04-22-18 – John 5:16-47 “Jesus Reveals He is God”

John 5:16-47 – Jesus Reveals He is God…

Recap:

John 5:1-16

  • The Pool of Bethesda…
  • Jesus heals a guy who’s been ill for 38 years… Get up, pick up your mat and walk!

But there’s a problem! 

Vs. 9b – 10- The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”  15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Jesus was trying to heal him spiritually and make him whole, but he ran back to his Religious system… and he ratted Jesus out. 

Did Jesus NOT know what He was doing? The healing on the Sabbath provided the opportunity for Jesus to reveal who He was to the Religious Leaders.

Jesus responds…  John 5:16-17 – 16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him.17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”

God was so holy the Jewish people wouldn’t even write or speak His name.

Jesus calls Him “Father” and blows them up! Then say’s that He’s working just as God is working!

God law, and His commands don’t apply to Him – He’s God!  He’s absolute perfection and Holiness!   Jesus is saying it doesn’t apply to me either! 

The Sabbath was one of the chief characteristics of their religion and religious system.  It was one of the Ten Commandments! 

Exodus 20:8 NLT – “Remember to keep the Sabbath holy. Work and get everything done during six days each week, 10 but the seventh day is a day of rest to honor the Lord your God. On that day no one may do any work: not you, your son or daughter, your male or female slaves, your animals, or the foreigners living in your cities. 11 The reason is that in six days the Lord made everything—the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. On the seventh day he rested. So the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

 

Sabbath means to stop, to cease, or to end.   The 7th day is to be a day to stop, cease, rest.  A day to keep holy (set apart) for God, to God, to remember and observe God as Creator.

 

The Sabbath was so important that God imposed the death penalty for those who did not observe the Sabbath.  (Ex. 31:15)

 

Remember, the Israelites had been in slaves in Egypt for 400 years working, slaving non-stop under the Egyptians.  God gave the law                 (commandments) because they no longer KNEW Him.

 

Vs. 18 – 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

 

 

It gets better!  Vs. 19-2019 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these (the signs and miracles already performed), so that you will be amazed.

 

I can do nothing by myself, I do only what I see the Father doing.  Whatever the Father does, I do also.  (I’m equal with God.)

What are some “Attributes, Characteristics” of God… 

  • Eternal – The beginning and the end.
  • Self-existent, Self Sufficient, Had no creator and no beginning…
  • Infinite, Unchanging…
  • Perfect Holiness (Pure, Righteous, without sin, without evil.)
  • Perfect Love, Trust, Humility, Anger, Compassion, Wrath, Justice, Righteousness, Faithfulness.
  • Creator, Sustainer, Maintainer of the universe…
  • All powerful, All wise/ All knowing, ever present…
  • Sovereign (there is no greater power and all other power comes from Him!)

 

 

The Father loves me and shows me all He does.  And he will show me even greater works than what I’ve already done.   And you’re going to be amazed… You ain’t seen nothing yet!

 

 

The heart & soul of the Christian faith is based on Jesus Christ and WHO HE IS…   WHO HE says HE IS!    The main objective of the enemies of Jesus is to diminish and distort who He is. 

 

That question…. “Who is Jesus?” Who is Jesus to me?  is THE MOST critical, most important question we will ever ask and answer.

  • JESUS IS GOD!
  • If we believe Jesus is God is that evident in my life?

 

John 5:21 -24 – 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, (allows them to have eternal life with Him) even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, (eternal life is entirely in Jesus hands!)  23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. 24 Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. (eternal life begins when we believe in, begin to follow and our lives are transformed by Jesus, not just when we die!)

 

In order to give someone eternal life, to be the final judge and determine the eternal destiny of mankind, you would HAVE to be GOD… you would have to be the SOURCE of all life! 

 

This is WHO I AM and all may honor me as they honor the Father, whoever does not honor me does not honor the Father. 

 

Whoever hears and believes in Jesus (An active Believing in with my Head, Heart, Hands) has eternal life… and will not be judged as they’ve already crossed over from death into eternal life!

 

John 5:25-27 – 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, (The source of all life) so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. (Again, Jesus is equal in Character and Nature to God the Father.)

27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. (He’s God in human form. Sinless, with the authority to judge mankind.)

 

There’s only one voice that raises the spiritually dead to life!

John 1:3-4 – Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

John 14:6 – Jesus said, I am the Way and I am the Truth and I am the life, no man comes to the Father except through me.

John 11:25 – I am the resurrection and the life.

1 John 5:11-12 – … God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 The one who has the Son has life. The one who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Eph. 2:1-6 – Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1-2 – So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

 

John 5: 28-29 –  28 “Do not be amazed (surprised) at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, (eternal life with the Father) and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. (eternally separated from the Father.)

30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, (fair, righteous) for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me

A Spiritual Resurrection is here and a Physical Resurrection is coming…  Everyone who has ever lived will hear my voice and stand before me to be judged. 

  • Those who have done what is good… those who lived the right way… (not based on deeds) that would be a contradiction of all that Jesus has just shared.   But those who choose Jesus as their Lord, Master, Savior and Believe in Him as the Messiah, as God!  
  • Those who have done what is evilthose who lived the wrong way… (not based our deeds) But, those who rejected Jesus as their Lord, Master, Savior and DO NOT Believe in Him as the Messiah, as God.

John 3:36 – 36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who rejects the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.

CONCLUSION:

Think about what Jesus has just shared with the Religious leaders… 

  • God is my Father… I am His Son.
  • My Father is always working…. so am I.
  • I can only do what I see my Father doing. What He tells me to do.  Everything I do is the will of my Father.
  • I am equal with God. Same attributes, same character, same nature.
  • I am the giver of life. There is no life apart from me.
  • I am the final judge over all humanity. The destiny of every person who ever lived is in my hand.
  • I give Eternal life to those who believe in me and receive me. And, Eternal judgment for those who do NOT believe in me and reject me.

This is one of the most profound chapters in the Bible…  It’s Jesus testimony of who He is.  Jesus revealing that He’s God!   

Application:

These Religious leaders…  “KNEW” Jesus was from God, many had already made that claim due to his miracles.  (Nicodemus, & those who went to John the Baptist.) 

Their problem was that they rejected Him anyway!  They wouldn’t submit and surrender to Him as God!    

Who is Jesus to you?    And if you recognize Him as God has it changed the way you live?   Have you surrendered to Him?

This is one of the most important, if not THE most important, questions you and decisions of your life.  It determines whether you’re Spiritually dead or alive!  

John 20:31 But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

04-15-18 – John 5:1-18 “Healing the Man by the Pool”

John 5:1-18 – Healing the Man by the Pool.

At this point in Jesus has been ministering a little over a year.  Word gets out about Jesus… 

– Water into wine (Miracle)

– Cleansing the Temple (Sign)

– Other Signs…  John 2:23-25

– Official’s Son healed (Miracle)

 

Again, Keep in mind that John didn’t record ALL that Jesus did…  

John 20:31 CSB – 31 But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

In Chapter 5, things move to a whole new level when Jesus heals this man at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath.  The Religious leaders want to take him out. (Kill him!)

John 5:1-18 NIV – Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 

NOTE:  Verse 4 is a footnote in some translations (ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT) however, it’s in the KJV.  Why?   Vs. 4 was not found in some of the oldest and best manuscripts that we now have of the New Test.  The newer Translations keep Vs. 4 as a “footnote” rather than include it into the actual text.

Vs. 4. – for an angel of the Lord went down into the pool at appointed seasons and stirred up the water; the first one to go in after the water was stirred was healed of his disease.  

What people believed to be an angel touching the water was actually an underground spring.  Archeologists discovered these pools in the 19 century under the ruins of the Byzantine Church.

 

One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

 

Festivals… We’re not sure what festival Jesus and his Disciples were attending … there were multiple festivals required for Jewish men to attend in Jerusalem.   As Jesus was going He made a point to go by the Pool of Bethesda.

 

Pool of Bethesda…

Tons of sick people, diseased, ill, lame, blind, etc… lying around the pool watching the water to see if/when it’s disturbed and then everybody fighting to get in first!

 

Jesus notices this one guy who’s been ill (invalid, lame, infirmity) for 38 years.  

 

Do you want to get well?  Do you want to be made whole?  OR, “Do you want me to help make you well?  

 

What kind of question is that!?!   (Remember Jesus is the Messiah, He’s God… He already knows our heart!)

  • Some people don’t want to be healed… they just want to be helped.
  • For some people, their illness, their situation, their circumstance is their identity… that’s who they’ve become. If healed they would lose their identity.
  • For some… It’s pride. They crave the attention of others through their situation, illness, and helplessness.
  • For some at this time their illness was a way of life… begging, support from the community and family… If healed, he’s going to have to make some changes.

 

Vs. 7 – “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

  • He doesn’t answer Jesus with a yes… he starts off complaining and blaming others… for his failure. Defending his position or failure of getting into the pool and being healed.  (Pride)
  • His illness didn’t paralyze him but he was paralyzed because of it.
  • He’s helpless, hopeless and has no faith.

 

Why in the world did Jesus pick this guy?  (That’s what I’m thinking!) The Bible doesn’t say…

  • Maybe it was to show us the grace and mercy of God in the man’s pride, his blaming, self-centeredness, helplessness and hopelessness?
  • Maybe it was to show us that real healing takes place when become helpless and hopeless and give up?
  • Maybe it’s because his illness is representative of our love for sin. How it consumes us and we spend our entire lifetime trying to fight it or control it and most of us are paralyzed by it!  There’s “nothing” we can do to make it better, nothing we can do to cure it, conquer it, overcome it and/or have victory over it! 

 

Maybe it was all of the above?

Whatever it was… Jesus was moved with compassion over this man’s situation and He simply shows him mercy and grace!   

Romans 5:8 – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Psalm 86:15 – But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.

Psalm 116:5 – Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.

Vs. 8 – Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

3 Commands! 

Get up (Rise up)Either he could stay there lying there in his helplessness, & hopelessness or he could get up. As He chose to rise, and stand up (obey) he had the power and strength to stand!

God has given us all we need for healing in Jesus Christ!  The problem isn’t a lack of healing, it’s a lack of obedience to get up!   We can wallow in our helplessness and hopelessness OR we can “Get up in Jesus name!”

 

Pick up your mat –  I want you to eliminate any sign that you’ve been here… eliminate any opportunity for you to come back to this place!   

Eliminate any identity with this illness.  Don’t keep it around as a reminder….  A security blanket, Sentimental purposes, or a reminder!  In other words… Burn your bridges!

2 Corinthians 5:17 NCV – If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!

 

Walk – Stop blaming others.  Stop playing the blame game.  Don’t expect anyone else to carry you… WALK!   I’ve provided the healing, now walk in your healing! 

Whose responsibility is it that each of us are Saved, Set Apart, and become the Disciple of Christ that God wants us to Become?!  OURS!

No one can do it for you!   It’s not anyone else’s fault if we aren’t where we should be spiritually! 

 

If we need help…  who do we go to? 

Hebrews 12:1-2  – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

Psalm 121:1-2 NCV – I look up to the hills, but where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Matthew 11:28-30 NCV28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. 30 The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.”

Vs. 9b – 10- The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

 

Didn’t Jesus KNOW it would be a problem for this man to “carry” his mat on the Sabbath?   

Jesus knows… He “deliberately” heals the man on the Sabbath, deliberately tells him to pick up his mat and walk.

He’s exposing the heart of the Religious leaders… they’ve perverted God’s word, God’s Will and God’s Way and they were evil.

They could care less that the man was healed.  They didn’t even acknowledge the healing!  They didn’t even mention it!   They wanted to know who told him to pick up his mat and walk! 

 

  1. 14 – 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple (the law required anyone who had been healed to make a thanksgiving offering or in some cases to show themselves to the Priest) and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

 

I’ve just given you a 2nd Chance…  What you’ve experienced for 38 years is nothing compared to the wrath of God if you don’t stop your sin.  (Repent, Stop your sin and live for God!)

 

CONCLUSION: Vs. 15 –  15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Is he testifying about Jesus or ratting Him out?

I think he’d rather be right with the Religious leaders than Repent and be right with God!   How do we know that?

He’s HEALED from a 38 year illness and there’s no mention of Thanks… no Praise, no Worship… nothing!!   No mention of any repentance.

 

Jesus was trying to give him a greater healing  (Spiritual healing) but all he was concerned about was the here and now… the Physical… and he rejects Jesus.   

The same obedience it took to stand physically was all he needed to take a stand spiritually for Jesus.  But He refused!  He didn’t want to be made well…  he wasn’t willing to Repent, Stop his sin, and live for God.

 

Matthew 7:13-14 NLT – 13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

04-08-18 – “John 4:43-54 – Healing of an Official’s son”

John 4:43-54 – Healing of an Official’s son.

Importance of God’s Word… 

 

Finishing up the end of John Chapter 4. Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well. 

  • Jesus had to go through Samaria… He had a divine appointment with a woman at a well.

 

  • Jesus breaks down cultural barriers… has a conversation with her and wants to give her “Living water.”

 

  • She tries to avoid the conversation… gets all “Spiritual with Jesus but THIS IS JESUS!

 

  • Jesus exposes the filth she’s been drinking… He asks for her Husband.

 

  • He reveals He’s the Messiah.

 

  • Jesus Disciples come back, they’re puzzled as to why Jesus is talking with this Samaritan woman but they don’t say anything!

 

  • Meanwhile the woman leaves her water pot, runs into town to tell the townspeople about Jesus! Here they come…

 

  • And the Disciples are clueless… they’re worried about Jesus getting something to eat.

 

 

The main point from the last message was: That our Priority and Focus should be on the “Spiritual” rather than the Physical.  

 

That doesn’t mean we neglect the Physical… it simply means we have our priorities in order and we’re focused on what matters most!  

Matthew 6:31-33 NCV – 31 Don’t worry and say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 The people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them. 33 Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well.

IF we put God first, what God wants, His Righteousness first… God will take care of all the rest!  (AND, it will be so much better than what you could ever do or provide!!)

 

The Woman at the well was a great example of how we should respond to Jesus…    How we should be “transformed” from the inside out!!  And there was a GREAT HARVEST!!

John 4:39-42 NIV – 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

THIS WEEK:  John 4:43-54 NIV – Jesus Heals an Official’s Son with just the spoken word…  but it’s more than that…  It’s really about a “deeper” level of Belief and Faith.

43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.

46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”  49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”

53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.

54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.

 

 

They received Him, welcomed Him but they didn’t truly believe in Him as the Messiah, nor put their Faith in Him?   

John 2:23-24 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name (in Him). (Attached themselves to Jesus as His Disciples.) 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.

 

 

Question: What’s our motive for Believing in, putting our Faith in Jesus?

Why are we here this morning?  Worship yes, but is it really to draw closer to God, to Christ… to KNOW Him better and BECOME more like Christ.   (Hold that thought!)

 

 

John 4:46-54 – 46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum.47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. 48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders, ”Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

 

Seems like Jesus is being a little harsh…  48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders, ”Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

 

 

The Royal Official:  Most likely a Sadducee, part of the Religious Leadership or part of Herod’s Court.  Sadducees didn’t believe in the afterlife, angels, spirits, didn’t believe in healing… believed that whatever happened to you was fate.  You got what you deserved and God is not really involved in our lives…  Faith wasn’t part of their belief system or their life.

 

Right now he isn’t a Royal Official, a Sadducee or even a leader in Israel.  He’s a Father who’s little boy is dying!   He needs help and Jesus is all He’s got!   It’s the only Hope he has!  (It’s the only hope any of us have!)  

 

49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down (at once) before my child dies.” 50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”  The man took Jesus at his word and departed.

Question: Does our motive for Believing and Faith in Jesus determine what kind of Belief and Faith we have?

 

  • “Superficial Faith” or “Deep Faith?”
  • “Situational Faith” or “Saving Faith?”

 

You’ve heard of Foxhole Faith right…

You’re in the heat of the battle (whatever your battle is) or in some state of emergency!   Jesus if you get me out of this, or if you get me through this I’ll _______________________.

 

What usually happens with that “Foxhole Faith?”   We revert back to our old selves, our old ways.  It’s “Superficial” on the surface…   it’s “Situational”  based on my circumstance.   I don’t really want to KNOW Jesus I just want to be “SAVED” from my circumstance!

 

NOTE: There are some folks who are sincere in those situations and their lives ARE changed, ARE transformed in Christ forever.  I’m not saying it can’t happen.

 

 

Sometimes we treat Jesus like a “Medicine Cabinet, Spare Tire, or a Tool box.”   As long at things are good, I feel good, life is good… we don’t really need Jesus

 

Is Jesus the Handlebars (Steering wheel) or the Spare Tire?! 

 

 

Jesus is trying to draw this Official and the others from Superficial, Situational Belief & Faith into a Deep, Saving Belief & Faith!

John 4:51-54 –  51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”  53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.  54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.

 

Jesus reveals His Power…  not just over the sickness but over time…  space… and matter…   Who but GOD could do such a thing!  He doesn’t go with the man, ask what’s wrong, go see the kid…  He just speaks the word!  Your Son is fine.  He’s alive.  Go on about your business.

 

Jesus isn’t being hard hearted…  He’s more interested in the Spiritual than the Physical!   IF the boy died, Jesus could raise him from the dead!

 

 

The Official had to believe that Jesus’ word was enough…  (Head)

He had to Trust Jesus at His word… (Heart)

He had to act in Faith at Jesus word.  (Hands)

 

 

The next day while the Official was still on the way home…  His servants meet him and share the good news!  

  • What time did it happen? At the very time that Jesus spoke the word!

 

The Official and his entire household believed and put their faith in Jesus!   NOT because of what Jesus could do, but because of who He was!  He’s the Messiah!

 

That’s where Jesus wants to take us… beyond what he can do for us to who He is!  He’s’ God!  He’s our Savior, God’s Sacrifice and ours so we can be restored and reconciled to God the Father! 

 

CONCLUSION:

Once again Jesus is teaching His Disciples (Teaching us) what it really means to Believe in Him and have Faith in Him.  And the type of Belief ad Faith that’s required.

The Lord doesn’t want some “superficial, shallow, situational” belief and/or faith. 

He wants us to have a serious, deep, substantial, real and personal Belief… a Saving Faith. 

NOT because of what He can do for us, but because of who He is!  He’s God!  He’s the SAVIOR of the World.

03-25-18 – “A Disciple’s Priority and Focus” – John 4:25-42

A Disciple’s Priority and Focus – 03/25/18

John 4:25-42 NIV25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

The Disciples Rejoin Jesus – 27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”  34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Many Samaritans Believe – 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

 

The Disciples come back and are surprised to see Jesus talking to a woman, a Samaritan woman!  No one said a word to her or to Jesus about the conversation.

 

She takes off…  leaves her water pot behind, goes into town and tells everyone she sees… “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”  The townspeople are coming out to investigate, to meet Jesus.

 

The Disciples are concerned about Jesus eating…

Jesus teaches them about the Priority and Focus of a Disciple:

Vs. 34 – 34 Jesus said, “My food is to do what the One who sent me wants me to do and to finish his work.

 

If we’re Children of God.  If we belong to God, if we are His (Jesus) Disciples and He is the LORD and MASTER of our life…  Our Priority and Focus should be on the Spiritual rather than the Physical.

My “food” Jesus said was to do what God sent me to do, wants me to do and finish His work.”

What are we feeding on? 

  • As Children of God and Disciples of Jesus Christ we should be feasting on the same! God’s Will, God’s Word, God’s Way and God’s Work..

 

Spiritual nourishment is like two sides of the same coin.

One side we’re drawn to God, we Repent and accept His Sacrifice in Jesus Christ…  We Read God’s Word, Study God’s Word, Pray, Praise, Obey God and gather together and Fellowship with one another.

Other side of that same coin is taking what we know, how we’ve grown and we go out into the world to reap a harvest of where God is working!

 

Think about it this way:  Whatever happens internally “in Christ” needs to be expressed externally “for Christ!”  

 

The Harvest….  VS. 35-38 – 35 You have a saying, ‘Four more months till harvest.’ But I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields ready for harvest now. 36 Already, the one who harvests is being paid and is gathering crops for eternal life. So the one who plants and the one who harvests celebrate at the same time. 37 Here the saying is true, ‘One person plants, and another harvests.’ 38 I sent you to harvest a crop that you did not work on. Others did the work, and you get to finish up their work.

There are people in your circle of influence who don’t know God, who haven’t been introduced to Jesus…  God is working in their life and they’re ready…. They’re ready NOW.   Not in four months… They’re ready NOW to be introduced to Jesus!

 

All they need is a representative, an ambassador of Jesus Christ to be visible, involved available and a friend… to tell them and show them the way!  To lead them to the Truth of Jesus Christ!  To be more concerned with the Spiritual than the Physical!  

 

 

Yeah but, we’ve got to take care of the physical things!   God didn’t say to neglect the physical…  He said put first things first!  It’s about Priorities! 

 

IF WE PUT GOD FIRST, GOD’S WILL FIRST…   DO WE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT GOD WILL NOT TAKE CARE OF OUR PHYSICAL NEEDS!

 

Matthew 6:31-33 NCV – 31 Don’t worry and say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 The people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them. 33 Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well.

 

Maybe this is why some folks who say they’re following Christ aren’t growing, and maturing as they should…  They’re feeding on the wrong things! 

 

IF Jesus is my LORD and MASTER and I’m HIS DISCIPLE then HIS PRIORITY is MY PRIORITY.  HIS FOCUS is MY FOCUS.  It’s HIS will not mine that should be done!   Satisfying HIM not ourselves.

 

 

  1. The Woman at the Well… An Example! Go back to Vs. 28-30 – 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

 

Skip down to Vs. 39-42 – 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Could there be a more unlikely person or unlikely example than this Samaritan woman introducing people to Jesus!  

(Not only was it the longest recorded conversation Jesus had with someone, this incident never happened in a Jewish town… not Judea, not Galilee, Nazareth, Jerusalem…  And Jesus stayed in Sychar 2 full days… teaching revealing himself to the people.  Again, that never happened in a Jewish town!)  

 

She WAS an example… a great example of how we are to respond to Jesus!   A great example of the “Head, Heart and Hands” being involved and engaged in God’s work.

  • She wasn’t searching for Truth… she’s just trying to make it through another miserable day!   But God was working!

 

  • She meets Jesus right where she was… getting water at a well.

 

  • He asked for her husband… Jesus reveals what she’s been drinking from!  He reveals her sin.   She’s convicted of her sin and her lifestyle and Jesus reveals the Truth to her… reveals acceptable worship (in Spirit and Truth).

 

  • Jesus revealed who He is. I AM…  the Messiah, the Christ.  
  • Jesus doesn’t lead her in a prayer of Salvation.
  • She doesn’t go to the Temple or to a Priest.
  • She doesn’t go to a class.
  • She doesn’t go to a Bible Study.

 

  • She simply has a choice to make… She’s been confronted with the TRUTH of her sin and the Savior…
  • She can chose to respond in faith to Christ
  • She can choose to reject Christ.

What she does next reveals her choice and what she really believes!

 

  • She leaves behind her water jar…
  • A symbol of the water she’s been drinking…
  • A symbol of her old life, past sins… her shame.
  • She leaves it behind at the well with Jesus.
  • She chooses to respond in Faith!
  • She goes into town tells the men of the town. 29 Come see a man who told me everything I ever did.  Could this be the Messiah?

 

  • She tells the Men of the gate… Come and See.  Come and see for yourselves.  (Leadership at the city gates… A woman’s word was worthless at that time… wasn’t even good in court.  She knew that…  Don’t take my word, but come and see!  Could this be the Messiah? She KNEW it was but they wouldn’t take her word.  SMART WOMAN!)
  • She doesn’t have it all figured out… (Neither do we!) But, she knew how to share in a way that they would be interested! (So should we!)

 

  • She shares her story, her testimony. She WAS living in Shame… hiding, avoiding everyone…  but now, Her shame is gone!  Jesus took her Shame!  The Shame of her past was no match for the Savior of her Future!   Now she’s using her story, her testimony to tell people about Her Savior! 

 

Many in that town “Believed” in Jesus because of her testimony!   And when they came to meet Jesus many more came to believe because of His words. 

 

Don’t ever think you can’t be used by God! 

  • Insignificant by all accounts. She was “no account!”
  • No education…   No special training…
  • No seminary… No bible study…
  • Not Religious… Shunned by her community…
  • The only thing she had was a poor reputation… and God used that for His glory!

 

She just simply Believed in Christ… and responded in Faith. She was a great example of our Transformation in Christ…  How our Head, Heart and Hands are involved, engaged and used for Jesus!

 

Conclusion:

42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Our testimony is instrumental in introducing people to Jesus but then those people have to hear for themselves.  At some point they have to meet Jesus for themselves, Believe for themselves and step out in Faith on their own!

It’s no accident Jesus went through Samaria.  It was ordained by God!  A divine appointment not only for the people of Samaria but for His Disciples! 

 

It’s no accident God is revealing this to us today! 

  • What’s our PRIORITY and FOCUS? Is it on Spiritual things or Physical things?

 

  • What kind of example are we? Are we an example like the woman at the well?

 

How do we need to respond to Jesus today?

  • Maybe we’re like the Disciples… we’re a Follower but we’ve had our Priorities and Focus in the wrong place. Get that right today.

 

  • Maybe we’re like the Samaritan Woman, we believe and we’ve been telling people about Christ. Respond by Thanking God for Saving you and using you today!

 

  • Maybe you’re like the people in the town. We’ve just heard of this Jesus but we don’t really know Him and we want to know more and be introduced to Him.

03-18-18 – “What’s in Your Water? – Part 2”

What’s in your Water?  – Part 2

 

Remember: John 20:31 CSB – But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

Jesus meets a Samaritan Woman at a well.  Three things Bill brought to our attention last week:

  1. Jesus is always about His Father’s Business! (And, as His kids, we should be…)

 

  • Cultural, racial, social, economic, educational, religious, political, and other barriers didn’t keep Jesus from reaching people! God is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance!  – 2 Peter 3:9
  • Nothing kept Jesus from doing God’s will and nothing should keep us from the doing God’s will either! We are His Ambassadors… we Represent Christ!  IF WE BELONG TO HIM!! 

 

  1. Jesus had a “divine appointment” with a woman at a well…
  • God is always working drawing people to Himself!
  • Just as Jesus had divine appointments from God… we also have divine appointments. We’re His representatives, His Ambassadors… God making his appeal through us to be reconciled to Him!

 

  1. Jesus met her greatest need right there at the well.  (And so should we.)
  • Her greatest need wasn’t water (A physical need of the flesh)… Her greatest need was God!  Salvation!  (A Spiritual need of the Soul!)  To be saved from her sins and restored to a Holy God!
  • More often than not we’re trying to get people to come to a building… to some type of church service… program… etc… to meet Jesus rather than introducing them to Jesus right where they are!

 

 

John 4:1-42 NIV –  Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John—although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

  1. 16-26 – Our Focus today.

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”  17 “I have no husband,” she replied.  Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

 

Jesus exposes what’s in her water!   Exposes what she’s been drinking and filling her life with…

 

What’s in your well and the water you’re drinking this morning!   It’s either…

  • Life or Death!
  • God or the Devil.
  • Good or evil…. Light or Darkness.
  • Eternal Security with God or Eternal Separation from God.
  • Becoming like Christ or becoming like Satan.
  • We’re a “Saint or an Ain’t!” Without the “S” (Savior) you’re an AIN’T!

 

That’s why Jesus asked her to go get her husband.  He wants her to understand what she’s been drinking from and what’s in her water!  Where she is spiritually!

 

Part of the process of Salvation is to recognize we’re in sin and confess our sin!  We admit and confess we are sinners in need of a Savior.

Salvation won’t take place if we refuse to humble ourselves and admit our sin.  (I will not bow, I will not submit, I will not surrender, I will not confess…)

Isaiah 59:1-2 – Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God.  Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.

James 4:6 – “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Psalm 10:4 – In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

  1. 19-20 – 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

 

Maybe she’s trying to change the subject.  (A lot of people do that…)

Maybe she’s confused, wants to change but doesn’t know what to do? 

Where do I go?  What do I do?  How do I make things right? 

 

Jesus response…   

Vs. 21-24 – 21 “Woman, ”Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

 

  • Samaritans had intermarried with other nations, they combined their worship of God with idols… It was God plus everything else.

 

  • Jews were really no better. There were no visible idols but there was idolatry. Their idol was themselves.   (How can you be right with God and hate Samaritans the way they did?)

 

Jesus explains “acceptable” Worship…23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

 

Worship isn’t a place, rituals, dress code, religious ceremonies… a day of the week, or a time of day. 

 

We worship in Spirit… Our Heart.  We’re born from above! 

Ezekiel 36:26-27 CSB – 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances.

 

  1. It all starts with God! In God, From God, “Born from above!”

John 3:6 – Jesus talking to Nicodemus – Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

Romans 8:9 – But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)

John 14:6 – Jesus said I am the Way and the Truth and the Life, the only way to the Father is through me.

Matthew 15:8-9 – “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.  (Jesus quoting Isaiah 29:13)

 

Think about that and our worship…  

  • We resist God, we won’t respond to God drawing us to Himself.
  • We won’t surrender to God’s Sacrifice in Jesus Christ.
  • We won’t acknowledge Him as the Lord and Master of our life.
  • We won’t confess our sin… and need for a Savior.
  • We won’t Trust Him, or Trust in Him…

 

Then we show up on Sunday to Worship!  What are we worshipping IF we won’t surrender to God through Jesus Christ!

 

  1. In Spirit also means “ALL OF ME!” God doesn’t get part of me…  it’s all of me.  In Spirit means “MY COMPLETE” being.  Spiritually, Mentally, Emotionally and Physically God has all of me!

We worship in Truth… Our Head, our Mind.  

What is the TRUTH?  Truth is the Nature, Character and Commands of God.  That’s where Truth originates.  It’s only from God that we understand and know the TRUTH.

 

John 14:6 – I AM the Way and the Truth, and the Life…

John 8:32 – And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

John 16:13-14 – When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’ –

John 17:17 – Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.

 

Apart from having the Spirit of God, God’s word we don’t really KNOW God…  we don’t know His Nature, Character or Commands and we begin make up our own Truth.  What’s right in our own eyes…

 

Well, I believe God is… I believe God would… I believe…   Our Beliefs need to line up with God’s Word, the Nature and Character of God or we’re creating a god (little g) and that’s creating an idol.

 

We can’t live in opposition to the Truth of God, His Nature, Character and Commands and Worship Him!   

 

Spirit produces Spirit.  God’s Spirit in us helps us to Worship and we worship with all that we are (Spiritually, Mentally, Emotionally and Physically)

 

Truth is the Nature, Character, and Commandments of God. It’s Jesus Christ!

 

Conclusion:

Vs. 25-26  – 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

Well, no one can really say what Worship is or what Truth is until the Messiah comes.   He will tell us what is what.  He will show us the way.  He will make everything right.

You don’t have to wait any longer…  “I AM” the Messiah.

Whether we’re Nicodemus and we’re at the top of the food chain with Religion…  a Pharisee, helping lead a nation, and “the” Teacher of Israel OR, we’re some immoral Samaritan woman…  without Jesus Christ, without being born from above, without the Truth of Jesus Christ we’re still drinking from a cess-pool… drinking filthy, nasty, water of the world that’s contaminated by Satan.  Water that will never satisfy, or quench our thirst Spiritually!

 

What’s in your Water?

03-11-18 – “What’s in Your Water?” – John 4:1-18 (Bill Johnson)

What’s In Your Water?

The Woman at the Well

John 4:1-18

Purpose of John ~ John 20:31 ~ But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Last week: John 3:22-36 ~ How to be great in God’s eyes.

  • We have to spend time with Jesus
  • Complimenting instead of Competing, Comparing & Complaining
  • Who are we really Following?
  • Who are we Elevating?

 

John 4:1-18 ~ The Woman at the Well

What’s in Your Water?

 

When we ‘go’ with intentionality ~

God creates opportunities that result in eternal impact!

  • Jesus was always about His Father’s business.  ~ So should we!
  • Jesus had a Divine Appointment!  ~ So do we!
  • Jesus met her need, right at the well. ~ So will we!

 

Background:

Geography: Judea (south), Samaria (middle), Galilee (north)

Most direct route is through Samaria ~

But most devout Jews avoided Samaria.

The Samaritans were ok with that!

 

Bitter hatred between Jews and Samaritans.

Started 722bc Northern kingdom defeated by Assyria.

They carried off the brightest into captivity and brought in foreigners to settle in the Northern kingdom.

The Jews left behind intermarried and were considered ethnically impure.

The Southern kingdom remained pure even during their captivity to the Babylonians in 586bc.

 

The Samaritans:

Developed their own religion: part pagan, part Jewish.

Built their own temple at Mt Gerizim

Developed their own language and own version of the Pentateuch.

Samaritans were viewed as religious and ethnic half-breed heretics!

 

John 4:1-18niv ~ Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

 

Simple conversation: Thirsty guy at a well, woman coming to get some water… or is it?

This is the longest recorded conversation Jesus had with another person!

 

 

  • Jesus was always about His Father’s business.  (So should we!)

 

John 6:38niv~ For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.

 

John 4:1-6 ~ Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

 

V1-2 ~ 1Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.

 

The word was getting out and it was getting the attention of the Pharisees!

 

Even John the Baptist’s disciples complained about this!

He answered:  John 3:30 “I much decrease and He (Jesus) must increase!

John the Baptist’s roll was to proclaim Jesus!!!

 

Why did John (the writer) mention that it wasn’t in fact Jesus baptizing, but was his disciples?

Continuing to baptize demonstrated unity with John the Baptist.

Jesus disciples doing the baptizing showed Jesus superiority to John the Baptist.

Unity, but not the same…

 

Over and over John said “I am not the Messiah”.

Jesus was the was the one John the Baptist was proclaiming!

Not just a prophet or rabbi… But the Messiah…. The Christ… The Lord… He is God!

They Each had a roll / purpose to fulfill.

 

We each have a roll to play / purpose to fulfill in God the Father’s plan of redeeming the world!  

Are you doing yours?  Do you know what it even is?

Head, Heart, Hands….

We’ve been on it!

 

V 3-6 ~ So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

 

Did Jesus just take the short way home?  v4 He had to go through Samaria.

He didn’t HAVE TO… There were other routes…

Most devout Jews went through Jordan to avoid the Samaritans. Just being around the Samaritans would make them “unclean”.

 

Jesus had a purpose in everything he did!

The Gk word ‘dei’, translated ‘HAD TO’ literally means “to be necessary”.

Used 7 times in the Gospel of John.

Everywhere else it’s used it refers to divine necessity or requirement!

He had to go through Samaria because it was the will of his Father in heaven!

 

Jesus was in the country outside of Jerusalem

Walks to Jacob’s Well, by Sychar, about 40 miles from Jerusalem arrives @ Noon!

Have you ever be inconvenienced by God’s plans?

 

Don’t miss the significance of Jacob’s Well:

Where God first appeared to Abram

Where Abram built an alter a called upon the name of the Lord.

Where Jacob returned after his time spent with Labon to get a wife.

Where Jacob built an alter to the Lord.

Where Joshua made a covenant with Israel, renewing their commitment to God.

Joshua 24:15niv ~ But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

 

I’ve gotta ask you: Who are you serving today?

JD was all over it last Sunday ~

Who are you really following?

Who are we elevating?

Jesus was about His Father’s business….

Are you?  Am I??? ….really following, HIM…

Or do we find ourselves getting distracted by our wants and desires?

 

Jesus and his disciples get there hot & tired, hungry & thirsty

It’s lunch time…

 

Jesus waits by the well…

The Disciples head off to Harris Teeter.

 

Jesus was about His Father’s business

  1. Jesus had a Divine Appointment!  (So do we!)

Eph 2:10nlt ~ You are God’s masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus to do the good works that HE prepared in advance for you to do!

 

John 4:7-9niv ~When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

 

Are you ever so focused on your own needs that you miss out on the opportunity to fulfill the spiritual needs of those around you?

 

Jesus waited by the well. He was: At the right place – At the right time – For the right person.

 

He wasn’t waiting for the disciples… He waited for the woman…

Jesus had a divine appointment!

 

The disciples are searching for their supper.

 

It was an peculiar time for the woman to be coming to the well….

(typlically morning or evening)

It was peculiar for a woman to come to the well alone….

(in groups for safety)

It was peculiar for a Jew to even speak to a Samaritan…

much less a woman, at that time, alone… scandalous!

 

She was an outcast to her own people due to her lifestyle and hated by the Jews…

 

BUT SHE WAS LOVED BY GOD…

Jesus walked 40 miles for that Divine Appointment ~

YOU ARE NEVER TO FAR GONE FOR GOD TO REACH!

 

Jesus starts a conversation by asking her to fulfill his need for a drink of water.

Shaking up her expectations

And setting up an opportunity to tell her about the living water that HE has for HER!

 

There is no impact, without contact!

 

Theologian Louis Godet (1800) noted that Jesus “was not unaware that the way to gain a soul is often to ask a service of it.”

 

By doing so he ascribed value to her as a person.

Jesus was breaking down the barriers of sex, ethnicity & cultural division.

 

Barriers not only separate us from each other, but they separate us from God!

 

Mission & Vision Statement:  We will be visible, involved, available & a friend in our community; we will introduce people to Jesus Christ because we want them to belong, to believe & become all that God wants them to become.”

 

We’re to tear down barriers / shake up expectations that get in the way of our being able to share what Jesus has done in our lives and what He wants to do in theirs!

 

Those barriers will fall when we walk in obedience to Christ.

 

Jesus said my sheep hear my voice and they follow me. (go where I go)

He said if you love me you will obey my commandments.(do what I do)

 

It’s in that, that we place our ‘head’, ‘heart’ & ‘hands’ in motion to have an eternal impact on the lives of those God has placed in our path!

No Impact ~ Without Contact

 

   Jesus was about His Father’s business and so should we!

   Jesus had a Divine Appointment and so do we!

  1. Jesus met her greatest need, right at the well. ~ So will we!

 

2Cor 5:19b-21nlt ~ And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,e so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

 

Meeting other’s greatest need is what Divine Appointments do…

It’s what you and I are called to do…

 

They:

Share the knowledge of the Truth

Display God’s glory ~ JD put it another way last week, We live a life of WORSHIP!

Fulfill God’s plan for us and

Reveal God’s plan for them

 

John 4:10-17niv ~ 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

The Gift of God ~ Salvation

Who it is that asks you for a drink ~ The Savior

He would have given you living water ~ The Spirit of God that:

Satisfies our spiritual thirst with the presence of God.

Enables our transformation into the likeness of Christ

Empowers us to fulfill the mission God has called us too…

 

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

 

She responded with a worldly answer to a spiritual truth…. She was blind!

 

She may have recognized the Jewish requirement to be ceremonially clean that they had to bath in water from a moving source which they called living water.

Jacob’s well filled at the bottom from rain seeping down, not a spring.

 

Jesus was certainly playing on that when he answered her in v13.

 

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

 

The water He gives does more that quench ones thirst, it creates something good and life giving in the heart of the one who drinks it!

It doesn’t run out!  

Drink your fill!  

It is in the abiding in Christ that our living water stays full and overflowing…

 

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

 

She wants it, even though she’s still not getting what this living water is…

She knows she doesn’t want to thirst anymore

She knows she doesn’t want to keep running back to the well every day!

 

In Jesus our living water never runs dry!

In Jesus our living water burst forth to impact the world around us for Him!

In Jesus our sins are forgiven and by sharing what that living water is doing in us and through us, lives are transformed   ~ including our own!

 

Do you see what Jesus does next?

 

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

 

Jesus confronts her with her sin; with all the mud and garbage that was her life.…

 

It wasn’t that she ‘had sinned’ ~ it’s that sin was the most defining thing about her.

 

**That was true for her and it’s been true for every one of us**

   If Jesus is your LORD then HE defines you, not your sin!

 

With the recognition of her sin, her eyes were being opened and the reality of who Jesus IS was about to become a reality for her…

 

With the recognition of our sin comes the revelation of the Truth!

Paul said it in 2 Timothy 2 that when we share, we have a hope that God would grant repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth!  (truly recognizing our sin will lead to repentance)

 

Don’t miss this church ~

When we ‘go’ (Hands) with intentionality ~ about our Father’s business

God creates opportunities ~ Divine Appointments

that result in eternal impact ~ Right at the well ~ Right where God has us in our day to day lives!

It’s why we’re here!

 

She’s not quite there yet in v18…. but she will be.  

 

You see, this appointment was FOR HER & those she would tell….

But it’s been recorded FOR US!

Jesus was DEMONSTRATING FOR US what being a DISCIPLE OF HIS is all about.

 

It’s What “Discipleship” is all about.

It’s What “Missions” is all about.

It’s What our lives should be all about!

 

It’s a lifestyle of worship and abiding in Jesus that results in transformation in us; and through us with those God places within our circle of influence.

 

The reality is ~ we’re all full of something….

 

So I’ve gotta ask you: What’s In Your Water?

(We’ve all got something bubbling up out of us!)

 

Living Water that is Life giving and Pure and welling up into Eternal Life

 

Dead Water  ~ Dirty, Stagnate & Soaked in Sin ~

…welling up into Death and Eternal Separation from God.  

 

…not only for us, but for those within our circle of influence.  

We’re either pointing people toward Jesus or away from Him…

 

Moses spoke to the Jewish people just before his death /40yrs in the wilderness:

Deut 30:19-20a nkjv ~ 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days;

 

There’s no middle ground.

What are you setting before your circle of influence?

 

If Jesus is you LORD ~ you have within you LIVING WATER!!   Speak LIFE!

Open the spigot wide ~ let it flow out and bring true life ~ eternal life ~ to those around you!!

IF YOU KNOW JESUS in your heart, don’t try to keep Him for yourself!

He’s to big ~ let Him stick out all over!!

 

If you don’t JESUS AS LORD, but you know there’s got something better~

There is a God that loves you just where you’re at…

 

In fact, He loves you too much to just leave you there…  

 

He would love to clean out that sin soaked water of death inside you and replace it with the living water of His Spirit.

Reach out to Him ~ He’s already reaching out to you!

 

The LORD Jesus has paid the penalty for your sins ~ all of them.

You have to trust in HIM for your salvation.

No thing or No one else. Just JESUS

HE is THE way!

03-04-18 – “John 3:22-36 – Great in God’s Eyes”

John 3:22-36 – Great in God’s eyes.

When the Head, Heart and Hands are involved we really begin to “Minister” to other people.   And today message is about Ministry and how we can be ‘great’ in God’s eyes.  

 

John 3:22-36 CSB – 22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went to the Judean countryside, where he spent time with them and baptized. 23 John also was baptizing in Aenon (ENON) near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. People were coming and being baptized, 24 since John had not yet been thrown into prison.

25 Then a dispute arose between John’s disciples and a Jew about purification. 26 So they came to John and told him, “Rabbi, the one you testified about, and who was with you across the Jordan, is baptizing—and everyone is going to him.”

27 John responded, “No one can receive anything unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I’ve been sent ahead of him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the groom. But the groom’s friend, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the groom’s voice. So this joy of mine is complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”

31 The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth is earthly and speaks in earthly terms.  The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, and yet no one accepts his testimony. 33 The one who has accepted his testimony has affirmed that God is true. 34 For the one whom God sent speaks God’s words, since he[d] gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hands.36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who rejects the Son[e] will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.

 

Point # 1: To be great in God’s eyes we have to spend time with Jesus!  To be a “Disciple of Christ” means you spend time with Christ!

Jesus and His Disciples get out of Jerusalem… out into the countryside.  They’re spending time together.  (Out there for up to 6 months.)

 

  • 4:19 – Follow Me, I will make you…
  • John 15:5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing

 

Spending time with Christ means we also spend time with one another.  We are the “BODY” of Christ.  Body parts don’t act independently of one another!   The Body functions in harmony, in unity… as ONE!

2nd Point:  To be great in God’s eyes:  We Compliment instead of Competing, Comparing and Complaining!

 

  1. 25-26 – 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing.

A “certain Jew” (leads me to believe that this wasn’t the first time this guy had started something with John’s Disciples.  This time it’s over ceremonial washing or Baptizing.

 

Remember the Verse Bill shared last week!  2 Timothy 2:23-25 – Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

 

Vs. 26 –  “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about – look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

 

You can sense the Jealousy, Envy…

  • They don’t even mention Jesus by name!
  • Look, He is Baptizing. What’s HE Baptizing people for! That’s OUR Ministry!
  • And everyone is going to Him!

 

1 Corinthians 1:10 NLT – 10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

Ephesians 4:2-6Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Romans 15:5-6 ESV – May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 17:20-23 NLT20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

 

To compliment we must be content with where God has us and where he has others!   When we’re content with God and what God’s doing we don’t Compete, Compare and Complain!

 

Some people who want to be great in God’s eyes aren’t motivated to please God…  the motivation is to make a name for themselves. 

 

 

You may be thinking…  JD, I’m not in Ministry…   If you’re a Believer, a Follower of Jesus Christ you are… AND, you DO have a ministry. 

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 – 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!  18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

We are HIS Ambassadors, His representatives on Earth… God making his appeal through us…  to others so they may be reconciled to Him!

 

 

Paul addressed this issue of Competition – 1 Corinthians 3:1-11 – Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people.   I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?

After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.  It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. 10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.

 

 

Point 3:  Who are we really following?  

John the Baptist’s Disciples were so attached to Him and his ministry and the success of his Ministry that they missed Jesus!

 

His Disciples were no different than Nicodemus… They were comfortable, content in their Religion, Religious institution, Religious ways and their methods.  The Ministry had become their god – little g.

 

Their identity was in their Ministry…  in John the Baptist… in His calling, His ministry, in Baptism, their work, their success…

 

Be careful NOT to get so attached to Men, Ministry, Methods, even the Message that we miss Jesus! 

 

 

John Responds to his Disciples…

John 3:27-30 –  27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.” (He must increase – I must decrease.)

Everything we get comes from God.  You did nothing for this Ministry… for the success of this Ministry…  It’s all from God!

NOTE: As we live and Minister with our Hands there’s a certain posture we ‘must’ keep at all times. OPEN ARMS AND HANDS…  Why?  Because once you start hanging on to things you stop the flow from Heaven!

 

The last point, Point 4…  Verse 30 – Who are we Elevating? (Who or what is increasing in our life and Ministry!?)

John 3:30 – He must become greater; I must become less.” (He must increase – I must decrease.)   He must become greater, and I must become less important.

 

James 4:6 – God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

James 4:10 – Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.

Jesus said, in Luke 14:11 – For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

1 Peter 5:5b-7 – … And all of you, serve each other in humility, for “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Philippians 2:3-4 NCVWhen you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.

 

Humility is constantly, consistently dying to self and living for Christ.

He MUST increase and I MUST decrease!   He MUST become greater and greater and I MUST become less and less important.

 

Notice the word, “Must.”  It’s not going to happen unless we’re intentional about it!  Pride is the root of all sin!  Like a cancer, it eats away at our belief (Head, Heart, Hands) and our obedience until we’re dead to the things of God!  

 

NOTE: Nothing wrong with taking pride in what God is doing in our life but make sure… make certain that GOD gets the glory!  Our pride should be in Christ and what HE is doing in us and through us.  NEVER make it about a man, a ministry, a method or a message…  it’s always about HIM (Jesus Christ!)

 

 

CONCLUSION:

John 3:31-36 – 31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth.  The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.

33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

 

That last verse was the real issue…  Instead of Believing in Jesus… they had rejected Him.  (They Knew about him… had a Head knowledge.  They even preaching the same message however, their Heart and Hands were far from being involved and engaged with Jesus!)

  • They had spent NO time with Jesus. They saw no need, no value in spending time with Jesus.  They were ok with their ministry… their “religion” or religious ways.

 

  • Instead of Complimenting the work of God in Jesus Christ… they were Competing, Comparing, complaining… and really they were creating a barrier for people to come to know Christ and be saved!

 

  • Instead of following Christ they were continuing to follow John the Baptist. (They were preaching, proclaiming God and Repentance but when Christ was revealed they refused to follow Him!)  

 

  • Instead of Elevating Christ they were really elevating themselves.

02-25-18 – “Truth Teller! Our Hands In Action!” ~ 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (Bill Johnson)

Truth Teller! Our Hands In Action! ~ 2 Timothy 2:24-26

Quick Review!
We’re going through the Gospel of John:
Sunday morning and Thursday nights at PiiG, our mid-week Bible Study.

In Chapter 3.
We studied Nicodemus coming to see Jesus in the night…. He wanted to KNOW who this Jesus was… and he had His “Nicodemus Moment”

Purpose of the book of John that we would know that Jesus is the Son of God and that BELIEVING in Him we can have eternal life!

Last week, JD put the kickstand down.
He wanted to make sure we understands what BELIEVE means.

“Who is JESUS?” It’s the most important question you’ll ever have to answer. …or is it??

I don’t think so…. “WHO IS JESUS TO ME?” is the most important!!
EVERYONE WILL HAVE TO ANSWER!

Belief that results in salvation:
1 Knowledge & Agreement ~ My HEAD
2 Faith ~ My HEART
3 Action ~ My HANDS

The problem is:
While we can do #1, (a lot of people in church today)
we CAN’T DO #2, (God’s draws us to himself ~ Grace & Faith)
and we CAN’T DO #3 EFFECTIVELY unless #2 has happened!

FAITH, step #2, GOD does that! We’re spiritually BLIND, DEAF, HARD HEARTED.
GOD CHOSE and CALLED those that would be saved!
If he didn’t, we would have NO CHANCE of getting to heaven!

Eph 1:4-5 ~ Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do and it gave him great pleasure.

It’s all GOD! His GRACE and MERCY through in Jesus Christ!

Our responsibility is to choose to make Jesus the LORD of our lives!
Rom 10:9 Confess & Believe

So, have you ever gotten somewhere and it was just so good that you hated to leave?
I HAVE! EVERY time I go to the Beach ~ Florida ~ 80 degrees in FEB!

……. and JOHN CH 3….. Sometimes when the kickstand is down, ya just need to leave it there!

I’m going to be following along the lines that JD preached on last week. Not so much of what does belief mean, but what is our response to HIS drawing us to Himself… beyond salvation.

Two Goals for today
See the “How” of Salvation
6 attributes of the disciple of Jesus & the effect that we have in someone else becoming a believer (disciple) in Jesus Christ.

As I read back over the Nicodemus Moment from 3:1-21, John 3:20-21nlt ~ All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.

SO WHAT DOES GOD WANT? (ever ask that?)
Little Johnny gets saved ~ Yes, even little Johnny can get saved.
God changes his heart!
What’s God’s will for little Johnny (or you)? Plenty of instruction….

Commandment: (great commission) Matt 28:19-20niv ~Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Promise: Romans 8:29niv ~ For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. ***CHRIST-LIKENESS***

IF your struggling with what is God’s will for your life… Knock those two outta the park, then come back to me and I’ll give you a couple of more.

Context: 2 Timothy – Personal letter written by Paul to Timothy while in jail, expecting to die there. A mentor giving advice to his protege on how to stay strong in his faith and ministry. A spiritual father’s last chance to pour into the life of his son.

Stay strong in what I’ve taught you … Don’t waver from the truth!
Don’t weaken the Gospel and don’t put up with those that do.
Do your best to present yourself to God, rightly handling the word of truth.
Be a vessel for God’s special purposes, made holy and useful…

2 Timothy 2:22-26esv ~ Primary verses 24-26 ~ So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Ever heard someone refer to a Ground Statement in Bible study?
A “ground” is an argument or reason for another statement. It’s the ground upon which another statement is built. The grounding statement comes after the statement it supports. When you come to a grounding statement in the Bible, ask what came before it that it supports.

That’s what we have in 24-26.
The last half is what the first half is built on.

Understanding that, makes these verses a pretty good explanation of what part we play, as true believers (born again), in the HEAD, HEART, HANDS of being a disciple of Jesus Christ and fulfilling the Great Commission of Going and Making Disciples.

“How” of Salvation

2:25b-26esv ~(Ground) God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

1st. God grants repentance.
Acts 5:31esv ~ (Peter) God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
God does it! Unbelievers can’t come to that place of repentance on their own because God grants it!!

2nd. People that don’t know Jesus:
Don’t have knowledge of the truth.
Lost their senses.
Captured by the Devil.
Doing his will.

PLEASE quit getting all bent outta shape with people that don’t know Jesus, for acting like people that don’t know Jesus! They are Blind / Don’t get it / Don’t even want to / Held Captive

How do these two truths play out together?

God grants repentance. but They need Knowledge!
Repentance is a heart felt sorrow that results in a change in behavior.
Metanoia, gk ~ A change of mind, of heart, and of soul – that leads to a knowledge of the truth.

Knowledge alone isn’t enough (head). It must be coupled with repentance!
There are plenty of lost people that know a lot of true things about God!

Repentance is a change of heart in which we receive our ability to think and feel correctly.
We get our senses back! God does that!!

Coming to a KNOWLEDGE of the TRUTH frees us from the snare of the devil.

Satan holds us by blinding us, we’re deceived. We hate the truth and run from it!
John 3:20esv ~ For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

This is the “How” of Salvation
It’s all a Gift from God! It’s a miracle!
Our Condition: LOST… Decieved, trapped and blind.
We can’t find our way.
Our Repentance: God gives repentance, and restores our senses.
Our Knowledge: Repentance leads to a saving knowledge of the truth that treasures Christ!
Our Freedom: Freed from being captive to do the devil’s will, and
set free to do the will of God!

That’s Awesome!!
But don’t we have a part in this??
I’m glad you asked!

Get This!
The Holy Spirit draws you to Himself in your blindness…. You got that?
BUT… IF your eyes are opened…
Your (Heart) knowledge of Jesus is going to be the most beautiful, most valuable, most compelling thing you have. It will draw you into obedience which will ignite your transformation into the Christ-Likeness that God promises for his children!

6 Attributes of the Disciple of Jesus & the effect that we have in someone else becoming a believer (disciple) in Jesus Christ.

Not an all inclusive list, but when we share the truth unbelievers, they’re attributes that can defuse conflict and dispel foolish arguments without destroying that opportunity— just to “Win”.
Can be Used by God to awaken them to the knowledge (HEART) of the truth (HEAD).

2 Timothy 2:24-25a esv~ And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.

We’ve got that when God grants repentance it leads to the knowledge of the truth…
But where does that truth come from???

That’s out part…. it’s the HANDS
1 We must speak the truth. ‘Be able to teach’
Jesus was perfect. Don’t change him, proclaim him!
With your ACTIONS and you WORDS.
It’s by you and I speaking the truth to those God places in our path that they know it!! They know about God in their head before they know in their hearts!

Rom 10:14esv ~ But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

2 We must be able, apt, skilled, competent.
‘Be able to teach’
Develop your ability to share your story.
What’s God has done in you?
The more you do something the easier it gets. Practice makes perfect!
Be skilled at speaking the truth.

Quote: The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle.

2 Tim 2:15niv ~ Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

The last four are Moral Qualities:
All found in Jesus Sermon on the Mount.

2:24-25a esv~ And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.

3 We must not be quarrelsome
Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.
4 We must be kind to everyone
If someone is trying to start something, stop it with kindness.
Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
5 We must patiently endure evil
Mat 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
6 We must possess gentleness when we correct those that are deceived.
Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Short version: Speak the Truth in LOVE!

We are called to tell a story ~ Our own… with our actions and words, salted with the Truth that can set men free and give sight to the blind! Truth Tellers!

Who has been instrumental in sharing the TRUTH with you?
I know some of your stories….
Tilly, Tommy Starling @ Poindexters.
Mark Hammond @ Froggie Bottoms.
Big’un @ a Men’s Conference in Lynchburg.
So many @ FBCF

I saw & heard the truth in CBA/ABATE meetings.
Believers at Scooter’s Bar & Grill that were just hangin’ out.
From my mom & my brother.
From a ABATE brother that gave me a map to Freedom.
JD ~ who acted like he’d known me forever that 1st day.
Many others that just lived their lives and tolerated my drinking and cussing and crude jokes I don’t know what else… I was blind.
Then one day at FBC, Mike spoke the words of TRUTH that God used to pierced my heart with the Knowledge of the Truth. I can’t remember the sermon… But I know my life has never been the same.

If you’re a follower of Christ, you’ve got a story of how someone shared the TRUTH with you and God drew you to Himself and granted you repentance that transferred that TRUTH in your HEAD to your HEART resulting in Salvation…

He calls all of us to continue the cycle…
Moving it to our Hands…

In that we fulfill the command to make disciples and experience the promise of being transformed into His image for the world to see!

IF you only have the 1st – Head knowledge ~ know that he’s drawing you right now… He loves you and wants you to come to him.

Heart knowledge is just a choice away…

TELL GOD: I choose to believe the Truth….. I believe Jesus died for my sins, and I’m asking you to come into my heart has LORD of my live.

02-18-18 – “Belief”

Belief…

Last week we had a Nicodemus moment. 

Chapter 3.  Nicodemus, a man whose entire life has been devoted to and consumed by the study of God’s Word, (First 5 books of the Old Test.), devoted/ dedicated to the Religious political system that ruled the Nation of Israel… He was considered THE Teacher of Israel…

 

And for all the knowledge of God’s Word… all the Religion He possessed…  all the status he had as a Pharisee, a Ruler of Israel and THE Teacher of Israel…  SOMETHING wasn’t right…   something was missing.  He was empty inside!

Nicodemus is searching for the Truth.  Jesus didn’t beat around the bush with Nicodemus because He’s the Teacher of Israel.

John 3:5-8 – Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

It doesn’t matter how good, religious, devoted, dedicated, passionate, and knowledgeable you are about God, Jesus, the Bible and how much you serve and lay down your life… unless God draws you to Jesus Christ and you are born from above there is NO Salvation.  (John 6:44)

 

The Natural man has no desire to come to God.  We’re spiritually blind, deaf and our hearts are hard to the Truth of Jesus Christ.  Like bugs under a rock we run from the light!!

Jesus said John 3:19-21 NIV19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Romans 3:10-11 – As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 1:21 – 21 They knew God, but they did not give glory to God or thank him. Their thinking became useless. Their foolish minds were filled with darkness.

 

It’s only by the Mercy and Grace of God and His passionate love for us that He draws us to Himself.   He wants us… He pursues us… He loves us!  AND He proved that in Jesus Christ!   

Ephesians 1:4-5 NLTEven before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us (predestined us to be adopted) into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Ephesians 2:4-8 NLT – But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much ,that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.  God saved you by his grace when you believed.  (For by grace you have been saved through Faith.)  And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

John 3:16-17 CSB16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

 

What does it mean that God draws us to Himself:

  1. God draw us to Himself through the Holy Spirit. He brings us to an awareness of our sin and sinful nature through Conviction!

 

  1. There’s a desire for Truth. God reveals Truth.  As that conviction is taking place… The Holy Spirit give us a desire to want to know the Truth.  All of a sudden our ears, eyes, mind and heart is open to hear the Truth, receive the Truth and Believe the Truth of the Gospel.

 

  1. #1 & 2 are all God. There is NOTHING we do.  The only thing we do… the only responsibility and duty we have is to make a choice!  

 

I simply choose to Believe the Truth or NOT!

Last week in John 3:11-18 “Believe” is mentioned 7 time in 7 verses!   So, what does it really mean to ‘Believe.’

 

Illustration: Let’s say you’re riding your motorcycle all day through the mountains on switchbacks…  It’s been a long day, you’re exhausted, completely worn out, the gas light just came on, and, you think you’re lost.  You’ve been going in a way that seems right, you thought it was the right way…

All of a sudden the paved road ends and now you’re on gravel.  Finally, you come to this deep, deep canyon and on the other side there’s a Hotel, Rest. and Gas Station!  Only one problem!  You don’t see any way to get there!

You start searching and searching trying to find a way across and finally up over this little ridge you see it…  a very small narrow wooden bridge to the other side!

You look at this bridge and you “believe” it’s going to hold you as you ride across you know it will, you agree it will… but you’re still sitting thereDo You Believe?

Then, you see some hikers walking across… some mountain bikers, riding across, and some dirt bike rider’s riding across on their Enduro’s.   So, now you KNOW it will hold up.  You can Trust it because you see it happening, but, you’re still sitting thereDo You Believe?

All of a sudden, you pat your ole’ lady on the leg, slam that Bike in gear, let out the Clutch and you start riding across to the other side.  THAT’S BELIEF!

 

To Believe:

There’s Knowledge* and Agreement. (My Head) The mind is involved… I’ve looked at the facts, the Truth and there’s no other way. (God’s Way, Word and Will is right!) 

*Correct Knowledge.  Where did we get this idea that we can believe things that don’t line up with God, His Word, Jesus Christ or that are in opposition to Him, His Word, His Nature and Character and then say we Know and are in Agreement?! 

 

There’s Faith…  (My Heart) There’s a Trust and Confidence in the Truth God has revealed… Jesus Christ!  James MacDonald said “Faith is believing the word of God and acting on it no matter how I feel because God promises a good result.”

 

There’s Action… (My Hands) Putting It In Gear… and letting the Clutch out based on my knowledge and Trust in Christ… to be obedient and become as He is! 

 

James 2:14-20 NLT – 14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?

15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

 


Belief that is “Born from above” that honors and glorifies God is Knowing Him, Trusting Him, and Action based on my knowledge and Trust in Him.  (The Head, Heart and Hands are involved and engaged in my Belief.) 

 

It’s NOT a once and your done thing!  It’s an ongoing process of BELIEVING!  Remember the first Scripture we read in John.  The Purpose for John writing the Gospel…    John 20:31 NLT – But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing  (ongoing) in him you will have life by the power of his name.

 

Again, it’s nothing that we do… nothing we CAN do…   its all God who does that in us as we simply CHOOSE to believe.   Ephesians 2:8 God saved you by his grace when you believed.  (For by grace you have been saved through Faith.)  And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

 

CONCLUSION:

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, That whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

 

I hope we have better understanding of what it means to “Believe.”  And I hope and pray our Belief is one that honors and glorifies God. One that is born from above…

 

IF you don’t have that kind of Belief this morning.  Slam it in gear, let the Clutch out and on the Bridge of Jesus Christ ride on over to the other side!