I Believe Jesus Christ Is
The Son Of God
by Wayne Greeson
“Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?’ Then Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'” (Acts 8:36-37)
It was down a dusty road the horse drawn vehicle lurched. One of the riders grabbed for a handhold to brace himself, but he continued speaking intently to the other rider as they both pored over the scroll between them. The afternoon sun blazed down fiercely as the chariot rolled on past barren vistas.
The speaker was a young Jewish man of Jerusalem who had been traveling on foot down to Gaza on the Mediterranean coast. His audience of one was a dark skinned Ethiopian, a royal minister of the queen of Ethiopia, who was returning the long miles home after worshipping at the temple in Jerusalem. The Ethiopian was riding and reading the ancient words of the Jewish prophet, Isaiah, when the young Jewish man ran up and agreed to explain the perplexing text.
A turn in the road revealed a small spring. The Ethiopian had listened carefully to the young man named Philip explain that Isaiah’s prophecy and the rest of the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets had been fulfilled. Philip pointed out how one called Jesus of Nazareth had accomplished in his life, death and miraculous resurrection all the Jewish prophecies of old. The young preacher taught one could receive all of God’s promised blessings through this Jesus by believing in his name, repenting of one’s sins and being baptized for the remission of sins.
As the Ethiopian eyed the glinting reflection of the sun in the water, he turned to Philip and asked, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” The candor of the dark man brought a quick answer from Philip, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The reply came back, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” The chariot was halted beside the road and together the two very different men walked down into the cool water. Philip immersed the royal minister in the water and raised him up again. Together they walked out of the water but, as the Ethiopian looked around, Philip was gone. With great joy the eunuch continued his journey home.
Confessing Jesus’ Identity
Anyone who desires to be a partaker of the same joy and blessings that the Ethiopian eunuch enjoyed must confess as he did Jesus’ identity as the Messiah, the promised Son of God. Jesus proclaimed, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32). Paul explained this confession is essential to salvation, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9).
When one confesses Jesus, what is he saying he believes? To confess Jesus is to confess he is the Christ, the Messiah promised by God’s prophets (John 9:22). Confessing Jesus means one believes God raised Jesus from the dead to be Lord (Rom. 10:9; Phil. 2:9-11). When one confesses Jesus he is confessing Jesus is the Son of God, that he is God (1 John 4:15). One must not only confess Jesus’ deity, he must also confess Jesus’ humanity that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” (1 John 4:2-3; 2 John 7).
Proving Jesus’ Identity
Christians are not only to confess but also prove Jesus’ identity to others. Jesus claimed he was the Messiah, the Lord, the Son of God and the Son of Man. But Jesus said that his claim, by itself, was not established. Jesus said, “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true” (John 5:31). One proves the truth of his claims by producing evidence to support his claims. One type of evidence to establish a claim are witnesses who verify the truth of the claim. Under the Law of Moses two or three witnesses established the truth of a matter (cf. Deut. 19:15; John 8:17; 2 Cor. 13:1; 1 Tim. 5:19). Jesus established his claims by the proper evidence and he pointed to the many witnesses which proved his identity (John 5:32-47).
Those who proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God did not make unsupported assertions. They preached Jesus to engender faith in those who heard them. This faith was not a leap in the dark, but a faith based upon clear evidence. Believers were urged to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thes. 5:21) and to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15). What is the evidence? Who are the witnesses?