David Lee Brown
Grace Upon Grace from Our Creator God
An expository sermon on John 1:1-16 KJV
The purpose of this sermon is to solidify your understanding of Christ Jesus' deity and further understand that His grace alone provides salvation. I love the phrase, "by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone." That sums it up very well. But now you need to clearly understand why that phrase is true and how to apply it to your life today. If you want to have a personal relationship with the creator, master, and sustainer of everything that ever was or will be, understanding the deity of Christ is profoundly important. Not understanding Christ's deity is like having a car without a motor. You can get in and pretend or imagine you're going somewhere, but in reality, you're going nowhere. Such is church life without the realization that Christ Jesus is our creator God and the only provider of salvation.
Unfortunately, some people, pastors, and even Christian seminaries question the deity of Christ. So, from our passage today and your own Bible studies concerning the deity of Christ, let's put that false doctrine to rest. Here are a few verses to get you started for your personal Bible studies. Luke 22:70; John 10:30; John 10:38; John 12:45; John 14:7-10; Matthew 16:16; Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 6:15; Hebrews 1:3; Revelation 19:16 [Provide scripture references upon request.]
If you're physically able, please stand for the reading of God's Word. If you have your Bible with you, please turn with me to the book of John, Chapter one, verses 1-16. [Read the verses aloud.] So, we see in verse one, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The gospel of John is the only gospel that takes us back to creation. The other three gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) start with Christ's arrival in human form. But when comparing the words translated, beginning, in Genesis and John, the Word meaning is a little different. In Genesis, the Hebrew word is reshith denoting "beginning, chiefest, firstfruits, part, time, principal thing," according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. This definition shares the initial creation from nothingness. In John, the Greek Word is archē, meaning "magistrate, power, principality, principle, rule." according to Strong's. In other words, He who created from the beginning.
So, who created? [Pause for answers] Jesus, also known as the Word, is who created. In Greek, the word logos means "the Word." The connotation is that the Word is a holy doctrine spoken or preached. In other words, the Word is the God that spoke everything into existence from the beginning.
John confirms that Jesus is the Word in verse 17 when he says, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Verse one continues, "and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The word God in Greek is the word theos, meaning "the supreme Divinity, God." The scripture continues, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." This creative power further solidifies Jesus' deity. Jesus is God! The divine creator God of everything that ever was or will be!
Therefore, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John proclaims Jesus to be the beginner or creator of everything. Verse two states, "The same was in the beginning with God." This presence with God also helps solidify the doctrine of the Trinity because it shares that Jesus (God the Son) and God the Father existed congruently as one God. According to scripture, we also need to add the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Godhead. Our thrice Holy God is one eternal and self-existent God in three persons.
Verse four shares, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." In other words, Jesus is the creator of all life, and His life reveals the knowledge and wisdom of God. Further, He alone reveals God's Word to humanity. This revelation also strengthens the doctrine of Sola Scriptura or the Holy Scriptures alone. All we need is the Holy Bible. No other writings or "word from god" is necessary. The Bible is all-sufficient.
Various religious sects require additional scriptures. For instance, the Mormons hold their Book of Mormon and its companion book, the Pearl of Great Price, equal to or even superior to the Holy Bible. The Jehovah's Witnesses hold the writing of the Watchtower Society equal to or even superior to the Holy Bible. They also rewrote the Bible to conform to their doctrines and named it the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. I do not recommend this version!
In verse five, we learn, "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." According to Calvin, "The statement that the light shineth in darkness is not at all intended for the commendation of depraved nature, but rather for taking away every excuse for ignorance." In other words, the Light of the scriptures leaves us no excuses for ignorance of God's divine will. Jesus is not only referred to as the Word but also as the Light within scripture. So, He is the light shining through the darkness. But the dark side of human knowledge and sinfulness makes it difficult for us to understand and obey the Light of holy scripture.
Speaking of himself, in verses six through eight, John wrote, "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light but was sent to bear witness to that Light." So, who is the Light? [Pause for answers] Yes! Jesus is the Light! John was bearing witness to Christ Jesus!
We see in verses nine and ten, "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." Jesus has cast His divine Light on everyone. He entered this world wrapped in flesh to provide His Light of revelation to this world that He Himself created. But He was not of the world. In other words, "the world knew him not" because Jesus was in the world but lived in perfect obedience, so he was not of the world. We cannot obey God's Holy Scriptures perfectly, and if anyone tells you that they have lived a sinless life after being saved by God's grace, they're lying! Only Christ Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life. That's why "the world knew him not." We cannot comprehend living a perfect life, so our nature pushes us to reject Him.
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not." Verse eleven talks about humanity in general and the people of Israel specifically. Jesus came to His own people, but He could have gone to the gentiles first and shared the gospel with them. But He didn't. He went to the Jews first to share with them the Light of God's knowledge and wisdom. Unfortunately, the Jews were looking for a different messiah. They were looking for a King who would be both a spiritual leader and a political leader. So, they didn't receive Jesus. The English Word receive is the Greek Word paralambanó, which means "by analogy, to assume an office; figuratively, to learn – receive." Therefore, they rejected or "received not" Jesus as a leader or king and dismissed or "received not" what he was teaching.
Jesus' own hometown rejected Him, and you can find that occurrence in Luke chapter 4. Jesus was preaching from the books of the prophets, and Luke 4:21 shares, "And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." The things Jesus revealed to them through Old Testament scripture were concerning himself. When they realized that Jesus was demonstrating His deity, everyone got angry! Luke 28-29 says, "And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong." Fortunately, Jesus was able to pass through the crowd and depart. So, again, they rejected Him as king and rejected his message.
But some people accepted Jesus, as shared in verses twelve and thirteen. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Those that believed in Jesus as Messiah and their savior were given the power to become born-again sons of God. We are not flesh and blood sons and daughters of God but born-again spiritual children of God! And joint heirs with Christ and able to enter the kingdom of heaven with Him! Because of Christ's sacrifice and our acceptance of Jesus as our savior, we are the sons and daughters of our Almighty God!
Verse fourteen says, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. The Logos - the Word that spoke everything into existence, became flesh. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin to enter this world to redeem, justify, and sanctify all who would accept His gift of grace. Christ dwelt among us with the brightness of his Father's glory, even when he lived among us in this sinful world. He lived as a human with all the temptations of this world bombarding Him daily, but He never sinned. Imagine a perfect lily of the valley dwelling amongst the thorns, muck, and mire of an almost forgotten road. Jesus became flesh and dwelt with sinful humanity but never sinned and then died for us! Praise the Lord for his grace and truth!
Speaking about John the Baptist, John the Apostle said, "John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me." If you remember, John the Baptist was born before His cousin Jesus, so why did John say, "for he was before me."? [Pause for answer] Yes! Because Jesus was more significant than John in status and is God the Son and has existed within the Godhead or Trinity eternally. So, we can conclude that God revealed to John the Baptist that Jesus is God. Further, after John baptized Jesus, the Spirit of God descended on Jesus "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" was heard. So, the divinity of Christ is further reinforced directly by God.
And lastly, verse 16 says, "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." In other words, all of us that have accepted Christ as Savior receive grace upon grace. So, we receive heaping piles of blessings and unwarranted favor! Wow! God is so good!
Jesus's deity is, in my opinion, unquestionable. The Bible clearly reveals Jesus to be God the Son. Jesus, our creator God, left the perfection of heaven to become human so that he could sacrifice Himself for a humanity that, more often than not, rejects Him! His profound love, mercy, and generosity are completely unwarranted, yet He died for us! He died for us willingly and in the most horrific way imaginable!
If you haven't accepted Jesus' gift of grace, would you please choose it now? We aren't guaranteed another moment on this earth, so now is your chance! He is God, and He is the only way to heaven, so if you're relying on anything else to get you to heaven, you are on the wrong path. Turn from that path and follow the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation, eternal life, an eternal relationship with God, and a dwelling place in heaven. Praise the Lord! Let's pray. [Prayer of invitation.]
 "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: Hebrew 7225. רֵאשִׁית (reshith) -- Beginning, Chief." Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. Accessed November 19, 2022. https://biblehub.com/strongs/hebrew/7225.htm.  "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: Greek 746. ἀρχή (arché) -- Beginning, Origin." Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. Accessed November 19, 2022. https://biblehub.com/strongs/greek/746.htm.  "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: Greek 3056. λόγος (logos) -- a Word (as Embodying an Idea), a Statement, a Speech." Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. Accessed November 19, 2022. https://biblehub.com/strongs/greek/3056.htm.  "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: Greek 2316. θεός (theos) -- God, a God." Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. Accessed November 19, 2022. https://biblehub.com/strongs/greek/2316.htm.  "John Calvin: Commentary on John - Volume 1 - Christian Classics Ethereal Library." Home - Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Accessed November 19, 2022. https://ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom34/calcom34.vii.i.html.  "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: Greek 3880. παραλαμβάνω (paralambanó) -- to Receive from." Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. Accessed November 19, 2022. https://biblehub.com/strongs/greek/3880.htm.  "Bible Gateway Passage: Matthew 3:17 - King James Version." Bible Gateway. Accessed November 19, 2022. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+3%3A17&version=KJV.