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5 31-38 A Warning From The Word

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                                                  liberty bible church          4/13/08 a.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“A warning from the word”

John 5:31-38


Illus. of 1 Tim. 4:1- Some will be obvious, like the fundamental Mormons who were exposed in West Texas this past week. Even the non-Christian world can see that this is a dangerous cult. But, some are less obvious and are able to deceive even naïve believers. 2 Tim. 3:5-9 Illus. of the Oprah video. Most of you can see the error in these teachings; unfortunately, millions of others are going to be deceived and led down a new age path of destruction. None of these teachings are original. It is the same old new age spirituality that was introduced 30 years ago, only this time it has a more corporate package that will be more readily accepted by the world today.

We are warned frequently in the Bible, God’s Word, about the dangers of not believing what God teaches about salvation. We are in a passage in John today that shows us why God’s Word can be trusted and believed and our belief should have nothing to do with our feelings.  

OPEN to the passage.

Prop. In this passage, we see 4 witnesses to why Jesus and His teachings can be trusted.   

Open in PRAYER.

PREVIEW the passage. Jesus is in the middle of a discourse with the religious leaders who did not believe who He was. He has demonstrated His unity with the Father in verses 16-23 and the fact that the Father has given the power of life and judgment to the Him. READ 24-30 to get the context. But, even with all this, Jesus knew that in their hearts they did not believe. He demonstrates that knowledge here by presenting 4 witnesses that testify to the Truth of what He says. We will look at 4 of these witnesses today and word them in the form of a warning. There is great danger in rejecting these witnesses. First…

  i. don’t reject the witness of jesus or his father vs. 31-32

Illus. of if someone came to the world today and claimed to be the Messiah and the Son of God, the world would be skeptical. We wouldn’t accept his word alone. It was the same when Jesus came the first time and even He recognized that just His witness would not be enough.

a. one man’s word                                                                 

V 31    1. This may appear to contradict what is stated in 8:14. But, note the context of each passage. Here, Jesus is addressing the religious leaders and His point is that if His witness were the only thing testifying to His claims, He would not be believed.

            2. In 8:14, Jesus again is addressing the religious authorities, but His point is different. His witness can be believed because only a person knows the truth about themselves; where they have been, where they are going, who they are.

b.  father knows best

 V 32   1. Jesus is referring to His Heavenly Father here. He had just testified to His unity with the Father and to the authority the Father had given Him to give life and to make judgment.

            2. God would prove Him to be true, in time. Jesus was content with that. He did not need to authenticate himself, God would do it soon enough. (This one is concluded in v 37-38.)

Trans. It is dangerous to REJECT THE WITNESS OF JESUS and HIS FATHER. Second…

 ii. don’t reject the witness of john the baptist vs. 33-35

Illus. of Eckhart Tolle’s book would not have the legs that it has without Oprah’s powerful influence. She is the witness to its effectiveness. Jesus had a much superior witness, that of John the Baptist.

a. John’s witness was to lead people to salvation       

V 33    1. The religious leaders had checked out John the Baptist. Whether they believed him or not, Jesus says that he was the bearer of truth. But, did they believe him?

V 34    2. Jesus did not need the witness of man to be authenticated, but John was sent to help people realize that they were living in spiritual darkness in need of the light of the Gospel. Jesus is referring them back to John’s message of repentance. If they couldn’t recognize their need of salvation and repent, they could not be saved. 

b. John’s witness exposed their sinful deeds

V 35a   1. John was a lamp; Jesus is the true light. Cf. 1:9 John’s work was temporary; Jesus’ is eternal. John was a human witness to Jesus’ ministry as Messiah. And he clearly pointed Him out as we have seen here in John. 

V 35b  2. For a time, the Jews were excited about John’s ministry. The Messianic age was here. Even though their were rebukes in his words, even though Israel might be disciplined for a time, it would be worth it all if Israel’s enemies were destroyed. But that excitement was short-lived. The change that the true Gospel called for was not what the nation was expecting, so John’s witness was rejected and he was killed.

Trans. It is dangerous to REJECT THE WITNESS OF JESUS and HIS FATHER and THE WITNESS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST, which really is to reject the idea that one needs to repent to be saved. Finally, and this is not the last witness here, we’ll look at the last one next week, but finally…Second…

iii. don’t reject the witness of jesus’ works vs. 36-38

Illus. of Candace Parker saying that anything short of a national championship was failure at Tennessee. Everyone who comes here feels the same way. I guess that’s why we have 7 championships. 8 now. One of the announcers said that she could speak this way because she had the game to back it up. Jesus could claim to be the Messiah because He had the game to back it up.

A.     John talked the talk, jesus walked the walk

V 36a   1. The was a great preacher and he did everything that God sent him to do, but we have no record anywhere that he ever worked a miracle.

V 36b  2. The works that Jesus did were specific signs that God had planned for Him to do. They were prophesied in the OT so the religious leaders should have known what they were looking for. Cf. Is. 35:5-6 When they saw the works of Jesus, they should have known that He was the Messiah. But, they missed it. How could they miss it?

b. the father’s testimony

V 37a   1. When did this happen?

                 a. At Jesus’ baptism. Matt. 3:17

                 b. At the Transfiguration. Matt. 17:5

                 c. At the Triumphal Entry. John 12:28

                 d. In Jesus’ works. John 3:2

                 e. In people’s minds and hearts. John 6:45

            2. More than likely it refers to this last one. The internal witness of God. Cf. 1 John 5:9-12 This is not the little voice in your head. This is the in audible call of God when we are convicted by sin and convinced by the Word that we must trust in Jesus Christ.

V 37b  3. These religious leaders were missing God, spiritually and physically. Why?

V 38    4. Because He was right in front of them in the person of Jesus. Cf. Heb. 1:1-2 If we don’t accept who Jesus says He is, if we can’t believe in Him alone, if we can’t believe in the one way, we can’t be saved.

            We must break here. We’ll continue this though t next week when we examine the witness of the Word of God.


DON’T REJECT THE WITNESS OF JESUS or HIS FATHER, THE WITNESS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST, or THE WITNESS OF JESUS’ WORKS. These all bear witness to who Jesus is and what He did. He is the only way. What can we do as Christians in this evil age?

1.      Make sure your trust is in Christ GOSPEL

2.      In the midst of 1 Tim 4, what are we told to do?

a.       V 12- individual lives- this includes our speech, our behavior, our relationships with others and God. Our purity would relate to our thought life as well as our activities.

b.      V 13- corporate lives- reading the word, encouraging others to live rightly, doctrine refers to right teaching.

c.       V 15- full commitment

d.      V 16- the eternal lives of others lies in the balance.

Illus. of the two babies that were dedicated today. They are growing up in a confused world where they need reliable witnesses.

T trust we will be those witnesses, along with God’s Word. We’ll close again with Cf. 1 Jn. 5:11-13 “And this is the testimony, that God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son, He who has the Son, has life. He who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”  

Anything else is simply not true.


“A warning from the word”

John 5:31-38


We are warned frequently in the Bible about the dangers of not believing what God teaches about salvation.

  i. don’t reject the witness of                           vs. 31-32

a. one man’s word                                                             

                Cf. John 8:14

b.  father knows best

 ii. don’t reject the witness of                          vs. 33-35

a. John’s witness was to lead people to


b. John’s witness exposed their _________________

                Cf. John 1:9

iii. don’t reject the witness of                          vs. 36-38

A.      John talked the talk, jesus…

                Cf. Is. 35:5-6

b. the father’s testimony

                Cf. Matt. 3:17; 17:5 John 12:28; 3:2; 6:45; 1 John 5:9-12 Heb. 1:1-2


What can we do as Christians in this evil age?


                2. 1 Tim. 4:12-16





                1 Jn. 5:11-13

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