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—All of us have fears of some sort. Fear can be quite gripping for some, and only impact others very mildly. Fear is a very real emotion. Even the most macho of the machos has a fear of something. Of course they wont tell you what it is, but they do.
I want you to know right from the start, that if you have some sort of fear it did not come from God. How do I know that? In 1 Timothy 1:7, it states that God has not given us a Spirit of Fear, but one of power, love and sound mind. So whatever fear you are facing today, remember that God has not given you that spirit of fear. He has given you a spirit of power.
1 John 4:4 says: You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
So if the you are a Christ follower today, then you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you and the Holy Spirit is that spirit of power hat we read in 1 Timothy 1:7. Since the power you have is greater that any other spirit of this world, there is no need to fear. Greater is he that is you that the one that is on the world.
Read: John 6:16-24, NIV
When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.
- Fear can be a frightening emotion
- Fear can come from the unknown. We may be tasked with an assignment and we have no idea how to make it happen, so for some fear comes into play.
- In our Scripture this morning, the disciples are on the water, in a boat, with bad weather, and no Jesus.
- I read that and I am scared already. Rough water, nighttime, windy, no Jesus on board. I get it, I’m scared.
- So, how are we to handle times when we are afraid? Fearful? Scared?
- Some of us have to think happy thoughts, others of us close our eyes, and others may sing, and yet others may become paralyzed, unable to move.
- We should turn our thoughts and prayers to the One who has overcome this world and that is Jesus.
- Remember He has given us a spirit of power, and love, and sound mind.
- Those are the key ingredients we need in our times of fear.
- We have to learn how to trust in the One who has been through all of the fearful, scary stuff that we may be going through or might be going to go through.
Illustration—One summer night during a severe thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was about to turn the light off when he asked in a trembling voice, “Mommy, will you stay with me all night?” Smiling, the mother gave him a warm, reassuring hug and said tenderly, “I can’t dear. I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.” A long silence followed. At last, it was broken by a shaky voice saying, “The big sissy!”
Dr. Tony Evans, a pastor in Dallas, says when he was a boy, and it began to thunder, his mama would tell every to turn everything off and be quiet. God was speaking to us and showing us His power.
Application—Are your emotions getting the best of you? Turn to Jesus for security and peace.
- Fear is not from Jesus
- Jesus is love and He is peace. He does not bring fear.
- Now there some here this morning that should have fear of Jesus, not because he gives fear, but because you should be fearful of living eternally separated from Him. Now that’s real fear.
- Once you have settled the battle of your eternity, and that means that you know for sure that when you die, you know beyond a shadow of doubt where you are going, then you can have peace.
- Once you have peace, know that fear doesn’t come from Jesus.
- As the disciples are in the boat, at night, rowing, fighting the waves, the wind, and I would assume rain or what appeared to be rain, since the wind would probably blow the water into the boat, they see Jesus coming towards the boat.
- That must have been something to see. Jesus wasn’t swimming either, he was walking on the water. Wow, walking on the water. No water skis, no boogie board, and no life vest. Just Jesus and the Water
- Why does Jesus walk on the water? What was He trying to prove?
- Why didn’t the disciples recognize Him? In Matthew’s Gospel account of this story, the writer says that the disciples thought they had seen a ghost.
- Matthew 14:25-33 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
- If the disciples had been with Christ, why would they think He was a ghost?
- This is why: Faith and Fear cannot live in the same heart.
- If you are here today, and you are a fearful person, you too may believe you have seen a ghost if Jesus were to walk on water.
- God expects us to have faith. Faith that can overcome any emotion we have.
- When our Lord walked on water, He was revealing His deity to us. Deity means that Jesus reveals Himself as God and all His power.
- You see, I don’t know about you, but I know I am very glad that Jesus showed His deity. He wanted us to have that assurance that we can trust Him, and we don’t have to be afraid. We need not be fearful over things we cannot control.
- Do not Fear church.
Illustration—Comfort zones are real. We like our comfort zone. It is our refuge, our place of calm, and a place of safety. A comfort zone can also become a crutch, if you know what I mean. Our comfort zones are where we create our boundaries. Our boundaries should never be at the expense of our obedience to Jesus. He may be asking you this morning to come out onto the water and move your comfortable boundary. Jesus says walk with me on this water so that I can show you how to live the life of faith and trust. You see as we live our lives in the comfort zone, there is all this water around us that Jesus is asking us to walk on. Do Not Fear this morning.
Application—Are you fearful to follow Christ? Do Not Fear this moring
- Fear can be overcome with the Prince of Peace
- One of the many attributes and titles that the Bible describes Jesus with is the Prince of Peace.
- Jesus is peace and he cam to give us peace.
- The feeling of peace is a wonderful thing. Just knowing that it will be ok.
- When you fear and are afraid,
Illustration—Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns
Oh what I would do to have The kind of faith it takes To climb out of this boat I’m in Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is And He’s holding out His hand
But the waves are calling out my name And they laugh at me Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed The waves they keep on telling me Time and time again. “Boy, you’ll never win!” ”You’ll never win!”
[Chorus] But the voice of truth tells me a different story The voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!” The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory” Out of all the voices calling out to me I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.
Application—Do you know that Prince of Peace this morning?Conclusion—Fear is a real emotion, but it does not define you. Jesus Christ is what defines you. Do not fear is what Jesus is saying to you. Give your life and heart to Jesus and know peace.
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,