Jesus Christ, The Son of God?
Jesus Christ is "God over all" (Romans 9:5). Like Peter's response, when asked by Jesus who people say the Son of Man is, we say "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!" (Matthew 16:16) By calling Jesus Christ the Son of God, we proclaim that He is God. Before He was crucified, the Jews tried to kill Jesus Christ because "not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God" (John 5:18).
As the Son of God, Jesus Christ is God. "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful Word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven" (Hebrews 1:3). "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority" (Colossians 2:9).
Jesus Christ is "the Word of God". (Revelation 19:13 in part). The apostle John said that Jesus was with God the Father in the beginning. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made" (John 1:1-3).
"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (Hebrews 1:14). God the Father has spoken to us by His Son, "whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe" (Hebrews 1:2). Jesus Christ is "the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End" (Revelation 21:12). "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8).
Like His Father, Jesus is God. Jesus said "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). Even before His birth on Earth, Jesus Christ already is. "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58). "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made Him known" (John 1:18). "Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9 in part). "Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work" (John 14:10). In his prayer to God the Father, Jesus asked: "Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began" (John 17:5). God the Father, Himself called Jesus Christ God. "You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set You above Your companions, by anointing You with the oil of joy" (Hebrews 1:9).
Paul, the first missionary, called Jesus as the image of God. "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:15-17). The mystery of God has been explained by Paul in his letter to the Colossians. "My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely: Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3).
Even before Jesus assumed a bodily form on earth; Jewish prophets had predicted His coming. In the Old Testament, the prophet Daniel in his vision saw Jesus Christ as "one like son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven". "He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed" (Daniel 7:14). The prophet Isaiah said: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6) As God, Jesus is "the Lord of lords, the King of kings" (Revelation 17:14).
Jesus Christ lived and died as a man but resurrected to sit at the right hand of God the Father. After seeing that Jesus Christ was alive in bodily form after His death on the cross, Thomas, one of the 12 apostles, referred to Him as "my Lord and my God" (John 20:28). The apostle John, in explaining why he wrote his book, said: "these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:31).
In his letter to Titus, Paul spoke about "the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all the wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good" (Titus 2:13). Why did Jesus Christ come down to earth as a man? Here is the truth. Man began to sin against God when Adam and Eve violated God's command not to eat a forbidden fruit. They were driven away from the paradise, which also speaks about man's fall from the righteousness of God. Such fall caused us our death, not only in bodily form but also in our spiritual standing.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came down to earth as a man without a sin, and offered himself as a sacrifice for our own sins. "For Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God" (I Peter 3:13). "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). "He was pierced for our transgression, He was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5-6).
Paul asked Christians to adopt the same attitude as that of Jesus Christ, "who in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!"
"Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:6-7). Jesus Christ will come again on Earth, this time to bring salvation to those who believe in Him. "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him" (Hebrews 9:27-28).
The great news is that this salvation is not exclusive to Paul or the Jewish people, but can also be obtained by all people who believe in Him. "Remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision". Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:11-13).
Jesus Christ, therefore is the only way to salvation. "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Jesus said: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). "No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also" (I John 2:23). "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12).
Salvation from sin is a pure grace from God, and no amount of human effort can bring us closer to God. "He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy" (Titus 3:5 in part). Paul said: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). This life in Jesus Christ is eternal. Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die" (John 11:25-26).
The Bible warns that if we continue to live our old life in sin, we will get the punishment that we deserve. "See, the day of the Lord is coming – a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger – to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it" (Isaiah 13:9). Paul said that when Jesus Christ returns to Earth, "He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power" (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).
Jesus wants to dwell in your heart. Jesus said: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Revelation 3: 20-21).
"I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:1).
Bible verses were quoted from the New International Version (NIV).