Jesus Equal with God – John Piper (essential sermon)

from DesiringGod.org. You can read the entire notes manuscript here.

John Piper preaches about – at least three main things going on in John 5:1-24 and that

„None of the physical miracles of Jesus was an end in itself. They all point to something more about him and about the kingdom of God and about the spiritual and moral transformations that he is working.”

Then he preaches about the 2 implications stemming from the Sonbeing in step with the Father ad vice versa:

I said that there were two implications for us from the fact that the Son stays in perfect step with the Father, and the Father acts in perfect step with the Son. One of them we just saw. In the twenty-first century world of teeming pluralism, with religions and worldviews and cultures and lifestyles competing for our allegiance, verse 23 lands like a bombshell: “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”

In other words, if you want to know if someone in another religion, or no religion, honors God (has a true worshipful relationship with God), the test that you use to know this is: Do they honor Jesus for who he really is—as the divine Son of God, the Messiah, the crucified and risen Savior of the world, the Lord of the universe and Judge of all human beings? If they don’t, then they don’t honor God. That’s the first implication.

The second is in verse 24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” If we hear the message of Jesus in the Gospel of John taken in its totality—not just some distorted part of it—and, if through that message and that person, we come to trust God as the one who sent him for our salvation, two amazing things happen.

1) We not only will have eternal life, but we already have it, and 2) we not only will not come into the judgment of condemnation, but have already passed through judgment and are safe on the other side. Jesus has become that judgment for us. When we are united to him by faith, his death becomes our death, and his crucifixion our crucifixion, and his curse on the cross our curse on the cross, and his resurrection our resurrection. We have already “passed from death to life”! This is glorious news beyond all words. Exult in this. Know this about yourself as a believer. Be made radically courageous by this.

So the first main issue in this text is the man’s healing and its purpose to lead the man to holiness. And the second main issue in this text is the way the Father and the Son are equal so that when one is acting the other is acting—with the two implications that if we don’t honor the Son, we don’t honor the Father, and if we believe on the Father through the word of Jesus, we have already passed from death to life and are on the other side of condemnation.

and lastly he talks about the issue of healing on the Sabbath:

What’s he saying? I think something like this. My Father and I created a perfect world, a paradise, and then we rested, not that we were tired, but stepped back as it were and enjoy the perfect display of our own glory revealed in our creative handiwork. That’s what Sabbath is for—the restful, focused, enjoyment of God.

But then sin entered the world, and through sin came sickness and calamity and death. And from that moment, my Father and I have been working again. We have been working—in many ways that you don’t understand—to restore a Sabbath paradise to the universe. We have been working to overcome sin and sickness and death.

Even your own law, which contains the Sabbath command, was part of our working to conquer sin and hold back the miseries of unrighteousness and point you forward to a Messiah, a Savior, who would come and perform the decisive acts of restoration and transformation toward the new heavens and the new earth.

When I heal a man, and intentionally do it on the Sabbath, I am showing you something about myself. What was happening at the pool of Bethesda was that my Father and I were revealing the world that is coming. It is a world in which there will be no sickness and a world in which there will be no sin. “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

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Ian Hamilton – The Sabbath is God’s weekly, and so very gracious provision for His people

I came across this article that almost seems out of place in the frenetic American life. Oh that we may be wise and heed the instruction. The author of the article is Ian Hamilton, Pastor of Presbyterian Church, Cambridge,England. This article was published in The Banner of Truth Trust, United Kingdom.

The Foundations of Godliness

We live in a mad, as well as a bad, world. The pace of life is simply frenetic, and shows few if any signs of slowing down. One danger facing the Christian in this mad, bad world is that we become swept along in the rush and never really take, and make, the time to be still before God. Consequently, the rhythm of our lives lacks any poise, far less peace. We are never off the treadmill long enough to savour the surpassing joy and blessedness of being a Christian. And yet, are we not told that ‘those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength’? (Isa. 40:31); or do we imagine that we can leave off waiting on the Lord and still maintain a vibrant, godly, Christian life? How spiritually deranged Christians can become!

In his great goodness, the Lord has anticipated our need for rest and recreation. In the fourth commandment, our kindly Lord has so structured the weekly rhythm of his creatures that we have a day in which to draw breath, re-order our wearied minds, renew our tired bodies, and engage in soul-refreshing worship. The Sabbath day is not only a day set apart for the Lord, it is a day set apart for the good of his creatures: ‘the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath’ (Mark 2:27). Today, however, many Christians give the impression they are wiser than God. Too often the blessing of the Sabbath day is neglected, and lost, because we use it to catch up on work or studies, most often left undone by poor planning in the previous days of the week. Not only do we dishonour the Lord when we misuse his day, we rob ourselves of the renewing blessings of a life that has waited on the Lord with his people (see Isa. 58:13-14).

The Sabbath day is woven into the moral framework of God’s creation (the fourth commandment simply codifies an existing creation ordinance). Our Maker, who is also our Husband, knows our needs; he never forgets that we are dust. If Adam in his innocence needed a Sabbath day, how much more do we need God’s day of rest to renew our wearied bodies and tired minds.

The Sabbath is God’s weekly, and so very gracious, provision for his people. But you are not to imagine that you have to wait a whole week before you ‘wait upon the Lord’. The example of our Lord Jesus is instructive. Luke tells us that ‘Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.’ Quiet times were basic to the rhythm of the Saviour’s life. He needed time alone with his Father. He needed to wait upon the Lord to renew his strength. His humanity was no charade, he felt the strain of constant service. Are we holier than our Saviour? If he needed to spend time often alone with his Father, do we not need to do the same? A daily quiet time is not a luxury, it is a necessity!

It is sadly fashionable in some Reformed circles to pour scorn on the quiet time, as if it were a pietistic cop-out from the rigours of serving Christ. I must confess that I am all for more piety. The more pious a man or woman is, the more they will, like their Saviour, feel the need to set time aside to draw near to God. In his presence our minds are re­ordered, our souls are refreshed, even our bodies are strengthened.

We live in a mad, bad world. Equip yourself to face it and not be overwhelmed by it, by honouring the Sabbath day, and by imitating the example of the Saviour, who ‘often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.’ He needed to, and he did. We need to and we must.

(VIA) Banner of Truth Trust, United Kingdom

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