Tag Archives: divinity

A Fresh Start in Jesus Christ

During the Christmas season we are reminded of the birth of Jesus. The news of Jesus’ birth surely brought Joy to the World.

Fresh Start in Jesus

Why such joy? In “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” we sing these words:

“Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;

Hail th’incarnate Deity,

Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,

Jesus our Emmanuel.”

Jesus was pleased to clothe himself in human flesh and dwell with us. He stooped down from heaven to live with us mere mortals here on earth. This Christmas carol continues:

“Mild He lays His glory by,

Born that man no more may die.

Born to raise the sons of earth,

Born to give them second birth.”

Yes, Jesus humbly gave up his divine prerogatives to live with us, suffer with us, and die for us – out of his great love for us.

Jesus was “Born that man no more may die,” that through faith in him we might have everlasting life with him in Paradise (John 3:16).

Jesus was “Born to raise the sons of earth,” that we might become children of God and heirs together with Christ in heaven (Rom. 8:17).

Jesus was “Born to give them second birth,” that we might be born again – a spiritual birth – so that we might be transformed into his likeness (2 Cor. 3:18).

Jesus has given us a fresh start!

Adam and Eve failed in the Garden of Eden and they were expelled from Paradise.

Jesus, the last Adam, has succeeded and is bringing us into Paradise!

“The Scriptures tell us, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living person.’ But the last Adam – that is, Christ – is a life-giving Spirit.” (1 Cor. 15:45)

Jesus’ birth was a game-changerfor all of us. His birth is still recognized in our calendars, in this Year of our Lord, 2016.

Jesus came to give us new life and a fresh start. But we have a choice: Will we accept his freely-given gift or will we continue to live our lives our own way – a way which leads to destruction?

Moreover, having received Jesus’ gift of eternal life, will we live our lives as Jesus would, or will we take his gift for granted? The choice is ours. May we all choose better than Adam and Eve.

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Attacking the Faith: Did Jesus Say that He is God?

Bart Ehrman is the latest biblical scholar to attack the divinity of Jesus and the33 authenticity of Christianity. Just in time for Easter, Ehrman promoted his new book, How Jesus Became God: the Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. In that interview, he claimed, “Jesus himself didn’t call himself God and didn’t consider himself God, and that none of his disciples had any inkling at all that he was God.”

Jesus is God

What is the truth?

Did Jesus claim to be God?

Did Jesus consider Himself God?

The Jesus Myth?

Was Jesus’ divinity a myth invented by the church to gain followers or was Jesus, as billions of people believe, God in the flesh?

Ehrman clearly believes a myth was perpetrated by the early church and he stacks the evidence in his favor by entirely discounting the Gospel of John, which provides a super-abundance of evidence contradicting his claims.

But the New Testament confirms Jesus’ deity throughout its pages. God is not silent about the true identity of His Son and He provides ample proof in Scripture. Since Ehrman and others dismiss the Johannine record and New Testament epistles, I will restrict myself to the synoptic gospels to prove what Ehrman denies.

Many Recognize Jesus as Son of God

It is striking the degree to which the biblical evidence proves the deity of Jesus. God the Father called Jesus His beloved Son twice.[1] Both angels[2] and demons[3] called Jesus the Son of God.

Peter proclaimed Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God.”[4] The Gospel of Mark begins, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”[5] The Roman centurion at the cross declared, “Truly, this was the Son of God!’[6]

Heaven and earth uniformly proclaimed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Many Worship Jesus as Son of God

In addition to the testimony of God, angels, and men, we have Jesus’ behavior. He performed countless miracles to reveal His identity. Moreover, He was worshipped – and He allowed the worshippers to do so. He never rebuked anyone for worshipping Him.

Jesus was worshipped by the wise men,[7] His disciples,[8] and the women at the empty tomb.[9]

Jesus Did Claim to be the Son of God

Clearly, Jesus was viewed by many as the Son of God and Jesus obviously considered Himself divine. Jesus also proclaimed His divinity in words and actions for all to see and hear. At His trial, prior to His crucifixion, Jesus affirmed that He is the Son of God.[10]

The people[11] and the religious leaders knew exactly who Jesus claimed to be. At the cross, the chief priests mocked Him, saying, “for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”[12]

Jesus was mocked while He was on the cross, dying for humanity that those who believe in Him might have eternal life.[13] Ironically, this Easter season Jesus and His followers are again being mocked by those who choose not to believe, by those who twist the Scriptures in order to deny what it really says and to deny the One who alone is worthy of worship.

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”[14]

Endnotes:

[1]       Matthew 3:17; 17:5.

[2]       Luke 1:35.

[3]       Matthew 8:29; Mark 3:11; Luke 4:41.

[4]       Matthew 16:15-17.

[5]       Mark 1:1.

[6]       Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39.

[7]       Matthew 2:1-2,11.

[8]       Matthew 14:33.

[9]       Matthew 28:9.

[10]     Matthew 26:63-65; Mark 14:60-62; Luke 22:67-70.

[11]     The adoration of Jesus during His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday fulfilled messianic prophecies. Matthew 21:1-14; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44.

[12]     Matthew 27:43.

[13]     John 3:16.

[14]     Luke 23:34.