In I John  5:20, the Bible teaches that Christ is "the true God".    So, honestly, I find it perplexing and odd to find out from a relative who is a member of your Church―the Iglesia ni Cristo―that you do not recognize Jesus as God.
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"This is the true God and eternal life"

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
Dordrecht, Netherlands

Editor's reply:

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, emphasis ours)

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 true God".

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.


Bible Study 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.

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