My son has encountered a group of very godly young people who have been actively challenging him to follow God with his whole being. They teach that you must be saved only through the sacrifice of Jesus, however,they have just told him they do not believe that Jesus was God, but was a sinless man who lived a perfect life. They do not, therefore, believe in the Trinity.
When my son asked the leadership “what benefit do you gain by believing that Jesus wasn’t God” they laughed and said more than you can believe.
My questions: Are these people saved? What should be the response to them?
Their’s is an illogical position, although there are a number of groups who believe this way. If Jesus was simply a man who lived a sinless life, then it would be possible for other men to live sinless lives. If that’s the case, God could simply demand that if we want to be saved we must live sinless lives, and He wouldn’t have had to die for us.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed that if there was any other way for mankind to be saved, then He wanted to be released from His commitment to die for us. His Father remained silent, indicating that there was no other way. (Matt. 26:39-42) That means it’s not possible for a man to live a sinless life, and therefore the God who became man had to die for us.
If Jesus wasn’t God, He couldn’t have forgiven our sins, and if He wasn’t man He couldn’t have died for us. He has to be both.
It’s not for me to say whether these people are saved or not, but it certainly sounds like they believe in a different Jesus than the one in the Bible, because there the deity of Jesus is clearly proclaimed.
Aside from the Old Testament prophecies like Isaiah 9:6 that said the Messiah would be God in the flesh, God said it in Hebrews 1:8, Jesus said it in John 10:30 and other places, John said it in John 1:1, Paul said it in Colossians 1:15-16, to name a few in the New Testament. To deny that Jesus is God is to deny the truth about Him expressed in His Word.