How Far Can We Trust Him? (Machen)

When the Christian says “Jesus is God,” he does not mean Jesus is a god, or that Jesus is god like we are all gods.  “Jesus is God” does not mean Jesus is an avatar of some deity, it does not mean that Jesus had the spark of the divine in his bosom.  It means that Jesus of Nazareth, the man who lived and died in and around Jerusalem in the 1st century, is God the creator and sustainer of the world.  “Jesus is God” means that the man who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven is Lord of all, King of kings, eternal, infinite, and holy.  J. G. Machen defended this truth well around 100 years ago as he faced the liberalism of his day.  Here’s the ending of a radio address he gave on the deity of Christ:

“The Bible from Genesis to Revelation presents a stupendous view of God, and then it tells us that Jesus Christ is all that God is.

What interest has the Christian man in all that? What interest has the Christian man in knowing that Jesus Christ is very God, what interest in knowing that it was through Him that the worlds were made, what interest in knowing that He pervades the remotest bounds, what interest in knowing that He is infinite in knowledge and in power?

No interest, say modern unbelievers; these things are mere metaphysics.

Every interest, say Christians; these things are the very breath of our lives.

We have trusted in Jesus. But how far can we trust Him? Just in this transitory life? Just in this little speck that we call the earth? If we can trust Him only thus far we are of all men most miserable. We are surrounded by stupendous forces; we are surrounded by the immensity of the unknown. After our little span of life there is a shelving brink with the infinite beyond. And still we are subject to fear—not only fear of destruction but a more dreadful fear of meeting with the infinite and holy God.

So we should be if we had but a human Christ. But now is Christ our Saviour, the one who says, “Thy sins are forgiven thee,” revealed as very God. And we believe. Such a faith is a mystery to us who possess it; it seems folly to those who have it not. But if possessed it delivers us forever from fear. The world [creation] to us is all unknown; it is engulfed in an ocean of infinity. But it contains no mysteries to our Saviour. He is on the throne. He pervades the remotest bounds. He inhabits infinity. With such a Saviour we are safe.”

J. G. Machen, The Person of Jesus, p. 27-28.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

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