Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part I: Appreciating The Message Of Salvation By Understanding The Messenger
A. Valuing The Message On Gaining Eternal Life As The Messenger Is The Creator Of Life
(John 1:1-3, 14, 17)
  1. Introduction
    1. If we wish to persuade another party that faith in Christ for salvation is necessary for him to receive eternal life, it is important that we have something substantive to say whereby we can achieve such a persuasion.
    2. When writing his Gospel, John's introduction stepped back from the message to take a look at the value of the Messenger. That way the message would have even greater impact, Bib. Kno. Com., N. T., p. 271.
    3. In looking at the Messenger, John first established that He is the Creator-God, making His message of how to get eternal life by far the most credible and truthful one possible for the created reader, Jn. 1:1- 3, 14, 17:
  2. Valuing The Message On Gaining Eternal Life As The Messenger Is The Creator Of Life:
    1. John's Gospel deals with triumphing in life's most critical issue, the issue of gaining eternal life:
      1. In leaving no doubt as to the purpose of His gospel, John wrote that what he recorded of Jesus' life was intended to drive his readers to believe in Him to have eternal life, John 20:30-31.
      2. This burden is driven by John's awareness that unless men believe in Christ, they are destined to spend eternity in condemnation and damnation, John 3:16; 5:24.
    2. With this burden in mind, John wrote the introduction of his Gospel to focus on the identify of the Messenger of that Gospel so the reader would be more inclined to believe in Him, Ibid., p. 271.
    3. As such, John revealed in the introduction that the Messenger was the Creator of life Himself, John 1:1-3:
      1. John starts off identifying Jesus as the Word in John 1:1. Though this word, logos means slightly different things to John's different readers, all ideas focus on the idea of Communicator or Message:
        1. Logos means "word, thought, concept" and their "expressions", Ryrie St. Bib., KJV ftn. to John 1:1.
        2. It meant "activity and revelation" in the Old Testament, Ibid.
        3. In the Aramaic Targums, or "Aramaic paraphrases of the Old Testament" it referred to God, Ibid.
        4. To the Greek mind, the word conveyed the idea of "reason and creative control." (Ibid.)
      2. Well, this Communicator with a message was the Creator of life as John reveals in John 1:1b-3:
        1. In the beginning of all things, the "Word" was already eternally existing, John 1:1b: (a) the word translated "was" is in the imperfect tense, and means that at the time of the beginning of history or time (in the context), this Communicator with a message wa s already existing! (UBS Grk. N.T., p. 320; The Analytical Greek Lex., p. 187) (b) Thus, the Communicator in the context is eternal!
        2. This Communicator was with God and was God, implying that there are more than a single Person in the Godhead Who are equally God: (a) The Jehovah's Witnesses like to attest that since there is no definite article before "God" at the end of John 1:1, that John was saying the "Word was a god." (Metzger, The Jehovah's Witnesses and Jesus Christ, p. 74-75) (b) However, not only does such a translation make Jehovah's polytheistic in viewing God as a plurality of gods, but overlooks the Colwell rule: "'A definite predicative nominative has the article when it follows the verb; it does not have the article when it precedes the verb . . . '", Ibid., p. 75. (c) Since "God" (Theos) stands in the predicate nominative position, it does not have the definite article t hough it is translated as "God", not "a god." (Ibid., UBS Grk. N.T.) (d) Also, John 20:28 shows John recording Thomas' confession of Jesus as "My Lord and My God," showing he felt Jesus was the Old Testament God, not "a god!"
        3. This Communicator was with God in the beginning acc. to John 1:2, emphasizing His eternality!
        4. Finally, this Communicator created all things that was ever created, being the Creator God, Jn. 1:3.
      3. This Communicator of God is Jesus Christ, the God-come-in-the-flesh Savior, John 1:14, 17.
Lesson: SINCE Jesus is the CREATOR of all life and COMMUNICATOR to man on gaining eternal life, His message on gaining eternal life must be viewed as TRUE, for no one like the Creator would know and care so much about that subject as applied to His own creatures as would Jesus Christ!

Application: If our CREATOR who knows our need and cared enough to make us says we must believe in Christ to have eternal life, then certainly we MUST do so if we would hope to gain that life!