— By THE REV. LOU TISCIONE
I appreciate clarity. It is good to hear a communicator who clearly says what he means. The human authors of Scripture wrote with clarity. Even when using figurative and apocalyptic language (describing prophetic revelations), they can be understood. The underlying reason for their clarity is the intent of the ultimate author of Scripture, the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit of God. God intends for us to understand what He has said.
One such example of extreme clarity is the Gospel of John. John’s Gospel is unique from the other three Gospels in that he details not only the life and ministry of Jesus but His human and divine nature and the implications that follow.
The beginning of John’s Gospel declares the absolute sovereignty of the Word of God. “In the beginning was the Word.” John 1:1 is parallel to Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” God made everything out of nothing and John wrote of the One who spoke and all Creation came into being.
“And God said,” Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26 and 29 declares that the world was created at the command of God. John identified the divine Word as a person. He wrote that the Word of God took upon Himself human nature. He set aside His glory and became like one of His creatures.
John confronted the entire world with this miraculous truth. He wrote that even though the world was made through Him the world rejected Him. Further, John declared that not only the world but also God’s chosen nation, Israel, rejected Him.
With clarity, John revealed the implication of the Incarnate Word of God. He said that only those who received the person and work of Christ were given the right to be called God’s children. Further he specified those who were able to receive Him and how they would receive Him. John wrote that only those who were born of God’s will could receive the truth of the Incarnate Word, Jesus.
John continued and declared that the coming of the Only Son of God was not something philosophical but was someone that he and others saw. “We have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth,” John 1:14.
People’s hardness is not because the Bible is hard to understand. That is, God’s salvation revealed in the Bible is not something that can only be understood by the learned. He made it clear. Man’s refusal to receive the truth of the Bible is not due to its lack of clarity. It is due to man’s blindness and hard-heartedness.
Receiving the truth of God’s Word requires humility and eyes that only God gives. Those to whom God gives eyes to see humbly submit to what God has said knowing that He is God and we are not!
John wrote with clarity and unmistakable force that all men are not God’s children. In order to have the right to be called a child of God, He must cause an individual to see the truth.
As further proof, John said that he and his fellow Apostles witnessed the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ. He said that Jesus is the one who was “full of grace and truth.” It is through faith alone in Christ alone that God adopts His children.
There is nothing that I or anyone can do to make you see the truth of life in Jesus. Even though He is life and light, men are naturally blind to the Kingdom.
God desires to be known. He makes Himself known to His people. His word is absolutely clear. No one is too far from God’s saving grace. If you are His rejoice. If you know some who don’t believe, pray that God will break into their lives and raise them from spiritual death.
God said that His claim upon His people was made in eternity. He will call those who are His and He will never let them go. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. Praise the Lord that He has revealed Himself clearly and fully in the person and work of Jesus Christ as He is offered in the gospel.”
The Rev. Lou Tiscione is pastor of Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA).