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Sermon24-30 John1 Guide

John 1:1-18, theme verse John 1:1

The praise and honor and glory be to our heavenly Father who seeks true worshipers who worship Him with the Spirit and truth.

In this fifth Sunday after the Pentecost, I pray that His grace of the application of all the benefits which Jesus earned for our salvation and also the glorious ministry of the proclamation of His kingdom by the power of the Holy Spirit may be full in our life. As we looked three synoptic Gospels and the Book of Acts during last six months, from this week, we would like to meditate on the Gospel of John, the last fourth Gospel together. Specially today, we would like to learn few lessons after reviewing John 1:1-18 together.

1)    The Gospel of John as the last book of Gospels was written by the Apostle John, around AD 90-100 for the Johannese communities who were faced up with the attack of the heresy on Jesus’ divinity and humanity, while experiencing also the growing persecution from the Roman Empire and Jewish communities, to encourage the protection of the truth and the endurance of the sufferings, I mean, for the revelation and redemption as John said in John 20:31.

2)    By the way, John wrote his Gospel in his own unique way, I mean, John structured his Gospel, in the way that he put the book of signs in which he put seven signs for Jesus as the Messiah and the book of glory in which Jesus’ suffering and death and resurrection were put between prologue and epilogue. Yet, while Jesus’ passion story was written very similarly with other three synoptic Gospels, regarding the kingdom ministries of Jesus, he chose to write in the topical way, instead of the historical or chronological way so that among many stories of Jesus, he only share 8% of parallel features with other synoptic Gospels, rather 92% of his unique feature.

3)    As such, John could deal with various theological subjects in his own unique way for Christology, Pneumatology, Soteriology, Eschatology and Ecclesiology,

a)     First of all, in his Christology, as the main subject of his Gospel, he provided the well-balanced theology for the divinity and humanity of Jesus in response to the invasion of the heresy in the Johannes church, while introducing Jesus as the God of the Word from the beginning, writing key signs for Jesus as the Messiah and seven “I AM” statement of Jesus in addition to introducing Jesus as God’s temple, lamb, and high priest, while introducing Jesus as the One who fulfilled the types of Jewish institutions and festivals.

b)    And specially for the Pneumatology, John presented a diverse and broad theological foundation, while introducing the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of new creation, of worship and the Comforter, compared to the limited version of other synoptic Gospels.

c)     And in terms of soteriology, while proclaiming the kingdom of God and the gaining the eternal life through the faith, John proclaimed mainly the eternal life as the Gospel while other synoptic Gospels proclaimed the kingdom of God as the Gospel mainly.

d)    In addition, the eschatology of John is not only about the future eschatology, but also emphasizes the eschatology realized in the present, that is, Jesus is already with His believers through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

e)     Lastly, the Gospel of John not only introduces the church as God’s family, that is, new family community born of God, but also describes it as a temple of God’s presence and worship, and as a mission community sent to the world by Jesus.

4)    In addition, the Gospel of John not only introduces Jesus as the One who accomplished Jewish rituals and feasts, but also introduces Jesus’ seven names, seven signs, and seven “I AM” statements as it reveals the continuity and discontinuity between the Old and New testaments, while in chapter 1, as the prologue of the Gospel, the Greek term “Logos” is used, showing to help Greeks to understand Christianity more easily.

5)    In this sense, today’s text as the prologue to the Gospel of John, summarizes and introduces well various key topics. In other words, verse 1:1 talks about Jesus’ preexistence and union with God, so it says Jesus is essentially God, while in verses 4, 5, and 7, it is said that there is life and light in Jesus, and since light cannot coexist with darkness, the world cannot understand the light so that the salvation cannot come through the human natural enlightenment, as Greek philosophy said, yet it can be earned through Jesus in whom the life was. Therefore, as verses 13 and 14 says, only those born of God can know and believe in the glory, grace and truth of Jesus and be saved, since as it says in 1:18 only Jesus can see and reveal God.

6)    And also John chapter introduces seven names of Jesus.

a)     I mean, verses 1:1-14 say that Jesus is introduced as the eternal Word of God from the beginning, which was the creative Word through whom all things were created, and the incarnated Word who became flesh and dwells among us. And He also is also introduced as the life within Him and the light who reveals the truth.

b)    And then in verses 1:15 to 49, He is also introduced as the Son of God, who possesses divinity and also as the Son of Man with humanity, and also as the Lamb of God who was sent to this earth and was offered as a ransom on the cross on the behalf of His people’s sins, after coming as the Messiah who saved His people from their sins and becoming the king of Israel.

7)    Through today’s Bible verses, we would like to learn few things. First of all, we would like to understand the meaning of the beginning, as verse 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word.” The Greek word “arche” translated here as the beginning which is equivalent to the Hebrew “resit” refers to ”before the world was created or when there was nothing in the world. So theologically it can be said to mean eternity. I mean, the unchanging world of eternity before the creation of space and time, in the eternity, the Word, the Son of God who is also God with the different Person existed and was incarnated into flesh and gave the life and light which was hidden in Him to His people. John proclaimed this secret of Gospel in this way. That’s why Barrett, speaking of 1:1 says in his commentary of “John” that ‘John intends that the whole of his Gospel shall be read in the light of this verse. The deeds and words of Jesus are the deeds and words of God; if this be not true the book is blasphemous.’ And I hope we could believe that this life and its richness come from the eternity, before the foundation of the world. I mean, before all was created, before the time of the history in which all was come and gone, those who will be born of God was chosen so that when the time came, the Holy Spirit came and dwelled in each elected soul to raise in the regeneration of life and made alive and gave the eternal life. One of them is we each person. And that is the grace of the Gospel and truth and glory in Jesus. That’s why Paul said in Eph 1:3-5 tha “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” Therefore I pray that all we who are here in this place may know this secret and the grace of the Gospel so that we may give thanks to the love of God, the grace of the Lord and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

Key Questions as Small Group Activity

Q1 According to today’s text, we can know that the salvation was given by grace based on His vicarious atonement ministry in the cross by the One who shares the essence of God, yet was incarnated in flesh. So after reviewing how this salvation by grace impacts your life, I hope you could share your thought and experience with your team members together.

Q2 And also, we can know that this salvation of grace was planned even before the creation and then was arrived to each one of us in His will. So after reviewing what it means to us this amazing election of God and redemption, I hope you could share your thoughts and experience with your team members.

Love you. Thank you. God bless you.

Prayer Note

Dear ( God’s attribute which you found Today ) God!

Thanks for ( something you received through the sermon or  even during the week )

Praise, gratitude and glory be to You, Lord!

Today, I realized my sin (pains) that ( the sin God reminded through the sermon ),

please forgive (or heal) me and help me not to repeat ( the sins you recognized   ).

I learned that ( something you learned through the sermon                                    )

Please help me to live in that (  learned way of life                                                )

I pray in ( Jesus’ attribute you find ) Jesus’ name. Amen.

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