How can Christ be equal to the Father when he submitted to the Father?
I read the article, 'Who was the angel that Jacob wrestled with at Jabbok?', and I was a bit confused. If Christ was called a messenger of God before he took a lower form (Philippians 2:6-8), how can we argue objectively with the Jehovah's Witnesses that he is equal to God?
In I Corinthians 15, it says that Christ will be subject to God. If He is to be subject to God even after his ascension, how do we convince the Jehovah's Witnesses of his equality with the Father? I read an article on La Vista's website that said that the love of Christ may be more unfathomable than we first thought -- that Christ is willing to be subject to the Father for eternity for us. It kind of confuses me. If Christ still remains subject to God, is it to the Father alone or to the Father and the Comforter? Is there any need to still remain subject if all of God's enemies are defeated? Why not revert to how they were before the creation of the world? I always thought that was what was meant by "God will be all in all."
I delayed answering this question because you claimed to have read things on this website that I am certain do not appear. I tried looking for something that might have been misunderstood, but I can't even find anything similar to what you claim to have read.
All Christians are to be subject to each other (Ephesians 5:21), but that doesn't make some Christians less than other Christians.
The Bible tells us that husbands and wives are equal in regard to salvation (I Peter 3:7; Galatians 3:28). However, the Bible also teaches that wives are to be in subjection to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22). Therefore, a hierarchy of authority does not make a person greater or lesser. There are simply different roles being fulfilled.
"But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ" (I Corinthians 11:2).
Paul is stating a fact -- one that has always been true.
"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:5-11).
Jesus left his position as God to take on the form of a lesser being -- man. Jesus did not cease being God (see Jesus Is God!). He released what was due him as God to serve and then took up his glory when he returned.
Good morning sir,
I am sorry for the mix-up. It was not on the La Vista Church of Christ website that I saw it. It was on the Christian Courier, another website by members of the Lord's church. The article was titled A Brief Study of the Angel of Jehovah.
Even though it wasn't on your website, I would be grateful if you would answer: Why was Jesus referred to as a messenger in his pre-incarnate form? Could it be that he took on a lower form (Philippians 2:6) more than once?
I can't fully answer your question because the Bible doesn't give us full information. A number of people speculate that the Angel of the Lord was the Son of God. I'm personally inclined to the position, but I keep in mind that it is built on some guesswork. For instance, it could have been the Holy Spirit.
A second problem is an assumption that serving as a messenger makes the messenger a lower form. The word "angel" translates the Hebrew word (mal'akh) for "messenger." There is a set of spiritual beings that we call angels who serve as messengers for God. However, someone can act as a messenger without being an angel. When the context clearly indicates that the messenger was human, then it is translated as "messenger" (e.g. Genesis 32:3; Numbers 20:14). We don't say that the people sent by Jacob to deliver a message were lesser beings than Jacob. They served Jacob in that matter, so they had lesser authority, but they were not lesser beings. It comes down to the fact that we know that the Angel of the Lord delivered messages, but we are not told what kind of being he was.