Text: John 7:37-53
Title: This is the Christ
Faith is pretty simple. Children are quick to believe. For instance, if there is a "Robert E. Lee natural bridge", that is Southern Talk for a fallen log accross a burn. A child would more quickly climb up on it and cross than an adult. They naturally believe it is going to hold them up while an adult rationalizes how many ways he could get wet trying to cross the log.
Child like faith is what it takes to get saved. But, adults really struggle to believe.
Matthew 18: 2-4 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
We are going to have a child like message on the Gospel today. We will look at simple truths. Kid's will take them in a lot easier than adults. But, I want to encourage all of us today to JUST TAKE GOD AT HIS WORD. Each point will be in the form of a question, to help us consider the response of our heart to God's Word.
I. What if this was your last chance to hear from God?
37 ¶ In the last day, that great day of the feast,
exp. There was not another day to this religious feast of tabernacles. The religious ceremony for many had been empty because their heart was not rightly related to God by faith. Once they leave there, they may never have an opportunity to hear JESUS speak to them again regarding their need. This is a one off opportunity for many of them.
A. We know that there is a day of salvation.
"For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor 6:2)
exp. This verse speaks of spiritual salvation. This is a point in time. It is not a gradual thing. It is a sudden and complete rescue from destruction in hell.
ill. A boat called the "City of Cairo" was sunk by a German U-boat on 6 November, 1942. It was carrying 100 tonnes of silver coins. A huge salvage operation in 2013 recovered most of that treasure. But, also on board on that fateful day were 311 passengers. 6 died in the sinking. 104 more died before the rest were rescued or we could say, "Saved." Their salvation was a point in time. They were not saved until they were put into a place of safety and away from danger.
exp. You are saved this morning if you are no longer in danger of hell. Has God ever saved your from His wrath?
app. In our story this morning, the feast was over. They would go there way and some would have no further opportunity to come to Christ.
B. We know that there is a day of death.
Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth
exp. We all live thinking that we have a long life ahead of us but the reality is we don't know.
ill. 40 year old photographer at Andrew Murray's wedding. The son-in-law of the South African missionaries. etc.
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
song: God's Final Call - John W. Peterson
Someday you’ll hear God’s Final Call to you
To take his offer of salvation true-
This could be it my friend if you but knew-
God’s Final Call, God’s Final Call
How can you live another day in sin,
Thinking some day with Christ you will begin?
O will you hear above the world’s loud din-
God’s Final Call, God’s Final Call
If you reject God’s Final Call of grace,
You’ll have no chance your footsteps to retrace
All hope will then be gone and doom you’ll face.
hear his call! God’s Final Call
app. We can't put off responding to God. It may be the last day we hear Him speak to us. He wants us to respond to his cry.
II. What if Jesus spoke to your heart?
Jesus stood and cried, saying,
exp. This wasn't the disciples. It wasn't the religious leaders.
· It was God in flesh. Phil. 2: 6-7 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (If I told you it wasn't robbery for me to be equal to the Prime Minister - what would you say? You would call me a liar and say, "We have One prime minister, his name is David Cameron." And so when Jesus says, "It's not robbery for me to be equal with God?" Is he a liar or is he God?)
· It was the One who would die for sinners. Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (He didn't die for good people who loved him. He died for sinners like us that hated him and put him on the cross.)
· It was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Revelation 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
ill: If I knock at the door of your house, if it is inconvenient for you to open the door, just keep it closed and I will go away. But, if the queen is knocking, you would do well to open the door to have the privilege of entertaining her in your home.
app. The KING OF KINGS is at your door this morning. Will you just let him go away without the privilege of entertaining him?
final app. The person at your door went through Hell for you. He faced the damnation of a righteous God because of your sin. He tasted the bitterness of God's wrath to keep you from hell. He just wants to show you his hands and his feet and ask you to lovingly accept his gift of salvation. WHY WON'T YOU ANSWER YOUR DOOR?
III. What if Jesus offered you an eternally satisfying drink?
If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
exp. I got to this point in my studying and went to the kitchen and got a glass of water. When I got back I realized that my next phrase had to do with thirst. WHEN WE ARE THIRSTY WE DRINK. If we're not thirsty - we don't drink.
ill. Say it with me, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."
exp. If 150 years ago, you were crossing the US on horseback. You may know that the horse needs to drink or he is going to die crossing the desert plain in front of you. But, drinking is up to the horse. He has to want the water.
exp. YOU HAVE TO WANT THE WATER THIS MORNING OR YOU WON'T DRINK. I know you need. We know you need it. But, you will not take it - UNLESS YOU WANT IT.
note: Jesus is offering them the WATER OF LIFE.
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
exp. Why should you thirst for this water?
1.) Because death and hell are real. Eze 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. Mt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
2.) Because eternity is forever. 2Th 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
ill. Eric got stuck in our shed on Thursday. He said, "You don't know what it is like to be stuck and not able to get out." But he knew he would get out. Hell is not like that, it is forever.
3.) Because God does not want you to go to Hell. 2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
· If you don't thirst, won't you ask God in his mercy to give you a desire for his salvation.
· If you have a thirst, won't you come to Him and be satisfied.
IV. What if salvation is by faith in JESUS?
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
exp. Notice who gets the water of Life from Jesus. It is not someone who attends church or is baptized. It is not a person who has done good work. It is someone who has taken God at His Word and BELIEVED THAT WHAT GOD HAS PROMISED CAN BE APPROPRIATED TO THEM BY FAITH.
DOES SCRIPTURE SUPPORT THE FACT THAT SALVATION IS BY FAITH?
Ac 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Ro 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Ro 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
ill. If you heard that an Edinburgh business was giving away scholarships to young people to study at their favorite schools no matter what the cost. What would your child have to do to get the scholarship? They would have to apply by faith and take their gift.
app. All you have to do this morning, is come to God by faith and take his gift. You can't earn it by good works. (It is priceless.) Take God at his Word - the water of life is in those who belive in Jesus.
V. What if God, the Holy Spirit, came to live inside of you?
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
exp. When someone get's saved - they receive the Spirit of God. He is the ETERNAL WATER OF LIFE.
John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
ill. Imagine having a dry canteen in the dessert. You are literally dying of thirst. You see an oasis which has had water in the past and get there to find it dusty. You begin chasing mirages. Then someone finds you and takes you to a place with a spring that never dries up. How thankful are you for that water?
exp. Many people go where they think they'll find water that satisfies. They try alcohol, drugs, immorality, multiple relationships outside of marriage, self help books, and it's empty. They realize God is what they need and they start chasing mirages - false religion, good works, some even beat themselves seeking forgiveness. It's all vain and dry. And then they find JESUS THE WATER OF LIFE. Their thirst is finally quenched.
app. The world will not meet your need. Religion will not meet your need. ONLY CHRIST WILL MEET YOUR NEED.
note: If you take Jesus this morning - you will have God the Spirit come and live in you for all of eternity. (People who think you can lose your salvation are mistaken. How can God's Spirit who will always be with us - go to Hell?) Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
VI. What would your response be?
A. (Praise God) Some responded by faith.
1. He is THE PROPHET.
40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
exp. Moses had told them about a human Prophet from God.
De 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
app. Yes, He is the Prophet of which Moses spake and they were ready to listen to Him. And yet, he is more than a prophet.
2. He is THE MESSIAH.
41 Others said, This is the Christ.
exp. Christ is the New Testament word for Messiah. The annointed one sent from God. The deliverer of God's people.
note: They were right. But, there idea of what the Messiah would do, is going to prevent many of them from accepting him.
app. There are many stumbling blocks to faith. God is not going to let you come to him without FAITH.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
app. Are you letting unbelief keep you from salvation? You ought to repent of your unbelief and put your trust in Jesus today!
B. Some responded with scepticism.
...But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?
exp. Not everyone believed
42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
exp. The knew and believed the Scripture. But, they failed to do diligent search. If they had asked they would have found out that Jesus WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM but that he also moved to Galilee.
app. Partial truth can bring people to destruction as much as complete lies. Satan is a master at giving partial truth.
· He's happy to let Jesus be a god but not THE GOD.
· He's happy to encourage people to do good works to be saved not because they are saved.
· He doesn't mind that we have God's Word as long as we don't take it for what it says.
· He doesn't mind people thinking that Jesus is "A WAY" as long as they don't believe that He is "THE WAY."
app. Careful friend, skepticism without diligence to find truth can lead to destruction.
B. Some wanted to kill JESUS.
43 So there was a division among the people because of him.
44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.
note: Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ is a dividing line. It will always be a dividing line because YOU CAN'T HAVE GOD'S TRUTH BOTH WAYS. He is either the Messiah or He is an imposter.
app. Why is their such hatred for Jesus? Because the world REFUSES TO ACCEPT HIM AS THEIR GOD AND THEIR KING.
C. Some didn't know what to do.
45 ¶ Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?
46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?
48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?
49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.
exp. They had sent officers to arrest Jesus and their eyes were opened or nearly opened. They heard gracious words that spoke to their hearts and they could not arrest him.
app. Friend, perhaps that is you today. You don't know what to do. Listen to what He is saying. Ask Him to convince you in your heart.
D. Some defended Jesus.
50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)
51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?
exp. Nicodemus is the one who was originally given the truth about being born again.
John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
ill. I had a Church of Scotland minister angrily say to me after I asked him if he was born again. "Yes, I am. But, you Baptists make too much of it."
app. Amen. Can you make too much of what JESUS said regarding our eternal salvation? Nicodemus defended Jesus and later he would help take the body of Christ from the cross. I believe Nicodemus would be born again. He was already defending him.
E. Some twisted God's Word to their own destruction.
52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.
53 And every man went unto his own house.
exp. These men left to go home with a rebellious heart against God. Why? Because they couldn't rationalize where they thought Jesus was from with what God's Word said about Jesus. (Obviously they were religiously biased against Jesus as well.)
ill. I spoke with a man this week who is part of a religion which rejects the trinity. His reason for rejecting Jesus as God is because he can't understand how God is One and God is Three Persons.
note: I told him an ant does not know everything about us and he doesn't expect to. We don't know everything about God and we shouldn't expect to. But, what we can understand we should accept by faith - EVEN IF WE CAN'T RECONCILE THE TWO.
exp. Jesus is Creator. Jesus is worshipped. Jesus' name is taken in vain. God is His father through the seed of God. Jesus was in the form of God and came into the form of man.
app. Are you twisting God's Word to your destruction? Won't you just simply believe what God says this morning.
CONCLUSION: EVEN A CHILD CAN UNDERSTAND THE VERSES WE WILL CONSIDER IN OUR CONCLUSION. JOHN 3:15-18 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Will you THIS MORNING take God at His Word by child like faith and DRINK BY FAITH of the WATER OF LIFE?