“The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.” (John 12:45, NIV)
I just recently attended a Grand Evangelical Mission (GEM) and an indoctrination session of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) or Church of Christ. The topic discussed by the evangelical worker was about the Bible in accordance with the lesson plan contained in their manual. Nevertheless, after our formal Bible lesson, I proceeded to ask about their insistent use of the Lamsa translation of Acts 20:28 in which it says “church of Christ” instead of “church of God” as in other translations and in the original Greek. He told me that since that verse describes the church as the one which “He bought with His own blood”, then it cannot be God but Christ because God is spirit and does not have blood.
It’s so sad that even though the INC leadership teaches that we should not add nor take away words from Scripture (Rev. 22:18-19), they still insist that the word “God” in Acts 20:28 should be rendered “Christ” as translated by George Lamsa when he translated from the Aramaic (Syriac Peshitta) and not from the Greek, which was the language used in writing the New Testament. Doing so is not only misleading but a violation of a clear truth of God. Clearly, the INC leadership favors this translation as it supports their core doctrine that Jesus is not God but a man—a special man, but still not divine.
The Bible is clear that Jesus is God incarnate. Even though we cannot see God the Father because He is spirit, it is still possible to see and know God through Jesus Christ, who “is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven” (Heb. 1:3). To look upon Jesus is to look upon God Himself. So let us recognize and worship Jesus for who He really is. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the Creator of all things, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.