The Deity of Jesus Christ is that He is equal with God the Father God, and is God the Son, the Second Person of the trinity. The deity of Jesus Christ is vital His work at Calvary loses its redemptive significance if He was a mere man. He is not just our example, a miracle worker, a healer, our Teacher but our Redeemer and our Saviour, he is God in the flesh.
Heretical Views of Christ’s Deity
The doctrines of Arius, denying that Jesus was of the same substance as God and holding instead that he was only the highest of created beings, viewed as heretical by most Christian churches.
The Ebionites were an early Judeo-Christian sect also known as Nazarenes. The Ebionites regarded Christ as miraculously endowed, seen as a kind of prophet equated with Moses, while rejecting the tenets of Paul and continuing to observe Jewish law. According to Origen, some accepted the doctrine of the virgin birth. The sect may have originated after Hadrian’s edict of 135 CE banished the Jews from Jerusalem and banned Jewish ritual. With their gnostic tendencies they remained a heretical sect in both the Christian and Jewish worlds.
The doctrine of the deity of Jesus Christ states that Jesus possesses all the divine attributes of God. He was and is omnipotent, omniscience, omnipresent, holy, immutability, and eternal. He is divine and cannot be separated from Father and the Holy Spirit. He has the same nature as them. Jesus was able to say, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Jesus Christ is Omnipotent. Omnipotence means “having unlimited power or authority.” He has the same power as the Father. “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19). In His humanity and ministry on earth, He subjected Himself to the will of God, lived, walked and functioned in the power of the Spirit, His miracles prove His deity. He had power over diseases and death and winds and sea and demons, that they were all subject to His word, and that He is far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come (Eph. 1:20-23). He “upholds all things by the word of his power.” Hebrews. 1
Jesus Christ is Omniscience. Omniscience means “having total knowledge, knowing everything.” Jesus knew men’s lives, their secret thoughts (Luke 6: 8, 11:17) and history (Jn. 4:16-19) the history of the Samaritan woman after her conversation said to the men of the city, “Come, see a man, who told me all things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ?” (John 4:29), He knew that Judas would betray him (John 6:70). John says, “… because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man.” (John 2:24-25.) As God Jesus new all things but as the Son of Man He denied Himself certain divine prerogatives, exclusive rights and privileges that belong to God alone. He relied upon the Father and the Spirit during His earthly life. The Father temporarily withheld information from Him in order that Jesus could fulfil His role as Saviour and friend to His people (John 15:15). Jesus knew “all things,” (Jn.16:10) and in Colossians 2:3 we find that in Him “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” and that He “filleth all in all.”
Christ is also omnipresent, He is everywhere at all times, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them,” and Matthew 28:20, “… and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age….” (Matt. 28:18- 20) He was in heaven while on earth (John 3:13). He fills all (Ephesians 1:23).” He indwells each believer throughout the world (John 14:20; 2 Cor. 13:5).
4. He is Eternal. “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (Jn.1:1). Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (Jn. 8:58). He declared Himself to be the eternal “I AM.”
Micah says He is from everlasting, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though 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, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2). Isaiah says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isa. 9:6). Hebrews says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for He is also immutable and eternal.” (Heb. 13:8). God never changes. Christ’s divine characteristics are eternal. In His Incarnation He added human flesh to become the perfect Saviour. Before He took on flesh He existed eternally, “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5).
5. He is Unchanging (His immutability) “They (the heavens) shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as cloth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” (Heb. 1:11-12).
He occupied divine offices which only God Himself could fill. “For by Him were all things created,” Col. 1:16-17 and Hebrews 1:2, “… upholding all things by the word of His power”, speak of His divine office of Creator. Jesus had power to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6): “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” He is the author of eternal life: “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28). He is resurrection to life (John 11:25): “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me though he may die, he shall live.” And He is the judge with the divine right to pass judgment on all (2 Timothy 4:1-2): “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom. Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
The Divine Names of Christ
a) Isaiah gives names concerning the Virgin born Son that can only be used of God. He says, “And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). “Christ is called Wonderful because He is so. God the Father never gave His Son a name which he did not deserve.”
b) Jesus refers to His presence before Abraham, and takes the name of the Jehovah God of the Old Testament, “Before Abraham was, I Am.” John 8:58. The unbelieving Jewish leaders present understood what He said and regarded it as blasphemy.
c) Jesus Himself claimed to be God and allowed men to worship Him. “Had He been a just man, a great teacher, a worker of great miracles, had He not been divine, it would have been blasphemy to allow men to worship Him because God is the only One worthy of worship.” Not once, but many times, Jesus received the worship of men, an act of unspeakable blasphemy if Jesus was not divine, a shocking violation of the first commandment if he was not Son of God as claimed to be.
d) Jesus claimed to be the “First and the Last” the alpha and Omega. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Almighty. “I am Alpha, and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8). John said, “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last.” (Rev. 1:17). This is a divine name used of God, “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”(Isaiah 44:6). The Lord Jesus says “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (Rev. 22:12-13).
d) Jesus claimed His deity in many passages in Scripture. I.e.
John 6:47—“He who believes in Me has everlasting life.”
John 8:12—“I am the light of the world He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 8:19—If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”
John 8:23—“You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.”
John 8:42—“If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.”
John 10:7—“Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”
John 10:30—“I and My Father are one.”
John 10:36—“I am the Son of God.” The
c) Jesus the Saviour of mankind. Only God can save mankind but this name is used often of Jesus, which means Saviour or salvation. Joseph was told in Matthew 1:21, “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save his people from their sins.” It was important that the Son be given a divine name at His birth. “Christ” was His kingly title.
d) The term “Lord” means master, or Lord in the highest sense. “Lord” is also the New Testament name for the Old Testament name for “Jehovah”. “The pre-eminent name during the days of the flesh was Jesus; during His high-priestly ministry, it is Christ, and during His messianic reign, it will be Lord. Hence, his prophetic ministry is suggested by the name Jesus; His high-priestly office is suggested by His divine title, Christ; His kingly office is suggested by his name, or title, Lord.” And in Matthew 1:23 He is called Immanuel: “According to Hebrew usage the name does not represent a title but a characterization, as in Isaiah 1:26 and 9:6.
e) The name “Immanuel” shows that He really was “God with us.” Thus the deity of Christ is stressed at the beginning of Matthew.”
f) Christ was called the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet. “These names as applied to Christ suggest that He is the first and the last, the Lord Who is and was and is to come, Jehovah’s eternity.” The use of these various names shows the deity of Christ clearly. “Certainly it would be impossible to couple the name of any finite creature with that of the sovereign God.”
Many Old Testament statements referring to God are applied to Christ Jesus in the New Testament. We could compare Psalm 102:24-27 with Hebrews 1:10-12; Isaiah 40:3-4 with Matthew 3:3; and Psalm 44:22 with Romans 8:36. As an example, in the Old Testament the name “Lord” refers to Jehovah God, and in the New Testament it refers to Christ Jesus, except when the preceding verses or the context of the passage indicate otherwise. “Jehovah, Lord of the Old Testament, and Jesus, Lord of the New Testament are one God.” And finally, as Lawlor summarized in his book When God Became Man, “The writers of Scripture have used every conceivable form of terminology in setting forth the deity of the One Who came down from heaven to take away our sins. The doctrine of Christ’s deity is diffused throughout all the Scriptures, and we should never think of Him or speak of him without remembering this.”
Jesus showed Himself to be Son of God in the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah and God’s Son. The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ fulfilled every detail of the prophecy of the Old Testament Scriptures. There are hundreds of Old Testament prophecies that speak about the Messiah that were, or will be, fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Some of the Many Prophecies Christ Fulfilled
It would be impossible to cause all these prophecies to come true mathematically, geographically, historically, politically unless God planned it all, and He did.
The baby Jesus was the mighty God -Isaiah 9:6-7 fulfilled John 1:1-3, 14
He would be born of a virgin – Isaiah 7:14 fulfilled Matthew 1:18-25; Lk.1: 26-35
He would be called Emmanuel Isa. 7:14 Fulfilled Matt. 1:23
The place of His birth was prophesied Micah 5:2 fulfilled Matt. 2:1-4
The Father would declare He was His Son – Ps.2: 7 c.f. Matt. 3:17; Mark 9:7
He would be sold for 30 pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12 fulfilled Matthew 26:14-15 He would not defend himself when accused – Isaiah 53:3 with Luke 23:26-41
He would be smitten and spat upon Isaiah 53:6; Micah 5:1 fulfilled Matt.26: 67
He would be mocked Ps 22:16 fulfilled Luke 23:33
He would be rejected by his own people Isaiah 53: 3 fulfilled John 7:5, 48
He would be wounded and bruised Isaiah 53:5-6 fulfilled Matt. 26:26, Romans 4:25
People would shake their heads at him Psalm 109:25 fulfilled Matthew 27:39
His garments parted and lots cast Ps. 22:18 fulfilled John. 19:23-24
He would be crucified with thieves Isaiah 53:12 fulfilled Matthew 27:38
Money to be thrown into God’s house Zechariah 11:12-13 fulfilled with Matt. 27:3-10
The Resurrection – Psalm 22:16 with John 20:25
He would be wounded and bruised Isaiah 53:5-6 fulfilled Matt. 26:26, Romans 4:25
He would be forsaken Ps. 22:1 fulfilled Matthew 27:46
His bones would not be broken Ps. 34:20 fulfilled John 19:33
His side would be pierced Zech. 12:10 fulfilled John 19:34
Psalm 22:17 with John 19:33, 36
Isaiah 53:8, 11 with Matthew 28:2, 5-7, 9
He would be buried with the rich Isaiah 53:9 fulfilled Matthew 27:57, 59, 60
Proceeded by a messenger – Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1 Fulfilled by John the Baptist
Jesus Himself claimed to more than a teacher, a prophet and a miracle worker He claimed to be divine, and He allowed men to worship Him. God is the only One worthy of worship. It would have been tantamount to blasphemy if he were not God. He claimed to be before Abraham, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM,” John 8:58. He claimed that to see him was to see the Father, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known my Father also; and from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” (John 14:6-7).
Jesus claimed to deity he claimed equality with God the Father.
Thomas Called Him “My Lord and my God”
Thomas, the doubter called Him Lord God after seeing Him, “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.” (Jn. 20:28). The Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Unitarians all try to explain this away, but Jesus Himself commended Thomas for seeing it and saying it. The Lord replied to Thomas, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have to seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). The most significant use of the word “Lord” (kurios) in the Gospel of John is to confess that Jesus is God. It is the highest possible confession of faith in Jesus Christ. Kurios is used in John in quotations from the Old Testament and is the standard Greek equivalent for the Hebrew name for God, Yahweh or Jehovah (LORD). This is the highest confession of Jesus’ deity. We must make the same confession in order to be saved (Rom. 10:9-10, 13; 1:4; Acts 2:36).
Paul called the crucified Lord Jesus, “The Lord of glory.” “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Cor. 2:8) In the Old Testament “The Lord of glory” is Jehovah God, Psalm 24:8-10, “Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.” (Ps. 24:8-10). The Lord Jesus was the King of glory; therefore, He must be Jehovah.
Paul Calls Him “great God and Saviour” He speaks of our Lord as being our “great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13). And calls Him God in Romans 9:5 Paul tells us that “Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever.” (Rom. 9:5). He is deity and called God. He is referred to as God in Hebrews, “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: A sceptre of righteousness is the ceptre of thy kingdom.” (Heb. 1:8). In Hebrews 1:1-2 Jesus the Son as “the exact counterpart of God” .
Peter Calls Him God and Savour
He declares, “The righteousness of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ”. 2 Peter 1:1 is God and Saviour are one Person, not two. The Saviour is co-equal with God the Father (John 1:1; 20:28; Titus 2:13; Matthew 16:16). Jesus Christ is the Christian’s God and Savior (Acts 4:12).
He Is the Creator of All Things
He made all things In John 1:3 we are told that “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (Jn.1:3). Creation is ascribed to Him in Hebrews 1:10 these words are spoken of our Lord: “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.” (Heb.1:10). The context clearly shows that the Lord addressed is the Lord Jesus.
He is the Sustainer of All things
He is the super glue that holds everything together. He preserves the universe and everything that exists. “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person [God’s], and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Heb. 1:3). He upholds all things by the word of his power. Paul also witnesses to a belief in His deity (Col. 1:15-20; 2:9).
He Forgives Sins
He has the Divine power and authority to forgive sins. “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins.”(Mk. 2:5-10).
He Has the Power to Raise the Dead
The future raising of the dead is distinctly ascribed to him in John 6:39, 44, “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
He Has the Power to Transform Bodies
The transformation of our bodies is ascribed to Him in Philippians 3:21. In 2 Timothy 4:1
He Has the Power to Judge Mankind
Judgment is ascribed to Him. We are told that He shall “judge the quick and the dead.” Jesus declared that He would be the judge of all mankind. Paul said, Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead” (2 Tim. 4:1). He also refers to the “Judgement seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10) for believers. Jesus said, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” (Jn. 5:22-23).
He is the Giver of Eternal Life
He gives eternal life. Jesus said, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand,” (Jn. 10:28). He also said “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” (Jn. 17:1-2).