Monday, December 3, 2007

Look and Live

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up," (John 3:14, NKJV)

On Sunday nights here at LABC we are going through the Gospel of John verse by verse. Last evening we discussed the passage found in the third chapter of John concerning the serpent in the wilderness. In the context of John’s gospel Jesus is trying to teach Nicodemus what the meaning of the new birth (3:5) by using three illustrations.

The first illustration He employs is a theological. In John 3:5-7 Jesus explains that the new birth is ultimately fulfilled in the New Covenant as proclaimed by Ezekiel (36:25-26). The second example is that of wind as Jesus explains its mysterious effects in John 3:8. The third analogy given in John 3:14-15 is that of the serpent in the wilderness.
In what ways did lifting up the brass serpent (see Numbers 21) in the wilderness illustrate salvation? Below are just a few for your consideration:

1. The cure was for those who were bitten—men must recognize their need for salvation (John 3:19)
2. The cure was received by looking—men must call on the Lord by faith not works (John 3:15)
3. There was only one cure—men must trust in Christ alone (John 14:6)
4. The cure was given by God—salvation is solely a work of God’s grace (John 1:13)
5. The cure always worked—salvation is not partial it is permanent (John 3:16)
6. The cure was individually administered—people do not get saved in groups (John 3:18)
7. The cure was proclaimed to others—those who are saved have an obligation to point others to Christ (John 3:14)

On October 19th, 1879 C. H. Spurgeon preached a sermon on this text in John. His message is still relevant today. You can read it by clicking on the following link.

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