We’ll Leave The Light On For You

,

Leave the Light on for the lost.

John(70) (Part of the Believe(67) series)
by Stuart Johns(118) on May 5, 2019 (Sunday Morning(156))

Salvation(45), Witnessing(8)

Believe

We’ll Leave The Light On For You.

(John 1:6-13)

 

INTRODUCTION

Motel 6 Radio Ads (stop after “‘Recycled Words’ 30 sec.” at 2:14)

 

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cVRMGEL5GY&t=198s].

 

BODY

  • ME

    • Always pray and not give up

        • During my devotions on Thursday God used Luke 18:1-8 to encourage me about praying and continuing to pray about several items

        • Luke 18:1, Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

        • I don’t know about you, but there can be times in my life when I stop praying about certain things because it seems as though God is not answering

        • I had two prayer requests just like that and through my devotions, I have started praying for those two requests again

        • I also added some additional requests to my list of things that I need to continue to pray about

        • One of those prayer requests was for salvation for a particular individual

 

  • WE

    • Praying for salvation for family and friends

        • Are there individuals in your sphere of influence (family, friends, or coworkers) that you used to pray for about salvation, but you’ve stopped?

        • I want to encourage you to begin praying for them again

        • It’s important that we pray and not give up

 

John introduces us to his first witness concerning the Light (Jesus). ​​ This individual was not the light, but testified about the light. ​​ He did his job very well. ​​ He never gave up telling others about the Light. ​​ What John wants us to do is follow the example of this first witness. ​​ He wants us to . . .

 

BIG IDEA – Leave the Light on for the lost.

 

Let’s pray

 

  • GOD (John 1:6-13)

    • The Witness (vv. 6-9)

        • The witness identified (v. 6)

          • John, the evangelist, summarizes John the Baptist’s life in one sentence

          • Luke gives a more thorough description of John the Baptist’s birth and ministry in Luke 1

            • John’s conception is miraculous

            • His name means “the Lord is gracious”

            • John the Baptist was a relative of Jesus

            • We know he was to be set apart, before he was even born

          • We see that the message that John the Baptist was bringing was not something he made up on his own

            • His message came from God, because he came from God

            • “John did not design the message; he was sent on a mission by God to deliver it.” ​​ [Carter and Wredberg, Christ-Centered Exposition: ​​ Exalting Jesus in John, 16]

            • “The phrase ‘sent from God’ is reminiscent of the OT description of a prophet whose role was to function as a spokesperson for God (e.g., 2 Chron. 24:19; 25:15; Jer. 7:25; 25:4; 28:9; 35:15; 44:4; Ezek. 2:3).” ​​ [Köstenberger, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, John, 32]

              • We shouldn’t dismiss or marginalize the significance of that idea too quickly

              • Remember that from the end of the Old Testament (Malachi) to the beginning of the New Testament was a 400 year period when the Israelites did not hear from God

              • Now, as John the Baptist arrives on the scene we see a phrase that was used for God’s prophets in the OT being used once again

              • John the Baptist is God’s messenger, His witness, His spokesperson

          • Once John, the evangelist, identifies the witness, he immediately explains what his purpose and goal was

        • The purpose and goal of the witness (v. 7-8)

          • Purpose – to testify about the light

            • John the Baptist was not the light, but he was a witness to the light

            • A witness does not direct attention to themselves, but rather tells what they know and have heard about a situation or person

            • “When the sun is shining in all its beauty, who are the ones unconscious of the fact? ​​ Who need to be told it is shining? ​​ The blind! ​​ How tragic, then, when we read that God sent John to ‘bear witness of the light.’ ​​ How pathetic that there should be any need for this! ​​ How solemn the statement that men have to be told ‘the light’ is now in their midst. ​​ What a revelation of man’s fallen condition. (John, 26) ​​ [A. W. Pink cited by Carter and Wredberg, 16]

            • God had given John wisdom about Himself and the Messiah, so he could tell what he heard and knew

            • John was simply pointing others to Jesus

            • We’ll see this in John 1:35 when we get there

          • Goal – so that all men might believe

            • His purpose was to be a witness that testified about the light

            • The goal of his witness and testimony was that, through him, all men might believe

              • When it mentions men here it’s in a general sense, meaning men and women (all of humanity)

              • Here is the first use of the word “believe” in John’s Gospel

              • John the Baptist is directing his disciples, and all others who are listening to him, to believe that Jesus is the Messiah

              • What John the Baptist wants is not just head knowledge about Jesus, but an “active, relational trust in Jesus Christ.” ​​ [Köstenberger, 34]

              • We’ll see how he expresses this in the coming weeks

          • PRINCIPLE – God’s desire for His people is that they witness about Jesus.

            • Have you turned off the Light of the Gospel in your life?

              • Perhaps you’ve given up on that family member, friend, or coworker

              • Maybe you’ve never shared your testimony with anyone before, which means you’ve never turned on the Light of the Gospel – your family, friends, and coworkers may not even know you are a Christian

              • Whether you’ve turned off the Light of the Gospel in your life or never turned it on, today is the day to turn on the Light of the Gospel and leave it on for the lost

            • My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Be a witness for Jesus Christ on a daily basis.

          • There is a transition that takes place between verse 8 and verse 9, from talking about the witness to talking about the light

        • The light was coming (v. 9)

          • The true light

            • “True” means, “real” or “genuine” ​​ [Carson, The Pillar New Testament Commentary: ​​ The Gospel According to John, 122]

            • I’m reminded of the movie The Truman Show starring Jim Carrey

              • He’s an insurance salesman who lives in what seems to be a perfect community

              • Everything runs like clockwork

              • He eventually realizes that his whole life is actually a reality TV show

              • The producers are controlling everything that happens in his life, including the sunrise and sunset

              • The sky is not real, but actually projections

              • The sun and moon are not real, but rather computer generated

              • He’s not experiencing true light, but manufactured light

            • What sets Christianity apart from all other religions and cults is what they believe about Jesus Christ (who He was and is, and what He came to earth to accomplish)

              • All other religions and cults will paint Jesus as a good teacher, a wise rabbi, another prophet, etc.

              • They are simply pointing to an imitation and not the real Light

              • John 8:12, When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. ​​ Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

              • While John the Baptist is pointing to Jesus, Jesus is pointing to God

            • Jesus, as the Light, is available to every person

              • Jesus is God’s perfect plan to deal with humanity’s sin (we’ll unwrap this in verses 12 and 13)

              • Everyone is invited to follow Him

              • No one is excluded from the invitation

              • As we’ll see, though, not everyone accepts the invitation

            • John explains next that Jesus’ coming was foretold

          • Was coming into the world

            • The way this verse has been translated leads us to understand that Jesus’ coming was foretold

            • We see, throughout the Old Testament, that many of the prophets foretold Jesus’ coming

        • John, the evangelist, doesn’t waste time, but skims over the 400 years of silence from the Old Testament to the New Testament and states that Jesus was in the world

    • The Light (vv. 10-13)

        • Not recognized by the world (v. 10)

          • In the world

            • What the Gospel writer is expressing here is that Jesus didn’t just pop in to the world for a quick visit

            • He became flesh and made His dwelling among humanity (John 1:14)

            • Jesus lived on the earth for 33 years, before He gave His life on the cross for all of humanity’s sin

          • Creator of the world

            • He created the world together with God

            • The world that is being referred to here are human beings and not vegetation, water, wind, animals, etc.

            • “In other words, Jesus came into this world, and all of creation acknowledged Him. ​​ The winds obeyed Him. ​​ The water supported Him. ​​ The rocks were ready to cry out to Him. ​​ But there was one segment of creation that received Him not: ​​ man.” ​​ [Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary, New Testament, 437]

          • Rejection of God and Jesus

            • What we see is the sinful nature at work

            • The Greek word for “recognize” is better translated as “know”

              • In our culture we define “know” as head knowledge – facts, statistics, etc.

              • In the Greek, the word actually means “more than intellectual knowledge, but rather ‘to be in right relation’” ​​ [Rogers & Rogers, The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament, 176]

            • We don’t want to be in a right relationship with God as our Creator, but rather we want to rebel against Him and go our own way (we willfully turn away from God)

            • Carter and Wredberg explain it well [Carter and Wredberg, 16]

              • “Jesus made our eyes, yet we refused to see his glory.”

              • “Jesus made our ears, yet we refused to listen to his words.”

              • “Jesus made our heads, yet we refused to bow before him.”

          • “Christmas is not about the living God coming to tell us everything's alright. John's gospel isn't about Jesus speaking the truth and everyone saying: ‘Of course! Why didn't we realize it before?’ It is about God shining his clear, bright torch into the darkness of our world, our lives, our hearts, our imaginations—and the darkness not comprehending it. It's about God, God as a little child, speaking words of truth, and nobody knowing what he's talking about.”

            N. T. Wright, "What Is This Word?" ChristianityToday.com
            (12-21-06).

            [https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2007/november/christmasabouthumanity.html]

          • John takes it a step further and narrows the focus to a specific people group

        • Not received by the Jews (v. 11)

          • His own

            • This is a reference to the Jewish nation

            • They were God’s chosen people, with the responsibility of showing all other nations what being in a relationship with God was supposed to look like

            • We see through the prophets that the Israelites had been at this for quite a while

              • Isaiah 65:2-3, All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations – a people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick.

              • Jeremiah 7:25-26, From the time your forefathers left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. ​​ But they did not listen to me or pay attention. ​​ They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their forefathers.

            • Paul was passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ

              • As he began his ministry, we initially find him going to the synagogues first to share the Gospel with his own people, the Jews

              • When they kicked him out of the synagogue, he would begin teaching the Gentiles

              • He desperately tried to reach the Jews with the Gospel, and yet, suffered heartache when rejected

              • Romans 9:1-4a, I speak the truth in Christ – I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit – I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. ​​ For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel.

              • We should have that same conviction about our own people

            • The Jews did not receive Jesus as their Messiah

          • They didn’t receive Him

            • Easter has just passed and we know from Holy Week that Jesus was rejected by the Jews

            • The religious leaders stirred the people up to demand that Pilot release Barabbas instead of Jesus

            • We also know that the religious leaders encouraged the people to cry out, “Crucify Him! ​​ Crucify Him!”

          • While most Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah, we know that some received Him (Nicodemus & Joseph of Arimathea), which is what John explains in verses 12-13

        • God’s initiative (vv. 12-13)

          • All

            • This takes us back to verse 9 where Jesus, as the Light, is available for every person

            • Everyone is given the same opportunity to receive and believe in the name of Jesus Christ

            • It’s a personal decision that each person has to make individually

            • When we receive Jesus and believe in His name we are saying several things

              • I am a sinner, I know I’ve done wrong things (Rom. 3:23; 6:23)

              • I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, was buried, and came alive again in 3 days to take my punishment for sin (1 Cor. 15:3-4)

              • I repent of my sins, turn to Jesus as the master of my life

            • When we genuinely communicate those things to God, He promises us that we have the right to become His children

            • PRINCIPLE – God will allow anyone to be His child when they receive Jesus and believe in His name.

          • Children of God

            • Perhaps you are ready to make that decision today

              • You may be ready to receive Jesus and believe in His name

              • It’s not unusual for people to make an intellectual decision without a genuine desire to be in a right relationship with God – maybe you’re ready for the decision to move from your head to your heart

              • Today may be the day that you claim the right to become a child of God

              • My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Receive Jesus and believe in His name, so I can become a child of God.

            • If we are children of God then one day we will live with Him where He’s at – Heaven!

          • Born of God

            • “We can only be saved through the direct intervention of God.” ​​ [Carter and Wredberg, 18]

            • As human beings we try gain God’s acceptance in three ways

              • Heritage or race (natural descent)

                • “Descent” in the Greek is literally “bloods”

                • It’s the idea of a bloodline or family line

                • This was something that the Jews thought would get them into heaven and a right relationship with God

                • If they descended from Abraham, then they were good, no worries

                • Sometimes we look at our heritage and see godly parents, grandparents, and great grandparents and can think that we are good with God – Christianity is my heritage

                • Some have even thought that because there were pastors in their family line that they somehow were “in” with God without making a personal decision to receive Jesus and believe in His name

              • Sincerity or human comparisons (human decision)

                • This certainly has the idea of passion between a husband and wife in coming together to procreate

                • “The phrase ‘of human decision’ renders the literal ‘will of flesh,’ whereby ‘flesh’ does not denote what is sinful (as it does so often in Paul’s writings), but merely relates to what is natural as opposed to what is supernatural.” ​​ [Köstenberger, 40]

              • Effort or human calculations (husband’s will)

                • This refers to the OT implication of male headship/leadership in the home

                • More specifically about men taking the lead in sexual intercourse, resulting in procreation

            • All three of those ways will not result in a person being in a right relationship with God

              • God is the One who took the initiative in providing salvation through His Son, Jesus

              • Through Jesus death, burial, and resurrection, He made a way for us to become His child

 

  • YOU

    • Leave the Light on for the lost

        • If you’ve turned the Light of the Gospel off in your life, it’s time to turn it back on

        • If you’ve never turned the Light of the Gospel on in your life, it’s time to turn it on

    • Children of God

        • You can turn on the Light of the Gospel in your life for the first time today by receiving Jesus and believing in His name

        • One of the first steps for a new Christian is to tell others what Jesus has done for them – that’s being a witness

 

  • WE

    • We are called to be witnesses about Jesus Christ to those in our sphere of influence who are lost

    • Jesus commanded His disciples and us to Pursue, Grow, and Multiply Disciples

CONCLUSION

“Patrick Henry once said, ‘The most cherished possession I wish I could leave you is my faith in Jesus Christ, for with Him and nothing else you can be happy, but without Him and with all else, you’ll never be happy’ (cited in Detzler, p. 39).” ​​ [Gangel, Holman New Testament Commentary, John, 13].

 

While we cannot leave our faith with our family, friends, and coworkers, we can certainly leave the Light of the Gospel on for them. ​​ We can share the Light of the world with them.

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