May 13, 2014 | by: 0 Comments|
On Sunday we had the privilege of studying Psalm 45. In the sermon I pointed out that the King was described as being divine. Verse 6 unmistakably makes that point, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness.” I took a little bit of time to explain that this makes complete sense with regard to what we know about Jesus. Jesus was fully God and fully man, and Psalm 45 in conjunction with Hebrews 1:8 explicitly affirms the full deity of the Son. I wanted to spend about ten minutes proving from Scripture the deity of Christ, but found that I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked. So I want to do that important work now, but before I do let me just say a word or two about why this is important.
Christ’s deity is hugely important to the Christian Church for several reasons, not least of which is that the people of God need to know that they have been saved and forgiven by God. Christ’s deity is also important because if he is not God, then he is not to be worshiped and adored by the people of God. With that said, let’s move on to the biblical evidence for Christ’s deity. The Scriptures testify to the deity of Christ, and they do so through multiple lines of evidence. The writers of Scripture directly affirm Christ’s deity, and imply his deity as he exhibits characteristics and performs duties that can only be attributed to God. As readers we are not left in doubt as to who Jesus Christ really is, fully God.
The Scriptures directly affirm Jesus to be God. The author of Hebrews recognizes that God the Father says the following about the Son in Hebrews 1:8 "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.” The Apostle Peter ties the names of God and Christ together so that both are applied to Jesus. We see this in 2 Peter 1:1 where Peter writes, “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The Apostle Paul does the same thing as Peter in Titus 2:13, where he writes, “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Paul gets even more explicit in other texts simply stating that Jesus is God. We see this in Romans 9:5, “To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.” Moreover in Colossians 2:9 Paul tells us that in Christ “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”
Paul and Peter were not the only Apostles who explicitly declared Christ’s deity. The Apostle John’s writing is filled with such references. Perhaps the most famous reference in John’s writing is found in the prologue of his gospel where John writes of Christ, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In the middle of John’s gospel, John records Jesus own words declaring that he is the “I AM,” which his readers would have known as the name of the Covenant God found so often in the Old Testament. So we read in John 8:58,“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’” Jesus is not the only one in John’s gospel to declare that he is God, “Doubting” Thomas does just that in John 20:28, “Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” Finally, in John’s first epistle we find an explicit declaration that Jesus is God, “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).
The Scriptures directly affirm Christ’s deity, but they also imply Christ’s deity when he is said to exhibit the characteristics and perform the duties of God. The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus exhibits an immutable character. “Jesus Christ,” we read in Hebrews 13:8, “is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Earlier in his work, in 4:15, the author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is without sin, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Paul also tells us that Jesus is without sin. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul writes, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Paul further implies that Jesus is God as he attributes to him the power to create and uphold the creation. We see this in Colossians 1:16-17 where we read, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -- all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” In these verses, Paul not only declares that Jesus is the creator and sustainer of all things, but he declares that all of creation is for him, meaning for his own glory. Only such a statement should be attributed to one who is God.
Finally, in Mark 2:5, which is perhaps my favorite passage concerning Jesus’ deity, Jesus states that he has the power to forgive sins, thus implying his own deity. In Mark 2:5 we read, “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven.’” In the verses that follow, Mark beautifully underscores the importance of such an audacious statement. The scribes sitting in Jesus’ presence understand the implications of Jesus declaration that this man sins were forgiven. They understood that only God could forgive sins, and that anyone else who made that claim was claiming to be God. Jesus then proves that he has the authority to forgive sins (because he is God) by healing the paralytic.
This evidence for Christ’s deity only begins to scratch the surface of the Bible’s teaching on the subject, but I believe that it is sufficient to prove that our Savior is in fact our God. Not only does the biblical evidence assure us that we have been saved and forgiven by our God, but it calls us on to worship Jesus Christ as our glorious Lord and God, just as Thomas did so many years ago.
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