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The Deity of Christ

Jesus said, “I and the Father are One.” Did he mean one in purpose or is Jesus literally claiming to be God. And if He is, are there legitimate reasons to accept this claim?

The New Testament records Jesus Christ’s direct claims to deity. In John 8:58, He claims to be Yahweh, the same one who spoke to Moses at the burning bush. The Jews certainly understood this as a claim to deity because they immediately grabbed stones and tried to stone him for blasphemy. In Mark 14:61, Jesus claims to be the Messiah and expresses the prerogatives of deity.

There are many other examples that could be cited including indirect claims to deity. For example, He receives worship (Matt. 4:10; 28:17), which is an action reserved for God alone. He forgives sin (Mark 2:1-12), another prerogative of God alone. He performs miracles, claims to be equal with Yahweh (John 5:17-18), and is ultimately crucified for the charge of blasphemy. Jesus claimed to be none other than God — in human flesh. And no other great world religious leader ever claimed to be God. But are there good reasons for accepting these claims?

Well, Jesus had some pretty good credentials to back up His claims. First and foremost, Jesus fulfills dozens of very specific messianic prophecies which were written hundreds of years before His birth. Then, of course, Jesus has had an incredible influence upon human history. No one has impacted the world for good like He has. And perhaps most significant of all, the New Testament records in great detail Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The apostles were even willing to die for this claim that Jesus appeared to them again and again over 40 days — not to mention the empty tomb and over 500 people who saw the resurrected Christ (1 Cor. 15:6). And remember, the Roman and Jewish authorities are unable to refute the resurrection. The apostles claimed to have seen, heard, and touched the risen Christ. He even ate with them. The New Testament records over 12 different appearances. When considered with an open mind, the evidence for the resurrection is indeed compelling. Jesus Christ claimed to be God, and there is good reasons for accepting His claim. On Christ’s claims to deity, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.


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