[SW276] 04/07/2017 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017
“Jesus, the Savior”
Jesus is the Savior! Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift (2Corinthians 9:15)! But the church-at-large has forgotten to mention why we must be saved!
The Word of God says we must be saved from the wrath of God. That is why God the Father sent God the Son! That is His expression of love to the people He created!
Text: John 3:14-21
Truly, God’s timing is perfect, this being the perfect text for Palm Sunday, when we remember Christ’s Triumphal Entry and for this Holy Week when we remember His death and resurrection.
In Verse 14, Jesus says He is like the serpent on the pole (Numbers 21:9). The events of that time were a foreshadowing.
So we must go back and look, and see that the people had spoken against the Lord and against Moses — they rebelled (sinned) against God.
So God sent fiery serpents to bite and kill people. Did He want to send such a plague? No! He does not desire that any should perish but that all come to repentance (2Peter 3:9)! But He is righteous and just, and their continued rebellion and refusal to repent — their own actions — forced Him to judge them.
But some of the people cried, “We have sinned! Moses, please intercede for us!” He did. Oh, I tell you, Christ is our Intercession, once for all (Hebrews 17:25). In what way did He intercede on our behalf?
The Lord told Moses to make a bronze fiery serpent and set it on a standard (a pole). When someone was bitten, if he looked at the serpent on the pole, he lived! The Son of God went to the pole — the cross — carrying our sin. That’s why He compares Himself to the serpent on the pole.
And if you fix your eyes on Him as the people did, He will save you from God’s wrath and give you eternal life!
Whoever believes in Him shall not perish (in everlasting burnings, per Mark 9:43-48) but will have eternal life, zoe, life as God has it, here and now inside of them, and then in heaven when their bodies fall away!
Eternal life is this, Jesus says — knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (John 17:3). This word “knowing” means a holy intimacy, experiencing Him continually. That cannot be done if you choose to remain rebellious. The Bible says sin separates you from God (Isaiah 59:2).
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD — All of us! Because we are the children of Adam, we rebel against God, and are thus under His wrath (John 3:36). But He wants to save us — it is His act of love toward those He created.
THAT HE GAVE — God’s Gift to us is Jesus Christ. We will never be able to calculate the cost, the price paid. I tell you that you are not your own but have been bought with a price (1Corinthians 6:20), even the very sacrifice of God’s Lamb!
HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON — Jesus Christ’s eternal position from before anything was (John 1:1-2).
THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM — Whoever believes Jesus Christ is who He says He is, and knows that they need a Savior to rescue them from God’s wrath and forgive their past sins — I tell you, it is not mere mental/intellectual assent, “Yes, I agree that this is the truth.” It is repentance and belief that you MUST be saved!
SHALL NOT PERISH — Shall not! Perish in everlasting burnings (again, Mark 9:43-48). God does not desire that any should perish, but all should come to repentance (again, 2Peter 3:9)!
BUT WILL HAVE ZOE! — Life as God has it, eternally, starting here and now and continuing forever and ever. Amen! It is His abundant life in you, to the full, ’til it overflows (John 10:10)!
Think on these things!
There is no other way by which we MUST be saved (Acts 4:12). We MUST be saved!
Jesus Christ’s purpose in being sent into the world was to go to a cross and bear the punishment YOU and I deserve for OUR rebellion. He is the wrath-bearer (Isaiah 53:5). If you will fix our eyes on Him, if you believe He is who He says He is, He will give you eternal life!
But when He returns, He will be the Judge, as I have already spoken (see John 5:22). What, how and who will He judge?
Here is the judgment —
#1 — The Light (Jesus Christ) has come
#2 — Men and women loved darkness because their deeds were evil
#3 — Everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come into it, or his deeds will be exposed. I hated the Light for many years, but there came a time when I fixed my eyes on Him! And I did the truth —
#4 — He who practices (does) the truth (anyone who does what Jesus has just told them they MUST do — repent and believe), comes to the Light. By this action on the part of those who obey these words of Jesus, it then becomes perfectly clear and visible that God has done something, even giving them eternal life! It shines out of them! They radiate His glory, and nations and kings come to the brightness of their shining (Isaiah 60:3)! They have become the lights of the world (Matthew 5:14)!
It is your choice, then — either eternal burnings or eternal life.
If you refuse, because you do not want the evil in you revealed, you will remain under the wrath of God (again, John 3:36).
If you repent and then come into the Light, He will take the evil from you! If you gaze upon Him as the Israelites gazed upon the serpent on the pole, if you believe He is who He says He is, you will have eternal life, here and now, and then with Him forever!
And this promise will be yours, from 1Corinthians 2:9 and Isaiah 64:4 — “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man — all that God has prepared for those who love Him!”