2009-03-04 - Heidelberg 15.2
Heidelberg Catechism Series, Part 35
Question 15.2: "What kind of mediator and deliverer should we look for then?
Answer: "One who is truly human and truly righteous, yet more powerful than all creatures, that is, one who is also true God."
We look for a mediator who is "true God." Christians say that Christ fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah, and even a casual reading of the four Evangelists will show that Jesus often made the claim of being God. It was why the Pharisees wanted to kill him. His message was not lost on them, and let it not be lost on us either. Jesus made the claim that He was God. We see the Old Testament saying that the Messiah would be God in many places. I will give the example of Isaiah 53:11 here, and in next devotional, 15.3, we will take a look at another name attributed to Christ, but today I would like to engage in a rational argument concerning Christ's deity. Isaiah 53:11, "As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities."
How are we to respond to those who call themselves Christians but do not believe or maintain that Jesus is God? This is the question I would like to put to you today, and you might be surprised how I answer the question. At the outset, let it be clear, that those who do not believe that Christ is God fall outside the scope of the Christian Church. It is a central tenant of the Christian faith. There are many groups that deny Jesus is God, but none of them, whatever name they call themselves, are Christian. Some will call themselves by a Christian name, and even wish to be included under the umbrella of what is called Christian, but if they do not hold to Christ's divinity they remain outside the Christian faith.
Let us consider for a moment what these groups are saying, who say that Christ is not God, about us who say that He is most certainly God. They are saying that we are idolaters. We are charged with a great crime. If what we worship is not God, then there is no escaping the conclusion that we are in idolatry. If we worship Christ, who some say is not God, then they have, by implication, called our worship idolatry. These groups will say that Christ is the best of men, but the Christian maintains that if He be nothing more than the best of men then we are still in our sins, and Christ, who claimed to be God, was an impostor in fact, the greatest of all deceivers. It would be kinder if those who deny Christ's deity would call us murders. Murder is simply the killing of man, but idolatry is the killing of God. Are those who deny the deity of Christ, in their temerity, really saying that Bible believing Christians are so ignorant as to worship the creation, a mere man? Yes, that is exactly what they are saying. They charge the Bible believing Christian with the tag: Idolator.
We have to maintain that Christ is God. We must say that to be in error in respect to His divinity casts the individual outside of the Christian faith. The error is fatal to true saving faith. There is no room for capitulation in this for the Christian. There is no charity extended to the view that Christ is not God. We beg those in error on this point to reconsider, study God's Word, but we do not budge an inch from, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." John 1:1, 2.
Soli Deo Gloria,