By Reeves

JESUSicon

Introduction

Jesus Christ is one of the most controversial, loved, hated, adored, worshipped, and even caricatured religious person in church history. The short life and ministry of Jesusof Nazareth had an extremely powerful impact on the people around him and in fact still continues to impact till this very day. In the documents of the New Testament, the disciples and the apostles wrote their personal experience of about his life, teachings, and marvelous deeds and undoubtedly concluded that Jesus was and is, the Son of God. By the testimonies of his follower Christianity did emerged out from convictions that Jesus was, and is, both divine and human, God and man.

But not all accepted these conclusions from the disciples and apostles about the nature and divinity of Jesus. The inherent two-natures of Jesus was denied in the early infant of the church. The psilanthropists denied that Jesus was truly divine. The Docetists concluded that he was not really human. Also, the Arians denied that he was either. Apollinarians tried to whittle down the human nature of Jesus just to make room for the divinity. Not to forget the heresy of Nestorians who teaches that Jesus is two distinct persons. But what does really the Scripture teaches about the nature of Jesus Christ.

We are going to examine and study Jesus’ deity which belong to the discipline of Christology, and this is, in my opinion quite interesting and very important. Why? Because we must have a correct understanding who Jesus was and is and if this is not properly understood i.e. who Jesus was, we will have a distorted view of him and our faith will hardly stand in our dialogues with a non believer and our faith in him might even be false.

But, where do we find the answer about who Jesus really is? The only place we can be hopeful in finding our answer about Jesus is in the Scripture.  The Bible is the right place to start in search for our answer about Jesus of Nazareth. We will be wise as the Bereans who “search the Scripture daily and see if it really so (Acts 17:11),” and this is exactly what we are just about to do, namely “search the Scripture daily.”

We stand from the presupposition of the Bible has been preserved completely in all its original purity to this day. And it is the inerrant and infallible Word of God, and that it is holy and God breath; it is of supreme and final authority (see 2 Tim. 3:16-17;2 Peter 1:19-21).

We affirm that Jesus is God, Jehovah the Creator and life Sustainer, Savior and Lord to those who believe in Him and this is exactly what we are going to show our reader (believer or not) by examining and drawing valid conclusions from the Scripture.

The Glory, Worship, And Attributes.

You might, at this moment ask question such as, “How can we validly draw conclusion that Jesus was not just an ordinary prophet ( Islam) or a created being (Jehovah’s Witnesses) but God himself?”  We will examine three “sign” or “mark” that signifies  a being to be more than just a man. These sign or mark has been used to demonstrate the deity of Christ by many Christian apologists and that we will adopt and use this arguments that we find effective for arguing Jesus’ deity. While there are other ways to argue Jesus’ deity I’ll only chose four ways to demonstrate his deity.

The first way of knowing that Jesus is God is what theologians refers to is Doxology (honoring or glorying). The second is Worship, and third, Attributes. Christian have no reason to doubt whatsoever about Jesus’ deity. One can be pretty sure that Jesus is indeed God and is the only way to heaven. There are lot of ways to argue Jesus’ deity as God but the most effective way to argue and demonstrate is to use the Bible itself since it is there we read and find the story about him. And, I might add, the Holy Scripture is the only source that is reliable and authentic in despite what critics and skeptics of the Bible tells us.

Glory Be To God!

Let us examine one thing that really signifies Jesus’ identity as God is that he receivehonor or glory which only belong to God. For those who are not familiar with the term “doxology,” let me explain briefly what that terms means. Robert M. Bowman JR. and J. Ed Komoszewski explains in their recent book, Putting Jesus In His Place, wrote,

“A typical way in which the biblical writers summon God’s people to glorify him is in a liturgical form called a doxology (from doxa, the Greek word for “glory”). Doxologies are stylized prayers of praise to God, acknowledging the glory and honor that God deserves.1

What this authors are trying to tell us is that God deserves glory from his creature. Yet, no ordinary prophet, not even Muhammed in the Islamic tradition receive honor and glory which only belong to God and this is remarkable that Jesus himself did receive adoration and glory. In Hebrews chapter 3:3 in New Testament we read, “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses.” [emphasis added] The word “glory” here means k-bod in Hebrew; doxain Greek which has two related meanings, as an attribute to God and as a proper response of praise and adolation to God.2

We read these doxologies time and time again in the Old Testament and by which we find the same doxologies in the New Testament also.

Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earthbefilled with his glory; Amen, and Amen. (Ps. 72:18-19)
Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. (1 Chro. 29:10-11)
Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Phil. 4:20)tw de qew kai patri hmwn h doxa eiV touV aiwnaV twn aiwnwn: amhn.
For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Rom. 11:36)oti ex autou kai di autou kai eiV auton ta panta: autw h doxa eiV touV aiwnaV: amhn.

The word “glory” as we find both in OT and NT that ascribes to God the same word can be found that ascribes to Jesus in the NT. I find this quite fascinating, because of the fact that Jesus is glorified in the same manner of God.

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)auxanete de en cariti kai gnwsei tou kuriou hmwn kai swthroV ihsou cristou. autw h doxa kai nun kai eiV hmeran aiwnoV. [amhn.]
If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do itas of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11).ei tiV lalei, wV logia qeou: ei tiV diakonei, wV ex iscuoV hV corhgei o qeoV: ina en pasin doxazhtai o qeoV dia ihsou cristou, w estin h doxa kai to kratoV eiV touV aiwnaV twn aiwnwn: amhn.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Heb 13:20-21)o de qeoV thV eirhnhV, o anagagwn ek nekrwn ton poimena twn probatwn ton megan en aimati diaqhkhV aiwniou, ton kurion hmwn ihsoun,
katartisai
umaV en panti agaqw eiV to poihsai to qelhma autou, poiwn en hmin to euareston enwpion autou dia ihsou cristou, w h doxa eiV touV aiwnaV [twn aiwnwn]: amhn.
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18) auxanete de en cariti kai gnwsei tou kuriou hmwn kai swthroV ihsou cristou. autw h doxa kai nun kai eiV hmeran aiwnoV. [amhn.]

Less we fall into temptation as to misunderstand the passages cited above that Jesus is to be glorified more than God, then we have fallen into heresy! But, this is not so. What these verse are telling us is that Jesus is to be glorified just as we followers glorifies God! This is so because the word “glory” in the Old Testament that ascribes to God is equivalent to the word “glory” that ascribes Jesus in the New Testament.

We find more doxologies in the NT such as in the book of Revelation which gives glory to Jesus that tantamount to glorying God and that does not necessarily exclude the other but gives equal footing with the word “glory” that ascribes both to Jesus and Jehovah as co-equal and eternal God. As we read Revelation 4:11; 5:12-13 we cannot but conclude that Jesus is appropriately worshipped the same one worship God.

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (v.11)
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (v.12) And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, beunto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (v.13)

To avoid unnecessary confusion the Lamb is not to be confused with God in verse 11 of Revelation who “receive glory and honor” to the Lamb who “was slain to receive power, and riches, wisdom, strength, and honour and glory, and blessing” both verse 12 and verse 13. Yet the predicates within these doxologies does not distinguish between the Lamb and God but rather express an equal status of both of them in general.3     

Worship Only Belongs To God!

Yet this is exactly what Jesus received from his followers and those who are near to him without objecting it. In Deuteronomy of the OT warns us, “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them (1:16).” It would be fatal mistake in worshipping other gods than the God of the Scripture. But is Jesus just another god whom they worship? This is a valid question? And the answer of this is a resounding no! This is because Jesus is not just a mini god, he was and is God!

In the Old English we read worship for “worthship” which simply means worthiness of the one receiving the special honor or devotion.4 The word “worship” in our modern English translations means Schachac in Hebrew and Proskuneo in Greek which does not describe mere religious acts such singing hymns, corporate prayers, liturgy, expression of praise to God etc, but rather refer to as bowing to the ground or postrating oneself to the ground or falling to the ground toward someone. This is more accurate when worship are read both in OT and NT.

Furthermore, as we read our Scripture we read from the expression of the writers which describes a person fell on his face before someone, that he bent and bowed his knee to someone, or that he fell at someone’s feet. And if these expressions are taken into religious context when performed towards a person is an act of acknowledgement of that being’s deity. But we must be very careful not to always interpret the expression and act as to worship Schachac and Proskuneo a deity. some acts of “worship” (can be understood as an act of respect also.) must not always be generalized and taken out of context but be understood within the  context of the whole Bible.

In Matthew 4:9 we read how Satan tempts and challenges Jesus “to bow down and worship (proskuneses) him.” In which Jesus replied, “Thou shalt worship (Proskuneo) the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”(v.10) quoting Deuteronomy 6:13 in the Old Testament.

In the pen of Matthew it is clear that he regarded Jesus as God and should be worshipped accordingly. We find this passages using the Greek word Proskuneo in such as;

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (Matt. 2:2)legonteV, pou estin o tecqeiV basileuV twn ioudaiwn; eidomen gar autou ton astera en th anatolh kai hlqomen proskunhsai autw.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (Matt. 2:11)kai elqonteV eiV thn oikian eidon to paidion meta mariaV thV mhtroV autou, kai pesonteV prosekunhsan autw, kai anoixanteV touV qhsaurouV autwn proshnegkan autw dwra, cruson kai libanon kai smurnan.
While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. (Matt. 9:18)tauta autou lalountoV autoiV idou arcwn eiV elqwn prosekunei autw legwn oti h qugathr mou arti eteleuthsen: alla elqwn epiqeV thn ceira sou ep authn, kai zhsetai.
Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.(Matt. 14:33)oi de en tw ploiw prosekunhsan autw legonteV, alhqwV qeou uioV ei.
Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. (Matt. 20:20)tote proshlqen autw h mhthr twn uiwn zebedaiou meta twn uiwn authV proskunousa kai aitousa ti ap autou.

These and many more passages in Matthew describes Jesus as the proper of worship and it indeed also shows that he was worshipped and people did bowed down and fall in their knees. There are more examples were expressions of worshipping Jesus occurs and let see more of these “worshipping” just to make sure our case for the deity of Jesus is secured. Let us read the account of John in Revelation.

“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do itnot: I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10)

“Then saith he unto me, See thou do itnot: for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” (v.22:9) [emphasis added]

In Matthew 4 and Luke 4, parallel accounts of Jesus’ temptation in which Satan asks Jesus to bow down (the word is used here is proskuneo “worship”). And in Revelation 19:10; 22:9, as shown above saying “proskuneo no one but the Father.” It seems that the first verse above, is telling us that the angel refused John to worship him but only God deserves the worship and this is exactly what happened to Jesus, namely he was and still is worshipped.

Skeptics may say right at this moment that the word proskuneo is also used as an act of worship (or courtesy) towards a human being and thus not give any support to Jesus’ deity. True, but if we really read the word within its context we suddenly realise that the proskuneo when it is ascribe to Jesus means really worship in a sense of worship to God. There are three other cases where men or angels are proskuneoed , worshipped.

Cornelius fell down in Acts 10:25 and the Apostle John–surprisingly John himself–fell down before the angel of Revelation in 19:10, 22:8 and he was corrected for doing this.  But why was Cornelius and the apostle John denied and refused for doing so if proskuneo was just a form of courtesy? Certainly, the word proskuneo means a lot more than just a mere courtesy (or respect if you prefer)  but a type of worship that only reserved for God and this is what Jesus received and he deserved.

An Attributes of God

We finally arrived to our third part of our analysis of Jesus of Nazareth which is the what theologians call attributes and we will examine this last part thoroughly. We have examined the glorification and worshiptowards Jesus thus far. And my prayer is that you have understood and followed the arguments and explanation I concocted in this article. As I have noted, if Jesus was just an ordinary being like you and me, glorifying him and worshipping him does not make any sense. Of course, if your peers and members of your family glorified and worshipped you, you’ll probably take it as a complement and even awkward. But this does not make you a God because you could not perform deeds (such as raising dead people, healing people by supernatural means and forgiving them from their sins) which Jesus obviously did. Not only that you, as an ordinary human could not perform what Jesus performed you also lack the attributes of a God.

An skeptic might say that to execute miracles and even raising people from the dead does not make any man to be God therefore Jesus wasn’t God. This is a valid objection but the argument is unsound. The reason why the argument fail is that it does not say that by performing supernatural miracle onlyapplies to mere human being. Besides, name one prophet, disciple or an apostle that has been ascribe the attribute of God. You will find no such being but Jesus in which he got what it takes. Furthermore, Jesus, not only performed miracles but also forgive people form their sins. Before we continue let us first study what theologians mean by God’s attributes. When we study theology of God’s attribute we come across a technical terminology such as the “incommunicable” attributes of God which means an attributes or character if you prefer, that only belongs (i.e that cannot be shared) to God. And what are these incommunicable characters of God? These are the three famous omni (all in Lat.). Omnipotence (all-powerful), Omnipresent (present everywhere) and Omniscience (all-knowing). All these three omnis are incommunicable attributes of God and as we shall soon see, Jesus Christ himself have these three omnis which only belongs to God and therefore Jesus is God.

Most of us know, at least those who have devoted their lives in the studies of theology and the Bible that God came and became human and lived with us two thousand years ago. Jesus as we know him is God Incarnate (God in human flesh) and this is the only means by way of saving us from our sins. There are things we must be cautioned in our study of Christology as to avoid the trap and falling into heresy and of deception. When God became human it did not concludes that God lose his divinity as God. Or that God became solely human. When God came into the world he became human yet God. Again, less we fall into heresy, God did not have two natures or two distinct beings such as the teachings of Nestorianism. Or that Jesus was divine but only seemed to appear human. This is false teaching which is called Docetism. Or does the teachings of Apollinarianism which teaches that Jesus divine will overshadowed and replaced the human. These and many other heresies must be avoided at all cost.

So what is the real teaching of Jesus’ nature? The more plausible and biblically coherent of Jesus’ nature is that he is fully human and fully God. Fully human in a sense of being human as you and me (though sinless). Fully God in a sense of being God (though limited). As the Westminster Confession of faith says:

 “Christ, in the work of mediation, acts according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself; yet, by reason of the unity of the person that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person denominated by the other nature.” (VIII/vii)

Theologian Wayne Grudem appropriately noted that:

 To complete the biblical teaching about Jesus Christ, we must affirm not only that he was fully human, but also that he was fully divine. Although the word does not explicitly occur in Scripture, the church has used the term incarnation to refer to the fact that Jesus was God in human flesh. The Incarnation was the act of God the Son whereby he took to himself a human nature. The scriptural proof for the deity of Christ is very extensive in the New Testament…5

Jesusis both God and human and this is more  biblicallytrue. Now, let us proceed with our study of Jesus’ attribute. In the New Testament which written by the disciples and the apostles records the omnipresent, omniscience, and omnipotence of Jesus Christ. Since our examination concentrates on Jesus’ divinity I will not mention his human character. Jesus certified his omnipotence(all-powerful) when he commanded the storm to be still with a word (Matt. 8:26-27), multiplied the loaves and fish (Matt. 14:19), and redo water into wine (Jn. 2:1-11). Jesus also certified his omniscience(all-knowing) in his knowing people’s minds (Mark 2:8) and knowing who it was that would betray him (Jn. 6:64).  Jesus certified his omnipresence (present everywhere) when he say, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20). Jesus also certified his eternality which mean he exist from eternity past (Jn. 8:58; 17:5). Those who believed that Jesus was just a created being and therefore have a beginning are biblically ignorant and superstitious. Jesus wasn’t created and have a beginning but has already preexisted from all eternity when he said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (Jn. 8:58; cf. Gen 17:1; Exodus 3:14 as ego eimi). Even more so, When Jesusleft his earthly ministry he promised and told his disciples, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:20).

Sovereigntyis one among other characteristic of God that only belongs to only Himself. Yet Jesus possessed sovereignty a kind of authority only ascribe to God. Such as forgiving sin (Mark 2:5-7). In the context of Jesus forgiving sin, Ron Rhodes a cult expert says:

 “This act that Christ perceived of Himself as God. We see this illustrated in Mark 2 where a paralytic was lowered through a roof by his friends in order to get close to Jesus in hopes of a healing. The first thing Jesus said to the paralytic was, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5)…Hence, when Jesus said “your sins are forgiven,” He was clearly placing Himself in the position of God.”6

Men may forgive sins but Jesus forgives sins and grants eternal forgiveness. Not only that Jesus forgives sins he also gives spiritual life to whomever He wishes (Jn. 5:21) and he will raise the dead (Jn. 11:43). Jesusalso have an authority to judge all people (John 5:22, 27). For your convenience I have listed (though incomplete) other passages of God’s sovereignty in the Bible both Old Testament and New Testament such as 1. God sits on His throne ruling over all things (2 Chron. 18:18; Psa. 9:4; Isa. 6:1; Matt. 5:32; Acts 7:49f; Heb. 4:16; Rev. 4:10; 20.11-12.) 2. God reigns over all things (1 Chron. 16:31; Psa. 47:8; 93:1; 96:10; 97:1; 99:1; Isa. 57:7; Rev. 19:6. 3. He is sovereing over all things (Psa. 103:19; 1 Tim. 6:15) 4. He is “over all things”(Rom. 9:5; Eph. 4:6) 5. All things are from, through, and to Him(Eph. 4:6; 11:36).

Resources__________________________

Basic Theology, Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publisher

The Encyclopedia of Practical Christianity, Dr. Robert A. Morey, Christian Scholar Press

  1. Putting Jesus In His Place: The Case for The Diety of Christ, Robert M. Bowman Jr. & J. Ed Komoszewski, Kregel Publisher, p.32
  2. ibid, 32
  3. ibid, 34
  4. Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Ronald F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce & R. K. Harrison, Nelson Publisher, p.1321
  5. Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of The Christian Faith, Wayne Grudem, Zondervan, p. 236
  6. The Complete Book of Bible Answers, Ron Rhodes, Harvest House, p.119

One Response to “Jesus Is Jehovah”

  1. Aburime Ehimare Says:

    I agree with ur submissions that Jesus is Jehovah God but i feel u contradicted yourself when u denied that Christ(The Lamb) is not that same God refered to in Verse 11 of the Revelation u quoted. Rev 17: 14 refers to that same Lamb as the Lord of Hosts. A careful study of the bible can only prove the existence of only ONE deity and that is the Lord God Almighty! And our savior Jesus Christ was that same Lord God Almighty in human flesh. He is the Great God and savior that will come again. see Titus 2:13-14, iTim 3:16, Ist tim 6:14-16, Jude 25 etc. There is no other being worthy of worship other than God and the lamb that was slain—And that expression refers to only one being–Jesus our savior. I wilsh u the best in ur further studies and i hope to interact with u again. Bye for now

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