Christ's Divinity
Christ's Divinity
Christ's Divinity

Is Jesus God? | The Deity of Jesus Christ

by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

“It is by the
name of Jesus Christ.... Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10, 12).

Our very salvation is inseparably linked to faith in Jesus Christ. So it becomes an issue of great importance to determine biblically precisely who Jesus Christ is. Is Jesus Deity? God in the flesh? Or was He just a man?

My intent in this study is not specifically to address the historic doctrine of the Holy Trinity (to which I do fully subscribe). Rather, my purpose is to focus on Jesus Christ and to demonstrate from the Bible His full divinity — that is, to prove the deity of Christ, that He is fully God, coequal and coeternal with the God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. As the ancient creeds correctly state, Jesus is true God and true Man.

John 5:17-18 Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

John 10:30-33 “I and the Father are one.” Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

Philippians 2:5-6 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.

Jesus did not hesitate to claim equality with God the Father. The Greek word for equal in John 5:18 is isos, as in an isosceles, or equal-sided, triangle. Jesus was and is “in very nature God,” and therefore was not blaspheming by claiming to be God. The disbelieving Jews had correctly heard Jesus to be making this claim to full deity, even though they rejected His claim. Is Jesus God? The apostle Paul clearly identified Jesus as "being in very nature God".

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Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another...

Isaiah 48:11c I will not yield my glory to another.

John 17:5 [Jesus prayed] And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with
the glory I had with you before the world began.

In Isaiah, God says that He will not give away His glory to another. Yet Jesus, in John 17, is expecting to receive again the divine glory He shared with the Father before the world began. If Jesus were not deity, this would be a contradiction.

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Micah 5:2, King James Version But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Vs. 2b, New American Standard Bible His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.

Jesus, whose earthly birth is prophesied here, is said to be “from of old, from everlasting,” or “from the days of eternity.” He is not a created being. Rather, He has existed from all eternity.

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Revelation 1:8, 17-18 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” ... [17] When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Revelation 22:12-13, 16 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.... [16] “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."

Note the glorious titles of “the Alpha and the Omega,” “the Beginning and the End,” “the First and the Last,” “the Almighty,” “the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come.” Read all these titles of Deity, and note that every one in the context can be applied specifically to Jesus. This book is the revelation of Jesus the Divine Son!

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Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”

Isaiah gave us this glorious prophecy of Jesus’ virgin birth. Matthew amplifies the prophecy by identifying this promised Son as “Immanuel — which means ‘God with us.’ ” Jesus is “GOD with us”! “A son”, yes. But also “God”! This is a clear, straightforward affirmation of the divinity of Jesus Christ.

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Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Jesus, the prophesied son, “will be called...Mighty God.”

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John 20:27-28 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

The apostle Thomas correctly addressed Jesus as My Lord and my God.” Is Jesus God? That is precisely how the apostle Thomas described Him, with no contradiction offered by Jesus.

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Psalms 45:6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.

Hebrews 1:8 But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

“Your throne, O God” — The Old Testament Hebrew word used here is Elohim, used for “God” well over a thousand times in the Bible. This exact scripture from the Psalm is quoted in Hebrews and is applied to Jesus the Son. Jesus is God! Not just “a god,” as some would have us believe. The New Testament Greek word for “God” that is specifically applied to Jesus in Hebrews 1:8 is Theos, used for “God” over 1,300 times in the New Testament. So is Jesus "God"? That's precisely what God the Father called Him!

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John 1:1, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... [14] The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus is called “the Word”, the Logos, of God. As the Logos, He is the manifestation or expression of God to us, “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being” (Hebrews 1:3). He “came from the Father.” As the Logos, Jesus “the Word was with God, and the Word [Jesus] was God.”

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Exodus 34:14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Matthew 4:10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Hebrews 1:6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

In Exodus God commands that He alone be worshiped. Jesus reiterated the commandment to worship God only. Yet God the Father’s command in Hebrews 1:6 that His angels worship the Son indicates that the Son too is God. If Jesus were not Deity, God in the flesh, this would be idolatry.

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1 Timothy 3:16, King James Version And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

“GOD was manifest in the flesh,” clearly in context referring to Jesus.

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Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Hebrews 3:4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

Colossians 1:15-16 He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

John 1:1-3, 10 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.... [10] He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

The Bible speaks of both God the Father and Jesus being Creator of all. Jesus is divine, the Co-Creator!

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John 5:22-23 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

Jesus is to be given equal honor with the Father.

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Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

In His Great Commission baptismal command, Jesus said to baptize in the name (not “names”) of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is a strong implication of coequality among Father, Son and Holy Spirit in this verse.

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Psalms 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

Ezekiel 34:31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.

John 10:14 I [Jesus] am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.

Hebrews 13:20 ...our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep...

Often in the Old Testament God is referred to as the Shepherd of His flock, His people. Jesus said of Himself, “I am the good shepherd.”

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Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

“...God...His own blood”! The blood of Jesus Christ, shed for our redemption, is called God’s own blood. The blood of Deity, nothing less!

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Isaiah 8:13-14a The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he [the Lord Almighty] will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.

1 Peter 2:4, 7-8a As you come to him
[Jesus], the living Stone — rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him — ...[7] Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”

It is evident that thestone that causes men to stumble and [the] rock that makes them fall” of Isaiah and Peter are one and the same. The wording in the Old and New Testaments is identical. Peter knows Him as Jesus Christ; Isaiah calls Him “The Lord Almighty”! The name “the Lord Almighty” is used in the Bible, then, to identify both Jesus the Son and God the Father.

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Exodus 3:13-14 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

John 8:58-59 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

God identified Himself to Moses by the name “I AM”. Jesus identified Himself to the Jews as that very same “I AM”. The Jews knew exactly what He was claiming and sought to stone Him for such apparent blasphemy — that is, His (true!) claim to be the “I AM” who spoke to Moses.

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Isaiah 11:1-2 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.

Jeremiah 23:5-6 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.

Jesus Christ is the Lord’s Branch from the line of David. Jeremiah prophesied that the name of this Branch would be “The Lord our Righteousness” — in Hebrew, JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU. The divine name JEHOVAH (some translate it Yahweh) is applied to Jesus Christ.

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Isaiah 40:3 A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.

Mark 1:1-3 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” — “a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”

Isaiah speaks of a messenger preparing the way for “our God”. Mark shows that Isaiah’s prophecy spoke of John the Baptist’s preparing for the coming of JESUS! Truly He is “our God”. It is small wonder that Thomas, beholding the resurrected Son, could cry, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). It is quite evident from his words that the apostle Thomas had correctly perceived the deity of Jesus Christ.

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Hebrews 3:3-4  Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

In verse 3 Jesus is the builder. In verse 4 God is the builder of all.

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Isaiah 48:12-13, 17 “Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last. My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.... [17] This is what the LORD says — your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God....”

Revelation 1:17-18 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I [Jesus] am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Jesus, the resurrected, ever-living Son of God, calls Himself “the First and the Last”, a divine title ascribed to “the Lord your God in Isaiah.

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Titus 1:3-4 And at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior. To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Note: “God our Savior” (vs. 3) and “Christ Jesus our Savior” (vs. 4). Jesus Christ is God; Jesus Christ is the Savior.

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A disclaimer seems to be in order here. I am not saying that Jesus Christ IS the Father (He is not). I am asserting that Jesus is God AND that the Father is God. To pursue that line of thought any farther necessitates a study of the doctrine of the Trinity — a classic and valid truth of orthodox Christianity, but not the subject of this study. In this undertaking my mission is to affirm biblically the full deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Again, I am not saying that Jesus is the Father (He is not), but that Jesus is fully God (“true man and true God,” as the early Christians declared) and thereby coequal and coeternal with God the Father.

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Mark 2:5, 7 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” ... [7] “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Jesus possessed personally the authority to forgive sins, an authority that belongs uniquely to God.

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Isaiah 43:12b, 14-15 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.... [14] This is what the LORD says — your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I will send to Babylon and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians, in the ships in which they took pride. I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King.”

Hosea 11:9b For I am God, and not man — the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.

Mark 1:24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God!”

Acts 3:14-15 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

“The Holy One”, a title applied often to Jehovah (or Yahweh) God, is specifically applied in the New Testament to Jesus Christ.

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Deuteronomy 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome...

1 Timothy 6:15 ...which God will bring about in his own time — God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Revelation 17:14 They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he [Jesus, the Lamb] is Lord of lords and King of kings — and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

Jesus is called “Lord of lords” and “King of kings” — titles ascribed elsewhere in Scripture to God.

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Isaiah 45:22-23 Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me [God, vs. 22] every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.

Philippians 2:10-11 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In the act of bowing the knee to and confessing Jesus, we are worshiping God, who said, “Before me [God] every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.”

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Deuteronomy 32:3-4   I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

1 Corinthians 10:1, 4   For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea ... [4] and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

“Our God...the Rock”, of whom Moses wrote, is said by the apostle Paul to be Jesus. A related truth clearly reinforced by Paul’s statement is the preexistence of Christ prior to His earthly incarnation.

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John 5:21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.

Jesus the Son possesses the same life-giving power that God the Father has. The power to bring life from death is uniquely a prerogative of divinity.

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Joel 2:32 And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls

Acts 4:10-12 Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.... [12] Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Joel exhorts us to call upon the divine name — the Lord (Hebrew = Jehovah, or Yahweh) — for salvation. Peter quotes this exact verse (Acts 2:21) and tells us (Acts 4:12) that salvation is found in the name of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul similarly urges that “every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11).

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Luke 8:38-39 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.”

Jesus identified His ministry to the formerly demon-possessed man as “what God [had] done for [him]”.

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Hebrews 7:1, 3 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him.... [3] Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.

Melchizedek, who appeared to Abraham in Genesis 14, is a “Christophany”, an appearance of a being representing Christ. The writer to the Hebrews in chapter seven makes this same association. And of this remarkable being who is “like the Son of God,” the author declares that He is “without beginning of days or end of life.” This is another powerful declaration of the eternal preexistence of Jesus Christ — a trait only applicable to a fully Divine Being. None short of Deity can claim eternal existence both past and future.

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1 John 5:20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true — even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

“...Jesus Christ. He is the true God.” As unmistakable a declaration of the divinity of Jesus Christ as one could desire!

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Titus 2:13 ...while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul recognized Jesus as “our great God and Savior”! This is a forthright assertion of the deity of Christ.

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2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours.

The apostle Peter, too, an earthly companion and disciple of the Son of God, fully understood the identity of “our God and Savior Jesus Christ”.

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Romans 9:5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

“Christ, who IS GOD over all”! An absolutely clear verse to quote in conclusion.

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My sincere prayer is that the readers of this study will find great encouragement in your faith in the Son of God, as well as a fuller understanding of and appreciation for the identity of Jesus our Savior as Deity, coequal and coeternal with God the Father.

May your faith in Him strengthen, sustain, and bless you “...while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).

Two enlightening messages on the related doctrine of the Trinity may be viewed at The Trinity Demystified and The Holy Trinity in Action.

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