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 fundamentally flawed message which is 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.
These four fundamental truths of the Gospel are located throughout the Scriptures. However, the text which I 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 personal identity of Jesus Christ. The first portion of the prologue is John 1:1-4: God Exists! The second portion is John 1:5-8: Sin Exists. The third portion is John 1:9-13; Salvation Exists! The fourth and final portion is that One, Savior Exists: John 1:14-18.
“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.”
The Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, became a human being and dwelt among other human beings. This phrase “dwelt among” literally means to “pitch a tent” and is closely related to the concept of the Jewish Tabernacle prior to the construction of the Temple (Exodus 25).
The Tabernacle was called the Tent of Meeting (Exodus 33:1-7) and also the “tabernacle of witness.” God’s glory filled the entire Tabernacle (Exodus 40). Therefore, when the Word became flesh, the glory of God dwelt and was embodied in Him. Colossians 1:19 says, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” Colossians 2:9 says, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”
As one commentator explains, “Here we have the first indication in John’s gospel that Jesus is the new tabernacle/temple for the people of God. If we want to meet our Creator and worship Him, we must do so in Christ. Under the Old Covenant, the glory of God took up residence in the tabernacle and the temple (Exodus 40:34; I Kings 8:1-11), and this is the same glory seen in Christ.”
Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon writes, “Now, you remember that in the Jewish Church its greatest glory was that God tabernacled in its midst: not the tent of Moses, not the various pavilions of the princes of the twelve tribes, but the humble tabernacle in which God dwelt, was the boast of Israel. They had the king himself in the midst of them, a present God in their midst. The tabernacle was a tent to which men went when they would commune with God, and it was the spot to which God came manifestly when he would commune with man. To use Matthew Henry’s words, it was the “trysting place” between the Creator and the worshipper. Here they met each other through the slaughter of the bullock and the lamb, and there was reconciliation between them twain. Now, Christ’s human flesh was God’s tabernacle, and it is in Christ that God meets with man, and in Christ that man hath dealings with God. The Jew of old went to God’s tent, in the center of the camp, if he would worship: we come to Christ if we would pay our homage. If the Jew would be released from ceremonial uncleanness, after he had performed the rites, he went up to the sanctuary of his God, that he might feel again that there was peace between God and his soul; and we, having been washed in the precious blood of Christ, have access with boldness unto God, even the Father through Christ, who is our tabernacle and the tabernacle of God among men.”
I encourage you to read Hebrews 8-9 regarding the priestly ministry of Jesus Christ and its/His relationship to the Old Testament Tabernacle/Temple.
Are you attempting to come to God by any other means than the person and work of Jesus Christ? Jesus is the true and only access to salvation (John 14:1-6; Acts 4:12; I Timothy 2:5).
Soli deo Gloria!