The most important thing on which all other things in the salvation of mankind depend is the DEITY of Jesus Christ. The incarnation of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of salvation. “The Word was made flesh” (John 1:14). That “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19) is a fundamental fact of Christianity. Salvation is the distinguishing doctrine of the Bible; the nature and ministry of Christ is the theme of its sacred writers. Because of the nature of the work that Christ performed, it was vital that He should be both God and man. Jesus Christ is seen throughout the pages of the Holy Bible as the Supreme Object of man’s reverence, love and confidence.
By establishing the absolute existence of Christ before His incarnation, the first step is taken in demonstrating His DEITY. That He existed prior to His incarnation is evident from the following Scriptures:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).
“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).
The first argument from the New Testament in proof of the Divinity of Jesus Christ comes from the fact that He was quite often called “Lord.” He was called Lord with the same constancy that Jehovah was called Lord in the Old Testament. He was called Lord of lords (Rev. 17:14), Lord of all (Acts 10:36), the Lord of glory (1 Cor. 2:8), and Lord of the living and the dead (Rom. 14:9). In one sense, no one can call Him Lord except by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3). Men paid homage to Him as one who had all authority, and all creatures will one day bend the knee to Him in acknowledgement of His absolute lordship (Philip. 2:9-11). “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power” (Rev. 4:11).
That Christ is God is evident from the titles ascribed to Him in the Holy Scriptures. He is Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the ending, Rev. 1:8), Emmanuel (God with us, Mt. 1:23), the first and the last (Rev. 1:17), the mighty God, the everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6), King of kings (1 Tim. 6:15), etc. He called Himself I AM (John 8:58), the same words that Jehovah used for His name (Ex. 3:14). Christ is said to be eternal (Micah 5:2), omnipresent (being everywhere at the same time, Mt. 18:20), all-knowing (Mt. 9:4), and all-powerful (Mt. 28:18). He declared Himself to be the supreme Judge of mankind (Mt. 25:31-32).
That Christ is God is evident from His works. He created all things (Col. 1:16) and upholds His creation by His power (Heb. 1:3). He had power over nature (Mt. 8:24-27), He made the blind to see, the lame to walk and the deaf to hear. He also cleansed the lepers and raised the dead (Luke 7:22). He raised His own body from the dead (John 2:19, 21; 10:17-18). He cast out evil spirits (Mt. 8:16) and forgave sins (Mk. 2:5).
The nature of His promises confirms His Deity. He promised certain blessings, which none but God had either the right or the power to bestow. He promised to forgive sin (Mk. 2:10-12), and it is certain that only God can forgive sin (Mk. 2:7). He is our moral Governor (Mt. 2:6), and it is against Him that all sin is committed. He alone can deliver sinners from sin’s penalty (John 5:24). When therefore Christ says to the sinner, “Thy sins are forgiven,” He is exercising a Divine right. He promises to send the Holy Spirit (John 15:26), to give true peace in this life (John 14:27) and eternal happiness in the life to come (John 14:1-3).
God the Father cannot promise or give anything more than Christ has promised to give to those who love and obey Him in all things. Christ has said, “All things that the Father hath are mine” (John 16:15). If Christ the Son possesses all things that belong to God the Father, then He has all the attributes and perfections of the Father and must necessarily be of the same Divine substance.
Christ declared His Deity when He said to Philip, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). In Christ “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). Godhead means Deity. He claimed to be one with the Father (John 10:30). He claimed to be without sin (John 8:46). He claimed to be the Savior sent by the Father to redeem mankind (John 8:23-24, 29). Jesus means Savior. Christ means anointed (by God).
The Holy Scriptures not only affirm the Deity of Christ, they also affirm that in Him the Divine nature was united with human nature. As God, He was the origin of David’s family; as man, He was born from the lineage of David (Rev. 22:16). As man, He wept over the death of Lazarus; as God, He raised him from the dead (John 11:35, 43-44). As man, He suffered and died; as God, He raised Himself from the dead (John 2:19, 21; 10:17-18). These things can only prove that Christ is one with the Father.
Revised from an old book.