Summary: (PowerPoint Slides and Cell Study Notes freely available by emailing What does it really mean to ’receive Him’?...

Receiving Him

John 1:1-5, 10-14a

This morning I want to talk with you about a question that is relevant to each and every one of us here. It is a rather critical questions because, by biblical definition, all eternity hangs in it’s balance. And the question is this: What does it mean to receive Him?

Video Clip - "The Word Became Flesh" from

What does it mean to receive Him?

Verses 10-11 from the first chapter of John are amongst the saddest verses in all the Bible.

John 1:10-11 "He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him."

The tragic reality is that many, many millions across the world still do not receive Him - and the consequences of not receiving Him are eternally devastating.

Now before we dismiss the question as important but irrelevant to ourselves, because we surely are those who believe, and we surely are those who do indeed receive Him, may I probe a little deeper?

I think there is a danger here that we would do well to recognize. The Bible is clear - when we receive Him we are born from above, our sin is taken away and we are clothed in His righteousness, we are victorious over the enemy and are destined for His heaven. And we like that - we like to preach about that and say amen to that.

But my friends, those promises are not to those who . . .

go to church . . . but to those who receive Him.

read their Bibles and say their prayers . . . but to those who receive Him.

who receive religion or have an orthodox system of belief . . . but to those who receive Him.

receive a version of Christ formed and fashioned after their ideal of what God should be like . . . but to those who receive Him.

Many who fill our church buildings on a Sunday morning, I would suggest to you, do not worship the Christ who is, but the Christ they have fashioned as they believe He should be. My friend, such a Christ may get you into church but will not get you to heaven. The Christ of Scripture will not be fashioned into anything other than Who and What He is.

He will not be fashioned by popular theology in the waves of Christian opinion.

He will not be fashioned by unstudied preachers in rubber pulpits.

And He will not be fashioned by expediency, the collective consensus of society, Christian or otherwise.

Precious friends, He is unfashionable, He is unchangeable - it is a take it or leave it deal - and for that you can be truly grateful.

So then the question, that begs itself from our introduction, is this: What does it mean to receive Him?

I would suggest four things that it means to truly receive Him. It means to. . .

1. Recognize Who He Is

Jesus asked that rather probing question of the disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" And then He brought it home to Peter - "But who do YOU say I am." And that is what it comes down to each and every time.

In a very real sense, that is the question that has been asked in one form or another since the down of human history.

In Luke 5:21 the Scribes and Pharisees asked concerning Jesus, "Who is this . . .?"

In Luke 7:49 those reclining with Him at the table asked, "Who is this . . .?"

In Luke 9:9 Herod asked, "Who is this . . .?"

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey in Matthew 21:10 we read that Jerusalem asked, "Who is this . . .?"

When the disciples watched Him rebuke the wind and the waves, and the wind and waves obeyed, they too asked, "Who is this . . . ?"

You see my friend, this is the most important question you could ever ask. if you get the question wrong it could damn your soul. If you get the questions right it demands your very life and soul.

You see, to answer the question correctly demands that I become like Christ. The correct answer demands not simply an orthodox belief, but a surrendered life, a life transforming commitment to follow Jesus and live the life that He demands.

But is goes way beyond that. Understanding who Jesus is not only demands something from you but it imparts something to you.

When Jesus asked Peter who men said He was, it was not a test of affection or a test of orthodoxy. It was a preparation for the testing that lay ahead. Jesus recognized that the shadows on His life were lengthening, and it was time to prepare His disciples for the greatest challenge and test of their lives. The question was, did those disciples, who were commissioned to carry the gospel to the world, who were commissioned to show God to the world when Jesus was gone, did they know the most important thing: who Jesus was? Because in that was everything the needed to live and to love and to be faithful to Him.

You see my friend, Receiving Him means . . .

1. Recognizing Who He Is

2. Relying On What He Has Done

My friend, do you really understand that there is nothing you can do to earn your salvation - or even help your salvation? It is a work of God from first to last.

"Who believed in His name" John 1:12

Jesus said, "Trust in God; trust also in me." (John 14:1)

a. YOU CAN TRUST JESUS TO KEEP HIS WORD. "If we are faithless he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself." (2 Tim. 2:13)

b. YOU CAN TRUST JESUS TO SAVE YOU. "I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day." (2 Tim. 1:12)

c. YOU CAN TRUST JESUS TO RAISE YOU FROM THE DEAD. "If we died with him we will also live with him." (Rom. 6:8)

d. YOU CAN TRUST JESUS TO REIGN WITH HIM. "If we ENDURE we will also reign with him." (2 Tim. 2:12)

You see my friend, Receiving Him means . . .

1. Recognizing Who He Is

2. Relying On What He Has Done

3. Receiving His Exchanged Life

Now this is important - it is not simply the changed life, it is the exchanged life. It is not a better version of the old you, it is a better version of the new Him. God does not want to save your life He wants to destroy it. Paul says in that passage in Galatians you have heard me quote a hundred times . . .

Gal 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

"It is no longer I, but Christ" . . . this was not Paul’s doctorate diploma of high level Christianity, but his verdict of God’s normal for every born again Christian believer.

We were crucified with Christ. We died with Him. Our life is now hidden with Him, and He lives in us and we are seated with Him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).

I love what Ray Stedman said on this topic - "We do not live our own lives. We live the life of another - or, more accurately, another lives His life through us. Until we grasp that as the key to the mystery of Christian living, we have not graduated from the kindergarten level of the Christian life."

You see my friend, the truth is that not one of us can live the Christian life - no matter how hard we try. Only Jesus can live the Christian life.

The exchanged life is the simple, profound secret of drawing for every need, temporal or spiritual, upon "the fathomless wealth of Christ.

You see my friend, Receiving Him means . . .

1. Recognizing Who He Is

2. Relying On What He Has Don

3. Receiving His Exchanged Life

4. Resolving To Live For Him

One of the most profound moments come in your life when you decide that you will live all your life for the extension of His kingdom and the glory of His name.

Jer. 29:11-13 "‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’"

God is looking for men and woman whose hearts are completely His.

2 Chron. 16:9 "For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this."

Every day, God watches out for an opportunity to do a great thing for you when your heart is devoted to Him.

MOSES - when Moses was afraid to go to Egypt and face Pharaoh, the Lord promised "I will be with you." The Lord demonstrated His might and faithfulness to Moses and Israel. He ultimately delivered them out of Egypt by the parting of the Sea.

SHADRACH, Meshach AND ABEDNEGO - three Hebrews that refused to bow down to the golden idol of Nebuchednezzar. They remained true to worship the One True God and as a result were thrown into the furnace of fire. They refused to compromise in the face of death. The Lord intervened by being present with them in the fire and delivered them out alive and unburned.

DANIEL - another that refused to compromise the law of Almighty God for the law of a human king. He would pray to and worship God alone. As a result, he was cast into a den of lions. The Lord sent His angel to shut the mouths of the lions and kept Daniel from harm.

PETER - Acts 12 records where Peter was imprisoned for preaching about Jesus. As Peter sat in a prison sleeping at night under heavy guard - an angel of the Lord came and released him and set him free to continue preaching.

What happened? These had chosen to live for God. Christianity was not a part of their lives, it was their lives. And that is what God is calling for this morning. That is what it means to receive Him.

John 1:11 "He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him."

May I ask you a question? Have you received Him?

John 1:12 "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believed on His name."

You see my friend, Receiving Him means . . .

1. Recognizing Who He Is

2. Relying On What He Has Done

3. Receiving His Exchanged Life

4. Resolving To Live For Him

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