The Christian faith is founded on the notion that Jesus of Nazareth though his teaching told us how God wants us to be and that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead to be our Lord forever. Jesus is seen as the only way to God. There will be no everlasting happiness after death for those who turn away from Jesus.


In the gospel of John we have: Ego eimi which is said to be Jesus taking God's name I AM

John 8:24: ean gar me pistuesete hoti ego eimi "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins." The Jews are told if Christians are to be believed that there is no salvation for anybody who does not accept Jesus as God.  There is no evidence in the text of deliberate unbelief.  The gospel goes on to give more signs that Jesus really was from God with the ultimate sign being his return from the dead.  So at that stage unbelief was reasonable.  The text says there is no salvation for anybody who does not recognise Jesus as Ego Eimi.
John 8:28: tote gnosesthe hoti ego eimi
John 8:58: prin Abraam genethai ego eimi "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."
John 13:19: hina pisteusete hotan genetai ego eimi
John 18:5: legei autois Ego eimi
John 18:6: hos oun eipen autois Ego eimi  "They answered Him, "Jesus the Nazarene." He said to them, "I am." And Judas also, the one who betrayed Him, was standing with them. Therefore when He said to them, "I am," they went backwards and fell upon the ground." This is a case here where Jesus answers a question with Ego Eimi.  He is definitely not claiming to be using God's name as if he were God.  He is using God's name in a way that seems ironic and disrespectful.  What we have here is a man claiming intimate familiarity with God so that God is not offended by how he uses his name.  The verse is key to understanding why Jesus used Ego Eimi.
John 18:8: eipon humin hoti ego eimi

Summing it all up Jesus is making God out to be his intimate daddy and declaring that there is no salvation for anybody who thinks differently.  Jesus never calls himself I AM. He uses I AM which is a different thing.  In fact the tales show Jesus did not claim to be God.

The Christian faith calls itself the one, true Church. Church means called out assembly. It is an assembly of faith. “Whatever is not from [Christian] faith is sin” says Romans 14:23. Since sin blocks you from entering Heaven there is no salvation outside the faith community. It is said that the best way to state this teaching is that if you are not connected to Christ in the way he asks then you will not be saved.
The Book of Acts says that there is nobody who can save you but Jesus Christ. “And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is not other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11).

In the Gospel of John, Jesus makes this claim for himself: “Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me” (14:5, 6).
John chapter 10 makes it even clearer. There Jesus says there is only one way into the sheepfold and that is through him. If anybody gets in another way they are thieves and robbers. He said that ALL spiritual teachers that EVER came before him were robbers and all were bad. That was to stress that if you follow them then you do not belong in the sheepfold.

Jesus said that God only wants people who will worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). He said that the time had arrived for that to happen implying that that was the only time it could happen. Worship in truth cannot mean in sincerity because sincerity was always possible. Worship in truth must mean worshipping with the beliefs that Jesus wants us to have. The spirit worship implies sincerity. So Jesus is saying we will be rejected by God unless we worship the way Jesus wants and worship sincerely.

If Jesus claimed to be the only way to God then he claimed to be God’s right hand man. Some would argue that this claim is in reality a claim to be God for God would not make a mere creature the only way to God. But why should God care as long as he wins our hearts?

When God used prophets to bring us to God he would make use of an intermediary.

The Church says that Arianism, the view that Jesus was the supreme angel and not God, is erroneous. The problem of sin and division was between God and man and it would be evil if God sent a sinless man to suffer in atonement to heal the divide for it would have meant that God was leaving the dirty work to someone else. The answer would be for both man and God to directly heal the divide which could be done by God becoming man.

So, does the biblical assertion that Jesus died to save us and to bring us back to the Lord prove that Jesus had to be God? No. If Jesus consented to save us he was not doing God’s dirty work provided God couldn’t do it himself for some one of his bizarre purposes and the divide between Heaven and man is solved. God might have had to give up his non-divine son for he could not do the atoning himself for some reason we cannot understand.
The Christian cult is gorged with mysteries. Perhaps only a perfect human life, a man who could sin but would not unlike a God-man who cannot sin, could become the redeemer. Jesus could have been God but since he was two natures, one divine and the other human, in one person it follows that though it is true one way to say that God paid for us another way it is untrue. The divine nature would have been unaffected by what happened the humanity. It would have been experientially and existentially no different to God if Jesus had not been God at all. My finger might be me but if it is another nature from me then me getting it pricked is not a sacrifice any more than it would be a sacrifice getting it pricked when there is no feeling in it. The point is that turning Jesus into God incarnate does not solve the problem of God delegating his dirty work for there is a sense in what Nestorius said about the divine and human nature being distinct so that what is done to the humanity is not done to God is true.

God cannot sin and if he became man to die on the cross he would only be offering suffering not love for God says you have to have free will to be able to love. What good would it do for God to offer himself his own love? He could do that without becoming man. This makes God out to be vindictive. He does not want love in return for sin but he wants suffering. This is spiteful for it is better even for him to receive love and not suffering. And it is better for us. Even if love is suffering for others that he is not the same as looking for suffering for its own sake.

Remember, the Bible says that Adam left us in this mess when he chose to sin on our behalf with the result that we are all subject to sin and temptation and death and suffering. Jesus came to reverse Adam’s decision in our place. So both men represented the entire human race. Now if Adam could un-atone us and be a man then Jesus could atone us and be a man only. To put it another way if Adam could destroy our relationship with God Jesus could restore it and just be a man. If one Adam can damn us by his choice another can save us by his choice alone - which shows that Jesus’ death was unnecessary. Whatever it proves it is not that Jesus is God.

The Bible says that if an idol can be smashed it is not God or a god though adored as such. So it follows that a man who died like Jesus did could not be God or a god or an angel incarnate but just a normal man. Christians answer that Jesus died for a purpose. But idolaters could say their gods let attackers break them up for a purpose. The Old Testament by implication rejects that interpretation. The Bible God cannot stomach idolatry and puts it at the top of his list of things to hate so he cannot accept the worship of people who think Jesus is God. This argument proves that if Jesus really claimed to be God and did do miracles and seemed sinless and did rise from the dead then it was the work of an evil power like a Devil so that we have no excuse for not seeing through that was doing it all through him. Jesus said you know the fake by their fruits. His own fruits were mostly idolatrous and scandalous and heretical.

The Bible offers a faith that is really at least guesswork and at most vague opinion. But still it commands us to love the Lord and sacrifice ourselves for him with all our hearts. Being asked to sacrifice that much for religious opinion and guesswork is a complete contradiction. The Bible sees a moral ideal then in this unreasonable sacrifice.
If Jesus had been God or existed as an angel before he came to earth he would have known that what he was doing and had to face the cross and all this was worthwhile for he would come off okay in the end. This would conflict with the Bible ideal of altruism and sacrifice so Jesus could not have been God or pre-existent.

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CHRISTIANITY FOR THE TOUGH-MINDED Ed John Warwick Montgomery, Bethany Fellowship Inc, Minneapolis, 1973
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MERE CHRISTIANITY, CS Lewis, Fontana, Glasgow, 1975
MIRACLES, CS Lewis, Fontana, London, 1960
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SET MY EXILES FREE, John Power, Logos Books, MH Gill & Son Ltd, Dublin, 1967
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THE EARLY CHURCH, Henry Chadwick, Pelican, Middlesex, 1987
THE GODHEAD EXPLAINED, Christadelphian Press, Beverley, South Australia
THE METAPHOR OF GOD INCARNATE, John Hick, SCM Press, London, 1993
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THE NEW CULTS, Walter Martin, Vision House, Santa Ana, California, 1980
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UNITARIAN CHRISTIANITY AND OTHER ESSAYS, William Ellery Channing, The Bobs-Merrill Company Inc, Kansas, 1957
YOU CAN LIVE FOREVER IN PARADISE ON EARTH, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, New York, 1982
Kevin Quick discusses the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that the Bible never says that Jesus is God
Father and/or Son by H Wayne Hamburger

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