The doctrine that Jesus Christ is God like other doctrines of the Christian faith has been contested and debated through the centuries. It is wise to show from the scriptures that it’s not only accurate but worthy of full acceptance. God took it upon Himself right from the book of Genesis to make it so obvious such that, it doesn’t need debating.
In Gen 1:26, we read, “let us make man …”– God brought about creation by His Word through His PowerJohn 1:3, Isa 45:18. He set-out in Genesis to give man the truth that there will come a time His Word will be made manifest to us John1:1, 14 and 10. We should not look down on Him (His Word) because it is for the sake of our sin and sins that He humbled himself Phil 2:8, Matt 1:23, John 3:16. Also, He made it clear that His Power will come to reside in us— and we should not grieve Him (Wonderful counselor) Eph 4:30, John 16:13. So, let us humble ourselves like God has done in coming to us as Immanuel and as the mighty rushing wind Acts 2:2 and believe in Jesus, the Christ as the Son of the living God that we might be redeemed.
The truth that Christ Jesus is the almighty God is one of the most obvious doctrines of the scripture though it’s one of the most difficult teachings of the bible which have hardly settled in the hearts of many who profess Christianity Isa 9:6.
In Eph 2:20, Paul the Apostle establishes a certain truth that guides every matter of doctrine for the church. In view of that, I have quoted John the Apostle and Prophet Isaiah in order to firmly affirm this big truth that Jesus Christ was God before He came to the earth and remained as God while on earth and still God after His resurrection.
In John 1:1 and 14, John the Apostle accentuated what Prophet Isaiah prophesied Isa 9:6, ” to us a child is born, to us a Son is given” we notice that this same son that is given to us, is the same child that is born to us. Isaiah proceeded to tell us that the government (rule) shall be upon His shoulder (power). Then, he unravels the mystery of who Jesus really is by listing His names to us.
Close look at Isaiah 9:6
For to us a Child is born: A Child is a Seed which is the Word. Mary was told, you shall conceive (receive a Seed) and give birth to It as a Son.
A Son is given to us: Meaning the Son will be sacrificed for us (mankind).
The government will rest on His shoulder: The rule of the kingdom He establishes through His sacrifice will be by His Power.
And He will be called: The phrase “will be or shall be”, is indicative of the fact that we (man) will come to know Him progressively (not necessarily sequentially) by these names.
His Names:- *Wonderful Counselor: His resurrection name which was manifested on the day of Pentecost.
*Mighty God: Meaning Lord of lords or hosts Psalm 50:1, 89:8, Jer 32:18
*Everlasting Father: To understand this name properly, we need to understand that the word father is the name of God. Everlasting or eternal is added to distinguish Him from man who He has given the privilege to bear the same name of responsibility with Him as a reminder to act lovingly like Him Isa 63:16, 2 Thess 2:16
*Prince of Peace: Peter the Apostle tell us in Acts 10:36, that the Word sent to us, that is Jesus, is the one who alone brings peace through the preaching of the word by which, all can get peace or reconciliation because He is the Lord of all (John 14:27 NLT, Rom 14:17).
The doctrine about trinity (one God in three persons 1x1x1=1) does not need any flip flopping. To answer the question if Jesus Christ is God emphatically beyond any shadow of doubt, one needs a personal revelation of Jesus Christ from God.
Jesus’ comment on Peter’s reply to His question about Who He was in Matt 16:13-17 is the key to a blessed and faithful understanding of who Christ really is. As is customarily with Jesus, He asked the disciples a general question and as they gave Him answers of what the people thought of Him, He switched His attention on what they themselves (His disciples) thought of who He was. What you and I believe about who Christ is, is more important than speculation of what others believe.
The importance of His question and its answer reveals to us the true identity of Jesus Christ in a way that is astonishing.
The people’s Perceptive
The people’s perception of Jesus is remarkable and shows the mysterious personality of Christ. The three people they associated Him with are Prophets (John the Baptist, Elijah and Jeremiah). Historical antecedents (also from the Torah) armed the people with the understanding that God gives them the prophets to save the people from destruction and the wrath of God and more importantly, to show them God’s way. The words save associated with the work of the Prophets always dealt with salvation from their physical problems even when it was caused by spiritual factors. Given this truth, their perception of Jesus was not wrong and it was proved by blessings (healing, provision of bread and fish etc) which they and their forefathers were used to. Remember manna in Exodus 16, Num 21:8-9, Mark 6:40-42 Matt 4:24. But, the revelation they had of Jesus was grossly limited and as such it did not bring about salvation (regeneration) to their souls.
The sense in which they used the word “save” in Luke 23:35, is what they were used to seeing with their Prophets– powerful people who called fire from heaven and saved themselves and others from problems. The fact that they did not have the revelation of Him as the Son of God made them fail to see that Christ is The Prophet not one of the prophets . As a result, they were blinded and could not understand and receive the type of “save-salvation” He came to give. In their minds, the God of Israel is Holy and does not have a wife and consequently, can’t have a Son. Though the Torah they read was full of prophecies of God’s coming Son Jer 23:5-6, Isaiah 7:14, unlike Simeon Luke 2:25-35, they did not understand it just like the Ethiopian eunuch Acts 8:30-31. They were not bothered about the redemption of their souls— their main concern as many of us today is the physical salvation from earthly troubles which seemed far more important than the rebirth of their spirit and renewal of their minds Rom 12:1-2.
In the light of these overly earthly concerns, Jesus’ posed another question which applies to us today than ever, “For what can a man give in return for his soul?” Mark 8:36-37. The answer to this important question is this, the soul! We must give Him our soul to save our soul and this is what it means to accept or believe in Jesus. He gave His life and demands no less from us!
Jesus by claiming to be the Son of God and inviting man to believe or accept Him is invariably asking to be worshipped and worship, demands the giving of one’s heart, soul and body. This has a huge implication given that only God can demand our lives (worship) since he alone created life and gave us life! Nothing else can demand our worship and stand justified— not the devil, angles or man because only God should be worshipped! Only Him— singular! Isa 45:22.
Peter’s answer “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” solved the puzzle of who Jesus is, with this answer, Jesus pronounced Peter as blessed (consecrated). Peter’s answer and consecration (being set apart) did not come about because of his cleverness and much study of the Torah, zeal or devotion rather, it was God’s sovereign act of revealing to him who Jesus really was. This is interesting–the revelation of Jesus comes from God and it sets people’s heart apart for God John 6:65, 3:16. Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven”.
Jesus’ reply to Peter’s answer to His question is pivotal to dealing with all conversations about who Jesus really is— trying to conceive anyone by philosophizing without cognizance to, “but my father who is in heaven” part of Jesus’ reply to Peter will be a waste of time and giving room for unprofitable disputations which leads to quarrel and ungodliness.
Before the birth of Jesus, an angle of God announced to Mary, “you shall bear a Son and His name shall be called Jesus— which Isaiah revealed as Immanuel (meaning God with us) and He shall save His people from their sins” Matt 1:21-23. The word “us and His people” refers not just to Israel as a nation but mankind Luke 2:28-32. God’s salvation, in the sense of redemption (the saving of the soul) is not done by any other means but only by Himself Ps 98:1. Therefore, the name or person by whom God saves the soul of man is God Acts 4:11-12. God ordained preachers know they can’t give salvation to anyone— God does the saving through the preacher’s planting or watering of His Holy word 1 Cor 3:7.
Peter’s understanding of Jesus as the Christ, the son of the living God is different from the understanding many of us have today. Like Philip, we may still be asking,” Show us the father” but Jesus’ answer will be no different to the one He gave to Philip John 14:8-9.
God only reveals Jesus as God to the people who accept Jesus as His Son. The understanding of the mystery of Jesus Christ as God is not a prerequisite for salvation because receiving Him as God’s Son is accepting Him as the one by whom all things were created. All who truly are gifted with salvation in Christ Jesus are also gifted with the revelation that He is God. Like Philip, we’ll all eventually comprehend it!
The early church did not struggle with this truth. Thomas called out to Jesus after His resurrection, “my Lord and my God” while the church gathered and neither Jesus nor the Apostles rebuked or corrected Him because they understood he was right in his theology. Also, as they were deeply hated and severely persecuted by their own people, they came to the understanding that; their acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God is equivalent to saying He is God even though it was considered blasphemy in their religion John 5:18, Matt 26:63-65. Many professing Christians today do not know this truth but, the Israelites did and even the Muslims know this truth which is the reason they do not want to believe He is the Son of God John 5:18.
So, proving that Jesus is the Christ tantamount to proving He is God. To believe in God is to believe in One God who is the Saviour of all men. To ever believe in one God is to believe in Christ Jesus John 6:44 because God draws man only to Himself.
Matt 17:1-8, is crucial in proving that Jesus is the Son of God! This same revelation was given to John the Baptist at river Jordan at Jesus’ Baptism to fulfill all righteousness. God consistently bore witness to Jesus as His Son and calls on all people, race and religion to believe in Him as His Son John 20:31, 1 John 3:23 . Anyone who does believe is automatically accepting Him as God because the Son of God is God. The Son of God is the Gospel which is, the power of God and the Power of God, is the Holy Spirit Rom 1:16, Luke 24:49.
The scripture tells us that God is bringing many sons to glory by the means of His Power and that Jesus Christ is the first Son among many brethren. Man was made by God to be god over His earth. We are aware that satan is still usurping but this will last only but for a short time from God’s perspective! Ps 90:4, 2 Pet 3:8. The first resurrected Son of God has overthrown him Rev 12:10. He is now God over him in this present age or world and for all ages to come as it was in the beginning. The interesting news is that the First Son among many brethren is bringing His bride (the church) to proclaim and display the truth that He has restored man (the sons of God) to the original intent of God to whom be praise, honor and glory for all eternity Eph 3:10. Amen.
We must understand that at the end, the word “first” takes its proper place as God’s title Isa 44:6 and God will be first (Head) among His sons Col 1:18. This is the reason God spilled His blood in order to make us part of Himself (the body of Christ). This gives us an insight why God vehemently calls His children to participate in His divine nature and inherit His kingdom which He has freely made available, but only His sons will inherit it Titus 2:11-14, 2 Peter 1:3-4, Rev 2:17.
The truth that Jesus, the Christ, Son of the living God is God— our God is not negotiable. He is our blessed hope!
Jesus was fully man while He was physically on the earth and the implications are worth considering closely. Being human he was clothed with mortal flesh and subject to weaknesses.
Limited in Knowledge
One of the major weakness humans have is the lack of infinite knowledge. This is a design of God and as such, it is a good thing because everything God has designed has a purpose in His plan for His glory and for the benefit of his creatures. It means that Jesus being fully man did not know everything except as it was revealed to Him by His Father, God. This amplifies Matthew 24:36.
Before His death, though the fullness of the GodHead dwelled in Jesus, His mortality was fully functional– a glorious mystery! So, it’s no surprise He did not know when the risen Christ Jesus would return for His bride in His full glory as God without His humanity. I pray this understanding may help us stop trying to be smarter than Jesus who is the only human that has operated in the full capacity of God as man. Nevertheless, Jesus gave God the glory due Him by accepting to leave the things God had chosen to keep for Himself. He trusted God completely as a faithful God who does all things for His (Jesus’) benefit though limited by His humanity.
Faith is a wonderful gift from God to all humans because He knows the weakness our humanity places on us. This faith helps man to look up to the invisible to see and rely on the Creator- God. Hence, before Jesus’ death and resurrection, He had to look up to God consistently for all His needs and for victory over all difficulties, temptations and trials.
Subject to Temptation
All of humanity are subject to temptations from Satan, his cohorts and from self-will (power of the mind). Jesus was subject to temptation because He had the weakness of not knowing everything. This was the major reason His life was full of prayers and the word of God. He lived by “it is written” which is the same charge God gave to Adam and Eve and remains a standing order to us today till the end of time Matthew 4:4, 10.
Possibility of Falling
The fact that Jesus was consistently tempted and had needs made it an open possibility for Him to fall and fail if He looked away from God. He had emotions and desires which meant He loved people especially those close and in agreement with Him, like Peter and John. This was a very great temptation because He wanted to respect those people and live in good understanding with them but the fact that they could not always understand His good intentions and speech was a problem. For example, He at one time said to Peter “Get behind me, Satan” (Matthew 16:23). While today we know He was not referring to Peter, at that point in time, it would have been a shock to Peter and perhaps to those around him. Such words could have been a source of huge misunderstanding and quarrel.
Window of Repentance
God has given room to all humans to repent of their sin (Adamic nature that rejects God’s way- Jesus). And He calls His children to repent if they fall into sin — that window was also there for Jesus but praise God, He showed us that John was not bluffing when He wrote, “… That you may not sin” (1 John 2:1, Hebrews 4:15)
Option not to Repent
Everyone with the window of opportunity to repent also has the liberty not to repent if they so choose. Praise God Jesus did not need to repent– He set for us an example of perfection which, Paul the Apostle tells us, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13, 2 NIV 2 Corinthians 3:18).
By faith, humanity can touch God, live beyond humanity and participate in God’s divine nature through God’s promises in Christ Jesus the One to whom all things are subject Hebrews 11:6, 2 Peter 1:4, Eph 1:21.
The world has not ended today and will not end today not because God wants to mock mere humans who refuse to humble themselves before His holy word that has been tested in the furnace (mysterious fire) and proved purer than fine gold but because He is desiring to give room for you and I to repent from our wicked ways and kiss His Son.
Kiss the Son of God O people and live! Psalm 2:12.
In another article, we will consider Jesus: Fully God.
What is Sin?
The scripture tells us that sin is the transgression of God’s Law 1 John 3:4 NKJV.
Looking closely at the word sin in the bible, we will discover that God actually places it into two categorizes; namely, Sin described as Fault and Sin described as Iniquity or evil. This runs contrary to what many false teachers are twisting in order to conceal the truth that God cannot bear with the sins described as iniquity or evil in anyone who names the name of the Lord 2 Tim 2:19.
In the main, there is sin that does not lead to death James 4:17 and there is sin that leads to death (separation from God) Gal 5:19-21.
It should interest believers to know that the devil’s mission is not just to get God’s people to sin. He understands that the once for all time sacrifice of Jesus and the continual propitiation of His blood that defeated him on the cross stands in defense of those rescued from his grip. So, sin is just the means by which he attempts to achieve his main aim which is this; to plant the “DECEITFULNESS OF SIN” in a believer’s heart.
What does the Deceitfulness of Sin Do to a Believer’s Heart
Deceitfulness of sin steals, kills and destroys the believers love for God and consequently other people Matt 22:37, 39. The phrase that captures its main effect on the heart is hardness of heart.
What is the effect of the Hardness of Heart in a Believer
When the heart hardens, a believer actually prefers to worship the sin nature than worship God because the person has fallen from grace Heb 12:15. It is not just sinning that makes a believer reject the Holy Spirit rather; it is the hardness of heart that is caused by the deceitfulness of sin Heb 3:13.
It is the deceitfulness of sin that causes a believer to start thinking or being mindful of the country from which God has delivered and is delivering the believer from. Hebrews 11:15 states, “If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return“.
The experience of Judas holds a strong lesson for believers. The devil is still frantically looking for those who will betray and crucify Jesus the second time Luke 22:3, Heb 6:6, 1 Cor 10:12.
It is also because of this hardness of heart that the whole world has not been saved though the grace of God has appeared to all men and the gospel is for the benefit of all.
If you have been a Christian for any length of time, sadly you may have seen this extremely painful event happen to a believer you know.
They would usually confess to the fact that they have lost the enablement to live for God- they can talk about God enthusiastically but cannot stop deliberately continuing in particular sin(s) that fall within Gal 5:19-21 especially cultism or sorcery, immorality (homosexuality, adultery, fornication and pornography) and materialism. The sad thing is, it’s almost always a sin or sins they had gained mastery over after they became a Christian.
Our usual assertion that the person was never a believer is questionable, see 2 Peter 2:20.
Given room, some so-called theologians will deny that a believer’s heart can be hardened against God but anyone who teaches that is in a sorry situation!
When Peter and Barnabas went into hypocrisy, the Spirit did not leave them, but helped them repent by reproving them through another believer, Paul.
What would have happened if they insisted and persisted in living that way and claimed they were sealed by the Holy Spirit till the day of redemption?! Or, if Peter had reminded Paul that he (Peter) has more authority in the Church than he (Paul) and Barbanas remind Paul that he (Barnabas) was the one who helped Paul gain recognition when the Church was reluctant to accept him (Paul) as is the case today.
It is strange and sad how modern theology is not helping us live a repentant life-style like the Apostles who are examples to us Phil 3:17, 1 Cor 10:11. Modern theology rather has helped many of us to TRIPLE JUMP God’s gracious warning in Eph 4:30a “…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God” to seemingly land safely and quickly to claim Eph 4:30b “by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” unwisely. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit does not leave a believer except, when rejected deliberately.
A believer who participates in the sins in verses 19-21 of Galatians 5, shuns God’s grace towards him or her as expressed 2 Peter 1:3-4 and as such, is walking in the midst of death and heading to damnation. So dangerous is the situation that Peter describes anyone in this situation as “blind” and forgetful (ungrateful) 2 Peter 1:9. Peter passionately exhorts believers that in the light of God’s grace in verses 3-4 of 2 Peter 1, we should yield to God’s nature as outlined in 2 Peter 1:5-8. Having pleaded and exhorted, he swings into firm admonition in 2 Peter 1:10 and tempers it down into strong exhortation to show believers the benefit of giving heed to his extempore.
Adding Peter’s warning to that of Paul in verse 21 of Galatians 5, we can see how serious neglecting the warning can be. It should serve to encourage us to be vigilant over our hearts to love and obey our savior and Lord Jesus Christ knowing that; exclusion from the Kingdom of God is inclusion to the Kingdom of hell. Our opinion is of no importance in this matter!
Our opinions are inconsequential because the one who sets the axe to the root ofevery tree is the only judge of all. Therefore, our judgmental opinions on the servants of God is unwise but we all must be wise and not deceive ourselves by ignoring the warning of our maker.
Let’s humble ourselves and take seriously the warning in Gal 5:21, “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”.
We, as Christians, do RUN AWAY from sin and hold-on to a broken and contrite spirit which is a gift from God not because Christ’ blood is not sufficient to cover our sins if we fall, but because it’s deceitfulness can harden our hearts against Christ who laid down His life to save us 1 John2:1. He did not only lay down His live to save but, also, that we might worship the Father acceptably Heb 12:28.
The quickest way to get God’s people to sin is to sell them false doctrine. So, for many people these days who are quite offended just hearing the word doctrine it’s only wise that you reconsider and run back quickly to the doctrines of the Apostle in the bible.
For those of us who have manufactured our own thought, condensed it as dogmas but have presented it to the Church and the world as Christ’s doctrine, it is time to humble ourselves and repent for the Lord’s return for His bride is at hand.
The admonition to us in 1 Tim 4:16 NLT “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you” is paramount now than ever before!
Every doctrine gives birth to a life-style. False doctrine (bread) has an unseen hand (power) serving it though the seen hand may seem cute and ordinary Matt 7:15. The watch-word from God’s is this: Beware!
To practice “Beware“, these are inevitable essentials:
Avoid strife at all cost 2 Tim 2:24
Avoid evil company at all cost 1 Cor 15:33
Reading and meditating on the word of God Col 3:16
Consistent private fellowship with the Holy Spirit 1 John 1:3
Consistent fellowship with the body of believers Heb10:25
Under every circumstance keep your eyes on Jesus Heb 12:2
Respect all believers- all are anointed by God 1 John 2:20
Be prepared to lose your life than lose Christ John 12:25
Let love be your rock and watch-word in all situations Gal5:14
What is the remedy for sin/sins
Proverbs 16:6a makes it clear that, only mercy and truth can atone for sin. This truth plays out itself in Christ Jesus alone – the Lamb of our atonement Psalm 85:10. No structural adjustment of our behavior can atone for sin- it has never and will never!
But, Proverbs 16:6b, states without ambiguity that is by the fear of the Lord that man departs from sin or evil. So, anyone whose sin is atoned for but decides not to fear/reverence the Lord will drink sin like water, but, we need to hear Paul’s admonition in Rom 6:1-2.
Thanks for reading! May the love of our Lord Jesus Christ overwhelmingly fill your heart and mind leaving no room for any other lord. Amen.
Now and again, everyone experience being at a loss on how to deal with a pressing need in our spiritual, social, economic and political life or in more than one area at the same time. The pressure can weary our soul. This is not surprising because none of us is all-knowing and all-powerful (Omniscient/omnipotent). At such times, we need two things the most: Revival — to draw life into our soul and wisdom to direct us. Thank God, He has not left us in the world without help. Servants of God from all generation hold the testimony — that God’s Word is the unfailing and powerful source that revives and makes wise anyone that turns to Him. God understands the need we all have for our souls to be revived. God’s word revives us because He wants you to praise Him joyfully and silence His enemy (Psalm 8:2). As God strengthen your soul in revival, He loves to see and hear you exalt and praise Him, “O LORD, our (my) Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1). Psalm 19:7, confirms that God’s word doesn’t only revive our souls but also makes us wise — enlightening our eyes to see and understand what God will have us do in our times of struggle and confusion. Leading us in the path of “good success” and safety. As you read this, it will be wise not to consider it as something happening by chance. Believe that God is engaging you in conversation and meditation in order to revive you and lead you. So, again, lets read Psalm 19:7 NLT and hear the words with the ears of your heart and believe the testimony — right now, God’s word (Spirit and life) is reviving your soul because He owns it and He cares about your well-being (John 6:63, 3 John 1:2). As recorded in Psalm 18:16-19, this is the testimony God is bring to your life as your soul is revived and making its boast in His word. His word is able to revive your soul because it is trustworthy having been tested seven times in the furnace of fire ( not mere fire as we humans know fire but even much more in the spiritual realms). This emphasis is needed because the spiritual realm controls the physical. But, God has got all of His people including you well covered. Praise to our God! Lets boast of the power of His word! God is good, His word is near to all peoples — great and small who’re struggling, confused and broken to revive all and lead in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. May this mediation lead you to God’s word, prayer and His praise. Shalom! Maranatha!