19
Aug
2018

JOHN 4:26-42 JESUS CONNECTS DOING GODS WILL WITH SPIRITUAL FULFILLMENT

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John 4:26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He." 27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why are You talking with her?" 28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him. 31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." 32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." 33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?" 34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 "Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 "And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 "For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.' 38 "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors." 39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did." 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word. 42 Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."

 In these verses we will see the Samaritan Woman get saved as she learns that Jesus is the Messiah. The perplexing disciples who after hearing Jesus proclaim to the Woman that He is the Messiah for the first time that we know of, all they can think about is food.  Jesus response to their wanting to eat and how He connects doing God’s will with Spiritual fulfillment and how to get it.  Jesus will also let them know that we don’t always get to be the one who leads someone to Christ, but we all participate and sometimes we get to enjoy the fruit of someone else’s labor.  John will end this section with MANY Samaritans coming to Christ, not because of the signs and wonders many want, but because of the Word of the woman and especially the Word of Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 16:4 "A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed.

13
Aug
2018

JOHN 4:16-26 JESUS CONFRONTS THE SIN OF THE SAMARITAN WOMAN

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John 4:16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." 17 The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' 18 "for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly." 19 The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship." 21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." 25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things." 26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."

In this message we see the WOMAN, whom no Jewish man would speak to, much less a Rabbi or Teacher and for sure not the Messiah, Savior of the World confronted by her sin.  The high and mighty Nicodemus has come to Jesus and left unforgiven and unsaved, now the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world goes to this “despicable harlot” who has been married five times and now is living with another who is not her husband to confront her sin.  It is amazing how the very people we think are not worthy of our attention or could never go to heaven are the very ones that Jesus goes to and are the same ones who do go to heaven because they see their need.  How about you, whether you have sinned as much as this woman has or not doesn’t matter because we all need Jesus to forgive us and save us.

 

8
Aug
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2:6 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST DEMONSTRATE WHO HE IS BY THEIR LIFE

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1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.  John is saying that the person who abides is one that is saved and has a close, intimate, and permanent relationship with Christ.  And because of that relationship we need to practice a life of obedience by living the same way Christ did.  The word walk means a habitual practicing of a certain way of life.  Here it is imitating Christ’s life.  Jesus said in John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. The only way we can truly live the life of Christ is if we are really saved and walking close to Him.

5
Aug
2018

JOHN 4:1-15 JESUS MUST GO THROUGH SAMARIA

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As we move into Chapter four we will see John show us another side of Jesus.  So far He has pursued his disciples and been pursued by Nicodemus, a supposedly very righteous and influential man, now He will make sure He will have a divine appointment with this very unrighteous and shunned woman of Samaria.  Just as Nicodemus did not understand what Jesus was trying to tell him, this woman will not get it either.  It is amazing how simple the Gospel is, that a little child can understand and believe, yet a grown man or woman with great intelligence will not and cannot understand it.  Have you come to that place yet where you believe?  I hope so, if not by the time this message is over I pray you will understand the truth and truly believe Jesus is the Christ, God in human flesh and ask Him to forgive you and save you.

It was, more than anything else, the glory of the land of Israel, that it was Emmanuel's land Isa 8:8 He will pass through Judah, He will overflow and pass over, He will reach up to the neck; And the stretching out of his wings Will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel., not only the place of his birth, but the scene of his preaching and miracles. This land in our Savior's time was divided into three parts: Judea in the south, Galilee in the north, and Samaria lying between them. Now, in this chapter, we have Christ in each of these three parts of that land.

1 When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,

1Co 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. [Jesus made and baptized]

It is Christ's prerogative to make disciples, first to bring them to his foot, and then to form and fashion them to his will. These seem to be quoted as the very words which were brought to the Pharisees; and, from our Lord's conduct after this information, we may take it for granted that they were so irritated that they were determined to find an occasion to take his life; in consequence of which, leaving Judea, he withdrew into Galilee. Already the Pharisees had turned violently against John who had called them broods of vipers. It is most likely that they drew John out about the marriage of Herod Antipas and got him involved directly with the tetrarch so as to have him cast into prison. and hence they supposed they had a right to inquire into the conduct of both John and our Lord. They had on a former occasion sent to inquire of John to know by what authority he had introduced such a rite into the religion of the Jewish people. Though he feared not death and did not shrink from suffering, yet he did not needlessly throw himself into danger or provoke opposition

2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) sent to baptize with the Holy Spirit, means that it was not the habit of Jesus. This is the last mention of baptism under the direction of Jesus till the Great Commission (Mt 28:19). It is possible that Jesus stopped the baptizing because of the excitement and the issue raised about his Messianic claims till after his resurrection when he enjoined it upon his disciples as a rite of public enlistment in his service.
3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. Each time hereafter that Jesus appears in Jerusalem and Judea before the last visit there is an open breach with the Pharisees who attack him (Joh 5:1-47; 7:14-10:21,22-42; 11:17-53).
4 And he must needs go through Samaria.   Lu 2:49 And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?"

Or, it was necessary for him to pass through Samaria; for this plain reason, and no other, it was the only proper road. Samaria lay northward of Judea, and between the great sea, Galilee and Jordan, and therefore there was no going from Galilee to Jerusalem but through this province. From Jerusalem to Galilee, through Samaria, according to Josephus, was three day's journey. The direct and usual way was to pass through Samaria. Joseph was directed by God to go to Galilee, a place of safety.

5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

The Jews, regarded Samaritans as the most abominable of mankind.

So He came by going through Samaria to a city of Samaria.  Now Samaria originally was the name of the capital city of the northern kingdom.  When the kingdoms split after Solomon—Solomon was the last king of the unified kingdom (Saul, David, Solomon, and from Solomon’s sons)—the kingdom split, ten tribes went north, two stayed south. The south became known as Judah.  The north as Israel. That’s historic.

When the kingdom was established independently in the north, Omri, who was one of the kings of the north...and by the way, all of them were evil, all of them were wicked, all of them were unrighteous, there was never a good king in the north. But Omri, according to 1 Kings 16, identified Samaria as the capital city.  Well, it didn’t take long for the word Samaria to extend from the capital city to the whole region, so it all became known as Samaria.

[A city called Sychar] This city was anciently called Shechem. It seems to have been situated on the foot of Mount Garazim, in the province of Samaria, on which the temple of the Samaritans was built. After the ruin of Samaria by Salmanezer, Sychar, or Sheckem, became the capital of the Samaritans.

This place is remarkable in the Scriptures; 1. As being that where Abram first stopped on his coming from Haran to Canaan. 2. Where God first appeared to that patriarch and promised to give the land to his seed. 3. The place where Abram first built an altar to the Lord and called upon his name. . It was at this place that Joshua assembled the people before his death, and here they renewed their covenant with the Lord, Joshua chapter 24. After the death of Gideon it became a place of idolatrous worship, the people worshipping Baal-berith, One of the names of the city was Neapolis.

Now it is the first place where the gospel is preached out of the commonwealth of Israel; so Dr. Lightfoot observes; as also that the valley of Achor, which was given for a door of hope, hope to the poor Gentiles, ran along by this city, Ho 2:15

So we read there that He came to this place, a city in Samaria called Sychar.  Probably modern Askar, still around, and located on the slope of Mount Ebal, opposite Mount Gerizim.  Do you remember Ebal and Gerizim from Deuteronomy 28?  The mountains of cursing and blessing where God warned the people, “If they obeyed they’d be blessed, if they didn’t, they’d be cursed?”  That area.  Now not just near this village, and by the way, the best estimate would be that if you started in Bethany, maybe He was staying with the family of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, we don’t know. But let’s assume Bethany, which is right by Jerusalem, somewhere in that area.  It’s about a twenty-mile hike and when I say hike, I don’t mean it’s a flat walk, I mean it’s an exerting kind of hike, up and down and up and down and a rigorous walk, 20 miles would take it to where the modern town of Askar is, if that’s close to where Sychar is—a twenty-mile walk that day.

[That Jacob gave to his son Joseph] Jacob had bought this field from the children of Hamor, the father of Schehem, for a hundred pieces of money. Joh 4:1b1a) Here lay Jacob's ground, the parcel of ground which Jacob gave to his son Joseph, whose bones were buried in it, Ge 48:22; Jos 24:32. Probably this is mentioned to intimate that Christ, when he reposed himself hard by here, took occasion from the ground which Jacob gave Joseph to meditate on the good report which the elders by faith obtained. In faith Jacob said take my bones back

6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. a state of weariness. The verb means to toil excessively (Lu 5:5). John emphasizes the human emotions of Jesus (Joh 1:14; 11:3,33,35,38,41; 12:27; 13:21; 19:28).

So Jesus goes the twenty miles and He arrives near Sychar, and some suggest that Jacob’s well (It was called that because Jacob’s bones were buried nearby)—they know where that is today. It was probably between a half a mile and a mile away from the village of Sychar.  Askar is about a half a mile or so away.

He arrives at that place and we read this: “Jesus being wearied from His journey was sitting thus.” What does “thus” mean?  Wearied, in a wearied condition; He sat in a slumped, wearied condition by the well. It was about the sixth hour.  The day began at dawn, which means it began say around 6 A.M. and sixth hour puts it at noon.  It is high noon; it is the middle of the day. The sun is at its peak and He has walked 20 miles, a rigorous, rigorous walk that morning.  And He’s exhausted.  The word “wearied,” kopiao, means to be to the point of sweat and exhaustion.  It’s an extreme condition.  He is worn out.  He is spent.  And at noon, under the blazing sun, He sits down on the edge of the well.

Even though Jesus was the eternal Word, He became fully man and shared the fatigue and thirst that all travelers experience (cf. Heb. 4:15-16).

The stage is set for this amazing encounter that is about to happen.  And again there you see the humanity of Jesus, don’t you?  You see His humanity.  He understands all that we suffer as men and women because He was one of us. He knew what it was to be weary, to be thirsty, to be worn out, to be exhausted, which contributes to Him being a sympathetic high priest who learned from His own experiences how to sympathize with us.  That kind of thing brings shame on those who say that only the Virgin Mary or the saints can sympathize with us.  Jesus walked in our flesh.  He understands even our physical weariness. And there He is by the well.

[Jacob's well] Cutting wells or pools for public use rendered a man famous, so this well was named after Jacob because he had digged it, and it was for public use. The well stands about a third of an hour walk from the present city of Neapolis and may be seen today.

The word John uses here is pege, rather than the usual Frear. “On the difference between the two Loyd comments: ‘A spring is a God-given thing. God creates the spring; man only digs the well.’ It is a curiosity that such a deep well should have been dug in a country where there are many springs. (Godet says that there are as many as eighty springs in the region.) The well must originally have been well over a hundred feet deep, so that digging and lining it was no small task. This has been worked into an argument that the well really was dug by Jacob. Only ‘a stranger in the land’ would have gone to all the trouble to construct such a well in a land as plentifully endowed with springs! Many commentators give the depth of the well as about seventy-five feet, but according to Hendriksen a great deal of debris has been cleaned out and the well restored to its original depth.” Morris, p. 257, fn. 20.

[1] Time does not permit an extensive exploration of the “well motif” in Genesis, but it has been noted elsewhere. Many of the important events in Genesis took place at a well. It was at a well that Abraham’s servant found a wife for Isaac (see Genesis 24). It was also at a well that Jacob first met Rachel (Genesis 29). A spring plays a vital role in the survival of Hagar and her son, Ishmael (Genesis 16).

[The sixth hour] About twelve o'clock. The time is noted here; 1. To account for Christ's fatigue - he had already travelled several hours, 2. To account for his thirst - the sun had by this time waxed hot. 3. To account for the disciples going to buy food because it was the normal time of dinner among the Jews.

7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. A polite request.

Three things about this woman seem to put her at a distinct disadvantage. First, she is a Samaritan. Second, she is guilty of sexual immorality, and third, she is a woman. We have already commented about the way the Jews felt toward the Samaritans. We are not left in doubt as to how the Pharisees would have dealt with such a woman:

[There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water] This was the normal employment of women, as we see in different parts of the sacred writings. The Jews say that those who wished to get wives went to the wells where young women were accustomed to come and draw water; and it is supposed that women of ill fame frequented such places also. Joh 4:1. 8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

Drawing water was women’s work.  Men worked in the field and did the hard work; women drew the water. That’s supported by all kinds of historical data.  They did it every day.  They did it every day because they needed water every day.  Water was scarce in that part of the world, as you know.  Wells were visited every day. That was a common meeting place for the women who came to draw water.

What is fascinating is that they came at dusk, typically. They came when the day had cooled down in the evening.  Why is she coming at noon?  Why is she there at twelve?  Well, we can’t be certain about it, but it would be a reasonable thing to assume that this woman was a woman in town who had a very bad reputation—five husbands and living in adultery.  And oh, by the way, the Samaritan religion was based upon an understanding of the Pentateuch which contains the Ten Commandments and a whole lot of other things that have to do with marriage and divorce and adultery, the five books of Moses.  This is a scarlet woman.  She would normally come at dusk if she was like other women, but if she was a woman of shame, maybe she came at noon because she knows nobody else is going to be there. And maybe she’s avoiding the confrontation and the stigma that she bears.  And why this well?  Because there’s some information historically that there were wells closer to Sychar. Why go this far?  Why pass other wells?  And the answer might be the same, that she avoided the very convenient places in the normal time of day to avoid the scorn of other women that she would have to face.  She is not a respectable person.

Consequently by all expectations, she is not a woman worthy of attention from the Son of God.  She is not a woman who is elevated. This is condescension.  And how does He begin?  He takes the initiative.  He says to her, “Give Me a drink.  J.C. Ryle says, “This is a gracious act of spiritual aggression on the sinner.”  We don’t think about aggression in terms of evangelism, but we should.  It’s a shocking thing, really, very shocking.  Not so much in our culture, obviously, but in that culture it’s a shocking thing for Him to do because men don’t speak with women in public. That’s a breach of religious etiquette.  And especially rabbis don’t speak to women in public.  In fact, I remember reading years ago, a group of Pharisees and rabbis who were called the bruised and bleeding Pharisees and the reason they were bruised and bleeding was because every time they saw a woman they closed their eyes and they kept running into buildings.  Jewish men didn’t talk to women.  Do you know that Jewish rabbis were not supposed to talk to the women of their own family in public.

Whatever might be thought of the propriety of asking for a drink …, no Rabbi would have carried on a conversation with a woman. One of their sayings ran: ‘A man shall not be alone with a woman in an inn, not even with his sister or his daughter, on account of what men may think. A man shall not talk with a woman in the street, not even with his own wife, and especially not with another woman, on account of what men may say.’” Morris, p. 274, citing SBk, II, p. 438.

So here Jesus, a rabbi, a Jewish man, not only talks to a woman, but He talks to a woman who is an outcast, despised woman, who is a half-breed pagan and worse than that, she is by every measure a well-known adulteress who probably has been an adulteress for a long, long time, hence so many divorces.  ’Cause if you look into the Law of Moses in the Old Testament, you will find that Moses did grant a divorce, but a divorce, as we know—because Jesus repeated it—for immorality.  This is an immoral woman.  It’s a shocking breach of everything Jewish for Him to say to this woman, “Give Me a drink.”  And somebody might say, “Well, why doesn’t He have the disciples get Him a drink?”  Well, can’t because verse 8 says they had gone away into the city to buy food; so He’s there alone.  Why is He there alone?  Well, because they needed food.  How many disciples does it take to get food?  All of them?  No, but dismissing them was beneficial to the conversation, let’s put it that way.  He wanted to be alone with the woman.

Joh 4:8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Without them there to get Him a drink, and without any instrument to get a drink, He says to the woman, “Give Me a drink.”  It’s just absolutely shocking.  And by the way, just a footnote, Jesus never did a miracle to quench His own thirst, satisfy His own hunger, or provide anything for Himself, never.  There’s no record in all four gospels that Jesus ever did any miracle to feed Himself, provide for Himself, and thus He honored work, and He honored effort, and He honored care, and He honored sacrifice, and He honored giving and all the things that we do in life to sustain ourselves.  This was also part of His commitment to humanity.  We get what we need through either our own work, and our own effort, or somebody else’s work and somebody else’s effort.  He didn’t do those kinds of miracles that would supply His own wants.

A Jewish Rabbi would rather go thirsty than violate these proprieties.

Strict Jews would not have purchased food from Samaritans as Jesus' disciples were attempting to do

9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

Here is another empty waterpot that I believe symbolizes the empty religion that man seeks for himself

Notice that in the verses that follow, Jesus does not answer this question. It is the gospel which changes all this:

Galatians 3:26-29- 26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise

 [That thou, being a Jew] Possibly the inhabitants of Judea distinguished themselves from those of Samaria by some peculiar mode of dress; and by this the Samaritan woman might have known Christ; but it is likely that our Lord spoke the Galilean dialect. [The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans] The woman's question appears to have ended with the words, "Of Samaria" and the subsequent phrase are the words of the evangelist to explain the reason for the woman's question.

It certainly surprised her when He asked for a drink of water. She surmised that He was a Jewish rabbi, and perhaps she tried to “read between the lines” to find another meaning to His request. What was He really seeking?[i]

Of course, our Lord’s request was simply a way to open the conversation and share with her the truth about “living water.” [ii]

The hatred which existed between these two nations is well known. [The middle kingdom was taken captive by the Assyrians, who then repopulated the area with non-Jews (see 2 Kings 17), and to the Jews, who so prized racial and religious purity, the Samaritans were at best a people of suspect pedigree who practiced a corrupt religion. Perhaps she was surprised that Jesus would drink out of her water pot.

  1. That he should ask this kindness; for it was the pride of the Jews that they would endure any hardship rather than be beholden to a Samaritan. 2. She wonders that he should expect to receive this kindness from her that was a Samaritan: Christ takes this occasion to instruct her in divine things:

John adds, “The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”  They don’t use the same utensils. 

The Jews “do not use dishes Samaritans have used.” A Rabbinic law of A.D. 66 stated that Samaritan women were considered as continually menstruating and thus unclean. Therefore a Jew who drank from a Samaritan woman’s vessel would become ceremonially unclean.[iii]

In fact, the Jews in John 8:48 said, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”  That’s what they said to Jesus.  You’re nothing; that was one of their descriptions.  “You’re a demon-possessed Samaritan.”  Terrible scorn for the Samaritans.

Now again, you go back to 722 B.C., Assyria captures the northern kingdom. Transports everybody out.  You can read the story yourself in 2 Kings 17.  Takes everybody into captivity, leaves a few people there, a few of the Jews from the ten tribes, and into the district come Babylonians, people from Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, Sepharvaim. They’re even listed in that chapter of 2 Kings.  They come in, they intermingle, they bring their gods, they get married, they lose their racial purity. This is an uncivilized time in the eyes of the Jews.  They devise some bizarre form of their own religion, they build a temple on Mount Gerizim and they carry on their own kind of worship.  We’ll see more about that later.

 

The bitterness is profound after the Jews in the southern kingdom, Judah came back from captivity. Remember they came back from their captivity.  After they came back and rebuilt, you remember, it was Samaritans who tried to help them. Do you remember at the story of Nehemiah? The Samaritans wanted to help them and they refused to let them help. And so the Samaritans then tried to stop what they were doing and the bitterness got deeper and deeper and it lasted, and it lasted, and it lasted.

 

A renegade Jew, actually, it was a renegade Jew named Manasseh, who married a daughter of the Samaritan Sanballat. You remember he was the enemy of Nehemiah.  This renegade Jew named Manasseh, who married the daughter of Sanballat, he’s the one that went up into Samaria and built the temple to sort of be their temple because they couldn’t be a part of the new temple being built in Jerusalem.  So this rivalry had gone on.  Here we are four or five hundred years later and the attitudes are bitter and deep.

Samaritans continued to worship on Mt. Gerizim and accepted only the Pentateuch as canonical. A small group of Israelis who claim to be able to trace their ancestry back to the Samaritans survives to the present day.

The Samaritans professed to believe in the God of Israel and awaited the coming of Messiah (see John 4:25). They accepted only the first five books of the Law, but rejected the rest of the Old Testament Scriptures. Wherever they found it necessary to justify their religion and their place of worship, they modified the Law. The relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans was definitely strained.

 

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Having captured her attention and stimulated her curiosity, Jesus then spoke a puzzling saying to cause her to THINK…. It was as if He had said, “Your shock would be infinitely greater if you really knew who I am. You—not I—would be asking!” Three things would have provoked her thinking: (1) Who is He? (2) What is the gift of God? (3) What is living water? “Living water” in one sense is running water, but in another sense it is the Holy Spirit (Jer. 2:13; Zech. 14:8; John 7:38–39).[iv]

            (1.) Christ is the fountain of gardens, and well of living waters, open for every poor sinner, and freely given, that whosoever will may come unto him, and drink of the riches of his grace. (2.) Many carelessly disregard the invaluable blessings of the gospel, because they perceive not their excellence, nor their own want of them. (3.) They who would obtain the blessings of grace from Jesus and his Holy Spirit, must seek them in persistent prayer; and he who is faithful and true, hath promised, that none such shall ask in vain.

Is 55:1-7, Rev 7:16-17

The word used means, the free gift of God. And this is where evangelism starts.  You initiate the conversation, you find your way in at a common point of interest, and then comes the reality that you are offering the sinner it without regard to moralit.  It is mercy with no regard for morality.  It is mercy with no regard for religion.  It is just mercy.  It is just grace.

It is the gift of God. This is the unique glory of the gospel.  In opposition to all religion, all religion says, “Do this, do this, do this, do this, and God will give you this.”  The gospel says, “In whatever state you’re in religiously, and whatever state you’re in morally, here’s a gift.”  It is the gift of God.  It is a gift of grace.  It is a gift of mercy.  Dorean, the word here, is “free gift.”  Paul loves that word.  Paul uses that word in Romans.  He uses it in chapter 5, the free gift, the free gift.  And that’s where our Lord starts with this unsolicited mercy being offered.

This was one of the many instances in which he took occasion from common topics of conversation to introduce religious discourse. None ever did it so happily as he did, but, by studying his example and manner, we may learn also to do it. One way to acquire the art is to have the mind full of the subject; to make religion our first and main thing; to carry it with us into all employments and into all society; to look upon everything in a religious light, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak,

   Mt 12:34 "Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. [If thou knewest the gift of God] The Greek word used here signifies a free gift, a gift which is given without asking anything in return. Such a free gift of kindness was Jesus Christ to the world (chapter 3:16), and through him comes the gift of the Spirit which those who believe on his name were to receive.

 2Co 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

Christ will convert this woman, not by showing her that the Samaritan worship was dividing (though really it was so), but by showing her her own ignorance and immoralities, and her need of a Saviour. He hints to her what she should know, but was ignorant of: If thou knewest the gift of God, that is, as the next words explain it, who it is that saith, Give me to drink. If thou knewest who I am. She saw him to be a Jew, a poor weary traveler; but he would have her know something more concerning him that did yet appear. Note: (a.) Jesus Christ is the gift of God, the richest token of God's love to us, and the richest treasure of all good for us; a gift, not a debt which we could demand from God; not a loan, which he will demand from us again, but a gift, a free gift, Joh 3:16. (b.) It is an unspeakable privilege to have this gift of God proposed and offered to us; to have an opportunity of embracing it: thou wouldest have asked. Note: (a.) Those that would have any benefit by Christ must ask for it, must be earnest in prayer to God for it. (b.) Those that have a right knowledge of Christ will seek him, and if we do not seek him it is a sign that we do not know him. Jesus here means to denote by it his doctrine, or his grace and religion, in opposition to the impure and dead notions of the Jews and the Samaritans. 

Ps 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

What is the gift of God?  What is the living water?  Well, it’s salvation, clearly.  Everything that’s in salvation—mercy, grace, pardon, forgiveness, justification, flowing and flowing and flowing and flowing and flowing—and endlessly flowing.

[Living water] By this expression, which was common to the inhabitants both of the east and the west, is always meant spring water, in opposition to the dead, stagnant water contained in pools, ponds, tanks and cisterns; and what our Lord means by it is evidently the Holy Spirit, as may be seen in chapter 7:38-39. As water quenches the thirst, refreshes and invigorates the body, purifies things defiled and renders the earth fruitful, so it is an apt emblem of the Holy Spirit which so satisfies the souls that they no longer thirst for earthly good; it purifies them from spiritual defilement and it makes them who receive it fruitful in every good word and work.

As in His conversation with Nicodemus (3:5), Jesus again alluded to the Old Testament passages that promised salvation as satisfying water (e.g., Isa.12:3; 44:3; 49:10; 55:1-7; Jer. 31:29-34; Ezek. 36:25-27; Joel 2:28-32).

Isa 12:3 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.

Jer 2:13 "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns-broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Zechariah 14:8 And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur.

Is 1:16-18

Isa 1:2; Jer 6:19 Ps 36:9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.

 Jer 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. "Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the LORD, The fountain of living waters."

Jer 18:14 Will a man leave the snow water of Lebanon, Which comes from the rock of the field? Will the cold flowing waters be forsaken for strange waters?

Re 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? concludes his boasts were absurd, and his offers a mere joke.

Jesus was speaking about spiritual water, but she interpreted His words to mean literal water. Again, we see how easily people confuse the material and the spiritual. Furthermore, this woman was concerned about how He would obtain this water, instead of simply asking Him to give her a drink of it.[v]

[Thou hast nothing to draw with] Thou hast no bucket. Good water is not plentiful in the east and travelers are often obliged to carry leather buckets or bottles with them, and a line also, to let them down into deep wells in order to draw up water.

She said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.  Where then do you get that living water?’”  This is sarcasm. This is a kind of scorn, kind of mockery. This woman is very used to defending herself. 

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

“You’re not greater than our father Jacob, are you?  Who gave us the well and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”  Who do you think you are?  You’ve got something better than this?  How are you going to give me water when you don’t have a bucket?  How you going to drop the rope a hundred feet, pull up the water?  Do you have some other well?  Are you greater than Jacob?  "There was a trace of sarcasm in the woman's reply, as if she meant, 'We Samaritans are the dirt under your feet until you want something; then we are good enough

Genesis 33:18 and 19, “Dug the well.”  This is skepticism, mockery.  Again, mercy responds kindly, patiently. 

 

Of course Jesus is greater than Jacob—and greater than the well itself! To paraphrase His reply: “Whosoever continues to drink of this material water (or anything the world has to offer) will thirst again. But whosoever takes one drink of the water I give will never thirst again!” (see John 4:13–14) How true it is that the things of this world never completely satisfy. In hell today, people are crying, “I thirst!”

 

We have noted before that life is one of John’s key concepts. He uses the word at least thirty-six times. Campbell Morgan has pointed out that mankind needs air, water, and food in order to have life. (We might also add that he needs light.) All of these are provided in Jesus Christ. He provides the “breath” (Spirit) of God (John 3:8; 20:22). He is the Bread of Life (John 6:48) and the Light of Life (John 1:4–5), and He gives us the water of life.[vi]

 

 [Our father Jacob] Despite of the mixture of the races the Samaritans still counted themselves as descendants of Jacob. Art thou greater? Art thou wiser, or better able to find water, than Jacob was? It seems that she supposed that he meant that he could direct her to some living spring, or to some better well in that region, and that this implied more knowledge or skill than Jacob had. To find water and to furnish a good well was considered an indication of skill and success. It was a subject of great importance in that region. Men like to commend that which their ancestors used as superior to anything else.  The world over, people love to speak of that which their ancestors have done, and boast of titles and honours that have been handed down from them, even if it is nothing better than existed here--because Jacob's cattle had drunk of the water.

Her reference to "our father Jacob" was probably another barb designed to remind this Jew that Jacob was the Samaritans' ancestor as well as the Jews'.

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again:

Jesus did not directly answer her question, or say that he was greater than Jacob, but he gave her an answer by which she might infer that he was. He did not despise or undervalue Jacob or his gifts; but, however great might be the value of that well, the water could not altogether remove thirst.
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up (bubbling up) into everlasting life. All the comforts of the world are insufficient to give any abiding satisfaction; Christ alone can bestow the substantial portion on the soul. They who pant after the earth, and its enjoyments, drink and thirst again;

It is a striking image, and especially in Eastern countries, where there are vast deserts, and often a great want of water. The soul by nature is like such a desert, or like a traveler wandering through such a desert. It is thirsting for happiness, and seeking it everywhere, and finding it not. It looks in all directions and tries all objects, but in vain. Nothing meets its desires. Though a sinner seeks for joy in wealth and pleasures, yet he is not satisfied. He still thirsts for more, and seeks still for happiness in some new enjoyment. To such a weary and unsatisfied sinner the grace of Christ is as cold waters to a thirsty soul.

[Springing up into everlasting life]. This water from Jacob’s well would satisfy only bodily thirst for a time. But the water Jesus gives provides continual satisfaction of needs and desires. In addition one who drinks His living water will have within him a spring of life-giving water (cf. 7:38–39). This inner spring contrasts with the water from the well, which required hard work to acquire. Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit who brings salvation to a person who believes and through Him offers salvation to others.[vii]

Joh 6:35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst again

Joh 7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

What is it?  It’s living water.  It’s satisfaction forever, soul satisfaction forever.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

The woman could not grasp this dark saying because of her sin and materialism. All she could understand was that if she had a spring she would not get thirsty and would not have to work so hard.[viii]

                  [Give me this water] She did not as yet comprehend our Lord's meaning; but her curiosity was much excited, and this was the design of our Lord, that he might have her mind properly prepared to receive the great truths which he was about to announce. water that will prevent thirst. Neither come, "nor keep on coming" as she has to do once or twice every day. She is evidently puzzled and yet attracted.

 

[i] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 299). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[ii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 300). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[iii] Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 285). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[iv] Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 285). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[v] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 300). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[vi] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 300). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[vii] Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 286). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[viii] Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 286). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

1
Aug
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2:5 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST KEEP HIS WORD

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1 John 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

 1 John 2:5 says But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected or completed in him. By this we know that we are in Him. The word but in verse 5 shows that John is contrasting true believers in verse 5 with the false in verse 4, those who say, versus those who do the will of God.  This means if we are habitually practicing righteousness, then our love for God has been worked out in our lives through our obedience. This means we can know for sure that we are saved because we are living out the life of Christ because He is our Lord and Savior.

29
Jul
2018

JOHN 3:31-36 SIX REASONS FOR THE SUPREMACY OF CHRIST

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John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 "He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 "And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. 33 "He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. 34 "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. 35 "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (NKJV)

Here, John the Baptist sets out to prove the supremacy of Jesus Christ and to show how vastly superior Christ is to him. John hangs his whole argument on several key premises. First, John informs us that He is superior to John because of where He has come from. Jesus has come “from above,” “from heaven.”  Jesus is “from above”; John is “from the earth.”

31 "He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

Mt 28:18; Joh 1:15, 27; 3:13; 6:33; 8:23; Ro 9:5; 1Co 15:47; Eph 1:21; Php 2:9

Some forty times in the Gospel through John, Christ is spoken of as being sent from heaven or going back to heaven.

V31 Divine origin - Jesus if from Heaven (From God) – The one from above, 3:3, 3:7 Rules as God v31 and 35

Since Jesus is “from above,” He speaks of the “heavenly things” which He has seen and heard in heaven. John is “from the earth,” and thus he speaks about “earthly things.”[i] It sounds irreverent, but there is an idiom that says: “I got this right from the horse’s mouth.” That is what John is saying about Jesus and His words. In spite of this, John also calls attention to the amazing truth that even though Jesus speaks divine truth, “no one accepts his testimony

But Jesus is of a completely different nature because He’s of a completely different origin. He had no human father, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and that’s how a divine person passed into a human body. He has a heavenly origin. He is from above. And by the way, that is the same language of John 3, you must be born from above in the spiritual sense, regenerated by God to be a part of His Kingdom. Heavenly origin then becomes a very important part of Jesus’ testimony, and I want to show this to you.

 John 6:33, Jesus had just fed the massive crowd the loaves and the fish and was teaching the great sermon on Himself as the bread of life. But notice a few of the things that he says. In verse 33, John 6, “For the bread of God…meaning Himself…is that which comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.” Verse 38, “For I have come down from heaven.” Verse 50, “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven.” Verse 51, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven.” Verse 58, “This is the bread which came down out of heaven.” That doesn’t leave any room for doubt about the origin of the Lord Jesus Christ. He came down from heaven. Clearly distinguishing Him from earth-born people, which constitutes the entire human race.

32 "And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.

Joh 3:11; 8:26; 15:15

He has a heavenly origin. And by the way, chapter 8, you’re going to find this as we go all through John’s gospel, but chapter 8 verse 42, Jesus said, “If God were your father…He’s talking to the Jewish leaders…if God were your father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God.” I proceeded forth and have come from God. In chapter 17 He prays a prayer and says, “Restore to Me the glory I had with You before the world began.” And speaks there of His preincarnate existence. In 17:8, “The words You gave Me I have given to them and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You.” This is foundational to understanding Jesus Christ is not merely human. This establishes the deity of Christ

 v32 Divine Testimony - Has a firsthand knowledge of the truth because He is God – Speaks and witnesses as God has a better testimony than John

Now we know He knows everything because in chapter 2 verses 23 to 25 it said He knows everything. He even knows the thoughts of every human being, this is omniscience. Jesus is the only man who never needed to take any information from anyone else. He didn’t need to be educated by other people. There was no need for that. Yes, He grew in wisdom, stature, favor with God, favor with man…there was an awakening to His divine knowledge as He grew legitimately as a baby and a child. He wasn’t a one-year-old able to spout profound eternal theology. He was conformed to the development of a human being. By the time He’s twelve, obviously it’s crystal-clear that He…He has reached the point with a full adult sense of His mission which means that His knowledge was then complete. Did He choose to use all that knowledge? No, He restricted the independent use of His own omniscience in His humiliation. That’s why He could say things like “I don’t know the day or the hour when I return to establish the Kingdom.” He put self-imposed limits on His omniscience. But He could limit His omniscience, no one could add to His knowledge. He could limit His development and that in the plan of God, but no information as outside that full omniscience.

 This sets Him apart from us. Everything we know, somebody has to teach us. We need information from heaven given to us from someone from heaven. So Jesus comes, God spoke in time past by the Holy Spirit through the prophets and then He spoke, Hebrews 1, by His Son. Either God speaks to us through the prophets and through the writers of Scripture or He speaks to us through His Son, but He has to speak to us because we have no knowledge of heavenly things.

 Back in chapter 3 verse 11, “Truly, truly…Jesus says…I say to You, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen.” This is firsthand knowledge. And he calls these things in verse 12 heavenly things. So in referring to Jesus Christ, everything begins with an understanding of His heavenly origin and then moves to an understanding that He has knowledge of all things, He has complete omniscience, He knows everything that can be known and He knows it by first-hand experience, not because He acquired that knowledge or was taught that knowledge. There is a reference in the gospel of John to being taught of God, Jesus speaking of being taught of God meaning only in the sense that He was with God in eternity past, they shared a common understanding of truth.

For example, Jesus reiterates this a number of times. Maybe it would be good to look at chapter 5 verse 30, “I can do nothing on my own initiative, as I hear I judge, My judgment is just. I don’t seek My own will but the will of Him who sent Me. If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not deemed true. There is another who testifies of Me and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true. You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth, but the testimony which I receive is not from man but I say these things so that you may be saved.” John is a lamp but I’m the light. In other words, Jesus says John gave you a testimony that he had received from God. I give you a testimony that comes from heaven itself. There’s a sense in which it all originates with God. The difference is John had to be taught this, Jesus knew it eternally. He is the omniscient one.

 In the eighth chapter of John’s gospel, just a couple of other verses, verse 26, “I have many things to speak and judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.” Jesus says My knowledge is the knowledge that belongs to God, it is knowledge which we share. Verse 38, “I speak the things which I’ve seen with My Father.” In other words, the common identification of these two members of the Trinity, eternally, which encompasses their omniscience.

 Because He is of heavenly origin then, He has all heavenly knowledge. There is no preacher who can claim that by any means. We struggle at best to grasp the heavenly things, to understand the heavenly things, to articulate the heavenly things, and we’re only scratching the edge of the surface.

By the way, at the end of that verse, a statement is made, “No one receives his testimony.” Back in verse 11 he said the same things, Jesus said it there. “You do not accept our testimony.” He said that to Israel and now John says no one receives his testimony. John the Baptist is affirming that what Jesus is saying, people are rejecting. It’s not consistent with what they’re used to. It’s not earthly. It’s not consistent with the system that they’ve developed. It’s too heavenly. And Jesus said that, how are you going to understand heavenly things when you don’t even grasp earthly things?

33 "He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.

Ro 3:4; 1Jo 5:10

The truthfulness of God is bound up in the affirmation of Christ. Look at verse 33. “He who has received His testimony,” there are some, “no one received His testimony,” is a general statement, not an exclusive one, but there are some. “He who has received His testimony, that is the testimony concerning Christ, has set His seal to this, that God is true.” That is such an economy of words to say something so profound. Does God speak truth? Is God true? You heard Kory sing what essentially says that, you are truthful. God is true, a God who cannot lie. He is truth personified. God is true. If that is so, then you must believe in Christ. Why? Because God sent an angel and said this child is Immanuel. This is Jesus who will save His people from their sins. Because God sent an angel, this is the Son of God, because God spoke at His baptism, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Because God spoke at the Transfiguration, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him.”

 If you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then God lied. Understand? So don’t come with some kind of patronizing statement about, “Well I believe in God, I believe in the true God, I just reject Christ.” No, if you reject Christ, then you affirm that God is a liar.

he Jewish people think they affirm the God of the Old Testament. They talk about the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, the God of the Old Testament Scripture, they affirm that that’s their God and that’s the true God. But their God is a liar…their God is a liar because it is the God of the Old Testament who revealed every single prophecy directed and fulfilled in Jesus Christ’s first coming. It is the God of the Old Testament who talk about the seed of a woman in Genesis 3, it’s the God of the Old Testament who talked about one who would be crucified, pierced, wounded for the transgressions of His people, Isaiah 53. Every single prophecy in the Old Testament fulfilled in Jesus Christ is a point at which you either validate God as speaking the truth, or lying. You cannot reject Christ and say God speaks the truth. It was God who said this is My beloved Son. If that’s not His Son, God’s a liar.

v33 His Testimony agrees with God and proves that God is true

In 1 John chapter 5, John affirms this very important declaration with this statement, 1 John 5:10. This time he’s writing in his epistle. “The one who believes in the Son of God,” John is constantly going back to this theme, this is who He is and you must believe to have eternal life. “The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in Himself. The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar.” Whoa-whoa, I would never make God a liar. You just made Him a liar if you reject what He said about Christ because you have not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. It’s inescapable. You don’t have the right to say I believe in God and that I believe God is true, and then reject Christ. If Christ is not who God said He is, we are really in serious trouble because the biggest promise that God ever made, the clearest identification that He ever spoke of was a lie. And if God is by nature a liar, throw your Bible away, throw your Old Testament away, run from it. You cannot reject Christ and affirm that God is true. If God is true, then everything He said about Christ is true and Christ is who He said He is and provides the eternal life that He declared He would give.

 

This becomes another of John’s themes. Chapter 7, verse 16, “So Jesus answered them and said, very basic statement, My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” Reject Me, you’re rejecting God. Call Me a liar, you’re calling God a liar. We are connected. If I’m a liar, God’s a liar because what I’m telling you comes from God.

 Back in chapter 5 is maybe the most potent statement, chapter 5, you could pick it up say maybe at verse 19. Jesus is talking about His relationship to the Father, His Son can do nothing of Himself unless the something He sees the Father doing, common knowledge, common life, common action, common works, common words, whatever the Father does, these are the things the Son does. And He goes on to speak about this. And then He sums it up in verse 23, “So that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father.” And then this, “He who doesn’t honor the Son, doesn’t honor the Father who sent Him.” Reject the Son, and you’ve rejected the Father. That is why the writers of the epistles of the New Testament refer to God as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, meaning that the God that we believe is the God who is one with the Lord Jesus Christ. You can’t separate the two, and end up with anything other than blasphemy. It’s blasphemy to call God a liar. And if Jesus is not who God said He is, then God is a liar and there is nothing more horrendous or horrific than that kind of blasphemy.

 In the fourteenth chapter of John, the tenth verse, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. My works, My words all come from the Father. Believe Me, I am in the Father, the Father’s in Me.” This is essential to any grasp of the identity of Jesus Christ.

34 "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. Joh 1:16; 7:16

 V34 Jesus has the full measure of God’s words since He is God and full of the Holy Spirit

Eph 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Eph 4:8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men."

it speaks again to His Trinitarian relationships. This comes in verse 34. In verse 34, and it is this, “He possessed full Holy Spirit presence…full Holy Spirit presence.” Why do we exalt Christ? He has a heavenly origin. We have an earthly one. He knows what He knows from eternal omniscience. We have to be taught and are limited in our comprehension. Why do we exalt Him? Because He is the one whom the Father promised and whom the Father affirmed and to agree with God the Father we must embrace Christ. And then this, “He possesses the Holy Spirit in full presence.” Great statement in verse 34. “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God…that’s the same point He was making in verse 33, probably should be added to verse 33, and then verse 34 should say…”For He gives the Spirit without measure.”

 One of the ministries of the Spirit, of course, was to bring the words of the Father through the Son. Everything Jesus did in His ministry was the work of the Holy Spirit, that’s why in Matthew 12 when they called Him satanic, they said You do what You do by the power of Satan, He didn’t say you blasphemed Me, He said you blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

 Why? Because part of His incarnation was to become human, part of His incarnation was to restrict the independent use of His attributes. Part of His incarnation was to yield over His will to the operation of the Holy Spirit in His humiliation.

it speaks again to His Trinitarian relationships. This comes in verse 34. In verse 34, and it is this, “He possessed full Holy Spirit presence…full Holy Spirit presence.” Why do we exalt Christ? He has a heavenly origin. We have an earthly one. He knows what He knows from eternal omniscience. We have to be taught and are limited in our comprehension. Why do we exalt Him? Because He is the one whom the Father promised and whom the Father affirmed and to agree with God the Father we must embrace Christ. And then this, “He possesses the Holy Spirit in full presence.” Great statement in verse 34. “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God…that’s the same point He was making in verse 33, probably should be added to verse 33, and then verse 34 should say…”For He gives the Spirit without measure.”

 

One of the ministries of the Spirit, of course, was to bring the words of the Father through the Son. Everything Jesus did in His ministry was the work of the Holy Spirit, that’s why in Matthew 12 when they called Him satanic, they said You do what You do by the power of Satan, He didn’t say you blasphemed Me, He said you blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

Back in chapter 1 verse 32, John testified saying, “I’ve seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven and He remained on Him and I didn’t recognize Him, but He who sent Me to baptize in water said to Me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’” So there symbolically is this coming of the Holy Spirit resting on Him. That’s only an external demonstration of what was an internal, eternal permanent union in the Trinity. In fact, in Colossians 2:9, it’s stated this way, “That in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He is Son and Father and Holy Spirit all in one.”

 Why would you exalt the minister? John has a measure of the Holy Spirit. John has information given to him but John is an earthly man, not to be compared at all with the one who comes from heaven who knows everything from eternal omniscience, who gives perfect testimony establishing the truthfulness of God, and who has the spirit in infinite fullness.

 35 "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.

Mt 11:27; 28:18; Lu 10:22; Joh 5:20,22; 13:3; 17:2; Heb 2:8

 V35 Divine Authority - Everything belongs to Jesus because He is God and only by Him can you be saved – He has Ultimate Power

Power and Grace Mt 28:18

John understands that the whole of redemption and the whole of creation, the creation of the material world, the immaterial world, the plan of redemption, all of it is about the Father loving the Son and creating a universe in which He can redeem humanity and give a bride to His Son, a love gift to His Son. John has a full understanding of the plan of God to create and then regenerate, to regenerate the heavens and regenerate the earth and regenerate fallen sinners and gather all that together and give it as an expression of His love to His Son. That’s staggering truth to grasp.

 In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul tries to capture some of this with amazing language. Ephesians chapter 1, one of my favorite passages anywhere in Scripture, starting in verse 20, talks about Christ whom He raised from the dead. And then says about Him, “He is far above all rule and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. He’s put all things in subjection under His feet, given Him as head over all things, He’s head over all things, He’s given the One who is head over all things to the church which is His body. He is the fullness of Him who fills…the church is the fullness of Him who fills all in all. The language is full, full, full, full, full.

 God’s eternal love relationship with His Son results in God giving to His Son all of His creation in its final form, the new heavens, the new earth, the redeemed humanity, love gifts to the Son. John understands this.

36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

Hab 2:4; Joh 1:12; 3:15-16; 6:47; Ro 1:17; 1Jo 5:10 (NKJV)

Jesus is the key to our destiny. The answer to one question determines where we will spend eternity: “Who is Jesus Christ, and what have you done about His claim to be God’s only means for your salvation?” The one who accepts His testimony has declared that “God is true” (verse 33). To reject the words of our Lord, who speaks for the Father, is to call God a liar. To believe in the Son is to have eternal life. The one who rejects the Son will not see life; indeed, God’s wrath abides on him (verse 36).

V36 Those that believe His testimony are saved, don’t they are not

Old wine of Judaism doesn’t work, new wine of Jesus works

Purification Water pots no longer necessary, only Jesus purifies

Eph 5:25 -27

Holy Spirit, Jesus gives us new life as we are born from above

Full Christology and so he closes with an invitation in verse 36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life. He who doesn’t obey the Son will not see life.” By the way, why does it go from believing to obeying? Because to believe on the Son is a command. The gospel is a command, not a suggestion. It’s a command. He who believes in the Son has obeyed the command. He who does not believe in the Son has disobeyed the command. And he who doesn’t obey the Son will not see life but the wrath of God abides on him.

You have a choice. Eternal life, eternal wrath. Eternal heaven, eternal hell. John ends up a gospel preacher. Those are the last words to fall from the lips of John the Baptist recorded in Scripture and he’s a gospel preacher. Believe and have eternal life, it sounds like the words of John 3:16, believe and have eternal life. Fail to believe in disobedience, you will not see life but you will see eternal wrath, a preacher of the gospel, the last message and the voice of one crying in the wilderness goes silent…goes silent.

 Not long after this John’s sad ending came. Let me read it to you. Matthew 14. Herod had arrested John. Herod arrested him because John publicly preached against Herod’s immorality and illicit marriage. So Herod arrested John, bound him, put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. That was the immorality. He had literally seduced his brother’s wife and married her. And John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd because they regarded John as a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday came which was a good excuse for debauchery, drunken orgy, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod in a very seductive way. Pleased him so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Having been prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”

 “Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl and she brought it to her mother. His disciples came and took away the body and buried it and they went and reported to Jesus. And the shining star was out and the voice went silent.”

 It’s really sad, isn’t it? Pathetic, ugly, horrible way for the greatest man who ever lived to end. His disciples buried his body and went and told Jesus. But this is how it is for the preacher. John died a satisfied man. His joy was made full, why? Because he had decreased and Christ had increased. And John’s followers had no one else to turn to, so they went to Christ. He was a faithful preacher of Christ, faithful preacher of the gospel and a model of the first law of ministry, the law of humility.

 The most important question anyone can ask and answer is, “Who is Jesus Christ?” The answer is the key to everything. It is the key to one’s eternal destiny. It is the key to one’s ministry and service. It is the key to the gospel itself. Is it any wonder that the truths John the Baptist affirms here are the same truths the Apostle John emphasizes in this Gospel? Is it any wonder that these same truths are those most under attack by unbelieving “scholars”?

The claims Jesus makes, which John the Baptist declares here, and which the Gospel of John was written to proclaim, are found everywhere one looks in the New Testament. But perhaps nowhere is the thrust of our text more clearly stated elsewhere in the Bible than in the Book of Hebrews:

(Hebrews 1:1-2:4).

In contrast to John and his joy, we see the jealousy and frustration of his disciples. How can this be explained? What went wrong here? I would begin by saying that this same “sourness” seems to characterize many Christians and their service to the Lord. How quickly and easily we lose sight of Christ’s preeminence, and start to think of our position and our pleasure. Is this not what characterizes the disciples of our Lord? Are they not interested in promoting Christ so that they can prosper with Him? Is this not why they react so strongly to His words about His own rejection, suffering, and death? They are serving God for self-serving reasons.

Too often I hear Christians in ministry talking in terms of success, and this is problematic. But I also hear too much talk about “personal fulfillment.” Is this what motivates our service?

Is this perhaps the reason why your joy and mine is not that of John the Baptist? Are we serving our Lord selfishly? Jesus calls us to “take up our cross.” Serving God is in our own best interest, but when we begrudge the glorification of Christ because it seems to come at our sacrifice and our expense, then we have become like John’s disciples. If this is the case, we should repent of our sin, asking God to restore to us the joy of our salvation.

Philippians 1:12-26

[i] In John 3:12, Jesus claimed the ability to speak both “earthly things” and “heavenly things.” John claims to be able to speak only “earthly things.”

25
Jul
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2:4 THOSE THAT KNOW HIM WALK THE WALK

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1 John 2:4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1 John 2:4 tells us He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Jesus told the Pharisees who never trusted Christ as Savior, in John 8:44 that "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.  Jesus said if you really know Him as Savior, you will not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk

23
Jul
2018

JOHN 3:22-29 THE TRANSITION FROM JOHN TO JESUS

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John 3:22 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. 24 For John had not yet been thrown into prison. 25 Then there arose a dispute between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified--behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!" 27 John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 "You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.' 29 "He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.

 Here we see the transition from John’s ministry to Jesus’ ministry.  As usual people always get jealous of others even though John has been telling his disciples and us from the very beginning that his job was just to point the way to Jesus and that he is only the newspaper boy telling us to read all about it, Jesus is coming, you need to get your life right with God.  He then tells us that he is only the friend of the bridegroom and that person is Jesus.  His job is to protect the bride and get them ready for when the bridegroom comes, then he is off the scene because his job is done.  Everything John does and says points us to Jesus, does your life and mine?

 All other Gospels have Jesus going into ministry immediately after His baptism, John gives us all info

  1. Jesus wanted to be with disciples
  2. Jesus wanted to baptize
  3. Jesus wanted to cause confrontation

Important overlap so John can point people to Jesus.

Transitional passage from the old covenant to the beginning of the new –End of the Old

V22-26 Jesus goes out where John is baptizing so as to set up a confrontation between the two ways Numbers 11:26-30 Moses had the same problem

Joh 3:22 ¶ After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Joh 4:2

Jesus and His disciples had been in the city of Jerusalem, where He had cleansed the temple (2:13-22), performed a number of signs (2:23), and spoken with Nicodemus (3:1-21). They are now leaving the city of Jerusalem, making their way into the countryside.  There, Jesus “spent time with” His disciples. We should ponder these three words, “spent time with,” because they remind us of a very important element of discipleship. As it should be, the church is very interested in discipleship. Jesus is seen as the model for “discipling,” and rightly so. Nevertheless, our discipleship programs seldom do what our Lord actually did. Rather, we emphasize a kind of classroom instruction, and usually a highly structured program with “accountability” and other controls. While this may be commendable, I cannot overlook the fact that Jesus “spent time” with His disciples. To be our Lord’s disciple was to “be with Him”:

Discipleship is about witnessing, accountability, and one-on-one relationships with those who come to faith in Christ. But first and foremost, a disciple is one who spends time with the Master.

Let us not lose sight of the fact that a significant part of our Lord’s discipling was simply spending time with His disciples.

Jesus'  conversation  with  Nicodemus  evidently  happened  in  Jerusalem (2:23). Jerusalem was within Judea. After that conversation, Jesus went out into the Judean countryside. Jesus had not yet commissioned the Twelve.        That   commissioning   happened   after   John   the   Baptist's imprisonment (Mark 1:14). The disciples who accompanied Jesus may not have been the Twelve, but they were His followers and they could have included all or some of the Twelve. This is the only record in the Gospels that Jesus engaged in a baptizing ministry similar to John the Baptist's. It was undoubtedly baptism expressing repentance rather than "Christian baptism." The writer later explained that Jesus did not do the baptizing Himself, but His disciples did (4:2). Jesus was also spending time with these disciples undoubtedly to help them understand and appreciate who He really was.

23 Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. 1Sa 9:4; Mt 3:5-6

 24 For John had not yet been thrown into prison. Mt 14:3

John then interjects a parenthetical explanation in verse 24: “(For John had not yet been thrown into prison.)” Why would the Apostle John feel this statement is necessary? The Synoptic Gospels all start our Lord’s public ministry after the arrest of John the Baptist:

14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed the gospel of God. 15 He said, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!” (Mark 1:14-15; see also Matthew 4:12f.)

From him alone we learn that between Jesus' temptation and John the Baptist's arrest John and Jesus worked side by side for a time. His reference to John the Baptist's imprisonment is important because it helps the reader see that John's account does not contradict the Synoptics. Yet his primary concern was John the Baptist's witness to Jesus.

At this later point in time, Jesus picked up where John left off, with virtually the same message as John. Only in the Gospel of John do we learn of an earlier time when both John and Jesus were ministering simultaneously, with both groups (John and his disciples, and Jesus and His disciples) doing virtually the same thing at the same time (baptizing those who came to them).

John wants his readers to know of this unique, if very brief, period of simultaneous ministry because it is the setting from which a perceived problem arises. This problem arises because of our Lord’s successful ministry at this time. In our text, the Apostle John bids what I suspect is a sad farewell to John the Baptist. He will be referred to later in this Gospel, but this is the last time we read his own words. Our text is a fitting tribute to a great man. John the Baptist’s response here is a model of humility and Christian servanthood. Let us listen very carefully, not only to his words, but to his heart.

John’s Disciples Are Distressed (3:25-26)

 25 Then there arose a dispute between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purification.

John tells us of a dispute between the disciples of John and “a Jew or Jews,”[i] who argue over ceremonial washing. If this Jew was resistant to John’s message and his baptism, it may well be that he argues for the superiority of the Jewish ceremonial cleansings. Somehow, the conversation seems to gravitate to a comparison of John’s baptism with that of Jesus. The dispute between John’s disciples and this Jew appears to prompt them to return to John with their concerns about Jesus.

We are not told what is said in this dispute. For the purposes of illustration and clarification, allow me to suggest one possible scenario: John’s disciples encounter a Jew and ask him if he wishes to be baptized. He responds that he is not interested; he is convinced that the Jewish ceremonial cleansings are more effective. Unwilling to leave it at this, the disciples begin to debate with him. Seeing that he is not making any progress, the Jew may have “put the icing on the cake” with a statement something like: “Well what are you so dogmatic about? Don’t you know that Jesus is baptizing in the same way you are, and far more people are going to Him than to you folks? Why don’t you just give it up?”

John’s disciples return to him frustrated and upset, not with the Jew, but with Jesus. They are distressed that Jesus and His disciples are more successful than they are. In fact, they almost seem distressed at John the Baptist, irritated that he has not done anything to remedy this situation. After all, it was John who pointed the crowds to Jesus, and he who had greatly contributed to the success of Jesus. Listen to the anger and frustration in their words to their “master”:

 26 And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified--behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!"Joh 1:7,15,27,34

 The words of John’s disciples give them away. Notice how they choose to refer to Jesus. They do not call Him by name (Jesus), nor do they refer to Him as the Messiah, though that is the way John refers to Him. They speak of Jesus as “the one who was with you, … the one about whom you testified.” I believe they did so because they actually came to resent who Jesus was. His identity and His success are related. If they are jealous of His success, they are not as enthusiastic about His identity as they should be. Neither are they as enthusiastic about acknowledging Jesus as Messiah as John is. John associates himself with Jesus, giving Jesus credibility. Worse yet, from their point of view, John testifies about Jesus (notice that they don’t mention what he testifies). Now, they complain, “everyone is going to him!

Note the similarity of these words to the words of the Pharisees:

17 So the crowd who had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead were continuing to testify about it. 18 Because they had heard that Jesus had performed this miraculous sign, the crowd went out to meet him. 19 Thus the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!” (John 12:17-19, emphasis mine.)

One is also reminded of these words in the Book of Numbers:

26 But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle; yet they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 So Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, “Moses my lord, forbid them!” 29 Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:26-29, NKJV)

Lest we think John’s disciples are the exception, let me suggest that their mindset is virtually the same as the disciples of our Lord. Our Lord’s disciples are jealous for Jesus’ success. They don’t like it when others attempt the same ministries they perform (see Mark 9:38; Luke 9:49). They dread the thought of failure and suffering (Matthew 16:21-22). In the Gospels, the disciples of John and the disciples of our Lord are in it for themselves, until they learn the meaning of taking up one’s cross. John’s disciples therefore are put out with John for having created this situation. They do not like the fact that Jesus is now baptizing, just as they are, but with greater success. They see the end in view, for themselves and for their ministry. Yet this is the way God meant it to be.

This raises an interesting issue: Why don’t John’s disciples—the ones chastising him—leave John to follow Jesus? Why do they stay on with John? What do they expect, as far as the future is concerned? John’s ministry was to introduce the Messiah. He has done that, and his mission has been accomplished. John’s disciples are acting as though John is the Messiah. They seem to think that their mission and ministry will continue on indefinitely. Judging from the broad impact of John’s teaching (e.g., Acts 19), they may have worked at it for some time. But they look upon Jesus as their competition, rather than as the culmination of their ministry. None of these men seem to be considering leaving John and joining Jesus, as the first two disciples of John did.[ii] Had they cast their lot in with John, so that now they are unwilling to face up to what is in store for him and for them? It seems so. It is not a pretty picture which the Apostle John draws for us, but it is certainly true to life.

With the attitude of John’s disciples, one can understand why it was necessary for John to be imprisoned and then beheaded by Herod. Even then, one wonders how long it took John’s disciples to give it up and to begin to preach Christ

 A Servant’s Heart (3:27-30)

V27-28 A ministry can only be given by God – I am only a messenger boy or a paper boy

I am only to understand my role and do what God has called ME to do. Not be jealous

2 things we should never say, I don’t need you and you have no need of me

27 John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.1Co 4:7; Heb 5:4; Jas 1:17

 28 "You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.'Mal 3:1; Mr 1:2; Lu 1:17; Joh 1:20,27

 V27 Mark of a new Christian is that Jesus is v21, deeds have been done in Christ.

1Co 4:7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

Ps 84:10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

29 "He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. Song 5:1; Mt 22:2; 2Co 11:2; Eph 5:25,27; Re 21:9

V29 John is but the voice, Jesus, my sheep hear my voice, Jesus is the real voice

John 8:47 "He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."

V29 John is not the Messiah, only the bridegroom’s friend – his job was to protect the bride for up to a week and put the hand of the bride into the bridegrooms and then he was done

John’s ministry is the ministry he received from God. His God-given ministry was not to be the Messiah, but to introduce the Messiah. He was the forerunner; Jesus was the fulfillment,

[i] Some manuscripts have the plural here. It really doesn’t seem to matter whether the dispute was with one Jew or many.

[ii] If the Apostle John was the second disciple of John the Baptist to follow Jesus, think how he must have felt as he wrote this account, realizing this could have been him, and knowing that he is exposing the self-serving attitude of his former associates.

18
Jul
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2:4 THOSE THAT DON’T KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS DO NOT KNOW HIM

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1John 2:4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

 In 1 John 2:4, John was speaking to believers about the Gnostics who said they had a relationship with Jesus, but they really did not.  This seems to be the way of society today, because many live ungodly lives and yet they think they are going to heaven, or they live like the Pharisees, who look good to people because they pretend to be holy, but are really hypocrites who have never asked God to forgive them on the basis of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.  Where do you fit, is this you, or have you truly been forgiven because you cried out to Jesus to save you because you are a sinner?

11
Jul
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2.3 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS

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1 John 2:3 says Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  This is what Jesus meant when He said in John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments.  He also said in John 10:27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  This means that if we are truly saved we will be holy, as He is holy.  We will be doing our best through the power of the Holy Spirit to live our life to model that of Jesus Christ’s.  That doesn’t mean we are perfect, but if this is not what you desire and are trying to do, you cannot truly be saved.

13
Jun
2018

JOHN 3:19-21 AND THIS IS THE CONDEMNATION, THAT THE LIGHT HAS COME INTO THE WORLD

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John 3:19 "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 "But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."

 In this section of scripture we will see that Jesus (the Light) has come into the world, but men love their evil deeds more than they love goodness, righteousness, holiness, and truth, in other words all that Jesus is and forever will be because He is God in human flesh.  We do our evil in the darkness because we do not want to be seen, but those that are truly born again, do not mind being transparent to others because we have nothing to hide.

6
Jun
2018

JOHN 3:10-18 WHOEVER BELIEVES IN JESUS SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE PART 2

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John 3:17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 John 3:16 -17 says for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  Did you hear that.  Jesus did not come to condemn you, but to save you through His death on the cross.  So what would you say if God asked you why should I let you into my Heaven.  Will it be I am trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation.

30
May
2018

JOHN 3:10-16 WHOEVER BELIEVES IN JESUS SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

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John 3:10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 "Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

 In these verses Jesus is going to get down to the heart of the matter.  Nicodemus is THE teacher of Israel and does not understand that he needs to be saved, how then can He speak of the greater things of Heaven.  Jesus will explain to Nicodemus how the serpent in the wilderness was a picture of Christ and His crucifixion.  He will also give us the most famous verse of all in 3:16 that tells us of God’s great love for us and how anyone who calls on Him for forgiveness of sins can be saved, if they would just be willing to believe and trust in Christ and Him alone.

Joh 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. ? how is he in heaven if he is with Nicodemus, what does son of man mean, why use it

It is the work of God’s Spirit, who sovereignly brings about new life (verses 7-8), and it is a work that comes “from above” (verses 13-15). Does Nicodemus believe in a heavenly kingdom? He certainly should, as did the Old Testament men and women of faith (see Hebrews 11:13-16). If anyone could ascend into heaven, they must first come down from heaven. It is a round trip, with heaven as the point of origin. Only the Son of Man can return to heaven, because this is where He came from (verse 13). This is why salvation is “from above.”

  1. The Necessities of the New birth
  1. Christ had to die

14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, serpent was lifted up, Jesus will be Numbers 21

The term “lifted up” has a double meaning. It can mean, literally, “lifted up,” but it also has the sense of exalting (see, for example, Matthew 11:23; 23:12; Acts 2:33). Our Lord was literally “lifted up” on a cross, but in the same breath we must also say He was “exalted” by being “lifted up” in this manner. His death on the cross also necessitated His being “lifted up” by His resurrection and ascension.

The story of the bronze serpent, recorded in Numbers 21, foreshadows the salvation which God will provide through the “Son of Man.” The Israelites had been complaining against God, grumbling about the journey and their apparent lack of food and water. They did not like the manna God gave them day after day. And so God sent fiery serpents among them, and many of those who were bitten died. God provided a salvation for this disobedient people, so that they might survive divine judgment. He instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent and to set it on a pole, so that anyone who was bitten by one of the serpents could merely look up at the serpent and be healed. This is precisely what happened. All who were bitten and looked up were healed.

This Old Testament provision for Israel’s healing is illustrative of the salvation God is about to accomplish through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. As the serpent was lifted up, and thus became a source of salvation, so the Son of Man must be “lifted up,” so that those who look up to Him in faith can be saved from God’s wrath as well. The snake-bitten Israelites were smitten of God for their sin. They deserved to die, and apart from His provision of the serpent, they would have. Those who did not look up to the bronze serpent died. The act of merely looking up to the bronze serpent was an act of faith. So far as the people could see, there was no direct link between the snake bite they had received and the healing for which they hoped. But it was the means God provided for their salvation. It was the means God declared through Moses. It was the one way God said His people could be saved. Those who looked to the bronze serpent were saved from the death they deserved.

In verses 14 and 15, Jesus connects the serpent, which is lifted up on a pole, with His own death at Calvary, when He is lifted up on the cross. Nicodemus asks how a man can be reborn from above.

  1. Necessary for the sinner to believe

 15 "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. Conditional Clause that. Believes and eternal life are in present tense, should not perish is future

Jesus first tells him by analogy; now He tells him more directly. If anyone is to be saved from the penalty of their sins, they must “look up” to Him for salvation. He, like the bronze serpent of old, will be “lifted up” on a cross, and He will later be “lifted up” in His resurrection and ascension. In so doing, He will be “lifted up” in another way—He will be exalted by God for His sacrificial obedience at Calvary. All those who “look up” to Him in faith, trusting in Him to remove the judgment for their sin, like the Israelites of old, will be saved.

Lessons

  • Who or what are you looking to for your salvation?
  • Who are you pointing people to?

 

23
May
2018

JOHN 3:3-12 JESUS EXPLAINS ABOUT THE WATER AND THE SPIRIT

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John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." 9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?" 10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 "Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

 Today we will go back a few verses to get the context of this section.  We will see Jesus speaking to Nicodemus about his eternal destiny.  The Pharisee’s were literalists, in other words they took everything too exact. When the Bible said to keep the Word before them always, they put little boxes with scripture in them and tied them to their head.  Nicodemus seems to be doing this, but as we get down to the end of this section we will see the real problem.  Jesus says how can you receive heavenly things if you will not believe the earthly things I tell you (cf: verse 12).  It all really comes down to disbelief and what we really want to believe or not believe.  Nicodemus will not believe, so he cannot receive eternal life.

It is a spiritual Birth

 7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' Moves to first person

It is a mysterious birth

Verse 8 what does it mean Joh 3:8 "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit, Play on words, wind pneuma, Spirit, pneuma?  Why use the wind as an analogy to the Spirit? How does hearing the wind and not knowing where it goes relate to. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit

Ezekiel 37 talks about the wind and spirit

It should be pointed out that the same Greek word (pneuma) is rendered both “wind” (John 3:8) and “spirit” (John 1:32-33; 3:5, 6, 8, 34) in the New Testament. In John 3:8, the term occurs twice; the first time it is rendered “wind,” the second time “Spirit.”

Jesus likens the saving work of God through His Spirit to the working of the wind. The effects of the wind can be seen, but the wind itself is not seen. Neither can the wind be controlled. The wind goes where it wishes and does what it will. Men do not control the wind. The Spirit’s saving work is like this. The Spirit goes about His life-giving work, and no man controls Him.  No one, by his own works, or striving, or manipulation can direct the Spirit in His work. But when the Spirit brings about the new birth, the effects are evident. We know it is the work of God’s Spirit, unseen and beyond man’s control. In this sense, neither Nicodemus nor anyone else can save themselves, nor anyone else for that matter. Salvation is the sovereign work of God, accomplished by the Holy Spirit.

Joh 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?" what things

In verses 4 and 9, Nicodemus asks two different questions, but both begin the same, “How is it possible …?”  He is so dumb-struck by what Jesus has told him that he cannot conceive of how our Lord’s words could be true. Nicodemus is so much a part of the natural world that he cannot fathom the possibility of anything spiritual and supernatural. In theory, the Pharisees believed in the miraculous (see Acts 23:6-8), but in practice Nicodemus appears to be anti-supernatural. Let’s face it, we do the same thing. We claim to believe God is in control, and that He is all-powerful, yet we often fail to live like it is true.

Teaching the Teacher of Israel About Spiritual Things (3:10-15)

 10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Know what, how to be saved, about the spirit?

Our Lord’s words are a gentle rebuke: “Can you really be the teacher in Israel and not grasp these things?” Nicodemus is not only a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, he is “the teacher of Israel” (verse 10). It is generally understood that the definite article here indicates that Nicodemus was the most prominent and respected teacher of his day. How could a renowned teacher of the Old Testament not know what Jesus is talking about? It seems incredible; indeed, it is. Notice the words of verse 12 in this regard. Jesus contrasts “earthly things” with “heavenly things.” He seems to place the things of which He has been speaking in the category of “earthly things.” “Heavenly things” would thus refer to those things associated with the coming kingdom of God, things presently beyond our comprehension. 

      How can Nicodemus, a teacher of the Old Testament law, not grasp those things the law teaches? The problem with mankind has always been with the heart (Genesis 8:21; Exodus 7:14; Deuteronomy 5:28-29; 8:14; Isaiah 29:13; Jeremiah 17:9), a problem which God alone can solve by giving men a new heart (Deuteronomy 30:6; Jeremiah 31:31-34). To be reborn by the Spirit of God makes one a new man (see 1 Samuel 10:6-13), and it is the Spirit who enables men to see such truths (see 1 Corinthians 2).

Paul carries this even a step further:

12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we behave with great boldness, 13 and not like Moses who used to put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from staring at the end of the glory that was fading away. 14 But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 But until this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; 16 but whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:12-18).

It is a real birth

 11 "Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen (what is meaning of), and you do not receive Our witness. We and Our in Caps

 John 3:11 "Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. We’s, why, then verse 12 goes back to If I have told you, singular in verses 3,5,7,beginning of 11,12

We speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen.” He then goes on to say, “… but you people do not accept our testimony.” The “you” is plural

Who is the “we” Jesus is speaking of, and who is the “you people”? The “we” seems to be John the Baptist and Jesus, both of whom have testified to what they have seen. The “we” might conceivably include the Old Testament prophets, though this is less likely. The “you people” is Nicodemus and his fellow-Pharisees.

      John bore witness to the coming of Messiah. The Pharisees sent a delegation to inquire of John just who he was and what his message might be (John 1:19-25). They obviously did not accept John’s testimony because they refused to be baptized by him (Luke 7:29-30). The Pharisees also assembled in large numbers, coming from all over the land of Israel to hear Jesus and to judge His message and ministry (Luke 5:17). They certainly did not submit to Jesus as their Messiah. Thus, the witness of both John and Jesus was rejected by the Pharisees.

Joh 3:12 "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? What does earthly things refer to, what earthly things did he tell him? Why does He say he does not believe?

Notice the words of verse 12 in this regard. Jesus contrasts “earthly things” with “heavenly things.” He seems to place the things of which He has been speaking in the category of “earthly things.” “Heavenly things” would thus refer to those things associated with the coming kingdom of God, things presently beyond our comprehension. 

He has borne witness to ‘earthly things’ without being believed. The simplest way of understanding this is to see a reference to the present discourse. It was taking place on earth and concerned a process with effects discernible on earth. In contrast with this, Jesus can impart ‘heavenly things,’ i.e. higher teaching. But if men like Nicodemus will not believe the simpler things they cannot be expected to believe what is more advanced.” Morris, p. 222

Joh 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. ? How is he in heaven if he is with Nicodemus, what does son of man mean, why use it

It is the work of God’s Spirit, who sovereignly brings about new life (verses 7-8), and it is a work that comes “from above” (verses 13-15). Does Nicodemus believe in a heavenly kingdom? He certainly should, as did the Old Testament men and women of faith (see Hebrews 11:13-16). If anyone could ascend into heaven, they must first come down from heaven. It is a round trip, with heaven as the point of origin. Only the Son of Man can return to heaven, because this is where He came from (verse 13). This is why salvation is “from above.”

In this week’s message we want to ask you as Jesus asked Nicodemus are you willing to be saved?

16
May
2018

JOHN 3:1-6 NICODEMUS IS TOLD BY JESUS, YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN

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John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

 In this powerful section of Scripture we will hear Nicodemus ask a question and Jesus will get to the heart of the matter of what is really needed by answering a question that was not asked.  We will also see what it really means to be born again; does it take baptism as some say (referring to the comment about being born of the water), communion, good works, keeping the commandments, joining a church?  No, so just how does one become born again?  Take a listen and you will find out what Jesus who is God in human flesh has to say.  For He is the one who really knows, since He is the one who created every single thing that has ever been created.

 The need for the new birth

John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. Because he was a Pharisee? Did that make him a ruler…A member of the Sanhedrin?

By his words, we can see that Nicodemus has a great respect for Jesus. Nicodemus calls Jesus “Rabbi.” No doubt this is the same title many used to address him, for he was a teacher of the law as well. He further refers to Jesus as “a teacher come from God.”

verse 2, This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know (why we know) that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." why did he come by night? What does God is with him mean to a Pharisee? Didn’t really ask a question, made a statement

Has Nicodemus come as the official spokesman for the Pharisees? It is certainly possible, but it just does not seem to be the Pharisees’ style to act in such a secretive manner. In the cases above (John 1:19-25; Luke 5:17), the Pharisees make their moves very publicly, almost as though they intend to be seen. They wanted to be viewed as the accrediting agency for all those who taught the law.

I am inclined to think that Nicodemus is acting independently, without the sanction of the Pharisees. Why “we” then? Because Nicodemus is still a Pharisee, a member (and even a leader) of their organization. He thinks in terms of this system; his observations and preliminary conclusions are drawn as a Pharisee. When Nicodemus says “we,” this should suggest to us that at this point in his life, Nicodemus is still 100% Pharisee. Not until Nicodemus recognizes the failure of Pharisaism and renounces his faith in this religious system will he cast himself on Jesus alone for salvation. This is precisely what our Lord’s response is all about. Jesus seeks to show Nicodemus that his system of religion does not, and cannot, save anyone.

The “we” could also include the Jews more generally.

      Before we move to our Lord’s response, we should observe that Nicodemus is partly correct in his assessment of Jesus. Jesus is a “teacher come from God,” and God is “with Him” (verse 2). What Nicodemus does not know is that his words are even truer than he realizes. Jesus is literally a “teacher come from God.” He has come down to earth from the Father. And God is “with Him.” But Jesus is much greater than Nicodemus ever imagined at this moment in time. He is God, and He manifests the power of God in His teaching and working of signs. It will be some time yet before Nicodemus realizes the full truth of what he has just said. What he hears next catches him completely off guard.

The conversation which Nicodemus initiates, let us remember that Jesus is the focus. Nicodemus has not come to talk about himself or about Pharisaism. He has come to find out about Jesus, His message, and His relationship to God. What does Jesus have to say for Himself? Nicodemus opens the door by assuring Jesus that he sees Him as a man with a mission and a message from God. It is a perfect opener for Jesus. All He has to do is pick up from here and tell Nicodemus what His mission is. It doesn’t turn out at all as Nicodemus may have expected.

Our Lord’s words will stun Nicodemus. He begins by indicating to Nicodemus that the words He is about to speak convey a most solemn truth. He uses an expression unique to this Gospel, which in the King James Version is rendered, “Verily, verily …” Leon Morris sums up the impact of our Lord’s few words:

Then in one sentence He sweeps away all that Nicodemus stood for, and demands that he be re-made by the power of God.

Nicodemus’ brand of Judaism did not know anything of re-birth.  Quite frankly, the Pharisees thought one birth of the “right kind” was quite enough.

Matthew 3:7-10 7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit worthy of repentance! 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ because I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 10 Even now the ax is ready at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire”

Vs 2 signs you do, vs 3 I say to You

cannot Understand and see the things of God 1Co 2:14

V 3, Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he (why not You are uses third person) cannot see the kingdom of God." what does it mean he cannot see the kingdom? What is the kingdom?

Too many Jews, to be born a Jew was to be born into the kingdom of God. We know the Jews also believed that Gentiles are born “lost.” Even the Jerusalem church leaders had to be forcefully convinced that God had purposed the salvation of Gentiles (see Acts 10; 11:15-18), and even then, the practice of many Jewish believers did not match their profession (see Acts 11:19). Paul, likewise, hit hard at this point. All Israelites are not true Israelites (Romans 9:6). Those who trust in the atoning work of Jesus Christ for salvation are true Israelites, whether their racial origins are Jewish or Gentile (see Galatians 3:28; 6:16).

Imagine the shocked look on the face of Nicodemus when Jesus tells him that his natural birth (as a Jew) will not save him, and that he must be reborn from above. The implication is clear: Unless Nicodemus is reborn from above, he will not see the kingdom of God. Here is a man who thinks he has reserved seats on the 50 yard line of heaven. Jesus tells him that he is not even going to get into heaven as he is. He first must be born again, from above.

He cannot dunamai <dunamai> ou <ou> see eidw <eido> the kingdom basileia <basileia> of God. yeov <theos>

Verse 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"  Takes things too literally because he is a Pharisee?  Phylacteries, etc.

Nicodemus chooses to understand Jesus’ words literally, so that he assumes the expression “reborn from above” must refer to some kind of literal re-birth.

  1. The Nature of the New Birth or What It Means to Be Reborn From Above (3:5-8)

Verse 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one (why not You are uses third person) is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What does it mean born of the water and spirit Joh 1:13; Ga 6:15; Tit 3:5; Jas 1:18; 1Pe 1:23; 1Jo 3:9

The support for interpreting “water” in this way is less than compelling. Neither do I find it necessary for Jesus to argue the need for both physical birth and spiritual birth.

I am inclined to understand the terms “water” and “spirit” as one expression, “water and spirit,” which together refer to spiritual rebirth. There are several Old Testament texts which seem to justify the conclusion that both “water” and “spirit” refer to one’s spiritual rebirth:

3 “’For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring; 4 They will spring up among the grass Like willows by the watercourses.’ 5 One will say, ‘I am the LORD’s’; Another will call himself by the name of Jacob; Another will write with his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’ And name himself by the name of Israel” (Isaiah 44:3-5, NKJV).

24 “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (Ezekiel 36:24-27, NKJV).

This work of regeneration, is also described in the Old Testament as the work of the “wind”:

9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army (Ezekiel 37:9-10, NKJV).

The New Testament describes God’s work of salvation as the “washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit”:

3 For we too were once foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to various passions and desires, spending our lives in evil and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But “when the kindness of God our Savior appeared and his love for mankind, 5 He saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7).

James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.  22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does

John 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Why capitalize the first Spirit, but not the second one

 

 

9
May
2018

JOHN 3 INTRO THE CONVERSATION OF NICODEMUS WITH JESUS

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John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

 In this section of scripture we will see Nicodemus the ruler of the Jews does not even know how to be saved and get to heaven.  The real point of this message is do you know how to be saved?  Today the Gospel has been so confused just as it was in Jesus day and people believe all kinds of things will get you into heaven, but Jesus said I Am the Way, The Truth, and The Life and no one gets to the Father, but by Me.  What are you trusting in to get you to heaven, good works or a relationship with Jesus and the Father?

Nicodemus is the “cream of the Jewish crop.” One dare not dream of having life any better than he has it. He is a Jew, a Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin (the highest legal, legislative and judicial body of the Jews), and a highly respected teacher of the Old Testament Scriptures. Can you imagine being Nicodemus and having Jesus tell you that all of this is not enough to get you into the kingdom of God? Yet this is precisely what Jesus tells Nicodemus. If a man like Nicodemus is not good enough for the kingdom of God, then who is? That is the question, and Jesus has the answer, which John records for us. Let us listen well to the inspired words of this Gospel to learn how one must enter the kingdom of God.

For the moment, suppose you are a renowned pianist, trained by the finest concert pianist the world has ever known. When you perform, crowds gather to listen. Everyone hails you as the master in your area of musical expertise. Now suppose some young man comes along who grew up in the Ozarks and who never had a piano lesson in his life, but simply taught himself to play on a broken-down instrument in his grandmother’s house. When this hillbilly musician comes to town, his talent is discovered, and people throng to hear him perform. When he does, tears come to the eyes of those in his audience. You too listen to him play. You, better than anyone else, recognize in him a musical genius that you have never had and that you never will. When you hear him play, you wish you had his abilities.

I believe this is the way Nicodemus must have felt about Jesus. Nicodemus is a Pharisee who is at the top of his field. Not only is he a member of the Sanhedrin, he is the most renowned Bible teacher of his day, of first century Jerusalem. Yet when he hears Jesus teach, he hears the answers to questions that have bothered him for years. He watches the crowds as they listen to Jesus, and he knows he has never held the attention of an audience like Jesus does. Jesus speaks in simple terms, but His message has great power. Nicodemus observes the miracles Jesus performs, knowing he has never performed so much as one miracle. By nearly any standard, Nicodemus does not hold a candle to Jesus.

3
May
2018

JOHN 2.23-25 THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE BY JESUS PART 2

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John 2:23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.

 In the second part of Jesus Cleansing the Temple we will hear the third and last reason in this section that John will show us why Jesus is God.  This is the fact that He knows the heart of man and what is in it. Only God knows man and what he is and what he is truly capable of doing in his wickedness. Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.  Jesus will not commit to these people because he knows theirs is not a real belief in Him.  In the next section of scripture we will listen to the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus and see how he is an example of chapter 2, verses 24 and 25.

25
Apr
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2:2 THE PAYMENT FOR SIN

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1John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world

1 John 2:2 says He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.  This means Jesus Christ died on the cross so that anyone who believes He died in their place, took their hell, and paid the penalty for their sins can go to heaven.  The word propitiation means satisfaction and Jesus satisfied the legal demands that someone had to be punished and die for our sins.  That is why when Jesus died, He said it is finished, it means He paid our sin debt in full and anyone who will call on Him for forgiveness in repentance and faith will be saved.

 

22
Apr
2018

JOHN 2:11-22 THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE BY JESUS

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John 2:12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days. 13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, "Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!" 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up." 18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, "What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?" 19 Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 20 Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

                  In this weeks message we will see two of the three reasons in this section of Scripture why Jesus is God.  Remember John’s Gospel is proving to us that Jesus is God come in human flesh.  The first reason we will see is that Jesus had zeal for his fathers house and only He had the authority and right to regulate worship.  Secondly we will see that Jesus is God because only He can rise from the dead and live again forever.  This is a great section of scripture that starts the conflict with the religious authorities and will culminate with them killing him on the cross as the Bible predicted many hundreds of years ago.  The Pharisees as you will notice here and throughout the Gospels always want a sign from Him, but He never gives into their request, but always gives basically the same answer to them.

18
Apr
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2:1 THE FREEDOM OF FORGIVENESS

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1 John 2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

                 The last part of 1John 2:1 says And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. If we are Christians we don’t look at salvation as a license to sin, but if we are truly saved, as we continue to follow Christ we will sin less and less as the pattern of our life.  But He also tells us that when we do sin that Jesus is our Advocate, our ally, our intercessor who defends us before an accusing devil and a Holy God that He paid for that sin on the cross and it can never be held against us ever again.

15
Apr
2018

JOHN 2:5-11 THE FIRST MIRACLE OF JESUS PART 2

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John 2:5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it."6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece.7 Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim.8 And He said to them, "Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast." And they took it.9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom.10 And he said to him, "Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!"11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

 In this message we will finish the section of scripture we started last time.  We begin with a little refresher on what was said last time and then we begin to see how religion cannot save, only Christ.  We also see the role of Mary, she is not someone we pray to, but someone who needed a Savior just like we do.  We will also learn some more principles of how to live the Christian life in our daily walk with the Lord. Then finally we see the miracle itself and how Jesus is God because He is able to turn ordinary water into wine and He doesn’t need grapes or time to do it.  It is an instantaneous miracle done for a select few He chose to see it.

11
Apr
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL I JOHN 2:1 THE FREEDOM FROM SIN

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1 John 2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

            The first part of 1 John 2:1 says My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. This says that if we know Christ as our Lord and Savior then we do not have to sin because God has given us the Holy Spirit to overcome sin, suffering, and temptation, but we sin because we are weak and want to.  If you have not been saved, you are like Mic Jagger who says he is free, free to do whatever he wants.  But I say to you and anyone else who believes this, you are not free to not do what you want to do and no matter how hard you try you will never be able to change or break those bad habits without Christ and you definitely will not make it heaven

8
Apr
2018

JOHN 2:1-5 THE FIRST MIRACLE OF JESUS

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John 2:1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." 4 Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come."5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it."

In this great section of scripture we begin to see Jesus as He does His first miracle revealing yet another facet of who He is.  He is God over Nature and God over time. Only God can make wine out of water.  He is revealing more of who He is to His disciples, His mother, and the servants who see the miracle. Even though this is His first miracle, it is a private one for only a privileged few who get to witness it.  These verses reveal some principles we are to use as we seek to please Him and live our lifeJohn_2_1-5_mine-1.jpg as an obedient and productive Christian.

4
Apr
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 1:10 SAYS IF WE SAY WE HAVE NOT SINNED

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1 John 1:10 says If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.  Many people think they have never done anything wrong, or at least nothing that would send them to hell. James 4:17 says Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. We live in a day of tolerance that defines sin, as what we think is right or wrong, but the Bible is our standard.  If we realize we are not good enough on our own to get into heaven we can trust Jesus Christ and God will save us. Otherwise we are calling God a liar and rejecting His Holy Word.

1
Apr
2018

JOHN 1:43-51 THE REVEALING OF JESUS TO PHILLIP AND NATHANIEL

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John 1:43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me." 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." 46 And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!" 48 Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." 49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" 50 Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these." 51 And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."(NKJV)

 In this section of Scripture Jesus actually goes out to find Phillip and when He does Phillip immediately goes to find his brother Nathaniel. Have you noticed that every time Jesus calls a disciple they immediately go and find someone else and bring them to Jesus? This is a great principle; we should all be bringing people to Jesus.  Nathaniel is a bit of a skeptic and takes some convincing. Jesus then begins to talk to Nathaniel and tell him all the things he was doing and thinking and Nathaniel is thoroughly convinced.  Jesus goes on to tell Nathaniel that the Son of Man is the only way to Heaven and the ladder that Jacob saw was actually a picture of Jesus.  This is a really great passage that begins to open up all the things about Jesus that we need to know and have you noticed all the names and titles that they have been given to Jesus beginning back in verse 29 of this Chapter.  There are about 16 of them, see if you can find them and see what they all mean.

 Following Jesus Means He leads you in a new direction v43-44

Initiative Evangelism - you take the initiative

The disciples of John were not the only men who began following Jesus. Andrew continued to bring other friends to Jesus. This incident preceded Jesus' formal appointment of the Twelve, but it shows Him preparing those who would become His disciples.

Everyone else in this chapter who came to Jesus came on the invitation of someone other than Jesus. Moreover John seems to have been stressing the importance of witnessing for Jesus. Andrew found Philip (a Greek name meaning "lover of horses") somewhere along the way or, most likely, in Galilee. Philip was from Bethsaida Julius in the region of Galilee (12:21). Having come to Jesus on Andrew's invitation, Philip accepted Jesus' invitation to follow Him. Verse 43, “The next day He purposed,” this is Jesus I believe.  Some think Andrew.  I think its Jesus.  “The next day He purposed to go to Galilee, and He found Philip, eureka.  Jesus said to him, ‘Follow Me.’” Philip is going one way, Jesus is going to pull  him another.  This one he sort of goes after, if you will.  Philips means a lover of horses.  That’s about all we know about Philip.  What is significant is that God meets Philip where he is.

 Now, you know, we, we say that axiom sometimes too much; God meets us where we are; and that can be inaccurate, can’t it.  But there’s a profound spiritual truth as well in that statement that God does meet us where we are.  One of the most profound passages in my spiritual journey has been Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  I hope you never get over that verse.  I hope you never tire of reviewing the fact that you and I were sinners in a sinful condition when we met Jesus Christ.  We did not have to get a little more good, a little bit better, clean up our lives, and then trust Christ.  He meets us while we are in our sinful condition.  So, in a sense, He does meet us where we are, doesn’t He?  And He meets Philip where he is.  Where are you?  Doesn’t matter ‘because that’s where He’ll meet you.

  1. Following Jesus Results in a new comprehension of who Jesus is v45-49

Apologetic Evangelism

 Philip then brought his friend Nathaniel (meaning "God has given" or "given of God," modern Theodore) to Jesus. Some commentators identify Nathanael with Bartholomew (cf. Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14).

However there is no good reason to equate these two men. The witness continued to spread through the most normal lines of communication, namely, friend to friend, as it still does. The prophecies to which Philip referred may have included Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Isaiah 53; Daniel 7:13; Micah 5:2; and Zechariah 9:9. These and

others spoke of the Messiah. This suggests that the early disciples understood messiahship in the light of the Old Testament background rather than only in a political sense.98 Philip described Jesus as Joseph's son, which is how people knew Him before they learned that He was the Son of God (v. 49). "In one sense it is legitimate to view Jesus' disciples in the gospel of John (with the exception of Judas Iscariot) as believers in Him from near the beginning of His public ministry. In another sense, however, it is also clear that the disciples' faith in Jesus grew and developed as they observed the progress of His public ministry. The course of this development may be traced in the gospel of John."99

Ge 28:8-19 And he called the name of that place Bethel (House of God); but the name of that city had been Luz (Means Wilderness or Separation) previously.

V49 The fig tree is interesting.  It’s brimming with meaning.  Jesus saw him previously.  There are two things going on here.  One is historical and one is prophetic.  He saw him sitting under this fig true.  That’s the historical part.  But there’s a prophetic notion with it as well for in the Old Testament, if you were under any tree, you were meditating.  We might call it quiet time in our vernacular.  If a good Jew was under a tree, he was having a quiet time in our terminology.  So he saw Nathanael having this devotion under the tree. 

 Psalm 139 says, “God knows everything about you.”  It’s exciting and scary to read that Psalm.  He knows everything about you.  Every crevice in your heart, every guilty conscience, every sin hid away, every motive of love, everything He’s changed, He knows every little thing about you and me.  We think about videotapes of our lives.  Think about a holographic 3D re-enactment imagery of your life.  Jesus knows every motive and whim.  So Nathanael is found out, if you will, when Jesus says of him, “Look, there’s no deceit in that guy.”  Well, this is enough to push Nathanael over the edge.  He says, “You are, Rabbi, the Son of God.  You are the King of Israel.” 

Jesus' simple statement elicited the most dramatic reaction from Nathaniel. He concluded that the only way Jesus could have seen him when he was under the fig tree was if Jesus had supernatural knowledge.

Evidently Nathanael knew that he was completely alone and that no one could see him when he was under the fig tree. Nathanael's reaction appears extreme at first since even prophets had knowledge of things other people knew nothing about. Why did Nathanael think Jesus was the Son of God and not just a prophet? The answer seems to be that even the title "Son of God" did not mean deity to all the Jews in Jesus' day. It meant that the person in view bore certain characteristics of God (cf. Deut. 3:18; 1 Sam. 26:16; Ps. 89:22; Prov. 31:2; Matt. 5:9; John 17:12). Nathanael appears to have regarded Jesus as the Messiah who had supernatural knowledge (cf. v. 45; 2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:6-7; Isa. 11:1-2). However, Nathaniel spoke better than he knew. Jesus was the Son of God in a fuller sense than he presently understood. 100Bruce, p.

 Following Jesus Is only a beginning v50-51

He’s saying, “If you believe ‘because you think I’m clairvoyant, you're going to see a whole lot more than this that’s going to push you over the edge of belief.”

 Now, if you connect Verse 48 with Verse 51 this fig tree devotion and what Jesus says in 51 about this angels descending and ascending, we go back to Genesis 28:12 where Jacob, the supplanter, the deceiver had the dream and he saw the angels going up and down the ladder, remember?  If that’s true I think what’s happening here, I think it is true, Jesus is saying, “I saw you under the fig tree.  You’re not a deceiver.”  There’s the word.  Jake, I was just thinking about Jacob the deceiver under the tree and those angels going up and down the ladder.  He says, “You’re not a deceiver and you think you saw angels?  I’m here,” Jesus says.  “You’re going to see the angels descend and ascend out of me.  You don’t need a ladder.  You don’t need a conduit.  I am God in flesh.”  So he blows Nathanael away with His insight not only into his soul but into what He knew about his heart. 

Re 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.

Angel’s carry blessings down to us and burdens up to God for us.

 How can all these people come up with all these designations about Christ when they meet Him?  Because when you have an encounter with Jesus Christ and you meet Him your life is dramatically changed and the dots start to come together.  When you follow Jesus Christ He is asking for you to be His disciple and Him to be the master

 At least 16 different names and titles of Jesus appear in chapter one: the Word (vv. 1, 14),the light (vv. 4,7-9), the only begotten of the Father (v. 14), Jesus Christ (v. 17), the only begotten God (v. 18), the Lord (v. 23), the Lamb of God (vv. 29, 36), a man (v. 30), the Son of God (v. 34), Rabbi (Teacher, vv. 38, 49), Messiah (v. 41), Jesus of Nazareth (v.45), the son of Joseph (v. 45), the Son of God (v. 49), the King of Israel (v. 49), and the

Son of Man (v. 51).

 Lessons:

  1. He is the master, you are the follower (disciple)

Now, there are two lessons I want us to conclude on this message and the first is very simple and I’ve already said it a number of times.  If you are a believer in Christ, He is to be your master.  You are to be His disciple.  John sole’s mission in life was to point other people to Jesus and he’s content with stepping out of the light and letting Jesus take the light and letting his friends follow Jesus, and he’s happy with that.  Let me apply that in a question.  Is there any master from which you need to detachment?  Some tentacles from another master still in your soul holding on to your heart and your time?

Maybe you’ve heard it dozens of times, maybe hundreds of times; if you do not embrace Jesus Christ as your Lord, as your King, as your Savior, and your Master, you’re playing with Him, you’re toying with Him.  You going to be a follower?  If you’re going to follow Jesus Christ, it will fundamentally change the purpose of your life.  It cannot not change the purpose of your life.  If it doesn’t it you’ve not embraced who He is.

Jesus Christ is saying to you I’m the teacher, you are the student, and oh by the way, you’re always going to be a student.  Jesus Christ is saying to you I’m the Rabbi, you’re the disciple, oh by the way, you’re always going to be a disciple.  You’ll never be a Rabbi. This generation arches its back against submission like no generation ever has before.  We hate submission.

 2. If you’re going to follow Me then follow me.  Don’t play with Me. Obey Me no matter what anybody tells you, obey me.”  Well, it’s tough, it’s hard.  I mean, gee, whiz Lord.  I had this sexual orientation.  I think I’m gay, I think, you know, I’m living with my girlfriend, I’m living with my boyfriend, I’m sleeping around and I --.  You know, your Bible says that’s wrong but that Bible, it’s an old book.  Come on, Lord.  Everybody says this is okay.  I’m the Master, you’re the child. 

Jesus Christ wants followers, not fans.  He wants committed students, not a crowd of spectators.  Do you think Jesus Christ, the Sustainer, the Creator of the world and the universe is a Master worthy of your obedience?  And if so, what area do you lay down and give to Him? 

Mt 4:19 Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men

If you don’t know who Jesus Christ is, Jesus Christ is standing in front of you today in your soul, in your heart and your mind, and just like those first two guys that started walking about Him He’s turned on His heels, He’s locked eyes with you, and He’s saying, “What do you want?”  What are you coming to me for?  What are you looking for in this life?”  And on the authority of the Word of God and Jesus Christ that question still stands men and women.  What do you want?

 And, if you’ve never come to know who Jesus is, He is God.  He lived, He died, He was buried and came back from the dead, and He says, “Anyone who believes in me, I give eternal life.  You want to know what it is, come follow Me.”  “All you have to do is come and follow Him,”

30
Mar
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 1.9 SAYS IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS PART 2

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1 John 1:9 says If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  To confess means to say the same thing about our sin as God does.  We like to rationalize our sin. Others are conceited, but I respect myself. When others lose their temper, they are angry; me, I have righteous anger. Others are prejudiced; but I have convictions.” Nice labels do not change the poison inside the bottle. Don’t say God, I don’t know if I sinned or not, or if I sinned forgive me, but call it sin like God does. We need to admit and confess sin to be right with God.

28
Mar
2018

ROMANS 1:14-17 JESUS PAID IT ALL

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The important pieces of evidence that surround Christ's resurrection.

  1. There is no dispute among scholars that Jesus was dead after being crucified
  2. Next, there are the early reports of the resurrection.
  • Reports of Jesus' resurrection that come so quickly, you can't just write them off as being a legend.
  • We have one report of the resurrection, including named eye-witnesses that has been dated back by scholars to within months of the resurrection of Jesus. That is historical gold.

        3.   Third, the focus on the empty tomb.

Even the opponents of Jesus implicitly conceded that the tomb of Jesus was empty.

         4.   We have nine ancient sources, inside and outside the New Testament, confirming and corroborating the conviction of the disciples that they encountered the resurrected Jesus.

  • That is an avalanche of historical data.

There are ancient sources inside and outside the New Testament that confirm the fate of Jesus' disciples and the suffering they were subjected to for proclaiming that Jesus had risen.

The resurrection of Jesus is a historical reality based not on mythology, but a solid foundation of historical truth.

         5.   Of course the biggest reason is the Bible says it is so.

1Corinthians 15:1-4 and the rest of the chapter also

Ps 40:9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know. 10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth From the great assembly.

1Co 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Just live by faith - Hab 2:4; Joh 3:36; Ac 3:21; Ga 3:11; Php 3:9; Heb 10:38

John 16:8 "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  9 "of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 "of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;  11 "of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

Joh 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 "But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."

Joh 3:35 "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (NKJV)

25
Mar
2018

JOHN 1.35-42 THE REVEALING OF JESUS TO THE DISCIPLES

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John 1:35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!" 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, "What do you seek?" They said to Him, "Rabbi" (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), "where are You staying?" 39 He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). 40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, "You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas" (which is translated, A Stone).

 In this section of Scripture we continue to see Jesus revealed to another group of people, very important people in God’s plan for the salvation of Mankind.  This is the last time we see John the Baptist in his role as the revealer of Jesus.  He fades off into the sunset now that his part has been played and the revealed one becomes the main focus of John’s Gospel.  Many people then and probably many today misunderstood the role of John the Baptist.  He is only the newspaper boy telling us to read all about it in the Headlines, Jesus the Lamb of God has come to take away the sin of the World.  We will see John, James, Andrew, and Peter come to Jesus and begin their walk with Him.  This is the beginning of their call to eventually become his Apostles and the ones who would write scripture, and become the foundation of the church.

  1. Following Christ Determines (or means you have to decide) what you want v35-39

Pulpit Evangelism

 Jesus did not call these men to follow Him as His disciples now. That came later (cf. Matt. 4:18-22; 9:9; Mark 1:16-20; 2:13-14; Luke 5:1-11, 27-28). The Apostle John recorded a preliminary contact that these men had with Jesus.

 V37 Two of John the Baptist's disciples started following Jesus because of John's witness. This was perfectly proper since John's ministry was to point others to Jesus. They were not abandoning the Baptist for a more

popular teacher. They were simply doing what John urged his hearers to do. They began following Jesus physically to learn from Him. They also took the first steps toward genuine discipleship. This was no tentative

inquiry but a giving of themselves to Him as disciples.

 "It appears that the Evangelist is writing on two levels. The question makes sense as straightforward narrative: Jesus asks the two men who are following him to articulate what is on their minds. But the Evangelist wants his readers to reflect on a deeper question: the Logos-Messiah confronts those who make any show of beginning to follow him and demands that they articulate what they really want in life." Jesus' question gave the men the opportunity to express their desire to become His disciples. However, they may not have been quite ready to make that commitment. They replied by asking where He was staying. This polite response may have implied that they simply wanted to have a preliminary interview with Him

 John 1:38 "Staying" translates one of the writer's characteristic words (i.e., Gr. meno, "to abide"). Here it means to reside, but often it has theological connotations of continuing on especially in an intimate relationship. These men may have already been wondering if that type of relationship with Jesus might be possible for them. This word occurs 112 times in the New Testament, and John used it 66 of those times, 40 times in his Gospel

1:39 Jesus responded by inviting them to accompany Him, not just to see where He was staying but to visit Him. They first had to come with Him and then they would see. This statement was also highly significant spiritually. Only by coming to Jesus could they really comprehend what they were seeking spiritually. The same thing holds true today.

 Following Jesus  Means an ongoing discovery of who He is v40-41

Friendship Evangelism

We should not conclude, however, that because Andrew believed that Jesus was the Messiah he also believed that He was God. He may have believed this, all the evidence in the Gospels points to the disciples learning of Jesus' deity after they had been with Him for some time (cf. Matt. 16:16; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20). Probably Andrew thought of Jesus as a great prophet who was the messianic deliverer of Israel. The title "Messiah" means "anointed one." The anointed one in Israel was originally any anointed priest or king who led the people. As time passed God gave prophecies of a coming Davidic king who would liberate the Israelites and establish God's rule over the whole earth (e.g., 2 Sam. 7; Ps.2; 110). Thus the idea of a coming anointed one crystallized into the title "Messiah - The Greek is Christ

 Following Jesus Means you get a new identity v42

1:42 Jesus anticipated what Peter would become in the history of the church by God's grace.

Jesus gave him a nickname that expressed his character, which was not uncommon. It is interesting that Simon Peter originally had the same rash and impulsive character as his ancestor Simeon, the second son of Jacob.

Cephas is Aramaic, the common language of Palestine, and means "Rock." Peter is the Greek translation of Cephas. As the record of Peter unfolds in the Gospels, he appears as anything but a rock; he was impulsive, volatile, and unreliable. Yet Jesus named Peter in view of what he would become by the power of God.

"In bringing his brother Simon Peter to Christ, no man did the church a greater service than Andrew."96

Every time we meet Andrew in this Gospel he is bringing someone to Jesus (cf. 6:8; 12:22).

Jacob means deceiver, Israel means having Power with God or God’s fighter

Abram means high father or exalted father, Abraham means Father of a Multitude

Isa 62:2 The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will name.

 Re 2:17 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it."'

 Re 3:12 "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

 

21
Mar
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 1:9 SAYS IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS

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1 John 1:9 says If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  You ask why do we have to confess our sins if God has already forgiven us.  We can never lose our salvation, but we can mess up the relationship. If I slap you and ask you later to do something for me, I am sure you would say no.  You would at least want an apology, it is the same with God, we grieve Him when we sin, and we need to ask forgiveness to restore our right relationship and place in His will. So, have we asked God to forgive us today and made sure we are in fellowship with Him?

18
Mar
2018

JOHN 1:31-34 THE REVEALING OF JESUS TO JOHN AND ISRAEL

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John 1:31 "I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water." 32 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 "I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' 34 "And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God."

            This is a great section of scripture that tells us that John did not know Jesus even though he was His cousin.  It gives us a glimpse into the mind of God and how He works when showing us His will.  If you want to know the will of God you have to do the will of God that has already been revealed.  We will also see the difference between John’s baptism and the Baptism that Jesus came to give to us who would believe in His name.

 Verse 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel."

  • Up to this time even though John was the cousin of Jesus he did not know Jesus
  • He had lived in the wilderness so they had no contact with each other
  • He is in effect denying that he and Jesus had schemed together
  • He had to go before Jesus baptizing to fulfill prophecy

 Verse 32 - Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.

Verse 33 - I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'

Mt 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Mark 1:12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13 and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

  • In his first act of public ministry Christ was identifying himself publicly with sinners
  • His perfect righteousness will be given to us
  • His baptism represented his death, burial, and resurrection
  • His being the Messiah was publicly attested to by God’s voice from heaven
  • Notice John saw Christ, the Holy Spirit come down on Him, and heard God’s voice from heaven.
  • He was an eyewitness of Christ’s Majesty

2Peter 1:16 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

 Verse 34 - I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."

Hebrews1:1-3 

1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he 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. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.