Summary: The Trinity 13 - The Deity of Christ 2
THE TRINITY 13
The Deity of Christ 2
One the things that amazes me about the Word of God is how powerful very short phrases can be. I while ago I did a series of sermons on the two words “But now…” I pointed out how the famous English preacher D. Martin Lloyd-Jones state that they are two of the most important words in the NT. Because in those two little words, “But now...” lead us into teachings that describe “the whole of the Christian experience.”
There are many other short phrases that are equally powerful. I think of the words “By this…” as found in 1 John. Go through that epistle and highlight the words “By this…” and make note of the wonderful teaching that they will lead you to.
I also think of the words “So then…” in the writings of Paul. Again, you will find that they will lead you into some of the most wonderful teachings in the Bible.
I think of other short phrases that just appear once. Phrases like, “Jesus wept.”, “Rejoice always” or “pray without ceasing,” All contain wonderful truths that can be expanded upon.
Today I want to look at two words that are very important in our study into the Trinity, and specifically the teaching of the deity of Jesus Christ. It is unfortunate that many Christians simply do not realize the importance and significance of these two words. I hope to change that for some of you today. The two words we will be looking at are “I am”.
What we will see today, is that it is through those two words that the Lord Jesus Christ clearly claims to be God. It is through those two words, “I am” that Jesus claims to have preexisted creation itself, and therefore must be the creator.
These are two of the most powerful words in the New Testament, for in them is not only the teaching that Jesus Christ is God, but the claim that one must believe in order to have eternal life.
Let me remind you that in our examination of the deity of Christ we will be breaking it down into six categories. We are currently dealing with the category of the pre-existence of Jesus, that is the Biblical teaching that Jesus existed prior to His birth in Bethlehem, and prior to creation itself. While we are in the mist of our study into the Trinity, I want to say that I strive to write these messages so that they stand alone. That is to say, I believe you can get much out of this sermon, without having to have heard any of the other messages on this series. All the sermons on the Trinity by the way, can be found on our website.
I want to point out that the vast majority of times we see Jesus using “I am” in reference to himself, comes from the gospel of John. In fact the only other place in appears besides John is in Mark 14:62. So for our study we will be looking at the “I am”’s of the gospel of John.
I little background information, “I am” is the translation of the Greek words “ego eimi”. Almost every English translation of the Bible translates it this way. One translation that does not, but only on one occasion, is the NWT. Which is the Bible of the Watchtower, or JW. In John 8:58 they translate it “I have been…” they do so because they know if you translate it “I am” you have Jesus making a claim to deity, which is something they deny.
John uses this phrase quite often in his gospel. Many times when he uses “I am” it is followed by a predicate. That is to say Jesus is using the term to say I am something. Let me give a couple examples. In John 8:12 we read, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world...”
Or John 10:7, “So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”
In these examples it is clear that Jesus is not using “I am” as a title.
There are however in the gospel of John seven times in which “I am” is used in what is called “the absolute”. That is to say that Jesus is using the words “I am” to communicate what I would say is His deity and the fact that He preexisted His birth in the Bethlehem.
Let me read those passage to you. Keep in mind that Jesus is speaking in each of these. Also that the word “He’ that follows each I am is not in the Greek and is supplied by the translator to make the sentence flow better.