“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.” –Napoleon Bonaparte
The Bible gives us a fascinating insight into the deity of Christ in Matthew 16:13–17. Jesus asked the disciples who they thought He was. Peter replied that He was the Son of God. Here Jesus made an interesting statement. He said, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven.” In other words, the Father must be the one to reveal to humanity who Jesus truly is. We can try to correct the popular, erroneous teaching that Jesus is less than God, but unless our Father opens the eyes of the individual, our argument is in vain.
The Attributes of Christ
God has certain attributes, many of which are also attributes of man. There are, however, attributes or qualities of God that He reserves for Himself. Man is not omniscient, omnipotent, eternal, or omnipresent. These are qualities that God alone possesses. Man cannot forgive sin, create from nothing, or know the future. These are qualities that make God who He is, and that separate Him from man. We will look at some of these qualities of God, and see that Jesus Christ had these same attributes.
1) God is omniscient: God knows all things. He knows the hearts and thoughts of men. He knows the past and the future. He knows the number of grains of sand, and the number of the stars. There is nothing He does not know.
Christ is omniscient:
- “But Jesus did not commit himself to them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (John 2:24,25).
- He knew the whereabouts of Nathaniel: “Nathaniel said to him, Where do you know me from? Jesus answered and said to him, Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you” (John 1:48).
- He knew the plot of Judas: “Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spoke of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon” (John 6:70,71).
- He knew the heart of the Pharisees: “And Jesus knew their thoughts” (Matthew 12:25). “But when Jesus perceived their thoughts” (Luke 5:22). “But he knew their thoughts” (Luke 6:8).
- He knew the history of the Samaritan woman (John 4:16–29).
2) God is worshiped: Only God can rightly be worshiped. “For you shall worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14).Whenever a man was worshiping another man, he was immediately rebuked: “And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshiped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man” (Acts 10:25,26). See also Acts 14:11–15 where Paul refuses worship. Even the angels refuse worship of men: “I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then said he to me, See you do it not: for I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” (Revelation 22:8,9).
Christ is worshiped:
- He was worshiped by the wise men: “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him” (Matthew 2:11).
- He was worshiped by the leper: “And behold, there came a leper and worshiped him” (Matthew 8:2).
- He was worshiped by the ruler: “While he spoke these things to them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshiped him” (Matthew 9:18).
- He was worshiped by the angels: “And again, when he brought in the first begotten into the world, he said, And let all the angels of God worship him” (Hebrews 1:6).
There are many other examples of people worshiping Christ. At no time did He rebuke them. He accepted their worship.
3) God forgives sin: Only God can forgive sin, because all sin is against a holy God. No man can truly forgive sin. “Who can forgive sins but God only?” (Mark 2:7).
Christ forgives sin:
- “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, your sins be forgiven you” (Mark 2:5).
- “And he said to her, Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48).
4) God creates: Only God can truly create. To form something where before was nothing takes an act of God. Man can refashion or reform something that already exists, but only God can create.
- “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” (Colossians 1:16).
- “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3).
5) God saves: “Salvation belongs unto the LORD” (Psalm 3:8).
- “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11).
- “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:56).
- “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).
- “If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47).
Jesus Christ has the attributes of God, even the attributes reserved solely for God. There are many other attributes of God that are attributes of Christ as well. The following chart lists just a few.
|God||Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 45:6,7||Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; John 1:1,14; 20:28; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; 2 Peter 1:1; Matthew 1:23; 1 John 5:20|
|Yahweh, “I AM”||Exodus 3:14; Deuteronomy 32:39||John 8:24; 8:58; 18:4–6|
|Alpha & Omega||Isaiah 41:4; 48:12; Revelation 1:8||Revelation 1:17,18; 2:8|
|Lord||Isaiah 45:23||Matthew 12:8; Acts 7:59,60; 10:36; 1 Corinthians 2:8; 12:3; Philippians 2:10,11|
|Savior||Isaiah 43:3; 43:11; 63:8; Luke 1:47; 1 Timothy 4:10||Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11; John 4:42; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 2:13|
|King||Psalm 95:3; Isaiah 43:15; 1 Timothy 6:14–16||Revelation 17:14; 19:16|
|Judge||Genesis 18:25; Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalm 50:4,6; 75:7; 96:13||John 5:22; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1|
|Light||2 Samuel 22:29; Psalm 27:1||John 1:4,9; 3:19; 8:12; 9:5|
|Rock||Deuteronomy 32:3,4; 2 Samuel 22:32||Romans 9:33; 1 Corinthians 10:3,4; 1 Peter 2:4–8|
|Redeemer||Psalm 130:7,8; Isaiah 43:1; 48:17; 49:26||Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12|
|Our righteousness||Isaiah 45:24||Jeremiah 23:6; Romans 3:21|
|Husband||Isaiah 54:5; Hosea 2:16||Matthew 25:1; Mark 2:18,19; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 21:2,9|
|Shepherd||Genesis 49:24; Psalm 23:1; 80:1; 95:7||John 10:11,16; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25; 5:4|
|Creator||Genesis 1:1; Job 33:4; Psalm 95:6; Isaiah 40:28; 43:1; Acts 4:24||John 1:2,3,10; Colossians 1:15–18; Hebrews 1:1–3|
|Giver of life||Genesis 2:7; Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:6||John 5:21; 10:28; 11:25|
|Forgiver of sin||Exodus 34:6,7; Nehemiah 9:17; Daniel 9:9||Matthew 9:2; Acts 26:18; Colossians 2:13; 3:13|
|Omnipresent||Psalm 139:7–12; Proverbs 15:3||Matthew 18:20; 28:20; Ephesians 3:17; 4:10|
|Omniscient||1 Kings 8:37–39; Jeremiah 17:9,10||Matthew 9:4; 11:27; Luke 5:4–6; John 2:25; 16:30; 21:17; Acts 1:24|
|Omnipotent||Isaiah 40:10–31; 45:5–13; Revelation 19:6||Matthew 28:18; Mark 1:29–34; John 10:18; Jude 24|
|Pre-existent||Genesis 1:1||John 1:1,2; 3:13,31,32; 16:28; 17:5|
|Eternal||Psalm 102:26,27; Habakkuk 3:6||Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2; John 8:58|
|Immutable||Malachi 3:6; James 1:17||Hebrews 13:8|
|Receiver of worship||Matthew 4:10; John 4:24; Revelation 7:11; 19:4; 19:10||John 9:38; Philippians 2:10,11; Hebrews 1:6|
|Who gets the glory?||Isaiah 42:8; 48:11||Hebrews 13:21; John 17:5|
“This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of schools, He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.”—Philip Schaff, The Person of Christ