Sermons on John
“It is finished” (John 19:30). What was finished? Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation – the satisfying of the wrath of God. The cross was necessary because we have sinned against a holy God. God’s wonderful love for us is always linked in Scripture to the cross. Salvation through faith in the crucified and risen Christ is free and available to all.
God’s love gift of His son: It is free: we cannot earn God’s love. It is unending: a certain promise of eternal life. It is sacrificial and boundless: It is available to all, no matter the depth of our sin or the frailty of our faith.
Faith is the essential spiritual requirement to receive eternal life, according to John 3:16. But what exactly is saving faith? We must know and agree with the facts of the gospel that are explained in the Bible. Additionally, we must commit ourselves to Christ, asking Him for His gift of love and mercy, entrusting ourselves to Him. Although we may only have a “scrap of faith” mixed with some unbelief, God invites us to put our faith in Christ and find forgiveness and grace.
John 3:16 is the story of story of: The Greatest Danger: Our greatest danger is perishing, being condemned to eternal ruin, separated from the goodness of Christ after we die. The Greatest Rescue: Our greatest rescue is by God who so loved the world, the world that was hostile to Him and that rebelled against Him, that He sent His only Son to die for our rebellion that we might not perish, but have eternal life. The Greatest Promise: Our greatest promise is the that we can have eternal life and it can be our present possession that cannot be taken away.
John 3:16 expresses the depth of God’s great love for us. The holy self-existent God who holds us accountable loved the world: all of humanity. In love He gave His Son, Emmanuel, God with us, to die as a substitutionary sacrifice and pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus calls us to trust and believe in Him so that we might not perish but find everlasting life.
Faith alone is the key to forgiveness and salvation. We all know and feel our guilt and brokenness before a holy God. Jesus Christ alone must be the object of our faith that brings justification and peace with God. Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit, not a feeling. It can be increased through prayer and the study scripture. Faith is not a work, but spurs us on to good works as we serve as the representatives of Christ.
The Holy Spirit is a person, not a vague spiritual force, co-equal with God in the Trinity. The Holy Spirit lives in believers, a forever present Helper who reveals the truths of Scripture to us. It is important to follow the command of Jesus to ask the Father for the Holy Spirit to increasingly fill us and work in our lives.
How often do you pray and don’t receive the answer you desire? Pastor Becker explains how we can understand another great promise that Jesus gave the disciples during the Upper Room Discourse, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” He helps us understand what it means to pray in Jesus’ name and what it means that God is glorified.
In the verse above Jesus makes this promise to all believers that not only will we carry on His work, but we will do His work in a greater way than He did. What could this possibly mean that we could do greater works? Pastor Gregory breaks down this verse for us and shows us how the work of spreading the gospel to reach others is an even greater work.
The only way that we accurately know the Father is through knowing Jesus. God the Father and Jesus share one divine essence – “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). God’s character and nature are on full display in Jesus. Jesus makes the Father known by His words and by His mighty works.
Jesus plainly claims to be the exclusive path to the Father. In scripture: “I am” is the sacred name of the eternal, self-existing God (Exodus 3:14). “The way” is a path that begins under God’s judgement and ends in the presence of God in His house. The only path is Jesus, our sin-bearing substitute. “The truth”,Jesus came to bear witness to the truth that brings us freedom. (John 8:32) “The life” Those who believe in Christ Have crossed over from death to life! (John 5:24)
In John 14, Jesus comforts His disciples and explains to them how to live for his glory in this world. He encourages them to believe in Him and to trust in the promise of heaven. Heaven is a real place, available to all who believe in the Gospel. It is our eternal home, a place filled with joy and love. There we will be with Jesus “…at home with the Lord.”
“Now is the Son of Man glorified.” Jesus often referred to Himself using the title Son of Man – a reference to Daniel 7 in which the Messiah is prophesied to arrive in heaven and receive an everlasting kingdom. God is glorified by the death of Christ because the cross fully displays the character of God. His faithfulness is revealed in fulfilled prophesy. His holiness and wrath are made evident, because God’s purity and justice can not be compromised. God’s love is on display: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
In John 13:18-30, Jesus announces in the upper room that on of the disciples will betray him. Jesus is fully aware of the spiritual condition of Judas. Judas did not lose his salvation – he never possessed grace (John 13:10). Jesus extends the morsel of food to Judas in a final gesture of love and opportunity of grace, but Judas rejects Christ and heads out of the room, into the darkness forever. It is possible to know a lot about Jesus and still be outside of His grace. Jesus is the Light of the World, come to Him in faith today.
What are the marks of a true disciple according to Jesus? Disciples abide in God’s Word. Their lives are saturated in the scriptures, and this leads to true spiritual freedom. Disciples love one another, following Christ’s example as their standard. Disciples bear fruit to the glory of the Father. Fruit includes our witness, worship, and character, all increasing in holiness and honoring God before a watching world.
Just hours before His arrest, Jesus performed the lowly task of washing the feet of the disciples. Christ calls us to follow his example – to be be willing servants of others. Jesus also explained to Peter that if a person has bathed, he only needs his feet washed daily. In the same way when we believe in Christ, our sins are forgiven once for all, but because we still sin we need daily cleansing to remain in close fellowship with the Lord.
On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus took on the lowly task of washing the disciples’ feet. Jesus “showed the full extent of His love,” not only by washing their feet, but by dying for the sins of all. Although He possessed sovereign authority as Emmanuel, God with us — He stooped to serve. May we make the specific choice to cultivate humility (1Peter 5:5).
As Jesus speaks with Martha before raising Lazarus from the dead, (John 11:25-26) He first clams to be the self existent, self sustaining I AM. Next, He promises to be the resurrection and the life for all who believe. Finally, He asks the question, “Do you believe this?” It is critical to understand that the promises of a physical resurrection (Philippians 3:20) and never-ending spiritual life (2 Corinthians 5:8) are only for those who believe in Christ, personally relying on Him. We must trust, not in our own works, but in Christ’s substitutionary death on our behalf.
When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”…
After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus…