"Who do you think that I am?" With that brief question Jesus
Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue
they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made
some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time
had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.
Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will
determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal
destiny as well. Consider what the Bible says about Him
JESUS IS GOD
While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He
was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others
thought He was a madman. Still others couldn't decide or didn't
care. But Jesus said, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30).
That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human
Many people today don't understand that Jesus claimed to be God.
They're content to think of Him as little more than a great moral
teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity.
That's why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33)
and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).
C.S. Lewis observed, "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 up with any
patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He
has not left that open to us. He did not intend to" (Mere
Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).
If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!
JESUS IS HOLY
God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He
cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).
As God, Jesus embodied every element of God's character.
Colossians 2:9 says, "In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in
bodily form." He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His
enemies couldn't prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)
God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, "You
shall be holy, for I am holy."
JESUS IS THE SAVIOR
Our failure to obey God--to be holy--places us in danger of
eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we
cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the
ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God
(Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion "sin."
According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: "There is no
man who does not sin" (1 Kings 8:46). "All have sinned and fall
short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable
of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, "Can the
Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can
you do good who are accustomed to doing evil."
That doesn't mean we're incapable of performing acts of human
kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or
humanitarian activities. But we're utterly incapable of
understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible
says, "There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who
understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned
aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does
good, there is not even one" (Romans 3:10-12).
God's holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by
death: "The soul who sins will die" (Ezekiel 18:4). That's hard
for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a
relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others.
However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of
sinful thinking and evil desires. That's why simply changing our
patterns of behavior can't solve our sin problem or eliminate its
consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and
desires are holy
Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby
delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: "There is
salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven
that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts
Even though God's justice demands death for sin, His love has
provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners:
"Christ ... died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust,
in order that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). Christ's
death satisfied the demands of God's justice, thereby enabling
Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him
(Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, "God so loved the world, that He
gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should
not perish, but have eternal life." He alone is "our great God
and Savior" (Titus 2:13).
JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH
Some people think it doesn't matter what you believe as long as
you're sincere. But without a valid object your faith is
If you take poison--thinking it's medicine--all the faith in the
world won't restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only
source of salvation, and you're trusting in anyone or anything
else for your salvation, your faith is useless.
Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each
religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, "I am
the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father,
but through Me" (John 14:6). He didn't claim to be one of many
equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day
only. He claimed to be the only way to God--then and forever.
JESUS IS LORD
Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But
the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve,
and enjoy endless fellowship with Him
The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created
everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns
and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority
over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and
Romans 10:9 says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord,
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you
shall be saved." Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly
submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing
that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the
historical fact of His resurrection--the pinnacle of Christian
faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of
the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).
True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin.
Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is
agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to
Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue
holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will
keep My commandments" (John 14:15); and "If you abide in My word,
then you are truly disciples of Mine" (John 8:31).
It isn't enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even
Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but
they don't love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True
saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).
Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are
acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That
doesn't mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is
your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from
JESUS IS THE JUDGE
All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face
Him as their Judge: "God is now declaring to men that all
everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He
will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has
appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from
the dead" (Acts 17:30-31).
Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, "The Lord Jesus shall be
revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,
dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those
who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay
the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the
Lord and from the glory of His power."
HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?
Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One,
the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign
Lord, and the righteous Judge.
Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He
alone can redeem you--free you from the power and penalty of sin.
He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God,
and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe
in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?