Editor's note: This article came from the Prodigy BBS.
We agree that the Bible is the inspired word of God, and that He has protected it down through the ages. Understanding the fact that it is truth, than in all matters of doctrine we must return to it, and measure any teaching by it, this must include throwing out any falsely conceived notions of men.
The one and only item open for discussion is the deity of Jesus.
We have obviously placed our entire hope for salvation from our own and this world's ills upon the shoulders of a promised redeemer, whom Christians identify as Jesus of Nazareth. You may be wondering if any one person, however extraordinary, is equal to that task How could any one man, a mere man, do so much?
That is the issue. Is it a man whom we are talking about? Or is He God? Christians readily admit that if Jesus were no more than a man, however remarkable he might be, he clearly could not be our Savior, nor is it likely that he did the many supernatural things attributed to him. On the other hand, if he is not only a man but is also God, then nothing is impossible to him and he did achieve our salvation. God cannot lie, so what he has promised he will necessarily perform. The question of Christ's deity is, therefore, the question about Jesus. The question does not mean that Jesus must be approached in some mystical way On the contrary, we must approach him as a true man within the context of history, a man who actually said and did certain things. But we will not understand him even in that context until we recognize he is also God and that his divinity alone gives meaning to his speech and actions." James Boice, Foundations of the Christian Faith.
Does the Bible say that Jesus is God?
Isaiah 7:13 Immanuel means "God with us" cf. Matt. 1:23
Isaiah 9:6 "For to us a child is born . . . and He shall be called . . . Mighty God . . "Matthew 16:16 "Who do you say I am"? Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ (Greek for Messiah).
Mark 14:61b-62 "Are you the Christ . .?" "I am," said Jesus
Luke 2:11 "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the LORD."
Luke 2:23-32 Simeon's account of seeing the Lord's Christ.
Please read the following at another time [ Luke 4: 16-30 Jesus' account of who He is, and the fact the people understood what He was saying, and wanted to kill Him for it. ]
Luke 4:33-35 the demon knew who Jesus is
Luke 5:17-21 only God forgives sin
Please read the following at another time [ Luke 8:26-3 9 Who's done what for you? God. ]
John 1:1-14 "The word (logos) was God became flesh and made His dwelling with us. . .]
What about the "time" before the creation, who and what was Jesus then? II Corinthians 8:9 and Galatians 4:4 address this question. In both cases Paul is thinking of the former glory of Jesus temporarily laid aside in order that he might accomplish our redemption. All passages that speak of God "sending His own Son" are also in this framework (Compare Romans 8:3, I Cor 15:47; Eph. 4:8-10)
"The conception of the person of Christ which underlies and finds expression in the epistle of the Hebrews is indistinguishable from that which governs all the allusions to our LORD in the epistles of Paul" B. B. Warfield, professor of theology at Princeton
Hebrews 2, like Philippians 2:5-11. is based on the premise of the pre-existence and full divinity of Christ. Its major point is that Christ moved from His prior position of glory to the Incarnation in order to achieve our salvation and is now glorified once again. cf. Hebrews 2:7-9.
John 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 and 18 4-8 all the "I am"s there are at least 30 times Jesus said "I am". So? The Jews never said "I am ...." anything because the term I AM is the name God gave Moses on the mountain (Genesis 3:14) they therefore kept it from their vocabulary. In these chapters in John, Jesus throws it around a lot, referring to Himself. The Jews knew what He was saying look at verses 6:41-42; 7:1; 7:25-32; 7:45-52; 8:58-59. In 18:4-8 notice the people's reaction to His statement "I am".
In another vane of thought, no Jew ever spoke of God as "my father." Yet that was the form of address Jesus used.
John 20:27-28 Thomas fell to the ground and worshiped Him (worship being reserved for God alone) and called him, "Adonai! Elohim!" LORD and God.
Romans 9:5 "Christ, who is God over all"
Colossians 1: 15-17 Jesus is the creator
Colossians 1:19-20 All the fullness of God dwells in Him
Colossians 2.9-10 Deity in human form
Titus 1:3-4 the command of God our Savior. . . Christ Jesus our Savior. Interchangeable: God and Jesus (one in the same, our Savior)
Titus 1:13 "The glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own . . . "
Hebrews 1:8 "But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God'
Revelation 1:8 & 17-18 and 22:12-16 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the LORD God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.", "Do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!..." 22:16 I, Jesus . . . how clearer could He be?
"one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all" Ephesians 4:6" . . . for on Him (Jesus) the Father, even God, has set His seal." John 6:27 The Father is God "But of the Son, He (God cf. 1:1) says, 'Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever . . ." Hebrews 1:8 The Son, Jesus, is God
Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit . . . You have not lied to men, but to God." Acts 5:3 & 4 The Holy Spirit is God
Let us look at the area of the Trinity -- God, although one, nevertheless exists in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As you know, the word Trinity is not in the Bible. It comes to us from the Latin word trinitas, which means "threeness." Even though the word is not in the Bible, the trinitanan idea is clearly there, and it is the most important. It is important because there can be no real blessings or salvation either upon ourselves or our work if we neglect any one of the persons of the Godhead, because we do not have a clear idea of who God is, and therefore are serving someone, or something which really doesn't exist. Christians, and Jews believe that there is only one God. "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD. Deut. 6:4
1. There is but one living and true God who exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The plurality may be seen, in the first instance, in Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in our image, after our likeness" Another: Genesis 11:7 "Come, let Us go down there and confuse their language." And a third: Isaiah 6:8 "And I heard the voice of the LORD saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?"
2. The Lord Jesus the Christ is fully divine, being the Second Person of the Godhead who became man. "This, of course, is where the crux of debate on the Trinity is to be found; those who dislike the doctrine dislike it primarily because they are unwilling to give such an exalted position to "the man" Jesus. Such reluctance is seen first in the teachings of Anus of Alexandria (died AD. 336). Sabellius tended to merge the persons of the Trinity, so that Father, Son and Holy Spirit were only temporary manifestations of the one God, assumed for the purposes of our redemption. Anus, whose main work was done just after Sabellius, went to the other extreme. He divided the persons of the Trinity so the Son and the Spirit became less than God the Father. According to Arius, the Son and the Spirit were beings willed into existence by God for the purpose of acting as His agents in redemption. Thus, they were not eternal (as God is), and they were not fully divine. In more recent centuries the same error has been exposed by Unitarians and by some modern cults. But it is a great error. For if Christ is not fully divine, then our salvation is neither accomplished nor assured. No being less that God Himself, however exalted, is able to bear the full punishment of the world's sin." James Boise, Foundations of the Christian Faith
3. The Holy Spirit is fully Divine. It is Jesus who most clearly teaches the nature of the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel of John Jesus compares the coming ministry of Holy Spirit with His own (John 14:16-17) This understanding of the Holy Spirit is supported by the fact that distinctly divine attributes are ascribed to Him: Hebrews 9:14 everlastingness Psalm 139:7-10 omnipresence I Cor. 2:10-11 omniscience Luke 1:35 omnipotence
4. While each is fully divine, the three persons of the Godhead are related to each other in a way that implies some differences. It is said in the Scripture that the Father (not the Spirit) sent the Son into the world (Mark 9:37; Matt. 10:40; John 3:16; Gal.4:4), but that both the Father and the Son sent the Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7) We don't fully know what such a description of relationships within the Trinity means. But usually it is said that the Son is subject to the Father, for the Father sent Him, and the Spirit is subject to both the Father and the Son, for they sent Him. However, we must remember that when we speak of subjection we do not mean inequality. Although related to each other in these ways, the members of the Godhead are nevertheless the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
Again let me note, although we can say meaningful things about the Trinity (on the basis of God's revelation of them), the Trinity is still unfathomable. We should be humble before the Trinity. Someone once asked Daniel Webster, the orator, how a man of his intellect could believe in the Trinity. "How can a man of your mental caliber believe that three equals one?" his assailant chided. Webster replied, "I do not pretend fully to understand the arithmetic of heaven now." The doctrine of the Trinity does not mean that three equals one, of course, and Webster knew that. It means rather that God is three in one sense and one in another. But Webster's reply nevertheless showed a proper degree of creature humility. We believe the doctrine of the Trinity, not because we understand it, but because the Bible clearly teaches it and because the Spirit Himself witnesses within our heart that it is so. James Boice, Foundations of the Christian Faith
These are central verses regarding the Deity of Jesus. There are hundreds of others. One must understand just who and what Jesus is. If He is not God, then He has no ability to save mankind from sin, therefore our redemption and salvation would be in question, and in fact non-existent. JW' s and Mormons have be misled by false teaching of the past. You can be freed from that, because the truth sets us free. You need to, and it is very hard, open your mind and release any preconceived notions which you have. Read the Scriptures with that open mind, asking God to prove to you the truth. Friends, I'll tell you the truth: if you miss Jesus, you miss it all. There is no salvation in any other name or means. Don't play around with these facts. Please don't let someone led you to hell.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus, that who ever believes in Him shall not die, but have eternal life.
Please allow me to list for you the seven cardinal doctrines of Christianity, and some of the verses from the Scriptures which fully support them:
1 The Scriptures are God's word
II Tim 3:16, II Peter 1:21; 1 Kings 8:56; Jer 36:1-2; Ps 12:6
2 The virgin birth of Jesus the Christ
Is 7:14; Matt 1:18,25; Luke 1: 34-35
3 The Deity of Jesus
Is 7:14, 9:6; John 1:1-14, 4:25-26, 8:58, 10:24-39, 17:5, 22:43-45; Matt 26:63-64; Luke 22:69; Mic 5:2
4 The blood atonement of Jesus
Gen 3:21, 4:4; Lev 14:21, 17:11; Rom 3:25, 5:9-11; Ex 30:10; Matt 26:28; Heb 9:7,22; John 129
5 Justification come through faith alone
Gen 15:6; Hab 2:4; Rom 3:22,28; 4:2-4; 5:1-2,18, 8:1, 9:30; 10:4, 9-11; Gal 3:6, 11-14, 24
6 The resurrection in bodily form of Jesus
Mart 27:65-66; Luke 24:39; Acts 1:3; 2:23-24; 3:13-15; 4:33; 10:39-41: 13:28-31; 17:3: Rom 1:4; 4:25; 10:9-11; 1 Cor 15:4-8
7 The second coming of Jesus back to earth.
Matt 16:27; 25:31-32; 26:64; Mark 16:62; Luke 21:27; Acts 1:11; Heb 9:28; Rev 19:11-21
It is my firm belief that if any one of these seven is either misunderstood, or omitted, that those teaching such untruths are to be considered false teachers, and are not to be listened to. So great a price rides on our understanding of these doctrines: our eternal souls. The Gospel: God came, in the form of the man Jesus, died, was buried and rose from the dead to redeem His people from the penalty of sin, is so simple, and that may be exactly why it is hard for some to grasp. We humans feel that we must earn God's approval, when in reality He is the one who made it all possible. We must, by faith in the person of Jesus the Christ, learn to lay back and enjoy that which He did for us. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Rom 8:1