Can a person deny the deity of Jesus and still be saved?
By: Steve Shirley
A: No. The deity of Jesus (or believing Jesus is God) is one of the essentials of the Christian faith. This is one of the main things (if not THE main thing) that separates us from nearly every other cult and faith in the world. Nearly every cult or non-Christian faith will readily accept that Jesus existed, believing Jesus was a prophet, an angel, a good man, a good teacher, a very enlightened man, God’s son (a created being), etc… However, they will flatly deny Jesus’ deity, and consider it heresy to call Jesus God.
Why is it so crucial to believe Jesus is God?
First, this is how we become a Christian in the first place.
(Rom 10:9)(NASB) that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
(Rom 10:13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
If Jesus is not our Lord (God), then how can we confess Him or call upon Him in prayer? If Jesus is not our God, He cannot be our Savior; and if He is not our Savior, then our sins are not paid for, nor covered by His blood, and we cannot get to Heaven without this.
Secondly, if one denies the deity of Jesus, they are rejecting the Bible. The Bible teaches VERY clearly over and over that Jesus is God, and Jesus Himself affirmed His deity in a number of places in the gospels. I am not going to list the many proofs that show Jesus IS God here, but you can go here to see them.
In addition, the denial of Jesus’ deity means one is rejecting the trinity, or the triune nature of God: one God, manifest in three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three have ALWAYS existed as God (not created and never simply men), and are all equal.
*** Note: Christians do not believe in three separate gods (tritheism), we do not believe God manifests Himself in three different ways (modalism), nor do we believe in many gods (pantheism).
For more on the importance of “The Trinity,” please go here.
If one rejects the deity of Jesus, and the triune nature of God, they are rejecting essentials of Christianity, and God’s Word. In fact, it makes both Jesus and the writers of the Bible liars, because they testified to this fact. If the Bible is a lie, then Christianity falls.
Friend, no mere man could live a perfect, sinless life as Jesus did (2 Cor 5:21)(1 Pet 2:22)(1 Jn 3:5)(Heb 4:15)(1 Pet 1:19), and make atonement for ALL the sins of this world. No mere man could raise Himself from the dead as Jesus did (Jn 2:19-22). Please do not go to judgment one day, and have to face the Judge of this world (Jesus: Jn 5:22,27, 2 Tim 4:1, 2 Cor 5:10), and tell Him ” I rejected who you truly are and never really knew you.” If we deny who Jesus is before men, He will deny us as well (Mt 10:32-33)(2 Tim 2:12). And, if one doesn’t truly know who Jesus is, they will hear the scariest words in the whole Bible, “I never knew you: depart from me” (Mt 7:23)(Mt 25:12)(Lk 13:27).
What is modalism?
By: Steve Shirley
A: Modalists reject the trinitarian view that most Christians hold. The Bible teaches that there is one God manifest in three distinct persons, who are co-equal and have existed eternally together. However, the modalist believes in one God manifest in three “modes.”
These modes have followed each other, and have never existed together, therefore, they are not all eternal. It is taught that the Father was God in the Old Testament. The Father existed until Jesus was born, then Jesus became God. After Jesus’ ascension, the Holy Spirit became God.
As I understand it, most modalists seem to believe that it is actually Jesus who has become the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, although some believe the Father actually took on each of those modes.
Other names for modalism are “oneness” or Sabellianism. The main denomination that holds to this modalist view is the United Pentecostal Church. One distinctive feature about them is that they baptize in Jesus’ name ONLY, and believe one is lost if they aren’t.