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Text for today:
Text for today:
Alan Sinclair, who is the founder of Cryonics in the UK, does not want his death to be permanent.
In fact, after he dies, his blood will be flushed from his body and replaced with antifreeze.
The technicians will then cool the body with dry ice and fly it to his cryogenics center in Michigan.
Once they receive his body, they will freeze him at minus 320 degrees.
He will remain frozen until a cure for whatever killed him is found.
Once they find a cure;
Future technicians will thaw him out.
Thereby curing him of whatever killed him and Alan will exist alive on this earth once again.
As Christians, we are not like Alan.
While we can think that the research they do is cool or neat;
Our hope is not found in the advancements of future medicine.
Our hope as Christians is knowing that God, in the person of Christ Jesus will resurrect us.
We’ve no need to wait upon a cure from medicine;
The cure for what ails us as fallen humanity has already been taken care of.
Sin and death have both been defeated in the triumph of Jesus Christ!
Yet, though we as pastors should know and affirm this with all that we are.
Could we say that this is truly reflected in our preaching and our dependance upon Christ?
Do we preach to a lost and dying world like we truly believe this?
Do we preach to knowing that the God over all of creation, in all of His splendor will work.
Flesh and Blood Scenario:
Or do we preach as though we are like Thomas.
We walk alongside of Jesus, knowing what He says.
Listening to His Words in Scripture.
Yet still doubting the aspects of who He is?
It wasn’t the idea of a new year with new goals and purposes.
It wasn’t the fact that they would have the next couple days off.
Instead, they were rejoicing that the night before, at 11:59, their new bundle of joy entered into the world.
And as if the excitement of a new child wasn’t enough, their excitement was long overdue.
They had tried since they were married at the age of 18 to have a child, and for 22 years, they always fell short of their desires.
Yet it was not for a lack of trying.
They had multiple miscarriages and even one still born.
They had finally given up all hope that they would one day have a child.
At the age of forty they decided to shoot for adoption and they were halfway through the process when Amy found out she was pregnant.
They decided immediately to set this over into the hands of the Lord to see what He would do with it.
In a surprising way, Amy’s body carried the child just fine and she was able to finally bring the child she had always wanted into their home and their family.
Joe and Amy had many reasons to rejoice and praise God and that they did.
Yet the great and wonderful news of this newborn child didn’t stay happy for long.
About a week into his birth, his parents noticed that there was something off with their child.
They took him to the doctor who ran a myriad of tests, only to find out that he had Tetralogy of Fallow.
A rare heart disease where there is a combination of four defects within the heart.
A hole in the wall between the heart’s ventricles, a narrowed passage between the right ventricle and pulmonary artery, a shift connection of the aorta to the heart and a thickened muscle in the right ventricle.
This news for Joe and Amy was beyond depressing.
This meant that their newborn son wouldn’t live past a few weeks without a miracle.
Their newborn bundle of joy needed a new and without one, he wouldn’t live to see the next month.
Without their son receiving a new heart, all of their desires and hopes of finally having a family were going to be over.
To say that they were heartbroken is an understatement.
The first week went by and their Doctor did all that he could do to get their child on the Donor list.
At the same time, the Doctor knew the odds were stacked against the child and he prepared the parents for the worst.
With every passing moment, the anxiety of Amy and Joe grew to a place where it became unbearable.
They couldn’t sleep and they wouldn’t eat. They spent all of their remaining time with their beloved son, desperately clinging to him in the precious little time that he had left.
One the very same day that their son hit his lowest peak on his health, a group of nurses burst through the door of the hospital room, quickly grabbing the young child without saying much at all.
The parents were confused and wondered what was taking place.
Amy cried out to one of the nurses begging to know where they were taking her son.
The nurse turned and proclaimed to Amy, “We’ve got your child a heart.”
The tears and moaning of celebration could be heard clear across the NICU as Amy and Joe praised God for his grace in the life of their son.
Today, it is by God’s grace that little Joe jr. is alive and well.
His parents still to this very day have a glowing light encompassing their appearance when they begin to talk about the grace of God in their sons life.
While for many of us, stories like this reach far beyond our scope of imagination, for Joe and Amy, this was their testimony of grace.
While most of us will prayerfully never encounter such horrendous hours of pain in the raising of our children, I can’t help but wonder if we know of this same grace from the Lord?
You see, just like Joe jr., each of us, both redeemed and unredeemed had a heart that was in desperate need of a transplant.
Each of us either were or currently are terminally ill due to a heart that sought after evil continually.
And my question for you is, have you truly been given a new heart?
Joe jr. is alive and well, progressing like every little child of his age which is a testimony to what the Doctors did in his life.
There is no question in the minds of those around him whether or not he has a new heart, his very presence speaks to the transformation in his life.
Do you have such an evidence and testimony in your own life?
Is your very presence here this morning proof that God has transplanted the heart of stone which you once had, and given you a heart of flesh?
Secure Interest:
My presumption is that if you’re in this room today as a follower of Christ;
A preacher of His Word;
We don’t do this with the lost and dying world.
We may do this inside our Churches and chaplain the people God has given us.
Scripture tells us that this man was a learned man with a very thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.
He had been taught much about Jesus and even had the ability to teach about Jesus.
Yet the heart transplant that he so desperately needed was not truly there.
We see this by way of imposition as he had never truly heard of the Messiah who had come.
But we don’t go out into the world with this message.
Instead, he was to teaching of a messiah who was to come.
We can see this from the text where in the very first part, he taught about the Messiah and in the latter part, Scripture says that he showed by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.
Instead of teaching about a Messiah, He taught about Jesus as being the fulfillment of the Messiah.
This for all purposes reveals to me a heart change where he went from a mere knowledge to a transformed heart.
Vital Personal Questions:
So the question I have for you this evening Pastor is this:
1. Do you truly believe that through your preaching, God will draw men unto Himself?
2. Is your preaching based on the truth of God’s Sovereign work in salvation?
3. If so,
Crucial Assertions:
If you are anything like me, you find it easier to hunker down and quietly talk about Jesus than to proclaim it from the rooftops.
That as sad as this may be, many will live out their days never knowing of the grace of God which truly redeems.
You allow your fear and timidity to overrule you and because of that, the message of Christ is not going forward.
They hear messages about this Jesus and how change is possible, yet they have never been given the true assurance which reveals faith.
Determinative Difference:
If today, we would all look upon this text for what it says, we would be able to see how the Trinity is involved in every aspect of our proclamation of Christ Jesus.
My reason for choosing this text is for us to see that as the mouthpieces of God;
Called to go out into the world and seek after the 1;
We do not do so alone.
Instead we have the Sovereign Triune God at work on our behalf.
I want to show how it is God the Father who does the Labor in drawing men unto Himself.
How it is God the Holy Spirit who does the work of regeneration.
And God the Son is the one who does the raising.
All that we are in this whole theme, is a mouthpiece of the Lord.
The first way in which Scripture revealed to us the mercy of God was found in His making us alive together with Christ when He would have been just to leave them there.
The second way was that God raises us up to heavenly places.
And the third was that for all of eternity, He will continue to show to us His mercy in Christ.
Connection to previous sermon:
Where am I in the outline of the book:
He has magnified the work and the glory of Jesus in such a way that the position of man has been rightly lowered to the place in which it belongs and the glorious name of Christ has been magnified.
PNP and Theological Principles:
So as we dig into our text today, I want you to see three aspects of the Work of the Trinity in Salvation and how that applies in our ministry.
The Father is the one who draws men unto Christ.
The Father does not draw all men unto Christ.
Those who are drawn will come unto the second Person of the Trinity for salvation.
Restate PNP:
Once again, We’ll be looking at three aspects of the Work of the Trinity in Salvation and how that applies in our ministry.
Body of Sermon:
I. Theological Principle:
The Father is the one who draws men unto Christ
a. God will actively draw men unto Christ (Verse 44)
Let me preface all that I’m getting ready to say about this passage in this way;
I am not forgetting the context of the verse.
I did not cherry pick this verse because it fit my agenda.
I chose it because it chose me...
Seriously though, there is a principle taught here that we as pastors would be wise to heed to.
God will actively draw men unto Christ.
My main focus here is on the verb will in 44B.
The very first issue within our text today that I would like you to see is the fact that God had a plan within this whole narrative which we call life.
Verse 8 explicitly and thereby implicitly tells us that there are some who are saved and some who are not.
Think about this passage in its context for a moment.
Paul is writing first and foremost to a group of people in Ephesus who all have one thing in common and that is that they all are pursuing after Jesus.
Paul is not writing to a group of people that he is unsure of where they stand before the Lord.
By way of explicit accusation, Paul was addressing those who have repented of their sins and have looked unto Jesus.
He was writing to a group of people.
Now sometimes, the “theologians” of our day want to look at passages such as this and pull from it a singular application without understanding the plural recipients.
They see words such as you and they fail to see that from a plural understanding first and foremost.
And a part of that issue deals with a language problem which we have.
For our translators, there is not really an acceptable form or way to translate this word EIMI.
And because of that, it often shows up in our modern translations as sounding singular.
Yet thankfully, you have the local Greek expert in your midst who passed Greek with a grade I’m not willing to share and I’m going to give you a better translation of this word EIMI.
Since I live in the south now I suppose that I have the right to do this.
(T-shirt story)
Though we might joke about this, there is a very serious implication here that involves misinterpretation of Scripture on the part of our people.
We so set our minds on reading Scripture to see what we can get out of it that when we come across a word such as this, we fail to take into account that a word like this may very well be a plural word.
And the reason that is important is because Paul here is addressing one of the most precious groups in all of Scripture.
A group of people that God before the foundations of the world set his eye on redeeming.
This is the Church.
This is the body of people, made up of all those who will repent of their sin and place their faith in the finished work of Christ Jesus.
Now this is where the Scripture gets a little too touchy for some but as you recall, I told you that God had a plan before the world ever existed for redemption.
And as we all would probably whole heartedly affirm this, we have to take it farther because that doesn’t actually clear up all of thats on the table.
You see, this plan is inclusive of all those who will ever come to the Lord.
Now notice that I used the word will.
I didn’t say that they might.
I didn’t say that it was possible, instead I said that they will.
Paul tells us this much in the prior chapter when he was building up this exalted view of Christ Jesus.
Listen to this:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Do you see this plan unfolding here?
Paul said that before the foundations of the world, God had a plan of redemption.
That God chose us… Notice the us, Paul is addressing believers here, remember that.
That God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.
In love He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace.
This was all predetermined!
All those who will ever come to Father through Jesus come because they have been predestined to come!
Now I know what you might be thinking:
Listen Cory, I don’t that means what you’re trying to say that it means.
Surely that cannot mean that God predetermined who comes to Him.
For Jesus to say that He WILL raise them up on the last day;
Couldn’t it mean that God looked through the corrider of time to see who would choose Him and He made the decision on that basis?
After all, that’s what seems to imply right?
Well, lets look at that passage for a moment.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
I’m not going to get into all the language here and run down that rabbit trail but here is the implication of that passage.
Many people believe this passage to teach the idea of God looking down the corridor of time and seeing who would choose Him and upon that, He predestines them unto Himself.
However, the problem with that is that it has to completely defy the attributes of God in order to make that case.
God being God, the knower of all things would foreknow everyone.
The text is explicit that those whom God foreknows, He also predestines.
So either God hid from Himself the knowledge of all those out there who will die and go to hell, or the passage cannot mean that.
If it means what many to believe than it would literally be telling us that all men will be saved.
God foreknows everyone and therefore, the implication of that interpretation would mean that all people would be preordained to be saved.
Yet we know from Jesus’ own words concerning Hell that all men won’t be saved.
demands for us to recognize that there must be a people God is drawing.
Now maybe Paul might be off his rocker on this one, I mean after all, this is pretty extreme.
And who was Paul to say such a thing concerning such grand a matter.
Firstly you need to repent because that is a denial and a rejection of God’s Word.
Secondly, look with me at .
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
These are the very words of Jesus.
He is explicitly saying that there will be no one who will ever look unto Him in a salvific sense unless God first does something in that persons life.
God must first begin drawing them unto Himself.
And when He does so, when He begins drawing men unto Jesus, those who are drawn become a part of this group of people that Paul is addressing back over in Ephesians.
Jesus offers them the promise of resurrection unto life with Him, something that is reserved specifically for the believer.
This transforms these people from those who are dead in their trespasses and sins as the previous verses told us, to now being made part of Christ’ Church.
Now I know that is a lot to take in.
Believe me when I say that I studied this issue exclusively for several years and threw my MacArthur study Bible across my office more times than I can count in trying to wrap my mind around this issue.
As you look at this verse,
Yet at the end of the day, I had to either bring my mind in conformity with the Word of God on this issue, or I needed to sit down and quit proclaiming Christ.
I say all that to say that I know what I just said is a lot to chew on.
Trust me, I have personally been there.
Yet if you’ll take what I just told you about God’s Sovereignty in redeeming men and study the issue in your Bible’s, you’ll one day be forced to do the very same thing I did.
WILL is laid out in the future tense.
You’ll either conform your mind to the image of Christ on this issue or you’ll have to find an excuse around the issue.
So one way in which you can take and apply this to your own life would be search out this issue on your own.
Come and ask for great resources on the matter.
As something Christ Will be doing at some point.
Pursue after an understanding on this issue and you will one day see it to be true.
If you’ll do this, you can become like David in
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
Another way which we could say this is that Jesus is going to raise them up on the last day.
David realized that it was God’s Sovereignty that gave the Lord the absolute freedom to do what He chooses to do.
And in this context, It is the sovereignty of God which allowed Him to devise a plan of redemption long before the world ever existed.
The emphasis is added here to show a guarantee of that which Jesus will one day do.
And as you’ll see in this next Principle this preordained plan did not revolve around us doing anything.
And we’ll talk more about that in a second but for the purpose of this first point;
I want you to see that this initial statement concerning the Father drawing men to Jesus;
It is not merely an idea or a possibility.
Look back at the passage in the very first part.
Though verse 44 does not specifically state that the Father has a people to draw to Himself;
By way of implication; Jesus affirms this.
In the preceeding context, Jesus actually makes this statement.
Move back to verse 35
Please read
John 6:35–40 ESV
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
John 6:
So not only is this the implication of King Jesus;
He says as much very explicitly prior to verse 44.
There is a people set apart to come to the Father.
Look at verse 37.
All that the Father gives me...
This seems to be referencing something that has taken place long ago.
So what if we compare what is being said here in this passage to ?
Turn there with me for a second.
Ephesians 1:3–6 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Chose us in Him before the foundations of the world...
Let’s analyze in light of what Paul says in Ephesians.
The Father, the high King of heaven has set apart a people for King Jesus.
And He did this long before the foundations of the world had ever been laid.
The Father chose for Himself a people and gave them to Jesus for His glory.
But as spectacular as that is, do you realize what this says about Jesus?
Look at verse 35.
“I am the bread of life.”
Jesus is the Manna sent down to save Israel wondering in the desert.
He is what Israel sought after in the morning.
Yet they would no longer need to seek out this Manna every morning.
For when they would find Jesus, they would be full.
But even deeper than that is what Jesus says in verse 38.
“For I have come down from heaven...”
Now to be fair, many religious leaders of Jesus’ day made this claim.
They were not Jewish necessarily, but they made the claim none the less.
But here’s what they didn’t offer which Jesus did.
Forgiveness, eternal life and resurrection.
This is either lunacy or it is the greatest truth man could ever know.
Jesus offers forgiveness because as God;
He has the authority to do so.
As God, He has the authority to offer eternal life.
As God, He has the capacity and ability to raise up dead men from their graves.
If Jesus isn’t God, this is sheer lunacy.
No prophet has the authority to do all of that.
The only one with the authority to forgive sin is who?
It’s God.
That’s it.
And this;
This is the God-man we find talking here in these verse.
Now for the sake of time, I cannot cover all of these verses like I would normally like to.
So I’m going to skip to Scripture which I’m focusing on today.
Go to .
Pastor, as the mouthpiece of God;
You can have boldness to preach Christ to a lost and dying world.
Boldness because God will draw His people to Jesus.
We no longer need to sit back with fear and timidity holding us down.
Keeping us from raising our voice for Jesus.
We can boldly proclaim, “Where are you?” to the 1;
and we can do so because we are merely the messengers.
It is God the Father who does the drawing.
He grabs hold of the hearts of men when you preach.
(Story about sharing the Gospel with (Nailed it) Cody and (Failed it) Ryan.)
At the end of the day, proclaiming this message of salvation had nothing to do with me;
but everything to do with Him.
Be open and available to call out to the one.
That is how the Sovereignty of God in salvation works in our ministry.
But we have to be prepared for failure.
This is the second point now.
II. Theological Principle
The Father does not draw all men unto Christ.
a. We must be prepared for failure because the Father does not draw all men unto Christ.
This is a hard saying for me.
Look back at Verse 44.
In an explicit way, Jesus denounces universalism and decrees that God is selective.
(Read the verse)
The passage states that all men who are drawn unto Jesus by the Father will be raised up on the last day.
Salvation for all of mankind is dependent upon works.
However, it is not our works, it is instead the work of Christ that gives the wicked their righteousness.
Instead of anything that you or I could do, we instead receive this as a gift.
Look back at verse 8.
This is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God.
Have you ever stopped to wonder what it would be like if your righteousness did come through your own doing?
My mind cannot help but go to King Josiah.
He was the son and grandson of two Kings that were wicked.
Yet Scripture says Josiah “did what was right in the sight of the Lord. That he walked in all the ways of David and that he didn’t turn to the right or the left.”
When the Law of God was revealed to him, he tore his clothes, called for a national time of repentance before the Lord and had all of the Law read to the people of the land.
He made a promise to the Lord to walk blameless before Him.
Yet even Josiah, this great man of God who, because of his blamelessness, the judgment of God was delayed.
Even Josiah tore his clothes and repented before the Lord when the Law was read to him.
He did so because he knew, that no matter how righteous he might try to be before the Lord from that moment on, he was a man whose righteousness didn’t amount to much.
When we begin to understand that even the most righteous of men in the Scripture were still merely men, we can then begin to see what Paul tells us in verse 8 concerning grace.
For by grace you have been saved.
Verse 9 reveals to us that this is not of us.
And how this should cause our hearts to sing for praise.
Knowing that my salvation is not based upon a how well I am able to perform before the Lord frees me to want to do right before the Lord.
It makes us Like Josiah when the Law was read to him.
His eyes were opened to the ways in which he had sinned and our eyes are opened to the ways in which Christ did not.
And how great that is.
Considering that works can be inclusive of both keeping the Law and loving our neighbor rightly, I can rejoice that my salvation is not found in myself.
Pastor, let me test your theology for a second.
I can’t speak for anyone else in the room but I know my heart.
Not fully, not in the same way the Lord knows my heart but I do know it well enough to know where I stand.
I know of all the immoral sins in my life prior to Christ that would be counted as works.
I know of some of the works that I did in the “name” of Jesus that would be nothing more than filthy rags before the Lord.
And though we’ve all come from different backgrounds, each of us have traveled the very same road of depravity.
Even those who believe themselves to be good and full of good works would be included in this.
Think back to the man who asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.
Jesus told him that he must work for it.
That he must keep all the Law.
The man’s claim was that he had done this all of his life.
What did Jesus tell him, go and sell all that you have and give it to the poor.
You see even this man who claimed to have kept all of God’s Law was shown that his own righteousness fell short before the Lord.
Are all men going to be raised up unto eternal life?
But you know whose works didn’t fall short before the Lord?
His works were so perfect that they are imputed to those who believe upon Him.
And when God looks at those redeemed in Christ, He sees the life of Jesus.
Full of good works.
Good works both to His neighbor and before the Lord in keeping the Law perfectly.
If you said yes, come with me so we can show you the pile for heretics :)
And God designed this intentionally.
He designed it this way so that at the end of the day, this gift places us in the same position as Joe jr.
In desperate need of grace and completely unable to do anything about our situation.
We are left standing before the Lord with no ability to boast and it is totally beautiful!
Of course not.
This is why righteousness through our works was not part of the plan.
Jesus Himself made ample warnings about the future reality of a hell.
And those people, the ones who go there;
They their lives may be eternal;
they do not have eternal life.
And this verse is explicitly teaching us that eternal life exist.
That is found in this doctrine and idea of resurrection.
So by way of explicit expression, as well as implication;
Jesus tells people that not just anyone can come.
Nor would anyone want to come.
Their sinful natures from the fall prevent them from coming to Jesus.
So even it were possible for them to come to Jesus, they wouldn’t want to.
I say all this as a point of reference for you for a moment.
Go back to the story I told you of Cody and Ryan.
As eloquently as I proclaimed Jesus to him;
as exalted as I made Jesus out to be in His capacity to offer forgiveness.
Ultimately Cody wouldn’t come because at that moment, the Lord was not drawing him to Jesus.
That is not to say that a seed wasn’t being planted.
That is not to say that I still shouldn’t proclaim Christ to him.
It is however said with a truth about the reality of Scripture here.
The Father does not draw all men unto Jesus.
And we would be well served to remind ourselves that our preaching will do one of two things;
It will either be used by God to draw men unto Himself;
Or it will be used as a judgment upon that person.
But all of this rest solely in the hands of the Father!
Many people will take this as being egotistical about who we are in Christ;
And if that is true of you, you do not understand the mercy and grace of God to forgive you.
But I would bet that this is not the case for any of us today.
The Lord is Sovereign and will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.
And for us, that means that not everyone that we proclaim Jesus to will be drawn by the Father to our Redeemer.
Yet there is much beauty in all of this;
III. Theological Principle
Those who are drawn, will come unto the second Person of the Trinity in Salvation.
a. Jesus does the raising (Verse 44b)
Now what I would like to do here in this point is focus briefly on one issue that comes to light at times.
In many ways this issue ties back with the first point but it is so important that we need to address it separately.
This grace is not only profound in that it gives to us what we so desperately need, thou it is all of that and more.
It is profound in that not even the faith to believe upon Christ belongs to us.
It is the gift of God’s grace as well.
As we’ve walked through these passages the last couple days and examined the spiritual deadness of man, we have seen how man is left completely helpless before the Lord.
And that depravity runs so deep within our own hearts that if it weren’t for the grace of God, we wouldn’t be able to have a faith in Christ.
My mind runs back to Abram when he was in the land of Ur.
Scripture in essence tells us that Abram was a pagan.
A man walking in the flesh, much like you and I.
Yet God initiated and called upon Abram, bringing him out of the land in which he was in, worshipping his false gods.
And through God’s call upon Abram, Abram would now have the faith necessary to believe upon the Lord.
Now some would claim that this is splitting hairs, but if we think about this Scripturally and take into account all that Scripture teaches concerning man, even if man had his own faith to believe, there is no way he would choose Jesus.
There is not enough temporal satisfaction for the fallen man in the Biblical Jesus.
Maybe if it was the Jesus of the prosperity Gospel which gives you the desires of the wicked heart in place of Jesus.
But not the real Jesus.
Not the Jesus who calls men to pick up their cross and follow Him.
For a moment, I want to move you through some of the context of this passage.
but this point cannot be stressed enough.
Look at verse 35.
“I am the bread of life.”
Jesus is the Manna sent down to save Israel wondering in the desert.
A cross that as John Stott called it, THE symbol of death.
He is what Israel sought after in the morning.
Yet they would no longer need to seek out this Manna every morning.
For when they would find Jesus, they would be full.
But, for a moment, let us weigh out the implications of the faith belonging to the person and not being a gift of the Lord.
But even deeper than that is what Jesus says in verse 38.
“For I have come down from heaven...”
Now to be fair, many religious leaders of Jesus’ day made this claim.
What would separate those in heaven from those in hell?
They were not Jewish necessarily, but they made the claim none the less.
But here’s what they didn’t offer which Jesus did.
Forgiveness, eternal life and resurrection.
Nothing more than their faith, correct?
This is either lunacy;
Or it is the greatest truth man could ever know.
Jesus offers forgiveness because as God;
He has the authority to do so.
Would this not be grounds for them to boast?
As God, He has the ability to offer eternal life.
As Divine, He has the capacity to raise up dead men from their graves.
If Jesus isn’t God, this is sheer lunacy.
That they had enough faith to do something such as believe when their neighbor, who sat beside them for forty years and heard the Gospel just like they and didn’t exercise their faith ends up in hell.
No prophet has the authority to do all of that.
Yet in the context of what is going on, that is all the Jews want to see Jesus as.
But He is more than mere prophet.
He has the authority to forgive sin.
Yet who is the only one with the authority to forgive sin?
It’s God.
Now I’m sure that in thinking about it from this perspective, they would quickly claim that it was all of grace.
That’s it.
And this;
This is the God-man we find talking here in these verses.
Yet on some level, even if it was miniscule, one person acting upon faith while another one denies that very same action gives grounds for the one to boast.
And as such;
He reveals to us that He has the authority to do far more than any other prophet could do.
Moses could make the water part.
Water show up out of
But he could not forgive sin.
He could go before the Lord on behalf of the people and plead for the Lord not to destroy them like at Mt. Sinai.
But Moses had no authority to offer forgiveness.
Even at Sinai he had to plead with the Lord.
Yet Jesus had no need to plead in this way.
So I’m going to skip to Scripture which I’m focusing on today.
Now He does offer intercession for us, this much is certain.
But more than intercession, everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in Him;
They all will receive forgiveness.
And the testimony of this forgiveness is found in the fact they will have eternal life and in no way be cast out.
This is our King Jesus.
Far more profound than any of our minds can begin to comprehend in its fullness.
But we none the less know this to be sure of Him.
And for our application in pastoral ministry;
For we know one who suffered and made satisfaction on behalf of all those the Father draws to Christ.
And this one that we know defies all forms of our natural minds.
His name is Jesus the Christ.
He is the Son of God.
He is God.
And He has the authority to raise up a people to Himself.
And God through the Apostle Paul here is very clear.
This is not of your own doing, it is the gift of God so that no man may boast.
This is not synergistic.
This gift of grace and faith is not 99% God and 1% man through his faith.
This is instead monergistic.
“So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: ‘I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!'”- Martin Luther
Where all of the grace which we receive is dependent upon God and not of ourselves.
It’s designed for us to see the glory of Christ on full display for all of eternity.
We as Pastors, can rest assured that God in the person of Jesus;
100% God with the only addition on our part being the sin which was poured upon Christ.
The second person of the Trinity has completely made mankind right.
And because this plan is designed to be centered around Christ, the whole process rested upon His grace.
We can preach this with confidence!
We should believe it in our own lives because of who Jesus truly is.
And we should be proclaiming it in the lives of all of creation.
He is able to resurrect because He is not merely the Son of God.
He and the Father and the Holy Spirit are one.
Jesus is God!
And there are none who are brought to Him who will not be raised with Him.
Conclusion: Synopsis:
As we draw to a close today, I want you to bring back into your mind those three aspects of the Work of the Trinity in Salvation and how that applies in our ministry.
The Father is the one who draws men unto Christ.
The Father does not draw all men unto Christ.
The Father does not draw all men unto Christ.
Those who are drawn will come unto the second Person of the Trinity for salvation.
Clinching Element of Persuasion:
The second was that righteousness through our own works was not a part of that plan.
The third was that His plan rested upon His grace!
The reason why this is important for us is that as fallen men, we all have a temptation to be boastful.
As Christians we are called to many tasks, some on the outside seem more noble than others.
Yet when we affix our hearts upon why we are here in the first place, the idea of boasting will dissipate from our midst.
We will begin to serve alongside of our brothers in Christ without envy of the task which God has called them too.
We can serve Christ without thought or care for ourselves.
We would be well served to be reminded of our position in all of this.
We can serve without measuring our success through all that the Lord entrust’s us with, whether great or small because it will all be for Him!
Yet when we don’t take heed to this, we can very easily find ourselves being like Hezekiah in .
Hezekiah in a very prideful moment, showed the Babylonians all that the Lord had entrusted him with.
All the riches and the gold.
Scripture says there was nothing in the storehouse or Hezekiahs house which the Babylonians did not see.
And because of Hezekiahs boastfulness concerning the situation which God had placed him over, there came a time where all that was in the house of Hezekiah was lost to the Babylonians.
Brothers, as men pursuing after pastorates or in pastorates at the moment, take this to heart.
We are called to preach.
When you begin to see yourself or your situation before the Lord in any other way than what the Lord has shown, we will cause loss within our ministries.
It may not be in our generation.
God may give a reprieve in your days, but there are many more coming after you.
How destructive we could be if we do not take to heart and begin to live out in our own lives the truth of why we are in Christ.
The rest of the work of redemption is upon His shoulders.
All that Hezekiah had in the way of riches was only by grace and yet he fumbled it all away.
How much more so should we guard our hearts with a prize such as the truth of the Grace of God in salvation.
We have no place in our lives for boastfulness through any of this;
Clinching Element of Persuasion:
There is no place for boasting because it is all upon Him.
Our call is to be the Nathan to the David’s.
The Elijah to the prophets of baal.
The Gospel:
For those of you present today who do not know Christ, I want to give you an exhortation to look unto Jesus so that you too can walk with assurance the way the Christian can.
1.Divinity of Jesus
2.Humanity of Jesus / Became a man
3.Virgin birth
4.Jesus is the lamb of God
5.God’s lamb/ The Lamb of God. The only solution. (yes both)
6.Lived a sinless life
7.Substitutionary atonement
8.Shed blood on the cross
9.Death on the cross
10.Resurrection from the dead
11.Repentance of Sin
12.Belief in Jesus/trust in the finished work of Christ
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