There are many sects that base their view of the world on the fact that Christ is not God. There are a number of different strategies for attacking Christ’s deity. Some reinterpret the Scriptures to shade the meanings differently than the context indicates, sometimes even going so far as inserting new words into the text. Others use a rational argument that attempts to first oversimplify belief in the trinity to make it seem that Christian’s believe in three Gods (a “straw man” argument, since we believe in a singular God) and then attack it from Scriptures, such as Deuteronomy 6:4, which point out that God is one. Regardless, of the attack, however, I’m not moved by the argument. God is one and Jesus Christ is God.
A passage that does not stand on it’s own, but is what I consider to the be summary passage for Christ’s deity is found in John 1:1-3,14: “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. … 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.” The book of John is about the Word, who is Jesus Christ. In the words of J.C. Ryle in his commentary on John, “[Jesus] is not merely a created angel, or a being inferior to God the Father, and invested by Him with power to redeem sinners. He is nothing less than perfect God,—equal to the Father as touching His Godhead,—God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds.”
Some have tried to say that it would be more appropriate to translate the passage, “the Word was a God.” According to John MacArthur, this isn’t correct. “The Greek construction emphasizes that the Word had all the essence or attributes of deity, i.e., Jesus the Messiah was fully God.” The MacArthur Bible Commentary refers us to Colossians 2:9, where Paul is attempting to clarify just this point, starting with verse 8: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” Jesus Christ is God.
Yet, this is not the end of the story. Jesus Christ also “became flesh and dwelt among us.” God didn’t stand outside the creation after the fall, but entered in to it in order that he might rescue it. In the words of Jesus in John 3:16 and forward: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
Jesus Christ is God and came to earth at the pivot point in history. He came to demonstrate what a good religion is, to share the truth about God and the utterly sinful nature of men and women, to minister to those in need, to rebuke those who pretend to good religion, to give his life up on the cross to take away that sin, and to resurrected himself to demonstrate his power over death and sin.
One of the marvels of God is this: You don’t have to accept any of this. It is clear that such a decision is yours to make as you are led to make it. I plead with you to consider belief in Christ as the God-man who can take away your sin very carefully. As Joshua gave a choice to the people of Israel, so we too have a choice: “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) The choice to believe is yours to make. I pray that if you are led to believe, that you would pray for true belief and seek out others that believe to help you grow in that belief. If you already believe, I encourage you to cling ever tighter to the faith and I look forward to worshiping beside you in the eternity before us.