Classic Christianity – Book of John p6 (10-23-18)
Bob George continues teaching from the book of John. Bob George shares that Jesus is more than a man. He is the pre-existent one, God in the flesh. John the Baptist testifies of this by saying Jesus has come from heaven. John Baptist says that he speaks as one from the earth, but Jesus speaks about what he has seen and heard. The testimony of God, the message of new life that Jesus Christ proclaimed, had to come from heaven, yet no one accepts his testimony. The real question that needs to be answered is this: “Have you received life in Jesus Christ”? Bob George answers this question from various passages of scripture, explaining the condition of man and God’s provision in Jesus Christ. All men born in Adam are dead in sin, condemned already, and his greatest need is new spiritual life. God’s complete and total provision came to man in the gift of Jesus Christ. He explains more fully what Jesus accomplished in his death, burial, and resurrection and how that restored man to a relationship with the living God, requiring nothing of man but to believe the message from heaven. He also highlights some common misconceptions or explanations of the gospel, a half-gospel message as if presenting a life insurance policy, and, in the case of those who believe in baptismal regeneration, a false gospel.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Bob shared from these scriptures that the Holy Spirit is in the person of Jesus Christ. These scriptures testify of the pre-existence of Jesus Christ. Bob provides an application of the Trinity as Jesus being the spiritual Jesus. This is observed when one reads about Jesus doing nothing on his own initiative, but only what he sees his Father doing.
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
Jesus became the perfect example of what all created men were designed to live, total dependence on the living God. But sadly when sin entered the world through Adam, all was lost, and all men born dead spiritually, devoid of the ability to communicate and understand the things of God. Jesus essentially walked on earth to teach us how to live as a man. But Jesus accomplished more than that as one hears about the message from heaven. How does a dead man live? Can a dead man live again?
To further explain this total dependence on God that believers today are to live, Bob also shared from the parable of the vine and the branches, a message that Jesus shared when he walked the earth, recorded down for us.
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. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
What is the work of the branch? abide on the vine Can a branch bear fruit? no Only a vine can produce fruit through the branches, if the branches remain connected! If a branch is disconnected from the vine, what can a branch do? nothing but wither and die Are you spiritually connected to God through Jesus, who represents the vine? Are you a dead branch, disconnected from the source of life in God, and doomed to die eternally separated from God?
From the book of John, Bob shares about the Pharisees who asked John if he was the Messiah. John replied not only that he was not the Messiah but that he would not even know who Jesus was if the Spirit had not told him that the man on whom the Spirit lights on him like a dove is the one, the promised Savior of the world.
33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God
John the Baptist did not know Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, until the message was revealed to him by Jesus. John was prepared at birth to be a testimony to the light, and that light is Jesus. John quoted from the prophet Isaiah in answer to those who questioned who he was. The one who told John to baptize with water was Jesus. John said that Jesus will baptize, not by water, but with the Holy Spirit! John is not unlike all men who need the message from heaven revealed to them.
1 Corinthians 2:14
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
Then an argument arose concerning Baptism, that everyone is going to Jesus rather than to him. John testified that he is only a man of this earth and his knowledge is limited to things of this earth. Jesus came from heaven and has words from heaven, words of truth and life. Only someone from God can talk about spiritually things that no man born dead in sin could ever know. That message from heaven has to be revealed to men by the Spirit of God. Jesus taught from above, the very words of God.
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven
So what is the most important message needed by man? Life! Who can get this life and how?
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
Man’s most basic need is life and the only life available to man is Jesus. Bob made a particular point to not ask someone: “Are you a Christian?”. The better questions to ask are these: “Are you dead?” “Are you alive?” “Have you received life in Christ Jesus?” Dead men live among the dead.
Bob also shared a common misunderstanding among men. Most men are so preoccupied about sinning and not sinning and many even incorrectly think that someone goes to hell because of his sinning or that God sends someone to hell. Bob emphasized that all sins (plural) have been placed on Christ already 2000 years ago. The wages of sin, which is death according to Romans 6:23, has already been paid in full by Jesus Christ, for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:2
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Propitiation means God is completely satisfied that Jesus death on cross is all sufficient to appease the wrath of God against all sins, past, present and future.
According to John 3:36, what is the one sin (singular) that man will remain dead and not see life? The sin of unbelief in God’s provision for life. Note particularly that he scripture states that God’s wrath remains on him who does not believe. So, you see, man is already dead in trespasses and sins.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
So when Jesus took all sin away, what then is in the way for man to receive life? Not sin anymore! The debt has been paid. Man’s unbelief is in the way. And just because Jesus took away the sins of the world does not mean everyone is saved. Man not only needs to know he is dead but also that he is in need of life, God’s life!
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So, then Jesus Christ offers a gift of life. Has anyone ever heard of someone working for their own gift from an unknown friend? Nobody works for a gift; otherwise it is no longer a gift. What many people do is sit in judgment of others who sin as if their sin is keeping them from God. Some well meaning people even tell people to ask Jesus into your heart to receive forgiveness of sin. Sometimes it sounds more like selling a life insurance policy rather than someone becoming reunited in a loving relationship with the living God! You come to Jesus to receive life in His name.
Have you ever heard someone say “I accepted Jesus in my life” but in his words or actions, he has no desire to live godly but rather wants to continue on sinning. Why? He was not born again of the Spirit of God, he was not made into a new creation. If he were, would he not desire the things of God? Would he not long to live holy even as he is made holy, out of gratitude of God’s gift of grace. He just accepted a fraudulent life insurance policy not based on Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
As one reads the book of John, there were those who were all arguing over John’s baptism, stating that more people were following Jesus rather than him. What is also common in the world today is to erroneously think water baptism is so vital to salvation. Again, Bob shares that if baptism was so important, then why in John 4:1-2, do we read that Jesus never baptized with water. A false teaching taught in many religious circles is “Baptismal Regeneration”. Baptismal regeneration is the belief that baptism is necessary for salvation, or, more precisely, that regeneration does not occur until a person is water baptized. According to John 1:33, what did Jesus baptize with? Not water! John testified that he baptizes with the Holy Spirit. Who teaches men truth from God? Holy Spirit. Can dead men discern the things of God? No How then can someone believe unless the Spirit reveals the truth to him? Who brought his message from heaven? Jesus
1 John 5:13
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
There are many people who have been taught that you can never know you have eternal life. But that is contrary to the message from God above.
So, since life is in Christ, how can one be placed in Christ and how can Christ be placed in you? By his Spirit, if God grant His Spirit to dwell in you! Where can one find out more about what Jesus Christ did that one may believe and have life? We already know about the Trinity, that Jesus really is God in the flesh. So what did Jesus accomplish in his death, burial and resurrection? Have you pondered over the words of God, a message from heaven, recorded down in the scriptures for us? Have you asked the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you?
1 Corinthians 15:2-4
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
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.
Does Jesus have life in His name? Is he not God? Yes, we already established he is God! Did he ever sin? No
Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.
So, if sin has no hold on Jesus, since he has no sin, then he can never remain dead for it is the wages of sin that is death. And, if he was bodily raised to new life, which he was, then can he willingly offer life to all those who but trust him? Yes, and that is the message he came to bring. And, his actions made it possible for us. According to the scriptures, who became sin for us? Jesus Who has life eternal, who came from God, is God, and returned to God? Jesus Who alone can intercede between God and man? Jesus
So, if one has Jesus, then what does one have? Life to the full – eternal life – God’s life.
2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.
Is there any other way for man to have life? No
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Come to Jesus for life!
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