Whether or not you believe in Jesus as the Son of God, it is clear that the Bible taught that he was. In Biblical times, to say you were the son of someone, meant you were equal to that person. Below is a rather long review of what the bible says on the subject.
Since the days of the early disciples, the Deity of Jesus Christ has been a key belief within Christianity. It is one of the essentials of the faith. If one does not believe this teaching, it is hard to see how that person can honestly claim to be Christian.
There are some religions and cults of Christianity, who say that he was not God in the flesh.
The problem usually comes when people try to explain how Jesus the Son and God the Father can be one and the same, and if you throw in the Holy Spirit as a third person of the Trinity, they get real confused. This is of course something that cannot be explained by human logic. Three cannot be one and one cannot be three, or two for that matter. It is a paradox, and perhaps it is best to just say it is a paradox and leave it at that.
Yet some try, and they usually do this by making Jesus a separate entity, or somehow less than God the Father. They do make it work logically, but truth is more important than our human standards of logic.
The scriptures plainly teach that Jesus was and is God in the flesh, that Jesus and God are one and the same. Those who teach otherwise have to do some fancy footwork with the scriptures to “prove” their points.
Because I have seen this heretical teaching – that Jesus is not God – around some lately, I wanted to make a clear biblical case for the deity of Christ.
Jesus being God in the flesh is extremely important. If Jesus were not God in the flesh, his death and resurrection are irrelevant and none of us are saved.
The Gospel of John perhaps is the clearest of the four gospels concerning the deity of Christ.
The clearest statement is the very first verse, which says “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the Word Was God” (John 1:1)
This is as clear as it gets. Jesus obviously is the Word, or the Logos, . Logos means the essence of God Logos is a unique Greek word, created by the Greeks, to mean the essence of God. Original readers would have taken “Logos” to mean that Jesus was a man and God at the same time.
Also in Greek, when it says the Word Was God, from the Greek sentence structure, it is clear that it is saying this is THE God, not just A god, or a part of God, but THE ONE AND ONLY God. That does not come through that well in English.
If this were the only verse that said Jesus was God in the flesh, they might have a point, but it is not. It is only the beginning of John’s gospel and only the beginning of the evidence that shows Jesus was God in the flesh.
John 1:2 says He was with God in the beginning - the beginning of time - Both Greek and Hebrew readers would have seen this as meaning equal to. Greeks and Jews of that time would see someone saying they were the Son of God as meaning equal to God. This is one of the reasons the Jews wanted to kill him, because he claimed to be the son of God, therefore equal to God.. (See John 5:18)
Genesis 1 says God said Let us create.
This does not mean more than one God, but rather God the Father and Christ, and the Holy Spirit, all acting as one.
John 1:3 says through him were all things created... everything ... it even says it twice.
John 1:4 is even more precise. It says the Word (The Logos, the essence of God) “The Word became Flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the Glory of the one and only, who came from the Father, full of Grace and Truth.
That seems clear. Now some object, saying how can he be God and be sent by God at the same time? It is a mystery, how two can be one and one can be two (or three:) it is perhaps not explainable, but God is God and God can do what God wants to do, whether it seems logical to us or not .
Paul wrote that the Gospel (The Gospel is the LOGOS, or the Word, or Jesus Christ himself) was a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Greeks. A stumbling block because the Jews did not accept him, and foolishness to Greeks because the idea of God becoming a man was impossible to them. Christ was offensive to both Jews and Greeks alike because he claimed to be God in the flesh. That was the essential reason for the conflict.
John 1:1-18 is about as clear of a passage there is that says Jesus is God in the flesh.
John 4:26 Jesus says he is the Messiah. While the technical meaning of “messiah” may not be “God” it does contain the idea.
Another key passage is John 8, another healing on the Sabbath and yet another confrontation with the Jews. The chapter goes into great detail about the conflict and reaches a head at John 8:58-59.
“I tell you the truth, Jesus answered, Before Abraham was born I AM, At this they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds..”
We might miss the significance of this if we only read these verses and do not consider what it meant to the Jews that were there at the time.
When Jesus said I AM... he was saying what God said to Moses when Moses asked who should he say sent him.
Exodus 3:14 “God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM, this is what you are to say to the Israelites, I AM has sent me to you”.
The Jews of Jesus day would have remembered this. God told Moses His name which was I AM.
In John 8, Jesus is saying that not only did he exist before Abraham (2100 years earlier), but that he was the I AM. Clearly he is telling them that he is God, the same God who called Moses out of Egypt.
The Jews he was in conflict with knew EXACTLY what he was saying. He was saying he was God. That is why they picked up stones to stone him. If Jesus had not been the Messiah - God in the Flesh - that is exactly what they should have done. From this it is clear that the Jews there at that time understood that Jesus was claiming to be God in the Flesh.
John 9:1-5 records Jesus healing a man born blind and Jewish tradition said that ONLY God could heal person born blind or deaf . He also healed those born deaf.
John 11, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, which was another thing that only God could do, and since he had been in the tomb four days, there could be no question as to whether Lazarus was really dead or not.
John 14:7 Jesus said ... "if you really knew me you would know the father as well"
John 20:31 .. But these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name..
Realize that at the time, a son was considered to be equal to his father ...
Now on to Paul
“to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment - to bring ALL THINGS in heaven and on earth together under ONE HEAD< EVEN CHRIST.
So now all things are under Christ. If Christ is over all things, He must be God.
Philippians 2:6-11 ... believed to be an ancient hymn ... it basically tells the story of Christ
2:6 .. Who being in very Nature GOD, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.
His nature was the same as God's ... again clearly saying Jesus was God.. the Greek word for Nature there is MORPHE ... which means the form of something.. It does not mean a copy that is just like something else, but it means the very nature.
Just like John 1:1, Paul is saying Jesus was the LOGOS (or essence, or nature,) of God.
“he did not consider equality with God as something to grasp” He didn’t have to grasp being God because he already was. It was not something he had to reach for.
v. 7 he humbled himself, taking the NATURE of a servant... Made in human likeness you have to compare Nature of God and Nature of a servant (or human being) If he was not God, then he was not human either ... logically speaking ...
v8 appearing as a man he gave himself to be crucified
Appearing as a man implies that he was something else before, meaning he was God before he appeared as a man.
v.9 therefore God exalted him (How can God exalt himself. I don’t know. but he can obviously :)
v. 11 says as a result, JESUS IS LORD . Lord in this context means God.
v. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world, rather than on Christ. v. 9 For IN CHRIST ALL THE FULLNESS OF DIETY LIVES IN BODILY FORM.
This needs no explanation, as it clearly states that the fullness of Deity lived in Christ.
Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory, and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.... after he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Magesty in Heaven.
Some may say exact representation means a copy and not the original. I do not think that is what it is saying... it says EXACT. The rest of the book of Hebrews tells how Christ’s sacrifice was superior to anything else, and how he is superior to all ... basically, how it all works out and what it means.
The Book of James uses God, and Lord Jesus Christ almost interchangeably. He does not specifically say that Jesus is God. It is however, clear that he was not differentiating them at all, so he must have seen them as the same.
2 peter 1:1 -- Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. To those who through the righteousness of OUR GOD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.. have received a faith as precious as ours.
Obviously Peter saw them as the same .. in verse 2 he mentions them both. So peter apparently had the same idea, two in one and one in two, and he mentions it in such an offhand way, that it seems he thought this would not be questioned.
(Probably by the same John that wrote the Gospel of John).
1:1 that which was from the beginning which is another allusion to the WORD, or LOGOS... which we have heard, seen, and hands have touched, the WORD OF LIFE... literally in Greek,... the LOGOS of Life.
Two greek words are used for life .. one means biological life and the other means spiritual life .. and here John uses the one that means spiritual life .
1 John 2:22: who is the liar, (the antichrist) it is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist... he denies the FATHER AND THE SON. 23. no one who denies the son has the father, whoever acknowledges the son has the father also.
If you have one you have the other, and if you don’t have one you don’t have either. Again, it is clear that the writer is seeing God the father and Jesus the son as the same.
Just a note on the Trinity.
I John 5:7-8
For there are three that testify v. 8 The Spirit, the Water and the Blood, and the three are in agreement..
The Latin Vulgate (the Latin translation which most of the KJV is based on) says the father, the word and the holy spirit, and these three are one...
These verses are not found in any ancient manuscripts though, before the 16th century. so the question would be was it added later at the inspiration of God, or man?
For further study
Christ is God.
1. As Jehovah. Isa 40:3; Mt 3:3.
2. As Jehovah of glory. Ps 24:7,10; 1Co 2:8; Jas 2:1.
3. As Jehovah, our RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jer 23:5,6; 1Co 1:30.
4. As Jehovah, above all. Ps 97:9; Joh 3:31.
5. As Jehovah, the First and the Last. Isa 44:6; Re 1:17; Isa 48:12-16; Re 22:13.
6. As Jehovah’s Fellow and Equal. Zec 13:7; Php 2:6.
7. As Jehovah of Hosts. Isa 6:1-3; Joh 12:41; Isa 8:13,14; 1Pe 2:8.
8. As Jehovah, the Shepherd. Isa 40:11; Heb 13:20.
9. As Jehovah, for whose glory all things were created. Pr 16:4; Col 1:16.
10. As Jehovah, the Messenger of the covenant. Mal 3:1; Mr 1:2; Lu 2:27.
11. Invoked as Jehovah. Joe 2:32; Ac 2:21; 1Co 1:2.
12. As the Eternal God and Creator. Ps 102:24-27; Heb 1:8,10-12.
13. As the mighty God. Isa 9:6.
14. As the Great God and Saviour. Ho 1:7; Tit 2:13.
15. As God over all. Ps 45:6,7; Ro 9:5.
16. As the true God. Jer 10:10; 1Jo 5:20.
17. As God the Word. Joh 1:1.
18. As God, the judge. Ec 12:14; 1Co 4:5; 2Co 5:10; 2Ti 4:1.
19. As Emmanuel. Isa 7:14; Mt 1:23.
20. As King of kings and Lord of lords. Da 10:17; Re 1:5; 17:14.
21. As the Holy One. 1Sa 2:2; Ac 3:14.
22. As the Lord from heaven. 1Co 15:47.
23. As Lord of the Sabbath. Ge 2:3; Mt 12:8.
24. As Lord of all. Ac 10:36; Ro 10:11-13.
25. As Son of God. Mt 26:63-67.
26. As the Only-begotten Son of the Father. Joh 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1Jo 4:9.
27. His blood is called the blood of God. Ac 20:28.
28. As one with the Father. Joh 10:30,38; 12:45; 14:7-10; 17:10.
29. As sending the Spirit, equally with the Father. Joh 14:16; 15:26.
30. As entitled to equal honour with the Father. Joh 5:23.
31. As Owner of all things, equally with the Father. Joh 16:15.
32. As unrestricted by the law of the sabbath, equally with the Father. Joh 5:17.
33. As the Source of grace, equally with the Father. 1Th 3:11; 2Th 2:16,17.
34. As unsearchable, equally with the Father. Pr 30:4; Mt 11:27.
35. As Creator of all things. Isa 40:28; Joh 1:3; Col 1:16; Heb 1:2.
36. As Supporter and Preserver of all things. Ne 9:6; Col 1:17; Heb 1:3.
37. As possessed of the fulness of the God head. Col 2:9; Heb 1:3.
38. As raising the dead. Joh 5:21; 6:40,54.
39. As raising himself from the dead. Joh 2:19,21; 10:18.
40. As Eternal. Isa 9:6; Mic 5:2; Joh 1:1; Col 1:17; Heb 1:8-10; Re 1:8.
41. As Omnipresent. Mt 18:20; 28:20; Joh 3:13.
42. As Omnipotent. Ps 45:3; Php 3:21; Re 1:8.
43. As Omniscient. Joh 16:30; 21:17.
44. As discerning the thoughts of the heart. 1Ki 8:39; Lu 5:22; Eze 11:5; Joh 2:24,25; Re 2:23.
45. As unchangeable. Mal 3:6; Heb 1:12; 13:8.
46. As having power to forgive sins. Col 3:13; Mr 2:7,10.
47. As Giver of pastors to the Church. Jer 3:15; Eph 4:11-13.
48. As Husband of the Church. Isa 54:5; Eph 5:25-32; Isa 62:5; Re 21:2,9.
49. As the object of divine worship. Ac 7:59; 2Co 12:8,9; Heb 1:6; Re 5:12.
50. As the object of faith. Ps 2:12; 1Pe 2:6; Jer 17:5,7; Joh 14:1.
51. As God, he redeems and purifies the Church to himself. Re 5:9; Tit 2:14.
52. As God, he presents the Church to himself. Eph 5:27; Jude 1:24,25.
53. Saints live to him as God. Ro 6:11; Ga 2:19; 2Co 5:15.
54. Acknowledged by his Apostles. Joh 20:28.