Christian Doctrine Jesus Christ

Who is Jesus Christ and is He God?

As far as massive implications go, there are no more important questions than these. Let’s look into this man, Jesus of Nazareth and determine who he really is.

Who is Jesus?

Who is Jesus Christ, and is he really the Messiah? Some say he’s a great teacher, calling him Rabbi, and some consider him a great philosopher. Others will go just a little bit farther and say that he’s a prophet.

Some people even say he’s a lunatic, responsible for the greatest and largest hoax in all of human history, having tricked masses of people across a few thousand years into some religion.

Here’s what the writer C.S. Lewis said:

You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

What Jesus did leave open to you though is your choice to determine who you say that he is. That is the choice that will have eternal consequences for you, me, and every man, woman, and child that has ever lived, or ever will live.

And when you encounter the risen Christ Jesus, you will discover that those who truly know him, including even the demons, know that he is Messiah: the one and only Son of God.

“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” James 2:19

What is “Christology?”

“Christology” is the term we use for the study of Jesus Christ. It’s the principles that the church and Christians believe and teach about Christ.

It’s the in-depth stuff of how we answer the question, who is Jesus? Christology is also what people mean when they say the Doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Photo by DJ Paine on Unsplash

And if I (or anyone else for that matter) is going to teach you that eternal life comes through Jesus, and eternal condemnation is the consequence of rejecting him, then I have some work cut out, don’t I?

That means I had better present not only the truth found in Scripture, but also the significant historical evidence that discredits the false claims, heretical teachings, and the assumptions made against Jesus.

And I am prepared to do that.

What Does the “2 Natures of Jesus” Mean?

Fully God and Fully Man

You could say that the most important truth that we have about the “Messiahship” of Jesus Christ is that he is simultaneously fully God and fully man.

This is called the hypostatic union. That means that Jesus is actually 100% of 2 distinct natures at exactly the same time. Those 2 natures, of course, being God and man.

I’ll go so far to say that this must be the greatest of all of the miracles. If he were not either of these 2 natures at the same time, then he would not be God at all. If Jesus had to trade one nature for another, then again, he wouldn’t be God. That’s because God can never separate himself from who and what he is. Not even by the tiniest bit.

And if God himself were not the Messiah, we would be eternally hopeless and condemned in our sin.

Let’s get further into these 2 natures and find out why…

The Humanity of Jesus Christ

The truth that Jesus Christ is fully man is desperately important to fully understand who he is. This is because if he were not fully man, with all of your and my deficiencies, temptations, frustrations, and weaknesses, then he could not relate to our brokenness.

How could he ever teach against things like your fear or anxiety if they were foreign to him?

But because Jesus possessed and experienced all of your nature, you can relate to him as your redeemer and savior.

In fact, that’s what messiah means. And, without his humanity, you would be right to ask that if Jesus can’t understand you at the deepest, most secret levels, then how do you know that he can redeem you at all?

The flip side, of course, is that if he were not fully God, then he would be powerless against sin and unable to redeem anyone. He would be as hopeless as any human born after Adam in the Garden of Eden.

The solution which God provided to ensure these 2 natures of Christ is the virgin birth. You can see that in Matthew 1:18-25. Without the virgin birth, we could not understand the divine and holy nature of Christ.

The Deity of Jesus Christ: He is God

Have you ever heard the word incarnation? This is used to describe God in human flesh. You won’t see this word anywhere in Scripture, but it’s important to understand it.

In his Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem writes,

“The word incarnate comes from Latin incanāre, which means “to make flesh.” The Latin prefix in- means “to cause something to be something,” and the Latin word caro means “flesh,” thus, we use the word incarnate to refer to Christ as God in human flesh.” (Grudem, page 543).

When we apply the word incarnate, we are affirming that God became a man in Jesus Christ. He didn’t simply possess a human body, and he didn’t become “like man.”

And despite what some rather large, mainline cults teach, Jesus was not a man first who later became “like God.”

Jesus Christ, eternal God, became man:

And the Word became flesh and took up residence among us, and we saw his glory, glory as of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

This is important to know and understand because we need to examine the extensive Scriptural evidence for the deity of Jesus Christ.

Let’s do that now.

Christ in the Beginning

Ok, you got this far and now I know you want to see where in the world all of this goes. Are you ready to discover some of the deepest truths you can about this man named Jesus of Nazareth and who he truly is?

Scripture shows us that Jesus was just as we are with one enormous distinction: he is eternal and without sin because he is God. In Johns Gospel, we see that Jesus claimed to exist in Heaven before His existence on Earth:

Then what if you see the Son of Man ascending where he was before?

John 6:62

Surprise! His birth in Bethlehem was not his beginning. If you’ve seen my post on the talking donkey, then you know that Jesus was present way back in the book of Numbers. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah speaks about the pre-existence of Christ. John confirms this in John 12:38-41 when he refers to Isaiah 53:1 and Isaiah 6:10:

Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory, and he spoke about him.

John 12:41

But wait…there’s more! We can go back even farther. In fact, let’s go back to the beginning of creation and find Jesus there. But to get there. we’ll go through the book of Proverbs and bounce up to John’s Gospel. I’ll bold the important part:

“The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.” Proverbs 3:19-20

And that needs to be highlighted with what the Gospel of John says,

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 was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3

So we see that in the beginning, at creation, these 2 things were present: the Word and wisdom. We also see that God “by wisdom founded the earth” and that “all things were made through him” (the Word).

Since we know that John is writing about Christ, and Proverbs 3 places wisdom alongside the Word in the beginning, we have to draw the conclusion that Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God, and that he not only was present at creation, but was active because “all things were made through him.”

Who Does the Bible Say Jesus Is?

If you want to really find out more about who Jesus is, what better source is there than the Bible itself? After all, the Scriptures are all about Jesus from beginning to end. The Gospels alone will give you a clear picture of his life, actions, and his character.

And while turning to the Bible to discover more about Christ, it’s essential to note that the New Testament explicitly refers to Jesus as God using the word Theos.

This is vital because usually in Scripture, the use of Theos refers to God as Creator and ruler. Yet, there are at least 7 New Testament verses that apply the word Theos to Jesus Christ.

And guess what? I’m going to share all of them with you right now!

1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

Here, John explicitly names Jesus Logos (the Word) and Theos (God) and says, without allowing any room for doubt, that Jesus Christ is God: “and the Logos (Word) was Theos (God)” in the beginning, or at creation.

2. “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” John 1:18

The word used in this verse for “declared” is “manifested.” This verse is telling us: “The only begotten Son has manifested (or embodied) God (Theos).” When we say “the only begotten Son,” we’re also saying “the Son is the only begotten God.” Meaning, he is the only Son of the Father, Jesus Christ.

3. “Thomas answered him, My Lord and my God.” John 20:28

This is a profound declaration by Thomas. In the previous verse, Jesus invited Thomas to touch his crucifixion wounds, but Scripture never tells us Thomas did so. He may have touched the wounds, but we have to draw that as an assumption. Instead, we see in this verse that rather than test Jesus, “Thomas answered and said, ‘My Lord and my God (Theos).’”

4. “To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 9:5

In this verse, Paul writes plainly that, “Christ is God (Theos) over all.”

5. “…looking forward to the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” Titus 2:13

Another very straightforward verse written by Paul affirming the deity of Christ saying, “our great God (Theos) and Savior Jesus Christ.”

6. “But of the Son he says,“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.” Hebrews 1:8

This verse quotes Psalm 45:6, declaring the deity and eternal nature of God, using the word Theos and applying it directly to Christ.

7. Peter also openly and plainly declares the deity of Christ when he begins his second epistle saying, “to those who have obtained a faith equal in value to ours by the righteousness of our God (Theos) and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:1

Jesus is also frequently referred to as “Lord” throughout the New Testament. This is the Greek word kyrios, which can mean “master.” The Greek translation of the Old Testament, which was in use during Christ’s time on earth, uses this word for YHWH, or “Yahweh,” meaning “the LORD God.”

Photo by DJ Paine on Unsplash

Jesus also declares he is God by his very own words. Jesus claimed his title “I AM” (YHWH) to the Pharisees in John 8:58.

His actions also testified to his deity, such as when he calmed a raging storm with only a word (Matthew 8:26-27), and when he fed the multitudes with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish (Matthew 14:19).

Perhaps one of the strongest claims Christ makes to his own deity though is in Revelation, where he declares,

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

Revelation 22:13

Because this is the exact statement God the Father makes in Revelation 1:8, this places Jesus as God the Father’s equal.

The Doctrine of Christ

This is the truth about Jesus Christ. You can pick it apart, scrutinize it, unpack it, and run it through the ringer. And I hope that you do. Jesus doesn’t need a defender, but you and I most certainly do.

In Romans 10:13, the Apostle Paul quotes Joel 2:32 saying,

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:13

Of all the information and evidence presented here on the doctrine of Christ, perhaps this verse represents the most important and the highest view of who Jesus is.

This is the great truth and hope found in Jesus Christ, and it’s the most urgent message in all of Christology that must be communicated in love to everyone in all places.

Knowing Christ

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, now is the time to consider what you will do with him. This is the most important decision you’ll ever make because it comes with an eternal outcome. You can simply call on him right now, where you’re at, and surrender to him as Lord and God.

It really is that simple.

Or, you could wrestle with these truths further and really ring them out. I’ve shared some recommended books below to help you wherever you may be with Jesus.

Again in Romans Paul writes,

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Romans 8:32

There is eternal grace found in those words. The “all things” means that in Christ, you’ll stand before God without the stain and blemish of your sin. It also means that apart from Christ, that same sin will convict you to eternal separation from God.

Now it’s time for you to decide for yourself: who is Jesus Christ?

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2 thoughts on “Who is Jesus Christ and is He God?

  1. Hi I really enjoyed this study, as I am confused about who we should pray to .God the father or Jesus ?. I do not find the bible very easy to understand. It clearly seems to point out that the father and Jesus are two separate beings ,yet as one too, somehow. Just before the crucifixion Jesus was suffering greatly at what was too come,he implied that his will was not to go through with everything ,yet he submitted to God the fathers will instead. Many times in the new testament he stated that he was here to do God the fathers will not Jesus will.
    I guess this unclear idea is what lead to the catholic trinity belief. Who is God the father ?
    Can you help to clarify this more please.

    1. Hi Brent, I’m so thankful you’ve enjoyed this study. You’ve raised some really great points, and I will certainly do my best to help clarify those.

      First, you are free to pray to God the Father and to Jesus as well. Jesus modeled praying to the Father. It’s very appropriate to pray to Jesus as well because he is in his resurrected state. In fact, you could even pray to the Holy Spirit, which I do frequently, especially when I’m sitting down to read the Bible. I’ll pray something like, “Holy Spirit, please be my guide as I open your word. Direct my thoughts and teach me your ways.”

      Also know that when you approach God with a sincere heart, he will hear your prayer. Even if all you can say is, “God, help!” It’s the sincerity of your heart God wants to see.

      That brings us to your next really excellent point of the Trinity, as well as the apparent separation of Jesus and God the Father. This is a little more difficult, but let’s dig into it!

      You’re right, there is an appearance that God and Jesus are 2 separate beings during Christ’s time on earth in a physical body. This is exactly what we mean when we say that Jesus has 2 distinct natures at the same exact time. He is both God and man.

      While on earth, the “man side” of his nature was in complete surrender and obedience to God. That’s why we see him suffering and maybe even fearful of what he was going to endure. His “man nature” was also tempted in every way. But, because of his dual nature, he is also God, has always been and always will be. He cannot be without his “God nature” or he would not be God at all.

      He did not set his deity aside, it is always there, yet he surrendered his rights as God, and that is a very big difference. Here’s what Philippians 2:6-8 says,

      “Though he was God,
      he did not think of equality with God
      as something to cling to.

      Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
      he took the humble position of a slave
      and was born as a human being.
      When he appeared in human form,

      he humbled himself in obedience to God
      and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

      I hope that helps clarify some of those important points you brought up. Please don’t hesitate to ask further questions. Also remember that while you and I will do our best to understand God, we cannot fully grasp him in his entirety. But he is a good God and will satisfy our diligence in seeking him every day.

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