Writings on Christianity

Jesus is TRULY God

This weekend I preached a sermon on John 1:14 at Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville. Below is the outline. You can listen to the audio on our sermon page.

John 1:14 “The WORD… who is GOD”

INTRO: If someone you asked to explain what Christians believe about Christmas, using only one verse from the Bible, I would suggest John 1:14: “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.” 

This one verse is full of glorious truths about the Son of God coming to Earth and taking on a human nature. We see the true deity of Christ. We see the true humanity of Christ. And, we see the glory of Christ.
As a church we are going to spend 3 Sundays looking at this precious verse together. We’ll consider how Jesus really is God; how Jesus really is a human; and the amazing splendor his glory. I also hope that along the way, we will pick some important theological terms and concepts which fill our doctrine of Christ, theological truths that will keep us from error and lead us into a fresh time of adoring Jesus.  
Today our focus is on the first words of this verse “The WORD.”
                    Here we see that *Jesus is truly God.*

At Christmas time many people celebrate Jolly Saint Nicholas, or Santa Claus.
        -Did you know that there was a person in the Early Church named Nicholas who was a deeply committed Christian?  
                    -Nicholas loved Jesus and he was VERY generous. He was known for his gift giving.
                                -Secretly helped a father in deep financial distress
                                            -Another Story is of Nicholas punching a heretic in the face:
This took place during the Council of Nicaea, which was in 325 A.D. This council was a gathering of church leaders to establish a statement about deity of Jesus. There was some who said that Jesus was not fully and truly God, but a kind of midway or partial God. This was position led by a man Arius. His motto was “there was once was a time when Jesus was not.” He advocated a view that said Jesus was “like God in substance,” but not of the same substance as God. It is said that at one of the meetings Nicholas was so upset and angry about Arius that he went and punched in the face! The Council of Nicaea was a very important moment for the church, because there it put into writing what the Bible had taught all along: Jesus is TRULY God. He is a not a partial God, or kind of like God, but whatever God is, Jesus is. The term used was “homoousias.”  
        –NOTE: Good theologians create terms, concepts, and language to describe the truth that is present in the Bible.
                    -They are not inventing new ideas or giving a false picture of God, like a heretic.
                                -Rather, they help Christians embrace and understand what the Bible teaches in words and ways that
                                keep them from error.
The Nicene Creed States this about Jesus:

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,
and became truly human.

QUESTION: Why were these Christians so convinced that Jesus was truly God?
ANSWER: Because it is the clear testimony of Scripture.
        -This doctrine is in many places of Scriptures, but we see it especially pronounced in the gospel of John.

                    -Let’s get into our text and see how God helps us see that Jesus is truly God.

TEXT: (READ 1:14).
        -Today we will only focus on the first part of this verse “And the Word.”
                                WHO IS THIS “WORD”?
QUESTION: What does John mean when he says: “the WORD”?
        -John’s way of speaking about Jesus.
                    -Background in Greek philosophy “animating principle that held the universe together”
                    -Background in OT: “Word of the Lord”

Reading the verse in CONTEXT fills in the picture: John 1:1-3:
 v1-2: -In the beginning was the Word,
                    -echo of Genesis 1. Jesus is the eternal God
        –And the Word was with God,
-Jesus was with God the Father and the Holy Spirit before there anything else
        -and the Word was God
-Jesus is GOD! This is explicitly stated right here.
                                -Jehovah Witnesses (JWs) try to say that we should translate this as “a god,” but there grammar is mistaken. v3: -All things were made through him, and without him and was not anything made that was made
                    -Jesus is the CREATOR:
                     -NOTE: Two categories here (made and not made): Jesus is in the “not made” category.                                                               -Contrary to Arianism—JWs today

To explore more this precious truth about Christ, let’s briefly consider 7 other places in the Gospel of John that reveal the deity of Christ.   

John 5:1-18: Healing on the Sabbath day (esp 5:16-18)
        -“Equal with God” by calling “God His own father”

HORTON: “The Pharisees knew better than some modern theologians that Jesus was claiming equality with God and not simply representing himself as a prophet of an ethical kingdom
                                -Jesus is TRULY God.
2. John 5:21: Jesus gives eternal life.
-God is the one who gives eternal life, not a mere human.

                                -Jesus is TRULY God.
3. John 8:56-58: Pre-existence “Before Abraham was, I am.”
        -Pre-existence of Jesus
                    -Jesus taking on the divine name “I am” which God revealed himself to Moses (Exodus 3:14)

                                -Jesus is TRULY God.
4. John 10:28-31: “I and the Father are one.”
-Jesus is one with God the Father in his being. Not just purpose.                    -Jews understood his claim: John 10:33 “you being a man, make yourself God.”

                                -Jesus is TRULY God.

5. John 12:37-41: Jesus is the LORD (Yahweh)
        -Quotation from Isaiah 6 where the prophet sees the LORD
                    -John says Isaiah saw Jesus’ glory “his glory and spoke of him”
                                -This has really helped me in my understanding of Jesus’ deity the last 10 years or so.

                                            -Jesus is TRULY God.

6. John 19-20: The death and resurrection of Jesus, vindicating all he said.

        -Jesus actually rose again, showing he wasn’t a fraud or liar.

                    -C.S. LEWIS: Lord, Liar, Lunatic argument.

                                            -Jesus is TRULY God.
7. John 20:28: Confession of Thomas “My Lord and my God.”

        -Thomas initially disbelieved

SUMMARY: The testimony is the clear, Jesus is TRULY GOD.

God the Son taking on a human nature.

Hypostatic Union: Jesus is one person with two natures (divine and human).

The TRUTH that Jesus IS TRULY GOD, sets Christianity apart from different religions.

        -Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, JWs, World Mission Society Church of God

QUESTION: Why does it matter that Jesus was truly God?

GRUDEM: “Why was Jesus’s Deity Necessary? (1) only someone who is infinite God could bear the full penalty for all the sins of all those who would believe in him—any finite creature would have been incapable of bearing that penalty; (2) salvation is from the Lord (Jonah 2:9), and the whole message of scripture is designed to show that no human being, no creature, could ever save man—only God himself could; and (3) only someone who was truly and fully God could be the one mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5), both to bring us back to God and also to reveal God most fully to us (John 14:9)

        -We can really trust the salvation that Jesus secured for us. He is a mediator that reaches all the way up to God
        -Since Jesus is God, what His Word says is authoritative.
        -Since Jesus is God, He deserves our worship.                       


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