The Old Testament in John 1:19-51

It is breathtaking to see all the things that God promised in the Old Testament come together in the gospel of John. Here are just a few that we see in John 1:19-51.

  • Elijah (v. 21a)

5“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. Malachi 4:5 (ESV)

  • The Prophet like Moses (v. 21b)

15“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen” Deuteronomy 18:15 (ESV)

  • The Voice in the Wilderness (v. 23)

3A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3–5 (ESV)

  • The Greater Jacob/Israel (v. 51)

As I talked about in the sermon, Genesis 28:10-22 gives us an amazing yet strange vision that Jacob had. He saw “a ladder set up [at Bethel] and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending (going up) and descending (going down) on it!” Jesus, in John 1:51 identified himself with this ladder. He is saying he is the ladder of heaven, the revelation of God, the true, new, and better Bethel (which means house of God in Hebrew).

  • The Son of Man (v. 51)

13“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.

14And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13–14 (ESV)

  • Others

The Lamb of God (v. 29), the Christ (v. 20), the Messiah/Christ (v. 41), the Son of God (v. 49), the King of Israel (v. 49)

 

The Before-and-After of the Christian Life

Today’s text (Colossians 1:21-23) gives us a beautiful before-and-after picture of the Christian life. It is very common for advertising companies to use before-and-after images in order to prove the power and ability of the product they are trying to sell.  This is the sort of thing Paul is giving us here. This is your situation before Christ saved you: because of your sin, you were “alienated, hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.” This is your situation now by the grace of God: you are “reconciled” in order to be presented “holy and blameless and above reproach” before God.

This amazing, before-and-after picture does not make much of you.  It merely shows how far you have come in your spiritual maturity.  This picture clearly makes much of God’s power in the way He gives sight to the spiritually blind (Matthew 11:5). This picture glorifies God in the way He gives life to us: we who were “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).  As your reflect on the sermon, remember the immeasurable grace of your savior Jesus Christ who, despite the fact that you were in rebellion against Him, loved you and saved you.  What an amazing God we worship.

The book of Colossians has been a huge blessing in my life.  If you are interested in going through Colossians in you devotional time, I would encourage you to consider The Hope of Glory by Sam Storms. My wife and I have been greatly blessed by reading this devotional together. I also recommend a book called The Hole in Our Holiness for anyone who would like to learn more about the joy of seeking holiness.

The Hope of Glory by Sam Storms

100 daily Meditations on Colossians

The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin Deyoung

Tells of God’s power to help us grow in personal holiness as we enjoy the process of transformation

Practical Aids in Deepening Spiritual Life

In today’s text (Eph 2:1-7), the Apostle Paul lets us know that we were once dead in sin, but that God made us alive with Christ.  And the question I want to ask those of you who profess life in Christ: what are some of the signs in your life that show that you are in fact alive?

Would it be fair to say that life with Christ involves regular communication with Him?  In short, do you pray and set aside time to regularly hear from God from His Word?  Do you make it a point to be in God’s house, to experience the spiritual gifts (teaching, helping, administrating, etc.) that He has given to other members of His body, that He hasn’t perhaps given to you?  Do we show signs of life when we say that we don’t need others in the body, the church?  The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you” (1 Cor 12:21).

If you are already practicing those disciplines that reflect your life in Christ (regular prayer, Bible reading, and church attendance) and would like something in addition, might I recommend some solid Christian book reading to help shepherd your soul throughout the week?  I am regularly nourished by my Bible reading, prayer, and being with all of you in worship, but my horizons have been greatly expanded to see signs of life among the saints in other times and in other places.  Here are some books I have been greatly helped by:

–          Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis

–          How Should We Then Live, Francis Schaeffer

–          The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

–          The Gospel According to Jesus, John MacArthur

–          The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul

–          The Story of Christianity, Justo Gonzalez (Church History)

–          What Does God Want of Us Anyway, Mark Dever

–          Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper

–          Keeping the Heart, John Flavel

–          Morning and Evening, Charles Spurgeon (Devotional)