“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic-on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. … Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.”
GOD AND CONSCIENCE
A theology of conscience will make extensive use of first order Christian language about God, Christ, Spirit, sin, justification, sanctification, church and so forth, for only within the encompassing framework supplied by such language, and by the spiritual, dogmatic and moral culture which it bears, will reflection on conscience attain to a Christian determinacy.
A sign of the times that, in order to undertake an account of conscience in frankly theological terms, we can no longer proceed with the cheerful sense that our presuppositions are already established; we must instead painfully and doggedly nail each one of them in place, and only in this way win our freedom from the axioms of an intellectual culture which threaten to subvert our task. And so, in conscience we do mot relate to some Other, but to God and Father of our Lord Jesus, to the Spirit of the living God.
By: John Webster
The Worship of Jesus
Many times Christians will explain the deity of Christ regarding worship by appealing to those few verses in which the word “worship” (Greek proskuneo) is attributed to Jesus (VERSES). However, another way to approach the subject is to look at how the early church assumed that worship of Jesus was an ordinary part of Christian life, and that worship was the kind of worship due to the one true God alone.
First, Christians are defined in 1 Corinthians 1:2 as “those who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This phrase indicates prayer to Jesus was a normal practice in the early Christian Church. It must be remembered that to call on the name of the Lord was a regular Old Testament formula for worship and prayer offered to God (Gen. 4:26; 13:4; Ps. 105:1; Jer. 10:25; Joel 2:32).
Pliny, a Roman historian who wrote about A.D. 115 said Christians sang songs to Christ as God.
Paul reproduces the Aramaic formula, “Maranatha,” or “Our Lord, Come,” in 1 Corinthians 16:22. This one Aramaic phrase was evidently familiar to the Greek- speaking Corinthian Christians, indicating that the phrase had a long and sacred usage most likely dating from the early days of the Jerusalem Church.
In Acts 7 Stephen called on Jesus as he was being stoned to death for his faith. Paul in Romans 10:9-10 indicates what early Christians thought about Jesus. Christians’ worship can be shown by the fact that they were baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).
A very important part of worship was the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 10:21; 11:20). The churches were called “the churches of Christ” (Rom. 16:16). What does Paul mean when he says the phrase “in Christ”? It at least means to put your faith in Christ, the one to whom the Christian owes his spiritual life (John 11:25; John 14:6; John 3:24; 6:40, 51).
The New Testament Church and its immediate successors undoubtedly understood, believed, and practiced as though Jesus Christ was the only true God, worthy of and entitled to the absolute spiritual worship of all believers.
The Road to Emmaus
And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad. One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.