Who is He?
on Christs Deity
A larger number of passages can supplement the theos verses we have noticed above. These additional verses make certain affirmations that lead to our conclusion that Jesus is indeed Deity Himself. Notice a few of these scriptures:
1. Luke 5:17-26. In this passage, the Pharisees say, Who can forgive sins but God alone! (v. 21). But Jesus says that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins (v. 24). This suggests that Jesus claims the right to forgive, a right that only God has. Doesnt this point to the unique relationship of Jesus the Son with God the Father? Both can forgive sins and both are worthy of the term God.
2. John 5:17-18. Jesus says, My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working (v. 17). Because of this statement, the Jews attempted to kill Jesus, probably on the grounds of blasphemy. John said that they attempted to kill Jesus because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God (v. 18). The reasoning is this way: If a man calls John Doe his earthly father, this would necessarily mean that the son is just as human as his father, John. Likewise, if Jesus calls God his Father in a unique way, this would mean that Jesus the Son was just as much Deity, just as much God (theos), as God the Father. This is the way that the Jews understood Jesus claim and our Lord said or did nothing to deny this understanding.
3. John 8:58-59. Our Lord said to the Jews, Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am (v. 58). The response of the Jews indicates that they considered this blasphemy and worthy of stoning (v. 59). Notice that Jesus didnt say, Before Abraham was born, I was, but He said, I am, which expresses his timelessness. Some believe that this may be a veiled reference to Exodus 3:14, where Yahweh God says to Moses, I am who I am, and Moses was to tell the people, I am has sent me to you. In fact, the Greek in John 8:58 (ego eimi) is identical to the Septuagint rendering of the Hebrew words in Exodus 3:14, thus there may be a connection. Since there is some doubt about this, we need not be dogmatic about this connection. But since Jesus claims His timelessness (I am), this leads us to believe it is evidence of His identity.
4. John 10:27-39. In this passage, Jesus makes an astounding claim: I and the Father are one (v. 30). The Greek has the neuter in this case, meaning one thing and not one person. Jesus is not claiming to be the same Person as God the Father, but evidently means that He is of the same essence or nature as the Father. The verse shows both identity of nature, but also the distinction of persons between the Father and the Son. The result was that the Jewish listeners again attempted to stone Jesus on the grounds of blasphemy (v. 31). They explained this purpose in verse 33: For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God. Jesus goes on to affirm that He is the Son of God (v. 36), but He said that ifin some senseScripture can call mere men gods (the Hebrew elohim) in Psalm 82:6, how much more Jesus, who was sanctified and sent into the world by God the Father. The works that Jesus did should cause them to believe, for Jesus said, The Father is in Me, and I in the Father (v. 38). They were correct in their deductionthat Jesus claimed to be God.
5. John 14:7-11. In this incredible passage, Jesus says some very profound truths. Notice His words to Thomas: He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, Show us the Father? (v. 9). In some sense, when we see Jesus the Son, we see God the Father! He continued, Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works (v. 10).
Jesus emphasizes to Thomas the profound relationship between the Father and Son, so close that to see Jesus was to see the Father. The Father who dwelt in Jesus accomplished His works through Jesus. Jesus spoke the very words of God. The Lord continued, Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves (v. 11). Some have concluded that this passage asserts that Jesus is to be identified as the Father, that Christ is the same Person as God the Father. No, for Jesus does distinguish Himself from the Father, but He is so intimately united to God that to see Him was to see God.
6. 2 Corinthians 5:10. Paul gives us a view of the coming Great Judgment: We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Here we can see that Jesus will be Judge on that awesome day of judgment (see also Matthew 25:31-46). However, in Romans 14:10-12, Paul says, We will all stand before the judgment seat of God. . . . So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Are there two judgments here, one presided over by Christ and the other by God the Father? Or is there one Judge, with Jesus identified as God?
Probably the answer is that God the Father will judge all men (cf. Revelation 20:11), but He will do this through the mediation of Jesus Christ, His Son. Jesus explains, Not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son (John 5:22; cf. v. 27). Peter adds this: This is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; see also 17:31). This shows the closest possible relationship between the Father and the Son. What is affirmed of one is affirmed of the other.
7. Philippians 2:5-11. This is the famous kenosis passage that describes Christs incarnation and subsequent exaltation and glorification as Lord. In speaking of Christs humiliation, Paul says, Although He existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men (vv. 5-6).
It is clear that Jesus, while in heaven, existed in the form of God. The word form here refers to the essential form, the sum of those qualities that make God specifically God (NASB Study Bible). A. T. Robertson says that form is the Greek word morphe and means the essential attributes as shown in the form. In his preincarnate state Christ possessed the attributes of God and so appeared to those in heaven who saw him. The term morphe here is translated as form, appearance, condition, status, image, or mode of being. This suggests that Jesus was essentially God.
Paul then says that equality with GodGod the Fatherwas not a thing to be grasped. Although grammatically, this could mean that Jesus was not equal with God, thus Jesus didnt presume to snatch such equality, it is better to see this as meaning that Jesus did not need to grasp or cling to equality with God since He was already equal with God in His essential nature, being in the form of God. Since Jesus was in the form of God, it is probably better to accept the latter interpretation. Indeed, Jesus was God in His person. Further, God bestowed on Him [that] name which is above every name (v. 9)which many think could be a reference to the name, Yahweh, since surely it was considered above all other names.
8. Colossians 1:13-23. The interested reader should read this entire passage for a full account of Christs exalted position. He is seen as owner of the Kingdom (v. 13), the Redeemer and Forgiver of sin (v. 14), the image of the invisible God (v. 15), the creator of all things (v. 16), the sustainer of all created things (v. 17), the head of the body (v. 18), the one who has first place in everything (v. 18), the one who has the fullness of God (v. 19), and the Reconciler and Peace-maker (v. 20). Notice especially that Paul says that by Jesus all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible . . . all things have been created through Him and for Him (v. 16). One cults translation states that Jesus is the creator of all other things! They add the word other since they assert that Jesus Himself is a created Being! On the contrary, Paul said that all thingsbarring nonewere created by God through Jesus Christ! Jesus Himself was the Creator. This speaks of His deity.
9. Colossians 2:9. Paul says that in Him [Jesus] all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form. The term Deity here is the Greek thiotes, which indicates the divine essence of Godhood, the personality of God. Although the passage doesnt use the term theos, it clearly does affirm Christs essential deity in nature. In fact, it refers to Christs deity (the fullness of deity) and humanity, in bodily form.
10. Hebrews 1:2-3. In this passage, the Hebrew writer affirms seven truths about Jesus Christ that could not be affirmed of anyone else in the universe, including angels. He states that Jesus was the One through whom God the Father made the world or the ages. John 1:3 also states that all things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. Colossians 1:16 says the same. The writer goes on to say that Jesus is the radiance of His [Gods] glory. He is also the exact representation of His [Gods] nature.
Could this be said of anyone else but Jesus Himself, the Person who is one with God the Father? Jesus also upholds all things by the word of His power, which echoes Pauls statement that in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17). The writer goes on to speak of Christs purification of sin through His death and His exaltation at the right hand of God. Indeed, the Hebrew writer shows the exalted and glorious position and nature of Jesus Christ.
11. Hebrews 1:8. In this significant passage, the writer says, Of the Son, He [the Father] says, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. While not conclusive, this is one way to translate this passage and if it is correct, it would be another reference to Jesus as theos. It is also special inasmuch as God the Father is the one who makes this strong affirmation concerning His Son! God (Jesus Christ) has a throne and kingdom!
12. Hebrews 1:10-12. In this passage, the writer applies Psalm 102:25-27 to Jesus Christ. The significant point is that the original passage in the Psalms is addressed to God (Psalm 102:24) who is also identified as Yahweh (usually translated as LORD) in 102:12. At various places, the New Testament writers seemed comfortable in applying Old Testament Yahweh passages to the Lord Jesus Christ! (See particularly 1 Peter 2:8; Romans 9:32; Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3; Romans 10:9, 13; 1 Peter 3:14-15; Ephesians 4:7-8.) This Hebrews passage affirms that Jesus was creator of the heavens and earth (v. 10), that He is timeless (v. 11), and that He is changeless (v. 12)all aspects of God.
13. Revelation 1:17; 2:8; 22:13. It is interesting to compare the designations of Jesus Christ in the book of Revelation with those of God the Father in the same book, as well as Yahweh God in the Hebrew Scriptures. Notice this comparison: Jesus is called the first and the last (Revelation 1:17; 2:8; 22:13), and Yahweh God is also so designated (Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12). Jesus Christ is called Alpha and Omega (Revelation 22:13), but God the Father is also so designated (Revelation 1:8; 21:6). Jesus Christ is called the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13), and so is God the Father (Revelation 21:6). These parallels show the closest possible relationship between the Father and the Son, so close that there is a Oneness that is profound!
14. Matthew 28:18-20. In this passage, generally referred to as the Great Commission, Jesus claims all authority in heaven and earth, and then, based on this universal supremacy, He says that people are to be baptized into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Notice that Jesus didnt say that all are to be baptized into the names of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The term name can refer to authority, character, and essence. In secular Greek, the term into the name of could mean into a relationship with or into the possession of or into the ownership of. It was a common Greek expression found in the paprii of the first century. The point here is that people are not only to be baptized into a relationship with God the Father, but also Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit. We must see the Son on an equality with the Father (and the Spirit) in this passage.
15. 2 Corinthians 13:14. Paul says in this passage, The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Paul doesnt explain the relationship of these three, nor does He deny that each of the blessings or gifts attached to one could also be rightfully applied to each of the other two. The verse does show that salvation blessings rightfully proceed from Jesus Christ the Son as much as they come from the Father and the Spirit. We cannot make a detailed theological study of this verse, but we can observe that we experience deep blessings from the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as God and the Holy Spirit.
16. Revelation 17:14; 19:16. It is interesting to compare two different designations of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son. In 1 Timothy 6:15, God the Father is referred to as the King of kings and Lord of lords. But in Revelation 17:14, the angel tells John that Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings. Likewise, Jesus has a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). This identical name given to both the Father and the Son is deeply significant.
17. Colossians 1:15. Jesus Christ is called the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4), or the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). He is also the radiance of His [the Fathers] glory and the exact representation of His nature (Hebrews 1:3). This speaks of the closest and most profound relationship! When Paul says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), he uses the Greek term character for image. Liddon says that the Son is both personally distinct from, and yet literally equal to, Him of whose essence He is the adequate imprint. Since Jesus is in the image of God, this implies the assertion of His true and absolute Godhead.
18. Romans 10:9. Paul says, If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in you heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. What is the significance of the Lordship of Jesus? Jesus is called Lord in the New Testament nearly 500 times! The Greek word is kurios, and it means master, lord, possessor, or owner. While the term could merely mean Sir, probably most instances carry a more weighty meaning, especially when used of Christ.
In the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint), Lord (kurios) is used in place of the Hebrew tetragrammaton, YHWH, which we know as Yahweh, the personal name of God that is used about 6,000 times. When a New Testament Jew heard the word kurios, he would have probably thought of Yahweh God, the God of Israel and the Maker of heaven and earth. The New Testament writers often use kurios with reference to Jesus. Paul especially employs the term almost exclusively of Jesus Christ. Thus when the early Christians confessed Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 12:3), they were confessing belief in his deity. Perhaps this is taking it a little too far for we believe that it may have also denoted a recognition of Jesus as master and owner as well as a submission to Jesus authority
on Christs deity
In addition to passages such as these, there are other passages that show Jesus working as only God works, or doing activity that only God does, or granting blessings that only God can give. Notice a few of these:
1. Jesus Christ created the heaven and the earth (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:2-3; Revelation 3:14), which we know that God the Father did (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:11; Psalm 146:5-6; Acts 4:24; 14:15; 17:24-26; Ephesians 3:9; Revelation 4:11; 14:7). Evidently, God created through or by means of Jesus Christ.
2. Both God the Father (Hosea 6:3; Colossians 1:10; 1 John 2:13; John 17:3) and Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:8-10; 2 Peter 1:2, 8; 2:20; John 17:3) are objects of saving knowledge. Surely this speaks of deity.
3. Jesus Christ sends the Holy Spirit (John 15:26; 16:7; Luke 24:49; Acts 2:3), as does God the Father (John 3:34; 14:16, 26; 15:26; 1:33; Acts 2:17, 33; 5:32). This speaks of an equality of action.
4. God the Father raises the dead (Matthew 22:28-29; Romans 4:17; 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 1:9; 4:14; 13:4) and Jesus Christ raises the dead (John 5:21, 25, 28-29; 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24-25; Philippians 3:20-21), and even raised Himself from the dead (John 2:19; 10:18).
5. Both God the Father (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37-38; Mark 12:29-30) and Christ Jesus (Matthew 10:37; Luke 14:26; 1 Corinthians 16:22) are worthy of our supreme love.
6. Jesus Christ forgives sins (Matthew 9:2; Mark 2:5, 9; Luke 5:20, 23; 7:48), a work that God the Father does (Psalm 32:5; 51:1-4; Isaiah 43:25).
7. Jesus Christ heals (Acts 9:34), a work that Yahweh God does (Psalm 103:1-3; James 5:15).
8. Jesus Christ owns the church, His body (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23-29; Colossians 1:18, 24; Romans 16:16), but God the Father also owns the church or community of believers (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 10:32; 11:22; 15:9; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:13; Philippians 3:6; 1 Timothy 3:5, 15). This would be the same body of the saved, owned by both the Father and the Son.
9. Jesus Christ gives eternal life (John 5:21, 25; 6:27; 10:28; 17:2; 1 John 2:25; 5:11), even as God does (Romans 6:23; 1 John 5:11; cf. Titus 1:2).
10. Both God the Father (Psalm 116:16; Romans 1:9; 6:22; 2 Corinthians 6:4;Titus 1:1) and Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:10; Ephesians 6:6; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 3:24) have servants or slaves.
11. Jesus Christ judges the world (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:31-46; John 5:22, 27, 30; 2 Corinthians 5:10), but God the Father does the same (Acts 17:31; Romans 2:16; 14:10-12). God judges through His Son, Jesus Christ (Acts 17:31).
12. Both Jesus Christ and God the Father bestow salvation blessings. For example, both grace and peace come from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:3). Grace, mercy, and peace come from bothfrom God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord (1 Timothy 1:2). Grace, mercy and peace come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father (2 John 3). (Cf. Romans 1:7; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Colossians 1:2).
13. Both God the Father (1 Timothy 1:1; Acts 22:14; Galatians 1:15-16) and Jesus Christ the Lord (1 Timothy 1:1; Romans 1:4-5; Galatians 1:1) are the source of Pauls apostleship.
14. Both God the Father (Genesis 1:1) and Jesus Christ (John 1:1; Hebrews 1:10; 1 John 1:1ff) have been from the beginning.
15. Jesus Christ receives equal honor with God the Father (John 5:23; 1 Peter 4:11) as well as equal glory (John 17:4).
16. Jesus Christ saves sinners, just as God does (Luke 19:16; 1 Timothy 1:1, 15; 2:3-4; 4:10).
17. Our faith for salvation is to be directed to both God the Father (Genesis 15:6; John 5:24; Acts 16:34; Romans 4:3, 5, 17, 24; 1 Thessalonians 1:8) and the Lord Jesus (John 3:36; 6:35, 40; Acts 16:31; Galatians 2:16, 20; Colossians 1:4).
18. The Lord Jesus was the only sinless person who ever lived (Hebrews 4:15; 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21). He was righteous (1 John 2:29; cf. 3:7), He is pure (3:3), and in Him there is no sin (v. 5). Contrary to the Christadelphians and others, Christ had no sin nature but He was pure in body, soul, and spirit. Contrary to Roman Catholicism that teaches that a human (Mary) was sinless, actually Jesus alone was absolutely without sin in thought, word, and deed.
19. We pray to God the Father (Psalm 5:2-3; Matthew 6:9; John 16:23) and to the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:14; Acts 9:14, 20-21; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 16:22; 2 Corinthians 12:8-10; Revelation 5:8, 13-14; 22:20). Surely prayer is only to be directed to deity.
20. Christ Jesus receives our thanks (1 Timothy 1:12), just as God the Father does (Acts 27:35; Romans 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:3; Psalm 7:17).
21. Christ is at the place of highest authority and supremacyat the right hand of God (Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33; 5:31; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:17, 20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 10:12; 1 Peter 3:22). He is at the right hand of Yahweh (Psalm 110:1), the right hand of Power (Matthew 26:64), the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2), the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3), and the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens (Hebrews 8:1).
22. Both God the Father and Jesus Christ are worshipped. Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:13 at Matthew 4:10, saying, You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only. In the vision of Revelation, John sees the twenty-four elders who will worship Him who lives forever and evera clear reference to God (4:10-11). However, in 5:13, we read that every created thing which is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, say, To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever. This is the same form of worship given to God in 4:11. John then writes, And the four living creatures kept saying, Amen. And the elders fell down and worshiped (5:14). Notice that these heavenly creatures worship both God the Father and Jesus Christ! The same worship given to God is given to Christ. We can see why God would say, Let all the angels of God worship Him [Christ] (Hebrews 1:6).
23. Jesus Christ will be the only way of salvation, the only way to enter Gods kingdom, the only way to escape Gods righteous wrath (Romans 5:6-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 5:9-10; cf. Acts 4:12).
These passages give a great amount of evidence that Jesus is deity or God, although there are aspects of this that are incomprehensible to our finite minds. We would suggest that certain other arguments made for Christs deity are less than sure. Some would go to the Hebrew Scriptures and observe that the Hebrew term Elohim is used for God. They point out that this is a plural, which would suggest more than one personality. However, notice the following comment:
The Hebrew noun Elohim is plural but the verb is singular, a normal usage in the OT when reference is to the one true God. This use of the plural expresses intensification rather than number and has been called the plural of majesty, or of potentiality.
Henry C. Thiessen also states that the term Elohim is plural and may imply plurality, though this is dubious. The plural form is probably used for intensity, rather than for expressing plurality. Jack Cottrell, however, thinks that the plural Elohim may be a hint of more than one Person. Other passages that mention pronouns such as us (Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7), suggesting plurality, are problematic.
It should also be pointed out that Elohim is used in other ways that would not suggest plurality. Moses was like God (Elohim) to Pharaoh (Exodus 7:1). The molten calf was considered a god (Elohim) even though it was a single calf (Exodus 32:4, 8). Baal was Elohim (Judges 6:31; 1 Kings 18:27; Judges 8:33; 2 Kings 1:2, 3, 6, 16). The false god Chemosh was also Elohim (Judges 11:24; 1 Kings 11:33). Ashtoreth was a Canaanite goddess (Elohim) (1 Kings 11:5, 33). Molech also was Elohim (1 Kings 11:33). Dagon was considered Elohim (Judges 16:23-24; 1 Samuel 5:7). Sennacherib worshiped Nisroch, his Elohim (2 Kings 19:37; 2 Chronicles 32:21; Isaiah 37:38). Nebuchadnezzars god was also called Elohim (Daniel 1:2). We only point this out to say that these false gods and idols were called Elohim in the plural even when they may have been singular in their person. Likewise, it may not be wise to cite the plurality of the Hebrew Elohim to definitely prove a plurality in the nature of the true God of the Bible. It must remain as merely a hint rather than proof. The plural form elohim for God in the Old Testament cannot be evidence for the Trinity.
 Benjamin Warfield points out that son for the Jews referred less to derivation from the father and more to the likeness of the son to the father. Applying this to the relationship of the Son to the Father, it would be an indication not primarily of subordination but of equality. We see this reflected in the reaction of the Jews to Jesus claim, for Jesus was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God (John 5:18). (Note Millard J. Erickson, Making Sense of the Trinity, p. 89.)
 Word Pictures.
 The IVP Dictionary of the New Testament, p. 170.
 W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.
 W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary, p. 319.
 Laidlaw, Hastings Bible Dictionary.
 Jack Cottrell, The Faith Once for All, p. 233.
 Cottrell, The Faith Once for All, p. 234.
 James R. White remarks, The deity of Christ is the constant object of attack and denial, and the verses that bear testimony to this divine truth have been mistranslated, twisted, and in various other ways undermined by nearly every false prophet and false teacher over the past seventeen hundred years (The Forgotten Trinity, p. 65).
 Lectures in Systematic Theology, p. 90.
 The Faith Once for All, p. 71.
 Lonzo Pribble, Theology Simplified, pp. 32-33.
 Robert M. Bowman, Why You Should Believe in the Trinity, p. 49.