Is Jesus Christ God?

    This is just a small fraction of the research on is Jesus God? There is so much, much, much more! I am doing and have done a lot more research and I need to edit and refine what others have written (as these are just from two websites and NOT yet my draft website at https://sites.google.com/site/buildingbridgestomuslims/ ) and I need to draw some logic diagrams to help understand. This is just the tip of the iceberg.  These studies are in mere English! Far more impressive when they are done in the native languages of the HOLY BIBLE; Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. - Ron Seman 9/26/2012


    Question: "Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?"

     

    Answer: Jesus is never recorded in the Bible as saying the precise words, “I am God.” That does not mean, however, that He did not proclaim that He is God. Take for example Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” We need only to look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement to know He was claiming to be God. They tried to stone Him for this very reason. “… you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33). The Jews understood exactly what Jesus was claiming—deity. Notice that Jesus does not deny His claim to be God. When Jesus declared, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), He was saying that He and the Father are of one nature and essence. John 8:58 is another example. Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!” The response of the Jews who heard this statement was to take up stones to kill Him for blasphemy, as the Mosaic Law commanded them to do (Leviticus 24:15). 

     

    John reiterates the concept of Jesus’ deity: “the Word was God” and “the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). These verses clearly indicate that Jesus is God in the flesh. Acts 20:28 tells us, “Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” Who bought the church—the church of God—with His own blood? Jesus Christ. Acts 20:28declares that God purchased His church with His own blood. Therefore, Jesus is God!

     

    Thomas the disciple declared concerning Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. Titus 2:13 encourages us to wait for the coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (see also 2 Peter 1:1). In Hebrews 1:8, the Father declares of Jesus, “But about the Son He says, ’Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’” The Father refers to Jesus as “O God” indicating that Jesus is indeed God.

     

    In Revelation, an angel instructed the apostle John to only worship God (Revelation 19:10). Several times in Scripture Jesus receives worship (Matthew 2:11, 14:33, 28:9, 17;Luke 24:52; John 9:38). He never rebukes people for worshiping Him. If Jesus were not God, He would have told people to not worship Him, just as the angel in Revelation did. There are many other verses and passages of Scripture that argue for Jesus’ deity.

     

    The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). A created being, which Jesus would be if He were not God, could not pay the infinite penalty required for sin against an infinite God. Only God could pay such an infinite penalty. Only God could take on the sins of the world (2 Corinthians 5:21), die, and be resurrected, proving His victory over sin and death.

     

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    Question: "If Jesus was God, how could He pray to God? Was Jesus praying to Himself?"

     

    Answer: To understand Jesus as God on earth praying to His Father in heaven, we need to realize that the eternal Father and the eternal Son had an eternal relationship before Jesus took upon Himself the form of a man. Please read John 5:19-27, particularly verse 23 where Jesus teaches that the Father sent the Son (also see John 15:10). Jesus did not become the Son of God when He was born in Bethlehem. He has always been the Son of God from eternity past, still is the Son of God, and always will be.

     

    Isaiah 9:6 tells us that the Son was given and the Child was born. Jesus was always part of the tri-unity, along with the Holy Spirit. The tri-unity always existed, the Father God, the Son God, and the Spirit God, not three gods, but one God existing as three persons. Jesus taught that He and His Father are one (John 10:30), meaning that He and His Father are of the same substance and the same essence. The Father, Son and Spirit are three co-equal persons existing as God. These three had, and continue to have, an eternal relationship.

     

    When Jesus, the eternal Son of God, took upon Himself sinless humanity He also took on the form of a servant, giving up His heavenly glory (Philippians 2:5-11). As the God-man, He had to learn obedience (Hebrews 5:8) to His Father as He was tempted by Satan, accused falsely by men, rejected by His people, and eventually crucified. His praying to His heavenly Father was to ask for power (John 11:41-42) and wisdom (Mark 1:35, 6:46). His praying showed His dependence upon His Father in His humanity to carry out His Father's plan of redemption, as evidenced in Christ's high priestly prayer in John 17. His praying demonstrated that He ultimately submitted to His Father's will, which was to go to the cross and pay the penalty (death) for our breaking God's law (Matthew 26:31-46). Of course, He rose bodily from the grave, winning forgiveness and eternal life for those who repent of sin and believe in Him as the Savior.

     

    There is no problem with God the Son praying or talking to God the Father. As mentioned, they had an eternal relationship before Christ became a man. This relationship is depicted in the Gospels so we can see how the Son of God in His humanity carried out His Father's will, and in doing so, purchased redemption for His children (John 6:38). Christ’s continual submission to His heavenly Father was empowered and kept focused through His prayer life. Christ’s example of prayer is ours to follow.

     

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    Question: "If Jesus was God, why did He say 'No one is good but God alone'?"

     

    Answer: It is often claimed by those who reject the deity of Christ that in Mark 10:17-22Jesus denies His divinity by rejecting the notion that He is good. It reads as follows:

     

    “As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. ‘Good teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good – except God alone. You know the commandments: Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’ ‘Teacher,’ he declared, ‘all these I have kept since I was a boy.’ Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ At this, the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.”

     

    Is Jesus here rebuking the man for calling Him good and thereby denying His deity? No. Rather, He is using a penetrating question to push the man to think through the implications of his own words, to understand the concept of Jesus’ goodness and, most especially, the man’s lack of goodness. The young ruler "went away sad" (Mark 10:22) because he realized that although he had devoted himself to keeping the commandments, he had failed to keep the first and greatest of the commandments—love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Matthew 22:37-38). The man’s riches were of more worth to him than God, and thus he was not "good" in the eyes of God.

     

    Jesus’ fundamental lesson here is that goodness flows not from a man’s deeds, but rather from God Himself. Jesus invites the man to follow Him, the only means of doing good by God’s ultimate standard. Jesus describes to the young ruler what it means to follow Him—to be willing to give up everything, thus putting God first. When one considers that Jesus is drawing a distinction between man’s standard of goodness and God’s standard, it becomes clear that following Jesus is good. The command to follow Christ is the definitive proclamation of Christ’s goodness. Thus, by the very standard Jesus is exhorting the young ruler to adopt, Jesus is good. And it necessarily follows that if Jesus is indeed good by this standard, Jesus is implicitly declaring His deity.

     

    Thus, Jesus’ question to the man is designed not to deny His deity, but rather to draw the man to recognize Christ’s divine identity. Such an interpretation is substantiated by passages such as John 10:11 wherein Jesus declares Himself to be “the good shepherd.” Similarly in John 8:46, Jesus asks, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” Of course the answer is "no." Jesus was “without sin” (Hebrews 4:15), holy and undefiled (Hebrews 7:26), the only One who “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

     

    The logic can thus be summarized as follows:1: Jesus claims only God is good.2: Jesus claims to be good.3: Therefore, Jesus claims to be God.

     

    Such a claim makes perfect sense in light of the flow of Mark’s narrative with regards to the unfolding revelation of Jesus’ real identity. It is only before the high priest in Mark 14:62 when the question of Jesus’ identity is explicitly clarified. The story of the rich young ruler is one in a sequence of stories designed to point readers toward Jesus’ self-understanding as the eternal, divine, incarnate Son of God.


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    Question: "Did God die? If Jesus was God, and Jesus died on the cross, does that mean God died?"

     

    Answer: Did God die when Jesus died on the cross? The answer depends on how we understand the meaning of the word "die." To die does not mean an end of existence. Death is separation. Death is when the soul-spirit separates from the physical body. So, in that sense, yes, God died, because Jesus was God in human form, and Jesus' soul-spirit separated from His body. However, if by “die” we mean a cessation of existence, then no, God did not die. For God to die would mean that He ceased to exist, and neither the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Spirit will ever cease to exist. The essence of Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity, left the body He temporarily inhabited on Earth, but His essence did not die, nor could it.

     

    Jesus is truly God and truly man. His physical body did die because it was entirely human. Just as our physical bodies die, so did His. But in the same way that Jesus died physically, but remained alive spiritually, so our physical bodies will experience death, but our soul and spirit will remain because they are eternal. The same is true with regard to Jesus Christ. His physical body died, but His inner being is eternal and could not die.

     

    The question for all people to ask is “what will happen to my soul/spirit when it leaves my physical body?” This is the most crucial question in life. As we saw with Jesus, our spirits will leave our bodies and travel on to somewhere else. Jesus returned to heaven to be with the Father. We will either follow Him there to spend eternity in heaven with Him, or we will go to hell to spend eternity in “outer darkness” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12). There is no other option. Jesus’ physical death on the cross paid the way for all who would ever believe in Him so that we can know for sure where our spirits will reside for eternity. His physical death provided to us spiritual life, both here and in heaven. “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you” (Romans 8:11).

     

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    Question: "If Jesus was God, why did He call God "My God?""

     

    Answer: This can definitely be a confusing issue. It all goes back to the "mystery" of the Trinity. When Jesus was on the cross, He quoted Psalm 22 (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). This was a psalm of David, but it was a Messianic prophecy as well. The entire psalm contains remarkable predictions by David concerning the coming Messiah. So, one of the reasons He called God "my God" was to fulfill the prophecy of the psalm.

     

    At the moment of His death on the cross, Christ was experiencing the abandonment and despair that resulted from the outpouring of divine wrath upon the sin that He bore. This was the price He paid to redeem His church–all who would ever believe in Him–and He paid it in full. At the cross, Jesus in His humanity voluntarily surrendered His will to the Father in order to finish the task for which He came into the world. In the same way, He voluntarily emptied Himself of certain aspects of His deity when He came to earth as a man. In some way we can’t fully understand, God the Father turned away from God the Son for that moment, and Jesus died a very lonely death.

     

    There are other places He calls God His God. In John 20:17 and Revelation 3:2,12, Jesus calls God "My God." Why would God call Himself "My God"? It has to do with Christ's relationship to His Father. Even though Christ is the eternal God Himself incarnate, He is still a different person from the Father. As a man and as man's representative (Son of Man), Jesus' person was dependent on the Father and, like us, looked to the Father for strength, guidance, wisdom, etc. Therefore, God the Father was the God of Jesus. The Father is the God of the Son, but it doesn't imply inferiority, only a difference in roles. Please also read our article on the Trinity.

     

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    Question: "What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of God?"

     

    Answer: Jesus is not God’s Son in the sense of a human father and a son. God did not get married and have a son. God did not mate with Mary and, together with her, produce a son. Jesus is God’s Son in the sense that He is God made manifest in human form (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is God's Son in that He was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35declares, “The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’”

     

    During His trial before the Jewish leaders, the High Priest demanded of Jesus, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God” (Matthew 26:63). “’Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied. ‘But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven’” (Matthew 26:64). The Jewish leaders responded by accusing Jesus of blasphemy (Matthew 26:65-66). Later, before Pontius Pilate, “The Jews insisted, ‘We have a law, and according to that law He must die, because He claimed to be the Son of God’” (John 19:7). Why would His claiming to be the Son of God be considered blasphemy and be worthy of a death sentence? The Jewish leaders understood exactly what Jesus meant by the phrase “Son of God.” To be the Son of God is to be of the same nature as God. The Son of God is “of God.” The claim to be of the same nature as God—to in fact be God—was blasphemy to the Jewish leaders; therefore, they demanded Jesus’ death, in keeping with Leviticus 24:15. Hebrews 1:3 expresses this very clearly, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being.”

     

    Another example can be found in John 17:12 where Judas is described as the “son of perdition.” John 6:71 tells us that Judas was the son of Simon. What does John 17:12mean by describing Judas as the “son of perdition”? The word perdition means “destruction, ruin, waste.” Judas was not the literal son of “ruin, destruction, and waste,” but those things were the identity of Judas' life. Judas was a manifestation of perdition. In this same way, Jesus is the Son of God. The Son of God is God. Jesus is God made manifest (John 1:1, 14).

     

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    Question: "What do John 1:1,14 mean when they declare that Jesus is the Word of God?"

     

    Answer: The answer to this question is found by first understanding the reason why John wrote his gospel. We find his purpose clearly stated in John 20:30-31. “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” Once we understand that John’s purpose was to introduce the readers of his gospel to Jesus Christ, establishing Who Jesus is (God in the flesh) and what He did, all with the sole aim of leading them to embrace the saving work of Christ in faith, we will be better able to understand why John introduces Jesus as “The Word” in John 1:1.

     

    By starting out his gospel stating, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” John is introducing Jesus with a word or a term that both his Jewish and Gentile readers would have been familiar with. The Greek word translated “Word” in this passage is Logos, and it was common in both Greek philosophy and Jewish thought of that day. For example, in the Old Testament the “word” of God is often personified as an instrument for the execution of God’s will (Psalm 33:6; 107:20; 119:89;147:15-18). So, for his Jewish readers, by introducing Jesus as the “Word,” John is in a sense pointing them back to the Old Testament where the Logos or “Word” of God is associated with the personification of God’s revelation. And in Greek philosophy, the term Logos was used to describe the intermediate agency by which God created material things and communicated with them. In the Greek worldview, the Logos was thought of as a bridge between the transcendent God and the material universe. Therefore, for his Greek readers the use of the term Logos would have likely brought forth the idea of a mediating principle between God and the world.

     

    So, essentially, what John is doing by introducing Jesus as the Logos is drawing upon a familiar word and concept that both Jews and Gentiles of his day would have been familiar with and using that as the starting point from which He introduces them to Jesus Christ. But John goes beyond the familiar concept of Logos that his Jewish and Gentile readers would have had and presents Jesus Christ not as a mere mediating principle like the Greeks perceived, but as a personal being, fully divine, yet fully human. Also, Christ was not simply a personification of God’s revelation as the Jews thought, but was indeed God’s perfect revelation of Himself in the flesh, so much so that John would record Jesus’ own words to Philip: "Jesus said unto Him, 'Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, "Show us the Father"?'" (John 14:9). By using the term Logos or “Word” in John 1:1, John is amplifying and applying a concept that was familiar with his audience and using that to introduce his readers to the true Logos of God in Jesus Christ, the Living Word of God, fully God and yet fully man, who came to reveal God to man and redeem all who believe in Him from their sin.

     

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    Is Jesus Christ God?

    Is Jesus Christ God? This question has been asked ever since Jesus walked the earth. First, are we sure that Jesus claimed to be God, or is that something His followers came up with? From Scripture, we find that Jesus Christ did unequivocally proclaim himself to be God, and though the Bible does not record Him ever saying “Yes, I’m God!” there are plenty of examples of Jesus identifying Himself as equal to Jehovah. One very good instance of this is John 10:30, where Jesus said “I and the Father are one.” If this statement leaves any room for doubt, the reaction of the Pharisees (the Jewish religious leaders) to this statement obliterates that doubt. They were so enraged by His words “I and the Father are one” that they were ready to stone Him, saying “… you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33). The Jews understood exactly what Jesus was claiming—deity. 

     

    Furthermore, even when he sees they plan to harm Him for His statement, Jesus does not deny His claim, or tell them He mis-spoke. He doesn’t say “No, wait! You don’t understand my meaning.” Instead, He takes it a step further. He tells them again in John 8:58, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!” The Pharisees again respond with death threats because when Jesus said “I am” He was using the name and nature of Jehovah to describe Himself (Exodus 3:14). This, had it not been true, was the worst kind of blasphemy a Jew could commit, and the Mosaic Law commanded the Pharisees to stone any person who committed that offense (Leviticus 24:15). Since that is what they were planning to do to Jesus when He said “before Abraham was born, I am”, we can see that Jesus was clearly claiming deity.

     

    John, Jesus’ disciple also claims Jesus’ deity when in his Gospel he says “the Word was God” and “the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). The Word is another name for Jesus. John makes this clear John 1:14-15. John would not have claimed his Master’s deity unless Jesus himself had clearly claimed it first. These verses clearly indicate that Jesus is God in the flesh. Because of the trinity, Jesus did not claim to be “the Father” but that He was equal to the Father in essence and nature. In His wisdom, this must have been the best way to show us finite creatures that God could be sovereign and on His throne in heaven while still reaching out, in human form, to save mankind.

     

    There are other verses in Scripture that give us a clear answer to the question “Is Jesus Christ God?” For example, Acts 20:28 tells us, “Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” We know who bought the church—the church of God—with His own blood. It was Jesus Christ. SinceActs 20:28 declares that God purchased His church with His own blood, Jesus is God. Another example comes from the disciple, Thomas, who addressed Jesus as “my Lord and my God” in John 20:28. A third example comes from the book of Titus, which exhorts believers to wait patiently for the coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Another beautiful example occurs in Hebrews 1:8, “But about the Son He says, ’Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’” In this passage, the Father refers to Jesus as “O God” indicating that Jesus is indeed God, and that they are equal. 

     

    Jesus’ identity as God is the cornerstone of the gospel message. Had He simply been a man, just a good teacher or a prophet, His death on the cross would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2), and those who hope in Him are deceived and pitiable (1 Corinthians 15:19). Thankfully, there is ample evidence, both from the mouth of Jesus Himself, and from other accounts in Scripture, to prove to us that Jesus Christ is indeed God.

     

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    Question: "Why did Jesus say, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?""

     

    Answer: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). This cry is a fulfillment of Psalm 22:1, one of many parallels between that psalm and the specific events of the crucifixion. It has been difficult to understand in what sense Jesus was “forsaken” by God. It is certain that God approved His work. It is certain that He was innocent. He had done nothing to forfeit the favor of God. As His own Son - holy, harmless, undefiled, and obedient - God still loved Him. In none of these senses could God have forsaken Him.

     

    However, Isaiah tells us that “he bore our griefs and carried our sorrows; that he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities; that the chastisement of our peace was laid upon him; that by his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5). He redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). He was made a sin-offering, and He died in our place, on our account, that He might bring us near to God. It was this, doubtless, which caused His intense sufferings. It was the manifestation of God’s hatred of sin, in some way which He has not explained, that Jesus experienced in that terrible hour. It was suffering endured by Him that was due to us, and suffering by which, and by which alone, we can be saved from eternal death.

     

    In those awful moments, Jesus was expressing His feelings of abandonment as God placed the sins of the world on Him – and because of that had to “turn away” from Jesus. As Jesus was feeling that weight of sin, He was experiencing separation from God for the only time in all of eternity. It was at this time that 2 Corinthians 5:21 occurred, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus became sin for us, so He felt the loneliness and abandonment that sin always produces, except that in His case, it was not His sin – it was ours.

     

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    Question: "Is Jesus God’s Son? How could Allah, being one, have a Son?"

     

    Answer: Muslims ask, “How could Allah, being one, have a Son?” Misunderstanding the Trinity, they sometimes charge Christians with worshiping three gods. However, Christians believe that only one true God exists. 

     

    Jesus Himself upheld monotheism. When asked for the greatest command, Jesus responded, “. . . The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:29-30).

     

    Jesus taught that God is one, and Jesus taught that He was one with God (John 10:30). In response, the Jews picked up stones to stone Jesus because they thought He was guilty of blasphemy. Similarly, Muslims would say a man claiming to be God would be guilty of “shirk.” However, Jesus is not a mere man claiming to be God. He is the Son of God in human flesh (John 10:36-38).

     

    The title “Son of God” does not mean Jesus was literally born from God. The Bible does not teach a physical relationship between God and Mary, as Muslims sometimes charge. At the birth of Jesus, the angel told the virgin Mary: 

     

    “. . . ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. . . . of his kingdom there will be no end.’ And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’ And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God’” (Luke 1:30-35).

     

    Pastor John MacArthur explains these verses: “Since a son bears his father’s qualities, calling a person someone else’s ‘son’ was a way of signifying equality. Here the angel was telling Mary that her Son would be equal to the Most High God” (The MacArthur Study Bible). 

     

    Man’s testimony that Jesus is God’s SonWhen people witnessed Jesus’ miracles, teaching, death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, many believed Jesus is the Son of God. 

     

    • Followers of Jesus testified after He calmed a storm: “And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God’” (Matthew 14:32-33).

     

    • Peter testified: “Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven’” (Matthew 16:13-17). 

     

    • A woman, whose brother Jesus raised to life, testified: “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27). 

     

    • Even the demons know Jesus is the Son of God: “Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God’” (Mark 3:11). 

     

    • A military officer and soldiers who were guarding Jesus at His death on the cross testified: “When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’” (Matthew 27:54). 

     

    • Thomas testified after Jesus rose from the dead: “Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.’ Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:24-31). 

     

    Jesus’ own testimony that He is God’s Son• “This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill [Jesus], because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life’” (John 5:18-24). 

     

    • At Jesus’ trial, He testified: “. . . Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven’" (Mark 14:61-62). 

     

    • “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” (1 John 5:20). 

     

    God’s testimony that Jesus is His Son• God spoke at Jesus’ baptism: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). 

     

    • “While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him’” (Luke 9:34-35). 

     

    • “If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:9-13). 

     

    • Previously, God had spoken to man through His prophets, but then He sent His own Son: “In the past God spoke to our forefathers by the prophets at many times and in various ways. But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son whom He has appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in the heaven” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

     

    Jesus is the “exact representation” of God. Although one with His Father in essence, Jesus is also distinct in Person as God’s Son. God has revealed Himself as one God manifest in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

     

    Even before the world began, Jesus was always with God and was God (John 1:1-2; 17:5). God created all things in the universe through Jesus (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-20).

     

    Although eternally one with God, Jesus came to earth in the form of man (Philippians 2:5-11). Born to the virgin Mary, Jesus is fully God and fully man at the same time (the incarnation: Matthew 1:22-23; John 1:14; Romans 1:3-4; Colossians 2:9; 1 John 4:1-3;5:20). 

     

    Believe in the Son of GodWe must believe God’s Word that Jesus is God’s Son, even though it’s hard to understand. We will die with many hard questions unanswered. But we dare not die without responding to God's promise of judgment and salvation through His Son (John 3:35-36;5:25-29; Acts 10:38-43; 17:30-31; 1 John 4:14-15). 

     

    As the perfect Son of God, Jesus didn’t deserve the punishment for sin, death (Romans 6:23). But by dying on the cross and rising from the dead, Jesus paid the penalty of sin and broke the power of sin for those who would be in Him (Romans 8:1-3). 

     

    God is calling sinners to turn from their own way to follow the living Lord Jesus in repentance and faith (Luke 24:46-47). We cannot save ourselves. Only those who turn from sin and trust in the Son of God are saved from sin and eternal death.

     

    “God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting 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” (John 3:16-18).

     

    Through reading this article, have you trusted Jesus as Savior from your sin and Leader of your life?


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    Question: "What is the hypostatic union? How can Jesus be both God and man at the same time?"

     

    Answer: The hypostatic union is the term used to describe how God the Son, Jesus Christ, took on a human nature, yet remained fully God at the same time. Jesus always had been God (John 8:58, 10:30), but at the incarnation Jesus became a human being (John 1:14). The addition of the human nature to the divine nature is Jesus, the God-man. This is the hypostatic union, Jesus Christ, one Person, fully God and fully man.

     

    Jesus' two natures, human and divine, are inseparable. Jesus will forever be the God-man, fully God and fully human, two distinct natures in one Person. Jesus' humanity and divinity are not mixed, but are united without loss of separate identity. Jesus sometimes operated with the limitations of humanity (John 4:6, 19:28) and other times in the power of His deity (John 11:43; Matthew 14:18-21). In both, Jesus' actions were from His one Person. Jesus had two natures, but only one personality.

     

    The doctrine of the hypostatic union is an attempt to explain how Jesus could be both God and man at the same time. It is ultimately, though, a doctrine we are incapable of fully understanding. It is impossible for us to fully understand how God works. We, as human beings with finite minds, should not expect to totally comprehend an infinite God. Jesus is God’s Son in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). But that does not mean Jesus did not exist before He was conceived. Jesus has always existed (John 8:58, 10:30). When Jesus was conceived, He became a human being in addition to being God (John 1:1,14).

     

    Jesus is both God and man. Jesus has always been God, but He did not become a human being until He was conceived in Mary. Jesus became a human being in order to identify with us in our struggles (Hebrews 2:17) and, more importantly, so that He could die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Philippians 2:5-11). In summary, the hypostatic union teaches that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine, that there is no mixture or dilution of either nature, and that He is one united Person, forever.

     

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    If Jesus was God, how could He pray to God? Was Jesus praying to Himself?

    The key to understanding how Jesus could pray to God the Father is found in Hebrews 2:17: “Therefore [Jesus] had to be made like his brothers in every respect.” One of the important callings of all people is to pray. Jesus was fully human as well as fully God, and it was perfectly fitting that He should pray to the Father in heaven.

     

    There are several reasons why Jesus, as a human being, prayed to the Father. First, all people are called to worship God. Prayer is one form of worship.

     

    Second, as a Jew, Jesus was fulfilling the Law of Moses to pray to the LORD. If He did not pray to God the Father, He would have been disobedient and sinful.

     

    Third, as our high priest, Jesus intercedes on behalf of God’s people (Hebrews 2:17). We see Jesus acting as intercessor in John 17, sometimes called the “High Priestly Prayer.”

     

    A fourth reason for Jesus praying to the Father is found in John 11:41-42. In this passage, Jesus prays before He raises Lazarus from the dead: “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” So, one reason Jesus prayed to the Father was for the benefit of those around Him.

     

    Fifth, Jesus prayed to the Father to enjoy the fellowship of the Triune Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Sometimes, the Bible simply says, “Jesus prayed,” yet other times we see a glimpse of something more. Following Jesus’ baptism, He prayed, and “the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased’” (Luke 3:21-22). Here, within the context of a prayer, Father, Son, and Spirit are all revealed in perfect fellowship.

     

    Jesus prayed to God the Father because it was an appropriate, natural, and essential part of His mission on earth. His prayers set an example for us grow in intimacy with our Heavenly Father.

     

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    Question: "What does it mean that Jesus is the Lamb of God?"

     

    Answer: When Jesus is called the Lamb of God in John 1:29 and John 1:36, it is referring to Him as the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for sin. In order to understand who Christ was and what He did, we must begin with the Old Testament, which contains prophecies concerning the coming of Christ as a “guilt offering” (Isaiah 53:10). In fact, the whole sacrificial system established by God in the Old Testament set the stage for the coming of Jesus Christ, who is the perfect sacrifice God would provide as atonement for the sins of His people (Romans 8:3; Hebrews 10).

     

    The sacrifice of lambs played a very important role in the Jewish religious life and sacrificial system. When John the Baptist referred to Jesus as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), the Jews who heard him might have immediately thought of any one of several important sacrifices. With the time of the Passover feast being very near, the first thought might be the sacrifice of the Passover lamb. The Passover feast was one of the main Jewish holidays and a celebration in remembrance of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. In fact, the slaying of the Passover lamb and the applying of the blood to doorposts of the houses (Exodus 12:11-13) is a beautiful picture of Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Those for whom He died are covered by His blood, protecting us from the angel of (spiritual) death.

     

    Another important sacrifice involving lambs was the daily sacrifice at the temple in Jerusalem. Every morning and evening, a lamb was sacrificed in the temple for the sins of the people (Exodus 29:38-42). These daily sacrifices, like all others, were simply to point people towards the perfect sacrifice of Christ on the cross. In fact, the time of Jesus’ death on the cross corresponds to the time the evening sacrifice was being made in the temple. The Jews at that time would have also been familiar with the Old Testament prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah, who foretold the coming of One who would be brought “like a lamb led to the slaughter” (Jeremiah 11:19; Isaiah 53:7) and whose sufferings and sacrifice would provide redemption for Israel. Of course, that person was none other than Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God.”

     

    While the idea of a sacrificial system might seem strange to us today, the concept of payment or restitution is still one we can easily understand. We know that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and that our sin separates us from God. We also know the Bible teaches we are all sinners and none of us is righteous before God (Romans 3:23). Because of our sin, we are separated from God, and we stand guilty before Him. Therefore, the only hope we can have is if He provides a way for us to be reconciled to Himself, and that is what He did in sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross. Christ died to make atonement for sin and to pay the penalty of the sins of all who believe in Him. 

     

    It is through His death on the cross as God’s perfect sacrifice for sin and His resurrection three days later that we can now have eternal life if we believe in Him. The fact that God Himself has provided the offering that atones for our sin is part of the glorious good news of the gospel that is so clearly declared in 1 Peter 1:18-21: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.”

     

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    Question: "If Jesus was God, why did He not know when He would return?"

     

    Answer: Speaking of Jesus' Second Coming, Matthew 24:36 (and Mark 13:32) tells us, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

     

    When Jesus spoke these words to the disciples, even He had no knowledge of the date and time of His return. Although Jesus was fully God (John 1:1, 14), when He became a man, He voluntarily restricted the use of certain divine attributes (Philippians 2:6–8). He did not manifest them unless directed by the Father (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38). He demonstrated His omniscience on several occasions (cf. John 2:25; 3:13), but He voluntarily restricted that omniscience to only those things God wanted Him to know during the days of His humanity (John 15:15). Such was the case regarding the knowledge of the date and time of His return. After He was resurrected, Jesus resumed His full divine knowledge (cf. Matthew 28:18; Acts 1:7).

     

    Matthew 24:36 clearly states that the Father alone knows when Jesus' return will be. Verses such as John 5:30; 6:38; 8:28-29; 10:30; 12:49; 14:28, 31; and Matthew 26:39, 42demonstrate Jesus' submission to the Father as well as their Oneness in the Godhead. Yes, they are both God. But some things Jesus had apparently chosen to "give up the rights" to be privy to during His earthly ministry (see Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus, now exalted in Heaven, surely knows all, including the timing of His Second Coming.

     

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    Question: "Who is Jesus Christ?"

     

    Answer: Unlike the question “Does God exist?” very few people question whether Jesus Christ existed. It is generally accepted that Jesus was truly a man who walked on the earth in Israel 2000 years ago. The debate begins when the subject of Jesus' full identity is discussed. Almost every major religion teaches that Jesus was a prophet or a good teacher or a godly man. The problem is that the Bible tells us that Jesus was infinitely more than a prophet, a good teacher, or a godly man.

     

    C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity writes the following: “I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”

     

    So, who did Jesus claim to be? Who does the Bible say He is? First, let's look at Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” At first glance, this might not seem to be a claim to be God. However, look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement, “‘We are not stoning you for any of these,’ replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God’” (John 10:33). The Jews understood Jesus’ statement as a claim to be God. In the following verses, Jesus never corrects the Jews by saying, “I did not claim to be God.” That indicates Jesus was truly saying He was God by declaring, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). John 8:58 is another example: “‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’” Again, in response, the Jews took up stones in an attempt to stone Jesus (John 8:59). Jesus’ announcing His identity as “I am” is a direct application of the Old Testament name for God (Exodus 3:14). Why would the Jews again want to stone Jesus if He had not said something they believed to be blasphemous, namely, a claim to be God?

     

    John 1:1 says “the Word was God.” John 1:14 says “the Word became flesh.” This clearly indicates that Jesus is God in the flesh. Thomas the disciple declared to Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. The apostle Paul describes Him as, “…our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). The apostle Peter says the same, “…our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). God the Father is witness of Jesus’ full identity as well, “But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’” Old Testament prophecies of Christ announce His deity, “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” (Isaiah 9:6).

     

    So, as C.S. Lewis argued, believing Jesus to be only a good teacher is not an option. Jesus clearly and undeniably claimed to be God. If He is not God, then He is a liar, and therefore not a prophet, good teacher, or godly man. In attempts to explain away the words of Jesus, modern “scholars” claim the “true historical Jesus” did not say many of the things the Bible attributes to Him. Who are we to argue with God’s Word concerning what Jesus did or did not say? How can a “scholar” two thousand years removed from Jesus have better insight into what Jesus did or did not say than those who lived with, served with, and were taught by Jesus Himself (John 14:26)?

     

    Why is the question over Jesus’ true identity so important? Why does it matter whether or not Jesus is God? The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Only God could pay such an infinite penalty (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus’ deity is why He is the only way of salvation. Jesus’ deity is why He proclaimed, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

     

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    Bible Study for MuslimsWho is Jesus? - Day 1

    Introduction to Bible Study

    As a Muslim, you want to know Allah, but do you know Isa—Jesus Christ—Whom God sent? “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). In this one-week Bible study, we’ll study the life of Jesus, primarily through the Gospel of Luke. Begin seeking eternal life today!

     

    Day 1: Jesus the Perfect ManJesus is different from any other man. Not once during His earthly life did He sin against God or man. Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God, every other human has been born a sinner. Although Jesus was fully human, He didn’t inherit Adam’s sin nature and guilt because Jesus was born of a virgin by the power of God. 

     

    Not even the devil’s direct temptation could cause Jesus to sin. Jesus Himself said, “Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?” (John 8:46). Read the Word of God and believe that Jesus is the only perfect Man. 

     

    Virgin-born “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’

     

    “But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’

     

    “And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’

     

    “And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God’” (Luke 1:26-35).

     

    Without an earthly father, Jesus was called God’s Son—not to imply parenthood between God and Mary but the special relationship between God and Jesus Christ. Jesus was sent from God. 

     

    Overcoming the devil’s temptation“And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.

     

    “The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."’

     

    “And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, ‘To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve."’

     

    “And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,” and "On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone."’ And Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test."’

     

    “And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

     

    “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all” (Luke 4:1-15).

     

    Sinless“He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22).

     

    With His virgin birth and sinless life, Jesus is unique among men. No wonder the angel told Mary that Jesus would “be called holy—the Son of God” (Luke 1:35c). Tomorrow, we’ll learn about the amazing miracles Jesus worked!

     

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    Bible Study for MuslimsWho is Jesus? - Day 2

    Day 2: Jesus the Miracle Worker

    As we learned yesterday, Jesus’ virgin birth and sinless life made Him unique among men and showed His relationship with God His Father. Today, we’ll learn how Jesus Christ’s miracles show the power of God. Christ’s miracles show compassion for the sick, care for the hungry, power over nature, authority over demons, and triumph over sin and death.

     

    Calmed storms“One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side of the lake.’ So they set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’

     

    “And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’

     

    “And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, ‘Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?’" (Luke 8:22-25).

     

    Cast out demons“And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God.’

     

    “But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent and come out of him!’ And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm.

     

    “And they were all amazed and said to one another, ‘What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!’ And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region” (Luke 4:33-37).

     

    Healed sick of body and heart“But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities.

     

    “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus.

     

    “And when he saw their faith, he said, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.’

     

    “And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, ‘Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’

     

    “When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, ‘Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Rise and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the man who was paralyzed—‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.’

     

    “And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen extraordinary things today’” (Luke 5:15-26).

     

    Fed thousands“Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, ‘Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.’

     

    “But he said to them, ‘You give them something to eat.’

     

    “They said, ‘We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.’ For there were about five thousand men.

     

    “And he said to his disciples, ‘Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.’ And they did so, and had them all sit down.

     

    “And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces” (Luke 9:12-17).

     

    Raised the dead“Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’

     

    “Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

     

    “Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has arisen among us!’ and ‘God has visited his people!’” (Luke 7:11-16).

     

    Proved He was the Christ“And when the men had come to him, they said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”’ In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight.

     

    “And he answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me’” (Luke 7:20-23).

     

    Proved He was the Christ, the Son of God“The Jews gathered around him, saying, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ 

     

    “Jesus answered, ‘I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 

     

    “‘I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 

     

    “‘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.’ 

     

    “Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law, “I have said you are gods”? If he called them “gods,” to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken—what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, “I am God’s Son”? 

     

    “‘Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father’” (John 10:24-38).

     

    Jesus’ miracles proved He is one with God the Father, but many rejected Jesus. Find out tomorrow how Isa’s controversial teaching caused many to reject Him.

     

    Remember Jesus’ words, “And blessed is the one who is not offended by me" (Luke 7:23). Pray you will not be offended by Christ!

     

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    Bible Study for MuslimsWho is Jesus? - Day 3

     

    Day 3: Jesus the Teacher

    So far, we’ve learned that Jesus is the perfect Man and Miracle Worker. To know Jesus further, we must understand His teaching.

     

    Blessings and woes“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples [i.e. followers], and said:

     

    ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

     

    Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

     

    Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

     

    Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!

     

    Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

     

    But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

     

    Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. "Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

     

    Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

     

    But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you’” (Matthew 6:20-28)

     

    The greatest command(Priest = similar in position to an imam; Levite = one who was part of the elite, priestly tribe; Samaritan = a half-Jew, hated by Jews.)

     

    “And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’

     

    “He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’

     

    “And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’

     

    “And he said to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.’

     

    “But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’

     

    “Jesus replied, A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, “Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.” Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?’ 

     

    “He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ 

     

    “And Jesus said to him, ‘You go, and do likewise’” (Luke 10:25-37). 

     

    How to pray“And he said to them, ‘When you pray, say: "Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.And lead us not into temptation"’” (Luke 11:2-4).

     

    Whom to fear"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

     

    “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

     

    “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:4-9).

     

    Adultery of the heart“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell” (Matthew 5:27-29).

     

    Divorce = adultery"Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery” (Luke 16:18).

     

    Give in secret“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:1-4). 

     

    “Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, ‘Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on’" (Luke 21:1-4). 

     

    How to pray“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 

     

    “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: 

     

    “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:5-14). 

     

    Fast in secret“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:16-18).

     

    Good tree bears good fruit“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-19).

     

    Does Jesus know you? “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’” (Matthew 7:21-23).

     

    Exposing insincerity (Pharisee = one who belonged to a religious, fundamental sect of the Jews)

     

    “While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 

     

    “And the Lord said to him, ‘Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you. 

     

    ‘But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.’

     

    “One of the lawyers answered him, ‘Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.’

     

    “And he said, ‘Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,” so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation’” (Luke 11:37-50).

     

    The heart is unclean“And he called the people to him again and said to them, ‘Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.’ 

     

    “And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, ‘Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?’ (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 

     

    “And he said, ‘What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person’” (Mark 7:14-23).

     

    Repentance is better than self-righteousness“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.” But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” 

     

    ‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted’" (Luke 18:9-14).

     

    Losing life to follow Jesus“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels’” (Luke 9:23-26).

     

    After hearing Jesus Christ’s teaching, are you ashamed of His words? He did not preach to please men but to tell them God’s Word. According to the passage above, rejecting Jesus and His words is not worth gaining the whole world because you will lose your own soul in hell. 

     

    Tomorrow, find out how Jesus is not only a good Teacher, but He is also an authentic Prophet.


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    Bible Study for MuslimsWho is Jesus? - Day 4

    Day 4: Jesus the Prophet

    God ordained prophets to give His message and foretell future events. As we learned yesterday, Jesus’ teaching came from God (John 8:28). Jesus also proved He was a prophet by predicting His own death. 

     

    Jesus prophesied His own death“Then he said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ And Peter answered, ‘The Christ of God.’ And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised’” (Luke 9:20-22).

     

    “‘Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.’ But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying” (Luke 9:44-45).

     

    “At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’

     

    “And he said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox, “Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.”

     

    “‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Luke 13: 31-35).

     

    “And taking the twelve, he said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise’" (Luke 18:31-33).

     

    Prophesies predicting Christ’s deathNot only did Jesus prophesy His approaching death and resurrection, but also the Scriptures, hundreds of years before Isa’s birth, precisely foretold His death. 

     

    “Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

     

    “For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.

     

    “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

     

    “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

     

    “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

     

    “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

     

    “By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

     

    “And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

     

    “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

     

    “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

     

    “Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:1-12).

     

    “For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet–I can count all my bones–they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots” (Psalm 22:16-18).

     

    Now we know the prophecies of Isa’s death, but how did the prophecies come true? Why would God allow His Prophet to die in such a horrible way? On day 5, discover the truth about the cross.

     

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    Bible Study for MuslimsWho is Jesus? - Day 5

    Day 5: Jesus the SaviorYesterday, we learned that prophecies from Scripture, and even from Jesus’ own mouth, foretold the death of Jesus. But people throughout history have misunderstood the mission of Christ. The Jews thought the Messiah would overcome the Roman government oppressing them and would immediately set up God’s kingdom on earth. They didn’t understand that the Messiah came the first time to die for sinners.

     

    What do you think the Messiah came to do? Read the truth in God’s Word. 

     

    The PassoverThis festival reminded the Jews of God’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. As a sacrifice for sin, they killed an innocent, spotless lamb. This celebration looked forward to the time when God would send the perfect Lamb of God, the Messiah. He would die for the sins of believers throughout the world. He would deliver them from slavery to sin so they could have eternal life with God. 

     

    Could the Lamb of God be Jesus? When the prophet John the Baptist saw Jesus, John said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29b). 

     

    Let’s read about the last day of Jesus, as He celebrated the Passover in a new way: 

     

    “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.

     

    “Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.

     

    “Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.’

     

    “They said to him, ‘Where will you have us prepare it?’

     

    “He said to them, ‘Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters and tell the master of the house, “The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.’

     

    “And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

     

    “And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’

     

    “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, ‘Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’

     

    “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’

     

    “And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

     

    ‘But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!’" (Luke 22:1-21).

     

    PrayerAnd he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.’

     

    “And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.’ And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

     

    “And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation’” (Luke 22:39-46).

     

    Betrayal and denial“While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?’

     

    “And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, ‘Lord, shall we strike with the sword?’ And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

     

    “But Jesus said, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched his ear and healed him.

     

    “Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, ‘Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness’" (Luke 22:47-53).

     

    Trial of the Innocent Lamb“Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, ‘Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?’ And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

     

    “When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, ‘If you are the Christ, tell us.’

     

    “But he said to them, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.’

     

    “So they all said, ‘Are you the Son of God, then?’

     

    “And he said to them, ‘You say that I am.’

     

    “Then they said, ‘What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.’

     

    “Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, ‘We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.’

     

    “And Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’

     

    “And he answered him, ‘You have said so.’

     

    “Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, ‘I find no guilt in this man.’

     

    “But they were urgent, saying, ‘He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.’

     

    “When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.

     

    “When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.

     

    “Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, ‘You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. I will therefore punish and release him.’

     

    “But they all cried out together, ‘Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas’ man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder.

     

    “Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, ‘Crucify, crucify him!’

     

    “A third time he said to them, ‘Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.’

     

    “But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will” (Luke 22:63-23:25).

     

    The Lamb of God sacrificed“Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’

     

    “And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!’

     

    “The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’

     

    “There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’

     

    “One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!’

     

    "But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.’ And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’

     

    “And he said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’ 

     

    “It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this he breathed his last.

     

    “Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, ‘Certainly this man was innocent!’” (Luke 23:32-47).

     

    The centurion and criminal both testified of Jesus’ innocence. Why would God require the death of His perfect Man, Miracle Worker, Teacher, and Prophet? 

     

    As part of God’s plan, His perfect Lamb died as a sacrifice on behalf of believing sinners. How else could Jesus promise paradise to a criminal worthy of death? Find out tomorrow how you can truly know, like the criminal, whether you will be with Jesus in paradise! 

     

    “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24; see also John 3:16;Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 4:10).

     

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    Bible Study for MuslimsWho is Jesus? - Day 6

     

    Day 6: Jesus the Resurrected LordBefore Jesus’ death, He prophesied, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31). 

     

    Yesterday, we learned that Jesus fulfilled the first part of His prophecy by dying on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for believing sinners. But did Jesus rise from the dead, as He prophesied? The resurrection is the only way we can know whether God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice, appeasing His wrath against sinners and admitting those who trust Jesus into paradise. If Jesus were still dead, we would have no hope. If He is alive, He is the way to heaven!

     

    Let’s read the Scripture to see whether Jesus fulfilled the prophecies that He would rise from the dead. 

     

    Burial“Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.

     

    “The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid.

     

    “Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment” (Luke 23:50-56).

     

    Empty tomb“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.’

     

    “And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened” (Luke 24:1-12).

     

    Appearance to travelers“That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

     

    “And he said to them, ‘What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?’ And they stood still, looking sad.

     

    “Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?’ And he said to them, ‘What things?’

     

    “And they said to him, ‘Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.

     

    “And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

     

    “So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.’ So he went in to stay with them.

     

    “When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.

     

    “They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’

     

    “And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24:13-35).

     

    Appearance to disciples“As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, ‘Peace to you!’ But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’

     

    “And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.

     

    “Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem’” (Luke 24:36-47).

     

    Jesus is alive! God showed His acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice by raising Him from the dead. His sacrifice is sufficient for “all nations,” to those who turn—turn from their sin and own efforts and turn to faith alone in Jesus as Savior and Lord. 

     

    Raising Jesus from the dead showed that God will judge the world by His Son Jesus (Acts 17:30-31). 

     

    Jesus said, “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. 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. I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:21-24). 

     

    Tomorrow on our last day of this Bible study, learn how the Son may give you eternal life! 

     

    “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies’” (John 11:25).

     

    “God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 4:24b-5:1; see also John 11:25; 1 Peter 1:3-5)

     

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    Bible Study for MuslimsWho is Jesus? - Day 7

     

    Day 7: Jesus the Exalted KingThis week, our understanding of the Lord Jesus has deepened. First, we learned of His unique virgin birth and sinless life. Then, we marveled at His miracles that proved Jesus had the power of God. Next, we read the teachings of Jesus, the Word of God (John 1:1). 

     

    The perfect Jesus did not deserve death, the punishment for sin that the rest of humankind deserves. But on day 4, we were surprised to learn that Jesus prophesied His own death. God’s wrath against sin fell on Jesus—the Lamb of God died to take the punishment for believing sinners. 

     

    Because of His perfect sacrifice, God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead and honors Him above all: 

     

    “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so 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” (Philippians 2:9-11). 

     

    Why will all people one day bow to Jesus? He is King of kings and Lord of lords! 

     

    Jesus’ kingdom“Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.’

     

    “‘You are a king then!’ said Pilate.

     

    “Jesus answered, ‘You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’" (John 18:36-37).

     

    Jesus’ last words and ascension to heaven“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations. . . .’

     

    “Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God” (Luke 24:45-53).

     

    Who is this Jesus? We know He is the perfect Man, Miracle Worker, true Prophet, faithful Teacher, only Savior, and resurrected Lord, but only God should be worshipped. Unless Jesus is God the Son, the disciples sinned in worshipping Him. If Jesus is God, He must be worshipped! 

     

    Jesus is the one way to the Father and paradiseBefore Jesus ascended to heaven, He assured His disciples that He would come back one day to take all true believers in Jesus to paradise. 

     

    “‘Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's [God’s] house [paradise] are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.’

     

    “Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’

     

    “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

     

    ‘If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

     

    “Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’

     

    “Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves’” (John 14:1-11).

     

    Jesus did not claim that He, a man, had become God. He testified that He was God’s Son become man! Jesus is fully God and fully man in one Person. 

     

    Even before the world was created, Jesus was always with God and was God (John 1:1-18). God is one God in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-20). 

     

    As the God-Man, Jesus is the only One who could and did live a perfect life, die in the place of believing sinners, and rise from the dead to show His victory over sin and death. 

     

    Jesus will come again to execute judgment“This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering – since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10).

     

    How can you join Jesus’ kingdom? “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 

     

    “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel” (Colossians 1:13-23a).

     

    Every one of us has sinned against the holy God (Romans 3:23). We’ve broken God’s laws such as these:

     

    • Loving God above all (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37) • Loving neighbor as oneself (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39) • Honoring parents (Exodus 20:12; Matthew 15:4)• Not committing adultery or lust (Exodus 20:14; Matthew 5:28)

     

    We deserve sin’s punishment—separation from God by eternal death in hell (Romans 6:23). Good deeds cannot save us because even one sin requires judgment by the just Judge (James 2:10; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Revelation 20:11-15). 

     

    Because of God’s great love, He sacrificed His own Son on the cross in the place of believing sinners (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). Jesus rose from the dead, proving His victory over sin and death. Jesus is Savior, Lord, King, God. He said, ". . . unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24b).

     

    If God is showing you your sin and need of Jesus, repent, turning from your sin and own way of trying to please God. Believing Scripture’s truth about Who Jesus is and what He did, trust Jesus as your Savior from sin and follow Him as Lord. 

     

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    If Jesus was God, why did He say "The Father is greater than I" in John 14:28?

    Question: "If Jesus was God, why did He say "The Father is greater than I" in John 14:28?"

     

    Answer: The phrase “the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28) was spoken by Jesus during the upper room discourse, and the greater context is the promising of the Holy Spirit to the disciples after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus says repeatedly that He is doing the Father’s will, thereby implying that He is somehow subservient to the Father. The question then becomes how can Jesus be equal to God when by His own admission He is subservient to the will of God? The answer to this question lies within the nature of the incarnation. 

     

    During the incarnation, Jesus was temporarily “made lower than the angels” (Hebrews 2:9), which refers to Jesus’ status. The doctrine of the incarnation says that the second Person of the Trinity took on human flesh. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, Jesus was fully human and “made lower than the angels.” However, Jesus is fully divine, too. By taking on human nature, Jesus did not relinquish His divine nature—God cannot stop being God. How do we reconcile the fact that the second Person of the Trinity is fully divine yet fully human and by definition “lower than the angels”? The answer to that question can be found in Philippians 2:5-11. When the second Person of the Trinity took on human form, something amazing occurred. Christ “made himself nothing.” This phrase has generated more ink than almost any other phrase in the Bible. In essence, what it means is that Jesus voluntarily relinquished the prerogative of freely exercising His divine attributes and subjected Himself to the will of the Father while on earth.

     

    Another thing to consider is the fact that subservience in role does not equate to subservience in essence. For example, consider an employer/employee relationship. The employer has the right to make demands of the employee, and the employee has the obligation to serve the employer. The roles clearly define a subservient relationship. However, both people are still human beings and share in the same human nature. There is no difference between the two as to their essence; they stand as equals. The fact that one is an employer and the other is an employee does nothing to alter the essential equality of these two individuals as human beings. The same can be said of the members of the Trinity. All three members (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are essentially equal; i.e., they are all divine in nature. However, in the grand plan of redemption, they play certain roles, and these roles define authority and subservience. The Father commands the Son, and the Father and the Son command the Holy Spirit. 

     

    Therefore, the fact that the Son took on a human nature and made Himself subservient to the Father in no way denies the deity of the Son, nor does it diminish His essential equality with the Father. The “greatness” spoken of in this verse, then, relates to role, not to essence.


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    Are Jesus and Satan brothers?

     

    Question: "Are Jesus and Satan brothers?"

     

    Answer: No, Jesus and Satan are not brothers. Jesus is God and Satan is one of His creations. Not only are Jesus and Satan not brothers, they are as different as night is from day. Jesus is God incarnate—eternal, all knowing and all powerful while Satan is a fallen angel that was created by God for God’s purposes. The teaching that Jesus and Satan are “spirit brothers” is one of the many false teachings of the Mormons (Latter Day Saints), and to some degree also the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Both of these groups are properly labeled as cults because they deny essential Christian doctrine. While they use Christian terms such as Jesus, God and salvation, they have heretical views and teachings on the most basic and essential Christian doctrines. (Please note that most Mormons today will vehemently deny that they believe Jesus and Satan are brothers. However, this teaching was most definitely a belief of the early Mormons).

     

    The teaching that Jesus and Satan are “spirit brothers” is born out of the Mormons’ misunderstanding and distortion of Scripture as well as some of the extra-biblical teachings they consider to be authoritative. Simply put there is no way you can read the Bible using any type of sound hermeneutical principles and come away with the idea that Jesus and Satan are “spiritual brothers.” The Scriptures are very clear that Jesus is fully God, not some type of lesser god as the Mormons or other cults believe. The Scriptures are also very clear that God is transcendent above His creation which simply means that there is no comparison between Christ the Creator and Satan His creation.

     

    Mormons believe that Jesus Christ was the first “spirit child” born to God the Heavenly Father with one of his many wives. Instead of acknowledging Jesus as the one true God, they believe He became God, just as they will one day become gods. According to Mormon doctrine, as the first of the “spirit children” of God, Jesus had preeminence over Satan or Lucifer who was the second “son of God” and the “spirit brother” of Jesus. It is ironic that they will use Colossians 1:15 as one of their “proof texts” because it says that: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Yet they ignore verse 16 where we see that “By Him (Christ) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth. Visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. ALL THINGS were created through Him and for Him.” All things—thrones, dominions, principalities or powers—include Satan and his demons.

     

    In order to believe that Satan and Jesus are “spiritual brothers” one must deny the clear teaching of Scripture. Scripture is very clear that it was Jesus Christ who created all things and that as the second person of the triune Godhead Christ is fully and uniquely God. Jesus claimed to be God in many passages of Scripture. In John 10:30 Jesus said, “I am the Father are one.” Jesus was not claiming to be another lesser God. He was declaring that He was fully God. In John 1:1-5 it is clear that Jesus was not a created being and that He Himself created all things. “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). How much clearer can it get? “All things” means what it says, and it includes Satan who as an angel was himself a created being just like the other angels and demons are. Scripture reveals Satan to be a fallen angel who rebelled against God and Jesus as being God. The only relationship that exists between Satan and Jesus is that of Creator and creation, of the righteous Judge Jesus Christ and the sinful created being, Satan. 

     

    Like the Mormons, the Jehovah Witnesses also teach that Jesus and Satan are spiritual brothers. While some Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses might sometimes try to sidestep this teaching because it is so antithetical to what the Bible actually says, it is nevertheless what these organizations believe and is part of their official doctrine.

     

    Mormons believe that not only were Jesus and Lucifer “spirit children of Elohim,” but that also humans are spiritual children as well. In other words they believe that “God, angels, and men are all of the same species, one race, one great family.” This is why they believe that they themselves will one day become as much of a God as Jesus or even God the Father. Rather than seeing the clear distinction in Scripture between God and His creation, they believe that one day they will be a God themselves. Of course this is the same old lie Satan has been telling us since the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15). Apparently the desire to usurp the throne of God is endemic in the hearts of men. 

     

    In Matthew 16:15 Jesus asked the important question: “But who do you say that I am?” This is a question that is essential to salvation and one that the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses get wrong. Their answer that Jesus is the spirit brother of Satan is the wrong one. Jesus is God the Son, and in Him the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily (Colossians 2:9). He created Satan and one day He will cast Satan into the lake of fire as the just punishment for his rebellion against God. Sadly on that Day of Judgment those who fall for Satan’s lies will also be cast into the lake of fire with Satan and His demons. The god of the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses is not the God who revealed Himself in Scripture. Unless they repent and come to understand and worship the one true God, they have no hope of salvation.

     

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    Why did Jesus have to die?

     

    Question: "Why did Jesus have to die?" 

     

    Answer: Jesus died on the cross to bear sin’s punishment for believers. Many people have doubted Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, despite historical evidence. Muslims question, “Why would Allah require His prophet Isa to die?”

     

    The Scripture explains that Jesus Christ died for our sins: “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3b-4). 

     

    Scripture affirms that the sinless Jesus bled and died on the cross to pay the punishment for believing sinners. Let’s study the Scriptures, the Bible, to find out why Jesus’ death and resurrection provide the only entrance for sinners into paradise. 

     

    The punishment for sin is deathThe Bible says the holy God created earth and man perfectly. But Adam and Eve fell to the temptation of Satan and disobeyed God. Ever since Adam’s sin, sin has infected the human race. Each person is guilty: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). 

     

    Sin is not just big things like murder or blasphemy but also includes lying, lusting, and stealing. Even the love of money or hatred of enemies is sin, according to the Bible. Good works cannot make up for wrongs against the holy God. Compared to His holiness, “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6b).

     

    Having sinned against God, we deserve His punishment. A judge who pardons lawbreakers isn’t a good judge. Likewise, God will not overlook sin. He pours out His righteous wrath against sinners (Romans 2:1-11). Unbelieving sinners pay for their sin by suffering eternal death in hell: “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). 

     

    The promise required an innocent deathAlthough God banished Adam and Eve from the garden and the tree of life, He gave them hope of salvation and paradise. He promised to send the woman’s offspring—Jesus—Who would conquer Satan (Genesis 3:15). Until then, men would sacrifice innocent lambs as a substitute for the punishment they deserved. Sacrificing an animal showed men’s humble acknowledgement that their sin required death and showed their faith in the future offspring and sacrifice from God—Jesus—Who would bear the believer’s penalty once and for all. 

     

    The prophets foretold Jesus’ deathFrom Adam to Jesus, God sent prophets to mankind, warning them of sin’s punishment and foretelling the coming Savior. Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah described Him: 

     

    “Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:1-12).

     

    The prophet compared the coming Savior to a lamb, slaughtered for the sins of others. 

     

    Centuries later, Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy. Although Jesus is eternally one with God, God the Father sent His Son to earth (John 3:16). Jesus is the promised offspring of the woman (Genesis 3:15), born in human flesh to the virgin Mary. God witnessed that Jesus is His own Son (Matthew 17:5). On seeing Jesus, the prophet John the Baptist cried, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). 

     

    Taking the sin of the world as the sacrificial Lamb of God is why Jesus had to die. He came to take the punishment for sin—death. 

     

    Jesus prophesied His own death many times: “And taking the twelve, he said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise’" (Luke 18:31-33).

     

    God sacrificed Jesus for sinDuring the life of Jesus, crowds thronged around Him for healing and teaching, but the religious leaders scorned Him. They arrested Him and charged Him with blasphemy for claiming to be the Son of God (Luke 22:70). Mobs cried out, “Crucify Him!” Soldiers beat, mocked, and crucified Him. 

     

    On the cross, Jesus bore the punishment of sin. At His death, He cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30b). Jesus finished paying the punishment for sin as the perfect Lamb of God. 

     

    As Isaiah prophesied, Jesus was crucified in between two criminals and was buried in a rich man’s tomb. But Jesus didn’t remain in the grave. As He prophesied, Jesus rose from the dead, proving His victory over sin and death. 

     

    Why did Jesus have to die?Jesus died for believing sinners. We cannot reach paradise on our own merit. Remember, the holy God will not let sin go unpunished. If we bore our own sins, we would suffer judgment in the flames of hell. But God sacrificed Jesus as the believer’s perfect Substitute. 

     

    The Scripture says, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified [made righteous/good] by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation [restored relationship]. 

     

    “Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. . . . So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:6-12; 18-21). 

     

    Jesus died to provide the only way to eternal life. If God is showing your sin and need of Jesus, repent, turning from your sin and own way of trying to please God. You cannot fix yourself. Believing the Bible’s truth about Who Jesus is and what He did, trust in Jesus as Savior from sin and follow Him as the Lord of your life. He will lead and strengthen you through His Word, the Bible.

     

    Have you trusted Jesus as Savior and Lord through reading this article? If so, please click on the "I have accepted Christ today" button below.

     

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    When did Jesus know that He was God?

    Question: "When did Jesus know that He was God?"

     

    Answer: The Bible does not clearly state that there was a point at which He knew that He was the second Person of the Trinity. At some point, Jesus fully realized who He was from eternity past, expressing it this way: "Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58). "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." (John 17:5). But the pre-incarnate Christ always knew He was the second Person of the Trinity. He made the worlds: "(God) has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:2). Jesus knew from the foundation of the world that He would die for our sins: " Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15), and "..... the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8).

     

    While we do not have a clear scripture revealing the thoughts of Jesus as a baby, we can at least discover from Scripture that as a young child He was well aware of His work. Jesus was preparing even as a boy to finish the work His Father sent Him to do. When His parents were concerned about His being missing on a trip to Jerusalem, they found Him in the temple "sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions." (Luke 2:46). When asked why He would disappear and worry them so, He told His parents: “’Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’ But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.” (Luke 2:49-50). Joseph and Mary may not have understood, but Jesus certainly did understand at the age of twelve that He was the Son of God and that the Father had foreordained the work He was to do.

     

    After the incident in the temple, we are told "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Luke 2:52). If at this point in Jesus' experience He knew everything, it would not follow logically that He would need to "increase in wisdom." We know He had to grow physically (in stature), but we must also believe the scripture where our understanding fails us, that is, that He also put Himself voluntarily in a position where He needed to assimilate knowledge as a man. He needed to be truly man. He was always God, but He needed to become in all ways, except for sin, a man as well. In theological terms we refer to this as the hypostatic union. In order for Him to have a legitimate experience of temptation, He needed to limit certain facets of divine advantage. In this He emptied Himself of all His observable physical characteristics of divinity such as described in Revelation: "His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters" (Revelation 1:14-15). We know this to be true because Isaiah describes Him in this way: "For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. " (Isaiah 53:2).

     

    We can conclude that although the preincarnate Jesus knew from eternity past who He was and what His work in the world was to be, the incarnate Jesus came to that realization at some point in His earthly life. Just what that point was, we cannot know for sure.

     

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    What are the different names and titles of Jesus Christ?--Just some of them

    Question: "What are the different names and titles of Jesus Christ?"

     

    Answer: There are some 200 names and titles of Christ found in the Bible. Following are some of the more prominent ones, organized in three sections relating to names that reflect the nature of Christ, His position in the tri-unity of God, and His work on earth on our behalf.

     

    The Nature of ChristChief Cornerstone: (Ephesians 2:20) – Jesus is the cornerstone of the building which is His church. He cements together Jew and Gentile, male and female—all saints from all ages and places into one structure built on faith in Him which is shared by all.

     

    Firstborn over all creation: (Colossians 1:15) – Not the first thing God created, as some incorrectly claim, because verse 16 says all things were created through and for Christ. Rather, the meaning is that Christ occupies the rank and pre-eminence of the first-born over all things, that He sustains the most exalted rank in the universe; He is pre-eminent above all others; He is at the head of all things.

     

    Head of the Church: (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; 5:23) – Jesus Christ, not a king or a pope, is the only supreme, sovereign ruler of the Church—those for whom He died and who have placed their faith in Him alone for salvation. 

     

    Holy One: (Acts 3:14; Psalm 16:10) – Christ is holy, both in his divine and human nature, and the fountain of holiness to His people. By His death, we are made holy and pure before God.

     

    Judge: (Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:8) – The Lord Jesus was appointed by God to judge the world and to dispense the rewards of eternity.

     

    King of kings and Lord of lords: (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16) – Jesus has dominion over all authority on the earth, over all kings and rulers, and none can prevent Him from accomplishing His purposes. He directs them as He pleases.

     

    Light of the World: (John 8:12) – Jesus came into a world darkened by sin and shed the light of life and truth through His work and His words. Those who trust in Him have their eyes opened by Him and walk in the light.

     

    Prince of peace: (Isaiah 9:6) – Jesus came not to bring peace to the world as in the absence of war, but peace between God and man who were separated by sin. He died to reconcile sinners to a holy God.

     

    Son of God: (Luke 1:35; John 1:49) – Jesus is the “only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14). Used 42 times in the New Testament, “Son of God” affirms the deity of Christ.

     

    Son of man: (John 5:27) – Used as a contrast to “Son of God” this phrase affirms the humanity of Christ which exists alongside His divinity. 

     

    Word: (John 1:1; 1 John 5:7-8) – The Word is the second Person of the triune God, who said it and it was done, who spoke all things out of nothing in the first creation, who was in the beginning with God the Father, and was God, and by whom all things were created.

     

    Word of God: (Revelation 19:12-13) – This is the name given to Christ that is unknown to all but Himself. It denotes the mystery of His divine person. 

     

    Word of Life: (1 John 1:1) – Jesus not only spoke words that lead to eternal life, but according to this verse He is the very words of life, referring to the eternal life of joy and fulfillment which He provides. 

     

    His position in the trinityAlpha and Omega: (Revelation 1:8; 22:13) – Jesus declared Himself to be the beginning and end of all things, a reference to no one but the true God. This statement of eternality could apply only to God. 

     

    Emmanuel: (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:23) – Literally “God with us.” Both Isaiah and Matthew affirm that the Christ who would be born in Bethlehem would be God Himself who came to earth in the form of a man to live among His people.

     

    I Am: (John 8:58, with Exodus 3:14) – When Jesus ascribed to Himself this title, the Jews tried to stone Him for blasphemy. They understood that He was declaring Himself to be the eternal God, the unchanging Jehovah of the Old Testament. 

     

    Lord of All: (Acts 10:36) – Jesus is the sovereign ruler over the whole world and all things in it, of all the nations of the world, and particularly of the people of God's choosing, Gentiles as well as Jews. 

     

    True God: (1 John 5:20) – This is a direct assertion that Jesus, being the true God, is not only divine, but is the Divine. Since the Bible teaches there is only one God, this can only be describing His nature as part of the triune God.

     

    His Work on earthAuthor and Perfecter of our Faith: (Hebrews 12:2) – Salvation is accomplished through the faith that is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) and Jesus is the founder of our faith and the finisher of it as well. From first to last, He is the source and sustainer of the faith that saves us.

     

    Bread of Life: (John 6:35; 6:48) – Just as bread sustains life in the physical sense, Jesus is the Bread that gives and sustains eternal life. God provided manna in the wilderness to feed His people and He provided Jesus to give us eternal life through His body, broken for us.

     

    Bridegroom: (Matthew 9:15) – The picture of Christ as the Bridegroom and the Church as His Bride reveals the special relationship we have with Him. We are bound to each other in a covenant of grace that cannot be broken.

     

    Deliverer: (Romans 11:26) – Just as the Israelites needed God to deliver them from bondage to Egypt, so Christ is our Deliverer from the bondage of sin. 

     

    Good Shepherd: (John 10:11,14) – In Bible times, a good shepherd was willing to risk his own life to protect his sheep from predators. Jesus laid down His life for His sheep, and He cares for and nurtures and feeds us.

     

    High Priest: (Hebrews 2:17) – The Jewish high priest entered the Temple once a year to make atonement for the sins of the people. The Lord Jesus performed that function for His people once for all at the cross.

     

    Lamb of God: (John 1:29) – God’s Law called for the sacrifice of a spotless, unblemished Lamb as an atonement for sin. Jesus became that Lamb led meekly to the slaughter, showing His patience in His sufferings and His readiness to die for His own.

     

    Mediator: (1 Timothy 2:5) – A mediator is one who goes between two parties to reconcile them. Christ is the one and only Mediator who reconciles men and God. Praying to Mary or the saints is idolatry because it bypasses this most important role of Christ and ascribes the role of Mediator to another.

     

    Rock: (1 Corinthians 10:4) – As life-giving water flowed from the rock Moses struck in the wilderness, Jesus is the Rock from which flow the living waters of eternal life. He is the Rock upon whom we build our spiritual houses, so that no storm can shake them.

     

    Resurrection and Life: (John 11:25) – Embodied within Jesus is the means to resurrect sinners to eternal life, just as He was resurrected from the grave. Our sin is buried with Him and we are resurrected to walk in newness of life.

     

    Savior: (Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11) – He saves His people by dying to redeem them, by giving the Holy Spirit to renew them by His power, by enabling them to overcome their spiritual enemies, by sustaining them in trials and in death, and by raising them up at the last day.

     

    True Vine: (John 15:1) – The True Vine supplies all that the branches (believers) need to produce the fruit of the Spirit— the living water of salvation and nourishment from the Word.

     

    Way, Truth, Life: (John 14:6) – Jesus is the only path to God, the only Truth in a world of lies, and the only true source of eternal life. He embodies all three in both a temporal and an eternal sense.


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    Is the deity of Christ biblical?

     

    Question: "Is the deity of Christ biblical?"

     

    Answer: In addition to Jesus’ specific claims about Himself, His disciples also acknowledged the deity of Christ. They claimed that Jesus had the right to forgive sins—something only God can do—as it is God who is offended by sin (Acts 5:31; Colossians 3:13; Psalm 130:4; Jeremiah 31:34). In close connection with this last claim, Jesus is also said to be the one who will “judge the living and the dead” (2 Timothy 4:1). Thomas cried out to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Paul calls Jesus “great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13) and points out that prior to His incarnation Jesus existed in the “form of God” (Philippians 2:5-8). God the Father says regarding Jesus: “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever” (Hebrews 1:8). John states that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word [Jesus] was God” (John 1:1). Examples of Scriptures that teach the deity of Christ are many (see Revelation 1:17, 2:8, 22:13; 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 2:6-8; Psalm 18:2, 95:1; 1 Peter 5:4; Hebrews 13:20), but even one of these is enough to show that Christ was considered to be God by His followers.

     

    Jesus is also given titles that are unique to YHWH (the formal name of God) in the Old Testament. The Old Testament title “redeemer” (Psalm 130:7; Hosea 13:14) is used of Jesus in the New Testament (Titus 2:13; Revelation 5:9). Jesus is called Immanuel—“God with us”—in Matthew 1. In Zechariah 12:10, it is YHWH who says, “They will look on me, the one they have pierced.” But the New Testament applies this to Jesus’ crucifixion (John 19:37; Revelation 1:7). If it is YHWH who is pierced and looked upon, and Jesus was the one pierced and looked upon, then Jesus is YHWH. Paul interprets Isaiah 45:22-23 as applying to Jesus in Philippians 2:10-11. Further, Jesus’ name is used alongside God’s in prayer “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2). This would be blasphemy if Christ were not deity. The name of Jesus appears with God's in Jesus' commanded to baptize “in the name [singular] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19; see also 2 Corinthians 13:14).

     

    Actions that can be accomplished only by God are credited to Jesus. Jesus not only raised the dead (John 5:21, 11:38-44) and forgave sins (Acts 5:31, 13:38), He created and sustains the universe (John 1:2; Colossians 1:16-17). This becomes even clearer when one considers YHWH said He was alone during creation (Isaiah 44:24). Further, Christ possesses attributes that only deity can have: eternality (John 8:58), omnipresence (Matthew 18:20, 28:20), omniscience (Matthew 16:21), and omnipotence (John 11:38-44).

     

    Now, it is one thing to claim to be God or to fool someone into believing it is true, and something else entirely to prove it to be so. Christ offered many miracles as proof of His claim to deity. Just a few of Jesus' miracles include turning water to wine (John 2:7), walking on water (Matthew 14:25), multiplying physical objects (John 6:11), healing the blind (John 9:7), the lame (Mark 2:3), and the sick (Matthew 9:35; Mark 1:40-42), and even raising people from the dead (John 11:43-44; Luke 7:11-15; Mark 5:35). Moreover, Christ Himself rose from the dead. Far from the so-called dying and rising gods of pagan mythology, nothing like the resurrection is seriously claimed by other religions, and no other claim has as much extra-scriptural confirmation.

     

    There are at least twelve historical facts about Jesus that even non-Christian critical scholars will admit:

     

    1. Jesus died by crucifixion.2. He was buried.3. His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.4. Jesus' tomb was discovered (or was claimed to be discovered) to be empty a few days later.5. The disciples believed they experienced appearances of the risen Jesus.6. After this, the disciples were transformed from doubters into bold believers.7. This message was the center of preaching in the early Church.8. This message was preached in Jerusalem.9. As a result of this preaching, the Church was born and it grew.10. Resurrection day, Sunday, replaced the Sabbath (Saturday) as the primary day of worship.11. James, a skeptic, was converted when he also believed that he saw the resurrected Jesus.12. Paul, an enemy of Christianity, was converted by an experience which he believed to be an appearance of the risen Jesus.

     

    Even if someone were to object to this specific list, only a few are needed to prove the resurrection and establish the gospel: Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, and appearances (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). While there may be some theories to explain one or two of the above facts, only the resurrection explains and accounts for them all. Critics admit that the disciples claimed they saw the risen Jesus. Neither lies nor hallucinations can transform people the way the resurrection did. First, what would they have had to gain? Christianity was not popular and it certainly did not make them any money. Second, liars do not make good martyrs. There is no better explanation than the resurrection for the disciples’ willingness to die horrible deaths for their faith. Yes, many people die for lies that they think are true, but people do not die for what they know is untrue.

     

    In conclusion, Christ claimed He was YHWH, that He was deity (not just “a god” but the one true God); His followers (Jews who would have been terrified of idolatry) believed Him and referred to Him as God. Christ proved His claims to deity through miracles, including the world-altering resurrection. No other hypothesis can explain these facts. Yes, the deity of Christ is biblical.

     

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    What is the doctrine of eternal Sonship and is it biblical?

    Question: "What is the doctrine of eternal Sonship and is it biblical?"

     

    Answer: The doctrine of eternal Sonship simply affirms that the second Person of the triune Godhead has eternally existed as the Son. In other words, there was never a time when He was not the Son of God, and there has always been a Father/Son relationship within the Godhead. This doctrine recognizes that the idea of Sonship is not merely a title or role that Christ assumed at some specific point in history, but that it is the essential identity of the second Person of the Godhead. According to this doctrine, Christ is and always has been the Son of God.

     

    Yes, the eternal Sonship is biblical and is a view that is widely held among Christians and has been throughout church history. It is important, however, to remember when discussing the doctrine of eternal Sonship that there are evangelical Christians on both sides of this debate. This is not to say that this is not an important doctrine, because it is; it simply acknowledges the fact that there are orthodox or evangelical Christians that hold or have held both views. Those that deny the doctrine of eternal Sonship are not denying the triune nature of God or the deity or eternality of Christ, and those that embrace the eternal Sonship of Christ are not inferring that Jesus Christ was anything less than fully God.

     

    Throughout church history the doctrine of eternal Sonship has been widely held, with most Christians believing that Jesus existed as God’s eternal Son before creation. It is affirmed in the Nicene Creed (325 A.D.) which states: "We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end." It was also later reaffirmed in the fifth century in the Athanasian Creed.

     

    There is considerable biblical evidence to support the eternal Sonship of Christ. First of all, there are many passages that clearly identify that it was “the Son” who created all things (Colossians 1:13-16; Hebrews 1:2), thereby strongly implying that Christ was the Son of God at the time of creation. When one considers these passages, it seems clear that the most normal and natural meaning of the passages is that at the time of creation Jesus was the Son of God, the second Person of the Triune Godhead, thus supporting the doctrine of eternal Sonship.

     

    Second, there are numerous verses that speak of God the Father sending the Son into the world to redeem sinful man (John 20:21; Galatians 4:4; 1 John 4:14; 1 John 4:10) and giving His Son as a sacrifice for sin (John 3:16). Clearly implied in all the passages that deal with the Father sending/giving the Son is the fact that He was the Son before He was sent into the world. This is even more clearly seen in Galatians 4:4-6, where the term “sent forth” is used both of the Son and the Spirit. Just as the Holy Spirit did not become the Holy Spirit when He was sent to empower the believers at Pentecost, neither did the Son become the Son at the moment of His incarnation. All three Persons of the Triune Godhead have existed for all eternity, and their names reveal who they are, not simply what their title or function is.

     

    Third, 1 John 3:8 speaks of the appearance or manifestation of the Son of God: “the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” The verb “to make manifest” or “appeared” means to make visible or to bring to light something that was previously hidden. The idea communicated in this verse is not that the second Person of the trinity became the Son of God, but that the already existing Son of God was made manifest or appeared in order to fulfill God’s predetermined purpose. This idea is also seen in other verses such as John 11:27 and 1 John 5:20.

     

    Fourth, Hebrews 13:8 teaches that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.” This verse again seems to support the doctrine of eternal Sonship. The fact that Jesus’ divine nature is unchanging would seem to indicate that He was always the Son of God because that is an essential part of His Person. At the incarnation Jesus took on human flesh, but His divine nature did not change, nor did His relationship with the Father. This same truth is also implied in John 20:31, where we see John’s purpose in writing his gospel was so that we might “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” It does not say that He became the Son of God but that He is the Son of God. The fact that Jesus was and is the Son of God is an essential aspect of Who He is and His work in redemption.

     

    Finally, one of the strongest evidences for the eternal Sonship of Christ is the triune nature of God and the eternal relationship that exists among the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Particularly important is the unique Father/Son relationship that can only be understood from the aspect of Christ’s eternal Sonship. This relationship is key to understanding the full measure of God’s love for those whom He redeems through the blood of Christ. The fact that God the Father took His Son, the very Son He loved from before the foundation of the world, and sent Him to be a sacrifice for our sins is an amazing act of grace and love that is best understood from the doctrine of eternal Sonship.

     

    One verse that speaks of the eternal relationship between the Father and Son is John 16:28. "I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again, and going to the Father." Implied in this verse is again the fact that the Father/Son relationship between God the Father and God the Son is one that always has and always will exist. At His incarnation the Son “came from the Father” in the same sense as upon His resurrection He returned “to the Father.” Implied in this verse is the fact that if Jesus was the Son after the resurrection, then He was also the Son prior to His incarnation. Other verses that support the eternal Sonship of Christ would include John 17:5 and John 17:24, which speak of the Father’s love for the Son from “before the foundation of the world.”

     

    After one considers the many arguments for the doctrine of eternal Sonship, it should become clear that this is indeed a biblical doctrine that finds much support in Scripture. However, that is not to imply that arguments cannot be made against the doctrine as well, or that all Christians will agree to this doctrine. While it has been the view of the majority of Christian commentators throughout history, there have been several prominent Christians on the other side of the issue as well.

     

    Those that deny the doctrine of eternal Sonship would instead hold to a view that is often referred to as the Incarnational Sonship, which teaches that while Christ preexisted, He was not always the Son of God. Those that hold this view believe Christ became the Son of God at some point in history, with the most common view being that Christ became the Son at His incarnation. However, there are others who believe Christ did not become the Son until sometime after His incarnation, such as at His baptism, His resurrection, or His exaltation. It is important to realize that those who deny the eternal Sonship of Christ still recognize and affirm His deity and His eternality.

     

    Those who hold this view see the Sonship of Christ as not being an essential part of Who He is, but instead see it as simply being a role or a title or function that Christ assumed at His incarnation. They also teach that the Father became the Father at the time of the incarnation. Throughout history many conservative Christians have denied the doctrine of eternal Sonship. Some examples would include Ralph Wardlaw, Adam Clarke, Albert Barnes, Finis J. Dake, Walter Martin, and at one time John MacArthur. It is important to note, however, that several years ago John MacArthur changed his position on this doctrine and he now affirms the doctrine of eternal Sonship.

     

    One of the verses commonly used to support Incarnational Sonship is Hebrews 1:5, which appears to speak of God the Father’s begetting of God the Son as an event that takes place at a specific point in time: “Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee. And again. I will be a Father to Him. And He shall be a Son to Me.” Those who hold to the doctrine of incarnational Sonship point out two important aspects of this verse. 1—that “begetting” normally speaks of a person’s origin, and 2—that a Son is normally subordinate to his father. They reject the doctrine of eternal Sonship in an attempt to preserve the perfect equality and eternality of the Persons of the Triune Godhead. In order to do so, they must conclude that “Son” is simply a title or function that Christ took on at His incarnation and that “Sonship” refers to the voluntary submission that Christ took to the Father at His incarnation (Philippians 2:5-8; John 5:19).

     

    Some of the problems with the Incarnational Sonship of Christ are that this teaching confuses or destroys the internal relationships that exist within the Trinity, because if the Son is not eternally begotten by the Father, then neither did the Spirit eternally proceed from the Father through the Son. Also, if there is no Son prior to the incarnation, then there is no Father either; and yet throughout the Old Testament we see God being referred to as the Father of Israel. Instead of having a triune God eternally existing in three distinct Persons with three distinct names, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, those who hold to the doctrine of incarnational Sonship end up with a nameless Trinity prior to the incarnation, and we would be forced to say that God has chosen not to reveal Himself as He truly is, but only as He was to become. In other words, instead of actually revealing who He is, the Triune God instead chose to reveal Himself by the titles He would assume or the roles that He would take on and not who He really is. This is dangerously close to modalism and could easily lead to false teachings about the nature of God. One of the weaknesses of the doctrine of incarnational Sonship is that the basic relationships existing among the members of the Trinity are confused and diminished. Taken to its logical conclusion, denying the eternal Sonship of Christ reduces the Trinity from the relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to simply Number One, Number Two and Number Three Persons—with the numbers themselves being an arbitrary designation, destroying the God-given order and relationship that exists among the Persons of the Trinity.


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    From WWW.GotQuestions.Org, WWW.CompellingTruth.Org, my sites: https://sites.google.com/site/buildingbridgestomuslims/ and WWW.RonSeman.Com  9/26/2012

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