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Eternal Life and Abundant Life


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Eternal Life and Abundant Life

John 1:6-8 There was a man sent from God, whose name [was] John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all [men] through him might believe. He was not that Light, but [was sent] to bear witness of that Light.

John 10:10 (Jesus said) . . . I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

 

Our text today can be summed up in three statements:

1. God sent a man named John. (v. 6)

2. John came for a witness to bear witness to the light. (v. 7a)

3. The aim of this witness was that all might believe. (v. 7b)

Let's take these one at a time and let them move us to the goal of the gospel: belief in Jesus Christ and overflowing life in his name.

1. God sent a man named John.

John 1:6, "There was a man sent from God whose name was John."

Why does John, the writer of this gospel, introduce John the Baptist like this right here?

It seems abrupt.

Verse 5 is talking about the light shining in the darkness and the darkness not overcoming it,

and verse 9 goes on to talk about the light coming into the world.

And verses 6‑8 seem like an interruption.

Why not get Jesus all the way introduced, and then introduce John the Baptist?

Well, John could have written it that way.

But he didn't.

And the effect of the way he did write it is to make crystal clear from the very outset that God's way of letting the light of Christ shine in the world is by human witnesses. God's way of pushing back the darkness is by human witnesses.

It didn't have to be this way.

God could have caused the light of Christ to spread in some other way.

He could have done it with angels.

He could have written the gospel in the sky with big puffy white letters made out of clouds.

He could have caused the wind to talk.

But instead God chose to call and send human beings to bear witness to the light.

"There was a man (a human being) sent from God, whose name was John."

This general principle is even more clear because John was sent to testify to the light while the light was there.

As soon as the light was in the world C as soon as Jesus came C God prepablack and sent a human being right alongside the light to bear witness to the light.

Jesus did not need John the Baptist to make him known.

He could have managed by himself C he was the light of the world.

But evidently God's wisdom dictates that his Son should be heralded, announced, proclaimed by people that he sends.

Evidently God knows that this is the way to bring the greatest happiness to men and the greatest glory to his Son.


There are at least two implications of this for you today.

1.1 One is that you should be alert to the possible call of God in your life.

All Christians are to be the light of the world (Matt. 5:16).

All are called to witness to the light (Acts 1:8, 1 pt. 2:9).

But God still calls some in a special way and for special tasks.

Matthew 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

 

God may send you for a lifetime of service to a foreign mission field.

Or He may send you across the street to win your neighbor.

But it is God's way to speak to a person and send that person to testify to the light.

Be ready and open to hear that call and accept that commission.

Don't assume that what you are doing now is your only mission in life.

1.2 And the other implication is that you should be ready and open to hear the testimony from others who are sent to you.

God means to communicate to you not merely through your own private Bible reading, but also through other people.

He means to communicate to you through my preaching and through your Sunday School teacher and through godly parents.

We should be aware that it is God's way to communicate with us through those that he calls and sends.

Otherwise why send them if he has nothing to say to us through them?

I pray that by the time my life is over on earth thousands of people will have heard such a decisive, life‑changing word from God through me that they will say, "There was a man sent from God whose name was Carl."

And will not many young women say, as they look back on their girlhood, "There was a woman sent from God whose name was Shirley."

And I wonder how many will say, "There was a woman sent from God whose name was Pat."?

Be ready and open to God's call on your life to send you to bear witness to the light; and be ready and open to recognize the word of God to you when it comes from others that God has sent to you.

That's the first step in our text: God sent a man named John (v. 6). God's way of spreading the light of Christ is by human witnesses.

2. The same (John) came for a witness to bear witness to the light. (v. 7a)


The second step in the text is that the way God uses people to promote the light is by their testimony.

John was a witness.

A witness is a person with some experience and knowledge that can help establish the truth of some fact that is in dispute.

God had spoken to John in the wilderness about the coming Messiah, and his meeting with Jesus at the baptism gave him the experience he needed to be a bona fide witness.

John 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

John 1:34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

So God had spoken to John earlier about the One who was coming.

And then he gave him a sign to let him know that Jesus was this One.

From then on John bore his testimony to Jesus faithfully until he was put to death for his witness.

On August 30, 1744 Jonathan Edwards preached an ordination sermon and took as his text John 5:35 where Jesus says of John's witness, AHe was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.@

Edwards developed the point that a faithful witness to the gospel burns and shines.

That is, there is the warmth of zeal and the light of truth. John the Baptist had both of them, and in this he is a great example for us.

2.1 First there was the light of truth in his witness. God showed him many magnificent things about Jesus. Here are some of the things he said about Jesus:

John 1:23 He said, I [am] the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

John 1:27 He it is, who coming after me is preferblack before me, whose shoe=s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

John 1:29 & The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

John 1:34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

2.2 But not only was his witness a bright beacon of truth, it was also a burning zeal. John's life as well as his message was a faithful testimony to the truth. Consider at least three things that would make our testimony to Christ more cblackible too.

2.21 John's simplicity.

He had lived in the wilderness for years.

He dressed in simple leather clothes (Mark 1:6).

He ate honey and locust (Mark 1:6).

His whole life stood over against the luxuries of his day (Luke 7:25‑26).

This gave a tremendous power to his preaching

2.22 John's humility.


In a sense John's role was tragic C the last prophet before the Lord, and killed for it while the Christian movement he served was just getting started (like Moses dying without entering the promised land, only John had done no wrong like Moses).

John's testimony was burning with authenticity because he was a truly humble man.

2.23 John's courage.

John held to his message of righteousness to the end, and it cost him his life.

How many reasons we could think of why it would not be prudent to cry out against Herod's sin in taking his brother's wife!

John is a great example of one who acted on principle not prudence.

And Jesus said there wasn't a greater man who ever lived (Luke 7:28).

His testimony burned with reality because he was a man of tremendous courage.

So the first step in our text (v. 6) was that God sent a man named John. It is God's way to spread his light by using people.

And the second step in out text is that "John came for testimony to bear witness to the light" (v. 7a). The way God uses people to spread the light is by their testimony. John was a burning and a shining lamp to Jesus. He was burning with zeal and shining with the light of truth. And that's the way our witness should be too.

3. Finally the third step in the text is that we would believe.

John 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all [men] through him might believe.

Notice: "Through him" not on him.

The aim of his testimony was that we all believe on Jesus.

John's whole life pointed to the truth and worth of the One that was to come after him, Jesus.

God sent him so that we would believe in Jesus.

John witnessed to the truth so we would believe in Jesus.

John burned with zeal so that we would believe in Jesus.

This gospel was written so that we would believe on Jesus.

And I would like to pray now for us all that we would believe in Jesus.

Father, I pray now in Jesus' great name that you would incline the hearts of all of us to believe in Jesus.

To believe . . .

C that he is the Lord,

C that he is so great the greatest man was not worthy to untie his shoes,

C that he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world

C the sin of anyone in the world who believes (3:36),

C that he is the very Son of God,

C that he is the bridegroom and all who follow him are his beloved and cherished bride,

C that he baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

 

He pours his Spirit out upon those who believe, swallows us up in the spirit of his love and gives us life, abundant, overflowing, excessive life upon life.

If something is hindering you from fully believing in Jesus, let us know so we can show you more reasons to believe and pray with you for the grace to believe.

Christmas is a wonderful time to be believe and have eternal life.

 

 

 

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