Wednesday, January 04, 2017

And He Dwelt among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John #1

(Note: I began the first of many medical tests yesterday. I look forward to several more later this week. I probably won’t know any results for a couple weeks. Please keep praying.)

TozerWith this post we begin reading through the New Testament devotional book, And He Dwelt among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John, by A. W. Tozer. This book is a meditation on the incarnation, the great truth and mystery that God became a human being, focused on the Gospel of John. I welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book.

From Everlasting to Everlasting John 1.1

Here, Tozer focused on one of the greatest truths there is: that the Creator God became a human being so that human beings could live with Him for all eternity. Jesus bridged the gap between that which is God (the Trinity) and that which is “not God,” everything else.

Whereas the apostle Paul presents Christ in a theological setting, John uses the mystical setting. In doing so, John does not disregard theology, for there is plenty of theology in his Gospel; rather, he uses theology as a ladder to climb to the heights of Christ’s nature15

Man was created to soar into the heights of eternity and fellowship with God. God made him to look back on the everlasting vanishing point that was, and on into the eternal vanishing point that will be and feel no age nor count birthdays, but like God, live in God.  22

The life that God offers us is not a question of duration. It is a question of quality, and the quality of life that God gives us is His own life in your heart. That takes care of the duration and everything else. God created our souls to be satisfied only with the divine everlastingness of the Word made flesh.  28

A Time Before Time Began John 1.3-5

Tozer focuses on Jesus' Self-sufficiency and self-existence in chapter 2. There was a time when God existed when there was no creation, no world, no space, no other beings, not even a "void." God was everything, filled everything and had no need of anything. It was this one and only God who created the spiritual and physical universe. Thus, God has no need of anything from us. He is the giver who is never diminished. He created time and space for us to live in and he enjoys our fellowship, but he is never dependent on us, but we are always dependent on Him and on the universe he created. That is a God worth worshipping.

So we have: “in the beginning,” “at the beginning,” “since the beginning” and “from the beginning,” and they all mean the same thing. They refer to a time when God dwelt alone and lived alone in uncreated majesty and glory. The Father in love with the Son; the Son in love with the Spirit; and the Spirit and the Father and the Son dwelling in the tranquility that had no beginning and can have no end. That marvelous, uncreated beauty of divine unity. 38

Some people’s idea of God is quite disturbing to me. Somehow, they have the idea that God is like them only, of course, much better. They take their human attributes and project it up into God. As a result, they have a God, much like themselves, but a God I could never fall on my knees and worship. A God who does not deserve worship. 40

Leave the morning newspaper unopened; just let the thing lie there. Do not turn the radio on to see who assassinated who; do not bother. Just think a little bit and say to yourself, before God, “I’m glad I’m alive. I am delighted that I was ever created. I am delighted that I was ever born. I am delighted that God ever thought of me before the beginning. I am utterly and completely delighted that God ever made me.” 42

The Beauteous World as Made by Him John 1.10

John 1.10 celebrates Jesus, the Word, as the Creator. He created everything for his his pleasure and enjoyment. He created a world of beauty and order with everything in its place and time. This is why we know that any time confusion reigns sin is having its way in the world. In addition, he holds it all together. We may be able to observe the world and see the formal and practical causes of things, but the final cause is seen spiritually and in the Word.

You are a profane man until you have awakened to the fact that you are not alone in this universe, but He is here. That there is a presence and a voice that lights every man, and you realize the basis of your life is not physical but spiritual, and you owe it to God to turn to Him with all your heart. 57

The all-permeating Word, which is in the world, is the adhesive quality of the universe. That is why we do not fall apart. He is to the universe the mortar and the magnetism that holds it together. He holds up His universe. That is what He is doing in His universe. That is why He is here. Colossians 1.16, 54

When we come to God and His outlook on the world around us, what He sees is beautiful. The reason is simple. Everything God created, He created with purpose, and that purpose brings pure pleasure to Him. God looks at His marvelous creation and, in a sense, sees Himself. 49

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