The belief in the deity of Christ is derived directly from statements concerning Him in the Bible. The references are so many and their meaning so plain, that Christians of every shade of opinion have always regarded its affirmation as an absolute and indispensable requisite of their faith. It is proclaimed in the very first sermon of the infant Church (Acts 2:36) where Peter, to the loftiest title known to a Jew, adds a loftier still—Lord and Christ (Messiah); while in the last vision of the Book of Revelation the Lamb occupying one throne with God (Revelation 22:3) can betoken only essential oneness.
Christ’s claim to be equal with God underlies His teaching right from the start. The disciples could not long have missed the implication of the change in the very frame of His message from that of the Old Testament prophets, whose familiar introduction, ‘Thus saith the Lord’, was now replaced by ‘But I say unto you’ (no fewer than nine times in the early part of the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew, chapter 5).
In content and scope His teaching embraced much that was new about the nature of God. Not only the disciples but also the Jews soon recognized that He was affirming His equality with God (John 5:18). He was beginning to reveal that the ‘unity’ of God involved a true uniting of three ‘persons’ in the Godhead, of whom He was claiming to be one. (Godhead’ simply means ‘the divine nature’; ‘head’ is an abstract ending, commonly appearing as ‘hood’, and it was just by chance that ‘Godhead’ became current instead of the equally proper ‘Godhood’.)