10 Divine Attributes Of Jesus Christ

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By Brian Chilton| Mark Lowry wrote a beautiful song called Mary, Did You Know. The song features questions that Mark would ask Mary if he had the chance. One of the lines inquires, “Mary, did you know . . . that when you kissed your little baby, you’ve kissed the face of God?”.

We are in the season of Advent which anticipates the arrival of Christmas. Although the date of Christ’s birth is debated among scholars, Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of Christ, no matter the actual date.

Throughout the millennia, Christians have recognized that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God. However, may have sought to dispute the claim, holding that Jesus was merely a good man but not God. Groups like Jehovah Witnesses translate their own versions of Scripture, attempting to write off the divine claims made about Christ. Yet, it is impossible not to see the multiple divine attributes of Jesus throughout the pages of Scripture.

A thorough examination of Scripture indicates that Jesus holds multiple divine attributes normally ascribed to God. At least ten Messianic divine attributes are found in Scripture.[1]

1. The Messiah holds the divine attribute of life (Jn. 1:4; 14:6)

The divine attribute of life describes the ability to provide life, even eternal life. This kind of life can only be given by one who oneself is eternal.

  • “In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (Jn. 1:4).[2]
  • “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you know me, you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (Jn. 14:6).

2. The Messiah hold the divine attribute of self-existence (Jn. 5:26; Heb. 7:16)

This means that Christ was uncreated and exists by himself alone, an attribute that only God could hold.

  • “For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he has granted to the Son to have life in himself” (Jn. 5:26).
  • “. . . who did not become a priest based on a legal regulation about physical descent but based on the power of an indestructible life” (Heb. 7:16).

3. The Messiah holds the divine attribute of immutability (Heb. 13:8)

Immutability means that one is unchangeable. While finite beings can and do change, a necessary infinite being does not.

  • “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8).

4. The Messiah holds the divine attribute of truth (Jn. 14:6; Rev. 3:7)

Titus 1:2 notes that God cannot lie. It is not that God chooses not to lie, but rather that he cannot because it goes against his nature. To claim that God is truth means that God’s essence is sheer truth and possesses no falsehood. Scripture notes that Jesus holds this attribute.

  • “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you know me, you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (Jn. 14:6).
  • “Write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia: Thus says the Holy One, the true one, the one who has the key of David, who opens and no one will close, and who closes and no one opens” (Rev. 3:7).

5. The Messiah holds the divine attribute of love (1 Jn. 3:16)

God is understood to be omnibenevolent; that is, all-loving. In God, there is no hate if he can be said to be absolute love. Theologians understand that God’s wrath is rooted in God’s love and his holiness. Scripture notes that Jesus holds the divine attribute of love.

  • “This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 Jn. 3:16). See also John 3:16.

6. The Messiah holds the divine attribute of holiness (Lk. 1:35; Jn. 6:69; Heb. 7:26)

God is absolutely holy. Absolute holiness is an all-encompassing purity, in which no evil is possessed. In other words, God is the absolute good. Scripture claims that Jesus holds this divine attribute of holiness which is necessary if he is to redeem humanity from their sin.

  • “The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Lk. 1:35).
  • “We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (Jn. 6:69).
  • “For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens” (Heb. 7:26).

7. The Messiah holds the divine attribute of eternity as seen in this passage and in Jn. 1:1

God is understood to be eternal. He has no beginning and no end. The Messiah is said to hold the same eternal attribute.

“Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; one will come from you to be ruler over Israel for me. His origin is from antiquity, from ancient times” (Mic. 5:2).

  • “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn. 1:1).

8. The Messiah holds the divine attribute of omnipresence (Mt. 28:20; Eph. 1:23)

Omnipresence is the divine ability of God to be everywhere at all times. While Jesus did become monopresent during his time on earth, he is said to have the divine attribute of omnipresence in his eternal state.

  • “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mt. 28:20).
  • “And he subjected everything under his feet and appointed him as head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way” (Eph. 1:22-23).

9. The Messiah holds the divine attribute of omniscience (Mt. 9:4; Jn. 2:24, 25; Acts 1:24; 1 Cor. 4:5; Col. 2:3)

Omniscience is the divine attribute of God to know all things. This is an extremely deep concept as God knows all things that could be by his natural knowledge, all things that will be by his free knowledge, and all things that would be by his middle knowledge. Jesus is omniscient.

  • “Perceiving their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why are you thinking evil things in your hearts?” (Mt. 9:4-5).
  • “Jesus, however, would not entrust himself to them, since he knew them all and because he did not need anyone to testify about man; for he himself knew what was in man” (Jn. 2:24-25).
  • Then they prayed, “You, Lord, know everyone’s hearts; show which of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry that Judas left to go where he belongs” (Acts 1:24-25).
  • So don’t judge anything prematurely, before the Lord comes, who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God” (1 Cor. 4:5).
  • “In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).

10. The Messiah holds the divine attribute of omnipotence (Mt. 28:18; Rev. 1:8)

Omnipotence is the divine attribute of God that indicates God’s complete power. God has complete authority and ultimate strength. Jesus holds the same attribute.

  • “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth” (Mt. 28:18).
  • “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8).

As I have learned from several of my professors at Liberty University, biblical theology must shape our systematic theology. From Scripture, one can clearly see that Jesus is God incarnate. It is unquestionable. That is why I hold that one must accept the divine aspect of Jesus to truly be part of the orthodox Christian faith.

Notes

[1] Many of these references were found in Augustus Hopkins Strong, Systematic Theology(Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1907), 309.
[2] Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture comes from the Christian Standard Bible (Nashville: Holman, 2017).
This article was originally featured on Bellator Christi and was republished with permission.
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Clark Bates has been serving the local church in various ministries for more than a decade. He has acted as an interim pastor and guest speaker for churches along the Southern Oregon Coast and lectured on apologetics and theology in Oregon, California, Michigan and Illinois. Clark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Liberty University, graduating magna cum laude, as well as a Master’s of Divinity degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a graduate of the Cross Examined Instructor’s Academy, a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and actively involved with the Reasonable Faith St. Louis Chapter. He has appeared on Trinity Channel’s Apologetics Marathon opposite Reason to Believe’s Ken Samples and was recently featured on Ratio Christi TV’s broadcast “Truth Matters” discussing the reliability of the New Testament. Currently, Clark writes and produces videos for his website http://www.exejesus.com and is beginning his second master’s degree with Concordia Seminary, in St. Louis, Mo.