A friend of mine called me up with some questions the other day. He was visited by some Jehovah's Witnesses who pointed out a passage and told him that Jesus wasn't God but that God had created Jesus. Now, if you are a Christian or grew up in church, you know that Jesus is God. But, would you know what to say if presented with this verse?
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. Colossians 1:15
What would you say to someone who showed you that verse and said, "See the Bible says that Jesus was created. He was the first born. If He was created, then He isn't really God."?
- Context, Context, Context. What else does the passage say before it and after it? The verses that follow say by Jesus all things were created and not just earthly things, but heavenly things as well. In addition, all things were created not just by Him, but for Him. In Him all things hold together. Check out verse 19. In Him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell. So Jesus has the fulness of God, is the creator of all things that exist, and is the one that everything exists for. That sure sounds like He is God to me.
- Use crystal clear passages to explain less clear passages. What does the rest of the Bible say about Jesus being God or not? Is there another passage that is crystal clear? How about John 1:1 & 14? In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. This passage makes it quite clear. Jesus is God. Another good passage is Philippians 2:6 which says that Jesus is by His nature God.
- Son of Man One of Jesus' favorite titles for Himself is the Son of Man. What does it mean? It refers to an Old Testament prophecy that was written centuries before Jesus' time. You can find it in Daniel 7:13-14. The Son of Man in that passage is given eternal glory and authority over all things forever.
- I AM When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, Moses asked God for His name. God said to call Him "I AM". In John 8, Jesus says that Abraham was happy to see Him. The Pharisees laugh and say, "You're not even fifty years old, how could Abraham have seen you?" Jesus replies by saying, "Before Abraham was, I AM". Jesus claims the name of God for Himself. The Jews knew what He meant by that and they picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy.
- Don't you recognize me? A disciple asks Jesus to show them the Father in John 14. Jesus responds by saying, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me?" On multiple other occasions Jesus said that He and the Father were one.
Why yes it does. The firstborn in that culture was the one who inherited everything from the father one day. The firstborn carried the authority of his father when he went out to do business for the father. The firstborn would one day rule over the position of the father. Likewise, Jesus, God the Son, carries the authority of God the Father and will upon His second coming be given all things by the Father.
So there you have it. Jesus is fully God.