Does one need to believe Jesus is God for salvation?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by evangelist-7, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. evangelist-7

    evangelist-7
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    The reason I ask is because I know for a fact that …
    there are “believers” in the churches who do NOT believe Jesus is God!

    First, let me make this perfectly clear …
    In the original Greek, there is no “he” after “I AM” in any of the following verses!

    John 8:58-59
    “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.
    Then they took up stones to throw at Him”

    The Jews understood that He was claiming to be “I AM”,
    which is God’s name “forever” (see Exodus 3:14-15).

    John 18:5-8
    “Jesus said to them, “I AM” … Now when He said to them, “I AM”,
    they drew back and fell to the ground … I have told you that I AM.”

    God’s power, which knocked them to the ground, demonstrated to everyone
    (even to you) that Jesus was “I AM” (i.e. God), and that He was saying so!

    John 8:28 “When you lift up (crucify) the Son of Man, then (at the resurrection)
    you will know that I AM, and that I do nothing of Myself …”

    Jesus had NO power of His own because He was in a human body (plus other reasons).
    One verse says God in Him did the works; another says the Holy Spirit did the miracles.

    John 13:19
    “Now I tell you before it (His betrayal) comes,
    that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I AM.”

    Now, we come to the point of the OP …
    John 8:24
    “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins;
    for if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.”


    IMO, that Jesus is part of the Godhead is somewhat hidden in Scripture,
    and needs to be revealed spiritually to a person.
    However, this does NOT apply to those raised with blind faith to believe it.

     
  2. DHK

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    "I am ειμι." or Jehovah. It was God's sacred name to the Israelites. No stronger claim of deity could be made then right here, as in all the other references that you gave. He claimed to be God.

    Thus what you have proved beyond any shadow of doubt is that one must believe that Christ must be God, and one must believe so in order to be saved.
     
  3. prophet

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    Mat 16:17
    17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona:for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
     
    #3 prophet, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2014
  4. JamesL

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    My explanation might make people say HUH ??

    I do not believe it should be posed as an addendum to faith in Christ, sort of like...Believe in Jesus, PLUS:
    believe that He's God
    believe that He died
    believe that He rose bodily
    etc, etc, etc

    Scripture tells us plainly that those who believe in Him have eternal life. That's it. However, believing that He's God is a proper component of believing in Him


    I argued on a different forum against many who believed that it is unnecessary to know anything about Jesus dying on a cross as the propitiation for our sins. Their argument was:

    So now, instead of simply believing in Him, we have to ADD believing that He's God, that He died on a cross, that He rose, etc, etc, etc...How many other things do you want to add to faith?

    My answer: Believing the things about Him, His essence, His mission, etc are not requirements in addition to believing in Him. Instead, these are crucial aspects of having the right Him

    We are told in scripture that some were receiving a different Christ, and this was not something posed as a good thing 1Corinthians 11:2-4 says:

    For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

    Purity of devotion to Christ includes having the right Christ and the right gospel. Anything else is deceit.


    I like to use an example:
    Imagine I am supposed to pick you up from the airport, but you've never seen me. Someone else tells you that I am about 6'4", with black hair, slender build, clean cut, wearing a tie, and driving a Lexus. All I know about you is your name.

    Now, suppose you get off your plane, go outside, and see a guy holding a sign with your name on it - "Mr. Smith" the sign reads. You're Mr. Smith, but I don't look anything like what you were told.

    Instead, the guy holding the sign (me) is about 5'9", with a slender build, clean cut, wearing jeans and a tee shirt and driving a 20 year old Toyota pickup.

    I fit some of the description, but probably not the identifiers which would clearly mark me out as the right guy.

    You wouldn't have to know everything about me in addition to believing that I'm there to pick you up. But if you don't know those things about me, then you're looking for the wrong guy.

    You might say "I'm looking for someone a quite a bit taller, who's definitely driving a nicer car and dressed nicer. I think I'm going to keep looking for him. Have a nice day."


    This was the issue in John 8, which provides one of your reference verses.

    12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
    13 So the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.”
    14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
    15 You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone.
    16 But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me.
    17 Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true.
    18 I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.”
    19 So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”
    20 These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come.
    21 Then He said again to them, “I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.”
    22 So the Jews were saying, “Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?”
    23 And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.
    24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
    25 So they were saying to Him, “Who are You?” Jesus said to them, “What have I been saying to you from the beginning?
    26 I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.”
    27 They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father.
    28 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.
    29 And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
    30 As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.



    Jesus was right therein their midst, but they did not believe that He was the right guy.

    He wasn't from the right town, He didn't look the part, and what ultimately brought them to have Him crucified was His claim that He was from heaven.

    And to quote again from John 8, "Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

    Believing in Him is the only requirement in order to have eternal life. However, it is impossible to believe in Him without acknowledging all that makes Him the right Him.
     
  5. evangelist-7

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    Yes, and what we're actually proving here is ...

    The easy-believism verses (John 3:16, 5:24, etc.) are ONLY to catch the little fishes!
    You've heard that before, right?

    Unfortunately, to survive and prosper and go to Fish Heaven
    ... they need to SWIM (after being thrown back in)
    ... not just lie there and gulp, "I'm saved, praise God".

    Is this order correct?
    -- the little fishes are given God's free gift of grace-faith
    -- the little fishes believe the simple gospel
    -- the little fishes are regenerated (born-again)
    -- the little fishes believe they have eternal life
    -- the little fishes start guzzling milk

    However, further revelation is required for salvation, which in our case here is:
    believing that Jesus Christ is a Member of the Triune Godhead ... in short, Jesus is God.

    But, there is more! ... which we won't talk about ... too many heart attacks around here already!

    Welcome to the real world of Christianity, which is being led by God's Spirit and being taught by Him.

    .
     
    #5 evangelist-7, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2014
  6. annsni

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    Jehovah's Witnesses say they believe on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and salvation - but they don't believe that Jesus is God. Are they saved?
     
  7. JamesL

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    When we take into consideration exactly what they mean, we should not conclude that they are saved. They have a different Christ and a different gospel

    In their minds, there is a total obliteration of the distinction between spirit and body. Anyone who is a human being must have been created, for God is Spirit [only]. Jesus is "a" god, a created being.

    This is supported (in their minds) by Jesus being called the "Son" of God, and the "firstborn" of all creation.

    When they think of a son, and especially in relation to a father, they mistakenly think in terms of the Greeks. This was also the error of Arian before them. BUT, this is also the error of many who are attached to orthodox Christianity in one way or another. If a son is "offspring" from a father, then it logically denotes that the father must have existed before the son.

    Firstborn is thought to be "first offspring"

    The Church has not done itself any favors in this area.

    First, in its efforts to squelch Gnosticism in the first few centuries AD, there was a total disregard of the biblical distinction between spirit and body, though several NT writes made the distinction very clear (Jesus pitched His tent in our midst - John 1:14 e.g., and Paul and Peter both spoke of the body as a tent).

    This brings a gasp even today, where most who hear of this distinction automatically cry GNOSTIC ALERT !! But this cry is almost always made by those who have never undertaken to investigate exactly what the Gnostics taught, nor what exactly attracted them to Christianity in the first place. Ignorance has aided no one in a defense of the truth

    Ignoring this one critical doctrine gave rise to all sorts of philosophical speculation regarding the nature of Christ, the nature of men, and the nature of Christ as He relates to men.

    The teaching of Paul that all men are condemned to die physically because of Adam (Romans 5:12-21), yet die spiritually on account of each man's own rebellion (Romans 1:18-25, 7:9-11) was thrown away. The church began to confuse the spirit and the body, and the distinctive aspects of each in regards to the disease of sin.

    Traducianism was introduced by at least the time of Tertullian, teaching that the spirit of a man is procreated by his parents, thus transferring spiritual death to all of his descendants. Then, recognizing the train wreck that this doctrine caused in relation to Christ (Adams physical descendant), the Immaculate Conception was contrived in order to relieve the difficulty of a spiritually dead Christ. Then the Theotokos was contrived later as a result of this, adding error upon error.

    The whole while, the church affirmed that Jesus is God. But the nuts and bolts of how and why were fading. The church, in an effort to clearly define Jesus as God, contrived the notion of the Hypostatic Union, where two ambiguous "natures" were brought together in the One Christ. By this time, "nature" had lost its biblical application of either spirit or body, and had become, similar to Greek mythology, with human and divine - whatever that means.

    "Fully God and fully man" became the mantra without any clear scriptural statement in the affirmative.

    Seeing the smoke and mirrors of pressing philosophy into the church, the Arians tried to glean from the scriptures for themselves the nature of Christ. Having a Greek paradigm of a father and son, and readily acknowledging that the Son and the Father are portrayed as distinct in the NT, they rejected the notion of a divine Son, preferring that He be thought of as a created being.

    However, if they had cared to investigate the HEBREW concept of a son, and couple that with the apostle John's teaching on the essence of the Christ, they might not have made such a grave error.

    In Hebrew thought, a son is an heir. Inheritances passed through the sons, not the daughters (unless there was no son). The "firstborn" son received a double portion of the inheritance. A son did not even have to be offspring (See Deuteronomy 25:5-10, where a man was responsible for raising up a son to a deceased brother). Abraham was concerned that his heir would be "one from his own house" instead of his own offspring. God promised to give him a SON from his own loins to be his heir.

    Have you ever wondered why Isaac was called Abraham's "only son" ? After all, Ishmael was also Abraham's offspring. Isaac was Abraham's only HEIR. Read Genesis 16:9-12, 22:16, Hebrews 11:17)

    If we take only what scripture tells us, and do not allow ourselves to be influenced by traditions of church councils and Greek philosophers, we can easily answer the heretical claims of the Jehovah's Witness.

    In essence, Jesus is the WORD of God who was with God, and who was God. All things were created by Him, for Him and though Him. He did not think of equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied Himself and was made in human likeness. Better than all the angels, but was made a little lower then the angels, he became like us in all things - see John 1:1-14, Philippians 2:6-11, Colossians 1:15-20, Hebrews 1:2-14, 2:14-17

    Son of God is not Jesus' ESSENCE, it denotes his position as the HEIR of God. He became the recipient of His inheritance byway of suffering on the cross. See Hebrews 2:9-10, 12:1-2. By this, He was given a more excellent name (Hebrews 1:4).

    It was said "I will be a Father to You, and You will be a Son to Me (Hebrews 1:5, quoting 1Chronicles 17:13 & 22:10)

    Why do we make such assertions as "God the Son" or "Son from eternity" when scripture never uses these phrases? Simple. We are thinking of a son in terms of Greek thinking rather than Hebrew thinking. If we think like the Hebrews, that a son is the heir, and the firstborn is the recipient of a double portion of the inheritance, then we are better equipped to answer the heretic. We can readily acknowledge that the Word of God is God, always was God, and always will be God, while Son of God denotes His position as Heir.

    Then when the JWs say that the Father is always portrayed as greater than the Son, we say "SO WHAT?" Is the beneficiary ever greater than the benefactor? Of course the Heir receives from the Father.

    Then, as for Jesus dying for our sins - in the mind of a Jehovah's Witness, there are two aspects of culpability for sin - Adam's part and our part. Remember that in their minds there isn't any distinction between spirit and body.

    To that heretical faction, Jesus died only to remove our guilt associated with Adam. This is what they mean when they say "Jesus died for my sins". They use the right terminology, but they distort the meaning. The Jehovah's Witness believes that one must have faith in Jesus for His death to be efficacious to cover our guilt in Adam. But, that we must attain our own righteousness through works in order to be eternally saved.

    That is contrary to the teachings of scripture, which state clearly that whoever believes in Him has passed from death to life, and shall never come into condemnation


    The bottom line is that JWs do indeed have a different Christ, and a different gospel. Both are condemned in scripture, so both bring condemnation upon the disciple of that false sect.


    And I would ask of anyone, that before hurling an accusation that I have somehow attacked the deity of Christ, or the humanity of Christ, be like a Berean (Acts 17:11). Check to see if the things I say are accurate.

    If we believe that scripture is the sole authority for matters of faith and practice, then we ought to be able to find answer in scripture - not only in the words of councils and creeds
     
  8. Archie the Preacher

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    Looking at this backwards, I believe

    I cannot understand how one can 'believe in' Jesus for salvation while denying Jesus is God.

    I agree with E-7, DHK and prophet about Jesus' words. He did in fact say He was God. So that's the first thing. James, I'm not trying to argue with you, but I cannot agree.

    How can anyone realize they are a sinner, lacking the perfection demanded by God in order to be eligible for Eternity with God; then ask for forgiveness from anything or anyone NOT God? What sort of sense does that make? To me, this is a 'cart and horse' problem; no point in asking Jesus to 'fix my problem' if He doesn't have the required ability to 'fix it' in the first place.
     
  9. steaver

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    I have no idea how your understanding of "born-again" can be so messed up! I don't think you ever studied the subject, you couldn't have and concluded the views you have.

    I'll give you credit on your OP though, in that it is hard to miss Jesus is God in the scriptures. But you had to go and mix Grace in with works again for salvation (off topic btw). That is so unbiblical I don't know how you miss it.

    Also, to add to the OP topic, when Thomas was saved, he confessed "my Lord and my God". (John20:28)
     
  10. TrevorL

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    Greetings evangelist-7,
    John 20:30-31 (KJV): 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John states the purpose of his gospel record as to reveal that Jesus is the Son of God, not that Jesus is God the Son. Perhaps you need to look again at the "I AM" verses and possibly also consider the margin of Exodus 3:14 RV and RSV "I will be".

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  11. steaver

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    There must be a couple dozen passages of Scripture which reveal the Messiah is God. It makes no sense to redefine, rearrange just to make an argument against this. Confess as Thomas confessed and believe!
     
  12. BobRyan

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    I believe in the Triune Godhead - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, co-equal and co-eternal members of the Godhead. And so also for the denomination I belong to.

    But I am certain that at the time of Christ many even of His own followers did not fully understand that Christ was in fact God Himself. Some of them died before they figured out that He was in fact God. Many of those in Hebrews 11 did not understand the concept of the Triune Godhead of the Bible.

    I don't know how far we can go with this magic line for who is saved and who is not. Let God decide.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. BobRyan

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    John 10
    33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”

    36 do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;

    John 19
    7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.


    Isaiah 48:11 “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.


    John 17
    5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

    9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.

    God the Son -

    Col 2:9 NASB
    9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

    Col 2:9 KJV
    9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.


    John 20:28 (KJV)



    28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.


    Rev 19:10

    Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”


    Rev 14:7
    7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”



    John 1
    2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

    Matt 2:11

    And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.



    1. Matthew 2:11
      • King James Version
        And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
    2. Matthew 14:33
      • King James Version
        Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

    3. Matthew 28:9
      • KJV
        And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
    4. Matthew 28:17 KJV
      • King James Version
        And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
    5. Mark 5:6 KJV
      • But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
    6. Luke 24:52 KJV
      • And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
    7. John 9:38 KJV
      • And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
     
    #13 BobRyan, Jan 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2014
  14. evangelist-7

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    Nice to see that your husband has returned, BTW.

    Da boys in Brooklyn made a cute little change to John 1:1 ... in accordance with Satan's suggestions!

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God."
    (I refuse to call this Scripture and put it in black.)
    Again, we're faced with an inserted word in Scripture 'cause there's no "a" in the original Greek.

    IMO, those who believe this will not be saved.
    Other religions believe in all kinds of various and sundry and multiple gods!

    Note:
    Another cute little trick of Brooklyn is to print millions of their "Awake" magazines at 2 cents per copy,
    then deceive their adherents into selling them for 25 cents each, and send da money to Brooklyn.
    Well, dis was the situation 25 years ago! ... Who knows, could be even worse today!

    .
     
    #14 evangelist-7, Jan 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2014
  15. TrevorL

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    Greetings steaver and Bob,

    Almost a year ago I had a thorough discussion on the Trinity and steaver was one of the participants. I do not want to repeat what was discussed at that time, but I notice that some of the Scriptures that you raise Bob have been considered. I attended a SDA Daniel seminar, but one evening when quite a few were away the class considered the Trinity. Most of the SDAs in discussion endorsed John 10:30 as supporting the Trinity. I set my mind and heart to go home and try to understand this passage. The result of my research on this and other “Trinity” passages is found in the “Trinity” thread. Also there is some exposition of the Yahweh Name and its development in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.

    On the Trinity thread on page 19 Post #185 I added the following summary of some of the passages considered.
    I have not significantly changed my beliefs concerning this subject.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  16. steaver

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    It was a good discussion, and on my part it solidified my beliefs on the Trinity. One interesting point of that discussion was when the Messianic Jews were brought up as a non-Trinity sect, I personally know some Messianic Jews, our church supports a church in the Pittsburg area of Pa, and they are Trinity worshippers.
     
  17. TrevorL

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    Greetings again steaver and Bob,
    I appreciate your comment and yes, you considered the position of these Messianic Jews as very significant.

    I looked again at Bob’s post and noticed that there are many references to Jesus being worshipped. Although I will not answer these directly I thought that the following is some indication of how and in what sense Jesus can be worshipped, but here the glory goes to God the Father. This concept may help Bob understand more clearly the other “worship” passages.
    Philippians 2:8-11 (KJV): 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  18. steaver

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    I believe the Gospel is given so as a simple child can understand. I believe the NT makes it quite clear that Jesus accepted worship as God accepts worship. Thomas called Jesus Lord and God. Jesus never corrected those who worshipped Him. One day you will worship Him as Lord and God as well, hopefully not in the "I never knew you" crowd.
     
  19. evangelist-7

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    Thou are not alone ...
    There ARE "Christians" who strongly believe that Jesus is the Son of God,
    but who will NOT affirm that Jesus is God.
    IMO, they just do not have a spiritual revelation about it.

    Steaver will not agree, however ...
    he insists there are NO spiritual truths in Scripture that are somewhat hidden.
    No Rolf today ... the mercy rule must be in effect.

    I told one such person that I had a list of 70+ verses which reveal, teach, etc. that Jesus is God,
    and he said, "I don't care if you have 700!".

    Have you seen this list?

    Also, there are 20+ verses which reveal, teach, etc. the Triune Godhead,
    i.e. the Holy Spirit is included as an equal Member partner with the Father and the Son.
    Have you seen them?

    .
     
    #19 evangelist-7, Jan 21, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2014
  20. steaver

    steaver
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    Do you have a Scripture which declares spiritual truths are hidden from the born of God?

    Any born again believer can read the Scriptures and plainly see God is Triune and has been revealed as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It takes manipulation of passages, claims of Greek and Hebrew language skills, and a great deal of denial to see anything else.

    Any born again believer can read the Scriptures and plainly see Grace and Self Performance are at enmity with each other. Either a born again Christian is walking in Grace, or they are fallen from Grace, if so be they desire to add works to their gift of salvation.

    Talk about needing spiritual enlightenment! How hard is it to understand Grace if so be one has experienced God's Grace?

    "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."
     

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