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the deity of Jesus Christ

The Deity Of Jesus Christ: Biblical Proofs

Some deny the Deity of Jesus Christ. Of those, some believe in the inerrant Word of God, yet alleges that Jesus Himself never claimed to be God. Those who would make such a claim are simply wrong.

Some deny the Deity of Jesus Christ. Of those, some believe in the inerrant Word of God, yet alleges that Jesus Himself never claimed to be God. Those who would make such a claim are simply wrong. Either they have never read the New Testament or simply refuse to acknowledge the abundance of evidence of Jesus’ claims of Divinity.

That the New Testament is full of references to the divinity of Christ is difficult to deny. From the four canonical Gospels through the book of Acts and the Pauline Epistles, Jesus is not only seen as the Messiah (or Christ) but also equated with God Himself. The apostle Paul refers to the divinity of Christ when he calls Jesus our “great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13) and even says that Jesus existed in the “form of God” before His incarnation (Philippians 2:5-8).

God the Father says regarding Jesus, “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever” (Hebrews 1:8). Jesus is directly referred to as the Creator Himself (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17). Other biblical passages teach Christ’s deity (Revelation 1:7; 2:8; 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 5:4).

We challenge you to get your Bible (KJV) and check all the references that we are about to give. We are going to offer twelve Scriptural proofs for the Deity of Jesus Christ. That is, you are going to see twelve Bible proofs that Jesus Christ is God.



Scriptural Proof That Jesus Christ Is God

Jesus Christ Is God Incarnate

Quoting from Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23 says, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” According to both of these verses, Jesus was “God with us” when He walked upon this earth. He wasn’t merely “God’s chosen one with us” or “God’s Son with us.”

As I Timothy 3:16 states, “God was manifest in the flesh.” John 1:14 tells us that “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” In Zechariah 12:10, GOD said that HE (God) would be “pierced” by sinners, and Revelation 1:7 states that Jesus Christ Himself fulfilled this prophecy! Friend, the Bible presents Jesus Christ as much more than a great prophet and teacher. God’s word presents Jesus Christ as God incarnate.

Jesus Christ Is Eternal

In John 10:28, Jesus said, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” If Jesus Christ isn’t eternal, then how does He have the power to give “eternal life”? Micah 5:2 states that Jesus Christ is “from everlasting”, which is exactly what Psalm 93:2 and Isaiah 63:16 say about God.

In John 8:58, Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” The term “I am” is the exact term that God used in Exodus 3:14 in reference to Himself! Jesus professed to be the eternal God of the Bible.

Jesus Christ Has Divine Names

Check these references for yourself. In Matthew 22:42-45, Jesus claims to be the “Lord” of Psalm 110:1. He allows Thomas to address Him as “My Lord and my God” in John 20:28. He is the “everlasting Father” and “The mighty God” of Isaiah 9:6.

According to His own words in John 10:11-14, He is the “shepherd” of Psalm 23:1, Psalm 80:1, and Ezekiel 34:12. The Scriptures are clear: Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament.

Jesus Claimed Equality with God

Jesus says in Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost:” If Jesus Christ isn’t Deity, then why did He include Himself in the Holy Trinity? Jesus says in John 14:9, “…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” Is the Father someone other than Jesus Christ? No, not according to Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is Omnipresent

Only God can be everywhere at once, yet Jesus Christ claims this ability. In Matthew 18:20, He says, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” How could this be possible if Jesus were not Deity? The same is true in Matthew 28:20 where Jesus says, “…lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” How could He be with each Christian always and be in Heaven at the same time? He is God, for only God has such attributes!

Jesus Christ Is Omnipotent

That is, He is all-powerful. He has all power. Revelation 19:6 states, “…the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” Then I Timothy 6:15 says that Jesus Christ Himself is “…the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;” If Jesus is the ONLY Potentate, then He must be the One of Revelation 19:6, God Almighty! Also see Colossians 2:9-10, Revelation 2:26, and Matthew 28:18.

Jesus Christ Is Omniscient

To be omniscient is to have all knowledge, unlike normal men. The Bible declares that Jesus was indeed omniscient. Unlike normal men, Jesus Christ had knowledge of specific details about His death.

In Matthew 16:21, Jesus said that He would go to Jerusalem, suffer many things at the hands of the scribes and the elders, be killed, and then be resurrected the third day.

He repeats this prophecy in Matthew 20:19. Matthew 17:27 offers the account of Jesus knowing of a certain coin in a fish’s mouth before the fish is caught! Friend, Jesus Christ is Deity because He is omniscient.

Jesus Christ Has Creative Powers

John 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was at the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” The “Word” is the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:14; I John 1:1-3; 5:7), and John 1:3 says that all things were made by Him!

Colossians 1:16 says, “…by him were all things created…” Consider Hebrews 1:1-3:

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

You see, by Jesus Christ, the worlds were made, and by Jesus Christ, all things are upheld. He has the power to create and sustain the universe.

Jesus Christ Has Power Over the Elements of Nature

In Matthew 14:25, Jesus walks upon the sea, and in Luke 8:24, He rebukes the wind and it obeys Him. How could He perform such tasks if He weren’t God? It must be understood that Jesus didn’t pray for God to calm the sea; He calmed the sea Himself.

Indirect Claims To Deity of Jesus Christ

Jesus’ audience believed that he was God

There is a similar usage of the title “I am” in Matthew 14:27, John 10:31:33, and John 18:5-6. After Jesus calms the sea and walks on water, he claims that he is Lord over creation by calling himself “I am” (Greek ego emi; Mt. 14:27). When the guards come to find Jesus, he tells them, “I am.”

Acceptance of Worship

Jesus claimed that worship should be reserved for Yahweh alone (Mt. 4:10; c.f. Ex. 20:5). However, Jesus went on to be worshipped by people (Mt. 8:2; 14:33; 15:25; 28:9; 28:17; Lk. 24:52; Jn. 9:38; Heb. 1:6, 8). Revelation 5:11-14 likewise pictures every creature on Earth worshipping Jesus on his throne. In contrast to this, Peter was horrified at the thought of being worshiped, because he was “just a man” (Acts 10:25-26). When John tried to worship an angel (Rev. 22:18), the angel told him, “Do not do that I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God” (Rev. 22:19).

Jesus spoke in God’s place (in the 1st Person)

In the OT, the prophets said, “Thus says the Lord…” They said this roughly 500 times—always with this formula. However, in his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you…” (Mt. 5:22, 27-28). It is no wonder that at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew recorded, “When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes” (Mt. 7:28-29).

Self-designation as “The Son of Man.”

Another indirect reference to the deity of Christ is found in Jesus’ favorite title for himself: the Son of Man. Many assume that this title refers to Jesus’ humanity, while the name “the Son of God” refers to his deity, but this is a misled assumption.

Interestingly, this title is lifted from Daniel 7:13-14. It refers to a Messianic figure, who receives glory and sovereignty over the entire Earth. Here the “Son of Man” has the authority to judge the sins of the people, and he inaugurates the Kingdom of God in himself.

Comparing titles or actions with Yahweh

These verses below are titles or acts of Yahweh that are shared with Jesus. While modern readers do not associate these mutual titles with divinity, it is important to point out that a first-century Jew would immediately notice the comparisons, and this is the audience to whom Jesus made these enormous claims. We concur with James White, when he writes, “There are hundreds—no, thousands—of passages that testify to the deity of Christ once we understand that no creature could do or say the things that the Lord Jesus did and said.”

Direct Claims To Deity of Jesus Christ

The Old Testament (OT) Predicted the Deity of Jesus Christ

The OT predicted that the Messiah would be God. Isaiah wrote, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).

Note Isaiah’s language closely: He believed that there would be a person who would be “born,” and yet he would be called “Mighty God.” This was a title he used of Yahweh (Isa. 10:21).

Likewise, Jeremiah also predicted that the Messiah would be called Yahweh, using the Tetragrammaton for Jesus. He writes, “I will raise for David a righteous Branch, and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely, and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness” (Jer. 23:5-6).

Additionally, Zechariah claims that the LORD himself will return to Earth. He writes, “Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives” (Zech. 14:3). Of course, this passage predicts the return of Jesus—not the Father—and it calls him LORD (Yahweh).

The New Testament (NT) use of the OT

The NT authors cite the OT frequently. In certain passages, however, they cite OT passages that refer to Yahweh, and they apply them to Jesus. Romans 10:9; 13: If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved… (cf: Joel 2:32); And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD (Yahweh) will be delivered (Joel 2:32). (Philippians 2:10, cf Isaiah 45:23).

The Epistles’ use of Theos

This leads us to the NT authors’ final method of describing the deity of Christ, and it is the most direct method of all: They refer to Christ as theos or “God.” You might recognize the Greek word theos in our modern word theology, which is the “study of God.” Robert Bowman writes, “The singular theos is used of God about 1,400 times in the New Testament, and of a false god only six times, always clearly so from the context (Acts 7:43; 12:22; 28:6; 2 Cor. 4:4; Phil. 3:9; 2 Thess. 2:7).”

Remember that the NT authors unpacked much of the theological content of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise us to see that they make the most explicit declarations of Christ’s deity. Remember, the epistles were not a theological embellishment of the gospel accounts, because they were historically written before the gospels.

The Divinity Of Christ

Power over Life and Death

God is life itself. All living things owe their existence to Him and Him alone. “God created . . . every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds” (Gen. 1:21). God told the Israelites in a song that He wrote “I put to death and I bring to life” (Deut. 32:39).

Nehemiah writes “You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you” (Neh. 9:6).

John then says “But the temple he had spoken of was his body” (John 2:21). Notice here that Jesus said I will raise it. Jesus is claiming to have the power to raise the dead. Jesus claims this power in several other passages in the Book of John. In John 5:21, Jesus says “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so, the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.”

Authority over Eternal Life

Not only did Jesus claim authority over temporal life, but He also claimed authority over eternal life. Jesus told the woman at the well “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John. 4:13-14).

He also told a large crowd “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him at the last day” (John 6:40). Here Jesus is telling the crowd that their eternal destiny is in His hands. Notice here that Jesus did not say “My Father will raise him,” instead He says I will raise him up.

We find further support for Jesus’ authority over eternal life in the words He told Martha after Lazarus died, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26). So Jesus has authority over this life and the life to come.

Claims to be the Messiah

Jesus constantly referred to Himself by the title “Son of Man.” This is a reference to Daniel 7:13-14 where the Son of Man “was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations, and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom will never be destroyed”

Heavenly Origin

The sayings of Jesus also point to the fact that He had heavenly origins. Unlike humans, whose eternal home is on earth, Jesus tells us that His home is heaven: “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man” (John 3:13).

Jesus also says “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38). Jesus tells a crowd of Jews that He stood in the very presence of God the Father: “I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father” (John 8:36).

Jesus also said that He was returning to His Father in heaven: “I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father” (John 16:28). Moreover, we know that Jesus was glorified in the presence of God when He was in heaven. He claimed to share in the glory of God: “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began” (John 17:5).

When talking about the Father, Jesus talks about the glory “I had with you.” But we know from Isa. 42:8 that God will not give His glory to another: “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another.” So how can Jesus receive what God never gives? The implication is that Jesus is God.

Conclusion

The Scriptures give us evidence enough that Christ is God. Jesus also stated that His forthcoming resurrection from the dead would vindicate the very special claims that He made for Himself (Matthew 12:38-40). After having been crucified and buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, Jesus did rise from the dead, establishing His claims to deity.

The supreme proof to every Christian of the deity of his Lord is then his own inner experience of the transforming power of his Lord upon the heart and life. Not more surely does he who feels the present warmth of the sun know that the sun exists than he who has experienced the re-creative power of the Lord know Him to be his Lord and his God.

Here is, perhaps we may say the proper, certainly we must say the most convincing, proof to every Christian of the deity of Christ; a proof which he cannot escape, and to which, whether he is capable of analyzing it or drawing it out in the logical statement or not, he cannot fail to yield his sincere and unassailable conviction.

Whatever else he may or may not be assured of, he knows that his Redeemer lives. Because He lives, we shall live also—that was the Lord’s assurance. Because we live, He lives also—that is the ineradicable conviction of every Christian heart.

Bibliography

Strobel, Lee. “What are the strongest biblical arguments for the divinity of Christ?” Gotquestions.com: The Case for the Real Jesus. Retrieved October 2016.

Melton, James L. “The Deity of Jesus Christ.” Biblebelievers.com, 1998.

Copan, Paul, and William Lane Craig. Contending with Christianity’s Critics: Answering New Atheists & Other Objectors. Nashville: B & H Academic, 2009.

Moreland, J.P. & Craig, William Lane. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic. 2003.

Harris, Murray J. Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2008.

Felder, Harold C. “Divinity of Christ.” Givingananswer.org. Retrieved October 2016.

White, James R. The Forgotten Trinity. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1998. Bauckham, Richard. God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1998.

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