Believe on Jesus

 (Sermon Notes) By Warren Zehrung  2/27/2021

The title of today’s sermon comes from John 6.  Brethren, do you believe on Jesus?  The Bible says that you must believe.

John 6:29, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him [Jesus] whom He [the Father] hath sent.”

Is salvation as easy as the world of Protestantism would have us believe?  The only thing you have to do is simply believe on Jesus and you are saved – once and for all?

Does an “Altar Call” save a person?  Does “Giving your heart to the Lord,” Save you?  I ran across an advertisement that said, “Get Jesus! Get Saved!

I thought for a moment about naming the sermon, Get Jesus, but that sounded blasphemous and sacrilegious.  What does it mean to Get Jesus?

Acts 16:31 …“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved”…

In God’s Church we understand that believing in Jesus means that we believe what He said and taught – and we incorporate every principle of Christ into our lives.

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

John 1:12  As many as received [Jesus], to them gave He power to become the Children of God, even to them that believe on His name:

This raises a most important question as we begin to examine ourselves before Passover:  And this is a very difficult thing to do because we tend to give ourselves a pass—and we do not want to do that.  We must examine ourselves sincerely and deeply.

“What is the difference between the world’s concept of simply, “Believe on the Lord,” and true conversion – that we must possess?”

Of course we understand that it is simply not enough to believe in a historical man named Jesus.  We could know where He was born, what color his hair and eyes were, how old He was when He was lost in the temple.  Those are not salvational factors.

The Words of Jesus are Eternal Life.

2Timothy 3:15 …The holy Scriptures are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Not hearing them!  Not memorizing them, but putting God’s word into action in our lives.

The Scriptures are able to make you wise unto salvation, if you live them, believe what they say, and are motivated by them.  Then, and only then will a person gain knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and even Godly wisdom (James 3:17).

James 3:17  But [Godly] wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Brethren, that is a much higher standard than simply believing that Jesus once walked the earth.  What makes us so right, and the world, so wrong?

The world will say, “Come as you are.”  You are accepted by Jesus – just as you are.  I am not making fun of those people at all.  There, but for the grace of God’s calling is exactly where we would be (John 6:44, John 6:65, 2Timothy 1:9).

They also believe that they see the whole and entire picture of Christianity.

They do not!

They are not ready to keep the 10 Commandments and Feasts of the Lord – that would teach them about God’s coming Kingdom on this earth.

We know that their belief is insufficient and wrong — because there is no repentance of breaking God’s law in their belief.

We find the same concept in:

Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

While this is exactly true, it leaves out a great deal of Biblical teaching about what God wants us to do with our lives between baptism and our glorious entrance into His Kingdom.

Confessing with thy mouth the Lord Jesus means that we have embraced His most stringent and rigorous way of life – and He now abides within us.

Only a relative few people – the converted brethren, can meet God’s standards because they are complex, extensive, and demanding.

Some think that when they repent and are baptized – they are ‘home free’ – and they think that they have it made.

They think that all they have to do is assemble at church on Saturday and keep the Ten Commandments – and they will inherit the Kingdom.

Brethren, do we realize that we make the same mistake the world makes when our faith comes down to thinking “we have it made” because we go to the right church?

Brethren, that is not near enough!  You might ask, “What else is there?”  But, Jesus taught differently when He said:

Luke 17:10  …When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

How can it be that when we have diligently done all those things which are commanded of us – we are yet unprofitable servants?

What is there to do beyond God’s commands and Laws???

Which fruit does God seek?  What obedience does God require?  What does God expect of us?

What does “Jesus” stand for?

What did Jesus believe?  Which way of life did Jesus teach?

We will be looking into the Book of John today.  Chapters 6 and 13.

Why is God the Father is not pleased…?  It is because we must go beyond a knowledge of the Law:

Brethren, how do we go about choosing to Get Jesus?

Is it like when I go to the store to get bread – I just reach up on the grocer’s shelf and – get bread?  In God’s Church we have learned that we did not choose God, He chose us.

2Timothy 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Brethren, if we have not begun to do so already, it is time to begin to deleaven our hearts and homes – with the emphasis placed on removing the leavening out of our minds and hearts.

This is the season of Jesus’ third Passover in His Public ministry – one year before He died.]

John 6:4  And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.

The Jews of Jesus’ day were very familiar with the events of the OT Passover.

Jesus’ name was becoming very well-known by that time – so much so, that the people thronged Him wherever He went.

John 6:5  When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he said unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? [Jesus could have said “food or meat,” as He often does – but here, He specifically says “Bread.”

John 6:6  And this He said to prove him: for He himself knew what He would do.

John 6:7  Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth [A great sum] of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

John 6:8  One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him,

John 6:9  There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves [Spring time – early harvest], and two small fish: but what are they among so many?

John 6:10  And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

John 6:11  And Jesus took the loaves, [“Bread” is a better translation] and when he had given thanks, [Eucharisteo also Jn 6:23, 11:41] He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples distributed to them that were sat down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

You know the story – there were 12 baskets of “Bread” left over! There is no mention of left-over fish   – because this chapter is about “Bread.”

The emphasis is on the bread…  Which, by extension, is the spiritual food supplied by Jesus

So that great multitude of folks [Matthew 14:21, 5000 men alone] decided that Jesus must be some kind of Prophet – and they would have made Jesus –  King – if He hadn’t gone off by Himself.  John 6:15

Then the disciples got caught in the terrible storm on the North end of the sea of Galilee

John 6:20  But he said unto them, It is I; be not afraid. [I = I AM, 7 times in this chapter]

John 6:24  When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, [in Bethsaida – north-east coast of the sea of Galilee] neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.

John 6:25  And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when came thou hither?

Where and when did they find Jesus?  It was the Sabbath before Passover and Jesus, as He customarily did, He went into the synagogue in Capernaum – on the Sabbath day, and He was teaching.  [Luke mentions, 4:16 …His custom]  They came for the physical food!

John 6:26  Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves [Bread], and were filled.

While teaching His disciples how to pray, Jesus made up a new word not used anywhere else in the Bible.  The word is, Epiousios  Matthew 6:11 and Luke 11:3.

The new word coined by Jesus is the Greek word epiousios.  Bible translators have had a very difficult time figuring out what this word means.  Because of their lack of understanding, the King James translators decided to use the word “daily.”

When this is fully understood, it will be absolutely clear that “Give us day by day our daily bread” is not primarily about asking for food.

The Holy Scriptures are revealed only to those whom God calls and opens their minds.

Luke gives an example of the very select audience for whom Jesus intended His message.

“Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.’…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 10:21-24)

Jesus was saying in effect, “There is more here than meets the eye.”

This phrase “Give us this day our daily bread” holds a greater meaning for us.

The word epiousios is a reference to Jesus Christ Himself

Jesus is that Bread of Life that descends from heaven!

Jesus would reiterate to John that He was the “hidden manna.”

“To him who overcomes I will give of the hidden manna to eat.”  (Revelation 2:17)

“Man shall not live by [physical] bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4:4)

John 6:27  Labor not for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures unto everlasting life [that is a long “shelf life”], which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

When did Jesus give them bread that endures unto everlasting life – it was when He said, This is My Body.”

John 6:28  Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Title:

John 6:29, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him [Jesus] whom He [the Father] hath sent.”

Hebrews 2:9  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 [Jesus] by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Brethren, look at that verse and ask yourself, “What is the grace of God?”  It is so much more than unmerited pardon or favor.  Jesus did not need to be forgiven.  The grace of God is bestowed on us by Jesus dying for our sins.  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17).

John 6:30  They said therefore unto him, What sign [miracle] do you show then, that we may see, and believe thee? what do you work?

John 6:53-54  Jesus said unto them, Truly, truly, I say unto you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you.  Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

When we participate in the Passover service, we express our faith in Christ’s death on our behalf, and renew our commitment to allow Jesus to live His life in us.  Jesus said:

John 14:20  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

The Footwashing and Passover are central to our relationship with God.

The Footwashing shows a number of pictures beyond the obvious washing of dirty feet.

In the same way that the disciple’s feet had become soiled as they walked to the Passover supper (Luke 22:20), we too, become soiled by sin throughout the year after our initial cleansing that took place at our baptism.

Hopefully, we are not soiled by the same dirt that we’ve had on our feet at previous Passovers.

If it is the same sin, – – using sharp, harsh words, or shunning people, or neglecting those in need – – the sin that so easily besets us?  If so we must examine our spiritual growth (Hebrews 12:1)

We entered into a covenant and receive His forgiveness at our baptism, and we renew our vow annually at the Passover Footwashing.  How can a converted Christian be justified of his subsequent sins, after baptism, and remain in the grace of God?  The Footwashing is the answer.

The Footwashing is the renewal of the grace of God in continuation of the cleansing and forgiveness that began with our baptism.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

John 6:56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

How does that take place?  Obviously, Jesus Christ does not dwell in everyone – only the truly converted brethren.

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you

Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?  Unless indeed you are disqualified.  The world does not understand what it means to put on Christ.  They say that they love Jesus, that they gave their hearts to Jesus – but they do not put on Jesus and become like Him.

2 Corinthians 13:5  Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith; Test yourselves – prove yourselves.  Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — except ye be reprobates? —  you have failed the test of genuine faith. — unless indeed you are disqualified.  — unless you are unapproved?

…unless Jesus Christ is in you, you have failed…

… do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?

None of us like to think of ourselves as being outside of the faith—reprobates, but, we are warned to seriously examine ourselves before taking Passover:

1Corinthians 11:27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

1Corinthians 11:28  But let a man examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.

The apostle John helps to develop the concept of the Church brethren’s need to put on—eat of—Christ.  John shows how Jesus began with a reference to Moses and the manna, and carried that thought through to Jesus being the True Bread from heaven.

John 6:51  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

John 6:56  He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him.

The disciples were very familiar with the concept of eating the sacrificed Passover Lamb.  Jesus was taking them – one step at a time.

We want to follow Christ’s concept all the way through – until the full picture and meaning is seen.

The spiritual significance of the Scriptures is always deeper and broader than the physical meaning.

John 6:63  It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

This next verse will show that the Bread [Christ’s Body] emphasizes the togetherness as opposed to the separated and divided nature of God’s people.

1Corinthians 10:16 … The bread which we break, is it not the fellowship [the communion, the togetherness, the partnership] of the Body of Christ?

John 1:29  The next day John [the Baptist] saw Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.

It was on the occasion of Jesus’ last earthly Passover service that Jesus chose to teach His disciples the most important concept that Christianity holds—that of spiritual service to one another.

And a major component of that concept is that the stronger serves the weaker.  Jesus loved them unto the end (John 13:1).

Why is it that every year, Christians are commanded by Jesus, as a salvational requirement, to observe the Passover and Footwashing?  After the Footwashing, Jesus asked His disciples:

During the first New Testament Passover, the disciples did not fully understand the meaning of the Footwashing.  Jesus asked them:

John 13:12  …Do you know what I have done to you?…

It would only be after they had received God’s Holy Spirit that the apostles would understand the importance of the yearly Footwashing.

Jesus made the Footwashing a requirement for our salvation.  The Footwashing is a yearly renewal and rededication of our baptismal covenant and washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5).

Titus 3:5-7  …According to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

With God’s special calling and the gift of His Spirit, He sets us apart to come to know His way and Plan, and eventually, to undergo complete regeneration at His coming.

Regeneration means that our sins that once removed us from God have been cleansed, making it possible for us to come into God’s presence and become partakers of His Divine nature.

Our regeneration makes us heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Regeneration will find its ultimate fulfillment when we become spirit beings in the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 19:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

John 13:14  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also must wash one another’s feet.

Jesus reversed the normal roles of a servant who would ordinarily be serving his master.  Jesus was teaching us to do the same thing!

John 13:15  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

What did Jesus do?  He washed their feet as a symbol of humble servitude—but He did much more—He laid down His life in service to them.  Jesus is telling us that we too, must be spiritually laying down our lives for others – as He has given us example.

It is our Christian duty to lay down our lives for others – over and over!

That is how we demonstrate that we believe on His name!

Romans 12:1   As living sacrifices, over and over.  As in continuously serving in spiritual ways.

John 13:16  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord;

John 13:17  Happy are you if you do them.

How does this apply as we examine ourselves for Passover?

Let’s ask ourselves this question, “This past year, have we been making spiritual sacrifices for those who are possible weaker spiritually than we are?”  That is exactly the object lesson that Jesus was teaching His disciples with the Footwashing.

This past year, to what extent have we been encouraging those in need?  Comforting them? Reinforcing them, and holding them up?  Praying, teaching, supporting, instructing?

There is a terrible trend among God’s people today that says, “If you cannot keep up with the able bodied – you are on your own – spiritually speaking.”  It says that if someone is lagging behind spiritually, leave him behind.

Brethren, that attitude is not Christianity.  It is a good thing that Jesus did not feel that way about His disciples.

In keeping the Passover and Footwashing each year, we renew the vow of our baptismal covenant.

Luke 22:19  [Jesus] took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: do this in remembrance of me.

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.”  (Psalms 26:2)

It is only the Church of God brethren in fellowship with one another who have fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ! (Acts 2:42, 1Corinthians 1:9, 1John 1:3, 1:6-7)

1Corinthians 10:17  For we being many [brethren] are one bread, and one Body.  [Christ’s one Body]

Title from here:

1John 3:23  And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

Do we love one another – to the point of laying down our lives in spiritual sacrifice for one another.  Jesus did.

End: Believe on Jesus