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Let’s look at each of the options, and figure out where we stand. First, is Jesus God?
If you believe the Bible, He is. These are the most compelling Scriptures to me:
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!” ~John 8:58
Remember, God the Father told Moses His name is I AM back in Exodus 3:14. Here, Jesus is not only claiming to be God, but to have existed before Abraham.
Did the Jews believe He was claiming to be God? Indeed they did, because after He said this, they picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy (John 8:59).
In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ~John 1:1-2
I’m not sure how that could be anymore clear. Sure, the construct of calling Jesus “the Word” is a little confusing. John had a way of writing like that. But if you replace the word Word with Jesus (scholars agree that Word here refers to Jesus) it’s incontrovertible.
And one more:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” ~Revelation 22:13
It is clear the person speaking these words in Revelation 22:13 is Jesus because in verse 16, the Bible reads: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.”
Why is this significant? First, because it is the same thing God the Father said earlier in Revelation: “I am the Alpha and Omega–the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come–the Almighty One.” ~ Revelation 1:8 He also said it in Isaiah 44:6 “This is what the Lord says–Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: ‘I am the First and the Last; there is no other God.”
So if God the Father will not share is glory with anyone else (Isaiah 42:8) , and no god was formed before Him or will outlive Him (Isaiah 43:10), then what can we conclude except that Jesus is God?
But how is that possible? How can God and Jesus both be God?
When we’re talking about God in this way, the name refers to the nature (the what) of God–the substance/essence of being. God is what they are, much like humans are what you and I are. The Father, the Son, are distinct persons. Just like you are not me even though both of us are human. So, God is what the Father and Son are, not who they are. Except then it gets really confusing because the New Testament calls God the Father, God, and calls Jesus the Son of God, Christ Jesus, Lord Jesus. No wonder the issue of the Trinity is confusing. Perhaps it’s safest to say that God the Father and God the Son are both divine. That is their nature. Together with the Holy Spirit (more in a later post), they form one God.
Clearing up some misconceptions: Jehovah’s Witnesses argue that Jesus is not God, but the Son of God, who is only a god.
They base this on two Scriptures.
Colossians 1:15: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation…
Here, the word for “firstborn” in Greek can either mean that He was the eldest (which we know to be true of His birth order on earth), or of preeminent rank. Both of these are true, as you’ll see if you continue reading Colossians 16-20:
for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him.
He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.
He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross – through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
These Scriptures are not talking about Jesus being the first thing created. He already existed and was the both the Creator and purpose for Creation. Also here, we see that Jesus is the “firstborn” from among the dead. Meaning that because He is resurrected, we can come after Him and be resurrected.
The J’sW also misappropriate Revelation 3:14: “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write the following:“This is the solemn pronouncement of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation:””
It’s clear from the NET version that Jesus is the originator of God’s creation, not the first created being. Other translations read that He was “the beginning of God’s creation.” The same argument as above in Colossians 15-20 applies. Jesus already existed and was the pivotal in Creation.
Let me guess, you’re getting tired of the semantic game. Are your thoughts spinning? Do you want to go curl up in a little ball or go punch something? Understandable reactions.
Why does all this matter?
Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~John 8:31-32
It’s important to know what we believe, even when the subject is as difficult as the Trinity.
For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus different from the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the one you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it well enough…For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions. ~2 Corinthians 11:4,13-15
Whether you call Jesus God, or the Son of God may be a semantic issue. The real question is whether you’re giving Jesus the glory and honor ascribed to Him by God the Father. All of Creation was made through Jesus and for Him. He is seated in heaven at the right hand of God. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. He will return and judge us. Will He find you worthy?
Questions, comments, problem verses? Inspirational verses?