The devil and his cohorts center their attack upon those points of the christian faith that are most vital. If these he successfully undermined the entire structure will fall for, “If the foundations he destroyed, what Can tlse righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
One such point that has been subjected to the most malicious attack during the last nineteen centuries is the truth concerning the Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Realizing that the whole christian faith, with respect to both the judicial and the organic lines of the truth, stands or falls with the doctrine of Christ’s Divinity, the enemy has never relented in his vicious assault upon it. In countless ways and in the most subtle manner he has attempted to disprove this fundamental claim of the christian church.
Very early in the history of the New Dispensation church a false view was developed regarding Christ’s Deity. It was taught that the Son in eternity is nothing but the mind of God, He had no distinct personal existence in eternity. He becomes distinct from the Father when He is brought forth as the Word, at the time of, or immediately before creation. The father of this lie was the well-known Arius and the children which it begat are known by various names in later times.
There were those, for example, who taught that the Son is created by the free will of the Father, before creation, and that He is called God merely because of His exalted office. Thus Milton, Clarke, Whitby, the Remonstrants, and the School of Gronigen.
So also did Socinius and his followers embrace this lie and from this sprang up modern Unitarianism. Socinius held that the Father only is God. Christ, the Son, is merely a holy man, supernaturally conceived and born, to reveal a new law, the Father’s will. He was crowned with divine glory after He fulfilled His mission in the world.
And so in our present day there are many cults, including the well-known Spiritists, Christian Scientist, every shade of Modernism, and the Russelites (Jehovah’s Witnesses) who follow the same pattern by reducing the Son of God to a mere creature such as we are, although they do ascribe to him a high quality of character and righteousness.
Especially the latter, who go about from door to door peddling their damnable heresies to an undiscerning and gullible public, are persistent in their denial of the truth concerning this point. The founder of this cult, Charles Taze Russell, boldly asserts in plain language that “Jesus Christ was the creation of God . . . that He was created a spirit being just as the angels were and that before He came into this world he was none other than the Archangel Michael.” Further he asserts that Christ, “at the time of His incarnation gave up His spirit being, and that while He walked on earth He was nothing more than a perfect human being.” Then he goes on to state: “Neither was Jesus a combination of two natures, human and divine.”
Overagainst all this the faithful and true testimony of the Church has been and is: “We believe that Jesus Christ, according to His divine nature, is the only begotten Son of God, begotten from eternity, not made nor created for then he should be a creature, but co-essential and co-eternal with the Father, the express image of His person and the brightness of his glory, equal unto Him in all things. He is the Son of God, not only from the time that he assumed our nature, but from all eternity…” (Belgic Confession, Art. 10).
Space, of course, does not permit us to cite the many Scriptures that sustain this testimony of TRUTH! Neither is this necessary. It is taught in clear language and emphasized so frequently on the pages of Holy Writ that to deny it one must indeed be the shrewdest sort of exegetical contortionist. Significant is the condemning testimony of Scripture upon such deniers in I John 2:22, 23, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son hath not the Father, but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”
Hence, it is a question of Truth vs. Error. This is not an abstract academic matter nor is it merely a subject for philosophical debate and argumentation. It is fundamentally a matter of faith that is of such serious consequence that whoever brings not this doctrine may not be received in our house neither may we bid him God-speed. Denial of the truth of Christ’s Divinity places one in the camp of anti-christ, enemy of God, and inevitably leads to the denial of all the other fundamental truths concerning God and the work of salvation. It must deny the Incarnation and Atonement and leads to out and out autosoterism, salvation through the achievements of man alone. The truth, on the other hand, maintains that salvation is entirely of the Lord, revealed and realized through the wondrous work of His grace in the birth and crucifixion of His only begotten Son.
This is also why it is serious error to attempt or pretend to maintain the true confession concerning Christ’s Deity while mixing it with all sorts of errors that strip Him of all Divine power and attributes and reduce Him to a pauper or beggar among men Who impotently seeks and earnestly desires the salvation of all men but can save only those who “accept His offer of grace” and “voluntarily surrender themselves to Him.” Such a presentation of Jesus, the Saviour, is common-place in our day but:
a. REMEMBER that such a Jesus is not the Eternal Son, co-equal with the Father and,
b. BE NOT DECEIVED for a mere human Jesus or a Jesus equal only to humanity cannot save for there is also much truth in our concluding quotation from Wm. Biederwolf: “It’s a strange thing how easily people are led astray in religious matters. They’ll have good sense in every other way and yet they’ll need a commission on sanity to sit on their case when it comes to religion. They’ll allow themselves to be roped in and to be duped and buncoed and bamboozled and hoodwinked by any old sort of a theory as long as it has a few verses of Scripture in it to make it look like it’s religious.”
But… DON’T YOU!!!!
Originally published in:
Vol. 18 No. 1 February 1958