THE LIFE OF CHRIST
So far in our study of the life of Christ, we have looked at the internal and external evidence of Jesus’ existence and the validity of the New Testament. Last week I gave you a general overview of the four accounts of the gospel and quick overview of Jesus’ life. Tonight we are going to begin our study in John because his account starts out showing the Jesus is God and that He has always existed.
John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God. 2
He was in the beginning with God. 3
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was
John 1:14 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.
These few verses make it easy for us to see that Jesus and the Father are separate individuals, yet they are both God. Since John is talking about Jesus and the Father being God, I think this would be a good time to take a quick look at the Godhead (Acts 17:29, Rom. 1:20, Col. 2:9). The word “God” or “Godhead” simply means Deity. So, when we see a passage that says, “One God,” it is not saying there is just one person or one being; it is saying there is only one Deity. As we will see, the Word of God teaches there are three persons that have the characteristics of Deity, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy spirit. Many refer to this as the Trinity, which is a man-made word. However, it does represent the Godhead well since there are three in one.
Please note that all three are called God in Scripture:
These three are not one person. Instead, they are three distinctive beings who have the same nature and essence of Deity, and they have the same goal. Some try to put their relationship in human terms by comparing them to an egg because it has an outer shell, an egg white, and a yolk, which are three distinct parts that make up the one egg. Others have used a three-leaf clover using this same idea.
To further show there is a plurality of persons that make up the one Deity, all we have to do is examine the first verse of the Bible.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and
the earth. 2 The earth was
without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And
the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
All three members of the Godhead can be seen in these verses because God the Farther is the planner, and God the Son is the Creator as He carries out the Father’s plan. The Holy Spirit is the organizer as He is described as hovering over the water in verse 2. Another interesting point comes from the word “God” in verse 1, which is the Hebrew word “Elohim.” Elohim is in plural form, which means there is more than one person that makes up God. The word “Elohim” is used more than 2000 times in the Old Testament, and other Old Testament passages make this plurality clear as well (Gen. 1:26, 3:22, 11:7; Isa. 6:8), which proves more than one person makes up Deity.
There are many New Testament passages that show all three members of the Godhead as well (Mt. 28:19; Eph. 4:4-6; Mt. 3:16-17; Lk. 3:21-22; Jn.1:32; Acts 10:38, 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Jn. 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:2; Jude 20-21; 1 Cor. 12:4-6).
Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all
the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
The definite article “the” before each member of the Godhead shows that they are different from one another and not the same person.
We can also see some differences in the members of the Godhead in the following passages:
Now that I have proved there are three distinct persons that make up Deity, I want to show some passages that show their individual characteristics as being a person and Deity. Since no one has a problem understanding that God the Father is a person, I will focus on Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
There are more Scriptures we could examine, but these are enough to prove there is one God made up of three distinct persons who have the same goal and essence. As we progress through our study on the life of Christ, we will learn more about these three distinct persons in the Godhead.
John 1:1 In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with
The Gospel of John starts out just like the book of Genesis, “In the beginning”. The word “with” in our text, carries the idea of the Word being face-to-face with God. We have already learned that the Word is Jesus. Not only was the Word/Jesus with God in the beginning, He was also God Himself.
John 1:3 All
things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Everything that was created, which includes the earth, heavens, and everything that exists, was done through Jesus, which proves He has always existed (Col. 1:16-17; 1 Cor. 8:6; Heb. 1:2, 10).
Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things
were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were
created through Him and for Him. 17
And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
It is also interesting that “all things were made,” which means they were made in the past and nothing new is being created. Even science agrees with this statement. The Word of God teaches that the earth and everything in existence came into being in six literal days unlike the millions and billions of years that some say. An easy way to show this is by using:
Exodus 20:8 " Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it
holy. 9 Six days you
shall labor and do all your work, 10
but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it
you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male
servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within
your gates. 11 For in six
days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in
them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath
day and hallowed it.
These verses clearly show that Jesus created the heavens and the earth in 6 days because you cannot have it talking about 6 literal days in verse 9 and then turn around and make verse 11 not be six literal days.
John 1:4 In Him
was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did
not comprehend it.
Jesus is the life and the light of all humans because without Him, all will die in their sins (Jn. 8:12, 14:6). Jesus is the true light that cannot be overtaken by evil because no matter how hard evil tries, it will not prevail against Jesus or His church (Mt. 16:18). Christians are supposed to walk in that light (1 Jn. 1:7), and we are to be a light to those who are lost in the dark world of sin. As Jesus said:
Matthew 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city
that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15
"Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand,
and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light so shine
before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in
John 1:6 There
was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to
bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was
sent to bear witness of that Light. 9
That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
Simply put, God sent John the Baptist to be a witness of the true light, and the source of that light is Jesus. Even though John is called a light (Jn. 5:35), his light was dim and temporary in comparison to Jesus’ light.
John the Baptist:
· Came from God.
· Was not the light.
· His mission was to bear witness of the light so others would believe.
When it says, “Jesus gives light to every man,” this could mean that everyone has access to the light Jesus offers. It could also mean that in one-way or another, every person whether Christian or nonChristian will benefit from the light that Jesus provides to everyone.
John 1:10 He was
in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know
Him. 11 He came to His own,
and His own did not receive Him.
Once again, the writer stresses the world was made through Jesus, and now He was in the world living like a man. It is astonishing that Jesus would leave His heavenly home to come to the earth to become like one of us and face the temptations that so easily ensnare us. It did not surprise Jesus when people did not know Him or accept Him as the Son of God because Isaiah said He would be rejected and misunderstood (Isa. 53:1).
Verse 11 teaches that He was rejected by His own, which refers to the Jews in general because many of them did not accept Jesus for He was. After Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, His apostles began their ministry, and they felt sorry for the Jewish nation because of their unbelief as can be seen in the following verses:
Romans 9:1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying,
my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and
continual grief in my heart. 3
For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my
countrymen according to the flesh, 4
who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the
covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the
promises; 5 of whom are the
fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over
all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to
God for Israel is that they may be saved.
2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but
not according to knowledge. 3
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their
own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
Verse 11 could also include how Jesus’ hometown rejected Him (Lk. 4:16-30).
John 1:12 But as
many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to
those who believe in His name: 13
who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of
man, but of God.
These verses deal with those who have received Jesus by believing He is the Son of God, and by obeying Him. Jesus gave them the right, or authority, to become a child of God. He made it possible for all to obtain salvation if they will receive Him and His teachings. Some use this passage to teach that a person is saved by faith alone, but that is not true and it will not stand up to the whole counsel of God. The passage does not state or imply that a person becomes a child of God by merely believing Jesus is the Son of God. James confirmed this truth when he said, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (Jas. 2:17). Verse 13 also proves there is more than just believing because we must be born again to be a child of God. To be born again is spiritual birth as Jesus explained to Nicodemus in:
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most
assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of
God." 4 Nicodemus said
to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time
into his mother's womb and be born?"
5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless
one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
The only way we can experience this spiritual birth is by obeying the Word of God (1 Pet. 1:23), which includes believing, repenting, confessing, and being baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of our sins.
John 1:14 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.
We can learn much from this verse. First, it teaches that the Word that was God and was with God is Jesus. Second, it declares Jesus was made flesh, which confirms what the Bible says about His birth (Gen. 3:15; Gal. 4:4; Isa. 7:14, 9:6-7; Mt. 1:18ff). Jesus’ miraculous conception shows He was 100% man and 100% Deity, which teaches against the idea that humans are born as sinners because Jesus had no sin in His life (Heb. 2:14). Some argue that Mary was unique and was without sin, which caused Jesus to be born without sin. However, this cannot be true because Mary was a sinner just like the rest of us as:
Romans 3:10 As it is written: "There is none
righteous, no, not one;
Romans 3:23 for
all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
“We beheld his glory”
John was speaking for all the apostles and for those who saw
Jesus and recognized He was the Son of God. The word “beheld” means “to behold, look upon, view attentively,
contemplate (often used of public shows)” (Thayer). So, those who beheld
His glory did not just see it from a casual glance, they were able to examining
it from all angles and test it. The word “glory” means “the kingly majesty which belongs to Him as supreme ruler, majesty in the
sense of the absolute perfection of the deity” (Thayer). Jesus’ glory was
manifested in how treated others in His obedience to the Law and the miracles
He did. His glory as Deity was also manifested in the transfiguration (Mt.
“Only begotten of the
Jesus is the only true
Son of God who was begotten of Him. When we become Christians, we become sons
of God as well, but not in the same sense as Jesus because He came down from
heaven and became flesh without an earthly father. Also, the phrase “Only
begotten of the Father” has never been said about angels either as:
Hebrews 1:5 For to which of the angels did He ever say:
"You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"?
“Full of grace and truth”
Jesus personifies both
grace and truth. Grace describes His redemptive work to save humankind, and
truth corresponds with His teachings that came from above.
If we continued on in John, we would learn more about John the Baptist, which we will be talking about more in our upcoming lesson. Next week, we will turn our attention to Luke 1 as we begin to examine the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus. The reason I think it is important for us to know what I have presented in my lesson tonight is because it teaches us more about Jesus and the fact that He is part of the Godhead. It also teaches us more about what His role is within the Godhead. I hope you never grow tired of learning about Jesus.