Last Sunday morning, we began looking at John’s gospel, and we were answering the questioning of who is the real Jesus. Today, we continue in chapter 1 and answer another question. Are you a child of God?
This morning, not only will we continue to talk about Jesus, but John the Apostle of Love introduces us to another John. If you have your Bibles, would you please join me in John 1:6, and please stand in honor of God’s word.
- A Man Named John, 1:6-8
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
First of all, consider his dawning in verse 6. John the Apostle moves from the heavenly to the earthly in introducing us to another John. However, this is not John the Apostle but John the Baptist.
Even though that is never how John the Apostle describes the Baptizer, we know that any time you see the name John in this gospel, it is referencing this man of John 1:6 as John the Apostle never names himself in this gospel.
Verse 6 tells us that John the Baptist came from God. God is his dawning or origin or source.
God had been silent for approximately 400 years since Malachi, but now John the Baptist is introduced, and he will speak for God like an OT prophet.
Second, consider his duty in verse 7. John’s duty or mission was crystal clear. He came as a witness of Jesus or to testify about the Light that we know was Jesus. He didn’t come for any other reason. Remember what Matthew said in 3:1-3.
1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’”
Third, consider his difference that we see in verse 8. John the Baptist was not Jesus. He was not the Light. He was different than the Light.
- The Light Who was Jesus, 1:7-11
7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
Last week in John 1:1-5, we identified Jesus as the Word and Light. We see that again today in verse 7. The NKJV helps us in our efforts by capitalizing Light in verses 7-9.
In thinking about light, we know that shines out the darkness and provides guidance and direction. Consequently, light is a beautiful illustration of Jesus.
He shines out the darkness in our hearts convicting us that we fall short of His sinless perfection and need Him as Lord and Savior. Once we believe, He then provides guidance and direction for life as we consider what would Jesus do and attempt to follow His lead.
As the true Light, He was the real thing and not a shadow or a representation. The OT pointed to the true Light and foreshadowed the true Light, but the NT revealed the true Light…the Light who was Jesus.
And when He came into the world, He gave light to every man. Now that statement can have at least two meanings. First of all, the reality of Jesus and who He was, a sinless Savior, enlightens every man and every woman to the fact that we are in need of a Savior. No one is excluded: rich or poor, male or female, black or white, educated or not. Man needed and still needs a Savior.
Furthermore, perhaps this verse speaks to a person’s conscience and an inherited ability to know the difference between right and wrong and good and bad. Remember what Paul wrote in Romans 1:18-21.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
This is what we call general revelation. Man can look around at God’s creation and know that there is a God, and man is not God. However, in order to be saved, man must receive God’s Special Revelation, which is the Light who is Jesus.
Verse 10 says that Jesus was in the world and even made the world. We said that last week as well. However, the world didn’t know Him. The world didn’t recognize Him as Messiah.
Furthermore, verse 11 says He came to His own people, the Jews, and they didn’t receive Him. They rejected Him, and Isaiah 53:1-3 prophesied that very reality hundreds of years earlier.
1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
- The Children Born of God, 1:12-13
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Beginning in verse 12, even though many rejected Jesus as the Christ, some received Him, and to them, He gave the right or privilege of becoming a child of God.
Let’s be clear about what this verse says. Not everyone has God as their Father, only those who have received Jesus, His Son, only those who believe in His name and His character, only those who have been born-again, born of God.
Did you catch that? We all aren’t God’s children. You aren’t a child of God unless you have received His Son.
What does it mean to receive Jesus? It is more than simply intellectual affirmation of His existence. It means to rely on Him, commit to Him, and obey Him.
To believe in His name is to believe that salvation is found only in Jesus. Remember what Peter said in Acts 4:12?
12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
To be born of God means to be born again. We all have been born physically, but to be born again and of God means to be born spiritually.
And just like in physical birth, you can’t make yourself be born again. That is God’s work. It is not the will of the flesh or the will of man. It is you answer the call to be saved, and God causing you to be born again.
Today’s invitation is very simple. First, there are some of you here today who have never received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and if you haven’t received Him, by default, you have rejected Him.
Consequently, you are not a child of God. Furthermore, if you died today, you would spend an eternity in hell because God would say He never know you because you haven’t received His Son. Will you receive the Light who was Jesus today? Will you rely on Him, commit to Him, and obey Him?
For those of you have received the Light, are you reflecting the Light? That was John’s duty, and that is our duty. Our duty and mission and goal should be to reflect the Light of Jesus in our lives, in our families, in our very being. Will you reflect the Light today?