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May 5, 2021 8:00 am
Open your Bible now to John chapter 2 John chapter 1 Weiser to resume chapter 1, I don't overcommit another trip to one remake we may conclude these studies with the with the conclusion of the prologue of the gospel of John. Haven't decided yet whether to go beyond that.
That's where we have been on Wednesday nights that when I've been reading service for nearly several months now is prologue, which is so so rich. It is by definition prologue it is the introduction to the gospel of John. But as you know, what it does is introduce to us who Jesus is. This is the gospel of the apostle John that he wrote about the life the ministry the miracles, the teaching, the crucifixion, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. But in the prologue. He tells us who this one is this man Christ Jesus, that he had come to know as this teacher from from Galilee that he came to understand was indeed the Messiah sent of God. But in his prologue. He tells us who he was before he ever came to earth. The eternal God, one with the father but after introducing this one.
The last part of the prologue, the part we started looking at last Wednesday night tells us about those who witnessed to the reality and to the saving power of this one and there are four testimonies about Jesus Christ in these final verses.
Verses 15 through 18 is John's testimony in verse 15, looked at last Wednesday there is the testimony of the apostles in verse 16. The testimony of Moses in verse 17 and the testimony of God the father, rather than read the entire prologue as I normally have been doing. I'm going to read verse one and then skip down to verse 14 flow beautifully and then read verses 15 through 18 are going to be looking at tonight. The prologue begins in verse one in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Verse 14 and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory is the euro as of the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth. John bore witness of him and cried out, saying this was he of whom I said, he who comes after me is preferred before me, for he was before me and of his fullness we have all received, and grace for grace for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has seen God at any time, the only begotten son who is in the bosom of the father. He has declared will just remind you that John the Baptist bore testimony of who this one was.
He did so very effectively.
God raised him up for that very purpose to be the forerunner of Christ prepare people for the coming of Christ, and he did so faithfully, fruitfully, effectively, powerfully, but humbly, he didn't become stuck on himself. He did become enamored with the the influence that he had a Jewish society and the multitudes flock to him didn't giving the bid big head. He always remembered who he was. He always remember that he was just the forerunner that he was just the servant that Jesus Christ was the one who was important that he Christ must increase in I John must decrease and as we saw in verse 15 John bore witness of him and cried out, saying this was he of whom I said, he who comes after me is preferred before me, for he was before me and I just remind you of going back over all the things we said last week, but I just remind you this is a a an amazing statement revealing who Jesus is the first statement that he says he who comes before me is preferred before me, for he who comes rather after me is preferred before me, could be understood in India in fully human terms.
I could say someone who is following me is far more gifted, far more effective, far more able than I am and that would be a very human statement in John we might understand this. This phrase that I just read to be saying no more than that, he who comes after me is preferred before me, his greater than I am them to go to the next statement that can only mean one thing. Because he goes on to say, for he was before me missing a wait a minute you were born before he was so you can't say he was before me in his birth. He wasn't John your ministry came first. You had been ministering for some extended period of time before Jesus came on the scene with his ministry, so you can't say that he was before you in terms of his ministry.
So what do you mean that he who came after you is before you. And then we say will he already told us in the earlier verses of the prologue. In the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Yes, he who came after me was before me is before me because he is the eternal God. That was John's testimony of Jesus Christ. But what about the testimony of the apostle John and the other apostles.
Verse 16 and of his fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
This is John now speaking John the apostle to many jobs you can get confused that John the Baptist and John the apostle tells us what John the Baptist said. He said this, he said that now when it comes to verse 16, he tells what he said and the other apostles as the.
The meaning of that word.
We dove his fullness we all the apostles of Jesus Christ, you are witnesses of who we as we all received and grace for grace. In other words, we received his fullness and we received an abundance of grace.
Two things in particular, the John the apostle was testifying about concerning this one that he calls the word. He talks about the inexhaustible fullness of this one and the inexhaustible supply of his great to wonderful things that John testifies. This is what I know and this is what the other apostles.
No, this is what we can tell you from personal experience that this one is full of of whatever is needed.
Inexhaustible fullness of his fullness we have all received and if you want to know what I'm talking about.
Alex pointed to in another way grace for grace. Were talking about God's grace in the fullness of it supplied it comes to us in Jesus Christ and inexhaustible fullness from an inexhaustible source and an inexhaustible supply. First of all about this inexhaustible fullness and I want to read the words of Martin Luther, is quoted from Lenski's commentary used to consult Lenski regularly is an excellent commentator, a Lutheran Bible believing Lutheran back of the earth when there were quite a few of those they are they are more rare now denied any more rare now that Lenski's excellent commentator on the reason I don't consulted very often anymore is because of the richness of my library just can't read read and consult everything I have and I am by the way aware that I'm probably at that stage of life I need to start start decreasing my library. I've been spending my whole life building.
It increasing it's got bigger and bigger and bigger and I've overflowed all my shelves and got books in boxes and closets and I got books in the two rooms in the church I got books in my office in books and study in the study at home and got books in my study, and then I've got books and my dad and I got books in boxes and I I'm overflowing with books and I need to start finding people who can make use of them. But nobody can have any my commentaries pulled out all the commentary but I've got lots of other books that I probably will never read. In fact, some of them I have read and some of them I have and I probably would be say how many books I have bought over the years that I have not read it all, only rated and insist because I get interested. One that I see another one by that text's gate start dipping into that one. I see another one I want that I buy that. I'm just overwhelmed in all the books but anyway Lenski quoting Luther about this this inexhaustible fullness. Here's what Luther said and have to fullness a little closer to read it carefully.
The spring is inexhaustible. It is full of grace and truth from God never loses anything no matter how much we draw remains an infinite fountain of all grace and truth. The more you draw from it, the more abundantly gives of the Waterford Springs into eternal life, and that he gives three illustration of this course, none of them fully exhaust the reality of God's grace because like so many things that are belong to God. There's really no perfect analogy that describes it in its completeness but nevertheless it's helpful. So I guess three illustration sources just as a way and I started to two I skipped something here so I need to backup just as the sun is not darkened by the whole world, enjoying its light, and could indeed light up 10 worlds. That's a thought, isn't it. This a pretty big planet and yet all the light from the sun shining on our planet and on other somebody other bodies in space also receive light from her son Rick and soak up soak up soak up all that light that energy from the sun, does not matter how much we receive on earth doesn't diminish the supply one bit. It still has as much our receiving it doesn't diminish. It doesn't use it up in any way does it. It's not like many things on earth. If you have a bank account and you dispense out of it diminishes the amount it's there now has less than had before and most things in the world are that way, water supply, start supplying water to people who need water for these juniors water supply has decreased.
Of course have problems in parts of our country now with too many people tapping into the same river advocate of the same lake 11.
Those sources are are you are not sufficient them in danger now because too many people tapping into whatever they take out diminishes the. The original source but not so with the sun and its light chicken we can we can take all of it we can get go out there and get that sunlight go Google get that energy go get that vitamin D 7 billion people on earth could all take advantage of it and all the billions and billions of crops that are growing on earth can all receive and treasonous appliances over can all receive the benefit of it and it doesn't. The supply of the sun one teeny little bit and that's the way it is with Jesus Christ of his fullness in John we have received grace and we everybody in the world if they would could apply for that grace and receive it without diminishing the supply that much dented. That was Luther's first illustration. What's his second illustration of this will make sense in his world often explained than ours, but he says just as 100,000 lights might be lit from one light and not detract from the course is talking about candles or lanterns flame and he says you can take one candle and you could light 100,000 candles from that one candle and in the original candle wouldn't be any less bright.
The flame wouldn't be any dimmer for having shared with all those others for having become the source of light for all those others.
That's the way it is with the fullness that comes from this one, and what else does he say in the more he gives the more he has so is Christ our Lord and infinite source of all grace, so that if the whole world would draw enough grace and truth from to make the world all individuals. Yet it would not lose a drop fountain always runs over full of grace and I said there were three illustrations I must've skipped one because I've only given to one was the son. One was a candle. Okay, here's the one I skipped. He says the trust is a learned and learned man is able to make a thousand others learned in the more he gives the more he has so is Christ Tristan illustration is all of those of you who do any teaching you found that to be true. The more you teach others. The more your own capacity increases doesn't doesn't. You can give and give and teaching. Teaching give out the knowledge that you have. It doesn't diminish your knowledge. In fact, teaching it more or less cements six solidifies the knowledge you have makes it clear to you, gives you insights you didn't have before. Though you're giving out without diminishing your supply one bit and that's another illustration fullness of grace from Jesus Christ is not good. So this is John's testimony of his fullness we have all received, and grace for grace or grace upon grace is another way of translating that. In other words way even after way. Grace God's grace comes to us not so much in a steady stream as more like the waves on the ocean shore get up there comes a way God's grace and if you're down there were that Wade is coming in particularly if it's any size. That's a pretty big event taken taken grab you and wash you up on shore or pull you out into the ocean and you escape from that one that inclined to do it. You may rather just enjoy it can swim well and enjoy the water but it kind of ebbs and you say well I guess that's into that, no here comes another one by and after that when it comes another one by comes another one back and that's not too dissimilar from the way God's grace operates in her life's is that song says that I love, he giveth more grace as the burdens grow greater descendents more strength as the labors increase to added affliction.
He added his mercy, to multiplied trials is multiplied. His love has no limits, his grace has no measure's power has no boundary known unto men for out of his fullness out of the what I've lost my track train of thought and I'm hearing but I can't hear what you say out of the infinite, he giveth and giveth and giveth again.
That's what John is describing here and that's his testimony, the grace of God. That's his testimony of what he has received from this one. This word was in the beginning with God the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John told us what his experience was John the Baptist. John the apostle tells us what his experience is that of the other apostles as well. So that's the second testimony