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SF022 - The Deity of Christ - Sevenfold Proof (John 5 16-30)

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The Deity of Christ:  Sevenfold Proof

December 30, 2001

John 5:16-30

Introduction

Jesus’ healing of the lame man on the Sabbath served two very important purposes beyond the benefit the man received.  First, it served to inflame the hatred of the Jews, particularly the Jewish leaders.  The reason they were so angered was because by this act and in the subsequent dialogue Jesus claimed equality with God.

That brings us to our second purpose; Jesus here sets before us the doctrine of His deity.  That is, the truth that He is equal to God in all respects.  In this passage, we see the Son’s equality with the Father set forth in seven distinct areas.

1A.      Jesus is Equal with God in Service (5:16-18)

1B.      The offense of the healing (5:16)

The Jews were greatly offended by the fact that Jesus had “broken” the Sabbath by healing this lame man.

What a demonstration of the hardness of the Jews hearts in that they were more concerned about the keeping of rules than the soul of a man.

What an indictment on us.  Often we would rather “keep the Sabbath” rather than involve ourselves in the ministry to those who need the Lord.

2B.      The answer of our Lord (5:17-18)

Unity with the Father (5:17)

Ø      Jesus credited the work He was doing to the Father.

Ø      He is saying that He and the Father are united in their work and that you cannot distinguish the work of the Father from the work of the Son.

Equality with the Father (5:18)

Ø      The Jews rightly interpreted this as Jesus’ claiming to be equal with the Father.

Ø      Indeed, Jesus here claims equality with God in His work.

2A.      Jesus is Equal with God in Will (5:19)

1B.      Jesus cannot act independently of the Father

Because His will was one with the Father, “…the Son can do nothing of Himself…”

“He never acted independently of the Father.  He was always in perfect subjection to the Father’s will.  There was no will in Him which had to be broken.”[1]

2B.      Jesus worked in perfect harmony with the Father, “…it is something He sees the Father doing…”

Jesus only did those things He knew the Father was doing.

“See,” blepo; means to contemplate, to perceive, to know.

3B.      Jesus worked the way the Father worked, “… in like manner”

Jesus’ service is equal to God’s in type, power and manner.

Ø      Not only does Jesus perform His works with the same Divine power and excellence as the Father, He also does “whatever the Father does.”

“How this rebukes the self-will in all of us!  Who is there among the saints who can truthfully say, I can do nothing in my own strength; my life is entirely at God’s disposal?”[2]

3A.      Jesus is Equal with God in Intelligence (5:20)

1B.      Jesus can receive and understand “all things” that God does.

The fact that Jesus can receive and understand everything the Father does gives testimony to our Lord’s Deity because the finite mind of man cannot understand the infinite ways of God.

Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.”

2B.      Jesus’ equality with God will be further displayed by even greater works and teaching.

John 14:9 “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?’”

4A.      Jesus is Equal with God in Sovereign Rights (5:21)

1B.      Jesus demonstrated His sovereign rights in the healing of the lame man.

There were numerous sick people at the pool of Bethesda, but Jesus chose only to heal one.

Was Jesus unjust or unfair because He did not heal everyone at the pool that day?

No, His healing of the lame man was an act of pure grace.

2B.      Jesus exercises His sovereign rights in the spiritual realm

“the Son gives life to whom He wishes”

He does not give life to the worthy, for none are worthy.  (Romans 3:10)

He does not give life to those who seek Him, for none seek Him.  (Romans 3:11)

He does not give life to the good, for none are good.  (Romans 3:12)

5A.      Jesus is Equal with God in Divine Honors (5:22-23)

1B.      The Father has made Jesus the judge of all people.  (5:22)

2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

2B.      Therefore, Jesus is to be honored just as God is honored.  (5:23)

Revelation 5:12 “…Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

6A.      Jesus is Equal with God in Imparting Life (5:24-26)

1B.      The proof of eternal life.  (5:24)

The one who has eternal life hears Christ’s word and believes God.

Hearing and believing are essentially the same thing, and they are the results of eternal life.

The one who has eternal life does not come into judgment.

The one who has eternal life has passed from death to life.  (Ephesians 3:1-10)

2B.      The power of eternal life.  (5:25)

The voice of the Lord is a life-giving voice; the dead hear it and live.

Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

3B.      The source of eternal life.  (5:26)

The Father and the Son are the only source of eternal life.

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’”

Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

How God imparts eternal life…

Ø      He plants His life within the one whom He desires to become His child.  (5:24)

Ø      Because of the new life within, the child now hears the Word of God and believes.  (5:25)

Ø      The child of God grows in grace by believing.

7A.      Jesus is Equal with God in Judicial Power and Authority (5:27-30)

1B.      God has granted Jesus the authority to judge all sin.  (5:27, 30)

Jesus is the judge because of who He is, “He is the Son of Man.”  (5:27)

Ø      “The Son of Man” refers to the Lord’s Deity and humanity.

Ø      He has the right to judge men because He is the God-man.

In judging Jesus is submitting to the Father’s will.  (5:30)

Ø      It is God’s will that the Lord be just in His judgment of sinful man.

2B.      The judgment will result in two groups… (5:28-29)

The saved, “those who did the good deeds”

Ø      These have received God’s grace and mercy.

The doomed, “those who committed the evil deeds”

Ø      All men by nature are in this group.

Ø      These receive God’s justice.

Application

1.      Do you believe that Jesus Christ is equal to God in all ways?

2.      If not, would you ask God to “help your unbelief”?

3.      Are you prepared to meet Christ in the judgment?

4.      Your sins will certainly be judged, either in Christ on the cross or at the final judgment.  Either Christ has borne the penalty for your sins or you will.

5.      Will you pray and ask God to extend His grace to you so that you might hear and believe?

Preparing for Next Week

1.      Read John 5:31-47.

2.      How many witnesses are there here to the Deity of Christ?

3.      What is the meaning for verse 31?

4.      What is the significance of the first half of verse 34, after Christ had already referred to “John”?

5.      What warning is there in the second half of verse 35?

6.      What is the force of “you think” in verse 39?

7.      Who is referred to in the second half of verse 43?

8.      What is the moral connection between receiving honor of men and not believing in Christ?


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[1] Pink, Arthur W., Exposition of the Gospel of John, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975), 262.

[2] Pink, 263.

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