PTB 16b: Guides from Bible Reports for Believing, the way of Continuing faith for the Conclusion of Son of Man/Son of God.

Introduction:  Outline of the Concluding Message on Top Topic  #4, Man, Son of Man, and Son of God.

I.  The Lord Jesus Christ, co-Creator and Designer of the Universe.

II.  Christ Jesus, the Word made Human Flesh

III.  The Lord Jesus Christ, the Healer

IV.  Jesus, Our Righteousness, that of the God-man.

Conclusion:  Top Message of 7 Miracles is Faith in Jesus as Co-Creator of Universe

NOTE:  Bob Jones is a good witness and also a member of the Once a Baptist group of SunGrist, so hope he appreciates this concluding message; and once again as far as adequacy in the homiletics and doing justification, all are reminded to read and study the Bible under 12 summarizing subjects.  If you can as SunGrist does, outline the Bible under 12 topics, then you can preach on it adequately and with justification.

I. The Living God of the Living  II. Righteousness of God and Man III. The Composite Witness of the Bible IV. God, Man and the Son of Man V. The Resurrection VI. Wisdom from God VII. The Gospel VIII. Listening More Important Than Sacrifice IX. What Happened to the Jews as the Chosen nation’    X. The Salvation of God   XI. The New King of Israel XII. The Living God Wants Others to Live

What is amazing is that the whole Bible of 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament, can be outlined under 12 major subjects! I will tell you upfront why that is possible: because of the Old Testament quotes in the New Testament, and because the New Testament provides the proper interpretation of those Old Testament quotes. The first three topics are given only for reference as they outline the Law of Moses, the first five books of the Bible, as quoted in the NT and with explanations. {You see you can not just say the first three topics outline the Law of Moses since the proper interpretations of these quotes form the NT is also part of the magic outline, that is some of the guidance of God that makes it beyond norm to the magic. We would call it supernatural, which of course both the writing, preservation, and promotion of the Bible is; but we do not wish to presume on God in a bold claim that the outline itself is supernatural. It is not, only to the extent that God blesses it; but it is a believers approximation of the supernatural and gradual revelation. For a more thorough look at these first three topics from the Law of Moses as well as a look at all of the 12 topics, the reader is referred to volume 1 of the LEARN CHRIST commentaries, entitled “Prophets and Apostles”.  Yes, Moses was also a Writing Prophet.}

I.  The Lord Jesus Christ, co-Creator and Designer of the Universe.

1.  Water into WINE:  faith in Jesus as co-creator of the processes of nature.

The water into wine was used by Jesus to attract attention.  This was shortly after His 12 disciples started to follow Him, and He wanted them to believe in Him.  And right now, you should be aware that all the leap of faith to believe that Jesus can and did perform miracles you need is to be in the first chapter of John.  In fact the giant leap of faith, is found in the first three verses of the first chapter.

“In the beginning {notice how John started it like the Creation story in Genesis} was the Word {this word of “Word” for Jesus Christ was given to John when he previously wrote the book of Revelation (Revelation 19:13), and it naturally implied that Jesus was a lot more than the God-man when  He coexisted with God the Father before and during the Creation of the universe}, and the Word was with God {get it, Jesus was with God before and during Creation}, and the Word was God.  {Well, this is a giant leap of faith that most of the Christian world believes, that Jesus like the Father and the Holy Spirit is God.  God is three distinct Persons, and they are one in the sense that they are all three God and in that they teach the same, are the same in character and personality, and work the same way.}  All things were made through {one of the largest words in John and in the Bible, that Jesus the pre-existent Christ and Word was the mediator in Creation:  in fact what you will find as one scholar has said is that “God the Father is the originating cause in Creation and in many other ways, God the Son is the mediating cause, and God the Spirit is the effective cause.} …Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”  (John 1:1-3 with comments)

Furthermore of Jesus as the Master of the world environment and natural processes, Paul would later write in Colossians “through Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-18)  Hanging right in there with gravity and the laws of gravitational attraction between heavenly bodies and the earth, and photosynthesis, and winds and other weather patterns and climate changes is Jesus holding them all together, and Master over them!  Believe that, it is a matter of logic that the God-man when on earth would naturally exhibit some control over the nature through which He had been the medium of Creation.  It was not possible that the humanity in Jesus could completely dominate the God that was in Him as the Son of God.

But even as scholars have said, “the fundamental postulate of all rational thinking is God” and the Bible says, “the fool has said in his heart {in his “heart” as his head knows better} there is no God, so it just makes sense when there is a complicated design like the way the universe grows, processes, and holds together, a complicated design like the human body, personality, and soul and spirit, a complicated design like a snowflake and an apple and water and the periodic table and the modified Bohr theory of the atom and light which sometimes behaves like waves and sometimes like particles…that is, such complicated design and designs demand a Designer.  If a heathen in the jungle of South America found a Printed Circuit Board fallen from a Satellite in orbit, perhaps from the Satellite shot down by the KW and SM-3 we designed, tested, and developed at Raytheon for the Navy, even such backward people as far as intellectual processes would look for a designer.

II.  Christ Jesus, the Word made Human Flesh

6-1:  Believing in Context of the Gospel of Christ.

Before we can proceed to the third miracle-sign, and the larger context of John 5, we need to clarify some teachings on the Gospel of Christ in the Gospel of John that make it very unique among the four Gospels.  I think you know, or you should know, that in the famous “Harmony of the Gospels” written years ago by A.T. Robertson, the other three gospels are harmonized closely and then John is listed separate, quite often with completely different content than that of the other three.  This uniqueness of content proceeds beyond the simple fact that the Apostle John chose only seven of the many miracles of Christ around which to weave the teachings and doings of Jesus, for it goes to both the inclusion of many unique events in the life of Christ which are included and the more common ones of the other three Gospels which are excluded.

You would naturally expect a unique emphasis from the Apostle John as near the end of the first century, and with the experiences of the growth of Christianity in the first century in spite of oppositions behind him, and with in hand the other three Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, as well as most of the 27 books of the New Testament from which he would teach and preach each week. Goodness, even the Apostle John was different among the disciples, and those differences inevitably became evident in this version of the Gospel Story.

  1. You have noticed how different are the very first words of the Gospel of John in John 1:1-3 on the part of Jesus in the Creation of the Universe where it sounds more like Genesis 1:1 than it does like the beginnings of the other three Gospels.  And I hope by now from the two previous chapters on the miracle-signs of John, that you have recognized how important a conviction of Christ as Cocreator is for a consideration of the miracles of Christ and of John.  What is meant by this:  well, once you consider that this is the Christ, the Word of God or “Logia”, that existed with God in the eternity of before the Creation of the Universe and through Whom all the things of the Universe were made, then you come also to readily realize and accept that even with some limitations of being in human flesh, that He could do anything with the universe which He had helped make.
  2. Jesus according to John 1 was the Pre-Existent and Co-Creating Christ, but also, He was “The Word made flesh who dwelt among us” on this earth.  This eternal and co-creating “Word” was made the God-man by the power of God as the Spirit of God moved over the virgin Mary and Jesus was created by God the Father as the God-man.

“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

  • We would keep in the context of the start of the Gospel in the first chapter with the three distinct emphasis of (1) Christ as the Co-Creator, (2) The Word made the Son of God; and (3) still to come from John 1:12,13 of the power God gave through Christ for humans to become sons of God by the power God puts within them; also in the context of the stated purpose near the end where what the disciples all witnessed was just as important as here at the beginning where it was these same disciples who “beheld His glory”; also in with the context of the 7 miracle-signs around which teachings and doings of Christ are wrapped; and also in the context of many incidents in the life of Christ unique to the Gospel of John like the challenging “Friends of Jesus” teachings just before the Crucifixion in John 13-17.

III.  The Lord Jesus Christ, the Healer.

6-2:  Christ in the third Miracle Healed the Man Helpless for 38 years.

Once again this is not necessarily the third miracle of Christ, only the third miracle-sign that John chose to present in his gospel; and even as there are far more than 7 miracles in the life of Christ on earth, just like John says in the purpose of John 20:30,31, I would not contribute to the ignorance of men like on the Jesus Seminar who might take this, with their hasty generalizations, to mean that John claimed only 7 miracles for Christ; or that John in any way by presenting the gaps in the previous three gospels which could not be presented because, as he writes, “even the world could not contain the books which should be written”, was claiming truth for only his gospel and less than that for the other gospels.  “In the presence” of these other Apostles like Matthew, Peter, and Paul was important to John even as “in the presence” of all disciples was important in the style with which John wrote about the life of Christ, one blessed by the Spirit.

For those who miss in this incident at the pool of Bethesda, where at certain times an angel went down periodically to stir the waters and heal the first into the pool, John is reminding us that even as God was at work and healing throughout the previous long history and that is where Jesus learned to heal, God has been and is always in the healing business quite independent of faith healers. {It is questionable to what extent Jesus or God needs these so-called faith healers to intervene between the believing individual and God, who tend to take more the glory to themselves anyway and the money.}

  1. A certain man, and we don’t even know his name, was there to get into the pool when the angel stirred the water; and we also know little about his condition except that he “had an infirmity thirty-eight years”.  It would seem that John sought to protect the personal information of the man and the details of his illness.  Perhaps as the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, and as Jesus had warned the inhabitants to flee ahead of time, as the Apostle John departed Jerusalem for the Gentile and Roman province of Ephesus, this man of the 38 year infirmity went with him as well as Mary, the mother of Jesus, and were long standing members of his church.  Can you imagine the faith in Jesus that this man would have testified to, much like the love for Jesus that continued in the life of John?
  2. Jesus saw the man and knew that he had been in that same condition for along time.  Jesus said to the man, “Do you want to be made well?” knowing full well that often people use their illness for conversation and excuses.  If they really wanted to be healed, they would be individually praying to God and getting the healing that God is always so quick and apt to provide.
  3. This man almost made excuses, but it was true that he had no friend or relatively close enough to put him in the water when it was stirred by the angel, and remember it was first come, first serve.  Numerous times was the story he told Jesus, when he was crawling to get into the water others would step in front of him.
  4. Well, enough.  Jesus said, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”  (John 5:8)
  5. Immediately the man was made well.  Not only did he take up his bed to carry it, but he walked.
  6. Uh, oh, trouble in the land!  John warns us that this healing took place on the Sabbath Day, a no no among the religious leaders who dominated the religion of Judaism of that day.  And when John writes in 5:10, “The Jews therefore said to him who was cured,” it is the leaders and the people that he is talking about.
  7. Well, the man had the supreme excuse to be healed on the Sabbath.  The same man {in reality God-man} that had the power to heal him was the one who also commanded him to take up his bed and walk.  The power to heal, everybody knowing that healing is power from God, was also the power to command.
  8. The Jews would not buy it.  {Seemingly John has separated himself and the other disciples present from this category of the Jews, although John knew full well that he and the disciples, like Jesus Himself, were born Jews.}  Just tell us “WHO” is this man that told you to take up your bed and walk.  In this was implied that they had the authority and would talk to him.
  9. This is the amazing part, the man healed from the infirmity of 38 years, did not know WHO Jesus was or is.  Jesus had withdrawn from the location at the pool of Bethesda and only a multitude was there in the place where Jesus and His disciples had been.
  10. Later Jesus found the man, just like Jesus does for us today as He continues to find and work with all that He has initially touched.  Jesus found him in the temple, one of the good things that happened in the temple after the cleansing of the temple Jesus had done earlier (John 2) or the one that He would do later (Matthew 21) and taught him about “sin and salvation”.
  11. Even as we recognize in the power to become sons of God as an aspect of believing, and with different words from most of our church words, we find Jesus uniquely presents the theology of sin and salvation to the healed man.  Of course, after healing the man and as he walked and carried his bed, Jesus had his complete attention; and much like with the woman by the well of Samaria, who Jesus started teaching uniquely with words about “living water”, Jesus here spoke of original sin and the habit of sin.

“See, you have been made well.  Sin no more, lest a worse thing came upon you.”  (John 5:14)

What could be worse than being completely helpless for 38 years, impotent to step quickly into the pool or carry ones own bed?  Obvious, right, complete servitude to sin and Satan, without everlasting life, and a life damned to eternity in hell.  That would indeed be worse.  The man knew and recognized this!

  1. The man could now also answer the WHO which tells us that John does not record all that was said between the man and Jesus, or all that occurred on that day in the temple and with the disciples.  It was Jesus that healed him and saved him, and it was Jesus that commanded him to walk with his bed.  The man told the Jews that it was Jesus.
  2. This is all we discuss on this third miracle-sign occasion, except to mention one thing that is pertinent to the next section.  And that is from these straightforward words from the Apostle John, perhaps the first indication of persecution of Jesus to be recorded in this book, certainly a significant one:  “For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus.”  (John 5:16)

IV.  Jesus, Our Righteousness, that of the God-man.

4.  The Description of Righteousness by Faith of Romans 4.

{Hopefully you read the book of Romans as recommended in Top Topic #1, and it should be easy for you to read now only the fourth chapter of Romans.}  Due to limitations of time and space, we can only hit some of the highlights of this chapter as relate to a description of Righteousness by Faith.  {Recall that the problem with many religious people, even secular, of the world is that they attempt to establish their own righteousness in the sight of God, therefore never get around to a righteousness by faith.}

     (1).  The original promise of the everlasting covenant to Abraham, and his seed of faith which includes us, was before the law, being a “righteousness of faith” (Romans 4:13).

   (2).  It is “of faith” and “by grace”.  (Romans 4:16)  Never have the little words of “of” and “by” meant so much.

     (3).  Righteousness is legally “accounted” to us as it was to Abraham when God sees faith.  (Romans 4:22)

    (4).  Another way to say righteousness is accounted to us, in the words of

Romans and the Bible is to say that “righteousness is imputed to us who believe” (Romans 4:23,24).  While accounted makes it clear that the necessary legal bookkeeping in heaven has been done for us to be declared righteous, it seems in imputed to get to us here on earth.  Either way, you know it is by faith and of grace, a gift of righteousness.

     (5).  In Romans 4:25 you have two great words of salvation, the atonement not stated but implied in the Christ “was delivered up for our offenses” and directly stated in the “justification”.

  • The Gift of Righteousness of Romans 5.

   (1).  Surely you see “the gift of righteousness” as a Bible phrase as in Romans 5:17.

     (2).  You also see some definition of the great word of salvation, “justification”, in Romans 5:18 where there is by faith a “justification of life”; and based on another great act and word of salvation, “atonement” without the use of the word itself, as the contrast is made between original sin of Adam and Eve where the condemnation of God passed on to all humanity because of this one man Adam, and then by the one God-man, Christ, and His one act in crucifixion the atonement passed upon all men, “even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.”

     (3).  By the obedience of one God-man, Christ, “many will be made righteous” (5:20), the MADE RIGHTEOUS is once again a good phrase to describe the imputation or accounting of righteousness to man.  It is legal but it is real as it comes from God and through Christ!

  • Some of the big words of salvation–such as justification, redemption, propitiation, as related to the righteousness of God and man in Romans 3.

     (1).  Two of the great words of the great salvation of God are in Romans 3:24, namely justification and redemption, as we read “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”.

     (2).  God through “propitiation” by the blood of Christ, and through faith

GOD DEMONSTRATED HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS:  it was necessary according to Paul and the Bible for God to demonstrate that He was still the very nature of righteousness in spite of the fact that he had overlooked all those sins of all those people in past history, “because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed”.  In one of the greatest of all statements of the Bible that describes God as “JUST AND THE JUSTIFIER”, in Romans 3:26 God through JESUS’ atonement and “through faith” demonstrates in the present His own righteousness.

     (3).  There is in Romans 3 a short description of the difference between RIGHTEOUSNESS BY LAW and RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH.  {You will find that difference set out quite often in Romans, especially in Romans 10 where it says that the righteousness by faith does not try to reach up to heaven to be like God by works, etc.}

  1. Righteousness by Law prohibited by:  whatever the law says to you or does not say to you, it does say that any and all who chose to be under the law and live under the law do not achieve any righteousness in the sight of God but rather [1] have their mouths of self-justification stopped, and [2] become guilty in the sight of God.  (Romans 3:19,20)  There is no justification in the sight of God by the “deeds {works} of the law.  In fact, just the opposite “by the law is the knowledge of sin”.
  2. Righteousness of God apart from law (Romans 3:21-26):  [1] this new righteousness of God apart from law is “now revealed” {obviously in the time of Christ where it was fully demonstrated and through Christ and the Apostles made clear}; [2] of course it was witnessed to as the way of salvation and the everlasting covenant by the Prophets in the OT and the Apostles and Jesus in the NT, by the “law and the Prophets”; [3] it is a righteousness of God through faith in Christ; [4] to all and for all who “believe”, there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, only a difference between righteousness by law {which is impossible} and righteousness by faith; [4] Justified by the grace of God and through redemption {another great word of salvation which literally means that God bought us back, although we originally belonged to Him by Creation, from bondage to sin and Satan and death} in Christ–you have to watch the little words in the reading of Romans like the “in” which is “in Christ”, the “through” in through the justification that is in Christ Jesus and the “being” and “freely” in “being justified freely by His grace”; and [5] God set forth Christ as a PROPITIATION {another great word of salvation} by His blood {the blood of Christ being another short descriptive word for the atonement}.

7.  Characteristics of Righteousness and Unrighteousness as presented in Romans 1.  {Yes, as stated previously Romans is, as some commentators like Dr. Wolber of Ouachita Baptist has entitled his commentary, on the Righteousness of God.  However once again you must read Romans 1 as in no way can we do justice to the content now.}

      (1).  In Romans 1:16,17 the “Gospel of Christ” is introduced as:  (a) the power of God demonstrated all the way to salvation {you have no doubt that Paul is about to make the greatest treatise of all on the salvation of God as based on the proper interpretation of the OT quotes on the subject, revealed and witnessed but never fully explained or understood until men could see Christ}; (b) for everyone who believes, Jew and Gentile; (c) through it is the “revelation of the righteousness of God” {yes righteousness and salvation is the subject of Romans}; (d) the Gospel is a way of salvation from “faith to faith”, as it starts

in initial faith and continues in faith; and (e) with a quote from Habakkuk 2:4, “The just {and justified} shall live by faith”, we are assured once again that the everlasting covenant by faith was there in the OT all along.  It was really there so God could overlook the sins of the past, being both the just God and the justifier of all who believe .

      (2).  We can see much about what lived, or “actual” righteousness is by what is not, it is not the opposite of “unrighteousness” of Romans 1:29-32.  All of these are the very opposite of the nature of God and inspired in men by Satan and the “spirit within us that lusteth to envy” (James 4:5):  (a) sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; and with the subsequent description of the character of men where there is unrighteousness:  (a) whisperers, (b) backbiters, (c) haters of God, (d) violent, (e) proud, (f) boasters, (g) inventors of evil things, (h) disobedient to parents, (i) undiscerning, (j) untrustworthy, (k) unloving, (l) unforgiving, and (m) unmerciful.

Conclusion:  Top Message of 7 Miracles is Faith in Jesus as Co-Creator of Universe.

If even one of the miracles, like the turning of water into wine or the causing the lame man to walk, creates enough faith in Jesus in your heart for salvation, then the top message of the Gospel of John, and the miracles of John–that is, to get you to believe all the way to salvation–has been achieved for you personally.  Even as Phillips made clear years ago in the book YOUR GOD IS TOO SMALL, that the God of this Universe, of the Bible and the Father of Jesus, knows radar, computers, science and technology with the arts and higher education, so Jesus was an expert then as now on all the sciences and human knowledge; and once you have come to see Jesus as the “Word” of the introduction of John 1, the “Him” of “All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:1), then you will have no problem with the fact that Jesus, in spite of some accepted limitations as God-man, the Son of Man and the Son of God, could easily transcend all the norm in natural and biological science to do miracles; and consequently go step by step, and all the way, to faith in Jesus as both the Christ, the Promised Messiah, and as the Son of God. Even as the miracles demand attention that they have to come from God Himself, so the works with a total of four witnesses mentioned by Jesus in His teachings; and the first that you might really consider as 8 messages on the 7 miracles, as it is at the top book level of the book of John, as works from God the Father Himself were witnesses to Jesus.  John the Baptist was a witness to Jesus as “the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29); the existing Scriptures testified often to Jesus point by point as He fulfilled the predictions and other prophesy of the Old Testament, especially of Isaiah; and Jesus with a sterling character and life claimed to be the Son of God.  However in John 5, in the continuing teaching ministry of Jesus as given to Him by the Father, Jesus puts at the top of the list of witnesses to His Sonship as the Son of God the works from God:

“But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish–the very works that I do–bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.”  (John 5:36)

You are welcome to free download this conclusion of Top Topic #4 on Son of Man/Son of God from SunGrist at:

http://sungrist.org/PTB16bGodMan.pdf

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