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John’s Purpose John 1:1-4

 

When we consider the last post, we were reminded how easy it is to twist words when the whole conversation has not been considered.  Each part serves a particular aspect under-girding the writer’s main point, so I want us to begin our study of 1 John in that place, John’s main point. John writes in verses 1-4 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life…That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”

What captures your attention in the opening of John’s letter? Three thoughts come to my mind. First, John’s words in the opening of this epistle draw our attention to the opening words of two other books in the Bible, the gospel of John and Genesis. Notice the similarities between “That which was from the beginning…the Word of life…”, “In the beginning was the Word…”, and “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” All three passages emphasize the eternality of the central figure in these books, God. In Genesis, the central figure is Yahweh the Creator. In John’s gospel, the central figure is the Word, the Creator, and in 1 John again, we find the Word of Life. Secondly, John’s words draw our attention to the physical reality of the incarnation of Christ. He says: “that which we have heard, our hands have handled, and that which we have seen and heard we declare unto you…” John is writing as a witness of physical events that he personally experienced, and then he is going to relate those events to the spiritual well-being of his church congregation. Apart from the incarnation of Christ, there could be no eternal life. Thirdly, John is going to emphasize his main point for writing the epistle. He says “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us…And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” John’s purpose can be summarized generally with the following statement: John wrote the his epistle confronting false teaching concerning the person of Christ and the nature of the Christian life, because he wanted these Christians to have a vibrant Christian experience as they walk in fellowship with God. God wants you to have a vibrant Christian experience as you walk in fellowship with Him, as well; therefore He preserved these words for your growth as a Christian. In our next post, I would like to dig a little deeper into John’s purpose, a vibrant Christian experience.

 

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Is Jesus God? The Identity of Messiah from the Gospels: Broadcast

Is Jesus God? The Identity of Messiah from the Gospels: Broadcast

Stephen to Eric: Who is the Messiah in the Old Testament?

  • He is called Jehovah in many Old Testament passages
  • He is called God in many Old Testament passages.
  • He is called eternal in many Old Testament passages.
  • He is one of the persons mentioned in the plural unity called Jehovah.

Stephen to Joel: How do the four gospels present Jesus of Nazareth?

  • He is presented as the Jewish Messiah.
  • He is presented as fully God and fully man.
  • Matthew emphasizes His fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy as the Jewish Messiah.
  • John emphasizes His deity.
  • Luke emphasizes many details from His life that harmonized with Old Testament prophecy.

Stephen to Victor: Can you give an example from Luke that demonstrates your point?

  • He deliberately refers to Himself as Messiah: Luke 4:16-22 When He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor…to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD…the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him…today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing…they said, Is this not Joseph’s son? Isaiah 61:1-8 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor;…for I, the LORD, love justice…I will direct their work in truth. And will make with them an everlasting covenant.

Stephen to Eric: Can you give a few examples from Matthew?

  • He is called God with us: Matthew 1:22; Isaiah 7:14 They shall call His name Immanuel, which is means, God with us.
  • John the Baptist was preparing the way for Messiah, who Isaiah calls Jehovah: Matthew 3:3 This is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
  • He is called the glory of Jehovah, the Mighty God: Matthew 4:14 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned. Isaiah 60:1-4 The glory of the LORD is risen upon you…the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. Isaiah 9:1-6 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light…for unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  • He is called Lord of the Sabbath, which was instituted by Jehovah, God: Matthew 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day. Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
  • He is equated with Jehovah who was Israel’s Covenant God and Law giver: Matthew 13:35 I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world. Psalm 78:1 Give ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old.

Stephen to Joel: Can you give some examples from John?

  • He is clearly called God in the first verses of John: John 1:1-3; 10-13 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made…He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not…as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born…of God.
  • The Jews understood His actions and words: John 5:15-18, 22 Jesus answered…My Father works and I work.  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
  • He calls Himself the eternal I AM, another reference to Jehovah: John 8:54-59 If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me…Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad…Truly, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another. Exodus 3:14 And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM. And He said, Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.
  • He says that He and the Father are one, which made the people furious: John 10:28-39 And I give unto them eternal life…I and my Father are one.  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him…for blasphemy; and because being a man, you make yourself God…Jesus answered, believe that the Father is in me, and I in him.  Therefore they sought again to take him.
  • He is in the Father and the Father is in Him: John 17:1-26 This is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ…Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was …that they all may be one; as you, Father, art in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us.
  • He is Jehovah who was pierced: John 19:34-37 These things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled…they shall look on him whom they pierced.  Zechariah 12:7-10 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah…and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him.
  • He is Jehovah the Good Shepherd: John 10:11-14 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. Ezekiel 34:10-27 Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.  As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep…And I the LORD will be their God.
  • He is called Thomas’ Lord and God: John 20:27-31 Be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But 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.

Stephen to Victor: What final words would you like to mention?

  • Clearly, the Gospel teach that Messiah is Jehovah God in human flesh.
  • It is impossible to be a Christian and reject the deity of Christ: John 8:24 If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.
  • If you have doubted the deity of Christ, repent of your unbelief and trust in Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah/God in flesh.
 
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Posted by on September 13, 2014 in Radio Broadcast

 

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