The apostle John tells us that he wrote his gospel for a double purpose:
1. To prove Who Jesus is.
2. To tell us what He came to do.
Here is what he says; you'll read it in Johns gospel, chapter 20:30-31: "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples which are not written in this book, but these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name."
John writes that the Jesus he speaks of is the Christ, the Son of God. The modernist, the infidel and many such like talk about other Jesuses which are the devil's imitation of the real Christ. Paul says there are such men who would corrupt the mind from the simplicity which is in Christ. They are men who come and preach another Jesus whom, says Paul, we have not preached; such preach another gospel-see 2 Corinthians 11:3-4. When men preach a Jesus and deny the fact that He is the eternal God; when they preach a Jesus and refute the cleansing power of the blood shed for sinners upon the Cross, they preach Satan's Jesus: another Jesus. They preach not the Jesus the apostle John knew and loved. John writes his gospel that men might believe that the Jesus he loved is the Christ, the Son of God.
Some will say: "Oh yes, we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but," say they, "the son is not equal with the father, for a father exists before the son does." They say that, "Christ was born, and therefore He could not have been God-the Eternal God." But such reasoning is just a proof of human ignoranes. The truth is the exact reverse. The Son and the Father co-exist. I was born a good many years ago, was first a baby, then became a boy, eventually a man, and some years after becoming a man I married a sweet lady and I became a husband. But I still wasn't a father. I became a father the exact second my first child was born. In my case the first-born was a girl. Mad it been a boy, then I as father and he as son would have come into being exactly the same moment. The father is not ahead of his firstborn son; both exist alike. Now, since God the Father is eternal, then the Son is eternal too, and that is exactly what the Bible teaches. This is true only of the firstborn child; the children that come later find a father who already has been a father for some time. So Christ is called the "firstborn" in COL. 1:15; the rest of us who come afterwards are not equal with God; He as the "Firstborn One" is. He is the Son of God; we are called sons of God. No believer is ever called the son of God, but only a son of God; Christ alone is called the Son ot God; absolutely unique, co-equal with the Father. Ever so many verses in the Bible teach this. Listen: "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God." John 5:18. When challenged by Caisphas the high priest as to whether He was the Christ, the Son of God, Jesus replied that indeed He was, whereupon the high priest rent his garments, saying "He has spoken blasphemy; he is guilty of death." If Jesus here had not claimed equality with God in claiming to be the Son of God, then why did the high priest call His claim blasphemy? The Jews of that day thoroughly understood that by claiming to be the Son of God, Jesus said that lie was God. He was God the Son, as there is God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit; Three in one; the full import of which is difficult for us mortals with our finite, limited understanding to grasp, but blessedly true. The O.T. scriptures again and again speak of Christ as God's Son. There is Psalm 2:7: "Thou art My Son; this day have l begotten thee." There is Isaiah 9:6: "Unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given, and His name shall be called... the mighty God." Do you want anything clearer than that? The child was born, for when Jesus come into the world He assumed an existence in the form never before experienced by Him. He took upon Himself humanity and that child was born to the virgin Mary. But the Son was not born, but "given;" and, we are told in no uncertain terms that He was the mighty God. Again there is Psalm 45 where we read "Thy throne 0 God, is for ever and ever," which is said in the New Testament, in Hebrews 1:8, which was to have been spoken by God the Father to His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
And so we might go on. There is that marvelous verse in John 17:5, spoken by Christ Himself:
"And now 0 Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." Could any created being make such a claim?
There are also the hundreds of indirect claims by Christ that He is God. He said: "I give unto My sheep eternal life." Do you know of any mortal that can give life to anybody? "Come unto Me and I will give you rest." Can you give rest to anyone? You can't. You can tell them to sit down in this easy chair and rest yourself, but you can't give them rest; nor can you give rest to yourself. God alone can do this.
Yes, Jesus is the Son of God, and being the Son of God He is God; I believe we have proved this clearly. The limits of a tract forbid going into more proofs of this glorious truth; the ones we have given ought to suffice. Why do the Scriptures insist on this? Why does the apostle John want us to know and be sure that Jesus is the Son of God; that He is God? For the conclusive reason that if God did not undertake the problem of sin and deal with it in divine justice, then there would be no remedy for; this poor sin cursed world at all. Can man do it? After centuries of human effort sin is as rampant as it ever was. Only God can save the soul; only God can justly save and forgive a sinner. And He does it because His beloved Son paid the penalty for sin upon the Crosa. Christ died for our sins; He died in your place and mine, so that God might freely forgive us. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanseth from all sin.
I so well remember speaking on this text many years ago in Royal Palm Park in Miami, Fla. That park is now Biscayne Blvd. After I got through a gentleman came up to me and declared he did not believe in this at all. "How foolish," said he, "to talk about blood cleansing sin. What is there in the blood of Christ anyway," he said. "Take a vial full of the blood of Christ and a vial filled with my blood, and take them to an analyst, and you'd find," said he, "that the blood of Christ was made of the same stuff as my blood." In reply I offered the gentleman a $10.00 bill, and asked him if he would like to have it. "Yes," said he, "I'll take it." But why, it's only a little piece of paper with a picture on it. "I'll take it for $10.00," said he,"But what makes it worth $10.00?" So he agreed what made it worth ten dollars was the fact that the government issued it. "Yes," said I, "that's right. When the government issues it, it's worth $10.00. If you put it out it would be worth ten years-in jail for counterfeiting. You might be able to make it as well as the U.S. mint does, but in your case it would be a crime; in the government's case it would be money. That's your answer to your sneer about the blood of Christ." It is all a question of who's behind it. If you present your blood to God for your salvation he'll send you to hell with it; but if you present the blood of Christ, God will take you to heaven for it. Your blood is the blood of a sinner; His is the blood of the Sinless eternal Son of God who in marvelous love came from heaven, became Man, that He might die for the sins of men. It all depends on who Jesus is. It is always so in life. I saw a copy of a check once written by John D. Rockefeller for $125,000,000. Now I can write a check too for one hundred and twenty five million dollars, but you could throw it in the wastebasket. It all depends on "who" writes and signs the check. And, my dear friend, it all depends on Who died on Calvary's Cross. If He were not God, then you and I are bound for hell; if He is (and praise God He is) then there is salvation for any sinner who will avail himself or herself of God's wondrous grace.
Yes, He is God. And He came that you might have life, eternal life, through His Name. Your name is of no consequence whatever in heaven, but Christ's is. There is salvation only in the name of Jesus-Acts 4:12. Oh, dear friend, humbly bow at Jesus' feet-receive Him as your Saviour, and receive from His nail pierced hand the gift of eternal life.
August Van Ryn