Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jesus is God, and you are not. Neither am I for that matter.

In yet another great sermon, our pastor asked us a lot of rhetorical questions. If the world is the Lord’s, then whose is it not? Well, it's not ours, that's not whose it's not.

So when the Bible says we were created to rule over creation, this doesn't mean it's ours; it means we're to be regents, or stewards. We're supposed to take care of it, because it's his, not ours. (This is where I'm tempted to pick a fight with atheistic relativistic environmentalists: if the world doesn't belong to God, if man is "just" another part of nature, then what objection is there to the idea of just having most powerful exploit our planet for whatever reason they want? In the wild it's survival of the fittest, right? But that's a fight for another day.)

Today's objection is to the Mormons and the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” -- both of whom have a view of Jesus Christ contradictory to what the Scriptures teach us. I'll sum up the orthodox (note the lowercase "o") view:

Jesus is God, and we are not.
If I think Jesus isn't God, I make one kind of error; if I think that I am God (or could become God), I make another.

Rather a simplistic way to summarize the Christian faith I know, but really what I'm trying to do here is simply show how it differs from two major cults. So rather than talking about what the cults say, let's focus on what the Bible does say about Jesus. Here are a few points for consideration.

  1. Jesus is the creator: Colossians 1:16 says that "all things were created by him and for him." John 1:3 says so too: "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."
  2. John 1 has a lot to say about this: In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. We know this is talking about Jesus because in John 1:14 it says that the word became flesh, and his name, the name of Jesus Christ, appears in John 1:17.
  3. Jesus never ever sinned, as Hebrews 4:15 (and many other passages) say. This is why he was able to pay for the sin of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2).
  4. As Jesus himself said, "Worship the Lord your God and serve him only" (Matthew 4:10) Yet the Magi worshiped him (Matthew 2:10); the disciples worshiped him (Matthew 14:33); the women who saw him after the resurrection worshiped him (Matthew 28:9) -- and that's just in Matthew's gospel! There are lots more cases where Jesus doesn't reject worship. (Note that Paul and Barnabas rejected worship in Acts 14:10-18.)
  5. Thomas correctly recognized Jesus as God (John 20:28) and Jesus didn't contradict him.
So the Holy Bible teaches us that Jesus is extraordinary and in fact that he is God, and that we are not! Christ does call us brothers (Hebrews 2:11-12) as he called his disciples brothers (John 20:17). Yet although the Bible says "we will be like him" (1 John 3:2) this doesn't mean we're going to be God; it means that we will be purified (1 John 3:3).

If therefore someone tells you that Jesus used to be sinful like we are, or that we can someday become God like he is, you can be sure that they don't have a firm grasp on the truth as taught in the Bible. Likewise if someone tells you that Jesus isn't eternal -- e.g., that he's just very old.

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