The claim is being made concerning “firstborn” in Colossians 1:15 that God placed Jesus (Yeshua) as firstborn, and as his first born (of mankind) FROM DEATH …. to eternal life: The firstfruits of the NEW CREATION of mankind who will live here on the earth as KING reigning for God (YHWH) the Most High and Father and God of ALL men on earth. This appears to be similar to both Unitarian and some Oneness claims. This claim usually carries the belief that Jesus is still to this day a human being, that Jesus was raised in his human body, similar to the claims of trinitarians, thereby cancelling out the ransom sacrifice of Jesus.
We first will say that simple common usage of the word firstborn all through the scriptures show that “firstborn” is never used to designate one who is not brought forth into existence, as trinitarians claim. The very term “firstborn” therefore, means one who is first to brought forth into existence. One might argue that the rights of the firstborn may be given to another, but this still does not mean that the person who receives the right of firstborn was never brought forth into existence. However, if this was the meaning of “firstborn” as applied to Jesus in Colossians 1:15, one might wonder “who” was the original “firstborn” from whom Jesus received the right of firstborn. Nevertheless, in no wise does “firstborn” in the Bible ever used to refer to one who was not brought forth into existence. Indeed, the idea that firstborn as applied to Jesus in Colossians 1:15 has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into what the scripture actually says.
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Nevertheless, if we assume that firstborn in Colossians 1:15 is not referring to the firstborn of the creation of all life, but only of the human “new creation,,” and that this new creation will live here on earth, this would seem to exclude the invisible dominion of the angels from being in that creation. However, Colossians 1:16 refers to dominions visible and invisible, in heaven and one earth.
We believe that Jesus was begotten/born/brought forth three times.
(1) as the firstborn creature, which would mean that he was also the firstborn of the “sons of God” written about in Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7. — Colossians 1:15; Proverbs 8:22-25.
(2) as a human. — Matthew 1:20; Hebrews 10:5.
(3) from the dead when raised from the dead. — Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5.
It was when Jesus was begotten of God’s holy spirit into the world (Matthew 1:20), but not of the world (John 8:23), that Jesus was the firstborn of the human “new” creation. His was a new human creation in that he was not born of the old “whole creation” — whole human creation — that is now crooked, subjected to futility, in bondage of corruption [that which is not straight], groaning and travailing in pain as a result of Adam’s sin. — Ecclesiastes 1:2,14,15; 7:13; 12:8; Romans 8:19-22.
If Jesus had been born of this world, of this crooked generation through Adam (Philippians 2:15), he would have been in the same boat as everyone else, and could not have been made straight, made incorrupt, justified, not even by keeping the Law, for he would have been like everyone else under the law, for “by the works of the law, no flesh [having been made crooked] will be justified [made straight, incorrupt] in his sight” (Romans 3:20); “a man is not justified [made straight, incorrupt] by the works of the law” (Galatians 2:6); “no man is justified [made straight, incorrupt] by the law before God” (Galatians 3:11); “if there had been a law given which could make alive, most assuredly righteousness would have been of the law.” (Galatians 3:21); “For what the law couldn’t do, in that it was weak through the flesh [made sinful through Adam — Romans 5:19], God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” — Romans 8:3.
Jesus, therefore, when begotten of the holy spirit as a human fetus, was indeed of a new creation, not of the creation that Paul speaks of as the “whole creation” which is now under a bondage of corruption, under subjection to vanity/futility from which it is unable to free itself. The old human creation, the whole creation that Paul speaks of in Roman 8:19-22, is now under that bondage of corruption [a corrupted, crooked condition, a condition that is not straight] that is in the world through Adam, from which it cannot free itself. (Romans 5:12; 2 Peter 4:4) Thus, Jesus had to be a new human creation in the womb of Mary, not under the present sun of crookedness and vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:14; 2:11,17; 3:16; 4:7), unrighteousness, unstraightness, through Adam, but Jesus was born as though a new sun of righteousness, incorrupt, straight, just. (Micah 4:2) Unlike Adam, however, Jesus brought his incorrupt life to a condition of being incorruptible, thereby he brought life and incorrption (righteousness, straighteness) to light by the good news of his obedience to his God. — 2 Timothy 1:10.
Nevertheless, Jesus suffered as though he were a sinner, “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), “in the likeness of men” under the bondage as slaves, that he might pay the wages of sin so that he might free mankind — the whole creation of Romans 8:22 — now enslaved under that bondage. (Philippians 2:7,15; Romans 5:12-19; 6:23; 8:19-21) Again, this he could only do if he were born outside of that bondage, else he would have been just like the rest of mankind, unable to free himself from that bondage.
Jesus, however, sacrificed that incorrupt human life so as to pay the price, not only for what Adam lost, but also for what Adam could have been had Adam proved himself incorruptible. Jesus died once for all time, in the flesh, for sin. He no longer has any need of that flesh, for it has served its purpose, for he came in the flesh to sacrifice that flesh for mankind. Jesus gave his humanity — including his body of flesh — as an offsetting price, which sacrifice he formally presented as priest after his ascension. – 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Hebrews 8:4; 9:24-26; 10:10.
Jesus gave his blood in sacrifice.
Matthew 26:28 – for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.
Mark 14:24 – He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.
Luke 22:20 – He took the cup in like manner after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, that which is poured out for you.
Acts 20:28 – Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. – Revised Standard Version.
Romans 5:9 – Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him.
Ephesians 1:7 – in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
However, what does blood represent? Jesus’ human soul, which he also gave in sacrifice.
Leviticus 17:11 – For the life [Hebrew, nephesh – soul] of the flesh is in the blood.
Deuteronomy 12:23 – The blood is the life [Hebrew, nephesh – soul].
The human soul consists of the body made from the dust of the ground and the neshamah, activated by spirit of life as received from God. — Genesis 2:7.
Yes, Jesus did sacrifice his human body:
Hebrews 10:10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:11 Every priest indeed stands day by day ministering and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins,
Hebrews 10:12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Hebrews 10:13 henceforth expecting until his enemies to be made the footstool of his feet.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.
Luke 22:19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, “This is *my body which is given [as an offering in sacrifice to God – Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:14] for you*. Do this in memory of me.”
Jesus sacrificed his flesh:
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
Jesus sacrificed his human soul:
Matthew 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life [soul] as a ransom [price to offset] for many.
Isaiah 53:12 He *poured out his soul* to death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
He died; he was totally dead, ceased to be sentient, else there has been no ransom. His body was given in sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:10; Luke 22:19) Jesus’ soul — his sentiency — was given in sacrifice (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and went into sheol, where there is no work, device, knowledge or wisdom, and wherein one cannot give thanks to, or praise to, Yahweh. (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 6:5; Isaiah 38:18) Jesus’ human blood — which represents his human soul/being (Leviticus 17:11; Deuteronomy 12:23) — was given in sacrifice. (Mark 14:24; Acts 20:28; Hebrews 9:14) Thus his soul — his being — as raised, made alive, from the oblivious condition of sheol was no longer human, but spirit.
When he was raised from death, he was begotten, brought forth, from death, not in the flesh (he had sacrificed his fleshly once for all time to pay the debt of sin), but with the glory of a celestial, spiritual, body (1 Corinthians 15:40,44), in the spirit (1 Peter 3:18), having the glory that he had with his God before the world of mankind was made (John 17:5), yet exalted with greater mightiness (theotes) bodily — in his celestial body given in his resurrection. — Colossians 2:9.
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