As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!
Introduction—Have you ever tried to be someone your not? You can do it for a while, but you end up going back to who you are. Its how God created you to be. I’m not saying that you can’t improve upon who you are, we all need to do that. Be a little nicer, have a little more patience, clean up your language, etc. I am talking fulfilling a role you are clearly not suppose to filling.
If God created you a male, you can never be a female. If God created you a female you can never be a male. The same goes for your God given roles. That’s why some of us old school men say to younger boys, it is time to act like a man. We may say to younger girls to act like a lady. We know the roles that God has made. If you are a father, I’m sorry, but you cannot fulfill the mother role. The same goes for mom. You can’t be dad. They are 2 entirely different roles.
You see you can’t be someone your not, so this morning I want you to realize that You are not Jesus. Before you think to yourself, I have never claimed to be Jesus, be careful. You and I try to assume the role of Jesus when we choose to be our own Lord. You choose to be the Lord of your life.
When you confess Jesus as Lord, you give up that right and allow Him to be in charge. He is the new boss. He is the one that says follow me. He will not follow you. You are not Jesus.
Read: John 1:19-28
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”
24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
- Confess that you are not Jesus—vs. 19-22
- John the Baptist confesses freely that he is not Jesus
- John had gathered such large crowds when he preached, that the priests went out to investigate.
- When you are given the opportunity to give the credit to Jesus for your ministry, do it freely
- Give Jesus all the credit, remember who you are
- The world wants to know who Jesus is.
- John the Baptist is given opportunity after opportunity to take some credit for his success, and yet he does not
- Whenever you are successful, remember to give Jesus the credit.
- You are not Jesus, so you cannot take credit for something only He do.
- Look at what else they asked John in verse 21, are you Elijah?
- Wow, what a compliment
- Elijah, the prophet. John could have thought, yeah, I could be him.
- After all, the Jews recalled that Elijah had never died. He was carried up to heaven in a whirlwind. They don’t know what he looked liked.
- There was a strange belief that Elijah would return and announce the end of the world
- But John, says no again. I am not Elijah
- The priests asked John again, ok, then tell us who you are
- We have to know. Say something, anything
Illustration—In all of his 95 years, Dr. Billy Graham has always given Jesus the credit. As I was reading a recent interview, he was quoted as saying, I am just a sinner, all the credit goes to God. Wow. If anyone might be able to take a little credit for the millions that have come to Christ under his ministry, it could have been Billy Graham. Billy Graham is not Jesus.
Application—Are you fulfilling a role this morning that you are not entitled to fill? You are not Jesus
- Direct others to Jesus, because you are not Jesus—vs. 23-27
- Today more than ever it is our responsibility to direct people to Jesus
- It is not just my job as your pastor
- I need you to partner with me to see First Baptist become the place where Jesus is Lord and He is exalted, not me or any other church member.
- People need the Lord and you are not Him
- I am not Him
- Our Scripture this morning, should make it clear that we should seek to give almighty God His all deserving credit
- When you invite someone to church, please invite them to come and hear about Jesus
- Let them know that they will not be disappointed
- We will direct them to the One who can save them, guide them, and never let them down
- John the Baptist tells us that even though crowds come to hear him preach, one day Jesus will be here
- John said when that happens Jesus is going to Baptize you with the Holy Spirit, not just water.
- We saw this morning Vanessa baptized with water, but she has been given something much greater than that.
- Vanessa has Jesus in her life and is forever secure with Him
- It wasn’t the water that saved her, it was Jesus
- When Jesus comes into your life, you humble yourself before Him
- John’s statement in verse 27, which says he is not even worthy to untie Jesus’ sandals, refers to a very miniscule duty that only the lowest of all the servants would perform. He said I wont even be worthy enough to do that
Illustration—in the 80’s a man named Vernon Wayne Howell gathered a following by claiming to be a prophet in the line of King David that he would usher in the Messiah’s return. He was able to convince several followers and had several wives and became father to 24 children. He was not Jesus. He ended up in a showdown that was on the news for 51 days in 1993. FBI and ATF workers stormed the compound and 76 lives were lost because of one person claiming to be someone he wasn’t. Most of the world knew him by his legally changed name of David Koresh.
When we follow people who aren’t directing others to Christ. We can become blinded because we take are eyes off of Jesus. You say that could never happen to you or to me. It happens all the time because many are looking for answers to the meaning of life. Only Jesus can fill that void.
Application—Are you following Jesus and are you directing others to follow Him as well today?
- Continue serving because you are not Jesus—vs. 28
- Lastly, I love this about John the Baptist, he continued to serve and fulfill his role even though he was obviously very popular.
- It feels good to be liked.
- It gives us a sense of meaning or purpose.
- That is ok to have those feelings.
- We all need to feel valued
- Many have fallen because of popularity
- You are doing something that others like, and before you know it, it becomes all about you
- Be careful. Watch yourself
- When you think you are able to stand on your own, that is when you get in trouble
- 1 Corinthians 10:12, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”
- You need to serving Jesus like John was; with a humble heart.
- Quick to give Jesus the credit, and knowing your role as you serve
- If your are serving because you want a title or recognition, then it is time to check your heart and motive
- Jesus is the only one with a title that matters, so continue to serve for Him
Illustration—Dr. Paul Powell, retired dean of (Truett Seminary in Waco) preached at a church that I served. One of things that I remember him saying is this: “People will not remember all the titles and degrees you had when you leave this earth. The will only remember what you stood for, and if you left a legacy behind that will last after your gone.” That legacy is Jesus.Application—Are you serving Jesus today? Have you been serving for yourself? Remember you are not Jesus.
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,