Jesus asked His disciples who others said that He was in Matthew 16:13. They replied that people thought Jesus was a prophet but Peter said He was "the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus told Peter that he was blessed for knowing this and that it was Father God who had revealed this to him. You too will be blessed if God reveals to you who Jesus really is.
The title "Christ" is from the Greek language meaning "God's Anointed." Likewise, "Messiah" is from the Hebrew language and means the same. When Jesus walked the earth, the Jewish religious leaders knew that "Son of God" meant "the same as God." These leaders refused to recognize Jesus as the long awaited Messiah and wanted to execute Him because He represented Himself as God (John 10:33).
The Jewish religious leaders' own Scriptures foretold that the Messiah would be God Himself (Isaiah 9:6, see also Micah 5:2). Indeed, when Jesus came, He spoke with the authority of God. He claimed (and demonstrated!) the power of God to give life to the dead (John 5:21, see also John 10:17-18, 10:28, and 17:2).
Jesus identified Himself with the same name God gave Moses to tell the Israelites who sent him in Genesis 3:14: "I AM'" (John 8:58). Only God is perfect. Jesus said that He acted in perfect accord with God the Father (John 10:30, 14:9).
If Jesus is God, He would have had to be preexistent from before creation began. Scripture confirms this and goes on to say that Jesus is our Creator (John 1:1-3 in light of John 1:14 and Revelation 19:13).
Jesus confirms His preexistence and deity in a prayer the night He was turned over to be crucified (John 17:5). Jesus was also identified as the Creator in Rev. 4:11.
The Apostle Paul declared Jesus to be Christ, "who is over all, the eternally blessed God" (Romans 9:5) and that we should be "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). Paul believed Jesus to be the preexistent, omnipotent Creator who is actively involved in maintaining creation (Colossians 1:15-17). This is reinforced in Hebrews 1:2-3, 10.
The Bible says that God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). This appears to contradict the idea that Jesus is God because He spoke about His Father in heaven and prayed to Him. Here is where the doctrine of the Trinity comes to the rescue. Scripture reveals that Jesus is the second person of the triune Godhead.
The Father and Son are both God yet God is one per Deuteronomy 6:4. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the same way each of us have a soul, body and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). As a man can at the same time be a son, husband, and father, each of the three persons of the Godhead have different roles in relation to mankind.
Is a correct understanding of the Trinity a requirement to be saved? Unless you accept the Trinity as truth, you'll have to doubt your salvation. Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Given that Jesus represented Himself as God, the person who does not believe Jesus is God has to question if they really believe in Him and thus can not be sure of their salvation. Believing in Jesus is a simple matter of "childlike faith" (Matthew 18:3) but it goes beyond just acknowledging the historical facts of His time on earth.
Doesn't the fact that Jesus was the "only begotten Son" of God indicate that He could not be God Himself because He was created? No! The term "begotten" refers to the humanity of Christ which was indeed a self-created aspect but does not replace His deity. The Son of God is at the same time 100% God and 100% Man (Philippians 2:5-7).
The concept of the Trinity is a mystery which we can not fully comprehend in this life (1 Timothy 3:16). But Scripture does reveal enough that we may attain "full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ" (Colossians 2:2).
While still a mystery, it is hard to avoid the doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament. When Jesus was baptized, He was in the water, the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove and the Father spoke from heaven (Matthew 3:16-17). Jesus commanded us to, "make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). Jesus promised: "the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name" (John 14:26).
The New Testament reveals a lot more about God than was known before Jesus came. However, if the doctrine of the Trinity is true, it must be in the Old Testament as well since "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). Indeed it does, God refers to Himself as a plurality. For example, "God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness'" (Genesis 1:26). All three persons of the Godhead were represented when God told the prophet Isaiah, "the Lord GOD and His Spirit have sent Me" (Isaiah 48:16).
I hope this article has helped you to see Jesus as who He really is. If it has, "blessed are you for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but God the Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 16:17).