Jesus Claimed to Be God

Muslims say that Jesus never claimed to be God.  Some religious pluralists might say this too.  Some humanists will likely say this also.  And many people will not care.

I believe that we can trust the Gospels to be Historically reliable.  With that being said, I believe Jesus actually claimed to be God and that he backed up such claims by living the perfect life that none of us can live, dying the death that none of us can die, and rising from the grave, something that we all will do, however, some to everlasting life, and others to everlasting condemnation (Daniel 12:1-3).

People struggle to admit that Jesus claimed to be God, because they really like his teachings of universal love and compassion towards others.  They like his don’t pay back evil with evil mentality, because although we all break his commands, we recognize that they are the highest road of morality, and the path that most be followed for world peace.

People who want to embrace the Jesus of pacifism, but reject the Jesus who is the Messiah, will sometimes say, “Well, he never said the exact words, ‘I am God,’ so what Christians interpret to be claims to be God, must somehow be misunderstood.”  So, I’ll change the lyrics of the Animals song slightly to fit this situation, “Oh Lord, please don’t let him be misunderstood.”  Make no mistake, Jesus claimed to be God.  Here is how he claimed to be God as recorded in his biographies, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John:

Divine Titles Proclaimed by or attributed to Jesus Christ:

God (John 1:1, John 20:28, Romans 9:5, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8, 2 Peter 1:1)
Lord (Mark 12:35-37, John 20:28, Romans 10:9-13, 1 Cor. 8:5-6, 12:3, Philippians 2:11)
Messiah (Matthew 16:16, Mark 14:61, John 20:31)
Son of God (Matt. 11:27, Mark 15:39, John 1:18, Romans 1:4, Galatians 4:4, Hebrews 1:2)
Son of Man (Matt. 16:28, Matt. 24:30, Mark 8:38, Mark 14:62-64, Acts 7:56, Dan. 7:13-14)

Divine Names, actions, or roles proclaimed by or attributed to Jesus Christ:

Creator (John 1:3, Col. 1:16, Hebrews 1:2,10-12)
Sustainer (1 Cor. 8:6, Col. 1:17, Hebrews 1:3)
Forgiver of sins (Mark 2:5-7, Luke 24:47, Acts 5:31, Col. 3:13)
Object of prayer (John 14:4, Acts 1:24, 1 Cor. 1:2)
Object of worship (Matt. 28:16-17, Phil. 2:10-11, Hebrews 1:6)
Object of saving faith (John 14:1, Acts 10:43, Romans 10:8-13)

Divine Attributes or Qualities proclaimed by or attributed to Jesus Christ

Eternal Existence (John 1:1, John 8:58, John 17:5, Hebrews 13:8)
Self-existence (John 1:3, John 5:26, Col. 1:16)
Omnipresence (Matthew 18:20, Ephesians 1:23, Ephesians 4:10, Col. 3:11)
Omniscience (Mark 2:8, Luke 9:47, John 2:25, John 4:18, Col. 2:3)
Omnipotence (John 2:19, Col. 1:16-17)

Jesus equated himself with the Father

To know Jesus is to know God – John 14:7
To see Jesus is to see God – John 14:9
To encounter Jesus is to encounter God – John 14:11
To welcome Jesus is to welcome God – John 5:23
To hate Jesus is to hate God – John 15:23
To obey Jesus is to obey God – John 14:23

Jesus made direct claims that many Jewish religious leaders considered to blasphemous – John 5:17-18, John 8:58-59, John 10:30-33, and Mark 14:61-64.

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...
Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So based on these claims…

Who do you say Jesus is?

One Nation Under God #3

The three local libraries that I frequent, all have a bookstore of used books.  These books usually cost 50 cents to $2.  Sometimes you can find some really great resource books for yourself or copies of the Bible or other books you already own that you think would be great to keep on hand for giving to others.  One such book I found recently is In God We Still Trust by Dr. Richard G. Lee.  It’s mostly just compilations of quotes from America’s founding fathers, presidents, and key reformers and ground breakers demonstrating that the God we trust in is not some generic, withdrawn, unknown deity, as many liberals want us all to believe now.  These quotes also show that when America used to be called a Christian nation, we actually were.  Does that mean we don’t have massive sins and flaws in our history, such as the Trail of Tears that starts in my home-state, TN?  No, it just shows that we as all people and nations are sinners and led by sinners, but at least, for a time, our nation was largely Christian, trusting in God alone for our salvation and provision.

Here’s a quote from Daniel Webster from a speech he gave before the HIstorical Society of New York, Februrary, 23, 1852:

If we and our prosperity shall be true to the Christian religion, if we and they shall live always in the fear of God, and shall respect His commandments, if we and they shall maintain just moral sentiments and such conscientious convictions of duty as shall control the heart and life, we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country; and if we maintain those institutions of government and that political union, exceeding all praise as much as it exceeds all former examples of political associations, we may be sure of one thing, that while our country furnishes material for a thousands masters of the historic art, it will afford no topic for a Gibon.  It will have no decline and fall.  It will go on prospering and to prosper.

But if we and our prosperity reject religious institutions and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.

One Nation Under God #2 – Abraham Lincoln Quote

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presid...
English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States. Latviešu: Abrahams Linkolns, sešpadsmitais ASV prezidents. Српски / Srpski: Абрахам Линколн, шеснаести председник Сједињених Америчких Држава. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taken from the book, In God We Trust, by Dr. Richard G. Lee:

Abraham Lincoln, anguished by the ravages of civil war, declared a “Proclamation of a National Fast Day” on March 30, 1863:

Whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history that nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

… We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown.  But we have forgotten God.  We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

 

 

When I was in high school, probably about 14-15 years ago, I read Jeremiah 18:1-12 and I instantly thought of America, although Jeremiah was talking about Israel.  It seemed to me that America’s history was that of Israel, that God still works with nations as he did in the Old Testament era, that he works and deals with people collectively, as well as individually, that in this temperol age, the actions of one affect the whole, just as Adam’s rebellion brought sin and death to all men, and the second Adam’s act of righteousness brought salvation to all men.

In high school, I saw the signs that we were moving away from being a nation under God, even though my public high school had public prayer led by students blasted over the football speakers, and that we could hear the prayer from outside our locker room as we waited to enter the grid-iron, and before we left our huddle to go the field, right after checking Special Teams’ Rosters, we’d hold hands and say the Lord’s Prayer; even then I saw that we were moving away.  It didn’t seem to be the America that my Grandparents cherished from their youth… reading Abraham Lincoln’s words make me feel even further removed.  In high school, what stood out to me was our acceptance of abortions.

Now it’s the acceptance of all religions as being equally valid and true; such pluralism is what hurt King Solomon’s reign and Israel’s protection in the Old Testament.  I think we always need to accept that there will be religions that stand against the Lord of the Bible that Abraham Lincoln spoke about in his this speech I quoted.  The fight to kill the unborn is as strong as ever.  Now homosexuality is the new fighting ground, and if a person speaks out against the perils of homosexuality, there will be persecution, though that person will be made out to be the persecutor.  Recent mass-shootings indicate the level of godlessness that has swept over our nation.

We reap what we sow, and I agree with Lincoln… I wish we as a nation could turn back to the Lord.  Christians, we must pray for our leaders, all of them!  This is commanded in Scripture – Look it up; it’s 1 Timothy 2:1-7.

Christians we must stand in the gap right now, stand like Ezekiel did.  (Ezekiel 22:30)  Everyone, we must repent.  To echo Lincoln’s words by quoting Scripture, from 1 John 1:9-1:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

The invitation is there… God is drawing you to himself through the work of Jesus Christ.  Repent, believe, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, if you haven’t already received Him.

Greek Gods vs. Jesus

greek godsWe can understand the Greek gods.  If Zues is upset, he’ll smite thee!  He’ll release the Kraken!  No problem there.  If you’re hot, he’ll have sex with you, and he won’t take no for an answer.  We get these gods, because they’re like us.  They’re who we’d be if we were gods.  They’re sinners hyped up with super-powers and over-sized egos, hanging out on a Mountain in the sky, acting like hormonally out of control teenagers all day and all through the night.

Jesus on the other hand.  He’s not so easy for us to grasp.  God in the flesh dying on a cross at the hands of his own creation so they might have eternal life.  There are a lot of doctrines in the Bible to unpack to understand the significance of why God would have to die in the person of Jesus Christ so we might have life after death, but this is for certain; Jesus is not like any of the gods on Mount Olympus!

Order a Contradict Sticker.

Modern Day Worship Service Compared to 1 Corinthians 14

Check out this parody video of a modern day “contemporary” service:

What stood out to me in the video was the part that says, “And only one man has the answers.”  Many churches operate this way.  Only one person speaks to the congregation.  Only one person has the answers.  There isn’t time during the gathering to question that man, either in questioning for clarification or any confusion you have about what he is teaching or to question if what he is saying is in accord with God’s Word.  When he is finished speaking, there is no confirmation or affirmation of the message by those who heard it built into the service agenda/outline.

How does this common service outline of a “contemporary” service match what is found in 1 Corinthians 14?  How does a common “liturgical” or “traditional” service match what is found in 1 Corinthians 14?

I think we all need to read 1 Cor. 14 and pray over that chapter and the type of worship order that Paul describes. A lot of churches hold strong and firm to the part about not speaking in tongues unless there is an interpreter, and if there is speaking in tongues to not have more than 2-3 people do it, but completely skip the part about having more than one speaker (prophet) or the time for others to share revelations and other Scripture passages that affirm the message or correct it, as this video pointed out, in our modern day services, “One man alone has the answers.” It creates a be fed mentality and not a learn to feed yourself and feed others congregation.  We often times call our services fellowship, but is there much fellowship in them if everyone is facing forward and singing only what is told for them to sing, standing and sitting when told to do so, and communicating with one another only when told to shake hands and greet people, and only interacting briefly or none at all with the person who was up front teaching, while not knowing the individual needs of those around us, or being able to use our gifts of encouragement, prayer, teaching, generosity, prophecy, healing, and etc. unless we’re on the stage?