by Mike Ratliff
30 ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν. (John 10:30 NA28)
30 “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Genuine Christianity, not the false versions of it, is unique when compared to the world’s religions. In fact, those false versions of it are just like the rest of the world’s religions in one regard that makes genuine Christianity absolutely unique. All other “religions” are based upon some form of works based theology and belief system in which some form of justification is made through those works which increase the value of the person in that religion thereby gaining the reward. On the other hand, genuine Christianity is nothing like that at all. Salvation or justification comes as a result of something God has set out to do and has completed. Those who are justified were elected by him before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1) based upon no works or deeds or value inherent in them (that none may boast). All of the work to justify these elect was done by God and completed; and he, being sovereign and all-powerful, saves them all as we will see in the short passage we will exegete below. Those who are saved are new creations after their justification because God himself regenerated them so that their dead faith is made alive and they are now able to believe the gospel and be saved (Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:5). Who believes? Who are these Christians?
22 Ἐγένετο τότε τὰ ἐγκαίνια ἐν τοῖς Ἱεροσολύμοις, χειμὼν ἦν, 23 καὶ περιεπάτει ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ ἐν τῇ στοᾷ τοῦ Σολομῶνος. 24 ἐκύκλωσαν οὖν αὐτὸν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι καὶ ἔλεγον αὐτῷ· ἕως πότε τὴν ψυχὴν ἡμῶν αἴρεις; εἰ σὺ εἶ ὁ χριστός, εἰπὲ ἡμῖν παρρησίᾳ. 25 ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς· εἶπον ὑμῖν καὶ οὐ πιστεύετε· τὰ ἔργα ἃ ἐγὼ ποιῶ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ πατρός μου ταῦτα μαρτυρεῖ περὶ ἐμοῦ· 26 ἀλλʼ ὑμεῖς οὐ πιστεύετε, ὅτι οὐκ ἐστὲ ἐκ τῶν προβάτων τῶν ἐμῶν. 27 τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἐμὰ τῆς φωνῆς μου ἀκούουσιν, κἀγὼ γινώσκω αὐτὰ καὶ ἀκολουθοῦσίν μοι, 28 κἀγὼ δίδωμι αὐτοῖς ζωὴν αἰώνιον καὶ οὐ μὴ ἀπόλωνται εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα καὶ οὐχ ἁρπάσει τις αὐτὰ ἐκ τῆς χειρός μου. 29 ὁ πατήρ μου ὃ δέδωκέν μοι πάντων μεῖζόν ἐστιν, καὶ οὐδεὶς δύναται ἁρπάζειν ἐκ τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ πατρός. 30 ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν. (John 10:22-30 NA28)
22 There was at that time the Feast of Dedication among those in Jerusalem. It was winter 23 and Jesus was walking in the Temple on the porch of Solomon. 24 Then the Jews encircled Him and were saying to Him, “How long will you keep us in suspense?” If you are the Christ, tell us openly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you and you did not believe works which I do in the name of My Father. These testify about Me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not of my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow Me 28 and I give to them eternal life into the age and they will never perish and no one is able to snatch any one of them out of my hand. 29 My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch any out of the hand of the Father. 30 I and the Father are one.” (John 10:22-30 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Those who believe the gospel and are saved are the Lord’s sheep. They are given to the Son by the Father and no one can take them from the Son or the Father. The last statement in v30 is our Lord’s claim to being the second person the Holy Trinity. The Jews understood this because in v31 they picked up stones to stone him stating in v33 that our Lord’s statement inv30 was a claim of deity.
Why bring up all this? We are in a spiritually dark time. God has allowed this and that means we who do know the truth are being called to stand firm, take a stand, and, no matter cost, tell the truth. During the last Presidential election I watched part of an interview in which one of the Republican candidates for President was asked by a CBS reporter her stance on homosexuality. This was his question. I am paraphrasing since this is from memory. “Is homosexuality a choice?” The way he asked the question with the tone of this of voice and facial expressions all made her know that to answer any way but with a “no” would be wrong. Why? That would be a claim of exclusivity and that is not tolerated in our pluralistic culture that will not tolerate any claim to absolute truth. Therefore, she caved in and gave the wrong answer.
J. Gresham Machen was continually in some sort of battle after he wrote his book Christianity and Liberalism (1923). His thesis in that book was that “Christianity” and “Christian Liberalism” were two different religions. Go back to my first paragraph in this post. I totally agree with him. It is just another of those false forms of Christianity that are of the “worlds religions,” but is not genuine Christianity because ἔχοντες μόρφωσιν εὐσεβείας τὴν δὲ δύναμιν αὐτῆς ἠρνημένοι·, “having a form of godliness but having denied its power…” That passage (2 Timothy 3:5) goes on to say, καὶ τούτους ἀποτρέπου. ,“and turn away from these.” The world’s religions all point to what man does within or has man look within to grow and become worthy, et cetera. When professing Christians do this they are falling into what Paul was talking about to Timothy.
Jesus said in John 15:5, “ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος, ὑμεῖς τὰ κλήματα. ὁ μένων ἐν ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ οὗτος φέρει καρπὸν πολύν, ὅτι χωρὶς ἐμοῦ οὐ δύνασθε ποιεῖν οὐδέν.” Or, “I am the vine, you are the branches. The one remaining in me and I in him, this one bears much fruit because apart form, you are not able to do anything.” We serve our Lord as we abide in him and he works through us. In this life, we will never be able to do his work apart from this arrangement. Also, we never look for anything worthy inside us to enable us to do anything good. No! We always look to our Lord and ask for him to work out his will in and through us. The difference may appear to be subtle, but it really isn’t. Genuine Christianity starts with Christ, not man. Real Christians serve him according to his will as they abide in him and he abides in them. They pray to him for wisdom and discernment, but never seek the inner voice within for that. Those who seek the “inner voice” within have been deceived and in this show that they are not Christians.
True Christianity is not politically correct nor will it ever be. To operate in any part of the social strata that requires us to compromise the exclusivity of Christianity excludes us from taking part in it.
Soli Deo Gloria!