Is Jesus God?
Posted on 01/18/2009 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.
TRANSCRIPT: (may not contain everything found in the audio above)
*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***
Public Prayer Requests:
restoration of my marriage, please Abba Father, touch and soften Joe's heart, make him a new creation in you father. give Joe a heart of repentence remove the scales and blinders from his eyes. Lord bring him back to us lord. I ask in the name of Jesus to bind the spirit of lust and adultry. remove the woman "Esmerlda" from our life. Please reveal yourself to convict her heart Lord. Joe is a married man he is not available and she knows this please Lord speak to them do not give them any peace until they repent. Father God I pray that you would cover Joe from head to toe with yor precious blood. remind him of his first love and that is you Father God! chasten him Father bring him back. I thank you Father in advance for the miracle that you will be doing in our marriage please our family. In Jesus Name We Pray Amen.
Well, at court the judge went with the recommendation that was in the court report that Steven be placed in a smaller facility. They called it an open placement and there are only six beds so he will get more individual as well as group therapy. It is supposed to take place within the next two weeks and if it doesn't then the judge will review his case again to find out why it hasn't happened within the two weeks. At one point in the courtroom his current placement called the court and said that it would be easier if he waited in juvenile hall and Steven got very upset at that, but then the attorneys approached the bench and told her about Steven's mental condition and that it would be a bad thing for Steven to wait there so the judge ruled that he would wait the two weeks where he is now. Thank God for that. I just hope and pray that Steven will adapt quickly to his new surroundings. John ( our younger son who is also the victim) really depressed because he has been thinking alot about what Steven did to him. His therapist is working with him about his feelings towards Steven. This had been a slow process for us all and Jim ( my husband) doesn't really understand why I worry so much and get a little more depressed at times. He has alot of trouble expressing his feelings, he says all they do is cause problems so he avoids them most of the time. He worries about the boys but he says he doesn't see a good future for Steven. I in the other hand am the optimist and I do see a good future do Steven. Even if he does feel that way I still love him. But God has us on this path for a reason, which we may not fully understand until He is ready to reveal it to us. There are many times when I pray that I tell God okay we're ready for you to tell us your plan. But God doesn't work that way; things happen in His time and not ours. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Karene P.S. For those of you who may not know Steven molested John 4 years ago. Steven has been in court ordered placement facilities ever since.
Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.
SING A NEW SONG
Sing unto the Lord a new song
Sing unto the Lord all the earth
Sing unto the Lord a new song
Sing unto the Lord all the earth
For God is great, and greatly to be praised
God is great, and greatly to be praised!
Amazing love, how can it be?
That You, my King would die for me?
Amazing love, I know it's true.
It's my joy to honor You,
In all I do,
I honor You.
You are my King, Jesus
You are my King
If the Son has set you free,
you are free indeed!
Hide me now, under Your wings
Cover me, within Your mighty hand
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You, above the storm
Father, You are King over the flood
I will be still, know You are God
Find rest my soul, in Christ alone
Know His power, in quietness and trust
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You, above the storm
Father, You are King over the flood
I will be still, know You are God
*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***
A little more than a week ago, I received a phone call from someone who had visited our livingsounds.org website and read our statement of beliefs. He wanted to "ask some questions" about our claim that Jesus is God, part of what we refer to as the Trinity, the One True God in the persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately, not only was I underprepared, but I had absolutely no time to have a lengthy discussion with someone who obviously had no doubt that Jesus is not God, and simply was hoping I would come to the same conclusion. So I scheduled a call back for this past Tuesday.
When Tuesday came, I was even more pressed for time, and was unable to take his call. But from the first call, he gave me enough information to see where he was coming from and to research his claims a bit deeper.
Now, this is an important topic, because according to Scripture, we are forbidden to worship anyone or anything besides God. There is only one true God, and all other gods are false gods. So if Jesus is not God, we would be in serious trouble for worshiping him as God. On the other hand, if Jesus IS God, then we would be in serious trouble for stripping him of his divinity and making him to be less than he is.
And today's message is titled, "Is Jesus God?"
First, I'd like to read a few arguments which claim Jesus is not God, but only the "Son of God." And to remove any confusion, let's be clear that both sides agree Jesus is the Son of God, since Scripture plainly calls him that. The question is whether he is ONLY the Son of God, or is also God himself.
What I'm about to read are some excerpts from biblicalunitarian.com. These views are those of the author, and neither the author nor the website are in any way affiliated with us or ALM.
The author is responding to John 1:1 which says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
And the author writes this:
It is imperative that the serious student of the Bible come to a basic understanding of logos, which is translated as "Word" in John 1:1. Most Trinitarians believe that the word logos refers directly to Jesus Christ, so in most versions of John logos is capitalized and translated "Word" (some versions even write “Jesus Christ” in John 1:1). However, a study of the Greek word logos shows that it occurs more than 300 times in the New Testament, and in both the NIV and the KJV it is capitalized only 7 times (and even those versions disagree on exactly when to capitalize it). When a word that occurs more than 300 times is capitalized fewer than 10 times, it is obvious that when to capitalize and when not to capitalize is a translators' decision based on their particular understanding of Scripture.
... the author goes on to say ...
As it is used throughout Scripture, logos has a very wide range of meanings along two basic lines of thought. One is the mind and products of the mind like "reason," (thus “logic” is related to logos) and the other is the expression of that reason as a “word,” “saying,” “command” etc. The Bible itself demonstrates the wide range of meaning logos has, and some of the ways it is translated in Scripture are: account, appearance, book, command, conversation, eloquence, flattery, grievance, heard, instruction, matter, message, ministry, news, proposal, question, reason, reasonable, reply, report, rule, rumor, said, say, saying, sentence, speaker, speaking, speech, stories, story, talk, talking, teaching, testimony, thing, things, this, truths, what, why, word and words.
Well, that's interesting I suppose... But he's just getting started. He gives a long list of the possible meanings of the word "logos" and then continues by saying this:
The above list is not exhaustive, but it does show that logos has a very wide range of meaning. With all the definitions and ways logos can be translated, how can we decide which meaning of logos to choose for any one verse? How can it be determined what the logos in John 1:1 is? Any occurrence of logos has to be carefully studied in its context in order to get the proper meaning. We assert that the logos in John 1:1 cannot be Jesus. Please notice that “Jesus Christ” is not a lexical definition of logos. This verse does not say, “In the beginning was Jesus.” “The Word” is not synonymous with Jesus, or even “the Messiah.” The word logos in John 1:1 refers to God’s creative self-expression—His reason, purposes and plans, especially as they are brought into action. It refers to God’s self-expression, or communication, of Himself. This has come to pass through His creation (Rom. 1:19 and 20), and especially the heavens (Ps. 19). It has come through the spoken word of the prophets and through Scripture, the written Word. Most notably and finally, it has come into being through His Son (Heb. 1:1 and 2).
Okay, I think we can see where the author is going now.
The rest of that web page is quite lengthy. At the bottom is a link to an even more in-depth page. I'd like to read just one paragraph, and then we'll talk about this issue a bit more.
Jesus was the ultimate expression of God. God’s plan, wisdom and purpose was the logos, and when we speak of the Bible, it is called “the Word” because it also is God’s expression of Himself. When we speak of a prophecy, we say, it is “the word of the Lord,” both because it is in the form of words and because it is God’s expression of Himself. Jesus was the logos in the most complete sense. He was the ultimate expression of God and the essence of His plan and purpose. Thus, it is quite correct to say that Jesus was the logos, but he was not all of the logos. “Jesus” does not equal “the logos,” he was part of and the ultimate expression of the logos. If we see Jesus, we see the Father, but it is also true that if we study the Bible, God’s Word, God’s expression of Himself in writing, we will see the Father. More dimly, to be sure, because the written Word is not the clear and ultimate expression of God that the Living Word is, but it is the logos just the same.
That's all I'm going to read from that website. It would take days to read through all the writings which are meant to prove to the reader that Jesus is not God. And while they dug deep and presented their case well, we need to remember something that, if we consider this when listening to any argument, can help us stay on the path of truth.
First and foremost, the Holy Scriptures are the most amazing historical documents ever discovered. Copied by hand over thousands of years, the differences between these hand copies are few in number, and the meanings behind all known manuscripts are exactly the same.
They are the most reliable historical texts ever examined by historians, not embelished through time as works of fiction and myth would be, but carefully and miraculously kept true to their original content and form.
Archeologists have not uncovered anything which would prove anything in Scripture to be incorrect or mythological, but have uncovered a good deal of artifacts which confirm the factual stories contained within these ancient texts.
The Holy Scriptures are fact, and speak of things which really took place many thousands of years ago, extensive glimpses into the journey of man away from God, and the journey of God to reconcile man to himself.
They have been miraculously preserved from thousands of years B.C. to this present day, despite the many enemies in places of great power who have tried throughout the times to completely destroy it.
And this is no accident. It is the hand of providence, the hand of God. He preserved his Word so that the common man could know the truth, and the truth could set him free.
Would you suppose that God would preserve his Word for thousands of years, and then drop the ball when it comes to preserving it through translation into a language you and I can understand?
God never called out great men and women, but chose the lowly, the rejected, the common.
King David was a shepherd. Moses was a fugitive. King Solomon was an illigitimate child, and they supposed Jesus to be the same.
The Twelve Disciples were common folk as well, including fishermen from Galilee, such as Peter.
As it says in Luke 1:52, "He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly."
Man chooses those with great education, but God chooses the common man.
Man appoints spiritual leaders who know Hebrew and Greek and can take three words out of a verse and write a library of doctrine on those words alone.
God calls those to lead who first know how to follow, who are humble and teachable, and who can understand as a child, or as the most simple commoner.
Since Scripture leads us all to study to show ourselves approved, and to search the Scriptures to judge truth, that means the Bible is for the common man, in his common tongue.
Yes, God certainly does use studies into the original Hebrew and Greek, and education and knowledge are good things that can help provide insight into Biblical writings and can expound upon their truths.
But since the Bible is for all people, I think we can all agree that it would not seem to plainly say one thing to the common Born-again reader and say quite the opposite upon deep, Spirit-led study, at least not in matters of consequence.
And that brings us back to the question, is Jesus God?
To answer that question, let's approach the Scriptures as the common Born-again reader would.
Reading through the Old Testament, we would read Exodus 20:3 and Deuteronomy 5:7 which say, "You will have no other gods before me," and we would notice that the people of God got into serious trouble when they worshiped any other God.
Then we might read verses such as Isaiah chapter 43, verses 10 and 11:
10 You are My witnesses, says the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. There was no God formed before Me, neither will there be after me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD; and besides Me there is no savior.
What would we, as common people, think this means? There is no God besides the One True God, NONE; there was none before him, and there will be none after him.
Then it says that he, the only true God, is the only savior. There is none besides him.
Perhaps we could become fluent in ancient languages and take the words apart as a student of biology would disect a frog, and perhaps we could make this say something different. But God didn't write the Scriptures only for the learned, but for the lowly as well. These verses simply mean what they say -- there is only one true God, there will ALWAYS be only one true God, there will NEVER be a time when there is any other god besides a false god, and there is no true saviour besides God. Amen?
Then we get to the New Testament. And we get to the Gospel according to John. And we read the first chapter, beginning with the first verse.
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 by Him, and without Him nothing was made that has been made.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
So this "Word" here was not only with God, it WAS God. God made all things by his Word, and absolutely nothing was made apart from that Word.
Wouldn't we think that no created thing was created except through the Word of God, through that part of God himself which he calls the Word? That's what it says. Unless God was trying to fool us, and requires that we run some cryptographic calculations on individual words and meanings to arrive at some different conclusion, then this means, and quite plainly says, that whatever the "Word" is here, that Word is God himself, and everything that was created, from the physical world to the angels, was created by God.
This tells us that God is the ONLY "uncreated" one who ever has or ever will exist. Everything besides God was created. Otherwise, there would be more than one eternal being who has no beginning and no end. But Jesus says in the book of Revelation, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end." No one else can say that. Jesus is the beginning of time and the end of time. He alone is from everlasting to everlasting.
All else has been created, and he is the only creator.
What else can be taken from these verses? Certainly nothing to the contrary.
And then we continue to read in John, and discover who this "Word" is that is both with God and IS God, and through whom everything was created.
Starting with verse 14:
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'"
16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
So the Word here is Jesus. And that means Jesus was in the beginning with God and created all things, and that Jesus was and is God.
Wouldn't the common man think this?
But it doesn't stop there. We continue reading through the Bible, and come to the book of Hebrews. We remember that throughout Scripture, any time an angel of God appeared to someone and they bowed down to worship the angel, it sternly warned them not to do it, but to worship only God.
And now we're reading the first chapter of the book of Hebrews, and we get to verse five:
5 For unto which of the angels did He say at any time, "You are my Son, this day I have begotten you?" And again, "I will be to Him a Father, and He will be to Me a Son?"
6 And again, when He brings in the firstbegotten into the world, He says, "And let all the angels of God worship Him."
7 And of the angels He says, "Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire."
8 But unto the Son He says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
10 And, You, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Your hands.
11 They will perish; but You remain; and they all will grow old like a garment;
12 And as a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed; but You are the same, and Your years will not fail.
Wow... God tells his angels to worship Jesus... Aren't angels supposed to only worship God? What's this all about?
Then God, the Father, says to Jesus, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever," and then God says to him, "You, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands."
The Father God is calling Jesus God and Lord.
Sure, you could take apart the words and take a long trip around definitions and the implications of individual words within those definitions, and, just as with anything else, you could make this mean something completely different.
But ponder this: God, who preserved his Word for the common man, and who protected it through translation so the common man could read and understand it, and who gave his Holy Spirit to the common man to open his eyes to it, would he write things within it that would mislead that common man into thinking Jesus is God if Jesus indeed is NOT God?
If so, then the Word of God leads the common man into idolotry, worshiping as God someone who is NOT God, and only those fluent in other languages who can decode the Bible and who can see that it means the opposite of what it seems to say, only they and those who choose to believe them can keep from worshiping another god.
And I believe that's the answer the Holy Spirit gave me to this whole discussion. I hope my caller calls me back some day when I'm available so I can share this with him. Perhaps his eyes will be opened. But in the meanwhile, I hope we can all see the plain message here. The Bible is not a cryptic collection of writings which seem to say one thing but really mean the opposite. Its verses do not lead us to believe something that isn't true.
If it says the Word was God and the Word became flesh and was called Jesus, then we will think Jesus is the Word and is therefore God. We don't have to be clever to come to this conclusion. We don't have to go to seminary for several years or become fluent in Hebrew and Greek. We don't have to study these passages for years in hopes of concluding that the obvious meaning is really falsehood.
And if God calls Jesus God and Lord, that's what he means. He hasn't hidden within that text the idea that Jesus isn't God, so as to mislead the common man while enlightening only the scholar.
And when he says in the Old Testament that he is the only savior, that means that savior is none other than God. And salvation has indeed come to us through God, through Jesus, the Son of God, the only begotten of the Father, the one who created all things and is himself uncreated, the beginning and the end, the source of all things, and is indeed God. There is none besides him!
If someone wants to share some insights that bring light to some greater depth, and new dimension of a passage, I'll be delighted to listen. But if someone wants to share something with me that changes the plain meaning of a verse and makes it mean something quite contrary to which it plainly says, I don't have any more time for that than I have to listen to a snake in a tree.
Satan is a liar, and the father of lies. He's just up to his age-old tricks. He takes us on a long mental journey, and says things that sound good and right. And at the end, if we continue to ride on his journey, we just might find that we believe an outright lie.
If Jesus is God as the Bible seems to plainly say, then we should worship him as God, and any spirit which says he is not God is a lying spirit.
If Jesus is not God, then the Bible is misleading to the common man, and should be taken off the shelves and kept in Latin so only the wise and learned can tell us what it really means.
Which one of these two possibilities do YOU believe is true?
Certainly we could wonder, "How can Jesus be the begotten Son of God, and yet be God?" But regardless of our questions, the Bible clearly says both. And how can God say of Jesus, "This day I have begotten you," and yet Jesus is the eternal, uncreated one, with no beginning and no end? That too is a compelling question, and yet the Bible tells us both are true.
Satan will use our unanswered questions to confuse us, to lead us to believe something that contradicts what the Scriptures say. He will insist that there is nothing we cannot somehow understand, and will draw us into deception by limiting the mysteries of God to the finite reaches of human reason.
But God's thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are higher than ours. He has given us the truth, he has preserved it in a way we can understand, from the least of us to the greatest, if we are only filled with his Spirit and come to him as little children, simple and believing, for we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven no other way.
I'd like to open the altar for prayer and ministry, and the ministry team can come stand at the front now.
The Word of God is for you. And it contains the straightforward truth which can set you free. God has made every effort to put it before your eyes and ears so you can fill yourself with it and so it can transform your life. Now it's your turn.
First of all, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Have you repented of your sins and accepted his forgiveness? This is the beginning, the place to start.
Accept his free gift of Salvation. Turn to the cross, turn to Jesus, and leave behind your life of sin and of doing things your own way.
It's as simple as that. You can just reach out to him now. You can say something such as, "Jesus, forgive me for my sins. Wash them away. Come into my heart. Make me brand new. Teach me how to follow you. And I will go where you lead. Thank you for making me a part of the family of God. Thank you Jesus. Amen."
Perhaps you're already a believer, but you have taken your access to the Word of God for granted. You've waited for a preacher to read it to you, or tell you what they believe it says. But you've been lax in picking it up and reading it for yourself.
The Bible tells us that "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." The Word of God is spiritual bread, it is life. Without it, you will spiritually shrivel up and become weak, unable to defeat the enemy and stand against his wiles.
And without spending that daily time with God, reading his Word, worshiping him, and talking with him in prayer, you will not be sensitive to his voice, and you are in danger of not being able to tell his voice from the voice of the deceiver.
If this is you, then I would like to invite you to dedicate yourself anew to walking daily with Jesus, starting the day by reading his Word, praying, and worshiping him, and continuing that time of fellowship throughout the day.
And when he speaks to you by his Spirit and his Word, obey what he says. Disobedience results in being hard of hearing and hard of heart. Obedience results in our ears being opened and our hearts becoming more and more sensitive to him and his voice.
If you'd like to answer that invitiation, or you want to give your life to Jesus today, or you just want to come pray and spend some time seeking after the Lord, then get out of your seat and come gather at the front.
Whenever you need to go, you're free to do so, and you're all invited to come to the fellowship room to your left in a few minutes for a time of fellowship.
If you need prayer or ministry, please instant message someone on the ministry team.
Come, and let's seek God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as we worship him in spirit and in truth.