Will We Ever See God?
Tom: Our topic for this segment is the gospel of salvation, and we’re going through certain verses of the Gospel of John which relate to the salvation we have in Christ. We’re particularly interested in verses which tell us who Jesus is, which is critical to our belief in salvation.
We’ll pick up with John:1:18: “No man has seen God at any time. The only begotten son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared him.” And, Dave, we were mentioning the Holy Spirit in our last segment. So the Holy Spirit is not visible, a person, yet a person we can’t see, but God the Father is the same.
Dave: God the Father is not visible either: “No man hath seen him at any time.” In fact, Paul goes on in 1 Timothy 6, he says it even more clearly: “God dwells in a light that no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen nor can see.” So, that covers it pretty well. But He is the only-begotten Son. Now, that’s an interesting term. We are the sons of God through faith in Christ, but Jesus is the Son of God in a unique way. He is God and man, met in one person. He is truly God and truly man. We are human beings. We will never be God. So, He is the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. We’re not full of grace and truth, except as Christ comes within, the Holy Spirit fills us.
So we have to remember that He is in a category of His own. And the cults deny that. I remember seeing, I think it was—well, I can’t even remember who it was, but someone was being interviewed by some talk show host and this man was supposedly a great spiritual leader. And they said, “Well, what do you think of Jesus?”
“Well, he’s a son of God like the rest of us. We’re all sons of God.”
No, we become the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. So He’s the only-begotten Son. He’s unique. But this is interesting: “…which is in the bosom of the Father.”
Tom: Dave, before you address that…
Dave: All right.
Tom: The point of going through these scriptures—we’re talking about the gospel. What someone must believe to be saved. And a major point here is that, knowing who Jesus is, and somebody says, “I love Jesus,” and, you know, “Just as long as you love Jesus, that’s all that’s necessary.”
But, knowing who Jesus is—that’s part of your commitment to Him. You have to understand that.
Dave: Mm-hmm. You can’t love someone that you don’t know. You can’t trust someone you don’t know, and in John:17:3, Jesus said, “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” So, indeed, we must have the right Jesus…
Dave: …in mind. The one that we love must be the right one.
Tom: And this Jesus, which is “in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” That’s what you were just going to address.
Dave: Yeah, well, you could get a similar thought a little later in John’s gospel here. We’ll come to it eventually, I guess, if the Lord gives us enough time. But Jesus said, “No man has ascended [this is John 3]—No man has ascended into heaven except he which came down from heaven…” Now, Jesus is talking to Nicodemus. “…even the Son of God which is in heaven.” So at the same time Jesus was on this earth as a man, He is in the bosom of the Father. He’s both in heaven and on earth because He is God. And when He became a man, even through the virgin birth—even as the babe in Bethlehem—He did not cease to be God. God cannot cease to be God. So, God and man met together in one Person, and now, this is not like He’s kind of hybrid, and He’s part God and part man. No, no! He is fully God and fully man. Again, we can’t explain that. We don’t know anything.
I remember Einstein. Before he died, he said, “If I could just understand the electron.” We don’t know what an electron is. We don’t know what energy is. We don’t know what anything is. And we certainly don’t know what a soul and spirit is. God made man a living soul, and souls and spirits never die, even though bodies do, and God is a Spirit; God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient. We can’t even begin to understand that.
So, when Jesus becomes a man, He doesn’t cease to be God. And yet He is fully man, He is fully God. This is what the Bible teaches. Never mind what the creeds have said. This is what the Bible teaches. And He’s in the bosom of the Father even while He’s on earth!
Tom: Dave, these four words: “He hath declared Him.”
Tom: This is Jesus. He walked this earth, He became a man. We have His words. We have the description of what He did, and so on. This is God in the flesh, God incarnate. This is how we know God in many ways.
Dave: Well, Jesus said, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” And He said, “I and my Father are one.” Now, God is walking among man as a man. We are going to see in Him all the characteristics, the qualities, the character of God. And that’s beyond my comprehension. I think in terms of God—we mentioned it earlier in the program—He’s so great! He created everything out of nothing! He knows where every subatomic particle that ever was or ever will be, even the subatomic particles that we haven’t yet discovered. He knows where every one of them is, ever was, or ever will be at any moment. I mean it’s beyond our comprehension!
And yet, this God became a man. He didn’t become a monkey. He didn’t become a tree. He didn’t become “nature,” and He is not nature. This is a personal—the personal God. God the Son, who is one with God and with the Holy Spirit, He became a man, and what did He manifest? Well, it goes on a little later in this chapter: “He’s full of grace and truth.” Truth has to be revealed before there can be grace. There’s no grace unless you know the truth about someone. Then you can be gracious to them.
He’s so humble! He’s so lowly, so meek! So gentle, so gracious! So compassionate! This great God, that He would really love me? An individual? Now, He cuts the Pharisees into ribbons and leaves them bleeding from every pore…
Dave: Right. Figuratively. Because He doesn’t compromise. He points out error. He does not condone lies. He does not condone leading the sheep astray. And so He rebukes them. Jesus even says in His letters to the seven churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” We talked about it earlier: He chastens us for our own good. Because He loves us, He rebukes us.
So, we see God in Jesus. And there’s an awesomeness about Jesus as well. We read of that in Revelation chapter 20. It says, “I saw a great white throne set up in heaven. And Him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away—there was found no place for them. I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God. The books were opened.” Jesus, in John 5, said, “The Father has committed all judgment to the Son.” And so, we know that this is Jesus sitting on this throne to judge mankind. And He has endured as a man everything. You can’t say that you’ve been through something—“Well, you know, I was an illegitimate child,” or “I had this problem,” or “I was hated,” or whatever. No, no! He’s endured it all. He’s endured every temptation, and He has not succumbed to any of them. And now, He judges. And, John, remember, who called himself “the disciple that Jesus loved,” yet when He saw Jesus, His face like the sun shining in its strength, His voice as the sound of many waters, and a sharp two-edged sword going out of His mouth. His words are so piercing! So cutting! And yet, this is the One who brings salvation, and who allows men to mock Him and to crucify Him. Well, He’s in the bosom of the Father, and He declares the Father. And this is how we know who God really is.
And, of course, it’s through His Word, and Jesus is the living Word. Tom, we’ve run out of time. It’s beyond our comprehension. But I hope that we can encourage our listeners to cry out with Paul, “Oh, that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.”
Tom: For those of our listeners who…this has touched their heart, and they want to know Him better, God’s Word lays all of these things out. We barely touch on some things, and we don’t do it justice, there’s no doubt about it. But if you want to get to know this Christ, our Savior, God who became a man, it’s through reading His Word. The Holy Spirit, which we talked about earlier, the Holy Spirit will teach you, encourage you, enable you, to know Him better. And that’s our encouragement to everyone listening.