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John 1:14-18

Talks for Growing Christians

A Clear Statement of the Incarnation

John 1:14-18

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Lesson Number 5

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The incarnation was not a subtraction, but an addition.
  2. God’s grace is not at the expense of truth.
  3. No human being has ever seen God in His essence.

Practical Application

  1. We should never have a stale testimony.

Questions

  1. What is Gnosticism? How does it impact this gospel?
  2. Explain, “The incarnation was not a subtraction, but an addition.”
  3. How was God’s glory seen in the Old Testament? How is it seen now?
  4. Define “grace.’ How is grace defined by its acrostic? What is the first mention of grace in the New Testament?
  5. What is the Age of Grace?
  6. Does grace come at the expense of truth? Explain.
  7. Has anyone ever seen God? What about Abraham, Moses, and Isaiah?

Answers

  1. When John wrote this gospel, circa 85 A.D., the seeds of Gnosticism, an early Christian heresy had already been planted. This heresy says that Jesus is not fully God, that matter is inherently evil and an inherently good and pure God wouldn’t allow Himself to become flesh and take on matter. It taught that Jesus was only a man, and that the divine Spirit came on Him at baptism and left at His death. John clearly refutes this heresy.
  2. Jesus Christ took on flesh without in any way ceasing to be the Eternal Word. No attribute of Deity was sacrificed when God took on flesh. The Eternal Son of God was 100% God and 100% man.
  3. In the Old Testament, God's glory was focused in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle. Now the glory of God is focused in the person of Jesus Christ.
  4. God’s unmerited favor toward men. God's riches at Christ’s expense. John 1:14, followed by John 1:17.
  5. The present church age.
  6. No. The Lord Jesus is full of grace and truth; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. God did not lower His standards (John 1:17).
  7. No human being has ever seen God in His essence. The men listed saw visible manifestations of God in visions or theophanies (God taking on the appearance of man). In Christ we see God because He is God.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Using Scripture, defend the statement, “Christ is fully God.”
  2. List some of the attributes of Christ (God). How have you come to know these attributes in His dealings with you?

Challenge

  1. What does God’s grace mean to you personally? How have you shared this with others?

Key Verses

  • “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." John 1:14-18

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