Many still debate the nature of Jesus Christ. Some state he is just a prophet (Islam), perhaps a moral teacher (Secularist), while others including myself insist he was very God of very God. Other cults even argue that Jesus is an archangel (Jehovah Witness). In some respects, many of these discussions sadly boil down to proof-text. Sometimes, the discussion never gets to the New Testament titles such as Lord, Alpha & Omega, and Savior which are ascribed to God in the Old Testament. Our culture limits many us with the rhetoric of “God” when discussing the divinity of Jesus. In many respects, we rob ourselves from a deeper study of who Christ is and how he is related to the various titles ascribed to him that explicitly state his divine nature. But if you ever need a text that uses Jesus and God as identical there is one. In fact, Paul explicitly calls Jesus, God. He uses the actual Greek equivalent “theos” to Jesus. This text is in Romans 9:5. In its context, Paul is mourning the unbelief of his kinsmen according to the flesh, Israel. As he moves through the text, describing the blessings of Israel, Paul states “To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.” (ESV)
Some have argued for other interpretations of this scripture and how it should be punctuated to avoid Paul explicitly calling Jesus “God”. Respectable text like the NASB state “whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.” Still, this is not necessary. We have a legitimate proof text for our discussion in Romans 9:5. Paul’s doxologies typically utilize “praise” to precede “God”. These occurrences are apparent in 2 Cor. 1:3 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” & Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (ESV). From here, we see that Paul is accustomed to this formula of language and also typically moves from reflecting Jesus humanity and his deity. In essence, Paul affirms the Jewish heritage of Jesus but also affirms that He is God in this context.
What text do you believe are convincing of Jesus’ deity?
For God’s Glory,