Volume. XXVI, No. 26
Sunday, 25 December 2011


To This End Was I Born - Part 2


 The Purpose of Jesus’ birth

 The second part of John 18:37 gives the purpose of Jesus’ birth: "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." The connection between this and part one of our consideration is that the Christ who came into the world to bear witness to the truth is the Creator, and none can more reliably present the truth than the Creator Himself for He is the author of all truth and wills to make it known reliably!

If there were two deities equally powerful and opposed to each other in conflict for the rule of the world, neither of these deities could be counted on to reveal truth. If their ultimate goals were to rule the world and they were threatened or opposed by each other, we might well expect that they would employ deceit to gain an advantage. And so truth would not be a priority. This is definitely not so with the Triune God of the Bible. He is the one and only God, and there is none besides him (Isaiah 45:14). He is threatened by no one. Even the powerful fallen archangel Satan, His archenemy, is completely subordinate with his bounds fixed. Therefore, God has no weakness, no fault, no finitude that He ever needs to hide by deceit. Our God is so sovereign, so perfect and glorious that the truth will always redound to His honour. Therefore, God is committed to revealing the truth reliably because He wills to be known and glorified for who He really is.

And there is none better to reveal the truth about God that we might glorify and love him, than to send the Son, the very image and reflection of God, into the world! Thomas said to Jesus, "Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5) “6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." (John 14:6,7) At this point, the disciples were awfully confused about what Jesus was trying to say to them and had little idea that Jesus was saying that He is the very image of God the Father! So Philip said to our Lord, "Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" (John 14:8,9).

What is the connection between Jesus being the truth of God and He being the image of God? Jesus is the truth because he is the image of the true God. If Jesus is not the very image of God, He cannot claim that He is the very Truth of God! He is the way to the Father because as 1 John 2:23 says, "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." One cannot have the Father if you reject the Son as the very image and reflection of God who came into this world through incarnation!

Dearly beloved, if our heart does not go out in love to Jesus Christ, then we cannot say that we know really God the Father. And that would mean that there is no life within us! Because Jesus says in John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." So there are two wonderful truths implied in this verse, "I…came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." The first truth is that in revealing God the Father, the origin of all Truth, Jesus glorified His Father (John 17:4). Jesus had glorified the Father because He accomplished what the Father had asked Him to do. The work God the Father gave Him to do was to testify to the Truth, and in doing that God was shown to be very glorious; sovereign in His freedom, marvellous in his power, and beautiful in his moral perfections, especially his mercy to us sinners! The other wonderful truth implied in Jesus Christ\'s coming to testify to the truth is life eternal. If, as Christ said in John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent," then the purpose of Jesus to bear witness to the truth of God must mean that his purpose is to give eternal life to all who believed.  This is also what John 3:17 says: "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

Dear friends, Christ did not come to condemn the world because the world is already condemned. So, the purpose of Christ\'s coming into the world is to testify to the Truth of God, so that men and women who place their faith in Him might glorify God for who he is and might thereby come to have eternal life!

Those "of the truth" hear His voice

But not everyone listens to the testimony of Jesus Christ to God the Father. That is, not everyone believes. This brings us to the third part of our text: "Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." Christ does not mean that only a certain group of people come within the sound of His voice. He means, among those who are within the sound of His voice, only some hear His words as true, and others would totally reject it. Only some believe and give glory to God and gain life eternal. And this group Christ describes as those who are "of the truth." What does this mean?

We may recall the question Pilate asked of Jesus in John 18:33, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?" This is a remarkable answer. What matters first in the interchange with Pilate is not that his question is answered but that the root of his question is exposed. In other words, Jesus is saying to Pilate, does your question about who I am come from a true hunger in your own heart? Is there a real soul thirst in you that you are seeking to genuinely satisfy? Are you longing for the truth and yearning in yourself to find it? Or, are you like so many others: mouthing the words that others have put into your head? Do you care in yourself whether I am King?

To be "of the truth," therefore, means to love the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10, 12), to hunger for it and rejoice in it (1 Corinthians 13:6), and to be humbly surrendered to following it no matter where it leads. Jesus said in John 7:17, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." To be of the truth therefore is not just to ask some curious questions or pretend to be interested of the truth or sincerely interested with the wrong things which do not have anything to do with the truth. The will of God is simply an expression of what is true. Therefore, Jesus is saying: "If your will is humble enough to follow truth, you will hear and know the words of truth!

Who are those who would be opened and humbled enough to hear and love the words of Christ? They are those who are His sheep. Jesus says in John 10:26, 27, "26… ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." To be "of the truth" means to belong to Christ as His sheep! Or, to put it still another way, Jesus says in John 8:47, "He that is of God heareth God\'s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." In other words, to be "of the truth" means to have God at work within us enabling us to renounce our own private, proud will and to love and come to the truth for no one comes to Christ, to the truth, unless it is granted to him by the Father (John 6:65).

Conclusion

Dear friends, on this Christmas day I pray that you will ponder on this matter seriously that concerns your eternal destiny. The child who came some two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, existed before he was born—indeed, from all eternity, as the perfect reflection of God\'s glory and exact image of his nature! Therefore, He was perfectly suited to come into the world and bear witness to the truth that we might know our Maker, to glorify Him through faith, and gain life eternal by trusting His Son. Christ came that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10) because the world is already condemned (John 3:17). Why is the world already condemned that is so desperately in need of a Saviour? “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:19-21). If you still do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, I pray that this Christmas will be the day of your salvation!

Ps Weng

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Christmas Day

12:30 pm Christmas Fellowship Lunch

Wednesday

  7:30 pm Corporate Prayer Meeting*

Friday

 7:30 pm YAF Reflections & Aspiration*

Saturday

 9:30 am Working Bee*

 7:30 pm Watchnight Service*

Next Lord’s Day - New Year’s Day

  9:15 am Choir Practice

10:40 am Pre-Service Prayer Meeting        

10:50 am Pre-Service Singspiration

11:00 am New Year’s Day Worship Service.

                The Lord’s Supper: Rev George van Buuren

                 Speaker: Ps Weng

11:30 am Sunday School

12:30 pm Catered Fellowship Lunch

  *Activities at The Stone Mansion

 

 Praise and Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Dn Colin & Sis Grace Gan & family (S’pore); Dn Wai Kin & Sis Mavis Wong & family (Adl); Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (Per); Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong & Stephen (Adl); Bros Raymond Chia (S’pore), Raphael Ng (Pt Aug/Adl), Lucas Yiew (Adl/Tas) & Jason Teng (Adl); Sisters Marion Chan (KL), Lin Poh (Kuch), Grace Seow & family S’pore); Mdm Winifred Chin (Per); & others who have arrived at their destinations. 

2. Church activities - over the past week.

3. Missions work in Laos: Sis Gillian Ong & team.

4. God’s daily provision, mercy, guidance & blessings.

5. Visitors & new worshippers.

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev Luke Kim (Post-cardiac surgery, S Korea); Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Dn Edwin D’Mello’s mother (Mumbai); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser;  Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Tony Wong (Bro John’s father); Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction. 

2. Healing from elbow injury: Joshua Weng

3. Cambodia Missions - Rev Moses Hahn & Ministry(Sihanoukville);

4. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki.

5. Batam Missions - Next month’s missions trip - 4-7 Jan 2012. Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

6. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr HS Lim (Melb).

7. IBPFM (USA) - Rev Keith Coleman, Board & missionaries in India, South America & USA.

8. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.

9. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries; Pastor Mark Baldwin’s wife, Mrs Wiwin, healing of her bleeding problems (Cambodia).

10. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

11. House of Hope, Cebu, Philippines - drug addicts: for their salvation & healing from drug addiction.

12. Journey mercies: Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong & Stephen (Melb); Bros Jason Teng (Syd/Adl) & Daniel Volvricht (Melb); & others who are travelling.

13. God’s comfort: Those in mourning.

14. Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo.

15. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.

16. Sisters Clara Sim & Melissa Wong - God’s guidance, job & direction in S’pore or elsewhere.

17. Job - Bro Raymond Ang & our uni graduates looking for jobs.

18.  Believers under persecution in Islamic countries.

19.  Unity & fellowship of Australian B-P Churches.

20.  Hopefuls away interstate & overseas: for safety & protection.

 

 

 

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063