Saturday, February 8, 2014

AWANA Trek (new book) Lesson 1.1

LESSON x1.1 – John 1

Jesus is God, and God is Trinity

·         John’s point in writing this gospel is, in the words of John 20:31 “These are written that you might believe that Jesus I the Christ, the son of God, and that believing you might have life through His name.”
·         Your new AWANA book wants to focus on the idea of Jesus being the uncaused first cause, the creator of all. It’s steeped in apologetic tradition, and I think that’s good. But we are going to take the text as it comes to us. So that means we will also discuss the importance of the trinity.
·         For that reason we start with part of the Athanasian Creed, “We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal…”
·         It goes on: “We believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Essence of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Essence of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood. Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood by God. One altogether; not by confusion of Essence; but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.
·         And with that affirmed we are ready to read our text tonight.

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
·         The first thing John does is confess Jesus is God.
·         In the beginning is also found in Genesis 1:1 which we will look at next week, and John is making it an explicit parallel here.
·         God does not age, sleep, tire, or feel pain. He is immortal, He cannot sin, He cannot die. He knows all, He sees all, He is not made up of matter or energy. He is outside of time, having created time. He cannot change since He is already perfect, for if He were to change it could only be for the worse.

2He was in the beginning with God.
·         Just so there is no doubt, John says it again, in the beginning there was only God, and there was only one God.
·         God is trinity. Jesus is God, the Father is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.

3All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
o   This is the logical syllogism:
P1: a thing cannot make itself.
P2: Jesus made everything, (John 1:3).
C: Jesus is not a created being, therefore had no beginning, and is eternally existent.
·         Remember that the testimony of the Old Testament is that God made everything by Himself “Who alone spreadeth out the heavens” (Job 9:8) or Isaiah 44:24b “I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;”
·         The testimony of the New Testament here is that Jesus makes everything.
·         Jesus must therefore be God, the unmade maker; the uncaused first cause.

4In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
·         John likes to use these big words to describe Jesus. Light. Life. Word.
·         It says men, it means every single person.

5And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
·         Or, overcome as your ESV has.
·         The reason the darkness has not overcome is obvious, even a little light overwhelms a dark room. Darkness can only win by keeping the light away, not by overcoming it.
·         The reason the darkness has not comprehended it is more important. The mind of sinful man is dead in their trespasses, being blind to the truth.
·         The light shines in the darkness meaning it always has, and does still shine. The proof of Jesus is everywhere, but the mind in darkness refuses to accept it. It pushes out the truth and is closed.

6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
·         How was everyone to know when the messiah, the savior would actually come? God sent John to tell them that He was here.
·         All four gospels mention John the Baptist.

7This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
·         John knew Jesus because he saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Him like a dove, and the Father say “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
·         He then announced to everyone that Jesus was the spotless lamb of God who had come to take away the sin of the world. It was Jesus whom they must respect and bow before.
·         All thorough Him, (that is, Jesus) might believe and be saved. If you don’t believe in Him you cannot be saved.

8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
·         Just so you are not in any doubt reader, John was just a man, he was not the true light, the true bread, the true sacrifice.
·         He was not that light… he was just a witness.

9That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
·         The first half of this verse (That was the true light which gives light to every man) you should think of as parenthesis regarding the nature of Jesus. The second half is speaking to what John was doing in announcing His (coming into the world).
·         Which gives light to every man… All good things come from Jesus. Life, light, enjoyment of things, whether a man is pagan or believer, Jew or Gentile. Here Jesus is shown to be the source for all blessings, the cause of it, whether people like it or not.

10He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
·         He was in the world… because He came and walked around in it, slept on the earth, took on flesh.
·         And the world was made through Him… He made it all in other words. God the Father planned it, God the Son executed the will and created it, God the Spirit upholds it.
·         And the world did not know Him… because it did not want to know Him. The Gentiles refused to accept God, therefore they did not know Him when He came.

11He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
·         His own being the Jews. Jesus, who is God, the Son of the Father, was born as a Jew, among Jews.
·         His own did not receive Him… but despised and rejected Him. Remember that it was the Jews, working together with the Romans who crucified Jesus.
·         So now, as Paul says in 1 Cor 1:22, “the Jews demand a signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” Both groups have rejected Him.

12But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
·         But there are some who believe that Jesus is God. Who receive Him into their hearts, and to those true believers He gave the gift of adoption.
·         True believers are children of God. Heirs of all God has, joint heirs with Christ.
·         As many as received Him… are those who believe in His name.

13who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
·         When I wanted to have a child, I made the decision to, and after awhile our child was born.
·         When you made a decision for Christ, you were adopted, and justified. But what caused you to make this decision?
·         It was God who regenerated you, caused you to be born again. God acted creatively upon you to put the machinery of your heart right. The same God that creature the universe, created in you a new heart. It was He who caused you, but nothing, except His love, caused Him.

14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
·         Jesus put on humanity. Imagine the president putting on a butler suit and becoming a servant to you tonight. He would not cease to be the president, but he would add to his office humility and servitude. In a way, Christ did that.
·         We beheld Him… therefore the apostles are eye witnesses to His glory.

15John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ”
·         He was before me… John is saying that Jesus is greater than all, for He was here before anything else was.

16And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
·         Christ saves us from the curse of the law and rule keeping.

18No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
·         The God that could not feel pain put on suffering. The one who could not die, put on mortality. The God that could not changed, grew. The uncaused maker of the universe was born in a manger.
·         This is the God we worship. In trinity, in unity, in power, in might, in grace, in truth, He is boundless.

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