What We Learned Together Sunday June 25, 2023
Lord Jesus may you indeed stamp your words Upon Our Hearts and our lives
that we who are your disciples would indeed live according to your word. We ask that your Word would help us to keep us from stumbling that we would not be wayward, rebellious or sinful that we would be a bold and strong testimony for your Name’ sake. We ask that we would confess you as the Son of God and the savior of the world and our resurrected Lord. You are the one who died for our sins according to the scriptures and was buried and was raised on the third day according to the scriptures. May you be exalted and glorified in us as we hear your words believe your words and obey your words. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
INTRODUCTION The Death of Thomas Cranmer what a testimony in life and at deathDear friend we come to some very important words of the Lord Jesus here. The Upper Room discourse reveals words that Jesus would give to us because of the hours that we face. The history of the life of Jesus can be summarized very briefly that the Gospel of John presents him as the Son of God and it presents Him as the Savior of the world, and as the Resurrected Lord. Yet all this Revelation that is given by the Son of God there was rejection and rebellion and refusal to listen to him and to believe in him to obey him but there were some who received it. And yet in this Upper Room discourse here Jesus gives to us words His words and here in the Gospel of John the Apostle John would write these words down to us for his own disciples and and these words are filled with promises and blessings and prophecies. He is the savior for all who receive and believe His words. He is the Savior for all who have and believe His testimony He is the only Savior. He has shown Himself to be the God of His people, the Lord of His servants, the Teacher of His disciples, the Shepherd of His sheep, the Leader of His followers and the Very One For Whom The Believers believe. There are great privileges that are given to us to know the words of Jesus and really in these first six verses in John chapter 16 we see the privilege here.
Dear friend I'm here to tell you that no matter what you face no matter what you're going through
the words of Jesus and Jesus himself can minister to you. This is a great reminder and reality in John chapter 16. He knew everything that was going to happen. He knew that He was going to be betrayed turned over to the religious leaders be hung on a cross and die for the sins of
mankind according to the will of the father as the Son of God. And yet all these things He is ministering to His disciples that very night. Dear friend never forget that no matter what you're going through Jesus wants to minister to you because of who He is the very savior of the world.
It's wonderful when you think of this and indeed the Privileges and advantages that we have being a disciple of Jesus and the very words that he gives to us. At the end of this section in John chapter 16 verse 33 notice the words of Jesus here verse 33, “These things I've spoken to you that in me you may have peace and in the world you have tribulation but take courage I have overcome the world.” Jesus doesn't say oh it's all going to get better in some ways it gets harder it gets more serious and yet the very words of Jesus are here to teach us and help us and understand. The prophecy of Jesus Himself the Lord would speak to us and these words are fulfilled in the lives of each of these men that listened to Him. They indeed were killed and martyred. It is very fascinating in a historical note that John the Apostle John probably in Exile on the island of Patmos. There because of his testimony for Jesus that he is the only man of all those that were there that night that was still alive when he wrote this Gospel. We don't often read it like that the words of Jesus here were fulfilled in the lives of those men. Even as John would write these words he knows that the intensity of the persecution and suffering of the Disciples of Jesus is going to continue and it has continued. And it continues to
this very day and yet even in the words of Jesus did you notice the way that he says these things verse two “an hour is coming,” verse four “but when their hour comes.” Understanding the testimony Jesus says I'm going to him who sent me in verse five and “I will send.”
THESE THINGS I HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU
I want you to see dear friend the testimony that Jesus gives to us here and the privilege for what is next. Really in this message is there so much that has been given to us here. We are trying to take these very important ideas and divide them up. We're going to try to get to verse six but there's a whole flow of thought here that Jesus is giving to us. And understanding notice how he begins this such privilege having the words of Jesus at this time. Here Jesus emphasizes the coming personal persecution for the Disciples of Jesus is according to the words of Jesus. Dear friend are you in the regular habit of examining interpreting and understanding what's going on in your life based on what Jesus said to you, what he said was going to happen, and what it means to be his disciple. This is what Jesus is saying such privilege Jesus has spoken while with them. Look at verse one “These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling.” Dear friend do you hear what Jesus is saying” here Jesus proclaiming His words, “I'm saying these things to you so that you wouldn't fall away.” I was talking to someone before the service this morning and they said just look around and I see this person walking away and this person walking away. All of us can give testimony of somebody that we've known that just seems to have walked away from the faith. Well that happens because they're not holding true to the words of Jesus!
Jesus very clearly says they would stumble if they didn't hear his words and if he hadn't spoken to them. So I don't know what you have done exactly with all the teaching that we have been giving in the upper room discourse but it will be very needed in your life. I guarantee you in the days ahead if Jesus understood they would be kept from stumbling because of what he had spoken. Oh Lord help me hold onto to your words that much more for I surely would
stumble without your word. These men remember when Jesus was arrested where did they go? They took off and Jesus came back and showed himself to be that gracious loving Savior that his friendship with him was based on him choosing them not them doing everything right all the time. Aren't you glad for that Jesus can be mine and I can be His not because I did everything perfect, but because of His loving heart His salvation the kind of Savior that He is now for all who would believe in Him. Jesus gives us words so that we wouldn't stumble! Such privilege Jesus has spoken while with Him. Such privilege, dear friend, that you and I have this morning to hear the words of Jesus that we wouldn't stumble. I wonder if I'm just going to step off the stage one of these times and that might be embarrassing for all of us but it's a very spiritual reality for some because they are walking on the edge in their life. Warning for those not paying heed to the words of Jesus. Dear friend does your life reflect the reality that apart from the words of Jesus in your life you would stumble? It's such a poignant moment that Jesus is reminding them that He has spoken to them. He wants to speak to them. He wants to tell them exactly what they need to know so that they wouldn't fall away. They wouldn't be discouraged and might be kept from stumbling that they would continue to believe and they wouldn't give
Listen to the way Matthew Henry says this as he wrote several hundred years ago in his commentary. He says, “the Disciples of Jesus are apt to be offended at the cross and the offense of the Cross is a dangerous temptation even to good men to turn back from the ways of God.” It sounds a lot like what we read earlier about Thomas Cramner. Can you relate with such a man? Have there been times where maybe we haven't spoken the way we ought to speak? And yet God's grace and we realize now my testimony is sure. Jesus is the only savior. I declare Him and profess Him to be the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Resurrected Lord. The one who I've believed in and asked him to forgive me for my sins! And dear friend He is the only one who can save you! He is the only one who can make you right and give you a right relationship with God because of His shed blood. Matthew Henry says, “it this way or have to turn back from the ways of God or turn aside out of them or drive on heavily on them to quit either their integrity or their comfort it is not for nothing that a suffering time is called an hour of Temptation our lord Jesus by giving us notice of trouble designed to take off the tear of it that it might not be a surprise to us and of all the adversaries of our peace in this world of troubles none insults us more violently nor puts our troops more into disorder than disappointment does but we can easily welcome a guest we expect being forewarned and forearmed.”
Such privilege in having the words of Jesus at this time in the coming personal persecution for the Disciples of Jesus. Such privilege Jesus has spoken while with them as He continues in verse two saying, “and they will make you outcasts from the synagogue but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he's offering a service to God these things they will do because they have not known me or the Father.” Such privilege Jesus has spoken while with him in verse one, but also such privilege Jesus tells them what will happen in verse two. I find such great comfort when I realize that Jesus understood everything that was about to transpire. Dear friend you ever had those moments of doubt. Lord did you know this was going to happen? Did you know it was going to be like this? Did you know I was going to feel like this and I was going to face these circumstances that they were going to treat me the way they did? Did you know that I was going to suffer the way I'm suffering? Yes and His words prepare us for those moments.
For those of you that have been reading through John chapters 13, 14, 15 and 16 you probably could stand up here and give testimony about how the words of Jesus minister to you in recent days. In that moment when I began to realize Jesus spoke about these things and He is here to help me and He wants to keep me from stumbling. He knows that my heart is troubled the disciples were going to be persecuted and hated by the Jewish authorities. This is primarily what Jesus was talking about here in these verses. We come to the 21st century interpretation and there are currently people on the face of the Earth because of their religion that they're emboldened to kill such ones that believe differently than they do. I mean there are places on this earth right now that Christians are dying by the hands of religious men and they're fulfilling exactly what Jesus said in His words here in John chapter sixteen. We just don't hear about it on the news. Every once in a while, you hear some stories but recognizing the prophecy that Jesus gave not only was fulfilled and the lives of those men on that very night but it continues to be filled in in this very day. There are some many disciples suffering and dying according to the hands of religious men who would kill them in their service to their god.
Dear friend I would even say it even further for you because not only did they suffer this done by the Jewish authorities were the very religious people in that day and they persecuted the disciples and persecuted the church. Also the Apostle Paul was number one enemy of the Disciples of Jesus when he is shown to arrive on the scene standing there as they're laying they're throwing stones at Stephen who becomes the first martyr of the church and then the church is persecuted in chapter 8 and then James one of the Apostles is martyred in Acts chapter 12. you don't think this was a serious situation in the very chapter the Apostle Peter is in jail and they're praying for him knowing full well that he's the next one to lose his head. In the Roman culture
the persecution rose up against the Christians as they hated the Christian church because they believed in a one true God and they believed in one Lord and His name was Jesus and Caesar wasn't Lord and so they were persecuted not only by the Jewish authorities but they were also persecuted by the idolaters in the Roman culture.
BUT AN HOUR IS COMING
Dear friend I'm here to tell you it is no different for us today. We will be persecuted when we don't bow down to the idols of our culture. Have you noticed the things that are going on in our culture this very weekend as our culture just flaunts its sin in front of the face of God and thinks there's not going to be any judgment for it? Dear friend when you don't bow down to their idols they're like who do you serve and they want to punish you because you don't bow down. This is one of these great understandings that Jesus gives to us and the very words that He speaks to them. Again in verse two, “they will make you outcasts from the synagogue but an hour is coming for everyone it kills you to think that he's offering service to God these things they will do because they have not known me for the Father.” I want you to notice here Jesus is saying persecution is guaranteed with the truth of God in the person of Jesus and the testimony of God in the person of Jesus. The revelation that He came to give is rejected and they don't know God because God came and walked Among Us in human flesh. Jesus revealed himself as the Son of God sent by the Father, and so they don't believe God if you don't believe the testimony and the revelation of God in the person of Jesus. God the Father sent His Son you don't believe in God and that's why He is saying to them they these things they will do “because they have not known me or the Father.” Again Jesus using the word because He is saying the reason all this is happening because they really don't know me or know the father since they haven't responded to the revelation I've given of God in my very person as the Son of God. So one of the great questions you can ask somebody in evangelism is saying, “Dear friend have you responded to the testimony that Jesus gives of himself being God and that He was sent by God the Father as the Son of God to be the Savior? Have you believed and understanding the testimony that is given by Jesus of Himself and the Father?
Now notice at the end of your notes this morning. I want you to see that we are privileged and we have advantage. John will write later in verse seven, “but I tell you the truth it is your advantage I go away . . . and if I go I will send Him to you.” It's so wonderful because what Jesus is saying here is that not only persecution is guaranteed but the Helper is on the way. Jesus knows full well that the persecution is going to come but He also knows that you need the ministry of the spirit of God. The amazing thing is the Spirit cannot come and would not come unless He would go to the Father. And going to the Father means that Jesus would fulfill the mission that the Father sent Him on as the Savior. As He also goes to a cross and He suffers and He dies bearing the weight of the sin of mankind on that cross as the Father would unleash His wrath upon Him as a perfect sinless sacrifice for sin that every single one of us in this room need. First, the importance and the place of the words of Jesus in the lives of His disciples. Again the number of times that Jesus repeats “these things I have said to you . . . these things I have spoken to you.” What importance and place do the words of Jesus have in your life as His disciple? Could it be that we go back to verse one, “These things I've spoken so you might be kept from stumbling.” So don't be afraid am I going to endure or am I going to persevere! Don't be afraid of that because you won't be able to do it without Jesus’ words. Hang on to Him! Cling to Him! Tell others about Him! Find in your life that great faith and hope and trust and belief that rises up in your heart that you're willing to be whatever testimony you can be for Jesus! Whatever you've been to this point that your testimony would shine gloriously for the glory of Christ and that many people would hear and many sinners would be saved because you tell them about Jesus being the Savior. Second, thank you Lord Jesus for teaching me and telling me what I need to know by the words for me in this time of my life. Third, Jesus knows all about what's going to happen and what's going to be so listen to Him, believe Him, trust Him, and obey Him. Fourth, trust in His plans and His purposes for what He has planned for you as His disciple in the presence of those persecuting you. Obviously I have much more than I want to say to you this morning but time does not allow. I trust will be together next time to continue our study in these very important words of the Lord Jesus.
Let's pray together. Oh Lord would you magnify yourself! Would you be lifted up! Would you show yourself to be the resurrected Lord that you are now! We pray that our testimony would be that you are the Savior of the world and You are the son of God. Oh Lord Jesus I pray that every single one of us here today will be kept from stumbling because we have heard the words that you have spoken. I pray for the lives of our our children and our grandchildren that they would believe you and cling to you so they wouldn't stumble. I feel like this world is filled with stumbling blocks as you said in Matthew 18 and there are those that have walked away. I pray that we here at New Life Fellowship would be faithful to you, that none of us would stumble and fall away from you because we know you have spoken and you have spoken to us and we believe your word. May the importance and place of your words Lord Jesus have a greater priority in our lives and a greater place in our ministry here. Indeed the ministry of the Holy Spirit would be on display as the Holy Spirit would bring to remembrance the words of Jesus and that Lord Jesus we would abide in you and your words would abide in us. We pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Pastor Timothy J. Atkins
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Pastor, Teacher, Discipler, and Follower of Jesus.