Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Is Jesus Really God? Part 2

(continued from Part 1)
Jesus claimed to be God

In John 14:9 Jesus told His disciple Phillip, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He also made a similar claim in John 5:25, but the most clear claim to divinity came when He was under oath for that very reason. When asked by Pilate if He was God, Jesus answered, “I AM (Mark 14:62).”

Some people today say that Jesus was a good teacher, but that He never claimed to be God. That doesn’t make sense: Jesus was sentenced to death for the crime of blasphemy, which is claiming to be God!

Jesus acted like God 

It wasn’t just that He claimed to be God, for anyone can do that. Jesus also acted as if He were God. Consider the fact that He let Thomas call Him “my Lord and my God” in John 20:28. Jesus never corrected Him and said, “No Thomas, I am not God.”

Jesus also allowed people to worship Him, like in John 9:38 and Matthew 28:17. Contrast that with Peter, who refused to let Cornelius worship him in Acts 10:25-26, saying, “Stand up; for I also a man.” Jesus never told the crowds not to worship Him because He wasn’t just a man.

Jesus forgave sin in Luke 7:48 and Matthew 9:2. This outraged the Pharisees because, according to Mark 2:7, no one could forgive sins “except God alone.” In Matthew 13:31 Jesus said that He had the power to send out angels, which was something else He could not do if He were not God.

In John 10:30 Jesus made the statement “I and my Father are one.” And in John 1 we see once again a claim that Jesus was God in the flesh: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (verses 1 and 14).

So to the Mormon who believes in the Bible and yet does not believe that Jesus was God incarnate, what do you do with all these verses?

The reason many Mormons overlook these verses is they put their primary focus on Joseph Smith, who supposedly received another revelation from God that was given to him by an angel. The problem with this is that Paul warned the Galatian church to reject any new gospel, even if it came from an angel (Galatians 1:8).

Whether it is a preacher, Joseph Smith, an angel, or anything else, let us make sure that their teaching is in line with Scripture. The Bible cannot be clearer: Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, and His resurrection makes Him the only Savior of the world. 

Our Mormon friends must be shown that the Bible itself presents Jesus as God, so if their Book of Mormon teaches something different, then they need to reject that book and that religion. 

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