Deity of Christ (Hebrews 1:8-9)

As I went through Hebrews Chapter 1 regarding Jesus’ supremacy over the angels, a couple thoughts came to me that are worthy of further reflection. For the next couple devotions, I will look back at these.

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” (Hebrews 1:8–9, KJV 1900)

Over the course of my ministry, I have had countless discussions with people about the deity of Jesus Christ. Two such encounters were with Jehovah’s witnesses who came to my door. The first was with a couple of women. When we spoke, I immediately addressed one of their greatest heresies, their denial that Jesus Christ is God. I took them to John 1:1 and John 1:14, discussing the incarnation of Jesus as God in the flesh. The younger of the two, apparently a trainee, began to agree with me. At that, the older quickly ushered this young woman away and sent two of their elders the following week.

Sure enough, the following Saturday two men came to my door. One took his “New World Translation” of the Bible and pointed to John 1:1 which read, “and the word was a god.” In other words, he contended that the translation of the passage from the Greek manuscripts indicated that Jesus was not the God but a god. The Jehovah’s witnesses have conveniently mistranslated the phrase in the Greek text, kai theos en ho logos, to fit their perverted doctrine by inserting a definite article that was not in the Greek manuscripts. Jesus is not a god, He is the incarnate God, the second person of the Trinity.

One of the problems with those that deny the deity of Jesus Christ is that they do not look at the totality of Scripture to determine their theology. Instead they determine their theology from a combination of human reasoning, text-proofing (that is taking a verse of Scripture out of context to prove their point) and limited scriptural understanding.

Here the writer of Hebrews is connecting with a Jewish audience regarding a vital theological truth regarding the deity of Jesus. He is communicating the supremacy of Jesus over the angels. In doing so, he quotes from the Old Testament Scripture using Psalm 45:6-7 to show that God has declared His son to be God. Look at this again. “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” This is one of the most powerful verses in the entire Bible that points to the deity of Jesus Christ. The quote goes on to say that Jesus, God the Son, will reign eternally over His kingdom that will never end.

I taught theology in a small extension seminary for many years and one of the key points I tried to drive home was that our theological views must have a solid biblical foundation. We cannot text-proof to prove our theology. We must comprehend solid doctrine from the source, God’s word, the Bible. Thus, take note! Do not even take what I have written at face value. The reason is that I am not infallible. Only the Scriptures contain the truth. Search them. Study them. Do not text-proof. Never cease in searching for the truth of Scripture. Never cease re-examining your theological views from the Scriptures. God’s word is truth.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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