Doctrine of Deity of Jesus Christ

January 16, 2011


A. Definition.
1. Jesus Christ is eternal God. As a member of the Trinity, He always existed. There never was a time when He did not exist.
2. He is coequal and coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, Col 1:15. In eternity past, Jesus Christ had the same essence as the Father and Spirit.
3. In time, He still had the same functions of deity, but He also became true humanity. Therefore, He is unique.

B. The Syllogism of Deity.
1. A syllogism is a logical formula consisting of two premises and a conclusion, a major and minor premise plus a conclusion, derived from deductive reasoning.
2. Following this formula: the Trinity is eternal. Christ is a member of the Trinity. Therefore, Christ is eternal.

C. Scriptural Documentation.
1. Mic 5:2 says Jesus Christ is eternal God during the incarnation.
2. Jn 1:1‑3, “In a beginning which was not a beginning there existed the Word [Jesus Christ].”
3. Jn 8:58, “Before Abraham was born, I had always existed.”
4. Rom 9:5, “Jesus Christ is over all” (because He is God).
5. Tit 2:13, “the great God and our Savior.”
6. In Heb 1:8‑10, the Father says, “Your throne, O God [Jesus Christ].”
7. 1 Jn 5:20, “this One is the true God and eternal life.”

D. The pre-incarnate work of Jesus Christ indicates He was God. He is the Creator of the universe, Jn 1:3; Col 1:16; Heb 1:10. He had to be God to preexist all other creatures.

E. The doctrine of divine decrees proves the deity of Christ. Christ is identified with the divine decrees so as to be God, Ps 2:7‑9, 22:1‑6; 40; 110.

F. The Hebrew word JHWH is one of the titles for Jesus Christ. The Jews never pronounced the word. Instead they said Adonai, which means deity. Elohim (plural) refers to the Trinity. JHWH is used for Jesus Christ in Isa 9:6‑7, 40:3; Jer 23:5‑6; Zech 12:10.

G. The essence of God is ascribed to Jesus Christ.
1. Savior, Ps 2:6; Mt 28:18; Acts 2:36; 2 Pet 1:11; Rev 19:16.
2. Perfect righteousness and justice = holiness, Lk 1:35; Jn 6:69; Heb 7:26.
3. Love, Jn 13:1, 34; 1 Jn 3:16.
4. Eternal life, Isa 9:6; Mic 5:2; Jn 1:1, 8:58; Col 1:16‑17; Eph 1:4.
5. Omniscience, Mt 9:4; Jn 2:25; 1 Cor 4:5; Col 2:3; Rev 2:23
6. Omnipresence, Mt 28:20; Eph 1:23; Col 1:27.
7. Veracity, Jn 14:6; Rev 3:7
8. Omnipotence, Rev 1:8.
9. Jesus Christ did not suppress His deity in the incarnation; this is the false doctrine of kenosis. Instead, He gave up the independent use of His divine attributes.

H. Appearances of Christ in History.
1. Theophanies (before the First Advent).
a. As a man, Gen 18, 32:24‑32.
b. As a phenomena of nature, Ex 40:38, 33:9‑23, 3:2ff, 25:22; Acts 7:30.
c. As the angel of JHWH, Gen 16:7‑13, 22:11‑18, 31:11ff. Christ is said to be the angel of JHWH in Gen 24:7, 40; Ex 23:20, 32:34; 1 Chron 21:15‑18; Isa 63:9; Zech 1:12‑13. Because Christ is always the visible member of the Trinity, He never appears as the angel of JHWH after the First Advent, Jn 6:46, 1:18; 1 Tim 6:16.
2. Christophanies were post-resurrection appearances.
3. The First and Second Advents. Phil 2:6, “who though He existed in the essence of God, He did not think equality with God a gain to be seized.”