Welcome again everyone to Deeper Waters. Tonight, we are going to finish up the book of 1 John. I am amazed that we have come this far. I had no idea this is how the blog would turn out when I started blogging on the Trinity. It’s been a fun ride however. I again ask for your prayers for my continued commitment to Christlikeness. I constantly see sides of myself that are not loving as they should be and I am learning to work on that. I also ask for prayers for my financial situation and then again, a certain area in my life that I would like prayers for. God knows. For now, let us go to 1 John 5:20.
20We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
This is one of the debated verses again. I would recommend for an in-depth look at this and several other verses where the word theos is used of Jesus, that one check out Murray J. Harris’s book “Jesus as God.” Harris takes the position that this does not refer to Jesus. Of course, there are several passages where he does believe that “God” refers to Jesus, but he is a fair interpreter of the text.
The book has been telling us at this point much about the nature of God. It was Jesus who came to reveal God to us. We know the Father best by looking at the Son. When we see Jesus, we are seeing what a person of the nature of God is like. He comes to us and shows us how we are to live. Ultimately, Jesus doesn’t just show us who God is, but he shows us who we are to be.
Thus, the passage says that the Son came to reveal him who is true. This would be God. It is the nature of God that has been the real focus and Jesus is the one who tells us the nature of God. So, when John says “He is the true God”, is he saying that Jesus is the true God, or is he saying that this is the nature of God? He is true.
I would say that it is referring to God himself. I think the him that is true refers to God and Jesus Christ is his Son. The one who is true then is the one that John wishes us to think about and he says that he is the true God and eternal life. I also think that this is in contrast to the evil one all throughout. The one who is true is a counter to the one who is evil. This also fits with John’s final warning for us to avoid idols. It’s not just idols of wood, but idols of false gods of the mind.
Tomorrow, we shall move to 2 John.