Thursday, December 29, 2011

John 8 12 to 20

12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.
19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.
20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

Key Observation:

The testimony of two, Jesus and His Father, bear witness, but are rejected by many people.

Jesus again says He is the light of the world. Again I notice that the Scripture includes the world, not just the elect. I think that God has always had a two-fold message: 1) to make the offer of salvation to the entire world, 2) that offer is contingent upon the person’s belief, which will always make them to be one of the elect. “He that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Last night I made an interesting short Bible study, collecting the verses throughout the New Testament that seem to indicate the scope of God’s outreach to start with the world, although it is obvious that God absolutely foreknew that many would never respond, “because men loved darkness, for their deeds were evil.” Here are the verses indicating outreach to the world:

1.) 2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2.) 1 Timothy 2:6
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
3.) John 12:31,32
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
4.) Matthew 20:16
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
5.) Matthew 22:14
For many are called, but few are chosen.
6.) 2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
7.) 1 John 2:2
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
8.) 1 John 4:10
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
9.) John 3:8
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
10.) John 3:15
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
11.) John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
12.) John 3:17
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
13.) John 3:18
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
14.) John 3:36
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
15.) John 4:14
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
16.) John 4:42
And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
17.) John 5:23
That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
18.) John 5:40
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
19.) John 5:51
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
20.) John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
21) John 16:8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.

I always figured there were about 15 verses that I could pull up right away to show the offer of God’s salvation is extended to the world. In about an hour, I was able to come up with these 21 verses, and the list is in no way exhaustive. In understanding atonement, these verses must be taken into account, and it will do the interpreter no good to try to “unsay” the verses by pretending that these verses only mean the elect. Such forcing of scripture will only take one away from the Scripture he needs to venerate. John Piper calls this a legitimate or “bonafide” offer. McGee has an interesting comment (which I also used yesterday) on John 7:37: “This is free will, friend. “If any man.” That means you. God is offering a gift to you. Also here is election: “If any man thirst.” The question is, “Are you thirsty?” Have you perhaps been drinking at the mud holes of the world, and have you been finding that they are not satisfying? “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” You can come to Him and receive Him as your Savior.”

Many arguments have been made over atonement, and I do not hope to end those quarrels, for some do not seek to understand Scripture in its plain sense, but try instead to constrain “wayward” verses to follow their own creeds. By collectively taking these verses together, I do hope that it will be seen that God, indeed, is absolutely just in judging people who refuse to believe. The charge of double predestination, or of condemning some to hell without any possibility of belief on their part is ludicrous, and all the more, in light of these verses. Many of the above verses illustrate the God does indeed draw all men to Himself. Man is responsible to respond to the message of God. but without that drawing salvation for any of us would be impossible, for we are irrevocably caught in our own sin, and utterly unable to extricate ourselves apart from the grace of God.

“Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:7) So we see that some are not able to enter into the kingdom of God because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:19) If you thirst, if you want to see the light of the world, if you want to eat the bread of life, it is to Jesus you must come. There is no other door to heaven by which you may come. But the mystery is if you choose to come, then you are already one of the elect, whom God foreknows. He that comes to Jesus will in no wise be cast out. Come today.

McGee, J. Vernon (1990-01-30). Thru the Bible 1-5 (5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 101284-101287). Grupo Nelson. Kindle Edition.

O How I Love Jesus

1. There is a name I love to hear,
I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in my ear,
The sweetest name on earth.

2. It tells me of a Savior's love,
Who died to set me free;
It tells me of His precious blood,
The sinner's perfect plea.

3. It tells me what my Father has
In store for ev'ry day;
And though I tread a darksome path,
Yields sunshine all the way.

4. It tells of One whose loving heart
Can feel my deepest woe,
Who in each sorrow bears a part,
That none can bear below.

O how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me.

Lyrics: Frederick Whitfield

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