Christian Churches of God
God Our Saviour
(Edition 1.0 19970426-19970426)
The identity of the Saviour is often confused among Christians. The Bible seems to identify both God and Christ as Saviour. Does this mean they are the same, as the Trinitarians would have us believe? What is the real explanation?
God Our Saviour
There are many texts which state that Jesus Christ is our Saviour. In like fashion, there are many texts that state that God is our Saviour. Trinitarians infer from this that God and Christ are the same thing and that they are merely hypostases or sub-elements of the one Being called God.
Jude makes distinction between the only wise God our Saviour and Jesus Christ our Lord through whom we are able to be presented to God without blemish.
Jude 24-25 Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, 25 to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever. Amen. (RSV)
Peter seems to deal with Christ as Saviour in 2Peter 3:2,18.
2Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (RSV)
This theme starts in 2Peter 1:1,11.
It might be argued that the term actually means that Christ is the righteousness of the God and Saviour of us. That is, that the Father is both God and Saviour of us and Christ is the Righteousness of God as he is the Appearance of His glory, as it is used in both the Old Testament and New Testament. This would then mean in verse 11 that Christ was also the Entrance into the kingdom of the Lord of Us and Saviour, which is God. Hence, Christ is both Righteousness and Entrance as he is the Appearance of the Glory of God.
2Peter 1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: (RSV)
2Peter 1:11 so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (RSV)
This sense is permissible in the text and fits with the Old Testament sense of the Appearance of the Glory of God.
However, this meaning would then be extended in 2Peter 2:20 to imply that the knowledge of God was Jesus Christ.
2Peter 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. (RSV)
This might be construed as being a reference to wisdom as we see from Proverbs 8:22.
Indeed, eternal life is obtained through the knowledge of the One True God and Jesus Christ whom He sent (Jn. 17:3). Thus, it would be necessary for this view to be sustained that Christ is the knowledge or wisdom of our Lord and Saviour, who is God.
Such a view would have to be examined against all the texts.
John is clear that God sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
1John 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. (RSV)
It is thus clear that John viewed Christ as being sent by God as the Saviour of the world.
Paul seems to hold a contradictory view that has been construed to support Trinitarian views as God and Christ both being Saviour and, therefore, the same Being. Paul deals with the concept of God as Saviour in 1Timothy.
1Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, (RSV)
Here Paul clearly makes distinction between God our Saviour and Jesus Christ our hope. He carries this view on in this text.
1Timothy 2:3-6 This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time. (RSV)
Here we see that Paul makes clear distinction between God who is Saviour and Christ. Paul continues on in the view that it is God who is the Saviour of all men.
1Timothy 4:10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. (RSV)
There can be no Trinitarian implications in Paul as he is at pains to make distinction between God and Christ. Paul was not a Trinitarian.
In 2Timothy, Paul asserts the position of Saviour to Christ.
2Timothy 1:8-10 Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel in the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, 10 and now has manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (RSV)
From this text we begin to see the distinction as it arises in the Bible. The explanation is simple. God saved us and called us with a holy calling ages ago. This was done according to His purpose and the grace which He gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago. In fact, He gave us this grace and wrote us in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8; 17:8).
Christ then came as God’s appointed Saviour and abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. He died and was resurrected through the power of God and became a son of God in power through his resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4).
The explanation, therefore, is that it was the power of God that enabled Christ to be sent as God’s designated Saviour to the world.
Now, do we have any other texts against which to test this hypothesis?
Hosea is emphatic that there is no Saviour beside God.
Hosea 13:4 I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. (RSV)
Here, He is Yahovah (Jehovah) Elohim and beside Him there is no Saviour. However, we also know that He brought Israel out by means of the Messenger of Yahovah and this messenger was the Face of God in the wilderness who was also the voice of the Lord (see Acts 7:30-31). No man has ever seen God. The only born God, that one being in the bosom of the Father, spoke (Jn. 1:18 see Marshall’s Interlinear and also the Syriac).
The Lord had given Israel a Saviour on more than one occasion in Old Testament times. He sent Christ as the Messenger in the Wilderness to bring Israel out on eagle’s wings. Messiah was that eagle.
God also gave Israel a Saviour when they repented and brought them out from under the hand of the Assyrians. This was also their Saviour.
2Kings 13:5 Therefore the LORD gave Israel a savior, so that they escaped from the hand of the Syrians; and the people of Israel dwelt in their homes as formerly. (RSV)
This Saviour had been earmarked from the foundation of the world for the redemption of Israel.
Genesis 48:15-16 And he blessed Joseph, and said, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has led me all my life long to this day, 16 the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and in them let my name be perpetuated, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." (RSV)
This Elohim was the Angel of Redemption of Israel.
2Samuel 22:2-3 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; 3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. (KJV)
This is the start of the Song of David when Yahovah had delivered him from the hand of Saul and his enemies (cf. Ex. 15; Deut. 32).
The distinction here seems to be of the rock and the God of David’s rock. We are speaking here of the mountain that was God and the rock uncut by human hands that was taken from this mountain and which was sent to destroy the world systems in the Last Days at the end of the empires mentioned in Daniel Chapter 2.
Daniel 2:44-45 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. (KJV)
The Psalms (106:21) refer to El the Saviour of Israel who brought them out of Egypt. This reference here at the end of the fourth book or the Numbers book of the Psalms deals with the Rest for the Earth and looks forward to the coming Kingdom of God.
The Hebrew term is In the Wilderness (bemidbar) derived from the fifth word in verse 1. The term Numbers is derived from the Latin Vulgate Numeri, which translates the Greek Arithmoi in the LXX.
The Numbers book is broken into three stages. The first stage deals with the Desire for Rest for the Earth (Pss. 91 to 94). The second stage deals with the Rest for the Earth being Anticipated (Pss. 95 to 100). The last section is the sections from Psalms 101 to 105. This is the Rest for the Earth being Celebrated. Sin had come into the world and hence the earth and not just man was being destroyed. The Numbers book needs exposition in its own right but from here we can see that Psalm 106 refers to the final summary of the way God deals with Israel and the looking forward to the fact of the promise of the Saviour. From Psalms 90 and 91 we see the contrast, as these are in fact one Psalm written in two parts by Moses at the beginning of the thirty-eight penal years wandering in the wilderness. Psalm 91 represents the contrast of those under the Shadow of the Almighty. Here they are protected by the Saviour who is referred to in Psalm 106 as being forgotten but Israel is redeemed and the earth is at rest at the end of this process. Thus, the Saviour here is also the redeemer of Israel and thus we are referring to Messiah as the Face of God in the wilderness.
The Saviour is explained for the first time in detail in Isaiah.
God gives the Angel of Yahovah orders to speak through the prophet Isaiah to declare the coming Saviour as Messiah. God orders the establishment of the altar to Yahovah in Egypt in Isaiah 19:19. God will send them a Saviour and a Great One and he shall deliver them.
Isaiah 19:19-25 In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. 20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. 21 And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. 22 And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them. 23 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. 24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: 25 Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. (KJV)
This altar was the Temple at Leontopolis in the nome of Heliopolis established by the high priest Onias IV, and closed by order of Vespasian in 71 CE after the fall of the Jerusalem Temple. This temple was established about 160 BCE and remained a fully functioning temple until the dispersion and even after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE. It was set specifically for Messiah to be sent into Egypt and was built as a sign that God would redeem Egypt with Assyria alongside Israel.
This prophecy was to take two thousand years to complete. It spanned the first and second Advents of Messiah and that is why it was not fully understood by Christianity. They did not see the significance of the Advents and the rule of Messiah under the millennial system. Most abandoned Millennialism or Chiliasm as it is called and thus do not understand this prophecy.
Isaiah speaks of the Holy One of Israel who is Saviour. Isaiah develops the concept of God as Saviour and the dispatch of the Saviour by God as promised in Isaiah 19:20. We see this process in Isaiah 43 and, by Isaiah 44:6, we have a duality developed where there are two entities then involved in this process. One is the Lord the King of Israel and the other is his Redeemer The Lord of Hosts or Yahovah of Hosts. Thus, the distinction here is that the Yahovah the king of Israel is subordinate to and redeemed by his God who is Yahovah of Hosts or the Most High, the Elyon, who is the God or God the Father. This God glorified Messiah as Elohim above his partners (Ps. 45:6-7; Heb. 1:8-9). He gave Yahovah of Israel the nation Israel as his precious possession (see Deut. 32:8-9 RSV).
Deuteronomy 32:8-9 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of men, he fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. 9 For the LORD's [Yahovah’s] portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage. (RSV)
Saviour is the third of three titles in Isaiah 43:3. God promises future deliverance for Israel in verse 2. It is neither a specific promise to the Saxon race nor is it confined to the church (cf. Companion Bible n. to v. 2).
Isaiah 43:1-4 But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. 4 Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. (RSV)
Here there is a promise for the redemption of Jacob and Israel. What is not understood about this text is that there is a type / anti-type between Jacob and Israel and the two Witnesses of the Last Days. This has led to confusion among many (see the paper The Witnesses (No. 135)).
God declares that He will bring Jacob and Israel out from among the nations and redeem them. God commands to bring forward the blind people that have eyes and the deaf people that have ears (Isa. 43:9). This comment refers to the understanding given by the Holy Spirit. The nations are challenged to explain and to be witnesses as to the former things and so that they may understand truth and be justified. The ones that will be restored are those that are called by God’s name. God has chosen both Jacob and Israel as His witnesses.
Isaiah 43:10-21 "You are my witnesses," says the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. 11 I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. 12 I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses," says the LORD. 13 "I am God, and also henceforth I am He; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work and who can hinder it?" 14 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "For your sake I will send to Babylon and break down all the bars, and the shouting of the Chalde'ans will be turned to lamentations. 15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King." 16 Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, 17 who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: 18 "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. 20 The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, 21 the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise. (RSV)
Here Yahovah was elohim of Israel; He was their Holy One and their Saviour.
From this text we are speaking of the process of delegation from the Father to the Messiah as Elohim anointed by the elohim above his partners (Ps. 45:6-7).
In Isaiah 45 we see this delegation and purpose to the raising up of the anointed ones for the salvation of Jacob, God’s servant, and Israel, God’s elect (Isa. 45:1-4). We are speaking here of the Father as we see from Isaiah 45:11ff.
Isaiah 45:11-25 Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: "Will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands? 12 I made the earth, and created man upon it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host. 13 I have aroused him in righteousness, and I will make straight all his ways; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward," says the LORD of hosts. 14 Thus says the LORD: "The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia, and the Sabe'ans, men of stature, shall come over to you and be yours, they shall follow you; they shall come over in chains and bow down to you. They will make supplication to you, saying: `God is with you only, and there is no other, no god besides him.'" 15 Truly, thou art a God who hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Savior. 16 All of them are put to shame and confounded, the makers of idols go in confusion together. 17 But Israel is saved by the LORD with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity. 18 For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!): "I am the LORD, and there is no other. 19 I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, `Seek me in chaos.' I the LORD speak the truth, I declare what is right. 20 "Assemble yourselves and come, draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. 21 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. 22 "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. 23 By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: `To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.' 24 "Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed, all who were incensed against him. 25 In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory." (RSV)
In this text we have Yahovah of Hosts speaking of the Redeemer and anointed one who is to raise the cities of Israel not for price or reward. Here it is God who is Saviour. But God has already declared from Isaiah 19:20 that He will proclaim an anointed one or Saviour and, so, the function of Saviour is a delegated function. Here God is concerned with His sons (Isa. 45:11 KJV) or children. (RSV)
Isaiah 45:23 is quoted in Romans 14:11 and Philippians 2:10. Paul clearly applies this text as referring to God and not to Christ.
Romans 14:10-12 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God." 12 So each of us shall give account of himself to God. (RSV)
This is further explained by Paul in Philippians as being enforced by Messiah after his exaltation pursuant to his death and resurrection through his obedience (cf. Rom. 1:4).
Philippians 2:5-11 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (RSV)
Thus the process was understood by Paul to be one of delegation from the Father to the Messiah for the greater glory of God the Father. There is no Trinitarian or Modalist duality of God but rather a process of delegation of power and authority through obedience. Christ was in the form of God but did not seek to grasp equality with God as Satan had done (Isa. 14:14; Ezek. 28:14-18).
In Isaiah 49 we see that the Messiah is mentioned as the one called from the womb and made with a mouth like a two edged sword.
Isaiah 49:1-6 Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. 2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. 3 And he said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified." 4 But I said, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the LORD, and my recompense with my God." 5 And now the LORD says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength -- 6 he says: "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." (RSV)
Here Messiah was given as a light to the Gentiles that the salvation of God might reach to the end of the earth. We see that it is through Israel that salvation is to be extended. Hence, Messiah is to become Israel and, thus, the Church was foretold as the body of Christ and as the body of Israel and the only means of salvation through Jesus Christ.
God has determined that kings shall raise up to prostrate themselves before him whom they abhorred, the servant of rulers.
Isaiah 49:7-13 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the servant of rulers: "Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you." 8 Thus says the LORD: "In a time of favor I have answered you, in a day of salvation I have helped you; I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages; 9 saying to the prisoners, `Come forth,' to those who are in darkness, `Appear.' They shall feed along the ways, on all bare heights shall be their pasture; 10 they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall smite them, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them. 11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be raised up. 12 Lo, these shall come from afar, and lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Syene." 13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the LORD has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted. (RSV)
Thus Messiah was to be afflicted and despised yet God would exalt him and he would become God’s instrument of salvation of the nations. He would become God’s Holy One. God says that Zion would say Yahovah has forsaken and forgotten her. God declares that He will save Israel.
Isaiah 49:22-26 Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. 23 Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame." 24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of a tyrant be rescued? 25 Surely, thus says the LORD: "Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children. 26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine. Then all flesh shall know that I am the LORD your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob." (RSV)
Hence, Messiah is given by God as Saviour to establish the Covenant of God as Saviour for and on behalf of God. Isaiah speaks of this as carrying through to the Last Days and the coming of the Messiah to Zion. At this time there is no peace. Justice and truth are fallen to the ground and judgment is turned backward (Isa. 59:1-14). The Lord saw this and that there was no intercessor and so He acted.
Isaiah 59:15-21 Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intervene; then his own arm brought him victory, and his righteousness upheld him. 17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in fury as a mantle. 18 According to their deeds, so will he repay, wrath to his adversaries, requital to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render requital. 19 So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the LORD drives. 20 "And he will come to Zion as Redeemer, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, says the LORD. 21 "And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says the LORD: my spirit which is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your children, or out of the mouth of your children's children, says the LORD, from this time forth and for evermore." (RSV)
Christ was sent by God under direction at the appointed time. This entire sense is carried through Isaiah 60:1-7.
Isaiah 60:1-7 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. 2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. 3 And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be carried in the arms. 5 Then you shall see and be radiant, your heart shall thrill and rejoice; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 6 A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Mid'ian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD. 7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you, the rams of Nebai'oth shall minister to you; they shall come up with acceptance on my altar, and I will glorify my glorious house. (RSV)
This Holy One of Israel glorifies Israel in the name of God. This is the entire sense of Isaiah 60:8-22. Jerusalem will be restored as the Holy City after a long and desolate period of neglect.
Isaiah 60:15-22 Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, with no one passing through, I will make you majestic for ever, a joy from age to age. 16 You shall suck the milk of nations, you shall suck the breast of kings; and you shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. 17 Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver; instead of wood, bronze, instead of stones, iron. I will make your overseers peace and your taskmasters righteousness. 18 Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. 19 The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. 20 Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. 21 Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land for ever, the shoot of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified. 22 The least one shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation; I am the LORD; in its time I will hasten it. (RSV)
From this point we are taken directly to the focal point of this salvation in Isaiah 61:1-11.
Isaiah 61:1-11 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion -- to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. 4 They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. 5 Aliens shall stand and feed your flocks, foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; 6 but you shall be called the priests of the LORD, men shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory. 7 Instead of your shame you shall have a double portion, instead of dishonor you shall rejoice in your lot; therefore in your land you shall possess a double portion; yours shall be everlasting joy. 8 For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are a people whom the LORD has blessed. 10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (RSV)
Christ uttered the comments in Isaiah 61:1-2 but stopped short in verse 2 at the point of the acceptable year of the Lord. The rest of the text The day of Vengeance of our God was the second Advent and that point had not been reached and would not be reached for some two thousand years (or forty Jubilees). However, Christ was showing from this recitation (Lk. 4: 18-19) that he was Messiah who was the delegated Saviour of Israel sent by God to speak in the spirit or ruach of Adonai Yahovah to redeem them.
Here we are seen as being covered with the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness as a bridegroom decks himself and as a bride adorns herself. Thus Messiah is the Saviour as the bridegroom of Israel and the elect as the brides appointed by God to be the elect and the family of God as sons of God. We will rule from Jerusalem, which is Holy (Isa. 62:1-12). From this point we become the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord (Isa. 62:11-12). This is the sense of the terms chosen priesthood and nation of kings and we shall rule upon the earth (Rev. 5:10).
Thus, we see that God is the Saviour of us all. He appointed Messiah as His agent and so Messiah is Saviour under delegation until every rule and authority is placed under him. In this way, Mary (or Mariam) could rejoice in God her Saviour when she understood she was to have Messiah (Lk. 1:47ff.). It was in this sense that the indefinite sense of a Saviour was used of Messiah in Luke 2:11.
Luke 2:11 … for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (RSV)
There is no definite article with the term sõter (SHD 4990). This term is consistent and translates yâsha’ (SHD 3467), meaning to be open wide or free – hence, safe or to free or succour.
This Saviour was expected and the Samaritans acknowledged that this was Jesus Christ (Jn. 4:42).
Peter and the Apostles explained the nature of Christ as Saviour.
Acts 5:30-32 The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him." (RSV)
God was understood as bringing him to Israel. Thus Messiah was Saviour by delegated authority.
Acts 13:22-23 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king; of whom he testified and said, `I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.' 23 Of this man's posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. (RSV)
God appointed Christ as Saviour. Hence, there can be no question of the adequacy of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as our Saviour.
This relationship of Saviour to “saved” is central to the purpose of God.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. (RSV)
God is thus part of Christ as He is part of us. God is our Saviour as is Christ because they are in us and we in them. Our commonwealth is in heaven as part of the family of God as sons of God and coheirs with Christ and the heavenly Host.
Philippians 3:20 But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (RSV)
Here again, we see the indefinite article being used so that God and not Christ is the centrality and that Christ acts at the instigation of the Father who sent him. This is the sense also of Job 33:23-24.
Job 33:23-24 If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him; 24 and he is gracious to him, and says, `Deliver him from going down into the Pit, I have found a ransom; (RSV)
The term is messenger and that is the sense in which the term was used of all of the sons of God.
We might then see the sense of Paul that we saw evident in Timothy and also found in the epistle of Titus.
Paul again refers to God our Saviour in Titus 1:3. Christ is then referred to as Saviour in verse 4.
Titus 1:3-4 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by command of God our Savior; 4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. (RSV)
The common usage can be seen from the above and it is not a contradiction nor is it any confirmation of a Triune God.
This sense is repeated in Titus 2:10-13.
Titus 2:10-13 … nor to pilfer, but to show entire and true fidelity, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. 11 For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, 12 training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, 13 awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (RSV)
Here Christ is not referred to as Saviour but as the appearing of our great God and Saviour. Thus the words Jesus Christ here refer to the appearance and not to God per se. From the word order in the Greek, it is inferred that Christ here is meant as God and Saviour when that is not the case and the appearance of The Glory of God is here given to Christ as it was reflected in the Cherubim (see the paper The Ark of the Covenant (No. 196)).
The sense of Titus 1:3-4 is repeated in Titus 3:4-6.
Titus 3:4-6 … but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, 6 which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, (RSV)
Again we see the same delegated thought process found in the prophets and obviously used by Paul to explain the relationship.
Thus, we can understand from the Old Testament prophets the terms and duality of usage in application from God to Jesus Christ. God is our Saviour and He appointed Christ to die for us as our Saviour so that both God and Christ could live in us and, through the Holy Spirit, God could become all in all. Thus we could have one God and Father of us all.
Ephesians 4:6 … one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. (RSV)