"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." Phil. 3:8.
Do you say, I cannot comprehend God as existing in three persons — FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT? But can you comprehend His existence in one person? In what consists the unity of that Being who is personally present in millions of worlds at the same instant of time? Grant that He exists in perfect unity — what then? can you comprehend one of the attributes of this infinite Being? Can you conceive of His eternity, that existence which had no beginning? Can you comprehend His omnipresence? or how He could create a world where before there was nothing?
You reply, Though I cannot explain these things, yet to represent God as existing in three persons is to represent Him as being wholly unlike any other being. True, He is unlike any other being, and this too in His eternity, self-existence, and omnipresence, as well as in His triune nature: "Canst thou by searching find out God?" Job 11:7. "To whom then will ye liken God?" Isa. 40:18. You say, there is so much more simplicity in the belief that He is one without any distinctions in the Godhead -- but is there therefore more truth? Is simplicity in such a case evidence of truth? How various and incomprehensible the attributes of Deity! How complex and mysterious His works of creation and providence! You say, The terms Trinity and Trinitarianism are not found in the Bible. Where in the Bible are the words Unity and Unitarianism to be found (that is, in the sense of the Unitarian error which speaks of the "unity of God" to the denial of the Deity and personality of the Son and of the Holy Spirit)?
But, you say, It is impossible that Christ should be both God and man. Why so? Do we not say of man that he is mortal and immortal? But he cannot be mortal and immortal in the same sense. No more is Christ God and man in the same sense. As to His divine nature, He is God; as to His human nature, He is man. Still you say, It is a great mystery that God and man should be united in one person, and I cannot comprehend it. Your good sense, however, will not permit you to urge this as a reason why you should reject the truth. Are you not a mystery to yourself? Can you comprehend how a thought moves your arm? or how the blades of grass under your feet grow? or the properties of a single pebble you may take in your hand?
There is no more confusion or inconsistency in speaking of Christ sometimes as God, and other times as man, than in speaking of man sometimes as mortal, and other times as immortal. The humble Christian, in his seasons of near and holy communion with the Son of God, feels no difficulty on this score. Because we hear it said of man, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" Gen. 3:19, we do not disbelieve those passages that speak of the spirit that shall "return unto God who gave it." Eccles. 12:7. Could a thousand texts be arrayed in an argument asserting expressly man's earthly origin and mortality — what then? Are not those likewise true which speak of the immortality of his spiritual existence? How then does proving the humanity of Christ disprove His Deity? While in the humble form of a servant, assumed that He might make an atonement for our sins, what then is more natural than that He should be generally spoken of according to that humble form? Was not His humiliation real?
That He is truly man, we entertain not one doubt; and equally certain are we that He is the Word made flesh, God manifest in flesh, and in His divine nature, God. For this belief, we urge, among others, the following reasons.
1. Because there is no evidence to the contrary, a hundred arguments to prove that Jesus Christ is a man, and as a man inferior to the Father, do not prove that a superior and divine nature does not exist in alliance with the human.
"My Father is greater than I." John 14:28. What does this prove but that which Trinitarians readily admit? that in His human nature and mediatorial office He is inferior to the Father. It surely was never intended to contradict another text, which declares that in His original divine nature He "thought it not robbery to be equal with God."
"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Mark 13:32. This is a matter of course, if He be truly man. But does this disprove His Deity? Man "fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not" (Job 14:2). Does this disprove man's immortality? Is it not expressly said of Christ, that He knoweth all things? and that He is to preside over all the decisions of judgment? He says (John 8:15), "I judge no man." Shall we thence infer that He is not to be the final judge?
"If He called them gods, unto whom the word of God came ... say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?" John 10:35-36. Some have alleged that the Saviour here denies His Deity. But how do His words bear such a construction? The Jews accused Him of making Himself God. He does not deny that in so speaking He made Himself God, but denies that He blasphemed, and this on a ground that might fully justify Him even in claiming the honors of Deity, namely, that He was the Messiah, the Son of God, Immanuel. That the Jews did not consider Him as in the least receding from His lofty claims, is evident from the continued enmity that was manifested. See verse 39 - "Therefore they sought again to take Him."
"Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." Matt. 19:17. The Saviour's object seems to be to test the young man's view of Himself, whether he applied this significant epithet as a mere compliment, or in the exercise of faith in Him as Immanuel. "Why callest thou Me good?" Do you intend, indeed, to acknowledge My Deity?
"All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." Matt. 28:18. As mediator, He acts in a subordinate capacity; the Father is the bestower, and He is the recipient; but then, could He be the recipient of all power in heaven and earth, unless He possess the attributes of Deity to sustain and exercise it? A finite being who is the recipient of all power is a far greater mystery than the doctrine of the Trinity; it is a contradiction in terms.
Jesus was made "a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death." Hebrews 2:9. He was made lower for the accomplishment of a specific object — what was He originally? This is perfectly consistent with His being God, and "all the angels" being commanded to "worship Him." Ungrateful mortals, because you behold your Lord in the form of a servant, and suffering death for your redemption, will you take occasion from this very expression of His condescending love, to rob Him of His divine glories?
"To sit on My right hand, and on My left, is not Mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of My Father." Matt. 20:23. It is a sufficient explanation of this text to observe that our blessed Saviour has elsewhere promised to bestow this very reward in His own right. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne." Rev. 3:21. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Rev. 2:10.
We have been surprised to see those texts which represent Christ as sent and instructed by the Father, and as offering prayer to Him, alleged over and over again as proof incontrovertible that He was not Deity, whereas they are wholly irrelevant. If the Son of God actually took our nature (albeit, not in its sinful state), it was befitting Him in that condition, like a perfectly holy man, to pray and exhibit an example of obedience and submission, to seek not His own glory, but the glory of His Father. Nor were His prayers offered to Himself; there is not only a real distinction between the Father and the Son, as all allow, but it was the Son in human nature that prayed to the Father.
"This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." John 17:3. In this and similar passages, the Father is called the only true God, in opposition to idols, and not to Christ or the Holy Spirit. Nothing is said which intimates that there are no personal distinctions in the Supreme Deity. And such passages were never intended to exclude the Deity of Christ, because the Scriptures expressly call Him God, the true God, God, beside whom there is none else, as we shall hereafter see.
All these expressions of inferiority, therefore, relate to Him in His humanity, and in His official character as Saviour. The kingdom which He is to resign is a mediatorial and inferior kingdom; His subjection to the Father, then to take place, is an official subjection. The tears which He shed were human. In short, was Christ's humiliation only in pretense, or was it real? If real, why should He not manifest it in words and actions? The question is not whether the Son of God appeared in human nature— this is admitted — but whether He possessed deity with which humanity was combined — a question in which the whole plan of salvation is essentially involved. Texts to prove the existence of His human nature we have seen adduced, but not one that even intimates that He did not possess a divine nature, or that in that divine nature He is inferior to the Father.
2. Because the voice of inspiration declares, "Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, ... believed on in the world, received up into glory." 1 Tim. 3:16. If Christ were but an inspired teacher, as one of the prophets, how is He God manifest in the flesh? What is there peculiar in His character? How does it differ from that of the prophets?
3. Because Isaiah, in so many words, announces Him as "The mighty God, The everlasting Father" (as this phrase imports, the Author and Possessor of eternity). Isaiah 9:6.
4. Because John, in the most explicit manner, testifies to His Deity. "The Word was God." John 1:1. What more decisive could the disciple have said? That this is Christ, is learned beyond a doubt from verse 14; "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father)."
5. Because He is styled the Lord of glory. "Had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." 1 Cor. 2:8.
6. Because Paul denominates Him God in his charge to the Ephesian
elders, "Take heed ... to all the flock, over the which the
Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which
he hath purchased with his own blood." Acts 20:28.
Compare 1 Peter 5:2, "Feed the flock of God." Also
Ch. 1:18-19, "Redeemed ... with the precious blood of Christ."
Note: Much has been said and written of late to prejudice the public mind against our most excellent translation [King James Version] of the Holy Scriptures, as though it were unwarrantably partial to Trinitarian views. That it is perfect, would be to say that the translators were more than human. That they were firm Trinitarians is granted, as the great body of holy and learned men have always been; but that on the whole a more fair and just representation of the original was never produced, has been acknowledged by all denominations of Christians speaking the English tongue, for more than two centuries.
7. Because He is pronounced in so many words to be God over all. "Of whom [the Jewish nation] as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever." Rom 9:5. Is anything above Him who is God over all? Note also that His humanity is stressed: "of the seed of David according to the flesh." Compare Rom. 1:3-4.
8. Because Christ claims in unqualified terms an equality with the Father. Christ, "being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Phil. 2:6.
9. Because it cannot be said that "in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" Col. 2:9, unless He be essentially God.
10. Because He is the JEHOVAH whom Isaiah saw in vision. "I saw also the Lord1 sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up ... Above it stood the seraphim ... And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts ... And He said, Go, ... Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes." Isa. 6:1-3,9,10.
That the Being seen in this vision is the supreme God, none will doubt. Now, the evangelist John informs us this was Christ and His glory. "Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes ... These things said Esaias, when he saw His [Christ's] glory, and spake of Him." John 12:39-41. Therefore the Holy Spirit has declared Jesus Christ is JEHOVAH of hosts.
11. Because He proclaims Himself to be God, and invites the ends of the earth to look to Him for salvation. "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, ... That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." Isa. 45:22-23. The Apostle has declared that the Person who here speaks is Christ, and quotes the last verse as an argument that all must appear before His judgment seat. "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." 2 Cor. 5:10. "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God." Rom. 14:11. Here you will observe the titles, Christ, Lord, and God, are used interchangeably, as of equal import.
12. Because the Father addresses the Son as God, in express terms. "Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever." Heb. 1:8. Compare Psalm 45:6, from which this is quoted, and where it is an address to God. But here we have the authority of an inspired apostle, that it was addressed to Christ. Then, without controversy, Christ is God.
13. Because the Lord God of the holy prophets, and Christ, are represented as the same Being by the inspired John. "The Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show unto His servants the things which must shortly be done." Rev. 22:6. Observe, the Lord God sent His angel; then read the 16th verse. "I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches." Do you not perceive here "the Lord God" and "Jesus" are the same? They assume the same style and the same prerogative.
14. Because Isaiah again announces Him in prophecy as Jehovah of hosts. "Sanctify the LORD of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, ... And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling," etc. Isa. 8:13-14. Is the Father anywhere represented as a stone of stumbling to the Jews? This language applies only to Christ. Compare 1 Peter 2:7-8, where the Apostle settles the question by interpreting the prophecy as of Christ. "Unto you therefore which believe He [Christ] is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, ... a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense."
15. Because He is the God whom all the Israelites tempted in the wilderness. "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents." 1 Cor. 10:9. Compare Exodus 17:7, and Numbers 21:5-6. "The people spake against God, ... and the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people." The Psalmist says, "They tempted ... the most high God." Psa. 78:56.
16. Because an apostle has declared that the following sublime description of the LORD God, by the Psalmist, was a description of Christ. "The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the LORD is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive: Thou hast received gifts for men." Now observe the application as quoted by Paul: "Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men ... He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things. And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets"; etc. Psa. 68:17-18; Eph. 4:8, 10-11. Here the Psalmist informs us that the Being who ascended up on high and led captivity captive, is God the LORD. The Apostle informs us that this Being, who ascended up on high and led captivity captive, is Christ. Then, on apostolic authority, Christ is God.
17. Because Thomas, in so many words, pronounced Him to be his Lord and his God. "And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God." John 20:28. For this act of faith Christ commended the adoring disciple. This is not a profane exclamation, but an address to Christ; Thomas answered and said unto Christ, My Lord and my God. Now had not the lowly Saviour been worthy of such divine honor, would He not have administered a reproof instead of a blessing?
18. Because He is called "the Lord from heaven" and "Lord both of the dead and living." 1 Cor. 15:47; Rom. 14:9.
19. Because He is denominated, Lord of all. "Preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all)." Acts 10:36.
20. Because He is also solemnly announced by Paul to the Jews and Gentiles as Lord over all. "The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him." Rom. 10:12. Compare verse 11 with 1 Peter 2:6. Is He not the supreme Lord who is Lord of all and God over all?
21. Because it is said He has a name that is above every name (Phil. 2:9).
22. Because He is addressed as Lord, Creator of heaven and earth. "Unto the Son He saith ... Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thine hands." Heb. 1:8, 10. The 10th verse is connected with the two preceding verses by the conjunction and, and is a continuation of the address to the Son. Compare Psalm 102:25-27.
23. Because He is repeatedly proclaimed, "Lord of lords, and King of kings." Rev. 17:14; 19:16. God is styled precisely in this way in 1 Timothy 6:15 and Deuteronomy 10:17. He is also above all." He that cometh from above is above all." John 3:31. Now who can be His superior, who is Lord of lords, and above all?
24. Because He is called in so many words, the true God. "We are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." 1 John 5:20. What more explicit declaration of His deity can even the most incredulous demand?2
25. Because the following passages demonstrably show there was formed a union of deity with humanity at the birth of Christ. "God was manifest in the flesh." 1 Tim. 3:16. When a child, He is denominated mighty God: "Unto us a child is born, ... and His name shall be called ... The mighty God." Isa. 9:6. "Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever." Rom. 9:5. He "thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but ... was made in the likeness of men." Phil. 2:6, 7. "He ... came down from heaven." John 3:13. "The Word was God ... And the Word was made flesh." John 1:1, 14. He repeatedly alluded to His original glory. These passages, and others like them, allude distinctly to His two natures, and are utterly unmeaning unless there were a union of the divine and the human at the birth of our Saviour.
26. Because we are expressly informed that, to know Him is the same as to know the Father (John 14:7,9).
27. Because to see Him is the same as to see the Father (John 14:9).
28. Because Paul offers prayer to Him jointly with the Father, in the same manner and for the same blessings. "Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, ... comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work." 2 Thess. 2:16-17. Is it not idolatry to address prayer to Christ if He be not really God? What propriety is there in praying to a being who is not omniscient to know our desires, and omnipotent to satisfy them? To show that the usual mode adopted in Scripture, of placing the name of Christ after the Father, implies no inferiority, it is in this instance placed first.
29. Because Stephen, when full of the Holy Ghost and in most solemn circumstances, prayed to Christ and commended to Him his departing spirit. "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." Acts 7:59-60.
30. Because Paul besought the Lord (Christ, as is seen in the subsequent verse) thrice, that the thorn in his flesh might depart from him 2 Cor. 12:8. He also received from Him an answer: "And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee." v. 9. Christ then is both the hearer and answerer of prayer. Is not this the prerogative of God alone?
31. Because it is written, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord [Christ] shall be saved." Rom. 10:13.
32. Because Paul speaks of his dependence on Christ, and of Christ dwelling in him, in a manner in which it would be impious to speak of any one but God. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phil. 4:13. "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" Gal. 2:20. How could this be said of a being who was not omnipotent to aid, and omnipresent to sustain? "I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD." Psa. 71:16.
33. Because we find Him joined with the Father in a solemn petition for divine guidance. "Now God Himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you." 1 Thess. 3:11.
34. Because Paul prays for His never failing presence with the soul of Timothy, just as we find the accompanying presence of the Father is everywhere prayed for. "The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit." 2 Tim. 4:22. Does not this prayer imply omnipresence?
35. Because the same Apostle speaks of Him as the being to whom he habitually looked for success in all his concerns. "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you." Phil. 2:19. Was the Apostle's habitual reliance then upon a creature? "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm." Jer. 17:5.
36. Because those Christians whom Paul persecuted before his conversion habitually offered prayers to Christ. "Here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on Thy name." Acts 9:14. "Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this [Christ's] name?" v. 21.
37. Because the custom of addressing their petitions to Christ was so prevalent in the apostolic churches, that Christians of that day were designated by that feature of their worship. "With all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Cor. 1:2. Would inspired apostles have offered worship and prayer habitually to one who was not God?3
38. Because we find Christ solemnly addressed alone in prayer eight times in this particular form. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." Rom. 16:20, 24; 1 Cor. 16:23; Phil. 4:23, etc.
39. Because we find the name of Christ associated with the Father, and equally the object of a most solemn and comprehensive prayer, sixteen times in the epistles and once in the Revelation — See Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3, etc. And in more than forty different passages through the New Testament do we find, either examples of prayer offered to Christ, or the duty of praying to Him expressly implied.
40. Because we find it is written, every knee shall bow to Him — an homage due to God alone. "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth." Phil. 2:10. Compare this language with Romans 14:11; "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
41. Because the Apostle Peter ascribes endless glory to Him. "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." 2 Pet 3:18.
42. Because we hear all the angels of God expressly commanded to worship the Son. "And again, when He bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him." Heb. 1:6. Does the Father command the angels to be guilty of idolatry?
43. Because, after the miracle of stilling the tempest, He permitted His disciples and others to worship Him. "Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, Of a truth Thou art the Son of God." Matt. 14:33. "It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." Matt. 4:10.
44. Because, just before His ascension, those of His disciples whose faith was strongest, paid Him divine honors. "And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him: but some doubted." Matt. 28:17. Immediately after His ascension, we find them all united in paying Him this divine homage: "He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem." Luke 24:51-52.
45. Because there are fifteen instances recorded of worship4 being actually paid to our Lord while on earth, without so much as a hint of disapprobation on His part. The reader will remember that Paul and Barnabas at Lystra, and the angel in Revelation, instantly repelled the worship which was about to be offered them. Would not the meek and lowly Saviour have been equally jealous of His Father's honor, and so indignantly have repelled such idolatry, had He not been God, equal with the Father, and the proper object of religious worship? Would He otherwise have endured for a moment even the appearance of divine homage?
46. Because the mention of His name calls forth the worship of the redeemed first on earth: "To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Rev. 1:6, followed by their praise in heaven: "Thou art worthy to take the book, ... " Rev. 5:9. Is the whole host of the redeemed in heaven continually employed in acts of idolatry?
47. Because John again testifies, that "the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors." But what are these odors, which the leaders of this celestial band, with such profound adoration, present to the Lamb? The Apostle has told us; they "are the prayers of saints." Here, then, are we certain that the Lamb is the object of worship, and of prayer, by the saints on earth, and the highest orders in heaven. Rev. 5:8.
48. Because this Apostle further informs us that he heard "every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, ... saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." Rev. 5:13.
49. Because John again opens another scene to us, and the same lofty adorations are paid to the Lamb. "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations ... stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, ... And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Rev. 7:9-10.
50. Because John says again, "I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts, and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." Rev. 5:11-12. What more can be ascribed to God? And if this be not supreme worship, what is?
51. Because, in short, it is not in the power of language to express acts of confidence and homage of a higher character than those which the Scriptures frequently represent as rendered to Christ.
52. Because, "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." Col. 1:16. Creation is everywhere appealed to as a prerogative of Jehovah. "Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee ... I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself." Isa. 44:24. The evasion, that it was by Christ, as an instrument, is, besides being an absurd supposition, absolutely forbidden by God Himself. Mark His language: "I am the LORD ... that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself."5
53. Because the inspired John bears a similar testimony, "The world was made by Him." John 1:10. Now the eternal power and Godhead of the Father are clearly understood by the things that are made (Rom. 1:20). Then do not these same words, which are stated repeatedly and in the most express terms, show the eternal power and Godhead? "The world was made by Him." John 1:10.
54. Because this Apostle confirms the same truth in another passage, with still more emphasis. "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:3. The Holy Ghost then has settled the question of His Deity. "He that built all things is God." Heb. 3:4.
55. Because in the following passage the Son is addressed, not only as the Creator of all things, but also as the unchangeable God. "Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thine hands. They shall perish, but Thou remainest: ... and as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but Thou art the same." Heb. 1:10-12. (see Psa. 102:25-27.) What language could more sublimely describe the works and the immutable perfections of Omnipotence?
56. Because it is written, "all things were created by Him, and for Him." Col. 1:16. Not only then is Jesus Christ the Creator of all things, but likewise the ultimate end for which all things were made. But the Scripture saith, "The LORD hath made all things for Himself." Prov. 16:4. Then Jesus Christ is this LORD, or Jehovah. If being the Creator and the end of all creation does not designate the Supreme God, what does?
57. Because it is written, "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Cor. 5:10. He who is worthy to preside over the scenes of the final judgment, and distribute the rewards of eternity, must be God.
58. Because Christ Himself declares, "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall separate them one from another ..." Matt 25:31-32. Now the Bible forbids the belief that any being can weigh all the motives of all the actions, secret and open, of all the myriads of the human race, but the omniscient God.
59. Because Paul again bears testimony to the same solemn truth. "We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." Rom. 14:10.
60. Because he confirms this testimony in 2 Timothy 4:1. "The Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom."
61. Because we again hear Christ Himself declare, "The Son of man shall come ... and then He shall reward every man according to his works." Matt. 16:27. But is not the Judge of all the earth God? See Genesis 18:25. Then is our Lord Jesus Christ, God, for in many different passages is He represented as the final Judge of the world. Are there two final judges? It is very evident we must stand before the throne of God and the throne of Christ; and render an account to God and to Christ; and receive our reward from God and from Christ. The Judge is God alone; but Jesus is the Judge. Therefore Jesus is God.
62. Because He is that Being whose almighty voice will raise all the dead. "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His [Christ's] voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28-29.
63. Because He assumes the disposal of the rewards of heaven, the peculiar prerogative of God. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Rev. 2:10.
64. Because the Scriptures declare Jesus knew the thoughts of men. "And Jesus knowing their thoughts," Matt. 9:4, the prerogative of God alone. "For Thou, even Thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men." 1 Kings 8:39.
65. Because it is positively declared, "He knew all men ... He knew what was in man." John 2:24-25.
66. Because He is solemnly appealed to in prayer, as knowing the hearts of all men. "Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men." Acts 1:24.
67. Because He proclaims Himself to all the thousands of His worshipers to be the great searcher of hearts. "And all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts." Rev. 2:23. That the Son here speaks, see verse 18. Is not this the very air of deity alone? "I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins," etc. Jer. 17:10. What can be more manifest? If Jehovah alone searches the heart, and yet the Scripture expressly affirms that Christ possesses that prerogative, then Christ must be Jehovah.
68. Because His disciples bear testimony to His omniscience in so many words, just before His crucifixion. "Now are we sure that Thou knowest all things." John 16:30. Would the meekness of Jesus have suffered the divine attribute of omniscience to be thus ascribed to Him had He not possessed it?
69. Because the same solemn testimony to His omniscience is repeated by Peter after His resurrection, and the faith of His disciples had been wonderfully strengthened. "Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee." John 21:17. Can language be more expressive?
70. Because in Him "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Col. 2:3. If all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Him, must He not be infinite in wisdom and knowledge?
71. Because He says, "I have power to lay it [His life] down, and I have power to take it again." John 10:18. What creature ever possessed this power? Are not the issues of life and death with God alone?
72. Because He is "far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come." Eph. 1:21. What more could be said of God?
73. Because He is absolutely declared to be "the head of all ... power." Col. 2:10. The head of all power must be He who originates and wields all power; and who is this but the Almighty God?
74. Because He is not only represented as the creator of all things but also as the upholder of all things, and this not by an effort, as creatures sustain a burden, but by His Word, "upholding all things by the word of His power." Heb. 1:3. What more sublime description of Jehovah! He is called also, "The mighty God." Isa. 9:6. Who is this Being, that upholds millions of worlds with all their splendors by His powerful word? Is it a dependent creature, or is it the only true God?
75. Because of the divine authority which He assumed in healing the leper. "I will; be thou clean;" and the leprous man was cleansed. Matt. 8:3. Is not this the language of Him "who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will?" Eph. 1:11.
76. Because of the divine majesty and power with which He spoke to the paralytic. "Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house." Matt. 9:6-7. Here is the air and manner of Jehovah alone: "Let there be light"; "Let there be a firmament."
77. Because He assumes the authority of God over the elements. When the winds and the waves were raging, "He ... rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." Mark 4:39. Does not this remind us of the Psalmist's description of the Almighty? "O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto Thee? ... Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, Thou stillest them." Psa. 89:8-9.
78. Because He assumes divine authority over death. He said to the widow's son, "Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up." Luke 7:14-15. To Lazarus He said, "Come forth," and he that had been dead four days came forth (John 11:43-44). The prophets had to wait for special commissions from heaven, but "the Son quickeneth whom He will." John 5:21.
79. Because He assumes divine authority over demons. "He cast out the spirits with His word." Matt. 8:16. In these instances, it was not borrowed power, be it remembered. Jesus manifested His own glory by His miracles. "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory." John 2:11. So when He raised Lazarus He said, "I am the resurrection and the life."
80. Because the disciples wrought miracles in the name of Christ, thereby acknowledging that their authority and power to suspend what are called laws in nature, were derived from Him, as the God of nature. "His name, through faith in His name, hath made this man strong." Acts 3:16. "Peter said unto him, AEneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole." Acts 9:34.
81. Because then, in a word, He wrought miracles — by His own power — according to His own will — for His own glory — with a divine authority — and likewise commissioned His disciples to work them in His name.
82. Because He says, "I ... have the keys of hell and of death." Rev. 1:18. He also declares Himself to be that Almighty Being who "openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth." Rev. 3:7. Is not this the prerogative of God alone? "Unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death." Psa. 68:20.
83. Because He asserts His omnipotence when He says there is no work which the Father performs but He performs likewise. "What things soever He [the Father] doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." John 5:19. Observe these expressions; do not the works of the Father prove Him omnipotent? But the Son performs the very same works in like manner; then, without controversy, they prove the Son omnipotent.6
84. Because He is represented as the great fountain from which Christians of all ages and countries receive their supplies. "Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." John 1:16. This is just as God is represented. "With Thee is the fountain of life." Psa. 36:9.
85. Because He says to Paul in a season of severe conflict, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor. 12:9. Who but the all-sufficient God would presume to use such language! Says the Psalmist, "God is the strength of my heart." Psa. 73:26.
When, therefore, the Saviour says, "I can of Mine own self do nothing," He does not intend to deny these claims to omnipotence, but to deny all separate interest from the Father, and to declare His essential oneness with Him; or, we may consider Him as speaking of Himself in the humble form of a servant which He assumed; in both respects the assertion is obviously true and in perfect harmony with His claims, as God, to omnipotence.
86. Because He in so many words assumes to Himself the attribute of omnipotence. "I am Alpha and Omega, ... the Almighty." Rev. 1:8. He is the One of verse 7 who was pierced.
87. Because He not only healed all manner of diseases and raised the dead in His own name, but, with the same air of divine authority, said to the paralytic, "Son, thy sins be forgiven thee." Mark 2:5. Would not this be blasphemy, were He not Himself the great Lawgiver, the supreme Judge, even God? "Who can forgive sins but God only?" Mark 2:7. The language of Jehovah is, "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions." Isa. 43:25. Jesus Christ authoritatively pronounced the forgiveness of sins: He is therefore God.
88. Because He declared Himself to be in heaven at the same time He was on earth, thereby showing that He is omnipresent. In conversation with Nicodemus He says, "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." John 3:13. Paul to the Ephesians, chapter 1:23, speaks of "the fulness of Him [Christ] that filleth all in all." This accords with the language of Jehovah: "Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD." Jer. 23:24
89. Because He says, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." Matt. 18:20. Who could make the promise but the omnipresent God? Compare this with the language of God in Exodus 20:24: "In all places where I record My name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee."
90. Because He promises His disciples and, through them, all Christians, to be present with them as an unfailing source of consolation. "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." John 14:18. Is not this the common consolation which the omnipresent God gives His people? "Fear not: for I am with thee." Isa. 43:5.
91. Because He again promises He will manifest Himself to the man that loves Him, and in the same manner as God visits every pious soul. "I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him ... My Father will love him, and we will come unto him." John 14:21,23.
92. Because there is a holy, familiar communion maintained between Christ and every believer, just as between God and every believer, over the whole earth. "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:3.
93. Because He proclaims Himself to be that omniscient and omnipresent Being, who, though on His Father's throne in heaven, yet at the same time walks "in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks [the seven churches]." Rev. 2:1.
94. Because He declares in so many words, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matt. 28:20. Not merely by good wishes, but by an efficient presence, so that Paul could say, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phil. 4:13. Does not our Saviour here assume the omnipresence of God, and claim the confidence which belongs to God alone? "The LORD is the strength of my life." Psa. 27:1. "In God I have put my trust." Psa. 56:4.
95. Because in prophecy He is represented as existing from eternity. "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Mic. 5:2. Compare Matthew 2:6, where the evangelist applies it to Christ.
96. Because He says, "Before Abraham was, I am." John 8:58. God, in His message to Pharaoh, styled Himself, "I AM." Ex. 3:14.
97. Because Christ prays, "Glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was," or from eternity, to which the phrase is equivalent. John 17:5.
98. Because it is again written, "He is before all things." Col. 1:17.
99. Because we hear Him expressly and repeatedly say of Himself, "I am the first and the last." "And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last; I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen." Rev. 1:17, 18; 2:8. Who but the eternal God would dare to assume the prerogative of being the first and the last? Can any being but God be the first and the last?
100. Because the following language unequivocally designates eternal and immutable existence. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." Heb. 13:8. Who is unchangeable, and forever the same, but the eternal God? Jesus Christ is here pronounced unchangeable; He is therefore God.
101. Because He is expressly declared to be "The everlasting Father" (the Father or possessor of eternity). Isa. 9:6.
102. Because it is not only declared, that all things were created by Him, and for Him, but also that "By Him all things consist [subsist]." Col. 1:17. Is not that Being, who supports all things, God? Then is Christ truly God, for He is the Creator and Supporter of all things.
103. Because Paul ascribes glory to Him in precisely the same manner as to the Father. "And the Lord [Christ] shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." 2 Tim. 4:18. Compare verse 17 with Acts 23:11.
104. Because we cannot for a moment believe that any finite, dependent being would be joined with the Almighty and denominated the temple, and the light of heaven. "The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it ... The glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." Rev. 21:22-23.
105. Because we are commanded to baptize in His name. "Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Matt. 28:19. A most solemn form of entire consecration to each of the three Persons in the Godhead, consequently to the Person of the Son, as well as to the Father, and the Holy Ghost. Are we identified in this most solemn rite with a finite, dependent creature? Or is the Son, as well as the Holy Ghost, truly God?7
106. Because we find it required in so many words, "That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." John 5:23. Would the Father thus speak, were not the Son truly Divine? His language is, "I am the LORD; that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another." Isa. 42:8. Now to ascribe to the Son anything short of real Deity, is to degrade Him infinitely below the Father; for between God and the most exalted creature there must be an infinite distance. This requirement is absolutely and necessarily broken by all men who do not believe in the real Deity of Jesus Christ. They rob God our Saviour. Weigh the solemn thought!
107. Because no person was ever censured by Christ, when on earth, for entertaining too exalted views of Himself; but, for admitting low conceptions of Him, multitudes were condemned. Thomas's exalted views of Him as his "Lord" and his "God," were approved, and a blessing promised all others who should exercise a similar faith. Whereas, "He that believeth not is condemned already." John 3:18.
108. Because the inspired apostles, so far from intimating a fear or even a possibility of exalting Christ too highly, exhaust language to set forth His glories, and the consequent efficacy of His atoning blood. "I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die ... for the name of the Lord Jesus." "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." I have "a desire to depart, and to be with Christ." "That ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Ye are redeemed "with the precious blood of Christ." "Considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow." When He who is the believer's life shall appear, "we shall see Him as He is." "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain." "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." "To whom be glory for ever and ever." Does Unitarianism produce such adoring views of Christ? (Acts 21:13, Gal. 6:14, Phil. 1:23, Eph. 3:17-19, Rom. 8:35, 1 Pet. 1:18-19, Heb. 13:7-8, Phil. 2:10, 1 Jn. 3:2, Rev. 5:12, Col. 2:9, Gal. 1:5.
109. Because most of those who have rejected the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, have gone on progressively in a course of error, letting slip one great doctrine after another, till they have denied the inspiration of most or all of the Holy Scriptures. "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." Heb. 2:1. "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Col. 2:8.
110. Because there is no instance recorded in the Bible, nor on the page of ecclesiastical history, nor have we ever heard of the case, where a person lamented on a deathbed that he had reposed too unreserved devotion in Him, or ascribed to Him more glory than was His due, while lamentations of the opposite character comes with a mournful frequency. "If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins." John 8:24. "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Jn. 3:36. Would the reader wish to die thus?
111. Because John closes the canon of Holy Scripture with a solemn prayer to Christ. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Rev. 22:20-21. May the reader close his life with such triumphant and adoring views of the Son of God. Amen.8
We have now seen that all those texts which speak of Christ as in a subordinate condition, have not the least weight in disproving His essential Deity, being all easily and naturally explained by the fact that, though He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, He took on Him the form of a servant and became obedient unto death for the redemption of sinful men. We have seen of Jesus, that His name is God, Jehovah of hosts, the Lord God, the Lord of glory, and the Lord of all. He is the true God, the mighty God, Lord of lords and God over all, the first and the last, and the self-existing I AM. We have seen that all the attributes and incommunicable perfections of Jehovah belong to Christ. He is eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. We have seen that the works which can be done by none but Jehovah Himself are done by Christ. He created all worlds and upholds all things by the word of His power; He governs the whole universe and is the light of heaven. By His omnipotent voice He will raise the dead. Although the company before His awful tribunal will be as innumerable as the sand upon the seashore, yet will He perfectly recollect all their actions, words, and thoughts, from the birth of creation to the end of time -- impossible for any creature, but easy for Christ. He is also to His Church what none but God can be. He is the source of all grace and eternal salvation to His people, and we are to act toward Christ exactly in the same manner as we are to act toward God the Father: to be baptized in His name, to believe in Him, to pray to Him, to serve and worship Him, even as we serve and worship the Father -- and not thus to honor the Son is the same, and equally sinful, as not to honor the Father. These are some of the things which irresistibly prove the Deity of the Saviour. What stronger proof can the power of language convey?
Now, reader, what thinkest thou of Christ? A question of greater moment, more vital to your eternal well-being, cannot be asked you. Answer it with His own solemn warning before you. "If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins." Will you incur the guilt and run the hazard of robbing your Saviour of His divine glories? Will you not this moment imitate the angels and all the redeemed, and cast yourself at His feet, and with adoring gratitude ascribe all glory to His name? As His personal dignity is exalted or debased in your estimation, so will be your confidence in Him, and expectations from Him. A creature as your saviour, however exalted, cannot satisfy your soul -- cannot pardon your sins. Rise, then, to loftier views; let a heaven-born faith present Him before you as that Being in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Then, great indeed will be your expectations, and they will forever rise and swell, as you gaze on the glories of His Person and the unsearchable riches of His grace. And I beseech you, remember, whatever be your views of Christ, soon you must stand before His judgment seat. He that lay in swaddling bands in the manger shall come in clouds, when every eye shall see Him, even they who have pierced and dishonored Him.
1. It may not be amiss to remind the reader that where "LORD" is printed in large and small capital letters in our common translation of the Old Testament, it is generally Jehovah in the original.
2. Said a Unitarian to a venerable servant of the Lord, "If the doctrine of Christ's deity were true, I am sure so important a doctrine must have been revealed with a cleanness no one could have mistaken." "And what language would you have chosen?" said the servant "I would have called Him the true God," replied the man. "Right," said the servant, "that is the very language of the Apostle." (1 John 5:20.)
3. So prominent and so constant was the worship paid Christ by the first Christians, that it did not escape the observation even of the heathen. Says Pliny, in writing to Trajan, "They [Christians] sing in social worship a hymn to Christ as God." Lib. 10. Ep. 97. Eusebius, too (Ecc. Hist. 5:28), in writing against Artemonites, appeals to the ancient songs of Christians thus: "Whatever psalms and hymns were composed by faithful brethren, from the beginning, praise Christ, the Word of God."
4. The word translated "to worship" occurs sixty times in the New Testament; of these, two denote civil homage, fifteen refer to idolatrous rites, three are used of disapproved homage to creatures, twenty-five respect the worship due to the Father, and the remaining fifteen relate to acts of homage paid to Jesus Christ. So in fifty-eight instances out of sixty, including those where it is applied to Christ, the term is used to express supreme homage, or that which was intended as such.
5. The preposition by designates principal as well as subordinate agency: see the passage last quoted; also Hebrews 2:10. "For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things," etc. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son." 1 Cor. 1:9. "I ... will save them by the LORD their God." Hos. 1:7. There are numerous other passages.
6. It has been said that this was delegated power. Delegated Omnipotence! Most absurd evasion to rob the Saviour of divine attributes. If omnipotence be not one of the incommunicable attributes of the Deity, what is? If omnipotent, He must be God. Are there two omnipotent beings?
7. It is a matter of astonishment to the writer, how Unitarians can use this divinely prescribed formula of baptism. They first baptize into the Father, and then [according to their false doctrine] into a creature, and thirdly, into a nonentity, or into an influence of the Father -- unmeaning jargon!
8. Samuel Green, the author of this pamphlet, went to be with Christ when only forty-two years of age. (Boston Public Library.)
*Atrributed to Samuel Green (1792-1834) and dated [1828?] by the Library of Congress in the National Union Catalog. Published by American Tract Society, New York. At head of title: More Than One Hundred Scriptural and Incontrovertible Arguments for Believing in the...
Doctrinal & Practical Writings