The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 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 (John 1:9-13, ESV).
I feel inadequate to write today’s blog. My favorite preacher Charles Spurgeon once said, Now, I feel, brethren, in my heart as if I would be glad to have done preaching, for I want to get alone, and sigh and weep this sermon over myself. I want to confess and mourn a part over my own conscious ingratitude to my ever-blessed Lord, whom nevertheless I love.
These two subjects I feel unqualified to write to you: the ingratitude of man, because of my floundering in this sin; and Christ’s amazing salvation, which I cannot write like it deserves to be written. Yet, I must for it is what we neead to hear. We must master the sin of ingratitude by looking to God’s salvation through trust in His Son, Jesus.
Jesus is the true light of salvation, though rejected by the world He made and the people He chose, came into the world to save those who receive and trust in Him through the will of God. This will be seen in the Light rejected and the Light gives rights as children of God. These movements will show the sin of ingratitude and how it is overcome with the gospel.
The Light Rejected
In contrast to the witness to the light, the true light came into the world. John shows the true light is the savior of men, sustainer of life, creator of all things, the Word of God, and God himself (John 1:1-5). Yet, when the Light came into the world He created want witnessed to be John the Baptist, he was unknown (John 1:9-10).
This is like a father who has gone off to war and left his family behind. He talks to his children on the phone. He sends pictures of himself to his family. His wife even talks about him. Yet, when he comes home, his children do not recognize him, ignore him, and reject him. That is what happened to the creator of the universe.
The above illustration might bring feelings of sorrow or anger. It is right to think that way. Yet, we as humans do that all the time to God. He created our personality, eyes, hair, fingernails, all our inward parts down to the very details. He provides us food to sustain us, love, life, liberty, money, shelter, and everything necessary for life. He is the one who allows you to open your eyes, get out of bed, make breakfast, go to work, and come home to rest and do it again. Yet, he largely goes un-thanked, unappreciated, and unrecognized. Even worse many of us are hostile to Him and His ways. We should be ashamed of ourselves.
When Jesus came into the world, he was not only rejected, but he was hatefully opposed. Think of this. The babies he gave the breath of life to grew up to be the Roman soldiers who drove the nails through his hands. Jesus created the water Pilate washed his hands with when he delivered Him over to be crucified.
One group of people one might expect to accept him were the Jews. The Jews had the prophets, the scriptures, and the signs that Jesus was their Messiah. Yet, the religious leaders, whose ancestors Jesus led through the wilderness, betrayed Him. They not only betrayed Him but they mocked Him, punched Him, spat on Him, and crucified Him. Their ingratitude was one of worst displays of human depravity in human history.
Yet, ever the disciples betrayed and abandoned him at the arrest. Charles Spurgeon in the same sermon mentioned above said, “And we will observe at the outset that every sin if the believer has in it a measure of ingratitude; for since our savior suffered by reason of our sins, we are ungrateful when we wander into sin.” How terrible are we when we sin against the savior and sustainer of our souls.
We are like criminals, when released from jail by bail, who finds the one who bailed us out and stab him in the chest. We are utterly atrocious and despicable. What can save us from our terrible ingratitude?
The Light Gives Rights As Children of God
While the whole world did not recognize and receive the savior, there were some God chose to receive Jesus and be saved (John 1:12). How did they receive Him? They received Him by believing in His name (1:12). It is one thing to believe that Jesus exists. All that requires is mere knowledge. Yet, to believe in His name means to place one’s trust in him like one trusts in a life preserver to save one from drowning.
What did the receiving him bring about? It brought about being adopted as children of God (1:12c). It is one thing to have one’s sins forgiven. That is awesome. It is a whole another thing to be adopted as God’s child. It completely gives the one who receives Jesus a whole new status in life. Once the person was a child of Satan who is opposed to God and Jesus (John 8:44). Now the person who receives Jesus is adopted with all the rights, privileges, and blessings a son or daughter of God has. There is a new status and dignity with becoming a child of God.
On whose authority does this happen? It was not by physical birth (John 1:13a). It was not the human decision that made a person a child of God (1:13b). It was the sovereign will of God to bring new life into the person and cause them to be born again (1:13c). Yes, the person had to repent and believe in Jesus to be saved. Yet, it was God who willed for that person to be changed so that person would want to do just that. Other passages of scripture support this (John 10, Romans 8-9, Ephesians 1). God has chosen from eternity past who will be saved and who will not. God is the ultimate cause of reality. He does not react. He knows and plans. We have to hold both human responsibility and God’s sovereign will in balance.
The Light, as Jesus, came into the world and was largely rejected by the world. It is still true today. The ingratitude of men is a graveyard stench which crucified our savior. It is a sin which must be killed today. The only solution is for God to change your heart. You need to cry out to God to give your repentance and faith in Jesus. Receive Him today!
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 Charles Spurgeon, “Ingratitude of Man,” The Kingdom Collective, Accessed September 22, 2022, https://www.thekingdomcollective.com/spurgeon/sermon/1055/