Purposes of the Cross & the Problem of Unbelief

Hello! I’m trying to catch up, so I’ll be posting two messages today (from May 22nd and 29th). The message below is Pastor Alan teaching on John 12:27-50. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included Pastor’s outline with links to the verses he references. 🙂

Purposes of the Cross & the Problem of Unbelief

Purposes of the Cross (John 12:27-36)

  1. The cross is the place where Jesus took God’s wrath against unrepentant sin upon Himself. (v. 27)
  2. The cross would ultimately bring God glory as death is turned into victory. (v. 28-29)
    • Jesus’ faithfulness is demonstrated in His total submission to the will of the Father.
    • Our faithfulness is only made possible by Christ’s faithfulness (Galatians 2:20 & Romans 3:22 KJV)
    • How do we glorify God? Live a life of faithfulness to God based on the faithfulness of God.
    • The Father’s will for us is to unleash Christ to act through us.
  3. The cross is the initial judgment and starts things moving toward Judgment Day.
    • Judgment on this world began at the cross and will end at His 2nd Coming.
    • The cross brings life to those who believe, but judgment and death to those who don’t believe and to the “ruler of this world.”
    • Prayer is entering into the conflict between God and the “ruler of this world” (Matthew 6:9-13)
  4. The cross is the point where all people are drawn. (v. 32-34)
    • Not that all would believe, but all would be drawn.
    • All = both Jews & Gentiles (all nations)
    • Drawn = the cross cannot be ignored (except at one’s peril)
    • The bronze serpent lifted up was a shadow of Christ (Numbers 21:4-8)
  5. The cross was, & still is, a call to walk in the light as things grow darker. (v. 35)
    • The only way we can navigate this dark world is by the Light of Jesus & the Lamp of the Word

The Problem of Unbelief (John 12:37-50)

  1. Unbelief is not the same as indecision/misunderstanding/nonbelief (v. 38)
    • It is not believing in the face of undeniable evidence.
    • It is rejection, often in the form of hatred.
  2. Unbelief is being blinded and hardened of heart. (v. 39-41)
    • Our natural state is a depravity of the heart; only God can renew it.
    • “Faith is not born in the ordinary human faculties but is a unique and rare gift of God.” -John Calvin
  3. Half-hearted belief is the result of fear over what people might think or what they might do to us. (vs. 42-43)
  4. Belief is acting on the revelation of Christ. Unbelief is rejecting the revelation of Christ, choosing darkness, and falling under condemnation. (v. 44-49)
    • It’s not a matter of if there will be a judgment, but where you end up after judgment.
    • The words that the Father commanded Jesus to speak lead to eternal life. (v. 50)