15 Dec, 2002 AM
PLACE: BBC Blarney
I. Introduction (Pr 30:4; John 1:14)
A. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." This is the meaning of Christmas. God came into the world, as a Son, born of virgin, in the person of Jesus Christ. John chapter 1 is so full of powerful truths about Jesus Christ that we desperately need to know and cling to.
B. This is especially important today because major non-Christian religions of the world are speaking as though they esteem and honour and, in some sense, believe in Jesus. Muslim leaders today point to the fact that they even honour Jesus more than we do because they do not think God would allow Him to suffer the humiliating death of a criminal on the cross. So it is crucial that Christians know Jesus Christ very well, and can tell the difference between the Jesus of the Bible and the one which other religions claim to honour.
C. This great Book about Jesus Christ, was written by the one who knew him on earth more intimately than anyone else, the apostle John. And in just these first few verses of Chapter 1, we find six great eternal truths concerning the Word being made flesh.
D. These first few verses are a summary of the life of Jesus Christ from start (as if you could say that He HAD a start) to finish!
Message – The Word Became Flesh (John 1:17,29)
A. The Word’s Worth (1:1-5)
1. The Word always was God – eternal
2. The Word always was WITH God – integral – trinity
3. The Word made absolutely everything
4. The Word is the source of all life in this universe
5. The kind of life the Word offers is more than just physical life, but LIGHT – something that brings us back to God, out of our darkness
6. People don’t realize the value of that Baby in the manger!
7. He is pretty important! Worth listening to – with both ears!
B. The Word’s Witness (1:6-9)
1. A Person - Meet John the Baptist – the greatest man who ever lived – greater than Muhammad Ali!
2. A Pointer – John was pointing everyone to Jesus, like the Scriptures said
3. A Problem – he was such a good witness people mistook him for Messiah
4. A Poor Comparison
a. John was a man’s man – Jesus was the God Man
b. John was sent from God – Jesus was God
c. John was a witness of the Light – Jesus was the Light
C. The Word’s Wonder (1:9-11,14)
1. Enables us to choose – puts within us free-will (1:9)
2. Enters our world (1:10,14)
a. The very world He had created
b. He entered into – as a human (Philp 2:5-8)
c. Became Flesh
1) Became just like us – God became a Man
2) Didn’t just wear some skin – like an alien would
3) He actually was transformed into flesh and bone
4) From the moment of conception
5) As the Word, He had no shape or form
6) Now, as a baby, He had both shape and form
d. Dwelt among us (:10,26)
1) Not in a mansion
2) Not “above” the normal people
a) Not like movie and Music stars – wouldn’t be caught dead in a Dunne’s or a Roche’s store
b) Not like many powerful politicians - Ted Kennedy has a 12 ft high fence around his mansion, with armed security agents
c) Not like the hierarchy of most denominations
(i) Live celibate – not normal
(ii) Live tax-free – not fair
(iii) Live ABOVE the laws of the land – not right
3) But, not Jesus – He “dwelt” (lived) right among us (1:26)
a) He worked in His step-daddy’s carpenter shop
b) He paid taxes like everyone else
c) He went hungry many a time
d) He experienced every temptation we ever would
4) Jesus lived right where WE live – and He did it in REAL TIME
a) Not skipping any heart-beats
b) Not jumping ahead of problems
c) He Lived one day at a time
d) For 33 and a half years
3. Encounters the Jews first (1:11) – on purpose – why?
a. God had promised to work thru Abraham’s children the Jews, not Ishmael (the Arabs) – they have been angry ever since
b. The Jews had the Bible
c. They had all the prophets
d. They of all people should have been expecting Him, and many were
4. Expects Reception (1:11)
a. He came to the Jew first expecting Him to repent, and get saved
b. He preached the good news – that anybody could be saved from hell
c. Jesus didn’t just go through the motions – He looked for those who were looking for Him
5. Experiences Rejection (1:11)
a. At first they like the Guy
1) Free food
2) All of life’s problems sorted
3) No more impossibilities
4) Who WOULDN’T like Jesus?
b. People didn’t recognize Him
1) Jesus never drew attention upon Himself like you would expect
2) Everyone expected a King
3) Everyone expected a guy would had a halo over His head
4) All they got was a profound Teacher, who ends up as a Martyr
c. People didn’t receive Him – actually they crucified Him
1) Here is a very sad verse
2) You see, people HAD to accept Him
3) He can’t force himself on anybody’s heart
4) He has to become a person’s Saviour by their own choice!
5) Most, including those closest to Him, reject Him
D. The Word’s Work (1:12,13)
1. He did the work of becoming Man
a. Everybody is intent on men becoming GOD someday
b. God of their own lives – don’t tell ME what to do!
c. God of their destiny – to the stars – right!
d. Jesus was VIRGIN-born remember? Pretty hard to do!
2. He did the work proving just who He was
a. Healed anything
b. Walked on water
c. Fed multitudes
d. Made the dumb to sing, and deaf to hear
e. Just as the Scriptures had foretold
3. He did all the work on the cross so that ANYBODY who would simply believe on His name would become born again
a. You can move from being a sinner, born the son of a sinner…
b. To that of a saint, born again now, the son of God
1) Not because of a blood relation to Jesus, or because you are blood-related to any other Christian – not passed on in genes
2) Not because you will it – you don’t decide you are now saved
3) Not because any other person chooses it for you
4) But because GOD births you – gives an empty, and open heart NEW LIFE – ETERNAL LIFE, when we allow Him to!
4. That’s what Jesus came to do
a. Yes to teach us the truth about God – He taught non-stop 3 ˝ years
b. But to place that truth IN every believer
c. So that anybody could have life through His name
E. The Word’s Wealth (1:15-17,29)
1. The Word is more valuable than the best man who ever lived
a. John was said by Jesus to have been the greatest man ever
b. Jesus was so much greater that John didn’t feel worthy to loosen Jesus’ shoe laces!
2. The Word is the fullness of God (Col 2:9)
a. You get ALL of Jesus at salvation – not bit-by-bit
b. You get all of the Father
c. And, you get all of the Holy Spirit too!
3. The Word is God’s grace, exchanged in the place of the Law. Which would you rather to be hanging over you?
a. Condemned Sinner – breaking God’s laws – no matter how hard you try and keep from breaking them
b. Converted Son – obtaining God’s great and matchless grace, all by simple child-like faith (Eph 2:8,9)
4. The Word is God’s finished Lamb
a. Not just a Man – or even just a Perfect Man
b. Jesus was God’s perfect, and Final Lamb
c. Capable of taking away the sin of the WHOLE WORLD
d. If you would only get forgiven, and get eternal life, then you have heaven, and eternity, and all that God owns – all because God, became your Lamb
5. Now, if you don’t get Jesus Christ, no matter how much money you collect, you are still a poor man, and I pity you!
Conclusion – This Christmas season, let’s ponder…
A. The Word’s Worth – He was worth a lot to heaven
B. The Word’s Witness - God used a man to preach the written word, and point out the living word, when he came!
C. The Word’s Wonder – that God would be able to actually become Man
D. The Word’s Work – trying to convince hard-hearted people to repent, and believe
E. The Word’s Wealth - that He places in the believer when he or she does simply surrender, and believe