Can I be a Christian if I don’t believe Jesus is God?

by Rob

Jesus Painting in Saint Jacobs Church<br> Stockholm, Sweden

Jesus Painting in Saint Jacobs Church
Stockholm, Sweden

That's a great question Rob. My honest answer is No, if you deny the most basic Christian belief, that Jesus is God, then by definition, you are not a Christian.

I have wonderful news for you though. If you read the Bible with an honest heart, God will show you His truth. If you start reading the Bible believing that Jesus is not God, you may be surprised to discover that God speaks to you through the pages of scripture.

I encourage you to read the rest of this article with an open Bible. Look up the verses and read them for yourself. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you and to guide you into truth, John 16:13. All it takes is an honest heart willing to embrace truth wherever you find it.

When we call Jesus Messiah, we affirm that Jesus is God. When we call Jesus the Christ, we affirm that Jesus is God. When we call Jesus Lord, we affirm that Jesus is God. When we call Jesus our Savior, we affirm that Jesus is God. When we call Jesus our Redeemer, we affirm that Jesus is God.

No one can be a Christian until he believes the Biblical truth that Jesus is God. Cults and unbelievers always attack the truth that Jesus is "God in the flesh," 1 Timothy 3:16. Rejecting what the Bible says about Jesus being God is what makes someone an unbeliever.

Think about it. Matthew 1:23 says: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
Emmanuel is not the name everyone called Jesus back then. Instead, it is a prophetic name, indicating that Jesus fulfilled Isaiah's prophesy that Messiah would come, Isaiah 7:14, 8:8-10, 9:6-7, 53. The prophetic name of Jesus, which means, "God with us" indicates that He is God. Isaiah prophesied that Messiah would be "the mighty God," Isaiah 9:6

Believing Jesus is God is essential to becoming a Biblical Christian. There are millions of cultural christians. A cultural christian is someone who is religious but not saved. Cultural christians are people who view themselves as christians because they grew up in church or in a country which is nominally christian or they got sprinkled when they were a baby yet they cannot answer the question, Who Is Jesus? In reality, many cultural christians have never been born again. They have never been saved.

Cultural christians often go to church, they sing in the choir and sometimes they even read the Bible and participate in services. Some of them may be pastors and deacons and theology professors. But they have never believed in Jesus as their Lord and their God, John 20:28.

I. That Jesus is God
is the message of the Bible

If He is not God, if He is just a man, Jesus is absolutely powerless to redeem anyone; He is powerless to save anyone. Psalm 49:7 tells us: None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” Psalm 49:15 tells us: “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.”

II. That Jesus is God
is the message of Jesus Himself

John 8:23-24 is absolutely clear! Jesus says to the Jews who did not believe in Him: “I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

Universalists teach the lie that everyone will eventually be saved and go to heaven. No prophet in the Old Testament, no apostle, evangelist or preacher in the New Testament ever taught that. Jesus Himself taught the opposite of Universalism. He is crystal clear in John 8:21-24 where He contradicts the false teaching of Universalism. According to Jesus, everyone will not be saved and go to heaven.

According to Jesus, the Jews who did not believe on Him cannot go where He is going. The Jews who heard Jesus preach in His earthly ministry certainly understood that Jesus claimed to be God, John 10:32-33.

But they did not believe He was God. They tried to stone Him for saying He is God because they regarded that as blasphemy, John 8:59. Jesus told them they cannot go to heaven where He is going because they do not believe He is God their Messiah.

III. Jesus makes salvation
contingent on believing He is
the “I AM” of Exodus 3:14

Jesus identifies Himself with Jehovah God, John 8:24, 58, just as John identifies Him in Revelation 19:16, where Jesus is proclaimed “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” which is another way of saying, Jehovah of Jehovahs. Capitalization is from the KJV translators.
Baptist pastor John Gill,
1697-1771, in John 8:24
teaches us that Jesus is:

“the everlasting and unchangeable I Am, the true God, God over all, blessed for ever, the eternal Son of God, God manifest in the flesh, really made flesh, and become incarnate, the true Messiah, the only Saviour of sinners, the one and only Mediator between God and man, the Head of the church, prophet, priest, and King, and the Judge of quick and dead, as also the light of the world he had declared himself to be: these are things that are necessary to be believed concerning Christ.” The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible

Why believing Jesus is God
is essential to being a Christian

  • First, the Bible presents Jesus as God, from Genesis to Revelation.

    1. Genesis 3:15 - refers to the seed of the woman meaning the virgin birth, Isaiah 7:14, an oblique reference to the deity of Jesus the Messiah.

    2. Genesis 22:8 - depicts Jesus as the passover Lamb, Exodus 12:3-5, a lamb, the lamb, your lamb, 1 Cor 5:7 - "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."

    3. 2 Chronicles 36:15 with Matthew 23:33 with Luke 11:49 testify that Jesus is God.

    4. Proverbs 30:4-5 - "what is his son's name Every word of God is pure" with John 1:1 - "the Word was God."

    5. Isaiah 41:14 - "Jehovah, the first and the last," 44:6 - Jehovah and his redeemer are both God, 48:3, 12 - "I am he... I am the first, I also am the last."

    6. Revelation 1:8 - Jesus is Alpha and Omega (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet), the beginning and the ending.

    7. Revelation 21:3, 6 - "God himself shall be with them... I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end."

    8. Revelation 22:12-13 - "behold, I come quickly... I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."

    9. Luke 1:16-17 - "the Lord their God. And he shall go before him," 8:39 - "shew what great things God hath done unto thee, and he went on his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him."

    10. Luke 9:42-43 - "Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child... there were all amazed at the power of God."

    11. Luke 17:15-16 - "one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And fell down on his face at his (Jesus') feet."

    12. John 1:1, 5:18, 8:19, 8:24, 8:58, 10:30, 10:33, 10:37, 12:45, 14:9, 1 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 1:8 present Jesus as God.

  • Second, Jesus presented Himself as God, John 5:18, 8:19, 8:58, 10:30, 14:9.

    Believing Jesus' testimony about Himself, that He is God, was essential to the Jews getting saved according to Jesus, John 8:24 - "if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" with Isaiah 48:3, 12.

  • Third, Jesus claimed to exercise the attributes and prerogatives of God,
    John 5:21, 10:28, 37, 12:45, 14:9.

  • Fourth, the Jews understood Jesus to be claiming He was God - John 5:18, 8:58-59, 10:30-31, 33.

  • Fifth, Jesus claims seven times to be equal with God in John 5:17-47.

    1. Jesus is equal with God in His person, 5:17-18

    2. Jesus is equal with God in His works, 5:19-20

    3. Jesus is equal with God in His power, 5:21

    4. Jesus is equal with God in His judgment, 5:22, 27

    5. Jesus is equal with God in His honor, 5:23

    6. Jesus is equal with God in His self-existence, 5:26

    7. Jesus is equal with God in His scriptures, 5:39, 46

    Our Inescapable Conclusion

    From beginning to end, the testimony of scripture is that Jesus is God. If words have meaning, then the plain sense of scripture is that Jesus is God. That is the understanding of the people who heard Jesus in His earthly ministry. That is the testimony of Jesus about Himself.

    Jesus is God in the flesh, the only person in the Universe Who could die for us and pay for our sins. Have you trusted Jesus as your Savior? Do you know for sure that when you die, you will go to heaven? I would like to tell you in an understandable way how to be saved.

    If you're a gay Christian
    does God still love you?

    What is justification by faith, part 1?

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Comments for Can I be a Christian if I don’t believe Jesus is God?

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Oct 27, 2012
About Jesus being God
by: Joshua Mumia

I dont think you are being truthfull by saying Jesus is God, God is one and he has no children sons daughters etc.

Rick's comment: That is what Muslims teach but that is not what the Bible says. Did you look up the scriptures I cited? They clearly state that Jesus is God. If you do not believe the Bible, of course, you will come to a different conclusion but your conclusion will only be your opinion.

Joshua Mumia comments: He the creator of all. That is the truth.The first commandment says I am the Lord your God you shall worship no other Gods besides me period. Nobody not even what Jesus said in the Bible can change that, for me Jesus is a prophet period and a man.

Rick's comment: I agree with C.S. Lewis on this topic (and not much else, btw.) Lewis said:

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.

You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to...

Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God."

That Jesus IS God is after all, the unequivocally clear statement of the Bible time after time. Before you disagree, at least demonstrate some respect by reading each of the verses listed in the article above. Failing to do that indicates you are not a serious person because serious people do not reject truth without careful examination. Many thanks.

Feb 10, 2013
Jesus the Son of God does not mean God
by: Anonymous

The points you lay out and reasons you give to believe that Jesus is God I could EASILY quote many many many scriptures from the New Testament including Jesus' own words that show he says the exact opposite many times of what you claim.

I can also show BY CLEAR LOGIC that Jesus is not God but has been given authority by God.

Jesus is the Son.

I would dispute many of your points because you assume so much that seems to agree with your view and neglect so much that disagrees.

None of us really know the Truth and that includes YOU. However, you cannot ignore so much of Jesus own words and claim that you are right and we cannot be Christians unless believing this. I am almost sure many of the early Christians did not hold this belief.

One warning: if you are wrong and have misinterpreted the Bible as I believe you have, then what you believe is Blasphemy. If I am wrong then I hope the truth will be revealed and I wonder therefore why Jesus said so many things to the contrary. SHALOM.

Rick's comment: I encourage you to reread the article that started these comments. This time look up EVERY verse I give and read the surrounding context. It is vitally important to throw away your false preconception (that Jesus is not God) and begin your study from an objective position, open to what the Bible says.

As I point out, the Jews to whom Jesus spoke understand that Jesus claimed to be God. That claim is why they kept trying to kill Him. You've been taught wrong on this issue and that false teaching places your soul in jeopardy. Please be open to the leading of God's Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, and He will guide you into all truth.

Aug 05, 2013
Jesus and God are not one
by: Anonymous

I have always had an issue with this topic and I read and read and read the Bible and prayed to God to show me the truth. I spent a longtime searching the Bible and books but they only confirm what I believe: Jesus and God are two separate entities and God is above Jesus and everyone else...

Rick's comment: I believe you are missing something in your Bible reading. Did you look up and read all of the verses in the article? They are abundantly clear that Jesus is God.

Concerning the verses you cited, I encourage you to go to this website, input the verses which trouble you and then read the Bible commentaries on the verses, to help you understand that your take on the meaning of the verses is way off base.

Classic Studylight.Org Thanks for stopping by.

How can I get saved?

Apr 07, 2014
We all need to be a little open minded
by: Michael

Jesus was a master healer - not God.

Rick's comment: Hi Michael - I would respect you more if you dealt with the Bible verses cited in my article. That you refuse to do that and instead, direct me to a Muslim website which says Jesus is not God speaks volumes about the weakness of your belief system.

I wonder if you are a good person? I wish you the best and hope you will continue to study the Bible.

Jul 18, 2014
Who is God talking to in Genesis 1:26-27?
by: Sean

Genesis 1:26-27. Who do you think God is talking to?

Rick's comment: I understand Genesis 1:26 to be the Trinitarian Godhead in conversation - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Oct 03, 2014
Very interesting
by: L

First off I just wanna say that you are correct, yes God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one, they are the Trinity. All that you said in this article is right down to the 'T' but it shocks me that you are homosexual.

I read what you had to say about Sodom and Gomorrah and I'm sorry but that is incorrect. The God I know and pray to and worship does not approve of such a thing. That book consistently speaks of how evil and wicked that town was. It wasn't about "that the town was destroyed because they were having sex with the angels or 'Fallen angels' if you will."

God does not approve of same sex relations. Hebrews 13:8 says "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow." So if Jesus is God in the flesh meaning they are One. and God did Destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their wicked acts. why would God or The Son (He is The Son and The son is He) go back on His own word if He says that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow? God doesn't and Cannot Contradict Himself.

Rick's comment: Hi L - I encourage you to re-read Genesis 19. The Bible never mentions gays or homos or lesbians in Sodom - never, not one time. That is our first clue that the Sodom story is not about homosexuality. But wait, there's more.

What really happened in Sodom?

May 16, 2015
If you believe Jesus is God you lack knowledge
by: Teacher

The trinity is a false teaching. It is man way to hold to multiple Gods. Just as the pagans do. The Word states that if you believe that The Father raised him from the dead and that would mean he came in the flesh, then you shall be saved. Romans 10:9 . There is one God. The Father. One Holy Spirit. God's Spirit. One true Messiah, Jesus , born of the Spirit. We are all that believe of this same body. And we to will be raised from the dead to receive eternal life.

Rick's comment: The Trinitarian Godhead is a biblical truth, revealed by God in holy scripture. May I kindly encourage you to read the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation? If you read it with an honest heart, open to what God shows you, you will end up believing that Jesus is God and you will want to be His passionate disciple for the rest of your life. Please give it a try.

Dec 17, 2015
Jesus is God in the flesh
by: Nick

John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2 - He was with God in the beginning.

John 1:14 - The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 10:30 - I and the father are one.

Colossians 1:15 - He is the image of the invisable God,

Isaiah 44:6 - God said, I am the first and the last;

Revelations 1:17-18 - Jesus said, fear not, I am the first and the last

Mar 22, 2017
Jesus is not God
by: Calvin

What is the tetragrammaton? How many times is it mentioned in the old and new testaments? when translated into English? Then read Matt 6:9 and ask the question, 'what name is Jesus talking about'?

Rick's comment: Hi Calvin- Yes, of course Jesus is God. Did you read the article (and look up the verses) on which you are commenting? Did you read the Dec 17, 2015 comment just before your comment?

The tetragrammaton is the Hebrew name for God, usually pronounced YHWH or Jehovah.

The tetragrammaton is never found in the New Testament. The Jehovah's Witness cult, ignoring Bible truth, inserted the tetragrammaton into the New Testament 237 times although it is never found in ancient Greek manuscripts of the NT.

In the Old Testament, the name of God is found approximately 7000 times. The patriarchs knew God as El Shaddai, God Almighty. From Moses on, Jews and eventually Christians, knew God as JEHOVAH, Exodus 6:2-3.

In Matthew 6:9, when Jesus references His Father, He is referring to Jehovah. In the New Testament, the Name Jesus means: Jehovah is Salvation, Matthew 1:21.

The only Name by which we are saved is the precious Name of Jesus, Acts 4:10-12, which occurs 975 times in 935 verses of the New Testament. Thanks for your interesting questions.

What must I do to be saved?

Dec 06, 2019
One supreme being
by: Toyboy

Jesus was a Jew and monotheism is deep rooted in the Jewish DNA, you cant change that fact. In the apocryphal bibles that Early church fathers ruled out as not trustworthy (to please the pagan Roman emperors of that time as) Jesus is mentioned as a servant of God a messiah a teacher a prophet.

Rick's comment: Hi Toyboy- The old wives fables you present have no basis in biblical or historical fact. The early church fathers didn't change the Bible to please pagan Roman emperors.

They distorted the true teachings of Jesus and made him god And invented the trinity as it matched the pagan Roman beliefs of that time. READ THE BOOK OF JAMES JESUS’S BROTHER.

Rick's comment: This website is all about truth. The early church fathers did not distort the teachings of Jesus, to make Jesus God. I encourage you to slowly and carefully, read the article you're commenting on. Perform due diligence and look up the verses and read them in context.

Time after time, the Bible clearly presents our Lord Jesus Christ, as God in the flesh. To assert otherwise, as you do, indicates ignorance of what the Bible says.

No true messenger of God ever though about a man being God or a triangular God. Buddha, Rama, Jesus, Moses and on. It’s we who have turned these gurus prophet and saints into Gods.

Rick's comment: The Bible presents Jesus as one of the members of the Triune Godhead. That doesn't mean three gods or three Gods. It means that God is one holy being, in three distinct persons.

Here is the biblical teaching.

What we believe about the Trinity.

Jan 09, 2023
by: Sonya

I pray that you all will seek the LORD GOD for yourselves wholeheartedly and HE will reveal everything you want and need to know. If you are sincere and really want to know the truth, HE will answer! JESUS is GOD and I pray that everyone will believe before it’s too late. 1 Timothy 3:16 explains it All, please read and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a clear understanding if you still have any doubt.

Be Blessed and please don’t go by your own opinion, seek the LORD for answers and HIS Holy Spirit will remove the scales from your eyes and soften your heart to receive the truth!

We are not to debate and question the Word of GOD! Seek the LORD while HE may be found, time is running out! I pray for everyone’s Salvation!

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