It stands to reason that like earthly fathers and sons, the Heavenly Father and His Son shared similar traits. However, in this case it is extremely important. For those who doubt whether or not Jesus was actually the Son of God, comparing the divine attributes of Jesus and God proves without a doubt that Jesus was God Incarnate (Jn. 1:14). The disciple John was extremely concerned with the infiltration of a religious belief called “Gnosticism” which had begun to influence the fledgling church in the first century A. D. Gnosticism is a complex and varied philosophical/religious movement of the first century. Its foundational teaching is that the material world is inherently evil and that the spiritual realm is good. This premise leads to the conclusion that if God is good, He cannot be material, hence Jesus as the Son of God could not be material (that is found in human form). This is the complete opposite of what Scripture teaches (Acts 2:22-24; Rom. 1:1-4; 8:3; Phil. 2:5-7; Gal. 4:4-5).
2 John 1:3 states that as the Son of the Father, Jesus Christ bears the same attributes as Him. John mentions two attributes in particular: truth and love. Much has been written concerning the love Jesus demonstrated for us by dying on the cross. But not as much on truth and in a post-Christian culture which loves to bend the “truth” to its own benefit, The Truth is even more important. When Jesus stood before Pilate just before His crucifixion, the two exchanged a brief dialogue concerning the truth of Who Jesus was and why He came to earth. The discussion ended with Pilate’s probing question, “What is truth?” (Jn. 18:28-38). The answer to this question is written within the tenets of the Gospel (Mt. 4:17; Mk. 1:14-14; Jn. 3:16-17; Acts 2:14-41; 3:12-26; Rom. 1:1-6; Phil. 2:6-11)*.
But it can also be demonstrated by looking at what the Bible considers to be a blatant contrast to Truth. Divine truth is the opposite of fables (2 Pet. 1:16; 1 Tim. 4:7), that is any religious thought which springs up out of man’s invention and not God’s design. There is a lot of this going on in Christianity today. For example, it is important to realize that most books published in the Christian market are not published because they are Biblically sound; they are published because they will sell. It’s not that I’m against Christian “self-help” books (which is what I classify most of the books being written today as), but I find it sad that so many people read them without holding them up to the measuring stick of Truth. One of the top selling “Christian” books on the market today promotes New Age concepts as if they are Biblical Truth. The methods promoted in this book have no Biblical parallel and yet people are buying into its teaching as if “it’s all good”. It’s not all good! Some of “it” is down-right heretical.
Just as John warned the believers to be aware of the false teachings of Gnosticism, we must be alert against false teachings which are being introduced into the Gospel (2 Pet. 2:1). Calling Jesus into your consciousness, visualization, and the emphasis on your personal “experience” with Jesus during this time of “meditation” are methods directly taken from the New Age. In the beginning of his second letter, John encourages the faithful to think carefully about what they are hearing concerning Christ. If they hear teaching contrary to the principle elements of the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4), they are to both disregard it and to speak out against it (2 Jn. 2:8-11). It is easy to think that any book which presents itself as Christian literature is trustworthy and accurate. Unfortunately that is not the case. It is my conviction that the Bible explains everything we need to know about faith issues. It should be our first and foremost source in any matter. If it isn’t then we are straying from the Truth. And this is what the Father has to say about the Son: Mt. 17:5; Mk. 9:7; Lk. 9:35. Are you listening to the Truth?
Ann H. LeFevre, M. Div.
Week of 8/28/2016
* The Book of Romans is a detailed and methodical presentation of the Gospel in its entirety demonstrating its firm roots in the Old Testament Scriptures. You may enjoy Warren Wiersbe: Be Right as a companion to reading the Book of Romans.