Saturday, January 14, 2012

3. John 1

(This is the eighth in a series of ten posts counting down my ten favorite chapters in the New Testament. My friend David is also counting down his ten favorite chapters in the New Testament. You can find the corresponding post on his blog by clicking here.)

The gospel of John reveals Jesus Christ as God, so it's appropriate that the first chapter in John spans eternity past to eternity future. There are six key phrases in six different verses that cover six major steps along this pathway:
  1. The Word - divinity
    • "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (v. 1)
    • Chronologically, this verse precedes the creation of the world in Genesis 1:1. This verse also shows Jesus Christ's divinity. Jesus Christ has been God since eternity past.
  2. Flesh - incarnation
    • "And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us...full of grace and reality." (v. 14)
    • This verse reveals the incarnation of Christ. God came to dwell in a man, bringing divinity into humanity for the first time.
  3. Lamb - redemption
    • "The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (v. 29)
    • Jesus shed His blood as the fulfillment of the sacrificial lambs in the Old Testament in order to redeem us of all our sins and trespasses.
  4. Dove - the Spirit
    • "And John testified, saying, I beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He abode upon Him." (v. 32)
    • Just as the Spirit was with Jesus Christ on the earth, today we have the life-giving Spirit with us and inside us at all times to meet every need.
  5. Cephas - the stone
    • "Jesus said, You are shall be called Cephas (which is interpreted, Peter)." (v. 42)
    • Peter means stone in Greek. Jesus here indicated that He would transform Peter into a living stone for God's building (see 1 Peter 2). This is the major work of the Spirit in all the believers.
  6. Heaven opened - the house of God
    • "You shall see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." (v. 51)
    • The last verse in the chapter hearkens back to Jacob's dream in Genesis 28. There Jacob saw a ladder joining heaven and earth and called that place Bethel (the house of God). The ultimate issue of God's work will be the building of the house of God in which heaven and earth, as well as God and man, are joined by Christ for all eternity! 
 John 1 also contains some great verses for preaching the gospel, including verses 17: 
"For the law was given through Moses; grace and reality came through Jesus Christ." 
So many religious people focus on the law, but the purpose of the law was merely to lead us to Jesus Christ, who is grace and reality! Jesus was even the fulfillment of the law (Matthew 5:17).
 You also have verses 12-13:
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name, who were begotten not of blood nor of the will of man, but of God."
Wow! To receive the Lord is simply to believe into His name, and anyone who does so is begotten of God as a legitimate child with the same life and genetics (not just an adopted child). I'm so happy that this one chapter reveals the plan of God from eternity past to eternity future, and also how we can participate in this wonderful plan, simply by receiving Him!


Vania said...

Verse 17 says the law was GIVEN but grace and reality CAME. The law was a nonliving thing but grace and reality are a living PERSON. Also, the ftnt on that verse is really good.

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