December 10, 2004

John 1:1-5 Sermon Notes

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John 1:1-5
(December 5 Sermon Notes)

Where does the Christmas story begin? Many would say that it starts with Jesus’ birth. In a sense, that’s true. But the story of Jesus’ birth has roots in history. When John tells Jesus’ story, he starts in the beginning.


The opening words of John’s Gospel remind us of Genesis 1, but John doesn’t talk about creation right away. First, he tells us about the relationship between the Word and God. In the beginning, before creation, the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word is distinct from God (the Father), but he is also himself fully God.

The Trinity is the foundation of the gospel. God didn’t create or redeem us to fill a gap in his life. He already had perfect fellowship with His Son. But he wanted us to share in that fellowship with him. That’s why he sent his Son to become flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. In him, we also are “with God,” sharing in God’s family life and family love. That was the goal of Christmas, a goal God was aiming at already in the beginning.


John tells us that all things were created through the Word. The Word himself, then, is not a creature. Everything else came to be, but the Word always was. Apart from him, no created thing has come into existence.

God created everything by speaking (Gen. 1; Ps. 33:6, 9; Heb. 11:3). Speaking has to do with relationship. The whole of creation was created in relationship to God, to be his obedient covenantal kingdom. It existed in response to God’s commanding speech, and it lives by his Word.

But now the Word through whom the world was created has come into the world to bring about a new creation, starting with those who believe in him. In Christ, we are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). And that Word will keep working with that creative power until all things are made new.


John says that in the Word was life and that life was the light of men. Apart from the Word, who is Jesus Christ, there was no life or light. True life and true light are found only in Him.

Sin brings darkness (John 3:19-20) and people who love sin love darkness and hate the light. But that darkness isn’t the end of the story. In spite of the darkness, the light keeps shining (1:5) and the darkness cannot overcome it. The word translated “comprehend” (NKJV) could better be translated “overcome” (see John 12:35).

In the beginning, the light shone out in the darkness. Every day, the same thing happens. It’s happened all through history. It happened at Christmas and at the cross and the resurrection of Christ (Isa. 9:2). And the light still shines through us because we are in Christ (2 Cor. 4:3-6).

Posted by John Barach @ 5:33 pm | Discuss (0)

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