The Person And Work Of Jesus Christ In The Gospel Of John -- By: Roger S. Fankhauser
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The Person And Work Of Jesus Christ In The Gospel Of John
* Roger Fankhauser, M.Div., D.Min., senior pastor, Burleson Bible Church, Burleson, Texas; president, Free Grace Alliance, Burleson, Texas
Most commentators understand John 20:30-31 as the purpose statement for John:1 “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20:30-31).”2 Some regard the book as strictly evangelistic; others distinguish both an evangelistic priority as well as a sanctification emphasis (experiencing eternal life).3 Chapters 1—12 in
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particular have a strong, yet not exclusive, evangelistic thrust. John used the word “believe” (πιστεύω) 98 times in his Gospel; 76 of those occur in chapters 1—12.4
In a sense, the Gospel of John has become a “lightening rod” regarding the saving message.5 Some take the view that, since John did not address the death and resurrection of Jesus when he recorded the “believe in me” passages, knowledge of or belief in the work of Christ is not necessary for someone to receive eternal life (i.e. to be “born again”). Some take the view that, rather than worrying about the “minimum” content of the gospel, the believer should present as much as possible about the Lord so that those who respond are believing in the biblical Jesus. One such advocate said that the “minimal” gospel only works in a Western culture already somewhat familiar with Jesus. Other cultures require more content to differentiate Jesus from the false ideas of who He is or from putting him on equal footing with the false gods of their culture. Some also take issue
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with the idea that John is the only book defining the saving message.6 What role, if any, do John’s words about the person and work of Jesus Christ play in defining Him as the object of faith?
Most courses in hermeneutics teach at least three primary steps in understanding the text: observation, i...
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