Saturday, May 21, 2011

Is Jesus God?

It is important for us to know whether Jesus was a good man who once lived, whether He was simply a prophet, a teacher, or whether He is actually God. If He is truly God, then that takes everything He did and said to another level. It means that our life depends on Him, and that we must obey Him in everything. It means that we can only be saved through Him. So let’s see what Scripture says about Him.

He is the exact representation of God’s nature
“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Heb 1:3)

In this verse, the writer of Hebrew is speaking about Jesus Christ, saying He is the radiance of God’s glory and that He is the exact representation of God’s nature. He goes on to say that Jesus holds everything up by His powerful Word.

The Psalmist Calls Him “God”
“But of the Son He says, "YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM.” (Heb 1:8)

The writer of Hebrews is quoting Psalm 45. In the first verse, the psalmist states that he is addressing his verses to the King. In the second verse, he states that the King is fairer than the sons of men. In the sixth verse, the psalmist refers to the King as “God,” and declares that His throne is eternal.

The Word was God
The apostle John began his gospel with these words:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. “ (Joh 1:1-14)

John had walked with Jesus for three and a half years on earth, and was his closest earthly companion. Here is what John said of Jesus in this passage:
  • Jesus is the Word of God
  • Jesus existed in the beginning, at the time of creation
  • Jesus was with God in the beginning
  • Jesus was God
  • Apart from Jesus, nothing came into being that has come into being
  • Jesus is the Light and the world was made through Him
  • The Word (Jesus Christ) became flesh and lived among us
  • The Word (Jesus Christ) is the only begotten of the heavenly Father, God
He Jesus Was with the Father Before His Incarnation
The Lord said that He was with the Father prior to taking on the form of a man at His birth.  He said, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." (Joh 6:38; cf., 6:58). He explicitly said He came down from heaven.

He also said, "What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?" (Joh 6:62). 

Jesus answered and said to them, "...I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going." (Joh 8:14)

And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world." (Joh 8:23)

He also said that He enjoyed glory with the Father in heaven before the world was created (Jn 17:5).  This leaves no question as to the eternal nature of His existence.  He is without beginning.
He is God’s Son, the image of the invisible God
In his letter to the Colossian church, the apostle Paul began by writing:

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit. For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him.” (Col 1:1-19)

In this passage, Paul says the following things about Jesus:
  • God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Jesus is God’s Son).
  • God is invisible. But Jesus is the image of the invisible God.
  • All things were created by Jesus -- both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible.
  • All things have been created through Jesus and for Him.
  • He is before all things.
  • In Jesus all things hold together.
  • Jesus is the Head of the Body, the church.
  • It was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Jesus.
Jesus and the Father are one
Jesus said, "I and the Father are one." The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God." (Joh 10:30-33)

The Jews wanted to stone Jesus to death, because He claimed to be God. Jesus did so when He explicitly said, “I and the Father are one.” He went on to say in verse 36, “I am the Son of God.” And He said in verse 38, “the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”

He who sees Jesus sees God
Jesus proclaimed, "He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.” (Joh 12:45)

If you have seen Jesus, you have seen God the Father, who sent Him.

Jesus reiterated this later when He said, "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him." Philip *said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus *said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?” (Joh 14:7-9)

Jesus is God blessed forever
The apostle Paul said “…whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.” (Rom 9:5)

In this passage, Paul referred to the covenants, the Law, the temple, and the promises, and said these all belong to the Israelites. He went on to say that Christ came from the Israelites, at least according to his natural body, although we know He existed eternally. He ended by saying that Jesus Christ is “over all” and that He is “God” and He is “blessed forever.”

All the fullness of Deity dwells in Jesus Christ
The apostle Paul declared: “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” (Col 2:9)

You see, Jesus has a bodily form, and is not invisible like the Heavenly Father. Yet all the fullness of Almighty God resides in Him.

Jesus is our great God and Savior
In his letter to Titus, the apostle Paul wrote that we are “Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” (Tit 2:13) He clearly referred to Jesus here as our great God.

Jesus is Himself God
John wrote in his gospel, "No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known" (Joh 1:18, NIV 2011). The 1978 NIV translation refers to him in this same verse as "God the only Son." This clearly states that Jesus is Himself God.

Jesus is the True God
In John's epistle, he wrote, "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." (1Jn 5:20, ESV). We believe that He is the true God.

Putting it All Together
In these passages, we learn the following things about Jesus:
  • God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Jesus is God’s Son).
  • God is invisible. But Jesus is the image of the invisible God.
  • He is the exact representation of God’s nature.
  • All things were created by Jesus -- both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible.
  • All things have been created through Jesus and for Him.
  • He is before all things.
  • In Jesus all things are held together.
  • Jesus is the Head of the Body, the church.
  • It was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Jesus.
  • Jesus and the Father are one.
  • He who sees Jesus sees God.
  • Jesus is God overall, forever praised. 
  • All the fullness of Deity dwells in Jesus Christ.
  • Jesus is our great God and Savior.
  • Jesus is the Word of God.
  • Jesus existed in the beginning, at the time of creation.
  • Jesus was with God in the beginning. 
  • He Jesus Was with the Father Before His Incarnation
  • The Word was God. In other words, Jesus was God.
  • Apart from Jesus, nothing came into being that has come into being.
  • Jesus is the Light and the world was made through Him.
  • The Word (Jesus Christ) became flesh and lived among us.
  • The Word (Jesus Christ) is the only begotten of the heavenly Father, God.
  • He Himself is God.
  • He is the true God.
There are many more passage in Scripture that speak of the divinity of Christ. But if we only had these alone, we have enough to prove that He was more than simply a Prophet or a Teacher. He is Lord of All.  He gave proof of this through His resurrection from the dead after three days, and His ascension into heaven before the eyes of His disciples.

Unlike Mohamed, Buddha, Confucius, Joseph Smith, and others who established religious systems, and whose bones are still in their graves, you will not find the bones of Jesus in His grave.  He is alive forevermore.  He is truly God.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like Ongoing Earthly Ministry of Jesus, The Son of Man, and Christ's Two Ascensions. You may also access the Main Directory for this blog, or my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.  

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

No comments:

Post a Comment