Monday, April 20, 2009

The Word becomes Flesh! P2

Read John 1:6-18

This passage continues the prologue, introducing to us the God-Man, who is eternally existing and who now comes as fully God and becomes fully man. He becomes flesh and dwells among us. God is now one of us, God among people, personally conveying His Love, personally giving us His grace! In John's Gospel there is a lot of word repetition; this was a Jewish literary device to bring emphasis on the importance of what was being said. What is more important than God saving us?

The Word became flesh!

This is referring to the incarnation of Christ. Here meaning Christ who is fully God—the ultimate reason, the same substance and essence of God, the Creator—came into His creation as both an eternal being and a created being, a man—fully God and fully man. The Spirit and full force of God came together. This is called the “Incarnation.” Christ, who is not a created or made being, came into the world as one of us. This means that Jesus Christ, being fully Divine, was also born into the world as a full-fledged person who would live in our place, fulfill the law, and become our substitute for the penalty of sin we incurred. He took that penalty and paid it by His sacrifice on the Cross and His shed blood. This is the heart and purpose and reason of Christianity, of whom and what Christ is, and what He came to do. Without this incarnation, we have nothing of real substance, nothing that can save us; rather we just have a meaningless religion with good ideas (Joel 2:32; Matt. 20:28; 26:36-46; John 1:14-19; 29; 3:13-18; 8:28, 58; 19:35; 21:24; Rom. 5:8; 8:32; 9:5; 10:9-13; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; 8:9; 12:8-9; 13:14; Phil. 2:5-8; Col. 1:15-17; 2:9; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:3-12).

Now through Christ, all have the opportunity to believe. God extends His grace outward and forward to all people. God is not just the God of the Jews; He is the God of the universe—of all things. The Jews were instruments of His choosing to be His witnesses; now John is the witness of Christ who brings the Gospel to all. Jesus is relevant to all people of all times, of all ethnicities, ages, and places. The only restriction is to those who are not His—who refused His offer (John 17:5, 14-15).

Do you know who Jesus is? He is the face of God, the One who eternally lives and reveals to us the Father. He is the one who gives you life and the light of the Word for your salvation! We know God by knowing Christ, who is God. We know Him by knowing His written Word that carries to us His living Word. Are you living your life because of Who He is and what He has done for you? Are you forever devoted to Christ as LORD? Does your character reflect Who Christ is and what He is doing in you? Do you believe in the eternal Christ? Are you living up to what you believe with trust and hope? If not, why not (1 Pet. 4:19)?

Christianity is not earned or presumed; it is not learned or reasoned or built or formed or inherited or purchased. It is something that no price can ever lay hold of—except the price paid on our behalf by Christ! Yet once we have it, we can lean, learn, reason, inherit His character and eternal life, and continually build upon it. For us to have real effectual faith, we have to receive Jesus Christ as our own. Not through our parents or our church or our religion, but ours alone—faith that is real, relevant, and personal. Our faith and knowledge in Christ must be received initially, a move that the Spirit enables us to do.

Questions to ponder:

1. What does it take today to tell people to trust in Christ so they can receive His rich blessings?

2. How do you show God’s unfailing love and faithfulness? How can you do a better job at showing others that Christ is available to them?

3. Christ is the One who holds all things and who holds us. How does this help you in your faith and in daily life?

4. The question inlayed in this passage is what will you do now? How then shall you live? What are you going to do to play your faith forward?

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