The Gospel of John – Part One: Introducing Christ (1:1-51)

INTRODUCTION:  John’s gospel is different from the others.  There is no genealogy, no manger scene, no boyhood, no temptation, no Mount of transfiguration, and no Gethsemane.  There are only a few special miracles chosen by John as “signs.”  We have the famous “I AM” sayings of Jesus and many discourses found nowhere else.  There are no scribes, no lepers, no publicans, and no demoniacs.  There are no parables.  It would almost seem that John sits with a copy of Luke’s gospel open before him, deliberately leaving out things Luke puts in and putting things in that Luke leaves out.  Luke wrote to show Jesus is the Son of Man.  John wrote to show Jesus is the Son of God.  John was most likely around 80 plus years old when he wrote this book.  Keep in mind he wrote other books including I, II. III. John and the book of Revelation. John was a pastor and he was faced with the problem of false teachers.  Gnosticism was one of the main problems that John addresses.  He hit it head on by stating that Jesus is God and He became flesh and dwelt with us.  The gospel of John really has two main sections sandwiched between a Prologue and Epilogue. The first section deals with the signs (culminating in raising Lazarus from the dead) and the second section deals with the Passion narrative with Jesus teaching and praying for His disciples. Jesus was a Jew; John was a Jew; John’s audience was primarily Jews; therefore, there are many references to Jewish Feasts.

I.     Divine Life (1:1-5);
a. Jesus is eternally God;
b. Jesus is equally God;
c. Jesus is essentially God;

II.    Divine Light (1:6-13);
a. John the Baptist was a messenger (man sent from God);
b. John the Baptist had a motive (to be a witness);
c. John the Baptist had a method (bear witness to the true Light);

III.  Divine Love (1:14-18);
a. dwelt = tabernacled (reference OT Tabernacle);
b. glory, grace and truth;
c. born of God (v. 13);
i. not of natural birth;
ii. not of religion or law;
iii. not of man (works);

IV.  Divine Lamb (1:19-36);
a. Jews sent priest and Levites inquiring about John (v. 19);
b. John the Baptist states he is not the Christ (v. 21):
c. Jesus is Prophet, Priest, and King:
d. John identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God (v. 36);

V.  Divine Lordship (1:37-51);
a. first apostles called;
b. questions from Jesus;
i. Who do you seek?;
ii. Come and see;
iii.  Follow Me;
c.  angels ascending and descending upon Jesus.

CONCLUSION:  By the time John wrote his gospel there were many false teachers attempting to discredit the deity of Jesus.  Matthew wrote to the Jews, John Mark to the Romans, Luke to the Greeks but John wrote to the church.  John witnessed the life and ministry of Jesus.  What John tells about Jesus provides the church with information to combat heresies such as Gnosticism.  We learn from John’s gospel that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man (Hypostatic Union).  He is the infinite God-man.  The purpose of John’s gospel of Jesus is “…written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31).

Brief Description of Heresies:
Adoptionism – God granted Jesus powers then adopted him as a Son;
Albigenses – Reincarnation and two gods: one good and other evil;
Apollinarianism – Jesus’ divine will overshadowed and replaced the human;
Arianism – Jesus was a lesser, created being;
Docetism – Jesus was divine but only seemed to be human;
Donatism – Validity of sacraments depends on character of the minister;
Gnosticism – Dualism of good and bad and special knowledge for salvation;
Kenosis – Jesus gave up some divine attributes while on earth;
Marcionism – God of O.T. evil and God of N.T. good (11 Canonical books);
Modalism – God is one person in three modes;
Monarchianism – God is one person;
Monophysitism – Jesus had only one nature: divine;
Nestorianism – Jesus was two persons;
Patripassionism – The Father suffered on the cross;
Pelagianism – Man is unaffected by the fall and can keep all of God’s laws;
Semi-Pelagianism – Man and God cooperate to achieve man’s salvation;
Socinianism – Denial of the Trinity. Jesus is a deified man;
Subordinationism – The Son is lesser than the Father in essence/attributes;
Tritheism – The Trinity is really three separate gods.


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