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Declaring and Defending the Deity of Christ

Selected Scriptures October 14, 2012 43-1

We come now to the gospel of John. Tonight we’re going to look at James, the brother of our Lord, and have a wonderful time looking at that unlikely hero. But for this morning, we’re going to begin the gospel of John, and we’re going to do that for a while to come. And just to kind of get a running start and sort of set-up the importance of this study that we’re about to embark upon, I remind you of something that you well know, that the Lord Jesus Christ is the theme of all Scripture, not just the New Testament, but the Old Testament as well. We all understand that the New Testament is about Him, the four gospels that give us the focus on the Lord Jesus Christ. The first three gospels tell the narrative of His life and death and resurrection. Then the book of Acts tells us about His ascension into glory, and His sending the Holy Spirit and the work of the Holy Spirit in the church. Then the epistles are written to explain the meaning of His death and resurrection. And then the culminating book, the book of Revelation, about His Second Coming, return in glory. So that the New Testament focuses on Jesus Christ widely and deeply.

But it is also the theme of the Old Testament, to look at Christ. It was the Lord Himself who said in John 5 that you could search the Scriptures for they are they which speak of Me, and He was talking about the Old Testament. He said bluntly, “Scripture testifies about Me. And if you search the Scriptures, you will find Me, you will see My glory, you will discern the truth that leads to eternal life.” All that recorded in John chapter 5.

In John chapter 1, later in the chapter, when Philip found Nathaniel, he said to Nathaniel that “I have met Christ.” And this is how he referred to it. He said, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote. Come and see.” The Lord Jesus is not only the theme of the New Testament, but He is the theme of the Old Testament. We had a glimpse of that, a profound glimpse of it, in Isaiah 53, and on Sunday nights we’re going to take a look at Christ in the Old Testament coming up and seeing some of those revelations concerning Him.

So, according to Revelation 19:10, Jesus is the theme of prophecy. That is He is the theme of Old Testament prophecy and clearly the theme of New Testament preaching. That is why the apostle Paul said, “We preach Christ, Christ only, Christ alone, and Christ crucified.”

Every preacher and every teacher who is faithful, every church, every ministry that is faithful presents the full and accurate truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. That is a benchmark; that is a litmus test of integrity in a preacher and in a ministry. That is the validation. I would say it this way, devotion to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ is the benchmark of legitimacy in any preacher and in any ministry. If there is any diminishing of Christ, or deviation from the true Christ, there is a serious violation of the purpose of God in revealing Scripture, Old Testament and New Testament.

Any and every legitimate preacher, legitimate church, legitimate ministry must be committed to the truth about Christ, to the glory and exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ, being relentlessly biblical to understand the full revelation concerning Christ. The single source of the truth about Christ is the Bible. And if the theme of the Bible is Christ, and the purpose of revealing Christ is so that we may see the fullness of His glory, then legitimacy is tied inextricably to a consuming pre-occupation with knowing all that has been revealed about Christ, to understand His full glory with a view to worshiping Him, honoring Him, and loving Him.

In fact, you can tie the two together. The degree of emphasis on the Bible in any preacher’s ministry in any church, in any organization, the degree of emphasis on the Bible is equal to the commitment to the glory of the Son of God. If there is a diminished interest in the Bible, there is a diminished interest in the One the Bible reveals. If there is, on the other hand, an elevated preoccupation with the Bible, there will be an elevated pre-occupation with Christ who is the theme. Those two are in direct proportion to one another. A preacher’s love for Christ will show up in His commitment to the Word of God which reveals Christ. A church’s love for Christ will show up in their devotion to the revelation concerning Christ. They are, again I say, in direct proportion. Where there is a consuming love for Christ, there will be a concurrent consuming love for Scripture.

Those who believe what Colossians 3:11 says, that Christ is all, Christ is everything, will also be those who with David will say, “O how I love Your Law. It is my delight.” Again, love for Christ and devotion to Scripture are in direct proportion to one another. Where there is an open, faithful display of the Word of God, there will be an equally open display of love for Christ. We then are Christ’s. And Christ is all and in all, we are consumed with Christ, preoccupied with Him, worshiping Him, adoring Him and loving Him. No man has seen God, we just read, but the Son of God has disclosed Him to us. So in Christ, God in all His fullness is known to us.

You might say, “Well what about all the practical things in the Bible? What about all the things that aren’t necessarily focused on Christ? What about all of the principles and behaviors and attitudes that are declared in Scripture? What about all of that? What about the practical side of living your life and having the right kind of thoughts and the right kind of attitudes and the right kind of behaviors and the right kind of ministries--what about all those things?

Well, that’s a good question; I’m glad you asked it. What about all those things? They all fall into order when the Word concerning Christ dwells in your richly. Colossians 3 says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly,” and then out of that come all the behaviors, all the relationships, all the right responses, all the aspects of sanctification are driven by the Word concerning Christ dwelling in you in its fullness and its richness. So as you take in the revealed truth concerning Christ, that becomes the dominating, driving motivation for all the behaviors.

Jesus put it this way. Several statements that He made are recorded in John 14 in the Upper Room as He was talking to His disciples, and He said things like this, “If you love Me...if you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Pretty basic. He said this, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he is the one who loves Me.” He then said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My commandments.” Three times He says the same thing in a little bit different way. Obedience, keeping His commandments, is connected to loving. Behavior is connected to motivation. And motivation is loving Christ. And loving Christ is proportionate to what you know about Him. The more of His glory that you see, the more you know, the more there is to love, the more you love, the more obedient you become.

I was listening to several preachers last Sunday afternoon on the television--I suppose half a dozen of them--and they were all making suggestions about how people should react in life. One guy was talking about how to become the person that the person you want is looking for if you’re single. And all kinds of suggestions about don’t get physical with someone you’re dating, get out of debt, all these--you know, power-point preaching. Somebody said, “Power-point preaching is like smoking a big cigar; the only one who enjoys it is the one who’s doing it.” But anyway, I endured it.

And all kinds of instructions, you know, on a practical level was accurate and this went on and on. And I was thinking to myself, “Why?” I’m sitting there and saying, “Why?” Why? Why would I do that? And I turned to another preacher, and he was saying, “This is what you need to do when you’re in trouble. This is what you need to do, and that’s what you need to do. And I kept asking myself, “Why?” Why would these people do this, because you said so? Because the story was funny? Because the illustration was clear? Why?

You know, the preacher can make suggestions till he’s blue in the face and the preacher can pile up the…even the biblical commands as to how we ought to behave, but nothing happens unless there’s an internal motivation. So what is that? It’s loving Christ. And where does that come from? That comes from knowing Christ. And how do you get to know Christ? Through the Word of Christ dwelling in you richly.” And that word is that which is revealed in Holy Scripture, Old and New.

If we’re a little overboard on Christ, you’ll have to excuse us, we’re just following the manual. When Paul in Romans 13:10 said, “Love is the fulfillment of the whole law,” he was essentially saying what the first commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” You can forget about the rules because you’ll be driven by that pure love.

So it’s spiritual maturity as it’s getting past the legalistic approach and living in love for Christ. So there’s plenty of reason to be focusing on Christ. I’m giving you a justification for why we’re going to do John. For us, plenty of reason to be constantly brought to the glorious revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ on the pages of Holy Scripture so that His Word can dwell in us richly. And as a result of loving Him more, we will be even more obedient, more sanctified, and therefore more a blessing--more effective in ministry and more faithful in witness.

Now, as I often do, I want to sort of press this positive point that John is going to make about the deity of Christ all through his book, against the background of a negative perspective. I want to warn you a little bit that as rich and unmistakably clear as the gospel of John is--and the rest of the Bible on who Christ is--there has always been a lot of confusion about Jesus Christ. Why? Because it is the strategy of Satan to be anti-Christ, right? To be anti-Christ. John says there are many antichrists in the world, many antichrists. It says in his epistle there always have been, there always will be, because that’s a ploy of Satan to assault Christ, to go against Christ. In fact, the closer we get to the end of the age, the more the pseudo-Christs, the false Christs, will appear, according to our Lord’s discourse. In every age there are extensive and effective lies about the Lord Jesus Christ. We are here to declare what John declared and what the true church has declared through all its history--the true Christ as revealed in Scripture. And there is no clearer, or more comprehensive or profound revelation of the nature of the true Christ than the gospel of John. Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell the story of His life; John focuses on His nature, who He is.

If you’re believing in a false Jesus, you’re damned. You preach any other Christ than the true Christ, you’re damned, that’s Galatians 1. If you fail to love the true Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 16, you’re cursed. We have to be loving and believing in the true Christ, not a false Christ, not a Christ of our own imagination, not some sentimental Jesus, not the Jesus of liberalism, not the Jesus of liberation theology, not the Jesus of Mormonism, not the Jesus of Islam, not the Jesus of private invention.

Now, all false religions—listen--all false religions reject the true Jesus Christ of the Bible. They all do. That’s what constitutes them as false religions to start with. From Islam to Mormonism, if you want to go from something that is non-Christian to something that calls itself Christian, they all reject the true Christ. But, they all honor a false Christ.

Let me show you by contrast what I mean. We tell the truth about false teachers. We say Muhammad was a demon-possessed man, an agent of hell to unleash lies, perversion, and slaughter on the world. We give no credence, no credibility, no honor to Muhammad. But, the Muslims honor Jesus. They call Him a prophet, a true prophet.

Why is that? Because that’s the subtlety of Satan. That’s the subtlety of Satan, to go against Christ by misrepresentation. For example, the Christ of Mormonism, the Jesus of Mormonism, is a created being who is the spirit brother of Adam and Lucifer. Created by a god who was created by another god. And we say that Jesus of Mormonism is not the true Jesus, a false Jesus, while Mormons affirm that they believe in the Jesus that we believe in. It has always been Satan’s antichrist strategy to affirm the wrong Christ, the wrong Jesus, and thus to subtly deceive people, redefining Jesus. It’s been very effective.

It is the spirit of antichrist then to give honor to a false Jesus. And that is deadly. It has found its way, amazingly, into evangelicalism. You know, I’m always shocked by what people believe who call themselves Christians. But I continue to realize that they are under the sway of the great deceiver, Satan himself, and the spirit of antichrist that he projects into the world, when they are satisfied to believe in a false Jesus.

Turn to 2 John, that’s that epistle that focuses on this danger of having a false Jesus, verses 7 to 11, 2 John. Let me read in verse 7, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world.” Not a few--many. They are deceivers who have gone out into the world, “Those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.” They don’t acknowledge the truth concerning Jesus Christ. This is the deceiver and the Antichrist. It’s not that they attack Christ; it’s not that they deny Christ--they create a false Christ. So watch yourselves, watch yourselves--your reward, your eternal reward is at stake, verse 8. Then verse 9, “Anyone who goes too far doesn’t abide in the true teaching concerning Christ...doesn’t have God.”

If your Christology is aberrant, you’re not a messenger from God, you don’t have God, you’re not a believer, you’re not saved. Verse 9, “The one who abides in His teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.” When somebody has an accurate Christology, they have both the Father and the Son. When somebody has an aberrant Christology, they have neither the Father nor the Son. If somebody comes to you, verse 10, and doesn’t bring the true teaching concerning Christ, don’t let him into your house, don’t give him a greeting or you’ll be a participant in his evil deeds. Stop him cold in his tracks. Don’t expose yourself to a deceptive, lying Christology.

We must get it right about Christ. Salvation comes by believing in Christ. That’s John’s whole point in this gospel, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing have life in His name. The spirit of antichrist gives honor to a false Jesus, which is an attack on His nature. When Jesus said in Matthew 16:13, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”, He asks the foundational question: Who is Jesus Christ? That’s the question. Every early heresy that faced the church in its formative centuries--in the first four centuries, the church--every early heresy was an attack on the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. And there were many of them. Every one of them attacked His nature. There was Sabellianism that said that He didn’t exist as a person, but was simply a mode in which God revealed Himself sometimes. There was Docetism, from the Greek verb dokeo which means “to appear to be,” which said He wasn’t human. He was only an apparition. There was Monophysitism that says He is two natures that remain separated and are never united. And somebody named Nestorius came up with a variation of that. There was Adoptionism, that Jesus was a man who because He was such a good man either at His conception or at His baptism, He was either good in the womb or good in the water, and God adopted Him and He became God. But He wasn’t pre-existing God.

There was Apollinarianism which said He was neither a real man nor God, but He was a being taken over by the eternal Logos. And then there was that far-reaching and most serious view called Arianism from Arias, who essentially said He is a created being, created by God, not God but created by God. Those heresies led to councils that established in those four centuries the true New Testament and the accurate view of Christ. Four centuries the church fought against heresies against Christ because the enemy knew that’s where the most devastating blows can be struck. If you got the wrong Jesus, then everything from there is useless.

That alone caused the church to focus on the gospel of John. And it should be known by all of you that those kinds of views are still all over the place today. The true church doesn’t view them that way; the true church doesn’t hold them; the true church listens to the true teachers. The false church listens to the false teachers. But these lies are still being spread--the same views twisted and turned various ways are still around and within the broad framework of evangelicalism.

In doing some preparation of a book called Strange Fire: the Unacceptable Worship of the Charismatic Movement, is a subtitle called “Strange Fire.” You remember in Leviticus 10 they offered strange fire and the Lord didn’t burn up the sacrifice, He burned up the offerers. Doing some research on the views that the charismatic leaders...we’re talking about leaders, published leaders, television personalities, radio preachers, people who fill up stadiums all over the globe, and all the folks who follow them...some of their views are bizarre about Jesus. Some of them are just childish and frivolous. One very prominent pastor with a massive church says, “Jesus appears to him dressed as a fireman.” It was Oral Roberts who said Jesus came to him--I don’t know on how many occasions--and appeared nine hundred feet tall. It was the little Todd Burpo who contradicted Oral Roberts and said actually when he went to heaven and saw Jesus, He was short. He was even shorter than Gabriel.

Another well-known leader said, “Jesus lies with me in the grass and the Father comes and lies down beside us.” Another one said, “Jesus makes appearances as a man in my bathroom.” Another said that Jesus appeared to him dancing on a garbage dump. Another said Jesus frequently appears to him sitting in a wheel chair in a convalescent home with a blanket on His lap. Another said Jesus comes and takes long walks with him on the beach.

That is just ridiculous, obviously. John actually saw Jesus and he felt like a dead man, so did Isaiah, and so did Ezekiel. I don’t think you’re going to lie on the grass with the Father on one side and the Son on the other side. But that kind of stupidity and nonsense is self-evidently foolish. Beyond that, which is its own kind of blasphemy, is the more outrageous, blasphemous heresy of charismatic leaders, gross distortions of the person of Jesus Christ, and they purvey these things daily on the television, Christian radio and through their publications, through their ministries, their conferences, their meetings all over the planet. And one of the most popular views of the modern charismatic movement--and I need to put this in context--is that Jesus isn’t who the Bible says He is. Let me give it to you in just an overview.

Ninety percent of the charismatic/pentecostal people in the world, ninety percent of them--and there are multi-millions of them, approaching a hundred million, or something--ninety percent of them are part of the Word/Faith Movement. That’s not my statistics; that’s their own. Ninety percent of them are part of the Word/Faith Movement. That’s the health, wealth, prosperity, word, faith, name-it-and-claim-it movement. This is what their leaders say, and I just picked out some of the leaders of this movement who have the largest influence.

One is a man named Creflo Dollar, flashy prosperity preacher down in Georgia who last summer was arrested for punching and choking his fifteen-year-old daughter. He says this, quote: “If Jesus came as God, then why did God have to anoint Him? Jesus came as man; that’s why it’s legal to anoint Him. God doesn’t need anointing; He is anointing. Jesus came as man and at age thirty God gave us an example of what a man with the anointing could do.”

So He’s a man until He’s thirty, and because He’s a good man, He’s made a god. Kenneth Copeland, also ubiquitous in the Christian media, says this, and I quote, “Why didn’t Jesus openly proclaim Himself as God during His 33 years on earth? For one single reason, He hadn’t come to earth as God. He had come as a man.”

How about Benny Hinn, who is inescapable in the media. He said this, “Jesus who is righteous by choice”--what a ridiculous statement, rather than by nature--“Jesus who is righteous by choice said, ‘The only way I can stop sin is by becoming it. I can’t just stop it by letting it touch me; I and it must become one.’ Here this, He who is the nature of God became the nature of Satan and became sin.”

Kenneth Copeland chimes in, quote: “The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit. You don’t know what happened at the cross. Why do you think Moses upon instruction of God raised the serpent upon that pole instead of a lamb? That used to bug me. I said, ‘Why in the world would you want to put a snake up there, the sign of Satan, why didn’t you put a lamb on the pole?’ And the Lord said, ‘Because it was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross.’”

“Jesus said, ‘I accept it in My own spirit, spiritual death, and the light was turned off.’ The light of deity turned off, He becomes the nature of Satan on the cross.”

Staggering blasphemies against the nature of Christ. Staggering misunderstandings of who He is. A man who became God and took on the nature of Satan. Kenneth Copeland again exhibits the blasphemous and dangerous way in which the Lord Jesus is treated in Word of Faith circles by suggesting that He went to hell when He died spiritually. Quoting Copeland, “How did Jesus then on the cross say, ‘My God,’ Because God was not His Father anymore. He took upon Himself the nature of Satan and I’m telling you, Jesus is in the middle of that pit, meaning hell. He’s suffering all that there is to suffer. His emaciated little wormy spirit is down in the bottom of that thing and the devil thinks he’s got Him destroyed.” Referring to the nature of Christ as that emaciated little wormy spirit down in the bottom of the pit.

Creflo Dollar in gross irreverence questions the deity of our Lord, quote: “Jesus didn’t show up perfect; He grew into His perfection. You know Jesus in one Scripture in the Bible, He went on a journey and He was tired. You better hope God don’t get tired, but Jesus did. If He came as God and He got tired. He says He sat down by the well because He was tired. Boy, we’re in trouble. And somebody said, ‘Well Jesus came as God.’ Well, how many of you know the Bible? Says God never sleeps or slumbers. And yet in the book of Mark we see Jesus asleep in the back of the boat,” end quote.

So, the fact that He was tired and went to sleep meant He wasn’t God. That kind of attack on the deity of Christ comes right from antichrist sources. They go beyond this. They diminish Jesus and then they elevate themselves. And what happened to Jesus in the words of these false teachers, that He was a man who became God is what happens to them and can happen to you. You are a man who can also become God. Kenneth Copeland pretends to speak for Jesus in the first person, and he says this, quote: “Don’t be disturbed when people accuse You of thinking You’re God. They crucified Me for claiming I was God and I didn’t even claim I was God. I just claimed that I walked and that He was in Me. Hallelujah.”

Really shocking, shocking. And you’ll find the books of these people alongside the books of people who tell the truth about Jesus Christ on the same shelf in the same store. You’ll find them on the next half hour radio broadcast next to somebody exalting Christ. You’ll find them on the next program on television with the people who truly honor Christ, and the people who run all of that can’t tell the difference?

Remember, the charismatic movement works well with aberrant views of Christ. Ninety percent of people in the world in the charismatic movement are in this Word of Faith Movement and influenced by these people who are the architects of that movement. Then there’s a Oneness Pentecostal Movement. The estimate is that there are 25...24-25 million people in the Oneness Movement. And some say that’s twenty-five percent of the world pentecostal/charismatics who was put at a hundred million. Twenty-four million, or twenty-five million of them deny the Trinity. That’s what Oneness Pentecostalism is--it’s a denial of the Trinity. The most well-known one would be T.D. Jakes. He is Oneness Pentecostal, Jesus only; denies the existence of the Trinity. They espouse an old heresy called Modalism. Sabellianism, I mentioned earlier, is a part of it. Modalism says that God is not three persons, not three co-equal, co-existent, co-eternal persons but God is only one person who sometimes acts like the Father, sometimes acts like the Son, sometimes acts like the Spirit, which then destroys the nature of the Father, the nature of the Son, and the nature of the Spirit. And you have an utterly heretical view of everyone in the Trinity. And by the way, this is very comfortable within the charismatic movement. You even had an event in America with quote/unquote “evangelical leaders.” A panel were collected together and T.D. Jakes was made a part of it, though he is a heretic of heretics.

The leading pastor in America and dominating people’s lives and doing so through lots of means and media means, Joel Osteen, was asked if he thought that people who refused to believe in Jesus are wrong. He said this, “Well, I don’t know if I believe they’re wrong. I believe that’s what the Bible teaches. I believe that’s what the Bible teaches, but I think that only God will judge a person’s heart”--just subjectivity--“I spent a lot of time in India. I don’t know all about their religion but I know they love God and I don’t know--I’ve seen their sincerity, so I don’t know.”

And he was asked about the Mormons, are they Christians? And he said, quote: “Well in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said he believes in Christ as his Savior, and that’s what I believe, so you know, I’m not the one to judge the little details, so I believe they are.”

I mean, this is not people with heresy at low-levels of influence. This is people with heresy at the epoch levels of influence. By the way, long before the charismatic movement ever started, Joseph Smith reported among his followers widespread tongues, prophesying and miraculous visions, and the appearance of angels. To put it simply, charismatics have their roots in the kind of subjective experiences that Satan was giving Mormons. Joseph Smith--I’m quoting from the seven volumes, seven-volume work called The History of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. Seven-volume work; I’m quoting Joseph Smith from that. Here’s the quote: “A voice like a mighty rushing wind filled the temple.” That’s the Mormon temple. “All were moved by invisible power began to speak in tongues and prophesy and others saw glorious visions and the temple was filled with angels.” That sounds like a Benny Hinn meeting claim.

The confusion that comes from this is worldwide; it’s global. We’re going to have a conference here next year on the Holy Spirit. One of our speakers is going to be Conrad Mbewe, who is a pastor in Africa and who is living in the middle of literally this kind of stuff taking over his continent, with its false doctrine of the Holy Spirit and false understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So why study the gospel of John? To get it right, to get it right and to spread it right. You’d be amazed. I gave that message a few weeks ago on abortion and then I followed it up with a message on homosexuality. One hundred thirty thousand of those messages were downloaded in like two or three days, maybe more. So you need to know what we say here goes lots of places. And that’s a good thing, isn’t it? That’s a good thing.

So what we want to do is see if we can’t spread around the world the true knowledge of the true Christ, right? To rescue people from deception. You get to be on it at the launch point.

Let me close by having you go to 1 John 4, 1 John 4, and then we’ll come to the Lord’s Table. This is where John is, and John is so committed to believing the right thing. In the gospel of John, you’re going to find out. John’s all about believing, believing, believing. He’s got two favorite words: believe and love. Believe and love. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; love the Lord Jesus Christ. So here he says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, test the spirits.” The spirit would essentially be the speaker, the source, “to see whether they’re from God because so many false prophets have gone out into the world.” So how do you know? “By this you know the Spirit of God” is in the teacher and the preacher. How do you know? “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” When you hear a true Christology, you have a messenger from God. “And every spirit,” verse 3, “that does not confess Jesus is not from God; that is the spirit of antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” That’s the test. Christology is the test.

What do they say about Christ? And then verse 6, “We are from God,” John says, and “he who knows God listens to us.” Boy, that is a profoundly foundational statement. The people who truly know God listen to the people who speak the truth. On the other hand, the people who don’t know God who are not from God don’t listen to us. I get that. I am continually vilified and condemned and criticized by the people that I’m talking to you about. They don’t listen to the true teachers because they’re not from God. We’re from God. We who know God, we listen to the true teachers. Those who are not from God, don’t listen to us. This is how you know the difference between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error--the unconverted listening to false teachers; the true church listening to the true teachers.

In summary, there’s a desperate need for the true knowledge of Christ, for the salvation of sinners, for the rescue of the deceived, for the love of the saints, so that we might love Him more and obey Him more--worship Him more, honor Him more. This is the reason for John’s gospel. That’s why he wrote it (chapter 20, verse 31): “These have been written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” That’s apologetic; that’s apologetic, that you might believe--reasons to believe. It’s loaded with reasons to believe. It’s loaded with miracles, eight magnificent miracles laid out, and the resurrection as well. It’s loaded with claims--the seven I ams, reasons to believe. So it is apologetic. It is also evangelistic, “that believing you may have life in His name.” That’s his objective.

John’s whole purpose is to bring the truth concerning Christ so the people may believe the truth, so as to receive eternal life. And my prayer as we go through this together is that the Lord will surprise us and bring us great joy in producing what John prayed for and what He stated as his purpose, that many will believe and come to eternal life. That’s my prayer through this series.

Well, let’s bow together as we come to the Lord’s Table, and I think now more informed again to give honor to our Christ as we remember His death for us, the God/Man who gave Himself for us.

Father, we ask now that You would help us to find opportunity to proclaim the glory of Christ, that it might not just end with us, and it might not find some cold, dark corner of our minds, but that these glorious realities concerning Christ, the understanding of the tragic misrepresentations that are in the world around us may lead us to take every opportunity to proclaim Him whom we love, the One who has saved us, the One in whose name we pray. Amen.