Wednesday, March 22, 2006

March 19, 2006

John 15:18 – 16:4
Remembering Jesus III
PREMISE: Remembering what Jesus said puts things into perspective.

I. Perspective depends on loyalty.

A. The “world” – someone has suggested this means “humanity apart from grace.”

1. [Romans 8:5 – 8] Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. [6] The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; [7] THE SINFUL MIND IS HOSTILE TO GOD. IT DOES NOT SUBMIT TO GOD’S LAW, NOR CAN IT DO SO. [8] Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

a. The selfish mind detests the Christian’s love for God.

b. The selfish mind detests the outward focus of the Christian’s life.

c. The selfish mind detests the holy goals and standards of the Christian.

2. The world “hates” [lit. detests] Jesus. [v 1]

a. The selfless mind unnerves the world because it does not understand sacrifice.

b. Jesus noted that “it hated me first” – Me first, Me most [Lange]

c. God as a generic and fuzzy idea is ok with the world, but Jesus as the living embodiment of God is unacceptable.
(Ill.) Billy Grahm’s sermon after Sept. 11 was re-broadcasted by CNN with all reference to Jesus edited out. Is it possible that Jesus is offensive to the world while a generic “god” is acceptable?

B. The world is ultimately selfish.

1. It is about the will to do “own thing.”

a. New McDonald tag line – “It’s what I eat, it’s what I do.” (Taken two ways.)

b. Outback Stake House tag line – “No rules, just right.” (Taken two ways.)

2. This depends on the individual deciding what is “right” and what is “wrong.”

a. When the devil was tempting Adam and Eve in the Garden, he said “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” [Genesis 3:5]

b. That is the biggest lie about sin!

1.) The reality is, apart from God, we do NOT know good and evil.

2.) We end up making it up as we go, with no foundation other than the shifting fickleness of our own desire.

3.) When humans decide good and evil, it’s evolutions “survival of the fittest” chaos.

II. Perspective determines attitude.

A. [15:21, 16:4] The world does not know God.

1. Sin causes us to be separated from God.

2. Separation from God results in ignorance.

3. Ignorance breeds antagonism. [“Familiarity breeds contempt.”]

B. [15:18] The world hates Jesus.

1. Jesus was slandered during His time.

a. The Bible says: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions.” [Matthew 11:19]

b. The Bible says: “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.” [Isaiah 53:4]

2. Jesus is slandered during our time. (“Four big lies of ‘The Da Vinci Code’” by Alan Branch)

a. The deity of Christ was invented by the Roman Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea as political move.

b. The Gnostic (pagan ideas expressed in Christian terms) “gospels” are a reliable sources about Jesus.

c. Jesus was married. (BTW, this is not mentioned in the “gnostic gospels” as claimed.)

d. The early church practiced goddess worship, leading to sexual libertines.
***** By implication: the church is engaged in a massive coverup. *****

III. Perspective demands questioning.

A. Some could ask, “How is the world supposed to know?”

1. Jesus was here, there are no excuses!
“If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.” [John 15:24]

a. To not believe would require not believing the witness of those who were there.

b. In a trial, despite the physical evidence, what holds most weight is an eye witness.

2. We MUST (Gr. imperative = command, order) also testify.
“And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.” [John 15:27]

a. This was the specific task of the disciples.

b. This specific task was passed on to succeeding generations.

B. Some could argue, “They think they are doing the right thing.”

1. In fact, some thought they were serving God!
“They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.” [John 16:2]

a. The idea of “put out” is to “excommunicate.” (Device used to protect “the faithful” and punish “the offender.”)

b. The idea of offering service to God was the motivating factor behind Paul’s atrocities.
“Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.” [1 Timothy 1:13]
“I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, [5] as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.” [Acts 22:4 – 5]

2. The “fighting word” is OBEDIENCE!
“Remember the words I spoke to you: `No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. IF THEY OBEYED MY TEACHING, THEY WILL OBEY YOURS ALSO.” [John 15:20]

a. The selfish mind can not submit to anything other than its own desires.

b. The selfish mind is ultimate out of control and beyond the control of the individual.

C. Some would ask, “How can you be so sure?”

1. “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” [John 15:19]

a. It is a matter of who you belong too: God/Jesus or the world?

b. Jesus has chosen His own OUT of the world.

2. How can those who do not share a passion understand it?

a. e.g. chess – if you do not play chess you do not understand what drives people to work hard to learn more, play more, and get better.

b. if you do not know God’s salvation in Jesus Christ, then you do not understand what drives the believer.

IV. Perspective directs response.

A. Jesus wanted His people to put some distance between them and the world.

1. In attitude – the way we think is different.

a. There is a distinction between the “common” and the “holy.“

b. There is an injection of the holy into everyday life.

2. In action – the way we act is different.

a. The believer is not driven by a selfish mind.

b. The believer is driven by the need to testify.

B. Jesus wanted His people to get away from the world.

1. It’s pleasures/passions, which depend on what feels good to the flesh.

2. It’s maxims/motivations, which depend on feeding the selfish mind.

4. It’s bigotries, which depend on ignorance of God.

C. Jesus wanted His people to keep in step with the Spirit.

1. The “Counselor” is a defense lawyer or a fellow warrior in time of trouble.

a. The Holy Spirit is charged with the task of bringing people into right relationship with God.

b. The Holy Spirit is charged with the task of defending and keeping God’s people on track.

2. The “Spirit of Truth” is a witness.

a. Ignorance of God is no excuse.

1.) Scripture tells the story...

2.) Life tells the story...

3.) Creation tells the story...

b. We join in that witness.

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