Reverend Anthony R. Locke
October 17th, 2010 www.FirstPresTucker.org
at the First Presbyterian Church of Tucker
Apostle’s Creed Series English Standard Version
1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,
2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—
2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—
3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.
25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
I spent the weekend at a Boy Scout Camp up in Cleveland, Georgia. We started our fire like real Eagle Scouts: leaves and lighter fluid. One of the parents I met was a guy in his early thirties. He is married and has two children. The first religious question he asked me was about the recent scandal involving a minister in the Stone Mountain area. So for the next 20 minutes we talked religion and tried not to get choked by the heavy smoke of our fire. Let’s call him Bob.
Bob was not a religious guy. He didn’t grow up in church. When he and his wife started having kids they started going to a Baptist church, but the church went through a nasty split when the leadership was exposed as being less than they appeared.
So I asked where he went to church now. He said he didn’t.
He said, “why should I go to Church if the people there are not genuine?”
Jesus had many of His followers stop coming. Jesus asked the twelve why they stuck around after so many left. Peter gave the ultimate answer. There is one main reason we seek Jesus in worship with others in church. Peter’s words are as important to us as they were to him.
We used Peter’s words as part of our Call to Worship. John 6:66-69 many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
That’s why we go to church. God the Father sent the Eternal Logos, the Word which became flesh or incarnate. Jesus the man uniquely holds the heavenly wisdom, the golden words, that will bring the unique opportunity for sinners to possess eternal life.
Jesus can feed us from the Tree of Life. When we believe these words that Jesus is the Holy One of God we become healthy with eternal life.
John 5:24 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.
Jesus is the only one who is fully alive. Without Jesus our life won’t make any sense.
Let me illustrate. You know that big room in the back of Best Buy with all the high end stereos? So you walk into that room with a salesman who turns all the radios on at the same time and they are all on static. Every one of them is playing static to the best of their ability – vanity, emptiness, and confusion.
And you walk over to the one you want to buy and rotate the tuner knob to a high frequency station playing Beethoven’s Mass in C. And all of a sudden that unit is fulfilling it’s chief end to broadcast the glory of a master. All those who can hear it find joy welling up in their hearts.
Jesus is the only radio in the room making any sense with His human life. Jesus sounds the melody from the Master of the Universe.
The rest of us are amplifying sinful desires for personal glory. We try to impress others. We are addicted to our pleasures, our desires and our obsessions. Even our good deeds to impress God are out of sort with real life. We miss the melody of the Author of life. To God we sound like static.
Without being tuned into God we will spend our whole life just making noise. But, if we place our faith in Jesus as the Holy One of God, if we believe in Jesus as the Anointed High Priest who dies for the sins of His people, then God rotates the knob of our soul and enables us to receive the golden frequency of heavenly words that tunes our heart for our chief end of broadcasting the glory of the Master.
Jesus doesn’t just bring us into a life with God. Jesus is life. John 5:26 “For as the Father hath Life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have Life in Himself.” Everything about Him is forever. He is eternally begotten, eternally glorified, and offers eternal life to all who ask.
Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Jesus made time so He exists outside of time. Jesus has no beginning. Jesus will have no end.
Jesus is eternally God. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jesus is eternally proceeding from the Father as the Son of God.
We can ask with Peter, “Where else can we go to find eternal life?”
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. There’s no political correctness or sensitivity training reflected in this verse.
There is only one God who is real. All the other religions worship a fake god of their own making.
This one real God tells the truth and all the rest are liars. This one true God gives eternal life to all who seek Him by pointing seekers to Jesus.
You cannot live in peace with God the Father without finding Jesus. You cannot find eternal life without faith in Jesus. Eternal life is only found in an abiding relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And this is eternal life . . .
Now there is a flip side to this coin. We all have two options. We either repent in faith and embrace Jesus as He is offered in the Gospel that we might find eternal life, or, we reject Jesus and find eternal death.
We cannot keep ourselves from existing somewhere forever. God created our soul when He created our body. We had a beginning but we will not have an end. We will exist somewhere forever. Humans have no control over the certainty of their eternal existence.
The question is where.
If we exist in Heaven forever then we call that eternal living.
If we exist in Hell forever then we call that eternal dying.
Lots of religions try to earn their place in heaven with God by meditation, by religious duties, by being good, and with carefully structured ceremonies. But none of these activities can overcome the wall of holiness between God and His fallen creation.
The Father desires our eternal company so He sent Jesus to live amongst us and show us what it is like to live in a daily relationship with the Father. Jesus was a Son by right. We are children by adoption.
We only escape eternal dying by embracing Jesus. The message is so clear.
1 John 1:1-3 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
This whole book is all about our redemption to the Father through the Son. Again from our Call to Worship. John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
It is one thing to know the Gospel message intellectually, but it is another thing to abide n fellowship with Jesus.
The Jews show us what it looks like to be religious without Jesus. They knew that this book held the key to eternal life. They read it every day. They studied it. They memorized key passages. But even after Pentecost some of the Jews were unwilling to bow the knee to their ascended Messiah. And by refusing to come to Jesus they missed eternal life.
This should be a warning for religious people.
There are churches all across America where people come to be spiritual, but they don’t seek to abide daily in Jesus. People want to join the institution of the church for it’s benefits, but they don’t want to be governed by Jesus.
Churches are important for wholesome culture. Churches provide the ethical fabric to a healthy society. Enduring civilizations are built upon a solid moral foundation. Many parents come to church for what the church can give to their children.
People join the church for lots of good reasons.
But if people come to church and do not embrace Jesus then they do not embrace eternal life.
That’s why 1 John 2:24-25 is part of our reading for the sermon. The application is for us.
Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.
The promise of eternal life is only given to those who abide in the doctrines of the Gospel.
If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. If we are not abiding in a relationship with Jesus by living according to this book, then the promise of eternal life is not directed toward us. And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life. Who has eternal life? Those who hear and abide in Jesus.
Let’s finish up with a favorite verse. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
God gave the Son so we could see the love of the Father, put our faith in the work of Jesus on the cross and be united with His life, death, resurrection and ascension.
And if we are united with the One who is eternal life, then we have eternal life. Jesus is life.
Let’s be honest. We are not sowing the seeds of eternal life on our own. Our sins bring us into eternal death. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What about us this morning? Are we searching the scriptures which uniquely speak those heavenly words, or are we letting our Bible sit idle all week. If we were honest with ourselves I fear we would admit that we do not abide in Christ in any meaningful way.
1 John 5:12-13 God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
Do you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life? God is not playing hide and seek. He placed Jesus high on a cross so you could see His beauty and be drawn to Him.
John 20:31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
God is not willing that any of us should perish. God is leading us to repentance. The Father loves you so much. God is pointing you to His Son that you might find life eternal.
John 11:25. “Jesus said – I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he Live” Amen.
 The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.