The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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-For the summer get back to Gospel of John…
-Last week during lunch had conversation about family resemblances—the other family dining with talked back and forth about the daughter having this feature or that feature from parent…
-Our family often talks about who looks like who—often have someone say son Kyle looks like me (poor kid)—but I think faces of kids more like mother (thankfully) and I think def tell that they are bro & sis
-So, we know if physically descended you prob have some features that show belong to one of parents----if adopted, although may not have phys features, might take on attitudes or quirks or personality of the family
-In some way you show a resemblance to whomever it is that you are related to
-The same goes for spiritual—you will take on the features of whom you spiritually descended...
-Jesus says as much in our passage—now, if look in v. 31 you see talking to ppl who claim to believe in Him
~but the more Jesus reveals self & identity & plans & demands, the more hostile they become
-Finally, it’s as if Jesus takes mirror to them to show them themselves—they make a claim that God is their Father, but if they take closer look there’s no family resemblance
~In fact, they look nothing like God, but Jesus says they look like their real father, the devil
-And what this means for us, no matter what profession we make, it’s your actions & lifestyle that demonstrate who your real spiritual father is
-So, I want us to consider our spiritual genealogy today—who is your spiritual father—if it is not God I pray that today you will become His child through Jesus Christ
John 8:39–47 ESV
39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
-So, what want to do today is make a contrast between the only 2 possible families you can belong to, & let you do some soul searching
-b/c when think abt it, right from the Fall of man God made the distinction b/t only 2 possible lineages
~God said there wld be enmity b/t the seed/descendants of the serpent & the seed/descendants of the woman
~That is, the devil’s children & God’s children—whose child are you?

I) When the devil is your father

-Jesus told these Jews in v. 44 that they were of their father the devil—what is it that made Jesus make this accusation? What’s true of the devil’s descendants?

(A) More concerned about another identity than spiritual identity

-in v. 39 the Jews make claim that Abraham is their father—but this is more the claim of their physical ancestry, it is more their ethnicity or nationality
~The claim cannot be spiritual b/c Jesus calls them on carpet & says they don’t do the works of Abraham, so they can’t have same faith as him
-The Jews didn’t care if they were spiritually right w/ God, b/c they were part of this elite group, they figured that’s what made special … that’s what made them right w/ God
-They cared more abt being part of the country club of Jewishness than did abt having a relationship w/ the God who freed from slavery
-& here’s the thing, in so many churches ppl are more concerned abt being a part of a certain group rather than who they are in Christ
-To many ppl it is more important that they are Baptist or Presb or Meth than it is being a born-again believer in Jesus Christ
-&, to make ppl mad at me, there’s ppl in churches whose identity is more wrapped up abt being American than it is being Christian--& sadly, there are a lot of ppl who get the 2 mixed
~Meaning: if you’re American you are automatically Christian
-Prob is that majority of Christians in world are not American--& prob is that heaven is going to be mostly other nationalities, not American
~Nothing wrong w/ being patriotic, but when you equate your Americanism w/ your Christianity there’s a prob
-It’s not your American citizenship that gets you into heaven, it’s Jesus Christ & him alone—when get to heaven won’t have to prove American citizenship, but you will have to have heavenly citizenship by faith in Christ
-So, ask yourself, is it more important to you to be American or a particular denomination than is to be a born-again believer in Jesus Christ

(B) Have actions that do not agree with your confession

-In v. 39 Jesus tells the Jews that if they had same faith that Abraham had then wld be doing the same works that Abraham did
~So, they are claiming one thing abt their relationship w/ God, but their actions say something that is completely opposite—specifically they are now seeking to kill Jesus
-These Jews claim to be close to God, walking with God, loving God, but then they are rejecting the 1 God sent to the point of wanting to kill…
-This is the form of Christianity many have, both in & out of the church—they claim to know Christ, claim to be born again, & yet they are living as if the old never became new
~Not that Christians don’t sin, b/c we do—but our lifestyle will not be marked by constant & consistent sin
-ppl claim OH YEAH, I’M A CHRISTIAN, but they are drunkards—OH YEAH, I’M A CHRISTIAN, but they live in constant immorality—OH YEAH, I’M A CHRISTIAN but they think it’s OK to kill babies & support deviant lifestyles contrary to Scripture
-Think abt this, suppose that I go around claiming to be vegan—oh yeah, I only eat fruits & vegetables; I don’t eat meat or meat byproducts, I am completely vegan
~But then you find out that at least 3x a week I go to Outback Steakhouse & eat me a nice juicy ribeye steak, a potato w/ butter & sour cream (byproducts of cows), etc.
~Wld my confession of veganism stand? Wld you consider me vegan? No.
-Then, why do we take it at face value if someone says they’re Christian, but they’re actions say otherwise?
~In Matthew 13 Jesus gave a parable abt the enemy sowing weeds/tares among the wheat—it talks abt false believers being among the congregation of the believers
~We know the weeds when they’re actions don’t follow the confession of faith they’re making with they’re mouth—they’re the devil’s kids…

(C) Follow a Christ that you created for yourself

-In v. 42 Jesus tells the Jews that if God were their Father they’d love & accept Jesus as He is revealing Himself—they’d accept His identity, His works, His plans, & His demands
-And yet these ppl said earlier in the chapter that they believed in Jesus
~Here’s the thing—they wanted Jesus alright, but not the Jesus that was in front of them—they didn’t want the suffering servant to be their Lord & King … didn’t want guy called them to holiness & obedience to be their Lord & King
~They wanted a Jesus who wld kick the Romans out &, really, to lead the Jews to world domination
-Here’s the thing w/ a lot of ppl who confess a Christianity but whose father really is the devil—they don’t want Christ as revealed in Scripture, they want a Christ that they can manipulate for their own comfort & pleasure
-That’s the whole gist of the health & wealth movement—I want a Jesus who will keep me healthy & wealthy & wise—the Jesus that will give me that new car, that new job
~I want a Jesus who will be the genie of Aladdin & give me my wishes
-But they don’t want Jesus who says something is sin … who demands lordship of life … who deals in absolutes
-In his epistles & Revelation, John says this is spirit of anti-Christ
~the prefix “anti” means “instead of”—the spirit of anti-Christ is wanting a different Christ instead of the one that actually exists
-So, the children of the devil replace the real Christ w/ one they make up on their own—they turn Jesus into their own little idol

(D) Have a willful blindness and deafness to God’s Word

-In v. 47 Jesus tells these Jews that they are obviously not God’s children b/c they do not hear the Word of God
~In Scripture, when it talks abt hearing the Word of God, means more than picking up sound waves in your ear, but it also implies believing what is heard & then reacting to what is heard—it entails obedience; but those who belong to the devil do not hear & obey
-Earlier, in v. 44 Jesus says that the devil doesn’t stand in the truth, & by extension that means that his children do not stand in the truth (the word “stand” means to make it your lifestyle to know the truth & to obey the truth)
~But, from where comes truth?
~David says in Psalm 119:160
The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
~Then in John 17:17 Jesus prays for His followers:
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
-The devil will lead ppl to ignore the truth of God’s Word or lead them to twist the truth of God’s Word, but his children will not speak or live according to the revealed truth of God’s Word—the devil’s children have a willful blindness & deafness to what God has revealed to them in Holy Scripture
-So, I want everyone to take inventory of their life—you are the child of the devil when:
~other identities rather than identity in Christ is most important
~actions don’t match confession
~follow a Christ you created
~willfully blind yourself to the Word of God

II) When God is your Father

{go quick b/c opposites of what said}
-in v. 41 the Jews claimed that God was their Father which was not the truth—b/c if that were true, these four characteristics wld be true:

(A) Have a spiritual poverty that clings to Christ for life

-We are all familiar w/ 1st Beattitude:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
-That means there is a recognition that you have nothing in yourself that gives you any sort of favor or merit in God’s eyes—there is nothing about your own identity that makes you pleasing or acceptable to God Almighty
-This is the opposite of the Jews—the Jews figured that what made them acceptable to God was the mere fact that they were Jews=were descendants of Abraham, and they thought that’s all it took
-Again, there’s the ppl who think being Baptist or being American makes them acceptable to God, & Jesus says NO
-Being poor in spirit means you know that nothing abt you pleases God, and so any standing you might have w/ God has to come from another, & that comes from Christ
~The only identity that will bring me before God Almighty is my identity in Christ that I receive when I repent & believe He died for me

(B) Bear spiritual fruit that agrees with your faith

-So, Jesus says that you are God’s child if you do the works of Abraham—what were the works of Abraham?
~According to Genesis 15:6, Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness—it was a faith & trust in God, but then James points out that faith w/o works is dead
~So, the works of Abraham is trusting in God & that trust translating into works or spiritual fruit
-It’s not merely grasping the things of God intellectually, but having a faith in God that allows God to bear fruit in your life
~But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23 ESV)
-You not only claim to be a Christian, but Christ shines thru in your life (although imperfectly)

(C) Recognize the position and power of Jesus Christ

-In v. 42 Jesus tells them IF GOD WERE YOUR FATHER, YOU WLD LOVE ME
~When God is your Father, you accept Jesus for who He is and you recognize the power & authority that He has over the universe & over your own life
-Jesus said:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matt. 28:18 ESV)
~That means Jesus has a say in every area of your life—you recognize that He has a say over your lifestyle choices, over your beliefs, over your finances, over your entertainment choices
~Jesus isn’t just King of kings and Lord of lords over religious stuff—He is King of kings and Lord of lords over everything
-And when God is your Father, you accept Jesus as He revealed Himself in the Word—you don’t try to make Jesus fit your mold or your preconceived notions—you don’t try to make Jesus fit your beliefs, you adjust your beliefs to fit Jesus
-A lot of ppl say they want Jesus as their Savior but not their Lord, the only prob is Jesus never changes—in order to be Savior He has to be Lord—if you don’t want Him as your Lord, you don’t get Him as your Savior

(D) Consume and obey the Word of God

-v. 47 lets us know that if we are children of God then we hear His words as revealed in Scripture
-I use that strong word “consume” there b/c you need to internalize the Word of God—it’s not enough to just read it & then let it go in 1 ear just to go right out the other
~the Word of God is your lifeline—it’s through the Word of God that you learn abt yourself & it is through the Word of God that you learn that God reached out to a lost humanity to save it from its sins through Jesus’ death & resurrection
-So, not only do you need to hear the Word of God, you show that God is your Father when you believe it, internalize it, and obey it
-Next Sunday is Fathers Day—my question to you is which father are you going to be honoring
~Yes, if earthly father still alive you need to honor him, but which spiritual father…
-You can claim all you want that God is your Father just like the Jews did, but your actions & lifestyle & choices might tell a different story
~today is the day that you need to repent & believe & accept the Jesus of the Bible…
-If God is your Father, is there a need in your life that you need to bring to Him—come to altar…
-Maybe you are looking for a church home that celebrate God as Father thru Christ…
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