21 September 2017

JESUS CHRIST IS LORD

JESUS CHRIST IS LORD

This is the most fundamental, foundational and important of all Christian doctrines. No other doctrine is so denied as that which says that Jesus Christ is God in human flesh. God was ‘contracted to a span’ at the Incarnation and lived in that human body as fully divine.

HOW DO THE SCRIPTURES TEACH THE DEITY OF CHRIST?

We need to be clear that we are following the teaching of the inspired Scriptures in regard to this claim. Many arians in the world propagate teaching that disallows the clear understanding that Jesus Christ is God in a human body.

By Referring to JESUS AS GOD (THEOS).

Theos is the Greek word for God and is usually reserved for God the Father. In the New Testament, however, theos is used to refer to Jesus Christ on seven occasions.

i. John 1:1 “The word was theos.”

ii. John 1:18 “But God (theos) the one and only has made Him known.”

iii. John 20:28 “Thomas said, ’My Lord and my (theos) God.’”

iv. Romans 9:5 “Christ, who is God (theos) over all forever praised.”

v. Titus 2:13 “The glorious appearing of our Great God (theos) and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

vi. Hebrews 1:8 “But about the Son he says ‘Your throne O God (theos) will last for ever and ever.’”

vii. 2 Peter 1:1 “To these who through the righteousness of our God (theos) and Saviour Jesus Christ.

In the Old Testament theos is applied to Christ in one messianic promise, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government will be upon his shoulder and his name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God (theos). (Isaiah 9:6)

By Referring to JESUS AS LORD (KYRIOS).

Kyrios is the Greek word for Lord.

Sometimes it can be just a respectful title that is equivalent to our ‘sir’ or can also mean, master of a servant or slave. In the New Testament it is also used to translate the Hebrew ‘yhwh’ or ‘Yahweh’ which means, ‘the Lord’ or ‘Jehovah.’ When this happens it undoubtedly means Jehovah God. When this happens in the New Testament in reference to Christ it is declaring that Jesus Christ is Jehovah God.

i. The angel addressed the shepherds at the time of Jesus’ birth, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord (kyrios).” (Luke 2:11) The baby born is none other than Jehovah. These shepherds, familiar as they were with the Old Testament would have been amazed at the angelic message. Deuteronomy 6:4

ii. Even before the birth there is the striking address of Elizabeth. Elizabeth said, “Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord (kyrios) should come to me.” (Luke 1:43)

The unborn baby was the Lord, kyrios.

iii. John the Baptist cried out, “Prepare the way of the Lord (kyrios), make His paths straight.” (Matthew 3:3)

When JESUS said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.”

God the Father said in Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” I am the first and the last. Jesus also declared, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” (Revelation 22:13)

HOW DID JESUS EXPRESS HIS DEITY?

1. By Demonstrating Capacities That

Only God Can Have.

i Omnipotence.

The prophet Isaiah described the coming Messiah as, ‘a Mighty God’. (Isaiah 9:6) Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes. (Matthew 14)

Jesus turned the water into wine. John wrote, “This, the first of His miraculous signs, Jesus did in Cana in Galilee and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.” (John 2:11)

When Jesus stilled the storm the disciples asked, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey Him?” (Matthew 8:27)

Jesus didn’t do these miracles by the power of God the Father, nor by the power of the Holy Spirit. He did them in His own name declaring His own quality of omnipotence.

ii. Eternity.

“Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:13)

iii. Omniscience.

It was Peter who declared, “Lord you know all things.” (John 21: 17)

Peter wasn’t just referring to the fact that Jesus was intelligent and wise and could come to acknowledge of everything. Peter was claiming that Jesus knew everything, even the attitude of Peter’s own heart which was hidden from everyone except God.

iv. Omnipresence.

Although in His earthly life Jesus was not recognised to be omnipresent yet as He anticipated the future He said “where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) Also, “I am with you always to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

v. Immortality.

Immortality is the inability to die. Jesus claimed that He had the power to lay down His life and to take it up again. (John 10:17-18) “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again.” (John 2:19) The writer to the Hebrews declares that Jesus is, “one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to His ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.” (Hebrews 7:16) God alone is declared to be immortal. “God … who alone is immortal.” (1 Tim. 6: 16)

2. By Doing Works That Only God Can Do.

i. Jesus reigns sovereignly.

God is “the ruler of all things.” (I Chronicles 29:12) But Christ claimed, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” (Matthew 28:18) Peter spoke to Cornelius about “Jesus Christ who is Lord of all.” (Acts 10:36)

ii. Jesus does miraculous things.

He is not limited to natural processes. It is God who grows the grapes that make the wine. Jesus did the same process in a moment of time at the wedding in Cana. (John 2) God is always changing water into wine via the grape. Jesus did the same bypassing the grape and not subject to time.

iii. Jesus forgives sins.

The teachers of the law rightly asked, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” They were exactly right in understanding that only God has the capacity to forgive sins. Jesus declared the sins of the paralytic to be forgiven. (Mark 2:5) The teachers were right to suggest that anyone who claimed to be able to forgive was blaspheming, except they were wrong in this case because the Person was God in Christ.

iv. Jesus judges.

In Ecclesiastes 12:14 we read, “For God will bring every deed into judgment.” In the New Testament we see that judgement is entrusted to Christ. “Moreover the Father judges no-one but has entrusted all judgement to the Son.” (John 5:22) Peter speaking to Cornelius about Christ said, “He is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42) Paul preaching in Athens said, “God… has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him for the dead.” (Acts 17:31)

3. By Having An Attitude That Only God Can Carry.

Christ carried the attitude of divinity, in that He was prepared to allow people to worship Him. To accept worship we would suggest is an indication of deity. Some might object by saying that some misguided cult leaders have encouraged people to worship them and that didn’t indicate their deity. Christ, however, is different. He is omniscient, is good, honest, true and would not permit worship if it was not proper to receive it.

Honest men refused to be worshipped. (Acts 14:11-18) Angels even refuse to be worshipped. (Revelation 19:10) It is right and proper to offer worship to Christ. (Luke 24:50-53) Christ received and accepted that worship, and in doing so, declared His deity, honestly and clearly. He is worthy of worship. “You laid aside your Majesty, gave up everything for me Suffered at the hands of those you had created. You took all my guilt and shame when you died and rose again, Now today you reign in heaven and earth exalted.”

We then, all with one consent teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood: truly God and truly man. Erroneous views of the person of Christ

These fall mainly into four Categories:

1. A denial of the full deity of Christ.

2. A denial of the full humanity of Christ.

3. A denial that the two natures existed simultaneously in the person without dividing into two persons.

4. A denial that the two natures existed simultaneously in Christ without merging into a new or different person.

JESUS CHRIST IS LORD

Jesus was 30 years old, as regards to His human nature. (Luke 3:23) Yet Jesus was eternal, as regards to his divine nature.

“Before Abraham was, I am.” ( John 8:58) Jesus was weak and weary often but particularly when He was asleep in the boat on the Sea of Galilee. (Matthew 8:24) Yet He was able to awake and calm the storm with a word. Weak and weary, yet omnipotent. As a baby in the cattleshed He was the epitome of weakness, helplessness, utter dependence. Was He also at the same time omnipotent and “He in whom all things consist” and “Upholding the universe?” He was swaddled with bandages yet He was the One who swaddled the earth with oceans. It was He who bandaged up the fallen Creation and then came to redeem a lost world and make a new Creation.

Have you trusted completely, implicitly in the Person of Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord? Can you say with Thomas, “My Lord and My God?”

IS JESUS CHRIST YOUR LORD?

John Matthews