Acts 2:36 (ESV):

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ. When did this happen?

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    Let's fight the early Christian battles all over again!!! Or... accept the decided Trinitarian Orthodoxy or don't. It's as simple as that.
    – RonJohn
    Mar 16, 2021 at 15:18
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    Peter sets up this conclusion in the earlier parts of the speech! As others have noted, Ps 2 and Ps 110 are important touch points that Peter quotes. The resurrection - a thing which happened in time - is the event that realizes a plan that has been in motion since at least the promise to David in 2 Sam 7. In Acts 2:32, the phrase 'This Jesus God raised up' - is a full arc from grave to sitting-at-the-right-hand of God. Mar 17, 2021 at 14:28

8 Answers 8


At birth, what titles did Jesus already possess?

Luke 2:11 & 21 (NKJV)

"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

"And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb."

At birth, what titles did Jesus already possess? God's angel said, "Christ the Lord". This is the first time that Jesus is referred to as both Christ and Lord in the flesh.

However, before Jesus' birth, how did David already refer to Jesus in his prophecy?

Matt. 22:43-44 (NIRV)

"He said to them, 'Then why does David call him 'Lord'? The Holy Spirit spoke through David himself. David said, ''The LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your control.'' (Psalm 110:1)"

How did David refer to Jesus in his prophecy? David said, "my Lord". Hence, Jesus' role as Christ the Lord was already promised beforehand.

Who is this Lord Jesus distinct from? David mentioned, "The LORD". This is so as not to confuse Jesus with the LORD God (Ps. 100:3) that made Jesus Lord (Acts 2:34-36).

Since when was Jesus's role prescribed and foreknown by God?

I Pet. 1:20 (NET)

"He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was manifested in these last times for your sake."

Since when was Jesus' role foreknown by God? Peter clarified, "foreknown before the foundation of the world". Hence, even before the world existed, God had already decided to make Him Lord and Christ.

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    +1, Love this excellent answer. Good work!
    – Dottard
    Mar 18, 2021 at 2:06
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    Up-voted. Fully agreed.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 20, 2021 at 8:13
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    Why Peter's Statement? Yes, yes, Jesus has, in the Providential perview of God, always been considered LORD and CHRIST. But you haven't dealt with the reason for this question that causes some confusion and debate: Why Peter announced this declaration in the first place (if He always has been Lord). Why is he making this announcement at this particular time? See Answer of Ray Grant below.
    – ray grant
    Jul 3, 2023 at 23:29
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    While this answer establishes that Jesus was pre ordained to be Lord and Christ even before his birth it doesn't exactly answer when did Jesus actually become Christ the Lord. For example at what point in his life was he actually annointed? At what point was all power in heaven and on Earth given to him as opposed to prophetically assigned to him as a human?
    – Austin
    Jul 6, 2023 at 6:45

The short answer is - we are not told when the decision of the Godhead decided to make Jesus the Messiah and propitiation for sin. However, we have some strong hints:

  • Ps 110:1 - The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."
  • Ps 2:2, 7-9 - The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together, against the LORD and against His Anointed One. ... I will proclaim the decree spoken to Me by the LORD: “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father. Ask Me, and I will make the nations Your inheritance, the ends of the earth Your possession. You will break them with an iron scepter; You will shatter them like pottery.

These texts are quote several times in the NT, including Acts 2:34, 35, and suggest that Jesus was appointed Messiah and the sacrificial Lamb before the time of David. In fact, the NT suggests it was well before David's time:

  • 1 Peter 1:20 - He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
  • Eph 1:4 - For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence.
  • Rev 13:8 - All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast--all whose names have not been written in the Lamb's book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

See also Matt 25:34, 13:35, Heb 4:3, etc. Thus, it appears that Jesus was appointed Messiah "before the foundation of the world". Thus, the sacrificial lamb was appointed before any human had even been made or even sinned - there is no greater teaching about God's love for us and His abundant grace than this.

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    Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.” and this happened at His baptism when God anointed him with his holy spirit Mar 16, 2021 at 18:30
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    @OzzieOzzie - correct - that is humanly speaking. However, Jesus was divinely appoint well before that as the above references show.
    – Dottard
    Mar 16, 2021 at 20:55
  • @OzzieOzzie - water baptism does not necessarily coincide with baptism IN the spirit. See Acts 19:1ff Mar 17, 2021 at 3:09
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    Dottard - non of your references above indicate that Jesus was Lord and CHRIST. the anointed one. Mar 17, 2021 at 14:33
  • The Chaz 2.0 In the case of Jesus was both baptisms in water followed by baptism with holy spirit. Mar 17, 2021 at 14:34

When was Jesus made both Lord and Christ?

Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

Acts 2:36 (ESV): Let all the house of Israel, therefore, know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

At His baptism when God anointed him with his holy spirit, descending upon him in the form of a dove. The term "Jesus Christ" was first heard from the lips of Jesus (John 17:3) and this is the point that Peter made at Pentecost, "God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus." This expression “Jesus Christ” is also used in the opening words of the Christian Greek Scriptures, Matthew 1:1.

At his birth, Jesus was not yet the Anointed One or Christ. In foretelling his birth, the angel instructed Joseph: “You must call his name Jesus.” (Mt 1:21) But when the shepherds near Bethlehem were given the angelic announcement, in anticipation of Jesus’ future role they were told: “There was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,” that is, “who is to be Christ (the one to be anointed) the Lord.”​(Luke 2:11)

Matthew 3:13-17 (NASB)

The Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan, coming to John to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have the need to be baptized by You, and yet You are coming to me?” 15 But Jesus, answering, said to him, “Allow it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *allowed Him. 16 After He was baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and [a]he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and [b]settling on Him, 17 and behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is [c]My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

John 17:3 (NASB)

3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

  • Ozzie What your doing is "conflating" two unrelated issues. The first issue which is Acts 2:36 has to do with the fact that the resurrection of Jesus Christ proved that He was the Lord and the Christ. The issue your addressing deals with Jesus Christ arriving on the scene and John the Baptist says at John 1:15, "This was He of whom I said, "He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me." The Father confirms this fact at Mark 1:11, "and a voice came out of the heavens, "Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased." In short, two different context.
    – Mr. Bond
    Mar 16, 2021 at 20:07

I prefer the above, accepted answer (Luke 2:11) to my own, here. Although what I have stated is true, I think the accepted answer better answers the question.

Consequent upon his sufferings for sins ('he bore our sins in his own body on the tree', 1 Peter 2:24) and his yielding his life to eradicate sin, itself, in death ('he hath made him sin, that we might be made righteousness of God, in him', 2 Corinthians 5:21) Jesus Christ was 'raised from the dead by the glory of the Father', Romans 6:4, and, thus, was declared to be the Son of God :

... and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. [Romans 1:4 KJV]

Peter, and the other apostles, stated to the High Priest, in council, Acts 5:31, that :

... Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince (Ἀρχηγὸν) and a Saviour (Σωτῆρα), for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. [Acts 5:31 KJV]

Thus, by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ is declared to be the Son of God and by his ascension to the right hand of God he is declared to be the Archegos and the Soter.

The title Archegos is a personification of the concept Arche, a matter of foundational precedence ; one who, from the beginning, is not only a founder but one upon whom further progressive development will depend. This is Lordship, indeed.

Soter, or 'Saviour' expresses all that Messiah would be for Israel, all that the anointed one would do for the individual, and all that Christ will do for the Body : salvation 'to the uttermost', Hebrews 7:25.

So I would say that Peter's first declaration to the multitudes at Pentecost, in Acts 2:36, is further conveyed and explained in Acts 5:31 to the council of the Jews, and that the timing of the raising of Jesus of Nazareth to a place of Lordship and Anointed Saviourhood is his ascension and enthronement.


As one poster rightfully stated, Jesus Christ was already a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11). Those who deny the deity of Jesus Christ love to quote Acts 2:36 thinking this is one of those verses that prove Jesus was a created being.

The context clearly refutes this idea starting with Acts 2:29-30, where David died and was buried and he knew God would swore an oath to seat one of his descendants upon the throne.

At vs31, David looked ahead and spoke of the "RESURRECTION" of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades nor did His flesh suffer decay. Vs32, This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all WITNESSES."

Since this is true, Peter says at vs36, "THEREFORE" let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified."

It was the resurrection that "made" or "declared" that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. His resurrection revealed or established Jesus as Lord.

This is confirmed by the Apostle Paul at Romans 1:3-4, "concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, vs4, WHO WAS DECLARED the Son of God with power BY THE RESURRECTION from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord."


"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah." (Acts 2:36; NIV)

When was Jesus made both Lord and Christ?

Our two basic carnal drives, sex and hunger, represented by the Copper Snake in the Wilderness and Jonah in the Whale, need to be restrained to enable us to achieve salvation. This God portrayed through the crucifixion of Jesus, cementing his Lordship and making him on the spot Christ, the Messiah.

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (John 3:14,15; NIV)

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Mat 12:40; NIV)

Consequently, it was on the cross that our Lord Jesus became Christ, the Messiah. He did so by fulfilling John the Baptist's prophecy in John 1:29 about the lamb that were going to take away the sins of the world.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29; NIV)


While I was writing a new article on Acts 2, I wanted to read about others perspective on Acts 2:36 and I came across this post. I noticed that nobody provided the perspective which I am writing in my article. Therefore, I am going to provide here.

Christ: The word "Christ" is not used in the Old Testament as it is a Greek word that means "anointed one" and is used to refer to Jesus in the New Testament. However, Christ has been used as Greek translation for a Hebrew word that means the "anointed one" like Psalm 2:2. In the Old Testament, "anointed one" is the savior. You see that in places such as Isaiah 61:1-3. The important point is when the Son became the promised savior, Christ, and Messiah. For that, we have to go back to Genesis chapter 3 when the promise of savior has been given. This is a point of time that Jesus, The Son, became the anointed one who is the savior. In Acts 2, Peter is telling the Jews that Jesus whom they crucified is the One who was promised in the garden of Eden to save mankind. This is why all along Old Testament Jesus is referred to as the "anointed one". Be reminded that crucifixion and resurrection, only confirmed that Jesus is Christ, the promised one. In addition, "anointed one" is not just anointed to save, but also to reign. Psalm 45:6-7 tells us that the Father has anointed the Son to be King and reign forever and ever.

Lord: Peter tells the crowd that the Father (God) has made Jesus the Lord. If Jesus is God in Trinity, then how come he had to become Lord and why He was not Lord in His nature. The truth goes back to the reality that before creation, Jesus was not Lord. Jesus is not Lord of the Father or the Holy Spirit. To know when did Jesus became the Lord we need to pay attention to what Colossian 1:16 tells us. We read that the Father created everything "by", "through", and "for" Jesus. That is when the Father made Jesus to be the Lord of all creation. Again, here Peter teaches the crowed that Christ is the member of Trinity and He is the One whom the Father created everything "by", "through", and "for" Him.

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    – agarza
    May 1, 2023 at 18:03

Always LORD It is true as pointed out by the previous Answers, that Jesus has always been Lord, from everlasting to everlasting. No debate there. But what Peter is doing, is looking at the recent events from a contemporary perspective in a local setting. One in which the audience was a participant.

Breaking News From a "breaking news" announcement point of view, the recent Resurrection from the dead by God had made Jesus both Lord and Christ. This was no theological, Peterine, dogmatic revelation for seminarians to debate over! It was now street-corner, newspaper-rack Neadline News! "More at eleven o'clock news!" Peter, as anointed reporter, was wrapping up the events of the day.

Yes, yes, there is the great Providential, overarching, theological, exegetical aspect of divine history. Jesus has been Lord of the universe from time immemorial. But Peter--and we must also--brings redemptive history down to the street corners and malls of humanity so it can be comprehended by the common folk...the Millennials...the hoi polloi...me. (So they can respond with repentance. Acts 2:37-40)

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