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…”
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 God’s gifts of repentance and faith in Christ Jesus; subjected your fallen human will to the Divine will of Almighty God; and trusted Christ’s 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 Lord’s 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 today’s 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 God’s 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.