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                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                   The Proof Is In The Pudding (7:17)

INTRODUCTION

1. The evidence for Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, is manifold...
   a. The testimony of John the Baptist - Jn 5:33; e.g., 1:29,34
   b. The works (miracles) that Jesus did - Jn 5:36; e.g., 2:11; 20:
      30-31
   c. The testimony of God Himself - Jn 5:37; e.g., Mt 3:16-17; 17:5
   d. The testimony of the OT scriptures - Jn 5:39; e.g., Isa 9:6-7
   e. His resurrection from the dead, attested to by eyewitnesses - Ro
      1:4; e.g., Jn 20:24-29

2. Jesus offered another proof that He is from God...
   a. It came at a time when many questioned who He was - Jn 7:12-15
   b. If you are willing to do God's will, you will know His doctrine is
      from God - Jn 7:16-17

3. Jesus' claim is akin to well-known proverb...
   a. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating"
   b. As stated more often, "The proof is in the pudding"

[This is a remarkable claim by Jesus, certainly worthy of closer
examination...]

I. FACETS OF JESUS' CLAIM

   A. ONE MUST BE WILLING TO DO THE FATHER'S WILL...
      1. There must first be a willing heart
         a. A good and noble heart - cf. Lk 8:15
         b. A heart willing to hear and examine carefully - cf. Ac 17:11
         c. A humble heart, one that fears God - cf. Psa 25:9,12
      2. There must then be obedience from the heart
         a. Such as found in the Christians at Rome - Ro 6:17
         b. The kind of obedience that must be in all aspects of our
            service - Ep 6:6; Co 3:23
      -- "Those who would test the divinity of the doctrine of Christ
         can not do so by rendering a mere mechanical obedience to his
         teaching. A willing, heartfelt obedience is essential to a true
         knowledge of his doctrine. Such a disposition makes a good and
         honest heart in which the seeds of his kingdom must inevitably
         grow." - J. W. McGarvey

   B. ONE WILL KNOW HIS DOCTRINE IS OF GOD...
      1. They will know that Jesus' teaching comes from above - cf. Jn
         12:49
      2. They will know that His teaching is everlasting life - cf. Jn
         12:50
      -- "He shall have evidence, in the very attempt to do the will of
         God, of the truth of the doctrine." - Barnes

[What kind of evidence does one receive?  The answer may be put in the
words of Isaiah, "The work of righteousness will be peace, And the
effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever." (Isa 32:17)
Consider therefore the...]

II. EVIDENCE OF JESUS' CLAIM

   A. PEACE THAT SURPASSES UNDERSTANDING...
      1. Jesus offered such peace to His disciples - Jn 14:27; 16:33
      2. As we do the Father's will as taught by Jesus, we experience
         such peace:
         a. As the result of our justification in Christ - Ro 5:1
         b. As the prayer for faithful Christians - Ro 15:13; 2 Th 3:16
         c. As the fruit of the Spirit in the lives of Christians - Ga
            5:22
         d. As the response to prayer - Ph 4:6-7
      -- Such peace, when experienced, confirms Jesus' doctrine as being
         from God

   B. ASSURANCE THAT CALMS THE HEART...
      1. Jesus offered assurance to His disciples - Jn 14:27b; 16:33
      2. As we do the Father's will as taught by Jesus, we experience
         such assurance:
         a. As when we love the brethren in deed and truth - cf. 1 Jn 3:
            18-19
         b. As expressed by Paul - cf. 2 Ti 1:12; also Ro 8:38-39
      -- Such assurance, when experienced, confirms Jesus' doctrine as
         being from God

[B. W. Johnson expressed it this way:  "He who in his heart says, "Thy
will be done, give me light and I will walk in it," will find that
Christ is just the teacher demanded by his soul, and that the gospel
meets his soul's want. Jesus will so meet the wants of his soul that he
will be satisfied and will know the doctrine, that it comes from him who
made the soul." (People's New Testament)  Yet, we should note...]

III. CAUTION REGARDING JESUS' CLAIM

   A. WHEN THERE IS NO PEACE OR ASSURANCE...
      1. It is not evidence that Jesus' doctrine is not from God
         a. We may have not done the Father's will yet
         b. We may have not done the Father's will from the heart
      2. It may not be evidence that we failed to truly do the Father's
         will at one time
         a. Our faith may yet be weak, needing to grow
         b. Our faith may have become hardened by the deceitfulness of
            sin - He 3:12-14

   B. WHERE THERE IS PEACE AND ASSURANCE...
      1. We should not trust in that evidence alone
         a. Many believed they are saved because of their feelings
         b. They might construe such as the ultimate proof of salvation
      2. The heart can easily be deceived
         a. There are ways that seem right, but may lead to death - Pro
            16:25
         b. It is not in man to direct his footsteps - Jer 10:23
      3. We must always be open to the Word of God
         a. Let the Word of God produce the feelings (faith, then
            feelings)
         b. Don't let one's feelings reject the Word of God (not
            feelings, then faith)

CONCLUSION

1. The proof that is in the pudding is somewhat subjective, but it is
   proof...
   a. Proof that can further confirm a faith based upon more objective
      evidence
   b. Proof that if lacking should be a sign our faith needs work (i.e.,
      diligence)

2. It is a diligent faith willing to do the will of God that produces a
   full assurance...

   "And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the
   full assurance of hope until the end," (He 6:11)

Are you willing to do the Father's will from the heart?  The blessings
of peace, assurance, and confirmation that Jesus' doctrine is truly from
God, awaits those who obey His will...!
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