Over the years I have written several "book" or "booklets" and many, many, many newsletter and bulletin articles. Because the book market seeks writings to meet specific needs at specific times, my material has never been accepted. I have a tendency to write what is on my mind and so I am left with self publishing. So, with the encouragement from my wife and others, I am beginning this blog in order to put my "ramblings" "out there"! I hope you enjoy!
Please note that while my intentions are to use good grammar, because of the way in which some of the material presented here is presented (orally) the grammar and syntax might not always be the best English. Also note that good theology is not always presented in the best English so there may be times when the proper grammar rules are purposely broken.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The Word Spoken - Advent Midweek 1 - December 4, 2013 - Text: John 1:1-18
Our theme for this year is The Word. Our text is John 1:1-18 and we will talk about the spoken word, the written word, the tangible word, the word incarnate, the word fulfilled and the word in glory. Of course, the Word is Jesus, God the Son, who was at creation with the Father, who was promised through the oral prophecies, and later through the written prophecies. Jesus is the tangible word in His Holy Supper. He is the Word incarnate, in flesh in the person of the baby. He is the Word fulfilled in His life, death and resurrection. And He is the Word in glory, the Lamb of God enthroned in heaven. This evening we begin by talking about the spoken word.
The Gospel writer John is an amazing writer. He uses simple, down to earth words that are easy to understand and yet out of his simple words is amazing meaning. Rather than speak of the virgin birth in down to earth words, like conceived and born, John speaks of the nativity in words such as Light and Word. So, we begin with a little identification of the Word. John says, “1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (v. 1-3). So, from these first three verses we know that whoever or whatever the “Word” is, He was at the creation of the world, meaning that He either was God the Father or is One in unity with God the Father.
Further, John says that this Word, was with God, and was God. Here again, as God has revealed Himself to us as a God who is three persons in one Godhead, and understanding that the three persons of the One Godhead are never divided, this means that whoever or whatever the “Word,” is, He was indeed God, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Again, still further, John says that this Word was the one who made all things and that there is nothing that was made that was not made except that He made it. We have attributed the Creation of the world to the person of God the Father and so here if the “Word,” is not God the Father, we at least know that He was there with God the Father at the creation of the world and that He is One with God the Father.
So, putting all this together, therefore we would understand John to be telling us that this “Word,” about whom he is speaking is One with God the Creator, that is that the “Word,” is One with God the Father making the “Word,” truly God and we would say, as we will continue to follow John that Jesus is God and Jesus is the Word.
In the beginning God created all things out of nothing and when God created all things all things were created perfect. God created a perfect world, a perfect garden, a perfect man and a perfect woman. God placed the perfect man and perfect woman He created into the perfect garden He created, the Garden of Eden. God gave the man work to do to care for the garden, not as toilsome labor, but good work as a response of faith. God also gave the man and woman another way to respond to all He had done for and given to them in that they were to obey Him by not eating of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Sometime prior to these events, after God had created the angels, one angel, Lucifer, rebelled against God, thinking himself to be equal to and perhaps a god, and was cast out of heaven. This evil angel whom we refer to as Satan, hates everything that is good and from God and so, he came into the perfect garden taking on the form of a serpent and tempted Eve and Adam to disobey God. Satan tempted Eve and Adam with a false truth and a word of doubt concerning what God had given to them and said to them. They listened to Satan, disobeyed God and brought sin into the perfect world so that it was no longer perfect. As a matter of fact, because of their sin the world was cursed, so that it is no longer perfect.
At the same time that their sin brought a curse on the world, in His great love, God spoke a word of promise, that is that He would send a Savior, someone who would pay the ultimate price for their sin. Oh, I forgot to tell you, the price for disobedience had been set by God as death, that is that they would begin to die a physical death and ultimately, apart from God, they would die an eternal spiritual death of hell. God’s promise was not to keep them from a physical death, but that He would send a Savior to keep them from an eternal spiritual death in hell.
Although they did not know it specifically at the time, today we know that Jesus is the one that was being spoken of as the promised Savior. This is the one being spoken of in our text as John calls Him the Word.
Thus, in Jesus the spoken word of a promise made in the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve and to all people was fulfilled at His birth. As John says it later in our text, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (v. 14). More concerning this becoming flesh, dwelling among us, and seeing His glory later.
Thus, Jesus is the Word made flesh, He is the Word that was born as the one promised to Adam and Eve, the One who would take care of their sin of disobedience, the One who would take care of paying the price for their eternal spiritual death, in other words the One who would suffer the punishment of hell for them. This Jesus is the Word who would also defeat the power of death that is physical death so that following the final day of judgement, when we reach heaven there would be no more threat of physical death. Yes, this Word made flesh in Jesus is the one promised to save Adam and Eve, His own people to whom He would be born, again as we will take up later, us and all people.
Finally, this Word, this Jesus brings grace and truth. Jesus brings truth because apart from Jesus there is and can be no truth. Satan brought, and continues today to bring, lies and deception, Jesus brings truth and forgiveness. This Word in Jesus also brings grace, God’s riches, God’s undeserved love. It is this Word of promise, first spoken in the Garden of Eden, made flesh in Jesus, who is Jesus, who is the Messiah, the Savior of the world who would reconcile, make right the world with Himself, God in flesh who created all things out of nothing.
What a great, holy, loving, almighty God we have. We have a God who created all things and us included, even though in His omniscience He knew that we would mess everything up. He then promised and fulfilled His promise to make everything better, which He did by taking on the very substance, by becoming one with and one of the creatures He created, by becoming incarnate, in flesh and living for us, by taking our sins, our mess upon Himself, by suffering and dying a physical death and an eternal spiritual death of hell for us, because of His great love for us. It is the birth of this Word, our God in flesh that we prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate. Greater love can no one have than our God has for us. And He even gives us the opportunity and moves in us to respond in faith, to give praise and glory to His Holy Name. To Him be all glory, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.