The Deity of Christ: Another Approach
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* Message Centered on Himself: Christ spoke often of the Father. Still, He preached an egocentric message. Jesus said: follow Me · believe in Me · abide in Me · do all for My sake · confess Me · love Me · come to Me · keep My commandments · receive Me · seek Me · I bear witness of Myself · I am the truth · I am the life. Should a created being direct most attention to the Father, or focus upon himself? Bible teachers use a handful of verses to establish Christ’s identity. As is his style, Bob Enyart starts with a sweeping overview of the Bible to address the deity of Christ. This study stuns and delights, respectively, those disputing and affirming His divinity.
For centuries, as affirmed at the Council of Nicea, Christians have used a wonderful list of Bible verses to demonstrate from God's Word the deity of Jesus Christ. Here is another avenue, similar to the "Big Picture View" approach in The Plot: An Overview of the Bible.
Thus Saith the Lord: If we count how many times the Old Testament prophets said, “Thus says the Lord” we find them using that phrase, in the New King James Version of the Bible, about 420 times. The New Testament on the other hand, never once records that phrase. Jesus Christ, with all the red ink devoted to recording His words, never once used that ubiquitous phrase, “Thus saith the Lord.” Rather, Jesus proclaims, “I say to you,” in the Gospels! Not a single “Thus says the Lord,” but rather, “I say to you,” 135 times. The following chart demonstrates biblically that these two phrases, Thus saith the Lord, and I say unto you, indicate the same thing, that God is speaking. For Jesus Christ made it clear that He Himself was at the heart of His teaching. Unlike the righteous priests and kings, prophets and the apostles, the Lord focused His message on Himself:
- “Follow Me” 19x Mt. 4:19; 8:22; 10:38; 16:24; 19:21; Mk. 1:17; 2:14; 8:34; 10:21; Lk. 5:27; 9:59; 18:22; Jn. 1:43; 8:12; 10:27; 12:26; 13:36; 21:19, 22
- Pray and act “in My name” 18x Mt. 7:22; 18:5; 18:20; [24:5]; Mk. 9:37, 39, 41; [13:6]; Lk. 9:48; [21:8]; 24:47; Jn. 14:13?14; 15:16; 16:23?24, 26; Acts 9:15
- “the Holy Spirit” comes “in My name” Jn. 14:26
- “for My name’s sake” leave family and property Mt. 19:29; or even be killed 5x Mt. 24:9; [Lk. 21:12, 17;] Jn. 15:21; Acts 9:16
- Believe in the “name of the… Son” and “in the Son” 3x Jn. 3:18, 36; 9:35 and “in Him [Jesus]” 4x Jn. 3:18; 6:29, 40; 8:31
- “believe in Me” 14x Mt. 18:6; Mk. 9:42; Jn. 3:15?16, 18; 6:35, 47; 7:38; 11:25, 26; 12:44, 46; 14:1, 12; 16:8; 17:20
- You “are sanctified by faith in Me” Acts 26:18
- Live “in Me” Jn. 11:26
- “come after Me” Mk. 8:34; Lk. 14:27
- Abide “in Me” Jn. 15:2, 4:5, 7 “abide in Me” or else Jn. 15:6 “abide in My love” Jn. 15:9?10
- “where two or three are gathered,” Jesus is “there in the midst of them” Mt. 18:20 [projected presence]
- So too: “I [Jesus, will abide] in you” Jn. 15:4?5
- “know that I am He” Jn. 8:28 or “if you do not believe that I am He you will die in your sins” Jn. 8:24
- Do things “for My sake” Mt. 10:22, 39; even lose your life “for My sake” 4x Mt. 16:25; Mk. 8:35; 10:29; Lk. 6:22
- “I never knew you, depart from Me” Mt. 7:23
Every story has a plot, and a story’s details can be confusing unless you understand its overview. The Bible tells the story of human history and the work of God for His creation, and this story has a plot as well! Grasping the big picture will help you reconcile many seemingly contradictory, and controversial Bible passages. Achieve a fuller understanding of God’s plan from Genesis to Revelation and equip yourself to share God’s Word with friends and family. Listen to The Plot series and see how the big picture can help you to understand the living God.
Today's Resource: Have you seen the Government Department at our KGOV Store? We are featuring Bruce Shortt's vitally-important book, The Harsh Truth about Public Schools. And also, check out Bob Enyart's classic God's Criminal Justice System seminar, God and the Death Penalty, Live from Las Vegas, and Bob on Drugs DVDs, and our powerhouse Focus on the Strategy resources!