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Displaying items by tag: Jesus

I remember back when I was in Bible college, we studied the matter of whether or not Jesus could have ever sinned. No one debates that indeed He never sinned, for that is settled in scripture by various passages such as 1 Peter 2:21-23:

1 Peter 2:21-23 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously...

Likewise, there are many other passages that speaks to the absolute purity of Christ:

  • - Never did He cross God's purposes.
  • - Never did He seek His own will rather than God's (John 6:38).
  • - Never did He do something that was unlike God (Hebrews 7:26).
  • - Never did He do something that was impure, sinfully harsh/mean/critical.
  • - Never in His heart was there a doubt about God or a moment of bitterness (Isaiah 63:7). [Some other time, I'll discuss the reason for Christ's words on the cross: "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?" But I will say this, back then the ancient way to refer to a Psalm was to quote it's first line and I'm pretty sure that Christ was citing Psalm 22 (which prophetically spoke of that moment and what it would entail) to show the people that it was being fulfilled in their presence. So rather than being doubt in God, it was reminding people of one of the great passages that prophetically told what God's Messiah would endure].


So, back to the impeccability of Christ; all this is to say that Jesus was fully human and like us in all ways but one--He never sinned.

This underscores an important truth that we all need to understand: God's standard is perfection and since we are imperfect beings, our ability to enter heaven is only because of Christ's perfection and righteousness. Habakkuk 1:18 says that God is too pure to have any evil in His presence. 1 John 1:5 says that God's holiness is light a light where there is no shifting or shadows. Therefore, if I were to bring my unredeemed sinful soul into the presence of a perfectly pure God, I would be bringing their dark sin into a place where there has never been sin, rebellion, or selfishness. Thus, Christ has to be perfectly righteous because, according to 2 Corinthians 5:21, we need Christ's righteousness to cover our sins. 

Allow me to take a moment longer to explain this point: We are sinful beings. Yet, because Christ's righteousness covers us, we can enter into God's presence. The biblical word for this is "atonement" where Christ's righteousness (His life as manifest in His blood) covers our sins and blots them out. Atonement speaks of covering our sins so that we are no longer bringing our sinful selves before God. Instead, we have access to the Father through the righteousness of Jesus Christ His Son. This is why Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me." Thus, when the Father looks upon us, He sees the perfection and obedience of His beloved Son. This is why we need to be "IN CHRIST" to enter heaven (Romans 8:1, Ephesians 2:13). So hopefully it's clear that Christ had to be totally perfect and without sin for us to enter heaven. If there was ever a point where Christ had sinned, then not only would He be unfit for heaven, but His righteousness  would no longer be righteous  and He would be unable to make us pure before the Lord.

The reason why people hold so fervently to the impeccability of Christ is because of the reality that since Christ is in Heaven now, if He actually could sin before, then He could still sin now. If He could still sin now, then their may be a point where He might sin in the future. If that ever happened, then our atonement is always in jeopardy. But if Jesus cannot sin now, then it never could sin before.

I might respond that while all this may be true, it misses out on the eternal nature of the Son and the Father. Being that Jesus is eternal, His obedience is eternal. When Jesus says, “I always live to do the Father’s will” then He
always lives to do the Father’s will. If everything He says is true, then that statement is always true too!

Likewise, since the Father is omniscient (and so is the Son) then the Father will know if there ever would be a time when Jesus would sin in the future. God can look to the eternal future and knows that His Son has always and will always obey Him. Thus, for God to accept the infinite sacrifice of Jesus, it inherently includes the fact that God, with infinite understanding knows that His Son will completely obey Him forever. Thus, the sacrifice of Jesus is forever sufficient and acceptable. Praise God!

So all this brings us to the debate about Christ and sin: could He EVER SIN? Was it even possible? The fancy terms for this is the impeccability (inability to sin) or the peccability (ability to sin) of Christ.

Okay, so let's dive into this topic further. To keep the discussion going we also need to understand that sinfulness is not NECESSARY to be fully human. Often people say "To err is human..." but that's not
entirely true. Adam and Eve were created as total and complete humans, yet they did not have to sin. When they sinned, it was a willful introduction of rebellion into their lives. It was not already there. There was nothing corrupt in their DNA. It was not mandatory. So despite the fact that they did sin, we need to understand that they did not HAVE to sin. Sin was not an automatic component of humanity.

However, the sin nature has been passed down to us from Adam. The sin nature is the willful bent that we all have towards sin. We see this in the animal world all the time. I have a cute yellow lab at home. When I drop some food on the floor, he's very good about rushing over to eat it. But it always cracks me up. If I drop a piece of meat on the floor, he snarfs it up in a moment. But if it's a piece of lettuce or broccoli, he might pick it up, he might lick off the salad dressing, but he spits out the vegetable. It's not in his nature to eat and unless forced or tricked, he won't eat what goes against his nature.

It's the same with us. We have a sin nature. It's our bent. When given the opportunity, we will sin. I've seen this many times in life. One of the clearer examples was back when I was on a short-term missions trip in Croatia. The Bosnian War has recently ended and the people were struck with grief and guilt. You may recall that the Serbs and Bosnians were killing each other so systematically that it was called genocide. The reason, I was told, was because they were so filled with fear that the Serbs shot their Bosnian neighbors and visa-versa. It's not that they were monsters--but they were motivated by their nature for self-preservation, even at the expense of their neighbor's life. We might think that we're a sophisticated, moral society, in reality we're a couple of laws away from taking things into our own hands.

So why am I going into all this? To explain that we all have a sin nature except for two people--the First Adam and the Second Adam. The First Adam is Adam from creation. The Second Adam is a biblical term for Christ (e.g Romans 5:12-21). Jesus was fully human, but like Adam, He was not born with a sin nature. It was not passed on to Him. You might recall that in Luke 1:35 the Holy Spirit comes upon Mary in such a way that she conceives Jesus. Because the Holy Spirit was involved in Jesus’ conception, there was no transfer of the sin nature. Like Adam, He did not have to sin.

Okay, let’s get back to the peccability versus impeccability discussion. The question that has been debated for centuries is this: Could Christ have even sinned to begin with? Adam was without a sin nature, but sinned anyway. How about Jesus? Could He have sinned? Put another way, was Christ peccable (able to sin) or impeccable (unable to sin)?

Most scholars say that Christ was impeccable, that is He could not have sinned. I basically agree, but have lingering questions.

Now aside from debating for debating's sake, why discuss this question anyway? First, there is the practical matter of looking to Christ for encouragement when we're struggling. It’s nice to know that Christ understands what it feels like to be human. Second, any doctrine we hold must account for all of scripture, and there are a handful of verses that need to be addressed. One of the key verses is Hebrews 4:15 which says, “
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

I've often wondered, if Christ could not sin, in what way was he tempted? If He could not sin, was He truly tempted as we are? It would seem to me that this passage says the exact opposite: that Jesus DID undergo temptations. How can Jesus undergo temptations if He fundamentally could not sin?

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Jesus was tempted like we are. Nor am I saying that He felt any inclination to sin. But it seems that the debate over peccability/impeccability violates scripture.

Here’s one passage them helps me understand the Impeccabilty/Peccability question.  In John 6:15 Jesus had just fed the 5,000 and the crowds were intending to make Him king. At that moment, if Jesus agreed to their plans, He would have sinned because that would be contrary to the will of God. Knowing this, Jesus left them and went away to be alone in the mountains. We don’t know the exact reason why He left them. However, the net result was that He was praying to His Father and was fully removed from a course of action that would be sin.

Furthermore, in John 6:38, Jesus explained that He only does the Father’s will. He told them, "I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." It seems that He was referring back to that moment when the crowds wanted to make Him king the day before. He turned them down because it was not the Father's will.

In that moment when the crowds sought to make Him king, there were two ways to handle that situation: 1) Decline the crowds and go to the cross = God's Will. 2) Accept the crowds and go wherever the path led = Man's will. The fork in the road was set before Christ. And like always, He chose the right and perfect way, the way of submission and obedience to the Father. (For what it's worth, for most of us, we just chose our own way and wonder why life seems to get so scrambled). But the Impeccability Argument seems to imply that there was no real "fork in the road" for Christ. It seems that Jesus technically “could” have let Himself be commissioned as King. It wasn’t a magnetic force field that kept Him from sin, it was His purity and holiness.

At the same time, I don’t think there was ever a chance of Christ sinning. Christ was not in the throes of indecision at these moments. Yes, Christ who was God, who the day before made atoms rearrange in space/time to become fish and bread and a solid support to Him in water, this same God could do whatever He wanted. At the same time, however, Christ who was perfectly pure and holy, always WANTED to conform to His Father's nature and will. One who is pure, loves God's ways. One who is righteous wants to live out the law of God. One who is holy conforms to God's nature. This is true of us too--that the more we conform to God, the more we will love Him, His ways, His principles and our hearts/minds will increasingly pursue those things that God is pursing.

So while I stand with the Impeccability folks I wish that the position allowed for more flexibility with passages such as Hebrews 4:15. I never want to say that Christ sinned, nor would I want to say that there was ever a conflict in His heart about sin-- I just don't understand how the removal of even the possibility of sin fits Hebrews 4:15.

My conclusion is not on one side or the other (though I’d want to go on record and say that I’m with the Impeccabilty Group). It’s just that as I study scripture, I think that the question itself is ultimately not valid. Scripture doesn’t allow us to hold to a position that either Christ could have sinned and did not (because then our salvation would always be in jeopardy) or that He could not have sinned in the first place (because then passages such as Hebrews 4:15 and John 5 don’t make sense).

Ultimately, I rest with scripture. Scripture tells us that He faced the same situations and trials we faced, yet passed through them in complete obedience to the will and nature of God. Praise God for our righteous and Holy Redeemer!

So those are some of my thoughts, I'd like to hear yours...

Published in Blog
Monday, 06 September 2010 08:28

Side-Stepping Popularity

John chapter 6 contains the well known account of Jesus feeding the 5000. This amazing story demonstrates that Jesus as God has the ability to create something from nothing. In other, more fancy words, Jesus has the power to create ex nihilo. He has the ability to bring atoms into existence and fashion them together to form real objects. All without touching them. His command, His will, His word is enough that nature follows.

Likewise, just after the account of the Feeding of the 5000, John's Gospel then provides the account of Jesus walking on water. This is another example of His divine capabilities as His will causes nature to be rearranged so that normal properties of water are changed and He is able to walk upon it.

While these are amazing feats of awesome command, I want to highlight a side comment made my John in 6:15--"So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone."

What I find convicting about this verse is the clear principle that not all popularity is good, right or rightly motivated. In this situation, the people wanted to make Jesus their King. To my fleshly mind that sounds like a complete success for His objectives--finally, He's demonstrated His truth and power and the people have seen and believed. They have turned to Him in droves. They are ready for their King Messiah. Quite possibly, His number of supporters has now outweighed His detractors. You would think that Jesus is ready to take Airforce One and land on the aircraft carrier triumphantly declaring "Mission Accomplished!"

But that's not what Jesus did. Instead, He withdrew from them and went to the mountains to be alone. Fascinating. What did He do? Well, we can gather from other passages that at times such as this, Jesus withdrew to be alone to pray. To be alone to seek God, to commune with Him, to maintain fellowship with Him and His divine will. Had Jesus not done this, the whole atonement/redemption of humanity would have been lost. God's divine plan and purpose for the life of Christ did not include of brief hiatus of kingship on that side of the cross.

You see, there are times when popularity is not a good thing. There are times when God's will is not that we are well received or well regarded by the general populous. There are times that accolades and praises are actually put in the hearts and mouths of people as a tool of Satan to tempt and deceive us. There are times that giving into to the will of the people is turning away from the will of God. Yikes, that is shuddering, especially for pastors.

I often wonder why God grants success to some pastors and not to others. I think these principles about popularity have something to do with it. On the one hand, there are charlatans who have so manufactured success that they are far from the will and blessing of God. And on the other hand, there are pastors who have followed Christ so purely that they have kept away from people-pleasing and thus their ministries are relatively small. But in between these two groups is (what I suspect) the largest group. This middle group is full of pastors like me--pastors who are still learning these principles of popularity and success.

I think that the pastorate is rife with men who need to learn when success is valid or when it is invalid and I have a hunch that one of the most pivotal reasons why God has not given them success is because they are still developing the proper wisdom and discernment to know when to walk away from the crowds. Because their own convictions and reasoning is so easily led astray, and not yet fully and steadily trained on the absolute will of God, God has not (indeed CANNOT) grant them success, for success would lead them away from the work He has called them to do. 

Now of course, I'm not saying this as one who has mastered it, but rather one who is still learning to not interpret the applause as synonymous with success, to break away from the people and to meet with God and be sure that His will is being done, rather than the people's will.

Just some thoughts, I'd love to hear some of yours...

Blessings to you!
Published in Blog

A quiet and side debate in Christianity has been going on for centuries. Many of us probably don't know much about it and most of us probably don't care. Indeed, in many ways, the debate itself may appear irrelevant, though in reality it is not.

This debate deals with the nature of Christ's work on the cross. The issue is about whether Christ's death on the cross atoned for a limited number of people or if all people of all times were covered by Christ's blood.

Those who believe that Jesus died for all people look to the classic verse of John 3:16. They say that John 3:16 teaches "God so loved the *world*" and they say this use of the word "world" indicates that God's provision of salvation extends to anyone--God's salvation is not fixed, limited or just for specific people. They also go one to say that since this verse says "...whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" therefore, "whoever" must mean that the offer is open to all. Additionally, they also cite other verses such as 2 Peter 2:1 which says that false teachers deny "the Master who bought them..." and 2 Peter 3:9 which says that God does not wish anyone to perish...

I'd like to take a moment to add my two cents to this debate.

Now, at the outset, we need to understand that I'm not saying that we can just sit back as the frozen chosen. Nor am I saying that we don't have a responsibility to go out and reach the world for Christ. Likewise, I am not saying that God does not love the world, or that if someone comes to Him, He will reject Him; indeed, anyone who does come to Him, comes because God is drawing them to Him (John 6:44) and that all who do come to Him will be accepted by Him (John 6:37).

So the debate is not about these matters of practicality, but more about the theoretical extent of Christ's atonement. Often the terms thrown around are "Limited Atonement" versus "Universal Atonement." If it's not clear by now, I land on the side of "Limited Atonement" though I prefer to call it "Particular Atonement" or "Definite Atonement" or even better, "Full Atonement" because only those who are born-again have their sins fully atoned.

We need to begin by understanding what the Bible says about atonement. The very term “atonement” is literally the words “at” and “one” and “ment” all put together. The Hebrew word “atone” is the word “kapar” which is what we get “Yom Kippur” from (e.g. the Day of Atonement). At its root, kapar meant to “cover” –it was used of the pitch that covered Noah’s Ark in Genesis 6:14. Once our sins are covered, God’s wrath is turned away and we are no longer His enemies.

The book of Leviticus establishes the basis for our understanding of atonement. Leviticus explains that our sins need to be covered by an innocent life. When it is, we are “at one” with God—that is, that our sins are removed and we are in fellowship with God. Every Jew that had their sins atoned for were forgiven and in a right relationship with God (Lev 4:26, 5:16). This covering, this Yom Kippur, was only available to believing Jews. In fact, if they did not believe, Leviticus 23:29 says that they should be cut off from their people. The Jews were the first of God’s people to believe in a particular atonement—that it was only available to those who would rightly recognize what God had provided.

 

I believe that the vast majority of Bible-believing Christians believe in a "Limited Atonement" though they may not say it this way. Here's why:

When we use word "atone" we are saying that Christ's blood fully covers our sins. If our sins are fully covered, we have full access to God and heaven after we die. Thus, if every person was fully atoned for by Christ, then every person would be heading to heaven--this is called Universalism. But no Bible believing Christian believes in Universalism because scripture clearly explains this is not the case. For instance, where is Judas now? Jesus said of him in Matthew 26:24 that it would have been better for him not to have been born. This can only mean that Judas is not in Heaven right now, but rather in Hell. Therefore, if Judas is in Hell right now, we can all agree that there is at least one person in Hell (though in reality, scripture indicates there are many more). So my question is this: If Jesus fully atoned for all of Judas' sins, why is he in Hell? Some might say, "Because of his unbelief. That's the only sin that cannot be forgiven." While I may not agree with the merit of this statement, the statement itself confirms my point: Jesus did not fully pay for every sin of every person because there are some people who He did not pay for their sin of unbelief. Therefore, they have at least one sin that has not been atoned for and thus we all agree in a Limited Atonement! Hooray!

Now, so far I've given some logical reasons to help settle the concerns of those who believe in an Unlimited Atonement. But what surprises me about this debate is that we are so unwilling to let scripture speak for itself. Indeed, scripture makes it quite clear that only a limited, specific group of people will be elect--that is, chosen by God for salvation. Passages such as Ephesians 1:5, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 1 Peter 1:1-2, Colossians 3:12 all indicate that we are selected and chosen by God to be in Christ.

The reason for the debate is that there are other passages that likewise speak of what seems to be a universal atonement. For instance, 1 Timothy 2:6 says that Jesus “gave Himself as a ransom for all.” 1 John 2:2 says “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” Do these verses, and others, indicate that every person in the world is atoned for and thus in a right relationship with God? Well, here’s some further thoughts on this question.

The question, then, is not about what the Bible teaches, but how do we understand what these verses mean?

 

Sadly, the debate has been waged for centuries and I don't claim to have all the answers. Yet in the matter of John's references to the "world" (and by extension, Paul’s use of “all”) I think that his point is fairly clear.

The question, then, is not about what the Bible teaches, but how do we understand what these verses mean?

Well, the debate has been waged for centuries and I don't claim to have all the answers. Yet in the matter of John's references to the "world" I think that his point is fairly clear.

A study of John's gospel reveals that he admits to driving the reader to several conclusions:

1) That Jesus is God (John 1:1, John 5:18, John 10:10, John 20:28).

2) That we need to believe in Him for salvation (John 1:12, John 3:15-16, 36, John 20:29).

3) The offer of salvation is extended to all people (passim).

Now, Point #3 is the crux and requires careful study.

John uses the word "world" numerous times in his Gospel. It's the Greek word kosmos and has many facets to its meaning. the word itself is about as portable and elastic as our word "world" in English. Kosmos can mean earth/planet (e.g. the world we live on), the way of society (e.g. the way of the world), a sphere of being (e.g. the wide world of sports) etc. Now with all these semantic ranges of meaning, what is John's nuance in his gospel?

The answer lies in John chapter 4. Here we have John's account of how Jesus blew apart the dividing walls of Palestinian society of the day. In John 4, Jesus was talking with the infamous woman at the well. She had been rather loose in her morals and shunned even by her own people. Adding insult to injury, she was also a Samaritan, a rogue group of people who had an aberrant view of God and His Word. Clearly this woman had many strikes against her and if there was ever someone unfit for heaven, it was this gal. And yet, Jesus' lovingly offered her the words of eternal life.

Now to see how John chapter 4 decodes the word "world", we need to see that Jesus stuck to some important truths. In verse 22 He maintains that salvation is from the Jews. This quick statement is critical in this passage and cannot be overlooked. Saying that salvation is from the Jews is Jesus' way of affirming all that had been previously taught in the Old Testament, namely that God's solution to sin and God's renewal of the person to make them fit for heaven was only sourced in the Jewish religion. If anyone in that age wanted a relationship with God, they HAD to become Jewish. This gets to the heart of salvation and election--God has ALWAYS been particular in choosing His people. Just as a groom is particular when he chooses a bride to the exclusion of all other women, God has likewise been particular in choosing His bride.

So, the Samaritans were a hybrid Jewish spinoff; were they accepted too? The answer is No, by Jesus' words here, the Samaritan religion itself was invalid. Just because they worshiped the same "God" in name as the Jews, their religion had so many problems that it was incapable of producing salvation. In order to be saved, they needed to repent of their man-made, false religion, and they needed to come to God on His terms as Jewish believers.

So back to the story: Jesus meets this woman and something amazing happens to her. While we could go into great detail, it's suffice to say that the woman acknowledges her sin, repents, and goes to bring others to Christ as well. In this startling  turn of events a Samaritan woman is offered salvation, her people are offered salvation, and they gladly embrace Christ--not that they might become Jewish, but that they would become born-again and members/citizens of God's family through Christ.

Okay, now getting back to the word "world" in John's Gospel-- the most important key in all of this is found down in verse 42, where the people make an important and startling conclusion--a conclusion that decodes John's use of the word "world" throughout his gospel. In John 4:42 the people say, "...we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the *WORLD*." In essence, they realize and see that Jesus is from the Jews, He is God's prophet, He is God's Savior, He is God's appointment means of salvation. And yet, though Jewish Himself, Jesus' offer of salvation is extended to anyone in the whole *world* even though they are NOT Jewish!!! They have been getting the short end of the stick for a while--all along, they've been hearing from the Jews that they are not really God's people because they are not really Jewish. Up till now, the Jews were right to say this. But now that the Samaritans have heard the Gospel from Jesus the Jewish Messiah, they now understand that He is God's gift, not just to Jews; but to them (the Samaritans) too! And not just to them; but to anyone in the WORLD who comes to Him like they did!Their use of the word "world" here proves that they are not thinking of every single person, but rather every people-group can come to God on the basis of Christ's death.

God's salvation is extended to ALL people of all nationalities. We see this in John 11:51b-52 which says, "...Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad." It doesn't matter if they formerly were radically sinful, from a the "wrong" ethnic group, or following a corrupt religion--if they come to Christ with humble repentance and faith, salvation is for THEM TOO! Salvation is no longer about national or cultural identity, it is about a reconciliation with God through faith and trust in Christ Jesus alone.

Lastly, even though the offer of salvation is meant for all nations, and is not limited to just the Jews, we need to remember that only those who are chosen (John 6:65) and called (John 6:44) can believe. Indeed, John 14:17 tells us clearly that the "world" cannot receive the Holy Spirit (John 14:17) because He has blinded the hearts/eyes/minds of some (John 12:40). Thus, in His high priestly prayer, Jesus specifically says, "I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours (John 17:9)."

Did you get all that? This is a brief summary of what John's Gospel has to say about God's offer of salvation to the world. On the one hand, you can't get much more election-heavy that John, on the other hand, indeed the offer of salvation is given to all nations. This doesn't mean that Jesus atoned for each and every person, but it does mean that His grace is available to anyone regardless of their national or cultural identity. 

This understanding of the word *world* unites with the overall purpose of John's Gospel. You may remember that according to John 20:31, his gospel is specifically an evangelistic book to be read and pondered by all people, not just for Jews 2000 years ago, and that the readers would call upon Christ as Lord and Savior. Just as John's Gospel is intended to be read by any people group in the world, likewise the Gospel itself IS God's message for the whole world. It's God's offer of redemption and salvation to all people. This doesn't mean that all people are universally atoned for, but rather the offer is open and extended to everyone.  These uses of the word "world" throughout John's Gospel indicates clearly that God's grace and mercy extends to all people for all times. Indeed, we worship and serve a great and mighty and good God.

Thanks for reading, I'd love to hear your thoughts too...

Published in Blog
Monday, 02 August 2010 14:55

Verses on the Deity of Christ

Verses on the Deity of Christ

(note that the best verses are the "Power Verses" towards the bottom of this document)

The New Testament uses terms, ideas, and allusions that were exclusively for YHWH, the LORD:

Please note that in the Old Testament, the English words "LORD", "YHWH", and "Jehovah" are all translations of the same word in the Hebrew text. Also, the most common verses that clearly declare Christ’s deity are listed on page 14. I have not listed them first because normally those who are  opposed to Christ’s deity have all kinds of smoke-and-mirror attempts to discredit them. Consequently, this document begins with rock-solid declarations of Christ’s deity that are lesser known, but extremely powerful. The clear, power verses are towards the end.

In the Old Testament, the prophet Zechariah says that they will look upon YHWH whom they have pieced, yet that was done to Jesus.

Zechariah 12:1 --1 The burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel. Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:

A few verses later, the LORD (YWHW) still speaks:

Zechariah 12:10 --10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.

But in the New Testament, we of course know that it was Jesus who was crucified. The Jews themselves understood that this was a fulfillment of Zech 12:10:

John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”

 

**Note that the Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation says: “…they will look to the One whom they pierced through…” The change of “Me” to “One” is clearly designed to hide this declaration of the Messiah’s deity because it is quoted and applied to Jesus in John 19:34-37. We need to understand, that in Zechariah 12:10, there is no grammatical reason or textual reason to translate this as “the one”. The Hebrew word for “one” and “me” are different. Zechariah 12:10 just simply uses the Hebrew word for “me” not “one”. The translation “the One” is simply incorrect and would have been marked as wrong in any basic Hebrew class.

 

The Hebrew word we are discussing is as common as our personal pronoun “me” in English. The word for “Me” in Hebrew is the pronoun “ y !” which is pronounced “ee”.  As is often the case with languages, in Hebrew, these pronouns are attached to words and the ending affects whether the word is in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person. Spanish is similar: amo = I love whereas “amas” means “you love” etc. While these look relatively similar to our eyes, they are clearly different words and anybody speaking Spanish is universally aware that they are significantly different from each other.

 

So back to our text, in Hebrew, when the pronoun “ y !” is the 1st person pronoun. 12:10 in Hebrew says yl^a@ (pronounced a-lee). Like Spanish (one word “amo” =  two words “I love”), the Hebrew yl^a@ is in essence two words, or at least two ideas communicated through the root word and the end attached to it. The word la (without the “ y !”) is the Hebrew marker of direction, often translated as “to” or “toward.” In this instance, it is with “ y !”  or “me”. Yet the New World Translation translates this simple “me” pronoun as “one.” The 3rd person singular pronoun “One” in Hebrew is the pronoun “o” which is “o”. Since the Hebrew says yl^a@, the whole clause is translated phrase “look upon Me” because there is no other possible meaning. If the Hebrew text were to say “they will look upon the One” it would have been ola@ (pronounced a-lo) – notice the “o” on the end which is the 1st person plural pronoun. This may seem similar to our eyes and ears, but they are quite different in Hebrew. Just as the English words “he” and “her” are similar in spelling, they are still very dissimilar in what they mean.

 

While all of this might seem very technical, it is actually very simple Hebrew. The New World Translation has just wrongly translated this passage. The verse contains the word “me” and not “one” and there is no way to justify translating any way other than, “they will look upon Me with-whom they have pierced…”

 

 

God promised that He would come in the form of His Messiah in Isaiah 43:10

Isaiah 43:10 “‘You are My witnesses,’ declares the LORD,
And My servant whom I have chosen,
So that you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He.”

 

John the Baptist was prophesied to precede the coming of YHWH.

Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.” (YHWH)

Zahcarias cited this verse when declaring that his son, John the Baptist, was preparing the way for the coming of the Lord: Luke 1:76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways.”

 

Jesus cited the fulfillment of this verse in regards to Himself in Luke 7:27 when He declared that John the Baptist was more than a prophet, but the one who would clear the way for the coming of YHWH.

 

God purchased the church with His own blood

Acts 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Job looked forward to the day that the God, the Messiah, would stand upon the Earth in John 19:25-26:

Job 19:25-26 “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
Even after my skin is destroyed,
Yet from my flesh I shall see God.”

 

In Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah saw a vision from God with the following description:

Isaiah 6:1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.

This message given to Isaiah at that time is quoted in John 12:40 when speaking about Jesus’ ministry and peoples’ lack of faith in Him. John then clearly shows that Isaiah saw Jesus’ glory when he says in verse 41 “These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.”

Thus John clearly states that the prophet Isaiah had seen Jesus in the temple in His glory.

Then in John 17:5, Jesus says “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” – Clearly referring to the kind of glory that Isaiah saw in Isaiah 6:1.

Finally, in Revelation 1 John has a vision where He sees Jesus once again in His glory. This is what John said:

Revelation 1:12-17 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last…”

The connection is this: Isaiah saw Christ’s glory in Isaiah 6. The apostle John explains this in John 12:41, that Isaiah saw Jesus’ glory at that time. Jesus later prays to be restored to His former glory in John 17:5 and thus the apostle sees that former glory himself in Revelation 1:12-17. Truly extraordinary!

 

 

 

In Ezekiel 34:22, the LORD says that He will judge the between the sheep:

Ezek 34.17 “And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats.”

Ezekiel 34:22 --22 therefore, I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another.

Yet Christ alludes to this very same incident but says that it is He that will do it:

Matthew 25:31-32 --31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory , and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne . 32 “ All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats…”

 

In Isaiah 45:23, YHWH declares that every knee will bow to Him and every tongue will swear allegiance to Him, but the New Testament applies this to Jesus (Note the Greek of the NT and the Septuagint is clearly a running quote usually using the same vocabulary, grammar, and word order—except that Paul clearly modifies Isaiah 45:23 to point to Jesus):

Is 45:23 “To Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.”

Phil 2:10 Phil 2:10-11 “…at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Chris is Lord…”

 

In the Old Testament, YHWH was the only person who could give life and take it, yet in the New Testament this is said of Jesus:

Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and gives life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.”

Even though Deuteronomy 32:39 says that only YHWH can give life, Jesus says that He too can give life: John 5:21 “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.”

Just as in Deuteronomy 32:39 YHWH secures those who are in His hand, so also Jesus uses the same imagery of protection for those who are in His hand: John 10:28 “and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” 

In Zechariah 14:9 it is said that YHWH shall be king over all the Earth

Zechariah 14:9 --9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.

Yet Christ is spoken of as the King over all the earth:

Revelation 11:15 --15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”

 

Both Jesus and YHWH use the same "I am the first and the Last" terminology of themselves:

Is 44:6     “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.”

Rev 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Rev 22;13  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

 

God promised that He would come in the same state as the Jews and in their affliction He would save them by His love and mercy. Though speaking of the Old Testament, it is also prefiguring Christ. It establishes the principle that God is our Savior, sending the Angel of His presence. It is God speaking in Isaiah 63:8 and it is God who came and saved them in Isaiah 63:9:

 

Isaiah 63:8 For He said, “Surely, they are My people, Sons who will not deal falsely.” So He became their Savior.

 

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.

 

And it is Jesus who came from the presence of God to be our savior:

 

John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

 

John 6:57 “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. (NASB95)

 

God promised that it would be “His own arm” that would be the agent of salvation and redemption. This is much more than a description of God being the behind the scenes force for salvation, but rather it is God Himself who will procure salvation:

 

Isaiah 59:16-20 And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede; Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. According to their deeds, so He will repay, Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; To the coastlands He will make recompense. So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream Which the wind of the Lord drives. “A Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the Lord. (NASB95)

 

The Old Testament promises that we shall know He is YHWH when He opens the Jew's graves:

Ezekiel 37:13 --13 “Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people.

 

John 5:21 “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.

 

John 6:39-40 “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

Matthew 27:51-52 --51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

 

Isaiah prophesied in chapter 8:13-15 that the LORD shall be our sanctuary and He will be a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over. Peter applied this verse directly to Jesus in 1 Peter 2:5-8.

 

Isaiah 8:13-15 “It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread. “Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. “Many will stumble over them, Then they will fall and be broken; They will even be snared and caught.” (NASB95)

 

But Peter ties this prophecy of the LORD to Jesus:

1 Peter 2:5-8 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

 

Quotes from OT speaking of God are ascribed to Christ

Hebrews 1:10 --10 And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands;

 

Neither God the Father or Jesus ever change:

Ps 102:27 “But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.”

Mal 3:6 “For I the Lord do not change.”

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

 

Question: How can a being that has been created never change? The very act of coming into existence means a change. Thus, Jesus was never created, never came into existence, He always was and always will be.

Isaiah 40:10-11 Predicts that YHWH the chief shepherd will come with a reward. Yet according to 1 Peter 5:4 Christ our Chief Shepherd will appear:

Yet in the Old Testament, they were awaiting YHWH to bring their reward:

Isaiah 40:10-11 --10 Behold, the Lord God will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him. 11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

1 Peter 5:4 --4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

In the Old Testament, YHWH is called the Shepherd in Ezek 34

Ezek 34:11 ‘For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.

 

But in the New Testament, Jesus is called our Shepherd:

 

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

 

 

 

In the Old Testament believers are commanded to fear God, yet in the New Testament believers are commanded to fear Christ.

Psalm 33:8 says, “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”

Ephesians 5:21 says, “Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”

 

A sin is an offense against God. Only the person who is offended can offer forgiveness to another, yet Christ forgave sins by his own authority. Thus if only God could forgive sins because sins are against God, then Christ is God:

Luke 5:20-21 --20 Seeing their faith, He said, “ Friend , your sins are forgiven you.” 21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”

James encourages to endure until the "coming of the Lord" which can only mean Jesus, but then in verse 10 he cites the prophet's own example who "spoke in the name of the Lord." Since the prophets spoke in the name of YHWH, and they are to await the coming of the Lord, it is such that Jesus was YHWH in the Old Testament speaking through the prophets.

James 5:7 --7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.

 Christ is the one who sent the OT prophets

Matt 23:34  I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

We are the sheep of YHWH  (Ps 95:7) and we are Christ’s sheep (John 10:11-17)

Psalm 95:7 --7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice,

John 10:11-17 --11 “ I am the good shepherd ; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep . 12 “He who is a hired hand , and not a shepherd , who is not the owner of the sheep , sees the wolf coming , and leaves the sheep and flees , and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 “ He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep . 14 “ I am the good shepherd , and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father ; and I lay down My life for the sheep . 16 “I have other sheep , which are not of this fold ; I must bring them also , and they will hear My voice ; and they will become one flock with one shepherd . 17 “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.

Total acts of creation are applied to both God and Jesus:

Speaking of Jesus, John 1:3 says, "All things were made though Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made."

Col 1:15-17 "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things and in Him all things consist."

Heb 3:4 says that God created everything, "For every house is built by someone, but he who built all things is God."

 

In the Old Testament, God is often called our redeemer. He is also often called our redeemer in the New Testament. Yet this term is likewise used of Christ.

 

Psalm 78:35 And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.

Isaiah 41:14 “Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 44:6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.

Isaiah 44:24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone,

Isaiah 47:4 Our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel

Isaiah 48:17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.

Isaiah 49:7 Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, To the despised One, To the One abhorred by the nation, To the Servant of rulers, “Kings will see and arise, Princes will also bow down, Because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.”

Isaiah 54:5 “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

Isaiah 54:8 “In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the Lord your Redeemer.

Isaiah 59:20 “A Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the Lord.

Isaiah 60:16 “You will also suck the milk of nations And suck the breast of kings; Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Isaiah 63:16 For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us And Israel does not recognize us. You, O Lord, are our Father, Our Redeemer from of old is Your name.

Jeremiah 50:34 “Their Redeemer is strong, the Lord of hosts is His name; He will vigorously plead their case So that He may bring rest to the earth, But turmoil to the inhabitants of Babylon.

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—

Titus 2:14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Christ is the image of God

2 Cor 4:4  the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

 

Jesus does the same things that God does:

John 5:19 “…for whatever the Father does, these things he Son also does in like manner.”

 

In Isaiah 54:5, the prophet says that God is our husband, yet in the New Testament, Christ is our husband. The two are synonymous.

 

Isaiah 54:5 “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. (NASB95)

Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”(NASB95)

Ephesians 5:32 This mystery is great [in the context of marriage]; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. (NASB95)

In the Old Testament we are told that the LORD will bring New Covenant to the people. Certainly, the LORD had brought other covenants to the people Himself. Yet we are told that Christ brought the New Covenant. Consider the following:

Gen 17:1-2 "I am the Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly."

Thus God said through Jeremiah and Ezekiel:

Jer 31:31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah

Ezek 34:25  “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.

Notice that in the New Testament who actually brings the covenant:

Luke 22:19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying,  “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying,  “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

 

 

The Lord promised that the people of Zebulun and Naphtali would rejoice in His presence.

 

Isaiah 9:1-3 But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence…

 

This was fulfilled and referenced in the ministry of Jesus:

 

Matthew 4:12-16 Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.”

 

Job declared that only God walks upon water, yet we see Jesus doing just that twice in the New Testament.

Job 9:8 Who alone stretches out the heavens And tramples down the waves of the sea;

John 6:19 Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened.


Jesus’ Claims to Be God

Jesus said He could do the same things as God

John 5:19 --19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “ Truly , truly , I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself , unless it is something He sees the Father doing ; for whatever the Father does , these things the Son also does in like manner .

Jesus commanded the people to honor Himself in the same way they honor Jehovah:

John 5:23 --23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.


Jesus made Himself equal to God

John 10:33 --33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”

Jesus said seeing Himself was the same as seeing God

John 12:45 --45 “ He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.

Jesus said He is in the Father and the Father is in Him

John 14:9-11 --9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip ? He who has seen Me has seen the Father ; how can you say , ‘ Show us the Father ’? 10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father , and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative , but the Father abiding in Me does His works . 11 “ Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves .

John 14:20 --20 “ In that day you will know that I am in My Father , and you in Me, and I in you.

Christ says the He is the Alpha and Omega and to those who overcome, he shall be their God

Revelation 21:6-7 --6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

Christ said that He and God are One

John 17:22 --22 “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one.

Jesus taught that He had the authority to forgive sins that were committed against God.

Mark 2:10 --10 “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins ”—He said to the paralytic,

Jesus said He was with God before coming to the world:

John 6: 62 “What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?”

 

People in the New Testament understood that Jesus was God:

Mary calls her Savior “God”

Luke 1:47 --47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

**Note: Luke uses the terms God and Lord interchangeably to refer to Jehovah and Jesus in the first chapter of his gospel. He uses tou kuriou (too kurioo) to describe the temple of the LORD (1:9) and the Angel of the LORD (aggelo" tou kuriou) (angelos too kurioo) in 1:11—both being references to Jehovah of the Old Testament. Then Luke uses the same word of Mary when he says she is the Mother of the Lord the kuriou in 1:43, clearly the same word in the Greek. Mary's prayer was that she may magnify the LORD (kurio") who she was the mother. Finally, this was also used by Luke when saying that John the Baptist would go before the kurio" to prepare His way in 1:76. There are other way’s of saying “lord” in Greek that didn’t include deity, yet Luke clearly chooses the Jewish notion of LORD (as used throughout the Septuagint, which was the Greek version of the Old Testament that was the predominant Jewish text at the time) and interweaves that divine word throughout his gospel to refer to Jehovah and to Jesus.

 

The people say to themselves “God has visited His people” Luke 7:16

Luke 7:16 Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!”

People worship Christ as God. Peter will not let anyone worship him because he is only a man (Acts 10:26) yet Christ let people worship him. (Matt 2:11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 28:9)

Acts 10:26 --26 But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.”

Matthew 2:11 --11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 8:2 --2 And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Matthew 9:18 --18 While He was saying these things to them, a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him, and said, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.”

Matthew 14:33 --33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”

Matthew 15:25 --25 But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

Matthew 28:9 --9 And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.

 

Thomas acknowledges that Jesus is God

John 20:28 --28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

 

Throughout the book of Acts, healings are interchangeably attributed to Christ and God

Acts 3:8-10 --8 With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God; 10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Acts 9:34 --34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed.” Immediately he got up.

Acts 15:12 --12 All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.

 

Paul proclaimed Christ as God

Acts 17:18 --18 And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What would this idle babbler wish to say?” Others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.

 

Jude calls both God and Jesus Lord in Jude 4,5,14,17, 21,*25

Jude 4 --4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Jude 5 --5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.

Jude 14 --14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,

Jude 17 --17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Jude 21 --21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

Jude 25 --25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Jesus is called Immanuel meaning God with us Matt 1:23

Matthew 1:23 --23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

 

Certain aspects of Jesus can only be true if he is God:

Jesus was with God before (i.e. eternity past)

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

 

Christ, as God, has a throne forever Heb 1:8

Hebrews 1:8 But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.

The builder of all things is God Heb 3:4

Hebrews 3:4 --4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.

God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus 1 Thess 4:14

1 Thessalonians 4:14 --14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

 

Yet through Christ all things came into existence:

 

Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Paul says in 1 Tim 6:14 –16 says that Christ alone posses immorality, yet we also know that God possess immorality too. If only Christ possesses immortality, and God is immortal, again it is because Christ is God: 

1 Timothy 6:14-16 --14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

1 Timothy 1:17 --17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Published in Verse Lists
Friday, 30 July 2010 22:33

Deity of Jesus Christ

Here are some great verses on the deity of Jesus Christ:

Published in Resources