Monday, December 21, 2020

Scripture of the Day - Day 4

John 3: 34-36

In this scripture, it is John the Baptist who is speaking, about Jesus Christ:

34 The one whom God has sent speaks God's words, because God gives him the fullness of his Spirit. 35 The Father loves his Son and has put everything in his power. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not have life, but will remain under God's punishment.

I shall examine each verse individually:

John 3: 34


The one whom God has sent speaks God's words, because God gives him the fullness of his Spirit.


So, according to this, Jesus "speaks God's words" - so not his own words then???


In this verse there is clearly a distinction in operation between Jesus and God


If they are different parts of the same being (as the doctrine of the trinity states) then there shouldn't be a distinction 


This verse would be entirely redundant.


But there is a distinction - clearly!


Perhaps John The Baptist is not a Trinitarian???


But is Jesus really just a mouthpiece of God? Does God make up the words and then give them to him to speak? Without Jesus ever speaking for himself? That is what it sounds like, initially at least.


We can set this idea out like this:


Premise 1: Jesus and "God" are different (according to this verse they are)

Premise 2: Jesus "speaks God's words"

Conclusion: Jesus doesn't speak his own words


But this is wrong!


Although Jesus may speak God's words, that doesn't mean to say that he doesn't also speak his own words!


Therefore, Jesus may sometimes speak on behalf of God but may also have his own thoughts and message!


This scripture actually means that whenever Jesus speaks for himself his words carry the authority of God! 


That he speaks as God, not as a man!


Therefore, this scripture doesn't mean that God thinks of some words and then gives them to Jesus to speak - which is one way of understanding this passage.


It means that whenever Jesus speaks he speaks as God, not as a man


So yes, his words are God's words, yet he comes up with them on his own!


He is a being in his own right, not a pen in the hand of God.


And he is a member of the Godhead hence is as much God as The Father is


He is the part of the Godhead who speaks!


John 3: 35


The Father loves his Son and has put everything in his power. 


It says that God loves his son - yet we know he also sent him on what we could call a very painful suicide mission, for our benefit


Also, he has "put everything in his power" does I believe mean that God and Jesus are in effect coequal


This shines some light on verse 34 (above) as it indicates that God The Father delegates power to Jesus! - and that Jesus represents him to humankind, which ties in to verse 36 (below)...


John 3: 36


Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not have life, but will remain under God's punishment.


This means that to disobey or ignore the Son is to disobey and ignore God - because God loves Jesus (John 3.35) and choses to communicate his will through him (John 3:34).


It also states that salvation is through Christ, and through Christ alone. So sorry, but no, unfortunately all paths don't lead to God.


It also equates belief with obedience - which ties in to the doctrine of justification by faith alone. It says if you disobey/don't believe in him you'll go to Hell, therefore it is implied that if you obey him and believe in him then you'll go to Heaven!


It says that faith is obedience to God, that God wants us to have faith in him, that that's important to him.


Paraphrasing


Paraphrasing is a good exercise to help you understand scripture


Jesus is the part of God who speaks to us. His word is God's word. God has made Jesus co-equal to himself and has given him great power. If you believe in him you'll go to Heaven. He is the only way to Heaven.


What does this mean for Christians?

  • If you want to know God, Know Jesus
  • When Jesus speaks, he does so with God's authority
  • Jesus's words are God's words
  • Jesus is not subordinate to God, he is co-equal but has a different role - his job is to relate to humankind
  • According to scripture, the only way to Heaven is through Jesus

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