The divine presence. The divinity of Christ. Master of divinity (this is an actual seminary degree for those of you who are not familiar with Christian education). If you’re a Christian or are familiar with Christian circles, then you know we love the word “divinity.” However, do you know what it really means?
Is being divine simply the act of being God, or is it more than that? Can a mortal man be divine, or is this something that is for God alone? Well, for many Christians, the concept of divinity is important because we believe that Jesus is divine. However, many of us don’t really understand what divinity means. If you have questions about divinity, we hope the information here helps you out a little bit.
What is the definition of divinity?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, divinity can be “the quality or state of being divine” or a “fudge made of whipped egg whites, sugar and nuts.” Now, we know that the latter definition sounds wonderful, and we don’t blame you for tracking some of that fudge down after you’re finished reading, but it doesn’t deal with what we’re talking about.
The former definition, the state of being divine, is what the Christian faith is concerned with. To be divine is to be God or to be of direct influence of God. This is the understanding of divinity that drives much of the Christian faith. Because, we believe Jesus is divine, which, when we say this, means we believe Jesus is of God.
Why is it important that Jesus is divine?
Jesus said and did lots of nice and cool things, so why is it important that He’s divine? After all, people can live a life modeled by Jesus’ example without believing that He is divine, right?
Well, this is true, and much of what Jesus taught permeates modern society. It’s in our laws and it’s in our social behavior. However, this alone, is not what we need.
It is important for us to live by Jesus’ example, and every Christian should make this a priority, but it’s Jesus’ divinity that defeats death. Without it, we’re just a bunch of nice people spiraling toward a hopeless end.
Jesus is divine
Fortunately, New Testament Scriptures make it clear that Jesus is divine—Hebrews 1:8, Titus 2:13, John 1:3, Revelation 1:7 just to name a few. And, how do we know this Scripture is accurate, you may be wondering? Well, we know because of the Resurrection.
The Resurrection seems crazy to some, but it’s an accepted historical fact in many traditions with a strong amount of evidence to support that it actually occurred. Many written accounts describe or refer to the event. Many eyewitnesses died defending the belief. No theories about hallucination or other misinterpretations provide a strong enough answer for why so many people were willing to write about, talk about and die for the belief of the Resurrection. And, because Jesus was resurrected, we know that He is divine.
At Unfiltered Radio, we love exploring the nuances of faith, the traditions behind it and its ties to modern culture and science. If you’d like to hear more about what it is to experience God in a modern world where the church is not on your list of places you want to go, our podcast series is for you.