6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: The Christian life is the best life anyone can ever have... 1. Jesus gives us the best freedom (vs. 31-36). 2. Jesus gives us the best Father (vs. 37-47). 3. Jesus gives us the best future (vs. 51).

Jesus Wants to Give You the Best Life

The Gospel of John

John 8:31-51

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - January 18, 2017

(Revised September 14, 2019)

BACKGROUND:

*Here in John 8, the major Feast of the Tabernacles had just ended in Jerusalem. A large crowd was still in the city, and Jesus was preaching in a very public part of the Temple (John 8:20).

*Some of the people there believed in the Lord, but Jesus was also preaching to religious rulers who hated Him. In fact, some of them hated Jesus so much that they had been trying to kill Him for months. But Jesus was there, preaching to them all, and warning the unbelievers that they were lost without Him.

*He preached great truths of the gospel like we find in John 8:12: "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'''

*In John 8:23-24, Jesus said to them:

23. . . "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

24. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.''

*And John 8:30 says, "As He spoke these words, many believed in Him." With this background in mind, let's read vs. 31-51, focusing on the truth that Jesus Christ wants to give people the best life they can possibly have.

MESSAGE:

*Have you ever had any bad days as a Christian? Of course we have. Some of us have had more hard days than we can count. But let me ask you this: Would you trade your worst day as a Christian for your best day before you got saved? -- Definitely not! Never in a million years! The Christian life is the best life anyone can possibly have!

1. WHY? BECAUSE JESUS GIVES US THE BEST FREEDOM.

*It's the freedom we talked about last week in vs. 31-32:

31. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

32. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.''

33. They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, 'You will be made free'?''

34. Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.

35. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.

36. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

*The unbelieving scribes and Pharisees did not understand that Jesus was talking about the never-ending, spiritual freedom only the Lord can give. But they did understand slavery. I say that because historian Edward Gibbon estimated that the number of slaves in the Roman Empire under the reign of Claudius (41-54 A.D.) was no less than half the entire population of 60 million people. (1)

*The unbelieving Jewish rulers were well acquainted with the cruelest forms of slavery. It's much harder for us to understand because by God's grace, we live in the United States where our God-given freedoms were firmly established in our founding documents.

*It helps us to take another look back at the plague of slavery in our own nation. This is a diagram of a slave ship from 1700s. From the 1600s to the 1800s, African warlords and kidnappers sold captives to Europeans. The captives were usually force-marched to coastal ports on the west coast of Africa, where they were held for sale to the European or American slave traders.

*Historians estimate that between 9 and12 million slaves arrived in the New World. Typical slave ships contained several hundred slaves. They were chained together and often stacked like wood, as you see in this picture. Two to four million died on the way. (2)

*Imagine for a moment what it would have been like to be a slave, under the total control of your master, no matter how cruel he might have been. You had to get up when he said; you had to go to bed when he said. You had to work where he told you, when he told you. You had to eat what he gave you, even if it wasn't fit for the dogs. He could beat you for any reason or no reason at all. And he could split up your family at the drop of a hat.

*Think how horrible that would be: No freedom, no choices, never knowing when you would be beaten or abused, never knowing when your wife or children would be sold away from you. But on January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves in our country. And after the Civil War, our most terrible war, our Constitution was amended to prevent that from ever happening again.

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