TheSpiritualMessageOfJohn Image.001


The Spiritual Message of John 

Are you of the Spirit?

John 6.60–68

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • January 25, In the year of our Lord, 2015

Song Leader and Song Suggestions. Larry Amberg – Any songs reflecting the spirit


  1. If I said someone was worldly, what would you think that person was doing? 
    1. If I said someone was materialistic, what would think is his emphasis in life?
    2. In the Gospel According to John, Jesus did not address
      1. the worldliness and materialism as we typically think of them, but
      2. something much more basic.
        1. Most of the people to whom He spoke in John
        2. were not worldly or materialistic as we typically think of those terms.
  2. The flesh meant very little to Jesus 
    1. even in non-worldly, non-materialistic ways.
    2. People tried to make Him
      1. think,
      2. speak, and
      3. act according to the flesh.
    3. He fought their persuasions,
      1. showing that we should see everything in this world
      2. as a type of something spiritual.
  3. The flesh points to the spirit. 
    1. The natural is a type of the spiritual.
    2. The natural is a shadow of the spiritual.
      1. Second Corinthians 4 shows at what
        1. Christians should be looking and
        2. why we should be looking at it,

          18 …we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2Co 4.18).
  4. Every chapter in The Gospel According to John has a spiritual message. 
    1. I have chosen ten examples, showing
      1. that there is more than this earth to our existence.
      2. I have put the others on the Sermon Handout.
    2. Our lives as Christians is not that we merely have another life later, but
      1. but we have another life now.
      2. Refuse to be caged in by thinking only in terms of this world.
        1. Use this world to propel you into the true world.
        2. Learn to see that God wants us to think about the greater world.
    3. Why then did God put us in this material existence?
      1. To understand the spirit,
        1. He gave us this material, fleshly life.
        2. We find it easier to understand the flesh first.
      2. In John 3, the Lord alludes to human understanding,

        12 “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3.12).

        1. If we cannot understand the lessor,
        2. how can we understand the greater?


  1. The Spiritual Message of John 
    1. Birth

      3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3.3–6).

      1. A teacher in Israel locked into fleshly thinking!
      2. See natural birth as a picture of what happens in the spirit.
    2. Water

      13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” 15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw” (John 4.13–15).

      1. This woman focused on water for the body.
      2. However, it only symbolizes water for the spirit.
    3. Food

      31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” 33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4.31–34).

      1. Even the disciples,
        1. who had been hearing the Lord,
        2. were still trapped in materialistic thinking.
      2. Even as we consume food, and
        1. it consumes our thinking,
        2. so let us consume the will of God,
          1. letting it consume our thinking.
    4. Danger

      13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you” (John 5.13–14).

      1. A temptation with a serious health problem,
        1. is to think of nothing else and no one else.
        2. Focusing on one danger keeps us from seeing other dangers.
      2. Something far worse can happen to us than bad health.
        1. People say, “As long as you have your health, you have everything.”
        2. That is not true.
          1. If you have your health,
          2. but you live in sin, you are dead.
    5. Bread

      51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” 52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” … 63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6.51–52, 63).

      1. It was impossible for them to think in the Spirit.
      2. As bread is necessary for the life of the body,
        1. so Jesus is necessary for the life of the spirit.
        2. You can eat top quality bread for the body, but
          1. do not eat the bread for the spirit,
          2. you are malnourished and you will die.
    6. Departing

      33 Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.” 35 Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?” (John .7.33–35).

      1. They could only think of traveling on Earth.
        1. Let our travel to heaven be more important to us
        2. than our travels on the earth.
      2. Later Jesus showed how they could follow.
    7. Bondage

      32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8.32–34).

      1. They had been in bondage to many nations.
        1. Egypt.
        2. Babylon.
        3. Persia.
        4. Rome.
      2. Were they trying to think spiritually? No.
      3. They missed the truth, for
        1. they did not know the bondage of sin
        2. supersedes political bondage.
          1. Let us not think that we have it made,
          2. if we have political freedom!
    8. Blindness

      2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

      40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains” (John 9.2, 40–41).

      1. They attempted to understand things spiritually, but
      2. they were so used to fleshly thinking they could not do it.
        1. It requires a rebuilding of the mind.
        2. Bringing your thoughts into captivity to Christ.
    9. Government

      33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18.33–36).

      1. A citizen of the world’s superpower could only see things politically.
        1. God’s government does not rank below
        2. this world’s governments.
      2. Jesus spoke plainly, but
        1. Pilate never got the point.
        2. Do we get the point?
    10. Authority

      10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin” (John 19.10–11).

      1. Pilate thought only according to Rome.
      2. However, human governments lead us to see divine government.
  2. Romans 8.5 – Are We Spiritual? 
    1. How can I know if I am of the spirit?
    2. Am I worldly and materialistic like the people in John?

      5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit (Rom 8.5).

      1. Do we put the weather (et al.) above the spiritual conditions of the land?
      2. Have you thought about how much the weather dominates our thinking?
        1. Matthew 16 shows that this favorite topic of conversation,
        2. was also something that the Jews focused upon,

          2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; 3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times” (Matt 16.2–3).
        3. Acts 14 teaches that the weather
          1. should make us think about God
          2. not our convenience,

            17 “Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14.17).
      3. Let us be more concerned about
        1. God’s government
        2. than human government.
      4. Let us be more concerned about
        1. heavenly retirement
        2. than earthly retirement.
      5. Let us be more concerned about
        1. the condition of the church
        2. than the condition of our homes.
      6. Let us be more concerned about
        1. the health of the spirit
        2. than the health of the body.


  1. The earth is not the end, but 
    1. the means to an end.
    2. Therefore, the earth and
      1. the things of earth,
      2. teach us spiritual truths.
        1. Are we learning them?
        2. Do we know what they are?
    3. The Gospel According to John takes the Earth and the flesh, and
      1. shows a corresponding, yet greater, heavenly or spiritual truth.
      2. What of the parables of the Lord?
        1. He took the Earth and
        2. made us think of heaven.
          1. The Lord put in motion natural laws
          2. for the purpose of showing spiritual laws.
        3. The natural world reflects the spiritual world.
  2. This way of thinking has serious consequences or great blessings. 
    1. Jesus came to shift our thinking from this world to the spirit.
    2. Jesus has given us gifts that we might love Him.
    3. Give Him your life!