In the monotheistic Jewish culture, to honor God meant to confess and live in the light of his exclusive status as the maker, sustainer, and sovereign King of all creation. To honor any creature, no matter how wonderful, as a deity was to detract from the honor due to God. As Philo of Alexandria, a first-century Jewish philosopher, put it, "They who deify mortal things neglect the honour due to God." It is in this cultural setting that Jesus asserted that it was God the Father's purpose "that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father." By "the Son," of course, Jesus meant himself.
Jesus went on to say that anyone failing to accord him such honor actually dishonors the Father. "Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him" (John 5:23). Linking the honor due God with the honor due anyone else in this way was unprecedented in the Jewish Scriptures. That Jesus is here claiming divine honor is evident from the immediate context.
The book of Hebrews asserts that Jesus "is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself" (3:3). Moses is to Jesus as a house is to the builder of the house. In other words, Moses is part of the creation, the "house," and Jesus is being described as the "builder of the house," or the one responsible for the creation. "For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God" (v. 4). Hebrews is telling us to honor Jesus as we would the "builder" of creation -- God.
The book of Revelation contains doxological songs or hymns in praise of Jesus Christ, there represented by the Lamb, paralleling its own doxological hymns to God. These doxologies show that Lamb is appropriately worshipped on equal terms with God:
"Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created" (Rev. 4:11).
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing... To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever" (Rev. 5:12-13).
The doxology does not praise Jesus to the exclusion of God, but includes the giving of eternal honor and glory to Jesus Christ within the monotheistic Jewish practice of ascribing such glory to God (note the similarity of these doxologies to the one in 1 Chronicles 29:10-11). We should not underestimate the boldness that was necessary to alter these traditional Jewish forms. By constructing such doxologies to God and Christ together, or even to Christ alone (2 Peter 3:18), the New Testament writers were exalting Jesus Christ to the very level of God.
As Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was being stoned to death, he prayed to Jesus. "He prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he died" (Acts 7:59-60).
The word translated "prayed" in the NRSV (likewise the NIV) is a form of epikaleo, which literally means to "call on" someone. When used in religious contexts of appealing to a heavenly or supernatural being for help, epikaleo is another technical term for prayer. Thus, it is undeniable that in this context Stephen was praying to Jesus. The significance of this act of invoking Jesus is only heightened by the occasion: the heavenly being on whom one calls at the moment of death for spiritual repose is quite simply one's God. Stephen entrusted the "Lord Jesus" with his spirit. The same writer, Luke, is the only Gospel writer to report that Jesus had entrusted his spirit to the Father at the moment of his death (Luke 23:46; cf. Ps. 31:5). Clearly, Luke understands Jesus to be performing a function of deity by receiving Stephen's spirit -- and in this context Stephen's calling on Jesus is as significant an act of prayer as one could imagine.
Daniel and his Jewish friends had refused to "serve" the image of Nebuchadnezzar or to "serve" Darius, identifying themselves as those who "serve" only their God, the living God (Dan. 3:12, 14, 17, 18, 28; 6:16, 20). In this setting, the vision of people from all nations "serving" the Son of Man presents a startling contrast. The "service" that Daniel and his friends refused to give to Nebuchadnezzar's image or to Darius, Daniel envisions all nations giving to the heavenly Son of Man.
Daniel's reference to the Son of Man being "served" implies a divine status for the Son of Man, not merely because of the use of that one word, but because of the context in which it is used. The universal sovereignty attributed to the Son of Man is earlier attributed to Daniel's God by the Babylonian and Persian kings:
"The signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me I am pleased to recount. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his sovereignty is from generation to generation" (4:2-3).
"When that period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me. I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored the one who lives forever. For his sovereignty is an everlasting sovereignty, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation" (4:34).
"I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: For he is the living God, enduring forever. His kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion has no end" (6:26).
This language of a kingdom that will not be destroyed and that will endure forever is then applied to the kingdom of the Son of Man:
"To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed" (7:14).
Within the larger context, the reference to all peoples "serving" the Son of Man is confirmed as an expression of religious devotion. The One whom you regard as the Ruler of your entire universe for all time is by definition your God, and it would be the height of folly not to render religious devotion or service to him.
The Old Testament closely links love for God and obedience to his commandments. In the Ten Commandments, the Lord told Israel that he expected them to "love me and keep my commandments" (Exod. 20:6; Deut. 5:10). The Lord "maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments" (Deut. 7:9). "You shall love the Lord your God, therefore, and keep his charge, his decrees, his ordinances, and his commandments always" (Deut. 11:1; see also 11:13, 22; 19:9; 30:6-8 16, 20; Josh. 22:5; Neh. 1:5; Dan. 9:4). Israelites were to put loyalty to the Lord above everything else, even loyalty to their families (Deut. 13:6-11; 33:9).
Yet Jesus expected to be given the same kind of absolute devotion -- the same unqualified commitment of the heart and life -- that we ought to give to God. Jesus put love for him above family ties: "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Matt. 10:37). A similar statement in Luke puts it more starkly: "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26).
In the Gospel of John, Jesus repeatedly associates love for him with obedience to his commandments: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (14:15) ; "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me" (14:21) ; "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love' (15:10). When Jeus connects obedience with love, biblically literate Jewish hearers would immediately think of the associations between obeying God's commandments and loving God.
The point is, Jesus Christ comes first in our lives -- our love for him is our highest priority, and nothing will interfere with, or stop us from, loving him forever. That is what it means to know Jesus as our Lord and God.
We have here, then, dating from less than twenty-five years after Jesus' death and resurrection, an apostolic writing affirming the belief in Christ's divine preexistence.
Also consider the following statements by Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels:
"For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners" (Matt. 9:13; cf. Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32).
"The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45).
"I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose" (Luke 4:43; cf. Mark 1:38).
"I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled" (Luke 12:49).
"Do you thin that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division" (Luke 12:51; cf. Matt. 10:34).
"For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10).
From the Gospel of John:
"If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me" (8:42).
"Can you say that the one whome the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, "I am God's Son"? (10:36).
"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God..." (13:3).
"I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father" (16:28).
"But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent for the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" (Gal. 4:4-6).
"For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom 8:3).
Originally posted by epiphinehasWhat are you tring to do, give Robbie heart failure?
To get us started, here are several points supporting the case that Jesus Christ is, in fact, God.***
(1) [quote]In the monotheistic Jewish culture, to honor God meant to confess and live in the light of his exclusive status as the maker, sustainer, and sovereign King of all creation. To honor any creature, no matter how wonderful, as a ...[text shortened]... g. ...
Originally posted by whodeyactually Whodey there is nothing as potent as truth, and what you have read will not last long under scrutiny, for it is not truth, and as in life , as in chess,
What are you tring to do, give Robbie heart failure?
Originally posted by jaywillGentle reader, let us take a moment for reflection,
If you reader, listen to this Russellite teaching of Robbie's you will likely not receive Christ into your heart. And you would not be born of God.
The seeds of this teaching of Arius and Russell will discourage you from speaking to Christ. It may even discourage you from praying to the Father for Christ to save you.
The seeds of rebellion will subtl ey have to teach people is the very same lack of assurance that they themselves suffer.