Monday, April 20, 2009

The Word becomes Flesh!

Read John 1:6-18

God sent John the Baptist as a forerunner to Christ, to be a herald and sign that the Messiah had come. This was so that people might see and believe that Jesus Christ would come, He was the Light to the world, and He would come to save the lost. Then, John calls for people to repent, to embrace righteousness, to trust and obey, and to become God’s child, purging the grip of darkness forevermore. John was not the Light; rather, he was a witness of the Light, a testimony of the new covenant of grace from God to us. Even though Christ made the world and all things, darkness corrupted everything. Sin blinded people from the Truth so they needed His light to know God and to live. John’s witness is so that people may now see the Light, the hope and love of God, accept His saving grace so to become the children of God, and be reborn—all of which can come only from God. To prove and make this happen, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, became a man and lived amongst us. He remains pure and His Light shines to show us the Love and plan of God. John passionately points this all out to the people so they may change their ways, telling them someone greater than he (John) is coming so that all we who trust in Him can receive His rich blessings. God’s unfailing love through the faithfulness of Christ is available to us and we can see God by seeing Christ.

Grace and truth! This means the covenant that God has with humanity and His steadfast purpose to keep and fulfill it. “Truth” refers to the reality and relevance of God for us now. It also refers to the Law and God’s patience with and mercy for His people who were not keeping it, bearing it, or respecting it. Now Christ comes to fulfill the Law and bring us God’s grace. This is a key principle of our Christian faith that means we are holy in Christ; He sets us apart for a reason and a purpose. Our life has meaning and value; therefore, Jesus wants that meaning for our lives to be infused by Him so that the purpose becomes to glorify Him, enjoy grace and fellowship in Him, and share it with others. This is also what the Westminster Catechism states, “What is the chief purpose of man? Man’s (all of humanity who proclaims Christ as Lord) chief end (objective) is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” (Gen. 24:27; Ex. 34:6; Psalm 25:10; 26:3; 73:24-28; Prov. 16:6;John 17:21-23; Rom. 1:6-7; 11:36; 1 Cor. 10:11; Eph. 1:5-8; 2:7; 1 Thess. 3:11)

In context, this also means the Lordship, Supremacy, Sovereign Ruler, and the Holiness of God as a reference to Who He is, requiring our utmost and highest respect and our call to give Him praise for His glory. “To God alone be the glory” was a critical and important slogan for the Reformation (that must be held to by any serious believer) that life and all purpose is to give God glory (1 Kings 8:1-11; Matt. 17:1-8; John 17:5)
Grace is free and can never be implemented by human achievement, yet there is a call for us to receive it. He gives us the faith but we have to take it and work it and grow it (Eph. 2:8-10).

Questions to ponder:

1. How should someone who is filled with grace and truth treat other people?

2. What does it mean to you that God is now one of us? How would you communicate to someone that God lived amongst people, personally conveying His Love by personally giving us His grace?

3. How can Christ be more within you as the ultimate purpose and meaning of life and all things we are to do?

4. What does it mean to you to repent and embrace righteousness? How and when did you first start to trust and obey? What does it mean to you that you are God’s child? How does this help you now to escape the grip of sin and darkness?

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