The institutional church has always proclaimed that Jesus preexisted in heaven. And it has concluded that Jesus’ preexistence indicates that he was and is God. But in modern times, the idea that Jesus preexisted has been seriously challenged. One argument is that if Jesus preexisted as a fully developed personality, that does not allow for human development and therefore compromises his being human.
Luke claims Jesus had a normal human development. He says of Jesus’ childhood, “The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 2:40). Notice that Luke also distinguishes the Child Jesus from God, which always indicates that Jesus was not God. Then Luke adds, “And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (v. 52). How could Jesus have increased in favor with God if he was God? William Barclay therefore states, “one of the most difficult of all ideas [is] the idea of the preexistence of Jesus.”
Christians claim that they base their beliefs on the Bible. While the first three gospels of the New Testament (NT) contain nothing about Jesus having preexisted, the Gospel of John seems to have several important passages that do so. And there are notable texts in the Apostle Paul’s letters and the book of Hebrews that do, which we will now consider.
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Author: Kermit Zarley
Keywords: angel of the lord, Jesus angel, preexistence of Jesus, Christ's preexistence, Preexistence of Christ, Jesus' preexistence, Jesus preexisted, Christ preexisted, Theophany, Michael, Michael the arch angel, Michael the archangel, Christ's pre-existence, Pre-existence of Christ, Jesus' pre-existence, Jesus pre-existed, Christ pre-existed, preexistence, pre-existence, preincarnate, pre-incarnate, preincarnate Jesus, preincarnate Christ, pre-incarnate Jesus, pre-incarnate Christ, Christ preincarnate, Christ pre-incarnate, captain of the lord's host, Jesus Preexistence in Heaven, Jesus Preexisted in Heaven, Jesus existed before Abraham, Christ existed before Abraham, Greater than Abraham, Existed before Abraham, Before Abraham, Trinity, Trinitarian, Jesus existed before he was born, Deity of Christ, Deity of Jesus
Bible reference(s): John 1:1-3, Joh 1:14, John 1:15, John 1:30, Joh 3:13, Joh 6:38, Joh 6:58, John 6:62, Joh 8:56-58, Joh 17:5, Joh 17:24, 1Co 10:4, Hebrews 1:2-5, Heb 1:8, Heb 1:13
Source: “Did Jesus Preexist in Heaven?” The Restitution of Jesus Christ, 2008.
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