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John Chapter 1:6-14

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
September 16, 2020 1:00 am

John Chapter 1:6-14

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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September 16, 2020 1:00 am

Cross the Bridge 41010-1

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Being a witness is not something we do, it is something that we are. Now I understand people saying, I went out witnessing. I understand that.

That's an appropriate use of the word. But remember, you are a witness. So wherever you go, you are witnessing. Sometimes you'll know it.

Sometimes you won't. I've had the occasion of being in a restaurant, praying over my food. And after we finished praying, somebody came up and said, hey, it was refreshing to see a family asking the Lord to bless their meal in a public restaurant. Praise God. I didn't set out to witness to anybody.

It was not something I was doing. It was something that I am. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. And we're glad to have one of David McGee's associate pastors, D.A.

Brown, here with us as Pastor David continues through the book of John. Bob, when we discover who Jesus is and what he's done for us, we get excited. And when we get excited, we start to tell other people about who Jesus is and what he's done for them, too. And that's something that we should all be doing. Sometimes it's a little scary talking to others about this subject that maybe they'll reject us and maybe they, you know, just won't believe what we're telling them. So what do we do with that? Bob, when you believe something's true, you're not hesitant to share about it with other people. Just listen and watch how exciting this good news is.

Awesome. Let's get right to David McGee as he continues teaching through the Gospel of John. Turn with me to the Gospel of John chapter 1.

And John does a unique thing. He does it both in the Gospel of John and also the Epistles of John, 1, 2, and 3 John. He tells us actually why he wrote the book, what the purpose of the book is. And the Gospel of John in John chapter 20 verse 31, he tells us, but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name. So John tells us the purpose of this book. So what we're going to find as we dig into this book, as we study this book, is that the intent of the author, and if you remember, the Word tells us that it does not go forth void.

It does accomplish that purpose which it was sent for. You'll find your faith being built up as we study the Gospel of John and believing stronger that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God. So let's jump in. We'll pick it up in verse 6. There was a man sent from God whose name was John.

Now the word sent there is apostolo. It's where we get our word apostle. It means to set apart or to send out on a mission. Now therefore, we can take some identification with not only John the Baptist but those that we refer to as the original apostles because we ourselves are sent out with a mission.

We ourselves have been set apart. One of the kind of cornerstones of this ministry, if you will, is Ephesians chapter 4 verse 11. And it says, and he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Now this is often referred to as the fivefold ministry. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers. And it says for the equipping of the saints.

Now, you guys are the saints. Amen, isn't that awesome? Now what I do as a pastor teacher is according to this verse is to equip you guys to do the work of the ministry. See now this is an interesting concept and amazingly enough in America it's kind of a lost concept in the church. We have gotten this notion, a mistaken notion, that there are a few select individuals who get paid to do the work of the ministry and they're like professional Christians and everybody else is off the hook. You don't find that in the word of God.

That's a mistaken concept, you know. And so when I'm up here talking about sharing your faith and sharing the love of Jesus, you shouldn't be sitting up there going, isn't that your job? Isn't that why we have you here, Pastor David?

Well, no, that's why we're all here. Now, I've done this before so some of you are going to pick up on this. But how many people here are in full-time ministry? Raise your hand. All right, how many people here believe that Jesus is their savior and ask him to forgive you of your sins? Raise your hand. Okay, let me ask you again. How many people here are in full-time ministry?

Excellent, there you go. See there's a misconception about what ministry is and how you enter into it. When the word of God is very plain that we are all called to do the work of the ministry, that part of my job as a pastor teacher is to equip you guys to do the work of the ministry.

Obviously, I can't do it all here and the staff can't do it all here and the team leaders can't do it all here. Everybody is involved. And what a blessing it is to be here on Sunday morning and to see, I don't know how many people are here on Sunday morning working before the service, probably somewhere between 75 and 100 people. Getting ready for the service in the bookstore, making coffee, doing stuff, getting ready for worship, the media and all these things. What an awesome thing. What an awesome thing. So that brings us to life lesson number one. Christianity is not a spectator sport.

It is an active lifestyle or a way to live. Now one of the things that's awesome here is we give you a chance to get involved. Now it looks a little bit different than some places. You know, a lot of places you're there and either the first or second week, somebody comes up to you and goes, we need help. Please help us. We're desperate. We don't do that here. It's not that we don't need help.

Hopefully we're not desperate anymore, but we still need help. But what we want to do is make sure you've been poured into. We want to make sure that ministry has happened to you, that you understand the word of God, that you've been ministered to.

Then you can pour out of a cup that's been filled rather than seeing if there's another drop in there somewhere. And a lot of people have come to us from other churches who they haven't been poured into, but they've been pouring out. And that sets up a dangerous situation. So I encourage you to get involved. Find a place to serve the Lord here and go for it. And we'll help you find that place.

We'll help you identify what area you're gifted in and perhaps we'll help you identify what area you're not gifted in. I mean, that's part of the process. Don't be afraid, oh, I'm not sure I can do this. And so you get so freaked out you don't do anything. Just do something. If it goes well, we'll say, yes, God is with us.

If it doesn't, we'll say, you know, maybe there's something else that you could do. You know, if we go into the children's ministries and you're in there and you've got all the children velcroed to the wall, then chances are that may not be the ministry you're gifted in. It only happened once. It was a small thing. It wasn't. The brother's doing very well.

The children have recovered. No, I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Verse 7, this man came for a witness to bear witness of the light and that all through him might believe. He was not that light but was sent to bear witness of that light. So it's using the word witness here. Now, the interesting thing is the Greek word for witness is martus or materio. It's actually where we get our word for martyr. And something that has to happen as we live for the Lord is we need to die to ourselves.

We need to let go. But a lot of times, we think that it's something we have to generate. It's something we have to work up in ourselves.

And again, that's an unscriptural concept. Mark 1, verse 17, Jesus said to them, follow me and I will make you become fishers of men. Notice he says, I will make you to become fishers of men. He doesn't say, look, I need you to go figure this thing out. I've got a 12-week study course that you can mail order to figure out how to be fishers of men. No, he says, this is something I'm going to do in you.

Boy, doesn't that take the pressure off. And Acts chapter 1, verse 8 says, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. See guys, we think of witnessing as something we do. We think of it as something that we do in ourselves.

And that's simply a mistaken notion. It is something that God does in us. We have the power to do it. We're transformed to do it. We're transformed into being a witness.

And life lesson number two, being a witness is not something we do. It is something that we are. It is something that we are.

It's not something we do. It is something we are. Now, I understand people saying, yeah, I went out witness and I understand that.

That's an appropriate use of the word. But remember, you are a witness. So wherever you go, you are witnessing. Sometimes you'll know it.

Sometimes you won't. I've had the occasion of being in a restaurant, praying over my food. And after we finished praying, somebody would come up and go, hey, it was refreshing to see a family asking the Lord to bless their meal in a public restaurant. Well, praise God. I didn't set out to witness to anybody.

It was not something I was doing. It was something that I am. Verse nine, that was the true light which gives light to every man coming into the world. And notice it says, Jesus is the true light. Guys if there's a true light, there's also a false light. These are days to be very discerning in regards to spiritual matters.

I firmly believe the last days are upon us. In the last week, I've watched ministers come out and I've watched ministers who were practicing homosexuality, share why that's okay, rejecting scripture. I've seen them talking about how they reject creation and embrace evolution. That should cause some concern on our part because there is a false light going on. There are people claiming to be Christians that are not Christians.

There's places that are claiming to be churches that aren't churches. So use discernment. Dig into the Word of God.

They was a friend of mine says, keep your knees on the ground and your nose in the book. And remember, any light that we have is a reflection of his light. It's not your light, it's his light reflecting in you.

And I've heard interesting things. I've heard people go, well, I prefer to be a silent witness, a quiet witness. I prefer to just let my light shine before people.

There's a little problem with that, to be honest. Our light, it ain't that bright. And you can't just walk into your office or your workplace or whatever or your school and go, look, see the light, see the light.

Don't you want to get saved? You got to use words. You got to use words to explain the gospel, to give witness to the light. We'll be right back with more from David Magee on Cross the Bridge. Right now, here's a word from associate pastor D.A.

Brown. Hey, Bob, we want to take a minute to pray for some listeners in these cities. In California, we have Fort Bragg, Garberville, Grass Valley, Happy Camp, Hay Fork, Indio, and Johnstonville. God, we thank you for the people tuning in today in these cities. Lord, we pray that they're encouraged in what you're laying on their heart to do. We pray that they would put their trust in you and get plugged in a Bible-teaching church. We pray for the pastors, Lord, that they would have wisdom and discernment how to encourage the people to come to hear the word. And Lord, we ask you, bless these cities. In Jesus' name, amen. Amen.

Thank you, brother. And now, let's get back to David Magee as he continues teaching verse by verse. Verse 10, he was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world did not know him. You know, this is a spiritually unique thing in this verse. Have you ever heard of a child going to a parent and saying, you know what, Mom, Dad, I didn't come from you. I think I just sort of appeared. You ever heard telling that?

I haven't. But do you realize that's what we do to God? He created us.

The Bible's real clear on that. And yet, some look at him and go, you know, I don't believe you created me. I believe I just sort of appeared, and how ludicrous, how silly, how ridiculous. We need to realize that we do have an origin.

We do have a creator, and that is God. Now, I understand when somebody says, you know, I don't believe God. I don't believe the Bible, and so I don't believe these things. Now, I don't agree with that, but I understand it. What I don't understand is when somebody says, yeah, I believe God, but I don't believe the Bible, or I believe the Bible, but I don't believe God, they claim with one side to serve God and to be a Christian, with the other side, they're not.

And that's troubling, because either you do or you don't. At the end of service, you'll go out of the parking lot, and you'll go either left or right. It's a turn. You can't go in both directions at the same time. It's physically impossible.

You can't say, well, part of me is going to the left, and part of me is going right. It won't work. You can't do that. You can't do that and survive physically, and you know what?

You can't do that and survive spiritually either, because the moment you begin to make those concessions and say, well, let me mix a little bit of this and a little bit of that and mix this all up, God is not some kind of cosmic salad bar that you go through and you go, oh, I don't like that. Oh, I like this. Oh, I don't like that.

Oh, I like this. That's not the way it works. God is God, and we're not.

And so we have to make a decision. Verse 11, he came to his own, and his own did not receive him. Now, is this referring to the Jewish people?

I believe so. Does this mean that God is finished with the Jewish people? No way.

No way. You can read Romans 11. You can read Revelation 7. All these things point to the fact that Jesus is not finished with the Jewish people. Now, I believe it's also saying he wasn't received by people at large. Isaiah 53, 3 says, he is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and we hid, as it were, our faces from him.

He was despised, and we did not esteem him. Now, I've heard some teachers go on and on about how even though Israel had all these spiritual advantages, that they were blind to the Messiah. I agree with those facts, but we need to be careful, because you need to understand that in America, we have a lot of spiritual advantages. Not as many as Israel, but we have a lot of spiritual advantages. And yet, a great deal of the population seems to be blind about who Jesus really is. And we have the same problem, really, of that day. I mean, they heard his words, but they were so shackled by the religious traditions that they couldn't grab hold of spiritual truth.

And you realize that same thing is going on in America? People are walking in vain and empty and man-made traditions. I grew up going to a church. I picked up stuff that has nothing to do with God, but I believed it as a spiritual truth. I believed that when I did well, God loved me, and when I messed up, God was really angry and hated me. And finally, I threw up my hands, and I said, I can't live like this.

I can't do this. I must not be able to be a Christian, performance-oriented Christianity, and we're products of this. I love verse 12, but as many as received him, to them he gave the right, the authority, to become children of God. To those who believe in his name. Don't you love that?

You got to love that. It doesn't say as many as joined the church, as many as were good enough for long enough, as many as went to church. That's not what it says, who received him and believe in his name.

What an awesome thing. You know, they come to Jesus in a few chapters, and they say, what must we do to do the works of the Father? So obviously, Jesus gave him a list, right?

No, that's not what happened. Jesus said, believe on him who he said. Oh, certainly it can't be that simple. Well, certainly it can. See, our minds can't even wrap around it, can they? I mean, you hear that and you go, oh, no, no, no, that's not right. Well, it is right because it's what Jesus said.

I mean, if I was pulling something out of the hat, you could go, ah, I'm not sure about that. I'm referring to scripture. Jesus said, what do we need to do? He said, believe. And here he says, believe and receive.

Man, how refreshing, how refreshing that is. And he also tells us in this verse, as encouraging as it is, he also tells us that not everybody belongs to him. Not everyone is his children. According to this verse, according to another place in John chapter 8, when Jesus said, you know what? You belong to your daddy Satan.

That's not very secret friendly, is it? We are children of God because we have received and believed in him. I don't mean to offend you, but if you don't believe and receive or if people in your family or your friends haven't believed and haven't received, they are not children of God.

I reject this notion of this whole ecumenical thing, after all, we're all children of God. We've been adopted. The question is, have you received him?

That's the question for each and every person here. Have you received him? If you have, you are. If you have not, you haven't. Now say that in love and we'll give you the opportunity to fix that before the service is over. But have you received him? Have you really received him? Or have you told him kind of like the innkeeper did so many years ago, you know what? There's no room in here for you.

I got too much stuff going on in my life, which you gave me to embrace and follow you. How tragic. How tragic. We need to embrace him as savior and Lord. And it says on his name, in his name. See, understand the name was synonymous with the nature of the person.

You couldn't divide or separate them. And see, this brings light to the passages where Jesus says, what you do in my name. Because what he's really saying is in my nature. And we're told in Acts chapter four, verse 12, nor is there salvation in any other for there's no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. You can play on words there because again, salvation in the Hebrew, the word is Yeshua, which is the Hebrew word for Jesus. What an awesome thing to stop and consider that we've been adopted.

Some of us experienced in school or when we were growing up, maybe not getting chosen for a sports team or weren't starters or you didn't get chosen for a band or for this or for that or the other. But the Lord accepts you. If you've received him, the Lord accepts you.

I don't think we contemplate that enough. Life lesson number three, if you have received Jesus, you have been adopted into a new family. What an amazing thing. You've been adopted into a new family. Now it's just like a family. You know, you've got your goofy uncle or your aunt that you're kind of wondering about or you know, whatever. But I mean, it's a family.

And what an awesome thing. You may see people here that appear a little strange to you or whatever, but still there's people here that love you and that deeply care for you. Even if this morning is the first time you've ever been here, you had people praying for you this week, not calling you by name. We didn't know your name and we'll be praying for you in the days to follow.

Guys, you have a heavenly father and that needs to be more than just brain knowledge. That needs to get in your heart that you've been adopted, that he chose you. You're in the family. I encourage you to get to know your brothers and sisters.

It's an awesome family. And it's got to be more than academic belief in who Jesus is. It's got to be faith. You can't be trusting in your good works. You've got to be trusting in his work at the cross.

What's the difference between belief and faith? I heard it put well. I was at Niagara Falls and went across a tightrope with a barrel on his back. And he got back and everybody's like, oh, that's amazing, that's amazing. And the guy says, how many of you people think I could do the same thing again with a person in the barrel? They're like, yeah, yeah, yeah, we believe, we believe, we believe that.

And he said, okay, which one of you will it be? Oh, that's faith. That's faith.

That's the difference between belief and faith. Verse 13, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, born of God. John chapter 3 verse 3 tells us very plainly, Jesus answered and said to him, most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

It can't be any plainer than that. Unless you've been born again, you can't see the kingdom of God. You must be born again. Jesus didn't say, if you don't do this and you don't do that, and if you do this and you do that, and if you dress a certain way and you wear your hair a certain way, and you don't have any earrings or any other rings, or if you don't have any tattoos, he didn't say any of those things. He said, if you haven't been born again, you don't get to see the kingdom of God.

It doesn't matter how long you've been a member of which church. These are the words of Jesus. And I've had people, you know, we went and ministered to a group of kids, this is 10 years ago or something, a group of kids, and led them in a prayer to receive the Lord, and I had one of them call me and say, hey, you know, I was talking to my youth leader, and you know, he told me that this whole born again thing is just an emotional experience that's not necessary.

I said, let me send you some stuff. And I quoted this verse to him. I said, that's not what Jesus said, and we've had somebody in church witness to somebody and they, you go to church, oh yeah, we go to such and such a church, oh, okay, good. Have you been born again? Have you received Jesus as your savior? Oh, it's not that kind of church.

Verse 14, man, these are power-packed verses, aren't they? And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, now family. The Trinity is everywhere in this earth, spiritually and physically. It's interesting that even science itself bears out the Trinity, because the universe is divided into what? Time and space and matter, those three things, time, space, and matter. What's time divided into? Well, you see Trinity again, past, present, future, all the fingerprints of God all over the place, and the more you dig, the more you see. Space into what?

Height, depth, width. It's amazing how these things keep being defined by the number three. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven, and I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life, and I've done wrong things. I have sinned, and I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things.

Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name, amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again.

So congratulations, friend, you just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. You can visit crossthebridge.com to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ.

Or you can write to Cross the Bridge at P.O. Box 12515, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27117, and share how God is working in your life. Well, DA, before we go, what are some ways that we can bless our listeners? Each day you can wake up with encouragement from Pastor David through the Word of God with his email devotional, life lessons to consider, a daily reading plan, and a thought to meditate on throughout your day from the heart of David McGee.

That sounds good, Pastor DA, and again, it's been great to have you with us on the program today. But tell us, what else can our listeners find on crossthebridge.com? If you're not able to make it to your home church this Sunday, why not join us for our live stream at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, or on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. Eastern Time? Just visit crossthebridge.com and click on our live stream link. There you'll experience a live service from David's Home Church, The Bridge in North Carolina. Again, that website is crossthebridge.com. Thanks again for listening, and join us next time as David McGee continues teaching verse by verse in the Gospel of John.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-13 10:32:26 / 2024-03-13 10:43:52 / 11

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