Can we help? with PASTOR & MRS BANDA
DEAR Raphael and Namukolo,
If the Bible teaches us that there is only one God, how can Jesus Christ be God as well? I have come across some religious groups that teach that Jesus is not God. They claim that He was created by God. I have grown up believing that Jesus is God, but I find it hard to prove it from the Bible. Please help!
Your question is of vital importance as the identity of Jesus Christ is not a mere academic exercise. How we identify Jesus will determine the genuineness as well as the quality of our Christianity.
The problem of failing to correctly identify whom Jesus Christ is goes back to the times of Christ Himself. In fact, it contributed to Him getting crucified. Let us sample some instances of this.
John 8:23-25: He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning.” John 10:31-33: The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”
The problem of Christ’s identity spilt out of the New Testament into the early church. In the fourth century, a controversy known as the Arian controversy broke out in the church. It was led by a man called Arius, who taught that Christ was created and not an eternal being.
But the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is fully God. This proof is derived from the following:
• What the prophets said about him. Christ did not just come into the world unannounced. His coming was prophesied by the prophets long before it came to pass. The prophets revealed His identity. Consider for example; Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The son to be born was going to be called ‘Mighty God’ and ‘Everlasting Father’.
With respect to the Christ being born in the town of Bethlehem, the prophet Micah had the following to say: Micah 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
The birth in Bethlehem was not going to mark the beginning of life for the child who was to be born. No, His origins ‘are from of old, from ancient times’. He is not a created being. Matthew 1:21-23: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, ‘God with us’.”
• The ministry and testimony of his forerunner – John the Baptist. Malachi 3:1: “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come, says the Lord Almighty.” Matthew 3:11: “I baptise you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
• What he claimed about himself. John 8:58-59: “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am’.” So, they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.
Why did they want to stone him? Because He had referred to Himself using one of God’s names. Remember the encounter that Moses had with God in the book of Exodus? Exodus 3:14: “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am’.” And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you’.”
To be continued…
Put your relationship with God first if you are to have successful relationships with fellow human beings.
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