Why Should We Believe That Jesus Christ is God? (The Study of God #78)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #78

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.”

Let’s start out reading the Word of God Itself. Today’s passage of Scripture is John 20:27-28 which reads: “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”

Today’s words from a theologian are from Alistair Begg. He said: “You don’t know who you are until you know God and you don’t know how to live until you’ve settled the question of how to die.”

Our topic for today is titled “Why Should We Believe That Jesus Christ is God?” from “Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day” by Dr. Daryl Aaron.

Dr. Daryl Aaron writes…

In addition to being who God is and doing what God does, another evidence of his deity is that he made that claim himself: “I and the Father are one”. After his arrest, when the high priest demanded of Jesus, “Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God”, he replied, “You have said so. But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven”. Here Jesus quotes from two messianic prophecies, and that those listening understood these as references to a divine being is indicated by their reaction: “He has spoken blasphemy! . . . He is worthy of death”. This was the usual Jewish reaction to his claims of deity.

Some claims that may seem obscure to us couldn’t be missed by the Jews who heard Jesus, as evidenced by this same reaction. For example, “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill Him; not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making himself equal with God. – John 5:17–18

Another unavoidable argument for Christ’s deity is that He accepted worship. He went so far as to say, “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent Him”. In other words, if we don’t worship Him, we can’t worship God.

A little while after Jesus had given sight to the man born blind, he came back to this man, who had not yet seen Him, and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” When the man realized who this was, he said “‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped Him”. When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, He said to Thomas, “‘Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said, ‘My Lord and my God!’”.

What is so amazing about these examples is that these two loyal (strictly monotheistic) Jews did what they did. They believed in one God who has no physical form (thus the first and second commandments). Like others before them, they would rather have died than worship anyone but the one true God; the very thought was repugnant. But these men, like many others, worshiped Jesus because they had become completely convinced that this man is the one true God.

In historical context, what they did was absolutely revolutionary. And Jesus did not rebuke them. If thinking that He was God had revealed a terrible misunderstanding, Jesus could have taken the opportunity to say, “Hold on! Don’t worship me! Worship only God” (as, for instance, Paul and Barnabas did, and as angels repeatedly did). Jesus accepted worship because He is God and is worthy of it.

One of the reasons this doctrine is so crucial is that if Jesus is not fully God, there is no salvation to be found in His death. The sacrifice that would be sufficient for the many sins of the many people had to be a sacrifice of infinite value. No human being could provide this kind of sacrifice; only God Himself could. This is why the early Christians were so appalled at the deity of Jesus being denied. They knew His deity was absolutely vital for their salvation.

INTERESTING FACT: Two of the clearest New Testament texts regarding the deity of Jesus are Colossians 2:9: “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,” and Hebrews 1:3: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.”

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that while it is important to engage in the study of God, it is far more important that you have a relationship with God. I fear that there are a lot of people who will die knowing a lot about God, but not really knowing God. You don’t want to be one of those people.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “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.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

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