Christianity in Three Words

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 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.

(John 20:30-31, ESV)

Few books of the Bible have explicit purpose statements. John’s Gospel is a rare exception. John summarizes the intent of his Spirit-guided revelation around three specifics: a selection of content, the identification of Christ, and an expression of the Christian life. We could say John summarized the whole of the Christian life in three words.

First, Christianity is all about a book. In this context, it is the selection of biblical revelation the Spirit led John to include in his book. By extended application, we would say Christianity is all about the Book—our Bible. Both John and the rest of the Bible point us to Christ.

Second, Christianity is all about a person, and that person is Jesus. Specifically, in this passage, He is identified by two titles central to John’s theology—Messiah and Son of God. The Son of God became the Son of Man so that He could be both the Messiah of Israel (John 1:41) and the Savior of the world (John 4:42). Jesus’s identity is central to the truth one believes in order to be a Christian. The signs which authenticated Jesus’s message were selected to lead the reader “to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.”

Third, Christianity is all about an experience. That experience is eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. His name represents all that is true of His character and role as God’s only provision for our salvation. Eternal life is a central theme of the Gospel of John and the entire Bible. It is Jesus, the Bread of Life, that has come from heaven to give eternal life to all who will believe in Him (John 6:58). Have you read the Book? Do you know the Person? Are you experiencing the quality of life that only Jesus can give?  These three may be a great way to share the essence of Christmas with your family this year.