As the Lord speaks of his one fake disciple, Judas, he uses the word Devil to describe him. What does the Lord believe about the Devil? What is he? Is he a metaphor, a caricature, a make-believe character, or is he a real being? In this excursus on demonology, we see what Jesus and the whole Bible says about the Devil, and what this means for us today.
John gives us a historical account of the life of Christ and this includes the description of His betrayer, Judas Iscariot. He is “the son of Simon Iscariot.” John shows us that Judas was a real historical person. He is the real human being who betrayed another real human being (the God-man Jesus Christ). We take an excursus in this sermon to bolster the fact that Scripture records historical truth and what this means for our lives.
Sometimes people who once walked with the Lord fall away. Surprisingly, we see an example of this even among the Lord’s disciples. But Jesus is unfazed by His defectors. Even when it comes to the disciples who remain with Him, the Lord reveals that His confidence is in the sovereign plan of God, because salvation is the demonstration of the sovereign power of God.
Many of the Lord’s disciples grumbled at His claim to be the Son of God from heaven. As the Lord explains, some of these were unbelievers, and they would not believe even if they were to see Him ascend back into heaven. Unbelief is man’s deplorable condition because he is spiritually dead. But the Spirit regenerates those whom the Father has chosen, so that they believe and enter into life.
Jesus explains five more truths about those who are saved.: 1) the saved have a spiritual life, literally, from conversion to eternity; 2) the saved will physically rise from the dead; 3) the saved are spiritually satisfied in Christ; 4) the saved are yielded to Christ; and 5) the saved depend on Christ for their spiritual life.
Jesus is the Son of God incarnate from heaven. The Lord continues to affirm this with the metaphor of eating (faith) and bread (Himself). He who has eternal life believes in Jesus, who is truly human, flesh and blood, the incarnation of the Son of God from heaven. Eternal life is a gift to all who trust and believe in this person of Jesus Christ.
The Lord employs the metaphor of eating and living to powerfully portray what salvation is. Saving faith is to take in the words of Christ and let Him and His authority abide inside of us. And salvation is the undying and forever living fellowship with the holy God that is only possible through the forgiveness of sins through Christ’s death on the cross.
The Father is sovereign in salvation, and the Lord appeals to Scripture to bolster this truth. Moreover, whether it is the future or the current, the Lord will fully carry out His role in the Father’s plan. He will raise the elect on the last day, and He will stay constant in His current duty to proclaim salvation to the lost, i.e., to believe in Him enduringly.
What an amazing person is the Lord Jesus Christ, who never misapplied the sovereignty of the Father but always fully obeyed His commands. Even while people were grumbling (about Him!), our Lord is unfazed and He stays focused on what God is sovereignly accomplishing. May the Spirit of our God conform us evermore to Jesus’ wonderful and wondrous likeness.
Our guest speaker gives us an encouragement from the fledgling (yet exemplary!) church of the Thessalonians. They were a church remembered for their fruitfulness, their faithfulness, their discipleship and their reputation as a people truly converted from their idolatrous past.
Spiritual hunger and thirst are real. And apart from faith in Christ, the longing for spiritual life will never be satisfied. God sent His Son into the world to give THIS life (and that eternally!) to those who believe. But if eyewitnesses of Jesus’ miracles (the crowd) did not believe, who would ever believe? Jesus’ answer reveals a divine truth about true believers.
The crowd goes to great lengths to catch up with Jesus but is spiritually blind. In the Lord’s conversation with them, we see four marks of their spiritual blindness: preoccupation with the needs of this life, neglect of the work of faith, heedlessness to the sign of God, and incorrigibility with regard to the words of the Lord. May we not be blind as they.