Romans chapter 9 begins a whole new subject in Paul’s message to the Romans. He left off at the end of chapter 8 with one of the most awesome thoughts that could ever be communicated to men, that nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. There is nothing in this world or the world to come that is more powerful than God’s love. However, Paul knows that this statement would bring an immediate question into the mind of any Jew reading his letter. A Jew would instantly think, But then what happened to the Jewish people? It appears that God has forsaken them and moved on to bless the Gentiles. In chapters 9 through 11 Paul explains what has taken place with the Jewish people and the nation Israel, and what God’s sovereign plan is for His chosen people. Discussing and explaining God’s sovereign plan for the Jews will be a formidable task. We will be wading into some of the most difficult passages in all of Scripture. Why? Because explaining God's sovereign choosing, and why He does what He does, is impossible for the mind of man unless God reveals His intent. Paul acknowledges this difficulty in Romans 11:33 when he says, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” In other words, Paul is declaring that God’s wisdom and knowledge are so far beyond man’s ability to understand, you could never figure these truths out on your own. So, how could Paul ever come to know these truths on His own? He didn’t. He just pieced together the Old Testament scriptures that predicted what God was going to do, and declared it to us. So, if you begin to scratch your head as we study through chapters 9-11, you are not alone. Many have struggled through these verses before you, but trust what Paul is teaching, because Jesus gave him special, unspeakable revelations of Himself and His plans (2 Cor. 12:7; Eph. 3:3).
Does God still love the Jewish people?
Let’s begin with this first question that a Jew would ask. Why has God apprently separated Himself from the Jewish people and turned His love toward the Gentile? Does God not love the Jew anymore? That is one of the most obvious questions that comes up in the heart and mind of a Jewish person. We must answer this question first before we move into this text. God has clearly spoken in His Word of His love for His people. Look right here in the context of Romans 9. He says in verse 13, “Jacob have I loved.” Paul quotes this from the Old Testament. Jacob is a general term for the nation Israel as a whole, because Jacob was the father of the twelve sons that make up the twelve tribes of Israel. God also spoke to His people when they were in rebellion against Him and said, “For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you; therefore I will give men for you, and people for your life” (Isa. 43:3-4). He made it very clear that He ransomed them by delivering them from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba, because He loved them. God even humbled Himself to ask the people to charge Him if He had done something to harm them. God cried out through the Prophet Micah and said, “O My people, what have I done to you? And how have I wearied you? Testify against Me. For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I redeemed you from the house of bondage; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam” (Micah 6:3-4). The pain in the heart of God is so clearly seen in these verses.
The question is, why then have the Jews not experienced God’s blessings? Why have they received God’s judgment and received His punishments? The answer is simple. God again spoke to His people and told them, “Thus says the LORD to this people: ‘Thus they have loved to wander; they have not restrained their feet. Therefore the LORD does not accept them; He will remember their iniquity now, and punish their sins’” (Jer. 14:10). The people of Israel have not loved the Lord in return, but have loved other deities and loved this world more than God. This is what robbed the nation Israel of its many promises and blessings. They loved to wander away from Him.
Jesus warns all Christian believers of the same thing. Jesus said, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 10:37-39). God wants our love and trust more than anything else. What was the question that Jesus asked Peter? “Do you love Me” (John 21:15)? Why? Because love is the commitment of the heart. That is what God is after!
Why does Paul begin with a declaration of his love for the Jewish people? Vs. 1-3
Another question Jews have is with the one who is writing the letter to the Romans. They think, Paul was a Jew, but now he's a Christian. He must be saying these things about the Jews because he doesn't love us anymore. He must hate the Jews, or he would still be a Jew. Many Jews believe that all Christians hate them. They believe this about Christians because throughout history Christians have persecuted the Jews and have called them Christ killers. I have lived and worked in Israel on a kibbutz, which is communal farm, and taken many tours to Israel, and that's what they think. They think Christians hate them, because they crucified the Messiah. But I tell Jews, the reality is that the sin of all mankind is what crucified the Messiah. So, note what Paul does here as he begins to address the Jew. He makes a declaration of his love for his people. He says in Romans 9:1-3, “I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh.” Why does Paul begin this difficult discourse this way? I want you to note that he begins with an affirmation of his love for his countrymen according to the flesh. He's saying I love you, and I care about you. In fact, I care about you so much that I could even wish myself accursed from Christ in order that you might find the salvation in Jesus Christ. What an awesome and sacrificial declaration by Paul concerning his love for the people of Israel. This is such an important example by Paul that all of us should follow. Why? Because he is about to say some very hard things to them, and he wants every Jew who reads these words to know one thing first. He loves them! Now think about this for a moment. Every one of us, at some point in our lives, has done this very same thing. When there are some hard things that must be said with a family member, a spouse, or a good friend, this is how you begin. You usually start out saying, “You know that I love you and care about you deeply.” You begin a difficult conversation that way, because you want the person to be absolutely sure of the fact of your love. That's what Paul does here. This is why he starts out with this affirmation of love.
When I speak about difficult moral issues such as gay marriage, homosexuality, or transgender issues, I will always begin with an affirmation of love for these for whom Christ died. I’m absolutely sure that God loves people engaged in these behaviors just as much as he loves adulterers, thieves, those caught by drugs or alcohol, or couples who live together without being married. Let me give you an example of how important this is. A few weeks ago, I spoke on the topic of gay marriage and homosexuality. That Sunday morning there were two men who had stopped in to visit our church. These two men had been in a homosexual relationship prior to finding Christ. They listened intently. One of the men e-mailed me the next day. He said to me, “Thank you for what you had to say about the issue of homosexuality. We could sense your love in the way you expressed what you said. Those were hard things to teach, but your love shined through.” I thought to myself, I was successful, I got the message of truth across, and they knew I didn’t hate homosexuals. I do not hate those who think that gay marriage is right for our society. I love them, and my ministry over the last 40 years proves that. Anybody listening to that study had to come to grips with the truth of God’s Word and the love of God. Remember, speak the truth in love all the time, and in all circumstances (Eph. 4:15). God loves and wants to redeem all of us no matter what we have done in the past. Paul also knew this fact and was assured that God wanted to redeem the Jewish people.
When you have to talk about difficult issues with your friends or family members, this is what you need to do. You start by affirming your love, and end your conversation with love. Don't assume that someone already knows and believes that you love them. Tell them often, and show them by what you do. This is what God does. The Scripture and history reveal to us that God has told His people He loves them over and over again, and He proved it by every deliverance, provision, and sacrifice He made for them. The ultimate proof of God’s love is the fact that He sent His Son to tell us of His love, and show us His love by the sacrifice of the cross of Christ. In Jeremiah 31:3, the Lord declares, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” When did the Lord say that? He said this to His people just before they were taken in captivity to Babylon. He was saying, remember I love you and I care about you. But you have rebelled against Me and have rejected My word. You have chosen to go your own way, and to follow other gods. But I still love you, even though you are going to be corrected and chastened severely. God's love doesn't change, it's men’s hearts that change. If you want to experience God’s unchanging love, then you will have to change, which is what it means to repent and turn to Him. Only then can you experience His unchanging love.
Notice also how Jesus expressed His love in the same way in John 15:9, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you.” Jesus wanted His disciples to know for certain that He loved them just as the Father loved Jesus. This statement by Jesus is one of the most powerful in all of Scripture. Take the examples of Paul, Christ, and the Father, and express your love. Remember, it's not loving to be silent when you need to speak the truth. It's not loving to tell people what they want to hear, when they are deceived. Tell them the truth, but tell them in love.
Now notice the triple affirmation of the truth that Paul speaks to the Romans. He says, “I tell the truth in Christ.” Second, “I am not lying.” Third, “My own conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit” that I am telling the truth. These kinds of affirmations are also a very important thing. Why? Have you ever said something to a person and your own conscience convicts you, because you know that what you are saying is not the truth? You are saying, “Oh, we really care about you,” when in reality you detest them. Or, you say to a friend, “O, I would really love to help you,” when you could actually care less. Your own conscience at that moment will either affirm or condemn your own words in your heart as you are speaking them. Paul senses his own conscience affirming his own words as he is writing them. He is simply declaring, “I mean what I'm saying. I have a continual sorrow and grief in my heart.” Oh, that our words and our heart would be in harmony like this. This is sincerity!
Then Paul makes one of the most astonishing declarations in verse 3 when he says, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ.” This reveals the depth and intensity of his love for the Jewish people. Now, I read this statement and I thought to myself, Is there anyone that I care about and love enough to wish myself accursed from Christ for eternity, that they might be saved? Think about this! Paul is not declaring that he is willing to die for them. He is saying he is willing to take the penalty of hell, so they could go to heaven. Wow! This is a depth of love that is supernatural. Yet, this is the love that Jesus had for you. He took the penalty that you and I deserved so that we could go to heaven. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1)!
But, would it make any difference if Paul was actually accursed from Christ? Could that save anyone? No, absolutely not! He is obviously speaking hypothetically. Notice the words “I could wish.” He is not saying, “I want to be accursed from Christ,” He's just saying, “I could wish.” Paul obviously knew that he cannot save anyone by his works. A sinner can't die for another sinner to save them. I’m absolutely sure of this fact because Paul wrote, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree')” (Gal. 3:13). This is why Christ hung on a tree for you and me; He has already been accursed. He has already paid the price for our sin. I can't pay the ransom price for myself or anyone else. Christ has already done that work and it is finished. Jesus was already accursed for every single Jew, for every single Gentile that has ever been or ever will be. To God be the glory!
Let me ask you a question. Do you have that kind of compassion Paul had for the lost? I believe compassion for the lost in this world is one of the most important aspects of the Christian life; it reveals your spiritual temperature; your spiritual health in Christ. You must have a compassion for the lost. However, I find many church leaders and pastors, and everyday Christians who have been serving the Lord for a long time, have lost this compassion. I know this because of the way they talk about the lost. I hear them say things such as, “They better turn or they are going to burn.” Or, they just have no burden to share their faith with the lost. There's something wrong with this! I believe that compassion is what drove Jesus to do what He did, and what moved Paul to travel thousands and thousands of miles to reach the lost. In Mark 6:34, Mark records, “Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a Shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.” Jesus ministered the truth to people, because He had compassion on them, because He saw that they were lost. They were like sheep without a shepherd. Do you remember what it was like to be lost, feeling you had no direction like a sheep without a shepherd? You didn’t know where to go, or what to do that would give you meaning and purpose in life. You thought, What do I need to do? How do I fix what is wrong in my life? I don't have a clue. Do you remember what that was like? Do you remember looking in all the wrong places for answers and direction for your life? That's not a place I think you want to go back to. There is someone standing right next to this lost person that knows the way, the truth and the life. That is you! You have the answers they are looking for. Are you willing to tell that person about what you have found in Christ, how you have found life and truth? If you have compassion, you will share that truth, and you will share it often. Compassion will motivate you. This is what motivated Paul to suffer the things he did. He declares in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ compels us.” This is why Jesus came here in the first place. “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son” (John 3:16). He allowed His Son to be cursed for you and for me. Why? Because He loves us, that's why. John 3:16 is about as clear as you can get. Will you ask God for this love and compassion to fill your heart? If you do, He will motivate you to pursue the lost just as He does. Why am I so sure? Paul said this is your ministry. Every believer has this one important ministry. Paul declared just a few verses after talking about compassion compelling him to reach the lost, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Do you realize that God wants to plead with the lost through you just as He did with Jesus? You are the light in this dark world, you have the truth, and you understand. May God give you compassion to share His love with someone.
The missed privileges of the Jewish people. Vs. 4
In verse 4, Paul goes on to describe all the privileges that the Jewish people had by God choosing them to be His people. However, these were missed privileges. He declared that they were, “Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises” (Rom. 9:4). These are all the blessings that the Jewish people had been given by God. This is quite a list. If you are a Christian reading these words, do you realize that you have been given these very same blessings and privileges? Let me explain to you what each one of these privileges really means for you. The Jews had been adopted as God’s special people. He chose them to be a people and a nation to show forth His praises. As a Christian, do you realize that you too have been adopted into the family of God. Paul said in Ephesians 1:4-5, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Paul is declaring here that you too have been adopted into His family. If you are in Christ, you have been adopted by Him to be a part of His own family! Think of it, you were once an enemy of God and a foreigner to any relationship with God, and He sought you out and adopted you as His own!
The Jews also had been given God’s glory. What does this mean? The glory of God was the physical presence of God which dwelt in the tabernacle in the Holy of Holies. After the Temple was built, when Solomon dedicated the building, the glory of God filled the Temple (2 Chron. 5:11-14). This glory was the Shekinah presence of God, or the actual physical presence of God which dwelt over the Ark of the Covenant. Today we don't have a tabernacle or temple that exists somewhere on the earth, but the Bible declares that every Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20). So, the glory of God, by the Holy Spirit, lives inside of you! Think of that! What a privilege and what a blessing God has bestowed on every believer in Jesus.
God also made a covenant with the Jewish people. God said that He would bless and provide for His people if they would simply obey His commands (Ex. 19:5). At the Last Supper on the night before Jesus was crucified, “He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you’” (Luke 22:19-20). This covenant promise will bring each of us into His glory and into His presence.
God also gave to the Jews His Law and His commandments to guide their lives and the nation. These laws were to keep them from the harm and evil of the nations around them. Paul taught that the Law was good if a man used it for the purpose it was given (1 Tim. 1:5-11). Jesus gave us a new commandment. He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34). This is what James called the Royal Law of God. He wrote, “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well” (James 2:8). Love would automatically fulfill the Old Testament Law. Paul explained this truth later in this epistle. He taught that the commandments; “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet, and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13:9-10).
The Jews were also given the opportunity to participate in the service of God. God set His tabernacle and His temple in their midst and anointed priests to serve Him and to lead people into a relationship with Him. However, today you have the joy and the privilege of serving the Lord as well. Every Christian today has an opportunity to serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and to lead and teach others to follow Him.
However, that’s not all. God has made promise after promise to His people. He first made these promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and then to all the people through the prophets throughout their history. In the New Testament, Peter wrote that every Christian has also been given exceedingly great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:3-4). If you believe these promises you will enter into His covenant, experience His glory, and find the relationship of sons and daughters because of His adoption of you into His family.
These are such exceedingly great and precious privileges that God gave to His people, yet the Jews missed every single one of these promises. They forfeited these privileges through their unbelief and disobedience. What was God’s response? He declared to them that He was setting them aside for a time, in order to save the Gentiles which would provoke the Jews to jealously when they saw God’s love poured out upon the them (Rom. 11:11). This is exactly what happened when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10). In Acts 11, when Peter told the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem what had happen to the Gentiles, the Jews struggled to understand it all. As God continued to pour out His Spirit and save the Gentiles the Jews wanted to kill Paul because of his work among the them (Acts 22-26).
So, why did the Jewish people miss all of the blessings, promises, and privileges granted to them? Because of their unbelief and rejection of Jesus as their Messiah. In John 1:11, it is clearly stated, “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” Paul and Barnabas said the same thing to the Jews at Antioch, in Acts 13:46. “Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, ‘It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.’” The Jews not only missed all of the covenant promises under the Old Covenant, but they are missing the New Covenant promises and all that Christ has accomplished for all who will believe. If you are a non-Christian reading this, then you can also miss what God has done through Christ’s death and resurrection. Please don’t reject Him. Rather, receive Him as Savior! If you choose not to receive Him, then you are rejecting Him. There is no neutral place you can be with Jesus. You are either with Him or against Him. Those are Christ’s words, not mine (Matt. 12:30). It is essential that you respond to Him, and receive Him today.
If you are a Christian reading these words, do you realize that you too can miss many of these blessings as well? Have you ever noticed the difference between a Christian who is filled with the Holy Spirit, filled with the love of God, filled with joy and peace, and a Christian who is depressed, empty and lifeless? There's something wrong with this picture, because they have no joy or rest in their souls. It means that this Christian is missing the blessings that have been given to them in Christ. Now some of you have experienced times in your Christian life where you feel dead inside and anxious about life. Why is that? It's very simple. The Bible says you are not trusting and obeying Him. The Bible teaches that you are not receiving His grace. In Hebrews 3:18-19, the apostle warns the Hebrew believers about this very thing. He is telling them, “Look, don't be like the Jews who missed the promise land.” Then he tells them why the Jews missed the promised land. Why did they not take the eleven-day journey to the Promised Land instead of the forty years marching around in the desert? He tells them in Hebrews 3:18. “To whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So, we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Notice the apostle connects disobedience with unbelief, because those two things always go together. When you don't believe, you are not going to obey. When you do not obey it’s because you are not believing His promise. The Jews missed the Promised Land because of their unbelief and disobedience. But this is a warning to Christians!
In Hebrews chapter 4:1-2, the apostle applies this warning to the believers. He declares, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” He is simply saying, “Don't miss what God has promised for you. Enter into God's rest.”
Paul encouraged the same thing in Romans 5:17 where he said, “For if by one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” So how can you reign victoriously in life as a believer? Just receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness that God has given in Christ Jesus. It’s a simple equation; trust and receive His grace and righteousness and victory will be yours. Remember, His grace and righteousness are a gift. They are a free gift. You can't deserve it. You can never do enough good things to achieve it by your self-effort. You can only receive grace by faith. Faith is what enables you to enter into God’s rest and experience His grace. If you see any place in your life that needs change, you need grace to experience that change. Ask for and receive His grace now.
Who was this Messiah that the Jewish people rejected? Vs. 5
In verse 5, Paul revealed the greatest blessing that the Jews missed. The Jews missed their Messiah. But who was the Messiah? He was the man Jesus. But, how does Paul describe Jesus? He says, “Of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God.” Paul could not have said this any clearer than that. He declares that Christ was and is the eternally blessed God. The word “is” in the phrase “Who is over all” is in the present tense in the original language. In other words, Jesus is continually, from eternity past to eternity future, the eternally blessed God! That's who Jesus is. That's who their Messiah was to be. This was the declaration of the prophecies concerning the Messiah all through the Old Testament. In Isaiah 35:4 it declared, “Behold, your God will come.” The Messiah was also called in prophecy, “The Father of eternity” (Is. 9:7). The word Father in this verse is the Hebrew word chief or principle one of eternity. Remember, there is only one person who dwells in eternity, and that is God. This is why Jesus is called, “The eternally blessed God.”
In the New Testament Jesus constantly claims to be God. This is why the religious leaders wanted to stone Him. John tells us this simply in John 5:18. “Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.” The word “making” is in the present tense, so Jesus was continually making Himself equal with God. Why would Jesus continually make this point with people as He proclaimed the Gospel? Because the deity of Christ is an essential belief for salvation. Jesus also made this fact clear. He said in John 8:24, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” The word He is in italics, which means that it is not in the original text, but has been added by the translators. I believe, and most Biblical scholars believe, that this word “He” should be removed. Why? Because this is a declaration of His nature and the fact of His deity. The term I AM is the name of God. When Moses asked God what His name was while standing before the burning bush, God said, “‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' Moreover, God said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations’” (Ex. 3:14-15). For Jesus to claim that He was the I AM was a claim to be God. Jesus made it clear that, “If you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” Jesus could not be any more direct than that. Belief in Christ’s deity is essential for salvation. I believe what Jesus proclaimed, because I don’t want to die in my sins.
Now, if you want to be absolutely sure that what I have stated is true, just read a few more verses to the end of John 8, and Jesus claims to be the I AM again. This brought on the anger of the Jews because they knew exactly what He was claiming. This all occurs when Jesus affirms that He had seen Abraham. Jesus said to them, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad. Then the Jews said to Him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’ Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by” (John 8:56-59). So, are you absolutely sure of who Jesus is? Your eternal salvation depends upon your decision. Remember, the Jewish people missed their Messiah, make sure you don’t miss Him as well!
Once a person believes that Jesus is God come in human flesh, many ask, “How can one God be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? How can the Father be God, and the Son be God, and the Holy Spirit be God? Doesn’t that make three God’s? I can't understand this.” This is a great question that needs to be answered! Remember I explained at the beginning of this study to reread Romans 11:33 where it declares, “How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out.” We are all finite creatures with limited understanding, but He is infinite. It is arrogant for any man to think with his little finite mind that he will be able to comprehend an infinite God. That would be impossible. What you have to do is simply believe what God declares about Himself. God is the One who has said that there is one God. That is clear. He declares that there is no one else beside Him (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:6; 1. Tim. 2:5). The Bible calls God the Father, God calls the Son, God, and God calls the Holy Spirit, God (John 6:27; Heb. 1:8; Acts 5:3-4). The Bible declares that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit all have the same attributes. They are all omnipresent, Jer. 23:23-34; Matt. 18:20; Ps. 139:7-10. They are all eternal beings, Isaiah 57:15; Micah 5:2; Heb. 9:14. The Bible also declares that the Father, the Son and the Spirit all do the same work (Gen. 1:1-2; Col. 1:16; Job 33:4). Therefore, if all three persons, the Father, the Son and the Spirit, are called God, have the same attributes of God, and do the same work that God does, then these three persons are the one true and living God.
Why is the Deity of Jesus so important? The simple answer is that you cannot be saved without believing that Jesus is God, and that God has come in human flesh. That is the fact. There are many religious systems that see Jesus as a good man, or a great prophet, or a moral teacher, but they have not bowed their knee to Him as Lord, as God. That's a very big difference. It’s very easy for someone to applaud Him as a moral teacher, it’s another thing to bow your knee to Him as Lord. If He is God, bowing your knee to Him is the only correct response. If He is just a sinful man like you or me, you would never bow your knee. The question is, who do you believe Jesus to be? Is He a man, or is He God? If you believe He is God, have you bowed your knee to Him as Lord? Have you confessed your faith in Him? Are you following Him? Have you fallen at His feet and proclaimed as the disciple Thomas did, “My Lord and my God”? Only you can answer.
My prayer for you is that you will see and understand the great privileges you possess today in Christ and receive them. In addition, as you realize and experience these privileges you would also see the great love God has toward you. Don’t be like the Jewish people who had it all but missed the blessings God wanted to bestow upon them. The only way you can experience these blessings is to bow your knee to Jesus and surrender your life to Him as Lord.