“Prayer in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ” by Dr. John F. Walvoord

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Prayer in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ by Dr. John F. Walvoord

Dr. Walvoord, one of evangelicalism’s most prominent 20th century leaders, was a man of remarkable depth and breadth. Though best known for his encyclopedic grasp of Bible prophecy, he was also a man who understood and taught the core of Christian theology with unusual clarity and conviction. Wikipedia/ Dr John F Walvoord

Introduction

The Gospel of John is singular in many ways. One of its characteristics is that about half of the entire content is devoted to the last few days  of Jesus on earth.

In this portion of Scripture we have a revelation of the parting message of the Christ to His disciples which transcends the other accounts. It is to be expected that in these last important words Christ should not only sum up His previous teaching to them, and endeavor to impart to them what they needed for the coming trying days, but also that new revelation should be given for which their years together had been the preparation. In this revelation, Christ looks forward beyond His death and resurrection to this age. It is not surprising, then, that we should find in such a place the key to availing prayer.

The disciples had gathered for the last supper and had finished their celebration of the Passover feast. Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet. Judas Iscariot had left the company of the disciples. Jesus begins His parting address to His disciples. It was the intimate fellowship around the table, with the background of their years together. Christ proclaimed the new commandment, that they should love one another; He had told them that He was to go to prepare a place for them; He had shown Himself to be the revelation of God the Father. He had given them a vision of their coming task: the greater works that they should accomplish.

Then, as if coming to the heart of His message, as indicative of how these greater works should be accomplished, he solemnly speaks these words,

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13,14).

We learn from John 16:14, that the disciples had asked nothing in the name of Jesus up to this time. It was a new command; a new challenge; a new revelation. The statement was clear.

There was only one condition: “in my name.” There is no greater revelation concerning prayer, nor a greater challenge to enter into and claim God’s promise than in this verse. Here, then, is the key to availing prayer. But what did Christ mean by asking “in my name”?

A. The Meaning of the “Name.”

The name by which the disciples knew their Lord was Jesus. This was the name which had been given Him by the angel at the time of the annunciation. ”Jesus” represents for us the work of Christ as Savior, meaning in itself “Savior.” As ”Christ” emphasizes His kingly and messianic character, and as ”Lord” points to His deity and eternity, so ”Jesus” points to His work as Savior.

It is this name Jesus which exalts Christ.

We read in Philippians 2:9, 10, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth.”

It would not be so unexpected that all peoples should bow to Christ as King, or Christ as Lord, but the use of the name “Jesus” here stands out in emphasis. It will further be noted that the disciples did their miracles in the name of Jesus. Sometimes the name “Jesus” is used with “Lord” and sometimes with “Christ,” but “Jesus” is used in every case but one. By the use of the word “name” then, the idea centered in the name of “Jesus.”

It is significant that the emphasis is on this title of Christ. It was nothing new to do things in the name of the “Lord.” Christ himself is said to come in the name of the “Lord.” “Lord” simply meant God, the God of the Jews.

Only once, as far as I know, is the phrase “in the name of the Lord” used referring specifically to the second person of the trinity. This is in James 5:14, where the elders are told to anoint the sick with oil “in the name of the Lord.” In verse 10 of this chapter the phrase “in the name of the Lord” is used clearly referring to God without reference to person. It is not at all clear that verse 14 refers specifically to Christ, but it could be easily understood when taking into consideration the Jewish atmosphere of this book, that the Old Testament usage should creep in.

In any event, the reference to the name “Jesus” in the phrase “in my name” is well marked, whether or not this positively excludes other titles. “In the name of Christ” is no where found. This can be explained by the fact that the manifestation of Jesus as the Christ, the King, is still future, and related to the millennial rule. Without dogmatic assumption, then, we can take the phrase “in my name” to refer to Christ largely as the Savior, Jesus. Prayer in the name of Jesus is, then, based first on His office as Savior.

The general significance of “in my name” can be comprehended partially from common usage.

When an individual does something in the name of another, it indicates union which may be of different kinds.

Andrew Murray has pointed out that this union may take three different lines: legal, life, or love. Legal union is a part of our everyday life. Men in partnership in business are joined so that what one does is done in the name of the other and vice versa. The employee who runs a business for his employer constantly acts in the name of his employer. He may have extended to him all the privileges going with the power of his name insofar as the business is concerned. He can buy or sell with the power given him through his use of his employer’s name.

This is a common example of legal union. Another type of union is that of father and son. The son bears the father’s name and because he has that name there fall to him certain privileges. The union is one of life: there is blood relationship. Then there is union in love. The bride takes the name of the bridegroom. She then has certain rights and privileges in virtue of the fact that she has taken a new name. These modern analogies come far from representing what Christ meant by “in my name.”

He meant legal union, life union, love union, and yet more than all of this. The central fact lies in the power of the “name.”

B. Significance of Prayer in His Name.

The basis of our prayer life, it is evident, is our union with Christ. It is in the name of Jesus that we pray. This first of all has its relation to our position before God. We are joined in “legal union” with Jesus. We are His partners, His servants. We are working in His name. This is our position in virtue of our redemption and new birth. We are carrying out His task in His name. We are joined in “Life union” just as the father is with the son. Our position is not that of one outside the family of God, but one of God’s kin; we are sons of God. We are joined vitally to God through the new birth. Then, there is the “love union.”

We are the bride of Christ. In one sense we have taken His name. We are betrothed. We are joined to Christ as the object of His love in this age as well as in the future consummation. This all can be said to be part of our position in Christ. It does not depend on our spirituality or the quality of our life. It is grounded only on our salvation and our new birth. It is certain that this aspect was included when Christ told His disciples to ask “in my name.”

While it is certain that these positional aspects form a part of this truth, it is also evident that this supreme condition in prayer dealt with more than our position before God. In the discourse recorded in John 14, in the 15th verse, immediately after the reference to asking in His name, Christ continues, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

The condition of the believer is evidently vital in availing prayer. Obedience is a part of asking “in His name.”

But it is not simply a battle to do the Lord’s will that wins answer in prayer. It is not a barter of our good works for what we want in prayer. It is infinitely higher than this. From the teachings in the parting counsels of Christ, we learn that the key to the condition of the believer which corresponds to being “in my name” is found in the ministry of the Holy Spirit and in our abiding in Christ. It is evident that these two features are bound intimately together.

After exhortation to obedience which followed the revelation of the supreme condition in availing prayer, Christ immediately proceeds to the revelation of the coming of the Holy Spirit. The ministry of the Holy Spirit was to be the key to all their work for Him, their obedience, and their prayer. While it is not possible here to treat the subject of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we can take without discussion the conclusion that the essential ministry of the Holy Spirit to believers which concerns us here is the “filling” of the Holy Spirit. The disciples in Acts are constantly being “filled with the Holy Spirit.” It is clear that this has a vital relation to the condition of our spiritual lives.

While each Christian possesses the Holy Spirit and has all the ministries which are accomplished incident to his new birth, all Christians do not continually experience the filling of the Holy Spirit. It is not that the Holy Spirit leaves the Christian and comes back again, but the Scriptures teach that the Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit when he is in the complete charge of the Holy Spirit: when the Holy Spirit has all of him, filling his life, governing his activity. It is evident that this has a vital relation to availing prayer. Praying in the name of Jesus is only possible in the condition of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

As we are filled with the Holy Spirit we are praying in the name of Jesus. As we examine the Scripture revelation concerning the part the Holy Spirit has in the prayer of the believer, we easily establish this idea. Romans 8:14 tells us that the sons of God are led by the Spirit of God. The Spirit leads us in prayer, guiding our requests that they may conform to God’s will. We learn, too, that the Spirit makes intercession for us in Romans 8:26. While the Spirit makes intercession for every Christian, it is only possible for the Spirit to lead those who are yielded to His leading. To those who are grieving the Holy Spirit, it is necessary for the Spirit to leave His work of ministering to take up the work of reproving.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit in filling the believer is, therefore, a most vital part of praying in His name. In all true prayer, the work of the Holy Spirit is inherent. When Jesus told His disciples to pray in His name, He was most certainly contemplating this ministry of the Spirit. It was the Spirit who was to inspire them, guide them, fit them, for praying in His name. It was only as their mortality was lifted into the realm of immortality that they would be able to pray in His name. This ministry of the Spirit depended on their yielding to the Spirit in all things. As such it forms a great conditional element which not only determines the spirituality of a Christian, but also the effectiveness of his prayer.

Companion to this essential feature of praying in the name of Jesus, is the exhortation of Christ that His disciples abide in Him. In the 15th chapter of John we have an analogy teaching the intimate relation between Christ and His disciples. In the opening verse, Jesus speaks of Himself as “the true vine.” In contrast to Israel, the fruitless vine, Jesus was the true vine. In the fifth verse of this same chapter, repeating the fact that He is the vine, He adds, “Ye are the branches.” It was an analogy which should have been clear to each one of the disciples.

They were the branches of the vine. They had been cut off the fruitless vine, Israel, and had become joined to the true vine, Jesus. It was a forerunner to the revelation of the church as the body of Christ, joined in organic union with the head. In the fourth verse in this chapter, Jesus bids His disciples to “abide in me.” “As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” The logic was inexorable.

If the disciples were to bear fruit, they could do so only in virtue of their union with Christ. It was necessary for them to draw their strength from Christ just as the branches drew their strength from the vine.

It is evident from the very command of Christ, “Abide in me,” that this is a conditional feature and not a part of the Christian’s position in grace. Yet it is an interesting question whether it is possible for a Christian to do anything else than “abide” in Christ.

It is clear that every Christian is a living part of the vine. Why then did Christ bid His disciples to “abide in me” if it is impossible for a Christian to do anything else? This argument has been advanced by those who believe a Christian can be saved and then lost.

The source of the trouble lies in a too literal interpretation of this figure which Christ is using. The obvious purpose of the figure of the vine is to make clear the secret of fruitfulness. The subject of salvation is not being dealt with at all. Christ is talking to Christians. Judas Iscariot was not in the company when these words were spoken. Christ was clearly speaking of a conditional element in the lives of Christians.

“Abiding” is not the condition of being a branch, but the condition of a branch. According as the branch abides in the vine, it brings forth fruit.

Rev David Brown comments on this verse, “As in a fruit tree, some branches may be fruitful, others quite barren, according as there is a vital connection between the branch and the stock, or no vital connection; so the disciples of Christ may be spiritually fruitful or the reverse according as they are vitally and spiritually connected with Christ, or but externally and mechanically attached to Him.”

It is obvious, then, that “abiding” in Christ is an essential condition of fruit bearing, and also has a vital relation to effectual prayer.

In the seventh verse of this same 15th chapter of John, we have a definite link with our problem of praying in the name of Jesus. It is another great prayer promise with a condition clearly parallel to the condition of praying in His name. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

The condition here is twofold in character. First, it involves abiding in Christ. This connotes our drawing our strength and nourishment from Him, living in organic union with Him, and bringing forth fruit accordingly. The second condition in this prayer promise is if “my words abide in you.” It should be noted that there is a change here from the previous statement in verse four, “Abide in me, and I in you.”

The fact that Christ is in us can hardly be said to be conditional. The change from the indwelling of Christ in the believer to having His words abiding in the believer was a preparation for the promise of answered prayer. It is necessary not only that we draw our strength and nourishment from Christ, but also that His words purge the vine and cleanse it (verses two and three).

It is only as Christ’s words and the words of the Scripture abide in us that we are able to pray according to the purpose of God, and according to our purpose, if we are Spirit-filled.

The promise that “if ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you,” clearly is parallel to asking “in my name.” Each interprets the other. To pray in the name of Jesus involves as an essential characteristic, then, not only the filling of the Spirit, but what that filling involves: our abiding in the vine of Christ Jesus, and His word abiding in us.

C. Conclusion: Praying in His Name in Relation to God’s Program.

It is the clear testimony of the Scriptures that God is carrying out an eternally planned and decreed program. Every element is foreordained and foreknown. The salvation of every Christian is predestinated and a part of God’s plan from the beginning.

How then can prayer be said to really change things? What is the solution of the problem of the relation of effectual prayer and God’s eternal decree which cannot be changed? The solution lies simply and clearly in “praying in His name.”

It is difficult at best to correlate man’s will and God’s eternal purpose. It is difficult to comprehend that God’s plan is unchangeable and yet that man is a free agent. It is not so much that it is contrary to reason as that it is above reason. It is in a realm for which man has little capacity. It is outside our realm. But, clearly, praying in His name solves the problem, insofar as we can solve it. Just how is the problem solved?

It is evident from previous material that praying in the name of Jesus involves first of all the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit as He fills the Christian not only teaches and guides, but prays through the believer what has been in the eternal counsels of God from the beginning.

In this condition of being filled with the Spirit, in which all the fullness of abiding is realized, the Christian literally prays just as Christ would pray. Insofar as this end is realized the Christian prays in the name of Jesus. He stands not only in his position as a child of God, but he stands in a condition where he is a free channel for the Holy Spirit to speak through him the prayer which God wants him to pray.

This praying is a marvelous reality. The free agency of man is in no wise taken away, but the will is definitely given over to the will of God. It is an entering into not only the position of partnership, but the condition of partnership.

We become literally, fully, God’s partners in His work on earth. This, then, is what Christ meant when he spoke of praying “in my name.” The wonder of this privilege of praying in the name of Jesus is something beyond human expression. It speaks eloquently of God’s love, of His provision for our Christian lives, of the opportunity in prayer which we all have.

It brings us face to face with the unrealized possibilities in praying in the name of Jesus. There is no privilege which is more blessed or speaks more of the grace of God.

The secret of an abundant, fruitful life lies in prayer; the secret of prayer lies in praying in the name of Jesus. Enough could never be written on this theme, nor could it be adequately treated. Praying in the Name of Jesus is infinite in its possibilities, infinite in its privileges; it is at the center of God’s gracious provision for our lives on earth.

Summary

Prayer, then, can be said to be a pivotal theme of the Scriptures. God has a definite plan for prayer as revealed in the Scriptures. Prayer is an essential part of God’s program. Prayer rests both on a Christian’s position, and his condition.

As to his position, God has wrought completely for every Christian all that enters into his position, and thus opens to every Christian equal opportunity in prayer.

As to his condition, the Christian is hindered in prayer by his inherited sin, by his acts of sin, and by the person and work of Satan. Restoration into fellowship with God lost through sin is complete for the Christian by simple confession of sin. Prayer in the name of Jesus is the key to overcoming the hindrances to prayer.

This is found first in the character of the “name,” in that it rests on the work of Christ as Savior. This involves all that Christ did and is doing. Prayer in the name of Jesus is characterized and conditioned by our abiding in Him and our being filled with the Holy Spirit.

In relation to God’s eternal decree, predestination, and all that enters into the immutability of God, prayer in the name of Jesus solves the whole problem in that such prayer is just as Jesus would have prayed it. Prayer in the name of Jesus is therefore the means for accomplishing on the part of the Christian and on the part of God what would not otherwise have been accomplished. It is the highest work of every Christian; it enters into the loftiest privilege; it is the key to every spiritual treasure.

Dallas, Texas
for more information and biblical teaching from Dr. John F. Walvoord go to http://www.walvoord.com

“The Teachings of John from The New Testament” from Theologian B.B. Warfield (Deity of Christ, God’s Glory, Seeing Jesus)

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The Person Of Christ, According to the New Testament by B.B. Warfield (excerpted)

TEACHINGS OF JOHN

In the circumstances in which he wrote, John found it necessary to insist upon the elements of the person of Our Lord—His true Deity, His true humanity and the unity of His person—in a manner which is more didactic in form than anything we find in the other writings of the New Testament. The great depository of his teaching on the subject is, of course, the prologue to his Gospel.

Gospel of John Prologue

But it is not merely in this prologue, nor in the Gospel to which it forms a fitting introduction, that these didactic statements are found. The full emphasis of John’s witness to the twofold nature of the Lord is brought out, indeed, only by combining what he says in the Gospel and in the Epistles. ‘In the Gospel,’ remarks Westcott (on Jn. xx. 31), ‘the evangelist shows step by step that the historic Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God (opposed to mere ‘flesh’); in the Epistle he re-affirms that the Christ, the Son of God, was true man (opposed to mere ‘spirit’; I Jn. iv. 2) .’

What John is concerned to show throughout is that it was ‘the true God’ (I Jn. v. 20) who was ‘made flesh’ (Jn. i. 14); and that this ‘only God’ (Jn. i. 18, Revised Version, margin ‘God only begotten’) has truly come in . . . flesh’ (I Jn. iv. 2). In all the universe there is no other being of whom it can be said that He is God come in flesh (cf. II Jn. ver. 7, He that ‘cometh in the flesh,’ whose characteristic this is). And of all the marvels which have ever occurred in the marvelous history of the universe, this is the greatest—that ‘what was from the beginning’ (I Jn. ii. 13, 14) has been heard and gazed upon, seen and handled by men (I Jn. i. 1).

From the point of view from which we now approach it, the prologue to the Gospel of John may be said to fall into three parts. In the first of these, the nature of the Being who became incarnate in the person we know as Jesus Christ is described; in the second, the general nature of the act we call the incarnation; and in the third, the nature of the incarnated person. John here calls the person who became incarnate by a name peculiar to himself in the New Testament—the ‘Logos’ or ‘Word.’ According to the predicates which he here applies to Him, he can mean by the ‘Word’ nothing else but God Himself, ‘considered in His creative, operative, self-revealing, and communicating character,’ the sum total of what is Divine (C. F. Schmid).

In three crisp sentences he declares at the outset His eternal subsistence, His eternal intercommunion with God, His eternal identity with God: ‘In the beginning the Word was; and the Word was with God; and the Word was God’ (Jn. i. 1). ‘In the beginning,’ at that point of time when things first began to be (Gen. i. 1), the Word already ‘was.’ He antedates the beginning of all things. And He not merely antedates them, but it is immediately added that He is Himself the creator of all that is: ‘All things were made by him, and apart from him was not made one thing that hath been made’ (i. 3). Thus He is taken out of the category of creatures altogether.

Accordingly, what is said of Him is not that He was the first of existences to come into being—that ‘in the beginning He already had come into being’—but that ‘in the beginning, when things began to come into being, He already was.’ It is express eternity of being that is asserted: ‘the imperfect tense of the original suggests in this relation, as far as human language can do so, the notion of absolute, supra-temporal existence’ (Westcott). This, His eternal subsistence, was not, however, in isolation: ‘And the Word was with God.’

The language is pregnant. It is not merely coexistence with God that is asserted, as of two beings standing side by side, united in a local relation, or even in a common conception. What is suggested is an active relation of intercourse. The distinct personality of the Word is therefore not obscurely intimated. From all eternity the Word has been with God as a fellow: He who in the very beginning already ‘was,’ ‘was’ also in communion with God. Though He was thus in some sense a second along with God, He was nevertheless not a separate being from God: ‘And the Word was —still the eternal In some sense distinguishable from God, He was in an equally true sense identical with God. There is but one eternal God; this eternal God, the Word is; in whatever sense we may distinguish Him from the God whom He is ‘with,’ He is yet not another than this God, but Himself is this God.

The predicate ‘God’ occupies the position of emphasis in this great declaration, and is so placed in the sentence as to be thrown up in sharp contrast with the phrase ‘with God,’ as if to prevent inadequate inferences as to the nature of the Word being drawn even momentarily from that phrase. John would have us realize that what the Word was in eternity was not merely God’s coeternal fellow, but the eternal God’s self.

Now, John tells us that it was this Word, eternal in His subsistence, God’s eternal fellow, the eternal God’s self, that, as ‘come in the flesh,’ was Jesus Christ (I Jn. iv. 2). ‘And the Word became flesh’ (Jn. i. 14), he says. The terms he employs here are not terms of substance, but of personality.

The meaning is not that the substance of God was transmuted into that substance which we call ‘flesh.’ ‘The Word’ is a personal name of the eternal God; ‘flesh’ is an appropriate designation of humanity in its entirety, with the implications of dependence and weakness.

The meaning, then, is simply that He who had just been described as the eternal God became, by a voluntary act in time, a man. The exact nature of the act by which He ‘became’ man lies outside the statement; it was matter of common knowledge between the writer and the reader. The language employed intimates merely that it was a definite act, and that it involved a change in the life-history of the eternal God, here designated ‘the Word.’

The whole emphasis falls on the nature of this change in His life-history. He became flesh. That is to say, He entered upon a mode of existence in which the experiences that belong to human beings would also be His. The dependence, the weakness, which constitute the very idea of flesh, in contrast with God, would now enter into His personal experience. And it is precisely because these are the connotations of the term ‘flesh’ that John chooses that term here, instead of the more simply denotative term ‘man.’ What he means is merely that the eternal God became man. But he elects to say this in the language which throws best up to view what it is to become man.

The contrast between the Word as the eternal God and the human nature which He assumed as flesh, is the hinge of the statement. Had the evangelist said (as he does in I Jn. iv. 2) that the Word came in flesh,’ it would have been the continuity through the change which would have been most emphasized. When he says rather that the Word became flesh, while the continuity of the personal subject is, of course, intimated, it is the reality and the completeness of the humanity assumed which is made most prominent.

That in becoming flesh the Word did not cease to be what He was before entering upon this new sphere of experiences, the evangelist does not leave, however, to mere suggestion. The glory of the Word was so far from quenched, in his view, by His becoming flesh, that he gives us at once to understand that it was rather as ‘trailing clouds of glory’ that He came. ‘And the Word became flesh,’ he says, and immediately adds: ‘and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth’ (i. 14).

The language is colored by reminiscences from the Tabernacle, in which the Glory of God, the Shekinah, dwelt. The flesh of Our Lord became, on its assumption by the Word, the Temple of God on earth (cf. Jn. ii. 19), and the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. John tells us expressly that this glory was visible, that it was precisely what was appropriate to the Son of God as such. ‘And we beheld his glory,’ he says; not divined it, or inferred it, but perceived it. It was open to sight, and the actual object of observation. Jesus Christ was obviously more than man; He was obviously God.

His actually observed glory, John tells us further, was a ‘glory as of the only begotten from the Father.’ It was unique; nothing like it was ever seen in another, And its uniqueness consisted precisely in its consonance with what the unique Son of God, sent forth from the Father, would naturally have; men recognized and could not but recognize in Jesus Christ the unique Son of God. When this unique Son of God is further described as ‘full of grace and truth,’ the elements of His manifested glory are not to be supposed to be exhausted by this description (cf. ii. 11). Certain items of it only are singled out for particular mention. The visible glory of the incarnated Word was such a glory as the unique Son of God, sent forth from the Father, who was full of grace and truth, would naturally manifest.

That nothing should be lacking to the declaration of the continuity of all that belongs to the Word as such into this new sphere of existence, and its full manifestation through the veil of His flesh, John adds at the close of his exposition the remarkable sentence: ‘As for God, no one has even yet seen him; God only begotten, who is in the bosom of the Father—He hath declared him’ (i. 18 in.).

It is the incarnate Word which is here called ‘only begotten God.’ The absence of the article with this designation is doubtless due to its parallelism with the word ‘God’ which stands at the head of the corresponding clause. The effect of its absence is to throw up into emphasis the quality rather than the mere individuality of the person so designated. The adjective ‘only begotten’ conveys the idea, not of derivation and subordination, but of uniqueness and consubstantiality: Jesus is all that God is, and He alone is this. Of this ‘only begotten God’ it is now declared that He ‘is’—not ‘was,’ the state is not one which has been left behind at the incarnation, but one which continues uninterrupted and unmodified— ‘into ‘—not merely ‘in’—’the bosom of the Father’—that is to say, He continues in the most intimate and complete communion with the Father. Though now incarnate, He is still ‘with God’ in the full sense of the external relation intimated.

This being true, He has much more than seen God, and is fully able to ‘interpret’ God to men. Though no one has ever yet seen God, yet he who has seen Jesus Christ, ‘God only begotten,’ has seen the Father (cf. xiv. 9; xii. 45).

In this remarkable sentence there is asserted in the most direct manner the full Deity of the incarnate Word, and the continuity of His life as such in His incarnate life; thus He is fitted to be the absolute revelation of God to man.

This condensed statement of the whole doctrine of the in-carnation is only the prologue to a historical treatise. The historical treatise which it introduces, naturally, is written from the point of view of its prologue. Its object is to present Jesus Christ in His historical manifestation, as obviously the Son of God in flesh. ‘These are written,’ the Gospel testifies, ‘that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God’ (xx. 31); that Jesus who came as a man (i. 30) was thoroughly known in His human origin (vii. 27), confessed Himself man (viii. 40), and died as a man dies (xix. 5), was, nevertheless, not only the Messiah, the Sent of God, the fulfiller of all the Divine promises of redemption, but also the very Son of God, that God only begotten, who, abiding in the bosom of the Father, is His sole adequate interpreter.

From the beginning of the Gospel onward, this purpose is pursued: Jesus is pictured as ever, while truly man, yet manifesting Himself as equally truly God, until the veil which covered the eyes of His followers was wholly lifted, and He is greeted as both Lord and God (xx. 28). But though it is the prime purpose of this Gospel to exhibit the Divinity of the man Jesus, no obscuration of His manhood is involved. It is the Deity of the man Jesus which is insisted on, but the true manhood of Jesus is as prominent in the representation as in any other portion of the New Testament. Nor is any effacement of the humiliation of His earthly life involved. For the Son of man to come from heaven was a descent (iii. 13), and the mission which He came to fulfill was a mission of contest and conflict, of suffering and death. He brought His glory with Him (i. 14), but the glory that was His on earth (xvii. 22) was not all the glory which He had had with the Father before the world was, and to which, after His work was done, He should return (xvii. 5). Here too the glory of the celestial is one and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

In any event, John has no difficulty in presenting the life of Our Lord on earth as the life of God in flesh, and in insisting at once on the glory that belongs to Him as God and on the humiliation which is brought to Him by the flesh. It is distinctly a duplex life which he ascribes to Christ, and he attributes to Him without embarrassment all the powers and modes of activity appropriate on the one hand to Deity and on the other to sinless (Jn. vii. 46; cf. xiv. 30; I Jn. iii. 5) human nature. In a true sense his portrait of Our Lord is a dramatization of the God-man which he presents to our contemplation in his prologue.

Benjamin B. Warfield

“Believing in God”, The Gospel of John with commentary from Nathan Bingham of Ligonier Ministries (belief, near to God, hope)

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Introduction from L.Willows: I need to “Believe”; to believe with all of my heart, my mind and to live it in the hours of each day. “This world” and “this life” need BELIEF in GOD as our leading value. Without this, we have no way to measure or direct our footsteps forward. Our hearts would lean upon circumstance for hope. We have been given more. In the Gospel of John, we are reminded that by the power of faith we receive the Son of God, Jesus Christ and become Children of God. 

This is what BELOVED is about. I celebrate, with you that at every moment we are blessed in the presence of The Holy Beloved, who is with us, whose Spirit is placed within our hearts, who intercedes for us and whose Father loves us with might that we can scarcely comprehend.

Remembering this, I’d like to highlight some passages from the Gospel of John with an introduction from Ligonier Ministries. (L. Willows

The Gospel of John from Nathan W. Bingham

A special challenge to interpreters of John’s Gospel is the relation between seeing “signs” and belief.

The author places great emphasis on the unique significance of Jesus’ miracles because they reveal much about His Person and work (John 20:3031). But some passages seem to suggest that belief based solely upon having personally seen the signs is not a good thing.

In John 4:48, for instance, Jesus rebukes His hearers, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

This passage brings to mind the statement of Thomas in John 20:25, “Unless I see … I will never believe.” Therefore, many readers have concluded that an ideal faith has no interest in miracles. The problem with this conclusion is twofold.

First, if faith resulting from miracles is not good, why does Jesus perform miracles? Second, why does John link these signs to faith in Christ (John 20:31)?

To believe in Jesus means not only to acknowledge His ability to perform miracles, but also to accept what those miracles as “signs” reveal about His Person and work.

The evangelist indicates that the written record of Jesus’ signs is sufficient testimony for those who are not eyewitnesses. This understanding is implied by what Jesus said to Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

Paul’s formulation gives a similar relation between faith and sight: “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7; cf. Rom. 8:2425).

Faith can be produced and encouraged by the signs Jesus performed. But the goal of this faith is to apprehend Jesus in His fullness, not merely as a miracle worker.

Jesus is revealed by His “signs” as the eternal Word of God, one in glory with the Father and the Spirit.

It is not necessary to be an eyewitness of the signs; the record of them is sufficient to convey their power for eliciting and strengthening faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.

One of the most striking distinctives of this Gospel is the Prologue (John 1:1–18) that presents Jesus as the eternal Logos, or Word, the One who reveals the Father.

Christ reveals the Father because He shares in the Father’s deity. He is the One who made the universe (John 1:3).

He met the needs of the Israelites in the wilderness, and now He provides spiritual water and bread (John 4:13146:35). In short, He is one with the Father, the “I am” (John 5:188:5810:30–33; cf. Ex. 3:14).

From Nathan Bingham

John 1:12

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

John 1:1-51

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. …

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:18

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

John 5:24

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

John 6:35

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

John 10:38

But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

John 11:40

Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

John 14:1

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

John 20:31

But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

1 John 4:16

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

1 John 5:4

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.