What Christians Know

Bible-openChristians think we know a lot of things, but we disagree on a good number of those. And yet, there are a few indisputable things we actually do know and agree we know. One of those I touched on in Christians Should Not Be Silent: Christians know God is.

Christians also know God has revealed Himself in His Son, Jesus. John in his gospel makes some clear statements regarding this point. In his first chapter, after establishing that the Word who was in the beginning was made flesh, says this:

No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

Who is the “begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father”? John says it’s the one who comes after John the baptizer (a different person than the John who wrote the gospel). He goes on to give the big reveal: who was this person who came after the Baptizer?

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ “

So Jesus is that very one who “explained” the Father.

Jesus, the night before He was arrested, made similar clear statements.

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. (John 14:8-11)

In those statements, Jesus gives us another way we can know that He shows us God: His works.

Those would include His sovereignty over nature in such things as His walking on water, raising the dead, multiplying a few loaves of bread and a couple fish, turning water into wine, restoring sight to the blind, and a host of other healing activities. His works also include His authority over demons. Throughout His public ministry He frequently ordered evil spirits out of the people they were possessing.

Jesus’s works also encompass His authoritative preaching. For example, He made statements that elevated His teaching above the Mosaic Law. For example, he said

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matt. 5:27-28)

At the same time, however, He declared Himself to be the fulfillment of the Law:

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matt. 5:17)

In fact, Jesus claimed to be the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy. On one particular Sabbath, He read from a Messianic prophecy in Isaiah, then sat down to explain it, as was the custom of rabbis.

And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21)

This leads to the most significant part of His work–His willing sacrifice to pay the debt of sin we owe. Scripture says the wages of sin is death–every person who sins must pay with his life, which pretty much means all of us. But because of Jesus’s willingness to pay our debt, He gives us new life. Not a resuscitation of this old body, but a new improved version like the one He had after His resurrection.

It is in His death and resurrection in order to provide us a way to God, that Jesus is most like the Father. We know from Scripture that God doesn’t wish any to perish but all to come to repentance. We know that He loves the whole world which is why He sent His Son.

But the Son demonstrates His love by laying down His life for His friends. Jesus’s actions mirror the Father’s heart. We see and know God, by looking at Jesus.

Published in: on October 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm  Comments (4)  
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