Is Jesus a Christian?


At a bare minimum, a Christian may be described as a person who follows the teachings of Christianity. This of course includes, being saved by Christ's life, death, and resurrection. They've confessed their sins and know Christ as their Savior. Through the Spirit they have a changed life to the glory of God. And, those born of the Spirit continue to believe in and follow Jesus Christ.

So, one of the marks that helps identify a Christian is their confession of sin (Mark 1:15; cf. Matt. 3:2, 6; Acts 2:38; 20:21). However, Jesus is sinless. This is taught throughout the Scriptures:

2 Corinthians 5:21: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Hebrews 4:15: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

1 Peter 2:22: He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.

1 John 3:5: You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.

So, Jesus can't confess his sin because he has no sin to confess. And he never will.

Another mark of a Christian is that of being born again (John 3:1-7). But, Jesus did not need this. (John 3:3, 6-7; Tit. 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:23) He was sinless and fulfilled the entire law (Matt. 5:17-18; Luke 24:44). From first to last he will always be absolutely perfect. Therefore, by definition, Jesus can't be a Christian. Rather, he is the sinless Christ of Christianity.

We can say, then, that Jesus is much greater than a Christian. Jesus Christ is the Son of living God. He is the Messiah. He is Lord. He is prophet (Matt. 21:11), priest (Heb. 7:25), and king (John 18:36). He is the pastor of the invisible church (Eph. 5:22-33). As the Lamb of God (Gen. 3:21; Isa. 53:7; Jer. 11:19; John 1:29, 36; 1 Pet. 1:18-21; Rev. 5:6, 8-9, 12; 13:8; 21:22-23) he is the perfect "once for all" sacrifice for his elect (Heb. 7:27; 10:10).

Jesus is King of kings, Lord of lords, only potentate, everlasting Savior, Prince of Peace, and very God of very God. He is the Christ of the church and King of his kingdom.

So, Jesus is a Christian in the sense that he follows all the teachings of Christianity absolutely perfectly, but he is not a Christian in the sense that he has to confess sin or have a savior.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).