07 October 2013

MISPLACED AFFECTIONS [PART3]


John 6:41-59

The biggest problem with man [meaning mankind] is that they cannot get pass the idea that they need saving. Blinded by their own ignorance to the fact they are dead! Not literally but spiritually. The Bible teaches that man, since the fall, in his natural corrupt state, has lost all ability of the will to do any spiritual good accompanying salvation and is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself. Hence the fact, people don’t think they need saving because they already think they’re? Good people. The bible declares differently about the state of natural man. The sinfulness of man’s natural state: “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” Gen. 6:5. The misery of man's natural state: “We.. .were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” Eph. 2:3. Man’s utter inability to recover himself “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” Rom. 5:6. In this unregenerate, fallen state, man has no ability to do anything spiritually good. Man is a slave; he is in Satan’s prison house and does not have the key to get out. How great was the liberty of the will before the fall, that is, as God made Adam? The testimony of Scripture answers this question “Truly, this only have I found: that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes” Eccl. 7:29. “Schemes” means that……. Adam and Eve, not content with their present knowledge and happiness, they sought out new ways and means of being wiser and happier than God made them by our nature we are depraved we seek what’s best for us which is not God.

David penned these words “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” Ps. 51:5. Sin causes us to have misplaced affections as we continue to see in this passage of scripture! In this unregenerate state, men are spiritually blind and cannot see, spiritually deaf and cannot hear, and what is worse, they are dead in trespasses and sins. But here is the hope and the promise! There is a God in heaven who can open blind eyes, who can unstop deaf ears, and, bless His holy name, who can and does raise the dead. There are many things we can learn from this passage or encounter! Why? The crowd is getting antsy and irritated with Jesus. And this speaks volumes today whenever that name is mentioned in a conversation or discussion.

CHRIST’S STATUS WHEN HE WAS UPON THE EARTH WAS A STUMBLING BLOCK TO THE NATURAL MAN (V41-V43)

See, if Christ came in Kingly cloths and lavished His money, prosperity upon the people and did this coming with a great army. I think they would have not had a problem with where Jesus came from and who He was born too. This is the same ignorance we see today in the church culture! A Jesus to shine my pocket book and keep me healthy. I have a good friend [his name is Virgil Patterson] who is dying at this very moment of cancer and to hear that they're worshipping Christ through this, makes me appreciate what Christ is doing in my life more today through the eternal promise found in the Gospel. Jesus, God in flesh came as a simple humble man born into a poor family, who came from a town that according to the Jews nothing good can come out of that town. Remember what Nathanael said to Philip? "……Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" John 1:45. This shouldn't surprise us church family! This is human nature showing it’s true colors. In 1 Cor 1:22-23 says  “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, the cross was an offence to where the gospel was preached, just as it is in our generation. There are many today who want to do away with Jesus and His people.

MAN’S INABILITY OR HELPLESSNESS TO REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL (V44-V46)

Now, the reason why man cannot come to Christ, is not because he cannot come, so far as his physical body or his mere power of mind is concerned, but because his nature is so corrupt that he has neither the will nor the power to come to Christ unless drawn by the Spirit. See, in our corrupt nature we don’t want a Saviour…..because we love our sin too much. Just as I can’t tell my brain to do the EDGE WALK at the CN Tower is the same reason why people are unable to come to Christ on their own. They love darkness rather than light and without the Spirit’s work we would continue in sin. In John 3:19-20 Jesus said “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” Paul said “no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known." "There is no fear of God before their eyes." Rom 3:11-18. Apart from God drawing us, none of us would ever be saved! Have you ever wondered or ask the question! Why would He save me and not the closet person to you? Like a father or mother,  brother or sister, an aunty or uncle,  cousin or maybe a best friend or co- worker. You would probably say and defend them by saying “They are all pretty decent people….some might behave better then you did, before salvation came into your life.” Have you ever asked why me and not them Lord? What is preventing them from receiving the same blessing that I received so long ago? The answer: there inability to receive the things of God because they love their sin way too much and truthfully, they are hostile towards whom we must give an account and so are a great majority of people today. If you don’t believe me! Then ask them?

SALVATION IS A PRESENT BLESSING NOT A FUTURE ONE (V47-V51)

“believes has eternal life” Trusting in God’s self-revelation in Christ brings present blessing. Not only do we have the hope of eternal life, but we also enjoy the daily life that promises today! [Present tense]. Christ was speaking in the present, meaning now! Christ again in speaking of Himself as the living bread that gives eternal life not food in general. See, the bread the Israelites ate in the wilderness sustained then in their physical, but we need to remember, all the fathers still died later on after eating the manna. Again, Jesus isn’t talking about food, but using food as a way for them to understand that He is the One! The only one who came from Heaven to save lost and helpless sinners from eternal judgement and torment? As John already said earlier! “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:36. Jesus was offering Himself, because He knew we can’t do anything to attain eternal life in and of ourselves!

THE WONDERFUL FELLOWSHIP WE RECEIVE WHEN WE COMMUNION WITH CHRIST “THE BREAD OF LIFE” (V52-V58)

This is where our fellowship lies…..with the only one who can save our blind, wretched and depraved souls from judgement and wrath “the Bread of life” Jesus’ point was an analogy that has spiritual rather than physical significance. Just as eating and drinking are necessary for physical life; so is belief in the sacrificial death on the cross necessary for eternal life. Once again the Jew’s failed to understand the spiritual truth behind Jesus’ illustration. Why? Because according to Lev 17:10-12 it says "If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people.  For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood. The Jews were unable to go beyond the mere physical perspective which made them angry and confused! See eating here displays spiritual truth!

1. Just as food is useless unless it’s eaten, so also is spiritual truth if it is not consumed! Merely knowing the truth, without acting on it, both profit nothing.

2. Eating is prompted by hunger; those who are full are not interested in food. In the same way sinners who are satisfied with their sin have no hunger for spiritual things.

3. Eating involves trusting, no one knowingly eats spoiled or rotten food. The act of eating requires faith that this food is edible.

4. Eating is personal. No one can eat it a meal for another; there is no such thing as eating by proxy. Nor is there salvation by proxy. As Psalm 49:7 says “Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life,”

Our fellowship and communion is in His body and in His blood, which reminds us of His grace and love for saving our wretched souls. He did this by drawing you and I out of darkness into His glorious light though the Holy Spirit prompting. Sadly, they didn’t get it!  Because they were blinded by their own ignorance, because they love darkness rather than light! As the bible says “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1Cor 1:18. See! By taking part in His body and His blood is an outward profession of an inward change as we remember His death for sinners like us. Acknowledging our desperate need for a Saviour, because of our inability to make things right in our own strength! Receiving the Lord’s Supper in faith is a means by which our union with Christ is strengthened. What we see here is the Saviour’s preparation for future things, since He hasn’t gone to the cross yet…..but for us today, it’s a daily reminder of His love in our lives through the gospel that saves.

This is what makes the gospel so precious and personal for me! He saved me by His will and by His sovereign power. As one preacher said “God’s sovereign grace does not annihilate man’s will: it overcomes his unwillingness. It does not destroy his will but frees it from sin. It does not stifle or eliminate his conscience but sets it free from darkness. Grace regenerates and re-creates man in his entirety, and in renewing him, causes him to love and consecrate himself to God freely. So what’s keeping you from coming to the table of grace according to this passage?Answer! YOU and your misplaced affections. I came across an interesting post who heard an evangelist use two analogies to describe what happens in our redemption. “He said sin has such a strong hold on us, a stranglehold, that it’s like a person who can’t swim, who falls overboard in a raging sea, and he’s going under for the third time and only the tops of his fingers are still above the water; and unless someone intervenes to rescue him, he has no hope of survival, his death is certain. And unless God throws him a life preserver, he can’t possibly be rescued. And not only must God throw him a life preserver in the general vicinity of where he is, but that life preserver has to hit him right where his fingers are still extended out of the water, and hit him so that he can grasp hold of it. It has to be perfectly pitched. But still that man will drown unless he takes his fingers and curls them around the life preserver and God will rescue him. But unless that tiny little human action is done, he will surely perish. The other analogy is this: A man is desperately ill, sick unto death, lying in his hospital bed with a disease that is fatal. There is no way he can be cured unless somebody from outside comes up with a cure, a medicine that will take care of this fatal disease. And God has the cure and walks into the room with the medicine. But the man is so weak he can’t even help himself to the medicine; God has to pour it on the spoon. The man is so sick he’s almost comatose. He can’t even open his mouth, and God has to lean over and open up his mouth for him. God has to bring the spoon to the man’s lips, but the man still has to swallow it. Now, if we’re going to use analogies, let’s be accurate. The man isn’t going under for the third time; he is stone cold dead at the bottom of the ocean. That’s where you once were when you were dead in sin and trespasses and walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air. And while you were dead hath God quickened you together with Christ. God dove to the bottom of the sea and took that drowned corpse and breathed into it the breath of his life and raised you from the dead. And it’s not that you were dying in a hospital bed of a certain illness, but rather, when you were born you were born D.O.A. That’s what the Bible says: that we are morally stillborn.”

This was you and I, before the power of God drew us to Himself! Sinking and dying on a hospital bed. Isn’t it amazing that God saved you? And doesn’t it sadden you that you know people who are still dead and hostile towards the things of God? I want you to think about that person right now! They could be seating here in this sanctuary? We need to pray for the power of God to bring them to foot of the cross in newness of life.  “living Bread” But we must never stop praying for them! And don’t be surprised or discouraged when people take a long time to understand the good news of the gospel. They're dead according to the scriptures until God breathes new life into them; just like it took you and I, before salvation came into our lives. Our confidence should not rest in ourselves, but in the power of God to change the will of the unbeliever who has misplaced affections. Again “for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Rom 1:16. Spend time today praying that the Lord would give faith to an unbeliever in your life. That they would turn from their sin and partake in “the Bread of Life”

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