THE DEITY OF CHRIST
Names are applied to Christ which can be applied properly only to One Who is God.
This study is adapted from Dr. Alva McClains notes, revised by Dr. John Whitcomb and Ivan French, and used by permission of Grace Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, Indiana. This is one of the finest studies ever produced on the deity of Christ, and every student of the Scriptures should master this material.
A. He is called GOD.
"...and the Word was God" (John 1:1).
Note: Jehovah's Witnesses are forced to
translate John 1:1 as "The Word was a god." For detailed information
as to why this is a terribly misleading and poor translation, see the
following documents: Dr.
Mantey's comments on John 1:1 and
The Significance of the Greek Article.
"And Thomas answered and said unto Him, "My Lord
and my God" (John 20:28).
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious
appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
"Christ...who is over all, God blessed for
ever" (Romans 9:5). Note: Many modern translations try to get
around this clear statement by using a clever trick of re-punctuation. For a
detailed study showing why Romans 9:5 declares that Jesus Christ is God,
"But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is
for ever and ever" (Hebrews 1:8).
"And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath
given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is
true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life" (1 John
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given...and his name shall be called...The mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6).
B. He is called "the SON OF GOD."
Note: In the days of Christ the title "Son of God" was understood to mean "equality with God," that is, "sameness of nature." To claim to be the Son of God was a full claim to deity. The following texts make this abundantly clear: John 5:17-18; John 10:33,36; John 19:7. For a detailed study showing that Christ is the Eternal Son of God, see the book, The Eternal Sonship of Christ, by George Zeller and Renald Showers (available from The Middletown Bible Church).
C. He is called "The Lord" (Greek: kurios) .
See Luke 2:11; John 13:13; Romans 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:3; Philippians 2:10 etc.
Note: The common version of our Lord's day was the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) which used the Greek "kurios" to translate the sacred name "JEHOVAH" which is written as "LORD" or "GOD" in our English (KJV) Old Testament. Isaiah 45:5-6 shows that Jehovah denotes the only true Deity.
D. He is called "the LORD OF GLORY."
Compare 1 Corinthians 2:8 with Psalm 24:8-10.
E. He is called "the HOLY ONE."
Compare Acts 3:14 with Hosea 11:9 and Isaiah 48:17.
F. He is called "the FIRST AND THE LAST."
Compare Revelation 1:17-18; 2:8 with Isaiah 44:6.
G. He is called "the ALPHA and OMEGA."
Compare Revelation 22:13,16 with Revelation 1:8.
H. He is called the Great "I AM."
Compare John 8:58; 18:6 with Exodus 3:14.
CONCLUSION THE NAMES
These names were applied to Christ by men who were Jews, who
knew the Old Testament and who therefore were fully aware of the real import of such
names. They fully realized what these names implied.
Furthermore, these Jews were intensely monotheistic.
The central affirmation of their faith was, "Hear O Israel, The Lord thy God is ONE
LORD" (Deuteronomy 6:4). They believed that there was an infinite chasm between
God and man. Yet these men applied these names to Jesus Christ.
Still further, Christ Himself was a Jew who believed in One God, and that this One God was immeasurably above man. He knew, as no one else ever knew, the tremendous meaning of these names we have examined. Yet He not only permitted men to address Him as such without protest, but actually encouraged them and at times applied these names to Himself (John 20:28-29 and John 13:13).
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