THE WORD: God Rejected and Accepted
TEXT: JOHN 1:6–13
ONLINE WORSHIP SERVICE (12.20.2020)
CALL TO WORSHIP:
This morning we have reason to rejoice as we continue to celebrate Christ’s first coming….Let us shout for joy!
“Steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
“Joy to the World”
So far in our advent readings we have celebrated that Jesus Christ came to dispel the darkness and to establish a kingdom of light. Last week we saw that Jesus established this kingdom not by conquering men, but by serving them.
This week we see that The Light of the World, in order to conquer the darkness, had to first be conquered by the Darkness. Jesus was betrayed, arrested, and killed by those who themselves were living in darkness, under the control of the king of darkness, Satan himself.
John 13:27 says this of Judas, the betrayer, “Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him….. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
That same evening Jesus said, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me.”
Satan did come to Jesus, and attack him through Jesus’ earthly enemies, the religious leaders. This fulfilled the prophecy of Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Satan did bruise Jesus’ heel. Jesus suffered a horrific death. It looked like the darkness had won.
Yet Jesus’ death was not outside God’s sovereign plan. Rather, Luke reminds us in Acts 2:23 that, “Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.” Jesus’ sacrificial death was the reason he came as a baby. And what looked like defeat at his death was dramatically turned into victory at his resurrection. Jesus’ death broke the power of death over God’s people and forever freed them from the darkness that enslaved them!
“Light of the World”
As we continue to focus on Christ, we are going to read another ancient creed especially written about him. There was much debate in the 3rd and 4th centuries as to whether or not Christ was God. The Nicene Creed affirms this while also affirming the Deity of the Holy Spirit. Let’s read together….
The Nicene Creed
(325 A.D., revised at Constantinople in 381 A.D.)
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty;
Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God,
Begotten of the Father before all worlds;
God of God, Light of Light,
Very God of Very God,
Begotten, not made,
Being of one substance with the Father;
By whom all things were made;
Who, for us men and for our salvation,
Came down from heaven,
And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary,
And was made man;
And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered and was buried;
And the third day he rose again,
According to the Scriptures;
And ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of the Father;
And he shall come again, with glory,
To judge both the quick and the dead;
Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life;
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son;
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified;
Who spoke by the prophets.
And we believe in one holy universal and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
And we look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
“O Holy Night (Hear the Gospel Story)”
Lord we fall to our knees both in reverence for you and to declare you as Lord of our lives.
- In response to the joy you have brought into our world, we bow in humble gratitude.
- In response to your victory over the darkness of our sin, we bow in praise.
- In response to what we confessed, that you are in fact God, we bow in worship.
- In response to what we sang of your humility, coming to save us, we bow in humble dependence.
We acknowledge you as Lord of our lives, and want to see your Lordship go deeper into hearts. Set us free by extending your reign in us.
We look forward to the day when every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and every tongue confess that you, Jesus, are Lord…all to the glory of God the Father! (Phil 2:10-11).
Come now through your word and have your way, your good, pleasing, and perfect way! Correct, encourage, rebuke, strengthen, guide, challenge, awaken! Speak to us Lord!
READ SERMON TEXT:
Pastor Mark Kernan
Title: The Word: God Rejected and Accepted
Main Idea: The eternal Word came into the world so that any human being can become a child of God through faith.
I. The Preparation for the Incarnation (John 1:6–9)
II. The Rejection of the Incarnation (John 1:10–11)
III. The Purpose of the Incarnation (John 1:12–13)
“In Christ Alone”