Intermediate Edition

II. Jesus Christ and God


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Chapter 3  Part II

Jesus Christ and God

The claim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is one of the most central teachings in the NT. Additionally, the NT says much that associates Christ with God. This teaching forms the basis of a large portion of what distinguishes Christianity from other religions.

Jesus Christ Is the Son of God (I): General

Jesus Christ is the Son of God . . .

Therefore since we [believers] have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.   Hebrews 4:14 NET

. . . Jesus Christ is God’s only Son

God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him.   1 John 4:9b NET

Jesus Christ is the image of God

… the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God.   2 Corinthians 4:4b NET

The assertion that Jesus Christ is the image of God – having the nature and fullness of God (as per the following subsection) – reflects and supports the assertion that he is the Son of God.

Jesus Christ has the form and fullness of God

[Paul, to believers:] You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, 6who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, …   Philippians 2:5-6 NET

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son …   Colossians 1:19 NET

The phrase “all his fullness” refers to: the fullness of God’s nature (cf. GNT) – “the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes” (AMP); and/or “all of himself” (NCV; cf. CEV, NLT), meaning that God himself in all his fullness dwells in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ Is the Son of God (II): Testimony

God testified to Jesus Christ being his Son

After Jesus was baptized, just as he was coming up out of the water, the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my one dear Son; in him I take great delight.”   Matthew 3:16-17 NET

Others also testified to Jesus Christ being the Son of God

When evil spirits saw Jesus, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!”   Mark 3:11 NCV™

And John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and stay on him. 33I still did not know that he was the one, but God, who sent me to baptize with water, had said to me, ‘You will see the Spirit come down and stay on a man; he is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34I have seen it,” said John, “and I tell you that he is the Son of God.”   John 1:32-34 GNT

Jesus Christ’s deeds are evidence that he is the Son of God

But these [miraculous signs] are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.   John 20:31 NET

Other events of Jesus Christ’s incarnation are further evidence

Then Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. 51Just then the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks were split apart. 52And tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had died were raised. … 54Now when the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and what took place, they were extremely terrified and said, “Truly this one was God’s Son!”   Matthew 27:50-52, 54 NET

It [the gospel] is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: as to his humanity, he was born a descendant of David; 4as to his divine holiness, he was shown with great power to be the Son of God by being raised from death.   Romans 1:3-4 GNT

Jesus’ resurrection is a weighty testimony to him being the Son of God.

Jesus Christ Is Identified with God

Jesus Christ and the Father are one

[Jesus, praying for believers:]  Holy Father, keep them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they will be one, just as you and I are one.   John 17:11b NCV

This speaks of an inseparable unity, including a unity of purpose – as reflected in Jesus praying for his followers to likewise be one.

To know or see Jesus Christ is to know or see the Father

[Jesus, to his disciples:] If you have known me, you will know my Father too. And from now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content.” 9Jesus replied, “Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?   John 14:7-9 NET

Jesus Christ is called “God”

Thomas replied to him [Jesus], “My Lord and my God!”   John 20:28 NET

Note: There is one God, the Father – and one Lord, Jesus Christ

 … yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.   1 Corinthians 8:6 ESV

Jesus Christ Is Treated like God Is

The fact that Christians relate to (or treat) Jesus Christ in ways in which they relate to God, reflects and supplements the teaching in the previous sections.

Jesus Christ is worshiped

And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”   Matthew 14:33 ESV

The disciples worshiped Jesus as the Son of God.

People pray to Jesus Christ

They continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”   Acts 7:59 NET

People obey and serve Jesus Christ

[Jesus, to his disciples:] Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.   Matthew 28:19-20a NET

From James, a servant of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ.   James 1:1a CEV

Jesus Christ Is Under God’s Authority

See also:

The concept of Jesus Christ being eternally subordinate to God is a historical doctrine that is still debated by Christian scholars.

God is both Jesus Christ’s God and his Father

‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’   John 20:17b NET

[Paul, to believers:] I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing knowledge of him, …   Ephesians 1:17  NET

Jesus Christ is described as being subordinate to God

[Paul:] God is the head of Christ.   1 Corinthians 11:3b NET

But when everything has been put under him, then the Son himself will also become subject to the one who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.   1 Corinthians 15:28 ISV

Jesus Christ is God’s servant

[The early believers, praying to God:] Stretch out your hand to heal, and grant that wonders and miracles may be performed through the name of your holy Servant Jesus.   Acts 4:30 GNT

Pray for persecuted Christians