In the Beginning

Preaching Notes – December 2, 2012

Genesis 1:1-3, John 1:1-4, Hebrews 1:10, Revelation 1:8, 22:13

“I am the Alpha and the Omega who is and who was and who is to come. I am the Almighty One, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of His hands.

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

I.  Introduction

A. Various opening lines …

Once upon a time

A long time ago in a land far away

Back in the good old days

The opening of most books

Stories which occur mid-stream in the course of life

B.  The Bible begins with …

In the beginning ….

Before there was life …

Before creation …

Before life as we know it

C.  John’s Gospel begins in the same was

In the beginning ….

In contrast to Matthew and Luke’s Birth Narratives

Which pick up the story of life mid-stream

Which focuses on how Jesus was born in flesh

John goes deeper focusing on who Jesus is …

His essence … What Jesus means to us …. for us

D.  John’s Prologue goes deeper …

While we enjoy the birth story of Matthew and Luke

We get caught up in the warm fuzzies of these narratives

The baby, the animals, the angels, the stars, the visitors

==> missing the significance of who Jesus is

E. Next three weeks …

As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth …

I want us to go deeper into learning who Jesus is by examining 3 themes in John’s Prologue

In the Beginning

The Light of the World

The Word became Flesh

F.  Today as we examine the first 4 verses of John’s Prologue

We see that John tells us 5 things about Jesus:

The Relation of Jesus to Time – He is eternal

The Relation of Jesus to the Godhead – He is with God

The Relation of Jesus to the Trinity – He is the Revealer

The Relation of Jesus to the Universe – He is the Creator

The Relation of Jesus to Us – He is our life

II. The Relation of Jesus to Time – He is eternal

John writes: In the Beginning was the Word

“In the beginning” is something we are unable to comprehend: it is one of those matchless sweeps of inspiration which rises above the level of human thought.

John takes us back to the beginning, and shows that the Lord Jesus had no beginning.

John goes behind creation and shows that the Savior was Himself the Creator.

This earth of ours is old,how old we do not know,possibly millions of years.

But John tells is Jesus was before all things.

He was not only from the beginning, but He was “in the beginning.”

All serves as a simple way of saying Jesus is eternal.

This is significant because many think Jesus was an after thought in God’s Plan

God did not decide to send Jesus after The Fall. He planned to send Jesus before The Fall

God knew that men would sin

He knew that evil would mar His good creation

He knew that our sin would separate us from Him – in this life

But because God wanted us to be with Him through eternity He planned on Jesus coming and dying for our sins before we ever sinned

Paul wrote in Romans 5:8:

God showed His love for us in that 

while we were still sinners, Christ died for us

Replace while with before

And you understand the depth of God’s love for us

Which was present before creation before we ever sinned

III. The Relation of Jesus to the Godhead – He is with God

John writes: The Word was with God

John tells us that Jesus is in a personal relationship to God.

John tells us that Jesus had a separate identity:

He was not “in” God, but “with” God.

Jesus is not only co-eternal with God but He is eternally in active communion with Him.

Furthermore, not only is Jesus “with God” He is in eternal fellowship with God the Father and God the Spirit.

John emphatically and unequivocally affirms the absolute Deity of the Jesus

Jesus is not a simple reflection of God, but He is God made manifest

… in a specific way

… As Son and

… As The Word

As the Word with God

He isn’t the revealer of God, but in Jesus God Himself is revealed.

IV. The Relation of Jesus to the Trinity – He is the Revealer

John writes: The Word was God

Why is the Lord Jesus Christ designated “the word?”

What is the exact force and significance of this title?

Jesus is the one who speaks as God and for God, thus He is the one who reveals God in His fullness

Hebrews 1:1-2

At many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. 

Hebrews 1:3

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

Ephesians 1:1-2

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life, that life was made manifest in Jesus

People want to know …

If there is a God …

Who is God …

What is God like …

John tells us that Jesus, as The Word, is the answer to all our questions about God

AW Pink writes:

Jesus, as the Word, reveals the attributes and perfections of God. How fully has Christ revealed God!  He displayed His power, He manifested His wisdom, He exhibited His holiness, He made known His grace, He unveiled His heart. In Christ, and nowhere else, is God fully and finally told out.

If we had to depend upon knowing God simply through observing nature

We would not know of God’s love, mercy, and grace

We would not know of God’s plans for our eternity

Jesus tells us more about God

Than all of nature can …

Than all of science can …

Again, AW Pink writes:

Before the Lord Jesus came to this earth, the world was without the knowledge of the true and living God.  To say that God is revealed in nature is true, yet it is a statement which needs qualifying.  Nature reveals the existence of God, but how little it tells of His character. Nature manifests God’s natural attributes: His power, His wisdom, His immutability, etc.; but what does nature say to us of God’s moral attributes His justice, His holiness, His grace, His love?  Nature, as such knows no mercy and shows no pity.  If a blind saint unwittingly steps over the edge of a precipice he meets with the same fate as if a vile murderer had been hurled over it. Nature conceals as well as reveals God.  The ancients had “nature” before them, and what did they learn of God?  Remember the altar, which the Apostle Paul found in Corinth, one of the chief centers of ancient learning and culture, it was an alter dedicated “to the Unknown God” 

Again AW Pink writes:

Jesus is the One who has made the incomprehensible God intelligible.

V. The Relation of Jesus to the Universe – He is the Creator

John writes: All things were made through Him

John goes behind creation and shows that Jesus Himself was the Creator.

Paul writes in Colossians 1:16:

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things were created through him and for him.

Because Jesus is our Creator

We worship and honor Him

We glorify Him in all we do

We obey Him and live as He desires

Not simply out of respect but because He is Creator

King of Kings

Lord of Lords

Knowing Jesus as Creator is important for many things, but none more than for our redemption

Only the Creator can redeem His creation

Redemption, in a certain sense, grows out of creation.

Because God created us in His own image, He is the only one who can restore us to that image.

Because God made us, He is the only One who loves us enough to suffer for our redemption

We are God’s creation,  his pride and joy

Thus is only makes sense that He desires to redeem us

God bore our sins for our redemption

He did this for us in the incarnation and redemptive work of Jesus

As His creation God is under the stress of parental instinct to redeem us.

VI. The Relation of Jesus to Us – He is our life

John writes: In Him is life

Jesus is our life here on earth because He is our Creator

No one but God can create life

Man, with all his boasting, is unable to bring into existence a single blade of grass

While man can create create stuff, we cannot create life.

Just as Jesus was before all things He is the creator of all things

Thus … all creature life is found in God,

Luke writes in Acts 17:28

In Jesus we live and move and have our being”

Not only is Jesus our life here on earth

Jesus is our life into His eternity because He is our Redeemer, our only Savior

Jesus said,

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”

Jesus also said,

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

VII. Invitation to The Table

The source of the resurrection life for which we all long

Began before creation

Became manifest in a manger

Was finished on the cross

Was revealed in the Empty Tomb

And

Is celebrated at this Table

The eternal God

Revealed Himself as Himself, as Jesus

Our Creator and Redeemer

The source of all life

From the very beginning into His eternity

Come celebrate His love here at His Table.

Come and receive His gift of eternal life here at His Table.

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