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Jesus Christ – The Risen Son of God and the Exalted Lord of glory!

More Evidence that Paul thought of Jesus as God

Sam Shamoun

Scholars have long known that the Pauline epistles are some of the earliest Christian writings that we possess, and are therefore a vitally important link to what the very first Christian communities believed, especially concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.

Throughout his inspired epistles the blessed Apostle Paul so naturally associates Jesus with the one true God that one often finds him applying the same language of God to Jesus or attributing specific and exclusively divine functions to Christ without feeling the need to explain or justify the use of such language or attribution. This points to the fact that both Paul and the Churches he wrote to believed and thought of Jesus in much the same way they thought of God.

In other words, the ease with which Paul could apply the same language of God to the risen and exalted Christ, and the fact that he didn’t have to explain or defend such usage, is a clear indication that the early Christian communities already had come to embrace and think of Jesus as God.

In this article we will provide many examples of Paul speaking of Jesus in the same way that he spoke of God.

For instance, did the blessed Apostle preach the Gospel of God?

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 1:1-4

“to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:16

“We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition… We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 1 Thessalonians 2:2, 8-9

Or did he proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son?

“God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” Romans 1:9-10

“by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” Romans 15:19

“We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God's fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,” 1 Thessalonians 3:2 - cf. 1 Corinthians 9:12; 2 Corinthians 2:12; 4:4; 9:13, 10:14; Galatians 1:7

Did God reveal the Gospel of his Son to Paul?

“But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man,” Galatians 1:15-16

Or did Jesus reveal it?

“I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:11-12

Is God the Savior?

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,” 1 Timothy 1:1

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:3-4

“(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:10

“and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,” Titus 1:3

“and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” Titus 2:10

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:3-5

Or is Jesus the Savior?

“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” Ephesians 5:23

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20-21

“So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.” 2 Timothy 1:8-11

“To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.” Titus 1:4

“while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:13-14

“whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,” Titus 3:6

Do grace, peace and blessing stem from God and Jesus Christ?

“To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:7

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Galatians 1:3-5

Or from Jesus Christ?

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” Romans 16:20

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.” Galatians 6:18

Did God create all things through and for himself, and does everything exist for him?

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?’ ‘Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?’ For from him and through (di’) him and to (eis) him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” Romans 11:36

“yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for (eis) whom we live;” 1 Corinthians 8:6a

Or was everything created through and for Jesus?

“and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through (di’) whom all things came and through (di’) whom we live.” 1 Corinthians 8:6b

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in (en) 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 through (di’) him and for (eis) him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” Colossians 1:15-18

Is God the One who is over all and the all in all?

“When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all (hina ho theos ta panta en pasin).” 1 Corinthians 15:28

“one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (ho epi panton kai dia panton kai en pasin).” Ephesians 4:6

Or is Jesus the God who is over all and the all in all? 

“whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all (ho on epi panton), God blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 9:5

“Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all (alla [ta] panta kai en pasin Christos).” Colossians 3:11

Do the Churches belong to God?

“If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.” 1 Corinthians 11:16

Or do they belong to Christ?

“Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.” Romans 16:16

Is the Holy Spirit the Spirit of God?

“You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you… And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you… because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:9a, 11, 14-15

Or is he the Spirit of Jesus Christ, God’s Son?

“… And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.” Romans 8:9b-10

“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’” Galatians 4:6

“Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” Philippians 1:19

Does the kingdom belong to God?

“Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.” Colossians 4:11

Or does it belong to his beloved Son?

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,” Colossians 1:13

Or does it belong to both?

“For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of the Christ and God.” Ephesians 5:5

Will we all stand before the judgment seat of God?

“You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.” Romans 14:10

Or shall we all appear before the judgement seat of the Lord Jesus Christ?

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

Was Paul (and Christians in general) a slave(s) of God?

“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness—” Titus 1:1

Or was he (and are all true believers) a slave(s) of Jesus Christ?

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus…” Romans 1:1

“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

“Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” Colossians 4:12

The foregoing examples are explicit and unambiguous in their witness concerning what the very first Christians believed about Christ. The preceding data provides ample proof that the holy Apostle of the risen Lord Jesus and the earliest Christian communities believed in the absolute Deity of Christ. These Biblical passages testify that the first-century Churches thought of Jesus in the same way they thought of God. The eyewitnesses to Jesus and their followers clearly believed that Christ is the unique Divine Son of God who could perform and carry out the very same functions that God the Father performs.

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus come! You are the eternal Son of God and the risen Lord of glory whom we love and adore forevermore! Amen.

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