Sunday, October 27, 2019

Behind a Frowning Providence; John 11:1-16


Behind a Frowning Providence
John 11:1-16, Remsen Bible Fellowship, 10/27/2019


Introduction:


God moves in a Mysterious way/His wonders to perform/He plants his footsteps in the sea/and rides upon the storm. So opens William Cowper’s famous poem, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way.” As we examine the first 16 verses of John 11 this morning, we will see God, in the person of his Son, moving in very mysterious ways.

We will see the love of God on display in this text. But God doesn’t put his love on display here in the way we might expect him to or want him to. We can’t lift our 21st century, modern American ideas of love and drop them into this text or we’ll get horribly lost. When we read about God’s love in the Bible, we must then allow God himself to define what this love looks like. What we will see in our passage this morning is Sovereign Love in Action.

As we examine this passage, we’ll do so under four headings: First, we will see that this is love from which Jesus is acting. Second, we will see that his love is a sovereign or determining love. Third, we will look at the actions undertaken by this Sovereign Love. And finally, we will look at the goals of this Sovereign Love in Action.


Jesus’ Love for the Family: v1-5, cf 35-36 


The passage opens not with Jesus, but with an illness. But immediately we recognize the family.

This is the same Mary and Martha whom we meet in Luke 10; they live in Bethany, just a couple miles outside of Jerusalem.

Remember that Jesus is, at this time, across the Jordan River, ministering in that region (10:40); this would be at least a one day walk, maybe two from Bethany.

In case his readers don’t immediately register what family this is, John spells it out in v2 who Mary is. She is the one who worships Jesus in an extravagant fashion. However, why spell this out before he has told us the story? (cf, 12:1-8)

They are first, likely already familiar with the story (remember when John is writing in comparison to the other Gospels); second, it establishes the interest of a reader who is unfamiliar with the story to keep reading; and third, to our point here, this explanation of just which Mary we’re talking about demonstrates the intimate friendship which our Lord shared with this family.

This home seems to be a place of real human friendship for Jesus, and as such they would have been familiar not only with his teaching, but his power.

Thus when Lazarus falls ill, how do they respond? They call Jesus.

But note the content of their message, v3. Do they ask Jesus for healing? Ask him to hurry back?

The implication of their message is that they assume Jesus will hear that his dear friend is sick, and will immediately come back to heal him, or at least be with the family.

Jesus makes a curious response, which we will examine in a minute, but then in v5 we get yet another affirmation of Jesus’ love. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So John, in telling us this story, opens by showing the sort of love Mary has for Jesus, he repeats the sisters message to Jesus in which they refer to Lazarus as the one whom you love, and then Jesus’ love for this family is spelled out in just those words. So that is the framework through which we should see everything else that happens.

But is love, in and of itself, enough? Not when life gets hard. If the love of Jesus is to have any ultimate or final meaning for us, it must be a sovereign love.


The Sovereign Nature of the Love: v4 

Jesus’ response, the message he gives to the messenger (though surely the disciples hear it as well), what we find in v4.

The disciples, and the messenger, almost certainly take this to be a promise that Lazarus won’t die, note v11-13. This isn’t Jesus intention, but it’s what they take away.

In giving a response like this, a purpose statement for an illness, Jesus is giving yet another glimpse at who he is. This is no mere man or even mere miracle worker. He is able to stand at the beginning of a circumstance and tell the end of it. He identifies himself with the God of Isaiah 46:10.

The sovereignty, or divine rule of God over all things, is a dominant theme of Scripture, and yet there has been great resistance to it throughout human history. We do not want a God who controls everything. Some of the reasons for this are obvious: if God is real and in control, then he has the right to demand my worship, to tell me how to live, and I don’t want that, I want to be my own God.

But some of the objections come from “inside the camp”. They come from folks who believe God exists, believe he ought to be loved and followed. And maybe this is you this morning. Maybe you struggle with the idea that a God who is in control of all things, yet made a world that went so wrong, and continues to allow it to go disastrously wrong, could somehow be a good. Surely if God were truly good he wouldn’t allow all of this evil? He wouldn’t allow children to be neglected and to starve, church shootings to take place, tsunamis and hurricanes to devastate poor countries, or let my brother die. Surely.

But here we look back at our text. V11, 14. Their brother does die.

God does all of these things. This is sin-wrecked world is the world we live in. Nature is red in tooth and claw, evil men abound, and regardless of the cause, natural disasters wreak havoc. And as for brothers and mothers, dads and sisters, best friends and children- many of them suffer, and all of them die.

So is God not good? Does Jesus not care? The text says that Jesus loved them! Perhaps you want to give him the benefit of the doubt: surely he does care, he just can’t control all of the circumstances. But again in Isaiah 46, this time v11b. Cf, Ephesians 1:11

There is no doubt, brothers and sisters, that the goodness of God, the love of God, is a difficult truth to hold alongside his sovereign reign over a world that is so broken. And yet, while it creates hard questions, the right response at this point is not to say, “too hard, I’m checking out” or “I give up, this is more than I can swallow.” The right response, the response of faith is to say, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

Let me submit this to you: while these two truths are central to understanding the Bible, and grasping who Jesus is, they are also vital to walking with God and having joy in life. If God truly is loving, and truly is in control, only then can I believe promises like Romans 8:28.

“God has gracious intentions, even when he seems to delay.” Matthew Henry

The next line in Cowper’s poem: Deep in unfathomable mines/of never failing skill/he treasures up his bright designs/and works his sovereign will.


The Actions Undertaken by Sovereign Love: v5-16 

So if we at this text from a place of confidence, confidence that Jesus is acting purposefully as the Sovereign Lord of the situation, but also from a framework of love, both as God and as a close friend of this family, let’s examine his actions.

Jesus Lingered in the Distance, v6

It is important to note, just to reiterate, the connection between v5 and v6. So or therefore. That’s obscured in some translations, but we need to see that the love of Jesus is causal here.

We also want to note what is implied specifically by this action.

A- He allowed Lazarus to die.

Could Jesus have prevented Lazarus death? Absolutely! Yet he chooses not to. We would think that love would compel him back to Bethany, this is obviously the assumption of Mary and Martha.

But Jesus lingers and Lazarus dies. Now, given the chronology of this story, Lazarus is possibly dead by the time the messenger gets to Jesus, and almost certainly within a short time thereafter. Yet is distance any hindrance to Jesus? Not according to what we saw back in 4:46-54.

But again, Jesus intentionally doesn’t do anything to prevent Lazarus’ death. Lest we try to make this seem less devastating than it is, this means Lazarus dies thinking, Jesus didn’t show.

It seems almost callous, doesn’t it? The mourners think so, down in v37. Couldn’t he…? Almost and implied, shouldn’t he have…?

B- He allowed Martha and Mary to feel forgotten.

Look at v21 and 32. These statements seem to have combined in them a real faith and trust in Jesus, you have the power to stop death itself, and a deep sorrow or even disappointment, but you didn’t.

Have you ever prayed and asked for something, maybe something you thought was a shoe-in for God to answer, and felt no response?

Maybe you’ve asked God to save a marriage, to save your child’s soul, to restore a relationship with a coworker or friend, or to heal someone who is desperately sick. What do we do with that seeming non-response?

The biblical response is to keep praying. Luke 18:1-8, esp 7-8

The fourth line of Cowper’s poem, Judge not the Lord by feeble sense/but trust him for his grace/behind a frowning providence/he hides a smiling face.

We keep praying on the one hand of course because we want the situation to change or improve. But we also pray, we persist in prayer, to deepen our dependence upon the God who hears our prayers. Judging not by our feeble senses, but trusting him for his grace.

Jesus left safety behind. v7ff 

A- Jesus puts himself in the way of danger

When Jesus chooses to leave this region beyond the Jordan, he is essentially choosing to head back to set up his death. These events surrounding Lazarus serve as a sort of final catalyst to the religious leaders and their planning to actually have Jesus killed.

Remember the circumstances under which Jesus left Jerusalem and the region of Judea. John 10:31-33, 39

The disciples remember, and thus are reasonably concerned in v8.

B- Jesus puts his disciples in the way of danger 


By heading to Jerusalem himself with the authorities out to kill him, the disciples know that tagging along implicates them as well.

This might explain both the question of v8, and the statement of v12. They think Jesus refers to physical sleep, and well, if he’s sleeping, he’ll get well, and then why do we need to head down there? Things are going so well here, people are believing, and more importantly they aren’t setting out to stone you or us.

Thomas, good old “doubting Thomas,” displays what I think is deep allegiance to Jesus in v16.

Is Jesus primary concern for us in this life our temporary safety? There are those who teach that God gives health, wellness, and a good earthly life to those who trust him. I think the disciples would beg to differ.

These men don’t die on this trip to Judea, Jesus protects them. But outside of Judas, who betrayed Jesus and then killed himself, the rest of these men face profound difficulty and except for John, death because they followed Jesus. So it would seem that some level of danger and risk is part and parcel of what it means to follow Christ.

But is it really dangerous to follow him? V9-10

The way they divided daylight then was to take however much light there was and segment it into 12 “hours”, so it wasn’t quite the same as our 60 minute hours. But essentially they idea is that if you’re walking around in the daylight you can see where you’re going, and thus you won’t fall. You’re safe.

What is Jesus’ point here? Who is the light of the world? He is. The true light which gives light to everyone, who came into the world. And if we walk in his light, if we are trusting him alone for salvation, trusting him alone for our security, then we will always be exactly as safe as he wants us to be. Those who trust in Christ are always safe in an absolute sense of being held by him, they will never taste death (8:52), indeed, Jesus tells Martha, they shall never die (11:26). And in our earthly lives, we will be as safe as is good for us. The disciples think heading to Judea is a bad idea. But love often calls us to stick our necks out in confidence that God, not our circumstances, provides our safety.


The Goals of Sovereign Love: v4, v15

What are the goals of Jesus’ perplexing demonstration of love in this passage?

In verse 4 Jesus says that this sickness will lead not to death, but rather it was for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it. How does this happen?

Jesus demonstrates power over death > 7th and culminating sign in the gospel > Jesus is displaying his power and his person

Jesus acts to bring glory to himself, 9:3-5

This glory he brings for himself might seem simply self-aggrandizing, like, look at me, look how awesome I am! (Which God would have the right to do!). But it is also a profound service to humanity, that God would manifest himself in the flesh, that all might see and any who will humble themselves before him can believe and be saved. This is precisely Jesus’ point in v15.

The point of this gospel, the point of the Bible, the point of the universe is to display the glory of God, chiefly through the Son of God, so that we might believe in him, have life in him, and worship him. God exists as an eternal being of unspeakable glory, and he acts in this world, even through -often through- profoundly difficult circumstances, to give us glimpses of that glory. This is the most profound act of love imaginable.

Mary and Martha are going to see an amazing glimpse of the glory of the Most High. The disciples are going to see the power of the Messiah on display. The crowds are going to see Jesus call forth a dead man from the tomb. And Lazarus will be pulled forth from death to life, as a sort of foretaste of what will happen for all believers in Jesus at the Resurrection of the dead.
Glimpsing his glory, tasting his goodness, trusting Jesus for life is better than life, better than healing, better than changed circumstances. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Place your hope in him.

Seeking to See the God of My Salvation; Psalm 27

Psalm 27
Seeking to See the God of My Salvation
Plummer Bible Church, 10/13/2019
Remsen Bible Fellowship, 10/20/2019


Introduction:
  • What does it mean to see God? As we have studied the gospel according to John, one of the important themes has been that those who have seen Jesus have seen the Father. 
  • This seeing, though, was a spiritual perception, not merely taking something in via the eyes. Many who saw Jesus in his days on earth saw but did not see. How can we who do not see him physically hope, then, to see him?
  • Seeing God isn’t simply a theme in the Gospel of John, it is one of the great hopes of the Bible as a whole. As sinners, we have been cut off from seeing God, such that God tells Moses in Exodus 33:20, you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live. But the chief joy of the New Heavens and the New Earth in Revelation is Revelation 21:3, Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 
  • Seeing God is what sin cuts us off from, and seeing God is what is restored for all the saved in glory.
  • As we consider what it means to see God, I would like to direct your attention this morning to Psalm 27 (read the whole Psalm).


  1. Logical Confidence in the God of My Salvation, v1-3
  • Note the parallel structure within v1; he’s saying the same thing twice
  • How is God light? 1 John 1:5
  • How is God being light related to his being my Salvation, my stronghold?
  • What is the logical conclusion to God being your Savior, your Light, your Salvation?
  • Is David’s hope in circumstances or in a Savior?
  • Is David writing this as someone with a real grasp on hardship?
  • What are you counting on in your life? Do you just need something to change, or are you counting on God?
  • In whom do you hope? Self, spouse, fantasy? Psalm 121:1-2



  1. Desiring to see the God of My Salvation, v4-6
  • What is the one thing David desires? Cf, Psalm 84:1-2, 10
  • For what reason does David seek the Lord? V5
  • Where do you turn for your safety, your shelter, your security? 
  • Where should we turn for security? Psalm 46:1, 6-7
  • If we are trusting in God to be our hiding place, what is the result? V6
  • David doesn’t simply say he’ll be protected from the enemy, he will offer in the enemies tent sacrifices with shouts of joy.
  • God not only makes himself a shelter to those who fear him, he turns enemy ground into a place of worship.
  • Is your heart filled with happiness toward God for his provision? If not, is it because he has failed you, or because you have been looking to other saviors, or as the prophets Hosea or Ezekiel might say, other lovers?



  1. Requests Made to the God of My Salvation, v7-12
  • One thing was obviously an order of magnitude, of priority, because here comes another list.
  • In verses 7-12, we seem to have two categories of request: David wants to be embraced by God (7-10), and led by God (11-12). 
   
A: Embraced by God
  • 7, hear me
  • 8-9a, recognize me
  • 9, receive me
  • 10, [in the form of a statement, note his confidence in God shining forth like a ray in the night] take me in when no one else will

B: Led by God
  • 11, teach me and lead me
  • 12, don’t give me over

  • What are you asking for? Do you long to be received, heard, and led by God? 
  • Physical and temporal requests are good (James 5:14-16), but what are your fundamental needs?



  1. Believing Confidence in the God of My Salvation, 13-14
  • What is the difference between this confidence and what we see in v1-3?
  • Is there a significant difference between knowing the correct facts (as in 1-3) and believing the truth? 
  • We need gut-level dependence upon the God of our Salvation.
  • What does David believe he will see?
  • When/where does David believe he will see the goodness of the Lord? Christianity is not simply a “tough it out until you die” faith. There are hope, joy, and happiness to be had in God in this life. 
  • So what is the response of believing confidence? Waiting upon the Lord.
  • Waiting in v14 is an action taken in confident response to the goodness of God already poured out in our lives. It is an attitude toward the present and the future in response to his faithfulness in the past. 


Conclusion: 
  • David begins with the facts of God’s goodness, the facts of who he is (light, salvation), and concludes with taking courage because this same God who has been his help will continue to be.
  • This view of God drives him to seek God. Can God be found? How do you pursue God? Jeremiah 29:13
  • We have to begin with the facts God presents about himself: Jesus. John 1, Hebrews 1
  • We come to know Jesus through the word of God which reveals him to us. But the way we experience knowing and being knit to God is through the local church. David wants to be in the temple of the Lord (v4), cf 1 Peter 2:4-5, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
  • We seek God by first coming to him in prayer, recognizing the love and faithfulness he has already revealed to us in Christ. We then continue to pursue our joy in him by glad obedience to his will, walking and dwelling with his people, a people who will help us trust him for the future: even when all seems dim and dark.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Bible Study 10/15/2019: Job Overview Videos

Video 1:

Video 2:

Discussion Questions:


1: Have you ever questioned God's goodness or justice?


2: Have you ever felt like God left you in the dark?


3: What do you think of God's response to Job from the whirlwind? Do you find comfort in it?


4: What is God's ultimate resolution to suffering? Romans 8:18-25

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Where Do You Stand? John 10:22-42

Where Do You Stand?
John 10:22-42
Remsen Bible Fellowship, 10/06/2019

Introduction:

  • Last week we looked at Jesus’ sermon to the Pharisees wherein he unpacks a simple illustration: he is the Good Shepherd of his sheep. He displays his character as the Good Shepherd by sacrificially laying down his life for the sheep, which stands in stark contrast to the thieves and robbers, the false shepherds, who seek merely personal gain and who live of the fat and wool of the flock.
  • This morning, though the scene has shifted slightly between verses 21 and 22, the theme remains largely the same. And as we move through the text this morning questions may arise in your mind, such as, am I his sheep? Do I hear his voice? Am I in the Father’s hand? Do I believe in him? 
  • I think we can summarize these all in one: where do you stand?

Read: John 10:22-42

  • Note the time marker in v22: the Feast of Dedication. The feast of dedication is a celebration of the rededication of the temple after the Maccabean revolt won freedom from the Greeks in 165 b.c. It is still celebrated today as Hanukkah (which means to dedicate), or the Festival of Lights. 
  • We’re looking at a gap of perhaps two months between the previous section and this.
  • The winter timing explains why in particular that Jesus would be in this spot. The colonnade or portico would have been fairly shielded from the weather. 
  • John might also be noting the location not simply for the sake of historical detail, but to draw a connection for his readers who may be familiar with the book of Acts and know that this portico is an important location, especially in chapters 3 & 5 where the apostles are recorded preaching and healing in this same location.
  • So, with this feast of dedication, and Jesus walking in the most weather friendly area of the temple, there would have been crowds all around, perhaps thousands of people.
  • With this crowd of people looking on, the Jews (leaders hostile to Jesus) surround Jesus and put him on the spot.

As we look at the text this morning, in order to address our big question, where do you stand?, I want to ask three other questions:

Question 1: Why don’t they believe? V24-26

  • Look at the question in verse 24. Does this seem genuine? Could Jesus be any more plain than he already has been?
  • He has not in public claimed specifically to be the Christ, the Messiah (though see 4:26, I who speak to you am he). However, as DA Carson notes in his commentary, the reasons for that most likely are tied to the wrong military and political connotations these folks would have with that specific term, rather than a caginess on Jesus part. 
  • Has Jesus been unclear in his claims? 
  1. 2:16, my Father’s house
  2. 5:17-47, esp 39, it is they that bear witness about me
  3. 6:35, I am the bread of life
  4. 8:28, then you will know that I am he
  5. 8:58, I am
  6. 10:9, I am the door...be saved
  • Jesus’ claims have been absolutely and utterly clear. More than that, he has been understood by the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other leader to be claiming not only to be the Christ, but equal standing with the Father himself. He’s been so clear that they seek to kill him: 5:18, 7:1, 8:59
  • Jesus points out in verse 25 that his works themselves bear witness about him. What sort of works?
  1. Clearing the temple, 2:17
  2. Long distance healing, 4:46-54
  3. Healing the invalid, 5:1-9
  4. Feeding the multitude, 6:1-14
  5. Healing the blind man, 9:1-7
  • These works are clearly of God. Why don’t these people believe? V26
  • Doesn’t this order seem backwards? What does he mean, because you are not my sheep? Wouldn’t we think it is therefore you are not my sheep? But being a sheep apparently comes before hearing and believing. 
  • If it is true that only the sheep hear and respond, and since these guys aren’t sheep and that’s why they don’t respond, is it their fault? Are we held accountable to God for being goats rather than sheep? John 3:18-20
  • Why do we rebel from the light, not come to the shepherd? Because we don’t want to. Yes, we are accountable for that. In our natural state, we want to be as far from God as possible.
  • Why don’t they believe? Because they aren’t his sheep. 

Question 2: Where do sheep find hope? V27-30

  • If we all are born in sin and are separate from God, how do some of us end up being sheep who do follow the voice of the shepherd? Was it their own powerful free will? No. v27. I know them. They follow me. No ambiguity. 
  • Do you remember back when we were looking at 6:60-65? This is just after Jesus is speaking of his body and blood being bread and wine which must be eaten and drunk. Whom does in this passage does Jesus say enables coming to him? V62, the Spirit; v65, the Father.
  • This is a hard truth for many of us, the idea that God chooses those whom he will save. Yet it is the pervasive teaching of Scripture. Exodus 33:19
  • To hold together both the responsibility of man and the sovereignty of God defies easy answers and simple solutions. But the best way I can explain it is this: given a world in which God has created human beings in his own image, with volition, with wills, and the cognitive ability to choose between right and wrong, good and evil; and given a world in which we all live this side of Adam and thus are inclined toward evil; we would all free will ourselves right into hell, and God would be just to let us do so. Yet in his abundant mercy he chooses to save some. Not everyone. Why, I do not know. No one does, except for God himself. Does this solve all our questions? No. But it does make clear that I don’t earn my salvation or receive it because I’m more special or smart than anyone else.
  • Now, if we take that logic into verse 28, what do we get? Jesus sovereignly gives salvation> what sort of salvation?> life eternal> who can take it away? No one.
  • Could there be any greater comfort than this? Do you ever find yourself discouraged, wondering if God still loves you? This is a precious promise! A license to sin? No. If we can pursue sin with abandon and ignore the commands, the voice of Christ in scripture, we should examine ourselves as Paul says. But if you are genuinely pursuing him and find yourself stumbling, take heart! He has not, and never will, drop you. 
  • This logic is taken and upped even further by Jesus drawing back a step, as it were. Not only does he have you, the Father has you, too. 
  • V30, I and the Father are one. Jesus again definitively answers their question, and makes another claim to equality with the Father. 
  • As we walk through John, we time and again this truth: Jesus is one with the Father, distinct persons but of one divine essence. Is this just abstract theological jargon? No. This matters, because the unity of the Father and the Son in not only being, but in purpose as well, forms the foundation of our confidence in the salvation which they have determined to give all of those who are trusting in Jesus. If they have determined to give it, and it is eternal, we can trust that the grace that brought us safe this far will be the same grace that leads us home. Is this true if they are not one? I don’t think so. If there could be some sort of discord between Father and Son the Father might cease to honor the Son’s sacrifice in our place, but because they are one, the Son can intercede for us before the Father and is always honored, always heard, and we are forgiven because of what he did for us. But only because these three eternal persons are eternally together as one God.  
  • Where can sheep find hope? In the sovereign, saving work, of an Almighty God.

Question 3: How does belief happen? v31-42, cf 1:6-9

  • In v31 we find a familiar response to Jesus’ divinity claims. Again, cf 8:59
  • Jesus pauses their mob violence with a question. What work are you killing me for?
  • Obviously, doing good works never got anyone killed, definitely not Jesus. It is always words. What are they upset about? Claims to be God. (v33)
  • Side note: anyone who says Jesus didn’t mean to be taken that way needs to read the gospels!
  • V34-38, Jesus makes a weird maneuver, apparently meant to simply get them to drop the rocks and make them think for a minute. 
  • He quotes a fairly obscure (at least to us) psalm, Psalm 82, v6. In doing so, he makes clear that they aren’t dealing with the substance of his claim. They are charging him with blasphemy because he connects himself with God, and has the nerve to say things like I AM. He disarms this objection, at least momentarily, by saying, hey, here in the Old Testament God himself calls these human beings (v7) “little g” gods. Why freak out over the word? How about actually dealing with the substance of what I’m claiming, and a good way to do that would be to examine my works. 
  • Now if you go home today and read Psalm 82 you might be scratching your head, because Psalm 82 definitely doesn’t prove anything about Jesus being God. But that isn’t his point here. His point is to throw them off balance (remember they have picked up stones to hurl at him), and to illustrate that their protest is not as theologically careful as they think it is.
  • Do they then pause to examine his works? No. But they do move from the equivalent of a lynch mob in v31, to being back to seeking an arrest in v39. 

  • In v40-42, where does Jesus end up? He heads back to the beginning. Back over the Jordan. He disappears for three months between Hanukkah and Passover. What happens? Many come to him, and many believe. What inspires their belief? These are people who knew of, perhaps followed, John. John did no signs, but he preached. He preached about Jesus. And what do these people recognize? That the preaching was true. The preaching was right. The preaching was faithful to who Jesus was, and so they understood that it was worth believing. They trusted in the Shepherd, they heard his voice, and they followed him. They weren’t waiting for a miracle to prove anything. They trusted the word preached to them.
  • How do we come to faith? We hear the voice of Jesus, in the pages of Scripture or in the preaching of his word, and we follow him. We trust the word of the Lord. 

Conclusion:
  • So where do you stand this morning? Jesus leaves us with two options. We can be really offended by him. We can get annoyed, irritated, or driven away by his exclusive claims. Or we can stop and look at the evidence. 
  • What is the evidence all like sheep have gone astray, that seems obvious. But Jesus, the Good Shepherd, entered into the world, doing many signs, teaching powerfully, but most importantly, he came to lay down his life for the sheep. And he lovingly invites all who will come to follow him, to receive life and life eternal. Life and life abundantly.
  • We can come to understand that he is exactly right to call out my sin, precisely correct in calling me to repentance, and unbelievably merciful in offering to absorb the punishment that is due to me. 
  • In the words of John the Baptist, Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Behold. Behold and believe.

1 Samuel 4, God's Not Your Puppet

  Audio