Friday, July 20, 2018

2018.07.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 1:6-13

Questions for Littles: What was the name of the man sent from God in v6? What did this man come to do (v7)? Why did he bear witness of the Light? Was that man the Light (v8)? Then what was he sent to do? To whom does the true Light give light (v9)? Where was the true Light coming? Where was He, in v10? What was made through Him? What (Whom!) did the world not know, when He was in the world? To what things does v11 say that He came? But what people did not receive Him? What right did the Light give to those who received Him (v12)? What did “receiving Him” mean they had believed in? From where did this birth to believe in Him NOT come (v13a, b, c, d)? From where DID this birth to believe in Him come (v13e)?
In the Gospel reading this week, we heard about the witness named John. Our passage emphasizes that John bore witness to Christ. He announced that the Christ was coming. When Jesus appeared, he announced that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. But our passage doesn’t give those details. It just points out how very much without excuse Israel was, since, on top of everything else that God had done for them, He sent a witness immediately before Jesus, announcing Him.

A second reason they were without excuse is that it was so very obvious that Jesus is God Himself. The creation responded to Him as its Creator. When v11 says, “He came to His own,” the word ‘own’ is neuter in gender. He came to His own things. He came to His own creation. Water, and wind, and seas, and disease, and bread, and fish, and even death itself “received” Him as Creator. The world was made through Him.

But His own (masculine gender this time) people, Israel, did not receive Him.

John has begun his gospel with such high praise of Jesus Christ as Very God of Very God that we immediately begin to wonder—how can it be that everyone did not immediately believe in Him? How can it be that some—indeed, many—hated Him so greatly that they became the human instruments of His crucifixion?

The answer is one of the most important messages of this gospel, and indeed of the entire Bible: “You must be born again.” Your bloodline cannot bring you to faith in Christ. Your fleshly ability cannot bring you to faith in Christ. Your sincerest intentions cannot bring you to faith in Christ. Only a new birth from God—His almighty power completely transforming you into a new, spiritually alive person—can bring you to believe in the name of Him who is the Light.

And, when God gives you that new birth, He also gives You a new family, adopting you and giving you forever the legal right to be called His own dear child! This is a salvation that is by God’s grace from start to finish!

He is the Savior. He gives the faith to be saved. He is the Reward for the saved!
Do you have confidence in Christ to call upon God as your own dear Father?
Suggested songs: ARP103A “O Bless the LORD, My Soul” or TPH425 “How Sweet and Awesome Is the Place”

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