Faithlife
Faithlife

Once In an Eternity

Notes & Transcripts

1) 12-14-08…AM…SBC     2)

“Once In an Eternity”

John 1:1-18

Introduction:   The Two Significant aspects of Christmas

1-      Christmas Elements: picking out a tree, decorating, lights not working, Christmas Day, mountains of wrapping paper, relatives, turkey dinner, church cantatas, kids’ programs, demonstrations of benevolence

2-       Christmas Essence: extends beyond time to deliver a drama that only deity could produce, God acting in a way that only He foreknew, weighing both the cost and consequence before He hung the world in place, eternal giving and receiving


Proposition:   The incarnation and its prelude to the cross is the climax of God’s condescending grace. [1]


Ø      “The prologue is the foyer to the rest of the 4th Gospel”[2] – introduction of major themes found in John

Ø      “The prologue summarizes how the Son of God was sent into the world to become the Jesus of history, so that the glory and grace of God might be uniquely and perfectly disclosed.”[3]

1)    The Pre-existence of Christmas                      v1-5

 

Use of “The Word” (logos)

1. The term was used all over the NT philosophical world – did not have distinct personality and no incarnation

2. The OT use of God’s “Word” as the basis for his creation and revelation – John picks up on this and uses it as a title to God’s ultimate self-disclosure, the person of His own Son, Jesus Christ.

A-    The Word was in the beginning          v1-2

 

Ø      Mark – John the Baptist        Luke – Birth Narratives     Matthew – Abraham and Israel          John: before time

1-      The Word existed before creation began 1a

2-      The Word was in close proximity with God (relationship) – pros with the accusative 1b

3-      The Word has all the divine attributes of the Father but is not the first person of the Trinity 1c

B-    The Word was the agent of creation   v3                    cf:  Col 1:18; 1 Cor 8:6; Heb 1

·         The Word was God’s Agent in the creation of all that exists

C-    The Word is the embodiment of life   v4-5

·         John affirmed that in the ultimate sense, life is in Christ. Man’s spiritual and physical life come from Him.[4]

·         Light/Dark  - the source of life stepped into man’s darkness to reveal his separation from God

·         The Word which came to give spiritual life was rejected by those who were given physical life by the Son

Summary:

Ø      The meaning here is not merely that the Word has divine characteristics but that the Word participates in the reality of God. [5]

Ø      Christmas

·         Christmas is not about the Savior’s infancy, it is about His deity

·         The birth of Christ was never intended to be a façade to conceal the reality that God was being born into the world

Transition:  John not only describes the pre-existence of Christmas, but also…

2)  The Beacon of Christmas                                  v6-13

A-    The Witness:  In addition to the eternal Word, a man came on the stage of history: his name was John.[6]   v6-8

1-      The mission of John’s coming was to be a witness of the Light – He was not the Light

2-      The purpose of John’s coming was so that all might believe through Him

Application:

-          People in sin are in such darkness that they need someone to tell them what is light.[7]

-          You and I are the continuing agents, witnesses, ambassadors and heralds pointing to this light

-          Illustration:  A big van with speakers and microphone proclaiming the end of the world is near

B-    The True Light: 

1-      The True light (The Word) illumines everyone – The offer of life by the Word was offered for all mankind (v9)           cf: Hebrews 6:4

2-      Unfortunately, the context tells us that the acceptance of this offer is narrowed down only to those that believe (v10-12)

Summary:

Ø      The Lighthouse of Christmas is found in The Word as He shines the message of light and life into darkness

Ø      This message of light and life is what we “flashlights” are to continue to shine forth (witnesses)

Ø      New birth in Christ does not come by come by natural act of man’s bloodline, will or determination, but salvation is exclusively an act of God

Salvation Application:           Is the Father calling on you to repent and believe?

1-      Unsaved:  Romans 1 declares that there is enough visible evidence for you to be held accountable for rejecting God – will you hear the witness – go home read John – repent of sin and trust in the true Light of Life

2-      Saved:  Your salvation is not because of you – salvation is always and only from God – rejoice in God 

Transition:  John, using all the previous theology of v1-13, drives home his “Coup de gras” (his final death blow)

3)  The Advent of Christmas                                   v14-18

A-    This concluding part of the prologue leads into the account of the historical life of Jesus, hence the Word is said to have become flesh. [8]

B-    The climax of his love is indicated in this, that the Word became flesh;[9]

C-    It is now revealed who this Word is – it is God’s Son Jesus Christ

D-    Grace and Truth have now come on to the scene in the human manifestation of Jesus Christ

E-     God may be seen in a theophany or anthropomorphism but His inner essence or nature is disclosed only in Jesus.[10]

Application:

1-      To deny of trivialize what took place in Bethlehem that faithful night more than 2,000 years ago insults the God who stooped to save us – never get caught up in the elements but savor the essence of Christmas

2-      Are you listening to the Witness? – Do you see that without a personal relationship with Christ you are bound for separation from God who came to save you?

·         Recognize and repent of sin that only leads to eternal death and separation from God forever

·         “believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”

·         Will you be saved today or will you continue to live in the darkness of sin?

3-      Have you been trivializing Christmas – has it been more about the elements than about the essence?

·       repent and confess your sin before God and ask him to help you savor his Son Jesus Christ

·       begin the road to change by taking delight in the Incarnation of Christ for your salvation


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[1]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 1-2, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to John, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 1:83.

[2] Carson, DA; The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel According to John, p111.

[3] Ibid.

[4]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 2:271.

[5]Gerald L. Borchert, vol. 25A, John 1-11, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1996), 104.

[6]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 2:272.

[7]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 2:272.

[8]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Jn 1:14.

[9]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 1-2, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to John, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 1:90.

[10]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 2:273.

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