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John 1:1-4 Discussion Guide

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

John 1:1-4 (CSB)


What is most important about Christian faith is not a set of doctrines or laws or practices or liturgies, but a person.  To be a Christian is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, in which he is our Lord and Savior….He is our Lord, Savior, Redeemer, King, Friend, Shepherd, Leader, Teacher. Our first allegiance is not to a set of eternal truths, as in Buddhism or Platonism, but to a person who lived in history to save us and who lives eternally as our heavenly High Priest (Heb. 2:17–18; 5:1–10). But the personhood of our Lord does not mean that we can be indifferent to doctrines about him or to the content of his teaching. It is important, first, that we identify the true, biblical Christ as opposed to false christs. (Matt. 24:24).

Frame, John M.. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief . P&R Publishing. Kindle Edition. 

*Historical Background: Skip if you are not interested.

The Council of Nicea (325AD) formulated the Nicene Creed which opposed the heresies of Sabellianism and Arianism.  Sabellianism, also called Modalism, believed that God is one person who appears to us in three different forms (modes).  Arianism believed that there was a time when the Son and the Spirit did not exist. God the Father created them at some point before the creation of the cosmos.  

The Council of Chalcedon (451 AD) formulated the Chalcedonian Creed with opposed the heresies of Apollinarianism, Nestorianism, and Monophysitism.  Appollinarianism believed that Christ was one person but he had a human body and not a human mind or spirit. Nestorianism believed that there were two separate persons in Christ, a human person and a divine person. Monophysitism believed that Christ had one nature only. 

Biblically, the eternal Son of God took to himself a truly human nature, and Christ’s divine and human natures remain distinct and retain their own properties, yet they are eternally and inseparably united together in on person. 

Grudem, Wayne A.; Grudem, Wayne A.. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (p. 558). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Q1: Biblically, God has given us accurate (true) and adequate (enough) information about Jesus.  He has not given us exhaustive information.  What are some other areas of your life where your knowledge is accurate and adequate and not exhaustive? (For instance, your inability to understand a combustion engine doesn’t keep you from driving a car.)

Read: The hidden (secret) things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law. Deut. 29:29

Q2: What are some things that are “hidden” and what are some things that are clearly revealed to us by God? 

Q3: We are to “follow all the words of this law” means that the things revealed are given to us so that we will walk in obedience with God.  What are we to do with the “hidden things”?  Is that hard for you? 
Why or why not?

Q4: Two kinds of imbalance are common, one is to focus on information about Christ and lose sight of the importance of relationship with him.  The other is to say “facts” about Christ are not important, only relationship with him is.  What are the pitfalls of either side of the imbalance?

Read: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” John 5:39-40

Q5: How did Jesus address the balance in that passage of the importance of “truth” about him and the purpose of that truth?

Q6: Do you lean more towards a relationship focus (subjective/feeling), or an information focus (objective/fact)? Why do you say this?  What is the upside and downside of your “leaning.”

Q7: How are you learning balance?  We all have winds that blow in our lives, we have to learn how to lean into these winds.  Are you aware of the wind?  Are you proactively taking steps to stay in balance?

Q8: Is your heart troubled because your “head” can’t fully understand some things about God?  
What do you think you should do about this?

Read: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-3

Q9: Who will you trust?  Christ or yourself?  Pray together about this.