Is Jesus Really God?

by Gary Vaterlaus on October 12, 2007

Does the Bible really say that Jesus is both God and man? Gary Vaterlaus explores the issue.

AiG responds to a comment submitted in response to our September 21 feedback article, as denoted below:

Subject: RE: Saved by Grace . . . and Evolution? by Bodie Hodge, AiG–U.S. September 21, 2007

The following statements are incorrect:

[Quoting AiG:] “Why would they be disgusted with a perfect God who loves us enough to take the punishment we deserve upon Himself and who offers a free gift of salvation?”

Jesus is the LAMB OF GOD, son of GOD; God forsook Jesus on the Cross-, who cried My God why have you forsaken me? Matt 27:46. He has the same God and Father that we do. John 17:3

[Quoting AiG:] “The beautiful hope is that through receiving the free gift of eternal life provided for by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (our Creator!), we can look forward to a time when the curse God placed on His creation (Genesis 3; Romans 8:18–21) is no more.”

Jesus did not claim to be the creator. He acknowledged that his God and Father is the creator! Isaiah 42:5–8; Revelation 4–5:7; John 4:22–24.

The Word of Truth must not be mishandled or misrepresented.

—T.A., Canada

Jesus is the LAMB OF GOD, son of GOD; God forsook Jesus on the Cross-, who cried My God why have you forsaken me? Matt 27:46. He has the same God and Father that we do. John 17:3

We agree with you that Jesus is the Lamb of God, the Son of God, who was forsaken on the Cross by His Father at the time He became sin for us. However, our statement in the article you quoted does not contradict that fact. Rather, your statement indicates that you do not believe that Jesus is God. A proper understanding of the biblical teaching that Jesus is both God and man will help resolve this issue.

Allow me to quote the Westminster Confession of Faith to clarify what we mean when we speak of Jesus being God, or of the deity of Christ:

The Son of God, the second Person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance, and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man’s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof; yet without sin: being conceived by he power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man. (Chapter 8, section 2)

The New Testament is abundantly clear that Jesus is God. Jesus claimed to be one with the Father (John 10:30–33), He used the title of “I AM” from the Old Testament (John 8:23, (58)), He demonstrated His power over nature, disease, demons, and death (Matthew 8), and He forgave sins, something only God can do (Mark 2:1–11). Upon seeing the resurrected Christ, Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28), and Jesus did not rebuke him but affirmed him for saying so. And finally, the Jewish leaders recognized Jesus’ claims to deity and tried to stone Him for it (John 5:18, 8:59), and ultimately had Him crucified for blasphemy.

In addition to Jesus own words, the writers of the New Testament, inspired by God, taught that Jesus is God. See John 1:1, (14); Philippians 2:6; Colossians 1:15–20, 2:9; and Hebrews 1. Paul stated that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow ... and that every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord ...” (Phil 2:10–11), quoting from Isaiah 45:23 which is applied to God. And there are other passages in the New Testament that apply verses referring to God in the Old Testament to Jesus.

But not only does the Bible teach that Jesus is God, it also teaches that He was fully man. This is the miracle of the incarnation—that God humbled Himself to become a man. Theologians call this the hypostatic union: Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, two natures in one person, forever.

The Bible tells us of his humanity. He was born of a woman, grew physically, hungered, thirsted, slept, bled, and died. He experienced joy, grief, anger, compassion, and sorrow. He humbled himself to take on flesh and die for us (Philippians 2:6–8). Yes, in His humanity He did speak of, and to, His Father. In our fallen state, and with our finite minds, we cannot fathom the depths of God, the wonders of His character or personality, nor completely understand the incarnation of Christ. But, like many other things too wonderful for us, we must accept the clear teaching of the Bible.

Jesus did not claim to be the creator. He acknowledged that his God and Father is the creator! Isaiah 42:5–8; Revelation 4–5:7; John 4:22–24.

None of the verses you reference say anything about Jesus stating that His Father alone is the Creator. Actually, one of the evidences that Jesus is God is the fact that the Bible makes it abundantly clear that He is the Creator:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1–3)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Colossians 1:15–16)

Why is it important to believe that Jesus is both God and man? For one, our salvation requires it. The death of a mere man (no matter how noble) could not provide the infinite purchase price required to redeem other men from their sins, nor satisfy the payment of sins against an infinite God. But Jesus, being eternal and infinite, was able to satisfy the penalty for sins against an infinite being by his death. However, Jesus had to be fully human as well in order to redeem Adam’s fallen race. The substitutionary atonement required that Jesus Christ must have died as a man to bear judgment for the sins of men. Only the God-man could bridge the gap and bring both God and man together. As a man, He lived a perfect life and thus is qualified to be our High Priest and Savior (Hebrews 2:17, 7:24–28). Only this kind of Savior can meet us in our desperate need and at the same time satisfy the demands of a Holy and a righteous God.

The Word of Truth must not be mishandled or misrepresented.

We agree, but neither must one’s doctrine be built upon a text here or there, but upon the full teaching of the Bible, as one studies each verse in context and compares Scripture with Scripture.

There are many more things that could be said. You can find more articles and resources on the deity of Christ on our website in our Get Answers sections on God and Jesus Christ. Also, a couple books you might consider reading on this topic are:

  • Edward Henry Bickersteth, The Trinity, Kregel Publications
  • G. Liddon, The Divinity of Christ, Klock and Klock

I trust that you will study the Scriptures and in so doing will find that Jesus is fully God and fully man, and thus deserves your full trust, honor, worship, and obedience.

Do you have a question or comment? Let us hear from you.

Recommended Resources


Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

See All Lists

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.