Sermon #97 — John’s Gospel

 

      Title:                     Seven Promises in John 14

 

      Text:                                 John 14:1-31

      Subject:               Christ’s Comfort for His People

      Reading: Romans 8:1-39

 

1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

 

10 And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

 

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope,

21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23 And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].

 

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

 

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth.

34 Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:1-39)

 

 

Introduction

 

All the promises of God are in Christ Jesus; and all the promises of God in Christ Jesus are sure promises. They are all “yea and amen.” Turn with me to John 14 and I will show you seven of God’s great yea and amen promises that fell from the lips of our blessed Savior just before he died as our sin-atoning Substitute at Calvary. Grace was poured into his lips when he stood forth as our Surety before the world was made. — “Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.” (Psalms 45:2) — And grace poured out of his lips as he prepared his disciples for the troubles they would face in this world. Everything in this blessed chapter is intended by our dear Savior to comfort our hearts, strengthen our souls, and steady our spirits in a world of woe. The title of my message is Seven Promises in John 14. May God the Holy Spirit graciously write them upon our hearts.

 

1.    Our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is coming again (vv. 1-3).

 

I find it delightful that the very first thing our Redeemer promised his disciples, after telling them that he was going away…

Š      Going away to die for us!

Š      Going away to obtain eternal redemption for us!

Š      Going away to prepare a place for us!

Š      Going away to be our Advocate and High Priest in heaven!

Š      Going away to make intercession for us!

Š      Going away to save all his chosen, blood bought people by the power of his grace!

 

The very first thing our Redeemer promised his disciples, after telling them that he was going away was “I will come again!

 

(John 14:1-3) “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.”

 

I will come again and receive you unto myself.” — Christ will not wait for us to come up to him. He will come down to us, to raise us from our graves and escort us to our heavenly home. As Joseph came to meet Jacob, so the Lord Jesus will come to call his people together and guide us to our eternal inheritance in heaven.

 

The second advent ought never to be forgotten. I have not preached about it as much as should; and we do not think of it as we should, with constant expectation, standing as it were upon the tiptoe of anticipation. Great is the blessedness of looking back to Christ coming the first time to suffer and die for us as our sin-atoning Substitute. But let us never forget the glory that must and shall follow his sufferings.

 

(1 Corinthians 15:51-58) “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? 56 The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. 57 But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 ¶ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

 

(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

 

(2 Thessalonians 1:7-10) “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”

 

2.    There is a way to God, a way to heaven, a way to eternal life and salvation (vv. 4-11).

 

O sinner, hear the Son of God speak! — There is a way to God! There is a way to heaven! There is a way to eternal life! There is a sure way of salvation for poor, needy sinners. — And that Way is Christ himself! — Jesus Christ himself is Salvation!

 

(John 14:4-11) “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.”

 

Christ is the Way. — Without him there’s no going. He is the Way, not a way, the Way of salvation. Salvation is by his obedience alone. Salvation is by his death alone. Salvation is by his grace alone. — “Salvation is of the Lord!

 

Christ is the Truth. — Without him there’s no knowing. He alone is the Truth, the very embodiment of all Truth. He alone reveals the Truth. He alone makes God known to men. And he alone is faithful and true.

 

Christ is the Life. — Without him there’s no living! Christ is the Author and Giver of life: natural, spiritual, and eternal. He is the only Way of life, “the living way.” He always has been, and ever will be the Way. All who are in the Way live. None shall ever die!

 

No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” — Christ is the only way of access to the Father. There is no coming to God by your works. There is no coming to God by religious duties and ceremonies. There is no coming to God without a Mediator; and the only Mediator between God and man is the man Christ Jesus.

 

3.    The Lord Jesus promises us that his cause in this world is never in jeopardy (vv. 12-14).

 

The purpose of God never alters. The cause of God is never injured. The Church of God is always safe. And the glory of God is always sure.

 

(John 14:12-14) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it].”

 

As if to endear himself yet the more to our hearts and to convince us that his whole heart and soul is ours (Jeremiah 32:41), our Lord Jesus urges us to continually send our hearts’ desires and prayers to him in heaven, that he might present them to his and our Father (Hebrews 4:16). And he assures them, that whatsoever we should ask the Father in his name he will do it for us, that the Father might be glorified in the Son. — What a promise!

 

4.    God the Holy Spirit will abide with us, dwell in us, keep us, and comfort us forever (vv. 15-17).

 

(John 14:15-17) “If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

 

5.    Throughout the days of our sojourn through this vale of tears, our blessed Savior has promised that he will come to us with his all-sufficient grace (vv. 18-24).

 

(John 14:18-24) “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me.” — By faith!

 

Because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” — O blessed, wondrous, indescribable union!

 

“21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”

 

6.    Then, our Savior promises us that God the Holy Spirit, the Divine Comforter, will be our Teacher (vv. 25-26).

 

(John 14:25-26) “These things have I spoken unto you, being [yet] present with you. 26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

 

He comforts us by teaching us all things, by giving us the mind of Christ, by giving us spiritual understanding, by bringing to our remembrance the sweet revelations of grace in the Gospel (Isaiah 40:1-2).

 

(Isaiah 40:1-2) “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.”

 

7.    The Son of God has promised to keep us in peace (vv. 27-31).

 

(John 14:27-31) “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father.”

 

If they had known, how they would have rejoiced! He was going to the Father as our Surety and Savior, as our God-man Mediator, as Jehovah’s Righteous Servant, having accomplish all his covenant engagements, to obtain eternal redemption by his blood! — Read on…

 

“For my Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. 30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.”

 

Almighty Preacher! Give us grace to sit at your feet and hear by faith your sweet, omnipotent voice in this great message, in each of these great promises! Graciously cause them to sink deep into our hearts.

 

You are indeed the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. By you alone we have access to God. We own none but you. We claim none but you. We plead none but you!

 

Thank you, blessed Savior, for the gift of your Spirit, God our Comforter! Thank you, O Holy Ghost, for constantly showing us the things of Christ, — for constantly reminding us of him who loved us and gave himself for us, — for constantly turning us to him, even as we turn ourselves from him! Thank you for sealing us with your grace and never leaving us!

 

O Father of mercies, God of all grace! We bless and praise your holy name forever for your free, everlasting love by which you have given us your dear Son and all the grace of your Holy Spirit. — “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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