Believe and Live

Key Verse: “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.”
—John 1:14

Selected Scripture:
John 1:7-42

IN JOHN’S GOSPEL (chapter 1:1-5), Jesus in his prehuman condition is described as the Word of God, or the Logos, “the firstborn of every creature.” (Col. 1:15) This scripture is clear; God directly created no other being than the Logos. In ancient kingdoms, a Logos was the king’s representative, or mouthpiece. John used this illustration to picture God speaking to mankind through his only begotten son—to the church now, and soon to the world of mankind during Christ’s thousand-year Messianic kingdom. In this capacity, all of the creative works of the Father were entrusted to him, as the Apostle Paul records, “By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible.”—Col. 1:16

The Key Verse tells us, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” so that mankind might be redeemed from the curse—the death sentence that God placed upon all mankind due to Adam’s disobedience—which includes sorrow, pain and alienation from God. The Apostle Paul, quoting Psalm 40:6 (Septuagint Version), says of our Lord Jesus: “A body hast thou prepared me” (Heb. 10:5), which was to be used for the suffering of death, and as a ransom price to redeem Adam and all mankind. It is little wonder that the angel rejoiced to announce to the shepherds that the Logos was made flesh as the “babe” of “Bethlehem.” (Luke 2:10-12) The angel said, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” The work of redemption began with Jesus’ consecration at thirty years of age; his baptism in the Jordan River symbolized his sacrificial death. He who was made flesh for that purpose gave himself to be a ransom price for all mankind, “to be testified in due time.”—I Tim. 2:6

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He preached, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 3:2) Only the Israelites “indeed” (John 1:47), those without guile, were ready to receive the Messiah and became John’s disciples. John’s baptism was intended only for Jews not wholly faithful to the Law. His mission was the announcement of Jesus as the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”—John 1:29

He came to bear witness to that Light that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to witness to that Light (John 1:6-9) which “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” The role of John the Baptist was to lead people to believe in Jesus. However, as the account states: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”—John 1:11,12

The Apostle John wrote his Gospel—so that we might come to believe in Jesus as the Messiah, and through that belief we might have life. “Jesus did many other miraculous signs. … But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that … you may have life in his name.”—John 20:30,31, New International Version

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