Salvation In Christ – The Book Of John – Introduction

I. Consider the situation in which we find ourselves today. Consider how we got here, and what we can do to make the world a better place to live.

A. Consider How Christians Started the Ivy League
https://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0101_Christians_Started_I.html

1. Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth – all owe their origins to the gospel.

2. Probably no segment of American society has turned out a greater number of illustrious graduates than New England’s Ivy League. Labels like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, still carry their own mystique and a certain aura of elitism and prestige.

3. Yet perhaps it would surprise most to learn that almost every Ivy League school was established primarily to train ministers of the gospel – and to evangelize the Atlantic seaboard.

B. Consider Louisiana’s former Democrat Governor, Jimmie Davis.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6370060/james-houston-davis

1. In 1944, he was elected as a Democrat the 47th Governor of Louisiana. He was again elected Governor of Louisiana, serving (1960-64). He is a member of the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

2. When we consider the Christian songs that Governor Davis wrote and sang, it is easy to see that he would not be welcome in the Democrat party today.
https://www.christianbook.com/gospel-favorites-the-best-jimmie-davis/pd/CD10394

3. Governor Davis even sang at the First Baptist Church, Baker, LA in 1976. (YouTube, Jimmie Davis – LIVE ! (c.1976).)

C. Consider the lack of Christians among the overall U.S. populace.

In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

1. The trends documented in Pew Research Center surveys closely resemble those found in the long-running General Social Survey (GSS), a project of the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, with principal funding from the National Science Foundation. In GSS surveys conducted in the early 2000s (2000 to 2004), 80% of U.S. adults identified as Christians, including 54% who described themselves as Protestants and 25% who were Catholic. By the late 2010s, 71% of GSS respondents described themselves as Christians (48% Protestant, 23% Catholic). Over the same period, the GSS found that religious “nones” grew from 14% of the U.S. adult population to 22%.

2. Taken from the above survey, showing percentages of U.S. Christian declination from 1979 to the late 2010s, there is a much greater loss of Christians within the overall U.S. population. In the late 1970s, 90 percent of those in the U.S. claimed to be Christians, with 64% claiming to be Protestants, 26% claiming to be Catholics, and those claiming no religion were 7% of the U.S. population. By the end of the late 2010s, those claiming to be Christians fell to 71%, with 48% saying they were Protestants, 23% claiming to be Catholics, and 23% claiming no religion.

3. The results of the above stated General Social Survey should be taken very seriously. In paragraphs 2 and 3, we can see a major loss of Christians within the U.S. populace, and a great gain of those who claim to have no belief in Christ. The stated loss of Christian numbers in the U.S., and the remainder of the world, is affecting the decisions that are made in the governments of the world in a way that “things Christian” are being ignored and trampled upon by politicians who have no understanding of Christ.

D. When I was a young boy, I, and almost all of my friends went to Sunday School and Church. In school, my teachers talked about their church experiences. Church attendance was discussed favorably in TV sitcoms such as, “Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, Andy Griffith, and others. “Jesus” wasn’t a hidden name. The Name of “God” was not taken “in vain” in TV programming.

E. At age ten, I walked the aisle at a church and made a statement of my faith in Christ as my Lord and Savior. Soon, thereafter, I was immersed in a baptismal pool of water, following the example of unbelievers whom had also made a statement of faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior (Acts 16:30-33).

II. What has happened to cause such an adverse affect in our world, as it relates to its not having a proper relationship with Christ?

A. Consider parental responsibilities that relate to children.

1. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 – New American Standard Bible

4 “Hear, Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 And you shall repeat them diligently to your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk on the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. 8 You shall also tie them as a sign to your hand, and they shall be as frontlets on your forehead. 9 You shall also write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

2. Parents are directed by God to teach the things of God to their children. Such teaching is to be “on-going.” Within the words of the above verse, it also shows parental responsibility to lead Holy lives, so that children will recognize that which is right, and that which is wrong. But, it is obvious from the world’s situation of sin, that children are not being taught the things of God.

B. Consider the commission that Christ has given to all believers in Christ.

1. Matthew 28:19 – New American Standard Bible

19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

2. Consider the word, “disciple.”
https://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-discipleship.html

a. By definition, a disciple is a follower, one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another. A Christian disciple is a person who accepts and assists in the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ. Christian discipleship is the process by which disciples grow in the Lord Jesus Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit, who resides in our hearts, to overcome the pressures and trials of this present life and become more and more Christlike.

b. This process requires believers to respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to examine their thoughts, words and actions and compare them with the Word of God. This requires that we be in the Word daily—studying it, praying over it, and obeying it. In addition, we should always be ready to give testimony of the reason for the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15) and to disciple others to walk in His way. According to Scripture, being a Christian disciple involves personal growth characterized by the following:

3. Acts 1:8 – New American Standard Bible

8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth.

4. Consider the word, “witness,” as provided by The Merriam-Webster Dictionary
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witness

a. one who has personal knowledge of something

b. public affirmation by word or example of usually religious faith or conviction

5. When we consider the requirement to be a witness for Christ, and the requirements for being such a witness, it is obvious that many Christians are incapable of fulfilling our Lord’s command to tell others about Him. We must, therefore, take it upon ourselves to be the witness that Christ has commanded us to be. To have a personal knowledge of God’s Word is one thing; to have a conviction of what we have learned is something else. We must have a continual and deep study of God’s Word, accompanied by serious prayer, in order for us to be “sold out” in relation to that which we have learned about Christ, that which believe about Christ, and our relationship that we have with Christ.

6. Consider the result of witnesssing and leading an unbeliever to saving faith in Christ.

a. The unbeliever becomes born again, having a spirit as righteous as the Spirit of Christ (John 3:3, 3:8).
b. The unbeliever becomes a believer in Christ (John 3:16).
c. The former unbeliever has the Spirit of “Father, Son, Holy Spirit” dwelling within the born again spirit of the former unbeliever, forever (John 14:16, 17, 20), and shall spiritually teach the former unbeliever the things of Christ (John 14:26; 16:7-11).
d. The spirit of the former unbeliever now dwells within the Spirit of “Father, Son, Holy Spirit,” (John 14:20).
e. The former unbeliever’s spirit is “a new creation;” the former sinful nature has passed away (2 Cor 5:17).
f. The former unbeliever has a spirit as righteous as the Spirit of “Father, Son, Holy Spirit” (2 Cor 5:21).
g. The former unbeliever now has the Spirit of Christ dwelling within the former unbeliever’s spirit, which is their “hope of Glory,” which is an expectant hope (Col 1:28).
h. The former unbeliever’s spirit, which had been darkness (John 1:5, 9), has become “light” and dwells within the Spirit of God (1 John 1:5). The wording of 1 John 1:7 shows that the former unbeliever is constantly in a state of light, due to the work of Christ. That “saving and keeping” power of Christ is repeated in John 5:24, 10:28-29 and Jude 24. Here is the key to this discussion of the new birth. Once a person has been born again, that person can not be unborn.
i. Once we have been born again, we continue with a sin-battle until death. That battle is described by the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:14-20, as he explains “indwelling sin.” Satan will continue to tempt us until we die. Until we are born again, we have no “righteous spirit” prompting us to righteousness. Sinful thoughts come to us from Satan, prompting us to unrighteousness. At the same time, our born again spirit is prompting us to righteousness. Consider “body, soul and spirit.” Our body is our “eyes, nose and toes.” Our soul is our mind, our reasoning, our consciousness, our emotions.” Our spirit is the most inner part of us. I like to pound my hand on the area of my chest, just above my heart, and think that is the area that is “just above my spirit.” Our body, soul and spirit are mentioned in 1 Thes 5:23. At the time of our new birth, our spirit is eternally perfect, and in Christ.” Our body will continue its decay until death. Our soul (mind) will continue its decay, in function, and will continue its temptations to us, until death. But, the righteousness of God’s Spirit is stronger than Satan’s temptations.
j. The key to getting more “born again believers in Christ” in places of government is to lead more unbelievers to saving faith in Christ.

7. The scriptural tool, that I believe will help the most in accomplishing the mission that Christ has set before us, is the Book of John. The following information should provide an understanding of why I have such a deep belief in John’s Gospel as being a key source document that will help us to be knowledgeable of Christ in His deity, and that will give us the assurance and conviction that Thomas had when he said unto Christ, “My Lord and my God,” (John 20:28).

III. The Book Of John.

A. MacArthur Study Bible. Dr. John MacArthur.

1. John’s Gospel is the second (cf. Luke 1:1–4) that contains a precise statement regarding the author’s purpose (20:30, 31). He declares, “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (20:31). The primary purposes, therefore, are two-fold: evangelistic and apologetic.

2. Reinforcing the evangelistic purpose is the fact that the word “believe” occurs approximately 100 times in the gospel (the Synoptics use the term less than half as much). John composed his gospel to provide reasons for saving faith in his readers and, as a result, to assure them that they would receive the divine gift of eternal life (1:12).

3. The apologetic purpose is closely related to the evangelistic purpose. John wrote to convince his readers of Jesus’ true identity as the incarnate God-Man whose divine and human natures were perfectly united into one person who was the prophesied Christ (“Messiah”) and Savior of the world (e.g., 1:41; 3:16; 4:25, 26; 8:58). He organized his whole gospel around 8 “signs” or proofs that reinforce Jesus’ true identity leading to faith. The first half of his work centers around 7 miraculous signs selected to reveal Christ’s person and engender belief: 1) water made into wine (2:1–11); 2) the healing of the royal official’s son (4:46–54); 3) the healing of the lame man (5:1–18); 4) the feeding of a multitude (6:1–15); 5) walking on water (6:16–21); 6) healing of the blind man (9:1–41); and 7) the raising of Lazarus (11:1–57). The eighth sign is the miraculous catch of fish (21:6–11) after Jesus’ resurrection.

B. Holman New Testament Commentary. Dr. Kenneth O. Gangel.

1. Luke wrote for an individual (Theophilus). Matthew and Mark targeted Jewish audiences with their record of Jesus’ life and work. John wrote for the world, living as he did at the end of 50 years of church history, knowing that the gospel had already permeated the entire Mediterranean world. Indeed, he stated his purpose clearly: “Jesus did many other miraculous sings in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But, these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31).

2. The Gospel of John radiates faith. I like to say that John offers the motto, “Believing is seeing.” John focused on Jesus’ teaching, avoiding most of the miracles and all of the parables. Writing with a clear grasp of Jewish culture, his logic appealed to Greek readers as well, as he set forth an evangelistic theology. John carefully selected his material and unashamedly targeted unbelievers.

3. John’s favorite word for new birth in Christ is “life.”

4. John wrote this Gospel so that the Holy Spirit could produce faith in the hearts of those who could not have an earthly eyewitness experience like his own.

C. Scofield Reference Notes. Dr. C.I. Scofield.

THEME: This is indicated both in the Prologue (John 1:1-14), and in the last verse of the Gospel proper (John 20:31), and is: (1) The incarnation of the eternal Word, and Son of life; (2) that as many as believe on Him as “the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31) may have eternal life. The prominent words are, “believed” and “life.”

IV. Credential information can be found on my website Page, “About Theologians.”

V. Video Details.

A. Gaither Vocal Band – I Know Who Holds Tomorrow (Official Video).

B. Gaither Music TV. Dec 13, 2012.

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