Tuesday, November 1, 2011

sunday notes and quotes

This passage answers these three questions: “Who is Jesus? Why should I believe him? And what does he want from me?”  

1) The unique relationship of the Son to God the Father is described in 5:16-30: 

He does whatever the Father does (19)
He knows all that the Father is doing (20)
He gives life like the Father gives (21, 24-26)
He is the Judge of all (22, 27-30)
He is to be honored in the same way as the Father (23)
His word believed gives eternal life and rescues from judgment (24)

“The Son’s will is to please his Father, not just to save us; and the Father’s will is to have all men honor the Son, not just to forgives us. To grasp the divine relationships in the drama of redemption is to humble our pride and heighten our sense of speechless privilege. To be saved and renewed, to be recipients of new life, to be forgiven, all because we are caught up in the perfection of love among the Persons of the Godhead, is unutterably solemn, ecstatically wonderful.”  (D. A. Carson, The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus)

There is a direct relation between the deity of Christ and salvation by grace through faith.  Athanasius reasoned that Christ's deity and humanity was seen in the kind of salvation that the Lord Jesus accomplished.  To be a perfect substitute, he must be human.  To have such power and eternal consequence to the salvation he accomplished means that he must be God.  We can also run that the other way.  Given that Jesus was human and divine, and that he was sent to us from the Father, would indicate that the kind of salvation we needed was total and gracious.  He did not come as a prophet to show us how to be better people.  Or as a fellow human just showing us how to get to God.  He came as a mighty Redeemer to save us from our guilt, sin, death and bondage.  

2) Those who testify to the Son (31-47):
John the Baptist (33-35)
The Father, through his works (36-38)
The Scriptures (39-44)
Moses (45-47)

3) What he wants from me: faith

  • Faith means believing all that Christ says about himself (5:24)
  • Faith means coming to Jesus for life (5:39-40)
  • Faith means finding my source of significance in God (5:44)

“There is no other rule or test for who is a member of the people of God or the church of Christ than this: where there is a little band of those who accept this word of the Lord, teach it purely and confess against those who persecute it, and for that reason suffers what is their due.” (Martin Luther, Commentary on Psalm 110:3)

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