Monthly Archives: May 2020

I’ll Be Back!

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

Introduction— Today we end a journey through 21 chapters of John’s Gospel. 

  • Chapter 1 – John tells us that Jesus is the living Word
  • Chapter 2 – Jesus performs His first miracle by changing water into wine
  • Chapter 3 – Jesus says that “one must be born again”
  • Chapter 4 – Jesus encounters the woman at the well, so He could explain to her that He is the living water
  • Chapter 5 – Jesus explains the authority that has been given to Him
  • Chapter 6 – Jesus feed the thousands with a few fish and a few bread loaves
  • Chapter 7 – Jesus begins preaching the Kingdom of God, thus the controversy follows
  • Chapter 8 – Jesus boldly says “I am the Light of the World”
  • Chapter 9 – Jesus heals the blind man, but reveals the spiritual blindness of the world
  • Chapter 10 – Jesus accuses Satan of stealing, killing, and destroying, while claiming the full life
  • Chapter 11 – Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead
  • Chapter 12 – Mary anoints Jesus by pouring perfume on Jesus feet, while wiping it with her hair
  • Chapter 13 – Jesus washes the disciples feet reminding them that He came as a servant leader
  • Chapter 14 – Jesus exclaims that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, while promising the coming of the Holy Spirit
  • Chapter 15 – Jesus says He is the vine and we are the branches, and we are to show the world how much Jesus loves us by loving each other
  • Chapter 16 – Jesus explains the work of the Holy Spirit, and He comforts us with peace
  • Chapter 17 – Jesus prays for Himself, His current followers, and His future followers
  • Chapter 18 – Jesus is arrested, while Peter denies Jesus 3 times
  • Chapter 19 – Jesus is sentenced, crucified, dies, and is buried
  • Chapter 20 – Jesus rises from the grave, and makes His first resurrection appearance
  • Chapter 21 – Jesus makes His final appearance to challenge His followers to spread the Gospel

That is where we are today. We are expected to spread the gospel until Jesus returns. It is not an option, it is an expectation. When Jesus comes back, and He will be back, He is coming back to gather His church, His people, His sheep! His words to Peter in our text this morning are really for all of us that claim His name.

Read—John 21:15-25

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Pray

  • Church, do you love Jesus? Then feed my sheep, is what Jesus says. 
  • Let’s break down what all this means for us today. 
  • Jesus is obviously calling out Peter to be a leader, pastor, or whatever title you want to label Him. 
  • Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? Do you love me more than your brothers, or your fishing, or anything else that could be put in place of me?
  • Simon, son of John, do you really love me? 
  • Simon, son of John, I have got to know, do you LOVE me? 
  • When your parents use your full name to call you out, you know its serious, don’t you?
  • Jesus wanted Peter’s attention, because this was the last time He would receive face to face instructions from Jesus.
  • Feed my lambs, take care of my sheep, feed my sheep. 
  • What was Peter going to feed the lambs (babies) to sheep (adults)? The Word of God! 
  • Peter got it because he wrote in 1 Peter 2:2-3—Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
  • People need God’s instructions and His Word. Deuteronomy 3:8—He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
  • Jesus reiterated this passage to Satan himself in Matthew 4:4, as Satan was trying to convince Jesus to prove His Lordship by changing stones into bread. 
  • Hebrews 5:12-14—In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. 
  • My people need solid teaching. Teaching that will mature them, disciple them, and guide them into leadership. 
  • You are not created to be part of the body of Christ just to squander your time, talents, and treasure. Jesus will return one day. Don’t you want to stand before Him unashamed of the life you lived? Don’t you stand before Him knowing you lived out your calling?
  • Jesus says to Peter once again, “Follow Me.” In verse 19. Why would Jesus reiterate the same words when He first called Peter to “follow Him?” We need to be reminded of what God has called us to do. And that is to follow Him. Peter you must not sway from this calling in your life because it is easy to follow someone or something else when it gets tough.
  • Jesus said follow me. Join me. Love me.
  • What can we say about the Gospel of John? Are we going to take what we learned and use to His glory? Or will we follow Him?
  • What does it mean to follow Jesus?

In conclusion—Jesus is coming back to collect His prize and that is His church. When that day comes, it won’t be like any other day. The day will come like a thief in the night. 

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11—Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Do you love Jesus, then feed His people and follow Him, because the He will be back, so Hebrews 12: 1-4—Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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The Resurrected King!

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

Introduction—What will a resurrected body look like? Will it be similar to what we have currently? I know this much for sure according to the Bible; our bodies will be made imperishable. What that means is this: there will be no more death, no more pain, no more sickness, no more evil, and the best thing will be there will no more sin! Halleluiah! In a resurrected body, the fulfillment of the plan and purpose of the Almighty God will come into full understanding and we will see and know all things. 

How do we know that? According to the Holy Scriptures, Jesus is in a resurrected body and we have hundreds of eyewitness testimony of His appearances and reappearances. It would be somewhat difficult if all we had was one appearance to one person, and that is what we had to go on for our faith. We could still believe and follow Christ, but Jesus knew what it was to be human, therefore, He knew how hard it is to convince us of this truth. So he showed up several times, and to many people. 

Jesus is the resurrected King!

Read—John 21:1-14

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

  1. Jesus cares about your daily life—verses 1-4
  2. Do you ever wonder if in your daily routine, you are making any difference? 
  3. Does my life count as I work week after week, year after year?
  4. Am I creating a legacy for generations to come or just existing?
  5. Good questions to ask ourselves because we do sometimes wonder about these things. 
  6. Verse 1—Jesus appearance is one that is after His resurrection. In verse 14, John states that this is Jesus 3rdappearance since His resurrection. If you have a copy of the word in another translation, yours might have the word appearance 2 times in verse one. Jesus appeared again to His disciples and He appeared this way. 
  7. John’s language is characteristic for the way He wrote. John wants us to know that Jesus’ appearance was so that we would know that Jesus was the One behind the appearing, and Him alone.
  8. In verse 2, the 7 disciples were together in Galilee, away from all the chaos of the Jerusalem, and probably discouraged over the death of Jesus.  
  9. The kingdom had not yet come, so they went back to what they knew in order to sustain their livelihood.
  10. Fishing. Any fishermen or fisherwomen here this morning? You know what a discouragement it is go out and prepare, spend the money, spend your time, etc., and come away empty handed, don’t you. 
  11. In verse 3, Peter tells the group, I’m out. I going fishing. By now you should recognize that Peter is the group leader, because they want to follow him. They say to Peter, “we are going with you.” 
  12. The group is probably ready to do something to get their mind off of all the recent events, and I believe they were excited to go back to fishing. There is a feeling of accomplishment when you go out to do something and you succeed. 
  13. The excitement is ended with disappointment. The challenge of catching some fish ended up with nothing. 
  14. Listen, life can be disappointing at times, life can become mundane, life isn’t what its cracked up to be at seasons in your life. 
  15. But during those times, Jesus is there. He is concerned with everyday events that go on in your life. He wants to show Himself to you
  16. Verse 4, Jesus is watching the disciples in their routine of life. He sees their disappointment and He watches over them. 
  17. Jesus cares for our everyday life. 

Illustration—The year was 1920. The scene was the examining board for selecting missionaries. Standing before the board was a young man named Oswald Smith. One dream dominated his heart. He wanted to be a missionary. Over and over again, he prayed, “Lord, I want to go as a missionary for you. Open a door of service for me.” Now, at last, his prayer would be answered. When the examination was over, the board turned Oswald Smith down. He did not meet their qualifications. He failed the test. Oswald Smith had set his direction, but now life gave him a detour. What would he do? As Oswald Smith prayed, God planted another idea in his heart. If he could not go as a missionary, he would build a church, which could send out missionaries. And that is what he did. Oswald Smith pastored The People’s Church in Toronto, Canada, which sent out more missionaries than any other church at that time. We are currently supporting 153 nationals and over 300 missionaries around the world. Oswald Smith brought God into the situation, and God transformed his detour into a main thoroughfare of service. 

Application—Have you allowed your thinking to realize that Jesus, the resurrected King is making preparation for you as you live out your daily routines? 

Colossians 3:23-24—Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

  • Jesus desires to connect with you—verses 5-9
  • We are wired for connection. We desire to be connected to people. It is by God’s design that you and I are created this way. We need connection.
  • Jesus absolutely knew that. He calls out to the disciples in verse 5, “Friends haven’t you any fish?” The question is constructed in a way that we know that Jesus knew they hadn’t caught any fish. The disciples answer “no.”
  • Verse 6—Jesus says to the disciples to cats their nets on the other side of the boat and doesn’t leave them hanging, He continues and says on that side you will find fish. 
  • Sometimes during our living out life, we forget that we could be fishing on the wrong side and if we aren’t in a constant state of connectedness with God, we may not here Him say “cast your net on the other side and you will find fish over there. 
  • When we do what we are asked to do we too can be connected to God and have an impact living out life.
  • Verse 7—John realizes its Jesus and I could see him lifting up His hands in joyous exclamation yelling, “It is the Lord!” Peter cant wit for the boat to get to shore and jumps into the water and swims to meet His master!
  • Verse 8-9—as the boat comes ashore, there is a fire going with fish and bread. As they see this I cant help but think that the disciples must have remembered when Jesus fed the multitudes on a hillside with only a few fish and a few loaves of bread. You see the magnitude here? Jesus is cooking a few fish and some bread as they are hauling in this enormous catch. Or they could be reminiscing of the last supper when Jesus broke bread and said that He would not eat again until He had come into the presence of His Father. 
  • There is so much you could take from this meeting even going back to when Jesus first called this group of men to follow Him for the sake of mankind to spread the Gospel.

Application—Are you connected to Jesus? Would you recognize Him if He asked you to change what you were doing in order to make a bigger difference? 

  • Jesus wants fellowship with you—verses 10-14
  • Verse 10—Jesus asks for some of the fish to be brought to Him, not to cook because breakfast was already on the fire. I think it so Jesus could remind them of power of God. It was a visual illustration.
  • Verse 11—John is so detailed about the number of caught since He was actually there. 153. It is such an odd number, but nonetheless, the number of fish is given. 153 / 7 equals 21.85 fish per disciple represented there on the beach. 
  • Here is why I think the number is significant. I believe it represents the large number of disciples and blessings that would ensue once the group started the church shortly after this exchange. It isn’t that the 153 is such a meaningful number, but that it image would be a reminder for them and for us that Jesus wants us to experience large amounts of blessings. 
  • The last few verses in our text represent the real meaning of Jesus and His purpose for the visit. He wants fellowship with us. He really does. When you think of the word fellowship, food seems to be part of that equation, doesn’t it? It is a big part of what we do while we our living out our purpose. Jesus knows that and He sits and eats with His followers in His resurrected body. 
  • Many questions have been raised about many thing of what we will actually do with our new bodies. I can say form a Biblical point of view, that there will be eating as we see here in our passage. 
  • It wont be because we are hungry or have a need to sustain us, but I believe it will be for our enjoyment and pleasure as we fellowship together reminding ourselves of all the great fish hauls that God has placed in our lives!
  • He has blessed us so abundantly and beyond measure and even beyond belief in some cases. Amen. 

Application—Have you been inviting Jesus to your fellowships? He is eager to meet with you. Why not ask Him today?

In Conclusion1 Corinthians 15:35-58

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?

    Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Thank God! He’s Alive!

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

Introduction – Life is one of things that we cling to naturally. We are wired to live. God created us to fight for life. That is why we all have within us a knowledge of God, who is the author of life.

Romans 1:20—For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

So, according to Romans 1:20, I believe naturally we look to seek after life, when and if we fully understood that the One we really seek is God. It is in us to know God. 

Life, when lived to fullest, is a continual flow toward a great God, who has an eternal purpose in store for us. He is life, and thank God, He is alive!

ReadJohn 20:19-31

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

  1. Jesus Offers Peace
  2. , we see the gathering of the saints. Translation, they were having church, it was Sunday.   

Illustration—Real peace comes from the King. Horatio Spafford knew that first hand. He had lost his only son at the age of 4 to scarlet fever. He lost all of his real estate business in the Chicago fires of 1871. Two years later, in 1873, Spafford decided his family should take a holiday somewhere in Europe and chose England knowing that his friend D.L. Moody would be preaching there in the fall. He was delayed because of business, so he sent his family ahead: his wife and their four children, daughters eleven-year-old Tanetta, nine-year-old Elizabeth “Bessie”, five-year-old Margaret Lee, and two-year-old Anna “Annie”.

On November 22, 1873, while crossing the Atlantic on the steamship, Villa Du Haure, their ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel, and 226 people lost their lives, including all four of Spafford’s daughters. Anna Spafford survived the tragedy. Upon arriving in England, she sent a telegram to Spafford beginning “Saved alone.”[6] Spafford then sailed to England, going over the location of his daughters’ deaths. According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote “It Is Well with My Soul” on this journey.

Application—Have you experienced the peace of Jesus today?

  • Jesus Offers the Holy Spirt
  • . Repeat
  • says when Jesus breathes life into our lives by way of the Holy Spirit, we are to forgive others. This is the sign that you have received the real Jesus. 
  • For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
  • Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

Application—Do you want forgiveness today? When was the last time you forgave someone not just with your lips but also with the power of the Holy Spirit?

Jesus Offers Assurance

  • Illustration1 John 5:13—I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

We struggle with assurance. Jesus knows that. He willingly shows us that He is who He says He is. He cant physically show His hands and side since He is awaiting His final return to earth, but He shows us through many other ways of assuring presence. He has given us His word, His church, His people, and most importantly, the availability of Himself through the power of prayer.

Application—Do you need to know for sure that Jesus is alive? I challenge you this morning to read the Bible, to get connected to a small group bible study, and to pray on a regular basis, so that you can receive that assurance to be able to live for Him. 

Jesus Offers Life

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Illustrations—This is Amazing Grace song lyrics:

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness

Whose love is mighty and so much stronger

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder

And leaves us breathless in awe and wonder

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

[Chorus:]

This is amazing grace

This is unfailing love

That You would take my place

That You would bear my cross

You lay down Your life

That I would be set free

Oh, Jesus, I sing for

All that You’ve done for me

Application—Do you have life today? Do you want life today? Ask the One who gave His life for you so that you can truly live a life of amazing grace. 

Conclusion—I so am thankful that Jesus is alive! His amazing qualities are available to all: Real peace, real forgiveness, a real Holy Spirit, real assurance, and of course real life, eternal life.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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The Empty Tomb

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

Introduction—Thanksgiving is a time for us to be thankful for all that God has blessed us with. We gather with family, friends, food, and fellowship. It truly is a time to be thankful.

Following Jesus’ death & burial, the followers must have been wondering about their next move. I am not sure they could be thankful that their Lord was no longer with them. They must have sensed a lot of confusion during this time. Oh, yes they were told of the coming events, they were forewarned about the hatred the world would have for Jesus, and they were able to ask any and all questions about how this would happen.

When we have Jesus we are blessed.

Read—John 20:1-18

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Pray

  1. Verse 1—The first day of the week is Sunday. So, Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene is going to see Jesus.
  2. When you came here this morning, did you come to see Jesus? It’s Sunday morning, and we are here to investigate our Lord. That’s what we are doing. You and I need to know where is Jesus. We are searching for the Master. 
  3. We open the Scriptures to see Jesus. If you came to church on a Sunday morning and the preacher got up to give the sermon, and the sermon had nothing to do about nothing, you would leave here still wondering where is this Jesus that people talk about.
  4. Jesus is to be the centrality of all sermons coming from this pulpit. If I take a detour from where I am supposed to go, you call me out on it.
  5. Jesus is the One we seek, just like Mary Magdalene in our passage. 
  6. Oh, she probably went there to weep, grieve, or even pray since Jesus was locked up behind a huge boulder. But she knew where Jesus was. She wanted to be where Jesus was. 
  7. Do you want to be where Jesus is? You came to the right place this morning.
  8. Mary Magdalene saw that the stone has been removed from the entrance. She must have been wondering if she was at the right place because a stone of this size could not be moved without a degree of difficulty. 
  9. How was the stone rolled away?
  10. Matthew 28: 2—There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
  11. Mark 16:1-3—When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
  12. The reason they were going to anoint the Jesus body again was an act of love. This would keep the smell of the decaying body away. These followers loved their Lord. 
  13. Do you love Jesus that much? 
  14. Verse 2—Mary sees that Jesus’ body is gone and runs to tell Peter and John the news. The body is gone and I have no idea where they put Him.
  15. When we are confronted with bad news, we respond in various ways. Sometimes our minds just can’t handle what has occurred. This was the case of Mary Magdalene. 
  16. We too have responded in many ways when our hearts our hurt. I know that Mary knew Jesus was the Lord and He would defeat death, but it was still very confusing. 
  17. Mary goes to tell the disciples and she assumed that the body was stolen because she says, “they have Lord out of the tomb and I don’t know where they put Him.”
  18. No one could have possible pulled off a heist like that. The tomb was sealed with a large boulder and according to 
  19. Matthew 27:62-66The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. 
  20. Verse 3-4—Peter and John take off running, and John just blazes past big ol’ Peter and arrives first to the tomb. I imagined that would happen if Miguel and me took off running for a destination of some sort. He would obviously beat me there. 
  21. Verse 5-7—John waits on Peter to go first. Even though John was faster, Peter is tougher. Fearless. He walks on in and sees an amazing thing. He sees strips of linen and cloth right where Jesus body had been.
    1. The grave-clothes weren’t just thrown everywhere, but they where in the same place that Jesus laid, meaning it must have appeared like His body vanished. 
    1. In the NLT, John 20:7, states that the clothe was folded and lying apart from the other wrappings.
    1. Here we have remnants of a body thought to have been stolen, but with the impossible task of moving a stone guarded by a soldier from the greatest military on the planet at the time. 
    1. I am thankful for the grave clothes and what they represent. A Savior who did exactly what He said would do. 
    1. John 2:18-22—The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
    1. John 11:25—Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
  22. Verse 8—In verse 8, John enters the empty tomb and he saw and he believed. I think so many of us are like John—cautious, scared, and unsure. We want to see so that we can believe. It helps our minds get a grip on what is going on.
    1. It is so important to be the model for others to see Jesus in you in order for them to believe.
    1. You represent the Kingdom of God, and people are looking for the genuine article. There is no such thing as an imitation Christian. 
  23. Verses 11-18—Mary Magdalene is the first person to see actually see the Risen Lord. If you have ever wondered about your ministry as a female, Jesus trusts you with the most vital information. He brought this precious news of His appearance to a woman in order for her to bring that news to the disciples. God obviously has a purpose for women in ministry.
    1. Mary is still distraught over the loss of Jesus
    1. She sees what seem like angels in the sitting in the tomb.
    1. They started talking to Mary. Mary may not be able to see much through her tears, but she can hear.
    1. The angels ask Mary, “Why are you crying?”
    1. My response would have been very sarcastic. I don’t like being asked something that I know the one asking knows the answer to. I would have said something like this: “WHY DO THINK I AM CRYING?”
    1. Of course that’s why I wasn’t allowed at this event and born much later. 
    1. Mary’s response is appropriate, “I can’t find my Jesus,” is what I hear from her statement. Mary needed Jesus to reassure her, to comfort her, and to show Himself to her.
    1. We need Jesus to assure us, comfort us, and show Himself to us.
    1. Jesus always comes through doesn’t He? 
    1. Look at His response to Mary’s confusion. Jesus says in verse 16, “Mary.” That’s it. Just her name.
    1. Jesus always knows how to get our attention. He can call out your name and if you know Him as your Lord, you can respond like Mary does.
    1. In verse 16, once Mary realizes it is Jesus calling her name, she responds with the title “teacher” or “Master.” 
    1. And so Jesus teaches her again in verse 17, that He is in the process of finalizing the resurrection status in order for all to call God their father. 
    1. Then in verse 18, Mary’s response is “I have seen the Lord!”
    1. Our response today should be no less as well. We too have seen the Lord in His Word of Truth!

Conclusion—Be thankful for the empty tomb and the grave clothes. They represent the Truth of the Gospel and are key items in the resurrection story that offers great hope for all people. 

An empty tomb.

Grave clothes.

Thank God! 

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Finality

Introduction—Jesus death on a cross was never plan “b”. It was always plan “a”. God in His infinite wisdom had always had the cross in His plan. No one would ever be able to say that God was unapproachable, God was unavailable, or that God was unlovable. God, through the cross, made a way for all of humankind to come to a place and time where He was approachable, available, and lovable. You may here this morning thinking that God has forgotten about you. He hasn’t. You too have always been part of His plan. Today as we read from His Word, I pray you will find yourself in God’s redemption plan!

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

ReadJohn 19:28-42

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Pray

  1. Final Words—verses 28-30
  2. As Jesus hangs from the cross of Calvary, He utters His final earthy statements, I am thirsty, and it is finished
  3. “I am thirsty.” Jesus musters up enough courage to ask for a drink to utter His final statement, and final words. 
  4. “It is finished” represents the plan of God. God had purposed this day from the start. Some have said that since humans could not obey God’s original commands and limited access to God, then He decided to send Jesus so that we could access God at anytime from the moment we come to Christ. But that just isn’t true. God’s commands actually point us to the fact that we need a Savior since we could never fulfill the obedience of His law. Therefore, Jesus death and burial has always been plan A.

IllustrationThe Last 7 Words of Jesus Christ:

(1) Matthew 27:46 tells us that about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Here, Jesus was expressing His feelings of abandonment as God placed the sins of the world on Him – and because of that, God had to “turn away” from Jesus. As Jesus was feeling that weight of sin, He was experiencing a separation from God for the only time in all of eternity. This was also a fulfillment of the prophetic statement in Psalm 22:1.

(2) Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. Those who crucified Jesus were not aware of the full scope of what they were doing because they did not recognize Him as the Messiah. While their ignorance of divine truth did not mean they deserved forgiveness, Christ’s prayer in the midst of their mocking Him is an expression of the limitless compassion of divine grace. 

(3) Luke 23:42-43 “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” In this passage, Jesus is assuring one of the criminals on the cross that when he died, he would be with Jesus in heaven. This was granted because even at the hour of his death, the criminal had expressed his faith in Jesus, recognizing Him for who He was.

(4) Luke 23:46 “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit” Here, Jesus is willingly giving up His soul into the Father’s hands, indicating that He was about to die – and that God had accepted His sacrifice.

(5) John 19:26-27 “Dear Woman, here is your son!” and “Here is your mother!” When Jesus saw His mother standing near the cross with the Apostle John, whom He loved, He committed His mother’s care into John’s hands. And from that hour John took her unto his own home. In this verse Jesus, ever the compassionate Son, is making sure His earthly mother is cared for after His death.

(6) John 19:28 “I am thirsty.” Jesus was here fulfilling the Messianic prophecy from Psalm 69:21: “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.” 

(7) John 19:30 “It is finished!” Jesus’ last words meant that His suffering was over and the whole work His Father had given Him to do, which was to preach the Gospel, work miracles, and obtain eternal salvation for His people, was done, accomplished, fulfilled. The debt of sin was paid in full.

Application—When you die and leave this earth, do you know for sure where you will spend eternity? Will you be able to say, “It is finished”, meaning you have completed your purpose that God assigned to you?

  • Final preparations 31-37
  • The bodies had to taken down off the crosses. The 2 criminals had their legs broken to speed up the death process.
  • Jesus life ended at the end of His earthly work, so there was no need to break His bones. One of many prophetic Messianic truths that have been fulfilled. 
  • Exodus 12:46—“It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones. This was not only a rule for partaking in the Passover; it was part of the careful preparations in order to be in the presence of a Holy God.  
  • John 10:17-18—The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
  • Jesus’ side was pieced by a soldier to see if there was a reaction, but we know that this too was a fulfillment of Scriptural prophecy. 
  • Isaiah 53:4-5—Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Illustration—Burial preparations are tough. They can be messy as well, especially if you have a large family. Everyone wants to make sure the loved one is remembered for who they were. Emotions run high, tempers can flare, and many times the one being remembered is forgotten all for the sake of personal desires. 

Jesus burial preparations had already been taken care of. All the Scriptures were pre-ordained for this very day, much like your life will be when your Lord calls you home. No surprises on that day. 

Application—Have you made preparations for your final resting place? Which will it be heaven or hell?

  • Final goodbyes-verses 38-42
  • As Jesus body is being laid to rest, goodbyes are in order. 
  • A final goodbye gives closure to Jesus’ death. 
  • Spices, aloes, and grave clothes make His death a reality.
  • Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin. This group upheld the law and made all decisions regarding the law. They were a lot like our supreme court is today. So for a member to of this group to give a burial tomb to Jesus was a big deal. Joseph obviously loved Jesus and was able to express his goodbye by providing the tomb. 
  • Jesus body was laid to rest and that was the final goodbye.

Illustration—Goodbyes are necessary when it comes to death, but what about your spiritual death? 

Application—Have you said goodbye to your old self? 

Conclusion—We have finished the entire birth, life, death, and now burial of our Lord through our study of John. John has given you and me a first hand account of what Jesus’ plan is for us. If you are still wondering and struggling with God’s plan for you, start by asking yourself this question. If today was the your final day, and you were going to stand before a holy God, what would be your final answer to Him, when He asks you did you know Jesus?  

Stray in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Jesus Accepts His Sentence

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

Introduction—Guilty people deserve what the law allows to be their sentencing. Do you agree? Guilty people don’t deserve a fair trial. Do you agree? What about innocent people? Do they deserve to be treated fair? 

If you were on trial this morning for your faith, would there be enough evidence to produce a guilty verdict? There would be no ifs, no ands, and no buts about that you are a Christ follower based on the evidence that the jury deliberates. I am not talking about the day you were baptized or the day you were confirmed, I am asking would your life have enough evidence of faith to produce a guilty verdict? 

Today Jesus is place in front of a hostile crowd innocent of any crimes, innocent of accusations, and guilty of being the King of the Jews. He is guilty of being a King. Have you made Jesus your King this morning? I pray that you do.

Read—John 19:1-16

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”

13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.

“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

Pray

Today I want us to see that Jesus accepts His sentencing. He does it with humility and obedience knowing that today we would be here in this place in need of a King. Amen.

  1. Jesus accepted the pain for our redemption
  2. Flogging—flogging was reserved for those that would be put to death by crucifixion.
  3. Stripped the victim
  4. Tied their hands to a post above their head
  5. Whipped with leather intertwined with pieces of bone and lead
  6. 2 men, one on each side of the victim, dulled out 40 lases, which was the limit for Jewish customs, the Romans had no such limit
  7. It is a wonder that Jesus survived the torture
  8. Crown of Thorns
  9. The crown was one that was made of local thorny vine, twisted together, and made into the shape of a round circle that would be placed on the head of Jesus.
  10. If you have ever been pricked by a thorn from a rose bush, or lime tree, or other thorny vine, you know how much that hurts
  11. Now, imagine a crown full of thorns purposes placed over the top of your hear resting on your forehead digging into your skin. 
  12. The forehead is one of the most vascular areas of the body. Lot of blood would ensue following the placement of the crown of thorns 
  13. Jesus was in a lot of pain for our redemption. 
  14. Beatings
  15. Flogging, whipping, crown of thrones, and now beatings 
  16. John only references “slapping Jesus in the face” in verse 3
  17. Mark 15:19—Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him.
  18. Matthew 27:30—They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.
  19. John was more interested in the conversation that Jesus was having with Pilate, than the beatings the soldiers were giving to Jesus. 
  20. Jesus pain becomes our gain!

Illustration—Things that are worthwhile, hurt for a short period of time.

Application—Have you accepted Jesus’ pain for your gain?

  • Jesus accepted the shame for our redemption
  • Jesus was mocked and ridiculed
  • Over and over they made a joke. “Hail, King of the Jews” is what they claimed. 
  • Little did they know their mockery would not go unnoticed by God because today Jesus is the King! He is not only King of the Jews, but King of all humanity! 
  • Pilate was hoping in verses 4-5, that the crowd after seeing Jesus flogged, would change their mind. 
  • Pilate reminds them again that he finds no basis for the charges being made.
  • The shame continues as the crowd shouts Crucify! Crucify!
  • Pilate says to the Jewish leaders, “you take Him and crucify Him, I find no basis for the charges.”
  • Pilate ask Jesus in verse 8, where do you come from? Pilate was so confused by this time about the person of Jesus, he wants out of this ordeal. 
  • In Matthew 27:19—While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
  • Even Pilate’s wife realized the innocence of Jesus. 
  • Pilate tries again to get out of this trial by telling Jesus about his power. Pilate says in verse 10, “Do you realize the power I have? I can either set you free or I can crucify you.” 
  • Jesus lets Pilate know that he really doesn’t have any power of his own in verse 11.
  • There is only One that holds the power over death, and His name is Jesus!
  • His shame becomes our gain!

Illustration—With our enormous egos that are constantly on display, shame is one of those things that can knock us down a notch or two. Shame seems to be all over the news today. Watch one episode of the nightly news and you will here of someone getting caught doing something shameful.

Application—Have you allowed the shame that Jesus endured to change you heart?

  • Jesus accepted the blame for our redemption
  • When you imagine Jesus during this time, what goes through your mind and heart? Here He is being paraded around beaten half to death, ridiculed, and mocked as if He was some horrific criminal.
  • As I was preparing this message, I viewed some of the scenes of the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” and it still moves me to know that He accepted the blame from the false accusations. 
  • Pilate continues to try and release Jesus by saying here is your King. Shall I crucify your King? The Jewish leaders replied that they only have one king and his name is Caesar in verse 15
  • Finally Pilate gives up and he hands Jesus over to the angry mob to be crucified. 
  • His blame becomes our gain!

Illustration—Blaming others for your own sins is common practice today. We find it easier to look at others as being worse than we are so we can feel vindicated for our lifestyle. Until you accept the blame for you own sins, you will never have true peace in your heart and in your life. 

Application—Is Jesus guilty of anything that he was blamed for? Have you blamed God for anything in your life that you need to ask Him to forgive you?

Conclusion—I pray you see Jesus for who He really is today. He is truly a King because of His acceptance of pain, shame, and blame just so you and I could be alive and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.  

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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He Took The Nails

As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!

Read John 19:17-27

17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” 23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” So this is what the soldiers did. 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

  1. 3 Nails—The Nail of Courage-verses 17-22
    1. a.     Courage is one of those great characteristics or traits that many people are unaware they possess until it is needed. That to me is what makes a person courageous. It is how they respond in a given situation.
  • Jesus example of carrying a cross, so that we would know how to handle difficult situations and sometimes what seemed to be unbearable circumstances. 
    • The cross we are asked to carry is not about us carrying around all this guilt and shame, it is about us walking underneath what the cross represents. To carry your cross means a willingness to “die to yourself.” That is what true discipleship is. It is living out what you proclaim to believe. 
    • Luke 9:23-25—Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?
  • 3 Nails—The Nail of Humility–verses 23-24
    • John never mentions the process of crucifixion. It is assumed that the hearers would know what actually takes place in the death process of the crucifixion. A person could last 36 hours suffering hanging on a cross by 3 nails. 
    • The fulfilled Scripture of verse 24 is Psalm 22:18—They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
  • a.     The shame and humiliation of complete exposure, mocking, the elements of the weather. Jesus experienced them all.
  • Philippians 2:8—And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
  • He looks at John, and says, “Here is your mother.” Jesus love was so great that he would even share His earthly mom with his best friend. 
    • John 15:13—Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Conclusion—Today I want to ask you an important question about your personal relationship to Christ, not your relationship to your church, or relationship to your family, but about your connection to Jesus. Do you have a real, vibrant, and relevant love relationship with Him? If you do is it still valid today? Can you be honest with yourself today and with God?

3 Nails + 1 Cross = 4 given. 

Jesus took the nails with courage, humility, and love. 

Lord’s Supper

1 Corinthians 11:23-28

The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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