- Sermon Notes
That You Might Have Life
The gospel of John has to be my favorite of the Gospels. Here we get to know Jesus personally. If you have a red letter Bible you probably already know that there are more red letters in this book than any other. There are more words of Jesus in this book than any other.
We don’t have to wonder why John wrote this book because he tells it to us clearly. “These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that in believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31
These things were written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. If you were talking to someone about God and wanted them to just read the Word of God for himself, where would you ask him to start? Please don’t ask him to start in the book of Leviticus, ask him to start here, in the book of John.
God gives us this gospel not only so that we might believe, but also so that we might have life in His name. In fact, from the very first chapter, John makes the point that life comes from God, and this is the life God wants us to have.
God made us to be alive, but apart from God there is separation from God’s life and we’re left with emptiness and darkness of this world. God made our souls to be alive in Him, but people are looking for life, just like they’re looking for love, in all the wrong places and what they discover is that instead of life, they’re just adding death to dreariness.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand perfectly well that worldly things are fun at the moment. The problem is that they make the soul sick. The enemy knows enough not make sickness smell like death.
Illus – One of our missionaries visited here one Sunday morning with some African pastors and thought it would be fun to tempt me with some fried grasshoppers…
God reveals His Son so that we might have God’s life that fills the soul with joy and satisfies the soul.
As we read the Gospel of John, we should also understand that he was very close to Jesus. Not only was he one of the twelve apostles, he was also one of the three who were closest. In fact, John writes that he was the disciple whom Jesus loved.
Peter, James and John were there when Jairus’ daughter was brought to life. They were there with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration; they were there in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus had those hours of intense prayer with His Father. It was John who leaned on Jesus’s breast to ask him who it was who would betray Him.
John not only wrote this gospel, but he also wrote letters to the churches what we have as 1, 2, 3 John. He also wrote the book of Revelation. Late in life when John was a very old man, he was exiled to the Isle of Patmos. It was there that God gave John a vision of things concerning the last days.
John is different than the other three Gospels. Each of them gives an account of what happened in Jesus’s ministry; each of them giving a different perspective. But in John, we get to know Jesus as John knew him.
I. In the Beginning was the Word
- It’s interesting that in Matthew and Luke they give us the genealogy of Jesus, explaining the lineage of His forefathers.
- John skips right past the genealogies and goes back to the beginning of everything.
- These first four verses are so packed with wisdom and truth that libraries of books could not contain them.
- The words, “In the beginning,” should remind us of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” How? He simply spoke and all things came into being.
- Here in John 1:1 we understand how that He created through Jesus. He was the Word and the Word was God.
A. And the Word was God
- This is one of those key verses that help us to understand the nature of the Trinity. God is three persons in one nature. Jesus was with God and was God.
- Jesus himself quoted Deuteronomy which declares that God is One.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
- There are several religions that say there are many gods, but the Bible declares that God is One.
Illus – The Mormon Church teaches that God was once a man and worked through many levels to become God but that he is only God of this planet and that there are many gods over many planets. My response is, “Is there a God over all other gods?” That’s my God
Isaiah 42:8, “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another…”
B. He created all things
- One of the best Scriptures in all of the Bible that describes the relationship of Jesus Christ to creation is found in the book of Colossians…
Colossians 1:13-20 In Him all things hold together
- Verse 3; all things came into being by Him, apart from Him, nothing has come into being.
- The more we understand about our universe, the more amazing that statement becomes.
Illus – How amazing is God’s creation! 1.3 million earths would fit into the sun! But Antares is 700 times larger than that! There is even a star in the southern hemisphere that if you traveled at the speed of light, it would take over three hours to pass through it!!
Psalm 8:1, 4, O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! …When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?
- And yet physicists tell us that the entire universe can be collapsed down to a point smaller than a period after a sentence.
Hebrews 11:3, By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
App – It puts our life and our problems in perspective.
Psalm 138:7-8, Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me…Your right hand will save me. The Lord will accomplish what concerns me today; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
II. God’s Life is the Light of Men
- Starting from verse four, John begins to make it personal. If God designed us, it was intelligent design, therefore, it was with a purpose; that we might have relationship with Him and give glory to Him with our lives.
- In Him was life – when God breathed life into Adam it wasn’t simply to ignite his DNA, it was so that he would live out of the image of God.
A. Open the eyes of your heart
- God’s heart is that we no longer walk in the darkness. What is darkness? It is the absence of light. Darkness is not good, blindness is not good.
- If you’re walking in darkness, you’re missing out on all that’s glorious; all that is found in God.
Illus – How do you battle darkness? Can you take a bat and swing away? The answer to darkness is to open your eyes and let light into your soul.
Luke 11:34, “The eye is a lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.”
- The sadness of blindness is the sadness of darkness; you’re missing out on the glory of God Himself.
Illus – If someone is blind they cannot see what God has done. When someone is spiritually blind, they cannot comprehend the glory of what God wants to do in their lives either.
- Can you imagine the glory of what God will reveal to us in heaven?
Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
B. Some people prefer darkness
- (Verse 11) He came to His own, but those who were His own did not receive Him.
- There is an old saying that contains a great truth, “There is none so blind as he who refuses to see.” People prefer darkness because it hides what they do.
Illus – When Adam sinned in the Garden he hid from God in the shadows.
John 3:19 – 21, “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
- Light brings accountability – it reveals the truth.
Illus - It’s like waking up in the morning, turning on the light, and looking in the mirror; sometimes it makes you want to turn off the light go back to bed!
C. Receive and believe
- In verses 13 John tells us how not to be saved.
- We are not saved by blood… In other words, we are not saved because our parents were saved. It’s not by lineage.
Illus - You can’t add your salvation to your will… “I want to leave my watch collection to George, and I want to leave my relationship to God to Betty.”
- We are not saved by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man. In other words, it’s not by our own efforts that we are saved. A man can’t get himself to heaven.
- We are born of God; God is the one who makes our salvation possible.
Illus – Has anyone been born here? Anyone have parents? You had nothing to do with that at all. Therefore, a better picture is that is adoption. And an even better picture is adopting a child that understands what is happening.
When we adopted our boys, they had to decide that they would accept our offer of giving them a new life, of giving them our name, of giving them our inheritance.
- Verse 12, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
John 1:1-13 NASB