It’s been way too long since I posted a blog. For some reason I am inspired today to start posting again on a more regular basis. So I thought I would start with a synopsis of a sermon I preached this past Sunday on “The Eternal Deity of Jesus Christ” (cf. Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 10).
A couple of Jehovah’s witnesses visited me about two weeks ago. It was interesting timing because I was preparing to preach a few catechetical sermons on the topics of the Trinity, the deity of Jesus Christ, and the person and deity of the Holy Spirit. Jehovah’s witnesses of course deny these Biblical and historical doctrines of the Christian faith. So this past Sunday when I preached on the eternal deity of Jesus Christ one of my goals was to equip my congregation with Biblical answers to their objections. Here are a few Scripture verses that we went through to prove the deity of Christ:
John 1: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. . .14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. . .18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
Colossians 1: 15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. . .Col. 2:9: For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
Hebrews 1: 11 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
It’s easy to remember these three references because they all are from chapter 1 (John 1, Col. 1, Heb. 1). With John 1 and Colossians 1 I responded to the common objections that Jehovah’s witnesses make with these verses (listen to the audio below if you’d like to hear these answers). Some other verses you may want to consider are the following:
1. Jesus’ “I AM” statements in John’s gospel (Jn. 6:35, 48; 8:12, 58; 9:5; 10:7, 11-14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5). This was Jesus claiming God’s covenantal name for Himself (cf. Ex. 3:14), which is why the Jews wanted to stone Him (John 8:59).
2. Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17. Jesus prays: John 17:5:And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. This is a remarkable statement since in the Old Testament God often told Israel that He was jealous for His own glory and that He shares His glory with no one (cf. Isa. 42:8). Here we see that Jesus indeed has always shared that glory with God the Father, being the second person of the Trinity.
3. Jesus receives worship (Matt. 28:16; Heb. 1:5-6, 7-12 [here Psalms praising God apply to Him]; Rev. 5:11-14). Compare this with John being rebuked for trying to worship an angel in the book of Revelation (Rev. 19:10).
At the conclusion of my sermon I wanted to press home the point that it is both necessary and extremely comforting to know that Jesus Christ is eternally God. Here are the reasons that I gave:
- Because it’s Biblical as we have seen above
- Because we cannot see God if Jesus is not divine. He reveals the invisible God to us (Jn. 1:18; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3). He is Immanuel, God with us (Matt. 1:23)! Jesus said to his disciples if you have seen me you’ve seen the Father (Jn. 14:9).
- Because we cannot be saved if Jesus is not divine. In Reformed churches we confess in Heidelberg Catechism Question 17: “Why must He also be true God? That by the power of His Godhead He might bear in His manhood the burden of God’s wrath, and so obtain for and restore to us righteousness and life.” We need a mediator who is fully God and fully man in order to be saved from our sins. Without Jesus’ divinity we are hopeless.
- Because we cannot be preserved and comforted in this world if Jesus is not eternally God. We would have a weak and insufficient mediator if Jesus is not eternally God. But because Jesus is God, this doctrine gives us unspeakable comfort. In Reformed churches we also confess these comforting words from the Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 26: “And if we seek for one who has power and majesty, who is there that has so much of both as He who sits at the right hand of God, and to whom hath been given all authority in heaven and on earth? And who will sooner be heard than the own well beloved Son of God?” You see, because Jesus is the eternal Son of God you and I can be sure that we have an all sufficient Mediator and that Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17 will most definitely be answered!
And so, let us believe in our heart and confess with our mouth the eternal deity of Jesus Christ with great comfort and with great confidence. And let us invoke, worship, and serve Christ both now and forevermore Amen! Come Lord Jesus!
You can listen to the full audio of this sermon at our church web-site here.