There are always people who will say that faith is something that must be entirely divorced from evidence. But that is not stated in the Bible. Faith is believing in something or someone on the basis of evidence and then acting upon it. In this case, John has provided evidence for the full deity of Jesus so that readers, whether in his age or ours, might believe it and commit their lives to Jesus as their Savior.” James Montgomery Boice
I have often stated over the years, not only from the pulpit but also recently in this daily blog, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ contains four basic or fundamental truths. Remove any one of them and you possess a less than complete biblical gospel. This results in a message fundamentally flawed and incapable of providing salvation for anyone from the penalty, power and eventual presence of sin.
What are those four fundamental truths? They are (1) God exists; (2) Sin exists; (3) Salvation exits; and (4) One Savior exists to provide salvation: Jesus Christ. To remove any of these four truth statements is to seriously compromise the Gospel.
You cannot believe the Gospel and deny the existence of God. You cannot believe the Gospel and deny the existence of sin. You cannot believe the Gospel and deny mankind’s need for salvation from its sin. Finally, you cannot believe the Gospel and deny the biblical teaching of the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
These four fundamental truths of the Gospel are located throughout the Scriptures. We could refer anyone to John 3:16 as one example of a biblical text containing all four Gospel components. So also would be Romans 1:18-3:20 and specifically Romans 3:23, 6:23 and 10:13.
However, the text to which I wish to draw to your attention is John 1:1-18. Identified as John’s prologue to his gospel, these 18 verses contain some of the most crucial statements found in Scripture regarding the Gospel and the person of Jesus Christ. The prologue is as follows:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”
As one author explains, “These verses constitute the prologue, which introduces many of the major themes that John will treat, especially the main theme that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (vv. 12–14, 18; cf. 20:31). Several key words repeated throughout the Gospel (e.g., life, light, witness, glory) appear here. The remainder of the Gospel develops the theme of the prologue as to how the eternal “Word” of God, Jesus the Messiah and Son of God, became flesh and ministered among men so that all who believe in him would be saved.”
These 18 verses, and the Four Gospel Truths contained therein, will be our focus for the next several days. I encourage you to daily read the prologue. Have a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!