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A Light Shines

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
December 29, 2023 5:00 am

A Light Shines

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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December 29, 2023 5:00 am

Pastor Skip begins his message A light Shines about the light that shines into darkness and death to bring life.

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There's something you need to know for you to understand spiritual life. You will never understand spiritual life unless you understand spiritual death. And here's what you need to know about spiritual death. Everybody is born into this world dead. Spiritually dead. Spiritually dead. Paul says in Ephesians, and you he has made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Pastor Skip begins his message, A Light Shines, about the light that shines into darkness and death to bring life. But first, here's a resource that brings you powerful teaching from some truly inspiring pastors.

It's a fact. Many people look forward to regular Bible teachings on Connect with Skip Heitzig. If you benefit from this program, we'd like to ask you to consider an end-of-year gift to support the costs and expansion of this program. As we roll toward the end of 2023, there is still time to make a tax-deductible gift to Connect with Skip Heitzig.

And for this final week of the year only, we are offering a special resource package to thank you for your gift. This set includes 10 of the most popular guest speaker messages that Skip has invited to fill his pulpit, such as Joel Rosenberg, J. Vernon McGee, and Tim LaHaye. This end-of-year collection also includes five excellent books, such as Is God Real by Lee Strobel. Here's Lee to explain what motivated him to write this book. I was talking to a guy I know who's a real techy, you know, and he said, Lee, I've discovered something really fascinating. I said, what? He said, I've learned that 200 times a second, around the clock, someone on planet Earth is typing into a search engine, basically the question, is God real? That's fascinating.

And I thought, but then again, isn't it logical in a sense because everything hangs on that question? The five-book collection also includes We Will Not Be Silent by Erwin Lutzer and The Word for Today Study Bible featuring notes from Pastor Chuck Smith. Bound in genuine leather, this new King James Study Bible has definitions of Hebrew and Greek words, pages for notes, color maps, cross references, and introductions to each Bible book. Here's an invitation from Pastor Skip to encourage your end-of-year giving to help this program expand into more major markets. Hi there, Skip here. Well, we entered the final stretch of 2023, and I've got a very important request for you. I'm asking you for your best gift by December 31st to help connect with Skip Heitzig, finish the year strong and ready to reach more people for Jesus in 2024.

Your support today will help connect with Skip Heitzig grow so we can reach even more people across the globe with the timeless wisdom of God's word that speaks to every aspect of life. So please, please give your best gift today and help seize every opportunity in 2024 to share the unchanging truth of Scripture with more people in an ever-changing world. I thank you for your gift of $100 or more with my prized pulpit package. This exclusive collection brings you preaching, teaching, and apologetics from influential speakers that we've had speak here at the church, people like David Jeremiah, Josh McDowell, Eric Metaxas, and others that I've invited over the years at Calvary.

And if you give $500 or more, I'll also send you five books that our team has carefully selected from some of these speakers. These resources are sure to help you deepen your understanding and love of God's word in the year ahead, so be sure to request them when you give today. And thank you for your generosity.

God bless you. Give your support of $500 to connect with Skip Heitzig and you'll receive the full pulpit package audio by download or on CD and the five-book set, including the Word for Today leather study Bible. Call 1-800-922-1888. That's 1-800-922-1888 with your gift or give securely online at connectwithskip.com. That's connectwithskip.com. This offer expires at midnight on December 31st, so please act now.

Call 1-800-922-1888 or go to connectwithskip.com. Let's turn now to John 1 as Skip begins his message today. Jesus is the only person who ever lived before he was born. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Okay, so what's this language John is using, calling a person the Word?

That sounds so impersonal to introduce a person to somebody. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to the Word. See, because we hear that term the Word, and we think of a word as a unit of language. But in ancient times, it was a title. That's why it says in the beginning was the Word, capital W. It was a title, a very important title, to two groups of people, religious people, unreligious people.

Let me explain. In Judaism, the Jews always knew that the world came into existence by the Word of God. God spoke and it came into existence. God said, let there be light, and there was light. God said, let us make man in our image, and it happened. The Word of the Lord came to this prophet and that prophet.

It was always God's self-expression and creative power. So they understood the idea of the Word. In fact, in Judaism, there's a set of writings, a group of writings known as the Targums, and the Targums were portions of Old Testament Scripture translated into the Aramaic language. And there's a word in the Targums, in Aramaic, and the term is Memra, M-E-M-R-A.

Memra means word. It is used over and over again as a substitute title for God Himself. So John is embracing the Jewish nation and saying, I know you guys talk about the Word and God's self-expression and God's creative power.

I want you to know that's Jesus. In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God.

The Word was God. But then the Greeks also used that term. And the Greek word that is used here is the word Logos.

Some of you know that, Logos. And the way the Greeks used it was this way. The Greeks looked at their world, and they made certain observations that there's an order to the universe. There's a rhythm to the universe. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, or so it appears to us on earth. That's predictable.

That happens every day of the year. They also noticed, looking at the night sky, that the constellations have an orbital pattern. And they noticed that there are seasons that come and go that you can sort of base the calendar year on. And so in observing their world, they asked the question, why is the world so ordered and predictable?

Why is there this pattern? Where did this come from? And they came up with the idea of Logos, which meant to them a nondescript, wise something, entity, soul. They didn't quite say God, but they called it the Logos, an ordering principle, the word. So John, by using the term, is gathering together the Jewish religious people and the non-Jewish, secular Greek people and says, I want to introduce you to God's creative power, the reason for everything in existence.

His name is Jesus. And every now and then, you get a hymn writer who gets it right, especially when it comes to Christmas songs. And Charles Wesley got it right when he wrote this song.

You're familiar with it. Here's part of the lyrics. Late in time, the Godhead see, hail incarnate deity. Hark, the herald angels sing.

Glory to the newborn King. In that song, he beautifully describes the nature of the eternal Jesus Christ. So Jesus is the word, the language of God. Everything God wanted to say, he said in the person of the Lord Jesus. You might even say, Jesus Christ is God's final word. He was the one who said, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.

So that's first. Jesus is the language of God. Second, he is the life of God. For John continues, all things were made through him. Without him, nothing was made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

Now before I get to that, consider that little description he just gave us. All things were made through him. Loose translation, Jesus created everything. Now I know, I know the secular world would not agree with that statement.

I know my high school and college science professors would shake their heads right now. I know that if Charles Darwin were here, he would say, that's not right. They taught me and probably most of you to believe, we're supposed to believe that we are here by random chance.

That random chance given enough time without external causality is the reason for the material universe. They want you to believe that living matter can replicate itself and grow in complexity by mutation. I used to believe that. I don't believe that anymore. And you know why I don't believe that? I just can't have that much faith. I've discovered it takes more faith to believe that than it does to believe in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. It takes more faith to believe in random chance that replicates itself by mutation than it is to believe in the beginning it was the word and the word was with God and the word was God and he made all things. A noted cosmologist by the name of Alan Sandlage asked this question. How is it that inanimate matter can organize itself in order to contemplate itself?

I'd like to know the answer to that question as well. But get this, if he is your creator, if God made you, if Jesus Christ formed you, then he can fix you. If he's the one responsible for your existence, then when you face when you face an obstacle, a difficulty, a challenge, a trial, a heartache, he knows you so well because he made you that he can fix you. Let me tell you a little story about a little guy by the name of Charlie and I say little guy because he was only four feet tall. He had some physical challenges. He had all sorts of medical conditions that left him deformed so he was only four feet tall but little Charlie was one of the smartest people alive at his time and probably in history. He ranks up there with people like Albert Einstein or Nikola Tesla. His name was Charlie, Charles Steinmetz. He was an electrical engineer. He was a physicist. He was a chemist. He was a mathematician. He was just a brilliant guy.

He was so smart that when Henry Ford started building his automobiles, he had a problem in his factory in Dearborn, Michigan and he knew that since a machine broke down, nobody can fix it. There is only one person who can fix my generator and that is Charlie, Charles Steinmetz. So he called for Steinmetz to come in and fix his problem. Steinmetz came to the plant in Dearborn, Michigan. They offered him the best engineer team with him, the best tools and he said, I really don't want anything.

I don't want anyone. All I want is a pencil, a notebook and a cot to sleep on. So he moved the cot by the broken generator with his pad of paper and his pencil. He started writing notes and making calculations and looking around and making observations and the second day, he laughs into the second night and on the second night, he asked for a ladder and he climbed up the ladder on this generator at a certain point observing it and he took a piece of chalk and he made a single mark on the generator. Then he told the skeptical team of engineers at Ford Motor Company, remove the plate where I made the chalk mark and replace 16 wines of the field coil and they were skeptical. They thought that'll never work but you know they did it.

You know what happened? It worked. It worked. It worked and Henry Ford was elated. He was so happy.

I knew Charlie could fix it. He was elated until he got the bill in the mail. Now the bill in the mail from Charles Steinmetz's company, General Electric, was for $10,000. I have to sum in those days.

I have to sum any day. He said, $10,000 for doing that? So he wrote back to Steinmetz and he said, I demand an itemized bill.

Steinmetz wrote back and said, all right. For making the chalk mark, $1. For knowing exactly where to make the chalk mark, $9,999. See, it's not about making the chalk mark.

It's about knowing exactly what to do. God knows exactly where to make the chalk mark in your life because He made you. He formed you. He can fix you. All things, including you, dear one, were made by Him. So He's the Word. He's the language.

He's the power of God. But He's also the life of God. Now, when John says this, in Him was life and the life was the light of men. Here's what you need to know about the word life.

In the Greek language, which this book was written in originally, the New Testament, there are three separate words for our single word translated life. Word number one is the word bios, or we might say bios. It means biological life. We get our term biology from that term bios. It's physical biological life. Second word is suke, and it means psychological life.

Suke is where we get our word psychology from. It talks about your thought life, your inner life, what thoughts you toss around that make you really you, the hidden you. But then there's a third term for the word life, and that is the term that is used here, and it's the Greek word zoe. Zoe means everlasting life, eternal life.

I like to say revolutionary life. And so when he says, in Him was life, that's the word he uses, spiritual life, revolutionary life, life on a higher plane, a higher level. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. There's something you need to know for you to understand spiritual life. You will never understand spiritual life unless you understand spiritual death. And here's what you need to know about spiritual death. Everybody is born into this world dead, spiritually dead, spiritually dead.

Paul says in Ephesians, and you he has made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins. Now, there's something about a dead person. You can yell at a dead person.

It won't do you a bit of good. You can poke a dead person. They won't move. You can punch a dead person.

I don't recommend any of that. But that won't bring any effect because they lack any capacity to respond. They are insensate. Same truth in spiritual terms. Spiritually, you can poke a person, a dead spiritual person with all the truth you want.

It won't make a bit of good unless they are animated by God, animated by God. And you he has made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins. So the world is essentially the walking dead.

They're like spiritual zombies until, or until if the Lord interrupts their life and animates them with His truth. And only Jesus can do it. And you know, Jesus spoke a lot about this kind of life. He said, I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly. He said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father unless he comes through me. Jesus said, he who has the Son, that is the Son of God, Jesus, he who has the Son has life, but he who does not have the Son does not have life.

So here is John telling us the Christmas story. He's the language of God. He's the life of God. And third, he is the light of God. For he said here in that verse, in him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. He goes on to say in verse 9, that was the true light which gives light to every man coming into the world. Jesus himself said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but have the light of life.

Now think about that. If Jesus said he is the light of the world, that implies two things. It implies something about Jesus, and it applies something about the world. It implies if Jesus said, I am the light, it recognizes the fact that Jesus is pure and penetrating and revealing, that's what light does. But it also implies something about the world. If Jesus said, I am the light of the world, it implies the world in which Christ came to is filled with darkness, nighttime.

People live in the nighttime, in the darkness, that we live in a darkened world. Now we would never admit that. Most people today would never admit that.

They never did admit that. If 2,000 years ago, when the light of the world came into the world, if you would have gone to Caesar's palace, and I don't mean the one in Las Vegas, but the one in Rome, and if you were to say, hey Caesar, is the world in darkness? He would say, well, they were until we Romans got here, but we've enlightened people.

We've given you our Pax Romana, and we have given you Roman roads and a Roman army to protect you. We have enlightened the world. If you would have gone over to Athens, Greece and said, hey, is the world living in darkness? They would say, well, maybe some of them are, but we brought enlightenment to the world.

We have given you our best philosophical minds, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Xenophon. If you would go to Jerusalem and ask the religious leaders, is the world in darkness? They would say, well, maybe they are, but we have given you scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees and the intellectual religious elite. And if you ask people today, hey, are we in darkness? They would say, what era are you living in? I mean, this is the modern era.

We have Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and smartphones and dumb people, but smartphones. We have made so many strides, so many inventions. But again, every age of man is essentially dark and needs the light. The light has come into the world, and the light, it says, shines in the darkness, shines in the darkness. Mankind might say, no, we are enlightened, but here's the problem.

John will tell us the problem by the time we get to chapter 3. He'll put it this way. This is the condemnation. This is the condemnation. Light has come into the world, but men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. For everyone practicing the light will not come to the light, lest his deeds be exposed. So he identifies the problem, man's personal darkness, man alienated, separated from God by personal sin, sin by birth and sin by choice.

But he also gives us the solution. The light penetrates. The light shows you the way out. Light, he says, shines in the darkness.

And then he gives us this little interesting P.S. on the end of that verse. Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Here's a better translation. The darkness could not extinguish it. All the darkness in the world cannot put out the light of a single match. It can't put it out.

It can't extinguish it. Now, truth be told, they did try to extinguish the light. They did try to extinguish the light of Christ, right? The religious leaders tried.

The political leaders tried. They put them on a cross. They killed them. They thought, we're rid of the light. We've extinguished the light. There was a little problem called the resurrection.

He got back up. He conquered death, and the light shined brighter than ever before. That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series Into the Night.

Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now, here's Skip to share how you can connect you and many others with the truth of God's word with a gift to keep these messages going out around the world through Connect with Skip Heitzig. Here we are ending 2023.

Hard to believe, right? But it's a time when many people review their giving in the past year and consider an end of the year donation. Well, in 2023, we have seen excellent growth in our media ministry, both in digital outlets and in reaching new cities with these Bible teachings. I'd like to invite you to be part of further expansion in this coming year.

Here's the details. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. And did you know that the Connect with Skip app is designed to put tons of great resources right at your fingertips from sermon notes, an entire series, as well as reading plans. You'll love the features of this app.

So be sure to download it today wherever you get your apps. Come back in the new year to hear more verse-by-verse teaching to connect you with the God who loves you. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross. Cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-29 04:56:08 / 2023-12-29 05:05:13 / 9

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