Let Us Receive the Lord's Word Properly (John 12:47-50)
1. In these verses Jesus pointed out one reason why He came to earth -- "to save the world." 2. To be among those who are saved we must receive His Word properly. 3. Jesus stated clearly that we will be judged by the way we receive His Word. 4. In our lesson we are studying a number of passages that will help us "receive the Lord's Word properly." Discussion: I. LET US FIRST IDENTIFY THE LORD'S WORD
A. According to John 12:49-50, Jesus delivered the message that the Father gave to Him. 1. The Lord's teaching is the Word of God. 2. We would expect this because Jesus is God's spokesman (Hebrews 1:1-2). B. To be more specific, the Lord's Word is the New Testament (Hebrews 9:15). C. We learn from Hebrews 9:16-17 that Jesus paid a high price for His New Testament to become effective. D. Let us determine how much of the New Testament is the Lord's Word. 1. We are fortunate to have many of the Lord's teachings in the Gospels. 2. However, the Lord's Word is not limited to the Gospels. a. (John 15:15b) Jesus revealed to the apostles everything He had heard from the Father. b. (John 14:26) Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would help the apostles to remember the things He had taught them. c. Paul showed in Ephesians 3:3-5 that the Spirit guided the apostles and prophets as they wrote the Lord's Word. d. A helpful summary statement is found in 1 Corinthians 14:37. 3. We have identified the Lord's Word -- it is the entire New Testament. II. THE BIBLE SHOWS THAT THERE ARE VARIOUS WAYS OF REACTING TO THE LORD'S WORD
A. Certain reactions are to be avoided, including: 1. "refusing to receive the Lord's words" (John 12:48) a. Jesus connected this reaction with rejecting Him. b. Jesus said that His Word will be the standard of judgment at the last day. 2. "changing [altering] the Lord's Word" (Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18-19). B. Positive reactions include: 1. "continuing [abiding] in His Word" (John 8:31-32) 2. "letting His Word dwell in us richly in all wisdom" (Colossians 3:16) 3. "rightly dividing His Word" (2 Timothy 2:15) 4. "looking into His Word and doing what it says" (James 1:25). Conclusion:
1. In closing, let us mention 2 characteristics of the Lord's Word. a. (John 6:63) Jesus said that His words "are spirit, and they are life." b. He also said that His words are everlasting (Matthew 24:35 -- "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away"). 2. The time to receive the Lord's Word is now. 3. By receiving the Lord's Word now and continuing in it, we will not have to worry about being judged by it when He returns.