« PreviousContinue »
saw the evidences of Christ's omniscience, manifested to overthrow his unbelief, and from those evidences he drew the conclusion that Christ was his God.
" And we know that the Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true : and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John v. 20. This passage has always appeared so decisive to prove the Supreme Divinity of Christ, that, in our opinion, it needs no comment. The Son of God has come, and all christians are in him by a living faith, as the branch is in the vine. He is the true God and author of eternal life.
3. The very passages which were applied to Jehovah in the Old Testament are applied to Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Compare the following passages. Deut. x. 17. “ For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty and a terrible, &c.” Rev. xvii, 14. “ These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings, &c.” Ps. xxiv. 10. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.” 1 Cor. ii. 8. “For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory,” Hosea i. 7. “But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, &c.” Luke ii. 11. “For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Dan. v. 23. “But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven, &c." 1 Cor. xv. 47. “ The second man is the Lord from heaven.” Paul says in Rom. xiv. 10, 11. “ For we all shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” This was written in Is. xlv. 23, 24. therefore Jesus Christ is the Lord, the Judge, spoken of in the Old and
New Testaments. This proves him God. In Isaiah xl. 3. John the Baptist was spoken of as “ preparing the way of the Lord, making straight in the desert a highway for our God;" and in the New Testament this same person is styled the forerunner of Christ, preparing his way. Matth. iii. 1–3. Compare also: Is. viii. 13, 14. and i Peter ii. 8. All these passages, and many more, cannot be rationally explained, unless we first allow the Supreme Divinity of Christ. Admit this doctrine and there is a striking harmony between the Old and New Testaments in reference to Christ.
4. Divine attributes are ascribed to Christ. As God is without divisibility, if therefore we can prove that Christ is only in the possession of a single attribute, it must necessarily follow, that he is in the possession of all. Every attribute of God is infinite, and whoever possesses one infinite attribute is infinite in that respect. It is an unavailing alternative to say, that Christ possessed infinite attributes by delegation ; for if the Father delegated to Christ his infinite attributes, he himself must necessarily have ceased to be God, and Christ must have begun to be God at the moment the delegation was made; all which is consummately absurd, and in stern conflict with the essential character of God as indivisible, unchangeable and alone pre-eminently immortal.
1. Eternity is ascribed to Christ.
If Christ be nothing more than a mere man, or if he be not God, it is wholly improper to declare him eternal in existence, for nothing except God, can be looked upon as eternal. If the attribute of eternity be predicated of Christ, then he must necessarily be the supreme God. We read, • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John i. 1. That the term Word refers to Christ is an irrefutable point. The Evangelist proves this in the same chapter-he calls him the true Light, the object of faith, the only begotten of the Father, the one who became incarnate and dwelt among men. This same personage, when created things began to be, in the very beginning, he was there, existing with God and actually was God. Since Christ existed before all created beings, he was before time began to be, and dwelt in eternity, therefore he is an eternal Being.
“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own. self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” John xvii. 5. It is not requisite to point out what that particular glory was, which Christ had once enjoyed and which he prayed for again; but the only essential point, to our present purpose is, to show that Christ existed prior to the existence of the material world. This the text unequivocally asserts, therefore Christ was eternal.
“ Before Abraham was, I am.” John viii. 58. This text proves the pre-existence of Christ, and as the phrase, I am, is employed to describe the immutability of the nature of God and as the same term is applied to Christ, it must also prove him immortal in his nature, and therefore God. No being, except God himself, can be actually eternal and immutable, and as the Scriptures apply these attributes to Christ, it therefore follows as a matter of necessity, that either the Bible bears false testimony, or else, that Christ is truly God. The former we cannot allow, therefore we embrace the latter upon the decisive testimony of God.
2. Omnipotence. The omnipotence of God is that inherent and incommunicable power, by which he does all things consistent with his law and character-he performs all possible things which he determines in his own mind to do. The Lord might have done many things, or might still do much, which he never has done, or will hereafter do; for his omnipotence does not compel him to do all
things—its exercise is still voluntary. That Jesus Christ is in the possession of the omnipotent power of God, is a doctrine fully sanctioned by the Scriptures. Paul teaches in Phil. iii. 21. “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” It would seem that the above passage intimated that Christ was the possessor of infinite power. If so, he is declared to be God, for none but God can possess this attribute.
“ All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John i. 3. Here we are taught that Christ was the Creator of all things, and as it did require omnipotent power to bring into existence and mould the works of universal nature, and as God, the Supreme Divinity is called the Creator; therefore Christ must have had a pre-existence and be truly God. In verse 10. it is said, that "the world was made by him.”
Again, we read in Col. i. 16, 17. “ For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him and for him; and he is before all things and by him all things consist.” This Scripture proves that Christ was the Creator of all things, not only material and visible; but also of things spiritual and invisible : and he was in point of existence, before and pre-eminent to, all these things, and that upon him depend all things for existence and continuation. Such a Being must necessarily be God.
In the preceding verse, some theological writers have presumed to find a doctrine derogatory to the Supreme Divinity of Christ, because there it is asserted that he was “the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature.” When we take the word, “first-born," in its
first and literal meaning, we shall find it difficult to admit that Christ was truly the eternal God; but we shall find a greater difficulty to reconcile such a sentiment of Christ with the two succeeding passages, where his power, wisdom and pre-existence are taught. The Greek word protokos (“first-born") has other meanings and is used to express a different idea than merely the first-born. Even the term first-born does not only signify the one born first, the eldest born in the family ; but also pre-eminence, the first, the chief. So the Greek word, by implication, means the first, the chief or principal, as descriptive of the rank that is pre-eminent. While Christ is the image, a delineation and exact representation of the perfections and fullness of God, and the first-born of every creature, holding the chief and pre-eminent rank in the universe, and heir of all things ; he has revealed his Deity in his creative power, in his preexistence and as the upholder of the universe. Such a use of the word first-born is not unauthorized, for the Savior is described as the “ first-born among many brethren”
-the chief and highest in rank. He is called the “firstbegotten of the dead;" he was, however, not the first one who rose from the dead; but he was the chief and preeminent in rank. Christ was not the being who was first created, for then he could not have created all things; but he is chief and pre-eminent in rank, far above principalities and powers, the first in the universe. If the above portion of Scripture does not decisively prove that Christ is God, what kind and form of language should the Bible employ in order to describe the Supreme God? If Christ is omnipotent, he must be God. This is proved by evidence and not by an explanation of the mysterious union of the Godhead.
3. Christ is omniscient, therefore God. “ All things are delivered unto me of my Father : and no man knoweth the