(You can listen to this study by audio, and you can pause the audio to follow page links, then resume when you are ready. Please note that I use page links in lieu of references or footnotes for important details of this teaching.)
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN– Part 9
John 1:15-17, “John testified about Him and called out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who is coming after me has proved to be my superior, because He existed before me.’” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”
According to Malachi 4:5, this messenger is “the prophet Elijah,” whom Jesus identifies as John the Baptist. In other words, John did for Jesus what Elijah was to have done for the coming of the Lord. Jesus identified John the Baptist as Elijah based upon people’s response to his role. To those who were willing to believe in Jesus, John the Baptist functioned as Elijah, for they believed in Jesus as Lord.
It is fitting that the word for ‘testified’, as used in verse 15, is the Greek word ‘martureó’, which means ‘to witness or to bear witness to’, and comes from the root word, ‘martus’, from which we get our English word, ‘martyr’. John was to be martyred through beheading, by King Herod.
THE OVERWHELMING GOOD NEWS
First, John announces that we have now received ‘grace upon grace’, in Jesus. In other words, God’s favor toward you is now being compounded upon itself, imparting divine influence upon your heart, and is to be reflected in your life; including an overflowing gratitude, resulting joy, pleasure and thanksgiving. He goes on to say that this “grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”
Who would not want to receive and experience such an abundance? This, however, is just the tip of a much larger and profound Truth. A Truth that comes with an equally large responsibility.
Emmanuel, (meaning, ‘God with us’), has come in human form, to earth. And, it is not just for a visit. It is an invasion. God is here to gather His people, to build His Church as His invading army, and then to take them to His Eternal Home.
He is here to rescue, redeem and to take His people back from the evil one and from the curse of eternal death. He is here to save you and to take you safely to your eternal home.
But, this exceedingly Good News does not come without a price. Jesus has traded His life for your safe passage to heaven. There is a caveat or a deal you must enter into. It is a Covenant which has been written in His Blood. You must believe on the One whom God has sent; you must repent – that is, agree to turn away from your current life – and follow Him, to live His life. That’s the deal.
Romans 10:9-10, tells you that you must, “confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Finally, you will see that John is not only announcing the arrival of the King, but, we will see that he sets an example. An example for all who would believe in and follow Jesus. An example of witnessing to others, that the King of Kings has arrived, and is calling them to join Him in these last days.
This is where things get real. If you do not know Him as your Savior, Lord and King, now is the time to trade in the mundane and to go on an adventure that leads to eternal life.
If you do confess Jesus as your Lord, it’s time to stop ‘going to church’ and join the King, as His Church, His invading army. You can no longer sit in a pew, give some portion of your income and call it good. It is time to take up your cross, sword and shield, and follow Him into the battle!
Our next lessons will tell you how, through the words of John and the words of Jesus.
Your Brother and Friend,
Please bookmark this page and go with me on this amazing journey through God’s Word, as we find our place in God’s Battle Plan for these last days.
Next: Part 10