Posted by: dhkrause | October 16, 2022

Knowing the Only True God

In His prayer in John 17, Jesus describes the Son of God as the giver of eternal life.  He then declares, “this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 17 (NKJV)

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

To understand these statements, it is helpful to carefully read and understand the prologue to John’s gospel (John 1:1-18).  He begins by declaring the eternal existence of the Son of God (portrayed in this passage as “the Word”) and His relationship to the Father, with whom He shares deity:

John 1 (NKJV)

The Eternal Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

The eternal Word, the Son of God, is declared to be the Creator, through whom all things were made:

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

The Son of God, the eternal Word, is the source of all life, and the source of the light of consciousness in every person:

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

When this light of life shines in the darkness of this world, people often do not readily understand and comprehend it.

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

When Jesus begins His ministry, John the Immerser bears anointed witness of Him:

John’s Witness: The True Light

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word, came into the world that He had made, and people did not know Him.  He came to His own, a nation specially called to be God’s people, and most did not receive Him:

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

But those who did receive Him, those who believed in His name, were born from above by the Spirit, as children of God:

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

In summary, the Word became flesh (incarnate) and dwelt among His people.  Those who beheld His glory saw Him to be the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

When Jesus began His ministry, John pointed his own followers to Jesus saying that although “He comes after me”, “He was before me.”  John meant that though Jesus was born after him, and  began His public ministry after him, Jesus was before him as the eternally existing the Son of God:

15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”

Jesus was the fullness of God in human flesh, and those who follow Him receive of His fullness, and grace upon grace.

16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

God gave the law through Moses, and through Jesus Christ He gave grace and truth to fulfill the law.

17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Though none of us has seen God, the Son of God who is continually with the Father, has declared and revealed Him.

18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

1 John 5 declares that He came so that we may know the true and living God: “Him who is true” and His Son Jesus Christ.  “This is the true God and eternal life.

1 John 5 (NKJV)

20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

David Krause,,

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