The Gospel Observer

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
February 23, 2014


1) I Am the Son of God (Don Wright)
2) News & Notes


I Am the Son of God
by Don Wright

Do you know Jesus?  The importance of such knowledge cannot be overstated.  Jesus himself pointed to the importance of knowing him by equating such knowledge with eternal life.  He said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3).  

A part of knowing Jesus is to understand who he is.  The "I am" statements of Jesus help us with this.  From the statement "I am the Bread of life," we learn that Jesus is the sustainer of our spiritual life and the provider of all the nourishment that we need.  From the statement "I am the Light of the world" we learn that Jesus can help us see the difference between right and wrong and truth and error.  Without Christ darkness prevails, but with him we can see clearly the path that leads to the Father.  From the statement "I am the true Vine," we learn that spiritual life apart from Christ is impossible. These are just a few of the "I Am" statements of Jesus, but all of them help us to get to know him a little better.  

In one of the most significant "I am" statements of Christ, Jesus claimed to be the Son of God.  In John 10:36 Jesus said, "Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"

The Proof Of Our Lord's Statement

This is one of many passages where Christ affirmed that he is God's Son.  He did this mostly by referring to God as his Father and to himself as the Son.  In fact, it was his frequent allusion to God as his Father that raised the ire of the Jews and led to their accusation of blasphemy (John 5:18; 10:25-36).  It should be noted also that when others referred to Jesus as the Son of God, he never objected or attempted to correct them because they spoke the truth when they did so (Matt. 14:32-33; John 1:45-50).  

But can we be sure that Jesus is truly the Son of God?  There are those who would deny such a claim. Certainly many Jews in Jesus' day, and even now, would deny this to be true.  Muslims are another group which would deny that Jesus is the only and unique Son of God, accepting only that he was called God's Son metaphorically.  Furthermore, there are many groups such as the Jehovah Witnesses which might claim Jesus is the Son of God with lip service, but who in reality deny it by rejecting his deity, affirming instead that Jesus is a created being.  Notwithstanding these denials, the answer to the above question is an emphatic yes. Jesus is without question God's only begotten Son and the proof can be seen by two immutable facts.  

1. The miracles of Christ.  When the Jews refused to believe that Jesus was the Son of God, Jesus told them, "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.  But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in Him" (John 10:37-38).  The miracles of Christ bore witness to the fact that he was sent from the Father (John 5:36) for they were accomplished by the finger (power) of God (Luke 11:20). But if Jesus was not what he claimed to be, that is, the Son of God, then he was nothing more than an imposter and a liar.  Surely the Father would not contribute to his lies with miraculous confirmations.  Nicodemus suggested as much when he said to our Lord, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him" (John 3:2).  How true Nicodemus was.  In the sermon of Acts 2, Peter connected the miracles of Christ with the approval of God (Acts 2:22).  The miracles of Christ were undeniable. He showed power over every realm.  He had power over nature (Matt. 8:26).  He had power over the demonic world (Matt. 8:16).  He had power over the material realm (Matt. 14:15-21).  He had power over disease and sickness of every kind (Matt. 4:23; 9:35).  He even had power over death (John 11:20-45).  All of this was demonstrated by his works and prove that he is the Son of God.

2. The resurrection of Christ.  The second undeniable evidence proving that Jesus is the Son of God is his resurrection from the dead.  In the first chapter of Romans, Paul teaches us that Jesus "was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:4).  

But can we be sure that Jesus was indeed raised from the dead?  That's a good question.  Again the answer is an emphatic yes!  We know that Jesus was resurrected because he died before a nation of eyewitnesses and was placed in a tomb, and later that same tomb was found empty (Matt. 28:1-6).  If Jesus was not raised from the dead, how does one explain the empty tomb? Of course men have attempted to explain away the empty tomb in various ways.  Some have said that Jesus did not really die on the cross but that he merely lost consciousness.  The problem with that hypothesis is that it ignores the fact that when Joseph of Arimathaea came to Pilate and asked if he could take the body of Christ away, Pilate did not agree until he was sure that Jesus had truly died (Mark 15:42-46).  This explains why the soldiers who came to hasten the death of those on the cross did not break the legs of Jesus as they did the other two who were crucified with him.  Jesus was already dead by the time they arrived (John 19:32-33).  No, Jesus did not merely pass out.  The evidence shows that he truly died; thus, the empty tomb still points to a resurrection.  

There have been other attempts to explain away the empty tomb.  Some have suggested that he did indeed die but that someone stole his body to make it look like he had been raised.  But when asked who would have stolen the body of Christ, a sufficient answer cannot be given.  His disciples could not have done it, even if they wanted to. The Jewish leaders would not have stolen his body because that would have made it look like he had been raised just like he foretold and their case against Jesus would have been lost.  The only ones left would have been the Romans and they had nothing to gain from stealing the body of Christ and truth be told, had no real interest in the dispute over his identity.  Thus, the suggestion that the body of Christ was stolen has no merit.  Yet, there is still the fact of an empty tomb.  How is it explained?  The angel of the Lord said it best when he spoke to them who came to see the Lord's sepulcher.  "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said" (Matt. 28:6).  

Yes, Jesus has indeed been resurrected from the dead by the power of God (Eph. 1:19-20), and it proves forever that his claim of being the Son of God is true.  Accepting this truth is necessary in order for one to become a Christian (Acts 8:36-37).  

The Implication of Our Lord's Statement

With the matter of Jesus being the Son of God settled, what does that truth imply?  If Jesus is the Son of God, and it is beyond reasonable disputation, then he is a divine being.  He could not be the Son of God without being the same kind of being as God.  I am a human being.  When I tell you that I have a son, you dont have to wonder if he is a cat, dog, rock, or something else.  You know he is human because I am human. Likewise, since the Father is God, Jesus must be God as well.  They share the same nature.  From that standpoint the Father and Son are equal. This is why every time Jesus claimed that God was his Father, the Jews wanted to stone him.  They knew that it was, at least indirectly, an assertion of equality with the Father.  In John 5:18 we find the Jews wanting to kill Jesus, not simply because he broke the Sabbath, but as the record tells us, he "said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."  The absence of a denial of this by Jesus speaks volumes.  Who would doubt that, if the Jews were accusing Jesus falsely, he would have in some way corrected them?  The truth, however, is that they were right in their conclusion.  And the fact is, every time Jesus claimed to be the Son of God or claimed that God was his Father, it pointed to the equality between them.  Jesus is God and the New Testament is full of passages that affirm it. There are passages that plainly call Jesus God (Matt. 1:23; John 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:15-16; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 1:8).  There are passages where the term Lord (Jehovah) is applied to Jesus.  Consider these combinations of passages: Isaiah 40:3 with Matthew 3:3; Joel 2:32 with Romans 10:13; Isaiah 8:13-14 with 1 Peter 2:8.  Finally, there are passages showing that it is acceptable to worship Jesus.  He was worshiped by his disciples after he walked on water (Matt. 14:33).  Furthermore, angels of God were commanded to worship Jesus (Heb. 1:6).  Since the Bible teaches that only God is to be worshiped, Jesus must be God.  When we confess our belief that Jesus is the Son of God, we are at the same time confessing our acceptance of his Deity.  To deny his Deity is to deny that he is truly the Son of God.  

The Effect of Our Lord's Statement

What effect should the statement of our Lord have on our daily living?  First, it should increase our love and respect for him.  Since Jesus is God, we know that like the Father he is without beginning and without end.  Many passages refer to the fact that Jesus existed before his incarnation (John 1:1,15; 8:54-58). Think of the glory, honor, and respect Jesus enjoyed in heaven as a member of the Godhead.  Yet he was willing to give that up and to be made in the likeness of men just so we could be redeemed by his sacrificial blood (Phil. 2:5-8).  Doesn't that cause the love that you have for Jesus in your heart to swell?  It should!  Jesus was willing to give up heaven so that we could gain heaven.  Read and appreciate the significance of 2 Corinthians 8:9.  

The statement of our Lord should also lead us to a more complete obedience.  Hearing Jesus say, "I am the Son of God" should cause us to bow in humble adoration at the very sound of his voice, for when Jesus gives us a command, it is a command from Deity.  When we take the words of Christ lightly, it points to a lack of understanding of who he really is. John tells us that if we claim to know Christ and yet refuse to keep his commandments, we are liars (1 John 2:1-4).  Remember what was pointed out in the beginning of this study?  To know Jesus is to have eternal life (John 17:3). Why?  It is because to know Jesus is to keep his commandments.  To understand his true nature as God and that he is the one for whom and by whom all things were created (Col. 1:16), is to understand how important it is to do what he says to do.  Whenever I see someone who is a member of the body of Christ living a wishy-washy, indecisive, sometimes on, sometimes off sort of life, I know that I am seeing one who hasn't fully grasped the statement of my Lord when he simply said, "I am the Son of God."  

For if we understand the significance and implications of his statement, we will do all we can to live according to his divine will.  

-- Via Truth Magazine, November 17, 2005, Volume XLIX, Number 22, http:// www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume49/ 22-november-17.pdf


News & Notes

Charles "Chucky" Calloway was taken to ICU February 21 (Friday), due to becoming unconscious from his blood sugar climbing to about 1600 mg/dl.  Since then it had dropped to 125; but then up again to 256 and back down to 176.  So it has been fluctuating.  For a couple days, he required a ventilator, which had to be set from 30% to 50% to help him have a good oxygen level.  But then on Sunday afternoon, he was able to maintain about a 97% oxygen level without the use of the machine.  On Monday, his blood pressure had been a little low; and his pulse was high at 140.  But the nurse said that some of that was due to his slight fever and the medication he was on.  I was really surprised to see how alert and well he looked, especially in considering how extremely high his blood sugar level had been just a few days prior and the condition he was then in.  He was now even talking some and responding.  Let those of us who are Christians be remembering him in prayer. 

And let us also be praying for the following:
Virginia Fontenot, Shirley Young, Cheryl Crews, and Terry and Pam MacDonald.

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).

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