though their unbelief and hardness of heart are so sternly condemned thereby.
We have already seen that the Promised Messiah's Nature and dignity are clearly set forth even in
the Old Testament; for instance in Ps. ii. 7; xlv. 6; lxxii; cx. 1; Isa. vi. 1-10 (compare John xii.
40, 41); Isa. ix. 6, 7; xxv. 7-9; xl. 10, 11; Jer. xxxiii. 16; Micah v. 2; Mal. iii. 1; iv. 2, and
many other passages. From the fact that His "goings forth are from of old, from
everlasting" (Micah v. 2), we can understand how true was His statement, "Before Abraham
was, I am" (John viii. 58), in which He used of Himself the special and peculiar name of God (Exod.
iii. 14). Hence we learn that it was He who called Abraham out of Babylonia, who gave Israel the
Torah, and who sent the Prophets. The New Testament therefore gives Him no higher titles than does
the Old. Both agree in what they testify regarding His Nature
(ذات) and dignity. (Compare Matt. iii.
16, 17; xvi. 15, 16, 17; xvii. 1-8; xxvi. 63, 64; xxviii. 18; Luke i. 32, 35; John i. 1-3, 9-18; v.
17-29; viii. 23-29, 42, 56-58; ix. 35-37; x. 27-38; xiv. 9-11; xvi. 12-15, 28; xvii. 5, 21; Col. i.
12-23; Phil. ii. 5-11; Heb. i; Rev. i. 5-18; xxi. 6-8; xxii. 13, 16.) When Muslims reject the
invitation to accept Christ as their Saviour (John v. 40), one reason why they do so is because they
refuse to believe what He said of Himself and what the earlier Prophets said of Him.
We must not forget that it would have been impossible for Christ to save the world from sin and
from hatred towards God, were He a mere creature, even the highest of all creatures. Hence salvation
depends upon perfect trust in Him, as being what He claimed to be and what the Holy
Scriptures of both the Old Testament and the New testify that He was. Thus we see that belief in His
Deity is no corruption of the Christian faith, but is of the very essence of all true religion. For,
were He a creature, His goodness and His sufferings could be no proof of God's love to man.