Summary: As Christians we believe that the only way to salvation is through Jesus.
Who Are We?
Text: John 1:19-28
1. Illustration: "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried." - G.K. Chesterton”
2. We live in a world that is increasingly anti-Christian.
3. Our world is wallowing in relativism.
A. Our world is attacking Christians and everything that we stand for.
B. There have been more martyred for the Christian faith in the 20th and first part of the 21st Centuries than at any other time in the history of the Church.
4. In our text today John the Baptist is repeatedly asked, "Who Are You?"
5. We should ask ourselves "Who Are We?" What do we stand for and what do we believe?
6. Here at New Life...
A. We Believe That Jesus Is The Only Way To Heaven.
B. We Believe That Jesus Is More Than A Holy Man
C. We Believe That We Are Called To Proclaim Jesus
D. We Know That People Will Criticize Us For What We Believe.
Proposition: As Christians we believe that the only way to salvation is through Jesus.
Let's stand together as we read from John 1:19-28
I. We Believe That Jesus Is The Only Way (19-20).
A. I Am Not The Messiah
1. After his discussion of the Word becoming flesh, John the Evangelist now returns his attention to John the Baptist.
2. He begins this section by saying, "This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?”
A. John the Baptist’s calling in life was described to his father even before John was conceived (Luke 1:13-17).
B. John’s mission was to give testimony to Jesus Christ. He was Christ’s first and most important witness.
C. John disavowed any personal status; he constantly pointed men to Christ (Barton, Life Application New Testament Commentary, 375).
D. We do not read in the other Gospels of these messengers who were sent to John from "the Jews."
E. But it is plain enough that John's preaching attracted a good deal of attention.
F. It is accordingly not only natural, but to be expected, that the authorities would make diligent inquiry about the new religious movement.
G. They could not ignore a man with such a following. Jews in high places were very sensitive to movements that might culminate in disorders and lead to trouble with the Romans.
H. John frequently uses the term Jewish leaders in reference to Jewish people hostile to Jesus.
I. We should probably deduce from this and from the composition of the delegation mentioned here that it came from the Sanhedrin.
J. It is not certain whether we are to understand verse 24 to indicate that the whole delegation were Pharisees.
K. But it is plain that Pharisees were prominent in connection with the inquiry, and it is equally clear that the Pharisees were the real religious leaders of the nation (Morris, The New International Commentary on the New Testament – The Gospel According to John, 115-116).
3. It is pretty obvious that the Baptist knew what there intentions were as v. 20 indicates, "He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.”
A. No one in the delegation is reported to have said anything about the Messiah. But John discerned the drift of the inquiry.
B. Messianic speculations were in the air, and he framed his reply accordingly.
C. He vigorously repudiated any suggestion that he might be the Messiah.
D. The impression conveyed by the solemn way of introducing his reply to the question is strengthened by his use of the emphatic pronoun "I": "I am not the Messiah."
E. This emphatic pronoun is a marked feature of John's speech in this chapter. He uses it constantly, and each time he contrasts himself with Jesus and takes the lower place.
F. In this verse the point is that, whatever John was, he was certainly not the Christ.
G. There was a Christ, but it was not he.
H. With us "Christ" has become little more than a personal name for Jesus, but properly it is a title, "the Christ," which means "the anointed" (as does "the Messiah").
I. In the Old Testament various people were anointed, but notably priests and kings.
J. When in due course the expectation grew up that one day God would send into the world an exceptionally great Person, a mighty Deliverer,
K. One who would represent him in a very special sense, this coming great One was thought of not as "an anointed one," but as "the anointed one," "the Messiah."
L. Among those set apart by God for special functions he stood out. So the title was applied by believers to Jesus, and it remains to remind us of this public and official aspect of his ministry (Morris, 117).