Are we little gods?
Today’s Question: I am a minister in Oklahoma
who has recently been studying the various aspects of Word of Faith Doctrine. I
successfully navigated my way through the fear-mongering and altered my theology
in regards to the sufferings of Christ [see Tom Brown’s article on this topic
by clicking here].
At this point I am on a personal quest in trying to find all that I can on
what the heresy hunters call the "little gods" doctrine. I have done a
lot of study in the Word and am at the doorway to full acceptance of this. What
I want to do now is seek Godly counsel (most of what I have read on your site is
right on target) before I delve full on into the fight. Could you give me your
perspective on this doctrine? I'd like to have a full amount of ammunition to
defend the faith.
Bible Answer: It is great to see a teachable spirit in
you. Concerning the so-called "little gods" doctrine, it is based on
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said
you are gods'? If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came—and
the Scripture cannot be broken—what about the one whom the Father set
apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of
blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'?
Jesus meant this. He said, "the Scripture cannot be broken."
This passage simply affirms Genesis 1:26 about mankind being made in God's image
endued with dominion. Jesus was simply comparing His status as the ‘Son of God’
with fallen creatures’ status as ‘gods’. He is saying that if God exalted
fallen men by calling them gods, then why are you upset with Him, who is without
sin, if He should call Himself the Son of God. Christian theologians have used
the term ‘gods’ for thousands of years to explain how close mankind is in
Athanasius, in his famous work, On the Incarnation of the Word of God,
wrote, "The Word was made man in order that we might be made gods."
Athanasius is consider very orthodox.
Even fairly recently, the great Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, commented
on this passage:
The greatest honour was thus put upon them: they were delegated gods,
clothed for a while with a little of that authority by which the Lord judges
among the sons of men. [The Treasury of David: An Expository and Devotional
Commentary on the Psalms, 7 vols, vol. 4, page 41]
It is amazing that only lately have some heresy hunters argued against this.
For example, Dave Hunt criticizes certain ministers who use this term. He even
considers them heretics. He writes,
The Bible never says that God made man
a god…That was Satan’s seductive promise to Eve… [The Seduction of
Christianity, page 85].
He is definitely at odds with Jesus, because Jesus said
God called them ‘gods’, and the Scripture cannot be broken.
Hunt is trying to break Scripture.
Someone might wonder if there is a danger in using this term. Well, there is
a danger in using any term if it is not understood. I use this term to speak of
two important facts about mankind: first that we are made in God’s image; we
have God’s character and spiritually we have God’s genetic makeup—which is
what re-gene-ration means. Second, I use this term to speak of man’s
dominion over the earth. God gave dominion to man in order for him to rule. The
term god is often used in connection with dominion. Even Satan is called
"god of this age" (2 Cor 4:4), which means that he rules.
I am not aware of any true Christian using the term god to mean that
we are the Creator as Dave Hunt implies. We are simply creatures made in God's
image endowed with dominion; thus we are "gods" in that sense. Nothing
else should be inferred.
Special note concerning Bill Humble. Later he writes to Tom Brown.
Thank you for your prompt response. I have studied John 10 as well as Psalms
82. In addition, I have studied I John 4:17, Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment. For as He is, so are we, IN
Also Peter makes known God’s promises in II Peter 1:4 that we are partakers
of the divine nature. I was slow in incorporated the terminology
"gods" in relation to us as Christians because of the
"pride" it may produce in a person. But as I sought the Lord in this
matter, I heard him say in my spirit, "How could you take any pride in
being made a god by the work of Christ. If you were a god all along, then there
might be room for pride. But you were made one when you entered into union with
My Son. If you were a god that was not under any authority, then there would be
room for pride. But you are a god under authority, for only I am Sovereign
Lord." So, there is no room for pride, as the heresy hunter’s claim.
You are the factor that has helped push me into a complete acceptance of this
doctrine. For that I thank you. You were used of the Lord. I am rather slow in
changing my doctrine. It seems that I take several months to study and get a
complete scriptural picture of something before I absorb it into my personal
theology. I want to avoid being misled. I also want to have both barrels
blasting when inevitable attacks come. This doctrine here speaks to the very
heart of what Christ’s work was meant to accomplish in us. The fact of why
Christ had to die and be raised as He did is clear in light of this, for He is
the first fruits of many brethren.
An interesting side note. It seems that there is a vested interest on the
enemy’s agenda to blind this truth from believers. As soon as my perspective
on this matter started to shift towards acceptance, the devil unleashed
everything from full on attack to white noise distraction. It was truly
fascinating. I realized that I was on to something.
Again, I thank you.
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