John 1 The Message (MSG)
1 1-2 The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.
3-5 Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.
(1) What are some names of Jesus in the Bible?
(2) How do beliefs change how we live? (monotheism, polytheism, atheism, pantheism)
(3) How can you explain who Jesus is biblically?
John chapter 1 is a parallel to Genesis chapter 1. John is writing his gospel to Jewish believers in the God of Israel, but he is trying to convince them that Jesus is the Son of God and promised Messiah they have been waiting for.
In his first argument to declare the divinity of Jesus, he goes back to creation, making the bold claim that the Father created everything through Jesus. This makes Jesus equal with God, which, if they are separate in nature, would be heretical to Jews, however, though they are distinct in Personhood, they are absolutely identical in character.
For example, both the Father and the Son are 100% holy, good and just. They have no darkness and sin not. They are perfect. However, the Father can communicate with the Son and the Son with the Father. They relate to each other perfectly in union with the Spirit of God.
Three in one, also known as the Trinity. The Spirit is the breath of God and Jesus is the Word of God. As intimate as you, your breath and your words are to each other, that's how intimate the Father, Son and Spirit are to each other.
In the very beginning chapter of John's gospel, he declares boldly that Jesus is the Son of God, equal to God yet distinct in Personhood. If you compare this with other beliefs, Christianity is unique. John later says that God is love, which is true because the Father, Son and Spirit have perfect love for each other.
Believing correctly about who God is will change the way you live. Believing in one good God will give you peace that the goodness of God is higher than any other created being lower than God. When you look at the fallen world, you can have a sense of security that God will make all things right presently through us, and in the future in himself.
Believing that God is relational (three in one) encourages you to communicate with him, knowing that he is love and desires to have intimacy with you as well. This is our foundation for prayer, having intimate relationship with our Father in heaven.
Finally, knowing that God is separate from creation confirms that we must seek him. God is not the universe nor is he an impersonal essence. He is holy, which means set apart from or different. This encourages us to seek him above all other things, and the good news is that he seeks us before we ever seek him. Or in other words, we love because God first loved us.