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ho Is on the Lord's Side?
The Gospel of John
John 6:51-71
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - November 2, 2016
(Revised August 16, 2019)
*Please open your Bibles to John 6.
At the beginning of this chapter, Jesus multiplied five small loaves of bread and two little fish until it was more than enough to feed 5,000 men, plus thousands more women and children!
*That night, Jesus worked two more amazing miracles to cross over the Sea of Galilee.
First, the Lord walked on water about 3 miles to catch up to His disciples in the boat!
Then, as soon as Jesus got in the boat, He instantly transported it to Capernaum on the other side of the lake!
*Some of the people who were miraculously fed caught up to Jesus the next day.
They were highly interested in getting a lifetime supply of that free bread.
But Jesus used the occasion to point them to infinitely better bread.
Jesus pointed them to the only bread that can give eternal life, and that is the Lord Himself.
*Starting at the end of vs. 32, Jesus said this to them:
32. . .
"My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
"For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.''
Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always.''
And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life.
He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
*In tonight's Scripture, Jesus was still trying to teach them the essential truth that He is the Bread of Life.
With this background in mind, let's begin by reading vs. 51-71.
And as we read, please think about this crucial question: Who is on the Lord's side?
*During the savage violence of the Civil War, a preacher from the North told President Lincoln that he hoped "the Lord is on our side."
Lincoln replied, "I know that the LORD is always on the side of the right.
But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the LORD'S side."
*"Who is on the Lord's side?"
This is one of the best known questions in the Old Testament.
It's the question that Moses asked after the Children of Israel rebelled against God and began to worship an idol made of gold.
In Exodus 32:26, "Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, 'Who is on the Lord's side?
let him come unto me. .
*Who is on the Lord's side?
Moses needed to know 3,500 years ago.
President Lincoln needed to know in the early 1860s.
And we need to know today.
Are we on the Lord's side today?
Tonight's Scripture shows us how to get there.
*We must not back away from following Jesus Christ.
We must not turn away from following the Lord.
But here in God's Word we see a lot of people who backed away from Jesus.
Verse 66 says, "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more."
*Why did they make that fatal decision?
Because they were offended by Jesus.
They were offended by the things Jesus said.
Again, the Lord was trying to teach them the crucial truth that HE is the Bread of Life.
And by faith we must take Jesus Christ, God's spiritual bread, into our hearts and lives.
Then Jesus will give us His eternal life, and when we leave this world, He will take us to Heaven.
*Many of the Jews were having a hard time understanding this truth, so in vs. 51-58, the Lord made it as clear as it can be.
Jesus said:
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.''
The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?''
Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.
This is the bread which came down from heaven not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead.
He who eats this bread will live forever.''
*That surely seems clear to me!
There is no eternal life without Jesus Christ.
But many of the people in that crowd either couldn't get it, or wouldn't get it.
So, they were offended by Jesus and they rejected the Lord.
*God's Word shows us their fatal mistake in vs. 59-66:
These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?''
When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you?
What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before?
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.
The words that I speak to you (they) are spirit, and they are life.
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.
And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been given to him by My Father.''
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
*Verse 66 tells us that these people were the Lord's disciples.
But don't be confused about them being Christians.
These people who backed away from the Lord were never true believers.
Jesus always knew that, and He said as much in vs. 64: "But there are some of you who do not believe.''
For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe . .
*God forbid that we would ever back away from following Jesus Christ!
But this also means that we shouldn't back away from the Lord's Church.
Years ago, "USA Today" reported a survey that said eighty percent of Americans in my generation think you can be a good Christian without going to church.
But that's not true!
*We cannot be good Christians without being actively involved in the Lord's Church!
The reason why is because God designed Christian life to be lived in the context of His Church.
Ephesians 2:19-22 is a great place to see this truth.
There Paul wrote these words to us as Christians:
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
20. having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
21. in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
22. in whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.
*Church: We are part of the household of God!
So we are supposed to be together.
Of course I'm not talking about shut-ins, but as long as we are able, all Christians should be actively involved in God's Church.
*Pat Damiani once saw a Yahoo discussion that began with this question: "How do you raise a Christian without going to church?
*My wife and I are Christians and we have a 10-month-old daughter.
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