The new life of God brings a new law, a new way of existing – alive, not condemned.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, my dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back with you once again for some precious moments which we can share concerning the Word of God. We’re in John chapter 3, the Gospel of John that is, 3:17, “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.” “He that believeth,” remember that word ‘believe’ means commit yourself to Him absolutely. “He that commits himself to Christ absolutely in trust is not condemned but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Everywhere you go, you will find people afraid of God and resentful of Him. I stood in the Temple of 500 gods in Canton, China years ago. Irwin Rates and his wife were my host and hostess, and I stood with them in this huge temple with 500 Buddhas, each one precisely like the other, except for one statue which wore a hat. I was told that they gave that particular statue of the Buddha a hat in honor of Marco Polo, who came through China many centuries before. And as I watched, there were people coming in and purchasing incense sticks, joss sticks of incense and leaving their offerings of money or whatever they had and taking some little bunch of Chinese vegetables and leaving them in front of the particular image before which they were bowing down. And there was one in particular, a lady with a tiny baby strapped to her back, who was bowing down so vigorously that I could hear her forehead hit that cold stone floor with a solid thwack when she bowed down, and I said to Irwin Rates, “What is she saying?” “Oh,” he said, “She is hoping to appease the anger of the gods and hoping that her luck will change. She has a sick child at home.”
You go into all the different countries of the world and you’ll find people are afraid of their deities and particularly of the living God, whom they instinctively know is greater than all of the idols and fetishes and customs that they have. See, that goes back to the Garden of Eden. Adam said, “I heard thy voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself. I was afraid.” And so you talk with people about things eternal and immediately they say, “Well, God, how can He be a God of love and send people to hell?” If you think about this verse that we just read, John 3:17, it gives the lie to all that sort of thinking, libelous thinking concerning God, accusing God of sending people to hell. God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. The point being that unless something is done to change me, I’m already lost. Not some time lost, but already lost. That’s the problem, you see? And so, the Lord Jesus Christ came into this world to do that very thing and oh, how we thank Him for coming, not to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.
You see, what I need is somebody to save me from judgment. Our Lord Jesus said in a later passage, “He that heareth my word and believeth on Him that sent me hath everlasting life and shall not come into judgment but is passed from death unto life.” Every one of us, beloved, and you know this so well if you’ve studied your Bible, every one of us is headed for judgment. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” So every one of us is headed for judgment before a holy God, and I often say to people, “You do your best but you fail, don’t you?” And of course, the answer is yes. Everybody wants to be known as having done his or her best, but our best isn’t good enough and we fail, and we fall short. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
Two men running for a train and one man is thinner than the other so he runs faster, and he gets there just as the train pulls out and the heavier, more bulky man gets there 10 seconds later. Now, which one of them missed the train the most? Well, you smile, you say, “Well, silly. They both missed it.” Precisely. And you and I compare ourselves with other people’s faults mistakenly, because we’ve come short of the glory of God and we’re already condemned, that’s the point. It’s not that you’ll be lost some day, my dear friend. You’re already lost, unless Jesus saves you. God isn’t sending people to hell. They go there of their own volition because they refuse His salvation.
Coreen and I served as pastor and pastor’s wife in LaSalle, Illinois for five years. Wonderful years. The Lord was so good to us there in giving us the chance to minister to those precious people. One of the families was the Camry family and Jim, the oldest son, went off to war right after Pearl Harbor. He served in the Navy all through the war and finally came home after the war was over, and I had a chance to talk with him time and time again. A fine young man. He told me that oftentimes when they were out in the South Pacific, the kamikaze bombers would come at them and on one particular occasion, the ship on which he was serving was attacked by one of these kamikaze bombers, suicide bombers. Well, the pilot missed his objective and his plane crashed just a few hundred yards beyond the ship out in the waters, and the order was given to lower a small boat over the side of the ship and go out and see if they could save the pilot. And Jim Camry told me that when they got there in this small boat, they saw the pilot bobbing and treading water and staying afloat right where his plane had gone down.
And so they moved toward him and just as they came within reach of him, he lifted one hand as if in farewell and slid beneath the waves, for he had been told that under no circumstances must he allow himself to be rescued. He had to die rather. A sad business, of course, but Jim Camry looked at me and he said, “You know, preacher,” he said, “If a man doesn’t wanna be saved you can’t save him, can you?” No, that’s right. If you don’t wanna be different, nobody can help you, but if you do wanna be different Jesus can help you. “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost,” said he. “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.”
And so you and I need to adopt a different point of view instead of being resentful of God and criticizing Him. We need to realize that He’s doing everything He possibly can to save you from eternal loss. He that believeth on Him is not condemned. What is this matter of believe? You remember I told you what it is. It’s committing yourself absolutely to God, trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and as your Savior, giving Him the right to rule in your life, asking Him to forgive your sins and to make you a child of God, all of which He does when you trust Him by faith. But the number one result is that you’re not condemned. Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
My old theology professor, Dr. Champion, there at Eastern Baptist Seminary, used to say, “Every life has its law.” The law of the acorn is the law of the oak, and the law of the polliwog is the law of frog. “Every life has its law. And the law of the Spirit of life in Christ,” said he. That’s the law of the new life that God places in you, in distinction to the law of sin and death which you have because you’re a lost, sinful human being. The new life of God brings a new law, a new way of existing, not condemned. But He said, “He that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” The name. What name? Jesus. What does it mean? Savior. If you believe on His name that means you trust Him to do what His name means. Save you.
Am I talking to somebody just now that has never done this? You’ve never opened your heart to the Lord? You’ve never asked Him to forgive your sins and to make you a child of God? Why don’t you take care of that matter right now? Don’t even wait ’til this broadcast is over. Get down on your knees if you have an opportunity or if you’re driving in the car, pull off by the side of the road if you can and just ask the Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart and life and make you a child of God and save you. He will. “Whosoever,” the Bible says, “Call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Now, what is the turning point that makes the difference between eternal life and eternal loss? He says this is the condemnation. Interestingly enough, the word ‘condemnation’ in your Greek New Testament is our word ‘crisis,’ spelled almost the same way. This is a crisis. Had you ever stopped to think of your attitude towards Jesus as representing a crisis point in your life? A turning point? Well, it is. This is the condemnation that light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
Now, John writing in his first epistle, said, “This is the message we have heard of Him that God is light. And in Him is no darkness at all.” In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, you find the words, “In Him was life and the life was the light of men.” So when he talks about the light, he’s talking about Jesus, isn’t he? Light has come in. Jesus has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. “For everyone that doeth evil hates the light. Neither cometh to the light lest his deeds should be reproved, but he that doeth truth comes to the light that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God.” Here’s the crisis, the turning point in your life is your attitude toward Jesus, the light of the world. That’s the turning point, whether or not you realize it, there it is. And your attitude is determined by what you love.
You know, interestingly enough, men loved darkness. That verb that’s translated ‘loved’ in verse 19 that, “men loved darkness” is the same verb that is used in John 3:16, “God so loved the world.” A divine, all-encompassing love that takes in you and me and all our need. And the same verb is used, ‘agapao.’ Men loved darkness like God loves people. Shake you up a little when you think about that, doesn’t it? Your attitude towards sin if you cleave to it is the obverse of God’s attitude toward poor, lost sinners that He wants to save. No wonder it’s impossible for Him to save you if you love your sin. Turn from it today, will you? And let Jesus come into your heart.
Dear Father, today, may we love Jesus with all our hearts. I pray in His name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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