Jesus Christ is God

Enlarged March 15, 2011 (first published via FBIS May 13, 1997) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The following study is from the
Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity:

The fact that Jesus Christ is fully God is proven by the following Bible passages:

1. EVERYTHING SAID ABOUT GOD IN THE O.T. IS ALSO SAID ABOUT JESUS CHRIST IN THE N.T.

O.T. Titles for God Applied to Jesus Christ

The first reference refers to Jehovah God, the second to Jesus Christ.
Stone of stumbling
Is. 8:13-15
1 Pe. 2:6-8

Creator
Is. 44:24
Col. 1:16

Only Savior
Is. 43:11
2 Ti. 1:10

King of kings
Ps. 95:3
1 Ti. 6:14-15

Alpha and Omega
Is. 44:6
Re. 1:7-18

Good Shepherd
Is. 40:10-11
Jn. 10:11

Every knee bow
Is. 45:23
Ph. 2:10-11

Judge
Is. 24:20-21
Col. 1:17

Reigning
Is. 24:23
Mt. 25:31

2. THE O.T. PROPHETS FORETOLD THE MESSIAH WOULD BE GOD (compare Is. 7:14 and Mt. 1:23; Is. 9:6; Jer. 23:5-6).

3. CHRIST WAS PROCLAIMED TO BE GOD AT HIS BIRTH (Mt. 1:23; Lk. 1:17,32,76; 2:11).

4. JESUS CLAIMED TO BE GOD, AND HE ACCEPTED WORSHIP FROM MEN (Mt. 2:11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; 28:9,17; Mk. 5:6; Lk. 24:52; Jn. 9:38; 10:30-33; 5:18,23; 8:56-59; 9:38; 20:28).

5. THE N.T. WRITERS SAID JESUS CHRIST IS GOD (Jn. 1:1; Ac. 20:28; 10:36; Ph. 2:6; Col. 1:15; 2:9; 1 Ti. 3:16; 6:14-16; He. 1:3; Tit. 2:13; 1 Jn. 3:16).

6. EVERY MAN AND ANGEL WILL WORSHIP JESUS CHRIST (Ph. 2:9-11; He. 1:8-9). If Jesus were not God He could not receive worship (Ex. 20:3-5).

7. HE IS CALLED "LORD" 663 TIMES IN THE N.T. "The Greek word kurios is the equivalent of the Hebrew adoni and is so used by Jesus in Mt. 22:43-45. The great use of kurios is as the divine title of Jesus, the Christ. In this sense it occurs in the N.T. 663 times. That the intent is to identify Jesus Christ with the O.T. Deity is evident from Mt. 3:3; 12:8; 21:9 (Ps. 118:26); 22:43-45; Lk. 1:43; Jn. 8:58; 14:8-10; 20:28; Ac. 9:5; 13:33 (Ps. 2)" (Scofield).

"All divine names and titles are applied to Him. He is called God, the mighty God, the great God, God over all; Jehovah; Lord; the Lord of lords and King of kings. All divine attributes are ascribed to Him. He is declared to be omnipresent, omniscient, almighty, and immutable, the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is set forth as the creator and upholder and ruler of the universe. All things were created by Him and for Him; and by Him all things consist. He is the object of worship to all intelligent creatures, even the highest; all the angels are commanded to prostrate themselves before Him. He is the object of all the religious sentiments; of reverence, love, faith, and devotion. To Him men and angels are responsible for their character and conduct. He required that men should honor Him as they honored the Father; that they should exercise the same faith in Him that they do in God. He declares that He and the Father are one, that those who had seen Him had seen the Father also. He calls all men unto him; promises to forgive their sins; to send them the Holy Spirit; to give them rest and peace; to raise them up at the last day; and to give them eternal life. God is not more, and cannot promise more, or do more than Christ is said to be, to promise, and to do. He has, therefore, been the Christian's God from the beginning, in all ages and in all places" (Charles Hodge, quoted by John Walvoord,
Jesus Christ, Our Lord, p. 31).

WHO SAYS JESUS CHRIST IS GOD?

David called Him God (Matt. 22:43-45).
Isaiah called Him God (Is. 7:14; 9:6).
Jeremiah called Him God (Jer. 23:5-6).
Matthew called Him God (Matt. 1:23).
Christ called Himself God (Jn. 5:17-18; 8:58-59; 10:30-33; Rev. 1:8).
The angels called Him God (Lk. 2:11).
John called Him God (Jn. 1:1; 1 John 3:16; 5:20).
The blind man called Him God (Jn. 9:35-38).
Thomas called Him God (Jn. 20:28).
Peter called Him God (Acts 10:34-36).
Paul called Him God (Acts 20:28; Phil. 2:5-6; 1 Tim. 3:16; Titus 2:13).
God the Father called Him God (Heb. 1:8-10). Hebrews 1:8-9 is quoted from Psalm 45, and in Psalm 45 it is obvious that God the Father, Jehovah God, is speaking about the Son. God the Father calls the Son God, and God the Son calls the Father God. This is the mystery of the Trinity. Though we do not fully understand it, we believe it because it is the teaching of the Scriptures.

THEY WORSHIPPED JESUS

The Bible teaches that it is idolatry and wickedness to worship any one or anything other than the one True and Living God.

"Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Matt. 4:10).

"For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God" (Exodus 34:14).

"I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images" (Isaiah 42:8).

THE FACT THAT JESUS CHRIST ACCEPTED WORSHIP IS INDISPUTABLE EVIDENCE THAT HE IS ALMIGHTY GOD

The elect angels refuse to accept worship (Rev. 19:10). The Apostles also refused worship (Acts 14:11-15). The Lord Jesus Christ, though, was repeatedly worshipped by those who approached Him, and not once does the Bible record that He corrected or refused worship. He accepted the worship, because He is Almighty God, the Creator of all things, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End --

"And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, AND WORSHIPPED HIM: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh" (Matt. 2:11).
"And, behold, there came a leper and WORSHIPPED HIM, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean" (Matt. 8:2).
"While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and WORSHIPPED HIM, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live" (Matt. 9:18).
"Then they that were in the ship came and WORSHIPPED HIM, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God" (Matt. 14:33).
"Then came she and WORSHIPPED HIM, saying, Lord, help me" (Matt. 15:25).
"Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, WORSHIPPING HIM, and desiring a certain thing of him" (Matt. 20:20).
"And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, AND WORSHIPPED HIM" (Matt. 28:9).
"And when they saw him, THEY WORSHIPPED HIM: but some doubted" (Matt. 28:17).
"But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and WORSHIPPED HIM" (Mark 5:6).
"And THEY WORSHIPPED HIM, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy" (Luke 24:52).
"And he said, Lord, I believe. And HE WORSHIPPED HIM" (John 9:38).
"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).
"And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten 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 1:6-8).

WHAT ABOUT VERSES WHICH SEEM TO SAY THAT JESUS IS LESS THAN THE FATHER?

Mark 13:32 is a key example of this: "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."

1) The Lord Jesus Christ did not necessarily say that he did not know the hour of His coming. He might have been referring, rather, to the completeness of His union with and submission to the Father.

"Our Saviour does not deny that the knowledge of that day and hour dwells in fullest measure with the Son, but He mysteriously intimates (in conformity with what is found to have been His practice on many other occasions), that the Son Himself does but know because of His oneness with the Father, the Fountain-head of all knowledge and of all being, who had reserved that secret from the holy angels themselves. He knows because the Father knows. He would not know, if not (
ei me) the Father knew" (John William Burgon, cited by Edward Goulburn, John William Burgon: Late Dean of Chichester, 1892, II, pp. 171,72).

2) This verse is connected with the Lord's "kenosis" spoken of in Philippians 2:7. In the incarnation, the Lord Jesus Christ "made himself of no reputation" (Phil. 2:7). The Greek word is "kenoo," meaning also "to empty, to abase, to make of none effect" (Strong's). "Kenosis is the Greek word which Paul used in describing the act of Christ in 'emptying himself' of His infinite powers and heavenly glory out of place or too great to be used in the finite limitations and local form of the human life into which He came. In his kenosis, the Eternal Son dropped for the time being THE EXERCISE OF certain powers and attributes, but He remained Himself. He who lays these aside, is not Himself laid aside. He was still God the Son in holy will, divine desire, righteous purpose, and immaculate love. The infinity of powers not needed or suited within the narrow scope of a human life, He laid aside. Jesus himself taught this doctrine before Paul did. He referred more than once to His personal preexistence. Concerning his kenosis he said: 'And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was' (John 17:5). And again, 'What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?' (John 6:62)" (John Champion, The Virgin's Son, 1924, pp. 88,89). Modernists have misused the Philippians passage to claim it in support of their view that Jesus Christ is not God. We would again emphasize that the Lord Jesus Christ in no sense gave up His Deity in His incarnation. Philippians 2:5-8 says he was in the form of God and took the form of a servant. It was merely the form that he changed, not His Deity.

3) This verse is also connected with the Son's submission to the Father. The Bible reveals the one God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All are God and are co-equal, but there is an order within the Godhead, so that the Son submits to the Father. This is what we see in Mark 13:32. See the comments on 1 Corinthians 15:28.

"The reference is perfectly clear when one bears in mind the purpose of Mark's Gospel--to portray Jesus as the faithful Servant of Jehovah. Christ says in John 15:15, 'The servant knoweth not what his lord doeth.' How significant that Mark, who presents Jesus as the perfect Servant, should record this statement about the hour of His return as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Matthew also makes a similar statement in Matt. 24:36; likewise, Luke, in Acts 1:7). In the aspect of His ministry as a Servant, our Lord made a voluntary surrender of certain knowledge, in order that He might walk the walk of faith, and thus be an object-lesson to all believers. While He ever remained the eternal Son of God, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father; yet as a Servant, He chose a limitation of His knowledge, bounded by the Father's will" (Louis Talbot,
Bible Questions Explained, p. 38).

[This study is from the
Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity]

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