The Deity of Christ

78-001 (2 John 1:7)/ Bible Study Guide/ Introduction to Christology (The Doctrine of Jesus Christ)/ Lesson # 1

Key Text: “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (2 John 7, NKJV)

Objectives: The Purpose of this study is to establish Biblical Basis for belief in Deity of Jesus Christ.

Opening Remarks: Is Jesus Christ God? This is a question that many are asking today. Many deny the facts that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.  Many are deceived. Yes, very religious, but deceived.  We need to sharpen our sword on this topic.  This is spiritual warfare!  Satanic deception seeks to diminish the deity of Jesus Christ and exalt man. Today even the so called Christians are denying the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, the Deity and the exaltation of Christ. In this study, we are going to stand on the revelation of Scriptures on this crucial subject,   loaded with Scripture references. 

Let me begin with what we believe: [1] We believe Christ to be the second Person in the heavenly Trinity—comprised of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who are united not only in the Godhead but in the provisions of redemption. [2] We believe that Christ is one with the Eternal Father—one in nature, equal in power and authority, God in the highest sense, eternal and self-existent, with life original, unborrowed, and underived. [3] We believe that Christ existed from all eternity, distinct from, but united with, the Father, possessing the same glory, and all the divine attributes.

Heart Questions: [1] What is the evidence that Jesus Christ is divine? [2] How did He perceive Himself? [3] Did people recognize His divinity? [4] Does Jesus make statements only God would make? [5] Does Jesus have the attributes of deity? [6] Are names, titles, and designations of God ascribed to Jesus? [7] Does Jesus do things only God can do? [8] Does the Bible clearly and unequivocally declare that Jesus is God?

The Deity of Jesus Christ – (Main Points):

  1. Christ’s Recognition of His Deity.
  2. The Title “Son of God.”
  3. Names and Titles restricted to Deity.
  4. Attributes belonging solely to Deity.
  5. Statements attributed to God.
  6. Prerogatives exercised only by Deity.
  7. Names, Titles, and Designations of God.
  8. Jehovah of the OT with Jesus of the NT.
  9. Divine Duties, Worship and Prayer.
  10. Scriptural Testimony.
  11. Other Testimonies.
  12. Devotional Implication.

CHRIST’S RECOGNITION OF HIS DEITY.

First we see the awareness of Christ concerning His divine Person and Mission.

  • At twelve He recognized God as His Father (Luke 2:41–52);
  • At thirty this awareness of His divine mission was revealed at His baptism (Matt. 3:13–17);
  • It appears in the record of the temptation (Matt. 4:1–11);
  • It appears in the calling of the twelve and the seventy;
  • It appears in claims of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 to 7).

THE TITLE “SON OF GOD.”

Under this section we see the acknowledgement of the title “Son of God” by Christ Himself.

  • While Christ was here among men, He acknowledged Himself to be the Son of God. (Read Matt. 27:41–43; John 5:23; 9:35–37; 10:36; 17:1).
  • He confirmed the testimony of others that He was the Son of God. (Read Matt. 16:15–17; John 1:32–34, 48, 49; 11:27).
  • Other numerous statements attest the fact that He was what He claimed Himself to be—the Son of God (Read Matt. 3:16-17; John 19:7; 20:30-31; Acts 9:20; Rom. 1:1–4; 2 Cor. 1:19; Heb. 4:14; 2 Peter 1:16-17).

NOTE: Christ employed the title “Son of God” without the slightest reservation, and with the utmost freedom and frankness. It is the one title that embodies, in a most explicit way, His unique relationship to the Father.

NAMES AND TITLES RESTRICTED TO DEITY.

  1. “God” (John 1:1);
  2. “God with us” (Matt. 1:23);
  3. “the great God” (Titus 2:13);
  4. “God blessed forever” (Rom. 9:5);
  5. “Son of God” (some 40 times);
  6. “only begotten Son” (five times);
  7. “the first and the last” (Rev. 1:17);
  8. “Alpha and Omega” (Rev. 22:13);
  9. “the beginning and the end” (Rev. 22:13);
  10. “Holy One” (Acts 3:14);
  11. “Lord” (used constantly);
  12. “Lord of all” (Acts 10:36);
  13. “Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:8);
  14. “King of glory” (Ps. 24:8–10);
  15. “Wonderful” (Isa. 9:6);
  16. “Everlasting Father” (Isa. 9:6);
  17. “Word of God” (Rev. 19:13);
  18. “Word” (John 1:1);
  19. “Emmanuel” (Matt. 1:23);
  20. “Mediator” (1 Tim. 2:5); and
  21. “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16).

ATTRIBUTES BELONGING SOLELY TO DEITY.

Does Christ conform to the attributes of Deity? Yes. In the following condensed descriptions of various Scriptures, we see that Jesus Christ is God because He has the attributes of God.

Eternity

He is the everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).

He is from everlasting (Micah 5:2).

He is “in the beginning,” He always was (John 1:1, 2, 14, 15).

Jesus had glory with God before the world was created (John 17:5).

Omnipresence

He is with us always (Matthew 28:20).

He is in every believer (John 14:20-23).

He fills all (Ephesians 1:23; 4:20).

Where two or three are, He is there (Matthew 18:20).

NOTE: Although His divinity has the natural ability of omnipresence, the incarnate Christ had voluntarily limited Himself in this respect. He had chosen to be Omnipresent through the ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18).

Omnipotence and Sovereignty.

He is the Almighty (Revelation 1:8).

He does whatever the Father does (John 5:19).

He upholds all things (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3).

He is the head over all rule and authority (Colossians 2:10).

He has power to subject all things unto Himself (Philippians 3:21).

He exerts control over His own life and death (John 10:18).

He is the ruler of the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5).

He has power over nature (Luke. 8:25).

He is Lord of all (Revelations 19:16; 1 Peter 3:22, Colossians 1:18; Acts 10:36).

He will reign until He has put all enemies under His feet (1 Corinthians 15:25).

All authority, including over all mankind, is given to Him (Matthew 28:18; John 17:2, 3).

Omniscience

He knows people’s thoughts (Mark 2:8; Luke 6:8; 11:17).

He knew the manner of His death (Matthew 16:21; John 12:33).

He knew who would betray Him (John 6:64, 70-71).

He knew the history of the Samaritan woman (John 4:29).

The disciples’ testimony (John 16:30; 17:30).

He knew all men (John 2:24, 25).

He knew the future (John 2:19-22; John 18:4; John 13:19; Matthew 24:35).

He knew the Father (Matthew 11:27; Only God can know Himself—1 Corinthians 2:11, 16).

Immutability

He is always and forever the same (Hebrews 13:8 cf., 1:12, 8, 10).

His words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35).

Holy

He is holy (Revelation 3:7)

He knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).

He is without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

He committed no sin (John 8:46; 1 John 3:5; 1 Peter 2:22).

He is unblemished and spotless (1 Peter 1:19).

He is the holy offspring that will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35).

He is holy, innocent, undefiled, and separated from sinners (Hebrews 7:26).

Truth

He is full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

The truth is in Jesus (Ephesians 4:21).

He is the truth (John 14:6).

He is faithful and true (Revelation 19:11).

STATEMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO GOD.

Did Christ make statements only God could make? Yes.

  1. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38, NKJV)
  2. “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” (John 17:5, NKJV)
  3. “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58, NKJV)
  4. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”” (John 16:33, NKJV)
  5. “Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” (John 11:25, NKJV)
  6. ““Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” (John 5:24, NKJV)
  7. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6, NKJV)
  8. “And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. (John 12:45, NKJV)
  9. “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5, NKJV)
  10. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”” (John 3:36, NKJV)
  11. “That all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” (John 5:23, NKJV)
  12. “Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. (John 12:44, NKJV)
  13. “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18, NKJV)

The above Scriptures can only be explained logically on the basis of Christ’s deity. No mere creature, however exalted, could rationally make such claims. Can you imagine the president of the United States appearing on national TV and making such claims for himself? Can you imagine even the most exalted angel doing so?

PREROGATIVES POSSESSED AND EXERCISED ONLY BY DEITY

Jesus Christ claimed the following offices/ prerogatives:

  • The creation of the universe (John 1:1–3);
  • The preservation of the universe (Heb. 1:3);
  • The right and power to forgive sins (Mark 2:5–12);
  • The right and power to judge all men (Acts 17:31);
  • The authority and power to raise the dead (John 5:28, 29);
  • The authority and power to transform our bodies (Phil. 3:21);
  • The authority and power to bestow immortality (1 Cor. 15:52, 53).

NAMES, TITLES, AND DESIGNATIONS OF GOD.

Are there Names, Titles, and Designations of God in the OT ascribed to Christ? Yes.

Author of eternal words—Isaiah. 40:8; Psalm 119:89 / Matthew 24:35; John 6:68

Bridegroom—Isaiah 62:5; Hosea 2:16 / Mark 2:19; Revelation 21:2

Confess that He is Lord—Isaiah 45:23 (Jehovah) / Philippians 2:11 (Jesus)

Co-sender of the Holy Spirit—John 14:16 (The Father sends) / (Jesus sends) John 15:26

Creator of all things—Isaiah 40:28; Psalm 148:1-5 / John 1:3; Colossians 1:16

Emmanuel—Isaiah 7:14 / Matthew 1:23

Forgiver of sins—Jeremiah 31:34 / Acts 5:31

God the Judge—Ecclesiastes 12:14 / 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1

I AM—Exodus 3:14 / John 8:58; John 13:19

Invoked as Jehovah—Joel 2:32; Isaiah 45:22 / 1 Corinthians 1:2

Jehovah above all—Psalm 97:9 / John 3:31

Jehovah our righteousness—Jeremiah 23:5, 6 / 1 Corinthians 1:30

Jehovah the first and last—Isaiah 44:6; 48:12-16 / Revelation 1:8, 17; 22:13

Jehovah the messenger of the Covenant—Malachi 3:1 / Luke 7:27

Jehovah the Shepherd—Isaiah 40:11 / Hebrews 13:20

Jehovah, for whose glory all things were created—Proverbs 16:4 / Colossians 1:16

Jehovah’s fellow and equal—Zechariah 13:7 / Philippians 2:6

Jehovah—Psalm 110:1 / Matthew 22:42-45

Judge of the nations—Joel 3:12 / Matthew 25:31-41

Judge—Joel 3:12 / Matthew 25:31-46

King of Glory—Psalm 24:7, 10 / 1 Corinthians 2:8; John 17:5

Led captivity captive—Psalm 68:18 / Ephesians 4:7, 8

Light—Psalm 27:1 / John 1:4-9; 8:12; 1 John 1:5

Lord of All—1 Chronicles 29:11-12 / Acts 10:36; Romans 10:11-13

Lord of the Sabbath—Genesis 2:3 / Matthew 12:8

Raiser of the dead—1 Samuel 2:6; Psalm 119 (11 times) / John 11:25; 5:21 w/Luke 7:12-16

Redeemer—Hosea 13:14; Psalm 130:7 / Titus 2:13-14; Revelation 5:9

Rock—Deuteronomy 32:31; Psalm 18:2; Isaiah 8:14; Psalm 92:15 / 1 Peter 2:6-8; 1 Corinthians 10:4

Salvation by calling on the name of the Lord—Joel 2:32 / Romans 10:13

Savior—Isaiah 43:3; Hosea 13:4 / 2 Peter 1:1, 11; Titus 2:10-13; Acts 4:12 (cf., Titus 1, 3)

Seen by Isaiah—Isaiah 6:1 / John 12:41

Shepherd—Psalm 23:1 / John 10:11; Hebrews 13:20

Stumbling rock of offense—Isaiah 8:13-14 / Romans 9:32-33; 1 Peter 2:8; Acts 4:11

Supporter, Preserver of all things—Nehemiah 9:6 / Colossians 1:17

The eternal God and Creator—Psalm 102:24-27 / Hebrews 1:8, 10-12

The First and the Last—Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12 / Revelation 2:8; 22:13

The First Coming God—Isaiah 40:3 / Matthew 3:3

The great God and savior—Isaiah 43:11-12 / Titus 1:3-4; 2:10, 13; 3:4-6

The Holy One—1 Samuel 2:2 / Acts 3:14

The Judge of all men—Psalm 98:9 / Acts 17:31

The Lord Almighty—Isaiah 6:1-3; 8:13-14 / John 12:41; 1 Peter 2:8

The Lord of Glory—Isaiah 42:8 / John 17:1-5; 1 Corinthians 2:8

The Second Coming God—Zechariah 14:5 / Matthew 16:27; 24:29-31

IDENTIFICATION OF JEHOVAH OF THE OT WITH JESUS IN NT.

There are a number of Old Testament texts containing the name Jehovah that have been applied by New Testament writers to Jesus Christ.

The word “Lord” (Yahweh) in Psalm 102:22, and the related verses 25–28, is applied to Jesus in Hebrews 1:10–12. The same divine name (Yahweh) appears also in Habakkuk 2:2, 3, and is applied to Christ in Hebrews 10:37.

Three other instances where either Yahweh or Elohim are applied to our Lord can be seen in the following:

  • In Jeremiah 31:31 Yahweh is used, and is referred to the work of Christ in Hebrews, chapters 8 and 10.
  • The reference to Yahweh in Haggai 2:6 is also Messianic, and is applied to the work of Jesus in Hebrews 12:26.
  • The divine name Elohim in Psalm 45:6, 7, is applied to the Son of God in Hebrews 1:8, 9.

DIVINE DUTIES, WORSHIP AND RECEIVING PRAYER.

Raising the dead while on Earth:

  • Matthew 9:25, the Synagogue official’s daughter;
  • Luke 7:12-16, the widow’s son;
  • John 11:44, Lazarus;
  • John 2:19-22, Himself.

Worship by People.

Only God is worthy of worship (Psalm 95:6). Neither people (Acts 10:25-26), nor angels (Revelation 19:10) are to receive worship, only God (Luke 4:8). Jesus Christ, as God and Creator, without hesitation accepted worship which even angels as well as good men, as creatures, declined with fear and horror.

But Jesus received worship from the following:

  • The wise men (Matthew 2:2, 11);
  • The man born blind (John 9:38);
  • The disciples (Matthew 14:33; 28:17);
  • The young ruler (Matthew 9:18);
  • Women (Matthew 28:9);
  • The disciples (Matthew 28:17);
  • The demons (Mark 3:11; 5:6);
  • Everyone (Philippians 2:10, 11);
  • The four elders (Revelation 5:14).

Other Offices:

  • Doing the works of God (John 10:37-39).
  • Addressed in prayer (Acts 7:59).
  • He forgives sin (Matthew 1:21; Mark 2:7).
  • Power to transform the bodies of all believers (Philippians 3:21).
  • Raising the dead for judgment (John 5:24-29; Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31).
  • Sending the Holy Spirit (a creature cannot send God; John 16:7; cf. 14:26).
  • Giver of eternal life with authority over all mankind (John 17:2; John 10:28).
  • Worshipped by angels (Psalm 148:2): God—Hebrews 1:6; Jesus—Luke 4:8.
  • Providence and eternal dominion (Luke 10:22; John 3:35; 17:2; Ephesians 1:2; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3; Revelation 1:5).

SCRIPTURAL TESTIMONY.

Does Scripture declare unequivocally that Christ is God? YES. As if the “Proof that Jesus Christ is God” comparisons were not sufficient, Scripture plainly declares Christ’s deity:

  • John 1:1, 14, “The word was God…. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
  • John 1:18, “The only begotten God.”
  • John 20:28, Thomas said to him Jesus “My Lord and my God.”
  • Titus 2:13, “Our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
  • Hebrews 1:8, But about the Son he says, “Your throne O God, will last forever and ever.”
  • 2 Peter 1:1, “Our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
  • 1 John 5:20, “Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”
  • Colossians 2:9, “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”
  • Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born…and He will be called Mighty God.”
  • Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, “Immanuel”—”God with us.”
  • Hebrews 1:1-3, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being….”
  • Colossians 1:15-17, “He is the image of the invisible God… by him all things were created.”
  • Acts 20:28, The church was purchased with the blood of God.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:4, “Christ, who is the image of God.”
  • Romans 9:5, “Christ, who is God over all, forever praised.”
  • 1 Corinthians 1:24, “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:12, “Our God and Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • Philippians 2:6, “being in very nature God.” (The Greek could be literally translated “continuing to subsist in the form of God.”)

OTHER TESTIMONIES

  • Thomas: “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
  • John: “Making Himself Jesus equal with God” (John 5:18).
  • The Jews: “You a mere man claiming to be God” (John 10:33).
  • The High Priest” “You have heard the blasphemy” (Mark 14:61-64).
  • Peter: “The Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16; to a Jew, this made Him God’s equal, cf., John 5:18).

DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION: When Christ told the Jews, “Before Abraham was, I am,” (John 8:58), He was claiming deity, and His hearers recognized the implications of His words, for they took up “stones to cast at him”—the Jewish punishment for high-handed blasphemy. He obviously used the words of God in the Old Testament, “I AM THAT I AM” (Ex. 3:14), long recognized as the symbol of deity, applying to Himself the attribute of self-existence. Beloved, Jesus Christ is indeed God.

Secondly, Holiness is a part of His nature. At the annunciation, the angel said to Mary, “‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God'” (Luke 1:35). At the sight of Jesus demons cried out, “‘Let us alone! . . . I know who You are—the Holy One of God'” (Mark 1:24).

The holiness (sinlessness) of Jesus Christ was clearly foretold in the Old Testament (Ps. 45:7; Isa. 53:9; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 9:9). When he came, He lived a holy life — throughout his life and among men.

Jesus Christ was expressly declared in the New Testament—as:

  • the “Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24),
  • “holy thing” (Luke 1:35),
  • “holy child Jesus” (Acts 4:27),
  • “hath done nothing amiss” (Luke 23:41),
  • “no unrighteousness … in him” (John 7:18),
  • “Holy One and the Just” (Acts 3:14),
  • “knew no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21),
  • “without spot” (1 Peter 1:19),
  • “without blemish” (1 Peter 1:19),
  • “did no sin” (1 Peter 2:22),
  • “Separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26).

One further observation here: Could he have fallen? Yes, but instead, He depended fully on the Father. In the book of Hebrews, the Spit has much to say about how Christ was perfected: “in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,” (Hebrews 5:7–9, NKJV)

Wow! This brings me to the Fourth point: The humility of Christ. While Christ is God, we must remember that in the incarnation He had surrendered the independent use of His attributes (Philippians 2:6-8; John 5:30). As a true man, He was a servant to the Father, as an example to us (John 13:4, 5). Therefore, while on earth, there were some things the Father did not allow Him to know and in His humanity only He was not omniscient. Thus, He didn’t know the time of His return (Mark 13:32); He went to see if there was fruit on a fig tree (Mark 11:13) and He marveled at both unbelief (Mark 6:6) and belief (Matthew 8:10).

ACTION STEP: What response do you think this lesson should inspires us to do?  [1] Believe that Jesus Christ is God. Believe that He is eternal. Isaiah called Him “Everlasting Father” (Isa. 9:6). Micah referred to Him as the One “‘whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting'” (Micah 5:2). Paul dated His existence “before all things” (Col. 1:17), and John concurred: “He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:2, 3).

[2] Believe the message of the Gospel –The Incarnation, the Cross, The Resurrection, The Ascension, The Second Coming: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16, NKJV)

MY COMMITMENT TODAY.

Check the appropriate Box that reflect your decision today:

  • I believe that Jesus Christ is truly God.
  • That the Father and The Son are One.
  • That the Son was from Eternity past.
  • That Salvation is attained by the Son.
  • That the Son is coming again to render Judgment.
  • It my desire to receive Jesus Christ in my life and be saved.

CLOSING HYMN: Tell Me the Story of Jesus – (SDAH 152).

Tell me the story of Jesus, Write on my heart every word. Tell me the story most precious, Sweetest that ever was heard. Tell how the angels in chorus, Sang as they welcomed His birth. “Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good tidings to earth.”

Tell me the story of Jesus, Write on my heart every word. Tell me the story most precious, Sweetest that ever was heard.

Fasting alone in the desert, Tell of the days that are past. How for our sins He was tempted, Yet was triumphant at last. Tell of the years of His labor, Tell of the sorrow He bore. He was despised and afflicted, Homeless, rejected and poor.

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him, Writhing in anguish and pain. Tell of the grave where they laid Him, Tell how He liveth again. Love in that story so tender, Clearer than ever I see. Stay, let me weep while you whisper, Love paid the ransom for me.

Have a Blessed Day: 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 His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:” (John 1:10–12, NKJV)

The Gospel’s Voice/ Bible Study Guide/ Introduction to Christology (The Doctrine of Jesus Christ)/ Lesson # 1