DIVINITY OF CHRIST

A lecture given by Charles Finney.

First. Show what is intended by the Divinity of Christ.

Second. Show that Christ is truly Divine or that he is the true God.

Third. Answer objections.

First. What is intended by the Divinity of Christ.

1. By the divinity of Christ is not intended that he is a divine being in the sense in which angels are divine beings.

2. Nor in the sense in which super angelic creatures might be divine.

3. Nor that he is God in any subordinate sense of the term.

4. That he is properly and absolutely God.

Second. Show that Christ is truly divine.

The proof of the divinity of Christ is to be gathered of course from the Bible. In establishing it, I shall pursue very much the course that has been pursued by Pres. Dwight.

I. I use as examples those texts in which the proper names of God are ascribed to Christ.

1. He is called God.

Gen. 32:30: " And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

Compared with --

Ex. 33:20: "And he said thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live."

And --

John 1:18: " No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, hath declared him."

And --

John 6:46: "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father."

Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name IMMANUEL."

Compared with---

Matt. 1:23: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name

IMMANUEL, Which being interpreted, is, God with us."

And--

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

And--

Rom. 9:5: "Whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen."

And--

1 Tim. 3:16: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory."

(God was seen of angels and received up into glory after having been preached unto the Gentiles.)

Titus 1:3: "But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me, according to the commandment of God our Savior."

Heb. 1:8: "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy Kingdom."

Heb. 3:4: "For every house is builded by some man: but he that built all things is God." Compared with --

John 1:3-10: "All things were made by HIM: and without HIM was not anything made that was made."

2. He is called the true God.

1 John 5:20: "And we know that the Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is TRUE; and we are in him that is TRUE, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the TRUE God, and eternal life."

3. He is called the mighty God.

Isaiah 9:6: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The MIGHTY God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

4. He is called the Lord God Almighty.

Rev. 15:3: "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints."

(The song of Moses has no reference to a Lamb or to a King of Saints. So, this is referring to the one God. V. M.)

5. He is called the Almighty.

Rev. 1:8: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."

6. He is called the only wise God.

Jude 25: " To the ONLY WISE God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen."

7. He is called the great God.

Titus 2:3: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the GREAT God and our Savior Jesus Christ."

8. He is called the God of Israel.

Ex. 24:9&10: "Then went up Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire-stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness."

Compared with --

Ex. 33:20: "And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live."

And --

John 1:18: "No man hath seen God at anytime; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."

And--

John 6;46: "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father."

 

--- (It is said in these texts that God cannot be seen, yet he was seen. By understanding that what was seen was the Son of God or the Angel of His presence, we avoid a contradiction. It is both the totality of the One God and the (difference or), distinction of the Son, within God, that cannot be seen or understood.

The Bible portrays God as resembling some form of light and describes Him as being something like the iridescence of Jewels. It pictures Him as being on his throne, yet indescribable; with the Lamb standing in the midst of that same throne. John saw God and the Lamb, or God and the Son of God; still he did not see God in the complete sense. Note the following seven verses. V.M.)

Rev 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. 3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. (KJV)

5:6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." (NIV)

(We see in these verses, God resembling some form of Jewels, having a hand, then we have the Son of God portrayed as a Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes. This is symbolic language, we have no distinct, literal, comprehendable, physical form, still the Lamb is worshipped. Now back to Finney - V.M.)

 

He is called Jehovah in several instances, in the 12th chapter of Zechariah.

Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, 12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. (KJV)

Compared with --

John 12:36 "While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them. 37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: 38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40 He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 41 These things said Esias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him."

(Isaiah spoke of seeing Christ and his glory. V. M.)

He is called Jehovah of Hosts.

Isa. 6:3, 5: 'And one cried unto another, and said Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory." "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the *Lord of Hosts."

*In the original this is Jehovah of Hosts.

II. The natural attributes of God are ascribed to Christ.

1. Eternity.

Rev. 1:10,11: "I was in the Spirit on the lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the LAST; and what thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea."

Rev. 2:8: "And unto the angel of the church of Smyrna write: These things saith the FIRST and the LAST; and besides me there is no God."

2. Omniscience. All knowing, total

knowledge.

John 21:17: "He said unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou KNOWEST ALL THINGS; thou knowest that I love thee."

Mat. 11:27: "ALL THINGS are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him."

Rev 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

2:23: "And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts; and I will give unto every one of you according to your works."

It is obvious that searching the heart implies omniscience.

1 Kings 8:39: "Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give unto every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; for thou, even thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men."

John 2:23,24: "now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast -day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men."

3. Omnipresence. Present everywhere simultaneously.

Mark 18:20: 'For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.'

Mat. 28:20: 'Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.'

4. Omnipotence. Unlimited power.

Rev. 1:8:. 'I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is and which was, and which is to come, the almighty.'

Heb. 1:2: 'Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.'

John 1:3. 'All things were made by him; without him was not anything made that was made.

5. Immutability. Not subject or susceptible

to change.

Heb. 13:8. 'Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.'

Psalms 102;27. "But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end."

Compared with --

Heb. 1:10. 'And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thine hands.'

IiI. The works of God are ascribed to Christ.

1. Creation.

John 1:3 &10. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.'

Psalms 33:6. 'By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the hosts of them by the breath of his mouth."

Col. 1:16 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:

Eph. 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Heb. 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Rev. 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

2. He governs the universe.

Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

He is called the King of the universe.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

7. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. , 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Acts 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

Psalms 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.

Romans 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

1 Cor. 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Phil. 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The whole of the 2d and 72d Psalm represent Christ as the governor of the world..'

3. He raised the dead.

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 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 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

John 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

4. He forgives sin.

Matthew 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house.

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Rev. 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Rev. 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. 28 And I will give him the morning star.

6. He shall judge the world.

Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

Matthew 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

7. He upholds all things.

Heb. 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

8. He inspired the prophets.

1 Pet. 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

9. He commissions ambassadors.

2 Cor. 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

IV. He sustains the relations of God to his creatures.

1. He is King.

John 1:49 Nathaniel answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Psalms 2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

Luke 23:2 And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.

John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Tim. 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

2. He is the Creator of mankind.

John 1;1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

He is the Redeemer.

1 Cor. 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Heb. 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Rev. 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

4. He is the Sanctifier of mankind. He separates and sets apart those who obey him.

Note 1 Cor. 1:30, above.

5. He is the Judge of mankind.

Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Acts 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

To the above I will add several other proofs.

1. The fullness of God is ascribed to Him.

Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

All the divine perfection's are in him.

2. He is the express image of God.

Heb. 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

3. He thought it not robbery to be equal with God.

Phillipians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

4. He is the image of the invisible God.

1 Cor. 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

2 Cor. 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Col. 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

5. He is the Jehovah which Moses saw in the burning bush.

Exodus 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

Compared with --

Ex. 23:20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.

And --

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

And--

John 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

6. He claimed, and received divine honors.

John 5:23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

Matt 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Matt. 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Matt. 14:13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.

7. He is worshipped in heaven.

Rev. 5:12 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.

Notes on the word "Worship" on the last page.

13 And 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, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

(Any references from the Old Testament referring to someone seeing God, of necessity, are referring to the Son of God. Other wise it is, again, of necessity, a contradictory statement. If it is in some sense impossible to see God and live and yet people have in some sense seen him, there must be some limited mode, (state, fashion, a declaration or revelation of?) that God operates in where he can be seen and there must also be another more complete mode (or revelation of himself), in which he cannot be safely seen. Moses was able to see his hinder parts and saw him in a burning bush. V. M.)

8. The father commanded angels to worship him.

Heb. 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

9. He was understood by the Jews to assert his own absolute divinity.

10. He wrought miracles in his own name.

11. He claimed power to raise himself from the dead.

John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

12. If not God, he is an imposter, and a blasphemer; and according to the Jewish law, he was justly put to death.'

13. If not God, he has made no atonement, but only suffered a martyr.

14. Set aside the doctrine of Christ's divinity, and you destroy the moral power of the gospel.

15. If not God, the Christian Church are, and have always been idolaters.

16. It is incredible that the Church should have been so greatly blessed by the out pouring of the Holy Spirit in the very act of worshipping Christ as God.

17. Those Churches who deny the divinity of Christ are not blessed with the effusions of the Holy Spirit; but, those Churches that do maintain his divinity, and do worship him as God are.

18. If Christ is not God, God the Father has deceived us by giving Christ the power to work miracles in confirmation of his assertion that he is God.

19. If he is not God, the Prophets and the Apostles have been deceived, and have led the Church into idolatry.

20. It is a fact that cannot be denied that the Churches planted by the Apostles held the proper divinity of Christ.

21. If he is not God, it does not appear that there is any God revealed in the Bible.

22. If he is not God, the Bible is the most blasphemous book in the world.

23. If Christ is not God, it is truly unaccountable that the Bible should speak of him in a manner so entirely different from that in which it speaks of any created being.

24. Christians are led by the Holy Spirit to commune with Christ as God.

25. The Saints naturally pray to him as God.

Acts 9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

26. If Christ is not God, we have no means of being un-deceived. As the Bible stands, we are bound to receive the doctrine of his divinity.

27. If he is not God, the more diligent, honest, and studious we are in biblical research, the more certain we are to be deceived.

28. If not God, then the only ones who have held to the truth are the mutilators of the Bible, and those who have held very loose notions of its divine inspiration and authority.

29. Those who have rejected the divinity of Christ have exhibited the loosest morality that has been seen in the Christian world.

30. If this doctrine is not true, then the preaching and belief of this heresy have occasioned a purer morality, and have exerted altogether a better influence then has ever resulted from preaching the truth, or from denial of this doctrine.

31. But this is impossible. Falsehood cannot promote a pure morality. If a belief in the divinity of Christ naturally results in the purist and the most perfect virtue, it must be true.

Third. Answer objections.

Obj. I To the proper divinity of the lord Jesus Christ, it is objected that he often and in many ways acknowledged his inferiority to, and dependence upon God. He prayed to God, and affirmed that God was greater then he.

Ans. 1. It has been common for those who deny the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, to quote that class of passages that prove his humanity, dependence, and inferiority to the Father, and there stop, taking it for granted that they have proved that he is not god.

2. This is unfair and absurd, for it is admitted and maintained by all Trinitarians, as well as by themselves, that he is a man, and as such dependent on and inferior to his Father. But it is also maintained that he is likewise God, independent, omnipotent, and eternal.

3. There is, to say the least, as large a class of scriptures to prove his divinity as his humanity. They seem as explicit, full and unequivocal as could be expressed in words.

4. To get rid of the mystery of the union of two natures in one person, some explain away his humanity, and others his divinity.

The same rule of criticism, resorted to in the one case, is equally effectual and conclusive in the other. And were the application made, it would be equally efficient in destroying the testimony of both these classes of passages, and rendering it uncertain whether he was either God, or man, or anything else.

5. As mediator, Christ was both inferior to, and dependent upon the Father.

Obj. II. It is objected that the union of the divine and human natures is utterly inconceivable.

Ans. It is true that we can have no conception of the quo modo of this union. Nor can we have any conception of the manner in which our soul and body are united.

In one case we can believe the fact on the testimony of God, and in the other, on the testimony of our own consciousness.

Obj. III. It is objected that the union of the divine and human natures should not be made an article of faith, because it cannot possibly be believed, inasmuch as it cannot be understood.

Ans. The thing to be believed can be understood. We are not called upon to believe anything about the mode or manner of the union. It is not a question of philosophy, but of fact, that we are called upon to believe. The fact we can understand and believe.

( We do not understand how many things are made. or how they work, still we accept the fact that they do exist and they do work. We are only called on to believe that there are three persons in a singular God. One of these persons is both human and divine. We must also believe that when we are involved in any way with one of these we are involved with all of them, if we touch one we have touched them all, they are inseparable and they are essentially in all respects one, while in some sense a plurality. How? We do not know, but we must believe that it is so. We observe or are aware of a plurality; however, we are commanded to observe, honor and approach God as one God. Yes, the term persons is not that good of a description, but ... V. M.)

 

WORSHIP (VERB AND NOUN), WORSHIPING

1. proskuneo ^4352^, "to make obeisance, do reverence to" (from pros, "towards," and kuneo, "to kiss"), is the most frequent word rendered "to worship." It is used of an act of homage or reverence (a) to God, e. g., <Matt. 4:10; John 4:21-24; 1 Cor. 14:25; Rev. 4:10; 5:14; 7:11; 11:16; 19:10> (2nd part) and <22:9>; (b) to Christ, e. g., <Matt. 2:2,8, 11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; 28:9,17; John 9:38; Heb. 1:6>, in a quotation from the Sept. of <Deut. 32:43>, referring to Christ's second advent; (c) to a man, <Matt. 18:26>; (d) to the Dragon, by men, <Rev. 13:4>; (e) to the Beast, his human instrument, <Rev. 13:4,8, 12; 14:9,11>; (f) the image of the Beast, <13:15; 14:11; 16:2>; (g) to demons, <Rev. 9:20>; (h) to idols, <Acts 7:43>. Note: As to <Matt. 18:26>, this is mentioned as follows, in the "List of readings and renderings preferred by the American Committee" (see RV Classes of Passages, IV): "At the word `worship' in <Matt. 2:2>, etc., add the marginal note `The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to man (see <chap. 18:26>) or to God (see <chap. 4:10>).'" The Note to <John 9:38> in the American Standard Version in this connection is most unsound; it implies that Christ was a creature.

J. N. Darby renders the verb "do homage" [see the Revised Preface to the Second Edition (1871), of his New Translation].

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words) (Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

 

Edited by Vern Manson 5-12-94

 

 

 

HUMANITY OF CHRIST

A lecture by Charles Finney.

 

First. Notice the various opinions that have prevailed upon this subject.

Second. Show what is intended by the Humanity of Christ.

Third. Prove the doctrine.

 

First. Notice the various opinions that have prevailed upon this subject.

1. The Docetae and Gnostics admitted the proper divinity of Christ, but denied that he possessed a human body. They held that he had a body and suffered only in appearance. This opinion originated in the philosophy of physical depravity, or the philosophy which teaches that moral evil has its seat in matter. They of course felt it necessary to deny that Christ had a material body.

2. The Sabellians admitted the divinity of Christ, and that he possessed a real human body, also that he suffered the sins of men. But they deny his having a human soul.

Second. What is intended by the humanity of Christ.

The common doctrine of the Church upon this subject, is that Christ was in all respects a perfect human being, possessing both a human body and a human soul, with all the attributes of a perfect man.

Third. Prove the Humanity of Christ.

That he had a real body is evident.

 

1. From the fact that he was conceived by and

born of a woman.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Matt. 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

2. He was circumcised according to the law of Moses.

Luke 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS,

which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

3. He grew.

Luke 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

4. He was hungry.

Matt. 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

Luke 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

5. He was thirsty.

John 19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

6. He ate and drank.

Mark 2:16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples,

How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

7. He walked, labored, slept, was weary, lived and died, like other men.

8. He declared himself to have a body of flesh and bones.

Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones,

as ye see me have.

John 20 :27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and

thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

9. It is repeatedly asserted that he had a body.

John 2:21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

Luke 23:55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.

Luke 24:3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

24:23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

John 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of

Jesus had lain.

Mark 14:8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

Also, Mark 14:45-47; Heb. 2:14; John 1:14; Acts 2;3, 30, 31; Rom. 1:3 1 Pet. 2:24; which need not be quoted.

10. Those who knew him had the testimony of their senses that he had a body.

11. There is the same evidence that he had a real body, as there is that the Apostles had bodies, or that any man has a body.

12. The denial of his having a human body is regarded by the Apostles as fatal heresy.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that

spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

13. Any rule of biblical interpretation that would set aside the evidence of this truth, would, if carried out, blot out every fundamental doctrine of the Bible.

That he had a soul, I remark:

1. It is the soul, and not the body that constitutes man.

2. A human body without a soul is not a human being.

3. If Christ had no human soul, but was merely God dwelling in a human body, he is infinitely far from being a man.

4. He is often called a man in the Bible.

John 1:30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

John 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not

Abraham.

Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom

he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were

our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

5. He is called the son of man 71 times in the Bible.

6. He is often spoken of in the Bible as having a soul.

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Psalms 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Matt. 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with

me.

John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I

unto this hour.

7. The sympathies and feelings of a human being are ascribed to him.

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it wereour faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

John 13;21 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

Matt. 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

 

 

(Please - Note, the circumstances and the feelings portrayed in the following by this human being.

Matt. 27:38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. 39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. 43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. 45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. 48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. 49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. 50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

He did not die as God , but as a perfect man. His blood was shed for us and it is to be considered as being the blood of God, as blood that belonged to God and as the blood of a perfect, sinless man, a lamb.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and 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.

V.M.)

 

8. He was in all things made like unto his brethren.

Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

9. He was tempted in all respects as we are.

Heb. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

But if he had no human soul, he was infinitely unlike his brethren.

10. He suffered under temptation.

Heb. 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

11. He was at first an infant in knowledge.

12. He grew in wisdom.

Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

13. He was until the day of his death ignorant of some, and probably of many things.

Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Matt. 26:38-42 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 4 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

 

To all this proof it is objected, by those who deny that he had a human soul, that all that is said of his ignorance, suffering, being tempted, increasing in wisdom, etc., might result from the connection of the divine with the human body. That if the divine nature was dependent on a human for its developments, it might be attended with all the circumstances ascribed to Christ.

To this I answer:

(1.) This objection seems to be a begging of the question, or taking for granted the thing that needs to be, but never can be proved.

(Note the "mights", and the "if" in the above objection. There is nothing objective in its reasoning, rather it is an unwarranted guess. V.M.)

(2.) The supposition is absurd, because it assumes that infinite knowledge, and the other infinite attributes of God can become finite, and even infantile.

13. There seems to be the same evidence that Christ had a human soul, as there is that any man has a soul.

14. Any rule of interpretation that would set aside this doctrine as not taught in the Bible, would, if carried out in its application, blot out every doctrine of the Bible.

Remarks.

1. Christ unites the sympathies of a man with the attributes of God.

2. He still possesses human nature in union with the divine nature.

3. He will greatly exalt human beings as his brethren; as sustaining a nearer relation to him then any other order of creatures.

Edited by Vern Manson. 5-3-94

   To PERSONALITY AND DIVINITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT