1) The True Deity of Christ (Loc. 1489)
Contrary to some scholars who claim Jesus never asserted his deity, the New Testament requires we confess it. In Matthew 16 Jesus affirms Peter’s confession of him as the Son of God. This is the confession on which the Church has always stood. John 1:1 and Matthew 16:16 are not properly viewed in a metaphorical sense but quite literally. The Son has the same essence, the same actions, and the same attributes as the Father (John 10:28-30). Pieper further adduces John 5:17-19 which was clearly understood by the Jews as a statement of his deity. We find the same attributes in John 8:58 and 17:5, as well as John 1:3, 10:28-30, 5:21, 28-29, and John 2:22 and 1:14. He is to be honored as God (John 5:23; 20:28.
Pieper affirms (Loc. 1559) that a denial of the deity of Christ is related to a Pelagian notion that man earns heavenly reward by emulating the man Christ. Yet if Jesus is not entirely divine his death is no more than an example to us and has been stripped of its merit. The Christian view of salvation is tied to the merit of Jesus, as Luther expounds in his comments on Galatians 2:20.