[0:00] Let's turn in our Bibles then to the passage of God's Word which we read in the Gospel according to John chapter 1 and as God would help me I'd like to concentrate on verses 11 and 12. The Gospel according to John chapter 1 verses 11 and 12. He came that is Jesus Christ God's Son. He came to his own and his own people did not receive him but to all who did receive him who believed in his name he gave the right to become children of God. He came to his own but his own people did not receive him but to all who did receive him who believed in his name he gave the right to become children of God. John's Gospel is so different from the other three Gospels. Matthew, Mark and Luke they all concentrate on what Jesus said and what Jesus did. John is different. John concentrates not merely on the importance of knowing about Christ but he concentrates on trusting in Christ. Well there's all the difference in the word.
[1:56] All the difference in the word. You know all about Boris Johnson. Hey tell me do you all trust in him? Do you see the difference between knowing about someone and trusting in someone? It's not enough my friends to believe about Christ. You must believe in and on Christ for salvation. We must believe that what he accomplished at the cross was effective and good enough for you and me and we must be prepared to follow his policies, his principles, his laws. That's trust, that's confidence. Now think of John writing this fourth Gospel. He was the last to write the Gospels. He's writing several years after Matthew, Mark and Luke have written their Gospels and you might say John do we need a fourth? Come on there's three Gospels already. Do we need a fourth? Really? Okay you're determined to write the fourth. Well okay you're going to write a fourth. Well whatever you do John don't repeat anything that Matthew, Mark and Luke have already written. Don't waste your time doing something that's already written. Don't give us an account of feeding the five thousand when Matthew, Mark and Luke have already done so. John writes a fourth account of feeding the five thousand. Don't tell us again about Simon Peter's confession of Christ. What do you think when Christ said who do you say that are? Matthew, Mark and Luke have written about that. You don't need to say that if you're writing a fourth John. John writes a fourth account of
[4:12] Simon's profession. Simon Peter's profession of faith. Well you say okay John you're determined to repeat what Matthew, Mark and Luke have written. Whatever you do if you're repeating you're going to repeat yourself John don't miss out the temptation. Man alive can we hear enough of that? John does not write about the temptation of Christ.
[4:45] You say John the transfiguration. I like to have more information. See you're writing more about what we know already. Don't miss out the transfiguration. John misses out the transfiguration. You say John if there's one thing you're not to miss out surely it's the most perfect sermon in the world. The sermon on the Mount. If you're going to repeat yourself is surely that something worth repeating?
[5:20] The perfect sermon from the perfect preacher. John says nothing about it.
[5:30] You say John I'd love to know more about the second coming. Okay the others have written about it but I'd like a little bit more about the second coming of Christ. The return of Christ. Don't miss it out. John misses it out. What do you say to John? Hey John what are you doing? What's the explanation? What is the explanation?
[6:01] This is the explanation. The real author, the real author of the Gospel of John is God the Holy Spirit. Our Bible tells us that the Spirit of God moved the writers to write what they wrote. They really meant what they were writing but it was God ensured they put it down in writing. The Holy Spirit. When you read these words they were drawn. They were drawn the Apostles but not Mirai. It was a spirit of God moving him to write what he wrote and what every other author, human author in the scriptures wrote. But John does tell us something he had in mind. Something that God moved him to put down and that is why he himself wrote what he wrote. You find it in verse 20 sorry chapter 20 verse 30 verse 30 and 31. Now he's spoken about a lot of miracle signs which Jesus did and he says in chapter 20 verse 30 now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples which are not written in this book but these are written. Why? Here's John telling us I'm writing this with one purpose in my mind and it's God who put it into my heart and mind.
[7:56] These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name. That's worth reading isn't it?
[8:17] What do you make of that? Tell me have you read the Gospel of John? Have you read the Gospel of John? Are you a Christian? The Holy Spirit moved John to write the fourth Gospel with one purpose in mind. When you read it you would believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. I would like to be in your shoes. If you've read the Gospel of John and you say I'm not impressed. I'm not impressed. I would like to be in your shoes.
[9:07] It was written by God the Holy Spirit so that those who put it down will be saved. He came our text is verse 11 he came to his own and his own people did not receive him. He came to his own. Isn't it amazing? Speaking about Jesus Christ he came into the world and he came to his people. He came to them. Now when you know the Gospel story you say look shouldn't it be the other way around?
[9:53] Shouldn't it be us? Shouldn't it be the human race who brought the curse into the universe who marred the image of God on human flesh? Shouldn't it be us who go to him and say Lord forgive us? No it's God who comes to us. God who's been offended.
[10:19] God whose work was marred and scarred. He makes the first move. He takes the initiative in religion and he sends his son and he sends him to his own people.
[10:39] His own people who abandon him. That certainly teaches us at the very minimum that we should forgive those who offended us. God came. God made the first move by coming to us when we grieved him and offended him. So we should learn to forgive others and make the first move to those that we have offended.
[11:10] Now we're told here he came to his own and his own people did not receive him.
[11:24] They did not receive him. Why? Why not? Why did his own people not receive him? Well I think we can, I'd like to give three reasons. All beginning with the letter L.
[11:45] Verses four and five give us a clue why they didn't receive him because they didn't have three things all beginning with the letter L. First of all they did not have any, they did not have life. In him was life but the people he came to had no spiritual life. Human beings by nature are dead spiritually in trespasses and sins and only Christ can give them life. And all Christ needs to do speak and he can give you and me spiritual life. Now I sang Psalm 24 for a specific reason. How often did we sing there about God's voice makes the heins to calve? God's voice makes the forest bare. God voice. Do you remember at the grave of Lazarus? Do you remember Jesus said Lazarus our lies and it's been pointed out with some of the commentators if Jesus had not said the word Lazarus if he had just said our lies there was such power in his voice the whole cemetery as it were would have arisen. Such power in his voice. The power of life.
[13:23] Christ has the power of life. These people did not receive Christ who came to bless them who came to save them because they didn't have any spiritual life.
[13:38] God's voice Christ's voice calm disease healed diseases forgave sins. He's the only one that can give spiritual life. But there's a second thing that they did not have which made them not receive them. Not only did they not have life but they didn't have a light. That is spiritual light and spiritual life of course. Humans are in darkness you may be alive but you're in a dark room and you cannot see. They tell me there's only one real test you can make of blindness and that is to take someone into a pitch dark room where there is no light at all and in that room you shine a torch and you ask can you see the light shining in the darkness. I'm not talking about being short-sighted I'm talking about blindness.
[14:50] If you cannot see the light shining in darkness you're blind. That is most certainly true in the spiritual realm. Let me ask you can you see Jesus as the light of the world. That's why they didn't receive him. Could you see the light? He's the light of the world.
[15:25] We cannot see this spiritually obvious. In fact just over the page you've got that famous meeting with Nicodemus where Jesus said truly truly I say to you unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Not exactly the words he's using. It's not simply you can't enter the kingdom of God. He says you can't even see it.
[15:55] You're not capable of making a rational argument about the things of God unless you're born again. We're spiritually dead and we're spiritually blind.
[16:12] Light and darkness are not equals. They're not. Light and darkness are not equals. They are direct opposites but they're not equals. A Bible tells us light and good exceleth evil as far as light exceleth darkness. We need light. We need the light that Christ can get. So they didn't receive him because they had no spiritual life because they had no spiritual light. Thirdly third L they had no spiritual love. All they had love for themselves. For their pleasures but they had no love for God. That's the way we were born in sin, shape and iniquity. It's self-love, love for pleasure, no love for God, no love for wholeness, no love for righteousness. Isn't that right? We love him because he first loved us and set his eye upon us, gave us new life, opened our eyes and opened our hearts that we would embrace Christ as he's freely offered to us in the Gospel. We don't have life, we don't have light, we don't have love. I suppose in the last and now and the sad thing is this, we don't believe it. We say, so what?
[18:07] Not interreligion. It's deadly serious, deadly serious. Die unsaved, we go to a lost eternity and we shrug our shoulders and say, not interreligion, not my thing.
[18:25] Oh, don't we need our eyes open, don't we need spiritual life, don't we need to realize what's vital and what's important. Isn't it wonderful that verse 12 falls verse 11? What a black black message it would be if it stopped at verse 11. I mean what hope for anyone if his own people didn't receive Christ? I love verse 11, it's only verse 12. But, but, but to all who did receive him who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. Not wonderful.
[19:20] Christ can give you the right to call yourself a child of God. Christ can give you that right, that authority, that power. Do you know how our Bible defines faith in Christ? How it defines conversion if you want. How it how it defines believing.
[19:49] I said at the beginning we listen, I don't believe there's a person in this building who does not believe about Jesus. I don't know you, I've never met some of you till tonight. Do you believe in Jesus? On Jesus? That's what saves. Now see how it defines believing in Jesus in verse 12. To all who received him, received him.
[20:24] Took him into their hearts, took him into their lives. Can I try and emphasize something very clearly? If you're not a Christian and you don't know what all the fuss is about, the gospel is not doing something. I remember a man in his deathbed having the gospel explained him and how he rejoiced. He said all my life I thought I had to do something and now I realize all I have to do is receive something. Receive Jesus, accept Christ into your life. Not just into your head, certainly begins in your head but let it go into your heart. That you love him, you follow him and that you cling to him. The gospel is not doing something, it's receiving something, receiving Jesus Christ. As many as to receive them, that's lovely isn't it? It's not, ah the few who did truly believe, no. As many, as many as to receive them, the gospel excludes none. Irrespective of background, irrespective of your condition, irrespective of your culture, irrespective of your lifestyle, irrespective of your ethnicity, irrespective of your past, anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, who trusts him to forgive him their sins and cleave to him and follow him, none is excluded. Isn't that wonderful? The only qualification for the gospel is that you consider yourself totally unworthy.
[22:48] Christ is all for failures. He's all for failures. He can, hey listen, Peter was a failure, Mark was a failure and they've all written in the Bible. They were failures.
[23:04] Mark, a failed missionary and he writes a gospel, a failed missionary, a pacted.
[23:15] Christ could use anyone in the building up of his kingdom. When we receive Christ into our hearts, we receive his authority over us. We receive his teaching, we receive his will for us. But it's vital to understand that he only wills for us what is good for us. I don't know why God gave me cancer. I would have said far better if I didn't have it. I'd have preached more often, probably gone out and missed a bit more often, one or two things like that. I don't know. But the question is, do I trust God, did it for my good and the good of the kingdom? God's ways are not our ways and his ways are past finding out. But we've got to trust him. I can't get the head around the lot that he does. That doesn't matter. As long as I trust him, as long as I follow, as long as I stick with him, as was vital, that's what is important. We have to receive him just because of who he is and what he has done. Now, to them he gave the power and the authority, the right to become children of God. That's wonderful. I just heard yesterday someone said to him, oh man, he said, man, he said, what a chopper is adopting, so we can foster them, we can love them, we can shower gifts and money on the bones. He's a doctor, man, he says, it's a headache.
[25:30] Long, long time before he can adopt them. Christ will adopt you tonight if you trust him. No, that's wonderful. Christ never forgives someone without adopting them into the family.
[25:53] And I want you to think of, I want you to consider this the love of God in adopting anyone. Some people like to choose the children they adopt. God's not into that. Christ's not into that.
[26:14] Christ adopts anyone who trusts in him, who believes in him, who loves him, anyone. But think of the love of God. Think of the God, the Father. Think of the people who adopt, are usually people with no children. Had God no children? Had he no sons already? Oh yes, oh yes he had. Was there something wrong with him when he wanted to adopt someone else, another one? No, no, the one he had already was perfect. His only begotten son was absolutely perfect. So when you consider the Father, he had a perfect son already. And yet he chose to adopt. And then think of who it is he adopts. Worms of the dust. You and me, children of rough by nature. People who are angered him. People who messed up his world. He adopted him. Some people want to choose who they adopt. God the Father. Christ adopts anyone who believes on him. But what I think is most moving of all surely is considering the price God and
[28:01] Christ were prepared to pay. The price they were prepared to pay to adopt. What's the price? That only beloved son you have already. Put him on the altar. Put him to the cross.
[28:25] Take him a man of suffering and a man of sorrows acquainted with brief. That's the cost. God the Father was prepared to give to adopt people like you and me into his kingdom. Christ was prepared to be the scapegoat. To save sinners. He himself was prepared to go on the altar.
[28:56] The price as it were of God enlarging his kingdom, the children of his kingdom was the crucifixion of his perfect one and only son. Isn't that something? Isn't that wonderful? Isn't that moving? Shouldn't that turn us and change us? He came to his own and his own people didn't receive him. But to as many as did receive him. To them he gave the right permission, authority to become children of God. Well, that's it. That's the gospel. That's how John begins his letter. If you are here tonight and you are a Christian, what reason you have to rejoice in him? What reason to feel secure? God is holy. Therefore, he cannot take payment for your sin twice. He took it from Jesus at the cross and because he's holy, he'll not take payment twice. He'll not demand it of you. So my friend, Christian friend, when you sin, when you sin, remind God he's already been paid for it. And walk free. Oh, don't walk careless. Don't walk flippant. Walk free. Walk in the liberty where Christ has made you free. What a wonderful saver you have. All your sins past, present, future, already paid for, rejoice in Christ, your saviour. But what if you're not a Christian? What now? What now? Do you now believe? Can I ask you one question? Why not? Why not? Christ is your last chance. Christ is your second chance to get to heaven. There will be no third chance. But you don't need a third chance. Christ will have you. Christ will change you.
[31:51] Christ will take you to heaven. Christ will make you a new creature and He'll present you before the Father on the great day of judgment. He'll present you perfect. Perfect.
[32:04] But you must trust Him. You must commit your soul to Him and say, from now on you are responsible for me. That's a gospel. That's what it is to believe. That's what it is to receive Him as your saviour and may God, the Holy Spirit grant that each and every one of us might receive Him as our personal saviour. Let's bow our heads in prayer. Our Father in heaven, we ask that you would take the things of Christ and you'd make them ours tonight, here, now. Help us rejoice in Christ now. Keep us in your love. Keep us in your fear. Wash all our sins away for we pray only in the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen.
[33:17] We'll conclude our service of worship by singing the God's praise to the Scotty Psalter, Psalm 73, verse 25, and that's on page 316 of your phrasebook, page 316.