by Ellen Ceely
“He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.”’) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.” - John 1:10-18
What does God look like to you? As you listen to sermons, sing songs of praise, and go about your day-to-day life, what does God look like to you? Is there a specific image or feeling you get when you think about who God is and what he thinks or feels?
Until we get to meet God face to face in eternity, the best and most reliable representation we have of him is Jesus. What did Jesus say and do? How did Jesus treat the people he came into contact with? John has firmly established that Jesus is God, he is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus also became flesh; he became fully human. Why? So that we might know him and come to salvation through him.
So, according to John, who is God? He is our Creator and our Father; we were born of him. He is full of grace and truth. Through him we have received grace upon grace. Moses gave us the law, but God gave us grace and truth through Jesus. No one has ever seen God, but Jesus makes him known to us. We can know our Creator because Jesus has made him known. We can spend eternity with God because Jesus made a way. Jesus is one with God, and he has been there since the beginning. Whenever we need a reminder—or even a correction—of who God is, all we need to do is look to Jesus.
What has shaped your opinion of who God is? How is it challenged when you read stories about Jesus? Is there anything specific in this passage that stands out to you about who God is and what he does or what he wants from you? Take some time to journal out your thoughts or talk them over with a trusted friend. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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