Welcome to Adventures in Witnessing Volume Five.
It's time to look at some common objections to our faith. Have you ever been called for jury duty? I, like most people, dreaded receiving that letter until I realized how great of a witnessing opportunity it is. Normally you are stuck in a crowded room for about 8 hours with almost nothing to do except converse with each other. On one such occasion, I was having a spiritual conversation with someone who made a statement that I had never heard before, she said, “Jesus never said I am God, worship Me." I now know that this is a very common objection to the deity of Jesus. Yes, it is true that He never said those exact words but did He claim to be God in other ways?
Here is the short answer first.
Who can offer eternal life except God alone? Who can forgive sins except God alone? Who can answer prayers except God alone? Who can offer rest for the soul except God alone? Jesus offers eternal life, has the power to forgive sins, answers prayers and offers rest for the soul. (Ref. John 10:28, Luke 5:20-24, John 14:13-14 & Matthew 11:28-29)
By His own words and actions Jesus demonstrated His deity. He allowed people to worship Him without rebuke. (Ref. Matthew 28:9) God says He will not give His glory to another. (Ref. Isaiah 42:8) We read in Revelation chapter 5 where multitudes are worshiping Him who sits on the throne and the Lamb. They are worshiping God the Father and Jesus. (Ref. Revelation 5:11-14) When Jesus said “before Abraham was, I AM” they picked up stones to kill Him because He was claiming to be God. (Ref. John 8:58-59 & Exodus 3:14) Jesus said "I and My Father are one." (Ref. John 10:30)
His earliest disciples called Him God. Thomas said to Him “My Lord and my God!” Paul wrote that we should be looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Peter makes reference to Him as our God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Ref. John 20:28, Titus 2:13 & 2Peter 1:1)
Here's a good question to ask, if someone presents this objection to you. “If I or another human being walked up to you and said 'I am God worship me' what would your response be?” Almost everyone's response is “you are crazy” so why would Jesus make a statement like that knowing how people would respond?
The Trinity, or as Dr. Michael Brown calls, God's Complex Unity, is also commonly objected or misunderstood. Here's a few ways to explain this to others.
The word trinity is commonly used to describe God. However, this word is not in the Bible. What is the trinity? What is God’s complex unity?
The Holy Scriptures affirm that the Lord our God is one. Adam and Eve are two that become one. The Tabernacle is made up of many parts that become one. (Ref. Deuteronomy 6:4, Genesis 2:24 & Exodus 36:13) God who is enthroned in the heavens yet at the same time can fill the earth with His glory and have His spirit move about the earth has revealed Himself to us in many ways. (Ref. Psalm 123:1, Numbers 14:21, Genesis 1:2 & Psalm 51:11)
He communicates to Moses from the burning bush. He went before the Israelites by day in a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire by night. His glory appeared in the cloud. They saw the God of Israel and under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone. (Ref. Exodus 3:4, Exodus 13:21, Exodus 16:10 & Exodus 24:10-11)
God has a conversation with Abraham while in human form. (Ref. Genesis Ch.18)
While remaining enthroned in heaven, God took on the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of man, as Jesus, the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature. The Lord our God is one but has revealed Himself to us in many ways and most commonly as God the Father, God the Son and Holy Spirit. (Ref. Philippians 2:8, Hebrews 1:1-4, Colossians 1:15-20, John 1:1, John 1:14 & Acts 5:3-4)
God created water, the very substance we look for when looking for signs of life. Water comes in three forms: liquid, ice & steam. Jesus referred to Himself as Living Water, which again is a way in which He is revealing Himself to us. And if one man made computer can run multiple programs and multi task at the same time, why do we limit what the creator of the universe can do?
I recently heard Matt Slick explain the Trinity by looking at the concept of Time. Time is only made complete by The Past, The Present & The Future, three in one.
A Muslim or Jehovah Witness might ask, “If Jesus is God, how can God die? Why did He pray to Himself? Why did He say “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”
God did the most loving act imaginable. He took on the form of a man to experience human life first hand. Jesus taught us how to have a relationship with God by praying to and worshiping the Father. He was tempted like us but did not sin. His human flesh died but was raised on the third day. His spirit never died. While on the cross Jesus cries out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” because He was pointing people to the messianic prophecy of Psalm 22 which describes His crucifixion experience. He demonstrated His love for us by paying the price for our sins.
Until next time, keep on witnessing!
Follower of Jesus