Jesus Christ

SERMON LEFTOVERS 4.17.17

 ‘What Hope are you Buying’

 

1 Peter 1:3-9   

 

Easter offers a “living” hope (v3)

Every hope your soul can lift up is merely a wishing hope

We cannot guarantee that our hopes will be obtained, or kept

Biblical hope is different, it’s knowing rather than wishing

Easter’s hope is given by Jesus Christ who is v3 the ‘Lord’

Easter’s hope is guaranteed by Jesus Christ who was ‘raised’

The Apostle Peter calls this a ‘living hope’

It cannot wither, or die, because (v5) the ‘power’ of God keeps it

You cannot match that, the world cannot match it, and human religion cannot match it

What is this living hope?

Jesus who died on a cross to pay for our sin, was raised in victory over our sin and death

Those who trust in Christ, (v1) are born again:  God does something we don’t!

v4 our new life includes an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading

v3 This hope is not to those who deserve it, but according to God’s Mercy

Right now this mercy is ready for anyone in any condition  

     “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”  Romans 10:13

Are you willing to acknowledge you need to be saved? 

Is God giving you faith to believe that Jesus is the One who saves?

Will you submit to call on him:  Jesus, forgive me and have my life

 

The hope of Easter can withstand a messy world 

Disappointments, suffering, conflict and loss are inescapable (vs 6-7)

The Bible doesn’t try to claim that faith will remove all of them

Bible does claim that hope in Christ can stand up to all of them

God is in every difficulty, with the same intensity he had in saving us

God is purposeful in every trial, regardless of people’s intention, God causes it to be for our good

God tells us how it ends:  Christ victoriously returns to glorify his people

Life is hard, heartaches are real, but our joy remains

Nothing can diminish hope that is imperishable – undefiled – unfading

If our trust is in Christ, it’s impossible to be hopeless

“Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us” Romans 5:5

The promises we have in Christ are both unchanging, and glorious

When we feel hopeless, it’s because we are not fully trusting Christ

Our hope can actually increase with our difficulties,

Trials freshly remind us that our hopes belong in Christ alone

 

Resurrection hope keeps us in anticipation (vs 8-9)

The best is always yet to come

Christ whom we love above all else, is ‘preparing a place for us’

Our aging body will be raised new, and our soul will be made complete

It is coming!  Life that’s whole and joy that is undisturbed

We have hope now, but its greatest fulfillment is still ahead

Our hope is in Christ, so it is fulfilled (v7) when he is revealed

Do you love Christ?  You will be with him, that’s anticipation!

 

Are your hopes merely wishes?  Does your joy survive the battering of life?

Christ is alive to give you hope that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading

 

GOOD FRIDAY PREPARATION

unewald2

To help lead our thoughts about the sacrifice Christ made to pay the price for our sin; I am sharing the following thoughts from the Puritan scholar, William Ames. He describes the death of Christ for sinners with poignancy and crispness of language.

The death of Christ is the last act of his humiliation in which he underwent extreme, horrible, and most acute pains for the sins of men. His death included the loss of conscious enjoyment of God; the tasting of the wrath of God; with sadness, fear, and dread in agony.

He experienced being forsaken, denied, and betrayed by his most intimate disciples; false accusations and injustice; mocking, whipping, and crucifixion; the forsaking of him by His Father; and the full consciousness of Gods judgment on man’s sins.

Christ’s humiliation was then completed by the expiration of his soul in greatest torment and pain of body, burial, and continuation under death for three days.

From “A Puritan Theology” by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones

WHAT WAS THE GREAT BURDEN OF THE CROSS?

“Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:45-46

 

What was the great burden of the cross?

1.  We tend to focus on the physical suffering

The burden of the cross went far beyond physical pain. It was a horrible death, but thousands endured that pain

2.  Jesus suffering went beyond emotional and mental stress

Jesus knew the Old Testament prophecies that describing his death.  Imagine knowing for years you would be tortured to death!

We see weight of this burden in Gethsemane, when Jesus said “my soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death”

3.  The great cost of the cross was to be “forsaken” by the Father

  • Jesus had been silent during the injustice of His trial
  • He had not cried out when they horribly beat Him
  • When they nailed his hands and feet he said “Father forgive them”
  • As the agony grew he spoke words of mercy to a thief beside Him

But when our sin was placed upon him, then Jesus cried out in chilling anguish

 

How was Jesus “forsaken” by the Father?

We should first clarify what it does not mean

Jesus was not abandoned, because his sacrifice was accepted by the Father

The love of the Father not withdrawn. Jesus said  “My Father loves me because I lay down my life” (John 10:17)

1.  Jesus was “forsaken” by when the Father punished him without mercy (Isaiah 53:4-6)

Jesus became responsible for our sin as if he committed them 2 Cor 5:21  Gal 3:13

The Father did not withhold any wrath, but punished Jesus fully for our sin

God forgives people, not sin! Every sin will receive its due penalty, either on us or on Jesus

2.  Jesus was “forsaken” by the Father withdrawing his comfort

Holy God could not comfort his son, when he “became sin”

It is hard for us to grasp what it meant for Christ to be “forsaken”

  • We cannot comprehend the wrath that fell (praise God that in Christ, we never will!)
  • We cannot fathom the shame our collective guilt was to one so pure
  • We cannot appreciate what it meant for Jesus who had loved the Father with all his soul, to have him turn away

God the Son, was punished by God the Father, in order to save those who had rejected them both

 

Why is it important we know the true burden of cross?

1.  So we will know the greatest burden that could be ours

No suffering on earth can compare to being forsaken by God. Nothing could be worse than to face God bearing the guilt of our sin

 

2.  So we will recognize how committed God is to punishing all sin

If God did not spare his Son when the guilt of others was upon him, he will not spare those who will come before him bearing their own guilt

Why does God hate sin so deeply?

  • It corrupts what he created ‘good’
  • It separates us from him
  • It turns those he had loved from eternity into his enemy

3.  So we will know the greatness of the sacrifice made for us

Christ was willing to endure the presence of our sin on Himself

If there is no greater burden than than to be forsaken by God, then there is no greater proof of his love than to have Jesus take our place

We cry want God to prove himself by intervening in our temporal affairs, neglecting how he has proven himself by intervening in our eternal affairs

Christ cried out “My God, why have you forsaken me” – so we would never have to

 

SERMON LEFTOVERS 12.26.16

The Christmas Story Ends with a King     

Matthew 2:1-12

 

The Wise Men were late comers to Jesus’ birth

Some think v16 indicates this scene was two years after Jesus birth

The time could certainly have been far shorter; however, it is later, and Jesus’ family is now in a “house” (v11)

Perhaps they needed to stay away from Nazareth, due to family tensions caused by Mary’s pregnancy

Who are these visitors who set a vivid contrast to the shepherds?

The Wise Men or Magi were likely priestly advisors

They are from the “east”, probably Persia or Babylonia (which was a 750-1000 mile journey)

Either location had a long history of influence from Judea

Roman historians indicate that Jewish Messianic hopes were widely known

Their trip was clearly a work of God to them, and in them

The “star” which led them was clearly not a natural phenomenon

Somehow, they connected its appearance to the Jewish Messiah    

They were motivated to travel a great distance at significant cost

The Magi arrived in Jerusalem asking what they thought would be known:  

“Where is he who was born king of the Jews?”

No one was aware that the Messiah had been born

Yet, the religious leaders had no problem identifying where that would take place (vs 5-6)

This news “troubled” Herod and the city

Herod was troubled because he was king, but not by right (Herod was not of David’s line or fully Jewish)

Herod was also very paranoid (he killed two of his sons)

The religious and political leaders were troubled, because a Messiah showing up would take from their influence

When Herod got his information, he “secretly” met with the Wise Men

He doesn’t want his real plan, to get rid of the Messiah, to become known

The Wise Men now know to look in Bethlehem – only 6 miles away

Then the star also appeared again – and led them to the exact location

The emotions of the Magi in this moment are striking (v10)

It had been a long trip, but this is more than relief from travel fatigue

What the Magi saw when they arrived, was not impressive (v11)

Yet, they humbled themselves, and “fell down and worshiped”

They also gave generous “gifts”; such as would be given if visiting a ruler

Imagine the drama of the spectacle of the Magi’s arrival

Arriving at Joseph and Mary’s front door is an entourage from a distant land

They are eager to see the child, and upon seeing him, fall to ground

 

How can we use this story of the Magi?

Christ is to be worshiped!

The angels worshiped, the shepherds worshiped and the Magi worshiped

Any response to Christ that doesn’t include worship is simply wretched

There are two groups that stand in stark contrast to all the worshipers in the Christmas Story

(1) Those who simply ignored Jesus

The people in Jerusalem heard the Messiah may have been born, but they couldn’t be bothered to go and see

What of Christians who know Jesus lives! Yet to read his Word, to regularly pray, or to serve him – are considered too much trouble

If you call Jesus King, will you not bow or give him the treasure of your life?

(2) Herod who tried to get rid of Jesus

Herod is an example of all who are desperate to hold onto the throne of their lives

We all start there, we all begin life desperate to be king over it  

Christ cannot be gotten rid of, pushed aside, or overthrown (Psalm 2)

And in the end neither can he be ignored! (Romans 14:11-12)

The Christmas Story ends with a King and this King will reign!

 

SERMON LEFTOVERS 12.19.16

 Jesus’ Life Began Before Bethlehem

 

by Eric Huber

The Apostle John writes his gospel to combat growing heresies in the early church. 

Some denied the full deity of Christ; saying he was simply a good man and a moral teacher. 

Others denied the humanity of Christ. 

They thought, “How could God suffer and die?”  They believed Jesus only appeared as a man.  He did not enter our world and suffer in the flesh.  John writes, “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and believing you may have life in His name (Jn 20:31).” 

John wants us to understand who Jesus is and what he has done for us.

John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” 

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but the person of Christ did not begin in the manger in Bethlehem.

Jesus eternal being who is at the heart of God’s redeeming purposes in all of Scripture – both NT and the OT.  Paul tells us in 1Tim 2:5, “there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.  When we see God in the OT moving on behalf of His people, we see the pre-existent Christ, the second person of the Trinity.

Jude 5 tells us that in fact it was Jesus who delivered Israel from the land of Egypt.

It was Jesus who led them in the wilderness and gave them manna from heaven. 

It was Jesus who spoke from the holy mountain and gave them the Law. 

It is Jesus who mediates between God and humanity.

It is the eternal Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. 

He entered our world.  He took upon himself our nature and our obligation to obey God in everything, so that He could be our high priest who took our punishment upon himself – dying in our place, so that we could have a restored relationship with God. 

He became one of us so that we might become children of God.

He is the one who is full of grace & truth. 

In fact, if we reject Christ, then we cannot know truth. 

He is the creator God and so he makes reality what it is.  We can, therefore, not make sense of the world without him. 

Out of his common grace, he will allow us to function in his world, but we will always feel disconnected from reality because we have rejected the one who can make sense of the world and give us fulfillment in it. 

But if we will turn to Christ, then out of his fullness he gives to us grace upon grace.  It is an ever sufficient grace if we will turn from our sin and turn to Christ.

AVOID THE AFTER-CHRISTMAS-LETDOWN

 

by Debbie Huber

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Green Monday…I had my shopping plans for these special shopping days.  I bookmarked the special Black Friday Deals website to know where all the BEST deals were to be found.  I kept all of my coupons and found all of my Promo codes.  I was ready to have a successful and bargain-filled Christmas shopping season!

Unfortunately, things like this can dominate our lives from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.  Gift lists are made, shopping days are planned, Christmas parties and concerts are put on the calendar. Somehow we have to wrap the gifts, make the cookies, send in the teacher’s gifts, and find a way to have everyone dressed nicely for a family Christmas picture.  

Our lives are hectic right up until Christmas Day and then on December 26 we have the “Day-after-Christmas-letdown” where we are surrounded by tired and cranky family members, empty boxes, and bags of torn wrapping paper. 

It is easy to allow the hectic schedule and the “planning” to dominate your families’ lives at Christmas.  The buildup and expectation of Christmas and family is a wonderful blessing from God, but without the celebration and thankfulness for what it meant for Jesus to be born, there will be a letdown until next year. 

Jesus is Emmanuel, God With Us!  Our God was born as a baby so He could live on this Earth like us and experience the trials and temptations as we do and yet without sin so He could be sacrificed in our place for our sins. 

Jesus should be the foundation of our plans, our expectation, our celebration, and our joy of Christmas. 

Make it a priority to have Jesus and the celebration of what He accomplished as a result of being born as “God With Us” be the foundation of your family’s Christmas season.  Read about it in the Bible, sing about it at home and in your car, thank God together through prayer, and celebrate with each other about the amazing reality of what Jesus has done for us. 

Do not let a day go by without rejoicing in your heart and thanking God for the wonder of the incarnation of Christ.  Share with the unsaved people in your life about it the glory of Christmas and invite them to church! 

There may be some tiredness after Christmas, but there is no after Christmas letdown because the gospel is a reality in our lives for eternity!

SERMON LEFTOVERS 12.12.16

Joseph’s Hard News

 

Matthew 1:18-25

 

The Angel Gabriel visited Mary to announce her pregnancy, now Joseph finds out

 

Being chosen as Jesus’ parents, was a difficult honor

Joseph is a deeply hurt man; his fiancé was “found to be with child”

We don’t know how Joseph found out, or if he spoke to Mary

He knows his betrothed is pregnant, and he thinks she betrayed him

The pain and “dishonor” goes beyond Joseph and Mary

Both sets of parents, their extended families and friends were all impacted

Then there was the question who is the father?  Whose life was affected by suspicion?

Joseph was a ‘just’ (righteous) man who wants to do the right thing (v19)

He realizes he cannot marry a woman who is unfaithful and “unrepentant”

But he will show mercy and divorce her ‘quietly’; which means he will not bring charges (she could have been stoned)

Joseph is righteous and Mary is favored by God, but their lives are unraveling

God’s favor doesn’t ensure an easier life, but it will unquestionably bring a fuller life

Even though the angelic visits brought truth, the complications remained

Being in the center of God’s grace doesn’t mean all will be clear to us, or that people will be supportive

Yet, every moment of God’s purposes is gloriously worth it

 

An angel is sent to intervene (vs 20-21)

God knew Joseph couldn’t be expected to accept Mary’s testimony

God provided what Joseph needed, to follow the path given

The statement, ‘Do not fear’ was an assurance that even this will be okay: you will not be a fool, and you will not regret it, for the Lord is fully in it

The angel brought 3 affirmations to Joseph

1.  The child in Mary’s womb was conceived by the Holy Spirit

2.  The name of this child is to be “Jesus”

3.  This child is the Messiah (the “anointed one”)

Anticipation of a Messiah came from Old Testament prophets, who often described a coming deliverer who would bring unparalleled blessing

This Messiah would come from the line of David, the great king of Israel

Messianic fulfillment was clearly in the angel’s words and in the circumstances

Joseph’s response, like Mary’s, revealed his character

They both accepted what God had ordained for them

Joseph obeyed, he “did” what God commanded (vs 24-25)

Joseph will soon fade from the biblical record; and none of his words are recorded

We don’t know much about Joseph, but we know what matters – he was faithful in his part

 

Matthew adds commentary on Jesus’ birth (vs 22-23)

Jesus’ birth fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies: Matthew gives one from Isaiah 7:14

God “with us” is a key theme of the Bible – from the Garden of Eden onward, God is with his people

Jesus transcends all previous expressions of God’s presence (John 1:14 & 18)

Jesus is not only the Messiah, he is Messiah beyond expectations

God himself is our Messiah!  There could be no greater deliverer (Romans 8:31-38)

The deliverance Jesus brings is also beyond what was looked for

Jesus doesn’t simply save us from current problems, he saves us to the uttermost! (Hebrews 7:25)

He saves us as far and as wondrously as is possible to be saved!

 

Matthew gives context for Jesus’ birth (vs 1-17)

The announcement of Jesus’ birth is preceded by his genealogy

Jesus fits the biblical promise that the Messiah be from the line of David

This genealogy shows Jesus’ coming is part of a huge sweeping plan (vs 17-18)

Centuries of events and lifetimes culminate in Jesus’ arrival

No one was more aware of being predestined than Jesus. He often spoke of “my time” and “my hour”

Christ is at the center of God’s plan, but his genealogy shows God uses messy people along the way

Jesus’ genealogy contains as many skeletons as anyone’s closet

The Bible doesn’t hide the mess of these lives, Jesus saves them!

SERMON LEFTOVERS 12.05.16

 Mary Receives Impossible News

 

Luke 1:26-38

 

Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel (vs 26-30)

What do we know about this woman Mary?

Today, we would consider her more of a girl; the typical age of betrothal was 12-14, with the marriage following a year or more later

She was Galilean, raised far from the places of power and prestige

Gabriel tells Mary, she was ‘favored’ by God (vs 28 & 30)

This doesn’t mean she deserved what she was about to hear, but Mary was certainly a godly woman

So, we know she loved God and obeyed his word, Mary’s character was like that of the Son she would bear

How God uses us differs, but the character he looks for in us is the same

Gabriel adds in v28 the Lord is “with you”

Here was the great truth about Mary!

She had true faith which brings a true relationship with God

God been working in her beyond what she grasped, for the grand purpose he had for her life

God has “favor” and is “with” every person he saves

Gabriel’s statement describes the grace and joy God has for all his children

Yet this ‘favor’ didn’t keep hardship at bay; it brought difficulties she otherwise would not have endured

 

Mary is told the Impossible (vs 31, 34-37)

As a virgin, she will bear a son!

The virgin birth is essential to the hope and power of the gospel

If the virgin birth is not true, Jesus was just another man who cannot save us

If the virgin birth is not true, Jesus was simply a good man whose life ended early and tragically

If the virgin birth is not true, the Bible is one more book of myths which offers nothing eternal

But if the virgin birth is true, God has come!

God has not merely appeared, he has entered into humanity itself

The virgin birth is the first step of God overpowering the helplessness of our sinful brokenness

Gabriel gives a 3-fold answer to Mary’s question

(1) The Holy Spirit will cause your womb to conceive

(2) You have an example of God’s power in your relative Elizabeth (vs 5-25), whose dead womb is now 6 months pregnant

(3) The ultimate answer for Mary is declared in v37, “nothing will be impossible with God”

This means God’s only limitations are his perfections! God will perfectly perform what he says, as well as what we need

 

Mary is told the Unimaginable (vs 32-33)

v32 Your son will be “great” – he will be a man worth following, serving and obeying

v32 He will be “Son of the Most High” – he is the Son of God and so equal to God. His birth will mean that God walks among us, in a greater way than He did with Adam in the garden

v32 He will be given “David’s Throne” – he is the Messiah; and will fulfill a 900-year promise of deliverance and blessing

v33 He will “reign forever” – will be more than a great king, he will be an eternal king. And those who are citizens of his kingdom, will be eternal citizens

v31 You shall call him “Jesus” – this was a common name which means the ‘Lord saves’

Jesus is the name which should daily fill our mind and flow from our lips

Jesus is the one before whom we should humble ourselves – as he did, to reach us

 

Mary’s response is our example (v38)

Her initial response is “How will this be?”

Mary’s question flows out of perplexity rather than doubt

It is okay to be perplexed by what God is doing; but we shouldn’t doubt or blame God for what he is doing

Mary submits to what the Lord has ordained for her

She accepts what she cannot fully grasp, because she trusts her Heavenly Father

She is willing to follow and fulfill what God has planned for her

Mary had no preparation for a virgin birth, for being the mother of God in flesh, or for enduring the hardships these would bring to her

But God was “with her”, so Mary had all she needed for everything to come

 

Over the next few weeks we will celebrate a joyful holiday; consider what actions you (and your family) can take to exalt Jesus in it!

SERMON LEFTOVERS 9.26.16

Hope always comes down to Jesus

 

John 16:25-33

 

The disciples finally think they understand Jesus’ Farewell Discourse

Jesus had been talking about his leaving, which left them perplexed

But in v28 when Jesus talks about the Father sending him into world, they think “Now we get it”!

“We know” and “We believe” that you came from God

 

Jesus questions the strength of their belief

He asks the rhetorical question: “Do you now believe”

Context of entire passage “Do you fully believe I am of God?”

Your actions will show a deficiency, when you scatter in fear and abandon me alone

Notice the connection between Jesus’ plain speaking and their scattering

They will both take place in the ‘hour’ that is ‘coming’

Jesus uses this expression, “the hour is coming” several times in John

It is always in connection with the events and aftermath of the cross

The events of Jesus’ death would bring about his plain speaking (vs 25)

The events of Jesus’ death would see the disciples abandon him

Why is this connection made concerning what happens at that “hour”?

Scripture is making a point of enormous importance!

What takes place in “the coming hour” falls on Jesus alone

The weight of all the events of the cross, and so the gospel, are carried fully by Jesus

The gospel was not strengthened or helped by the efforts of the disciples or any other earthly power

The entirety of the gospel’s work and our hope is in Jesus “alone”!

 

Jesus didn’t end the Farewell Discourse with v32

1.  Jesus’ being abandoned and alone was not the whole story (v32b-33)

Jesus would not be abandoned by the Father

God continued to be and always is, the main character in all our circumstances

What Jesus says in v32 is as fully true for us as it was for him!

Jesus would not be overcome by the world

Everything that defeats us, Jesus fully conquered – this includes sin, death, the world and Satan

Every good thing we desire, he made possible – this includes peace, hope, life, joy

 Everything Jesus accomplished is shared by everyone who is “in Christ”

2.  The Disciples’ misunderstanding and failure was not whole story about them

They did know who Jesus is

They did believe – their actions didn’t always show it, but their hearts were his

They did overcome the world – their salvation arose and came out of the tomb with Jesus

They did become men of faithfulness and fruitfulness

 

How do we apply the Farewell Discourse?

1.  Jesus is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”; he is our only hope: If you believe it, then live that way!

Take your highest hope and replace it with Christ. If you only have him, is that enough?

What are activities you treat as “must be done” or goals that “you must fulfill”? Make them about Jesus

 2.  Jesus has overcome the world: If you believe it, then live that way!

Answer temptation with accusation! Declare its lies, emptiness and ugliness

Stop being discouraged by weakness, Christ is our strength

Stop trying to be the great fixer, that’s what Jesus does

We are wealthy in grace, so exchange our whining for thankfulness and kingdom action

3.  We are not aloneIf you believe it, then live that way!

Don’t just call for help during difficulty, talk with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are always here!

Develop the habit of calling on the Holy Spirit throughout the day

Engage in biblical community, so you are regularly encouraged toward God

4.  We will have tribulation, but still can have peaceIf you believe it, then live that way!

Preach the gospel truths about our future in Christ to yourself every day; and then give praise for those truths

Actively give your concerns into Jesus hands, treat them as primarily his concerns

SERMON LEFTOVERS 9.19.16

‘In Jesus Name’

John 16:23-28

 

Jesus’ Farewell Discourse is preparing his followers for when he will leave them. Part of Jesus’ encouragement is the way his leaving will bring to them greater access to God

 

Jesus transformed how we pray

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mt, he taught his followers to pray

He gave them an example prayer, which we know as the Lord’s Prayer

In it he taught us to pray “our Father”; this was the first time we were invited to address God as ‘Father’

It is a revolutionary new perspective that emphasizes the depth of the relationship we now have with God through Christ

In the Farewell Discourse, Jesus adds another revolutionary ‘first’ in how we pray (v23)

Six times in Jesus’ Farewell Discourse, he tells his disciples to now pray “in my name”

Praying “in Jesus name” is not a magic formula to get answers

1.Praying in Jesus’ name is a declaration of Position (vs 26-27)

Those who trust in Jesus are fully accepted by the Father and we can speak to the Father just as Jesus did on earth!

Praying to our Father, in Jesus name, says we belong in this relationship with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Verse 27 brings up an issue that is widely misunderstood in world

As John 3:16 says, ‘God loves the world’. However, this doesn’t mean he is in loving relationship with everyone in world – as the following verses make clear (John 3:16-18)

Unless we have trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of our sin, we are condemned

Trusting in Jesus’ name brings us into a relationship of covenant love with God

2.Praying in Jesus’ name is a declaration of Purpose 

This point has been made throughout the Farewell Discourse

John 14:13 – what we ask and how God answers is meant for his glory

John 15:7 – asking in Jesus’ name requires abiding in him and his word

John 15:16-17 – God answers our prayers to bring kingdom fruitfulness

We are never given privileges or promises from God that diminish his sovereignty

In the middle of this section, Jesus tells disciples that he will soon speak ‘plainly’ (v25)

He contrasts this to his speaking in “figures of speech”

The word used here often means “perplexing” speech and that meaning fits the context best

Jesus will soon be able to speak plainly, because after his death and resurrection, Jesus’ teaching will become clearer to them

The events of the gospel will make all Scripture clearer to them (Luke 24:27)

Immediately after saying this, Jesus repeats about “praying in my name”

Clarity about the purpose of Christ in the gospel helps how we pray

We now know what values should drive our prayers

 

There are questions about prayer we cannot fully answer

This is because God answers our prayers from his sovereignty, not ours

However, we know God’s sovereignty is complete, wise and good

So “Ask” – often and with faith!  This is a clear application of Jesus’ Farewell Discourse

There is a parallel invitation from Jesus in John 7:37-39

Jesus invites us to “come and drink” for he is sending the Holy Spirit

Yet, we tend to come and ‘sip’; we half-heartedly seek Jesus!

What is the state of your “asking”?

v24 instructs us to “ask that your joy may be full”

Most of us are good about praying for rescue in times of great distress

But there is much more to pray about!   

Let us be filled with ‘asking’ – for the glory of Christ!