Sermon #1375 Miscellaneous Notes
Title: TWO GREAT SINNERS AND
A GREAT SAVIOR
Texts: John 3:1-3 and 4:4-7
Reading: John 3:1-17 and 4:4-26
Subject: The Pharisee, The Adulteress, and The Savior
Date: Sunday Morning Ė October 24, 1999
Tape # V-50b
Standing as I do to preach the gospel of Christ to eternity bound sinners, I am constantly aware of my utter insufficiency for the task before me. What great wisdom is needed to minister to the souls of men!We have all come here today with different needs, from different backgrounds, different experiences, and different circumstances. Yet, we all need the same thing spiritually. We all needÖ
Proposition: Together Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman show us that none are beyond the reach of Godís saving grace in Christ.Nicodemus shows us that none can rise too high, and the Samaritan woman shows us that none can sink too low, to be saved by the grace of God. At the end of these two stories of grace, we have this great declaration in John 4:42 Ė "This is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world!"
1. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Savior there is. He is the Savior of Jews and Gentiles, men and women, out of every nation, tongue, and position in the world.Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12) 2. All who are saved are saved in the same way.
Divisions: I want to show you three things in this message.
Both were chosen of God and saved by his grace. We see this fact with regard to the Samaritan woman in the immediate context. Once the Lord revealed himself to her, she immediately left her water pots and said to the men of the city, "Come, see a man, that told me all things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ?" (v. 29). Many believed because of her word.Nicodemus was one of those disciples who, in John 19, came to bury the Lord Jesus. He was not converted immediately upon hearing the gospel. But he was converted. The Master said to him, "Ye must be born again;" and he was, at the appointed hour. Here are two sinners, chosen, redeemed, and called by grace; but it would be impossible to imagine two people more distinct and separate from one another. The contrast between Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman is obvious to the most casual reader.
Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.
12. That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13. But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];
15. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;
16.And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17. And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];
21. In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22. In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.Grace reconciles sinners to God; and grace reconciles sinners to one another.
As I look into your faces this morning, I see many things which, naturally, distinguish us from one another. Yet, there is a great sameness about us all. You who are without Christ may look at the person sitting beside you, in front of you, behind you, or across the room from you, and think Ė "I am not like him, (or her)," but you really are exactly the same in many ways. What did Nicodemus and this Samaritan woman have in common?
They both thought they were right spiritually, right before God. Without question, neither of them were at peace in their hearts. Their souls were troubled. Their consciences were uneasy. But they had both made a refuge of lies in which they hid themselves in self-righteousness. Both had a religious refuge, which had to be destroyed before they would flee to Christ for refuge. So do you!
15. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
17. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
19. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only [to] understand the report.
20. For the bed is shorter than that [a man] can stretch himself [on it]: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself [in it]. (Isaiah 28:14-20)
Neither Nicomdemus nor the woman had even the slightest spiritual understanding or discernment. Neither could see the kingdom of heaven.But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Both the proud Pharisee and the Samaritan adulteress were lost rebels. When he was confronted with things he could neither understand nor refute, Nicodemus poked fun at the Masterís doctrine. He ridiculed what he could not comprehend (John 3:4).Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (John 3:4) When the Lord Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman about living water, because she could not understand his words, she did the same thing (John 4:11-12). The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? (John 4:11-12) The fact is this woman and Nicodemus, like all men and women by nature, like all of you who are yet without Christ, were lost rebels. As it is written, "All we, like sheep, have go astray. We have turned, every one, to his own way" (Isa. 53:6). They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Romans 3:12) If you are lost, it is because you are an obstinate, stubborn, implacable rebel. If you go to hell, it will be because you have broken Godís law, despised Godís gospel, rejected Godís counsel, laughed at Godís reproof, refused to bow to Godís Son, and hated God in the very core of your being.
"All my life long I had panted
For a draught from some clear spring,
That I hoped would quench the burning
Of the thirst I felt within.
Feeding on the husks around me,
Till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better,
Only still to hunger on.
Poor was I, and sought for riches,
Something that would satisfy,
But the dust I gathered round me
Only mocked my soulís sad cry!"Have I described you? Has God exposed your self-righteousness? Has the Holy Spirit made you to see and know the rebellion that rules your heart? Have you begun to know and acknowledge your emptiness? If so, hear me another minute or two, while I show youÖ
Illustration: "Yuh gots tuh git into dat hog pen."
Blessed [is the man whom] thou choosest, and causest to approach [unto thee, that] he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, [even] of thy holy temple. (Psalms 65:4)Thy people [shall be] willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (Psalms 110:3)