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 seen God lately? Have you seen all the work he has been doing? Let me tell you about some of the work God has been doing.
Read: John 5:16-23
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
- God is always at work
- God works around the clock. He is not concerned with the letter of the law. He is concerned with the spirit of the law.
- The Letter of the Law in this case was that Jesus broke the 4th commandment, which comes from Ex 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
- In the rule book, healing on the Sabbath was a no-no.
- Do you get caught up in the letter of the law in your life at times?
- The Spirit of the Law is this: human needs do not violate God’s Law!
- Jesus performed a healing on the Sabbath out of compassion and human need.
- If we are too busy keeping the Letter of the Law, then we will miss seeing the human needs that are always around us.
- Yes we are to keep the law, but not at the expense of a human need.
- Jesus begins to minister to these “law keepers” by explaining to them that God is always at work. He does not take a 15 minute break every 4 hours.
- He doesn’t need a lunch break. He is God and He is always at work.
- If something needs to be done, God will do it when He chooses.
- This action made the law keepers even more upset with Jesus. Now they were going to take matters into their own hands and come up with a plan to kill Jesus.
- The same ones who won’t allow a human need to be met because it is on the Sabbath, are now plotting to break the 6th commandment of “You Shall Not Kill.”
- That is what happens when you begin to be a law keeper. You forget about you own beliefs that you say matter to you.
- Your focus becomes a human focus instead of a God-focus.
- Don’t be a “law keeper”, but keep the Spirit of the Law so that you may so the wonderful work that God is doing.
Illustration—In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus shows us the total definition of what the intent of the law was and what the intent of the law is:
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
God is always at work and we can join Him in that work only as we keep the Spirit of the Law. When we keep the important things first like Loving God and Loving People, all the rest of the stuff are seen through those lenses.
Application—Can you see where God is at Work?
- God always shares His work
- The greatest thing about God is that He is into sharing His Kingdom work. He wants to involve you in His work.
- God is searching for workers because the Harvest is ripe John 4:35 says
- He gives all authority to Jesus in order for everyone to know that Jesus is God.
- Jesus is doing what God has shown Him to do. God is a hands on God. He participates in the work.
- He does not just give out orders, but He is always working. He doesn’t ask us to do anything that He Himself wouldn’t do.
- If Jesus were here physically this morning, and a need arose, He would be the first one in line to say, “sign me up.” I’m ready to go to work.
- God has asked us to join Him by sharing the ministry with us. We should line up to serve when we see a need that needs to be met.
- I am not saying to do a ministry that you are not gifted to do, but if God has made known a need that you are equipped to do, what is stopping you from doing it?
- We have a loving God willing to share in the work of the church!
- God is a sharing God with a loving heart in order that you can have a place of service in Kingdom Work!
Illustration—When God called me into full-time vocational ministry, I made that calling public at the First Baptist Church of Copperas Cove. Dr. Mark Kemp was gracious to allow me to schedule me to preach shortly after that. He was willing to share the ministry with me. I have always kept that in my heart as God had giving me the privilege to have others come under my ministry with a calling to ministry on their lives. I allowed those to serve and minister as work was available.
Application—How about you? Do you share the ministry that God has trusted you with others?
- God always does the greatest work
- You will know when the work is from the Lord.
- How? It will be amazing. The work will be transformational.
- He even raises people from the dead!
- Did you know that when you share in the work of God about the Gospel and someone accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior, you are participating in raising someone from the dead!
- They are raised to life forever! They are no longer dead in their sins.
- Why would we not want to be part of God’s work?
- God does the greatest work, far beyond anything we could ever imagine.
- When we honor God and the work He has done, we are blessed.
Application—Have you seen the great work that God has done?
Conclusion—God’s work always has us in mind. He cares so much for us and He always has had you in His heart. He loves you beyond measure. If He could find another way to get your attention He will do it. What will it take for you to believe in Him? How much more work can He do for you? His work always reveals Himself so we can connect to Him.
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,