The teaching that believers in Christ are "little gods," is patently unscriptural. It is an erroneous interpretation of the Scriptures promulgated by a number of high-profile pastors and teachers of the Word of Faith movement. These would include Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paul and Jan Crouch, Fred Price, and Joyce Meyer. Aside from teaching that believers are "little gods," those of the Word of Faith movement also advocate the "prosperity gospel," which is also unbiblical.
Are believers in Christ little gods?
Those who promote the false teaching that believers are "little gods" use as their primary proof text a passage in Psalms which reads, "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you" (Psalm 82:6). They further claim that Jesus affirmed that we are "little gods" when He quoted this passage in John 10:34. Then they take Hebrews 1:3 (Jesus is "an exact representation" (NIV) of God's being) and John 14:12 ("whoever believes in [Jesus]" will do what Jesus did) to say that believers today can do everything God can do, and more!
Such an interpretation of Psalm 82:6 is a classic example of taking Scripture out of context. This passage addresses the judges of Israel in the Old Testament. Psalm 82:6 does not say "you are gods" because the judges were divine but because they represent God when they issue judgment and exercise civic power. Psalm 82:6 is a warning to the "gods" of this world that they are still under the true God's authority. For more study on this passage, see our article here.
Isaiah makes it clear that God is the only true and living God, that there are no "gods," little or otherwise, except Him: "Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me" (Isaiah 43:10). The apostle Paul affirms this truth: "For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many 'gods' and many 'lords'— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist" (1 Corinthians 8:5-6).
No, believers are not "little gods" despite what the Word of Faith teachers proclaim. In essence, these people are calling God a liar: "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god'" (Isaiah 44:6).
Supporters of the "little gods" idea twist the Scriptures and contradict what the Bible actually teaches. They should be reminded of what the psalmist says of those called "gods": "like men you shall die, and fall like any prince" (Psalm 82:7). In other words, the Bible affirms the humanity of so-called "gods" in this world.
As believers we reflect His image through our love for one another and our faithful obedience to His will (John 14:15; 1 John 3:24). Only God is divine. Man is not divine and never will be. Only God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Only God can create with words. Only God can save.
By declaring ourselves to be "little gods," we attempt to make ourselves equal to Him. Without question, this is the very height of arrogance and is nothing more than self-worship and self-glorification. There is nothing new under the sun. The lie that we are "little gods" is the same lie the serpent told Eve in the Garden: "you will be like God" (Genesis 3:5).
Who are we in Christ?
What does it mean that humanity is created in the image of God?
Do humans become angels after death?
What is sanctification?
What does holy, holy, holy mean in reference to God?
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