The Deity of Jesus
    I once received a telephone call from a young, enthusiastic Christian. "Quick, I need some verses of Scripture that prove Jesus is God," he said in a hushed tone.
    I assured him I'd do my best and asked why the hurry.
    "Two Jehovah's Witnesses are upstairs in our family room," he whispered. "They just stopped by, and we're in the middle of a debate. I need some ammunition!"
    We both laughed about that conversation later, but it illustrated the fact that theology doesn't seem important to us until our beliefs are challenged.
    The chances are good that you will one day have a discussion with a member of a cult who denies that Jesus is God. Jehovah's Witnesses,  Mormons, New Agers,  and others will say complimentary things about Jesus, but they will not confess him as the unique Son of God. When your basic beliefs are challenged, it will become important that you are able to "give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15).

    Jesus claimed to be God. In John 14:9 he said, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." He claimed, "Before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58).
    The apostle Paul stated clearly and repeatedly that Jesus was God: "In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form" (Colossians 2:9). "Christ ... is God" (Romans 9:5). "Be shepherds of the church  of God, which he bought with his own blood" (Acts 20:28). Jesus was "in very nature God" (Philippians 2:6).
    One of the clearest expressions of the deity of Christ is in the opening chapter of the Gospel of John: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us" (John 1:1, 14). It doesn't get much plainer than that.
    There's a legend about two angels looking out over the vast expanse of the universe. One pointed to the earth and said, "I just don't understand why all the fuss about that one little planet. With millions of heavenly bodies, why all the focus on that one?"
    The other replied, "Haven't you heard?  That's the one he visited!"
    It is a basic tenet of Scripture that God came to visit this earth in the form of Jesus of Nazareth. To deny the deity of Christ is to deny the truth of the gospel.
    It's imperative that Christians have a good understanding of the deity of Christ and be able to communicate it clearly to others.
    While a new Christian might call the minister looking for some apologetic passages, more mature Christians should know how to give a reason for the hope that they have.
    But remember to do so "with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander" (1 Peter 3:15, 16),
Pastor Paul Leavens -  www,