One Comment to “Do You See What I See?”

  1. Pastor Don
    December 25, 2017

    “Do You See What I See?” (1 John 1)(12.24.17)
    Christmas Eve
    1 John 1 (NIV84)
    1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.
    5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
    8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
    The word of God for the people of God.
    Title: “Do You See What I See?”
    There has rarely been a culture that has not believed in a God or gods. There has been innumerable variations of belief as the human mind copes with seemingly unanswerable questions about creation, suffering, and what happens to us after we die. What is our true nature? What is our purpose here on this planet earth?
    We think cultures or people groups are primitive that create idols or icons or images to be their focus of worship. And yet, this speaks to the very human need to connect and cognate with supernatural life. To be able to see, touch, hear, smell, taste; to be able to know God through our senses is powerful. But, our holy inspired scriptures tell us that God is spirit; therefore, how can we know God through our senses? Nevertheless, the Bible uses comparison, simile, metaphor, imaging, personification, and a fancy term called anthropomorphism to explain God. Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object.
    By this introduction, you may conclude that Jesus was born as a human being so that we might know God. Well that is true on many levels. In this morning’s message, “Seeing the Unseeable,” we demonstrated that we can see God by looking at Jesus. Jesus is the very image the exact representation of His Father.
    But Word took on human flesh and dwelt amongst us for many reasons. Tonight’s scripture tells us many things in 10 short verses. The apostle John also explains here that there is an obstacle to all the Promise of God. Yes, I intentionally kept Promise singular; but, with a capital “P”: the Promise of God. That obstacle is a something you probably don’t want to hear about on Christmas Eve. It is sin. If there had been no sin, there would be no need for a Savior. In Matthew we are told that an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him, “Mary will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
    You may be wondering why I chose the title for this message, Do You See What I See? It comes from the connection with our third Christmas Carol, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Well, why didn’t I choose that the title of the Carol or even “Do You Know What I Know?” First, there is the connection with this morning’s sermon. Second, our subject scripture emphasizes sight: using seen three times, appeared twice, and eyes and looked. Third, the very significant use of the word light. Our sight is the primary way we learn and we cannot see in darkness. And yes, there is spiritual vision too.
    Jesus tells us in Luke 11:34–36 (NIV84)
    34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”
    So why did the eternal Jesus, the Word of Life, who was from the beginning, take on human flesh and live among us? Jesus came so that we might have fellowship with our Creator, God our Father, and God the Holy Spirit through whom God’s love has been poured out into our hearts. John says here, “so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” And, this is repeated in verses 6 and 7.
    The night before Jesus was crucified he prayed for his disciples and for us. John 17:20–21, 26 (NIV84)
    20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
    26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
    Yes, through the testimony of other believers and their proclamations we too may have this fellowship with each other and with our God.
    John tells us the Jesus was a real life human being. This is partially due to the great heresy that Jesus only appeared as a man and was only spirit. If this was true, then there was no sacrifice of the Perfect Lamb on that Calvary Cross and Jesus’ victory of sin and death never happened. For you see, with no death of our Savior, there could be no resurrection of our Savior.
    John makes it crystal clear the humanity of Jesus. We heard; we saw with our eyes and looked at; our hand touched; Jesus appeared before us and we saw Him. We are witnesses that give testimony; but more than that, we PROCLAIM He is Eternal Life and Who was with the Father in the beginning and has appeared to us. We proclaim what we have seen and heard so that you may believe and become part of the proclamation of fellowship. It is our privilege to do this and it gives us joy.
    This message, this good news, we heard from Jesus himself. We declare it. We are not bashful or ashamed to declare that God is light. Wisdom is light. Knowledge is light. Truth is light. Holiness is light. Darkness is the absence of those qualities and results in folly, ignorance, error, and wickedness.
    To walk is a metaphor for to live. The comparison is living in light or living in darkness. We cannot truly see in the darkness. I call on you to see what I see, the life eternal, the Word, the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, Savior, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    Part of being and seeing in the light is acknowledging that we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If we deny this John tells us there are several things we are revealing about ourselves. We are self-deceived. Surely, you have known people who deceive themselves. There is no truth in them. Worse than being self-deceived and ignorant is that we are calling Jesus a liar. We are then saying Jesus’ sweating blood in the Garden of Gethsemane and the shedding of his blood for the sin of all humanity is of no account.
    Let us not miss John’s warning that those that live in darkness and deny their need for a Savior have no place in their lives for Jesus’ word. In John 15:10 (NIV84), Jesus says, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” How can you know Jesus’ commands? You must know your Bible.
    If we remain in Jesus’ love the Promise of fellowship with our God is a reality. The blood of Jesus purifies us making the fellowship possible. And, one of my favorite verses and promises we find in the 9th verse. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. My friends, this is what it takes to see what I see. We must be purified from ALL unrighteousness to have fellowship with our God. Our perfect, holy, holy, holy, God Almighty cannot have fellowship with any sin whatsoever.
    This is why we have corporate and private confession as part of our Holy Communion liturgy. Public confession is significantly missing from our modern churches. The fact is that we Christians will still sin because sanctification is a journey, an ongoing process. But we have this great comfort that in confessing, Jesus forgives and purifies.
    Have you noticed that the television news is already beginning their look back over 2017? I was in my home office and the TV was on in an adjacent room, which I could hear. As they listed top news stories throughout the year, it was pretty bad news. In fact, by current definition it seems that news IS bad.
    Don’t you long for some good news? Let us look back 2017 years. Do you see what I see?
    1. O little town of Bethlehem,
    how still we see thee lie;
    above thy deep and dreamless sleep
    the silent stars go by.
    Yet in thy dark streets shineth
    the everlasting light;
    the hopes and fears of all the years
    are met in thee tonight.

    2. For Christ is born of Mary,
    and gathered all above,
    while mortals sleep, the angels keep
    their watch of wondering love.
    O morning stars together,
    proclaim the holy birth,
    and praises sing to God the king,
    and peace to all on earth!

    3. How silently, how silently,
    the wondrous gift is given;
    so God imparts to human hearts
    the blessings of his heaven.
    No ear may hear his coming,
    but in this world of sin,
    where meek souls will receive him, still
    the dear Christ enters in.

    4. O holy Child of Bethlehem,
    descend to us, we pray;
    cast out our sin, and enter in,
    be born in us today.
    We hear the Christmas angels
    the great glad tidings tell;
    o come to us, abide with us,
    our Lord Emmanuel!

    Yes, good news indeed.
    Amen and amen.
    Let us pray.


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