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Soli Deo Gloria!

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Celebrating John's exalted view of Christ.

Text: John 21:25
Date: 11/01/2020, the Combined service.
Series: "John: Encountering Love" Part 200

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John brings his Gospel to a close with what seems like a "delightful hyperbole" as he exclaims that the whole world could not hold the written record of the works of Jesus. We will question this common interpretation and find that perhaps John was making a more expansive statement about the very nature of the Christ he has spent his Gospel revealing. In fact, we will interpret this final verse as a literary springboard that catapults us back to the Prologue and then into the rest of the Gospel. Using the Reformed concepts known as the "Five Solas" as our framework, we will revisit and celebrate his exalted Christology. Ultimately, we will find that not only would the whole world not hold the books that could be written about the Logos who became flesh-- the whole universe would not be enough! In the end, we will gaze in awe upon the glory of Christ and find that the only words that truly express our thoughts are-- "Soli Deo Gloria!"

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I. Introduction
A. Struggling to define what it means to be "Reformed".
B. The Five Solae.
1. Sola Scriptura-- Scripture alone.
2. Sola Gratia-- Grace alone.
3. Sola Fide-- Faith alone.
4. Solus Christus-- Christ alone.
5. Soli Deo Gloria-- Glory to God Alone!
II. Exposition of the text, John 21:25.
A. Context
B. John's expansive finale.
1. Looking at the text, vs. 25.
a. A simple statement, vs. 25a.
i. Determining the meaning of "things", John 20:30,31.
ii. Determining the timeframe.
iii. Determining the view of Jesus.
b. An enigmatic statement, vs. 25b.
i. Understanding the words.
• A rare use for "kosmos".
• Not a literal or factual statement.
ii. The easy or obvious explanation.
2. A far-reaching explanation.
a. Pointing back to the Prologue.
i. Seeing the verse as a springboard.
ii. The idea of the infinite and eternal, John 1:1.
iii. Jesus as the divine Son of God, John 20:31.
b. The relationship between words and actions.
i. The Triune Creator God, John 1:2-3, Gen. 1:26.
ii. Actions brought about by the Word, Gen. 1:3,6,9,11,14,20,24,26.
c. Making my point.
C. Finding the "Solas" in John's Gospel.
1. Sola Scriptura, John 1:1,14.
a. The Old Testament Witness, Matt. 5:17-19.
b. The New Testament witness, John 17:6,8,17; 14:25,26; 16:12,13; 21:24.
2. Sola Gratia.
a. Grace upon grace, John 1:4-5,14,16-17; 3:16.
b. Stories of grace.
i. Nicodemus.
ii. The Samaritan woman, John 4:13-14.
iii. Lazarus, Eph. 2:1.
3. Sola Fide.
a. Believing in the Light, John 1:12-13; 12:37-39,44,46; 3:19.
b. The saving work of faith alone, John 3:18; 6:29; 11:25-27; 20:31; 6:47.
4. Solus Christus.
a. John's focus on the Person of Christ.
b. Jesus is God, John 1:1-2.
i. The Son of the Father, John 1:18,51; 5:19,21,26, 6:44,46.
ii. The "I Am" statements, Ex. 3:14; John 6:35; 8:12; 10:9,14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:5; 8:58.
c. Jesus is a man.
i. When God became man, John 1:14.
ii. All the attributes of humanity, John 4:6-7; 11:35.
iii The suffering Servant, John 3:14-15; 19:28,30; 10:11,17-18.
iv. The Resurrected Lord, John 20:21.
d. Jesus the only way, John 14:6.
5. Soli Deo Gloria.
a. The words of glory, John 21:25.
b. Making the case for glory.
i. Glory to the Son.
• Glory for who He was, John 1:14; 8:54; 16:14.
• Glory in what He did, John 2:11; 11:4; 17:1,5; 12:23,28.
ii. Glory to the Father, John 7:18; 8:50,54; 17:4; 11:40; 13:31-32.
iii. Glory from those who follow Him, John 17:22,24; 15:8; 21:19.
III. Application, John 20:32; 21:22; 4:24.
IV. Conclusion

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