Tuesday, January 10, 2017

And He Dwelt among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John #2

(Note: I will be completing the first round of medical tests this week. On the 20th and the 23rd I will meet with my doctors and go over the tests. Won’t know much until then. Please keep praying.)

TozerWith this post we continue 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.

The Tragic Side of Christ Becoming Flesh John 1.11

The most amazing thing that ever happened is summed up in the words of John 1.11, "He came." The Creator came into the world that He made and the creation sang for joy. The tragic thing is that the crown of that creation, the majority of humanity, did not welcome him. Tozer points out that we do the same thing today because receiving Jesus means we must change our priorities, habits, and life direction, and wholeheartedly trust Him to clean up our lives and provide our needs.

I cannot get away from the wonder of these words, “He came.” The story of pity and mercy and redeeming love are all here in two words: “He came.” All the pity that God is capable of feeling, all the mercy that He is capable of showing and all the redeeming grace that He could pour out of His heart are at least suggested here in two simple words: “He came.” All the hopes and longings and aspirations and dreams of immortality that lie in the human breast had their fulfillment in those two words. John 1.11, 62

Christ does not need our patronage and He needs no one to act as His public-relations man. He is not a guest, He is the host and we are the guests. We are here by His sufferance. We are here by His kindness. We are here because He has made us and brought us here. And this world is His world, and He can do what He will with His world, and no one can upbraid Him. He can do what He wills with life and death and nature. And He can do what He wills in that mighty cataclysmic time that we call judgment. 65

The world around us sang when He came and will sing again when He comes in glory, but our hard hearts say no. The tragedy is that we have rejected Him from our hearts because we want our own way. 75

The Mystery of the Word Made Flesh John 1.14

In this section Tozer looks at the mystery of the incarnation: that which was and is God became something that is created, human, not God, without ever losing the essence of being God. The infinite God became man and showed the glory of God in human form. The miracles, especially the resurrection, were an important part of this, but the real glory was seen as Jesus lived out the character of God in human flesh. The connection between human beings and God was made for all eternity.

What God thinks about a man is more important than what a man thinks about himself. As far as God is concerned, what a man is always is more important to God than what that man does. We judge a man by his performance, by what he can contribute. But God sees deeper inside and bores to the very core of what that man really is. God is looking for goodness. It is his character and personality that God looks for. God is never impressed by anything a man can do. 83–84

Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, is the only medium in which God dispenses His benefits to His creation...Because Jesus is the eternal Son, because He is of the eternal generation and equal with the Father as pertaining to His substance, His eternity, His love, His power, His grace, His goodness and all the other attributes of deity, He is the channel. He is the medium through which God dispenses all His blessings, all His fullness of all that we receive. 85

The Old Testament Messiah versus the New Testament Messiah John 1.29-37

Tozer next makes the point that Jesus was Messiah predicted in the Old Testament. His identity was revealed to John the Baptist but it was also proven through Jesus' fulfillment of OT prophecy. Jesus was the fulfillment of the sacrificial lamb who completely removes the sin of the world. He has the power (he baptizes in the Holy Spirit) to change the sinful person/society into something new that is fit to enter His eternal kingdom and can being to live out the kingdom now.

God works silently, quietly and modestly and is turning a world over, for He does it so quietly that no one notices. 98

So the church of God on earth is simply a sample of the new race; that is all. If we are a redeemed people and samples of the new race, we ought to live like the new race and think like the new race and act like the new race of people. 104–105

The Lamb of God, the seed of Abraham, David’s greater son, the Lamb that was slain—He specializes in hard cases and He takes away sin—yours and mine. He forgiveth iniquity and pardoneth sin. You confess it; He forgives it. You name it; He destroys it. You expose it; He removes it. You own it; He takes it out. John 1.29, 106

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