Sermon #52 John’s Gospel
Title: “Doth This Offend You?”
Text: John 6:59-61
Subject: The Doctrine of Christ
Date: Morning Bible Class — June 14, 2009
Tape: John #52
John 6 is a record of the running controversy between the Lord Jesus Christ and lost religionists who wanted to eat the bread He alone could provide, but hated the doctrine He taught. After our Lord performed that great miracle of feeding 5,000 men with just five barley loaves and two small fish, the people began to flock to Him in droves. But when He began to teach them the Word of God, when He began to preach to them the doctrine of the Gospel, they were offended. His doctrine was a stumbling stone and a rock of offense to lost religious people in that day; and things have not changed. The doctrine of Christ is still offensive to lost, religious men and women. I want to read for my text verses 59 through 61.
(John 6:59-61) “These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. (60) Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (61) When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?”
We read in the Scriptures that when the Lord Jesus preached, the people who heard Him became so enraged that they picked up rocks and tried to stone him to death. And I tell you that any man who dares to preach the Gospel of Christ today, as the Master Himself preached it, will meet with the same response among unregenerate religious people.
Illustrations: Hoyle Bowman — Frank England — Mr. Loosier — Telephone calls from Radio Listeners — Bomb Threats, etc.
In this chapter our Lord began His sermon in verse 26, where He rebuked the Jews, telling them that the only reason they followed Him was that they wanted to see more miracles and eat more bread. The message ends in verse 58, with the promise of life eternal to all who trust the Lord Jesus Christ. . After He had brought His message, the people who heard him began to murmur. They said, “That’s too hard.” “This is a hard saying, who can hear it?” The Lord Jesus answered their quibbles by saying, “Doth this offend you?” Then he went on preaching, re-emphasizing what he had said before. He wanted to make sure they heard what He was saying (vv. 62-65).
(John 6:62-65) “What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? (63) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (64) But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (65) And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”
When He got done, the whole crowd left Him, all 5,000 men, their wives and their children! Our Lord was not a crowd pleaser! Then He turned to the twelve disciples who remained with Him and said, “Will ye also go away?” They stayed; but the crowd left. The crowd was offended by the Gospel. Every god they worshipped, every altar they cherished, every hope they clung to was being destroyed. And they said, “We’ve heard enough of that! We will not listen to it anymore.” And they walked away from the Gospel and went to hell, clinging to the traditions of their Christless religion!
Proposition: I am here to tell you that the Gospel of the grace of God is just as offensive to unregenerate men and women today as it was to these people in John 6.
It offended people then; and it offends people now. There is no way to make the Gospel inoffensive without denying it altogether. The Gospel of the grace of God will either bring people to Christ in repentance and faith, or drive them away from Him in obstinate rebellion. It will either save those who hear it, or it will condemn them. But, blessed be God, the preaching of His free and sovereign grace in Christ will accomplish the purpose whereunto He sends it (2 Corinthians 2:14-16; Isaiah 55:11).
(2 Corinthians 2:14-16) “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. (15) For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: (16) To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?”
(Isaiah 55:11) “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
This morning I want to show you the doctrine of Christ, as it was preached by Christ himself in the Gospel of John. Later on in his second Epistle, John wrote, — “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (1 John 9). Here are seven great foundation truths of the Gospel, which fell from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It cannot be denied that these seven things are the doctrine of Christ. They were taught by him. John heard them. And being inspired by the Spirit of God to do so, he wrote them down for our learning and admonition. They are offensive to the world, but they are honoring to God and full of comfort and joy for His people. Keep your Bibles open to the Gospel of John, and I will show you what the Son of God taught when he walked and preached among men. And that which He taught all who are His messengers in every generation faithfully teach as well.
1. Divine Sovereignty
Our Lord Jesus Christ preached the glorious sovereignty of God in the exercise of His grace (John 6:37-38).
(John 6:37-40) “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (38) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (39) And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (40) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Here we see God in His sovereignty. We see God’s will being done in the world. The Lord Jesus tells us that He came down here, appointed, delegated, set apart and sent of God to accomplish His sovereign will. When the Lord Jesus Christ preached, He preached God on the throne, as an absolute sovereign, Who always does what seems good in His sight.
I know that men hate God’s sovereignty. It offends them. It makes all men and women paupers before the great and glorious Lord God, who does what He pleases, when He pleases, with whom He pleases. — “None can stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou?” (See Isaiah 14:24, 26 and 27.)
(Isaiah 14:24) “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:”
(Isaiah 14:26-27) “This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. (27) For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”
Anytime a preacher dares take the crown off man’s head and puts it where it belongs, on God’s head, the fur begins to fly. You can count on it. But every man who is called of God to preach the Gospel will do just that, regardless of cost or consequence.
When I declare that God is sovereign, I mean that God really is God! — Everything is determined by, depends upon and is absolutely governed by the will of God. The will of God is irresistible!
Š Christ died by the will of God (Acts 2:23, Hebrews 10).
And when I say that God is sovereign, I am telling you that God almighty always saves sinners on His terms (Isaiah 45:22). — “It pleased the Lord…”
Š To make you his people (1 Samuel 12:22).
Seminaries and Bible colleges deny God’s sovereignty. Preachers everywhere oppose it. Men who hate God hate it. — But the Son of God preached it! “Doth this offend you?” — Only if you want to be God yourself!
2. Total Depravity
Remember, I am showing you the doctrine of Christ specifically as the Apostle John was inspired by God the Holy Spirit to present it in his Gospel narrative. Here in the Gospel of John, specifically in this 6th chapter we see the Lord Jesus Christ openly preaching the total depravity and inability of man (John 6:44). — He’s preaching to lost people about Divine sovereignty, total depravity, election and limited atonement!
(John 6:44) “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
(John 6:61-65) “When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? (62) What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? (63) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (64) But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (65) And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”
Our Lord preached God on the throne and man in the dust. He preached God exalted and man abased, God high and man low. Man was not always low; but sin has made him so. Ever since Adam fell in the garden, the sons of Adam have been wallowing in the mire of depravity. And Christ preached it that way. He said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” My Lord put man in…
Men and women everywhere tell me, “Bro. Don, you ought not preach that way. It offends people.” I know it does. But I would rather offend man than God! And I am following a good example. This is the doctrine of Christ. Is it not?
To preach free-willism and decisionism is to deceive the souls of men. — Man can no more save himself than the demons of hell could save themselves. — No man can ever be saved except by the omnipotent mercy, irresistible grace and sovereign will of God. — “Salvation is of the Lord!”
Š In it’s planning.
Š In it’s purchase.
Š In it’s performance.
Š In it’s preservation.
Š In it’s perfection.
“Doth this offend you?” Only if you think you are good!
3. Unconditional Election
The Lord Jesus Christ preached God’s eternal, unconditional election. We just read that in verses 64 and 65. Didn’t we? Because He knew from the beginning that they would believe not, the Savior says, — “Therefore said I unto you, No man can come unto me except it were given unto him of my Father” (John 15:16).
(John 15:16) “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
Election is a humbling doctrine. “Ye have not chosen me.” Election is a Bible doctrine. (Ephesians 1:3-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).
(Ephesians 1:3-6) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
(2 Thessalonians 2:13-14) “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Election is a comforting doctrine. —”I have chosen you.” — “And ordained you.” Placed you! — “That ye should go and bring forth much fruit.” —”And that your fruit should remain.” “Their works do follow them.”
4. Blood Atonement
Our Savior preached blood atonement (John 6:54-57).
(John 6:54-57) “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (55) For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. (56) He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. (57) As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.”
People in His day resented the preaching of blood atonement as much as they do in our day. But He still preached it! The Son of God preached redemption by the blood (John 3:14-16).
(John 3:14-16) “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Š God’s blood.
Š Holy blood.
Š Precious blood.
Š God spilt blood.
Š Saving blood.
Š Effectual, atoning blood.
And He preached that His blood made atonement, effectually made atonement for and redeemed a particular people (John 10:11, 15, 25).
(John 10:11) “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
(John 10:15) “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
(John 10:26) “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.”
Christ did not shed his blood in vain (Galatians 2:21). The Lord Jesus Christ preached salvation by blood atonement.
Š Nothing but the blood could satisfy the justice of a holy God.
Š Nothing but the blood can wash away my sin.
Š There is no hope for sinners but the precious blood of Christ.
“Doth this offend you?” Only if you have some other hope!
5. Effectual Calling
The Son of God preached the effectual call of God the Holy Spirit (John 6:63).
(John 6:63) “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
Š There is a general call. — “Many are called.” We preach the Gospel to every creature!
Š There is an effectual call. “Ye see your calling brethren.” — It is a holy calling. — It is a high calling. — It is a heavenly calling. — It is an effectual calling.
Illustration: Zachaeus – Lazarus – Dry bones.
“Doth this offend you?” Only if you have never been called.
6. Certain Perseverance
And our Lord Jesus Christ preached the preservation and perseverance of every believer (John 10:27-30).
(John 10:27-30) “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (30) I and my Father are one.”
Once in Christ, in Christ forever,
Nothing from Him our souls can sever!
Doth this offend you?” Only if you think you can save yourself.
7. Salvation Full and Free
Once more I want you to know that Jesus Christ preached salvation full and free to all who believe, to all who trust him (John 3:17-18, 36).
(John 3:16-18) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
(John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
(John 6:37) “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
Š Salvation is in Christ.
Š Salvation is free.
Š Salvation is unconditional.
Š Salvation is eternal.
“Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” — “Doth this offend you?” Only if you refuse to be saved by free grace alone.
Application: This is the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9).
(2 John 1:9-11) “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (10) If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (11) For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com