deity of Jesus Christ
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Evidence For the Deity of Jesus Christ

INTRODUCTION: As we consider the passages in the Bible that relate to the deity of Jesus Christ, it is important to remember that He is one of three distinct Persons in the triune "Godhead" (Col. 2:9), or Trinity. When Jesus, the Son of God, paid the penalty for our sins and cried out, My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me? (Matt. 27:46), He was speaking to God the Father. We can gain a profound insight into the triune nature of God by looking at ourselves; we are made in God's image and therefore have a triune nature also: body, soul (mind and emotions), and spirit. God said, "let Us [plural] make man in Our [plural] image" (Gen. 1:26). We can think of the human parallel of using body, soul, and spirit together. Think about writing a love letter -- your hands (body) do the writing while your mind translates the leading of your spirit. We are also profoundly different from God; therefore we must approach the study of His nature with humility. He said, "I am God, and there is none like Me" (Isaiah 46:9). "Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few." (Ecc. 5:2)

The seven topics listed below are covered in this survey of the scriptural evidence for the deity of Christ.

  1. The angels in heaven only worship God. The angels in heaven worship Jesus Christ, therefore proving His deity.
  2. Jesus Christ is "the Word" (logos) that "became flesh and dwelt among us". "The Word" is God. Jesus Christ is also the "Immanuel" which means "God with us," therefore proving the deity of Jesus Christ.
  3. Only God is holy. Jesus Christ is holy. Therefore Jesus Christ is God.
  4. God created and sustains all of creation. Jesus Christ created and sustains all of creation, therefore proving the deity of Jesus Christ.
  5. The Holy Spirit is the "Spirit of God" and the "Spirit of Christ", therefore proving the deity of Jesus Christ.
  6. Scripture indirectly states that Jesus Christ is God.
  7. Scripture directly states that Jesus Christ is God.

1.THE ANGELS IN HEAVEN ONLY WORSHIP GOD. THE ANGELS IN HEAVEN WORSHIP JESUS CHRIST. THEREFORE JESUS CHRIST IS GOD.

When the apostle John saw the visions in the book of Revelation, twice he fell down at the feet of an angel and began to worship. Both times the angels reply was the same:

  • Rev. 19:10 -- "And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me,"See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!" (see also Rev. 22:8-9)
  • Rev. 4:8 -- "They do not rest day or night, saying: 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!'"

God the Father commands the angels in heaven to worship His Son, Jesus Christ:

  • Hebrews 1:5-6 -- "For to which of the angels did He ever say: 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You'? And again: 'I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son'? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: 'Let all the angels of God worship Him.'"
  • In the following verses of Hebrews ch. 1, God the Father refers to the Son as "God". Hebrews 1:8 -- "But to the Son He says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever...'"

Jesus said, "For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'" (Matthew 4:10)

2. JESUS CHRIST IS "THE WORD" THAT "BECAME FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US". "THE WORD" IS GOD. JESUS CHRIST IS THE "IMMANUEL" WHICH MEANS "GOD WITH US." THEREFORE JESUS CHRIST IS GOD.

  • John 1:1-14 -- "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 were made through Him... ... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
  • An angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph, "do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,' which is translated, 'God with us.'" (Matt. 1:20-23)
  • Col 2:8-10 -- "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him."

3. ONLY GOD IS HOLY. JESUS CHRIST IS HOLY. THEREFORE JESUS CHRIST IS GOD.

God alone is holy:

  • Rev 15:3-4 -- "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy..."

Jesus Christ is holy:

  • Rev 3:7 -- "These things says He who is holy..." This passage refers to Jesus Christ when He gave the apostle John the seven letters for the seven churches. Scripture makes it clear that it was Jesus Christ who gave John the letters: "When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, 'Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. ... Write the things which you have seen ... To the angel of the church of Ephesus write... ..." (Rev. 1:17-2:1)
  • Jesus is the sinless "Lamb of God" who "takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29). 1 Peter 1:18-20 -- "You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Because Jesus Christ is holy, only He is worthy to open the scroll in the Father's hands:

  • Rev. 5:4-9 -- "So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals. And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. Worthy Is the Lamb. Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, 'You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us..."

4. GOD CREATED AND SUSTAINS ALL OF CREATION. JESUS CHRIST CREATED AND SUSTAINS ALL OF CREATION. THEREFORE JESUS CHRIST IS GOD.

The following passage states that God the Father created and sustains all things. It is clear that this passage refers to God the Father and not to Jesus Christ because He hands a scroll to Jesus Christ (Rev. 5:6-7)

  • Rev. 4:7-11 -- "The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!' Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 'You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.'"

Jesus Christ created and sustains all things:

  • Col. 1:15-17 -- "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist."

5. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE "SPIRIT OF GOD" AND THE "SPIRIT OF CHRIST". THEREFORE JESUS CHRIST IS GOD.

Romans 8:9-10 -- "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."

The children of God are to live by the power of God, and the Holy Spirit is the source of that power:

  • The apostle Paul prayed that "He [God the Father] would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith..." (Ephesians 3:16-17).

Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts through His Spirit:

  • "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13).
  • "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me..." (Galatians 2:20)
  • "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Cor. 6:19).

6. SCRIPTURE INDIRECTLY STATES THAT JESUS CHRIST IS GOD.

The deity of Christ is seen in God's special visits to Moses and Joshua as they led Israel:

  • When Israel stood on the banks of the Jordan River before conquering Canaan, they told Joshua, their new leader, "All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses." (Joshua 1:16-17) God Himself promised Joshua, "as I was with Moses, so I will be with you." (Joshua 1:5)
  • God met Moses at the burning bush and said, 'Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' (Ex. 3:5-6)
  • God met Joshua on the plains of Jericho and told him, like He previously told Moses, to take off his sandals because the place where he stood was holy ground (Joshua 5:15). The ground was holy because God was present. Joshua's encounter with God is one way that we can see how God fulfilled his promise to Joshua: "as I was with Moses, so I will be with you." (Joshua 1:5) Joshua's encounter with God also reveals the deity of Christ. Joshua did not see God in a burning bush like Moses saw Him; rather, he saw God in the form of a Man -- Jesus Christ in His preincarnate state (Joshua 5:13-15). The Bible records Joshua's reaction when he realized that he was speaking to God: "And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant?" (Joshua 5:14). Joshua fell to the ground when he saw God, just like the apostle John fell to the ground when He saw Jesus Christ in the vision of Revelation (Rev. 1:17).
  • God instructed Moses at the burning bush, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel,'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Ex. 3:14) I AM is the self-disclosed name of God; it means that He is the self-existent One, unlike all of creation that is sustained by Him (Col. 1:17). Jesus inferred that He is the I AM, when He said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." (John 8:58)

7. SCRIPTURE DIRECTLY STATES THAT JESUS CHRIST IS GOD.

Jesus allowed His disciples to call Him "God":

  • John 20:28-29 -- "And Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'"
  • Jude 24-25 -- "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise,Be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen."
  • Romans 9:5 -- "...according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God..."

God the Father refers to Jesus Christ His Son as "God":

  • Hebrews 1:8 -- "But to the Son He says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever...'"

Jesus Christ was accused of blasphemy because He claimed to be God. Under Mosaic Law the punishment for blasmphemy was death (Leviticus 24:16); and this served as the legal excuse Jewish leaders used to pursue the death of Christ:

  • Matt. 9:3-6 -- "And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, "This Man blasphemes!" But Jesus, knowing their thoughts [He could read their minds because He is God!], said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins"
  • Mark 14:61-64 -- "Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" Jesus said, "I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?" And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

Jesus is the "express image" of the Father:

  • Colossians 2:9 -- "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."
  • Hebrews 1:3 -- Jesus is "the brightness of His [God the Father's] glory and the express image of His person."
  • John 14:8-10 -- "Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?"

Because Jesus Christ is God and has no sin of His own, He was able to die in our place to pay the penalty for our sins and offer us forgivenss as a free gift.

  • Ephesians. 2:7-10: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
  • Romans 3:20-24: "Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed... through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21: "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."