Our Scripture of the morning is found in John's gospel Chapter 1, and we would like to read, as the setting for the message, the first five verses. Beginning in verse 1, John writes: "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made, that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness overcame it not."
As we look at the passage that is before us may I say importantly, as I begin, this passage in terms of vocabulary is one of the simplest anywhere in the Bible and yet it embodies probably, well undoubtedly, what is absolutely the most profound truth in the universe. These words are word that a third grade child understands and yet they are words that the geniuses of the world's history would never be able to grapple with because they are words that talk about deity and deity is incomprehensible except by faith. Certainly no man's intellect can capture deity.
Now we are coming, this morning, to the beginning of our study of the gospel of John. And all throughout this gospel we are going to be face to face with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Well that's how John portrays Him and that is the burden of John's message. In John 20:31, John says, "These things are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that believing you might have life through His name." The very reason that John wrote this was to present Christ as God's Son, God in a human body, and he wanted to present God in a human body in order that you and I might believe in Him. So the pattern of John's gospel is the presentation of the deity of Jesus Christ and then what happens to that presentation. Some men believe, some men ignore.
Now John is one of four gospels and the question is often been asked why are there four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? Why not one composite? Why four and do they differ? Do they contradict? The answer yes they differ, no they do not contradict. They are four different viewpoints of Christ.
Now each has its own distinctness. In Matthew, for example, Jesus Christ is presented as the promised king and Messiah of Israel. Consequently Matthew's message to Israel and the world is this: Behold your king. Mark, on the other hand, does not present Christ as king, but presents Him as a servant/prophet. And that's the reason there's no genealogy in Mark because no servant had a genealogy that mattered. And so Mark's message to the world is behold your servant. And when you come to Luke's gospel you see that Luke presented Christ as the perfect man walking among the people of the world and so Luke's message is behold the man.
So Matthew wants us to behold the king, Mark wants us to behold the servant, Luke wants us to behold the man, that is the humanity of Christ. And now as we come to the gospel of John we see a completely dimension. We see when we begin the gospel of John that heaven opens up and the first thing that happens is the eternal Son of God descends. God and man, in one blessed and glorious person, the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ. And so John's message is behold your God. And his revelation was written to establish the truth of the divinity and the deity of Jesus Christ, that He is absolute total God of very God living in a human body. He is not half-God, half-man, He is total God and total man. And so the genealogy that John presents doesn't name any human beings. It goes right back to the time before time, the time of eternity, and says that He was there when it all began. That's His genealogy. He didn't start; he always was. So John presents to us God.
We can look at it another way. There is another unveiling in the order of the four gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the unveiling is very, very similar to the old Hebrew encampment. They had the tabernacle in the middle and all the tribes around. And in Matthew we find the writer surveying the theocracy, that is the rule of God in its entirety. In other words we see the whole camp surrounding the king and we see in Matthew God in the midst ruling all of them. And then as we move to Mark we move inside the outer court of the tabernacle, the place of service and sacrifice.
And that's Christ in Mark's gospel, the perfect servant, the perfect sacrifice. And then as we enter into Luke we move into the holy place where we find the candlestick of witness and the showbread of communion and Luke presents Christ in that picture carrying out His priestly work among men, witnessing and communing with them.
But when we come to the gospel of John we enter into the most sacred holy place of all, the holy of holies and we see God in person, God in flesh. And John ushers us into the holy of holies, the very presence of God. And so the fourth gospel is the gospel of all gospels. It is the holy of holies of the New Testament. It is almost as if we ought to take off our shoes for we stand on holy ground as we approach this gospel because it presents in the most magnificent glory the deity of Jesus Christ. It talks about His humanity, it talks about His servant hood, it talks about His kingship, but it presents primarily His deity. It is behold your God that John is trying to get across and we'll see it as we go.
Christ, then, becomes the theme of John's gospel just as He is the theme of John's three epistles and just as He is the theme of Revelation. Needless to say John loved Christ, also needless to say Christ loved John. There were no closer two than they two. And consequently when John writes he always writes about Christ. And the primary emphasis upon Christ in the gospel of John is His humiliation. And yet at the same time His embodiment of deity, whereas in Revelation it's His glorification. And as we read the gospel of John I promise you you'll really hear the beating heart of Jesus Christ. As we read the gospel of John and study it you're going to be able to lay your hands right on the nail prints of Jesus Christ and cry out with Thomas who said, "My Lord and my God," cause you're going to see Him for who He is. This is sacred territory.
And you know, the words of John are so simple that when you go to seminary or you go to graduate school to study Greek the first book that you ever translate is John. Why, because his vocabulary is so simple. You see he always takes the simple words and creates pictures of the most profound transcendent truths. That's John's way. And so John is plain but deep, so John is natural but mysterious. And John's gospel is as simple as a child and as sublime as an angel. John's gospel is as gentle as a lamb and as bold as an eagle. John's gospel is as deep as the sea and high as the heavens. It's sweeping and we present it with Jesus Christ, the blessed Son of God. And we're going to look into the face of Jesus Christ. We're going to stare into His face.
You say why, because as we boldly stare into the face of Jesus Christ Paul says, "We are changed into His image." I trust that when this time is over, even as it begins, we shall find ourselves being changed by the Holy Spirit because we are gazing face to face into the blessed Son of God. And so John presents the eternal word of God, Jesus Christ, and he presents what men did with Him. Some received, some believed, and some rejected and ignored. That's his message.
Now this morning we're going to begin with the prolong. The first 18 verses of John's gospel are a summary of the whole book. We're only going to be able to take the first five, but the first message in total is the first 18 verses and we'll take it in little parts. His main thesis is explained in verses 1 to 18 and expanded throughout the entire book.
Now John is in Ephesus when he's writing. It's sometime between 80 and 90 A.D., maybe about 87, we're not sure. He's an old man. It's 50 years since Christ has been around. Blessed memories. John sits with pen in hand and the Holy Spirit brings back memories. You say well looking back over 50 years didn't he forget a lot? Nothing. Didn't he make a few mistakes? None. Didn't he write down some wrong words? Not one. Why, because the Holy Spirit inspired him. Took the word out of his own brain, spun them around in the right sentences and gave them back to him and John wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and everything he wrote is the very word out of the mouth of God about Jesus Christ. You say why does he focus so much on this Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God? Why Him? Because, as Peter said, neither is there salvation in any other, for there's none other name under heaven given among men whereby we might be saved. That's the reason John talks about Jesus Christ. That's the only hope for man.
And I'll tell you in the 2,000 years since Jesus spoke these words, in the less than 2,000 years since John wrote them down, the solitary life of Jesus Christ is profoundly affected human affairs as well as the destiny of every soul that ever entered the world or ever will enter. What you do with Jesus Christ determines not only your life here and now, but your eternal destiny.
History contains the massive testimony, the impressive record of the effect of that one life on history, the lives of men and nations, and so John's message is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the presentation of His salvation and whether men believe or reject it. That's John's message.
Now as we begin our study, we shall meet the majestic, unequaled, beautiful, exalted, incomparable, Christ, the Son of God. And the first 18 verses we see Him in six ways. This morning we'll talk about the first two. And next week we'll start with the third. We see Christ in six ways. Here they are: the eternal Christ, verses 1 to 3, the incarnate Christ, verses 4 and 5, that is in a human body, the forerunner of Christ, verses 6 to 8, the unrecognized Christ, verses 9 to 11, the omnipotent Christ, all powerful, verses 12 and 13, and the glory of Christ verse 14 to 18. This morning we'll just consider the first two. Number one the eternal Christ, verses 1 to 3. Number two the incarnate Christ, verses 4 and 5.
Notice first of all, the eternal Christ. In the first three verses John presents His pre-existence that He is from eternity. In verse 1, John writes, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." John ascends beyond the beginning of Genesis 1:1. In Genesis 1:1 it says, "In the beginning God created the world." This is a different beginning. God says in the very beginning of beginnings. You say you mean there was a time when God began? No. But God knows no other words to convey this truth to us. From the very beginning of beginnings, which never began. If you like it that way, Christ was there. He always was. He never came into existence because He always was. You say I don't understand that. It's all right, neither do I. Neither does anybody else. Praise the Lord. If I understood it all I'd be God.
In the beginning of beginnings before beginnings even began God was. Just the first three words, in the beginning transport us into a realm that is absolutely beyond comprehension. It is one of those sweeping inspirational statements that surpasses human thought. In the beginning past when the heavens and the earth were created the Word already existed. From all eternity the Word existed. The Word was in the beginning of beginnings. The Word was not created. It never began. It always was. And when God set out to create this world the Word was already there, and the Word, of course, refers to Christ.
Perhaps the best comment on this is in Proverbs 8:27 and this is Christ in prophetic medium speaking. "When He, that is God, prepared the heavens, I was there. When he set a compass upon the face of the deep, when He established the clouds above, when He strengthened the fountains of the deep, when He gave to the sea its decree that the water should not pass His commandments, when He appointed the foundations of the earth, then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him, and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him." Christ says when it all began in the beginning I was there.
So John says yes in the beginning was the Word. He was there. He started, He was, He always was before it ever started, profound truth, simple language, profound truth, unable to be understood. And my I say to you if you're having problems understanding it remember this: if you come to the book of John with your intellect you're going to get it crucified. If you come to the book with your brain it's going to get stomped on. You come to the gospel of John with your heart and with faith. You don't come with your intellect. You'll never understand it you just believe it.
Why did you call Him the Word? Why doesn't he say in the beginning was Christ? Why the word? Well it's interesting. Two reasons: number one, the Jews would understand that and number two, so would the Greeks because both of them used that concept of the Word. Now the Greek word for Word is logos. You've heard of that, the logos. In the beginning was the Logos. Now the Jew understood this concept because word "word" meant something to the Jew. Now let me show you what I mean.
In the Old Testament it was the word of God by which God created the universe. The universe was created by the word of God's mouth, see, and everything that God did, His power, His will, His mind was directed toward men and it was always called his word. And the word of God came into so and so, and the word of God spake, and all that which emanated from God in terms of His power and His will and His mind and that means anything that came from God and contacted man was called the word. And so the Jew was very familiar with that concept because all through the Old Testament there was that reality of the word.
Now Christ comes into the scene and John says to the Jew, listen, if you wonder who that Word is just look at Jesus Christ. I mean if you want to see that Word, that creative, divine, reason and mind and will and power of God that you've seen all through the Old Testament era, if you want to see all that power gathered up and put in a body look at Jesus. That's who He is. Jesus Christ was the embodiment of the Old Testament concept of the Word. If you want to see the Word that brought the universe into existence, if you want to see the Word that gives the mind of God to men, if you want to see the Word that transmits life and light to the soul look at Christ, He is the embodiment of all that God is. And in the Old Testament all the power and the mind and the will of God that came from God was called His Word, but that which comes from God in the New Testament is His Son embodying that same thing.
That's why in Hebrews it says "God at sundry times and in diverse manners did what, spake by His word unto the Fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us, what, by his Son. The Son of God, Christ, embodies all that the Old Testament concept of the Word of God ever meant. So the Jew would understand, wouldn't he? You say you mean that God's will and God's power and God's mind and God's reason and all of these things has come to earth in a body? Absolutely, that's what Christ is. You say okay the Jews would understand that, not only that the Greeks would understand it.
Now Greeks were hung up on philosophy and philosophy, of course, has its problems. If there are a million philosophies in the world the chances are there are a million wrong ones, but nevertheless people go on philosophizing. There's only one truth. But the Greeks had an interesting concept. Let me just put it to you very simply. They believed in a super power. We'll call it God. They had to; it was obvious. And they believed that, that God had power and had a mind and had reason, and you know why they believed that, because men had a mind, had reason, and had power. So they believed it had to come from somewhere.
So Greek philosophers like Heraclides, Philo, Stoics, etc. they believed that God's mind and will was existing somewhere in space floating around and it gave man the ability to reason, and it gave man the ability to act and respond intelligently and have some kind of power. God's mind, then was alive and moving around somewhere. It was impersonal; in no way was it a person, it was just the instrument through which God made the world. It was sort of a philosophical power. In fact I'll quote Philo. Philo said, "The power of creation, the tiller by which God steers all things, the intermediary between the world and God, the priest, which sets the soul before God is this power that's floating around." Now what is it? You could say the wonderful blank of God that's floating around. The wonderful blip, blip, blip of God, that's doing all these things. Now what is this blip, blip, blip or this blank? Well they gave it a name. The Greeks called it something. You know what the called it? The Word. Interesting. They called it the Logos. And Logos is a Greek philosophical term expressing the identity of this power of God that makes things do what they do and creates and thinks and reasons.
So when John says in the beginning is the Word, you know what he's saying to the Greeks? He's saying, listen you're always talking about all this power of God and this mind of God and this reason of God and all this stuff floating around there it is in a body, Jesus Christ. You see, so he's saying to the Greeks Christ is the answer to what you're looking for. He's saying to the Jews Christ is the embodiment of all that God was for you in the Old Testament, so when he says in the beginning was the Word, he's gathering the whole world in his arms to express the reality of Christ. Fantastic thought! Simple word, profound thoughts!
And so the Greek knew all about the Logos and so did the Jew. And John by using the Logos is saying for centuries you've been looking for the Word of God, Israel, you've been looking for the Word of God, Greeks, there He is right there in the form of Jesus Christ. And isn't that what John says in verse 14, and the Logos became, what, flesh and dwelled among us. And so the Jew reading this understands, the Greek reading this understands and John has reached the world with that simple concept. He's telling men who Christ really is. He's the embodiment of all of God's power; in the beginning was the Word.
Then he takes a step further. The Word was not only there; the Word was with whom, God. You know the Greek construction here is fantastic. The Greek is proscontheon, and that kind of a Greek construction means this: listen, and the Word was face to face with God. In the Greek language that identifies the most intimate possible relationship of communication and communion and fellowship. In eternity past God was face to face with Jesus Christ. Tremendous reality. He was there with intimate communion and He loved it. Christ, to Him it was glory.
He had an unmatched, unparalleled divine face-to-face fellowship and communion with God in eternity past. But you know what? He gave it up didn't He? Paul says He didn't think it was a thing to hold on to so He let go, and He became a man, took on a body, and He let people spit on Him, and He let people crucify Him, and he let people blaspheme Him, and He died. Why, 'cause He loved us. You want to see the magnitude of His love? Listen, I'll show you a verse in the Bible that'll show you the magnitude of His love and the verse doesn't even mention the word love. Just contrast what He had in face to face glorious fellowship with God and what He had on the cross when He said, "My God, my God, what, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" That is an infinite contrast isn't it? That is the absolute extreme. And you know something before Jesus ever went to that cross His heart literally bled because He wanted that fellowship face to face with God so bad.
Let me show you the verse, John 17:5. Listen to Christ pouring out His heart in Gethsemane before He goes to die. "And now O Father," verse 5, "Glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory, which I had with Thee before the world was." He says, God, I want to be like it was before. I want that glory that I had when I was face to face with You. And then later in His prayer he said, "O God let this cup pass from Me. Can't bear to go to a cross and be forsaken by You." Then He stopped in His prayer and said, "Nevertheless, what, Thy will be done." You see the infinite condescension? Unbelievable. And even in the Garden sweating great drops of blood and He's praying, "O God give Me back the glory that I had with You before the world began." Why all this? Then he stopped and said wait, whatever You want me to do, Father, I'll do it. You say that's some kind of love isn't it? Especially when you think about the fact that we weren't even very lovable. We hated Him. The Word was with God and He loved being there. He had infinite fellowship, but He condescended.
And then John takes another giant step and boy this is the final step. What does he say? First of all he says, in the beginning the Word was there, in the beginning the Word was with God, and here comes the final step, in the beginning the Word was God. You notice the progression? The Word literally was God. Jesus Christ is God in a body. Nothing less. He is God in a body, the full mysterious deity of Christ exemplified in humility, and unbelievable condescension. And so at the very beginning John lays it down that Jesus Christ, the living Word, and He alone is the perfect revelation of God. There is no other. It is Christ and Christ alone. He is God in a body. All that God is is Christ. That's why Jesus said, "If you have seen Me you have seen the Father." I and the Father are, what, one.
Now notice verse 2. And this verse presents nothing new, but this has got to be the simplest statement. Look at this: "The same was in the beginning with God." So simple. Restating the profound realities of verse 1. And this is the way the Bible does it, puts these fantastic concepts in simple words so even though our minds can't touch them our faith can grab them. He's God; He always was God. And because He's God, listen to this, it's important, because He's God to do anything less than accept Him as God is blasphemy and there are religions and there are cults and there are people who deny that Jesus Christ always was, and that He is total God and they blaspheme Him. And you have had them come to your house and tell you that He's just a Son of God, and He's just one of the many gods, and you've had people say to you, "Well He was just a good man, He was so good God just dumped the Logos on Him at His baptism," very popular theory. That He wasn't God from eternity past. Listen that's blasphemy.
I want to show you how I know that's blasphemy, II John 7. Listen to what it says, "For many deceivers are entered into the world," now watch this, "who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh." In other words, there are people who say that Christ isn't God in the body, that He's just one of many gods, that He really isn't God like the current liberal line, that He's a wonderful man, a good teacher. When anybody comes to you and says anything less than Christ is God of very God from eternity past and there's none other like Him, then the end of verse 7, John says, this is a, what, a deceiver and an antichrist.
Now look at verse 10. "And if there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, and don't even say good day." That's what God-speed means. Out with you. Why? Verse 11, "For he that biddeth him God-speed is a partaker of, what, his evil deed." Blasphemy! You know how God feels about somebody who preaches a Christ other than the Christ of the Bible? You know how God feels about somebody who talks about a Christ who isn't the Christ, as we know Him in the Scriptures? A Christ who isn't God from eternity past, you know how God feels about them? I want to read you how He feels. Galatians 1:20, pardon me, Galatians 1:7, "Any other gospel than this that Christ is God in a body from eternity past," in the middle of verse 7 in Galatians, "But there are some who trouble you and would pervert, what, the gospel of Christ."
All right they're perverting it. They're denying the deity of Christ and liberalism some of these cults are saying He's one of many gods, and all this, "but though we or an angel from heaven," Paul says, "preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." That's pretty strong language isn't it? It's so strong Paul says it right over again in the next verse. "And we said before so say I now again," this is straight stuff, "if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received let him be accursed." God has a special curse on people who deny the deity and the Godhood of Jesus Christ. That's not something you play with.
Now that doesn't mean that you don't go and share Christ with people who don't know Him. That means that people who are heretics preaching another gospel you don't give them an audience. It the tables turned and they're willing to sit and listen to your Christ that's on thing. When they come to propagate their Christ, God has a curse on them. Don't even say good day. You say that's a little unkind. You'd better believe it. But that's what blasphemy deserves in God's eyes. Don't worry the Holy Spirit will work on them, if it's God's design.
And so he says Christ is with God, He is God. That's a tremendous truth because Christ coming to this world brought God to man. You know I remember Job in the Old Testament. Old Job, he had so many problems. But one of them was he was trying to search for God and he just got so frustrated. He just got all everything was going wrong so he says, "Behold I go forward and you're not there," and he says, "And then God I go backward and I can't perceive You, and then on my left hand where You do Your work and You're not around, and then I look on my right hand and You hide Yourself. God where are You?" And John says, "Here he is, right there in the form of Jesus Christ." He became a man. Great reality. The painful search is over for God because there He is.
And then in verse 3 he tells us just a little bit more about His eternity, His preexistence. "All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made." Pretty simple statement again, isn't it? Not real confusing. It's positive and negative. Positive? "All things were made by Him." Negative? "Without Him was not anything made that was made." What does that mean? That means that Jesus made everything. Everything? Everything.
My little boy says to me, "Well He didn't make a car." And my wife says, "But He made the stuff you make a car out of." It's all His. He owns the world. It belongs to Him and me, 'cause I'm a joint heir. This is my world too, but Jesus Christ made it all, and all things came into being by His hand, and there's nothing that exists that He didn't make.
Like the little girl walking in the woods one day and said to her mom, "Do you think God would mind if I picked a few of His flowers?" You see everything came into being by the divine word of God and Christ is that Word in a body, right? And the Bible teaches and we believe that Christ created the world out of nothing and John here is kind of hitting at some Gnostics. There was a group called the Gnostics. They were heretics and they said that God didn't create the world because the world was evil. And John says, "Listen, Jesus made it all," every bit of it. Just because it's marred and injured it isn't His fault. Listen if you don't think Jesus owns this world just read Revelation Chapter 10, and watch Him come and take it back. It's His!
This is Christ's world. He made it. It belongs to Him. And you know something fantastic; in salvation He's really winning back what He made to begin with. In fact, when He comes again, you know the whole world, Romans 8, the whole world groaning waiting for the redemption? The world is in a struggle. Weeds grow in your garden. Animals fight each other. The whole world is in one constant struggle and someday Jesus is going to come back, not only to redeem men, but to redeem the world. And you know what's going to happen when He comes and reigns? All of a sudden the lion and the lamb do what? They lie down together and the kids go over and they play in the snake pit. Nature is marred, but when Jesus redeems the whole world, because it's His, it's going to change.
And so we embark on our study of Christ as John introduces Him in His eternity. The eternal Christ, tremendous, tremendous truth. He always was, His preexistence.
Now secondly we see the incarnate Christ. We see Him as He's just sort of sketched, as He becomes a body to indwell our world. Verses 4 and 5, "He came to the world to bring life and light," and these two verses express the purpose of His incarnation. "In Him was life and the life was the light of men and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness overcame it not." In other words this pictures Christ, the embodiment of life and light coming into the world and how darkness reacted to Him. This is His incarnation right here. In these verses John reveals two things to us, that Christ is the life of God and the light of God. I want you to watch these.
Verse 4 says, "In Him was life." Well listen look back at verse 3, if He created everything I guess it was. I guess it had to be in Him. After all He made everything that's alive. In Him was life. He must be the source of all life. Listen, Jesus Christ is the source of life from a butterfly to an archangel, but John's particular message isn't so much concerned with physical life as it is with spiritual and eternal life and that's really what he's talking about. And he uses the word dzoay, which is the word for spiritual life. The word biosfrom which we get biology is the word for physical life. He uses dzoay, Jesus Christ is the source of spiritual life. You say well what do you mean by spiritual life? Well if we define spiritual death maybe you'll understand spiritual life.
Paul says in Ephesians 2:1, that the unsaved man is dead in sin. Spiritual death means that you can't respond to God. It's like a dead corpse. You punch it with a pin and nothing happens. A person who doesn't know God you can jab him with spiritual truth there's no response, but Christ comes and what's the one thing a dead man needs most life so Christ comes and gives him life. And that's why 54 times in John's gospel he talks about life. You know the world is populated by a bunch of dead people. People who don't know Christ are existing in death and Christ came to give them life. After all they're not going to get it anywhere else, are they? He's the source. That's why it's so ridiculous for people to think they find the answer to life in all kinds of diddly little things that, Christ is the only source of life. The only thing that ever made a dead man come alive was Jesus Christ.
So John 54 times in his gospel talks about life. That's why Christ came. What did He say? "I'm am come that you might have, what, life. You will not come unto Me that you might have, what, life? I am the way, the truth and, what, the life." John says, "He that hath the Son hath life." Life, life, life for dead people, dead in sin, insensitive to God, insensible, existing in deadness, and Christ comes and He can breathe into us spiritual life and we come alive. In Him was life, and then he brought that life into the world and the next part of the verse says, "And the life was the light of men." Jesus brought that life into this world and you know what, he was like a light. You take the light itself and the rays of light that come from it and John says, "Christ came in with that life and that life was like light." As light emanates from its source, so did life emanate from its source.
And Jesus came into this world the light of life. He uses these terms light illustrates life. It's not something different; its the same thing illustrated. Just like light emanates from its source, so that life emanated from Christ. And His life was the light of man. And the life of Jesus Christ resurrection spiritual life scattered all over this world and you know how many men it affected?
Look at verse 9, "That was the true light, which lighteth how many men? Every man that cometh into the world has fallen under the light spread about by spiritual life in Jesus Christ. Then somebody says to me, "Are people responsible who've never heard the gospel. And I say to you that's the light that lighteth every man. What you do with that light is what matters. Every man knows enough of Christ to be responsible.
So Christ came in and that life was like light. It just spread all over the place to light men's hearts. Say, how can I have that? How can I have that life, that light in a dark heart and in a dark world? Simple. I told you John's simple. How? By believing. You say well what does it mean to believe? Well 70 times, did you get that? 70 times is John's gospel he talks about believing. You say what do I have to do to believe? Well it's very simple. First of all you have to be convinced in your mind that Christ is the Son of God, secondly you have to trust with your heart that everything He said is true, and thirdly you commit your life to those two things. That's believing. It's not just to say oh yes He's the Son of God. It's not just to say oh yes I believe what he said. It's to do that and then commit your life to those beliefs. When you do that you're going to stop dying and existing in death and start living life with a capital L. And it's not only spiritual life here and now, it's got eternal qualities.
You know something? If you're a Christian you're living eternal life right now. Eternal life is not a length of life it's a quality of life and it's just as eternal as it ever will be. And this life was the light of men. The character of light is to shine forth and the life of Christ just came out of Him and 21 times in John's gospel he says Christ is the light. But it's a sad thing because in Chapter 3, verse 19, he says men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Christ comes with a life that shines like light and men love darkness. What a sad thing that is. When you think about the condescension of Jesus Christ, what He gave up to bring you the life and light of God, and then men say no to Him.
Look at verse 9, "He's the true light." The only light, He's the only life, and without Christ men are groping in an unmarked blackness and eternal night is ahead. When Jesus comes into a life the time of guessing and groping is over. The days of doubt and uncertainty are gone, and the path of darkness becomes light and the way becomes clear through all eternity. Jesus Christ is life and light. He's light in a dark world and He's life to a dead soul. If you're existing in deadness and blackness of night Jesus Christ could turn on the eternal lights and give life to your soul.
And I love this last verse, verse 5, "And the light shines in darkness." That's right. It's a dark world, isn't it? The prince of darkness rules the world, and who's the prince of darkness? Satan. And the demons of darkness are his cohorts. And men love the darkness; they eat it up, because their deeds are evil.
Listen if you've got a dirty life you're not about to walk in the spotlight and display it. Listen, they love the corners and the places where it's dark. And the light comes into this world and shines in the middle of all this darkness and every place where there's the life of Jesus Christ, whether it was in the Christ Himself when He was living on the earth, or whether it's in you right in your neighborhood, that's the light shining in darkness. But most of all it refers to Christ. He came into this world and there was the light and you know the darkness tried everything it could to get rid of that light, didn't it.
I mean Satan took Jesus Christ in his temptation and tried to derail Him from the cross. Satan attacked Him again in His high priestly prayer. Satan tried every way, and finally Satan figured maybe I can join in on a kill and make it deadly enough that He won't come back, and Satan tried every possible way to turn the light out. Did he do it? You know what, that's what the end of verse of 5 said. It says the darkness comprehended it, not in your Bible, or overcame it.
You want me to give you the Greek? Listen to this, beautiful. The light shines in darkness, now watch this, and the darkness did not put it out. Katalambano,the darkness couldn't put it out. You want to know something? All the darkness in the universe couldn't distinguish the light of a single match. Do you know that? Do you think that all the darkness of hell itself could extinguish the brilliant glow of a billion suns that Jesus Christ gives off? No darkness can put out that light. And Jesus Christ is that light and the darkness tries and struggles and all the darkness of hell can't turn that light out.
One of these days, ladies and gentlemen, not very far from now, it's going to come back in all its blaze of glory. But even now that light is shining brilliantly in the lives of many of you. Satan hates it and he fights it but he can't turn it out. No, when Jesus came the darkness when after Him. Satan and his demons and hell itself tried to stop it, didn't work. They tried every way they could to extinguish the light. They couldn't do it. Christ is still there giving life, giving light.
So we see His incarnation in verses 4 and 5. He came into the world as the light. He who was from eternity past came into time to give men life and light their souls. I trust that the divine life of Christ is a reality to you. I trust that the light of God in the person of Jesus Christ has lit your heart for eternity. Jesus Christ is the eternal God. Jesus Christ is the incarnate God in a body. He is life and light. There's no question about that. The only question is what are you going to do about it?
Father we thank you this morning for Your word.