Tue, Mar 31st - 8:50PM
BOOK OF JOHN
Let's continue looking at this concept of the Lamb of God. This Person is not of mankind, but of God. The idea in Scripture is that the Lamb belonged to God; meaning God gave, supplied, and provided the Lamb for sacrifice (Genesis 22:8). All of this speaks of the unbelievable love of God for mankind, of the great sacrifice and humiliation Christ underwent for mankind (Philippians 2:6-8; I Peter 2:24), of the forgiveness of sins and salvation which came from God's grace and not from mankind's resources and works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 2:4-7). It also speaks of the deity of Christ, His being of God.
John the Baptist said the Lamb of God "takes away the sin of the world." The phrase "takes away" comes from the Greek term airon. meaning to lift away, to carry off. It means to bear in behalf of one, as one's substitute. Thus, Jesus Christ was the sacrificial Lamb of God who bore our sins. He lifted our sins off of us and bore and carried them away. The word "sin" (harmartian) is singular, not plural. All of the sins of the world are taken and placed into one package. The whole package of sin was laid upon and borne by Christ Jesus. God looks at our world as a whole. Christ did not bear the sins of just some people but the entire world, both then and up to today. No matter how deep and ugly a person's sin may be, Christ bore that sin.
John the Baptist also stated that Christ was the Preeminent One, the One before all. John did not know who the Messiah would be, only that the Messiah would come. John did know Jesus for they were cousins. John was probably six months older than Jesus (Luke 1:36). But John did not know that his cousin was to be the Messiah. Even though John did not know who the Messiah was, he remained faithful and preached and baptized as God had instructed him to do. He believed God. So, today believers need to follow the example of the Baptist and declare that Christ is before all, declare that He has come, and get about our mission of proclaiming Christ to the world!
Now we come to consider the Holy Spirit in all of this The Messiah was the one upon whom the Spirit of God came and remained. The Spirit descended in the form of a dove. The dove was a sacred bird to the Jewish people. It was their symbol of peace and gentleness, of purity and innocence; but even more importantly, this bird was often identified with the Spirit of God. The dove settling upon Jesus identified Him as the Messiah and endued Him with the power of God. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came upon men only in special situations and never came and remained upon them. With Jesus it was vastly different. The Holy Spirit entered the life of Jesus once-for-all, permanently and powerfully, in His full manifestation and unlimited power. And so when a person today is baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ, the Holy Spirit enters the life of the believer and becomes a permanent experience of the believer. He remains dwelling within the believer.
Finally, we must ponder and accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We have to take notice of the definite article. Christ is the Son, not a son of God. It means that He is the only Son, the only begotten Son, who came from the very bosom of God. This means that He came from the deepest part, from the most intimate place, from the most honorable fellowship of God. All four Gospel writers say Jesus is the Son of God. They also say that He constantly claimed that God was His Father, that He was the Son of the Father in a unique sense. I could provide all of the Scripture references for this, but there are over 40 of them.
Suffice to say, Jesus is not the biological Son of God. He is the second Person of the Godhead, or Trinity. The Son was combined with a human form in the womb of Mary in order for the Father's plan to redeem mankind from its sinfulness to come to fruition. Through His human body Jesus experienced everything that we do. In His deity He was able to live a sinless life in order to provide us with a living example to aspire to. He also in His deity was able to become our Substitute upon the cross and take upon Himself all of the sins of mankind and with His shed blood pay for them in full. Believers are bond servants simply because Jesus bought our freedom from sin with His own blood. We are no longer the owners of our lives, Jesus is.
That is all for tonight my friends. I hope this post has provided you with assurance, a sense of peace, and perhaps some things upon which to chew for awhile.
Mon, Mar 30th - 9:56PM
THE BOOK OF JOHN
"The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. This is He of whom I said, After me comes a man which is preferred before me: for He was before me. And I did not know Him: but that He should be made manifest to Israel, therefore I am come baptizing with water." And John bore record, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. And I did not know Him: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said to me, "Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizes with the Holy Spirit." "And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."
John : 29-34
Here we see one the greatest witnesses ever given by a person. John the Baptist was unmistakable in his proclamation of the Lord Jesus the Christ.
1. Christ is the Lamb of God.
2. Christ is the Preeminent One.
3. Christ is the Messiah, the One upon whom the Spirit of God remained.
4. Christ is the Son of God.
Christ Jesus is the "Lamb of God". Down through the centuries this concept has been one of the most cherished symbols of Jesus that has been held by believers. What are the reasons for this concept? The lamb is a picture of Christ our Passover who was sacrificed for us (I Corinthians 5:7). Historically, the Passover refers back to the time when God delivered the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage (Exodus 11:1). God had pronounced judgment, the taking of Egypt's firstborn, because of their injustices. The faithful were instructed to choose and slay a pure lamb, one without any blemish or disease, and sprinkle its blood over the door posts outside their homes. This blood of the innocent lamb would serve as a sign that they believed God had already passed judgment and it had been carried out. God would pass over those houses upon which this blood appeared on the doors. All those who did not believe and had not applied the lamb's blood to their doors discovered their firstborn children were dead.
Symbolically, the Passover pictures the coming of Christ as the Savior. The lamb without blemish pictures His sinless life, and the blood sprinkled on the door posts pictures His blood shed for the salvation of the believer. It is a picture that the life and blood of the innocent Lamb has been substituted for the believer. The eating of the lamb pictures the need for the spiritual nourishment gained by "feeding" upon Christ, the Bread of Life. The unleavened bread (bread without yeast) pictures the need for putting evil out of one's life and home (Matthew 26:17). Of utmost importance here is that the blood of the lamb saved people. The lamb had to be chosen, sacrificed, and its blood applied. This lamb symbolized Christ our Passover who was chosen and sacrificed for all of us who believe. If we believe and apply His spilled blood to our hearts and homes, He saves us. If we do not, He destroys us. It is the shed blood of Christ that saves us from all of our sins.
The Lamb is a picture of the precious blood of Christ Jesus which redeems us (I Peter 1:18-19). It is said that the head of each Jewish household would select a perfect lamb from the flock. It would become like a member of the family for several days. The head of the household would then lay a hand upon its forehead, identifying personally with the lamb. Then it would be slaughtered and cooked for the family to consume in one meal. The people knew their sins had separated them from God and that these sins must be removed before they could be reconciled to God. Thus, their sins were transferred from them to the lamb, which bore the judgment of sin (death). Through the lamb's death the family was set free symbolically from their sins. But we need to note that it was not the deed that caused God to remove their sins, it was the faith of the people in God's Word that He would remove the sin.
This all is a picture of Christ Jesus, mentioned in the Old Testament in Isaiah and Jeremiah as well as in the New Testament books of Acts, I Corinthians, Hebrews, I Peter, and Revelation. We need to keep in mind that Jesus willingly offered Himself as our sacrifical Lamb, as our substitute and sin-bearer, and that God willingly accepted the offering and sacrifice of His only begotten Son for us. God is satisfied with the settlement for sin that Jesus made. If any person really believes the blood of Jesus to be precious, that it really covers their sin, God will take that belief and count it as righteousness.
This is rather important as we are a couple of weeks away from observing Easter Sunday in the Christian parts of our world. People everywhere can have access to the joy and peace of God in these times of turmoil, fear, sickness, and yes, even death. Each of us can receive assurance from God that even if we must face death today He will be right there with us each step of the way. He will be there to comfort, strengthen, love, and provide us with His peace that surpasses all of our understanding.
There is more to come in a couple of days! Amen.
Fri, Mar 27th - 11:20PM
BOOK OF JOHN
In continuing my last post, we need to remember what the Jewish people thought the Messiah would be. They thought that nationally He was to be the leader from King David's line who would free the Jewish state and establish it once again as an independent nation, leading it to become the greatest nation on earth. Militarily, He was to be a great leader who would lead Jewish armies victoriously all over the world. Religiously, He was to be a supernatural figure straight from God who would bring righteousness over all the earth. Personally, He was to be the One who would bring peace to the entire world.
The Bible records Jesus accepting the title of Messiah on three separate occasions (Matt 16:17, Mark 14:61, John 4:26). His name of Jesus shows His humaness. His name of Christ shows Him to be God's Anointed, His very own Son. The term "Christ" is a title, identifying Jesus as Prophet (Deut 18:15-19), as Priest (Psalm 110:4), and as King (II Samuel 7:12-13).
So, why was it necessary for Jesus to have a forerunner? Why did John the Baptist have to run ahead of Jesus crying, "Prepare. Make straight the way of the Lord"? What kind of preparation needed to be done? Well, the Jewish people needed their concept of the Messiah to be corrected, to be straightened out. Their concept had become corrupted over the hundreds of years that had passed. First, few of them had ever viewed "the seed" promised to Adam and Abraham as referring to the Messiah. Instead, they thought of "the seed" as their nation Israel, as all circumcised Jews (John 8:33). They saw Christ as being the seed of Abraham only in the sense that He was an ordinary Jew. Second, they saw the Messiah primarily as the Son of David. David had liberated and led their nation to its highest peak, so they expected the Messiah to do likewise. The Jews began thinking that the Messiah would just be a liberator. But over the centuries as they were persecuted over and over this concept changed to one in which they thought He would not only deliver them, but He would exact vengeance on all of their enemies. The Jews viewed the non-Jews as subjects of God's judgment. He was to come and elevate their nation to rule over all other nations.
The problem with this view of the Messiah lead to two tragic faults. First, the Jew became blind to their own sinful condition and personal need for salvation. Second, the Jew saw salvation as a matter of national heritage and personal rites (being circumcised) and rituals (religious observances). They believed that they were safe because they had been circumcised and their forefathers had been godly people. John the Baptist had to change this perception for salvation is a personal matter, a spiritual matter of the heart and life. A person had to want forgiveness of sins and then repent and be baptized if he/she wished to be saved. This was to be the message of the Messiah. Thus, a forerunner was required to begin breaking through the "crust" of self-righteousness which had become so cemented in the minds of the Jews. And isn't this still the case today? People still need to realize and accept that salvation is personal, spiritual, and repentance is required.
The Messiah's message was going to be so radical that some prep work had to be done prior to His coming. The world needed to know about the Messiah. As the Son of God, He would be so different, so pure, so holy, so truthful, that people would not tolerate Him. His proclamation of the Truth and salvation would be very, very, short. Men would choose to destroy Him. Therefore, people had to be stirred to a high pitch of excitement when He arrived. People needed to be buzzing about the great anticipation and the glorious news that the Messiah had finally come. People might not respond; they might even react violently, but they needed to be aware of the Messiah's historical coming and claims to be the Son of God. This was the forerunner's mission given to him by God.
The same can be said about people today. Many need their concept of Christ Jesus straightened out, corrected. Many have never considered Christ as the promised seed spoken of in the Bible. Some people still think of themselves as being special to God, being chosen. They are blind to their sin and need for personal salvation. Many people just need their religion to be corrected. Then there are many who simply need to hear about the Messiah; they have never heard that He has already come.
People need to understand that the messenger of God is only a voice, a forerunner for the Lord. However, messengers must speak up for the Lord. They must be a clear voice proclaiming a clear message. Too often today their voice does not proclaim a clear message nor is their voice clear. As is made clear in Matt 10:20, the messengers are not the ones who speak, it is the Spirit of God that speaks in them.
John the Baptist was one who baptized people in water. His baptism shocked the Jewish people for they were never baptized. Baptism was considered to be needed for Gentiles who converted to Judaism for they were "unclean" and needed to be purified and clean for God to accept them. The religionists wanted to know if John was the Christ for they believed that He might institute the practice of baptism. They also wanted to know if John was a prophet. In theory a true prophet was said to have the right to institute new practices and to change some laws. John's baptism was radical, a shocking practice. It was a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (Luke 3:3). The baptism was the public proclamation that a person had repented and was now a follower of the Messiah whom John preached. The Old Testament prophets had cried for Israel to wash themselves and be cleansed of their filthiness. The thoughts here are that baptism is important. A person is to be baptized because they have truly repented and are sincerely turning to God. They are then to become a baptizer themselves, a person who proclaims and practices the baptism of repentance in its full meaning.
Finally, a messenger of the Messiah is an unworthy servant. You heard me correctly. John proclaimed that he was unworthy to untie Jesus' sandals. Slaves were the ones who untied the sandals of guests and washed their feet. John said he was less than than a slave. He was demonstrating humility. All followers of Christ today must be humble, they must point always towards Christ and not to themselves. Followers of Christ today need to be ones who bring honor to specific places. Through faithful witness and ministry followers of Christ will bring honor to places. In God's eyes a place is honored because believers are there.
Practice safe hygiene, social distancing, and be responsible in these tumultuous times. Remain faithful to Christ, serve Him with all of your heart, mind, and soul. To Him be the honor, glory, and power, for ever and ever! Amen.
Wed, Mar 25th - 8:53PM
THE BOOK OF JOHN
" And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" And he confessed, and did not deny; but confessed, "I am not the Christ." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" And he said, "I am not." "Are you that prophet?" And he answered, "No." Then they said to him, "Who are you? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord, as the prophet Elijah had said." And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him, "Why do you baptize then, if you are not that Christ, nor Elijah, neither that prophet?" John answered them, saying, "I baptize with water; but there stands one among you, whom you do not know; It is He, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose." These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing." John 1:19-28
Here were a group of religionists who were suspicious of John the Baptist coming to question him about just who he was. John was a man who knew exactly who, and what, he was. He knew that he was not the Messiah (Christ), nor was he Elijah or that other prophet. He was only a voice, a forerunner for the Messiah. He was a baptizer with water. He was an unworthy servant. He was also a man who brought honor to a place. What a beautiful picture of each servant of God!
This group of men were a fact-finding commission. It was to be expected for John's father, Zechariah, was a priest (Luke 1:5); and in the eyes of the religious authorities all of the sons of priests were automatically priests by descent. However, John was not like the typical priest, for the way he lived and preached were radically different. He was a non-conformist, and the authorities had to find out why.
How does this relate to our world today? Often, institutional religion is suspicious and opposed to the unusual. If someone is different or does things differently, he/she is questioned. If a person is unusually blessed or if miraculous things are happening in his/her life and ministry, he/she is questioned.
The Levites that were part of this group were servants of the Temple priests. They were all descendants of Levi just as the descendants of Aaron were. The difference? Aaron's descendants could serve as priests while the Levites could only be their servants.
So John the Baptist knew God personally; he knew God had sent him into the world for a very specific ministry. He was therefore called and commissioned by God and not by men. But who was he? That was what the priests wanted to know. He wasn't Elijah. Elijah was expected to return from the dead to proclaim the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5). He was expected to do several things: warn the Jewish people, to anoint the Messiah to His kingly office, to raise the dead, and to help select those who were to have a part in the Messiah's kingdom. Jesus later on did identify John with Elijah; however, He meant that in a spiritual sense, not in a physical person. John was not "that prophet" who was thought could be either Jeremiah or Isaiah. But, most Christians today interpret the prophet predicted to be Christ Jesus (Acts 3:22; 7:37).
What is the lesson for us here? The servant of Christ must not claim to be the Christ nor any other great prophet; pretend to be some great man or woman of God; seek recognition; assume some honor that does not belong to him or her; allow pride to enter into their ministry, thinking more highly of themselves than they ought to.
Christ and Messiah are referring to the exact same Person. Messiah is the Hebrew word while Christ is the Greek word. In Jesus' time the Jewish people feverishly panted for the long anticipated coming of the promised Messiah. Under the Romans they felt that God could not wait much longer to fulfill His promise to come. This left the people open to being deceived by false Messiahs. Barabbas, who was set free rather than Jesus. is an example.
More on this tomorrow my friends. Grace and peace by yours. Amen
Sun, Mar 22nd - 5:51PM
THE BOOK OF JOHN
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him, and cried, saying, "This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for He was before me. And of His fulness have we all received, and grace for grace." For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
Facts are given to us in these few verses. Christ Jesus became flesh and blood, a human being. Christ dwelled visibly among humans. Jesus was full of grace and truth. Jesus existed before John the Baptist was born even though He existed in human physical form after John the Baptist was born. The only person to have seen God is Jesus Christ. Moses gave the Law but Jesus gave us grace and truth.
The Incarnation, as many people refer to it, did take place. The Son of God manifested Himself in human flesh. The word "flesh" (sarx) is the same word that Paul used to describe man's nature with all of its weakness and tendency to commit sin. It is a staggering thought! Jesus, who is fully God and yet is also fully man, came to walk this earth for 33.5 years. The word "beheld" is used about 20 times in the New Testament. It means to actually see with the human eye. No one can say that God becoming a man was just a vision of someone's mind or imagination. No, John said that he and others actually saw the Word made flesh. Of course, this then begs the question of why did Jesus have to become flesh?
Perhaps the best description of the flesh is found in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44. It is corruptible, tainted, debased, ruined and depraved by sin. There is a seed of sin in every single person who is born into this world of ours. The flesh sins and by this ages, dies, deteriorates and decays. Life span is only a few decades. Christ became flesh in order to correct and to counteract the corruption of the flesh (I Peter 1:18-19, 23-25).
The flesh is dishonorable, it is not what God created it to be. It does not exist in the image of God that God intended. It does not hold the glory, the honor, nor the prestige it once did in the Garden of Eden. It is disgraced and shamed. It is held captive in the grip of sin and fear, in bondage unto death. "They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh...For to be fleshy minded is death." Romans 8:5-6
The flesh is weak, impotent. It is feeble, frail, fragile, infirmed, and decrepit because of sin. It has no means to please God nor to save itself. (Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16) Jesus had to come to correct this flaw in our basic nature. Romans 5:6 says, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." And again in Romans 8:3, "For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." My flesh is a natural body, of the earth, made up of the chemicals and minerals found in the earth. It is physical, material, animal, and finite. It houses the human soul and spirit, yet it is neither spirit nor spiritual. It can't live beyond its natural life. Jesus came to be a "quickening spirit", the One who could quicken and make alive those who would trust Him (I Corinthians 15:45).
If God's Glory was seen in Jesus Christ, what does that mean? Two things are meant by the word "glory." First of all, Christ was the "Shekinah glory of God." Shekinah means that which dwells or dwelling. It refers to the bright cloud that God used to guide Israel out of Egypt and that then rested upon the tabernacle and above the mercy seat in the Most Holy Place (Exodus 40:34-38). That cloud symbolized God's very presence with the people. That is what John is telling us, "We beheld", actually saw the Shekinah glory, God's very presence. Jesus was, and still is, the very embodiment of God; Jesus was in His Person and Being, character and behavior consistent with God's character. People beheld Him with their very own eyes.
Christ Jesus was the embodiment of grace and of truth. In our world of mankind "grace" means three things: It is that quality within a thing that is beautiful or joyful. It is anything that has loveliness such as a thought, an act, a word, a person. It is a gift, a favor that someone might extend to a friend. However, the early Christians looked at what God had done for mankind and had to add a deeper, much richer meaning to this word. Grace became the favor of God showered upon people, people who did not deserve His favor. It became the kindness and love that dwells within the very nature of God. This is the distinctive difference between God's grace and mankind's grace. People may do favors for those whom they like, but God gave His very own Son to die for His enemies.
John the Baptist clearly identified Jesus as the Lamb of God, slain before the foundations of the world. Here in these verses he states that Jesus existed before John in time. Jesus has always been, He was never born. Finally, the third proof of the Incarnation is the deity of Jesus. Colossians 2:9-10 states, "For in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. and you are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power." The Law could not save anyone, it could only point out our failure and condemn us for breaking God's Law. It was to be our taskmaster, revealing to us how far short of the mark we always fall when seeking to please God by our own efforts and merits.
Last of all, Jesus came from the bosom of the Father to reveal and to proclaim the Father to fallen mankind. A person either believes or does not believe the grace and truth of God as revealed in Christ Jesus. For you see, it always comes down to individual choice. Accept the truth and grace of Jesus or else reject it.
Stay safe in these days of the pandemic. Practice good health hygiene. Do not act foolishly nor gamble with your health or the health of others around you. Be assured, as Christians who have chosen to follow Jesus, you have nothing to fear for He is in control of all. Amen
Sat, Mar 14th - 4:39PM
Book of John
"That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came to His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:9-13
Today our world is full of darkness, the darkness of sin and despair, of sickness and death, and even fear. We are now observing how much fear is motivating the decision-making of many people as they react to the presence of the coronavirus. Darkness looms over the entire world. But this passage deals with all of these problems for Christ Jesus is the true Light and Light dispels darkness.
Other people have claimed to be lights; they have claimed that they can lead people to the truth. They claim they can reveal God to you, or show the nature, meaning, and destiny of the future. They claim they can guide people out of the darkness, or do away with and eliminate the darkness completely. But these people are false lights, their claims only fictions created in their own minds.
Countering the falseness of men is the truth and the true Light of the world. Christ is more than simply a man, He is God in the flesh. We must remind ourselves that light is clear and pure; it is clean and good. Light penetrates; it cuts through and eliminates darkness. Light enlightens; it enlarges one's vision and knowledge. Light reveals; it opens up the truth of an area, it clears up the way to the truth and life. Light guides; it keeps one from groping and grasping about in the dark for one's way. Light disperses chaos. Light discriminates between the right way and the wrong way. Light warns of dangers that lie ahead in one's path. Light protects; it keeps one from tripping, stumbling, falling, or injuring oneself and losing one's life. All of these are the things that Christ Jesus is.
Christ's mission is to give light to mankind. He gives Light through natural revelation, the creation and order of the universe. "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" Romans 1:20 But so much more light given to mankind since Christ has "come into the world." He is the Savior who now stands before the entire world as "the Christ, the Son of God (John 11:27. Every person can now see the Truth, if they only believe in Christ. Even if they reject it, they have seen it.
He is the light of the Gospel. The truth is that every person can now be delivered from the darkness of sin, despair, death, and eternal separation from God. There is the light of the Holy Spirit; both the guiding and convicting power of the Spirit. We must not ever overlook the fact that all light to be found in this world is from Christ, both natural and spiritual.
If we look at the two Greek words from which our English words of true, truth, and real come from we notice that they are very much alike. "Alethes" means true, the opposite of false. "Alethinos" means the true, the genuine, the real. It is the opposite of the unreal, the ficticious, the counterfeit, the imaginary. It is also the opposite of the imperfect, defective, frail, uncertain. Thus Jesus is viewed as being the true, the real, the genuine life which has come to give light to every person on our planet.
We can't leave these verses without considering how Christ came and was rejected. He had made the world and sustained it with His limitless power. He was actively working to help the world and its people from the very beginning of creation. He gave a spirit to each person born, the light of knowing and worshipping God and living forever in the life of God. He gave messengers to mankind, prophetic lights to proclaim the Truth and to encourage people to follow God. But let's notice what happened and continues to happen. The Jewish nation rejected Him when He came and walked among them. They deliberately closed their eyes to the Truth. If any group of people should have recognized who He was it was the Jews. He had chosen them to be His People, the ones to show the rest of the world the Living God. They had been given the privilege of the Scriptures, the Temple, and the prophets. But they still rejected Him.
Verse ten gives the outline and supreme tragedy of revelation: Christ was in the world, the world was made by Him, yet the world knew Him not.
Yet those people who choose to receive Christ into their hearts are given the power to become a son or daughter of God. This power means both power and right or authority. To become means changing into something one is not currently. It implies change, transformation, metamorphosis into something new. The source of becoming a "child of God" is a new birth. This is not something created of man. It is not by blood, it is not by the will of the flesh, nor is it of the will of a person. In other words, it is not of heritage, sexual desire, or mental effort. It is simply of God (John 3:1-15).
That is it for today my friends. Next time I will cover verses 14-18 and the Incarnation of Christ. May you walk worthy of the high calling of Christ and worship Him in Spririt and in Truth.
Fri, Mar 13th - 9:35PM
Continuing the study of the book of John
Well, after a five year hiatus from my blog I am picking up from where I left off.
"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light."
Here is a man whose sole purpose for living was to prepare the way for Lamb of God, the Light. All that John the Baptist did was to witness and testify to the Light of the world. This man's life stands as a dynamic model/example for every believer. The believer's purpose is to bear the same witness as John: Christ Jesus is the Light of the world.
We have some very basic concepts here. John was sent from God. It was a personal commission. John the Baptist was just a man, not a special being of any kind. A contrast is presented to the reader here. Whereas Christ "was in the beginning" John "was a man." But this man was sent "from God." Not only from God but the Greek terms mean "from beside God." He was a man of high calling, of a high mission, of enormous responsibility and accountability.
It is very important for the reader to realize that the servant and messenger of God is not sent by any mortal person but by God Himself. He/she is sent out as the ambassador of God. John was sent to speak this message to the Jews: God's grace is now to enter upon the scene of world history. Prepare you the way of the Lord, the embodiment of God's glorious grace.
The Greek word translated as "sent" (apestalmenos) means to send out, to commission as a representative, an ambassador, an envoy. Here are three things that are true of any person sent from God: 1) they belong to God,
2) they are commissioned to be sent out, and 3) they possess all the authority and power of God, who has sent them out.
So what was John the Baptist's purpose? That all people, through Christ, might believe. He did not come to start a movement for God, or to organize and administer, or to minister, or to even preach. He simply was to lead people to believe in the Light. This is also the main mission of any servant of God today. Each of us is to lead people to believe in Christ Jesus. It is not to organize, administer, oversee, manage, teach or preach. We all to often confuse method with purpose. The purpose is and always has been the salvation of people through belief in God's Son, Christ Jesus. Everything else is simply methods of doing it.
Now John the Baptist was a great man. It is undeniable. Many have claimed that he was the last of the Old Testament prophets, that after him the New Testament actually began. He was truly a humble person who clearly understood his position in the world and what his purpose in life was. May each of us be so fortunate to know such things just as clearly.
That is all for tonight, next time I shall cover the next five verses May God bless you and keep you.
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