The beginning statement of John’s Gospel is the favorite of Trinitarian ministers to teach that Jesus Christ is God Himself, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” (Jhn 1:1-2). But twice John said He was “with God” which corresponds with what he later wrote in his first letter, “That which was from the beginning … the Word of life … which was with the Father” (1Jo 1:2). John clarified that the Father is God and the Word was with Him.
The phrase “the Word was God” isn’t literal but a metaphor or figure of speech. Not only does the context contain other metaphors but this very phrase does as well. The Son of God isn’t literally “the Word” nor is He literally “the Light” (v. 7). These are metaphors. And just as “the light was the life” (v. 4) is a metaphor, so is “the Word was God.” He represented God to such perfection that He “was God” in metaphorical equivalence. He said of Himself, “he that seeth me seeth him that sent me” (Jhn 12:45), “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (Jhn 14:9). When people saw the Son literally, they were seeing the Father figuratively. His apostles also wrote, “Christ, who is the image of God” (2Co 4:4), “Who is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15), “the express image of his person” (Heb 1:3). He is the precise image, figure, or representation of God.
Not only Christ isn’t God Himself but has a God Himself—God the Father is His God as He called Him before He died, after He was resurrected, and after He was seated at His right hand: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mat 27:46; Mar 15:34); “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (Jhn 20:17); “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God” (Rev 3:12).
Several times the apostles called God the Father, Jesus Christ’s God: “God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 15:6); “And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1Co 3:23); “the head of Christ is God” (1Co 11:3); “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Co 11:31); “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:3; 1Pe 1:3) “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:17); “God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Col 1:3).
The writer of Hebrews wasn’t calling the Son “God” in “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God” (Heb 1:8). This was a quote from a passage in Psalm 45 which begins with “Thy throne, O God.” However, the part where God was speaking to His Son, “God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” God wasn’t calling His Son “God” but calling Himself His Son’s God!
It isn’t the Son but the Father that is called “God” in these places: “God my Saviour” (Lke 1:47); “God, who is the Saviour” (1Ti 4:10); “God our Saviour” (1Ti 1:1; 1Ti 2:3; Tit 1:3, 2:10, 3:4; Jde 1:25). Many times God is called the Savior of His people: “They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt” (Psa 106:21); “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour” (Isa 45:15); “there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour” (Isa 45:21); “I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer” (Isa 49:26,60:16); “there is no saviour beside me” (Hos 13:4).
That Christ “said also that God was his Father, making himself equal [isos 2470] with God” (Jhn 5:18), was equality with God by virtue of having been begotten of God, “his only begotten Son … the only begotten Son of God” (Jhn 3:16,18). As a human son is equally human as his father but not in authority, so it is with the Son and His Father. Trinitarianism, however, teaches that they are coequal: “equal with another or each other in rank, ability, extent, etc.” Dictionary.com.
Christ isn’t God Himself but God’s Son. Many times Christ called God His Father and Himself His Son. And He never once called Himself “God” but did call His Father “God,” and the only true God, “thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent” (Jhn 17:3). Likewise, the Father never called His Son “God” but twice from heaven—at His baptism and transfiguration—called Him “My Beloved Son.” What they said about themselves and each other is the truth and last word on the matter.
Can anyone be saved while knowingly disagreeing with the Savior? Trinitarian ministers are educated and intelligent. Don’t they know what the Savior said about God and about Himself? And if they disagree with Him, why listen to them?