43 John - Believe:879 - 2009

Skip Heitzig

"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" John 20:31.

Believe:879 is an epic journey through the book of John led by Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary of Albuquerque. As we explore each of the 879 verses of this gospel, we'll grow in grace and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. From His pre-incarnate existence, to His public ministry, through His death and His resurrection we'll traverse familiar territory and embark on new adventures of faith.


Table of Contents

1 John 20:30-31 Believe:879
2 John 1:1-5 The World's Most Important Word
3 John 1:6-13 Step Into Son-Light
4 John 1:14-18 One of a Kind!
5 John 1:19-34 The Greatest Man Meets the Greatest Lamb
6 John 1:35-42 Are You a Follower-Really?
7 John 1:43-51 Finding the God Who Found You
8 John 2:1-12 The Wedding Guest
9 John 2:13-22 Trouble in the Temple
10 John 2:23-25 Uncommitted!
11 John 3:1-8 Nick at Nite!
12 John 3:9-21 Extreme Makeover: Soul Edition!
13 John 3:16 God's Valentine
14 John 3:22-30 To Grow Up, You Must Grow Down!
15 John 3:31-36 The Nail Everything Hangs On
16 John 4:1-14 Refreshment!
17 John 4:10-30 How to Lead People to Water
18 John 4:20-24 What God Really Wants
19 John 4:28-42 Spiritual Farming 101
20 John 4:43-54 Everyone Needs a Faith-Lift!
21 John 5:1-16 Healing Misery with Mercy
22 John 5:16-24 Like Father, Like Son
23 John 5:25-29 Everyone Lives Forever
24 John 5:30-47 Why Should You Believe?
25 John 6:1-14 Lessons From a Picnic
26 John 6:15-21 What Storm Goers Need to Know
27 John 6:22-29 The Right Thing, The Wrong Way
28 John 6:30-50 Wonder Bread!
29 John 6:51-71 Plain Truths About the Bread of Life
30 John 7:1-13 Seeing Jesus Through the Fog
31 John 7:14-24 Follow Jesus But Don't Be Religious
32 John 7:25-53 Standing by a Waterfall (Dying of Thirst)
33 John 8:1-11 Scribbling on the Ground
34 John 8:12-20 Blinded by the Light
35 John 8:21-30 The Worst Way & Best Way to Die
36 John 8:31-36 The Best Way & Worst Way to Live
37 John 8:37-47 The Devil's DNA
38 John 8:48-59 Who IS This Guy?
39 John 9:1-12 Life Hurts! Where's God?
40 John 9:13-34 The Truth About Your Neighbors
41 John 9:35-41 Got Any Blind Spots?
42 John 10:1-10 The Good Shepherd (and a bunch of happy sheep!)
43 John 10:11-21 What's So Great About the Good Shepherd?
44 John 10:22-42 To BElieve or Not to BElieve...
45 John 11:1-16 The Great Physician's Patient Dies
46 John 11:17-32 A Tale of Two Sisters
47 John 11:33-44 The Strangest Funeral Ever
48 John 11:45-57 What to Do with Jesus?
49 John 12:1-11 A Meal to Reveal the Heart
50 John 12:12-19 A Day, a Donkey, a Deliverer, and a Decision
51 John 12:20-26 Living the Right Life
52 John 12:27-36 Cross-Culture
53 John 12:37-50 Believe It or Not!
54 John 13:1-5 A Night Unforgettable
55 John 13:6-17 Basin Theology 101
56 John 13:18-30 Betrayed!
57 John 13:31-35 A Brand New Way of Life!
58 John 13:36-38 F.A.Q.
59 John 14:1-6 A Theology for Messy Lives
60 John 14:7-11 How Can I Know God?
61 John 14:12-14 Privileges of God's Employees
62 John 14:15-18 Four Part Harmony
63 John 14:19-26 Promises, Promises!
64 John 14:27-31 Peace Where You Least Expect It
65 John 15:1-7 Life-Lessons from Grape-Growers - Part 1
66 John 15:8-11 Life-Lessons From Grape-Growers - Part 2
67 John 15:12-17 What a Friend We Have in Jesus
68 John 15:18-25 Why Does Everyone Hate Me?
69 John 15:26-16:15 Two Thirds Is Not Enough
70 John 16:5-11 The Holy Hound of Heaven
71 John 16:16-22 When Sorrow Turns to Joy
72 John 16:23-28 How to Send Knee-Mail
73 John 16:29-33 I've Fallen, but I CAN Get Up!
74 John 17:1 Holy Eavesdropping
75 John 17:1-5 The Gifts That Keep On Giving
76 John 17:6-10 How Followers Are Formed
77 John 17:11-19 Missionaries or Monasteries?
78 John 17:20-26 Listen Up! Jesus is Praying—for YOU!
79 John 18:1-11 I've Got It Under Control
80 John 18:12-27 The Darkest Night!
81 John 18:28-40 A King, a Kingdom, and a Courtroom
82 John 19:1-16 How Do You Handle Jesus?
83 John 19:17-22 Execution of a King
84 John 19:23-24 The Cross on the Billboard of Eternity
85 John 19:25-27 How to Love Your Mother
86 John 19:28-29 iThirst
87 John 19:30 It's Done!
88 John 19:31-37 Death Under Control
89 John 19:38-42 Disciples on the Graveyard Shift
90 John 20:1-10 A Not-Quite-Empty Tomb
91 John 20:11-18 Hope Rekindled
92 John 20:19-23 From Closed Doors to the Open Road
93 John 20:24-31 Rise Up!
94 John 21:1-14 Gone Fishing! (Relating to a Risen & Returning Lord)
95 John 21:15-19 I Failed! Now What?
96 John 21:20-25 Final Instructions



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Believe:879
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 20:30-31
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/746

Is your faith in need of bolstering? Do you find yourself saying "Help my unbelief?" The book of John presents a unique, up close and personal look at the life of Christ, focusing on Jesus as God Incarnate. As we dive into a thorough study of each of John's 879 verses, we'll walk with disciples who were eyewitnesses of His ministry, His death, and His resurrection, and we'll experience abundant life in His name.


  1. What Jesus Did (Vs 30)
    1. His Disciples Witnessed the “Signs”
      1. Disciples were students, learners, followers
        1. 12 apostles
        2. 70 disciples (Luke 10)
        3. 120 disciples (Acts 1)
      2. They heard (1 John 1:1) Eyewitnesses to:
        1. Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)
        2. Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13)
        3. Upper Room Discourse (John 13-16)
      3. They saw
        1. limbs made whole
        2. deaf ears opened
        3. blind see
        4. Jesus raise the dead
        5. Jesus walk on water
        6. water turned to wine
        7. Jesus own resurrection
        8. Miracles (not natural phenomenon.  A miracle is when natural law is suspended and is overridden by supernatural forces.
        9. 34 documented miracles
    2. Not All Written Here.
      1. John's selective account.
      2. 4 gospels-4 viewpoints
      3. Matthew - for the Jews.  Fulfillment of the promised Messiah.  Jesus as Messiah "Behold your King!"
      4. Mark - Jesus as a Servant "Behold your Servant!"
      5. Luke - Jesus the Human "Behold the Man!"
      6. John - Jesus is God "Behold your God!"
        1. doesn't start with human genealogy
        2. begins before time and space
  2. What John Documented (Vs 31)
    1. This Book is John’s Gospel:
      1. John's selective account.
      2. 90% unique.  New Material not mentioned in the synoptic
        1. Prologue, Jesus exaltation, incarnation, deity
        2. Miracle at Cana
        3. Nicodemus,
        4. Samaritan woman at the well
        5. The seven "I AM" statements
        6. Raising of Lazarus
        7. Washing of the disciples feet
        8. Upper Room Discourse
        9. High Priestly Prayer (John 17)
        10. More teaching about the Holy Spirit than other Gospels.
      3. Of the 3.5 years of Jesus ministry John focuses on 20 days and omits the 2nd year entirely.
    2. John’s Gospel Will Promote Faith
      1. "that you may believe"
      2. Not a historical narrative, inspirational and applicational.
      3. 98 times "Believe!"
      4. Jesus is the Christ
        1. Written after the resurrection
        2. He is among us
      5. Faith will be birthed and increased.
      6. Believing as believers.
        1. Not just evangelistic
        2. Trust, settled
      7. Belief in Christ
      8. Christos - Greek The Anointed One, Messiah, Christ.
      9. Mashiach - Hebrew Messiah (Yeshua ha Mashiach)
      10. Son of God - title for deity
        1. Unique son
        2. Shares the same nature as the Father
    3. This Faith Will Produces Life
      1. Life
        1. Bios - physical, biological life, externals
        2. Rarely in the Bible, but always negatively what people tend to focus on
        3. Pseuche - inner self, thought life, personality
        4. Zoe- (often accompanied by eternal or everlasting) - quality of life
      2. Joi de vivre
      3. Life more abundantly, super abundantly, to the full until it overflows, to the max!

Figures Referenced: William Barclay, Henry David Thoreau, Ted Turner, Origin of Alexandria
Hebrew Terms: mashiach (messiah), Yeshua ha Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah)
Greek Terms:
Semeia (a sign), Christos (Christ, anointed one)
Cross References:
2 Corinthians 8:7, Luke 10, Acts 1, 1 John 1:1, Matthew 5-7, Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, John 13-16, John 1

Keywords: John, believe, gospels, life



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The World's Most Important Word
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 1:1-5
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/748

It may be difficult to say what the most important word is in any language, but not for the Apostle John. He begins his gospel with the identification of Jesus as, "The Word." Starting with the very beginning of beginnings, John shows us the fundamental truths about the Jesus that he writes about in the rest of this book. The language is simple and unmistakable and yet the truths presented are deep and extremely profound. Let's see how John presents Jesus and Who Jesus is according to one who was closest to Him.


John's premise is that the most important word, the word itself, is Jesus! He is the only hope of all humanity for salvation.  (Acts 4:12, Philippians 2:9)

  1. In Relation to God (vs. 1,2) Jesus existed always!
    1. In the beginning (Genesis 1) Jesus was already continuing to exist
    2. Word
      1. In the Jewish world - they explained what God did by his word. His word was responsible for everything. Memra - Aramaic (from the Targum-Aramaic translation) self expression of God, replaced the name of God itself.
      2. In the Greek world - Logos - order of the universe the ordering principle, omnipresent wisdom by which all things are steered.
      3. John embraced secular and religious people by describing Jesus as the Word.
    3. With God (Philippians 2:6)
      1. Face to face (pros ton theon)- intimately associated with the Father, in intimate fellowship with him, but separate from the Father, individuals in the Godhead. (Jesus gave up this intimacy for a time at the incarnation John 17:5)
    4. Was God - to say He is less than God is blasphemy. 2 John 7, Galatians 1:6 John 1:10, 11
  2. In Relation to the Universe (vs. 3) Jesus created everything
    1. All things were made through Him.
    2. Without Him nothing was made that was made.
    3. Since He is the manufacturer He is the one to go to when something breaks down.
    4. He is the Image of God Colossians 1:14, Revelation 4:11, Philippians 2:9(icon - take something invisible and make it visible)
    5. He is both the Source and Goal of Creation. Matthew 5:6
  3. In Relation to Mankind (vs. 4,5) Jesus Illuminates Everyone
    1. In Him was life (zoe- spiritual life, eternal life, quality of life 54x in Gospel of John)Life of God
    2. Everyone is DOA-born spiritually dead, but Jesus came to give life.
    3. That life was light. It illuminates, goes out and shines. 21x light in John
    4. Affects everyone (vs9) Every person has light that makes them responsible.
    5. Men love darkness rather than light. John 3:19.
    6. Kata lambano - comprehend, extinguish, - People don't want life-giving light. All the darkness of hell cannot put out the light of Christ.

As we continue through John Jesus will become brighter.  In relation to God He is eternal, in relation to the universe He is all powerful, in relation to mankind, He is Vital.

Figures Referenced: Philo, Charles Steinmetz, Henry Ford
Publications Referenced: The Words You Should Know, by David Olsen, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by CS Lewis
Aramaic Terms: Memra (word)
Greek Terms: logos (word), pros ton theon (face to face, toward each other, in the presence of), icon (image), zoe (spiritual life)
Cross References: Genesis 1:1, Matthew 6:6, John 1:10-11, 3:19, 17:5, Acts 4:12, Galatians 1:6, Philippians 2:9, Colossians 1:14,2 John 7, Revelation 4:11

Keywords: Word, Creator, eternal life



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Step Into Son-Light
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 1:6-13
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/752

I love early mornings when sunlight first comes up over the eastern sky. But if you’ve ever had the experience of the sun suddenly shining into your eyes (like when you turn westward while the sun is going down), it's not so pleasant. Most people wince when light is shined in their eyes. Jesus is presented here as being "the light of men" and "shining in darkness". But the world cries out, "Turn off that light!" How can Jesus enlighten your life and how will you respond to Him?


  1. The Light was Represented (vss. 6-8)
    1. The Messenger John- John the Baptist
      1. Sent from God
      2. 1st prophet to speak in 400 years
      3. Last OT prophet, 1st NT evangelist (Is. 40:3, Mal 3:1)
      4. Born Miraculously
      5. Filled with Holy Spirit form womb
      6. Greatest person who ever lived Mt. 11:11
      7. Performed the greatest job ever
    2. The Mission of John- telling people to step into the light
      1. Witness John the apostle summons to court - John the Baptist is the first of 8 witnesses in the book.
      2. Light - metaphor
        1. Physically, speaks for God's Glory, the heavens declare the glory of God.  Jesus embodies the glory of God in human form. Heb 1:3
        2. Intellectually, speaks of knowledge of God, ultimate knowledge, omniscience
        3. Morally, speaks of holiness - unapproachable light, morally perfect, pure, holy
  2. The Light was Rejected (vss. 9-11)
    1. By His Own Creation
      1. Didn't recognize Him
      2. Consistently get the identity of Christ Wrong
        1. In the past (John 7 good man, deceiver Mt. 16, John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, prophet,John 6 earthly king,Luke 23 tax evader,John 10 has a demon,Mark 3 out of his mind)
        2. In the present (magician, zealot, guru, world traveler, husband of Mary Magdalene, illiterate from low caste of artisans, code name for hallucinogenic mushroom, resurrection a result of alien cloning.)
    2. By His Own Clan
      1. own (masculine referring to his people)
      2. Talmud (illegitimate son of Mary, Panthera magical arts)
      3. shouted "Crucify Him!"
        The Hand he created drove nails into His hands and nailed Him to the cross.
  3. The Light was Received (vss. 12-13)
    The world didn't want Him, the nation didn't want him, do you?
    1. Became God’s Children
      1. receive/believe
      2. Not born a child of God, become one
      3. Born again John 3:16
    2. Born of God
      1. Majority is wrong
      2. Minority receive Him
      3. 1 John 5:19

Publications Referenced: "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," by Harold S. Kushner.
Greek Terms: ginóskó (to come to know, recognize, perceive)
Cross References: Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1, John 3:17, 1 Timothy 6:16, Hebrews 1:3, 1 John 5:19

Topic: Deity of Jesus

Keywords: deity, John the Baptist, light, eternal life



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: One of a Kind!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 1:14-18
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/754

It is a mistake to think of Jesus as "one among many" options in the pantheon of deities. He is unique, matchless, unrivaled, singular, and incomparable. From His birth to His Resurrection, there is no one who even comes close to the majestic Christ. Jesus was One-Of-A-Kind! Let’s consider four distinct ways that Jesus was unique and what these mean to us today.


81% of Americans "claim" to be Christians.  Asked "Who do you think Jesus is?" 70% said Jesus was not just another man.  42% stated he was God among men, 27% human, but divinely called, 9% said He was divine in that he embodied the best of humanity.  Most people don't have a handle on who he is.  John knew he was different, special, atypical, but he came to believe he was God. John 1:1.  World was not expecting Him in this way.  Jews expected a human ruler, not God in flesh.  Jesus really impressed John.  In chapter 1 alone John employs 22 different names/titles for Jesus, (Jesus, Christ, Lord, Light, the True Light…) Billy Sunday said 265 names for Jesus in the Bible, because he is infinitely beyond what one name can express.

Message: Jesus is Unique
Jesus the unique one, God's only begotten Son.  John is the only one who uses that term.

  1. Unique in His Nativity (vs. 14)
    John records the Christmas story from heaven's point of view.  Matthew and Luke tell the historical perspective, John gives us the theological perspective.
    1. Who He Was
      1. The Word became flesh (logos)
        1. to the Greek the grand reason for existence of order
        2. to the Jew power of God Hebrews 1:1,2
    2. What He Became
      1. preexistence, not born, he always was
      2. most profound statement in history
        1. eternity came into time
        2. invisible became visible
        3. infinite became finite
        4. supernatural confined by the natural
        5. God moved into our neighborhood
      3. like King Arthur in Camelot, how He came did not reveal who He is
      4. Great imponderable - A.T. Robertson beyond the power of interpretation, Paul to Timothy
      5. How could and why would God become a person?
      6. John enjoyed it "We beheld His glory"
      7. The lives of the Apostles were changed by Jesus
      8. What did Jesus look like physically?  The writers of the NT never tell us what He looked like.  Not the tall, thin western image we see.  Based on history and archaeology He had dark eyes, bearded, short tightly curled hair.  12/02 Popular Mechanics, average build of Semite male at time of Christ 5'1" 110 pounds.  Since Jesus was carpenter, he was probably physically fit.  Not frail, pale and, effeminate. It wasn't important how He looked, what was important is who He was and what He did.
      9. The greatest gift is God wrapped in flesh.
  2. Unique in His Supremacy (vs. 15)
    John the Baptist referenced here.  John the Baptist a witness that Jesus is unique.  John the Baptist had a significant following, multitudes, some of which thought he was the messiah.  Still had a following in Ephesus after the death and resurrection of Jesus.  (Acts 19, baptism of John the Baptist)  John said Jesus is preferred before me, because He was before me.
    1. John Was Older - John was 6 months older and started his ministry first, but Jesus existed from eternity, and is God. Jesus is the only person who ever lived before He was born. Before Abraham was, I AM! Jews knew He was claiming to be God, they tried to stone Him.
    2. Jesus Was Greater- According to Michael Shapiro, author of the 100 Most Influential Jews of all time, Jesus number 2 to Moses.  On John's list, Jesus is supreme.  Is He supreme in your life?
  3. Unique in His Generosity (vss. 16-17) Grace mentioned 4 x in this paragraph.  The word fullness used by John only here, makes translation of this verse difficult. It's a favorite word of Paul. Jesus is the unique channel of blessing based on grace.
    1. Common Grace We all receive this grace. Health, air, knowledge, friendship, etc.
    2. Covenant Grace salvation, Holy Spirit, peace, heaven, all we need 2 Peter 1 to live victoriously. 
      1. Grace on top of Grace, like waves on the ocean.
      2. God's grace can handle everyone no matter how vile and hopeless.
      3. The law saves no one (Law through Moses, Grace through Christ)
        Righteousness demanded from man under the law/given to man under grace
        Righteousness based on man's good works under law/ based on Christ's righteousness under grace.
        Blessings accompanies obedience under the law/under grace blessings flow freely.
      4. God loves you a lot!
      5. Brilliant thinker, Karl Barth recognized the most profound truth to be "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so…"
  4. Unique in His Clarity (vs. 18) If you want to see God clearly, look at Christ.  The word Son is not the word in the best manuscripts, but rather God.  Jesus is God, came to make God perfectly clear to the world.  No one has seen God in his undiminished glory and pure essence. If we did, we would die. Without Jesus, God would be distant, unclear and unknowable.  Jesus came so man can understand God. We are bound by time and space.  Jesus brought the supernatural into the natural.  "History is filled with men who would be god, but only one God who would be a Man." God gives grace when you believe the truth.  Grace and truth go hand in hand.

Greek Terms: monogenés ( only begotten), theaomai (beheld, study intently, gaze upon), pléromata (fullness)
Figures Referenced: Billy Sunday, AT Robertson, Billy Graham, Dr. Karl Barth, CS Lewis
Publications Referenced: Popular Mechanics, December 2002. The Jewish 100, A ranking of the Most Influential Jews of all Time, by Michael Shapiro.
Cross References: John 1:1, Hebrews 1:1,2, Acts 19, 2 Peter 1

Topic: Deity of Jesus

Keywords: deity, preexistence of Christ



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Greatest Man Meets the Greatest Lamb
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 1:19-34
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/758

Everyone is good at something, maybe even great at something. Maybe you're a great artist or a great mom or even a great leader. Jesus said that John the Baptizer was the greatest man who had ever lived (Matt. 11:11). But John knew Jesus to be the greatest One ever—past, present and future - the Sacrificial Lamb sent to remove sin. Today we discover from John the Baptist how to witness for Christ and we look at the identity and the activity of this most unusual man.


Everyone is good at something, maybe even great at something. Maybe you’re a great artist or a great mom or even a great leader. Jesus said that John the Baptizer was the greatest man who had ever lived (Matt. 11:11). But John knew Jesus to be the greatest One ever—past, present and future—the Sacrificial Lamb sent to remove sin. Today we discover from John the Baptist how to witness for Christ and we look at the identity and the activity of this most unusual man.

Great means considerably above average, remarkable, one who stands out from the crowd. While we may think of John as eccentric, odd, unconventional, out or the ordinary, Jesus says none is greater than John the Baptist. The way he lived and the choices he made made John great.  Great people decide what is important and put their focus on that.  

How can we represent Christ in an unbelieving world? What can we do to promote Christ?

  1. The Identity of John the Baptist (vss. 19-23)- A delegation is sent from the Sanhedrin (70 leaders in charge of the nations spiritual welfare)to find out who John is.  They want to protect the people form false messiahs. Multitudes were going to John for baptism and that drew lots of interest. The term "Jews" is used 71 times by John, more than the other 3 gospels combined.  He refers to them legally not racially, as a group of leaders hostile toward Jesus. Priests and Levites made up the delegation. John's father, Zacharias, was a priest, so John was a "pk" - a preacher's kid. He was a "pk" gone rogue.  He didn't just perform rituals he preached. So the delegation came to find out who he was.
    1. Negatively:
      1. Not Messiah- the delegation thought he may be the messiah, because of the heightened expectation for the messiah's imminent arrival. According to Abba Hillel Silver in the book "The History of Messianic Speculation in Israel," the messiah was expected in the second quarter of the first century CE.
      2. Not Elijah- The way he looked and the way he acted made them think of 2 Kings 8 and Malachi 4. There was a prediction that Elijah would come before the Messiah.  Even at the Passover there is still a chair left empty for Elijah.  The problem of Matthew 11, Jesus said "this is Elijah", but John said he is not.  The angel told Zacharias he would come in the "spirit and power of Elijah." John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, and Elijah-like forerunner.   Partially fulfilled the prophecy, but the real Elijah will come before the great tribulation, possibly one of the two witnesses of Revelation 11.
      3. Not “The Prophet”- According to Ancient Jewish writings Isaiah or Jeremiah would come to restore the ark of the covenant, or could refer to Deuteronomy 18: 15, "another prophet like Moses", the Messiah himself.
    2. Positively: “The voice of one crying…”- "I am the voice, not the word, the voice; a nobody telling you about a somebody; a road worker, getting the path straight for you to walk on. He could have said, "I'm the son of Zacharias, filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb, the greatest guy who ever lived," but he did not, he just said "I'm the messenger."
      1. Early years- John was the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth, a miraculous birth. On the day the angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias and announced his birth, he asked for a sign and couldn't speak for those 9 months. When Mary visited Elizabeth while pregnant, John the Baptist leapt for joy in her womb.
      2. Teenager, later years- John took a Nazarite vow, uncut hair, didn't touch defiled things, consumed nothing of the vine. John lived an uncontaminated life so the message could be preached clearly.
  2. The Activity of John the Baptist (vss. 24-34)
    1. Putting People under Water - baptism.  Not a Christian ritual, but rooted in Judaism. When a gentile converted they had to receive instruction, circumcision and baptism. It was ritualistic cleansing, a sign of leaving the old life to become Jewish. Baptizing those who were Jews was an outward sign of repentance.
    2. Pointing People to the Savior - John put the spotlight on Jesus.  He was in essence saying, "I am not the issue, He is the issue." John and Jesus were cousins, and because of their family relationship we can place even more weight on his witness for Christ. He was saying Jesus is God. He existed before He came to earth. He was referred to as the Son of God, a name for deity. John called him the Lamb of God, but the people were looking for a lion-like king. People don't use lambs to protect themselves. As the son of a priest using the term lamb spoke of sacrifice. (Lambs to the slaughter, Isaiah 53, and the Passover.)  People say Jesus is a good teacher, but that is not why he came, a miracle worker, but that is not why he came, the ultimate example, but not why He came.  Jesus was not what they wanted, but what they needed.
How can we make our lives count?
  1. Be aware - know who you are, and who you are not. You are not the messiah, you are not the answer, but you can take people to the one who is.
  2. Be vocal - be a voice. Tell people the gospel, don't be just an example the word needs a voice, the message needs a messenger.
  3. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist was filled from the womb, he was bold and faithful.
  4. Be a signpost pointing people to Jesus. It's not about me, point people to the real Jesus, the lamb who died for our sins.
Publications Referenced: "The History of Messianic Speculation in Israel," by Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver.
Cross References: Deuteronomy 18:15, 2 Kings 8, Isaiah, 53, Malachi 4, Matthew 17:10, Luke 1:15, John 1:6,7,15,  Revelation 11

Topic: John the Baptist

Keywords: the Baptist, baptize, baptism



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Are You a Follower-Really?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 1:35-42
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/759

You can't make it through much of the Bible without coming to the word Disciple. Just the four Gospels alone use this term 228 times. Basically a disciple is the follower of a teacher: one who observes, learns, and practices what the teacher shares. We now come to the first time John uses this term in his book. So today we assess ourselves by asking, "Are YOU a follower?" Lets look at five characteristics of the first disciples of Jesus and see if they’re reflected in our lives.

According to Juan Carlos Ortiz, in his book "Disciple," a disciple is someone who follows Jesus Christ. Just because we are Christians doesn't mean we are disciples. Jesus said, "Follow Me." The term is used the first time in vs.35. Follow is used 3x in this text. Our problem is we are not keen on following. We want control. Surrendering our will to another is against our human nature.
GK Chesterton says following Jesus is not always easy.  Luke 9:23 says we must deny self and take up our cross daily.  We live in a culture of self indulgence, not self denial.
Discipleship comes in stages as we are transformed into His image.
Discipleship- A lifelong process of conformity to an alien will.

Five Stages and Characteristics of Discipleship

  1. Transition (vss. 35-37) Every Believer Should be a Disciple
    John the Baptists is handing off his disciples to follow Christ. They believed in God, and followed the teaching of John the Baptist, with messianic hope.  John told them to follow Christ and they did.  We must not follow merely a man teacher or system, but Jesus Himself. Healthy leaderships lead followers to follow Jesus himself,. Unhealthy adherence to a system is characterized by filtering every experience and truth through the system.  1 Corinthians 1 Stop worshiping those who teach, and worship Christ wholeheartedly.
  2. Evaluation (vs. 38) Every Disciple Must Sift Motives
    Verse 38 is the first time Jesus speaks in the Gospel of John and the first words in His public ministry.  He asks a question, "What do you want?" He wasn’t asking for information.  It is an evaluating, thought provoking question. When God asks questions he knows the answer.  He wants us, or the person asked to know the answer. For example in Genesis 3 he asks Adam, "Where are you?", He asks the disciples in Matthew 16, "Who do men say I am? Who do you say I am?", in John 5 he asks a paralyzed man, "Do you want to be made whole?" He will ask Peter, Do you love Me."  He asks these questions to evoke evaluation. Who do you have in your life who will ask you the hard questions?  Is your faith genuine?  AW Tozer in the "Pursuit of God": Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He wants to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long in vain."   A true disciple takes spiritual inventory from time to time.
  3. Submission (vss. 38-39) True Disciples Respond to Commands
    A true disciple responds to scriptural commands.  This is a very unusual introduction. The disciples ask Him where He is staying. Greek word is menó which means abide.  They are saying they want to come closer, to get further instruction. Jesus doesn't give them information, He gives them an invitation, "Come and See." His invitation is met by their submission.  As a disciple you come to Jesus and as you spend time with him and obey you get intimacy and depth. Jesus said come and see and they came and saqw. His command was met with obedience.  They did not question him.  The real test of discipleship is submission. In Luke 6 Jesus asked "wWhy do you call me Lord if you don't do what I say?"  This is the issue of lordship. He is the boss!  We must come to grips with it.  We say "Lord", but our formal theology must meet our practical theology. We must practice His lordship every day. It is one thing to say you are something; it is another thing to Be something. We ought not claim to be Christ followers without a concept of Lordship.  Note: 10th hour. John is reckoning time in Roman time, not Jewish ti8me.  His knowledge of the time and the weight he gives it reveals he is the unnamed disciple in the text.  John never names himself, but he knew the time.  His life changed and some 60 years later when this is written he remembered when he met Jesus, everything changed.
  4. Mission (vss. 40-41) Disciples Want to Make Other Disciples
    When Andrew found the messiah, he couldn’t' keep it to himself. He goes back to his family.  Whenever we see Andrew he is always bringing people to Jesus (the boy with loaves, the Greeks, Peter). There is an automatic chain-reaction when a true disciple is following Jesus - he wants others to follow Jesus.  Andrew means "manliness", Real men want others to know Jesus.  Every Christian loves the gospel, but a disciple is never content to go to heaven alone.
  5. Transformation (vs. 42) Disciples Don’t Stay in a Rut; They Grow
    We should be growing now, and in the future. When Jesus met Peter, he saw right through him.  He saw him as he is and what he will become.  You are Simon- birth name, will be Peter - Rock. Simon Peter wasn’t' solid at all. (Mount of Transfiguration, Garden of Gethsemane, Rooftop in Joppa) but He became rock solid over time (leader in the church, wrote 2 New Testament epistles, source for the gospel of Mark, preached on Pentecost, crucified upside down.  Jesus sees our potential. The more dissolved into Christ and dominated by His will the more useful you'll be to His kingdom.
Keywords: John the Baptist, discipleship
Greek Terms - akoloutheó - to follow as a disciple, menó - abide, cristos - Christ
Hebrew Terms - mashiach - messiah
Figures Referenced: GK Chesterton, Socrates,
Publications Referenced: "Disciple" by Juan Carlos Ortiz, Leadership Magazine, "The Pursuit of God," by AW Tozer
Cross References: Genesis 3, Matthew 16, Luke 6, Luke 9:23, John 5, John 15, 1 Corinthians 1, 2 Corinthians 13:5

Topic: Christian Walk

Keywords: disciple, follower, obedience, evangelism



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Finding the God Who Found You
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 1:43-51
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/765

When the first disciples encountered Jesus, they chose to follow Him--only to discover that they had already been chosen by Him! Without getting drowned in that theological tide pool, let's consider and marvel at how both of these realities work together. The Bible teaches that God sovereignly elects people for salvation while at the same time teaches our responsibility to believe in Christ. Let’s see how both Philip and Nathanael encountered Jesus for the first time.


When the first disciples encountered Jesus they chose to follow Him--only to discover that they had already been chosen by Him! Without getting drowned in that theological tide pool, let’s consider and marvel at how both of these realities work together. The Bible teaches that God sovereignly elects people for salvation while at the same time teaches our responsibility to believe in Christ. Let’s see how both Philip and Nathanael encountered Jesus for the first time.

Some things are tough to understand. When divine choice intersects with human choice it is difficult for us to understand, but the bible says both are true. God elects us, but we must follow. God predestines us, we must decide to believe. It seems impossible to grasp. Like a plane…its destination is decided, its course is set, but the passengers on board made choices.  They have freedom on board the plane but they are being carried to a predetermined destination.

In this text the disciples are being called, first Andrew and Simon Peter, now Nathanael and Philip.  Men are making decisions to follow Christ, but Jesus seems to anticipate their choices.  Which is it? Did they choose to follow Him? Or did He choose to have them follow Him? It's a matter of perspective; it depends on your point of view. We'll look at the passage from 2 perspectives, God choosing people and people choosing God.

  1. The Divine Perspective--God Chooses People
    It is evident that Jesus is part of the choosing. 3 divine attributes involved:
    1. Preference (v. 43)
      1. Jesus makes His choice.
      2. It was against the norm for rabbis to choose disciples. It was protocol for students to opt voluntarily after hearing a rabbi. Rabbis did not invite someone into the inner circle, but Jesus took the initiative.
    2. Omniscience (v. 47)
      1. Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, He knew in advance that Philip was from Bethsaida. (vs.44) 
      2. Jesus knew where they lived, their character, and their secret hangouts. (vs. 47-49)
    3. Providence (vss. 50-51)
      1. Providence is the supernatural arrangement of natural events.
      2. It is not the miraculous which is the intervention of the supernatural upon the natural.

        In these verses we have a crash course in theology. 
        God sees, knows and chooses.  People come to Christ because God seeks them.  Ultimately salvation begins with God's choice and predestination. John 15:16 Jesus said, "you did not choose Me, I chose you."
        Found is a repeated word in this text.  Andrew told Simon Peter he found the messiah, Philip told Nathan he found the messiah, but it also says Jesus found Philip. Who finds whom? Two perspectives:  We say I found Jesus, but he wasn't lost.  We were lost, He finds us.  These are heady theological topics of election and predestination. 
        We are commanded to make a decision.   John the Baptist and Jesus said, "Repent…" we are commanded to engage our free will and make a choice. Matt 11, "Come to me…take My yoke..." John 5 "You are not willing to come to Me," John 7, "If anyone thirsts let him come to Me and drink…"Paul said in Acts 16," Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…" These are commands to respond to the Lord by faith, to exercise a choice. We cannot do it on our own. Whatever choice we make a choice has been made before we get there. We are selected y God out of this world system.  Our salvation began before we were born. John 6 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…" Eph 1:4, "He chose us in Him before the creation of the world,"…"predestined according to the counsel of His will."
        Charles Spurgeon said "It's a good thing God chose me before I was born. He never would have chosen me afterward."
        Sovereign election and human decision together seem to be opposite, seem irreconcilable.  Cannot be reconciled in our finite minds.  Seem opposed that we are called to make a choice, yet God selects. JI Packers, book Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God", p.18 antinomy - an apparent contradiction of two equally true conclusions.  Like light.  There is evidence that light exists as wave and evidence that light exists as particle.  It's not apparent how they same substance can be both wave and particle at the same time, but they are two equally true conclusions.
        Should we argue over it?  Calvinist argue election and many won't evangelize lest they witness to the non-elect.  Arminians elevate human choice over divine election.  We should allow the tension to remain.  Like a suspension bridge, two opposing forces pull on the bridge so we can go over it.  These are truths held in tension.
        Jesus allowed these truths to remain in tension.  He addresses both perspectives sometimes in the same sentence.  John 6:37, Luke 22:22. These perspectives harmonize.  Like a rope to a drowning man.  Man must grab the rope.  We need the rope, the drowning man must grab it, but someone must pull him in.  God throws out the rope by election, we grab it by choice, and He draws us in.
        God picked us, we should enjoy it.  Get over what you don't understand and enjoy that He picked you.
  2. The Human Perspective--People Choose God
    Philip obeyed, believed and immediately told Nathanael about it.
    1. Investigation (v. 46)
      1. Philip Philip's faith was easier, no barriers or roadblocks, like some people it isn't hard for them. 
      2. Nathanael Philip found Nathanael and Nathanael asked, "can anything good come out of Nazareth?" It's the question of a skeptic.  He isn't quite sure.  Others need room like Nathanael.  Need to work through some issues.  Don't force someone to say with their mouth what they don't believe in their heart.  "Anything good…?" Judeans saw Galileans as backward hicks.  Even those in Galilee looked down on Nazareth.  Nathanael is from Cana, they were rival cities.
    2. Belief (vss. 48-49) Divine election and human choice meet. Jesus told him in essence, "You are a true blue Jew" Nathanael asked, "How do you know me?" this is where It was the moment of belief for Nathanael.  The fig tree was a private place a place where he had an experience with god that no one knew about. Jesus knew. He was the Son of God. Nathanael understood that and turned to Christ.
    3. Revelation (v. 45)
      1. There comes a point in the believers live where they fall in love with the Bible.  They see how it addresses life's issues, and cannot get enough of it.
      2. Growing in the Word-
        1. "A bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who is not"-Charles Spurgeon. 
        2. "The Bible has hands- it grabs hold of me and feet -it runs after me."- Martin Luther.
    4. Adventure (v. 50-51)
      1. When you become a believer you are entering into something you've never dreamed about. It ends in heaven. Stick around you haven't seen anything yet.
      2. Nathanael - Soon Jesus will turn water into wine in Nathanael's home town.  The disciples will be witness to 36 other miracles, the blind will see the deaf will hear, the dead will be alive again.  
      3. Jesus reaches back into history, Genesis 28. (Could this have been what Nathanael was meditating on under the fig tree?)  He alludes to when Jacob fell asleep on a rock in the wilderness and had a vision of angels going up and down on a ladder to heaven Jacob wakes up and says, "God is here and I knew it not."   Jesus is saying "Nathanael, I'm the link, the ladder between God and man."

        There is only one way to God, through Jesus.  Wake up! You are on the adventure of your life!  You will see such things as if heaven has opened to you.  There will be potholes and trials along the way, but enjoy the ride. What scenery!  The worst thing that can happen to you is you die and go to heaven.  Jesus know you, your questions and your thirst.  When you come to Him you'll discover He's been waiting for you! If you come you'll discover you're chosen.  If you won't come, maybe you aren't'! If you come he will in no wise cast you out.  Like the great artist Michelangelo sculpted David from a flawed stone, God can shape you into something wonderful.
Latin Terms: provideo(to provide advance planning; to foresee)
Greek Terms: Aletheos: truth
Figures Referenced: Charles Spurgeon, John Calvin, Jacobus Arminius, Martin Luther, Michelangelo
Publications Referenced: Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, by J. I. Packer.
Cross References: Genesis 28 Matthew 11, Luke 22:22, John 5, 6:37, 7, 15:16, Acts 16, Ephesians 1:4,

Topic: Salvation

Keywords: Nathanael, Philip, Arminianism, Calvinism, predestination, election



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Wedding Guest
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 2:1-12
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/767

How cool (and also potentially scary) would it be to have Jesus as a guest at your own wedding! The unnamed couple at the village wedding of Cana had that privilege. Jesus was the wedding guest who brought the best gift. His first miraculous sign was performed while celebrating that marriage. But far more than just attending a nuptial party, Jesus demonstrated who He was in relation to four entities: His mother, the moment, a miracle, and His men.


How cool (and also potentially scary) would it be to have Jesus as a guest at your own wedding! The unnamed couple at the village wedding of Cana had that privilege. Jesus was the wedding guest who brought the best gift. His first miraculous sign was performed while celebrating that marriage. But far more than just attending a nuptial party, Jesus demonstrated who He was in relation to four entities: His mother, the moment, a miracle, and His men.

Weddings days are high stress with many details and plans culminating in one event. No details about the bride and groom are recorded in the text because they are not most important to this story, Jesus is.  What he brings to this wedding changes the disciples.  This is His first miraculous sign.  Weddings would be different if He were a guest.  Marriages would be different if He were the center of the home.

The place-We have moved geographically NNW from the Jordan River area to Galilee, which will become the headquarters for Jesus ministry.  Cana is five miles north of Jesus hometown of Nazareth and was Nathanael's hometown.

The time - It is a Wednesday.  It was almost universal that the wedding of a virgin would be on a Wednesday in this culture.  Not a Saturday, because that was the Sabbath.

The people- This is probably a very close friend or relative of Jesus family,  because both Jesus and Mary were invited and Mary seems to be working behind the scenes.

  1. Jesus and His Mother (vss. 1-5)
    1.  Historically
      1. Mary has been worshipped by some
      2. She has been prayed to and revered
      3. Named the co-redemptress and co-mediatrix of the human race.
      4. Vatican II notes a union of mother and Son in the work of salvation.
    2. Biblically
      1. Jesus calls her woman.
        1. Not disrespectful, but polite and formal (like lady, ma'am)
        2. Indicates a change in their relationship
          1. Jesus begins His public ministry
          2. Earthly relationships won't determine His course of action.
          3. Not just your Son, but Your Savior
      2. Asks her, what does your concern have to do with me? (ti emoi soi gunai?)
        1. My thoughts are not your thoughts.
        2. Didn't you know I must be about my Father's business?
      3. Mary is a blessed woman and wonderful example of womanhood.
      4. Mary is NOT sinless, co-redemptress, nor co-mediatrix.
        1. She called Jesus her Savior, indicating her need for mercy and grace. Luke1
      5. The early church did not honor nor worship her.
      6. Mary is hardly mentioned in scripture.
      7. Examples include Matthew 12, Luke 11.
  2. Jesus and the Moment (v. 4, v. 1)
    1. John keeps careful track of the time, (John 1:29, 35,43) indicating Jesus seems to be keeping a schedule.
    2. My hour has not yet come
      1. "My hour" will be used  5 more times in John (John 7:30, 13:1, 17:1)
      2. "My hour" refers to the time of suffering, death, and subsequent resurrection.
      3. When Mary told Jesus they were out of wine, she was not simply asking Him to miraculously make wine.  She was asking him to reeal who He was as Messiah.
        1. She knew Him better than anyone else.
        2. She remembered her virgin birth, the Magi, Annas
        3. She knew about gossip and rumors of illegitimacy
    3. Jesus is moving in a divine time schedule toward the cross.
    4. Importance of the "hour" of suffering in the 4 gospels
      1. Four chapters hint at the first 30 years of Jesus' life
      2. 85 chapters are about the last 3 ½ years of His life
      3. 29 chapters of those are about the last week of His life
      4. 13 chapters are about the final day (579 verses about "his hour"
    5. Jesus was saving ultimate revelation about who He is until that last "hour"
    6. Application: God's timing is perfect, never late never early
  3. Jesus and a Miracle (vss. 6-10)
    1. A wedding was "the" social event. Important to have wine.
      1. Wedding paid for by the groom.
      2. Wine a symbol of Joy (Isaiah 55, Psalm 104
      3. If the groom ran out of wine it mean he couldn't provide joy for his wife, his family ro his friends.
      4. The groom could be sued for failing to meet His social responsibility.
    2. 6 water pots of stone (stone represents clean vs. earthenware represents unclean)
      1. 180 gallons of wine - more than enough
      2. Jesus was not meeting a need, He was lavishing a gift.
      3. The bride and groom could sell the excess wine and use the money
    3. The water pots were filled to the brim
      1. It was a miracle
      2. Nothing was added to the pots
    4. Demonstrates Jesus is God
        1. In chapter one he revealed Jesus omniscience in choosing Philip and Nathanael
        2. Now demonstrates his omnipotence in control of the natural world
        3. Old Testament begins with a miracle of creation, and Jesus ministry begins with a miracle of creation
  4. Jesus and His Men (v. 11)
    1. This is the first miracle, the beginning of signs. (refutes the fanciful accounts of Jesus exercising power as a child in Gospel of Thomas and Gospel of Peter which are Apocryphal not Canonical books)
    2. Tells us why he did this miracle.  To reveal His glory in order to develop the fiath of his disciples.
      1. The disciples believed.  (John 20:31,32)
      2. Private miracle, only five disciples at this time.
      3. They may not have thought of Moses at this time -another prophet like Moses
        1. Moses first miracle turned water to blood, brought destruction and misery
        2. Jesus first miracle turned water to wine, saved the day and brought joy
      4. Part of the "greater things" Jesus promised to Nathanael.
Figures referenced: Ogden Nash, Charles Spurgeon, William Barclay
Greek terms: gunai (woman), ti emoi soi gunai (what with me with you woman?)
Cross References: Genesis 1, Psalm 104,  Isaiah 55, Matthew 12, Luke 11, John 1:1, 20:30-31

Topic: Deity of Jesus

Keywords: Cana, wedding, water, wine, deity, miracle



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Trouble in the Temple
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 2:13-22
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/769

A hymn by Charles Wesley begins, "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, look upon a little child..." It’s a beautiful song with a beautiful thought. However, Jesus is anything but gentle and mild in John chapter two. Here in the temple at Jerusalem, He displays His righteous anger as He overturns tables and beats the religious businesspeople with whips! But Jesus was using this trouble in the temple to predict a greater sign—the triumph of His own physical temple—His bodily resurrection!


Five times in the text the word temple is used. 2 times the word house is used referring to the temple. So seven total times "temple" is referenced, but of these, two times Jesus is speaking of His body. While the Jews are thinking of construction, Jesus changes the conversation and is speaking of resurrection. Both are important signs, driving them out and the resurrection, and they are related. It's all about believing. What happened in the temple caused His disciples to believe in Him. Jesus single handedly drove out the group and their animals. The disciples may have thought  He is unpredictable. He has left the wedding at Cana where he brought joy, and now He is angry. It is his first public appearance on spiritual grounds and He doesn't read the Bible, He beats the merchandisers with a whip.

  1. The Sign in the Temple -- A historical Building Vss. 13-20
    1. His Passion for Reverence
      1. Passover - The greatest of Jewish feasts, commemorating their deliverance from Egypt.
        1. Jerusalem crowded
          1. All male Jews within 15 mile of the city were required to be there
          2. Lifelong dream of the Jews to be there
          3. Jesus came south 90 miles from Capernaum
          4. 256,000 lambs sacrificed according to Josephus (10:1 ratio people:lambs = 2.5 million)
        2. Huge event
          1. Residents were required to open their homes to visitors and forbidden to charge rent
          2. People would camp out around the temple
          3. 4 weeks prior to Passover the teaching in the Synagogue would lead up to Passover
          4. The women would prepare their homes
        3. 1 day festival on the 14 day of Nisan
        4. Followed by 7 day Festival of Unleavened Bread
      2. Corruption
        1. Those who sold - tous polountas the sellers, everyone knew them
          1. Money changers would charge exorbitant fees - 2 hours wage just to exchange money, and another 2 hours wage for each ½ shekel exchanged
          2. Inspectors would determine clean animals from unclean animals and require people to purchase new ones for sacrifice
        2. Worshipers with pure hearts were being charged to worship God
      3. Jesus drove them out
        1. Jesus is angry
        2. Jesus exercises his rightful authority as Messiah over the temple
        3. God's wrath
          1. According to Arthur W. Pink there are more references to God's wrath in the Bible than to His love
          2. Not gentle Jesus when it comes to religious hypocrisy (Mark 3, Revelation 6
    2. His Fulfillment of Prophecy - Psalm 69
      Zeal for your house has consumed Me
    3. His Action brought Negative Reaction from Enemies
      1. They asked Jesus for a sign - Jesus just interfered with their system
      2. They challenge His authority because He sidestepped their authority
      3. These leaders look back and remembered Malachi 3
      4. Jesus called in "My Father's house," claiming a unique relationship with God that the religious leaders did not have
  2. The Sign of the Temple - A Physical Body (vss. 19-22)
    1. His Power of Resurrection
      1. To the Jews the temple was the symbol of God's presence among them
      2. Jesus was the actual presence of God
      3. The disciples would understand that he was speaking of His body 3 years later when he rose from the dead.
    2. His Formulating of Prophecy
      1. Resurrection is an essential truth of Christianity
      2. If Jesus doesn't rise from the dead then He isn't credible
      3. Resurrection proves who He is
      4. He predicted it
      5. Proves our hope for a future resurrection
    3. Positive Reaction from Friends
      1. They remembered and believed
      2. God lets us grow at our own pace - Jesus said something they wouldn't understand for 3 years
      3. They believed in Jesus John 2:11
      4. They believed the Scripture and the Word which He had said John 2:22 -equated His words with Scripture
      5. The disciples began looking at life thru the lens of Scripture and formed a biblical Worldview
      6. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 6
      7. Jesus can cleanse our temples too 2 Corinthians 6
      8. Jesus can resurrect us
Figures Referenced: Flavius Josephus, Arthur W. Pink, Charles Wesley
Cross References: Psalm 69, Malachi 3, Mark 3, John 2:11, 1 Corinthians 3, 2 Corinthians 6
Greek Terms: tous polountas (the sellers)

Topic: Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Keywords: temple, resurrection, money changers, anger, signs



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Uncommitted!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 2:23-25
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/771

These three verses are some of the most unusual in the New Testament. They describe a scene in the life of Jesus that explains His popularity and fame. The response of people to the miracles of Jesus is understandable. What is not readily understandable is Jesus' response to the interested and excited crowd. Though they believed in Him, He was not too energized over their kind of faith. Understanding this will help us to understand Jesus and His mission.


These three verses are some of the most unusual in the New Testament. They describe a scene in the life of Jesus that explains His popularity and fame. The response of people to the miracles of Jesus is understandable. What is not readily understandable is Jesus’ response to the interested and excited crowd. Though they believed in Him, He was not too energized over their kind of faith. Understanding this will help to understand Jesus and His mission.

Knowledge is supreme.  Imagine being around someone who knows everything; what you think, your motives. When Jesus healed the paralytic, He knew the thoughts of those surrounding Him.  Our text is the summation of what happened that week. 

Each portion of chapter 2 includes a statement of faith.  When Jesus turned water to wine at Cana, the disciples believed in Him.  When Jesus cleansed the temple the disciples believed the scripture.  Now, the crowds will believe. 

John's point here is that Jesus is omniscient.  He knows the soul and motivation of men and women.

  1. The Unmistakable Clues (v. 23)
    1. Miraculous Signs Done
      1. 17 times John uses the term signs (semeion)
      2. 37 miracles recorded in the gospels
      3. People's response to miracles
        1. over naturalize them, call everyday occurrences miracles
        2. explain them away as primitive interpretations
        3. hyping miracles , cheapening the idea of what they are
      4. Webster defines as extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.
      5. Skip defines as divine work wrought with divine power for a divine purpose.
      6. God is not a prisoner to His own laws. He can supercede natural law and enact another law.  Like when humans overcome gravity with thrust and lift.
      7. Why Jesus performed miracles
        1. loves people
        2. prove who he is.
    2. Mentioned without Detail
      1. We know he performed many miracles during this week
        1. lots of publicity
        2. Nicodemus referred to them John 3:1
  2. The Under-Committed Crowd (v. 23)

    They had asked for a sign, Jesus didn't do one, then He goes out and does a lot of them. He uses the signs to get their attention.
    1. The Beginning of their Belief
      1. Belief doesn't necessarily mean committed faith. James 2
        1. demonic faith
        2. dead faith
        3. dynamic faith
      2. Believed in His Name - they accepted Him on their own terms.  They were "unsaved believers" (Warren Wiersbe) .
      3. Belief in Him (Jn 8:30,31, Acts 8)
      4. Movement in John from the light of popularity to the darkness of rejection.
    2. The Basis of their Belief
      1. The people want signs not a savior
      2. Signs are never enough
      3. Faith must be based on who He is, not what He does
      4. There's a difference between knowing who someone is and knowing them personally
  3. The Uncommitted Christ (vv. 24-25)
    How Jesus responds to nominal Christianity.  In this passage, commit and believe are the same Greek word.  "They believed in Him, but He didn't believe in them."
    1. His Reluctance They had "stony ground faith" Matthew 13
    2. His Reasons - Jesus is omniscient, he knew all men. No one with artificial faith can get away with it. Hebrews 4:13

Since Jesus knows everything He knows the worst about you. He also knows the best about you.  He knows what He will make out of you.

Figures Referenced: Celsus, Porphyry, Hume, Apollonius, Spinoza, William Barclay, Warren Wiersbe, Charles Spurgeon
Greek Terms: semeion (distinguishing mark, miracle, sign)
Cross References: Matthew 13, John 3:1, John 8:30,31, Acts 8:13, Hebrews 4:13, James 2

Topic: Belief

Keywords: Miracles, signs, omniscience, belief



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Nick at Nite!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 3:1-8
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/773

The meeting of Jesus and Nicodemus at night is one of the most famous and compelling stories in Scripture. This man's inner curiosity and spiritual thirst drove him to want to know more. What he heard puzzled and astonished him, but he heard from Jesus' own lips the only way to be saved. Jesus' words here divide all of humanity into two groups: those who are born again and those who are not.


  1. Spiritual Curiosity (vv. 1-2)
    1. The Man Named Nicodemus -
      1. Religious -Pharisee - pledged to keep all of the law.  Not just the first 5 books of the Bible, but the oral law as well; the Mishnah and the Talmud
      2. Rich - according to the Talmud one of four richest men in Jerusalem.  Brought the myrrh and aloes when Jesus was buried.
      3. Ruler - His name is Greek, means "victor over the people."  Ruler, archon in Greek. He was "the" teacher in Israel. One of the most famous,  sought after lecturers.
    2. The Meeting at Night
      1. Could be a lot of reasons he came at night.
        1. fear
        2. sin
        3. Probably for quality time with Jesus.
      2. He came. - Not so important why he came, but that he came. (when you are in pain, distress, or loneliness, you are more aware of your need.  We should be glad when people come, whatever the motive.)
        1. Nicodemus called Jesus, "Rabbi." He thought he was being respectful, making Jesus an equal, he doesn't yet know who Jesus is.
        2. "we" know-a group including himself and perhaps others sympathetic to Jesus and considering whether He is Messiah.
        3. Jesus had been in Jerusalem doing signs. Nicodemus witnessed that. He saw that Jesus knew the truth as he had never known.  Nicodemus curiosity brought him to Jesus.
  2. Eternal Necessity (vv. 3-6) Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom.  Jesus answers the question that Nicodemus didn't ask. Jesus knew what was in man. "Most assuredly" is our clue that these are important word.
    1. The Meaning of the New Birth
      1. New life, second chance.
      2. Not merely another protestant sect.
      3. Gennethe anothen -
        1. born from above
        2. born a second time
      4. Nicodemus and other Jews believed that the only birth needed was the first birth.  To be Jewish and to keep the law. But keeping the law and good works were not enough.
      5. To have new life, you need a new birth.
      6. You are born spiritually dead. (Ephesians 2:1)
      7. Jesus doesn't reform you; He transforms you.
    2. The Method of the New Birth -born of water and the spirit
      1. Doesn't mean baptismal regeneration.
        1. Nicodemus couldn't have understood New Testament baptism.
        2. Jesus didn't baptize anyone
      2. Spiritual cleansing- Old Testament description of being spiritually cleansed. Ezekiel 36.
      3. Physical birth followed by Spiritual birth.
        1. "born of water" physical birth
        2. "born of the spirit" spiritual birth
        3. First birth necessary for physical life
        4. Second birth necessary for spiritual life
  3. Observable Activity (vv. 7-8)
    1. The Wind Changes Places -can't see it, but the effects of it are plainly observable.
    2. The Spirit Changes People - When a person is born again the changes are observable.
      Pneuma is the word for wind and spirit.  Same word.
      Jesus said you MUST be born again. He was saying this to a religious person.  Status, religion and good works were not enough.  George Whitfield said he taught on this passage so much, because Jesus said you must be born again.
      Born once(physically) Die twice (physically and spiritually)
      Born twice (physically and spiritually) Die once (physically)
Figures Referenced - George Whitfield
Greek Terms - archon (ruler), gennethe anothen (born from above, born again), pneuma (wind, spirit)
Cross References - Ezekiel 36, John 2:24, Ephesians 2:1

Topic: Born Again

Keywords: Nicodemus, born again, new birth, second birth, new life



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Extreme Makeover: Soul Edition!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 3:9-21
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/775

For years ABC has aired two different versions of a show called Extreme Makeover. One is a total body makeover designed to enhance the physical beauty of a selected individual. The other is a Home Edition that rebuilds or adds to a struggling family's residence. But only Jesus can give the soul a makeover; only Jesus can ready a person for eternity. Here Jesus answers Nicodemus' question of how a person can have the New Life that comes from the New Birth.

Nicodemus is grown and has lived his life with the outward things in order.  His question, "How can these things be? How on earth can things like this happen?"  turns the conversation from a dialogue to a discourse.  We learn how a man can be born again.

  1. The Source of New Life: Heaven (vv. 9-13)
    1. New life is possible because Jesus Christ, who is life, brought it down from heaven.
    2. It is impossible for man to reach the new life.
      1. We are in the time and space continuum.
      2. We cannot escape the natural to reach the supernatural.
      3. Religion is man's attempt to reach into heaven, and it won't work because the natural cannot peer into the supernatural.
    3. God has to come into the natural.
    4. Either take what He said or we are stuck.
    5. Most people would rather reach up from earth than take what is handed down from heaven.
  2. The Force of New Life: Atonement (vv. 14-17)
    1. The atoning death of Christ
    2. The force behind the new life is death
    3.  Someone has to die enabling others to live (New Testament theme, we live because Christ died, 1 Peter)
    4.  Jesus predicted His death to Nicodemus
    5.  Wilderness serpent (Numbers 21) - The complaining Israelites complained against God about the manna, the venomous snakes were sent and thousands died.  To be saved they had to look to the brass serpent lifted up in the desert and they had to believe.
      1. They had to believe they were sinners.
      2. They had to believe it was going to work, have faith.
    6. It is easier for us to look to ourselves than to admit we are sinners needing a savior.
    7. Must - it is a divine imperative. Jesus had to die.
      1. Justice - without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins
      2. Love - Love drove Jesus to the cross
        1. For God so loved the world…
        2. For the joy set before Him…
    8. Jesus did not come to condemn
      1. Jews believed the Gentiles would be wiped out
      2. Jesus came for not just the Jews, but the whole world
    9. Jesus would do anything to get you to heaven, He did everything He could.
  3. The Course of New Life: Faith (vv. 12, 15, 16, 18)
    1. Believe (used 98 times in John)
    2. "How can these things be?" is a statement of unbelief (Jesus said so in vs. 12)
    3. Unbelief causes ignorance
      1. You do not know.
      2. You do not receive.
      3. You do not believe. (don't believe it, won't believe it)
    4. Believe what?
      1. Not Just acknowledging Him, not just in His name (that He existed, good example)
      2. Receiving Him, Believe in Him "Faith is the clutching intensity of a drowning man." - William Barclay
  4. The Remorse of New Life: Judgment (vv.19-21)
    1. He who believes is not condemned.
    2. He who does not believe is condemned already.
      1. Not everyone will enjoy new life, because not everyone will believe it.
      2. Unbelievers will be sentenced at the great white throne judgment.
      3. The trial is now. Jesus isn't on trial, we are!
      4. People won't believe in Jesus because they love their sin.
    3.  Invitation. He who does the truth comes to the light.
Figures Referenced: William Barclay, Charles Spurgeon
Publications Referenced: Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan.
Cross References: Numbers 21, John 2:23, 12, 1 Peter

Topic: New Life

Keywords: born again, Nicodemus, believe, faith, condemnation, salvation, atonement, judgment



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: God's Valentine
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 3:16
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/777

Today we take a look at the Bible's most famous verse and probe its depth while preparing to take the Lord's Supper together. Though most everyone knows this verse, John 3:16 is much more than just a slogan; it is a summary statement of God's love through Jesus Christ. This single verse of scripture gives us the salient truths of God's plan of salvation in abridged form. Let's consider God's great plan for us as we unpack it phrase by phrase.


  1. The Origin "For God"
    1.  Not for man's desire for self improvement
    2. God-initiated
    3. We respond to Him
      (When Adam sinned he ran, God searched for him)
    4. We are dead in trespasses and sins, dead people are helpless
  2. The Motivation "So loved"
    1. Not "so angry"
    2. It's God's nature, God is love
    3. Easy to say, difficult to grasp
    4. Different from human love
      1. Not object oriented
      2. Subject oriented, based on His character
      3. God doesn't have favorites
  3. The Destination "the world"
    1. Not a select few, all
    2. Spoken to Nicodemus, a Jew
    3. Universal sin, universal cure
    4. Widest embrace, includes everyone
    5. Some don't experience it
  4. The Demonstration "that He gave His only begotten Son"
    1. Love isn't passive
    2. Love is active
    3. God gave his best, monogene, only begotten
  5. The Invitation "that whoever"
    Whoever!  (Samaritan woman, Revelation 21)
  6. The Qualification "believes in Him"
    1. More than acknowledging the facts
    2. Pisteuo - believe - rely on, trust in
    3. The Great Blondin, "get in the wheel barrow"
  7. The Ramification "should not perish but have everlasting life"
    1. Died so we can have eternal life
    2. Those who don't believe will peris
Figures Referenced: Valentine of Rome, Bishop of Terni, Martin Luther, Malcolm Muggeridge, DL Moody
Greek Terms: monogene-only begotten, pisteuo-believe, rely on, trust in
Cross References: 1John 4:19, Revelation 21

Topic: God's Love

Keywords: love, eternal life, believe, Nicodemus



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: To Grow Up, You Must Grow Down!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 3:22-30
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/779

"They that know God will be humble, and they that know themselves cannot be proud!" That's what British Puritan John Flavel once said. And that’s how John the Baptist once lived! John the Baptist and his followers provide some great applicational fodder for how Christians should get along and humble themselves before one another and God. For any Christian believer who wants to spiritually grow up and grow strong, he must first grow down.


  1. An Honest Struggle: God's Kids Can Sometimes Disagree
    1. John's Disciples and Jesus' Disciples (vv. 22-24)
      1. Jesus gaining popularity and controversy
      2. John and his disciples have a struggle with this
      3. Jesus disciples baptizing
      4. John and his disciples baptizing
    2. John's Disciples and the Jews (vv. 25-26)
      1. Discussion between them regarding purification
      2. John's disciples go to John and say, "Jesus has a bigger group than us!"
    3. Illustrations of God's People Can Sometimes Disagree
      1. If two people agree on everything, one isn't thinking - Walter Martin
      2. Church is not a society of perfect people
      3. Church is a group of redeemed people who express spirituality through imperfect personality
      4. God reserves the right to use people who disagree with you - Bob Cook
      5. Church is like a family, we don't always get along
      6. Biblical examples: Abraham and Lot, Jacob and Laban, Joseph and his brothers, the 12 apostles, Peter and Paul, the council at Jerusalem, Paul and Barnabas
      7. Disagreement can be carnal (Corinthian church)
      8. Disagreement can be corrective
  2. A Humble Servant: God's Reps Should Always Defer
    1. The Proper Theology--God is Sovereign (v. 27)
      1. When someone is superior or successful, God gave that to them
      2. Best way to view someone else's success
      3. If you are being blessed, you can't brag (1 Corinthians 4:7)
      4. Nothing escapes His notice
      5. You don't have to worry about everyone else
    2. The Proper Understanding--I Know My Calling (v. 28)
      1. I'm not Christ, I'm the forerunner
      2. Be content in what your gifts are
      3. Be content in your limitations
      4. Variety of Spiritual Gifts, (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4) Different gifts, different administrations of those gifts
    3. The Proper Attitude--Joyful Participation (v. 29)
      1. Rejoice in another's accomplishments
      2. Be happy to be a part of the process
    4. The Proper Relationship--More of Him; Less of Me! (v. 30)
      1. Cure to self-focused living
      2. Divine necessity
      3. Recognize your role
      4. Dying to self
For Home Fellowships:
  1. What was the last religious/spiritual argument you were involved in? What was it about? How did it end? On what basis do you decide to argue?
  2. How do you feel if someone else is greater and you are lesser? How has God helped you deal with those feelings?
  3. How did John's attitude toward Jesus help Jesus to become greater?

Figures Referenced: Walter Martin, Bob Cook, Billy Graham, William Carey

Publications Referenced: The Message, by Eugene Peterson

Cross References: Genesis 13, Genesis 31, John 4, Acts 15, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 4:7, 1 Corinthans 12, Ephesians 4, Philippians 1

Topic: Humility

Keywords: humility, spiritual, gifts, John the Baptist, meekness



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Nail Everything Hangs On
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 3:31-36
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/781

Imagine if everything you valued was in a sack, hanging on the wall from one nail. It surely must be a strong nail, or you're lost! If life could all be boiled down to one thing or one word or one most important principle, what would it be? What is the irreducible minimum for everything and everyone? John answers that here, saying that Jesus Christ is the nail that everything hangs on. He determined what has been and what will be. Thus our knowledge of Him and relationship to Him is paramount above everything else.


There is a disagreement about who is speaking in verses 31-36.  No punctuation marks in the original text, translators took the initiative to identify the speaker as John the Baptist, but the style and grammar match John the apostle.  Verse 30 ends the words of John the Baptist, and the remainder is the editorial comment of John the apostle.  He is saying there is no use hanging your life or trusting in anything beside Christ.

  1. He Descended from Heaven - His Origin (v. 31)
    1. Jesus Christ is God in a human bodyJohn 1:1, 14
    2. Jesus emphasizes his origin is heavenJohn 6:32, 38,50-51, 58
    3. Included in the creeds of the church (Nicene Creed at the Council of Nicaea in 355)
    4. He came from heaven to save His people from their sins, He was born to die
  2. He Declared to our World - His Proclamation (vv. 32-33)
    1. His testimony is from heaven
    2. His words are more important than any others
    3. First-hand knowledge, full knowledge, superior knowledge
      1. Moses and the certificate of divorce
      2. Noah and the flood
      3. Abraham, "Before Abraham was, I am!"
    4. "No one" receives his testimonyliterary hyperbole, vs. 33 says some do
    5. God doesn't give a command without also giving the power to obey it
  3. He Dominates the Universe - His Dominion (vv. 34-35)
    1. Jesus possesses unlimited, unmitigated, unrestricted measure of the Holy Spirit -Isaiah 61
    2. Not merely a man filled with the Holy Spirit,
    3. Perfect God-man uniquely operating in full power of the Holy Spirit
    4.  He is above all things from creation to consummation of the universeJohn 1:3, John 5
      1. Created the universe, took chaos and made the cosmos
      2. Sustains and maintains the universeHebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:17
      3. He will end it
  4. He Determines Your Destiny - His Reception (v. 36)
    1. Invitation and Warning
    2. Believe
      1. Have life presently
      2. Life will last forever
    3. Do not believe
      1. Don't have life
      2. Presently under the wrath of God, perpetual condemnation
Publications Referenced: "The Atom Speaks, and Echoes the Word of God" by D. Lee Chesnut
Cross References: John 1:1, 3, 14, 5, 6:32, 38, 50-51, 58, Romans 3:4, Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3

Topic: Supremacy of Jesus Christ

Keywords: believe, eternal, life, origin, heaven, truth, deity, supremacy



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Refreshment!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 4:1-14
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/783

You know the feeling of swallowing ice-cold water on a hot day or after a savory meal—it's refreshing! That cool, invigorating sip revitalizes you from the inside out and makes you say, "Ahh!" Well, that experience is not limited to the physical realm, but is even more satisfying in the spiritual realm when dealing with Living Water. Jesus came to give thirst-quenching spiritual life to every parched soul on the planet. When was the last time you drank deeply?


Jesus doesn't offer more stuff; what He promises is refreshment. "Living water" is inward spiritual quenching of the life thirst of the individual. True refreshment is a spiritual condition, not a physical, emotional, or psychological condition. (Acts 3:19)

  1. The Need is Universal (vv. 1-4)
    1. Everyone has a need for spiritual refreshment
    2. Jesus needed to go to Samaria
      1. Long way around
      2. Not a place a Jew would want to go
        1. Samaritan history of wrong worship
          Jeroboam instituted calf worship, animosity between the northern and southern kingdoms. 722 BC the Assyrians took the Northern kingdoms captive resulting in intermarriage and muddling between the Jews and other nations and religions. 586 BC Babylon destroyed the temple. The Samaritans wanted to help rebuild it, but the Jews wouldn't allow it. 330 BC the Samaritans built a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, instituting a rival worship system.
        2. Jews would go the long way to avoid Samaria
        3. People in Samaria needed the gospel
    3. Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman
      1. He was a Jew; she was a Samaritan
      2. He was a Pharisee; she had a rival religion
      3. He was a politician; she had no status
      4. He was a scholar; she was uneducated
      5. He was highly moral; she was immoral
      6. He was named; she was nameless
      7. He was a man; she was a woman
      8. He came at night; she came at noon
      9. He sought Jesus; Jesus sought her
    4.  Nicodemus represents the truth that no one is above the need for the gospel
    5. Samaritan woman represents that you can't be too low to be noticed and wanted by Christ
    6. Opposites with common ground: their need for Jesus (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 53:6)
  2. The Task is Formidable (vv. 5-7)
    1.  Jesus and his disciples walked to Samaria in the heat of the day, wearing sandals, they were weary
      1. Tired while serving others
      2. Jesus was always surrounded by others; He worked late into the night and rarely had time alone
    2. Jesus reached out to people even on the edge of physical exhaustion
    3. To do something great requires great energy
    4. Have you ever wearied yourself in the pursuit of the souls of others?
      1. Why would a missionary weary self to reach others?
        1. Because Jesus said Go! (Matthew 28:19)
        2. Most of the world doesn't know the gospel
        3. It's been 2000 years, but most people haven’t heard the gospel
      2. We can't all go across the world, but we can go across the street
  3. The Heart is Insensible (vv. 8-12)
    1. Jesus moves the conversation to deeper spiritual levels
    2.  The Samaritan woman doesn't understand it
      1. Sarcastic tone
      2. "If you knew"
      3. Living water, flowing water
        1. Not stagnant in a cistern
        2. Moving in a stream
        3. Old Testament references (Psalm 42:1-2, Isaiah 12:3, Jeremiah 2:13)
    3. People are thirsty
      1. They don't admit it
      2. They don't recognize it
    4. Both Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman respond to Jesus in a literal way because spiritual truth is foolishness to the natural man (1 Corinthians 2:14)
  4. The Savior is Capable (vv. 13-14)
    1. What  He promises, He can perform
    2. Attempting to quench spiritual thirst with worldly things is futile
      1. Satisfaction doesn't come naturally
      2. "If only" syndrome
    3. Permanent refreshment
      1. Comes from Jesus, supernaturally
      2. When Christ is in you, you don't have to look on the outside
Figures Referenced: William Phelps, Oswald Sanders, R. Kent Hughes
Cross References: Psalm 42:1-2, Isaiah 12:3, Isaiah 53:6, Jeremiah 2:13, Matthew 28:19, Acts 3:19, Romans 3:23, 1 Corinthians 2:14

Topic: Spiritual Refreshment

Keywords: refreshment, salvation, Nicodemus, Samaritan, Samaria



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: How to Lead People to Water
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 4:10-30
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/785

The world is thirsty and doesn't even know it, or won't admit it, or will look to be satisfied by everything else but Jesus Christ. So your job and mine is to lead them to water (living water, that is). Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman illustrates perhaps the best approach for personal evangelism to be found anywhere. Leading someone to the place of spiritual satisfaction is a process that rests upon two pillars—the pillar of attitude and the pillar of approach:


  1. A Loving Attitude - Ask God to give you a loving attitude toward the lost.
    1. Love Transcends Culture
      1. Jews had no dealings with Samaritans
      2. Jesus needed to go through Samaria, because he loves everyone  (Matthew 18:12-14)
      3. Application: Is there a culture you have trouble with? Are you prejudiced? Ask for a transforming love for them
    2. Love Transcends Gender
      1. Strict Rabbis forbid younger rabbis from speaking to women (even their wives and daughters) in public
      2. Women were subservient
      3. Jesus saw her as one of his created beings, not as less
      4. Jesus liberated women and raised them to the standard that makes them equal (Galatians 3:28)
    3. Love Transcends Character
      1. Samaritan Woman is a woman of ill repute
      2. Married five times, now living with someone who is not her husband
      3. Application: No one is too low for Jesus to love
  2. A Lingering Approach
    1. Appeal to Human Curiosity
      1. Jesus statement is not clear cut
      2. Jesus causes her to wonder, whets her appetite
      3. Application: Start with a statement that makes people wonder
    2. Appeal to Spiritual Craving
      1. Jesus knew she had a deep longing in her heart
      2. Human beings have an enormous thirst for spiritual things
      3. Someone once said, "God put a hole in every human soul" (Romans 8:20)
      4. Application: Take your conversation to a deeper level
    3. Appeal to Guilty Conscience
      1. Jesus penetrates defenses and goes for the heart
      2. Jesus gets her to see her great need
      3. She'll never drink from living water until she recognizes the need
      4. Application: People must recognize their sin to see their need for a Savior
Figures Referenced: John Currier, Mahatma Gandhi, Billy Graham, G. Campbell Morgan, JC Ryle, Fritz Kreisler
Cross References: Matthew 18:12-14, Acts 2: 7, Romans 8:20, Galatians 3:28

Topic: Personal Evangelism

Keywords: evangelism, Samaritan Woman, living water, witnessing, spiritual thirst, love, feminism, equality, prejudice, chauvinism



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: What God Really Wants
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 4:20-24
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/792

Worship conferences, worship seminars and worship experiences abound within the landscape of the American church, but in all these there's something that seems to be always lacking—worship is confined to the activity of singing songs. When the subject is brought up in this chapter, Jesus talks plainly and openly about true worship: what it is and what it isn't. Let's explore these few verses to discover what God is seeking after and how to be part of fulfilling that.


There is no greater activity than the worship of God alone. AW Tozer called worship the missing jewel of the evangelical church. Worship is the dominant theme in scripture, mentioned over 400 times, 8 times in this text.

  1. Worship Can be Confusing
    1. Samaritan woman confused by her sinful past
      1. Looks at life through the lens of her experience
      2. Until sin is dealt with, we are confused about worship
    2. Samaritan woman confused by her background
      1. History of mixed race and mixed religion
        (722 Bc Assyrians captured the northern kingdom, intermarriage of Jews with Assyrians and pagans, Samaritans offered to help rebuild the temple, rejected by Jews, Samaritans tried to stop with a letter [Nehemiah 4:2] and with an army, built their own temple on Mt. Gerazim, their temple destroyed in 129 BC, but still offer blood sacrifices on the mountain, only accepted the first five books of the Bible)
    3. Our culture and upbringing shape our belief system
  2. Worship Can’t be Confined
    1. To a Single Place
      1. It's not where, it's whom (Acts 7:48)
      2. We think of God near or far spatially - not a building, seat or pilgrimage (Jeremiah 23:23)
    2. To A Single Activity
      1. Not an event, a lifestyle
      2. Has to affect life
      3. Submission of lifestyle to God
      4. Your life is a gospel
  3. Worship Must be Candid
    1. Truthful, honest, whole-hearted
    2. From your own human spirit - pneumati
    3. From depth of heart, core being, who you really are (Matthew 15:8)
    4. Not worship - right God, right manner, wrong attitude (Malachi 1:6-8, 1:12-13)
  4. Worship Must be Credible
    1. In Truth
      1. Based on the truth God has revealed about Himself in the Word
      2. Tethered to God's truth
    2. Failure in worship can be traced back to wrong thoughts about God
  5. Worship Will be Consequential
    1. Result of a relationship with God
    2. True worshiper is a believer
    3. Primary purpose of salvation not to make us happy or keep us out of punishment, but for God's glory.
Greek terms: pneumatic - spirit
Figures Referenced: AW Tozer, John Hercanus, Charles Spurgeon, George Smith, Stephen Charnock, Martin Luther, John Calvin
Publications Referenced: "The Source" by James Michener
Cross References: Psalm 15:1-7, Ezra 4, Nehemiah 4:2, Jeremiah 23:23, Malachi 1:6-8, 1:12-13, Matthew 15:8, Acts 7:48

Topic: Worship

Keywords: worship, spirit, truth, Samaritan



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Spiritual Farming 101
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 4:28-42
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/794

Farmers live for the harvest season--a time when their crops are taken in and profits are made. But crops don’t grow on their own. Seeds must be sown and plants must be garnered by a whole group of active farm workers. God is the head Farmer and we are His farmhands, all working together to produce a bumper-crop of people who believe that Jesus is the Savior--Are you in?


Farm life involves hard work, long days, and happy people. Sharing your faith is like working on a farm. Jesus uses agricultural language (harvest, sowing, reaping, laboring and rejoicing) to describe evangelism. All believers are called to preach Christ.

  1. A Seed is Planted (vv. 28-30)
    1. The Effect of One Conversation - Jesus' conversation with the Samaritan woman had profound impact.
      1. Samaritan woman's conversion
        1. She admits her sin
        2. She admits her need for refreshment
        3. She takes what she heard to others
      2. Samaritan woman left her water pot
        1. She was coming back with others
        2. She had found something better than water
    2. The Effect of One Person
      1. Change in the woman's life
        1. Her past
        2. Her reaction
      2. Simple effective witness
        1. "I met Jesus, He changed my life" (forgot her water pot in zeal for souls)
        2. Jonah
        3. Paul
      3. One individual transformed by Jesus is noticeable and attractive
        1. Stephen Baldwin
        2. Someone we think is too far gone
        3. Woman of Samaria
  2. The Farmhands are Busy (vv. 31-38) - (the witnesses were Jesus and the Samaritan woman, but not yet the disciples)
    1. God’s Will Must be Finished
      1. Nothing is more satisfying than leading someone to Christ
      2. Farm Terms used in parables
        1. Field is the world
        2. Good seed is the sons of the king and the word of God (His Word implanted in believers)
        3. The harvest is now
    2. God’s Field Must be Farmed
      1. The problem is never that the harvest isn't ready
      2. The problem is that the workers are not ready
      3. Workers sow, labor, water and reap
      4. Farmhands need to go out to the field (Acts 1:8)
        1. It took the disciples time to fulfill their calling to go to Samaria (Acts 8:1; Acts 8:5-6; Acts 8:14-15; Acts 8:25)
        2. Jesus had 132 recorded personal encounters with people
          1. Six at the temple
          2. Four at the synagogue
          3. 122 outside of spiritual buildings
  3. A Harvest is Gathered (vv. 39-42)
    1. Many Believed
      1. When they heard the testimony of the Samaritan woman
      2. When they saw the change in her life
    2. More Believed
      1. Heard the testimonies
      2. Experienced the Lord for themselves
Figures Referenced: Hudson Taylor, Stephen Baldwin, Dwight L Moody
Cross References: Matthew 9:27; Acts 8:1; Acts 8:5-6; Acts 8:14-15; Acts 8:25

Topic: Evangelism

Keywords: Samaria, Samaritan, evangelism, testimony, witnessing, harvest, farm, sow, reap



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Everyone Needs a Faith-Lift!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 4:43-54
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/802

Like any muscle in our physical body, our faith too must be exercised in order for it to develop. Faith is developed in virtually every circumstance in life, but especially in hard times. Peter put it best, "These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold" (1 Peter 1:7). Let's look at a real-life story of one who came to Jesus in his trial and had his faith lifted to a higher dimension.


Who was this nobleman? A nobleman is someone who works for a king. The king over the Northern region of Galilee at the time would have been Herod Antipas. This nobleman or court representative went through stages of belief, and from him we learn how God develops faith in us.

  1. Life Can be Hard—It Drives Us to Christ.
    1. The nobleman's son is sick and he is desperate
      1. Traveled 20 miles from Capernaum to Cana
        1. No nobleman living in Capernaum
        2. He is probably from Tiberius
      2. He put his son in a boat and took him to Capernaum looking for Jesus
      3. Left son in Capernaum and went to Cana
    2. Have you been driven to God in a trial?
    3. We go to the Lord in prayer when there is not where else to go
    4. Even unbelievers will go to God when in fear
      1. When storm hits boat Jonah is on - Jonah 1:5
        1. Each praying to their own God
        2. Jonah sleeps, doesn’t pray
        3. Thrown overboard, doesn't pray
        4. Finally in belly of fish, Jonah prays, at end of his rope
    5. Many come to Christ in difficult circumstances - Psalm 119:67
    6. If difficult circumstance drives you closer to Jesus, is it really bad?
    7. Prayer is the gymnasium of the soul
      1. 78% of Americans say they pray once a week
      2. 57% of Americans say they pray every day
      3. Prayers come out of extreme circumstances
  2. Christ Can be Surprising—He Wants Us to Grow.
    1. Jesus says surprising things to people
      1. To the Canaanite woman - "not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs" Matthew 15:16
      2. To the Man with the withered arm ; "stretch out your hand" Matthew 12:13
        (whenever Jesus gives a command, He gives the power to obey it)
      3. To the Paralytic man in the synagogue "Do you want to be made well?" John 5:6
      4. To Peter "Get behind Me, Satan!" Matthew 16:23
    2. God always answers your prayers, but the answer may be surprising
      1. Yes
      2. No
      3. Wait
    3. "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe" -vs. John 4:48
      1. An arrow of tender rebuke
      2. In Cana the crowds had not made a commitment to Christ, just wanted to see signs.
    4. Do you believe God is in charge?
      1. Are you okay with it when He says "no" or "wait"
      2. God is more interested in your spiritual growth than He is in your physical comfort
      3. God allows hardship 1 Peter 1:7
      4. Greater to pray for pain's conversion then for pain's removal - P. T. Forsyth
  3. Faith Can be Weak—It Must be Developed.
    1. Faith in a Power
      1. Nobleman didn't trust Christ specifically
      2. Didn't care about the source, just wanted his son to be better
      3. Hoped Jesus had the power
      4. Faith is like a muscle, needs exercise
        1. Jesus adds weight - "unless you people see signs"
        2. Jesus adds more weight - "Go your way"
    2. Faith in a Promise
      1. "Your son lives"
      2. How do you treat the Word of God
      3. Must believe His promises
    3. Faith in a Person
      1. Nobleman spent the night in Cana
        1. 20 miles is one day's travel
        2. The next day
      2. He stayed and got a good night's rest

God allows trials. God always answers prayers. God wants you to believe.

Figures referenced: Herod Antipas , P.T. Forsyth
Publications referenced: Newsweek
Cross references: Psalm 119:67; Jonah 1:15; Matthew 12:13; Matthew 15:26; John 5:6; 1 Peter 1:7

Topic: Faith

Keywords: faith, nobleman, prayer



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Healing Misery with Mercy
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 5:1-16
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/804

One of Jesus' most distinguishing characteristics in His earthly ministry was His mercy toward people who were hurting. This is not astonishing, for the prophet Micah announced that "God delights in mercy" (Micah 7:18). Jesus standing among the squalid misery of sickness and hopelessness while at a feast in Jerusalem is a perfect setting to show how Christians can show mercy to a world in misery. But be warned: not everyone will be sympathetic to your cause!


Mercy is a gift that is wonderful to receive, but harder to dispense. It is not a natural human trait. We admire strength and courage, but have trouble with those who require help. "God helps those who help themselves" is not in the Bible, it's a saying of Benjamin Franklin in "Poor Richard's Almanac."  God is the hope of the helpless (Psalm 10:17), and mercy is one of God's attributes. It is mentioned close to 300 times in the Bible, revealing that mercy is a priority (Psalm 34:6, Ephesians 2:1-4).  Bethesda means place of mercy, but it was not a merciful place, it was a hangout of misery. When the Romans ruled, mercy was considered a weakness, but courage, strength and justice were glorified. According to a Roman philosopher, "Mercy is the disease of the soul." These views are recorded and revealed in Romans 1:28-31. However, Jesus healed the body and the spirit, and He calls His followers to do the same. (Matthew 5:7)

  1. Gather Frequently (v.1)
    1. Probably at the Passover
    2. Judaism far from perfect, but Jesus limited to working through it
      1. Gathering as the Biblical Law required (Galatians 4:4)
      2. Uses it to further the Father's agenda
    3. Get to know the needs of others (Galatians 6:10)
    4. Why do people go to church?
      1. Obligation
      2. Social
      3. For God and His Glory (the Word, worship, contributions)
      4. God can use us to minister to others  (Hebrews 10:25)
  2. Observe Compassionately (vv. 2-6a) How we see people
    1. Pool of Bethesda
      1. 2-3 feet deep
      2. Large rectangular pool
      3. Used to wash animals, especially sheep, before they were sacrificed at the temple
      4. 300 people gathered on most days, 3,000 people on feast days
      5. Underground spring bubbled up, story of an angel stirring water and healing
      6. The people were impotent, sick people, without the strength to help themselves
    2. Jesus saw (idon- to look at, often perceiving more than what you see)
      1. Scanned crowd and came to rest on this one man
      2. Sensitive to needs (Matthew 9:36)
    3. Christian church merciful
      1. Works of mercy (hospitals, orphanages, and natural catastrophes)
      2. Ask God to keep us sensitized to what we see
  3. Confront Honestly (vv. 6b-9, 14)
    1. "Do you want to be made well?"
      1. Used to the lifestyle
      2. Instant healing would mean giving up a good living
    2. "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."
      1. Eternal suffering as a result of unrepentant sin would be worse
      2. Not just physical healing, but dealt with the soul
  4. Expect Adversity (vv. 9-16)
    1. Pharisees had become list makers
      1. Man made regulations were added to the biblical regulations
      2. No joy in the healing
    2. Hard-hearted legalists are all about the rules, not mercy and doing good
    3. Ask for eyes to see those hurting around you (Matthew 25:35-40)
Figures Referenced: Charles Spurgeon, Richard Dawkins, JA Finley, St. Augustine
Publications Referenced: "Poor Richard's Almanac," by Benjamin Franklin
Cross References: Exodus 34:6; Psalm 10:17; Matthew 5:7; Matthew 9:36; Matthew 23:23; Matthew 25:35-40; Romans 1:28-31; Ephesians 2:1-4; Galatians 4:4; Galatians 6:10; Hebrews 10:25;
Hebrew terms: Bethesda-place of mercy
Greek terms: idon- to look at

Topic: Mercy

Keywords: mercy, Bethesda, healing, sickness, suffering



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Like Father, Like Son
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 5:16-24
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/813

The most important question you could ever ask is not, "Who am I?" but rather, "Who is Christ?" That was the supreme question Jesus presented to His disciples when He said, "Who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15). Jesus made the most astonishing claim ever when He confronted the Jewish leaders of Jerusalem here in John 5. What do these claims have to do with us today? Absolutely everything!


No person divided time except Jesus. Dates reference His first coming (BC - before Christ, AD Anno Domini, the year of our Lord). Encyclopedia Britannica devoted 20,000 words to Jesus; more than Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Buddha, Caesar, Cicero, Confucius and Mohammed combined. Scholars and skeptics debate: who is Jesus? The most important question on earth is: who am I in relationship to Jesus? He is the ultimate answer to all questions and issues. If there is one issue that the world consistently gets wrong it's the identity of Jesus:

Re-cap of John 5: Jesus attends a festival, probably Passover. He visits the Pool of Bethesda, and heals a man who had been sick for 38 years. The impotent man meets omnipotent man. It was the Sabbath. Although God's Law didn't prohibit doing good on the Sabbath, Jesus broke the man-made rules.  This angered the Jews, and they confront Jesus. Jesus reveals himself and His relationship with the Father; He claims to be God.

  1.  The Father & Son Continually Work
    1. Jesus talks of God as His own unique Father
      1. Kenneth Wuest - "God was His privately owned, unique Father, a Father in a way in which no one else had Him for a Father, making Himself equal with the Deity.
      2. Son of God
        1. Not "God is everyone's Father"
        2. Not "we are all children of God"
        3. Claiming to have the divine nature of God Himself
        4. False religions say Jesus didn't claim to be God, but even his enemies recognized the claim.
    2. Jesus Claimed to be the Eternal God in a human body
      1. Quencher of thirst  -  John 4:13-14
      2. Satisfier of hunger  - John 6:35
      3. Light of the world  - John 8:12
      4. Comes from heaven  - John 8:23
      5. Predated the existence of Abraham  - John 8:58/li>
      6. Door of salvation - John 14:6
      7. Exact representation of God the Father  - John 14:9
    3. According  to William Lane Craig the Deity of Christ was established Christology within 20 years of His earthly ministry
    4. God the Father never takes a day off (Sabbath is for man, not for God; He rested on the seventh day, because He was done with His work as Creator) Even when we are resting He is at work. We should stop worrying and let Him work.  (He never slumbers or sleeps - Psalm 121:4)
  2. The Father & Son Perform Wonders
    1. Healing was done by the Father and the Son   (Amen, amen - truly, truly)
    2. Jesus did not work independently of God, but in harmony with the Father
      1. What the Father is doing in heaven, the Son is doing on earth
      2. Greater works are to come
        1. Resurrection from the dead
          1. Lazarus - John 11
          2. Daughter of a religious leader (Mark 5:22-43)
          3. Son of a widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-14)
        2. Judgment of the world
        3. 37 miracles recorded
    3. Giver of life
      1. Physically as Creator
      2. Spiritually -everlasting life for anyone who believes in Him
    4. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus
    5. You pray to a God who stepped out of heaven in the body of Christ; He knows all about the pain of humanity with all the resources of heaven
  3. The Father & Son Deserve Worship
    1. Jews thought they were worshiping God, while rejecting Jesus
    2. If you don't honor both the Father and Son, you don't honor either
    3. Even the Father honored the son - Philippians 2:9
    4. Honor Him by receiving Him as Savior and please Him as Lord in your life
  4. The Father & Son Determine Welfare
    1. Know Jesus, know peace - No Jesus, no peace
    2. Know Jesus, know life - No Jesus, no life
    3. Everlasting life is as easy as believing, trusting and relying on what Jesus said about Himself as God
    4. If you don't believe, you'll die in your sins - John 8:24
Figures Referenced: David F. Strauss, Napoleon Bonaparte, Kenneth Wuest
Publications Referenced: Encyclopedia Britannica; "The New Testament: An Expanded Translation," by Kenneth Wuest
Hebrew terms: Amen- truly
Cross References: Psalm 121:4; Matthew 16:14; Mark 5:22-43; Luke 7:11-14; Luke 23:2; John 4:13-14; John 6:15; John 6:35; John 7:12; John 8:12; John 8:23; John 8:24; John 8:58; John 10:20; John 11; John 14:6; John 14:9; Philippians 2:9

Topic: Deity of Jesus

Keywords: deity, identity of Jesus, Sabbath, healing, worship



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Everyone Lives Forever
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 5:25-29
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/816

My mom used to wake me up early every morning with her sweet voice saying, "Rise and Shine!" It took a few times but I eventually got up out of bed. As Jesus declares that He will be in charge of the future judgment, He too will usher the call to everyone who has died to "Rise up!" But not everyone will rise up to shine; some will rise up to suffer. Let’s consider three inevitable and unalterable truths about the future for all of us: We will all die, we will all be judged, and we will all rise again to live forever... but where?


Jesus claimed to have the same nature as God the Father. As God, He claimed He should be honored in the same way as God the Father. He said He would judge the world and raise the dead. His enemies thought these were outlandish claims and they accused Him of blasphemy which led ultimately to His crucifixion. Jesus proved He was who He claimed to be by healing people, by walking on water, by turning water into wine, by raising the dead and by His personal resurrection.

In this text Jesus looks to the future. In response to the leaders accusing Him of breaking the Sabbath, He turns toward future events, common to every person. Every person who has been born will live forever. The believer will experience the resurrection to life (heaven); the unbeliever will endure the resurrection to condemnation (hell).

  1. Everyone Dies
    1. Physical death  necros - dead
      1. Two people per second
      2. Those who will be raptured are the exception
    2. Spiritual Death
      1. We are born spiritually dead with the need to be made spiritually alive - Ephesians 2:1
      2. Spiritual resurrection ensures the physical resurrection of life
  2. Everyone is Evaluated
    1. Judgment - krisis  - court, judgment
    2. Death is not the end - Hebrews 9:27
    3. God the Judge will render verdict on every life
      1. Intermediate Judgment (Old Testament examples: Adam and Eve removed from the Garden of Eden, Entire World at the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, Egypt and the ten plagues, individuals in Israel for worshiping the golden calf, Nadab ,Abihu, Dathan and Korah, Northern Kingdom in the Assyrian captivity, Judah in the Babylonian captivity; New Testament: Capernaum, Bethsaida, Corazin - Matthew 11:20-24, Jerusalem - Matthew 23:37-39, Ananias and Sapphira Acts 5:1-11, those who take the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner - 1 Corinthians 11:27-30)
      2. Final Judgment
        1. By Jesus
          1. Son of God - power to give life
          2. Son of Man - power as judge   (used 83 times, usually in reference to the cross)
        2. Believer's Judgment (The Bema Seat Judgment [bematos - judgment seat] we receive reward or lack of reward based on our service to Christ - Matthew 6:19; Matthew 25:14)
          1. Will not face God for sins - Romans 8:1
          2. Eternal salvation already determined
          3. Eternal status, Judgment seat of Christ - Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10
        3. Unbelievers Judgment
          1. From death to death to death (spiritual death, physical death, eternal death)
          2. Jesus Christ is the only "loophole"
  3. Everyone Rises - (1000 years between the two judgments - Revelation 20:4-5; Revelation 20:7; Revelation 20:11-15)
    1. The Resurrection of Life
      1. For believers
      2. Reverse the effect of sin
      3. Future environment demands it
    2. The Resurrection of Condemnation
      1. For unbelievers
      2. Future environment demands it
Figures Referenced: Jon E. Braun, C.T. Studd, W.C. Fields
Publications Referenced: Whatever Happened to Hell by Jon E. Braun, The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
Greek terms: necros - dead; krisis - court, judgment; bematos - judgment seat, rostrum, tribunal
Cross References - Matthew 6:19;  Matthew 11:20-24; Matthew 23:37-39; Matthew 25:14; Acts 5:1-11; Romans 8:1; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 11:27-30; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ephesians 2:1; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:4-5; Revelation 20:7; Revelation 20:11-15

Topic: Eternal Life

Keywords: death, resurrection, eternal life, heaven, hell, judgment, bema seat



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Why Should You Believe?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 5:30-47
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/818

The theme of John's gospel is "believe." The whole reason he wrote this book is so that people who read it will believe in Jesus (see John 20:31). But why should they believe? And even more applicable, why should we believe? After all, the events of the New Testament are over 2,000 years removed from us today. Jesus' confrontation with the religious leaders in John 5 tells us why we should believe. Like a skilled lawyer, Jesus calls upon four witnesses to testify to His claims and these four give the reasons for our believing in Jesus Christ.


Topic: belief
Keywords: faith, believe, witness, testimony, prophecy

Jesus opponents said they believed in God, but they didn't believe, love and trust in Jesus. Instead they called him a blasphemer. Eight times in this text the word "witness" (marturo) appears, and four more times the word "testify," (same Greek word). Jesus calls witnesses into the courtroom of truth to explain why we should believe.  Not just because He said so.  Jewish, Greek and Roman law require two witnesses; Jesus provides four.

  1. Because of What Others Have Declared (vv. 30-35)
    1. John the Baptist
      1. Eyewitness testimony
        1. Behold the Lamb of God! John 1:29; John 1:36
        2. He is greater than I and existed before me. John 1:30
      2. Cousins
    2. Other first-hand witnesses
      1. Peter  2 Peter 1:16
      2. John  1 John 1:1-2
    3. Historic encounters (personal first-hand accounts of His sermons, miracles and changed lives)
    4. Uniform testimonies of millions of people from all over the world
  2. Because of What Jesus Has Done (v. 36)
    1. Jesus has just healed a man who was sick 38 years
    2. Not just the miracle, but the message Deuteronomy 13:1-5
    3. 34 miracles recorded in the Gospels (suspension of natural law and the enacting of supernatural forces)
    4. Jesus pointed to His works John 14:11; John 9:16
    5. Modern Miracles
      1. Where the Gospel is restricted
      2. Muslim Nations
        1. More Muslims converting to Christianity in the last 30 years than at any other time - Joel Rosenberg
        2. 6 million Muslims converting each year
  3. Because of What God Has Decreed (vv. 37-38)
    1. At Jesus' baptism  Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22
    2. At Jesus' transfiguration Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35
    3. People are more interested in spiritual things than at any time in past 40 years - George Barna
      1. They are shunning labels and pulling from contradictory belief systems
      2. God would tell them to believe in Jesus
  4. Because of What Scripture Discloses (vv. 39-47)
    1. Internal Evidence
      (66 books, more than 40 authors, over 1500 years, 3 languages, 3 continents, but they all agree)
    2. External Evidence
      1. Time
      2. Archaeology
        (Sir William Ramsey tried to disprove Luke as a credible historian. He concluded that Luke was one of the best historians ever and converted to Christianity)
    3. Prophecy
      1. Fall of Jerusalem 100 years in advance
      2. Cyrus 160 years before his birth
      3. Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah
        The chances of a man fulfilling 48 predictions is 1 in 10157 "Science Speaks," Peter Stoner
        (Texas filled 2 feet thick with silver dollars, the chance to select a pre-marked coin is 1 in 1017; US filled 2 feet thick with silver dollars, the chance to select a pre-marked coin is 1 in 1018; Africa and Asia filled 2 feet thick with silver dollars, the chance to select pre-marked coin is 1 in 1019)

Studying the Bible won't get you to heaven; only Jesus will. It's not how many times you've been through the Bible; it's how thoroughly the Bible has been through you. -Gypsy Smith

Greek Terms: marturo - to bear witness, testify
Publications Referenced "Science Speaks," by Peter Stoner
Figures Referenced - Diocletian, Joel Rosenberg, George Barna, Sir William Ramsey
Cross References: Deuteronomy 13:1-5; Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5; Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7; Luke 3:22; Luke 9:35; John 1:29; John 1:30; John 1:36; John 9:16; John 14:11; 2 Peter 1:16; 1 John 1:1-2

Topic: Belief

Keywords: faith, believe, witness, testimony, prophecy



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Lessons From a Picnic
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 6:1-14
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/820

This story ranks in the "top ten" of the most famous miracles of Jesus Christ. In fact this is the most famous of all His miracles as it alone is recorded by all four gospel accounts. But this is far more than a Sunday school tale. This extraordinary picnic was not just a free meal for five thousand folks; it provided lessons for both ancient and modern disciples. Here are four profound truths that emerge from this lakeside lunch.


Jesus provides the biggest meal found anywhere. Five thousand was the count of men only, besides women and children, meaning a free lunch for ten to fifteen thousand. This is a rare. Jesus never gave money and he rarely gave food. The meaning is deeper than a picnic. It is the only miracle Jesus performed recorded in all four gospels.

  1. Problems Don’t Escape God’s View (vv. 1-4)
    1. Time
      1. After these things - meta tauta
      2. "Feast of the Jews"
        1. Passover - 1 year later
        2. Feast of Tabernacles - 6 months later
    2. Soaring Popularity
      1. Crowds saw the signs Jesus performed
      2. Jesus success not gauged by numbers
      3. Jesus did not commit himself to them - John 2:24
      4. Within one year some of these will be shouting, "Crucify Him!"
        1. Those mad or bitter against God have unfulfilled expectations
        2. Follow Jesus on their own terms - See themselves as Lord and Christ as the servant, rather than Christ as Lord and self as the slave
    3. Physical Need
      1. Away from home
      2. Hot, hungry, thirsty
      3. Seeing - theaomai- to notice
      4. We are specially cared for by God - Matthew 6:25-26; Romans 8:32
  2. Perplexities Test Faith in God’s Power (vv. 5-7)
    1. Jesus tests beyond the edge to stretch faith
    2. Asks Philip, but not looking for information
      1. Philip is the hometown guy
      2. Testing Philip
        1. When God does something wonderful He begins with a difficulty; when He does something very wonderful He begins with an impossibility
        2. Will Philip focus on his inadequacy or on God's ability?
        3. Philip failed the test - answers not where, but how much
        4. If Philip couldn't see it, He couldn't believe it
    3. Difficulty must be measured by the capacity of the agent doing the work
  3. People are Part of God’s Plan (vv. 8-10) (boy, Philip, Andrew, disciples)
    1. Andrew
      1. Known as "Simon Peter's brother"
      2. Brought people to Jesus
        1. Simon Peter
        2. Greeks
        3. Boy with the loaves and fish
    2. Boy - John only gospel writer to mention the boy
      1. Insignificant, poor
      2. Pita bread and pickled fish spread
      3. Unknown, unnamed, insignificant does not mean unimportant or useless
      4. Something/someone small, placed in the hands of Jesus, can bless a multitude
    3. Jesus could have performed a miracle without any of these people, but He uses people to perform His work
    4. Don't look at your littleness above His greatness
      1. 5+2= not much
      2. 5+2+Jesus=the sky is the limit
    5. Don't forget to factor in Christ's power when you commit your life into His hands
  4. Provision is Abundant in God’s Time (vv. 11-14)
    1. As much as they wanted
    2. They were filled
    3. Exceedingly, abundantly - Ephesians 3:20
    4. Philip calculated on the bare minimum, Jesus provided the maximum
    5. Gathered up the fragments
      1. 12 disciples, each had a basket
      2. Free lunch and breakfast for his 12
    6. Psalm 37:25
    7. Psalm 23:5
Greek Terms: meta tauta - after these things; theaomai- to notice
Figures Referenced: William Barclay, DL Moody, Edward Kimball, Martin Luther, Philip Melancthon, Billy Graham, Mordecai Ham, Howard Hendricks
Cross References: Psalm 37:25; Psalm 23:5; Matthew 6:25-26; John 2:24; Romans 8:32; Ephesians 3:20

Topic: Provision

Keywords: miracle, feeding of the 5000, provision, loaves and fishes, Philip, Andrew



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: What Storm Goers Need to Know
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 6:15-21
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/822

Have you ever been on the ocean in a raging storm? If so, you know that a well-trained crew follows an immediate protocol until the storm is over. Their knowledge and experience about violent weather are invaluable for those who want to survive. Using the story of Jesus walking on the waves to His disciples, let’s discover a few things about the stormy trials of life.


Adversity causes some to break and others to break records. The disciples were experienced fisherman encountering a storm different from any other they had ever faced. The spiritual corollary is the storms of life or trials. Everyone experiences the winds of adversity, the waves of worry, the darkness of isolation, and the fear that accompanies the storm. James said to count it all joy when you fall into various trials (James 1:2). Trials can be big or small; emotional, physical or spiritual; brief or enduring. We can navigate these storms and have peace in the midst of them.

  1. Weather is Unpredictable (vv. 14-15)
    1. Boat ride was unexpected
      1. Jesus' popularity at its peak
      2. Jesus came down the mountain to get away from the crowd and to accompany disciples to the boat
    2. Storm arose suddenly
      1. Circumstances change suddenly
      2. Plans change
        1. Paul - Acts 27:14
        2. Job - Job 1:19
    3. This is not unusual, this is life
      1. Man makes plans, God changes them - Jewish Proverb
      2. Rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous - Matthew 5:45
      3. Even Paul despaired of life - 2 Corinthians 1:8
  2. God’s the Captain; You’re Just Crew (v. 16)
    1. Jesus made (constrained, compelled, urged) them get into the boat - Mark 6:45
      1. They didn't want to go
      2. Before this, they were the captains
    2. God brings them into the storm - Psalm 107:25
      1. Not because of disobedience
      2. Not because they were out of God's will
      3. They were in the center of God's will
      4. When Israel left Egypt
        1. God deliberately put them in a trap
        2. God has resources we know nothing about
        3. God can get you out of impossible situations
      5. The most hard hearted, unlovely Christians are those who have never had much trouble; the most Christ-like are those with the most affliction - C. H. Spurgeon
    3. You can make plans; God has editing rights
  3. Resources Will be Provided (vv. 17-20)
    1. He Knows
      1. He saw them from the mountain - Mark 6:47
      2. I can't see God, but He sees me - Job 23:8-10
      3. God knows everything - Luke 12:7; Psalm 56:8; Jeremiah 29:11
    2. He Prays - Mark 6:46
      1. Jesus departed to pray
      2. Jesus prays for the disciples John 17:6-9
      3. Jesus prays for us - Hebrews 7:25
    3. He Comes
      1. Jesus came in the fourth watch
        1. The disciples had been in the storm for hours
        2. He came when they were weary and exhausted
      2. Jesus walked on the water; He came to them on the very thing they feared the most
  4. The Sky will Clear (v. 21)
    1. There is a season for storms - 1 Peter 1:6
      1. The storm won't last forever
      2. God knows when to end them
    2. No time is wasted in the trial
    3. Watch your attitude during  a storm - Hebrews 12:5
    4. When God is done working on us, we'll be headed to heaven
    5. The disciples willingly received Jesus into the boat

Figures Referenced: C. H. Spurgeon; Corrie Ten Boom
Cross References: Job 1:19; Job 23:8-10; Psalm 56:8; Psalm 107:25; Jeremiah 29:11; Matthew 5:45; Mark 6:45; Mark 6:46; Mark 6:47; Luke 12:7; John 17:6-9; 2 Corinthians 1:8; Acts 27:14; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 12:5; James 1:2; 1 Peter 1:6

Topic: Trials

Keywords: trials, suffering, storms, walk on water, discipline, prayer, omniscience, will



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Right Thing, The Wrong Way
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 6:22-29
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/827

Our text reads that crowds of people came "seeking Jesus." That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? And yet Jesus challenges them as to their motive because they were seeking Him (the right thing) in order to satisfy themselves only (the wrong motive). Let’s consider three monumental truths about how people interact with spiritual things in general and Jesus Christ in particular. Let’s also reconsider the starting point for anyone who wants anything to do with Christ.


  1. Searching for God Can be Hypocritical (vv. 22-26)
    1. Physical Energy Expended
      1. The crowd wanted another free meal
      2. Seek for Jesus to have their needs met
      3. Focus on human need (James Montgomery Boice)
    2. Spiritual Life Neglected
      1. Failed to focus on the Lord Himself
      2. According to recent poll of American church-goers
        1. 19% are religiously committed
        2. 22% are modestly committed
        3. 29% are nominally committed.
          Why are you seeking the Lord? Because He is worthy? Or because you are hungry?
  2. Living For Self Will be Detrimental (v. 27)
    1. Negatively: Don’t Aim Below!
      1. Focusing on your physical needs and fleshly life
      2. Don't make life about physical satisfaction
    2. Positively: Do Aim Above!
      1. Spiritual needs should be paramount
      2. Jesus is the Bread of life – John 6:35
      3. Jesus gives Living Water – John 4:10
        1. Jesus cares about your physical need, but your spiritual need is more important – Matthew 5:6
        2. Best way to have your needs met is not to seek Him to have your needs met, but to seek Him – Matthew 6:23
  3. Believing in Jesus Must be Foundational (vv. 28-29)
    1. We Wanna DO Something
      1. All their lives, the disciples were taught to work for it
      2. They didn't understand God's way – Romans 10:2-4
      3. They weren't listening
      4. Most people believe heaven is earned
    2. You Need to BELIEVE Someone
      1. Believe is used 241 times in the Bible, 107 times by John, 98 of those in the Gospel of John
      2. Everlasting life is a gift
      3. Only two religions exist
        1. Human Achievement
        2. Divine Accomplishment
      4. Believe in Jesus and His finished work
      5. Believe - lean on, trust in, lay your whole destiny on
Cross References: Matthew 5:6; Matthew 6:23; John 4:10; John 6:35; Romans 10:2-4
Figures Referenced: James Montgomery Boice; Billy Graham
Publications Referenced: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Topic: Salvation

Keywords: Salvation, religion, believe, motives



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Wonder Bread!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 6:30-50
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/829

The Hostess Company has for years advertised that its Wonder bread "helps build strong bodies 12 ways" and that just two slices has the calcium of eight ounces of milk and the fiber of 100% whole wheat. Wow! The crowd that Jesus was speaking to would have loved that! But our Lord presents something to them far greater than what they were wanting. He knew what they needed.


John follows a pattern in his writing. John uses a sign as a set-up for the sermon.  A demonstration followed by a declaration. The signs in Jerusalem recorded in John 2 were a set up for Jesus' discussion with Nicodemus in John 3. In John 4, the sign of Jesus being able to read and tell the intimate details of the Samaritan woman's life were the set up for His talk to her about drinking living water. In John 5, Jesus' healing of the man at the Pool of Bethesda was the setup for the talk about the four-fold witness of who Jesus Christ is.  Jesus feeding of the 5,000 (15,000 or so)  in John 5 was the set up for this long message about the Bread of Life. John covers the miracles quickly to get to the details of what Jesus said. Miracles reveal Christ's power, but words reveal the plan, the purpose,  and the person.

  1. The Menu--What is This Bread?
    1. It's a Person, Not a Food vss. 33, 35
      1. Comparing Jesus to Moses - Deuteronomy 18:15 
        1. They ask Jesus for a sign
        2. They had just seen a sign
        3. Moses fed them every day, thought he  must be better than Jesus
      2. Manna
        1. God brought it, not Moses
        2. Physical food, with no eternal purpose
        3. True Spiritual nutrition found in living person, not a loaf of bread
      3. I AM the Bread of life
        The first of seven I AM statements. (Light of the World - John 8:12; Door to the Sheepfold - John 10:7; Good Shepherd - John 10:11; Resurrection and Life - John 11:25; the Way, the Truth, the Life - John 14:6; True Vine - John 15:1)
    2. It's the Source of Life Life - Zoe - eternal life spiritual life  (bios- physical life; psuche-conscious, personality) John 14:6; John 10:10
  2. The Meal--How is the Bread Enjoyed? Vss. 36, 43, 37
    1. Divine Election Drawn & Given
      1. The Father's divine invitation
      2. Divine viewpoint
      3. Divine sovereignty
      4. A love gift from the Father to the Son
    2. Human Choice--Come & Believe
      1. You have to come
      2. Human viewpoint
      3. Human choice
        Prevenient gracebefore man can seek God, God must seek him. God draws people and enables them to make their own choice and believe in Him. Instead of fighting about these views, we should respond with a glad heart (rejoice that He has chosen you) and a gabby mouth (tell as many people as you can to believe in Christ).
  3. The Master Plan What Will This Bread Do?
    1. It Will Save You - vs. 47
      1. Everlasting life, salvation
      2. Are you saved? Come to Christ - Matthew 7:13
        1. Separate from sin; repentance
        2. Submit to Christ; faith
    2. It Will Satisfy You - vs. 35
      1. Longing in the heart of every person for profound satisfaction
      2. God put that restlessness there - Romans 8:20
    3. It Will Secure You vs. 40
      1. I will raise him up on the last day (three times)
      2. Iron-clad guarantee

Figures Referenced: Henry Thoureau; Billy Sunday; Charles Spurgeon; Elvis Presley; Albert Einstein; Ferdinand Marcos; Nicolas Cage
Cross References: Deuteronomy 18:15; Matthew 7:13; John 8:12; John 10:7; John 10:10; John 10:11; John 11:5; John 14:6; John 15:1; Revelation 3:20
Greek Terms: zoe- eternal life, spiritual life; bios- physical life; psuche-  conscious, personality

Topic: Salvation

Keywords: Bread of Life, election, free will, freewill, predestination, Calvinism, salvation, I AM



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Plain Truths About the Bread of Life
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 6:51-71
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/831

Mark Twain once remarked that "A lie can travel halfway around the world while truth is still lacing up its boots!" This section of John's Gospel has generated much confusion and misunderstanding. Even Jesus' original audience had trouble understanding His meaning, and when they did, they found the truth was difficult to bear. These "hard truths," however, are "the words of eternal life" (v. 68). Let's look at these four realities today.


Common knowledge includes obvious truths, things everyone knows. Other truths require a special knowledge apart from what others know. The things Jesus shares in this text were understandable truths for Himself and His disciples, but not for the crowds. They were more interested in physical food not spiritual truths.

Jesus said, "I am the bread of life." He was born in the town of Bethlehem; Beth-lechem which means house of bread, or place of bread.

  1. True Life Will Come by Death (vv. 51-59)
    1. Jesus describes his sacrificial death for the life of the world–v. 51
    2. Jesus is not referring to transubstantiation  (the belief that the bread and wine literally transform into the body and blood of Christ at the Eucharist)
      1. The Lord's supper was not yet instituted
      2. Jesus said , "If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;" –v. 51 (that would mean anyone who partook of communion gains salvation; defies the biblical doctrine of grace by faith )
      3. The verb "to eat" is in the aorist tense; once for all completed action; communion is repeated often – Luke 22:19
      4. Jesus is speaking in spiritual terms –v.63
    3. To eat and drink His flesh and blood means to behold Christ and believe in Him; see Him for who He is and place our faith completely in Him; His flesh and blood are the price of redemption
    4. Without the blood, a ministry is lifeless –Charles H. Spurgeon – 1 Corinthians 1:18
  2. True Words Are Hard to Hear (vv 60-63)
    1. Not hard to understand, hard to tolerate; skleros–hard, rough, stiff, harsh
    2. His teachings offended them (came down from heaven; my flesh eat, my blood drink; what if you see me ascend to where I came from?)
    3. His death on the cross will offend them; they wanted to make Him a king by force
      1. He didn’t want to be a politician
      2. He came to die on the cross
      3. He is a stumbling block to the Jews – 1 Corinthians 1:23
    4. Some truths are wonderful to hear (heaven, forgiveness, grace, comfort in sorrow)
    5. Some truths are difficult to bear ( hell, holiness)– Matthew 23:15; John 4:18; Galatians 2:11
    6. What to do when there is a message that is hard to hear? Be open to it – 1 Thessalonians 5:14
  3. True Motives Will be Discovered (vv. 64-66, 70-71)
    1. Disciples are not necessarily believers; mathetes–a student, a learner
    2. Interested in Jesus, because He could perform miracles
    3. Loved his works, hated his words
    4. What these wanted Jesus would not give; what He offered, they would not receive
    5. Jesus did not meet their expectations
    6. Motives revealed as a person backslides into a former way of life – 1 John 2:19
    7. Sometimes people can bluff it until they face the Lord
    8. Hypocrisy is waiting for exposure – Jeremiah 11:20; Hebrews 4:13
  4. True Disciples Will Not Leave (vv.67-69)
    1. Peter has the answers – Matthew 16:16
    2. Marks of a true disciple
      1. Devotion, loyalty–leaving Christ is unthinkable
      2. Satisfaction
      3. Conviction
    3. People lack this conviction about Christ, because they've never met him
    4. Food
      1. Must be ingested
      2. Must be hungry
      3. No one can do it for you

Figures Referenced: Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril of Jerusalem; Paschasius Radbertus; Charles Spurgeon; Ted Malone
Cross References: Jeremiah 11:20; Matthew 16:16; Matthew 23:15; Luke 22:19; John 4:18; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 1:23; Galatians 2:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Hebrews 4:13; 1 John 2:19
Hebrew terms: Beth-lechem–house of bread;
Greek terms: skleros–hard, rough, stiff, harsh; mathetes–a student, a learner

Topic: Truth

Keywords: transubstantiation, truth, disciple, motives, hypocrisy



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Seeing Jesus Through the Fog
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 7:1-13
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/835

There was always a fog surrounding Jesus! It was a fog of uncertainty, of unbelief, and of conflicting opinion. He was misunderstood about both His mission and His message. His friends, His family, and His foes were often bewildered about who He was and what He was doing. That remains true even today. But in this passage our view becomes clearer. Jesus had clearly defined objectives that He reveals here and they are extremely practical for us today.

There is fog on the heart of many concerning Christ. The fog of unbelief: His own brothers don't believe in Him; the fog of hatred: His enemies and their growing animosity toward Him; the fog of religion: believing He is a good man, or a good religious figure; the fog of media: a promotion that He is a guru, illusionist, or attempted to procreate with Mary Magdalene a race to take over the world.

  1. His Unwavering Priority (vv. 1-2)
    1. After these things - meta tauta
      1. Gap of time representing at least six months (compare John 6:4: Passover with John 7:2: Feast of Tabernacles)
      2. Fill in the gap with Matthew 15-18 (spending time with His disciples)
        1. Caesarea Philippi (Who do men say that I am?)
        2. Transfiguration
        3. Who is the greatest in the kingdom?
        4. Parables unlocked to His disciples
    2. He spent two days with 15,000 people; he spent 6 months with His disciples
    3. Training His disciples to be unleashed; discipleship was His strategy to spread His message. Matthew 28:18-20
      1. Paul followed this model with Titus and Timothy
      2. Paul taught this model 2 Timothy 2:2
      3. We should follow this model
        1. Mass evangelism, unlimited budget, 1000 converted a night, 35 years, 365,000 new believers, we would be further behind at the end because of the birth rate
        2. Only believer on earth, lead one to Christ per year, and each year after each believer does so, within 50 years the whole world could be won to Christ.
    4. The success of a church is not the size of the congregation, but the depth of the discipleship.
    5. Application: How long have you been a Christian? Where are your disciples?
      1 Corinthians 4: 16; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Acts 2:42
  2. His Unbelieving Family (vv. 3-5)
    1. Jesus' brothers (half brothers)
      1. Sons of Joseph and Mary
      2. James, Joseph, Simon, Judas – Matthew 13:55
    2. Go Down to Jerusalem - why?
      1. They remember he lost many disciples, bolster his popularity ratings
      2. They, like other Jews, are waiting for a political messiah; forcing that role and personal benefit
      3. They weren't convinced; IF you do these things, they didn't believe John 6:30
    3. Jesus brothers were unbelievers
      1. Proximity is no guarantee of spirituality
      2. To what extent? Mark 3:21
    4. Application: The hardest group to witness to is your own family.
    5. They eventually believed Acts 1:14
      1. James 1 Corinthians 15:7; Pastor of the church in Jerusalem, wrote James
      2. Jude wrote Jude
  3. His Uncompromising Chronology (vv. 6-9)
    1. Jesus is always on a divine timetable – John 7:30; John 8:20; John 13:1; John 17:1; Mark 14:41
    2. Jesus' whole life was moving toward the cross; six months from this time. Galatians 4:4-5
    3. Daniel predicted the time of Messiah exactly– Daniel 9:25-26
      1. 483 years from the commandment to restore Jerusalem, made by Artixerxes March 14, 445 BC
      2. Sir Robert Anderson counted from that time, 483 years, 360 days per year according to the Babylonian calendar, 173,880 days, arriving at April 6, 32 AD
      3. The day Jesus revealed Himself as Messiah: April 6, 32 AD
    4. Application: Your timing and God's timing may be different. Jesus is always right on time.
  4. His Uncommitted Assembly (vv. 10-13)
    1. The Jews were his enemies; they sought to kill Him
    2. Some said he was a good man; He wasn't, He was God
    3. Some said he was a deceiver
    4. Application: Who do you say he is? John 6:69

Greek Terms: meta tauta-after these things

Figures Referenced: Sir Robert Anderson; Charles Spurgeon; C.S. Lewis

Cross References: Daniel 9:25-26; Matthew 13:55; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 3:21; Mark 14:41; John 6:4; John 6:30; John 6:69; John 7:30; John 8:20; John 13:1; John 17:1; Acts 1:14; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 4:4-5; 2 Timothy 2:2

Topic: Discipleship

Keywords: disciple, discipleship, evangelism, God's timing, Daniel's prophecy



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Follow Jesus But Don't Be Religious
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 7:14-24
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/837

Jesus clashed with religious leaders more than any other group of people. He went against their spiritual grain and challenged their legalistic ideas. Christ made it clear that He hadn’t come to establish a new religion but rather to show the way to God His Father. He didn’t give people another “system of beliefs and practices”; instead He said that He Himself was the way, truth, and life. In this public confrontation, we learn how to follow Christ in truth and not be religious.


Religion is typically about doing certain things or believing a conformed set of ideals, rather than having a relationship with God through His Son. Religion is a set of beliefs and practices usually involving devotional and ritual observances. Following Jesus may involve those things, but they aren't the core. Jesus Christ is God's refreshing solution to man's failed religious attempts. According to E. Stanley Jones, Christianity has creeds, but is not a creed; it has rites, but is not a rite; it has institutions, is not an institution. Christianity is Christ and Our response to Him.

86% of the world population is religious. There isn't anything God hates more than religion. Religion is my coming to God on my own terms. Christianity is my coming to God on His terms, or rather God coming to us. Karl Marx said religion is the opiate of the masses. Jesus is the Savior of the world. God gave only one religion to man: Judaism. Jesus fulfilled that system – Matthew 5:17.

In this text, there is a clash between Jesus Christ and the religious elite about truth itself. It is the Feast of Tabernacles (one of three annual convocation feasts, males within 20 miles had to be there, celebration of God's provision during their 40 years in the desert).

  1. Doctrine is Essential (vv. 14-16)
    1. Jesus Teaches
      1. First thing Jesus does when he goes to the temple (not heal, not present Himself as a political king, not feed the multitude).
      2. Teaches doctrine (didasko - instruct, teach; didache - doctrine)
        1. Jesus said to teach 36 times in the Gospels.
        2. Jesus called Teacher 47 times. (didaskalos - teacher)
        3. "Doctrine" is mentioned 33 times in the New Testament
      3. Doctrine is important – Hosea 4:6; Acts 2:42; 1 Timothy 4:1
      4. People live without consulting the "manual" until something is broken.
      5. When truth is sidelined, it's often replaced by religion.
      6. Many people aren't interested in teaching – 2 Timothy 4:3
    2. The Jews Marvel
      1. "How does this man know letters" derogatory
      2. Letters–grammata-rabbinical study of Old Testament writings
      3. Hung up on letters, looking at the Word
  2. Discernment is Crucial (vv. 17-18, 24)
    1. Commanded
      1. Judge a righteous judgment
      2. Don't harshly judge another person's motive - Matthew 7:1
      3. Evaluate what you hear; a spiritual man makes judgments about everything
        1 Corinthians 2:15
      4. Voicing the truth can get you called "judgmental" (i.e., Elijah, Paul, John, Jude)
      5. Discernment is necessary; False prophets will come to you in sheep's clothing Matthew 7:15
        1. You don't have to look for them
        2. They will be disguised as sheep
    2. Explained ­– Deuteronomy 4:29; 1 Chronicles 28:9
      1. Willing mind
        "95% of knowing the will of God consists in being willing to do it before you know what it is" – Donald Grey Barnhouse
      2. Worshipful heart
  3. Religion Can be Harmful (vv. 19-24)
    1. It Justifies Evil
      1. The Pharisees and Sadducees prided themselves on keeping the Law, but they were willing to kill Jesus in the name of religion
      2. Crusades- Christians killed in the name of religion
      3. September 11, 2001- radical Islam destroy Americans in the name of religion
    2. It Minimizes Good
      1. Jesus said "I did one work" referring to healing the man at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath
      2. Argument from lesser to greater "mutilate babies on the 8th day, I heal on the Sabbath"
      3. "We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another," Jonathan Swift.

Comparison of Religion to the Gospel

  1. Religion emphasizes the outward; the gospel emphasizes the inward– Matthew 6:5-13
  2. Religion emphasizes prohibition; the gospel emphasizes freedom – John 8:32
  3. Religion sets up barriers; the gospel breaks barriers down– Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11; Matthew 11:38
  4. Religion says, "work your way"; Jesus says, "I am the way"  John 14:6
Greek Terms: didasko - instruct, teach; didache - doctrine; didaskalos - teacher; grammata - rabbinical study of the Old Testament writings
Figures Referenced: E. Stanley Jones; Karl Marx, Donald Grey Barnhouse, Pope Urban II, Jonathan Swift
Cross References: Deuteronomy 4:29; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Hosea 4:6; Matthew 5:17; Matthew 6:5-13; Matthew 7:1; Matthew 7:15; Matthew 11:38; John 8:32; John 14:6; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 2:15; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3: 11; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:3

Topic: Religion

Keywords: religion, religious, relationship, doctrine, teaching, discernment



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Standing by a Waterfall (Dying of Thirst)
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 7:25-53
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/839

All the diverse and assorted experiences offered by this world can never satisfy the deepest longing of the human soul. What we really want isn't what we really need. The rest of John chapter 7 illustrates this truth. In the midst of a crowd of people clamoring for deep spiritual satisfaction stands the only One who can provide it. He offers them the drink that really satisfies and all but a few refuse it, preferring rather to die of thirst. How painfully ironic!

Water is necessary for human life. It regulates temperature, flushes out waste, helps process food, and keeps tissues in working condition. When we are really thirsty the only thing on our minds is getting that thirst quenched. Here is a crowd of people dying of spiritual thirst, Jesus, the source of all refreshment, steps in and makes the best offer ever heard, but they didn't understand.

Hydrology is the study of the distribution, movement, and availability of water on the earth. This is a study in spiritual hydrology. An abundance of refreshment stands in the midst of people dying of thirst. This isn't the first time Jesus uses the metaphor of water for spiritual refreshment. See John 4:10-13.

The people are confused about what will refresh them. They have never experienced true refreshment, so they can only conjecture what it's like. The thirsty are called by Christ to drink deeply. People try various means to be refreshed. The philosophy of this world: is that all there is?

Jeremiah 2:13 - "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns--broken cisterns that can hold no water."

  1. Thirsty People Are Confused
    1. The Local Citizens (vv. 25-31)
      1. From Jerusalem
      2. Have heard of the leaders' plot to find and kill Jesus
      3. Think Jesus can't be Messiah; they know where he is from.
      4. Believed no one would know where Messiah is from
        1. Not biblical
        2. Babylonian Talmud
        3. More recently Trypho second century CE "But Christ--if He has indeed been born, and exists anywhere--is unknown, and does not even know Himself, and has no power until Elijah come to anoint Him, and make Him manifest to all."
    2. The Leading Critics (vv. 32-36)
      1. Pharisees and the officers they sent to arrest Jesus
      2. Jesus tells them He comes from the Father to earth and now announces he is going back to the Father.
        1. They think He is going to the Diaspora.
        2. They misunderstand what He means to do, why He is there, and what He is saying.
        3. Jesus means He is going to heaven
        4. Could also mean that they seek a savior, but the Savior they are rejecting will be gone and it will be too late.
          1. Passing opportunity
          2. The Bible encourages us to make choices now. 2 Corinthians 6:2
    3. The Lingering Crowd (vv. 40-53)
      1. People from all over the world
      2. Confused about who Jesus is (prophet, messiah, good man, deceiver, Galilean, good speaker)
      3. Division (schisma-a split) due to the confusion
      4. With little effort, they could have found out He is from Bethlehem and lineage of David.
      5. Just a little incentive could solve the problem of those who don't know what they believe about Jesus.
        1. Veracity of New Testament documents.
        2. Historicity of Christ
        3. Overwhelming evidence
      6. Said no prophet would come out of Galilee (Jonah)
      7. Their confusion reveals their messianic thirst.
        1. After the Babylonian captivity there was a growing expectation for the messiah
        2. When Romans occupied their land, expectations heightened
      8. Their dehydration affects how they think
      9. Stages of dehydration
        1. dipsea - common thirst
        2. hyperdipsea - intense bouts of extreme thirst
        3. polydipsea- sustained thirst - drink anything
      10. People drink from many wells to satisfy spiritual thirst (money, sex, status, substance)-they don't satisfy thirst or bring satisfaction, they are poison
      11. Pleasure doesn't satisfy, we thirst for a clean conscience, only the treasures of Heaven satisfy. – "The Applause of Heaven," by Max Lucado
  2. Thirsty People Are Called (vv. 37-39)

    Last Day of the Feast of Tabernacles: seven-day feast in which the people would go to the temple every morning with citrus fruit and foliage (palm, willow, and myrtle) in their hands (symbolic of the fruitful land and the wilderness wanderings). The priest had a golden pitcher, walked to Pool of Siloam, fill with water and pour out on the stones of the altar. –Isaiah 12:3 Last day of the feast another priest met him with wine (representing joy) and priest marched around the altar seven times. The shouts would grow louder and louder as the priest raised the pitcher, and then silence. At that point Jesus cried out (krazo - to scream), "If anyone thirst let him come to Me and drink," making a huge spiritual and psychological impact.

    1. To Take the Plunge
      1. Thirst
      2. Come - make the move
      3. Drink- receiving Christ personally, placing faith in Him
    2. To Enjoy the Results
      1. Become Contented
        1. Satisfaction comes from having water and drinking it
        2. Only the first step
      2. Become a Conduit
        1. Not just blessed, but a blessing to others
        2. Not just a gulper, but a gusher
        3. Seek first the kingdom–Matthew 6:33
        4. Three kinds of faith
          1. faulty - unbelievers (even demons believe in God James 2:19)
          2. firm - trust wholly in Christ (justification)
          3. flowing - Holy Spirit has empowered, to pass on refreshment to others

Greek terms: schisma-a split; krazo - to scream
Publications referenced: "History of Messianic Speculation in Israel from the First to the Seventeenth Centuries," by Abba H. Silver; "The Applause of Heaven," by Max Lucado; "The Silver Chair," by C.S. Lewis;
Figures referenced: Peggy Lee; Trypho
Cross References: Isaiah 12:3; Jeremiah 2:13; Matthew 6:33; John 4:10-13; 2 Corinthians 6:2; James 2:19

Topic: Refreshment

Keywords: refreshment, Feast of Tabernacles, faith, thirst, water, blessing



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Scribbling on the Ground
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 8:1-11
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/841

Can you imagine what a surviving copy of Jesus' autograph would be worth today? Or what about a letter to His disciples? The fact is, there is no existing document or copy of anything Jesus ever wrote. We only have this story of Him scribbling something in transient dust on the Temple stones. Though John doesn't tell what Jesus wrote that day, his account does reveal a lot about Jesus Himself and how He interacted with three different kinds of folks.


The theme of this text, as of the entire Gospel, is Jesus Christ. The focus is not the Scribes and Pharisees, not the woman caught in adultery, but how Jesus handles hypocrites, those in sin, and what He did and said.

This text is not included in all ancient manuscripts. It is not placed here in all manuscripts that do include it (placed just after Luke 21:38; John 7:36; John 7:44; End of Gospel of John).  Most every scholar believes it is biblical, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and part of Scripture. It fits the pattern of John: an incident followed by a message.

  1. Jesus is Meek with People (7:53-8:2)
    1. Where He Stayed
      1. Everyone went to his own house
      2. Jesus went to the Mount of Olives
        1. East of Jerusalem
        2. Garden of Gethsemane
        3. Jesus did not have a home to go to
      3. Humility
        1. Left heaven to come to earth – Philippians 2:6-7
        2. No place to lay His head – Matthew 8:20
        3. No family burial plot
    2. How He Taught
      1. No fanfare
      2. Took His place among men; sat on ground; let people come around Him
      3. Served, taught, and ministered to them
        1. Gave Himself a ransom for many – Matthew 20:28
        2. Came not to be served, but to serve – Matthew 20:28
      4. He was in the treasury; the court of the women
  2. Jesus is Masterful with Hypocrites (vv.3-9)
    1. Their False Motives
      1. Scribes
        1. Copied the law on scrolls
        2. Lawyers
        3. Argued the meaning of the text
      2. Pharisees
        1. Dominant religious influence
        2. 600 at the time of Jesus
        3. Controlled the religious atmosphere
      3. They are trying to trap him, ask the impossible and unanswerable
        1. Customary to "ask the rabbi"
        2. Caught in the very act of adultery
          1. Seventh commandment – Exodus 20:14
          2. One of three "biggies" (idolatry, murder, adultery)
          3. Capital punishment – Leviticus 20; Deuteronomy 2
            1. Stoning
            2. Death by strangulation (Mishna)
            3. Jews hadn't practiced capital punishment for 1000 years
            4. Romans had stripped Jews of the right to enact capital punishment
          4. Sanhedrin themselves were involved in adultery
          1. One-sided misinterpretation (where is the man?)
        3. If Jesus said no, He would go against the Law of Moses
        4. If Jesus said yes, He would ruin his reputation as "friend of sinners"
      4. The crowd probably had stones in hand; would blame Jesus
    2. His Firm Dealing
      1. Wrote on the ground – Jeremiah 17:13
        1. Kategraphen - to write a record or an accusation
          1. Kata - to make accusation
          2. Grapho - to write
        2. They continued asking Him
      2. He Spoke to the Men
        1. Powerful words
        2. Raises from a legal issue to a spiritual issue
          1. Anamartetos - unerring, faultless, without sin
          2. Only Jesus has qualification to "throw a stone"
        3. They reacted with deep conviction (the older had more to remember)
  3. Jesus is Merciful with Sinners (vv. 10-11)
    1. His Question
      1. He deals with her one on one (personal relationship)
      2. Addresses her as woman (restoring dignity)
    2. His Command
      1. Not easy on sin (sin no more)
      2. Called it sin, an offense against God
      3. A true believer wouldn't presume on the grace of God – Romans 6:1-2


  1. Notice how sinners treat sinners: brutally.
  2. Notice how the Law treats sinners: sets the standard, but can't cleanse the soul. – Ezekiel 18:4
  3. Notice how Jesus treats sinners: righteousness and mercy meet in Christ. He is the substitutionary atonement for sin. – Romans 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:21

Figures referenced: John RW Stott; Phillip Schaff; William Shakespeare
Cross references: Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20; Deuteronomy 22; Jeremiah 17:13; Matthew 8:20; Matthew 20:28; Romans 6:1-2; Philippians 2:6-7

Topic: Forgiveness



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Blinded by the Light
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 8:12-20
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/843

When the sun shines right in your eyes, your immediate inclination is to squint, turn away, or put sunglasses on. Light can be blinding! Though light penetrates our world, providing illumination and energy for our very existence, big doses of it can be difficult to handle. That's true spiritually as well. Jesus, by His teaching and work, illuminated this world darkened by sin. Some rejoiced in that light, able to see where they were going. But others, who'd been so accustomed to spiritual darkness, could only wince when Jesus was around.


In our text, Jesus makes the second of seven significant "I am" statements in the Gospel of John: "I am the Light of the World" (John 8:12). We physically and emotionally need light. Man cannot thrive or even survive without light. People cannot thrive or survive spiritually without Sonlight, the light of God's Son, Jesus Christ. Light can be intimidating, even assaulting-like bright light turned on in a dark room, blinded by the light.

  1. Christ –The Light Source
    1. Background
      1. Jesus is in the Treasury, in the court of Women (collection boxes, called trumpets, lots of traffic, all required to pay 1/2 shekel temple tax)
      2. Feast of Tabernacles just ended
      3. One week after the Illumination of the Temple
        1. Four candelabras as tall as the temple walls, cups filled with 65-gallons of oil each, lit up all of Jerusalem
        2. Wisest, godliest, holiest men would dance all night through the court of women, singing psalms of praise (Mishnah)
        3. Celebrating the pillar of fire in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21)
    2. Jesus was stating they had had one night of great celebration-Follow Me, and I'll light up your life. I am the light of the world.
    3. Pharisees have an immediate hostile response (they knew what he was claiming)
    4. Light was a title reserved for God alone (Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 60:19; Job 29:3; Micah 7:8)
      1. When Jesus says He is the light of the World, He is claiming to be our God
      2. John wants us to know that Jesus claimed to be God in a body
      3. The Shekinah Glory, the light that directed and protected Israel is Jesus
    5. Christians should not be surprised; Simeon referred to Jesus as light (Luke 1:78)
  2. Christ Followers–The Light Followers
    1. Our Internal Condition - confidence
      1. Like the Israelites following the Pillar of Cloud/Fire
        1. No Fear, no confusion, no stumbling, just following
        2. The way is illuminated
        3. Life makes sense
      2. Medical science can add years to your life; only Jesus can add life to your years
      3. People without Christ are disoriented and confused
      4. Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology, in reply to being asked what he would do if he were 20 today: "I would share with my classmates rejection of the whole world as it is—all of it. Is there any point in studying and work? Fornication—at least that is something good. What else is there to do? Fornicate and take drugs against this terrible strain of idiots who govern the world."
    2. External Behavior
      1. Peripatéo- walk about; term has significant spiritual meaning used figuratively for one's entire lifestyle
        1. Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16)
        2. Walk in love (Ephesians 5:2)
        3. Do not walk after the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1)
        4. Do not walk in darkness, but walk in the light (Ephesians 5:8)
      2. Our behavior changes when we come to Christ
      3. Former behavior is replaced with God-honoring lifestyle
    3. Spiritual Influence
      1. We have the light of life
      2. It doesn't just come to you, you are a shaft of light
      3. You reflect the greater light (like the moon reflects the glory of the sun)
      4. Evangelism (we reflect God's light into dark places)
      5. As long as Jesus was in the world He was the light of the world. When He is with the Father, believers are the light of the world (John 9:5; Matthew 5:14)
      6. We are called to be light (Ephesians 5:8)
      7. Our influence can be staggering
      8. Instead of complaining about darkness, we need to shine the light
    4. Eternal Destiny
      1. If you follow and reflect glory now,  you will shine and be celebrated forever (Daniel 12:3; Matthew 13:43)
      2. Be a life that light shines through
  3. Christ Haters–The Light Rejecters
    1. A matter must be established by two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15)
      1. Claimed Jesus' evidence was inadmissible
      2. Laws given by God to Men
    2. Where is your Father? Slur doubting the legitimacy of Jesus' birth
    3. When Jesus is loved, received, and followed, He becomes light to you;  When He is hated, rejected, and spurned He becomes darkness to you
      1. Like the Pillar of Cloud/Fire (Exodus 14:20)
      2. R. Kent Hughes: "Hugh Hefner was raised in a minister's home. Joseph Stalin studied for the priesthood. Mao Tse-tung was raised under missionary teaching."
      3. Light of Jesus becomes darkness to those who hate Him
    4. Not everyone likes the light of Christ Shining (John 3:20)
    5. People hate the light because the light reveals what darkness conceals - flaws
    6. We must shed light in a manner as wise as serpents, as harmless as doves  (Matthew 10:16)

Greek Terms: Peripatéo- to walk about
Publications Referenced: Blinded by the Light, by Bruce Springsteen; Mishnah
Figures Referenced: Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi; R. Kent Hughes
Cross References: Exodus 13:21; Exodus 14:20; Deuteronomy 19:15; Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 60:19; Daniel 12:3; Job 29:3; Micah 7:8; Matthew 5:14; Matthew 10:16; Matthew 13:43; Luke 1:78; John 6:35; John 6:48; John 9:5; Romans 8:1; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:2; Ephesians 5:8;

Topic: The Light of the World

Keywords: light, I am, Feast of Tabernacles, Illumination of the Temple, pillar of fire, Shekinah



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Worst Way & Best Way to Die
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 8:21-30
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/845

One person put it this way, "Death is the big flaw. Sometimes we can postpone it, lessen its physical pains, deny its existence—but we can't escape it!" Since that is universally true, why don't people take death seriously enough to plan for it? While we are alive in this world, everyone should be thinking more about the next. But what's the best (and worst) way to die?


In this passage Jesus speaks of dying three times and alludes to his own death twice. So far in the Gospel of John, Jesus boils things down to their simplest form (born again--not born again, not entering His kingdom, resurrection of life--resurrection of damnation, dying of thirst--thirst quenched by living water, labor for food that perishes--labor for food that endures to everlasting life).

  1. The Worst Way to Die (vv. 21-24)
    1. In Sin
      1. Sin (singular) v. 21 – in essence, sin nature
      2. Sins (plural) v. 24 – in expressions, expression of the sin nature
      3. We commit sins because we have a sin nature
      4. How did we get to be sinners? Adam
        1. Sin entered, death entered, death spread, death reigned - Romans 5:12-14
        2. Adam generated a constitutional change in his character that was passed down to us.
        3. Adam marred the image of God in man.
      5. We are born in sin - Ephesians 2:1-5
      6. Unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God - John 3:3
    2. In Self Righteousness v. 22
      1. Jews believed that those who killed self would go to the darkest place in hell.
      2. They were saying, "We are going to heaven, Jesus is going to hell."
      3. They were pure in their own eyes - Proverbs 30:12
      4. Worst form of badness is when goodness substitutes itself for the new birth.
      5. You can always tell how far one is from God by how much they talk about how good they are. - D.L. Moody
      6. The righteousness that God will accept is not that from you, but that given to you through Jesus Christ.
        1. "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 5:20
        2. imputed righteousness - Jesus perfect record put to your account by your faith in Him
    3. In Worldliness
      1. Kosmos - (77 times in John's writings) world system-ordered system of values, ideas, activities, and people opposed to God, under the control of the devil - 2 Corinthians 4:4
      2. These are religious, spiritual--Jesus calls them worldly
  2. The Best Way to Die (vv. 25-30)
    "If" is the hinge statement (v. 24) there are other options
    1. Belief in His Person
      1. I am – v. 23
      2. Ego eimi - I am
        1. Septuagint - Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament
        2. Deuteronomy 32:39
      3. Jesus is making an unmistakable, direct claim to deity – v. 58
    2. Confidence in His Work
      1. "Lifted up" - His death on the cross – John 3:14-15
      2. "When I die on the cross, then you will know I am who I claim"
        1. The thief on the cross – Luke 23:42
        2. The Roman soldier – Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39
        3. Thousands on the Day of Pentecost – Acts 2:22-38
      3. Jesus died for your sin, so you wouldn't have to die in your sin
    3. Fixed on His Word
      1. Jesus is speaking God's words to them
      2. Jesus' words point you to His world
      3. You were once a part of this world, but now you have a new position – John 17:14-15
      4. Trials can shake you, but as a believer this is the closest you will ever get to hell. As an unbeliever, this is as close as you will ever get to heaven.

Greek Terms: Kosmos - order, the world system; ego eimi - I am
Figures Referenced
: Thomas Paine, John Newton, Josephus, D. L. Moody, Richard Lenski,
Cross References: Deuteronomy 32:39; Proverbs 30:12; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39; Luke 23:42; John 3:3; John 3:14-15; John 8:58; John 17:14-15; Acts 2:22-38; Romans 5:12-14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:1-5

Topic: Death

Keywords: death, life, hell, heaven, sin, righteousness, worldly



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Best Way & Worst Way to Live
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 8:31-36
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/849

Everyone has an opinion on what "The Good Life" is. For some, it's financial independence. For others, it’s autonomy from government control. For still others, it’s the ability to do whatever you want whenever you feel like it. Jesus offers a different kind of freedom and a better brand of life. Here Jesus tells us what the best way to live really is: It’s the freedom to be a genuine disciple. And He tells us what the worst way to live really is: It’s the slavery of a sinful lifestyle. Today consider how free you really are and what areas of life you may still be in bondage to.


  1. The Best Way to Live—In Freedom
    (Freedom of authentic discipleship; as an authentic pursuer of Jesus Christ)
    1. Believing in Christ (v.31a)
      1. Problem: Jesus says to the "believers," "you are trying to kill me" – John 8:37 and "you are of your father, the devil." – John 8:44; two separate groups
      2. Believe in Him - believe on Him (KJV)
        1. Genuine belief
        2. John 1:12
      3. Believed Him
        1. "believed what He said was true, but not prepared to yield Him the far-reaching allegiance real trust implies," – Leon Morris
        2. Not all faith is saving faith
          1. Demons believe and tremble – James 2:19
          2. Christ did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men – John 2:24
          3. Rocky soil – John 13:5
          4. Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith – 2 Corinthians 13:5
    2. Continuing in the Word (v.31b)
      1. Abide- (used 34 times in the New Testament, John uses 31 of those times) - remain in, continue on in something
      2. Real disciples are committed to continuing in His Truth
      3. "Long obedience in the same direction," – Eugene Peterson
      4. Disciple - (mathetes gr.) - learner
      5. How often do you read the Bible personally? How often do you meditate on it? 
    3. Knowing the Truth (v.32)
      1. Deep convictions, guiding principles
      2. In our culture, tolerance is considered most valuable yet Jesus said, "I am the way" – John 14:6
        1. According to Newsweek, 85% of American Christians believe there are ways beside Christ to heaven
        2. Jesus is specifically talking of knowledge of Himself (compare v. 36)
      3. Relationship, not religion
        1. Put faith in Him - free from the penalty of sin
        2. Remain in truth, learn
        3. Know the word - free from the power of sin
      4. We are to be people of the Book
        1. Man shall not live by bread alone – Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4
        2. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly – Colossians 3:16
  2. The Worst Way to Live—In Slavery
    (to a sinful lifestyle)
    1. To the Slavemaster of Sin (vv. 33-36)
      1. We are Abraham's descendants and have never been in bondage to anyone.
        1. The Jews had been slaves over their entire history (Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Medo-Persia, Greco-Macedonia, Seleucid Syrian, Rome)
        2. We are Jewish, we are automatically children of God. We'll go to heaven because of our heritage , "even the poor are sons of kings," – Rabbi Akiva
      2. Worst form of slavery is when sin has a grip on your life, you can't get out of it
        1. A slave is not his own master
        2. Cannot quit
          1. Unable to free self
          2. Gripping lifestyle
    2. To an Impenetrable Heart (v.37)
      1. Hardened heart
      2. Seed fell by the wayside; the wicked one snatches it away – Matthew 13:19
      3. Only the Son of God can free a slave of sin, and He makes him part of the family

Figures referenced: William Wallace, King Edward 1, Leon Morris, Abraham Lincoln, Eugene Peterson, Billy Graham, Rabbi Akiva, Paul Harvey, Charles Spurgeon
Greek terms: mathetes- disciple, learner
Cross references: Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Matthew 13:19; John 1:12; John 2:24; John 8:37; John 8:44; John 13:5; John 14:6; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Colossians 3:16; James 2:19

Topic: Christian Walk

Keywords: freedom, disciple, discipleship, abide, slavery, slave, bondage



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Devil's DNA
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 8:37-47
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/851

Your body has 100 trillion cells. Inside each one is a nucleus and in each nucleus are DNA molecules. DNA is like an instruction manual for life with densely coded information telling each cell what to do. A simple paternity test would prove that my father was really my father. Here Jesus gives His audience a spiritual paternity test that reveals their spiritual father to be the devil himself. No matter what your physical ancestry, you can always tell one's spiritual heritage.


Universalism is the belief that everyone, no matter who they are or what they believe will eventually be saved; the universal Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man. It is a lovely thought; however, it is wrong. If you believe the Bible, or even just the words of Christ, you could not come to that conclusion. It is a worldview that is different from reality. God is not the Father of all humanity. He is not the Father of many who think he is their Father.

This group Jesus is addressing in this text believed God was their Father, but they had murder in their heart, detested truth, and hated God's messenger.

  1. The Premise (vv. 37-47)
    1. The Devil is Real
      1. Historical figure (like Abraham)
      2. Person (he, not it; him, not that)
      3. Fallen (murderer, liar)
      4. Belief that the devil is a myth
        1. Gallup poll 70% believe in a "devil"
          1. 50% of those believe in a personal devil
          2. 50% of those believe a symbol of evil
        2. Barna asked born again Christians "the Devil is not a living being, he is just a symbol"
          1. 32% strongly agree
          2. 11% agree somewhat
          3. 5% don't know
    2. Everyone Has a Relationship
      1. Either the devil is your father or the devil is your enemy
      2. The devil gives you the lie you are your own master - The Fight, John White
      3. We don't struggle against flesh and blood - Ephesians 6:12
      4. Irreducible minimum
        1. Born again or not
        2. Light or darkness
        3. Saved or lost
        4. Sons of God or sons of the devil
        5. For Me or against Me
      5. You want the devil as your enemy
      6. Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world – 1 John 4:4
  2. The Pretenders
    1. Their Physical Birthright (v. 39)
      1. Abraham's descendents
      2. Abraham
        1. Believed God
        2. Received heavenly messengers
      3. These pretenders
        1. Don't believe Christ
        2. Don't receive Christ
    2. Their Spiritual Boast (v. 41)
      1. Related physically, miles apart spiritually
        1. Manasseh wicked king, son of one of the best kings, Hezekiah – 2 Kings 21:11
        2. We are not born of fornication (alluding to rumor that Jesus was illegitimate)
      2. Because we are physical descendants of Abraham, we'll be in heaven
        1. Rabbis taught that Abraham forbids Israelites from entering hell
        2. Believe all Jews will be in heaven
        3. Israel is my firstborn – Exodus 4:22
        4. Not all who descended from Israel are Israel – Romans 9:6-7
    3. God has no grandchildren
      1. Christian parents or grandparents give a great heritage
      2. Aaron Burr is the grandson of Jonathan Edwards
      3. Every generation must have their own relationship with Christ
  3. The Paternity Test
    1. Who Do You Love? (v. 42)
      1. Love Jesus
      2. Talk, spend time with Jesus
      3. Though you have not seen him, you love him – 1 Peter 1:8
      4. Peter, do you love Me? Three times – John 21:15-19
    2. What Do You Understand? (v. 43)
      1. Children understand the language of their father
      2. Natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit – 1 Corinthians 2:14
      3. Devil blinds them – 2 Corinthians 4:4
      4. Hearts must be opened by the Lord Himself
    3. What Are You Doing? (v. 44)
      1. Actions prove your relationships
      2. Have the commands and obeys them – Luke 6:46-47
      3. Paternity of God is demonstrated by conformity of God's kids
      4. Obedience proves relationship, does not produce relationship
    4. When Do You Listen? (vv. 45-47)
      1. Refusal to hear reveals the God is not your Father
      2. Didn't listen to prophets – Isaiah 30:9
      3. Jesus didn't comfort their affliction, he afflicted their comfort

Making it More Than a Sermon:

  1. What does it mean to be a true child of Abraham? (See Romans 2:28-29; Romans 9:6)
  2. How do people's actions and interests reveal their true "father"?
  3. How do you distinguish the devil's work from your own natural desires?

Figures referenced: Aaron Burr; Jonathan Edwards; Erma Bombeck
Publications referenced: The Fight, by John White
Cross references: Exodus 4:22; 2 Kings 21:11; Isaiah 30:9; Luke 6:46-47; John 21:15-19; Romans 9:6-7; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Peter 1:8; 1 John 4:4

Topic: Spiritual heritage

Keywords: faith, devil



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Who IS This Guy?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 8:48-59
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/853

Jesus had friends and He had enemies. But besides those, He also had some "frenemies" (enemies who pretended to be friends). To this crowd who at first pretended to believe (v. 31) Jesus is both confrontational and controversial. This paragraph highlights three possible identities of Jesus: two of them were his enemies' accusations and one was Jesus' own claim.


Perspective is your ability to see something. You get a different view depending on your angle. Perspective makes a difference—physically, emotionally, and philosophically. In the Gospel of John we are given heavenly perspective of Jesus. He is the Christ, Lord, Savior of the world, God in human flesh. The crowd in this text had a different perspective. They thought Jesus was a liar, fake, fraud, object of their scorn, and the brunt of their jokes. To some Jesus is bad news, but to those who know Him and know better He is good news.

This crowd thought of themselves as heaven-bound because they were descendants of Abraham. Jesus has a different perspective. He calls them liars, children of the devil, and those who don't know God.

This passage is the culmination of a heated argument. Jesus is stating the truth; the crowd is getting emotional about what they hear. Arguments begin at an intellectual level, progress to an emotional level, and finally a physical level. By the end of this argument, the crowd wants to pick up stones and kill Jesus. They have been trying to trap Jesus: physically they sent the temple police to arrest Him; in His words when they brought the woman caught in adultery.

  1. An Evil Imposter? (vv. 48-51)
    1. Their Callous Accusations
      1. Samaritan
        1. The worst thing a Jew could call a person (John 4:9)
          1. Jews hated Samaritans
          2. Would take a longer route to bypass Samaria
        2. To Jews Samaritans were: religious frauds, heretics, false teachers
          1. Rival temple with their own sacrifices, own Bible
          2. Nehemiah would not allow Samaritans to help build 
        3. Jesus broke down barriers
          1. He needed to go through Samaria–John 4:4
          2. He loved them
          3. He wanted to save the outcast
          4. Good Samaritan an example of real friendship–Luke 10:30-37
      2. Demon possessed
        1. Nuts, insane, irrational
        2. The accusations were written in the Talmud - "Jesus the Nazarene practiced magic and deceived and led Israel astray."– (Talmud Sanhedrin 107b, Sotah 47a)
        3. Calling God Satan, and Satan God
    2. His Calm Reaction - I don't have a demon
      1. When reviled He didn’t revile in return­–1 Peter 2:23
      2. Gave a soft answer–Proverbs 15:1
      3. Jesus extended another invitation to them
        1. Nicodemus­–John 3:16
        2. Crowd–John 6:50-51
  2. An Incapable Promoter? (vv. 52-55)
    1. Their Amazement at His Claims
      1. Greater than Abraham
        1. Abraham heard and obeyed and he is dead
        2. The prophets heard and spoke and they are dead
      2. Who is this guy?
      3. Jesus is controversial
        1. He said what no one else did
        2. If not true He is a liar and megalomaniac
        3. If not true, downright blasphemy and madness –Philip Schaff
    2. His Assessment of Their Condition
  3. The Eternal Creator? (vv. 56-59)
    1. His Claim to Deity
      1. Abraham recognized me as superior
      2. I AM - ego eimi
        1. Self-disclosed name of God–Exodus 3:14
        2. Direct claim to deity
      3. Jesus claims
        1. Quencher of human thirst
        2. Satisfier of all hunger
        3. Light of the world
        4. Came from heaven, not from earth
        5. Believe in Him, you will never see death
        6. Predates Abraham
      4. Later Thomas calls him "My Lord and My God"–John 20:28
    2. Their Cruel Defiance
      1. Jesus claims are true, they are committing blasphemy
      2. He is the Redeemer, Creator, Regulator of the universe, Savior, Head of the church, pre-eminent – Colossians 1:18
      3. They should be considering Him, looking to Him, worshiping Him­–John 1:1

Figures Referenced: Winston Churchill; George Bernard Shaw; Lady Astor; Phillip Schaff
Publications Referenced: Talmud Sanhedrin 107b, Sotah 47a; Encyclopedia Britannica
Cross References: Exodus 3:14; Proverbs 15:1; Luke 10:30-37; John 1:1; John 3:16; John 4:4; John 4:9; John 6:50-51; John 20:28; Colossians 1:18; 1 Peter 2:23
Greek Terms: ego eimi - I AM

Topic: The deity of Christ

Keywords: deity of Christ, I AM, blasphemy



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Life Hurts! Where's God?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 9:1-12
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/855

"Why is there so much pain in the world?" is the most frequently asked question ever! We hate it when we, or those we love, are in pain. Today we see Jesus confront a hurting world. As we do, consider these words by Elizabeth Elliot (whose husband was murdered): "If God is in charge and loves us, then whatever is given is subject to His control and is meant ultimately for our joy."


  1. Suffering Provokes Questions (vv. 1-2)
    1. Blindness was common
      1. Unsanitary conditions, poverty, unfiltered sunlight, blowing dust and sand
      2. From Birth ek genetes - out from, by reason of, out of birth
      3. Ophthalmia neonatorum- gonorrhea of the eyes
    2. Blind consigned to miserable existence
    3. Jesus sees
    4. Disciples ask
      1. Human suffering the number one roadblock to faith in God
        1. How can a loving God allow suffering to exist?
        2. Everyone struggles with this
      2. Perception: pain is God's one mistake–Philip Yancey
      3. Asaph's struggle–Psalm 73:2
  2. Suffering Defies Explanations (vv. 2-3)
    1. Disciples' explanation: sin "Who sinned?"
      1. Blind man
        1. Theology of prenatal sin
        2. Hellenistic Jews may have embraced Greek philosophy of pre-existent soul
      2. His parents (twisted Exodus 20:5)
      3. Sometimes suffering is a direct result of sin or errant thinking or activity (i.e. a child born of promiscuous parents, an alcoholic, etc.)
    2. Can't always tie suffering to sin
      1. False theology: prosperity doctrine
      2. Even believers often tie suffering to something they did
      3. Don't automatically assume suffering is due to something someone did
      4. Job
        1. Friends blamed him
        2. God called him the most righteous
    3. Most common belief regarding the origin of evil or suffering
      1. Biblical God is all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful, but massive evil exists; therefore, the biblical God cannot exist
      2. "So much" evil presupposes a notion of ultimate good
      3. "If the universe is so bad...how on earth did human beings ever come to attribute it to the activity of a wise and good Creator?"–C.S. Lewis
    4. Deist view: there is a god, he'd like to help, but he can't
      1. Process theology-god is in the process of becoming a better god
      2. A god not worth believing in
    5. Jesus doesn't deal with the philosophical problem of evil (v. 3)
      1. The man is not sinless, but sin is not the issue
      2. Jesus pushes aside the argument
      3. You cannot always equate sin and suffering directly
    6. This man is a miracle waiting to happen!
    7. God may allow suffering to affect a greater purpose
      1. Suffering will equip you – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
      2. Suffering will strengthen your faith–2 Corinthians 12:7-10; James 1:2-3
      3. Suffering will correct you–Hebrews 12:5; Psalm 119:6-7
      4. "(Pain) removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul"–C.S. Lewis
  3. Suffering Brings Obligations (vv. 4-7)
    1. Jesus was sensitive
      1. Jesus saw Him
      2. We need to guard against compassion fatigue
    2. Jesus was practical
      1. Must work, not involved in the debate
      2. We must work, time is coming when we cannot
    3. Jesus was urgent
      1. Limited time to serve the Lord
      2. Within six months, Jesus will be crucified
      3. Push aside distractions, roll up sleeves, get to work
      4. There is a loving, all knowing, all powerful God, we acknowledge massive evil; therefore, we know Jesus will return to earth , judge, and make all bad things right. Until He does I will help alleviate suffering and pain and thus represent Him to a suffering world.
    4. Jesus was personal
      1. Touched the blind man
      2. Ministered to individuals, demonstrated love
    5. Application
      1. Are you willing to embrace suffering if it drives you to God?
      2. Are you willing to alleviate suffering if it drives others to God?
  4. Suffering Challenges Expectations (vv. 8-12)
    1. The healing was simple and understated
    2. The account includes wonder, transformation
    3. Easier for them to believe in mistaken identity than transformation
    4. No one expected the beggar to be anything else
    5. Never let your expectations limit God–Psalm 78:41; Mark 6:5
    6. Like the blind man, you were once blinded by sin and unable to see until the Lord opened your spiritual eyes – 2 Corinthians 4:4
    7. Physical healing is temporary
    8. Spiritual healing 2 Corinthians 5:17

Figures Referenced: George Barna; Philip Yancey; C.S. Lewis
Cross References: Exodus 20:5; Psalm 73:2; Psalm 78:41; Psalm 119:6-7; Mark 6:5; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Hebrews 12:5; James 1:2-3
Greek terms: ek genets-out from, by reason of, out of birth

Topic: Suffering

Keywords: blindness, healing, suffering, pain



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Truth About Your Neighbors
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 9:13-34
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/857

Those of us who are Christians live in a sea of unbelievers who work with us, live next to us, shop where we shop, and send their kids to the same schools. Some have a mild case of unbelief disguised by religious practices. Others are more demonstrable in their agnosticism or atheism. Let's watch a local Jerusalem neighborhood struggle against faith in spite of clear evidence.


Our neighbors are the people across the street, across town, or across the globe. In this passage, one key issue is involved: a blind man who can now see. His life has been altered by a single touch from Jesus Christ. What does everyone else do with that? Instead of joy, they respond with skepticism, rancor, intractability, and anger.

What does the unbelieving world think of us?
Percent of Americans who would not like the following minorities as neighbors:
Catholics 1%
Protestants 2%
Jews 3%
Hispanics 9%
Unmarried Couples 12%
Blacks 13%
Religious Fundamentalists 13%

"Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and bloody religion that had ever infected the world." –Voltaire
"Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses"–Arthur Clarke
"Christianity is a religion for losers…"–Ted Turner

  1. Unbelievers Can be Ceremonial (vv. 13-17)
    1. Love rituals, ceremonies, practice observances, law, hide behind church, but don't believe in Jesus Christ
    2. They-those who lived in area of the beggar
    3. Brought him to the Pharisees, it was the Sabbath—is this okay?
      1. Mishna-outlined 39 rules concerning the Sabbath
        1. Couldn't walk out of the house if sandals had nails, carrying nails, bearing a burden
        2. Forbidden to heal-only help in a life-threatening situation
        3. Couldn't knead dough or clay-that was doing labor
        4. Couldn't spit on the ground, if spit rolls in dirt, makes a furrow, work
      2. Maimonides - not lawful to put spittle on the eyelids
      3. Everything Jesus did was forbidden by their laws
    4. Jesus healed on the Sabbath seven times
      1. Matthew 12:9-13: man in the synagogue with a withered hand
      2. Mark 1:21-28: demoniac in the synagogue
      3. Mark 1:29-31: Peter's mother-in-law healed
      4. Luke 14:1-6: man with dropsy
      5. John 5:1-16: paralytic man at the pool of Bethesda
      6. John 9:1-7: blind man
    5. People who love policy over people, strain a gnat and swallow the camel–Matthew 23:24
    6. "All religions have been made by men." "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."–Napoleon Bonaparte
  2. Unbelievers Can be Skeptical (vv. 18-25)
    1. Pharisees not satisfied with personal testimony or eyewitness testimony
    2. Pharisees believe it is not a miracle, not a blind man, a fake healing
      (Fake healings do occur [Peter Popoff exposed by James Randi on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson])
    3. You "say" he was born blind
    4. Give God glory
      1. Could mean: God healed him, but not Jesus
      2. More likely:  Tell the truth (Achan – Joshua 7:19)
    5. Without cautious skepticism and discernment, truth wouldn't have a chance (there is a difference between honest doubt and unbelief)
    6. Threatened to put them out of the synagogue- gr. aposunagogos(according to the Babylonian Talmud, for refusing to abide by the decision of the court)
  3. Unbelievers Can be Irrational (vv. 26-33)
    1. Pharisees irrational
      1. Didn't believe the miracle
      2. Didn't believe the man was born blind
      3. Thought it was a fake healing
      4. Trying to discredit the testimony
    2. Blind man gives a clear, logical argument
      1. God doesn't hear sinners
      2. God heard Jesus
    3. Syllogism - series of logical steps
      1. Only God can heal congenital blindness
      2. Jesus healed congenital blindness
      3. Jesus must be from God
    4. Unbelievers are often guilty of the irrationality they accuse believers of
      1. Can't be a good God in an evil world
      2. So many religions, how can you be right?
      3. Doesn't matter what you believe if you are sincere
      4. Bible has a lot of mistakes, cannot be taken seriously
    5. Christians should be prepared
      1. Outthink the world for Christ!– J.I. Packer
      2. Have a reasonable faith–William Lane Craig
      3. "Precisely because the Christians usually duck and run, the atheists have had it too easy. Their arguments have gone largely unanswered. They have been flogging the carcass of 'fundamentalism' without having to encounter the horsekick of a vigorous traditional Christianity…I am skeptical not only of the allegedly irrational claims of religion but also of the irrational claims made in the name of science and of skepticism itself." ­–Dinesh D'Souza What's So Great About Christianity
  4. Unbelievers Can be Inflexible (vv. 34)
    1. The evidence doesn't matter
    2. Rejecting Christ is not only a matter of the mid, but of the will
    3. Unbelief of a searching heart - "I don't know, but I want to know."
    4. Unbelief of a hardened heart - ask for more and more evidence but refuse to believe

How do we respond?
To the ceremonial: make it all about Jesus.
To the skeptic: be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you. – 1 Peter 3:15
To the irrational: bone up on apologetics
To the inflexible: stay away from them. Don't cast your pearls before swine.–Matthew 7:6
You can have a satisfied mind and a peaceful heart. –Thomas Aquinas

Publications referenced: What's So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D'Souza; New Yorker Magazine;
Figures referenced: Voltaire; Arthur Clarke; Ted Turner; Napoleon Bonaparte; James Randi; Peter Popoff; J.I. Packer; William Lane Craig; Thomas Aquinas;
Cross References: Joshua 7:19; Matthew 7:6; Matthew 12:9-13; Matthew 23:24; Mark 1:21-28; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 14:1-6; John 5:1-16; John 9:1-7; 1 Peter 3:15;
Greek Terms: aposunagogos-put out of the synagogue

Topic: Unbelief

Keywords: unbelief, discernment, doubt, neighbors, Pharisees, skeptic



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Got Any Blind Spots?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 9:35-41
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/859

When you drive, you encounter "blind spots"—it could be part of your own car or it could be a tree that hides traffic on the other side. Those blind spots hinder both progress and ultimately, safety. When Jesus healed a blind man in Jerusalem, the same man was also healed of his spiritual blindness. But others who thought their spiritual perception was keen were as blind as a bat! As we consider this story, can you think of any blind spots in your spiritual journey?


Topic: Belief
Keywords: believe, belief, blindness, Pharisee, synagogue, worship

When you drive, you encounter “blind spots”—it could be part of your own car or it could be a tree that hides traffic on the other side. Those blind spots hinder both progress and ultimately, safety. When Jesus healed a blind man in Jerusalem, the same man was also healed of his spiritual blindness. But others who thought their spiritual perception was keen were as blind as a bat! As we consider this story, can you think of any blind spots in your spiritual journey?

  1. The Most Humbling Reality—God seeks for US (v. 35)
    1. Rejection by Earthly Religionists
      1. Blind man cast out of the synagogue
        1. Kicked out of Jewish life altogether; spiritually and socially
        2. Three levels of being cast out
          1. Stay in your house, isolated for one week
          2. Nidui - Publicly reprimanded, isolated for 7-30 days
          3. Cherem - Indefinite, cast out for life
      2. It is a privilege to be cast out of some places
        1. Martin Luther - believed in the Bible
        2. John Calvin
    2. Accepted by Heavenly Representative
      1. Jesus found him
        1. Kicked out of temple - Lord of the temple goes to find him
        2. Rejected by man's religious-Son of God from heaven finds, accepts him
      2. Rejected on earth, accepted in heaven -Alexander Maclaren
      3. Jesus style
        1. "whoever comes to me, I will by no means cast out"–John 6:37
        2. "the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."-Luke 19:10
        3. Leave the 99 sheep for the sake of one wandering sheep–Matthew 18:12-14
  2. The Most Important Priority—That We Believe (vv. 35-37)
    1. Question about Faith
      1. You! Do you believe? -arrest attention; focus and emphasize spiritual need
      2. Jesus targeted those He healed so that He might be glorifies and other might believe in Him
      3. Faith is more valuable than health. –Matthew 5:29
    2. Question about Identity
      1. The man had been waiting his whole life for Messiah
        1. Show me that I may believe
        2. Ready to believe
      2. Highest priority is that you believe in Jesus Christ –John 3:16
      3. Believe-not to acknowledge God exists, but to commit to, rely on, adhere to
        1. C.H. Spurgeon-98 percent of the people he met— including the criminals he visited in England's prisons—told him that they believed the Bible to be true. But the vast majority had never made a personal, life-changing commitment to Jesus Christ. For them, "believe" was not an active verb.
  3. The Most Obvious Certainty—Because We Worship (v. 38)
    1. Affirmation
      1. Lord I believe
      2. Belief is the beginning of the spiritual journey
        1. Jesus a man –John 9:11
        2. Jesus a prophet –John 9:17
        3. Jesus the Son of God–John 9:38
    2. Adoration
      1. The formerly blind man worshiped Jesus as God
      2. Natural Progression
        1. Blind to spiritual truth; don't even know it
        2. Jesus opens eyes; you believe
        3. Enter life of purposeful worship
      3. Over time our passion and thankfulness can decrease–Revelation 2:4 (Are We Losing Our "Oh!"?–A.W. Tozer
      4. Believing is proof that he found you; worshiping is proof you believe; obeying proves you've been worshiping
  4. The Most Sobering Mystery—The Blind See; The Seeing Don’t (vv.39-41)
    1. Two Kinds of People
      1. Spiritual sight comes to those who confess they can't see
      2. Blindness is a condition of those who arrogantly claim they can see just fine without Jesus–
    2. Two Kinds of Preference
      1. Spiritual sight comes from believing in Him
      2. Unwillingness or inability to grasp spiritual truth
        1. The way, the truth, the life –John 14:6
        2. The way is narrow

Figures Referenced: Francis Jane Crosby; Martin Luther; John Calvin; Alexander Maclaren; C. H. Spurgeon; A.W. Tozer; Helen Keller
Cross References: Matthew 5:29; Matthew 18:12-14; Luke 19:10; John 3:16; John 6:37; John 9:11; John 9:17; John 14:6; Revelation 2:4

Topic: Belief

Keywords: believe, belief, blindness, Pharisee, synagogue, worship



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Good Shepherd (and a bunch of happy sheep!)
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 10:1-10
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/860

This is one of the most beloved passages to be found anywhere in Scripture. But it's not a stand-alone passage: The healing of the blind man in chapter 9 was more than a miracle. It was part of the process of Jesus forming His flock. The leadership had cast the healed man out of the synagogue. Jesus found him, accepted him, saved him, and placed him in His own fold.


Sheep are docile; they follow one another. They are not known for their strength. The Bible uses sheep as an analogy for human beings. Thousands of years ago, everyone understood the analogy; they were a part of the culture. Job owned 14,000 sheep; Solomon sacrificed 120,000 on one occasion; Psalm 100:3 refers to God's children as the sheep of His pasture. Isaiah 53:6 says "All we like sheep have gone astray;" alluding to the fact that sheep are prone to wander.

Phillip Keller writes "Sheep do not 'just take care of themselves' as some might suppose. They require, more than any other class of livestock, endless attention and meticulous care. It is no accident that God has chosen to call us sheep. The behavior of sheep and human beings is similar in many ways[...]. Our mass mind (or mob instincts), our fears and timidity, our stubbornness and stupidity, our perverse habits are all parallels of profound importance." The quality of life for the sheep depends on the shepherd who takes care of it.

This text is divided into two sections: the village scene (vv. 1-6) and the countryside scene (vv. 7-10).

  1. The Shepherd Gathers His Flock
    Village sheepfold was a communal corral, a common enclosure for all the sheep. The shepherd would line up his sheep, put the rod down between sheep to inspect sheep for injury and parasites. In the morning the gatekeeper would let the shepherds in to take their sheep. This sheepfold does not represent heaven (thieves and robbers climbing in), not salvation or the church (flock led out). The sheepfold represents Judaism which kept them safe until the Messiah came. (See John 10:16–"And other sheep I have which are not of this fold;" (Gentiles). Jesus is the Good Shepherd (v. 11).
    1. He Comes the Right Way (vv. 1-3a)
      1. Not a thief who climbs over the locked guarded gate (Pharisees)
        1. Hostile toward the sheep and the owner
        2. Long line of false prophets
        3. True prophets prophesy against the false prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel)
          Jeremiah 23:1-2; Ezekiel 34:1-2
      2. Jesus doesn't sneak in
        1. Came from Heaven
        2. Fulfills over 300 prophecies–Galatians 4:4
    2. He Calls the Right Way (v. 3b)
      1. No branding or external marking
      2. Call sheep with a distinct pitch, tone and inflection the sheep understand
      3. Right speech, words, voice
      4. Many in
    3. He Conducts the Right Way (vv. 3c-6)
      1. He leads them out
        1. Western style - dogs drive sheep
        2. Eastern style - shepherd leads–Psalm 23:2
      2. Jesus explain what happened to the man born blind now healed; he was kicked out of Judaism
        1. Judaism had fulfilled its function of keeping God's people safe and separate from the world
        2. Jesus was doing a new work–Matthew 9:17
      3. Learn to trust the leading of our shepherd
  2. The Shepherd Guides His Flock
    The Shepherd is the door. The countryside sheepfold did not have a gate, but the shepherd himself would lay in the opening. (George Adam Smith)
    1. He is the Door to Salvation (vv. 7-9)
      1. One door; narrow, exclusiveness of Christ
      2. Came to be the Savior of mankind
    2. He is the Door to Provision (v. 9b)
      1. In and out speaks of contentment and provision
        1. In the sheepfold at night for safety
        2. Out in the morning for pasture
      2. Jesus nourishes us
      3. Secret to happy sheep: safety proportional to proximity
    3. He is the Door to Satisfaction (vv. 9c-10)
      1. Thief comes to steal, kill and destroy
      2. Jesus gives us abundant life
      3. Our victory is based on the love of the Shepherd who laid His life down for the sheep

Figures Referenced: Tommy Walker; George Adam Smith;
Publications Referenced: A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller
Cross References: Psalm 23:2; Psalm 100:3; Isaiah 53:6; Jeremiah 23:1-2; Ezekiel 34:1-2; Matthew 9:17; John 10:16; Galatians 4:4

Topic: The Good Shepherd

Keywords: sheep, shepherd, Good Shepherd, provision, protection



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: What's So Great About the Good Shepherd?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 10:11-21
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/870

"What's so great about being a Christian?" some people ask. The answer lies in the kind of care, provision, and protection we get from Jesus Christ, our Shepherd. Have you ever stopped to make a list of the benefits that are yours as a follower of Christ? Consider this short list of advantages that you, as a child of God, have. When was the last time you thanked Him for being your Shepherd? This would be a great week to do that!


You can't please everyone. Jesus didn't seem to care about appeasing people's ideas about how He should be or act. He said what He said; He is who He is. What people thought about Him determined their own eternal destiny, not His. Jesus seemed only to care about what His Father in heaven thought about Him and how to best care for His sheep.

Shepherd's were common; everyone understood the analogy. Many of their heroes had been shepherds: Moses, David, Jacob and his sons, and the prophet Amos. Jesus says he is the Good Shepherd. English doesn't capture the force and intensity of the original statement. Greek John 10:11: Èγώ εìμι Ó ποιμην Ó καλός. Literally translated: I am the Shepherd, the Good (one). The object before the modifier, the article before the adjective intensifies the meeting. It means He is a Shepherd in a class of His own. No one can compare or compete with Him: the supreme, the greatest Shepherd.

The fourth of the seven great "I Am" statements, this is the most popular and the best-loved. It resonates with our core. God cares that much, like the tender care of the shepherd for his sheep. The most popular representation of Jesus for the early Christians was this motif, the Good Shepherd.

  1. He's Great Because He Sacrifices for His Sheep (vv. 11-15)
    1. Shepherding is Dangerous
      1. Lead sheep from the protected environment of the corral to the vulnerable environment of the countryside
      2. David killed bear and lion protecting sheep–1 Samuel 17:34-35
      3. 224,200 sheep (worth $18.3 million) killed by predators in 2004 according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service
      4. "I have listened with intense interest to their graphic descriptions of downright and desperate fights with savage beasts. And when the thief and the robber come, and they do come, the faithful shepherd is often to put his life in his hand to defend the flock. I have known more than one case where the shepherd literally had to lay it down in the contest. One a poor faithful fellow … instead of fleeing actually fought three Bedouin robbers until he was hacked to pieces himself and he died among the sheep he was defending." The Land and the Book, by William McClure Thomson
    2. Jesus gave His life
      1. Not an occupational hazard
      2. He lay it down Himself (vv.  11, 15, 17, 18)
        1. His death was voluntary, part of the plan –Revelation 13:8, Acts 2:23
        2. His death was substitutionary
          1. Not for His own sin (He had none)
          2. For the sin of the sheep - v. 15 (gr. ÙπÈρ [upper]- for, on behalf of, in the place of, as a substitution for)–Isaiah 53:6
  2. He's Great Because He Knows His Sheep (vv. 14-15)
    1. Knows our differences (I don't have to be like anyone else)
    2. Comfort; knows all about you and loves you anyway (gr. Γινώσκω [ginōskō]- profound, affectionate knowledge)–Psalm 139:1-4
    3. Complete; as the Father knows Christ
    4. He knows us perfectly; we know Him barely– 2 Peter 3:18;
      1. Our knowledge of Him is growing
      2. Our heart's cry to know him–Philippians 3:10
      3. We will know Him fully in our resurrected body when face to face–1 Corinthians 13:12
    5. If Jesus is your Shepherd, don't accept substitutes (mentor, pastor)
  3. He's Great Because He Unites His Sheep (v. 16)
    1. Expands the flock
      1. Not just Jews
      2. Wants all people to come in – Isaiah 56:8
    2. The Pharisees looked down on the gentiles; Peter­–Acts 10:9-28
    3. Jesus blended Jew and Gentile together in His church –John 3:16; one flock, one Shepherd
    4. View unbelievers as potential sheep
  4. He's Great Because He Lives for His Sheep (vv. 17-18)
    1. Takes His life again (resurrection)
      1. Messiahship
      2. Deity
    2. He will never leave us–Matthew 28:20
    3. Interceding on our behalf in heaven–Hebrews 7:25

Sheep are utterly helpless; when cast cannot right themselves, eat anything (poison), helpless when attacked; they need a shepherd to rescue them.

Greek terms: Èγώ εìμι Ó ποιμην Ó καλό. Literally translated: I am the Shepherd, the Good (one); ÙπÈρ [upper]- for, on behalf of, in the place of, as a substitution for; Γινώσκω [ginōskō]- profound, affectionate knowledge
Publications referenced: The Land and the Book, by William McClure Thomson
Cross references: 1 Samuel 17:34-35; Psalm 139:1-4; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 56:8; Matthew 28:20; John 3:16; Acts 2:23; Acts 10:9-28; 1 Corinthians 13:12; Philippians 3:10; Hebrews 7:25; 2 Peter 3:18; Revelation 13:8

Topic: God's faithfulness

Keywords: sheep, shepherd, Good Shepherd, sacrifice, care



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: To BElieve or Not to BElieve...
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 10:22-42
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/874

"In all unbelief there are two things: a good opinion of one's self and a bad opinion about God."— Horatius Bonar. It's true, isn't it? Humanism is man-centered and rejects God's existence or His relevance. But Jesus appealed to two things: the plain evidence of His supernatural works and the testimony of those who witnessed them. Jesus here asserts His deity, and the reaction is predictable—some believed while others did not believe. Which camp do you fall into?


The Gospel of John could be marked with the warning label: "Unbelief is hazardous to your eternal health." To believe or not to believe is the central, vital question. Belief transports a person to ever-increasing realms of joy and glory; unbelief destroys all of that.

This passage closes off the public ministry of Jesus Christ. After this chapter ends, there will be no more public speeches or public miracles, but Jesus spends His time before he leaves nurturing His disciples and preparing them. It is a fitting close to chapter 10; it sums up the book to this point. The theme is unbelief versus belief.

There are two groups in this passage: the group at the Temple in Jerusalem, who come to Jesus but don't believe. They disregard Jesus' miracles and the testimony about Him; and the group in the wilderness where Jesus began His ministry, who believe Him and regard His miracles and the personal testimony. It is a contrast between unbelief and belief. Unbelief is mentioned eighteen times, belief only three times. It is a ratio of reality: the majority of people do not believe.

There is a two-month gap between vv. 21-22. The setting in v. 21 is the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall. Now the setting is the Feast of Dedication in the winter. John mentions this because it is winter meteorologically and it is winter spiritually. The people have an icy, hardened attitude toward Christ. The Feast of Tabernacles is known to us as Hanukkah. It is a non-biblical feast established between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Antiochus Epiphanes (I-the great one) sought to impose Greek language and culture on the world. He tried to force Israel to abandon Jewish beliefs and culture, but they resisted. In 170 BC he conquered Jerusalem, slaughtered a pig on the Altar of Sacrifice and spread its juices throughout the temple. He set up an idol to Zeus and demanded the people worship it, and he put an end to circumcision and the festivals. After three years, the Jewish priests under Mattathias, (the Maccabees), threw out the Syrians, regained their independence, and reestablished the correct worship in the temple. The legend is that the flagon of oil that held one-day worth of oil for the menorah lasted for eight days. This was the last great deliverance for the Jews; it was the kind of messiah they were looking for: a political messiah who would overthrow their enemies.

  1. The Sinister Nature of Unbelief (vv. 22-39)
    1. It Protects its True Nature (disguises itself as something else)
      1. They call their condition doubt
        1. They want to hear His claims (Son of God, God in human flesh, Messiah) again so they can kill him (they pick up stones, and try to seize him.)
        2. Doubt is looking for answers
          1. everyone struggles with doubts about spiritual faith
          2. "Find out how seriously a believer takes his doubts and you have the indexof howseriouslyhetakes his faith" –Os Guinness

          3. Doubt is not the opposite of faith
          4. Doubt presupposes faith
          5. Doubt works its way through difficulties and finds a faith that is reasonable and satisfying
      2. Jesus calls it unbelief
        1. Unbelief doesn't care about the answers
        2. Unbelief decides against faith
        3. Keeps away at all costs what would produce faith
        4. "There are none so blind as those who will not see." –Matthew Henry
    2. It Rejects the Narrowness of Christ
      1. They picked up stones to stone Him
        1. Jesus "For which of the good works" (καλà- kala - noble wonderful beautiful)
        2. Because He made Himself out to be God.
          1. Bread of life–John 6:35
          2. Living Water– John 7:37
          3. Light of the World– John 8:12
          4. "Before Abraham was I AM" (John 8:58)
          5. "If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24)
      2. People don't want to believe Jesus is the only way
        1. 67% of the world's population do not believe in Christ
        2. Analogy of God on the mountaintop
          1. Convenient for unbelievers
          2. No founders of religions would accept it (John 14:6)
          3. Systems fundamentally disagree with each other
          4. Cannot be true
        3. Analogy of a maze
          1. Different paths lead in different directions
          2. Only one correct path
        4. Jesus said "Enter through the narrow gate" (Matthew 7:13-14)few find it because the path is too narrow for most
    3. It Neglects the Testimony of Scripture
      1. Jesus answered them with the Word -Psalm 82:6
      2. Jesus regards the unity and inerrancy of Scripture
      3. How the unbelieving world regards the Bible: a good book, but wouldn't want to live according to it.
  2. The Simple Nature of Belief (vv. 40-42)
    1. It Evaluates Objective Evidence
      1. Untainted by bias
      2. Jesus performed signs and miracles
      3. Not a blind leap in the dark (like Soren Kierkegaard claimed)
      4. Based on evidence –Hebrews 11:1
        1. Uniqueness of the Bible (66 books, over 40 authors, over 1500 years, about controversial subjects, yet all in agreement)
        2. Fulfilled Prophecy
        3. Resurrection of Jesus Christ
    2. It Appreciates Subjective Testimony - Of John the Baptist
      1. "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29b
      2. Called Jesus the Son of God
      3. Said Jesus existed before John
      4. That they were cousins adds weight to his testimony

Christianity is a universal experience. For two thousand years Jesus Christ has been changing lives. Christianity is narrow. It is a personal relationship with a personal God.

Greek terms: καλà- kala - noble, wonderful, beautiful
Figures Referenced: Matthias Maccabeus; Antiochus Epiphanes; Judas Maccabeus; Os Guinness; Matthew Henry; Soren Kierkegaard; Frank Morrison
Cross References: Psalm 82:6; John 1:29; John 6:35; John 7:37; John 8:12; John 8:24; John 8:58; John 14:6; Hebrews 11:1

Topic: Belief

Keywords: belief, unbelief, narrow gate, doubt



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Great Physician's Patient Dies
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 11:1-16
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/888

When a doctor loses a patient on the operating table, there is a deep sense of remorse and sadness in the surgical theater. Doctors are trained to save lives but sometimes even the best trained physicians are unable to control complications that lead to death. But here we discover that Christ, the Great Physician, not only knows that His patient is sick--He allows him to die! Here are three principles about Divine Medicine that we can all learn.


There are few people you trust more than your doctor. You trust doctors will make a correct physical assessment of your health and know what to do. Jesus portrays Himself as a physician. In Mark 2: 17 He says, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." In fact, Jesus is the Great Physician, the Master Physician.

In Luke 5:12-15, He acted as dermatologist when He cured a man of leprosy.
In Luke 13:10-13, He acted as orthopedist when He cured the crippled woman.
In Mark 5:25-34, He acted as hematologist when He healed the woman with an issue of blood.
In John 4: 46-54, He acted as pediatrician when He healed the nobleman's son.
In Matthew 8:5-13, He acted as neurologist when He healed a man with palsy.
In John 9, he acted as ophthalmologist when he healed a blind man.
In John 11, he acted as post-mortem resuscitative specialist, when he resurrected Lazarus.

Jesus, who has all power and all ability, let his friend Lazarus die.

John 11 marks the transition from Jesus' public to His private ministry. The nation has rejected Him and for the few months before His crucifixion He concentrates on private ministry, secluded within His disciples. John 10 takes place in the winter, during the Feast of Dedication and John 12 takes place in the spring at the Passover, John 11 is sometime between the two. We are at about the midpoint of the Gospel of John; the first half of the book focuses on the first thirty-three years of His life; the second half will focus on the last 48-hours, because the most important event is Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

  1. Jesus' Friends Get Sick (vv. 1-4)
    1. Lazarus, Mary, and Martha are among Jesus close friends
      1. Lazarus is the Hebrew short-form of Eleazar
      2. Mary anointed the feet of Jesus
      3. Lived in Bethany, 1.5 miles from Jerusalem, on the other side of the Mount of Olives
    2. Lazarus is sick - a disease of deterioration leading to death
    3. They make an appeal based on Jesus' love for them
      1. Simple appeal without instruction (they don't tell Jesus how to fix it)
      2. No manipulation
      3. No bribery
      4. φιλεîς - phileo - brotherly love, friendship love (Your close pal, the one You love like a brother, is sick)
    4. Surprise that one Jesus loves so much could be so sick
      1. Behold - Wow! Look!
      2. If You love me, why would you allow it?
    5. We shouldn't be surprised
      1. Man is still man
        1. Since the Fall of Man there has been a constant entropy
        2. "He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45).
        3. "Everyone dies of his last disease." --Dr. Walter Martin
        4. "Yet man is born to trouble, As the sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7).
        5. "The love of Jesus does not separate us from the common necessities and infirmities of human life. Men of God are still men. The covenant of grace is not a charter of exemption from disease." --C.H. Spurgeon
      2. God uses sickness for our benefit
        1. Deeper intimacy with Christ
        2. Greater understanding of His Word
        3. "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes" (Psalm 119:71).
      3. God uses sickness for the good of others
        1. Bolsters their faith
        2. Suffering believers are one way God lets the world know he is real
    6. Sickness, even death, may be God's will for His people.
  2. Jesus' Foresight Gets Seen (vv. 5-7)
    1. Jesus knows when Lazarus is dead
    2. Jesus has everything in perfect control
    3. Jesus didn't rush to Lazarus' side, He waits.
    4. Jesus loved them - ηγάπα - agapaó - divine, complete love
    5. So he stayed - His delay was directly connected to His love for them 
      1. God's delays are not God's denials
      2. Delays do not prove that He is not on time; they prove that we are not on time
      3. We don't know the big picture
      4. They want a resuscitation; Jesus wants a resurrection
      5. "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts'"(Isaiah 55:8-9).
      6. God knows the end from the beginning
    6. What good comes from delays?
      1. Mold our errant wills to conform to His perfect will (i.e., Egypt to Canaan an eleven-day journey, took forty years)
      2. Build faith (i.e., Abraham's promised son)
    7. We must learn to interpret circumstances by the love of Christ, rather than interpreting the love of Christ through our circumstances, or we will never understand our circumstances and we will always doubt God's love.
  3. Jesus' Followers Get Schooled (vv. 8-16)
    1. The Disciples’ Hesitation
      1. The physical threat. (In John 10, the people took up stones to kill Jesus)
      2. Jesus didn't have to physically go in order to heal. (i.e., John 4:46-54, the nobleman's son)
      3. 12 hours day
        1. Jewish example of daylight hours, people worked
        2. Sunlight represents Jesus' earthly ministry as prescribed by the Father
        3. Night is the end of Jesus' Ministry.
        4. You are invincible until God is done with you.
      4. Lazarus sleeps; Lazarus is dead
        1. Sleep a euphemism for death
        2. Not soul sleep – "We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8).
        3. Sleep is temporary; resurrection is like waking up
      5. I am glad (glad for the death of the one He loves)
        1. Lazarus is a believer – "Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints" (Psalm 116:15).
        2. Jesus knew He would raise Lazarus from the dead
          1. Jesus knew the disciples' faith would grow
    2. Thomas’ Declaration
      1. Doubting Thomas
      2. Not words of doubt, but words of love, faithfulness, courage, and loyalty; Thomas is willing to die for Christ
      3. Thomas is honest (See John 14 in the upper room)
      4. "If God had answered every prayer of mine, I would have married the wrong man seven times." --Ruth Graham
      5. God always answers prayers
        1. Sometimes the answer is no
        2. Sometimes the answer is wait

Figures Referenced: Dr. Walter Martin; C.H. Spurgeon; Ruth Graham
Cross References: Job 5:7; Psalm 116:15; Psalm 119:71; Isaiah 55:8-9; Matthew 8:5-13; Matthew 5:45; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 5:12-15; Luke 13:10-13; John 4:46-54; John 9; John 14; 2 Corinthians 5:8
Greek Terms: φιλεîς - phileo - brotherly love, friendship love; ηγάπα - agapaó - divine, complete love

Topic: Resurrection

Keywords: sovereignty, healing, resurrection, prayer, delay, God's timing, Lazarus



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: A Tale of Two Sisters
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 11:17-32
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/890

In 1859 Charles Dickens wrote his famous work, A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The story before us is set in Bethany near Jerusalem and highlights the personal relationship that two sisters had with Jesus Christ. Their broken hearts provide an excellent platform to consider how Christ deals with people in grief and loss. Let's actively probe not only their responses but ours to the incredible promise Jesus makes.


Two sisters–Mary and Martha–have lost their brother Lazarus. It is a sudden, unexpected tragedy in their home. Death is an enemy—the great opponent to life. "The last enemy that will be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:25).

Everyone lives with death anticipation, knowing that in a moment, everything we are and have can be stripped away. Woody Allen said, "I'm not afraid to die, I justdon't want to be there when it happens." Death happens to everyone. Joseph Bayly states: "We may postpone it, we may tame its violence, but death is still there waiting for us. Death always waits. The door of the hearse is never closed. Dairy farmer and sales executive live in death's shadow, with Nobel Prize winner and prostitute, mother, infant, teen, old man. The hearse stands waiting for the surgeon who transplants a heart as well as the hopeful recipient, for the funeral director as well as the corpse he manipulates. Death spares none."

In this passage, Jesus tells us the greatest news ever to have fallen on human ears: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, thought he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26). He was speaking to Martha, but His disciples were listening. Jesus' public ministry is over, he is in the midst of His private ministry to his disciples. He knows He is going to leave them.  The theme of His ministry is Resurrection. First He predicted His resurrections: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19). "He was speaking of the temple of His body" (John 2:21). He then demonstrated His power over death by raising Lazarus, and others, authenticating His statement in John 11:25. Finally He will raise Himself from death. When His disciples realize the truth of His statements, they become unstoppable: bold as lions—martyrs! They don't care what happens to them. Resurrection is the central theme to their communications throughout the book of Acts.

  1. Jesus and Martha (vv. 17-27)
    Jewish Customs
    Immediate burial: no embalming
    Mourning: thirty days, seven of intense mourning. Demonstrative, emotional: tears robes, beat breast, wear sackcloth and ashes, hire professional mourners. Firmly believed Ecclesiastes 3:4: "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;"
    Some superstitions Jews believed the spirit would linger for three days, seeking to re-enter the body. By the fourth day, when decomposition had set in, the spirit would depart. On the fourth day, when "all bets are off," Jesus shows up.
    Actions of Mary and Martha are in keeping with what we know of them from elsewhere in the Gospels. Mary sits, Martha is on her feet. "People change, but not that much." What people say during times of loss cannot be taken to heavily. Your reaction must be tempered with understanding  
    1. Her Sorrow
      1. Typical process of grief (Elizabeth Kubler Ross)
        1. Denial
        2. Anger
        3. Bargaining
        4. Depression
        5. Acceptance
      2. Profound, unpredictable
      3. "Let grief do its work. Tramp every inch of the sorrowful way. Drink every drop of the bitter cup. Those who truly love will say that they have found in sorrow a new joy, a joy which only the broken-hearted can know."
    2. Her Struggle
      1. Pours out what's on her mind: "If you had been here"
        1. Limiting in time and space
          1. Four days ago you could have done something; but not now
          2. If you had been here—as if Jesus couldn’t do a long-distance miracle (Nobleman's son—See John 4:46-54)
      2. "Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."
        1. May be asking for a resurrection
        2. Not a lot of faith: she will protest when Jesus approaches the tomb (See John 11:39).
      3. Struggle to believe
        1. Pours out heart, catches self: "That doesn't sound too spiritual!"
        2. Man with demon possessed son: "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)
      4. People in grief struggle: "Where were you Lord?"
      5. Jesus response: "Your brother will rise again!"
        1. Not: "I can't believe you said that to Me!"
        2. Takes opportunity to reveal more of Himself
        3. God can handle our honesty (See David's Prayer in Psalm 13, Psalm 58:6)
        4. He is unshockable. Our prayers don't impress Him either. "There is not a secret in my heart I would not pour into the ears of my God." —C.H. Spurgeon
  2. Jesus and Mary (vv. 28-32)
    1. Her Summons
    2. Her Submission
      1. Says the same thing as Martha, with a different attitude
      2. In joy or in sorrow, Mary is always at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:39)
      3. "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21).
      4. "In the presence of trouble, some people grow wings; others buy crutches."
  3. Jesus and You (vv. 25-26)
    1. Whoever – unconditional without any time boundary
    2. Resurrection is more than an event. It is a person: "I am the resurrection and the life."
    3. "There are two ultimate questions of our existence: Has anyone ever cheated death? Did He make a way for me to cheat death?"
      1. Jesus
      2. "Because I live, you will live also" (John 14:19).
      3. "When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory" (Colossians 3:4).
    4. Fifth of Seven "I am" statements
      1. "I am the bread of life" (John 6:35).
      2. "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12)
      3. "I am the door" (John 10:9).
      4. "I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11)
      5. "I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25)
    5. Do you believe this?
      1. Believe: the theme of the Gospel of John
      2. If so, death is not a big deal (it opens the door for more life)
      3. "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" (1 Corinthians 15:55)
      4. Makes all the difference now and forever
      5. The Master is calling for you!

Figures Referenced: Woody Allen, Joseph Bayly, C.H. Spurgeon
Cross References: Job 1:21; Psalm 13; Psalm 58:6; Ecclesiastes 3:4; Mark 9:24; Luke 10:39; John 2:19; John 2:21; John 4:46-54; John 6:35; John 8:12; John 10:9; John 10:11; John 11:39; John 14:19; 1 Corinthians 15:25; 1 Corinthians 15:55; Colossians 3:4

Topic: Grief

Keywords: grief, Lazarus, Mary, Martha, resurrection



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Strangest Funeral Ever
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 11:33-44
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/892

According to one source, there are approximately 2 million funerals in America per year, which means that about 5,479 funerals take place every single day! Most of those funerals are pretty typical: a formal service followed by an interment. But the funeral service we're looking at was really different--and not just because of a resurrection. Here Jesus does three things that are pretty normal for most people at a funeral, but strikingly odd for Jesus.


Death is a very real part of life; everyone who lives will die—unless the Lord comes back before that.  How many people return from the dead on the day of their funeral? Lazarus has been dead for four days. It is the strangest funeral ever, because Jesus will perform his most famous, greatest miracle. Jesus has resurrected others: the daughter of Jairus, after a short time (Matthew 9:18-26), and the son of the widow at Nain, after about a day (Luke 7:11-16).

As we study our text, we have considered Jesus' delay and the interaction between Mary and Martha with Jesus. Now we come to the main event: ultimate proof of Jesus' claim in John 11:25, "I am the resurrection and the life."

400 years BC, as Socrates lay on his deathbed after drinking hemlock, his friends asked, "will we live again?" Socrates replied "I hope so, but no one can ever know." Jesus action here blows that notion out of the water.

  1. His Tears (vv. 35-37)
    1. Weeps differently from Mary, Martha, and the rest
      1. Κλαίο  Klaio- properly expressing uncontainable audible grief- (Mary, Martha)
      2. Δακρύω  dakrýō -to silently weep burst out silently in tears (Jesus)
    2. Why does Jesus weep?
      1. You'd think he would say "Stop crying!"
        1. He knows He'll raise Lazarus from the dead
        2. He knows Lazarus' sisters will soon embrace him
      2. Our God really cares about the sorrowful; it moves Him
        1. "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)
        2. "The Love of God" by Frederick M. Lehman
          The love of God is greater far
          Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
          It goes beyond the highest star,
          And reaches to the lowest hell;
          Could we with ink the ocean fill,
          And were the skies of parchment made,
          Were every stalk on earth a quill,
          And every man a scribe by trade,
          To write the love of God above,
          Would drain the ocean dry.
          Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
          Though stretched from sky to sky.
      3. Couldn't He have kept Lazarus from dying?
        1. Reflects the attitude of Mary and Martha. Why did He let Lazarus die? Remember, he healed the blind man ( See John 9) a stranger, but he let his friend die.
        2. Predictable argument: How can a good God allow suffering?
          Like a loving parent, discipline demonstrates you do love them.
  2. His Anger (vv. 33-34, v. 38)
    1. He groaned
      1. Root word means snorting of a horse
      2. He gave way to such distress of spirit as to make His body tremble
    2. He was troubled: Ταράσσω tarassó  agitate, stir up, trouble
    3. Not surprising for others to be angry
      1. Second stage of grief according to Elizabeth Kubler Ross
      2. Jesus was first to know Lazarus was dead
      3. Knew he would raise Lazarus from the dead
    4. He is angry at death itself and the sin that caused death
      1. Death was not God's plan to begin with
      2. We all hate death
      3. When someone dies we know it's wrong
      4. Jesus shares that anger; it's why He came
      5. Jesus is about life
        1. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men."(John 1:4)
        2. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
        3. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life." (John 6:47-48)
        4. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
        5. The Gospel of John theme: Jesus is about life (47 times in this gospel)
    5. We are powerless to do anything about death
      1. Powerless to redeem, save or keep ourselves from the grave.
      2. "For the wages of sin is death," (Romans 6:23)
      3. Myth: The only thing you need to go to heaven is to die
      4. Myth: If you want to get to heaven, do good things or be a good person
      5. Lazarus will be resurrected—to die again
  3. His Approach (vv. 39-44)
    1. With His face filled with tears and a heart filled with anger, Jesus goes to the Tomb
      Tombs - no embalming, bodies buried on the day of the death; natural cave or room carved in a rock, with shelves on wall for 8 corpses; body wrapped in bandages with aromatic spices in the folds to hide the stench for a few days. Bodies laid in state for 1 year, then the bones collected and placed in an ossuary (bone box) and placed on the shelved.
    2. Jesus prays publicly
    3. He cried out with a loud voice (with the loudness of a multitude)
      1. Jesus is about to do a powerful miracle, voice matches the deed
      2. Wizards would cast spells by muttering; He distinguishes Himself from that black magic
      3. Put's His credibility on the line
      4. To get His audience's attention
      5. Shouting Lazarus limits the response
    4. Lazarus came out
    5. He could have performed this from any place, but he went to the tomb
      1. As he had with the nobleman's son (See John 4:46-54)
      2. Could have directed Mary and Martha to go to the tomb
    6. Preview of coming attractions
      1. We will be raised from the dead
      2. "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation." (John 5:28-29)
      3. We will be physically resurrected at the rapture of the church—"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
      4. The resurrection of our bodies completes our salvation
        1. Salvation from the past penalty of sin (justification)
        2. Salvation from the present power of sin (sanctification)
        3. Salvation from the future presence of sin (glorification)
        4. The Lord created us as body and soul and has plans to redeem both
    7. Had the men move the stone away and loose and let Lazarus go
      1. Only God can raise the dead
      2. We should do what we can do
      3. Picture of ministry: we do what we can, He changes lives
    8. "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 18:7)

Figures Referenced: Socrates, John Van Doren, C.H. Spurgeon
Publications Referenced:  "The Love of God" by Frederick M. Lehman
Greek Terms: Κλαίο  Klaio- properly expressing uncontainable audible grief; Δακρύω  dakrýō -to silently weep burst out silently in tears; Ταράσσω tarassó  agitate, stir up, trouble
Cross References: Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 7:11-16; John 1:4; John 3:16; John 4:46-54; John 5:28-29; John 6:47-48; John 9; John 10:10; John 11:25; Romans 6:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Hebrews 4:15; Revelation 18:7

Topic: Resurrection

Keywords: Mary, Martha, Lazarus, resurrection, death, salvation, weeps



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: What to Do with Jesus?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 11:45-57
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/894

Any lawyer can tell you that whenever the star witness is a resurrected corpse, you have a pretty good case! But Lazarus being alive from the dead doesn’t seem to persuade everyone. And so the big issue becomes what shall we do with Jesus? The decisions made here set the clock in motion for an impending hate crime—the crucifixion of Christ. But from heaven’s vantage point, this is all part of God’s plan for redemption. Let’s see the responses and how we can make a difference.


Our choices are powerful and consequential: good or not good. Someone once said, "We make our choices and then our choices turn around and make us." Anytime a notable event happens, it takes time to process. We think it over and frame some kind of decision about that event so we can deal with it.

In his book One Solitary Life, James C. Hefley stated, "I am within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that One Solitary Life." How has He affected people? What are the common choices and decisions people make regarding Him? What do then do with Jesus? How can we help them make the right choice?

  1. Division--People Are Divided over Christ (vv. 45-46)
    1. Many Jews believed
    2. Some did not believe
      1. Would expect all would believe (not an evangelistic crusade, church service, or merely hear of them miracle; they saw the resurrection of Lazarus with their own eyes!)
      2. It is the hardness of a human heart that rejects an alien will ruling over them; it doesn't matter what they see.
        1. They accuse Christians of being predisposed to belief
        2. Unbelievers are predisposed to not believing
        3. Children of Israel
          Parting of the Red Sea
          Mann from heaven every day
          Water from a Rock
          Pillar of cloud and pillar of fire led them through the wilderness
          Their hearts were hardened
        4. When Jesus fed the multitudes with loaves and fish, soon after: "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more." (John 6:66)
        5. Rich man and the poor beggar: "But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.' " (Luke 16:31)
      3. According to Princeton University Religion Research Center, 82% of American adults agree with the statement: "Even today, miracles are performed by the power of God."
        1. They are not all believers
        2. Miracles don't cause belief
      4. Some didn't just not believe, they told the Pharisees
        1. Took the healed blind man to the Pharisees (See John 9:13)
        2. Afraid to believe or do anything unless sanctioned by religious authority
        3. It is a mistake to live your life through the lens of other people's approval
          "Fearing people is a dangerous trap," (Proverbs 19:25)
          What is your personal conviction based upon the truth of God's Word?
          What does the Bible say?
    3. Division is not always a bad thing
      1. "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword." (Matthew 10:34)
      2. When people are clearly divided they know where they stand
      3. "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad." (Matthew 12:30)

  2. Discussion--People Will Often Discuss Christ
    1. Some Are Afraid
      1. Saducees
        1. Council - Συνέδριον - sunedrion  Sanhedrin , seventy ruling elders of the Jews
        2. Probably a smaller meeting of representatives
        3. Don't deny the miracle occurred, but must decide how to deal with it
        4. Sadducees
          Not spiritual, liberal in their thinking
          Didn't believe in the Old Testament except the first five books
          Didn't believe in angels, spirits, or the resurrection
          Political more than religious figures
          Rich aristocracy of Jerusalem
          Bowed to what Rome wanted to keep their position and money intact
      2. Pharisees
        1. Strictly religious
        2. Believe the Bible and oral traditions
      3. Sadducees' and Pharisees' hatred for Jesus exceeded their hatred for each other
        1. Set aside their differences to come against Jesus
        2. Didn't want to allow Jesus to get in the way of their interests
        3. Their politics and status were at stake and were more important than spiritual truth or eternal life
        4. "Whoever seeks God as a meanstowarddesired endswill not findGod. God will not be used." --A.W. Tozer
    2. Some are Calculated
      1. Caiaphas - High Priest
        1. Blasphemous statement "Either Jesus must die, or this nation is going to die"
        2. God spoke prophecy through the blasphemy
      2. All around us, discussions are going on
        1. People are vocal and unafraid to express their opinions
        2. We should not be afraid to weigh in on the discussion
        3. Average human will speak 370, 110,001 words. Commit to allocating some each day to tell others about Christ
        4. "Anyone who has ever read the Bible knows that God wants us to be involved with spreading his good news far and wide. Nothing is more fulfilling than seeing ordinary people turned into extraordinary followers of God. Atheists who become missionaries. Once wayward kids who are now inspired worship leaders. Hardened inmates who become compassionate pastors.  Former drug abusers who rescue the lives--and souls--of addicts. Is there anything better? That somehow, in some way, God might take this seemingly routine day and surprise me with an opportunity to tell someone about the good news that has the power to turn their life inside out. " The Unexpected Adventure: Taking Everyday Risks to Talk with People about Jesus By Lee Strobel and Mark Mittleberg
  3. Determination--Some People Are Determined against Christ (vv. 53-54)
    1. Plotted to put Jesus to death
    2. Set the gears in motion for the crucifixion of Christ
    3. Wanted to save their nation
    4. Thought they had eliminated Him, he came back to life and started something they were unprepared to deal with
      1. Thousands converted to Christianity
      2. In 70 A.D. ,Rome destroyed their city and their temple
        1. According to Josephus, You couldn't tell a temple once stood there
        2. "The very steps they took to save their nation were the steps that destroyed their nation." --William Barclay
        3. John wrote his gospel in 90 A.D., 20 years after the destruction: the irony would not be lost on the readers at that time.
      3. Christianity continued to spread
    5. Schemes to get rid of Jesus
      1. Rome blamed the atrocities of their nation on the Christians (fed to Christians to lions, burned them at the stake, Caesar Nero used them as torches to light his garden, put believers in animal carcasses and let wild dogs hack them to pieces, molten lead was poured on them, etc. )
      2. Diocletian - another wave of persecution (ministers imprisoned and killed, churches destroyed)
      3. The more they were attacked the more they grew
      4. Worldview of Christianity became the dominant view in the Roman Empire
      5. 16th century, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote The Antichrist -called Christians sick , despicable animals
      6. 18th century Voltaire: "Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and bloody religion that has ever infected the world."
        1. Predicted his writings would eliminate Christianity in Europe
        2. Within twenty years of his death, the Geneva bible society bought his home, and used it as a center to distribute Bibles
    6. "Surely the wrath of man shall praise You;" (Psalm 76:10)
    7. New atheism
      1. Outspoken against Christianity, want to eliminate it
      2. Books by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, etc.
    8. If you oppose Christ, you stand in the company of Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, Caesar Nero, Diocletian, and what you try will not work. God will make it grow bigger.
    9. "The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one.'Let us break their chains,' they cry, 'and free ourselves from this slavery.' But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them." (Psalm 2:2-4 NLT)
    10. "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."  (Matthew 5:13-15)
      1. Salt
        1. The world is corrupt
        2. Salt prevents decay
        3. Without you the world will decay faster than without your presence
        4. Salt stops corruption
        5. Salt adds flavor
      2. Light
        1. The world is dark
        2. Light dispels darkness
        3. Light shows the way out of darkness
    11. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." --Edmund Burke
    12. The only thing necessary for evil to abound and Satan to triumph is for God's men and women to say and do nothing.
    13. You must be engaged, because even among the most ardent unbelievers there may be a defector or two.
      1. Joseph of Arimathea
      2. Nicodemus


  1. People are divided over Christ, so make sure you are very for Him.
  2. People often discuss Christ, so weigh in on the discussion.
  3. People are often determined against Christ. Don't let that scare you; live to see defectors.

Greek Terms: Συνέδριον - sunedrion  Sanhedrin , seventy ruling elders of the Jews
Figures Referenced: A.W. Tozer; William Barclay; Edmund Burke; Voltaire
Publications Referenced: One Solitary Life by James C. Hefley; The Unexpected Adventure: Taking Everyday Risks to Talk with People about Jesus By Lee Strobel and Mark Mittleberg; The Antichrist By Friedrich Nietzsche
Cross References: Psalm 2:2-4; Psalm 76:10; Proverbs 19:25; Matthew 5:13-15; Matthew 10:34; Matthew 12:30; Luke 16:31; John 6:66; John 9:13



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: A Meal to Reveal the Heart
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 12:1-11
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/897

If you were to step into the home of Simon at Bethany (Mark 14:3) on that night, you would've seen Jesus and His disciples along with Lazarus and His two sisters reclining at a low table for a meal in honor of Christ. But if you were to step into the hearts of those people, you would discover they were all very different from each other. Those inside the house and outside represent the gamut of feelings about Jesus—from adoring love to intense hatred. What a complicated meal!


Your physical heart weights a pound or a little less, but it pumps 100,000 times a day--pushing 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of arteries, capillaries, and veins. The Bible speaks about the heart as the core or center of being. The heart is where you decide, desire, and deliberate: It is the core of your being. "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23). 

According to the Bible, your heart is affected by the fall of mankind: ""The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT) Whether young or old, rich or poor, the same truth applies: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23). Some live their whole lives with a heart unchanged, unchallenged, unaltered: unsaved. Others meet Christ and He changes them from the inside out.

When we step into this scene at Bethany, we see some familiar faces: Jesus, Lazarus, Martha, Mary, the disciples. This occurs one week before His death on the cross. If we could step into their hearts, we would find different motives: good, bad, grateful, greedy, loving, and angry.

  1. Diverse Relationship (vv. 1-3)
    People who love Jesus in their own manner. They are gathered at the house of Simon the leper (Mark 14:3). Because we know that lepers didn't eat with others and were ostracized  we can determine that Simon was likely healed of leprosy by Jesus. There were at least seventeen people gathered at the meal.
    1. Lazarus - he sat
      1. Not a word recorded
      2. His life itself was a witness (a living testimony of the power of Jesus through the resurrection)
    2. Martha - she served
      1. Serving was her love language
      2. Martha has had a change of heart (see Luke 10:38-39)
        1. Not complaining
        2. Jesus is not rebuking her
      3. Serving with a different attitude
      4. Expressing worship through service
    3. Mary - she sits at Jesus' feet
      1. Oil of spikenard
        1. Plant of northern India, sold in alabaster flask or box; fibrous root 3-12" long, rooted 30-40 pikes; a sweet spicy, musky oil extracted used for baths and burial.
        2. Expensive: 300 denarii=one year's wage
    4. Three examples of unique relationships with Christ
      1. Allow for differences that exist between people and Christ
      2. God loves variety
      3. "There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us" (1 Corinthians 12:5-6).
      4. Allow individual relationships and expressions of worship as long as they are biblically based and not violating Scripture.
  2.  Dangerous Discipleship (vv. 4-6) Judas Iscariot
    1. First recorded words, chronologically
    2. Iscariot - from Kerioth; the only disciple not from Galilee
    3. Gospel writers always mention: disciple and betrayer
    4. Judas is a synonym for treachery
    5. He says the lavish gift is an extravagant waste
      1. He has a bitter view of life because he has a bitter heart
      2. What he sees is dependent on what is going on in his heart
      3. He is a thief: κλέπτης  kleptēs a thief who steals by stealth with a careful plan
    6. "That anyone could follow Christ as a disciple for three years, see all His miracles, hear all His teaching, receive at His hand repeated kindnesses, be counted an Apostle, and yet prove rotten at heart in the end, all this at first sight appears incredible and impossible! Yet the case of Judas shows plainly that the thing can be. Few things, perhaps, are so little realized as the extent of what desperate hardness and unbelief there is in the heart of man." J. C. Ryle
    7. Critical of people, hypocritical before God
    8. Judas is an illustration of Matthew 7:3
    9. : "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?"
    10. We should live like a set of forgiving golf clubs: with a bigger sweet spot.
  3.  Divine Stewardship (vv. 7-8)Jesus weighs in
    1. Affirms Mary
      1. Let her alone!
      2. Mary is a living prophecy
      3. Mary understands Jesus will die and be buried
      4. Mary is always at the feet of Jesus
        1. In her home (Luke 10:39)
        2. At the funeral of Lazarus (John 11:32)
        3. At this dinner (John 12:3)
      5. When at the feet of Jesus there is a special connection to understand His plan and will
      6. Hebrew idiom: to sit at someone's feet is to learn from that person
    2. Rebukes Judas
      1. "The poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always"
        1. Not endorsing poverty or apathy
        2. Quoting scripture: "There will always be some among you who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share your resources freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need" (Deuteronomy 15:11 NLT)
      2. There will always be opportunities for generous activity but you must seize opportunities for personal ministry
        1. Jesus will be alive only one more week
        2. We have unique opportunities in this life
          1. Give money
          2. Share the gospel
  4. Diabolical Censorship (vv. 9-11)
    1. Resurrection of Lazarus is big news; crowds are gathering
    2. Chief priests plot to put Lazarus to death
      1. Caiaphas: "One man should die for the people" (John 11:50)
      2. Now two must die
      3. Lazarus is the greatest piece of evidence to the power of Christ
      4. Get rid of the evidence!

The irreducible minimum: it is impossible to be neutral concerning Jesus Christ. "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad" (Matthew 12:30). The stand you take determines your own destiny, not His! Peter stated: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Your heart can be Christ's Home! (My Heart—Christ's Home by Robert Boyd Munger).

Greek terms: κλέπτης  kleptēs a thief who steals by stealth with a careful plan
Figures Referenced: J. C. Ryle
Publications Reference: My Heart—Christ's Home,  by Robert Boyd Munger
Cross References: Deuteronomy 15:11; Proverbs 4:23; Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 7:3; Matthew 12:30; Mark 14:3; Luke 10:38-39; John 11:32; John 11:50; John 12:3; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 12:5-6



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: A Day, a Donkey, a Deliverer, and a Decision
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 12:12-19
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/899

2000 years ago, on the final Sunday of Jesus’ earthly life before His crucifixion, He did the most unusual thing—He sat on a donkey and was carried into the city of Jerusalem in parade fashion. This formal presentation of Him as Deliverer was both profound and predicted. What’s the significance of such an act as this? What overarching principles emerge for us today? We’ll dig in and discover them, but today you’ve got to write them down yourself:


  1. Introduction
    1. Background
      1. Chapter 12 begins the Jesus' final week on earth
      2. The events of this final week before redemption are highly significant
        1. 1/2 of the book of John is devoted to Jesus' last week
        2. 2/5 of Matthew devoted to it
        3. 3/5 of Mark
        4. 1/3 of Luke
        5. From all gospels: four chapters cover first 30 years of Jesus' life
        6. 85 chapters deal with last 3 ½ years of His life
        7. Of those, 29 focus on the last week
    2. Triumphal Entry: Palm Sunday
    3. After many claims and many signs, for the first and only time, Jesus presents Himself as Messiah
    4. Donkeys
      1. Average lifespan 25-40 (up to 60) years
      2. George Washington owned the first donkeys in America; became a donkey breeder
      3. Favorite pastime: rolling in dirt
      4. Long ears: enable hearing and keep them cool
      5. Not only transport burdens and people, in some areas are used as guard animals
      6. According to the London Times, more people are killed annually by donkeys than die in airplane crashes
    5. Palm Sunday
      1. 10th of Nisan
      2. Date Jewish families selected the sacrificial lamb for Passover
      3. First and only time Jesus presents Himself as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the word
  2. Jesus is More Appealing than Religion (vv. 12-13)
    1. Religious people have come to Jerusalem for the religious feast Passover
      1. One of three mandatory feasts
      2. Celebrated the deliverance of Israel from Egypt
      3. Focal point of their history
      4. Same thing every year
        1. People wanted something more than their religion was giving them: more than endless rituals, prescribed prayers, and the same sacraments and ceremonies
        2. "He sits on the slope and places a blade of grass in his mouth. He looks beyond the flock at the road below. ..For over a week a river of pilgrims has streamed through this valley, bustling down the road with animals and loaded carts. For days he has watched them from his perch… he knew where they were going and why. They were going to Jerusalem. And they were going to sacrifice lambs in the temple. The celebration strikes him as ironic. Streets jammed with people. Marketplaces full of the sounds of the bleating of goats and the selling of birds. Endless observances. The people relish the festivities. They awaken early and retire late. They find strange fulfillment in the pageantry. Not him. What kind of God would be appeased by the death of an animal? OH, the shepherd's doubts are never voiced anywhere except on the hillside. But on this day, they shout. It isn't the slaughter of the animals that disturbs him. It is the endlessness of it all. How many years has he seen the people come and go? How many caravans? How many sacrifices? How many bloody carcasses? … Lamb after lamb, Passover after Passover...He turns his head and looks again at the sky. Will the blood of yet another lamb really matter?" -- from Six Hours One Friday: Living in the Power of the Cross by Max Lucado
        3. "I want my religion like my tea—I want it hot." --John Wesley
    2. Jesus Christ : a breath of fresh air in the malaise of dead religion
      1. "'Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.' He answered and said to them, 'Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?'" (Matthew 15:2-3)
      2. Jesus often hung out with tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes; His most scathing words were for the religious leaders: (see Matthew 23)
      3. Multitudes followed Him
      4. "Common people heard Him gladly." (Mark 12:37)
    3. Passover scene
      1. 256,000 lambs slain; 10 people for every lamb; approximately 2.7 million people
      2. Thousands of people meet him and shout "Hosanna!" Save Now! "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"
        1. Psalm 118:26: a Messianic victory song
        2. They are asking Jesus to do for them what religion has not done: bring salvation and deliverance
    4. Jesus: the most compelling figure in history
      1. "I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him." –Napoleon Bonaparte
      2. "I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history."--H.G. Wells
      3. "A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act." --Mahatma Gandhi
      4. "I believe there is no one deeper, lovelier, more sympathetic and more perfect than Jesus, not only is there no one else like him, there never could be anyone like him."-- Fyodor Dostoevsky
    5. Pharisees angered that the people have a longing that they cannot fulfill
  3. Scripture is More Reliable than Opinion
    1. A lot of people: a lot of opinions about Jesus
      1. Prophet (John 7:40)
      2. Not from God (John 9:16)
      3. Sinner (John 9:24)
      4. Prophet (John 9:17) (See Deuteronomy 18:15)
      5. Has a demon and is crazy (John 10:20)
      6. From Galilee, couldn't be Christ (John 7:41)
      7. Three times John recorded there was a division because of Jesus (John 7:43; John 9:16; John 10:19)
      8. What Scripture declares Jesus to be is more important than what anyone believes Him to be
    2. Application of prophecy
      1. Two old testament quotes: (Psalm 118:26; Zechariah 9:9)
      2. The Donkey
        1. During peace, kings rode on a donkey
        2. During war, kings rode on a horse
        3. Jesus is coming as the Prince of Peace, offering salvation through His death
        4. First coming in peace
        5. Second coming to judge and make war (Revelation 19:11-19)
    3. Accuracy of prophecy
      1. "Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, 'If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.' " (Luke 19:41-44)
        1. Jesus is referring to the Daniel 9 promise of the exact time of Messiah: "Learn and understand these things. A command will come to rebuild Jerusalem. The time from this command until the appointed leader comes will be forty-nine years and four hundred thirty-four years. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and a trench filled with water around it, but it will be built in times of trouble. After the four hundred thirty-four years the appointed leader will be killed;" (Daniel 9:25-26 NCV)
        2. Artaxerxes Longimanus commanded to restore Jerusalem on March 14, 445 B.C.
        3. Sir Robert Anderson in his book The Coming Prince determined: 483 years, based on the 360-day calendar year was 173,880 days. April 6, 32 A.D. (the 10th of Nisan)
        4. How precise is God? Does He keep His appointments? Can you trust Him?
      2. The disciples didn't get it at first
      3. "God's word is alive and working and is sharper than a double-edged sword." (Hebrews 4:12)
      4. Opinion doesn’t  matter unless it is as accurate as the Bible
      5. Scripture that reveals God with pinpoint accuracy is more reliable than anyone's opinion
      6. A God this detailed, accurate, and caring: is He trustworthy?
  4. Following is More Important than Observation
      1. Disciples –followers, learners (v. 16)
      2. Eyewitnesses to Lazarus' resurrection (v. 17)
      3. Those who heard the eyewitness testimony (v.18)
      4. Pharisees–the religious elite (v. 19)
    2. Only the disciples believed the Scripture and placed their trust in Jesus
    3. Great to make observations and study the life of Christ: observation should lead us to conclusions, which should lead us to action
    4. What are you doing about Him?
    5. Apply the truth and live it out in obedience to Him
    6. Of all the personalities, the donkey is the most compliant:

    The Donkey, by G.K. Chesterton

    When fishes flew and forests walked 
    And figs grew upon thorn, 
    Some moment when the moon was blood 
    Then surely I was born; 

    With monstrous head and sickening cry 
    And ears like errant wings, 
    The devil's walking parody 
    On all four-footed things. 

    The tattered outlaw of the earth, 
    Of ancient crooked will; 
    Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb, 
    I keep my secret still. 

    Fools! For I also had my hour; 
    One far fierce hour and sweet: 
    There was a shout about my ears, 
    And palms before my feet. 

Publications Referenced: London Times; Six Hours One Friday: Living in the Power of the Cross by Max Lucado; The Coming Prince , by Sir Robert Anderson; The Donkey, by G.K. Chesterton
Figures Referenced: George Washington; John Wesley; Napoleon Bonaparte; H.G. Wells; Mahatma Gandhi; Fyodor Dostoevsky
Cross References: Deuteronomy 18:15; Psalm 118:26; Daniel 9:25-26; Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 15:2-3; Matthew 23; Mark 12:37; Luke 19:41-44; John 7:40; John 7:41John 7:43; John 9:16; John 9:17; John 9:16; John 9:24; John 10:19; John 10:20;  Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 19:11-19

Topic: Jesus' final week

Keywords: prophecy, seventy weeks, Passover, donkey, religion



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Living the Right Life
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 12:20-26
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/901

If this sermon was a book and I wanted to sell lots of copies, the title would cause it to fail. Now if it were entitled "Living the High Life" or "Living the Successful Life," then I may have a winner. But many have lived with both success and riches who didn't live right! So what is the right life? Or to frame it with a better question: What kind of life is most pleasing to God? Through a series of paradoxes, John gives us the answer—it wasn't the answer most people are looking for!


  1. Introduction
    1. Doing the right thing doesn't come easy
    2. Most gauge goodness by their feelings
      1. According to research by Dennis Pragger, when asked "In an emergency, would you save the life of your dog or a stranger first?"  most answered, "The dog," because they love the dog, not the stranger.
      2. No higher standard of measure for most than their feelings
    3. What is right?
      1. According to dictionary.com: "What is in accordance with what is good and proper; in conformity with fact and reason"
      2. According to 1865 Webster's Dictionary: "Accordant to the standard of truth and justice or the will of God. That alone is right in the will of God that is consonant to His will or law, this being the only standard of truth and justice."
    4. Doing right is not always easy or comfortable.
  2. The Right Pursuit (vv. 20-22)
    1. Greeks want to see Jesus
      1. Possible spiritual Greeks, who have turned from paganism and are interested in the God of Israel (a Gentile group of God fearers).
      2. Perhaps secular Greeks curious about the philosophy Jesus espoused.
        1. At this time, Greeks were wanderers who would go anywhere to pick up the latest philosophy.
        2. "You men of Athens have no rest, give yourselves no rest, and you don't give anybody else any rest!"
        3. Searching for some "new philosophy" from Jesus
        4. "(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)" (Acts 17:21)
    2. Came to Philip first
      1. Philip was a Greek name (means lover of horses)
      2. Philip from Bethsaida of Galilee
        1. Near a Greek colonized area: the Decapolis
        2. These Greeks may have already known Philip
    3. John is the only one to include the story of the seeking Greeks
      1. Central message John is trying to get across
      2. Jesus Christ is not only the Redeemer for Israel and the Jews, but the entire world
        1. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
        2. "Then they said to the woman, 'Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.'" (John 4:42)
    4. The doors of formal Judaism are closing to Jesus; the door of Gentile opportunity are opening to Jesus
      1. This continues through Acts, as the gospel is taken to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. (See Acts 1:8)
      2. Gentiles seeking Jesus are bookends to His life
        1. Wise men from the east seek Him at the beginning of earthly life
        2. Wise men from West seek Him at the end of His life
      3. Jews wanted to see a sign; Greeks wanted to see Jesus
    5. To live right, you need the right pursuit: What is your master passion? It needs to be Jesus Christ.
      1. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)
      2. "One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple." (Psalm 27:4)
  3. The Right Provision (vv. 23-24)
    1. Jesus response is astonishing and unexpected
    2. Setting: He has presented Himself as the Messiah (Zechariah 9; Daniel 9)
    3. The Jews fixed understanding of the coming of Messiah
      1. Preceded by horrible turmoil in their land: the Jews believed the Roman occupation fulfilled that
      2. In the midst of turmoil, an Elijah-like forerunner would come, pointing the way to Messiah: John the Baptist
      3. Messiah would show up, defeat their enemies and bring in the kingdom
      4. Jews scattered throughout the world would return to Jerusalem, the center of world peace
      5. Jesus referred to Himself as the "Son of Man"
        1. A Messianic term
        2. "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14)
      6. They anticipate the kingdom will be set up, they will be let down.
    4. Jesus is a different kind of King
      1. Rules not by conquest, but by his own death and resurrection
      2. He makes a simple analogy
        1. I've come to die
        2. Illustration: grain of wheat (planted in cold dark earth [tomb] as it rots and decays out comes the plant and bears much fruit)
    5. Jesus is pursuing the provision
    6. First pursue Jesus as your Savior. Confront you sin and transfer it to Him by faith, trusting that His finished work on the cross is enough before God.
    7. "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21)
  4. The Right Priorities (vv. 25-26)
    1. Eternal Life not Earthly Life
      1. The principle of self sacrifice and death to self is now transferred to us
      2. "Hate your life": A Hebrew idiom, prefer one thing over something else so distinctly it is like comparing love to hatred
      3. "He who loves his life"  life - ψυχή- psuché mental life, ego, self-focused life
      4. "He who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" eternal life - zoe aionion- age-abiding life; not just quantity, quality; focused on God and His will
      5. When you live for self will and your life is all-consumed with your won will, your own comfort, your own physical temporary life, you are going to lose it all; however, when you prefer what is right, even if you lose temporary pleasure, you get life
      6. "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:37-39)
      7. Paradoxes of Christian living
        1. God's power is made perfect in our weakness (See 2 Corinthians 12:9)
        2. To be rich, we must become poor in spirit (See Matthew 5:3)
        3. If you want to be first, you must be last (See Mark 9:35)
        4. If you want to rule, you must serve (See Mark 9:35)
        5. When you humble yourself before god, He will exalt you (See James 4:10)
        6. The Christian life is in direct antithesis of how the world lives: We live by dying: our potential will not be reached unless we die to certain things.
      8. Most people consumed by food, fashion, and pleasure
        1. They value the body more than the soul
        2. When you value the soul more than the body, different choices are made
      9. "There was a day when I died, utterly died: died to George Muller, his opinions, preferences, tastes and will- died to the world, its approval or censure, died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends - and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God." –George Muller
      10.  "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die"–Dietrich Bonheoffer
    2. Serving Christ not Serving Self
      1. If Jesus Christ is just your Savior and not your Lord and Master, don't expect to have a full and satisfying life.
      2. Joy in knowing your life is honoring and pleasing to God
      3. "Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully!" (Matthew 5:6 GNT)
      4. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1)
      5. "Well done, good and faithful servant;" (Matthew 25:21)

Greek Terms: ψυχή- psuché mental life, ego, self-focused life; zoe aionion- age-abiding life; not just quantity, quality; focused on God and His will
Figures Referenced: Dennis Pragger; George Muller; Dietrich Bonheoffer
Publications Referenced: Webster's Dictionary 1865
Cross References: Psalm 27:4; Daniel 7:13-14; Daniel 9; Zechariah 9; Matthew 1:21; Matthew 5:3; Matthew 5:6; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 10:37-39; Matthew 25:21; Mark 9:35; John 3:16; John 4:42; Acts 1:8; Acts 17:21; Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 12:9; James 4:10

Topic: Christian Living

Keywords: lordship, lord, Greeks, gentiles, salvation, Christian living, Philip



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Cross-Culture
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 12:27-36
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/903

The term cross-culture emerges from the social sciences and typically refers to interaction of one culture or language with another. But that's not how I'm using it today. I'm thinking of it in the biblical sense, the salvation sense. Jesus' whole life was immersed in the culture of the cross and He referred to His impending death on the cross as "His hour." Let's consider today the culture of the cross of Christ: what it meant to Jesus personally and the world ultimately.


  1. Introduction
    1. The cross misunderstood
      1. For some: a tragic event; a murder
      2. For some: repulsive; the celebration of a Man who shed His blood in a public arena
      3. For most: a religious symbol that may or may not have power today
      4. A symbol to work some sort of "magic" for those who wear it or hang it in their house
    2. Conquest mentality
      1. 2000 years ago in and around Jerusalem, wanted Messiah to come to rule and reign; to conquer enemies
      2. When Jesus said "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified" thought:
        1. Glory of conquest
        2. A political deliverer
        3. Prosperity now
    3. Jesus was speaking of the glory of the cross; His own death. The cross permeates the New Testament
      1. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
      2. "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14)
      3. "For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2)
    4. Rituals of the church communicate the death of Christ
      1. Baptism
        1. Underwater: the death and burial of Jesus (See Romans 6:3)
        2. Out of water: the resurrection
      2. Communion: "Proclaim the Lord's death till He comes." (1 Corinthians 11:26)
    5. Some churches deviate from the message of the cross
      1. Pull out songs about the blood and cross of Christ
      2. Hip and relevant
      3. Celebrate personal satisfaction, your best life now
    6. "I simply argue that the cross be raised again at the centre of the market place, as well as on the steeple of the church. I’m recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a Cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves, on a town garbage heap at a crossroads of politics so cosmopolitan they had to write His title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek. And the kind of place where cynics talk smut and thieves curse and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died and that is what He died about. And that is where Christ’s people ought to be and what church people ought to be about."—George McLeod
    7. The setting
      1. Jesus has entered Jerusalem
      2. Days before His death
      3. The disciples had gotten him a donkey
      4. Crowds gathered shouting "Hosanna!" (Save now!)
      5. Jesus comes into the temple
      6. High hopes "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified"
      7. Let down: He speaks of His death
  2. The Cross-Culture and Christ (vv. 27-30)
    1. The Pain of It
      1. Matthew, Mark, and Luke give details about His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane
      2. John reveals Jesus' anguish going on days before the Garden, arrest, trial, and  crucifixion
      3. Troubled: ταράσσω - tarasso: to agitate, stir up, trouble (See John 5:4)
      4. Agitated because of the Cross; He knows and has always known
      5. On the cross He will bear the sin and guilt of every person past, present, and future.
      6. "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
      7. "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse (for us for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree')" (Galatians 3:13)
      8. In the Garden, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," (Mark 14:34 NIV)
      9. "And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22:44) (hematidrosis)
      10. The real anguish would be separation from the Father on the cross
        1. In the Garden Jesus calls the Father "Abba!"  (See Mark 14:36)
        2. On the Cross, Jesus calls Him, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46)
    2. The Glory of It
      1. He could have gotten out of it. "Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53)
      2. This was His life's work: "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Revelation 13:8)
      3. The center of God's plan.
        1. If Jesus did not die, there would be no substitute for sin
        2. If there were no substitute for sin, there would be no salvation from our sin
        3. If there were no salvation from our sin, there would be no hope
        4. If there were no hope, there would be no future
      4. His deepest motivation was to glorify the Father
      5. "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)
      6. God's voice from heaven
        1. One of three times
          1. At Jesus' Baptism "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17)
          2. At the Transfiguration: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" (Matthew 17:5)
          3. Now: "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again." (John 12:28)
        2. Authenticates Jesus as God's Son
  3. The Cross-Culture and the World (vv. 31-33)
    1. The World is Judged by It
      1. The first act of the cross
      2. World: κόσμος - Kosmos - the world system; thought and ideology controlled by the devil, poised against God
      3. When the world put Jesus on the cross, it was judging itself. "But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would never have crucified our glorious Lord." (1 Corinthians 2:8 NLT)
      4. The issue is always the same: What are you going to do about Jesus?
        1. Pontius Pilate (See Matthew 27:17)
          1. Crucifies him
          2. The scene will be reversed: Jesus the judge, Pilate on trial
        2. What you do with Jesus will determine your destiny.
    2. The World's Ruler is Cast Out by It
      1. Satan is the prince of this world
      2. The beginning of the end for the devil
      3. Five "casting outs" of the devil
        1. Cast out of heaven as a permanent resident (See Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28)
        2. At the cross, the power to destroy lives was taken from him. (The roaring lion de-fanged: [See 1 Peter 5:8])-Christians immune
        3. During tribulation cast from heaven to earth permanently (See Revelation 12:10)
        4. At the end of the tribulation, cast into the bottomless pit during the Millennial Reign of Christ
        5. Cast after that into the lake of fire
    3. The World's People Can be Saved by It
      1. Lifted Up
        1. Not lifted up in worship
          Lift Jesus higher, lift Jesus higher
          Lift Him up for the world to see.
          He said if I am lifted up from the earth,
          I will draw all men unto me.
        2. Lifted up in crucifixion
          1. By the act of being a substitute I will draw all men to Me
          2. "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up." John 3:14) (See Numbers 21)
          3. Believe they are sinners
          4. Believe that by faith it will work
      2. The cross draws people to Jesus (forgiven and a fresh start)
      3. Easier for people to believe that if they look to themselves they will be saved (earning a place in heaven)
      4. Pride of men causes them to look away from the solution that God offers
  4. The Cross-Culture and the Crowd
    1. Confused by Hearsay
      1. Remembering the Scriptures that speak to the glorious reign of Messiah
        1. Son of Man(Daniel 7)
        2. "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever."  (Isaiah 9:6-7)
        3. Political Ruler
      2. Neglected to think of the suffering Messiah
        1. "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)
        2. Crucifixion described in Psalm 22
        3. Pierced: (See Zechariah 13,14)
      3. Confused by the two comings of Christ
        1. Most people are confused about Jesus
        2. Most people are confused about the cross
    2. Confirmed by Jesus
      1. God doesn't want anyone confused about it
      2. In the midst of our culture stands the cross

Greek Terms: ταράσσω - tarasso: to agitate, stir up, trouble; κόσμος - Kosmos - the world system; thought and ideology controlled by the devil, poised against God
Figures Referenced: George McLeod
Publications Referenced: "Lift Jesus Higher"
Cross References: Numbers 21; Psalm 22; Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 14; Isaiah 53:5; Ezekiel 28; Daniel 7; Zechariah 13,14; Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5; Matthew 27:17; Matthew 27:46; Mark 14:34; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:44; John 3:14; John 5:4; John 12:28; Romans 6:3; 1 Corinthians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 11:26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 3:13; Galatians 6:14; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:10; Revelation 13:8

Topic: Cross

Keywords: cross, crucifixion



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Believe It or Not!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 12:37-50
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/905

Most of you reading this are believers. Some are not. Both are dangerous positions to take but for different reasons—vastly different reasons! This paragraph in John's Gospel is the summary of all that has been written, from chapters 1 through 13. It reviews the two different responses people have to Jesus and then gives us Jesus' own synopsis on faith and unbelief. Today you will be able to understand the real differences and consequences of faith and unbelief.


  1. Introduction
    1. God provided only one way for mankind to go to heaven: through Jesus Christ
      1. John will show us two groups
        1. Those who believe based on what they saw and heard
        2. Those who do not believe despite what they say and heard
      2. John provides a general survey regarding the people who encountered Jesus
    2. According to a survey by the Barna Group, among those who claim to be born-again Christians:
      1. 46% believe in absolute moral truth; more than half do not
      2. Less than 50% reject the notion that you can earn your salvation; more than half believe they can earn their way to heaven
      3. Only a minority of Americans believe in the Jesus of the New Testament
    3. We are entering a transitional section of the Gospel of John
      1. Jesus is entering his private ministry
        1. Intimate time with the disciples
        2. John 13-16, and some of chapter 17 focus on training the apostles
        3. Jesus ends his public ministry in John 12:36: "These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them."
        4. Soon he will be in the upper room with his disciples
      2. John assesses the first twelve chapters; Jesus' 3 ½ years of public ministry
        1. Commentary about the people around Jesus
        2. Commentary about Jesus Himself
  2.  Unbelief is Dangerous (vv. 37-41)
    1. They didn't believe in spite of the preponderance of the evidence
      1. Water to wine (See John 2)
      2. Walked on water at the Sea of Galilee (See John 6:15-21)
      3. Fed thousands with a few loaves and fish (See John 6:1-14)
      4. Healed the Nobleman's son long distance (See John 4:46-54)
      5. Healed the blind man (See John 9)
      6. Healed the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda (See John 5)
      7. Resurrection of Lazarus from the dead (See John 11)
      8. 34 miraculous signs recorded in the four gospels demonstrate Jesus' power over death, disease, demons, and nature
    2. Miracles are the suspension of natural law and imposition of supernatural force
      1. "There is no longer either need or room for supernatural beings capable of affecting the course of events in the evolutionary pattern of thought." Julian Huxley
      2. Saw and did not believe; willful disbelief
    3. Unbelief doesn't take God by surprise (See Isaiah 53:1, Isaiah 6:9-10)
      1. God is unshaken and unmoved; we should be unshaken and unmoved
      2. God's purpose isn't frustrated by the agnostic, atheist, or ardent unbeliever
      3. Glorifies Him in the end and accomplishes His purpose
    4. Unbelief has 2 layers
      1. Your own choice, will, decision, response
        1. Shown the evidence, examine, make conclusion
        2. Not a matter of can't: won't
      2. Those who persistently harden their hearts will have their hearts hardened
        1. If you persist in unbelief, God will confirm your decision (i.e., Pharaoh "I will harden his heart" [Exodus 4:21], Pharaoh "hardened his heart" [See Exodus 8:15, Exodus 8:32, Exodus 9:34])
        2. "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near." (Isaiah 55:6)
    5. Unbelief is progressive: Willful blindness will be punished by judicial blindness
  3. Faith Can be Dangerous Too (vv. 42-43)
    1. Among the rulers, many believed but didn't confess
    2. Persecution: faith can be life-threatening
    3. Persecution leads to compromise: "put out of the synagogue"
      1. "For the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue" (John 9:22)
      2. àποσυνάγωγος - aposunagogos - away from the synagogue, expelled from the synagogue, excommunicated
      3. Kicked out of the social structure of Judaism
    4. Martyrdom
      1. More Christians were martyred in the twentieth century than in any previous century
      2. More Christians were martyred in the twentieth century than in previous centuries combined
      3. Over 100 million Christians martyred
      4. One out of every 200 can expect to be martyred
    5. Persecution (i.e., in Philadelphia, eleven arrested for street witnessing and received a criminal sentence; hate-crime law disallowed the sharing of the gospel)
    6. Danger: tempted to compromise faith in order that those around us will like us
      1. "Do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10)
      2. Secret discipleship impossible
        1. Discipleship will destroy secrecy
        2. Secrecy will destroy discipleship
      3. "The fear of man brings a snare" (Proverbs 29:25)
      4. "Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the LORD means safety" (Proverbs 29:25 NLT)
      5. "Backward Christian soldiers, fleeing from the fight, with the cross of Jesus, nearly out of sight. Christ our rightful master stands against the foe, onward into battle, we seem afraid to go." –George Verwer
  4.  Jesus Shows the Difference (vv. 44-50)
    1. Faith Honors God / Unbelief Doesn’t
      1. If God sent Jesus, to dishonor Jesus, dishonors God
        1. "Whoever believes in me doesn't merely believe in me only, but also believes in the Father"
        2. Jesus and the Father are in joint partnership, when dealing with Jesus you are also dealing with the Father who sent Him.
        3. To say you believe in God, yet reject the one He sent into the world is in effect rejecting God
      2. Honor God: receive Jesus
      3. All the Father ever had to say to us is summed up in Jesus Christ
        "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son" (Hebrews 1:1-2)
      4. The World will not honor believers; the world will persecute you if you truly follow Christ
        1. Honor the Father or live to please men
        2. The church at Smyrna; the persecuted church
          "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich);" (Revelation 2:9)
      5. "It's preferable to have the whole world against you then to have Jesus offended with you." Thomas a Kempis
    2. Faith Brightens Your Life / Unbelief Darkens It
      1. Recurrent theme:
        1. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." (John 1:4-5)
        2. "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8:12)
      2. We can't be all God wants us to be until we walk in the light of Christ.
      3. Medical science can add years to life. Only Jesus adds life to years.
    3. Faith Opens the Door to the Future / Unbelief Closes It
      1. Jesus gives the eternal consequences
        1. Faith - eternal life
        2. Unbelief - judgment
      2. First coming, Jesus came to save: to be the sacrifice that atones for sin
      3. Second coming, Jesus will come as judge
        1. "Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war." (Revelation 19:11)
        2. The standard of judgment is the word He already spoke
      4. To receive Jesus Christ is to refuse judgment; to refuse Jesus Christ is to receive judgment
      5. God commands everlasting life
        1. "And I know that His command is everlasting life" (v. 50)
        2. "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent," (Acts 17:30)

Greek Terms: àποσυνάγωγος - aposunagogos - away from the synagogue, expelled from the synagogue, excommunicated
Figures Referenced: Robert Ripley; Norbert Pearlroth; George Verwer; Thomas a Kempis;
Cross References: Exodus 4:21; Exodus 8:15, Exodus 8:32, Exodus 9:34; Proverbs 29:25; Isaiah 6:9-10; Isaiah 53:1; Isaiah 55:6; John 1:4-5; John 2; John 4:46-54; John 5; John 6:1-14; John 6:15-21; John 8:12; John 9; John 9:22; John 11; John 12:36; Acts 17:30; Galatians 1:10; Hebrews 1:1-2; Revelation 2:9; Revelation 19:11

Topic: Belief

Keywords: belief, unbelief, faith, persecution, light



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: A Night Unforgettable
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 13:1-5
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/907

Some days are frozen in time because of the magnitude of an event. You will always remember September 11, 2001 and where you were when the towers fell. The night America bombed Baghdad or the night John Lennon was murdered may be permanent memories captured in your mind. This was the final night Jesus spent with His own disciples and it would be unforgettable. Let’s discover how what seem like ordinary moments can be extraordinary appointments.


  1. Introduction
    1. Some days are ordinary, some are important
    2. Passover Meal "What makes this night different from all other nights?"
      1. Part of the liturgy
      2. Remember the lamb slain in Egypt, the blood, and the deliverance from bondage
    3. Last Supper Meal
      1. Disciples have spent many meals with Jesus
      2. At least two previous Passovers
      3. This night would be different from all other nights, a night they would remember
    4. John uses chapters 13-17, and part of chapter 18 to record events of this single night
    5. Upper Room Discourse
      1. John alone records the information
      2. Jesus unfolds His heart to His disciples and trains them
    6. We may not know a time is special at the moment–"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.  Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.  Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.  One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return." –Mary Jean Irion
  2.  It Was Framed by a Sense of Timing
    1. Special Time - Passover
      1. Jews gathered in Jerusalem
        1. One of three mandatory feasts that those nearby must observe in Jerusalem
          1. Wanted to be there
          2. "Next year in Jerusalem!"
        2. pesach - Passover
        3. Josephus records 256,000 lambs slain during the era; 2.75 million people in Jerusalem
      2. The lamb was slain, roasted, and the people shared a meal to celebrate their deliverance from bondage
      3. This group was celebrating something different
        1. The Lamb was at the table with them
        2. "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)
    2. "His hour" had come (phrase used six times in Gospel of John)
      1. "My hour has not yet come" (John 2:4)
      2. "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come." (John 7:6-8)
      3. "His hour had not yet come" (John 8:20)
      4. "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified." (John 12:23)
      5. "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour." (John 12:27)
      6. "Jesus knew that His hour had come" (John 13:1)
    3. The gospel record
      1. 89 chapters total in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
      2. 85 of those focus on the last 3.5 years of Jesus' life on earth
      3. 29 of those focus on the final week
      4. 13 of those focus on the final 24 hours
      5. 579 verses zero in on "the hour"
    4. "Cut the Bible anywhere and it will bleed."—Graham Scroggie
    5. We celebrate the day of crucifixion, Good Friday, because of the result: forgiveness
    6. Make the celebration of the cross a priority. "In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'" (1 Corinthians 11:25)
  3. It Focused on a Private Gathering
    1. Having loved "His own"
      1. The twelve apostles: His closest friends, the intimate disciples
      2. Private meeting with a close group of friends behind closed doors
        1. Like a coach gathering the team before a game
        2. Like a general gathering soldiers before battle
    2. Jesus is training His disciples in John 14-17
    3. Why would Jesus spend his last moments with the disciples? After all, they are already saved.
      1. Evangelism is the disciples' job
      2. Jesus job to train and equip them to go do it
        1. Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19)
        2. "Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.'" (Matthew 9:35-38)
        3. "And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. These twelve Jesus sent out" (Matthew 10:1-5)
      3. We are saved, discipled, and turned loose
    4. Learn to live by a sense of divine timing
      1. Mordecai to Esther: "Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)
      2. "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)
      3. If you are 40 years old, you have 500 days left to live as you wish
        1. 25 years of life spent sleeping
        2. 18-25 years spent working
        3. 8 years of television
    5. Make your time count -
      1. "Redeeming the time," (Ephesians 5:16)
      2. "Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life."– Ralph Waldo Emerson
  4. It Featured an Act of Serving
    1. Jesus washed the apostles' feet
      1. Hot weather, open sandals, no paved roads or sidewalks; dirty feet
      2. Entrance to most homes had a pot of water at the door and a servant to wash feet
      3. Private room lent for Passover
    2. Disciples were arguing about who was the greatest. (See Luke 22:24)
    3. Any of the apostles could have washed the feet, but Jesus did it
    4. Jesus "loved His own" (showed them the full extent of His love)
    5. Jesus knew he had all power, authority, came from heaven, going to heaven, yet He washed feet
      1. If you know who you are, you don't have to prove who you are to anyone else: your identity equals your security.
      2. Jesus knew who He was and that enabled Him to freely love others.
    6. Who is hard to love, serve, forgive?
    7. At peace with your past, secure in your future, free to love in the present
  5.  It Was Filled with Shades of Meaning
    1. Showed them the full extent of His love.
    2. Jesus is acting in parable form what is coming.
      1. Rose from supper - got up from heaven to come to earth
      2. Laid aside garments - emptied Himself 
      3. Took towel and girded Himself - Jesus, though deity, wrapped divinity in a towel of humanity
      4. Pored the water and washed feet - He would pour his blood to wash away sin
      5. Wipe with a towel and dry their feet - When Jesus starts something, He finishes it. "He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;" (Philippians 1:6)
  6.  It Was Fouled by Sinful Plotting
    1. The devil came to dinner
    2. Judas is a contrast to Jesus
      1. Jesus made an act of sacrifice; Judas an act of selfishness
      2. Jesus thought of everyone but Self; Judas thought of no one but self
      3. Jesus gives; Judas takes
    3. Contrast the devil's philosophy and Jesus' philosophy
      1. "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:5-8)
      2. "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'" (Isaiah 14:12-14)
    4. Never more like Jesus than when you serve; Never more like the devil than when you refuse to serve and want to be seen and rule
    5. God has the last word:
      1. "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2: 9-11)+
      2. "Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit." (Isaiah 14:15)
  7. Application
    1. Learn to place more value on personal relationships
    2. Capture spare moments -
      "Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart." –Erma Bombeck
    3. Use your power to serve
      1. When servants serve it is what is expected; when leaders serve it is profound
      2. When asked the hardest instrument to play, Leonard Bernstein replied, "Second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who plays second violin with enthusiasm is difficult. Yet, if no one plays second fiddle, we have no harmony."

Hebrew Terms: pesach - Passover
Figures Referenced: Mary Jean Irion; Josephus; Graham Scroggie; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Erma Bombeck; Leonard Bernstein;
Cross References: Esther 4:14; Psalm 90:12; Isaiah 14:12-14; Isaiah 14:15; Matthew 4:19; Matthew 9:35-38; Matthew 10:1-5; Luke 22:24; John 1:29; John 2:4; John 7:6-8; John 8:20; John 12:23; John 12:27; 1 Corinthians 11:25; Ephesians 5:16; Philippians 1:6; Philippians 2:5-8; Philippians 2:9-11

Topic: Service

Keywords: Supper, Passover, Judas, His hour



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Basin Theology 101
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 13:6-17
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/909

At the final Passover meal that Jesus shared with His closest friends, He gave new meaning to the bread and wine, using them to point to His upcoming sacrificial death on the cross. Today we share Communion as a church family and reflect on that meal, as well as the lessons Jesus was teaching His first followers. After dinner Jesus took a basin of water and began to wash the feet of his students and taught them life principles about stooping, cleansing and serving.


  1. Introduction
    1. Theology
      1. Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth
      2. Systematic theology, historical theology, biblical theology, Johannine Theology
    2. Basin theology
      1. Jesus "rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded." (John 13:4-5)
      2. Basins
        1. Pontius Pilate washed his hands in self-preservation (See Matthew 27:24)
        2. Jesus washed the disciples' feet in self-sacrifice
      3. Live basin theology
        1. See the needs of others with a desire to serve and meet those needs
        2. Emerge from being cleansed ourselves and seek to forgive others and teach them how they can be cleansed
  2. Stooping is Often Misunderstood (vv. 6-9)
    1. The scene
      1. Not like the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci
      2. Disciples reclined around a 3-sided table (triclinium) with their feet toward the back
      3. Jesus worked the perimeter of the room, washing their feet
    2. Peter
      1. Always trying to be "Joe Spiritual" without much success
        1. "From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, 'Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!' But He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.'" (Matthew 16:21-23)
        2. "Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.' While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!'" (Matthew 17:1-5)
        3. "Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus." (John 18:10)
      2. "You shall by no means, under any circumstances wash my feet--no, never!" (v. 8)
      3. Not genuine humility--you don't tell God what to do
        1. Peter's vision and refusal to eat (See Acts 10:9-15)
        2. Peter at first refused the foot washing
      4. Humility misunderstood
        1. It is not: thinking poorly of yourself
        2. It is: not thinking of yourself at all
      5. False humility is actually pride
    3. From objection to overreaction
      1. Give me a bath!
      2. Peter had a hard time watching Jesus serve because Peter had trouble serving
      3. Trying to "out-humble" Jesus
  3. Cleansing is Never Unnecessary (vv. 10-11)
    1. Peter
      1. clean; he had a bath, he needs his feet washed
      2. Foot washing
        1. Before dinner take a bath
        2. Walk dusty roads to dinner, feet get dirty
        3. Servant wash your feet; not another bath
    2. "Jesus answered, 'A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.'" (v. 10)
      1. Λούω - louo - to wash the entire person; the whole body
      2. Νίπτω - nipto - selectively wash a portion of the body
      3. Come to Jesus Christ: "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." (Hebrews 8:12)
      4. Walk through the corrupt world, we get dirty feet "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
      5. All Christians have union with God because of what Jesus did; not all Christians have communion with God. Communion can be broken by a barrier of sin.
        1. Sin must be confessed
        2. We do not need to be born again-again
        3. Unconfessed sin hinders our relationship with God
        4. "You will have no part with me" - broken communion
        5. Followers of Christ keep short accounts with God
          1. "Search me, O God, and know my heart;" (Psalm 139:23)
          2. "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2)
          3. Cleansing from sin is not a one-time event; confession is necessary to restore communion with God
      6. "Give a man religion without reminding him of his filth, and the result will be arrogance in a three- piece suit." –Max Lucado
    3. Judas would betray him
      1. What Judas heard
        1. Jesus' teachings
        2. The Sermon on the Mount
        3. About forgiveness of sin
      2. What Judas saw
        1. People raised from the dead
        2. Healings
        3. Jesus walk on water
        4. Jesus multiply the loaves and fish
      3. Judas sounded spiritual
      4. Judas was a hypocrite
        1. He was never bathed all over
        2. A person can be very close to salvation, hear all the right things, sing all the right songs, carry a Bible--and be lost.
    4. Hypocrisy
      1. Jesse James
        1. Killed a person in a train robbery and was baptized the same day
        2. Killed two people in a bank robbery and joined the church choir on the same day
      2. "Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as 'Lord,' but they still won't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven." (Matthew 7:21 NLT)
      3. It doesn't help to get your feet washed if you haven't had a bath to begin with.
  4. Serving is Always Indispensable (vv. 12-17)
    1. "Do you understand what I was doing?" (v. 12)
      1. Probably did not understand
      2. They had been arguing about who will be greatest in the kingdom
      3. The mother of James and John asked that they sit on the right and left of Jesus in the coming kingdom (See Matthew 20:21)
      4. "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant." (Matthew 20:25-26)
    2. Jesus calls them to serve
      1. He is boss - if He does it, so can you
      2. He is the example - watch what He has done and do it
      3. If you do it, you'll be happy
        1. "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them." (v. 17)
        2. Humbleness equals happiness
    3. Moved emotionally, challenged intellectually: change spiritually when applied
    4. Great need in the church: restoration "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted." (Galatians 6:1)
      1. Not with ice-cold water; cold and formal
      2. Not with scalding-hot water; angry and judgmental
      3. Not scraping without water; abrasive
    5. The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
      'What is REAL?' asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. 'Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?'
      'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'
      'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.
      'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'
      'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'
      'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.'" (The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams)

Greek Terms: Λούω - louo - to wash the entire person; the whole body; Νίπτω - nipto - selectively wash a portion of the body
Figures Referenced: Max Lucado
Publications Referenced: Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth, by Charles Ryrie; The Last Supper, by Leonardo Da Vinci; The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
Cross References: Psalm 139:23; Isaiah 59:1-2; Matthew 7:21; Matthew 16:21-23; Matthew 17:1-5; Matthew 20:21; Matthew 20:25-26; Mattew 27:24; John 13:4-5; John 18:10; Acts 10:9-15; Galatians 6:1; Hebrews 8:12; 1 John 1:9

Topic: Service

Keywords: foot washing, service, humility, hypocrite, Peter, Judas, restoration, confession



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Betrayed!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 13:18-30
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/911

Relationships can withstand an enormous amount of pressure, but betrayal is sure to end most. The old English word means to hand over or to deliver. Think of it: while Jesus was about to deliver the world from sin and its destruction, Judas was about to deliver the Savior over to His enemies. If you've ever felt betrayed by someone, this study will have special application to you.


  1. Introduction
    1. Worst crime ever committed was selling out the Son of God for thirty pieces of silver (about $25)
    2. None of the apostles knew Judas would betray until that night (Jesus declared it to John and Peter)
    3. Judas
      1. His name
        1. From the word "Judah"
        2. Means praise (his parents probably hoped he would grow up to praise the Lord)
        3. Now a synonym for "traitor" (A "Judas" is someone who betrays a friend or comrade)
      2. Traditions
        1. In England, on Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent), drag a jack o' lantern figure through the streets, shooting it to pieces
        2. In Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, on Good Friday, a life-size straw or wood figure taken into the streets, spit on, kicked, cursed; called "Punishing Judas"
      3. Judas is the man who betrayed Christ: the betrayer
    4. Betrayal
      1. Causes marriages to split apart
      2. Causes friendships to be severed
      3. Causes nations to split
      4. Causes war to start
  2. The Prediction of Betrayal (v. 18)
    1. What Jesus Knew
      1. He wasn't surprised
      2. He quoted Psalm 41
        1. David wrote about a friend who betrayed him: Ahithophel
          1. When David's son, Absalom, rebelled, Ahithophel acted as a traitor
          2. Ahithophel hung himself
        2. "Lifting up heal" means to kick a person when they are down; a violent kicking, as in the neck
      3. Omniscient (He knows everything at all times); not a helpless victim of the crime
        1. The woman at the well: "Jesus said to her, 'Go, call your husband, and come here.' The woman answered and said, 'I have no husband.' Jesus said to her, 'You have well said, 'I have no husband,' for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.' The woman said to Him, 'Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.'" (John 4:16-19)
        2. The man with the withered hand: "But He knew their thoughts." (Luke 6:8)
        3. Demon-possessed man:"Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, 'Could this be the Son of David?' Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, 'This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.' But Jesus knew their thoughts." (Matthew 12:22-25)
        4. Jesus knew everything that was going to happen
          1. That Peter would deny Him
          2. That Thomas would doubt Him
          3. That Judas would betray Him
      4. His knowledge did not soften the blow
        1. We often emphasize Jesus' Deity, but neglect His humanity
        2. "He was troubled in spirit" (v. 21)
          1. ταράσσω - tarasso- agitated, troubled
          2. "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)
    2. What Jesus Did
      1. "I know whom I have chosen" (v. 18)
        1. Sovereign election
        2. Jesus gave Judas the opportunity to believe
      2. "Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor." (Luke 6:12-16)
      3. Why was Judas chosen as an apostle?
        1. To fulfill Scripture
        2. To love anyone at all is to be vulnerable
          1. You must take risks, even if it means being hurt
          2. Impossible to ensure you won't get hurt
          3. When you commit yourself to anyone there will be pain somewhere
          4. Anybody can love an ideal person; the challenge is to love the real person
          5. You will be betrayed; someone will take advantage of you
          6. Jesus continually demonstrated love to Judas
  3. The Paradox of Betrayal (vv. 19-20) (See Romans 8:28)
    1. Greater Trust in Savior
      1. Jesus told them in advance so they could see His claims were true
      2. As the idols were tested: "Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, That we may consider them, And know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; Yes, do good or do evil, That we may be dismayed and see it together." (Isaiah 41:22-23)
      3. Purpose of prophecy: to drive us to trust Him even more
    2. Greater Trust in Scripture
      1. Jesus quoted Psalm 41 to demonstrate His betrayal was predicted in advance
      2. After the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, the apostles recognize this was prophecy fulfilled: Study the Old Testament
      3. Prophecy transforms the way we look at Scripture; showcases its reliability
      4. The Word of God enables us to get through unstable times
      5. We should pass on a lifestyle of confidence in the Scripture (i.e., John Newton, parents had helped memorize Scripture and died when he was six years old. Lived with relative, hard life, joined Navy as a teen, went AWOL; joined the slave trade, in a storm about to sink, Scripture came to mind, and he understood it for the first time; cried out to God, life spared, gave life to Christ, wrote Amazing Grace.
    3. Greater Thrust in Service
      1. The apostles
        1. Jesus announced his death; troubled apostles
        2. Jesus announced the betrayal from among that group; casts discouragement among them
        3. Jesus reassures them, this doesn't change things: Their position and importance to His plan is so valued that when people receive them it is as if they receive God Himself.
      2. A betrayal by one person does not diminish our responsibility or our calling
      3. Hypocrisy should cause us to run to Christ, not run away
      4. In the midst of betrayal, ambassadors will go out
  4. The Proximity of Betrayal (vv. 21-30)
    1. Apostles reclining on left side around the U shaped table (triclineum)
    2. Jesus announced that one would betray Him; each apostle responded, "Is it I?" (Matthew 26:22)
    3. Guests of honor on Jesus' right and left side
      1. John on his right; leaning toward Jesus
      2. Judas on his left; leaning away from Jesus
    4. It was night
      1. John uses metaphor of light and darkness throughout this gospel
      2. Darkness had settled on Judas' soul
      3. Movement away from Christ is stepping into darkness
    5. Jesus reached out to Judas until the end
    6. Peter Miller (walked sixty miles to ask George Washington for the pardon of his enemy

Greek Terms: ταράσσω - tarasso- agitated, troubled
Figures Referenced: John Newton; Peter Miller; George Washington
Cross References: Psalm 41; Isaiah 41:22-23; Matthew 12:22-25; Matthew 26:22; Luke 6:8; Luke 6:12-16; John 4:16-19; Romans 8:28; Hebrews 4:15

Topic: Betrayal

Keywords: betray, betrayal, Judas, Last Supper, omniscience



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: A Brand New Way of Life!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 13:31-35
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/914

To follow Jesus is to have a brand new way of life. When these twelve men sitting around the dinner table started hanging around Jesus, they had no idea just how new and different their lives would become. At this final meal on that last night, they were still learning just how new their lives should be. (Jesus can still teach old dogs new tricks!) As present-day followers of Christ, let’s consider three aspects of life that become new once we become His disciples.


  1. Introduction
    1. Disciples and people in general  are naïve about defining what it means to follow Christ—to be a disciple
      1. Many think you add Jesus as another component to your life
      2. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
      3. A Christian is a brand new person, made new by Christ with a brand new way of life.
    2. Background
      1. Last Supper; Upper Room Discourse
      2. Judas has left the room; Jesus concentrates on the remaining, authentic disciples; He tells them what is going to be new about their future
  2.  A New Perspective (vv. 31-32)
    1. Believers are born again (see John 3:3)
    2. Jesus switches from speaking about the betrayal and the betrayer to being glorified
      1. Looking beyond the cross, when He is received up into heavenly glory
        1. Soon Jesus will be arrested, tried, beaten , mocked and crucified
        2. After all the pain mankind could give; Jesus will be home
        3. Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.' "Having said this, He breathed His last. (Luke 23:46)
        4. "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)
        5. Following Christ should give us this perspective
          1. We often look at the immediate not the ultimate; we consider how hard the road is instead of where that road is leading: heaven
          2. You can be so earthly minded you aren't doing any good
          3. Walk through this world responsibly, but get the view ultimately
        6. Joni Eareckson Tada
          1. In diving accident: quadriplegic
          2. Looks past the wheelchair to future
          3. "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18)
      2. Looking at the cross
        1. As horrible as the separation from the Father was and the physical pain was, it opens the door of salvation
        2. "Bringing many sons to glory" (Hebrews 2:10)
        3. Brings glory to the Father; it was His plan to send the Son.
        4. "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.  And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." (John 17:4-5)
        5. "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world." (John 17:24)
        6. As followers of Christ we need a new gaze and a new goal.
          1. It is not about us; it is about Him and His glory
          2. It is not about my happiness; it is about His glory
          3. It is not about how I feel; it is about His glory
        7. "Many Christians are only 'Christaholics' and not disciples at all. Disciples are cross-bearers; they seek Christ. Christaholics seek happiness. Disciples dare to discipline themselves, and the demands they place on themselves leave them enjoying the happiness of their growth. Christaholics are escapists looking for a shortcut to nirvana. Like drug addicts, they are trying to "bomb out" of their depressing world. There is no automatic joy. Christ is not a happiness capsule; He is the way to the Father. But the way to the Father is not a carnival ride in which we sit and do nothing while we are whisked through various spiritual sensations."—Calvin Miller 
  3. A New Relationship (v. 33)
    1. In a relationship with others, we hear their audible voice, see their body language and facial expressions;
      1. That is the kind of relationship Jesus had with the disciples.
      2. That relationship was about to change
    2. Little children
      1. Jesus was host of the Passover meal; acting as the father would act toward His family
      2. Reveals Jesus' tender care and compassion
    3. Little while
      1. 2 hours later He was arrested; the next day crucified; 3 days later raised from the dead; 40 days later ascended into heaven
      2. It would be too much for the disciples to know that we would wait on His return for 2,000 years.
    4. Up to that point their relationship had been in the flesh; now it will be by faith—a great advantage.
      1. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you" (John 16:7)
      2. Up to this point, the presence of Jesus was localized
      3. Now He lives inside every believer; promises the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will take residence in every believer.
      4. "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20)
      5. Now the relationship is universal
    5. Relationship of a disciple is one not of sight, but of faith
      1. "For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)
      2. We long for a relationship like the disciples had
      3. One day we will have that kind of relationship.
    6. Crabs when they are molting are vulnerable between shells
      1. They won't grow unless they get rid of the old shell and grow a new one
      2. It is uncomfortable for them
      3. We are like that when tossed and tumbled through life we want to depend on someone or something; God wants us to lean on Him and trust in Him by faith
  4. A New Commandment (vv. 34-35)
    1. Not a new Commandment
      1. "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord." (Leviticus 19:18)
      2. καινός – Kainos –new (not by age), fresh; a fresh commandment
    2. How We Should Love
      1. àγαπάω - Agapao- love; not the love of feeling, love of the will
        1. A mature love
        2. Doesn't mean liking
      2. The benchmark: as Jesus loves           
        1. Sacrificial -"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)
        2. Unconditional -"Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." (Luke 23:34)
      3. When Jesus loves, He doesn't love only lovely people; He loves people who don't love Him back.
      4. Loving like Jesus loves
        1. impossible on your own
        2. As a disciple following Christ, He will never give you an impossible command. If he gives the command, He will give you the ability to do it.
        3. As a disciple you have an unlimited reservoir and capacity to love.
          1. "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:5)
          2. If God's love can flow into our hearts, He will make sure His love can flow out of our hearts.
          3. No one in our circle of relationships should ever be loved starved.
    3. Why We Should Love
      1. All will know we are his disciples by our love for one another
        1. Jesus is giving the world permission to judge us
        2. The world looks at our lives to say we are real, authentic. The love is the evidence
        3. We remind people of God
      2. Love for one another
        1. Love fellow believers, they will know you are the real deal
        2. Like looking at a happy home and wanting to be there
  5. Application
    1. Ask God for a new set of eyes; a new way of looking at things
    2. Embrace the weaning process as he takes us to a place of just trusting in Him fully.
    3. Learn to measure your following of Christ by love (not by how many people love you, but by how many people you love)
    4. The apostle John told followers over and over to love one another. "Because it is the Lord's command, and if this alone be done, it is enough."

Greek Terms: καινός – Kainos –new (not by age), fresh
Figures Referenced: Calvin Miller; Marcel de Leclure
Cross References: Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 18:20; Luke 23:34; Luke 23:46; John 3:3; John 15:13; John 16:7; John 17:4-5; Romans 5:5; Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 5:7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 12:2

Topic: The Upper Room Discourse

Keywords: new life, love, perspective, upper room, glory



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 13:36-38
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/916

An old Persian Proverb reads, "It's harder to ask a sensible question than to supply a sensible answer." Many times our questions to God are reactive—based on a sort of knee-jerk reaction to painful circumstances. Peter asked Jesus two questions of this sort. But whenever we ask God questions we must hang around to get the supplied answers. The questions Peter asked are similar to ones we frequently ask. Let's consider and apply Jesus' outstanding answer


  1. Introduction
    1. God answers questions
      1. "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3)
      2. The Holy Spirit lives inside us
      3. The Word of God directs us
    2. An interruption by Peter turns into a conversation between Peter and Jesus
    3. Peter is prominent
      1. Speaks more than other apostles
      2. Addressed by Christ more than the other apostles
      3. Rebuked by Jesus more than other apostles
      4. In lists of apostles, Peter is always first on the list (Judas is always last)
    4. Frequently asked questions
      1. Lord, where are you?
      2. Lord, why did you let this happen?
  2. Questions from a Confused Follower
    1. Lord, Where?
      1. Peter's question reveals his self-centeredness
        1. Jesus spoke about glorifying God, loving one another, demonstrating the reality of who we are by our love for one another
        2. Peter's focus is that Jesus said He is leaving
          1. Not "Show me how to glorify the Father"
          2. Not "Show me how to love"
          3. Peter didn't care as much about those
      2. How are we just like Peter?
        1. The Lord tries to reveal profound, life-changing truth
        2. We don't hear because we are focused on our own immediate need
    2. Lord, Why?
      1. The disciples argued about who would be the greatest
        1. Peter viewed this news as a test
          1. Peter wanted to pass
          2. Jesus had revealed one would betray Him
          3. Like when Jesus asked "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" (Matthew 16:13)
          4. Peter wants to prove he is not the betrayer
        2. Mark 14:27-31 "If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" (v. 31)
          1. Peter felt misjudged
          2. He thought himself so loyal, he would never do that
        3. Jesus knew Peter better than Peter knew Peter: He predicts exactly what would happen
      2. When we get spiritually puffed up, we think we won't blow it
        1. Like the mother whale told her baby: "Once you get to the top and you start to blow, that's when you get harpooned."
        2. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." (1 Corinthians 10:12)
        3. Overconfident
  3. Answers from a Confident Savior
    1. Your Faithfulness is Expected
      1. Jesus is going back to heaven, Peter can't follow now (cryptic answer)
        1. What good would a direct answer do?
          1. Peter isn't grasping the answers
          2. Jesus had told the disciples directly, and Peter said No! (See Matthew 16:21-22)
        2. Jesus' answer reveals Peter would go later
          1. You can't come now
          2. In the meantime, just be a follower
      2. After Jesus rises from the dead and is about to ascend: "Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, 'Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?' And He said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.'" (Acts 1:6-8)
      3. Don't worry about the end times, worry about the meantime
      4. We can't go to heaven yet
        1. "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:2-3)
        2. We have a purpose to fulfill here: God has a plan and a purpose
          1. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:1-2)
          2. We should tell God: "Here is my life: Show me what your will is for me right here, right now."
    2. Your Future is Assured
      1. You shall follow me afterward
        1. According to church tradition, Peter died in Rome in 67 AD; crucified upside-down, because he said he wasn't worthy to die in the same manner as the Lord
        2. Peter followed Jesus in life, in death, and in glory
        3. Certainty: you shall, not: I hope you make it!
      2. Salvation should be a sure thing for those who follow Christ; if you follow Him today, you should know you will follow Him into heaven
        1. "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life," (1 John 5:13)
        2. "And Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.'" (Luke 23:43)
        3. Like ticketed and standby passengers at the airport
          1. Ticketed are relaxed
          2. Standby hover and unsure
          3. Both might make it, the difference is confidence
      3. Will Jesus say, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." (Matthew 25:21)?
        1. You need to be sure of it
        2. How can you know? Because Jesus said so: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
        3. "If you believe in Christ and are damned, I shall be damned with you." —C. H. Spurgeon
    3. Your Failure is Anticipated (Your imperfection in following Jesus is anticipated)
      1. Jesus asked "Will you lay down your life for my sake?"
      2. Jesus laid His life down for Peter, not Peter for Jesus
      3. Jesus predicts his failure
        1. Peter will deny he even knows who Jesus is
        2. "While he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, 'Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.'" (Luke 22:60-61)
      4. God knows all about you.
        1. When you fail, Jesus is not surprised
        2. "For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust." (Psalm 103:14)
      5. Jesus predicted Peter's rising: "And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.'" (Luke 22:26-36)
        1. Like football player Roy Riegels; ran wrong way, but the game was only half over
        2. Do you feel you've failed the Lord at some point? Want a do over?
        3. Even Peter had a deep and dark failure
        4. "They shall mount up with wings like eagles," (Isaiah 40:31)

Figures Referenced: C. H. Spurgeon; Roy Riegels
Cross References: Psalm 103:14; Isaiah 40:31; Jeremiah 33:3; Matthew 16:13; Matthew 16:21-22; Matthew 25:21; Mark 14:27-31 ; Luke 22:26-36; Luke 22:60-61; Luke 23:43; John 3:16; John 14:2-3; Acts 1:6-8; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:12; 1 John 5:13

Topic: The Upper Room Discourse

Keywords: questions, Peter, pride



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: A Theology for Messy Lives
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 14:1-6
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/922

Life can be pretty messy sometimes: plans fail, people leave, money diminishes, and taxes rise. There are plenty of reasons to be troubled these days but there are better reasons not to be! Life was about to get real messy for those disciples around that Jerusalem dinner table. At times like that, there are some basic instructions we need to fall back on so our hearts inside us won't be swallowed up by the mess around us.


  1. Introduction
    1. Life can be a mess; challenge our theology
    2. "Life isn't like a book. Life isn't logical or sensible or orderly. Life is a mess most of the time. And theology must be lived in the midst of that mess." —Charles Colson in his book, Loving God.
    3. For the disciples
      1. Hopes had risen
        1. Jesus' coming to Jerusalem
        2. Raised Lazarus from the dead
        3. Riding the donkey into Jerusalem; crowds shouting, "Hosanna!"
        4. Positions of authority in the kingdom
      2. Hopes fell
        1. "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain." (John 12:24)
        2. Jesus spoke of betrayal by one of them
        3. Jesus spoke of his impending death
        4. What if…
          1. Jesus does die?
          2. This is the end of all we have come to know and believe these last 3.5 years?
          3. This is it?
    4. For us
      1. "Last night, while I lay thinking here,
        Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
        And pranced and partied all night long
        And sang their same old Whatif song:
        Whatif I'm dumb in school?
        Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
        Whatif I get beat up?
        Whatif there's poison in my cup?
        Whatif I start to cry?
        Whatif I get sick and die?
        Whatif I flunk that test?
        Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
        Whatif nobody likes me?
        Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
        Whatif I don't grow tall?
        Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
        Whatif the fish won't bite?
        Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
        Whatif they start a war?
        Whatif my parents get divorced?
        Whatif the bus is late?
        Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
        Whatif I tear my pants?
        Whatif I never learn to dance?
        Everything seems swell, and then
        The nighttime Whatifs strike again!"—Shel Silverstein
      2. What if…
        1. I lose my job?
        2. I lose my home?
        3. I get sick?
        4. The economy gets worse?
      3. We need truth
        1. That will haul us out of the mess and place us in the capable arms of a powerful and loving God
        2. That when we feel like stopping, gives us the courage to keep going
        3. We have it!
  2. Messy Lives Should be Controlled (v. 1a)
    1. "Let not your heart be troubled" is a commandment
      1. Present passive imperative
      2. Not: don't ever start worrying or being troubled, but stop something already going on.
        1. "I know you're already troubled; I know your know life is messy. Stop being troubled! Get a grip!"
        2. "Let not your heart continue to be agitated" (Wuest translation)
    2. Ταράσσω, tarassó: stirred up; agitated
      1. "For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water;" (John 5:4)
      2. "Now My soul is troubled" (John 12:27)
    3. Since it is a command, our response can be controlled
      1. Whenever God gives a command, He gives the built-in capability to keep the command
      2. He would never give you a command you can't keep (i.e., jump over the moon)
      3. If Jesus says, "Get a grip!" a grip can be gotten
    4. As a Christian, you have the power to control your thought life
      1. "Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ," (2 Corinthians 10:5)
      2. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind," (Romans 12:2)
      3. "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind," (1 Peter 1:13)
      4. "So think clearly and exercise self-control." (1 Peter 1:13 NLT)
    5. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the most commonly reported mental health issue in America is anxiety:
      1. 13 million Americans spend the better part of their day feeling anxious
      2. They are not managing the mess; the mess is managing them
    6. Christians should be realists (not idealists or pessimists)
      1. Idealist
        1. Sees life as ideal; through "rose-colored glasses"
        2. Dangerous, because when life doesn't go according to plan, they crumble
      2. Pessimist
        1. Always negative; always bad
        2. Sees Satan everywhere
      3. Realist (believer)
        1. Sees a fallen, skin-scarred world
        2. Knows there is a God who has the answers and resources to deal with that world
        3. Jesus knows there are many reasons to be troubled in this world, but there are many more reasons not to be
  3. Messy Lives Must Have a Cure (vv. 1b-4)
    1. Jesus doesn't tell us just to stop worrying; He gives concrete reasons
      1. Not,  "Don't Worry be Happy" (Bobby McFerrin)
      2. Consider:
        1. How does what you believe affect your life in the mess?
        2. Does your faith really matter?
        3. What you really believe comes to the surface when times are bad
        4. Your faith is tested
      3. "The difference between a great Christian life and any other kind lies in the quality of our religious concepts . . . i.e., what we think of God, what we believe about Him." —A.W. Tozer
    2. Think of Who You Know
      1. "You believe in God, believe also in me": You trust God; trust also in me
      2. Jesus knew His disciples were in for the trial of their lives (watching the One they loved betrayed, crucified, and put in the tomb)
      3. Disciples have no reason not to trust Jesus
        1. Jesus multiplied the bread and fish
        2. Jesus calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee
        3. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead
      4. In the Upper Room, the disciples didn't have the big picture
      5. We today have more reason to trust Him than the disciples had
        1. They didn't understand the crucifixion would mean salvation
        2. They didn't understand the cross would be followed by a resurrection
        3. They didn't understand Jesus would conquer death and offer that hope to millions of others
      6. In our own lives, sometimes we don't have the big picture
        1. "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Romans 8:28)
        2. Trust stops tension; faith stops fear; worship abates worry
    3. Think of Where You’ll Go
      1. The Father's house: heaven
      2. The Bible speaks of heaven 532 times
        1. Country; heavenly country: speaking of its vastness (See Hebrews 11:16)
        2. City: speaking of the innumerable people (See Hebrews 11:16; Hebrews 12:22)
        3. Kingdom: God is King, reigning over all
        4. Paradise: indescribable beauty
        5. Place of rest: end of toil, tribulation, temptation
      3. Heaven is a real place:
        1. Variety: many mansions
          1. Greek: Μονή -moné  lodging, dwelling-place, room, abode,
          2. Latin: mansio- a stopping place, resting place; a room
          3. In the Middle East, families grew by adding rooms to their house: there's plenty of room for everyone
          4. We will die and go to heaven, eventually we come back to a renewed earth called the Millennial Kingdom for 1000 years
          5. After that : a new heaven, a new earth, a New Jerusalem (See Revelation 21:10-17)
          6. The New Jerusalem will be 15 thousand times the size of London; According to Henry Morris, 20 billion could easily inhabit it with only 35% used for dwelling places. Each person with a cubicle block with 75 acres on each face
        2. Personalized
          1. Jesus was a carpenter on earth; He is a custom builder now
          2. He has been preparing it for 2000 years
          3. He prepared it by dying on the cross: the sacrifice is the preparation that gets us to heaven
          4. If Jesus can do what it takes to get you to heaven, don't you think He can help you in the mess now?
        3. Relationship
          1. My Father's house
          2. Home in the truest sense of the word
          3. Not what you have; who you have
          4. The Father, the Savior, and believers who have died before will be there
          5. Jesus will bring with Him all those who sleep in Jesus (See 1 Thessalonians 4:14)
    4. Think of What’s Ahead
      1. Some will die; "Valley of the shadow of death" (Psalm 23:4)
      2. Rapture of the church; "Twinkling of an eye" (1 Corinthians 15:52)
  4. Messy Lives Can be Confused (vv. 5-6)
    1. Where I go you know and the way you know
      1. Jesus had shared incredible truths in the Upper Room
      2. He had told them plainly, and they should have known it
    2. Thomas:
      1. Honest: We do not know, how can we know the way
      2. When you are in a mess, you get preoccupied with how you are feeling
        1. Distracted thoughts keep you off track
        2. Be honest and clarify what you believe:
          1. Do I believe that God is good?
          2. Do I believe there is life after death?
    3. "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (v. 6)
      1. Narrow, exclusive dogmatic
      2. "I alone, in contradistinction to all others, am the road and the truth and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me." (Wuest translation)
      3. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)
      4. Peter: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
      5. There is no other way (no works, ceremony or religion)
      6. Truth by nature is dogmatic
      7. Heaven is an exclusive place: Do you know the One who prepared it for His own?
        1. If you know Him, and you know where you are going, that helps you manage life in the mess
        2. If you refuse to know him, it's going to get a lot messier for you

Greek terms: Ταράσσω, tarassó: stirred up, agitated; Μονή, moné: lodging, dwelling-place, room, abode;
Publication referenced: Loving God, by Charles Colson; Whatif? By Shel Silverstein; Don't Worry Be Happy, by Bobby McFerrin;
Figures Referenced: A.W. Tozer; Henry Morris;
Cross References: Psalm 23:4; Matthew 7:13-14; John 5:4; John 12:24; John 12:27; Acts 4:12; Romans 8:28; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Hebrews 11:16; Hebrews 12:22; 1 Peter 1:13; Revelation 21:10-17

Topic: Upper Room Discourse

Keywords: trials, faith, troubles, tribulation, heaven



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: How Can I Know God?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 14:7-11
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/924

What a thought—that a mere human can know God! The agnostic asserts this is impossible. The atheist insists that the very idea is an arrogant and purely metaphysical pursuit. But one of the reasons Jesus came was to reveal God's character and nature clearly and perfectly! Let's consider two roadblocks to knowing God and four resources that help us know Him better.


  1. Introduction
    1. Intellectual knowledge
      1. "Knowledge is Power"—Francis Bacon
        1. If true, this is the most powerful generation in history
          1. More computer power in a musical gift card than on the earth in 1950
          2. As much informational knowledge on one silicone chip as in the entire library at Alexandria, Egypt (700,000 parchments)
      2. The increase of knowledge
        1. If all accumulated knowledge from the beginning to 1845 were represented by one inch then:
        2. From 1845-1945, three inches
        3. From 1945-1975, as tall as the Washington Monument
        4. From 1975-present ever increasing
    2. Spiritual knowledge - knowing God
      1. "The loftiest of all sciences"—C.H. Spurgeon
      2. "Michael Persinger of Laurentian University in Canada  suspects that religious experiences are evoked by mini electrical storms in the temporal lobes, and that such storms can be triggered by anxiety, personal crisis, lack of oxygen, low blood sugar and simple fatigue—suggesting a reason that some people "find God" in such moments. Why the temporal lobes? Persinger speculates that our left temporal lobe maintains our sense of self. When that region is stimulated but the right stays quiescent, the left interprets this as a sensed presence, as the self departing the body, or of God."  (cited by Sharon Begley in "Religion and the Brain," Newsweek May 7, 2001)
        1. They world says, "it's all in your mind"
        2. God employs our minds, but it is much more than that
      3. Until Jesus, people didn't understand God in any kind of manifested form: "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." (John 1:18)
    3. Setting
      1. Jesus and disciples in the Upper Room
      2. Jesus is comforting them before He leaves
        1. He will be killed the next day
        2. This is their final meal
        3. They are fearful and distraught
          1. Jesus is leaving
          2. Jesus will be killed
          3. Peter will deny Him
          4. Judas will betray Him
      3. Jesus and Thomas have had a conversation: "Thomas said to Him, 'Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?' Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" (John 14:5-6)
      4. Now, Jesus and Philip have a conversation
  2. Roadblocks to Knowing God
    1. Inaccurate Comprehension (v. 7)
      1. The disciples hadn't fully understood who Jesus was
      2. John uses "know" four times in this passage
        1. Important word to John, used 141 times
        2. "Believe" used 98 times
      3. John uses "know" in four different ways
        1. Knowing a fact
        2. Understanding the truth
        3. Knowing a person relationally
        4. Having a deeper, fuller comprehension of a person's identity (this is how Jesus uses the term here)
      4. The disciples were acquainted with Him, knew who He was, but didn't fully comprehend His identity
        1. "Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" (Matthew 8:27)
        2. Disciples – 3.5 year discovery process
        3. "Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'" (Matthew 16:16)
        4. Disciples knew: He did miracles, spoke well, Messiah, but did not grasp His deity
        5. They will grasp His deity after the resurrection: "And Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'" (John 20:28)
      5. Application
        1. Our upbringing, culture, customs, and worldview form the lens by which we view God
        2. Who you think God is and who God is may not be the same
        3. Important to understand who He is by who He reveals Himself to be
    2. Inappropriate Confirmation (v. 8)
      1. The need for proof
      2. Jesus had tested Philip in the past; Philip failed (see John 6:1-10)
      3. Wanting to see God
        1. Longing to see Him is the basis for our worship; one day we will see Him
          1. Moses: "Please, show me Your glory." (Exodus 33:18)
          2. Earthly worship service will not satisfy, rather they whet your appetite
          3. Longing to see him is at the core of who we are
        2. Longing to see him can be an excuse for unbelief: "If I can see, than I will believe"
        3. Longing to see Him is a root of idolatry
          1. Attempt to bring God to a human level
          2. Worship images
          3. See him in clouds, toast, etc.
  3. Resources for Knowing God
    1. Being in His Presence (v. 9)
      1. It is possible to be around someone and not fully know who they are
      2. Also possible to know God with an open heart and inquisitive mind
      3. Application
        1. Unbelievers – Spend time investigating the evidences for Jesus Christ: "You will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 4:29)
        2. Believers – Evaluate the time spent with God
          1. Not time spent for God, time spent with Him
          2. Ephesian church left their first love (see Revelation 2:4)
          3. Don't be so busy about the King's business that you forget the King Himself
    2. Believing in His Person (v. 10a)
      1. Believe in me: speaking to believers
      2. Go on believing, keep it up (vs. 11): present, active indicative tense
      3. Don't just get saved by faith, grow by faith: learn to trust Him
        1. "We hope that your faith will grow," (2 Corinthians 10:15 NLT)
        2. "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)
      4. Application
        1. Is your faith growing, or is it stagnant?
        2. Is your faith active, or is it in need of life support?
        3. "And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him." And the apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith.'" (Luke 17:4)
    3. Bending to His Word (v. 10b)
      1. Jesus appeals to the words He spoke
      2. Reactions to His word
        1. Hostile
        2. Comfort
        3. "And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." (Matthew 7:28-29)
        4. "The officers answered, 'No man ever spoke like this Man!'" (John 7:46)
      3. "The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me."  —Martin Luther
      4. One of the strongest signs of a real child of God is that person's hunger to learn more about God.
      5. According to George Gallup Jr., we are a nation of biblical illiterates:
        1. four out of ten Americans do not know Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount
        2. Most Americans cannot name the four gospels
        3. Only three out of ten teens know why Easter is celebrated
    4. Beholding His Works (v. 11) : Not just getting information, but seeing transformation
      1. Wherever Jesus is, He changes lives
      2. God is in the business of working

Publications Referenced: "Religion and the Brain," by Sharon Begley Newsweek May 7, 2001
Figures Referenced: Francis Bacon; C.H. Spurgeon ; Michael Persinger; Martin Luther; George Gallup Jr.
Cross References: Exodus 33:18; Deuteronomy 4:29; Matthew 7:28-29; Matthew 8:27; Matthew 16:16; Luke 17:4; John 1:18; John 6:1-10; John 7:46; John 14:5-6; John 20:28; 2 Corinthians 10:15; Hebrews 11:6; Revelation 2:4

Topic: The Upper Room Discourse

Keywords: knowing God, knowledge, believe



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Privileges of God's Employees
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 14:12-14
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/930

Most companies have benefits for employees: things like overtime pay, health insurance, and sick pay. In 2 Corinthians 6:1, Paul calls us "workers together with Him" (NLT renders it "God's partners"). We have been called to a high and lofty task—to be His representatives here on earth. You might say we're part of the "family business." So what has God called us to do? And how has He provided for us in terms of resources? In short, what are the benefits of being God's employees?


  1. Introduction
    1. We work for God; we are His employees
      1. "Workers together with Him" (2 Corinthians 6:1)
      2. We work for the best company in the world
        1. Our product works universally: The gospel works everywhere
        2. Offices worldwide: find believers around the globe
        3. Outstanding benefits
          1. Forgiveness for the past
          2. Meaning and peace of mind for the present
          3. Retirement package: out of this world (literally)
        4. Additional privileges
    2. Upper Room Discourse (John 13-16)
      1. Setting
        1.  Final Passover meal Jesus shares with the apostles
        2. Few hours before the cross
      2. Jesus teaching them to invest their lives in God's global plan (not entertaining or counseling)
      3. Interruptions
        1. Peter (See 13:36-38)
          1. Where are you going? Why can't we follow you?
          2. Jesus: Not now, but later
        2. Thomas (See John 14:4-6)
          1. Jesus: You know where I'm going and the way
          2. Thomas: We have no clue where you are going! How can we know the way?
          3. Jesus: I am the way, the truth and the life
        3. Philip (See John 14:8-11)
          1. Show us the Father!
          2. You're looking at Him!
      4. Jesus' focus is the future plan of God that includes the apostles
      5. Fabulous promises, often misunderstood
      6. Better than being there
        1. We can pause and focus
        2. Take what is written and separate it from the emotion of the moment
  2. The Privilege of Purpose (v. 12a)
    1. There is a divine purpose God wants us to spend our energy on
      1. amēn: truly
      2. erga: energy
    2. People wonder: Why am I here? What's the plan and purpose of my life?
      (Without that knowledge, life is disorienting)
      1. Like an Amazonian tribesman in Times Square, New York City
      2. Living in God's universe without understanding how we fit in
      3. "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation"—Henry David Thoreau
      4. Don't know the purpose
    3. In Christ, we have purpose:
      1. We understand that God is working out His plan in the present world, and we are a part of it
      2. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)
    4. How it works
      1. Salvation
        1. Receive Christ
        2. Come to church and are fed
        3. Soon desire to give, not just receive
      2. Service
        1. Our purpose
        2. God's plan
        3. Ask: What are my spiritual gifts? What is my calling? How can I be equipped?
    5. "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only," (James 1:22)
    6. "It's like a son who is being brought into the family business. Instead of racing fast cars and running around with girls, he finally buckles down and says, 'Dad, I'm part of it. It's my business, too, and I'm going to work hard and undertake the burden of this work.' That is real maturity."
  3. The Privilege of Proportion (v. 12b)
    1. Miracles of Jesus
      1. 40 recorded miracles in the gospels (raising the dead, walking on water, calming the sea, turning water to wine, feeding thousands with a few loaves and fish)
      2. "And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen." (John 21:25)
    2. Interpretations
      1. Miraculous physical works, confined to the apostles
        1. Replicating miracles Jesus did
          1. "And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people." (Acts 5:12)
          2. "And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed." (Acts 5:14-16)
        2. Problems
          1. Jesus didn't limit the promise to apostles: "He who believes"
          2. People other than apostles did miracles: Stephen, Philip
          3. Were the works of apostles greater? No!
          4. Reports in subsequent church history: Irenaeus, Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Ignatius
      2. Physical signs and wonders done by everyone who has enough faith
        1. Faith movement
          1. Emphasize belief
          2. Not enough people with enough faith
          3. Speak in faith, make positive confession
        2. Problems
          1. Jesus said "He who believe in me" not "He who believes a miracle will be done"
          2. Jesus makes a declaration, not an offer
      3. Spiritual works
        1. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit
          1. "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever" (John 14:16)
          2. "But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you." (John 16:6-7)
        2. Jesus is comforting the apostles
          1. They think that since Jesus is leaving, "there goes the power!"
          2. Jesus reassures them that it's not over, it is just beginning
        3. Works not greater in power, magnitude, or intensity, but greater in extent
          1. On the Day of Pentecost: 3000 came to faith in Christ
          2. Within 30 years, the apostles took the gospel to Judea, Samaria, Syria, Asia Minor, Ethiopia, India, Macedonia, Greece, and Rome
          3. More were saved in the first few months after Jesus' ascension than in His entire lifetime upon the earth
          4. Within 300 years, millions came to faith in Christ
        4. Quantitatively (not qualitatively) greater
        5. Missions
          1. In Africa, 20,000 conversions to Christ daily
          2. In Latin America, 10,000 conversions to Christ daily
        6. Greatest work not a physical healing of the body, but getting a sinner to heaven
  4.  The Privilege of Prayer (vv. 13-14)
    1. How the job Jesus gives will be done
      1. Jesus had fed, helped them fish, provided tax money, now He is leaving
      2. Jesus may be going away, but just ask and He will give them the resources they need
    2. The gap between where Jesus is and where we are is closed when we pray
    3. Misunderstood: not a blanket promise to fulfill our whims when we say "In Jesus' name"
    4. In Jesus' name
      1. Name embodied all that a person was: character, reputation
      2. To pray for something consistent with His character
      3. "Lord I'm asking this for the sake of Jesus Christ because I know this will bring glory to Him and will ultimately glorify you."
      4. According to His mind, His will, for His sake, His glory
      5. "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." (1 John 5:14-15)
  5. Application
    1. When was the last time you prayed to see greater works accomplished in your life?
    2. Pray: Lord I want to be a part of what you are doing.
    3. The task is so big, the people are so many, and the work is too hard!
      1. You are not the manufacturer, you are the distributor
      2. The enormity of the work spurs us on. It's the great commission
      3. Great works accomplished by the combination of smaller parts (add your part, you can't do it all)

Greek Terms: amēn: truly; erga: energy
Figures Referenced: Henry David Thoreau; Irenaeus; Tertullian; Justin Martyr; Ignatius; Linda Claire;
Cross References: John 13:36-38; John 14:4-6; John 14:8-11; John 14:16; John 16:6-7; John 21:25; Acts 5:14-16; 2 Corinthians 6:1; Ephesians 2:10; James 1:22; 1 John 5:14-15

Topic: Upper Room Discourse

Keywords: prayer, in Jesus' name, in Jesus name, works, greater works, purpose, meaning of life



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Four Part Harmony
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 14:15-18
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/932

Some of the best moments on American Idol aren't the solo performances, but when all the singers join together and blend their voices in harmony. There's nothing sweeter than well-trained voices blended together in first, thirds, and fifths. Spiritual harmony is much the same—when believers blend with the triune Godhead there is an alignment that results in a deep sense of fulfillment. And what is the note we are to sing in this spiritual song? It is the note of loving obedience!


  1. Introduction
    1. Unity in the Trinity
      1. Eternal
      2. First revealed: "Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:26-27).
      3. No dissension
    2. If our spiritual life is out of tune, who's singing off key? Us!
    3. This passage is the first time in John that Jesus introduces the concept of the Trinity
    4. Cannot unravel the mystery of the Trinity
    5. Unveil the ministry of the Trinity
      1. Father: Great Composer
      2. Jesus Christ: First Violin
      3. Holy Spirit: Conductor
    6. The church takes our cues from Him
      1. Our job is to cooperate
      2. We are not to rewrite the score, ad lib, try to be the conductor
    7. Ludwig Van Beethoven
    8. The genius is not so much in the capability as it is the cooperation
  2. The Father's Part—Provider
    1. The Father gives, supplies furnishes what is necessary; He is the source
    2. Yahweh Yireh; Jehovah Jireh - the Lord will provide (see Genesis 22:14)
    3. "Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;" —Doxology, Thomas Ken
    4. God provides:
      1. Life (see 1 Timothy 6:13)
      2. Satisfaction (see Ecclesiastes 2:26)
      3. Ability to work (see Deuteronomy 8:18)
      4. Salvation (see John 3:16)
      5. Holy Spirit (see John 14:16)
      6. "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)
    5. In The Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11) we are to rely on Him for everything
    6. God treats us well
      1. "My cup runs over" (Psalm 23:5)
      2. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:11)
    7. Our part
      1. To receive those gifts He provides
      2. Have you received His greatest gift, Jesus Christ?
  3. The Savior's Part—Intercessor
    1. Communicates with the Father as an equal
      1. Not inferior to superior, as we do
      2. As king to king
    2. V. 16 marks the intercessory work of Jesus for His followers
      1. The ministry Jesus has been performing for 2000 years
      2. Jesus talks to the Father about His disciples
        1. For the apostles (see John 17:9)
        2. For us: "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;" (John 17:20)
    3. The work of Christ
      1. Finished work: Jesus paid for our sins when He died on the cross "It is finished" (John 19:30)
        1. Can't add to it
        2. Can't take away from it
      2. Unfinished work: intercession
        1. "Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." (Romans 8:34)
        2. "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)
        3. "If anyone sins we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1)
          1. The enemy accuses us day and night (see Revelation 12:10)
          2. Jesus is our defense attorney
        4. His unfinished work is based on His finished work
  4. The Spirit's Part—Helper
    1. How the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit
      1. A Person
        1. Jesus uses personal pronouns (Whom, Him, He) to describe Him
        2. Not a force, feeling, or mode of God
      2. God
    2. The Trinity is incomprehensible
      1. One God eternally existent in three persons
      2. Like putting the ocean into a hole; impossible to take the limitless and stuff it into something limited (Augustine of Hippo illustration)
    3. Παράκλητος; Parakletos - Helper
      1. Counselor, Comforter; One called alongside you to help you
      2. God knows we need all the help we can get; the Christian life is not easy
      3. "Watches, cars and Christians can all look chromed and shiny. But watches don't tick, cars don't go, and Christians don't make a difference without insides. For a Christian, that's the Holy Spirit. "—Tim Downs
    4. Another Helper
      1. In Greek, two words for another
        1. heteros - another of a different kind
        2. allos - another of the same kind
      2. Exactly like Jesus had been
      3. Not orphans (orphanos - orphans, fatherless, desolate)
    5. Permanent Helper - forever
      1. With you; comes after you to save you
      2. In you; sanctifies you
      3. Upon you; empowers you
    6. Reliable Helper
      1. The spirit of truth (v. 17)
      2. aletheias - truth
      3. The genuine source of truth
      4. Tells the truth about you and about God and His righteousness
        1. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.  And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come." (John 16:7-13)
        2. Apart from the Holy Spirit, no one can know the truth about their sinful condition, the righteousness of God, and what it takes to get to God
      5. How you can tell a person is filled with the Holy Spirit
        1. Holy
        2. Truthful (love truth, a balance of all Scripture, not focused on one truth)
    7. Exclusive Helper
      1. World cannot receive the Holy Spirit
        1. Don't believe in what they cannot see
        2. "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)
      2. The Holy Spirit opens eyes and hearts
  5. The Believer's Part—Conformer 
    1. Keep and obey the commandments (General lifestyle of obedience)
    2. If we are not obedient, we are fighting the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
    3. "Once there was a tune and everyone knew how it went
      But as time went by, people began to forget
      Until at last no one could remember.
      And there was hatred, and wars, and death.
      Then one day somebody said, "How does the tune go?"
      "There is no tune, there never was; it's only a myth."
      These were the philosophers.
      "You mean there's no tune at all?"
      "Well, it doesn't really matter what tune you play
      As long as you play something."
      These were the religious leaders.
      And so the world played on.
      And there was hatred, and wars, and death.
      Then one day the people became weary of this song
      And they all sat down on the side of a hill
      And suddenly they heard a very strange voice
      And somebody said, "That sounds like the tune."
      "There is no tune, there never was, there never will be."
      "Well, it doesn't really matter what tune you play
      As long as you play something
      And you don't hurt anybody - especially me."
      But the people listened
      And a man appeared before them
      With a smile on his face
      And a sad look, too,
      And he was singing the tune.
      And some of the people began to sing along.
      And the people who loved Him
      Decided to follow him,
      But the people who hated him
      Decided to kill him. And they did.
      And when it was finished,
      They went back to their houses of philosophy and religion
      And they sat down to their tables to eat and drink.
      Suddenly, they were interrupted by a familiar voice
      And they ran to their windows and looked outside
      To see who it was. It was him.
      And they became confused and afraid
      And they wondered how they could be rid of him
      Once and for all.
      And while they were watching him,
      Something very strange happened.
      "How did he do that?"
      "I don't really know, but he's gone...
      And when trouble goes, you don't ask where.
      He'll never return again. I hope."
      Yet again they were interrupted.
      This time they ran out into the streets to lay hold of him
      But they couldn't find him.
      Just a lot of people smiling, and they all know the tune.
      And when the people made a mistake
      They stopped and they listened.
      That's how they knew the tune,
      Because they listened.
      And if you listen, you'll hear it.
      It's all around you.
      Just listen to your radio,
      Watch television,
      Listen to your leaders, to the authorities,
      To the governments, to the experts.
      But if you really listen,
      You can hear another tune,
      But you have to listen quietly,
      And you have to listen every day."—The Tune by Larry Norman

Hebrew Terms: יְהוָ֣ה יִרְאֶ֑ה; Yahweh Yireh; Jehovah Jireh - the Lord will provide
Greek Terms: Παράκλητος; Parakletos - Helper; ἕτερος; heteros - another of a different kind; ἄλλος; allos - another of the same kind; ὀρφανός; orphanos - orphans, fatherless, desolate; ἀληθείας; aletheias - truth
Publications Referenced: Doxology, Thomas Ken; The Tune, by Larry Norman
Figures Referenced: Augustine of Hippo; Tim Downs
Cross References: Genesis 1:26-27; Deuteronomy 8:18; Psalm 23:5; Ecclesiastes 2:26; Matthew 6:11; Matthew 7:11; John 3:16; John 16:7-13; John 17:9; John 17:20; John 19:30; Romans 8:32; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Timothy 6:13; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1; Revelation 12:10

Topic: Trinity

Keywords: trinity, obedience, Father, Son, Holy Spirit



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Promises, Promises!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 14:19-26
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/934

Someone once mused, "Promises may get friends, but it's performance that keeps them." No wonder God has so many friends! He makes promises and keeps them. On this final night that Jesus spent with His friends, as both sorrow and confusion assailed them, Jesus made several promises that would sustain them in the days, months, and years ahead. What about you? Will you dare to trust the promises of God? It's the only way to see if they really work.


  1. Introduction
    1. We live our lives by promises
      1. When promises are broken, disappointment follows
      2. A promise is only as good as the person who makes the promise
        1. Reliable person—reliable promise
        2. Unreliable person—unreliable promise
    2. God makes lots of promises in the Bible
      1. 31,173 verses in the Old and New Testaments
      2. 7, 487 promises of God to man in the Bible according to Everett Storms as cited by Time Magazine
      3. "Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the LORD your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!" (Joshua 23:14 NLT)
      4. "Exceedingly great and precious promises" (2 Peter 1:4)
    3. What do you do with the promises of God?
      1. Underline them?
      2. Memorize them?
      3. Exegete them?
      4. Highest and best: Live by them!
      5. Hymn: Standing on the Promises of God
      6. Are you standing on or creeping on the promises?
      7. Are you sitting on the premises?
    4. Jesus made many promises during the Upper Room Discourse
      1. "I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2)
      2. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." (John 14:12)
      3. "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever" (John 14:16)
  2.  The Promise of a Supernatural Life (v. 19)
    1. In a few hours Jesus crucified—unbelieving world will never see Him again
      1. He would not appear to the world, only to His disciples
      2. When they see him they have visible proof: As He resurrected they too will be resurrected
    2. Not just quantity of life, quality of life
      1. A new level of life you've never experienced before, because of the indwelling Holy Spirit
      2. There is a difference between existing and living
        1. Some exist: jog, work, food, friends, things, but not really living
        2. William Marston, Harvard trained psychologist, asked 3,000 people: What do you have to live for? 94% were enduring the present while waiting for the future
      3. Dead men walking
        1. "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins," (Ephesians 2:1)
        2. All dead, spiritually speaking
    3. Biblical words for "life"
      1. Βίος; bios -physical life (biology)
        1. Outward here and now
        2. Most people spend most of their time and most of their energy on
        3. "The cares and riches and pleasures of this life." (Luke 8:14)
        4. When asked if they could change one thing about life, almost no one said character or personality. Most said outward appearance.
      2. Ψυχή; psuché - the soul, life (psyche, psychology)
        1. Inward life; thought process
        2. "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:39)
        3. It is possible to have physical life and psychological life yet still be dead
      3. Ζωή; zóé - life, physical and spiritual
        1. Shifts focus from earth to eternity
        2. Used 143 times in the Bible
        3. Not merely ongoing life that goes on forever; everyone has that
        4. Quality of life
        5. "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
  3. The Promise of a Supernatural Knowledge (v. 20)
    1. Jesus was telling His worried disciples that His death would not end their relationship
      1. Their communion is permanent
      2. They are confused at the time, but they will know it
    2. Not book knowledge; know and understand by experience
      1. "After the resurrection, when you are really alive, you will know just how close we really are."
      2. The resurrection brought sudden realization to the disciples of who Jesus was
    3. For 3.5 years, they were with Him
      1. Who is He?
      2. After He is raised from the dead and ascends, they realize He is God
        1. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life"  (1 John 1:1)
        2. "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" (John 14:6)
          1. Anyone can make the statement
          2. He validates his claim by His deeds
          3. Separates Jesus from all others
    4. "On that day"  the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon them
    5. Only when God puts supernatural life within us are our spiritual eyes opened
      1. We cannot apprehend certain things unless God does a supernatural work within our lives
      2. The disciples came alive with boldness and power because of this knowledge
      3. "And Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'" (John 20:28)
      4. In a Peanuts cartoon strip Lucy and Linus are staring out the window, watching it rain. Lucy: "Boy! Look at it pour. What if it floods the whole world?" Linus: "It won't. In Genesis 9, God promised Noah that would never happen again. The sign of that promise is the rainbow." Lucy, turning back to the window with a big smile: "You've taken a great load off my mind." Linus: "Sound theology has a way of doing that."
      5. We read God's Word and He confirms things to our hearts
      6. He gives understanding and brings a sense of security; something the most brilliant, trained minds can never know unless they experience it.
  4. The Promise of a Supernatural Presence (vv.  21-24)
    1. Come inside that person and be at home in him
    2. Manifest- to show, to exhibit, to disclose, to appear
    3. Judas: Why just to the disciples?
      1. The disciples are all wondering about the immediate, earthly, Messianic kingdom
      2. Jesus answers with condition for anyone to experience the presence of God: obedience to God
        1. He will not reveal Himself to those who refuse to love Him and obey Him
        2. We show our love by our obedience
        3. We will never enjoy the fullness of Christian life or the presence of God unless we conform to Him
        4. It is possible to be saved, but not satisfied
        5. "This manifestation of Christ is made only to the one who really loves Him, and the proof of love to Him is not by emotional displays but by submission to His will."—Arthur W. Pink
  5.  The Promise of a Supernatural Revelation (vv. 25-26)
    1. Christ had already promised the Holy Spirit
      1. Another Helper
      2. Another Counselor
      3. Another Comforter
    2. Now, Jesus promises another Teacher, a Reminder
      1. Up to this point Jesus was the teacher
      2. The disciples were the students; not a good track record:
        1. "From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, 'Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!' But He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.'" (Matthew 16:21-23)
        2. "Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here;'" (Matthew 17:4)
        3. "Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, 'Let us also go, that we may die with Him.'" (John 11:16)
        4. "And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, 'Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?'" (Luke 9:54)
      3. After the resurrection, the disciples graduate: "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know--  Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;" (Acts 2:22-23)
    3. How is it possible that 12 uneducated fisherman remember and record 3.5 years of activity with detail? The Holy Spirit.
  6. Application
    1. How's my life? Am I existing or living? If just existing, why? How can I be raised to life?
    2. How's my knowledge? Am I experiencing what I know.
    3. How's my intimacy with Jesus Christ? Do I live in a way to make Him comfortable where I take Him?
    4. How's my relationship with the Holy Spirit? Am I learning from Him myself?
    5. Anne Landers' column: "My uncle was the tightest man I've ever known. All his life, every time he got paid he took $20 out of his paycheck & put it under his mattress. Then he got sick & was about to die. As he was dying, he said to his wife, ‘I want you to promise me one thing.' ‘Promise what?' she asked. ‘I want you to promise me that when I'm dead you'll take my money from under the mattress and put it in my casket so that I can take it all with me.'"  The girl's letter went on with the story. "He died, and his wife kept her promise. She went in and got all that money the day he died and went to the bank and deposited it, and wrote out a check & put it in his casket."
      1. A dead person can't cash a check
      2. A spiritually dead person can't cash in on the promises of God

Greek Terms: Βίος; bios -physical life; Ψυχή; psuché - the soul, life; Ζωή; zóé - life, physical and spiritual
Publications Referenced: Time Magazine, December 24, 1956; "Religion: Promises;" Standing on the Promises of God, by R. Kelso Carter; Peanuts, by Charles Schultz; Anne Landers
Figures Referenced: Everett Storms; William Marston; Arthur W. Pink
Cross References: Joshua 23:14; Matthew 10:39; Matthew 16:21-23; Matthew 17:4; Luke 8:14; Luke 9:54; John 10:10; John 14:2; John 14:6; John 14:12; John 14:16; John 20:28; Acts 2:22-23; Ephesians 2:1; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 1:1



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Peace Where You Least Expect It
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 14:27-31
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/939

On countless American gravestones this epitaph could be written: Hurried, Worried, Buried. What a sad way to live! Fear, anxiety, and distress have literally become part of our national culture. Odd, isn't it? Though we have such abundance in this country, most don't experience abundant life—especially as Jesus described it. Sure, everyone has his or her share of trouble and anxieties, but let's consider one of the greatest gifts Jesus gives to followers—the gift of peace!


  1. Introduction
    1. "The misery index"
      1. Phrase coined by 1960s economic advisor to President Lyndon Johnson, Arthur Oaken
      2. Unemployment rate added to the inflation rate
      3. National economic indicator
      4. Currently 12.67
        1. Lowest in 1953: 2.97
        2. Highest in 1980: 21.98
    2. Peace
      1. Opposite word
      2. Cure for misery
      3. The most sought after experience (more than money, fame, power, status)
      4. Google results:
        1. Peace: 791 million
        2. World peace: 112 million
        3. Personal peace: 410 million
        4. Spiritual peace: 84.1 million
      5. Nobel Peace Prize (created by Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite. Upon seeing his errant obituary, he decided to leave a better legacy)
      6. Outwardly elusive
        1. 3100 years of recorded history, 286 years (8%) peace
        2. 8000 peace treaties formed, signed, and broken
      7. Inwardly available
        1. Bible speaks of peace 397 times
        2. A real experience for those who trust God
        3. Jesus called the Prince of Peace (see Isaiah 9:6)
          1. If you want peace, get to know the Prince
          2. People sing, talk, and search for peace, but never receive the Prince
        4. Caesar Augustus heard of a man who slept peacefully each night and wanted to buy his bead: but it is about the man, not the bed
  2. Peace in a Troubled World
    1. The Description of Peace (v. 27)
      1. eiréné - peace of mind
        1. Common greeting
          1. Used three times in John 20 as a greeting
          2. Paul opens His epistles "grace and peace"
        2. Here it is a promise, not a salutation
          1. Paraphrase: "Let Me cause you to have a quiet, peaceful, restful, tranquil heart and mind."
          2. "I am leaving you with a gift -- peace of mind and heart." (NLT translation)
          3. God's promise to you in spite of circumstances
      2. Peace with God
        1. Objective
        2. Not a feeling (but may or may not be accompanied by feeling)
        3. Surrender to God on His terms: receive Christ
        4. "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, "(Romans 5:1)
        5. When Jesus is Savior, we have peace with God
      3. Peace of God
        1. Subjective
        2. Feeling
        3. Cannot experience without peace with God
        4. The experience of tranquility and rest
        5. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
        6. When Jesus is Lord you have peace of God
    2. The Demeanor of Peace
      1. My own peace
        1. "I am going to cause you to be restful, tranquil, quiet, and peaceful inside your hearts and minds with the same kind of rest, tranquility, and peace that I have inside My heart and mind."
        2. The effect Christ has upon a life
        3. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness," (Galatians 5:22)
        4. "Peace is not the absence of trouble; peace is the presence of God." —J. Oswald Sanders
      2. At peace when the world seems to be falling apart around you
        1. Believers should have that
        2. God is not frowning at you: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)
      3. Other worldly peace
        1. Only available through Christ
        2. The world's peace is temporary, transient
          1. The bliss of ignorance: unaware of the wrath poised against the unbelieving world
          2. "There is no peace," says the Lord, "for the wicked." (Isaiah 48:22)
      4. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
        1. Stop an action already going on
        2. You have a part to play
          1. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would come
          2. We are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit
        3. When you have every earthly reason to be troubled, fear is the natural response; peace is the supernatural response to trouble
      5. Jesus came to the apostles on the very thing they feared the most walking on the water of the storm  (see John 6:15-21)
  3. Peace in Temporal Waiting (vv. 28-29)
    1. Jesus' Return to His Father
      1. If you love Me, you would be happy I go to the Father
      2. True nature of love: best for the one being loved: love does not seek its own (See 1 Corinthians 13:5)
      3. Jesus left heaven, came, suffered and was going back to the Father
      4. Application: when we grieve the loss of a loved one who has gone to heaven, we can rejoice as we grieve because they are with the Father
    2. Jesus' Return to His Followers
      1. Resurrection (3 days)
      2. Pentecost, Holy Spirit (50 days)
      3. To rule the earth (still waiting)
        1. We don't like to wait
        2. The world is getting worse
    3. Jesus' Return is Foretold
      1. He promised
      2. All he said he would do, He did
        1. Betrayal
        2. Crucifixion
        3. Resurrection
        4. Return
      3. "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
      4. Fulfilled promises in the past ensure fulfilled promises in the future
  4. Peace in Spiritual Warfare (vv. 30-31)
    1. The Activity of the Prince of this World
      1. Satan: The Ruler of this World
        1. Term used in reference to Satan  (see John 12:31)
        2. God of this age (see 2 Corinthians 4:4)
          1. Adam and Eve handed him dominion when they fell
          2. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12)
      2. Betrayal
        1. In context refers to Judas' betrayal of Christ (see John 18)
        2. Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it." And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.  Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly." (John 13:26-27)
        3. Judas is a pawn; Satan is the powerhouse
    2. The Tranquility of the Prince of Peace
      1. Nothing in Me; no hold on Me
        1. Satan cannot manipulate Jesus
        2. Jesus was crucified in obedient love to the Father
      2. As a child of God, Satan will buffet, tempt, and harass, but he has no control of you
        1. "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
        2. We cannot say "the devil made me do it"
        3. Don't underestimate the devil; he is a powerful foe
        4. Don't overestimate the devil
      3. Bracing to bear up under trouble of the world and spiritual warfare
        1. Marriage, family, friends
        2. The peace of God
      4. Rejoice
        1. Seems out of place to us
        2. "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials," (1 Peter 1:6)

Greek Terms: eiréné - peace of mind
Figures Referenced: Arthur Oaken; Alfred Nobel; J. Oswald Sanders
Cross References: Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 48:22; Jeremiah 29:11; John 6:15-21; John 12:31; John 13:26-27; John 16:33; John 18; Romans 5:1; Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Galatians 5:22; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 1:6; 1 John 4:4

Topic: Upper Room Discourse

Keywords: Peace, anxiety



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Life-Lessons from Grape-Growers - Part 1
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 15:1-7
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/941

My parents grew grapes on their little plot of land in Southern California. There weren't many, but enough for me to know that getting fruit at harvest depended on three things: the solid connection of branch to vine, the vigilant care of the workers, and the consistency of those things over time. Jesus, walking with the disciples toward the Garden of Gethsemane, gives life lessons to His men using the familiar example of growing grapes. With that analogy in mind, let's consider the three ways our relationship to God is described by Jesus.


  1. Introduction
    1. Life is like a bunch of grapes
      1. Jesus distinguishes between branches that bring forth fruit and those that do not
      2. Analogy common to the Mediterranean
      3. Farmer growing grapes and tending branches; Jesus teaches to have a real relationship with God
    2. Metaphors for a relationship with God
      1. God is our Father: we are His sons and daughters
      2. God is King: we are His subjects
      3. Christ is the head of the church: we are the body of Christ
      4. Christ is the Good Shepherd: we are the sheep of His pasture
      5. He is the vine: we are the branches
    3. Lessons from this passage
      1. Relationship: a vital, growing relationship with God
      2. Hardship: God uses pain and affliction to prune our lives
      3. Discipleship: telling the difference between a true disciple and a fake disciple
    4. Underlying score
      1. True Father
      2. True vine
      3. Branches: some are true, some are not
    5. Setting
      1. Jesus turned from speaking directly to this extended metaphor
      2. Supper is over
      3. Talk in the Upper Room is over
      4. Jesus and the eleven disciples leave the room and walk toward the Garden of Gethsemane
        1. John 17 is a prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
        2. John 18 is the arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane
        3. John 15-16 spoke en route from the upper city toward the Kidron Valley and the Garden of Gethsemane
      5. May have passed a vineyard or a vine
      6. Temple to the left with huge bronze gate embossed with golden vines and grapes
        1. Vine a symbol of the nation of Israel
          1. "Now let me sing to my Well-beloved a song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill. He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it; so He expected it to bring forth good grapes, But it brought forth wild grapes. "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard. What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes? And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned or dug, but there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain on it." For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help" (Isaiah 5:1-7)
          2. See Psalm 80
          3. In context, Israel is God's degenerate, fruitless vine
          4. Jesus makes a distinction between the nation and Himself
      7. Judas is not there; he is plotting the betrayal and crucifixion of Christ
      8. 11 disciples are left with Christ
  2. Connected to Christ
    1. We are branches; twigs
      1. We love to enjoy a heightened sense of importance
      2. Dead grape branches are useless
        1. They are used as kindling to kindle the real fire
        2. Worthless in and of themselves
      3. The value of the branch comes from their connection with the vine
        1. Sap flows through them
        2. They are fruitful
    2. We enjoy real significance when we are connected to Christ
      1. Nothing significant, spiritual, lasting
      2. Twig can be powerful if it makes the right connection
    3. Personal connection ("you" used 11 times in this passage)
    4. Results in new life ("fruit" used 6 times in this passage)
    5. More than ritualistic connections
      1. Jews
        1. Circumcision
        2. Sabbaths
        3. Festivals
      2. Others
        1. Baptism
        2. Christening
        3. Confirmation
      3. John the Baptist: "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (Matthew 3:7)
    6. More than genetic connection
      1. Boasting in their genealogy, connection to Abraham
      2. "And do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones" (Matthew 3:9).
    7. God wants total surrender
    8. "I would like to buy three dollars worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don't want enough of him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation. I want the warmth of the womb not a new birth. I want about a pound of the eternal in a paper sack. I'd like to buy three dollars worth of God, please." —Wilbur Reese
  3. Cared for by the Father
    1. By Tending
      1. Farmer, grape grower viticulturist tends and grows grapes
      2. Cuts away dead wood and prunes living tissue
      3. He delights over the care given to each plant
      4. Creator of the universe superintends your life with this kind of care
        1. Millions of branches worldwide; God keeps track
        2. Guillemot - each mother knows her own eggs
    2. By Pruning
      1. Καθαίρω; kathairó - cleanse by purging, cutting away
        1. Tipping - slows growth
        2. Topping 1"-2" lopped off: (too much top kills growth)
        3. Thinning - some taken off , remaining fruit is sweeter, bigger, longer lasting
      2. All pruning always hurts
      3. God doesn't enjoy pruning, but the end result is fruit
        1. If you abide, you are fruitful
        2. If you are fruitful you are pruned
        3. If you are pruned you are more fruitful
        4. If you are more fruitful you are pruned
        5. Fruit, more fruit, much fruit
      4. Why do bad things happen to God's people?
        1. Be careful not to call something good "bad"
        2. "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive." (Genesis 50:20)
      5. How God prunes us
        1. Scripture
          1. Some verses comfort, others confront
          2. "For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are." (Hebrews 4:12 NLT)
          3. Do you let God's Word cut you?
        2. Suffering
          1. Pain prunes away fleshly desires and sinful habits
          2. "[Pain] plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul."—C. S. Lewis
          3. "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word." (Psalm 119:67)
          4. "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 12:11)
        3. Stupidity
          1. Sometimes our pain is a result of our stupid choices
          2. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
          3. "Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. (James 1:2-4 NLT)
  4. Consistent Over Time
    1. Abide
      1. Μένω; menó - remain, stay put
      2. "abide" used 8 times in this passage
    2. Immediate context: Judas Iscariot professed to be a real follower
    3. True disciples stay disciples: "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us." (1 John 2:19)

Greek Terms: Καθαίρω; kathairó; cleanse by purging, cutting away; Μένω; menó - remain, stay put
Publications Referenced: Forrest Gump, by Winston Groom
Figures Referenced: Wilbur Reese; C. S. Lewis
Cross References: Genesis 50:20; Psalm 119:67; Isaiah 5:1-7; Matthew 3:7; Matthew 3:9; John 16; John 17; John 18; Romans 8:28; Hebrews 4:12; Hebrews 12:11; James 1:2-4; 1 John 2:19



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Life-Lessons From Grape-Growers - Part 2
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 15:8-11
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/944

As we grow older, we mature. In our spiritual lives we should become spiritually mature. The Bible calls it being fruitful. Spiritual fruit is the indication that we're truly connected to Christ. But there are others, as we'll see today. Last week we examined how the relationship with Christ is described (Connected to Christ, Cared for by the Father, and Consistent Over Time). Today let's consider how this relationship is demonstrated. When we're rightly connected to God we'll be:


  1. Introduction
    1. Growth is a normal part of life
    2. General observations about spiritual growth
      1. Spiritual growth should happen
        1. As babies grow into adults, Christians grow into mature believers
        2. "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18)
        3. More than an altar call: a progression throughout life
      2. Spiritual growth has nothing to do with physical age
        1. Some older people are immature believers
        2. Some young people demonstrate maturity, wisdom, and growth
        3. "In the Church of God there are children who are 70 years old. Yes, little children displaying all the infirmities of declining years! …One would not like to say of a man of 80 that he had scarcely cut his wisdom teeth—and yet there are such…On the other hand, there are fathers in the Church of God—wise, stable, instructed—who are comparatively young men. The Lord can cause His people to grow rapidly and far outstrip their years." — C. H. Spurgeon
      3. You can grow as much as you want
        1. Spiritual resources are given to us: take them or leave them; employ them or lay them down
        2. "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:3-8)
  2. Fruitful in Life (vv. 2, 5, 8)
    1. Progression
      1. No Fruit
      2. Fruit
      3. More Fruit
      4. Much Fruit
    2. Observations
      1. It's noticeable
        1. Like seeing fruit to determine the type of tree, you don't have to guess if someone is a believer
          1. Obvious and visible fruit
          2. Not everyone's output is the same (See Matthew 13:23)
          3. There must be some kind of fruit
        2. Fruit of the spirit
          1. Character of Christ: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23)
          2. People you win to Christ: "Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles." (Romans 1:13)
          3. Holy living: "But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life." (Romans 6:22)
          4. Financial giving: (See Romans 15:28)
          5. Praise: "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name." (Hebrews 13:15)
        3. A spiritual person is known more by his fruit than by his gifts
          1. "You come short in no gift," (1 Corinthians 1:7)
          2. Χάρισμα; charisma-a gift
          3. "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:1)
          4. "The Christian life should resemble a fruit tree, not a Christmas tree." -- John Stott
      2. It's natural
        1. A tree doesn't work hard to produce fruit; it is the natural unfolding of life
          1. Root system
          2. Trunk tied to root system
          3. Branches connected
          4. The product of connection
        2. Spiritual fruit is the natural connection of being connected to Christ
        3. According to an AP report from an agricultural school in Iowa: to produce 100 acres of corn from one acre of land:
          1. 4 million lbs. of water
          2. 6,800 lbs. of oxygen
          3. 5200 lbs. of carbon
          4. 160 lbs. of nitrogen
          5. 125 lbs. of potassium
          6. 75 lbs. of yellow sulfur
          7. Rain and sunshine required at the right times
          8. Only 5% of the produce attributed to the efforts of man
      3. It's nourishing
        1. Fruit produced for others
        2. If the life of God is flowing in you, the life of God will flow through you to others
        3. What Christ produces nourishes others
        4. "Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; His branches run over the wall." (Genesis 49:22)
        5. "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" (John 7:37-38)
        6. We are satisfied, and a conduit to satisfy others
  3. Powerful in Prayer (vv. 7-10)
    1. "But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon." (John 15:7 The Message)
    2. Common daily activity worldwide
      1. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, even Atheists pray
      2. According to George Barna, 4 out of 5 Americans pray during a typical week
    3. Why we don't pray more
      1. Don't see results
      2. No power in prayer
    4. Conditions of the promise
      1. Abide in Jesus
      2. Jesus abides in us (let Him control your life)
        1. His plan
        2. His kingdom
        3. His purpose
        4. In His name (according to His purpose and person)
      3. The Word abides in us
        1. Scripture gives us direction to pray the right things
        2. "Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." (Matthew 6:9-13)
        3. Purpose of Prayer: not my will in heaven—His will on earth
        4. Line your desire up with His will
  4. Joyful in Spirit (v. 11)
    1. Jesus promised peace: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)
    2. Now Jesus promises joy
    3. The very things we crave—peace and joy—Jesus wants us to have
      1. We obtain peace and joy God's way
      2. "For the joy that was set before Him endured the cross," (Hebrews 12:2)
    4. Part of history, Christianity not associated with joy
      1. "I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers."—Oliver Wendell Holmes
      2. "I went to church today and I'm not depressed."—Robert Lewis Stevenson
      3. "Should we not see that lines of laughter about the eyes are just as much marks of faith as are the line of care and seriousness? Is it only earnestness that is baptized? Is laughter pagan? We have already allowed too much that is good to be lost to the church and cast many pearls before swine. A church is in a bad way when it banishes laughter from the sanctuary and leaves it to the cabaret, the nightclub and the toastmasters."— Helmut Thielicke

Greek Terms: Χάρισμα; charisma-a gift
Figures Referenced: C.H. Spurgeon; John Stott; George Barna; Oliver Wendell Holmes; Robert Lewis Stevenson; Helmut Thielicke
Cross References: Genesis 49:22; Matthew 6:9-13; Matthew 13:23; John 7:37-38; John 14:27; Romans 1:13; Romans 6:22; Romans 15:28; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Corinthians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 3:1; Galatians 5:22-23; Hebrews 13:15; 2 Peter 1:3-8; 2 Peter 3:18

Topic: Spiritual Fruit

Keywords: fruit, growth, prayer, joy



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: What a Friend We Have in Jesus
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 15:12-17
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/946

We can get through almost anything in life with friends to share our sorrow and divide our grief. A Chinese word for friend is peng-yu and it has a much fuller meaning than in English. It means "one who brings completion and sums up beauty." The ancient Hebrews saw true friendship as an ideal to pursue and a blessing to enjoy. In these final moments with His followers, Jesus uses a most tender term for their relationship—they were friends! What does that friendship look like?


  1. Introduction
    1. What a Friend We Have in Jesus
      1. Poem by Joseph Scriven in 1855
      2. Background
        1. Fiancée drowned the day before their wedding
        2. Second fiancée, Eliza Roche, also passed away
        3. Never married
        4. Written to comfort his ill mother
      3. "Have we trials and temptations?
        Is there trouble anywhere?
        We should never be discouraged—
        Take it to the Lord in prayer.
        Can we find a friend so faithful,
        Who will all our sorrows share?
        Jesus knows our every weakness;
        Take it to the Lord in prayer."
    2. What is a friend?
      1. Dictionary
        1. Someone attached to someone else by esteem or affection
        2. Someone who is not hostile
      2. British newspaper contest
        1. Multiplies joy, divides sorrow
        2. Understands our silence
        3. A volume of sympathy wrapped in a cloth
        4. A watch that ever beats and never runs out
        5. Winner: Someone who comes in when the rest of the world goes out
      3. "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." (Proverbs 17:17)
      4. We have many acquaintances and few friends
      5. Survey: What do you want in a friend?
        1. Able to keep a confidence
        2. Loyal
        3. Warm and affectionate
    3. Context
      1. After the Last Supper
      2. Jesus walking with the 11 disciples toward the Garden of Gethsemane
      3. Judas is no longer with them; betrayal
  2. Jesus Picks His Friends (v. 16)
    1. Speaks of His Position
      1. Like a famous or wealthy person; His prerogative
        1. Only a friend when invited in
        2. "We love Him because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19)
    2. Speaks of His Election
      1. Predestination
        1. God, in advance, chooses those to be saved
        2. "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world," (Ephesians 1:4)
      2. Altar calls: we must cooperate by choosing Him
    3. Speaks of His Affection
      1. Knew all about you, yet still chose you
      2. "I'm so glad that God chose me before the foundation of the world, because he never would have chosen me after I was born!"—C. H. Spurgeon
      3. The love of God is so amazing, that knowing all, He picked me anyway
        1. Knew Peter would deny Him
        2. Knew Thomas would doubt
        3. Knew James and John had violence in them
      4. Michelangelo sculpted "David" from a flawed piece of marble
    4. Speaks of His Intention
      1. He has a purpose for life now
      2. Appointed
        1. Τίθημι; tithémi - ordain for a very special purpose
        2. Service
        3. Go!
          1.  Motion implied
          2. "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)
      3. Jesus picks friends, calls them out of the world, saves them, and sends them back into the world to do something about the world they were chosen out of.
      4. Fruit - converts from the unbelieving world
        1. Spiritual Harvest
        2. "Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.'" (John 4:34-36)
        3. Christian life is a purposeful life
        4. "'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'  'Yes,' says the Spirit, 'that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.'" (Revelation 14:13)
  3. Jesus Helps His Friends
    1. By Sacrificing for Them (v. 13)
      1. The cross: greatest example of love
        1. Universal principle
        2. Jesus speaking of His own death: "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us." (1 John 3:16)
      2. Jesus doesn't just choose you to be a friend; He made it possible by His death on the cross
        1. All His friends are sinners
        2. All sinners need to be forgiven
        3. Forgiveness comes by His shed blood --"Without shedding of blood there is no remission." (Hebrews 9:22)
    2. By Speaking to Them (v. 15)
      1. He lets us in on the plan of God
      2. Servants, Bond slaves
        1. Paul, James, Peter, Jude
        2. To be His slave is to be a king
      3. Jesus calls us friends
        1. Friends of the king, in ancient times were close associates of the king
        2. We don't just blindly follow His orders, He explains
          1. "And the disciples came and said to Him, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?'  He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.'" (Matthew 13:10-11)
          2. "'All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.'  Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, 'Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.'" (Luke 10:22-24)
          3. What He has revealed
            1. How to get to heaven
            2. What heaven is like
            3. How to have joy and peace
            4. That the Holy Spirit would come
            5. The end of the age
            6. "The whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27)
            7. "Mysteries of the kingdom of God" (Luke 8:10)
          4. Not all understand: "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)
            1. We know what no one else knows
            2. We have the secret of the universe
  4. Jesus Anticipates His Friends (vv. 12, 14, 17) (He expects something from them)
    1. His friends actively obey Him
      1. What you do for him
      2. Not all about negatives
    2. His friends repeatedly obey him
      1. "Do" in the present subjunctive text: continually, habitually, as a lifestyle
      2. Not do once and quit, or just when others are looking
    3. His friends unconditionally obey
      1. Anything He tells you to do
      2. "Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4)

Greek terms: Τίθημι; tithémi - ordain for a very special purpose
Figures Referenced: Joseph Scriven; Eliza Roche; Mariah Carey; C. H. Spurgeon
Publications Referenced: What a Friend We Have in Jesus, by Joseph Scriven
Cross References: Proverbs 17:17; Matthew 13:10-11; Mark 16:15; Luke 8:10; Luke 10:22-24; John 4:34-36; Acts 20:27; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 1:4; James 4:4; Hebrews 9:22; 1 John 3:16; 1 John 4:19; Revelation 14:13



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Why Does Everyone Hate Me?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 15:18-25
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/948

There is a flipside to being a friend of Jesus. That's true of any friendship. Whenever you ally yourself and make friends with someone, you will incur some enemies because of it. Likewise, some who don't like Jesus won't like us either—and we discover there are quite a few who don't! Let's find out why, and how we can raise our heads high and prevail.


  1. Introduction
    1. Opposing natures
      1. Believers
        1. Redeemed nature
        2. Come to Christ, changed
      2. The world
        1. Unredeemed nature
        2. Unchanged
    2. Context
      1. Jesus tells the whole truth: advantages and disadvantages
        1. "I have called you friends," (John 15:15)
        2. I have enemies
        3. "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)
        4. "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." (John 15:11)
        5. Now speaks of hatred, animosity, persecution
      2. Setting
        1. 11 disciples with Jesus at Passover
        2. Walking from the Upper Room toward the Garden of Gethsemane
      3. Four statements
        1. Reflect the relationship of believers to the unbelieving world
        2. Build upon one another to give the full picture
        3. Presuppose a relationship with Christ that you don't mind sharing with others
  2. The World Hates You
    1. Contrast with Love
      1. Frequency in previous paragraph (9 times)
        1. 3 times in v. 9
        2. 2 times in v. 10
        3. 2 times in v. 12
        4. Once in v. 13
        5. Once in v. 17
      2. Relationship
        1. Love of Father for Son
        2. Love of Son for disciples
        3. Love of disciples for one another
      3. Now "hate"
    2. The love of Christ will incur the hatred of this world
      1. "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him." (1 John 3:1)
      2. "Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you." (1 John 3:13)
    3. The World
      1. Κόσμος; kosmos - world system
        1. Beliefs, values, ideology
        2. Against God's plan and the Lord Jesus Christ
      2. Headed by Satan: the god of this world (See 2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT)
      3. Opposed to the gospel message that Jesus is the singular way to salvation
      4. Often refined, cultured, intellectual, spiritual, religious
      5. Opposed to God, Christ, and believers
    4. Persecute: to chase, to hunt (v. 20)
    5. "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles…Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake." (Matthew 10:16-18; Matthew 10:21-22)
      1. Wherever gospel taken, those who preached it were hassled
      2. Roman persecution
        1. Flung to lions
        2. Burned at stake
        3. Human torches in Nero's garden
        4. Sewn into carcasses of slain animals, so wild animals eat them
        5. Molten lead poured
        6. Eyes gouged out
      3. The disciples (Foxe's Book of Martyrs)
        1. Matthew: slain with the sword in Ethiopia
        2. Mark: dragged through streets of Alexandria
        3. Luke: hung on an olive tree in Greece
        4. John: placed in boiling oil (did not die; banished to Patmos)
        5. Peter: crucified upside-down in Rome
        6. James the greater: beheaded in Jerusalem
        7. James the less: thrown from the temple and beaten to death with clubs
        8. Bartholomew: flayed alive
        9. Andrew: bound to a cross, preached to his persecutors until he died
        10. Thomas: run through with a lance in East India
        11. Jude: shot with arrows
  3. The World Hates You Because It Hates God
    1. Spiritual Issue
      1. Satan dispatches his demon horde to influence policy and ideology of this world
      2. We are caught in the cross fire
      3. Michael Medved (movie critic) spoke of another critic who said of the review for Last Temptation of Christ "We must stand together against these Christians."
    2. If you are not serious about following, this probably won't affect you
    3. Religious People
      1. One solution for sin: Jesus Christ
      2. If they reject Jesus, they reject God
        1. "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also." (John 8:19)
        2. "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning," (John 8:44)
        3. "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world." (John 8:23)
      3. A person who rejects Christ (no matter how outwardly religiously zealous) if reject God: God hater
    4. Before Jesus came, man could claim relative goodness and self righteousness
      1. Keep the laws
      2. Better than others
    5. Jesus is perfection incarnate: reveals our sinfulness
      1. African chief who broke the mirror
      2. Jesus perfect righteousness shows our utter sinfulness
      3. "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (John 3:19)
  4. The World Hates You Because You Defected
    1. You no longer live like the world
    2. Chosen out of the world
    3. "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12)
    4. Leaving the ranks of the world is misinterpreted as superiority complex
      1. Jonas Hanway and his umbrella, had rocks thrown at him
      2. Church in Myrtle Beach told to keep the crosses inside because they are offensive
      3. "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18)
    5. The message of the cross is a reminder of Christ's perfection and His crucifixion
  5. The World Hates You But There's Good News
    1. You are in good company: stand with Christ
      1. Demonstrates you are a believer
      2. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:10-12)
        1. Moses before Pharaoh
        2. Isaiah sawn in two
        3. Jeremiah thrown in a well
        4. Elijah hounded by Jezebel and Ahab
    2. You have a good resource: Scripture
      1. "They hated me without a cause"
        1. Predicted (See Psalm 35; Psalm 69)
        2. God knows about the situation
      2. How the early church comforted themselves (See Acts 4)
    3. There is a good chance some will believe
      1. "Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:69)
      2. "When you said, 'I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God' you were saying something very dramatic.
        When you said: Jesus was the Son of God you declared,
        'I am not an atheist, who says God doesn't exist.
        I am not an agnostic, who says, "I don't know if God exists."'
        When you said you believed that Jesus was the Son of the living God you were declaring,
        'I am not an idolater, that worships images made of wood, stone or gold.
        I don't worship my dead ancestors (as those who Buddhists, Confucionists, Taoists, and Shintoists do).
        I am not a nature worshipper (like the Hindus).
        I am not a fire worshipper (like the Zorastrians).'
        When you said you believed that Jesus was the Son of the living God, you declared
        'I am no polytheist, who says there are many gods.'
        When you said you believed Jesus to be the SON of God, you were saying you were
        Not a pantheist, that says, 'all is God'
        Not a deist, that thinks God created the world and never involved Himself in its problems.
        Not a uniformist, who believes that all things continue as they were in the beginning.
        Not a modernist, who denies the virgin birth.
        When you said you believed Jesus was the CHRIST, you declared,
        'I am not an unbelieving Jew, who denies Jesus as the Messiah.
        I am not a futurist, who yet looks for a Messiah.
        I am not a Theosophist or a follower of the Baha'i or Mohammedan cults that think Jesus is only one of God's many witnesses.'
        When you said you believed in Jesus, you were saying your faith was in Him,
        Not Buddha
        Nor Confucius
        Nor Mohammed
        Nor Reverend Moon
        When you said, 'I BELIEVE' you said,  'I accept the Scriptures,' because faith in Jesus is the direct result of the testimony of Scripture.
        When you said 'I' believe, you were declaring yours was a personal faith, it wasn't inherited, it wasn't forced upon you, but fully confessed.

        When you spoke the 'Good Confession' you drew a line in the sand. You declared that every one outside of Jesus was wrong. And you declared to the world that unless they turn to from their sins, accept Jesus as their Savior, make Him the Master of their lives, and are buried in the waters of Christian baptism, they will be condemned.
        That usually doesn't go down real well."

Greek terms: Κόσμος; kosmos - world system
Publications Referenced: Foxe's Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe
Figures Referenced: Michael Medved; Jonas Hanway;
Cross References: Psalm 35; Psalm 69; Matthew 5:10-12; Matthew 10:16-18; Matthew 10:21-22; John 3:19; John 6:69; John 8:19; John 8:23; John 8:44; John 14:27; John 15:11; John 15:15; Acts 4; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 John 3:1; 1 John 3:13


Topic: Persecution

Keywords: persecution, hate, martyr, world



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Two Thirds Is Not Enough
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 15:26-16:15
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/951

We love God the Father who created us and God the Son who redeemed us, but what about the Holy Spirit? We hear His name a lot, but who is He? What exactly does He do? What does He want from us? The Holy Spirit is the "quiet One," active in the life of believers but sometimes not acknowledged as being vital. Oswald Chambers noted, "The Holy Spirit cannot be located as a guest in a house. He invades everything!" Today, we consider Him and His role in our lives.


  1. Introduction
    1. The Holy Spirit is the most mysterious, misunderstood, neglected member of the triune Godhead
    2. "Sadly, many Christians settle for two-thirds of God…God the Father is way up there somewhere, aloof and apart from their daily lives. Christ is out there somewhere between them and the Father. The Holy Spirit is some kind of vague force or impersonal power that they hear about but do not know intimately." --Lloyd John Ogilvie
    3. Context
      1. Last night before the crucifixion
      2. Jesus on the way from the Upper Room to the Garden of Gethsemane
      3. Teaching His 11 disciples, who are worried, sorrowful
      4. To offset their sorrow:
        1. Jesus demonstrates His love for them (John 13)
          1. Washes their feet
          2. Tells them to love one another
        2. Details His promises (John 14)
          1. He goes to prepare a place for them
          2. He will come again
          3. They can pray to the Father in His name
          4. They will do greater works
          5. Peace
          6. Joy
      5. He warns them: He has enemies who hate His friends
      6. They don't have to face the hostile world in their own power: He will send the Holy Spirit, who will live within them and empower them
    4. Every day, some Christians try to live victorious lives without the power and agency of the Holy Spirit
    5. Not always easy to understand God
      1. Father
        1. We all have fathers, mostly good
        2. We need for our external life
        3. Creator
      2. Son
        1. Some are sons
        2. We understand the parent/child relationship
        3. We need for internal life
        4. Savior
      3. Holy Spirit
        1. We need for internal life
        2. Power and strength
  2.  The Holy Spirit is a Person
    1. Not an "It," a He
      1. In this passage there are 13 personal pronouns referring to the Holy Spirit
      2. Personal pronouns reserved for persons
      3. Not a force
      4. No respectable version of the Bible ever refers to the Spirit of God as "It"
    2. Throughout church history, some refer to the Holy Spirit as a force
      1. Arian heresy: The Spirit of God is not a person but an essence. 318 AD Arius
        (Response: Nicene Creed, 325 AD)
      2. Jehovah witness: "The holy spirit is not an intelligent person. It is the impersonal, invisible active force that finds its source and reservoir in Jehovah God."
      3. Mormons: A separate force God uses to accomplish His purpose
      4. Christian Science (Mary Baker Eddy [Glover Patterson Fry]): The holy spirit is an impersonal principal: the divine science within Christian Science
    3. Holy Spirit has personal attributes
      1. He testifies (See John 15:26)
      2. He convicts (See John 16:8)
      3. He guides, speaks, tells (See John 16:13)
      4. He takes, declares (See John 16:14)
      5. He has a mind (See Romans 8:27)
      6. He has a will (See 1 Corinthians 12:11)
      7. He Shows love (See Romans 15:30)
      8. He prays (See Romans 8:26)
      9. He can be grieved (See Ephesians 4:30)
      10. He can be insulted (See Hebrews 10:29)
      11. He can be lied to (See Acts 5)
      12. He can be quenched (See 1 Thessalonians 5)
    4. "They are reaching out after, and struggling to get, possession of some mysterious and mighty power that they can make use of in their work according to their own will. They will never get possession of the power they seek until they come to recognize that there is not some Divine power for them to get hold of and use in their blindness and ignorance, but that there is a Person, infinitely wise, as well as infinitely mighty, who is willing to take possession of them and use them according to His own perfect will. When we stop to think of it, we must rejoice that there is no Divine power that beings so ignorant as we are, so liable to err, can get hold of and use. How appalling might be the results if there were."--R.A. Torrey
      1. Not: How can I get more of the Holy Spirit?
      2. Rather: How can the Holy Spirit Get more of me?
  3. The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person
    1. Holy Spirit is God
      1. Third person of the Trinity
      2. Co-eternal, co-equal
      3. "And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:2)
      4. "Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
        Praise Him, all creatures here below;
        Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
        Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." (Doxology, Thomas Ken)
    2. Throughout history, some have denied His Deity
      1. Sabellias: Modelism (1 God, 3 names to serve His own purpose)
      2. However: The Holy Spirit comes from the Father, is sent by the Son, and dispatched to the world
      3. Oneness Pentecostals ascribe to modelism
    3. "But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.'" (Acts 5:1-4)
      1. Lied to Holy Spirit (v. 3)
      2. Lied to God (v. 4)
  4.  The Holy Spirit is a Discreet Person
    1. Inconspicuous: Doesn't draw attention to Himself
    2. Points people to Jesus
      1. "He will testify of Me." (John 15:26)
      2. "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me;" (John 16:8-9)
      3. "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you." (John 16:14)
      4. Like a stage director; spotlight shines on the main character: Jesus Christ
    3. A good test of a group, person, or church: What do they emphasize?
  5.  The Holy Spirit is a Helpful Person
    1. Called "The Helper" in this passage: (See John 16:7)
      1. Παράκλητος; paraklétos - one called alongside to help
      2. Amplified Bible: One who is called to stand by you constantly and take part in anything in which His help is needed
    2. D.L. Moody: Speaking to a large audience, D.L. Moody held up a glass and asked, "How can I get the air out of this glass?" One man shouted, "Suck it out with a pump!" Moody replied, "That would create a vacuum and shatter the glass." After numerous other suggestions Moody smiled, picked up a pitcher of water, and filled the glass. "There," he said, "all the air is now removed." He then went on to explain that victory in the Christian life is not accomplished by "sucking out a sin here and there," but by being filled with the Holy Spirit.
    3. How He helps
      1. He guides: directs into all truth
      2. We cannot understand Scripture without Him
    4. Inspiration
      1. God enabled select men to write down what He wanted to say
      2. It is complete
    5. Illumination
      1. Bible is a closed book, unless the Holy Spirit shines light on it
      2. "And they said to one another, 'Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?'" (Luke 24:32)
      3. All truth (v.13)
        1. Not generic truth
        2. την αλήθειας the truth
          1. specific truth, centralized on Jesus
          2. The New Testament
  6.  The Holy Spirit is a Dynamic Person
    1. Give us power to:
      1. Testify: "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me." (v. 26)
      2. Bear Witness "And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning." (v. 27)
    2. "And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, 'which,' He said, 'you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.'" (Acts 1:4-5)
    3. "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8) Δύναμις; dunamis- power
    4. Peter
      1. Prior to the resurrection and Pentecost: a timid fisherman. He denied Christ before a servant girl
      2. After the resurrection and Pentecost: boldly preaching
      3. "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit," (Acts 4:8)
    5. We are baptized with the Holy Spirit when we believe
    6. We are commanded to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit: "Be filled with the Spirit," (Ephesians 5:18)

Greek Terms: Παράκλητος; paraklétos - one called alongside to help; την αλήθειας the truth; Δύναμις; dunamis- power;
Figures Referenced: Lloyd John Ogilvie; Arius; Mary Baker Eddy (Glover Patterson Fry); R.A. Torrey; Sabellias; D.L. Moody
Publications Referenced: Doxology, Thomas Ken
Cross References: Genesis 1:2; Luke 24:32; John 13; John 14; Acts 1:4-5; Acts 1:8; Acts 4:8; Acts 5:1-4; Acts 5; Romans 8:26; Romans 8:27; Romans 15:30; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5; Hebrews 10:29



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Holy Hound of Heaven
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 16:5-11
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/952

Having understood Who the Holy Spirit is (Person not just power; Deity not just dignitary) we now find out what He does in the world of unbelieving people. Since the greatest gift God ever gave to the world was His only Son (John 3:16) it stands to reason that the greatest sin one can commit is to reject the Son (John 16:9). How does the Holy Spirit both sentence the world as prosecutor and lead people away from judgment? And what role do we play in all of this?


  1. Introduction
    1. The Hound of Heaven
      1. Poem written in the 1800s
      2. By Francis Thompson
        1. His father wanted him to be a doctor
        2. He didn't want to be
        3. Enrolled in medical school
        4. Addicted to opium
        5. Attempted suicide
        6. Referred to the Holy Spirit as the "Hound of Heaven"
    2. How the Holy Spirit works
      1. Draws people
      2. Reveals their need
      3. Shows that their need is met in Jesus Christ
      4. "The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of the make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units, code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed, "Sub-sequential Internal Non-morality," or more commonly known by its initials as "SIN".
        Symptoms include: Loss of direction; foul vocal emissions; amnesia of origin; lack of peace and joy; selfish, violent behavior; depression or confusion in the mental component; and rebellion.
        The Manufacturer is providing factory authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect. The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required. Call toll-free the number: P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician into the heart component.
        As an added upgrade, the Manufacturer has made available to all repaired units direct monitoring and assistance from the resident Maintenance Technician, the HOLY SPIRIT.
        WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids the Manufacturer's warranty, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.
  2. His Necessity is Undeniable (5-7)
    1. Jesus Would be Leaving
      1. Sorrow filled the disciples' hearts
        1. Πληρόω; pléroó - filled to capacity
        2. Anxiety controlled their thought processes
        3. Their best friend is leaving
      2. Not what they expected
        1. Expected eschatology
          1. Before Messiah, turmoil (Roman occupation)
          2. Before Messiah, Elijah-like forerunner (John the Baptist)
          3. Arrival of Messiah
            1. Defeat of enemies
            2. Establish His kingdom
          4. Scattered Jews return to Israel, and Jerusalem established in peace
        2. Jews believed they were between stages 2-3
      3. Focused on what they were losing instead of what they were gaining
        1. Unbelievers do that
          1. Can't give life to Christ, I'll lose my friends; will gain a Friend who sticks closer than a brother
          2. I'll lose my old life; will gain eternal, everlasting, abundant life
        2. "He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."--Jim Elliot
    2. The Spirit Will be Leading
      1. When you lose something, God replaces it with something better: "So Jesus answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time--houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions--and in the age to come, eternal life." (Mark 10:29-30)
      2. The disciples will need Him
        1. To mitigate their sorrow
        2. To fulfill their calling: "And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.'" (Mark 16:15)
          1. Enormous
          2. Impossible
  3. His Activity is Unmistakable (8-11)
    1. Convicts the World of Sin
      1. Convinces people that they are sinners
        1. No one looks for a Savior, unless they need one
        2. Only sinners need a Savior
      2. Most people need convincing
        1. Don't admit they are sinners
        2. Don't even like the term "sin"
        3. Deny sin exists
        4. Blame shift
          1. Environment
          2. Genetics
      3. God's job, not yours
        1. When we try to convict, it sounds like condemnation
        2. Peter filled with Holy Spirit: " Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart," (Acts 2:37)
      4. Sin: singular, not plural
        1. Not particular sins: conscience handles that
        2. Sin of unbelief
          1. Most don't see unbelief as a sin
          2. Think unbelief marks them as intelligent
          3. Worst of all sin: prevents forgiveness of all other sins
          4. Only the Holy Spirit can convict of the sin of unbelief
    2. Convicts  the World of Righteousness
      1. The Holy Spirit convinces people they aren't good enough
      2. World has its own relative righteousness
        1. Like degrees on a thermometer
        2. Hope God will grade on a curve
          1. Better than some
          2. "We try harder"
      3. Jesus demonstrated the righteousness God accepts
        1. "Which of you convicts Me of sin?" (John 8:46)
        2. "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20)
        3. "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
        4. "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts." (Isaiah 6:5)
      4. We cannot brag about our own righteousness when we stand next to The Righteous One
        1. When Jesus died, rose, and ascended to heaven it was as if God said, "This is the righteousness I accepts"
        2. Only the righteousness He provides is enough
        3. Paul: "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;" (Philippians 3:7-9)
    3. Convicts the World of Judgment
      1. Convinces that judgment is real
        1. We are liable if we reject God's solution
        2. We are liable if we reject God's righteousness
      2. When Jesus died Satan's doom was sealed
        1. He hasn't been sentenced yet
        2. Those who follow him, end up destroyed
      3. Good to be worried about the coming judgment
        1. It's not good to push away conviction
        2. Those on the Titanic who said to the iceberg warning, "Shut up! We're busy!"
  4.  His Agency is Unremarkable (7-8)
    1. The Holy Spirit convicts using human channels
    2. Make yourself available to His work
    3. Every conversion in Acts uses a human agent
      1. Peter on the day of Pentecost
      2. Saul had a vision
        1. He had "kicked against the goads" (See Acts 9:5)
        2. Heard Stephen's testimony
        3. Witnessed Stephen's death
    4. Although God does miracles, he normally uses human agents
    5. Normal people
      1. Peter: fisherman, high strung, easily angered
      2. James and John: wanted to call down fire from heaven (See Luke 9:54)
      3. Thomas: negative
      4. "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;" (1 Corinthians 1:27)
      5. "You are writing a Gospel, a chapter a day,
        By the deeds that you do and the words that you say.
        Men read what you write—distorted or true;
        What is the Gospel according to you?" -- Anonymous

Greek terms: Πληρόω; pléroó - filled to capacity
Figures Referenced: Jim Elliot, Jack Nicklaus, Gerald Ford, Billy Graham
Publications Referenced: "Important! Recall Notice," Unknown; "The Gospel According to You," Anonymous
Cross References: Isaiah 6:5; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 5:48; Mark 10:29-30; Mark 16:15; Luke 9:54; John 3:16; John 8:46; Acts 2:37; Acts 9:5; 1 Corinthians 1:27; Philippians 3:7-9

Topic: Holy Spirit

Keywords: Holy spirit, conviction, sin, righteousness, judgment



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: When Sorrow Turns to Joy
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 16:16-22
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/953

The flamboyant baseball-legend-turned-preacher Billy Sunday stated, "If you have no joy in your religion, there's a leak in your Christianity somewhere!" That's not to say that life is all laughs. Hardly! Jesus anticipated His followers' deep sorrow. He predicted it. But He also assured them that their experience of sadness would be eclipsed by a greater experience of lasting joy.


  1. Introduction
    1. There are people like the characters from Winnie the Pooh in the church
      1. "Some people think it's difficult to be a Christian and to laugh, but I think it's the other way around. God writes a lot of comedy—it's just that He has so many bad actors." Garrison Keillor, Christianity Today, 3 October 1986
      2. Nothing more attractive than a Christian with authentic joy: it's infectious
      3. Pessimistic Christians are poor advertisements for the gospel
    2. Theme: how sorrow is turned into joy
    3. Jesus presents many contrasts recorded by John
      1. Death/life
      2. Light/darkness
      3. Disciples/world
      4. Temporary joy/permanent joy
      5. Pregnancy/live birth
      6. Sorrow/joy
    4. Horatio Spafford (lawyer)
      1. Family died at sea
      2. Wrote It Is Well with My Soul
      3. "When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
        When sorrows like sea billows roll;
        Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
        It is well, it is well, with my soul."
  2. Confusion Can Challenge Joy (vv. 16-18)
    1. The Disciples' Misunderstanding
      1. Those closest to Jesus still get confused
      2. Representation of the apostles
        1. Art community portrayal: older, wise men
        2. Biblical portrait of apostles:
          1. When Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem fulfilling Zechariah 9:9: "His disciples did not understand these things at first;" (John 12:16)
          2. "'And where I go you know, and the way you know.' Thomas said to Him, 'Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?'" (John 14:4-5)
          3. After transfiguration: "Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant." (Mark 9:9-10)
          4. "But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him." (Mark 9:32)
          5. "And His disciples came to Him, saying, 'Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.'" (Matthew 13:36)
      3. When we know and understand there is confidence
      4. When expectations are unmet, confusion mitigates joy
        1. Disciples: He loves us, but He's leaving
        2. Disciples: He talks about His kingdom, but says He is going to die
        3. Us: The Bible says God loves me, but circumstances don't look that way to me
    2. The Disciples’ Means of Handling It
      1. Talked it out
        1. Not afraid to discuss
        2. Not too proud to admit confusion
      2. Some are too proud; they never get answers
      3. Some are too busy; they never grow to maturity
      4. "He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever" -- Chinese proverb
  3. Promises Can Anchor Joy (vv. 19-20)
    1. Concerning Their Reunion
    2. Concerning Their Joy
    3. Promises are more important than explanations
      1. When someone faces the death of a loved one, offer promises, not explanations. (Comforting the Bereaved, by Warren and David Wiersbe)
      2. We don't need reasons, we need resources'
    4. A little while
      1. Jesus used this phrase 8 times
      2. Meaning
        1. Immediately
          1. Upon the resurrection
          2. "Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord." (John 20:20)
        2. Imminently
          1. When the Holy Spirit was sent in and upon them
          2. "And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 13:52)
        3. Ultimately: Future: eschatologically when all the believers are gathered in His presence
      3. Relative term: Jesus used it differently at different times
        1. One day: "A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also." (John 14:19)
        2. One year: "I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me." (John 7:33)
      4. "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8)
      5. If all of history were condensed to 50 years: 5 months ago, the printing press invented; 20 days ago, electricity discovered; 19 days ago telephone invented; 18 days ago, the first airplane; 10 days ago the first radio; 5 days ago the first television; 5 minutes ago, the first jet;
    5. We can endure the present trial when we know it will end
  4.  Sorrow Can Lead to Joy (vv. 21-22)
    1. Delivery is Overshadowed by Maternity
    2. Despondency Will be Overshadowed by Ecstasy
    3. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, everything on earth was subjected to God's curse. All creation anticipates the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us. (Romans 8:18-23 NLT)
    4. What the world does when sorrowful
      1. Drink
      2. Drugs
      3. Entertainment (35% combat depression by watching TV)
    5. What we should do when sorrowful
      1. Replace your thoughts with His truth
        1. "We must talk to ourselves instead of allowing ourselves to talk to us... most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself...You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself." (Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones)
        2. "Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ," (2 Corinthians 10:5)
      2. Replace yourself with your God
        1. Not focused inwardly or self-absorbed
        2. "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21)
      3. Replace your past with His future: "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4)

Publications Referenced: Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne; Christianity Today, Garrison Keillor, 3 October 1986; It Is Well with My Soul, Horatio Spafford; Comforting the Bereaved, by Warren and David Wiersbe
Figures Referenced: Billy Sunday; Carol Burnett; David Martyn Lloyd Jones
Cross References: Job 1:21; Matthew 13:36; Mark 9:32; Mark 9:9-10; John 7:33; John 12:16; John 14:4-5; John 14:19; John 20:20; Acts 13:52; Romans 8:18-23; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 2 Peter 3:8; Revelation 21:4

Topic: Joy

Keywords: sorrow, joy, promise, confusion, "a little while"



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: How to Send Knee-Mail
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 16:23-28
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/955

Today you can be anywhere in the world and send or receive messages digitally via email. Sending email has eclipsed traditional mail for years now. Sending knee-mail is similar (you can be anywhere)—but with better results! You don't need wifi or a modem; you don't need an electronic device or a computer. Before Jesus left His disciples, He wanted them to get "online" with the Father and stay connected through the simple yet powerful means of prayer.


  1. Introduction
    1. Jerusalem's Western Wall (wailing wall) (כותל; Kotel)
      1. People write prayers, stuff papers in the cracks
      2. Email or tweet and others place prayers for you
      3. iPhone app: Send a Prayer: "The only iPhone app that gets you directly in touch with God"
    2. Prayer: honest, real, heartfelt communication between earth (our lives) and heaven
    3. Average person spends 49 minutes a day managing email compared to 3-4 minutes in prayer
    4. Typical reaction when prayer is mentioned
      1. Guilt
      2. Fear (fear of praying in public)
      3. Bored:
        1. Haven't seen many results
        2. Not fun
        3. Use commonly used phrases; rerun rather than spontaneous expression
        4. Solution: pray with new Christians
          1. Haven't learned Christianese
          2. No baggage
        5. "I dare you to pray without using words like 'bless' or 'lead, guide, and direct' or 'help so-and-so' or 'Thy will' or 'each and every' or any number of those institutionalized galvanized terms. I dare you!"—Charles Swindoll
    5. Jesus repeats this message twice in the same night: knows human nature
      1. We require frequent reminders
      2. Everything was about to change for the disciples
        1. Jesus would not be with them
        2. They needed a new dynamic relationship with the Father in heaven
  2. Be Confident (vv. 23-24)
    1. Confident in the Activity of Prayer
      1. Pray to God as a child of God
      2. Invited to ask
        1. 5 times "ask" is repeated in this passage
        2. Ask: to inquire about something; to request something from a superior
      3. "Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance but laying hold of God's willingness." —George Müeller
    2. Confident in the Approach of Prayer
      1. Ask the Father directly
        1. Not thru Jesus, but in His name
        2. Jewish tradition: God would listen more to pious teachers or rabbis than to others
      2. "Ask me nothing": 
        1. Jesus would no longer be physically with them
        2. They could go directly to the Father as they had gone to Jesus
      3. Access
        1. In the ancient world, access of mankind to deity was unheard of
        2. Greeks: viewed gods as jealous, hostile, or indifferent toward man (i.e., Prometheus)
        3. Judaism: access through priests; separated by walls, courtyard
        4. Jesus tore the veil, gave access to come
        5. "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)
        6. "Prayer pulls the rope below, and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give but an occasional pluck at the rope; but he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might."—C. H. Spurgeon
  3. Be Intelligent (vv. 25-26)
    1. Engage the mind
    2. Use the wisdom God gave you
    3. Jesus knew his disciples didn't understand all He was talking about
      1. Anticipates the day they will understand
      2. Disciples understand more after the resurrection when they are filled with the Holy Spirit
    4. Prayer must never become a mindless activity
      1. We don't write meaningless letters or hold incoherent conversations
      2. "When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. Don't be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!" (Matthew 6:7-8 NLT)
    5. At the time, prayer was formalized
      1. Memorized
      2. Read
      3. Shema: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ‎;
      4. Prescribed prayers
      5. Set times for prayer (9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm)
      6. Prescribed places to pray (synagogue, temple)
    6. Believed the longer, the more flowery, the better (trying to impress one another)
    7. Lord's prayer is a model (See Matthew 6:9-13)
  4. Be Compliant:
    1. In Your Relationship with God (vv. 27-28)
      1. Love Jesus
      2. Believe He is Who He says He is
        1. Incarnation
        2. Humiliation
        3. Resurrection
        4. Ascension
      3. Believers: "Lord, dismiss us now with your peace, except for those who don't know you; keep them miserable until they come to know the Prince of Peace."—Donald Grey Barnhouse
    2. In the Name of Jesus (vv. 23, 24, 26)
      1. Based on His Merit
      2. According to His objective
        1. What Jesus Himself would want
        2. "Jesus gave his followers authority to draw checks on the power bank of heaven. Clearly, however, the checks may only be drawn when the purpose of the check conforms with heavenly policy. It is only when I am acting as Christ's agent that I may pray 'in his name.'"­ John White
  5. Be Expectant (vv. 23-24)
    1. There Will be Answers
      1. We know God will answer
      2. Prayer for Peter's release from jail (See Acts 12)
    2. There Will be Joy
      1. When God answers, we know He is at work
      2. We have a higher level of life, connected directly to God
  6. Application:
    1. "You can do more than pray, after you have prayed. But, you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed."—John Bunyan
    2. Prayer is not a last resort


Improve Your Connection:

    1. Think before you pray. Whom are you addressing? What do you really want to say?
    2. Pray while taking a walk. You may even want to try singing your prayer (how about in the shower?).
    3. How much do you experience joy as a part of your prayer life?

Hebrew Terms: כותל; Kotel--western wall; Shema: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ‎;
Publications referenced: "The Fight: A Practical Handbook for Christian Living," by John White
Figures referenced: Charles Swindoll; George Müeller; C.H. Spurgeon; Donald Grey Barnhouse; Tony Evans; John Bunyan
Cross References: Matthew 6:7-8; Matthew 6:9-13; Acts 12; Hebrews 4:16



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: I've Fallen, but I CAN Get Up!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 16:29-33
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/960

I would rather fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than to succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail! So said President Woodrow Wilson. Our Lord knows us better than we know ourselves and is not surprised by our weaknesses. We all fall and fail, even though we may commit to standing strong. What can we learn about ourselves and our God in such valleys? Even more, what kind of restoration can we hope for after our bout with failure?


  1. Introduction
    1. Failure
      1. We all fail, fall, and struggle
      2. Failure should be an instructor, never an undertaker
      3. The disciples would fall
        1. Their faith would be shaken
        2. Doubt would fill their minds
        3. Their failure was not permanent: they would get up and stand strong again
      4. We all start life as failures
        1. Walk: fall down
        2. Swim: nearly drown
        3. Swing at a ball: miss
      5. None has maintained a perfect witness for Jesus Christ: key is getting up
      6. Abraham Lincoln
        1. Failed as a businessman in 1831
        2. Defeated for Legislature in 1832
        3. Elected to Legislature in 1834
        4. Sweetheart died in 1835
        5. Nervous breakdown in 1836
        6. Defeated for Speaker of the House in 1838
        7. Defeated for Congress in 1843
        8. Elected to Congress in 1846
        9. Defeated for Congress in 1848
        10. Defeated for Senate in 1850
        11. Defeated for Vice Presidency in 1856
        12. Defeated for Senate in 1858
        13. Elected President
      7. When you fail, you can get up and have a deep sense of peace and victory
    2. Context: Upper Room Discourse  (John 13-16)
      1. One of the longest recorded messages Jesus gave His disciples
      2. Passover night
      3. Half presented in the Upper Room at the Passover meal
      4. Walking toward the Garden of Gethsemane (John 15-16)
      5. Jesus has said a lot
        1. Most the disciples confessed they didn't understand
        2. They now assert they do understand
        3. Jesus predicts they will fail, fall, be scattered
        4. Ultimately they will have His peace, His victory
  2. Our Faith is Unreliable: Bragging (vv. 29-30)
    1.  "We Know"
      1. He has told them He is leaving in figurative language: "'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.'  Then some of His disciples said among themselves, 'What is this that He says to us, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'; and, 'because I go to the Father'?' They said therefore, 'What is this that He says, 'A little while'? We do not know what He is saying.'" (John 16:16-18)
      2. Jesus explains more plainly:
        1. "'These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father.'" (John 16:25)
        2. "'I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.'" (John 16:28)
      3. Disciples boldly say they know and believe
        1. When Confused
          1. Didn't tell Jesus
          2. Told each other: "Then some of His disciples said among themselves, 'What is this that He says to us, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'; and, 'because I go to the Father'?'" (John 16:17)
    2. "We Believe"
      1. Faulty assertion
        1. Their faith was not as strong as they thought it was
        2. They will be confused and scattered
        3. "Peter answered and said to Him, 'Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.'  Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.'  Peter said to Him, 'Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!' And so said all the disciples." (Matthew 26:33-35)
      2. They meant well, but their faith was weak and unreliable
        1. Their  belief was attached to an unrealistic expectation
        2. Believed Jesus would immediately set up His Messianic kingdom
        3. "Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, 'Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?'" (Acts 1:6)
    3. We say we believe in God and know certain theological truths: Be careful!
      1. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." (1 Corinthians 10:12)
      2. "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)
      3. We may believe in things Jesus never promised
        1. New Christians: no troubles
        2. According to Religion Watch: "Pentecostals are three times more likely than other Christians to experience major depression, according to a Vanderbilt University study. The overall group, in this case 2850 North Carolinians over a 6-month period experienced serious depression at the rate of 1.7%; whereas the rate among Pentecostals was 5.4%. Researchers surmise that the higher rate may be partly because people who are already depressed may be attracted to Pentecostalism's emphasis on physical and spiritual healing."
      4. What exactly do you believe?
        1. What He said?
        2. All His promises?
        3. A select one?
        4. Something He never said
      5. When expectations aren't met, we may be sorely disappointed
  3. Our Failure is Understandable: Blundering (vv. 31-32)
    1. Confused
      1. Do you?
        1. They would doubt
        2. When He is on the cross, the doubt takes over
        3. Disciples on the road to Emmaus: "We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel." (Luke 24:21 NIV)
      2. Our confusion
        1. "There is a window in your heart through which you can see God. Once upon a time the window was clear. Your view of God was crisp. You could see God as vividly as you could see a gentle valley or hillside. The glass was clean, the pane unbroken. You knew God. You knew how he worked. You knew what he wanted you to do. No surprises. Nothing unexpected. You knew that God had a will, and you continually discovered what it was. Then, suddenly, the window cracked. A pebble broke the window. A pebble of pain…. Whatever the pebble’s form, the result was the same—a shattered window. The pebble missiled into the pane and shattered it.… Before your pain, the view was clear; God seemed so near. After your pain, well, he was harder to see. He seemed a bit distant . . . harder to perceive. Your pain distorted the view—not eclipsed it, but distorted it." -- Max Lucado
        2. Hold fast!
          1. When you come out of faith-shaking storms, it's clearer and better
          2. False expectations are pushed away
    2. Scattered
      1. Σκορπίζω; skorpizó - disperse, scatter abroad (as of sheep)
      2. They were together, but when Jesus is arrested they will run
      3. "Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered;" (Zechariah 13:7; see also Matthew 26:31 and Mark 14:27)
      4. They said they "We know, we believe;" Jesus said, "You will leave me alone."
        1. Leave Jesus to His enemies;
        2. What of their knowledge and belief?
      5. Jesus reaction
        1. He didn't castigate them
        2. He was compassionate and broken-hearted
      6. Jesus knew they would fail Him
        1. Your faith is weak
        2. You will run away
        3. Predicts their recovery and peace
      7. In a trial, do not walk away from the company of God's people
        1. Run to God's people
        2. A soldier who goes on his own isn't safe: he is either killed or captured
  4. Our Future is Unmistakable: Blessing (v. 33)
    1. Promise of Peace
      1. These things (all He has spoken)
        1. He loved them (demonstrated by washing their feet)
        2. Heaven
        3. They would do greater works than He
        4. The Holy Spirit would work powerfully through them
        5. How to talk to God
      2. Despite hostility, tribulation, persecution, and confusion, you can have peace and victory
      3. Peace defined:
        1. Absence of conflict (inadequate)
        2. Presence of God in the midst of conflict
        3. Peace in the Midst of the Storm, (painting) by Jack. E. Dawson
    2. Promise of Victory
      1. θλῖψις; thlipsis - pressure, tribulation
      2. "I have overcome the world"
        1. Past tense
        2. He would go to the cross and conquer sin
        3. He will conquer the world at His Second Coming
        4. I guarantee it; it's as good as done
        5. Satan uses the world to overcome you; Jesus has overcome the world
        6. We are still attacked in the death throes of a defeated enemy
      3. How to live in a world that gives us tribulation
        1. Victim - overcome by the world
        2. Victor - overcome the world
          1. Compensation (inadequate) - clench fists, grit teeth, look toward heaven
          2. Transformation - in the midst of tribulation, roots go deep, find refreshment
        3. "As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools." (Psalm 84:6)
        4. Ted and Dorothy Hustead of Wall Drug
          1. Drought of 1832
          2. Signs as far as New York and Paris
          3. Live by motto "Pain is inevitable, misery is optional"

Greek Terms: Σκορπίζω; skorpizó - disperse, scatter abroad (as of sheep); θλῖψις; thlipsis - pressure, tribulation
Figures referenced: Abraham Lincoln; Max Lucado; Ted and Dorothy Hustead
Publications referenced: Religion Watch, published by Religioscope Institute; Peace in the Midst of the Storm, by Jack. E. Dawson
Cross references: Psalm 84:6; Proverbs 16:18; Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31; Matthew 26:33-35; Mark 14:27; Luke 24:21; John 16:16-18; John 16:25; John 16:28; Acts 1:6; 1 Corinthians 10:12

Topic: Upper Room Discourse

Keywords: failure, peace, victory



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Holy Eavesdropping
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 17:1
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/964

Imagine if you could sit and listen to Jesus talking to His Father—what would Jesus say to Him? In this prayer (which comprises all of John 17) we step onto holy ground. His instruction to His followers is now over. His preparation of them is done. He now turns His attention heavenward to talk directly to His Father about Himself, about His disciples, and about His future church. This prayer is unique for four reasons:


  1. Introduction
    1. The greatest prayer ever prayed by the greatest person who ever lived
      1. We are standing on holy ground
      2. Veil pulled back; we gaze into the heart of God
    2. Longest recorded prayer of Jesus
      1. Elsewhere we are told He prayed all night (see Luke 6:12)
      2. 632 words; 25 verses
    3. The Lord's Prayer
      1. Matthew 6:9-13 records the "Disciples Prayer": He taught them to pray
      2. This is His own prayer
        1. Personal communication with the Father
        2. His requests made just hours before His death
  2. The Person Who Spoke It
    1. He is equal with God
      1. "Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,"
      2. "As You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:2-3)
      3. "And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them." (John 17:10)
      4. "Being in very nature God" (Philippians 2:6 NIV)
    2. 19 times in the gospels we see Jesus praying
    3. Jesus has two natures: God but Man
      1. Theanthropic
        1. θεòς; theos - god
        2. ἄνθρωπος; anthropos - man
        3. Fully God, fully Man
      2. For 33 years, subjected Himself obediently to the Father's will
      3. Dependent on the father
      4. First heresy denied the humanity of Jesus Christ: Gnosticism
      5. "Jesus may have had pimples. He may have been tone-deaf. Perhaps a girl down the street had a crush on him or vice versa. It could be that his knees were bony. One thing’s for sure: He was, while completely divine, completely human.
        For thirty-three years he would feel everything you and I have ever felt. He felt weak. He grew weary. He was afraid of failure. He was susceptible to wooing women. He got colds, burped, and had body odor. His feelings got hurt. His feet got tired. And his head ached. To think of Jesus in such a light is—well, it seems almost irreverent, doesn’t it? It’s not something we like to do; it’s uncomfortable. It is much easier to keep the humanity out of the incarnation. Clean the manure from around the manger. Wipe the sweat out of his eyes. Pretend he never snored or blew his nose or hit his thumb with a hammer.
        He’s easier to stomach that way.  There is something about keeping him divine that keeps him distant, packaged, predictable.
        But don’t do it. For heaven’s sake, don’t. Let him be as human as he intended to be.  Let him into the mire and muck of our world. For only if we let him in can he pull us out."-- Max Lucado
    4. Jesus Christ was dependant on the Father. Should we depend on Him any less?
  3.  The Power That Results From It
    1. If Jesus prayed it, it will be answered
      1. He is never out of sync with the Father
      2. "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me." (John 11:41-42)
    2. Jesus' prayers generally
      1. Himself (see John 17:1-5)
      2. His 11 apostles (see John 17:6-19)
      3. Us (see John 17:20-26)  "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;" (John 17:20)
    3. Jesus' specific prayers
      1. Their security: "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are." (John 17:11)
      2. Their safety: "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one." (John 17:15)
      3. Their sanctity: "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." (John 17:17)
      4. Their unity: "That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us," (John 17:21)
      5. Their eternity: "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world." (John 17:24)
    4. If we want our prayers answered, pray along those lines
      1. The will of God for us according to Christ
      2. The purpose of prayer is not to get your will done in heaven, but to get God's will done on earth
      3. "I always want what God wants, and that's why I'm so happy."--Francis of Assisi
    5. Jesus is still a man of prayer
      1. "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26-27)
      2. "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)
      3. His mediatorial work: His unfinished work
    6. How does it make you feel to know Jesus is praying for you?
      1. Satan accuses the brethren
      2. Jesus is our defense attorney
  4. The Posture That Accompanied It
    1. Jesus lifted His eyes
      1. Jewish posture of prayer acknowledging God's throne in heaven
      2. "Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens.” (Psalm 123:1)
    2. What is the right posture for prayer?
      1. Whatever gets you to pray!
      2. Abraham stood (see Genesis 18:22)
      3. Jehoshaphat bowed (see 2 Chronicles 20:18)
      4. Daniel knelt down (see Daniel 6:10)
      5. Solomon lifted his hands (2 Kings 8:22)
      6. Ezra knelt and lifted his hands (see Ezra 9:5)
    3. Jesus prayed aloud
      1. Someone heard and recorded it
      2. "He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, 'O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.'" (Matthew 26:39)
      3. Praying aloud lessens distractions
  5. The Purpose That Directed It
    1. In His prayer, Jesus prays least for Himself (5 of 26 verses)
    2. The theme of His prayer is the glory of God
      1. Glory or glorify mentioned 8 times
      2. Δοξάζω; doxazo - honor, bestow glory on, make someone renown
      3. "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do." (John 17:4)
      4. "I have manifested Your name." (John 17:6)
    3. The Hour
      1. Planned from eternity past
      2. "My hour has not yet come." (John 2:4)
      3. "Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come." (John 7:30)
      4. "Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end." (John 13:1)
      5. The Cross
        1. Satan's power destroyed
        2. Salvation dispersed to all who believe
  6. Application
    1. If you want a good idea how to talk to God, eavesdrop on Jesus talking to God: to please and glorify the Father
    2. The anthem of Heaven: "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created." (Revelation 4:11)

Greek Terms: Δοξάζω; doxazo - honor, bestow glory on, make someone renown; θεòς; theos - god; ἄνθρωπος; anthropos - man
Figures Referenced: Franklin Graham; Billy Graham; Francis of Assisi
Publications Referenced: God Came Near, by Max Lucado
Cross References: Genesis 18:22; 2 Kings 8:22; 2 Chronicles 20:18; Ezra 9:5; Psalm 123:1; Daniel 6:10; Matthew 6:9-13; Matthew 26:39; Luke 6:12; John 2:4; John 7:30; John 11:41-42; John 13:1; John 17:2-3; John 17:4; John 17:6; John 17:10; John 17:11; John 17:15; John 17:17; John 17:20; John 17:21; John 17:24; Romans 8:26-27; Philippians 2:6; Hebrews 7:25; Revelation 4:11

Topic: Prayer

Keywords: prayer, pray



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Gifts That Keep On Giving
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 17:1-5
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/966

It's possible to give without loving but it's impossible to love without giving— Richard Braunstein. Part of God's nature is that He shows His love by His generous gifts. "For God so loved the world that He gave..." (John 3: 16). Here, in the opening lines of Jesus' prayer to His Father, He requests a gift from His Father and acknowledges three other gifts—two given to the Son by the Father, and one given by the Son to us. These are the gifts that keep on giving!


  1. Introduction
    1. "And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' " (Acts 20:35)
    2. Giving is sometimes stressful
      1. Herb Forst's list of what not to buy for your wife
        1. Don't buy anything that plugs in. -- Anything that requires electricity is seen as utilitarian.
        2. Don't buy clothing that involves sizes. -- The chances are one in 7,000 that you will get her size right, and your wife will be offended the other 6,999 times. "Do I look like a size 16?," she'll say. Too small a size doesn't cut it either. "I haven't worn a size 8 in twenty years!"
        3. Avoid all things useful. -- The new silver polish advertised to save hundreds of hours is not going to win you any brownie points.
        4. Don't buy anything involving weight loss or self-improvement. -- She'll perceive a six month membership to a diet center as a suggestion that she's overweight.
        5. Don't buy jewelry. -- The jewelry your wife wants, you can't afford. And the jewelry you can afford, she doesn't want.
        6. Don't spend too much. -- "How do you think we're going to afford that?" she'll ask.
        7. Don't spend too little. -- "Is that all I'm worth to you?"
      2. According to American Express survey: the worst gift is fruitcake
      3. What people do with unwanted gifts:
        1. 30%: hide it in the closet
        2. 21%: return it
        3. 19%: give it away
    3. No problem for God to find the perfect gift: He knows what we need
    4. "Give" or "given" found 17 times in John 17
    5. It's okay to pray for yourself: Jesus did it
    6. Jesus' entire life marked by prayer
      1. General
        1. He prayed all night (see Luke 6:12)
        2. He prayed early in the morning
      2. Specific: we too ought to be specific
  2.  The Gift of Glory
    1. The Glory of the Cross (v. 1)
      1. Planned since the beginning
      2. His death opens the door of salvation
      3. How Jesus' death is glorious
        1. Some are not appreciated until after death
          1. Edmond Stanton: "There lies the greatest leader of men this world has ever seen" of Abraham Lincoln
          2. Centurion: "Truly this was the Son of God!" of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 27:54)
      4. Reveals there is no limit to which God would go in demonstrating His love
        1. Demonstrates the mercy kindness grace and love of God
        2. If Jesus had stopped short of the cross, there would have been a limit
        3. "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)
    2. The Glory of Heaven (v. 5)
      1. Pre-existent glory shared with the Father
        1. He left heaven to come to earth
        2. He endured rebellion, sin, and hatred: "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him." (John 1:11)
      2. Jesus longed to go back to heaven
      3. Glimpses of Jesus' glory on earth: Transfiguration : "As the men watched, Jesus' appearance changed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothing became dazzling white." (Matthew 17:2 NLT)
      4. God answered Jesus prayer
        1. "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11)
        2. "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" (Acts 7:56)
        3. "'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!' And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: 'Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!'" (Revelation 5:12-13)
        4. "The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light." (Revelation 21:23)
      5. Jesus is home and he promised: "I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2)
  3.  The Gift of Authority (v.2)
    1. Jesus had all authority: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." (Matthew 28:18)
    2. His authority displayed
      1. He spoke with authority:
        1. "And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." (Matthew 7:28-29)
        2. He commanded thousands of people outdoors with His voice
      2. He forgave with authority:
        1. To the paralytic: "Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.' And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, 'This Man blasphemes!' But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, 'Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins'--then He said to the paralytic, 'Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.'" (Matthew 9:2-6)
        2. The people knew they were indeed forgiven
      3. Authority over the natural world
        1. Miracles
        2. Heal the sick
        3. Raise the dead
        4. Calmed the storm: "Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace, be still!' And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, 'Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?' And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, 'Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!'" (Mark 4:39-41)
      4. Authority over the supernatural world
        1. Delivered those oppressed by demons
        2. "What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out." (Luke 4:36)
      5. Authority over life and death
        1. Others
        2. His own: "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father." (John 10:17-18)
      6. Authority over judgment: "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son," (John 5:22)
      7. How should you respond to His authority?
        1. Willingly
        2. "It matters not how strait the gate,
          How charged with punishments the scroll.
          I am the master of my fate:
          I am the captain of my soul." Invictus by William Henley
  4. The Gift of Humanity (v. 2)
    1. "As many as you have given" seven times in this passage
      1. "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word." (John 17:6)
      2. "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours." (John 17:9)
      3. "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are." (John 17:11)
    2. You are a love gift from the father to the Son
      1. The church; the called out ones
      2. "On this rock I will build My church" (Matthew 16:18)
      3. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." (Matthew 13:44)
        1. Not us finding God and getting rid of everything for Him
          1. Cannot buy God
          2. Don't have enough to sell
          3. Jesus unlocked the meaning: the field is the world.
        2. A picture of God buying the world through His Son's blood for the treasure, which is you and I
          1. "For the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)
          2. He saw you and thought it's worth the pain
  5.  The Gift of Eternity (vv.2-3)
    1. This is a gift we receive from Jesus
    2. Eternal life
      1. More than longevity
      2. αìώνιον; aiōnion-eternal; ζωὴν; zōēn-life
        1. age abiding life
        2. quality that begins now and continues forever
      3. "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
        1. Life to the max
        2. Life to the brim and overflowing
      4. "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation"--Henry David Thoreau
      5. Relationally
        1. Know the Father
        2. Know the Son
        3. A personal experiential relationship with Him
    3. A gift is only worth something if you receive it
    4. "In front of me were two small children - a boy of about 10 and a younger girl about 5. The boy wore a ragged coat. Enormously large, tattered tennis shoes jutted far out in front of his much too short jeans. He clutched several crumpled dollar bills in his grimy hands. The girl's clothing resembled her brother's. Her head was a matted mess of curly hair. Reminders of an evening meal showed on her small face. She carried a beautiful pair of shiny, gold house slippers. As the Christmas music sounded in the store's stereo system, the girl hummed along off-key but happily.
      When we finally approached the checkout register, the girl carefully placed the shoes on the counter. She treated them as though they were a treasure. The clerk rang up the bill. 'That will be $6.09,' she said. The boy laid his crumpled dollars atop the stand while he searched his pockets. He finally came up with $3.12.
      'I guess we will have to put them back,' he bravely said. 'We will come back some other time, maybe tomorrow.'
      With that statement, a soft sob broke from the little girl. 'But Jesus would have loved those shoes,' she cried.
      'Well, we'll go home and work some more. Don't cry. We'll come back,' he said.
      Quickly I handed $3.00 to the cashier. These children had waited in line for a long time. And, after all, it was Christmas. Suddenly a pair of arms came around me and a small voice said, 'Thank you, Sir.'
      'What did you mean when you said Jesus would like the shoes?' I asked.
      The small boy answered, 'Our mommy is sick and going to Heaven. Daddy said she might go before Christmas to be with Jesus.'
      The girl spoke: 'My Sunday school teacher said the streets in Heaven are shiny gold, just like these shoes. Won't mommy be beautiful walking on those streets to match these shoes?'
      My eyes flooded as I looked into her tear streaked face. 'Yes,' I answered, 'I am sure she will.' Silently I thanked God for using these children to remind me of the true spirit of giving."--
      Author Unknown

Greek Terms: αìώνιον; aiōnion-eternal; ζωὴν; zōēn-life
Figures Referenced: Herb Forst; Edmond Stanton; Henry David Thoreau
Publications Referenced: Invictus by William Henley

Cross References: Acts 20:35; Matthew 7:28-29; Matthew 9:2-6; Matthew 13:44; Matthew 16:18; Matthew 17:2; Matthew 27:54; Matthew 28:18; Mark 4:39-41; Luke 4:36; Luke 6:12; John 1:11; John 5:22; John 10:10; John 10:17-18; John 14:2; John 17:6; John 17:9; John 17:11; Acts 7:56; Romans 8:32; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 12:2; Revelation 5:12-13; Revelation 21:23

Topic: Deity of Jesus

Keywords: glory, authority, humanity, eternity, gifts, when God prays



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: How Followers Are Formed
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 17:6-10
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/968

Okay, so which is it? Did I choose God or did God choose me? Perspective is everything! If you look at it from the divine viewpoint, you'll say God chose. If you're looking at it from a human viewpoint, you'll say we do the choosing. But why can't both be true? I suppose you can sit around, scratch your head, and try to ponder such imponderables, or you can sigh happily and say with a grateful heart, "I'm elated that He chose me!" But you should also ask yourself another question while you're at it—What am I going to do about it now?


  1. Introduction
    1. Followers of Jesus Christ: disciples
    2. We make choices
      1. The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost: "I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."
      2. Choosing to follow Jesus
    3. God the Son speaking to God the Father
      1. Followers are formed
      2. Disciples are made
      3. Divine election
    4. Disciples
      1. μαθητὴς; mathētēs - pupil, learner, student (mathematics)
      2. In the time of ancient philosophers, disciples pursued mentors
  2.  The Father Reserves
    1. He Chooses Us for Himself
      1. Who chose whom?
        1. Simon Peter and Andrew: "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19)
        2. James and John: "He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him." (Matthew 4:21-22)
        3. Matthew: "'Follow Me.' So he arose and followed Him." (Matthew 9:9)
      2. We make a decision
        1. "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve," (Joshua 24:15)
        2. "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17)
        3. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
        4. "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." (John 5:40)
        5. "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink." (John 7:37)
        6. "And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17)
    2. He Chooses Us for His Son
      1. God reserves, elects, predestines, calls
      2. " No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;" (John 6:44)
      3. "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love," (Ephesians 1:4)
      4. "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37)
      5. What Jesus sought to harmonize, let's not polarize
    3. He Chooses Us Out of the World
  3.   The Son Reveals
    1. Jesus Reveals God to Us
      1. He has revealed God's nature to us: "I spelled out your character in detail" (John 17:6 MSG)
      2. Jesus shows us what God is like
        1. "He is the visible image of the invisible God." (Colossians 1:15 CJV)
        2. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus
        3. Jesus makes Yahweh (I AM WHO I AM [see Exodus 3:14]) approachable
          1. "I am the bread of life." (John 6:35)
          2. Living water (see John 4:10)
          3. "I am the good shepherd." (John 10:11)
          4. "I am the door of the sheep." (John 10:7)
        4. Brings God to a level we can understand; whatever we need
        5. "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father;" (John 14:9)
          1. When teaching, He reveals God cares that we know certain truths
          2. When healing, He reveals God cares about human suffering
          3. When weeping, He reveals God is brokenhearted over rejection by His people
    2. Jesus Reveals Truth to Us
      1. Truth about life, us, and God
        1. " For I have given to them the words which You have given Me;" (John 14:8)
        2. "I have given them Your word;" (John 14:14)
        3. "Your word is truth." (John 14:17)
      2. Jesus is the living Word: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)
      3. Jesus authenticated the Old Testament
        1. "The Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35)
        2. "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17)
      4. Jesus anticipates the New Testament
        1. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." (John 14:26)
        2. "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." (John 16:12)
          1. Epistles
          2. Revelation
      5. Receiving the word of Christ generates faith
        1. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
        2. "For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me." (John 17:8)
  4. The Follower Responds: As yourself: "So what"— Many listen casually, forget it immediately, and never grow spiritually
    1.  We Receive Truth
      1. Like a phone
      2. Λαμβάνω; lambanó - accept, catch collect, grasp
        1. Ponder them to grip them
        2. Like a wide receiver
    2. We Believe Truth
      1. How the Christian walk begins
      2. When you hear truth you receive and believe it
      3. It is possible to listen to great Bible teaching and not grow
        1. Judas Iscariot
        2. Parable of the sower (See Matthew 13:3-23)
    3. We Behave According to Truth
      1. Does your life reflect that you are chosen out of the worldly system? Or does your life mirror the world system?
      2. True disciples are more than learners, they are livers
      3. Sometimes we don't believe what we believe
        1. Our formal theology differs from our practical theology
        2. What we say is not what we live
        3. Kids are Dogs, Teens are Cats, by Adair Lara
          "I just realized that while children are dogs ... loyal and affectionate ...
          teenagers are cats.
          It's so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it, train it, boss it around. It
          puts its head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a Rembrandt
          painting. It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when you call it.
          Then around age 13, your adoring little puppy turns into a big old cat.
          When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who
          died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging your doorstep, it
          disappears. You won't see it again until it gets hungry ... then it pauses
          on its sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn its nose up at
          whatever you're serving. When you reach out to ruffle its head, in that
          old affectionate gesture, it twists away from you then gives you a blank
          stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before.
          You, not realizing that the dog is now a cat, think something must be
          desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial, so distant, sort of
          depressed. It won't go on family outings. Since you're the one who
          raised it, taught it to fetch and stay and sit on command, you assume
          that you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt and fear, you redouble
          your efforts to make your pet behave.
          Only now you're dealing with a cat, so everything that worked before
          now produces the opposite of the desired result. Call it and it runs
          away. Tell it to sit and it jumps on the counter. The more you go toward
          it, wringing your hands, the more it moves away.
          Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you can learn to behave
          like a cat owner. Put a dish of food near the door and let it come to
          you. But remember that a cat needs your help and your affection too.
          Sit still and it will come, seeking that warm, comforting lap it has not
          entirely forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.
          One day your grown-up child will walk into the kitchen, give you a big
          kiss and say, "You've been on your feet all day. Let me get those dishes
          for you."
          Then you'll realize your cat is a dog again."

Greek terms: μαθητὴς; mathētēs - pupil, learner, student; Λαμβάνω; lambanó - accept, catch collect, grasp
Publications Referenced: The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost; Kids are Dogs, Teens are Cats, by Adair Lara
Cross References: Exodus 3:14; Joshua 24:15; Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 4:19; Matthew 4:21-22; Matthew 5:17; Matthew 9:9; Matthew 11:28; Matthew 13:3-23; John 1:1; John 4:10; John 5:40; John 6:35; John 6:37; John 6:44; John 7:37; John 10:7; John 10:11; John 10:35; John 14:8; John 14:9; John 14:14; John 14:17; John 14:26; John 16:12; Romans 10:17;Ephesians 1:4; Colossians 1:15;Revelation 22:17;



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Missionaries or Monasteries?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 17:11-19
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/970

How can you leave your mark on the world? Most everyone wants to be remembered for some contribution made to society. Well, Jesus wants us to do that, too. In fact, He prays for that. God wants you to make an imprint on life's road so people will say, "Hey look! God's kids were here!" We can't do that by isolating ourselves. We have marching orders!


  1. Introduction
    1. At times, the world is intimidating
      1. "The world is too big for us. Too much is going on. Too many crimes. Too much violence and excitement. Try as you will, you get behind in the race in spite of yourself. It's a constant strain to keep pace --- and still, you lose ground. Science empties its discoveries on you so fast that you stagger beneath them in hopeless bewilderment. The political world now changes so rapidly you're out of breath trying to keep pace with who's in and who's out. Everything is high pressure. Human nature can't endure much more!”— Atlantic Journal, June 16, 1833
      2. "Energy Crisis Looms: World May Go Dark since Whale Blubber so Scarce"— Boston Globe, November 13, 1857
        1. Some left Boston
        2. Others stayed the course, worked toward alternate forms of energy
    2. Pressures make us isolationists or integrationists
  2. We're in a Dangerous Position
    1. "These are in the world" (v. 11)
      1. "World" used 12 times in these 9 verses
        1. "In the world" 5 times
        2. "Of the world" 5 times
      2. "World" Defined
        1. Physical world: God's creation
          1. "God, who made the world and everything in it" (Acts 17:24)
          2. "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness" (Psalm 24)
          3. As believers, we appreciate the created world more; we know the One Who created it
        2. Mankind; humankind
          1. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
          2. "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:39)
          3. We shouldn't place our love for the environment or people above our love for God: "To love the world and fail to love god would be like a bride, who being given a ring by her bridegroom loves the ring more than the bridegroom who gave it. Of course, she should love what the bridegroom gave her, but to love the ring and despise him who gave it is to reject the very meaning of the ring as a token of his love."—Augustine
        3. An ethical system
          1. κόσμος; Kosmos-world; a way a set of values, principles, activities arranged in an order with their own way of thinking, standards, and philosophies
          2. A world system whose values, standards and ideas are controlled by the Devil
          3. "The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving" (2 Corinthians 4:4 NASB)
    2. Occupational Hazard to following Jesus: hated by the world
      1. Viewed as ignorant, arrogant, intolerant, blind
      2. The moment you say you love Christ, there is a target on you
  3. We're Given God's Protection
    1. Keep; kept- guarded
    2. Jesus prays not for escape, but integration
    3. Isloation: effort to stay pure
      1. Some ate in the fields like cows
      2. Some didn't change their clothes or bathe
      3. Simeon Stylites
        1. Lived 30 years on a 60 foot pillar
        2. One who tried to emulate him: "I soon perceived it a difficult thing to be a saint while living with your own family. Now I see why Simeon Stylites and Jerome went out to the desert."
    4. Jesus prays the perfect will of God: You can be sure it will be answered
      1. "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day." (2 Timothy 1:12)
      2. "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;" (Philippians 1:6)
      3. "Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith," (Hebrews 2:12)
    5. "None of them is lost except the son of perdition" (v. 12)
      1. You have to want to be kept
      2. Judas Iscariot was never a true believer; He didn't follow Christ
    6. Security of the believer
      1. Knowing God keeps us produces stability
      2. Not knowing God keeps us produces instability
      3. God's preserving hand is not based on you or your activity, but on God
  4. We Need Spiritual Preparation
    1. Don't just make it through
      1. Finish well
      2. Be prepared to make a difference
    2. By the truth
      1. Steady doses of sanctifying truth in order to make an impact
      2. Sanctify-consecrate, set apart, dedicate, prepare
        1. In the world, not of the world
        2. Kept from the evil around you
        3. Stand against the world that hates you
      3. To know it and believe it is compelling and attractive
        1. "Set a man on fire and people will come to watch him burn"—C. H. Spurgeon
        2. Deist philosopher David Hume
          1. Didn't believe in Christ, salvation, atonement
          2. Went to hear George Whitfield: "You don't believe a word he says" "No, but he does"
        3. Billy Graham: "The Bible says..."
    3. Anchored to the Bible
      1. "Double minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:7)
      2. "The Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't"—C.H. Spurgeon
  5. We've Been Called to Permeation
    1. Graduation
      1. He takes you out: salvation
      2. He cleans you up: sanctification
      3. He puts you back: evangelism
    2. How Christians relate to the world
      1. Isolate (monastic)
      2. Insulate (Pharisees)
        1. The separated ones
        2. Didn't evangelize
      3. Vegetate
        1. Apathetic Christians
        2. Focused on personal comfort
      4. Imitate
      5. Permeate
        1. Called out
        2. Make an impact
    3. Salt of the earth
      1. Put into corrupted meat to preserve it
      2. Contact without contamination
    4. Our place
      1. In the Word
      2. In the world
        1. Christian needs both
        2. Like codfish:
          1. Frozen: no flavor
          2. Sea water only: mushy
          3. With catfish: fresh, firm, flavorful
        3. “There was a very cautious man
          Who never laughed or played
          He never risked, he never tried,
          He never sang or prayed.
          And when he on day passed away,
          His insurance was denied,
          For since he never really lived,
          They claimed he never really died."

Greek Terms: κόσμος; Kosmos-world;
Publications referenced: Atlantic Journal; Boston Globe
Figures referenced: Augustine, Simeon Stylites; C. H. Spurgeon; David Hume; Billy Graham
Cross references: Psalm 24; Matthew 22:39; John 3:16; Acts 17:24; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 2:12; James 1:7



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Listen Up! Jesus is Praying—for YOU!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 17:20-26
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/974

What's God's general will for you? Look no further than this text! Now as we listen to Jesus pray for us, we also find what our priorities in life are to be. These words are the "Last Will and Testament" of Jesus Christ. So pay close attention and you'll get it right from the heart of Jesus Himself.


  1. Introduction
    1. Getting along with other believers
      1. Some easy
      2. Some Difficult
      3. We'll be in heaven with them all someday
      4. Jesus prays for unity among believers
    2. Some of the final words of Jesus
      1. After the crucifixion followers would look back
        1. Upper Room Discourse
        2. Jesus washed their feet
        3. His prayer for them
      2. When one we love dies, we think of our last conversation
  2. The Scope of Jesus' Prayer
    1. Second Generation Believers
      1. Jesus prayed for believers in general: "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours." (John 17:9)
        1. Jesus never prayed for the world
        2. Except when he prayed for their forgiveness: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." (Luke 23:34)
        3. Jesus loved the world: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son," (John 3:16)
        4. He died for the sins of the world
        5. He leaves the praying part up to us: "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
      2. "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;" (John 17:20)
    2. Trickle-Down Evangelism
      1. What Jesus' disciples saw and heard they preached, wrote, and told others
        1. Gospel of Matthew
        2. Gospel of John
        3. Revelation
        4. Mark (thought Peter gave to John Mark, who wrote it down)
      2. Disciples had no idea about the impact of their writings, but Jesus anticipated it
      3. More Christians alive on earth today than people living on earth 2,000 years ago
        1. World population at time of Christ 300 million
        2. Currently 2 billion believers (according to Christianity Today)
      4. Principle: one person, who tells another, who tells another, etc.
      5. "Through their word" (v. 20)
        1. διὰ'; dia - through; τοῦ; tou - those; λόγου; logou - word; αὐτῶν; autōn - of them
        2. through the agency of their communication
        3. Like a baton in a relay race
      6. Example
        1. Edward Kimball (1856, Sunday school teacher in Chicago, shared the gospel with a shoe salesman)
        2. D. L. Moody
        3. F. B. Meyer
        4. Wilbert Chapman (YMCA)
        5. Billy Sunday
        6. Mordecai Ham
        7. Billy Graham (shared the gospel with more people than any other person in history)
      7. What do you do with the gospel?
        1. Study it
        2. Analyze it
        3. Defend it
        4. Give it away!
  3. The Substance of Jesus' Prayer
    1. Present Unity
      1. "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me." (vv.22-23)
        1. Modeled by the Godhead
        2. Enabled by the Godhead
      2. Is there that kind of unity?
        1. The apostles
          1. Argued that very night
          2. At one time, James' and John's mother even got involved (See Matthew 20:21)
        2. The first church at Jerusalem : Argument about salvation by works vs. salvation by faith (See Acts 15)
        3. Disagreement between Peter and Paul about the treatment of gentile believers
        4. Paul and Barnabas about John Mark, split company
        5. Throughout church history
      3. What Jesus doesn't mean
        1. Organizational unity
        2. Uniformity: all agree on everything (Get two people together who agree on everything, one of them isn't thinking - Walter Martin)
        3. Disagreements on nonessentials
        4. Put in one room: Augustine of Hippo, Bernard of Clairvaux, John Calvin, John Wesley, George Whitfield, C. H. Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, Billy Graham. Would not agree on everything, but unity in Christ
      4. In one aspect, this is accomplished
        1. "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26-28)
        2. "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;  one Lord, one faith, one baptism;" (Ephesians 4:4-5)
      5. On the other hand, we must work toward unity
        1. "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:3)
        2. The fact is one thing, the experience is another thing: like a marriage
      6. Our unity proves the authenticity of what we preach
        1. We live before watchful eyes: under the world's scrutiny
        2. "Division in the church breeds atheism in the world"--Thomas Manton
        3. To preach the gospel without unity is insanity
      7. When there is disunity, get close to Jesus
    2. Future Glory
      1. In heaven with Christ
      2. We have a desire to see Jesus, and He has a desire to see us there too
      3. When Christians cease to think about heaven, division happens on earth
  4. The Sum of Jesus' Prayer
    1. What We Know
      1. His followers know the truth
      2. "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." (1 John 5:19-20)
    2. What We Do:
      1. "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
      2. We have an unlimited ability to love: "Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts" (Romans 5:5 KJV)
        1. Love God
        2. Love truth
        3. Love His kids
        4. Love the world, because Jesus died for them
      3. Easier to love people theoretically than actually: "I love the world, it's just the people I can't stand" --Linus in Peanuts, by Charles Shulz
      4. Modesto Manifesto: an agreement between George Beverly Shea, Billy Graham, and Cliff Barrows. They agreed to never speak ill about another brother or sister in Christ.

Greek Terms: διὰ'; dia - through; τοῦ; tou - those; λόγου; logou - word; αὐτῶν; autōn - of them
Publications Referenced: Christianity Today; Peanuts, by Charles Schulz
Figures Referenced: Edward Kimball; D. L. Moody; F. B. Meyer; Wilbert Chapman; Billy Sunday; Mordecai Ham; Billy Graham; Walter Martin; Augustine of Hippo; Bernard of Clairvaux; John Calvin;John Wesley; George Whitfield; C. H. Spurgeon; Thomas Manton; George Beverly Shea; Cliff Barrows
Cross References: Matthew 20:21; Luke 23:34; John 3:16; John 17:9; Acts 15; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 4:3; 1 Timothy 2:1-2



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: I've Got It Under Control
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 18:1-11
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/976

Sometimes life appears to be spinning out of control. Events happen we didn't plan for, people do things we didn't expect, we find ourselves in places we never thought we'd be in. But though you can't always control what happens to you, you are responsible for what happens in you (attitudes and responses). What do we really believe about God's authority and power in our lives? Is there ever a time when God can't say, "I've got it under control"?


  1. Introduction
    1. People say, "I've got it under control"
      1. To demonstrate they are not overwhelmed
      2. To proclaim they can handle a situation
    2. We don't have it under control, even when we'd like to
    3. According to USA Today, the paramount fear is losing control
    4. God has it under control
      1. Even when it doesn't seem like it
      2. Even when you don't like the situation around you
      3. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
    5. Setting
      1. From a human vantage point: looks out of control
      2. God has it under control
      3. Jesus and disciples enter the Garden of Gethsemane
      4. Emotion of despair looming over the disciples
        1. Jesus had dinner with them
        2. He announced His leaving
        3. He announced His death
        4. Confusion, disarray, despondence
        5. Death of Jesus is imminent
      5. Overarching: the sovereignty of God
        1. One of the most important doctrines
        2. "There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty."--C.H. Spurgeon
  2. The Places (vv. 1-2)
    1. The Passover Gathering
      1. Jesus controlled the movement of the disciples: When Lazarus was sick (see John 11)
      2. Preparing for the Passover dinner (see Mark 14:12-16)
      3. Leaving the Upper Room: "Arise, let us go from here." (John 14:31)
    2.  The Garden of Gethsemane
      1. John May want us to remember another significant garden: Garden of Eden
        1. Life began in the Garden of Eden; new life began in the Garden of Gethsemane
        2. In Eden, Adam was conquered by sin; in Gethsemane, Christ, the second Adam (see 1 Corinthians 15:45-47), conquered sin
        3. In Eden, Adam hid from God; in Gethsemane, Jesus presented Himself to God
      2. Brook Kidron
        1. At top of hill, temple where more than 200,000 lambs sacrificed in a 2-day period (one year 256,000 according to Josephus)
        2. Blood conveyed in a channel which emptied in the Brook Kidron
        3. When Jesus and the disciples crossed, they saw the blood of the lambs
        4. Jesus is "The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29)
      3. Oil Press
        1. Gethsemane: גַּת; gath-a press; שמן; shemen- oil
        2. Pits of olives crushed there for oil
        3. In the crushing they become valuable
          1. Used for washing
          2. Used to light lamps
        4. Suggestive of the sin of the world laid on Jesus: He is being crushed
        5. "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;" (Isaiah 53:5)
      4. Your Gethsemane
        1. Dar, pain, sad, lonely, out of control
        2. As a believer, you are never alone and apart from God
          1. "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me." (Psalm 139:7-10)
          2. "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
          3. Atheist: "God is nowhere." Little girl: "God is now here."
        3. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)
          1. In the summer months the shepherd leads the sheep down to wadis
          2. The sheep don't like shaded places because they can't see
          3. The place of greatest refreshment is the valley
  3.  The People (vv. 3-10)
    1. His Enemies
      1. Judas was a frenemy; he pretended to be Jesus' friend, while conspiring to have Him arrested
      2. The detachment of troops
        1. A Roman cohort
          1. 1/10 of a legion, headed by a tribune
          2. 600 armed men
          3. σπείρα; speira-a cohort, detachment
          4. occasionally references 1/3; 200 armed men
        2. Intimidating: armed, torches
        3. Seems out of control
      3. Jesus went forward
        1. Didn't hide or cower
        2. They fell backward
      4. Jesus said, "I am"
        1. "He" is not there in the original
        2. "I AM WHO I AM" (Exodus 3:14) statement of deity
        3. "I am the bread of life." (John 6:35)
        4. "I am the light of the world." (John 8:12)
        5. "I am the Good Shepherd." (John 10:11)
        6. Momentarily displayed His Majesty and they fell backward
        7. Same voice which said, "Peace be still" to the Sea of Galilee (see Mark 4:39)
        8. Same voice said, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." (see John 5:8)
        9. Same voice said "Live" to dead people
        10. According to one commentator: "They came to arrest Jesus, but they didn't arrest Jesus, He arrested them."
        11. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell." (Psalm 27:1-2)
        12. Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 'Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.'  He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: 'Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.'" (Psalm 2:1-5)
          1. God doesn't even get up; He sits there
          2. He laughs
          3. He is in total control of this
          4. Annointed: משיח; mashiach - Christ
      5. Roman government persecuted believers
        1. Diocletian tried to eradicate Christianity from Rome (coin minted)
        2. "Of thirty Roman emperors, governors of provinces, and others high in office, who distinguished themselves by their zeal and bitterness in persecuting the early Christians, one became speedily deranged after some atrocious cruelty, one was slain by his own son, one became blind, the eyes of one started out of his head, one was drowned, one was strangled, one died in a miserable captivity, one fell dead in a manner that will not bear recital, one died of so loathsome a disease that several of his physicians were put to death because they could not abide the stench that filled his room, two committed suicide, a third attempted it, but had to call for help to finish the work, five were assassinated by their own people or servants, five others died the most miserable and excruciating deaths, several of them having an untold complication of diseases, and eight were killed in battle, or after being taken prisoners. Among these was Julian the apostate. In the days of his prosperity he is said to have pointed his dagger to heaven defying the Son of God, whom he commonly called the Galilean. But when he was wounded in battle, he saw that all was over with him, and he gathered up his clotted blood, and threw it into the air, exclaiming, 'Thou hast conquered, O thou Galilean.' " William Plumer
    2. His Friends
      1. Let these go their way
        1. 200 (or 600) armed soldiers came intending to arrest them all,
        2. The soldiers do what Jesus tells them to do
        3. Martin Luther calls their release the greatest miracle that happened that night in Gethsemane
      2. Simon Peter struck Malchus
        1. Peter was a great fisherman, not a great swordsman
        2. Not aiming for the ear, trying to cut his head off
        3. In effect he was saying, "Jesus, I've got it under control"
        4. Jesus calmed Peter and healed Malchus
  4. The Plans (v. 11)
    1. Other People’s
      1. Arrest Jesus, the disciples
      2. End their "cult"
    2. God's
      1. The Cross
      2. Jesus knew it was coming, He took the cup
      3. Jesus volunteered Himself as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of mankind
      4. Rise from the dead
      5. Gospel spread throughout the world
      6. "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." (John 10:18)
      7. "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;" (Acts 2:23)
      8. God has it all under control
      9. Jewish proverb: "Man makes plans and God changes them."
      10. God has editing rights in our lives
        1. "A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)
        2. "There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the Lord's counsel--that will stand." (Proverbs 19:21)
        3. "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes." (Proverbs 21:1)
      11. The Garden of Gethsemane was not a purposeless accident; it was a purposeful incident. It was not a tragedy, it was a victory.

Publications Referenced: USA Today
Figures Referenced: C.H. Spurgeon; Josephus; William Plumer
Hebrew Terms: גַּת; gath-a press; שמן; shemen- oil; משיח; mashiach - Christ
Greek Terms: σπείρα; speira-a cohort, detachment
Cross References: Exodus 3:14; Psalm 2:1-5; Psalm 23:4; Psalm 27:1-2; Psalm 139:7-10; Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 19:21; Proverbs 21:1; Isaiah 53:5; Mark 4:39; Mark 14:12-16; John 1:29; John 5:8; John 6:35; John 8:12; John 10:11; John 10:18; John 11; John 14:31; Acts 2:23; Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 15:45-47; Hebrews 13:5

Topic: The arrest of Jesus

Keywords: arrest, Garden of Gethsemane, sovereignty, control



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Darkest Night!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 18:12-27
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/981

On a dark spring night in Jerusalem, it seemed everyone was against Jesus Christ. The religious system had long been opposed to and jealous of His burgeoning ministry. The mock trial designed to get rid of Jesus was only going through the technical motions to achieve their end. And Peter, Jesus' closest friend, was in a downward process of disassociating himself from Him. But in the midst of the darkest night, the sunrise of God's grace was beginning to shine!


  1. Introduction
    1. Worst Night
      1. For Jesus
        1. Betrayed by a friend
        2. Arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane
        3. Sentenced
        4. Suffered the worst death known
        5. His worst night resulted in our victory: our best night
      2. For the apostles
        1. Their friend arrested
        2. Peter
          1. "Peter said to Him, 'Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!'" (Matthew 26:35)
          2. Peter denied Jesus three times
          3. "So he went out and wept bitterly.” (Matthew 26:75)
    2. John uses contrasts as metaphors; uses physical to parallel spiritual
      1. Day and Night
        1. "And it was night." (John 13:30)
        2. "Lanterns, torches, and weapons" (John 18:3)
      2. Life versus death
      3. Light versus darkness
        1. "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.'" (John 8:12)
        2. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." (John 1:4-5)
        3. "Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone. The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it." (John 1:4-5 NLT)
        4. We never have to be afraid of the dark, the Lord is with us.
    3. Setting: Two simultaneous scenes
  2.  Religion Despised Him (vv. 12-14)
    1.  The Capture
      1. Detachment of 200-600 armed soldiers orchestrated by temple police
      2. They were out to kill Jesus
        1. "You seek to kill me." (See John 7:19; John 8:37; John 8:40)
        2. "Now some of them from Jerusalem said, "Is this not He whom they seek to kill?" (John 7:25)
        3. When Lazarus was raised, the plot to kill Jesus grew intense
      3. Religion
        1. Religion is associated with a system; Christianity is about relationship, not religion
        2. Religion is against Jesus; Jesus against religion
          1. Religion is about the outward; Jesus is about the inward
            1. "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.'  But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment." (Matthew 5:21)
            2. "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men." (Matthew 6:5)
          2. Religion is about negatives; Jesus is about freedom
          3. Religion sets up barriers; the gospel tears down barriers
            1. Court of the gentiles, court of the women, court of the men, court of the priests
            2. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)
          4. "Religion is the opiate of the masses."—Karl Marx
          5. Jesus is the Savior of the world.
    2. The Courtroom
  3. His Enemies Defied Him (vv. 19-24)
    1. Simplicity of an Open Life
      1. Jesus had no hope for a fair trial
        1. Annas: Formerly High priest, (normally High Priest of Life); served 6-15 AD; Corenius placed Caiaphas as High Priest; Annas still wields the power.
        2. Jesus went through six trials
          1. Three religious
            1. Annas
            2. Caiaphas
            3. Sanhedrin
          2. Three Roman
            1. Pontius Pilate
            2. Herod Agrippa
            3. Pontius Pilate
        3. Not operating according to Law
        4. Mishna; Rules in the courtroom
          1. One: No trials during night hours; it was night
          2. Two: Trials not to occur on the eve of a Sabbath or during festivals; it was Passover
          3. Three: All trials public; secret trials strictly forbidden; tried before Annas and Caiaphas
          4. Six: An accused person was not to testify against himself; no witnesses, questioned Jesus
          5. Twelve: High Priest was never to participate in the questioning of the accused; both Annas and Caiaphas questioned Jesus
          6. Eighteen: 24-hours between judgment and sentencing; Jesus sentenced immediately
      2. Application: when falsely accused
        1. Realize you are not alone: "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)
        2. Actively trust God in the situation: "Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 'Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth';  who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;" (1 Peter 2:18-23)
    2. Struck by an Open Hand
  4. A Friend Denied Him (vv. 15-18; 25-27)
    1. Downward Steps
      1. Peter should not have been there
        1. "If you seek Me, let these go their way," (John 18:8)
        2. Peter should have gone away
      2. Peter shouldn't have said anything
        1. Should have acted wisely and walked away
        2. Recognized his Galilean accent.
        3. "Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you." (Matthew 26:73)
      3. Peter spoke when he should have been thinking, he slept when he should have been praying, he acted when he should have been still
      4. Balance: Peter is courageous
      5. All four gospels mention that Peter denied Jesus
        1. Learn what not to do
        2. Each choice was a downward step
          1. Self confidence
            1.  "Peter said to Him, 'Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!'" (Matthew 26:35)
            2. "'But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.'" (Matthew 16:15-18)
            3. Sword in the garden
            4. Followed Jesus in the courtyard
          2. Slacked in his devotional life:
            1. When supposed to be praying, slept in the garden
            2. Self-confidence leads to slacking in devotional life
          3. Tried to cover guilt with feverish service: the sword
          4. Ashamed to identify with Jesus
          5. "Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;" (Psalm 1:1)
            1. Peter walked into the courtyard
            2. Peter stood by the fire
            3. Peter sat down and cursed and swore he didn't know Jesus
    2. Upward Thoughts
      1. Series of 3s
        1. Three times in the Upper room, Peter swore he would not deny Jesus
        2. Three times Peter fell asleep in the Garden (see Mark 14)
        3. Three times Peter denied Jesus
        4. Three times "Do you love me?"(see John 21) (Three chances to affirm his love)
      2. Jesus appeared to Peter
      3. Jesus commissioned Peter
      4. Peter gave the first sermon on Pentecost
      5. Jesus predicted the denial; Jesus was not shocked by it
      6. "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." (Luke 22:31-32)
      7. Stages of Peter's ministerial life
        1. At the fire
        2. Under fire
        3. On fire

Publications referenced: Worst Night of My Life, by Eddy Arnold
Figures referenced: Les Flynn
Cross references: Psalm 1:1; Matthew 5:21; Matthew 6:5; Matthew 16:15-18; Matthew 26:35; Matthew 26:73; Matthew 26:75; Mark 14; Luke 22:31-32; John 1:4-5; John 7:19; John 7:25; John 8:12; John 8:37; John 8:40; vJohn 13:30; John 18:3; John 18:8; John 21; Galatians 3:28; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:18-23

Topic: Trials of Jesus

Keywords: trial, deny, Peter, court, courtroom



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: A King, a Kingdom, and a Courtroom
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 18:28-40
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/999

What kind of a King is Jesus, and what is the nature of His Kingdom? And what does it mean to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done"? These are the questions faced in the text before us. As Jesus nears the cross, a nation denies His reign over them, while a Roman ruler questions Him and then cynically admits his own confusion and despair.


  1. Introduction
    1. God could have made a world filled with "Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful Dolls"
      1. No rape, no murder, no selfishness, no crime
      2. No real love, no real submission
    2. God gave us human volition; freedom of choice
    3. Jesus is the King of a different kind of kingdom
      1. "My kingdom" used three times in this section
      2. His kingdom
        1. Filled with real people
        2. Dealing with a real God
        3. Living in real submission to His authority
    4. Jesus on trial before Pontius Pilate, Governor of Judea
      1. Elements of a courtroom scene
        1. Judge: Pilate
        2. Defendant: Jesus
        3. Plaintiffs: Jewish authorities
      2. Trial four of six
        1. First trial: Jesus before Annas
        2. Second trial: Jesus before Caiaphas
        3. Third Trial: Jesus before the Sanhedrin
      3. Jews couldn't enforce the death penalty, so they brought Jesus before the Romans
      4. King of Kings who will one day rule over all the kingdoms of men standing trial before a puny human court
      5. Trial played out daily
        1. In the hearts of men and women
        2. Courts of public opinion
        3. Courts of personal decision
        4. Issues at stake:
          1. What am I going to do with Jesus?
          2. How will I handle Him?
          3. What are my thoughts about Him?
          4. Dare I let Him be King over my life?
  2. A Kingdom Denied (vv. 28-32)
    1. The Conspiracy
      1. Jewish leaders led Jesus to the Praetorium, but wouldn't go in
        1. Didn't want to be ceremonially defiled
        2. Willing to kill Jesus
      2. Jewish rulers believed in a Messianic kingdom
        1. Rejected Jesus as their King
        2. Believed in an immediate, outward, political kingdom
          1. Overthrow the Romans
          2. Rule from Jerusalem
        3. "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17)
          1. Their hopes rose
          2. Jesus' popularity rose
            1. "They were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king," (John 6:15)
            2. "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' The King of Israel!" (John 12:13)
      3. Jesus came the first time to conquer sin in people's lives
        1. "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)
        2. He will eventually set up the kingdom the Jews expected
      4. Mock Trial
        1. Broke three of their own rules
        2. Leveled a sentence: wanted Him killed
      5. Caiaphas wanted Jesus crucified
        1. Jews executed by stoning (See Leviticus 24)
          1. Could have done that and sorted it out with the Romans later
          2. Stoned Stephen
        2. "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" (Galatians 3:13)
      6. The Praetorium
        1. The Antonia Fortress
        2. Where the Roman soldiers were garrisoned
      7. Pilate headquartered in Caesarea, moved of Jerusalem during Jewish festivals in case of a riot
    2. The Charge (see Luke 23)
      1. Perverting the nation
        1. False charge
        2. "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17)
      2. Forbidding the people to pay taxes to Caesar
        1. False charge
        2. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21)
      3. Says He is Christ the King
        1. True charge
        2. They rejected His authority
        3. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Matthew 23:37)
  3. A Kingdom Discussed (vv. 33-37)
    1. The Interrogation
      1. Pontius Pilate, who represents the king of the world, Caesar, and Jesus, the King of kings come face to face
        1. Pilate
          1. Fifth Roman governor of the province of Judea
          2. Appointed by Caesar Tiberius in 26 AD
          3. He reigned for 10 years
          4. Born in Seville, Spain
          5. Joined the Roman army
          6. Married the granddaughter of Caesar Augustus, Claudia Procula
          7. Prideful, cynical man
        2. Jesus
      2. Are you the king of the Jews?
        1. "You" is emphatic
        2. Accurate translation: "You?! Are you the king of the Jews?!"
        3. Pilate had his own idea of a kingdom
          1. Rome: the kingdom
          2. Caesar: the king
          3. Enacted by force
        4. Jesus doesn't answer directly
          1. If yes, He will be accused of insurrection
          2. If no, He will be denying who He is
        5. Illegal question
          1. Can't privately discuss the case with the defendant
          2. No self incrimination
    2. The Explanation
      1. "My Kingdom"
        1. One of Jesus favorite topics of discussion
          1. "Kingdom of God" appears:
            1. Four times in Matthew
            2. Fourteen times in Mark
            3. Thirty-two times in Luke
            4. Two times in John
          2. "Kingdom of Heaven" 33 times in Matthew
          3. Taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come" (Matthew 6:10 KJV)
          4. "He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." (Acts 1:3)
        2. What kind of King is Jesus?
          1. Not yet a political military king, who enforces His rule
          2. Spiritual King
          3. Eventually a world-dominating king; "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" (Revelation 11:15)
          4. Out of this world: Ἐκ, ek - from out, out from among
          5. His kingdom doesn't have its authority base in this world
      2. Pilate in a quandary
        1. Jesus claims to be a spiritual, not political King
        2. Pilate's wife had a dream and warned him: "While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, 'Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.'" (Matthew 27:19)
      3. Pilate vs. Jesus
        1. Emissary of Rome; Son of God
        2. Earthly ruler; Heavenly Ruler
        3. Do anything for power, glory, honor; gave up power, glory, honor
        4. Lives for the material; deals with different things
        5. Wears robes of Rome; wears peasant dress of Galilean
    3. The Elucidation
      1. Jesus is clearly in control
        1. Pilate is clearly on trial
        2. As if to say, "You can know the truth"
        3. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10:27)
      2. "Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:9-10)
        1. Not a prayer for the future, coming of His kingdom on earth
        2. Reign over me
          1. May Your kingdom come over my life
          2. I voluntarily surrender to you
      3. We have thrones in our lives; who is sitting on yours?
        1. Is Jesus controlling you?
        2. Are you following your own agenda?
        3. True believers have experienced a kingdom shift; Jesus rules and reigns over them
  4. A Kingdom Disbelieved (vv. 38-40)
    1. The Ruler's Despair
      1. What is truth?
        1. As if to say, "No one can ever know absolute truth"
        2. Left the room without waiting for an answer
      2. Jesus is absolute truth
        1. "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6)
        2. "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)
    2. The Ruler's Decision
      1. Pilate dismissed the case, and dismissed Jesus from his life
      2. Barabbas freed
        1. Barabbas full name: Jesus Barabbas (according to Origin)
          1. Jesus, son of a father
          2. Do you want Jesus, son of a father, or Jesus, Son of the Father?
        2. Always the choice: the human kingdom or God's kingdom
          1. Most choose the human kingdom; they don't want God ruling over them
          2. God wants real people who will surrender voluntarily

Greek Terms: Ἐκ, ek - from out, out from among
Figures Referenced: Origin
Cross References: Leviticus 24; Matthew 1:21; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 5:17; Matthew 6:9-10; Matthew 22:21; Matthew 23:37; Matthew 27:19; Luke 23; John 6:15; John 8:32; John 10:27; John 12:13; John 14:6; Acts 1:3; Galatians 3:13; Revelation 11:15



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: How Do You Handle Jesus?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 19:1-16
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/1003

Pontius Pilate was like every other person who has ever lived. The fundamental question of his life was, "What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" (Matthew 27:22). Everyone has to deal with Jesus, to decide about Him and His claims. In one setting, we can see how one man (Pilate) was influenced to deal with Jesus in three different ways. These three ways are how many people today still choose to deal with Jesus Christ.


  1. Introduction
    1. Pontius Pilate judges Jesus
      1. Proud Roman: humble Galilean
      2. Man of earth: Man of heaven
      3. Man who pursues earthly power: God/Man gave up power to suffer for the sins of the world
    2. Jesus faced six trials
      1. Three religious
      2. Three civil
        1. Trial four before Pilate
        2. Trial five before Herod Antipas
        3. Trial six before Pilate
  2. He Can be Handled Passively (vv. 1-6)
    1.  Recognition of Christ's Innocence
      1. Let the people decide
        1. Custom to release a Jewish prisoner during Passover
        2. Offers to release Barabbas, guilty of insurrection
        3. People want Barabbas freed
      2. Pilate knows Jesus is innocent; attempting to free Him
        1. "'I find no fault in Him at all'" (John 18:38).
        2. "Pilate then went out again, and said to them, 'Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him'" (John 19:4).
        3. "Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, ‘Crucify Him, crucify Him!' Pilate said to them, 'You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him'"(John 19:6).
      3. Let pity decide
        1. Beat Jesus up and parade Him around
        2. Scourge Him so the crowd would be moved
        3. Levels of scourging
          1. Fustigatio: less intense cases; beaten, verbally reprimanded, let go
          2. Flagellatio: brutal beating
          3. Verberatio: death before death; most intense, bent over pillar, beaten until lictors were exhausted, usually followed by crucifixion, many did not survive. According to Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, many martyrs flogged until the lower veins, arteries, entrails, and organs were exposed
        4. Jesus first experienced flagellation, followed by verberatio after sentenced to the cross
        5. Ecce Homo- Behold the Man! Pity this poor creature!
          1. We too, behold the Man
          2. "So His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men" (Isaiah 52:14).
    2. Concession to the Crowd's Abhorrence
      1. Pilate doesn't want to kill Jesus, but he doesn't want to believe in Him either
      2. Pilate wants to remain neutral
      3. "'He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad'" (Matthew 12:30).
  3.  He Can Be Handled Fearfully (vv. 7-12a)
    1. Jesus' Claim: He claims to be God
      1. Roman superstitions
        1. Believed gods could empower men with supernatural ability
        2. Believed gods could leave their realm and come to earth (e.g., Hercules)
        3. If Jesus was a son of the gods, Pilate would be in trouble
      2. Pilate's wife had warned him about her dream: "'Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him'" (Matthew 27:19).
    2. Jesus' Calm (Jesus remained silent)
      1. Fulfilled prophecy: "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth" (Isaiah 53:7).
        1. He had already spoken
        2. He reveals Himself incrementally
        3. No new revelation if you fail to take action on revealed truth
      2. Demonstration of patience
        1. "Our gods are short-tempered, but Jesus is a very patient God."
        2. Gives space to make a decision
  4. He Can be Handled Selfishly (vv. 12b-16)
    1. A Statement of Intimidation: "Not a friend of Caesar"
      1. Tiberius Caesar
        1. Paranoid recluse; suspicious of everyone
        2. Brutal consequences for unfaithfulness
      2. Pilate's mistakes as governor
        1. Banner with Caesar's emblem in Jerusalem, resulting in Jewish protest; Jews bared their necks when threatened
        2. Pilate raided the Jewish treasury to fund an aqueduct; soldiers ordered to butcher protestors
        3. Shield with Caesar's profile brought in; Jews appealed to Caesar, who threatened Pilate
    2. A Sentence of Capitulation 
      1. Pilate's history
        1. Born in Seville
        2. Joined the Roman army; became a legionnaire
        3. Moved to Rome
        4. Married Claudia, the granddaughter of Caesar Augustus
        5. Caesar appointed him governor of Judea
        6. Caesar amicus: friend of Caesar
      2. Being Caesar's friend was more important than doing right
        1. "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?" (James 4:4).
        2. "But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed" (Luke 23:23).
  5. Application
    1. Are you following the crowd? "'Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it'" (Matthew 7:13).
    2. How we ought to handle Jesus
      1. Humbly
      2. Sincerely
      3. Personally
      4. Repentantly

Publications referenced: Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius
Cross references: Isaiah 52:14; Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 7:13; Matthew 12:30; Matthew 27:19; Luke 23:23; John 18:38; John 19:4; John 19:6; James 4:4



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Execution of a King
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 19:17-22
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/1005

Regicide is the official word used for the execution of a king. Most countries reserve the stiffest of punishments for subjects or assassins who would kill their royalty. John records the execution of the King of kings on a Roman cross outside the city of Jerusalem. But the rest of Scripture reveals that it was more than an execution; it was sacrifice that brought salvation. The next few weeks, we will consider the cross in depth and what it means for the world and for us.


  1. Introduction
    1. Cross is prominent in our culture
    2. In danger of being desensitized to its meaning
      1. Symbol of Christianity
      2. Symbolic icon of western civilization
      3. Due to ministry exposure
      4. Due to media exposure
    3. In John, Jesus portrayed in many ways
      1. Bread of life (see )
      2. Light of the world (see John 8:12)
      3. Good shepherd  (see John 10:11)
      4. Living water (see John 4:10)
      5. "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'" (John 1:29)
    4. "All heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, all hell terribly afraid of it, while men are the only beings who more or less ignore its meaning." –Oswald Chambers
  2.  His Cross (v. 17)
    1.  Its Origin
      1. Invented by the Persians
        1. Superstitious: believed the earth was sacred
        2. No executions while touching the earth
      2. Perfected by the Romans
        1. Let victims linger
          1. Most excruciating, brutal death
          2. Victims lived hours, even days
          3. Foot rest, seat, to increase length of suffering
        2. Types of Roman cross
          1. Vertical stake
            1. Victims tied or nailed to stake
            2. Crux simplex
          2. Stake with crossbeam
            1. Patibulum: horizontal beam
            2. Type Jesus was crucified on
            3. 75-100 pound crossbeam
            4. Crossbeam carried to the crucifixion
        3. Roman citizens never crucified
          1. Reserved for slaves, conquered people, lower class, insurrectionists, mass murderers
          2. "It is a sin to bind a Roman citizen, a crime to scourge him, little short of the most unnatural murder to put him to death; what then shall I call this crucifixion? There is no fitting word that can possibly describe so horrible a deed."—Cicero
          3. According to Cicero, crucifixion should be removed from the memory of Roman citizens
    2. Its Significance
      1. The journey to Calvary
        1. Jesus found guilty
        2. Surrounded by the quaternion: four soldiers
          1. Front soldier carried a placard with the specific crimes committed
          2. Paraded the victim on the longest possible route
        3. Jesus walked toward Golgotha
        4. Fell just outside the gates of Jerusalem
        5. Simon of Cyrene took the cross the rest of the way (see Matthew 27:32)
      2. Jesus suffering during the previous 24 hours
        1. Sweat great drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane (see Luke 22:44)
          1. Hematidrosis: capillaries around sweat glands burst
          2. Under extreme emotional distress
          3. Blood oozes through sweat glands
        2. Endured six trials
        3. Beaten by Sanhedrin
        4. Scourged by soldiers
      3. Place of the skull
        1. Golgotha: Hebrew
        2. Cranion: Greek
        3. Calvarium; Latin: Calvary
        4. Not on top of a hill, but on a roadside
        5. According to Josephus, crucified opposite the city on the road
  3. His Company (v. 18)
    1. Placement on the cross
      1. Between the robbers
        1. Robbers: (see Matthew 27:38; Mark 15:27)
        2. Criminals (see Luke 23:32)
        3. Like Barabbas, they were insurrectionists, revolutionaries, freedom fighters
      2. Jesus literally died in place of Barabbas
        1. In the middle of the other criminals
        2. A disgrace
      3. Died in the center of sinful men, that is how he lived his life
        1. "And He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:12).
        2. Friend of sinners (see Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34)
        3. Jesus believed no one was too bad to be saved
        4. Some think they are too good to be saved
      4. 'There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left....Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, 'If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us'" (Luke 23:32-33, 39)
    2. The Promise
      1. Both criminals mocked Jesus
        1. One had a change of heart
        2. He heard Jesus say, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (see Luke 23:34)
      2. "And Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise'" (Luke 23:43)
        1. Explicit assurance of forgiveness
        2. Graphic illustration of justification by faith, not works
          1. Not baptized
          2. Not attend church
          3. Not even one redemptive act
          4. Merely, "Remember me" (see Luke 23:42)
      3. The thief's faith demonstrated
        1. Confessed his own guilt
        2. Put his trust in Christ
          1. Recognized Him as Lord
          2. Recognized Him as King
          3. Trusted He would rise again
        3. Made it personal
  4. His Coronation (vv. 19-22)
    1. Written by Pilate
      1. The languages
        1. Hebrew: the language of religion
        2. Greek: the language of culture and education
        3. Latin: the language of law and order
      2. Jesus committed no crime
    2. Refused by the People
      1. Jewish leaders object: imperfect tense, kept saying don't write that
      2. Pilate responds: perfect tense, it is written
      3. Calls Jesus who He is
        1. "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?" (Matthew 2:2)
        2. "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' The King of Israel!" (John 12:13)
        3. "And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:16).
        4. "Behold! The Lamb" (John 1:29).
        5. "Behold the Man!" (John 19:5)
        6. The King
      4. Jesus is both King and Lamb (see Revelation 5:5-6)

Consider this:

  1. In what ways have you been "desensitized" to the cross? How can you keep it fresh?
  2. No one is too "bad" to be saved— though some are too "good" to be saved. Why does admitting one’s need and asking for deliverance invite God’s mercy?

Figures referenced: Josephus; Cicero
Cross references: Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 2:2; Matthew 11:19; Matthew 27:32; Matthew 27:38; Mark 15:27; Luke 7:34; Luke 22:44; Luke 23:32; Luke 23:33; Luke 23:34; Luke 23:39; Luke 23:42; Luke 23:43; John 1:29; John 4:10; John 6:35; John 8:12; John 10:11; John 12:13; John 19:5; Revelation 5:5-6; Revelation 19:16

Topic: Cross

Keywords: crucifixion, cross, Pilate, King of the Jews



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: The Cross on the Billboard of Eternity
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 19:23-24
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/1007

Did you know that the cross of Christ was always God's plan from the very beginning? It wasn't a reaction to mankind's rejection of His Son, nor was it an accommodation to a Roman and Jewish miscarriage of justice. It was according to "the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23). Today we will take a journey back and connect the dots of God's unfolding plan of the cross throughout the ages.


  1. Introduction
    1. God's billboard: the cross
      1. Throughout time
      2. On the lips of prophets and preachers
      3. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
    2. The cross was not an unexpected event
      1. God anticipated it throughout history
      2. Psalm 22
      3. "No other religion has at its heart the humiliation of its God."—Unknown
        1. No other religion has anticipated the humiliation of its God
        2. No other religion has made that humiliation its focal point
    3. Soldiers divided Jesus' garments
      1. Roman custom and law
      2. Before the crucifixion, the prisoner was stripped naked
      3. Garments became the property of the soldiers
      4. Four soldiers: quaternion
      5. Five pieces of clothing
        1. Outer robe
        2. Tunic
        3. Belt
        4. Sandals
        5. Turban
      6. Each soldier got 1 piece, cast lots for the tunic
      7. Soldiers were hardened men
        1. Fought wars
        2. Quelled riots
        3. Killed many
        4. Crucify and gamble for victim's clothing at the foot of the cross
    4. Human hatred, human revulsion, divine anticipation
      1. When David wrote Psalm 22, crucifixion had not been invented
      2. Vivid details
        1. Exhaustion
        2. Physical torment
        3. Unusual position of the body
        4. Raging thirst
        5. Nails through hands and feet
      3. Only known in the mind of God, revealed to David
  2. Jesus Predicted the Cross
    1. Lived knowing exactly when and how He would die
    2. Jesus predicted His death in the gospels
      1. Matthew: six times
      2. Mark: three times
      3. Luke
      4. John
      5. "When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, 'Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?' So they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'  He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am? 'Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'  Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven….From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, 'Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!'  But He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men'" (Matthew 16:13-23).
      6. "Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, 'The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.' And they were exceedingly sorrowful" (Matthew 17:22).
    3. His hour
      1. "Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come" (John 7:30).
      2. "Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded" (John 13:1-5).
      3. "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You," (John 17:1).
      4. "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour" (John 12:27).
    4. Jesus regarded any suggestion to move Him away from the focus of the cross as satanic
    5. Jesus had heard the suggestion before: wilderness temptation
      1. Shown the kingdoms of the world in their glory
      2. "And he said to Him, 'All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me'" (Matthew 4:9).
      3. Tempted to not go the way of the cross
        1. Not suffer
        2. Not shed blood
      4. "Away with you, Satan!" (Matthew 4:10).
      5. Even the devil knew how important the cross was
  3. Jesus' Forerunner (John the Baptizer) Predicted the Cross
    1. At the Jordan, a singular message: "Repent!"
    2. Believed Jesus is Messiah
      1. Living Judge, not a dying Savior
      2. His beliefs like those of other Jews
        1. Messiah come in gloriously
        2. Overturn the Roman government
        3. Set up the kingdom
    3. Harmony of the gospels
      1. Jesus came to the Jordan to be baptized
      2. After His baptism, He went into the wilderness and was tempted 40 days
      3. Went back to the Jordan and saw John again
    4. "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, 'Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father." For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.'  Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, 'I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?'  But Jesus answered and said to him, 'Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he allowed Him" (Matthew 3:7-15).
      1. Accurate for Jesus' second coming
      2. Jesus came to identify with sinners
    5. "When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him" (Matthew 3:16).
      1. As the son of a priest John recognized the dove as an animal of sacrifice
      2. The poorest of the poor brought doves for sacrifice
    6. "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29).
      1. John's perspective changed
      2. During the six-week temptation, perhaps he studied Isaiah 52-53
      3. Introduced Jesus rather than denouncing sinners
      4. Announced the sacrifice; predicted the death of Jesus
    7. Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
      1. Charles Spurgeon read twice a year
      2. Main character: Christian
      3. Plot: Christian left City of Destruction on the way to the Celestial City
      4. Allegory of the Christian life
      5. On Christian's back a burden: sin and the law combined
      6. "So I saw in my Dream, that just as Christian came up with the Cross, his Burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the Sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more."
  4. Visitors at His Birth Predicted the Cross
    1. Unusual birth
      1. Virgin birth
      2. Angelic visitors
      3. Stars in the sky
      4. Visit from the magi
    2. Angel to Joseph: "You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
    3. Angels to shepherds: "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).
    4. Gifts from the magi
      1. Gold: gift for a king
      2. Frankincense: priest
      3. Myrrh
        1. Beautiful scent only when crushed
        2. Embalming fluid
        3. Jesus' body was wrapped with myrrh to offset the smell of decay
        4. "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
    5. Simeon at Jesus' dedication:
    6. The reason for Jesus' birth was His death
  5. The Prophets Predicted the Cross
    1. About 330 prophecies regarding the Messiah
      1. Birth
      2. Tribe
      3. Home
      4. What He would do
      5. Details of His death
    2. Jewish daily prayer: "I believe in the coming of the Messiah, and though He may tarry, still I await Him every day."
      1. A conquering Messiah
      2. Not a suffering Savior
    3. "But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, 'What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?' Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, 'Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?' And He said to them, 'What things?' So they said to Him, 'The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.' Then He said to them, 'O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! ' Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?' And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Luke 24:16-27).
      1. Abraham and Isaac (See Genesis 22)
      2. Moses lifted up the Serpent in the wilderness (see Numbers 21 and John 3:14)
      3. Isaiah 52-53: the suffering Servant
      4. Psalm 22
        1. Opens and closes with words of Jesus on the cross
        2. Soldiers gambling for His clothing; anticipated by God
  6. The Godhead Predicted the Cross
    1. Revelation 13
      1. About the antichrist who will come and be worshipped
      2. From before creation: "It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:7-8).
      3. Before Jesus left heaven, the triune Godhead agreed on the cross
    2. "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world," (1 Peter 1:19-20).
    3. C. H. Spurgeon summed up the Christian faith in four words: "He died for me!"
    4. "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love," (Ephesians 1:4)

Publications referenced: Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan; The Passion of the Christ (2004) Mel Gibson
Cross References: Genesis 22; Numbers 21; Psalm 22; Isaiah 52-53; Isaiah 53:5Matthew 1:21; Matthew 3:7-15; Matthew 3:16; Matthew 4:9; Matthew 4:10; Matthew 16:13-23; Matthew 17:22; Luke 2:11; Luke 24:16-27; John 1:29; John 3:14; John 3:16; John 7:30; John 12:27; John 13:1-5; John 17:1; Acts 2:23; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:19-20; Revelation 13:7-8

Topic: Cross

Keywords: prophecy, suffering Servant, predestination, foreknowledge, cross, ordained



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: How to Love Your Mother
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 19:25-27
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/1009

A mother's love for her children is distinctive and irreplaceable. To watch a child suffer is crushing and almost intolerable for any mom. In this touching scene revealed in three verses, we not only see Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the foot of her Son's cross, we also learn how Jesus cared for His mother. Even from His place of extreme suffering, Jesus was thinking of others and His love for Mary is noteworthy for us.


  1. Introduction
    1. Mothers
      1. Special bond between a mother and her son
      2. No love like the love of a mother
        1. "A face only a mother could love"
        2. Distinct, unfailing
      3. Worst experience for a mother to see her child die
    2. Mary
      1. Her Son is perfect; committed no crime
      2. Son of God
      3. Remembered the past
        1. Angel spoke to her
        2. Angels announced His birth to shepherds
        3. Magi came to visit Him
    3. This story appears only in John
      1. John was there
      2. John was entrusted with the care of Mary
      3. Begins with "Now" (better translated "But")
        1. Adversative conjunction
        2. Strong contrast
        3. Four soldiers gambling contrasted four believing women
    4. Final words of Jesus
      1. Seven statements made during six hours on the cross
      2. Final words are significant
        1. As people live differently, they die differently
        2. How we die is based on how we live and our belief system
      3. As He does His greatest work on earth, He utters His greatest words on earth
      4. "Windows into the heart of God"—Warren Wiersbe
    5. Witnesses at the crucifixion
      1. Bloody, agonizing scene
      2. Four women and one man present
      3. In Jesus' greatest trial, women are there
      4. The apostles are missing
        1. Only John is present
        2. Peter: "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" (Matthew 26:35)
    6. Faithful women throughout the Bible
      1. Old Testament
        1. Miriam, the sister of Moses, worship leader
        2. Deborah, political leader
        3. Abigail, wife of David
        4. Esther, influential queen of Persia
        5. Huldah, the prophetess
      2. New Testament
        1. Lydia, first European convert
          1. Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia
          2. Finds Lydia and a group of women at the river
        2. Paul names many women
          1. Priscilla
          2. Julia
          3. Junia
          4. Euodia and Syntyche "Women who labored with me in the gospel" (Philippians 4:3).
      3. Women in ministry
        1. Often first to respond to needs and projects
        2. Often first to seek counsel
        3. "How are our churches beautified, our sick tended, our poor fed, our children taught and cared for and civilized? Do you think the masculine element goes for much in these things? No; women are the Church's strong rock. As they were the last at the foot of the cross, so they have become the first at the altar."—Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Hostages to Fortune
    7. Mary's in the Bible
      1. Three named Mary in this scene
      2. Six or seven women named Mary in the New Testament
      3. Jewish women named after Miriam
  2. Some Brave-Hearted Women Standing (v. 25)
    1.   His Mother's Sister
      1. Salome (see Mark 15:40)
      2. Wife of Zebedee
      3. Mother of James and John
      4. "Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom" (Matthew 20:21)
    2. Mary, the Wife of Clopas
      1. Clopas
        1. Perhaps Cleopas
        2. Conversation on the road to Emmaus (see Luke 24:13-53)
      2. Mother of James the less
        1.  Son of Alphaeus
        2. Alphaeus variant of Clopas
      3. The other Mary, who stood vigil at the tomb
    3. Mary Magdalene
      1. Infamous
      2. Sordid background
      3. Cleansed by Jesus
      4. Present at the tomb
      5. From Magdala
      6. Seven demons cast out
      7. "Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much" (Luke 7:47)
      8. Probably the woman who washed Jesus feet with her tears and hair (see Luke 7:37-38)
  3. A Broken-Hearted Woman Suffering (vv. 26-27) Mary
    1. A Prediction is Fulfilled
      1. "Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, 'Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord'), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, 'A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.' And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: 'Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation'" (Luke 2:22-30)
      2. Mary saw many troubles in Jesus' life
        1. Herod tried to kill Him
        2. Flight into Egypt
        3. People wanted to throw Him over a cliff
      3. The crucifixion is the sword Simeon spoke of
      4. Suffering
        1. Some of the greatest Bible figures suffered
          1. Job
          2. Joseph, Jeremiah,
          3. Paul: "For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake" (Acts 9:16)
        2. God knows in advance
        3. God told us in advance
          1. "All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution) (2 Timothy 3:12).
          2. "In the world you will have tribulation" (John 16:33)
        4. Nothing comes into our life unless it first passes through His hands
    2. Compassion is Extended
      1. Suffering is all-consuming, self-absorbing
        1. Anger
        2. Irritable
        3. Question God
      2. Jesus' statements are focused on others
        1. "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34)
        2. "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43)
        3. "Woman, behold your son!" (v. 26).
      3. Winston Churchill addressing the British Royal Air Force: "Never in the history of mankind have so many owed so much to so few."
      4. Rather: Never in the history of all the world have so many owed so much to one Man
    3. Provision is Made
      1. "Woman, behold your son!" (v.26)
        1. "Honor your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12)
        2. Jewish family law: Phrase indicates custody given to another
        3. John gives Mary's care to John
      2. Jesus has four brothers (plus sisters), why not entrusted to them?
        1. None yet believe
        2. John is there
      3. What became of Mary (according to tradition)
        1. Mary lived in John's second home in Jerusalem for 11 years; died at 59
        2. John brought Mary with him to Ephesus
      4. Jesus on the cross
        1. As God, He deals with eternal matters
        2. As Man, He teaches us to honor our mothers and fathers
  4. Application: Four Ways to Love Your Mother
    1. Love her verbally
      1. Say, "I love you"
      2. Woman
        1. Dear woman
        2. Term of respect; ma'am
      3. "Dear Abby: I enlisted shortly after Pearl Harbor. Thirty-six days later, I was on my way to the Philippines. En route, the Philippines fell to the Japanese, and we were routed to Australia. Eleven days after we landed, I met the most beautiful girl in the world.
        On our first date, I told her I was going to marry her. I did, 18 months later, while on a 10-day R-and-R leave from New Guinea.
        After more than 57 years of marriage and two children, my beloved 'Mary' died five days before Christmas. Although we agreed that our ashes were to be scattered over the mountains, I found I could not part with hers.
        While Mary was alive, she would frequently say, 'You don't know how much I love you.' I'd reply, 'Likewise.' I never said, 'I love you.' Now her ashes are on my dresser, where I tell her several times a day how much I love her, but it's too late. Although I wrote poetry to her, I could not bring myself to say the three words I knew she wanted most to hear.
        As my dearest was dying and we thought she was comatose, I told her, 'There aren't enough words to tell you how much I love you.' A few hours later, she whispered, 'Not enough words' and died. The reason I'm writing is to urge men to express their feelings while their loved ones are alive. Many men are reluctant to express the depth of their feelings.
        —Missing Mary in Colorado"
    2. Love her physically
      1. Jesus made physical provision for Mary
      2. Give her a hug, kiss, or rub her neck
    3. Love her patiently
      1. Like Jesus at the wedding in Cana
      2. Jesus walked patiently through life with Mary
      3. Motherhood is the toughest job in the world
    4. Love her honorably
      1. "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you" (Exodus 20:12).
      2. No conditions
      3. Only commandment with a promise

Publications referenced: Hostages to Fortune, by Mary Elizabeth Braddon; "Dear Abby" Chicago Tribune, byJeanne Phillips
Figures referenced: Warren Wiersbe; Winston Churchill
Cross references: Exodus 20:12; Matthew 20:21; Matthew 26:35; Mark 15:40; Luke 2:22-30; Luke 7:37-38; Luke 7:47; Luke 23:34; Luke 23:43; Luke 24:13-53; Acts 9:16; Philippians 4:3; 2 Timothy 3:12

Topic: Cross

Keywords: Mary, mother, mom, moms



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: iThirst
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 19:28-29
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/1011

The world is filled with Apple's i-technology, which delivers on its promise to make connectivity and information readily accessible. But there is a deeper need within everyone, a thirst to be right with God, that no app or gadget can fulfill. How ironic that Jesus, the great Thirst-Quencher, would Himself be thirsty. It was part of the great exchange—His temporary thirst enabled yours to be quenched eternally!


  1. Introduction
    1. Technology is unable to meet our deepest needs
    2. Only God can meet our most profound thirst
      1. He is our manufacturer
      2. He became one of us
    3. "I thirst": The shortest of Jesus' seven statements on the cross
    4. Crucifixion statements
      1. Between 9 am and noon
        1. Intercession: "Then Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do'" (Luke 23:34)
        2. Salvation: "And Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise'" (Luke 23:43)
        3. Affection; Provision: "Woman, behold your son!" (John 19:26)
      2. Noon
        1. Pervasive darkness and silence
        2. "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46)
      3. Near the end of six hours
        1. "I thirst!" (John 19:28).
        2. "It is finished!" (John 19:30)
        3. "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit'" (Luke 23:46).
    5. John's theme: Jesus—God in a human body
    6. Full composite in four Gospels
      1. Matthew
        1. Jesus' legacy
        2. King of the Jews
      2. Mark
        1. Jesus' humility
        2. Servant
      3. Luke
        1. Jesus' humanity
        2. Son of Man
      4. John
        1. Jesus' deity
        2. God in human flesh
        3. Human suffering
        4. Divine sovereignty
  2. What Jesus Knew
    1. All things were accomplished
      1. Jesus is omniscient
        1. Aware of everything around Him
        2. Knew what people were thinking and their motivations
        3. Knew the time and plan of the redemptive calendar
        4. Examples
          1. "Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man" (John 2:23-25)
          2. "When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, 'Does this offend you?'" (John 6:61)
          3. "Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God" (John 13:3)
          4. "'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.'  Then some of His disciples said among themselves, 'What is this that He says to us, "A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me"; and, "because I go to the Father"?' They said therefore, 'What is this that He says, "A little while"? We do not know what He is saying.' Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, 'Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, "A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me"?'" (John 16:16-19)
          5. "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." (John 21:17)
      2. Human responsibility and divine sovereignty
        1. "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death" (Acts 2:23).
        2. "God never burglarizes the human will. He may long to come in and help, but he will never cross the picket line of our unwillingness." —James Jauncey
      3. Except Psalm 69:21: "They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."
        1. Messianic Psalm
        2. Describes the suffering of the coming Messiah
        3. Sour wine; cheap wine, what the soldiers drank
        4. Administered with hyssop
          1. Jewish reader would remember the Passover
          2. Blood, lamb, salvation
          3. Passover was happening at that time
    2. Authority of Scripture
      1. In the New Testament, Jesus referred to the Old Testament 64 times
      2. The Word of God
      3. Inerrant
      4. Examples of His view
        1. "But He answered and said, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God"'" (Matthew 4:4)
        2. "The Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35)
        3. "The Scriptures must be fulfilled" (Mark 14:49)
        4. Five occasions, questions like, "Have you not read?"
        5. "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled" (Matthew 5:18)
      5. If you can't trust Jesus in what He said about the Bible, how will you trust Him in anything else?
      6. References to the Old Testament
        1. God created man (see Matthew 9:4)
        2. Worldwide flood (see Matthew 24:37-39)
        3. Jonah swallowed by a fish (see Luke 11:29-32)
        4. Sodom destroyed (see Luke 17:29)
        5. Manna from heaven (see John 6:58)
  3. What Jesus Said ("I thirst" Διψῶ; Dipsō)
    1. Shows the Cross’ Intensity
      1. Intense dehydration
      2. "The unnatural position made every movement painful; the lacerated veins and crushed tendons throbbed with incessant anguish; the wounds, inflamed by exposure, gradually gangrened; the arteries, especially of the head and stomach, became swollen and oppressed with surcharged blood; and, while each variety of misery went on gradually increasing, there was added to them the intolerable pang of a burning and raging thirst." —The Life of Christ, by Frederic Farrar
      3. Spikes planted in wrist where radius and ulna come together
      4. Spike in the feet
      5. Pulling and pushing up spikes
      6. Muscles become paralyzed, making it almost impossible to exhale
    2. Shows Jesus’ Humanity
      1. Irony
        1. The Giver of life experiencing death
        2. The Quencher of thirst experiencing thirst ("If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" [John 7:37-38])
        3. Creator of the universe with parched lips
      2. First heresy introduced was Gnosticism
        1. Attack on the humanity of Christ
        2. Theanthropos
          1. Θεός; theos - god
          2. ἄνθρωπος; anthrōpos - man
          3. Jesus had undiminished deity while having unprotected humanity
          4. Fully God; fully man
      3. "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16)
      4. "For unto us a Child is born [humanity], unto us a Son is given [deity];" (Isaiah 9:6)
      5. Examples
        1. Jesus got tired: He slept in a boat, sat down at the well
        2. He got hungry and thirsty
        3. He shed tears
      6. What Jesus knew proves His deity
      7. What Jesus said demonstrates His humanity
    3. Shows Jesus’ Humility
      1. "He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:8)
      2. Offered sour wine twice
        1. Refused it when mixed with gall
        2. Analgesic to deaden the pain
          1. Jesus had undiminished senses to feel the full wrath of God on sin in His own body
          2. Now all is accomplished; He takes the wine (without narcotic) to quench His thirst
      3. "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (Matthew 26:39).
  4. What Jesus Did
    1. A Sacrifice
      1. What Jesus endured
        1. Darkness
        2. Separation from the Father: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46).
        3. Raging Thirst
      2. What every lost soul will endure for an eternity
    2. A Substitute
      1. Took hell that we might have heaven
      2. Took thirst that our thirst might be quenched
      3. Took separation that we never have to be separated
      4. Took death that we might have life
      5. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone" (Hebrews 2:9)
      6. "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21)
      7.  At the cross, God treated Jesus as if He had committed every sin by every person who ever lived
      8. God treated Jesus like you and I deserve to be treated, so He could treat us like Jesus Christ deserves to be treated
  5. Application
    1. Our pursuit is our deep spiritual thirst
      1. "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:13-14)
      2. He took that thirst so we could be eternally quenched
    2. At the Feast of Tabernacles
      1. Once a day for seven days (twice on the eighth day), priest filled a pitcher of water from the pool of Siloam and poured it out at the base of the altar: symbolic of God bringing refreshing water from a rock in the wilderness
      2. Silence the last time as they meditated on God's provision and anticipated the coming of Messiah
      3. "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink'" (John 7:37)
    3. The final invitation: "And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17)


  1. How old were you when you first became aware of the fact that someday you would die? What caused this awareness? What are the last words you want to say before you die? Why those?
  2. What does the Christian faith offer that no other religion does? With whom will you share your faith this week?

Greek terms: Διψῶ; Dipsō - I thirst; Θεός; theos - god; ἄνθρωπος; anthrōpos - man

Figures referenced: James Jauncey

Publications referenced: The Life of Christ, by Frederic Farrar

Cross references: Psalm 69:21; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 4:4; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 9:4; Matthew 24:37-39; Matthew 26:34; Matthew 26:39; Matthew 27:46; Mark 14:49; Luke 11:29-32; Luke 17:29; Luke 23:34; Luke 23:43; Luke 23:46; John 2:23-25; John 4:13-14; John 6:58; John 6:61; John 7:37-38; John 10:35; John 13:3; John 16:16-19; John 19:26; John 19:28; John 19:30; John 21:17; Acts 2:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:8; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:9; Revelation 22:17

Topic: Cross

Keywords: thirst, deity of Jesus, humanity of Jesus, crucifixion



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: It's Done!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 19:30
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/1013

While Jesus was doing His greatest work, He uttered His greatest words! Through the excruciating pain of a tormenting death, Jesus gave the most meaningful statements worthy of careful consideration. John records three of Jesus' seven statements uttered while on the cross. The sixth—and perhaps the most hopeful—is the one we consider today.


  1. Introduction
    1. Charles H. Spurgeon
      1. Metropolitan Tabernacle
        1. 1800s
        2. Seated 5000
        3. No public address system
        4. Pulpit at the second of three levels
      2. Pastor's college: extemporaneous preaching
    2. John Knox
      1. St. Giles Cathedral
      2. Clear and scathing preaching
    3. The greatest pulpit: the cross
      1. Jesus the greatest Preacher
      2. Greatest sermon from the cross
      3. Hung for six hours
      4. Seven short statements
        1. Monumental thoughts of forgiveness, provision, and salvation
        2. John records three: third, fifth, sixth
    4. Sixth statement: "It is finished!"
      1. Not: "I'm finished" as if His life was over
      2. Not: "We're finished" as if all He worked for and invested in is done
      3. Matthew, Mark, and Luke add that when He cried out, he dismissed His Spirit and died
      4. Not as a victim, but as a Victor
  2. The Statement is Meaningful
    1. "It is finished"
      1. Τετέλεσται; tetelestai - to complete, to bring to an end, to accomplish, to perfect
      2. Τελέω; teleó - I accomplish, pay
    2. Historical use
      1. Used by Servants
        1. Accomplish something asked by the master
        2. "I've done everything you told me to do."
        3. Jesus
          1. On four occasions, Isaiah predicted Jesus as God's ultimate Servant
          2. Servant of the Lord, who accomplishes the tasks of the Master
          3. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45)
          4. "Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:49)
      2. Used by Priests
        1. When animals brought for sacrifice
        2. Male lamb without blemish (see Exodus 12:5)
        3. Perfect, a suitable lamb for sacrifice
        4. Jesus, the perfect sacrifice
          1. "You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:18-19)
          2. His enemies knew He was perfect
            1. Sanhedrin hired false witnesses to make false accusations
            2. Pilate: "I find no fault in Him" (John 18:38; John 19:4; John 19:6)
            3. "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood" (Matthew 27:4)
      3. Used by Artists
        1. Sculpture or painting completed
        2. Detailed work
        3. The picture complete
        4. Old Testament
          1. Details
          2. Not complete
        5. Jesus completes the picture: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill" (Matthew 5:17)
      4. Used by Merchants
        1. When a debt was paid in full
        2. We are debtors
          1. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)
            1. We owe an insurmountable debt
            2. Bankrupt
          2. "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23)
        3. Jesus paid our debt in full
  3.  The Speaker is Purposeful
    1. His Purpose Always in Mind
      1. Jesus lived with priorities
      2. "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work" (John 4:34)
      3. "I have finished the work which You have given Me to do" (John 17:4)
      4. "After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished" (John 19:28)
    2. His Priorities Always in Line
      1. World's steps to personal success
        1. Set goals
        2. Take concrete steps to achieve goals
        3. Objectively evaluate steps along the way
      2. Jesus' life
        1. Not self-focused
        2. For the Father
        3. Poured out His life for others according to God's will
      3. How was it finished in just three and a half years?
        1. Did what the Father gave Him to do
        2. Evaluated everything in the light of eternity
      4. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33).
      5. Over the doorways in a Milan cathedral
        1. All that pleases is but for a moment
        2. All that troubles is but for a moment
        3. Nothing is important except that which is eternal
  4. The Significance is Wonderful
    1. His Sufferings were Finished
      1. Crucifixion
      2. Beaten
      3. Crown of thorns
      4. Betrayal
    2. The Old Covenant was Finished
      1. Anticipated the new covenant
      2. "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah--not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the : I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (Jeremiah 31:31-33)
      3. "But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second" (Hebrews 8:6-7)
      4. "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17)
      5. The Law points out our faults
        1. We haven't kept God's perfect standard
        2. Like looking in the mirror
        3. Has no power to change you
        4. "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10)
    3. Satan’s Authority was Finished
    4. Our Redemption was Finished
      1. Embrace the new covenant: receive Christ
        1. Cannot add to it
        2. Cannot improve it
        3. Not a joint effort
        4. Believe in Him
      2. "It's too late for you to do anything; Jesus has already done it all!"—Alexander Wooten
      3. "And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit" (John 19:30)
        1. He bowed His head, then died
        2. He put His head down and dismissed His spirit
      4. "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again" (John 10:18)
      5. God finishes everything He starts
        1. "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross" (Hebrews 12:2)
        2. Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43)
      6. Although the work is finished, we may have unfinished business
        1. 1829 George Wilson failed to accept a pardon from Andrew Jackson; Supreme Court Justice John Marshall ruled "A pardon has no value unless it is accepted by the criminal"
        2. We must receive Christ.

Greek Terms: Τετέλεσται; tetelestai - to complete, to bring to an end, to accomplish, to perfect; Τελέω; teleó - I accomplish, pay
Figures Referenced: Charles H. Spurgeon; John Knox; Alexander Wooten; John Marshall
Cross References: Exodus 12:5; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Matthew 5:17; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 27:4; Mark 10:45; Luke 2:49; Luke 23:43; John 1:17; John 4:34; John 10:18; John 17:4; John 18:38; John 19:4; John 19:6; John 19:28; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 8:6-7; Hebrews 12:2; James 2:10; 1 Peter 1:18-19



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Death Under Control
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 19:31-37
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/1015

Watching someone you love die is always a heart-wrenching experience, especially when the victim experiences great suffering. For the apostle John, the death of Jesus was likewise difficult-but he saw a glimmer of hope, a silver lining in the dark clouds of death. This death was long ago anticipated and was being carefully monitored from the control center of heaven. Today we see why that's important.


  1. Introduction
    1. The Passover Plot by Hugh Schonfield
      1. Proposed Jesus planned His own death all along
        1. Knew Jews wouldn't allow bodies on the crosses at the Sabbath
        2. Pre-arranged a drink served that rendered Him unconscious, so He appeared dead
        3. Preplanned placement in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, who would raise Jesus back to health
        4. Appeared as though He died and resurrected
      2. Conceded Jesus' plan went awry
        1. Soldier lanced His side with a spear and killed Him
        2. A stand-in was used to depict the resurrection
          1. Appeared by the tomb
          2. On the road to Emmaus
          3. Appeared to the disciples
          4. Why many didn't recognize Jesus
      3. The premise is correct: the death of Jesus was a plot
        1. Not a human plot
        2. The plan of God
          1. Controlled the entire scene
          2. Known to Him from eternity past
          3. Told by the prophets
          4. 28 prophecies in the last 24 hours of Jesus' life
    2. Aspects of death
      1. Surprise element: shock
        1. Unfulfilled dreams
        2. Unspoken words
        3. Unfinished plans
      2. Jesus' death not a surprise
        1. He predicted His own death
        2. Told His disciples
          1. It was coming
          2. How He would die
          3. What would happen subsequent to His death
        3. "Bowing His head, He gave up His spirit" (John 19:30)
      3. Privilege of presence at a death
        1. Of a mother: the one who brought child into the world is exiting the world
        2. John: excruciatingly painful, but honored
          1. Recorded the details afterward
          2. Understanding of why things happened the way they happened
    3. Setting
      1. 2000 years ago
      2. In Jerusalem (7200 miles away)
      3. Among olive trees of Jerusalem
      4. Ancient stone walls and city structures nearby
      5. Noise and business of many gathered for the Passover
      6. Smell of lambs sacrificed and roasted
      7. Three crosses
        1. Jesus is dead
        2. Other two victims linger
        3. Soldiers break the other victims' legs so they will die sooner
      8. "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him" (John 1:11)
      9. Eleven loyal disciples: fearful and hiding behind locked doors
  2.  The Predicament of the Scene
    1. The Timing of the Cross
      1. Jesus died quickly
        1. Six hours on the cross: 9 am - 3 pm
        2. Most lasted 2-3 days before they died
      2. Problems
        1. Day of Preparation
          1. "Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover" (John 18:28)
          2. Jesus had already eaten Passover with His disciples
          3. Day before the Sabbath
          4. High Day: Sabbath and Passover closely related
          5. Preparing for the Passover and Sabbath
          6. According to Josephus and the Mishna, those in the north kept a different calendar than those in the south
            1. Galilee
              1. Reconciled days from sunrise to sunrise
              2. Perhaps because of Gentile influence
              3. Passover Thursday sunrise-Friday sunrise
              4. Already ate
            2. Judea
              1. Reconciled days from sunset to sunset
              2. Traditional Jewish reckoning "evening and morning"
              3. Passover Thursday sunset-Friday sunset
              4. Waiting to eat the Passover
            3. Lambs sacrificed on two days
          7. As Jesus died on the cross, lambs were being slaughtered in Jerusalem
          8. "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)
        2. Is Friday evening to Sunday morning three days?
          1. Jesus said three days and rise again (See John 2:19)
          2. Friday evening-Sunday morning
          3. We reckon time differently
            1. Three solid days
            2. Ancient world: a part of a day was a day
          4. According to Eleazar ben Azariah, "A day and a night make an onah: and a part of an onah is as the whole."
    2. The Request of the Jews: Take the bodies down before Passover
      1. Typically Romans allowed the bodies to rot on the cross
      2. "If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God"  (Deuteronomy 21:22-23)
      3. The height of hypocrisy: trying to satisfy the minutia of the Law, while killing the One who fulfills the Law
        1. Religion focuses on the outward
        2. People who do the outward feel they've earned their way
  3.  The Placement of the Spear
    1. No Need to Hasten Death (Breaking the Legs)
      1. Jesus died quickly
        1. They were astonished that He died quickly
        2. "Pilate marveled that He was already dead" (Mark 15:44)
      2. Breaking the legs an act of mercy
        1. Fatigue caused paralysis of the diaphragm
        2. Victims would push up on the spike through their feet to breath
        3. Hastened death by removing leverage: asphyxiation
    2. The Need to Prove Death (Piercing the Heart)
      1. The soldiers
        1. Experts in death
        2. Pierced His side to make sure He was dead
      2. All gospels record Jesus' death
        1. "Yielded up His spirit" (Matthew 27:50)
        2. "Breathed His last" (Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46)
        3. "Gave up His spirit" (John 19:30)
      3. Essential to believe Jesus died
        1. Without death there is no resurrection
        2. Without death there is only resuscitation
      4. Swoon theory
        1. Jesus did not die
        2. Jesus swooned from loss of blood
        3. Thought dead and placed in tomb
        4. Cold, damp tomb revived Him
      5. Six points of Evidence that Jesus was Dead
        1. At Gethsemane, He sweat great drops of blood
        2. Trials He went through
          1. Three religious
          2. Three civil
          3. Beaten
        3. Roman scourging with flagellum
        4. Crown of thorns: blood letting
        5. Carried the cross through Jerusalem
          1. 75 pound crossbeam: patibulum
          2. Needed assistance
        6. Crucified
      6. "Jesus of Nazareth certainly died on the cross"—Dr. William Edwards On the Physical Death of Jesus, Journal of the American Medical Association March 21, 1986, Vol 255, No. 11
      7. Blood and water evidence of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart muscle by the pericardium
  4.  The Fulfillment of the Scripture
    1. Predicted in Advance
      1. Not one bone was broken
        1. See Psalm 22:17; Psalm 34:20
        2. Symbolized in Passover lamb (see Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12)
        3. If bones were broken, what God said would happen didn't happen
        4. Perfect sacrifice
      2. Pierced
        1. See Zechariah 12:10
        2. Jesus died at the precise moment planned
        3. Scripture was fulfilled
    2. Presented in Anticipation
  5. Application
    1. God was in control of the minute details of Jesus' life
    2. We can entrust our lives to Him
    3. He is willing to manage the details of our lives
    4. Like Chief Crow Foot
      1. Carried a pass to ride the Canadian Pacific Railroad
      2. Never used it
      3. Let the promises of God be a part of life, don't just carry it

Publications referenced: The Passover Plot, by Hugh Schonfield; On the Physical Death of Jesus, by Dr. William Edwards , Journal of the American Medical Association March 21, 1986, Vol 255, No. 11
Figures referenced: Josephus
Cross references: Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Deuteronomy 21:22-23; Psalm 22:17; Psalm 34:20; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; Mark 15:44; Luke 23:46; John 1:11; John 1:29; John 2:19; John 18:28; John 19:30



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Disciples on the Graveyard Shift
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 19:38-42
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/1017

You can find an unending supply of books, pamphlets, and articles on discipleship in Christian churches and bookstores. Many of them will be predictably regimented and conventional, giving solid biblical references and calling Christians to ardently follow Christ—all great stuff. But not everyone's spiritual journey is identical. Some disciples are unexpected, and so is their story. Here are two disciples of Jesus who've been in the background and now step forward to care for the body of Christ after His death. Let's allow their story to inspire us.


  1. Introduction
    1. Two disciples handle the body of Jesus Christ
      1. Take His body from the cross, place in a tomb, post-mortem preparation for burial
      2. Prominent, wealthy leaders
      3. Members of the Sanhedrin (high court of the Jews)
      4. One is called a disciple
      5. By action, determined both placed in trust in Jesus
      6. On a spiritual journey: discipleship
    2. Discipleship
      1. Christian buzzword
      2. Great emphasis
      3. Often narrow parameters of what discipleship is
  2. Discipleship is Unpredictable
    1. Many common people follow Jesus
      1. "The common people heard Him gladly" (Mark 12:37)
      2. "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty"                    (1 Corinthians 1:26-27)
    2. There are exceptions
      1. Some wise, mighty
      2. Paul, the apostle
      3. Joseph of Arimathea
      4. Nicodemus
      5. Never write people off because they are well-off, well-known, prominent
      6. Billy Graham says true of any audience:
        1. People whose needs are not met by social improvement or affluence
        2. Essential emptiness in every life without Christ
        3. Lonely people
        4. People have a sense of guilt
        5. Universal fear of death
    3.  Joseph of Arimathea
      1. Mentioned in all four gospels; only in relationship to the burial of Jesus Christ
      2. Member of the Sanhedrin
      3. Rich man, disciple (see Matthew 27:57)
      4. Good and just man (see Luke 23:50)
        1. Good: inward condition
        2. Just: outward condition
      5. Waiting for the kingdom of God (see Luke 23:51)
        1. Scholar of the Old Testament
        2. Lived in anticipation of the Deliverer of the Jewish nation
      6. Secret disciple (v. 38)
    4. Nicodemus
      1. Mentioned only in the gospel of John
      2. Every time he is mentioned, notes he came to Jesus at night
        1. Maybe afraid
        2. Maybe practical
          1. Jesus surrounded by crowds
          2. Nicodemus busy
      3. Application
        1. Situations drive us to depend on Christ
        2. Don't wait until death to give what could have been given in life
  3. Discipleship is Gradual
    1. Not instantaneous perfection
      1. For self
      2. For others
    2. Both Joseph and Nicodemus secretive at first
      1. When John mentions secret disciples, not favorable
      2. "Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue" (John 12:42)
        1. ἀποσυνάγωγος; aposunagógos; excommunicated
        2. Effectively end social and professional life
        3. According to the Babylonian Talmud, 24 infractions punishable by excommunication
        4. Disobey the teaching of the council
      3. Love Jesus; believe in Him
      4. "For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" (John 12:43)
        1. Want to be liked
        2. No one wants to be the odd man out
      5. "There can be no such thing as secret discipleship, for either the secrecy destroys the discipleship, or the discipleship destroys the secrecy"—William Barclay
      6. Ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit and give you boldness
      7. Cultural climate
        1. People bold for a cause
        2. Politically correct: tolerate everyone and everything
    3. Progress
      1. Joseph and Nicodemus request the body
      2. Stood for Jesus
      3. Place self in danger
        1. With friends
        2. With Pilate: rival King
      4. "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"  (2 Peter 3:18)
      5. "Fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10)
  4. Discipleship is Practical
    1. Come (v. 38)
      1. They showed up
      2. Friend: someone who comes in when the rest of the world has gone out
      3. According to The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ by James Stalker, if Joseph and Nicodemus did not take Jesus' body, it would have been thrown into a ditch (that is how they buried crucified criminals)
    2. Spent their resources (v. 40)
      1. Joseph: tomb
      2. Nicodemus: spices for burial
        1. Typical amount given to kings who died
        2. No longer on the fence
        3. Like Mary of Bethany (see John 12:1-8)
        4. Myrrh
          1. Gummy, sweet-smelling resin
          2. Mixed with aloe, smelled like sandalwood
          3. Placed between folds of body
          4. Counteracted purification of decaying body
          5. Magi brought as gift to Jesus
      3. Giving generously in practical discipleship
      4. Give the best no matter the cost
      5. Having money is like electricity, the more juice the tighter the grip
      6. Give extravagantly for the Lord and His purposes
    3. Serve (v. 40)
      1. They took the body, wrapped it, missed and placed spices
      2. They did the work; not their servants
      3. Eve of Passover: touched a dead body, ceremonially unclean
      4. Jesus is greater than any festival or ritual
    4. Give
      1. Time
      2. Treasure
      3. Talents
      4. "There are three conversions a person needs to experience: the conversion of the head; the conversion of the heart; and the conversion of the pocketbook." –Martin Luther
  5. Discipleship is Eventful
    1. Occasional surprises move you along in the faith
    2. Preparation day
      1. They paid last respects
      2. Placed Jesus in the tomb
      3. Sad and confused; didn't expect the resurrection
      4. Not prepared
  6. Discipleship is Painful
    1. Answered prayer leads to bold testimony
    2. Bold testimony leads to persecution
    3. Scars should be your glory
    4. "Hast thou no scar?

      No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
      I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
      I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star,
      Hast thou no scar?

      Hast thou no wound?
      Yet I was wounded by the archers, spent,
      Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent
      By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned:
      Hast thou no wound?

      No wound, no scar?
      Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
      And, pierced are the feet that follow Me;
      But thine are whole: can he have followed far
      Who has no wound nor scar?"—No Scar by Amy Carmichael

Greek terms: ἀποσυνάγωγος; aposunagógos; excommunicated
Publications referenced: The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ by James Stalker; No Scar by Amy Carmichael
Figures referenced: Billy Graham; William Barclay; Martin Luther
Cross references: Matthew 27:57; Mark 12:37; Luke 23:50; John 12:1-8; John 12:42; John 12:43; 1 Corinthians 1:26-27; Colossians 1:10; 2 Peter 3:18

Topic: Discipleship

Keywords: Discipleship, disciple, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus



SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: A Not-Quite-Empty Tomb
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 20:1-10
URL: http://CalvaryABQ.org/1019

There was a lot of confusion happening on the first Easter morning. The resurrection had happened but it was neither expected nor accepted by all at first. Mary Magdalene ran to tell the disciples what she saw, and they ran to check out her report. What they saw was compelling evidence of a resurrection, but only one of them really connected all the dots. Let's see why.


  1. Introduction
    1. How is knowledge formed?
      1. Epistemology: the theory of knowledge
      2. How does knowledge and belief form?
      3. "The modern student goes away to college in order to learn. They come back from the same school knowing