Translations: Chinese GB Big5

The Deity of Christ

  • What is Jesus Christ? Was he just a man, just a good teacher or great prophet, or more?
  • Was he a created being, like an angel, that preexisted mankind yet being part of the creation?
  • And finally what does it matter? What is the application and how would it differ depending on who we conclude Jesus is?
  • Jesus preexisted mankind

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1
    "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us" John 1:14

    Jesus created all things

    "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him." Col 1:15,16

    "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." John 1:3

    And if "without him nothing was made that has been made",
    then he could not have been part of the creation. Therefore:

    Jesus was never created, but always existed.

    (He was "firstborn" in the sense of being preeminent over the creation, since he was the Creator, just as is says "for by him all things were created". This as opposed to being the first thing created in which case the "for" statement would have said "for he was the first thing created")

    As such, this would seem to make him God, as it says in Hebrews:

    "Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything." Heb 3:3,4
     

    Moses
    Jesus
    God
    The House
    The Builder


    Jesus is not merely a prophet

    "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets
    at many times and in various ways,
    but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son" Heb 1:1,2

    Nor merely an angel

    "So he became as much superior to the angels
    as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs." Heb 1:4

    Heb 1:7 In speaking of the angels he says,

    Heb 1:8 But about the Son he says,

    The New Testament declares Jesus 
    to be the Lord God of the Old Testment

    New Testament quote about Jesus
    Taken from the Old Testament 
    Hebrews 1:10 He also says (about Jesus), "In the beginning, O LORD, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands." Psalm 102:24,25 "So I said: "Do not take me away, O my God, in the midst of my days; your years go on through all generations. In the beginning, O LORD, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands"
    Romans 14:8-11 If we live, we live to the LORD; and if we die, we die to the LORD. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the LORD. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the LORD of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the LORD, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" Isaiah 45:21b-23 There is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.
    Acts 2:21 "'In the last days', God says, 'I will pour out my Spirit on all people ... And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.'
    Acts 2:25 David said about him (Jesus): "I saw the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
    Acts 2:36 Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both LORD and Christ.
    Joel 2:27-32 Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed. 'And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people ... And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls. 
    Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is LORD," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 
    Romans 10:12,13 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-- the same LORD is LORD of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."
    2Thessalonians 2:1,2 Concerning the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the LORD has already come. Joel 2:27, 31,32 Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed ... The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved;
    Acts 2:25 David said about him (Jesus):"I saw the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:1-2,8 Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. I said to the LORD, "You are my LORD; apart from you I have no good thing." ... I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
    John 12:40,41 "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them."(Isaiah 6:10) Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him. Prior to Isaiah 6:10 this is what Isaiah saw in Isaiah 6:1-3In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.  And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." 
    Eph 4:8 This (Paul speaking of Christ's ascension) is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." (Ps 68:18 - Syriac version) 

    Ps 68:18  When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious— that you, O LORD God, might dwell there.

    Jesus also has other titles which are unique to God

    Clearly referring to God: Clearly referring to Jesus:
    Notice also the correlation to Isaiah 48:12 "Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last."  But the context of Isaiah indicates that God is speaking.

    Jesus and God - Singular

    Recently I discovered more scriptural evidence of the Diety of Christ which I've not heard spoken of before. The evidence is found in examining verses that containing phrases like "our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father ", that is "A and B" and then followed by a verb.

    One difference between Greek and English is that in Greek, the person and number of the verbs are specified by the greek endings. So if I say "He went to the store", in greek I'd have to use a singular ending for "went". But if I said "They went to the store", I'd have to use a plural ending. Whereas in English I use the same word "went". Thus when we read the Bible in English, there are some details clearly showing in the Greek which we can't see in English. Now consider this verse from 2Thess 2:16,17

    "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, (who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace,)  comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work."
    In Greek would you expect the word "comfort" to use the singular or plural ending? Well since he's referring to person A AND person B you would expect it to be plural. But it's singular as is "establish"! For to Paul the apostle "our Lord Jesus Christ Himself AND our God and Father" are one person. Here is another example where this is true:
    1Thess 3:11  Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct(singular) our way to you.
    Counter examples:
    1Tim 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted (plural) Moses,
    Rom 16:21  Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet (plural) you.

    Applications

    Acknowledging Jesus to be THE LORD
    is essential for obtaining salvation:

    and also: And who did he claim to be? Could he have been referring to God's encounter with Moses? The Jews who heard him seemed to think so: As John 10:33 also indicates: One of the 2nd Century Christians, Irenaeus (reputed to be a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John)
    also came to this conclusion according to his writings, which can be viewed at:
    http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/Cfathers.html#Deity of Christ

    Jesus is to be Worshipped

    And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him."Heb 1:6
     
    Responses to being "worshipped" 
    ("proskuneo" <4352> in greek)
    Worshipped him
    Response
    Acts 10:25,26
    Cornelius to Peter
    "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man myself."
    Rev 19:10
    Rev 22:8,9
    John to an angel
    "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you"
    Mt 8:2
    Mt 9:18
    Mt 14:33
    Mt 15:25
    Mt 20:20
    Mt 28:9
    Mt 28:17
    Lu 24:52
    John 9:38
    Others to Jesus
    Jesus has no objection to their worship
     

    unlike the response of Peter and the angel

    Mt 2:2,8,11
    Wise men to Jesus

    Mt 4:9,10 The Devil attempted to
    make Jesus worship him.
    "Away from me, Satan! For it is written:
    'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"


    In Response to an Anti-Trinitarian Interpretation

    There have been attempts by anti-trinitarians to interpret the New Testament usage of "worship" as having different meanings, and wherever it is referring to worshipping Christ, they take it to mean to merely "honor" as in 1Pe 2:17 "Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king". But not to honor Jesus as one would honor God - not to worship him as one would worship God. They point out Rev 3:9 Supposedly meaning "they'll worship you before your feet". But another way to understand this phrase is "They'll worship God before your feet." as the NIV translation more clearly shows Which is similar to 1Cor 14:25 So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!".

    Notice also passages such as Matt 8:2 "And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." specifying that it was Jesus he was worshipping. But Rev 3:9 doesn't specify that they will worship the Christians! But perhaps this may be one reason why some reject the diety of Christ, so that people might worship them instead of Jesus!

    Furthermore, concerning honor:

    "The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him." John 5:22,23

    Though you may feel that you are honoring the Son to some extent,
    do you honor the Son just as you honor the Father?


    A Response to a Jehovah Witness
    Interpretation of John 1:1

    Who is Jesus Christ according to John 1:1?

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

    John 1:1 NIV, NASB, KJV

    Jehovah Witnesses in their anti-trinitarian arguments have proposed that the last phrase in John 1:1 be translated as "the word was a god". The following will show that this is grammatically incorrect according to the greek rules of grammar. And stands correctly translated in the versions widely accepted by the vast majority of the Christian community, namely versions as the KJV, NASB, NIV, and others. Here are examples of different types of greek sentence structure that John could have used:
     

    1. ho logos en ho theos "the word was the god" logos and theos 
    are equivalent
    Son=Father
    2. ho theos en ho logos "the god was the word" logos and theos
    are equivalent
    (same as in 1)
    Father=Son
    3.  ho logos en theos "the word was god" logos was a god or 
    divine being
    JW
    4. ho logos en theios "the word was divine" Another way of saying 
    that the word was a 
    god or divine being 
    subject to theos.
    JW
    5. ho logos theos en "the word god was" logos has the nature of theos
    1Jn 4:8,16
    Jn 17:17
    Heb 12:29
    6. theos en ho logos "what God was, 
     the word was"
    logos and theos 
    had the same nature
    John 1:1

    If John was trying to say that Jesus was a god or divine being, as the Jehovah Witnesses would have us believe, then he would have used #3 or #4. Since John didn't use these forms, the Jehovah Witness translation of this verse (known as "the New World Translation") is incorrect with respect to its translation of this verse.

    If he was trying to say that Jesus is equivalent to God as in "the word was with God", whom trinitarians call "God the Father", then he would have used the greek sentence forms #1 or #2. Which wouldn't logically make sense anyway, since John already makes a distinction between that "God" and "the word" (Jesus) by saying that the word was with God. You can't both be with someone and be that person at the same time.

    If he used Form #5, he would be saying that Jesus the nature of "God the Father", which would take away the personhood of God the Father and make him into a nature.

    Instead John used form #6 in which Jesus and God the Father possessed the same nature, but the two were not equivalent. This is consistent with the context in which the preincarnate Christ (referred to as "the Word") had this single nature but took on an additional nature incarnated as the man Jesus Christ as John 1:14 indicates, and as it says in Heb 2:14 "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity." and Php 2:6,7 "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness."

    "The Word was with God" indicates a distinction between the persons of the godhead.
    "The Word was God" indicates a common nature among the godhead.

    The Jehovah Witnesses fall short of this concept, believing Jesus to be merely an angel whom God created at some point.


    The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

    Jul 29,2015