Saturday, February 6, 2010
Everyday Evangelism- Is Jesus Really God?
I am amazed at the thinking of people and trying to figure out where they are coming from. For example, you can talk to a Muslim, and they will tell you that Jesus is a good prophet, but that He is not God in the flesh. Jesus is in their Quran, but their understanding of His death and resurrection are way off. Mormons believe Jesus was God that became a man, possibly in the way that they believe human beings will become a god. That is why the terminology of Jesus becoming a man can be misleading. It would probably be better to say that Jesus is God who took on flesh. Then there are the Jehovah's Witnesses who believe that Jesus is a god, according to their own New World Translation, which was supposedly translated by Greek scholars. Both Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but they do not believe He is God in the flesh. Well, how do we remedy this problem? There are a lot of Bible verses that are very clear about Jesus being God in the flesh, or equal to God. The problem that we have on hand is that many people today do not take a whole section of Scripture to get the meaning of a Bible verse. They take a particular verse and build a doctrine (usually false) on it. A common example of this would be, and I have heard this from both Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, quoting a verse that says "Faith without works is dead", implying that we are saved by our works. The whole chapter in the book of James has to do with our living out the Christian live and having the evidences of faith shown by the way we live. People do this with the deity of Christ. They say things like, "Jesus didn't even know the time when he will return" or Jesus said, "My Father is greater than I". They miss the whole point of what that part of the Bible is telling us, because they think they have found a verse that proves their doctrine (and religion) right! Well, I have written this all to say that I am on a hunt to find sections in the Bible that will clearly indicate the deity of Christ. So, one that came to mind this week is this; in Mark 13:31 Jesus said that His words will never pass away. I thought that was interesting because in Isaiah 40:8, it says that God's word abides forever. So, it appears that Jesus' words has the same characteristics as God's does. Of course, we need to know the full context of both settings to appreciate what the Bible is saying to us. But I did think that was interesting. There have been studies put out that have verses to refute the doctrines of the Mormons and JWs, in particular, because they claim to have the same Bible (essentially, though we know that the NWT is twisted, and the Mormons use other books as well and on the same level as the Bible). Over time, these groups have learned how to refute those Bible verses that we give them. So, it is time we come up with concepts to deal with their error, concepts out of the Scripture. We need to have a clear, biblical understanding of who God is, who we are in our fallen state, what the problem is, and what the remedy is. Any comments or insights on this would be appreciated.