Notes On The Deity Of Christ

Why Call Jesus God?

John 1:1-4,14;Colossians 1:15-19;Hebrews 1:1-4 He is Creator

 

 

Psalm 90:1-2 Being Creator, He is before time and thus eternal Micah 5:2 cf Matthew 2:1-6 see also Hebrews 7:1-3;13:8;1 John 1:1-3;5:20-22 (Isaiah 57:15)

Cf Revelation 1:8,11;21:6

This also shows us that the Son of God has no beginning. He is the beginning. He is timeless and eternal.

 

John 1:1-4;1 John 1:1-3;5:20-22 cf Genesis 2:7 He is life Deuteronomy 32:39-41

 

 

He is the JEHOVAH, the I AM Isaiah 40:3 (Here He is explicitly called God.) Matthew 3:1-3;John 1:19-34 cf John 8:58

 

 

He is Savior Matthew 1:21;Luke 1:47;2:11;John 4:42;Acts 5:31;13:23;Ephesians 5:23;Philippians 3:20;1 Timothy 1:1;4:10;2 Timothy 1:10;Titus 1:1-4;2:10-15;3:4-6;2 Peter 1:1,11;2:20;3:2,18;1 John 4:14;Jude 1:25

2 Samuel 22:3;Psalm 106:21;Isaiah 43:3,11;45:21-22;49:25-26;60:15-16;Hosea 13:4

These texts show us the following: there is only one Savior, God is that Savior, Jesus is that Savior. Seeing there is only one Savior, who is God, and that Jesus is our Savior, it follows that Jesus is God.

                                                                                    

 

God knows all things. This is an attribute that belongs to God alone. Isaiah 46:8-11 cf John 21:17;Hebrews 4:12-13;

 

 

 

Scripture calls Him the unchanging, eternal God. Hebrews 1:8-12 cf Psalm 102:24-27  and Malachi 3:6;Hebrews 13:8

 

He is the Lord from Heaven 1 Corinthians 15:44-49

 

 

He is omnipresent John 1:18;3:13

 

 

He is almighty Genesis 17:1;18:14 cf Revelation 1:8,11;(19:6-16)Here we see that the Lamb is the almighty God, who is King of kings.

 

 

He is the Son of God and one with the Father. John 1:1-3,14;10:27-30;14:9;Philippians 2:5-8

Why Is This Doctrine Important?

Mediator- 1 Timothy 2:5-6 cf Galatians 3:  The only way that our mediator could truly understand the way of God, represent God (John 1:18), accurately convey the heart and will of God (John 1:1-3,14;),and reconcile man to God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21), He must be God.

Savior-If Jesus is not God, He cannot save us. Only God is Savior Isaiah 45:21-22 cf Titus 2:11-14If Jesus is not God, we have no hope of future salvation at His return.

Worship- If Jesus is not God, He cannot rightfully be worshiped. No mere man is worthy of worship.

Service- The exalted Christ is the One Who is to be served and obeyed, not some mere human who deserves no honor and obedience as God deserves. Philippians 2:5-16

 

In short, this truth affects the whole of the Christian experience.

Of The Divine Essence

Of The Divine Essence

“We believe in one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in essence, equal in power and glory.”[1]

 

What do we mean when we say that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are the same in essence? What is this essence? This terminology began to be used in the early centuries of the church when a man named Arius declared that the Son of God had a beginning, and that there was a time when the Son of God did not exist. A man named Athanasius stood up to combat this heresy. Athanasius said, “The Word who admittedly gives life and order to, and is in, the whole, must also be in the part; and in a part He manifested Himself—namely, in a human body. He gives life and being to everything, yet is essentially distinct from creation, being one in essence with the Father only.[2]The Son, Athanasius declared, is one in essence with the Father. The essence speaks of being. It speaks to us of nature and character. When we say that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are the same in essence, we are saying along with Christians of many centuries that they are the same being and of the same nature and character.

While it is indeed obvious that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct persons, it is often difficult to see that they are one essence, being, or character. Let us consider the following:

  • The Father is God: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9–11)
  • The Son is God: “Inthe beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1–3)

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8)

  • The Holy Spirit is God: “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” (Acts 5:3–4)

 

What we mean when we say this is that each of the Divine persons is of the same being, nature and character. Thus, if we say that God is eternal, we must say that the Father is eternal (Deuteronomy 32:39-41;Matthew 6:13). We must also say that the Son is eternal (John 1:1-3;Colossians 1:15-17;1 John 1:1-4). Then we must also say that the Spirit is eternal (Hebrews 9:14). Thus, the essence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is one.

It is necessary that we maintain this, because the Scriptures present us only one God. From the very beginning we are taught that the one true God created all things. It is He who said to Israel, “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lordthy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:1–3) Again, “Hear, O Israel: The Lordour God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lordthy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4–5) There is only one God, and must worship only one God. God’s holy and righteous jealousy demands that (Exodus 20:1-7; 34:14). We do not worship three different Gods; but we do worship one God who subsists[3]in three distinct persons. Thus, to worship the Son as God is not to be a polytheist who is provoking God to jealousy. Neither is it sinful to say that Christ is in us (Colossians 1:27), when we are speaking of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling (Ephesians 1:12-14). Nor is it wickedness to call the Holy Spirit God, as though we were claiming that the Holy Spirit is a separate God from the Father; because we know that the Spirit is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of Him who raised up Christ from the dead (Romans 8:9-11). To worship God is to worship the three persons of God. We believe in the Trinity, the three-in-one God, the God who is three persons in one essence. To do otherwise would be to worship a god who is a figment of our sinful imaginations, as Scripture presents us three persons who are all God, and are the same in essence.

Finally, if the three persons are not of the same essence, then which is the God of our salvation? God is the only Savior, we find. “Tell ye, and bring them near; Yea, let them take counsel together: Who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? Have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; A just God and a saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: For I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, The word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall swear.” (Isaiah 45:21–23) Yet we also read that Jesus is our Savior: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) (See also 1 Timothy 1:15;Titus 2:13.) Then we read of the Holy Spirit in relationship to our salvation. “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:” (2 Thessalonians 2:13) Either the Bible is inconsistent and contradictory in claiming that all three persons are our Savior, or the Bible is teaching us that all three of the persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are equally God, being the same in essence. It is imperative for us and for our salvation that we believe that there are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one in essence, equal in power and glory.

To Him alone be the glory.

 

 

 

 

[1]Statement of Principles, Louisiana State/State Line Association Of Regular Baptist Churches.

[2]Athanasius of Alexandria, Athanasius: On the Incarnation of the Word of God, trans. T. Herbert Bindley, Second Edition Revised (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1903), 15–16.

[3]Subsist- to be, to exist

The Eternal Sonship of Jesus Christ

The Eternal Sonship of Jesus Christ

 

The eternal sonship of Jesus is a very important doctrine. It is also a doctrine that cannot be fully comprehended by mortal man.  On the other hand, mortals must at least accept this doctrine as being true.  Remembering that God is spirit and is not bound by time, space, and material/bodily constraints, will help us to more readily accept this truth.  Being the Son of God means that Jesus is God.  The Son has the nature of the Father.  This means that the Son is eternal. Though He was begotten and not made, the Son is eternal.  While these things are hard to be understood, let us attempt to attain a rudimentary knowledge of them.

 

The Son Eternally Begotten of The Father

Before Jesus was ever begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary He was the Son of God.  The Sonship of Jesus is not a physical sonship, but a spiritual one.  As Isaiah prophesied of the coming of Jesus, he told us, “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.” ( Isaiah 9:6) KJV  This passage tells us that Jesus was the Son before He became a man; He was givenas the Son.  Not only so, but He is one with His Father, which tells us that the Son of God is God.  We again read, “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”  ( John 3:16,17) KJV  The Son was givenand sentthus testifying to the fact that Jesus was the Son before He became a man.

There has never been a time when God in all of His glorious perfection did not have a complete comprehension of who He is.  Never has there been a time in which God did not have a full understanding of all His nature and His deeds.  In the midst of this perception that God has of Himself is to be found the fact that God delights in Himself; He is the happy God (1Tim 1:11).  This idea, love, delight, and contemplation of His own perfections is so complete that it stands forth as another person.  This person is the second person of the Godhead, the Son of God.  This is a begetting in a spiritual sense because the One begotten is truly the eternal offspring of the Father.  The Son is eternally begotten, because there has never been a time that God has not had this perfect delight in, and understanding of, who He is.  This means that the Son is eternal.  It also means that the Son is indeed divine in all facets of His nature. (Note: We should not think of the Son being begotten as though He had a beginning. The terms “begotten” and “Son” actually refer to the relationship He has with the Father rather than speaking of origination and beginning.)  “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 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; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”   (Hebrews 1:1-8) KJV   This passage speaks volumes about this wonderful truth.  It tells us that the Son is of the same character as the Father, He is the Son who is begotten of God, is due worship, and is God.

 

The Father’s Witness to The Son

The Father bore witness to the Sonship of Jesus at least three times while He was on earth.  The first was at His baptism: “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  (Matthew 3:16,17) KJV  The second time was when He spoke to Peter, James, and John in the Mount of Transfiguration: “ While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”   (Matthew 17:5) KJV  Finally, the Father testified of the Sonship of Jesus when He raised Christ from the dead.  Paul said that He was “ declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”  (Romans 1:4) KJV   This is, I believe, a faithful representation of the Sonship of Jesus Christ, our Creator and Redeemer.