By Dwight L. Moody
A Divine Saviour
WE MEET with a certain class of inquirers who do not believe in the Divinity of Christ. There are many passages that will give light on this subject.
In 1 Corinthians 15:47, we are told:
In 1 John 5:20:
Again in John 17:3:
And then, in Mark 14:60:
What Brought Me to Believe in the Divinity of Christ
What brought me to believe in the Divinity of Christ was this: I did not know where to place Christ, or what to do with Him, if He were not divine. When I was a boy I thought that He was a good man like Moses, Joseph, or Abraham. I even thought that He was the best man who had ever lived on the earth. But I found that Christ had a higher claim. He claimed to be God-Man; to be divine; to have come from heaven. He said:
I could not understand this; and I was driven to the conclusion- and I challenge any candid man to deny the inference, or meet the argument- that Jesus Christ is either an impostor or deceiver, or He is the God-Man, God manifest in the flesh. And for these reasons. The first commandment is,
Look at the millions throughout Christendom who worship Jesus Christ as God. If Christ be not God this is idolatry. We are all guilty of breaking the first commandment, if Jesus Christ were mere man- if He were a created being, and not what He claims to be.
Some people, who do not admit His divinity, say that He was the best man who ever lived; but if He were not Divine, for that very reason He ought not to be reckoned a good man, for He laid claim to an honor and dignity to which these very people declare He had no right or title. That would rank Him as a deceiver.
Others say that He thought He was divine, but that He was deceived. As if Jesus Christ were carried away by a delusion and deception, and thought that He was more than He was! I could not conceive of a lower idea of Jesus Christ than that. This would not only make Him out an impostor; but that He was out of His mind, and that He did not know who He was, or where He came from. Now if Jesus Christ was not what He claimed to be, the Saviour of the world; and if He did not come from heaven- He was a gross deceiver.
But how can anyone read the life of Jesus Christ and make Him out a deceiver? A man has generally some motive for being an impostor. What was Christ's motive? He knew that the course He was pursuing would conduct Him to the cross; that His name would be cast out as vile; and that many of His followers would be called upon to lay down their lives for His sake. Nearly every one of the apostles was a martyr; and they were considered as off-scouring and refuse in the midst of the people. If a man is an impostor, he has a motive at the back of his hypocrisy. But what was Christ's object? The record is that He "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38). This is not the work of an imposter. Do not let the enemy of your soul deceive you.
In John 5:21-23 we read:
How It Works Out
Now, notice: by the Jewish law if a man were a blasphemer he was to be put to death; and supposing Christ to be merely human if this be not blasphemy I do not know where you will find it.
That is downright blasphemy if Christ be not divine. If Moses, or Elijah, or Elisha, or any other mortal had said, "You must honor me as you honor God;" and had put himself on a level with God, it would have been downright blasphemy.
The Jews put Christ to death because they said that He was not what He claimed to be. It was on that testimony He was put under oath. The high priest said:
And when the Jews came round Him and said,
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him (John 10:24-33). They said they did not want to hear more, for that was blasphemy. It was for declaring Himself to be the Son of God that He was condemned and put to death (Matthew 26:63-66).
Now if Jesus Christ was mere man the Jews did right, according to their law, in putting Him to death. In Leviticus 24:16 we read:
This law obliged them to put to death everyone who blasphemed. It was making the statement that He was divine that cost Him His life; and by the Mosaic law He ought to have suffered the death penalty. In John 16:15 Christ says,
How could He be merely a good man and use language as that?
No doubt has ever entered my mind on the point since I was converted.
One Good Proof
A notorious sinner was once asked how he could prove the divinity of Christ. His answer was, "Why, He has saved me; and that is a pretty good proof, is it not?"
An infidel on one occasion said to me, "I have been studying the life of John the Baptist, Mr. Moody. Why don't you preach him? He was a greater character than Christ. You would do a greater work."
I said to him, "My friend, you preach John the Baptist; and I will follow you and preach Christ: and we will see who will do the most good."
"You will do the most good," he said, "because the people are so superstitious." Ah! John was beheaded; and his disciples begged his body and buried it. But Christ has risen from the dead;
Christ Is Risen
Our Christ LIVES. Many people have not found out that Christ has risen from the grave. They worship a dead Saviour, like Mary, who said,
That is the trouble with those who doubt the divinity of our Lord.
Then look at Matthew 18:20.
"THERE AM I." Well now, if He is a mere man, how can He be there? All these are strong passages.
Again in Matthew 28:18.
Could He be a mere man and talk in that way?
Then again in Matthew 28:20.
If He were mere man how could He be with us? Yet He says,
Then again in Mark 2:7-9.
Some men will meet you and say, "Did not Elisha also raise the dead?" Notice that in the rare instances in which men have raised the dead they did it by the power of God. They called on God to do it. But when Christ was on earth He did not call upon the Father to bring the dead to life. When He went to the house of Jairus He said,
He had power to impart life. When they were carrying the young man out of Nain, He had compassion on the widowed mother and came and touched the bier and said,
He spake; and the dead arose.
And when He raised Lazarus He called with a loud voice,
And Lazarus heard, and came forth.
Someone has said, it was a good thing that Lazarus was mentioned by name, or all the dead within the sound of Christ's voice would immediately have risen.
In John 5:25 Jesus says:
What blasphemy would this have been, had He not been divine! The proof is overwhelming, if you will but examine the Word of God.
Worship Accepted By Christ
And then another thing- No good man except Jesus Christ has ever allowed anybody to worship Him. When this was done He never rebuked the worshipper. In John 9:38 we read that when the blind man was found by Christ he said,
The Lord did not rebuke him.
Then again, Revelation 22:6-9 runs thus:
We see here, that even that angel would not allow John to worship him. Even an angel from heaven! And if Gabriel came down here from the presence of God it would be a sin to worship him or any seraph, or any cherub, or Michael, or any archangel.
"WORSHIP GOD!" And if Jesus Christ were not God manifest in the flesh we are guilty of idolatry in worshipping Him. In Matthew 14:33 we read:
He did not rebuke them.
And in Matthew 8:2 we also read:
In Matthew 15:25:
There are many other passages; but I give these as sufficient in my opinion to prove beyond any doubt the Divinity of our Lord.
In Acts 14 we are told the heathen of Lystra came with garlands and would have done sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas because they had cured an impotent man; but the evangelists rent their clothes and told these Lystrans that they were but men, and not to be worshipped; as if it were a great sin. And if Jesus Christ is a mere man, we are all guilty of a great sin in worshipping Him.
But if He is, as we believe, the only-begotten and well-beloved Son of God, let us yield to His claims upon us; let us rest on His all-atoning work, and go forth to serve Him all the days of our life.