Summary: Sermon 6 of 7: Why did Jesus come?
I Am Come That They Might Have Life…
Woodlawn Baptist Church
August 7, 2005
A couple of weeks ago I preached a message from John 9, where Jesus said that He came “for judgment, that they which which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.” Perhaps you remember that the occasion was the healing of the man who had been born blind. Jesus had opened that man’s eyes, a miracle that had never been performed before on someone who had been born blind, and He performed the miracle on the Sabbath, causing a controversy among the Pharisees. When the man defended Jesus he was cast out of the synagogue. Jesus then found him and opened his eyes again, but this time it was his spiritual eyes, which resulted in his salvation.
God is still at work in your life today opening your eyes, but you must make the personal choice to see what He wants you to see. If He opens your eyes to your need for salvation, you must see your sinfulness and see your need of a Savior and act on what He shows you. If He opens your eyes to some spiritual truth, you have to be willing to see that you have been wrong and change your mind. God is in the business of opening eyes, but He never forces you to see what you don’t want to see.
I want you to keep that in mind as we read today’s text. Chapter 10 is simply a continuation of the conversation Jesus was having with the Pharisees. It opens with the words “verily, verily,” which never begin a new conversation in the book of John. Jesus was working to open their eyes to their spiritual blindness, so He relates the following story, beginning in verse 1.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have light, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Listen, why did Jesus come? That is the question we have been answering on Sunday mornings for the last few weeks. Today’s passage is the sixth in a series of seven messages I hope will answer that question in your minds. Why did Jesus come? “I came that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
There are three questions I want to deal with this morning: What is abundant life? What keeps you from experiencing it? And then lastly, What can you do to enjoy abundant living? The invitation today is going to be to move away from the religious spirit that has blinded so many of God’s people and has kept them, and perhaps even you in bondage. God wants you to experience more than that, so let’s begin by asking,
What is abundant life?
In order to understand abundant life, you need to begin with life. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life…” implying that the present condition was death. The Scriptures explicitly teach that outside of Jesus Christ we are spiritually dead. I want you to read with me Ephesians 2:1-5. It says,
“And you hath he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for this great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace are ye saved.”