Introduction of John - Jesus the Author & Finisher of FaithVolume 3, Number 75
Created Date: November 16, 2013
Posted Date: November 16, 2013
Believe in the Gospel of John; Part 1:
After having examined each occurrence of the words faith, believe and variations thereof in Matthew, Mark and Luke, we come to the Gospel of John, which is unique in many ways. For one thing, the Greek word Pistis, normally translated “faith” is not found in John but the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle to use the Greek word “pisteuo” (Smith’s # G4000), usually translated “believe” some 100 times. This accounts for almost half the 248 occasions its used in the New Testament (NT). (Acts comes in second with 39 and Romans is third with 21.) In the King James Version of John, pisteuo is translated “believe” 99 times and “commit unto” once (chapter 2, verse 24). It has taken quite some time to develop and write this lesson because it was necessary to examine every passage in John where believe is found to determine the context; who was talking; who was being addressed and the basic message being conveyed. A table listing this information is attached to the pdf copy of this study for those who wish to read these passages.
Different men wrote the 66 books making up the Bible over a period of about 1500 years and “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”. See also . The Gospel of John is one of the four Gospels that present Jesus as the Christ or Messiah of Israel but it also reveals horizontal truth that effects all mankind from Adam up until today. Of course the believers in the Old Testament did not have the revelation God gave to John, but nevertheless, the truth presented in John’s Gospel is what saved them to eternal life because without God Himself coming as a Man and accomplishing what He did, they would have had no hope for eternal life. And of course, this truth has been and is the basis for all men and women to believe since then. Thus the Gospel of John stands out as a bright star in the sky of Scripture for those living prior to the incarnation to anticipate and those of us since to look back at.
Stating this a little differently: we have observed that throughout history God’s constant requirement for a man or woman to be in His favor has been faith in His Word, that is, to believe God’s Word revealed specifically to them. For example, Abel had faith, he believed God’s Word to him about offering an animal sacrifice while Cain rejected God’s Word, stubbornly desiring to offer the work of his own labor; Noah and his family had faith, they believed God’s Word and built an ark in which they were saved while the rest of humanity rejected God’s Word and died; Abraham had faith, he believed God’s Word and left his country to go to a land God promised him. Then, from Moses up until the time recorded in about the mid part of the book of Acts, God’s Word to the Nation of Israel for the path to salvation was to follow the Law given to Moses for them, by faith.
However, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses and all who believed, i.e., had faith in God’s specific Word to them, could never have been saved to eternal life if God’s Word had not come in the person of Jesus to finish their faith. And so it is that Jesus was the Author and Finisher of faith,. The Gospel of John reveals this clearly: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. . As the Author of faith, He was the Word revealed to Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses and the rest who believed. He finished Faith by living a life totally in tune with His Father’s wishes, died, was buried and rose again.
For those of us living during the last 2000 years or so since Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven, God’s Word has been to believe what the Lord Jesus Christ revealed to the Apostle Paul: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”.
And so all those before Christ were dependent on Jesus to finish their faith and all of us since then, look back to He Who both Authored and Finished faith. The Gospel of John clearly teaches that The Word of God came as the Son of God and at the same time, the Son of Man, calling on men and women to believe in Him. Following is a brief recap of those who used the word “believe” in John:
•Jesus is quoted as using it 62 times,
•The Apostle John used it in his dialog 26 times,
•The blind man is quoted as having used it twice,
•The Pharisees and Chief Priests are quoted as using it twice,
•Each of the following are quoted as using it once:
oJohn the Baptist,
oA group of Samaritans,
oA group of Jews,
oThe disciples as a group,
The first and last use of a word in Scripture is often significant and this is true in the Gospel of John. The author of the book, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, first used the word “believe” in, in the context as follows: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” . In these three verses the Apostle John uses the word “light” 3 times to drive home the fact that Jesus was the “light” and that John the Baptist was commissioned to announce Jesus as “that Light.” People can’t believe something unless it is revealed to them and it is impossible to see something in the dark. It takes light to illumine something in order to be able to comprehend it. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” . So, in John 1:6 - 8, the Apostle John states in his introduction the main theme of his book and that is the “Light” of the world which illumines what mankind is to believe. Jesus Christ Himself is that “Light” upon Whom must be believed. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, .
The last use of the word believe in John is found inwhere it is used twice: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” . The many miracles or signs Jesus did were evidence to the Jews He was indeed their Messiah or Christ. Many of them, along with the Disciples, believed but they flourished for only a short time in Jerusalem as recorded in the first part of the book of Acts. Beginning with the stoning of Stephen as recorded in Acts 6:5 - 7:60 the leaders of Israel soundly rejected their Messiah and persecuted His followers.
The Lord Jesus Christ then reached down from heaven and saved one the chief persecutors of the believing Jews, the Pharisee Saul,-22; changed his name to Paul and revealed a message of Grace to both Jews and Gentiles: “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” .