Theology: CHRISTOLOGY – THE DEITY OF CHRIST

The deity of Christ is paramount in the study of our Lord. If He is not God then we have no purpose for continuing this study, no purpose for continuing on with church attendance, no purpose for reading the Bible, and no purpose for following any of the Lord’s teachings. Indeed we may as well close all churches and call home the missionaries. There is no purpose to Christianity.

 

Now that we have set forth the importance of the Deity of Christ we can continue with our study:

 

There are two basic classes of people that have been confronted with the Biblical record.

 

Those that have read, understood and rejected the Biblical record and those that have heard something about the Biblical record and Christ and that have not pursued what they have heard or have accepted one of the false beliefs set forth concerning Christ.

 

C.S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity” mentions, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse.”

 

IF NOT GOD? WHAT THEN?

 

There are some possibilities that we must look at if Christ was indeed not God. First of all some have suggested that he was a great moral teacher, but not God. He told people that He was God to add weight and authority to His teaching.

 

Is the thought of being a great moral teacher, and a liar at the same time, sort of hard to swallow? It should be obvious to any person that considers the possibility, that a liar is not a moral person, and would have difficulty being a great moral teacher.

 

 

Others suggest that He was a legend. He may have existed in some historical period past, yet the stories were legends handed down over many years. We have proof that the gospel accounts are within 50 years of Christ’s time on earth. It is not easy to believe that the apostles started something that was false and turned it into a legend in that short a time.

 

That would be similar to one of my friends sitting down and writing a gospel on the life of Mark Derickson in which he stated that I was God and that I raised people from the dead. Even 50 years from now I rather doubt that anyone that had any knowledge of either party would hold to such stories.

 

It could also be suggested that he was a crazy man, but just didn’t know it. There is no indication in the scriptures that the disciples, other people or even His opponents thought that this was the case. Had the Jewish leaders thought this I’m sure that they would have given some indication.

 

If any of these be true then we must conclude that the Lord was quite effective in his hoax, whatever it was, because the apostles and many early Christians believed that He was God and that He would do as He promised. They believed it so much that they died for that belief. (I believe my wife is divine and heavenly but I sure won’t die for that belief. I may die because of that statement, but I won’t die over the belief.)

 

On the other hand if none of these thoughts be true then one is left to realize that Christ was more than mere mortal man, and that He was God Himself.

 

We need to make note of one item before we continue further. There are a number of references which indicate Christ knew things not normally to be known. There are also indications, such as miracles which might show His omnipotence. These are not listed, because there is some question as to whether Christ was using His omniscience and His omnipotence during His earthly walk, or if He was relying perfectly upon the Holy Spirit for His information and miracles. We will discuss this question in a future study.

 

I. HIS NAMES PROVE HIS DEITY

 

A. The Word: John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The fact that He was in the beginning demands deity, and then the bold statement of John “and the Word was God” is rather difficult to find a meaning other than that Christ was God — deity.

 

B. Son Of God: Matthew 8:29 mentions that the Demons recognized Christ as the Son of God. Luke 1:35; John 5:18; 19:7; 1 John 5:20.

 

C. Lord: Luke 2:11, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Only God can be a Savior for mankind. Acts 10:36 identifies Christ as the Lord of all. Philippians 2:10,11 mentions that all creation will bow before Christ and recognize His Lordship. The Septuagint used “kurios” for Jehovah in the OT. This is the NT Greek word translated Lord. This might make for an interesting study for you sometime.

 

D. Holy One: 30 times God is called “the Holy One” in Isaiah. The obvious application of Acts 3:14 would be that Peter thought Christ to be that “Holy One” of Isaiah. “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you.”

 

E. God: John 20:28, “Thomas answered and said unto him My Lord and my God” Again, just how plain does the Scripture need to be for us to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as the God of the universe — total and full deity?

 

II. HIS WORKS PROVE HIS DEITY

 

A. Creation: There is ample information to show that Christ was an integrated part of the creation of Genesis one and two. Paul in Colossians mentions this as a bold fact of life, while John seems to be quite plain in his meaning as well in John one.

Colossians 116, “For by him were all things created….” John 13,10 “All things were made by him….”

and “…the world was made by him….”

 

B. Preservation: The creation was not left to maintain its own way through the ages. The design of creation was such that there would be need of maintenance and that labor was for Christ to undertake.

 

 

Colossians 117, “…and by him all things consist.”

 

Hebrews 13, “…and upholding all things by the word of his power….”

 

Not only is the Lord presently occupied in preserving the creation, but He is also active in the preservation of all promises set forth in the Word which includes the preservation of the believer. If Christ be preserving our beings for the eternal state, and we know that He is, then we can have all the assurance of our salvation that we need. It is God Himself that is giving us that constant watchfulness.

 

C. Forgiveness: Only God has the power, prerogative and desire to forgive man of his sins. Christ forgave sins on several occasions in the Gospels while still here on earth, thus indicating that he had the power, prerogative and desire to do so. It is of interest also that the people involved accepted His statements of such forgiveness as fact, not fiction.

 

Not only in His earthly ministry did He forgive sin, but also in his ministry on the cross he brought about the forgiveness of sin for mankind.

 

Mark 2:5,

 

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto

the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven thee.”

 

Colossians 3:13,

 

“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

 

D. Answers Prayer: Only God can make a promise to answer prayer. Only He can give the promise, and only He can give the answer. In John Christ makes the following comment about prayer and His power to complete it. “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:14

 

E. Resurrection: He will raise the dead, not only the righteous but the unrighteous. (John 5:21, “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and giveth them life, even so the Son giveth life to whom he will.”) This ref. would also show that He could give eternal life which only God can give. (Vs. 28- 29 mention the righteous and unrighteous being raised.)

 

 

At times we forget that there is provision of eternal existence for all of mankind whether they desire it or not. All mankind will continue for eternity, but the quality of that existence is the problem. Some will have eternal joy, while others will have eternal torment.

 

F. Judging: Only God can judge mankind. God is the lawgiver and the judge of those that do not follow His law. God has committed that judgment to His son according to John,

 

“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son;” John 522; v 27 also.

 

Acts 10:42 mentions again that Christ will judge and that it will be the living and the dead.

 

III. HIS ATTRIBUTES PROVE HIS DEITY HE HAS THE SAME ATTRIBUTES AS GOD.

 

A. Eternal: A few comments to show this will be sufficient since we saw this in our introduction to Christ.

 

He was before John. John 1:1

 

He was before Abraham. John 8:58 He was before creation. John 17:5,24

He was before birth. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephrathah through thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, form everlasting.” Mic 5:2; (see Hebrews 1:11; Isaiah 9:6; Revelation 1:11 as well.)

 

He always has been and always will be. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1; (see 1 John 1:1,2 and Isaiah 9:6 also.)

 

B. Self-Existence: He has life within Himself. He does not depend on the Father or the Holy Spirit for life, for He is an integrated part of them and they have life without need of anything external to themselves to continue to exist. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4

 

 

C. Immutability: He is unchangeable. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8; (see Hebrews 1:10,12) There is nothing that can ever change about the character and being of the Lord.

 

D. Omnipresence: He is everywhere totally present.

 

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 1820

 

Matthew 28:20 tells us that he promised to be with us always. If he is with me and with the missionary in Japan at the same time and always he must be, then He is omnipresent.

 

The very fact that he indwells every believer also shows his omnipresence.

 

E. Omniscience: Let’s just list some information for your study.

 

He knew the time and manner of His exit from this life: Matthew 16:21; John 12:33

 

He knew who would betray Him: John 6:66-71

 

He knew the character and certain end of the age: Matthew 24:21-28 He knew the Father: Matthew 11:27

He knows all there is to know — all things: Colossians 2:3, “In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. John 16:30; 21:17

 

F. Omnipotence: He is all powerful. If He created — and He did — this one is obvious to the most casual observer.

 

Paul tells us that he will subdue all things unto Himself as well as change our bodies and fashion them like his own. Anyone that can do that is Powerful. Philippians 3:20,21

 

G. Holiness: In Him is no sin — perfect Holiness. He is called the “Holy One” in Acts 3:14. He was to be holy when conceived according to the angel speaking to Mary in Luke 1:35.

 

H. Righteousness: He has no sin. It is a little bit absurd to even suggest that He could have sin for He is divine. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” 1 John 2:1

 

I. Love: His love was shown in His humiliation, in His life and in His death. He paid a supremely high price for the redemption of mankind, and so many reject it so easily when they are confronted with His free gift.

 

IV. WORSHIP OF CHRIST PROVES HIS DEITY

 

A. He Accepted The Worship Of Men: (Matthew 15:25ff, “Then came she and worshiped him, saying, Lord, help me.”; John 9:35-39-v 38, “And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshiped him.”)

 

There are two references that show God is to be worshiped, but not man or angels. Acts 14:11-15; Revelation 22:8-9

 

B. He Deserves Worship: As God He certainly should be the focus of our worship. He is as deserving of worship as the Father, though the focus of Scripture seems to be on the Father. As we worship, we praise and give honor and glory to the Father.

 

John 5:23 holds forth a stiff statement that we would do well to consider.

 

“That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. he that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father, who hath sent him.”

 

C. God Calls For Him To Be Worshiped: Not only are men to worship Him but the angelic host is called to worship Him as well. “…And let all the angels of God worship him.” Hebrews 1:6

 

V. CHRIST AND WRITERS OF SCRIPTURE CLAIMED HE WAS DEITY AND EQUAL WITH GOD

 

The authors of Scripture recorded the words of Christ on the topic and held them to be as true.

 

“Therefore, the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” John 518

 

“I and my Father are one.” John 1030

 

“If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” John 147

 

“Now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” John 175

 

Matthew 26:63-64; John 12:45; Philippians 2:6a; Colossians 2:9

 

VI. HIS PERFECT LIFE DEMANDED DEITY

 

He lived a perfect and righteous life while on earth and no man can possibly do that. He must have been God.

 

VII. HIS DEATH DEMANDS DEITY

 

He chose when and where to die. This is not a choice that man is offered. He laid down His life — no one took it from Him.

 

“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 of my Father.” John 10:17-18

 

VIII. HIS VOLUNTARY SUBORDINATION TO THE FATHER SHOWS HIS DEITY

 

He willingly placed Himself, from a place of equality to a place of subordination to the Father. Only an equal could voluntarily subordinate oneself to God. We are subordinated to God, as are all creatures because of our creation. We can do nothing except be subordinate. Christ on the other hand had that choice thus He must be God.

 

His subordinate position is pictured in 1 Corinthians 11:3 where Paul is picturing the relationship of the woman to the man.

 

“But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

 

This is a subordination of office, position and function, yet it has absolutely nothing to do with essence. He is just as much God now as He was before the subordination.

 

 

Indeed, a question that is stirring in many circles today is whether this was an eternal subordination or something that took place sometime into the program of God. Post — decrees would be the best place if it is not eternal. Subordination does not change what Christ is. Subordination does not change what believers are.

 

A. Christ Stated That The Father Was Greater. John 14:28, “…for my Father is greater than I”.

 

B. The Lord Is Begotten Of The Father. This shows a subordinate place in the scheme of the ages. John 3:16 mentions this.

 

C. Christ Was Dependant Upon The Father.

 

John 5:19, “…Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do; for whatever things he doeth, there also doeth the Son in the same manner.”

 

D. Christ Was Sent By The Father.

 

John 8:29, “And he that sent me is with me. The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. (John 17:8 as well.)

 

E. Christ Was Under The Father’s Authority.

 

John 10:18, “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 of my Father.”

 

F. Christ Received Authority From The Father.

 

John 13:3, “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God”

 

G. Christ Received His Message From The Father.

 

John 178, “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me….”

 

H. Christ’s Kingdom Was Appointed By God.

 

 

Luke 2229, “And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me,”

 

I. Christ Will Deliver His Kingdom To The Father.

 

1 Corinthians 15:24, “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”

 

In closing I would like to share some thoughts with you.

 

REDEEMED

 

The God of all eternity, the God that designed the stars. The God that looked down to observe one lost sinner that observed the magnitude of His creation.

 

The Christ of eternity, the Christ that created the stars. The Christ that came down to save one lost sinner that observed the magnitude of His love.

 

The Spirit of eternity, the Spirit that placed the stars, the Spirit that came down to indwell one lost sinner that succumbed to the wonder of His leading.

 

The sinner of hell, the sinner that deserves nothing. The sinner that rises to dwell in the heavens of the God that sacrificed all for his redeeming.

 

APPLICATION

 

1. His deity guarantees all that He said is going to come to pass. All that He prophesied, as well as all that He promised.

 

2. If He told us to go with the Gospel, why don’t we? He is one person that we ought not disobey.

 

 

THE DEITY OF CHRIST HANDOUT

The deity of Christ is paramount in our study of the Lord.

 

C.S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity” mentions, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.”

 

If Not God? What Then?

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

I. HIS NAMES PROVE HIS DEITY

 

A. The Word: John 1:1

 

B. Son Of God: Matthew 8:29; Luke 1:35; John 5:18; 19:7; 1 John 5:20.

 

C. Lord: Luke 2:11; Acts 10:36; Philippians 2:10,11.

 

D. Holy One:

 

E. God: John 20:28

 

II. HIS WORKS PROVE HIS DEITY

 

A. Creation: Colossians 1:16; John 1:3,10

 

B. Preservation: Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3

 

C. Forgiveness: Mark 2:5; Colossians 3:13

 

D. Answers Prayer: John 14:14

 

E. Resurrection: John 5:21;

 

 

F. Judging: John 5:22; 5:27; Acts 10:42

 

 

 

 

 

A. Eternal:

III. HIS ATTRIBUTES PROVE HIS DEITY

 

 

He was before John. John 1:1

 

He was before Abraham. John 8:58 He was before creation. John 17:5,24

He was before birth. Micah 5:2; (see Hebrews 1:11; Isaiah 9:6; Revelation 1:11 as well.)

 

B. Self-Existence:

 

C. Immutability: Hebrews 13:8;

 

D. Omnipresence: Matthew 18:20; Matthew 28:20

 

E. Omniscience:

 

He knew the time and manner of His exit from this life: Matthew 16:21; John 12:33

 

He knew who would betray Him: John 6:66-71

 

He knew the character and certain end of the age: Matthew 24:21-28 He knew the Father: Matthew 11:27

He knows all there is to know — all things: Colossians 2:3, “In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. John 16:30; 21:17

 

F. Omnipotence: Philippians 3:20,21

 

G. Holiness: Acts 3:14; Luke 1:35

 

H. Righteousness: 1 John 2:1

 

I. Love:

 

 

IV. WORSHIP OF CHRIST PROVES HIS DEITY

 

A. He Accepted The Worship Of Men: Matthew 15:25; John 9:35-39

 

B. He Deserves Worship: John 5:23

 

C. God Calls For Him To Be Worshiped: Hebrews 1:6

 

V. CHRIST AND WRITERS OF SCRIPTURE CLAIMED HE WAS DEITY AND EQUAL WITH GOD

 

John 5:18, John 10:30, John 14:7, John 17:5, Matthew 26:63-64, John

12:45, Philippians 2:6a, Colossians 2:9

 

VI. HIS PERFECT LIFE DEMANDED DEITY

 

VII. HIS DEATH DEMANDS DEITY

 

VIII. HIS VOLUNTARY SUBORDINATION TO THE FATHER SHOWS HIS DEITY

 

A. Christ Stated That The Father Was Greater. John 14:28

 

B. The Lord Is Begotten Of The Father. John 3:16

 

C. Christ Was Dependant Upon The Father. John 5:19

 

D. Christ Was Sent By The Father. John 8:29

 

E. Christ Was Under The Father’s Authority. John. 10:18

 

F. Christ Received Authority From The Father. John. 13:3

 

G. Christ Received His Message From The Father. John. 17:8

 

H. Christ’s Kingdom Was Appointed By God. Luke 22:29

 

I. Christ Will Deliver His Kingdom To The Father. 1 Corinthians 15:24

 

APPLICATION DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Why is it important to know that Christ was totally God?

 

 

2. How might you need to know this information in the future, as you go out into the world to witness to others?

 

3. If Christ is totally God and He gave us Matthew 18:18-20, what should your response be to Him?[1]

 


[1] Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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