The Attack Continues
In the previous Evangelist, we looked at the attack on the deity of Christ. This is one of the main reasons the apostle John wrote the epistle of John. In the first verse, John addressed the deity of Christ and the eternal pre-existence of Christ. After the death of John—the last living apostle—
a new generation arose and the attack continued.
Church history reveals that the early church struggled over what we take as fundamental doctrines of true Christianity. Was Jesus, in fact, the Son of God? How could God die? Did the Son of God part of Christ separate from the Son of Man, leaving a human dying on the Cross? If so, was His substitutionary sacrifice valid?
“Son Of God Or Son Of Man … But Not Both”
One of the concepts of Gnosticism is that everything that is material is wicked. Jesus, therefore, could not have been Son of God and Son of Man at the same time. Either the Man, Jesus, was a phantom with the appearance of a body, or Jesus had a human body, and the Spirit of Christ came upon Him for a short period of time.
Ebionism taught that Jesus was only an ordinary man upon whom the Spirit of God came at his baptism. On the opposite side, Mani taught that Christ’s physical body was an illusion. Really? How did Jesus hold the bread, break it, and hand it to His disciples if He was just a spirit? How could the Roman soldiers nail a spirit to the Cross?
“No Longer Deity”
When “the Word became flesh,” Gnostics felt that Jesus ceased to be deity. Even Judaism struggled with the incarnation. “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?” (Jn. 6:42).
“Sometimes God … Sometimes Human”
Some taught that Jesus had the ability to switch between a human body and a spiritual body or “ghost.” When Jesus died on the Cross, He was just a man. The deity part of Christ had already left.
“Jesus Became The Christ”
Monarcianism, taught by Theodotus of Byzantium and Paul of Samosata, said that “Jesus became Christ at His baptism.” They could not accept the concept of deity becoming man.
The Attack Continues Today
The attack continues today. Books and movies blaspheme God. The Prieuré de Sion (Priory of Sion) held that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and produced descendants who lived in France. It was eventually dissolved in 1956, yet, many today have held on to the false belief that Jesus was just a man—a good man, a good teacher, but, still, just a man.
The Deity Of Christ
To a true child of God, the deity of Christ is non-negotiable! Remember, if you get Jesus wrong, it doesn’t matter what you get right. Jesus did not die on the Cross as a mere man. He had to be human in order to replace us on the Cross, but he had to be deity to be the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). He was born without sin. Yes, I’m talking about the virgin birth of Christ—born of a woman through a divine act of God. Jesus had to be born without Adam’s sin. It was His sinless birth and sinless life that qualified Him to be the payment for sin. Jesus was the Son of God and the Son of Man at the same time. The first speaks of His deity. The second speaks of His humanity.