in John's Gospel -- Part 9
By: A.J. Higgins, M.D.
careful calculation is part and parcel of our everyday
life. Calculations can have a very dramatic effect upon
our well being. In no sphere is flawless
calculating more crucial than in the spiritual. In our
last article we looked at errors in division and
multiplication that men made when confronted with Christ
and His claims in John 5. Now please take a moment to
consider errors in addition and subtraction committed in
An Error in Addition
initial response to the Lord feeding so many people in a
miraculous way was to come by force and make Him king.
The Lord Jesus, knowing this, left them and
departed. Hadnít the Lord come to be their King?
Wasnít it the announcement of the Magi
"born king of the Jews"? Why then did He
answer lies in an error in addition. The mentality of
the crowd was that if they could add a miracle-working
Christ to themselves, all would be well. Come back with
me a few years and listen to the first word John the
Baptist preached: "Repent," Matthew
3:2. Listen to the first proclamation of Christ,
"Repent," Matthew 4:17; come further along to
when He sent the twelve apostles out: "And
they went out and preached that men should repent,"
Mark 6:12. And if perchance the message is not
clear enough, consider Peterís first great sermon on
the day of Pentecost. When the crowd asked,
"What then shall we do?" he echoed for the
same answer, "Repent."
gospel message does not tell men simply to add Christ as
a new director to their disorganized lives. The gospel
demands repentance: a change of mind about sin. It
requires men to focus on the great issue of their
separation from an infinitely holy God because of their
sin (Isaiah 59:2). It calls upon men to discard
all they trust in for favor with God, and to receive the
salvation from sin purchased by Christ upon Calvary.
God desires to remove sin and revolutionize our
lives, not simply add a new dimension.
seem happy to add Christ to their lives if it might
result in a better job, more food, or advancements.
"A chicken in every pot and a car in every
garage," was a successful slogan decades ago in
electing one U. S. President, but it is not heavenís
motto. Godís salvation was not purchased at the
tremendous cost of the blood of His Son to assure men of
material advancements, but to give men eternal life,
eternal security, and peace with God.
An Error in
chapter contains one final error before closing: an
error in subtraction. Men had been privileged to
witness the to witness the miracle of Christ and to hear
His promise of eternal life to all who appropriate Him
as Savior. Their response was, "This is an
offensive word; who can hear it?" (vs. 68-69).
In essence Peter says that regardless of how
humbling the charge, regardless of what terms God
dictates for salvation, to whom else can sinners go?
It is either Christ as Savior or perishing
vivid picture book of illustration, the Old Testament,
contains dramatic stories of some who turned back.
Lotís wife turned back to the sin of Sodom when God
was bringing her to safety. Israel turned back in
unbelief to wasted years of aimless wandering in the
wilderness when brought to the edge of Canaan. Then
delightful book of Ruth is a reminder of Orpah who
turned back to the gods of her fathers rather than trust
in the Jehovah of Israel.
today men are brought face to face with the reality of
their sin and the redemption purchased by Christ upon
Calvary. SadlyÖmany turn back: some to sin, some to
the barren of wasted lives, some to the gods of their
You, my reader, friend,
must calculate for yourself.