Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Christ, The All-Sufficient Savior

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

In today's blog I want to share some observations about what is perhaps the most familiar verse in the Bible - John 3:16.  Sometimes the most illuminating moments in our Christian walk is when God takes what we deem familiar, and unfolds for us truths that are indeed precious and profound.  What John is stating here in this verse is this central idea: that God's choice to accomplish salvation through Jesus Christ is tied to the fact of Who Jesus Christ really is.  In short, He is enough, He is All-Sufficient. 

When we read in the above text that "God so loved the world", we come across the incredible statement: "that He gave His only Begotten Son".  Now many English Translations today will render that phrase as "One and Only", which is an acceptable rendering of this description of Jesus Christ given by the Apostle John.  However the NASB above chooses to retain the phrase as "Only Begotten", which as you will see below, is actually the preferred rendering. 

What is meant by "Only Begotten"?

When John writes the term "Only Begotten", He is making a statement pertaining to Jesus Christ being equal in authority and nature to the One who sent Him - God the Father.  Now you have seen the word "begat" in those genaeological lists that mention about how "so-and-so begat so-and-so".  Why is it that the biblical authors don't say "birth" or "born"?  When we compare the term "birth" to "begat", we can understand the reason why:

     Meaning of "birth"                      Meaning of "begotten"
-Begins in time                            -Is not bound to time
-Refers to individual identity      -Refers to an office or title
-Is different in age from birther  -Same qualities as begetter
-Mother centered                        -Father centered
-Based upon human bloodline  -Based on Eternal Decree 

Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten, is God

Now when you apply the above observations of "begotten" to what John is saying here in John 3:16, you begin to understand why it is Jesus Christ alone is the All Sufficient Savior.  In Isaiah 43:11 we read - "I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me".  Without a doubt, Jehovah God, THE LORD, is making this statement.  Only God can create, and only God can be the Source of salvation. 

To say that Jesus Christ is the Only-Begotten Son of God is to say that, touching His Divine Nature: He is not bound by time, that He occupies a position that has existed from all eternity and that He shares the same Divine, Eternal nature as God the Father.  Thus what John is arguing for is the reason why Christ alone is All-Sufficient - He has the same Eternal Qualities, Power and Life as the One who sent Him. 

This means then that He is All-Sufficient.  No matter how deep my sin, Jesus Christ can span that depth.  No matter how high my wickedness may run, Christ alone can overcome it.  Despite the gulf that existed between Holy God and sinful man, Christ alone can span it.  He is God.  In tomorrow's blog we will look at the second truth drawn from John 3:16 - namely how Jesus Christ is the All-Sufficient Savior due to the fact that He is also man.   For only as both God and man can Christ bring man and God together.