Theology: The Doctrine of God

Declarations of Christ's Deity: His Divine Attributes

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
Scripture ascribes to Jesus Christ the attributes that only God can have. Today we begin to examine nine of them.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part eight of a series. Read part seven.

Scripture ascribes to Jesus Christ the attributes that only God can have. Today we begin to examine nine of them.

As we continue this series designed to equip our readers with a comprehensive overview of Scripture's declarations concerning Christ's deity, let me briefly review the points we have covered thus far:

  1. We have examined the great declaration of John chapter one, verses one through three, concerning the deity of Christ.
  2. We have seen that Jesus Himself unequivocally stated that He was God.
  3. We have seen that Jesus is spoken of as "the Son" throughout the Bible, from as early in the Old Testament as the second Psalm.
  4. We have briefly examined the inspired declarations of the writer of the book of Hebrews, God's great New Testament commentary on Old Testament truth, and a very rich exposition of the person and work of Christ.
  5. We have briefly examined the testimony of Scripture concerning the incarnation of God the Son - what happened when He came into the world in the person of Jesus.
  6. We have also seen that Scripture repeatedly emphasizes the deity of the Son of God by teaching Christ's deity in His names.

We come now to point number 7: Scripture ascribes to Jesus Christ the attributes that only God can have.

Jesus Has Attributes That Only God Can Have

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is God by telling us about His attributes. Under this heading I want to place before you nine specific areas in which Scripture ascribes to Jesus Christ the attributes that only God can have. Let me first list them, and then discuss each individually.

  1. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is omnipresent, He is present everywhere.
  2. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is omniscient, He knows all things.
  3. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is omnipotent, He has all power.
  4. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is immutable, He is unchangeable.
  5. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is life itself.
  6. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is the performer of miracles.
  7. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is the creator of the universe.
  8. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is the sustainer of the universe.
  9. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is the forgiver of sin.

Jesus Christ is Omnipresent

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ present everywhere at the same time, and that is an attribute of God alone.

  • Matthew 28:20 - "Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' " Jesus is with us, wherever we go.
  • Acts 7:55-56 - "[Stephen], being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, 'Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!' "
  • John 14:23 - "Jesus answered and said to [one of His apostles], 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.' " The same Christ who is at the right hand of the Father in Heaven dwells in the heart of every believer.
  • Ephesians 3:17 - Paul's prayer for the Ephesians is "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."
  • Colossians 1:27 - Paul writes the same thing: "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Jesus Christ is Omniscient

Secondly, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ knows all things, and that likewise is an attribute of God alone.

  • Matthew 9:4 - "And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, 'This Man blasphemes!' But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, 'Why do you think evil in your hearts?' " Jesus, while He was on earth in a human body, knew the unspoken thoughts of men.
  • John 2:25 tells us that Jesus "had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man."
  • John 16:30 - After seeing this demonstrated many times over, "His disciples said to Him...'Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.' "

Jesus Christ was the omniscient God before His incarnation, remained the omniscient God while He was on earth, and is now omniscient in Heaven, ruling, reigning, and interceding for His saints.

Jesus Christ is Omnipotent

Thirdly, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ has all power, and this also is an attribute of God alone.

As we saw a few moments ago in Matthew 28:18, Jesus told His disciples, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." He possesses all power, and that is an attribute of God alone. We also have these statements, among others:

  • Romans 1:1-4 - "Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."
  • Colossians 2:9-10 - "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power."
  • Hebrews 1:1-4 - "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 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 at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they."

Jesus Christ is Immutable

Fourthly, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is absolutely unchangeable, and that also is an attribute of God alone.

  • John 8:58 - As we saw earlier, "Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.' " He declared Himself to be Jehovah, the eternal, unchangeable God.
  • Hebrews 1:10-12 is another passage we examined previously: "You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail."
  • And then we have the great declaration of Hebrews 13:8 - "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

Jesus Christ is Life Itself

Fifthly, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is life itself. This likewise is an attribute of God alone. The Bible teaches in Genesis and elsewhere that God is the giver of physical life, and that God is the giver of eternal life. The Apostle John in particular emphasizes this in his Gospel account, and in his first epistle.

  • John 1:4 - "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men."
  • John 14:6 - Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
  • 1 John 5:11 - "And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son."

We shall take up the remaining four of the nine points regarding Christ's divine attributes in our next installment, as we consider the deity of Christ in relation to His creation.

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