The writers of the four gospels would have a hard time recognizing the Christ who is preached in many pulpits today. So stripped of deity, so robbed of power, the Christ of the modern church barely merits respect much less reverence and worship. But the Christ of the Bible is an altogether different sort. Chapter by chapter, we read of Someone who is both like us and yet entirely different from us. For example, when the Jews persecuted the Lord and sought to slay Him for healing a man on the Sabbath, He defended Himself with authority, saying, “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him” (John 5:21-23). Among others, these verses teach us the following truths about Christ that must be upheld.
Christ exercised the same prerogatives as God the Father. Many so-called Christians have robbed Christ of His deity and denied the reality of His miracles. But it remains true that God alone has total authority over life. As such, He has the power to resurrect the dead, restoring them to life, and the authority to judge and execute sinners even to the point of condemning them to eternal damnation. Christ resolutely affirms that “as the Father . . . even so the Son . . . .” The authority and power belonging to the Father reside in the Son as well. Nor does He wield such life-and-death authority by mere delegation, for He declares that “the Son quickeneth whom he will.” Yes, Christ did the Father’s will, but He need not request the authority to exercise the prerogatives of God because He was (and is) God. As the obedient Servant, He submitted to the Father; as the co-eternal and co-equal Son, He employed the full power and authority of God. And as a consequence:
Christ merits equivalent honor with God the Father. The centerpiece of the gospel is that God became man in the Person of Christ. Jesus was not merely God-like, not merely an exceptional human, He was God-in-flesh. The fact that He became a man did not diminish His deity or the honor due Him as God. The fact that He so humbled Himself could not increase His already perfect and infinite glory as God, but it is cause for those He has redeemed to honor Him for that reason. “Ye believe in God, believe also in me” is the way the Lord later expressed the truth to His disciples (John 14:1). All that is rightly due the Father as God is due the Son as well. Therefore:
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