The Overcomer

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We can have peace through Christ.

John(69) (Part of the Believe(66) series)
by Stuart Johns(118) on July 12, 2020 (Sunday Morning(155))

All-Knowing (Omniscient)(2), All-Powerful (Omnipotent)(4), Ever Present (Omnipresent)(1), Peace(6), Salvation(45)

Believe

The Overcomer

(John 16:25-33)

 

INTRODUCTION

“When he was seven years old, his family was forced out of their home on a legal technicality, and he had to work to help support them. At age nine, his mother died. At 22, he lost his job as a store clerk. He wanted to go to law school, but his education wasn't good enough. At 23, he went into debt to become a partner in a small store. At 26, his business partner died, leaving him a huge debt that took years to repay. At 28, after courting a girl for four years, he asked her to marry him. She said no. At 37, on his third try he was elected to Congress, but two years later, he failed to be reelected. At 41, his four-year-old son died. At 45, he ran for the Senate and lost. At 47, he failed as the vice-presidential candidate. At 49, he ran for the Senate again, and lost. At 51, he was elected president of the United States. His name was Abraham Lincoln, a man many consider the greatest leader the country ever had. Some people get all the breaks.”

 

Unknown, Leadership, Vol. 4, no. 1.

 

[https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/1997/december/33.html].

 

He overcame a lot in this world, to eventually be seen as one of our countries greatest leaders

 

BODY

  • ME

    • Peace in job transitions

        • Laid off from Child Evangelism Fellowship

        • Resigning from Every Generation Ministries

    • Peace in serving

        • Several weeks ago I was having trouble sleeping

        • I woke up every half hour from midnight to 3:00 am

        • I finally cried out to the Lord and said, “Please tell me what you what to say, so I can go to sleep!”

        • I immediately fell asleep and had a dream about our first Sunday back after the pandemic

          • Every pew was filled to capacity

          • After the service, I was trying to make my way to the back of the church to get outside, so I could greet everyone

          • I got stopped two times in the foyer

          • The second person who stopped me, gave me a hug and whispered in my ear, “great message, today.”

          • When I finally saw who the person was, I realized it was Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel movement and the person who highly influenced me to preach verse-by-verse through books of the Bible

          • I told him that I preach the way I do, because of him

          • He asked me to tell him more, which I did

          • That dream gave me peace about preaching God’s Word

          • I’m also excited about the fulfillment of the first part of the dream, where every pew will be filled

 

  • WE

    • Think of a time when you experienced peace through a difficult situation (child, spouse, family member, coworker, neighbor, school, work, etc.)

    • Where did you find your peace? (God, worship, the Bible, prayer)

 

The disciples had struggled with understanding Jesus and His words. ​​ After teaching the people, Jesus would explain the meaning to His disciples. ​​ He tells them that a time is coming when He will speak plainly to them and they will understand. ​​ They would experience peace of mind instead of confusion. ​​ Jesus also explained that they would experience trouble in the world, but He would bring them peace through fear and hardship. ​​ John wants us to understand that . . .

 

BIG IDEA – We can have peace through Christ.

 

Let’s pray

 

  • GOD (John 16:25-33

    • Doubt Turns To Faith (vv. 25-30)

        • Speaking plainly (v. 25)

          • Jesus used parables a lot while ministering on earth

            • If we look through the Synoptic Gospels (Mathew, Mark, and Luke), we can find multiple parables that Jesus used to teach the people

            • Matthew 13:34-36, Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. ​​ So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.” ​​ Then he left the crowd and went into the house. ​​ His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

            • So, we know that Jesus used parables every time he spoke with a crowd of people

            • But that’s not what is being referred to here

          • “Jesus had taught ‘figuratively’ (16:25), but the Greek word used here (paroimia) does not simply mean illustrative speech or the use of metaphor and parable; rather, it is speech that is obscure and enigmatic (difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious) . . . For the Middle Easterner, this is the ‘dark saying,’ which typically possesses prophecy or wisdom” [Burge, The NIV Application Commentary, John, 442]

          • Jesus wasn’t using a metaphor or parable here

            • He was speaking about the future, but the disciples were not going to be able to understand what He was saying until after His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension [Köstenberger, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, John, 478]

            • John 16:12-13, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. ​​ But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. ​​ He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

            • An hour (time) was coming when Jesus would speak plainly

          • An hour is coming

            • We know that after Jesus’ resurrection, He spent 40 days on earth, before ascending to the Father

              • He obviously used that time to speak plainly to His disciples

              • He did that not only with the eleven disciples, but with other disciples, as well

              • Last week, I mentioned the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and how Jesus taught them from Moses and Prophets concerning everything that would happen to the Christ

              • Luke 24:30-32, When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. ​​ Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. ​​ They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

              • Their hearts were burning within them, because they were starting to understand Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection – the Scriptures (prophecies) began to make sense to them

            • The coming of the Holy Spirit

              • While Jesus began to speak plainly to them before He ascended into heaven, I believe He is referencing the coming of the Holy Spirit here

              • We see that in John 16:12-13 – the Spirit of truth will guide them into all truth

              • We know that when the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost, the disciples spoke boldly and with confidence about Jesus

          • Jesus continues to reference the future as He talks with His disciples

        • Direct access to the Father (vv. 26-27)

          • In that day,” refers to a time in the future, after Jesus has returned to the Father

          • Asking in Jesus’ name, but speaking directly to the Father

            • The disciples will ask the Father in Jesus’ name

            • Last week I mentioned that praying in Jesus’ name means coming to the Father with Jesus’ authority and in conformity to His nature

            • Jesus is not saying that praying to the Father in His name means that He will ask the Father on their behalf

            • PRINCIPLE #1 – As disciples of Jesus, we have direct access to the Father.

              • Biblical history

                • After the Israelites came out of Egypt, camped at Mt. Sinai, saw the top of the mountain enveloped in smoke and fire, and heard God speak, they were afraid and asked God to speak directly to Moses – Moses would then speak to the people for God

                • When the tabernacle was built, the most Holy Place was where the ark of the covenant was kept and God’s presence dwelt, between the two cherubim

                • Only the High Priest was allowed to enter the most Holy Place

                • The High Priest was the intermediary between God and the people

                • The Israelites would take a perfect lamb to the temple to be sacrificed by the priests in order to cover over their sins

                • The people did not have direct access God, but had to approach Him through the priests

              • Because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, the Israelites and all of humanity, now, have direct access to the Father

                • We don’t have to bring a perfect lamb to church and have the pastor sacrifice it to cover over our sins

                • We don’t have to go to a confessional and ask the priest for forgiveness of our sins

                • We can go directly to God

                • Matthew 27:50-51, And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. ​​ At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. ​​ The earth shook and the rocks split.

                • Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection opened the way for us to have direct access to the Father

                  • Read Ephesians 2:11-18

                  • Ephesians 3:10-12, His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. ​​ In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

                  • Read Hebrews 10:19-25

                • This direct access is only available to those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ

                  • Admit that you are a sinner (Rom. 3:23; Rom. 6:23)

                  • Believe in Jesus (Rom. 5:8; 1 Cor. 15:3b-4)

                  • Choose peace with God (Romans 5:1-2, Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.)

                  • #1 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Believe in Jesus, by faith, and have peace with God.

                  • We can have peace through Christ.

              • As disciples of Jesus Christ, we have direct access to the Father

                • When we struggle with sin, even as disciples of Jesus Christ, we can confess that directly to God (1 John 1:9)

                • If we are struggling with a relationship at home, work, school, etc., we can go directly to God

                • Those of us who are struggling financially, go directly to God

                • When we have health concerns, either long-term or recently diagnosed, we can go directly to God

                • Whenever we experience anxiety and depression, because of life circumstances and everything that is happening in our world, we can go directly to God

                • Whatever we’re dealing with right now, we have a Father who is poised and listening to our cries for help – we just have to go directly to Him

                • Psalm 34:17-18, The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. ​​ The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

                • #2 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Go directly to God in prayer about whatever is troubling me.

            • We can go directly to the Father because He loves us

          • Love of the Father

            • Jesus explains that the Father loves us because we love Jesus and believe that Jesus came from God

            • “God’s loving openness to our prayers is in fact the outworking of God’s prior love to us in ‘giving’ Jesus (cf. 3:16). ​​ Our prayers, based on our having entered a state of loving (pephilēkate, perfect) and believing (pepisteukate, perfect), are therefore premised on God’s prior loving and Jesus’ self-giving implied in the important words ‘I came from God.’” ​​ [Borchert, The New American Commentary, John 12-21, 178s]

          • Jesus explains again God’s plan for Him

        • Returning to the Father (v. 28)

          • It’s pretty straight forward

          • Jesus came from the Father and entered the world to accomplish God’s redemptive plan, through His death, burial, and resurrection

          • When He perfectly completes that plan, He will leave the world and return to the Father

          • The disciples hadn’t experienced that yet, because they were living through it

          • We understand it, because we have God’s Word, the Bible, that tells us the whole story from beginning to end

        • The disciples’ understanding (vv. 29-30)

          • The disciples now believe/understand, or do they?

          • Jesus was telling them that a time/hour was coming in which He would speak plainly to them

            • They thought that hour had come, yet it wouldn’t come until after Jesus’ resurrection

            • Perhaps, for the first time, it finally sank in that Jesus had come from God and would be returning to God, but they still didn’t fully understand His death, burial, and resurrection

          • Powerful theological truths

            • While the disciples make some powerful theological statements, it’s doubtful that they fully comprehended what they were saying

              • Jesus knows all things

                • While on earth, Jesus relied on God to tell Him things that He needed to know

                • This was part of setting aside some of His divine attributes

                • But Jesus, as fully divine, is omniscient (all-knowing)

                • PRINCIPLE #2 – Jesus is omniscient! (all-knowing)

                • That’s a truth and principle that we can hold on to as disciples of Jesus Christ

                  • The COVID-19 pandemic did not catch Jesus by surprise

                  • The racial tensions we’re currently facing in our nation is something He already knew about before we did

                  • The health issues or death of a family member are already known by Him

                  • The financial struggles and relational issues we will face in the future are current knowledge to Jesus

                  • He knows what’s best for us and will never leave us alone

                  • Hebrews 13:5-6, Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” ​​ So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. ​​ What can man do to me?”

                • We can have peace through Christ, because He knows all things

                • The disciples may not have fully understood this when they made the statement, but it would become evident and a truth they would live by in the future

              • Jesus can anticipate our questions without us having to ask

                • “In Jewish thought, the ability to anticipate questions and not needing to be asked is a mark of divinity (see e.g., Josephus, Ant. 6.11.8 §230) . . . In the present instance, the disciples acknowledge that there is no further need to ask Jesus questions to test his religious knowledge; he has often been shown to know others’ thoughts and intentions (e.g., 2:23-25; se Carson 1991: 548).” ​​ [Köstenberger, 479]

                • Because Jesus is all-knowing, He is aware of what we need before we ask

                • When Jesus taught His disciples about prayer, He said this right before giving them the model prayer, Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him (Matthew 6:8)

            • Jesus’ omniscience and ability to anticipate their questions without them having to ask, leads the disciples to say that they believe Jesus came from God

          • The disciples’ belief

            • “The disciples had arrived at the point of a ‘belief’ that they could express. ​​ But typical human words and adequate believing may be far apart in real life. ​​ People may say they believe in Jesus, but that does not mean they have arrived at the point where their life patterns follow their beliefs.” ​​ [Borchert, 180]

            • This is true of people today

              • When we talk with individuals about a relationship with Jesus, many times they’ll admit they believe in God

              • A belief in God does not guarantee spending eternity with Him in heaven, because even the demons believe in God and they shudder (James 2:19)

              • A relationship with Jesus can and should transform us completely – people should be able to recognize a life style/pattern change through the power of the Gospel

            • The disciples may be able to say the words “We believe,” but Jesus tells them that their actions will prove differently

        • This transitions us into the second point

    • Fear Turns To Peace (vv. 31-32)

        • Question instead of statement (v. 31)

          • In the 1984 translation of the NIV, they have the beginning of verse 31 as a statement, “You believe at last!”

            • When we read that, it sounds like a statement of triumph or relief

            • It seems like Jesus is rejoicing with the disciples, but that’s not what is intended here

          • Most translations and scholars agree that it should be a question instead of a statement

            • “Do you now believe?”

            • I came imagine that Jesus’ face showed shock or disbelief when He asks the question

            • Perhaps the question could be stated like this, “Do you now believe, really?” ​​ (it adds the dimension of doubt)

          • The reason that Jesus would be asking the question with doubt in His mind is because He knows what is going to happen in just a few short hours

        • Foretelling the future (v. 32a)

          • We know the events in the garden, because they have been recorded for us

          • After Jesus was arrested, all of the disciples deserted him and fled (Matt. 26:56b; Mark 14:50)

          • While the disciples left Jesus alone, He was not truly alone – the Father was with Him

        • Never alone (v. 32b)

          • The Father was with Jesus throughout His arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection

          • PRINCIPLE #3 – God is always present with His people (omnipresent).

            • The writer of Hebrews quotes Moses

              • Moses spoke to the Israelites as leadership was transitioning to Joshua

              • In Deuteronomy 31:6 he says this, Be strong and courageous. ​​ Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

              • We can hold on to this principle, promise, and truth as disciples of Jesus Christ

                • God is always present with us

                • He is there through every trial and triumph in your life

                • Even when you feel like He is distant, the truth is, He is right there with you – truth triumphs over feelings every time

              • #3 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Claim the promise that God is always with me.

            • We can have peace through Christ, because we know that God is always present with us

          • Jesus’ final thought for His disciples

        • Peace in Christ (v. 33)

          • Peace

            • Jesus has told the disciples about His leaving, about the fact that they would experience the same things He did, about their scattering and leaving Him alone, so that in Him they would have peace

            • Aside from being in Christ, they would not experience true peace

            • “Inner peace is conditional; it can come only through Jesus.” ​​ [Gangel, Holman New Testament Commentary, John, 305]

          • Trouble

            • We live in two realms or realities

            • In the world we will experience trouble – that is inevitable

            • We can experience peace even while going through trouble, when we are in Christ

            • We have to remind ourselves about being connected to the vine – Jesus – and what they means

          • PRINCIPLE #4 – Jesus is all-powerful! (omnipotent)

            • Jesus tells His disciples and us to take heart! – be courageous! – have hope!

            • Even though we will go through trouble in this world, Jesus has overcome the world

            • While we will experience the same things that Jesus did on earth (persecution, hatred, kicked out of the church, etc.) we can have hope, because He has overcome the world

            • His perfect sacrifice on the cross satisfied God’s standard for redemption

            • His resurrection meant that He won over sin and death

            • He has overcome and because of that we can have peace through Him no matter what this world throws at us (COVID-19, racial tensions, relational struggles, health issues, financial strain, fear, anxiety, depression, etc.)

 

  • YOU

    • We can have peace with God, because of Jesus perfect sacrifice

    • We can have peace through Christ, because He knows everything

    • We can have peace through Christ, because He is always present with us

    • We can have peace through Christ, because He is all-powerful and has overcome

 

  • WE

    • These are the truths that we should be sharing with the world as disciples of Jesus Christ

 

CONCLUSION

“In his book Hidden in Plain Sight: The Secret of More, author and pastor Mark Buchanan illustrates God's love through the story of Tracy. He writes:

 

Tracy is one of the worship leaders at our church. One Sunday, as she sat at the piano, she talked about the difficult week she'd just been through. It was chaotic, she said—a mess of petty crises on top of a rash of minor accidents, all mixed up in a soup can of crazy busyness. It had left her weary and cranky. She got up that Sunday to lead worship and felt spent, with nothing more to give.

However, Tracy's 8-year-old daughter, Brenna, helped her gain new perspective earlier that morning. When Tracy had walked into the living room, the window was covered with scrawl. Using a crayon, Brenna had scribbled something across the picture window, top to bottom and side to side.

 

At first, it seemed like one more mess for Tracy to clean up. Then she saw what Brenna had written: love, joy, peace, patience, kindnece, goodnece, faithfulnece, gentlnece and selfcantrol (in Brenna's delightful spelling).

 

Mark writes: ‘Tracy stopped, drank it in. Her heart flooded with light. It was exactly what she needed to be reminded about: the gift of the fruit of the Spirit that arises, not by our circumstances, but by Christ within us.

 

And then Tracy noticed one more thing Brenna had written at the edge of the window: Love one another. Only Brenna, in her creative spelling, had written: Love won another.’

 

As Mark concludes: ‘It's what Jesus has been trying to tell us all along. You were won that way. Now go and do likewise.’”

 

Mark Buchanan, Hidden in Plain Sight: The Secret of More (Thomas Nelson, 2007); submitted by Van Morris, Mount Washington, Kentucky.

 

[https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2007/june/9062507.html].

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