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New Hope Christian Fellowship

Trusting In Christ Alone

TRUSTING IN CHRIST ALONE

INTRODUCTION

            David Branon, a writer for Our Daily Bread, wrote an interesting thought about the focus of our worship.  He writes:

“When a publishing company asked me to write an endorsement for a new book, I said I’d be glad to. It appeared to be a helpful effort directed to young people, challenging them to live for God in a changing world. But as I read the book, something troubled me. Although it had lots of Scripture and great spiritual advice, it didn’t explain that the starting point for any relationship with God is salvation through Jesus Christ.

The writer seemed to imply that the essence of living spiritually in modern society is based totally on action—good deeds—and not on saving faith in Christ. I didn’t write the endorsement.

The culture of the church is changing rapidly. Often left behind in the rush to find exciting new ideas is the essential nature of the gospel.”  (Based upon Galatians 1:6-12)[1]

BACKGROUND

            Jesus has been teaching those who allegedly believed in Him about the importance of believing His words.  We have seen a number of times in the Gospel of John the importance of trusting in the testimony of Christ.  Such trust gives life.  Today’s discussion in the temple brings a culminating end to the confrontation Jesus was experiencing with the hypocrites in His audience.

SCRIPTURE:            John 8:48-59

PRAYER

CTS:    Today I would like to share with you three reasons to place your trust in Christ alone.

You should place your trust in Christ alone because:

I.          He offers you everlasting life (VV. 48-51)

Explanation

            Verse 48 of our text is a continuation of the dialogue between Jesus and the religious leadership.  After Jesus had just informed His rebellious audience that they could not be children of Abraham or God (based upon their attitude and actions), the Jews resort to name calling in an effort to discredit Jesus.  Samaritans were treated as outcasts by the Jewish population.  From the Samaritan perspective, the Jewish way of worshipping God was inaccurate due to its exclusion of the Samaritans.  Thus, in exchange for calling them the children of the devil, the audience accused Jesus of being a Samaritan.  Additionally, they accused Jesus of being possessed by a demon.  People in their day that acted like they were out of their mind and communicated things that did not make sense were accused of being possessed.  The Jewish audience, at this point, certainly felt this way about Jesus.  However, Jesus did not become hostile toward their accusations.

            Jesus did not respond to His audience in an argumentative way.  Instead, He stated He did not have a demon, and then clarified to His audience what the real issue was (Vs. 49).  Jesus identified that the issue of contention was that He was honoring His Father and they were not.  However, it appears that Jesus wanted to ensure that His statement was not prideful.  He went on to say that He does not seek to bring glory to Himself.  He is keenly aware of the fact that it is His Father that is and will glorify Jesus (Vs. 50).  We find such evidence in John 12:27-29 and in John 13:32.

            With the understanding established that God’s hand is upon His work, Jesus identifies one of the ways that God will glorify Him, by offering life eternal to whoever would keep His word (Vs. 51).  It’s amazing to see how Jesus does not give up on His listening audience.  Although there may be those who would outright argue in disbelief with Jesus, He identifies that for those who would keep His word, they would not see spiritual death.

Illustration

            Read John 6:35-40.  As you can see, Jesus is God’s agent for salvation for all who believe.  As we have also seen in last week’s message, those who choose to abide in the word of Christ are set free from sin and are bound for heaven (VV. 31-32).

Application

            The point of application for you and me is to believe that Jesus honored His Father with His life, and offers life eternal to you.  However, the requirement to achieve eternal life is that you trust and abide in His word.  Such trust is demonstrated in your everyday life.

 

II.        He is glorified by God (VV. 52-55)

Explanation

            Continuing in the opposite direction of their initial belief in Jesus (Vs. 31), the Jews appear to be getting angrier with Jesus’ testimony.  How in the world could Jesus and anyone who believes in Him not die?  The Jews perceive Jesus’ statement as being about physical death.  They further assert that Jesus is out of His mind (demon possession) (Vs. 52), identifying that Abraham and the prophets had all died.  Surely, Jesus was not proposing that He was greater than them, was He?  They ultimately ask the question of who Jesus claimed Himself to be.  In other words, “Who do you think you are? (Vs. 53).”

            Jesus explains that He is not attempting to bring glory to Himself.  Such glory is given by His Father (Vs. 54a).  Interestingly, Jesus again points out His audience not being children of God, because they would not acknowledge the glory that God was giving to His Son (VV. 54b – 55a).  The text makes it clear that God places glory upon those who know Him and keep His word (Vs. 55b)

Illustration

            John 17:1-5 and 22-23 gives us examples of this glory Jesus is talking about.  In the context of the chapter, God’s glory appears to be the determining factor between those who are His children and those who are the children of Satan.

Application

            The point of application for you and me is to recognize that God is the source of glory Christ received and is to be the source of the glory we receive.  In other words, anything that we strive to do in this life should be for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).  The key to our application is, as James 4:10 puts it, humble ourselves in the presence of God, and He will exalt you.

 

III.       He is eternal (VV. 56-59)

Explanation

            Jesus’ words continue to make the audience more hostile.  Jesus tells this audience that has such a strong focus on Abraham that Abraham rejoiced to see His day and was glad (Vs. 56).  Once again, out of spiritually blinded minds, the audience thinks Jesus is being literal, and questions how Abraham could have seen Jesus, when Abraham was dead and that Jesus was less than 50 years old (Vs. 57).  This statement moves Jesus to make the statement that He is God in the flesh (I AM) (Vs. 58).  Obviously, to these non-believing Jews, Jesus did not possess the power He claimed, and thus, was committing blasphemy.  The result was unjustly picking up stones to stone Jesus, but could not because Jesus had slipped away (Vs. 59).  Once again, we can see, as many times before, God’s hand preserving His Son because His hour had not yet come.

Illustration

            John 1:1-3, 14; Isaiah 9:6-7 – These texts help us to see the eternality of Christ.  He existed before creation and will reign one day in the future forever.

Application

            The point of application is for you and me to willfully choose to accept, according to scripture, that Christ was, indeed, God in the flesh, and that because of who He is, Jesus has the ability to give anyone who God brings to Him eternal life.

Conclusion

            As our text has revealed to us today, God offers every person who will believe in Christ eternal life.  The result of such faith is a deep abiding in God’s word.  Jesus could utter such words because of God’s desire to glorify Him and Jesus being one with God.  Have you placed your complete trust in Christ alone for your salvation?  Though this text has driven unbelievers to deny Jesus to the point of stoning Him, It is a source of encouragement for you and me to completely trust Christ’s sacrificial work to save us!


REFERENCES

 John 17:1-5 (New King James Version)

 1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should[a] give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

John 17:22-23 (New King James Version)

22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

James 4:10 (New King James Version)

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Hebrews 11:8-10 (New King James Version)

8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

John 1:1-3, 14 (New King James Version)

 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

14 And the Word became 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.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (New King James Version)

6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will beno end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.


TRUSTING IN CHRIST ALONE

INTRODUCTION:   THE PLACE TO START  (BY DAVID BRANON)

BACKGROUND THOUGHT:  JESUS BRINGS THE ARGUMENT TO AN END

SCRIPTURE: JOHN 8:48-59

CTS:   three REASONS TO PLACE YOUR TRUST IN CHRIST ALONE.

YOU SHOULD PLACE YOUR TRUST IN CHRIST ALONE BECAUSE: 

I.   HE OFFERS YOU EVERLASTING LIFE (VV.48-51)

  • EXPLANATION: 
    • SAMARITAN (OUTSIDER); DEMON (CRAZY)
    • HONOR VS DISHONOR
  • ILLUSTRATION:     JOHN 6:35-40
  • APPLICATION:        TRUST IN HIS OFFER

II.  HE IS GLORIFIED BY GOD (VV. 52-55)

  • EXPLANATION:      WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
  • ILLUSTRATION:     JOHN 17:1-5, 22-23; JAMES 4:10
  • APPLICATION:        HE IS YOUR SOURCE OF GLORY

III.  HE IS ETERNAL (VV. 56-59)

  • EXPLANATION:      ABRAHAM REJOICED TO SEE JESUS’ DAY; HOW?
    • HEBREWS 11:8-10
  • ILLUSTRATION:     JOHN 1:1-3, 14; ISAIAH 9:6-7
  • APPLICATION:        BELIEVE THAT AS 100% GOD/MAN, HE CAN DELIVER

IV.   CONCLUSION:    ARE YOU TRUSTING IN CHRIST ALONE? 



[1] The Only Place To Start (31 July 2009); David Branon.

https://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our-daily-bread/2009/07/31/devotion.aspx

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