PRELUDE: Today kicks off a new series of messages called “Lifting Him Up.” A look at God as He really is, and the many ways that Christ has also lifted us.
TEXT: John 12 “32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die. “
INTRO: A.W. Tozer once said – “So necessary to the Church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure declines, the Church with her worship and her moral standards declines along with it. The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God.” (Aiden Wilson Tozer was an American Christian pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor, and spiritual mentor)
We can’t allow ourselves to envision our Christ as just a man on a cross; lift Him up!
I) The Stipulation ‘IF’ IF he was lifted up…was He? Jesus said IF He was crucified, He would draw all men to Him and cast out their present ruler ‘the prince of this world’. YES He was!
John 12 – 31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
Isaiah 6 – “High and lifted up” Christ was high and holy long before He was born into the world. The realization of God’s loftiness must inspire our worship! Envisioning the Rainbow of Rev. 4 and 5 It is high time to boot the devil and all his sin OUT of your life…!!!!!It’s high time to get a HIGHER concept of God! TOO MANY people today think of Jesus as the ‘crucified’ guy that once lived, and whom some SAY is alive. That’s why we need…the declaration!
II) The Declaration HE IS EXALTED ON HIGH! Resurrection God didn’t view Christ’s death as a downfall…see Phil. 2 “…Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him”!
Phil 2 5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
The Lame Man (Acts 3) 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: the lame man looked and saw NOTHING in their hands, yet he expected something.
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. As the Apostles extended their hands, they invoked the name of Jesus. Behind them was the unseen hand of God reaching down 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up. “…and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” TOO MANY people today fail to realize that He was lifted up, that He might LIFT US! Along with elevating our view of God in His holiness, we need to elevate our view of what He has made us!
III) The Expectation *People talk about not doing things because “they’re expected to do it” That’s the simplest form of rebellion; ‘I don’t have to have anyone’s approval, or do what someone tells me’. But God also expects something from YOU! He EXPECTS us to bow before His majesty; He EXPECTS us to humble ourselves; He EXPECTS praise and worship and service. A life of sin, (without God in it) is a life of BOTTOM FEEDING coupled with pride!
ILL: Explain the FISH that feed on the bottom of the river, scavengers that eat anything. ALL unbelievers are bottom feeders, (no offense here) because you cherish, love, seek, and indulge in the things of earth ONLY, having had no taste of the heavenly gift! Even the highest and mightiest sinner, is on the bottom of life’s possibilities.
James 4 (10) “10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” I may be preaching to you, but can you see the hand of God reaching down to lift you?