Is Jesus God? Though a live question for many, few who say “No!” make any appeal to a Christian faith. The exceptions are Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons.
Not all Christian bishops or teachers answered alike in the early 300’s AD. In Egypt, the heretic Arius and his followers said “No!” but were opposed by Bishop Alexander who said “Yes!”. Arius said Jesus wasn’t God, didn’t possess divine attributes, had a beginning, and wasn’t perfectly pure, wise or good; God had made Him, just like he made you and me. Arius believed Jesus was a creature, not a Creator.
Dismayed at such infighting among the churches and their leaders, Emperor Constantine–who had professed Christ and made Christianity the faith of the Roman realm, called a council of bishops around Easter in A.D.325 to settle the question once and for all. 220–perhaps more, showed up and crafted a definitive Nicene Creed which Christians still consider the standard of orthodoxy. In up-to-date language…
- I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
- And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
- Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
- And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
- And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The Bible does not let us happily dismiss false teaching on Jesus–or anything else, as little more than a different opinion. …if Christ has no been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins (1 Cor.15:17). Without Jesus’ resurrection, we are doomed. And without his deity, we are doomed. For example, if all people have a sinful nature, how could Jesus live all his life without sinning (Heb.4:15)? And if He was just human–and thus sinned, how could he bear the sins of the world (He would have only been able to die for His own sins)? And How could someone who is not God, forgive sins (Mark 2:7)?
When the Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, he was about to take the life of a son that was just like himself. Which is just what God did…, at Easter. “…one substance with the Father.”