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John 1:1-5 HAVING A RIGHT CHRISTMAS

Intro: Ill. The emphasis on getting Christmas right. We want it white and bright. We want the tree, the decorations, the lights, the eggnog and the presents. We want everyone to be happy. We want to be able to get and give plenty. We want peace and joy to abound.

        In reality, Christmas often turns into a real hassle. You are rushed and pushed for time. You spend money you don’t have for people you don’t even like to acquire things they don’t even want or need.

        In our struggle to get it right, we often get it dead wrong and end up making ourselves and others miserable.

        Ill. I believe God wants us to get it right. I believe that He is not so interested in our having a white Christmas as He is interested in our having a right Christmas.

        So, how can we have a right Christmas? What do we need to understand and change in our lives that will allow Christmas to be a time of blessing and wonder instead of being a time of stress and tension?

        This passage reveals some ingredients that are absolutely essential if we are to have a right Christmas.

        Now, I realize that this is not the traditional Christmas text. John does not write about angels, shepherds, stars or sheep. But, He does something the other Gospel writers do not do. John puts the greatest Christmas delivery of all time into context. He tells us all we need to know to have a right Christmas.

 

I. v. 1-2 CONSIDER THE PERSON OF CHRISTMAS

(Ill. Christmas filled with many distractions. Between the Personalities, the Presents and the Practices, it is easy to forget the real reason for this day. In fact, many of the things we do and love so are nothing more than ancient pagan rituals and symbols hijacked by the Christian church. Verse 1 brings us back to the real essence of Christmas.) *Ill. We know Who the Word is, John 1:14.

A. He Is Eternally God In the beginning was the Word.” – This phrase does not imply that the Word had a beginning. It means that the Word has always existed. The word “was is in the imperfect tense it signifies an action of the past that continues into the present. It could be read this way, “In the beginning was the word, is the Word and always will be the Word.

The Word is eternal. He always has been and He always will be. Before there was anything else, there was the Word. Jesus had His birth in Bethlehem, but not His beginning. (Ill. Before there was a ______; there was Jesus! Jesus was not “Plan B. There never was another plan!)

* Ill. A couple of months before Christmas, the wife of a mail carrier was killed in a car accident. The husband was overcome with grief and was trying to work through his sorrow, and he had stayed late at his post office sorting through the mountain of mail that always comes through at Christmastime. His job that day was to go through the mail that had been lost and to find out where it should be re-routed.

He came across a letter that was addressed to "Santa Claus" and he noticed that the address at the top of the letter was his own address. So, he opened the letter. Looking down at the bottom of the page he saw that it was his only daughter's signature, and he read:

 

Dear Santa:

My Mommy died two months ago and since then my Daddy has been crying himself to sleep every night. He says only eternity will heal him. Would you please send a little bit of eternity to my Dad this Christmas?

Well God not only sent us a little bit of eternity, He sent us the very heart of heaven. As John put it later in his epistle, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world,” 1 John 4:14.)

 

B. He Is Equally God The word translated word in this verse is the Greek word logos. It refers to “speech, reasoning, explanation, a word about something. That is Who Jesus is! He is called the Word because a word is a visible expression of an invisible thought. Jesus is the perfect expression of Who God is!

Jesus is everything God has ever said or will say. He is everything God is about in human form. Ill. John 14:18 declared = To lead out, to explain, to narrate. (Ill. We get the word “exegesis from this word.) Jesus is the explanation or narration of God!

The word “with means face to face, or toward. This tells us that Jesus was “face to face with God. In other words, that He is God’s equal.

This reminds us that the God we serve is a triune God. There is one God Who manifests Himself in three Persons. The Word, Jesus, is one of those manifestations.

C. He Is Essentially God The statement and the Word was God, is the clearest statement of the deity of Jesus in the Bible. Not only is the Word co-eternal and co-equal with God; the Word is God! That is why Jesus could say the things He said, John 14:8; John 10:30; John 8:58.

Ill. I cannot say “I am my father are one. It just isn’t true! Only Jesus can say that and be 100% accurate. When God sent His Son into this world, John 3:16; He sent One Who was eternally, equally and essentially God. In other words, when the angels said, “unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord, Luke 2:11, they were announcing the birth of God in human flesh!

All through his life He proved Who He was over and over. From “Peace be still to Rise up and walk to Lazarus come forth to Thy sins be forgiven thee to It is finished the truth and power of His deity was on constant display. Every word, every deed, every miracle declared Him to be God. He alone is the Person of Christmas!

 

II. v. 3 CONSIDER THE POWER OF CHRISTMAS

(Ill. If I were to ask you to tell me what you think the greatest manifestation of God’s power is; you might all have a different answer. Some would say it is creation, His miracles, others would talk about the cross and still others would center on the resurrection. But, I submit to you that the greatest expression of God’s power was when He added humanity to His deity and came to live and die among men, Phil. 2:5-8. Think for a moment about just Who was born in that manger in Bethlehem.)

A. He Is The Maker Of Creation When you consider that this verse tells us that Jesus was the Creator of the universe, His birth as a baby becomes even more amazing. The Creator of creation humbled Himself and became a creature in creation! God became dependent upon a human mother. Jesus, Who was the Agent of Creation, stepped out of eternity, laid aside His glory and entered this world as a human baby! That is the power behind Christmas!

That is why this season is not about trees and tinsel; packages and parties; bows and boxes, or meals and mistletoe. This season is about Him! He is the Maker of creation!

B. He Is The Master Of Creation Not only did He make this universe, but He is the power that holds it all together, Col. 1:16-17. That is what the word “consist means. As one man put it, he is “the glue of the galaxies. He made it and He holds it all together too!

 

(Ill. Think of it this way, man can't really make anything that runs as it should. But, take a look at our great planet and realize that it does not travel in a true circle; it travels in three directions at the same time. It revolves on its axis; it travels around the sun; and it's path is deflected by other planets. Still it does not lose more than one one hundredth of a second every one hundred years. We can only say that Jesus is in control.

Then we look at the building block of this universe which is an atom, an entity so small that each atom is less than one hundred fifty millionth of an inch in diameter. If you could take the molecules of a single drop of water, convert them into grains of sand, there would be enough sand to build a concrete highway half a mile wide and one foot thick all the way from New York to San Francisco. And, there are 120 drops of water in a single teaspoon!

Combine that with the fact that one cell from your body contains 200 billion molecules of atoms. Whether you look at the universe with a telescope and see how big it is, or you look at this universe with a microscope and see how small it is. When you see the order, the symmetry, the harmony, the beauty of all that is, only a fool would fail to conclude God did it, and that God is in control.)

 

What does it all mean? It means that God is in control this Christmas! It may look like the world is spinning out of control, but it isn’t. It is all in the hands of He Who made it and all things are working toward the purpose who which He designed them!

The One Who made it all and controls it all was born into this world 2,000 years ago as a helpless infant. He lived here in poverty and rejection only to die a horrible death on a cross. He did all of this because He loved you, Rom. 5:8.

So, what is the power of Christmas? Is it a fat man in a red suit taking toys to all the good little children? Is it a red-nosed reindeer or a magical snowman? It is elves, presents, huge meals and family get togethers? No! The power of Christmas is God in a manger! That is the power of Christmas! That is the reason we celebrate this day. That is the essence of this whole season!

 

 

III. v. 4-5 CONSIDER THE PURPOSE OF CHRISTMAS

(Ill. The question that begs to be asked is “Why. Why did the Creator desire to become a part of His creation? Why did God put on human flesh and walk among men? Why did He come into this world to live and to die? What is the purpose of Christmas?)

A. He Came To Bring Life Into Deadness When Jesus came into this world, He entered a world filled with dead men. But, these dead men don’t know that they are dead.

 

(Ill. A farmer years ago was trying to teach his son the ways of life on a farm. So, he took his son out to the hen house, grabbed a chicken and said, "Son, your Mama wants a chicken for dinner, so you know what we have to do." With that he cut the chicken's head off, and the chicken began to flop around on the ground. Well, the little boy's eyes got wide with amazement, and he said, "Daddy, look at that. That there chicken is dead and don’t even know it." That is exactly the way lost people are, Eph. 2:1-3.)

 

(Ill. Jesus came so that dead men could live! When a dead lost man meets Jesus, he passes from death unto life, John 5:24. When that dead man becomes alive in Jesus, everything in his life changes, 2 Cor. 5:17. All men need to realize that:

1. Jesus is the Strength of Earthly Life We are alive today only by His good grace, Ill. Job 1:21. He makes life possible!

2. Jesus is the Secret of Effective Life It has been said that three things make life worth living: a self fit to live with; a faith fit to live by; and a purpose fit to live for.” Only Jesus Christ can give you all three, John 10:10! He gives live and He gives it abundantly! The word “abundantly means superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon. That is the kind of life He came to give! He gives life purpose!

3. Jesus is the Source of Eternal Life Those who know Jesus by faith will live eternally, John 11:25-26; John 3:16. He makes life permanent!

Ill. Real living is more than walking, talking, eating, breathing, loving, etc. Real life, abundant life, joyful life is found in knowing God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 John 5:12.)

 

B. He Came To Bring Light Into Darkness Now a person who does not know Jesus is more than just spiritually dead. He is also spiritually darkened! Jesus came to change all that! He said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life, John 8:12. Jesus came to deliver the lost from their darkness and to bring them into His glorious light:

        For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: Eph. 5:8

        To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Acts 26:18

        Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: Col. 1:13

Jesus came into this world to bring light into our spiritual darkness! Just as He stood in the darkness of creation and said, “Let there be light; there was a day when He stood in the cold darkness of my heart and brought light to my soul. Listen to how Paul said it in 2 Cor. 4:6, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

What is sad is that the world stumbles blindly in the dark seeking light in all the wrong places.

 

(Ill. I heard about a drunk that was down on all fours late one night under a street light. He was groping around the ground, feeling the cement, trying to find something. A friend walked up to him and said, "Sam, what are doing you there?" He said, "Well, I've lost my wallet. So this friend gets down on his hands and knees and they both start looking for this man's wallet. Neither one can find it, and finally the friend says to his drunk buddy: "Are you sure you lost the wallet here?" "Well no. In fact, I dropped it a half a block back over there." "Well then why are we looking here?" "Because there's no street light over there.")

 

That is just what the lost world does with the light. They reject it when it comes their way, John 3:19, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. The word “comprehended in verse 5 means “to lay hold on; to claim for oneself.

And, they do worse than that! The lost world is actively trying to quench the light to prevent it from shining anywhere. But, I have news for them! The Light that has shone brightly from eternity past; the Light that gleamed in Bethlehem’s manger; the Light that shone for 33 years while Jesus walked this earth; the Light that flickered briefly at Calvary, but blazed forth at the entrance to an empty tomb will continue to light the pathway toward eternity for all those who desire to follow Him!

 

(Ill. Most folks are all messed up when it comes to what they think Christmas is all about. Their primary concern is in giving the perfect gift. You know, only God can do that! Only God could give the perfect gift. And, that is just what He did when He sent Jesus into this world. He gave us His Son Jesus, the greatest gift. He gave Jesus to be life for our dead souls and light to our darkened hearts. He gave His all when He gave us His Son!)

 

Conc: Are you going to have a right Christmas? You can, but only if Jesus is at the center of everything you do! Here is how you can guarantee yourself a right Christmas this year:

1. Be sure that you are saved; that you know Him; that you have passed from death unto life.

2. Be sure this day is about Him and not about anything else.

3. Be sure to give Him the glory He is due today and everyday.

Has He spoken to your heart today? If so, this altar is open for anything from salvation to supplication to surrender to thanksgiving.

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