Christian beliefs about Jesus

Jesus as the Messiah

Messiah is a Hebrew word meaning ‘anointed one’. Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah because through his crucifixion and resurrection he brought salvation to humankind.

Jesus did not describe himself as the Messiah, but his apostles did many times. For example, in the Gospel of Matthew (16:13–17), one of Jesus’ disciples, Simon Peter, says to him, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus as the Son of God

Most Christians believe that Jesus, as well as being fully human, is also fully God. Most Christians believe that Jesus is the second person of the Holy Trinity and is the Son of God.

Jesus as a lord and saviour

‘Lord’ is a term of respect used when referring to a male ruler with power and authority over others. The Gospel of Matthew states that Jesus is ‘Lord’ and has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18)

Christians acknowledge that all people, at some point in their lives, will sin, which makes them deserving of God’s anger and punishment. However, Christians believe that because God is omnibenevolent he sent Jesus to save humankind in two ways:

  • Through his teachings, and by setting an example of selfless love, Christians believe that Jesus guides people to live less sinful lives.
  • Through his sacrifice of dying on the cross, Christians believe that Jesus atoned for the sins of human beings. This means that he paid the penalty for the sins committed by humans and made it possible for God to forgive them.

Christians believe that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead proved that he was indeed the Son of God. They also believe that his death was sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of humanity.

A flowchart to explain the Christian concept of salvation through Jesus.
Question

What does ‘Messiah’ mean?

‘Anointed one’. Christians use this term to refer to Jesus.