Radio Broadcast Tuesday 08/13/2019

Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 58 (08-13-19)

Synopsis

The Jews who saw the miracles of Jesus, and believed even based on the miracles themselves, spread the word of Jesus. A born again believer knows and understands the good news and wants others to know the good news too, news that saves and changes lives. Yet, there are people who, out of fear of what others might think or do, will hold back spreading such good news. That is why Jesus said, “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life”.

There are the religious people out there who are so accustomed to legalism, who add to what the scriptures teach, and see what these grace teachers are teaching as a threat to their place and their position. That is not unlike the Pharisees and religious leaders in Jesus day. They did not receive the news of Jesus favorably. Instead, they sought all the more to put Jesus to death. “Let us put an end to this”, they said. Job security killed Jesus. Job security also seeks to put a stop to the grace teachers today.

It is so important to know God’s word so you will know the truth and not be deceived by men. The source of what to believe is not what someone tells you, for they could be lying to you. There are people who will lie to you. You do not go to denominations to find out whether something is true or not. You go to the word of God. The word of God is the source of truth. If you have the Spirit of God living in you, then you have the ability to interpret the source of truth. You go to the word of God and determine if what you are hearing is consistent with the word of God. People will believe any hair-brained idea out there and seldom if ever test and see if what is being said is so.

So often people simply rely on what their denomination teaches. If they grew up or joined a Baptist church, many people will simply say, “Just tell us what you believe and I will believe it”. The same would be said if you grew up or joined a Catholic, Methodist or any other denomination for that matter. Denominations is not where truth is confirmed. They may be teaching truth, but how would you know? None of those denominations even existed at the time of Christ. And, as was shared previously, more often than not, people lean on their own understanding, and that is how denominations came to be.

If you are born again, then you have the Holy Spirit living in you. So He lives in you to lead you and instruct you. The Spirit instructs you through his word, so you have the ability to interpret the word of God, by the Spirit and not on the reliance of men or your own understanding.

In the time of Jesus walking on the earth, the Holy Spirit had not yet been given. So people in those days were to follow Jesus to the cross. They were to follow him there, and after his resurrection, to wait for the promise of God to receive the Holy Spirit. They had no ability to be internally led and interpret the scriptures. They had to walk by faith in the words of Jesus and the prophets, for that is all they had.

So when the Jews and some Greeks had asked to see Jesus, Philip and Andrew told Jesus and Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified”. Jesus is saying that it is not the time for Jesus to be fully known as to what he came to do. Jesus was sent to this world to be born of a virgin, to live a sinless life, to go to a cross to die to take away the sins of the entire world, only to be raised from the dead so that the life that raised him from the dead would raise you and me from the dead.

Jesus then explained his plan to men, although men did not understand.

John 12:24
24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

Until a seed falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone. But if it is planted, it sprouts and new life appears. Jesus would have been the only one saved. The seed went into the ground and died, so that out of the seed, you and I can be born again of the Spirit.

Man was born dead. What is death? The absence of life. What are you dead to? The life of God living in you. You were not born with life of Christ living in you. You were born spiritually dead. Adam was created alive, with the Spirit of God living in him. When Adam sinned, he was dead to what vacated him. The Spirit of God is what vacated Adam. Since that time, all men were born in the image of Adam, after sin, without the Spirit of God. Men have not understood their condition of death.

Only Christ was born with the life of God living in him. So if you are born without the life of God in you, then you are born dead. The only thing a dead man should be craving is life. The only life available to you is the resurrection life of Jesus. It is not how good you are or how bad you are, but how dead you are. How are you going to judge someone on how bad or good you are? How bad do you have to be before you cross the mark? How good do you have to be before you are acceptable to God?

John Wesley is not unlike men today, who seek to find acceptance with God by what they do. Regardless of how noble a man’s efforts may appear to be, they are aimlessly seeking to find life by their efforts, and end up downcast and defeated. You cannot come to God that way. Life can only be received as a gift from God. There is no man without sin. Sin only testifies of his condition of death. Indeed, that is the purpose of the law. The law is like a mirror to reveal man’s state of death so he might seek a savior in Christ alone.

Religion, however, is opposed to the way of God. Just like in the religion that the Jewish leaders formed that used the law as a means for obtaining their own righteousness. So true with religion today. The Jewish leaders turned the law into legalistic righteousness. They even added 600 plus additions and twisting of the law on just the Sabbath alone. Here is Jesus teaching truth, for He is the way, the truth and the life, and the Jewish leaders could not accept such teaching contrary to their Jewish laws of their own interpretation.

Will people trust the word of God over the words of men? Will they recognize truth when they hear it? What evidence do you have to believe the word of God? The evidence is overwhelming when you consider all the words of the prophets and the apostles and eyewitnesses of the living Christ!

Philippians 3:8-10
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have put aside all else, counting it worth less than nothing, in order that I can have Christ, 9 and become one with him, no longer counting on being saved by being good enough or by obeying God’s laws, but by trusting Christ to save me; for God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith – counting on Christ alone. 10 Now I have given up everything else – I have found it to be the only way to really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought him back to life again, and to find out what it means to suffer and to die with him.

Transcript

Turn to John 12. We talked about the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and who continued to spread the word of Jesus. There is something about that that makes a born again believer share about Jesus. You would think everyone would want to hear but you begin to understand that is not true. Nevertheless you persist in sharing the truth. The first thing that happened when Jesus performed this miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, they spread the word about Jesus.

John 12:17-18
17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”

There was a conflict that was taking place in that part of the world. Here Jesus, one of their own, who is not a Gentile but a Jew, is going against the Jewish teaching taking place at that time. He was going up against the Jewish teaching that had taken place then. The Jewish leaders then had become the authority on the word of God. They had their own interpretation. They had laws upon laws upon laws. They had taken the law God had given to Israel, not to the Gentile world, and added to it and twisted it.

Galatians 3:19-22
19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.

21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

The purpose of the law, as one reads the epistles of the apostle Paul, was to show us our sinfulness to lead us to Christ. We have to realize there is a destination of Jesus, the road that Jesus had taken to take always the sins of the entire world. It was a destination that is an absolute necessity for man to be saved. Our sins had to be taken away if we are ever going to be saved. Before a man is going to be ready for a cross he has to admit that he is a sinner. He has to see himself as a sinner. They used the law not to show ourselves to be a sinner, so that we would turn to Christ for salvation, but to use it as an act of righteousness.

Romans 10:2-4
2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

So the Jews created a system of legalistic righteousness. Any time you use the law, in a legalistic form, you have to raise the bar. So it is like a high jumper. You raise the bar high enough that no one can get over it. The bar is too high. There are over 600 something laws on just the Sabbath alone. These people were the interpreters of the word of God. So when Jesus, who claims to be the word of God, came along and they did not agree with what he was saying, so they said “this is getting us nowhere. He is teaching contrary to our Jewish laws. He is teaching contrary to our interpretation of the Jewish laws.”

That was the case of Jesus throughout his life. Jesus was a point of contention to the religious world. In the religious world, we have our own biases. The same is still true today. We do not go to the source to determine if what is said is true. We go to our denomination, and ask what do we believe? What do we Methodists believe? Just tell us what you believe and I will believe it. What do we Baptists believe? Just tell us what you believe and I will believe it. What do we Catholics believe? Just tell us what you believe and I will believe it.

Acts 17:11
11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

The source of what to believe is not what someone tells you, for they could be lying to you. There are people who will lie to you. You do not go to denominations to find out whether something is true or not. You go to the word of God. The word of God is the source of truth. If you have the Spirit of God in you, then you have the ability to interpret the source of truth. You go to the word of God and determine if what you are hearing is consistent with the word of God. People will believe any hair-brained idea out there and seldom if ever test and see if what is being said is so.

2 Peter 1:21
21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

These Jewish leaders were saying about Jesus, “This man is messing up our little game. If we allow this man to continue, then the whole world will go after him and we will lose our place and our position.” So what killed Jesus? Job security killed Jesus. “If we let him go on, we will lose our jobs”.

John 12:20-22
20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.

There were some Greeks among them. We have Jews and Gentiles. One of the most biggest misconceptions among the Jews is they think the opposite of a Jew is a Christian. That is the farthest from the truth. The opposite of a Jew is a Gentile. You have saved Jews and you have saved Gentiles. You have lost Jews and you have lost Gentiles. A Mel Gibson movie came out and people say it is anti-Semitic. How can it be anti-Semitic when it is the Jews against the Jews? Jesus is a Jew. They just do not like what Jesus is doing and teaching.

These Gentiles were there and they went up to worship at the feast. Many times these could be Gentiles who converted to Judaism. They came to Phillip with a request, “We would like to see Jesus”. So Phillip told Andrew and Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus that he would like to see Jesus. Jesus replied.

John 12:23
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

In other words, it is not the time for Jesus to be fully known as to what he came to do. Jesus was sent to this world to perform a function. He was sent to this world to do something, not just to be something, but to do something. He was sent to this world to be born. He was born to live a sinless life. He was born to be born of a virgin. He was born into this world to go to a cross to die to take away the sins of the entire world, unlike the blood of bulls and goats that only covered sins. Jesus came to take sins away from the sight of God. He came to this earth to be raised from the dead so that the life that raised him from the dead would raise you and me from the dead.

Hebrews 10:10-12
10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God

John 10:17-18
17 “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Why is that important? We were born dead. So whether Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, that is what you were born into or what you joined, but you were born dead. You were not born into this world alive spiritually. What is death? The absence of life. What are you dead to? The life of God living in you. You were not born with life of Christ living in you. You were born spiritually dead. Only Christ was born with the life of God living in him. So if you are born without the life of God in you, then you are born dead.

1 John 5:11-12
10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

The only thing a dead man should be craving is life. The only life available to you is the resurrection life of Jesus. It is not how good you are or how bad you are, but how dead you are. How are you going to judge someone on how bad or good you are? How bad do you have to be before you cross the mark? How good do you have to be before you are acceptable to God?

Colossians 2:13-15 (TLB)
13 You were dead in sins, and your sinful desires were not yet cut away. Then he gave you a share in the very life of Christ, for he forgave all your sins, 14 and blotted out the charges proved against you, the list of his commandments which you had not obeyed. He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. 15 In this way God took away Satan’s power to accuse you of sin, and God openly displayed to the whole world Christ’s triumph at the cross where your sins were all taken away.

There are many people who grow up not knowing the difference. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist denomination, is an example of that. John Wesley, by his own testimony, was miserable in the ministry. He came to America to save the Indians in hopes of saving his own soul. He thought that if he did enough good, and went on a mission trip wild enough, God would accept him. He came back home downcast and defeated. On his way back, his boat was caught in a terrific storm. The storm was so severe they were tossed back and forth. He was scared to death, petrified. In the same boat were Moravian, bible believing Christians. They were singing songs. He thought, “How can these idiots be singing songs about Jesus when this boat is about to go down and I am sitting here petrified as a pastor?” The storm calmed down and they arrived in England. In a few weeks, he arrived in a place outside London, called Altersgate. While there the same group of people were reading about a premise from the book of Romans, about justification by faith and faith alone. While they were reading, he came to realize that although he was trying to work for God, he realized he never accepted what God had done for him in the person of Christ Jesus. He trusted in Christ alone 100 percent for salvation and said his heart became strangely warm. He was born again and then went all over England sharing the gospel when he finally understood that it was not about what he did for God but what God did for him.

Jesus hour was there, a time in history, that he would become known for what he came to do.

John 12:24
24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

Until a seed falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone. But if it is planted, it sprouts and new life appears. Jesus would have been the only one saved. The seed went into the ground and died so out of the seed, you and I can be born again of the Spirit.

John 12:25
25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

What is he talking about here? I want to see Jesus. So they went to a person and asked, “Do you want to see Jesus”? Have you had your salvation and you decided everyone else can go to hell. You say, “I am not going to talk to anybody about Jesus. I have got my salvation and you have yours. I got mine. Good luck.” So dying to self is dying to the opinions of others. When you become a child of the living God and you are out in the work place among non-believers, then you will be about as popular as the Titanic sinking. You have to die from running for sheriff.

As a non-believer, Bob had his own business with employees and a lot of customers. Most of his customers were Jewish. When he became a Christian did that change anything? Yes, it did. Bob said he had to make up his mind, “Do I want to be popular or do I want to be a child of God? I had to die to the desire for acceptance. I had to realize that I will not necessarily be accepted.” Bob had a friend who had a cross and a star of David. So if a Jewish man came in he would show him the star of David. To the others, he would show them the cross. That is a friend being double-minded, afraid of what men might think.

Bob had no problem working with people of the Jewish faith or anything else. He found he was more respected than before. You have to die to worrying about how people will receive what you say. Let your light shine where you are. If you did have to hold onto self acceptance then you will lose your life.

Matthew 5:15-16
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

John 12:25
25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Hating your life in this world. Where I lived everything is kind of okay, with a nice wife and a nice business. Not much to hate. But put that in perspective of the larger world, where there is a Hitler and a Saddam Hussein and all that you see in the world today. Can you say you can love the world? Is there really anything to love when you think about it? We come to the point of saying, this world is temporal.

Bob’s son was talking to a man who became a millionaire at 30 years of age. He was searching and saying life is all meaningless. Just do a search in Ecclesiastes and you will see more clearly how meaningless life is without the life of God living in you. This is what Solomon, who started out well, discovered in this matter.

Ecclesiastes 5:10
10 Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

There are people in all walks of life who have asked, “God, there has got be more to life than what I am experiencing. You work your tail off in order to make more money. You go home and go to sleep only to wake up and start making some more money. You work to make more money only to pass it on to your children for them to make money. There has got to be more to life than this.”

For 36 years, Bob was looking and not finding the answers. Bob thanks God he met a man who was bold enough to tell him about Jesus. Bob is so grateful to Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ. At that time, Campus Crusade for Christ was solid in their belief and testimony of Jesus Christ.

John 12:26
26 Whoever serves me must follow me;

Jesus was still on this earth. You must follow me. Where did he say we are to follow him to? Where was he going? Jesus was going to the cross. Do not stop before you get to the cross. Many people stopped following him before he got to the cross. Peter almost stopped and even denied him because of the people beating Jesus to death and was overcome with fear. You have to follow him to where he is going.

John 10:17-18
17 “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Do we follow Christ today? You are not following Jesus today. When you are born again, you are indwelt by the Spirit of Jesus. You do not follow someone who is living in you. You are led by the person living in you.

John 16:13
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

But in the time of Christ walking on the earth at this time in history, first you go to follow him to where he is going. He is going to the cross and the resurrection.

John 12:26
26 and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

2 Corinthians 5:6-7
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

That is why there is no fear in death for a Christian. We know something. We just going to a different realm. It is a realm that does not have the stuff we see. I enjoy the animal kingdom, most of the human kingdom and the nature, seeing God’s creation. But compared to heaven, no comparison. We cannot fathom heaven. It is like talking to baby in a mother’s womb, if that were possible. Baby says, “I am comfortable here”. When we die, we are absent from the body but present with the Lord.

John 12:26
26 and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

John 12:27-28
27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”

This is a statement made prior to his arrest. Remember when he was saying, “Father, if it is possible, take this cup from me”. Here he is saying, “Father, save me from this hour. No, it was for this reason I came to this hour”.

So what is Jesus saying here? The Lord Jesus Christ is saying in his agony, “Lord, if there is any other way to save humanity except for me to go to the cross to take upon the sins of the entire world, apart from me having to become sin, then do it, but it is not my will but your will be done.”

2 Corinthians 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Bob taught Sunday school once and a young girl asked, “How can someone be so full of agony that he could sweat great drops of blood?” Bob asked, “Do you think that if you were sentenced to die in an electric chair with an injection of some kind, do you think you would sweat with great drops of blood?”” “No, there are lesser men than Jesus that have gone to their death and have not done that”. Bob then said, “Let me ask you another question. Suppose you knew you were to go out in the field, stripped of all your clothes to be molested and raped by two hundred men, do you think you would sweat great drops of blood?” “Yes”, she said. “That is what Jesus did. It was not death that bothered Jesus. It was taking on all the vile sins of the world where one sin alone would be enough to send him to the cross. That is what he was agonizing over. If God did not save me, he could not save you. If God saved him, we would not be saved today. But it was for this hour that Jesus came.“ Jesus said, “Father, glorify your name”. Make this plan known. A plan proclaimed is just a plan proclaimed. A plan proclaimed and then demonstrated is making the plan known. It is putting action to your words.

John 12:28-31
28 Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.”

The prince of the world in the context of this scripture is Jesus. Who was driven out of this world? Jesus was.

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