Summary: We should be realistic about responses to our faith.


John 15.18-16.4

S: Persecution

C: Witness

Th: A People with Purpose


?: How? How should we live?

KW: Messages

TS: We will find in our study of John 15.18 – 16.4 three messages from Jesus that will enable us to be realistic about the responses to our faith.

Type: Propositional

The ____ message is about…




PA: How is the change to be observed?

Version: ESV

RMBC 09 April 06 AM


ILL Fame

A trio of old veterans were bragging about the heroic exploits of their ancestors one afternoon down at the VFW hall.

"My great grandfather, at age 13," one declared proudly, "was a drummer boy at Shiloh."

"Mine," boasted another, "went down with Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn."

"I’m the only soldier in my family," confessed vet number three, "but if my great grandfather was living today he’d be the most famous man in the world."

"Really? What’d he do?" his friends wanted to know.

"Nothing much. But he would be 165 years old."

Well, that would make you famous, wouldn’t it?


Have you ever wished that you were more popular?

I remember those high school days when being popular with someone was pretty important.

Those can be some pretty hard days.

But life goes on and we get through those days but that desire to be popular remains.

You think that’s not true?

When the award for humanitarian of the year is given out isn’t there a part of you that wishes they would call your name as the honoree?

Or when you go to a social event, don’t you wish you were the person everyone wanted to sit next to?

Or wouldn’t it be great sometime to find out that someone was bragging that they were YOUR friend?

Just once wouldn’t you like to be the "expert" the news media came to talk to?

Or wouldn’t you like to be the one being interviewed on the Tonight Show?

We could go on and on.

The point is, that right or wrong, there is a part of us that would like to be "on top."

We’d like to feel the appreciation of our peers.

We’d like to be the envy of others.

We have to admit this fact before we can appreciate what Jesus is saying in our text this morning.

Our Savior addresses the issue of popularity with words we all need to hear.

He not only understands our craving for acceptance and love, He knows we can’t find it in the applause of men.

(Goettsche, modified)


It is important for us to note today that…

1. Christians aren’t called to be popular.

It never works out when we give in to striving for it.

Consider these stories…

When Abraham gave in to the social custom of the day and had a child by his wife’s servant instead of waiting on God’s promise, he ended up with a lot of strife at home.

When Aaron didn’t stand up to the Israelite people, and helped them make a golden calf, he was stuck making dumb excuses like the calf just popped out of the melted gold.

Or when Saul wanted to keep his troops happy and offered a sacrifice that he was told specifically not to offer, he essentially lost his kingdom from that day forward.

When we try to do the popular thing, it is not the way to success.

If we want to be successful spiritually, what the world thinks about us cannot be a primary concern.

Even more…


Well, then, this being so, how should we live?

3. We will find in our study of John 15.18 – 16.4 three messages from Jesus that will enable us to be realistic about the responses to our faith.

One of the books that we have been studying time from time is the gospel of John.

We started John in the year 2000, and today we return to it just for today, right where we left off as a preparation for our entering into Holy Week.

The context of John 15 is that Jesus is giving His last words to the disciples before He goes to the cross.

This very night, He will be arrested, put through a mock trial, sentenced to death, and then executed Roman-style, crucified on a cross.

So, here are the messages…


I. The first message is about RIGHT EXPECTATIONS (18-25).

(18) "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. (19) If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (20) Remember the word that I said to you: ’A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. (21) But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. (22) If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. (23) Whoever hates me hates my Father also. (24) If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. (25) But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ’They hated me without a cause.’

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