As we transition from chapter 4 to chapter 5 in the gospel of John, we enter a new sub-section (chapters 5-10) of the gospel. Over the course of the next 6 chapters, we will see Jesus perform signs and wonders at 4 different feasts. These signs reveal that He is the fulfillment of all that the feasts point to. Yet, He is not received by Jewish leadership. Instead they focus on the fact that the signs, the miracles and healings are taking place on the Sabbath. Therefore, they begin to confront and rebuke Jesus for 'working' on the Sabbath. Jesus' response to these accusations will be the catalyst for his opponents seeking to kill him. In Chapter 5, John presents us with a beautiful example of Jesus' compassion, power, mercy as He reveals himself as the Messiah. He has come not primarily for our physical health, but for our holiness.
In chapters 2-4, Jesus encounters 4 Jewish institutions and shows that He is the fulfillment or the true reality to which they all point. This morning we examine, the 3rd of those four institutions, a rabbi. As Jesus comes to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, many people are in awe of the signs He is doing. Such that a rabbi, one of the teachers of Israel, comes to him at night to discuss the Kingdom of God. Jesus teaches him that we cannot enter the Kingdom of God on our own efforts. In fact, we can't even have saving faith apart from God’s grace first working in us. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves. Salvation is by grace through faith.
In chapters 2-4, Jesus encounters 4 Jewish institutions and shows that He is the fulfillment or the true reality to which they all point. This morning we examine, the 2nd of those four institutions, the temple. As Jesus comes to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, He enters the temple and finds not holy adoration and prayer, but noisy commerce. Overcome with zeal for his Father's house, Jesus cleanses the temple by driving out the animals and money changers. And then defends his actions by offering his accusers a sign by which He will be revealed as the true Messiah.
John's third letter is meant to be an encouragement to Gaius and also a warning. A man, Diotrephes has risen to a position of authority in the church and is harming the the church. He is filled with personal ambition, inhospitable, authoritarian in his leadership and slanders the Apostle John. He stands as the antithesis of biblical leadership. There is no room in the church for this kind of leadership.
John writes again to the same congregation for which he has much love and tender affection for. He writes to warn them about specific deceivers that have gone out and are seeking to infiltrate the church. The church must be on guard against any person or doctrine claiming to go ahead, progress or advance the original message of the gospel delivered once for all to the saints. For such persons who would disseminate such a message, indeed a false gospel, we, individually and corporately, must have nothing to do with them.
John has written that the church might be assured of their salvation and confirmed in their understanding of the gospel. He now concludes that though the world is in the control of the evil one, the church- which finds its origin, being and life in Christ- is secure as it is protected by Christ.
When we have assurance of our salvation, knowing that we are His children, we can have confidence in prayer. We can rejoice that all of our requests that are according to his will shall be answered! God will even use our prayers for a wayward or backslidden brother or sister as the means of reviving them again and restoring them in faith.
As we come to the conclusion of John's epistle, John shares the purpose of his letter, that 'you may know that you have eternal life'. John desires to affirm the faith of those in the church and he wants them to have certainty, confidence that they are in Christ and have received eternal life. God has given them eternal life through his Son, Jesus Christ. If we have faith in the Son, we have received eternal life.
In our text today, John uses courtroom terminologies as he summarizes his case that Jesus is God. Using words like testimony and witness further prove to his readers that what John is stating is fact beyond any doubt. Today we will explore these truths and understand why it is so important to have a right understanding of who Jesus is and what he has accomplished on our behalf.
As long as we live on this earth, we are engaged in a spiritual battle; a battle for our faith, the allegiance of our hearts, even our very souls. Scripture speaks frequently and directly about the spiritual battle we are engaged in. And John specifically encourages and instructs the church how to overcome the world.