John 1:18; 8:19 14:8-10
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson focuses on knowing God through divine revelation.
[Prayer] Let’s bow together in prayer. Father, we thank Thee for the privilege that is before again on studying the Scriptures and through them coming to know Thee better. We pray that thou will guide us as we consider the revelation that thou hast given us in the Scriptures. May our thought be clear and may we be able to understand the things that avail for our salvation, which also enable us to understand the truth better. We commit each one to Thee and pray thy blessing upon them in Jesus name. Amen.
Tonight the subject is revelation or “Has Man a Word From God.” And we’re going to go back over a few things that we said last time for the sake of review and emphasis. But before we do I want to read three brief passages from the Gospel John. And the first is John chapter 1, verse 18, one of the important texts in this great gospel of the Son of God, John chapter 1, verse 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.”
By the way, that word “declared” means, to lead out. It is the word from which we get exegesis. Now, I don’t have any titles but one and I am professor of New Testament of Literature and Exegesis. And the word exegeomai from which we get exegesis means exposition. It means to lead out. It means to explain. And consequently, Jesus is the exegesis of the Father. He has declared him. It is by our Lord that we come to know the Father, the text states.
Now let’s turn over to the eighth chapter and read one verse from the eighth chapter the nineteenth verse. Chapter 8, verse 19, we read,
“Then they said to Him, ‘Where is Your Father?’ Jesus answered, ‘You know neither me nor My Father. If you had known me, you would have known My Father also.’”
He is the revelation of the Father. And then in chapter 14, verses 8 through 10 a passage which is probably more familiar to us then the second one, at least, possibly even the first John chapter 14, verses 8 through 10 and famous question which Phillip asked our Lord in the upper room discourse,
“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He has seen me has seen the Father; so how can you say, Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.’”
Now, we have considered the question, “Does God exist?” and “Can God be known?” And I hope that we have learned; I hope that you have learned, that the Bible contains no proof o the existence of God. It assumes the existence of God. It begins, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” and it does not stop to give us a definition nor an explanation and proof of the existence of God. The proofs that we have deduced are intuitive and rational. That is we have referred to the innate knowledge which we posses of God.
A knowledge, that is like, the innate knowledge of our senses. We feel pain. We do not have to prove or have proved to us that we feel pain. We have felt pain. We do not have to have proved to us that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. That is intuitive, intellectual knowledge. We do not have to have proved to us that we have a moral nature and that our conscience either accuses or excuses us with regard to the actions that we perform. And so the knowledge of God is intuitive. We really do not have to have someone prove it to us for we naturally think of God.
As we begin to think, I suggested, and this is purely suggestion, that Adam probably knew of God as soon as he knew of the external world in which he was placed. In other words, the knowledge of God was intuitive. We then looked at some of the rational proofs such as the ontological proof, the teleological proof, the cosmological proof, the moral argument, arguments which substantiate the intuitive knowledge of God that we possess. Then we went on to discuss the know-ability of God and we tried to point out that God is incomprehensible in the fullest sense. He cannot be known completely but at the same time he is knowable.
That he cannot be completely grasped but we can touch him in the sense that we can know many significant things about him. We shall know him completely but we can be sure that we know him. Just as you can never know me completely but you can be sure that you do know me. I am incomprehensible to you. I know that I’ve heard it said, that someone said about his preacher, that he was invisible for six days of the week and incomprehensible on the seventh day. [Laughter] So I know that I am incomprehensible to you but I am speaking of that in a different sense. I am incomprehensible. My wife does not even completely understand me. I am incomprehensible to her, yet she knows me. And she knows me very well, better perhaps than anyone in this world. So God is incomprehensible in one sense but he is knowable in the other.
And I suggested that we knew God by the way of negation, by the way of imminence and by the way of causality. That is, since he is the Supreme Being we do not attribute to him the limitations that we possess. We know him by way of negation. We know him by way of imminence. That is we attribute to him the infinity of all that we understand of ourselves. We are intellectual. He, of course, is the perfect intellectual being and so on. And then we know him by way of causality. He is the ultimate cause of all and he is the cause of us. He is the cause of this creation and therefore the creation reflects him. We are like him. That is true in the very nature of the case, for he has made us and we reflect him. And if we see power in men, complete power is in God. If we see mercy in men, complete mercy is in God. If we see justice among men, complete justice is in God; and so on. He is known by way of imminence, negation and causality. So I think that we at least should have come to the conviction that while the Bible does not give us a proof of the existence of God we can know that there is a God and we can know many things about that God.
Now the subject tonight is “Revelation, or Has a Man a Word From God.” Has man a word from this knowable God. And we want to begin with Roman I in our outline, the necessity of special revelation. And I think last time, though really I to tell you the truth I forgotten it I was anticipating that football game so much, I presume, I think that I did say something about the distinction between general and special revelation. If not, we have considered that previously anyway but let me repeat what I said. Revelation is twofold. In fact, we could in one sense say God has written a work or has authored a work called Revelation and that book has two volumes. The two volumes are first general revelations; which is God’s revelation of himself in history, in providence and above all in nature.
Now, we have also said of course that that revelation is incomplete but let me finish this. The second volume of God’s work we shall call special revelation. A special revelation is revelation that is found in the word of God. So the senses of revelation then are twofold — general and special. Within general, we have several different categories. I said nature, history and did I not say last time that someone had said regarding waterloo; that waterloo was God. That was a Britisher who said that. The Frenchman did not interpret it in that way but he was recognizing in that remark that God acts in human history.
Now, some of us who are old, such as I, I don’t know whether there is anyone in this room. I’m sure there are no ladies but perhaps a man that is as old as I am will remember what happened when Hitler, after he had marched so easily through the countries of the Lowlands and on into France, poised with his army ready to cross the channel and for some unknown reason did not come. I’m sure that the Britishes thought again that that was God. That is that his hand was in history and prevented that mad man from making that trip across the channel. Or it, if we should go by what had happened, he most surely would have captured all of Britain as well. So the sources of revelation are then twofold. Nature, history, providence and conscience make up general revelations. Special revelation in the word of God.
Now we have also I hope seen that this general revelation is incomplete in the very nature of the case. Let’s just take nature because we can see more in nature than we can in the others. We can never really be sure of our interpretation of history. We can be sure of our interpretation of nature and God has revealed himself in nature, but what we find in nature is that God is the Supreme Being. That is what Paul states in Romans chapter 1, verse 20. He says that through natural revelation we can understand his eternal power and his divinity. That he is a supreme being but we do not have any revelation of his mercy.
To us, we do not have any revelation of the way whereby we may be saved. Or we can see some inkling of his mercy some indication of it. We can see some indication of the fact that he is good but at the same time that information is not altogether clear because we can see information or at least we think we do. We can see revelation in nature that suggests that God is also a god who is at least one who punishes, exercises or is responsible for catastrophe. Is responsible in some sense for some of the terrible things that happen among us. There is lightning. There is thunder. And there are many natural catastrophes that we cannot explain except by saying in the language of insurance men — which I knew — they are acts of God.
And in a sense we thereby recognize the fact that God does act in ways that indicate that he is not only good but also severe. It’s Paul that speaks about the goodness and the severity of God. So then, we have seen that there are two volumes of revelation. This is insufficient and special revelation is designed to give us that which general revelation does not supply. An indication of how we as men can come to know as sinners the God who punishes evil.
Now, tonight I want to first of all look at the necessity of special revelation or the necessity of the revelation of God in the word. And I want to try to give you some reasons why such a revelation is necessary and first of all, by the analogy of general revelation. How we could expect to have such a revelation?
Now, if we consider the revelation of God and nature, we should come to this conclusion, I think, that nature is a great “who done it” as someone had put it. It’s a mystery really. Nature in itself does not give us the answer to all of the problems, but at least in the creation of nature there is an indication on the part of God that he does wish to be known. And even though nature is ultimately inscrutable still that fact that he has given us nature indicates that he wishes to be known, for it is in nature that we do discover things about him. So in general, revelation indicates that he wishes to be known and implies that he will be known, since he has revealed the less important things, his eternal power and divinity.
It’s reasonable to expect that he will reveal to men the more important thing. For it is much more important for us to know how to notice God in the complete sense as sooner then it is to simply know that he is a supreme being. For you see, to know God as a supreme being does not say that. To know that God is the great mighty one who has created this universe does not help us as sinners. To know that this God is a God who is severe and has implanted within us a conscience that tells us that when we do contrary to his will, we have done which is wrong and makes us feel that we’re allowable to judgment well that is very insufficient. We need some indication of how we as that type of person can become reconciled to this God who has created us. So natural revelation leads us to believe that he will give us special revelation because he has revealed himself partially.
How opaque the incompleteness of general revelation. Just think for a moment. And I think that we should look at a passage of scripture in this case. Let’s turn over to Acts chapter 14, verse 17 where we have state in Scripture what I’m going to infer from it, from nature. Acts chapter 14, verse 17 now the Apostle Paul on his missionary journey spoke to some people who did not know a great deal about God, so he began by referring to natural revelation which is what you might expect.
Our missionaries have to do that you know. Very frequently they have to talk about God when they go out to lands who know very little about God. They have to stop and say now God is a Trinity and they have to talk about the Trinity. Whereas in the United States, we are so familiar with these terms that in many of our churches, at least, though we don’t understand it. We still are supposed to know that God is the Trinity and we’re not disturbed by that. But when we are preaching the word to people who do not know, we have to begin at the first things first. So the apostle speaks in verse 17,“Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
Now, here Paul states that “in nature we can see the goodness of God.” We can also of course — as I say — see his justice. And we sense that by reason of our conscience and testimony of it. So here we have a revelation of the goodness of God and we also have revelation of the justice of God, but we do not have any revelation of how these things are put together. There is no harmony. We have nature as someone has said, “Ribbed in tooth and claw,” but at the same time we do not understand how this may be harmonized with the goodness of God.
Justice we can understand is a necessary thing – it’s implanted in our hearts — but mercy, mercy is not necessary. Mercy is something that God has given which is not necessary. If it were necessary it would be justice. But anyway we cannot understand how to harmonize these things that we understand that we see in nature. And so the very incompleteness of general revelation suggests to us that there must be a revelation that explains, that harmonizes the things in God that seem to be contrary. A God that is good but a God that punishes sin. A God that exercise mercy toward men, giving them things they need in his natural creation but at the same time implants a monitor in their hearts that says when you sin you have displeased God.
Thirdly, the witness of conscience to legal righteousness. If we have only conscience we could never know the grace of God. In fact, if all we had was conscience we would reach the conclusion that a man somehow, if he was ever to be justified before God, could only be justified by his works because you see he has a conscience which when he displease God it condemns it. When he pleases God or this moral standard that God has implanted in his heart, he the sense of having pleased his creator but here we have action that are favorable and actions that are unfavorable. If we were honest with ourselves, we would admit they largely cancel out each other. And as a matter of fact with most of us the things that we do that displease God, so outnumber the things that we have done that have pleased him that we must know that the balance does not stand in our favor if we are to be judged on the basis of the legal righteousness on the basis of what we have done.
Now, there are people in the 20th Century who believe there are things that they can do to please God. Now, we shall ultimately learn there is none that do it good, no not one, but looking at it from the standpoint of our conscience we would come to the conclusion that a legal righteousness is the only thing that we can have before God and then as we looked at ourselves we could see we couldn’t have that. So we must have something else. This do and thou shalt live, but we can’t do, so what then? It’s just as if you were a slave and I were to say to you, “Now I want you to be free,” but I do not free you. That would be an idle offer. It’s as if I would say to a man who was a cripple, “Now get up and walk,” but do not provide to him any power.
And finally, the end of the inability of human searching. The Bible states this, but it is also the experience of man. In fact, it’s rather startling how many people will say, who do not know the gospel, who do not know the truths of Christianity but who nevertheless have some awakening; the beginning perhaps of the light that leads to salvation to hear them say, “Well I am searching for the truth I am seeking to know God.” And you’ll frequently find philosophers and religious leaders not Christians, say, that we are all seeking after the same God. Men do testify to the fact — some of them at least — that they are seeking for God, but outside of Christianity it is very rare to find that one who claims to have found God.
In fact you’ll be surprised how many who are in other religions who have acknowledge that they have not found God, they are still seeking. They think that that religion is a help to them. That it has brought along the way so to speak but many of them will admit we are only seeking God, we cannot find them. In fact, and they’re very much upset sometime when you say I’m no longer seeking god. What do you mean? Well, I’ve found God. What do you mean found God? It is impossible for men to find God. So the fact that men cannot find God apart from special revelation is an evidence of the fact it is necessary for us to know God to have a revelation from him.
Now, I’ll put it in Latin for you. Did I do this before? I probably did. The finite cannot grasp or take in the infinite. We cannot in ourselves understand God. We never could. You know Titov, one of the early Russian astronauts, after he had made his little journey in space, he came back and in typical atheistic, communistic fashion he said, “That he had looked all about space and he had found no evidence of God nor even angels.”
Now, that of course, is something very unscientific. Any scientist will tell you that if you are to investigate something you must investigate it in the light of the nature of the object you are investigating. In other words, it is the things that characterize the object that determine the method of investigation. If it’s a material thing investigate it by materialistic methods. If it’s immaterial you cannot investigate it or hope to discover anything about it by materialistic methods.
Now, God is an infinite thing. He is an infinite spiritual being. You cannot find him by the scientific method whereby you discover the properties of some particular material. If he is an infinite, spiritual being you must use methods that are adapted to the object. You cannot put God in a test tube. You cannot look at him under a microscope. And so because he is that kind of a person then the way in which you investigate him must be adapted to that.
Now, human beings are incapable of any methodology to investigate such a God. The word of God says that the method is fake. In other words, this God cannot be known be human searching. The only way he can be known is if he is pleased to reveal himself to us. And he has revealed himself to us and he says, “you may understand my revelation if you will rely upon my word and faith.” By the way, faith — as the little boy says — is not believing something that is not true. Faith is believing something that is true. Faith is reliance upon something that is true not untrue. It may be something you cannot see but it’s something that is true and it’s also something that is real. For the things that are material, are not the only real thing.
President Sawyer, when he heard that LaPlace, the famous French astronomer, had taken his instrument and looked at space and had said he could find no evidence of God. President Sawyer said, “He might just as well have swept up his kitchen because you cannot find God that way any more than you can by sweeping your kitchen.” I heard a story of a little girl, I told some of you in classes, “God’s plan of the ages,” who went into the department store with her mother. And while her mother was talking to one of the clerks she went over and picked up one of the color books and opened it up. And there were some crayons nearby and she started coloring. Her mother hadn’t bought the book and the clerk was a little upset. He rushed over and said, “what are you doing?” She said, “I’m drawing a picture of God.” He said, “what do you mean a picture of God. You don’t know what God looks like.” She said, “I know that. That’s why I’m drawing the picture.” Men are often like that because they create a God in their own image and usually it’s some kind of super Santa Claus. He is a bearded sage who sits on a throne and he does good things for us when we pray and he overlooks the bad things that we do. Now, that kind of God is manufactured by our imagination.
Now, I want to give you the second point of the outline. You know that preachers are never going to have one point, but four subpoints that would be thoroughly illegal and heretical. So we go on to Roman 2, the Bible as God’s special revelation from internal consideration. That’s consideration. My writing is not very good tonight. Capital A, It supplies answers to man’s problems. Let’s stop at that and I’ll just give it as I go along. The Bible is God’s special revelation from internal considerations.
Now, we’re going to apply the test of coherence. That is we have some things that suggest to us that God should give us special revelation. Natural revelation is incomplete. And so now we want to test the Bible and see if it does satisfy the test of coherence by meeting the problems and solving the problems, giving solution to the things suggested by natural revelation or by general revelation. And first of all it supplies the answers to man’s problems.
Now, I want you to look at a couple of passages of Scripture with me now and we’re going to see that scripture states that God is a god who is holy which, we have suspected from our conscience, and that he is also a God of mercy and grace. And that the Scriptures harmonized these attributes of God. And first of all, Exodus chapter 15 verse 11 and, of course, when I turn to the Old Testament for a passage as a proof text, let me assure you there are countless texts throughout the word of God which express the truth that God is holy. Exodus chapter 15, verse 11, “Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” Glorious in holiness, separated from man, separated from God, different — that’s the meaning of holiness different from men who are sinners.
Now, also in Habbakuk chapter 1 in verse 13, the prophet makes a very interesting statement concerning God. This text is pretty well known to us. Well, it’s kinda hard to find because it’s in Habbakuk. Where in the world is that book Habbakuk in the Bible? I know it’s illegal, as I’ve often said, to ask anyone to turn to the Minor Prophets, but these Minor Prophets have major messages as someone has said and we ought to get acquainted with them. And Habbakuk is one of the greatest. If I were worried about what is happening in the world, I would read Habbakuk, because it gives us a philosophy of the movement of nations.
It also is, for an American, a thing that would make us tremble because in it God tells how he calls the Chaldeans down upon his own people in order to execute his discipline upon them, which means of course that it couldn’t mean no one can know. It couldn’t be that God might use Red China to discipline the United States and the believers who exist within it. But we’re not a Christian nation so we probably should not draw too many parallels.
Verse 13 of Hebrews chapter 1, “Thou art…(Habbakuk. Did I say Hebrews? [Laughter] Just wanted to see if you were awake) of purer eyes then to behold evil and canst not look on iniquity.” Notice God is of purer eyes then to behold evil canst not look upon iniquity. He is glorious and holiest.
Now turn to Jeremiah chapter 33, verse 11. Now those of you still looking for a backer just forget it and let’s go on to Jeremiah chapter 33. It’s the bigger book. Jeremiah 33, verse 11. In the midst of this message and this chapter which has to do with the Davidic kingdom, Jeremiah says, “The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD. For the Lord is good for his mercy endureth forever.”
Now here we have a most interesting thing. We have the Bible stating that God is glorious and holy. That he cannot look upon evil and of course we are evil. And at the same time it says in this eleventh verse that his mercy endureth forever, and as we look at natural revelation we could see both of these aspects of God. He is good but he is also holy. And our conscience monitor tells us the latter just as the fact that the seasons occur in their regular order tells us the former. But how can these be harmonized? A God who is righteous and holy, and a God who is mercy. And how can the harmonizing of it be to the blessing of men.
Now the answer can be found in Romans chapter 3, verse 23, 24, well really, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 but specifically in the fact that in that passage Romans chapter 3, verses 21 through 26 we’re told that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God that God is holy. And of course being a holy God he must judge sin. He has purer eyes then to behold evil and canst not look upon inequity. So if we get what we deserve, it’s judgement but at the same time, the Bible reveals that he is good and he shows mercy. How can he do both and we be saved? Well of course, Romans chapter 3, verses 21 through 26 tells us the story of the cross. It says, “that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God but then it says being justified freely by his grace through the redemption; which is in Christ Jesus whom god has set forth as a satisfaction through faith in his blood.” In order to declare his righteousness for the sins that have been passed over in Old Testament times to declare his righteousness in the present season that God might be just, is holy and the justifier. He is merciful.
Now, of course, the way he does this is the story of the gospel. And if you don’t understand this, you don’t really understand the gospel as you should; now two years from now or a year from now when we get into soteriology, we’ll be talking about these things in detail but let me just remind you of this. The way God is just and the justifier in the death of Christ is this way Our Lord Jesus comes as the Son of God, as the substitute, he hangs upon the cross for the sins of men and there God meets out upon him the judgment due each one of us because of our sin. So that God is just, Jesus satisfies as our representative all of the requirements of the holiness of God. All of the law is met because he suffered its penalty and its judgment.
But at the same time it is God who provides the Son. We don’t provide it. We didn’t even want him. There is none that seeketh after God, no not one, and men do not naturally respond to love of God or seek the love of God but God has out of his love, you see he did not give Jesus Christ in order that he might love us he gave Jesus Christ because he loves us and because he wanted to deliver us. And so in giving our Lord Jesus Christ, he expressed his love, his justice. So mercy and truth are met together. Truth is just. Mercy is the justifier. They have met at the cross of Christ for the law is satisfied in the punishment of the Son for us. His love is satisfied because now he is free to offer his salvation to all who will simply believe.
Now that the satisfaction has been accomplished, the psalmist said in the eighty-fifth Psalm in the tenth verse, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” in the finished work of the Lord Jesus. And so by reason of the cross we can now understand how God can be holy and how he can be merciful and how we can benefit through the saving work of the Lord Jesus. That’s why to preach a gospel apart from the death of Christ is to preach a false gospel, the gospel that provides no hope in fact or in theology. But we must hasten on; too good but we’ll have to rush.
Capital B. It claims to contain necessary knowledge of God. Let’s just put a couple of passages of Scripture here just a suggestion. Psalm 109, 105 over here and Hebrews 1 and 2, the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. And all I want to say about this is that the Bible claims to contain necessary knowledge of God.
Now of course this does not mean necessarily that it does contain it, but if it does contain it, you would expect it to claim it. And so the Bible does claim to contain necessary knowledge of God. It claims to give the way of salvation. It claims to give the truth concerning the Lord Jesus. And just as in natural revelation there is a suggestion that God may be known in the revelation of God through Jesus Christ as expressed in his word the specific claim is made that through the knowledge of our Lord in the word, God may be known.
And finally it supplies the righteousness required by God of man. It supplies the righteousness required by God of man. And just for a passage of scriptures, 2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 21, and all I want to say about this is simply that from the testimony of our conscience we have a suggestion within us that God requires that we be righteous before him and through the special revelation of God in the word of God the claim is made that that righteousness required of God, by God of man is supplied. Romans chapter 3, verses 21 through 26 would express the same thing. And I want to go on to point three and we will finish tonight.
The Bible is God’s special revelation from external considerations and, first of all, the perfections of Jesus Christ. Ultimately of course the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ is supreme as far as we are concerned. And when we come to the perfections of our Lord Jesus Christ they express, externally, support for the word of God as God’s special revelation; for in the word of God we have delineated a man who is perfect. I think we would all agree that our Lord Jesus Christ was the perfect man if we are amendable at all to divine revelation.
In fact, it’s rather remarkable some of the things that have been said about Jesus Christ that I want to read one or two of them. Listen to this. I think this is very interesting. This is written by a theologian whose name is Watson. “No one has yet discovered the words Jesus ought to have said.” You ever thought about that? You ever tried to take our Lord’s words and say, you know, he ought not have said this, he should have said this. You ever tried to do that? I challenge you some time to try to do it. I’ve tried to do it. It’s hopeless. It’s hopeless. None has suggested the better word he might have said. No action of his has shocked our moral sense. Some have puzzled us. None has fallen short of the ideal. He is full of surprises, but there are all the surprises of perfection.
“You’re never only amazed one day by his greatness, the next by his littleness. You’re quite amazed that he is incomparably better then you could have expected. He is tender without being weak, strong without being coarse, holy without being servile. He is conviction without intolerance, enthusiasm without fanaticism, holiness without Phariseeism, passion without prejudice. This man alone never made a false step, never struck a jarring note. His life alone moved almost high levels where local limitations are transcended and the absolute law of moral beauty prevails. It was life at its highest. He was the perfect man.”
Would we not agree that he was a perfect man? But listen, the perfect man claimed that he was God. Now if he wasn’t God, he wasn’t a perfect man. If he was the perfect man and he claimed he was God, he was God. And so Jesus Christ himself is the ultimate. His perfections set him forth as God and he is the ultimate authenticator of the word of God for the Bible.
Secondly, Capital B, the deity and inspiration of the Bible. Now it seems strange to speak of the Bible as deity. But what I mean by that, and this theological language however, what I mean by that is that it is a divine book.
Now the authenticator of the Bible is our Lord Jesus himself, the perfect man who was God. John chapter 10, verse 35, that text states, “If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came — now listen — and the Scripture cannot be broken.” What he meant by that in the context is that whatever God has said must be true. The Scripture cannot be broken. So here the perfect man must be God. And the perfect man who is God has attested the deity and the inspiration of the holy Scriptures as the revelation of God, the Bible as God’s special revelation from external consideration Our Lord and his testimony the Scripture.
I know that someone might say, “Are you not reasoning in a circle?” You’ve assumed the authority of Scriptures to prove the authority of Jesus Christ in order to prove the authority of the Scriptures, but I did not. I did not assume the authority of the Bible, only its reliability. And that’s a different thing entirely. For to assume the reliability of the Bible is to assume something that may demonstrated by outside evidence; its archeology, its truth, so far as its history is concerned, and its many other qualities. So on the basis on the reliability of the Bible, we see the authority of Christ and on the basis of the authority of Christ, the inspiration to the Scriptures.
But the final test is resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the final test of the Bible as God’s special revelation. It is in the resurrection of Jesus Christ that he authenticates the word and the testimony of our Lord Jesus. What our Lord says in the final analysis is proved to be true by the fact that God raised him from the dead. And that is the unique thing about Christianity. By the way, not only is there no other religion; which claims that its founder is God, but there is no other system of truth which claims a bodily resurrection for its leader. These are the unique things about Christianity.
A couple of years ago I was speaking to a group of young people, among them were some Indians from India. And when I finished, after speaking on the subject who was Jesus Christ, this was by the way the hootenanny and after they finished, I talked. I came on. And when I finished on who was Jesus Christ we opened it up for questions. And there was an Indian, a student at SMU, sitting just about ten feet from me and he raised his hand. And he said, Dr Johnson what you said is very interesting but please tell me this, “that all the religions of the earth claim that they are correct.”
He said, “I know Hinduism and I know one or two other religions. And they all claim that they are correct. How can we know that Christianity is the true religion?” And I didn’t say it was easy, but it is. We can know because of the resurrection of Christ. No other system of truth has divine authentication. And in Christianity we have divine authentication. And that’s the tested fact of ancient history, speaking from the standpoint of documentary evidence is the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. And that resurrection is the divine attestation that what he said was true. That he said the Scriptures cannot be broken. They are they which testify me, and that through me you know God. So we can be sure we have a revelation from God in the word of God. Next time we are going to study the inspiration of the Scripture. Let’s have a word of prayer.
[Prayer]Father, we thank Thee for the privilege of study tonight and we ask Thy blessing upon us in the light of the things that we have discovered in the word, For Jesus’ sake Amen.