Sunday, August 25, 2013

I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life

August 25, 2013

I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life 
Jesus in the Present Tense
John 14:6, 7

(Advance Slide #1)

G.B. Robeson writes of a man lost in the jungle, a man sought desperately to find his way to safety. 
  • His strength was ebbing fast as the insects and stifling heat did their deadly work. 
    • Suddenly he heard what he thought to be a bell tolling in the distance. 
    • Believing he was nearing civilization, he struggled bravely onward; but he never seemed to draw closer to the sound. Finally, he fell to the ground exhausted, never to rise again. 
(Advance Slide #2)
  • The mysterious bellbird had claimed another victim!
  • Many times this bird with its call entices people to get off of the path to seek out the sound. 
Similarly Satan employs subtle devices to ensnare us. 

(Advance Slide #3)
  • As souls seek to free themselves from the ways of sin, they are lead astray by the Satan's “bell” ringing in the distance. 
    • “At last,” They think, “I’ve found a way of escape,” and so, following the call of the evil one deeper and deeper into the jungle of despair, they are eventually lost for eternity. 
  • Many are following the deceptive call of the devil’s “bell-bird” because it seems right to them. 
Jesus, before His death, who declared that no man comes to the Father but by me.

(Advance Slide #4)
  • He is the only One who can lead poor wanderers to the promised land of salvation and safety!
(Advance Slide #5)

(Advance Slide #6)
  • John 17:6 "I have manifested your name [Father] to the people whom you gave me out of the world."
  • In doing so He revealed the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
(Advance Slide #7)

"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7

Jesus had just told the disciples to not be troubled.
  • He is leaving and will come back.
    • While He is gone, He will be preparing a place and will return and take us there.
(Advance Slide #8)
    • "And you know the way to where I going"
  • Jesus's answer is the basis of this lesson.
Jesus does not simply teach the way or point the way; He is the way.
  • In fact, “the Way” was one of the early names for the Christian faith (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22).
  • Jesus’s statement, “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me,” wipes away any other way to heaven.
Jesus has disclosed more than anyone expected. 

(Advance Slide #9)
  • Instead of simply defining his destination (the Father, heaven), he says that he alone is the way to get there. 
    • But only God can lead us to himself. 
    • Jesus takes the next inevitable step, therefore, a step no doubt that the disciples can barely comprehend: 
      • Only the Father can lead us to himself—and the Father is genuinely present in Jesus.

(Advance Slide #10)

(Advance Slide #11)

  • They have not understood everything that He taught, but they believed and followed Him.
  • When He taught they were edited by His teachings, but not tonight.
    • He says, "I'm leaving."
    • And on top of that He is about to announce that there is a traitor among them.
  • Maybe you feel the same sorrow here today.
    • The work is beyond your ability…you feel weak.
    • Friends and associates have betrayed you or hurt you.

(Advance Slide #12)

(Advance Slide #13)

The church was "filled with awe" (Acts 2:443) but now it seems to be business as usual.
  • This shows the need for REVIVAL.
  • Blessed is the man 
(Advance Slide #14)

Psalm 1:1-3 shows a recipe for revival and it also parallels John 14:6
     "who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,     THE WAY
          nor stands in the way of sinners,
          nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
     but his delight is in the law of the Lord,               THE TRUTH
          and on his law he meditates day and night.
     He is like a tree                                                        THE LIFE
          planted by streams of water
          that yields its fruit in its season,
          and its leaf does not wither.
          In all that he does, he prospers."
(Advance Slide #15)

(Advance Slide #17)
The parable of the Prodigal Son describes the conduction of all who turn their backs on God.
  • As the son sat with the pigs…he took inventory of his life.
    • He realized that going back to his father was the only way to make things right.
(Advance Slide #18)
  • "except through me…"
    • Sinners are lost, but Jesus is the WAY to the Father's home.
    • Sinners are ignorant, but Jesus is the TRUTH about the Father.
    • Sinners are spiritually dead, but Jesus is the LIFE for those who repent and are baptized into Him

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I AM the Resurrection and the Life

I AM the Resurrection and Life
Jesus in the Present Tense
John 11:25-26

  • Deals with LOVE
  • Deals with HOPE
  • Deals with FAITH
    • If you find yourself in a "dead situation" the Lord's statement in these verses is the answer.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

This I AM statement is coming on the heels of Martha telling Jesus that had he been there her brother would be alive.
  • Jesus consoles here by telling her, "Your brother will rise again"
(Advance Slide 7)
  • It is important to note that Jesus did not deny what Martha said about the future resurrection. 
(Advance Slide 8)
    • The resurrection of the human body is a cardinal doctrine in the orthodox Jewish faith. 
  • But in His great I AM statement, our Lord completely transformed the doctrine of the resurrection and, in so doing, brought great comfort to Martha’s heart.
By His teaching, His miracles, and His own resurrection, Jesus clearly taught the resurrection of the human body. 
  • He has declared once for all that death is real, that there is life after death, and that the body will one day be raised by the power of God.
(Advance Slide 9)
  • He took it out of a book and put it into a person, Himself. “I am the resurrection and the life”!

Perhaps the greatest transformation Jesus performed was to move the theme of the resurrection out of the future and into the present.
  • Martha was looking to the future, knowing that Lazarus would rise again and she would see him.
    • Jesus tried to center their attention on the present: wherever He is, God’s resurrection power is available now.
      • "We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." Rom. 6:4

  1. Through them they gave the knowledge of the one true God.
  2. Through them they gave the Bible
  3. Through them they gave a Savior, Jesus Christ
To Abraham and Sarah God was "resurrection and life."
  • They had been promised a son…late in life they received that promise then God asked that he be sacrificed.
    • God didn't want Abraham's life, what He desired was Abraham's faith in Him.
      • Faith in God's resurrection power turned this trial into triumph.

It did not end here…
  • Isaac's son Jacob had a son named Joseph.
  • Joseph was sold into slavery and ends up in prison, but God did not neglect Him.
    • God delivered Him…this was a resurrection for him.

  • He affirms her Jewish faith and belief in the resurrection - Jn. 11:24
  • Jesus, however had something else in mind - Jn. 11:25
    • He moved resurrection from a statement of faith to a person.
    • He moved it out of the future into the present.
Of all the pictures of salvation that we find in scripture, resurrection is the most important and encouraging.

(Advance Slide 15)
  • "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." John 5:24
    • Unsaved people are not just sick because of their sin.
(Advance Slide 16)
  • Scripture says that they are "dead in their transgressions"
(Advance Slide 17)
  • "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus," Eph. 2:4-6
In the four gospels we only have 3 resurrection recorded:
  1. 12 yr. old girl, who had just died.
  2. A young man, who had been dead about a day.
  3. Lazarus, and older man who had been dead 4 days.
  • Which of these are you like?
  • In each instance it was the command of His Word that restored life.
    • It is the same Word that raises sinners from spiritual death.
    • After they received life they gave evidence of the new life. 

3 NT epistles begin with this, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ."

  • Eph. 1:3 - looks back and praises God for the blessings of the past.
  • 1 Cor. 1:3 - focuses on the present and the encouragement it brings.
  • 1 Peter 1:3 - focuses on the future blessings.
    • Jesus is ALIVE and has given us a "living hope."

Peter also reminds his readers that this "living hope" is also "living and enduring" - 1 Peter 1:23
  • Jesus is the "living stone" - 2:4
  • Believers are "living stones" - 2:5
    • This living hope does not die because it is rooted in the eternal!
Because He is the "resurrection and life" Believers have a hope and expectation:
  • Seeing Him, being like Him; and living with Him forever.
    • A "living hope" grows stronger and stronger in the hearts of His people.
    • With this living hope and growth believers will be ready; careless Christians will be unprepared.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I AM the Good Shepherd

I AM the Good Shepherd
Jesus in the Present Tense
John 10:11-16

(Advance Slide 1)


Most churches and followes of Christ live in cities.
  • The thought or idea of shepherds and sheep are foreign to most of us.
    • The reason being that many of us have not seen either.
    • If we limit out learning to teaching/preaching only from the familure...we won't learn much!
(Advance Slide 2)

Shepherds and sheep
  • Paul - used the image in Acts 20:28
  • John - used the same images when writing to the churches in Asia Minor.
    • If we eliminate these images, we have no Savior/hope.
(Advance Slide 3)

Jesus is the "Good Shepherd"
  • "Good" - conveys the meaning of noble, praise worthy, desiring approval from God.
    • He is the genuine shepherd
    • He is the loving shepherd - Isa. 40; Ezek. 34
Sheep are mentioned over 300 times in the Bible...that's more than any other animal.
  • They are:
    • Defenseless - they are prone to go astray.
    • Stubborn - they don't want to move sometimes.
    • Weak - they had poor eye site 
(Advance Slide 4)

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. John 10:14-16

This is the fifth of our Lord’s I AM statements in John’s Gospel. 

(Advance Slide 5)
  • In making this statement, He is contrasting Himself to the false shepherds who were in charge of the Jewish religion of that day. 
  • He had already called them “thieves and robbers,” and now He would describe them as “hirelings.”
Some of the greatest people named in the Bible were shepherds by occupation:

(Advance Slide 6) 
  • Abel, the patriarchs, Moses, and David, to name a few. 
  • Even today in the Holy Land, you may see shepherds leading flocks and revealing how intimately they know each sheep, its individual traits, and its special needs. 
  • Keep in mind that Jewish shepherds did not tend the sheep in order to slaughter them, unless they were used for sacrifice. 
  • Shepherds tended them that the sheep might give wool, milk, and lambs.
(Advance Slide 7)

In the text there are 3 ministries identified that the "Good Shepherd" tends to:
  1. He dies for His sheep
  2. He knows His sheep
  3. He bring other sheep into His flock
Let's examine the r'ship the "Good Shepherd" and His sheep.

(Advance Slide 8)

Owns His Sheep - Jesus calls us His own.
  • The Father gave them to Him
  • In fact, He was he one who purchased them - 1 Cor. 6:19-20
Sacrificial death - John 1:29
    • His death was more brutal than we could ever imagine.
    • I was like a building was being torn down and left in ruins.
Willing - John 10:11-18
    • He was willing to put aside any personal desires that He might have had.
    • Under the old covenant, the sheep died for the shepherd
    • Under the new covenant the Shepherd died for the sheep.
Triumphantly - John 12:20-29
    • So that we might be His sheep.
    • Song. 2:16; 6:3
Since He owned His sheep, if we follow Him, we will experience the abundant life that only He can give. - John 10:10

(Advance Slide 9)

Knows His Sheep - for Christ to "know" sheep is an AMAZING thought.
  • To "know" is more than the ability to identify a person or thing by name.
    • It involves a deep intimacy...a deep understanding.
    • It is best seen in the intimate love of a husband and wife.
He knew/ knows His sheep!
  • Which would wander or disobey
  • This allowed Him to are for them like a parent does for a child.
    • Just as a child knows the voice of mom or dad (good or bad) so did the sheep.
Jesus compares His r'ship with His sheep with the r'ship He has with His Father.
  • John 17:26
  • As we study the Word, worship, fellowship and obey the Shepherd we come to know Him and ourselves better.
    • Psalm 139:1-3
(Advance Slide 10)

Calls His Sheep - His call is a total acts of grace...we have done nothing to deserve it.
  • The call from Christ can be found in Peter's preaching on the Day of Pentecost - Acts 2:39
  • Paul identified the people of God - Rom. 1:168:309:24
  • Jesus calls us out of the darkness into the light of His life.
    • This means that we change our minds and live in separation from the old life. 
    • We call this process REPENTANCE!
      • There can be no compromise to this - Mt. 12:30
In scripture God called many who listen to His words.
  • One of the marks of a "follower of Christ" is a spiritual ear...sensitive to the word of God.
  • Mt. 11:15
The call is not just to come out of whatever fold we are in, the call is also to follow Him.
  • To follow Him to the things that He wants us to do
  • To follow His example of service!
As long as we are willing to do His will, and daily hear His voice in the word, He will never allow us to stray (John 7:17)

(Advance Slide 11)

Cares for His Sheep - they need protection from the thieves that wish to break in, steal, or harm.
  • The true Shepherd lovingly and courageously cares for His flock.
    • He goes before them to find the good pasture.
    • He know when they need rest.
    • He watches out for danger.
    • He watches out for the ones who will stray.
Psalm 23 the Shepherd is equipping and enabling His sheep.
  • This would have been written out of experience.
    • The true Shepherd has a heart or His sheep.
    • He seeks the very best (i.e. - protects and provides for them).
We learn for our Shepherd
  • If we love Christ, we love His sheep, and we will sacrifice to serve them.
    • Just as He did!
(Advance Slide 12)

Gathers His Flock - important job of the shepherd!
  • Jesus began by going to the "lost sheep of Israel" - Mt. 10:5-6
  • He made it clear that the Gentiles would be included.
  • John 10-16
Peter's ministry:
  • Acts 2 - calls the Jews, Gentiles, and proselytes in Judaism
  • Acts 8 - Peter and John went into Samaria
  • Acts 10 - Peter was sent to the home of the Roman centurion
    • In each instance people were brought into the "flock"
There is but one flock and one Shepherd
  • One body and Jesus is head
  • One building and Jesus is he foundation
    • Jesus prayed for unity in the body
    • Not in an "organizational sense" but as the Father & Son are one!
(Advance Slide 13)

It isn't difficult to confess the "Good Shepherd"
  • The difficulty comes when we try to confess our need for a Shepherd.
  • To claim to be His sheep and not follow Him is rebellion and sin!
  • The more we grow and mature spiritually we realize our rebellion and our need for Him to shepherd our life.