Believing ON Jesus

The Difference Between Believing IN Jesus and Believing ON Him

John 8:12-51

January 25, 2014 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (John 8:30)


A.    Many people struggle with who Jesus really is. They hear people say…


1.      Jesus was a good man

2.      A prophet

3.      A teacher, a Rabbi

4.      A miracle worker

5.      That he was John the Baptist raised from the dead

6.      A “channel” into greater supernatural powers

7.      Not God – no. That would be too much

8.      Only an Angel – Michael (Seventh Day Adventists)


B.     Well, you had better decide to believe who JESUS says He is! Not what you just think He is! Your eternity counts on what you think of Him!

C.     You see, there is a big difference between believing IN something, and believing ON something – believing IN Jesus, and believing ON Him!


1.      A person can “believe in” the fact that Jesus existed, but not in the fact that He was the Christ

2.      So many people believed in Jesus’ ability to heal, but not in His ability to save!

3.      I can believe in airplanes, and cars, and parachutes – but it is only when I am willing to completely trust those things, like a parachute, that I can experience what they can do!

4.      Example of scuba-diving.


a.       I see those movies where people put on a scuba-suit and wear a mask with an oxygen tank, and go underwater

b.      I believe those masks work, and are great! Even amazing!

c.       But it is an entirely different matter when I, and my son Joshua put one of those things on, and went scuba diving ourselves, and found that you have to TRUST that you will be able to breathe underwater, when your mind is telling you that you are surrounded by loads of water, and you feel like you are going to drown!

d.      When I started believing ON that mask and tank, I started enjoying scuba-diving

e.       When you and I start believing not just IN (that’s a start), but believing ON Jesus, that’s when  start enjoying your Christian life


II.    Background (John 8:25)


A.    Jesus is surrounded by a large group of Pharisees and Sadducees, and Scribes and Lawyers that always seemed to follow Jesus, but from a distance – always watching Him – always trying to find a fault, a mess-up, a crack in His teaching, or His life

B.     Jesus has spent a lot of time teaching His disciples

C.     Now he speaks right to the top of the line religious leaders – those who thought they were “nearly perfect”

D.    And He spoke plainly about WHO He was! He used His own words to tell them.

E.     So that they, and anyone for that matter could decide whether to believe ON Him, and be saved, or to ignore Him to their own peril!


III. Message – Who Jesus Claimed to Be


A.    The Light of the Whole World (John 8:12)


1.      Smarter than everyone in history


a.       Smarter and more brilliant than all other “lights” this world has ever known

b.      More than Ghandi, Confucius, Socrates, Darwin, Dawkins, Einstein, Hawkins, and especially more than Vincent Brown!

c.       Smarter than all of them put together! Isa 40:17  All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

d.      That’s why I spend time with Him in prayer, asking HIM for wisdom!


2.      Without Jesus Christ, this whole world lies in complete darkness!


a.       1Jn 5:19  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

b.      Don’t believe the lie that Jesus is only good for good people

c.       Don’t believe the lie that Jesus can only save a few elect people

d.      He is the Light, the guiding, helping, exposing light for the whole world!

e.       That’s who He is!


3.      This same Jesus provides Light for the whole world – not just the Jews, or to the theologians, but for the ignorant, and the foolish, and the lost

4.      Do you believe that He actually is the Light you need to know God?


B.     One With God the Father (John 8:13-19)


1.      Jesus was standing there, alone, speaking about hard-to-believe things.


a.       He did not have a huge theological university backing Him up with quotes of other people who believed the same things

b.      But He knew where He came from

c.       And he absolutely knew where He was going

d.      Unlike all the religiously blind people looking at Him

e.       They had no assurance of where they were actually headed when they died


2.      The Pharisees spent all their time finding fault with everyone and everything around them – judging and passing judgment on everything that wasn’t up to their standard

3.      Jesus didn’t waste His time doing that – judging people (see how he handled the woman caught in adultery in 8:10-11)!!!

4.      But when He did judge, His judgment was true because it was in perfect agreement with HIS FATHER! Only doing what He sees His Father doing (John 5:19)

5.      Jesus admitted that He had an agreeing witness! Another voice! It was Jehovah God who was also testifying to who Jesus was:


a.       Through all the Old Testament prophecies pointed to Jesus’ coming

b.      Through all the miracles that backed up everything Jesus said

c.       Obviously Jehovah God of the Old Testament was in perfect harmony with (8:19)


6.      Do you believe Jesus when He says, He and the Father are ONE? (John 10:30)

7.      Jesus is NOT another god, or a lesser god

8.      He IS God!

9.      THANK God!


C.     Sent from God the Father (John 8:16,18,23,42)


1.      1st Timothy 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

2.      Jesus came from somewhere other than just Mary’s womb!

3.      He is NOT from here on this earth

4.      But from above – way above!

5.      Jesus came from God

6.      Jesus was sent from God, by God, into this sin-cursed world of ours

7.      Do you believe Jesus came into this world from God?

8.      He said that’s where He came from!

9.      Do you believe it?

10.  That will help you get born again, if you will only believe it!


D.    The Son of God (John 8:19,20)


1.      We often take these words for granted – we are so used to them

2.      But think about them!

3.      These were very dangerous words to say


a.       Blasphemous to the Jews

b.      Pure craziness to us Gentiles

c.       That the Creator God would have a SON!


4.      Yet here Jesus is, saying


a.       That He and God the Father were both of the same nature!

b.      Both coming from the same STUFF!

c.       BOTH were perfect Deity!


5.      Do you believe that Jesus IS the very Son of God?


a.       Peter and the other apostles said in John 6:69 “And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

b.      Jesus asked a blind man that he just healed, John 9:35-38  Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him

c.       Martha said in John 11:27  Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”

d.      The apostle John wrote in John 20:31  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

e.       In Acts 8:37  Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

f.       1John 5:5 says, “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?


6.      Why would GOD would go to the trouble to have a HUMAN BORN SON?


a.       So that He, AS almighty God, could live the perfect life we never could live

b.      So that He, as a perfect MAN, could die for all our sins

c.       So that He as the perfect God-Man, could rise again, and open the doorway into heaven through Him alone! (John 14:6)


7.      Do you believe that? I hope so!


E.     On His Way Back to the Father (John 8:21)


1.      Jesus said He was “just a passing though”!


a.       He wasn’t here to set up a physical kingdom – at least not yet

b.      But that He was headed somewhere, where those outwardly, seemingly good religious people could NOT follow

c.       Where do you think THAT was?


d.      John 7:33-35 “Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?


2.      Jesus said, they would soon be trying very hard to find Him, and they won’t be able to do it! Praise God!

3.      Jesus is hinting at the resurrection, where the Pharisees would spend so much money and effort trying to find the dead body of Jesus

4.      And they won’t find Him! AMEN! Never will!

5.      But I found Him, and can’t wait to meet him face to face!

6.      Do you believe He is there right now, with the Father?


a.       You need to!

b.      If He is THERE, then you can start to believe that He is coming back again, just like He said – REAL soon too!


F.      This World’s Only Hope (John 8:21-29, 51)


1.      Without HIM, the best of the best of people will die in their sins!


a.       You had better STOP thinking YOU are “pretty good”

b.      You and I couldn’t hold a candle to the good, clean living of these Pharisees!

c.       Being good enough is just not possible!


2.      And Jesus said… NOT ME! I didn’t say this… But Jesus said, that they all were going to hell! These law-keeping Pharisees were going to die in their sins!


a.       Everyone… good, bad, religious, pagan, atheist, and religious, are LOST in their sins! Under condemnation

b.      They all will die IN their sins, no matter how hard they try to get rid of them!

c.       People go to hell because of their SINS! Plain and simple!


3.      He said, where He was going – HEAVEN – they “CANNOT” come! (John 8:22)

4.      And, no one born on this side of heaven can help anyone get to God. Not Mary, or blessed John the Baptist, or St. Anthony…


a.       ONLY Jesus is the only hope for this world

b.      Jesus says it loud and clear!

c.       Don’t take MY word for it – take HIS!


5.      NOW they are starting to understand that Jesus was referring to His DEATH


a.       And they could only think that he would kill Himself

b.      Just pure mockery

c.       Funny how THEY will be the ones that do the KILLING!


6.      He is Our Hope Because:


a.       He will be lifted up on a cross by the very people He came to save

b.      He will not fight back, but will yield to the will of His Father

c.       He has spoken these things ahead of time

d.      He pleased God, and satisfied His righteousness


G.    That’s when MANY Believed On Him! (John 8:30) “AS He spake these words!


1.      MANY people believed not only what Jesus was saying about God

2.      But believed what Jesus said about Himself – as fantastic as it was

3.      They didn’t believe because of the miracles

4.      Didn’t believe because it all made sense

5.      But simply because He spoke all these truths about Himself, and they decided to take Him at His words!

6.      Oh how wonderful it is to be born again by just believing what JESUS said about Himself!

7.      Have YOU done that yet? Believed ON Him!


H.    He is Worthy of Our Commitment (John 8:31-34,36)


1.      Belief is more than just what you say


a.       It is how you LIVE

b.      Jesus said don’t just believe His words…

c.       Continue to believe His words

d.      Continue IN His words, learning them, abiding in them, and letting THEM abide in you

e.       Don’t just get into this thing called Christianity, and then dump it all at the first sign of trouble and heartache!

f.       The test if you are the real McCoy will be whether you continue! Not whether you don’t sin at all anymore (that’s not possible), but whether you continue in Christ’s words! You stay the course, just following Him, no matter how often you fall or fail!


2.      Become a DISCIPLE, not just a BELIEVER


a.       Disciples INDEED – in REALITY – not fakers like so many others have been throughout history!

b.      BE someone who just keeps following Jesus Christ

c.       Doing things HIS way

d.      Conforming your life to His life


3.      Become truly FREE


a.       From the bondage of ignorance – about who God is and what he is like (John 14:7-9)

b.      From the bondage of religion

c.       And most of all, from the bondage of your own sins (John 8:33,34)


4.      Do any of you believe THAT?


IV. Conclusion and Challenge


A.    How Most People React To What Jesus Says About Himself


1.      Choose to NOT believe (John 8:24, 45) “if ye believe not that I am he…”


a.       Do you realise that you can believe a whole lot of other things, and if you don’t believe THESE things, you will die in your sins and end up in a devil’s hell?

b.      All because you believe not

c.       All because you think you are so smart, and so intelligent!

d.      That’s how most people today choose to stay!


2.      Seek to get rid of Jesus “ye seek to kill me…”


a.       John 8:37  I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

b.      John 8:40  But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.


3.      Think they already believe enough (John 8:39)

4.      Block out His word (John 8:40) – ignore what He says! Dull of hearing anything that might challenge their faith (John 8:43)

5.      Just keep doing what they have always done – follow THEIR leader (John 8:44)

6.      Mock Jesus (John 8:49)

7.      No wonder they remain in their sins!


B.     How We All Should Respond To What Jesus Says About Himself?


1.      Hear every word in this Bible now as a description of God’s Son (John 5:39). Not just stories, or moral lessons, but descriptions of the Son of God!

2.      Love Jesus Christ (John 8:42,43) – love HIM! Not just visit Him, and listen to a short sermon about Him, but love Him!

3.      Believe all that Jesus claimed to be – not what others claim Him to be, but what HE said He was!

4.      Believe that God sent Him to save YOU, and make you free, and give you LIFE and that more abundantly!

5.      Continue – stay the course


C.    Do YOU Believe ALL That Jesus Claimed to Be? It makes all the difference in eternity!


1.      You say you ALREADY believe in Jesus…


a.       But have you believed ON Him?

b.      Do you continue in His word?

c.       Do you love Him?


2.      You see, there is a big difference between believing IN something, and believing ON something – believing IN Jesus, and believing ON Him!


a.       A person can “believe in” the fact that Jesus existed, but not in the fact that He was the Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour of your soul


3.      Don’t go out of here today still in your sins!

4.      Let Jesus Christ, by just believing on Him, make you free indeed!




A.    He is the Abiding Son of God (John 8:35-37, 42,43, 51-59)!


1.      Jesus is better than a servant of God


a.       That was all anyone could ever hope to be a servant of God

b.      The “servant” here was the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people

c.       Loads of great Hebrew servants in Jewish history: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Moses, Joshua, Hezekiah, Josiah, David, Samuel

d.      All were great servants

e.       But the Son is GREATER THAN THEM ALL


2.      Because He ever lives; because He is eternal… He can personally make sure that you are not just free, but free indeed! (John 8:36)!

3.      He is even greater than Abraham…


a.       Jesus announces that He seen and met Abraham (2,000 years earlier)

b.      And then announces that He is the great I AM!

c.       That He is the “I AM” the almighty Jehovah God of Exodus 3!


4.      No wonder the Pharisees tried to stone Him to death

5.      But… THAT’S what Jesus said about Himself

6.      Do you believe that? I do! Everyone should!