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The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 

Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. 

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

During February we are going to work our way through the gospel of John our theme is Responding to the Living Word.

Today we are talking about Either He Is or He Isn’t.

Prayer

Dear Lord and Father, we have come to seek You today.

We are thankful that You have sought us first.

We bring our offerings to You for Your use and work.

But we give to You in response to Your already giving to us.

Seeking or giving, loving or finding, we are the tardy ones.

You first sought us and gave to us, You loved us before we could love You, and You found us before we found You.

Accept, Lord, our praise and gifts.

Inn love we bring both.

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Text

John 5:18 NKJV

18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

Scripture Reading

John 5:17-29 NKJV

17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”

18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 

19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 

20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 

21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 

22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 

23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

Life and Judgment Are Through the Son

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 

25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 

26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 

27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 

28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 

29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

Introduction

Occasionally people will say, “I can’t accept anything by faith. I have to have reasons for believing.”

Theology has sometimes been defined as “faith seeking understanding.”

No Christian would deny that we are saved by faith, but not by faith in faith.

We respond to God’s gift of salvation by putting faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Saviour of the world.

Contrary to popular belief, Christianity is not based on “blind faith”, we have reasons for believing in Jesus Christ.

Thus there is such a thing as “reasonable faith.”

The highest task a preacher of the gospel has is to proclaim Jesus Christ as God’s Son, given to us for our eternal salvation, and then to ask for decisions from every hearer as to what they will do with that knowledge.

At the end of Jesus’ earthly life, the Roma governor Pilate asked the crowd, “What shall I do then with Jesus?”

Essentially, that is the question every person must face.

And there can be no half hearted decision.

Fro, as our Scripture reading makes clear, Jesus claims to be the Son who “gives life to whom He will.”

The Jews were ready to kill Him precisely because they understood that He was claiming God as His Father, “making Himself equal with God.”

Jesus pointedly said in John 5:24, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

The issue must be faced squarely.

Either Jesus is the Son of God and we must praise Him, or He is a liar and deceiver and you are free, even wise to walk away from Him.

If that radical choice shakes you, then you understand a little of what the Jews felt that day when Jesus would not back away from His startling announcement, in John 5:17, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”

John 5:22-23, says, For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

Pantheists, those who find God in everything, or idolaters who create with their own hands gods for every occasion would have no problem with what Jesus was preaching.

The god issue for them is very diverse and cheapened by its easy multiplication.

But these men and Jesus Himself wee Jews.

The Jews had come painfully to a bedrock conviction that “the Lord our God is one Lord”.

They were strict monotheists who knew from their history the awful results of idolatry.

For Jesus to claim to be God’s Son in a unique and unrepeatable way was either blasphemy or miracle of the highest order.

There could be no middle ground.

And you will either decide to come to Him and follow Him as God’s Son, or you will decide to walk away from Him, rejecting His claim to be the giver of life.

If you walk away, you will face the judgment God has placed in His hands.

Jesus did not simply claim to be the Son of man and Son of God and expect people to believe it because He said it.

He offered witnesses to the truth of this claim.

  1. Witnesses Jesus could call to establish His unique place as God’s Son.

Jesus presented three witnesses as evidence of the integrity of His claims.

John the Baptist testified on Jesus’ behalf.

The power of this witness is the courage and integrity that surrounded John’s ministry.

Everyone knew he was a truth teller at whatever cost to himself.

In front of the crowds who came to hear him, he had not minced his words or sought to soothe.

Like a hot iron his words had pressed the weighty judgement of God down on the minds of the people.

John had been the first to see and understand John 1:29, and 34, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”

And then John did what no other preacher I have ever know could do gracefully, he turned his congregation over to someone else!

He said of Jesus in John 1:30, This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’

John 3:30, He must increase, but I must decrease.

The mighty works Jesus did also bear witness to Jesus’ authenticity.

No magician could do the works Jesus did.

He had turned water into wine and signified the new toy He was bringing to life.

He had told a woman all about her life and given her living water that brought a joy she had never known.

Jesus healed a man sick for thirty eight years.

He would feed the multitude from a small shared lunch, and He would raise a man from the dead who had been dead for four days to life.

Every mighty work was a sign that brought people into an awareness of God’s extravagant love for them.

These mighty works Jesus offered as a witness to the truth of His claims.

Jesus next cited the witness of the Father Himself through the Scriptures.

The messianic prophecies of the prophets were often used by early Christian preachers as evidence of Jesus’ messiahship.

But here Jesus pushed back past the traditional prophets to Moses, the lawgiver himself, the most important religious person in Jewish history.

Jesus claimed Moses’ witness in the Scripture as God’s witness to the truth of Jesus’ claim to be God’s Son.

John 5:46, For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.

Jesus was the seed of the woman who would indeed bruise the head of the evil one.

Jesus was the fulfilment of the law.

Jesus sought to move the faith and worship of the people past the written Word to the living Word, past the Scriptures to the One whom the Scriptures bear witness to.

He is the Saviour in whom there is eternal life.

And more can now be added to Jesus’ claim.

2. Additional witnesses we can call fourth today to establish Jesus’ unique place as God’s Son. 

History is a witness.

We have the advantage of two thousand years of experience with the life and teachings of Jesus.

The historical argument points to what it has meant to the world that Jesus lived among us.

Jesus’ life was a witness.

There was a wonderful harmony in Jesus’ life between what He taught and how He lived, what He said and what He did.

One of the awful hurts in a sensitive person’s life is the difference between what he wants to be and what he is, between what he knows to be right and what he is actually able to do.

In Jesus, what He dreamed to be, He was, what He said was true, He proved.

Jesus said a seed must fall to the ground and die if it is to live, and then He went to the cross and offered himself in death for us.

When He said you must love God as you love nothing else, He found that a loving and obedient heart would take Him to the cross.

Luke 22:42, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

He said you must love your enemies.

As He hung on the cross dying, He prayed in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

And they divided His garments and cast lots.

The ability to fulfil the vision, to live completely as one teaches, is an evidence worthy of your careful consideration..

The church is a witness.

The life of the church after the crucifixion of Jesus would lead one to believe Jesus was much more than an ordinary man.

If Jesus had not been raised from the dead, there would have been no reason for the church to live.

The disciples were defeated and disheartened until Jesus appeared to them after the resurrection to empower them and send them forth.

The existence of the church, baptising, observing the Lord’s supper, preaching the Word, and seeing lives changed, is both an ancient and a contemporary evidence to the truth of Jesus’ claims.

Your inner need is evidence.

Each person’s life is an open testimony to the reality of Jesus’ claims.

He offers to meet our deepest needs.

Do you experience sin and brokenness as part of your daily experience?

Do you know the dark feelings of guilt that arise not because somebody is trying to lay a guilt trip on you but because you really are guilty?

Do you know about coming to the end of the day and having no reason to live another day?

Do you know about the loneliness and a need for love that is frustrated again and again by counterfeit imitations of the real thing?

Are you afraid to die not knowing what, if anything, lies ahead for you?

Have you reached most of your goals in life but are finding with some discomfort that the goals you have achieved may not have been worth what it has cost you to achieve them?

If any of this description of human need touches you at the deep places of your life, then Jesus has come to touch and to heal you at that place.

Jesus is the One who heals our brokenness, forgives our sin, removes our guilt in His own deep acceptance of us.

Jesus is our hope that gives purpose to life.

It is His love for us that makes us know we are important and valuable to God.

He is our eternal life, who fulfils the living of life now, who gives direction in the setting of lifelong goals, and who escorts us through dying into the full and blessed presence of the eternal God.

The Scriptures are a witness.

If you have read the Bible to understand it, you know that the Bible knows you.

The Bible knows what is true about people.

I submit that if the Bible can be so right about people, it has an excellent chance of being right about God as well. 

Conclusion.

If Jesus is not God in the flesh, you are free to walk away, but if He is God in the flesh, you must believe or face the unhappy consequences of your unbelief.

He either is or He isn’t.

You either will or you won’t.

You will either live or you will die.

What will you choose?

I urge you to believe Jesus and choose life!

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2022 IS A YEAR OF REPENTANCE AND BLESSINGS

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