The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ can be proven various ways in the Word of God; this can be seen in His attributes, His names, His titles, and in the fact that worship and prayer are offered to Him.
The Attributes of Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ shares the attributes of the Father. If these are evident in Him then we must conclude that He is God:
Omniscience: “But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man” (John 2:24-25) – “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee” (John 1:47-48). These and other references prove that the Lord knew all things while He walked this earth. He not only the actions but also the very thoughts of men.
Omnipresence: This means that if He is God He can be everywhere at the same time. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20); “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13). Only God can be in more than one place at one time, angels, men, and even Satan, cannot have this attribute. If it belongs to God alone then Jesus Christ must be God.
Eternity: It must also be proven from Scripture that Jesus is from everlasting to everlasting in exactly the same way as God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2); “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). These references reveal that Jesus was in the beginning with God, then next step is to show that He is God in all His fulness; “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). Here Jesus to saying that He is the Great I AM – Jehovah God – the Eternal Lord God. To claim this attribute would be blasphemous if it were not true. Isaiah calls Him, “The Everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6).
One of the strongest texts to prove the eternity of the Lord Jesus Christ is found in Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting”. This prophecy regarding the first coming of the Lord reveals that He is from everlasting. This is why Jesus can say of Himself, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
Immutability: God is changeless. Again, if Jesus is God He too must be immutable. Scripture clearly states this fact in the book of Hebrews; “And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail … Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (1:2, 13:8). It is interesting that the Psalmist in Psalm 102:25 has God in mind when speaking about Him never changing, yet the apostle Paul shows that this is true also concerning Christ.
The Names and Titles of the Lord Jesus Christ
Divine names and titles found in Scripture are a sure way to understand the deity of Christ.
Son of God: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Cultists and antitrinitarians fail to see the significance of the title “Son of God”. They view this in no greater light than that we are all sons of God. Yet the Lord Jesus Christ saw this title as equality with God (as did the Jewish leaders of His day), “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:18).
Alpha and Omega: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). Claiming these titles for Himself Jesus has no other choice but to declare Himself to be The Almighty God.
The First and the Last: “Fear not; I am the first and the last” (Revelation 1:17). This same statement is to be found in Revelation 22, but if we compare it with what God says of Himself in Isaiah 41:4 we cannot fail to see that it is a title of deity, “Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am He.”
The Lord: “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11). Even the Jehovah’s Witnesses agree in their New World Translation (Study Bible) that the word “Lord” is the equivalent of Jehovah in this reference. That Jesus Christ is Lord is the same as saying that “Jesus Christ is Jehovah”. This is what the apostle John intended us to acknowledge when he wrote, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:2-3). Few people deny that Jesus walked this earth, so it is obvious that John did not have this idea in mind. The fact that Satan has inspired man to accept that Jesus is not God proves that those people are not of God.
God: We would have to find the Scriptures declaring that Jesus is God before we can accept the doctrine. If the Bible does not declare Him to be so, then the cultists are correct in their understanding of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 1:23 we read, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). This verse is very important for our understanding of the person of Christ in relation to deity. His name JESUS means “God saves His people”. Though a name is not sufficient evidence to prove Christ’s divinity (for many people are called Jesus in South America) when compared with other Scriptures we see that His name was special to Him since He is that God who came to save His people. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Here in Isaiah’s prophecy we see that the “Son” will be known as “The mighty God”. Isaiah had already revealed to us that the Messiah would be “Immanuel.” (7:14) which the New Testament translates as “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). An interpretation of a man, no matter how godly, is not enough to convince us that Jesus is indeed God. If God Himself were to tell us this we should have no cause to disbelieve. This is exactly what He does in Hebrews 1:8, “But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom”.
As believers we are awaiting the second coming of Christ. Nowhere does the Scriptures inform us that the Father will come to this earth. In his letter to Titus Paul says, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (2:13). There are not two persons coming so we must accept that Jesus our Saviour is the Great God mentioned in this verse.
That He is God is also seen in the following verses, “Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever” (Romans 9:5) and “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:6).
Jesus Christ appears in Scripture as:
Creator: Man can make but only God can create. The Bible teaches us that God created the world and all that is in it in six literal days. This is the very thing that the New Testament writers claim for Christ. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him … All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made … And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thine hands” (Colossians 1:16; John 1:3; Hebrews 1:10).
Preserver: Jesus preserves this present creation through His own power. No man has the ability both to control and protect the whole universe. “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” (Hebrews 1:3).
Forgiver of Sins: This prerogative belongs solely to God, but we find Jesus forgiving sins while He was on this earth, “When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, He said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house” (Mark 2:5-11).
Giver of Eternal Life: This power also remains in the hands of God. For a man or angel to claim to give others eternal life would be sheer stupidity. Not only is Jesus eternal, but He is able to give this eternal life to those who accept His word, “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him” (John 17:2). This power of eternal life is shared with both the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28). Not only is He the life-giver in regards to Creation, He is also the Eternal Lifegiver to those who are of the new creation.
The Judge: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:1). It is through the Lord Jesus Christ that all men will be judged. Man cannot judge us in respects to our eternal destiny, nor can angels since some of their company fell into sin themselves (therefore capable of sin), only God can eternally judge mankind. If Jesus is Judge, neither being man or angel, He must be God.
Prayer made to the Lord Jesus Christ:
In Acts 7:59 we find written, “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Here we see Stephen, the first Christian martyr, calling upon God with the title “Lord Jesus”. Prayer can only be offered to God, for He alone has the ability to hear every prayer prayed by His people. Jesus instructed His disciples to pray to Him, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14).
Worship is offered to the Lord Jesus Christ:
If we were to find reference to the Lord Jesus Christ being worshipped as God then it would be beyond doubt that the Scriptures teach that He is God. After the Resurrection Jesus appeared to His disciples on numerous occasions. During one visit Thomas, when see that it was really Jesus, said to Him, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). In itself this is an act of worship, but when combined with other verses we see clearly that Jesus was praised by the New Testament Church as God; “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33); “And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him” (Matthew 28:9); “And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted” (Matthew 28:!7).
The book of Hebrews reveals to us the command of God that His Son should be worshipped as God, “And again, when He bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship him” (Hebrews 1:6), and this worship is carried through to the book of Revelation, “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 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” (Revelation 4:10-11).
All these references prove that the Lord Jesus Christ is to be honoured, worshipped, and acknowledge as equal with God, being God Himself. Not to do so discredits Christ and robs a person of eternal life. The Lord Jesus said “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him” (John 5:23).
The Virgin Birth
The Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ was conceived in the womb of a young Jewish virgin called Mary. This conception was the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit without the need of a human father. “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:34-35). Joseph, Mary’s husband, acted as Jesus’ earthly father, “age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli” (Luke 3:23).
The truth about the virgin birth had to be explained by the angel to Joseph before he could accept the reality of the event; “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:18-21).
The facts and the revelation of the virgin birth of Christ does not begin in the Gospels but in the Old Testament. It is there that we find prophecies that announce the coming of the Messiah who would be born of a virgin. Through His prophets God foretold exactly what and where it was going to happen, so that when it did there would be no doubt.
In the book of Genesis we have what is know as the protoevangelium in 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.” Here God declares that the day would come when “the seed of the woman” would come to destroy Satan. The ancients did not call children the seed of woman but of the man. This text reveals that the Messiah would come from a woman. If God had intended otherwise He could have used the name of Adam.
The prophet Isaiah promises a sign that would be given to the people of Israel (and the whole world). He describes what is unnatural and unthinkable, that a virgin girl would give birth to a son; “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). The word “virgin” comes from the Hebrew (alma) for a young woman above the age of childbirth and mature enough to marry. It indicates that she is a young woman who has had sexual relations with a man. This is how the apostle Paul viewed the birth of Jesus Christ also. He says in Galatians 4:4, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman”.
Without the virgin birth of Christ we would have a Messiah born of human parents and tainted with the stain of sin, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12), yet He was without sin, “For He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because of this Jesus can lead us to righteousness, “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26). The virgin birth guarantees that the Lord Jesus Christ is the spotless Lamb of God who took the sins of the world.