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January 6, 2008 AM

JNO 6:66-69

INTRO: The sixth chapter of John's gospel is filled with important information. It is in this chapter that we read of people's trying to force Jesus to be a king (v. 15). In it Jesus is seen walking on water (v. 19). In it Jesus says, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" (v. 29). Then Jesus says, "I am the bread of life" (v. 35). But that was not all. He went on to say, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you" (v. 53). What was the response of the hearers? "This is an hard saying; who can hear it?" (v. 60). Indeed, it was at this point that John tells us, "Many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him" (v. 66).

    1. "Will ye go away also?"
      1. was there disappointment in His question to them?
      2. was it disappointing that so many people would follow a while, listen a while ... and still be superficial and unbelieving
      3. I don't know for certain - I only know how I feel ... and think in His humanity He must have had some disappointment
    2. But then there was Peter
      1. teachers are grateful for the "Peter sorts" of people
      2. Jno 6:68 - only Jesus had "the words of eternal life"
      3. he acknowledged that to reject Jesus and His words (teachings) would leave one with no hope - there just was not, is not another option!
    1. Words concerning God's great love - Jno 3:16,17
      1. this has always been a struggle for me - His love for the unlovable
      2. Rom 5:6-10 - here are wonderful words describing incomparable love
      3. why God loves, how God loves when history shows almost universal rejection of Him is beyond my comprehension
      4. but words of His great love are truly words of life ... words of hope
    2. Words of belief in Him - Jno 3:35,36
      1. the great dilemma - Jno 7:40-43 ... who is He really?
      2. Jno 8:54-58 - "my your God"
      3. and further, Jno 8:24b - there can be no eternal life without believing
      4. Jno 1:1-3,14 - He is the son of God; He is Deity (1 Jno 5:20)
    3. Words of the new birth - Jno 3:1-5
      1. such a thought certainly perplexed Nicodemus
      2. however, without it one cannot see or enter the kingdom of God
      3. 2 Cor 5:17 withGal 3:27with Rom 6:4 - born of water and the Spirit is without doubt New Testament baptism
      4. more explanation - Titus 3:4,5 - washing, renewing
    4. Words about sin - Jno 8:10,11
      1. this narrative is one of the most meaningful of all to me!
      2. here is a woman taken "in the very act" of adultery (8:4) - guilty!!!
      3. and there is eternal hope even for her
      4. but words of life are "sin no more" ... cannot keep sinning and have life
    5. Words concerning His crucifixion - Jno 12:32-34
      1. notice the people's comment in v. 34
      2. the idea that the Christ should be crucified was beyond them
      3. but Jesus clearly said that His death was necessary to His saving work
      4. 1 Pet 3:18 - no way to God except by His substitutionary death
    6. Words concerning His resurrection - Jno 2:18-22
      1. with various words and in various ways He spoke of His resurrection
      2. His immediate disciples either did not want to understand ... or simply could not understand His words about His resurrection
      3. even now there are those who question, reject the resurrection fact
      4. 1 Cor 15:14 - no resurrection, then, no eternal life - but1 Cor 15:20-22
    7. Words concerning a standard of judgment
      1. Jno 12:47-50
      2. His words are from the Father - what He taught, spoke was from God
      3. the words He spoke were "life everlasting"
      4. but the words of Jesus would be the criteria of judgment - reject them, and one forfeits eternal life in heaven!

CLOSE:Jno 11:25,26 - the great question ... "Believest thou this?" I ask you this morning what will you do with the words of eternal life? Will you, like some of His disciples, just go away from Him because it is too hard for you. Or, will you act on them because the idea of eternal life is precious to you?

Cecil A. Hutson

06 January 2008

God's Plan of Salvation

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 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 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 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)

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!

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)