Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!
The Gospel of John
John 14:6-12 (Read vs. 1-12)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - August 2, 2017
(Revised January 21, 2020)
*It's amazing to me that God chose to give us such a long, close look at the last few hours Jesus spent with His disciples before the cross. This night was so important that God gave it almost 6 whole chapters of the 21 chapters in John.
*In those final hours before the cross, the Lord spoke with His disciples about the most important things, and one of the most important of all is believing in Jesus Christ. John's Gospel especially stresses the importance for us to believe in Jesus. The original word is found 135 times in the Gospels, and 100 of those times are in the Gospel of John!
*In tonight's Scripture alone, the Lord stressed believing in Him six different times. In vs. 1 Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me." Then in vs. 10-12, Jesus said:
10. "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
11. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
12. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."
*We must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and tonight's Scripture help us see why. Let's get started by reading John 14:1-12.
*In 1912, John Harper of Glasgow, Scotland was the newly called pastor of Moody Church in Chicago. He headed to America with his 6-year-old daughter, Nina, and her Aunt Jessie. John's wife had died when Nina was born.
*They were all excited to be on the maiden voyage of the greatest ocean liner ever built -- the Titanic. When the ship hit the iceberg, Nina was saved in lifeboat #11, sitting on her aunt's lap. Her daddy gave his lifejacket away, stayed with the ship, and began to witness to anybody who would listen.
*Pastor John was one of the 1,522 people who died that night. Four years later, a man at a church meeting in Hamilton, Canada gave this testimony: "I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a spar that awful night, the tide brought Mr. Harper of Glasgow, also on a piece of the wreck, near me.
*'Man,' he said, 'are you saved?' 'No,' I said, 'I am not.' He replied, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.' The waves bore him away, but, strange to say, brought him back a little later, and he said, 'Are you saved now?' 'No,' I said, 'I cannot honestly say that I am.' He said again, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!'
*Shortly after he went down, and there, alone in the night, with two miles of water under me, I believed." (1)
*That man will be eternally grateful for John Harper's faithful witness! It came from Paul and Silas's testimony to the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:31: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved."
*We must BELIEVE in the Lord. Jesus wants us to believe in Him because it is the only way for us to be saved. We must believe what Jesus says about our sins and about Himself. We must believe that God the Father sent Jesus, His only begotten Son, into the world to die on the cross for our sins. We must believe that Jesus also rose again from the dead. And we must believe enough receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Tonight's Scripture shows us why.
1. FIRST: BELIEVE IN JESUS BECAUSE HIS HEAVENLY FATHER WILL BECOME YOUR FATHER.
*This is God's message for us in vs. 6-7, where Jesus told Thomas, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.''
*When the Lord spoke about knowing Him and His Father, Jesus wasn't just talking about head knowledge. He was talking about knowing someone in a close, personal way. He was talking about having growing, personal experience with someone. This same original word was also used in the Bible to describe the close, physical relationship between a husband and his wife. It's talking about a close, loving, caring, trusting relationship.
*My wife Mary and I will celebrate our 45th Wedding Anniversary on February 14th, and let me tell you that I really know my wife! I know her better than anybody else in the world knows her, except for the Lord of course. I know the schooling she has had, the jobs she has held, and the honors she has won. I've known her father, mother and brothers. I know where she lived growing up, and the name of the family dog she had as a kid.
*In addition to all these facts about my wife, I know her life. I was there when she gave birth to our 3 children. I was there when her daddy died. I know her hurts, habits, hang-ups and happiness. I know her quirks and her pet peeves; what makes her laugh; what makes her cry; her work and her worries; her strengths and her sins. I could tell you how God has worked in her life, and how she has worked in my life to bless me beyond measure. I have known my wife in a close, personal way for almost 47 years.
*Church: That's a taste of the way God wants us to know Him. For the Apostles, this relationship came during the three years Jesus discipled them on earth. Today, this close relationship comes by the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And it all comes by the way of the cross, Jesus Christ taking the punishment for our sins, and removing the impassible barrier between us and God the Father.
*God the Father sent His only begotten Son to show us His love and rescue us from our sins. And God the Son came into this world so that we could have an everlasting relationship in the family of God, with Christ's Heavenly Father as our Father too.
*God truly wants to be your Father in Heaven. This truth shows up in Scriptures like Matthew 7:7-11, where Jesus said:
7. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
9. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10. Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11. If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"
*Many years ago, D. L. Moody was preaching in a big circus tent in Chicago. His Scripture was Luke 19:10, where Jesus spoke about Himself and said, "The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
*After Moody finished, a police officer brought a little boy up to the platform. The policeman had found the boy lost and wandering in the crowd. Moody took the boy in his arms and asked the crowd to look at him. Then he said, "The father of this child is more anxious to find the child than the child is to be found. So it is with our heavenly Father. He has been looking for you to come to him for many years."
*At that moment, a man with a worried look on his face rushed to the platform. The boy saw him, and ran to his father, and threw himself into his outstretched arms. Then the crowd broke out into a tremendous cheer, and Moody said, "God will receive you in the same way if you run to Him today." (2)
*Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! His Heavenly Father will become your Heavenly Father.
2. ALSO BELIEVE IN JESUS BECAUSE HE IS THE GREATEST REVELATION OF GOD.
*Jesus Christ is literally God come down to earth as a man, so He is the perfect revelation of God. This great truth shows up starting in vs. 7, where Jesus said:
7. "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.''
8. Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.''
*Phillip wanted to see more, but Jesus was all Phillip needed to see, and in vs. 9-10:
9. Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
10. Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
*The Lord wanted Phillip to know that he already seen all he needed to see about God, because he had seen Jesus. And Jesus can reveal God the Father to us too, because the Lord is in the Father, and the Father is in Him. Jesus speaks the words of our Heavenly Father, and Jesus does the works of our Heavenly Father. God the Father and God the Son are truly one.
*That's why in Colossians 2:9, Paul proclaimed that "In Him (that is in Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." And 1 Timothy 3:16 says this about Jesus: "Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh. . ."
*Hebrews 1:1-8 puts it this way:
1. God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets.
2. has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
3. who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
4. having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5. For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, today I have begotten You''? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son''?
6. But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him.''
7. And of the angels He says: "Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.''
8. But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom."
*Think about how much the Lord Jesus had to humble Himself in order to reveal God to us. Paul put it this way in Philippians 2:5-8:
5. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6. who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7. but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
*William Barclay explained: "When we see Jesus, we can say: 'This is God living our life.' God entered into an ordinary home and an ordinary family.
*Anyone in the ancient world would have thought that if God did come into this world, he would come as a king into some royal palace with all the might and majesty which the world calls greatness. But in Jesus, God sanctified human birth, the humble homes of ordinary people, and childhood.
*Moreover, God was not ashamed to do a man's work. It was as a working man that he entered into the world. Jesus was a carpenter. Think of the wonder of the fact that God understands our day's work. He knows the difficulty of making ends meet. He knows the difficulty of rude customers. He knew all the difficulty of living in an ordinary home and in a big family.
*He also knows what it is to be tempted. In Jesus we see God loving us, caring intensely for people and loving them until he bore the wounds of love upon his heart. In Jesus we see God upon a cross, and there is nothing so incredible as this in all the world.
*It is easy to imagine a god who condemns men. It is easier to imagine a God who, if men oppose him, he wipes them out. No one would have ever dreamed of a God who chose the cross to win our salvation." But Jesus did all of these things to reveal the true heart of God to us. (3)
*On his radio show every Christmas, Paul Harvey used to tell a story about Jesus coming to earth. It was about a family with a father who didn't believe in the Lord. One evening, the wife was about to head out to church with the children. They were going to attend a Christmas celebration.
*Before they left, her husband, told her he couldn't see how she could be so sure her faith in Christ was going to save her. "Why?" he asked, "Why would God choose a method like this to reach people?" "Someday you'll understand," she replied.
*As usual, he stayed home while they went to church to celebrate Christ's birth. Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall, heavier and heavier. And as he sat in his chair reading his newspaper, he was startled by a thudding sound, then another and another.
*At first, he thought someone was throwing snowballs at his living room window. But when he went to the front door, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter they had tried to fly through his large picture window.
*He couldn't let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, and he thought of the barn. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it. He quickly walked through the deep snow, opened the door wide, and turned on a light. But the birds did not come in.
*Next, he tried to lure them with a trail of breadcrumbs. He tried catching them. And he tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms. But they scattered in every direction except into the warm lighted barn.
*He tried everything he could to help them, then thought, "If only I could be a bird myself, and mingle with them and speak their language, and tell them not to be afraid, and show them the way to the safe, warm barn. But I'd have to be one of them, so they could see and hear and understand."
*At that moment the church bells began to ring the well-known carol, "O Come All Ye Faithful." The sound reached his ear, he sank to his knees in the snow, and realized why God came to earth in the form of a man. God the Father sent His only begotten Son to show us His love and rescue us from our sins. (4)
*Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ because He is the greatest revelation of God.
3. AND BELIEVE BECAUSE HE GUARANTEES GREAT THINGS IN OUR LIVES.
*The Lord tells us about it in vs. 11-12. Here Jesus said:
11. "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
12. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."
*The Book of Acts shows us this miraculous reality lived out in the early church. For example, Acts 5:12-16 says:
12. And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon's Porch.
13. Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly.
14. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,
15. so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.
16. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
*Acts 8:5-8 also says:
5. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.
6. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
7. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.
8. And there was great joy in that city.
*Those extraordinary demonstrations of God's power were necessary to establish the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And that time of special miracles took place before the New Testament was completed.
*Our God is and always been a miracle working God. There are countless first-hand accounts of God's miraculous ways today. But we don't see multitudes of healing miracles like we find in the Gospels and the Book of Acts. If we did, then St. Jude in Memphis would be empty by suppertime every day. Some things have changed, but our God is still a miracle working God! And many of us know people who have been healed in a miraculous way.
*Even more important, we still see Acts 1:8 being fulfilled before our eyes. There Jesus said, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.''
*We must remember that Jesus didn't come into this world just to save people from earthly suffering. He came to save us from our sins! So the greatest miracle came when Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. The greatest miracle came when Jesus rose again in everlasting victory over death.
*The greatest miracle comes when we believe in Jesus and open our hearts to receive Him as our Lord and Savior. Salvation is the greatest miracle of all, because salvation is the only miracle that lasts forever! And if you have trusted in Jesus, then you have the miracle of your sins forgiven and a home in Heaven. But it never could have happened without the cross.
*Pastor James Chandler found this out in an unusual way. James said, "As a teenager, I went to an outdoor drama of the crucifixion of Christ. I was not a Christian but was curious about all of this Jesus stuff.
*The audience was to play the part of the crowd during Jesus' trial and death on the cross. We all shouted, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" They brought Jesus out and began to beat him. Even though I knew it was just a play, I was amazed at how I was drawn in to it.
*As we, the crowd, began to follow Jesus up the hill carrying his cross, Jesus stopped and fell to his knees. I didn't know he was supposed to do that. A Roman Soldier looked right at me, pointed, and yelled, "You: Carry his cross."
*I was stunned and confused. I hoped he was talking to someone else. But before I knew it, there I was carrying this heavy wooden cross up the hill. For the first time, all of this Jesus stuff began to make sense." (5)
*Does it make sense to you? Jesus suffered and died for you too. That's how much He loves you. And now, if you will turn to our Risen Savior and put your trust in Him, Jesus will give you the miracle of everlasting life. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved! That is the greatest miracle of all.
(1) Adapted from SermonCentral sermon "A New Year's Resolution to Keep" by Aaron Burgess - Matthew 28:19, and "It Will Be Beautiful in the Morning" - September 30 - Today's Suggested Reading: Acts 16:20–33 - Source: FROM THIS VERSE by Robert J. Morgan - Thomas Nelson Publishers
(2) SermonCentral sermon "Fabulous Fathers" by Marc Axelrod - Luke 15:20-31
(3) Adapted from BARCLAY'S DAILY BIBLE STUDY SERIES (NT) by William Barclay, Revised Edition - Copyright 1975 William Barclay - First published by the Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh, Scotland - The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA - "The Vision of God" - John 14:7-11
(4) "The Christmas Storm: A Modern Parable" by Paul Harvey - Contributed by Jeff Strite, Church of Christ at Logansport, IN
(5) SermonCentral illustration contributed by James Chandler