John 1:34-45 New King James Version (NKJV)
34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
The First Disciples
35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.
36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”
39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).
40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ).
42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).
43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.”
44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
There are many world religions - I respect them all.
--Moreover, I have studied most of them in seminary.
--And, all I have learned, I choose to follow Jesus.
--Religion is an expression of one's worship of God.
--Think of it as a circle, and Christianity most perfectly and fully completes the essential circle.
Christianity has its foundation in Judaism, and Word of God, which has been from the beginning of time.
--It fulfills what was promised by its Prophets - in the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, God with us!
Matthew and Luke record Jesus' birth - "of a virgin" named by an angel of God - to show what God is like.
--John 1, tells Jesus was "in the beginning..and was with God.. and was God..All things were made by and through Him, and without Him nothing was made.
--Then, Jesus was introduced to the world, and baptized, by John the Baptist, "Behold the Lamb of God."
--All knew what John meant - lambs were for our sin!
--Jesus, Lamb of God, did what other lambs could not.
John was a great soul-winner, for two of John's disciples heard John, and "they followed Jesus" (v 37).
--For there is no better One to follow, anywhere.
--One was "Andrew, Simon Peer's brother. He first found his own brother Simon..and brought him to Jesus." Do we find our brothers, others?
--Then Jesus "found Philip, and said, "Follow Me."
--And "Philip found Nathaniel" (v 43-45)
--Thus Christianity was begun, and has flourished.
Any way you compare, Jesus Christ is superior to all.
--Study His life in the Gospels. "Taste and see."
--Friend, Jesus is real, to me! I yield all to Him!
--A Savior who is God! Was sinless! Works miracles!
--Fed multitudes! Walked on water! Raises the dead!
--Died on a cross - in our place! ARose, lives today!
--The only religion with God on the inside of us - as "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27).
Christianity has not been tried and found wanting - it has not really been tried, by critics. It works.
--May I share reasons why I am a Christian?
I. I AM A CHRISTIAN BECAUSE I WANTED THE BEST LIFE.
--I had fine Christian grandparents, and parents.
--I saw what the Lord meant in their lives, saw difference in lives of others who lived for self.
--We had grace at meals, Bible reading, prayers, and lots of hugs, counsel and encouragement.
--It was a happy life and home - because Christian.
My grandfather Stafford was a preacher; baptized me.
--When I enlisted in the Navy, I was prayed for, given a Bible, and left for a different surrounding.
--But their love, example, memories, prayers followed me..and God kept me. My faith grew.
--I wanted that kind of home, and family, later.
Born in a Christian home is great, but even so we all must "be born again" as Jesus said in John 3.
--Maybe not everything is perfect, but it is better.
--Acts 4:12 says, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven, given among men by which we must be saved."
--Jesus said we "must be born again" (Jn. 3:7). I was.
--For there is no other name, than Jesus, that saves.
--Jesus left heaven to come rescue us from hell.
--I chose Christ, He can be trusted. Saves, satisfies.
I have everything to gain, nothing to lose following the Lord Jesus. Life goes so much smoother, better.
--I have everything to lose, and nothing to gain, if I do not make Him the Lord of my life.
--In our highest, holiest moments, we all want a better life - I found it in Jesus. Millions have.
St. Augustine said, "God has made us restless, until we find our rest in Him." All fail, need a Savior.
--A young girl was interviewed for baptism, was asked "Were you a sinner before accepting Jesus?
--"O yes," she said, "I used to run after sin...but now, I'm running from sin." That's Christianity.
--That is life at its best, I've found. You can too.
II. I AM A CHRISTIAN BECAUSE I NEEDED FORGIVENESS.
--We all need forgiveness. Need it till we die.
--Even Peter did, for Peter had denied knowing Jesus.
--When we sin, it must be paid for - us..or Jesus.
--On Calvary's cross Jesus paid for the sin of all.
--But we must confess ours, and seek His forgiveness.
--As to temptation, He gives power to win, over sin.
--The best place to find forgiveness, is in Jesus.
His Holy Spirit within believers can "keep us...from falling," for we do not go it alone; God is in us.
--Jesus said, "I will never leave, nor forsake you."
--May I say, from experience, there is no situation, no problem, no loss, no disappointment, or ill but what the Lord God can share, and make it better!
You may feel things are not so good for you and that you have not had it so well - my friend, you can!
--God loves you just as much as anyone, anywhere!
--Nothing you or I can do, to make Him love us more!
--But do we love Him? Fully? Living for Him?
Peter urges, to "Sanctify the Lord God" (I Peter 3:15).
--To let God be God, and Jesus be Lord and Savior.
--To respect His authority. Give Him obedience.
--"Walking in the light, as Christ is in the light."
--To be pastor of the family. Have prayers.
--Grace before meals. Bible reading. Real worship.
--Biblical Christianity works wonders - it forgives!
III. I AM A CHRISTIAN BECAUSE I NEED GOD'S HELP.
--I am grateful for the help of others - but we need more than human help, my friend. We need God's!
--People can only do so much - God can do wonders!
--We need the willing and "present help of God."
His wisdom, strength, guidance, presence, to bless.
--It is folly to try to go the day without the Lord.
In Philadelphia I remember the picture of a long hook and ladder fire truck, that rushed to a fire, with a man missing on the tiller wheel at the rear.
--That tiller man at the rear was needed to steer as much as the driver - so the fire engine crashed.
--It never made it to the fire - damaged some stores.
--Not only huge fire trucks need another driver, so do each of us, need the Lord God to lead us right.
No matter how strong, brilliant, educated, or financially well-off, all of us could use God's help.
--My life does. No doubt yours as well. Seek it.
God says, "If any lack wisdom, let him ask of God .. Who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given him" (James 1:5). "Ask of God."
--Get help defeating the devil. Making decisions.
--Choosing right friends, and Bible-teaching church.
--The right one in marriage. Or career. Or a job.
--We need God's help if illness comes, or saying the last goodbyes to the dearest on earth to us.
--When we face tears! Fears! Troubles! Talk to God.
IV. I AM A CHRISTIAN TO BE SURE OF HEAVEN.
--We all know that not all religions can be right.
--Not all have a God "of love..who died" so we may live.
--Which shows more of God? Heaven? Keeps promises?
--Which is right? Most Biblical? Most godly?
--Most loving? Which demonstrates deity? Jesus!
--The more I study all these years, the happier I am with Christianity, and following Jesus .. to heaven.
Jesus promised, "I go to prepare a place for you that where I am, you may be also" (John 14:1-6). Wow!
--He is the only One Who arose, defeating death.
--He "ever lives to make intercession, for us."
--Jesus ascended to heaven, preparing it for us.
--Stephen saw Jesus there (Acts 7:55). We will too.
--Jesus is all I need - any need - to take us there.
My friend, no church saves. Nor good works, as good as all these things are. Jesus - God - had to come!
--It takes "the Lamb of God to take away sins."
--Jesus is that "Lamb of God," He said, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand" (John 10:28). How do we get this Jesus? And His heaven?
Easy, as A-B-C. Acknowledge our sin. Believe on Jesus as your personal Savior. Confess, follow, Jesus as your Lord. Then, "grow in His grace..."
--Why not be a "born again" Christian? Know the joy!
--For eternity, no better decision one can make.
--Then, tell others!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 654