The Ancient Faith Pt. 1 – Deity of Christ
When we say the ancient faith, we are really dealing with the major contours of the faith that began their shape in the life of Jesus and set a strong form after the resurrection and into what is considered the early apostolic period. In this period the apostles and Christians of the first century defended the ideas of Christ’s divinity and the one true Gospel. There was much more that developed in the history of Christian thought that is valuable, but those earliest discussions on the truth of Scripture are the contours that Christians still need to hold to today. Jude 3 tells us to “Contend for the Faith which was once and for all entrusted to the saints.” “The faith” deals with the content of our beliefs, and therefore we still need to contend (albeit with grace and wisdom) for those beliefs.
The Deity of Christ was such a prominent subject in the first centuries of the church. For one, the earliest Gospel written tells us how Jesus forgave sins, something only God could do (Mark 2:1-12). Moreover, it begins by highlighting how Jesus is “God’s Son” (Mark 1:1). The Demon Spirits shrieked and confessed him as the Son of God (Mark 3:11-12). Even more, the soldier at the foot of the cross confesses Jesus as the Son of God (Mark 15:39).
The other Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John also bear witness of Christ being divine and human. After the Gospels (and often written earlier) there are other New Testament writings that make this clear. For instance, Colossians 2:9 “For the fullness of the deity dwells bodily.” Hebrews 1:3 tells us, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” Hebrews 1:8, which is in reference to Jesus says, “But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.” All the way to the final book of the New Testament we see the deity of Christ being displayed, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13).
The Ancient Biblical Faith has included the divinity of Jesus Christ from the earliest of times. So much so that the apostles worshiped Jesus as God (Matthew 28:9). This most important belief was passed on in the early church in what was called a “Rule of Faith.” Tertullian, Irenaeus, and other Church Fathers (People who led the church after the Apostles died) in the second century specifically codified these rules as being ‘from the apostles.’ These Rules of Faith were the basis for the Creeds that churches still uphold today, like the Apostles Creed. If one is to be Christian, they are going to have to uphold the faith of the apostles which saw Jesus Christ as both human and divine.