Just because Jesus was not explicitly proclaimed as God in the New Testament does not mean that He is not God. Recall that Jesus was not explicitly proclaimed by His disciples as Messiah during the days of His flesh – but this does not mean that He was not the Messiah. There is a time for something to be hidden and a time for it to be revealed.
Nevertheless, even though Christ is God, it does not mean that the trinity concept is true, for it is not. Nor is modalism. The truth is more simple and scriptural than either.
One key to understanding Jesus’ divine identity is to go back to His interaction with the Pharisees in Matthew 22:41-46. As there was a riddle to be solved with regard to Jesus’ messianic identity, so there is a riddle to be solved with regard to Jesus’ divine identity. That is, if the Shema says the Lord is one, how can there be two Lords?” We miss it because we live in a monotheistic world while the biblical age was polytheistic. Obey Christ and you will come to see it. Only give lip service to Christ and you won’t.
Whether you believe Jesus was divine or human, however, is secondary to our commitment to trust and obey Him. There really should be no difference between the behavior of a trinitarian and a unitarian as long as each is genuinely devoted to Jesus Christ. How could there be?
(This first appeared as a comment on Andrew Perriman’s P.OST blog.)
To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see: