4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.1 John 5:4-13
Any reading of the Gospels will give you a picture that Jesus brought controversy with him almost everywhere he went. The problem was not that Jesus sought to be a controversial character, but that the very nature of who he is offends the idols that every person has set up in his or her own life.
This video from Alistair Begg explains the price the early church paid for their belief in the exclusivity of Jesus.
I heard a pastor just this week proclaim that there are many ways to Jesus, but only one way to God. I feel that this statement perfectly encapsulates the story of the Christian church.
We are beginning a series this week that focuses on the offensive nature of the Gospel of Jesus. The first and most glaring offense of the Gospel is that it proclaims the absolute exclusivity of Christ as the only way that any man can attain eternal life. The exclusivity and superiority of Jesus are shown here in 1 John 5 to be endemic to the very doctrine of the Trinity. To truly believe in God is to believe in Jesus and to know him through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- What are the idols of our culture that Jesus offends the most?
- How does the symbolism of a person’s baptism set them apart from the world?
- What are some common ideas about Jesus that “make him to be a liar?” (v. 10)
- How can a person be sure of eternal life? (v. 13)
- Is it sometimes difficult to be true to the Gospel in our world?
- How do you personally struggle with the exclusivity of Jesus?
Engage in a time of prayer for one another. Make sure that every individual prayer request is prayed for by another individual in the group.