Having considered the distinct personality and deity of the Father, attention is now given to that of the Son.

I. The Personality of the Son.

1. Affirmed by Formal Definition.

Personality has been defined by some as, “An individual that subsists, is living, intelligent, is not sustained by another, nor is a part of another.” If this statement be accepted as a formal definition of a person, then it is true of each of the three Persons in the Godhead—Father, Son and Spirit. Of particular note, we shall consider the personality of the Son: (1) “An individual…”—He is an individual, distinct, though not separate from the divine nature, which He has in common with the Father and the Spirit; (2) “…that subsists…”—He subsists of Himself in that nature distinctly; (3) “…is living…”—He has life in Himself, and is the living God; (4) “…intelligent…”—He is intelligent, having perfect understanding and will; knowing Himself, His Father and the Spirit, and all creatures and things, doing whatsoever He pleases; (5) “…is not sustained by another, nor is a part of another.”—He is not upheld in His Deity by another, nor is He possessed only of a part, but of the whole divine nature; furthermore, the human nature which He assumed in time is not part of His Person, it adding nothing to His personality, but taken up into union with His person, subsists in it.

As the Son is the “express image of [His Father’s] person” (Heb 1:1-3), so He too must be a distinct Person. And, as His Father is a divine person, so the Son must likewise be a divine person—truly God. As Plato observes, “That which is like must needs be of the same species with that to which it is like.” Now, this likeness of the Son to His Father is with reference to the divine nature, rather than the human nature Christ assumed, or the office to which He was appointed as mediator. (1) Christ cannot be the “express image of [His Father’s] person” according to the likeness of a human nature, for the Father has never had a human nature; (2) Christ cannot be the “express image of [His Father’s] person” according to the likeness of an office, for the Father was never a mediator, nor in an office. It remains, therefore, that Christ must be the “express image of [His Father’s] person”, as He Himself is a divine person.

2. Affirmed by Personal Actions.

The Son is declared to be with God as the Word (Jn 1:1), and with His Father as a Son, as one brought up with Him (Prov 8:30). Henceforth, He must be a person to be with, and to be brought up with another—He cannot with any propriety be said to be with Himself, or to be brought up with Himself. We hereby conclude that the Son, having been begotten of the Father, must be a distinct Person. However, aside from this personal relation which distinguishes the Son from the other two Persons in the Godhead, there are other acts ascribed to Him which only a person is capable of performing.

(1) His being set up from everlasting as mediator, and the covenant head of the elect.

That the Son must be a person is demonstrated by the Father making a covenant with Him, and putting the elect into His hands, along with all the blessings of grace for them. A mere name and character could not enter into a covenant, and have persons and things committed into His care and charge. Henceforth, the Father having set up the Son as the covenant head of the elect, entrusting Him with these persons and blessings, does show Christ to be a distinct person. (Prov 8:23; Ps 89:3,28; Deut 33:3; Eph 1:3; 2 Tim 1:9)

(2) His being sent in the fulness of time to be the Saviour of His people.

As the Father sent His only begotten Son, so this shows Christ to be a distinct person from the Father—He that sends, and He that is sent, cannot be one and the same person. If the Son is not a person, but a mere name, then He could not be sent. Or else, if the Son and the Father are the same, then it must be said that He sent Himself, which is an absurdity that cannot be sustained. (Rom 8:3; Gal 4:4; 1 Jn 4:9,14)

(3) His becoming a sacrifice, and making satisfaction for the sins of men.

That the Son is the Redeemer and Saviour of sinners, plainly declares His distinct personality—(1) Were He not a person, He could not offer Himself a sacrifice, for He who offers Himself must be distinct from Him to whom He is offered; (2) Were He not a person, He could not make atonement for sin, or reconcile men to God. As these are personal acts, so He must be distinct from Him to whom the satisfaction, reconciliation and atonement are made, or to whom men are reconciled by Him. (Eph 5:2; Heb 9:14; Rom 5:10,11; Rev 5:9)

(4) His ascension to heaven, and session at the right hand of God.

A person only may ascend and sit down, which affirms that the Son is a distinct person. And, though it was in human nature that He ascended and sat down, yet it was God in that nature—“God is gone up with a shout” (Ps 47:5); “Thou”, the Lord God, “hast ascended on high” (Ps 68:17,18); “The Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right hand” (Ps 110:1). Since He cannot be the same person with Him at whose right hand He sits, the Son must therefore be a distinct person from the Father. (Jn 20:17; Heb 1:13)

(5) His advocacy and intercession with His Father.

Christ is said to be an “advocate with the Father” (1 Jn 2:1), and therefore must be a person to act the part of an advocate—He must be distinct from Him with whom He advocates. He Himself says, “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter”, meaning the Spirit of truth (Jn 14:16,17). Now, He must be distinct from the Father to whom He prays, for surely it cannot be supposed that He prays to Himself. He must also be distinct from the Spirit for whom He prays, for it is absurd to imagine that He is petitioning the Father for another comforter which He intends to be Himself. Rather, Christ appears in the presence of God for His people, and ever lives to make intercession for them, and must be a person to do this great work—He must be distinct from Him in whose presence He appears, and to whom He makes intercession. Otherwise He would appear in His own presence for His people, mediating and making intercession for them with Himself, which cannot be true. (Heb 7:25; 9:24)

(6) His judging the world at the last day, with all the circumstances thereof.

As the Father “judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son” (Jn 5:22), and the final judgment of the world is never ascribed to the Spirit, so it is the Son who is appointed judge in the last day, and this appointment does show the distinct personality of Christ. He shall gather all nations before Him, setting some on His right hand and others on His left, and executing the definitive sentence upon them. (Matt 25:31-41; Acts 10:42; 17:31)

(7) His being with the saints, and they with Him, for eternity.

It is promised to the saints that they shall be with Christ, where He is, seeing Him as He is, beholding Him in His glory, and reigning with Him for evermore. He is represented as the object of their praise, wonder and worship to all eternity—and this being distinct from the Father and the Spirit. This does prove that Christ must be a person, a divine and distinct one, with whom the saints shall live and dwell to all eternity, and to whom they shall praise, serve and adore throughout endless ages.

II. The Deity of the Son.

Having shown the distinct personality of the Son, it is necessary to affirm that He is a divine Person—that is, that He is truly and properly God. The importance of this truth may be better appreciated when consideration is given to the erroneous views churned out by false teachers: (1) The Arians believe Christ is a created God—if so, then He is not God at all, for God is the Creator, not a creature. Indeed, we read in John 1:3 that “without him was not anything made that was made; but all things were made by him.” Although the Son was made flesh, yet He was never made God. (2) The Socinians believe Christ is God only by office, or name—if so, then He would be God in an improper sense, even as magistrates are sometimes called gods. Rather, the scriptures teach that Christ is God by nature, having the whole essence of God in Him. This is affirmed by the following points:

1. Divine Names are Ascribed to the Son.

The glorious names belonging to the most high God are ascribed to Christ.

(1) “I AM that I AM”.

This name appears in Exodus 3:14: “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM.” It appears again in John 8:58: “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

(2) Jehovah.

The name Jehovah is peculiar to the most High—Psalm 83:18: “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.” Henceforth, if it can be proved that this name is given to Christ, it will affirm that He is the most High over all the earth.

1. An Incommunicable Name to Creatures.

The name Jehovah is never ascribed to creatures. (1) It is not given to angels—for wherever an angel is so called, it is to the uncreated angel, who is none other than the Son of God; (2) It is not given to priests and judges (Deut 19:17)—for the name is only joined with them, in order to show Jehovah’s presence in judiciary affairs (Ps 82:1); (3) It is not given to the congregation of God’s people (Ez 48:35)—for it is only symbolical of Jehovah’s presence being with them; (4) It is not given to the ark (2 Sam 6:2)—for it is not the ark, but God, whose the ark was, that is called by the name of the Lord of hosts; (5) It is not given to Jerusalem (Jer 33:16)—this is a reference to the Messiah (Jer 23:6), for the words may be rendered, “This is the name wherewith he shall be called by her, the Lord our Righteousness”; (6) It is not given to mount Moriah, or any of the altars, which are sometimes identified as Jehovah-Jireh, Jehovah-Nissi, and Jehovah-Shalom—for these references are only symbolical, designed to call to remembrance the wonderful appearance of Jehovah; His gracious help and divine assistance granted to His people (Gen 22:14; Ex 17:15; Judg 6:24).

2. An Incomparable Name Ascribed to Christ.

The name Jehovah is only ascribed to the most High, and to each Person of the Godhead. Of particular note, the name belongs to the Son.

(1) The Testimony of Moses.

When God spoke to Moses, He appeared as the “Angel of the Lord” (Ex 3:2) and identified Himself as Jehovah—“I am the Lord”. This “Angel” was not a created spirit, but rather, an uncreated Being (Ex 3:6)—and must be understand of the Son of God, since God the Father is never called an angel. Although the name Jehovah had not been made fully known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, yet it is the primary name by which God revealed Himself to Moses and the children of Israel (Ex 6:2,3; 3:14). It is Jehovah the Son who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, going before them, and leading them through the Red Sea, the wilderness, into the land of Canaan (Ex 3:8; 13:21; 14:19; 23:20; Is 63:9). Yea, nothing is more evident than that Jehovah, whom the Israelites tempted in the wilderness (Ex 17:7), is none other than the Person of Christ (1 Cor 10:9).

(2) The Testimony of Isaiah.

He whom Isaiah saw in his vision—sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up—is not only called by Isaiah Adonai (Is 6:1), but is also called by the seraphims Jehovah (Is 6:3). Indeed, Isaiah himself identified Him as Jehovah a few verses later—“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts.” (Is 6:5) As the Lord Jesus Christ, in John 12:39-41, applies the words of Isaiah (Is 6:8,9) to Himself, so Jehovah can be no other than the Son of God.

(3) The Testimony of Jeremiah.

The Messiah, or Christ, is expressly called Jehovah our Righteousness (Jer 23:6). This is an appropriate title, since it is the work of God the Son, as Mediator, to bring in everlasting righteousness for His people—He is the end of the law for it, and is made righteousness to everyone that believers.

(4) The Testimony of Zechariah.

Jehovah promised to pour forth the Spirit of grace and supplication on some persons described in Zechariah 12:10, and then adds, “They shall look upon me”, Jehovah, “whom they have pierced”. This was fulfilled in Christ, when one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side (Jn 19:34,37). These words are also referred to, and applied to Christ, in Revelation 1:7.

(5) The Testimony of Matthew.

There is a prophecy in Isaiah 40:3: “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Matthew interprets these words as a reference to John the Baptist (Matt 3:1-3)—wherefore, the Jehovah, whose way he was to prepare, could be no other than Christ. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ, who, through his preaching the doctrine of repentance, administering the ordinance of baptism and declaring the kingdom of heaven, made straight the paths prepared for Christ and His ministry.

Now, since in these, and in many other places, Christ is intended by Jehovah, he must be truly and properly God, since this name is incommunicable to any other.

(3) God.

The name ‘God’ is often ascribed to the Son. Consider,

1. The Direct Statements.

There are a number of passages that emphatically identify Christ as God. (1) Psalm 45:6: “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” Not only is He here distinguished from God the Father (Ps 45:7), but the words are expressly applied to Christ as the Son of God in Hebrews 1:8: “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” (2) Isaiah 45:22,23: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself…” These words were spoken by Christ Himself, and were later applied by the Apostle Paul to Christ (Rom 14:10-12). (3) John 1:1,14: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” These words can be understand as referring to no other but Christ Himself. (4) 1 John 3:16: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” He that laid down His life for men, which can only be said of Christ, and wherein His love to them appeared, must be God.

2. The Additional Epithets.

There are other passages that identify Christ as God, with additional epithets, or possessive pronouns. (1) “God with us”—Matthew 1:23: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Christ is identified as Immanuel, God with us, God our nature, or manifest in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16). (2) “Our God”—Isaiah 25:9: “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God.” This is God, the Christ, for whom the Jews were waiting and of whom John was the forerunner. (3) “Your God”—Isaiah 35:4,5: “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance…” This is God, the Christ, who would come when miracles would be wrought as proofs of it. (4) “Their God”—Luke 1:16: “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.” This is God, the Christ, whose way would be prepared by the ministry of John. (5) “My Lord, and my God”—John 20:28: “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.” This is God, the Christ, confessed by Thomas.

Now though angels, magistrates, and judges, are called gods in an improper and metaphorical sense, yet they are never called “our gods”, “your gods”, &c. These possessive pronouns, therefore, affirm the Son to be truly God.

3. The Adjoining Attributes.

There are several passages that identify Christ as God, with adjoining attributes, or divine perfections. (1) “The Mighty God”—Isaiah 9:6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called…The mighty God…” This is a prophecy of the coming Christ, who is elsewhere called the most Mighty, the Almighty (Ps 45:3; Rev 1:8). (2) “Over All”—Romans 9:5: “…of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.” Having made all creatures, angels and men, Christ is over them and blessed for ever in Himself. (3) “The Great God”—Titus 2:13: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…” Christ is called the “great God”, whose glorious appearing the saints are directed to look for. Compare this with Revelation 19:17, where Christ is depicted as the mighty warrior, whose name is the Word of God, and King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 19:11,13,19). (4) “Living God”—Hebrews 3:12: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” As Christ is the only one referred to in the context, it is He who is the “living God”. And, as this attribute is only ascribed to the most high God, distinguishing Him from all other deities (Jer 10:10), so Christ is set forth as the one living God. (5) “True God”—1 John 5:20: “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” As there can only be one God that is true, so the Son is declared to be that Deity.

2. Divine Perfections are Ascribed to the Son.

The Apostle Paul declared all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in Christ (Col 2:9). Henceforth, every perfection of the Godhead is true of Christ without exception. This is a firm proof that the Son is God.

(1) Self-Existence.

God exists by the necessity of His own Being, independent on any. Such is Christ—He owes His life and being to none; it is not derived from another; He is over all, God blessed for ever. It should be pointed out, however, that when Christ assumed a human nature, within the capacity as man, He had a life given Him for Himself, and lived by the Father.

(2) Eternity.

God is from everlasting to everlasting. Such is Christ—He was not only before Abraham, but before every creature, for He is the beginning, the first Cause of the creation of God (Rev 3:14). First, consider the eternity of Christ from the standpoint of creation. According to Colossians 1:15, Christ is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” The term ‘firstborn’ may be rendered ‘first parent and producer’, if the accent is removed. This better comports with the Apostle’s reasoning in the next two verses—“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Second, consider the eternity of Christ from the standpoint of the gracious covenant. As Mediator, Christ was set up from everlasting—His goings forth in the covenant were of old. The elect were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world; they had grace given to them in Him, before time was brought into motion; all which suppose the eternal existence of Christ. Henceforth, He is called Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the ending; He which is, and was and is to come. It is for this reason Christ is the antitype of Melchizedek, having neither beginning of days nor end of life (Rev 1:8; Heb 7:3).

(3) Omnipresence.

God is ever present (Jer 23:23,24). Such is Christ—as the Son of God, He was in heaven, in the bosom of His Father; as the Son of Man, He was here on earth (Jn 1:18; 3:13). This He could not have done if He were not omnipresent. Unless Christ were omnipresent, (1) He could not make good on His promise to His ministers, churches and people, to be with them at all times, in all ages, and in all places, wherever they are (Matt 18:20; 28:20); (2) He could not walk in the midst of His golden candlesticks, the several churches, in different places (Rev 1:13); (3) He could not fill all things and persons, as He certainly does (Eph 4:10).

(4) Omniscience.

God knows all things. Such does Christ—He is that Word that is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. This was the testimony of Peter, “Lord, thou knowest all things.” (Jn 21:17) And this is affirmed by many passages of scripture—Jn 2:24,25, 4:29, 6:64; Matt 9:4; Heb 4:12; Rev 2:23. Christ knew from the beginning who would believe in Him and who would betray Him. He knew what was in man, and needed not that any should testify to Him what was in man. He knew the secret thoughts of the Scribes and Pharisees, and all that the woman of Samaria ever did. And, Christ will hereafter let all the world and churches know, that He searches the hearts and reigns. If it be asked why it is said that Christ did not know the day of judgment, I would answer that this is said of Him as the Son of Man, not as the Son of God (Mk 13:32).

(5) Omnipotence.

God is all powerful. Such is Christ—He can do all things. Christ is almighty, and His works declare it—the creation of all things, the sustentation of the universe, the redemption and preservation of His people, and the resurrection of them at the last day. All of these works are “according to His mighty power, which is able to subdue all things to Himself” (Phil 3:21).

(6) Immutability.

God is unchanging. Such is Christ—as the Father is without any variableness nor shadow of turning, so Christ is the same today, yesterday and for ever (Heb 13:8; Ps 102:26; Heb 1:12)

Henceforth, as all such perfections of the Godhead are in Christ, He must be truly and properly God.

3. Divine Works are Ascribed to the Son.

The works that are done by the Father, are also done by the Son, who is a coefficient cause with Him (Jn 5:17,19). Henceforth, the deity of Christ may be proved from the works that are done by Him.

(1) The Work of Creation.

He that built all things is God (Heb 11:3; 1:10; 3:4), and such mighty acts are ascribed to the Son, or Word (Jn 1:1-3). Calling all things into existence out of nothing; the making of the worlds, the heaven and the earth (things visible and invisible)—they are all works belonging to the Son.

(2) The Work of Providence.

Christ is jointly involved with the Father in the governance of the world, and the disposing of all things therein—”My Father worketh hitherto; and I work”—that is, with Him (Jn 5:17). Indeed, Christ upholds all things by His power—He bears up the pillars of the earth and by Him do all things consist (Heb 1:3; Col 1:17).

(3) The Work of Miracles.

As the miracles wrought by Christ on the earth in His human nature are proofs of His Messiahship, so also of His deity. None but God could do such things as curing the lame, giving sight to the blind, vocal capacity to the dumb, hearing to the deaf and life to the dead—and all of this by a spoken word. These prove that the Father was in Christ, and He in the Father (Matt 11:4,5; Jn 10:37,38).

(4) The Work of Redemption.

Christ could only have wrought and obtained the redemption and salvation of His people, if He were truly the mighty God. It is this that gave virtue and efficacy (1) to His blood, which not only purchased His church and people, but cleansed them from their sins; (2) to His righteousness, to make it a justifying one before God; (3) to His sacrifice, to make it expiatory of sin, and acceptable to God. Consider also the acts of forgiveness of sin, and justification from it—these are peculiar to God. None but God is able to forgive sin, yet Christ has done it, and therefore must be God (Mk 2:7,9,10). None but God is is able to justify men from sin, and acquit them from condemnation (Rom 8:1,33), yet Christ has done it, and therefore must be God (Is 53:11).

(5) The Work of the Resurrection.

Almighty power alone is able to resurrect the dead, which power belongs to God. Yet, Christ raised Himself from the dead, and is thereby declared to be the Son of God with power—He is truly and properly God (Rom 1:4; Jn 2:19; 10:18). He will also raise all the dead at the last day, according to His mighty power—at His command, the dead bodies will come forth out of their graves, and be rejoined with their souls (Jn 5:28,29; 1 Thess 4:16,17).

(6) The Work of Judgment.

According to John 5:22: “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son.” Henceforth, the judgment of the world is committed to Christ. Now, unless Christ is God omnipotent and omniscient, He would never be able to do what He is commissioned to do by the Father—to gather all nations before Him, separate them, and place some on His right hand and others on His left; to bring to light the counsels of the heart, and judge the secrets of it, and give to every man for the deeds done in the body, whether good or evil; to pronounce the several decisive sentences, and execute them accordingly (Matt 25:31-46; Rom 2:16; 1 Cor 4:5; 2 Cor 5:10).

4. Divine Worship is Given to the Son.

Another proof that Christ is truly God may be taken from the act of worship that is rendered to Him. Both angels and men are set forth as worshipping the Son: (1) Angels—when God sent His Son into the world, He said, “Let all the angels of God worship Him” (Heb 1:6). This instruction to the celestial inhabitants never would have been given, if Christ were not God. (2) Men—it is also the declared will of the divine Father of Christ, “that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father” (Jn 5:23); that is, all men should worship Christ, even as they worship the Father. This declaration never would have been made, if Christ were not God (Ps 2:12). Beside this, consider also,

(1) Christ is the Object of Faith and Hope.

Christ Himself directs sinners to exercise faith and hope on Him—equal to that of the Father. This He never would have done, unless He and His Father are one—one in nature, and so in power and glory (Jn 14:1; 10:30). Yea, if Christ was not God, then instead of sinners being blessed and happy who make Him their hope and stay, they would be cursed for so doing (Jer 17:5,7). But scripture is replete with encouragements for sinners to commit their souls, and the salvation of them, into the hands of Christ, and to trust Him with their all—He is God the only Saviour.

(2) Christ is the Authority of the Ordinance of Baptism.

At least, this solemn ordinance of religious worship is ordered to be administered in His name—equal as in the name of the Father (Matt 28:19). If Christ were a mere creature, then this would be idolatry and blasphemy—it was for this reason the Apostle Paul was so cautious, lest any should think they were baptized by him in his own name (1 Cor 1:13-15). But that sinners are baptized in the name of the Son, is a sure instance of divine worship rendered to Him.

(3) Christ is the Addressee of Prayer.

Another branch of religious worship is prayer, which is often made to Christ. Not only did Stephen, in his last moments before death, make his prayer to the Son (Acts 7:59), but whole communities and churches have done the same—“all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor 1:2).

(4) Christ is the Author of Spiritual Blessings.

How often are grace and peace wished for, by the Apostles, in their salutations and benedictions to the churches—1 Corinthians 1:2,3: “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Now, if Christ were not God, then never would the Apostles make Him the author of grace and peace.

These instances of divine worship proves beyond doubt that the Son, the Christ, is truly and properly God.



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