Christians believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and
the Saviour of men. They believe in the divinity of his
mission and in the divinity of his doctrines. They
believe that the Gospel, which he proclaimed, came from
God; that the knowledge it imparts, the morality it
enjoins, the spirit it breathes, the acceptance it
provides, the promises it makes, the prospects it
exhibits, the rewards it proposes, the punishments it
threatens, all proceed from the great Jehovah. But they
do not believe, that Jesus Christ is the Supreme God.
They believe that, though exalted far above all other
created intelligences, he is a being distinct from,
inferior to, and dependent upon, the Father Almighty.
For this belief they urge, among other reasons, the
following arguments from the Scriptures.
1. Because Jesus Christ is
represented by the sacred writers to be as distinct a being from God the Father
as one man is from another. "It is written in your law, that the testimony of
two men is true. I am one who bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent
me beareth witness of me." John 8:17-18.
2. Because he not only
never said that himself was God, but, on the contrary, spoke of the Father, who
sent him, as God, and as the only God. "This is life eternal, that they might
know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." John 17:3.
This language our Saviour used in solemn prayer to "his Father and our Father."
3. Because he is declared,
in unnumbered instances, to be the Son of God. "And lo, a voice from heaven,
saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17. Can a
son be coequal and the same with his father?
4. Because he is styled
the Christ, or the anointed of God. "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the
Holy Ghost and with power." Acts 10:38. Is he who anoints the same with him who
5. Because he is
represented as a Priest. "Consider the... high Priest of our profession, Christ
Jesus." Hebrews 3:1. The office of a priest is to minister to God. Christ, then,
as a priest, cannot be God.
6. Because Christ is
Mediator between the "One God" and "men." "For there is one God, and one
Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." I Timothy 2:5.
7. Because as the Saviour
of men, he was sent by the Father. "And we have seen and do testify that the
Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." I John 4:14.
8. Because he is an
apostle, appointed by God. "Consider the apostle... Christ Jesus, who was
faithful to him that appointed him." Hebrews 3:1-2.
9. Because Christ is
represented as our intercessor with God. "It is Christ that died, yea rather,
that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh
intercession for us." Romans 8:34.
10. Because the head of
Christ is God. "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."
I Corinthians 11:3.
11. Because in the same
sense in which we are said to belong to Christ, Christ is said to belong to God.
"And ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." I Corinthians 3:23.
12. Because Christ says,
"My Father is greater than all." John 10:29. Is not the Father, then, greater
than the Son?
13. Because he affirms, in
another connection, and without the least qualification, "My Father is greater
than I." John 14:28.
14. Because he virtually
denies that he is God, when he exclaims, "Why callest thou me good? There is
none good but one, that is God." Matthew 19:17.
15. Because our Saviour,
after having said, "I and my Father are one," gives his disciples distinctly to
understand that he did not mean, one in substance, equal in power and glory, but
one only in affection and design, etc., as clearly appears from the prayer he
offers to his Father in their behalf, "that they all may be one; as thou,
Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us. John 17:21.
16. Because the Father is
called the God of Christ, as he is the God of Christians. "Jesus saith unto her,
...go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your
Father; and to my God and your God." John 20:17.
Because an apostle
says of GOD, in distinction from the "Lord Jesus Christ," that He is the "only
Potentate," and that HE "only hath immortality." I Timothy 6:15-16.
Because it is the
express declaration of the same apostle, that the Father is the one God, and
there is none other. "Though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or
in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) yet to us there is but one
God, the Father, of whom are all things."
I Corinthians 8:5-6.
19. Because the power which Christ possessed was, as himself affirmed, given
to him. "All power is given unto me..." Matthew 18:18.
20. Because he positively
denies himself to be the author of his miraculous works, but refers them to the
Father, or the holy spirit of God. "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the
works." John 14:10. "If I cast out devils by the spirit of God..." Matthew
21. Because he distinctly
states, that these works bear witness, not to his own power, but that the Father
had sent him. John 5:36.
22. Because he expressly
affirms, that the works were done, not in his own, but in his Father's name.
Because he asserts,
that "him hath God the Father sealed;" i.e., to God the Father he was indebted
for his credentials. John 6:27.
24. Because he declares,
that he is not the author of his own doctrine. "My doctrine is not mine, but his
that sent me." John 7:16-17.
25. Because he represents
himself as having been instructed by the Father. "As my Father hath taught me, I
speak these things." John 8:28.
26. Because he refers
invariably to the Father as the origin of the authority by which he spoke and
acted. "The Father hath given to the Son authority..." John 5:26-27.
27. Because he
acknowledges his dependence on his heavenly Father for example and direction in
all his doings. "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father
do." John 5:19. "The Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things, that
himself doeth." John 5:20.
28. Because he says, "I
seek not mine own glory; but I honor my Father." John 8:49-50.
29. Because he declares,
"if I honor myself, my honor is nothing; it is my Father that honoureth me."
30. Because an apostle
declares, that in Christ dwelt all fulness, because it so pleased the Father."
31. Because Christ is
uniformly represented in the scriptures, not as the primary, but the
intermediate, cause of all things relating to our salvation. "One God, the
Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by
whom are all things, and we by him." I Corinthians 8:6.
32. Because he declares,
"I am not come of myself..." into the world, "for I proceeded forth and came
from God." John 8:42; 7:28.
33. Because he affirms,
that he had not the disposal of the highest places in his own kingdom. "To sit
on my right hand and on my left is not mine to give, but it shall be given to
them for whom it is prepared of my Father." Matthew 20:23.
Because our Saviour,
referring his disciples to a future time, when they would understand more
accurately concerning him, expressly declares that then they would know him to
be entirely dependent upon the Father. "When ye have lifted up the Son of man,
[i.e., crucified him,] then shall ye know that I am he, [i.e., the Messiah,] and
that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these
things." John 8:28.
Because our Saviour
always professed to have no will of his own; but to be ever entirely guided and
governed by the will of his heavenly Father. "For I came down from heaven, not
to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." John 6:38.
Because he expressly
denies that he is possessed of the divine attribute of independent existence.
"As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father..." John 6:57.
37. Because he expressly
disclaims the possession of the divine attribute of underived existence. "As the
Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in
himself." John 5:26.
Because he positively
denies that he is possessed of the divine attribute of omnipotence. "I can of
mine own self do nothing." John 5:30.
39. Because he expressly
disclaims the possession of the divine attribute of omniscience. "But of that
day, and that hour, knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven,
neither the Son, but my Father only." Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32.
Because Christ is said
in the Scriptures to have been "tempted of the devil." Matthew 4:1. But "God
cannot be tempted with evil..." James 1:13.
Because it is related
of our Saviour, that "he continued all night in prayer to God." Luke 6:12. Why
would Christ thus pray, if he himself were God?
42. Because, in the
presence of a numerous company before the resurrection of Lazarus, he gave
thanks to the Father for hearing him. "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard
me, and I knew that thou hearest me always. John 11:41-42.
43. Because Jesus besought
his Father to glorify him. "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with the glory
which I had with thee before the world was." John 17:5. The being who prayed to
God to glorify him cannot be God.
Because he implored
that, if it were possible, the bitter cup might pass from him, adding,
"nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." Matthew 26:39.
45. Because he said, "My
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me"" Matthew 27:46. Can he who uttered this
be the supreme God?
46. Because he never paid
his adorations to himself, the Son, nor to the Holy Ghost, as he should have
done, had the Son and the Holy Ghost been God; but always to the Father.
Because he never
instructed his disciples to worship himself or the Holy Ghost, but the Father,
and the Father only. "When ye pray, say, our Father, which art in heaven..."
Luke 11:2; "In that day, ye shall ask me nothing. Whatsoever ye ask of the
Father in my name..." John 16:23; "The hour cometh and now is, when the true
worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father
seeketh such to worship him." John 4:23.
48. Because it was not the
practice of the apostles to pay religious homage to Christ, but to God the
Father through Christ. "I thank God through Jesus Christ..." Romans 7:25. "I bow
my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 3:14.
Because St. Peter,
immediately after being filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost,
thus addressed the Jews: "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth,
a man approved of God among you, by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God
did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know; him, being delivered
by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by
wicked hands have crucified and slain; whom God hath raised up..." Acts 2:22-24.
Because St. Paul
expressly states, that "all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself
by Jesus Christ."
II Corinthians 5:18.
51. Because the same
apostle gives "thanks to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus
Christ." I Corinthians 15:57.
52. Because it is said,
that it is "to the glory of God the Father" that "every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord." Philippians 2:11.
53. Because the Scriptures affirm, that "Christ glorified not himself to be
made a high priest, but HE [glorified him] who said unto him, thou art my Son,
this day have I begotten thee." Hebrews 5:5.
54. Because it is
expressly asserted that God gave to Christ the Revelation which was made to the
author of the Apocalypse. Revelation 1:1.
Because an apostle
speaks of Christ only as the image of God. "Who is the image of the invisible
God." Colossians 1:15;
II Corinthians 4:4. It would be absurd to call any man his own image.
56. Because Christ is
stated to be "the first born of every creature." Colossians 1:15.
Because he is said to
be "the beginning of the creation of God." Revelation 3:14.
Because the Scriptures
affirm, in so many words, that "Jesus was made a little lower than the angels."
Hebrews 2:9. Can God become lower than his creatures?
Because Peter declares
that, "Christ received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such
a voice to him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved Son..." II Peter
60. Because it is
represented as necessary that the Saviour of mankind should "be made like unto
his brethren." Hebrews 2:17.
Because, in the
Epistle to the Hebrews, Christ is compared with Moses in a manner that would be
impious, if he were the Supreme God. "For this man [Christ] was counted worthy
of more glory than Moses inasmuch..." Hebrews 3:3.
Because he is
represented as being the servant, the chosen, the beloved of God, and the
recipient of God's Spirit. "Behold my servant, whom I have chosen, in whom my
soul is well pleased; I will put my spirit upon him..." Matthew 12:18.
63. Because he himself
expressly declares that it was in consequence of his doing what pleased the
Father that the Father was with him and did not leave him alone. "He that sent
me is with me; the Father hath not left me alone, for I do always those things
that please him." John 8:29.
64. Because he is said to
have "increased in wisdom, and in favour with God and man." Luke 2:52.
65. Because he spoke of
himself as one who had received commandments from the Father. "The Father, who
sent me, he gave me a commandment." John 12:49.
66. Because he is
represented as obeying the Father, and as having been "obedient unto death."
Philippians 2:8. "Even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." John 12:50. "I
have kept my Father's commandments." John 15:10.
"learned obedience by the things which he suffered," and through sufferings was
made perfect by God. Hebrews 5:8; 2:10.
Because he is spoken
of in the Scriptures as the first born among many brethren. Romans 8:29. Has God
Because Christ calls
every one who obeys God his brother. "Whosoever shall do the will of my Father
in heaven, the same is my brother." Matthew 12:50.
Because he offers to
the faithful the like distinction and honour that himself has with the Father.
"To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I
also overcame, and am sit down with my Father in his throne." Revelation 3:21.
71. Because God, in the
latter ages, hath spoken by his Son, and appointed him heir of all things.
72. Because Christ is
styled the first begotten of the dead. Revelation 1:5.
73. Because it is declared
that God raised him from the dead. "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we
are all witnesses." Acts 2:32.
Because God poured out
upon the Apostles the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ. Titus 3:6.
Because the reason
assigned for the Holy Spirit not having been received earlier is that Jesus was
not then glorified. "The Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was
not yet glorified." John 7:39.
76. Because it is affirmed
that Christ was exalted by God to be a prince and a Saviour. Acts 5:31.
77. Because God made that
same Jesus, who was crucified, both Lord and Christ. Acts 2:36.
78. Because God gave him a
name which is above every name. Philippians 2:9.
79. Because Christ was
ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead. Acts 10:42.
Because God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. Romans 3:16.
Because all judgment
is committed to Christ by the Father. John 5:22.
Because our Saviour
grounds the importance of his judgment solely upon the circumstances, that it is
not exclusively his own judgment, but that of the Father who sent him. "If I
judge, my judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent
me." John 8:16.
83. Because it is said,
that when he was received up into heaven, he "sat on the right hand of God."
84. Because St. Paul
affirms, that Christ, even since his ascension, "liveth unto God," and "liveth
by the power of God." Romans 6:10; II Corinthians 13:4.
85. Because it is affirmed
of Christ, that "when all things shall be subdued under him, then shall the Son
also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be
all in all." I Corinthians 15:28.
86. Because the Apostle
John asserts that "no man hath seen God at any time;" which is not true, if
Christ were God.
87. Because in the
prophecies of the Old Testament that relate to Christ, he is spoken of as a
being distinct from and inferior to God. Deuteronomy 18:15; John 1:45.
Because the Jews never
expected that any other than a being distinct from and inferior to God was to be
their Messiah, and yet there is no evidence that our Saviour ever so much as
hinted to them that this expectation was erroneous.
89. Because it does not
appear from the Scriptures, that the Jews, except in two instances, ever opposed
our Saviour on the ground that he pretended to be God or equal with God;
whereas, had it been his custom to assume such identity or equality, in his
conversation with a people so strongly attached to the doctrine of the divine
unity, he would have found himself involved in a perpetual controversy with them
on this point, some traces of which must have appeared in the New Testament.
Because in these two
instances, when charged, in the one case, with making himself God, and in the
other, with making himself equal with God, he positively denies the charges. In
reply to the charge of assuming to be equal with God, he says immediately, "The
Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do;" and directly
after, "I can of mine own self do nothing." John 5:19, 30. In answer to the
charge of making himself God, he appeals to the Jews, in substance thus: Your
own Scriptures call Moses a god, and your magistrates gods; I am surely not
inferior to them, yet I did not call myself God, but only Son of God. John
Because, had his
immediate disciples believed him to be the Almighty, would they have been so
familiar with him, have argued with him, betrayed him, denied him, fled from
him, and left him to be dragged to the cross?
Because the Apostles,
after they had been filled with the Holy Ghost on the day of pentecost, did not
preach that Christ was God; but preached what was altogether inconsistent with
such a doctrine. Acts 2:22; 13:23; 17:3, 31; 22:8.
93. Because there is no
evidence to prove that the first converts to Christianity ever incurred the
imputation of idolatry from the Jews, as they must have done, had they believed
and taught that the Son, as well as the Father, is Jehovah; while it is
notorious that this imputation has been among the most common of the Jewish
reproaches against Christians, since the Trinity became a doctrine of the
Because there are, in
the New Testament, seventeen passages wherein the Father is styled one or only
God, while there is not a single passage in which the Son is so styled.
95. Because there are 320
passages in which the Father is absolutely, and by way of eminence, called God;
while there is not one in which the Son is thus called.
Because there are 105
passages in which the Father is denominated God, with peculiarly high titles and
epithets, whereas the Son is not once so denominated.
97. Because there are
90 passages wherein it is declared that all prayers and praises ought to be
offered to HIM, and that every thing ought to be ultimately directed to HIS
honor and glory; while of the Son no such declaration is ever made.
Because, of 1300
passages in the New Testament wherein the word God is mentioned, not one
necessarily implies the existence of more than one person in the Godhead, or
that this one is any other than the Father.
99. Because the passages
wherein the Son is declared, positively, or by the clearest implication, to be
subordinate to the Father, deriving his being from Him, receiving from Him his
divine power, and acting in all things wholly according to His will, are in
number above 300.
100. Because in a word,
the supremacy of the Father, and the inferiority of the Son, is the simple
unembarrassed, and current doctrine of the Bible; whereas, that of their
equality or identity is clothed in mystery, encumbered with difficulties, and
dependent, at the best, upon few passages for support.