Roads Day 5 Jesus & Charcoal Masks: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
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The Questions

1) What implications might these verses have for an atheist?

2) What is the “darkness” vs the “light”?

3) What deep need is depicted in these verses?

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.

Original Intent

1) What implications might these verses have for an atheist?
Atheism is not a modern perspective, or even one that came along thousands of years ago. The ancient poems of the psalmist speak of those who claim, “there is no God.” (Psalm 10:4, Psalm 14:1) Undoubtedly, there were countless atheistic perspectives the apostle Paul encountered when he traveled as a missionary. In his letter to the Romans, Paul says, “And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right.” (Romans 1:28) The Christian reality, based solidly in the unchanging truth of Scripture, is vastly different than the reality of the atheist, as Sara painted for us in today’s Journey Study. These verses in John’s gospel could entirely alter reality for one who says, “there is no God”; every phrase is pregnant with the intrinsic truth that God simply is, and has always been. More so, the author John, who lived and walked and ate and traveled with Jesus as an eyewitness to Christ’s life, unequivocally states that, without Jesus (personified with the “Word), “not one thing was created that has been created” (verse 3). Nothing is possible without the very existence of the fullness of God.

2) What is the “darkness” vs the “light”?
Darkness is the separation of man, because of sin, from the Eternal Light, who is God Himself. The light of God is everlasting and utterly independent, not resting on any one or any thing outside of Himself to maintain it. “Light” is eternal hope and connection of relationship through community, as evidenced through the triune community of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Light is found in the God of life. He doesn’t receive life from an outside source, rather He is life and has chosen to give life to humanity. Through this creation of mankind, and the world around us, the Lord is making Himself known (Romans 1:20). The light, which is ultimately given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, shines of its own accord, powered by the Living God, to shine in the darkness.

3) What deep needs are depicted in these verses?
That which the “created” needs, is first seen in the Creator as we mirror Him. In these verses, we see at least three distinct identifiers of God’s essential being.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God” (verse 1) God is a Being of community, fully satisfied within Himself by carrying on community between three distinct persons as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God eternally exists in three distinct persons.
“In Him was life” (verse 4). This identifier has a dual meaning. First, He is indeed the very Source of physical life, but He is also the Source of spiritual life. Only God creates a soul and only God can give the fullness He intended through a spiritual relationship with Him. God is eternal life.
The third identifier of God’s essence is also found in verse 4, where He is described as Being Light. Light, by its own essence, is self-evidencing and naturally makes itself known simply be existing. This is the case with God. His light draws humanity to Himself as He makes Himself known throughout creation around us. God is everlasting light.

Everyday Application

1) What implications might these verses have for an atheist?
Truth is still truth, regardless of whether we choose to embrace it or ignore it. When engaging with an atheist, keep in mind that regardless of whether they agree with the truths of the gospel you are sharing, or not, your hope, as a Christ-follower, is not diminished or challenged. Stand firm in knowing that the Bible’s teachings are solid enough for life and death, and that the Lord God has been making Himself known to man for ages before your conversation, and will continue to do so. Creation declares the Maker, and our stories of dramatic life-change are evidence of a living Savior. Share your story; invite your unbelieving friends to meet your Jesus through the storyline of your life!

2) What is the “darkness” vs the “light”?
Because of sin, every person, throughout all time and space, begins with eternal separation from the light and life of God. That includes you and me! The only difference between a Christ-follower and those who don’t claim Him as Savior, is Jesus. When we surrender to the life and light Jesus offers us through His death on our behalf, His light shines in us to overcome the darkness still around us. Every believer is called to share God’s Light! Jesus teaches us to shine brightly into the surrounding darkness of souls who haven’t accepted the free gift of light through salvation. This means sharing our story of how Jesus has transformed us, speaking with respect to those who have different beliefs and listening to understand them. Few come to understand the life and light of Christ because they lost a logical argument with a Christ-follower. Many, however, are drawn to the Light through a relationship of love and respect, gentleness and kindness. What kind of light are you?!

3) What deep need is depicted in these verses?
God designed human beings to bear His own image, which means we reflect His essential being, in the deepest places of our hearts. (Genesis 1:26-27)
Just as God lives eternally in perfect community, so do we long for that same deep, connection. Interestingly enough, at the bottom of the American Atheists’ website is this, “We have more than 170 affiliates and local partners nationwide. If you are looking for a community, we strongly recommend reaching out to an affiliate in your area.”
As God is life, so do we long for life. We ache at the pain of physical death, relational death, and spiritual death, leaving us empty. We long for the fullness of real life, not just an air-brushed appearance of a “good life”.
Because our Maker is Light, we also long for light. We desire clarity, lack of confusion, solid hope, faith we can assuredly count on, and confidence. All of this and abundantly more is found in the eternal light of Christ as we surrender to His whole Being.
We all crave community, life, and light, which makes perfect sense when we realize Whose image we bear.

What do YOU think?! Share Here!
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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

Memorize It!

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