Declaring God's Plan of Redemption to a Lost and Hurting World
Who is Jesus? Is he fact or fable? How do we know who he really is? These are questions that you may have never asked yourself for a variety of different reasons. Some might say he was just a man who lived upon this earth 2000 years ago. Others credit him as being a prophet. Why then is it so important that we know, without a doubt, who Jesus really is? We must know about Jesus' true identity because he determines our eternal future.|
The answers to the questions in the above paragraph can be found in the Bible, God's written "handbook" to mankind. God has given us eternal life, but in order to receive life, we must know who Jesus is and the work He has done on our behalf. You might ask, "What relevance does a man who lived 2000 years ago have on my life and every other life upon the face of the earth?" Because... Jesus was not just a man; He was, is, and always will be God.
This "dual identity" of Jesus (being both man and God) is something totally beyond our grasp of human understanding. How could God be God and man at the same time? The idea defies all our human logic, and although it's difficult for us to understand how God accomplished this feat, we have to rely on the fact that God can do all things. We as humans don't understand all the processes involved in how God created the universe, but we nevertheless accept the fact that the universe and everything within it exist by God's hands. We have to remember that God's ways and thoughts are different than ours, so we can't just refute certain ideas about God because they don't align themselves within, what we might call, the natural laws of the universe.
How do we know that Jesus is really God?
So...how do we know for sure that Jesus really is God in the flesh? We can look at different scriptures in the Bible about the character and attributes of both Jesus and God.
1. Jesus claims equality with God.
"...I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)
2. God has complete authority over all things. Note the following verses which show that Jesus was given authority over all things as well. Jesus could only claim this authority because He was and is God.
Jesus says, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Matthew 28:18)
In John 16:15, Jesus again restates that he has authority because He says, "all that belongs to the Father is mine."
3. Only God is able to forgive sin. Following is the passage from Luke 5:21-24 where Jesus confronts the Pharisees when He is accused of blasphemy.
"The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone? Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? But that you know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins..."
4. Since God tells us we are not to have any other gods other than Him, it would be impossible that God would show others (and inform us) that we are to worship Jesus, unless Jesus were God.
Matthew 2:2 tells us Jesus' birth and how the wise men came to worship Jesus.
"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star and have come to worship him."
After Jesus ascended into Heaven, the disciples "worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy." (Luke 24:52)
In John 9:35-38, a blind man worships Jesus.
"Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" "Who is he, sir?" the man asked. "Tell me so that I may believe in him." Jesus said, "you have now seen him, in fact, he is the one speaking with you." Then the man said, 'Lord, I believe,' and he worshiped him."
Jesus is also worshiped by his disciples after they saw Him walking on the water.
"And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." (Matthew 14:33)
5. God tells us that his glory is His alone; He will not give it or share it with another.
"I am the Lord, that is my name! I will not give my glory to another..." (Isaiah 42:8)
"...How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another." (Isaiah 48:11)
However, Jesus tells us that He has been given God's glory and He shares this glory with God.
"I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one." (John 17:22)
"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world." (John 17:24)
"And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." (John 17:5)
"When he was gone, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once." (John 13:31-32)
6. God shows us that He, the creator of the universe, and Jesus Christ, the head of the church, are one and the same.
Revelation 4:11 tells us that God created all things.
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created, and have their being."
In Colossians 1:16-18, we see that the creator of the universe is also the head of the church.
"For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy."
Ephesians 5:23 tells us that the head of the church is Jesus Christ.
"For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior."
What do we do with the information God has given us?
The Bible clearly demonstrates that Jesus is God, but just knowing the facts will not give us eternal life and get us into Heaven. We must know what we have to do with this valuable information that God has provided us. Jesus tells us that we can only be saved through Him. We cannot attain eternal life in Heaven by "living a good life" or "trying to make sure our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds". God has given us no other means apart from faith in Jesus Christ by which we can be saved.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)
"And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:11-13)
"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
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