Redeemer Lutherhan Church

Praising God, serving neighbors with Christ at the center!


The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

| May 17, 2019

Before you start reading this, open up your Bible and read John chapter 5.

John 5 is an absolutely critical text for understanding the interrelationship between the Father and the Son. Jesus builds on the foundation that has been laid in the previous chapters. He begins the discourse with the statement “Truly, truly,” drawing the listeners in, stressing the importance of the coming words. He ties his authority to do and say what he does to the Father for he does not act of his own accord. This further shows the closeness of the relationship, they work in tandem, the Son doing the will of the Father who sent him. We see in this that Jesus is in no way subservient to the Father, but does indeed emulate the works of the Father. Jesus then alludes to the primary work of the Son and the Father: life, the Father the creator of life (First Article of the Apostles Creed) and the Son the Redeemer of life (Second Article of the Apostles Creed.) Jesus foreshadows the great work that will be done as he himself is brought back from death to life, the first fruits of the Resurrection. In this Resurrection one finds eternal life for all who would believe in His name, those who do not believe that Christ and the Father are one and that Christ was resurrected from the dead remain in an eternal death and are judged according to their unbelief. We see why the Son is therefore the one who is the Judge because it is in the denial of his work that one is separated from the Father.

When one believes in Jesus, one believes in YHWH, they believe in the works of the Father and gain for themselves eternal life, this is not to say that eternal life and Christ are separate, but in Jesus one has eternal life. Jesus repeats the double emphatic, Truly, truly, in verse 24. He explains that whoever hears his word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. Verse 24 contains such rich and deep theology. There is a clear but profound statement that Jesus makes, whoever hears his word and believes him who sent me, notice they are connected, has eternal life. To hear the word of Jesus is to believe in the Father. It is really remarkable that Jesus was not stoned at that moment. When one hears and believes in Christ one has eternal life. For Jesus, eternal life has little to do with a place and much more to do with a person, namely Him. Eternal life and Jesus are inseparable. Jesus further explains this in the next chapter, when we enter into communion with him, when we eat his body and drink his blood, we are experiencing heaven on earth.

Eternal life is being with Christ, this does start this side of the physical death because though faith in Christ the dead spirit inside of man is born from above. The climax of eternal life for the Christian will be at the moment when the Christian goes from “now but not yet” to NOW, at the last day, when the Christian sees the face of God, and is saved by faith in Christ, saved by his work. Verse 29 is a good opportunity for the reader to invoke the hermeneutical principle of scripture interrupting scripture. Taken out of context, one could claim a theology of works righteousness based solely on verse 29. There is no one who is righteous not even one! (Romans 3:10) All who are given the resurrection of life on the last day will do so based solely on the work of Christ in his death and resurrection, all who receive the resurrection of judgment will receive it because of their refusal to receive the gift of faith.

Jesus continues on with his discourse backing up his claims by His witnesses. Looking at the text it is clear that Jesus points to the Father, and John the Baptist as those who have “borne witness about me.” Reading further in the text one could make a case for Moses also being a witness, “for he wrote of me” as Jesus says.

The Son was with the Father and the Spirit at the creation of all things i.e. let us make man in OUR image.