Serving Jesus, Even If We Fail


Secular -

The Title today is Serving Jesus, Even If We Fail. The Following story is about a judge who failed.
A lawyer defending a man accused of burglary tried this creative defense: “My client merely inserted his arm into the window and removed a few trifling articles. His arm is not himself, and I fail to see how you can punish the whole individual for an offense committed by his limb.” “Well put,” the judge replied. “Using your logic, I sentence the defendant’s arm to one year’s imprisonment. He can accompany it or not, as he chooses.” The defendant smiled. With his lawyer’s assistance, he detached his artificial limb, laid it on the bench, and walked out.

Historical/Cultural Context -

The Gospel of John was written between 90 AD and 100 AD. Scholars also believe that John wrote the three Epistles and the book of Revelation around the same time-frame as he wrote this Gospel. The Gospel of John was written after Matthew, Mark, & Luke had been written and circulated. John has been dubbed by most scholars as “The Spiritual Gospel.”

Biblical Text -

John 13:33–14:4 NKJV
Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”


Life Principle - Walk In Love Remembering That If You Fail, You Can Repent & You Are Ambassadors For This World In Christ.

Life Point- Walking In Love Never Fails

Exegetical -

John 13:33–35 NLT
Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Homiletical -

We said last week that Judas leaves the room. Jesus knows it is time for His crucifixion and time to be brought into His glory and that God will glorified because of Him.
He gives all of us a new command here and says to Love each other. Not in the way the world counts love but a Biblical love for one another, doing this proves we are His disciples.
Remember. The crucifixion brings Glory to God. Why?
Because all of our sins are placed on His sacrifice on the cross.
In that moment All of our sins are transferred to Him and His righteousness is transferred to us.
He paid a price we could not pay because we were born into sin and because of that, we can’t be a sacrifice for our own sin because we are sinful. But Jesus didn’t have that problem He was perfect and was made sin for us. He was that blood atonement on the cross.
Remember we said There were 3 greek words for love in the Bible
1) Eros - This is a physical intimacy kind of love
2) Philao - This is the love I have for a brother or close family member
3) Agape - This kind of love is the highest love there is. This says I love you for no reason at all, despite all your shortcomings and all your failures I love you just because I love you. I choose to love you, not because of anything about you, but because of everything about me.
Agape is the love that is referenced here, and it is a verb. Meaning this is something you don’t just do once, you continue in it. You are never done with it.
Christ is love yes, He is also justice and wrath on the unbeliever. Let’s keep ourselves in balance as we study this.
1 Corinthians 13:1–10 NKJV
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
You can put Jesus name in this verse. Jesus suffers long and is kind; Jesus does not envy; Jesus does not parade himself, is not puffed up, Jesus does not behave rudely, Jesus does not seek his own, Jesus is not provoked, Jesus think no evil, Jesus does not rejoice in iniquity; Jesus rejoices in the truth.
Jesus bears all things; Jesus believes all things, Jesus hopes all things, Jesus endures all things; Jesus never fails.
We are called to be like Jesus so can you put your name in there instead of Jesus?
Joe suffers long and is kind; Joe does not envy; Joe does not parade himself, is not puffed up, Joe does not behave rudely, Joe does not seek his own, Joe is not provoked, Joe thinks no evil, Joe does not rejoice in iniquity; Joe rejoices in the truth.
Joe bears all things; Joe believes all things, Joe hopes all things, Joe endures all things; Joe never fails.
People ask me all the time, why do churches close. There are many reasons for sure. We have a book around here called Autopsy of a revived church which goes into some of that. We can get you a copy.
But the #1 reason churches close is a lack of love for each other. There is fighting, division, and gossiping. What it all comes down to is pettiness which has its roots found in selfishness and self centeredness.
We have this idea, thanks to the world, that church membership has privileges. But you see that is backward. Membership in a church has its responsibilities. You do not join a church to get something. You do not join a church to receive something. You join a church to give something. We said a couple of weeks ago that Jesus is all about serving. So should we be, so that the church can give glory to God.
Ephesians 4:11–16 NLT
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
1 Corinthians 12:12–27 NLT
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
You are a needed part of this local body of believers. Find your place and work in it.

Life Point - Don’t Walk Away If You Fail, Repent.

Exegetical -

John 13:36–38 NLT
Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.” “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.” Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.

Homiletical -

We have the privilege to know what is about to happen in the story. At this time, they didn’t. So the disciples had no idea Jesus was talking about His crucifixion that was forthcoming.
So good old hot-head Peter speaks up and says “wherever you’re going I am gonna come with you, I am ready to die for you.”
Jesus, knowing the future, tells him “nope, you will deny 3 times that even know me before tomorrow morning.”
We know that throughout history there was a lot of martyring of true Christians. We were promised this would be the case. But Jesus encourages us
John 16:33 NLT
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Sometimes though, things will happen and you may feel like denying Christ because of fear or embarrassment. If you end up like Peter don’t do what Judas Iscariot did. Judas went committed suicide. Do what Peter does, He comes back and repents.

Illustration -

Thomas Cranmer one of the most influential protestant leaders in the 15th century denied his faith, but he came back to it in glorious fashion.
King Edward died in 1553. Lady Jane Grey was queen for a brief nine days before being swept aside by Edward's elder sister Mary. This was the one daughter that Catherine of Aragon had produced, and her life since then had not been happy. Not only had her mother been sent away, but when the marriage was declared invalid, Mary became "illegitimate." She was a fervent Catholic, and blamed all that had happened on Protestantism in general and Cranmer in particular. Mary set about restoring Roman Catholicism. When she replaced the English Prayer Book with the old Latin Mass, Cranmer protested and was arrested. In a humiliating ceremony, he was removed from office, but worse was to come. Barraged in jail by Roman Catholic apologists for three years, his confidence in his faith was crushed. Mary's men persuaded him to sign a series of six recantations. The first merely said that the English should obey their Queen's religion, but they became more and more serious and the last was a "root-and-branch" denunciation of Protestantism. In exchange for his life and freedom, the broken man signed. The capitulation of one of the greatest living Protestant leaders was a fantastic victory for Mary.
But now she made her great mistake. Her personal hatred for Cranmer was such that even though she had his recantation, she insisted on burning him anyway. The execution was on 21st of March, 1556, and Cranmer was allowed to preach before the massive crowd to publicize his recantation. In his last masterly speech, he repented of all his sins -- as he was meant to -- but ended by repenting his greatest sin of all, denial of the Gospel. Amid uproar and commotion, he was led off to the fire and burnt. He put his right hand into the flames first. "As my hand offended," he said, "writing contrary to my heart, my hand shall first be punished."

Life Point - Remember We Are Ambassadors For Christ

Exegetical -

John 14:1–4 NLT
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

Homiletical -

So Jesus has just said some very discouraging word to Peter but to bring comfort to all the disciples He says to Trust the father and Himself; and you know what? If you suffer the same fate I do, There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.
He talks about preparing a place for them and He talks about the rapture in the same breath. He says “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
It is a comfort to know that Jesus cares for us so much, that He has prepared a place for us. That heaven awaits the believer. Today we take this teaching for granted but not so with all the Jews of the time.
Jews were kind of split into two sects the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
Pharisees believed there was an after life.
Sadducees did not. The believed you are rewarded for your works here on earth. These guys tended to be the richer ruler class. So for them it made sense as they were on top. They would look down on anybody not them.
To remember the difference you could say that’s why the sadducees were sad -you-see.
What does this mean to us?
It means this world is not our home, we are just passing through. While we are here, believers are to represent Christ as ambassadors to the world.
You are all that some people will ever see of Jesus and the promise of heaven. So make sure you are sharing the Gospel with this world that is dying and going to hell in record numbers.
2 Corinthians 5:20–21 NLT
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
So don’t get to comfortable here, being self serving and selfish. Because this isn’t your final destination.

Life Principle Walk In Love Remembering That If You Fail, You Can Repent & You Are Ambassadors For This World In Christ.

Call to Action – altar call….

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