RECEPTIVITY JOHN 1:1-14 “But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—(v12)

Here we are again with the words receiving and believing in Lord Jesus Christ, do we honestly and sincerely receive and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ or are we hypocritical about it? Being hypocritical about our receiving and believing in the Lord Jesus is part of the reasons why we do not succeed in many of the things we ask and seek in His Name. We do not have a firm surrender with a very strong believe hold on the Lord Jesus Christ with a total unwavering trust that does not waver no matter the situation, that is why once we are confronted with life challenges and we call and wait upon Him few days/weeks and it appears that what we want or desire is not coming immediately as we hope and want it, we face elsewhere and start trying other means, that is our hypocritical nature and unless we put a stop to this attitude, we can never be serious with the Lord God Almighty and He can never be serious with us too. We are seeing that the first step towards spiritual and mental health is to give or surrender ourselves to God implicitly and receptively. When I am willing to acknowledge within myself that I do not have within me the resources, power and strength to experience true happiness and contentment that only Christ gives: and decisively open myself to Lord Jesus’ help, His assistance and trust in Him then, like in the case of the disciples that we talked about the other day in their various ordeals of life only then we will reach the place where we were heading in life. We should not consider it strange that entrance into the kingdom of God begins with our sincere receptivity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Does nature itself not show or indicate that is where all life begins, from receptivity? For instance all the seed sown in the ground needs to use their God given inbuilt receptivity to receive warmth, moisture and nutrients from the earth-soil before they can germinate, grow and produce flowers or fruit. Life that doesn’t begin and follow the principle of receptivity just doesn’t begin, somehow along the line it will fade off and die. The scientist who does not sit down to reflect on this undisputable facts before any other thing else, and is not prepared to give up every preconceived notion and examine the evidence carefully, will learn nothing. Such a scientist has to know that they don’t know in order to know. The first law of life is receptivity, and that is also the first law of the kingdom of heaven because it is through receptivity that the Lord God designs to supply us who are united with Him with everything He wants you to receive from Him, receptivity serves like the umbilical cord that joins mother and child for effective nourishment of the child in the womb. Receptivity is your ability and willingness to take-in or accept information or ideas that nourish your soul. Look again at the words of today’s text: ‘Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God’. How do we get the right to become children of God? First, by receptivity –‘to all who did receive Him’. At the very threshold of God’s kingdom we are met with the challenge of self-emptying in other to become receptive. Have you made your own personal response to this challenge, the challenge of empting yourself so that you will be filled in Christ? If not, do so today. If you are unwilling to sincerely empty or surrender yourself in Him then, sadly, nothing else can follow. If you are willing, then everything else will follow.

  Welcoming Christ into the world and in your life John 1:1-14:

The scope and design of this chapter is to confirm our faith in Christ as the eternal Son of God, and the true Messiah and Saviour of the world, that we may be brought to receive Him, and rely upon Him, as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and to give up ourselves to be ruled, and taught, and saved by Him. In order to this, we have here, 1. An account given of Him by the inspired penman himself, fairly laying down, in the beginning, what he designed his whole book should be the proof of which is the Divinity of Christ as seen in John 1:1-5 and again His Divine and human nature as seen in John 1:6-14 and, John the Baptist’s Testimony of Christ as seen in John 1:15-18. 2. The Testimony of John Baptist concerning Him as seen in John 1:6-9 and again John’s public testimony concerning Christ as seen in John 1:19-28, Other testimonies of John concerning Christ as seen in John 1:29-37. 3. His own manifestation of Himself to Andrew and Peter as seen in John 1:38-42, to Philip and Nathanael, as seen in John 1:43-51. So let us begin our learning verse by verse: John 1:1-5: The plainest reason why the Son of God Jesus Christ is called the Word, seems to be, that as our own words explain our minds to others, so was the Son of God sent in order to reveal and explain His Father's mind to the world. What the evangelist says of Christ proves that He is God. He asserts, His existence in the beginning; His coexistence with the Father. The Word which is Himself was with God. All things were made by Him, and not as an instrument but as an originator, a Creator from nothingness. Without Him was not anything made that was made, from the highest angel to the meanest worm. This shows how well qualified our Lord Jesus Christ was for the work of our redemption and salvation He came to achieve. The light of reason, as well as the life of sense, are derived from Him, and depend upon Him. Did you hear that, that the light of reason and the light-life of sense (these are abilities) can only be obtained or derived from Him Christ, meaning that anybody that is bereft of Christ cannot reason properly and does not have adequate sense, which we often call common sense. Does this now let you know why some people sense and reason the way they do, which is why Nnamdi Kanu will always say that he does not understand why God created an average African to be so foolish and stupid and does not reason and sense properly, the reason is no other than a large lack in the measure of Christ that constitutes an average African. But her European, American, Chinese, Russian, Indian, Asian and Arabian counterparts all have the counterfeit Christ and it is helping them though negatively to an extent to sense and reason but not exactly the way the Lord God Almighty Creator wants it. Which is why they have used the counterfeit Christ to devastate the face of the earth, invent destructiveness and deviate the course of the universe out of the good condition it was when God first created it? America started well but could not sustain it, the same with Israel and now God has turned to Africa, hence Africa must be very careful to struggle and try to show her love to the world championed by Biafra though it is not going to be an easy task because Biafra has too many enemies just like Israel but the Lord God is in charge and control. This eternal Word otherwise called Christ, this true Light shines, but the darkness comprehends it not. Any entity that does not have Christ is darkness! Let us pray without ceasing, that our eyes may be opened to behold this Light that is Christ so that we may walk in this light; and thus be made wise reasoning and sensing properly unto salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ. From this very verses Apostle John makes it very clear that everything in life is dependent on your measure of Christ content hence Lucifer through his evil agencies tries reducing or diminishing even if it is possible completely extinguish your Christ content by alluring you into various heinous sins or life errors that destabilizes and deviates your God designed destiny from its original predestinated course rendering the individual or people damned in life being bereft of Christ thus becoming carnal and sensual in all their activities, such people functions with their soul only, because their Christ content which is supposed to aid their soul (for body, spirit and soul unity function wholeness) is already rendered passive by Lucifer through his agencies. This is why you see Europe, China, Russia, India, Arabians behaving the way they do in world issues and in heartless attitude towards their fellow nations, because the counterfeit Christ or Lucifer in them which in other words a Luciferous spirit that actuate them is an enemy of Christ and Christ people, always opposing Christ Will and the goodness of the world God created. Currently the illuminati group of Cult membership is in the forefront of this war which began in heaven to control God’s world and reshape, redesign it from God’s original state because they feel they are now wiser than the Lord God being Lucifer possessed and anybody or nation who will not join them to carry out this Lucifer’s evil plan for earth and its people hoping to undo the Lord God Almighty will be under their (Lucifer and his cohorts) severe challenges and attacks hence you see President Trump under their attack. Once you become Lucifer filled and controlled just as he did to Adam and Eve, he will want you to feel and believe that you are now wiser than God! Always be very careful! John 1:6-14: John the Baptist came to bear witness concerning Lord Jesus. Nothing more fully shows the darkness or Christ deficiency of men's minds or heart, than that when God’s Light Christ had appeared, there needed a witness to call attention to it. Christ was the true Light; that great Light which deserves to be called so. By His Spirit and Grace Christ enlightens all that are enlightened to salvation; and those that are not enlightened by Him, perish in darkness. Christ was in the world when He took our nature upon Him, and dwelt among us. The Son of the Highest was here in this lower world. He was in the world, but not of it. He came to save a lost world and its people, because it was a world of His own making and creation. Yet the world knew Him not, are you surprise, because He Christ is not in them, they are bereft of Christ that is why they could not recognize Jesus Christ when He came. But when He comes as a Judge the sign of which is already showing, the world shall know Him because then vicissitude of life will begin to hit them hard and there will be nowhere to run to. Many say that they are Christ's own, yet do not receive Him, because they will not part with their sins, nor have Him to reign over them. All the children of God are born again, the second birth which occurs by good knowledge and embodiment of His Word put in practice. This new birth is through the word of God as the means as seen in 1 Peter 1:23 ” 23 You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal [a]origin ([b]seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting Word of God”, and by the Spirit of God as the Author. By His unseen Divine Presence Christ always was in the world. But now that the fullness of time was come, He was, after another manner, seen visually beholding God manifested Christ in the flesh Jesus. But when we observe the light beams of His Divine glory, which darted through this veil of flesh covering the Divinity in Him we see His Might. Men discover their weaknesses to those most familiar with them, but it was not so with Christ; those most intimate with Him saw most of His glory. Although He was in the form of a servant, as to outward circumstances displaying no pomp, yet, in respect of graces, His form was like the Son of God His Divine glory appeared in the holiness of His doctrine, and in His miracles. He was full of grace, fully acceptable to His Father, therefore qualified to plead for us; and full of truth, fully aware of the things He was to reveal and ratify. This verses tells us how God exemplified a life with a measure of Christ in Jesus and thus taught us some of the behaviours, attitude, character display and such activities like miracles and teaching of God’s Word in a way distinct from the way others teach and do it! This is why we are required to emulate and follow His steps and examples in everything without adding our own! John 1:15-18: As to the order of time and entrance on His work as designed and arrayed by God, Christ came and afterwards gravitate towards John the Baptist His cousin who is in the ministry of preparing a way for Him Jesus, but in every other way Lord Jesus was before John, in other words He was before him. The expression clearly shows that Lord Jesus had existence before He appeared on earth as man. All fullness dwells in Him, from which alone fallen sinners have, and shall receive, by faith, all that renders them wise, sensible, reasonable, strong, holy, righteous, useful, and happy. Our receiving by Christ are all summed up in this one word, Grace; we have received "even grace," a gift so great, so rich, so invaluable that is being extremely useful; indispensable; the good will of God towards us, and the good work of God in us. The Law or Word of God is holy, just, and good; and we should make the proper use of it by becoming an embodiment of God’s word. But we cannot derive from grace pardon, righteousness, or strength because grace is only an intervention of the Lord God to save us in sudden destructive situations or evil circumstances and vicissitudes of life. Grace is mindless of our sinful state or nature when it comes or intervenes to help; and grace teaches us to live by practice and adorn the doctrine or word of God our Saviour, adorn is to make more beautiful or attractive but grace cannot supply the place of the Lord God’s doctrine or word. As no mercy comes from God to sinners directly but through Jesus Christ, no man can come to the Father but by Him; no man can know God, except as He is made known in the only begotten and beloved Son. Can you now see the reason why we have to earnestly receive or believe in Jesus Christ by faith because all mercy and grace of God come from God to Lord Jesus and then to us, that is the orderly line of flow of mercy and grace, God Almighty does not deal with us directly with regard to mercy and grace, He deals with us through Christ Jesus hence it is a must for us to unit with Him in faith if we must be saved. Uniting with Lucifer who is darkness is to be lost and damned so be careful! John 1:19-28: John disowns himself to be the Christ, who was now expected and waited for according to Old Testament prophecies. John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elias according to reincarnation, but he was not the person of Elias. John was not that Prophet whom Moses said the Lord would raise up to them of their brethren, like unto Him. He was not such a prophet as they expected, who would rescue them from the Romans. John gave such an account of Jesus Christ, as might excite and awaken them to hearken to Him when eventually Jesus Christ appears. John baptized the people with water as a profession or a pointer to repentance, and as an outward sign of the spiritual blessings Jesus Christ would confer on them as the Messiah, who were in the midst of them, though they knew Him not, and to whom he John was unworthy to render the meanest service. John 1:29-36: John saw Lord Jesus coming to him, and pointed Him out as the Lamb of God. The paschal lamb, in the shedding and sprinkling of its blood, the roasting and eating of its flesh, and all the other circumstances of the ordinance, represented the salvation of sinners by faith in Christ. And the lambs sacrificed every morning and evening, can only refer to Christ slain as a sacrifice to redeem us to God by His blood. John came as a preacher of repentance, yet he told his followers that they were to look for the pardon of their sins to Lord Jesus only, and to His death. It agrees with God's glory to pardon all who depend on the atoning sacrifice of Christ. He takes away the sin of the world; purchases pardon or mercy for all that repent and believe the gospel, pardon and mercy is Christ property and He graciously gives to those who receive and believe in Him by faith. This encourages our faith; if Christ takes away the sin of the world, then why not my sin? He bore sin for us, and so bears it from us. God could have taken away sin, by taking away the sinner and have him perish, as He took away the sin of the old world; but here is a merciful and gracious way of doing away with sin, yet sparing the sinner, by making His Son Jesus sin, that is, a sin-offering, for us. See Lord Jesus taking away sin, and let that cause hatred of sin in us, and resolutions against it. Let us not hold that fast, which the Lamb of God came to take away. To confirm his testimony concerning Christ, John declares the appearance at His baptism, in which God Himself bore witness to Him. He saw and bare record that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This is the end and object of John's testimony, that Lord Jesus was the promised Messiah. John took every opportunity that offered to lead people to Christ to the best of his ability amid challenges before he left the scene. John 1:37-42: The strongest and most prevailing argument with an awakened soul to follow Christ, is, that it is Jesus Christ only who takes away sin. Whatever communion there is between our souls and Christ, it is He who begins the discourse. He asked, What seek ye? The question Lord Jesus put to them, we should all put to ourselves when we begin to follow Him, What do we design and desire? In following Christ, do we seek the favour of God and eternal life? He invites them to come without delay. Now is the accepted time, as seen in 2 Corinthians 6:2 “2 For He says, In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!” It is good for us to be where Christ is, wherever it be. We ought to labour for the spiritual welfare of those related to us, and seek to bring them to Jesus Christ. Those who come to Christ, must come with a fixed resolution to be firm and constant to Him, like a stone, solid and steadfast; and it is by His grace that they are so. John 1:43-51: See the nature of true Christianity, it is following Jesus Christ; devoting ourselves to Him, and treading in His steps and way. Observe the objection Nathanael made. All who desire to profit by the word of God, must beware of prejudices against places, or denominations of men. Do you hear that, then why do we still allow desire to profit by the word of God, prejudice against places and denominations of men still make us not to follow the truth that is meant to set us free? They should examine for themselves, and they will sometimes find good where they looked for none. Many people are kept from the ways of religion by the unreasonable prejudices they conceive. The best way to remove false notions of religion, is to make trial or test of it. In Nathanael there was no guile or sly or cunning intelligence. His profession was not hypocritical. He was not a dissembler, nor dishonest; he was a sound character, a really upright, godly man. Christ knows what men are indeed. Does He know us? Let us desire to know Him. Let us seek and pray to be Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile; truly Christians, approved of Christ Himself. Some things weak, imperfect, and sinful, are found in all, but hypocrisy belongs not to a believer's character. Do you hear that, you may be weak, imperfect, and sinful but hypocrisy should not be found in you! Lord Jesus witnessed what passed or happened when Nathanael was under the fig-tree. Probably he was then in fervent prayer, seeking direction as to the Hope and Consolation of Israel, where no human eye observed him-the receptivity in him was seeking for... This showed him that our Lord Jesus knew the secrets of his heart. Through Christ we commune with, and benefit by the holy angels; and things in heaven and things on earth are reconciled and united together in Christ. Let us begin by reading John 1:1-14: 1 In the beginning [before all time] was the Word ([a]Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [b]Himself. 2 He was present originally with God. 3 All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. 4 In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. 5 And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it]. 6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came to witness, that he might testify of the Light, that all men might believe in it [adhere to it, trust it, and rely upon it] through him. 8 He was not the Light himself, but came that he might bear witness regarding the Light. 9 There it was—the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illumines every person. 10 He came into the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him [did not know Him]. 11 He came to that which belonged to Him [to His own—His domain, creation, things, world], and they who were His own did not receive Him and did not welcome Him. 12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name— 13 Who owe their birth neither to [c]bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!] 14 And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.

  Introduction:

Notice; Word was in the beginning, the Word is Christ, the Word is God Himself, all things came into existence through Word, in that Word is life and that Life is the Light of men, and the Light shines anywhere there is darkness, and darkness has never overpowered it or put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it and is unreceptive to it, that true and genuine Light was coming into the world to illumine every person coming into the world, He came into His domain, to His creation, His things, His world and His own did not receive and welcome Him because they have eaten the forbidden fruit that Lucifer gives and have become wiser than their Creator. Did you also see where the illuminati Cult counterfeit their name in verse nine here? Apart from being wiser than the Lord God, the illuminati cult is also now counterfeiting the illumine Nature of the Almighty God, trying to shine a false light to how they want the world to be, a man-made world order and people in their blindness are not seeing what is going on and because President Trump refused to be a part of them when they invited him to join, this is why they are making things very difficult for him the way Buhari did to President Jonathan in Nigeria. These are people who want to create a new world different from the world God created, they are telling God ‘away’ with Your World, we want to create our own world just exactly what they did during the Tower of Babble and God intervened! Every generation must find out the shape their generational rebellion against the Almighty God has assumed; the shape that old way of sinning has assumed in the present so that you don’t fall victim of it. The new world order was hinted in the Bible concerning the mark of the Beast, not selling and buying, people being forced into Satanism, to Luciferous life style and attitude, God’s word wants you to shine your eyes and reduce your circulation, avoid venting points. "I'll be back soon," a World War II soldier told his wife before leaving her and their infant son. Four years of war and fighting went by. The young mother would show her boy a portrait of the soldier and say, "See, that's your daddy. One day he's going to come home." In reality, she didn't know what to expect. One morning the boy said, "Mommy, wouldn't it be great if Daddy would just step out of the picture frame?" In a sense that's what God did 2,000 years ago. As part of His eternal plan, He stepped out of heaven and became a man so that you and I could look at Lord Jesus and say, "That's what God looks like." The apostle John described the stepping out, "And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth” as seen in John 1:14. This verse is the climax of John's prologue as John completes his introduction of Lord Jesus by proclaiming His humanity in the midst of His divinity. This verse contains the truth behind the story of the angels and shepherds and the Wise Men and the journey to Bethlehem that first Christmas morning. Without this verse the rest of the story has no meaning. John 1:14 tells us what really happened more than 2000 years ago-and what it means to us today. The key words are grace and truth. This verse reveals four great certainties: Lord Jesus became human; Lord Jesus lived among us; Lord Jesus revealed His glory; Lord Jesus invites us to Himself. Let us take them in some details; I. Lord Jesus became human: John states, "The Word became flesh." Notice the link with verse one: “In the beginning [before all time] was the Word ([a]Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [b]Himself” as seen in John 1:1. The Word that always "was" as seen in v. 1 now became a temporal event at a point in history. Furthermore, the Word that "was God" as seen in v. 1c now came into being as flesh, that is, He exists as a human being. We often say that Lord Jesus is God. That is true. But here's an incredible statement: God became Jesus of Nazareth! When He stepped out, Jesus Christ became the visible expression of the invisible God. He became a visual aid, as it were, to reveal the nature of the Father. Lord Jesus was God in a suit of flesh. He was God expressing Himself in a language that we could understand. He was God announcing to the world: "I have come!" Theologians refer to this action as the Incarnation. This is a hard concept for us to understand. In fact, many debates transpired in the early church as to what it really meant. Some people said Lord Jesus wasn't really a man; He just looked like a man. Others said He had the body of a man but He didn't have a human soul. Still others said Lord Jesus was two people in one body-sort of half-God and half-man. And unbelievers said it was all nonsense-that Lord Jesus wasn't God at all. They claimed He was an ordinary person like you and me with a sin nature just like everyone else on planet earth. All of those ideas are wrong. When Lord Jesus stepped out, the infinite God took on the form of a tiny unborn baby boy. The Son did not cease to be God when He became a man. He added humanity but He did not subtract deity. He was fully God and fully man-the God-man. Ponder that for a moment. The Almightiness of God moved in a human arm. The love of God now beat in a human heart. The wisdom of God now spoke from human lips. The mercy of God reached forth from human hands. Lord Jesus was God wrapped in human flesh. Remember the story of the little girl who was frightened at night during a thunderstorm. She cried out to her Daddy, "Help me." Her Daddy in the next room said, "Honey, God loves you and will take care of you." Another bolt of lightning and clap of thunder caused the girl to cry out again, "Daddy!" Her Daddy gave her the same response, "Honey, God loves you and will take care of you." The storm raged again and the frightened girl yelled again. Her Daddy's response was the same. But the girl replied, "Daddy, I know that God loves me, but right now I need someone with skin on." When Lord Jesus stepped out He was God with skin on. God became a man in human flesh. II. Lord Jesus lived among us: Notice the next phrase of John 1:14, it reveals the residence of God on earth, ". . . and made His dwelling among us." The word dwelt literally means "to pitch a tent;" or as military folks call it "to bivouac;" (bivouac is a temporary camp without tents or cover, used especially by soldiers or mountaineers) or as theologians define it as "to tabernacle." In fact, the Tabernacle was sometimes called the Tent of Meeting because it was the divinely-appointed meeting place between God and man. In the same way-but in a much deeper sense-Lord Jesus is the place where we meet God today. Eugene Petersen in The Message paraphrases this verse, "The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish” as seen in John 1:14 MSG. For thirty-three years God moved onto our cul-de-sac –cul-de-sac is a route or course leading nowhere. He walked down our street. When He stepped out, Lord Jesus lived among us. Why? "Pitching a tent among us" implies that God wants to be on familiar terms with us. He wants to be close. He wants a lot of interaction. If you come into a community and build a huge mansion with a wall around it, you're probably saying that you don't really want to be bothered by people. But if you set up a tent in my back yard, you will probably use my bathroom, eat often at my table, play with the neighbourhood kids. This is why God became human. He came to pitch a tent in our human back yard so that we would have a lot of dealings with Him. III. Lord Jesus revealed His glory: Next Apostle John speaks of the manifestation of God's glory: "We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father." Again, Eugene Peterson rewords, "We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son." When John writes, "We have seen," he uses a word that means to gaze intently upon, to study as in a laboratory. It's a word from which we get the English word theatre. The word glory refers to the visible manifestation of God's presence and power. It carries with it the idea of weight and importance. When Lord Jesus stepped out, when He walked on the earth, people could see, gaze upon, God's presence shining through Him. They saw the importance of God in their lives. And, just so there was no mistake John recorded seven signs or miracles that openly declared the glory of God. When Lord Jesus turned the water into wine at Cana of Galilee, John tells us that "He thus revealed His glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him" as seen in John 2:11 “11 This, the first of His signs (miracles, wonderworks), Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory [by it He displayed His greatness and His power openly], and His disciples believed in Him [adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Him].” Lord Jesus was not invisible nor was He obscure. When you look at Lord Jesus, you see the face of God. God wants to be seen and to be known in His Son. When you hear Lord Jesus teach; you hear God teach. When you come to experience Lord Jesus; you experience God. In Lord Jesus we see God. A young man sat in my office and listened as I explained the gospel to him. Finally he said, "I just can't believe all that stuff." So I asked him, "What would it take for you to believe?" I would believe if God came down and stood in front of me and told me Himself," he said. "My friend, He already has come down," I replied. "He came down more than 2,000 years ago and lived among us. If you don't believe that, then I have nothing better to offer you." IV. Lord Jesus invites us to Himself: Finally, this verse ends with a powerful word of invitation. It tells us that Lord Jesus came to the earth "full of grace and truth." Eugene Peterson says he was "Generous inside and out, true from start to finish." When He stepped out, Lord Jesus offered grace and truth. These are the final two great pair of words of John's prologue as he introduces Lord Jesus. Grace is an irresistible compulsion to give men more than they deserve which springs spontaneously from the boundless generosity of God. Truth, on the other hand, has roots in a divine determination to be consistent, predictable, and thereby trustworthy in dealing with mankind. Grace without truth is easily seen as sentimentality while truth without grace can appear to be an inflexible rigidity. These two words explain why Lord Jesus stepped out, coming to the earth. Because He was full of grace, He died for you and me while we were yet sinners. Because He was full of truth, He was able to pay for our sins completely. Here is the good news for people like us. Because Lord Jesus is full of grace, we can come just as we are to Him. We don't have to clean ourselves up first. Because He is full of truth, you can come in complete confidence knowing that He will keep His promises. When He promises a complete pardon for your sins, He means it. The one present the world needs is grace and truth. We find it in Jesus Christ. In the Monday, December 15, 2008, Greenville (South Carolina) News, Ed Leap's column was poignant. Ed is a physician. The article was entitled, "Christmas reminds us of Christ's saving grace." Here's an excerpt. Over and over again, I have asked suicidal or depressed patients what is pushing them to the brink. Their answer is so consistent that it must have a deeper meaning than we realize. "I'm no good," they tell me. Sometimes they are hearing voices, so I ask what the voices say. "That I'm worthless. That I should die." The problem is perennial. As long as humans have existed, we have sensed that we were not something that we ought to be. As long as we have been wounded by family, friends or strangers, we have doubted our worth. The cure for all the fractured suffering of the human heart, all the terror we visit upon one another, all the guilt we bear with bent spines our whole lives, all the horrible, condemning voices, is the fact of grace. Grace, I propose, is the greatest concept in human history. Very soon, we will celebrate the birth of the author of grace. He came to Earth worthless and was born into oppression and domination. He came to a place and people broken, and in the end was broken Himself. The author of grace was told by many that He was no good, that He was a liar, that He was useless, deluded and mad. Finally, He received the ultimate rejection and insult, and paid with His life. He was broken for the broken and hated for the hated. He was "despised and rejected," so that the despised and rejected would have a hero and comforter. And yet, in all of it, He announced the cure which is Grace in His Word. He told us what we already knew; that we were broken and needed repair. He told us the repair would be free for the taking, that we were all loved in spite of the voices in our heads, the words of our enemies and cruelties of our families and friends. In bringing us grace He changed the world. He said that we could never do enough to be truly good; but we could share His goodness and accept the gift He offered. In that fell swoop, He negated any other contingent therapy for the misery of humanity. No wealth or position could cure our loneliness; no rule or law could overcome our weakness; no plan or good deed could earn our healing. Only the gift He brought. Only Himself! Give the Christ in you the Word food for it to grow into activeness from its sin rendered passivity. At Christmas, Lord Jesus shouts down the voices in our ears with: "You are worth everything to Me! I'll make you good! You don't need to die. I came to do it for you. Then you'll really live!" At Christmas, the cure - Grace embodied in Word came for all. Brokenness was broken at last.

  V. The Implications:

What does all of this mean for us? The fact that Lord Jesus came, He stepped out, He was God in human flesh, has several implications. A. Lord Jesus is here: Two young men on a battlefield in World War II made it to the safety of a foxhole in the midst of enemy fire. As they looked out before them across the battlefield they perceived the horror of dead and dying men. Twisted barbed wire, the earth scarred with deep holes left by cannon fire. Some men lay lifeless, others cried out for help. Finally one of the men yelled, "Where in the hell is God?" As they continued to watch and to listen soon they noticed two medics, identified by the Red Cross on their arms and their helmets, carefully making their way across the perilous scene. As they watched, the medics stopped and began to load a wounded soldier onto their stretcher. Once loaded they began to work their way to safety. As the scene unfolded before them, the other soldier now boldly answered the honest, but piercing question of his friend: "There is God! There is God!" Lord Jesus came in the midst of the loneliness and the horror of a world gone mad. Yet in the chaotic and confusion Lord Jesus announced that God is here. Where in the world is God? God is here in Christ. B. Lord Jesus is real: The word truth in John 1:14 literally means "that which is open to view, that which is unconcealed, that which is transparent." In Moffat's translation of the Bible, this word is translated as "reality." Lord Jesus was full of grace and reality. Do you hear what that is saying? Lord Jesus was real-the most real person who had ever lived, who was living then, and who has ever lived since. When Lord Jesus became a man He showed that God was not merely a principle but a person. Not a myth, but a man who was God at the same time. Not a figment of someone's imagination, but a living presence. Lord Jesus was not an idea of God, not a picture of God, but God Himself in human form. He was real. He came to show man that He is real! C. Lord Jesus wants to be involved: Lord Jesus is not like some distant relative that you see every couple of years. He wants to take residence in your life. He wants to be the "go-to" person of your life. He wants to be engaged and involved in our affairs. Most often we think of God as being up there, far removed from the cares and concerns of this created world. But because Lord Jesus became a man God came down here, living in our midst. We could never reach Him up there, but in love He came down here to us. He became touchable, approachable, and reachable. D. Lord Jesus identifies with our pain: In the act of becoming human Lord Jesus identified with our pain. The pain of loneliness, He felt it. The hurt of rejection, He felt it. The sadness of losing a loved one to death, He felt it. The scars of mental or physical abuse, He felt it. When Lord Jesus became a man, He understood us, He identified with us, He felt our pain, and our hurt too. So whatever you are passing through in life, just remember that Lord Jesus passed through them all and He helps. E. Lord Jesus offers grace: In other words, the one gift we all need for all of eternity can be found at only one source. The gift is salvation. The Giver is Lord Jesus. He is the One present you can't live without. The One who met the conditions of God for the payment for your sins and now offers forgiveness on the basis of His grace. Lord Jesus stepped out of heaven, coming for you. He brings with Him the amazing gifts of grace and truth.

  Conclusion:

She was fifteen and he was seventeen when they met. All through high school they dated and, after high school, it was not a surprise to anyone that they were married. Four years later, she was standing in her kitchen with a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, two children at her feet, and a pile of dirty diapers in the corner. Tears were streaming down her face. Looking back, she could never be quite sure why she made the decision, but she did. She took off her apron and walked out. She called that night and her young husband answered the phone. He was, understandably, quite worried and, also, quite angry. "Where are you?" he said, his concern and his anger fighting for control of his voice. "How are the children?" she asked, ignoring his question. "Well, if you mean have they been fed, they have. I've also put them to bed. They are wondering, just as I am, where are you? What are you doing?" She hung up the phone that night, but it wasn't the last of the phone calls. She called almost every week for the next three months. Her husband, knowing that something was seriously wrong, began, in those phone calls, to plead with her to come home. He would tell her that the children were with their grandparents during the day and were well cared for. He would tell her that he loved her. He would tell her how much they all missed her and then he would try to find out where she was. Whenever the conversation turned to her whereabouts, she would hang up. Finally, the young husband could stand it no longer. He took their savings and hired a private detective to find his wife. The detective reported that the run-away wife was in a third-rate hotel in Des Moines, Iowa. The young man borrowed the money from his in-laws, bought a plane ticket and flew to Des Moines. After taking a cab from the airport to the hotel, he climbed the stairs to his wife's room on the third floor. If you had been there, you would have seen the doubt in his eyes and you would have noticed the perspiration on his forehead. His hand trembled as he knocked on the door. When his wife opened the door, he forgot his prepared speech and said, "We love you so much. Won't you come home?" She fell apart in his arms. They went home together. One evening, some weeks later, the children were in bed and he and his wife were sitting in the living room before the fire. He finally got up enough courage to ask the question that had haunted him for so many months. He asked, "Why wouldn't you come home? Why, when I told you over and over again that I loved you and missed you, didn't you come home?" "Because," she said with profound simplicity, "before those were only words. But then you came." The Son of God became visible to us and came walked among us at Bethlehem. But the great tragedy of history is that He was not accepted or recognised. “His own people did not accept Him”. His own people, the Jewish race, did not accept Him. From the very beginning, with King Herod trying to kill Him, through His period as a refugee in Egypt, through His ministry with opposition from Pharisees and Sadducees, through to His crucifixion on Good Friday, “His own people did not accept Him”. The Christmas story, sadly, is the story of the unwelcome Christ. “He came to what was His own, and His own people did not accept Him.” This morning, we come to church at House of Joseph Ministries, Enugu. And the question before us is whether we will accept Him and welcome Him into our lives. Welcoming Christ into the world, into the church, into our lives, is what the gospel is all about. Welcoming Christ is actually at the heart of the gospel. There are so many myths surrounding the Christmas story that we often miss what the Bible really says and we don’t look carefully enough at the story and so are in danger of missing the point. How many of us remember the innkeeper in the story at the inn where Mary and Joseph are turned away? Well, of course, when we read the Gospel accounts of Christmas. There is no innkeeper mentioned and Mary and Joseph are not turned away. We are told that there is no room at the inn - but the word used here for inn is ‘kataluma’, which means ‘guesthouse’. And guesthouses in Palestine in Lord Jesus’ day, were on two open floors; the upper floor being bedrooms and the lower floor for cattle and horses. In truth, Palestinian culture would not have allowed the turning away of a guest. Hospitality was taken very seriously. Joseph was back in his home town. Mary had connections there, through her cousin Elizabeth whose husband Zechariah was an important priest in Jerusalem. Perhaps there was no room in the kataluma, the upstairs of the guesthouse, but it is clear that Joseph and Mary were welcomed in - even if they had to be in the downstairs part. Christ was welcomed in at His birth - born into a loving, yet humble home. And then the shepherds came from the fields; men of poverty with humble jobs and a lowly status in society - and they too welcomed Christ. Ironically, and somewhat embarrassingly, it seems that the humble and lowly house owner welcomed Christ, the humble and lowly shepherds welcomed Christ - but the holy and religious people of God did not welcome Him. What a challenge to our comfort and complacency this story is! This is an upside-down story – it does not work how we think it should. Surely the priests and the religious people should be there to welcome Christ - but they are the ones who have missed Him. It is the lowly, the poor and the marginalised who recognised the Messiah for who He truly is. God is not found in our religiosity. God meets us in our humility and poverty of spirit. Welcoming Christ is something we do out of our poverty of spirit; where we say, “Lord, I don’t have much to give You…I’m not very righteous, in fact I have so much wrong in my life…Lord, I don’t have much to offer You at all, but what I have, You can have…” That is the type of welcome that Lord Jesus wants. The welcome of the lowly guesthouse. The welcome of the poor shepherds. It seems almost too twee or excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental, almost too obvious, to quote from Christina Rosetti’s poem called, ‘What can I give Him?’ But we all know the words: “What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; If I were a wise man, I would do my part. Yet what I can I give Him – give my heart” That’s all He wants… John writes, “He came to His own, and His own people did not accept Him”. Let’s not be numbered amongst those people this morning who did not accept Him. Let’s welcome Christ – in the only way we know how - by giving Him our hearts not only at Christmas but all the time. Lord Jesus came. He personally came to each of us offering grace and truth. He didn't stand off at a distance. He is personally reaching out to you. Will you come home to Him today? Will you allow Him into your heart now and forever?
Father God, You who wrap me around with Your presence as the atmosphere wraps itself around my body, help me respond to You just as my body responds to the atmosphere and lives. I open my life afresh to You today Lord please always help me be in You and You in me. Teach me always and enable me to always welcome You in my life. In Your name Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen!