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Faithlife

Jesus, the Son of God

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Jesus, the Son of God

John 1:1 HCSB
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
I recently received a new hymnal that had a very unique design. There is nothing fancy to the hymnal. There are only 355 hymns and 91 Scripture references. To the eye, just a blah hymnal. But rich in God’s Word. But the amazing feature of the hymnal is the order. It begins with 93 hymns and Scripture Readings of God the Father. Then there are 222 hymns and Scripture Readings of Jesus the Son. And what is unique is that this section on Jesus the Son does not begin with Hymns about his birth — but 22 hymns and Scripture Readings about His Adoration and then 97 hymns and Scripture readings about His Preeminence!
And this is what John does. He begins not with the birth of Jesus, but the Preeminence of Jesus.
“In the beginning...”
In the beginning of what?
In the beginning of everything. This is like the beginning of Genesis.
Genesis 1:1 HCSB
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
For the Lord Jesus to be in the beginning, He had to be God, the Creator. Jesus, Is the Son of God.
Unquestionably, the Gospel of John stands as a proclamation of the divinity of Jesus Christ. And he reveals the nature of Jesus in his first sentence.
The message of John can be summarized in his statement of purpose in .
John 20:31 HCSB
But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.
John 20:30–31 HCSB
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.
John gives a precise statement regarding his purpose in writing this Gospel account. The primary purpose is two-fold: apologetic and evangelistic.
The first, apologetic, is to explain and defend the truth of who Jesus Christ is.
The second, evangelistic, is to convert nonbelievers.
John wrote to convince his readers that Jesus’ true identity is the God-Man — truly divine, truly human — AND to call them to believe in Him for salvation.
So, let’s look at the Gospel of John by considering first God the Savior and then Saving Faith.

I. God the Savior

Notably in the Gospel of John, Jesus asserts Himself as God in 7 explicit statements designating Himself as “I Am” ἐγώ εἰμι in the Greek.
What is significant in the statement I am?”
ἐγώ εἰμι
Exodus 3:13–14 HCSB
Then Moses asked God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them: The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what should I tell them?” God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.”
Exodus 3:13-14
God reveals His identity as “I am who I am.” In one breath, Jesus claimed to be the ever-existing, self-existent God. Jesus proclaimed that He is for all eternity, before Creation, before time, before history, before society, cultures, and relationships, before all — For Eternity — He is the eternal God. He is the Son of God, never having any beginning.
Colossians 1:15–17 HCSB
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.
23 times in all we find our Lord’s meaningful “I Am” in text of John’s Gospel. He joins His “I Am” with 7 tremendous metaphors that express His saving relationship toward the world. Let’s look at each of these briefly.
I AM the Bread of Life
John 6:35 HCSB
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.
Jesus makes this statement in response to the crowd seeking Jesus for what they could get — verse 26 — “I assure you: You are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you at the loaves and were filled.” Many people want a God who provides earthly things. This is why the Prosperity Gospel is so popular. God is a spiritual Lottery Ticket to them: money, popularity, fame, success. Give to God and He will bless that a hundred fold!
Jesus told them, “Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.”
They said we want proof. What are you going to do to prove yourself as God. Verse 31
John 6:31 HCSB
Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Jesus response:
John 6:32–33 HCSB
Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
John 6:32
John 6:34 HCSB
Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always!”
John 6:35
John 6:35–36 HCSB
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again. But as I told you, you’ve seen Me, and yet you do not believe.
What’s the point?
Bread represents the sustenance for life. We cannot live without food. By saying “I AM the Bread of Life,” Jesus was saying I am the sustenance for life.
In response to the first temptation fo the Devil, Jesus responded:
Matthew 4:4 HCSB
But He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:
And John declares in the very first verse: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
And Jesus calls them to eat of Him, this bread of life. Eating metaphorically refers to believing savingly in Jesus as life bread.
I am the Light of the World
John 8:12 HCSB
Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
John 8:
Just as claiming to be God by declaring that He is the Bread of Life, Jesus again claims to be God by claiming to be the Light of the World.
Jesus spoke these words in the very Court of the Women where four huge candelabra were lit, pushing light up into the night sky, reminding them of the pillar of fire by which God guided Israel in the wilderness.
But unlike these temporary and stationary candelabra, Jesus is a light that never goes out and a light to be followed. Jesus promised, the one who follows Him will not walk in the darkness of sin, the world, and Satan, but will have the Light that produces spiritual life.
Refusing to follow Him, Jesus warns in verse 21 results in dying in their sin.
I AM the Door of the sheep.
John 8:7–10 HCSB
When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
John 10:7–10 HCSB
So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
John 8:
John
The 3rd of the 7 “I AM” statements, Jesus declares Himself to be the Door of the Sheep. Often the Shepherd slept in the opening of the sheepfold to guard the sheep. No one could enter or leave except through Him. In this metaphor Jesus is the door through which the sheep enter the safety of God’s fold and go out to the rich pasture of His blessing. It is through Him that lost sinners can approach the Father and appropriate salvation He provides. Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Him.
I AM the Good Shepherd
John 10:11 HCSB
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
John 10:14 HCSB
“I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me,
Here Jesus identifies Himself as the good shepherd. This is the 4th “I AM” statement. The Greek text literally reads, “the shepherd, the good one” setting Christ the Good Shepherd apart from all other shepherds. He is the perfect, authentic Shepherd, in a class by Himself, preeminent above all others.
Being the Good Shepherd entailed a willingness to lay one’s life on the line to protect the sheep. Robbers and wild animals, like wolves, lions, and bears, were a constant threat of danger to the sheep. But this Shepherd laid down His life for their safety. That’s the imagery. That is Jesus is the Substitutionary Sacrifice for the life of the Elect to take on the wrath of God for their sin. He became sin who knew no sin. He provided propitiation for the sins of all who believed.
I AM the Resurrection and the Life
John 11:25 HCSB
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live.
John 11:
One of the most unsettling aspects of death is that man has no control over it. As says:
Ecclesiastes 8:8 HCSB
No one has authority over the wind to restrain it, and there is no authority over the day of death; there is no furlough in battle, and wickedness will not allow those who practice it to escape.
This is the sobering reality of this life that it could end at any moment underscoring its brevity. But the wonderful truth is that death does not have to be the end of all man’s hopes. The believer can face death with joyous anticipation instead of anxious fear.
How is that possible?
This is only possible in Jesus who is the Resurrection and the Life as vividly demonstrated in His raising of Lazarus from the dead.
This is the 5th of 7 “I AM” sayings. Martha, Lazarus’ sister, through her tears holds hope for the end of the age. But time is no obstacle for Jesus. He is life now!
I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life
John 14:6 HCSB
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The postmodern belief is that there are many paths to religious truth — but this is a satanic lie. The 6th of these great “I AM” statements, Jesus says “I alone am the way to God because I alone am the truth about God and I alone possess the life of God. Peter boldly affirmed,
Acts 4:12 HCSB
There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.”
John 3:36 HCSB
The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.
It is of course offensively exclusive to the modernist for Jesus to make the claim as the incarnate Word and revealer of the Father. Jesus alone reveals God and no one who rejects His proclamation of the truth can legitimately claim to know God.
Finally,
I AM the true Vine.
John 15:1 HCSB
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper.
John 15:1
John 15:5 HCSB
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.
Just as the branch depends entirely on life, sustenance, growth, and fruit from the vine, so believers depend completely on the divine Lord as the source of their spiritual life and effect. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit unless it is connected to the vine.
“Apart from Me you can do nothing.”
The central truth the Lord wanted to communicate in this symbol is the importance of abiding in Him — in the most basic sense, whether or not a person abides in Christ reveals whether he or she is saved.
As the Vine, Jesus is the source of spiritual life, vitality, growth, and productivity. The true vine reference is to the Jesus as the perfect source — juxtaposed to what is imperfect or counterfeit. Jesus is the True Vine.
In these 7 great statements, Jesus demonstrates that He doesn’t merely bring salvation as a gift to men, but — Jesus is salvation.
I AM

II. Saving Faith

John 20:31 HCSB
But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.
John 20:32
The word believe occurs approximately 100 times in the Gospel of John. The word Believe literally means to “to place one’s trust in another.” True belief in Jesus requires one to completely trust Him for salvation. When Jesus walked the earth, many people believed in His miraculous powers; they heard His claims to be the Son of God; they were recipient to His gifts of earthly provisions like being fed; some wanted to believe in Jesus only as a political defender of Israel. But to truly believe for eternal life is to trust in the Jesus as presented in the Scriptures. He is the Son of God who humbly sacrificed Himself to deliver us from the bondage of sin.
Galatians 1:3–4 HCSB
Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.
John composed his gospel to provide reasons for saving faith in his readers, and as a result, to assure them that they would receive the divine gift of eternal life.
John 1:12 HCSB
But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name,
John arranged his gospel around eight “signs” or proofs the true identity of Jesus leading us to faith and belief in Jesus for who He said He Is. He changed water into wine; healed the official’s son; healed the lame man; feed the multitude; walked on water; healed the blind man; raised lLazarus from the dead; and caught miraculous catch of fish.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned.”
Do you believe? Do you trust in Jesus as who He IS — the I AM?
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