120715 John 1:14

Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: John 1:14

Sermon Theme: "Christmas Puts Your Human Reason to the Test"

When we are born into this world, our human reason is very limited. For example, if you hide a toy from a very young child, the child will forget about the toy. He or she hasn't reasoned that the toy is simply behind your back. But, as the child grows, and his or her ability to reason grows, the child will know that all you did is hide the toy behind your back. The Lord has blessed us with the ability to grown in reason and understanding. There are many people who have been blessed with a great deal of knowledge. However, it is unfortunate that many have taken human reason, and placed it above all things, including God's Word. Such people reason: "If I can't understand it, then it must not be true." That's why so many "scholars" of the Bible question teachings found in God's Word such as the creation of all things in six days, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead or the fact that one-day all people will rise from the dead. In verse 14 of John chapter 1, we find another teaching of the Bible that we will never fully understand with our limited, human reason. Listen as I read this verse of Scripture for us from the Gospel of John:

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Today, as we celebrate "Christmas in July", you and I will see from the Bible that "Christmas Puts Your Human Reason to the Test". Based on this portion of God's Word, we will see that our human reason is not able to understand fully that Jesus Christ, our One and only Savior, had to be both True God and True Man.

The Lord has given you and me the ability to understand what needs to take place for a new life to be born into this world. But, put your human reason to the test this morning. Are you able to understand fully what John was led to write here, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." Your human reason would tell you that Jesus was simply a special man, who became "a son" of God, because of the kind of life he lived. But John does away with that line of reasoning when he writes earlier in chapter 1, "In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." And in the verse before us we read about the Word, Jesus, "We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." The Gospel writer John was an eyewitness of the fact that Jesus is true God, who has taken on human flesh. The was also testified by John the Baptist when he said of Jesus, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'"

One of the major teachings found in the Bible is the fact that the baby born in Bethlehem is not just another human child. He is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity. But is this really such an important point that we should spend so much time talking about it? Let's put your human reason to the test this morning. How does your human reason tell you that you can get to heaven? My prideful human reason, like yours, tells me that there is something I can do to win my way into heaven. Now let's look at that reasoning in light of God's Word. The Bible tells us that we are sinful from the time we are conceived in the wombs of our mothers. Each one of us confessed moments ago that we have sinned against our God by the sinful words we speak, by the sinful things we do and by the sinful thoughts that fill our minds.

God's Word commands our human reason to step aside. The Bible makes it so clear that there is absolutely no way you and I are able to get ourselves into heaven. So, in his great love for you and me, God the Father took action. He sent his One and Only Son, Jesus Christ to be our substitute. Jesus took on human flesh. In our place, the Savior lived the perfect life you and I will never be able to live. Our loving Lord willingly offered up his perfect life as the full payment price for all your sins and all my sins. Because Jesus rose again on Easter Sunday, because the Holy Spirit has used his Word to put faith in your heart and mine so that you and I believe in Jesus as our one and only Savior, you and I are given the credit for the perfect life he lived. Through the God-Man, Jesus Christ, you and I enjoy the forgiveness of all sins. While Christmas puts your human reason to the test, rejoice in the fact that Jesus Christ, your substitute, is true God and also true Man.

There are many people today who hear the birth of Jesus at Christmas as just another "story" that is told at that time of year. It is important for you and me to remember that the only way anyone is saved is if they know that Jesus is their one and only Savior. This is why we want to have events such as our "Live Nativity" – it gives us as a congregation the opportunity to share with others the wonderful message of the Gospel. But, it needs to go beyond events such as our "Live Nativity". Each and every one of us here today knows of someone who needs to hear the message of God's Word: his Law and Gospel. I am sure you are able to think of someone you know who needs to hear about their need for a Savior, and how the gracious Lord gave us that Savior, in the God-Man, our Lord Jesus Christ. My prayer is that we leave here today empowered by the Word of God that we have heard, to go out and share the message of Jesus.

The fact that you and I are able to reason is a blessing from our Lord. While we are thankful for this blessing, today we have proven that our human reason is limited. If we try to use human reason to understand all of what God's Word says to us, we will quickly see our human reason fails us. So, put human reason aside. Rather, listen to God speak to you in his Word. Trust the Lord when he tells you that Jesus Christ is true God and true Man. Trust him we he tells you the Good News that through Jesus Christ you enjoy the blessing of the forgiveness of all of your sins, the promise that he is with you each and every day, and the comfort of eternal life at his side in the perfect joys of heaven. Amen.

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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