Closing Statement: “Did Jesus Claim to Be God?” Debate

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“Jesus’ claims to Deity in his title, attributes, actions, and teachings are much stronger than if he had merely said, ‘I am God.’”

Let me again thank all of those who have worked so hard to put this event together. And let me thank you, the audience, for coming out tonight to hear two perspectives on Jesus Christ. I have labored to show that Jesus claims deity in many ways, including through his attributes, his titles, his works, and specifically his teachings in the book of John.

My opponent has proven ably that God the Father and God the Son are not the same person, but this is something that Christians have always believed. Abu has also told us that the Trinity and Jesus with two natures does not make sense, and yet he has failed to show us how this is illogical or contrary to reason. If God had wanted to, why could he not take on human nature in addition to his divine nature? We were never told.

In light of the words of Jesus in the gospels and the rest of the Biblical account, all of us should recognize, whether we accept the claims or not, that Jesus did indeed claim to be God in human flesh and that he was identical to the Jehovah God of the Old Testament.

For the Christians here tonight, I want to encourage you to build friendships with the Muslims in your community. We are called by Jesus to love. One of the ways you can love is by knowing what they believe and sharing what you believe.

As I look over the audience, I see many of my Muslim friends here tonight. Out of deep concern and love, I cannot end our debate tonight without imploring you from one last sobering text from Scripture. Jesus said in John 8:24, “Unless you believe that I am he” (there it is again, ego eimi, the same name Jehovah God used for himself in Isa. 43:10 and Ex. 4). “Unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.”

What Jesus demands from the world is that we believe in Jesus as he revealed himself in Scripture. We believe in one God, but this one God has existed from eternity in three persons. In the greatest expression of love the world has ever known, Jesus took on human nature—in addition to his divine nature—lived a perfect life, and freely gave his life on the cross as a sacrifice for sin. Yes, God is merciful and forgiving. But he is also just and must punish sin.

Jesus took the guilt of sinners upon himself on the cross, and though Jesus lowered himself into the depths of humiliation, he ascended to the heights of glory at his resurrection. All those who turn away from their own merits and repent by placing their trust in Jesus will receive eternal life.

Let me encourage you to read the Bible on your own. Study the claims of Jesus from the Gospels and elsewhere, and may God give you new eyes to see the truth.

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