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God's plan for salvation

Gospel according to John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

At the start of a new year many people gather to come up with resolutions, such as:
Loose weight
Read the bible
Eat healthier
Many others reflect on the year that has passed to consider successes and victories as well as trials and hardships.
The church of Jesus Christ gathers to thank God for all he has done in the year that has passed and to pray for God’s blessing upon the new year.
It is an also opportunity to reconsider our expectations, our goals, our focus for the new year to ensure we have a proper perspective upon the things that matter most.
It is possible we wasted much time on things that did not matter much.
It is also possible to have neglected to do things which would have had a much greater impact upon the lives of others.
It is for this reason that on this last day of the year, and last Lord’s Day of the year, we want to reflect on what matter’s most from the perspective of the God’s kingdom: God’s plan for salvation.
If we truly believe the bible, then we must believe .
If we believe then we believe God has made a way for salvation.
People who have not believed in the Lord Jesus Christ will die and face an eternity away from God.
Humanity’s only hope is the message of salvation by faith alone, by grace alone, and by Jesus Christ alone.
God’s plan for salvation is:
Accomplished through the preaching of an evangelist
Accomplished through believing in the gospel message

I. Accomplished through the preaching of an evangelist

I. Se logra por la predicación de un evangelista

We have come to the second part of chapter one in the Gospel according to John. In this half we read about the first disciples who began to follow the Lord Jesus Christ: Andrew, Peter, Phillip, and Nathanael. Each of these men have their first encounter with the Lord Jesus in .
It all starts with our first evangelist. An evangelist, simply stated, is a person who shares the evangel / the gospel / the good news. That is essentially the duty of an evangelist: to share the good news about the Lord Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist is the first evangelist. He simply points people to the “Lamb of God”
John 1:35–36 NIV
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
John 1:35–36 NVI
Al día siguiente Juan estaba de nuevo allí, con dos de sus discípulos. Al ver a Jesús que pasaba por ahí, dijo: —¡Aquí tienen al Cordero de Dios!
John the Baptist could have easily pointed these two disciples (who were his disciples) to himself. Nevertheless, he pointed them to him who brings salvation to all men who believe. He pointed them to the sacrificial Lamb of God.
The Lord Jesus recieved them when they inquired as to where he was staying (1:37). He simply said: “Come,” … “and you will see.” (1:39).
Both men stayed with Jesus for the rest of the evening. They were completely absorbed with the presence of Jesus Christ. What a delight it must have been to be in his presence, hearing him teach, hearing him speak (1:39).
Something very interesting happens once these men encounter the Lord Jesus Christ. After meeting with the Lord Jesus they become evangelists.
John 1:40–42 NIV
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
John 1:40
John 1:40–42 NVI
Andrés, hermano de Simón Pedro, era uno de los dos que, al oír a Juan, habían seguido a Jesús. Andrés encontró primero a su hermano Simón, y le dijo: —Hemos encontrado al Mesías (es decir, el Cristo). Luego lo llevó a Jesús, quien mirándolo fijamente, le dijo: —Tú eres Simón, hijo de Juan. Serás llamado Cefas (es decir, Pedro).
Our second evangelist is Andrew. Andrew, goes to his brother Peter and proclaims that they have found the Messiah!
He simply shares about who he has met. He shares about the identity of him whom they have just met.
Note how he does not simply tell him about Jesus but also brings him to Jesus.
Elsewhere in the Bible we find Andrew doing the same thing: bringing people to the Lord Jesus Christ:
,
John 6:8–9 NIV
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
,
John 12:20–22 NIV
Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
John 6:8–9 NVI
Otro de sus discípulos, Andrés, que era hermano de Simón Pedro, le dijo: —Aquí hay un muchacho que tiene cinco panes de cebada y dos pescados, pero ¿qué es esto para tanta gente?
John 12:20–22 NVI
Entre los que habían subido a adorar en la fiesta había algunos griegos. Éstos se acercaron a Felipe, que era de Betsaida de Galilea, y le pidieron: —Señor, queremos ver a Jesús. Felipe fue a decírselo a Andrés, y ambos fueron a decírselo a Jesús.
The mark of a true disciple of Jesus, the mark of someone who has been saved by Jesus is that they become an evangelist. They tell others about Jesus. They tell others about God’s plan for salvation. They simply cannot keep to themselves the greatest news there can be.
Andrews first instinct is to share this good news with his own blood brother, Simon.
Simon comes to Jesus and has a glorious encounter with him.
The Lord gives him a new name, a new identity. He is now called: Cefas / Peter (rock).
Our third evangelist is found in veres 43-45, his name is Philip.
Philip has encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ when Jesus calls him and simply tells him “Follow me.” (1:43).
Jesus starts to follow Jesus and in verse 45 we see him sharing this wonderful news with Nathanael.
John 1:45 NIV
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
John 1:45 NVI
Felipe buscó a Natanael y le dijo: —Hemos encontrado a Jesús de Nazaret, el hijo de José, aquel de quien escribió Moisés en la ley, y de quien escribieron los profetas.
John 1:45
Philip has a strong conviction that Jesus Christ, the Rabbi from Nazareth, is the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise of God to bring salvation and forgiveness of sin.
John 1:46 NIV
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.
John 1:46 NVI
—¡De Nazaret!—replicó Natanael—. ¿Acaso de allí puede salir algo bueno? —Ven a ver—le contestó Felipe.
John 1:46
Nathanael is not so sure. He knows there are no Old Testament prophecies that speak about redemption / salvation / or the Messiah coming from Nazareth. In fact, he doubts whether anything good could come from Nazareth (1:46). He is simply speaking his mind.
Philip does not argue with Nathanael. He simply brings him to Jesus.
The Lord Jesus Christ seems him. He knows Nathanael’s heart. In fact, he knows Nathanael’s whole life.
John 1:47–48 NIV
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
John 1:47–48 NVI
Cuando Jesús vio que Natanael se le acercaba, comentó: —Aquí tienen a un verdadero israelita, en quien no hay falsedad. —¿De dónde me conoces?—le preguntó Natanael. —Antes de que Felipe te llamara, cuando aún estabas bajo la higuera, ya te había visto.
John 1:47
John 1:47–48 NVI
Cuando Jesús vio que Natanael se le acercaba, comentó: —Aquí tienen a un verdadero israelita, en quien no hay falsedad. —¿De dónde me conoces?—le preguntó Natanael. —Antes de que Felipe te llamara, cuando aún estabas bajo la higuera, ya te había visto.
Jesus knows that Nathanael spoke some very strong but sincere words. He is not a false seeker.
Jesus then speaks to Nathanael about an important incident that’s related to him being “under the fig tree”. We have no other details. This is known only to God and Nathanael. This was enough for Nathanael to have a life changing experience with our Messiah.
John 1:49 NIV
Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
John 1:49 NVI
—Rabí, ¡tú eres el Hijo de Dios! ¡Tú eres el Rey de Israel!—declaró Natanael.
I am confident that after Nathanael encountered Jesus, he too became a proclaimer of good news. He too began to bring people to Jesus Christ.

II. Accomplished through believing in the gospel message

II. Se logra mediante la fe en el mensaje del evangelio

God uses many means to bring people to a saving knowledge of himself. He uses people, ordinary people, common folk, he uses people such as you and I to bring people from death to life.
Unfortunately, many of us have lost sight of the gospel message. In fact, if we were to go into a random church on a given Lord’s Day it is very possible to hear a message on:
How to beat depression
10 steps to a happy marriage
How to be a better parent
A person’s personal testimony
Two stories, a joke, and a poem
How to overcome the Goliath’s in your life
Brothers and sisters, this is not the gospel in message. The gospel message is the good news of Jesus Christ. But what is that good news?
Nathanael could have begun to share how the Lord Jesus Christ knew who he was, knew his heart, knew something that had happened to him while sitting under the fig tree (1:50)
John 1:50 NIV
Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”
John 1:50 NVI
—¿Lo crees porque te dije que te vi cuando estabas debajo de la higuera? ¡Vas a ver aun cosas más grandes que éstas! Y añadió:
For this reason, Jesus clarifies the center of the gospel message. This is probably the most important verse in this second half of .
John 1:51 NIV
He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”
John 1:51 NVI
—Ciertamente les aseguro que ustedes verán abrirse el cielo, y a los ángeles de Dios subir y bajar sobre el Hijo del hombre.
Jesus brings a mental picture that comes to us from the Old Testament.
Genesis 28:12 NIV
He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
Genesis 28:12 NVI
Allí soñó que había una escalinata apoyada en la tierra, y cuyo extremo superior llegaba hasta el cielo. Por ella subían y bajaban los ángeles de Dios.
Jacob had a dream. In his dream he saw a great stairway leading up to the heavens. Upon the stairway were angels of God, ascending and descending.
And now, Jesus says he is the stairway.
He is that connection between heaven and earth.
He is the way to the Father. He takes us before the throne of God the Father.
He is our only mediator. He intercedes on our behalf.
He is our redeemer. He did in our place so that we could have everlasting life.
This is the gospel message. This is God’s plan for salvation.
Let us go into 2018 believing in our duty to proclaim the gospel message to all who will hear.
Let us pray that God will regenerate their hearts so that they may believe.
Let us pray that those who believe will also become evangelists for God and proclaim the good news.
Let us pray, fervently, earnestly, that we do not loose sight of the true gospel message. We do not preach to entertain, to simply give an alternative therapeutic message. We preach for the purpose of people repenting from their sins and knowing who God is and what he has done for them in Jesus Christ.
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