BIBLE STUDY

                     (i.e. , equality with God)

 The true Church has always believed in the absolute deity of the Lord Jesus
Christ without any reservations. Denial or disqualification of this doctrine
undermines completely the redemptive value of Christ's death on the Cross. As
stated by Athanasius in 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicea: "If Christ be not God,
He cannot be our - Savior!"
                                THE DEITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Nov. 30

             1A. HIS DIVINE TITLES
                 1B. GOD
                          Jesus is called "God" (Isa. 9:6; Jn. 1:1, 18 Gk.; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; I
                 Thess. 4:14; Heb. 1:8; I Jn. 5:20). Our Greek text states He is God (Eph.
                 5:5; II Thess. 1:12; Tit. 2:13; II Pt. 1:1). He exists in "the form of God (Phil.
                 2:6); He is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15) and He is "the
                 express image of His (God's) Being" (Heb. 1:3).

                 2B. LORD
                         The Old Testament teaches us that Jesus is identified as the
                 LORD (Yahweh or Jehovah), the personal name of God.
                 Compare verses:
                 (Lk. 1:68 with Ps. 106:48)               (Lk. 3:4-6 with Isa. 40:3-4)
                 (I Cor. 1:30 with Jer. 23:5-6)           (Rev. 1:7 with Zech. 12:1, 10)
                 (Eph. 4:8-10 with Ps. 68:4)              (Heb. 1:10-12 with Ps. 102:12)
                 (Jn. 12:37-41 with Isa. 6:5,25-27)
                 In addition, review: Lk. 2:11; Acts 10:36; Phil. 2:11; I Thess. 4:15-16; I
                 Tim. 6:14-15; 2 Pet. 3:2 and Rev. 19:6).

                 3B. The WORD
                        As the Word (Jn. 1:1, 14; Rev. 19:13), the Son is the expression
                 of what God is. Before His incarnation (His coming to earth and
                 taking on Himself a human nature), He expressed certain qualities of
                 God's nature by His creative work (Ps. 19:1; Jn. 1:1-3), as well as the
                 words (it seems that He gave the Old Testament revelation as well
                 as the New; cp. Rev. 1:1). By His incarnation He manifested the
                 Father by His words and actions (Jn. 1:14, 18; 5:19; 12 :49-50; 14:8-
                 11). Only one who is God can fully reveal God (Mt. 11:27; Heb. 1:3;
                 Col. 1:15).

                 4B. SON OF GOD
                       This title is used of angels (Job 1:6) and men (Rom. 8:14). But
                 when it is used of Jesus, it expresses His eternal relationship to and
                 equality with God the Father. Observe that He was the Son of God
                 before His incarnation (Ps. 2:7; Gal. 4:4). The Jews regarded this
                 designation to be a title of deity (Jn. 5:17-18; 10:31-36).

                               THE DEITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Nov. 30

                       1C. He is the FIRST BEGOTTON
                            This designation marks His priority in time or rank, as in the
                       following examples:
                       (a) He is prior to and ranking above all creation (Col. 1:15).
                          Here a genitive of reference is used, not a genitive of
                       (b) He is Mary's firstborn son, being born before her other
                         children(Mt. 1:25; Lk. 2:7).
                       (c) He is the first to rise from the dead, never to die again
                         (Col.1:18; Rev. 1:5).
                       (d) He is the first member of the new humanity, as its pattern
                          and head, whose human likeness all the redeemed will
                          share (Rom. 8:29; I Jn. 3:2).

                       2C. He is the ONLY BEGOTTON
                             This designation (Jn. 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; I Jn. 4:9)
                       emphasizes the uniqueness of the Son in His relation to God
                       the Father. As the only Offspring of the Father, Jesus is the
                       Only Begotten in a sense that no-one else is: He is eternally
                       the Son and possesses the divine essence in common with the
                       Father. (Compare Lk. 7:12; 8:42; 9:38; Heb. 11:17).

                 There are many passages that speak of the Son's existence before
          His incarnation (Jn. 1:1, 14, 30; 6:33, 38; Gal. 4:4; Heb'. 10:5). However, it is a
          fact of His eternal preexistence which underscores His deity. This stated
          emphatically in Micah 5:2 and is implied in Isaiah 9:6 ("Father of eternity");
          John 1:1; Col. 1:16-27; Rev. 1:11 and John 17:5.

                 Seeing that in Jesus "dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily"
          (Col. 2:9) and "who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be
          equal with God" (Phil. 2:6), "who is the image of the invisible God" (Col.
          1:15) and "who is the express image of His Being" (Heb. 1:3),to possess all
          the attributes of God. They are:
                 (a)Eternity (Mic. 5:2; Jn. 1:1; Rev. 1:11);
                 (b)Omnipresence (Mt. 28:20; Jn. 3:13; Col. 1:27);
                 (c)Omnipotence (Jn. 1:1-3; I Cor. 1:24; Heb. 1:3);
                 (d)Omniscience (Jn. 2:24-25; 6:64; Col. 2:3);
                 (e)Veracity, being faithful (reliable) and genuine (real) and truthful
                     (Rev. 19:11; 3:14; Jn. 1:14, 18; 14:6; Eph. 4:21)
                 (f)Righteousness (II Tim. 4:8; Acts 3:14; 22:14; I Jn. 2:1);
                 (g)Goodness (Acts 10:38); Immutability (Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8);

                              THE DEITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Nov. 30

                (h)Holiness, transcending all things (Isa. 6:1-3; Jn. 12:41);also being
                    sinless and pure (I Jn. 3:3;, 5; Heb. 7:26);
                (i)Love (Jn. 13:1, 34; 15:9; Rev. 1:5)
                (j)Grace (II Cor. 8:9; Jn. 1:14)
                (k)Mercy (I Tim. 1:12-16; Heb. 2:17)
                (l)Longsuffering (I Pet. 2:18-24; Rev. 1:9)
                (m)Sovereignty (Acts 10:36)

          4A. HIS DIVINE WORKS
                Being the Messiah, Jesus' works are such that only One who is God
          as well as man could do (Jn. 5:19-20):

             1B. His CREATING all things
                Acting with the other Members of the Godhead, the Son was the
             creative Agent (I Cor. 8:6; Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:16).
             2B. His SUSTAINING all things
                  He not only "holds together" all things (Col. 1:17), but also "upholds
             all things" (Heb. 1:3).
             3B. His RECEIVING Worship
                The Lord Jesus receives worship (Phil. 2:9-11; Rev. 5:11-13; Mt. 8:2;
             28:9, 17; Jn. 5:23). Neither the apostles nor holy angels allowed men to
             worship them (Acts 10:25-26; Rev. 22:8-9).
             4B. His REVEALING The Father
                As the eternal Word the Son revealed the Father by His creative
             work (Jn. 1:1-3; Rom. 1:19-20) and His words (Rev. 1:1). As Messiah He
             manifested the Father by His actions and words (Jn. 1:14, 5:19; 14:7-
             11)as well as revealed the Father to the hearts of people who came to
             Him (Mt. 11:27-30).
             5B. His FORGIVING SINS
                Only God can forgive (cancel the debt of) sin. But this authority
             also belongs to the Son (Lk. 5:20-21; 7:47-49), for He is God as well as
             the Messiah (Mt. 9:6; cp. Lk. 23:39-43).
             6B. His GIVING LIFE
                 In addition to His divine creative work, as the Messiah Jesus has
             power to give life (Jn 5:21-26; 6:32-40). He gave physical life in
             reanimations (restorations to temporary physical life; see Jn 11:43-44;
             Lk. 7:14-15; 8:54-55). He will give physical life in resurrections
             (restorations to permanent physical life; see Jn. 5:28-29; 11:25). He gives
             spiritual life to them who receive Him as their Savior (Jn. 5:25, 40; 6:33,
             47, 54, 57, 11:26; I Jn. 5:11-12, 20).

                              THE DEITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Nov. 30

                7B. His Exercising JUDGMENT
                    While this is a part of His Messianic work (Jn. 5:22, 27) only one
                who is God can judge the intentions and motivations of people as
                well as their overt actions (cp. Rom. 2:2, 6, 11, 16). The Lord will
                appraise His people upon His coming for them (II Cor. 5:10; Rev.
                22:12). He also will judge earth dwellers after His return to earth (Rev.
                19:11-15; Mt. 25:31-46). Furthermore, He will judge the unsaved after
                His millennial rule (Rev. 20:11-15; Acts 17:31).

                Jesus made claims that would have been most blasphemous if they
          were untrue. On the other hand, only One who was God could have said
          these things without lying!

               1B. He claimed EQUALITY with the Father
                     He asserted equality in receiving honor (Jn. 5:23), in being the
               object of faith (Jn. 14:1); in His words and works (Jn. 14:10, 24); and in
               revelation (Jn. 12:45).
               2B. He claimed a unique RELATION to the Father
                      As His revelator (Mt.11:27; His imitator (Jn. 5:17, 19-20); His
               indweller (Jn. 14:7-10); His Son (Jn. 10:36). He and the Father are one
               (Jn. 10:30).
               3B. He claimed to SATISFY man’s deepest needs
                   (Jn. 6:35; 4:14; 7:37-38; 10:9-10; Mt. 11:28-30)
               4B. He claimed to GIVE eternal life and safety to His people
                   (Jn. 10:27-29; 6:37-40)

          1A. His CONDESCENSION
                 The condescension of God the Son refers to His stooping to come
          earth, to assume a human nature (this was lower than that of His servants,
          the angels), and to live among sinful people (Heb. 2:9).

          2A. His INCARNATION
                The word incarnation speaks of the initial action and following
          condition of assuming a human nature and being embodied in flesh. The
          incarnation of God the Son was His taking upon Himself a complete, sinless
          human nature (body, soul and spirit), so that everything that can be
          asserted of sinless man can be asserted of Him.

                               THE DEITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Nov. 30

          3A. His SELF-EMPTYING
                The Greek text of Philippians 2:7 reads "He emptied Himself" and the
          KJV rendered this "made himself of no reputation." On a basic level, this
          means He took certain features of deity into His human nature; and with
          rare exception, He did not bring into His human experience.
          Some of these features of "self-emptying" are these:
          (a)As a man He rarely manifested His preincarnate glory (cp. Jn. 17:5).
          (b)As a man He did not exercise His inherent divine power. Instead, He
             depended on the power and direction of the Holy Spirit. (Lk. 4:1,14,18;
             Eph. 1:20-22).
          (c)As a man He did not exercise certain divine attributes, such as
             omnipresence (Jn. 11:6-7), and omniscience (Mk. 13:32; Jn. 8:26, 28, 40).
          (d)As a man He did not exercise independent, divine authority. He was the
             Father's servant (slave; cp. Phil. 2:7; Isa. 42:1-7; 49:1-6; 52:13-53:12; Jn.
             6:38; 8:28-29).

          4A. His CONCEPTION and BIRTH
                 1B. Its NATURE
                         Jesus' conception was uniquely and radically different from
                 all others. It was wholly of the Holy Spirit, who created of Mary's
                 substance a complete human nature, consisting of body, soul and
                 spirit (Mt. 26:12; 38; 27:50). Mary did not create Jesus' person.
                 2B. Its IMPORTANCE
                         Our Lord's virgin birth was necessary for His saving work (Mt.
                 1:21). It was necessary for Him to become a man in order that He
                 might be identified with mankind and experience death, the
                 penalty for humanity's sins (Heb. 2:9, 14-18). The Lord's virgin birth
                 made it possible for Him to rule one day from David's throne over
                 Israel and the world (Mt. 2:2; II Sam. 7:12-17; Lk. 1:32-33).

          5A. His HUMANITY
                 1B. Its REALITY
                         This is shown by His prenatal development and birth, which
                 were normal, natural processes (Lk. 2:5-7;cp. 1:57). The Lord also
                 had a complete human nature: body (Mt. 26:12), soul (Mt. 26:38)
                 and spirit (Mt. 27:50; Jn. 11:33). The reality of Jesus' humanity was
                 also manifest in His living an ordinary human life in Nazareth, fulfilling
                 His domestic, vocational and religious duties (Mt. 13:55-56; Mk. 6:3;
                 Lk. 4:16).
                 2B. Its UNIQUENESS
                         While Jesus possesses a complete human nature as we do, it
                 differs qualitatively from ours in its being perfect and sinless.

                        THE DEITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Nov. 30

          Concerning the perfection of Jesus' human character (Jn. 1:14). He
          never sinned, nor was He a sinner. He never confessed sin, nor did
          He ever seek forgiveness (cp. Mt. 3:13-17; 27:4; Lk. 23:47; Jn. 8:46;
          19:4, 6, Acts 3:14; Rom. 8:3; II Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; I Pet. 1:19;
          2:22; I Jn. 3:5).
          3B. Its ACTIVITY
                  A purpose for our Lord's being man is that as Servant He might
          carry out the Father's will for mankind.
                A summary of this activity:
          (a) He presented Himself to Israel for their acceptance or rejection
             (Isa. 49:4-7; Lk. 4:42:44; Jn. 1:11). 2)
          (b)He gave His life for the atonement of humanity's sins (Mt. 20:28).
          (c)He confirmed the divine sentence of condemnation against
            God's enemies (Rom. 8: 2; 12:31).
          (d)He prepared the apostles for their ministry of establishing
             Christianity in the world (Mt. 15:21-18:35; Acts 1:3).
                Some of the things He is now doing:
          (a)He is building the Church
          (b)He is interceding for us at the Father's right hand (Rom. 8:34;
             Heb. 7:25).
          (c)He is preparing to return to earth and set up His kingdom
             (Rev. 19/20).


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