SESSION 3 SAVED BY GOD S SON. When have you felt captivated by a rescue mission? #BSFLpriceless QUESTION BIBLE STUDIES FOR LIFE

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1 SESSION 3 SAVED BY GOD S SON When have you felt captivated by a rescue mission? QUESTION #1 #BSFLpriceless BIBLE STUDIES FOR LIFE 29

2 THE POINT THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE Some assembly required. Many of us dread those words. Maybe you ve known that terrible feeling that comes when you finish assembling some item, only to find you have one part left over. Everything seems to be in working order, but you stare at that unknown piece wondering. What s it for? Can I throw it away? Do I start over? It s not always easy to determine the purpose of some things. And that goes beyond spare parts. Maybe you ve even asked yourself that all-important question: What am I here for? One person who never questioned His purpose was Jesus. The apostle John began his account of Jesus life by making sure his readers had a clear understanding of Jesus purpose. We could use a lot of good theological terms to express that purpose, but let me state it simply: rescue. 30 SESSION 3

3 WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY? John 1:1-5, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. 5 That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it. 9 The true light,who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not recognize Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. 12 But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. 14 The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. The Word (v. 1) In the first century, the Jews used logos to refer to the authoritative word of God, especially as He spoke through the Old Testament. For the Greek philosophers, logos was the principle that guided the order of the world. John used this term to refer to Jesus as the One who brought both God s power and light to those in the darkness of sin and separation from God. His own (v. 11) Jesus was born to Mary, a Jewish mother who was married to Joseph, a man whose lineage included such heroes as Abraham, King David, and King Josiah (see Matt. 1:1 16). Jesus came as the Messiah God promised through the Old Testament prophecies to send to His people. BIBLE STUDIES FOR LIFE 31

4 THE POINT John 1:1-5 The first verses of John 1 are all about the Word. The Jews of John s day equated that term with Scripture, which makes sense. Words communicate, and Scripture is one of the major ways God has communicated about Himself. The Bible is God s revelation of Himself including His rescue plan for humanity. The Word is also a fitting title for Jesus, because He is the ultimate revelation of God. Everything God wanted to say to humanity, He said through Jesus Christ. As an example, consider what John 1:1-5 reveals about Jesus, the Word. He is: Eternal. Before anything was created, Jesus existed. He had no beginning and He has no end. Divine. Jesus is God. He is not dependent on anything else, while everything else is dependent on Him for existence. Jesus is unlimited by time, space, knowledge, or power. He is eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. He is God. Period. Life. Creation has been messed up by human sin and rebellion. Yet that s the very reason Jesus came to earth to restore life to us. Life was in Him (v. 4). Life is found only in Jesus. Light. Like light, Jesus offers many benefits in our lives. Light reveals, for example. In the same way, Jesus shines in the dark places of our hearts to reveal our need for forgiveness. Light also gives guidance when it s time to take the next step. Similarly, Jesus leads us in the right direction; He is our guide. Finally, light gives assurance when we re scared of the dark. Jesus brings us peace and assurance when we rest in the promise of His salvation. What does the imagery in these verses teach us about Jesus? QUESTION #2 32 SESSION 3

5 JESUS THE LIGHT What are some of the ways you depend on light in your everyday life? Record your answers under the images below. In what ways do you depend on Jesus as a Light in your life? BIBLE STUDIES FOR LIFE 33

6 THE POINT What do these verses teach us about salvation? John 1:9-13 QUESTION #3 The central story of the Bible is how God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue us from sin. The Old Testament points to our need for a Savior, the promised Messiah. God planned our rescue, our redemption, before creation. What we celebrate at Christmas is the fulfillment of that plan. God s Son came as a human as one of us! He was born of Mary, a virgin. He is Immanuel, God with us (see Matt. 1:23). God has revealed Himself through His Word, Jesus Christ. And there are only two possible responses to that revelation: Reject Jesus. The world has already rejected God as Creator (see Rom. 1:20-21), so we shouldn t be surprised at John s words in verse 10: the world did not recognize Him. Yet even His own people (v. 11) the Jews who had the Scriptures pointing to the coming Messiah rejected Him. To reject Jesus as the Word is to continue to live in darkness and spend eternity separated from God. Accept Jesus. When we accept Jesus for who He is the revealed Word of God He gives us light and life. John used two words to describe the process of accepting Jesus: receive and believe (v. 12). Receiving Jesus means submitting to His Lordship over your life and believing in your heart that He is your Savior. Obviously, one of these choices is best! When we humbly accept Jesus as our Savior, He brings us into His family. We become children of God. All of this happens by His grace; we don t have to work for it. God gives us a new birth and an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading (1 Pet. 1:4). In other words, our rescue from sin and death has come in the form of God s free gift. 34 SESSION 3

7 John 1:14 The Word became flesh. This is the miracle of the virgin birth. God became flesh. God, the One who is eternal, came into the fullness of time. God, the One who lives in unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16), became visible for all to see. Jesus, the Lord of lords, left heaven s throne to be born as a baby in Bethlehem. Other than an angelic announcement to a few shepherds (see Luke 2:8-14), Jesus came with no fanfare. No baby shower. No baby registry. But even then and throughout His earthly life John notes that we observed His glory. Jesus did not set aside His deity. Throughout the Gospels, we see glimpses of Jesus divine nature. Consider His miracles and His teachings. John could write about seeing His glory because he was there when Jesus was transformed in front of them, and His face shone like the sun (Matt. 17:2). Transformed in the Greek is where we get the word metamorphosis. Jesus glory that was on the inside came through on the outside. How did Jesus earthly life reveal God s glory? QUESTION #4 James MacDonald refers to glory as God s fingerprint. 1 Glory is His signature. Jesus life radiated glory! And He did this by exhibiting two of the most important qualities of God: His grace and His truth. Jesus displayed both of these perfectly. During His earthly life, Jesus truth did not lessen His grace, and His grace did not lessen His truth. We should follow Christ s example. We who have experienced God s grace should be truth people. And we who believe God s truth should also be growing in grace. We need both clarity and charity. Too often we choose one to the exclusion of the other, but Christ never did. As Paul wrote: Speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head Christ (Eph. 4:15). At Christmas, parents get great joy out of giving gifts to their children. God delights in giving us gifts, as well. He has given us His grace and truth. He has blessed us with His glory. And He did all this when He sent His Son to rescue us. Now that s a gift! What is your next step in joining Jesus on His rescue mission? QUESTION #5 BIBLE STUDIES FOR LIFE 35

8 THE POINT LIVE IT OUT Jesus has come. How will you respond to that simple and profound truth in the days to come? Consider the following options: Consider the impact. Make a list of ways Jesus coming to earth impacts you today. Thank Him for leaving Heaven, taking on flesh, and giving His life so that you might be adopted into His family. Show grace. Be on the lookout for ways to show grace to others around you. Represent Christ well in the way you interact with others. Speak truth. Stand for truth in today s culture, but let the truth be immersed in God s grace. Jesus rescues us and gives our lives purpose. And that purpose is to follow Jesus and bring glory to God. My thoughts 1. James MacDonald, Vertical Church: What Every Heart Longs for, What Every Church Can Be (David C. Cook, 2012). 36 SESSION 3

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