Friday, September 14, 2018

2018.09.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 3:22-36

Questions for Littles: Where did Jesus and His disciples go in v22? What were they doing? Who else was baptizing (v23)? What do John’s disciples and the Jews start arguing about (v25)? What do they come and tell John in v26? What does John say is the only way a man can receive something (v27)? Whom did John say was not the Christ (v28)? How does John feel about Jesus becoming the center of attention (v29)? What does John say must happen to Jesus (v30)? To himself? From where did John say Jesus had come (v31)? Who (unless they are born again) receives Jesus’ testimony (v32)? If someone does receive His testimony, what does he certify (v33)? What words does Jesus, sent from God, speak (v34)? What has the Father given into the Son’s hand (v35)? What does the one who believes in the Son have (v36)? What will the one who does not believe in the Son not see? What abides on him instead?
In the Gospel reading this week, John the Baptizer reminds us of the truth that a man can only have what God gives him.

This was true of John’s popularity. His disciples were so worried about that popularity, but John simply wanted to serve his role. God gave him that role.

This was true of Christ’s inheritance as the Mediator. The Father loves the Son. Everything belongs to the Son already as God. But, even in His human nature, Jesus is above all, and the Father has given all things into His hand. Nations can rage, and kings and peoples can plot in vain, but it is God who wills that everything belong to Jesus Christ (cf. Ps 2).

And it’s true of us. Unless God gives us new birth, we do not receive the testimony of Christ. We must have that new birth, so that we may be able to believe and have everlasting life.

Of course, the gracious will of God is the safest place for us to have our salvation rest. If it were left to us, v32 would be the end of our story. We would simply refuse His testimony, because we are evil. God would be perfectly righteous to have His wrath abide upon us forever.

But He’s also perfectly righteous to satisfy that wrath upon a substitute—Himself. So that He can be infinitely gracious to give us everlasting life!
Have you learned to be glad that your salvation rests in God’s will, not yours?
Suggested songs: ARP130 “Lord, From the Depths” or TPH351 “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”

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