Never tie your faith to a human being, because all of us human beings fail at some point or other. Tie your faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, He never fails.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friend, how in the world are you? [chuckle] Yes, that little greeting establishes the fact that this is your good friend, Bob Cook. And I’m glad that you and I can be in the world, but not of it. We don’t have to be tarred with the world’s brush. God can keep you in a dirty world, He can keep you clean for His glory. It’s a great thing to know, isn’t it? Well, we’re back together again looking at the Gospel of John, and we’ve come to that wonderful verse, verses, really, two of them in the closing of Chapter 20. “Many other miracles Jesus did in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book,” says John, “but these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, ye might have life through His name.” The real reason for the Gospel of John is to lead you and me, into a personal commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
That’s why thousands upon thousands of Christians have given out the Gospel of John as a means of introducing others to the Lord Jesus. Because if it’s thoughtfully read, any thoughtful reader is going to be convinced that the Lord Jesus Christ is God’s answer for the problems and heartaches of life. I thought it might be helpful in these broadcasts just to recap what John must have had in mind. He said, “These are written that ye might believe, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, ye might have life through His name.” What then did he have in mind as he penned this book, the Gospel of John? Obviously, that first chapter is, that He’s not only the creator, and sustainer, and revealer, but He is the Redeemer. The answer to the sin problem. John the Baptist said it, “Behold the lamb of God, which beareth away the sin of the world.” He’s the sin bearer, He’s the Redeemer, He’s the Savior. “The Son of man has come to seek, and to save that which was lost,” said our Lord. And so we see that as the very first step in approaching this whole matter.
You don’t get very far with God until you acknowledge that you are indeed a sinner. Self-righteousness closes the door to grace. Our Lord Jesus said, “Now ye say,” He said to the Pharisees, “now ye say we have no sin, therefore your sin remaineth.” He said “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. They that are well have no need of a physician, but they that are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Paul says in Romans 3, “There is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” So you really don’t get very far with God until you’ve faced that dreadful fact of sin in your life. And it’s not just the things that we do, those are S-I-N-S, sins. It is the root principle of sin, singular S-I-N, the sin nature that is in every one of us. Look at a little child, does anybody need to tell a little child to lose its temper? And when a child begins to walk and talk, and gets into some kind of trouble and mother says, “Did you do that Junior?” And he looks up with an angelic face and says “No, mama.” Now he may have cookie crumbs and jam all over his little face, but he’s trying to look as as seraphic as an angel, while he’s lying through his little baby teeth.
Who taught him that? Nobody. I used to do this in traveling the mission fields of the world. I remember, on one occasion, I was speaking in the courtyard of the William Carey Memorial Church in Calcutta. There was a law which they called “Section 44” that had been invoked in those years, prohibiting any large gatherings, public outdoor gatherings. But we had such large crowds we had to find some place for them. And so we held the meetings in the courtyard of the church, which was deemed to be a private place. And thus not in violation of the law. I remember talking to the crowd on one occasion, unruly crowd they were. We had a few bricks and other objects tossed at us by radicals, and rebels, and communists that were out on the edge of the crowd. As a matter of fact, they threatened anybody that would respond to the Gospel invitation, and people did anyway, thank God, by the scores. But anyway, I was saying to… “How many of you have ever told a lie? Come on, be honest.” Well, one by one by one the people in the crowd would lift their hands. Then I would ask them, “Who taught you to tell a lie?”
And they would look at each other and smile, because nobody had to teach them. Tell me friend, have you faced, honestly the fact that you aren’t gonna get anywhere with God until you confess that you are a sinner, and ask Him to forgive, and to cleanse you from sin. And to give you that new nature that comes when you receive Christ as Savior. That’s the beginning concept in this Gospel of John. He’s the answer to the sin problem. Chapter 2, He’s the answer to the emptiness when the wine of life runs out. You have the story of the wedding reception at Cana of Galilee. The Lord Jesus put His stamp of blessing and approval upon the institution of marriage. Marriage and the home are part of God’s provision for a stable society. It is, it seems to me the continuing scandal of our day that we make light of marriage, we have easy divorce, and the home itself is breaking up across our country and across the world. Jesus put His blessing upon marriage and the home. Well, anyhow, here they had this wedding reception. And they ran out of refreshments. Yeah, I’ve had three daughters married, and I break into a cold sweat just at the thought of having a wedding reception, and then running out of things to eat and drink. [chuckle]
You’d have to say to them, “Well, we’re glad to have you here, but we’ve run out. And so just leave your present by the door as you go.” [chuckle] Wouldn’t that be awful? Well, it said, “They lacked wine.” The mother of Jesus said, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said, “Mine hour is not yet come,” but the mother of Jesus said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, you do it.” And so you remember the miracle of changing the water into wine. After the servants had filled up these large water pots of stone, then our Lord Jesus said, “Now you give a sample of that to the master of ceremonies,” which they did. And when He had tasted it He said, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, and when have well drunk, then that which is worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee. What’s the point? Well, apart from the fact that in that culture they did drink wine, and in our Christian culture we are, many of us, teetotalers. Because we’ve learned that we don’t need alcohol. We have pure water for the most part in our country. And we know the damage the liquor does in people’s lives.
Not only those by the millions who are alcoholics. Someone has said that there’s six million, I don’t know how they determined that, but that’s what I read the other day, alcoholics in our country. People, that is to say, who are the victims of an acquired disease where their body demands alcohol, and where if they quit, they go back over across the line, and fall off the cliff even with one drink. Anyhow, we know what the damage is that alcohol does, so we really don’t need it. And so many of us, yours truly included, are teetotalers. We just don’t go for that. Having said that, this is no slur on the culture that was enforced in Bible times. You live with the facts of history as they are, not as they might have been. The point of the story, it seems to me is, that the Lord Jesus is the answer when the wine of life runs out. Look, anything you depend upon is going to wear thin and fail. You know that. You think, “Oh, I have this new friendship and now life will be wonderful,” and all of a sudden this new friend disappoints you. You think, “Oh, I have this new job and I’m making much more money, and now everything will be wonderful.” And then you find out that the old problems and heartaches that you brought along with you are still there.
This pastor announced the fact that one of his members had moved away. Said, “I have to tell you that Mrs. So and So has packed up and gone to San Diego. She hopes to start a new life there.” But he says, “I do have bad news for her, she brought herself with here when she moved.” [chuckle] And that’s true of all of us. The wine of life runs out and the things that you thought would satisfy, cease to satisfy. And the things you thought would bring you peace only bring turbulence. And the people you thought that you could depend upon only end up failing you at some point or other. Never tie your faith to a human being, because all of us human beings fail at some point or other. Tie your faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, He never fails. And so the real point of that story is not just the miracle that turned water into wine. It’s the fact that when you’re up against it, and the wine of life has run out, the Lord Jesus Christ is the answer. With renewed blessing and renewed power, and renewed strength, renewed vision and enthusiasm.
You never have to be the victim of what the world calls “burn out” when the Lord Jesus Christ is running your life, and the Holy Spirit is filling your life. That’s Chapter 2. Parenthetically, the end of the chapter has our Lord cleansing the temple. He went in and cast out those that were buying and selling. And he said, “Take these things, hence make not Father’s house a house of merchandise.” And they asked the inevitable question, “What right do you have? What right do you have to give us orders?” And so Christ is the answer to the question, “Who has the right to leadership?” And the answer is found in His resurrection power. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. And He spoke,” says John, “of the temple of His body.” The resurrection. What he was actually saying was, “What right do I have to give orders? I’m a specialist in resurrection. Can you match that?” Now you say, “How does that affect me as a Christian?” Why, the power of the resurrection is yours and mine by faith.
“That you might know the exceeding greatness of His power to us who believe,” says Paul, “Even that which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.” The same power that was operative at the resurrection can be operating in your life, bless your heart, when you trust the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s the answer to the question of leadership. You be an example of the resurrection power of Christ, and you’ll have so many people following you, you won’t know what to do with them. He’s the answer. We’ll get at some more of this the next time we get together.
Father God today, oh, may we know Jesus as the answer to our life’s problems, by faith. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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