Friday, March 10, 2017

Lent 2

Lent 2
12 March 2017
John 3:1-17

O God, You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power, defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Father loves you.
1. He sent His Son to be lifted up. 
2. He gives everlasting life to believers.
3. He draws people to believe in Jesus.

Just as people who are bitten by poisonous snakes need help, so Nicodemus, a Pharisee and ruler, needed help too. To make his point, Jesus recalled the experience of the children of Israel in the wilderness. God sent poisonous snakes to bit the disobedient people. Moses made a snake out of brass. By God’s direction, he set it up in the camp. Whoever was bitten could look at the snake and be saved. The people gladly looked at the brass likeness and lived. 

In like manner, the Father moves to save you from the predicament of sin. We want to listen to Jesus today. His live draws you to salvation and a God-pleasing life. How can this happen? The Father loves you. 

The Father loves you.
1. He sent His Son to be lifted up.
A. By nature, we are like the children of Israel in great danger.
1. Snakes don’t plague us, usually of course.
2. But we are plagued by sin, which causes death. 

B. The Father sent Jesus.
1. He came into the middle of our world. The snake pit.
2. The Father lifted Him on a cross. “With His stripes you are healed.” –Isaiah 53:5
3. John 3:16 captures the Father’s plan. He loved you so much that He sent His Son to be lifted up for your forgiveness, life, salvation.  
The reason this Son of Humanity is “lifted up" is because God unconditionally loves the cosmos—(Gk ‘cosmou’)--the entire universe, the whole creation.  The love of God includes everything in creation--All are included, even God's enemies.  God did not come to condemn, but to save.  Not only did God not hate your enemies, He didn't even hate His own enemies.

2. He gives everlasting life to believers.
A. In the Old Testament wilderness, anyone who looked at the brass serpent was saved.
1. They were given the invitation to be saved. No one forced them to look.
2. Those who did look were saved from the firry venom.

B. Likewise, Jesus promises that those who believe in Him have everlasting life.
1. This is a gracious invitation. To know Jesus who is Jesus is, give assent to His grace, and trust Him to do what He promises. No strings attached. That’s gospel!
2. Believers have life now. It was as close to Nicodemus as the information and invitation Jesus gave to him.  Believers have in their hearts right now the assurance that they are saved. God loves us so much that He gives us eternal life.

3. He draws people to believe in Jesus.
A. People are drawn to Jesus through Jesus!
1. He came as a light to people in darkness. People are by nature in the dark. (Example: Mammoth cave.} There is no self-created light. Jesus gives light to people who love darkness. Because they are doing wrong.  
2. Believers are a lot like bugs who gather around the porch light at night during the summer. (Example: the country doctor delivering triplets – drawn to the light.)  We have seen the Light of Jesus Christ and have been drawn to it. When we see Jesus. He reveals our sins and forgives them, and now in His light God sees us as righteous. Now He uses you to draw others to the light of Christ.
3. The Father did not send Jesus into the world so that people would be ashamed, scared, and guilty. Rather, He came so that we might have life through Him.
B. You can tell if God’s love is drawing you.
1. How do you feel with you read: “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light.” v.20? Do you feel a need to stop doing what is wrong, to let God straighten it up for you? That’s God’s love drawing you.
2. When we read: “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should hot perish but have eternal life.” V. 16 do you get a feeling of relief? That’s the Father’s great love drawing you!
3. The Father will continue to draw you to the Savior’s light. Don’t be like night crawlers that come out at night after the rain. (or crickets left on Harper #8) When the light hits them, the zip back down into the darkness. God does not want to harm you. He wants to save you. He has sent His Son so that by faith in Him we live in His light. 
Passive Sentences –14%
Readability – 84%
Reading Level -4.0
Image: Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for private and congregational use

No comments: