Arguments Against the Deity of Christ

Arguments Against the Deity of Christ

Belief in the deity of Jesus Christ is essential to salvation (Romans 10:9; John 8:24). Yet, this precious doctrine is attacked mercilessly not only in the west but even within the “Christian world.” In this article, I will be presenting the arguments and Scriptures used by these opponents against the deity of Christ.

Jesus Christ is not God …


1.
Because He had flesh and bones, and God being a spirit, has neither flesh nor bones – John 4:24; Luke 24:39

Answer: Jesus Christ as man had both flesh and bones but as God, He was spirit.

This objection arises from the problem of the dual nature of the Savior. In order for the invisible God to become visible, He must become flesh and bones. Jesus assumed flesh and bones merely for the incarnation. As God He is eternal but to be our Redeemer it was necessary that He become a partaker of humanity.

Jesus is fully God and fully man

a) Jesus is a dual personality.

“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 2:5

b) God was manifest in the flesh.

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in
the flesh, 
justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.” – 1 Timothy 3:16


2.
Because Christ had a beginning and God had no beginning – John 8:42; Psalm 90:2

Answer: Jesus as a man had a beginning when He was conceived of the Holy Spirit but Jesus as God is without beginning and without end.

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” – John 8:58

The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I have been established from everlasting, from beginning, before there was even an earth.” – Proverbs 8:22-23


3.
Because He has been created, and God isn’t; God is the creator – Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14

Answer: The correct translation of Revelation 3:14 is something like this, “He was the witness of the beginning of the creation of God.” Jesus is not a creation but a witness of the creation.

We find no evidence in the Bible that the Father created Jesus or that Jesus is a “lesser God” than the Father. The Bible reveals that from eternity Jesus has the same substance, glory, power, and authority as the Father and the Holy Spirit.

“And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” – Colossians 1:17

When Jesus is called the “first born of all creation,” it does not mean that Jesus was created. Rather, it speaks of the preexistence of Christ. He is not a creature but the eternal Creator.

And every creature which is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I hear saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever.” – Revelation 5:13

A created being cannot and will not receive worship due only to God.


4.
Because God is not a man (Hosea 11:9) and man is not God (Ezekiel 28:2), but Jesus was called man – John 8:40; 1 Timothy 2:5

Answer: Hosea does not say God could not assume human form of the body and flesh. Nothing is too hard for God (Jeremiah 32:17-18). Since God is all powerful He can be manifest in the flesh.

Here’s a video of Nabeel Qureshi answering a Muslim’s question on the Trinity.

Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is translated, “God with us.” – Matthew 1:23

Jesus was both true God and true man in one person without an intermingling of the two natures. Emmanuel means “God with us.”


5.
Because He called God His Father – Matthew 27:46; John 20:17

Answer: The relationship between Jesus and God the Father has always been that of a “father and son.” So it’s not surprising that even as the human person, Jesus called God His Father. In Hebrews 1:8, God calls Jesus “God” but that does not lessen the Father’s position of deity.

But to the son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.” – Hebrews 1:8

The relationship between God and Jesus Christ


6.
Because the Father sent Jesus to earth – John 8:42

Answer:  Jesus volunteered to come. But even so, the Father sending the Son to earth does not lessen His position as the Almighty God.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” – John 10:11

The co-equal, co-eternal persons of the Trinity are one in divine nature. However, each divine person has a distinct role in salvation and a voluntary submission of roles in the work of redemption. The Son took on human flesh and submitted to the Father by giving His life on the cross.


7.
Because God is His head – 1 Corinthians 11:3

Answer: God the Father and Jesus have the same exact nature; they’re both divine but their relationship is different. God the Father is the head of Christ because Christ was eternally begotten of the Father. But this does not mean that the Father is greater or higher than the Son.

“And now, O Father, glorify me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” – John 17:5

In a triumvirate, it is necessary that one be the chairman but that does not mean that he is greater than the other two. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equal but for administrative purposes, the Father acts as the executive administrator.


8.
Christ is not God, but He is the Son of God, just as we may become sons of God – John 3:16

Answer:  When we call Jesus the Son of God we mean that He is of the same nature as God. Fathers create things unlike themselves, but they beget sons like them.

C.S. Lewis explained it this way:

When you make (or create), you make something of a different kind from yourself. A bird makes a nest, a beaver builds a dam, and man makes a computer. But when you beget, you beget something of the same kind as yourself. A man begets human babies, a bird begets eggs which will turn into little birds, and a beaver begets little beavers.

So when we say, “Jesus is the Son of God,” we simply mean that Jesus is God.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

By conversion, we become a “son of God” (John 1:12), but Jesus Christ is the “only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16), a unique and special position. God’s Son is equal to the Father (Philippians 2:6), and the saints become an heir with Christ.


9.
Because the Father gave Him power – Matthew 28:18

Answer:  Jesus was, always has been, and always will be God. As God, Jesus has the same power as the Father and the Spirit. When Jesus said that all power and authority has been given to Him, that would include the power that brought the universe into existence.

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” – Colossians 1:16

In Philippians 2:5-8, the Son surrenders this power and God restores or returns it to Him after the resurrection. It was always His but He voluntarily yielded it.


10.
Because He was made Lord by God – Acts 2:36

Answer:  How could Jesus be made Lord if He was already the Lord? Jesus was not made Lord by God in the sense that He was made into something He was not already. He was not made Lord in the sense of a promotion.

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” – Colossians 2:9

Acts 2:36 is dealing with Jesus’ status as a man-made under the law and in a lower position. It is in that sense that He was made Lord and Christ by God the Father.


11.
Because He is subject to God and He says that the Father is greater than Him – 1 Corinthians 15:28; John 14:28

Answer:  John 14:28 has often been thought to mean that Jesus is something less than the Father. However, this statement is not referring to Christ’s nature but rather His position. When Jesus came to earth, He came in the form of a servant. He voluntarily chose subjection; it was not imposed on Him against His will.

“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death of the cross.” – Philippians 2:8


12.
Because Christ died and God being immortal cannot die – 1 Timothy 1:17

Answer:  People say that Jesus can’t be God because He died and God cannot die. We have to understand that Jesus has two natures: God and man. It was the human nature that died on the cross, not the divine nature.

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” – Hebrews 2:9

Jesus as man died but Jesus as God could not and did not die (Hebrews 2:9, 14). In the person of Jesus Christ, who is a man with the divine nature, we see a biological death, not the death of the divine being who is God.


13.
Because He prayed to the Father and addressed Him as the only true God – John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6

Answer:  This objection ignores the fact that the Son co-exists with the Father; they are one. We need to understand that the Father and the Son had an eternal relationship before Jesus took upon Himself the form of a man.

Jesus prays to the Father - John 17:3

Being fully equal with the Father in nature, Jesus’ manner must be seen more as a supplication and conversation rather than a lesser being who is praying to a greater being.

*Related Article: Death Penalty for Sin, Eternal Life in Christ 

Conclusion

Nothing has changed after 2,000 years. The attack against the deity of Jesus Christ persisted up until today. While the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ is God, there are still many groups that deny His deity. From Muslims who teach that Jesus was just a prophet, to the Jehovah Witnesses who reduce Him into a messenger sent by the Father.

The doctrine of Christ’s deity is important to the Christian faith as it not only authenticates the authority and inspiration of Scripture; it also the basis for a believer’s eternal salvation. In other words, if Jesus is not fully God, we have no salvation and ultimately no Christianity.


*Recommended Resource: Forgotten Trinity, The – eBook By James R. White

The Trinity is a basic teaching of the Christian faith. It defines God’s essence and describes how He relates to us. The Forgotten Trinity is a concise, understandable explanation of what the Trinity is and why it matters. It refutes cultic distortions of God. It shows how a grasp of this significant teaching leads to renewed worship and deeper understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

And amid today’s emphasis on the renewing work of the Holy Spirit, The Forgotten Trinity is a balanced look at all three persons of the Trinity.


Reference Materials:

100 Bible Lessons by Alban Douglas
Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem

 

 

 

8 Replies to “Arguments Against the Deity of Christ”

  1. They way I see it is “God so loved the world He gave His one and only begotten Son so that we may be saved” (John 3:16).

    We are all sinners and God does not allow sinners into His kingdom — though out of pure love He sent a Savior to us so that we could be reborn and go to heaven.

    Jesus lived a perfect life and sacrificed His own life so we wouldn’t have to.

    And what makes Christianity different from every other religion is that it’s the only one where you can not work your way to heaven with good results — but are given the gift of eternal life due to God’s mercy.

    1. Hello Michael, thanks for sharing your insights. You’re absolutely right! The Bible tells us that God sacrificed His only begotten Son Jesus so that salvation will become available to all who will repent and believe in Him. So to say that Jesus is not God is inconceivable, for only God can save the world. While it’s true that Jesus is 100% man, He’s also 100% God, which qualified Him to become the Savior of the world. No mere man can possibly save the world from eternal condemnation in hell.

      Jesus is God no matter what other people say and believe because the Bible clearly declares it. The Father is God, the Son Jesus is God and the Holy Spirit is God. But there are not 3 Gods, only one, Yahweh, who eternally exists in three co-equal, co-eternal and co-powerful persons. It’s hard to comprehend but because the Bible says so, we need to just believe it.

      Yes, Christianity is different from all other religions because we are saved not by what we do but by what God has already accomplished on the cross, hallelujah! God’s love for us is truly amazing that even though we are not deserving, He saved us anyway because of His unconditional love. Praise His wonderful Name!

  2. I absolutely love your website and the subject matter ! In today’s world it’s almost taboo to discuss the Bible, or our faith and beliefs in it, much less mention the name of Jesus anywhere ! It’s refreshing and I want to thank you for your hard work!
    God bless !
    Mike

    1. You’re absolutely right, Mike. Sharing our faith and Jesus to others and citing the Bible as authoritative is sure to get us in trouble. Others often call us bigots and judgmental too for even mentioning Jesus. However, Christians need to keep sharing Jesus and the good news of salvation so that the people who are in the dark will come to see the light as well.

      I think one of the things that turn people off is when Christians themselves do not see eye to eye on who Jesus really is. Let’s face it, many who claim to be Christians do not believe that Jesus is God; they believe He’s the way to the Father and the means of salvation but have difficulty in accepting His deity.

  3. Hi there,

    You have given such a detailed explanation in Argument Against the Deity of Christ perhaps, the Trinity.

    In my opinion, there’s no spot that comes fit for discussion or to even question about it. Christ was before Abraham – many centuries before He was even to be conceived by the Virgin Mary (Preeminence). He incarnated in the form of a man (Jesus) to show He (his father) existed before the creation of the world, and to make men realize that there’s a true Creator of everything we see in this universe. And that our body also dies while the spirit will not! Where does the spirit go then?

    The Bible teaches that the spirit will join the Holy GHOST in Heaven according to the works done on earth.
    Finally, there’s no other gods who can raise people from dead like Lazarus was. There’s no other gods who flare up pillar of fire to guide his people walking in the night, or drying of oceans for them to pass through, etc.
    So, there should be no argument that Christ is the TRUE Deity existing in TRINITY.

    Thanks for sharing this. Spread the news and share the love.

    Cheers!

    1. Hello there H,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read the article and for sharing your thoughts on one of the most controversial topics about Christ, his deity.

      What I don’t understand is why people, even those who claim to be Christians, do not believe that Jesus is deity; that Jesus is God as the Bible clearly teaches. I guess the biggest problem that most people struggle with is understanding how Jesus can be 100% God and 100% human; and how God can exist in three distinct personas. But just because we do not read anywhere in the Bible the word Trinity does not mean it’s not biblical.

      I find it really disheartening to hear Christians say that they do not believe Jesus is divine and they use the arguments I mentioned in this article to defend their claim. Because if we really believe that the Bible is the Word of God, we must submit our thoughts to it instead of using it in support of our own personal notion.

      The Trinity: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are co-equal, co-eternal and co-powerful, and they have their own role in the creation as well as in the salvation of mankind. While I do not agree with you that works have something to do with where we will be spending eternity after life on earth because salvation is a gift of God that we receive by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9), we are on the same page as to the death of our physical body and that our spirit and soul will go straight to God in heaven or to hell at death, depending on whether one has accepted God’s offer of salvation based on the finished works of Christ.

      Thanks again for visiting, more blessings to you!

  4. This debate as to the deity of Jesus stems mostly from poor translations over the years. The bible was not originally written in English, for us to fully comprehend the message we have to learn to read it in its original format.
    Kind of like a poorly dubbed foreign film. You will never fully understand until you have understood the original. 

    I think people each have their own perceived ideas of God. Most think of him as a single being rather than the trinity, mainly because that aspect is not as highly focused upon in most churches. When you separate God out as a single being then the Son and the Holy Ghost lose some of their impact. It is only when seen as a trinity that the full scale can be comprehended. 

    The modern day translations are not as detailed and focused in the area of the trinity. They have lost some of the impact over the years with the many translations.

    1. Hi Maryann,

      You’re absolutely right, in order for us to fully comprehend what God is telling us about Himself through His revealed word, the Bible, we need to have a good translation. Reference books and commentaries are also great tools. However, I believe that no fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, including the Trinity, was altered in the modern translations.

      Regarding those who do not believe that God is tri-person, I would have to say that perhaps, they haven’t really read through the Bible. A Messianic Jew who tried to find Jesus and the Trinity in the Old Testament was amazed to discover that Jesus is all over the Old Testament.

      Church leaders need to not only teach their congregation how to live according to God’s standards but also train them to defend the Christian faith; this is called apologetics. As 1 Peter 3:15 says, “we must always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks us the reason for the hope that we have.”

      Christians must be properly taught sound Bible doctrines, such as the Trinity, and must be equipped to defend them. I find it very disheartening that many who call themselves Christians do not believe in a Triune God, when it is exactly what the Bible teaches.

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