Summary: There is biblical truth worth contending for. Doctrine matters.
Stories to Tell
We all have heroes and we all tell stories. We pass down family stories. We look through photo albums and tell the stories. In school we learn the stories of our forefathers. We are story tellers, all of us. And from those stories come our heroes. For the next 4 weeks I’m going to tell you 4 stories of 4 heroes of our faith, yet many of you have probably never heard their story. My hope in these next 4 weeks is that these stories give you new heroes who encourage you in new ways, and stir your soul with new resolve to follow Jesus. And may you pass these stories to your children and your children’s children. (turn to John)
Each of these stories are deeply rooted in a biblical truth that at one point was challenged, and God raised up a hero of the faith to be a defender of that truth. The biblical truth we’ll look at today is the…
Deity of Christ
The deity of Christ is the doctrine (teaching) that Jesus is God the Son. He is not a created being, he is not something higher than us but lower than God, he was, is, and always will be God the Son, the second person of the Trinity. This has been a critical doctrine to Christ followers for 2,000 years.
John 1:1, 14…John’s claim that Jesus was and is God.
John 10:27-33…Jesus’ claim that he is God. The people who heard his claim knew exactly what he meant.
John 20:26-29…Thomas’ claim to Jesus’ deity, and Jesus’ affirmation of that claim.
Jesus often received worship, Mt 2:11…Mt 14:31-33…Mt 28:9-10. If Jesus isn’t God, he should have immediately rebuked those who worshipped him, because only God is worthy of worship.
Revelation 22:8,9 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”
That’s the proper response if you’re not God…Stop it, now! Only God is worthy of worship. To worship anyone or anything else is idolatry. If Jesus was not God, he should have immediately rebuked those who worshipped him. But he didn’t because he is God the Son, and it’s right for people to worship him.
Notice how the writers of scripture referred to him….
Isaiah 9:6, For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The coming Christ child, would be Mighty God. This is why Jesus could say things like “I and the Father are one.” This is why the writers of the NT wrote things like this…
Hebrews 1:8, But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
The Father refers to the Son as God. This is the 2,000 year old doctrine of the…
Deity of Christ
Some of you might be asking yourself, how big a deal is this really? So what if some Christians teach that Jesus is a created being, and other Christians worship him as eternally God the Son, at the end of the day, does it really matter…we all claim his name? Let’s first let Jesus address that question…
John 8:24, “if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” – Jesus
Apparently Jesus cares what you believe about him. He wasn’t OK with people believing he was something less than he really is. In fact, true faith in Jesus, for who he is, is such an essential doctrine of our faith, that Jesus says, if you do not believe I am who I claimed to be, then you will indeed die in your sins. So, if you think this is just a matter of semantics, you are in sharp disagreement with Jesus.
Not that I feel the need to add to the words of Jesus, but let me give you another reason why faith in Jesus as God the Son is critical.
Deity of Christ
If Jesus is something less than God, then he doesn’t have the power to save us from our sin, Mark 2:5-7. Our sins are against God, and only he has the authority and power to forgive them. If Jesus is something less than God, he has no right and no power to forgive our sins. If Jesus can’t forgive our sins, we have no hope.