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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Jesus

Is Jesus Really God – Part Eight – What Others Said

 

The final installment of this older series.

Today we will be wrapping up our study on the Deity of Jesus. We will close with what others had to say about this subject, or the thoughts they expressed concerning it. We won’t just talk about what those friendly to our Lord said, thought, and wrote; Jesus’ enemies also expressed themselves concerning the claims Jesus made.

The Writers of the Bible Clearly Describe Jesus as Being Divine

Time and time again, various writers of Holy Scripture describe the Divinity of Jesus Christ. We are working under the premise here that The Bible as we have it today is, in fact, inspired by God. Therefore if the writers of Scripture call Jesus God, then it is just as if God the Father called Jesus God. The only way to escape this conclusion is to deny that ,as Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.”

One of the clearest descriptions of the Deity of Jesus Christ is contained in the opening words of the John Chapter 1. In this passage, The Word clearly refers to Jesus, as the context makes clear. In Verse 1, we are told: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” That clearly states that Jesus is Eternal and that He is also God. On into Verse 14 we see And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

God Himself said Jesus was God in Hebrews 1:8. That entire chapter is a good summation of God comparing Jesus to anything else He created, and how Jesus is superior to all created beings..

Isaiah said the child born would, in addition to all the other things He would be called, would also be called “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father” in Isaiah 9:6.

John 5:23 teaches we should worship the Son just like the Father.

Philippians 2:5-7 describes Jesus as “being in the form of God

Timothy 3:16 says “God was  manifested in the flesh

Writing to Titus, Paul said in Titus 2:3  that we are “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”

So it goes on, time after time, numerous passages clearly show that the writers of Holy Scripture considered Jesus Christ to be Divine. And if we believe in the inspiration of the Bible, we can only come to the conclusion that God the Father is clearly informing us that Jesus the Son is also divine.

Jesus enemies clearly understood that He was claiming to be God

In this section, we will discuss briefly the concept of Jesus’ own claims to deity. Earlier, we talked about what our Lord Himself had to say about it; now we will discuss how others, specifically His enemies, perceived some of the things Jesus said and did. They had no doubt whatsoever just what Jesus was claiming. In fact, they often wanted to kill Him for claiming to be God, since that claim was considered blasphemy and punishable by death.

In John Chapter 10 Jesus was walking and teaching with the Jews in the Temple and gave them His teaching where He made the claim “I and My Father are one“,: and the Jews wanted to stone him. When Jesus asked then why they wanted to kill him they replied in Verse 33, “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”

In fact, blasphemy was the only crime for which Jesus was actually convicted at his various “trials” before His Crucifixion. In Mark 14:61-64 Jesus and the High Priest had the following conversation.

But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.”

The Jews of the day understood that to forgive sins was a claim to be God since only God could forgive sin. In Mark Chapter 2 we can again see the story of the paralyzed man who was lowered through the roof of the house where Jesus was preaching so that Jesus could heal him. In Verse 5 note, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”  The scribes quickly realized just what Jesus was saying here and though in their minds, “Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” in Verse 7. Actually, Jesus’ ability to read their thoughts was also a claim to Divine nature, as who is omniscient, or all-knowing, but God?

 Conclusion

If we use the Bible as our source of information, and of course we should, if we believe the Bible is the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice, then we can only come to one conclusion on this issue. And that conclusion is that Jesus was, and is, 100% fully God.

The only way we, or anybody else, can deny that conclusion is to simply toss out as untrue vast sections of the Holy Scriptures. Then we head down that slippery slope we have discussed before, of disregarding portions of the Word of God because they do not fit with our pre-conceived notions of God which we each have in our minds.

This is yet another case of us having the choice to accept God as He has revealed Himself to us in His Word, or continue trying to create a god which we find appealing in our own minds.

More importantly, we can choose to accept salvation on God’s terms, in the way He has stated it must occur: repentance and belief on His Son Jesus Christ or our own feeble efforts to somehow be good enough to earn our way into God’s Grace.

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Is Jesus Really God – Part Seven – Jesus Knew Who He Was

 

Part 7 of this older series.

Yesterday we discussed some of the statements Jesus made which, while not being the statement “I am God,” were certainly claims of being equal to and of the same substance as God the Father. We also discussed his claims of son-ship with The Father and how, in that day and time, to be someone’s son was to basically be equal with them; obviously a claim equality with God is in practicality the same as a claim of being God.

Today we are going to cover some instances where we see Jesus’ actions indicate He understood His own divine nature.

Jesus laid claim to many of the attributes of God. Jesus made statements in which He claimed to possess attributes we normally only associate with God.

Jesus claimed to possess the eternal nature of God.  We understand that one of the attributes of God is the fact that He has been self-existent from eternity past, and that only God is eternal from before time. Therefore, if Jesus claimed that attribute, He was, in essence, claiming to be God.

Jesus claimed to be the Alpha and Omega, or the First and Last, or the Beginning and the End in Revelation 1:17,18; He also claimed here to be alive forevermore, and that He possessed the keys to Hell and Death.

In John 8:56-58 Jesus was describing to the Pharisees how Abraham rejoiced at the future coming of Jesus, the Messiah. When the Pharisees questioned how a man not even 50 years old could have known Abraham, Jesus replied in verse 58. “Before Abraham was, I Am.” To fully understand just what Jesus was saying here, we have to go back to Moses and the burning bush.  When Moses asked God to say who it was that was sending him(Moses) to lead the Jews out of Egypt, God replied that Moses could simply tell them, in Exodus 3:14, “I AM hath sent me unto you

God can call Himself that because He always has been. He can call Himself that because He always will be. He is self-existent, not having been created by any other thing.  Jesus obviously meant the same thing. He was clearly saying that Abraham was not just rejoicing at the idea of Messiah, but the actual fact not yet taken place, of Jesus Christ Himself! That is why Jesus could also refer to Himself as “I Am”.

Jesus made a claim to the omniscience or all knowing attribute of God when He told Peter exactly how Peter would react the night of the crucifixion. He told Peter how he would deny Jesus three times; He told Peter exactly when this would occur(before the rooster crowed). This story is relayed to us in Matthew 26.

Jesus made a claim to the omnipresence of God when He told his disciples that He would always be with them and also that He is eternal in The Great Commission contained in Matthew 28:18-20, telling them “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

Jesus made claims to be able to forgive sins, and this authority is clearly reserved for God alone; this concept is clearly taught throughout both the Old and New Testaments (Isaiah 43:25 is one place), and the Jews of Jesus’ time clearly understood that was what their scriptures taught. In fact, we will cover the Pharisees’ perception of what Jesus was saying later in this lesson.

Let us look at some of the instances where Jesus forgave sins.

In Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12, and Luke 5:17-26, the Bible tells the story of Jesus’ healing of a paralyzed man. The real key in each of these stories is not really that Jesus healed a sick man, after all, He had been traveling throughout the region healing multitudes of sick by this time. What makes this story so unusual is not that Jesus made a paralyzed man walk, but that in each case He told the man he was forgiven of his sins! He said in each case, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,”

This sets the stage for the clear biblical teaching of exactly what Jesus’ purpose on earth was. He was not here to simply perform miracles and heal sick people; those were simply tools to show the world who He was. Jesus was here to heal the real sickness that was and is infecting the world: sin. The rest of the things we call sickness, including our ultimate deaths, were only brought into the world because of man’s sin.

Jesus accepted the worship of others, a prerogative which belongs only to God Himself.  In fact, there are several recorded instances of men and even angels directing that men not worship them. There is even a recorded instance of severe punishment for a mere man to accept worship. Let us take a look at what the Bible teaches us about who deserves worship and who does not.

God was very clear to Moses when He gave him the Ten Commandments when He instructed “thou shalt have no other Gods before me” in Exodus Chapter 20. While being tempted by Satan in the desert, Jesus clearly told Satan, in Matthew 4:10, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

In Acts 14:8-18, a story is told of the Apostle Paul refusing worship from fellow human beings. He and Barnabas were in the city of Lystra and had just healed a man who had been crippled from birth. The townspeople were so amazed they thought Paul and Barnabas were the gods Jupiter and Mercury in human flesh! Paul and Barnabas refused to accept this worship, and ran out in the crowd telling them they were just men, and that they should worship God instead.

The Bible also teaches us that angels are not to be worshiped. In the Book or Revelation, two times John fell at the feet of an angel who had given him a message to worship, in Revelation 19:10 and  22:9. In both cases the angel immediately said, “See thou do it not, I am thy fellowservant.”

The Bible teaches that accepting worship as if one were God can have severe consequences. Acts 12:21-23 tell us of King Herrod who, when the people tried to worship him as God, accepted it gladly rather than direct their worship to the true God. Herrod was then eaten by worms and died.

Clearly, then, we are instructed to worship God and God only.

Jesus on many occasions accepted the worship of others. Knowing the Old Testament Scriptures as he did, only two options are really possible: One is that Jesus was a delusional madman who actually thought He was God, or that He was in fact, God.

Here are some places in the Bible where Jesus either was worshiped, or was worshiped and accepted it.

In Matthew 2:11, the Wise Men from the East saw Jesus and “Fell down, worshiping Him.”

 In Matthew 14:33, after He and Peter both walked on the water and Jesus stilled the wind, the following occurred, “Then they that were in the ship came and worshiped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

In Matthew Chapter 28, when Jesus met Mary Magdalene and the other Mary at the Tomb, they fell at His feet and worshiped Him.

In Luke 24:51, after Jesus was carried into heaven, the disciples who were with him “worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.”

In John 9:38, a blind man whom Jesus healed said “Lord, I believe. And he worshiped him.”

In John 20:28, after Jesus showed Thomas the wounds in His hand and side, he responded “My Lord and my God!”

Revelation Chapter 12 describes a scene around the Throne of God, where God and “The Lamb” were both worshiped by the four creatures, the four and twenty elders, and the angels of Heaven.

Time and time again we can read in Scripture instances of Jesus being worshiped or being worshiped and accepting it. There is not a single instance recorded of Jesus correcting any person who offered Him worship. This is in contrast to Paul and Barnabas, as well as the angel the Apostle John encountered, who quickly corrected those who offered them worship.

Thanks for reading! Tomorrow week we will be concluding this series with a lesson on what Jesus’ friends, followers, and enemies thought of his claims to be God.

Until then, blessings and peace.

Is Jesus Really God? Part Six

 

Part 6 of this older series.

We have been studying in some detail this very critical central doctrine of the Christian faith, and are working our way towards a conclusion. Before we dive into the meat of the post, I want to establish the parameters of how this is being approached to cut off, before they begin, certain arguments which might be made.

The objective here is to teach what the Bible teaches about the deity of Jesus Christ. We are going to look at things Jesus said, and we will look at things He did. We will look at what others had to say, including Jesus’ enemies and other writers of the Bible. By the time we finish this series, we will clearly understand that those who teach counter to the true Biblical position on the Deity of Jesus and claim to base their position on the Bible, are simply wrong and have no case to make. That may sound harsh, but it is true. Stay with this study for the duration, and that point will be made quite clear.

The objective is NOT to debate the accuracy of The Bible. If that interests you, move on along because that is not the discussion here. We are here to teach what the Bible teaches, with a big dose of presupposition that is is correct and accurate.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

So, did Jesus claim to be God? Well, as we have discussed, He never said the words “I am God.” He did, however, make some claims that clearly seem to indicate He was making just that claim. Let’s look at some of those.

In John 10:30, Jesus claimed He and His father were one

In John 14:1, he said those who believe in God also believe in Him

In John 14:9, Jesus told Phillip that anyone who had seen Him had seen God.

John Chapter 14 is, in fact, full of references to Jesus and the Father being of one essence.

In John 14:7, Jesus informed Phillip that if he had known Jesus, he would have known “My Father as well.

John 14:10: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?”

John 14:11: “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me

Jesus claimed equality with God, that He was the Son of God.  It is simply a rule of logic that if two things are equal, they are basically the same. For instance, 2=2 clearly shows us that 2 and 2 are the same thing in every sense of the word.  It gets more complicated when you compare beings or ideas, but the concept is the same.  If Student A claims to be equal with Student B, then in some verifiable way they are equal. Of course, they may not be equal in every way: one may be tall and one short, one may be large one may be small. However, in some way they are equal. In normal usage, to claim equality with another person is claiming positional equality; in other words, they share an equal position in the scheme of things and in life. When our country’s founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “All men are created equal”, they were not saying we are all alike, they were saying that we are equal in our position and standing before other people as well as before God.

So, if Jesus claimed equality with God (and He did), then He was stating He shared a position of equality with God. Who can be positionally equal with an infinite God other than God Himself? Therefore to claim equality with God is to claim to be God.

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. This claim is very important when studied in the context of the Jewish culture of Jesus’ day. Ancestry and lineage were of primary importance in the culture of the day. A son, while he might have to grow and mature, was in many ways the absolute equal to his father. Ultimately, every firstborn son of a Jewish male would assume his father’s place in the structure, authority, and culture of his time. So, to be a man’s son was to imply, basically, equality with that man. So, for Jesus to claim to be God’s son was to claim equality and one-ship with God.

Here are a couple of useful outside remarks concerning this issue”

Norman Giesler quoting Peter Kreeft in his book, “Why I Am a Christian:

Jesus also claimed to be the “Son of God.” This title does not mean Jesus is God’s biological Son. Neither does the term “Son” imply inferiority anymore than a human son is inferior in essence to his father. A son shares his father’s DNA, and although he is different, they are both men. Scholars say that the term “Son of God” in the original languages refers to likeness, or “of the same order.” Jesus meant by it that he has divine essence, or in 21st-century terms, the “DNA of God

From Jesus OnLine Ministries:

What did Jesus mean when he called himself the ‘Son of God’? The son of a man is a man. (Both ‘son’ and ‘man,’ in the traditional language, mean males and females equally.) The son of an ape is an ape. The son of a dog is a dog. The son of a shark is a shark. And so the Son of God is God. ‘Son of God’ is a divine title.

So, we can see that even if Jesus, never uttered the words, “I am God,” that He did make claims to being of one essence with God, or claims of equality with God. We could stop here and have sufficient evidence that Jesus laid claims to divinity, but we won’t. Next week we will look at some things Jesus DID which basically amount to claims of a divine nature.

Until then, peace and blessings!

Is Jesus Really God? Part Four – Why Don’t We Believe In Jesus?

Part 4 of this re-run series. Blessings and enjoy!

We have been working our way through a study on the Deity of Jesus Christ. Simply put, this is one of the most basic and essential beliefs of orthodox Christian faith. Without belief in the Divine nature of Jesus, it can be seriously questioned if one is actually a Christian or, in fact, something else. We have discussed why it matters, a brief explanation of the Hypostatic Union, and some of the major attacks and assaults both historically and today on this essential doctrine.

As we move along in our study, I want to take a look at the whys or the motivations, that may be driving those who doubt this doctrine to doubt in the first place. Irritation warning here and an intolerance advisory has been issued. Many will disagree with some of what I say here, but that’s really not my problem.

Let’s recap, quickly, just why this matters so greatly to the core of Christian belief:

When we pray for the forgiveness of our sins, who do most of us pray to? That is very likely Jesus Christ. If Jesus was not God, then we are praying empty, useless prayers, as only God can forgive sin.

We often pray to and worship Jesus. If He was not God, just who are we worshiping? After all, aren’t we to only worship God?

If we fail to recognize the deity of Jesus, them many other essential Christian doctrines fly right out of the door as well, such as the Trinity and the Resurrection. In fact, since the concept of the deity of Jesus seems quite clear in The Bible, a good part of that has to be tossed out the window as well.

Only God is eternal and infinite. If Jesus was not eternal and infinite, then how exactly did He pay for the potentially infinite sins of the entire human race past, present, and future?

There are many other things we could say about the essential nature of the deity of Jesus, but we will leave it at the above for now and move along. The point is, that without a belief in the deity of Jesus Christ, one is not in any meaningful sense a Christian. Failure to believe in the deity of Jesus is a failure to believe in the Jesus of the Bible. Belief in Jesus is essential to our salvation. Connect the dots.

So, who is it out there in the world denying the deity of Jesus? Well, there are many.

Obviously, atheists would deny the deity of Jesus Christ. Obviously, that is because atheists by definition deny the very existence of deity. There are, however, atheists who like to debate about whether or not The Bible even teaches the deity of Jesus. Why is that? Well, it goes right back to the essential nature of the doctrine. If the deity of Jesus falls by the wayside, so do other essential doctrines and The Bible itself. My purpose here is not really to address that issue, so I won’t.

Obviously, Muslims deny the deity of Jesus, although they do recognize Him as a great prophet of God. Again, I don’t plan on taking on that subject here either.

Who is my beef really with concerning the deity of Jesus? It is with “Christians” who would undermine this essential doctrine. Who are these? Well, there are the obvious candidates of “Christian” religions who are not really Christian at all. These groups deny this essential doctrine along with many others, rendering them not Christian at all but merely what they are: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Christian Scientists, Christadelphians, and others.

In addition, among “mainstream” Christian denominations, there are arising a group of quite vocal “progressive” Christians who are getting into the business of denying the deity of Jesus, along with other essentials such as the trinity, the resurrection, and the miracles of Jesus.

So, why the denial from these groups of the deity of Jesus Christ?

It doesn’t make sense intellectually to them. How Jesus could be 100 percent man and 100 percent God simply is beyond our ability to grasp. The incarnation of Jesus is criticized as paradoxical, enigmatic, and even self-contradictory. Of course, it seems that way to us! The idea of being 100 percent of two things, in this case, human and divine, seems self-contradictory. We need to remember here who we are dealing with; we are dealing with God. God is by nature not comprehensible by anyone who is not, well, God. In one of the articles I posted on the previous post by Alister McGrath, he said the following:

“The idea of incarnation is easy to criticize: it is paradoxical, enigmatic, and so on. But everyone already knows this, including the most fervent advocates of the idea. And it is absurd, even offensive, to suggest that those who regard a belief in the incarnation as legitimate are intellectually hidebound or trapped in their traditions, unable to think for themselves. The question remains, as it always has been: is the incarnation a proper and legitimate interpretation of the history of Jesus of Nazareth?

The fact that something is paradoxical and even self-contradictory does not invalidate it. Those who have worked in the scientific field are only too aware of the sheer complexity and mysteriousness of reality. The events lying behind the rise of quantum theory, the difficulties of using models in scientific explanation – to name but two factors which I can remember particularly clearly from my own period as a natural scientist – point to the inevitability of paradox and contradiction in any except the most superficial engagement with reality.[42] Our apprehension of reality is partial and fragmentary, whether we are dealing with our knowledge of the natural world or of God. The Enlightenment world-view tended to suppose that reality could be totally apprehended in rational terms, an assumption which still persists in some theological circles, even where it has been abandoned as unrealistic elsewhere. All too many modern theologians cry ‘Contradiction!’, and expect us all to abandon there and then whatever it is that is supposed to be contradictory. But reality just isn’t like that.”

It’s fairly easy to determine why the nonbelieving world rejects the idea of the incarnation of Jesus; why, then do those wearing the mantle of “Christianity” reject it? That’s not difficult to discern, either.

How are we saved? Any true reader of God’s Word knows the answer is that we are saved by Grace, through faith. There is not even one iota of work we apply towards securing our salvation. We do not have to work to get it; it is a gift from God. We do not have to work to keep it; we are secured by God. When Jesus said on the Cross, It is finished, it was in fact finished. Why could Jesus finish it? He was God. As eternal God, He had the actual power to forgive on that cross. As eternal God, He could pay the debt for all of humanity past, present, and future. As eternal God, He had the ability to conquer death, and return to life so what we could do the same someday ourselves.

What I just described above is Christianity. Anything else is not. The single greatest heresy and false teaching in the “Church” today is the doctrine of salvation by works. It is not just a heresy, but a damnable heresy. Trust in any other thing besides the completed atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross will NOT secure a person’s salvation. Let me be clear: if you are still working your way to heaven, you are working in the wrong direction.

Why do I say the above? If Jesus was not God, then Jesus needs our help. His death may have set a great example, but did not pay the price in full. His death paid most of it, but we have a few things we have to toss in there to finish the job and to keep it finished. We have to continually re-sacrifice Him over and over by rituals and sacraments because the first time wasn’t enough.Once we have it, we have to do good to keep it, because the power of Jesus is insufficient.

People reject the divinity of Jesus because they don’t want Him to be God; they want to be God.  We want to be God. We want our set of rules, our set of standards, our legalism to be the means by which we make ourselves right with God. Please don’t misunderstand me here; I do believe God has expectations of developing holiness from His children. I am not advocating license as an alternative for legalism here. Nonetheless, becoming sanctified over time and striving for personal holiness never saves us or keeps us.

We reject the deity of Jesus because we want things our way. What’s new, right? Isn’t this what started the whole problem back in the Garden of Eden? God had made things very simple, and Adam and Eve persisted in making it complicated. It is true that there is nothing new under the sun.

Next: We are finally going to start teaching what God’s Word reveals to us about the deity of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Paid It All and You Really Don’t Want to Pay Your Own Way (Part Four)


jesus saves

Let’s get serious for a few moments now. Based on the standard of the law, we are all guilty of breaking it. I am; you are, every single one of us is. Someday we will all stand before God and the only possible verdict is a resounding GUILTY! This, however, is not armed robbery, and the penalty is not simply imprisonment. What, then is the penalty? God’s Word tells us the answer to that question:

Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death………

That’s right, the penalty prescribed in God’s Law for violation of that law is the death penalty. The penalty is not penance, or purgatory, or a monetary fine or any sort of good works to make up for what we have done. The penalty for our sin is death. What does this mean? Well, after the first sin, it meant physical death. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, they would have lived forever in their physical forms, in harmony with God. Their sin brought into the world all the sickness and death as we know it today.

Death also means spiritual death.  Even though we all eventually die physically, we are are all eternal in our spirits. Our spirit or soul will exist for all eternity.  So, again, what is it to spiritually die? Spiritual death is eternal separation from God in a place of torment we call Hell. It’s really that simple. When God says the wages of sin is death, that is the death of which He speaks.

The penalty is due; we all owe it, for we have all sinned and transgressed God’s law.  And each and every one of us can pay that penalty ourselves if we want to. We each owe it, and we can each pay it. I could have paid for my own sin; you can pay for yours if you wish. But that’s the point of this article. We don’t really want to pay our own way; we don’t want to suffer eternal death in a place called Hell.

Although we can certainly pay our own way, we do not have to. The title of this article is Jesus Paid it All, and He did. The Good News of the Gospel is that even though a penalty is was due and payable, it has already been paid! We need to go back to Romans 6:23 and look at the rest of that verse, as we only showed part of it earlier:   

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God has given us a gift. Even though we owed the penalty of death for our sin, He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ as a way for that debt to be satisfied. God became flesh, in the form of Jesus Christ and became incarnate on this Earth for that very reason. Jesus Christ was fully human so He could pay the price humans owed for their sin; He was also fully God so He could pay the infinite price of the sin of all humanity past, present and future. Despite how He hates the sin, God loves us deeply and completely.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It is a gift, we do not pay a thing for it; Jesus paid it all. We do not deserve it and we do not earn it.  All we have to do is accept it. How do we do this? Let’s look at what the Bible teaches about this:

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

It’s simple really. We have to confess Him. Basically, we have to agree with Him that our sin is wrong and understand we should have paid for it. We agree with God that our sin is wrong and turn away from it. We call that repentance. We also need to believe that Jesus paid the price we should have paid ourselves, and to trust Him as our Savior and Lord.  And finally, we do have to call on Him. Romans 10:13 teaches that. The gift is available, and it is free; however, God will not force it on anybody. He does require that we call on Him and ask for that gift.

Jesus paid it all. Four words full of meaning.  We all have a choice. We can pay our own way or we can accept that Jesus has already paid our way if only we repent toward God and believe in Jesus Christ.

In Christ Alone

This post has been around a few times, but I am reposting it today as it’s a favorite of mine. Also, I am getting all of my blog post transferred over to Word files, and just reposting as I go!

Colossians 2:8-10

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

We all have a hope in  Jesus; in fact Jesus is our only hope. For any who respond to God’s drawing and honestly seek Him, Jesus provides the only hope and the only way. There is no other hope, no other way. Jesus Himself told us I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus told Peter at one point that the rock upon which He would build His church, was in fact Himself as he told Peter the following: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Later as Peter and John were brought before the Council at Jerusalem, Peter preached this, Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

What are the heights of God’s love for us? Even though all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, He loved us while we were yet sinners. Even though our sins had separated us from a perfect and holy God, and we are sinners by birth and by choice, God loved us so much that He that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

Jesus Christ was 100 percent man and 100 percent God; Not part of each, but fully each. As the song says: the fullness of God in helpless babe. Why fully man? It was man who sinned, and man who had to pay. Of course, we could each pay our own debt for our own sin, as the wages of sin is death. But, that is the problem; we can only each pay for our own sin; I can’t pay for you and you can’t pay for me. We each are accountable and can only pay for our own transgressions. Who, then, could pay for us all? Well, God can of course! As God, Jesus could pay the infinite price presented by mankind’s infinite sin, and He did just that.

Yet, our Lord was scorned by the ones He came to save: That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 

Till on that cross as Jesus died,The wrath of God was satisfied;For ev’ry sin on Him was laid— Of all of the things Jesus said on the Cross of Calvary, none are more important than this: It is finished. Our debt, the debt of sin owed by every man, woman, and child was “paid in full, tetelestai.” As an accounting term, this simply means exactly what it says. Our debt was paid in full, and nothing more is owed. All accounts have been settled. Because Jesus paid the debt owed, we who were dead can be make alive again. as  you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. And we can be made alive, because as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain; All of the “founders” of various “religions” have died, every single one of them. But our Lord’s death is far, far different than any of those. First, they all died normal, regular deaths; old age, sickness, being murdered; the list goes on and on. The death of Jesus, however, was God’s plan from eternity past for the redemption of mankind. We know from reading that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and that the wages of sin is death. Jesus death was no unexpected event, to afterthought God came up with when our sin surprised HIm. God planned this event before the very foundation of the world to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Then bursting forth in glorious day,Up from the grave He rose again!And as He stands in victory,Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me; Remember those “founders” of those other “religions?” They are still dead. Not our Lord, however, as we know he rose from that tomb on the third day and again walked among us for 40 days. We know what happened when the women went to prepare Jesus’ body for burial, found the tomb empty, and were told by the angel He is not here: for he is risen, Why did Jesus rise? Without a bodily resurrection, our entire faith simply melts away. Without the Resurrection, Jesus was not God; he was just a martyred prophet. Without the Resurrection, every single prophecy about it is false; that renders the Bible false. Without the Resurrection, even Jesus’ own prophecies about His death and Resurrection were false, making Him not even a real prophet, but a false one. Without the Resurrection, we cannot be justified and cleared of our sin; If Jesus is still dead then we are still dead in our sin. Without the Resurrection, there is no hope. If Jesus died and stayed dead, then we also will die and stay dead. For that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand

No guilt in life, no fear in death— We have all sinned, and one of the results of sin is guilt. We need never feel guilty for the things our our past as they are forgiven, as God has told us the following, For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Our pasts? Gone, with the wind.  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. That is a pretty impressive list of the forgiven ones!

Sometimes Satan, accuser of our brethren still attacks, both our past and our now. The past is gone, but even our sins of today are forgiven and washed away by the blood of jesus Christ. Our guilt over our current sin my be in order, and may simply be telling us of our need for confession to our Father. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand; Once we belong to Jesus, we belong to Jesus. Just as we never need to feel guilty about our pasts, we never need to worry about the security of our future. Grace saved us, and grace keeps us. Nothing we have done worked us to heaven, and nothing we can do will ever take that away from us either: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. We were given to Jesus by the Father and nothing can ever take us away; Jesus assured us that My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.


Are you in Christ alone? Or are you still burdened by the guilt of your past? Has the Holy Spirit reached out and convicted you of your need for forgiveness? If he has, listen to what He is telling you. Repent and believe today.

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand

Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

Sung by Kristyn Townsend

In Christ Alone

This post has been around a few times, but I am reposting it today with a very special addition from my new blogging friend Hayley at Red Letters

Colossians 2:8-10

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

We all have a hope in  Jesus; in fact Jesus is our only hope. For any who respond to God’s drawing and honestly seek Him, Jesus provides the only hope and the only way. There is no other hope, no other way. Jesus Himself told us I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus told Peter at one point that the rock upon which He would build His church, was in fact Himself as he told Peter the following: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Later as Peter and John were brought before the Council at Jerusalem, Peter preached this, Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

What are the heights of God’s love for us? Even though all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, He loved us while we were yet sinners. Even though our sins had separated us from a perfect and holy God, and we are sinners by birth and by choice, God loved us so much that He that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

Jesus Christ was 100 percent man and 100 percent God; Not part of each, but fully each. As the song says: the fullness of God in helpless babe. Why fully man? It was man who sinned, and man who had to pay. Of course, we could each pay our own debt for our own sin, as the wages of sin is death. But, that is the problem; we can only each pay for our own sin; I can’t pay for you and you can’t pay for me. We each are accountable and can only pay for our own transgressions. Who, then, could pay for us all? Well, God can of course! As God, Jesus could pay the infinite price presented by mankind’s infinite sin, and He did just that.

Yet, our Lord was scorned by the ones He came to save: That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 

Till on that cross as Jesus died,The wrath of God was satisfied;For ev’ry sin on Him was laid— Of all of the things Jesus said on the Cross of Calvary, none are more important than this: It is finished. Our debt, the debt of sin owed by every man, woman, and child was “paid in full, tetelestai.” As an accounting term, this simply means exactly what it says. Our debt was paid in full, and nothing more is owed. All accounts have been settled. Because Jesus paid the debt owed, we who were dead can be make alive again. as  you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. And we can be made alive, because as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain; All of the “founders” of various “religions” have died, every single one of them. But our Lord’s death is far, far different than any of those. First, they all died normal, regular deaths; old age, sickness, being murdered; the list goes on and on. The death of Jesus, however, was God’s plan from eternity past for the redemption of mankind. We know from reading that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and that the wages of sin is death. Jesus death was no unexpected event, to afterthought God came up with when our sin surprised HIm. God planned this event before the very foundation of the world to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Then bursting forth in glorious day,Up from the grave He rose again!And as He stands in victory,Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me; Remember those “founders” of those other “religions?” They are still dead. Not our Lord, however, as we know he rose from that tomb on the third day and again walked among us for 40 days. We know what happened when the women went to prepare Jesus’ body for burial, found the tomb empty, and were told by the angel He is not here: for he is risen, Why did Jesus rise? Without a bodily resurrection, our entire faith simply melts away. Without the Resurrection, Jesus was not God; he was just a martyred prophet. Without the Resurrection, every single prophecy about it is false; that renders the Bible false. Without the Resurrection, even Jesus’ own prophecies about His death and Resurrection were false, making Him not even a real prophet, but a false one. Without the Resurrection, we cannot be justified and cleared of our sin; If Jesus is still dead then we are still dead in our sin. Without the Resurrection, there is no hope. If Jesus died and stayed dead, then we also will die and stay dead. For that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand

No guilt in life, no fear in death— We have all sinned, and one of the results of sin is guilt. We need never feel guilty for the things our our past as they are forgiven, as God has told us the following, For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Our pasts? Gone, with the wind.  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. That is a pretty impressive list of the forgiven ones!

Sometimes Satan, accuser of our brethren still attacks, both our past and our now. The past is gone, but even our sins of today are forgiven and washed away by the blood of jesus Christ. Our guilt over our current sin my be in order, and may simply be telling us of our need for confession to our Father. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand; Once we belong to Jesus, we belong to Jesus. Just as we never need to feel guilty about our pasts, we never need to worry about the security of our future. Grace saved us, and grace keeps us. Nothing we have done worked us to heaven, and nothing we can do will ever take that away from us either: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. We were given to Jesus by the Father and nothing can ever take us away; Jesus assured us that My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.


Are you in Christ alone? Or are you still burdened by the guilt of your past? Has the Holy Spirit reached out and convicted you of your need for forgiveness? If he has, listen to what He is telling you. Repent and believe today.

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand

Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

Sung by Kristyn Townsend

Is Jesus Really God? Part Six

is jesus god

Part 6 of this older series.

We have been studying in some detail this very critical central doctrine of the Christian faith, and are working our way towards a conclusion. Before we dive into the meat of the post, I want to establish the parameters of how this is being approached to cut off, before they begin, certain arguments which might be made.

The objective here is to teach what the Bible teaches about the deity of Jesus Christ. We are going to look at things Jesus said, and we will look at things He did. We will look at what others had to say, including Jesus’ enemies and other writers of the Bible. By the time we finish this series we will clearly understand that those who teach counter to to the true Biblical position on the Deity of Jesus, and claim to base their position on the Bible, are simply wrong and have no case to make. That may sound harsh, but it is true. Stay with this study for the duration, and that point will be made quite clear.

The objective is NOT to debate the accuracy of The Bible. If that interests you, move on along, because that is not the discussion here. We are here to teach what the Bible teaches, with a big dose of presupposition that is is correct and accurate.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

So, did Jesus claim to be God? Well, as we have discussed, He never said the words “I am God.” He did, however make some claims that clearly seem to indicate He was making just that claim. Let’s look at some of those.

In John 10:30, Jesus claimed He and His father were one

In John 14:1, he said those who believe in God also believe in Him

In John 14:9, Jesus told Phillip that anyone who had seen Him had seen God.

John Chapter 14 is, in fact full of references to Jesus and the Father being of one essence.

In John 14:7, Jesus informed Phillip that if he had known Jesus, he would have known “My Father as well.

John 14:10: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?”

John 14:11: “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me

Jesus claimed equality with God, that He was the Son of God.  It is simply a rule of logic that if two things are equal, they are basically the same. For instance 2=2 clearly shows us that 2 and 2 are the same thing in every sense of the word.  It gets more complicated when you compare beings or ideas, but the concept is the same.  If Student A claims to be equal with Student B, then in some verifiable way they are equal. Of course, they may not be equal in every way: one may be tall and one short, one may be large one may be small. However, in some way they are equal. In normal usage, to claim equality with another person is claiming positional equality;in other words they share an equal position in the scheme of things and in life. When our country’s founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “All men are created equal”, they were not saying we are all alike, they were saying that we are equal in our position and standing before other people as well as before God.

So, if Jesus claimed equality with God (and He did), then He was stating He shared a position of equality with God. Who can be positionally equal with an infinite God other than God Himself? Therefore to claim equality with God is to claim to be God.

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. This claim is very important when studied in the context of Jewish culture of Jesus’ day. Ancestry and lineage was of primary importance in the culture of the day. A son, while he might have to grow and mature, was in many ways the absolute equal to his father. Ultimately, every first born son of a Jewish male would assume his father’s place in the structure, authority, and culture of his time. So, to be a man’s son was to imply, basically, equality with that man. So, for Jesus to claim to be God’s son was to claim equality and one-ship with God.

Here are a couple of useful outside remarks concerning this issue”

Norman Giesler quoting Peter Kreeft in his book, “Why I Am a Christian:

Jesus also claimed to be the, “Son of God.” This title does not mean Jesus is God’s biological Son. Neither does the term “Son” imply inferiority anymore than a human son is inferior in essence to his father. A son shares his father’s DNA, and although he is different, they are both men. Scholars say that the term “Son of God” in the original languages refers to likeness, or “of the same order.” Jesus meant by it that he has divine essence, or in 21st century terms, the “DNA of God

From Jesus OnLine Misistries:

What did Jesus mean when he called himself the ‘Son of God’? The son of a man is a man. (Both ‘son’ and ‘man,’ in the traditional language, mean males and females equally.) The son of an ape is an ape. The son of a dog is a dog. The son of a shark is a shark. And so the Son of God is God. ‘Son of God’ is a divine title.

So, we can see that even if Jesus, never uttered the words, “I am God,” that He did make claims to being of one essence with God, or claims of equality with God. We could stop here and have sufficient evidence that Jesus laid claims to divinity, but we won’t. Next week we will look at some things Jesus DID which basically amount to claims of a divine nature.

Until then, peace and blessings!

Just a Thought

Jesus-Satisfies

Where there is Jesus, there is hope

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