To All Who Receive Him

John 1:1-5 ESV

“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. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Jesus Christ, God the Son, is the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He was with God in the beginning and all things that were made were made by him. He is fully God, and he is fully sovereign over all that he has made. And he is the living Word of God.

He is our creator God. It is he who made us. We are his creation. He is the one who gave us the breath of life, and he is the one to give us eternal life in him, too, by faith in him, by the grace of God.

He is the Light – the truth, righteousness, holiness, godliness, and moral purity. He is the wisdom of God. The light, his righteousness, shines in the darkness (into the wicked hearts of human beings), and he exposes the darkness, but the darkness cannot overcome him or his righteousness.

John 1:6-8 ESV

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.”

John the Baptist, as he was called, was the forerunner of Jesus whose calling it was to prepare the hearts of the people to receive Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Lord. He bore witness to Jesus, the light, and he called people to repentance in preparation for Jesus and for his message.

When John was asked who he (himself) was, he answered: “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (Jn 1:23)

And to make a straight path for God, for Jesus Christ, is to preach repentance, turning away from sin, and to teach obedience to Christ and to his commands. And it is to teach submission to Christ as Lord (master) of our lives, too (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).

John 1:9-14 ESV

“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus Christ, although he was God, he left his throne in heaven, came to earth, and he was born as a baby to a human mother. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, not of man. While he lived on the earth some 33 years he was fully God and fully man.

While he was on the earth, particularly during his time of ministry on the earth, he preached good news to the poor in spirit, and he preached freedom for the captives who were in bondage to sin. Some believed in him and they put their trust in him for their salvation, while others refused to believe and so be saved.

Of those who refused to believe in him, many were strongly opposed to him, particularly the religious leaders in the temple of God. So, they harassed him at every turn, and they tried to trip him up with his words so they would have cause to accuse him. For they wanted to silence him any way they could.

For, they didn’t like the things he did and said. Partly it was out of jealousy, because he was gaining followers, although many of those were superficial only, and he was gaining the confidence of the people, for a time, and so they felt threatened by him. They were concerned that if he gained popularity that they might lose the control and power they had over the people.

They also did not like it that he called himself God, and so they accused him of blasphemy. And they didn’t like it that he healed people, particularly on the Sabbath. They were also offended by him pointing out their sins to them and him calling them to repentance and to obedience to himself as their Lord and Messiah. So, they also accused him of being crazy and of being of Satan.

Eventually they were able to persuade most of the people to turn against him and to call for his crucifixion, and then they were able to convince the authorities to have him crucified on a cross, as though he was a common criminal, although he had done no wrong.

But there was a remnant who believed in him, who after he was resurrected and then ascended back to heaven, met together in prayer waiting for him to send his Holy Spirit to indwell them as he had promised. So, some people did believe in him, and many more did when the remnant began speaking the gospel to the people in their own languages on the day of Pentecost.

To Us Today

So, what is the message in this to us today? It is that we are to believe on the Lord Jesus. We are to receive him, which means to welcome him into our lives, and not just to receive him by name only, but to receive (accept) who he is and what he stood for and what he came to accomplish – all of it!

It is to deny self and to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus, i.e. to die daily to sin and self and to follow our Lord in obedience. It is to repent of our sins, i.e. to forsake them in order that we may now walk (live) according to his Spirit and in his righteousness (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).

For, this is why Jesus gave his life up for us that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. It is that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. For when he shed his blood for us on that cross, it was to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now glorify God with our lives (with our bodies).

So, don’t buy into the lies which tell you that you can “receive” Jesus by a mere confession or by praying a prayer but that you can still live in sin and have the hope of heaven when you die and that you are now a child of God.

The Scriptures make it quite clear that if we continue living in sin, willfully and deliberately, as a matter of practice (habit, addiction, slavery), that we don’t have salvation from sin, eternal life with God and the promise of heaven when we die. So, believe the truth. Your life depends on it!

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:44; Jn 8:31-32, 51; Jn 10:27-30; Jn 14:23-24; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Acts 26:18; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 1 Co 15:2; 2 Co 5:10, 15, 21; Gal 5:16-24; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 4:17-24; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Heb 3:6, 14-15; Heb 10:26-31; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 2:24-25; 1 Jn 5:3]

Courageous!

An Original Work / December 24, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

The Word of God throughout taught.
Some people heard, but did doubt.
Still others had faith in Christ.
By grace He purified them.

They turned from sin
And they obeyed Christ.
He opened up their blinded eyesight;
Turned them from darkness
To the true Light;
Forgave their sin by His might.

He strengthened them in their faith.
He said, “Remain my faithful.”
He called them to obedience.
By faith, they were so grateful.

By faith, they were to follow Jesus;
To daily sit and listen to Him;
To have such faith
That mountains could move;
To love those whom He gave them.

Be on your guard; courageous.
Stand firm in faith. Be thankful.
Take up the shield of your faith;
Protect against all evil.

Do not move from
The hope that you have.
Your faith in Jesus let it endure.
Hold to the truth;
Your conscience be clear.
Endure with perseverance.

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