What difference does it make? Who cares if Jesus was God, a prophet of God, or just a good man? We should all care, because if Jesus was anything other than God in human form we are lost.
The reason for this is that only a sinless person could die as a substitute for our sins. (Rom 3:22-23 NIV) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God We have all sinned, and if Jesus was born into sin, meaning that He was solely a human, then He would have had His own sins to die for and could not have died for ours. (Heb 4:15 NIV) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Jesus was tempted just like us but He never sinned. He was born sinless and He lived a sinless life.
Many people and religions claim the Jesus never said He was God. Is that true? Well maybe if you try to find those words: "I am God" in the writings of what Jesus said. However, He most certainly did claim to be God in other ways. The Jews knew that only God can forgive sins, so they understood what Jesus was saying when He healed the lame man and said: (Mat 9:2 NIV) Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." In effect He was claiming here to be God and to have the right to forgive sins, which belonged to God alone.
When Moses saw the burning bush, and God talked to him and told him to go to Egypt, Moses asked who should he say sent him. God answered: (Exo 3:14 NIV) God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Now look at what Jesus said (John 8:58 NIV) "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" A man could not claim that, Abraham was born thousands of years before Jesus. The wording itself tells us that Jesus was claiming that He was the great I AM, or in other words God.
Let's look at another statement that Jesus made: (John 10:28-33 NIV) I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." There was no doubt in the Jews mind that Jesus was claiming to be God.
(Mat 10:1 NIV) He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. No one but God could give this kind of authority. Not only did He claim to have the authority but He was able to give it to others, who were then able to use it. No prophet or good man could do this.
Could Jesus have been just a good man and God loved Him enough to promote Him to God status? No, would you call a chronic liar a good man? Of course not, but if Jesus was not really God then He had to be either a liar or a crazy person, because He kept claiming to be God.
Okay so He was God, but does that mean He was not really a human? No again, He was both. He came to earth as a human but remained God. Why is this important? Well for one we are told that this is how we are to judge if a teaching comes from God or not. (1 John 4:2 NIV) This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God
Why was it important for Jesus to come as a human? It is important to us because since He came as one of us He understands our temptations, our trials, and our problems. God often asks us to go through things that we think are tough but He is not asking us to do anything that He has not also gone through as Jesus Christ the human being. He showed His love for us by becoming one of us for a short time and dying to pay for our sins.
Every time someone denies that Jesus was God and came to earth as a human being, they are denying our salvation. There is no other way to obtain forgiveness from God except to accept Jesus Christ as your savior. So if you don't believe He was who He said He was, you are in effect saying that He cannot forgive you and therefore, you are doomed.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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