Jesus is God. This is powerfully clear with a faithful study of the new Testament. And this is an essential belief for genuine Christians. Those who deny the deity of Jesus, those who claim Jesus to be a god but not the God, are making a dramatic theological error, denying the true identity of the Savior.
Of course there are many passages that show us the deity of Jesus with clear claims (e.g. John 1:1). And religious cults which deny that Jesus is God mistranslate that passage to avoid the claim. But there are other passages that beautifully tie the working of the Lord, of Yahweh, from the Old Testament to the actions and attributes of Jesus in the New. They show by simple logic that Jesus is Yahweh, the God of the Bible. This is not to say that Jesus is the Father. The name Yahweh applies to the trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit—3 persons, 1 God.
At the Shepherds’ Conference for 2020, Nathan Busenitz gave us four places where the name of the LORD in the New Testament is clearly used for Jesus, but where the Old Testament reference is to Yahweh, the name of God.
That presentation showed us:
- The Coming Messiah is Yahweh. (Mat. 3:1-3; Isa 40:3)
- The Conquering Savior is Yahweh. (Rom. 10:9-13; Joel 2:32)
- The Cosmic King is Yahweh. (Phil. 2:9-11; Isa. 45:18-25)
- Our Commander in Chief is Yahweh. (1 Pet. 3:13-15; Isa. 8:12-13 (LXX))
While studying for a message on Romans 8, I came across an interesting phrase that I needed to be sure I understood. And the study of that phrase showed me yet another place where the Bible applies a name to Jesus in the New Testament which is used for Yahweh in the Old.
Romans 8:27 – And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
In my study, I wanted to be sure that I understood to whom the Bible was referring as “He who searches hearts and minds.” Is this a reference to Jesus or to the Father? As I looked at that phrase, I saw both that it is a reference to Jesus in the New Testament, and a clear reference to the covenant name of God in the Old.
How do I know that this is Jesus? Contextually, in Romans 8, Paul is talking about the Holy Spirit interceding with the Father on our behalf. Later in the chapter, Paul talks of Jesus interceding for us as well. So the context is communication from within the Holy Trinity.
In Revelation 2, we see that Jesus takes the name as the searcher of hearts and minds to himself in one of the letters to the 7 churches.
Revelation 2:23b – … And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.
Now, take a look at how that phrase is used in the Old Testament.
1 Chronicles 28:9 – “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.”
“I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”
If Jesus claims to be the one who searches the minds and hearts of men, he is claiming to be the same person that the LORD claims to be, that Yahweh claims to be, in the Old Testament. Remember, in our modern translations, the writing of the word LORD in all caps in the Old Testament is the publisher of the Bible signaling to you that the Hebrew word Yahweh, the name of God, is being used. Jesus takes to himself a title that, in the Old Testament, applies to Yahweh. Thus, the Bible is showing us here, once again, that Jesus is God, the God of the Bible, the God who created, the one true God.