Summary: A sermon on John 1:14-18 (Outline taken from John Piper at: http://www.sermoncentral.com/outsideurl.asp?outsideurl=http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper89/12-24-89.htm)
Jeffie was in his playpen and he was crying. Tears were rolling down his little cheeks, his face was red as it could be. He was crying, and he looked pitiful in his little baseball T-shirt and diaper. Then Jeffie’s Grandpa entered the room; Jeffie’s little face lit up when he saw his Grandpa! He immediately reached out his little arms and said, “Out PawPaw out.” What is a Grandpa to do? How can someone resist that? So Grandpa went over to the playpen and bent over. He reached down to lift his little grandchild from captivity and distress. Just then “Law and Order” walked into the room. Mommy said, “Jeffie, you stay right there! I’m punishing you because you have been naughty! Dad, leave Jeffie alone!” What is a Grandpa to do? Grandpa backs off and thinks, “I can’t just pick up a book and read it with Jeffie here. He would think I was uncaring and distant. I can’t leave the room because he would feel like I have abandoned him.” What is a Grandpa to do? But love always finds a way. Since Grandpa couldn’t take Jeffie out of the playpen, Grandpa climbed in with Jeffie! Grandpa said, “If you are in the playpen buddy, I’m in the playpen too.” Having Grandpa join him in his “prison cell” brought Jeffie great comfort and joy. In the midst of his captivity, Jeffie no longer felt so alone. What Jeffie’s Grandpa did is a picture of what Jesus Christ did for us when He came to earth as a baby. God the Father yearned to reach down into our “playpen of captivity” and pull us out. He could not because of our disobedience, because of our sin. What did God do? God climbed into our “playpen” with us! When Jesus Christ entered into our “playpen of captivity” and died for us, He took the consequences of sin and disobedience that should have been ours alone, releasing us from our captivity, allowing us the opportunity to experience the fullness of life God has for us, both here and forever!
Thesis: Let us go up 5 steps that we may receive grace upon grace from Jesus Christ based on John 1:14-18.
God is invisible (John 1:18- No one has ever seen God)
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17, NIV.
“By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27, NIV.
“Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no-one may see me and live.” Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”” Exodus 33:18-23, NIV.
Everyone who has seen God, has not really seen God in all His fullness. Theophany- a visible appearance of God, many times in human form. Some say that even in heaven, we will have a theophany of God because no one can see God in all His fullness. John in Revelation describes many things surrounding the throne of God but does not say much about the one on the throne unless talking about Jesus Christ.
John 1:18 poses a problem. IF we can’t see him, how can we know him?
God revealed himself in the Law of Moses (John 1:17- For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.)
Does this mean that the law of Moses is contrary to grace and truth- the law is not gracious and not truthful? No, this is saying that before the real thing (Jesus Christ), a witness to the real thing came through the Law of Moses.
The Law leads us to Christ. “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ (our school master to bring us unto Christ- KJV) that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24, NIV.
“The law was added so that the trespass might increase” Romans 5:20, NIV.
“But in order that sin might be recognised as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.” Romans 7:13, NIV.