The Gospel Of John – Lesson Ten – “No Walls” – John 4:1-12

This article is part 12 of 12 in the series The Gospel Of John

I. Background:
During ancient times… walls made the city. No walls! No city! Life without walls back then was no life, no protection! WALLS however did not always have to be made of stone and mortar. Even now, walls are erected between people. Invisible walls, but very real! Walls keep people apart. Walls keep prejudice and hate alive. Walls have to be examined, one by one. Some need torn down… Some are useful… This is a study of one WALL between the Jews and Samaritans.

Palestine – a country 120 miles North to South. There were three divisions: North Galilee, South Judea and in between Samaria. There was a centuries old feud between the Jews and the Samaritans (mixed breed). It was three days journey from Judea to Galilee through Samaria. It was six days to Galilee crossing the Jordan when by-passing Samaria and then re-crossing the Jordan. At Sychar, the road forks, and we find (still there) Jacob’s well. Read the story of Jacob’s well in Genesis 33:18-20. Jacob gave it to Joseph. Joseph, at his death, was taken and buried in Palestine (Joshua 24:32), and along with this historic well, there are still many Jewish memories. The well is more than 100 feet deep. It is not a spring, but it bubbles, ‘percolates’ (according to dad’s visit there and gathering information). Jesus is sitting – resting on the well. It is about the 6th hour of the day (NOON TIME). The disciples… they had gone to get food.
Then comes the Samaritan woman. She is from Sychar which is about a mile and a half away. Quite a journey to get water! She may have been an outcast or not. She had been married five times and was living with a man now. Perhaps she gave up on marriage.

1.) “Give me a drink” Jesus asked. She was shocked that he even spoke to her. he was a Jew, and the expected ‘I’m better than you’ attitude was expected… but not received.
Jesus then engages her in conversation about ‘living water’. She is puzzled. Of course she wants this water, but doesn’t understand it. “Give me some of this water!”

2.) Few stories reveal love, kindness, acceptance, like this one does between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Few stories reveal the humanity of Jesus like this one. Do you get thirsty? Jesus was thirsty! Do you get tired and need to sit? Jesus got tired and needed to sit! His warmth and love are so obvious here. He still loves… YOU!

3.) The walls people build for one reason or another… Jesus seems to ignore! NO WALLS! NO BARRIERS! NOTHING BETWEEN JESUS AND YOU… which he cannot overcome. (Ephesians 1:10; 3:1-6; Revelation 5:9,12).

Samaritans were the half breeds (II Kings 17:6; 17:24). They were the result of inter marriage. They had lost their racial purity. It was as if these people were dead! The Northern Kingdom had been carried off into captivity. They never came back.

II. BEGINNING OF THE “WHOSOEVER WILL”
“God, so loving the world.” “Standing at the door… still knocking” Where “walls” exist communication stops. Jesus came to tear down walls… to communicate good news. “Whosoever will” means just that, “WHO SO EVER.” Are you a racist? Are you a bigot? Are you afraid when too many of a different color of skin become members of your congregation?! Do you get upset when Christians of a different culture become your church leaders? Shame on you! Period! Go to your Father in Heaven and explain this.
Amazing grace is not just for you… it is for everyone!

Matthew 11:28-30 “Jesus says COME!” “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you (all) rest.29 Take my yoke upon you (all) and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you (all) will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Amen walls!!!

Matthew 9:20-22 Jesus wants your “Touch”!  “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.” Don’t get in the way of someone ‘touching Jesus’!

Galatians 4:4-7 God is your “Abba”! ” But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” This adoption is for WHOSOEVER WILL!!!

Galatians 3:26-29 “You are all sons of God..”So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

NO MORE WALLS! Years ago, I was with mom and dad when we went to hear Marshall Keeble. These were the days of segregation, and “eeny, meeny, miny, moe…” These were days of hate and prejudice. But not with mom and dad… We went and loved the worship, the clapping, singing, praising… and the preaching… Brother Keeble once said to a ‘racist brother'(?) who said, “We don’t have to teach black people.” His response was, “Brother we may not be a ‘nation’ but we are all God’s “creatures”, and Jesus says, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15)(KJV).

The world is drowning in prejudice, racism, hate and bigotry… but LET THIS NOT ONCE BE NAMED AMONG THE PEOPLE OF GOD!

The feast is spread… The invitation is for EVERY MAN WOMAN AND CHILD THAT CAN UNDERSTAND HOW LOST THEY ARE WITHOUT JESUS  AND TURN TO HIM AND BE BORN AGAIN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT, (John 3:3-5; Acts 2:37-39).

Grow in grace!

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The Gospel Of John – Lesson Nine – A Man Without Envy – John 3:22-36

This article is part 1 of 12 in the series The Gospel Of John

It is not easy to play second fiddle, to be ‘second best’! Popularity is important to us all, and we are sorely tempted with jealousy when faced with this situation. King Saul is one example. “Whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the people, and Saul’s officers as well. 6 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and tambourines and lutes. 7 As they danced they sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” 8 Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” 9 And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David” (I Samuel 18:5-9).

John was a good man, a great prophet… and he had a marvelous mission, but he was not the One, and he knew it. “He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light” (John 1:8). John was a ‘herald‘! He did not go through the streets of Jerusalem crying out, “Hear ye! Hear ye!”… He cried out in the wilderness of Judea! Multitudes came to see and hear him! He was an ‘announcer‘… His message was loud and always clear (cf. Luke 3:7-18). He fearlessly proclaimed his message no matter who was in his audience (cf. Luke 3:19-20). He knew ‘his place’ and did not have a problem with ‘walking in the shadow’ of Jesus. He was a ‘fore runner‘, coming just ahead of Jesus and prepared the way for him, just like the ancient ones prepared a road for a coming king to travel on. John had no problem with jealousy… he was happy to say the least. He was humbled to be the one to declare “Look, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  His task was to bring Israel and Jesus ‘together’.

Our text: “After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” 27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.” 31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:22-36).

1. JESUS CHRIST – FIRST – HIGHEST – THE BRIDEGROOM
A. John simply wants and is satisfied with doing his part, playing his role, having his place in the plan. Did John have his doubts? Sure, but not about his role in God’s plan.
1.) Matthew 11:1-11 “After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. 2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
(Jesus now stands up for John to the crowds as one who) 7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces.
9  Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
2.) Mark 1:4-11 “And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
3.) John was special even before he was born (i.e. while in Elizabeth’s womb). Luke 1:41 “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Then in verse 76, Zechariah prophesies, about his new born son John, “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him.” In Luke 1:15-17 it says of John, “for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.
16  He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.
17  And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
B. Things to notice:
1.) John was not jealous! His disciples… may be another question (John 3:26)
2.) John recognized Jesus ministry was from God, (John 3:27) (cf. Ephesians 5:31-33).
3.) John was HUMBLE + SUBMISSIVE which equaled him being an OBEDIENT SERVANT. Charles Hodge in his work “My daily walk with God”, puts it like this, “H + S = OS.” (Page 23). James says, “Humble yourselves in the presence of God and he will exalt you” (James 4:10). John is the picture of this. So when you think of humility…  think of John (but not only him)! His focus was on the One who was to come after him… not on himself. He wasn’t trying to please the crowds… he spoke the message with boldness. There was nothing ‘fake’ about John. He wore NO MASK… he was the genuine article… “Humility shouts, “To God be the glory!” (Philippians 4:20). Humility shouts, “There He is, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
4.) The church (body of Christ) is a ‘chaste virgin to Christ’ (It may sound a bit redundant, but His body belongs to Him! (2 Corinthians 11:2). It was the same with God and Israel (Exodus 34:15; Deuteronomy 31:16; Psalms 73:27; Isaiah 54:5).
5.) “Best man” in Jewish custom represents a HIGH POSITION since he is the ‘liaison’ between the bride and groom. He arranged the wedding. Dealt with invitations and presided at the wedding feast. He also GUARDED the bridal chamber!
5.) HE MUST INCREASE- I must decrease… These were the words and attitude of Jesus.

II. SPIRIT – WITHOUT MEASURE (Jesus holds nothing back)
Dad seems to shift his consideration at this point in his lesson, and deals with Jesus and the Spirit. That Jesus is supreme… there is no question! John records his first hand message of the Divine Messenger…
“The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.
33  Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit” (John 3:31-34).
A. All authority has been given to Him, (Matthew 28:18-20).
B. He alone is worthy to ‘break the seals’ of Revelation, (Revelation 5:1-5).
C. He is the FIRST AND THE LAST (Alpha and Omega) (Revelation 1:9-18).
D. He came to fulfill the purpose and plan of His Father…(John 12:23-32).

III. HE THAT BELIEVES – SON – ETERNAL LIFE
A. Take a look at mark 16:15-16 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
B. Many have taken this and other verses on “belief”, to an extreme, and said that all one needs to do is ‘believe’. This is not true.
1.) Refer back to the study of the new birth of water and Spirit (John 3).
2.) Eternal life – Is the life of God… He offers it to all through Jesus.
3.) Those who come to the Father through Jesus, are all… ALL ONE. Yes i understand that brethren have argued, divided the body of Christ (not denominationalism). But I don’t think God recognizes “ANTI”, “LIBERAL”, “ONE CUP”, “INSTRUMENTAL OR NON”. These along with all the other divisions… ALL ONE BODY, (Ephesians 2:11-22; 4:1-4).

Grow in grace!!! (Next Lesson: “NO WALLS” )(John 4:1-12)

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Smashwords And Amazon Kindle Edition of “The ABC’s Of Grace” PUBLISHED!

We are so excited to be able to announce the publication of “The ABC’s of Grace”. This is dad’s original work! The only change being the use of the New International Version for easier reading.
The other day, I had the occasion of speaking with Charles Hodge Jr., in Duncanville, Texas. Here are some things he said…“Jack Exum ‘introduced’ grace to me. Back then, if you wanted to ruin a preacher, just say that “he has gone off into grace.” He taught me about grace and it totally changed my attitude and my preaching. “Everything I teach, preach and live comes out of the foundation of grace” he said. Grace has to be balanced with truth. “Grace doesn’t ‘make’ truth… truth is the revelation of God’s grace.” God is grace… God is not law. Jesus is the living demonstration of grace, not law. The truth of grace becomes law and preaches itself, law doesn’t… Law has to be ‘proven’ to me. Grace can preach law, but law cannot preach grace. Man can’t ever be fully right till he comes to grips with God’s amazing grace. I heard a story of a black man who was caught making moon-shine whiskey. Brought before the judge, he was asked, “Do you want justice?” The man looked up and said, “No Sir… I wants mercy.”

Charles and dad were very close over the years… Grace changed both his and dad’s life and ministry… Yes there were some brethren who challenged dad on this and other things he taught. By in large though, he found a hungry audience… Hungry for a deeper understanding of the “grace wherein we stand”, the grace by which we are saved not only from the dark past we all have hidden away, but the sins we daily commit. Dad shows in his book… you don’t have to go through life says from morning to night, “Forgive me Lord!” “Forgive me Lord!” “Forgive me Lord!”… Have confidence in His grace because we are heaven bound!!!

Get this little book… Grow in grace!
For the link, just go to Books by Jack Exum section on this site.

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The Gospel Of John – Lesson Eight – “Snake and Savior” – John 3:14-21

This article is part 11 of 12 in the series The Gospel Of John

This lesson begins with a look with “Types and Anti-types”. What’s that?! This simply means we are looking at ‘prophesy’ and ‘comparison’, but in a special way. I found this somewhere… see if it helps. “A ‘Type’ is: A biblical person, place, or thing described in the Old Testament, prefiguring a future biblical person, place, or thing, described in the New Testament or ‘anti-type’. Anti-type is the answer or counterpart of the type. Comparing antitype to type is like comparing an image to a shadow.” Of course in our study we are excited to see what is the “answer” or “counterpart” of the type…

Now look at some examples of this:
TYPE ——————————- ANTI TYPE
Adam (Read Romans 5:15-17) JESUS CHRIST
Noah (Read I Peter 3:20-21) Baptism
Moses (Read Acts 7:37) Prophet – JESUS CHRIST
First (Old) Covenant (Read Hebrews 8:7-13) – Second (New) Covenant
Melchizedek (Prophet/Priest/King) – JESUS CHRIST
(Read Genesis 14:18-19; Hebrews 7:1-3; Hebrews 5:6,10)

There are other examples (like I Corinthians 10:1-11), but lets go back to our text in John 3:14-21. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man (Jesus) must be lifted up, (15) that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (17) For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (18) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but he who does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and anly Son. (19) This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (20) Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (21) But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what what he has done has been done through God.”

1. Type and Anti-type – In my opinion, Jesus is still speaking with Nicodemus, and he points him back to a figure he is well acquainted with… a snake in the wilderness (Numbers 21:4-9)… lifted up on a pole so that all who had been bitten by serpents (because of their rebellion), could look upon the snake, AND BE HEALED. Thus the ‘snake’ represents God’s salvation. Israel had already been ‘baptized’ in the cloud and
sea, when they passed through the Red Sea on dry ground (I Corinthians 10:1-12). But they were a stubborn, even though they were God’s people.
A. Later we find that the snake which was raised up in the wilderness was being an object of worship (II Kings 18:1-5), so it was destroyed. You see, the bronze snake was only a symbol… God wanted them to LOOK IN FAITH. There was nothing in the snake… God saved those of faith, and it’s the same today. (More on that shortly.)
B. “Lifted up” (Gk. verb “Hupsoun”) “Lifted up on the cross”, and “Lifted up in glory when he ascended to the Father (Acts 1). It was not a ‘snake’ this time… It was Jesus (praise his name) and all who come to Him would be healed, not from the bite of a snake, but healed from the bite of THE Snake (Satan). In John 8:28 Jesus says, “When you have LIFTED UP the Son of Man, then you will know that I am then one I claim to be, and that I do nothing on my own but I speak just what the Father has taught me.” Look at John 12:32 “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth WILL DRAW ALL MEN TO MYSELF.” Acts 2:32-33 “God has RAISED this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the FACT. EXALTED to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.” Acts 5:31″God has EXALTED him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.” Now look at Philippians 2:9 “Therefore God exalted him to the HIGHEST PLACE.” Praise God!!!
C. “Believe” (This is simply FAITH and TRUST.) We see here and believe, that Jesus was ‘God in flesh’… that Jesus is the Son of God (the ONLY ONE, chosen one, unique one, “only begotten of the Father”), and that God is a loving Father and what Jesus says is true! (Believe it!)
2. Eternal life (Everlasting life) Life from God himself is given to all who come to Jesus!
In Jesus we find (1) PEACE WITH GOD (Philippians 4:7), (2) PEACE WITH MANKIND (Romans 15:19), (3) PEACE WITH LIFE (Romans 8:26-28; Philippians 4:19), (4) PEACE WITH OURSELVES (Philippians 3:8-10, 13-15; 4:13).
3. John 3:16 (Using the King James Version) “For (because)… God (the Author/Origin)… So loved (more than anyone could)… The world (the unlovable)…That He gave (the action of real love)… His (not yours)… Only begotten Son (one and only)… That (for this reason)…Whosoever (including the best and the worst and everyone else)… Believeth (trusts)… In Him (Jesus Christ)…Should not perish (what we deserve)… But have (by grace)…(Everlasting) Eternal (from now on)… LIFE (what we definitely don’t deserve).” (The mainspring of His grace is His love!)
4. Judge (Jesus is Savior and Judge). He said, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17). That’s the WHY of Jesus coming. Yet all that He did caused men to make a decision… and still does… John 9:39 “For judgment I come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” He came to seek and save, to heal and lift up, yet when he did… many turned away from him. In essence judging themselves because of his words and works.
Dad once visited a museum (not sure where), but as he went in he saw this sign, “THE PAINTINGS HERE ARE NOT ON TRIAL… YOU ARE!”

Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith —and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (9) not by works, so that no one can boast, (10) For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do goo works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Romans 4 Paul uses the example of Abraham. As you read this chapter… change the word “WORK(S)” with MERIT which will help in your understanding. This word is contrasted with “CREDIT” (NIV).
Now let’s use the KJV for a bit for verses 1-8 “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works (MERIT), he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted (CREDITED) unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh (MERIT) is the reward not reckoned of grace (GIFT), but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh (MERIT) not, but believeth (TRUSTS) on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted (CREDITED) for righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works (MERIT), 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute (CREDIT) sin.
Read the whole chapter this way…

The big question is and always will be… WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH JESUS?

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