The Gospel of John: One Savior Exists, Part Three!

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 glory of God often is revealed as bright, refulgent light (Exodus 24; Isaiah 60; revelation 21). John could very well be referring to his experience, along with his brother James and friend Peter, of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17). However, Jesus also manifested His glory through miraculous signs (John 2:11).

This glory was of the only Son from the Father. John testifies to the doctrine of Trinity in this statement, as he had in John 1:1. Jesus, the Word, and God in the flesh manifested on earth the same essential glory as the Father in heaven. God the Son and God the Father are one in essential nature (cf. John 5:17–30; 8:19; 10:30).

Notice that John uses the adjective “only.” The term “only” has the idea of “singular uniqueness.” Jesus Christ is loved by the Father like no other.

Dr. John MacArthur explains that, “By this word, John emphasized the exclusive character of the relationship between the Father and the Son in the Godhead (cf. 3:16, 181 John 4:9). It does not refer to origin but rather unique prominence; e.g., it was used of Isaac (Heb. 11:17) who was Abraham’s second son (Ishmael being the first; cf. Gen. 16:15 with Gen. 21:2–3).

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 completely 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).

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

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

The Gospel of John: One Savior Exists, Part Two!

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!

 

 

 

The Gospel of John: One Savior Exists!

“The mysterious union of our Lord’s two natures, which the Evangelist declares in the words of the text, fully reconciles the seeming contradiction. Hence his description of the person of Jesus. After having ascribed to him all the great and distinguishing characters of divinity; that he was “the Word which was from the beginning with God, and was God; that all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made which was made,” (John I. 1, 2, 3;) he next subjoins the testimony of his incarnation: “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld his glory; the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” With this description of the Messiah in our hand, we are now to enter upon that era, in which our blessed Lord made his appearance, when the minds of men were raised to the highest pitch in expectation of the coming Savior.”                                                                                                                                                                 Robert Hawker

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 Word became flesh. God became man. Two natures, one divine and one human, but one God/Man. Jesus Christ’s deity did not make Him super human. He experienced pain, sorrow, hunger and thirst. However, His humanity did not detract from His deity. He displayed omniscience, omnipotence and other attributes of God alone.

Jesus Christ took upon Himself all that is inherently true of humanity, except for sin, while at the same time not surrendering any aspect of His deity. Jesus was no less human that any other human being.

As Dr. John MacArthur explains, “While Christ as God was uncreated and eternal (see notes on v. 1), the word “became” emphasizes Christ’s taking on humanity (cf. Hebrews 1:1–3; 2:14–18). This reality is surely the most profound ever because it indicates that the Infinite became finite; the Eternal was conformed to time; the Invisible became visible; the supernatural One reduced himself to the natural. In the incarnation, however, the Word did not cease to be God but became God in human flesh, i.e., undiminished deity in human form as a man (1 Timothy 3:16).”

Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “This the climatic assertion of the prologue. To some of John’s contemporaries, spirit and the divine were utterly opposite to matter and flesh. Others believed that the gods visited the earth disguised as human beings (Acts 14:11). But here a chasm is bridged: the eternal Word of God did not merely appear to be a human being, but actually became flesh. He took to Himself a complete human nature.”

It was at the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451), that the fifth century church affirmed that Jesus was truly man and truly God. Jesus Christ’s two natures, divine and human, are to be without mixture, confusion, separation or division. He is truly Immanuel, God in the flesh. God with us.

The glory of God often is revealed as bright, refulgent light (Exodus 24; Isaiah 60; revelation 21). John could very well be referring to his experience, along with his brother James and friend Peter, of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17). However, Jesus also manifested His glory through miraculous signs (John 2:11).

Final thought for today from a colleague of mine in the ministry. “In Christ alone can we meet God as Savior, so we can rightly worship God only in and through Christ.”

Soli deo Gloria!

The Gospel of John: Salvation Exists, Part Three!

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. 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 publicly.

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. This is 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. Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, came into the world He Himself made. 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.

But what of those people who do receive, welcome and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, having first repented of their sins? The Bible in John 1:12-13 says, “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.”

Receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior involves believing in his name. To believe (πιστεύω; pisteuo) means to trust, to have confidence, to depend upon and to worship Jesus Christ as God. To believe in His name is to trust, be confident, to depend and worship Jesus Christ as the Savior and Messiah.

To those who repent of their sins and place their faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ, Jesus gives them the right, authority and power to become children belonging to and only to God. How does this occur?

The Apostle John alludes to the new birth, or sovereign, monergistic regeneration by the Holy Spirit. We will examine this in detail in John 3. This new birth (γεννάω; gennao), or being born again (John 3:1-8), does not occur because of one’s physical birth or human descent, or by a fulfilled sexual desire, or by man in any human way. Rather, this new birth and new nature is accomplished by God and by God alone.

As one author explains, “Although at the first advent of Jesus, many Jews rejected Him, some did receive Him as Savior, Lord and Messiah. These people, John tells us, were born not of the flesh, but of the spirit and they received “the right to become children of God (John 1:12-13). Not every person has the right to be a child of God – the right to be an heir of His promises – simply by being born. Only those who are born new spiritually and trust in Christ have that right. To become children of God in the truest and fullest sense, we must be born again (John 3:1-4).”

Therefore, when an individual is brought by God to saving faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the response by that individual should be heartfelt gratitude, worship and service. Take time today to thank God for His indescribable gift of salvation, by which He chose to make you His child. This was done by sovereign grace and grace alone.

Soli deo Gloria!


 

 

 

The Gospel of John: Salvation Exists, Part Two!

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.


We confess the mystery and wonder                                                                                                 of God made flesh                                                                                                                             and rejoice in our great salvation                                                                                         through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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.

Amen.

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!

 

 

 

 

The Gospel of John: Salvation Exists, Part One!

“Our God and Father, in the name of Thy dear Son, we pray Thee that Thy Holy Spirit may now take of the things of Christ and show them unto us: to the praise of the glory of Thy grace. Amen.”                                                                                                                Arthur Pink

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 is 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.

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 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.

As one commentator explains, All that in men which is true light—knowledge, integrity, intelligent, willing subjection to God, love to Him and to their fellow creatures, wisdom, purity, holy joy, rational happiness—all this “light of men” has its fountain in the essential original “life” of “the Word” (1 John 1:5–7; Psalm 36:9).

John calls Jesus the true light. There are many philosophers, politicians and other leaders who seek to be identified 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 made. 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 culture.

Who exactly is Jesus Christ? I refer you to recently published document The Word Made Flesh:  The Ligonier Statement on Christology.

We confess the mystery and wonder                                                                                              of God made flesh                                                                                                                              and rejoice in our great salvation                                                                                          through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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.

Amen.

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!

 

 

The Gospel of John: Sin Exists!

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 is 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.

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 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.”

John contrasts the concept of spiritual and moral righteousness, light, to that of its polar opposite, darkness. We are able to comprehend evil in this present world because we humans still retain an understanding, however small and tainted by sin, of what is holy. Evil, or darkness, can only be defined if there is a corresponding opposite which is holiness, or what John calls light. John is not acknowledging that a holy God exists, but also that sinful rebelliousness against the One, True and Holy God also exists.

One author explains, “In Scripture “light” and “darkness” are very familiar symbols. Intellectually, “light” refers to biblical truth while “darkness” refers to error or falsehood (cf. Psalm 119:105Proverbs 6:23). Morally, “light” refers to holiness or purity (1 John 1:5) while “darkness” refers to sin or wrongdoing (John 3:19; 12:35, 46Romans 13:11–141 Thessalonians 5:4–71 John 1:6; 2:8–11). “Darkness” has special significance in relationship to Satan (and his demonic cohorts), who rules the present spiritually dark world (1 John 5:19) as the “prince of the power of the air” promoting spiritual darkness and rebellion against God (Ephesians 2:2). John uses the term “darkness” 14 times (eight in the Gospel and six in 1 John) out of its 17 occurrences in the NT, making it almost an exclusive Johannine word. In John, “light” and “life” have their special significance in relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word (John 1:9; 9:51 John 1:5–7; 5:12, 20).”

John continues to say that the darkness has not overcome the light. The word “overcome (καταλαμβάνω; katalambano) means to gain control over something, to attack or to seize. It may also mean to understand or to comprehend. What John is saying is that the light of the Gospel of the person and work of Jesus Christ is more powerful than sin and its effects. Sin will not defeat the Gospel. Rather, the Gospel will defeat sin and death, once and for all time.

As one pastor explains, “Darkness is not able to overcome or conquer the light. Just as a single candle can overcome a room filled with darkness, so also the powers of darkness are overcome by the person and work of the Son through his death on the cross (cf. 19:11a).”

John the Apostle says that the message that sin exists, and that God brings good news of sin’s defeat, is the very reason why John the Baptist came. He came to prepare the people of his own day with the message of the Gospel contained in who He would refer to as the Lamb of God (John 1:29). As the forerunner to Jesus, John the Baptist was to bear witness to Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Son of God. With John’s ministry, the “400 silent years” between the end of the OT and the beginning of the NT period, during which God had given no revelation, concluded. For more on John the Baptist, see Matthew 3:1–6, Mark 1:2–6, and Luke 1:5–25, 57–80.

Isn’t it appropriate that believers in Christ, along with being called salt (Matthew 5:13) which was used as a preservative for food in the ancient world, are also called light (Matthew 5:14-16; John 8:12). Jesus calls us to shine the light of the Gospel in the dark places we live in, work at, and are surrounded by. Shine your light today my friends.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

The Gospel of John: The Eternal Word of God Exists!

“John summarizes how the ‘Word’ which was with God in the very beginning came into the sphere of time, history, tangibility —in other words, how the Son of God was sent into the world to become the Jesus of history, so that the glory and grace of God might be uniquely and perfectly disclosed. The rest of the book is nothing other than an expansion of this theme.”                                                                                                                        D. A. Carson

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 is 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.

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!

Here is but a sampling of what some of the greatest and respected biblical theologians, pastors and teachers have to say about this first part of John’s prologue.

“The Evangelist sends us to the eternal sanctuary of God and teaches us that the Word was, as it were, hidden there before He revealed Himself in the outward workmanship of the world. John’s introductory words “in the beginning” would have expected to be followed by the word “God” as in Genesis 1:1, but instead introduce the Word. And so even with this first phrase, John causes us to begin thinking that this “Word” is more that an abstract philosophical concept as seen in the Greek culture, but that the Word was divine, which he subsequently proves. An old writer suggests “These words (John 1:1) should be written upon tablets of gold and hung in every church building in the world.”                                        – John Calvin

“There never was a time when the Word was not. There never was a thing that did not depend on Him (the Word) for its existence (Colossians 1:17). With God – It certainly makes clear the distinct existence of the Word with respect to God. The Word is no mere ‘emanation from God’ as in much first-century thinking.”                                                               – Leon Morris

“Words are important for words convey thoughts. We don’t truly know what another person is thinking unless they express their thoughts in words (and so it is with God – how could we possibly know what He is thinking if He did not express Himself in words!). It is by means of words that we communicate. It is by means of words that we reveal what is happening. John chooses the word, Logos, which was familiar in the minds of both Hebrew and Greek thinkers, and both groups to one degree or another had the idea of beginnings related to the word Logos. And so John’s opening would remind the Hebrew thinker of Genesis 1:1 (In the beginning) and Genesis 1:3 (“Then God said, “Let there be light.”) God spoke and all came into existence (Hebrews 11:3) To the Greek mind Logos was “regarded in a multi-various and ambiguous fashion. The word Logos has a unique capacity to convey God’s ultimate Self disclosure in the Person of His Son.”                                                                 – Alistair Begg

“O Thou Son of the Blessed! Grace stripped Thee of thy glory. Grace brought Thee down from heaven. Grace made Thee bear such burdens of sin, such burdens of curse as are unspeakable. Grace was in Thy heart. Grace came bubbling up from Thy bleeding side. Grace was in Thy tears. Grace was in Thy prayers. Grace streamed from Thy thorn-crowned brow! Grace came forth with the nails that pierced Thee, with the thorns that pricked Thee! Oh, here are unsearchable riches of grace! Grace to make sinners happy! Grace to make angels wonder! Grace to make devils astonished!”                                                                          – John Bunyan

Take time today to worship and praise the eternal Word of God, Jesus Christ.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

 

 

 

The Gospel of John: God Exists!

“What do you think of Jesus Christ? Who is He? According to Christianity this is the most important question you or anyone else will ever have to face. It is important because it is inescapable—you will have to answer it sooner or later, in this world or in the world to come—and because the quality of your life here and your eternal destiny depend upon your answer. Who is Jesus Christ? If He was only a man, then you can safely forget Him. If he is God, as he claimed to be, and as all Christians believe, then you should yield your life to him. You should worship and serve him faithfully.”                   – James Montgomery Boice

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.

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 portion of the prologue we examine today is John 1:1-4: God Exists!

“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 first three words of John’s Gospel, “In the beginning,” link us to Genesis 1:1 and the original account of creation. The Apostle John introduces the central character of his gospel: the Divine Creator known as the Word.

“In the beginning was the Word.” At the beginning of creation this Word existed.

The term “Word” within this context is a title of deity. Rather than identifying the Word as an abstract force of creation, John declares the Word to have existed before or prior to creation. The Word is eternal.

“And the Word was with God,” The Word was not alone. He was with God. The Word, as the Second Person of the Trinity, was in intimate fellowship with God the Father throughout all eternity. The Word enjoyed the splendors of heaven and eternity with the Father (Isaiah 6:1–13; cf. John 12:41; 17:5), The eternal Word was in eternal fellowship with God.

“And the Word was God”. He was in the beginning with God.” Not only was the Word in intimate fellowship with God, the Word was also God. The Greek grammar in the text indicates that the Word (specifically identified in 1:17 to be Jesus Christ) possesses all the attributes and identify of God. Colossians 2:9 says “For in him (Jesus Christ) the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily…” The eternal Word was not only in eternal fellowship with God, the Father, but He too is God, the Son.

 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” The Word (Jesus Christ) was God the Father’s instrument involved in creating everything in the universe. Colossians 1:16-17 says, For by him (Jesus Christ) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” The eternal Word, who was with God the Father in eternal fellowship and who is Himself God, is the creator of all things.

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Since God alone possesses life in Himself, this is another testimony by John that the Word, Jesus Christ, is God. The apostle introduces one of his constant images for and of God: life and light. The eternal Word, who was with God the Father in eternal fellowship and who is Himself God, is not only the creator of all things but is the source of all life.

One commentator writes, “John uses the word “life” about 36 times in his Gospel, far more than any other NT book. It refers not only in a broad sense to physical and temporal life that the Son imparted to the created world through his involvement as the agent of creation (1:3), but especially to spiritual and eternal life imparted as a gift through belief in him (3:15; 17:3Eph. 2:5). In Scripture “light” and “darkness” are very familiar symbols. Intellectually, “light” refers to biblical truth while “darkness” refers to error or falsehood (cf. Ps. 119:105Prov. 6:23). Morally, “light” refers to holiness or purity (1 John 1:5).”

Therefore, in summary, John acknowledges that God exists and that Jesus Christ is God. Additionally, Jesus Christ is the creator of the universe and possesses life in all its forms.

As Dr. R.C. Sproul explains, “Faith in the deity of Christ is necessary to being a Christian. It is an essential part of the New Testament gospel of Christ. Yet in every century the church has been forced to deal with people who claim to be Christians while denying and distorting the deity of Christ.”

For your further study on the deity of Christ, I recommend you either download onto your I-Pad or I-Phone or visit www.ligonier.org to access a copy of The Word Made Flesh: The Ligonier Statement on Christology. Building on the great confessions of faith, this statement is offered to the church by Ligonier Ministries out of a desire to help people regain clarity regarding the person and work of Christ. Ligonier Ministries wanted to provide a statement that could assist the church in applying the classic truths of orthodox biblical Christianity to the challenges of our present day.

Until next time,

Soli deo Gloria!  

 

The Gospel of John: The Gospel of Christ in John 1:1-18.

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!