INTRO: The probability is that the gospel of John was written later in the life of John. It may well be that this gospel record is one of the last New Testament books to be written. While it would cover the general period of the gospel of Mark, its content is very, very different from the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). If we think, though, that each of the gospel writers may well have had a different purpose in the book bearing his name, a difference in material is not all that surprising. So, what was Johns purpose? From the content and emphasis of this book I would conclude that Johns overarching purpose is to confirm the Deity of Jesus Christ. Virtually every page, every incident gives emphasis to the uniqueness of Jesus ... yes, to His Deity.
I. JOHN IS A GOSPEL OF I AMS
A. I am occurs a great many times in this gospel
B. Some of the metaphors?
1. Jno 6:35 - I am the bread of life
2. Jno 8:12 - I am the light of the world
3. Jno 10:9 - I am the door
4. Jno 10:11 - I am the good shepherd
5. Jno 14:6 - I am the way, the truth, and the life
6. Jno 15:5 - I am the vine
II. SOME OF THE THINGS WHICH ARE UNIQUE TO JOHN?
A. The immediate declaration of the Deity of Jesus
1. Jno 1:1-3, 14 - this declaration brackets the body of this book
2. this declaration sets the stage for laying out the proofs
3. and we have here, too, the grand incarnation affirmation
B. The extensive testimony of John the Baptist
1. Jno 1:31-34 - ...this is the Son of God
2. such testimony would be of great value since John was highly regarded
3. John took great pains to let it be known that he was not the Messiah - and so selflessly pointed people to Jesus - Jno 1:30
C. The night time visit of Nicodemus
1. Jno 3:1-5 - Nicodemus recognized that Jesus was from God
2. and we hear from Nicodemus again at 7:50 and 19:39
3. in Nicodemus we may see a progression of relationship - from secret to very open and, apparently, committed
D. The visit with the Samaritan woman
1. Jno 4:6,7
2. here is an illustration of a teachers turning a simple request and question into a wonderful teaching opportunity - living water (4:10)
3. a simple request also turns to great response - 4:39-42
E. Healing of noblemans son (its the detail here which is unique)
1. Jno 4:46,50 - the situation
2. but note 4:51-53 - John records this very important detail to declare clearly, plainly that this was a miracle
3. this sort of detail conforms to Johns purpose - Jesus is Deity!
F. The incident of the woman taken in adultery
1. Jno 8:3,4,11 - here was another occasion of tempting by opposition
2. clearly, the woman had violated the law - and Jesus did not deny that
3. His approach? Go, and sin no more
G. The gift of sight to the man born blind
1. Jno 9:1,6,7 - this not psychosomatic - blind from birth - a miracle
2. notice v. 30 - a very good point
3. but look further ... Jno 9:35-38 - Jesus plainly claims to be Son of God!
H. Raising of Lazarus
1. Jno 11:39-44 - again, an unmistakable demonstration of His power
2. but there is something else here: Jno 11:25-27 ... the good confession
3. at v. 45 - seeing, they believed
I. Other memorable events, chapters?
1. in Jno 13 the washing of His disciples feet
2. in Jno 14-16 the information about the coming of the Holy Spirit
3. in Jno 17 the prayer of Jesus
4. in Jno 18 the interview of Jesus by Pilate
5. in Jno 20 the appearance after resurrection - Thomas is there
6. In Jno 21 the beautiful occasion of Jesus questions to Peter
CLOSE: After carefully reading, studying the gospel of John, we are brought back to Jno 20:28-31. If everything John wrote is true (and we have every reason to believe it is), how can one not believe that Jesus is truly the Son of God? What, though, will you do with Jesus?
Cecil A. Hutson
31 August 2003
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)