God Came Near Series
Contributed by Guy Caley on May 8, 2006 (message contributor)
Summary: 1st in the series "Near to His Heart: The Gospel of John." Gives the reasons that the Incarnation was necessary.
Text: John 1:1-18
We’ve got ourselves a problem, you and I, and I can tell you, it’s not just a little problem. We’ve got ourselves a whopper of a problem. It’s not a new problem, and we’re certainly not the first ones to ever have it. As a matter of fact the problem dates clear back to Adam & Eve, and every one who has lived from their time to ours has had the same problem.
And this problem, it’s really serious--deadly serious. In fact our problem is killing us, just like it has killed everyone who lived before us. And the worst part about it is that there is nothing we can do about it. We are completely helpless to solve our problem. There is no twelve step program to help us get up on our feet. As a matter of fact, the problem itself makes us unable to solve it, or even to recognize its seriousness. Like a frog in a slowly heated kettle our problem is slowly boiling us and we don’t even know the water is getting warm.
The problem I speak of is sin and each of us is guilty of it both by our nature and by our behavior. Our sin problem separates us from God-- it makes us unable to see or communicate with Him. It prevents us from being what we were created to be and condemns us to death.
Now God has been aware of the problem since the beginning, and He had a plan to solve it. We could not solve the problem in ourselves, but God provided the only possible solution. That solution is found in our text today in John 1:14: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."
What does it mean that "the Word became flesh"? It means that God Came Near. This morning we begin a series of sermons from John’s Gospel about drawing near to God. That’s kind of a theme that runs through John’s Gospel. John is known as the "disciple whom Jesus loved." Obviously Jesus loved all of His disciples as He loves all of us, but John seemed to draw especially near to Jesus during His ministry on earth, and in his record of Jesus’ time here this theme of closeness to Jesus figures prominently.
It’s no mistake then that John’s Gospel begins with the Story of Jesus drawing near to us--putting on human flesh to bridge the gulf that our sin had created between us and our Creator. Because that ultimate act of drawing near is the only thing that makes it possible for us to draw near to Him. We can draw near only because He drew near first.
The question I’d like to look at today it why was it necessary for Him to drw near first. There are three main reasons and they are found in our text today. The first reason that God the Son--described by John as "the Word"--had to become flesh was because of our...
Our sin problem has driven a wedge between us and our Creator. We have become dull to things spiritual and have come to be ruled by our senses. The Apostle John points this out in verse five of our text. He writes, "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." The light is God shining His love for us into our dark world, but the blackness of our sin has made us incapable of comprehending His light. So the Creator came in a way we could understand.
Because we had come to be ruled by our senses, God, who is spirit, took on a physical form that could be seen and touched, a sensual form to reach out to a people ruled by our senses. This He did so that we could recognize Him and re-establish with Him the relationship which our sin had severed. This is made clear in John’s words in verses fourteen and eighteen, "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... No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known."
The Apostle John also wrote about the importance of the eternal Word becoming tangible, touchable flesh in one of his letters: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us" (1 John 1:1-2).
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