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December 14, 2020 7:00 am
Similar in our world this Christmas season will celebrate the birthday of somebody my brother entirely ignore our culture is dark and we are the life we want to understand and we understand what John is saying here is basically saying that our world miss is the meaning of his of his lights our world misses the meaning of him as the word and it says many others celebrated as a break from work and a chance to give gifts but no more than when Jesus came into the world, he came as the light of the world and that's the problem many people have.
They don't want a light shining into the dark places of their soul so they ignore Jesus even at Christmas. Welcome to wisdom for the heart. Today Stephen Devi has a lesson for you, entitled a light from God. Stay with us for this lesson coming right now. Display of this infinite glory is introduced to us in John's gospel chapter 1 he was first. If you are less described as the word WORDI John changes in his metaphor from describing Jesus Christ is the eternal word to this eternal light is effectively telling us that Jesus is fulfilling the messianic prophecy given to us by Isaiah looks gospel records that prophecy in reference to Jesus that he is calm the shy upon those who sit in darkness and under the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of chapter 1 for 79 Jesus Christ said if I could put it this way came to earth to turn on the light to fulfill all that had given glimpses of light. Now it seemed in its fulfillment in him. The apostle gives us in this paragraph and beyond several different reactions to this divine display of light let me highlight them for just a few moments. First of all, were told that the light is resisted. Look at verse five and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend. As a range of meaning that verb. In fact, is really not a good English equivalent and the context helps us understand what exactly it means you could express it is my text translated effectively.
The darkness just can't understand there would be truth and that by the way, any nuance by the way is true, it could also mean depending on the context that the darkness can't overpower.
Phillips translated the darkness can't put it out. Given the reaction that John is revealing to us of the world to the divine display.
I would prefer this particular nuance in your thinking that the ongoing reaction of the world is to try and snuff why the world can't John says it can't be done, world magazine just awarded recently. Their annual annual award.
This is an award they give to some believer who stood the test of endurance send testimony for Christ in this particular year. They gave it to 21 men he subscribed to that magazine may be of even seeing the picture. It is a rather haunting picture 21 men dressed in orange jumpsuits walking down a Libyan beach, flanked by Isis warriors clothed in black with black masks. They will be executed. What your news reports did not tell you is that they are being executed because they will not recant their faith in Jesus Christ and they have a picture where there kneeling on the beach about to be beheaded. The testimony of leaked out in an and different Christian news organizations do not, that every one of those 21 believers remained calm and composed.
In fact, at the very end.
Some of the testimony revealed that these men their last words were so Lord Jesus Lord Jesus, and in a matter of seconds. They saw the light was not extinguished. It is multiplied. In fact, you could translate verse five with the tents of these this original construction and the light shines in the darkness, you could render it and the light shines on in the darkness. The light continually keeps shining on in the darkness love that the darkness can't put it down.
Let me illustrate the meaning of what John is trying to say with something very simple candle in my hand, my wife is in this our social recognize it came from her arrangement honey, I'll return it as soon as the service is over and grabbed her this morning. Don't fade the lights out. Let me just do something illustrate Johnson. There is more darkness in here than light if we could multiply the size of this auditorium a thousand times a million times a billion times over the darkness of that auditorium still cannot put out this light fact, the longer we remain here at this moment, the brighter this light becomes the keep that in mind this is a this is the vision of the apostle in our Lord says that we also are the light of the world as we reflect him, no matter how dark it cannot extinguish even this solitary life will turn the lights back on the bad news is we live in a world of darkness. The good news is that is place us in a world of darkness and the darkness cannot put out the light. Well if people can't put it out if they can persecuted out.
Maybe they can just argue it out anything just deny away. Maybe we can come up with some clever way to fix some philosophical lenses or glasses to the middle seat we don't notice it. Maybe if I try hard enough I can refute it, that would be the next reaction of our world.
Not only is the light resisted the light is refuted. Verse 10 he was in the world. The world was made through him, and the world did not know him. The world did not know John is referring here. Not so much to intellectual knowledge. The world knows a lot about Jesus Franklin. I know people who don't even believe he's the son of God have given their lives to studying him which always amazes me when to pick a different subject. There are people in in in in your world and mine. You can check all the boxes about Jesus. This is an intellectual knowledge. This is a word. One linguist says is related to a desire this is a desire to be related to the idea John is effectively saying he came into the world and the world didn't want to be related to the world didn't want to have anything to do with them. And that's true is they didn't want to have a relationship with a lie. Why is the light that exposes who we are exposes my sin and the more of the light of God through his word.
I understand just what happens to me as a sinner.
I only become all the greater right so let's begin to figure out something. Maybe instead of just trying to deny what we just downplay it. What we just say you know you people are just talking too much about it or you're just a little too carried away about what will we redefine what we say. I know every religion has some lighted and in every human heart is a little lighted, not easily strips the meaning of divine light, so let's try to find out a way to find a way around Jesus Christ biologist Richard Dawkins, one of the more well-known skeptics of Christianity people culminating as he really is and if you read his writings is an agnostic museum quite sure in his book entitled the God delusion, he said on a scale of 1 to 71 being certainty that God exists in seven being certainty that God does not exist.
I am a six not quite there.
Six and many rights.
I cannot know for certain, but I think God is very improbable.
That's reassuring. I think God is very improbable and here's the key live my life on the assumption that he is not there and I really can't get to the core of that which light does. I really want it altered my life. I don't want to do revealed to me that I may be in some way shape or form accountable, so I didn't get around it that one recent admission.
More recent admission, cuts to the core issue of rejecting the light in this manner Thomas Nagel and father popular in the election of a book on philosophy that using universities in China. What does it all mean he wrote this. It isn't that I don't just believe in God, it's that I hope there is no God. I don't want there to be a God.
I don't want the universe to be like that and he goes on to talk about how it would alter his life got exist see the apostle John here in this text is revealing the heart of these humanist philosophers and by the way these humanist philosophers existence in the days of John. This is a new and a lot of times you'll find them providing apologetic answer a defense of Christianity, and he basically does that over in chapter 3 of the same gospel in verse 19. Reese is the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light. Why, because their deeds, their lifestyles are evil. We know why we want to stay in darkness. Even if it means were under this shadow of death. Apostle Paul explains in my writing that ungodly mankind suppresses the truth by unrighteousness by means of unrighteousness was just was just holding down the screen in front of it in a do something suppressant and so God were told in that chapter simply turns them over to accomplish what they really want the loss of their hard to impurity. We wanted our existing gods.
As you can have it. Romans chapter 1 verses 18 to 24 listed below in our world this Christmas season will celebrate this mother's birthday. Somebody they'd rather entirely ignore and they will miss the meaning of it.
And finally that's why only the church we try to get people to say Merry Christmas.
Why would we want an unbeliever to tells Merry Christmas when I don't know Christ doesn't bother me a bit by one bit. Our culture is dark and we are the light we're the ones you understand it, but we need to understand what John is saying the reason he's basically saying that our world misses the meaning of his of his lights are world misses the meaning of him as the word and it may says that on purpose and purpose just close the shades and lower the blinds. Maybe we won't see the light by Augustine.
The fourth century theologian church leader said it is of no advantage to be near light with your eyes closed. Leave us alone in the dark. The light is resisted. The light is refuted. Next, the light is outright rejected.
Look at verse 11. He came to his own and those who were his own did not receive. That's another way of saying he came to his own people. He came to his own nation and even his own family.
Early on, they did not receive them. However, keep in mind you can understand this in a broader context. Jesus Christ came into the world he created. This is your planet or mine is hands he created it has plans for it. Act according to Revelation is destroyed and traded no he came into the world he created. Among the human race. He created and nobody put out the welcome mat. In fact, when he came into the world, the world and effectively put out a sign do not disturb don't disturb us, even in his entrance into the world as a newborn baby.
We know the narrative well serves as a metaphor of the human heart is no room anywhere.
Certainly not a dead end which would've been packed with travelers and so there given accommodation and some outdoor stall or shoe not cave out of the elements. No room if we were God, I didn't how we would travel like that is and how many of us travel now. I take a trip you're going to you're going to go online and you're going to figure out the miles and and if you got to stay overnight somewhere you're going to call ahead and make a reservation in that hotel, you're not just going to assume that if you show up at 8 o'clock or 9 o'clock will be ripped you wouldn't do that you make all the preparations and and then you travel will we were God and in the sun is an incarnate, as it were, come here to be born of a virgin.
We would make sure that all the arrangements have been made ahead of time to be no surprises that we would be delivered by the finest physicians we would be delivered and there will be soft sheets and warm blankets and and little 40s and baby lotion all that stuff. Not here.
It is part of the meaning and the message of the coming one. That there is no room and still in nearly every human heart. You encounter today. They will tell you effectively is no room in here fact, leave me alone. I prefer my life as it is, don't turn on the light. The light is resisted.
The light is refuted. The light is rejected but for some in here.
The fourth and final response, the light is received verse 12, but I love that word. I prayed by the way, that's the hinge in your personal testimony, but this is the world's reaction is what they do but change direction, but as many as received him, to then he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name. Here's how to become a child of God. Here's how you effectively receive the word and the lights in your life and in so doing you are born into the family that you become a child of God. How do you become a child of God will John wants to hurry us to. I think the next phrase which is often ignored by telling us how you do not become a child of God sake alone. Verse 13 who were born noticed this. Not all blood blood does he mean he means you're not a child of God. Just because you're a human being.
I've met people that way. They believe in going to happen because they were born. I will now because I'm a human being in my throat when I killed anybody, which is a good thing that isn't necessarily to get you in that there can be people are going to killed other people. You're not a child of God because you just been born into the human race. You're not a Christian just because you're related. By the way, to genuine Christians. You're not a Christian because your wife is a Christian or because your grandfather was a Christian and maybe my relation to them to get in no fact I was raised in a godly Christian home with missionary parents and of iodide before my 17th year when I trusted Christ if I died died as a 16-year-old I would eventually be in hell forever. You don't get into heaven because of the blood that runs through your veins. Hey, I'm a human being an American, I forgot to go. They all get in. That would change heaven. John continues telling us we don't become children of God. Verse 13 not by blood, nor of the will of the flash. In other words, you do not become a child of God by doing things with authority and or by your flesh hands, your body, your feet, your voice, your actions, you're not a Christian because of the good things you've accomplished with your hands what you've done that might be good and that's wonderful that you've done good thing. Maybe you've given money away. You fed the poor.
Maybe you closed the poor eat.
You might even have taken your hand and sign the church membership card or maybe you took your body and you said yeah baptize me. You are not born into the family of God by the will of your flesh by something you do not a blot nor of the will of the flash notice, nor will man John means here is that you don't get to heaven just because you decided you want to go there. That's my will, but people tell me if you were to knock on the gate of heaven. I asked him and God says to you, why should I let you in event people tell me what because I want to want to be in there that's my wish.
Can I decide in my will to associate with the church can't sign something. Can't I pledge something. Can't I can't.
I promise something serious about this.
I made up my mind that I'm in heaven. So to the religious leaders of Jesus's day that you talk about religious passion you talk about keeping the rules you talk about dedication you talk about you talk about the ordinances and in the ceremonies and and and the praying and in the fasting none of us and hear none of us could never match the dedication to observations to rules to rituals to order the self deprecation deprived nation. None of us could come close to the Pharisees of Jesus's day which is why Jesus said to his audience. On one occasion unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees, you will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. What you say try harder. Now he saying nobody is getting nobody can exceed those in the religious observation and dedication, not by the will of man, would you decided to do but notice by the will of God you get into the family of God become rightly related to the word to the light by the will of God and what has the will of God revealed to us about how to become a Christian.
Now go back to verse 12 but as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name. Those who believe in his name does that mean I believe Jesus existed I can check that box that soak in any intelligent person who studies history. He was an historical figure. There are documentations of his life and in the things he did outside of Scripture that simply validate Scripture. What is it mean to believe in his name. You believe in one God, you do well.
James wrote the demons believe that in shutter demons are wonderful theologian and don't sit around and debate the creation of the universe. They were there when it happened.
They don't deny that crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. They know what it spells for them does it mean to believe in his name alone.
The ancient world. Someone's name is more than just a name person's name was given to them as a reflection of who their parents.
One of them to become. We do that a little bit anything more in the church than anywhere else. I love the customs of other countries work at their conversion to Christ in public profession by baptism they choose a name. I've met some wonderful Elijah is Paul's Isaiah is well you go back in the days of Christ and this is what in a manner reflected a characteristic is what Jesus did with Simon. He changed his name to Peter Temple or to become a rocklike in your faith. This is Saul.
More than likely named after the great king of Israel, who after his conversion as he saw the lights of the risen Christ knocked him off his horse. He would go by the name Paul means a little zippy.
I think every time he hears his name. He wants to be reminded that when contrasted to the greatness of his Savior. He has small name Jesus called his name Jesus. The Angels counterpart in the Old Testament's Josh means team team.
I hope you know Jesus Christ as your Redeemer today and I hope that your celebration of his incarnation later this month will be a time of great joy and blessing. This is wisdom for the heart.
A ministry of wisdom international featuring the Bible teaching of Stephen Davey.
I'm your host Scott Wiley the rest of this week and all of next week will be sharing some of Stephen's sermons that focus on Christmas. I hope that as you tune in each day God will use these messages to stir your heart as you prepare for Christmas. Listen to this brief note that we received here in the wisdom office.
I'm using Pastor Davies series on acts to study through that book.
I've used many of your resources there. Wonderful. I love the messages and especially appreciate your transcripts being available I'm facilitating a small group study on Revelation, so I've printed out your transcripts on parts of Revelation for additional resources for the ladies, thank you very much for having these available. She didn't share her name but were so glad to have received that the entire archive of Stephen's many years of preaching are posted on our website and on our app in addition to being able to listen. You can also download Stephen's word for word manuscript and we trust these resources will help you study God's word for yourself or lead others in a study visit wisdom online.org for information and then join us tomorrow for more wisdom for the heart