SOURCE: There are several groups that deny the deity of Christ. Four of the most common are: Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Way International, Christadelphians and Unitarians. The most common arguments used by these groups, and some others that are not listed, are cited below. It is out of obedience to Jude 3 and love for the truth of God that this study has been presented. (The Christian worker should become familiar with the contents of this study. See 1 Pet. 3:15.)
[Before the following refutations are given, it is imperative that you know two basic truths about the Lord Jesus: (1) When a Christian says, “Jesus is God,” he is NOT saying Jesus is the Father! Jesus is NOT the person of the Father, yet He is equal to the Father BY NATURE. In other words, Jesus is God BY NATURE, as are the Father and the Holy Spirit. (2) Jesus is both God BY NATURE and man. In other words, He is both true God AND true man. Jesus’ humanity is shown in Heb. 2:14 and 1 Tim. 2:5.]
OBJECTION #1. Jn. 14:28 reads, “… my Father is greater than I.” If Jesus is equal to the Father, as the Trinity definition states, then why did Jesus say His Father was “greater” than He?
ANSWER: Jesus spoke these words after He humbled Himself and became a servant (Phil. 2:5-8). Furthermore, the word “greater” refers to OFFICE or POSITION and not NATURE! God is God because of His “NATURE” (Gal. 4:8). Jesus is saying in Jn. 14:28 that His Father has a “greater” OFFICE or POSITION than He does. This is how the word “greater” is used as clearly seen in Gen 41:40. That verse reads, “You [Joseph] shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I [Pharaoh] be GREATER than you,” (NIV). Pharaoh was “greater” than Joseph only by OFFICE or POSITION, but not NATURE. The nature of Pharaoh and Joseph was the same, that is, human being. Similarly, the president of the USA is GREATER than we are, as far as OFFICE or POSITION is concerned, but certainly not by NATURE!
OBJECTION #2. 1 Cor. 11:3 reads, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” If Christ has a “head,” then He can’t be God.
ANSWER: Does this show Jesus inferior to the Father by NATURE? If one will insist that it does, then to be consistent, he would have to say the same regarding the woman to the man! Though a wife is subject to her husband in the Lord, she is NOT inferior to him by nature. The same is true with the relationship between the Lord Jesus and the Father.
OBJECTION #3. 1 Cor. 15:28 says, “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” If Jesus is “subject” to the Father, He can’t be God.
ANSWER: Again, this argument is similar to Arguments #1 and #2. This verse doesn’t refer to NATURE either, but only to OFFICE or POSITION! In Lk. 2:51, the SAME GREEK WORD translated “subject” is found. No one would say that Jesus was inferior BY NATURE to Joseph and Mary from Lk. 2:51, which would be the natural conclusion if the word “subject” refers to NATURE! Likewise, Jesus is NOT inferior BY NATURE to the Father, since He is God. See Jn. 1:1, Greek; Jn. 20:28; Phil. 2:6; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:1 and 1 Jn. 5:20.
OBJECTION #4. Mk. 13:32 declares, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” If Jesus was God, then He would have had this knowledge.
ANSWER: Again, we must bear in mind that Jesus is true man besides true God. The Lord Jesus spoke these words when He was limited by His humanity and was relying upon the Father entirely (Acts 10:38; Jn. 12:49). After His resurrection, however, Jesus would have to be all-knowing, since He can be prayed to (Jn. 14:14, Greek; Acts 7:59; 9:14,21; 1 Cor. 1:2). In other words, if a group of Christians is praying to Jesus in Canada, Mexico and Japan at the same time, He would have to be all-knowing to know their requests! Also, since prayer is a form of worship, it would be idolatry to pray to Jesus unless He was and is God by NATURE. (If He wasn’t God by NATURE, then the early Church was guilty of idolatry by praying to Jesus, which is IMPOSSIBLE!)
OBJECTION #5. Lk. 18:19 reads, “And Jesus said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.’” God is “good,” but Jesus isn’t. Therefore, Jesus isn’t God.
ANSWER: If one would look closely at this verse, he should quickly notice that Jesus NEVER said that He Himself was NOT ‘good’! He merely asked, “Why callest thou me good?” Jesus wanted to know “WHY,” that’s all! Furthermore, Jesus openly declared elsewhere that He Himself was the “GOOD shepherd” (Jn. 10:11). Psalm 23 declares YHWH as the “shepherd,” but He isn’t called the “GOOD” shepherd, the description Jesus reserved for Himself!
OBJECTION #6. Jesus is shown in the Scriptures as being created in Rev. 3:14; Col. 1:15; Prov. 8:22 and Psa. 2:7. If He was created, He can’t be God, since God is eternal.