The Absolute Truth !
by Cooper Abrams
Introduction: John wrote his Gospel while at Ephesus in 90-95 AD making it the last Gospel to be written. The Book covers no more than twenty days in the life of Christ. Chapters 13-19, covers the events of only one day, the last twenty four hours of the Lord's life.
The Gospel is not addressed to any particular cultural group, such a Matthew which was addressed to the Jews, or Mark, addressed for Romans, or Luke written to the Gentiles. John's Gospel was written to the world to declare that Jesus Christ is God incarnate in man the Savior of the world and that men might believe on him and be saved.
The key verse is 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."
The Introduction to this message is lengthy, but I think you will see the reason for this as the it develops. To understand the text we must understand the context in which Jesus made the statement.
Jesus had traveled to Jerusalem to attend one of the feasts of the Jews. (John 5) It is not clear which feast it was. There Jesus healed a man who had been born lame. The Jewish leaders were angry because Jesus healed him on the Sabbath day (Saturday). They were so legalistic, they had perverted the Old Testament Law of keeping the Sabbath day holy, the Fourth Commandment. A Jew could not even pick up a stick on the Sabbath day. Jesus called them hypocrites and said they "strained at gnats and swallowed camels "(Matt. 23:24).
They sought to kill him John 5:18, because He proclaimed that He was God.
The Jesus left and journeyed north to Galilee, during the Passover, where He did many miracles all the while proclaiming Himself to be the Messiah God had promised. There He fed the five thousand and in a great storm on the Sea of Galilee walked on the water. He left and went to the other side of the Sea because the people pressed after him so. John 5:26, Jesus quite pointedly revealed their not so noble reason for following him. He said they followed Him, not for the message, but rather for the food He fed them. In verse 40, Jesus proclaimed that salvation was in believing in Him and that those who would believe He would raise up in the last day.
This upset the Jews and they murmured against Him, when he said "I am the bread come down from Heaven (v41). They said "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph the carpenter? How is then he saith I came down from heaven."
You see the miracles He performed, which they saw themselves, had to effect on their understanding of who Jesus was. He proclaimed He was the Messiah, and proved it by miracles and by the fulfilled prophecy of his life. Yet, most of them would not believe. Most of those following Him up to this time...left (v66).
Jesus turned to the twelve and ask them "Will ye also go away?"
Peter answered and said, "Lord to whom shall we go? thou hasth the word of eternal life. An we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God."
Jesus' disciples then journeyed to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles and Jesus remained behind, but followed after they had left and He entered Jerusalem privately (John 7). Then Jesus went to the temple and began to teach the people. They people in v15, marvelled that Jesus taught and spoke as an educated Rabbi, yet he had not formal training.
In John 7:16-17, Jesus proclaimed His doctrine (teaching) was from God. He told them that those who did the will of God would know the doctrine. They would know if what He said was truth. They accused Him of having a demon, still being angry that He healed the lame man on the Sabbath. Jesus passionately proclaimed again who He was....but they would not believe and sought to take Him by force.
The Jews had a practice that is not mentioned in the Old Testament, but came out of the Inter-Testament period, between the Old and New Testaments. They would take water from the Pool of Siloam for the first seven days of the feast and carry it to a silver basin by the altar of burnt offerings. This tradition probably began in the Inter-Testamental Period of the four hundred years between the Old and New Testaments.
In V37, on the eighth day of the feast Jesus stood in the Temple grounds and cried saying "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink, He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Jesus was referring to Isaiah 44:3-4, " For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses." and other Old Testament Passages which presented the coming Messiah as fulfilling the spiritual thirst of Israel.
Verses 40-53. There was a great debate as to who Christ really was. Some said He was a prophet, some said He was the Christ and they did not come to a clear decision of who He was.
I fully believe that had the people believed on Jesus God would have saved them. However, as Paul stated in Acts 17:3, "Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ" Jesus still had to suffer and die for our sins. Even if the people had believed...the sinful, proud, unbelieving Jewish leaders would still have turned Him over to the Romans to be crucified.
In John 8, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, and the people came again and He taught them. However, the scribes and the Pharisee came also still seeking to discredit him and brought the woman caught in adultery. You know the story, the tried to trick Him, into condemning the woman to be stoned which upheld Jewish Law, but violated the Roman law. Jesus ask of the accusers of the woman "He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone." By the way, there was one there who was without sin!
He said, when the accused in shame all left.."Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more."
In John 8:12, Jesus proclaimed again, "I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness by shall have the light of day.
The Pharisees immediately called Jesus a liar! (v13).
He continued the discourse with them as we read at the beginning of this message.
The Pharisees, scribes and Jewish leaders and many of the people refused to believe what Jesus was saying about Himself and who He was.
I. He that Believeth on me Hath Everlasting Life. John 6:47
A. Truth stands alone. Whether it is believed or not it is fact.
ILLUS: Copernicus, Polish scholar, in the mid 1500's studied the Sun, Moon and planets. He studied showed the earth was round and that it revolved around the Sun. March 5, 1616, the Pope decreed that his book, "On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres" was to be banded and forbidden reading and this band was not lifted until the 19th Century. For almost 400 years the truth Copernicus discovered was banded in unbelief. Galileo understood his claims and because he defended the truth was in danger of losing his life in the Catholic Inquisition. The fact was he studied the evidence and came to the truth....which was true whether the whole world rejected his statements or not. In the end, time proved him to be right. In time all truth will be proved as true.
Proverbs 12:19 say, " ¶ The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment."
B. Jesus Christ said He was the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God. He said that whosoever believed in Him would have eternal life.
1. Jesus said in John 8:32, said to those that believed in Him, that they would know the truth and the truth would set them free.
2. The world today is rejecting Jesus Christ as God, the Savior of the World. But it does not nullify the truth...that yes He is who He said he was.
3. On that Sunday morning three days after Jesus had be crucified and died for the sins of the world....He arose! That to is truth....whether it is believed or not. Jesus won the victory over sin and death and proved who He truly was once and forever...Jesus Christ as God incarnate in flesh. He was our only God and Savior.
C. The Bible says that there is not one righteous man on earth and that all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10, 23)
1. There is ample evidence of this all around. Do you know anyone who does not sin? Do you know anyone who has never committed some wrong act?
2. The answer is obvious...we do not know anyone who has never sinned. Some might defend themselves and say, "Well, I have not sinned as much as so-n-so has." That may be true, but you have sinned and that one sin condemns us as sinners.
D. Romans 6:23, says the wages of sin is Death.
1. That is truth. Further, Heb. 9:27, says "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
2. A recent poll in US News and World Report, showed that 78% of those polled believe there is a heaven and 60% believe there is a hell. It is not interesting that there is an 18% difference in the number of those who believe in heaven and hell. That means that 18% of those who believe in heaven, do not think there is a hell.
Out of all those who believe in an after life: 78% believe they have an excellent chance of going to heaven. Only 4% believe they have an excellent chance of going to hell.
There is nothing that a man allows within himself more than sin. There is nothing a man resents more than being reminded that he is sinner. Jesus in John 7:7, said the world hated Him "because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil."
3. However, believe it or not....God, who created us all, says there is a hell. Jesus in Matt. 7:13-14 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
II. Truth Sets Men Free (John 8:32).
ILLUS: Thirty nine members of the Heaven's Gate of the heavens gate cult committed mass suicide in 1997 believing that there was a spaceship in the tail of the Hale-Bopp Comet that was coming for them They believed that must commit suicide in order to be released to this spaceship. "We have no hesitation to leave this place, to leave the bodies that we have," said the charismatic cult leader Marshall Applewhite, one of those who died, said on the video. Do you believe that they believed they were going to be caught up after they killed themselves into this spaceship? Well, clearly they did. Most of the people were very intelligent people. Yet, they believed a lie. The truth was there was no space ship and aliens were not coming for them.
A. Truth frees us; lies enslave us. The Jews would not believe the truth, and thus were enslaved to the false beliefs they were taught by their religious leaders.
1. John 8:13, the unbelievers proclaimed..."thy record is not true."
2. Yet, it was true...every word he said was true...and everyone who believed was set free from sin and death and everyone that did not believe died condemned in their sins.
B. Verse 36 says "If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
1. Jesus was talking about being free from the influence and condemnation of sin (v34).
2. It is more that being free FROM something, it is being free unto something as well.
C. We are saved from sin, unto life. 1 John 3:14, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren."
We all know Ephesians 2:8-9, but have we read verse 10? "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
1. Why does God want to save us? Have you ever though at this? Why did He not only tell us the truth, but went to the cross and bore our sins in His body and shed His blood for our redemption?
Why did Jesus tell the Jews He was the Messiah? Did He show them evidence of who He was?
2. Why are there so many who oppose God's truth and invent false things which nullifies truth and puts stumbling blocks in the way so that people are hindered from coming. Where do the doubts come from where truth is loving told? Why do men run to believe the lie?!
God wants to save us from sin and free us to a new productive eternal life....yet Satan would hinder us and keep us from God by telling us a lie and distort truth...."hath God said."
My friend where do you stand? Do you believe in Jesus Christ, that He is God's Son and that being the sinner you are...He loved you anyway and died, shedding His blood on that Cross for you, that you by simple faith and trust in Him, might receive forgiveness for you sins and receive eternal life.
Right now you have the same choice those in Jesus's day had. You can believe Him and be saved or reject Him and spend eternity in Hell. It is up to you. I know the mind of Jesus Christ and what He wants! He wants you to accept Him, and proved it by paying for you sins. Dear Friend His suffered grievously for you so you would not have to go to Hell. His desire for you is shown in His love. In Matthew 11:28, beckons all to "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."