What is the Old Testament background to the imagery Jesus uses in John chapter 15 regarding the vine, and what does this imagery reveal to us about Jesus’ identity and mission, or our union with him? And what is the point Jesus made when he said, “Already you are clean because of the word I have spoken to you”? How are we made clean by Christ’s declarative word? On this program the hosts will attempt to answer these questions and more as they look at chapter 15 of John’s Gospel.
Shane Rosenthal: In John 15:3, we get to one of my favorite passages. Jesus says, “Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.” This word ‘clean’ is actually the same word that we find in the beatitudes in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart.” It’s the same word, to be clean or pure. And what this means is that the source of our purity is not found in ourselves at all but rather in Christ’s declarative pronouncement. Already you are clean and pure because of the word that I have spoken to you.
Term to Learn
The theological teaching that God and creation are qualitatively different. This distinction is manifested in archetypal vs. ectypal knowledge. Archetypal knowledge is the knowledge that only God possesses. It is the original, whereas all else is the copy. Ectypal knowledge is creaturely knowledge that is revealed by God and accommodated to our finite capacities. Creaturely knowledge is always imperfect, incomplete, and dependent on God’s perfect and complete knowledge.
(Adapted from Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, pp. 991, 992, and 996)