Our blessed Lord Jesus Christ reveals to us the grace of God, His redemptive nature.
Alright. Thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing all right today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back with you for a few moments to share from the Word of God, and to see whether we can put a handle on it, so that you can get hold of it for yourself.
Gospel of John is the place. The first chapter is the location. And I’m looking now at verse 18, where we find these words, “No man hath seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” Now, these truths certainly would be self-evident to anyone reading them. Perhaps, however, we can dwell on them just for a moment and see whether the Spirit of God would fill out in our understanding some things that apply, especially to us. I suppose one of the saddest things I’ve witnessed in traveling across the world in many countries has been the constant awareness of heart hunger for God on the part of people who had no way of knowing Him. There is a God-shaped vacuum, isn’t there, in the human heart? God created us for Himself, and there is that longing for the living God. People seek it in so many ways. And the devil has created a great many detours, dead end streets that lead the hungry soul out into the depths of frustration and ultimate despair, in the search for somehow finding a way to God.
You old timers remember Dr. Walter Wilson, one time physician turned Bible teacher, who was not only a good Bible teacher, but an inveterate soul winner. He told in my hearing on one occasion what happened when he went into a little shop, whether it was in Kansas City, or St. Louis, or one of those Midwestern cities, and engaged the shopkeeper in conversation concerning a business matter. And in the conversation the shopkeeper used the name of God. And Dr. Wilson, never one to miss an opportunity, said, “Oh, do you know Him?” And the shopkeeper turned around, surprised, Dr. Wilson said, looked at him and said, “No. Do you?” And Dr. Wilson said, “Yes. I know Him.” And this man, who was of European extraction, I think a German background, said, “Can you get to God?” And Dr. Wilson said, “Yes, I can.” And then he proceeded to tell him, how through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ you can come right into the presence of God, and you can be born again and become a child of God, and then walk boldly into the throne room of grace in prayer. Well, the man was overjoyed and received Christ as his Savior right then and there.
Can you get to God? Yes. It is true no man hath seen God at any time. See, there’s a barrier there ever since the human race fell into sin. And the barrier is two-fold. One is that God is spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. And the second and more formidable barrier is that in our own hearts, that it is impossible for us to comprehend or, indeed, to take in, naturally speaking, in our own natural sinful state, it’s impossible for us to comprehend or to take in the reality of Almighty God; that takes a miracle. The Bible calls it the new birth.
No man hath seen God at any time. Well, what do you do about it? John 1:18, says, “The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” The word ‘declared’ is an interesting word, it means to lead out, or fully reveal, or fully to explain. It’s used, I think, five or six times at most in the New Testament, and in each case it means a full explanation of, a full declaration of, a bringing out of all of the facts. That’s what it means each time it’s used. Now, you take that meaning and bring it here into John 1:18, and what does it say? He has fully revealed, fully explained, brought out all the facts about your Heavenly Father. All you ever need to know about God is in Jesus. Fully explained Him. And so having trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and committed yourself to Him as your Lord, you, then, and I have the unspeakable privilege, not only of calling on God and praying to Him, but of looking to Him.
Why? Why, “We all with open face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” You pay attention to the Lord Jesus Christ who took upon Himself the form of a human being in order that we might see Him. He said, “Here.” He said, “Touch me, handle me, and see that I’m real.” This He spoke after His death and resurrection. He’s still a real person that you can get to. You understand me? And because that is true, you look to Jesus and you understand something of Almighty God. This, I think, is the ultimate answer to the question, “Why do I have to trust in Jesus? Why can’t I trust in Mohammad or some other person? Why do I have to trust in Jesus?” And the answer is, He’s the only one through whom you can ever get to the living God.
Now, it says, “He hath declared Him.” What has He declared? In each case, when this word is used in the New Testament, it’s a Greek word, ‘exÃ©geomai.’ It means to lead out, fully declare, fully explain, bring out all the facts about a thing. In each case, when this is used, it has to do with information that you can get hold of. Now, what does the Lord Jesus reveal about God the Father in terms of information that you can grasp for yourself? Well, I think you have to go back to what was said before. We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, of His fullness have all we received and grace for grace for the law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” He has declared the Father.
So here you have some concepts. You have the glory of God. Verse 14, you have the grace of God, and you have the truth of God. And when you put those three concepts together, it comes pretty close to wrapping up in a kind of a microcosm of thought what you and I want to know about God. Take them in inverse order: Truth. Jesus, our blessed Lord gives us the truth about a holy God. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts. Our Lord Jesus said, “Be ye holy for I am holy.” He tells us about the holiness of God. He tells us about the truth of God. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He tells us about the directions of God. “I am the way.” He tells us about the dynamics of God. “I am the life,” said He. He tells us about the sustaining power of God. “I am the bread of life. The water,” said He, “of life.”
He tells us about the enlightenment of God. “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” He tells us about the tender care of God. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” Jesus, our blessed Lord, tells us the truth about God. I think you’d profit by reading the four Gospels and, when reading, ask yourself constantly the question, “What is this telling me about Almighty God through Jesus? What is Jesus telling me about God?” when you read this. It will be so enlightening, and it will shake you up some, I promise, if you’ll read God’s Word with that question in mind. The answers, I promise you, will come thick and fast, and in the end you will know more about God than you ever thought you would.
Truth. Jesus, our blessed Lord gives us the truth, the facts about God. His eternity before Abraham was, said He, “I am.” His omniscience, He knew all things. His omnipotence. He said, “Thinkest thou not that I could call 12 legions of angels from my Father at this time.” See, He tells us about God, but He tells us in the form that He took on, a human form, so that we can understand it. Then he says, “Full of grace and truth.” The grace of God.
All over the world, I have observed that people fear their deities, and they ultimately fear the living God whom they know exists, but they don’t know Him and they’re afraid of Him. This is certainly true in our own civilization. You meet a friend in the supermarket and start talking about God, and you’ll soon be alone. Your friend will have gone elsewhere. People are afraid to be involved with God, except perhaps in a religiously structured occasion where they feel a little safer. And so it is that our blessed Lord Jesus Christ reveals to us the grace of God, His redemptive nature.
God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God loves you. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.” The grace of God is revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who said to one, one day, “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.” The forgiveness of God, the tenderness of God. Jesus took up His little children into His arms and blessed them. The perception of potential that God has, Jesus, looking upon the young man, loved him and said, “Go, sell what you have and come follow me.” The grace of God, His redemptive nature. He’s out to save you, my friend. And Jesus was given to us to prove that fact. Then of course, there’s the glory of God. We’ll get at that the next time we get together.
Father God, today may we be serving the Lord Jesus who reveals God to us and through us. Amen. ‘Til I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing.
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