Sermon #43 Through The Bible Series
Title: John ― Christ the Son of God
Text: John 20:30-31
The apostle John tells us exactly what his purpose was in writing his gospel narrative (20:30-31).
(John 20:30-31) “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: (31) But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
John’s purpose was not to tell us everything our Savior did and said while he was on the earth, but to show us who he is, that “we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, we might have life through his name.”
There is one word used throughout these 21 chapters. The word is the key to all things spiritual, the key to spiritual life, spiritual knowledge, and spiritual understanding. The word is “believe.” John uses it 98 times in this Gospel. His intention is that “we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, we might have life through his name.” May the God of all grace give us grace to go on believing “that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.”
John wrote his Gospel to show us that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God; and he begins his message by stating that fact clearly, emphatically and beautifully (1:1-2).
(John 1:1-2) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God.”
Matthew, Mark and Luke are called “The Synoptic Gospels” because they each give us an orderly, well-arranged narrative of our Savior’s earthly life and ministry, describing (for the most part) the same events in different ways and for different purposes.
John’s Gospel is different. It was written much later than the other three. In the Gospel of John we are given the inspired reflections of an old man who had faithfully served the Son of God many, many years. With one foot in heaven, he tells us of his all-glorious Christ, the Son of God, that we might believe him.
John’s Gospel is neither a historical biography nor a theological textbook. Rather, what we have here is the loving adoration of a saved sinner for his great Savior, describing the greatness, grace, and glory of the Son of God as he had experienced it.
There are several things that stand out as distinctive features of John’s Gospel. Unlike Matthew, Mark, and Luke, John does not mention any of our Lord’s parables. Yet, he was inspired to describe miracles not recorded by the other writers. John alone tells us about…
· The Lord Jesus turning water into wine at the marriage feast in Cana (2:1-11),
· The healing of the nobleman’s son (4:46-54),
· The healing of the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda (5:1-9),
· The feeding of the 5,000 (6:1-14),
· The Lord Jesus coming to his disciples walking across the stormy sea (6:15-21),
· The healing of the man born blind (9:1-7),
· And the resurrection of Lazarus (11:38-44).
The miracles described by John seem to have been specifically intended to lay the foundation for something our Lord was about to teach. When the Master was about to teach some great truth, he performed a miracle to illustrate what he was about to say. He had a way of getting people’s attention.
1. Just before he drove the money changers out of the temple and told how that he was about to build a greater, more glorious Temple by his death and resurrection, our Savior turned water into wine.
(John 2:11) “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”
2. Just before declaring himself to be the Son of God, into whose hands the Father has committed all things in chapter 5, our Lord healed the nobleman’s son and the impotent man.
3. Just before telling us that he is the Bread of Life in chapter 6, our Savior fed 5,000 men with five loaves of bread and two small fish.
4. The Lord Jesus came walking across the stormy sea, showing his dominion over all things, teaching us to trust him, just before his disciples saw the multitudes abandon him because of the gospel he preached (chap. 6).
5. In John 8:12 our Savior declared, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Then, in chapter 9, he healed the man who was born blind and said, “I am the light of the world.”
6. After declaring to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life” (11:25), the Master went out to the tomb and raised Lazarus from the dead.
Another distinctive feature of John’s Gospel is the fact that he alone gives us the seven “I AM” sayings of Christ. Seven times the Lord says, “I am.” These sayings are very precious and give us a delightful, instructive picture of our Redeemer.
“I AM” is the name by which the Lord God revealed himself to Moses in Exodus 3:13-14.
(Exo 3:13-14) "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? (14) And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
1. "I am the bread of life" (6:35). ― If we would live we must eat this Bread.
2. "I am the light of the world" (8:12). ― If we would see we must have this Light.
3. "I am the door of the sheep" (10:7). ― If we would enter into life we must enter by this Door.
4. "I am the good shepherd" (10:11). ― If we are saved we must be saved by this Shepherd.
5. "I am the resurrection and the life" (11:25). ― If we would be partakers of resurrection glory and eternal life, he who is the Resurrection and the Life must be ours. We must trust him.
6. "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (14:6). ― If we would have eternal life we must be in the Way, know the Truth, and be given the Life.
7. "I am the true vine" (15:1). ― If we would bring forth fruit unto God we must be grafted into this Vine.
The fact that the Lord Jesus used this name to described himself is very significant. Our Lord’s use of them enraged the Jews because they understood exactly what he meant by them. ― He was saying, “I am the eternal God, Jehovah, the Redeemer and Deliverer. I am everything, for I am God.” Using these two words, “I AM,” with reference to himself identified him as the covenant God of Israel. Liberals and religious infidels today may not recognize that fact; but the Jews who heard the Master understood him perfectly (John 8:58-59; 10:31-33).
(John 8:58-59) "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (59) Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."
(John 10:31-33) "Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. (32) Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? (33) The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God."
John also gives a distinct emphasis to the fact that the Lord Jesus spoke of a specific time and hour for which he came into the world (2:4; 7:6, 8, 30; 8:20; 12:23, 27-28; 13:1; 17:1).
(John 2:4) "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come."
(John 7:6) "Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready."
(John 7:8) "Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come."
(John 7:30) "Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come."
(John 8:20) "These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come."
(John 12:23) "And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified."
(John 12:27-28) "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. (28) Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."
(John 13:1) "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end."
(John 17:1) "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:"
In chapters 1-12 John tells us who Christ is, giving highlights of his life and ministry during the three years of public, earthly ministry. In chapters 13-21 the apostle gives an account (an account none could give except a tender-hearted old man, full of love for Christ) of our Lord’s last night upon the earth, his death as our Substitute, and his resurrection.
Christ our God
That Man Luke described, the Servant Mark portrayed, and the King Matthew declared, Jesus of Nazareth, is himself the Christ, the Son of God, our eternal God and Savior. That is what John asserts with utter dogmatism in chapter 1. John declares that this man is…
· The Word who is God (v. 1),
(John 1:1) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
· The second person of the holy trinity, altogether equal with the Father (v. 2),
(John 1:2) "The same was in the beginning with God."
· The Creator of all things (v. 3),
· And the incarnate God our Savior (vv. 10-18, 29).
(John 1:14) "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."
(John 1:18) "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."
(John 1:29) "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
Best Things Last
In chapter 2, when our Lord turned the water into wine and began to show forth his glory, the governor of the feast said to the bridegroom, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now” (v. 10). That is exactly what our Savior does in his wondrous works of grace. He saves the best wine until the last (1 Cor. 2:9).
(1 Cor 2:9) "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
The New Birth
In the first chapter we are told that sinners are made to be the sons of God and are born again by the will of God alone (11-13).
(John 1:11-13) "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
In chapter 3 we have our Lord’s discourse on the new birth with Nicodemus. Here, he shows us both the nature and necessity of the new birth. Until a person is born again he can neither see nor enter into the kingdom of God (vv. 3, 5). And this new birth is altogether the work of God the Holy Spirit sovereignly giving life and faith to whom he will (v. 8). Then, the Master told Nicodemus that the only way any sinner can live before God, the only way we can be saved is by trusting him as our sin-atoning Substitute (vv. 14-18).
(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."
All grace, all salvation, all life, all hope is in Christ. Do you believe on the Son of God? Do you trust Christ alone as your Savior? That is the one thing that must be settled. To believe Christ is to have life. To abide in unbelief is to abide in death, under the wrath of God. That was John the Baptist’s message and that is the message of God’s preachers in every age and place (vv. 35-36).
(John 3:35-36) "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. (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."
The Samaritan Woman
In chapter 4 John gives us a tremendous picture of God’s grace. Our Lord Jesus “must needs go through Samaria” because there was an elect sinner there for whom the time of love had come.
· Grace chose her.
· Grace marked the place at which grace would be given.
· Grace brought the Samaritan woman to the appointed place at the time of love.
· Grace brought Christ to the sinner.
· Grace brought the sinner to Christ and gave her faith.
The Impotent Man
In chapter 5 our Savior came to the Pool of Bethesda. There were around the pool many who were impotent, blind, halt, and withered. But the sovereign Savior came there to show mercy to one, certain man, a certain chosen sinner who had been impotent for 38 years. “And immediately the man was made whole” (v. 9).
That is another picture of God’s saving grace. It is sovereign, distinguishing, effectual grace. Spiritually, God’s elect are totally impotent. We could never be saved if any part of salvation depended on us. But that is not the case. The Lord Jesus saves poor, impotent sinners by his own almighty arm of omnipotent mercy (Eph. 2:1-5).
Witness to Christ
In the second half of chapter 5 our Lord Jesus shows himself to be the Christ by numerous witnesses. As we read these verses and others like them (10:16-18), we must not imagine that our Lord is declaring anything that might suggest him being inferior to the Father. Rather, our Lord is declaring his voluntary subjection to the will of his Father (Isa. 50:5-7) as our Mediator and Surety (19-31).
(John 5:19-31) "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (20) For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. (21) For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. (22) For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: (23) That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. (24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (30) I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (31) If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true."
· John the Baptist bore witness to him as the Christ, the Lamb of God, the eternal Savior (vv. 33-35).
· His own works bear witness that he is the Christ, the Son of God, our Savior (v. 36). ― His Miracles! ― His Satisfaction! ― The Rent Veil!
· The Father bore witness to Christ (v. 37 ― At His Baptism ― At His Transfiguration), trusting him as our Surety (Eph. 1:12), putting all things in his hands as the Son of man (v. 27), and giving him all pre-eminence (Col. 1:18; Phil. 2:8-11).
· The Book of God bears witness to him, that he is indeed the Christ (vv. 37-39).
(John 5:37-39) "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. (38) And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. (39) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
· Moses (vv. 46-47), in all the books of the law, bore witness to him typically and prophetically and by the veil being rent when he had fulfilled the whole law, satisfying the wrath and justice of God as our Representative.
(John 5:46-47) "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. (47) But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"
The Offence of the Gospel
Multitudes followed our Savior, not because they were converted by his grace, but because they had eaten the loaves and fish. They were religious because they found religion profitable. They followed Christ outwardly, because of what the gained by doing so. But then, our Lord preached a message that offended the crowd. We read in John 6:6 ― "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." What did he preach? What was it that so greatly offended the multitudes? It was the message of God’s free, sovereign, saving grace, the same message that offends lost religious crowds throughout the world today. It was the declaration that…
· Salvation is by the will of God alone (vv. 37-40).
(John 6:39-40) "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."
· Fallen man’s natural, total depravity makes salvation by the will of man impossible (v. 44).
(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."
· Salvation is altogether the work of God’s free, sovereign, irresistible grace (v. 45).
(John 6:45) "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."
· This salvation can be possessed only by faith in Christ, eating his flesh and drinking his blood, trusting his righteousness and his atonement as our only ground of acceptance with God (vv. 47-58).
(John 6:47) "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."
· This salvation was obtained by Christ laying down his life for chosen sinners scattered throughout the world (v. 51).
(John 6:59-66) "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? (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. (66) From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him."
These were the same people who sought just a short while earlier, to take him by force and make him a king (6:15).
“If Any Man Thirst”
In the seventh chapter “the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand.” His brethren tried to get the Lord to go up to the feast, to show himself to the world, but he refused. Later, he went up to the feast privately. Then, on the last day of the feast, as our Master beheld the multitudes going home from their empty, meaningless religious ritual, he proclaimed a great, gracious, magnanimous invitation to needy souls that is echoed around the world to this day, wherever the gospel is preached (vv. 37-38).
(John 7:37-38) "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
The Adulterous Woman
The eighth chapter opens (vv. 1-11) with a tremendous picture of redemption and grace in Christ. A woman taken in adultery, scorned by men and condemned by God’s holy law, is freely and fully forgiven of all sin by the Son of God who stooped to the earth and rose again.
Beginning in verse 31 of chapter 8 our Lord gives us four unmistakable marks by which true disciples, true children of Abraham are identified in this world.
1. They do the works of Abraham (v. 39). That is to say, they believe God.
2. True disciples love Christ (v. 42).
3. They receive, bow to, and believe God’s Word (v. 47).
4. They keep Christ’s doctrine (v. 51). They continue in his Word (v. 31) and holdfast the gospel.
The Good Shepherd
In the 9th chapter our Lord healed a man who was born blind. Because of the goodness of God he experienced, the Jews churched him. They kicked him out of their church because the Son of God gave him sight. When they did, the Lord Jesus took him into his arms and into the sheepfold of his grace. Then, John gives us our Savior’s great discourse on the Good Shepherd (chap. 10).
· Christ is the Good Shepherd.
· He has some sheep.
· He voluntarily laid down his life for his sheep.
· He calls his sheep by name.
· He must and shall save his sheep. He gives his sheep eternal life.
· His sheep shall never perish!
The 11th chapter tells us about Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, our Lord’s beloved friends, the sickness and death of Lazarus by the will of God and for the glory of God. Then, we see the Son of God raise Lazarus from the dead by the Word of his omnipotence. What a picture this is of God’s saving operations of grace!
· Like Lazarus, I was dead.
· Like Lazarus, the Lord Jesus loved me.
· He came to where I was.
· He called me by name.
· I came forth to him.
· And he set me free.
Chapter 12 opens with our Lord in the home of his friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus again. Mary anoints him for his burial. As he sets his face toward Calvary, our Lord declares that which he would there accomplish by the sacrifice of himself (vv. 31-33).
(John 12:31-33) "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (32) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (33) This he said, signifying what death he should die."
Chapter 13 begins the second section of John’s Gospel. Everything, from here through the end of chapter 19 took place in the last hours of our Savior’s earthly life. In chapter 13 he gives us an example of how we ought to love one another, by washing his disciples’ feet. He did not do this to establish foot washing as a church ordinance, but to show us how to love one another. Love involves action, not sentimental words. Love bows low and gladly performs the most menial task for the sheer comfort of its object.
(John 13:35) "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
Then our Lord told Peter how that he would deny him three times before the morning sun arose. Immediately after that, we read those sweet, sweet words of comfort and assurance in John 14:1-3.
(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."
(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."
Chapters 14, 15 and 16 are filled with words of tender comfort and instruction for God’s people in this world in which we must endure constant sorrow and tribulation.
(John 16:33) "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
The Lord’s Prayer
Then, in chapter 17, John gives us the Lord’s great, high priestly prayer for us, in which he prays not for the world but for his elect, asking his Father to keep us throughout our days on earth, through all our tribulations, and then to bring us safe to glory.
(John 17:22-26) "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: (23) I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (24) Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. (25) O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. (26) And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."
Chapter 18 brings us with our all-glorious Christ into Gethsemane. But John leaves out most of he the things described by Matthew and Luke. Instead, he tells us of our Savior’s care for his disciples when the soldiers came to arrest him, emphasizing the fact that he is God in total control even over those who arrested him. Here again, we have a picture of redemption and grace.
· The Savior takes the initiative. ― “Whom seek ye?”
· “I AM!”
· They fell down as dead men. – The law slain!
· Then, the Master said, “I AM (“He” is in italics.) If therefore ye seek me, let these go their way.” Hat is exactly what our Savior says to the law of God. You can’t have me and my sheep. If you take me, you must let my people go free!
“It is Finished”
In chapter 19 our Savior is crucified. In verse 30, we read these great, triumphant words of our victorious Redeemer ― “It is finished!”
(John 19:30) "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
What was finished?
· The law.
· The prophets.
· The work he came to do.
Chapters 20 and 21 tell us about our Lord’s resurrection and his appearances to his disciples after the resurrection. By his death and resurrection as our Substitute, our Lord Jesus reconciled us to our God, restored all that we had lost by the sin and fall of our father Adam, and restored us entirely to our God. Is it not most fitting that John shows us the restoration of his fallen disciple in this context? The Lord Jesus came to Peter in grace, assuring him of his love and forgiveness, and assuring Peter of his love for his Savior.
(John 21:25) “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”
When John says, “I suppose,” he is still writing by inspiration. It is as though the Lord God is telling us, ― “You do not know how big My Son is, how great He is. If you go into every detail of who He is and what He has done the world itself would not hold the books.” There could not be a more fitting conclusion of the Gospel of the Son of God.
 Date: Tuesday Evening— 2004
Saturday (PM) ― arch 6, 2004 ― Jackson, MO
Tape # Y-5a
Readings: Bobbie Estes and Larry Brown