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In Eph. 4:6 Paul writes,

one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. NKJV

(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.).

Since God, the Father, is above all, how can Jesus and the Holy Spirit be equal to Him or even be God at all?

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  • Hi Faith, this is an important verse and I see that you have worked hard to keep your question open. I think one of the issues is that you are inserting your expected answer into the question. Also, the title doesn't completely match the question. I'll suggest an edit and you can see if it works for you. You can always answer your own question below and I trust that the answers received on this and other questions about God's nature help us grow in our understanding of who he is. Oct 21 at 18:28
  • All-right I am okay with the edit . Let the question be reopened Oct 21 at 21:46
  • Okay, Faith, I believe it takes 5 votes from the community to reopen this question, which means 1 more should do it. Thanks for your cooperation and patience with the process! Oct 21 at 22:01
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    The Greek εις translated ‘one’ is not monos here. So you cannot infer the possibility that one here means exclusively numerically one because it doesn’t. Col3:11 says Christ is everything and in everything. And the Bible cannot contradict itself but if you read Eph4:6 like you imply that is a direct contradiction. Oct 23 at 18:20
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Jesus referred to the Father as his God.

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17, KJV)

The Bible also indicates that God is greater than Christ.

Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. (John 14:28, KJV)

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3, KJV)

28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:28, KJV)

But there is no one greater than God.

And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. (Mark 5:7, KJV)

The Father is the only true God.

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: ... And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:1-3, KJV)

If Jesus called the Father "the only true God," and "my God and your God," it is clear that the Father is God, and none other.

Paul confirms this:

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (1 Corinthians 8:6, KJV)

Therefore, if there is only one God, Jesus cannot have been a co-equal God with the Father (making two Gods).

Can God have a God? Could God create an equal to Himself?

The answer to both of these is "No."

But Jesus was not called "God"; he was the SON of God and, as the Son of Man, was human like us.

God dwelt in Jesus, but Jesus was human.

Conclusion

Jesus was not God, but God lived IN him.

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:10, KJV)

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    @Dottard The Bible calls Jesus our "brother." If, by virtue of being "God's Son" you think Jesus is equal to "God", doesn't that make you also equal to God to be "God's brother"?
    – Polyhat
    Oct 18 at 20:08
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    @Dottard Jesus, as human, is not God. Having God in him still didn't make him God. This is why he could still be tempted (cf. James 1:13 & Matthew 4:1) and why Jesus could die (cf. 1 Tim. 6:16). God cannot die. God did not die. But Jesus died. You have a problem with that because you believe Jesus was God. The Bible is plain enough that, instead of believing something that suits us we ought learn the simple truth.
    – Polyhat
    Oct 18 at 20:15
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    @Dottard You might like to re-read those texts. Not one of them calls Jesus God. Some of them refer to both God and Jesus, some refer to God, and some refer to God's Son. Are you your father? If you have a specific text from the list that you think calls Jesus God, why not post it as a new question? Message me if I don't see it and I'll be sure to respond for you.
    – Polyhat
    Oct 18 at 20:30
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    @Dottard You bolded the "and"--that's a conjunction, right?
    – Polyhat
    Oct 18 at 20:37
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    @Dottard As with John 20:28, interpretations tend to fall along the lines of doctrinal inclination. Commentarians can comment all they wish, but the Bible is to be interpreted by comparing scripture with scripture and with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
    – Polyhat
    Oct 18 at 20:52
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It is unfortunate that you only extracted a few words at the end of a sentence that starts in verse 4. To give a hermeneutical answer, the entire sentence must be considered. This, then, becomes the scripture text in question:

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (verses 4-6).

Prior to, and following on after verse 4, the Lord Jesus Christ is written about. This means that the passage in question invokes consideration of the role of the [Holy] Spirit, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of God the Father. Further, Paul also states in verse 5 that, for Christians, there is but one Lord - Jesus Christ. This means that the text in question has Paul stating as fact (not merely suggesting) that there is one Spirit, one Lord Jesus, and one Father God. Note, please, that Paul rarely suggests anything. But when he does, he is clear that he is only making a suggestion as opposed to stating a theological fact, or issuing a command. For instance, he suggests to Philemon that he takes back Onesimus graciously. Paul did not insist or command, although he had the authority to do so.

Back to Ephesians 4:4-6... Paul draws a parallel between there being but one hope, one faith, and one baptism, and there being but one Spirit, one Lord Jesus, and one Father God. He is not making any suggestions about that with regard to the being of the one God. His purpose in writing those verses is to get through to Christians the immense unity there should be in the one 'body' of Christ, the Church. There should be no division, there should be no superiority of one Christian over another, in the congregation (see verses 1-3). Likewise, there is no division or superiority when it comes to the Spirit, the Son, and the Father.

This means that there is no place in the text for trying to extract any ideas about Jesus and the Holy Spirit not equally being God, as is the Father. Paul does not make that suggestion here, so why should anyone else?

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  • Interesting contextual answer Oct 24 at 13:05
  • Paul did not use the term "spirit" as Trinitarians do. Trinitarians essentially portray the Holy Spirit as a being separate from the Father; an entity that is NOT the Father. The well known triangular image/diagram that declares that the Holy Spirit is NOT the Father and is NOT the Son, etc., yet IS God is clear evidence of this. But Paul never suggests that the spirit is a separate entity. Consider 1 Cor. 5:3-4. Paul's spirit was to be present at the meeting in Corinth while he was bodily absent. To believe, however, that this "spirit" was a separate entity would be spiritualism.
    – Polyhat
    Oct 24 at 13:36
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    @Polyhat I don't know why you are trying to start a debate about the Trinity doctrine. Further, Trinitarians do NOT portray the Holy Spirit "as a being separate from the Father" as you claim. Three Persons share divine nature. The Father and the Son share the one, divine nature, with absolute unity of the Spirit in that nature. If you want to disagree, please post your own question, because comments are not for diving off at angles from the POs actual question.
    – Anne
    Oct 24 at 13:47
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NKJV Eph. 4:6 Paul writes,

one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Is Paul suggesting in Eph. 4:6 that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not God?

No, the verse does not mention Jesus or the Holy Spirit.

Since God, the Father, is above all, how can Jesus and the Holy Spirit be equal to Him or even be God at all?

I don't know but again, the verse does not say anything about Jesus or the Holy Spirit. You need other verses. E.g., the same Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 8:

6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

This verse does mention "Jesus". It also introduces the complex concept of oneness when it applies to God. This oneness is not identical to the mathematical concept of "1" which is just a number used for counting. Confuse the natural concept of counting to the supernatural concept of oneness at your own risk.

Is Paul suggesting in Eph. 4:6 that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not God?

It does not suggest one way or the other. It is futile to just pick one verse in isolation and try to prove or disprove any complex doctrine.

Before you jump to a conclusion, let me state clearly that I'm not a Trinitarian.

Before you jump to a further conclusion, let me state clearly that I'm not a non-Trinitarian.

The label "Trinitarian" is not written in the Bible. I do not wish to be characterized by such a label.

OP: you seem to see the label "Trinitarian" as not worthy of being identified with.

Let me clarify: I do not mean to suggest that the label "Trinitarian" is not worthy of being identified with. Equivalently, neither did I suggest that the label "non-Trinitarian" is not worthy of being identified with.

OP: Trinitarian are christians. And every Christian has a theology and the end of the day

Right. In my case, 1 Corinthians 2:

2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

OP: In Ephe 4:6 are you suggesting that the "All" scopes just the generations of the Heavens and the earth?

Good question. My answer is no. I am suggesting that do not confuse counting with oneness. These two are fundamentally different concepts: One is natural and concrete; the other, supernatural and abstract. The word "all" is related to cardinality. The phrase "one God and Father" has to do with uniqueness and strictly speaking not a measure of size.

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  • Interesting Answer 🙂. This is usual Trinitarian defense. How do we then characterize you? Oct 23 at 17:16
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    I'm a Christian :)
    – Tony Chan
    Oct 23 at 17:17
  • And you seem to see the label "Trinitarian" as not worthy of being identified with. Why is that ? Oct 23 at 17:17
  • Trinitarian are christians. And every Christian has a theology and the end of the day 🙂 Oct 23 at 17:17
  • In Ephe 4:6 are you suggesting that the "All" scopes just the generations of the Heavens and the earth? Oct 23 at 17:19
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When it comes to the status of Jesus, we have three possible (traditional) results:

  • Jesus is merely human and was never God and still is not God. This cannot be true because the NT so often calls Jesus "God" in the fullest sense, Matt 1:23, John 1:1, 20:28, Phil 2:5-8, 1 Tim 3:16, Col 2:9, Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1, Heb 1:8, 9, etc.
  • Jesus was a a lesser God and thus, we have two Gods. This also cannot be true because the Bible so often says that there is but one God, Deut 4:35, 6:4, 32:39, Isa 44:6, 45:5, 6, 1 Cor 8:4, Eph 4:6, 1 Tim 1:17, etc.
  • Jesus was equal in status with God the Father, as per John 10:30, 5:17, 18, 23, etc.

These three cannot all be true simultaneously. So what do we make of Jesus frequent reference to the Father being "my God"? For example, Matt 27:46, John 20:17, Rev 3:12, etc. This ignores the places that the Father calls Jesus "God" in places like:

  • Heb 1:8 - But about the Son He [the Father] says: “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever, and justice is the scepter of Your kingdom.

Thus, it appears that Jesus and the Father call each other "God".

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  • If Jesus and the Father call each other "God". Then God mustnt be a Person . Yet we can't reduce it to me a mere title or name Oct 18 at 21:27
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    @FaithMendel - I do not understand you comment. God is a person. Why is He not? That is why the Father is given such a "human" name.
    – Dottard
    Oct 18 at 21:34
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Is Paul suggesting in Eph. 4:6 that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not God?

In Eph. 4:6 Paul writes, "one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all". NKJV

Paul is not suggesting but is saying like in all oF his writings that the father is above all, and that He is the Head of Christ. In context Vs 4-5 Paul says "4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism.

There is one God and one acceptable way of worshiping him, “with spirit and truth.” (John 4:23, 24) The “one Lord” is Jesus Christ, “the head of the body, the congregation.” (Colossians 1:18) “

"One God": Moses wrote;

Deuteronomy 6:4 ASV

4 Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah:

“The head of the body"

The "one Lord Jesus is the head of the body of the congregation"

Colossians 1:18 ASV

18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; [a]that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Today it is estimated that there are about ten thousand so-called Christian Denominations, they are divided by different doctrines, and beliefs. Your beliefs may be different from others professed Christians, but does this matter?. Yes it does, God is one and there is only way acceptable to worship him, and this is what is taught in the Bible.

Some Bible truths:

About God: He is the creator of all things.

Revelation 4:11 NASB

11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created.” About Jesus: The father is greater than I, and is subject to God and obedient to Him.

John 14:28 NASB

28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I

1 Corinthians 15:28 NET

28 And when all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

The holy spirit:

Elizabeth filled with holy spirit.

Luke 1:41 NASB

41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Luke 4:1 NWT

Jesus filled with holy spirit

4 Then Jesus, full of holy spirit, turned away from the Jordan, and he was led about by the spirit in the wilderness+

God pous his spirit enabling his servants to prophesy,and to see visions.

Acts 2:16-18 NET

16 But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And in the last days[b] it will be,’ God says ‘that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.[e]

God's Kingdom.

Is a Heavenly Kingdom and Jesus is the King of God's Kingdom.

Jesus taught his followers to pray :10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. (Mt 6:10)

Revelation 11:15 NASB

The Seventh Trumpet: Christ’s Reign Foreseen

15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”

God's will for the earth:

Matthew 5:5 NET

Jesus said “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."

Psalm 37:10-11 KJV

10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

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