Wrestling with a Life-Giving Message

Dr. Steve Viars April 11, 2021 John 6:41-71
Outline

Acts 17:19-21 - And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean.” (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)

Acts 17:30-31 - Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.

Acts 17:32 - Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer…

Acts 17:32-33 - Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.” So Paul went out of their midst.

Acts 17:34 - But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

4 wrong responses to the unique claims of the gospel

I. Don’t Grumble About the Source of Our Savior – Believe That He Is from Heaven – vv. 41-51

A. Jesus is the eternal Son of God from heaven

John 6:41 - Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.”

John 6:42 - They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?”

John 6:50 - This is the bread which comes down out of heaven…

John 6:51 - I am the living bread that came down out of heaven…

John 1:46 - Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

B. Salvation is a work initiated by the Father

John 6:43-45 - Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.”

“So long as a man remains, and is content to remain, confident of his own ability, without divine help, to assess experience and the meaning of experience, he cannot come to the Lord, he cannot believe; only the Father can move him to this step, with its incalculable and final results.” (Lightfoot, pp. 160-161)

John 6:45 - It is written in the prophets, “And they shall all be taught of God.” Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

Isaiah 54:13 - All your sons will be taught of the Lord; and the well-being of your sons will be great.

Psalm 119:89 - Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.

C. The eternal life He offers has a heavenly source

John 6:51 - I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.

Psalm 105:40 - They asked, and He brought quail, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.

Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Colossians 3:1-4 - Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

II. Don’t Argue About the Nature of Our Salvation – Rejoice in Christ’s Sufficiency – vv. 52-58

John 6:52 - Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”

A. Life in Christ is eternal

John 6:53-54 - So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

John 6:53 - …you have no life in yourselves.

John 6:58 - This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.

B. Life in Christ is reliable

John 6:55 - For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.

2 Timothy 3:7 - …always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

C. Life in Christ is sustaining

John 6:56-57 - He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.

III. Don’t Stumble Over the Difficulty of the Message – Expect the Spirit’s Work to Be Surprising – vv. 59-65

John 6:60 - Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?”

A. Just because something is difficult does not mean you should not listen

B. We should anticipate the work of the Holy Spirit to be different than that of our flesh

John 6:61-63 - …Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life…

C. The spiritual and life-giving words of our Savior are worthy of our belief and allegiance

John 6:63 - …the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

IV. Don’t Withdraw and Walk With Him No More – Join Those Whose Faith Has Persevered

John 6:66 - As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.

A. Hearing the Word and refusing to believe is a dangerous condition

Hebrews 6:4-6 - For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

B. Praise the Lord for those who, like the apostle Peter, affirmed Christ’s teaching as the words of eternal life

John 6:67-68 - So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.”

- do you have anyone in your life who always has to have someone new?...

- they always have to have a new phone…

- they always have to have a new car…

- whatever is the latest and greatest is what they want in their closet, or in their garage, or in their hand…

- you know, that can also happen mentally, or logically, or philosophically, or spiritually...

- in Acts chapter 17, Luke told about Paul’s Sermon on Mars Hill where a group of people brought the apostle Paul…- Acts 17:19–21 - And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean. (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)

- now, you could ask – is that good or is that bad?...I think the answer would be – it depends…as is so often the case, on the motivation of the heart for wanting to know, and what you subsequently do with the information you receive…

- that was certainly what occurred in this story in Acts 17…because when Paul gave this great sermon where he began by acknowledging their tomb with the inscription – To the Unknown God – and things were going fairly well until he reached his point about the centrality of the resurrection…

- his exact words were… Acts 17:30–31 - “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

- well, when he got to that point, what did his listeners think about this new thing?...they asked for something new, and the gospel message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the salvation available through repenting and believing in Christ was about as new as it gets...

- so, how did that go?...it was a mixed response, wasn’t it?…

- because Luke goes on to record… Acts 17:32 - Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer..

- wait a minute, I thought you wanted to hear something new?...

- then there was another group, Luke explains… Acts 17:32–33 - Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.” So Paul went out of their midst.

- so apparently the idea that God had been patient with them because of their ignorance but now He was declaring that they repent and believe was not enough to move them to action…but thankfully Luke also reports…

- Acts 17:34 - But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

- so it appears some people want to hear something new just because its new – others have a genuine interest in learning and responding to an idea they had never heard before…

- what about the tendency to never be open to something new?...

- do you know anyone like that?...are you like that?...

- in fact, if you were going to assign yourself to one of these 2 categories, where would you place yourself…

- the first person to embrace something new…

- the last person to embrace something new…

- where do you fall on that continuum?...

- by the way – just for fun, where you would you position your spouse, or your friends, or your kids on that same issue?..

- when you have people around you who are a lot different on this particular point, life can be rather…interesting…

- I know for me personally…I’m on the slow side of the equation…and sometimes that has cost me…

- I’ve mentioned a few times over the years that I used to build in-ground swimming pools…

- OK – it’s been a few million times, but anyway that’s how the Lord allowed me to work my way through school…

- and the sequence was – the first summer I was a laborer on an in-ground pool crew where I learned the basic process from the guys I worked for…

- then the owner asked me to come back the next summer with some friends from Bible college and start my own crew…

- and for all sorts of reasons that worked out very well for me…

- but then the owner started talking to me about switching and becoming an above-ground pool installer…

- he sold those too – in fact he sold a lot more of those…and he gave me the choice to keep installing in-grounds or to switch over to above grounds…

- but he would say – think of it, there’s no excavation involved, there’s no concrete, far fewer headaches…you can do several jobs every week…you’ll make more money…

- but I didn’t want to learn a new process, I didn’t want to invest in new tools and equipment, I didn’t want to hire different people, honestly, I didn’t like above-ground pools as much, and I wasn’t sure if the owner was really leveling with me…

- but the bottom line was – I continued doing in-grounds for all 6 summers I was in school…

- and looking back on it – it was one of the worst business decisions I ever made…

- my boss was right…and I should have listened to him…even though what was he was suggesting to me was something entirely new…

- there’s a sense in which that’s where we find ourselves in the study of the Gospel of John…

- by time we get to chapter 6, we’re beyond the beginning of Jesus’ ministry…

- there are questions about the exact chronology, but several months may have elapsed between the events described in chapter 5 and the ones in chapter 6…

- we do know that by now, the crowds in some cases are becoming quite large…that’s why in the first half of the chapter, a group that numbered 5000 men and presumably thousands of other women and children had to be fed…so this isn’t the beginning of something…

- but there is also growing opposition…we could title the second half of the chapter, Wrestling with a Life-Giving Message

- so much of what Jesus was telling them was so entirely new…

- not new if they had been careful students of the OT Scriptures…

- but new compared to their twisted understanding of what it meant to know and live for God…

- this passage before us can be helpful for at least 2 reasons…

- if you are here and you have not yet chosen to become a Christian…there are 4 wrong responses to the unique claims of the gospel in this text that should be carefully avoided…if you recognize yourself in any of what we are about to study…I hope you would say – I want to get out of that condition right away because I see where it leads…

- for those who would say you know the Lord…these words can also help us enjoy life in Jesus’ name… because we’re reminded of what really motivated us to place our faith in Him…and how should that impact us each and every day moving forward?...

- please follow along as I read…read John 6:41-71

- so we’re talking about Wrestling with a Life-Giving Message…and with the time we have remaining, let’s examine 4 wrong responses to the unique claims of the gospel

I. Don’t Grumble about the Source of Our Savior – Believe that He is from Heaven – vv. 41-51

- it’s interesting how many times in this section we read that…

A. Jesus is the eternal Son of God from heaven.

- v. 41 - Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.”

- v. 42 - They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?”

- v. 50 - This is the bread which comes down out of heaven…

- v. 51 - I am the living bread that came down out of heaven…

- see, they liked to think of Jesus on human terms alone…we just saw that in verse 42…we know His father and mother…

- earlier in the book we saw that Jesus received special scorn or at least suspicion because He was from Nazareth…remember what one of His potential disciples said…John 1:46 - Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip *said to him, “Come and see.”

- why was that?...well, if He was just another human, then His message is entirely optional…we can take it or leave it…especially if it’s something new, or doesn’t ring true with what we’ve previously believed…

- people do that with the Word of God – they want to find every reason possible to deny its heavenly origin…because then they can ignore or violate the aspects of it that don’t fit their beliefs or lifestyle…

- in fact, some people spend their entire lives grumbling about this very issue – of whether Jesus and His Word are truly from heaven…or if there even is such a place…

- the Lord goes on to explain, not only is there is such a place, but man’s…

B. Salvation is a work initiated by the Father.

- the heavenly Father who sent His Son is at work drawing men and women to Himself…

- John 6:43–45 - Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

- Commentator R.H. Lightfoot said – So long as a man remains, and is content to remain, confident of his own ability, without divine help, to assess experience and the meaning of experience, he cannot come to the Lord, he cannot believe; only the Father can move him to this step, with its incalculable and final results (Lightfoot, pp. 160-161).

- we often use the phrase, “well, consider the source…”

- that is especially apt here…do you really believe that there is a God in heaven who wants to teach you, and draw you to Himself…

- and if there really is a heavenly source of truth…how likely is it that those ideas will differ significantly from you previously believed or would have deduced on your own?...

- this passage also gives a powerful justification for your children’s and youth ministries…please look especially at what Jesus said in verse 45…

- John 6:45 - It is written in the prophets, “And they shall all be taught of God.” Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

- that was a paraphrase of a marvelous verse in Isaiah 54:13 - All your sons will be taught of the Lord; and the well-being of your sons will be great.

- people who believe that Jesus is from heaven long for their sons and daughters to “be taught of the Lord…”

- that’s why they are constantly talking about Scripture at home…that’s why they want their children in SS and other youth ministries…

- we don’t believe that Jesus was from Nazareth – we believe Jesus was from heaven…sent by a Father who is right now drawing men and women to Himself…by teaching us His Word – often ideas that are new, but refreshingly so…

- we agree with the Psalmist who proclaimed - Psalm 119:89 - Forever, O Lord,

Your word is settled in heaven.

- and what is the final result of what is being offered?...

C. The eternal life He offers has a heavenly source.

- John 6:51 - I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.

- this is a great example of how what they were being challenged to believe was both new…but extremely old…

- new because it was different than what their traditions and self-righteousness had led them to believe…but old in that their entire history pointed in this redemptive direction…

- what was one of the biblical phrases used to describe manna that their forebearers had eaten in the wilderness?...

- Psalm 105:40 - They asked, and He brought quail, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.

- see, don’t grumble about the source of our Savior, believe that He is from heaven…

- we just had the privilege if conducting the memorial service for Dr. Bob Smith…one of the most treasured and effective servants this church has ever had…

- and of course Doc would want me and all of us to be quick to say – and that was because of Jesus Christ living in and through him…

- there is a very real sense in which Dr. Smith did not die a few weeks ago in Lafayette, IN…

- he died in 1944 as a Sophomore in HS when he admitted his sin and placed his faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord…that is when He believed…77 years ago…

- and whatever happened after that which was good can only be explained through Christ working in and through him…

- he would say with Paul… Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

- one of the impacts of his salvation was that he was a very heavenly minded man…

- it’s like Paul told the Colossians… Colossians 3:1–4 - Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

- that summarizes much of the way the Lord allowed Doc to live…in fact a book that became very important to him later in life was Heaven by Randy Alcorn…in the final instructions Doc left regarding his memorial service…he asked for a quote from that book to be used…

- and when you think about it – the word “worldly” was about the last term you would use to describe him…

- Doc didn’t care what the world thought of his haircut, or his clothes, or his cars, or his house, or anything else…

- and that shouldn’t surprise us – because Doc was convinced of the source of His Savior – he didn’t grumble about that; he chose to believe it…and then set his affections in that same location…

II. Don’t Argue about the Nature of Our Salvation – Rejoice in Christ’s Sufficiency – vv. 52-58

- how did some of the people in this text respond when Jesus instructed them to stop grumbling?...

- John 6:52 - Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”

- I’m not sure that’s movement in the right direction…

- that’s like when your kids are fighting in the back seat…and your daughter says of her brother – mom, he’s sticking his tongue out at me…

- so you say – Johnny, stop sticking your tongue out at your sister…

- to which he responds by punching his sister, which elicits a “mom, he just punched me…”

- to which mom says – Johnny, why did you punch her?...

- you know what he’s going to say…”you told me to stop sticking my tongue out, and I obeyed…”…

- so they go from grumbling to arguing…

- but what is the core of the argument?...what is the new truth He is asking them to believe – at least new in the sense that it contradicts what they have previously believed?...

- that salvation is not birthright, or ritual, or religion, or self-made righteousness…

- salvation comes through the finished work of Christ on the cross, and results in a day-to-day communion with Him…

- but friends, that is something you can either argue about, or rejoice in…and it is interesting that if carefully examine the sequence of ideas Jesus gives, it’s almost the opposite of what we would have expected…He starts at the end and then moves to the present…so He says…

A. Life in Christ is eternal

- John 6:53–54 - So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

- that’s both hard…and delightful…at the same time…

- it’s hard because you have to admit – v. 53 – you have no life in yourselves.

- we don’t like to acknowledge that kind of vulnerability, do we?...[I’d rather keep building in-ground pools that admit there might be a better way…]…

- but why is it delightful?...because our eternal destiny is not dependent on us…there should be an incredible relief that comes from that…

- John 6:58 - “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”

- I absolutely believe that Dos Smith is in heaven today…and I’m glad for my friend…although he will be greatly missed by so many of us…

- you may not know but for many years Doc was also the chairman of the deacons here…so he and I worked very closely together when he was in that role…

- I often said at conferences where I spoke – I wish every pastor could have a Doc Smith…

- I used to kid him and say – Doc, you can’t die until I retire…but that was my way of saying that I needed and appreciated his friendship, and his loyalty, and his counsel, and his godliness…and I needed it greatly…

- well, my friend and yours is in heaven…why?...because he ate of the bread of heaven…

- then Jesus explained that…

B. Life in Christ is reliable

- John 6:55 - For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.

- if the source is heavenly, we can trust and expect its reliability…

- that’s something else about Doc’s story – he actually considered becoming a psychiatrist…but the Freudian psychotherapy that was being peddled in those days did not ring true with his Christian convictions…

- so in the providence of God he discovered biblical counseling and Jay Adams encouraged Doc to stay in medicine and help develop the medical/physiological aspects of the biblical counseling movement…

- for decades, Doc was the lead medical writer in our core journal – the Journal of Pastoral Practice…

- If you’d like to read more about the way God used Doc in the development of the BC movement, I’d encourage you to read The Biblical Counseling MovementHistory and Context by David Powlison [Heather – please insert picture of the cover]…you can look up Doc’s name in the index and then read about the pivotal roles he played as a laymen and physician committed to the sufficiency of Christ and His Word…

- what’s important to note is – those Freudian ideas being peddled by the world back in 1970’s that Doc rejected – you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in the unsaved world who believes those ideas today – they have almost been entirely debunked…why?, because the world is... 2 Timothy 3:7 - always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

- And what’s the antidote to that?...the book that Bob Smith loved, and encouraged each of us to love too… 2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

C. Life in Christ is sustaining

- John 6:56–57 - He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.

- these aren’t ideas to argue about or grumble over, but to believe and rejoice in…

- you know, it’s been so great to get begin getting back together as a church family…and that’s a process because everyone’s health and life situation is different…

- but I’ve had several opportunities recently to observe or interact with members of our church who are single either because they have never been married, or are divorced, or widowed, or widowers…or people who are married to someone who is not a follower of Christ…

- that is such an important group of people in our church family – and I was struck recently with how many of them are living in the reality of this passage…

- their relationship with Jesus Christ is their daily sustenance…their greatest source of strength, and joy, and direction…

- then Jesus says…

III. Don’t Stumble Over the Difficulty of the Message – Expect the Spirit’s Work to be Surprising – vv. 59-65

- many of the disciples had a fascinating response to all of this…

- John 6:60 - Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?”

- what would you expect out of a message that came out of heaven?...wow, God said everything I had already thought?…

A. Just because something is difficult does not mean you should not listen

- just because someone tells you it would be better if you started building above ground pools, and just because that would require significant adjustments to your thinking and behavior, doesn’t mean you should listen…

- In fact…

B. We should anticipate the work of the Holy Spirit to be different than that of our flesh

- John 6:61–63 - …Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life…

- in other words – if you think this is surprising, just wait…

- wait until the shocking events of the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension occur…

- difficult?...yes…but listen carefully because what is being taught is both true and delightful…because it comes from heaven and it is life given by the Holy Spirit of God Himself…that’s why…

C. The spiritual and life-giving words of our Savior are worthy of our belief and allegiance.

- John 6:63 - …the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

- why is it that we consider much of God’s Word to be difficult?...

- because it is contrary to what my flesh believes…

- what’s a good conclusion to arrive at through this verse?...the flesh profits nothing…

- one of the reasons I came to Faith 33 years ago was the privilege of working with people Pastor Goode and Doc Smith and their wives and the many godly laypersons who were part of the church family at the time…

- there’s no question that was one of the best decisions Kris and I have ever made, humanly speaking…

- one of my recollections was speaking at MOF with Doc and Pastor Goode…

- in the good ole days, we had MOF every other Sat at 6am…

- and Pastor Goode and Doc were master teachers…and they used to put an incredible amount of effort into those lessons…

- but they weren’t lectures…they were structured Q & A’s, that were chock—full of Scripture…

- some of our old-timers will remember the way Doc often did it – he would start by assigning out an entire list of passages that he was asking guys to be ready to read…

- and then we would think through the Scriptures together…do you know why Doc and Pastor Goode did it that way?...

- they didn’t stumble over the difficulty of the message…they expected the Spirit’s Work to be surprising…and they believed that while the flesh profits nothing, the words Jesus has spoken are spirit and life…

- that is a heritage that we would be wise to follow…

- so what will you do with all of this?...

IV. Don’t Withdraw and Walk with Him No More – Join those Whose Faith has Persevered

- verse 66 is sad and instructive, isn’t it?...

- John 6:66 - As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.

- [interesting that in our English versions, that’s the verse that ended up with the “666 address”…]

- please always remember…

A. Hearing the Word and refusing to believe is a dangerous condition

- the writer of the book of Hebrews spoke about people who were around the gospel, and around spiritual truth…but who never crossed the line of repenting of their sin and believing in Christ…

- Hebrews 6:4–6 - For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

- and there are different ways to interpret that passage…we know he’s not talking about people who were ever genuinely saved…but regardless of how you interpret it…it’s all bad…

- it’s a very dangerous thing to be exposed to God’s Word and those who have faithfully lived by it…and not respond in faith while you have the opportunity to do so…

- if all you ever do is grumble, and argue, and stumble around…eventually you’ll walk away, and you might not even know why…

- I know this – God is not obligated to continue to draw men and women in the same ways and in the same intensity indefinitely…which is why Peter’s response is so sweet and appropriate…

B. Praise the Lord for those who, like the apostle Peter, affirmed Christ’s teaching as the words of eternal life

- John 6:67–68 - So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.

- by God’s grace, we have had many women and men around us who have drawn the same conclusion…

- let’s seek to steward their lives, and eventually deaths, by wisely following their examples…

Authors

Dr. Steve Viars

Roles

Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation

Bio

B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and four grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video