by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Titus 2:11-14
I. The religious world holds diverse views in regards to Jesus
A. Is he a man or God? Or is it possible for him to be both?
B. Oneness Pentecostals argue that there is only one God, and his name is Jesus.
C. Jehovah’s Witnesses also claim there is one God, but state that his name is Jehovah. Jesus is just the first of Jehovah’s creation.
D. It is hard to answer all the arguments, since there are so many. But today I would like to focus whether Jesus is God.
II. Jesus is distinct from the Father
A. Jesus speaks of His Father as a separate being
1. The Father and Jesus are working - John 5:17, 19
2. Jesus speaks of the Father loving him - John 5:20
3. There has been a delegation of authority - John 5:22, 26-27
4. Jesus doesn’t do his own will - John 5:30
5. Jesus mentions that self-witness is useless (John 5:31) and that there are separate witnesses to him (John 5:32), in that list of separate witnesses he mentions the Father (John 5:37-38)
B. The Father speaks of Jesus as a separate being
1. Matthew 3:16-17 - This is my beloved Son, also Matthew 17:5
2. I John 5:9 - God has borne witness of His Son
C. He is listed separately
1. Ephesians 4:4-6 - One Spirit, One Lord, One God and Father
D. Jesus was with God - John 1:1
III. Jesus is the Son of God
A. This is a point Jehovah’s Witnesses want to make: they claim that a son is not the same as the father.
1. As one Jehovah’s Witness told me, “The son of a president is not a president.”
2. The slight of hand is the mixing of terms
a. To illustrate: The son of a dog is still a dog
b. President is a position which only one person can hold at a time.
c. Deity is not a position, but the nature of the being.
B. The Jews realized that claiming to be the Son of God was a claim to being God - John 5:18
1. The Jehovah’s Witnesses try to avoid this by saying that John only recorded what the Jews said.
2. Look again. It isn’t a quote. The Jews sought to kill him for two things. The second one because it made him equal to God.
C. God calls His Son God - Hebrews 1:8
IV. Jesus was also God
A. Jesus was God - John 1:1
1. Daniel B. Wallace, quoted by William D. Mounce, Basics of Biblical Greek, p. 27-28
a. “Generally speaking, When a word is thrown in front of the clause it is done so for emphasis. When a predicate nominative is thrown in front of the verb, by virtue of word order it takes on emphasis. A good illustration of this is John 1:1c. The English versions typically have, “and the Word was God.” But in Greek, the word order was been reversed. It reads, “and God was the Word.” (καὶ θεός ?ν ὁ λόγος) We know that “the Word” is the subject because it has the definite article, and we translate it accordingly: “and the Word was God.” Two questions, both of theological import, should come to mind: (1) why was “God” thrown forward? And (2) why does it lack the article? In brief, its emphatic position stresses its essence or quality: “What God was, the Word was” is how one translation brings out this force. Its lack of a definite article keeps us from identifying the person of the Word (Jesus Christ) with the person of “God” (the Father). That is to say, the word order tells us that Jesus Christ has all the divine attributes that the Father has; lack of the article tells us that Jesus Christ is not the Father.”
2. To get what Jehovah’s Witnesses wish to claim, that Jesus was just a god in the sense that some men are “gods” in that they are God’s representatives you would need “and the Word was God” (καὶ ὁ λόγος ?ν θεός) in the Greek. This is why no English translation, outside the Jehovah’s Witnesses own poorly done one and a handful of other bad translations, says that "the Word was a god."
3. To get that Jesus and the Father are the same you would need “and the God was the Word” (καὶ ὁ λόγος ?ν ὁ θεός).
4. In other words John 1:1 says the same as Colossians 2:8-9, just in a concisely worded form.
B. God with us - Isaiah 7:14
1. The name Immanuel is “God with us” - Matthew 1:23
2. There is no other God - Isaiah 43:10
3. Yet Jesus is “God with us”
4. In speaking of that Son - Isaiah 9:6
a. Notice the names mighty God and everlasting Father.
C. God alone is to be worshiped - Matthew 4:10
1. The worship of others is rejected
a. Acts 10:25-26 - Man is not to be worshiped
b. Revelation 22:8-9 - Angels refused worship
2. When one man received worship, he was killed - Acts 12:21-23
3. The angels were commanded to worship Jesus - Hebrews 1:6
4. Jesus received worship on several occasions
a. Matthew 8:2 - Healing of the leper
b. Matthew 9:18 - The ruler of the synagogue
c. Matthew 14:33 - The disciples
d. Matthew 15:25 - The Canaanite woman
e. Matthew 28:9 - The disciples after his resurrection, also Matthew 28:16-17
5. Jehovah’s Witnesses say none of this matters because David was worshiped (e.g. I Samuel 25:23).
a. Where we make a distinction in English, both Hebrew and Greek use one word for bowing before another. Context demands whether it was worship or not
b. Their response is that Jesus wasn’t receiving worship as God.
c. But note Matthew 28:16-17 and compare with John 20:28.
d. Jesus confirmed the truth of Thomas’ statement - John 20:29
e. As Paul points out, there is no other God - I Corinthians 8:4-6
f. Jesus must be God.
D. God will not give His glory to another - Isaiah 42:8; 48:11
1. Jesus had the glory of the Father - John 1:14
2. All should honor Jesus, just as the Father - John 5:22-23
3. Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that this is meaningless because Jesus shares his glory with his followers - John 17:22
a. In essence they are saying that Isaiah 42:8 doesn’t have weight.
b. But let’s just say it meant for that period of time.
c. Jesus had that glory from the beginning - John 17:5
d. That would have been at the time God said he would not share it with another
4. Read Isaiah 6:1-10. How many glories are seen here? Just God’s.
a. John 12:36-37, 39-43 - Isaiah 6:10 is quoted to say that they Pharisees refused to recognize Jesus.
b. But notice that John says they preferred man’s glory to God’s. The implication is that Jesus was displaying, or had, God’s glory.
5. In Philippians 2:6, Jesus “being in the form of God.”
a. The Greek is active, that is Jesus remaining in the form of God
b. Jesus has God’s form, that is, God’s nature (His glory).
E. The spirit returns to God - Ecclesiastes 12:7
1. Yet Stephen prays to Jesus to receive his spirit - Acts 7:59
F. Only God knows the hearts of men - I Kings 8:39
1. Yet Jesus knew the hearts of men - Luke 5:22; John 2:24-25
G. God is the only Savior - Isaiah 43:11; 45:21
1. God is our Savior - Titus 2:10
2. But notice just a few verses later - Titus 2:13
a. The appearance is something only used in connection with Jesus.
b. Jesus is called both God and Savior!
c. As does Peter - II Peter 1:1
H. God is the only Rock - Isaiah 26:4; 44:8
1. I Corinthians 10:4 - Jesus is the Rock
I. God rules the seas and stills the waves - Psalm 89:8-9
1. Jesus stills the sea - Matthew 8:23-27
J. God alone made the world - Isaiah 44:24
1. The world was made by the Word (Jesus) - John 1:3
2. All things were made for and by Jesus - Colossians 1:16
3. God made the world through Jesus - Hebrews 1:2
K. God is, was, and will be - Revelation 1:4
1. The Lord Jesus is, was and will be - Revelation 1:8
L. God declares that He is the first and the last - Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; Revelation 21:5-6
1. Jesus is the first and the last - Revelation 22:12-13
V. Jesus is a member of God
A. We cannot declare that the Father and the Son are same being because many of Jesus’ statements about the relationship between he and the Father become nonsensical - Matthew 24:36
B. We cannot declare that Jesus lacked deity or lacked deity while here on earth - Colossians 2:9
C. John declares Jesus to be both God and with God - John 1:1
D. The only reasonable conclusion is that there is one God who is composed of three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.