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 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.” (John 1:9-13).
The Apostle John identifies Jesus Christ, the Word, as also the Light. The word light (φῶς; phos) is defined as a luminary or a source of brilliance. Often this refers to natural daylight or to a planetary luminary such as the Sun or the Moon. Regarding Jesus Christ, the word light illustrates that Jesus is the source of truth and knowledge which is delicate, subtle, pure and brilliant. It exposes everything openly and publically.
John calls Jesus the true light. There are many so-called philosophers, politicians and other leaders who seek to identify themselves as a source of truth and knowledge. However, Jesus Christ is the genuine, sincere and real source of truth and knowledge for He is the creator of the same.
This true light, who gives truth and knowledge of Himself to all mankind so that no one is without excuse, was coming into the world. The word “world” refers more than just this planet or its population. Rather, it also means the fallen, sinful, godless and rebellious system of life which seeks to exist and live without God. This is the world system mankind lives in presently. It is the same type of world view of which Jesus encountered.
The irony of John’s next statement cannot be overlooked. Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, came into the world He Himself created. He entered into time and space, was born, grew, matured, lived among many people and displayed His identify to many people. However, John says that the world did not acknowledge Him as God or understand who He was. The same can be said for today’s fallen and sinful world.
John continues to say that Jesus not only entered into this fallen world in general, but came to the Jewish people in particular. Even they, who God had given the Old Testament as a revelation of His coming Son, did not receive Him. “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” To receive means to welcome and to accept.
On the contrary, the Prophet Isaiah prophesied what the Jewish people would do when their Messiah, The Servant of Yahweh, would come to them. Isaiah 53:1-3 says, “Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
Today, there are many different types of people who have a variety of opinions on who Jesus Christ is. However, the Bible is explicit as to who Jesus Christ is and what He accomplished while on this earth.
Who exactly is Jesus Christ? I refer you to recently published document The Word Made Flesh: The Ligonier Statement on Christology.
With the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Son created all things, sustains all things, and makes all things new. Truly God, He became truly man, two natures in one person.
He was born of the Virgin Mary and lived among us. Crucified, dead, and buried, He rose on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will come again in glory and judgment.
For us, He kept the Law, atoned for sin, and satisfied God’s wrath. He took our filthy rags and gave us His righteous robe.
He is our Prophet, Priest, and King, building His church, interceding for us, and reigning over all things.
Jesus Christ is Lord; we praise His holy Name forever.
These biblical truths must be believed, understood and received by an individual in order for that person to become a child of God. If you have not repented of your sin and trusted in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you by the power of the Holy Spirit to do so today.
Soli deo Gloria!