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Theology > Jesus > Incarnation > The Deity of Christ 


THE DEITY OF CHRIST

The affirmation of the Christian Church is that Jesus was and is God. Whether He is spoken of in terms of Immanuel, Messiah, the Son of God, the Seed of the woman, the Son of Man, I Am, or another of the numerous designations that are ascribed to Him, they all imply Deity. In fact, He is even called God—“and the Word was God”—in Jo. 1:1.

To the precise affirmations of the New Testament, the reader is shut up to belief or unbelief. Consider the options:

One, Jesus claimed to be Deity and thought that He was Deity but was not—He was delusional and deranged, a lunatic, a madman;

Two, Jesus claimed to be Deity and knew that He was not Deity—He was an imposter, a deceiver, a charlatan; therefore He was not even a good man;

Three, Jesus never claimed to be Deity; that was the claim of His followers, and they were wrong;

Four, Jesus claimed to be Deity and was and is Deity.

In support of the fourth option the following facts from the New Testament teach the Deity of Christ; He:

performed miracles (Matt. 8:23-27; 14:22-23);

forgave sins (Matt. 9:2-8; Mk. 2:3-12; Lu. 5:18-26);

called God His Father and claimed to be God’s Son (Matt. 11:25-27; Jo. 5:19-23; 10:14-30);

is called the Creator (Jo. 1:1-5; I Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16);

possesses the form of God (Phil. 2:6);

is the image of God (Col. 1:15; II Cor. 4:4);

is called God (Jo. 1:1; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; II Thess. 1:2; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:5-8; I Jo. 5:20).

Additionally:

Jesus is worshipped (Matt. 2:2, 11; 14:33);

Jesus speaks of Himself as the Son of God – (Matt. 11:25-30; 17:5; I Cor. 15:28; Jo. 1:14, 18, 34, 49; 8:19; 14:9);

Jesus speaks of Himself as the Son of Man – used by Jesus over 80 times in the Gospels (Matt. 16:13; Lu. 9:18; origin is the book of Daniel 7:13-14);

Jesus is called “Lord” (Lu. 1:43; 2:11; Matt. 3:3; 22:44; I Cor. 8:6; Heb. 1:10-12; Rev. 19:16; “Lord” is designation of God in the OT);

Jesus is called “God” (Jo. 1:1, 18; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 1:8; II Pet. 1:1);

Jesus bestows eternal life (Jo. 10:28);

Jesus uses “I AM” in a personal sense (Jo. 8:58);   Jesus is omniscient (Jo. 21:17);

Jesus can be addressed in prayer (Acts 7:59);

Jesus is the fullness of Deity (Col. 2:9);

Jesus is sinless (I Pet. 2:2; Heb. 4:15);

Jesus is Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8; 22:13).

Also:

The demons spoke of the Deity of Christ (Mk. 3:11; 9:7);

The Roman centurion spoke of His Deity (Mk. 15:39);

Paul said: “We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord” (II Cor. 4:4);

Paul said the Christ is “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15).

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and the New Testament presents Him as God – a  claim that cannot be rationally proven or disproven. For the believer the confession of Deity for Jesus Christ is the confession of faith.

The Apostles and the Early Church confessed that Jesus was the Christ, that is, that He was indeed Deity, the Son of God. For them this was confirmed by His resurrection from the dead.

The Deity of Christ cannot be undermined by speaking of the Jesus of history versus the Christ of faith; no separation can be made between the two truths: to know the Jesus of history and to confess Him to be the Christ is the confession of the Christian. In fact, the confession constitutes the essence of the Faith. It can be no other way (see: Jesus of History or Christ of Faith). In 1537 Luther wrote the following in his exposition of John 1:2:

We have not invented this text about the eternal Godhead of Christ. By the special grace of God it has come down to us and will, I dare say, remain despite all heretics—many of whom will yet try their prowess on it—and will continue to the end of the world.

An incident is recorded in Matthew 16, which did or did not take place—it is either true history or is not true history. Peter says to Jesus: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v. 16). Assuming that the event is history, then a confession is recorded, a confession that has become the confession of the Church, and the reason for the confession is given by the Lord—Revelation. The confession does not arise from personal attainment nor is the confession the conclusion of the reasoning of the Church, but the confession is said to be the result of the visitation of God, the grace of God shown to a man by informing his mind concerning the nature of Jesus.

Likewise if anyone confesses Jesus to be the Son of God, that is, confesses Jesus to be true Deity and submits to Him as such, the act is the response to the grace that has been given to the person enabling the person to embrace Truth.


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