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A. Introduction: Before Jesus left this world He warned that prior to His second coming there will be
massive religious deception—false Christs and false prophets (Matt 24:4-5). Paul the apostle (an
eyewitness of Jesus) wrote that there will be a great falling away (an apostasy) as people who
profess to be Christians abandon what Jesus and His eyewitnesses taught (II Thess 2:3; I Tim 4:1).
1. Consequently, we are talking about the importance of knowing who Jesus is—according to the
New Testament—the portion of the Bible written by eyewitnesses of Jesus (or close associates of
eyewitnesses), men who walked and talked with Him, and then saw Him alive after the crucifixion.
a. The New Testament is our only fully reliable, completely trustworthy source of information
about Jesus. Every teaching we hear about Jesus, every video we watch, every book we read
about Him and His teachings, must be judged according to what the eyewitnesses tell us.
b. Based on what these eyewitnesses saw and heard, they were convinced that Jesus was and is
God become man, without ceasing to be God. They saw Jesus die and then saw Him alive
again. By rising from the dead Jesus authenticated everything He said and did. Rom 1:4
c. Just as important as knowing who Jesus is, it is also vital to know why He came to earth. We
need to look at what the eyewitnesses report about why Jesus came into this world. Tonight,
we’re going to begin to discuss why Jesus came to this world and what He accomplished.
2. Before we get to that, I want to remind you where we started at the beginning of this year. I gave
you an effective way to read the Bible for yourself. I urged you to become a regular, systematic
reader of the New Testament. (Save the Old Testament until you are proficient in the New. The
Old Testament makes more sense when it is filtered through the greater light of the New.)
a. To read systematically means to read the New Testament through from beginning to end,
over and over. To read regularly means to read as often as you can—daily, if possible.
1. Set a reasonable length of time (15-20 minutes). Read as far as you can, leave a marker
where you stop, and pick up there tomorrow. Read with a friend that helps you.
2. Don’t worry about what you don’t understand. Just keep reading. Understanding
comes with familiarity, and familiarity comes with regular, repeated reading.
3. This type of reading helps you see context. Many of false ideas about who Jesus is and
why came into this world come from taking verses out of context.
b. The Bible is a supernatural book because it was inspired by God. If you will read it as it was
written to be read, over time, it will change the way you see the Lord, yourself, and your life.
B. We’ve recently referred to John’s gospel. It is an eyewitness account of Jesus’ ministry, death, and
resurrection. In his gospel, John emphasized the deity of Jesus. He also recorded a clear statement
made by Jesus about why He came into this world—to bring life to men and women. John 10:10
1. Before we talk about what Jesus meant by His statement, we must first be sure that we understand
how to rightly interpret specific Bible verses. We must always consider the context of the verse.
a. Everything in the Bible was written by someone to someone about something. God inspired
real people to write to other real people to communicate important information. To rightly
interpret a verse we must consider what the words meant to the first hearers and readers.
b. Every false teacher, preacher, and prophet who professes to be a Christian, uses the Bible to
support their ideas—verses that are taken out of context and interpreted in ways that are
contrary to the original meaning, and to how the first readers would have understood them.
c. People wrongly use John 10:10 to say that Jesus came to give us an abundant life in this life.
But the original readers would never have interpreted His words like that. Jesus didn’t come
to give you an abundant life. He came to give you eternal life, abundantly. Let me explain.
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2. Go back to the beginning of John’s gospel and we’ll get context. John opened his gospel with a
clear statement that Jesus (the Word) is God, the Eternal, Uncreated Creator of all. John 1:1-3
a. Then, the first thing John told his readers about Jesus is that in Him there is life. The Greek
language (the original language of the New Testament) has several words for life. In this
verse John used the word zoe. John used this word 37 times in his gospel.
b. This word (zoe) is used in the New Testament for the life in God, the life of God. W. E. Vine’s
Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words defines it as “life in the absolute sense, life as
God has it, that which the Father has in Himself and which He gave to the Incarnate Son to
have in Himself (John 5:26), and which the Son manifested (I John 1:2)”
3. Human beings have a bigger problem than lack of abundance in this life. Our biggest problem is
that we are dead or cut off from the life in God—and this condition has eternal consequences.
a. We are dead because of sin. Death is more than physical death. Death is separation from
God who is life. Physical death is an expression of this greater form of death. Eph 2:1; 5
b. When God created the first man (Adam), the Lord told him: If you choose independence
from me through sin (disobedience) you will die. Gen 2:17
1. As the head of the human race, Adam’s actions affected all humans—The sin of this one
man, Adam, caused death to rule over us. Yes, Adam’s one sin brought condemnation
upon everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners (Rom
2. Because of the effect of Adam’s sin on humanity, all humans are born into a fallen race
with a nature that is contrary to God. When we’re old enough to know right from
wrong, we choose our own way and become guilty before God, cut off from life in Him.
4. God created men and women to live in loving relationship with Him. But God, who is holy, can’t
have sinners as sons and daughters. Sin has disqualified all of us from our created purpose.
And there’s nothing we can do to fix or undo our condition. Rom 3:23; Rom 5:6
a. Neither can God overlook man’s sin. He cannot give His life to men and women who are
guilty of sin. For God to be true to His holy, righteous nature, the penalty must be enacted.
b. The penalty for sin is eternal separation from God. If the punishment is carried out, God
loses His family. But God devised a plan to deal with mankind’s sin.
1. He would incarnate (take on a full human nature), take the punishment due us, and
satisfy the claims of justice on our behalf.
2. I John 4:9-10—God showed us how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the
world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we
loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins
A. When a person believes on Jesus as Savior and Lord, God can justify him (declare
him no longer guilty of sin) because the penalty is paid, the punishment carried out.
B. Rom 5:1—Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have
peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us (NLT).
5. Jesus came to bring life (zoe) to the human race by restoring us to relationship with God. The
next time John uses the word zoe (life) in his gospel, he quotes Jesus. John 3:14-16
a. Jesus was in conversation with a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who came to Jesus to find out
more about Him, and Jesus made reference to an event in Israel’s history. Num 21:4-8
1. When the generation delivered out of Egypt was on their way to Canaan, they began to
complain against God and Moses because the journey was difficult. As a result, they
were bitten by poisonous snakes. They cried to Moses, who prayed to the Lord for them.
2. The Lord told Moses to make a brass snake and put it on a pole. Whoever looked at it
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lived. The Hebrew word translated look has the idea of regard, consider, heed.
b. Jesus said that just as Moses lifted up the serpent on a pole, He must be lifted up (a reference
to His crucifixion) so that all who believe on Him will not perish but have everlasting or
eternal life (zoe). Jesus stated that the motive behind what He was going to do is God’s love.
1. Eternal and everlasting (John 3:15-16) are the same Greek word. It means perpetual,
not transitory. This is not live forever life. Every human has eternal life in the sense
that no one ceases to exist when their body dies. This life (zoe) has two aspects to it.
A. One, if you have eternal life (zoe) in this life, when you leave your body at death,
when you die with eternal life, you go to be with the Lord in Heaven.
B. Two, when you have eternal life (zoe) in this life, it means that God (who is life) has
indwelled you by His Spirit, and you are literally born of Him.
2. Earlier in this same conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus said that, to enter the kingdom
of God, a person must be born of the Spirit, born from above, or born again. John 3:3-5
c. Through this new birth you become a literal son or daughter of God by birth and are restored
to your created purpose.
1. John 1:12-13—But to all who believed him and accepted him (the Word), he gave the
right to become children of God. They are reborn! This is not a physical rebirth
resulting from human passion or plan—this rebirth comes from God (NLT).
2. Perish means to perish or lose. The idea is not extinction. The idea is ruin or loss—not
loss of being, but of well being (Vine’s Dictionary). To be separated from God is the
ultimate ruin for any human being because you are lost to your created purpose.
A. In the next few chapters of his gospel, John continued to quote Jesus as saying that
He came to bring eternal life (zoe) to those who believe on Him—the of God, the life
in God, zoe life. John 4:14; John 5:24-26; John 6:33-35; John 8:12
B. This is how those who first read John’s statement about abundant life in John 10:10
would have understood it. It had nothing to do with material prosperity or
abundance in this life.
6. This doesn’t mean your life won’t be better because you believe on Jesus. Life may be better
since you quit sinful, harmful activities and make better life choices. But life got a lot harder for
the first Christians as they experienced persecution and death for their faith in Christ.
a. And, becoming a Christian doesn’t free you from the challenges of life in a fallen,
sin-damaged world. Jesus Himself said that we will have tribulation in this world (John
16:33) (lessons for another day).
b. I realize that these kinds of lessons can seem tedious and unrelated to the real life issues that
we all face. But, especially because of the times we live (the end of this age), it is vital that we
understand who Jesus is and why He came—according to the Bible.
c. It’s becoming increasingly common to hear people say that there are many paths to God, and
that God is so loving, He would never allow anyone to be eternally separated from Him. But
that’s not what Jesus or the eyewitnesses say.
C. Conclusion: Next week we’ll delve more fully into what Jesus and the men who wrote the New
Testament say about the path to God and to eternal life. As we close, let’s consider more about the
context in which the first hearers heard and understood Jesus’ comment about giving life to men.
1. God was not surprised by Adam’s sin. He already had a plan to redeem (deliver) men and
women from sin, corruption, and death. Following Adam’s sin and the lost of the family, God
began to gradually unveil His plan to come into this world, pay for sin, and recover His family.
a. Note that God came looking for Adam with the promise of help: Toward evening they
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(Adam and Eve) heard the Lord God walking about in the garden (Gen 3:8, NLT). This was
Preincarnate Jesus. (God is omnipresent and has no body.)
b. Adam and Eve were afraid, ashamed, and hid from God. Although the relationship was
changed, the Lord promised that a Redeemer would come and undo the damage. Gen 3:15
1. Even though Adam and Eve were cut off from access to the tree of life (a symbol of the
life in God, Gen 3:24), the Lord began to picture and build into human consciousness
what it will take to redeem humanity—the death of an innocent one.
2. Although Adam and Eve had already covered their nakedness with fig leaves, God
covered them with animal skins. The first death they witnessed was an innocent animal,
slain (shedding its blood) to cover them in their fallen, sinful condition. We don’t know
what kind of animal it was (maybe a sheep). Gen 3:21
2. Many generations later, God delivered the Israelites (the people through whom Jesus came into
this world) from slavery in Egypt. This event was referred to as redemption. Ex 6:6; Ex 15:13
a. The night before the Israelites left Egypt, the Lord instructed them to kill an unblemished
male sheep or goat and put its blood on the top and sides of the door of their homes. Ex 12
b. On that night, God judged Egypt for unrepentant idol worship (lessons for another day).
This judgment passed over those homes with blood on their doorposts. Ex 12:12-13
1. Once they were out of Egypt God gave them a system of animal sacrifice to cover their sin
so that He could dwell among them, making limited relationship with Him possible.
2. They were to sacrifice two lambs every day in His presence at the Tabernacle (one in the
morning and one in the evening), and He would meet and speak with them. Ex 29:38-46
A. In the Law God gave Israel at Mount Sinai He said: I have given you the blood so
you can make atonement for your sins. It is the blood, representing life, that brings
you atonement (Lev 17:11, NLT). The Hebrew word for atone means to cover.
B. Heb 9:22—According to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified by…blood.
Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (NLT).
3. John reported that at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, John the Baptist proclaimed:
Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29; John 1:36
a. The first Christians understood that Jesus was the fulfillment of these pictures. He came to
die (shed His blood) for sin so that we can be reconciled to our Creator. Because the penalty
for our sin is paid we can be justified (declared not guilty of sin). Rom 5:1
b. His blood did not merely cover sin. His blood remission or wiped out our debt for sin. God
can now deal with us as though we never sinned and indwell us by His life (zoe). This new
birth makes us His sons and daughters—restored to our created purpose. John 1:12-13
c. John 20:31—John wrote his gospel so that men would believe that Jesus is the Christ (the
Messiah, the Savior), the Son of God (God Incarnate)—and that through believing and
cleaving to and trusting in and relying upon Him you may have life (zoe) through (in) His
name [that is, through what He is] (Amp).
1. In the ancient world, name was equivalent to the person. To believe on Jesus’ name
means to believe everything that He is. Jesus is Savior and Jesus is Lord. When you
believe on Him as Savior and Lord, God gives you eternal life (zoe) abundantly.
2. I John 5:11-12—And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life (zoe),
and this life (zoe) is in his Son. So whoever has God’s Son has (zoe); whoever does not
have his son does not have life (zoe) (NLT).
4. Much more next week!