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I and the Father Are One, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
March 2, 2021 3:00 am

I and the Father Are One, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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My sheep hear My voice and I give eternal life to them and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. That is so airtight and absolute that there's just no escaping the reality of that chain of sovereign purpose and divine intention. There is a popular theory in academia, and now in many churches, that Jesus himself never actually claimed to be God, and that the deity of Christ was a doctrine invented by the church hundreds of years after Jesus' earthly ministry. But when you look in the Bible, does that view hold up under scrutiny? Is there somewhere in Scripture where Jesus explicitly claims equality with the Father? John MacArthur answers those questions today on Grace to You as he continues his series Rediscovering the Christ of Scripture.

And now with the lesson, here's John MacArthur. Turn to the 10th chapter of the gospel of John, John chapter 10. The 10th chapter of John is a turning point, as you know, in John's history. This is the chapter that records the last account that John gives of the public ministry of Jesus. At the end of this 10th chapter, Jesus goes away for about three months, and he spends the time with his disciples. He comes back in the 11th chapter and raises Lazarus from the dead, does a triumphal entry in the 12th chapter, and then John records chapters 13 through 16 one night, one night in the upper room, the promises the Lord gave to His disciples and all who would come after them, including us. The 17th chapter then is that incredible entry into the Holy of Holies, the sanctuary of the private prayer and communion of Christ with His Father, that great high priestly prayer that He prayed before His death.

Chapter 18 is His arrest, followed by His death and resurrection. And then the restitution of Peter and the commissioning of the disciples ends it all in the final chapter. So chapter 10 is critical because John wants to make sure nothing is left unclear in terms of the claims of Christ. This is, in a sense, a summation of what His purpose was as He states it in chapter 20 in verse 31. These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John is amassing evidence that you might believe in order that you might have eternal life. Eternal life, as we have been learning, comes only through faith in Christ. So His purpose is culminating here in this 10th chapter.

And He wants to leave no mistake as to the claim Christ made and what is necessary to believe about Him to receive eternal life. That is why you have the words in verse 30. Look at chapter 10, verse 30, I and the Father are one.

I and the Father are one. The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, I showed you many good works from the Father, for which of them are you stoning Me? The Jews answered Him, for a good work we do not stone you, but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, make yourself out God, literally.

They knew exactly what He was claiming. In verse 36, you are blaspheming. Are you accusing Me of that because I said I am the Son of God?

If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me. Here again, we have the summation of John's whole purpose, to make clear the claim of Jesus to be God, to possess the very nature and essence of God, and therefore legitimately call Himself the Son of God, one who bears the same nature, and to prove it by His works. There's no mistaking this, no mistaking it all through the gospel of John, and certainly here it's impossible to twist this around. When He said, I and the Father are one, He was not claiming unity of purpose, unity of mission, unity of attitude.

He was claiming unity of essence, unity of nature. That's why they called Him a blasphemer, who was a man telling them He was God. This is the great claim of the gospel, that Jesus, while fully man, was also fully God. Took the title God the Son, the Son of God. That is the uniqueness of His personhood as God in the Trinity.

There is one nature, one essence, but three distinct persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In chapter 19 of John, as you come down to the very time when the populace of Jerusalem and the spiritual leaders are pressing the Romans to crucify Jesus, verse 7 of John 19, the Jews say this, we have a law, Mosaic law, and by that law, He ought to die because He made Himself out the Son of God. He didn't just claim it, He proved it. Verse 37, as I read, if I do not do the works of my Father, do not believe Me. The leaders of religious Judaism and the people who followed them were the real blasphemers. They were the real blasphemers. Just as the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah had predicted, who has believed our report?

To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? The prophet predicts that when the Messiah comes, they won't believe. Isaiah goes on to say, we esteemed Him not.

We gave Him no honor. We did not see Him as our Messiah. That Jewish rejection, by the way, that Jewish hostility toward the Lord Jesus Christ exists today, this very day, among Jewish people. And the tragedy of it all is that they knew the truth about the true and living God, the one God, the God who was creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Moses, and Abraham, and David. They knew about that God. But when He sent His Savior to redeem them, they rejected Him, and they go on doing that.

Through all of this history of national rejection, of course, there is a remnant of Jews who believe, and they are all one in Christ with all Gentiles who believe, Scripture tells us. But as this chapter closes out, John's short history of Jesus' public ministry, it culminates in the same kind of anger and hostility against Jesus that we have seen all the way through His ministry. In fact, for the fourth time, they try to take Him and kill Him. The more He says, the more He makes His claim, the more He demonstrates that it's a true claim, the harder their hearts become. So this is the culmination for John, and then Jesus disappears.

Is it all bad? No, because at the end of the chapter when He goes away beyond the Jordan, verse 42 says, and this is how the chapter ends, many believed in Him there. It was as if you had to get out of Jerusalem. You had to get over by the Jordan River where John once baptized, somewhere else out from under the power and influence of the religious establishment. There are five scenes here we're kind of looking at, five scenes. We've started into them.

Scene number one is confrontation. Just briefly, go back to verse 22. At that time, the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. You remember that's what Jews today call Hanukkah, or the Feast of Lights, because the way they celebrated it, an eight-day celebration, 25 of Kislev, which puts it in November and December every year. The way they celebrated it is by lighting lamps and candles in their homes, and they do that for eight days, so it's called the Feast of Lights, or Hanukkah.

It was basically established during the intertestamental period when Judas Maccabeus threw out the invaders, the pagan invaders, Antiochus Epiphanes and his people, and they re-secured the temple and re-established worship. And in order to celebrate that, this feast was put in place. Not a biblical feast, but it is a historical one. This is another of the feasts that have been going on in John's gospel from chapter 5 on. Jesus keeps appearing in Jerusalem at feasts, and the same things happen. He speaks, they deny Him, they want to kill Him, and He escapes.

And so, here we go again with the same kind of cycle. Now, at this feast, Jesus is walking in the temple of the portico of Solomon. Remember now, that's what was left of the massive retaining wall that was part of the Solomonic temple that was destroyed in 586 B.C. That wall was not destroyed.

It was then redeveloped into a colonnade, or a porch, a popular place to get out of the sun or out of the weather, and this is winter. Jesus is walking there, a place where we find the apostles in the Book of Acts teaching. The Jews, that would be the religious leaders. John usually refers to them when he uses that term, and their followers gathered around Jesus, and we're saying to Him, and there's just such hypocrisy in this because He's answered this so many times, how long will you keep us in suspense if you are the Messiah? Tell us plainly. That kind of confrontation has only one goal in mind, and it isn't to get information.

They can incite the crowd that can result ultimately in the death of Jesus. That's the confrontation. Then we saw the claim. We came to the claim.

Let's go back to that. In verse 25, Jesus answered them, I told you, I told you, I told you, and you do not believe. How many times have I told you? In just the feast section, chapter 5, repeatedly in chapter 7, repeatedly in chapter 8, I told you many, many times. Clearly, they understand His claim.

They simply want to justify a seizing of Him and elimination. And then He validates the claim in the same way He's done it all the way along in verse 25. I told you, you do not believe. That's the problem.

The works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me. And we saw last time that the issue was, you do not believe. And that is all through John's gospel, the issue from the human viewpoint. You do not believe.

You can go all the way back, start in chapter 1. In every chapter except chapter 2, up to this very point, there is a call for people to believe and a warning that if they don't believe, they will not receive eternal life. All through the story, they are commanded to believe. They are called to believe. They are warned to believe.

That is the human side, and we have seen that. Salvation comes by believing. In fact, go back to chapter 8, just a minute.

I can't get caught up in all of those because I know you remember them. In chapter 8, verse 21, He is saying to them, I go away and you will seek Me and will die in your sins. Where I'm going, you can't come. You're not going to heaven.

Why? Verse 24, therefore, I said to you that you will die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He, I am who I claim to be, I am the I am, you will die in your sins. That's simply an illustration of something that is repeated again and again and again, starting in chapter 1, verse 12. As many as receive Him, to them He gave the authority to become the children of God, even to those who believe on His name.

That is the human side. You must believe that I am who I claim to be. Now, of course, Matthew helps us to get an insight into what they did believe. In chapter 12 of Matthew, one of the most terrifying comments the Pharisees and the religious leaders of Israel ever made, Matthew 12, 24, this is what they did believe. This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.

He's satanic. That's what they believed. They believed He did what He did by the power of Satan. Verse 31, therefore, I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. If you look at what the Holy Spirit has done through me and you conclude after all the evidence is in that that is Satan, you could never be forgiven because you have made that 180-degree wrong conclusion at the end of all the evidence.

You are the blasphemers. What did they believe about Jesus? Their mantra was He's satanic.

They did everything they could to convince the people of that. Now, mark that, and we covered that last time. Salvation comes to those who believe. But I want you to go back to verse 26, and let's pick that up for a few moments. But you do not believe.

That's where we ended. But you do not believe. Then verse 26 says this, because you are not of My sheep.

What a statement. That's the divine side. You don't believe, and you're fully culpable for that unbelief, and you will be held responsible eternally for that unbelief, and you will receive a just punishment for that unbelief. But the divine side is you don't believe because you are not of My sheep.

Really a stunning statement. You don't belong to Me. Back up into chapter 10 to verse 4. Remember the Paroimia, the analogy, the metaphor, simile, word picture of the shepherd? Verse 4, when He puts forth all His own sheep, He goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow Him because they know His voice. Well, that's true of shepherds. We saw that when a shepherd goes into a fold in the morning, the sheep have been held there. The village sheep, there are many shepherds who put all their sheep together collectively in one fold overnight, and in the morning come and get their own sheep, and each sheep knows the voice of his own master.

That was something they were familiar with. But to what does that refer? Go down to verse 14. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own, and My own know Me.

Hmm. I know My own, and My own know Me, and you're not of My sheep. How do we know they're not His sheep? Because back in chapter 8 and verse 43, Jesus says, Why do you not understand what I'm saying? It's because you cannot hear My word. You can't hear Me. You don't know My voice.

Why? Because you're of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, does not stand in the truth because there's no truth in Him. Whenever He speaks a lie, He speaks from His own nature, for He's a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Verse 47, He who is of God hears the words of God. For this reason you do not hear them because you are not of God. Another way to say, You're not My sheep. That's a stunning statement.

You're not My sheep. We started to see this sovereign purpose of God in salvation very early in the gospel of John. Back in chapter 3, when Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, and Nicodemus has this question about eternal life and how that's going to happen, and Jesus explains to him that it's a supernatural heavenly miracle.

Heaven has to come down and make that happen. It is like a birth. It's a creation, and nobody can create Himself.

And so the question arises, well, how does that happen? And Jesus says this, the Holy Spirit comes and goes as He wills. It's not at your discretion. It's at His discretion. I watched an evangelist on the television telling people to make a decision for Christ, and pleading with them, and pleading with them, and music playing, and constant pleading. That's something a sinner cannot do. A sinner can't make a decision for Christ.

Christ has to make the decision for the sinner. In John 6, and we saw this, in John 6, 37, all that the Father gives Me will come to Me. The Father knows the sheep. The Father has chosen the sheep, identified the sheep, written their names down. The Father will give the sheep to Me in His own time, and they will come to Me. And the one who comes to Me I will certainly not reject, because I've come down from heaven not to do My own will, as if I had a different will than the Father, but the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me, I lose none, but raise it up on the last day. And no one, verse 44, can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him on the last day.

And in His high priestly prayer, He prays about those the Father has given Him. And these are profound realities. And look, I believe fully in the sinner's responsibility to repent and believe, but I believe as well fully in the sovereign purpose of God who has chosen His sheep, knows His sheep, calls His sheep, they hear Him, they come, Christ receives them and keeps them and raises them. I confess that I have never been able to comfortably harmonize those two realities.

But I will not destroy either by coming up with some bizarre, humanly devised middle ground. The people who crucified Jesus were fully responsible for doing that. They were judged for doing that, condemned for doing that. And yet, Peter in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost said, that whole act was done by the predetermined counsel and foreknowledge of God. He repeats it again in chapter 4, that you only did on earth what heaven had already declared would be done. Someday, we'll know God's thoughts, someday. But for now, we plead with sinners as Jesus did to believe and believe, and we back up to a place of comfort in the sovereign purpose of God.

You know, it's a crushing thing when you look more intently at the person of Christ. I told you this back in the sixth chapter when the disciples left. Many who had followed Him for a while left Him, abandoned Him, walked away from Him with finality, the Greek language is finality. Heartbreaking, heart-wrenching. How can they walk away from Him?

Inconceivable to me. And where does He go for comfort when the disciples have abandoned Him? You remember this.

He does this. He says, everyone who has heard and been taught by the Father comes to Me. Jesus found His comfort in people's rejection in the sovereign purposes of God. And again, I don't know how all that works together. It seems to me to have elements of contradiction, but God is not contradictory to Himself.

That's an impossibility. So I chalk it up to my feeble mind. Verse 27, He says, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. That is so airtight and absolute that there's just no escaping the reality of that chain of sovereign purpose and divine intention. This is Grace to You with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us. John is the pastor of Grace Community Church and chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary, and I trust today's lesson helped you understand one of Jesus' greatest claims that He and the Father are one. Our current study is focused on rediscovering the Christ of Scripture. Well, John, I imagine that even people who believe that Jesus is God may not always understand how that truth impacts their day-to-day lives and their worldview and everything else, but I know you would say that actually the deity of Christ is one of the most important and practical and life-changing doctrines in all of Scripture.

So talk about that for a moment. Well, obviously you have to get Christ right. You have to have the right view, the biblical view of Christ, or you or you don't have salvation if you're worshiping a false Christ, and we know that the Bible even says there'll be many false Christs, false views of Christ. So getting Christ right is absolutely everything, and that starts with His deity, the fact that He is God. He is the eternal God. He is one member of the eternal Trinity. So the deity of Christ is at the heart of the entire Christian faith, and that causes me to say we've put a book together called The Deity of Christ.

That's the most obvious title, but that's the most necessary truth. So it answers the essential question about the identity of Jesus Christ and all of the implications and ramifications that identity has. False teachers have always attacked the deity of Christ. Every cult, every false religion calls into question the fact that Jesus is God, openly denies that. So that being the most important truth is the one constantly attacked by false religion.

So it's easy to be confused about Christ if you listen to the many religious voices in any period of history. We need to get back to understanding fully what the Bible says about the deity of Christ, and I want to remind you about that book. We've never really offered this until just recently, but it's a very important study, compellingly looking at the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, worthy of our worship and obedience. Now the book is based on the MacArthur New Testament commentary series. It pulls content from the commentaries and arranges it for topical study.

Here's the good news. If you have never contacted Grace to You before, do it today and request the book, The Deity of Christ. We'll send you a copy free of charge. And by the way, it's an over 200-page book. Everything you needed to know to understand the deity of Christ, and it's free to anyone contacting us for the first time.

Right, friend, and this book is filled with crucial but often overlooked truths about Christ. If you want to know our Savior more intimately, I encourage you to get a copy of The Deity of Christ. Again, this book is our gift to you if you've never contacted us before.

Get in touch today. Call our toll-free number, 800-55-GRACE, or make your request at our website, gty.org. This resource would be ideal for family devotions.

It will help you answer your children's questions about Christ and help them see why He is worthy of their trust, obedience, and worship. And remember, we'll send it to you for free if you've never contacted us before. And if you have contacted us before, or if you'd like a few extra copies to encourage friends and loved ones, The Deity of Christ book is available for a reasonable price. Again, to order or to request your free copy, call 800-55-GRACE, or you can shop online at gty.org. And when you visit gty.org, make sure to take advantage of the thousands of free Bible study tools available. You can read articles from John and the staff on the Grace To You blog, or listen to a radio broadcast you may have missed, or download any of John's more than 3,500 sermons. That website, again, gty.org. And now for John MacArthur and the entire Grace To You staff, I'm Phil Johnson, encouraging you to be here tomorrow for another half hour of unleashing God's truth, one verse at a time, on Grace To You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-19 15:24:20 / 2023-12-19 15:34:08 / 10

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