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Monday, July 09, 2007

Yes, the Bible Teaches that Jesus Is God

It is one thing to say "I don't believe that Jesus is God." It is a very different thing to say that the Bible does not teach that Jesus is God. It is impossible to know whether a person is lying if they say that they do not believe that Jesus is God--only the person himself [and God, of course]--knows whether or not he speaks the truth, so no debate is possible.

But to say that the Bible does not teach that Jesus is God is another thing. The question is settled by careful attention to the words of the Bible itself. The evidence is unmistakable, and a person is left with the choice of whether or not to believe the words of the Bible.

For instance, in John 5, the Apostle John records a controversy that Jesus had with the teachers in Israel. Jesus had healed a crippled man on the Sabbath Day, telling him to "take up his bed and walk." This offended the Jews for they thought that Jesus was breaking the law of Moses by healing people on the holy day. John says that they persecuted "Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day." (Joh 5:16 AV)

Against the charge of working on the Sabbath, John says that "Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." (Joh 5:17 AV)

The teachers of the law in Israel at this time were probably some of the most sophisticated and learned men of their times. They knew theological language, and they knew exactly what Jesus was saying. His claim could not be mistaken. They were infuriated at Jesus' reply: "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God." (Joh 5:18 AV)

If they had mistaken the meaning of Jesus' words, this would have been a wonderful opportunity for Jesus to set the record straight. If he was NOT claiming to be equal to God, he would have said something like this:

"No, no, no. I'm sorry you misunderstood me. I do not claim to be God. Only a man who is mad would make such a claim. I was only speaking in a manner that all people can affirm God as creator, and we all are sons of God. I am sorry you misunderstood."

Jesus did not do this. In fact, from the point of view of their unbelief, the reply of Jesus was even harder for them to digest. Jesus, against the charge that he blasphemed by claiming to be equal with God, made five astounding claim, affirming that he is, indeed, equal with God. These claims were as follows:

First: The works of the Father and the works of Jesus are identical.
"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." (Joh 5:19 AV)


The Son can do nothing "of himself"; that is, of an independent nature. The works of the Son are in the Father and the works of the Father are in the Son. The Son, therefore is equally the Creator as in the Father. The Son upholds all things by the word of His Power, just as the Father does.

Second: The Intelligence of Jesus is equal to the God's intelligence.
"For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel." (Joh 5:20 AV)


It does no good to try to teach a pig to talk--the pig has no verbal intelligence or ability. Neither can you teach calculus to the kindergarten. If the Lord Jesus claims to have a full and complete revelation of everything the Father does, then the Lord Jesus has the ability to understand and assimilate that revelation. The Father hasn't even revealed everything about Himself in the Bible, because the church would not be able to assimilate it. "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." (De 29:29 AV)

But Jesus said that the Father in His love has revealed "all things" that the Father does to the Son. Hence, unless the Father is engaged in futility, the Son understands and is equal to the Father. We would call a man mad who would say, "God shows me everything He does," but this is exactly what Jesus claimed.

Third: Jesus Gives Life as He chooses just as the Father does.
"For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." (Joh 5:21 AV) "Even so" means "in the same way" Israel understood and boasted that they served the only true and living God. False gods were dead gods, lumps of stone and wood. They alone worshipped the true and the living God, the only source of the life and pulsated in the earth, for He alone gives life to all things. If Jesus is not God, then this statement is arrant blasphemy, and the Jews would have so understood it.

Fourth: The Son will judge the world, just as the Father does.
"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:" (Joh 5:22 AV) Another thing that the Jews were certain of is this: God was the judge of all the earth, and would judge the world at the last day. This truth is everywhere in the Old Testament. One instance is Psalm 50: 1-7. Verse seven says:
"Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God." If Jesus is not God, his words are the words of a man who is either very evil, or bereft of his senses.


Five: The Son is to honored with the same honor that is given the Father.
That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (Joh 5:23 AV) Is God to be loved and obey? then the same love and obedience must be given to Jesus or honor to the Father is empty and deceived. Every honor that is to be given to God is to be given to Jesus Christ, His Son. Refusal to honor the Son with equal honor is a refusal to rightfully honor God Himself and to be guilty of blasphemy. This is the reason that Paul said,


"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha." (1Co 16:22 AV)

These are the very words of Christ, recorded by the beloved apostle. Only the reader knows whether he believes the words or not, but no one must get by with pretending that John didn't say what he said.

I expect to have more on this subject shortly. The apostles DID believe that Jesus is God, and they said it over and over again in many different ways. If you study and read the Bible, you have to be blind as a mole not to see it.

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