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Compiled by Derrick Gillespie
Mark 2:5-12 Jesus forgiving sins – The doubtful observers of the act asked “Why doth this
man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” It was, they held, blasphemy for Jesus to assume this divine prerogative if he was not indeed divine. Their logic was correct. In this question they expressed a great truth. See Isaiah_43:25; Micah_7:18; Exodus 34:6-7. That a man, to all appearances like one of them, should claim authority and power to DIRECTLY forgive sins, they could not but regard as startling. But Jesus proved that heaven itself approved of his divine right to so do, and supplies the evidence of confirmation from the Father Himself. How? By having the same man he himself forgave of his sins being immediately thereafter healed, through the power he could only receive of the Father. It is one of the clearest confirmations from the Father Himself of Jesus’ claim of divinity. If Jesus was not God in nature, with the right to directly forgive sins, the Father would not have confirmed it by healing the man through the power from his Spirit (since during that time Jesus relied on his Father only for power to do miracles; not his own or previously held power). And notice too, that despite other Christians can likewise ask for the power from God to heal and do all miracles Jesus himself did, yet they unlike Jesus cannot forgive sins, even when anointed with power. This plainly shows Jesus to be divine. Period!!
Act 7:59 Stephen calling upon Jesus in prayer - The word “God” is not in
the original text, and should not have been in the translation. It is in none of the ancient manuscripts or versions. It should have been rendered, “They stoned Stephen, invoking, or calling upon, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit” etc. That is, he was engaged in prayer to the Lord Jesus. And even without the word “God” being there it devastates the case of those who deny Jesus’ divinity. The words “call upon” is used to express “prayer” in the following, among other places: 2 Cor._1:23, “I call God to witness”; 1Pet.1:17, “And if ye call on the Father,” etc.; Act_2:21, “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord,” etc.; Acts_9:14; Acts_22:16; Rom.10:12-14. This was, therefore, an act of worship; a solemn invocation of the Lord Jesus, in the most interesting circumstances in which a man can be placed - in his dying moments. And this shows that it is right to worship the Lord Jesus, and to pray to him. Since Stephen was inspired, it settles the question. The example of an inspired man in such circumstances is a safe and correct example. We are also sure of the inspiration of Luke, who has recorded the event in Acts, and did not call the record into question. The inspired Luke regarded it as right, and as a proper example to be followed, because: (1) He has recorded it without the slightest expression of an opinion that it was improper. On the contrary, there is every evidence that he regarded the conduct of Stephen in this case as right and praiseworthy. There is, therefore, this attestation to its propriety.
(2) The Spirit who inspired Luke knew what use would be made of this case. He knew that it would be used as an example, and as evidence that it was right to worship the Lord Jesus. It is one of the cases which has been used to perpetuate the worship of the Lord Jesus in every age since. If it was wrong, it is inconceivable that it should be recorded without some expression of disapproval. (3) These examples were used to encourage Christians and Christian martyrs to offer highest homage to Jesus Christ. (4) It is worthy of remark that Stephen, in his death, offered the same act of highest homage to Christ that Christ himself did to the Father when he died, Luke 23:46. Jesus himself modeled, as the model man, the correct behavior towards Deity, and from all these considerations, it follows that the Lord Jesus is a proper object of worship just like his Father (John 5:23); that in most solemn circumstances it is right to call upon him, to worship him, and to commit our dearest interests to his hands. If this may be done, he is divine.
John 20:28, 29 Thomas calling Jesus “My Lord and my God” - In this
passage the name “God” is expressly given to Christ, in his own presence and by one of his own apostles. This declaration has been considered as a clear proof of the divinity of Christ, for the following reasons: 1. There is no evidence that this was just a mere expression of exclamation, as some have supposed, of surprise or astonishment. 2. The language was addressed to Jesus himself - “Thomas ...said unto him (i.e. Jesus; not to anyone one else, or to more than one person).” 3. The Saviour did not reprove him or check him as using any improper language. If this was not the meaning of Thomas, then his exclamation was a mere act of profaneness (or taking God’s name in vain), and the Saviour would not have commended him for taking the name of the Lord his God in vain. If Jesus had not been divine, it is impossible to reconcile it with honesty that he did not rebuke the disciple. No mere man without divine characteristics would have allowed such language to be addressed to him. Compare Acts 14:13-15; Rev._22:8-9. 4. The Saviour proceeds immediately to commend Thomas for believing. Before this he doubted the resurrection; a resurrection which would be one of the ultimate proofs from the Father Himself that Jesus was indeed divine. Now he believed, and gave utterance to his belief, that Jesus was not just resurrected but is his Lord and his God, just like the Father. The passage proves, therefore, that it is proper to apply to Christ the name “my Lord and my God”. Carefully not too, that the argument that Thomas was only addressing the Father above, and not Jesus, is totally refuted here. How? If, as some argue, Jesus is the “one Lord”, then why Thomas would be directing an acknowledgement of “Lordship” to anyone else but Jesus, the “one Lord”? If Jesus is the “one Lord, then, as the faulty reasoning of some would suggest, then the Father should not be called his “Lord” too. But the Father is repeatedly called such all over the New Testament. Why? Because the Father is the same in nature to Christians as the Son is. Hence the reverse is likewise true. Despite the Father is called “the one God”, yet Jesus was also called “my God” by Thomas, and endorsed by Jesus Himself, because of the
same principle at play. A failure on the part of some to understand the unity of nature in the Godhead, will not change the Biblical truth; a truth which is fixed.
Titus 2:13, 14 Appearing of Jesus as the great God - There can be little doubt, if
any, that by “the great God” here, just like the “the Mighty God” expression in Is. 9:6, the apostle referred to the Lord Jesus, for it is not a doctrine of the New Testament that God the Father himself as such, or in contradistinction from his incarnate Son, will appear at the last day. It is said, indeed, that the Saviour will come “in the glory of his Father, with his angels” Matt. 16:27, but that God, as such, will appear is not taught in the Bible. The doctrine is there, that God the Father will be manifest in his Son; that the divine approach to our world will be through him to judge the race; and that though he will be accompanied with the appropriate symbols of the divinity, yet it will be the Son of God who will be visible. No one, accustomed to Paul’s views, can well doubt that when he used this language he had his eye throughout on the Son of God, and that he expected no other manifestation than what would be made through him. And in fact, verse 14 of Titus 2 makes it plain that the focus was on Jesus right throughout verses 13 and 14, because it was only Jesus “who gave himself for us”; not the Father in person. Linguistically too, there is but one Greek article (“the”) existing in the passage before "God" and "Saviour," which shows that both are predicated of one and the same Being. It literally translates: "Of Him who is at once the great God and our Saviour." In addition, what the Bible teaches is that the Son will take the saints to meet his Father (not “in the air”, but) in heaven at the marriage supper of the Lamb (as typified by Jewish weddings), before they later return together to earth (i.e. the Father, the Son and the Church as his bride), and so it is not the Father who will be appearing at the last day, but the Son. And it is he who is to be called both “the Mighty God”, in an incontrovertible reference in Is. 9:6, as well as similarly called “the Great God” as in Titus 2:13, who will return and appear in the skies to all. When the Father comes to earth to live eternally thereafter, with the Son and his bride, or the saints (Rev. 21:1-3), the saints would have already met the Father in heaven; and hence the Father would not be “appearing” for the first time to them on his descent to earth after the millennium. And that’s why we know Titus 2:13 does not apply to the Father’s descent to earth after the millennium, but only to Jesus’ “glorious appearing” as “the Great God”. Jesus, as the Messiah, would have already handed back the redeemed earthly kingdom to his Father (1 Cor. 15:1928). Earth will then be the new headquarters of the universe, with Jesus and the Father ruling THE WHOLE UNIVERSE on the throne (not on two separate thrones; Rev. 22:1; Rev. 3:21) while the Spirit will still be everywhere (as before), personally representing both Father and Son all over the universe; not fellowshipping on earth with the saints, since the saints would have by now met both Father and Son face to face.
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