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Jesus Christ – the Savior of the World

How the NT Depiction of Christ as Savior Points to His Deity

Sam Shamoun

According to the Holy Bible, salvation from sin and corruption is a divine work which no creature can ever accomplish.

For example, we are told by the Psalmist that no man is capable of ransoming another person from death since the price of his redemption is too costly, which is why only God can redeem lives:

“No man can by any means redeem his brother Or give to God a ransom for him—For the redemption of his soul is costly, And he should cease trying forever—That he should live on eternally, That he should not undergo decay… But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, For He will receive me. Selah.” Psalm 49:7-9, 15

Jesus himself taught that it is impossible for man to save himself, which is why God has to be willing to save mankind since he alone can do that which is humanly impossible:

“And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were even more astonished and said to Him, ‘Then who can be saved? Looking at them, Jesus said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’” Mark 10:23-27

Jesus’ statements echo what the prophet Isaiah wrote:

“… Now the Lord saw, And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice. And He saw that there was NO MAN, And was astonished that there was NO ONE to intercede; Then His OWN ARM brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. According to their deeds, so He will repay, Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; To the coastlands He will make recompense. So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream Which the wind of the Lord drives. ‘A Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,’ declares the Lord.” Isaiah 59:15b-20(1)

Yahweh explicitly says here that the reason why he took matters into his own hand by accomplishing the work of redemption and judgment all by himself, is because he couldn’t find anyone who was able to save and intercede for mankind. This simply solidifies the fact that no man is capable of saving himself, let alone someone else, since this is a work which only God can accomplish.

The inspired Scriptures further proclaim that God alone is capable of forgiving sins:

“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25

 To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him;” Daniel 9:9

Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love. He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18-19

And since Yahweh alone is able to save and forgive, and since he is a God of love and compassion who desires none to perish but all to be saved, he has therefore chosen to become the Savior of all who would repent and believe in him. Had Yahweh not done so, then no one could ever be saved since the inspired Scriptures attest that every person is a sinner who deserves God’s wrath:

“The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation;” Exodus 15:2

“When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near; if they take thought in the land where they have been taken captive, and repent and make supplication to You in the land of those who have taken them captive, saying, ‘We have sinned and have committed iniquity, we have acted wickedly’; if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who have taken them captive, and pray to You toward their land which You have given to their fathers, the city which You have chosen, and the house which I have built for Your name; then hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven Your dwelling place, and maintain their cause, and forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You, and make them objects of compassion before those who have taken them captive, that they may have compassion on them” 1 Kings 8:46-50

"If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared… O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities.” Psalm 130:3-4, 7-8

“And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no man living is righteous.” Psalm 143:2

“Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin’?” Proverbs 20:9

“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20

“Then you will say on that day, ‘I will give thanks to You, O Lord; For although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, And You comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation. Therefore you will joyously draw water From the springs of salvation.” Isaiah 12:1-3

“‘You are My witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me.’” Isaiah 43:10-11

“Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:21-22

In light of the foregoing, it is abundantly clear that if Jesus was/is only a man then he could not save anyone. In fact, Christ couldn’t even save himself if were nothing more than a flesh and blood human being because the Scriptures emphatically teach that all human beings are sinners who are incapable of always doing what is right without ever transgressing God’s commands. In fact, if he were merely human then Jesus himself would have needed a Savior to deliver him from his own imperfections and shortcomings.

However, if the inspired Scriptures teach that Jesus is absolutely sinless and capable of saving others from their transgressions then this would establish the fact that Christ is more than a man. It would conclusively prove that Jesus is also God since he is capable of doing what the Scriptures teach only God can do, namely, save people from their sins.  

So what do the inspired Scriptures teach?

They teach that Christ came to save his people from their sins:

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.” 1 Timothy 1:15

The Holy Bible proclaims that the glorious Lord does this by offering his life as a ransom for many through the shedding his blood, i.e. by dying on the cross to pay the penalty for sin, something that the Psalm which we read earlier claims is impossible for any human being to do:

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 – Matthew 20:28

“While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.’” Matthew 26:26-28 – cf. Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20

“This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” John 6:50-51

The inspired writings also depict Jesus as the Savior of the world and the Source of salvation, the One who earned eternal redemption for all those who would obey him and come to God through him:

“and they were saying to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.’” John 4:42

“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect THE AUTHOR OF SALVATION through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Hebrews 2:10-11

“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him THE SOURCE of eternal salvation,” Hebrews 5:8-9

“who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life… but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.” Hebrews 7:16, 24-28

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins… We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” 1 John 4:10, 14

This is precisely why salvation is ascribed to both God the Father and to the Lord, since Christ is the One who redeems a great multitude of people that cannot be numbered, purifying them from their sins by his precious blood:

“and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5-6

“When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.’” Revelation 5:8-10

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, AND TO THE LAMB.’ And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’ Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘My lord, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:9-17

However, the only way Christ could be the Source of salvation and have the ability to save an innumerable host of people from all their transgressions is if he is God Incarnate. 

This explains why John could adopt the language of the following OT text, where Yahweh is depicted as wearing a robe that has been dipped in the blood of his enemies whom he has trampled under his feet in his righteous anger:

“Who is this who comes from Edom, With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, This One who is majestic in His apparel, Marching in the greatness of His strength? ‘It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.’ Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?I have trodden the wine trough ALONE, And from the peoples there was NO MAN with Me. I also trod them in My anger And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, And My year of redemption has come. I looked, and there was NO ONE to help, And I was astonished and there was NO ONE to uphold; So My OWN ARM brought salvation to Me, And My wrath upheld Me. I trod down the peoples in My anger And made them drunk in My wrath, And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.’” Isaiah 63:1-6

And apply it to the risen Lord!

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’” Revelation 19:11-16

Since the passage in Isaiah emphatically says that Yahweh couldn’t find anyone who could accomplish the work of redemption and judgment on his behalf, which is why he went out and did it himself, this means that the only way that John could even dare apply this to the exalted Christ is if he believed that Jesus is Yahweh Incarnate. The Lord Jesus can’t be a mere agent whom Yahweh uses, but must be Yahweh himself in order to do what passages such as Isaiah 63 say only Yahweh is capable of doing.

No wonder Paul and Peter call Jesus our God and Savior!

“looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” Titus 2:13-14

“Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:” 2 Peter 1:1

It is obvious that these blessed Apostles knew from their study of the Hebrew Scriptures that Jesus does what only Yahweh can do, and therefore concluded that Jesus must be Yahweh Incarnate!

Amen! Come Lord Jesus, come! We confess that you are indeed Yahweh our Savior whom we love and adore, and eagerly await the day of your return when you shall save those who love you and righteously punish all those who reject your Gospel. Amen.


(1) What makes this passage interesting is that the work of recompensing everyone for what they have earned is ascribed to the Lord Jesus Christ, who will repay everyone for everything they have done when he returns in glory: 

“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.” Matthew 16:27

“‘Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the endI, JESUS, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.’… He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” Revelation 22:12-13, 16, 20-21

This again confirms that the NT writers believed and proclaimed that Jesus Christ is Yahweh, even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit.