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September 22, 2022 8:00 am
The one who Jesus Christ say is one who will naturally continue in the word of God will continue in the teaching of Christ listening to the truth with John Green, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am Bill right today as Don continues teaching God's people. God's word will be looking at one of the true indicators of a genuine and saving faith in Christ. That is perseverance. Let's join Don down as he forges ahead in his series titled in defense of truth part one of a message called truth and perseverance. You're on the truthful. I want you to turn to our text for today which is found in the book of John chapter 8 the gospel of John chapter 8, we are in the middle of a very important series in our church on the nature of truth. We have rejected the idea that truth is relative. The truth is subjective.
That truth is simply a matter of your opinion versus mine and that there is no final answer on truth we've rejected that we have looked at the person of the Lord Jesus Christ who is truth incarnate from John chapter 1 verse 14 he is fully God and fully man, full of grace. Scripture says and truth, reality is found in Christ and in Christ alone. Last we look to the text from John chapter 4 and saw the central role of truth in worship the true worship must be biblical worship are not free to make up our own approach to God.
Now we come to what we could call today truth and the idea of perseverance. Perseverance, which I will do fine in a few moments, truth and perseverance of the saints. That's our concern for today and I'm going to read verses 30 through 34.
So we see in John chapter 8 verse 30.
As Jesus spoke these things.
Many came to believe in him. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed in him. If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. They answered him, we are Abraham's descendents and have never yet been enslaved to anyone how is it that you say you will become free. Jesus answered them, truly, truly, I say to you everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin, and so we see here in this passage that Jesus had been teaching the Jews and some of them had believed look at verse 30 as he spoke these things. Many came to believe in him now were so used to the word believe that we equate seeing that word as necessarily being an indication of true conversion. As you read on for some at least there supposedly conversions were superficial and Jesus presses them in order to bring out the reality of what a true disciple is and to distinguish a true convert from those which are not genuinely born again. So we see as we come to our first point, we see that what Jesus is going to show us is that true disciples continue in the word of God. True disciples continue in the word of God and as we consider this passage in John chapter 8 it's important for us to realize that John's gospel had already been dealing with the problem of false conversion go back to John chapter 2 at the end of the chapter as we set some context for the text from the gospel in which it appears in John chapter 2 verse 23 we read this now when Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name observing his signs which he was doing. But Jesus on his part was not entrusting himself to them, for he knew all men, because he did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for he himself knew what was in man these Jews at this at this time of the Passover outwardly identified outwardly said that they were believing in Christ but but Jesus knew the reality. That's why Scripture says he wasn't entrusting himself to them. He knew that there was that there was a deeper spiritual reality that had not yet connected in their minds and in their heart, and as you go on, you read in chapter 3, verse one you read this notice there's no chapter breaks in the original text. John chapter 2 verse 25 Jesus knew what was in man. Then in chapter 3, verse one. Now there was a man, and Jesus is going on what the what the gospel is doing here is going on to explain the significance of what was just said that Jesus knew what was in man and is going to show that the outward confession of belief was not necessarily a guarantee of the inner reality. So there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, who was a ruler of the Jews and Nicodemus becomes an illustration of the problem that is identified at the end of chapter 2. This man came to Jesus by night and said when Rabbi, we know that you come from God as a teacher for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.
That sounds like on a simple first reading that sounds like a powerful statement of faith doesn't use a say Nicodemus recognizes who Christ is. But Jesus is having none of it. Jesus confronts him immediately speaking to a leader of the Jews and says truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. He says Nicodemus you come with these flattering words about me but I want to confront you with the reality that you have not been born again and you need to be born again. Even though you are a leader and a teacher of the Jews.
Nicodemus said to him, how can a man be born when he is old, he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born County. Jesus had confronted him with the most basic spiritual reality of the need for the new birth and this leader and teacher of the Jews had no idea what he was talking about. That's how profound this problem of self-deception can be. Jesus said in verse five.
Truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Look at verse seven do not be amazed that I said to you.
You must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it is coming from and where it is going so is everyone who is born of the spirit. Salvation is supernatural and it's a supernatural reality that occurs in the heart and Nicodemus is so lost. At this point that he says to Jesus in verse nine. How can these things be, and Jesus answered and said you're the teacher of Israel and you don't understand these things. There's a sad reality to it and so we see Jesus at the end of chapter 2. Recognizing that not all men are saved and you see an illustration of that principle in the person of Nicodemus. In chapter 3 go on to John chapter 6 with these things in mind. Jesus said in verse 58 John chapter 6 verse 58 this is the bread which came down out of heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. He who eats this bread will live forever is referring to himself who ever personally appropriates me will live forever. Verse 59 these things he said in the synagogue as he taught in Capernaum. Now in verse 60. Therefore, many of his disciples.
Many of his disciples. Those that had been following him. Those that had been hearing his teaching and learning from him when they heard Jesus say that they responded. This is a difficult statement who can listen to it.
But Jesus conscious that his disciples grumbled at this said to them, does this cause you to stumble, what then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before. It is the Spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit in our life but there were some of you who do not believe he speaking to a group of outward disciples, thousands of them actually because they had just been miraculously fed by him.
And Jesus says there are some of you who do not believe you follow me, but the reality is not there. You're not a genuine convert of mine and so is warning them in verse 64 goes on to say Jesus knew from the beginning who they were, who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him, and he was saying.
For this reason I have said to you that no one can come to me unless it is been granted him from the father, Jesus Christ, God the father must grant the ability to believe he must grant the power for someone to come to Christ or they cannot come at all. We do not have the capacity in our unsaved unconverted condition. To believe in Christ of our own power.
There must be a work from God from above, there must be a work from God by the Holy Spirit through his word. In order for anyone to be saved. And so Jesus is laying out for them. The reality don't take this for granted. Recognize your lost sinful condition. Your helpless desperate condition and cry out to God for mercy and not presume simply because you're a Jew that you're part of God's family. Don't and today.
The idea would be don't simply assume by the fact that you've grown up in a church or you've walked denial or something like that. Don't simply presume by outward associations that you are actually inwardly in the kingdom of God. What happened as a result of that instruction from Jesus in verse 66 we read this.
As a result of this, many of his disciples withdrew and were not walking with him anymore. They went out from us, but they were not of us.
If they had been thus they would have remained with us, and here in the first century ministry of Jesus, you see that reality plate taking place outward Association, the lack of the inward reality is shown by the fact that they walked away from the Lord himself. They walked away. They had Jesus in their midst. They heard him live. They saw his miracles live and they walked away. It's almost incomprehensible, except when you remember this is what unsaved dark hearts do and so would from from the story of Nicodemus from John chapter 6 here's the point of all of that we are prepared for Jesus.
Now in chapter 8 to challenge mere outward professions of faith in order to test the reality of them and that's what's going on as we come back to John chapter 8 now under our first point, the true disciples continue in the word and the word of God has a way of exposing the true from the false. That's what the point that Jesus is making here in verse 31 Jesus was saying look at their John eight verse 31 Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed him.
If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. He says if you continue in my word that will be the mark that you are a true disciple becomes very simple in that sense, what happens here is that that.
Remember that this is coming right on the heels of verse 30. Many came to believe in him right now in verse 31 Jesus says to those people. If you continue in my word, and it's not as clear in English as it is in the original language in the original Greek, the construction has expresses a measure of doubt about the reality of their conversion.
If you continue in my word, and it's an open question about whether you will are not as he speaking to those Jews at that point then if you continue you are true truly disciples of mine. The point here is that Jesus doesn't accept their outward profession of belief that simple face value depresses them and says genuine conversion will have this result in your life.
He says there is an inevitable result of true saving faith and when you think about it and with what I'm about to say could be no other way, the one whom Jesus Christ saves is one who will naturally continue in the word of God will continue in the teaching of Christ. Listen we come to Christ and we bow before him in salvation we receive him as Savior we receive him as Lord. We bow before him, and then whatever imperfection of understanding we have, and however weak our faith may be at the moment.
True conversion receives Christ by faith and receives him as Lord receives him as Savior receives him as teacher.
If that is real. It is irreversible. You do not go back on that because the power that conversion comes from heaven itself is a supernatural change that is worked in your heart, not simply one that you make by simply trying to try harder and so God seeks people to be true worshipers. God saves someone in order to make them a true worshiper of his seek someone that will follow after him and then God saves us in order to accomplish that result in so when the spirit saves someone he changes their heart and in client watch this he inclines them permanently to the word of God. He inclines the spirit of God inclines their heart in this new birth. He gives them a heart that inclines them to the word that the Spirit himself has inspired he he lead someone to Christ to be a permanent disciple of Christ. He lead someone to the true God to be a true worshiper of God and the the means by which God has established for that reality to be manifested is that shown in the ongoing response to the word of God. You see beloved. Here's the thing for someone who is genuinely converted to Christ. The spirit of God has changed them inside the word of God is not a temporary interest that passes as if someone takes up woodworking finds out that they really don't like the sawdust and the noise of the saws and so they abandon it. They tried it for a while and then they laughed and said that's not for me. Well, that has no spiritual implications but more so used to that kind of thing that someone coming to the word of God by showing an intermediate interest in it might show might show themselves and they might seem to be really profoundly affected by but the question is not that initial emotional response. The question is does it last. Is it an ongoing product does it take root. Does it produce lasting fruit.
Jesus warned against passing interest in the things of God.
In the parable of the sower go back to Matthew chapter 13 Matthew 13 will start in verse 18 were not going to go through the whole parable here. Time does not permit that Jesus says in Matthew 13 verse 18 here than the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.
The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. Yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word.
He immediately falls away. See, it is possible Scripture tells us that people can respond immediately to the word of God and show show joy and enthusiasm for it but it doesn't last.
Jesus says if you continue in my word, then you are true disciples of mine beloved, when God saves a man God truly saves a man he puts his Holy Spirit within him, and that guarantees that the work that is begun will be finished. Philippians 16 I'm confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. If God begins the work it will be finished. If someone falls away.
It shows that the work was never begun to begin with, and so in these things, and in this verse. In John chapter 8 verse 31, you can turn back there, we see the biblical doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, the perseverance of the saints, and one writer defines perseverance. This way all those who are truly born of the spirit and united to Christ by faith are kept secure in him by God's power and thus will persevere in faith until they go to be with Christ in death."
Those who are truly born of the spirit are united to Christ by faith that is a permanent, indivisible union, it cannot be broken and God keeps those that he saves by his own power so that they stay in the faith until they go to be with Christ in death that when you understand that beloved and were kinda belaboring the point here, but only because it is so very important to understand when you understand that the salvation is by the power of God, not by the power of man, you see that you see why that can be and must be true.
God saves a man.
God does not reverse his purpose God has an intention that he's established in eternity past that he accomplished at the cross that is now working out by the spirit in the life of the man there's an eternal purpose at work in those are truly redeemed. If someone just has a passing interest in it. Whatever motivates that it's a passing interest and then they turn away and they don't come back to it. Beloved.
That's an indication of someone who was never truly converted.
If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine. See when you are born again, God effects a change in your heart, in which the truth of Scripture is lastingly lovingly received, believed and obeyed say that again when you're truly born again, God effects a change in you, in which the truth of Scripture is lastingly received, believed and obeyed. For these Jews in John chapter 8.
Beloved, their subsequent interaction with Christ showed the reality of their outward profession.
They turned into hostile opponents of Christ. Look at verse 33 Jesus said, you'll know the truth and the truth will make you free, and they challenged him.
These were supposedly his disciples.
Supposedly those that were following him and they challenged his teaching. They rejected what he had to say when they came to understand it better.
They said to him in verse 33. We are Abraham's descendents. We've never been enslaved to anyone how is it that you say you will become free. Jesus was telling them you're a slave and their pride rejected.
I guess that reacted against that were not slaves. We are free their proud heart coming to the surface as Jesus challenges their faith that's done green bringing our time for today to a close and Fred if you'd like to find out more about this ministry, simply visit the truth.
Pulpit.com when you get there you will be able to learn more about Don greens Bible teaching ministry again visit the truth. Pulpit.com and just before we go. Here's done with the closing word no friend. We realize that you may not be close enough to our church to be able to join us as you would like to. On any given Sunday. So let me invite you to join us on our lifestream that you can find our website Sundays at 9 AM Eastern time and also we have a midweek service on Tuesdays at 7 PM.
We would love to have you join us in that way. A lot of people do. You might as well be one more than join us for those special studies of God's word in our church services on Sundays and Tuesday. Thanks.
Done and friend that's all the time we have for today I feel right inviting you to join us again next time has gone green continues teaching God's people. God's work from the truth