God with Us

Gospel of John #03: An exposition of John 1:14-18. This message by Pastor Rod Harris at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, November 7, 2010.

We live in an increasingly “spiritual” culture.  Spirituality is a hot topic.  People are spiritual but not religious.  That’s how most put it.  It does seem strange that in a world where science is deemed the great deliverer that interest in spiritual matters would be on the rise but that’s part of the paradox of our time.  Much of that is due to the fact that science provides less than satisfying answers to many of life’s most difficult questions.  For all of our scientific advances and though we are living longer we are not living “better.”  Most of you are old enough to remember when some academics boldly declared, “God is dead.”  With our knowledge of the universe we no longer needed the “god hypothesis.”  God was not needed to explain the universe.  So if God is dead why the interest in spiritual matters?  First of all the God who was no longer needed was the God of the Bible.  The God of the Christian Church.  Frederick Nietzche, the philosophical leader of the “god is dead movement” said, “When the God who has been known and worshipped in Christendom is dead, the result will be a rain of gods.”  G. K. Chesterton said, “When people deny the biblical God it is not that they believe in nothing…but that they believe in anything and everything!”  That is where we are.

As a result we are no longer sinners we are seekers.
God is not a judge who passes sentence on our rebellion.
He is an affable, friendly God who looks and acts remarkably like us!
God has been domesticated.
He’s been made “user-friendly.”
He is far more approachable and understanding.

Man has always been “religious.”  Every culture has looked to a supreme being.  Since the Garden we have be sewing fig leaves together in a futile attempt to cover our nakedness.  We’ve sought various means to hide our guilt and establish relationship with God.  That is what religion is – man’s attempt to reach God.  Biblical faith is not about man’s reaching God but about God’s coming to us.  In the Garden when our first parents rebelled, it was God who sought them, “Adam where are you?”  We love Him because He first loved us.  Our text this morning is found in the first chapter of John’s Gospel.

Text: John 1:14-18

We are coming to the end of the prologue.
The introduction to John’s Gospel.
Here he lays out the various themes that we’ll meet again and again throughout his account.
John’s purpose is evangelistic – 20:30-31.

We already been told who He is:

  • He is the Eternal One
  • He is God
  • He is the Creator of everything that exists
  • He is life and light.

We’ve been introduced to the forerunner – John the baptizer.
He is an example of godliness:
Understands his worth is rooted in the call of God on his life.
Delights in his role as a light bearer.
Acknowledges his usefulness but is not delusional about his importance.
Glories in the exaltation of Christ.

Now we launch into deep theological waters with this simple, eloquent statement.  It has been rightfully said that John’s Gospel is shallow enough for a child to wade and yet deep enough for elephants to swim!  Simple straightforward statements that will take eternity to unpack.

In this section we are reminded that…

Thesis: The doctrine of the incarnation sets Christianity apart from the religions of the world.

There are three things I want us to note concerning this wonderful truth.

  1. The incredible fact of the incarnation.  (1:14)
  2. The blessed benefits of the incarnation.  (1:14-17)
  3. The glorious result of the incarnation.  (1:18)
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