Monday, January 9, 2012

John 1:9-13

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. (John1:9)

This was the message of the forerunner, John the Baptist. The true Light, who gives light to EVERYONE was coming! The book of Romans tells us no one will ever be able to say that they never had an opportunity to know about God:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:20-21)

God has made Himself plainly known through creation. He has given each man an intuitive understanding that He exists. Men CHOOSE not to believe. They choose to ignore the Light:

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. (John 1:10-11)

It’s not that the Jews COULD NOT believe - they WOULD NOT! We’ll see this throughout John’s gospel as we read about the reactions Jesus evokes. The very people Jesus sought to save, with just a few exceptions, rejected Him, even after hearing Him speak and seeing His miracles, and even after being raised in the Law and the Prophets. So it is very possible to know the Scriptures without knowing the Word.

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (vs. 12-13)

The word “Yet,” that begins verse 12 is “But” in the King James Version. I had a friend who once studied the “buts” of the Bible, because she found that word is a turning point in so many passages. And in this one, after telling us the bad news that Jesus’ own people rejected Him, we are told the good news: anyone who chooses to receive Christ, anyone who believes He is who He claims to be and puts his trust in Christ can BECOME a child of God.

Many people believe that we are ALL God’s children - and surely we are ALL His creation. Each one of us was specifically created for His pleasure. However, we do not become His children except through adoption when we fully trust Him through faith in Christ, in who Christ is and in what He has done (completed) for us. You don’t become a child of God because your grandfather was a pastor - there is no genetic passing of faith. You don’t become a child of God just because you are trying hard to do His will. God by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. God has done the saving part, we need to RECEIVE the gift He’s given by doing the believing part.

Now, many people get hung up on the idea that not EVERYONE has heard the gospel. “What about the native in some remote area who has never had the chance??” Well, as we saw in Romans, everyone HAS seen the reality of God - even if they have never heard the name of Jesus, they can choose to seek God, who promises to reveal Himself to all who seek (Jeremiah 29:13).

I love what Jon Courson says about this: “If you’re concerned about lost people and God’s ability to reach them, don’t stay here and discuss the ramifications of predestination. Go tell them Jesus died for them! You may be the very messenger the Lord uses to reach one who is waiting to hear the gospel.” Hard to squirm out of that argument! :)

Have you received Him? Have you said “Yes!” to God’s gift - to the Light He has given you? If so, you can be assured that you belong to Him! This is one of the Apostle John’s reasons for writing - that we may KNOW!

Tomorrow we’ll be looking at the Christmas story! I know you have already put away your decorations, but we will be celebrating all over again!


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