“GOD IN THE FLESH!”
TEXT: John 1:1-14
INTRO: The real wonder of Christmas is not the decorations, the gifts, the parties and the meals; it is the amazing reality that God broke into our world in the flesh!
Maybe the world invented so many other ways to celebrate Christmas because it is too marvelous, too wonderful to consider the possibility that God entered the world as a frail human baby and yet as God also.
The fact however is that we will never truly experience Christmas unless we truly experience Christ!
ILLUS: He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. -- Roy L. Smith in Lutheran Witness (Dec. 15, 1974). Christianity Today, Vol. 33, no. 18.
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
A. Son Of God 1:1
1. This is one of the most significant verses of Scripture to help us understand God and His desire to know us and have us know Him.
a. For God it is NOT “actions speak louder than words,” rather, it is “Actions speak exactly like words”
b. God’s character is so perfect that His thoughts or words are the same as His actions.
2. The Word of God has always existed, He is not created, He was there in the beginning already.
3. The statement that the Word was WITH God and WAS God clearly shows us that the Word of God is another member of the Godhead and equal with God because He is God.
a. In this way we can actually come to know God since we have His Word which has become flesh in Christ!
b. Even though we have never seen God we have seen God in Christ.
On a wall near the main
entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following
inscription: "James Butler Bonham--no picture of him exists. This portrait is of
his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is
placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who
died for freedom." No literal
portrait of Jesus exists either. But the likeness of the Son who makes us free
can be seen in the lives of his true followers. -- Bill Morgan.
4. Christ is the perfect representation of God the father.
a. This means God has visited us, the meaning of the term “Emmanuel.”
b. God did not wish to be distant from us, He chose to come to us.
c. God desires us more than we desire Him!
B. Source of Life 1:2-5
1. As God, Christ not only gives life, HE IS LIFE!
a. All things that live have their being through Him.
b. Nothing that is made has been made without Him. "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
2. This is why there is such a cry in the human heart for knowing God, anything that has life has come through God’s power into existence, to not have fellowship with Him leaves us empty and missing something that should naturally be there!
3. We were created to know the creator, our life emanates from Him.
It was Mother Teresa who
said, "You will never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you've
-- From Christianity
4. We cannot never really know what “full” life means without have a living relationship with the one who gave us life, who IS life.
a. Thus to be separated from God is to know a darkness or void.
b. We can fill that void with all the things of this world, or with God!
A. Son Of Man 1:6-11
1. John the Baptist was a gift to mankind so that others would be guided to the greatest gift God would give, that of Himself!
a. The Lord needed someone to know and point out the gift of God in Christ.
b. John was called by God to be a “witness” to God’s great plan of salvation.
2. John had an incredible message to give, that God had come to man in the flesh so that we may be redeemed.
a. God’s great plan would forever wed humanity to God.
b. It is a marvel that God would “come in the flesh” (the meaning of the world “incarnation”)
King James V of
3. It was so tragic when John pointed out Christ as the Son of God who had come as the Son of man that the world rejected Him.
a. They had rejected the very God that had made them!
b. Yet we do the same today when we reject Christ!
4. Though God identified Himself with man in Christ, we still reject Him!
B. Savior Of Man! 1:12-14
1. Yet, to those who will receive Christ and believe on His name they become the children of God!
a. No greater privilege is ours than to belong to Christ!
b. The greatest joy comes from the greatest gift … and Christ gave Himself for us so that we can be redeemed from sin.
2. In Christ we see the heart of God, His desire to save and not destroy.
a. Even when we killed the Son of God He rose again and offered salvation to all who will believe on Him.
b. God’s love is so powerful; He was willing to come into this world in the most fragile of states, as a baby.
3. It is ironic that God so trusted man to send His only Son as a helpless baby, and all He asks of us is to trust Him that we might be saved.
4. When we were lost in sin God found a way to embrace us, to bring us back to spiritual health through Christ who came in the flesh!
ILLUS: Dr. John Rosen pioneered a new treatment for some people who were severely mentally ill. These were catatonic patients, curled up in the fetal position on their beds, refusing to acknowledge that anyone else even existed. They would neither move nor speak. Dr. Rosen moved in on the ward. He put up a cot there. Every day he saw those patients. Sometimes he would stop by a bed, take off his jacket, and climb into bed with the patient. He would put his arms around patients and gently embrace them. Some returned to the world of the living because of that wordless expression of concern. In Christ Jesus, God moved in on the ward. -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).
5. God found a way to us, have you taken the way back to Him?
6. If you only see twinkling lights, pretty wrapped presents, lots of festive decorations and don’t see the CHRIST you will not experience CHRISTmas!
CONCLUSION: It is most appropriate that at the time of year when there is the greatest darkness we celebrate the greatest light! Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, Emmanuel, God with us! God came to where we are so we can one day go to where He is! Have you accepted the light, are you really ready for Christmas?