The Deity of Christ
Our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ
"Looking for the blessed hope and
of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ"
What kind of man is
His followers had seen Him change water into
wine. He had healed lepers. With a word He had caused the lame to
walk, the deaf to hear and the blind to see. They had even seen Him
bring the dead back to life. They had left everything, their homes
and their jobs, to follow Him because they knew He was someone
great. Even so, they evidently did not understand who He
really was! Only when they saw His power to calm the wind and the
sea, did the awesome truth begin to force its way into their
"And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea,
so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.
Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, 'Lord, save
us! We are perishing!' But He said to them, 'Why are you fearful,
Oh you of little faith?' Then He arose and rebuked the winds and
the sea. And there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying,
'Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?'"
What kind of man is this Jesus of
Jesus is a man
Jesus was so remarkable that some have questioned
whether He could even be called a man. Yet the Scriptures clearly
teach that Jesus is a man. Many times He is called the Son of
Man.1 He is the Son of David.2 He was
born of a woman (Luke 1:31; 2:21; Galatians 4:4,5). He came in the
flesh3 and anyone who denies this is an
antichrist (1 John 4:2,3;
2 John 7).
Is the humanity of Jesus significant? Yes,
because the validity of His death as an atonement for sins depends
on His being a man (Romans 8:3,4; Hebrews 2:14,15). Christ "had to
be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful
High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for
the sins of the people" (Hebrews 2:17).
After His resurrection, Christ was still a man.
"Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that
they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of
Man had risen from the dead" (Mark 9:9). When Jesus appeared to His
disciples after He rose from the dead, the following occurred: "But
they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a
spirit. And He said to them, 'Why are you troubled? And why do
doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it
is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh
and bones as you see I have'" (Luke 24:37-39).
After His ascension, seated at the right hand of
the Father, He is still a man. "Hereafter the Son of man will sit
on the right hand of the power of God" (Luke 22:69). Stephen, just
before he was stoned to death, said: "I see the heavens opened and
the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" (Acts 7:56). In
1 Timothy 2:5,6 we learn that there is one Mediator between
God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
At His second coming, He will come as the Son of
Man."Jesus said to him, 'It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to
you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right
hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven'" (Matthew
26:64).4 According to Acts 17:30,31 God has
appointed a man to judge the world in righteousness.
Referring to the judgement, Jesus says: "Watch therefore, and pray
always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things
that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke
21:36). And in John 5:26,27 Jesus explains: "For as the Father has
life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,
and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is
the Son of Man."
Yes, Jesus is a man. Yet, He is much more than
just a man.
Christ is eternal
The Scriptures teach that Christ became a
man, that He became flesh. "And the Word became flesh and
dwelt among us" (John 1:14).5 This indicates that He existed
before He was a man.
He existed as the Word of God in the beginning.
"In the beginning was the word" (John 1:1). It does not say the
Word came into being in the beginning, but that the word
was in the beginning. The Word already existed. "That
which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have
seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have
handled, concerning the Word of life -- the life was
manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you
that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to
us" (1 John 1:1,2). "I write to you, fathers, because you have
known Him who is from the beginning" (1 John 2:13). God's Word
existed in the beginning.
In Isaiah 9:6 the Messiah is called "Everlasting
Father" (as the source of life, see Isaiah 53:10; Hebrews
In Micah 5:2 we read of the Messiah: "whose
goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting6." Paul
says of Christ in Colossians 1:17, "He is before all things." And
in Hebrews 13:8 we read: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday,
today, and forever."
Jesus says of Himself in Revelation 1:17, "I am
the First and the Last," and in Revelation 22:13 He says, "I am the
Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the
Last." Jesus explained to the unbelieving Jews: "Before Abraham
was, I AM" (John 8:58).
Christ is eternal.
Christ created all
Through the Word, all things were made. "He was
in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and
without Him nothing was made that was made" (John 1:2,3). There
were no exceptions! "He is the image of the invisible God, the
firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created
that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All
things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all
things, and in Him all things consist" (Colossians
Christ Himself is not a created being. We have
already learned that He is eternal, from everlasting, the First and
the Last. Also, since all things were created through and
for Him, He Himself cannot be a created being.
Certain arguments are advanced, however, by some
who claim that Christ is a creature.
In Colossians 1:15, the passage we have just
read, Christ is called "the firstborn of all creation." Some claim
this means that He was the first thing created. The word
'firstborn' can be used figuratively, however, to mean 'first in
rank'.7 This has its background in the custom
in Biblical times that the firstborn son was highest in rank after
his father. In Hebrews 12:23, for example, all Christians are
called 'firstborn ones.' This indicates that they belong to God
because in the Old Testament all the firstborn were sanctified to
the Lord.8 Christ being the 'firstborn' of all
creation refers to His authority over all creation because of His
relationship with the Father.
Sometimes Revelation 3:14 is quoted, where Jesus
calls Himself "the Beginning of the creation of God." The Greek
word for 'beginning,' however, can also mean 'origin' or 'ruler'.
Christ is indeed the Origin and Ruler of God's
A passage that is sometimes used (out of context)
in attempts to degrade Christ to a creature, is Proverbs 8:22, "The
LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of
old." Some claim that 'possessed' should be translated 'created'
and they then misapply the passage to Christ. In verse one,
however, we learn that this chapter is referring to 'wisdom'
personified. Proverbs eight is a beautiful poem emphasizing the
importance of wisdom. Some commentators suggest that 'wisdom' here
is a representation of the Messiah, who is called 'the wisdom of
God' in the New Testament.9 But in any case I would ask: Was there
ever a time when God was without His wisdom?
Christ is Creator, not creature. He was in
the beginning. He is 'I AM' and all things were created through
Christ is the Son of
The confession of faith of the first Christians
was: "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Matthew
16:16; Acts 8:37).
Many times in Scripture, Jesus is called the Son
of God.10 He is also called the "only begotten"
Son of God (John 1:14,18; 3:16). This expression indicates that no
one else is 'Son of God' in the same sense that He is. At His
baptism the Father declared to Him: "You are My beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased" (Mark 1:11). When He was transfigured, the
Father declared to His disciples: "This is My beloved Son. Hear
Him!" (Mark 9:7).
For the first Christians, their confession that
Jesus was the Son of God was a recognition of His deity. In Matthew
14:33, after Jesus had once again calmed the wind, we read: "Then
those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him saying, 'Truly
You are the Son of God.'" When Jesus called God His Father, He made
himself equal with God according to John 5:18.
The enemies of Christ also understood this. They
told Pilate: "We have a law, and according to our law He ought to
die, because He made Himself the Son of God." (See also Luke
Certain sectarians, however, try to reach the
opposite conclusion from the same evidence. They say: Since
Christ is the son of God, He cannot be God. But this
argument is just as invalid as it would be invalid to say: Since
Christ is the son of man, He cannot be a
Of course when we read that Jesus is the Son of
God, the word 'God' is being used with the specific meaning of "God
the Father" (1 Peter 1:2). But the word 'God' is also used in
such a way as to refer to the Father (John 6:27) and the Son (John
20:28) and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3,4).
Just as surely as the description "Son of Man"
denotes the humanity of Christ, the description "Son of God"
denotes His deity.
Christ is God
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1).
We know that 'the Word' here refers to Christ
from what is stated in verse 14: "And the Word became flesh and
dwelt among us." It does not say the Word came into
being but that the Word was.
From the statement, "the Word was with God," some
try to argue that Christ could not be God, since He was
with God. But the word 'God' here is used in the sense of
"God the Father." And the Son was certainly with the Father in the
beginning. The eternal Father has an eternal Son.
"And the Word was God." How can words be plainer?
It would be difficult to state this truth more forcefully or
Yet some do not wish to accept it. They claim
that this verse should be translated and the Word was a god.
They point out that there is no definite article with the word
'God' in Greek and they claim that this indicates it should be
translated a god.
The above argument reveals a lack of
understanding of Greek. The definite article is omitted with 'God'
in this passage to indicate that 'The Word' is the subject of the
sentence. In Greek the order of the words in a copulative sentence
does not indicate which word is the subject as it does in
English.11 In a copulative sentence in Greek,
the subject has a definite article and the object has none.12
Thus, the fact that the word 'God' in this passage does not have an
article in Greek indicates nothing more than that 'The Word' is the
subject of the sentence rather than 'God'.
When Thomas saw the risen Lord, he knew who Jesus
was: "Then He said to Thomas, 'Reach your finger here, and look at
My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not
be unbelieving, but believing.' And Thomas answered and said to
Him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Thomas because you
have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not
seen and yet have believed'" (John 20:27-29).
When Jesus told Thomas to believe, his
answer was: "My Lord and my God!" That was Thomas'
confession of faith! And Jesus pronounced a blessing on those who
would have a like faith.
This text is really a problem for those who deny
that Christ is God. The arguments I have heard in attempts to get
around the truth of this passage are so ridiculous that I am almost
embarrassed to mention them. But since you might hear them as well,
I will discuss them anyway.
One man told me that Thomas spoke these words
to the Father, not to Jesus. I pointed out to him that the
Bible specifically says that Thomas spoke these words ' to
Another man told me that Thomas did say "My Lord"
to Jesus, but that he then turned his eyes heavenward and said "my
God" to the Father! I pointed out to him, however, that according
to the Bible, the whole statement: "My Lord and my God" was
directed 'to Him' (Christ).
Someone else once tried to tell me that Thomas
was so astonished at seeing the risen Lord, that he spoke these
words purely as an exclamation of surprise! I pointed out to him
that to use God's name in such a way would be in violation of the
third commandment: "You shall not take the name of the LORD your
God in vain." I asked him if he really thought Thomas would profane
God's name in the presence of the risen Christ? Evidently some can
more easily believe that Thomas would blaspheme God at seeing the
risen Lord, than believe what Thomas believed: That Jesus is
our Lord and God.
Another man explained to me that Thomas in his
astonishment did address these words to Christ, but that what
Thomas said was not true. I pointed out that Thomas said these
words in reply after Jesus told him to believe. And I then asked
him why Jesus, instead of correcting Thomas, pronounced a blessing
on all who would have the same faith!
When the disciples saw that Jesus had authority
over the winds and the sea, they began to wonder who He really was.
After His resurrection, they knew. And Thomas put it into words,
when the Lord told him not to doubt, but to believe: "My Lord and
In Isaiah 9:6 the Messiah is called: "Mighty
We as Christians should be "looking for the
blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior
Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
To the Son it is said in Hebrews 1:8, "Your
throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is
the scepter of your Kingdom."
And Peter addresses his second letter: "To those
who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness
of our God and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter
Christ is Jehovah
Jehovah (probably more correctly, "Jaweh") is a
Hebrew name for God which means "The Ever-Existing One." The word
means "I WAS, I AM and I SHALL BE."
An explanation of the origin of the Name is found
in Exodus 3:13,14. "Then Moses said to God, 'Indeed, when I come to
the children of Israel and say to them, "The God of your fathers
has sent me to you" and they say to me, "What is His name?" what
shall I say to them?' And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM.' And
He said, 'Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, "I AM has
sent me to you."'"
The inspired writers of the New Testament, when
quoting Old Testament passages, follow the practice of the
Septuagint translators and always translate the Hebrew name 'Jaweh'
(Jehovah) with the Greek words for 'Lord' or for 'God'.13
This means that the actual name 'Jaweh' or 'Jehovah' does not occur
at all in the New Testament. 'Lord' and 'God' are inspired
translations of 'Jaweh'.
Certain people teach that 'Jaweh' (or 'Jehovah')
refers solely to God the Father and not to Christ.
The inspired writers of the New Testament,
however, in their use of Old Testament passages, apply the Holy
Name, Jaweh, the Ever-Existing One, to the Son as well as to the
In Isaiah 40:3 we find a prophesy of the work of
John the Baptizer: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
'Prepare the way of the LORD [Jaweh]; make straight in the desert a
highway for our God." According to Mark 1:1-4, the LORD for whom
John was to prepare the way, is Christ.
In Isaiah 8:13,14 we read that "the LORD [Jaweh]
of Hosts" (13) will be "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense
to both the houses of Israel." According to Peter, this stone of
stumbling is Christ (1 Peter 2:7,8).
In Psalm 102:12-27 we read that the LORD (Jaweh)
will endure forever (12) although the earth and the heavens will
perish (25,26). In Hebrews 1:10-12 this passage is quoted in
reference to Christ.
In Isaiah 44:6 we read this exalted proclamation:
"Thus says the LORD [Jaweh], the King of Israel, and his Redeemer,
the LORD [Jaweh] of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last;
besides Me there is no God." In Revelation 1:17 Jesus says: "I am
the First and the Last."
In Psalm 24:10 we read an important question, and
the answer: "Who is this King of glory? The LORD [Jaweh] of hosts,
He is the King of glory." In 1 Corinthians 2:8 and in James
2:1 Christ is called "the Lord of glory."
In a vision Isaiah saw "the King, the LORD
[Jaweh] of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5). In reference to this passage, John
says in John 12:41 that Isaiah saw the glory of
In Joel 2:32, after the passage where God
promised to pour out His Spirit on all flesh, the promise is also
made "that whoever calls on the name of the LORD [Jaweh] shall be
saved." In Romans 10:8-13 this passage is quoted and applied to
Not only the Father, but also the Son, is Jaweh
(the Ever-Existing One). In the light of this we understand why
Jesus said to the Jews: "Most assuredly, I say to you, before
Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58). The Jews understood what He meant
as well, and tried to kill Him. Both the Father and the Son are 'I
Christ is Savior
In Isaiah 43:11 we read: "I, even I, am the LORD
[Jaweh], and besides Me there is no savior."
In the New Testament we learn much about our
Savior. We read that the Father is our Savior.14 We also read
that Christ is our Savior.15 In Titus 3:4-7 both of these
truths are stated in one passage: "But when the kindness and the
love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He
saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the
Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus
Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we
should become heirs according to the hope of eternal
How can both the Father and the Son be Savior
when we read in Isaiah 43:11, "I, even I, am the LORD [Jaweh], and
besides Me there is no savior." This is true because, as we already
have learned, both Christ and the Father are "I AM". And there is
no other Savior than He.
Christ is called "our Lord and Savior"
(2 Peter 1:11; 2:20; 3:2,18) and "our God and Savior" (Titus
2:13; 2 Peter 1:1). Christ is the Savior of the world
(John 4:42) and there is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:10-12).
Besides the LORD [Jaweh] there is no Savior (Isaiah 43:11). This
can be true because both the Father and the Son are "I
The Son is Equal with the
By this we do not mean that the Son
is the Father, but that the Son is God even as the Father is
In John 5:18 we read the following explanation by
John: "Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because
He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His
Father, making Himself equal with God."
"Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father,
and it is sufficient for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with
you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen
Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, "Show us the Father"?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?'"
In John 10:30 Jesus says: "I and the Father are
one." Before He became flesh, Christ was "in the form of God" and
was "equal with God" (Philippians 2:5,6). In Colossians 1:15 it is
stated that "He is the image of the invisible God" which is further
explained in verse 19: "For in Him the Whole Fulness was pleased to
dwell" (RD). In Hebrews 1:3 Christ is described as the radiation of
God's glory and the exact image of His being.
These passages make abundantly clear that the Son
is equal with the Father. Some object to this, however, by
referring to John 14:28 where Jesus says: "My Father is greater
than I." How the Father was greater than Jesus will be explained
under the next point.
Christ emptied Himself to become a
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ
Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery
to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the
form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being
found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became
obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross"
The same idea is expressed in 2 Corinthians
8:9. "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though
He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through
His poverty might become rich."
An Israelite once told me that he could not
possibly believe that a man could be God. And, at first glance this
does seem impossible. But I asked him in reply: "But do you believe
that it would be impossible for God to become a
And, although it is difficult for us to
comprehend such a truth, the testimony of the Scriptures, both of
the Old and New Testaments, and the testimony of those who knew
Jesus, indicates that this is exactly what God has done that we
might be saved.
But, of course, Christ had to deprive
Himself in order to take "the form of a servant" and to be "born in
the likeness of men."
Many years ago I read in a newspaper that Prince
Don Carlos of Spain disguised himself and under an assumed name
worked for a time in a coal mine. He wanted to know what it was
like to work in a mine and he wanted to know how miners think and
feel. But as "Don Carlos" it would have been impossible for him to
do this. First he had to empty himself, deprive himself of his
royal privileges. What Christ did was much greater, He stepped from
heaven down to earth.
In this Biblical truth is found an explanation
for numerous texts which are sometimes used in attempts to deny
that Christ is God: "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28);
"But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of
heaven, but My Father only" (Matthew 24:36); "My God, My God, why
have You forsaken Me?" (Mark 15:34); "I am ascending to My Father
and your Father, and to My God and your God" (John
All such statements of Christ are related to His
humanity. Although He was in the form of God, He emptied Himself
and took the form of a servant. As a man He served the Father as an
example for all men to follow.
That Christ deprived Himself does not mean,
however, that He gave up His deity. It means merely that He limited
Himself to human modes and form.
During His time on earth He possessed
characteristics of God. He knew all things. In John 16:30 His
disciples say: "Now we are sure that You know all things, and have
no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that
You came forth from God."16
According to Hebrews 1:3 the universe is upheld
by His word of power.
He has authority to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6;
Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24).
Various passages speak of Christ being exalted.
They are sometimes used out of context in attempts to deny His
deity. But these statements relate to His return to the Father
after His ministry on earth. "And being found in appearance as a
man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death,
even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted
Him and given Him the name which is above every name" (Philippians
2:8,9). After He had humbled Himself, He was exalted. Such texts do
not detract from His deity.
According to John 17:4,5 Christ had glory with
the Father before the world was made: "I have glorified You on the
earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And
now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory
which I had with You before the world was."
We must keep in mind that after the Word became
flesh (John 1:14), during His life on earth and even after His
resurrection the man Jesus of Nazareth had not yet ascended
to the Father. We read this in John 20:17. "Jesus said to her, 'Do
not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go
to My brethren and say to them, "I am ascending to My Father and
your Father, and to My God and your God."'"
At His ascension, however, this man, Jesus
of Nazareth was exalted to the right hand of the Father (Phil.
2:9-11; Acts 2:32-36; 5:30,31).
According to Philippians 2:6,9 Christ emptied
Himself to become a man although He had been in the form of God and
in equality with God. In John 17:5 we read that after His death, He
was returned to His former glory.
But after His ascension something has been added.
He is again in the form of God and on equality with God, but now He
is also man. And as a man He serves as Mediator between God and
man. "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men,
the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be
testified in due time (1 Timothy 2:5,6).
Since Christ voluntarily emptied Himself of His
glory to become a man, it is not valid to use texts related to His
humanity as arguments against His deity.
We must worship
We have already seen that Christ is God. It
follows then that we must worship Him.
"For the Father judges no one, but has committed
all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they
honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the
Father who sent Him" (John 5:22,23). When we fail or refuse to give
the same honor to the Son that we give to the Father, we are also
failing or refusing to honor the Father. They who do not worship
Christ are without God.
The first disciples worshiped
The twelve worshiped Christ. "Then those who were
in the boat came and worshiped Him saying, 'Truly You are the Son
of God'" (Matthew 14:33).
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary worshiped Him
after His resurrection. "And as they went to tell His disciples,
behold, Jesus met them, saying, 'Rejoice!' And they came and held
Him by the feet and worshiped Him" (Matthew 28:9).
The eleven worshiped Him just before His
ascension. "And when they saw Him they worshiped Him; but some
doubted" (Matthew 28:17).
All the angels worship Christ at His coming. "But
when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: 'Let
all the angels of God worship Him'" (Hebrews 1:6).
In the end every creature shall worship
Christ! "Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around
the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of
them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of
thousands, saying with a loud voice: 'Worthy is the Lamb who was
slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and
honor and glory and blessing!' And every creature which is in
heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the
sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: 'Blessing and honor
and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the
Lamb, forever and ever!' Then the four living creatures said,
'Amen!' And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who
lives forever and ever" (Revelation 5:11-14).
Let us join the heavenly host and worship the
Lamb who was slain and Him who sits upon the
Christ is superior to the
In these last days God has spoken to us by His
Son, "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 at the right hand
of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the
angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name
than they" (Hebrews 1:3,4).
By emptying Himself to become a man, Christ
voluntarily assumed a position which was a little lower than the
angels: "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the
angels, for the suffering of death that He, by the grace of God,
might taste death for everyone." (Hebrews 2:9). Then, at His
ascension, He was exalted to His former position, superior to the
We have already learned that we must worship
Christ and that all God's angels must worship Him at His coming.
Since we are clearly told in Colossians 2:18 and Revelation 22:8,9
that we may not worship angels, this proves that Christ is
not Himself an angel. He is above the angels.
According to Colossians 1:15-17 the angels were
created through and for Christ: "He is the image of the invisible
God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were
created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and
invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or
powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is
before all things, and in Him all things consist."
There are some, however, who claim that Christ is
the archangel, Michael. I say claim because this idea is
found nowhere in the Scriptures. We do read about the archangel,
Michael (Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1; Jude 9; Revelation 12:7). But it is
never stated or even implied that Michael is
For at least two reasons, Michael cannot be
Christ must be worshiped. Angels may not be
worshiped. Thus Christ cannot be the angel,
Christ and Michael are mentioned separately in
Daniel 10:4-14 where we read that Daniel saw "a certain man clothed
in linen" (v 5). The description of Christ in Revelation 1:12-16 as
He appeared to John corresponds exactly to the description of this
'man' who appeared to Daniel.
Here are the two descriptions.
"I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a
certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of
Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of
lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like
burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the
voice of a multitude" (Daniel 10:5,6).
"And in the midst of the seven lampstands One
like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and
girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and His hair
were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame
of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace,
and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand
seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His
countenance was like the sun shining in its strength" (Revelation
This "certain man clothed in linen" states in
Daniel 10:13 that the archangel, Michael, had helped him in a
battle with the prince of Persia.
Christ is superior to the angels. Christ "has
gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and
authorities and powers having been made subject to Him"
(1 Peter 3:22).
Discussion of misused
Now we shall discuss several passages that are
often misused in attempts to deny the deity of
In Matthew 20:23 Jesus says to the sons of
Zebedee: "but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to
give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father"
(Matthew 20:23). Some construe this as an indication that Christ
had less authority than the Father. But this passage does not say
that Jesus could not grant this privilege because He had too little
authority, but because James and John were asking for something
which was not for the asking because it had already been determined
in God's providence.
In Mark 10:18 Jesus said to the rich young ruler:
"Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God."
Some claim that Jesus with these words denied that He was God. But
in reality, Jesus does not forbid this man to call Him good. But He
does ask him why he calls Him good, since only God is good.
In John 10:11 Jesus calls Himself the good
Sometimes the question is asked: "How can Jesus
be God since He was raised from the dead by God?" The Scriptures
certainly do teach that Jesus was resurrected by the Father (Acts
2:24,31; 10:40; 17:30,31). And those who make this objection
usually ask further: "If Jesus is God, did He perchance raise
Himself from the dead?" And the Biblical answer to this question
is, "Yes!" Jesus did indeed raise Himself (in union with the
Father) from the dead! Notice what Jesus says in John 10:17,18.
"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I
may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of
Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it
again. This command I have received from My Father." Jesus and the
Father are a union. The Father did raise Christ from the dead and
Christ took His life unto Himself again.
In 1 Corinthians 8:6 we read: "yet for us
there is only one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we
for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things,
and through whom we live." Some claim that since there is only one
God, the Father, Christ cannot possibly be God. This argument is
not logical, however. To be consistent these people would then also
have to maintain that the Father is not the Lord, since the verse
also says there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ! In reality, this
passages proves that Jesus is God with the Father, otherwise He
would not be the only Lord!
In 1 Corinthians 11:3 we read: "the head of
Christ is God." If this passage proves that Christ's nature is
inferior to that of the Father, it also proves that the woman's
nature is inferior to that of the man, because the passage also
says that the head of the woman is her husband. But the Scriptures
teach that man and woman are of one flesh (Genesis 2:23). The man
is the head of the woman because his wife voluntarily subjects
herself to his God-given authority. The Father is the head of
Christ because Christ voluntarily subjects Himself to His Father's
In 1 Corinthians 15:28 we read: "Now when
all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also
be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all
in all." That the Son is in subjection to the Father only indicates
that He does the will of the Father in all things. It does not
indicate that the Son is inferior in nature to the Father. The
Scriptures also teach that the wife is to be in subjection to her
husband, but this does not mean that her nature is inferior to that
of her husband.
The Father, the Son, and the Holy
This study has been centered on the nature of
Christ, not on His relationship with the Father and the Holy
Yet it is appropriate to briefly state what the
Scriptures teach on this.
There is but one God (Deuteronomy 4:35,39; 6:4;
Mark 12:32; 1 Corinthians 8:6).
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all
referred to in the Scriptures as God (John 6:27; 20:28; Acts
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are
described as acting separately in the Scriptures. For example: the
Father gives the Son (John 3:16); the Son returns to the Father
(John 14:12); the Father sends the Holy Spirit (John 14:26); the
Son sends the Holy Spirit (John 16:7); the Spirit intercedes with
the Father (Romans 8:26,27). The Holy Spirit speaks (1 Timothy
4:1), He has a mind (Romans 8:27) and a will (1 Corinthians
12:11). The Holy Spirit refers to Himself as "I" (Acts
Although they are referred to as acting
separately, they are also described as one: God is Spirit (John
4:24); the Lord (referring to Christ) is the Spirit
(2 Corinthians 3:14-17); the Son and the Father are one (John
10:30). The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are referred to in
unison. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with
you all. Amen" (2 Corinthians 13:14).
What kind of man is this? Jesus is a man. Christ
is eternal. Christ created all things. Christ is the Son of God.
Christ is God. Christ is Jehovah. Christ is Savior. The Son is
equal with the Father. Christ emptied Himself to become a man. We
must worship Christ. Christ is superior to the angels. Although
they are distinctive, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are
1 The Son of Man: Matthew 8:20; 16:27; 20:28; 26:2,64; Mark 2:28; 9:9,12; 10:33,45; 14:21,61; Luke 5:24; 17:22,24; 18:31; 19:10; 21:36; 22:48,69; John 5:27; 12:34; 13:31; Acts 7:56.
2 The Son of David: Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Matthew 20:30,31; 21:9; 22:41-45; John 7:42; Acts 2:30,31; 13:22,23; Romans 1:3; Revelation 22:16.
3 He came in the flesh: Luke 24:39; John 1:14; Romans 8:3,4; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14,15; 10:5; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 7.
4 See also: Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; Luke 17:24.
5 See also: Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 2:14-17.
6 In Hebrew this is "from the days of eternity." Compare this with the expression "the Ancient of Days" referring to Jehovah in Daniel 7:9,13,22.
7 See Kittel and Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Volume VI, Page 879.
8 Exodus 22:28f; 34:10f; Numbers 18:15f; Deuteronomy 15:19f.
9 Luke 11:49; 1 Corinthians 1:24.
10 The Son of God: Psalm 2:7 (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22; Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5); Psalm 89:27,28; Matthew 2:15; 3:17 (Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22); Matthew 4:3,6 (Luke 4:3,9); Matthew 8:29; 11:27 (Luke 10:22); Matthew 14:33; 16:16; 17:5 (Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35; 2 Peter 1:17); Matthew 21:37 (Luke 20:13); Matthew 26:63 (Mark 14:61,62; Luke 22:29); Matthew 27:40,43; 27:54 (Mark 15:39); Mark 3:11; 5:7 (Luke 8:28); Luke 1:32,35; 4:41; 22:70; John 1:34,50; 3:16-18 (John 1:14-18; 1 John 4:9); John 3:34-36; 5:18-23, 26, 27, 30, 32, 36, 37; 6:69; 10:30,36; 11:4,27; 14:7,9,28; 19:7; 20:31; Acts 3:13; 8:37; 9:20; 13:33; Romans 1:3,4,9; 5:10; 8:3,29,32; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 15:24,27,28; 2 Corinthians 1:19; Galatians 1:16; 2:20; 4:4,6; Ephesians 1:3; 3:14; 4:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Hebrews 1:1-5; 4:14; 5:5,8; 6:6; 7:3; 10:29; 1 John 1:3,7; 2:22-24; 3:8,23; 4:9,10,14,15; 5:5, 9-13, 20; 2 John 3; Revelation 2:18.
11 Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, Hodder & Stoughton, N.Y. 1914, 3rd edition, Page 417.
12 Robertson, Page 767.
13 For examples of this see: Matthew 3:3; 4:4; 27:10; Acts 2:40; Romans 10:13.
14 The Father is our Savior: 1 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:3; 3:4; Jude 25.
15 Christ is our Savior: Luke 2:11; John 4:42; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 1:4; 3:6; Revelation 7:10.
16 See also Matthew 9:4; 11:27; John 2:24,25; 21:17; Colossians 2:1-3.
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.