THE DEITY OF THE SON
(He is God!)
A Short Summary
|"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1)|
Make no mistake about it. The infallible Word of God clearly identifies Jesus Christ as God. He is "the great God" (Tit. 2:13), "the mighty God" (Isa. 9:6), and "the true God" (1 John 5:20). Full and complete deity is ascribed to Him: "the Word was God" (John 1:1). Though a Jew "according to the flesh," He is the One "who is over all, God blessed for ever" (Rom. 9:5).
To know Jesus Christ is to know God (John 14:8-9). To see Jesus Christ is to see God: "he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). Christ is the "image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15), "the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person" (Heb. 1:3). "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9). All men must honor the Son just as they honor the Father (John 5:23). We honor the Father as God, and we must honor the Son in the same way. The Son of God is not honored when His deity is denied.
Witnesses to His deity are many. Peter referred to Jesus Christ as God (2 Pet. 1:1). [The Greek construction of 2 Peter 1:1 (the Granville Sharp Rule) demands that we understand the term "God" to be referring not to God the Father, but to "our Saviour Jesus Christ." This same construction is found in Titus 2:13, where "the great God" is none other than Jesus Christ.] The Apostle Paul declared his deity in several places (Tit. 2:13; Phil. 2:6; Rom. 9:5). Isaiah identified the Messiah as God (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6). Thomas worshipped the risen Lord addressing Him by these words, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28), and Jesus did not rebuke him for this. What he said was true.
Because Jesus Christ is God, He is all that God is. He fully possesses all the attributes of deity. He is holy (Luke 1:35), He is righteous (1 John 2:1), He is eternal (Micah 5:2), He is unchangeable (Heb. 13:8), He is omnipotent (Rev. 1:8 with 22:12-13), He is omnipresent (Matt. 28:20) and He is omniscient (John 2:24-25; 6:64; 16:30). Every attribute that belongs to the Father belongs to the Son: "All things that the Father hath are mine" (John 16:15).
Because Jesus Christ is God, He can perform works which only God can do. Only God is the Creator, and the Bible declares that it was by the Son that all things were created (John 1:3; Col. 1:16). Only God can forgive sins, and Jesus Christ did just that (Mark 2:5-7). Only God answers prayer, and the Lord Jesus said, "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it" (John 14:14). Only God will sit on the final throne of judgment, and the Scriptures identify Jesus Christ as the final Judge of all men (John 5:22,27).
The cults commonly deny the full deity of Jesus Christ. Liberal theologians do the same. Unbelieving hearts refuse to face up to who He really is.
The term "God" (Hebrew-"Elohim") may be applied to the true God (Gen. 1:1) and also to false gods (Exodus 20:3). The sacred name "Jehovah" (written with all capital letters as LORD or GOD in the Old Testament) is a name that is applicable to none but Deity. It is derived from the verb "to be," and it communicates the fact that Jehovah is the One who was, who is and who ever shall be (compare Rev. 1:8). The Lord Himself is very jealous over this Name and all that it stands for as seen in the following two passages: 1) "That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth" (Psalm 83:18); 2) "I am the LORD: that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another" (Isaiah 42:8). No greater proof of deity could be presented concerning Christ than that He should rightfully be called JEHOVAH.
DOES THE BIBLE SOMETIMES APPLY THE TERM JEHOVAH TO JESUS CHRIST?
Consider the following:
1) In Zechariah chapter 12, JEHOVAH is the One who is speaking (verses 1,4). In verse 10 Jehovah says, "they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced." This can refer to no one else except Christ (see John 19:37 and Rev. 1:7).
2) JEHOVAH of the Old Testament declares Himself to be the First and the Last (Isaiah 44:6). In the New Testament Jesus Christ is said to be "the first and the last" (Rev. 1:8,11,17,18; 22:12-13).
3) In Isaiah 6:5 the prophet said, "for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD (JEHOVAH) of hosts." Isaiah saw JEHOVAH! The Apostle John referred to this same event in John 12:41, and he made it very clear that the Person whom Isaiah saw was actually Jesus Christ: "These things said Isaiah, when he saw His glory and spake of Him (referring in the context to Christ)."
4) In Psalm 23:1 David declared that JEHOVAH was the Great Shepherd of the sheep. The New Testament identifies Jesus Christ as the great Shepherd of the sheep (Heb. 13:20; John 10:11,14).
5) The Old Testament repeatedly refers to JEHOVAH as Israel's Rock (Deut. 32:3,4,18; Psalm 18:2; 62:1-2; etc.). The New Testament clearly identifies this Rock as Christ (1 Cor. 10:4).
6) In Isaiah 43:10-11 and 45:21 JEHOVAH declares Himself to be the only Saviour. There is no other Saviour apart from Him! In the New Testament Peter declares that Jesus is the only Saviour (Acts 4:12). In Isaiah 45:21-22 JEHOVAH says, "Look unto Me and be ye saved...there is none else." In John 3:14-16 we are told to look unto the crucified One to be saved.
7) In Isaiah 45:21-23 JEHOVAH says, "that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." This passage in Isaiah is applied to Christ in Philippians 2:9-11, the One before whom all shall someday bow. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:11). [The word "Lord" in Philippians 2:11 is the Greek word "kurios" which is consistently used in the Septuagint (ancient Greek version of the Old Testament) in translating the Hebrew word "Jehovah."]
8) In Isaiah 24:23 and Zephaniah 3:15-17 we learn that JEHOVAH Himself will reign in Jerusalem during the coming kingdom age and will be in the midst of His people. The New Testament clearly identifies this future, millennial King as Jesus Christ (Rev. 19:11-16; 20:4,6).
9) In Isaiah 40:3 we learn that John the Baptist was to prepare the way for the coming of JEHOVAH. In Mark 1:1-3 the same passage is applied to Christ (John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ).
10) In Isaiah 8:13-14 the prophecy states that JEHOVAH will be "for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence." In 1 Peter 2:7-8 these verses in Isaiah are applied to Jesus Christ.
11) In Psalm 34:8 we are invited to "taste and see that JEHOVAH is good." This passage is clearly alluded to in 1 Peter 2:3 which refers to the goodness and graciousness of Jesus Christ ("If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious").
12) The Old Testament promises salvation and deliverance to those who call on the name of JEHOVAH (Joel 2:32 and see Acts 2:21). In the New Testament this same passage is used to present a promise of salvation for all those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:13; Acts 2:21,36).
The above evidence shows beyond doubt that the term JEHOVAH may rightfully be applied to Jesus Christ. [Jehovah's Witnesses deny the deity of Christ and teach that Jesus is a mighty angelic creature who was created by Jehovah God. They strongly maintain that the divine name JEHOVAH is never used of Christ] Since this is a term that is applicable only to Deity, and since it is a term that can rightfully be applied to Jesus Christ, then we must conclude that the Lord Jesus is Jehovah God! He is the Son of God (Matt. 16:16), and yes, He is God the Son (1 John 5:20; Heb. 1:8). To Him be glory and honor, both now and forevermore.
For a more detailed defense of the doctrine of the deity of Christ, see The Deity of Christ