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son…has made him known”. John and Paul agree completely that Jesus made everything. All creation was not only made by him, but exists for him. Neither can it be said that God simply made the heavens and earth through Jesus as some kind of inferior creator, for he says clearly in Isaiah 44.24 that he “alone stretched out the heavens and…spread out the earth by myself”. One has to ask, therefore: are there two Creators? No, but there is more than one person at work. How did God create? Did he do anything? No, he spoke and it was.