John 1:6-13, Responses to the Word of God.
Last week we dove into the first five verses of John chapter 1, incredible
theology and truth about the Lord, the Word of God, God the Son, Creator, Sustainer, Judge and Savior: Jesus Christ.
Today we will be studying how people responded to the Light and Life of God revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, the Logos, the full embodiment and God’s nature, wisdom and power.
Read John 1:6-9... And so we go from the awesome declaration in verses 1-5, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was God, and in Him was life, and the life was the Light of God,” to the presentation of a man who came from God, whose name was John, not the author John, but the Baptizer John, cousin of Jesus, from now on to be called the Baptizer or Baptizer.
Notice John says about the Baptizer, he was “sent from God” fulfilling a special role laid out in prophecy concerning the coming of Messiah, the Christ (Isaiah 40:1-3), “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her... A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.”
Both Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:2-3 proclaim that John the Baptizer is the fulfillment of this prophecy, “This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.'"
Scripture speaks of an Elijah-like prophet coming before the Day of the Lord:
Malachi 3:1, “‘See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before Me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
Malachi 4:5-6, "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."
See Luke 1:11-20, 57-66, 76-80... The angel Gabriel told Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth would bear him him a son (John, the Baptizer), and he would be a prophet of God who would announce “the Messiah is here.”
Matthew 3:1-2, 5-6, “In those days John the Baptizer came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.’ People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.”
John the Baptizer broke the john400 years of silence between God and Israel and he was clear on his mission and his subordination to Christ:
Luke 3:16, John [said to the people], "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come... He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
John 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.'" 29, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’”
Jesus declared John the Baptizer to be the greatest man who had ever lived up to that time.
Matthew 11:11, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptizer; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
Matthew 21:23-26, “Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while He was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him. ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ they asked. ‘And who gave You this authority?’ Jesus replied, ‘I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John's baptism--where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or from men?’ They discussed it among themselves and said, If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?' But if we say, 'From men'--we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet."
The Baptizer’s mission was to be a witness of Messiah and to testify about the Light, so that people would believe and be saved; he was to stir their hearts, that they would be convicted that they had sinned against God; as the forerunner of Christ, the Baptizer called people to repent (to acknowledge their sins) and to be baptized (a public declaration of their need for Messiah).
The Baptizer was not the Light of God, he was a mere reflection of the Light, and he was to testify concerning the Holy One of God, the Word of God, Christ, who is the Light of God coming into the world, so that the people might understand and believe in Him and be saved.
Read John 1:10-13... The Word of God, Jesus Christ, is the Creator, He is the Light of God who has come into the darkness of this world to save those who will receive His Light (2Corinthians 4:4), “the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (see Luke 4:14-20, 28-30).
God’s Word tells us:
John 3:16-17, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
The dreadful reality is that the majority of mankind rejects the Light of God who has come into the world, and therefore they bring judgment upon themselves.
John 3:18-20, “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”
Jesus came to His own, mankind in general, the Jews specifically (cf. Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38); they did not know Him, i.e., they rejected Him as Messiah, Savior and Lord, again, bringing judgment upon themselves.
God knew the world would reject His Holy One, the Word of God, Messiah, and so God allowed them to put to death His own Son, knowing that the grave couldn’t keep Him, e.g., you can kill the body of Jesus that God lives in, but you can’t kill God, as Peter proclaimed:
Acts 2:22-24, “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”
The great news (John 1:12-13) is that everyone who receives Christ, those who believe in His name (all that He is [God], all that He does [Savior/Redeemer]), He gives the right to become children of God, born of God’s Spirit, born from above.
Our salvation is entirely by grace:
Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.”
As we will later study in depth, in John 3:6-7 Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, explaining spiritual birth to him, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’”
Notice in John 1:13 it says, “children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision, or a husband's will, but born of God.”
natural descent (lit. blood = heritage or ancestry via a bloodline) human decision (lit. flesh = desire or free will)
husband's will (lit. man = man-made system or adoption)
This birth by God, brings you into an intimate relationship with God as His child, this cannot be obtained through a bloodline or ancestry, it doesn’t matter who your great great great grandparents were; nor can this spiritual birth be brought about through the sexual relationship between a man and a woman, for this heavenly birth is not done through human birth; nor can a man through his own volition select or adopt a child to belong to God, God chooses, calls and confirms His own.
Spiritual rebirth, being born again from above, born by God’s Spirit, born of God, is made effectual only through a person’s heartfelt response to the Word of God who is the life and Light of God to all who believe in Him.
Romans 10:9-13, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame’ (Isaiah 28:16). For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Joel 2:32).
John 3:36, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
1John 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
How you respond to Jesus Christ will set your destiny forever: heaven or hell, it totally depends upon whether you receive or reject God’s One and Only Son.
Everyone who calls on Him for the forgiveness of sins will receive eternal life.
Why would anyone reject God’s free offer? Do you know for sure that you belong to Jesus?
Don’t delay another day, sincerely ask Him to forgive your sins and you will become a child of God, forever!
Pastor Mike <‘(((><