Sermon – In the dark about God? (John 1:1 – 1:18) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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The Book of John was authored by one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, John, who features in the gospel. John makes his mission for writing the book plain in 20:31; “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” He details the many words and claims of Jesus, as well as the various responses from those listening; in either faith, amazement, caution or rejection. Listen as Cornerstone preachers unpack the narrative and invite us to reflect on our own response to Jesus.

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Sermon 1 of 58

In the dark about God?

Pete Woodcock, John 1:1 - 1:18, 21 November 2021

Pete begins our new series in John’s Gospel by preaching from John 1:1-18. In this passage we see the astounding claims the bible makes about God & Jesus, and we look at the big question - can we know God?

John 1:1 - 1:18

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 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. 15 (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.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

If you would like to take a bible and turn to John John's gospel, You can read it on the screen in front, but the there are bubbles provided on on the tables. This is page 1 0 6 3. It's the start of a new series. We're gonna be doing at Cornerstone in the evenings.

Through the gospel of John, and what a wonderful passage of scripture this is. Let's hear what God says. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with god, and the word was god. He was with god in the beginning. Through him, all things were made.

Without him, nothing was made that has been made, in him was life. And that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from god whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light.

So that through him, all might believe. He himself was not the light. He came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet, to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of god. Children born not of natural descent nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of god. The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory The glory of the 1 and only son who came from the father, full of grace and truth.

John testified concerning him. He cried out saying, this is the 1 I spoke about when I said, He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me. Out of his fullness, we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

No 1 has ever seen god, but the 1 and only son who is himself god and is in the closest relationship with the father has made him known. Thanks, Dean. This is just an unbelievably amazing passage, and I think the more you read it, the more you're blown away. By it. It's it's a start of a new series, and this is really the introduction to John.

If you wanna if you wanna know the themes of John, they're all they're actually all here in these first 8 versus. It's it's often called the prologue or it's the overture, you know, when you go and you hear some kind of opera or that sort of thing. They they often have all of the themes, all of musical themes right at the beginning, and then the rest of the play or the rest of the opera, it works so through, and that's exactly what you got here. So it's quite an amazing I mean, really, no preacher should touch this. I feel that I should read it again, sit down and shut up.

That would probably be the best sermon. But there we go. I'm arrogant enough to have a go. So let's pray. Father help us, please.

There are so many things here, so many wonderful, wonderful themes. We thank you for the richness of your word. Help us please. Pick up something. Buy your spirit, plight to our hearts.

Help us to be understanding who the lord Jesus is. We pray in his name, amen. Now let me say that the that most of this sermon is my introduction. So if you think, well, is he gonna get to this passage? It's because I'm scared of it, and I'm sort of It'll it's 3 quarters of my sermon is my introduction.

Then I'll get to the passage and sit down quickly. But parents of school children will know this, and you'll probably know how your parents reacted if you've been a school child, which we all have. It's when the child comes home with the homework and asks the horrible questions, dad, ma'am, about maths and physics and history and English, grammar, or some kind of homework question. And there's a vague memory if you're a parent of how you answer this question. There's a vague sort of memory of how you work out the answer, but you can't get it and it's just hard.

What you should say is, okay, let's investigate together and let's try and find out the answer. But you basically say if you're a parent like me, go away and do it yourself. It's not my homework. It's yours. Now, honestly, I I actually think that the God questions, the questions about God are a bit like that for most people.

There's a sort of vague sort of thing about, I know I should work on this, I I know I should have an answer, but they're just so difficult for god questions. I met a bloke in Kingston many years ago, and I remember his answer because I'll tell you how it went. He I asked him a question. Do you believe in God? And he went, sometimes I do.

And sometimes, I don't. And I always remember that thing. And I think that's a lot what what what a lot of people are about. They they don't quite know what to say. And it's like, sometimes, I don't.

Sometimes, I don't. I'd love to see that bloke again. What what actually do you know about God? What is God like? Where'd you find out about him?

Would you say that you know God, or those online, that you actually know God? And I don't mean in some feel theoretical sort of way, but that he has a personal real effect on your life. A real effect when you're on your own and with your plans and dreams and hopes. He really does affect you. Now, they're all good questions, but I think most people in Britain sort of their their mind blows at those questions.

There's so many ideas, so many theories, so many so many religions and we've just seen, you know, Japan, shintoism, and what was that all about? And so many philosophies that it really does take quite an effort if you're gonna sift through the whole of the history of human thinking. Others when it comes to those god questions, do what I did to my kids when they asked about homework. Go away. Or you just answer quickly.

So you get this. I think God is like. And there's actually no real justification for saying that God is like that. There's no evidence but it sort of puts God in the in place. I think God is like.

And then off you go. Others revert to their upbringing. Their religion or their non religion. We believe God is. We believe this about God.

And there's no real personal thinking there. These questions can be really annoying, quite unpleasant, and and so we can easily leave them. But but let's if we wanna find out about this massive question, which is so important, about God, where do we look for answers? Perhaps you know some people, and there are a lot people here that say they do know God personally. And it's a bit odd to you really.

They they talk about prayer as if it's really talking to a person. But you, the reality is, that's probably 1 1 of the reasons you don't come to the prayer meeting. Is what would I do? Am I talking to myself? Is it like talking to a brick wall?

It doesn't seem to work for me. So how do we find So my overriding question, if you like, is this, are you in the dark about God? Personally. Are you in the dark about God? Where is he?

1 man complained about Christianity to a Christian leader in this way. This is what he said. You speak about trusting God. You'll hear these words at Corner say, trusting God or praying to him or doing his will. But it's all one-sided.

We speak to God. We bow before him and lift our hearts to him, but he never speaks to us. He makes no sign. So you get that whole sort of load of people that would call themselves agnostic. Meaning I just don't know, and I don't think anyone knows.

1 of the most famous agnostics, and he was 1 of the sort of founder agnostics is is a bloke called Herbert Spencer. It doesn't really matter who he is. But he stated that and this was his sort of big line. But just as no bird has ever known has never been known to fly out of the heavens, and he means, you know, out of the sky into space. Just as no bird has never been known to fly out of the heavens, So no man has ever been known to penetrate the with his finite mind, little human brain, the veil that hides the mind of the infinite.

Therefore, this is his argument, the infinite may not be known by the finite, so agnosticism is secure. Now there's lots of things we can argue with that, but do you see what he said? We just don't know. There's a very famous Hindu story about a father who sends 3 sons off the university. And when they come home for holiday time, he gets his family and gathers them around to see what they've learned at university about God.

The first son stands up and speaks for an hour to his relatives about God. The second son stands up and speaks for half an hour about what he's learned about God. The third son stands up and says nothing. And the father, you can get it, stands up and says, my third son is the only 1 that knows about God. Now, that's mental.

Because if you take any other subject I mean, imagine doing that for your homework. You know, you do nothing for biology. The the teacher asks you to stand up and say something, and you stand there and say nothing. And the teacher says, He's the 1 who understands about biology, or you're at your nursing thing. And, you know, There you are, you nurse.

And and your trainer says, now what have you learned about this leg, this person's leg? And you say nothing, they say, well, you understand more about the leg than anybody else. Chop it off, you know, because it doesn't exist. I mean, it's it's silly. And and and so when it comes to God, are we in the dark about God?

And we are meant to stay in the dark about God? Is that where we're meant to be? There's nothing to say. We're just in the dark about God. Well, here's my first point.

If there is an answer, how would we go about getting it? How would we get light on the matter about God. How would it be possible to know not only about God but to know God. In order to answer that question, let me ask you another question. How is it possible to know anyone?

How is it possible to it's the same question. How is it possible to know God? How is it possible to know any person? So here's my big illustration. What do you know about my brother?

I mean, you didn't know I had a brother, some of you. I have a brother. I was with him yesterday. You may disbelieve it. I don't believe he's got a brother.

It's up to you. But I've got a brother. Anyone tell me about my brother. Now I haven't got time to do this. I wish I did, where we could just you could throw out ideas.

Some some of you have met him, and some of you will know about him, but most of you don't know me and yet, although know my brother, so what you're talking about. But how would you go about knowing my brother? Well, you can make some good guesses. You could make some good assumptions. You could say, well, that's Pete's brother.

Therefore, he must be highly intelligent, extremely good looking, and very, very humble. That's what you and that's good reasoning. That's that's very, very good reasoning, but you don't know for sure because you may be the opposite to me. Some of you might say, okay, I'll imagine what he looks like and you could say, and and these are good ideas. They're good theories.

You might say, he's 6 foot 4, and has long blonde hair. Well, that's a good guess. Some of you might say, no. No. No.

I think he's 4 foot 2, and got a massive bald head. Yeah? That's exactly the same as saying, I think God is like. Do you see that? Is guessing.

Okay. I'll tell you his name. You ready? His name is Paul. My name's Peter, his name's Paul.

You could do some research about us. My second name is Woodcock. A Woodcock is a bird. When I was a kid, there was a stupid little nursery rhyme. And it went like this, something like this, 2 little Woodcocks sitting on a wall 1 named Peter, 1 named Paul.

That's me and my brother. Fly away, Peter. Fly away, Paul. Come back, Peter. Come back, Paul.

What's that all about? Now you could do your research and say, Peter must be older than Paul. Because in the nursery rhyme, when they were young, that was going around, Peter flies away first, and then Paul flies away, and then Peter comes, so Peter is the leader, you could you could argue. Perhaps Peter is the older 1 out of the 2. That's a good assumption.

That's good working out. That's using history. That's using rhymes and things that were around my lifetime. And his lifetime. So you could have some very good guesses, and some of you could formulate those guesses if you wanted to take this further.

I'm sure you don't. You could formulate it into a system or traditions and make other people believe it. But the reality is, you can't get to know my brother by sitting, thinking, reasoning, like that. And it's the same with God. You might work out some things about God and be right.

You might not. You might make a god that you like, because you want a god you like, or you might make a god that you hate. And want to avoid. You might make a God and say, actually, I'm not gonna make a God. I'm gonna be agnostic about this God.

I'm gonna say we can't know this God because by this method, you can't. You can't know anything by just sitting, thinking like that. When I was in Australia, I used to live in Australia, I flew to to Brisbane to speak at a university. And I was being met by at the airport by a student. I got there, plane landed, got there, went to the place where I was supposed to be meeting this student and stood there, and stood there.

And stood there. And thought flipping flipping students. It was in the days where you didn't have mobile phones. I didn't have any contact it's normal for me. I'm just standing there in Brisbane, waiting for some student, and I thought these students are obviously late.

Late, late, late, just standing there. Eventually, I met the student. And he didn't believe that I was Pete Woodcock. He said, oh, it's you. I said, I'm standing here for hours.

He said, I didn't think you'd look anything like that. He obviously thought it was quite ugly or something. You were totally different than what I thought, and so I didn't go up to you. See, you can have all kinds of ideas about Pete Woodcock or Paul Woodcock. My brother, and be totally wrong and miss him.

So back to my brother illustration. I told you it was gonna be a long illustration. Back to my brother illustration. Let's help you a bit more. Imagine I take you to his home when he's not there.

You're free to explore. What can you learn about my brother now? Well, lots of things. Is he tidy? Is he messy?

Is he clean? Is he dirty? Is he rich? Is he poor? What sort of clothes does he wear?

Does he wear designer clothes or Asda? You know? You could open his fridge and see See what he eats. You think he's a like, eats lots of meat, does he? You think he eats lots of meat?

Or you look at Pete and say, well, he eats lots of meat? You think Pete eats of me Paul, eat lots of meat. You could see whether he likes butter or margarine, whether he has the lourdes pack or that filthy equivalent of it that isn't the equivalent of it that some stupid people buy for church lunches, just feel the rebuke. So, you know, you could see see what he likes, what he doesn't like. You could look at his photos, does he have a family, does he have a wife, does he have children.

You could look at his books, what sort of things does he read, what's his interest, you could open up his emails, have a read of them, you could look at his text messages, see his bills? Is he in debt? Is he in credit? How rich is he? Does he have pets?

What's his garden like? You could you could see all of that. You'll learn a lot about him. But you won't know him. You'll learn a lot about some you can fill in some conclusions, and you'll get right.

Some will be wildly wrong. First line in the bible, the first line, the first sentence in the entire bible is in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He made the heavens and the earth. So look around the world is a bit like look around my brother's house, and you can learn a lot about god, but you won't know him. You'll learn a lot about god in the world that he makes.

You'll see that there is a god. It is so patently evident when you go to my brother's house, that there is a brother. And it's patiently evident to most ordinary thinking people that there is a designer behind the world, atheism is a dying religion. There's a God, there's a creator, There's language, even in you, there's the language complicated, language, written language of DNA. So there's clearly a language writer, a speaker in you.

There's maths, there's physics, there's beauty, creativity, There's a god. And using that method of looking around his creation or his house, if you like. You can learn a lot about God. You can learn a lot about my brother. You know he exists.

You can understand certain things about him, but you don't know him. You don't know him. You're just still guessing. You can't get to know him through a scientific investigation. You just can't.

Okay. Let me help you a little bit more. If I could tell you about him, that would be something better, wouldn't it? I'm his brother. I can tell you about him.

I was with him yesterday. No. Friday. If I could tell you about him myself or if I could persuade him to tell you about himself, him to tell you. That would be good.

Now that's very different type of knowledge. And this is what I'm trying to impress upon you. It's a very different type of knowledge than the other 2. The other 2 really in the end, you'll never know someone that way. You can guess, and you might get some things right, and you might get something's wrong.

But this is a different type of knowledge because this now is a revelation. This is me or him revealing himself. Revelation means unveiling. This isn't unveiling. This is an opening of the curtain.

Back to that student where I was waiting at Brisbane, let me tell you what actually happened. He never came up to me. He really didn't believe I was Pete Woodcock. In the end, after about an hour and a half, I noticed he was still standing there. I went to him, and I said, are you after, Pete?

What cock. He said, yes. I said, I'm he. He said, oh, boy, really? I mean, really, there was only me and him standing there.

So either he was Pete Woodcock or I was, that's extraordinary. I had to say I am he. And he said, I never thought you'd be like that. It was a really weird mission, by the way. He gave me as a present for a 10 day mission, a tie.

I got paid in a tie. Anyway, forget that. I was preaching every day several times a day and I got a tie. Anyway, there we go. So he obviously didn't like me, or he also thought I should be wearing a tie at least.

He didn't believe in Pete Woodcock. He got it wrong. He got it wrong. He was guessing. He needed me to reveal.

He needed the revelation And that leads me to my second point. God reveals himself, now we're in the passage. God reveals himself. He sheds light on who he is. He makes himself known.

Stop guessing. Stop trying to bring conclusions about him. Here he is, verse 18. Number 18 of this amazing chapter 1 of John. No 1 has ever seen God, but The 1 and only son who is himself god and is in the closest relationship with the father has made him known.

The first part agrees with her, but Spencer and the agnostics. You can't penetrate with the finite mind, the infinite. There's a veil. No 1 has ever seen God. No 1.

The Bible is actually making that point. You can't get to know God. He is unknowable. He is out of sight, out of reach, beyond our mind, beyond knowing. So the the bible in that first part of that verse is agreeing, yet, you can't You're in the dark about God.

But if you simply stop there, do you miss the massive beauty of this truth? No 1 has ever seen God, but the 1 and only son, then the last line has made him known. Just because people can't get through the veil to God doesn't mean to say God can't get through the through the veil to us. This passage in John is full of good news for those who don't know about God. Who are in the dark about God?

There's light. Look at verse 5. The light shines in the darkness. Look at verse 9. The true light that gives light to every person has come into the world.

There is light on the matter of God. You don't have to guess about God. You don't have to follow sort of religions about God. God has spoken. The God who made speech is not dumb.

He has spoken To us, look at verse 1, in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. Look at verse 14, The word became flesh and made his dwelling, his living among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the 1 and only son who came from the father full of grace and truth. God has spoken. There's a revelation.

There's an unveiling. God has pulled back the veil and revealed himself. He's gone up to the stupid student and said, I'm Pete Woodcock. Although, no. He said, I'm God.

Here I am. We don't live in a silent universe, and the best thing you can say about God is to not say anything. It's not like that. He's there and he's not silent. Look at verse 18, no 1 has ever seen God.

But God, the only son, who has made him known? He's made him known. My brother's turned up. Here he is. Paul, he's alive.

He's older than me, so you got it wrong about the thing. He doesn't eat much meat. He's almost a vegetarian. He hasn't got gray hair. He's got dark hair.

He isn't 4 foot 2 with a massive bald head. He's 3 foot 9 with a massive bald head. He's better looking than me. He's more intelligent than me. He earns more money than me.

He's got a bigger house than me. He's got free horses. I'm telling you about him. He's got a wife and 2 kids. It's amazing.

Now in this passage, all the concepts In John 1, at first, they're a little bit overwhelming, but they're largely this. We'll come back to it next week. There is a word who was with God and is God, and that word is coming to the world as flesh and blood are human. He is God, the only son who has made him known. You will never know God through philosophy, you'll never know God through theology, you'll never know God sitting around, thinking, reasoning, deducting.

You'll never know God through religious traditions or even religious experiences. You'll never know God through scientific investigation of the universe. Even though the universe will reflect something of his character that he's made, you'll never know him. We know God by revelation, by God revealing himself, we know God by God coming and saying, here I am, let's talk. Here I am, let's have a relationship.

Here I am, come and know me. In the same way that you know anyone, People are confused about God because they look in the wrong place. It said of the first man in space, Yuri Gogarin, that when he was in space floating around, you know, orbiting the earth, he said, I can't do a Russian accent. Oh, no, better not. It will come out it will come out like a German.

I I don't see any god up here. He actually didn't probably didn't say that, but it's a good 1 that the atheists love. Well, of course, God isn't in space. God came down to earth. You got the wrong way, mate.

God came down to earth. And in John chapter 1, you see that. Look at verse 1 again. In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. As I said, the first line in the entire bible is in the beginning God created.

And there's a clear illusion here, isn't there, and a comparison here in John chapter 1 verse 1 with Genesis, the first book of the Bible, chapter 1 verse 1, in the beginning. In the beginning, in the in the book of Genesis is 1 Hebrew word. Those 3 words in the beginning is 1 Hebrew word, and it's where we get the word Genesis from. Beginning, the start of things. But you see the difference between Genesis and John.

John goes back a little bit further than Genesis. In Genesis, he'd go right back to God doing before there was a universe. But in John, you go right back to God being. His being, in the beginning was. Genesis, in the beginning God created, in the beginning was.

He goes right back. Brian Cox, Professor Brian Cox, not the actor, has done a new series called Universe. They're pushing it on the BBC. It's massive massive thing. It's it's just flopping a bit, by the way.

But he's always talking about going back to the beginning of the universe. Go ahead and get sorry. That's not fair. Going back to the beginning of the universe, and there's there's massive graphics and everything He wants to go back, and he says, we've got back to a sort of a second before the big bang, and I want to get back, and I want to get back, and there's there's so much money going on back back to the beginning of the universe. Well, listen.

If he gets back to the beginning, he knows to go back 1 step further. John may has got there a little bit before you. And he's gone back 1 step further in the beginning was what the word. And the word was with God, and the word was God. The word was always there.

Word. God has never been without a word. Never. He's never been wordless. God's never lost for words when it comes to communicating himself.

We must never stick a wedge between God and the word. God and the word have always existed, and God's word is God. God is a speaking being. So God and his word are eternally linked together. And notice it's personal.

Now we're looking at the text, look at 1 John. Verse 2, he is talking about the word as he was with God. Verse 3, through him. The word, verse 4, in him. Look at verse 10, he was in the world.

Verse 14, the word became flesh, a person. Only a person can reflect the character of God. For God is personal. You wanna know my brother? You don't really need a prophet.

I'm a prophet. I can tell you about my brother. Those who have met my brother can tell you about my brother, they're like prophets, but you need something bigger than a profit if you're to get to know someone. If you were going to get to know my brother and talk with him and understand him, he has to come in person. You have to get to know him.

So there are prophets verse 8. There's John the Baptist. It says he himself was not the light. He only came as a witness to the light. So, if I'm telling you about my brother, I'd be like John The Baptist.

This is what my brother's like. He's actually much better looking. He's got dark hair, he hasn't got gray hair, and he's taller, and he's always been more intelligent, and he's always been the good 1 in the family, and those sort of nasty things, and it gets on your nerves. But and then verse 17. It talks about another prophet.

Moses. Moses came with with the very sort of truths of God, but not not as good as Jesus, this word that comes, who is full of grace and truth. He's he's Hebrew says this. In in the bible. Book of Hebrew is chapter 1.

In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways. But in these last days, he has spoken to us by his son. And the son, the word, the son, is the radiance of God's glory, and the exact representation of his being. God has spoken clearly in a way that we can understand in a person by becoming a man. And who is the word of god?

Well, I've already said. The first century human being called Jesus, the Messiah. And look what he does. Verse 3, because next week I want to show you how important this is. Look at verse 3, through him, all things were made without him nothing was made that has been made.

Everything was made by this word, by this Jesus, who's come into the world to say, you don't need to be in the dark about God. Everything was made including you. See, knowing my brother is just an illustration. It's neither here nor there whether you get to know him. It doesn't matter none of you will probably get to know him.

But knowing God does matter, because he made you He is your personal maker. He is your personal inventor. Look at verse 4, in him, was life, and that life was the light of all all people. He is light. It's amazing.

Through the word, not only are you taken out of darkness with regard to God, You're taken out of darkness as regard to you. You wanna know who you are? Then you need to have light on who God is because he's your maker. When you know who God is, you'll start to work out who you are. Do you understand that?

It's extraordinary to go verse 9. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. The word is the light to everyone. There's no need to be in the dark about God, and there's no need to be in the dark about you. Because when God shows himself to you and you are in relationship to him, you know him, you'll start to know yourself.

Brian Cox, in the first series of the universe, is using all these bible words But he doesn't believe that there's anyone behind the universe. It's an all all an accident. This is what he said. I turned it off after this because I thought it was just out ages. Brian cops, the stars said, right, the stars that don't exist said, let there be light.

The stars said, let there be light. Right? It's really bad philosophy. It's a bit embarrassing, Brian. Go back to school.

Start reading this. I will write to him. We'll see what happens. I'll tell you if I get a reply. The last reply I had, but I won't tell you it actually.

It was so rude. But but do you see that? There's nothing in Brian Cox's universe that makes you anything special. You're just fortuitous occurrence of atoms, you're an actual made up thing, the stars happen to collapse into each other and then make light, and you are nothing. But actually, Behind the stars is a word.

It's a relational god who speaks, who's not dumb, who said let there be light. And when you know the God of light, you start knowing yourself. All these young people, so utterly confused about who they are, That's because of people like Brian Cox. If you're a nothing and you're an accident, you have to try and make yourself. To try and make yourself when you're not God, to be a creator, when you're not a creator, is just so sad, isn't it?

But god, Jesus, Jesus who's come to this earth, I said, let there be light. Are you in the dark about God? Are you in the dark about God? Seriously? You really don't know.

Well, it's not God's fault. Is it? He's come? Are you sort of flying up into space, same way he's not here? Well, he's he's Come in Jesus.

God has audibly spoken his mind to this world, and what's his mind? What's on his mind? Jesus. The invisible God has been made visible. And who's that?

Jesus. So God is knowable. Why? Because of Jesus. Look at verse 12.

I'm nearly through. But look at verse 12. To all who receive him, that's the word, that's the light, the true light, to all who receive him, to those who believe in his name. He gave the right to become children of god. You see?

God has come into this world to bring you into his family. I'm here. Earing for Pete Woodcock, it's me. Are you looking for God? It's Jesus.

You're looking for what you're about. Come to him. He's your true light. He's your creator. Are you still in the dark about god?

Receive him and you'll be a child of god. A child of god, the eternal 1. Before the universe began. He'll speak to you, and you'll speak to him. You do that?

When it says he's the light, we we want light, you know, people say I want light on the matter or, you know, I'm talking about being in the dark about God. It's not a torch. A torch you see is in my hand and I beam it away from me. And I sort of, there is Elliot there. Yeah?

It's Dave Lawors. So there's lovely girls at the back there. Yeah. The torch beams it away from me. This light beams it at me.

And we'll maybe see more of that next week. But suddenly, I see my goodness. He has come to this world so that I may know him. But when his light beams into me, Why would he want to know me? There is so much darkness in my heart.

His light exposes me. You see that in chapter 2. You see that actually in chapter 1, but I I I won't show you. It's take too long. But Suddenly, the darkness wants to run away.

The darkness wants to extinguish the light. The darkness wants to because the light is beaming not away from me, but into my very hard. God knows everything about every 1 of us. He knows what you were doing at 2 o'clock this afternoon, at 3 o'clock He knows your mind. He knows the things you've looked at, you've thought, you've said, you wished And suddenly, I'm exposed.

Suddenly, I'm exposed. And it's not very nice. And yet, he's come for me. He's come for me. And John will show us how he deals with the darkness in us by cleansing us on the cross.

That's why he came to die. So there we are. You in the dark about God? Well, stop it. Come out into the lights, painful.

You know when it's like, when you wake up in the morning, I took out in a cup of tea, this morning as I do every every single day. 1 day, someone will bring me 1. And But I took her a cup of tea in the morning, and I had to get out. And I turned the lights on, and there's this these eyes going like that. The light of my presence was shining into her.

And it was very painful. It's very painful. Yes. And I know what you're thinking and I thought of something as well. But it was very painful, very painful when when we're opening our eyes.

Why? Because it because it's it's it's it's bright. And sometimes Coming to know God, it can be quite painful. You know, he's exposing me. I'm I am a sinner.

I'm not right. I'm not a right person. I I'm not right. There's something twisted about me. I'm wrong.

But he's come for people like us to make us his children receive him, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let's bow heads and pray, and Dino pray for us. Father god, we we thank you so much for your word for speaking to us tonight. Lord is It's an amazing thing to think about that every time the bible is opened, you speak, you reveal yourself. And it's even more amazing to think that when a human being a pastor, a Christian gets up and reads your word and explains it.

That that is a message from God and it's so humbling. And yet it's It's so wonderful, and it's so comforting to know that we are not on our own. That there is someone out there, and he's not just out there. He has come in here. He's come among us.

We thank you so much that you are speaking God, and we thank you for the excitement that that we we that we face where where we think about this this wonderful gospel of John has been introduced to us. We look forward to what is what is to come lord, but we pray for ourselves now we ask that that you would work in us. For for those who have been Christians for many years, we pray that this would not be just another reading of John's gospel that we've done a thousand times, but it would be fresh. It would be it would be challenging. It would be deeply comforting to know that you care about us so much that you've spoken into our world.

And not only that, but you've sent your son into this world. Who who he walked among us. He He lived and breathed and and bled and died for us. Father, we we were told earlier on that this it this has a personal and real effect on our lives, and we pray that it would. We pray tonight that it would have a personal and real effect on our lives.

And, lord, if there's anyone watching now, anyone in this room, anyone online who who would say, yes, I am in the dark about God. We pray that that they would be coming towards the light. We pray that they would hear your voice, the voice of your son. We pray that that you would continue to reveal yourself to us that that we would see the glory of Jesus. That we would see the power of Jesus that he's just speak religious words to us, but can change us from the inside out.

And so, lord, as as as we as as we believe as as we cornerstone church, go out into this world this week. We pray that we would go with with with compassion for the lost we would go with hope, with the word of God in our hearts, that we would go with answers to people's questions. And, Lord, again, we we ask that for those who who are among us, who who would who who again would say, I don't know God, but I want to know him We pray that you would continue to draw them to yourself. We pray that you would continue to reveal yourself to them. Bring them out of the dark.

And into your wonderful light, we pray. In Jesus' name, amen.

Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

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