Personal Responsibility for Sin! John 9:1-5

Text:  And His (Christs) disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
John 9:2.
          “…I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me…”
Exodus 20:5.

Good morning, often confused Christian!  When we read two texts of Holy Scripture, like the texts above, we often get just a bit confused.  But the Lord God Whom we love and seek to serve is not the Author of confusion.  When we humbly ask, the Spirit of God will shed Divine light on our subject.  Praise God it is so.  We have a Divine Helper!

Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you all things to come.  (John 16:13)

Christs disciples encountered the blind man in John chapter nine and asked an important question, it is a deep question, it is a vital question - but while we mere mortals have many many such deep questions, only God has all the answers.  We are constantly encountering deep and dark situations - but Christ Jesus, our Saviour, is ‘…the light of the world…’  (V.5)

Children can often suffer as a consequence of parental sins.  The alcoholic father spends all the family money on booze, thus the children suffer social deprivation.  The bingo-addicted mother squanders her husbands wages in the bingo halls, and the children suffer as a consequences.  Parental sin can indeed bring dire consequences for the children concerned - but the children are NOT morally responsible for their parents sins! 

The soul that sinneth, it shall die (Eternal death).  The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.  (Ezekiel 18:20)

Therefore, from this Scripture we are taught that personal sin bears personal responsibility.  We are ALL personally responsible for our own personal sins.  Godly parents are NOT responsible for the sins committed by their children!

However, the question is even deeper than this.  For example, a child brought up in an environment of constant particular sin, will be more apt to commit such sin themselves.  Drunkenness, drug-abuse, immoral living, gluttony, untidiness, foul talking, and careless living - can all be negative learned behaviour!  Parents, be careful how you live!  You children are watching, listening, and learning from YOU!  What you do, they will learn to do!

Train up a child in the way he/she should go; and when he/she is old, he/she will not depart from it.  (Proverbs 22:6)

Todays Bible Lesson makes it quite clear then:  While children can be deeply influenced by parents and older siblings in the context of positive and negative learned behaviour patterns - every individual person is personally responsible for our own failings, short-comings, actions, words, and SINS.

But let every man/woman prove (test) his/her own work, and then shall he/she have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  For every man shall bear his/her own burden.  (Galatians 6:4-5)

Furthermore, while we can transgress known legal and moral laws; while we can trespass against each other, and do each other wrongs and do so constantly - we can only SIN against God, for God ALONE is Holy!  Praise His Holy Name!  (1 Peter 1:15-16)

Therefore by the deeds of the law (Ten Commandments) there shall no flesh be justified in His sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sinfor there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (I.e. the perfect righteousness and Holiness of the Lord God, found only in Christ Jesus!).  (Romans 3:20-23

This is why even the apostate Pharisees knew that God alone can forgive sins.  “…Who can forgive sins but God only?  (Mark 2:7)  God alone is Holy.  Therefore it is God alone Who can be sinned against! 

However, here is the good news, my friends:  But if the wicked will turn (repent) from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statutes (by faith in Christ Jesus), and do that which is lawful and right (confessing sins when we fail to do so), he/she shall surely live, he/she shall not die (Eternal death).  All his/her transgressions that he/she hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him/her; in his/her righteousness (Christs righteousness) that He hath done he shall live. (Ezekiel 18:21-22) (Acts 16:30-31)  Wow!

Thought:  True repentance to Christ brings cleansing from ALL sins! 

Christ’s Eternal Sonship John 8:51-59

Text:  Jesus said unto them, Verily (truly), verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.
John 8:58
          And God said unto Moses, I AM that I AM; and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me.
Exodus 3:14.

Good morning, rejoicing Christian!  You rejoice deep within your soul, even during days of dark oppressions, grave illnesses; fighting without and fears within - throughout all the vicissitudes of daily life you are still rejoicing. 

What is the source of your continued rejoicing and of mine?  Simple: we KNOW whom we have believed, and trust in the Eternal Son of God for our Salvation.   Glory to the Eternal Father!  Glory to the Eternal Son!  Glory to the Eternal Spirit!  All three Persons One Lord God Whom we love.  Amen.

For there are THREE that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word (Christ Jesus), and the Holy Ghost; and these Three are OneIf we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His SonAnd this is the record, that God hath given to us Eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  (1 John 5:7-13)

It is most surprising to learn the number of professing Christians who believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living Lord God, only began in the stable at Bethlehem.  They seem to believe that Christ originated there as a human babe!  Clearly such Christians have not studied their Bibles enough for, as Christ plainly  teaches us in todays text, “…Before Abraham was, I AM.  (V.58)  (2 Timothy 2:15)

The Christian doctrine involved in our passage today is what we, Bible-believing Christian theologians, call - The Eternal Sonship of Christ.

Alan Cairns puts it well in his Dictionary of Theological Terms, page 137:

Who is the Redeemer of Gods elect?  The Shorter Catechism answers, The only Redeemer of Gods elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, Who, being the Eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one Person forever’”

Cairns goes on to say:  This statement is a theological masterpiece, wonderfully brief, but full of Scriptural truth.  It lays down the following Biblical doctrines about Christs Person:

1.  His Eternal Sonship.

2.  His incarnation.

3.  His philanthropic Person - He is God and man in two distinct natures.

4.  His uni-personality - though God and man, He is One Person.

5. His sole position as the Redeemer of Gods elect, a position He holds forever, both in His state of humiliation and exaltation.

Eternal Sonship is VITAL to a Scriptural view of all these aspects of Christs Person.  (A Dictionary of Theological Terms, by Alan Cairns, page 137)

The Lord Jesus Christ did not BECOME the Son of God by human birth!

Cairns again:  Christ did not become God by His virgin birth.  He could be called God at His birth because He already was God.  Similarly, in Luke 1:35, He could be called the Son of God because He already was the Son of God.  (A Dictionary of Theological Terms, by Alan Cairns, page 137)

Amen, and all praise to Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of the Living Lord God!

In the beginning was the Word (Christ Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by Him (Christ Jesus); and without Him was not anything made that was madeAnd the Word of God was made flesh (at Bethlehem), and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!  (John 1:1-14)

In our selected passage for today, the Lord Jesus seeks to proclaim the truth of His Eternal Sonship, but the unbelieving crowd could not bear this truth.

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was gladThen took they up stones to cast at Him; but Jesus hid Himself…” (V.56)

Thought:  Rejoice anew, dear believing Christian, our Redeemer is Eternally with us, and will never leave us, nor forsake us. 

Whose Glory? John 8:48-50

Text:  I AM the Lord (Jehovah); that is My Name; and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images (idols).
Isaiah 42:8.

Good morning, God-glorying Christian!  The question posed by this mornings title Whose glory, immediately presents all mankind with a clear choice: Will I glorify the Living Lord God with every part of my being; or will I use every part of my being to glorify myself?  (Selah: meditate on this)

Well, what is YOUR answer to the question posed this day?  In our daily lives, in public and in private, whose glory are we consistently seeking?

“Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.  Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be Thou, LORD God of Israel our Father, forever and ever.  Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the Heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as head above all.  Both riches and honour come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.  Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name.”                                 (1 Chronicles 29:9-13)

Now, let me ask the question posed again:  Whose glory do we consistently seek - our own, or the Living Lord God’s?

Wisdom: All that glitters is not gold!  You cannot always tell a book by its cover!  Look before you leap!  Never buy a pig in a poke!

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”  (1 John 4:1)

We live in a day of constant seeking after ‘strange fire’; constant seeking after the next new phenomenon; the weird and wonderful; the ‘spiritual circus‘. 

Walking by faith alone and believing in God’s revealed Word alone, seems to be increasingly the practice of ‘the God-Squad Christian’ believers - believers just like you and, certainly, just like me.  True faith in God is not popular!

In many professing ‘Christian’ circles today, it is not enough to merely believe and trust in God’s Word.  There often has to be some element of ‘circus’ involved in what is portrayed as ‘Christian worship’.  What a sad day we live in.  Simple faith is frowned upon, while the ‘circus’ is given priority, especially in the hearts of our younger generations.  Help us, Lord God!

But the real question is often the one we are looking at this morning:  Whose glory is being sought?  Is it the glory of the Living lord God, or some colourful, and entertaining ‘Christian’ clown?

This is what lies at the heart of the problem in today’s Bible passage.  The Lord Jesus is at this point surrounded by unbelievers who refuse to give glory to Him, as the Son of the Living Lord God.  Their nationality is given the glory, while their long awaited Messiah is ridiculed and insulted as illegitimate.  (V.41)

The unbelieving crowd go further and actually accuse Christ Jesus of ‘…being a Samaritan…’ (not adhering to Jewish traditions of worship); and to having ‘…a devil…’ (being off His head, crazy!)  What insults thrown!

However, look how the Master answered His detractors:  “…I have not a devil; but I honour My Father, and ye do dishonour Me.” (V.49)

Then the Lord Jesus puts His Divine finger upon the underlying cause of their unbelief:  “…I seek not Mine own glory; there is ONE that seeketh and judgeth.”  (V.50)  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour we have in Christ!

Does not the Lord Jesus clearly teach us, in that great model prayer he gave us to pray:  “…For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the GLORY, forever.  Amen (so be it).”?  (Matthew 6:9-13)

Even the ’…great voice of much people in Heaven…’ refused to receive glory or worship from the apostle John when he was taken up in the Revelation vision! 

“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.  And I fell at his feet to worship him.  And he said unto me, See thou do it NOT; I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”  (Revelation 19:9-10)  

God Alone gets the all the glory!  Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!  Praise and all glory to the Lord!

Thought:  “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.”  We have peace and good will when we give God Almighty all the glory!