Is Jesus God? The debate has raged around the globe for centuries. Aside from Christian believers the prevailing opinion suggests that Jesus isn't God. This lesson will address the debate in fresh, new ways.
Please read John 10:22-42 before starting GraspingGod.com's free Bible study lessons, #1.02
Preliminary Bible Study Questions:
1) Does God exist?
2) Does God have a Son?
3) Was Jesus God?
Hey there, welcome back! Hopefully you enjoyed our first lesson together as much as I did: Did Jesus really exist? In case you missed it, click Lesson 1.01.
We have some more great questions to address today, so, grab your mocha latte and let's get started!
Before we begin answering the question "Is Jesus God?" You and I need to have a distinct starting reference point, which I'll share now. I have a certain assumption about you coming into this lesson. The assumption is that you believe that God exists. I truly believe that within your heart God has ignited at least a small belief in him, the One, true God (Genesis 1:1).
The Bible presumes we have a belief in God, therefore, we'll consider it safe to presume the same. So, we'll start this lesson with a belief in the God of the Bible. Does God exist? Look a loved one in the eyes and you'll know God exists.
Does God have a Son?
Alright, you believe in God, but do you believe that God has a Son? Listen to Isaiah 7:14, "All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a Son and will call him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us')." The prophet Isaiah wrote this prediction 700 years before Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary. Amazing, huh?! Jesus' birth and life happened precisely how they were predicted through God's prophets.
God told us about his Son. Then he sent us his Son. He always keeps his promises!
God having a Son makes him unique, too. No other gods have a son. We need a God with a Son (more about that later - we gotta stay on task!). Is Jesus God? Let's reason together for a moment.
It would be easy to view Jesus Christ as simply a noble man - one who brought a new teaching about selfless love to the masses. A quick read of a Bible book, such as Luke, could easily lead to that conclusion. We could believe that his teachings were so wonderfully refreshing that a new religion called Christianity developed. It's not quite that simple, though.
Jesus was a noble man and amazing teacher, for sure, but he is so much more.
We could just as easily believe that Jesus was a man sent by God to be our example. You know, viewing Jesus as a wise man who shows us the way to please God through the choices we make. In other words, he is to be admired and followed like one follows other religious leaders.
Although Jesus is an example for us, he is much greater than a mere model of morality.
Finally, we may mentally believe what the Bible says about Jesus being God, but refuse to commit our hearts to Jesus. Demons mentally "believe" in God, for that matter, but they fall far short of salvation (James 2:19-20). It's easy to possess knowledge of Jesus, and even accept the knowledge; however, God calls us to love Jesus.
God requires that he be the #1 love of our lives, so anything short of that is a false belief.
Is Jesus God? Let's keep talking because we're getting close to an answer.
Let's jump right into the deep end of this argument. Jesus Christ was predicted by the prophets to arrive on earth in order to save people from the penalty of their sins. Jesus' virgin conception and birth fulfilled those prophecies.
Jesus performed many powerful works, including great miracles, and even raising the dead. He also spoke with great authority - no one successfully argued against Jesus Christ. Is Jesus God? His amazing life says he is.
The following truth is the greatest proof of Jesus' divinity. Jesus was crucified because he himself claimed to be the divine Son of God. He died for claiming to be God's Son and our Messiah (Savior). To the religious Jew, which Jesus in fact was, blasphemy was the most horrendous of crimes - and punishable by death. Jesus died because the high priest in Jerusalem didn't believe his claim to be the Son of God, and he reached a verdict of blasphemy. Is Jesus God? He made the claim himself, and he died FOR that claim.
This fact about Jesus' death leads you to a decision.
"Why?" You ask.
Jesus Christ made great claims about being God's divine Son. Blasphemy was against his Jewish laws - the 10 Commandments. So, either Jesus was a sinful law-breaker, or he was the Truth (John 14:6). Jesus was either a deceiver, or he was the Savior.
It follows that if Jesus is God and your Savior, then he is also your Judge. There is no running from a Creator God who holds people accountable for their sins.
Those are the only two choices. There is no gray area in the debate. Your entire precious, eternal life relies upon your response to the question, "Is Jesus God?"
You may be thinking that you don't have to make the choice, or maybe you simply don't want to make the choice. Well, I understand the hesitancy, but those aren't real options. What I mean is that by ignoring this choice you remain apart from God. We're all separated from God at birth and onward, until he later adopts us into his family.
The question "Is Jesus God?" demands a response - a person can't walk away or hide from the question.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible claims Jesus is God. He isn't God the Father, but he is God's only begotten Son (John 3:16). Jesus Christ states in John 14:7, "If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!" Earlier, this was reported, "But Jesus replied, 'My Father is always working, and so am I.' So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God" (John 5:17-18).
Is Jesus God? Jesus' own words say so.
Jesus adds to the claim in John 14:9, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?" Jesus is not the Father, but his Son, and they are One. The expression heard in marriage ceremonies, "And the two shall become one," is much the same idea. The Father and Jesus are separate individuals, but one in a purposeful, intimate relationship.
Is Jesus God? Jesus is indeed God, the Son.
St Paul the Apostle also makes the claim, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:15-17).
Finally, the writer of Hebrews says the same, "And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe" (Hebrews 1:2).
Once God fully convinces you that Jesus is God, and that he died for you, you have to believe in him. You may be asking, "How do I do that?"
Mental belief comes first, which simply means you're in agreement with the biblical record of Jesus Christ. You trust his Bible to tell you the truth about Jesus, his life, and his work that saves souls. But, that's only a start.
Heart belief comes next, and is the most critical and difficult aspect of believing. You have to choose to LOVE Jesus Christ and his word. Here's a crucial command from Jesus, "If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (the Holy Spirit), that He may abide with you forever." (John 14:15-16). Meditate on Jesus' words a moment.
Heart belief equates to head knowledge PLUS a heart that loves Jesus and obeys his teachings.
Is Jesus God? There's only one way to discover the truth. Let Jesus prove himself. Jesus desires that you trust him and follow his teachings. By humbly doing what he desires you will soon meet him.
Is Jesus God? Look at it this way: Jesus Christ is an equal member of the Godhead, one of three individuals. He is without question the second member of the Christian Trinity, which is our next lesson.
Let these words of Jesus, from his prayer to the Father in John 17:4, resonate in your heart, "And this is the way to have eternal life - to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began."
Wow! Does that statement leave you breathless? Imagine it. Grasp it. People get wrapped up in these religious debates, but once Jesus presents himself to a person, the debates cease, the squabbles end, the doubt disappears, and a new believer is born!
Is Jesus God? The Bible says it. You can believe it with your entire being.
Bible Study Questions:
1) Can a person believe in God, while ignoring Jesus Christ? (John 12:44-50)
2) What about all of these other gods? Can't they be the way to heaven? (John 14:6)
3) Why did God send his Son Jesus to earth? (John 10:15)
Inspirational Bible Verses:
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form... Colossians 2:9
I and my Father are One. John 10:30
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. John 14:8-11
Sometimes people use the word faith to mean pretend, like saying, "I'm set free by faith," and then pretending you're free when you're not. That isn't faith. That's a sad joke. - Keith Green
Faith is like breath in an infant's lungs. Breath is not the cause of life; but where there is no breath, there is no life. Even so, faith is not the cause of life, but where there is no faith, there is no spiritual life. - John Gill
Nothing is more reasonable than faith in God; nothing is more unreasonable than a blind leap of faith in reason. - Unknown author
Quotes about God:
No man ever believes with a true and saving faith unless God inclines his heart; and no man when God does incline his heart can refrain from believing. - Blaise Pascal
Jesus Christ Quotes:
Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God because he said so. C.S.Lewis
In the person of Christ a man has not become God; God has become man. Cyril of Alexander
Anything that one imagines of God apart from Christ is only useless thinking and vain idolatry. - Martin Luther
Thank you, Dear God. Your Son came to earth to live with us and die for us. Some people don't believe him and others do believe him. I want to join those who believe him. Please forgive my lifetime of sin and selfishness. Please give me the faith to trust you and your word. Help me to obey your commandments and please you with my life. Jesus, hear my prayer and send the Spirit into my life. Amen
FREE printable Bible study lessons (click): Is Jesus God? Lesson 1.02
Special Note: I'm grateful to Big Book Media & Free Bible Images, Stock Exchange, Morgue Files, and Stock Photos For Free for the use of their photos; and NHEB for their Bible Verses for Is Jesus God?