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The Wonderful Words of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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We must receive the words of Jesus Christ... 1. Because they are God's way to measure our lives (vs. 47-48). 2. Because they are God's message to us (vs. 49). 3. Because they are God's method of salvation (vs. 49-50).

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The Wonderful Words of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Gospel of John

John 12:44-50

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - June 21, 2017

(Revised December 19, 2019)

BACKGROUND:

*Please open your Bibles to John 12:31. As we get to the end of this chapter, the Lord was still in the Temple in Jerusalem. It was probably the day after Jesus' triumphal entry into the city on Palm Sunday. And there in the Temple, three different kinds of men were listening to the Lord. Some of His closest followers were there, as well as some Jews still wondering if Jesus was the Messiah.

*But also listening that day were hate-filled, Christ-rejecting rulers who eagerly wanted to kill Jesus. The Lord knew those men would murder Him on the cross, so starting in vs. 31 Jesus said,

31. "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.

32. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.''

33. This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

*In the next chapter, the Bible moves forward to the night before the cross. But here in the closing verses of John 12, Jesus finished His plea to the people in the Temple. And as He did, the Lord stressed the crucial importance receiving His words. Please think about that as we read vs. 44-50.

MESSAGE:

*The true and living God of the Bible is a miracle working God, and sometimes we have the joy of seeing Him do it. Before I answered God's call to the ministry, God blessed me to work six years for the Air Force. One of my best friends at Robins Air Force Base was a Captain named Bill.

*Ten years later in 1993, we got a call from Bill. He had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Bill and his wife had already asked us to raise their two children if anything happened to them both. They chose us, because none of their close relatives were Christians.

*Bill went to Cleveland for a desperate, last-ditch attempt to save his life. The surgery involved taking his face off to get to the tumor, but they did one last CAT scan just before the surgery. Bill was lying on the bed in pre-op when the doctor came in and said, "I am in shock and disbelief. And I can't justify the surgery." Bill asked, "Why?" And the doctor said: "The tumor's gone! We've been looking at the CAT scan for an hour, and we can't find it!"

*Our God is a miracle working God. And if you are holding a Bible in your hands today, you are holding one of His greatest miracles of all. The Bible is a one-of-a-kind, miraculous book because it was written by God Himself. This Book was written by the Holy Spirit of God.

*That's why 2 Peter 1:20-21 tells us we should know "this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

*The Holy Spirit of God is the primary author of the Bible. And yes, God used men to help get the job done, but those men were all moved by the Holy Spirit to say exactly what God wanted them to say.

*In the book of Acts, both Peter and Paul show us who wrote the Bible. Their statements are great confirmations at the beginning and end of Acts to confirm that this is the Word of God. In Acts 1:16, we hear Peter say, "Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, WHICH THE HOLY SPIRIT SPOKE before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus." Then in Acts 28:25 Paul said, "THE HOLY SPIRIT SPOKE rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers."

*The Holy Spirit of God is the primary author of the Bible. That's why there is divine oneness in this Book even though it was written through a wide variety of men. Lewis Chafer explained that "it was written over a period of at least 1,600 years by as many as 40 different authors. They differed in language, culture, background and experience. Nevertheless, the Bible, like no other composite book in the world, is one book. . .

*Among the authors of the 66 books in the Bible are kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, a doctor, statesmen, scholars, poets, and plowmen of such diverse backgrounds that one could hardly expect their writings to form any continuity. . . Obviously the Bible had a divine Editor, the Holy Spirit of God, who guided the writers so that all they wrote in perfect harmony." (1)

*The Bible is a one-of-a-kind, miraculous book because it was written by God. In tonight's Scripture Jesus boldly proclaimed that His words are the words of God. And God's words can do miraculous things in our lives, IF we are willing to receive them. Everybody needs to receive the words of Jesus Christ. Tonight's Scripture helps us see why.

1. FIRST: WE MUST RECEIVE THE LORD'S WORDS, BECAUSE THEY ARE GOD'S WAY TO MEASURE OUR LIVES.

*The words of Jesus Christ are God's way to measure our lives. We see this truth in vs. 47-48, where Jesus said,

47. . . "if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

48. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him: the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day."

*In vs. 48, Jesus reminds us that God's judgment is surely coming. Most people have no clue about the coming judgment. Most people seldom give it a thought. But God's Judgment Day is surely coming, so Jesus wants us to know the standard for God's judgment. And His standard is based on the words of our Lord. Again in vs. 48 Jesus said, "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him: THE WORD THAT I HAVE SPOKEN WILL JUDGE HIM IN THE LAST DAY."

*The Lord's words, God's Word is the standard for judgment, but many people have rejected God's Word today. That's why the Apostle Peter warns us against false teachers. In 2 Peter 2:1-3, Peter wrote:

1. . . There were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

2. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

3. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

*There are many false teachers in the world today, And Peter said, "Many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed." Surely, we have seen this happen in our lifetimes. Unbelieving preachers and teachers treat the Bible like a cafeteria line. They pick and choose some Scriptures to follow and throw others out as myths or bigotry from long ago.

*Peter said that some of these false teachers even deny the Lord who bought them. They would say, "You don't need to trust in Jesus Christ to be saved. All religions lead to Heaven." And many people have been deceived by these false teachers, including people who identify themselves as born-again Christians.

*A 2007 George Barna survey reported some huge inconsistencies in the beliefs of people who claimed to be born-again believers. 92% of them agreed that "the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches." But only one in four believed they "personally had a responsibility to tell other people their religious beliefs." A little less than half believed that Satan is "not a living being but is a symbol of evil." Almost 40% believed that "if a person is good enough, they can earn a place in Heaven." And one in four agreed that "while he lived on earth, Jesus committed sins, like other people." (2)

*Obviously a whole lot of people have been deceived by false teachers. John Heffner told about a lady who had the unfortunate experience of having to listen to a preacher who claimed that not all of the Scripture is true. She was confused, but her innocent question after the service exposed the fallacy of the preacher's position. She simply asked, "On what page does God start telling the truth?" The correct answer is page one! (3)

*False preachers, teachers and celebrities have deceived millions of people to reject the clear teachings of God's Word. But His Word is the standard for God's judgment.

2. WE MUST RECEIVE THE WORDS OF JESUS CHRIST BECAUSE THEY ARE GOD'S WAY TO MEASURE OUR LIVES, ALSO BECAUSE THEY ARE GOD'S MESSAGE TO US.

*Jesus reminds us of this truth in vs. 49, where the Lord said, "I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak."

*John the Baptist confirmed this truth in John 3:30-36. There John said this about Jesus:

30. "He must increase, but I must decrease.

31. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

32. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.

33. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.

34. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God did not give the Spirit by measure to Him.

35. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.

36. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.''

*Also listen to what Jesus said in John 5:17-24:

17. . . "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.''

18. Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

19. Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

20. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

21. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.

22. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,

23. that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

24. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life."

*The words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are God's greatest message to mankind. But it's just as well to say that Jesus is God's greatest message to mankind! That's why Hebrews 1:1-3 says:

1. God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets.

2. has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

3. who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

*Jesus Christ is God's greatest message to mankind! No wonder then He is called "The Word of God." Remember that John 1:1-4 says this about Jesus:

1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2. He was in the beginning with God.

3. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

4. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

*John 1:10-14 also says this about Jesus:

10. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

11. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

12. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name:

13. who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14. And the Word became 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.

*Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is God's greatest message to mankind! That's why in Revelation 19:11-16, John gave this future testimony about Jesus:

11. Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

12. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.

13. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called THE WORD OF GOD.

14. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

15. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

16. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

3. WE MUST RECEIVE THE WORDS OF JESUS CHRIST BECAUSE THEY ARE GOD'S MESSAGE TO US, AND BECAUSE THEY ARE GOD'S METHOD OF SALVATION.

*This is God's message for us in vs. 49-50, where Jesus said:

49. . . "I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.

50. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.''

*Salvation, God's gift of eternal life is always connected to the words of God, the words of Jesus Christ. This essential truth is found in places like John 6:63-68, where Jesus said:

63. "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. THE WORDS THAT I SPEAK TO YOU ARE SPIRIT, AND THEY ARE LIFE.

64. But there are some of you who do not believe.'' For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.

65. And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.''

66. From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

67. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?''

68. Then Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? YOU HAVE THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE."

*Now here in vs. 50, Jesus tells us that His words from the Father give everlasting life. If people are going to be saved, it is going to be by God's Word. There is no other way.

*This is why 1 Peter 1:23-25 tells Christians that we have:

23. . . been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

24. because "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away,

25. but the word of the Lord endures forever.'' Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

*God's Word and only God's Word has the power to give us the new spiritual birth of eternal life. God's Word and only God's Word has the power to save our souls.

*Gaylord Kambarami told one of my favorite stories about the life-changing power of God's Word. Gaylord was the General Secretary of the Bible Society in Zimbabwe when he tried to give a New Testament to a very grouchy, hot-tempered man. The man gruffly said he would take the New Testament, but only so he could tear out the pages, roll them up, and use them to make cigarettes.

*Gaylord told the man, "I understand that, but at least promise to read the page of the New Testament before you smoke it." The man agreed and the two went their separate ways.

*Fifteen years later, the two men met at a Methodist convention in Zimbabwe. By that time, the Scripture-smoking atheist had trusted in Jesus and was a full-time evangelist! He told the people, "I smoked Matthew, and I smoked Mark, and I smoked Luke. But when I got to John 3:16, I couldn't smoke anymore! My life was changed from that moment." (4)

*That Scripture-smoking man was saved by the miraculous power of God's Word. He was born-again by the miraculous power of the Bible. The Lord's words can give us everlasting salvation from God, and this includes everlasting support from God, support like we hear from Jesus in Hebrews 13:5. There the Lord said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you.''

*The Lord's words can give us everlasting salvation from God. This also includes everlasting security from God. I'm talking about the kind of security Christians can find in Jude 1:24-25. There Jude praised the Lord by saying, "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen."

*Church: God is able to keep us from falling! And that's security!

CONCLUSION:

*Many years ago, we went to eat at Captain D's. And as I walked toward the door, a young mother came out with her tiny baby in her arms. When I was about 10 feet away, that mom tripped over the concrete curb in front of her car.

*She was falling straight forward with that little baby in her arms. It seemed like she was falling in slow motion, but I was too far away to help. And it looked like the worst was about to happen. But then, I was astounded to see this ordinary mother whirl around like a cat, or some kind of ninja.

*She fell hard, flat on her back to protect her baby. The problem was: She had no way to protect herself. She took the fall. She slammed into that parking lot. Thankfully, that mom wasn't seriously injured by her fall. But she took the full force of the fall to protect her little baby. And Christians: That's what Jesus did for us on the cross! Now our Risen Savior is able to keep us from falling and present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy!

*How do we know? Because He tells us in His Word, so put your trust in His Word. Receive the words of Jesus Christ by believing them, believing in Him, and receiving Jesus as the Lord and Savior of your life. Then begin to live by His words because they surely are the way God measures our lives.

(1) Adapted from SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY - VOLUME ONE by Lewis Sperry Chafer - Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois - Copyright 1988 - "Continuity of the Bible" - pp. 52-53

(2) The Barna Group 2008 - "Born Again Christians"

(3) "Honest to Goodness" Lecture Series by John Heffner - Westgate Memorial Baptist Church - 7222001 - Source: "In Other words" - Fall 2001 email edition - produced by Dr. Raymond McHenry - www.iows.net

(4) American Bible Society Record, March 1990 - Source: Raymond McHenry - STORIES FOR PREACHERS AND TEACHERS

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