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!

Like Father, Like Son’? John 8:41-47

Text:  Jesus said unto them (the unbelieving Jews), If God were your Father, ye would love Me; for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me.  Why do ye not understand My speech?  Even because ye cannot hear My Word.  Ye are of your father the devil…”
John 8:42-44.

Good morning, Christian sons and daughters of God!  If you have been quickened by God the Spirit to know your lost state in sin; been granted Gods gifts of repentance and faith in Christ Jesus; subjected your fallen human will to the Divine will of Almighty God; and trusted Christs once for all time full Atonement Sacrifice for sins at the Cross of Calvary - then you and I are sons and daughters of the Living Lord God.  Hallelujah!  What a great gift of Salvation!  Glory to the Lamb that was slain!

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”  (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)

You and I have heard the old adage, Like father, like son.  It generally means that we take on the characteristics of our earthly fathers; and often being used in a derogatory manner, can imply that we have similar outstanding faults as our fathers had before us.  (I.e. Your father was a thief, so you are a thief also; or your mother was a renowned gossip, therefore you are one too.)

However, while reasonable thinking people know that there is no definite substance in such a fault-finding philosophy - in the Spiritual sense, we do well to take stock of the concept.  With this principle in mind therefore, let us ask ourselves some honest questions today; let us ‘…examine ourselves…’ to see whether or not we possess the characteristics of our Spiritual Father in Heaven.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove (test) your own selves.  Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates (rejects, failures)?  But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.                (2 Corinthians 13:5)

For example:  If we are professing to be Bible-believing Christian sons and daughters of the Living Lord God Jehovah - are we publicly manifesting, in any degree of consistency, the Holy character of our Heavenly Father?

But let a man/woman examine himself, and so let him/her eat of that bread, and drink of that cup (the Lords Table). (1 Corinthians 11:28)

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as He which hath called you is Holy, so be ye Holy in all manner of conversation (entire way of life); because it is written, Be ye Holy; for I am Holy.     (1 Peter 1:14-16)

If therefore God is ‘…our Father which art in Heaven, can people, day by day, see some family resemblance in you and in me?   Now that is a sobering thought for present day Christians, the author included!  Christian means 'of Christ', or 'Christ like'!

Wherefore by their fruits (outward daily expressions/attitudes, etc.) ye shall know them.  (Matthew 7:20)

The Jewish crowd featured in todays Bible reading were clearly not manifesting love for Christ Jesus; and thus He forthrightly told them so:

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love Me; for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me.  Why do ye not understand My speech?  Even because ye cannot hear My Word.  Ye are of your father the devil…”  (V.42-44)

The unbelieving crowd manifested their ungodly fruits, of course, in the previous verse (V.41), when they openly accused Jesus of being ‘…born of fornication…’ - they were declaring that Christ Jesus was a bastard child!  They were manifesting all the outward actions of their father the devil…’

For example:  There are no such things as little white lies.  When one takes company property from ones workplace it is stealing, not just a perk of the job.  Gossiping about a sister or a brother; or unjustly criticizing the Pastor or church singer is open sin, and in Old Testament times, would have been punishable by stoning to death!  Using the Holy Name of Jesus Christ as a swear word, or an expletive of petty human anger is a most dangerous insult to the Lord God!   Beware of that poisonous tongue!

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of Hell.  (James 3:6)

In conclusion therefore, He/she that is of God heareth Gods Words…”  Are you hearing what God is saying to your heart this morning?  Am I?  If we are, then we prove to ourselves and all others that we are indeed seeking to be Holy, just like our Father in Heaven.  Like Father, like sons/daughters.   Praise God it is so.

Thought:  Do you and I bear a Heavenly family resemblance?  Let's try harder.

Nationality Will Not Save! John 8:33-40

Text: They (the unbelieving Jews) answered Him, We be Abrahams seed, and were never in bondage to any man; how sayest Thou, Ye shall be made free?
John 8:33.

Good morning, universal Christian!  God has blessed you and I with faith to believe His Word: that we are Hell-deserving sinners; that to be saved, we must be righteous; that Jesus Christ is the only way of Eternal Salvation; that there is a Heaven that is Holy and a Hell that is hot.  Praise God it is so! 

Nationality can never save us - we must be made part of the Body of Christ: by grace, through faith in the Atonement Sacrifice, on the Cross, of the Son of God, Christ Jesus.  True Christianity is universal!

We are true Christians IF, and only IF, we are Spiritually regenerated by God; born again from Above; Redeemed by the precious Blood of Christ Jesus; sanctified (set apart) from the world, the flesh and the Devil.  IF we are in such a state of Divine grace then, and only then, are we an integral part of the Body of Jesus Christ - the true church.  (John 3:3-8) (Acts 4:12)

The church is not only a Divine institution; it is also a Spiritual one.  Its administration is Spiritual in nature and aims, different in kind from the kingdoms of the world.  The realization of this, by both church and state, would go far to resolve the repeated difficulties in reconciling the freedom of Christian conscience on the one hand and the legitimate rights of the State on the other.  The Lord commands His people to render to Caesar the things which are Caesars and to God the things which are Gods.  But Caesar has no legitimate control over the things of God.  (Dictionary of Theological Terms, by Alan Cairns, page 88)

Earthly kingdoms and nationalities therefore, can never determine the individuals position as part of the Body of Christ, the church.  Only the Lord God determines whom He will save and whom He will refuse to save in time and for Eternity.  The bottom line is that there is only ONE GOD, and that one God must be Lord in every aspect of His own Creation.  Praise His Name!

As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.  What shall we say then?  Is there unrighteousness with God?  God forbid.  For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  So then (conclusion) it is not of him that willeth (mans will), nor of him that runneth (legalistic works), but of God that sheweth mercyTherefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.  (Romans 9:13-18)

God alone is God - He continually does just whatever He desires to do!

But our God is in the Heavens; He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.  (Psalm 115:3)

That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in ONE (the church) all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: in Whom also we have obtained an inheritance (through the Cross Sacrifice of Christ), being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh ALL things after the counsel of His own will; that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.  (Ephesians 1:10-11)  (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)  Hallelujah!  We are Eternally saved!

The unbelieving Jews present in todays Bible reading in Johns Gospel assumed that they were Spiritually free - due to the fact of their heritage as a nation that directly descended from Abraham!  They seem to have known nothing about the curse of original sin inherited from our common forefather Adam!  They, like all mankind, were and are slaves to natural sin.

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.  (Psalm 51:5)  (Jeremiah 17:9) (Job 14:1-4) (Romans 3:10)

Hear and learn a vital truth, dear friends: Jesus answered them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.  (V.34)

Have you met any sinless Christians lately?  Exactly.  We all sin every day!  Only those most successful in psychological denial will disagree.

The people present on that day were taught vital lessons that were hard to hear.  Yet the loving Lord Jesus took time to teach His truth to them anyway.  Only one who cares passionately for the precious souls of men and women will dare to speak such Eternal truths.  All others are Eternally careless.

Abrahams nation were given the Ten Commandments from the Lord God and one of them is Thou shalt not kill.  Yet these same people sought to kill the Lord Jesus Christ - because Christs Word had no place in them (V. 37)

Thought:  Christs true universal church always heed His God-breathed Word.

The Truth Brings Freedom! John 8:25-32.

Text:  “…If ye shall continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.
John 8:31-32.

Good morning, truth-filled Christian!  If you and I have heard Gods Word with our hearts; came obediently in repentance and faith to Christ for Salvation - then we demonstrate for ourselves that we have come to know the Truth (Christ Jesus) and the Truth has made us free from the curse of sin. 

There is no other way of Salvation, only in the Cross of Christ Jesus.

Neither is there Salvation in any other; for there is none other Name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  (Acts 4:12)

Jesus saith unto him (Thomas), I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.  (John 14:6)   It is so, amen!

Is it not remarkable, dear Christian friends, that the very demons of Hell clearly knew that Jesus Christ was the Holy One of God?

And, behold, they (the indwelling devils) cried out, saying, What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God?  Art Thou come to torment us before the time?So the devils besought Him, saying, if thou cast us out, suffer (allow) us to go away into the herd of swine.  (Matthew 8:29-32)

Yet when Christ told the people of His earthly ministry who He was, they refused to believe!  What an incredible depth of unbelief!  Their hearts were totally enslaved in unbelief; ‘…dead in trespasses and sin. (Ephesians 2:1-5)

They could not believe, because God had not given them faith to do so!

For by grace (unmerited favour) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the GIFT OF GOD; not of works, lest any man (or woman) should boast.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The Lord Jesus had just openly told them, “…I am from AboveI am not of this world…”  (John 8:23)

But the majority of them could not, would not, nor wanted to, believe Gods Living Truth.  He had ‘…no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.  He (Christ Jesus) is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.   (Isaiah 53:1-6)

Christ Jesus openly informed all those in the Temple that, He had been sent from God, and that God was true.  But His religious hearers did not, could not, nor would not, understand the truth of His Words.

They understood not that He spake to them of the Father.  (V.27)

The Lord Jesus then told them of His coming Crucifixion, and of the clear proofs that would be manifested as He hung there on that cursed Tree.

“…When ye have lifted up (Crucified) the Son of man, then shall ye KNOW that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things.  And He that sent Me is with Me; the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.  (Vs.28-29)

IF such a thing as a second chance theology existed - this would be the only one.  Those that refused to believe Christs truth that day, would be given a second chance to believe and receive Salvation when they witnessed with their own sinful eyes the Crucifixion of the Son of God.

However, as Scripture clearly records, the miraculous things actually seen by all observers at Calvary did not cause the multitude to believe - only to mock the Son of God and seek to put Him to open shame.  Faith is the gift of God.

No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.  Every man therefore that hath heard (with the heart), and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me.  (John 6:44-45)

Rejoice, truth-filled Christian!  For, if you are reading these words from Gods Word, The Bible, and are believing them gladly - then you prove for yourself that you have been graciously granted faith from God to do so.

As He (Christ Jesus) spake these words, many believed on Him.  (V.30)

Thought:  “…IF ye continue in My Word, then ye are My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the Truth (Christ Jesus), and the Truth shall make you free.  Rejoice, my friend, we are free indeed!  Hallelujah!

The Peril of Dying in Sin! John 8:20-24

Text:  I (Christ Jesus) said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.
John 8:24.

Good morning, sinless Christian!  Sinless?  How can it be?  Is there any truly honest person who walks on this earth that could be defined as a sinless Christian?  Read on and be enlightened, beloved in Christ Jesus.  Rejoice to know of your Standing in the Lamb of God Christ Jesus.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!

Blessed (blessed with blessings) is he/she whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man/woman unto whom the Lord imputeth not (puts not to our account) iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.  (Psalm 30:1-2)

The sin question for the true Christian believer is forever nailed to Christs Cross at Calvary - our past, present and future sins are all covered by the precious sinless Blood of the Lamb.  Now this is truly amazing grace!

If we think deeply about my subject for today, there is a sense in which we, Spiritually redeemed and born again Christian believers, can not commit sin anymore! 

IF ALL our sins were punished on Christ Jesus on the Cross over 2000 years ago - then ALL our sins, past, present and future sins, are no longer an issue in Gods Holy sight.  Wow!  We are free from sin!

The Lord God causes Himself to forget our every sin, because Christ has suffered the full penalty for every sin; and because we are therefore washed spotless from sin in Gods Heavenly and Holy sight.  We cannot sin!

I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine Own sake, and will NOT remember thy sins.  (Isaiah 43:25)

The Spiritually regenerate Christian believer has been granted a secure STANDING before our thrice Holy Lord God of utter wrath against all sin.  We are hidden ‘…in Christ Jesus…’ our Redeemer.  Thank you, Lord God!

Therefore (a conclusion) if any man (or woman) be in Christ, he/she is a new creature; old things are passed (or continually passing) away; behold (look), all things are become (or continually becoming) new.  And all things are of God Who hath reconciled us to Himself (the sinful to the Holy) by Christ Jesus…” 
 (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

If we say that we have fellowship with Him (God) , and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.  BUT if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth (cleans and continues to cleanse) us from ALL sin.  (1 John 1:6-7)

Are you and I seeking to ‘…walk in the light…’ with God?  Then the precious Blood of Jesus Christ, Gods Son, cleanses us from All sin.  Past, present and future sins are completely covered by the shedding of Christs sinless Blood.  Glory to God for such grace!  The sin penalty has been PAID.

However, although we Christian believers have been given this gracious STANDING - freedom from all sin - in our family relationship through Christ Jesus.  We still have to deal with the issue of our daily, and almost inevitable, sin committed in our naturally sinful STATE.  Fact!

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth (Jesus Christ?) is not in us.  (1 John 1:8)

In our STATE as natural sinners we commit sin against God daily!

“…For there is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Christs sinlessness).  (Romans 3:22-23)

While our daily sins do NOT affect our family STANDING in Christ Jesus - they most certainly affect our STATE, our fellowship with God and with others of ‘…like precious faith…’ in Christ.  We need to confess such sins continually in prayer to God.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:9)  What a Saviour!

Yet, just look again at our text for today!  Hear the chilling words of Jesus to the Pharisees and worldlings who sought to dispute His truth:  I (Christ Jesus) said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins. (V.24)  What an Eternal doom.

Thought:  We that have heard, trusted and obeyed the Divine Word of God in time - and are thus assured of spending our Eternity in Heaven.