Joy

Joy

The Word Became Flesh

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

Questions for reflection

  • What do you think John means when he says that Jesus gives light to everyone?
  • Why is the declaration that the Word is the true light a cause for joy in your life?
  • Why is it good news that the light was coming into the world?

In 1719, Isaac Watts, one of the greatest hymn writers of all time, penned a hymn titled Joy To The World. Though it became known as such, it was not written as a Christmas hymn at all, but rather about the second coming of Jesus. Regardless, Watts’ lyrics fit perfectly the joy we experience at Christmas time. Sing this together as a family or on your own. Consider looking at Psalm 98, upon which Watts based his hymn. Spend time giving thanks for the joy you experience now in the Light of the world. Anticipate together the joy you will experience when Jesus comes again!

Download the IBF Advent Study 2016 as PDF

This study guide includes excerpts from the Advent 2016 study of Santa Barbara Community Church

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One Comment

  1. James Wiliams

    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

    Joy to the world (thank you for sharing this beautiful song)
    I see all of you beautiful people singing and tears come into my eyes. I have this agony that the things that share with you are not examined as if your relationship with Christ is depended on it. The questions that you ask have already been answered by the Holy Fathers (Bishops) in the Churches’ 7 Ecumenical Synods [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PNZSGeTNoI] the first 1054 years of Christianity when there was only ONE CHURCH present obeying to the commandment of the Holy Spirit (God) who created the Church. [Ephesians 4, 5-6] “5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all”
    You seek to have True Knowledge beloved brother and sisters because you love Lord Jesus as much as I do (I know this) however KNOWLEDGE DOES NOT SAVE because Lucifer has knowledge that exceeds ours by far being present in the Old and New Testament….however he is not saved! Lord Jesus did not come to bring a new philosophy on earth but a new creation (Holy) a part take with God that would enable man to return to God’s presence. The knowledge of the Holy Fathers comes as a result of PERSONAL EXPIRIENCES in the presence of God (being Holy) and not the interpreting of the Holy Bible to their understating! Giving you this information and knowing it DOES NOT SAVE because knowledge does not save!

    But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

    Yes all those who believed in His name He gave the right to become children of God (a god by the Grace of God)! Believing in God is ~repenting~ as meant by John the Baptist who was announcing to the world a new and virtues spiritual life (newness of life) that would come through Baptism that buries each and every one into death! (Romans 6.4) “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life”. The death talked about here is “spiritual death” which means “the eternal separation of man from God”! His Sacrifice for all mankind was to allow His Self ~to die SINELESS on the Cross~ in order to save mankind from sin.
    This is why it is the common knowledge to Orthodox Saints and Theologians that His greatest victory upon the Cross… was His defeat! (John 14:30) “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me”. He had to die with no sin.
    Dying sinless in order to defeat spiritual death was a spiritual feat that was to be taken up by all those Christians who wanted to follow the Lord by ALSO dying sinless through -Obedience- and the Therapy of the Church that was to be created by the Apostles for that purpose after His resurrection the day of Pentecost.(Colossians 1.18) “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence”. In the second part of the above verse where we read that Lord Jesus is the -first born from the dead- it must be understood that this is description is of his victorious human nature because divinity (God Logos) cannot possibly be given birth to or dies!

    Having then preeminence in all things as the High Priest (Hebrews 5:5), and also being the “head of the Body Church” makes it possible through remission of sins (CONFESSION) for all Christians to also die sinless. Baptism alone as prescribed by the Apostles through the Holy Spirit, does not only relinquish all sin immediately, but it unites man with God making man able to become god-man (Saint), by the Grace of God. (Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Death =Spiritual death)

    Baptism, Reconciliation with God
    (Galatians 3:27) “You were baptized into union with Christ, and now you are clothed, with the life of Christ himself” Baptism followed as delivered by the Apostles begotten by the Holy Spirit the day of Pentecost is our absolute “guarantee” that everything promised in the Holy Bible is delivered. Man is actually united with God (spiritually) and he is restored by Him to His likeness, (Holy) granting him this way the opportunity from here on earth to proceed through purity (clothed with the life of Christ) in a way of life that leads to Theosis known as Salvation or Eternal Life. The Church is not a man made organization, but a God-man Organism that is sustained to life and is directed by the Holy Spirit.

    Ierotheos Metropolitan of Naupaktos about Baptism
    “Through the “rite of birth in God”, holy baptism, man’s nous (mind) is illuminated, freed from slavery to sin and the devil, and is united with God. That is why baptism is called illumination. But after that, because of sin, the nous is again darkened and deadened. The patristic writings make it clear that every sin and every passion deadens the nous from being able to understand Spiritual Truths. One of those Truths needed for Salvation, is a life saving verse describing the conditions of Baptism that are non negotiable. (Ephesians 4.5) ONE LORD, ONE BAPTISM, ONE FAITH.
    He who Saves man is Christ. He who recreates/remakes man into a god man is Christ. The attracting of the Grace of God (His Light) in our spiritual lives is thought Christ! He is the alfa and the omega in our lives! [Revelation 21:6]
    [John 14:2] “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him”
    [John 10:9] “I am the door: by me if any manenter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture”.

    Holy Orthodoxy: The Ancient Church of Acts in the 21st Century

    God bless and please remember me in your prayers
    ConstantinosJames Wiliams

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