Sermon #95 — John’s Gospel

 

            Title:               Preparing for a Fall

or

Christ Glorified in His People

 

            Text:                           John 13:31-14:1

            Subject:                     How Christ is Glorified in His People

            Date:                          Sunday Morning — August 22, 2010

            Tape:                          John #95

            Reading:       Psalms 121:1-8 and 125:1-5

 

Psalm 121

A Song of Degrees

1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.

6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

 

 

 

Psalm 125

A Song of Degrees

1 They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.

2 As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.

3 For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.”

 

4 ¶ Do good, O LORD, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts.

5 As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel.”

 

 

Introduction

 

My text is John 13:31-14:1. The title of my message is Preparing for a Fall or Christ Glorified in His People. Let’s read our text together — John 13:31-14:1.

 

John 13:31-14:1 — “Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

 

“36 ¶ Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. 37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. 38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.”

 

“14:1 ¶ Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 13:31-14:1)

 

In this passage we find the Lord Jesus alone at last with his eleven faithful disciples. The traitor, Judas Iscariot, has left the room. He has gone out to do his wicked deed of darkness. Freed from the betrayer’s painful company, our Lord opens his heart to his little flock more fully than he had ever opened himself to them before. Speaking to his disciples for the last time before his arrest, his mock trial, his sufferings, and his death as our blessed Substitute, our dear Savior begins a discourse which is unsurpassed by any portion of Holy Scripture. The message begins in John 13:31 and runs through John 16:33, and is concluded with the Lord’s great High Priestly prayer in John 17.

 

In the portion before us, our Lord Jesus declares that he is glorified as the Son of Man, that the Triune God is glorified in him and that the Triune God glorifies him in himself. Then he shows us how he glorifies himself in his people. Such a great subject is more suited for an angel’s tongue than mine; but as soon as the Spirit of God began unfolding our text to my heart, I began to rejoice in it and began to anxiously anticipate preaching this message to you. — Preparing for a Fall or Christ Glorified in His People. May God the Holy Spirit, whose Word we have before us, be our Teacher.

 

Just the Family

 

First, our text speaks about the Lord Jesus being alone with his family. — “Therefore, when he was gone out…” (v. 31). — No sooner was Judas gone out, than the Lord Jesus said, — “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. When the traitor finally departed, the Savior was left alone with his beloved family, his children, his mystical body, his Church. In these eleven disciples, his chosen Church, the Lord Jesus was glorified, and they were made everlastingly happy and blessed in him.

 

Indeed, all the three Persons of the Triune God were glorified in the Man, Christ Jesus, as our Mediator and Covenant Surety; and the Triune Jehovah is glorified in his people.

 

These eleven disciples were at that time the representatives of Christ’s whole body the Church. As such, when Judas (representing his father, the devil and all the seed of the serpent) was gone out, the Lord Jesus was left alone with his family. Thus, Christ was glorified. So it will be in that great day, when sin, and Satan, and all the seed of the serpent and all the Judases of every generation, shall be gone out forever! What a glorious day of God and our souls that eternal day will be, when God our Savior makes all things new, when he has removed the very slime of the serpent from all his creation (Isaiah 60:14; Psalm 125:3).

 

(Isaiah 60:14) “The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”

 

(Psalms 125:3) “For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.”

 

Christ’s Glory

 

Second, our text speaks about Christ’s glory as our Redeemer, about him being glorified as the Son of Man and about the him glorifying the Triune Jehovah, our God (vv. 31-32).

 

“Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.” (John 13:31-32)

 

The Savior’s words here may and should be applied to many things; but it seems obvious to me that he is specifically talking about his own crucifixion and death upon the cursed tree as the thing by which he has been and is glorified and by which the Triune God is glorified. It is as though he had said, “The time of my crucifixion is at hand. My work on earth is finished. An event is about to take place tomorrow, which, however painful to you who love me, is in reality that which is most glorifying both to me and my Father.”

 

How dark and mysterious those words must have been to the Lord’s disciples! Obviously, none of them understood what the Lord was talking about. If I had been sitting there, I would not have had a clue what he was talking about. — Would you?

 

Even if they had understood that he was talking about dying upon the cross, in all the agony of that cursed death, in all the shame, ignominy and humiliation which it entailed, in all that they saw and heard of next day, in the Son of Man hanging naked for six hours between two thieves — in all this there was no appearance of glory! — Not even a hint of anything glorious. — On the contrary, all they saw in the Savior’s death at the time it took place was shame, disappointment and dismay. — Yet our Lord declares that this is his glory and his Father’s glory!

 

The death of Christ upon the cursed tree brought glory to God the Father. — It glorified his wisdom, faithfulness, holiness and love.

Š      It showed him wise, in providing a plan whereby he could be just, and yet the Justifier of the ungodly.

Š      It showed him faithful, in keeping his promise, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head.

Š      It showed him holy, in requiring his law’s demands to be satisfied by our great Substitute.

Š      It showed him loving, in providing such a Mediator, such a Redeemer and such a Friend for sinners as Christ is. — “God is love!” — “Herein is love…

 

The death of Christ Jesus, the Son of Man, as our Mediator and Covenant Surety, brought glory to God the Son. — It glorified his compassion, his patient obedience and his power.

Š      It showed him compassionate, loving and gracious in laying down his life for us, suffering in our stead, being made sin and a curse for us and obtaining our redemption by the price of his own precious blood.

Š      It showed his patient obedience, in not dying the common death of most men, but in willingly submitting to such horrors and unknown agonies as no mind can conceive, when with a word he could have summoned his Father’s angels, and been set free. — He was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross!” — Christ our Savior glorified God the Father in his death by his obedience unto death, by our obedience unto death in him and by his success in the accomplishment of redemption by his death.

Š      It showed him powerful, in vanquishing Satan and despoiling him of his prey, even as he bare in his body all the weight of all our transgressions and all our guilt!

 

The death of our Lord Jesus Christ glorified God the Holy Spirit in that he was justified in the Spirit. — It is the glory of God the Holy Spirit to take the things of Christ and show them to chosen, redeemed sinners, — to apply the Savior’s blood to his redeemed, — to make the ransomed of the Lord new creatures in Christ in the new birth, — to make us partakers of the divine nature, — to seal and comfort God’s elect, — to keep and preserve us in Christ unto everlasting glory!

 

Forever let us cherish such thoughts about the sacrifice and death of our blessed Savior! The idolatrous paintings and sculptures of men can never portray what took place on at Calvary! The length and breadth and depth and height of the work transacted on the cross —God’s law honored, man’s sins borne in a Substitute, — transferred sin and transferred guilt, — sin punished in a Substitute, free salvation flowing to sinners through the crucified God-man — These are things that can be known only by divine revelation, only by the experience of grace. They cannot be explained, only believed, adored, and praised! — “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14).

 

A Time of Separation

 

Third, in verse 33, our Lord Jesus tells us that there must be a time of separation between us and him, a time of separation between him and us. — Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.” — How greatly we feel the separation!

 

(Philippians 1:21-24) “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

 

Our Savior said, “Whither I go ye cannot come” in verse 33; but, oh, how we ought to thank God that his words do not end there. He expands his meaning in verse 36.

 

(John 13:36) “Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.”

 

We cannot follow him now; but we shall follow him soon. The Lord Jesus leaves us here for a set time. And he has left us here for specific purposes. During this time of separation, while we are in this world, our blessed Lord Jesus glorifies himself in us by proving in us

Š      The sufficiency of his grace (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Š      The blessedness of his gift of faith.

Š      His own faithfulness!

 

It is during this time of separation that our Savior allows us to serve him and the interests of his kingdom, glorifying himself in the use of such things as we are (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).

 

Illustration: The Gadarene — Luke 8:38-39

 

(Luke 8:38-39) “Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.”

 

But when our work on earth is done, then, we shall depart to be with Christ forever!

 

Scott’s Last Word

 

Let me read something to you that our dear friend, Pastor Scott Richardson, wrote out and read to the saints at Fairmont, WV in the last worship service he was able to attend, just a few days before the Lord called him home to glory. — What Heaven Is and Is Not. Bro. Scott said...

 

“I’ve come across some things that helped me and I want to pass it on to you. We understand more about what heaven is and will be to us, by what it is not, and will not be.

            There’ll be no more sin.

            No more darkness.

No more pain.

            No more sorrow.

            No more jail.

            No more crying.

            No more war.

            No more sickness.

      No more heartache.

            No more dying in a ditch.

            No more fear.

            No more confusion.

            No more lacking anything.

            No more vanity.

            No more waiting.

            No more going astray.

            No more reproach.

            No more affliction.

            No more darkness.

            No more trouble.

            No more curse.

            No more dishonoring God.

            Our name will no more be called Jacob.

            We’ll be the children of the Living God.

 

“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

(Revelation 22:3-5)

 

Then, he said, “and no more birthdays!”

 

And when we take our last breath and go out into that world, we’ll feel good about it since we know a little more about it, — what it will be. And I myself, experience it every day. I know that I’m going to die, not very long; and I’ll be glad if I make one turn over in bed tonight and go to sleep. I’ll be happy about it, cause heaven is my happiness. The Lord bless us.”

 

Oh, what a day that will be when the company of Judas is no more; and when the Judas of my own wretched heart is gone forever!

 

A New Law

 

Fourth, in verses 34-35, our Lord Jesus gives his chosen a new law by which our lives are to be governed in all things. — The Lord Jesus glorifies himself in us by putting his law in our hearts, causing us to walk in his steps, motivated and governed by that love wherewith he loved us!

 

(John 13:34-35) “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

 

If you are at all familiar with your Bibles, you must be thinking, as you read those words, “That is not a new commandment. Even the rich young ruler understood that the essence of the law is that we love God with all our hearts and love our neighbors as ourselves.” So why do the Savior say, — “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another”?

 

The old law said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor, as thyself.” Here the Savior says, “Love one another, as I have loved you.

Š      As I have loved you” — That is the example we are to follow.

Š      As I have loved you” — That is the motivation.

Š      As I have loved you” — That is the inspiration of love.

 

This new law is the law of God now written upon the hearts of God’s elect in the new birth, not the old law written upon tables of stone. This new law of love arises from and always accompanies faith in Christ (1 John 3:23-24; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

 

(1 John 3:23-24) “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”

 

(2 Corinthians 5:14-15 “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

 

Preparation for a Fall

 

Fifth, beginning in verse 36, the Lord Jesus very graciously prepares his beloved disciple, Peter, for a terrible fall.

 

(John 13:36-38) “Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. 37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. 38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.”

 

Š      Peter was far too confident in himself. — “I will lay down my life for thy sake.”

Š      The Lord Jesus warned him of that terrible fall by which Peter’s pride would and must be broken. — “Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.”

 

But never was our Savior more glorious in the exercise of his free grace and matchless goodness that in his next word to Peter

 

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1)

 

O how greatly our great Savior glorifies himself by his restoring mercy, love and grace! (See Mark 16:7 and John 21:

 

Bless his holy name forever, his covenant is sure. He will not let the objects of his love destroy themselves!

 

(Jeremiah 32:38-41) “And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. 41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.”

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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