Refutations from Scripture: Arianism
Arianism is the belief that Jesus was not God but merely a creation of God. It denies the divinity of Jesus the Tri-une nature of God. The beliefs of Arianism are important to heresies like Psilanthropism. While some think that denying the Divinity of the Holy Spirit is the Arian heresy, but that is actually a separate heresy called Macedonianism. While many Macedonians are also Arians and vice versa, there are also many Arians that aren’t Macedonians and vice versa. Arianism specifically focuses on the fact that Jesus was a created being and that He is not divine. This is taught by groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Iglesia ni Christo, the Christadelphians, and Unitarians, and theologians like Charles Taze Russell and the famous philosopher John Locke.
The first issue with this heresy is that Jesus claimed to be God. In John 8:58 (ESV), we are told, “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.'” This not merely a statement about the eternality of Jesus, but also about the divinity of Jesus. Jesus is using “I Am”, a name of God, to describe Himself. The Jews even tried to stone Him because of this. This is not the only place Jesus claimed to be God. In John 10:30 (ESV), Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” Again, the Jews tried to stone him and Jesus asked them why. Their response in verse 33 was, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Not only did Jesus claim to be God, but He did so in light of those who denied that He was God. The Pharisees and Non-Christian Jews, who opposed the Deity of Jesus, were essentially the first Arians (Mark 8:28, John 10:33). Even the Jews recognized that Jesus was claiming to be God.
Another issue with the claim of Arianism is that Jesus received worship. In John 20:28 (ESV), Thomas says about Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” The words he uses are Kyrios (Lord) and Theos (God), both of which are used as names of God by those who speak Greek. Matthew 2:11 (ESV) says about the wisemen, “And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 28:9 (ESV) also tells us, “And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.” his was not only humans who worshiped Him, but also the angels. As Hebrews 1:6 (ESV) says, “And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.'” Jesus never rebuked these people but instead accepted the worship. In Matthew 4:10 (ESV), Jesus commanded, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” Either Jesus was sinning by accepting worship, lying when He said only God should be worshipped, or He is God.
Also, Jesus did things only God could do. He rose from the dead, calmed the storms, and preformed many great miracles. However, these are not even the most astounding things we see Him do. In Mark 2:5 (ESV), we see Jesus see Jesus forgive sins. It says, “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.'” In verse 7 the people objected, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?”, and Jesus responded, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” However, even above this, Jesus’s death would not be sufficient to save if He was not God. GotQuestions.org states it like this, “A created being, which Jesus would be if He were not God, could not pay the infinite penalty required for sin against an infinite God. Only God could pay such an infinite penalty. Only God could take on the sins of the world, die, and be resurrected, proving His victory over sin and death.”
Finally, Jesus cannot be human because the rest of the whole council of God’s Word speaks about Him as God. In John 1:1 (ESV), we are told, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In verse 14, we read, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” A Messianic prophecy found in Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” In case you didn’t catch that, Jesus is called “Mighty God”. Colossians 2:9 (ESV) tells us, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” Unless there are multiple gods (See: Deuteronomy 4:35), Jesus must be God.
The Arian heresy is a severe heresy. To believe that Jesus is not God is to worship a different god, a god that cannot save. For 1 John 2:23 (ESV) says, “No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” A Jesus who is not God could not even save if he existed. To proclaim Arianism is to proclaim another gospel, which is no gospel at all, and to worship another god, which is truly just an idol. Neither of these have the power to save, and will only lead to condemnation.
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