Our New Year’s Resolution

Audio of Sermon:

A New Year's ResolutionSermon Notes: Every year people make New Year’s Resolutions. I never do myself, though in times past I did. When we enter a New Year we all want to do something different, be something better. It’s time for a fresh start. I used to make resolutions:

I’ll do this, I’ll do that”

But as I’ve aged I realize that my best intentions are nothing if God is not in them. Of myself I can do nothing, but with Christ I can do all things. James the stepbrother of Christ wrote:

James 4:13-15 (NKJV) Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

Our lives are but vapor, spirit and smoke. We are of ourselves so very temporal, very fleeting, very fragile. James – who did not begin to believe in his Brother Christ until after Christ rose from the grave – said “Instead let’s make this resolution – I will do as the Lord wills. I will go as my Lord sends me.”

Jonathan Edwards the Puritan Evangelist and grandfather of Aaron Burr the 3rd Vice President of these United States made a series of resolutions to God. His very first resolution was:

Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory …

I think that’s a good resolution we can all keep. A resolution contains I WILL in it’s body. Tonight we’re going to look at seven I WILL statements or resolutions that our Lord Jesus made, and consider how these resolutions our Savior and King made impact our lives as Christians. These I WILL statements are all taken from the Book of John, a Book that emphasizes the Godhood of Christ. The Book starts with:

John 1:1-3 (KJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

The I WILLS of Christ are more than the I WILLS of David or of any person, no matter who. The I WILLS of Christ are the I WILLS of God in the flesh, Messiah, the Lord Who is with us.

1. Jesus Resolved To Conquer Death

Jesus went to the Temple and found there not people worshiping God our Father, but self righteous people making merchandise and money on religion. The Bible tells us that Jesus made a scourge of small cords – probably the cords that were used to bring the animals into the Temple – and “drove them out of the Temple, and poured out the changer’s money”. This angered the Pharisees for they were making profit on the exchange of money and sacrifices. So they asked Jesus:

Show us a sign that you are authorized to do this!”

John 2:19 (KJV) Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I WILL raise it up.

They thought that He was speaking of the Temple of Israel, but the text tells us (verse 21) “He spoke of the Temple of His Body”. Jesus knew that the Pharisees were going to kill Him, that He would in just a short time die on Calvary. But Christ was not afraid. He was going to defeat death. “In three days I will raise it up”. Jesus’ words puzzled His disciples as well. We are told:

John 2:22 (KJV) When therefore {Jesus} was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

They HEARD Him say this, but in reality did not believe Him any more than did the Pharisees. But Jesus spoke truth. No one took His life, but He laid His life down for us. Notice what Jesus said.

Destroy this TEMPLE”

Christ’s body – just like ours – is a TEMPLE, a TENT that holds something far greater. These bodies are temporary. Christ’s body at that time was temporary. That body was given to Him by the Spirit and Mary for a specific use. He is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). His Temple will be destroyed.

And in THREE DAYS I will raise it up”

Jesus would die, but the grave would not hold Him. He would defeat death in three days. And in the end of the Tomb life would triumph. Jesus is the Destroyer of Death.

1 Corinthians 15:26 (NKJV) The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

The hand of death would wrap itself around Christ, its bony fingers grasping His Body and choking His soul. But He would come forth triumphant, and rise from the grave in a glorified body, one we His children will one day have. Dying, He died, but rose again holding the sword of life, death beheaded at His feet!

I could talk of this all day, but I must continue on or we will never finish. I want to finish with the words of Pastor Sam Allberry of the Gospel Coalition:

The resurrection is the outworking and proof of our salvation because death is the outworking and proof of our sin. Jesus’s new life shows us the cycle of sin and death has finally been broken. There is new life to be had. Sin has been conquered. It is therefore the resurrection of Jesus—and can only be the resurrection of Jesus—that assures us of salvation. Only the resurrection proves that our sins have been fully dealt with, that death is no longer our destination but a gateway to perfect, endless life.”

2. Christ Resolved To Receive Whosoever Will Come

John 6:37 (KJV) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

When Jesus said these words it was the day after He had fed the five thousand. He took five little biscuits and two fish, multiplied it, and fed a multitude of people. Jesus moved to another Capernaum after this, and the multitude followed Him – not because they loved Him, but because they wanted another great free meal. Who doesn’t like a free meal? Jesus told the people:

John 6:26-27 (KJV)26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Jesus wants to give everyone who will come to Him everlasting life. The people were not coming to Him but to a meal. They were not seeking the Messiah nor the Savior, but a restauranteur. When Jesus fed the five thousand He was showing that He could take care of all who came to Him by faith. These people did not want Jesus – they wanted the stuff that Jesus could provide.

The old sin nature enslaves us. It binds our hearts to darkness. God must open our eyes so that we can see the glory that is Christ. Unless God quicken our spirits and enable us, we are like the blind man who cannot see, the cripple who cannot walk, the deaf who cannot hear. To us Christ says:

All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me”

The Father opens the eyes. The Spirit clears the ears. Those who come to Christ are given to Christ by the Father. Christ is the Gift of God to us, and we who believe are the gift of God to Christ. He cherishes us as His gift. He loves us. And Jesus does not re-gift. To re-gift is to get a gift that you do not want, one that you eventually wrap up and give to someone else. That is re-gifting. Perhaps you did so with something you received on Christmas past. But God the Son does not re-gift. He says:

and the one that comes to Me I will not cast out”

What a blessing it is to know that no matter what my and your calling and election are sure. Jesus does not throw out the gift of the Father. He cherishes us, as we should cherish Him. Oh, how I love Jesus!

3. Christ Resolved To Raise Us Up

John 6:40, 44 (KJV) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

This resolution rests on the first two resolutions. Twice in this text Christ says:

I will raise him up on the last day”

If a mere man were to say this I would be very skeptical. All men (and women too) die. We all die. If you were to look at me and say “Don’t worry about death, because I’ll give you eternal life. I’ll make sure you are raised up on the last day.” My response would be “That’s nice, but WHO are YOU to make such a promise? You’re going to die, too. Who’s going to raise YOU up?” But Jesus died, and rose again on the third day just as He promised. He proved His mastery over death in His own dying and resurrection.

And what He does is in agreement with the Father. He said “This is the will of His that sent Me, that everyone who looks upon me and believes on Me shall have eternal life”. The Father opens the eyes of every person who comes to Christ. He lets us see ourselves as we are, so that we can see Christ as He is. Seeing Him, we repent and turn to Him. Believing on Him we are saved. And being saved Jesus promises “I will raise you up at the last day”. People try to get all theological with what Jesus said, but I’m going to keep it simple.

You are all all going to have a last day on this earth. The Bible says:

Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV) …. it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment ..

We all will have a “last day” on this earth. But Jesus has promised to raise us up on the last day. He promised this not once, but twice.

John 12:26 (NIV) Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

Jesus will not leave His child apart from Himself. He will raise us up, dear believer, if we are indeed believers in Him.

4. Christ Resolved To Be A Full Time Savior

John 6:51 (KJV) I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

You cannot understand this resolution unless you go back to the Old Testament. Every Jew knew what Jesus was talking of when He spoke of bread from Heaven. The first generation of Israel had rejected the Promised Land that offered them. They were too afraid of the world, but not afraid enough of God to do as He said. So the Lord set them to wandering in the wilderness.

But God still loved His people.

There are many Churches today filled with belligerent Christians wandering in the wilderness. But God does not abandon His people. God did not abandon Israel. He gave Israel manna from Heaven. God gave them this blessing even though they complained, even though the murmured. God told Moses:

Exodus 16:4 (NKJV) … Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.

God’s Children are to obey their Father. God’s Children are to honor their Jesus. Israel was given manna from Heaven, the bread of angels feeding His beloved people. They were to gather just enough manna to feed themselves every day. They were not to hoard, but to consume all they had gathered.

What a beautiful picture of Christ.

The manna that Israel gathered gave them sustenance for that day. Christ is the Living Bread from Heaven. He gave Himself to us. We consume Him, bringing Him and His Words to our lives. We hear Him, obey Him. We gather and eat His Word daily.

Jeremiah 15:16 (NKJV) Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.

The lost chase after Jesus for what He can give them. The saved chase Jesus because He and He alone has the words of life. When He comes into our lives and commits Himself to us we are promised that we shall live forever. This life is but a trial run on the great life that is yet coming. Oh praise His Holy Name forever!

5. Christ Resolved That We Would Stay With Him

John 14:3 (KJV) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Before Jesus went to the Cross of Calvary He told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for us. Jesus has gone ahead of us to make a place for us. He even prayed:

John 17:24 (KJV) Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Listen dear Christian. Jesus will raise you up on the last day. Jesus will one day come and receive you to Himself. When your last day on this earth comes, Christ will be the one you see. I have heard preachers say that angels came and took Lazarus to Abraham’s bosom, and angels will take us. Hogwash. Abraham’s bosom was the place where saints went prior to Calvary. But following Calvary angels do not come and get us. You know who comes and gets us? Jesus.

It is by His Blood we are saved.
It is by His Resurrection that death is defeated.
It is He that has prepared a place for us.
And one day He will take us to that place to be with Him forever.

6. Christ Resolved That He Would Stay With Us

John 14:16-18 (KJV) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

It was Jesus’ prayer and promise that the Holy Spirit would abide with every Christian, living within our Temple with us. The Spirit is with us to guide us into truth. Jesus said “I will come to you” to let us know that the Spirit Who indwells us is the Spirit of Christ. We are indwelt so that we can follow Him. We are indwelt so that we can hear His Word and grow by it.

Christ did not save us from sin and death so that we could wander aimlessly through this world. Christ saved us so that we could honor God and serve Him. The Spirit “comforts” us by His presence. He is in every believer as a guide, and a seal or future promise of Heaven.

7. Christ Resolved That We Would
Obediently Follow Him

John 14:21 (KJV) He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

We are not called of God to a part time Christianity. We follow a full time Lord. Thus Christ tied our obedience to our love. Jesus said “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”. You will do as Jesus says BECAUSE He says it.

When you obey Christ He manifests Himself to you. Oh what a blessing it is to experience His presence. So often life confuses me, but Christ stabilizes me. God is not the Author of Confusion, but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).

This year resolve with me that we will – together – hear and keep our Lord’s commandments. That we will love. That we will share His Gospel. That we will be His hands and feet. The Church that becomes ME oriented is the Church that eventually wanders in the wilderness like Israel did. The Church that follows Christ crosses the Jordan for His glory, and let’s Him defeat the enemy through us. Let’s resolve to be that kind of Church, a Kingdom people for His glory.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in John, Living God, salvation, Sermons Preached, sin, sinners, Trusting God and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Our New Year’s Resolution

  1. I agree that today the Church seems to have lost its mission. If the lost and hurting do not stumble into our edifices, then they may never know Jesus. I am told that people do not want the old ways of someone knocking on their doors to tell them of Jesus, but I am not sure I agree. There is so much anger in people today, and a part of that, I believe, is not being loved or seen as lovable. That is the Church’s responsibility, to spread the love of Jesus. I thank God still for the young Bible college students in Chattanooga who taught me Scriptures on the playgrounds in our neighborhoods. My favorite was, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I was 9 then, and I loved learning the Bible verses. Are people so different today? I needed to know I was loved, being fatherless, and being told of God’s love made the difference in my life. I would love to do that for people today.

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