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The Pre-existence of the Son and Oneness Theology

(Short Outline)

 

Oneness theology (Modalism) rejects the eternality of the Person of God the Son, Jesus Christ. They claim He  had a beginning and He will have an end. Conversely though, Scripture presents unequivocally that the Person of the Son eternally existed WITH (pros, para, meta) the Father (esp. John 1:1; 17:5; Phil. 2:6-11; Heb. 1:2, 10-12). The Son is said to BE the very Agent of creation (e.g., John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17: dia + the genitive). Demonstrating that Jesus Christ, God the Son, was the actual Creator demolishes Oneness theology. Thus, Oneness teachers sacrifice many clear biblical passages that teach the preexistence of the Son at the expense of their unitarian pre-committed doctrine of Modalism.
    
Hence,
Oneness theology dishonors God by asserting that (a) the Person of the Son was a mere creation at Bethlehem and (b) it was the Father who came down and wrapped Himself in flesh (not becoming flesh) and that flesh was called “Son”—Jesus’ human nature.

By Him [en autō] all things [ panta] were created . . . all things [panta] have been created through Him [di’ autou] and for Him [ eis auton]. He is before all things [autos estin pro pantōn], and all things [ panta] in Him [en autō] hold together (Col. 1:16-17; lit. rendering).

In sharp contrast to the Oneness theological position, Jesus, the Son, declared: Unless you believe that I am [egō eimi] you will die in your sins (John 8:24). 

NOTE: The full force of Jesus’ assertion is striking: ean gar mē pisteusēte hoti egō eimi, apothaneisthe en tais hamartiais humōn (“For if you shall believe not that I am [egō eimi] you will die in the sins of you”). Hence, “I am” (egō eimi) and not “I am He (i.e., there is no supplied predicate) is the literal rendering.  Jesus clearly asserts here that salvation rests on believing that He (as the Person of the Son; cf. vv. 16-18, 27) is the eternal God. Jesus applied the divine title “I am” (egō eimi) in the absolute (i.e., appearing at the end of the clause) to Himself on seven (or possibility eight; cf. Mark 6:50) different occasions, these would be: John 8:24, 28; 8:58; 13:19; and John 18:5, 6, 8). Egō eimi was a frequent title used of YHWH alone (e.g., Deut. 32:39; Isa. 41:4; 43:10; 46:4; cf. LXX).