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Text Sermons : R.A. Torrey : Before Abraham Was, I Am.” John 8:48–59

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1. “If a Man Keep My Word He Shall Never Taste of Death,” vv. 48–52
What two slanders against our Lord did the Jews utter in v. 48? To what extent was the word “Samaritan” a term of opprobrium in that day? (4:9.) Did they accuse Him of being possessed of a demon on any other occasion? (7:20; 10:20; Matt. 12:24.) If they spoke this way of our Lord what may we expect if we are loyal to Him? (Matt. 10:25.) Ought we to dread this reproach? (Heb. 13:15; Matt. 5:10–12.) Of what was this treatment a fulfillment? (Is. 49:7; 53:3.)
How did He reply to the charge (v. 49)? Whose honor was He seeking? Whom were the Jews seeking to dishonor? Was He seeking also His own glory? (v. 41, R. V.; 7:18.) While He sought not His own glory, who did seek the glory of Christ (v. 50)? To what extent does the Father desire that our Lord should be glorified? (Phil. 2:9–11.)
By what words does He emphasize the importance of what He is about to say in v. 51? (3:3, 5; 5:24.) What astounding statement did He make about those who kept His word (v. 51, R. V.)? Is it true? What does it mean? What was the effect of this utterance upon the Jews (v. 52)? What would we think today if we should hear any man say: “If a man keep my word, he shall never see death”? By saying this, what did our Lord make Himself?
2. “Before Abraham Was, I Am,” vv. 53–59
What question did the Jews now put to our Lord? In what way had He made Himself to be greater than the prophets? To what extent is He greater than Abraham (v. 58)? (10:29, 30; Is. 9:6; Matt. 12:6, 41, 42; Ro. 9:5; Heb. 3:2, 3; 7:1–7.) What further question did the Jews put to Him? What did His utterance really imply that He considered Himself to be? (5:18; 10:33; v. 19:7.) Was it only Jesus Himself who regarded Him as divine (v. 54)? What does our Lord call God in v. 54? What did the Jews say of Jehovah (v. 54)? Was He really their God? What did He say of the Jews’ relation to God in v. 55? Are there any today who claim to know God but who do not really know Him? Who did not know God (v. 55)? How alone can we know Him? (1:18; 14:6; Matt. 11:27.) How did our Lord prove that He knew God? How can we prove that we really know God and His Son Jesus Christ? (1 John 2:4.) To what extent did He keep the word of the Father? (v. 29.)
What astounding statement does our Lord make in v. 56? On what occasion did Abraham see Jesus Christ? (Gen. 18.) What was the effect upon Abraham of seeing the day of Jesus Christ? What will be the effect upon any one who really sees Him as He is? (1 Peter 1:8.)
What was the effect upon the Jews of His statement that Abraham had seen His day? What question did they put to Him (v. 57)? In what spirit did they put it? What statement did He make in reply? Did He merely say: “Before Abraham was, I was”? What is the significance in this connection of the words “I am”? (Ex. 3:14; Is. 43:13; 44:6; 46:9; 48:12; Rev. 1:8.) How long has our Lord existed?
What was the effect of this statement upon the Jews? As what did they regard Him? What was the Jewish law regarding the blasphemer? (Lev. 24:16.) If He was not divine were the Jews justified in stoning Him according to the Jewish law? What then does the one who denies the deity of Jesus justify? On what other occasion did the Jews attempt to stone Him? (10:30–33.) Who prevented the Jews from killing him on this occasion? Was He justified in hiding Himself? Did He hide from His enemies on any other occasion? (10:39, 40; 11:54.)

1. The Father
Honored by our Lord, 49; sought His glory, judgeth, 50; honored the Son, 54; known by the Son, 55; protected the Son, 59.
2. Jesus Christ
(1). What He was:
Divine, 51, 58; human, 59; subordinate to the Father, 55.
(2). What He did:
Honored the Father, 49; sought not His own glory, 50; gave eternal life to those who kept His word, 51; knew the Father, 55; hid Himself from His enemies, 59.
(3). How He was treated:
(a) By man—called a Samaritan, charged with having a demon, 48, 52; dishonored by the Jews, 49; assaulted, 59.
(b) By God—honored, 54; the Father sought His glory, 50; protected, 59.
3. The Jews
Misunderstood our Lord, 48, 52, 59; accused Him of being a Samaritan, of having a demon, 48, 52; dishonored Him, 49; were liars, 55; sought to stone Him, 59.

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