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Oneness With God

Oneness With God

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
" I and My Father are one." ST JOHN x. 30.
" I and My Father are one." ST JOHN x. 30.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 17, 2013
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04/11/2014

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OEESS WITH GODBY REGIALD J. CAMPBELLMIISTER OF THE CITY TEMPLE LODOTHIS sermon was asked for by some of the young men who hadbeen helped and set thinking by the previous one on the Agnos-ticism of Jesus. It speaks for itself.XVII" I and My Father are one." ST JOH x. 30.THESE words of Jesus are in a sense a summary of theFourth Gospel. This is what the gospel is about,and the text is the reason why it was written. Thewriter himself tells us so. " These things are writtenthat ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Sonof God, and that, believing, ye might have lifethrough His name." What is chiefly remarkableabout the words of our text is that nearly everyonewho hears them thinks he knows what they mean,and yet their simplest interpretation is not the onethat is usually put upon them first. It is strange,too, that the meaning which constitutes their chiefestvalue is the one that is usually passed over.What, then, are we to say this sentence doesmean? I put the question to you, and no doubtyou are answering it mentally, somewhat in anticipa-tion of what is to follow. What can they mean ?One might say, when Jesus declared, "I and MyFather are one," He affirms an eternal fact, for HeHimself is the Eternal Son of the Eternal Father,the express image of God, or, as the Shorter Cate-chism has it, "There are three persons in the
 
Godhead j the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost ;297298 OEESS WITH GODand these three are one God, the same in substance,equal in power and glory." Or, as an even better-known creed has it, "There are not three incompre-hensibles . . . but one." I say everybody, or nearlyeverybody, on hearing the words of our text, wouldat once give, in conventional language, in the lan-guage of someone else and written ages ago, somesuch explanation of its meaning. Do you think wehave made it clear when we have used all thesewords about it ? We have done the very opposite.We have wrapped it up in symbols, but we have notcome to close quarters with it and gripped it. Thereis nothing more certain than that Jesus employedthese words, not in their metaphysical sense, but intheir moral sense. It is true they cannot have amoral without a metaphysical meaning, but it is themoral meaning upon which Jesus laid stress, and I donot think that those who heard Him mistook Hismeaning. He took pains to show just what it was.It is strange, indeed, that the context of this sen-tence is so seldom quoted. " Jesus answered them,Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?If He called them gods unto whom the word of Godcame, and the Scripture cannot be broken ; Say yeof Him, whom the Father hath sanctified and sentinto the world, Thou blasphemest ; because I said, Iam the Son of God ? If I do not the Works of MyFather, believe Me not." These are the evidencesof My oneness with Him.If I may venture to paraphrase the sacred text, I
 
OEESS WITH GOD 299should say His remonstrance in every-day Englishmeant something like this. " Why are you so sur-prised ? Why so angry that I have said, ' I and MyFather are one ? ' If all the prophets, if all the royalmen of history, if all the noble ones of earth havedeserved to have applied to them this phrase, I said,'Ye are gods,' do you not think that I, by My verycredentials, have some right to use the phrase like-wise ? If they are gods, I do not say even so much."For Jesus never in so many words said, "I am God."If we have affirmed it, and we cannot help it, it wasnot because He claimed it, it was because men readHim, His credentials were clear by what He was.They confirmed His utterance. "I and My Fatherare one." I say it is strange that the context isnever quoted, for by this assertion Jesus claimeddivinity for manhood.Still further, He asserted that everything that wasgood witnessed for human oneness in God. " If anyroyal men deserved the title Godlike, then," saidJesus, " surely I may claim, if I do always the thingswhich please Him, oneness with My Father." Alldiscussion as to His metaphysical status is beside themark. His credentials were in the purity and noble-ness of His character and work. He said well," For which of these works do you stone Me ? " Hewas and is one with the Father in spirit and purpose,heart and will.You will observe that I have left a question un-discussed, the pre-existence of Christ I have not300 OEESS WITH GOD

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