Answer:I browsed through that sermon on the web, and noticed that you mention that Jesus did not use the power to create while on earth. However, in John 9 we have the blind man from birth who received sight. Notice especially verse 32; Jesus created sight in this man. I agree with your message, but I thought I'd send this tidbit along.
I do think that believing Jesus the man was God has a lot to do with salvation. We could not be saved except by the spotless, unblemished blood of Christ. (Hebrews 10:4, I Peter 1:18-19). If Jesus was purely man, he would have the sin nature as discussed in Romans 5 and 6 and Genesis 2 and 3 and his blood would not be spotless and unblemished. We are saved by his precious blood that was spilt, that his righteous blood covers over our human unrighteousness. Salvation comes by believing and I think it is imperative that we ensure we are leading others to believe the truth. Jesus as only a man, has no power over sin through his blood; it had to be the precious blood of God spilt on our behalf. It's okay to stand up and say that a particular point of doctrine matters so that others will get it right and be led to eternal salvation.
Thanks for reading. I'd love to hear any comments. Preach the Gospel brother!
Thank you for taking the time to write about the sermon "The Deity of Christ on Earth." The verse in John 9:32 is useful in the discussion. "Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind." The restoring of the blind man's sight is a good example of the extent of Jesus's power. It was unique in the history of man. However, the verse does not say that Jesus created sight in the man. The verse says that he opened the man's eyes. "Opened" comes from the Greek word anoigo, which means "to open up" in either the literal or figurative sense. Generally the word "create" in reference to God is the power to make something from nothing or to make something that did not previously exist. In this man's case, sight was something that existed and the mechanisms for sight were in place. However the man's eyes had not be working since birth. Jesus made something that existed (the man's eyes) to properly function -- something, by the way, that we are not able to do to this day. Oh, we can sometimes restore lost sight, but when a person never had sight, the brain does not develop the ability to process visual information. Once the window of opportunity is passed, getting the eyes to function becomes only a small portion of the problem. Jesus shows his power by giving sight completely to the blind man, even to the point of the man being able to process the images.
I do like the power of the example and added it to another section of the sermon, even though it doesn't prove the point you wanted to show.
I must disagree with your point about the sinful nature of man. The Bible does not state that a sinful nature is inherited. In fact it states quite the opposite. "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20). If you take this point to its full extension, Seth could not bear the guilt of his father, Adam.
Now, this is not to say that sin isn't a universal failing of mankind; "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). However, the mechanism for this failing is not inherited sin, but a universal weakness to disobey. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned -- For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come" (Romans 5:12-14). Notice that Paul says we are not necessarily guilty of the same sin committed by Adam, but that like Adam, we all have strayed into sins of our own making. Adam opened the door to sin. We in our failings continue to walk through that opened door.
Similarly, Jesus opened the door to salvation and we are invited to enter into his rest. "Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life" (Romans 5:18). Faith is a critical element for accepting the gift offered to us, but it is by no means the only requirement. See Things That Accompany Salvation for a long list of things connected to salvation. It requires meeting all of God's requirements to receive the gift of salvation.
Jesus was unique in this world in that he lived here and yet did not sin as the rest of mankind has done. "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). Notice the emphasis is not that he was without sin because of his nature, but because he overcame temptation. Being unspotted by sin, he became the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.