Category Archives: Jesus Christ

is jesus god in the flesh?

Since Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38), the real identity of Jesus Christ has always been questioned by skeptics. It began with Mary’s fiancé, Joseph, who was afraid to marry her when she revealed that she was pregnant (Matthew 1:18-24). He took her as his wife only after the angel confirmed to him that the child she carried was the Son of God.

Hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of God’s Son: “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). When the angel spoke to Joseph and announced the impending birth of Jesus, he alluded to Isaiah’s prophecy: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matthew 1:23). This did not mean they were to name the baby Immanuel; it meant that “God with us” was the baby’s identity. Jesus was God coming in the flesh to dwell with man.

Jesus Himself understood the speculation about His identity. He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13; Mark 8:27). The answers varied, as they do today. Then Jesus asked a more pressing question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). Peter gave the right answer: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus affirmed the truth of Peter’s answer and promised that, upon that truth, He would build His church (Matthew 16:18).

The true nature and identity of Jesus Christ has eternal significance. Every person must answer the question Jesus asked His disciples: “Who do you say that I am?”

He gave us the correct answer in many ways. In John 14:9-10, Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.”

The Bible is clear about the divine nature of the Lord Jesus Christ (see John 1:1-14). Philippians 2:6-7 says that, although Jesus was “in very nature God, He did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Colossians 2:9 says, “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”

Jesus is fully God and fully man, and the fact of His incarnation is of utmost importance. He lived a human life but did not possess a sin nature as we do. He was tempted but never sinned (Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:15). Sin entered the world through Adam, and Adam’s sinful nature has been transferred to every baby born into the world (Romans 5:12)—except for Jesus. Because Jesus did not have a human father, He did not inherit a sin nature. He possessed the divine nature from His Heavenly Father.

Jesus had to meet all the requirements of a holy God before He could be an acceptable sacrifice for our sin (John 8:29; Hebrews 9:14). He had to fulfill over three hundred prophecies about the Messiah that God, through the prophets, had foretold (Matthew 4:13-14; Luke 22:37; Isaiah 53; Micah 5:2).

Since the fall of man (Genesis 3:21-23), the only way to be made right with God has been the blood of an innocent sacrifice (Leviticus 9:2; Numbers 28:19; Deuteronomy 15:21; Hebrews 9:22). Jesus was the final, perfect sacrifice that satisfied forever God’s wrath against sin (Hebrews 10:14). His divine nature made Him fit for the work of Redeemer; His human body allowed Him to shed the blood necessary to redeem. No human being with a sin nature could pay such a debt. No one else could meet the requirements to become the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (Matthew 26:28; 1 John 2:2). If Jesus were merely a good man as some claim, then He had a sin nature and was not perfect. In that case, His death and resurrection would have no power to save anyone.

Because Jesus was God in the flesh, He alone could pay the debt we owed to God. His victory over death and the grave won the victory for everyone who puts their trust in Him (John 1:12; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 17).

Prophet Nathan Emol

HOW CAN JESUS BE BOTH GOD AND MAN AT THE SAME TIME?

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is both God and man. Many Christians are understandably confused when it comes to understanding how Jesus can be God and man at the same time. How could our divine Creator become a human? Could a first-century Jewish man really be God? While a certain amount of mystery will always accompany this issue, both Scripture and, to a lesser extent, church tradition provide for us important distinctions to help us make sense of this matter.

While previous church councils had deliberated over issues pertaining to the nature of Christ and His relationship to the Father, it was the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451) that affirmed that Christ is “the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man.” This statement is not true simply because the council taught it. Rather, the council’s declaration was authoritative only insofar as it aligned with what the Bible teaches on the subject. Scripture is clear that Jesus is God (John 20:28; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8), and it is equally clear that He is truly human (Romans 1:2–4; 1 John 4:2–3). Jesus claimed the divine name (John 8:58) and did things that only God can do (Mark 2:1–12; Luke 7:48–50). But Jesus also displayed the weaknesses and vulnerabilities common to humanity (Luke 19:41; John 19:28).

The belief that Jesus is both God and man is of fundamental importance. The apostle Paul wrote that an affirmation of the divinity of Jesus is required to be saved (Romans 10:9), and the apostle John provided a sober warning that those who deny Christ’s true humanity are promoting the doctrine of antichrist (2 John 1:7).

The Triune God of the Bible has existed and reigned from all eternity, and the second Person of the Trinity, the Son, took on human flesh at a particular point in time (Luke 1:35; Hebrews 1:5). God the Son added a sinless human nature to His eternally existent divine nature. The result was the Incarnation. God the Son became a man (John 1:1, 14). Hebrews 2:17 gives the reason that Jesus had to be both God and man: “He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” The Son of God took on human flesh to provide redemption to those under the law (Galatians 4:4–5).

At no time did Jesus ever cease to be God. Although He was made fully human, there was never a point when He abrogated His divine nature (see Luke 6:5, 8). It is equally true that, after becoming incarnate, the Son has never ceased to be human. As the apostle Paul wrote, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5, emphasis added). Jesus is not half-human and half-divine. Rather, He is Theanthropos, the God-man. The Lord Jesus Christ is one eternally divine Person who will forever possess two distinct yet inseparable natures: one divine and one human.

Prophet Nathan Emol

WHAT IS SUPREMACY OF CHRIST AND WHAT ARE IT’S IMPLICATIONS?

The supremacy of Christ is a doctrine surrounding the authority of Jesus and His God-nature. In the simplest of terms, to affirm the supremacy of Christ is to affirm that Jesus is God.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines supreme as “highest in rank or authority” or “highest in degree or quality.” In essence, there is none better. The supreme of something is its ultimate. Jesus is the ultimate in power, glory, authority, and importance. Jesus’ supremacy over all is developed biblically primarily in Hebrews and Colossians.

A main theme of the book of Hebrews is explaining the work of Jesus in the context of the Old Testament system. Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament Jewish traditions and roles. Another main theme of Hebrews is that Jesus does not simply represent a new way of doing things. Rather, He is supreme. He is the actual fulfillment of the old way of doing things and is therefore greater than those ways. Concerning the temple system under the Mosaic Law, the author of Hebrews writes, “But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which He is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). In essence, Jesus is greater than the Old Testament system. He both encompasses and supersedes the old way of doing things. This is evident in the many comparisons of Jesus to Old Testament roles and rituals. For instance, we are told that “because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:24–25). Jesus, therefore, encompasses the Old Testament priesthood and is supreme over it (see here for more on this).

Hebrews explains that Christ is supreme over more than just roles and systems. Hebrews 1:3a says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.” Similarly, Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” Essentially, Jesus is God.

Colossians 1:15–23 is labeled “The Supremacy of Christ” in some Bibles. In this passage, Paul makes it plain that Jesus is over all things. Christ is called “the image of the invisible God” and “the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15). The word firstborn may seem confusing. It does not imply that Christ was created (as in the doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses). Instead, the term firstborn refers to a position of authority. To be “firstborn” was to hold an honored position. Paul immediately goes on to explain Jesus’ role in 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” (Colossians 1:16). This means that Jesus is not created but is Creator. He is God.

Paul goes on to say, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy” (Colossians 1:17–18). Paul highlights multiple areas in which Christ has authority—over creation, over the Church, over death, and finally “in everything.” Christ is both before all things and encompasses all things (“in Him all things hold together”). Therefore, Christ is supreme.

This doctrine is essential to our view of and worship of Christ. The supremacy of Christ affirms that Jesus is fully God. He is not simply a man greater than the rest but is truly above all creation, as only God can be. This truth is essential for our salvation. God is infinite and, therefore, our sin against Him is an infinite offense. In order to atone for this offense, the sacrifice must be infinite. Jesus, as God, is infinite and thus an able sacrifice.

That Jesus is supreme excludes us from saying that He is only one of many ways to God. He is not just a good moral teacher whom we may choose to follow; rather, He is God, and He is over all. Jesus’ supremacy also makes it evident that we cannot atone for our own sins. In fact, “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). Jesus both fulfilled and replaced that system. Salvation is not based on works (see Ephesians 2:1–10). And, once we are saved, Jesus’ supremacy shows us that we cannot aspire to be like Him of our own strength. Jesus is wholly other, supreme over all. Christians are called to be like Jesus, but this is through the work of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:12–13; Romans 8).

The supremacy of Jesus teaches us that He is not simply a spiritual being above the rest. Paul tells us that through Him all things visible and invisible, in heaven and on earth, i.e., spiritual and physical, were created (see Colossians 1:16). Hebrews 1:4 calls Jesus superior to the angels. This truth negates any tendencies toward angel worship. Jesus created the angels and is above them. We are explicitly told He is greater than they. Therefore, we need only worship Jesus. Similarly, that Jesus created the things of earth means that creation is not worthy of our worship. Jesus is supreme over both the physical and spiritual realms, thus giving both arenas importance while still remaining sovereign over them.

When we understand the supremacy of Christ, we have a more accurate view of Him. We more fully understand the depth of His love; we are more able to receive and to respond to His love. Theologians believe that Colossians was written, in part, to combat heresies rising in Colossae. It seemed fitting to Paul to affirm the supremacy of Christ in order to quash these misled beliefs. He affirmed Christ’s supremacy, His lordship, and His sufficiency for us. Hebrews explains the link between the Old Testament covenant and the new covenant of Jesus. It reveals the old system as a shadow of the ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ. The supremacy of Christ is central to an accurate view of His Person, His work, our status as believers, and the Kingdom.

Prophet Nathan Emol

what does it mean jesus is god with us?

Before the birth of Jesus, an angel appeared to Joseph and revealed that his fiancée, Mary, had conceived a child through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20–21). Mary would give birth to a Son, and they were to name Him Jesus. Then Matthew, quoting from Isaiah 7:14, provided this inspired revelation: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matthew 1:22–23).

Seven hundred years earlier, the prophet Isaiah foresaw the virgin birth of the promised Messiah. He prophesied that His name would be Immanuel, which means “God with us.” By referencing the words of Isaiah, Matthew recognized Jesus as Immanuel. The name Immanuel expresses the miracle of the Incarnation: Jesus is God with us! God had been with His people always—in the pillar of cloud above the tabernacle, in the voice of the prophets, in the ark of the covenant—but never was God so clearly present with His people as He was through His virgin-born Son, Jesus, the Messiah of Israel.

In the Old Testament, the presence of God with His people was most evident when His glory filled the tabernacle (Exodus 25:8; 40:34–35) and the temple (1 Kings 8:10–11). But that glory was far surpassed by the personal presence of God the Son, God become flesh, God with us in person.

Perhaps the most significant passage in the Bible on the Incarnation of Jesus is John 1:1–14. John states that “the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (verses 1–2, CSB). John uses the term logos, or “the Word,” as a clear reference to God. John declares in verse 14, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (CSB).

On the night of His arrest, Jesus was teaching His disciples. Philip had a request: “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” It was a perfectly natural yearning. But Jesus replied, “Philip, I have been with you all this time, and still you do not know Me? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:8–9, BSB). Jesus had been showing them the Father all along. He was truly “God with us.” Whenever Jesus spoke, He spoke the Father’s words. Whatever Jesus did, He did exactly as the Father would do.

God took upon Himself human flesh and blood (1 Timothy 3:16). This is the meaning of incarnation. The Son of God literally “tabernacled” among us as one of us; He “set up His tent” in our camp (John 1:14). God showed us His glory and offered us His grace and truth. Under the Old Covenant, the tabernacle represented the presence of God, but now, under the New Covenant, Jesus Christ is God with us. He is not merely a symbol of God with us; Jesus is God with us in person. Jesus is not a partial revelation of God; He is God with us in all His fullness: “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body” (Colossians 2:9, NLT).

God makes Himself fully known to us through Jesus Christ. He reveals Himself as our Redeemer (1 Peter 1:18–19). Jesus is God with us as Reconciler. Once we were separated from God through sin (Isaiah 59:2), but when Jesus Christ came, He brought God to us: “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19, NLT; see also Romans 8:3).

Jesus is not only God with us but also God in us. God comes to live in us through Jesus Christ when we are born again: “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, NLT). The Spirit of God lives in us, and we are His dwelling place: “For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: ‘I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people’” (2 Corinthians 6:16, NLT).

Jesus is not God with us temporarily, but eternally. God the Son, never ceasing for a moment to be divine, took on a fully human nature and became ‘God with us’ forever: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20, NLT; see also Hebrews 13:5).

When it was time for Jesus to return to the Father, He told His disciples, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever” (John 14:16, ESV). Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, who would continue to bring the presence of God to dwell in the lives of believers. The Holy Spirit carries on the role of Jesus as teacher, revealer of truth, encourager, comforter, intercessor, and God with us.

Prophet Nathan Emol

DID JESUS SAY HE IS GOD?

It is true that Jesus never said the exact words, “I am God.” He did, however, make the claim to be God in many different ways, and those who heard Him knew exactly what He was saying. For example, in John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” The Jews who heard Him make that statement knew well that He was claiming to be God, as witnessed by their reaction: “His Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him” (John 10:31). When He asked them why they were attempting to stone Him, they said, “For blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33). Stoning was the penalty for blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16), and the Jews plainly accused Jesus of claiming to be God.

Jesus made another statement claiming to be God when He said, “Very truly I tell you, . . . before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58). The Jews, upon hearing Him, clearly understood that He was claiming preexistence and, more than that, to be Yahweh, the great “I AM” of Exodus 3:14. On this occasion, too, they tried to stone Him for blasphemy.

The Gospel of John begins with a statement of Jesus’ deity: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1, emphasis added). In verse 14, John identifies the Word: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John is affirming that the Word (Jesus) is God, and He left heaven to come to earth in the form of a man to live with men and display the glory of God the Father.

The disciples of Jesus distinctly heard Him declare His deity. After Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas the doubting disciple finally understood Jesus’ deity, declaring Him to be “my Lord and my God” (John 20:28). If Jesus were not Lord and God, He would have corrected Thomas, but He did not; Thomas spoke the truth. After seeing Jesus walking on the water, His disciples worshipped Him (Matthew 14:33). When He appeared to them after the resurrection, they fell at His feet and worshipped Him (Matthew 28:9). The disciples were well aware of the Mosaic Law’s penalty for blasphemy, yet they worshipped Him as God, and Jesus accepted their worship. Jesus never rebuked people for worshipping Him, accepting their worship as good and proper.

Jesus’ deity is recognized throughout the New Testament. Paul eagerly awaited “the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13) and encouraged us to do the same. Both Paul and John declared that Jesus created the universe (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16–17), yet Genesis 1:1 clearly says that God created the heavens and the earth. This can only mean that Jesus is God. Even God the Father referred to Jesus as God: “About the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever’” (Hebrews 1:8, quoting Psalm 45:6).

Did Jesus say He was God? Yes, in many ways, including applying the names and attributes of God to Himself. He made it clear that He was God incarnate, proving it by His words, by His miracles, and finally by His resurrection from the dead. Although they doubted at first, those who were finally convinced of His deity understood why He had to die on the cross. If He were a mere man, His death would have been only sufficient to pay for His own sins, but because He was God in the flesh, His sacrifice was infinite and holy and able to pay for all the sins of the world.

Prophet Nathan Emol