The Deity of Christ
How do we know that Christ is God?
Summery: - The Lord Jesus Christ is not just a religious leader or guru. Bible depicts Him as the perfect God who came down to seek and save mankind from sin.
Most people do acknowledge Jesus Christ as a good man, a guru or an influential leader. Followers of some religions find no difficulty in accepting him as a ‘prophet’ or even another ‘god’. But when it comes to the truth of His deity many just stumble. They can not acknowledge Him as the Lord God Almighty. In this study we will explore the Bible versus and see whether Christ is God or a just religious leader. (We believe Bible as the inspired, inerrant, infallible and complete revelation of divine truths.)
Deity of Christ is fundamental to Christian faith. With out such a belief no one can be a true Christian. Forgiveness of our sins, our salvation from the eternal punishment etc depends upon our faith in the Lordship of Christ. Romans.10:9. It is His divinity that qualifies Him to be our perfect sacrifice and Savior.
This is a doctrine well documented in the pages of the New Testament. We find lot of references to the deity of Christ. Also we find many other instances or evidences that support this truth. We will consider seven important reasons why we believe the Lord Jesus Christ as perfect God.
The description by the Apostles as well as the New Testament writers.
The impression of Christ about Himself was that He is God.
The claim by the Lord Jesus Christ.
The acceptance of worship by Christ.
The names / titles of Christ.
The works of Christ.
The divine attributes found in Christ.
1. The description by the Apostles as well as the New Testament writers.
The disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ gradually recognized Him as God, and referred Him so. The other New Testament writers also identified Him as God. Let us see three examples:-
a. By Apostle John. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us.” John.1:1, 14. Here John refers Christ as the eternal God who took the form of a man to live among us. In his epistle John writes, “We know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life”. 1John.5:20.
b. By Apostle Thomas. “My Lord and my God”. John20:28. If it was a wrong statement the Lord Jesus Christ would have immediately rebuked Thomas.
c. By Apostle Paul. “Looking for the blessed Hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Titus.2:13.
There are numerous references where the Lord Jesus Christ is referred as God. Cp. Acts.4:33; 16:31; (‘The Lord’); Colosians.1:16(The Creator); Hebrews.1:3(The Upholder/Sustainer). Hebrews.1:8(God).
2. The impression of Christ about Himself was that He is God.
Even as a child He knew that He has come from heaven, and the Father has sent Him with a mission. When His ‘parents’ sought Him, after they missed him while returning from the feast, he replied, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke.2:49.
During the temptation the Lord Jesus Christ quotes an Old Testament verse and applies to Himself. “You shall not temp the Lord you God.” Luke.4:12. Here again we see His own perception that He is God.
On another occasion, the disciples informed Him that His mother and brothers have come to meet Him, what was His response? He says, “Who is my mother and my brothers?” Mark.4:32. In His high priestly prayer, the Lord refers to the glory that He had with the Father in eternity. John.17:5.
Thus we see Christ’s own self-consciousness as another indication for His deity.
3. The claim by the Lord Jesus Christ.
With out any hesitation He claimed to be God. If we don’t see Christ as a fraud then He is what He claims to be! Notice some of the claims in relation to His divinity:-
a. Claimed pre-existence. John.8:58. “Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was I am”. Jews understood the implication of this statement. He was claiming to be God. That’s why they took stones to throw at Him. On many other occasions, we see the Lord refers to His pre-existence. Matthew.5:17
b. Claimed Omnipotence. Matthew.28:18. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
c. Claimed Sonship. John.5:25; 10:36; 11:4. It was one of the charges Jews leveled against Him. Matthew.27:40, 43; 26:63. It is interesting to note that demons recognized the Son of God! Matthew.8:29.
d. Claimed equality with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Matthew.28:19.
e. Claimed Omnipresence. Matthew.18:20. Wherever two or three gathered together in His name, the Lord has promised to be there in the midst of them.
f. Claimed eternality. Matthews.28:20. He has promised to be with His disciples always, even unto the end of the age.
4. The acceptance of worship by Christ.
We read men and even angels refused worship. Acts.10:25, 26; 14:14, 15; Revelation. 22:8, 9. They knew that God alone is worthy for worship. Yet the Lord Jesus Christ gladly accepted the adoration by the disciples, because He is worthy - He is God. Matthew. 14:33.
5. The names / titles of Christ.
Though it is used for men, when it was used for Christ, it was used in a unique sense- as God. Acts.4:33; 16:30, 31. Matthew.22: 43—45.
b. “The First and the Last”:- We see this term used for the ‘Jehovah’ in the Old Testament. Isaiah. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12. In the New Testament the same term is used for the Lord Jesus Christ. Revelation. 1:8, 17, 18; 22:13, 16.
c. ‘King of kings and the Lord of lords’- Revelation. 19:16. Such divine titles and names speak of the truth that He is God.
6. The works of Christ.
The activities that God alone can perform are credited to Christ. If we find the Lord Jesus Christ is doing something that only God can do, what else shall we say about Him? He is God. Let us consider few:-
a. Creation: - John.1:3. “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made.” It is God Almighty who has created every thing out of nothing. The New Testament writers attribute these work to Christ. Cp. Colossians. 1:15—17. Hebrews.1:10; Revelation. 5:14. He is the origin, and superior to all-yes He is God.
b. Preservation: - Not only the Lord created, but He also upholds His creation. It is the Lord Jesus Christ who holds everything together by the word of His power. Hebrews.1:3; Colossians.1:17.
c. Forgiving sins: - When the Lord Jesus Christ said to the paralytic, “Son your sins are forgiven you”, the scribes began to murmur. They are aware, God alone can forgive sins. Mark.2:5—7; Luke.7:48. He assumed the divine prerogative. Not only he declared about forgiving sins, but actually forgave sins. If He was not God, it was a blasphemy indeed.
d. Raising the dead. It is God who gives life. Around five times the Lord Jesus Christ said that it is His prerogative to raise the dead. John. 6:39, 40, 54; 10:17, 18; 11:25. Moreover, He did raise the dead to life, even the decomposed body of Lazarus. John.11:43. Mark.5:41; Luke.7:14;
Yes, some others also have done it, like Elijah, Elisha, Paul and Peter. But none of them have ever claimed the power to do so. They worked by a delegated power but Christ claimed to have the power to raise the dead. John.10:17, 18.
e. The numerous miracles of Jesus Christ. All the gospel writers narrate number of miracles Christ performed. John says there are so many that he is not able to write all. John.20:31. Turning water in to wine, walking on the water, healing the sick, opening the eyes of the blind, stopingg the wind and feeding thousands with five pieces of bread and even His own resurrection, all of them proves the deity of Christ. He did that which God alone can do.
f. Future Judgment. We know, it is God who judges men and women. The Bible says that the future judgment of the world is handed over to the Lord Jesus Christ. John.5:22; Acts.17:31; 2Timothy.4:1; Matthew.7:21—23; 25:31—46. 2Corinthians.5:10.
7. The divine attributes found in Christ.
All the essential qualities and properties of deity are either found in the Lord Jesus Christ or attributed to Him. Notice seven divine traits that are found in the person of Christ.
a. Eternal existence: - God exists eternally, so is Christ. John.1:1; 8:58; 17:5; Philipians.2:6; colosians.1:17. He exists from the beginning of no beginning!
b. Self-existence:- No other person or thing is the cause for God’s existence. He has life in Himself. All life originates from Him. So is Christ. John.1:4; 5:21, 26; 10:17, 18; 14:6; 17:3—5; Hebrews. 7:16. He is the life, and gives it abundantly. John.10:10. All life-physical, moral, spiritual, eternal-has its source in the Lord Jesus Christ.
c. Immutability: - God never changes. So is Christ. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews.13:8.
d. Omnipotence: - God is all powerful. He has all the authority. So is Christ. Gospel narrates number of occasion when His power over the nature, demonic world, deceases, death etc was revealed. Luke.8:24.
e. Omnipresent. Matthew. 18:20. He promises to be with the disciples always.
f. Omniscience. He knew all things. He knew the heart of men, the movement of the creatures whether in the sea or on earth. He knew the past, present and future. Mark.11:2—6; John.2:24, 25; 16:30. His knowledge was not the result of some intense learning process, but it was by immediate perception, for He is God.
g. Holiness: - God is holy and there is no evil in Him. He is the source of all goodness. So is the Lord Jesus Christ. Mark.1:24. Hebrews.7:26 He knew no sin, He did no sin and in Him was no sin. 2 Corinthians. 5:21.1Peter.2:22; 1John.3:5.
Notice that the Lord Jesus Christ was not just possessing the divine perfections and attributes, even the very essence and nature of the Godhead dwelt in Him. Colossians. 2:9. He was not merely God-like, but God Himself.
So, because of these seven reasons we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is God-fully and perfect.
Yet, He chose to become a man, emptied Himself, veiled His glory, dwelt among men as an ordinary man, to die as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
What a humiliation! What condescension! How we ought to praise Him and worship Him. Though for a while He was made lower than the angels, and common men, we see Him crowned with glory and honor at right hand of God the Father. Hebrews.2:9.
Next:- The Humanity of Christ
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