Putting God's Word into Practice…

John 5:19-47 ~ Believe!

The number of people who say they believe in God but do not rely on the Godhood of Jesus for their salvation is a monumental tragedy throughout all time.  Believing there is a God is not enough.  James 2:19 says, “You believe that God is one; you do well.  Even the demons believe and shudder!”  Does that mean there will be demons in heaven.  By no means!  Only those who trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the Perfect Son of God for the atonement for their sin can gain entrance to eternal life in Heaven.  Saying God exists is not enough.

How will people believe in Jesus?  The words “hear”  and “voice” are used in conjunction with the ability to believe.  Then Jesus went on to give 6 examples that left His listeners without an excuse.  If you read this, and decide in your heart not to believe, sadly, you will be left without an excuse too.

  1. Jesus bears witness about Himself. (19-31)
  2. John the Baptist bears witness about Jesus. (32-35)
  3. Jesus’ works and miracles and compassion bear witness that He is the Savior. (36)
  4. The voice of God bore witness to Jesus’ Lordship at His baptism. (37-38)
  5. All of Scripture bears witness about Jesus as Lord and Savior. (39-40)
  6. Moses’ writings bear witness to Jesus coming to redeem His people. (45-47)

This passage also gives us five marks of an unbeliever or an impostor-believer.

  1. Spiritually dead (24)
  2. Doesn’t have God’s Word in them (38)
  3. Doesn’t have God’s love in them (42)
  4. Seeking glory from man (44)
  5. Don’t believe that Jesus is God (47)

In contrast, true believers in Jesus Christ are ALIVE!  They hide God’s Word in their hearts.  They are full of God’s love.   They seek God’s glory in all things.  They believe Jesus is the only way.

Life is found in Jesus! (21)  Unbelief leads to judgment and death, belief leads to life. (24)  We would be hard-pressed to find this much evidence for belief in any other thing/people we put our faith in.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! (Acts 16:31)

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Matthew 3

John the Baptist had one job–to prepare people for the coming of the Lord!  He had one message–“Repent!”  Why is repentance the best message to prepare people for Jesus? 1. It humbles us to see our need for a Savior and causes us to admit that we are sinners. 2. Every person can answer the call to repent.  Sin is our great equalizer and repentance is available for everyone. 3.  Only Jesus Christ can hear, forgive, and heal.

It was amazing to me in verses 5-6 that people were going out to John in the wilderness to hear the message.  This seldom happens today.  We are so blinded to our need for repentance and there are so few workers calling people to repentance that the idea of people willingly going out into the wilderness to have their sins forgiven seems foreign.  It is difficult enough to get people to go to church.  When we moved to Heath to start a church 6 years ago, I think I probably invited over 100 people to try our church and not one of them ever showed up.  Oh there were lots of promises to make it out to a service, but no follow through.  Sometimes I drive down the main highway in town and look at the other drivers and weep–do they even know they are lost and blind?  Do they think about eternity?  Do they know they need a Savior?

In verse 8, John says to “bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”  What is the fruit of repentance?  Here are 3 fruits that I recognize in my own life after repentance, I’m sure there are more:  1.  Humility 2. Changed behavior 3. Gratitude for God’s grace.

At the end of the chapter, Jesus shows up among the people and gets baptized–notice He doesn’t confess any sin, because He is sinless!  God the Father speaks audibly recognizing publicly that Jesus is His Son.  “You are my joy!” I whisper that to my boys almost daily.  That’s what God says to His Son–“I’m pleased with you!”

In Matthew 1:21 it says Jesus came to save HIS people from their sins.  In Matthew 3:12 the same possessive pronoun is striking.  “HIS winnowing fork is in HIS hand, and HE will clear HIS threshing floor and gather HIS wheat into the barn, but THE chaff HE will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Jesus is the Ruler.  The whole earth is His.  He created us all, but some will belong to Him (wheat) and some will reject Him (chaff).  The former He will gather to Himself for eternal joy.  The latter will be cast away from Him for eternal punishment.  This is real–real choices, real consequences!  So I’m saying with John, “Repent!”  Turn to God in humility.  Confess your sins and let Jesus wash them away and make your life fruitful by putting His Spirit inside You.  He promises to give grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34)

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Matthew 2-Wise men (and women) seek Jesus!

When the wise men found Jesus, they REJOICED EXCEEDINGLY with GREAT JOY!  Take a minute and picture that!  All their research and their resources invested in this one trip that climaxed at the home of the Savior.  Most of what I put my energy and effort into culminates in dissatisfaction and discontentment; but not Jesus, He never disappoints!

Finding Jesus always brings a response.  Verse 11 says, “They fell down and worshiped him.  Then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts…”  They recognized who Jesus was and why He is worthy of unashamed worship and more valuable than their earthly treasures.

Lord, may I respond to You in that way!

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Matthew 1

Matthew 1:1-17 is the genealogy of Jesus Christ.  These are real, historic people.  The list includes kings, liars, prostitutes, murderers, adulterers, farmers, and carpenters to name a few.  And perfection, Jesus Christ, was born into this family!  Verse 17 says that there were 14 generations from Abraham to David, and 14 generations from David to the deportation to Babylon, and 14 generations from the Babylonian deportation to the birth of Christ.  This tells me that God is the God of order, not chaos!

Two phrases alternate in verses 18-20–“from the Holy Spirit” and “do not fear.”  Fear is battle for me.  My prayer is that I realize that anything that is “from the Holy Spirit” is not cause for fear but faith and obedience!  God’s plans are always for my best and for His eternal purposes.

Verses 21-25.  Why the name, Jesus?  “For He will save HIS people from their sins.”  We are His people, we are sinners, and we need a Savior.  I needed a Savior-Jesus!

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