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Sermon #36 — 1st John Series
Title: “The Savior of The World”
Text: 1 John 4:14
Subject: The Purpose of The Incarnation
Date: Tuesday Evening — May 21, 2013
Tape# 1st John #36
Readings: Allen Kibby and Rex Bartley
Open your Bibles to 1st John 4:14. The title of my message is — “The Savior of The World.”
1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
Our Lord Jesus Christ was not born at Bethlehem merely to influence men toward moral goodness and social justice. The Christ of God did not clothe himself with our nature simply to become a physical monarch over the nation of Israel and deliver that nation from physical oppression. Oh no, the incarnation is much more meaningful than that. That One who was born of the virgin and laid in the manger was and is himself the incarnate God. — “God was manifest in the flesh.” And he was born for one specific and glorious purpose. — “The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” — “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).
The apostles of the New Testament were sent by their victorious Lord to proclaim the good news of the gospel that salvation was accomplished by him. And they declared that they were eye-witnesses of that which they were commissioned to preach. — Through the miracle of his incarnation, the merit of his righteousness life and the efficacy of his vicarious, sin-atoning death, the Son of God has become “The Savior of The World.” These things they had seen and were bound to testify.
See and Testify
These two things are joined together and must never be separated. — “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” Never let any man testify what he has not seen. If you are not personally aware of a thing, do not tell it. It is the personality of the testimony that is the power of the testimony. That truth which you have never experienced, you had better leave for somebody else to preach. Far too much of the preaching men do is nothing but the dispensing of second-hand information. The great need of the church today is men in the pulpit who have seen and heard for themselves. Those men who have experienced the gospel can preach the gospel. Those men who have seen the living Redeemer can testify of him. Before we can testify of Christ, we must have seen Christ (Acts 22:14-15).
Acts 22:12-18 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, 13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. 14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. 15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. 16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. 17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; 18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
We must never bear witness of things we have not seen for ourselves. But what we have seen, we must testify. If you have seen the living Lord, you should do what Mary did when she had seen the risen Christ; she ran to tell his disciples. What right do you have to see for yourself alone? If we have received light from God, we must let our light so shine before men that they may see it and glorify God for it.
This should be a rebuke to many. Many there are who profess to have seen the Lord by faith, who will not testify to what they have seen. They have not even come forward to confess him in baptism. The Master calls upon those who have seen him to bear witness of him. If we are what we ought to be, we will first be sure of having seen. But having seen, we will be equally sure to testify. What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. — “We have seen and do testify that the Father hath sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”
I have nothing new or novel to preach to you this evening. But what I have to say is most well verified. It is verified by the apostles of Christ themselves; and it is verified by my own experience.
Proposition: This one thing I have seen; and I know that it is true. Therefore, I testify to you that — The Lord Jesus Christ was sent into this world by God the Father so that he might be the Savior of the world.
Divisions: This evening, I want to show you some things that I know. These are things which I have seen, and heard and experienced for myself.
1. This world is sinful, guilty and cursed.
2. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world.
3. Jesus Christ is the Savior you need.
To begin, I want you to see that this world is sinful, guilty and cursed, a world in need of a Savior. This is the true character of the world and all who are in it. John states it very plainly. — “The whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19).
When John says that Christ is the Savior of the world, he is simply telling us that the grace of God was not limited to the nation of Israel. God sent his Son to save men and women out of the fallen mass of humanity, Gentiles as well as Jews. Wherever men are found on this earth, among the fallen ruins of our race, all who believe on the name of the Son of God, those men Christ came to save (John 3:16-18).
John 3:14-18 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. 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.
Our father Adam was created in the image of God, pure, righteous and sinless. But in one act of rebellion, he fell from his high estate, by breaking the express command of God. Now all of us, the sons and daughters of Adam, inherit from him a wicked and corrupt nature, a nature that clings to us from the moment of birth. We show this wicked nature by our daily lives. In a word, since the fall of our father Adam, the character of all men of this world has been established in wickedness. We are a very sinful world, deserving of God’s eternal wrath. Yet, this is the world which God sent his Son to save!
If there is anything plainly revealed in the Bible, it is the universal depravity of our race. Every book of the Bible plainly describes the sad story of man’s disobedience and rebellion to God. Turn to any passage of Scripture, and you will see the wickedness of man in it.
The Old Testament, though it is a record of God’s grace, is also a record of man’s sin.
· God created Adam, but Adam sinned against God.
· God destroyed the world with a flood, because the imaginations of man’s heart were evil.
· Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their sin.
· God graciously delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt, but Israel soon forgot.
· God gave his law at Sinai, but man regarded not his commandments.
· God sent his prophets generation after generation to warn the world of sin, but men would not hear them.
2 Chronicles 36:15-16 15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
The New Testament portrays the world in the same dark language as the Old. The world into which our Lord was born was a sinful world indeed.
The apostles of the New Testament tell us plainly of the evils of the world in which they lived (Romans 1:18-32; 3:10-19).
Romans 1:18-32 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (suppress, hold down) the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Romans 3:10-19 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Yes, beloved, we are a sinful world! As the world was in the days of Noah, so it was in the days of Christ, and so it is today.
The corruption and sin of the world is stated in the Scriptures and it is verified in history. Take down your volumes on world history, and read them. Or read your daily newspapers. Listen to the news reports, not of our nation alone, but of the whole world. What do they say? — “The whole world lieth in wickedness.” The history of the world is the history of sin. The daily events of the world betray its character. Rape, murder, robbery, drunkenness, rioting, war, bribery and lusts of every kind imaginable are reported daily. No, the world is not good; it is evil. It is not moral; it is sinful.
I will go further still: we see proof of the world’s sinfulness in ourselves. Let he who is the best of men honestly search his own heart. The evil thoughts of your heart in a single day are more than you can number. Yes, we are a sinful world.
Yet, it is this world which God sent his Son to save. We were all under condemnation, without hope, without excuse; and what could prevent our execution? It was the love of God. — “God so loved the world.” He might have poured out the vials of his wrath upon us, as he did upon the angels who kept not their first estate. But, he loved us. Justice demanded our punishment. Holiness required that we be swept off the earth. But God loved us!
This one thing I know: the world, which Christ came to save, is sinful. I know it by the Word of God. I know it by its own history. And I know it by my own experience. And this sinful world could do nothing to help itself.
In the second place, I want you to see that — The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world. — “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). That one who was sent to be our Savior is the Son of God. He is not a Son of God. He is not the Son of God by creation, or by adoption. But he is himself the eternal Son of the eternal Father. No one less than God himself could suffice to save us. But when God the Son enters into the world to save us, we are sure that he cannot fail. — “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth” (Isaiah 42:4).
Hear what God says in this Book: — the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world with a mission to accomplish. Our Lord said, “I came not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” — “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). — “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). — “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). — “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). — “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world” (John 18:37).
Our Lord Jesus Christ came into this world in order to save us according to the covenant he made with the Father before the worlds were made. In the covenant of grace there was a work laid out for him to perform. And he came to finish that work. He was both sent of God and voluntarily came to be our Redeemer.
Jesus Christ was sent by the Father to be the Savior of the world.
· He was sent according to divine appointment.
· He was sent because of God’s eternal love for us.
· He was sent because this was the only means whereby God could save sinful men (Romans 3:24-26).
Romans 3:24-26 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
The Son of God voluntarily came into this world to save us, according to the will of God (Hebrews 10:5-10).
· He voluntarily assumed our nature.
· He voluntarily became subject to the law.
· He voluntarily died in our place.
Hebrews 10:1-14 1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
We know that Jesus Christ was sent to be the Savior of the world by the testimony of the apostles. Those men of God saw Christ in such a way that they were convinced that he was sent of God to be the Savior of the world. They saw his power, dignity and majesty with unmistakable clarity. And they testified what they had seen (John 1:14; 1 John 1:1-3).
John 1:14 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
1 John 1:1-3 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
I will not at this time show you again the undeniable credibility of these apostles. Suffice it to say, that these men had no possible motive for deceiving us. And they never once betrayed any hidden desire to deceive us. Their veracity is unimpeached. It may be fully trusted.
But someone might ask, “Were the apostles well informed on the points which they affirm?” I answer, “They saw these things for themselves. They did not receive their report of Christ second-hand. They were eye-witnesses of all that they spoke. They saw everything which they testified of Christ.”
They saw Christ’s personal glory. These men were eye-witnesses to visible proofs of his Godhead.
· They saw him transfigured on the Mount.
· They heard God speak from heaven, owning Christ to be his Son.
· They saw him multiply the loaves and fishes.
· They saw him raise the dead on three separate occasions.
They beheld the Savior’s matchless perfections.
· They heard the wisdom of his words.
· They saw the goodness of his deeds.
· They saw the power of his miracles.
Having seen these things, the apostles expressed their full conviction that he was the promised Messiah, the Savior of the world. — “We believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”
These men saw Christ’s shameful death. Yes, they saw the Son of God offering up his life for us. They saw Immanuel’s blood pouring from his body. And they understood the meaning of his death. — They saw how he died.
· He died voluntarily.
· He died vicariously.
· He died victoriously.
And they saw why he died. He died the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, that he might be the Savior of the world.
· He died for our justification.
· He died for our pardon.
· He died for our reconciliation.
These men saw the Son of God in his triumphant resurrection. And these apostles saw Christ in his glorious ascension (Acts 2:32-36). Having seen these things, they testified to men everywhere that Jesus is Lord and that he is the Savior of the world.
Let me speak now as a representative for every person in this room who is born of God. — We have still another, more personal confirmation of the gospel. We testify unto you that we have ourselves experienced. — “We have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”
Let others say what they will, we know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is the Savior of the world. We have experienced his Godhood. We have experienced his Saviorhood.
There is one more thing that I want you to see. — The Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior you need. This, too, I know. You and I came from the same mold. We were dug from the same pit. The Savior that I need is the one you need.
You need Christ as your Savior, because you have no other hope of salvation.
Let me tell you, too, that the Lord Jesus Christ is an all-sufficient and powerful Savior.
And, perhaps the best new of all is this, — The Lord Jesus Christ is a willing Savior.
I will finish my message by telling you how you may have THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD as your own Savior. — You must believe on him (John 3:16-18).
Is Jesus Christ your Savior?
1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.