Delivered April 10, 2016
24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
Because our sins were nailed to the cross with Jesus Christ feeling the full weight of God’s wrath as He hung on Calvary there are three great truths that assure the believer that he or she does not have to fear coming before God in judgment seeing that he or she has been judged already.
1. For the Believer Eternal Life is a Present Reality, “has everlasting life"
“ He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Salvation is not only an object of hope for the future, but also a present reality for the one who believes. He or She has passed from death to life, never to receive eternal punishment. One who has received eternal life through Jesus Christ.
2. For the Believer Judgment is over and the Books have been Closed.
"is passed from death unto life", "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
2 Corinthians 5:21
No longer does a believer face judgment from God, simply because it was Jesus who took the punishment, took the judgment that was meant for you and I. It is like the of mother being arrested for stealing a bottle of milk in order to feed her hungry child. Her crime of theft makes her a law violator. She is indicted and trialed in the criminal justice system. The Judge has no alternative other than to find the woman guilty of the crime. A minimum sentence for a $5 dollar fine. However the woman who cant afford to buy a bottle of milk for her starving child cant also pay for the small fine. So..how can the Judge show respect for the law and show mercy to the woman at the same time? The Judge removes his robe, took out $5 dollars from his wallet and paid the fine. The Judge did not break the law, showed mercy to the woman, and she was able to go home to her starving child. This is exactly what happened when Jesus went to the cross. We have been indicted for our sins and found guilty as charged. We are all guilty, and the penalty for our sin is death.
Romans 6:23 “ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Jesus paid for our debt. Our Heavenly Father, the Judge in the story made a way, and that was through His Son!
3. For the Believer Condemnation is No Longer Possible. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”. Romans 8:1
The Apostle Paul is reminding his readers that in the light of sinfulness that we once lived, we must now recall the acceptance and security in Christ, and also to recognize the fact that the presence of Gods Spirit is delivering the believer from living the life in the flesh, and now to live our lives according to the Spirit. Who can condemn those whose lives have been redeemed by Christ? No one! Simply because Jesus paid it all!
The title of this message is “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”. So, how does one hear what God is saying? How can one believe in the Son of God, and receive the eternal gift? Let us look at Jesus when He was teaching the parable of the sower. Let us look at some pictures before we go into the story.
Pic 3: Looking at this picture, which adult do you think still loves Jesus and if he or she is a new believer, how can they follows Jesus?
3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
When the disciples asked Him, why speak in parables? Jesus answered and said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given”. Why, why keep such a beautiful gift secret? Here is Jesus answer...
“ Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,And seeing you will see and not perceive;15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.Their ears are hard of hearing,And their eyes they have closed,Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,So that I should heal them.
Jesus purpose in telling the parables is to prevent understanding and to cause some to disbelief, but why? Jesus parables are in response to peoples unbelief and inability to understand. “Lest they believe”, Indicates Gods sovereign choice lies, in who will believe, the ones who’s lives have been drawn to Christ. Many of you here tonight can still remember that time when you were drawn to the Son! You have to still remember, its a once in a lifetime changing experience. Being in Christ has changed many lives throughout the years. And still many lives are being changed to this very day. Now, sadly to some, because of unbelief, and to the ones who will receive hardening, deafening ears, and blinded eyes. Meaning that they heard Jesus speak...we read the scriptures, and yet, just like some who witnessed and heard Jesus speak at that time, even witnessed all the miracles Jesus performed, chose not to believe! It is still going on to this very day. Some do not want to believe. Why? Let us take a look at the explanation of the parable of the sower.
18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Verse 18-19, is one example. Verse 20-21, is another example. Verse 22, is another. Verse 23, is another. You have four different types of people in this chunk of verses. Four different responses to hearing God speak .Yet all four listeners have one thing in common. They all heard, and received the message. And yet only one truly believed! He heard the words that were spoken, and understood each and every one. He is the one who grew into maturity in his belief in Christ. While the rest the other three examples failed, didn’t stand a chance. Each has its own story to tell. And yet, like i have said earlier, all four characters, each with a different response have one thing in common, they all heard the message! Only one will not stand in Gods judgment, just one!
Two soils represent initially positive responses to the word that prove fruitless in the end. The rocky soil symbolizes an immediate interest, “receives it with joy”, which proves to be shallow and withers in the face of persecution. Turned away from the truth, because of persecution. Now, the thorny soil shows the dangers of distraction by means of the worries and pleasures of everyday life. Again, what seem to be a positive response to the message yields no positive harvest, still failed in the end, fell into the deceitfulness of riches, and wealth, the focus was on the world, rather than the word of God.
Verse 23, the one seed that fell on good soil. The only one hearing and understanding Gods word, finds faith in expression to being obedient, which results in bearing good fruit. Did not care about worldly things, only focus was on God,hearing God speak, understood what was said, and lived his life according to Gods will... Became fruitful to the very end.
The good soil portrays the one who hears, understands, and receives the Words of God, and then allows Gods words to accomplish its results in his life. The one presented by the “good soil”, is the only one of the four who is truly saved, because salvation is the the proof of his, or her fruit! Let me say that again, “salvation is the proof of his or her fruit”.
If you have been truly saved, it will show. We cannot hide that precious gift gift, which is Christ! If Christ lives inside you, it will show!!!
Now...the Apostle Paul had a very similar issue explaining to the Corinthian church about the things from above, things about the Spirit... Spiritual wisdom!
1 Corinthians 2:14
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
“spiritually discerned”. Meaning, spiritually dead. No spirit, a zombie, still in the flesh. What the Apostle Paul is saying by “natural man”, is someone who has not received the gift of the Spirit, one who has not been given that new life, one who has not been born again in the spirit! Remember the conversation Jesus had with a Pharisee named Nicodemus, “you must be born again”. If we have no part in our physical birth, meaning that we had nothing to do with being born. How can we have a part in being born again? This are things that comes from above. This are the Spiritual things that Paul is trying to explain to the Corinthian church. If you would like to know more about the conversation of Jesus, and Nicodemus...( John 3:1-12 )
So...how can one understand spiritual things, if you don’t have the Spirit?
These are the things that comes from above. When Jesus died, and rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples and had this to say...the gift from above...
44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
In another translation, “and He, Jesus opened their minds to scripture”. Jesus gave them the gift to understand scripture. That very same gift is still being given form above to this very day. Jesus gives the Apostles the Way to understand Scriptures, the same gift that is given to you and I, and to those who will believe, and is drawn to the Son.
Jesus has removed the spiritual blindness and slowness of the heart that hindered the understanding and acceptance of receiving God’s message. In continuation of this verse...
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
Another translation “until you are clothe with power from on high”. From on high, Things from above! The Promised Holy Spirit, is how we can understand, and hear God speak. Without the gift of the Holy Spirit, all this things are foolishness, just as scripture had said.... Nothing will make any sense...Still dead because of sin. Never have received Gods forgiveness.
What distinguishes a true believer, is the divine truth. What is the Truth...John 14:6 “I am the Way, The Truth, And The Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me”. A true believer gets it, we love it, we absorb it, we believe it...we proclaim it! Jesus makes this clear throughout scriptures, but let me show you one very specific verse of a true believer who hears the True Shepherd...
10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Verse 3: To Him...who? Jesus, the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear His voice...who’s voice? Jesus, and He calls His own sheep...His own sheep by name! Jesus knows His own sheep by name, and the sheep knows the Shepherds voice, and will not follow any other, will not follow a stranger, for the sheep does not know the strangers voice. Will flee from the stranger.
Who’ voice are you listening to tonight? I know you’re listening to chipmunk right now...but that is Scripture that i am showing you tonight, those are Gods Words! Can you hear God speak tonight? Here Jesus explains the verses plainly...because the disciples were having a hard time understanding what it meant, simply because it was not revealed to them at that time...
7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
“If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved”. This guarantees that salvation is given to those who puts their trust in Christ. It is made plain that this are the ones who are called saved...Christ is necessary and sufficient for salvation. There is no one else. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”. Acts 4:12. No other name, all who came before are thieves and robbers and their only goal is to steal, kill and destroy. That is the enemy, his only goal is to destroy! Jesus gives life, and gives it abundantly...Jesus, The Good Shepherd, layed down His life for His sheep. Do you hear the difference church? One comes to destroy, and that is the enemy. And here, we have Jesus who wants to give life, and gives it eternally! The life that Jesus gives, is unique, its one of a kind, no one else can give it. It is eternal, no one can take it away. You can not loose, what only Jesus can give. He gives this life in ever growing abundance to His redeemed!
The title of this message was “He who has ears to hear, Let him Hear”.
I will end with this verse:
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.
Let me encourage you with the words from this verse , while it is still called today. “do not let your heart be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness”. “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts”.
Put your trust in Christ, believe in everything the you have heard and seen here tonight. Jesus gives eternal life, Jesus can and will forgive you of your sins. You just need to ask Him for forgiveness. Just pray and ask Him, and He will forgive!
1 John 1:8-9
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Gods forgiveness is given as soon as we admit that we are sinners and in need to be forgiven. Scriptures do not lie, it is the very words of God. One act of humility through prayer, Lord, i am a sinner, i ask for your forgiveness. I need you in my life. Make me new!
Pastor Richard Santos
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