FOUNDATIONS OF OUR FAITH
SESSION 1 – The Pre-Existence and Diety of Christ
Lucas Griffin – Westbank – Oct. 23, 2019
PRE-EXISTENCE OF CHRIST
- Before the foundation of the world
- John 17:24 – “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
- Ephesians 1:4 – “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”
- 1 Peter 1:20 – “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
- Revelation 13:8 – “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
- The Lord Jesus Christ was there at Creation, and He was the power behind Creation
- Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”
- John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”
- Colossian 1:15-17 – “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him 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. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”
- Christophanies (Pre-incarnate appearances of the Lord Jesus Christ on Earth)
- Genesis 18:1-33– One day, Abraham had some visitors: two angels and God Himself. He invited them to come to his home, and he and Sarah entertained them. A careful reading of this passage proves this is a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ.
- Genesis 32:22–32 – Jacob gets in an all-night wrestling match with somebody who was a man (the fight was evenly matched) and yet who was God (the Person was able to cripple Jacob with the touch of a finger).
- Daniel 3:25 – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are thrown into the furnace. Suddenly a fourth man appears. “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
- Joshua 5:13-15 – Outside the city of Jericho, Joshua sees a man standing in front of him with a sword in his hand. Joshua asks “Are you friend or foe? The man replies “I am the commander of the LORD’s army”. Joshua fell on his face in reverence. “What do you want me to do?” The commander responded “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.”
- Judges 6:12,14, 16, 22 – The Angel of the Lord (Christophany) appeared to Gideon when he was threshing wheat. Gideon doesn’t realize who it is at first, but after the meeting is over, he realized that he had seen a member of the Godhead and was afraid that he would die!
DIETY OF CHRIST
Clear Statements of Scripture Declare that Jesus IS God!
- Matthew 1:23 – “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
- John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
- John 8:58 – “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
- John 10:30 – “I and My Father are one.”
- Romans 9:5 – “Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.”
- Philippians 2:5-6 – “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,”
- Colossians 1:19-20 – “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
- 1 Timothy 3:16 – “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh.”
- Titus 2:13 – “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
- Hebrews 1:3 – “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high”
- Hebrews 1:8 – “But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”
- Hebrew 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
- 1 John 5:20 – “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
- In Isaiah 44:6 God says, “…I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” In Revelation 1:17 Jesus Christ says, “…Fear not; I am the first and the last.”
- Many other references could be listed!
Jesus Proved That He is God
We often think of God as one who is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnipresent (everywhere). Jesus proved Himself to be God in every aspect.
Omniscience of Christ
- Jesus proved many times that He knew all things:
- As a 12 year old, the priests and scribes marveled at His questions and answers!
- In Mark 1, as a man, the people marveled at his teaching – he taught with authority!
- In Mark 2, Jesus READ THEIR MINDS and responded, “That ye may know…”
- In Mark 9, His disciples argued who would be the greatest, but wouldn’t tell Jesus
- Jesus disciples came to the conclusion that Jesus knew all things
- John 16:30 – “Now we know that You know all things…You came from God…”
- John 21:17 – “Simon, do you love me? Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you.”
- Jesus knew what He would suffer for your sins, and yet because He loved you, He left Heaven, He stayed the course, He completed the work that God had given Him.
- Mark 10:33-34 – “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.”
- John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowingall things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
- Jesus knew all things about His work on the cross
- John 19:28 – After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
- Isaiah 53:11 – He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.
Omnipotence of Christ
- Jesus proved His power through Creation
- John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
- Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.
- Hebrews 1:3 He upholds all things by the word of His power
- Jesus showed His power by controlling the elements and Nature itself
- Matthew 8:27 – The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
- Matthew 14:25 – And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him, they were troubled…”
- John 2:1-11 – Jesus turned water into wine at the Wedding In Cana
- Jesus displayed His power through His teaching
- Matthew 7:28-29 When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, not as their scribes.
- Luke 4:32 They were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority.
- John 3:2 “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him.”
- Jesus made His power evident through Miracles
- There are 37 of Jesus’ miracles recorded in the gospels.
- Matthew 9:6 “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed & go home.”
- This also proves to us that Jesus has the power to banish sin
- Luke 5:17 One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing.
- John 6:13 “So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves (and 2 fishes).
- Jesus displays His Power by bringing people back to life and His own Resurrection
- John 5:21 “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.
- John 11:25 – “I am the resurrection and the life.” He raised the widow’s son, Jairus’ daughter, Lazarus who was dead 4 days
- John 10:18 – “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again This commandment I received from My Father.”
- Matthew 28:6 “He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.”
Omnipresence of Christ
- Things He said proved that Jesus was in multiple places at one time:
- John 1:48 – Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
- Things Jesus did to show he could easily move from place to place:
- Luke 4:28-30 “So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.
- John 6:21 – Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
- John 20:19 – “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
- Luke 24:31 – “Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.”
- He left us with the promise that he would be everywhere with us:
- Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”
- Matthew 28:19-20 – “Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
What Does this Mean?
- JESUS IS GOD. Jesus existed before time began – as far back as our minds can go.
- The facts are definitive. People can argue and deny, but the evidence is insurmountable.
Why Does This Matter?
- God reached out to you and I personally and directly through Jesus, God manifest in Flesh.
- Jesus had to be God in order to fully pay for sin. Only God could be our Perfect Substitute.
How Does This Apply to Me Today?
- Despite His status, Jesus reached out in love to those around him. He served, helped, and gave sacrificially. In turn, I should love and help those around me – even the lowliest.
- Jesus and God know the beginning from the end. They have a plan for the ages and everything is happening according to that plan. I can entrust my life to their greatness.
THE DEITY OF JESUS CHRIST
The Bible directly states that Jesus is God in a number of passages.1 Taken by themselves, these verses provide enough evidence for the church to believe in and teach the deity of Jesus Christ. But the indirect evidence of Scripture is equally compelling.
The names of God are often applied to Jesus. He is called “the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father” and “Immanuel” (meaning “God with us”).2 Elsewhere Jesus is called “The Lord (Jehovah) our Righteousness,” “God” and “Son of God.”3
The Bible ascribes the characteristics of deity to Jesus Christ. He is described as eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and immutable.4
Jesus Christ is equal with God the Father. He is worshiped as God.5 His name is assigned equal standing with God the Father in the church’s baptismal formula and in the apostolic benediction.6
Christ performed works which only God can do. He is creator.7 He is the upholder of all things.8 He forgives sin.9 He will raise the dead and execute judgment.10
Jesus Christ Himself claimed deity. He taught His disciples to pray in His name.11 He claimed that He and the Father were one and that He was the Son of God.12 He claimed that to know Him was to know God, to see Him was to see God, to receive Him was to receive God, to believe Him was to believe in God and to honor Him was to honor God, while to hate Him was to hate God.13
1 John 1:1, 20:28; Romans 9:5; Phil. 2:6; Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20. Other passages include John 13:3, 17:5, Colossians 1:15–19, 1 Timothy 3:16, and Hebrews 1:3
2 Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:22–23
3 Jeremiah 23:6; Isaiah 40:3; Hebrews 1:8; 1 Timothy 3:16; John 10:36
4 Eternal (Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2; John 1:1–2; 8:58; 17:5; 24; Colossians 1:15, 17; 1 John 1:1; Revelation 1:8); omnipresent (Matthew 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13); omniscient (John 2:24, 25; 16:30; 21:17; Revelation 2:23); omnipotent (Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 3:21; Revelation 1:8; cf. John 5:17; Hebrews 1:3; Matthew 28:18) and immutable (Hebrews 1:10–12; 13:8)
5 John 20:28; Acts 7:59; Hebrews 1:6; cf. Exodus 34:14 and Matthew 4:10
6 Matthew 28:19; cf. Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 13:14; cf. 1 Corinthians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2
7 John 1:3, 10; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2,10
8 Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3; cf. Luke 10:22; John 3:35; 17:2; Ephesians 1:22
9 Matthew 9:2–7; cf. Mark 2:7; Luke 7:47, 48; Colossians 3:13
10 John 11:25; cf. John 5:25, 28–29; 6:39, 40, 54; John 5:22
11 John 16:23, 24
12 John 10:30, 36; 14:9; 17:11
13 John 8:18; 14:7; John 12:45; 14:9; Mark 9:37; John 12:44; 14:1; John 5:23; John 15:23