INTRODUCTION TO GOD The ONE and ONLY John 1:1-18 • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. • 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. • 6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. • 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ” 16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known. --John 1:1-18 Fascinating truths in the detail. 1st The noun “God” (theos) has no article in the Greek. [verse 1] • He is not “the God” – Thus God is presented in his nature of being rather than as a person. – “Deity,” the essence of which no human has ever seen. 2nd At the Father’s side [verse 18] • …substantially the same expression as that used in Jn 13:23 concerning the disciple whom Jesus loved...reclining next to him. – It is the picture of intimate association. – So this presupposes close fellowship. 3rd The phrase made him known (exegesato) [verse 18] • comes from the verb from which “exegesis” is derived, which means to “explain,” “interpret” or “reveal.” – The being and nature of God, which cannot be perceived directly by ordinary senses, has been adequately presented to us by the Incarnation. – We are introduced to Him as Jesus. 4th It matters WHO Jesus is: • But the Bible never attempts to prove that God exists nor that Jesus is God. – The very act of debating the issue would imply the possibility that He does not exist. – So the Bible only reveals truth -- it does not debate it. • In keeping with that, John gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is: PRE-EXISTENT There never was a time when the Father existed without the Son • God has always been like Jesus. • The Father & the Son have always enjoyed an intimate relationship. • Jesus is God -- not "ho theos", but "theos". CO-CREATOR Involved in every detail and each event • He made us, thus understands us perfectly. • This is God's World, He has a right to reclaim & redeem it. • Not just man, the moral creature… • But all of nature -- "But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a [new heaven] and a new earth, the home of righteousness." -2 Pet 3:13 (also Rev 21:1). The SOURCE OF LIFE AND LIGHT Repeatedly in John's Gospel we hear Jesus tell us: • You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. -- John 5:39-40 • I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. -- John 10:28 • Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." -- John 14:6 • But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. -- Jn 20:31 In contrast and opposition •into our world of needless –heartache, –destruction, –condemnation, –death. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (v 5) • Man skillfully debates the pros & cons of sin at all levels. • The Courts of our land are affirming and defending our right to sin if we choose. • But into our sin darkened understanding and lives comes LIGHT! THE PROMISED REDEEMER WHO HAS COME We are invited to simply Receive Him & Believe on His name • Accept Him for who He is. • Accept His commands as absolute. • Allow it to involve all three dimensions of your being: – Mind SPIRIT – Emotion MAN – Will • This is how we stop existing and begin living! Alive in spirit Empowered by God’s Spirit • We enter into a special relationship with the living God. • The Word becomes a "being" and takes up His abode in our being. – It means to tabernacle with us much like God tabernacled with Israel. – His presence is marked with glory, blessing, honor. Now Then… I cannot prove to you that JESUS is who he said he was • I can show you the evidence. • Take a long hard look at it for yourself In Israel, the distinction between “religious” and “a believer” is marked. • What a privilege to step from darkness into Light by simply believing on His name. • What a privilege to cross over from "worthlessness" to the privileged of being a “Kings kid".