Thursday, September 22, 2016

John 1 (Part 1)

John 1:1-5 – Jesus Is God

Jesus is the Word and has always existed.  He is the One and only true God.  He is part of the Trinity.  He created everything.  He gave us life.  He is THE GOD.  His purpose is of life in all things we are to do.

John starts out his book with the words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.”John 1:1-2.  This shows us that Jesus is God and was there at creation.  Genesis 1:26 uses the word “us” indicating God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were there – “Let us make man in our image.”  The Word is described as Jesus and it is also is referred to as the Bible.  The Word whether it is Jesus or spoken or written is powerful.  It contains the power of life and death.  The Word of God gave everything the power to exist.    This Word is Jesus.  Even Jesus called Himself God. “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM’”.John 8:58.  Believing who Jesus says He is, is basic to the Christian faith.  He is our saving faith.  He is our Lord.  He is the center of all creation.  He is the center of our Christian belief.

John goes on to say that “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”John 1:3.   All things mean everything in the universe.  Christ is the Creator.  He is part of the Trinity along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.  He was involved with every aspect of creation.

“In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”John 1:4-5.  We see in many Scripture the symbols of light and darkness.  Light refers to biblical truth, holiness, purity, and Jesus Himself.  Darkness refers to lies, sin, spiritual blindness, and Satan who is the prince of the power of the air who promotes spiritual darkness and rebellion against God. 

Examples of light in the world are those who speak Biblical truth and enlighten the world.  They know God and live accordingly.  Examples of darkness in the world are those who are spiritual blind.  They don’t know Jesus.  They are evil and live in sin and enjoy it.

Do you believe Jesus is who He says He is?

John 1:6-18 – Jesus Has a Plan and a Purpose

“There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John.  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.”John 1:6-7.   This is referring to John the Baptist not John the author of this book.  This can be confusing.  John wrote that John the Baptist was not the light, but that Jesus was.  The true Light would be coming into the world.

What does it mean to believe?  Even Satan believes.  To really believe is to believe in Jesus, to know that He exists, and to follow Him in His every Word and in every area of life.  It is to trust Him, recognize Him as Savior, and that He is the only way to the Father.  When we believe, we become a child of God and are part of His family.  It means to make a decision of the mind and accept facts as truth.  We desire to belong to Christ and commit to live as Christ lived and have Christ as our example.  Once we truly believe we are a new creation and have a new life, an eternal life. 

This is not easy to always follow and do His every Word.  We are only human, but we are to never give up and keep on trying.  He is there to guide and direct us and also forgive us when we fall short.

John said that Jesus would be coming into the world, but the world would not recognize Him.  Even His own, the Jews would not receive Him.  The world as a whole rejected their Creator and Deliverer, though some did receive Him.  All who receive Him become the children of God or are born again. (John 1:10-13) 

People are still rejecting Jesus today.  They think He was only a teacher or prophet and that there are others ways to Heaven.  Satan has filled them with doubt and self-absorption, pride and lust for the world’s desires.  People are taught to be independent and be self-reliant.  So what do they do?  They think they don’t need Jesus, whoever He says He is.  They think Hell isn’t real.  They simple do not believe He is God.  They don’t take Jesus at His Word. 

What does it mean to receive Him?  It means to accept Him as the Son of God and to receive Him into our very being.  When we do this, we are preoccupied with Jesus in our thoughts, conversations, and all activities.  We act like Jesus.  He becomes our example.

Have you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
Do your actions show that you believe?

We will discuss being born again in chapter 3.  Think about these questions.
Have you been born again?
Are you still living the same old life of darkness?
Are you blinded in your sin?
If so, what will you do about it?

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”John 1:14.  The Word or Jesus was born of flesh through Mary, but has the Spirit of God.  Jesus became human just like us.  God is a Spirit.  When we die our bodies will die, but since we are made in the image of God our spirit will live on either in heaven or hell. 

We celebrate Jesus’ birth each Christmas and hear how He came as a baby by the virgin Mary.  This was the prophecy many years ago.  In Isaiah 7:14“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign;  Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel”.  

Jesus is “full of grace and truth”.  We are called to be imitators of Jesus.  We are not to be judgmental, but give people grace.  We are also to be truthful in all we do.

Are you always truthful?
Are you graceful forgiving others when they offend you?

John goes on to say that Jesus existed before him and that we have all received grace.  The law was given to Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus.  (John 1:15-17).  The law didn’t show God’s grace, but demanded holiness.  It was given so people would know the moral standards God expected of them; however, no one could obey all these laws and rules.  They are too difficult so God sent Jesus.  God wants to forgive us for our sins.  We must repent.  When we repent of our sins, trust and believe in Jesus we are forgiven.  Jesus comes to give us grace and truth.  Jesus didn’t come to replace the law, but to complete it.

“No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”John 1:18.  No one can see the face of God, but of course Jesus has.  We see Jesus in the flesh, but not God the Father who is in heaven.  To see Jesus is to see God.

What would you do if you saw God?
Would your life change?
If you are a Christian, has your life changed and have you truly seen God?

I love the song “I Can Only Imagine”.

I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk by Your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When Your face is before me
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for You Jesus?
Or in awe of You be still?

Will I stand in Your presence
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing, Hallelujah?
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Whether you use the words saved, born again or eternal life, they all describe a new life in Jesus.  When you receive Him as your Savior, He gives you a new birth and a new identity.  He is the light in the darkness.  As you study the book of John ask God to help you to be the kind of witness John was.  Next time we will study John 1 Part 2.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here again.

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