Faithlife Sermons

John 1:1 | Jesus is God

Alexander Galvez
The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 10 views

Jesus is God. We can be sure of this. When the world presents us with counterfeit alternatives, we can trust knowing that Jesus is God, the true God and He is the one to be known.

Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Intro

Famous lines:
Once upon a time...
Score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.
It began with the forging of the Great Rings. (Lord of the Rings)
John 1:1-5
Although not the earliest text in the Scriptures, the Gospel according to John is probably by far the most quotable. Generally from an evangelistic perspective, it is the first book that most people recommend new believers or skeptics to read. When we grow in our faith, it is one that we memorize and sing songs to, especially for little children. In Academia, it is evaluated linguistically and historically with other ancient corpus of literature. For a good while, it held the most memorized verse of all time, John 3:16. Probably in today’s day and age it has been replaced by Matthew 7:1 “Don’t Judge”.
It is very unique as well as it stands apart from the other Gospels. You will all recall that John is not one of the synoptic Gospels. Meaning, whereas Matthew, Mark, and Luke all seem to carry with it the narratives, and miracles, and historical accounts of Jesus’ life, John’s is quite different. Not only in the fact that it is not written in a historically chronological order, but it also seems to be missing very important elements found in the other gospels.
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel according to John I. Some Distinctive Characteristics of the Gospel of John

There are no narrative parables in John, no account of the transfiguration, no record of the institution of the Lord’s supper, no report of Jesus casting out a demon, no mention of Jesus’ temptations.

But not only does it not contain or mention certain events, it also seems to include other things. For example, the first miracle of water into wine is only found in John’s Gospel. His private meeting with Nicodemus is only found here. The resurrection of Lazarus, which seems to be a very powerful event is only found in John’s Gospel.
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel according to John I. Some Distinctive Characteristics of the Gospel of John

Only in John is Jesus explicitly identified with God (1:1, 18; 20:28). Here, too, Jesus makes a series of important ‘I am’ statements: I am the light of the world, the resurrection and the life, the good shepherd, the vine, the living water, the way, the truth and the life.

Only in John is Jesus explicitely identified with God (1:1,18, 20:28). Here too, Jesus makes a series of important statements, known as the ‘I AM’ statements:
Bread of life (6:35)
Light of the World (8:12, 9:5)
Door of sheepfold (10:7)
Good Shepherd (10:11,14)
Resurrection and the life (11:25))
The true vine (15:1)
the way, the truth, the life (14:6)
Before Abraham was....I am (John 8:58).
But the differences can get complicated. Some allege that there are contradictions between John’s account and the other gospels. Such as John being Elijah or the level of progressive knowledge that people had in knowing who Jesus is. Certain statements which seem anachronistic (statements found which belong in a different time period than the one that it is found)
John’s Gospel however, is God’s Word. It was given to the church by the Holy Spirit for the well being and the edification of the body and to illuminate to the world the truth of who Jesus is and what he has come to do.
Why the differences then? Well, we first need to remember that the writers of the Gospels all wrote during the lifetime of someone who knew Jesus Himself.
Matthew presents Jesus as the King, Mark has a portrait of Him as a Servant, Luke demonstrates that He is our Saviour, and John shows that He is the Son of God, that He is God.
In John 20:31, John says, “These things are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that believing you might have life through His name.
They all have slight differences, granted that John has more differences, but that does not necessarily mean that they are wrong. For example, if Fox News and CNN both reported on the same event and each has differences, no one concludes that the event never happened. If I were to describe game night to y’all last night and ____ were to describe it, the differences do not cause a person to throw out the event as a lie.
If that were the case, then do you completely disregard all the similarities? Parallel incidents include the Spirit’s anointing of Jesus as testified by John the Baptist (Mk. 1:10 par. / Jn. 1:32), the contrast between the Baptist’s baptism with water and the Messiah’s anticipated baptism with the Spirit (Mk. 1:7–8 par. / Jn. 1:23), the feeding of the five thousand (Mk. 6:32–44 par. / Jn. 6:1–15), and the walking on the water (Mk. 6:45–52 par. / Jn. 6:16–21). Many sayings (including Mt. 9:37–38 par. / Jn. 4:35; Mk. 6:4 par. / Jn. 4:44; Mt. 25:46 / Jn. 5:29; Mt. 11:25–27 par. / Jn. 10:14–15; Mk. 4:12 par. / Jn. 12:39–40; Mt. 18:12–14 / Lk. 15:3–7 / Jn. 10:1–15; Mt. 10:40 / Mk. 9:37 / Jn. 12:44–45)
No, rather we are learning of the same event from differing perspectives and the author, in this case, chose to include certain events and sayings in order to advance His purpose.
John was writing to Jews. Hellenized Jews who needed strengthening and new believers who needed catechizing.
It is also a very controversial book from the very first words. In the beginning....

Body

Do you know how to start a riot? With an idea.
Richard Weaver, writing in the aftermath of World War II, diagnoses the ills of his age and offers a realistic remedy. He asserts that the world is intelligible and that man is free. The catastrophes of our age the catastrophes of our age are the product of unintelligent choice and the cure lies in man's recognition that ideas--like actions--have consequences. A cure, he submits, is possible. It lies in the right use of man's reason, in the renewed acceptance of an absolute reality, and in the recognition that ideas like actions have consequences.
Essentially, for Weaver to recapture peace and to elevate humanity into the best possible form there must be a return to reason, logic, philosophy and an understanding that we can do it on our own. Followed to its final conclusion, we are gods who can right the wrongs and gods who are in control.
John’s Gospel written nearly 2000 years before Weaver’s book, presents a radically different idea. We are not gods. In fact, we are created beings. And John’s opening statements do not just challenge this very fact, but goes head on against many other belief systems.
Because to have a counterfeit, no matter how good it is, means to have something of no value. Whatsoever
Counterfeit money.
“In the beginning”- This echoes of Genesis 1. We are reminded that there was a beginning. All that we see, hear, feel, taste, and smell, that did not exist in the beginning. It started to exist. It is not eternal as several pantheistic religions may claim it to be. The universe had a start, every finite thing had a start and so the finite became existent at the command of the infinite.
But Genesis, when it says in the beginning, does not mean the beginning of creation, but rather the beginning of all things. The beginning of beginnings. The beginning is absolute.
Likewise the Greek here is expressing the same thing, this is “En arche” it is not “en te arche” In Beginning, not in the beginning is the tone. It affirms from the beginning of beginnings and not just the beginning of the world. So this is doing much more than just affirming that the Word is from the beginning of time, but even before that.
And it is “en” not “egeneto”, which implies coming into existence. It is en. It already was.
But what was from the beginning? What was there?
‘The Word’- The Logos. God’s Word implies a powerful self-expression in creation, revelation, and salvation. So the personification of the ‘Word’ is the title for God’s ultimate self-disclosure, the person of His Son. There from the beginning, there with God and was God! But what or who is this Word? It is Christ. We do not see that specified until vs 14 where the word becomes flesh and in vs 17, we know it to be Jesus.
So the challenge that is made from those who claim that Jesus was created or even that He is not eternal. No, they are struck down. But not just them, in the rest of the verse other heretical ideas are torn down.
It would be safe for us to assume that if something is eternal, it is either with God from eternity or it is God throughout eternity. But John brings a third category, He is both! He is with God from eternity, but He is also God throughout eternity. We get a glimpse of the trinity from the very first verse of John’s Gospel. This is essential. This is important. It is no little thing. Especially when Jesus says He is the WAY, the Truth, and the LIFE. NO ONE comes to the Father but by ME!
John is saying, you need to get this right. This is incredibly important. If you have the wrong Jesus, you have no way to the Father. None whatsoever. You need Jesus, not just any Jesus. But not just against those who would make up a God. The Bible has no place for those who want to deny one. Before there was even a beginning, God was there.
And the Word was with God”
The heresy of Modalism or Sabellianism, not yet developed, is brought to its knees here. The Modalists you will recall are those who claim that God exists in modes. The most common way that this heresy is presented is the analogy of water.
Paul of Samosata (bishop of Antioch, 260-268) gave the name God to the Father who created all things, Son to the mere man, Holy Spirit to the grace which dwelt in the apostles. Praxeas of Rome (early 3rd C), according to Tertullian, “makes a heresy out of unity,” and “taught that the Father himself came down into the virgin, himself was born of her, himself suffered.”
Noetus of Smyrna (early 3rd C), according to Hyppolytus, taught that “Christ was the Father himself, and that the Father himself was born, suffered, and died. Advocates of the idea that the Father suffered on the cross were called Patripassians. Sabellius (early 3rd C) was their leading proponent and the movement became known, too, as Sabellianism. They make the Father and the Son…one. But they are distinct persons within the trinity.
kai ho logos en theos- This is not translated a god was the Word. It carries with it the essence or be quality of always being with God.
Those who want to say that God the Father and God the Son are the same person, are like those who claim that Jesus was created. This is what we generally find from Oneness Pentecostals. They have a false god.
And the Word was God”
And then we come to what is possibly the most controversial of them all. The Word was God. He wasn’t like God. He was God. We wonder how heresies are formed when the Word of God is so clear in this short verse and yet another one does spring up; Arianism.
Arius: Arius (ca. 250-336) was a tall, ascetic, urbane priest in Alexandria, who had studied with the martyred Lucian of Antioch and was followed by a number of wealthy Christians, including Constantine’s mother. Arius reacted against Sabellianism. Arius stressed the absolute oneness of God and His separation from creation. God is transcendent, one, unique, and indivisible. The Word, perfect and above all other creatures, is yet a creature. The Word had a beginning, is liable to change and sin, and “is not God truly, but by participation in grace…. He is God in name only.” Arians insisted that “there was when he was not.”
There were various levels of Arianism in the early church:
i.  Radical Arians denied that Christ was God in any way.
homoios-= huh moy--- similar
ii.  Homoions said that Christ was like, homoios, God.
Homoiouios---huh moy oo sios—similar nature
iii.  Homoiousions said that Christ was like in nature, homoiousios, to God.
Homoousios—homo oo sios—same nature
iv.  The Orthodox disagreed with the Arians and said Christ was of the same nature, homoousios, as God.
Martin Luther said that “The Word was with God speaks against Sabellius; the Word was God speaks against Arius.”
And so those who claim that Jesus is not God, but just a god, one among many, or even a prophet or a good man. They are wrong. And this is deadly. This has eternal consequences.
So Islam, or Mormons, or Jehovah’s Witnesses, they all have it wrong. Jesus was not just a man, He was not just a good guy. He is God.

Conclusion

I don’t know if you have ever pondered that as deeply as it is. He is God. Our lives would be more full of holiness. It would be more rich in mercy and grace. It would be much more loving. It would be one with boldness and confidence, if we truly understood it. And if we continue to grow our faith by studying more about the object of our faith, that is Christ, as we study Him more, the smaller other things become.
As John put it, Our lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. The desire to have something, do something, and be something apart from the will of God will diminish as we set our eyes on Christ.
Are you lacking? Could it be because you are chasing to fill yourself up with the wrong things. Well God, the Holy Spirit, through his inspiring of the apostle John is speaking to you.

Confidence

Conviction

Conduct

Related Media
Related Sermons