Question #23 – How does Apostle John prove the deity of Christ in his gospel account? This is the second of a series.
Answer: There are several ways the Apostle John proves the deity of Christ. First, by directly stating that Christ is God which he does in John 1:1-13. Question # 23 is a continuation of Question # 22. Again, remember to insist that the proposition when studying the Deity of Christ is: “Resolved that Christ is God before He became flesh.” Always remember that angels could become man or take the fashion of human beings so that they could appear to the human eyes. There were many appearances of angels seen in the form of man. Satan became a snake in flesh and bones at the Garden of Eden. Satan can become an angel of light when he wants to, so that he could deceive man. In our study about the Deity and Humanity of Christ, it is a wonder why some people could not accept that Christ who by nature is spirit could become man. And yet readily submit to the truth that Satan who is by nature spirit cherub did become a flesh and bones snake. Or flesh and bones dragon.
Again, closely observe the actions and attributes assigned to Christ and ask yourself as you read the suggested passages Is this Christ in the flesh or His Godhood nature the one acting?
John 2:24; 2:25; 4:39; 7:15; John 16:30; 17:10 and 21:17 – Christ knows all things. This complete knowledge or omniscience is assigned to Christ as deity. Ang pagka-Dios Niya ito. Not his humanity. Be careful in this area of the two natures of Christ. There are times an attribute is given that points to His deity, his pagka-Dios. Also, there are times that an attribute points to his humanity, His pagka-tao. Do not dwell on one nature only. When John says, like in 8:40, that Christ is man speaking the truth, He is man indeed. But when John says, “the Word was God” that attribute should also be accepted. When Thomas says to Christ in strong belief, “My Lord and my God” that should be a welcome expression of faith.
To deny Christ’s omniscience, one would cite Matt. 24:36 that only the Father knows the coming back to this world of the Son of Man. This is an example where the humanity of Jesus is referred to. His humanity is limited in knowledge.
John 1:4; 6:33; 6:35, 41; 6:48-51; 6:58 – Christ is the living bread and gives spiritual life. Man is dead because of sin. A dead tree cannot by itself produce its own life and produce shoots to grow and mature as branches. Likewise, man cannot by himself produce spiritual life. Only a miracle can make a dead stump of a tree to come to life. And only a miracle of God can make a spiritually dead person come to life again. This was Christ’s mission on earth – be a living bread to an spiritually dead humanity.
John 3:13; 3:31; 6:38; 6:42; 7:47; John 8:23; 8:42; 12:49; John 13:3; 16:27-30. Comes down from heaven. The original habitation of Christ is heaven. He inhabited heaven before the creation of the cosmos. Before He became man, as stated in John 1:14, Christ was in heaven. In that existence in heaven, Christ was truly God. Because of God’s love for mankind, the Triune God decided that the Second Person of the Godhead (Christ) shall become Man to save mankind. So by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary conceived a human body (Matt. 1:20; Heb. 10:5) and in that human body, Deity indwelt (Colossians 2:9). That is a mystery says 1 Tim. 3:16: “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” This information has to be received by faith.
John 3:16-17; 5:36-44; 7:16 & 29; 7:33; 8:19-21; John 10:36; 12:49; 17:3. Christ is sent by the Father. Salvation is the work of the Triune God. Salvation is not the sole work of Christ. God desires all men to be saved says 1 Tim. 2:3-4, “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” God is holy and for mankind to enjoy God’s fellowship, mankind should be holy. But man has become unholy through disobedience and man cannot become holy by his own effort. Man has to suffer the penalty of sin. God’s holiness demands justice. It was the Triune God that hatched the plan of salvation. The Second Person has to become Man, the Second Adam, to take up flesh in the likeness of sinful man. As an ordinary human being, Christ did not commit any sin. However, He was falsely accused on the following major points: (a) In the eyes of Jewish leaders He was an ordinary human, but he claimed equality with God (the Father) which was a blasphemy, (b) Christ said “destroy this temple and I will reconstruct it in three days” which the Jewish leaders felt Christ was referring to the material temple and that was blasphemy, (c) He claimed to be King of the Jews and that was sedition since only the Roman Emperor is King in every corner of the Roman Empire, (d) He also attacked the Priesthood, the Sadducees, the Scribes and the Pharisees in Matt. 23, and (d) In two occasions he chased out the money changers from the Temple yard which act challenged the authority of the Sadducees and Herodians in controlling the business in the Temple yard which Christ accused the authorities of making the Temple a den of thieves.
John 6:62; John 17:5; John 3:13; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9-11 – Christ ascended back to heaven. Christ’s death paid for the penalty of humankind. His death also ushered in the inclusion of the Gentiles into a covenant with God and eventually caused the change of the Sinaitic Covenant. Christ instituted the New Covenant. Mission having been accomplished, Christ ascended back to heaven and sat on His throne in heaven.
All the above citations prove that Christ is not man only. He is Deity and at a certain appointed time, He became flesh and dwelt among humankind.
Another stop here. Please continue studying with us about the deity of Christ.