The Church knew from the start that Jesus was God. Yet both the Scripture and the Church from its earliest days confessed that there is only one God. They fearlessly proclaimed this truth when every culture around them believed anything but that there was just one God. They were even called Atheists because they didn’t believe in the Roman Gods or play the game of merging their religion with those around them.
The early church recognized that the New Testament clearly assumes Jesus is God. In some places, it calls him so point blank. (John 1:1, John 1:18, Romans 9:5, Philippians 2:11 (Jesus Christ is Lord), Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8, 2 Peter 1:1) He is identified as the Son of God and calls himself the Son of Man. Jesus is called Lord, calls himself Lord or implies he is Yahweh.
The New Testament also gives titles to Jesus that the Old Testament reserves for God alone. He is the Savior (Isaiah 45:21, Hosea 13:4, Luke 1:47, Acts 5:31) God is our shepherd (Psalm 23:1, Ezekiel 34:15) and Jesus is the shepherd (Hebrews 13:20) God is the first and the last (Isaiah 44:6). Jesus is the first and the last. (Revelation 1:17) Other titles are also given to both God and to Jesus. These reinforced the conviction of the church that Jesus is both God and Lord.
See also: One God in Three Persons |
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