Summary: Jesus Christ is the Word, the God-Man from everlasting!
NOTE: Some blog posts are rushed because writing is much harder than preaching. This is one of those that didn’t get written down very well, and I suggest listening to the sermon instead of just reading.
Today we’re going to start a study through the gospel of John. If you want to know what it’s all about all you have to do is look 20:30-31: And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Every chapter all the way through shows that Jesus is the Christ; He’s the Son of God who is with the Father and who saves His people.
The first chapter alone stuns us with at least 12 titles: the Word, God, the Light, the only begotten of the Father, Jesus Christ, Lord, Lamb of God, Rabbi (Master), Messias (Christ), Him of whom Moses and the prophets wrote (Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph), the King of Israel, and the Son of man! All of these show us that Jesus Christ is much more than just a man and also much more than just a spirit. He’s the God-Man who is the Creator and Lord of all. He is the Intercessor and Priest who stands before the Father for His people and Who came to earth in a humiliated state so that He could satisfy the wrath of God on our behalf.
Obviously a study about the nature of Christ is important, and let me give you a few reasons why this is so:
1. When we understand what’s revealed about Christ we won’t be in as much danger of heresies such as those of Mormonism, Arianism, Unitarianism, etc.
Mormons teach that Elohim was a created man who was promoted to godhood by a council of gods. Elohim has many spirit-wives and two of his children are Jesus and Satan. Of course, there was a great war in heaven between the two and so Jesus had to come save us (his brothers and sisters) from our other brother, the Satan.
Arianism comes from a man named Arius who lived in the late 200’s AD. To put it simply, he figured that since Jesus is the Father’s Son then He can’t have always existed. In other words, He was created, and isn’t really God. Actually He’s just adopted. If they worship Christ, then they’re guilty of worshiping the created thing rather than the creator—they’re guilty of idolatry.
Unitarianism is related to Arianism, but more specifically I’m talking about the doctrine that teaches that there’s one God (in number) who wears different faces. Some Unitarian actually mocked Trinitarians by drawing a picture of a god with three faces. They understand that God is one, but they fail to see that it’s in union and not number. If that doesn’t sound like an important detail, consider that we (the elect body) are one with Christ, not in number but in union which is far better.
2. There is a real spiritual war that begins with “hath God said.”
It’s amazing to me that the fall of man wasn’t anything forced on Adam and Eve. They were tricked by words and made to doubt the truth. Persecution isn’t the greatest danger to a church. Actually persecution is good for the church as it weeds out a large number of tares. What’s really deadly to a church is heresy. Paul warns that their mouths must be stopped (Titus 1:11).
3. Christ is the only means to understanding the Triune Godhead.
The fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily.
4. Satan and the world are not “anti-god;” they are “anti-Christ.”
It’s especially important to understand Christology because all we know about God comes through Him. There are those who say not to even try to understand such great mysteries, but we need to be aware that the Bible is written that we might know God. Sure, we’ll never fully grasp the eternal and unsearchable, but we can know everything He’s revealed.
5. He helps us understand the gravity of a Father giving away His Son.
What does it mean that God so loved the world? Did God give us a spirit? No, but He gave us His flesh and bone Son.
6. Understanding Christ sets realistic expectations within evangelism with a simple gospel.
Christ came as the Shepherd of His sheep. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. We aren’t salesmen pitching at potential customers. We believe Jesus has done and will do all the work necessary and that He will faithfully call all His elect through the message preached. This doesn’t mean we’re now free to sit back and watch, but it actually means we take greater joy and more confidence in witnessing. He will save His people; we’re sure of that. All we can do is witness as John has done.