Greetings Project Ezra! This week’s reading is John chapter 17, commonly called Jesus’ high priestly prayer. So this week is back to the basics, and we’ll focus the preaching on eternal life and salvation in Jesus Christ alone.
At the beginning of the chapter Jesus states that eternal life is to know the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. The exclusivity of Christ in salvation is very clear, and Jesus spends a good amount of the chapter discussing the relationship between the father and the Son. A great emphasis is given to the glory of God, and how God has given that glory to Christ. So the focus for the beginning of the reading is the nature of Christ and His deity, His authority and right to judge, and the fact that He came and died for our sins anyway. The creator, sustainer, and judge of the universe died on a Roman cross to pay the penalty for our sins. Now THAT is good news!
I pray this outline will be a blessing.
All for His glory,
READ JOHN 17
We are here today because we care about you, because we want you to understand, and because you need to understand, this truth.
Jesus says to the Father “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” So today, hear that truth, and consider carefully how you will respond.
The truth is there is only one true God, the God of the bible.
Re-read and emphasize verse 3
We want you to know this God, because only through Him, and through Jesus Christ whom He has sent, can you receive eternal life. And we want you to know this eternal life.
Jesus is not just another famous religious figure. Jesus is not just another wise teacher or prophet.
Jesus said He was not of this world, and He truly was not, and is not.
Jesus Christ is the creator Himself, in human flesh. He was and is God in human form.
Hear now what the bible says about Jesus Christ, and what He says about Himself.
Jesus says that God loved Him before the foundation of the world.
He said that He existed in the beginning, and was given glory by God himself.
READ and explain John 1:1-3, 14
But Jesus is more than just the creator. He is also the sustainer and judge of the world.
The book of Hebrews says that Jesus Christ is the exact imprint of God’s nature, and that He upholds the universe by the word of His power. God says of Jesus Christ, His Son, “Your throne, oh God, is forever and ever.”
Jesus said that God had given Him authority over all flesh. That means you and I are under Jesus Christ’s authority, whether you believe in Him or not.
Authority has been given to Christ to judge the living and the dead, and one day we will all stand before Him.
So, when you stand before the judge of the universe, how will you fare?
Will you be seen as good and righteous, or wicked and sinful, and thus deserving of judgment?
God has written His law on your heart, and your conscience bears witness to your condition before God.
If you consider yourself with a tender conscience, you will see that you are not right before God on your own, and neither am I
On that Day of Judgment, you will see yourself in truth, even if you don’t today.
On that day, you will stand before God, knowing that lying lips are an abomination
to Him, and knowing that you have lied.
You will stand before God, knowing that His name is above all other names, and you will know that you have used that name disrespectfully, and thus are a blasphemer.
You will stand before God and will know that you have committed adultery, either with your body or through lustful, impure thoughts
You will know that the true God is not like the god you have created in your mind to suit yourself, and know that you are an idolater.
You will stand before God and fully realize just how good, and gracious God has been in providing for you, and know how covetous you have been, always desiring more.
You will know, as I will know, just how short we have fallen of God’s holy standard.
We will see our sin in truth, and see God’s glory and holiness in truth, and begin to understand just how deserving of judgment we are.
Because God is just and good, and because He will and must punish sin completely, He created Hell.
The bible describes hell as fire and darkness and pain which will last for eternity. And it is exactly what we deserve for our rebellion again God.
Any sin is infinitely sinful against an infinitely perfect, holy God.
But thanks be to God, that he is more than just a judge, and a God of wrath.
The judge of the universe chose to come to earth for the sake of the condemned.
Jesus Christ, the creator and judge, humbled Himself, took on human flesh, and lived among us.
Then 30 or so years into that life he willingly went to a Roman Cross.
On that cross God the father poured out His wrath upon His son. The bible says it pleased the Father to crush him.
Thus Jesus Christ became the perfect sacrifice for sin who, because of who He was, could eradicate our sin forever, and thus commute our death sentence.
Then He rose again on the third day, as He has said He would, and proved His power over death.
Now Jesus sits at God’s right hand as our priest. The book of Hebrews says He is able to save completely because He always lives to intercede for us.
The bible says that there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.
You may not like the idea that Jesus alone can save us, and may think that is unfair and too exclusive
But truth by its nature is exclusive. When you say something is true you are, by implication, saying something else is false.
Jesus Christ said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”
He also said “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
That is what you must do. Repent, or turn from your sin, and believe in the Gospel, the good news that Christ died and rose to defeat sin and death, and that only through Him can you be saved.
There are only two choices; eternal life and eternal death. Eternal life is in Christ, and in Christ alone.
If you trust in yourself, your own good works, your sincerity in following another way, or anything other than Jesus Christ, you will spend eternity in Hell.
We don’t want that for you. And God said He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that they turn and live. Turn and live today!