Early African church fathers defended the truth that Jesus Christ is divine—the eternal Son of God. Among them was Athanasius. Historians describe him as a short, dark-skinned man with a hooked nose and a reddish beard. In the 4th century, he led the church to defend the truth that Jesus Christ is divine. He argued that the Gnostic teacher Arius was in error claiming Jesus to be otherwise. Athanasius insisted if Christ was not fully divine, He could not redeem us. Today, the church credits this African scholar for his successful defense of this vital teaching. Of course, in doing so, he was only affirming what the Apostle Paul had said years before. We read this in Colossians chapter 2: “Just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught … Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.” The Apostle Paul and Athanasius knew that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, so He is positively worthy of our worship and obedience.
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