How is it that Jesus was both fully God and fully man? Bill Johnson and Bethel Associate Pastor and Dean of BSSM Dann Farrelly discuss Kenosis, Jesus’ Deity, and that Jesus was fully God and fully man.

this is this is the hardest thing in the

world to understand let alone explain

right that he’s entirely god entirely

man but i’m trying to process how do i


the average believer

to think god can actually use them in

the very thing jesus commanded us to do


so bill i’m

sometimes when i hear people you know

question what we think about jesus or

what we think about the cross or

was jesus fully god or fully man i

always i always ask have you read our

statement of faith and yeah it’s

interesting because i’m like sometimes

i’m like think people go like yeah

that’s not what you really believe like

no no actually that is what we really

believe as best as we can articulate it

at that time

and so i mean like start there

and i sometimes say like interpret our


in light of this foundation

yeah interpret our words in light of

this foundation so having understood

this about what we believe

now i’m going to listen to that sermon

or that idea or that phrase in the book

with like a different sort of

uh they mean to be aligned with these

ideas right rather rather than like i’m

trying to pick apart everything yeah so

here’s our statement of faith that’s on

our website at

under the about us section it’s fabulous


i love it

i read it with joy i read it to our

members yes kind of i say i’m afraid

you’ll never read this if i don’t read

it out loud with you right now so we go

through line by line uh so we believe in

the lord jesus christ the one and only

son of god who

uh con was conceived of the holy spirit

born of the virgin mary and is god’s

anointed one empowered by the holy

spirit to inaugurate god’s kingdom on

earth he was crucified for our sins died

was buried resurrected and ascended into

heaven and is now alive today in the

presence of god the father and in his

people he is true god and true man

amen amen i mean

we do get excited in the membership

class when we read that but that idea of

true god and true man i helped you know

write this but we were trying to align

ourselves with the great creeds of the

church exactly which is this wrestling

he’s fully god and fully man or we talk

about 100 god 100 percent man we’ve been

just trying to articulate that he’s

fully god and fully man and so that’s

yeah our foundation yeah stone is that

would you agree with that if he’s not

god we are lost absolutely i mean if

he’s not eternally god he’s not an

ascended one as some cults believe right

he’s eternally god absolute if he’s not

we’re lost we have nothing

we’re fooling ourselves by all that

we’re doing beautiful it’s it’s a

cornerstone to faith

period absolutely and it rests on the

doctrine the trinity a doctrine the

church is wrestled to articulate as well

that sure god is one and three co-equal

and co-eternal

father son and holy spirit and so i i

would invite folks who get anxious to go

like no no this is what they mean to be


i prefer they would say it better but

they are trying to

preach along with these lines so talk

about preferring to say it better i

wanted to

read you just to part out of your own


that i helped you edit

very first one we ever worked on it was

grueling yeah

and in our defense we thought there was

several genius editors in a high you

know in a high rise in new york city or

somewhere at least i did

several theologians and uh literary you

know editors who would kind of comb

through this and smooth it out and no

such thing happened yeah

i remember we got it back and oh that

one that we said the editor will work it


it’s actually exactly as we left it so

that was a bit of a shocking moment for


um so this this is uh from chapter seven

in the first couple of paragraphs there

it says jesus lived

uh um jesus lived his earthly life with

human limitation he laid his divinity

aside as he sought to fulfill the

assignment given to him by the father to

live life as a man without sin and then

die in the place of mankind for sin

this would be essential in his plan of

to redeem mankind

the sacrifice that could atone for sin

had to be both lamb powerless and had to

be spotless without sin

is that like

is that the best articulation or what

you meant to say or has it been

misunderstood or oh goodness it’s

misunderstood a lot i mean i would write

it differently only because of how it’s


you know sometimes you you say something

but people hear something else and uh so

my intentions really uh they’re

important to me but they don’t matter in

this i i would change the language for

sure the first part because you didn’t

mean to be saying jesus wasn’t divine

because exactly so it’s not it’s not

just how they’re hearing it though it’s

like the message seems to be laid aside

as divinity

and you’re kind of like going i’m not

saying he stopped being god yeah

absolutely no

impossible impossible for jesus

and ridiculous to think yeah yeah

absolutely all i was trying to do was

put language to philippians 2.

philippians 2 he says

he thought jesus thought equality with

god not a thing to be grasped so it’s

just it’s reverse engineering

that comment into laying divinity aside

but because it’s because people hear me

saying jesus is not god i actually a

theologian friend

wrote me and suggested that i change the

language in that chapter so this last

year i wrote the publish and i said hey

you know this is causing too much of a

stir and it’s cree it’s it’s

communicating something i don’t i don’t

intend to communicate so i i’m i’m

having to learn

to use a language that that much better

communicates what we believe and so that

that whole first page i would write

different now when i said this is in

chapter seven i i actually jumped to the

second quote instead of the first page

but yeah sorry the human human

limitation yeah you use that phrase

jesus said

he said the son of man can do nothing

right of himself right

human limitation now as god he can do

anything right but my point and and i

realize that there’s a whole school of

thought that is contrary to this but my

point is is that jesus

chose to live

in the limitations of a man dependent on

the father

through the power of the holy spirit

so that he he was living in

in what was possible for us and so he’s

modeling a lifestyle and that’s that’s

the whole point which some still may

disagree with but it doesn’t come from

questioning his divinity it just comes

from from the choice he would make

to live a lifestyle that could actually

be followed by those who had no sin and

were empowered by the holy spirit we

could actually be disciples exactly

so let me get this straight a a scholar

actually um instead of um writing a blog

post against you or uh going on

developing a whole ministry or industry

about uh about your words actually

personally contacted you and said did

you mean to say this or

yeah actually wow

yeah i know it’s shocking he actually

knew what i meant to say yeah he didn’t

even ask me if you love people yeah and

if you trust their foundational ideas

then you can be like hey i know you

didn’t mean to say this because

because you’re in the family of knowing

god’s he’s fully god and fully men

yeah so this isn’t speaking

when you when you truly love people you

never define them by their flaws

and so if you’re defining somebody by

your flaws you might want to examine

your love tank to see how you love hopes

all things believes all things endures

all these things yeah it’s true yeah it

doesn’t it doesn’t turn away from things

that need to be fixed it’s not that it’s

not it doesn’t not talk or not disagree

yeah but it’s

it it approaches things differently

somebody could come to me about you and

say something would be completely untrue

no that’s that’s that’s not even


dan’s not capable of you know i’ve had

people through the years come to me

about certain friends or people they

know and i go no

no that’s it’s impossible yeah yeah yeah

beautiful yeah so anyway that that’s the

intention so i’ve uh in the next uh

releases of that book i i just wrote the

publisher goodness maybe eight months or

so ago yeah and and said you know it’s

causing too much of a stir

it’s not communicating what i intended

so let’s change the language there i

want to get to another quote on that

real quick but you do

you do have a bit of a stubborn streak

too i mean like so there’s two

couple things you have to realize

we take the lord super seriously and we

don’t take ourselves

nearly as seriously if that makes sense

so humor is a huge part of our

our culture and so if you

if you don’t get that

you’re going to misinterpret us a ton

and also we we do have this idea of

we’re exploring who god is and how to

best articulate uh him as we as we go

forward um so that

but that stubborn part of you i think

works super great because when i i just

i love you but when when you keep

talking about the kingdom or miracles

i’m like could you teach about how to

love my wife or you know i’m like bill

would you mind changing the subject

sometimes could we talk about but

there’s a thing in you that says i’m

going to keep talking about this until i

see it reproduced in the people exactly

so you have a i think like

an apostolic stubborn streak that’s

actually a great thing

that we could sometimes if people are

misunderstanding you and you and you

feel if it’s on purpose yeah

i’ve seen you not care that much


being being disliked isn’t that bad yeah

yeah yeah it’s not that bad no so i’m

so that you contact the editor finally

after all this time and said why don’t

you change that i think that’s that’s

amazing that’s good yeah yeah i did it

in honor of yeah

you know

a theologian highly respected yeah who

who i have favor with yeah well you know

if somebody would have written me a

nasty letter i probably said well you

know yeah you’re reading into but when i

have somebody who can come to me and say

you know what

i know what you intend to say

but it’s triggering something in people

that’s not necessary and you know i i

don’t mind i say stuff all the time

that’s on an edge just to get people to

think i don’t mind doing that that’s

just part of who we are but now you know

when it’s with family we have time to

walk it out yeah but when it’s broadcast

everywhere now i have to be more careful

yeah we’ve had we’ve been on that

journey right we’re not in weaverville

or even reading and then the whole the


landscape has changed underneath our


sometimes too i think that when you’re

trying to

create momentum or a movement like in

just saying hey church re reach again

for prophecy reach again for miracles

they’re they’re powerful for setting

captives free and for transforming

culture and then bringing people to a

point of decision for the gospel so

you’re trying to create momentum it’s

hard to create momentum

with nuance

you know with the way i would kind of

perfectly balance it out now what i’m

not saying and what i’m not saying and

what i all that stuff that the teacher

generally does in in a ongoing 10-week

class with mutual trust lots of times

you’re as a speaker preacher you’re

you’re speaking pithy statements

designed to be bold designed to be


and uh

and to put people to think and like i’m

gonna go search that out and so in some

ways like you that

that demand for nuance in every phrase i

don’t i don’t think is actually


yeah when you’re when you’re kind of

speaking as often and as

as you are and and really trying to

motivate people to embrace their

inheritance it’s a poor way to teach i


i i mean

thank you very much

it’s a poor way to get action yeah you

know you have to you have to challenge

people’s thinking yeah and you may call

it a stubborn streak i call it an


that’s what i meant to say to your


i love you

it’s i i think it’s i think it’s it’s

what we do it’s as we challenge people

you know you have this great teaching

that you do on bold conversation

and you know you’re not trying to bring

balance in the conversation if you’ve

got somebody that really needs to repent

and change you’re coming with the very

thing that they need to know and there

are just times where you have to lay it

all on the line and you maybe we’ll say

it better next week and maybe in a year

you’ll study it and come to

you know a a better conclusion on the

theology behind the statement but yeah

we’re doing our best you know and that’s

that’s all that’s all i’ll ever be able

to do is just do my best let’s get to

this other quote yeah that’s all you’ll

be able to do

let’s see um

i’m going without the reading glasses

here but so let me read to you this is

out of chapter two and probably the

quote that i should have started with

but uh he performed miracles wonders and

signs as a man in right relationship to

god not as god

if he performed miracles because he was

god then they would be unattainable for

us but if he did them as a man i am

responsible to pursue his lifestyle

so this idea um he did miracles not as

as god what were each meaning to

communicate because this has been a

point of pain for some folks as they’ve

read it and said is jesus not god in

that moment did he stop being god when

he when he came to earth

what do you mean to be communicating

well i mean exactly what i said okay

but what’s been implied is that he’s not

god and that’s you know as we’ve already

stated in this conversation that’s

absolutely nonsense if he’s not god we

have nothing we’re just fools going

through you never stop being god though

never never stop

but the the point i i make is that

first of all jesus is the one who came

and said greater works than these will

you do so here’s the one who has just

set a high water mark


the miraculous beyond anything we’ve

ever seen before and then he makes this

announcement and he invites us into

a discipleship process where he teaches

his own disciples heal the sick raise

the dead cast out devils cleanse lepers

he he imparts that he includes that in

the great commission

in matthew 28 verse 19. he includes that

in there so my point is

is we are we are called to follow an


i can’t mimic god

but i can follow jesus

who chose to be dependent on the father

this is this is the hardest thing in the

world to understand let alone explain

right that he’s entirely god entirely

man but i’m trying to process how do i


the average believer

to think god can actually use them in

the very thing jesus commanded us to do

right and you’re trying to undo that

thought that he did those miracles

because he was god and so therefore i

can’t do them exactly so exactly because

then we become spectators we become

observers of the great divine plan which

i’m i’m happy for if that’s how it works

but then how

how do i

how do i incorporate this commission to

do as he did

and then he says even greater

how do i incorporate that into my


into my expectation into my lifestyle

with having without having some

explanation for me that’s the

explanation it doesn’t work for many

people i don’t really care as long as

the outcome is that we at least are

attempting to do what jesus said for us

to do but i’m trying to find language

that will help our family to say you

know what jesus although he’s entirely


he chose to live with certain

limitations and he even announced it he

says the son of man can do nothing of

himself so he’s describing the fact that

there are restraints or restrictions now

as god he can do anything right you know

he could have called ten thousand angels

you know the yeah the the great hymn the


you know

that that thought is still there as god

he can do any of that but he chose not

to he chose not to take himself off the

cross he chose not to do all the things

that were at his disposal as god yeah he

chose to live in that restricted

limitation place where because of his

dependency on the father

there’s now no limitations but it’s the

holy spirit working through him that’s

my understanding and that’s how that’s

how i work to train a generation

to uh to not sit idly by

and uh and and do nothing with what he

said but and if i could say like it’s

it’s underneath this larger umbrella

that jesus was fully god yes and fully


the whole way co-equaling co-eternal

with god of this the classic just

doctrines of the church the hyperstat

hypostatic union homo lucia of the same

essence of the father so we would say

under that umbrella now we’re trying to

figure out how does it work how is a god

consciousness in a human consciousness

in operation in christ and this is

something that churches wrestle with for

2000 years

exactly um and that we end up i was just

kind of re-looking at some of it tonight

again about how nuanced and how

semantics are involved but also how

complex it is to think about a god who


everything yet actually did he have to

learn he you know aramaic did he have to


it’s this interesting deal of how he is

fully god and fully man

i think the church often times has

there’s been several times when we try

to over explain that you know he had a

human will

and a man’s body and the church rightly

said you’re over explaining something

the lord has

underexplained at some level

exactly and we need to kind of sit with

this mystery like we don’t quite

understand it yeah it is a mystery it’s

highly complex yeah but it’s somehow

it’s the most powerful and best way for

the lord to communicate who he is what

he was up to exactly who we are the

the prevailing thought

jesus is the son of god yeah under that

we’re trying to work out the commission

yeah and the best way i know how is to

use the language that he used when he

said son of mac can do nothing of

himself i only do what i see my father

do i only say what i hear my father say

we see those moments and as best as i

know how you know i’m i’m trying to help

generation learn how to do that but i

also hear you say in addition and you’ve

been authorized as i as i was sent your

sense so yes that the

it’s not just that understanding of his

any sort of any sort of limitation that

he would take on himself let’s be clear

it would any

uh that’s a whole different discussion

you know is is god in his sovereignty

and can he’s self-limit and what can he

solve with me like i don’t know but he

is inviting us into he authorizes us and

then he gives us the holy spirit this is

this beautiful moment where he’s like

it’s good for you that i go to the

father yeah because that you know

you’re going to be able to do the stuff

and move in this ministry of

reconciliation uh once i go and you’ve

received the holy spirit

and so there’s also these positives uh

not just that


it’s the heat we’ve been invited into

the abundant life of god yep and and to

be about his business the father’s

business like he was about