In a recent blog post I wrote about some experiences that I had very early on in my Christian walk that launched me into a life of apologetics, namely encounters with Jehovah’s Witnesses and the teachings from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. From those encounters, it became clear that I needed to learn a lot more about what the Bible says about a lot of different things if I was going to be able to give answers about the hope that was in me and minister to others. (1 Peter 3:15)

You might be in a similar situation right now. There are certainly lots of beliefs contrary to biblical Christianity out there. Do you need to give answers about your faith? Or maybe you simply want to absorb all you can about God from His word. Absorbing all we can is always a good idea! Either way, if you are facing questions about biblical Christianity or are simply looking for a topic to delve into, how about studying the deity of Christ?

An invitation to study the deity of Christ: A Zero Fluff Bible Study!

Over the next several weeks, I will be posting a multi-part study on the deity of Christ. I invite you to join me and walk through some significant biblical evidence for the deity of Christ to the glory of God.

This will be a Zero Fluff study. It’s the only way I know how to offer it. This means it will not be like the many studies, books, and teachings that are geared towards women today that are heavy on fluff and light on sound doctrine. We will dig deeply! The focus will be God and His word, not us. We will not be reading ourselves into the story, looking for personal words from God, stroking our egos, or relying on our feelings. I will not be talking about tea or coffee. We are women, but we don’t have to be stirred up by emotionalism or lean on clichés. We have the Holy Spirit, and we can (must) do real Bible study, not shallow book studies with fill in the blank questions. Real Bible study is necessary for our spiritual-wellbeing!

In this Zero Fluff study, we will see a lot of Bible verses. I will ask you to read them and sometimes compare them to other verses and to check the context from which they come. It will be best to use a real Bible like the NASB, ESV, or KJV. Please don’t break my heart and use The Message Bible or The Passion Translation. We do not want to obscure the truth. This study will be “work”, but not a chore. Studying God’s word is a delight. It will take time, but the tradeoff is worth it. Lord willing, I will share more Zero Fluff studies in the future, maybe even make them available for offline church and individual use too. [UPDATE! I am currently working on a hard copy version of the study. I am hoping to have it available in December on Amazon. It will be much easier for those who wish to work offline.]

The outline for the study is below. It is my hope and prayer that these posts will be illuminating, edifying, and bring you great joy. Fair warning… studying the deity of Christ (and other precious biblical doctrines) can cause sudden bouts of praise and worship! This happens as you come to know God better through His word and in this particular case, more clearly see Jesus’ glory and more deeply appreciate His humility and sacrifice. Jesus set aside His glory, was made in the likeness of men, and laid down His life for our salvation. (Philippians 2:5-8, John 10:14-15) How great is our Lord! Study to know Him better (2 Peter 3:18); and from there, you will be better prepared to share the truth of Christianity with others.

An extra study benefit: Validating (or correcting) your own beliefs

Studying the Bible regardless of the topic (or book) is a great way to make sure you are standing on solid ground in your own beliefs too. Do you know where in the Scriptures you can find evidence for the things you believe about God? Are you sure that what you believe about salvation and other aspects of your faith is in the Bible? Are you willing to check?

These are scary questions for many. I have found that a lot of people, even professing Christians, shy away from such examinations of their beliefs. Don’t be one of them! Seek the truth always, even if it feels scary. The truth is worth having even if it means being uncomfortable and letting go of things you thought were true. Root out everything that does not line up with the Bible and rejoice that they are gone! Don’t let pride or fear or anything get in the way of knowing God and His word rightly. Always be willing to test your beliefs by the Bible and even talk with those who claim you are in error (providing they are being sincere and reasonable). If your beliefs cannot bear scrutiny, how much confidence should you be putting in them?

Testing your beliefs isn’t always easy, but it is necessary

Making sure that what you believe is actually in the Bible is a work that must be done. I am not referring to looking into the Bible with an agenda and making it say what you want it to say. That’s reading meaning into the text and is the improper practice of eisegesis. I’m talking about going in with a teachable, humble heart that submits to what is written there. Again, this work helps prepare you to minister to others; but it could also serve to untangle you from error or confirm your beliefs as truth. I have faced this challenge more than a few times myself. In fact, one of the very first times involved the topic of today: the deity of Christ.

The encounters with Witnesses that I mentioned above and wrote about in my recent post brought the topic of the deity of Christ center stage. Following the teachings from the Watch Tower Society, Witnesses deny the Trinity and believe that Jesus was created by God. They believe that Jesus lived in heaven as a spirit creature before coming to earth as a man. [1] They also claim that He is Michael the archangel. [2] This teaching from the Watch Tower Society about Jesus being Michael used to be different. In the past it was taught that Michael was the Pope [3] and that Michael was not Jesus. [4] This is an example of one of the serious problems with the Society. Their teachings change and contradict previous teachings although they have claimed that Jehovah’s Witnesses are God’s prophet [5], that they are under angelic direction [6], and that certain Witnesses, through whom the teachings come, are Jehovah’s sole channel of communication between God and men. [7]

Because of the encounters with Witnesses and their beliefs about Jesus, I found it necessary to biblically test what I personally believed about Him. Since these encounters happened when I was a new believer, I felt disadvantaged by the large gaps in my Bible knowledge. But I did have the witness of the Holy Spirit within me, and thus stood convinced by my new faith that Jesus was God. I had recently come out of atheism, so there had been a big change in me. But still, I wondered, how much biblical evidence was there? Since I had only recently begun to read the Bible as a Christian, I had no idea.

So, with admittedly less courage for testing my beliefs than I would have in later years as I grew in my knowledge of God’s word, I dug deeply into my Bible to find strong evidence one way or the other. Biblically challenging my beliefs was scary, but I had to do it for the sake of my soul. And how could I speak to the teachings of the Watch Tower without proof?

The resulting joy of honest Bible study

I dug into the Old and New Testaments to see what they said about Jesus. I was prepared to submit to whatever was there even if it meant changing my beliefs. The Watch Tower’s published material presented arguments against Jesus’ deity, so I also tested those augments against the Bible. I also read books by former Jehovah’s Witnesses who had become Christians. Many of the verses they shared as proof for Jesus’ deity I had never seen before, so they needed to be tested. I looked them up in my Bible and read them in context. (Always do that when you come across verses you are unfamiliar with in a book!) Did the verses actually exist and were they really saying that Jesus was God? Each time the answer was yes! Joy repeatedly exploded in my heart like those big, beautiful, best-display-ever kind of fireworks! Verse after verse shown forth the glory of my new Lord and Savior. He was God!

Biblically testing my faith ended up confirming what had been wrought in me by God at my new birth. I had known Jesus as God in my heart, and now I saw lots of clear evidence for it in the Bible. How good it was to be able to rest in the knowledge that I was seeing Jesus correctly. Now it was not only sure in my heart, I could demonstrate it in black and white. And while I knew any acceptance of this proof would be due to the work of God, I could now stand confidently in it as I brought it to others.

Challenges to our faith are good. Testing what we believe can help us grow stronger and weed out any distortions or errors. Knowing what the Bible actually says is more precious than anything! Read it and study it. Really dig. Don’t settle for fluff! Do it for yourself and for preparation to minister to others.

Study Outline: 9 Lessons 

During my studies of the deity of Christ, I wrote everything down. I wanted to keep it in case I needed the evidence again someday. My notes have come in handy as there are plenty who deny or question the Trinity and the deity of Christ. It makes sense to me that false religions and groups would deny the biblical Christ. They lead many to darkness and preach another Jesus. (2 Corinthians 11:4) It is a clear indication of error.

Over time I added more verses to my list. It is a joy to share some of them here with you at Chapter 3 Ministries in this upcoming study. What a blessing it will be to go through them slowly and carefully together. When the study is done, I will put links to the whole study in Bible Notes, so there will be a convenient way to get to the lessons.

Through this study, may you grow in the knowledge of our awesome God and come to stand more firmly in your faith. And, you never know when you might come across a soul in need of hearing this great truth. How good it is to be prepared!

Section One – Singular verses that demonstrate the deity of Christ
Lessons 1 and 2

Section Two – Verse sets that demonstrate the deity of Christ
Lessons 3, 4, 5, and 6

Section Three – Works and Attributes of God in Jesus
Lessons 7 and 8

Section Four – Doxologies to Jesus
Lesson 9

Look for Lesson 1 next Tuesday! The remaining lessons are scheduled to appear once a week on Tuesdays. I hope you join me. This study will not disappoint! To keep in touch with the study and receive notifications by email of new posts, you may subscribe using the slide-up subscription box or subscription form in the sidebar. You could also follow Chapter 3 Ministries on Facebook or Twitter. Links to the lessons will be shared there.


Update:
Lesson 1 is up!  A Zero Fluff Bible Study on the Deity of Christ: Lesson 1 Zero Fluff Bible Study on the Deity of Christ: Lesson 1

Footnotes

[1] What Does The Bible Really Teach?. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., 2005, p. 41.
[2] What Does The Bible Really Teach?. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., 2005, p. 219.
[3] “The Antichrist”. Zion’s Watch Tower, December 1879, p. 6.
See Also: The Finished Mystery. Peoples Pulpit Association, 1917, p. 188.
[4] “The Name of Jesus”. Zion’s Watch Tower, November 1879, p. 4.
[5] “They Shall Know That A Prophet Was Among Them”. The Watchtower, April 1, 1972, p. 197.
[6] “They Shall Know That A Prophet Was Among Them”. The Watchtower, April 1, 1972, p. 200.
“See Also: Revelation Its Grand Climax At Hand!”. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York,    Inc.,   1988, p. 15.
[7] The Mind Controlling Slave in “Jehovah’s Organization”; Chapter 3 Ministries