THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
LESSON SEVEN

I.   
John 3:16-17
     16. 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.
     17. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

     [A]  I want you to consider what it would be like to offer your own child for a sacrifice to save people who hates
             you. Ridicules you, and does all manor or evil against you.
            [1]  That is exactly what God did for us. Even while we were yet sinners, God sacrificed his son, for the
                   forgiveness of our sins.
            [2]  Even before we were born, God sent his son into the world to take our sins and burdens to the cross and
                     there they were crucified with him.
            [3]  Even though we didn’t even love him, he was still willing to make a way for us to come to heaven to be with him.
            [4]  But consider what it would be like to send your only son, to did for people who does not deserve it, does not
                     appreciate it, and who for the most part, rejects what you did for them
            [5]  Question:
                     [a]  How would you feel, If you done something this wonderful for man, and they refused to accept it as the
                             gift you intended it to be, what would you think of those people.
                     [b]  How would you feel if you had given your son to die for mankind and man ridiculed him and tormented
                             him?
                     [c]  How would you have felt when Jesus was beaten with a whip and you set there in heaven watching?
             [6]  I can’t understand how God was able to do what he did, but the fact remains, he did it.

     [B]  Do you understand that God sent Jesus into the world for one reason, so that he might become a sacrifice for our
             sins?
             [1]  I had a teacher when I was studying for the ministry who said, that God didn’t send Jesus into the world to die,
                     instead we killed him after he came.
             [2]  Is that a correct statement?
             [3]  Did Jesus know that he was going to die?
             [4]  Did God plan for him to be sacrificed on a cross?
               
      Psalm 22:1-19
                     1.   My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from me, and from the words of my
                             roaring?    

             (Where have you heard this statement before? - Jesus on the cross)                
                     
                     2.   O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
                     3.   But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
                     4.   Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
                     5.   They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
                     6.   But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
                     7.   All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
                     8.   He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

             (As Jesus hung on the cross he was mocked and ridiculed, as people called out to him, he saved others, if he
             saved others, let him save himself if he truly is the son of God.)

                     9.   But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when was upon my mother's
                           breasts.
                     10. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
                     11. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
                     12. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
                     13. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
     
             (These bulls of Bashan is the Roman Soldiers, who have encircles him and placed him on the cross)

                     14. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst
                           of my bowels.

             (It is said that when a person hung on the cross, their weight pulling at the joints of their arm and back
             separated those joints and pulled them apart)

                     15. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me
                           into the dust of death.
 
             (Jesus was going into shock, and as he did so, his mouth dried up, and he thirsted. Exposure and shock
             made him sweat out what water he had in him and he was very thirsty and his tongue would have cleaved to
             his mouth)

                     16. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands
                     and my feet.
     
             (Here is an interesting tidbit, when David wrote this Psalm, there was no such thing as crucifixion, This form
             of punishment began with the Romans many  years later. Yet, here under the power of the Holy Spirit, David         
             wrote of Christ  having his hands and feet priced.)

                     17. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
                     18. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
     
             (As Jesus hung there on the cross, soldiers cast lots for his clothing)

                     19. But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.  
   
             [4]   David under the power of the Holy Spirit, wrote about the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus was in heaven when the
                     Holy Spirit gave David the words. Did Jesus know what was going to happen to him when he came down from
                     heaven and was born as a child?         

    [C]  The question still remains, Why did God send his only son to die for us?
             [1]  Because he love us so much

    [D]  Look back at John 3:16 again
             16. 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.
             [1]   Anyone who believes in Jesus will have everlasting life.
             [2]  Question:
                     [a]  What does it mean to believe in Jesus?
                     [b]  What does it require of us?
                     [c]   Satan knows better than you and I that Jesus is who he claims, and that he came down form heaven,
                             died on the cross and arose on the third day - How come Satan cannot be saved?
                     [d]  Does believing on the Lord Jesus Christ require anything of us - for example obedience, following his
                             commandments, obeying his words, loving our neighbor, loving the Lord our God?

     [E]  Verse 17
             [1]  Here is something that many fail to understand, Jesus did not come to condemn anyone. He did not come to
                     make us guilty of sin. He came to be a sacrifice for our sin, so that we could have eternal life.
             [2]  What does this mean to you?

II   
John 3:18-21
      18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not
             believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
      19. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because
             their deeds were evil.
      20. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
      21. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

     [A]  Verse 18
             [1]   What this verse is saying, is that those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, condemn themselves.
             [2]  When someone stands before the Lord and is judged by him, there will be no question as to whether they will
                     be allowed into heaven or not. They themselves will be their own judge, if they have not accepted Jesus,
                     have not believed on him, they will know that they have no chance and will accept the fate that awaits them.
             [3]  I want to draw your attention to the story Jesus told us about the Rich man and Lazarus  found in Luke 16:19-
                     31
                  
   Luke 16:19-31
                     19. There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every    
                           day:
                     20. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
                     21. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table moreover the dogs came and
                           licked his sores.
                     22. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich
                           man also died, and was buried;        
                     23. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
                     24. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of
                           his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
                     25. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise
                           Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
                     26. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from
                           hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
                     27. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
                     28. For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
                     29. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
                     30. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
                     31. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though
                           one rose from the dead.
                     [a]  I want you to take particular notice that the Rich man was in torment, but we do no see him pleading for
                             mercy to leave the place he is in, nor do we see him crying out that he has been framed or unjustly
                             condemned - instead we see him accepting his fate, only desiring two things, first a drop of water to be
                             placed on his parched tongue, and secondly his wanting someone to go to his brothers from the dead
                             and warn his brothers who are living their lives like he lived his, to straighten up so they would not end
                             up as he had.
                     [b]  Apparently he had accepted his fate, because he knew why he was there. I don’t believe anyone who is
                             cast into hell will call out and say they did not deserve to be there, because they will know in their heart
                             and mind that they deserver what they are receiving.
                     [c]  This is the opposite of the way it is here on the earth, for here, we have many doing many different
                             things, following all sorts of religions, and yet they believe that they will make it to heaven.
                     [d]   On the Judgment day, there will be no turning back, as god opens the minds of each man, woman and
                             child, to the truth they either accepted or the truth they have denied.
                             [1]  It has been said that the human brain has storage for everything we ever did or said, and that         
                                     Scientist has discovered that they can place a small charge in a particular portion of the brain and
                                     the person will remember everything they ever did.
                             [2]  Could it be that when the books are opened, the books are our memory, our memory of everything
                                             we ever did, and the memory of whether we ever repented of the sins, and whether we
                                              followed Jesus?
             [4]  The refuse to believe in Jesus and follow him is to condemn your life to eternal punishment even as the rich
                     man condemned his.
             [5]  To believe in Jesus and follow his teaching and commandments is to seal for you a pace in heaven where you
                     will live for all eternity with Jesus.

     [B] Verse 19
             19. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,
                   because their deeds were evil.
             [1]   Question:  
                     [a]   What was the light that came into the world?
                     [b]   What is the condemnation Jesus is referring to in verse nineteen?
                     [c]   What is the darkness that Jesus is referring to here?                        
                     [d]   What does he mean that men loved darkness rather than the light?
                     [e]   Is it any different today than it was in the time of Jesus
                     [f]   Does men still love darkness more than they love the light?
                     [g]  Why is this so

     [C]   Verse 20
             20. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
             [1]  Question:
                     [a]  What is Jesus talking about here?
                     [b]  What does he mean by those who doeth evil hating the light?
                     [c]  Do we not all sin?
                     [d]  Do we who are followers of Jesus, but who still commit sins, hate the light?
                     [e]  What does Jesus mean when he says that those who do evil doesn’t come to the light because if they did
                             their deeds would be reproved?

     [D]   Verse 21        
             21. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in
                   God.
             [1]   Here we see the difference between those who come to the light and follow it and those who continue to do
                     evil and reject it.
             [2]  Questions:
                     [a]   According to this verse, why are we to come to the light?
                     [b]   Why does he refer to those who come to it, as those who doeth the truth?
                     [c]   Why does those who doeth the truth, want their deeds manifest?

Conclusion:
What we are seeing in these verses, verses sixteen through twenty-one is the plan of salvation and instructions on how we
are to submit our life to Jesus and live it according to his teaching.

Verse sixteen, tells us of the amazing love of God for us, a love so great that he sent his only begotten son into the world to
save all who would believe in him

Verse seventeen shows us that condemnation for our sins, and failure to accept Jesus is not what Jesus came here for,
instead he came to forgive and save us from our sins,

Verse eighteen though, tells us that Jesus does not have to condemn, but our very actions and our acceptance or denial of
the truth found in the gospel is what will condemn us to everlasting punishment
     
Verse nineteen and twenty tells us that there are many who love the life of sin and walk in darkness, and will not listen to the
gospel message because it reveals to them the errs of their ways and to listen and accept it, they would have to change
their lifestyles and their heart.

Verse twenty-one tells us how a Christian should seek the truths of God, so they can repent and turn from any wickedness
in their live and not only see the light, but walk in it as well.

One final Question:
     Why is Jesus referred to as the Light?