"This is the true God and eternal
Letter to the Editor:
GOD'S MESSAGE, September 2008, p.4
AS FAR AS what I learned from
school is concerned, the English word
"the" is a definite article and is used when
it is obvious which one is being referred to
because there is only one, as in "the sun", "the US
President", etc. Now, no less an authority than the
Bible teaches that Christ is, to quote it
from I John 5:20, "the true God".
So, honestly, I find it perplexing and odd to find out from a
relative who is a member of your Church that you do not recognize
Jesus as God.
Jan Peter Deken
Without a doubt, we believe that the definite
article "the" in the phrase "This is the true God ..." in I John
5:20 definitely teaches that "there is only one" true God, What we
don't accept however, for it is surely an error, is the
conclusion that the verse refers to Christ as "the true God." Let us
quote the verse in its entirety
"And we know that the Son of God has come and has
given us an understanding, that we may know Him who
is true; and we are in Him who is true, in
His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God
and eternal life." (1 John 5:20, New King James Version,
Notice that the first part of the verse
states, "the Son of God has come". This shows that
the God being referred to in the verse has a Son and it is the Son
who has come. Now, if Christ were "the only true God" being referred
to in the verse, then who would be Christ's Son who has come?
Absurd, isn't it? Therefore, what's
really perplexing and odd is if we say that Christ is 'the true God"
being referred to in the verse. Clearly Christ is distinct from God,
for He is the Son of God, and as such, He could not be "the only
Reading through I John 5:20 carefully, we find
that one of the reasons the Son Jesus Christ came into the world is
to give us an understanding as to who the true God is.
It is this true God to whom the pronouns "Him" and "His" in the
verse ("that they may know Him
who is true"; "we are in Him who is true":
"in His Son Jesus Christ")
refer to: the one and only true God who would be made known by His
Son, Jesus Christ.
Indeed, Christ fulfilled
this mission. So, whom did He
introduce as "the only true God"? The following is the account of
Apostle John, the same apostle who wrote I John 5:20:
"After Jesus had finished speaking to his
disciples, he looked up toward heaven and prayed: Father, the time
has come for you to bring glory to your Son, in order that he may
bring glory to you.
"Eternal life is to know you, the only true God,
and to know Jesus Christ, the one you sent. (John 1 7:1, 3,
Contemporary English Version)
Christ clearly taught that the true God is the
Father, not He Himself. Take note that Christ used the pronoun
"you" (referring to the Father) and not "me".
Christ even distinguished Himself from the Father by referring to
Himself as the one sent by the Fatter.
Thus, by adhering to the truth that Christ is not
the Father, and, therefore, not God, we only take Christ's word as
clearly and plainly as He Himself put it.
Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free
to visit the
Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or
an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question
you have in mind.