Continued from Part 15
The New Testament Jesus: A distinct supernatural agent
Despite the distinctiveness with which God and Jesus are regarded in the New Testament, most Christians are under the misconception that God and Jesus form two-thirds of a triune deity.
Partial responsibility for this error goes to the New Testament authors because a number of designations for Jesus in the New Testament are the same as those given to God in the Jewish Scriptures. The resulting confusion as to whether certain New Testament passages refer to God or to Jesus helped to produce the belief in a triune deity. That Jesus, considered by the New Testament authors to be the link between God and His creation, is called by some of the same designations that are applied to God is understandable. After all, the New Testament authors believed that God had conferred a tremendous amount of power upon this supernatural agent. So why not, as well, some of His names, which express certain facets of His being? But it is nevertheless clear that although God in the New Testament interacts with the world He created solely through His “firstborn,” the latter is still subservient to God. Because of the exalted yet subservient position in which they envision Jesus, the New Testament authors do not believe it compromises God’s status to apply some of His names to Jesus (cf. Ephesians 1:21, Philippians 2:9, Hebrews 1:4). The use of common names is not intended to show that Jesus is of one substance with God, but that God is giving Jesus the authority to act in some capacity on His behalf.