The distinctiveness of Christianity lies in the person of Jesus Christ. It is anchored in his deity and his resurrection from the dead. It is not uncommon to find people who believe in God but do not believe that Jesus Christ was God’s Son and that he resurrected from the dead. And yet believing this is essential since it is the foundation upon which the Christian religion is built.

In this article, I shall discuss the declaration of Jesus as the Son of God by the resurrection. My aim and purpose is to establish the deity of Jesus Christ from the scriptures. I will deal with this subject under four subheadings; the declaration defined and explained; the necessity of the declaration; the manner of the declaration; and the significance of the declaration.

The declaration defined and explained

In Romans 1:4, Paul writes, “Concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” In this verse, the word “declare” means to confirm or prove that something is true. It is the idea of marking out or determining the exact identity of something.

What this means is that Jesus neither became the Son of God at resurrection nor was he made to be the Son. He has always been the Son of God. Martin Lloyd Jones commenting on this text put it this way, “The word declare can mean to distinguish. Just as the horizon serves as a clear demarcation line, dividing earth and sky, the resurrection of Jesus Christ clearly divides Him from the rest of humanity, providing irrefutable evidence that he is the Son of God.” Jesus did not come into existence at the time he was born in Bethlehem. He had always existed.

The necessity of the declaration

It is generally agreed that God has many sons. For example, all believers are his sons by adoption, while angels are also his sons by creation. However, the Son-ship of Jesus is by nature. The Bible speaks of him as the only begotten of the Father. But we still need to answer the question; why the declaration? Well, there are three reasons we must consider:

First, the declaration was necessary because people did not know who Jesus was when he came into this world. The apostle John states that “He was in the world and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him” (John 1:10). In another incidence, Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said some said he was John the Baptist, others said he was Elijah, and still others said he was Jeremiah or one of the prophets (Matt. 16:13–14). Apart from the revelation given to Peter by God none of them could state that Jesus was the eternal Son of God, and with such variation in opinion about his person, it was necessary that he be shown for who he really was.

Second, the declaration was necessary because of his claims to deity. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. It is a fact that among the great religious leaders that have trodden this earth (such as Moses, Paul, Buddha, and Mohammed, to mention but a few), Jesus Christ is the only one who ever claimed to be God. Take for instance his conversation with the Samaritan woman when she spoke of the coming Messiah. The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah called Christ is coming. When he comes he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he” (John 4:25, 26). Or consider his response to Thomas who wanted to know the Father. In reply Jesus answered him, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Third, the declaration was necessary because of his critics and accusers. The real case against Jesus in his trial was that he claimed to be the Son of God. The crimes brought on him were primarily religious. Jesus was charged and sentenced to death for claiming to be the Son of God and not anything else. In two trials that he faced the real issue was his claim to deity.

Notice first of all his trial before Caiaphas. “And the high priest said to him, ‘I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ Then the high priest tore his robes and said, ‘He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death’” (Matt. 26:63–66). And second, his trial before Pilate “When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, ‘Crucify him, crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.’ The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God’” (John 19:6–7). Both passages indisputably affirm that Jesus’ critics put him to death for claiming to be God. This was considered blasphemy, and a crime deserving of death.

Time and space will not allow to discuss his temptation in the desert by the devil and the mockings at the scene of crucifixion. They ridiculed his identity as the Son of God. “If you are the Son of God command these stones to become loaves of bread.” “If you are the Son of God come down from the cross.” “He trusts in God, let God deliver him now if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God’,” his mockers shouted. It was this assault on his identity that necessitated the declaration or vindication that he was God’s Son.

The manner of the declaration

There are several instances in which Jesus Christ was declared or shown to be the Son of God. For instance, at his baptism and the mount of transfiguration God himself confirmed him as his only begotten Son in whom he was well pleased. The words express a unique relationship that exists between God the Father and God the Son. They also show that the Father approved the deity of Jesus Christ. He distinguished him as one possessing the divine nature.

However, the highest declaration that Jesus Christ is God’s Son was at his resurrection from the dead. More than once, Jesus pointed to his resurrection as a sign and proof of his deity when he was interrogated as to who he was. He not only predicated his resurrection, but also emphasised that his rising from the dead would be the sign to authenticate his claims to be the Messiah. “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him saying, ‘Teacher we wish to see a sign from you.’ But he answered them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth’” (Matt. 12:38–40). Again, elsewhere the Jews confronted him with a similar challenge; “‘What sign do you show us for doing these things?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scriptures and the word that Jesus had spoken” (John 2:18–22). He was sure he was going to rise. No founder of any religion known to man ever dared say a thing like that.

The significance of this declaration

Having established and discussed the deity of Christ, I will quickly and briefly look at its doctrinal importance to the Christian faith. The doctrine of Christs’ divinity is of deep significance. What we think about Jesus Christ affects our understanding of the whole biblical revelation and God’s redemptive work for mankind after the fall.

If Jesus was not God, there will be no salvation for mankind. The apostle John stresses this, “These things have been written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God…and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). In other words, salvation comes by believing in Jesus as the Son of God. He is the basis and foundation of our salvation. According to Jesus’ own words, “Unless you believe that I am he, you will perish in your sins” (John 8:24). If you are among religious groups or movements who claim to know God and yet do not submit to him as Lord, I am afraid you are heading to a lost eternity. One’s eternal destiny depends on their relationship with Jesus the God-man.

Louis Berkhof writes that it was necessary for Jesus to be God in order “that he might bring a sacrifice of infinite value and render perfect obedience to the law of God…That man in his bankrupt life can neither pay the penalty of sin nor render perfect obedience to God.”

The deity of Christ also proves the existence of God. Jesus himself declared that he came from the Father. His heavenly Father sent him. “This is eternal life that they might know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).


In conclusion, I would like to emphasise that the Bible teaches and acknowledges that Jesus is God. There is sufficient Scriptural proof that Jesus is God. The opening verses of John 1 demonstrate Jesus to be of the same essence and being as the Father. Again, the apostle Paul writing to the Colossians declares him as one in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwell.

Therefore, Jesus is almighty God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things. One who possesses all the attributes known to God alone such as forgiving sins, receiving worship, omnipotence, omnipresence, unchanging, and having absolute authority over all things. This is a fundamental truth upon which all should exclaim,

“Jesus is Lord!

Over sin the might Conqueror:

From death He rose and all His foes

Shall own his name.

Jesus is Lord! God sent His Spirit;

To show by works of power,

That Jesus is Lord”!