FBCWest 553 | John, the Testifier
Recorded On: 04/30/2023
Hymn #164 “Grace Greater than Our Sins”
SCRIPTURE READING – Ephesians 2:8 - 10
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
OFFERTORY MUSIC – Pru Hungate
Praise and Worship
“Crown Him (Majesty)”
“Love Is War”
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“John, the Testifier”
PRAYER TIME / Time of Reflection
“God You Are”
Acknowledgements and Announcements
Benediction “There Is Freedom”
John 1:6 – 8 John sent by God to testify
John 1:9 – 11 Jesus, the True Light, made the world, but it did not recognize Him
John 1:12 - 13 But those that believed became children, but not by human agency
John 1:15 – 18 John testified that even though his ministry started first, Jesus came before him and Jesus is God
John 1:19 – 28 Religious leaders sent people to question John’s practice
John 1:29 The Announcement
John 1:30 – 34 John testifies why he baptized and what he saw when he baptized Jesus
Transcript of Service
We are continuing on our journey of finding faith. We are on this journey together hoping to discover or increase our faith as we took a look last time. Faith is the believing response to something said or promised by another. So when God says something or promises something, we then believe in that faith. Faith is not an assumption. If if God didn't say it or another person doesn't say something or promise something. Than to make. A jump and say that is something that is going to be done. That's an assumption that is not faith. And so we're going to take a look at what faith is and try to find it as opposed to assumption. Now also the Scriptures say that without faith it is impossible to please God, so that is the reason why we are trying to. To find faith is because we want to be pleasing to him. However, that's the dumping part off of the. Is there a God? Because if there's no God, then there's no point in having faith in him or his promises, because he doesn't exist. For believers. And for instance, myself, you could ask me. Is there any possibility that there is no God? And if you'd asked me that before I know what I know and learned what I learned and experienced what I experienced, I could say yes, there is a possibility. There's no God. And if you will, an atheist is a very proud and superior to the fact that they will simply say to you there is no God and they're convinced of it. They're confident of that and part of the reason that, as I shared last time, this journey can have some hazards. Is because of that superiority that they think. Ohh well you must be weak or not intelligent or need a crutch and therefore they put you at some disadvantage. I want to say. There are more evidences that there is a God than there are evidences that there isn't and we have. No reason to be intimidated by science. People will say, well, science has come to a consensus, but let me tell you that if you hear people say that science has come to us and since.
Says that I would be very leery of what's said next, because science isn't about consensus. It's about experimenting, experimenting things to determine and try to disprove something, and after repeated attempts to disprove something in a particular way, if you can't disprove it, then it may have some. Truth to it. And so it isn't a matter of whether we. Hold a bunch of scientists. Get together and say, well, this is true. That's not how science works. Says things, but scientists are the ones who say things. So when scientists tell you something, you need to. OK, let's inspect it. So for instance. There are various. Areas of disciplines and learning, whether it's archaeology or Physiology or geography or geology or physics or all the. Areas of science, so we'll we'll take archeology for instance. There are those for the longest time. That said that the Bible wasn't true. The Bible talks about Hittites. And there were no evidence of Hittite. Until suddenly there was this discovery. Documents and pottery and all kinds of other archaeological evidence that in fact showed. That there was. Of an empire known as the Hittites. People will say, well, the Bible never talks about dinosaur. That's true. The Bible doesn't talk about dinosaurs because the word dinosaur was not developed until about 1860 something. And the Bible, having been written thousands of years before that, to not use a word that didn't. For instance, we now often talk about. Well, there's no mention of computers in the Bible either because. They weren't around at the time the Bible was written.
There are these these things, but yet at the same time the. Bible does talk. About Leviathans and other massive animals and so. We have these things, and so science will also say, well, the earth is billions of years. And part of that they will use geology and say well, see something like the Grand Canyon was this massive a hole in the ground that was created by millions and millions of years of a river cutting through it. However, if you study it closely, the. Colorado River before it got to the stages, it's down. The starting of the river. And then somewhere in the initial stages, the elevation rises and then fall. Rivers don't go upstream, they go downstream. So the scripture says. And we there was a flood and one way to dig out a great excavation like the Grand Canyon would be a massive flood. Two people can look at the same evidence and come to different conclusions because one says I must conclude that there is no God and so it must have taken millions of years. The church has been intimidated by such things. And so, for instance, evolution for many, many, many years, people have talked about, well, evolution. And I even had a, a, a seminary professor who taught a systematic theology. And she bought into the whole evolution thing. So he believed in what is known as theistic evolution, that God somehow kind of participated, but it was in millions of years, and he just kind of added to it. That to me shows a person who isn't all that convinced that God is a God who can create and is a God who is creator and has the power to do the things that the scriptures talk about God doing. But again, taking a look at evolution, where is the evidence? The evidence isn't there. Everybody will talk of where do you see in any part of? The past or present where one species developed into a partial species and chain. You don't see a school becoming a bat. You see squirrels, you even see flying squirrels, but you don't see squirrels. Turning into bat. One of the things that were in a lot of biology textbooks was this. The way the an embryo. Expand it. And one from the cell through this thing that looked like kind of like a tadpole and then another kind of animal and then ultimately a human baby. And it's a see, this is in the uterus evolution.
Except before that textbook was ever publish. That drawing that. We determined to be a fraud. And yet people still use that drawings even today, to argue that evolution exists. But there is no evolutionary. We don't need to be intimidated by sight when it comes to math. You can see people who talk about the universe and and all that thing saying the probability. Of all of these things happening. As they are. That there are not enough atoms in the universe. Count the number of possibilities that that would take for this to happen, and so we don't need to be intimidated by sign. Because of the evidence that there is a God. Is far superior to the evidence that there is. And so while the scripture says that we are. To have faith in that is, faith is what pleases God. God also says that by faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. So there's a. But in all our faith. We need to say that God was the God who existed and created what we have in this world, and so that's where we're going to jump off in our search. God and who Jesus is, and so using the gospel of John as our jumping off point in the first chapter of John chapter. One verse one. It says in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and. The word was God. John is starting. I'm saying I want to call your attention to Genesis. That's sitting in the beginning. God created the heavens and the earth. And he spoke these worlds into existence. He spoke all that has existed. By speech. And so John is saying that in the beginning was the word. Now he's not using the Greek definition of word as logic, but as the. Action of God in speech. This is in the beginning when we all started out was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. Be saying that in essence the active agent. Of God was the son of God who was the one who was responsible for the creation of the heavens and the Earth, and that he was with God, which meant that he's not just. God himself. But he was with God, and the word was God. Now the IT doesn't say he was be God because he's God, but he's not the God he is, you know. And I'll address that. And he's also not a God because the Scriptures clearly teach that there is not a number of. Or atheistic view of the world. It is God is 1. And so just as Genesis said that God spoke. And the spirit moved here. We say that the word was with God and was God.
And he says, and he was in the. Beginning with God. So John starts out telling us that there is a Trinity now. Again, that word is not found in the Bible either. Trinity is the concept of three persons, father, son and Holy Spirit, who are God. But they're one entity defined by three personhood. Now the problem with this. Is that there's no way to explain that? Without becoming a heretic, every attempt I've ever heard for somebody to say, well, this is what the Trinity is like. Messes it up, so I'm not even going to try to help you with that, and it's one of the reasons why I think that the Trinity exists, because it's beyond human comprehension and human discussion. And so. John lets us know. That the word. Was part and parcel of who God was and it's. Under Jewish law. Nothing was established as a fact unless there were two or three witnesses who testified to it. And so I'm going to use a couple of different writers to show that John is not alone in his discussion, that the word Jew. This is. Was God and so in Hebrews chapter one, verse one through 3 says God after he spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets and in in many portions, and in many ways in these last days has spoken to us and his son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made. The world. And he is the radiance of his glory and the exact representation of the nature that holds all things by the word of his power. When he had made purification for sin, he sat down at the right hand of Majesty on. So the writer of Hebrew says that Jesus. Is God and he is the radiance of his glory, the exact representation. And so John has said the word was with God, and the word was God, and Hebrews. The writer says that he. Was the one who was speech and that he is the radiance of the glory of God and his exact represent. We're also told. In Ephesians, which was written by Paul for a third witness, blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Just as he. Chose us in him before the foundations of the world that we would be wholly and blameless before him. He detested us to the adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself according to the kind intentions of his will, through the praise and the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the beloved. In him, we have redemption through his blood, forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight. And so the all says that before God ever spoke, let there be light before there was ever. A earth or the heavens to descend.
God came up with a plan for our salvation before the foundations of the world. It was planned that Jesus would be our Redeemer and our savior. That was again so many times you hear people say well man fell and God had to come up with another plan and then that plan didn't work. So he came up with another plan and then that plan didn't come up. So we sent Jesus. No, God's plan from the eternity. That was from the time that God determined that he would create us. The plan was to send Jesus as our Redeemer, so Jesus existed. And then. John continues on and says in verse 3. All things came into being through him and apart from him, nothing came into being that has come into being. And so the situation here is that again. We are told that it was Jesus who created all things. Nothing that has been created was not created except through the Agency of Jesus. So he is the creator of. Us all. And then we are told in Colossians chapter one. Verse 15. He being Jesus is the image of the invisible God. The first born of all creation. Or by him, all things were created both in the heavens and on the Earth, visible and invisible, or the Thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things have been created through him and for him. He is, before all things, and in him all things hold together. So we are told that not only is Jesus the Creator. And he is the creator of things, whether it's material or powers, or dominions or any other thing. He also is the one who sustains. We will say I'm not even sure how the atom is able to stay stable, how the electrons don't fly off and different things and it is because Jesus is holding all things together. He is the creator. He is the sustainer. He is the preexistent, preincarnate word of God, who is God. When the scriptures go on in John chapter one, verse four, it says in him Jesus was life. And the life. Was the light of men. Was life. He's the one who gave life. He's the one who sustains life. He's the one who continues life, not only in the physical sense but in the eternal spiritual sense. And that life was the light of men. And I don't know if you've ever been in a really dark place, but I I have at times been in a place that was so dark that you literally could not see your hand in front. Of your face. When that happens, you're almost. Intimidated not to move because you're afraid. If you move, you'll bump into something and stub your toe, or do whatever fall down and get hurt because you can't see where you're going. You don't know whether it's safe. You don't know what objects are in front of you, and it takes light to allow you to see. And Jesus is that light who allows us to see. The real world to see what he is and what he has done and who we are, he is that light that gives us the ability to see. It says and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Those of us who who are believers and those of us who see Jesus. And in some small way is who he is. It's hard for us sometimes to understand why people don't see him. Of who he is. And yet it's because the light hasn't shone in their lives. In order to be able to see. The darkness. Doesn't comprehend. The really strange language in innocence. When I said that God, when he was creating the heavens, the earth, he said that in essence light and darkness. We're all messed up. And we separated the light. From the darkness. How can that be? And yet here you see. That he is in essence by his separation, his sanctification sanctifying light, and yet the darkness doesn't comprehend it. Then he says. And John Chapter 14, chapter one, verse 14. We're going to skip down a few verses next time we'll take up those intervening verses. He says something very interesting. John says. And the word Jesus. Became flesh. And dwelt among us. There was a group of people. Who were called agnostics. And they believe that flesh and blood was evil. And so Jesus could not have been flesh and blood. He could have only been spirit because he wasn't evil, and so therefore his suffering wasn't real. And his truth fiction really wasn't real, cause he was just a spirit. The Scriptures do not teach that the Scriptures teach that he was flesh and blood, and the term dwelt really. He tabernacled amongst us, he tinted amongst us. He lived his life as we are. Now there will be a day. That we will no longer be Tabernacle in this body that we have is subject to pain and illness and death and sorrow and all those things that there will come a time. For those believers who will have a new body. It won't be a tent. It'll be like a temple, a permanent structure. And so he dwelt amongst us, he tabernacled. He experienced the same things we did. We suffered to the same pains and sorrow. He dwelt among us. He was flesh. He was 100 percent God. 100 percent man. He was, as the scripture said, the exact representation of who God was, assuming that Jesus back then was about 5 foot. 4:00 or so. His people were shorter than they are now. He was all that, in essence, God could cram into a 5 foot 4 human being, but he was God. How do I explain that? I don't. I don't understand how God can be man and man could be God. Kind of like the Trinity. Don't understand fully the concept of three persons in one. And yet. That's the exact. Right. And so he. Was man. He was gone. And we saw his glory. The glory as of the only begotten from the father, full of grace and truth. As they experienced Jesus. Life and ministry. They saw Jesus, they saw his glory.
The glory of God. The scriptures tell us that for all of sin and fallen short. Of the glory of God. Jesus didn't sin, he never fell short. He was. And would they beheld his glory, glory of the only begotten from the father? Now the begotten doesn't mean that he was born. It means that he has the rank and privilege of the first born. For all things. And so we see this glory of this one who is supreme and preeminent, he preexisted before the earth was made in the heavens, and he created those things. He sustained those things, and he came in flesh and blood to live among us. Says the father sent him. Then it says he was full of grace. And truth? Now grace. Means unmerited favor. There's also a definition of race that when like somebody is ice skating and they do a great job as they they. Slide around the arena. They say that person has grace. They're able to move around certain ways, but in the biblical sense, grace is unmerited favor. Now Jesus wasn't filled with unmerited favor because he didn't deserve it and God filled. Him he was. Filled with unmerited favor that he might bestow it. One other. People who were sinners. He bestowed grace. People who were.
Suffering through illness. He bestowed grace. Those who are blind and lame. And death. Who bestowed grace? Even on the woman. Who thought if I could just touch the hem of his garment, I would be healed. And when she did, she was healed. Because he was full of grace. And that's why so many people gravitated to him because they saw this perfect representation of the glory of God who didn't come to condemn them. The king, to give them grace, unmerited favor. And he was full of truth. Not your truth. Not my truth. We live in a world today. Where everybody goes well, that's your truth. Well, that's my truth. That's subjective. Worthless discussion. Truth is an absolute it is either true or it's not, no matter whether I hold it to be true or you hold it to be true. It is whether it is. And Jesus is filled with truth. He is the truth. And John and the disciples recognize. That when he taught, he taught not as one who had learned, but one who knew. Because he was full of grace and truth and was the word. And just as we know. To do. He knows us exact.
Every dimension, whether it's our DNA. Or problem? Or illness. Dreams or aspirations, he knows us. Not just because he lived here in the flesh. But because he. Dwelt among. And so as we. Go through this. Finding faith. We start out. With the conclusion. That there is a God. And Jesus. Part of that thought. And that. What he said. It's where we determine. Because if he said something. And is full of truth. That will come to pass. If he doesn't say something that we can't say that he said something he didn't say. So we come. To this point. That he existed before. Heaven and earth. It was holy then. To come to when he came to be on this earth. Flesh and blood. And he was holding then and his people recognized. On the cross, when he suffered and died. He was holy. When he rose from the dead. He was holy. When he arose to heaven. Who's holy? Hitting in heaven today. Is holy when he returns to Earth as he promised us. He is holy. And when we dwell in this House, wherever he is holding. He is holy forever. Son of God. The word became flesh.
All God's people said.