The Gospel of John: One Savior Exists, Part Four.

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 essential 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.”

Finally, Jesus Christ is not only God in the flesh, who dwelt among human beings on earth, who was and is glorious, and the only beloved Son from God the Father, but also He is full of grace and truth.

To be full (πλήρης; pleres) means to be complete or lacking nothing. Jesus Christ was complete grace and truth. Grace (χάρις; charis) means to show undeserved kindness. Truth (ἀλήθεια; aletheia) in the context means that Jesus Christ is the true and real revelation of God.

The Holy Spirit brought the truths contained in Exodus 33–34 to John’s mind. This was the occasion when Moses asked God to display His glory to him. The Lord replied to Moses that he would make all His “goodness” pass before him, and then as He passed by, God declared, “The LORD . . . merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex. 33:18–19; 34:5–7).

These two attributes of God’s glory, grace and truth, which are displayed by the Son, emphasize the goodness of God’s character especially in relationship to salvation. Jesus as Yahweh of the OT (John 8:58; “I AM”) displayed the same divine attributes when he “tabernacled” among men. (Colossians 2:9).

We continue to refer to Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon when he writes, The apostle however points to a surpassing excellence in Christ the tabernacle, by which he wondrously excels that of the Jewish Church, “full of grace and truth.” The Jewish tabernacle was rather full of law than full of grace. It is true there were in its rites and ceremonies, foreshadowing’s of grace, but still in repeated sacrifice there was renewed remembrance of sin, and a man had first to be obedient to the law of ceremonies, before he could have access to the tabernacle at all: but Christ is full of grace—not a little of it, but abundance of it is treasured up in him. The tabernacle of old was not full of truth, but full of image, and shadow, and symbol, and picture; but Christ is full of substance; he is not the picture, but the reality; he is not the shadow, but the substance. Herein, O believer, do thou rejoice with joy unspeakable for thou comest unto Christ, the real tabernacle of God. Thou comest unto him who is full of the glory of the Father; and thou comest unto one in whom thou hast not the representation of a grace which thou needest, but the grace itself—not the shadow of a truth ultimately to he revealed, but that very truth by which thy soul is accepted in the sight of God. I put this forth as a matter for you to think over in your retirement. It might have constituted the divisions of the sermon, but as I want more especially to dwell upon the glory of Christ, we leave these observations as a preface, and go more particularly to that part of the subject where the apostle says, “We beheld his glory, the glory of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus Christ must be thought of by His followers as more than just their best friend. Rather, He is God. May we worship and reverence Him as such.

Born among cattle, in poverty sore,
Living in meekness by Galilee’s shore,
Dying in shame as the wicked ones swore:
Jesus, wonderful Lord!

Weary, yet He is the world’s only rest,
Hungry and thirsty with plenty has blest,
Tempted He promises grace for each test:
Jesus, wonderful Lord!

Friend of the friendless, betrayed and denied,
Help of the weak, in Gethsemane cried,
Light of the world, in gross darkness He died:
Jesus, wonderful Lord!

Chorus:
Wonderful, wonderful Jesus!
He is my friend, true to the end;
He gave Himself to redeem me–
Jesus, wonderful Lord!
—Paul White

 Soli deo Gloria!

 

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