Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | July 22, 2007

How Do We Receive Him ?(Lesson 2: Question 6 Answer)

6.  How do we receive Him? 

We receive Him by believing in His name, which let us not forget is the main purpose for John writing this Gospel as he states in chapter 20:31 “…but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”  This word believing, from the Greek πιστευω, in this passage carries the connotation of “entrusting oneself to an entity in complete confidence”. 22 John uses this word 98 times in this Gospel 23, which is further support for concluding that this is the main purpose of the book.  However, one must concede that there are different levels of belief based on maturity and knowledge and must be clarified.  It is not a complex thing that requires unfathomable knowledge of the subject, since even a child can understand it (Matt 19:14).  It is not only a genuine faith, since even the demons believe and shudder (James 2:19).  In addition, to assenting to or believing in the facts it assumes a trusting, reliance, dependence or “confidence”.   As John indicates in verse 12 belief or faith is the “condition to” gain an “interest in Him”. 24 It is the “instrument by which we receiveth and applieth Christ and his righteousness” 25, which is what saves us from the judgment we deserve.  Thus, the content of “believing in His name” is placing our faith (confidence) in “Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin”. 26 

Our belief is essential to obtaining the benefits that Christ procured during His earthly mission. Faith is the vehicle that delivers us safely into the fold of the Good Shepherd and justifies us before God.  It is the only way that we can become pleasing to God, since it is the means by which we receive Christ.  This is the good news of the Gospel, receiving Christ, which includes the transfer of our sin and misery to Him in exchange for His righteousness that becomes ours.  This theme will continue to be defined by the Apostle as we continue with this Gospel.

22 Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature/ revised and edited by FW Danker (Chicago:  The University Chicago Press) 817

23 Leon Morris, The Zondervan NASB Study Bible – Study Notes (Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan, 1999) 1515

24 Westminster Larger Catechism Question and Answer 32 (1643)

25 Westminster Larger Catechism Question and Answer 73 (1643)

26 Westminster Larger Catechism Question and Answer 72 (1643)


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