Summary: Jesus is the full and final explanation of God.
Understanding the Explanation of God
NOTE: My references for this message are the commentaries by Carson, Morris, and MacArthur.
1A. Jesus Christ is God “in-fleshed”. John 1:14 NKJV And the Word became 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.
1B. He was God becoming man.
1C. He did not merely appear as a man as He did in the OT.
2C. He was not simply God animating an empty human body.
3C. He was fully God and fully man. Hebrews 4:15 NKJV For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 5:2 NKJV He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. Philippians 2:7-8 ESV but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
1D. He became subject to the limitations of time and space.
2D. He experienced the weaknesses and appetites of the human body,
2B. He “pitched his tent” with us.
1C. It speaks of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Exodus 33:11 NKJV So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.
2C. He chose to dwell with us in a personal way. (Carson)
3B. He is the outshining of God.
1C. In the OT, the “glory of God” referred to God’s visible presence whether over the Tabernacle or over the Ark of the Covenant.
NOTE: glory = the praise or shining presence of God.
2C. It would bring to mind God’s meeting with Moses. Exodus 34:5-7 NKJV Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. (6) And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, (7) keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation."
3C. John, Peter, and James saw a glimpse of his radiance at the Mount of Transfiguration. Matthew 17:2 NKJV and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
2A. Jesus Christ is the source of grace. John 1:15-16 NKJV John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, ’He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ " (16) And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
1B. John the Baptist testified of Jesus.
1C. He testified of Jesus’ pre-existence.
2C. He testified of Jesus’ pre-eminence.
2B. John and the apostolic church testified of Jesus.
1C. All who come to Christ tap into His continuous and limitless supply of grace.
2C. “Grace for grace” means that He supplies more and more grace to meet our needs.
1D. It is provided in an ongoing way to strengthen and bless us.
2D. The more we experience it, the finer its quality becomes to us.
3A. Jesus Christ is the complete explanation of God. John 1:17-18 NKJV For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (18) No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
1B. He is the explanation of the one and only way to God.
1C. The Law was a gracious revelation of God, but insufficient to save. Cf. Gal. 2:16; 3:10-14, 19-25
2C. The way of salvation came through Jesus.
NOTE: The life of grace is a life of adventure. (see Morris)
1D. Grace = the kindness and goodwill of God that produces joy in those who receive it; His unmerited favor towards us.
2D. Grace and truth are integral to the person of Jesus; they are inseparably part of Him.
3D. They are the twin necessities of salvation. 1 Timothy 2:4 NKJV who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Ephesians 2:8 NKJV For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
2B. He is the final and full explanation of God.
1C. He is uniquely God’s Son as no one else is.
2C. He enjoys an affectionate, intimate relationship with the Father.