The Deity of Jesus Christ [Brochure]

The Deity of Jesus Christ by John Nelson Darby
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To me, it is as clear as the sun at noonday that Christ was the Jehovah of the Old Testament, who could say, “Before Me there was no God: I know not any.” All the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Him, (and dwells, of course) “bodily.” He was “Immanuel”—His name called “Jesus” (JAH—the Savior), for “He shall save His people from their sins.” When Isaiah, in chapter 6, saw the thrice holy Jehovah of Hosts, he saw, says John, Christ’s glory, and spake of Him … (See John 12:41, Daniel 7:9 & 22, 1 Timothy 1:16, and Revelation 9:11-16.)

I read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Wherever my mind can go back to as a beginning as to time, there He was. And that there may be no plea of endiathetos (that is His inherence as “reason” without being a person), he adds, “He was in the beginning with God”—always a distinct person. And lest any inferiority should be alleged, Paul tells us, “All the fullness was pleased to dwell in Him,” for this is the true force of the passage. And so the fact is declared to have been, “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” As a person He “emptied Himself,” h’eauton ekenose. He could not have done so except as God. A creature who leaves his first estate sins in so doing. The sovereign Lord can descend in grace. In Him it is love. Then, as in that position, He receives all. All the words He has are given to Him. He is, though unchangeable in nature as God, yet in His path a dependent man. He lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God—is sealed by the Father; the glory He had before the world is now given Him of the Father. Now in this state of obedient servant, with a revelation which God gave to Him, the day and hour of His judicial action was not revealed (Mark 13:32). “It is not for you,” He says to His disciples (Acts 1:7), “to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power.” And to this exactly Psalm 110:1 answers: “Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” When? Sit there in this place of divine glory until—; no more is said. Now, I do not pretend to explain—God forbid I should!—how this is.

I see in scripture in the full (not theiotees, Romans 1:20, merely, but theotees, Colossians 2:9, of Christ maintained by the truth—that none can know the Son but the Father; the Father we do: He is simply the adorable God (Matthew 11:27). The Son’s divine nature seemed, so to speak, exposed to danger by His blessed humiliation; not so the Father. It is secured (I mean, of course, as to thought) by His being thereby absolutely unfathomable. Such I believe He is. I know He is the Son; I know He is a true proper man. I know He is “I AM,” “the true God.” How to put this together I do not know, though I see and know they are together—am glad I do not—as a creature. Did I know, I should have lost that divine fulness, which, if capable of being fathomed when in manhood, was not truly then divine. God, through grace, I know; man too, I know, in a certain sense; but God become a man is beyond all—even my spiritual thoughts. Be it so; it is infinite grace, and I can adore. I am sure for my soul’s blessing He is both; and the Son of the Father too—for the persons are as distinct as the nature is clear. Say to a Christian, “the Son sent the Father,” and he would instinctively revolt at once. That the Father sent the Son is the deepest joy of his soul.

J. N. Darby

 

Notes:

Endiathetosó—“conceived, and residing in the mind.”

H’eauton ekenose, “He made himself of no reputation,”—simpler, and literally, “He emptied Himself.” Philippians 2:7.

Theotes occurs only in Colossians 2:9, and means that which God—“Deity”.

Theiotes occurs only in Romans 1:20, and means that which isof, or belonging to, God—“divinity.”

To thion, rendered “Godhead” in Acts 17:29, is from thios, “divine” as in 2 Peter 1:3-4. It means, in ordinary Greek use, “of, belonging to, the Gods.”

Deity” and “divinity,” in English, are used as interchangeable; which, as seen above, they are not in Greek. Unitarians, however, distinguish; applying “divine” and “divinity” to Christ; but not “deity.” This might deceive many.

 

(From The Collected Writings of J.N. Darby, Apologetic Volume Number 2, very lightly edited)