Updated: Nov 10
“You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me."
-- Isaiah 43:10 --
A Shocking Survey!
According to the 2022 State of Theology survey by Ligonier Ministries, 43% of Evangelicals in the United States agreed with the following statement: Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God. The same question was asked in the 2020 survey - 30% of evangelicals agreed with this statement. This survey reveals a significant increase in evangelicals who deny the deity of Jesus over a two year period! John Calvin said it best - Those who fall away have never been thoroughly imbued with the knowledge of Christ, but had only a light and a transient taste of it. This survey also reveals that 56% of U.S. Evangelicals agree that God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. All religions, with the exception of Christianity, deny the deity of Jesus! Given the state of the church today with its emphasis on professional worship bands and the latest hits from Christian artists, I'm not shocked by these survey results.
Who Do You Say Jesus Is?
Jesus asked this question to His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" The disciples responded, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets" (Matthew 16:13-14). Notice what some of the people didn't say. After three years of performing miracles such as casting out demons, feeding five thousand people from five loaves and two fish, healing the crippled and lame, giving sight to the blind, restoring hearing to the deaf, and raising people from the dead, the people didn't recognize that the Son of Man is the Christ, the promised Messiah, the Son of God! The evidence was there for all to see, yet they rejected Him - He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him (John 1:11). When Jesus asked His disciples, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Jesus told His disciples, "flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 16:15-18). Jesus did not build His church upon Peter (Greek Petros, a stone), but upon "this rock" (Greek Petra, large rock, bed-rock) or foundation - Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God!
Son of God Defined
Many people get hung up on this and I could understand why (been there myself). The word son indicates someone who was born and who never existed prior to being conceived. It typically refers to an immediate male descendent (Matthew 1:21; Romans 9:9) or a group of descendants such as the sons of Israel (Matthew 27:9). The term "Son of God" is a title that couples the deity of Jesus to His humanity. This is explained in Luke 1:31-35. The child in Mary's womb, Jesus, "will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end" (vs. 31-33). When Mary asked the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God (vs 34-35). When Jesus was before Pilate, the Jews testified, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God" (John 19:7). John 17:12 describes Judas as the son of perdition. He wasn't the son of someone named perdition. John 6:71 states that Judas was the son of Simon Iscariot. Jesus gave the name Boanerges, which means "Sons of Thunder," to James and his brother John. They were sons of Zebedee (Mark 3:17).
The Son of God Redefined
You can easily come to the conclusion that, before Jesus was conceived in the womb of the young virgin girl named Mary, He never existed and thus cannot be God. In fact, this is what those who deny the deity of Christ believe. The Jehovah Witnesses (JWs) teach that Jesus was created by God (God's son). Jesus never coexisted with God throughout eternity and thus, is not equal to God. They will use scriptures such as John 14:28 (the Father is greater than I) and Philippians 2:9 (God highly exalted Him) to prove this. The JWs will also prove this false doctrine by showing you John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God. They place the indefinite article ‘a’ between Word was and God to prove that Jesus is not God, but a god. However, the exact Greek rendering of this phrase is kai (and) ho (the) logos (Word) eimi (was) theos (God). The Greek language only uses words that correspond to definite, not indefinite, articles.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) has an even more warped view on who Jesus is. They teach that the spirit of Jesus was an eternal God before being born to His heavenly parents as the first spirit-being without a physical body. Thus, Jesus was the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29) and the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15). The doctrine of the Savior’s status as firstborn has been reemphasized for our benefit in more recent times by an official pronouncement of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve given in 1916: “Among the spirit children of Elohim (the Father) the first-born was and is Jehovah to whom all others are juniors”... Because Jesus Christ was indeed the firstborn of heavenly parents and is, as pertaining to our first estate, our “elder brother,” that means He also possessed a spirit body that had a definite birth or time of organization just like every other spirit child of God. Elder McConkie taught that implicit in Jesus’ birth as a spirit child is the fact that “he had a beginning; there was a day when he came into being as a conscious identity, as a spirit entity, as an organized intelligence."
Joseph Fielding Smith (1838-1918), who served as president of the LDS, stated emphatically that Jesus Christ was “a God before he was born into this world." He was like His Father... but that He was also born as a son of God, having a beginning, is no contradiction when one understands the true nature and order of existence as revealed by enlightened prophets; and any confusion over this matter may be tied to the false notion of creation ex nihilo... The Prophet Joseph Smith further taught that the idea of Deity organizing eternally existent matter also applied to the spirits of God’s children as well. He stated, “The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end." Indeed, the Lord revealed to the Prophet in 1833 that “man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can it be... For man is spirit... In 1839 Joseph taught, “The Spirit of man is not a created being; it existed from Eternity and will exist to eternity."
Members of the JWs and the LDS will tell you that Jesus is the Son of God. If you didn't know what they teach about who Jesus is, you would think their beliefs are no different from those taught in other churches. They can be quite convincing. But beware, their definition of the Son of God denies the deity of Christ!
There Is Only One God
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!" (Deuteronomy 6:4). The Hebrew word for God is ʾĕlōhîm. This word literally means gods. When coupled with the proper name of God, YHWH or Yahweh, which is translated LORD throughout the Old Testament, ʾĕlōhîm is typically treated as a singular noun. This is the case with Deuteronomy 6:4 as well as other Old Testament passages. For example, the phrase the LORD God is referenced 437 times, the LORD your God is referenced 440 times, and the LORD our God is referenced 97 times. The LORD says in Isaiah 45:14 - Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God. He also states this in Isaiah 45:21 - Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.
When we see references to other gods (ʾĕlōhîm), this does not mean that God created these so called gods or that they existed throughout eternity with Him. These are gods made by human hands (Deuteronomy 4:28) and foreign gods such as Baal and the Ashtaroth (Judges 2:13; 1 Samuel 7:3).
The sons of God mentioned in Matthew 5:9, Romans 8:14, Romans 8:19, and Galatians 3:6 are not to be confused with the sons of God in Genesis 6:2, Genesis 6:4, Job 1:6, Job 2:1, and Job 38:7. The sons of God in the aforementioned New Testament passages are believers who have come to saving faith in Christ. The sons of God in the Old Testament are angels who were created by God before the heavens and the earth were created (Genesis 1). God asked Job, "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7). The sons of God in Genesis 6:1-4 are fallen angels who took wives for themselves and bore children to them. These angels did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode. They are being kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day (Jude 6).
Jesus Is The Eternal God
The Son of God is seen throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. I could spend several months presenting Him from each of the books of the Bible. But, I will keep this short.
Jesus existed when the heavens and the earth and everything in them was created (Genesis 1 and 2). God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness... God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Genesis 1:26-27). God (singular) said let Us (plural) make man in Our (plural) image. This passages teaches that one God, consisting of a plurality of persons, created the first man and woman. One of these persons is the Spirit of God (Genesis 1:2). John 1:1-14 presents the Word who was God and who was with God in the beginning as Jesus, who became flesh and dwelt among us. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being (v. 3). For by Him (the Son, the image of the invisible God) all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16).
When confronting the unbelief of the Pharisees, Jesus was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:23-24). Later on in this chapter, the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple (John 8:57-59). The Jews wanted to stone Jesus to death because of the blasphemous claim that He made about Himself when He said I am He (John 8:24) and I am (John 8:58): He is the eternal God! The Jews clearly understood this because they knew what the Old Testament scriptures taught. In Genesis 3, the angel of the LORD appeared to Moses in a blazing fire from the midst of a burning bush (v. 2). Moses was speaking to God. When Moses asked what His name is, God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM;” and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations (Genesis 3:14-15). The preincarnate Christ (before becoming flesh) appeared to Moses as the angel of the LORD, who we see fifty-six times throughout the Old Testament.
The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the LORD, am the first, and with the last. I am He’ " (Isaiah 41:4) and “I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me. “It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And I am God. “Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?” (Isaiah 43:11-13). In his prophecy about the birth of the future king in Bethlehem, Micah wrote, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2).
Jesus never once denied His deity and eternal coexistence with the Father and the Holy Spirit. When on trial for blasphemy before Caiaphas, the high priest said to Jesus, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus did not say no. Instead He answered, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN” (Matthew 26:57-64). Jesus quoted from Psalm 110:1 - The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet” and Daniel 7:13 - “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him." Caiaphas had all of the evidence that he needed to sentence Jesus to death for blasphemy.
It is the clear teaching from the Bible that there is only one God and Savior who exists throughout all eternity. There are no other Gods! Jesus tells us in His great commission to make disciples and baptize them in the name (singular) of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). The apostle Paul wrote, but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior, To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior (Titus 1:3-4). Paul also referred to the doctrine of God our Savior (Titus 2:10) and the kindness of God our Savior (Titus 3:4).
Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
-- 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 --
Who do you say Jesus is?
 The State of Theology, (Ligonier Ministries, 2022), https://thestateoftheology.com/
 Elliot Ritzema, 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation, Pastorum Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2013).
 Andrew C. Skinner, The Premortal Godhood of Christ: A Restoration Perspective, https://rsc.byu.edu/jesus-christ-son-god-savior/premortal-godhood-christ-restoration-perspective
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture cited in this post is taken from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update.