THE GOSPEL OF JOHN SERIES (Parts 1-3)

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A series of sermons on the Gospel of John. Small sections of John’s Gospel are explored in search of the majesty and glory of Jesus Christ, our only hope. Sermon outlines follow the audio files.

Message: The Word

Text: John 1:1-18

I.               Introduction: John introduces his gospel with this foundational statement about who Jesus is and the importance of our believing in Him.  The preamble to his gospel is a gospel message in concise detail.

II.            The Word, “Word”

III.         What is not the Word? (v 7 & 8)

IV.          The Right to Become Children of God

a.     Not by blood

b.    Not by human effort

c.     Not by human desire

d.    But by God’s desire

V.             What the Word is (vv. 10, 14)

VI.          The Law Vs. The Word

a.     Grace upon Grace (v. 16)

b.    To Know Jesus is to Know God (vv. 17, 18)

VII.       Conclusion: Knowing and trusting in Jesus Christ for our hope of life and eternity with God is our only hope.  We cannot trust in the blood of bulls and goats, we cannot trust the blood in our veins.  Our heritage will not pave the way for us.  We cannot trust in our own ability to perform for God.  We cannot trust in our own desire to be righteous.  Our only hope is that we trust in God’s desire to love and redeem us through the gift of the Son, Jesus Christ.  The law and the observance of it will not accomplish our salvation.  We will be lost in our sin unless we cast our cares upon Christ who is the very revelation of God the Father.  Not works upon grace, grace upon grace.

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Message: The Forerunner

Text: John 1:19-28
19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

I.               Introduction: This portion of scripture is saturated with references to the Old Testament that point to Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the great Deliverer. 

II.            Are you the Christ (Messiah)?

a.     Christ is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew/Aramaic word Messiah.  Both of them mean, “anointed one”. 

b.    OT References to the Anointed One

                                                   i.     Daniel 9:24-27 (70x7) Messianic Fever because of a time table

                                                 ii.     Psalm 2:1-12 Anointed One

                                               iii.     Micah 5:2 From Bethlehem and Ancient of Days

III.         Are you Elijah?

a.     Elijah was an amazing prophet who was taken up into heaven in a chariot of fire. 

b.    His protégé was Elisha who did twice as many miracles as Elijah.  It was believed that Elijah would come back as a forerunner of the Anointed One.

c.     O.T. references to the forerunner

                                                   i.     Isaiah 40:3-5

                                                 ii.     Malachi 3:1

                                               iii.     Malachi 4:5-6

IV.          Are you the Prophet?  A prophet greater than Moses was prophesied in Deut. 18:15-19.  Most of the people of Israel assumed that this prophet was the Anointed One, but some thought he would simply accompany the forerunner.

V.             Bethany across the Jordan

a.     Map: xxx

                        

b.    Joshua leading Israel across the Jordan to the Promise Land

                                                   i.     O.T. references

1.    Joshua 3:1-16

a.     Joshua 3:16, Death is Cut off. 

b.    John 3:16 Jesus does it for real.

2.    All the Days of the Harvest (Barley Harvest right after the spring rains).  April was also Passover.

3.    Jordan means “descender” or “to go down”.  The Jordan not only speaks of the justifying grace we receive through the cross, but also of the humbling, completing, sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit who descended on Christ during His baptism.

VI.          Conclusion:  We have this great hope in Jesus Christ who was heralded across the ages.  The Jewish people expected him, He fulfilled the promises of God as the Living Word of God.  John the Baptist was a great forerunner and we can be too.  We can prepare the way for the Lord to enter the hearts of our neighbors.  The greatest words that John the Baptist ever uttered came as he was directing those who were following him toward the one that they should be following.  Instead of worrying about his own reputation, he said, “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  Oh, to be a witness to the light.  This is our highest calling.  It trumps all of our other good works.  We will talk more about what it means that Jesus was the Lamb of God next week.

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Message: The Lamb of God

Text: John 1:29-34

John 1:29-34
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

I.               Introduction: This portion of scripture comes directly on the heels of what we talked about last week concerning John the Baptist and his pivotal role in the sacred story.  Because he understood that he was a forerunner, he had no qualms about passing the torch to Jesus who he believed was the Messiah.  John the Baptist makes a very clear statement about what role the Messiah would play in this sacred story when he calls Jesus, “The lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”  This was not a light statement in the least and the hearers would have understood the implications even if they did not understand why John the Baptist would have said it.  This is John the Apostle’s attempt to continue with the theme of Jesus being the fulfillment of everything God has said or promised in the Old Testament.

II.            The Lamb of God

a.    Exodus 12:3 – Spotless lamb, blood on the doorposts

b.    Isaiah 53:7 - The Messiah would be one of these spotless lambs

III.         Takes away the sins of the world

a.    Isaiah 53:8 – For the transgressions of the people

b.    1 John 2:2 – Not just for Israel, but to save the world from sin

IV.          Back to the Future

a.    Jesus comes after John but ranks higher because he was before John. (The Preamble)

b.    Before the foundations of the world (1 Peter 1:19-20)

V.             The Spirit remained on him (Isaiah 11:2)

VI.          Water vs. Spirit

a.    Moses took them through the Red Sea, Joshua took them across the Jordan, Ritual Baptism always referred to this leaving the old behind and coming to the new as a new way of living, behaving, even a new location.  This was the baptism that John operated in.

b.    Jesus would Baptize in the Spirit.  This would transform the inner workings of our nature, not just fitting us for a new way of living but fitting us to be in the presence of the Father.  We become heavenly citizens with new natures, new hearts, new desires, new hopes, new passions.

c.     John the Baptist is talking about the new covenant here.  He is saying that Jesus is about to bring about a new paradigm and the way things used to work are no longer going to be the case.  The old religious trappings would be of no use and would actually become a trap for those who hung on to them.

VII.       Conclusion:

a.    Jesus is the fulfillment of all of God’s promises

                                                   i.     Messiah

                                                 ii.     Great Deliverer

                                               iii.     Lamb of God

b.    The New Covenant is not simply a new way of doing the old thing, it is a new thing.  New Wine, New Deal, New People.