Orthodox Christianity purports that the man Jesus Christ if fully God. He is the second member of the Trinity; God the Son. But, is this what the Bible teaches? Or is this something that, somewhere along the way, somebody made up to make the whole Christianity thing a little bit more important. If Jesus was just a man, than he isn’t really that different from Moses, Muhammad, or Buddha. But, if he was not merely a man, but also God, than we’re talking about something—better someone—who is entirely and entrancingly unique.
So what does the Bible say?
In his brilliant book on the subject of Christ, God the Son Incarnate, Professor Stephen Wellum traces the biblical argument for the deity of Christ noting the Bible’s affirmation of Christ’s divinity through its attributing to Christ divine attributes, divine rule, and divine worship.
Wellum insists on the biblical foundation to the doctrine of the deity of Christ since the Bible describes Christ as having characteristics or attributes which are reserved for God alone. These would include such attributes as:
- Eternality – (John 1:1, 17:5)
- Omnipotence – (Matt. 8:26-2 1 Cor. 1:18, 23-25, Eph. 1:19-20; Phil. 3:21; Col. 2:10)
- Omnipresence – (Matt. 18:20; 28:20; Eph. 4:10)
- Immutability – (2 Cor. 1:20; Heb. 1:10-12, 13:8; James 1:17)
- Omniscience – (Mark 2:8i John 1:48; 2:25; 6:64; 21:17; Acts 1:24; 1 Cor. 4:5, Col. 2:3, 9; Rev 2:23)
Wellum also argues that the Bible ascribes divine rule to Jesus Christ noting that “Christ exercises unrivaled dominion over “all things” (Rom. 14:9); 1 Cor. 15:27-28; Eph. 1:22; Phil 2:10; 3:21; Heb. 1:2; 2:8; 1 Pet. 3:22; Rev. 1:5), including all human and angelic authorities (Eph. 1:21; Phil. 2:10; Heb. 1:4-6, 13)” (194). Similarly, argues Wellum, the Bible indicates that Jesus sits on God’s throne (2 Cor. 5:10; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 12:2) and shares the universal Lordship of Yahweh (Rom. 9:5; Eph. 1:20-21; 4:10 Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:3; 7:26).
Finally, if the Bible records and affirms the worship of Jesus, than it is clearly indicating Jesus is God. Wellum reminds us that “the worship of a creature, any creature, even the highest and most powerful angel, brought an individual and ultimately the nation under the covenant curse of exile and death (Ex. 20:1-7)” (195). Thus, only God was to be worshipped (Deut. 6:4). But we see in Scripture that Jesus was in fact worshipped and those who worshipped were never rebuked (Matt. 14:33 21:15-16; 28:9, 17; John 20:28; cf. 5:22-23). Wellum also raises the occurrences of prayer and that were directed to Jesus (Acts 1:2 7:59-60; 9:10, 13; 22:17-19; 1 Cor. 1:2; 16:22; 2 or. 12:8; Rev 22:20) as well as the occasions when Christ was clearly the object of individual’s faith.
Is the deity of Jesus Christ a fanciful concoction of an overzealous adherent or the biblical testimony of God himself? According to this brief interaction with Wellum’s book God the Son Incarnate and the solid biblical arguments he presents, it is clear that the Bible asserts full divinity to the man Jesus Christ.