Summary: Faith in Christ is the key to eternal life. But the Jesus we put our faith in must be the Christ revealed in scripture not some substitute Jesus we have fabricated in our own minds.
Real Belief in the Real Jesus
John 1:1-3 and 20:30-31
1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. NIV
I. Here is the Proclamation of John’s Gospel—the Real Jesus.
John immediately opens with some bold assertions about who Jesus is—an assertion that Jesus is God, an assertion that he created all things, an assertion that he is the source of life. Who is Jesus of Nazareth. John tells us he is the Christ, the Messiah. He is the Son of God. John’s gospel is about a person who is fully man and fully God. The book of John is about Jesus.
Christianity is not a philosophy of life although a philosophy of life emerges as we follow Jesus. Christianity is not a set of do’s and don’ts although there are certain things we do and certain things we don’t do simply because we love the Lord Jesus Christ. Christianity is about a relationship with a person. It is about faith in the One who loved us and gave himself for us.
In these opening verses John refers to Jesus as “the Word”—the Logos which is the Greek word for message or communication. Jesus is our message. Acts 5:42 “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” NJV
Jesus is God’s message to us. Heb 1:1-2 “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” NIV
We live in a world that is always searching for the truth yet never coming to the knowledge of the truth. It’s popular in our society to be a searcher for truth. But it is not popular to be a proclaimer of the truth. John does not worry about what is popular or politically correct. He has a message to proclaim and boldly and assertively proclaims it.
“In the beginning was the Word.”
1. Christ is Eternal in his Existence.
The Greek word translated was carries the idea of continuance. It simply means, “to be”.
Before the worlds were ever created—God is! There in the eternal past is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit: One God, three persons. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word.” When we read those words what Old Testament verse comes to mind? Gen. 1:1 “In the beginning God…” In neither case is there any effort on God’s part to prove his existence. God is. God has always been and God always will be. The heavens declare his glory. All of creation testifies of his existence. The moral conscience of every man intuitively knows it. John’s purpose is not to argue the existence of God. His purpose is to make sure we understand who Jesus really is. “In the beginning was the Word-Logos-Christ-the Son of God.
In John 8 Jesus got into a discussion with the Pharisees. In that chapter they appeal to their relationship with Abraham. The confrontation culminated in them saying to Jesus, “Who do you think you are?” In Jesus’ response to them he makes this statement, “Before Abraham was born, I am.” He is the great I Am who spoke to Moses from the burning bush—the eternally existing One. The Word, Logos, took upon himself the form of man and became Jesus. Phil 2:6-8 “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! NIV
As a man Jesus submitted himself to the Father and relied upon the power of the Holy Spirit. As a man he did not assert his deity. But he never, never, never stopped being divine.
“In the beginning was the Word,and the Word was with God.”
2. Christ enjoys face to face Communion with the Father.
As a distinct person, God the Son was with the Father. As to his essential nature the Son is God. He is not just God-like; He is God. He is not just a good representation of God; He is God.
“and the Word was with God.” John is saying something very powerful here. There is an assertion of equality and intimacy in the way John uses the Greek words pros and ton in that verse. The Word was with God in perfect fellowship—on an equal plane—face to face. That is the relationship that eternally exists within the Trinity.