Ask the Bible Guys
Ask the Bible GuysReprinted from January 2006
We received an e-mail which stated, "I could not quickly find anything on your site that talks about who Jesus is. Does you doctrine teach that Jesus is God?"
The short answer to your question is, "Yes."
For scriptural support of this answer, a couple of passages come quickly to mind. In Isaiah 9:6, it 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." Much later, when Jesus appeared before Thomas, who had doubted that He had risen, and Thomas saw the nail scars, he proclaimed, "My Lord and My God" (John 20:28).
Now this, of course, has not exhausted the subject. In fact, in the very same passage where Thomas refers to Jesus as God, there are some other verses which must be considered in the discussion of this topic.
Earlier, in John 20:17, Jesus had appeared to Mary Magdalene just after His resurrection, and she began to embrace Him. To this He replied, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." Later, as John wraps up this portion of his record of Jesus' life, he gives us, in no uncertain terms, the reason for writing what he has written, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name" (John 20:30-31).
So, while Jesus is God according to the scriptures, He also is the Son of God, and worships the God whom we also worship. It is this dichotomy that has led the majority of Christianity to be divided into two primary camps: Unitarians and Trinitarians. Trinitarians believe that there is one God, revealed in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Unitarians believe that Jesus is the one and only God: that is to say, the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is Jesus. Adherents to these two belief systems often begin their explanation of their doctrine with the words, "Well, this is a mystery." More often than not, when listening to apologists from both camps explain their positions, they seem to be saying the same basic thing, only arguing over semantics.
The bottom line is that Jesus is God, and Jesus is the Son of God. At first glance one might say, "Wow, no wonder they say it's a mystery." But Paul said, "That which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:19-20). This means that God has revealed to us His mysteries, by manifesting them in the various aspects of creation.
When God created the earth, whether he was making trees, herbs, fish, birds or animals, He always created them to reproduce "after their kind." That is one of God's laws: that all things reproduce their own kind. It is no different with mankind. When a human male and female come together, regardless of race, color or any other difference, their offspring is always human.
We are called the children of God. Why, then, are we not gods? Simply put, it is because we are adopted. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved" (Eph. 1:3-6). And again, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together" (Rom. 8:15-17).
What about the natural children of Abraham? They, too, are adopted, as Paul shows in Romans 9:2-5, "I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen."
Jesus alone was begotten of the Father. God, therefore, according to His own rules, brought forth, "after His kind." Since Jesus alone actually came forth from the bosom of the Father, He alone holds all the attributes of the Father. This is the meaning of John 1:1-2, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God."
In much the same way that a child will be "the spitting image" of his or her parent, Jesus said to Philip regarding Himself, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" (John 14:9).
Jesus immediately goes on to explain His words here, which are so often misused to claim that Jesus is the Father. He said, "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:10-17).
John's record goes on and on, showing that the Father and the Son are individual entities. They exist in perfect unity, in that they share the same purpose: the same desire, even as Jesus displayed in the garden before His arrest. Although He does possess a will of His own, He places His will into submission to the will of the Father. He said, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).
The Jews took offense, not because Jesus claimed to be God, but because He claimed to be the Son of God. However, they knew that God's Son would be like His Father. As John, again, writes, "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God" (John 5:18).
Today, Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us (1 Tim. 2:5). He must stay there until all the prophecies are fulfilled which pertain to the age of Grace, and the Father sends Him back (Acts 3:20-21). He will then raise the Christian dead, change the living believers to immortality, and, with them, rule for 1000 years (Rev. 20:4-6). At the end of the millennial kingdom, Jesus gives the kingdom back to God and shall Himself be subject to the Father, that the Father might be all in all (1 Cor. 15:24-28).
Read carefully the first chapter of the Book of Hebrews. Here Paul, using numerous references from the Law and the Prophets (now known as the Old Testament), shows where God declared the divinity of His only begotten Son:
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, 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;
"Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten 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. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth 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. But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
"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" (Phil. 2:9-11). Amen.Next Article - From The Editor - Open Our Eyes