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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus

Don Stewart :: Does the New Testament Give Direct Evidence That Jesus Is God?

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Does the New Testament Give Direct Evidence That Jesus Is God?

What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus – Question 5

The Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus Christ was true humanity. There is no doubt about this. In modern times, however, there remains the question concerning His Deity. Was He more than just a man?

Jesus Was Fully Human and Fully God

The Scriptures testify that Jesus was fully human and also fully God. This can be observed from Jesus’ own testimony, and the testimony of others. We find this to be true in both direct and indirect statements about Him.

There are a number of direct statements in the New Testament concerning the Deity of Christ. They include the following.

1. The Testimony of the Four Gospels

The gospels make the following statement about Jesus. We will list some of the evidence that they provide.

A. Jesus Was in the Beginning with God

To begin with, Jesus has always existed. John begins his gospel as follows:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 KJV)

This statement is clear. Jesus Christ was in the beginning with God because He is God. The imperfect tense of the verb stresses the fact that Jesus continually existed in the past. As far back as one goes in time, Jesus Christ is already there.

B. He Is God the One and Only

Jesus is God the one and only. John also wrote,

No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known. (John 1:18 TNIV)

Here Jesus is called God the one and only. Jesus, therefore, is unique in His relationship with God the Father.

C. Jesus Is Equal with God

Jesus Christ also claimed equality with God. The following account in John’s gospel reveals this about Him:

>This is why the Jews began trying all the more to kill Him: not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. (John 5:18 HCSB)

The Jews wanted to kill Jesus because they understood He was claiming equality with God. They certainly knew what He was saying.

D. Jesus Existed before Abraham

Although Jesus was born as a babe in Bethlehem, He claimed to have existed two thousand years earlier, at the time of Abraham. John records the following:

Jesus told them, “I can guarantee this truth: Before Abraham was ever born, I am.&#8221h (John 8:58 God’s Word)

While angels existed before Abraham Jesus never claimed to be a mere angel.

E. Thomas’ Confession of Jesus

Jesus made Himself equal with God. When doubting Thomas saw the risen Christ, He gave testimony to Jesus’ Deity:

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28 NRSV)

Thomas confessed to Jesus’ Deity. Jesus did not rebuke Him for this. To the contrary, we find that He had the following response:

Jesus said, “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!” (John 20:29 CEV)

Jesus acknowledged the confession of Thomas. Jesus is indeed Lord and God.

2. The Testimony of the Book of Acts

In the Book of Acts, written by Luke, we seem to have a direct statement about Christ’s deity. He wrote of the apostle Paul speaking of the “church of God” that was purchased “with His own blood”:

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. (Acts 20:28 HCSB)

It was the blood of Jesus Christ that paid the penalty for sin. Yet, here it says that “God” bought with His own blood. Consequently, it is saying that Jesus Christ is God.

We should note, however, that the reading “His own blood” is uncertain; there is a variation in the manuscripts at this point. Some manuscripts read “blood of His own Son” instead of “His own blood.” For example, the New Revised Standard Version says:

Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. (Acts 20:28 NRSV)

Therefore, it is uncertain as to whether this is a reference to the deity of Christ.

3. The Writings of Paul

The Apostle Paul made a number of statements about Jesus deity. He believed that Jesus was indeed God himself. They include the following statements.

A. Jesus Is God over All

Paul said that Jesus was God over all. He wrote to the Romans,

Their ancestors were great people of God, and Christ himself was a Jew as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. (Romans 9:5 NLT)

Christ is God. Indeed, He is the One who rules over everything.

B. Jesus Is Yahweh (Lord)

Paul wrote to the Romans that Jesus is Lord, or Yahweh. We read the following:

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9, 10 HCSB)

To be saved, a person needs to confess Jesus as the Lord; that He is Yahweh or Jehovah, the divine name for God.

C. Jesus Has the Same Nature as God

Jesus Christ has the same nature as the one, true God. Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Philippians. He put it this way:

Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. (Philippians 2:5, 6 NLT)

Jesus is the one, true God who humbly came to our planet. In doing so, He did not demand all of His rights as God.

D. He Is the Visible Image of the Invisible God

When Paul wrote to the Colossians He said a number of important things about Jesus’ identity. First, He said that Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God. In addition, He is pre-eminent over all creation.

Furthermore, he said that Jesus existed before all things. These statements stress His eternal existence. Paul wrote,

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17 NRSV)

Jesus Christ is fully God. There is no doubt about this.

E. Jesus Has All the Fullness of Deity

Later in Colossians, Paul said that all the fullness of deity is in Jesus. Indeed, he specifically said the following:

For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body. (Colossians 2:9 NLT)

It could not be clearer than this. Jesus was fully God and fully human.

F. Jesus Is the Great God and Savior

Jesus is also called the great God and Savior. Paul wrote about this to Titus:

At the same time we can expect what we hope for—the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13 God’s Word)

Jesus Christ is the great God and Savior. The verse is not speaking of the appearing of two distinct persons the great God, and the Savior, rather it speaks of the appearing of one Person, Jesus, the great God and Savior.

It Is Beyond All Doubt in Original Greek

This is clear beyond any doubt in the original Greek. There is a rule in Greek grammar known as the Granville-Sharp rule. It can be very simply stated as follows: when two nouns in the singular are joined by the word “and” (kai in Greek) and the first noun has the article in front of it, and the second noun does not, both nouns refer to the same thing.

In Titus 2:13 we have this type of construction. The first noun “God” has the article in front of it. The second noun “Savior” does not. They are joined together by the word “and.” Therefore the great God and Savior are the same person, Jesus Christ. There is no getting around this grammatical rule.

Please note that this is a simplified explanation of the rule. The rule is a bit more complicated than we have stated it. Nevertheless the conclusion remains that Titus 2:13 is a direct statement of Jesus’ deity.

4. The Testimony of the Book of Hebrews

The writer to the Hebrews accepted the deity of Jesus Christ. The Son is directly called God. The Father says that throne of the Son will last forever and ever. We read,

But to the Son He says “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8 NKJV)

He is directly called God by God the Father. The Father, of course, would certainly be in a position to know this!

5. Peter

Peter, one of Jesus own disciples, confessed to His deity. Jesus Christ is called both God and Savior by Peter:

Simeon Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ: To those who have obtained a faith of equal privilege with ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:1 HCSB)

This Greek construction is another example of the Granville-Sharp rule. God and Savior speak of the same Person, Jesus.

6. John

From the First letter of John we have another statement about the Deity of Christ. John wrote that Jesus is the one, true God. He explained it in this manner:

We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we know the real God. We are in the one who is real, his Son Jesus Christ. This Jesus Christ is the real God and eternal life. (1 John 5:20 God’s Word)

John gives a clear statement to the deity of Christ.

In sum, as we examine the New Testament we find direct evidence that Jesus Christ is called “God.”

Summary – Question 5
Does the New Testament Give Direct Evidence That Jesus Is God?

As we survey the New Testament, we find direct statements about the deity of Jesus Christ from five different New Testament writers. John, Luke, Paul, the writer to the Hebrews, and Peter. They all testified directly that Jesus Christ was more than a mere human being, He is God Almighty.

What we discover is this. Jesus is acknowledged as being God in the beginning. When all things began Jesus already existed. Indeed, Scripture says He is the Creator of all things.

Furthermore, He is called the one and only God in the Gospel of John. This is a further reference to His deity. Indeed, John emphasizes the special relationship Jesus had with God the Father.

Jesus also claimed equality with God. John records the Jewish religious leaders attempted to stone Him to death because of these claims.

The Apostle Thomas worshipped Him as God when Jesus appeared alive eight days after His death. Jesus accepted Thomas’ confession that He was both Lord and God.

While the Bible says that Jesus’ blood paid the penalty for sin, it also says that the blood of God bought the church. Thus, it logically follows that Jesus is God.

Paul said that all of the fullness of God resided in Jesus. This further indicates Jesus’ deity. Indeed, this could be said of nobody else.

Both Peter and Paul say that Jesus is the great God and Savior. Indeed, their statements are about as clear as can be. In his first letter to believers, John the Apostle wrote that Jesus is the one, true God.

In the Book of Hebrews God the Father is recorded as calling the Son “God.” This is another text which indicates Jesus was more than a mere human. It is plain from the above references that the writers of the New Testament believed that Jesus is God Himself.

Was Jesus A Human Being? ← Prior Section
Does the Bible Indirectly Teach That Jesus Is God? Next Section →
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