Someone has said, “You need to keep the main thing, the main thing.” It’s a pretty good saying. If you lose sight of what is really important in life, in business, in your home, or in your spiritual life, you will find yourself drifting into areas that will be destructive. This Christmas season we want to keep the main thing as the main thing. We are working to keep our sights on Jesus. We are using John chapter 1 to help us in our pursuit. In verses 1 & 2 we learned that Jesus is God in human form.
Today we want to look at verse 3, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” The New Living Translation perhaps states things most clearly, “He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make.”
This is a surprising text to many people. We have heard all our life the idea that the Father created the world, the Son saved the world, and the Holy Spirit sanctifies us (or helps us in our Christian growth). It’s a nice saying. It’s just not Biblical. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all involved in creation, salvation, and growth in the Christian life.
Look at some support texts. In Colossians 1 Paul writes,
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Col 1:15-17)
The author to the letter of Hebrews wrote,
In these last days he [God] has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. [Hebrews 1:2,3]
The Bible teaches that Jesus was the agent of Creation. I know what you are thinking, “So what?”
IMPLICATIONS OF JESUS AS CREATOR
The first implication of these verses is very simple: The world was not an accident. This is a debate that continues to rage in our country. The argument is whether or not our children should be taught even the possibility that the world had an intelligent designer. Some insist that the only reasonable idea is that we have come to exist by means of a cosmic accident.
I’m sorry, but that seems like a ridiculous option. Look around you. Look at the majesty of creation. Think about your own body and the intricacies contained within it. Think about the complexity and uniqueness of DNA. We re supposed to believe this just happened by accident? Someone has said, “it takes much more faith to believe in the idea of spontaneous creation than it does to believe that God created the world.”
Second, we are reminded that to be the Creator, the Word (Jesus) had to be God. John wants us to understand that Jesus was NOT a created being. Mormons and many other quasi-Christian religions mistakenly take the passage from Colossians and conclude that since Jesus is called the “firstborn” it means He had to be created.
That’s not the case. In Jewish thinking “firstborn” sometimes refers to the time of birth. However, it also refers to the one who is first in rank or importance. In the Colossians passage we are not only told that Jesus is the firstborn, we are told that ALL things were created through Him. Jesus is eternal. He is God. He is the firstborn in the sense that he is first in rank or importance.
This is what separates Christians from non-Christians: our view of Christ. Every other religion rejects the notion that Jesus was eternally God. Mormons conclude that Jesus was a created being who became god. Therefore they conclude that if we follow Jesus we can become gods too. Muslims revere Jesus as a great prophet but think it blasphemous that he could be God.
Third, If Jesus made us, we can trust him to remake us. There are some people who resist committing their life to Jesus because they are afraid of the changes that might take place in their lives. You hear it in statements such as, “I don’t want to become a Christian and have to become all holy and stuff.” Or, “I don’t want to become a follower of Christ because it will mean I can no longer have any fun.”
Let me ask you something. Do you dread going to the Doctor when you are sick? Do you moan and say, “I don’t want to go to the Doctor because I’ve gotten used to being sick and the Doctor might help me get well.” or “I don’t want to go to the Doctor because if he makes me better I won’t have anything to complain about any more.” It would be ridiculous to say such things. You go to the Doctor because you know you need help and that the Doctor has been trained to help in the way we need it most.
Isn’t following Christ the same thing? The one who made us certainly knows how to remake us. He is, if you will, the Doctor of our soul. We are spiritually sick (the Bible actually says we are “dead in our sin”). Our rebellious and sinful living has created a barrier between us and our Creator. Instead of honoring and serving God (which is what we were created to do) We create and follow God’s of our own imagination. Jesus came to earth to cure our illness. The remedy was His own sinless life and sacrificial death in our place.
When we put our trust in Jesus as the Savior for our lives and the remedy for our sin, we are placed on the road to recovery. We are no longer dying, we are learning to live. Yes, following Christ will be different. The life of a cripple is different when they are made to walk . . . the life of a blind man is different when he is enabled to see. That difference is not a bad thing . . . it is a very good thing. We can trust Jesus to lead us to new life; a better life.
Let me give you two practical considerations to the truth of Jesus as Creator. He knows Us. No one knows how something works better than the one who designed it. No one understands a child better than a parent. No one understands our world and us better than Jesus, our creator does.
There is a negative to the fact that the Lord knows us. He knows our failures. We spend a good portion of our lives trying to cover up the failures and sin of our lives. We want to be what other people expect us to be because we want to be liked. Consequently, we cover up our fears, insecurities, and failures. We lie, justify, excuse and rationalize all kinds of things to keep others from seeing the truth about us.
God already knows the truth. He sees us as we are. There is nothing that is hid. When Isaiah saw the Lord in Isaiah 6 he said, “Woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips.” Isaiah was sure that because of his sin He would be destroyed. He knew that is what he deserved.
God sees our secret thoughts. He knows about the shady business deals. He knows what you have said about others in an attempt to discredit or destroy them. He knows what goes on in the privacy of your own home. He knows all those secrets we are trying to hide from others. He knows how close to the line we deliberately walk with sin.
Yes, that is terrifying. But at the same time it is wonderful. God knows what I am really like. It is a waste of time to try to deceive Him. For the first time I can be completely honest with someone. I don’t have to pretend I like someone if I don’t. I don’t need to pretend to want to forgive if I really want to punish someone. I don’t have to pretend to be content if I’m not. I can be honest about those feelings and ask God to help me to be the way He wants me to be.
He knows what we can become in Him. We all have dreams for our lives. God knows the purpose for which we were designed. He knows what He can do through our talents, our abilities and yes . . . even our scars.
I admire those who can go into used furniture stores and see a masterpiece in the castoffs of another. They take a piece of furniture home that most of us would leave at the side of the road for the garbage men. These people strip the paint, repair damage, re-glue joints, sand everything down and then apply a stain that transforms the piece of furniture into something we would be willing to pay hundreds of dollars to own. Others can take mechanical things that we conclude are broken and worthless and rebuild them so they work well for a long time.
That’s the way it is with God. He knows where we have had chunks taken out of our spirit and He sees the weaknesses in our character. However, He sees past those things. He sees what CAN be. He sees the masterpiece He created us to be. I’m sure you have heard it many times but it is good to hear again.
It was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile;
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar, now two, only two,
Two dollars and who’ll make it three?
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
Going for three,” but no —
From the room far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up all the strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet —
As sweet as an angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two,
Two thousand, and who’ll make it three?
Three thousand once, three thousand twice
And going and gone,” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried
“We do not quite understand —
What changed its worth?” Swift came the reply,
“The touch of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And tattered and torn with sin
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game, and he travels on,
He is going once, and going twice,
He’s going and almost gone.
But the Master comes and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.
— Myra Brooks Welch
Jesus is the Master. He sees in you what others do not. He knows that with a touch of His grace and the work of His Spirit you can be a new person.
God Cares About Us. God not only knows what we can be, He took action. Like the master with the violin, God was not content to stand on the sidelines while we were auctioned cheap. God knows us (the good and the bad) and He still loved us enough to come to earth to pay our debt and show us the way home.
- that we would often take His work for granted
- that we would sometimes use His sacrifice as a justification for sin
- that we would eagerly grab for forgiveness but still would stubbornly refuse to submit our wills to His Lordship.
- that we would continue to hurt each other
- that we would feel that we had deserved His grace because we were better than others.
He knew all of this and came to earth anyway. He was willing to lay down His life because He knew what He could do in us and through us if we would trust Him. The Creator of the Universe stepped into the world He created in order to communicate His love. This is the Christmas message. This is the good news. This is the gospel.
I hope you have seen this morning that the fact that Jesus was the one through whom the world was created is a remarkable and significant fact. It should change how we view Christ and how we celebrate Christmas.
But understand that though God knows us and loves us He still waits for us to respond. He is like a rescue worker offering food and clothing to a refugee. He has provided all that is needed but the refugee must trust the rescue worker enough to receive what has been provided.
The sad truth is that lots of people will turn away this Christmas. Some distrust the giver. They don’t believe that God really loves them. They are so beaten up by their own failures that they find it hard to believe that anyone could ever love them.
Others distrust the Savior because they feel it is a trap. They believe if they dare to trust Christ, He will ruin their lives. He will keep them from having fun any more. They don’t understand that what they call “fun” is really just futility and misery in disguise.
Still others will turn away from this gift because they don’t feel they need it. They believe they are doing OK on their own. They think the gospel is a good idea because it might help bad people. However, they don’t seem themselves in that category. They are determined that they can make things right on their own. And this is where some of you may be. You may believe you aren’t far from the Kingdom and you can get there on your own. You’re wrong. The Bible tells us, “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23). That of course, includes you.
It doesn’t matter how respected you are or how successful you’ve been. It doesn’t matter whether you have enough money to buy anything you want. It doesn’t even matter that all your friends would call you a good person. It doesn’t matter that you are a respected member of a church. God sees your heart. He knows the truth. He knows that you are like a rotting piece of wood that simply has a fresh coat of paint on it. You look good on the outside but are dying on the inside. You aren’t even close to measuring up to God’s standards and neither am I. We need His love, His grace, and the new life that He alone can give.
So the question is, What will you do? God has done His part. The sacrifice has been made. New life is offered. And now it’s up to you. Will you receive new life or will you turn away. How do you receive Him? It’s not really a matter of saying certain words. It’s about the attitude of your heart. What is required is a surrender to His love and His Leadership. It is a matter of admitting your lost condition and running into His outstretched arms. You can do that right now. You can say, “Lord, apart from you I have no hope of forgiveness and new life. Today I put my trust and confidence in what you have done for me in Christ. Begin the process of making me into the person you created me to be.” You can do that today. You can do it now. And I pray that’s exactly what you will do.