Believing in the deity of Christ is essential to believing in and knowing Jesus. Sadly, anyone with a false belief in Jesus does not truly know and love Him if they deny the deity of Christ.

I recently listened to three sermons, all of them titled, “Who Is Jesus?” by John MacArthur, Steve Lawson, and Paul Washer. I took notes on all three of the sermons, and in this article, I will do my best to defend Christ’s deity. Those who deny the deity of Jesus are to be “marked and avoided” because they preach a different gospel (Rom.16:17-18, Gal.1:6-9).[i]

So, Who is Jesus?

In Steve Lawson’s sermon, “Who Is Jesus?”, I remember him giving these two questions: 1) Who is Jesus? and 2) What do we believe about Him? Jesus is at the heart of biblical Christianity. How we believe in Jesus matters eternally. Everyone can say they believe in Jesus, but what they believe about Him is not always biblically true. Thankfully the Scriptures are very clear on the deity of Jesus, so we can confidently answer and know we have the right answer because God has clearly and definitively given the answer in His Word.

Who is Jesus?

Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity. Jesus is the Pre-Incarnate Christ in the Old Testament (Gen.12:7-9; Gen.18:1-33; Gen.32:22-30; Ex.24:9-11; Deut.31:14-15, Judges 6:11-23). He is the Incarnate Christ in the New Testament (The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).

Proof of Christ’s Deity

Steve Lawson’s sermon, “Who is Jesus?” has many good points. One of Lawson’s first points is Jesus is God. He used Colossians 1:15 to prove Jesus “is the image of the invisible God…”. In John 8:58, Jesus declared He is the I Am towards the Jews. Jesus here claimed to be God, and it angered the crowd so much, in John 8:59, “they picked up stones to throw at Him…”. Jesus is the perfect image and likeness of God. Jesus never gave up His deity when He was in the flesh. He lived a sinless life because He was also the Son of God (1 John 3:5, 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Cor.5:21, Heb.4:15). Don’t believe false teachers, like Bill Johnson from Bethel Church in Redding, CA, when he teaches Jesus had to be born again. That is outright unbiblical.[ii]

Philippians 2:5-8 gets taken out of context by false teachers who think they can prove that Philippians 2:7 is talking about Christ emptying Himself of His deity. This is not an emptying of His deity. It is a setting aside of His privileges in some areas. The ESV’s MacArthur Study Bible (pg. 1776) explains the privileges He set aside. Here is how MacArthur explains this in his Study Bible:

  1. It was heavenly glory (the glory of a face-to-face relationship with God in heaven).
  2. Independent authority (Jesus submitted to His Father’s Will).
  3. Divine prerogatives, as MacArthur explains it in the commentary section on pg.1775 of his study Bible, “He set aside the voluntary display of His divine attributes and submitted Himself to the Spirit’s direction.”
  4. Favorable relationship with God (on the cross, Jesus felt the wrath for human sin).

So, Jesus never gave up His deity because He can never cease to be God. God is immutable, meaning He can never change. In Hebrews 13:8, it says He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. A good sermon on this is by Charles Spurgeon.[iii]

Everything was made by Jesus. Jesus, as God, spoke all things into being. Isn’t that such an amazing thought? Jesus created both the physical world and the spiritual world. (Col.1:16, 1 Cor.8:6). Since Jesus is Lord, He reigns over everything. We don’t make Jesus Lord. Jesus is already Lord, so whether a person acknowledges it or not, He is still Lord over everything.

In Philippians 2:10-11, it promises that every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Friend, you can take that to the bank! If you believe Scripture is true, then you must believe He is Lord above all. Jesus didn’t stop being God when He was here on earth to die and rise on the third day for sinners. Jesus was/is both God and man, even when He came here to earth; He is the Incarnate Christ.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ
Let’s stop and think again. Is the Jesus being described in this article as the Jesus you profess to know and love? Do you truly believe in Jesus Christ? When anyone adds something to what Christ has done in His death, burial, and resurrection, they have not believed the biblical gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Galatians 1:6-8). The gospel tells us that humanity rebelled against God in the Garden, resulting in man being a sinner by nature and by choice. Humanity post-Fall are the sons and daughters of disobedience, children of wrath, and God-haters (Romans 1:18-32; Ephesians 2:1-3). God the Father sent His Son to die on the cross in our place and for our sins as the sinless substitute, who rose from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). There is now, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1).

If you are in a church that doesn’t teach Jesus is God in the flesh or has any false teaching about the gospel, I urge you to leave that church and find a Bible-preaching and Bible-practicing local church. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory of God Alone).

References

[i] https://youtu.be/2QTvVtUdVmw

 https://youtu.be/BBfcnp0dcKM

 https://youtu.be/q-6ouCbZDhM

[ii] https://youtu.be/UFVCybQvP0Y

[iii] https://answersingenesis.org/education/spurgeon-sermons/848-jesus-christ-immutable/

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