Because God Became Flesh

Dr. Steve Viars January 17, 2021 John 1:1-18
Outline

John 20:30-31 - Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

“Irenaeus wrote a book Against Heresies…in which he stated…‘Afterwards [after the Synoptic Gospels were written], John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.” (John MacArthur, John 1-11, p. 3)

3 reasons we can enjoy life because God came to earth

I. Rejoice in the Deity of Christ – vv. 1-5

“The prologue (first 18 verses) is a foyer to the rest of the Fourth Gospel, simultaneously drawing the reader in and introducing the major themes.” (D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John, p. 11)

“Verses 1-18, the prologue to John’s presentation of the deity of Christ, are a synopsis or overview of the entire book…The reality that Jesus is God, introduced in the prologue, is expounded throughout the book by John’s careful selection of claims and miracles that seal the case. Verses 1-3 of the prologue teach that Jesus is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father; verses 4-5 relate the salvation He brought, which was announced by His herald, John the Baptist (vv. 6-8); verses 9-13 describe the reaction of the human race to Him, either rejection (vv. 10-11) or acceptance (vv. 12-13); verses 14-18 summarize the entire prologue. The prologue also introduces several key terms that appear throughout the book, including light (3:19-21; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35-36, 46), darkness (3:19; 8:12; 12:35, 46), life (3:15-16, 36; 4:14, 36; 5:21, 24, 26, 39-40; 6:27, 33, 35, 40, 47-48, 51, 53-54, 63, 68; 8:12; 10:10, 28; 11:25; 12:25, 50; 14:6; 17:2, 3; 20:31), witness (or testify; 2:25; 3:11; 5:31, 36, 39; 7:7; 8:14; 10:25; 12:17; 15:26-27; 18:37), glory (2:11; 5:41, 44; 7:18; 8:50, 54; 11:4, 40; 12:41; 17:5, 22, 24), and world (3:16-17, 19; 4:42; 6:14, 33, 51; 7:7; 8:12, 23, 26; 9:5, 39; 10:36; 11:27; 12:19, 31, 46-47; 13:1; 14:17, 19, 22, 27, 30-31; 15:18-19; 16:8, 11, 20, 28, 33; 17:5-6, 9, 11, 13-16, 18, 21, 23-25; 18:36-37).” (John MacArthur, John 1-11, p. 15)

A. The Word (Christ) has always been with God

Luke 24:27 - Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…

“The English translation does not bring out the full richness of the Greek expression (pros ton theon). That phrase means far more than merely that the Word existed with God; it ‘[gives] the picture of two personal beings facing one another and engaging in intelligent discourse.’ (W. Robert Cook, The Theology of John [Chicago: Moody, 1979], 49). From all eternity Jesus, as the second person of the trinity, was ‘with the Father [pros ton patera]’ (1 John 1:2) in deep, intimate fellowship.” (John Macarthur, p. 17)

B. The Word (Christ) has always been God

John 1:1-2 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

C. The Word (Christ) has created all things

John 1:3 - All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Colossians 1:16-17 - For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

D. The Word (Christ) is the source of life

John 1:4 - In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

II. Respond to the Light of Life – vv. 6-13

John 1:5b - …and the darkness did not comprehend it…

A. The Light was presented by John the Baptist

John 1:6-8 - There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

Isaiah 40:3 - A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.”

Malachi 4:5-6 - Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.

B. The light was rejected by the world

John 1:9-11 - There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

C. The Light changes all who believe

John 1:12-13 - But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

III. Marvel in the Glory of God – vv. 14-18

A. How God came to earth

John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

dwelt – skenoo – “to live in a tent”

B. The witness to the coming to earth

John 1:15 - John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’”

C. Christ has come to point us to God

John 1:16-17 - 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.


- One of the world’s most valuable shipwrecks is the Nuestra Senora de Atocha…

- The ship was sailing from the new world to Spain in 1622 when it was hit by a hurricane and subsequently sunk.

- 5 of the 260 persons aboard survived and there were attempts to locate the wreckage because of its incredibly valuable cargo…

- it contained 40 tons of gold…and 70 pounds of Columbian emeralds…

- however, no one was able to recover the cargo, so it sat at the bottom of the ocean for 300 years…

- that’s when well-known deep-sea explorer Mel Fisher entered the story…

- he and his crews took years trying to find the treasure…

- in 1973 the crew found a few silver bars whose markings matched the original ship’s records…then 2 years later they found two of the ship’s cannons…

- in 1980 they discovered the wreck of the Santa Margarita, a sister ship to the Senora de Atocha…

- then on July 20, 1985 they discovered the de Atocha itself off the Florida Keys…

- the treasure included 24 tons of silver bullion, ingots, and coins…125 gold bars and discs….and 1200 pounds of silverware…

- it was valued at over 400 million dollars…

- can you imagine what it would be like to make a discovery like that?...the numbers and value are staggering…it’s a treasure almost beyond comprehension…

- there’s a sense in which that is the way John opens his all-important gospel…with an introductory description of the Lord Jesus Christ that is so amazing that it is hard to put into words…like finding a treasure who worth and value has no limits….

- that’s why this Lord’s Day – like every Lord’s day – is a celebration, because – we can Enjoying Life Because God Became Flesh

- with that in mind, please open your Bible to the gospel of John chapter 1…

- Our church’s theme this year is Enjoying Life in His Name…this is a verse-by-verse exposition of the gospel of John…

- we’re taking the wording of the theme from John’s stated purpose statement in John 20:30–31 - Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

- John is by far the most unique of the four gospels…

- the other three – Matthew, Mark, and Luke – are referred to as synoptic gospels…in other words, they cover a lot of overlapping material (similar)…which is great, because we are able to learn of those events from three unique perspectives which is always helpful…

- John is written later, and it is likely that he knew of the synoptics – and he may have chosen his content to give further explanation of the events already discussed, and as an eyewitness to share additional material he believed was especially important to understand more fully the Person and work of Christ and as the purpose statement expressed…

– to then choose to make a decision to admit one’s sin and place your faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus because in so doing, you would like life in His name…

- there’s very little doubt among conservative students of Scripture that the apostle John was the author – you can check the commentaries if you’re interested in all the reasons…

- we’re not going to take the time to deal with issues like the reliability of the original text, how early this gospel was already being cited by other ancient sources, etc. – but it really is an amazing story of the way God preserves His Word and provides us with so many reasons to believe in its reliability – far more than any other ancient book by any secular author we could name…so I would encourage you to consider educating yourself in some of those issues as you prepare to be a more effective witness for Christ in the days ahead…

- here’s just one example to whet your appetite…

- students of church history are familiar with a man named Polycarp – he was a first-generation disciple of John himself…so as John was fulfilling the Great Commission…he was making disciples just as Christ had commanded…

- Polycarp in turn, had a student named Irenaeus – who lived from 130-200 AD…

- Irenaeus wrote a book Against Heresies…in which he stated…“Afterwards [after the Synoptic Gospels were written], John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia” (3.1.1), (John MacArthur, John 1-11, p. 3).

- it is amazing that God has given us evidence outside of the Bible of the authenticity of the Gospel of John that soon after it was written…

- again, I would encourage you during these dark days of winter – where there are so many conflicting opinions swirling around about so many different things – to turn off the electronic devices and sink your teeth into information about an eyewitness account that is so verifiably reliable…be sure you’re looking for treasure in the right place…

- now, back to our author – you may remember that he, along with his brother James – was nicknamed by Jesus one of the Sons of Thunder because of his fiery disposition…

- but we often consider him to be the apostle of love because of that emphasis in both his gospel and also his three epistles, or letters, that appear later in the NT…

- many times John is included in the select group of three disciples, along with James and Peter, for unique privileges like seeing firsthand the Lord’s transformation…which makes his eyewitness accounts even more valuable…

- We believe he was writing in the mid-80’s AD, as a Palestinian Jew, from the city of Ephesus to encourage as many people as possible in that part of the world to have clear, eyewitness reasons to admit their sin and place their faith and trust in Christ…

- our goal this morning is to study the first 18 verses of chapter 1…and see how and why we can Enjoying Life Because God Became Flesh

- read John 1:1-18

- so we’re talking about Enjoying Life Because God Became Flesh and with the time we have remaining, let’s think about 3 reasons we can enjoy life because God Came to Earth

I. Rejoice in the Deity of Christ – vv. 1-5

- what we just read sets the table for the information that John will be presenting in the rest of the gospel…

- D.A. Carson said it like this - The prologue (first 18 verses) is a foyer to the rest of the Fourth Gospel, simultaneously drawing the reader in and introducing the major themes (D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John, p. 11).

- that means that much of what we just read is going to be expanded in future chapters…so this is like a topic sentence at the beginning of a paragraph…

- Verses 1–18, the prologue to John’s presentation of the deity of Christ, are a synopsis or overview of the entire book…The reality that Jesus is God, introduced in the prologue, is expounded throughout the book by John’s careful selection of claims and miracles that seal the case. Verses 1–3 of the prologue teach that Jesus is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father; verses 4–5 relate the salvation He brought, which was announced by His herald, John the Baptist (vv. 6–8); verses 9–13 describe the reaction of the human race to Him, either rejection (vv. 10–11) or acceptance (vv. 12–13); verses 14–18 summarize the entire prologue.

- The prologue also introduces several key terms that appear throughout the book, including light (3:19–21; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35–36, 46), darkness (3:19; 8:12; 12:35, 46), life (3:15–16, 36; 4:14, 36; 5:21, 24, 26, 39–40; 6:27, 33, 35, 40, 47–48, 51, 53–54, 63, 68; 8:12; 10:10, 28; 11:25; 12:25, 50; 14:6; 17:2, 3; 20:31), witness (or testify; 2:25; 3:11; 5:31, 36, 39; 7:7; 8:14; 10:25; 12:17; 15:26–27; 18:37), glory (2:11; 5:41, 44; 7:18; 8:50, 54; 11:4, 40; 12:41; 17:5, 22, 24), and world (3:16–17, 19; 4:42; 6:14, 33, 51; 7:7; 8:12, 23, 26; 9:5, 39; 10:36; 11:27; 12:19, 31, 46–47; 13:1; 14:17, 19, 22, 27, 30–31; 15:18–19; 16:8, 11, 20, 28, 33; 17:5–6, 9, 11, 13–16, 18, 21, 23–25; 18:36–37) (John MacArthur, John 1-11, p. 15).

- this is one of the aspects that we are going to love about studying the gospel of John…it is so well-organized…and of course that’s ultimately because these words are inspired by the Holy Spirit of God…

- just to be clear, when we speak about the deity of Jesus Christ, we are agreeing with Scripture that Jesus was the eternal 2nd Person of the trinity, in every way co-equal to the Father…

- that’s what makes the doctrine of the incarnation so amazing…God Himself was willing to become a man so that it would possible for people like you and me to enjoy life in his name…

- now, how is Christ’s deity emphasized here?...it’s breathtaking, isn’t it?...this is starting to make the treasure we discussed in the introduction pale in comparison…

- first is the issue of His eternality…

A. The Word (Christ) has always been with God.

- on purpose, John 1:1 reads just like Genesis 1:1…

- don’t you love the way the Word of God fits together?...

- John knew that all of the OT was pointing directly to the person and work of Jesus Christ…

- he also knew the story recorded in the gospel of Luke – for many of us on the preceding page in our Bibles…about the disciples on the Emmaus road…

- that occurred after the resurrection and do you remember eventually what occurred after Jesus opened their eyes and allowed them to see Him for who He really was?...

- Luke 24:27 - Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

- John wants his readers to make a very similar connection with the very first three words of his gospel as well…”In the beginning…”

- he also refers to Jesus as “The Word”…the revelation of God in human form…

- it’s one thing to hear a message or a concept…it’s something entirely different to have it fleshed out…

- that’s one of the reasons for so many years we did the Passion Play, and the Living Nativity…some of us have seen those presentations for decades…but there is something very powerful about having concepts come to life…

- well, in this case, that’s exactly what occurred…

- then John explains…John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…

- please don’t ever believe anyone who says that Jesus was a created being…

- The English translation does not bring out the full richness of the Greek expression (pros ton theon). That phrase means far more than merely that the Word existed with God; it “[gives] the picture of two personal beings facing one another and engaging in intelligent discourse” (W. Robert Cook, The Theology of John [Chicago: Moody, 1979], 49). From all eternity Jesus, as the second person of the trinity, was “with the Father [pros ton patera]” (1 John 1:2) in deep, intimate fellowship (Macarthur, p. 17).

- but it doesn’t end there…

B. The Word (Christ) has always been God.

- John 1:1–2 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

- its amazing how, in an economy of words, John states the deity of Christ in un-mistakeable terms…

- then he goes a step further…

C. The Word (Christ) has created all things.

- John 1:3 - All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

- many have been posting the beautiful sunrises and sunsets we’ve been experiencing the last couple of months…

- and I don’t know if COVID has slowed us down to paying more attention to those kinds of realities, but they have truly been stunning…

- here’s the bottom line – your Savior made that…

- which is why the apostle Paul would explain to the Colossians…Colossians 1:16–17 - For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

- if you ever look at one of your present challenges and say – I wonder if Jesus is powerful enough to get me through this one…please reflect thoughtfully on the first 3 verses of John’s gospel…

- and I realize you might have rolled your eyes a bit when we selected a theme for 2021 that included the word “enjoy”…

- well, if it’s possible to life in the name of a Savior like this…surely we can relax and enjoy however He is going to fulfill His promises in us, and to us, and through us for our good and His glory…then John says…

D. The Word (Christ) is the source of life.

- John 1:4 - In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

- this is why, for followers of Jesus Christ, all the other noise in our world doesn’t captivate our hearts, and inflame our passions…

- sure, we have the privilege and responsibility to pray for our elected leaders, and exercise our right to vote, and participate in civic discussions when and if appropriate…

- but that’s not where our treasure is located…that’s not where our treasure is found…

- it could not be said of Donald Trump, or Joe Biden, or any other political figure you could name…that in him was life, and the life was the light of men…

- we want to enjoy life in His name…not anyone else’s…

- staying focused and grounded during these tumultuous days is critical for anyone who wants to be effective and joyful…

- we just had a fascinating example of what that looks like in real time…

- Greg and Terri Miller have been faithful members of Faith for over a decade now…

- The Millers are good friends and neighbors to Joe and Joleen Pablo …

- The Pablo’s experienced a terrible tragedy, where one of their daughters was charged with the murder of her own daughter – the Pablo’s granddaughter…

- and now that daughter is in prison…

- The Pablo’s would say they feel like they lost two people that day…both their precious granddaughter whose life was taken so prematurely and their own daughter who is now incarcerated…

- The Millers befriended the Pablo’s and have been bring them to church…and Greg connected Joe with Pastor Birk who has been providing biblical counseling…

- often on Monday nights when I and others would go down to the foyer area of the NCC to meet our 5:15 counseling cases, Greg would be sitting there with Joe waiting to speak with Pastor Birk…

- Joe was especially struggling with anger and grief, but after a few weeks of counseling and reading the story of the raising of Lazarus, he repented of his sin and placed his faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord…

- he found Jesus to be exactly what John affirms him to be – - John 1:4 - In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

- part of what was delightful about what happened next was that his co-workers began seeing a difference in the way he was living and commented on it…

- he had struggled with ever speaking to his daughter again in prison, but just over the holidays he called her and told her he loved her and forgave her for what she had done…

- he witnessed to her and encouraged her to read her Bible and repent and place her faith in Christ…

- he was also in the process of repairing other relationships that had been broken over the years…

- the week before last, Joe contracted Covid and died very suddenly at a local hospital…

- friend, aren’t you glad that the Millers didn’t sit around and argue with their neighbors about politics…or judge them because of the struggles they had experienced in life?...

- it all comes down to where you’re finding your treasure…in whose name you’re living life…

- and do you believe this – Joe Pablo is in heaven today…not because of his goodness, or his past, or his perfection…but because he had been washed in the blood of the lamb, and was clothed in the righteousness of this Savior that John is describing for us…

- we can and should rejoice in the deity of Christ…

- now, in verses 6-13, John urges us to…

II. Respond to the Light of Life – vv. 6-13

- the end of verse 5 takes an unexpected twist when John explains…

- v. 5b – and the darkness did not comprehend it

- that requires some kind of explanation, so the apostle John introduces us to John the Baptist…

- his story will be told more fully later in this chapter which illustrates what we said at the beginning this morning…verses 1-18 are sort of like a foyer that introduces us to topics that will be explained more fully later…so John simply says here…

A. The Light was presented by John the Baptist

- John 1:6–8 - There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

- this is another example of how the Bible fits together in such breathtaking ways…

- the OT had prophesied that there would be a forerunner to the Messiah in places like…

- Isaiah 40:3 - A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;

Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

- or the way the OT ends -- Malachi 4:5–6 - Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.

- this is another reason to believe in the deity of Christ, because John the Baptist’s ministry didn’t just occur, it was prophesied to occur…

- and remember, the apostle John assumes that we have a working knowledge of what the synoptics – the previous 3 gospels taught about John the Baptist…which is a delightful and amazing part of the Christmas story…

- but what’s heartbreaking here is that….

B. The light was rejected by the world

- John 1:9–11 - There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

- if you’re seeking a macro-explanation for the chaos in our world right now, you need look no further than this great text…

- if your greatest treasures are aligned with someone other than the Prince of Peace – to some degree, you will be walking in darkness…and there will be chaos and division and death and despair…

- that’s why our theme this year is so important – believing, you might have life in His name…

- over the years I’ve recommended the insights of Darrell Harrison…

- this week he tweeted: “The discord we're seeing in society is precisely what one should expect from a world that is waiting to be set free from spiritual bondage and corruption (Romans 8:19-23; 1 John 5:19b). Culture- driven redemption is a mirage. Only through faith in Christ can true unity be found.”

- I’m not suggesting that we abandon culture or fail to fulfill our civic responsibilities and privileges…but it comes down to who or what we truly treasure...and where we are placing our ultimate hope and passion…

- and just to be clear – I’m not saying this because of the results of the recent election…

- whatever brand of politics you embrace – I believe it should occupy a small portion of your attention…or else you’re trying to find life in the wrong place…

- this reality articulated in verse 11 should also prepare our hearts and lives for the kind of world and ministry the Lord has called us to…

- I remember a series of conversations with one of our local judges years ago…

- and this man was very refined, well-respected in his field…but was an outspoken atheist…

- and we would meet for lunch downtown and he had no trouble expressing how and why he had rejected Christ…

- they were the kind of conversations where you just wondered if lighting was going to strike at any moment…

- and part of what stood out was that he despised the Gospel of John…I had never spoken with anyone who had such a laser-guided disdain for a particular book of the Bible…

- but already we can begin to see why…John writes antithetically….

- there’s right/wrong…truth/error…darkness/light…

- either a person has chosen not to receive Christ…or thank the Lord there’s another alternative…

C. The Light changes all who believe

- John 1:12–13 - But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

- there’s another one of those themes that is going to be very prominent in a few chapters when Jesus has a conversation with a man named Nicodemus…about the issue of the second birth…

- but please consider the story I mentioned a moment ago about Joe Pablo…

- politics couldn’t save him…science/medicine couldn’t save him…

- but thank the Lord that He brought a group of people around Joe who would proclaim the life-giving truth of the gospel to him…

- and thank the Lord that Joe chose to receive Christ…

- I remember the day I read in the newspaper about the death of the judge that I just mentioned…and I thought about his eternal destiny…

- how does the Bible describe it?...not just death, but the “second death”…separation from God forever…the ultimate and just penalty for those who refuse to receive Christ as Savior and Lord…

- and you know, he may have been more refined and respected than Joe Pablo in this life…Joe probably never set foot in some of those downtown restaurants where the lawyers and judges and influential business-people ate their lunch and espoused their opinions…

- contrast that to Joe Pablo – because he received Christ – he was given the right to become a child of God…he was born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man…he was born of God…

- and I would ask every person who is listening to this message – do you know that you know that you know that there has been a definite time in your life when you admitted your sin…and you turned to the True Light, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Perfect Lamb of God, and received the free gift of salvation that only comes through Him…

- if not, we would invite you to do that today…

- and Christian friend – let’s pray that we’ll all stay on message this year…we don’t need everyone to agree with all our opinions on masks and politics and social media practices…but we certainly want to be sure that everyone in our sphere of influence has heard a clear presentation of the gospel from us accompanied by a passionate appeal to repent and believe in Him…

III. Marvel in the Glory of God – vv. 14-18

- John ends his introduction with an amazing affirmation of the incarnation of Jesus Christ which is all the more stunning in light of what has already been stated…

A. How God came to earth

- John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

- it’s hard to even wrap our minds around what it would have meant for the eternal Son of God to purposely be willing to become a man…

- the word dwelt among us is – skenoo – it literally means “to live in a tent”

- that allowed us to understand God’s character even more fully, because we could see its glory…

- hopefully that’s what Sunday after Sunday will be like this year…as we study the words and works of Jesus – the Father will be glorified (explained, illustrated) through what we observe in the Son…

B. The witness to the coming to earth

- John 1:15 - John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ ”

- this is why followers of Jesus are not trying to draw attention to ourselves…or our wisdom…or our accomplishments…

- Jesus has a higher rank than we do…we want to enjoy life in His name, not our own…

C. Christ has come to point us to God

- John 1:16–17 - 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.

- please don’t miss that phrase, “of His fullness”…

- we believe in the sufficiency of Jesus Christ…He truly is our greatest treasure…

- you know, all of this explains why we have adopted the approach to counseling and soul care that we have…

- it’s Christ centered counseling…gospel saturated…where we are seeking to use the challenges of everyday living as a means of pointing men and women to their ultimate need of a Savior and the new life that is available through trusting in Him…

- wouldn’t it have been a terrible thing if when Greg Miller brought his hurting neighbor for counseling at his church, Pastor Birk would have simply espoused the latest secular psychological theories of the day?...

- [develop – specific prayer requests for our virtual conference]…

Authors

Dr. Steve Viars

Roles

Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation

Bio

B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and four grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video