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, the Word (Logos) was in the beginning with God and he was/is God. All things were made through him, i.e., he is our creator God. Jesus is life and the giver of life. And he is the Light – the way, the truth, and the life. And he is righteousness, holiness, purity, and faithfulness.
Jesus Christ and his truth and righteousness shine (radiate) in the darkness (in this sinful world). Jesus Christ came into this world and took on human flesh, so he was the light in the darkness when he lived on this earth, and what he taught was light (truth, righteousness) in the darkness, too.
But humans love the darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil, so they will not come into the light, and thus they remain in the darkness. Not all people do, obviously, but many do. Many refuse to believe the truth and so be saved.
For, the darkness is opposed to the light, and it can lead people to reject the light in favor of the darkness. But the darkness cannot overpower the light. For Jesus conquered that darkness in his death and in his resurrection. He overcame Satan, hell, death, and sin via his sacrifice.
John 1:9-13 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.”
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. But not many believed in him in truth. Many people, including members of his own family and community and faith, and the rulers of the temple of God, did not receive him. They did not put their faith and trust in him to be Lord of their lives.
And that is still true today. Even many who profess faith in Jesus Christ do not receive him in his fulness into their lives. They receive a false concept of him, and a false faith in him, which are the creations of man, not of God. They receive a man-made gospel which opposes the true light.
They claim themselves to be children of God, but it is of the will of the flesh, and of the will of humans, not of the will of God. For they create their own gospel which appeals to human flesh and which allows the flesh to live and to thrive and to still have its way.
But genuine faith in Jesus Christ results in us dying with Christ to sin and being raised with Christ to newness of life in him (not like the old life), and us living to Christ and to his righteousness, empowered by the Spirit of God who now lives within us (1 Pet 2:24).
When we genuinely believe in Jesus with God-persuaded faith, our old self is crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will be no longer enslaved to sin, but so we will now be slaves of God and of his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
We can’t just pray a prayer or make some profession of faith and then go on living in sin. For, the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (Rom 8:1-17).
For, if we walk (in practice) in sin, according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God. For we will all reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, we will reap eternal life (Gal 6:7-8; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 8:1-17).
So, belief in Jesus and receiving him are not according to the will of the flesh or the will of humans. To believe in Jesus and to receive him is to receive him and his truth and his righteousness into our lives and to apply them to our lives in the power of God’s Spirit, according to God’s will, not our will.
So, if we want to be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God and be born of God’s Spirit and to be children of God, then we have to do it God’s way, not our way. And his way means we die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness in his power (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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