John 1:1-18 Accept God's Promised Savior

        ACCEPT GOD’S PROMISED SAVIOR
            WELCOME THE LIGHT
    John 1:1-18        December 23, 2007

The first 18 verses of the Gospel of John form a
prologue, or introduction. The distinct style and
vacancy of the prologue set these verses apart
from the rest of the Gospel . The prologue has a
poetic quality.

1. The Divine Light ( John 1:1-5 )

The significance of the Christmas season is the
birth of Christ. Jesus Christ is God’s son who provides
light and life to a spiritually dark and dead world. In
His light we see ourselves as we really are. sinners
in need of a Savior . He lights our path to show us how
to live.

John 1:1   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God. 1:2   He was with
God in the beginning. 1:3   Through him all things were
made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
1:4   In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
1:5   The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness
has not understood it.

In the beginning. (Gen 1:1). Word. Greeks used this term
not only of the spoken word but also of the unspoken
word, the word still in the mind —the reason. When they
applied it to the universe, they meant the rational
principle that governs all things. Jews, on the other hand,
used it as a way of referring to God. Thus John used a
term that was meaningful to both Jews and Gentiles. With
God. The Word was distinct from the Father. Was God.
Jesus was God in the fullest sense (Ro 9:5). The prologue
(John1-18) begins and ends with a ringing affirmation of
his deity (John 1:18).

    2. Pointing Others To The Light ( John 1:6-8 )

Just as John the Baptist was sent by God to prepare
other to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, we also
should witness and point others to the Lord. At that
first Christmas, the shepherds who heard the good
news shared it with others( Luke 2:15-18 ).
 
John 1:6   There came a man who was sent from God;
his name was John. 1:7   He came as a witness to
testify concerning that light, so that through him all
men might believe. 1:8   He himself was not the light;
he came only as a witness to the light.1:9   The true
light that gives light to every man was coming into
the world.

JOHN. In this Gospel the name John always refers to
John the Baptist. As a witness to testify. John the
Baptist’s singular ministry was to testify to Jesus
(John10:41). “Witness” is another important concept
in this Gospel. The noun (“witness” or “testimony”)
is used 14 times (in Matthew not at all, in Mark three
times, in Luke once) and the verb (“testify”) 33 times
(found once each in Matthew and Luke, not at all in Mark )
—in both cases more often than anywhere else in the NT.
 John (the author) thereby emphasizes that the facts
about Jesus are amply attested. That through Him all
men might believe. People were not to believe “in”
John the Baptist but “through” him. Similarly, the
writer’s purpose was to draw them to belief in Christ
(John 20:31); he uses the verb “believe” 98 times.
John is referring to the incarnation of Christ. World.
Another common word in John’s writings, found 78
times in this Gospel and 24 times in his letters (only
47 times in all of Paul’s writings). It can mean the
universe, the earth, the people on earth, most people,
people opposed to God, or the human system opposed
to God’s purposes. John emphasizes the word by
repetition, and moves without explanation from one
meaning to another (John17:5,14-15 ).

    3. Receiving The Light ( John 1:10-13 )

Receiving the Light means accepting Christ as personal
Savior . Receiving Christ as Savior is the only way to
become children of God. Receiving Jesus as Savior or
sharing our faith with lost person is the most
appropriate way to celebrate Christmas.
 

John 1:10   He was in the world, and though the world
was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
1:11   He came to that which was his own, but his own
did not receive him. 1:12   Yet to all who received him,
to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to
become children of God — 1:13   children born not of
natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s
will, but born of God.

He gave the right. Membership in God’s family is by grace
alone —the gift of God (Eph 2:8-9). It is never a human
achievement, as (John 1:13) emphasizes; yet the imparting
of the gift is dependent on man’s reception of it, as the
words “received” and “believed” make clear.

    4. The Glory Of The Light ( John 1:14-18 )

John opposed any who thought of Jesus as the Christ
of God but denied the reality of His humanity. In His
supreme revelation God chose to make  Himself known
in a real, historical Man–in the Person of Jesus of
Nazareth. Jesuswas both fully God and fully human.

John 1:14   The Word became flesh and made his dwelling
among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and
Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
1:15   John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has
surpassed me because he was before me.’ “ 1:16   From the
fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after
another. 1:17   For the law was given through Moses; grace
and truth came through Jesus Christ. 1:18   No one has ever
seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s
side, has made him known.

Became. Indicates transition; the Word existed before he
became man. Flesh. A strong, almost crude, word that
stresses the reality of Christ’s manhood. Made His dwelling
among us. We have seen His glory. The Greek for “made his
dwelling” is connected with the word for “tent /tabernacle”;
the verse would have reminded John’s Jewish readers of the
Tent of Meeting, which was filled by the glory of God
(Ex 40:34-35). Christ revealed his glory to his disciples
by the miracles he performed (John 2:11) and by his death
and resurrection. Grace and Truth . The corresponding Hebrew
terms are often translated “(unfailing) love and faithfulness”
( Psalms 26:3; Pr 16:6). Grace. A significant Christian concept
 (John 4:2; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2), though John never uses the word
after the prologue (John 1-18). Truth. A word John uses 25
times and links closely with Jesus, who is the truth (John14:6).
Cries out. The present tense indicates that John the Baptist’s
preaching still sounded in people’s ears, though he was killed
long before this Gospel was written. He was before me. In
ancient times the older person was given respect and regarded
as greater than the younger. People would normally have ranked
Jesus lower in respect than John, who was older.
John the Baptist explains that this is only apparent, since
Jesus, as the Word, existed before he was born on earth.
God the one and only. An explicit declaration of Christ’s deity
(John 1:1,14 and John 3:16). Has made Him known . Sometimes
in the OT people are said to have seen God ( Ex 24:9-11). But
we are also told that no one can see God and live (Ex 33:20).
Therefore, since no human being can see God as he really is,
those who saw God saw him in a form he took on himself
temporarily for the occasion. Now, however, Christ has made
him known.

    Summary:

The Christmas season celebrates the fact that Christ
became a man to establish a covenant of grace between
a Holy God and a through the grace provided in Jesus
Christ.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL