I. Video. Sweet, Sweet Spirit [Live]. Doris Akers. Notice the correlation between the song that is being sung and the message of this article. Doris went to be with the Lord in 1995.
II. Title. The Testimony of John the Baptist. 3.
III. Text. John 1:29. New American Standard Bible.
The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him, and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
IV. Comments. All scriptures are from the New American Standard Bible 2020.
A. MacArthur Study Bible Comments.
1. The next day. This phrase probably refers to the day after John’s response to the Jerusalem delegation. It also initiates a sequence of days (v. 43; 2:1) that culminated in the miracle at Cana (2:1–11).
2. The Lamb of God. The use of a lamb for sacrifice was very familiar to Jews. A lamb was used as a sacrifice during Passover (Ex. 12:1–36); a lamb was led to the slaughter in the prophecies of Isaiah (Is. 53:7); a lamb was offered in the daily sacrifices of Israel (Lev. 14:12–21; cf. Heb. 10:5–7). John the Baptist used this expression as a reference to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to atone for the sins of the world, a theme which John the apostle carries throughout his writings (19:36; cf. Rev. 5:1–6; 7:17; 17:14) and that appears in other NT writings (e.g., 1 Pet. 1:19).
3. sin of the world. See note on v. 9; cf. 3:16; 6:33, 51. In this context “world” has the connotation of humanity in general, not specifically every person. The use of the singular “sin” in conjunction with “of the world” indicates that Jesus’ sacrifice for sin potentially reaches all human beings without distinction (cf. 1 John 2:2). John makes clear, however, that its efficacious effect is only for those who receive Christ (vv. 11, 12). For discussion of the relation of Christ’s death to the world, see note on 2 Cor. 5:19.
B. My Comments.
1. Notice the words, “sin of the world.” Consider personal sins, such as theft, lying, etc. None of the sins of the human will keep anyone out of heaven, the kingdom age, or the eternal state. However, there are many references to “sins,” that are addressed in the gospels, that relate to the nation of Israel.
2. Consider Matthew 1:21: “She will give birth to a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” The “sins” of Matt 1:21 relate to the nation of Israel, as Christ came to “not remember the sins of Israel(Isa 43:25), and to offer national salvation to Israel, which they rejected.
3. Consider John 1:11: “He came to His own, and His own people did not accept Him.” John The Baptist, who was the forerunner of Christ, was a witness of the Messiah, Jesus (John 1:6-8).
4. Consider Matthew 3:1-3: “1 Now in those days John the Baptist *came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “The voice of one calling out in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight!’”
a. The coming of Christ was in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of Isaiah 40:3 (712 B.C.), as well as Isaiah 7:14 (742B.C.) and Isaiah 9:6-7 (740 B.C.). Isaiah 40:3, 7:14 and 9:6a refer to the first coming of Christ in birth (Matt 1:21-25). Isaiah 9:6b-9:7 refers to the second coming of Christ at the end of the Tribulation (Matt 24:29-31) to set up His Kingdom on Earth (the 1,000 year millennium).
b. The message of national repentance to the Jews is recorded in many other Gospel Scriptures, for them to accept Christ as the Messiah of Old Testament Scriptures. The message of Christ to the Israel was, “I am God with you,” (Isa 7:14, Matt 1:23).
(1). Matthew 4:17: ‘From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” ‘ Jesus wasn’t saying that “the Kingdom was here, but was near,” based on their accepting Him as Messiah. The Kingdom is that which was taught to Israel in the Abrahamic and David Covenants (Gen 15:18-21; 2 Sam 7:8-17)
(2). Matthew 10:5-7: ‘These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them, saying, “Do not go on a road to Gentiles, and do not enter a city of Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.” ‘Jesus sent His disciples only to the Jews, to teach about the kingdom.
(3). Luke 10:9: “and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.” Jesus sent seventy others to preach about the “nearness of the Kingdom,”
(4). Luke 13:3: “No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” There is sharp contrast to this verse and John 3:16. Luke 13:3 relates to the national salvation of Israel. John 3:16 relates to personal salvation. Notice in John 3:16, the command of Jesus is to “believe;” He says nothing about repentance. At the time of individual belief, “salvation takes place in the life of such a believer.”
(5). The Words of Jesus in John 3:16 are clear, and to the point. Nothing more than belief in Christ is required for personal salvation. Consider the following verses that relate belief to salvation, all of which are from the Gospel of John: 3:15, 3:16, 3:18, 3:36, 5:24, 6:40, 6:47, 7:38, 11:26, 11:40. 12:46, 20:31. Notice that in 5:24, eternal life comes from belief, and can not be reversed, as does John 10:28-30. We can not walk away from Salvation; we did not walk to Salvation. After we have been born again, we can not be unborn.
(6). After the Jews rejected Jesus’s offer of the Kingdom, His ministry was directed to “the world,” per John 1:11-13.
(7). Let’s get back to John 1:29, “the sin of the world,” which is also the unpardonable sin. The outward sins of theft, lying, etc., do not keep anyone from Heaven. But, the inner sin of “unbelief” (John 3:18), is a barrier than can not be removed, except through a personal belief in Christ (John 3:16). Salvation is not a formula of “works plus belief,” or anything else “plus belief.” Through the radiating power of God’s Holy Spirit, the message of Christ is made available to everyone in the world (John 1:5, 9).
(8). If a person were to exhaust a day of analyzing the understanding of “belief” through a Hebrew or Greek dictionary, it is important to understand that those around Jesus did not have Greek as their commonly spoken language. There are seven Greek words that mean “love.” Consider the possibilities for the many meanings of John 3:16, “believe.” 4100 pisteúō (from 4102 /pístis, “faith,” derived from 3982 /peíthō, “persuade, be persuaded”) – believe (affirm, have confidence); used of persuading oneself (= human believing) and with the sacred significance of being persuaded by the Lord (= faith-believing). Only the context indicates whether 4100 /pisteúō (“believe”) is self-serving (without sacred meaning), or the believing that leads to/proceeds from God’s inbirthing of faith. If Jesus has been speaking Greek to his disciples, I can not imagine Him going through every possible meaning of the Greek word for “belief.”. Jesus wanted to convey a clear understanding of what it took for a person to spend eternity with Him, and to avoid eternal condemnation. He spoke “belief.”
(9). Consider the following discussion by “God Questions.” “While Jesus very likely spoke Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek, Aramaic was likely the language Jesus spoke the most. ” https://www.gotquestions.org/language-Jesus-speak.html
(10). After belief in Christ, there is growing in Christ, which is aided by the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit in the new birth (John 3:3), and the teaching of the Holy Spirit that comes to every born again believer in Christ (John 16:7-11).
V. Article Sources.
1. Video from “Turn Your Radio On” Gaither series of songs, recorded in 1993. The video was posted by Gaither Music TV on December 13, 2012.
2. Article Title from New American Stand Bible Translation 2020.
3. Text from BibleGateway.com print of New American Stand Bible Translation 2020.
VI. Added Comment. Notice that the account of Scripture that is being studied is that of John The Baptist. The writer of the account is John The Apostle.
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