So something I thought would be a good idea, a bit of a side-track from studying in Romans, would be to do every other Thursday, instead of the normal expository study, we’ll look at the core doctrines of the Bible, and why it clearly teaches them. (I’ll make an extra category link for this also) And after I finish a certain study, I’ll put that doctrine in the “Statement Of Faith” page followed with a link to the study.
The real purpose of this isn’t to drudge through the bible, but to show that the bible DOES have answers, and it’s answers are sufficient and clear.
As for each expository section of Thursdays, I’ll try to not just give blanket facts, but to also have some sort of application that’s practical towards the end that’s gleaned from the passage we’ll be looking through. Hope whoever takes the time to read this finds it interesting and encouraging!
The title for today pretty much sums up our first study in core doctrine:
“Is He really who he said he was?”
God. Jesus Claimed to be God.
There have been many accusations that Christ didn’t actually claim this. Many will say “He was just another good teacher” while some religions say, “He was a great prophet, but clearly not God” while many will say He never even walked the earth.
One of the greatest intellectual minds of the 1900’s puts much of the accusations (to the extent of Jesus being a “good” teacher) to rest with this clear and concise quote:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 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 the level with the 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 a 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 with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
It seems clear that you’d have to pick a side, either he was God, a liar, or something worse!
Many don’t think through many of the implications of Christ statements, but thinking through these things brings us to another question,
“did he really say that?”
Now, I could write on the accuracy of the new testament and the bible being one of the most (if not the most) historically documented and accurate books in history, but, this post isn’t about that. We’ll be looking at what God said in His word.
To get a context of one of the most radical claims in history, we must look back to the day of Moses in the book of exodus, (the date then being around c.1445 b.c.) where we’ll find the first piece to our puzzle.
“Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”
This lays the groundwork of who God claimed he was, “I AM” as John MacArthur, one of my favorite theologians and teachers says, “This name for God points to his self existence a eternality; it denotes “I am the one who is/will be”
This statement ties into a direct quote from Jesus found in John 8 verse 58. The context being the Jews were confronting Jesus on why he claimed so many radical things, and, to add the icing to the cake, He says:
“Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” ~John 8:58”
Jesus just put himself on-par with God. The God of the old testament. Jesus said that was Him. Before time, he was and always will. Such an incredible statement to his being God.
If you’re not totally convinced that’s what he meant, then read the next verse. They try to kill him for what he said. He got his point across.
The second (and last, even though there are many more) point I’ll make concerning the deity of Christ, is His statement in John 10:24-30,
“So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Did you catch that? Who did Jesus say the sheep belong to?
And who gave the sheep to him?
Who’s sheep are they? Well, both of them!
Which is just another topic (The Trinity) which we can study some other week.
Jesus said “I and the Father are one” meaning, one and the same, same God. Same deity. It was just another instance of Jesus claiming to be God in the flesh. (But that’s another topic altogether too)
So what can we glean practically from this? Well, we always want to know why we believe something. And we hear so much opposition to so many things found in scripture that it seems like a call to take a look into our Bibles and see what it really says, and to really start studying to understand and apply it to each of our lives so that when someone questions the Bible, we can point to the verse and look into the context to see what God has to say. I would encourage anyone reading this to do the same!
Read. Study. Apply. Learn.
Thanks for reading!
*A great resource i found for a more in depth look can found here: http://www.gty.org/resources/articles/A201