Friday, July 23, 2010

If Jesus is really God...

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Colossians 2:1-15

TO CHEW ON: "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Colossians 2:9

There is nothing subtle in the statement Paul makes about Jesus in Colossians 2:9. He says in plain words, He is God.

This probably doesn't sound controversial to us if we're from a Christian heritage, privy as we are to the New Testament as well as the Old, the writings of scholars, theologians and apologists spanning the centuries. But it was controversial to people in the first century who had only the evidence of three years of Jesus' ministry and the word of eye witnesses. And it is a controversial statement to many moderns who lump Jesus in with founders of other religions and think of him as merely one prophet among many.

But, as H.C. Thiessen says in his Lectures in Systematic Theology: 
"The Son is recognized as God. The importance of the doctrine of the deity of Christ can scarcely be overestimated. Jesus Christ does not sustain the same relation to Christianity that other founders of religion sustain to the faiths which they have originated. Buddha (B.C. 563-484), Confucius (551-478), and Mohammed (A.D. 570?-632) are significant primarily for their teaching; but Jesus Christ is significant primarily for His person." p. 138.

There isn't room in one short devotional to list the proofs (with supporting Bible references) that Jesus is God, as theologians like Thiessen have done so ably -- proving that He:
- has the attributes of deity (is eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, immutable)
- fulfills the offices of deity (as creator and sustainer of the created world).
- exercises the prerogatives of deity (forgives sins, raises the dead, will execute judgement). etc.

If you're interested in studying this, there are many great internet resources. For a start, check out John Piper's category the "Deity of Christ" (on the Desiring God site) which contains numerous links.

I, for one, am convinced. But what difference does a belief in Christ's deity make? I can think of three responses:

1. I can have confidence that Jesus IS the way to God -- as He says in John 14:6. I can proclaim this without apology, even though such audacious certainty is not politically correct in our society, which encourages tolerance of any and all opinions on how we get to God.

2. The logical response is to give Him my life. This is exactly the plea Paul makes to the Romans. After exclaiming over the excellence of God's plan and way of working in Romans 11:33-36, he goes on in Romans 12:1 to say: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."

3. I can have peace, knowing that I have the best. As the verse following today's focus verse says "…you are complete in Him…" (Colossians 2:10).

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I acknowledge You as God and Lord of my life. Help me to understand all this means in everyday living. Amen.

MORE: "Fairest Lord Jesus" - Ross Parsley

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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