THE DEITY OF CHRIST, PART ONE — PROTESTANT REFORMATION PUBLICATIONS
CHRIST IS BOTH GOD AND MAN
First, let us understand the importance of believing that Jesus Christ is both God and man. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God; And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God; and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is in the world.
(1 John 4:2-3)
The Apostle John is teaching Christians that we are not to believe all are Christians who claim to be Christians. We must put them to the test. It is not a bad thing to be skeptical because many false prophets and their false disciples have spread worldwide. (See verse 1). We should not be taken in by them.
One test John gives us to use as a measuring rod or touchstone, to determine if a stranger is a true Christian, is whether he believes and confesses publicly that Jesus Christ is both God and man. I realize it may not seem apparent that this is the subject of the above quoted verse. But we may come to that conclusion by using logical deduction.
If Christ were only a man there would be no need to defend the fact of his being only a man, born as a man, of human flesh. There is nothing out of the ordinary in the fact that a great leader/teacher/spiritual healer is a human being.
No. That would be a normal event, easily believed by many. The extraordinary event most difficult to believe would be the fact that this seemingly human man was also God – the very God who created the Heavens and the Earth, and everything therein – including us. That is a much harder truth to believe.
Because it does not fit in with our limited view of reality. We might rightly ask, How is it possible God could be born a man? Yet this is what the Bible teaches.
This is what the Apostles believed and taught. This is what true Christians have believed and taught since the early Church until the present day. It cannot be explained in simple, human terms. The Bible does not attempt to explain how it is possible. Yet that does not hinder true Christians from accepting and embracing
this great and paramount truth.
Admittedly, this is so difficult a truth to believe that the Spirit of God must reveal this to us by His divine power, if anyone is to believe at all. This is why John begins the verse above with the admonition, Hereby know ye the Spirit of God.
It is the Spirit of God who reveals this great truth, not human intellect or will power. Those who believe that Christ is both God and man learned it from the Teacher, God the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle John then explains that those who disbelieve this truth exhibit the spirit of antichrist by their opposition to God’s declaration of Christ’s identity. These are strong words. My relatives do not believe that Jesus Christ is God. Therefore, according to the Bible, which cannot lie, they are of the spirit of antichrist. They oppose Jesus Christ. To complicate matters further, Scripture teaches that those who oppose and deny Christ oppose and deny God the Father.
Whoso denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.
(I John 2:23)
Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
He that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.
If we deny him, he also will deny us.
(2 Timothy 2:12)
All men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son
honoreth not the Father which hath sent him.
He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
He that is not with me is against me.
Believing who Christ is, both God and man, is critical to being a true Christian. One cannot love God the Father without loving God the Son. One cannot love the Son and yet, at the same time, deny who He is.
We will next examine Scriptures which reveal that Christ declares Himself God. This admission before the Sanhedrin is what ultimately condemns Him to death.
THE DEITY OF CHRIST, PART TWO
CHRIST CALLED HIMSELF GOD
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM. Then took they up stones to cast at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
The verses above are not teaching obvious truths to the average Christian, unless he has studied Judaism. Jesus is speaking to the Jewish religious hierarchy who understood the nature of His claim. Jesus was using the Hebrew expression for the name of God, first taught Moses in Exodus 3:14, I AM THAT I AM:
And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say unto me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
Jesus was introducing Himself to the Jewish leadership in terms they knew and understood very well. To prove that they understood clearly that he was claiming to be the very God who spoke to Moses from the burning bush, the Jews picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy.
In their minds, Jesus was the illegitimate son of Mary, raised on the wrong side of the tracks. In short, Jesus was not a “blue blood” aristocrat as were they. Neither was He schooled in Jerusalem, under their direction, as was the Apostle Paul. It was bad enough that Jesus dared teach in the Temple without their authorization, but to call Himself the great I AM? Now He had gone too far.
They would have killed Him for declaring this, according to the Old Testament law as they interpreted it, but His time had not yet come. They would get their hearts’ desire later, in God’s perfect timing.
I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved…
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
I am the resurrection and the life: He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
These are some famous statements by Jesus which incorporate the truth
of His Deity. All of them begin with the name of God: I AM. As God, Jesus is that
bread which man must eat, by faith, to nourish his soul and to quench his
spiritual thirst. As God, Jesus is the sinless light of salvation which shines in the
dark, lost world of sinners.
As God, Jesus is the only door or entrance into Heaven. One must go through Him to find salvation and eternal life. As God, Jesus is the good shepherd who cannot fail to save His sheep, care for them and bring them safely home to Heaven. As God, Jesus has eternal life. He has the power to raise His own body from the dead.
He has the power to give eternal life to those who are dead in their sins, who receive a new birth by His Spirit. As God, Jesus is the only way of salvation, the only truth we must believe to be saved, and the only Savior in whom is forgiveness of sins and eternal life. It is impossible to come into the family of God by any one other than Jesus Christ.
As God, Jesus is the vine of eternal life. Once grafted into His vine, it is impossible for a Christian to die. God the Father does the grafting. That which He plants and grafts cannot fail to take root and bear fruit.
JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DIE FOR CLAIMING TO BE GOD
Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I AM. And ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming of the clouds of heaven.
Then the high priest rent his clothes and saith, What need we any further of witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy. What think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
Jesus was on trial because the religionists of Israel perceived Jesus as a
threat. If He ever took the reins of rulership from them, they would be out
lucrative careers which normally lasted a lifetime. Besides, they enjoyed the
honor, respect, favor and obedience of the people.
These are not small things to give up, especially to placate a lowly Nazarene carpenter who was constantly exposing their hypocrisy. Jesus was their fiercest rival, though He never raised a hand to harm one of them, nor did He preach revolt against them.
By admitting, once again, that He was, indeed, God come in the flesh, Jesus gave the Sanhedrin the ammunition they needed to condemn Him to death. It was blasphemy, the penalty of which is death, for a sinful man to claim to be the very God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The very God who commissioned Moses in the wilderness.
Tragically, the One who had been prophesied to come, the Messiah, was the very One they put to death, though He spoke only the truth when claiming to be their God. Though He resurrected from the dead after 3 days, a sign which was also to prove His Deity, the Jewish leadership still did not believe.
JESUS DECLARES BELEIVING HE IS GOD NECESSARY FOR SALVATION
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins. For if ye believe not that I AM , ye shall die in your sins.
Jesus has declared to the Pharisees and Sadducees that He is I AM, the God of Israel. This paramount truth is so important to believe that it separates those who enter Heaven and those who do not. Unless a person believes that Jesus is both God and man, that person will not inherit eternal life.
THE DEITY OF CHRIST, PART THREE
THE GOSPELS TEACH THE DEITY OF CHRIST
All four Gospel accounts begin by stating the Deity of Christ. The fact that Jesus is God come in the flesh is an essential truth of the Christian faith. In fact, denying this crucial truth, or not believing it, is antichrist, definitely not the fruit of a true Christian.
MATTHEW TEACHES THAT JESUS IS GOD
Matthew begins his Gospel by tracing the lineage of Jesus from Abraham, the patriarch of the Jews, through David, the revered king of the Jews, to Joseph, His adopted father. I say, ‘adopted,’ because Jesus was supernaturally conceived in the Mary’s womb, by the Holy Spirit.
Thus, Jesus did not have a human father, as we all do. Matthew points out the fact of Mary’s being a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus by citing the prophecy of
Isaiah 9:6 (see Matthew 1:18-25).
So Matthew is establishing three things at once:
(1) Jesus is the fulfillment of Isaiah 9:6.
(2) Jesus’ lineage was exactly as foretold by Scripture, that through Abraham
would come the Savior, (Genesis 12:2-3), who shall be a blessing to people
(3) Jesus would be called ‘Emmanuel,’ which translates to God with us,
Isaiah prophesied that the Savior, the Messiah, the Anointed One, would be God. Matthew confirms that fact. Jesus is God come in the flesh. Furthermore, the name of Jesus, which was the appointed name given to Christ by God the Father, translates to Jehovah saves. Again, we see the link between Jesus and Jehovah. Jesus saves. Jehovah saves. Jesus is Jehovah God.
Our English Bibles translate the Hebrew nominative, ‘Jehovah,’ as ‘Lord.’ Therefore, when Jesus is called, ‘Lord,’ by His disciples and followers, they are
calling Him, ‘Jehovah.’
MARK TEACHES THAT JESUS IS GOD
Mark begins his Gospel by declaring that Jesus is the Son of God. The author is setting Jesus apart from human men who have earthly fathers. The Father of Jesus is God. Therefore, Jesus is also God. My father is a human. My mother is a human. Therefore, I am a human. I am not God. Nor am I a God. I am a sinful man, who requires forgiveness of sins by a merciful God. Jesus is unique. He was born sinless, an attribute of holy God, possessed by no one else, (not even by Mary, the mother of Jesus).
Jesus inherited his humanity from Mary.
Thus, He is both God and man. Sound strange? Difficult to understand? You bet. Yet this is exactly what the Bible teaches, and what Christians have always taught and believed.
In Mark’s next statement, he lays the foundation of another prophecy which teaches the Deity of Christ. He cites Isaiah 40:3-5 as proving its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. John the Baptist is the voice crying in the wilderness. Jesus is the Lord, the One whose way John is preparing. John elaborates further on this truth.
LUKE TEACHES THAT JESUS IS GOD
Luke begins his Gospel with the account of John the Baptist’s supernatural conception, then segues into the supernatural conception of Jesus, including the visit of Gabriel, the angel, as God’s messenger. It is not a small thing that Gabriel told Mary the name of her son. This is because God would have dominion and authority over Jesus. Mary was to have no rule over Him. I did not tell my parents what to name me. They had authority over me, not vice-versa. Therefore, they named me. In the case of Jesus, God the Father had authority over Jesus, not Mary. This truth is also evidenced in John 2:4. Mary had come to Jesus requesting a miracle.
Jesus would take no direction from her. His will was to do the will of His Father, not Mary. Jesus was sent to accomplish that which Adam did not do: obey God’s Word and will. By so doing, he would qualify as a sinless sacrifice so that He could atone for the sins of His people.
Luke recounts Mary prayer of thanks. In it she calls Jesus, God my Savior
(Luke 1:47). Mary was not sinless. She, too, needed a Savior. Her Savior, Jesus, she understood to be God. She was that virgin prophesied by Isaiah who would give birth to Emmanuel, God with us.
JOHN TEACHES THAT JESUS IS GOD
John’s Gospel immediately begins with a parallel of Genesis 1: In the
John declares, In the beginning was the Word……. He does this in order to equate the Word, (the eternal Son of God), with God. He continues: and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word was both with God in eternity past (including the time of creation), and yet, at the same time, the Word was also God. John is laying the groundwork for both the divinity and unique personhood of the Word, i.e., the Son of God.
The Son of God is God, yet is not God the Father. Nor is the Father the Son. In verse 2, John explains that the Word was of the same essence of God.
He is not another God. John is laying the foundation for a Triune God, (1x1x1=1);
not a Triplex God (1+1+1 = 3). Christianity is a monotheistic religion, as is
Judaism. The Bible clearly teaches this truth. Other religions, Mormonism, for
example, teach a polytheistic Godhead. They also believe they, too, will become
In verse 3, John teaches Jesus as Creator, an attribute of the true God. Jesus is not a created God, as many false religions teach, including Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jesus, as the Word, was God at the beginning of creation. Therefore, He is the uncreated God, another attribute of the true God – He has no beginning, nor end. He is self-existent. This necessary attribute unique to the true God is reflected in His Old Testament name, Jehovah, meaning, ‘the Self-Existent or Eternal One.’
Previously we read that Jesus declared, I am the resurrection and the life…. As God, Jesus is self-existent, possessing eternal life. He is dependent on no one or nothing for life. Jesus is Jehovah, the Eternal One. In verse 4, John teaches this truth, the truth that Jesus is the Eternal One, Jehovah: In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John is emphasizing that this life which Jesus possessed was of a different quality than the life which humans possessed. The life of Jesus gave forth light. The life of men give forth darkness.
Verse 5 explains this sad truth: The light shineth in darkness.….
In Bible symbolism darkness represents evil. To be in darkness is not a good thing. To be blind is a defect, not an asset. Blind people see no light. To walk in darkness is to be on the wrong path going to a bad place. Jesus’ life shown as a light:
(1) because of who He was……. God.
(2) because of why He was sent…… to save sinners from their sins.
(3) because of His teaching…… He taught truths known by no man.
(4) because of His lifestyle….. He was sinless.
(5) because of His miracles which have never been duplicated.
(6) because of His gentleness and humble spirit…… pride had no place in Him.
(7) because of His absolute obedience to God the Father, setting aside His human will and desires.
The tragedy was that the darkness comprehended it not. Men are naturally in darkness because of their innate sinful nature and sinful inclinations. Men do not and cannot understand, appreciate nor gravitate to Jesus Christ. He is light. They are darkness. Darkness and light are not in agreement.
They are exact opposites. It is not possible for darkness and light to dwell together. In the providence of God, His beloved Son was rejected by evil men who live in darkness. They loved darkness rather than light. These wicked men put His sinless Son to death. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Despite this most despicable of all wicked acts perpetrated by men, God the Father did the impossible. He overruled men’s evil and turned it into men’s blessing.
Through this depraved act would emerge the risen Christ, proving the successful atonement of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
THE DEITY OF CHRIST, PART FOUR – THE MIRACLES WHICH CHRIST PERFORMED ARE EVIDENCE OF HIS DEITY
“But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.” (John 5:36)
“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9:1-3)
“If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe me not, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe that the Father is in me, and I in Him.” (John 10:37-38)
“Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” (John 14:11)
“If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.”
These numerous Scriptures confirm that Jesus Himself understood and taught, both to friends and foes alike, the importance of His miraculous works. No man has ever, or will ever, perform such feats. They require the power of God Almighty to do them. One necessary reason Christ did them was to prove He not only came from God, but that He was God. Jesus left the Jewish people with no excuse.
His works alone proved He was God the Messiah. God the Father is in the Son and God the Son is in the Father. This great truth Christ clearly taught. Christ, therefore, can be no less than God.
It is one thing for a man to speak wise words or to be an outstanding orator whose teachings and life are exemplary. It is quite another to give sight to a man born blind. It is one thing to perform a miraculous operation using laser surgery in a first-class, fully-equipped, modern American hospital, assisted by a team of highly trained surgeons, specialists and nurses in the 21st century.
It is quite another to heal the lame, the crippled, the diseased, the deaf, the dumb and the blind in front of multitudes of unbiased witnesses in the 1st century, in several locations, extemporaneously, without any training, equipment or special sanitized conditions.
By performing innumerable miracles which common sense dictates are miracles of God, Jesus set Himself apart from any other great teacher or socalled miracle worker. It is Jesus Christ, and Him alone, we are to trust for our salvation. If only by the fact of His miracles, and for no other reason, we are to believe He is who He says He is: The God-man sent by the Father to give His life a ransom for many.
WHY HIS MIRACLES ARE PROOF HE IS GOD THE SAVIOR
We have already discovered the importance of believing that Christ is both God and man. Christ declares it, the Gospels confirm it. It is impossible to enter into Heaven disbelieving it. Christ’s Deity is a foundational truth of the Christian faith. We have now added another reason for believing Christ is God: His miracles declare it.
Let’s take a moment and examine why we should believe Christ is God by virtue of His miracles alone. Common sense dictates that His miracles could not be fraudulent.
He healed people who were well known to the various communities. Those healed did not feign their sickly condition years in advance for the purpose of foisting a deception upon their families, friends and fellow townspeople. They did not conspire with Christ and His disciples years earlier, while Christ and His disciples were young boys, for the express purpose of perpetrating false miracles in order to deceive the people into wrongly believing that Christ is the Messiah promised by God.
Neither was Christ a magician performing pseudo-miracles. Magicians ply their craft with carefully orchestrated, well-rehearsed shows. They train for years to develop the necessary skills to execute their tricks. Their props are prepared and built in advance; their assistants are trained in advance; even the members of the audience picked at random are prepared in advance.
Christ performed His miracles in the open, in the light of day, not behind dark and dramatic stage lighting in a specially designed theater. Unlike magicians, Christ did not need props and sets to hide ingenious sleight-of-hand, pseudo-miracles from audience view. The Lord did not have to ‘worry’ His ‘secrets’ would be discovered. He had no secrets. He used no deception. His miracles were performed in full view of
both friends and enemies in the light of day.
Unlike the pseudo-miracle makers of our day, Christ healed those with provable, obvious deformities and seriously diseased conditions. There was never any doubt that those Christ healed were quite sickly. Their illness was not psychosomatic. Also, once they were healed, they stayed healed.
So, upon reviewing the authenticity of Christ’s miracles, we are left with only one conclusion: Christ IS who He says He is: God the Savior.
Could a liar perform miracles no man has ever done? Of course not. Therefore, Christ is telling the truth. He is God the Savior. Could a sincere, but misguided man perform the miracles no man has ever done? Of course not. Therefore, Christ is telling the truth. He is God the Savior.
Could a sincere, but deranged man perform the miracles no man has ever done? Of course not. Therefore, Christ is telling the truth. He is God the Savior. We should and must believe Him.
THE DEITY OF CHRIST, PART FIVE – WHY THE CRUCIFIXION?
Before we delve into the miracle of Christ’s resurrection, I would like to discuss the need for His crucifixion. Why such a despicable, shameful and painful death? Was it really necessary?
The subject of the crucifixion embraces such subjects as the atonement and its purpose, the righteousness of God, the justice of God, the wrath of God, the mercy of God, and the love of God. These topics are too vast to be taught or understood in one chapter. But I would like to at least touch on some of these basic biblical truths.
(1) Man sinned in the Garden, causing that sinful nature to be passed onto his progeny. Sin caused him to fear God and run from God. Where once there was fellowship, trust and love of God, there became hostility, unbelief and separation from God.
(2) In order to rectify that unnatural alienation from his Creator, God could not simply sweep sin under the rug with a wink of the eye. His holy justice had to be satisfied. Breaking a just law, requires a just penalty. We are all sinners who have broken God’s just laws. Payment is required. The punishment is death.
(3) Death is not a natural occurrence. It was not the original order of things in the beginning. It was imposed only as a punitive measure by our Creator. The effect of our sin is death. The cause of death is our sin. The threat of death was a warning and deterrent should Adam think to stray from God’s law.
(4) Adam was the representative, or federal head, of the entire human race. The status of future generations was dependent on Adam’s obedience to God’s one law. When he disobeyed and fell, so did his progeny. Death comes to infants and toddlers, not because of their personal sin, but because of inherited, or imputed sin from Adam, the first man. Although, this may sound unfair on the surface, this principle of substitution and imputation is also used by God to our advantage.
(5) Christ Jesus is that Savior, the Head of the Church, who came to earth to redeem and save His people from their sins.
(6) He was prophesied in the Garden as the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent. He was symbolized as the spotless lamb, slaughtered, who would be a covering for Adam, Eve, and many of their offspring, also called the seed of the woman.
(7) He is seen as the tree of Life, in whom there is eternal life.
(8) Romans 5 teaches the great truths of representation, substitution and
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, [speaking of Adam], so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous,” [speaking of Jesus].
Here we see, among other things, God’s wisdom, justice and righteousness displayed. God wisely chose one man to test in the Garden. If he passed the test of obedience, eternal life, joy and peace was his and his descendents’ gift, forever. Because Adam failed the test, the curse of death, pain and sorrow would be the just punishment. We see that reality today.
With that in mind, we now discover the Good News: God would provide a Savior who would be tested as was Adam, but who would not fail the test. He would be obedient in all things, even death on the cross. His obedience, called righteousness, would be imputed to those who did not and could not be pleasing to God.
That imputation of righteousness would change the sinner’s status in the eyes of God. That sinner would be declared righteous because of Christ’s obedience and righteousness. Thus, it would not be the sinner’s good works which contributed to his own righteousness. Rather it has only to do with Christ’s good works, Christ’s obedience.
This great truth is also expressed:
“For he [God the Father] hath made him [speaking of Jesus, God the Son] to be sin for us, who [speaking again of Jesus] knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
(II Cor. 5:21)
Here we are taught that an exchange took place on the cross. Our sins were imputed to Christ, sinless though He was, and His righteousness, in turn, is imputed to us. One might rightly and wisely then ask, How can one be rewarded with Christ’s righteousness, attaining unto salvation, if good works do not merit this free gift?
The Bible teaches that the justified shall live by faith in Christ’s obedience, which faith is the free gift of God:
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh [any human being] be justified in his sight [speaking of God]; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [i.e., keeping the law is impossible and disdainful to us, though it is good and is our duty and responsibility to do so; thus, it is not the way for man to please God nor to find salvation.]
But now the righteousness of God [speaking of Christ’s obedient life and death on the cross] without the law is manifested [i.e., to be our righteousness apart from our keeping the law perfectly], being witnessed by the law and the prophets [prophesied beforehand to make the fulfillment in Christ true and to be believed]; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference [either in the sin nature of man without respect to his culture, or in the way of his salvation]: For all have sinned [speaking of the human race] and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace [speaking of the grace of God] through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:20-24)
The Apostle Paul is teaching the Roman church basic, fundamental, crucial truths pertaining to our salvation. We are saved because of Christ’s obedience, not our own; we are imputed His righteousness when we do believe and place our faith in Christ’s righteousness alone.
It is here that we find the necessity of Christ being both God and man. Christ must be man in order to shed His blood and die for our sins, as our representative and substitute. He must be sinless in order to offer Himself in our stead. If He had but one sin, He would need a Savior Himself.
By remaining a sinless man, the last Adam, (I Cor. 15:45), Jesus qualified to be our substitute. But that alone would not be sufficient to purchase ALL the gifts necessary for salvation, (Eph. 1:3). Nor would it be sufficient to purchase the salvation of those whose number no man can number, (Rev. 7:9). Nor would it display the grace of God, who is both the just and justifier:
“Who, being in the form of God, [speaking of Jesus] thought it not robbery to be equal with God, [Christ acknowledged He was God because it was true], but made himself of no reputation [born on the wrong side of the tracks, poor, not university educated], and took upon him the form of a servant, [a servant, not a Master, which He was], and was made in the likeness of men; [with their emotions and desires], And being found in fashion as a man, [God in the flesh of man], he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
CHRIST HAD TO BE GOD TO ATONE FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD
Unless Christ was also God, He could not possibly have atoned for the sins of the world, let alone two men. As God, Christ’s worth is infinite. His perfection is infinite. His sinlessness is infinite. His obedience to the Father is infinite. His holiness is infinite. Only an infinite being could atone for the innumerable of innumerable sinners.
THE DEITY OF CHRIST, PART SIX — THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST PROVES HIS DEITY
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received from my Father. (John 10:17-18)
I am the resurrection and the life: He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. (John 11:25)
And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. (John 11:43-44)
An essential, fundamental truth of Christianity which sets it apart from all world religions is that of the resurrection of Christ. Though He was beaten, whipped, and crucified, He rose from the dead, after three days, in a perfect, glorified state.
Psalm 16:10 prophesied Christ’s resurrection in perfection – For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
To claim the power to raise oneself from the dead is no small matter. Either the claimant is mad or he is God. There is no other option. To claim the power to raise others from the dead is equally outrageous. No other religious leader has made these claims. No other religious leaders dares do so.
Christ did not prophesy His returning to earth as a ghostly spirit, devoid of human body. Nor did He raise Lazarus in such a state. Nor does He promise to raise all the Elect in anything less than glorified bodies of perfection; bodies which can be touched and held.
To prove that He is God come in the flesh, who was crucified and rose again the third day, upon His resurrection He spent 40 days with His disciples, teaching those things which pertain to the kingdom of God. He even ate with them, Luke 22:30; 41-42.
Spirits have no need for food.
Had Christ not risen from the dead, the Apostle Paul admits the Christian faith would be in vain, devoid of hope, still in sin, I Cor. 15:17.
Today Christians have the hope of eternal life in resurrected glorified bodies. They have Christ’s resurrection as proof. They have the seal of the Holy Spirit confirming the promise of the Lord. They have the resurrection of spring from the death of winter as visible evidence of the power of God.
They have the truth of Christ’s Deity, and as such, cannot fail to do that which He promises or purposes.
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