As we open the Gospel of Mark we are introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ at the age of thirty. There we find nothing of the ancestors, birth, or childhood of Jesus, the Son of God.
We must turn to Matthew and Luke to learn what little is recorded concerning the birth and childhood of the Holy Child Jesus. Let us see how John’s Gospel begins:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1 and 2.
Nothing here of the human ancestors of Mary the virgin. Nothing here of the birth of the Babe in Bethlehem.
We read these words in John 1:10, 14 and 18:
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not “ “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
The Creator of all things was God in the beginning and now He has become flesh to be the Lamb of God and the King of Israel.
Note John 1:29:
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!”
And John 1:49:
“Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.”
The Lamb for sacrifice.—The King to reign in glory.
Here we have the order mentioned in I Peter 1:11, the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. In Matthew, Mark and Luke, we have Christ as King, first, and then rejected to become the Lamb.
But let us see how this first chapter of John agrees with Philippians 2:5 to 8:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 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: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Also Hebrews 2:9:
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
Now let us read again John 1:29:
“The next day John seeth Jesus corning unto him, and saith, BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD Which taketh away the sin of the world.”
John 1:47 to 49:
“Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile! Nathanael saith unto Him, Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God: THOU ART THE KING OF ISRAEL.”
Here we have Christ presented as “The Lamb of God” going to the tree to be crowned with thorns. We have Him saluted as “The King of Israel,” going to the throne to reign over the House of Israel (Luke 1:33). Israel’s prophets for centuries had foretold Israel’s future history, prophesying concerning “the tree,” “the tribulation” and “the throne.”
When we compare Isaiah 53, where Christ is pictured as the suffering Messiah dying for His Nation, with Isaiah 9:6 and 7, where Christ is seen on the throne of David as a conquering King, reigning in power and glory, we understand something of the two lines of Prophecy concerning Israel’s coming Messiah and King. Some one has referred to Christ as the Lamb on the cross and King on David’s throne, as the crimson and purple lines of Prophecy. Note Hebrews 9:28:
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
Note Acts 1:11:
“Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
THE SON OF MAN GOETH AND COMETH
Now compare Matthew 26:24:
“The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.”
with Matthew 24:30:
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
In Matthew 26:24, we read, “the Son of man goeth.” This speaks of Calvary and His suffering.
In Matthew 24:30, we read, “They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Thus we have the story of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow, which Israel’s prophets told of aforetime. I Peter 1:11.
Nathanael was an Israelite, in whom there was no guile, under the fig tree. Nathanael means “the gift of God.” The fig tree stands for Israel. Nathanael was a guileless Israelite. God is going to send the Lord Jesus to His fig tree.
Note what God is yet to do for Israel according to Ezekiel 36:24 to 29:
“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you. and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.”
Why will God do this?
Note Ezekiel 36:21 and 22:
“But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.”
Why will Israel be saved when the Deliverer comes out of Zion, according to Romans 11:25 and 26?
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”
Hear God’s answer:
“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Romans 11:29. “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” Romans 11:27.
God is going to cleanse, sanctify and restore Israel for His own holy name’s sake; because His gifts and calling are without repentance. Then redeemed Israel will be “Nathanael (the gift of God) in whom there is no guile.” And Israel will join with Nathanael, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God: Thou art the King of Israel.” John 1:49.
The heaven must retain Jesus Christ until the restitution of all things spoken by the holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:21.
He will return in the clouds with power and great glory for Israel’s redemption. Luke 21:25 to 33. When? When the fig leaf is tender, “Behold the fig tree and all the trees.”
Yes, the Word became flesh to go to the cross of Calvary and to go to David’s throne.
In the gospel of grace the sinner begins with the death and resurrection of Christ. In all of Paul’s ministry we shall learn that in presenting the gospel of grace he had little to say about the birth and earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.
Christ began His earthly life with His miraculous birth. The sinner begins his spiritual life with his new birth, which is miraculous. Then God’s instructions are found in I Peter 2:2:
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”
The sinner must begin at Calvary. Then he can join with Paul. Galatians 2:20:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Note again John 1:14:
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
“Dwelt” should be translated “tabernacled.”
Now note Luke 1:35:
“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee : therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
“That Holy Thing” “tabernacled.” In the Old Testament God’s sanctuary for Israel was in the tabernacle.
That “holy thing tabernacled.” There was the gold and the silver, the blue and the purple and the crimson and the white. All spoke of the Lord Jesus Christ. There was the brazen altar, the laver of water, the bread, the light, the altar of incense, the interceding high priest.
Now note in John:
1. Christ is the Lamb of God. John 1:29.
2. In John much is said about water. John 4. John 5:5. In chapter 13 Christ is washing the disciples’ feet.
3. Christ is the Bread of God. John 6:51.
4. Christ is the Light of the world. John 9:5.
5. Christ in John 17 is the interceding highpriest.
Surely the sanctuary and the tabernacle spoke of the Word which became flesh, the Holy God Who tabernacled among us. Thus we see in John’s Gospel we have the record of One Who being a man is making Himself equal with God.
Note John 8:58:
“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
Now note also John 8:24:
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”
Here we note that the penalty for not believing that Jesus Christ is the eternal “I AM” means for the unbeliever to die in his sins. In the Gospel of John, Christ calls Himself the “I AM” about twenty times.
CHRIST AND THE WORLD
Note these statements in:
John 1:10: “He was in the world and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.”
John 1:29: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world.”
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.”
John 8:12: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life.”
John 15:18 and 19: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
John 12:31: “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”
The word “world” occurs more than 75 times in John’s Gospel. In that Record we learn that the world belongs to Christ by right of creation and by right of redemption.
Note in Christ’s prayer for His disciples several statements concerning them and the world: “I have manifested Thy name unto the men that Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy Word.” John 17:6.
CHRIST IN THE FIRST CHAPTER OF JOHN
Let us note in the following verses of the first chapter of John’s Gospel: verses 1, 5, 9, 10, 14, 18, 34, 36 and 49—that:
Christ is God.
Christ is the True Light.
Christ is the Creator Of All Things.
Christ is God Manifest in The Flesh.
Christ is the Only Begotten Son.
Christ is the Son of God.
Christ is the Lamb of God.
Christ is the King of Israel.
JOHN 1:51 AND GENESIS 28:12 TO 15
Let us compare Jacob’s dream with Christ’s statement in John 1:51:
“And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”
We quote Genesis 28:12 and 13
“And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.”
Surely here we find that Jacob’s ladder spoke of the Son of man. (Genesis 28:12 to 15); giving assurance that God will be faithful to Israel; to do all that He promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Note this statement of Christ is made in connection with His conversation with Nathanael; that is, His statement concerning the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
CHRIST CAME UNTO HIS OWN
Note John 1:10 and 11:
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”
In John 1:3 and 1:10, we learn that all things are created by Jesus Christ when He was the Word with God in the beginning. “He came unto His own.” “His own,” here, is neuter and refers to His own world or His own things. “His own received Him not.” “His own,” here, is masculine and refers to His own people; His own nation.
Jehovah was both the Creator and Redeemer of Israel:
“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name: thou are mine.” Isaiah 43:1. “I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your king.” “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.”
Isaiah 43:15 and 21. “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6.
In the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, in His visit to this earth, surely we have the story, “Christ came unto His own and His own received Him not.”
GRACE—THE LAMB OF GOD
Perhaps we noticed the absence of the word “grace” in the Gospel of Matthew. To be sure there was grace in some of the messages of Christ, such as, “Come unto Me and I will give you rest.” But there was also much of law in the Lord’s messages in Matthew. In this respect there is a great difference in the Gospel of John. In the very first chapter we find Christ rejected by Israel. “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” John 1:11. Thus we see that we have in the first chapter of John what we have in the closing chapters of Matthew namely, Israel’s rejection of their Messiah; the Stone rejected by the builders.
It was this rejection by Israel and the death of the Lamb of God that brought in God’s reign of grace through Jesus Christ. Read carefully Romans 11:11 to 15 and Romans 5:20 and 21.
We have already learned that John’s Gospel is filled with messages of grace. But in Romans 8:1 and 2 we have the great “grace” message. “No condemnation in Christ” because of the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.
Note again John 3:18 and John 6:47:
“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.”
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.”
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ;” “not condemned;” “hath everlasting life.”
Note again John 6:29:
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him Whom He hath sent.”
The first work which God gives to any man is to believe on Him Whom God hath sent.
Surely we must learn this most important lesson, if we would understand John’s Gospel, so radically different from the Synoptics in many respects; namely, that, in applying the grace message of the Gospel of John we must look at Christ as having already been rejected, crucified and raised from the dead, when we begin the very first chapter and read John 1:12. “As many as received Him.”
In no other way can we reconcile the messages of John 1:12 and 3:16 with Matthew 15:24.
Remember the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 15:24: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Here note that Christ is sent only to Israel. But in John 3:16 we find Christ given to the world; that “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” In John 1:11 Christ is rejected by Israel. In John 1:12, “As many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God.”
CHRIST’S MIRACLES IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
There are twenty-one chapters in the Gospel of John. Matthew, Mark and Luke are called “the synoptic Gospels.” By “synoptic” is meant “presenting, or taking the same or a common view.” It is generally believed that the Holy Spirit led John to write the Fourth Record about fifty years after He led Matthew to write the First Record. Matthew and John were two of the twelve apostles. By carefully studying “The Gospel of John” we learn that more than eighty per cent of the contents of John cannot be found in the Synoptics. There are sixteen complete chapters in John in which are recorded facts as to the life, ministry and miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ, not found in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
In Matthew are recorded many of the kingdom parables taught by the Lord Jesus. Not one of these is recorded in John. We have in John no record of “The Sermon on the Mount” and the “Our Father” prayer, which are given in full in Matthew. On the other hand in Matthew we have no record of the prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John.
Before the death of the Lord Jesus Christ we find recorded in John’s Gospel in detail seven of the miracles performed by the Saviour.
1. TURNING THE WATER INTO WINE. John 2:9.
2. HEALING THE NOBLEMAN’S SON. John 4:50.
3. WALKING ON THE WATER. John 6:19.
4. HEALING THE IMPOTENT MAN AT BETHESDA. John 5:2.
5. FEEDING THE FIVE THOUSAND WITH THE LOAVES AND FISHES. John 6:10.
6. HEALING THE MAN BORN BLIND WHO WASHED IN SILOAM. John 9:7.
7. RAISING LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD. John 11:43.
Of these miracles we find that numbers 1-2-4-6 and 7 are not mentioned in the Synoptics.
Now let us note John 5:36 and John 20:30 and 31:
“But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.”
“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through: his name.”
Read the account of the healing of the man born blind, in the ninth chapter of John. Note what the Lord told him to do: “Go wash in the pool of Siloam.” John 9:7. Here the Holy Spirit is very careful to tell us that Siloam means “sent.” In John we learn that every man born of woman is not only dead in trespasses and sins but blind from birth. He must be born from above to see spiritual things and to enter God’s spiritual kingdom. He must be washed in the pool of “Sent.”
We find that Christ is mentioned in John’s Gospel more than forty times as the One Whom the Father sent. Every sinner must be washed in the blood of Christ or remain spiritually blind and dead in trespasses and sins.
TURNING THE WATER INTO WINE
Christ and Nicodemus
Now read about the first miracle of Christ at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, turning the water into wine.
“And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.” John 2:6, 7 and 8.
We note in John 2:6 that the vessels were used in the religion of the Jews. They were filled with water. A miracle was performed by the Lord. The vessels were filled with wine. Let us think of wine as symbolizing joy. The greatest joy comes from salvation. Salvation, like the wine in those Jewish vessels, is of the Lord. Salvation in John’s Gospel comes from regeneration. The religious Jewish leader, Nicodemus, was unregenerated.
Like the vessels used in Israel’s religious services, Nicodemus was used in Israel’s religious services. He was “a ruler of the Jews.” “Nico”—“ruler”; “demus”—“people.” Note Christ’s words to him: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:5. “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 3:7. Nicodemus had to receive the water of life. Nicodemus had to be born anew. Note Titus 3:5 and 6: “Saved—“Not by works.” Saved? “By the washing of regeneration.” “That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.” Ephesians 5:26. “. . . And whosoever will let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17.
Note what the Lord Jesus said to the woman at the well, in the fourth chapter of John:
“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.” John 4:14.
There has been much difference of opinion as to the meaning of “born of the water.” Whatever the meaning may have had for Israel, when Christ was here on earth, we may be sure that there is nothing in the gospel of the grace of God to suggest that the application of water will in any way aid in the regeneration of a sinner. Undoubtedly the turning of water into wine spoke of regeneration.
THE IMPOTENT MAN
In John 5:1 to 9, we learn how the Lord Jesus Christ healed an impotent man who could not do anything for himself. Surely this also speaks of the message of grace. God’s grace is for the sinner who can do nothing for himself. Every man, by nature, is a spiritual bankrupt. “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:8.
Note John 3:27:
“John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.”
“No man can come to Me, except the Father Which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:65:
“And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father.” John 17:2:
“As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.” John 6:37:
“All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me: and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”
God’s grace is altogether sufficient for the helpless impotent sinner.
Now let us note John 6:37:
“All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”
Here we note that the Father gives them to the Son and those who come unto Him He will never cast out.
Let us study John 17:2 and 17:24 together. In verse two we learn that the Father gave them to the Son and the Son gave them eternal life.
Now note Christ’s prayer in verse twenty-four
“Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which thou hast given Me . . .”
Surely the Father will hear that prayer. Thus we see that the sinner in John’s Gospel is impotent.
LAZARUS RAISED FROM THE DEAD
We have the record of the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11:1 to 46. Note several verses: “Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.” John 11:14.
“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hast been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” John 11:21 to 27.
“Jesus said, ‘Take ye away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, ‘Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.’ And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.’” John 11:39, 43 and 44.
In John 11:25 and 26, we have the answer to the question, “if a man die shall he live again?”
Christ was here among men as the Resurrection and the Life. In II Timothy 1:10 we learn that Christ Jesus, by His death and resurrection, hath brought life and incorruptibility to light in the gospel. To learn of a power that can guarantee to a believing sinner both a spiritual and a physical resurrection, is certainly the gospel.
Note the records of the Lord Jesus in John 5:24 to 29:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
In Ephesians 4:18, we learn that the sinner is alienated from the life of God.
But note again Ephesians 2:1:
“You hath He quickened (made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins.”
Here we have the spiritual resurrection experienced by the believing sinner this side of the grave.
Then note I Corinthians 15:20 to 23:
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits: afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.”
Thus we learn that the believer has been made alive and that at the coming of Christ the believer will be made alive. So we can join with John in the blessed assurance of I John 3:2:
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”
At the time Lazarus was raised from the dead, he had been dead four days. A thousand years with the Lord is as one day. II Peter 3:8. At the time Lazarus was raised from the dead the descendants of Adam had been dying for four thousand years.
Christ overcame the world. Christ lived under the law with out breaking the law. Christ was victorious over Satan. He destroyed Him Who had the power of death, that is, the devil. Hebrews 2:14. Christ put away sin. Hebrews 9:26. Christ abolished death. II Timothy 1:10. Christ spoiled principalities and powers. Colossians 2:15.
The believer’s present and future resurrections are declared in Colossians 3:1 to 4:
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
Note also Philippians 3:20 and 21:
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
We learn in Romans 6 that the believer is dead with Christ, buried with Christ, and raised with Christ.
The unbeliever is dead in sin. The believer is dead to sin. According to John 5:24, the believer has passed out of death into life. Christ is the believer’s life. In John 14:6, Christ declared, “I am the Life.” In John 11:25, Christ declared “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” In Romans 6:23 we read, “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
So we learn in John’s Gospel that the sinner is a dead man. We have also learned that he is an unregenerated man, an impotent man, a man blind from birth. The Lord’s miracles, found in John’s Gospel and not in the Synoptics, are to teach us the spiritual condition of the sinner and God’s remedy; that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” Romans 8:3.
“And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:39.
It is interesting to study in John’s Gospel the many verses in which Christ speaks of Himself as the One Whom the Father sent. His miracles were His credentials.
And as we study the message of grace in John’s Gospel, we can appreciate the statement in John 1:17, “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” We can also appreciate the statement in John 3:17, “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Note in John 17:21 why Christ prayed to the Father for the unity of His disciples.
“THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE THAT THOU HAST SENT ME.”
Christ’s miracles were performed that the world would believe that the Father had sent the Son into the World. Christ wanted unity to prevail among His disciples, so the world would accept Him as “the sent” of God.
Note what is written in I John 4:9 and 14:
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” Yes, the Father sent the Son!
BELIEVE ON THE SENT ONE
Note “the work of God” and “the will of God” in John 6:29 and 40:
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him Whom He hath sent.”
“And this is the will of Him That sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Christ was in earnest in the matter of convincing the world that the Father had sent Him. He wanted the sinner to be in earnest about believing that the Father had sent Him to be the Saviour of the world. The sinner’s eternal destiny depended upon his belief or his unbelief concerning this fact. Note John 14:6.
THE SIN QUESTION
We note in the study of John’s Gospel that the “sin” question is the “Son” question. Note that Christ declared in John 16:7 to 9 that the Holy Spirit was to be sent to convict the world of sin, “because they believe not on Me.”
Note what Christ declared in John 8:24 and John 6:47: “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.” “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.”
Note again John 3:18 and 36:
“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.” “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
Thus we see the difference between believing on Him Whom the Father sent and not believing. The difference is eternal life or the wrath of God.
Now note again John 20:31:
“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.”
We should diligently study every single word in the Divine Record, so that we may be thoroughly convinced that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and have eternal life because of our belief.
We read in Romans 8:1 to 4 that by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus the believer is saved from the law of sin and death and from the law of Moses.
Note John 1:17: “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
This brings to mind Romans 5:20 and 21: “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.
But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Note what the Lord Jesus Christ said to the poor sinful woman caught breaking the law of Moses: “And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” John 8:11.
Christ never condoned or minimized sin. But God sent His Son into the world not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved.
But the world found Christ worthy of death, hated Him without a cause, and condemned Him to die.
So He cried, “now is the judgment of this world.” He spoke of His death on the cross. Note I John 4:10 and 11: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
The measure of God’s love is Jesus Christ on the cross. Note Ephesians 2:4 and 13; Romans 5:8 and Colossians 1:14 and 15.
QUESTIONS— LESSON THIRTY-ONE
1. Quote the first verse of the Gospel of John and tell how this differs from the beginning of Matthew, Mark and Luke.
2. In what verse do we read that the Word became flesh and tabernacled?
3. Who called Christ the Lamb of God in John 1? Who called Him “the King of Israel?”
4. Why was the Word made flesh according to Hebrews 2:9?
5. Where did Christ see Nathanael before Philip brought him to Christ? Tell how Nathanael and the fig tree speak of Israel’s redemption.
6. In what way did the sanctuary in Israel’s tabernacle speak of Christ and His work in the Gospel of John?
7. What is Christ called in the first chapter of John besides “the Lamb of God” and “King of Israel?” 8. What came by Jesus Christ according to John 1:17?
9. Name the seven miracles recorded in John’s Gospel before the death of Christ.
10. Give the spiritual application or interpretation of the resurrection of Lazarus.
11. What was Christ’s message to Nicodemus? What meaning would you give to “born of water?”
12. Why was John’s Gospel written according to John 20:31?
13. Quote John 3:17 and explain the statement in the light of God’s gospel of grace.
14. Give the spiritual application of the healing of the blind man who was told to wash in the pool of Siloam.
15. How many times does the word “believe” occur in John? (Once the Greek word is translated “commit”.)
16. Quote John 11:25 and state when and how the believing sinner receives his spiritual resurrection. 17. What was the petition in Christ’s prayer in John 17 that the world may believe that the Father sent the Son?
18. Quote Romans 8:1 to 3 and tell how the message of salvation in John’s Gospel agrees with this statement.
19. Quote John 8:24 and John 16:7 and mention the great sin in John’s gospel.
20. What work of God must the sinner do according to John 6:29?