Forever God–Three In One: Eternal, Immortal, Invisible

spirit, eternal
Read Time:6 Minute

There were three unseen qualities in the manger that first Christmas morning. The baby was an eternal being, a person with no beginning and no end. The child, being mortal, would become immortal; that is, overcoming death in every form. Finally, his true identity was invisible to those without Abraham’s faith. Messiah, Emmanuel, God with us.

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,”

Colossians 2:9 (NIV)

By definition, a deity is a supernatural being worshiped by people who believe. This was the most common or generic definition found in a 2023 literary review of the subject. A caveat: not all belief systems have a defined deity or one that can be identified beyond a thought or philosophy. Most agree there is no beginning or end to their deity. Most religions have a specified person or object central to their conviction. This paper unabashedly proclaims the Judeo-Christian God as the true and Holy One.

It is often said that God chose to reveal himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Maybe that choice was never made! Hear this idea out. If God is eternal, He was and always is. If He is unchangeable in His Being, He is and always will be. Could it be the Godhead or the Trinity has always been there since the “no beginning”? His very nature? Many things are abundantly clear: God is great, God is powerful, God is wondrous, and God is much more than what a mere man can think.

The Bible speaks of Jesus, this baby in the cradle. 

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” 

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)

A child was born, but the baby was unique; He was also The Son given to us. The declaration from Isaiah implies Jesus was a son before He was born. He is The Son in the eternal God from the “no beginning.”  He was called Mighty God in the human tongue 700 years before He was born. Jesus, being the only begotten son, is Deity…He is eternal.

Now, then, it is essential for God to enter creation as a creature in order to be truly immortal. To be fully immortal implies that mortality came first since immortality is the notion of forever existence, even after death. Death is a mortal experience. God was able to experience mortality and is now immortal through the birth, death, and resurrection of The Son. The best Christmas gift God gave man was eternal life, immortality through the life of The Son who experienced resurrection and is willing to share that life event with any who believes.

“Deep honor and bright glory to the King of All Time— One God, Immortal, Invisible, ever and always. Oh, yes!”  

1 Timothy 1:17 (MSG)

People have an innate disposition to limit statements, be it something a parent says, a rule book for a game, or the Bible. This is often referred to as “putting it in a box.” It might be reasonable to apply that practice to temporal declarations; however, the Bible makes “all-time” statements, eternal statements, and, yes, invisible statements. The Bible is often supplemental. For instance, I close morning prayer with the aforementioned verse using Eternal inserted before Immortal, then except for those who believe, after Invisible. We should not limit the terms believe/believers to those who are born again or saved. Even those who acknowledge God but have not accepted God see His works. They believe in God but are not fully fledged.

Eternal, Immortal, Invisible

One cannot view the meaning of the Bible as an exclusive translation because of God’s Spirit; sometimes, an interpretation is needed. There is a safeguard: the Bible is big enough. It covers a significant amount of time in the human experience, so an understanding can be confirmed in other sub-narratives found in its scriptures. Isaiah said there would be a Son, and the angel Gabriel asserted that Jesus was The Son (Luke 1:31-32); Jesus replied, “I Am” when the high priest asked Him if He was The Son of God (Mark 14:61-62). Jesus was not just a baby in a manger on that first Christmas; He was Emmanuel, “God with us!”

Even today, the sublime identity of Jesus being God is invisible to those who have not heard how God came to earth as a creature. How wondrous it is that the Creator entered our physical world via creation. Jesus wasn’t fathered in the human sense but instead entered this world through a gateway… a mother’s womb. To do this, The Son emptied Himself of identity, knowledge, and power. Complete humility. However, one thing that could not be laid aside was God’s Glory. It was there at the cradle.

Colossians 2:9 clearly states that Christ was the full embodiment of God in a physical form. We could argue semantics. Just for the sake of clarity, consider Jesus, Christ, Messiah, and Son of God to be the same person. In the Old Testament, The angel of the Lord is often worshiped after an appearance; many Bible scholars propose this was the pre-incarnate Christ. Loyal angels do not accept worship, so if the angel of the Lord does, then this being is royal, acknowledging personal deity. Hebrew and Greek are different languages. Hebrew has a special one-letter article connected before the angel, which has been translated as “the.” Thus, the angel of the Lord is a subtle, shall we say almost invisible title in the Kingdom? 

In the New Testament New International Version, an angel of the Lord is referenced ten times, and the angel of the Lord is referenced once. The angel appears once not followed by “of the Lord.” The point is that to see God, one needs to be looking for God.

Jesus can look a person in the face and be invisible if that person’s heart is hard or was never told to look. The high priest who asked Jesus if He was The Son had a hard heart.

Abraham is called the father of faith. For God to be visible, that faith needs to be employed. Timothy’s scripture calls God invisible; is it not wondrous that God can be hidden yet seen? The shepherds around Bethlehem who were told Messiah had come decided to go to town and look for the sign that the angels gave as proof. They specifically looked for a baby lying in a manger wrapped in clothes. They found the manger and the baby…saw The Son and God’s Glory. This season, may you see The Son in the fullness of His Glory and allow others to do so with the faith you have to see.

Feature Image: |  Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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