Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part I: Appreciating The Message Of Salvation By Understanding The Messenger
B. Valuing The Message As Its Author Went To Enormous Lengths To Communicate It
(John 1:4-18)
  1. Introduction
    1. If we wish to persuade another party that faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation, we need to have something persuasive to offer so that he will believe that message.
    2. John's introduction of his Gospel steps back from the message to look at the Messenger, giving the message He gave even greater believability and impact, Bib. Know. Com., N.T., p. 271.
    3. In looking at the Messenger of eternal life, John exposed the fact that He went to enormous lengths just to communicate it, implying that we really ought to believe it!
  2. Valuing The Message As Its Author Went To Enormous Lengths To Communicate It, John 1:4-18.
    1. Jesus Christ, the Messenger of eternal life, let the testimony of His divine life shine in a world of dark evil in order to illumine spiritually blinded mankind to his need for faith in the Gospel, John 1:4-5a.
    2. Though darkness and light are opposites, signifying the truth and righteousness of Jesus was opposite the error and sin of the world, Jesus exerted great power so his testimony was not snuffed out by the world, 5b
      1. Though God sent a Forerunner for Jesus, the true Revealer of God and eternal life so he might witness of Jesus, and though Jesus, being the Creator of the world, was in the world, mankind in his great darkness did not universally recog nize Him or His message, John 1:10a.
      2. In fact, man's darkness was so great that even the earthly kin of Jesus, the Jewish people, did not accept Him or His message, John 1:11.
      3. Nevertheless, to the few who did believe in Him and His message, Jesus Christ overcame their great darkness of sin and blindness and gave them eternal life and sonship with God by grace , John 1:12-13.
      4. Indeed, Jesus went so far as to take upon Himself humanity, as God in the flesh, to reveal the glory of the Father and Himself to mankind so that men would believe on Him, John 1:14.
      5. Due to the power and grace of God, His effort bore great enlightening in the few believers, Jn. 1:15-18:
        1. John who believed in Jesus cried out that Jesus who humanly came after him actually had existed before him, implying that Jesus was the Creator-come-in-the-flesh, John 1:15 (cf. Luke 1:26, 56-57). This is an amazing confession of grea t illumination for a human being to have made in John's day when such a theological concept as the incarnation would have been tough for the Judaizers to accept! It revealed a great work of illumination had dispelled darkness for John!
        2. John the Apostle testified that, because of their faith in Jesus, believers in the world had received of the fullness of God's salvation in Christ with grace piled powerfully upon grace, John 1:16-17.
        3. In fact, John declared that Jesus had fully exegeted the Father unto believers on the earth so that they fully understood the Father amidst the darkness of spiritual blindness around the world, John 1:18. Thus, believers had seen thei r darkness dispelled to see clearly the Father in Jesus, a truly remarkable feat in the midst of the world's rebelling darkness.
Lesson: Though the world was full of great spiritual ignorance and sin, a sinful darkness so intense that the Creator's presence in the world in the flesh was even rejected by men, God wrought an enormous amount of effort in the incarnation and min istry of Christ to illumine those who believed so that they came fully to know God and receive of the fullness God had in store for men.

Application: (1) If God crosses such obstacles to communicate the salvation message, and so blessed those few who heeded it, we OWE it to God to heed the message as it must be urgently needed! (2) If we have believed the message of eternal life, a nd find the darkness of the world deeply opposed to accepting its truth, we should not "give up", but recall the enormous lengths to which God went to save and illumine US as far as WE have been illumined! That will motivate us to keep going as JESUS did, for the stakes of judgment and blessings are so very HIGH!