Topic five: The deity of Christ (Part 1)
A diligent study of the Old Testament (O.T.) and the New Testament (N.T.) will find many things said about God in the O.T. are also said about Jesus Christ in the N.T. Is this an accident or is God the Father telling us something about God the Son? Most would think the latter. Why might God have done this?
In a previous post on 4/11, we made the following assertion: “The Bible is and must be inerrant. Why? God cannot make a statement and then violate His own statement.” This statement is a key to much of what is written in the Bible. Scripture tells us that God is a Trinitarian being and each face of the trinity is shown by what The Word tells us. Jesus Christ is fully God, as is the Father, and as is the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the physical manifestation of the Godhead and can be seen with human eyes, whereas the Father and the Holy Spirit cannot be seen by physical eyesight. The fact that Jesus Christ was seen and can be seen does not diminish the fact that He is God. Therefore, Jesus Christ is deity. To see more of Jesus deity, study the following passages:
King of kings Psa. 95:3 &1 Tim. 6:14-15; Lord of lords Psa. 136:3 & Rev. 19:16; Stone of stumbling Isa. 8:13-15 & 1 Peter 2:6-8; Judge Isa. 24:20-21 & Jn. 5:22; Good Shepherd Isa. 40:10-11 & Jn. 10:11; Only Savior Isa. 43:11 & 2 Tim. 1:10; Alpha and Omega Isa. 44:6 & Rev. 1:7-18; Creator Isa. 44:24 & Col. 1:16. God is confirming many of the things about Jesus Christ that show his deity.
Topic five: The deity of Christ (Part 2)
In this post, we will see more statements and scriptures about the deity of Jesus Christ. In the O.T. the prophets wrote that the Messiah would be God. Jesus Christ at his birth was proclaimed to be God. During Jesus earthly ministry, he made claims of deity.
First, let’s see what the O.T. prophets had to say about the coming Messiah. Isaiah 7:14 gives us this familiar verse: Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. “Immanuel” means God with us and he was born of a virgin. Again, in Isaiah 9:6 we see: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Then we see that Jeremiah chimes in with this in chapter 23:5,6: Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness. All of the above was then confirmed to Joseph in a dream in Matthew 1:20-24. He then followed through with marriage to his virgin wife.
Second, Jesus Christ was proclaimed to be God at his birth as we see in Matthew 1:23 (previous paragraph) and also in Luke 1: with these verses 17, 32, & 76. In verse 76, we see Luke add even greater emphasis with: “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;” and we see Luke add more emphasis in 2:11 with these words: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Third, we see that Jesus claimed to be God. He made plain statements that the Jews understood to be his claim to be God. (Read these verses in John: 5:17-18, 23; 8:56-59; 10:30-33) Jesus made several “I AM” statements that the Jews considered to be professions of deity. (See John 8:58-59) Jesus Christ made statements about his relationship with the Father that boldly claimed equality with God the Father as we see in these verses in John. 5:21-23; 10:15, 30, 38; 14:9. Jesus did not hide his identity as a member of the trinity.
Topic five: The deity of Christ (Part 3)
Scripture spells out for us that only God can be worshiped. The deity of Jesus Christ presents us this fact: Jesus was worshipped and he accepted the worship of those who did. Had Jesus Christ not been God, worshipping him would have been idolatry and wickedness. Isaiah 42:8 says: I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Yet at Jesus birth, we see this recorded in Mt. 2: 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. It is obvious that these wise men knew who Jesus was and responded by worshiping him. (For more read these verses: Ex. 20:3-5; 34:14; Matt. 4:10)
We see scriptures throughout the N.T. that tells us that he was worshipped in His earthly ministry. We see this in Mt 8: 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. Again, we see this in Mt. 9: 18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshiped him, saying, my daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. Jesus was worshiped not only in His earthly ministry, but he will also be worshiped in the future by every man and angel. (Read Philippians 2:9-11 and Hebrews 1:8, 9)
Further, to the above paragraph, the N.T. authors wrote with confidence that Jesus Christ is God. The apostle John started his gospel with these words: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) Paul writing to the church at Philippi said the following: 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: (Phil 2:5, 6) Again, the writer of Hebrews said this: Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Heb. 1:3) However, there is no plainer statement of the deity of Jesus than what Paul wrote to Titus: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13) These writers were speaking from their own personal experience from being with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Topic five: The deity of Christ (Part 4)
In the deity of Jesus Christ, we must not overlook at least these two things He does that no man can. 1) Jesus Christ forgives sins; 2) Jesus Christ knows the inner thoughts of any individual person. Both of these actions are by scripture the prerogative of God. Yet the N.T. writers unreservedly give Jesus credit for being able to do these “God” only things.
From passages in both Matthew and Luke, we find these statements about Jesus forgiving sins. Matthew said: “…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. (9:2-3) Luke gives an account of Jesus talking to Simon a Pharisee who observed a “sinful” woman kissing Jesus feet. Jesus knowing his thought said the following: “My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?” (Luke 7:46-49) Those men around him knew the O.T. scriptures that only God can forgive sins. That is why they asked the question: “Who is this that forgiveth sins also?” To the Pharisees Jesus had crossed the line, but because of his deity, Jesus could do this. He knew their thoughts and spoke accordingly.
Two more passages from the O.T. reinforce the fact that Jesus as Immanuel (God in the flesh) knew the thoughts of men. Proverbs 17:3 gives us this gem: “The [re]fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the Lord trieth the hearts.” The prophet Jeremiah also had this to say from what the Lord told him to write: “I the Lord search the heart; I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:3) For more on this subject, read the following passages: 1 Samuel 16: 7; 1 Kings 8 39; 1 Chronicles 28: 9; Psalm 139:1. Remember this God knows every thought you have both good and bad!
Topic five: The deity of Christ (Part 5)
This post will finish this Baptist Doctrine about Jesus Christ as the Messiah. We will highlight two final beliefs about what scripture states concerning the Lord Jesus Christ: 1) It is meaningful that Jesus is called “LORD” 663 times in the N.T. 2) The intent of the N.T. writers by inspiration of the Holy Spirit was to identify Jesus with the O.T. Deity. Jesus himself spoke about this in His earthly ministry. His identifying himself with the O.T. Deity is what upset and angered the Jewish religious leadership and why they insisted that He be crucified. They were unable to accept that He was God in the flesh.
What Jesus said to the Pharisees in this passage left them without rational arguments to refute His claim to the Deity that King David had referred to. In Matthew 22:41-45 we see the following words of Jesus to the Pharisees: “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he? They say unto him, the son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then called him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.” The religious authorities of that day were the Pharisees. They did not like to be told that they were wrong. It stung them and they wanted revenge.
The N.T. writers in many passages identified Jesus with the O.T. use of deity. There are ten reference passages that clearly state this concept. For brevity, we will use only three but reference the other seven. Matthew in 3:3 says: “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Again in Matthew 21:9 he says: “And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” (See also Zechariah 9:9) John the beloved writes this passage about Jesus: “Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” This statement by Jesus was a direct reference to His deity and this verse stunned the Jews who heard it because they knew He was referring to himself as God and was identifying Himself with God the Father.
The following commentary by Scofield tells us about the 663 times Jesus is referred to as “LORD” in the N.T. “The Greek word kurios is the equivalent of the Hebrew adonai and is so used by Jesus in Mt. 22:43-45. The great use of kurios is “as the divine title of Jesus,” the Christ. In this sense it occurs in the N.T. 663 times. That the intent is to identify Jesus Christ with the O.T. Deity is evident from these reference verses: Mt. 3:3; 12:8; 21:9; 22:43-45; Luke. 1:43; Jn. 8:58; 14:8-10; 20:28; Ac. 9:5; 13:33. Paul in his Damascus road experience also uses the Greek kurios. The N.T. writers knew by their own personal experience and observations who Jesus was. What they wrote should leave no doubt in our minds that Jesus was who He said He was.