And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” (John 12:44-50)
In Jesus’ final words to the crowd following His entrance into the City of Jerusalem, on what is commonly known as Palm Sunday, focus on several truths. These truths concern the benefits believers have when they place their God-given faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Remember, faith or belief in the person and work of Jesus Christ involves four key components. These are a trust in, a commitment to, a dependence upon and a worship of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
First, people who believe in Jesus Christ are believers in the God of the Bible: God the Father. God the Father is the One who sent Jesus: God the Son. Therefore, it is true that those who “say” they believe in the God of the Bible, and yet deny that Jesus is that God, do not in reality believe in the God of the Bible regardless of what they say.
Second, people who believe in Jesus Christ recognize Him for who He truly is: Emmanuel. God with us. We do not have to guess what God is like for He has revealed Himself in creation and in the Scriptures. The pinnacle of God’s self-revelation is the person and work of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-4). We do not have to wonder what Jesus would do because the Scriptures reveal not only what He did but also who He is.
Third, people who believe in Jesus Christ are no longer in darkness but rather are in the light. This is a dominant and recurring theme within the Gospel of John (John 1:3-9; 8:12; 9:1-41; 12:35-36). Darkness is symbolic for sin and unrighteousness. Light symbolizes holiness and righteousness. Believers in Christ no longer belong to the kingdom of darkness and death but now belong to the kingdom of light and life.
Two familiar cults, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), both claim to believe in and to be followers of the One, True God of the Bible, Yet at the same time, both cults deny that Jesus Christ is the eternal God of the Bible. Therefore, we can biblically conclude that despite their claims to be followers of the God of the Bible, they truly do not know the God of the Bible because they do not believe and recognize Jesus Christ to be this God.
I’m sure you have heard people say that they believe in God, and yet at the same time deny that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh and the only Savior. Ultimately, to reject Jesus, God the Son, is to also reject God the Father. The unity of the Trinity is in view. To deny and reject one member of the Trinity is to deny and reject all three.
As one commentator has written, “Jesus is not merely “one way” to God or one option among many to whom we can look to figure out what God is like. No, to see Him is to see God, and the only way to see God is to believe in Him. We must be insistent that the only way to see and to know God is to believe in Jesus alone for salvation.”
Soli deo Gloria!