Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

 

The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 05/04/08
The Doctrine of the Deity of Jesus Christ.
ROM 9:1-5, “I am communicating doctrine, I am not lying, my conscious bearing joint testimony with me in the Holy Spirit, but I have a great sorrow and constant pain in my right lobe, so I could wish that I myself would be accursed. Consequently, separated from Christ, but it cannot be, for the sake of, or on behalf of my brethren, the racial Jews. My fellow countrymen, national Jews. According to earthly descent, Who are Israelites, to whom is the adoption and as sons and the glory [the Shekinah glory], and the covenants [the unconditional covenants], and the deposit of the law, and the temple service [which means the service of God in the temples] and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”
In ROM 9:5, the phrase the fathers is the Greek plural noun pateres which is a reference to the regenerate ancestry of Israel. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are the line of the Jewish race, the line of the seed of Abraham, because each one was born again, and eventually each one reached maturity. The emphasis is on the origin of the Jew, and this separates the Jew from the Gentile forever. However, no Jew can ever be a true Jew until he becomes a vessel of honor once having believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The secret to the foundation of the Jewish race is regeneration. Therefore, it was very difficult for Paul to see his fellow countrymen reject Christ as Savior. They have not followed the pattern of Abraham in GEN 15:6 who believed in the Lord and it was credited to his account for righteousness. While Isaac had a stepbrother, Ishmael, Isaac is the chosen one through regeneration. The omniscience of God knew of the decision Isaac would make, and he was the elected one.
So, ROM 9:5 whose are the fathers, [the regenerate ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob] and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. Jesus Christ, although true humanity forever, continues to be eternal God forever, and as God, He still has all of the attributes of God as well as the attributes of perfect humanity, He is then the last Adam. The word for blessed is eulogeetos which means being praised, or being blessed referring to the eternal glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course this refers to the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and His equality with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. With that we have begun a short review of the Doctrine of the Deity of Jesus Christ.
Point 1. Definition.
Deity is defined as the essential nature or condition of being God. Jesus Christ is eternal God. As a member of the Trinity, He always existed. There never was a time when He did not exist. He is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit. To prove that Jesus Christ is God, you can begin with GEN 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” InJOH 1:1 we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God [the Deity of Christ always existed]. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” In eternity past, Jesus Christ had the same essence as the Father and Spirit. In time, He still had the same functions of Deity, but He also became true humanity. He is now different than the Father, and the Holy Spirit because He is also true humanity, therefore, He is unique! COL 1:15And He [Jesus Christ] keeps on being the exact image of the invisible God, the privileged first-born with reference to all creation.”
When it says that He is the privileged first-born, it doesn’t mean that He was born, because in His Deity He always existed. The word first-born is prototokos which refers to the privileged one of a new creation. The humanity of Christ was born as taught inISA 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” This is fulfilled in MAT 1:20-23. The phrase first-born not only indicates the first-born of a new creation, but also indicates special privilege. There were 3 privileges of the first-born sons in Israel:
The first-born had the privilege of rulership.
The first-born in the Levitical tribe had the priesthood of the family.
The first-born had the privilege of heirship.
In REV 5:5 we are told that sitting on the throne is the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David. We read that the elders say to Him in REV 4:11 “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.” So again in COL 1:15 “And He[Jesus Christ] keeps on being the exact image of the invisible God, the privileged first-born with reference to all creation.” The word creature is ktiseos, which means creature or the original creation, and this includes angels. Please note that Jesus Christ was not created, but He is the first-born of every creature. We do not know what type of redemption angels had, but verses like this leave a door open for some eternal mystery concerning angelic redemption. The Lord Jesus Christ is God, and He created all humanity. Jesus Christ is unique! Everything that you will ever possess, and ever have possessed depends upon the uniqueness of Jesus Christ! COL 1:16-18, For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.
So Jesus Christ is the ruler of the Church. The first-born in the Levitical tribe had the priesthood of the family. Jesus Christ is also the High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. HEB 5:6 Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. The first-born also had the privilege of heirship. Christ is also the Heir of all things. HEB 1:2 “in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”  This heirship included the double portion, and Christ has the double portion in eternity of both Israel and the Church.
Why is understanding and mastering this doctrine so important? Because 1JO 2:22-23 says, “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist [ones against the real Christ], the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.”
Point 2. The Syllogism of Deity.
A syllogism is a logical formula consisting of two premises and then a conclusion; a major and minor premise, plus a conclusion derived from deductive reasoning. For example: Every virtue is admirable (major premise). Kindness is a virtue (minor premise). Therefore, kindness is admirable (conclusion). Following this formula: The Trinity is eternal. Christ is a member of the Trinity. Therefore, Christ is eternal. There are at least three verses of scripture where the Deity of Christ is presented as a syllogism. First in 1PE 1:1; “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.”  Notice, for those who deny the existence of the Trinity, we have God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit all mentioned in this verse. We have the omniscience of God the Father mentioned by the word foreknowledge. We have the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit sanctifying the believer. We have the obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Secondly, 2CO 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”
Thirdly, MAT 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,”
The syllogism is that the Trinity is eternal, Christ is the member of the trinity; therefore, Christ is eternal.
Point 3. Scriptural Documentation Regarding the Deity of Christ.
MIC 5:2 says during the incarnation, that Jesus Christ is eternal God, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, {Too} little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” Our Lord fulfilled this in MAT 2:5-6. Notice the phrase, “His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity. The Hebrew word for eternity, here is olam, and is used to affirm the eternal existence of the Father in many passages (GEN 21:33; PSA 41:13; 90:2; 103:17; ISA 40:28). What this proves for the Father, it also proves for the Son. JOH 1:1 “In the beginning [which was not the beginning] there existed the Word [Jesus Christ]. In JOH 8:56-58,“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw {it} and was glad.” The Jews therefore said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” The phrase “I am” means “I had always existed.”
EXO 3:13-14, Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may 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 sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”Our Lord used the same terminology that the Father used to describe Himself “ego eimi” – “I am.” The Jews understood His use of ego eimi to be the same as when used by the Father, as evidenced by the fact that they sought to kill him, when He said it (JOH 8:59).
On a number of occasions, Jesus refers to Himself by using “I am.”
In JOH 6:35 “I am the bread of life”
In JOH 6:41 “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.”
In JOH 6:51 “I am the living bread.”
In JOH 8:12 “I am the light of the world;”
In JOH 8:18 “I am He who bears witness of Myself,”
In JOH 10:7 “I am the door of the sheep.”
In JOH 10:14 “I am the good shepherd;”
In JOH 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life;”
In JOH 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life;”
In JOH 15:1 “I am the true vine,”
Those are the ten I AM’s of the Gospel of John. Ten represents the number of completion of the Divine order. The Lord Jesus Christ was completely identifying Himself as the great I AM! Many people say that Jesus Christ never claimed to be God, but that is not true. At the time of His trial, the High Priest asked Jesus about His Messiahship. MAR 14:62 And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” There are many other roles or titles of Jehovah from the Old Testament used of and by Jesus: Author of Eternal Law; Bridegroom; Redeemer; Light; Shepherd; Savior; Rock; Forgiver of Sins; Judge. In ISA 45:22-23, God says of Himself (through the prophet); “Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear {allegiance.}”
In PHI 2:10-11 Paul says, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”JOH 5:18 For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. Jesus was indeed making Himself equal with God. He was beginning to teach that the unity of God involved a true uniting of three persons in the Godhead, or in the Divine nature; and He was claiming to be one of them. In COL 2:9 Paul writes, “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,” In TIT 2:13 Jesus Christ is called God: looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; You will note that the Bible clearly teaches the Deity of Jesus Christ.
You will recall Thomas who at first could not believe in the resurrection of Jesus, then the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him.JOH 20:27-28, Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” It was Paul who said in ROM 10:9 “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord [Jehovah], and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Let’s look at this from the perspective of a Q and A Session to further prove the Deity of Christ:
1. Who is omnipotent (all powerful)? The answer according to the Scriptures is God (1CH 29:11). In PHI 3:21, Jesus Christ is all-powerful; He exerts “the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”
2. Who is omniscient (all knowing)? 1JO 3:20 says “God knows all things.” COL 2:2-3. Jesus Christ has “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
3. Who is Lord of the Sabbath? In GEN 2:3 God is! MAT 12:8; “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
4. Who is the great I AM? EXO 3:14 says God is! JOH 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
5. Who is the only Creator? ISA 44:24 “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the One who formed you from the womb, I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself, And spreading out the earth all alone,”COL 1:16 “For by Him all things were created, {both} in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created by Him and for Him.”
6. Who is the only Savior? ISA 43:11 “I, even I, am the Lord; And there is no savior besides Me.” ACT 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.
7. Who will judge mankind? ISA 3:13 says Jehovah will! 2CO 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,”
8. Who will judge between the sheep and goats? (EZE 34:17; MAT 25:31-34).
9. Who sent the prophets? (JER 7:25; MAT 23:34).
10. Who resurrected Jesus? ACT 4:10 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.
11. Who is coming in glory? ISA 40:5“Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, And all flesh will see {it} together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” MAT 24:30 “and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.”
12. Who is our Father? (ISA 63:16; ISA 9:6). REV 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,”
14. Who is the Rock of salvation? 2SA 22:32 For who is God, besides the Lord? And who is a rock, besides our God?1CO 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
15. Who is the stone of stumbling? (ISA 8:13-15; 1PE 2:8).
16. The one crying in the wilderness came to prepare a way for whom? (ISA 40:3). MAT 3:3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight!”
17. Who is eternal? (GEN 21:33; MIC 5:2).
18. Who is the fountain of living waters? JER 17:13 “Lord, the hope of Israel, All who forsake Thee will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will be written down, Because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the Lord.” JOH 4:14 “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
19. Who resurrects the dead? ACT 26:8 “Why is it considered incredible among you {people} if God does raise the dead?”JOH 6:40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
20. Who gives rewards to man? (ISA 40:10). MAT 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds.”
21. Who has all authority and power? God does (1CH 29:11). MAT 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
22. Who gives power and authority to man? (PSA 68:35). LUK 9:1 And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons, and to heal diseases.
23. Who forgives sin? 2CH 7:14 “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” MAT 9:6 “But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” then He said to the paralytic “Rise, take up your bed, and go home.”
24. Who sent the Holy Spirit? God did. (GAL 4:6; JOH 16:7).
25. Who has the greatest name? NEH 9:5 “Arise, bless the Lord your God forever and ever! O may Thy glorious name be blessed And exalted above all blessing and praise!” PHI 2:9 “Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,”
26. Who are we to worship? (EXO 34:14; REV 4:10-11; REV 5:11-14; REV 19:10).
27. Who is the good Shepherd? GEN 48:15 And he [Jacob] blessed Joseph, and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,” JOH 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me,”
28. Who searches for the lost sheep of Israel? (EZE 34:11; MAT 5:24).
29. Who is the Lord of lords? (DEU 10:17; REV 17:14).
30. To whom shall every knee bow? (ISA 45:22; PHI 2:10).
31. Who is the righteous branch of David? (JER 23:5; JOH 5:27).
32. Who alone is Holy? 1SA 2:2 “There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides Thee, Nor is there any rock like our God.” ACT 3:14 But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
33. Whose blood cleanses us? ACT 20:28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 1JO 1:7 “but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
34. The world was created for whom? PRO 16:4 “The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.” COL 1:16 “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created by Him and for Him.”
35. Who is above all? (NEH 9:6; ROM 9:5).
36. Who is forever the same? (PSA 102:24-27). This is quoted about our Lord Jesus Christ in HEB 1:8-12.
37. Who is our light? PSA 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?” JOH 8:12 Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
38. Who is the way or path? (PSA 16:11; JOH 14:6).
39. Who is in charge of the angels? (PSA 103:20; 2TH 1:7).
40. Who gives us rest? EXO 33:14 And He said, “My presence shall go {with you}, and I will give you rest.” MAT 11:28“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
41. Who gives eternal life? God does! ROM 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In JOH 10:28 “and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.”
Point 4. Bible Verses Stating Jesus is God.
MAT 1:23; LUK 7:12-16; 1JO 5:20; JOH 5:18; JOH 10:30-33; JOH 13:12-13; JOH 14:8-9; JOH 17:4-5; 2CO 4:4; PHI 2:6;1TI 3:16; 1TI 6:13-15; HEB 1:1-10. There are many more verses that we could note. These are just a few. So I think by now, you have Biblical proof that Jesus Christ is God.
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