“If Christ were not God, there would be no Christianity.
His deity is crucial for our faith. The doctrine of Christ’s full divinity also has massive practical significance for the Christian life.
Here we offer some spiritual directions to help you apply this truth to your life:
1. Recognize the horrible evil of your sins.
William Perkins said,
“No man could save our souls, no, not all the angels of heaven, unless the King of heaven and earth, the only Son of God, had come down from heaven and suffered for us, bearing our punishment. Now the consideration of this must humble us and make us to cast down ourselves under the hand of God for our sins … that some tears of sorrow and repentance might gush out for this our woeful misery.”
2. Trust Christ’s sufficiency for complete salvation.
Petrus van Mastricht (1630–1706) said that the doctrine of Christ’s deity
“commends to us the sufficiency and perfection of our Mediator, from which it is said that all fullness dwells in him (Col. 1:19), and He fills all in all (Eph. 1:23), so that from His fullness we can draw grace upon grace (John 1:16); indeed, in Him we are made complete (Col. 2:10).”
In giving Christ for sinners, God has given all of Himself. Surely, then, you can rest upon Christ as all that you need for salvation and eternal life.
You are foolish, but in Christ is all wisdom (2:3).
You by nature are dead in sin, but in Christ is resurrection from the dead (2:13).
You are guilty of many transgressions, but in Christ is complete forgiveness, the cancelling of all our debts (2:13–14).
“He who died on the accursed tree, ‘the just for the unjust,’ is none other than the ‘I Am,’ ” and therefore, “who shall set any limits to the efficacy of His atoning blood and vicarious righteousness?”
You have been a slave of Satan and his demonic forces, but in Christ is total victory against all the powers of darkness (2:15).
In a word, you are empty of all spiritual good, but “ye are complete in Him” (Col. 2:10) if you trust Him and receive Him (2:6–7).
3. Find comfort in Christ’s sonship and your adoption in him.
If you rejoice that Jesus is the Son of God, then you may also rejoice that you are an adopted son or daughter of God by union with him (Gal. 4:4–5; Eph. 1:5).
“Whereas Christ Jesus is the Son of God, it serves as a means to make miserable and wretched sinners, that are by nature the children of wrath and damnation, to be sons of God by adoption.… Let all such as fear God enter into a serious consideration of the unspeakable goodness of God, comforting themselves in this, that God the Father has vouchsafed by His own Son to make them of the vassals of Satan to be His own dear children.”
4. Bow the knee to Christ in holy awe.
The glory of Christ’s deity calls you to go beyond a consideration of your own salvation and to contemplate the Savior. He does not exist for you, but you and all things exist “for him” (Col. 1:16).
Thomas Goodwin said,
“God’s chief end was not to bring Christ into the world for us, but us for Christ. He is worth all creatures. And God contrived all things that do fall out, and even redemption itself, for the setting forth of Christ’s glory, more than our salvation.”
Therefore, “be swallowed up with profound awe and self-abasement” before the glory of Christ, as Brown said, because when you gaze upon him, you stand in the presence of the holy, holy, holy Lord.
5. Think often and warmly of Christ.
Since Christ is God, you should be thinking about him all the time, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit. This is the taproot of Christian spirituality: to set your mind and desires upon Christ (Col. 3:1–2).
John Owen said,
“The principal actings of the life of faith consist in the frequency of our thoughts concerning him; for hereby Christ liveth in us.… A great rebuke it ought to be unto us, when Christ has at any time in a day been long out of our minds.”
And when we do think of Christ, Owen said, “all our thoughts concerning Christ and his glory should be accompanied with admiration, adoration, and thanksgiving.”
6. Live unto the Lord Christ.
Direct your life and death at him as your great goal and holy ambition (Phil. 1:20–21; 3:8–12). He died and rose again so that His people no longer live for themselves, but for Him (Rom. 14:8–9; 2 Cor. 5:14–15).
“To live to any Being is the highest worship that can possibly be rendered to Him. We are commanded to live to Christ, taking His will as our highest law, and Himself as our highest end of existence.”
The great tragedy of fallen humanity is that we live to ourselves. Brown exclaimed,
“Oh the frightful guilt of this, as seen in the light of the absolute soleness of Jehovah’s glory, that infinite chasm which subsists between him and all creatures whatsoever!.… We transfer from God to ourselves the esteem, the confidence, the fear, the love, the service, which are due only to him.”
Repent, therefore, of living unto yourself, and live unto Christ.
7. Offer yourself to God in gratitude for his Son.
God’s gift of his Son to us displays the infinite depths of his love (John 3:16). Paul says, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
Your only fitting response is to give yourself to God (Rom. 12:1).
“Whereas God the Father of Christ gave His only Son to be our Savior, as we must be thankful to God for all things, so especially for this great and unspeakable benefit.… We should give unto God both body and soul in token of our thankfulness for this wonderful blessing that He has given His only Son to be our Savior.”
Give yourself to God for Christ’s sake, today and every day of your life, until you see Him face-to-face and are liberated to live wholly and solely for His glory.”
–Joel R. Beeke and Paul M. Smalley, Reformed Systematic Theology, Volume 2: Man and Christ (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2020), 2: 777–780.