Does 1 Corinthians 8:6 teach that Jesus is not God?
The "Iglesia Ni Cristo" denies the deity of Jesus and often points to 1 Corinthians 8:6 in attempt to demonstrate that Jesus is not God. Does 1 Corinthians 8:6 really teach that Jesus is not God?
1 Corinthians 8:6 (ESV) - yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
When we examine the verse, we discover that it does not teach that Jesus is not God. In fact, it teaches exactly the opposite. It teaches that he is indeed God!
Trinitarians believe that the Father is the only true God.
The first issue with the INC's argument is that it assumes that Trinitarians believe in multiple gods. Trinitarians do not believe in multiple Gods. The doctrine of the Trinity teaches that there is only one true God. It also teaches that the Father is the one true God. The Trinitarian has no problem affirming that the Father is indeed the one true God.
The second issue with the INC's argument is that it assumes that God is unipersonal. Without any biblical proof, the INC assumes that there is only one person of God, and that God cannot possibly reveal himself to be tripersonal, having three persons. The INC believes that because the Father is the one true God, the Son cannot also be the one true God, an assumption which fails to even begin to address the doctrine of the Trinity and especially fails to address all that scripture teaches about the Father and the Son.
This verse teaches that there is one Lord.
This verse teaches that Jesus is our only Lord. If this verse means that Jesus is not God, then it also means that God is not Lord! That is of course nonsense. The Father is Lord as proclaimed all throughout scripture. Even so, the Son is God as proclaimed in scripture.
There are two counter-arguments that the INC makes here. The first is that when Paul says there is only one "Lord, Jesus Christ", that the correct way of reading this is essentially to remove the comma so that "Jesus Christ" becomes a part of the title "Lord". They say he means that there is one "Lord Jesus Christ" as opposed to multiple "Lord Jesus Christs". This renders the statement meaningless, as it leaves room for other Lords.
The other counter-argument that the INC makes is that Jesus is Lord in a difference sense than the Father: the Father is inherently Lord, but the Son is only Lord because the Father has made him so. This argument ignores the context. Paul is arguing that there is only one God or Lord. He uses the word's "God" and "Lord" synonymously. There is only one who is to be worshiped and all others are idols (Exodus 20:3). Speaking of two different kinds of lords would ruin his point.
1 Corinthians 8:5 (ESV) - 4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that "an idol has no real existence," and that "there is no God but one." 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth - as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"
Paul is speaking a single being who deserves all the praise and all the worship. Both the Father and the Son are that one being.
This verse teaches that Jesus is the creator and sustainer of the universe.
When the verse says "through whom are all things and through whom we exist", the verse is clearly teaching that the Son along with the Father is the creator and sustainer of the universe. This clearly demonstrates that he is God.
The INC denies that Jesus created and claims that "through him" refers to some mediatory participation. They also claim that he was only a plan at creation. How can a plan mediate? What kind of a perfect mediator is a plan? The INC speaks very lowly of Jesus when the Bible speaks so highly of him.
1 Corinthians 8:6 does not teach that Jesus is not God. It teaches that he is God. It teaches that he created the universe. It teaches that he is the same God as the Father. There is only one Lord who is to receive worship, and Jesus is that one Lord.