1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel


The Word of God, Lesson 4, John 1:14-18


We ended our study last time learning that the relationship of the Word with men is not a relationship formed by blood, nor formed by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man but only formed by the power of God.


Man, regardless of time or technology cannot, meaning it is impossible to change the basic nature of man.


Religion loudly proclaims otherwise, declaring the keeping of ordinances and laws will bring a relationship with God, but God be true and every man a liar.


Jesus said without qualification, Ye must be born again.


And that is a birth brought about only and totally by the Spirit of God.


That alone forms the relationship between the Word and Man


In our short study of The Word of God we have covered   the Word and Deity, the Word and Creation, the Word and Life, the Word and the World and the Word and Men so today we will begin our sixth connection of the Word, that of his Incarnation a subject so appropriate to this Christmastime.


The Word Incarnate speaks clearly of God, the very God, a Spirit coming to the earth to dwell in a body.


God is Spirit, but He chose to take on himself a body for without a human body, a perfect sacrifice and the shedding of perfect blood was not possible.


The word Incarnation has a connection with the word incarcerate, which means to confine. 


Incarnation means God in love, God as the Word chose to confine himself in a human body in order to carry out His promise to Eve to bruise the serpent’s head.


So in John 1:14 we read of this confinement of a Spirit in a body:


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.


In the beginning was the Word!


And the Word was Spirit but because God is Love the Word became flesh in order to take on the sins of the world and to bear them for us thus suffering the attendant consequences.


This is the last time John uses the term "Word".


After this it is Jesus or Lord for now the word is flesh. 


He has tied the Word and Jesus to ONE.


This is the event that John has been leading up to in this beautiful Gospel Preface, the Word became flesh.


Here John affirms that the Word did not take a bodily form or some heavenly humanity, but he took our human nature (apart from sin) or as said in Romans 8:3, in the likeness of sinful flesh.  


God had sent his word in a variety of ways as we have seen but now at last (and this is last) He has made himself known as a real historical human person, when the Word became flesh, God became man!


John ignores the beautiful Christmas stories, he ignores the scene in Bethlehem, the Sheppard’s, the virgin birth, so he brings the Word out of eternity instead of Bethlehem, from God instead of Mary.


And John brings us a comforting thought by saying "And dwelt among us"


This means he pitched his tent among you.


He pitched his tabernacle among us


As the tabernacle of Exodus was erected by God's command in order that his dwelling place might be established with his people, now in a fuller sense he has taken up residence on earth in the Word made flesh.


In Exodus 40:34, "the cloud covered the tent of meeting" and at the dedication of Solomon's temple "a cloud filled the house of the Lord....for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord" as 1 Kings 8:10 state.


When the Word became flesh the glorious presence of God was embodied in him for he is the true Shekinah (residence)


He is our residence "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being."  Acts 17:28


John then looks back by saying ( we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) and recalls the glory of the incarnate Word, the sacrifice on the cross which crowned his calling and the glory which he beheld on the mountain top at the transfiguration witnessed by Peter, James and John.  Mark 9:3


His glory is full of grace and truth.


Full means that he could not have any more grace and truth then he had. 


He had it all in bodily form.


For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.  And ye are complete in Him.... Col 2:9,10a.


The Word brought it all with Him in Jesus Christ.


And what a glorious message that is at this Christmas time.


So leaving the Word Incarnate we now move into the seventh and last subject of our series, the subject of The Word Revealing for the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ came declaring or revealing the Father.


For Jesus said to Philip, he that hath seen me hath seen the father for I and my father are one.


Reading John 1:16-18, And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.


This speaks of the spiritual wealth of Christ for He had the full measure of all the divine powers and graces which are concentrated absolutely in the incarnate Word, now given a human name, the glorious name of Jesus Christ.


Paul says in Col 1:19, For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;


Jesus Christ's fulness is a Bank of Grace in which you can never be overdrawn for bouncing checks do not exist in the Bank of Grace. 


Each Christian according to his fellowship with Christ draws from that fulness whatever he needs for the accomplishment of his own part in the life of the Church, Christ's body.


Quoting from Brooke Foss Westcott’s, The Gospel according to John


“Christians receive from Christ as from a spring of divine life whatever they severally require according to their position and work. All is in Him and all in Him is available for the believer.”


We have received life, peace, joy, God's own Word, the Holy Spirit. 


All that we need both for time and eternity.


John was a witness to the glory of Christ but he includes us as receivers of the same grace as the witnesses.


We all received his gifts when we were admitted to his fold.


No group or organization or denomination can lay claim to having more grace available to them than another group.


And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.


Each grace appropriated becomes a foundation for another grace.


A little use of grace gains a larger measure of grace.


One wave in the ocean of grace is replaced by another more energetic wave of grace.


The Psalmist of Psalm 23:5 pictures grace for grace as a table God prepares before me, where my head is anointed with oil and my cup runneth over.


There is no end to what is poured in the cup.


It is not given in a miserly fashion as if the bank of grace were bankrupt but poured out like Mary’s ointment upon the head of Jesus, as if there is no end.


And we continue to learn in John 1:17 what the Word Reveals:

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.


This is John’s first mention of the name of the Word made flesh, the Word Incarnate, named Jesus, who is the Christ, the Anointed one.


This verse contrasts the law given by Moses, to grace and truth revealed by Jesus Christ.


It clearly implies the law’s limitations compared to the limitless bounty of truth and grace brought by the Word Incarnate.


Hebrews 10:1 speaks to this: For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.


The law proclaimed good things to come. 


The law revealed our state but did not help.


It revealed the reign of sin, but it did not subdue sin.


The law shows the heart of man but offers no cleansing fountain.


It tells us of our feebleness but imparts no strength.


The law is good and serves an important purpose. 


It is the school master that brings us to the only one who is equipped to do anything eternal for us, the only one capable of solving our problems.


We need help and that help is grace!


The law was given to Moses, it was not his own, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ because these are his own perfections, they were not given to him because he is grace and he is truth.


God was revealed somewhat through the law but as of a shadow but God was fully made known by the Word Incarnate, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.


2 Cor 3:10,11 enlightens us further as to the law and grace:

For even that which was made glorious (the law) had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth (grace).  For if that which is done away was glorious (the law), much more that which remaineth is glorious (grace).


Also notice the connection of these two words "Grace" and "Truth"

Grace comes to those who accept the Truth.


Grace and Truth go together for you cannot have one without the other.


It is miserable that many professing Christian’s desire God’s grace but shun God’s truth.


God has so ordained grace to cease its flow toward those who attempt to make their own truth. 


Many would like the grace of salvation but cannot tolerate the truth that one must believe to enjoy the Grace.


Note the story in Luke 4:22, as Jesus preached they wondered at his gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth but in verse 28 when they heard truth about themselves they were filled with wrath and thrust him out of the city.


We see in the gospel of John a development of this theme of Grace being tied to Truth.


People are ready to hear Grace but it’s the truth that offends and causes many to depart from the Grace that saves.


But it is only the Truth that shall make you free!


Again reading John 1:18, No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.


We see that the Word, Jesus Christ, has "declared", told, revealed, unveiled, displayed the Father, being the one who has full knowledge of the Father and has every capacity to reveal him to us. 


He resides in the bosom of the Father. 


Where other than the bosom is a place of intimacy, a place of love and comfort and knowledge and a place of the Father's love.


In becoming flesh he did not leave that intimate union as it says here, he is in (present tense) the bosom of the Father.


His incarnation did not impair or weaken that relationship.


Nothing changed in the slightest degree from the nearness and oneness to the Father that he had enjoyed from all eternity.


Verse 18 begins by telling us of the separation of God from man.


No man hath seen God at any time.


Remember when Moses was called up to the mountain and God revealed himself to him by letting him see only His back parts for this was in the dispensation of the Law.


But we live in the dispensation of Grace and Truth and therefore we, seeing Jesus Christ are allowed to see the Father in His fulness.


Reading 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.


How do we then see God in all his glory. 


By looking into the face of Jesus Christ which we can do by knowing his Word and letting the Holy Spirit do a work of Grace in our hearts.


The God whom no man has seen has now been fully revealed and declared by Jesus Christ.


Therefore, all we need to know about the Father is revealed in Him.


John begins his Gospel with this important declaration for as we see Jesus we see the Father.


There is no thick darkness, no clouds, no backparts.


We, by God's grace and truth walk in the light by being in Jesus Christ.


So it is imperative to believe on Him in order to be in Him.