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Bible verses about Jesus Christ's Divinity
(From Forerunner Commentary)

When the Word became a man, He entered into a new state of being. He was a fleshly person with two natures. The word likeness in the Greek text (Philippians 2:7; Romans 8:3) refers to "that which is made like something else." His humanity was a real likeness. He was not a phantom, as some of the Docetists believed, but His human likeness did not and could not express the whole of His being. Jesus was also God, but His human form could never express the fullness of God, even though He was God.

"Fully man and fully God" is a cliché that has an appealing simplicity to it. At the least, however, it obscures a reality that should be more accurately articulated and understood. At the worst, it is a confusing and misleading statement that defies accurate biblical explanation.

It would be far better to use the expressions already inspired in the text of our Bibles. John, as mentioned above, writes, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). He gives no percentages of fullness of either humanity or divinity. Paul says something similar in Hebrews 2:14: "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same."

Jesus Christ was Immanuel, God with us. Jesus of Nazareth had as much of God's nature in Him as could be expressed in a human being.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Man and Fully God?


 

Psalm 45:2-7

Psalm 45 is a Messianic prophecy. The word for "God" used once of the Messiah and later for the Messiah's God, is elohim. Paul quotes this psalm in Hebrews 1:8-9 to prove that Jesus ("through whom also He made the worlds," verse 2) is worthy of the worship of angels. To worship anything less than God breaks the first commandment! This shows Jesus to be God before and after His incarnation.

John W. Ritenbaugh
God Is . . . What?


 

Matthew 11:2-3

Because the prophet Isaiah foretold the Messiah's exercise of miraculous power (Isaiah 35:4-6; 42:7), John the Baptizer asked for such a sign of Christ. Jesus replied: "The blind receive their sight and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them" (verse 5). His miracles provided proof of who He was.

Christ came into the world, not only as God's personal representative on earth, but as God manifest in flesh. He was Himself a miracle in human form, and His miraculous works are bound up inseparably with His life. When we accept the miracles of His prophesied birth, sinless life, and glorious resurrection, then any other miracle is possible. Born holy, undefiled, and separate from sinners (Hebrews 7:26), He was conscious of His God-given responsibility to bless and relieve mankind in miraculous ways.

In describing Jesus' healing miracles, Luke, a doctor, emphasized the power of God by saying, "The power of the Lord was present to heal them" (Luke 5:17), and "the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all" (Luke 6:19). Similarly in Acts, Peter describes "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38).

One could say Christ's miracles were parables in deeds, just as His parables were miracles in words. God designed His miracles to symbolize His power to meet spiritual needs, as well as physical and material ones. Jesus' recorded miracles are real-life experiences of what it means to be under the wonderful rule of the powerful but merciful King of God's Kingdom.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ (Part One)


 

Matthew 11:25-27

Moses asked to see the visible glory of God, and He proclaimed His name verbally. Jesus is saying, "If you want to see the mind and nature of God, if you want to see His attitudes, look at Me." God reveals Himself and declares His glory to us through the life, works, and words of Jesus of Nazareth as He opens our minds by His Holy Spirit.

Jesus is "the way" because of all mankind, only He, unmarred by sin, has intimate knowledge of God. Knowing God depends on our knowledge of the truth about Jesus. He shows the way we must walk, the direction and manner of living and relating to others. This is precisely the knowledge Jesus gives. Many times when we ask directions in a strange city, the response confuses us because we are unfamiliar with the town. But when we ask directions of Jesus, He says, "Come, follow Me, and I will take you there."

Some people may teach truth, but He embodies truth; He is "the truth." A man may teach geometry, and his character may not affect his teaching. But if one teaches moral truth, character is paramount. Keeping the third commandment properly revolves around knowing the truth about God and His way.

Colossians 1:15; 2:9 are among the strongest statements in the Bible about the divine nature of Jesus: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. . . . For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." He not only is equal to and reflects God, but He also reveals God to us because He is God. He is completely holy and has authority to judge the world.

We can have no clearer view of God than by looking at Christ. He is the full revelation of God to man. He is the complete expression of God in a human body. He is unique: God became a man, imposing upon Himself the same time-space limitations as other men.

He had every opportunity to waste time, get sick, eat gluttonously and become overweight, drink and experience a hangover, "fly off the handle" in anger, or attack others when someone pricked His vanity. He could have become bitter from rejection or depressed when things did not go His way. He could have worked or played with intense competitiveness to "win at all costs." He had to face death, His own as well as of loved ones. He could have felt "the deck was stacked" against Him.

The gospels show God coping with life on the same terms as men. Now we can really see what kind of character God possesses. Jesus' life gives us firsthand knowledge of what the true way of life is, allowing us to cooperate with Him in His purpose. Among many other things, we see God teaching, healing, sacrificing His life, correcting in love, guarding His flock, and patiently counseling.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Third Commandment (1997)


 

John 1:1-4

"The Word" in this passage is translated from the Greek logos, which means "spokesman," "word," or "revelatory thought." It is a name there used for an individual Personage. But who or what is this Logos? Notice the explanation in verse 14:

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

When he was born as Jesus Christ, he was flesh and blood, materialistic, and could be seen, touched, and felt. But what was he? As God—as the Logos? That is answered in John 4:24, "God is a Spirit," and spirit is invisible. We know what was his form and shape as the human Jesus. But of what form and shape was He as the Word?

The Word, then, is a Personage who was made flesh—begotten by God, who through this later begettal became his Father. Yet at that prehistoric time of the first verse of John 1, the Word was not (yet) the Son of God. He divested himself of his glory as a Spirit divinity to be begotten as a human person. He was made God's Son, through being begotten or sired by God and born of the virgin Mary.

So here we find revealed originally two Personages. One is God. And with God in that prehistoric time was another Personage who also was God—one who later was begotten and born as Jesus Christ. But these two Personages were spirit, which is invisible to human eyes unless supernaturally manifested. Yet, at the time described in verse one, Jesus was not the Son of God, and God was not His Father.

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
Fully Man and Fully God? (2001)


 

Philippians 2:5-6

These verses provide the background for Christ's incarnation. The first word we need to consider is form in verse 6. It is the Greek morphe, for which English has no exact equivalent. Unlike "form" in English, morphe does not mean "shape." It is a philosophical term that means "the outward expression of an inner essence." We can derive an illustration of this definition from figure skating. One might say, "I went to the Winter Olympics, and the figure skater's form was outstanding." What is meant is that skater's swift, rhythmic grace, and coordinated movements were an outward expression of his inward ability to skate expertly.

Jesus was in the form (morphe) of God. The word being indicates a condition that began in the past and continues into the present. Therefore, while on earth, the outward expression of His inmost being was the expression of the divine essence, deity. Paul means that when the One who became Jesus, the Word, came to earth to assume the form of a man, He did not cease being God.

Also in verse 6 is the word consider, meaning "to make a judgment based on facts." Paul desires us to weigh the difference between Christ's original state with what He became as a man. He implies that the difference—and thus His humility in making such a sacrifice—is awesome.

The word robbery has two applications: "to seize unlawfully" or "a treasure to be clutched and retained at all hazards." Since the subject of this section is Christ's humility, the second meaning must be the proper application. Christ humbly did not assert His right to consider the expression of His divine essence such a treasure that He should hold on to it at all hazards. He waived that right. This is the very essence of humility.

Finally, God in verse 6 does not refer to a Personage, or it would say "the God" in the Greek. Since it does not, it must refer to deity in general, that is, the expression of the divine essence.

Verse 6, then, declares that, before His incarnation, the Word outwardly expressed His essential nature—Deity—and He judged that being equal with Deity in the expression of the divine essence was not a treasure to be clung to and held at all hazards. Thus, He gave it up to take on another outward expression.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Man and Fully God?


 

Philippians 2:5-7

Can anything that has some part removed from it still be as much as it was before? In the Word's case, He surrendered a level of existence never experienced by any human being, since only God lives at such a level in terms of both quality and length. We should not forget that what He gave up included immortality. If this is the case, was He as fully God as a human as He was before?

Of course, the other side of this picture is His humanity. In Philippians 2:5-7, Paul is saying that God exchanged one form of expression for another. Therefore, He never ceased being what He originally was, just the expression of what He was changed. Therefore, He was not a man in the strictest sense of what a man is—as we are. He was the Word of God manifest in the flesh and nature of a man. Can we then say He was fully man?

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Man and Fully God?


 

Philippians 2:6-7

Phillips renders this, "For he, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his privileges as God's equal, but stripped Himself of every advantage by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born a man." Moffatt translates, "Though he was divine by nature, he did not set store upon equality with God, but emptied himself by taking the nature of a servant; born in human guise and appearing in human form." As in other scriptures, He was God, divine by nature, with—beside, accompanying—a different personality also called God!

John W. Ritenbaugh
God Is . . . What?


 

Philippians 2:7

The clause, "He made Himself of no reputation," more literally reads, "He emptied Himself." Instead of asserting His rights to the expression of the essence of Deity, He waived His rights and relinquished them. Compared to the fullness of God, He must indeed have felt empty once He gave up "the form of God"!

The word form in verse 7 is the same Greek word as in verse 6. The grammatical structure of the sentence demands that the "taking the form of a servant" preceded and caused His "making Himself of no reputation." Remember, form is the outward expression of inner nature. The sentence, though, indicates an exchange of such expression. Therefore, being a servant was not something of His inner nature that had been previously expressed. It was not His usual mode of outward expression. Before, He conveyed glory and sovereignty over all things, but afterward, He manifested servanthood.

An event in the life of Jesus may help explain this exchange of expressions. What happened in His incarnation was the exact opposite of what occurred at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-5; Mark 9:2-7). Luke writes that His "appearance . . . was altered" (Luke 9:29), and Peter, James, and John "saw His glory" (verse 32). On the Mount of Transfiguration, He was changed from His normal, human outward expression as a servant to the outward expression of Deity.

Of what did He empty Himself? He did not empty Himself of His Deity, but rather the outward expression of His Deity and all it implies. As one author puts it, "He emptied Himself of His existence-in-a-manner-equal-to-God." He set aside His legitimate and natural desires and prerogatives as Deity so that He might express Himself as a servant.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Man and Fully God?


 

Colossians 2:6-10

In verse 8, the word translated as "basic principles of the world" refers to elementary things. Compared to Christ, in terms of being, every other being is lesser because he or she is created. In terms of teaching, every other instruction is elementary, basic, even demonic. In terms of salvation, no other is able to save human beings.

In verses 9-10, Paul again emphasizes Christ's primacy and superiority, including the facts that He is divine and over demons in authority. He adds in verses 11-15 that, for Christians, Jesus has already defeated the principalities and powers, along with their purposes, through their conversion.

As Colossians 1:16 states, Christ's rank extends back to the very beginning, as the One used to create all things. Thus, He is the God (John 1:1) referred to in nearly every place in the Old Testament where God is mentioned. This is especially important to grasp.

John 14:10 aids us in understanding His operations as a man: "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works." Matthew 26:52-53 clarifies this through an example: "But Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?'"

While He was human, His power as a God-Being was suspended as part of His emptying Himself to become a man (Philippians 2:5-8). He thus operated on the same level as all other men, except for the innate power He possessed due to His divine nature, enabling Him to live by faith sinlessly. Better than all other men, He understood the purpose God is working out, and He believed it. Notice to whom He said He could turn in time of need.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Power Belongs to God (Part Two)


 

Colossians 2:9-10

At every turn, it seems, the main object of Gnosticism was to twist the nature of Christ. Some Gnostics believed that Jesus was a man, but that Christ entered into Jesus when He was baptized and left Him right before He died. Other Gnostics believed that Jesus did not really die - because, after all, if He died, then He was not really God. Others believed that He could not have been perfect and sinless because He created matter, which Gnostics believed to be evil. And there were also those who believed that Jesus Christ was a created being - an idea that is still affecting the fringes of the church of God today.

So if we want to counter Gnosticism, we must begin with the truth of Jesus Christ. Paul emphasizes this in verses 9-10: Jesus was the fullness of the divine nature in bodily form, and He is the head, the leader, the sovereign, of every principality and power. Though the Gnostics in their various views always twisted or denied some aspect of the nature and role of Jesus Christ, these truths brought out by the apostle are bedrock beliefs for true Christians.

Also foundational to countering Gnosticism is the truth that Jesus brought. To combat the false knowledge that threatens to plunder our spiritual riches, we must take the Bible as the complete and inspired Word of God, against which we can test any concept, tradition, doctrine, or philosophy, no matter how good it sounds on the surface. Gnostics would not readily accept the Bible as God's inspired revelation, or if they did, they also held that other ancient, secret writings were on par with Scripture, and could be trusted to provide greater insight.

In addition, Gnostics were also avid proponents of "progressive revelation," the belief that God is continuing to reveal His will to mankind, but with the implication that Holy Scripture is not as important as hearing directly from the spirit world. Thus, some today, while not entirely rejecting the Bible, believe that "God" is personally revealing things to them - things which often contradict what He has already given to mankind in the His written Word.

David C. Grabbe
Whatever Happened to Gnosticism? Part Two: Defining Gnosticism


 

Hebrews 7:24-28

The Aaronic priesthood—including the high priest—was just as sinful as the population that they were to be serving. In order for this to be corrected, it was necessary that the true High Priest be one of divine nature, perfect, and sinless. Jesus Christ was both deity and humanity, and He qualified—through His sinlessness, His offering of His life, and His compassion—to be High Priest for the entirety of humanity. The book of Hebrews points out these things: 1) that He was divine, 2) that He offered His perfect life in sacrifice, and 3) that His mercy qualified Him to be High Priest.

Aaron's sons attained to the priesthood simply by being born into the Aaronic line. Members of the church, though, become priests by means of regeneration, making us part of the Divine Family—and thus brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.

John W. Ritenbaugh
New Covenant Priesthood (Part 1)


 

 




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