Writing on the deity of Jesus Christ, C.S. Lewis once said
Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.1
The deity of the Christ is an essential doctrine of the Christian faith.
For the earliest followers of Jesus, the deity of the Christ formed the foundation for their theology and their preaching of the Gospel message.
The Christ’s deity also formed the basis for their interpretation of the Old Testament, specifically concerning the prophecies of the coming Messiah.
The deity of the Christ is still a vital part of our faith today.
It forms the foundation of our faith, specifically regarding our beliefs about salvation, worship, and the nature of God. It informs how we relate to Jesus through our devotion and shapes our understanding of His authority in our lives.
The deity of the Christ is a bedrock foundation for the Church while at the same time being a claim unique to the Christian faith.
While other religions and belief systems may acknowledge Jesus as a historical figure or a prophet, Christianity uniquely asserts that Jesus is not just a human teacher but also fully divine, theologically referred to as the Incarnation. The concept of the Incarnation, where God becomes human in the person of Jesus Christ, is distinctive to Christianity and sets it apart from all other religious traditions.
To better understand this concept, let’s look at 3 passages of Scripture that assert and affirm the deity of Jesus the Christ.
The Deity of the Christ in Scripture
John 1:1 NIV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Here, John the Beloved asserts the deity of the Christ by stating that the Word (Jesus) existed in the beginning with God and was God Himself. This Scripture emphasizes Jesus’ eternal and divine nature.
John also affirms Jesus’ divinity a few verses later by declaring that the Word became flesh, establishing the core doctrine and theology of the Incarnation.
Jesus, who has existed eternally with God and is Himself God, wrapped Himself in flesh and bones to take up residence among His creation. It’s this truth that informs our understanding of Jesus’ preeminence, as well as His identity as God.
John 10:30 NIV
I and the Father are one.
In this verse, Jesus’ declaration that “I and the Father are one” directly asserts His divinity. By claiming unity with God the Father, Jesus affirms His oneness with the divine nature.
This Scripture is situated in a broader context where Jesus addresses the question of His relationship with the Father. He asserts His unique role as the Good Shepherd, who knows His sheep and gives them eternal life.
Thus, this is the relationship Jesus has with the Father that He invites us into through salvation.
His declaration, “I and the Father are one,” reinforces the truth that He possesses the same divine authority and power as the Father, further emphasizing His deity.
Colossians 2:9 NIV
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form…
This Scripture emphasizes that the entirety of God’s divine nature resides in Christ. God wraps Himself in flesh and reveals who He is through the person of Jesus the Christ.
This verse further underscores the Incarnation, the foundational belief in our Christian faith that God became flesh in the person of Jesus the Christ.
Paul, writing to the church in Colossae, provides us with a strong affirmation of the Christ’s divine nature and His embodiment of God’s attributes.
How the Deity of the Christ Informs Our Faith
Belief in the deity of the Christ leads us to worship Jesus, not as a good moral teacher, but as God.
When we approach God as He is, we begin to live lives full of pure and authentic worship unto Him.
The deity of the Christ shapes our identity as Christians.
As followers of Jesus, when we recognize His divinity as the foundation for our faith, we are empowered to surrender to His Lordship over our lives.
For when we know who He is, we can better understand who we are in Him.
The deity of the Christ offers us hope and assurance in times of trial and uncertainty.
We can find comfort in knowing that we serve a God who understands human suffering and has the power to bring about ultimate victory over sin and death.
Because in the Christ, we have hope for today and for eternity.
Exploring the Deity of Christ
If you’re ready to explore the deity of the Christ in more detail, check out our online course: The Divine Christ.
Many modern Christians question, and some have rejected, the orthodox notion that Jesus the Messiah was divine. Based on popular authors, many of these conclude that the deity of the Christ is a doctrine that was created centuries after Jesus lived and died.
In this course, Dr. David B. Capes addresses the Apostle Paul’s assertion of Jesus Christ’s deity. Through Paul’s writings, along with other prominent figures in the New Testament, like Matthew, there is clear evidence that the Christ’s deity was a core conviction for the earliest followers of Jesus.
With 8 hours of content, you’ll discover:
- The significance of the Divine Name at the time of Paul and how the apostle signaled Jesus’ significance by applying the Name to him.
- The various views scholars have regarding how “kyrios” (Lord) became a Christological title.
- The contexts in which Paul typically referred to Jesus as “Lord” and his exegetical techniques as he reads the Old Testament.
- The forces and factors that led early Christians, including Paul and Matthew, to conclude that Jesus was more than human.
If you’re ready to dive deeper into the deity of the Christ, check out our online course here.
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