The Deity of Christ

By Ronnie Lowe

Jesus is the greatest of the ages. He should be the center of my existence. It is my relationship with Him which will determine the quality of my life. We must be firmly convinced of His Deity, His authority, His power, and our relationship to Him. Without such understanding and conviction, obedience would be impossible. For all that I do as a Christian is meaningless without Jesus being the Christ, the Son of God.

Those first century saints turned the world upside down because there was no doubt about who their Master was. We today can only have the proper impact on our society when we, too, become firmly convinced of His Deity. If He is not the divine Son of God, He is nothing, has done nothing, and means nothing for us today.

The book of Acts so powerfully defends His divine nature. Even without the gospel accounts (Matthew-John), a person could prove through this marvelous book that Jesus is the Christ. We read of Philip, Apollos, and others proving through the Old Testament record who Jesus is. You and I can also prove who He is from the book of Acts. Let us consider what this book says about Jesus.

Can you imagine seeing a group of men standing before a great assembly and speaking in languages they had never studied? They are speaking in the native languages of all the people assembled about you. Such occurred on the Day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2. People from sixteen different regions were present to witness the unfolding of God’s plan.

Some of the witnesses present reached the conclusion that these men are drunk! But wine was not responsible for this special event. It was the Holy Spirit. This was the fulfillment of the prophecy made by the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-32). Such an event which had been foretold 800 years earlier could only be fulfilled through the power and approval of God. As the result of the outpouring of the Spirit, Peter preached the first gospel sermon of the church era.

Every effective speaker should have a definite aim for his lesson. Peter’s purpose was to show who Jesus is and what He had done to save them. He attempted to convince the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. He thus purposed to convict them of the sin they had participated in, and to cause them to repent that they might be prepared to obey the gospel of Christ. Peter’s message accomplished this purpose, perhaps better than any message before or since.

Listen to the soul-stirring words of Peter, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know” (Acts 2:22). They knew it! They had witnessed the evidence, and yet had turned their backs and their hearts on the Savior. They had stood in amazement before His words and wonders. When we further examine Peter’s words, we too should stand in awe, and recognize Jesus for who He is.

Peter begins by affirming that His actions were miraculous. They were such because supernatural power was involved in their performance. Nicodemus had realized this early in the ministry of Jesus. What was the supernatural power involved? Was it the work of a demon, as some had claimed? Nicodemus said, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2). God was indeed working in and through His Son (Matthew 17:5).

His deeds produced a great degree of amazement and wonder in the people. They were amazed by both His words and deeds. Luke recorded, “So they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, ‘What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out’” (Luke 4:36). Would you be amazed at the sight of a lame man walking or a man blind from birth now seeing? His words caused amazement because “No man ever spoke like this Man” (John 7:46).

His actions served as signs to convince the multitudes that His claims were true. How else could the wonders be explained? Would God have empowered an imposter in such a glorious fashion? Great power was also given to some of His followers. His apostles and prophets confirmed their words also by the signs they performed, just as Jesus had promised (Mark 16:20).

These miracles, wonders, and signs were not performed in some dark corner without witness. They were done in the midst of the people. No one could logically argue that they had not occurred. In fact these very acts -- proving His deity -- led to His rejection and crucifixion. The religious leaders simply could not stand by and witness the loss of their power over the people. But even this was as God had said.

“Him, being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death” (Acts 2:23). It is hard to believe that God knew such would happen and yet still sent His Son. How could any father send a son off to perform such a task? Without the immeasurable love of God, such would be impossible.

In killing Christ, the religious leaders thought they were victorious over Christ. They thought they were through with this meddler forever. Such was not so. This was but the beginning of what they were to hear about Jesus, for their actions were a part of God’s eternal plan to sum up all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10; 3:10-11). While in Thessalonica, Paul was “explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ’” (Acts 17:3). It all happened as God planned.

Jesus knew well what would happen to Him, and He spoke of it often. Jesus taught them “that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day” (Matthew 16:21). Almost eight hundred years earlier, Isaiah had spoken in great detail of this dreaded, yet blessed, event (Isaiah 53). How could Isaiah know this, if God did not have a hand in it coming to pass? It is that Divine Hand which proves the deity of Christ.

But Peter offers another proof of the Lord’s divine origin. He was raised from the grave to life by God. It was not possible that the grave should hold Him (Acts 2:24). The body of David remained in the grave. The body of no other founder of a religious movement has ever been raised from death. But the body of Christ was raised. Many witnesses saw and touched the risen Lord before He returned to heaven. The fact that He arose changed a persecutor into a persecuted. It was a vision of the risen Lord that brought Saul of Tarsus to his knees and changed his life forever. Jesus is risen! What better proof for His deity than the resurrection?

The proof has been provided. Peter concludes, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). In the face of such evidence, no wonder they were pricked in their hearts and cried for forgiveness.

They were instructed, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). What benefit would it provide to be baptized in the name of some ordinary man? None! Only Christ can save, for only He is the divine Son of God.

Only the name of Jesus is filled with power. When Peter and John healed the man at the Beautiful Gate, outside the Temple, Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). Peter likewise healed Aeneas by the power of Christ (Acts 9:34). When the seven sons of Sceva attempted to cast an evil spirit from a man, they sought to do so “by the Jesus whom Paul preaches” (Acts 19:13). The evil spirit replied, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” (19:15). Even the demons recognized the awesome power of Jesus.

The Christ now sits at the right hand of the Father. This is a place of honor and authority. Jesus now has all authority over His kingdom (Matthew 28:18; 1 Corinthians 15:23-28). Peter said He was there (Acts 2:30-35); Stephen saw Him there (Acts 7:56). And He remains there today to stand as an Advocate to plead our case before the Father (1 John 2:1-3).

Jesus of Nazareth, a carpenter, launched a movement which continues to thrive nearly two thousand years later. Does this not say something of who He was and is? He gave His followers power to turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6) and to fill the world with His teachings (Colossians 1:23).

Oh, how we rejoice in the deity of Christ and the blessings He brings into our lives! To rejoice in His deity is to submit to Him as Lord (Luke 6:46). Let us serve Him daily.