How God Wins

sermon notes

John 12:12–19



1. By keeping His word, v. 12–16

2. By being obedient

Two things about obedience:

  • If you can know the outcome, consequence, or the result of every act of obedience then it’s no longer obedience but manipulation.  
  • Obedience requires abandonment. 

“Abandonment to God is the fruitful way to experience good under God. It means relinquishing ‘our way.’ It means not being angry or resentful when things do not go our way. It means that in God’s hands we are content for him to take charge of outcomes. And in that posture we make way for him to occupy our lives with us, and achieve what is best for us and for others far beyond anything we can even imagine.  -Dallas Willard

“And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”  -Mark 8:31–33

3.  By seeing the Big Picture

Seeing the Big Picture means two things:

  • Calibration

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desire of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passion and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another and envying one another."  -Galatians 5:16–25

  • Character

Here are two ways to tell you are not living in the Big Picture:

  • Everybody knows every injustice you experience.
  • Every time something goes wrong, it is suddenly the biggest thing in your life and the life of everybody who really loves you.

Some of the injustice Jesus endured:

  1. Washed the feet of Judas
  2. Denied by Peter, his most passionate follower (three times)
  3. Questioned by people who know less than him
  4. He had power He chose not to use
  5. People chose him to be crucified instead of a known criminal
  6. They made him carry his own cross
  7. He was mocked
  8. As he was dying, he watched soldiers gamble for his clothes
  9. His mother watched him die