Grace and peace to you beloved in the name of Jesus Christ. Today we are going to look at v.1 and v.14. Mainly v.14. And the Word became Flesh. Everything I say this morning I desire to be an explanation of, or an illustration of or a benefit of – and the Word became flesh.
You remember last week I started a three sermon mini series on the Message of Christ from John 1:1-18. In our passage we see three things. In V.1-5 we have the divinity of Christ. In V.6-13 we have the proclamation of Christ and the reception of Him unto our salvation, then in V.14-18 we have the incarnation of Christ.
Today we are considering the humanity of Christ from v1. And v.14. Jesus Christ is a real human being. He has a real body and a real soul. And having a body is especially to enable Him to die for the sins of His people. This is what Hebrews 10:1-10 (which I believe quotes a psalm or two) teaches us. To represent us. To save us. In our nature. For us. Well that is the essence of my sermon. At least I hope it is. 😊
The liberation. Christ sets us free.
And what a happy day today is. Seven Lord’s Days without corporate worship, eight weeks, two months since our last time together.
I suppose many of us now know what David felt in Psalm 63 when he was in the wilderness and could not worship God corporately with the people of God. What rejoicing to be admitted once again into the courts of the Lord. With shouts of joy and tears of happiness. (Ps.137:1-6, Isa.55:12, Ps.126:3-6) We sowed in tears. We reap in joy. The joy of corporate worship.
This is after all the great worship in the Father sending the Son in the flesh. The Word became flesh to save and cleanse sinners, to make us holy acceptable worshippers of a holy God. The Father is seeking worshippers – IN the Word made flesh.
So for a time, the Lord has taken away. Perhaps we did not esteem His gift. But in His great mercy, He has given again. (Job 1:21, Job 42:10-17)
As an aside. I will say, since I believe that God governs all His creatures and all their actions. I know that God governed the loss of our liberties. And I do wonder why? I cannot, or course, be dogmatic. But I know judgment begins with the house of God first. And I know that often in the OT God would bring pestilence against His people to correct them for living like Gentiles. So my first instinct is not to look at the unbeliever. But rather to look at myself. Lord are you correcting me? Have I been neglecting my liberties in Christ? Lord, show me. Lord revive me. Lord reform me. Just a thought.(WCF 5.5)
But may we thank Him for His kindness and increasingly use our freedoms for His glory. What a gracious God we serve.
And we know that it is Christ that has ultimately set us free from our worst form of bondage, spiritual slavery to sin and Satan. And it is Christ that enables us to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, in holiness and in love. Oh happy day to be free in Christ.
Free to love God with a childlike love because the Word was made flesh. (Col.1:13, WCF 20.1)
The Sabbath. Christ gives us rest.
And may we delight in His day of rest, the holy Sabbath. May we delight in the One who gives us rest from the curse of God for the sins of man, rest from our struggles, rest in our struggles. (Gen.5:29, Isa.56:1-7, 58:14, Jer.17:21-26, Exod.20:12) Oh how we need rest. Oh how weary we are.
Jesus says to us,
Matthew 11: 28. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Remember, the writer to the Hebrews tells us Christ is our great Sabbath rest. (Heb.4:1-11) Christ gives us rest from sin, from Satan, from fear, from despair. And Christ gives us holy pardon and peace and hope and courage.
This day, the day above all other days of the week, the day sanctified by the precept and practice of our Lord, is the day He gives us to consider Him. And all that we have in Him. Looking forward to heaven, the eternal Sabbath rest. (Gen.2:1-3)
Today is the day that the Lord hath made so we could worship our Creator and remember His goodness to us as His creatures. (Mt.5:45, Acts 14:15-17, 17:25, Ps.136:25, Dt.10:18)
Exodus 20:11. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
Today is the day that the Lord hath made so that we could worship our Savior and remember all His redeeming mercies to us. We once were slaves of sin and now we are God’s beloved children freed to love Him, freed to experience His love, freed to show that love to others. (Ps.118:24)
Deuteronomy 5:15. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.
And we have our rest by the Word made flesh.
The subject. Christ fills our hearts.
Therefore, I can think of no better subject to consider on this great day of liberation and freedom and joy than to turn our eyes upon Jesus Christ and look full into His blessed face. (hymn #481)
My thinking is, in times of sorrow live upon Christ, in times of happiness live upon Christ.
Christ calls those that believe in Him and follow Him – His disciples. (Lk.22:11, Jn.13:35, Mt.11:28-30) Disciple in Greek means ‘learner of’. Beloved, can you think of a better subject to study than Jesus?!
Imagine what our personal lives and our families and our churches would look like if we spent as many hours in the Bible on our knees studying Jesus as we spend on the internet looking at things destined to perish. (2 Tim.2:1-10, Col.2:22, 2 Pt.3:10-18, I Pt.4:1-7, Col.3:1-3, I Cor.7:31, Jam.4:1-10, I Jn.2:8-17)
Imagine how much gospel-good we could do to this sin-dying world if our hearts and minds were filled with Jesus! The eternal Word become flesh. (Jn.3:30) Could we ever exhaust the wonders of this!?
I Timothy 3:16. By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.
Beloved let’s grow in our knowledge and love of Christ from babes, to little children, to strong young men and women and finally to mature fathers and mothers in Christ.
And some day we will be presented to Him as mature, or complete, or perfect, as the apostle Paul says. Perfectly conformed into Christ’s image, which is the great goal of our new life in Christ. (I Cor.3:1, I Jn.2:12-18, I Cor.14:20, Eph.4:13, Heb.5:14, Phil.3:1-14, Rom.8:29)
The Scripture. Christ fulfills God’s word.
Now let’s consider the larger text, John 1:1-18. John opens his account of the gospel with the One who is the Good News – Jesus Christ.
Beloved, the Gospel is about Jesus Christ. The Bible is about God’s promise to send the seed of the woman to crush the head of the serpent to set God’s people free. From the seed of the woman, to the seed of Abraham, to the seed of David, now come through Mary. The Word became Flesh. He is the Good News.
That is what we see in our passage. Christ has come to die for the sins of the people to set us free. That is the Good News. He does all the saving. Just like He does all the creating.
Never forget that. Every false Gospel mingles what Christ does with what we do. Paul says, add one work of ours to the work of Christ, to the grace of God and we destroy grace. (Rom.11:6)
The Holy Spirit pronounces anathema on this. (Gal.1:6-11, 5:4, Rom.3:20-28, 9:30-33, 10:1-6)
It is also a good rule of thumb to follow when we study our Bible or when we sit under the ministry of a minister, to ask ourselves, am I hearing more about Jesus? Or more about Man or self? Salvation? Holiness? Heaven? Or earth? Always recognize the emphasis. There is always an emphasis. Even our own emphasis.
And God has promised to send His Redeemer to Israel, through Israel. The Messiah will be David’s son and David’s Lord. The Savior will be a Jew after the flesh.
John says Jesus is that Israelitish Messiah.
John 1:11. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
Salvation is of the Jews. In this One all of the families of the earth will be blessed.
We are taught. The Bible is true. The Word was made flesh from the line of Judah.
The addition (kenosis). Christ veils His Deity.
V.1. John has already told us clearly that the Word, the second Person of the Trinity, the Son of God, Christ is God. And the Word was God.
And the Word became Flesh. (Phil.2:1-11, the hypostatic union of the two natures)
We can never forget the true Deity of Christ. Our Messiah was and is eternal God. Christ in His coming to save His people from their sins becomes something that He beforehand was not. The eternal Word becomes Man in time. The Messiah has two natures. His divine nature is uncreated, essential and eternal. His human nature, a true body and a true soul, He takes from the virgin Mary. She conceived Christ being overshadowed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Both natures are necessary for our salvation. As God He represents God to Man. As Man He represents Man to God. And Christ has these two natures in one Person.
What this means for us practically beloved is this. Christ has all of the qualities and attributes of eternal God because He is eternal God come in the flesh. We cannot. He can. He takes away the curse of God for sins. He is God. He is able. He gives us life from death. He takes away sin and gives righteousness.
He has omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence – for us. (Jn.1:4, 17:3)
He restrains our spiritual enemies. He provides for us in all of our needs. He keeps us. Not one sheep will be lost. Not one hair from our head will fall to the ground but by His will. He governs us by His all wise, all knowing, all good, all kind and all powerful providence. All His government to us is designed to correct, restore, cure, improve our faith in Him, our conformity into His image, our holiness. All adjusted perfectly, individually, specifically for what we need.
Our beloved, our Redeemer, the Word made flesh never sleeps or slumbers. He always watches over you and cares for you.
The revelation. Christ reveals God to man.
V.14. The way that John puts it is the Word became flesh. Is this a mystery? Yes. And no. Yes, it is a mystery, because as we said last week considering the divinity of Christ and the Trinity of God, these things are beyond our capacity to understand fully. But this is not a mystery in another sense. God clearly said it. God has clearly revealed it to man. God wants man to know God and to be known by God. And this can only occur as we are found in Christ.
This is what God the Son thanked God the Father for in His high priestly prayer.
John 17:3. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. 6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.
Christ reveals God to us by His two natures. The invisible becomes visible. That is what John is getting at in verses 17 (realized) and 18 (explained). Christ has ‘explained’ Him. Christ has revealed God to man by Himself becoming man. (Prov.8:9, Job 28:12)
This is why Christ will later say to Philip, if you have seen Me you have seen the Father. (Jn.14:9) I and the Father are one. (Jn.10:3)
These truths are easily reconciled with the statement of Christ, that the Father is greater than I. (Jn.14:28) As regards to His Deity Christ is co-equal with the Father (and the Spirit). As regards to His humanity and specifically in His role as Redeemer-Savior, Christ subordinates Himself under the Father. Christ as Savior condescends to the Father to be sent by Him, to go to the Cross and purchase the salvation of His people with His blood.
The larger point is, to see Christ in the flesh is to see God in the Flesh. God could be heard with the voice of a man – by other men. God could be touched with human hands.
I John 1: 1. What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life– 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us– 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. (Rev.19:11-13, 2 Cor.4:3-4, Col.1:15, Phil.2:1-8)
Colossians 1: 19. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
Colossians 2:8. Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
And the key is this, by God’s desire or purpose. God wants to reveal Himself as loving Savior and Reconciler to those who hate Him and love sin. (Gen.3:15) This is why God has given us His Bible. So we can know Him. So we can live with Him forever. Because God is love. (I Jn.4:7-20)
John 20:31. but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
I John 4:2. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;
The excursus. The error. Christ reveals true humanity in Him is good.
(Notes only) I believe that the apostle John here is correcting a heresy of his day, a heresy of the Gnostics that said that all flesh is evil and only spirit could be good. Beloved, flesh is not inherently evil. Material physical things are not inherently evil.
God made all that is. Read Genesis one and two. Before sin, all things were good and very good.
In creation God created the bodies of Man, of the first male and the first female. God made Adam from the dust of the earth. And He breathed into Him the breath of life, made him a living soul. God made Eve out of the rib of Adam. Good and very good.
Human bodies before sin were beautiful and perfect by God’s design. And man’s soul was pure and untainted with sin. (Gen.1:26-31, 2:7-25, I Cor.15:45) Perfect body and soul to love and serve a perfect God.
What this implies for us is that Christ will redeem both our body and our soul.
Some day we will have a glorified body joined to our glorified souls. A beautiful body joined to a beautiful soul. All holiness. All happiness. Able to enjoy God perfectly. Perfect eyes and ears and perfect heart to see and hear and love God. Forever.
Let me say something on religious error in general.
All religion espoused by Natural Man is darkness. Spiritually dark minds and hearts cannot produce spiritual light. The Natural Man is always wrong on religion. This is Paul’s point in Romans 1:18-32 and Romans 8:7. To the unbeliever religious foolish things are true. And true religious things are foolishness. And this is especially true on what unbelievers believe and teach about Jesus Christ. They always miss the truth of the true Christ.
Only the Bible reveals pure saving truth in our only Savior Jesus Christ. And only the Holy Spirit can give us the faith to believe the truth of Christ as He is presented to us in the Bible.
And God regularly in His word will show His enlightened children certain common religious errors so that our corruption would not lead us astray. This is what the book of Galatians is about. God tells His saved children, stay away from the false gospel of faith in Christ plus your good works for your salvation.
The solidarity or the sympathy. Christ becomes one of us.
That brings me to my final point. The humanity of Christ shows the solidarity of Christ with us.
The eternal word became flesh as our Savior. Our Savior became like us in every way except He had no personal sin. (Heb. 2:16, Gal. 4:4, Heb. 2:14, Heb. 7:24-25. Heb. 4:15-16, Gal. 4:5)
Galatians 4:4. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Christ became a man to represent man in order to save us from the broken Law. Adam failed in His covenant. We fell in Him. Christ comes as the second Adam. He comes to succeed in keeping all of the precepts of the Law and paying all the penalties of the Lord. For real people. For people with a body and a soul. Christ in our nature kept the Law. For us.
Hebrews 2:14. Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
Hebrews 4:14. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Christ entered into our estate of sin and misery to rescue us out of it. He left glory for misery. For us. He veiled His glorious divinity with the rags of our humanity. For us.
Think of this Beloved. We are born of a woman. He was born of a woman. We learn to walk and talk. Christ learned to walk and talk. We hunger. He hungered. We thirst. He thirsted. We weep. He wept. We are attacked by the devil. He was attacked by the devil. We die. He died. (2 Cor.13:4, Ps.78:39, Rom.8:3, 2 Cor.5:21, Isa.40:6. The flesh enables Christ to DIE. Heb.10:1-10)
He did all this, for us. Oh beloved, He rose. We will rise. Everything He did, everything He went through, He went through for us. For His Bride. Do you see why Christ is our sympathetic High Priest? He knows. And He cares. Think of this. Christ is at the right hand of God, right now, in our nature praying for us. Oh beloved, study Jesus. Learn of Him. Look to Him. Love Him. Be absorbed with Him. Soon we will see Him. As He is. And we will be like Him!
- What are main truths taught in the three sections contained within John 1:1-18, v.1-5, v.6-13, v.14-18? Who is the main subject of John 1:1-18? What does this teach us? (Heb.10:1-10)
- What do we learn by God taking away and God giving? Why would God restrict our access to corporate worship, think of David in Psalm 63? Interact with the idea of sowing in tears and reaping in joy? How does Christ set us free? From what? For what? How? (Ps.137:1-6, Isa.55:12, Ps.126:3-6, Job 1:21, Job 42:10-17, Jn.3:16, Jn.1:1-18, Col.1:1-13, WCF 20.1, WCF 5.5)
- What does the Sabbath teach us about God and man? What does the scheme of working six days and resting one teach us? Why does man need a day of rest? Rest from what? Rest for what? What are the two different reasons for keeping the Sabbath given in the Ten Commandments? How is Christ our Rest-Bringer? (Gen.5:29, Isa.56:1-7, 58:14, Jer.17:21-26, Exod.20:12, Mt.11:28-30, Heb.4:1-11, Gen.2:1-3, Mt.5:45, Acts 14:15-17, 17:25, Ps.136:25, Dt.10:18, Exod.20:11, Ps.118:24, Dt.5:15, Jn.1:1-18)
- How does studying Christ help conform us into His image? What are some truths about Christ that would affect your thoughts, affections, words and deeds? How would they affect them? How could studying Christ in the Bible help you, your family, the church, and society? (Lk.22:11, Jn.13:35, Mt.11:28-30, John 1:1-18, 2 Tim.2:1-10, Col.2:22, 2 Pt.3:10-18, I Pt.4:1-7, Col.3:1-3, I Cor.7:31, Jam.4:1-10, I Jn.2:8-17, Jn.3:30, I Tim.3:16, I Cor.3:1, I Jn.2:12-18, I Cor.14:20, Eph.4:13, Heb.5:14, Phil.3:1-14, Rom.8:29)
- How did the eternal Son of God become Man? Why must Jesus come from Israel? What is the significance of this? (John 1:1-14, Mt. 26:38, Lk. 1:27-42, Gal. 4:4, Heb. 4:15, Heb. 7:26, Jn.4:22, Jn.12:13, 2 Sam.7:12-29)
- What benefits do we enjoy because the eternal Word became flesh? (Jn.1:1-18, Jn.3:16, Heb.10:1-10, Jn.17:1-17, Prov.8:9, Job 28:12, Jn.14:9, Jn.10:3, I Jn.1:1-3, Rev.19:11-13, 2 Cor.4:3-4, Col.1:15, Phil.2:1-8, Col.1:19, 2:8, I Jn.4:7-20, Jn.20:31, Rom.5:1-10)
- How ought Christ’s true humanity, His real body and His real soul, inform how we think about our body and our soul? For this life? And for the next life? Does the Bible teach us how to use or nourish our body and our soul? How? How not? (Gen.1:26-31, 2:7-25, I Cor.15:45, I Cor.3:16, I Cor.6:12-20, I Cor.9:23-27, Phil.3:17-21, Heidelberg #1)
- Can unbelievers, people without saving faith in Jesus correctly understand Jesus or teach right things about Jesus? Can the unbeliever teach religious truth? If people teach wrong things about Jesus and His salvation what ought we to conclude by this? What do we learn by these things? Rom.1:18-32, Rom.8:7, I Cor.2:10-16, 2 Cor.2:14-17, I Jn.4:1-6, Jn.17:10-11, Mt.24:11-24, Jam.3:1, 2 Tim.3:14-17, Jude 1:3-25)
- Describe some ways that Jesus was made like us yet without sin? (Jn.1:18-18, Heb. 2:14-18, Gal. 4:4, Heb. 7:24-25. Heb. 4:14-16, Gal. 4:4-5, 2 Cor.13:4, Ps.78:39, Rom.8:3, 2 Cor.5:21, Isa.40:6, Heb.10:1-10)
- Once Christ took to Himself true humanity, He now is God and Man in one Person forever. Where is Christ now according to His human nature? What is He doing? What kind of body awaits you as a Believer in Christ? How ought we to live in light of this? (Mt.22:44, 26:64, Acts 2:25-35, Heb.7:24-28, I Jn.1:1-10, I Jn.3:1-3, Phil.3:1-13)