Did Jesus Claim to be God?

Did Jesus Claim to be God?

   This question is asked often and the simple answer is “yes.” Of course, there are lots of people who have made that claim throughout history. Stories abound of institutionalized mental patients claiming they were God. So we’ll examine the significance of Jesus making that claim and why we do not believe that what Jesus said was not something cooked up in a delusional mind. First, the claims as recorded in the Bible:

“…he who has seen Me has seen the Father…”   John 14:9

“…I and The Father are one…”     John 10:30

Jesus repeatedly referred to himself as “I am” (John 8:58) which in the Hebrew tradition amounted to a declaration that He was God. It was these repeated pronouncements that infuriated the religious authorities in his day who called for his execution via crucifixion. Death was the prescribed punishment for the sin of heresy, and Jesus’ assertion that he was God would have been considered the ultimate heresy thus the demand for capital punishment.

Besides his direct assertion that he was God, the Bible relates stories where Jesus demonstrated that he was God. On one occasion, Jesus invited three of his disciples, James, Peter and John, to accompany him to Mt. Tabor to witness Him being transfigured to the Majesty He had before coming to earth. There Jesus was joined in midair by Moses and Elijah and the witnesses heard the voice of God saying,

“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”    Matthew 17:5

Furthermore, Jesus raised several people from the dead including Lazarus, a man who had been dead three days and was starting to stink of decay. There were many witnesses to these events. Most significantly, Jesus, himself, rose from the dead, one of the most documented events of the ancient world. Following his resurrection, Jesus appeared in bodily form to hundreds of people and during this period he would suddenly appear and disappear thru doors and walls in a locked room.   

The evidences are many and clear. His coming to earth, living a perfect life, performing many miracles, suffering a terrible death for us on a cross and rising from the dead that we may be forgiven and enjoy fellowship with Him now here on this earth is sufficient to confirm that Jesus is indeed God.   

All it takes is for you and each of us now is to say YES I BELIEVE and TRUST in HIM. How about you? Have you? If not, why not? If you would like to learn more about Jesus and his power to set you free from sin while offering you an opportunity to enjoy an eternity free from guilt, pain and shame, please go to our Next Steps page.

What does it mean that the wages of sin is death?

What does it mean that the wages of sin is death?

​First, we need to remember that God is holy and will not have sin in any form in His presence. Basically, sin is disobedience. Breaking God’s commandments and laws is sin. Jesus even went further; he said that hateful thoughts and the like are also sin.  So, by these standards, all have sinned and fallen way short of God’s standard of perfection.
Consequently, with sin came death to mankind. This is the ‘price to be paid.’ Death is universal. All men and women die. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment.”

There is no purgatory and there is no reincarnation.
It is important to remember that death separates but does not annihilate. In other words, when a person’s body dies, it is not over. In fact, there are three deaths as a result of man’s sin. This is important to understand.

  1. Spiritual Death: 
    The original sin happened in the garden of Eden. It separated man, Adam, from God spiritually; this is spiritual death.
  2. Physical Death:  
    Adam’s sin brought about natural death which separates the spirit and the soul from the body.
  3. Eternal Death:  For the unsaved there is final death which separates man from the mercy of God forever.

This eternal separation means that man will continue to exist but without hope and without ever experiencing God’s love again. He or she is then condemned for all eternity; condemned to a place where Jesus said, “there is utter darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth; a place from which there is no hope of escape.

It is clear from God’s word that death is certain and without faith in Christ it is the worst possible outcome a human being could ever experience.

Finally, one last thought on death to keep in mind. God sends no one to Hell. Actually, people choose to go there when they reject God’s loving offer of grace and salvation in Christ. The good news is that in Christ we have passed from death to life. (John 5:24)  

What is meant by Intelligent Design of nature?

What is meant by Intelligent Design of nature?

Intelligent design is the theory that there is a guiding force behind the creation of the universe and everything in it. The first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1, posits a created universe. Subsequent verses describe the work of a creator who rationally designs the solar system, the earth, and all living flora and fauna. It provides a basis for understanding science, mathematics, genetics, and man’s ability to think and reason. Intelligent Design presupposes a designer and therefore suggests that there is a purpose to the creation. Since we’re talking about creating something out of nothing, the “intelligence” behind the design must be a transcendent being, one that is not made of the same matter of its creation. That transcendent being or intelligent designer is called God.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:1-10
Image by John Hain from Pixabay
What is the primary difference between Christianity and all other world religions?

What is the primary difference between Christianity and all other world religions?

The simple answer is, Jesus! Why? Because he alone saves.

When Jesus was comforting his disciples, he explained:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

Only Christianity offers absolute assurance of eternal life as it is a gift of God’s grace for all who by faith trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord. (Ephesians 2:8). Christianity is about Jesus, the Cross (forgiveness of sins) and his Resurrection and Ascension, and his second coming.

The founders of all other religions are dead. They have offered some sound platitudes for living a moral life, but no hope for eternity based on solid evidence.They are religions of good works and self sacrifice to gain a pardon for the worshiper’s sins.

Why do people resist the loving grace of God?

Why do people resist the loving grace of God?

​ Some Bible scholars think today’s resistance to the Gospel has always been due to the “hardness of men’s hearts”. (Matthew 13). Also an obstacle is delay…people just put off until later to even think about their relationship to God.

Though people refuse to acknowledge it, much of society (humanity) worships idols. They may not be carved images, but are idols, nonetheless. Materialism has replaced spirituality as a driving force in our society. That has led people to resist the loving grace of God.   

One of the reasons for this phenomenon is the need for instant and tangible gratification and pleasure. For example, we are bombarded with electronic media designed to address our every desire. Movies, TV programs, sports, news, advertisements and social media provide an endless array of distractions. Another reason is the growing need to compete for bigger and better everything which feeds the need to purchase unnecessary items and which drives financial decisions.

Lastly, society makes idols of celebrities and sports stars. (Exodus 20:4). Sadly worshiping these idols brings brief satisfaction and distracts people from seeking and knowing the loving grace of God.

As COVID-19, massive demonstrations and violent protests seem to be undoing the foundations on which our nation was founded, some people are rethinking their lives and the assumptions on which they have been built. When man-made idols fail to deliver the physical, emotional and spiritual relief that men and women are seeking, will people turn back to God and discover his loving grace? Perhaps. Throughout history, when people’s idols failed to deliver, many began searching for the one true God who is ready to help them find peace.

If you are wondering what a relationship with God might do for you, take a look at our Next Steps page.