Deity of Christ

hc-christ-transfiguration

Communicating with current and former Adventists over the past year I have found that this doctrine comes up from time to time.  As such I intend to demonstrate from multiple angles that Jesus Christ is God.  Commentary in each section will be light as  I believe the content speaks for itself.  Please do not consider this an exhaustive study, more of a birds eye view.

 

Jesus Christ Identified Himself as God

Muslims will frequently point out that Jesus Christ never uttered the words “I am God”.  While it is true we don’t see those three words next to each other he does actually call himself God.  He just says it a bit differently.  Specifically he refers to himself as the very “I AM” from Moses encounter with the burning bush.

“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58 KJV

“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exo 3:14 KJV

“I and my Father are one.” John 10:30 KJV

It should be noted that the Pharisees believed Jesus was calling himself God, and had decided to stone him for it.

“Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?; The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” John 10:32-33 KJV

Apostles Identified Jesus Christ as God

It is very clear that the apostles believed Jesus to be God, these texts speak for themselves.

“He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” John 21:17 KJV

“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.; And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.;  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.;  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.; And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.; But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.; And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?; And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.; Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” Matt 14:25-33 KJV

“Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.; And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.; Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:27-29 KJV

Apostles Taught of Jesus Christ as God

We see in Jude 3 a reference to the “faith once delivered to the saints”.  This faith was delivered to us by the apostles in the new testament, and an undeniable portion of that is that they taught us that Jesus Christ is God.

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:;  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:;  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.;  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Col 1:15-18 KJV

Notice above he states that “all” things are created by Jesus.  If one is to believe that Jesus is a created being then they would have to assert that Jesus created himself.  That is just a silly notion.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Php 2:5-11 KJV

“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Col 2:9 KJV

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 1 Tim 3:16 KJV

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.  Acts 20:28 KJV

“Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Eph 1:23 KJV

I find the above passage quite profound.  It is stating that Christ in his flesh is omnipresent.  Something powerful to consider.

“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Rev 1:17-18 KJV

“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.; All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3 KJV

“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” Heb 1:8 KJV

Church Taught of Jesus Christ as God

It is very clear from Church history that we have taught Jesus Christ is God.  This in and of itself doesn’t prove it as it is not scripture.  But this does demonstrate the early church understanding of scripture.  Those who first received the faith once and for all delivered to the saints confessed that which they had received, and this is that Jesus Christ is God.

“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.” –Apostles Creed

“I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spake by the Prophets. And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.” – Nicene Creed

“…The Father is made of none: neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before or after other; none is greater or less than another; But the whole three Persons are coeternal together, and coequal: so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped…” – Athanasian Creed

 

Jesus Christ Forgave Sins

Only God has the power to forgive sins, and we see Jesus do this many times in scripture.

“And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48 KJV

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” Mark 2:5 KJV

“And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.; And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.; And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?;  For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?;  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.” Matt 9:2-6 KJV

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.; If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.; If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:7-9 KJV

 

Jesus Christ Judges the Living and Dead

It is telling that we see Jesus Christ as judge over us in the end.  He sits in the throne of God Judging the world.  As a wise man once said “if it walks like a duck….” well… you get the idea.

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:;  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:;  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” Matt 25:31-33 KJV

“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.” 1 Cor 4:5 KJV

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.; His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.; And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.; And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.; And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.; And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND Lord OF LORDS.” Rev 19:11-16 KJV

“And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” Acts 10:42 KJV

 

Jesus Christ has the Power of God

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39 KJV

“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.” Matt 14:25 KJV

“Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?; Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.;  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.; And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.; And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.” John 11:40-44 KJV

“And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.; And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.; And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.” Mark 1:40-42 KJV

“And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.; And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.; And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.” Matt 14:19-21 KJV

“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9 KJV

 

Old Testament Taught Jesus Christ as God

We do see Jesus taught as God in the  old testament too.  This would require a whole series all in itself to do it justice.  But just to make the point I am going to post a sampling of verses from the old testament along with the New Testament interpretation.

“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” Heb 1:8 KJV

“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.; Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Psa 45:6-7 KJV

“God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.; And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.; Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Acts 13:33-35 KJV

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Matt 28:18 KJV

“For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Psa 16:10 KJV

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.; Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.; Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.; I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.; Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.; Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psa 2:4-9 KJV

Conclusion

It is my assessment that if one is to contest the Deity of Christ they are either doing so with a very low view of Scripture, or they are deferring to an extra biblical source.

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About ACTheologian

I am a layman who blogs my Biblical studies. Enjoy, please read with an open Bible and do double check with your pastor.
This entry was posted in Armchair Lounge, Christianity 101, Nature of God and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Deity of Christ

  1. Ben Osenbach says:

    There are many other prooftexts omitted here: like Zechariah 11:12-13 and Matthew 27:3 together, and Zechariah 12:10 and John 19:37 together

    Liked by 1 person

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