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Summary: In times of crisis when our Christian Faith is attacked by unbelievers and scoffers, mature Christians stand firm and stay focused on grace and truth evidenced in the Word that was in the beginning and became flesh.

IN TIMES LIKE THESE - FOCUS ON GRACE AND TRUTH EVIDENCED IN “THE WORD” INCARNATE

John Arthur, my three-year-old great-grandson, calls me Paw-Paw. We call him Art. When Art comes to our house, he plays with toys Mee-Maw keeps in a bottom dresser drawer so he can get to the toys with no help. He prides himself on doing for himself – a good thing.

Art is inclined to be playful in spirit. Once when he and his mother were leaving our house, I said to him, “Bye-Bye Art”. He grinned and said back to me, “Bye-Bye Art” instead of “Bye-Bye Paw-Paw”. I caught on to his little game - so when we exchanged bye-byes the second time and he said back to me what I had said to him, I said to him, “Bye-Bye Paw-Paw”. He laughed - long and loud -and wanted to play that tease game over and over again . . . !

Well . . . the very next time Art was brought to our house (Thanksgiving get-together), he and his mother were greeted at the door by his grand-mother and his mee-maw, but I was in another room talking. Although he could not see me, my daughter told me that when Art heard my voice, he mouthed the word “Paw-Paw”. Then “Paw-Paw” appeared, and Art ran to greet “Paw-Paw” with open arms.

What transpired that day at my house - when the little fella heard the voice of someone known by him but greater than he, mouthed his name, then the one greater than he appeared, and Art ran to him with open arms - that to me is a simple yet profound illustration of what the Apostle John wrote about in reference to the appearing of the One who was greater than he . . . John the Baptist . . . all of us --- John 1:14-18 . . .

In Hebrew and Greek philosophy, the “logos” (“the Word”) denoted the prevailing concept of a superior intelligence . . . greater mind . . . power above all powers . . . supernatural being . . . a Deity greater than all their gods.

John’s mission was to present evidence that, in Jesus Christ, the “logos” of whom thinkers had become aware and with whom they sought to communicate - this creating, illuminating, sustaining, all-powerful Deity, greater than all gods – had always existed, but came to earth to show who the true God is, what He is like, and how persons can know Him and have fellowship with Him.

Thus, John began his presentation of the evidence by stating unequivocally (1:1-2) that, in the beginning, the Word was - already there (not created) . . . with God (the two of them shared an intimate relationship as Father and Son) . . . so much like God - in mind, in heart, in being - that the Word was God. “I and the Father are One.” (John 10:30)

The Son was so much like God the Father that He was the Father’s spittin’ image, Jesus came to earth as a person so that all persons could see His glory - as depicted by his birth . . . throughout his life . . . in his ministries . . . by his atoning death, his resurrection and ascension – and not only see but experience His glory (His presence) now and forevermore.

Summarize: Jesus came that we can know who God is . . . what God is like . . . see God’s glory . . . receive God’s grace . . . know God’s truth . . . be saved from the curse of the law (absence of God) and experience the blessing of God’s glory (presence of God) - now and forevermore. Folks:

What would life be like if there were no grace . . . if the truth had not been made known to us! If all we had to rely on was “the law of sin and death” - even as important as the law is to civilized society – none of us would stand a chance to live with no fear of what the law in the hands of evil doers could do to us.

A symbol of the law which can be terrifying in our day is the IRS in evil hands - hard, cold, calculating, unyielding, without mercy. Only the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth can set a falsely accused taxpayer free from the consequences of evil intent.

Jesus was subjected to the evil intent of false accusations from among His own people (Jewish Sanhedrin) during the days of Roman rule. The problem was that truth did not matter to the Pharisees – John 18:36-38a . . .

The Roman procurator Pilate quizzed the pharisaical haters of Jesus to determine what charges they were making against Jesus, but saw through the façade and realized they had no legitimate case. Yet, because of seething hatred, the hypocrites persisted and twisted the truth into lies, and even made up laws they thought would turn Pilate against Jesus --- but to no avail.

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