John Carter – December 24, 2017
Text(s): John 1:1-14
Series: Advent 2017
Title: Light and Darkness – Advent 5: The Christ Candle
Location/Event: Fortuna Baptist, CA
Main Point: Believe the genuine light, in the name of Jesus
Light and Darkness – Advent 5: The Christ Candle
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth
Glory of Christmas
Christmas, as celebrated by Christians, is supremely about the coming of Jesus. Candy, gifts, and even Santa do not even compare to the overwhelming weight of glory that Jesus has. The same glory that God the Father has. This is why when John, a disciple of Jesus, begins his account of the first coming of Jesus he sets the events up in terms of creation. The exact place we began our Advent (coming) series.
Starting in Genesis chapter one, the first chapter of the Bible, we learn that God was not created but preexisted creation itself. Genesis 1:1 also asserts that God created the heavens and the earth. Then Genesis goes on to describe how God created everything through speech—spoken word. This is important to remember when reading John 1. Because here John, the author, and disciple of Jesus, reaffirms that God preexisted creation (1:1). John further demonstrates that the word which was spoken by God also preexisted creation, existed with God, and was itself also God. This does not mean that we worship the word as a god. Instead, John is carefully articulating the belief that Christians often call the Trinity; one being but three persons.
Understanding what John is saying here is of paramount importance for understanding the rest of John’s historical account of the life of Jesus. But it is also of significance to being able to understand biblical theology. If God preexisted creation then he has no equal. If God created everything then everything owes its existence to the power and authority of God. If God is all-powerful and all authority is his then our very life is dependant upon his sustaining work. Therefore anything that we do that is offensive to him must be repaid according to his standards. To accept him is to receive his light. To reject him is to walk in darkness. As we learn in John this word is Jesus of Nazareth.
A Testimony About the Light
Often men seek to reject the testimony of Jesus. But Jesus did not just testify about himself. John the Baptist, a witness sent by God, also testified about the light of life found in the word. To reject the testimony of Jesus is insufficient in defeating the claims of Jesus. You must also dismiss the claims of his witnesses too. This is difficult to do since many of his closest followers lost their lives because of their belief that Jesus truly was the eternal word and the light of life who rose from the dead.
Part of the Family
In other words, the light was genuine. Jesus wasn’t a fake or a fraud. The irony is, even though he was legitimate his own creatures did not receive him as their genuine creator. Never-the-less, those that were willing to accept Jesus as the creating word of life were accepted as children of God. Contrary to popular belief blood, desire or strength are all insufficient means to become acceptable to God and to come into right relationship with him. If you are alive you are not a child of God. If you believe who Jesus is and live obediently to that truth, then you are a child of God.
Interestingly enough, God did not expect us to come to him. He first came to us. In the Garden and even in these last days Jesus has come so that we might see his unique glory. What Christ did through his life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension was the public display of his Glory and the glory that he had with his Father before he created all things. My plea for you this Christmas Eve is to look to the light and believe in the name of Jesus. Believe that he came to take our place of judgment and bear the consequences of our sins so that we might become children of God. I beg of you repent—turn away– from your sins and believe in Jesus for salvation. Without his intervention, we will suffer the consequences of rejecting the Holy God who is the source of our life. Turn, believe and be saved knowing that God is faithful and just to forgive us for every evil thing we have ever done or ever will do.
1 Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
1 Colossians 1:15-23
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
1 Colossians 2:6-15
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and God, he was [that] word. This [word] was with God in the beginning. All things were made through him and without him not a single thing was made; which had been made. In him was life and [that] life was the light of man. And that light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not receive it.
It happened that a man had been sent from God, his name was John. This [man] came [to be] a witness so that he might testify about the light so that all might believe through him [Jesus or John?]. He was not that light, instead [he was] so that he might testify about the light.
The light was genuine, who will enlighten every man [when] coming into the world. He was in the world and the world came was made through him, and the world did not know him. He came to his own [creation] and his own [creatures] did not receive him. But as many [that] received him he gave them— those believing in his name—the privilege to become children of God. Those not from blood, neither from the desire of the flesh nor the desire of man, they were born from God.
And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we observed his glory, glory as uniquely from the Father, full of Grace and truth.
- 2 Corinthians 8:9
- Philippians 2:6
- Colossians 1:17
- John 17:5
 A recent speech by Donald Trump articulated the belief that all are children of God. This popular belief is pervasive throughout the church as well. However, this text clearly shows that the status of child of God is an exclusive, not inclusive, term. https://www.facebook.com/TheDeclarationIJR/videos/10156330634612971/?hc_ref=ARRtAANvS6XxnFJ3Vjxm8GXrxh6091mZf2GWmI1SXZdve5hE9ramAQd2ZjzWq2FSDNs&pnref=story – Retrieved 12/23/2017