The deity of Jesus …Fact or fiction #2

I am always amazed what nuggets of truth can be discovered in scripture that are more often than not passed right over, and for the most part go unnoticed. 1 Peter 1:11 is such a verse. Peter is speaking about the gospel of Jesus, the trials, joys and hope that accompanies those who trust Him, and then he talks of the prophets of ages past who prophesied concerning the suffering and glory of Christ. In verse 11 he says about those prophets “… the spirit of Christ in them was indicating the sufferings of Christ…” Centuries before a birth in Bethlehem, before the cross, before the resurrection of Jesus, He was active in revealing partially to the prophets the salvation that had been planned long before the creation of the universe. The spirit of Christ could hardly be doing anything hundreds of years before He would come in flesh had he not existed prior to His humble birth as Mary’s child.

Another example of Christ being active in Old Testament history is found in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4. Paul is warning against idolatry and he says “For I want you to know, brothers that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ”. Even a rank skeptic must agree that if the Bible is true, then Jesus lived before His birth.  

Jesus existed before His natural birth “in time”. Post # number 3 will show that Christ also existed before time began, that He is God and is eternal.

In Him,

The Deity of Jesus…part 1

Was Jesus God? Surely the deity of Jesus Christ is one of the essential beliefs of the historic Christian faith. Yet many people who claim to be Christians boldly deny that Jesus was truly God in flesh.I continue to be shocked and saddened by the rampant unbelief of professing followers of Jesus. Not only is Christ’s deity questioned but the resurrection of Christ is debunked by some of these same people.

In the next few post I will present a biblical case for the deity of Jesus Christ. I will not give you my opinion but rather the clear unvarnished testimony of the Word of God. Do I expect everyone to believe what the Bible says? Absolutely not. Perhaps somebody you will see the truth and abandon your unbelief.

Jesus when speaking to unbelieving Jews made this statement. “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:42-47 NIV)

How you respond to God’s truth was the acid test in the first century and it is the same today. Those who do not belong to God reject truth and those who do belong to God accept it. Like those Jews of Jesus’ day who rejected His words, those today who reject His words have a father but it is not God.

Jesus claimed to be God, the prophets said he would be God, His mastery over nature proved He was God, His supernatural knowledge proved He was God, and His resurrection from the dead proved He was God.

If Jesus was God He necessarily then would have to possess the eternal attributes of God. The first of those is His eternal existence. Jesus did not have His beginning in the cradle of Bethlehem. Far from it. What is the record of the Word of God? I will mention a few verses.

The fist and perhaps the most obvious one is in John 1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:1-5 NKJV) Verse 14 makes it clear who is being spoken of in verses 1- 5, “And the Word became flesh and we beheld His glory…”

Not only did Christ precede creation but was also the Creator. For Jesus to be God He could not be “a god” as some of the cults teach, He could not be “created”. No He had to exist outside of time, outside of creation. These words in John 1 leave no doubt to those who are willing to accept truth. Jesus existed before the world was created. The prophet Micah in Micah 5:2 said of Him “… Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting”.
Jesus said to the Jews “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58 NKJV) Then in Jesus great prayer in John 17 He said these words of Himself claiming His eternal existence, “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5 NKJV)

There are other verses that make the same point. I believe it should be clear to any honest seeker of truth that according to the Bible Jesus existed in eternity before the creation of planet earth and teaches clearly that He lives forever, His life has no end.

Only God is separate from creation, separate from time, not bound by natural law, and has the ability to create by His spoken word. Next time we will examine other texts that show indeed that Christ was in fact God in human form.

His peace,

Royce Ogle

Jesus….how can I know for sure?

The Bible is a remarkable book. It is a combination of 66 different writings with many different authors from varied backgrounds. It is the top selling book in history and continues to top the charts today.
Although it is a wonderful body of literature and is both interesting and beautiful with dozens and dozens of colorful stories about the successes and failures of people, monumental historic events, and guidelines for practical living, the Bible is unique of all other books ever written. It is the revelation of God to people like me and you and can be understood in two ways.
First, the Bible can be read and understood like any other great literary work. One can read it and learn about the people and events and even memorize sizeable sections of it. There is no more interesting book. Secondly, the Bible can be understood spiritually. Unlike any other book ever written, the Bible is a spiritual book. Because its words are literally God’s words, they, like Him, are spiritual and alive. To fully receive the message of God’s revelation the words on the pages of the Bible must be spiritually understood. (1 Cor 2:14)
Many, many people make the mistake of trying to know the truth of the Bible without the aid of the Holy Spirit, who alone can reveal the core truth of God’s revelation to mere men. If you my dear friend approach the Word of God and try to fit all you find on its pages into the mold of human reason you will not understand the truth. The Apostle Paul put it this way. He said it is “foolishness” to those who try to approach the things of God using only natural means. The Bible is both natural and supernatural at the same time. The supernatural component will be completely missed if you insist on trying to ascertain spiritual truth and supernatural concepts using only human logic and reasoning.
In my view, the reason many people who claim to be Christians have difficulty with the bodily resurrection of Jesus, his Deity, His eternal existence, and many of His claims and promises is that because these things do not fit the natural human ability to learn and assimilate facts, many just disregard everything that doesn’t seem logical. Then they also scoff at those who do understand the truth of God’s revelation by the Spirit.

I am convinced that God wants you to know His truth. If you will come to the Bible with an open heart and a willingness to take God at His word, you can know the truth. We understand the Bible by “faith”. The writer of the Hebrews said in chapter 11 verse 3 these words, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible”.
We understand that God created by simply taking God at His word. The same is true for all other truth. Those who are believers (have faith in God) know the truth and those who are unbelievers (do not trust God) do not know the truth.
Each of us creatures should unreservedly trust the Creator and believe His book, the Bible. In the next few posts I will discuss Jesus Christ and who He is. My hope is that these simple studies will help you to know, or to more fully know, the Godman, Jesus Christ our Lord who is God.
His peace,

Jesus? Whats all the fuss?

The idea of the Trinity is often confusing and difficult for many to understand. I don’t know that any finite being can begin to fully comprehend the awesome central essence of our great Creator God. I do believe however, that we are given quite enough revelation in the pages of the Bible so that we can understand the basic concept of the triune God we love and serve.

One man describes the Trinity this way. “There is one essence (God) and three manifestations of that essence, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”. That is a very concise and clear way to state it. There are not three Gods but one who has revealed Himself in three distinct personalities.

Another illustration might be the following. My father, David Ogle, was at the same time a father, a son, and a husband. He was very real in each of those roles and neither compromised the others. He was one man (essence) but was known (manifested) in three distinct personas.

I believe a basic understanding of the Trinity is necessary before one tackles the Deity of Jesus. It is disturbing to me that many people struggle with questions about Jesus the man. Was He or is He God? If He was or is God, how could he have died? If he was fully God how could he pray to Himself or be in a submissive role while on earth? These questions and more continue to be asked in the minds of many, and not just those who are outside the household of faith, believers have some of the same questions. Can I answer them all? Absolutely I cannot. I can remind us of what the Bible clearly teaches about Jesus and His role as the second person of the Trinity.

The deity of Jesus Christ is regarded by every orthodox theologian as one of the “essentials” of the historic Christian faith. It is “foundational” in its value as a doctrine. It is a “fundamental” doctrine held by those who embrace the basic tenets of the Christian faith who are correctly called “Fundamentalists”, of which I am happily one. Many people today refer to this same group of believers as “Evangelicals”, but the core beliefs are almost exactly the same. One difference is that some who refer to themselves as “Fundamentalists” refuse to fellowship with anyone who does not believe and practice everything to the letter that they believe. The “everything” includes some Bible doctrines that are not “essentials”, or “foundational” teachings. Common consensus is that there are some facts in the Bible that are so important that one who is exposed to them must believe them to be correctly called a Christian. The deity of Jesus is one of those teachings.

Another important thing to keep in mind in addition to the concept of the Trinity is the concept of “roles”. In the Bible, when women are instructed to be submissive to their own husbands, slaves to masters, children are to honor and obey parents, etc. There is no hint, stated or implied, of determining value or worth. The mistaken idea that Jesus was not co-equal with the Father because he was sent to do the will of the Father in no way is a statement about His value, worth, or place in the Godhead. Function never is a measurement of value or worth, for God or for His children.

It is my goal over the course of the next few weeks is to post some of my observations about what the Bible clearly states regarding the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Was, or is He, fully God, or something a bit less? Was he a creation of God the Father? Did He exist before he was born to Mary? Was he really raised from the dead in a body? Where is He today and what is He doing? Is He only our brother or is He our God?

Your input is invited.

Merry CHRISTmas and a prosperous new year.

His peace,