Brethren, allow me to share this short response to what has been claimed as a Trinitarian statement from Sister Ellen White:
EGW : …In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived… Desire of Ages pp530, Evangelism pp616
I personally find this to be biblical. Let us consider the phrase “IN CHRIST”.
“IN HIM (CHRIST)” was life; and the life was the light of men – John 1:4
THE SON (CHRIST) to have life “IN HIMSELF (CHRIST)” – John 5:26
For “IN HIM (CHRIST)” dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily – Colossians 2:9
This speaks of what is “already” in Christ but this does not speak of “how” this was in Christ. The scriptures then make a plain witness:
“FOR IT PLEASED THE FATHER” that IN HIM (CHRIST) should all fulness dwell – Col. 1:19
For AS THE FATHER HATH LIFE IN HIMSELF; “SO HATH HE GIVEN TO THE SON” to have life in himself – John 5:26
…for “GOD (FATHER) GIVETH NOT” the Spirit by measure unto him (SON).
The Father loveth the Son, and HATH GIVEN ALL THINGS (NOT JUST POSITION BUT ALL) into his hand – John 3:34-35
I have the faith that our Father and our Lord Jesus has been merciful to me in letting me learn that by Christ’s relationship to His Father “alone” all these things are His in the ALL the Fullness : that is Christ to be equal with God and His Father by relationship. So it has been now very clear to me, that because the Father who has “life in Himself” has given the Son to have “life in Himself” (same and equal privilege), In Christ thrives a divine life which has the same quality as that of His Father which the messenger called an “original, unborrowed, underived” life. Same too with the fullness of divinity dwelling in Christ by relationship.
Some view the divinity of Christ like this:
· Coeternal + Coequal + Coexistential + Consubstantial + Omnipotent + Omniscient + Omnipresent = GOD
I learned from the scripture that the divinity of Christ is expressed in summary like this:
· Begotten Son of the Eternal Father = GOD ….THEREFORE…. omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent
From the first view, “power” defines the divinity of Christ and this should not be taken away nor diminished a little lest Christ be “lesser”. That is why we see conflicts in “who comes first…”, “is there a time when Christ was not…”, “Christ must not die at calvary…”, etc.
The second view to where I stand states that “relationship” defines the divinity of Christ and “power” is just a natural “result” of that relationship to which Christ can use it at any degree and also can totally give it up as in his “Calvary experience” while “not affecting” the nature of His divinity. In this view, the divinity of Christ is “only dependent” on His relationship with His Father.
So even if He “choose” to lay down that original, unborrowed, underived quality of life “in Him”, as long as He is not “relationally separated” from His Father by sin, He is still GOD to the fullest sense, and this is scripturally testified when that quality of life again flowed into Him (Christ) at His resurrection because He did no sin.
The relational view is “also” the pattern set forth in righteousness by faith. There are many verses yet allow me to quote and explain this verse that has been very important to me in my personal studies:
That Christ may dwell in your hearts “BY FAITH”; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, MAY BE ABLE TO COMPREHEND (I see this as an essential determinant to equality – being able to understand) with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; AND TO KNOW (again this is understanding as Eve understood the intents of Adam-equality) the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that YE MIGHT BE FILLED (same as IN US, and related also to the point of the phrase IN CHRIST in the above quoted verses) with ALL THE FULNESS OF GOD (this was used of Christ in col. 2:9, and this was also used on all believers). Eph. 3:17-19
The phrase “all the fullness of God” does not denote coequality of man to God: but a state of “understanding God’s purposes” which the wisdom of the world cannot understand. So as God made me see it, “As the fullness of Godhead dwells in Christ, He fully understood the purposes of His Father : and through Christ, the fullness of God dwells and flows on all believers making them understand the purposes of the Great Source of all.
Now my point, brethren, is this: “all the fullness of the Godhead (col. 2:9), and the fullness of God (Eph. 3:17-19)” is not the “reason” for Christ’s value as God and our value as sons of God; it is the “NATURAL EFFECT” of “RELATIONSHIP – of Christ to His Father, and us to the Father by Christ”. This is righteousness by faith as exactly patterned by the relationship of the real Son of God to His real Father.
With this, we now see two kinds of commandment keepers:
Those who try to prove themselves by obedience in order to obtain relationship with God and Christ.
Those who stay in a loving relationship with God through Christ and as a result they obey all of God’s advices and commands.
The first group make commandment keeping the means to relationship, while the second ground make commandment keeping the result of a relationship. The first is righteousness by works, the second is righteousness by faith.
Allow me to repeat also: as to the divinity of Christ there are also two views:
Coeternal, coequal, consubstantial, co existential, etc. first before GOD.
True Son of a true Father thus GOD like His Father by inheritance and as an effect, omnipotent, omniscient, fully Divine, etc.
The first view extends the view of righteousness by works into the divinity of Christ telling us that Christ “needs to be highest of the high” before He can be Divine; or His power make Him have that status. The second view extends the view of righteousness by faith into the divinity of Christ telling us that Christ is to be “truly related to His Father” by being a true Son thus fully Divine, and as a result, all the fullness of Divine privileges is in Him.
Lastly, I must humbly testify that as to the Trinity doctrine which teaches the divinity of Christ in terms of power (coeternal, coequal, etc.): God made me see that it teaches an opposed pattern to righteousness by faith.
How I pray that the church see this and not just settle in an explanation of “plurality/unity” regarding the Godhead topic. We are preaching the third angels message and it will soon close, I personally feel the danger our church is into. I praise Providence for letting me and the little group I belong to, testify to as many as would hear yet I am personally sad at the indifference of the church. I personally pray God to have mercy on us.
Lastly, the words of thanks to God our Father and to our Lord Jesus Christ expressed in the following verses.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen – Eph. 3:20-21