Monday, March 7, 2016, 3:32 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Realizing.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read John 1:1-18 (ESV).
The Word was God (vv. 1-8)
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 came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
Our God, the One and Only True God, is a triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is three distinct persons in one. Jesus Christ, God the Son, always existed with God the Father. He was with God in the beginning, and he is God, and he is our creator. Beginning from the account of creation in Genesis, chapter one, we see that God is triune, for he said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…” So, Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, but he is God the Son. He did not begin to exist when he was conceived in the womb of his mother. He always existed with God, and is God. One of the main reasons why the Jews killed Jesus is because he claimed to be God, which is who he was and is.
Jesus Christ, God the Son, is the Light. The Light is truth, knowledge (understanding), righteousness, and holiness. It is the opposite of darkness, which is wickedness, sin, lies, deception and ignorance. When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures, separate from God, without hope, and destined to spend eternity in the fires of hell. We are in darkness. Jesus Christ came into the world to die for our sins that we might be turned from darkness to the Light, and from the power of Satan and sin over our lives to God, to walk in his righteousness, so that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (See: Ac. 26:16-18).
As Many as Receive Him (vv. 9-13)
There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 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. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Although the Light shines in the darkness, the darkness does not comprehend (grasp) it, making it one’s own. So, those walking in darkness do not always recognize the Light when it shines into their lives. They do not take ownership of the Light. They do not take hold of the Light, and do not appropriate it to their lives, so they continue to walk in darkness. And, this includes many who claim to have received Christ as Savior, but who continue walking in darkness, and thus they lie, and do not live by the truth (the Light). The Light remains elusive to them, because they truly do not understand it. They do not make it one’s own, by appropriating the truth (the Light) to one’s life. They believe they don’t have to.
In other words, receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives is not just words we say. It is not a religion or just a belief system (theology) we adhere to. It is not an emotional decision we make at an altar, nor is it merely an intellectual assent to who Jesus is and to what he did for us in dying for our sins. It is also not merely an escape from hell and the promise of heaven when we die, as wonderful as that is. When we truly receive the Light into our lives, we appropriate (adopt, seize) what Jesus did for us into our lives. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. So, if we truly receive him, we take what he did for us, we take ownership of it, and we apply it to our lives, i.e. it becomes a reality in our lives, which is evidenced by our lifestyles (how we live our lives).
So, what should this look like? For one, when we truly believe in Jesus Christ, a spiritual transformation takes place in our lives. We are crucified with Christ in death to sin, of the Spirit, and we are resurrected with Christ in newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). We are turned from darkness to the Light, and from the power of Satan over our lives to God, to walk in his holiness. We leave our old lives of living for sin and self behind us when we turn to God, and we give him ownership of our lives, for that is what “Lord” means. He is our master (owner/boss) of our lives. Our lives are no longer our own to be lived how we want, but we now submit to his Lordship over our lives, and our desire is for him, to do what he says, and to walk in his ways.
We no longer walk (conduct our lives) according to our sinful flesh, but we now walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit, to do what pleases God, in the power and working of the Spirit of God in our lives, and not in our own flesh. If we do sin, we repent (turn from it), and we keep following our Lord with our lives. If we walk according to our sinful flesh, we will die, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live. Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self) we will lose them, but if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin), we will gain eternal life. A saved life is a life surrendered to Christ, living in submission to the cross.
God Incarnate (vv. 14-18)
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
Jesus Christ, although he was and is God, willingly left his throne in heaven, came to the earth, was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of a woman, and was born as a baby. When he walked the face of this earth, he was fully God, yet fully man. He suffered like we suffer, and he was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. Because he took on human flesh, and because he suffered like we suffer, he is able to be our sympathetic and merciful high priest, because he went through many of the same things we now are going through. When he died, he became sin for us, so that we might be delivered out of the punishment of sin (eternal damnation) and out of slavery to sin (its control over our lives). Through faith in Jesus Christ, his righteousness is now credited to our accounts, so that we have eternal life with God both now and in the life yet to come in heaven.
Realizing who Jesus is, why he came, and all that he did for us in dying for our sins should cause us to want to love, honor and obey him in all that we do and say. Amen!
Realizing / An Original Work / May 14, 2011
Realizing what He did for you
Should cause you to walk with Him in truth.
Trust in Him to be your Lord today.
Turn from sin; obey without delay.
Realizing He died on a tree,
So that from sin you could be set free,
Should bring you down upon bended knee,
Repentant; humbly; submissively.
Realizing that He loves us so,
Which is why, to the cross He did go,
Is what leads us to salvation free,
Through our faith in Jesus Christ our King.