Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleIsraelites With No Guile
Bible TextJohn 1:47-49
Synopsis Here is the good news for every true child of God, born-again of the Spirit of God, Christ says of you what he says of Nathaniel, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Listen
Series John 2020
Article Type Sermon Notes
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Length 36 min.
Series: John 
Title: Israelites with No Guile 
Text: John1: 47-49 
Date: Nov 29, 2020 
Place: SGBC, NJ 
Subject: Israelites with No Guile 
John 1: 45: Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. 46: And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. 47: Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! 48: Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. 49: Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. 
When the Lord Jesus saw Nathanael, he said something amazing:  “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”  This is the all-knowing, all-seeing Son of God.  This is God our Savior before whose eyes all things are open and clear as the noon day sun.
Nathaniel, as are all sons of Adam are, was a sinner.  Born of Adam his nature was only sin, only guile, hypocrisy, deceit and craftiness.  Yet, our all-knowing, all-seeing Savior said of Nathaniel, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” 
Proposition: Here is the good news for every true child of God, born-again of the Spirit of God, Christ says of you what he says of Nathaniel, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”
“An Israelite indeed” is one of God’s elect Israel.  It is to be a citizen of God’s holy nation made up of king-priests made so by Christ our Lord.  Nathaniel was born in Israel but that was not the reason he was an Israelite indeed.  Our carnal birth is not what determines if we are an Israelite indeed.  Our first birth, our country of origin, our race, has nothing to do with this—whether born a natural Jew or Gentile.  Before God, we are only sinners by our first birth. 
Romans 9: 6: For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 
It would be so helpful in understanding the scriptures if we could forget natural, political Israel and remember that all sons of Adam are the same by our first birth—sinners.  Only God makes one an Israelite indeed.  It is only when we are born-again of God, circumcised in heart, that we are an Israelite indeed, a true Jew.
Romans 2: 28: For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. 
The outward sign of circumcision typified the inward work of grace whereby God creates within us a new heart birthing us into his kingdom.  
John 3: 3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 
It is the work of God alone, not of us.  Every sinner is at the mercy of God to work this work but it is a work God shall do in every sinner that God chose in Christ and Christ redeemed. 
Deuteronomy 30: 6: And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. 
Only the love of God shed abroad in the new heart God has made makes us love spiritually.  The Pharisee’s were born in Israel and circumcised in the flesh by men.  So they thought themselves Israelites, true Jews.  They looked down on others who they saw sin.  But God said they were not circumcised in the heart the same as the Gentiles were not.  Thus they were no different from spiritually dead Gentiles. 
Jeremiah 9: 25: Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised; 26: Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart. 
But of God’s true, elect, redeemed Israel he says: 
Jeremiah 32: 39: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: 40: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. 
The true Israel of God are born-again of God, circumcised in heart; true Jews, Israelites indeed. 
This is the new nature—the new heart—the new spirit—the new man—created of the Holy Spirit.  In the new man is “no guile”: no deceit, no craftiness, no dishonesty.  The new man is only pure with singleness of heart for Christ.  This is not something we arrive at by our works.  This is entirely of the Spirit of Christ. 
The new creation is as much the glory of Christ as his work for us on the cross.  God’s elect were crucified with Christ and justified from all our sins so that we have no record of sin before God ever.  Before God we have no guile because we have no sin in Christ.  But just as necessary, we must be born of the Spirit of Christ.  A new man must be created within us in Christ’s righteousness and holiness by Christ being formed in us. 
Psalm 32: 2: Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. 
Revelation 14: 4: These are they which were not defiled with women; [with false religion, harlot Babylon] for they are virgins. [Christ makes us chaste, holy by his blood and Spirit] These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5: And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. 
In Christ before God’s holy law, we are without guile at God’s right hand because in Christ we have no sin, no iniquity, no guile in the record books of God.  By Christ abiding in us, we have a new spirit in which is no guile. 
1 Peter 1: 23: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 
The apostle Peter said by the Holy Spirit it is 
1 Peter 3:4:…the hidden man of the heart,…which is not corruptible,…a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  
Christ commended Nathaniel because he saw what Christ had made him. 
1 John 3: 9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10: In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness [believe on Christ] is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 
Brethren, did Christ mean that it was the tenor of Nathaniel’s life that he had no guile?  If we have a new spirit in which is no guile then we confess by experience that it cannot mean that.  Our flesh is only sin and sin is mixed with all we do.  But until we have this new man we will not be honest about ourselves. 
A man in the water does not feel the weight of the water; but let him come out on the dry land then put a 5 gallon bucket of water on his head and it is very heavy.   When we only have a sin-nature we do not feel the weight of our sin because we are in sin.  But when the Spirt creates a new man we are in the spirit and sin becomes exceedingly sinful.  Since Christ has given a new spirit in which is no guile we are honest about our sin.  
The one manifest difference between a child of God and a child of the devil is: in our new man we cannot cease to keep the commandment of Christ our King because Christ’s Seed abides in us. What is his commandment? He gave it in the negative in 
I John 3: 9: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.  
He gives it in the positive in 
1 John 3: 23: And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24: And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.  
This new, guileless nature is “Christ in you” and you in him. (Colossians 1:27)  By Christ our Righteousness abiding in us we have incorruptible life.  “If the Spirit of Christ be in you, the spirit is life because of righteousness.”  By the Faithful One abiding in us we do righteousness—we believe on him in whom we have done the whole law in perfection and are justified from all our sins.  By the love of God shed abroad in our heart we love Christ and love our brethren.  By Christ abiding in us we never cease doing so.  That is the one manifest difference between a child of God and a child of the devil. 
The result is we worship God with no guile from the inner man 
Philippians 3: 2: Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3: For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh. 
We are true Jews.  We worship from the new spirit in which is no guile.  Christ is all our Salvation: and we walk by faith receiving all from his fulness.  Now, we have no confidence in our flesh because we know that in our flesh dwells no good thing.  We draw near to God, not in word only, but in spirit and truth, with a single eye for Christ, with a single heart for Christ, not as men-pleasers.  That is the work of the Spirit of Christ in our new man! 
John 1: 48: Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. 
Nathaniel was under a fig tree out of sight from men.  He was most likely pouring out his heart to God in prayer.  Christ’s comments tell us that. 
Proverbs 15: 8: The prayer of the upright is his delight. 
Christ saw a true in heart in which is no guile.  From the new heart the believer is honest with God.  
We are honest about who God is and what God requires: Father, thou art Holy; thou desirest truth in the inward parts; perfect righteousness before your law, perfect holiness of heart. 
We are honest about ourselves: in my flesh dwells no good thing, only sin; I have never kept God’s ten commandments; I am nothing but sin in my sinful flesh 
We are honest about our need: Lord, purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; create in me a clean heart; a right spirit.  I must rest in Christ alone to make me righteous; his blood alone purges my conscious from dead works; I must be found in Christ, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law but in his righteousness alone. 
It is the sincere pouring out of the soul to God with singleness of heart for Christ, praising God even for our trials.  We praise him for mercies needed and mercies given.  We give God all glory at all times, not with lip service, but from a pure heart.  In the new man we have peace with God in Christ: rest in the midst of trouble, sorrow, and heartache. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.” 
Be sure to get this: Christ saw him but Christ speaks only of what Christ had made him, he looked only upon the new man in whom was no guile.  Paul said concerning the true Jew, “whose praise [whose commendation] is not of men but of God.”  The inward man is of great price in God’s sight.  Nathaniel was under the fig tree, not praying to be seen and praised of men.  His closet was the fig tree where he prayed in spirit and in truth without guile, with unfeigned faith from a pure heart. Christ seeing the heart which Christ himself created he commended Nathaniel as “an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.”
Brethren, we need to learn to look upon our brethren this way.  Paul said, when I do that I would not, when I sin, 
Romans 7: 17: Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18: For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 
Do you think that same sin-nature was in Nathaniel?  Of course.  Yet, Christ only spoke of Nathaniel’s inward man because the old man is crucified with Christ and the new man is Christ’s creation. God looks on the heart he has made where Christ abides and we abide in Christ inseparably one. 
We need to remember when we see a brother sin, that is not my brother; that is his sinful flesh.  If I have no guile then let me consider myself—that very same sin is in me right now, I am guilty of the same.  Let me remember that I am beholding my brother’s old man which was crucified with Christ on the cross; dead before God, dead to the law, like my old man of sin.  Let me remember my brother is the new man in whom is no guile: in his new man he believes Christ, loves Christ and his brethren, and loves me; he is one who Christ commends.  
When my brother sins that will help me speak humbly from the inward man without malice, without guile—“thou art the man.”  Then it will help me restore—“but thy sin is forgiven”.  Then it will help me trust him to Christ and wait on him. 
John 1: 49: Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel—
By Christ knowing our heart, by his Spirit bearing witness with our spirit, Christ makes us know him.  He makes us know we are his child.  By his Spirit he mortifies our flesh and strengthens our inner man.  That is what Christ worked in Nathaniel as he spoke of looking upon his heart while under the fig tree. 
Immediately, beholding Christ as his Master, as the Son of God, as his King, the inward man is strengthened to cry out in honor of Christ.   That is how the Spirit bears witness we are his.  That is how the Spirit mortifies our flesh.  That is how the Spirit strengthens the new man to turn from all else and believe on Christ and confess him. 
Romans 8: 10: And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11: But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12: Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.13: For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15: For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.