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John 1:1–18

“In the beginning was the Word . . . and the Word was God” (v. 1).

Reformation theology is self-consciously Trinitarian in nature, affirming not a generic monotheism but the monotheism of Scripture. Biblical monotheism declares, as the great ecumenical creeds of the church explain, that God is one in essence and three in person. Among other things, this means that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equally God, each possessing everything that is essential to deity.

Having considered the deity of the Father, we move today to considering the deity of the Son. John 1:1–18 contains some of the clearest teaching on this subject. In this text, we read of the Word of God who was God (v. 1) and of His incarnation (v. 14). This Word is also identified as the Son of God (v. 14), so we have in this passage John’s presentation of God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, taking on a human nature and walking among us. Jesus Christ is the divine person of the Son of God in whom are perfectly and inseparably united deity and humanity, without mixture or confusion, with each nature retaining its own attributes.

Many other biblical texts present for us the deity of the Son of God. In addition to direct presentations of the full deity of Christ in passages such as John 1:1–18, we also find several other texts in which Christ does things that only God can do. Mark 2:1–12, for example, records our Savior claiming the authority to forgive sins. The scribes understood exactly what He was doing and they were offended, and they would have been rightly offended if Jesus were not God incarnate. But though they were wrong about Jesus’ identity, their offense demonstrates that they knew He was claiming deity for Himself.

There are other texts in which God’s work is also attributed to Jesus. Jude 5, for instance, tells us that “Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” Of course, the Old Testament attributes Israel’s release from Egyptian slavery to Yahweh, the covenant Lord of Israel (Ex. 20:2), so Jude is telling us that Jesus is Yahweh. Jesus is the same God who rescued the Israelites from Pharaoh.

These texts are just the barest sample of the testimony of the New Testament to the deity of Christ. Only those with the hardest of hearts can deny that the Bible reveals Jesus as the Lord God Almighty who is worthy of all our love and worship.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

Jesus calls those who serve Him His friends (John 15:13–15), but this should not lead us to see Christ as merely a friend. The One who is our friend is also our Lord, and we are to seek to worship and honor Him in all that we do. To be a Christian is to worship Jesus as God.

For Further Study
  • Isaiah 7:14
  • Micah 5:2
  • Romans 9:5
  • 2 Peter 1:1
Related Scripture
  • John

God the Father

Not the Father

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From the January 2017 Issue
Jan 2017 Issue