Parkland First Baptist Church
December 27, 2020
      • John 5.24ESV

      • Job 37–39ESV

      • Psalm 103ESV

      • Revelation 21ESV

      • Job 40–42ESV

      • Psalm 150ESV

      • Revelation 22ESV

      • Genesis 1–3ESV

      • Download

        Worship Service

        November 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        If you are unable to join us in person, then watch us on our Facebook Page
      • Download

        Worship Service

        November 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        If you are unable to join us in person, then watch us on our Facebook Page
  • Introduction

    Happy Christmas and a Happier New Year.
    Were you like me as a kid in school and loved to study Greek mythology?
    I was fascinated in the various ways the gods would interact with humans.
    When I read the Iliad and Odyssey, I learned about Zeus and Apollo to name a few.
    I learned about the Clash of the Titans, Prometheus and the theft of fire and of course Pandora’s box.
    Many movies have come out depicting these stories.
    The gods were often taking human form and interfering with human life.
    That was all myth, folklore or legends.
    But there was a God that came to earth in human form so that He might reconcile the human race to himself and redeem them from the sin.
    That God was Jesus.
    I’d like to look at the gospel of John and see his version of the birth story of Jesus.

    Background for John’s Gospel

    We’ve been in a series looking at each gospel’s birth story.
    Each of the Gospel writers chose a different starting point for their accounts of the life of Jesus.
    Matthew began with Abraham, showing how Jesus came from Abraham’s family and was the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham.
    Mark skipped most of the preliminaries and moved right to the action, beginning with the ministry of John the Baptist.
    Luke began with a review of his research method and rooted Jesus’ life in the wider historical events of his time.
    But John presented the largest perspective of all, describing Jesus as the very source of everything we understand as beginning.
    His purpose was to record, in outline form, the biography of the Son of God, who even in becoming a human being accomplished so much that “if every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written”
    His theme is Jesus, God in the Flesh.
    John had several purposes for writing his gospel.
    His purpose in writing was evangelistic as seen in John 20:30-31, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God,, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
    There were some heresy cropping up that denied the full deity of Christ, so John was proving that Jesus is fully divine.
    Lastly, he was encouraging believers in the doctrine of perseverance as well as evangelism because of his use of the Present Tense to describe salvation.
    John begins with a prologue in 1:1-18
    So John begins his Gospel not with Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, but with a poetic description of the eternal relationship between God the Father and God the Son (1:1–2).
    He portrays the birth of Jesus not only as the fulfillment of God’s promise to redeem Israel through the messiah, but also as God’s plan to dwell among humanity, the only creatures he endowed with his image.
    Instead of dwelling on historical details like Matthew and Luke, John celebrates Jesus’ birth as the moment when God somehow, miraculously, was made human (1:14).
    Let’s read John 1:1-18
    John 1:1–18 CSB
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, 13 who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. 14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified concerning him and exclaimed, “This was the one of whom I said, ‘The one coming after me ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’ ”) 16 Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness, 17 for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side—he has revealed him.

    The Word Is God Verses 1-2

    “In the beginning was the Word.”
    There never was a time when Christ did not exist because the word “was” is in the Greek imperfect tense, which means “was continuing.”
    In fact, the entire first verse bears this sense.
    “In the beginning was continuing the Word, and the Word was continuing with God, and the Word was continually God.”
    Or as one of person accurately (though ungrammatically) concluded, “Jesus always was wasing!”
    That is precisely it.
    Jesus Christ is preexistent.
    He always was continuing.
    Next the apostle adds, “and the Word was with God.”
    Literally, “the Word was continually toward God.”
    The Father and the Son were continually face to face.
    The preposition “with” bears the idea of nearness, along with a sense of movement toward God.
    That is to say, there has always existed the deepest equality and intimacy in the Holy Trinity.
    It staggers my mind as we think of Jesus as always having continued (without beginning and without end) in perfect joyous intimacy with the Father.
    The final phrase of verse 1 adds, “and the Word was God.”
    The exact meaning is that the Word was God in essence and character.
    He was God in every way, though he was a separate person from God the Father.
    The phrase perfectly preserves Jesus’ separate identity, while also stating that he is God.
    This was his continuing identity from all eternity.
    He was God constantly.
    The simple sentence of verse 1 is the most compact theological statement in all of Scripture.
    Jesus was always existing from all eternity as God, in perfect fellowship with God the Father and (though not mentioned) the Holy Spirit.
    We find out that Jesus, The Word, is God.

    The Word Is The Creator Verse 3

    John moves to the Word being the creator which in Genesis 1 we see was God.
    Jesus is the Creator of the universe.
    Verse 3 in the NIV says, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
    The fact of Christ’s Creatorship is the consistent witness of the New Testament.
    Colossians 1:16–17 says: “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
    Hebrews 1:2–3 adds: “… in these last days [God] has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”
    Revelation 4:11 states: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
    Also, 1 Corinthians 8:6 says: “… yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came, and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”
    Kent Hughes in his commentary on this verse put it this way
    “There are about 100 billion stars in the average galaxy, and there are at least one hundred million galaxies in known space. Einstein believed that we have scanned with our largest telescopes only one billionth of theoretical space. This means that there are probably something like 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in space (ten octillion). How many is that? 1,000 thousands = a million; 1,000 millions = a billion; 1,000 billions = a trillion; 1,000 trillions = a quadrillion; 1,000 quadrillions = a quintillion; 1,000 quintillions = a sextillion; 1,000 sextillions = a septillion; 1,000 septillions = an octillion. So ten octillion is a 10 with twenty-seven zeros behind it. And Jesus created them all!”
    Think about that: the little baby who was in that manger was the creator of all the universe.
    Not only is he the Creator of the macrocosm of the universe, but also of the microcosm in the inner universe of the atom.
    The text in Colossians explains that he holds the atom and its inner and outer universe together (“in him all things hold together”).

    The Word Is The Light and Life Verses 4-13

    In these verses, we see the greatness of Jesus’ love for us.
    Ever since man’s creation, Jesus has sought to communicate with him in love.
    That Christ was always “the Word” should remind us that he has always loved us.
    He wanted to have a relationship with us, but that was interrupted by our sinful nature.
    John shares that Jesus is the light.
    The emphasis here is on His being spiritual, life-giving light to a dark world.
    Sadly, the majority of mankind rejected the light.
    The world and the Jews particularly.
    But those that do receive the light become children of God.
    Becoming one of God’s own comes by receiving Jesus, which verse 12 explains by saying, “all who received him … those who believed in his name,” which means believing on who Jesus is and receiving him as our own.
    In the language of John 1, the cosmic Christ, the eternal Creator who became one of us, took our sins upon himself and paid for them, was resurrected, and now sits at the Father’s right hand.
    Do you truly believe in his name, in him?
    That is the question.
    There is nothing to join, nothing to sign.
    Simply believe.

    The Word Becomes Flesh Verses 14-18

    In verse 14, the Word becomes a human.
    John uses flesh purposely rather than man to counter false teaching that Jesus wasn’t really human, just appeared that way.
    When Jesus was born, he was not part man and part God; he was completely human and completely divine.
    Before Christ came, people could know God partially.
    After Christ had come, people could know God fully because he became visible and tangible.
    Christ is the perfect expression of God in human form.
    The two most common errors that people make about Jesus are minimizing his humanity or minimizing his divinity.
    Jesus is both divine and human
    Then he dwelt among us.
    The Greek word for dwelt means “tabernacled” or “pitched tent.”
    To the Greek reader familiar with the Old Testament, this would have easily brought to mind the Old Testament tabernacle. In a sense, Jesus was God’s new tabernacle. God, in Jesus, dwelt among people.
    The man living with the disciples was God incarnate! John was overwhelmed with that truth.
    He began his first letter by describing the experience of seeing, touching, and hearing this Word who became flesh and was with them (1 John 1:1–4).
    In Christ, God came to meet with people; through Christ we can come to meet with God.
    John went on to describe this experience in this way: “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.”
    Literally, the Greek for that last phrase says, “grace instead of grace.”
    What does John mean?
    How do you get grace instead of grace?
    As the grace you receive is appropriated and allowed to work in your life, more grace will come, and then more grace, and even more grace.
    Some translations helpfully read, “grace following grace” or “grace heaped upon grace,” attempting to convey the idea that grace continues to overflow.
    Martin Luther put it this way: The sun is not dimmed and darkened by shining on so many people or by providing the entire world with its light and splendor. It retains its light intact. It loses nothing; it is immeasurable, perhaps able to illumine ten more worlds. I suppose that a hundred thousand candles can be ignited from one light, and still this light will not lose any of its brilliance.… Thus Christ, our Lord, to whom we must flee and of whom we must ask all, is an interminable well, the chief source of all grace.… Even if the whole world were to draw from this fountain enough grace and truth to transform all people into angels, still it would not lose as much as a drop. This fountain constantly overflows with sheer grace.
    For those without grace, this grace is readily available.
    As Paul said, “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Romans 5:20).
    There is more than enough grace to cover your sins and give you an overflowing, victorious life.
    For those who know Christ, our text makes it clear that “from the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.”
    We have it now, and grace is heaped upon grace as we walk with him.

    What Say You?

    Verse 18 tells that the only Son of God, who Himself is God, can communicate his glory to us.
    He has revealed him in the Greek reads, “He has explained Him.”
    This tells us that the Son is God’s explainer; he came to eart and lived among men to explain God to us.
    He used his words and His person.
    No one can know God apart from Christ, God’s explainer.
    Have you accepted Jesus or rejected him as his own people did?
    Do you want to a child of God?
    Then repent and believe.
      • John 1:1–18CSB

      • Download

        Worship Service

        November 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        If you are unable to join us in person, then watch us on our Facebook Page
      • Download

        Worship Service

        November 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        If you are unable to join us in person, then watch us on our Facebook Page

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