This past Sunday Pastor Tim preached on a sermon titled, “I am,” (John 8:31-59).
There’s so much packed in these verses you could spend an entire study on them. The three main points covered by P. Tim were the truth, the devil that lies, and the “I AM” that saves.
Many of us search for truth. We seek truth in self help books, TED talks, and evening news. But Jesus lays it down harsh in our passage today, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Here Jesus is saying, if you abide in my word, than you are a real disciple, a changed heart, you’ve moved from dark into light (a previous sermon), a born again follower of Christ! The truth is – you are no longer children of the devil but children of God because you abide in His word. You are no longer slaves to sin but have been freed from the eternal grasp of sin which leads to death.
So Jesus lays it down beautifully but what happens next in our passage? The Jews reject the wordhiding behind their self-righteousness and pedigree. They totally miss the point of the truth and instead hang their faith on being sons of Abraham. They are so blinded by their self justification they instead want to kill the one that saves. At this point – it’s easy for us to question their motives but how many times have we done the same thing? We hide behind our self imposed standard of morality, or the faith of our forefathers as if it could be added to our account, or simply rely on our ethnic pride for self justification.
The Devil that lies:
Ugh, it’s ironic that the Jews claim to be sons of Abraham, free of slavery, and children of God and yet want to murder and refuse the one true truth-bearer. Come again? Yeah – totally exposes their heart of sin and their slavery to their deceitful father, the devil. No one wants to be called a slave, much less the Jews in our passage. But that’s exactly what we are if we do not have Christ – slaves to sin – Ouch! Many of us try to water down the gospel so that it’s more pleasing on the ear, more in line with our personal theology, but the main point here is that unless Jesus is your personal Lord and savior you are a S-L-A-V-E to sin, a slave to the father of lies, the devil.
I AM that saves:
Jesus teaches us that the truth will set us free. He is the God I Am who took on flesh to die for the sins of man. Simple matter of fact, if we do not have Jesus then we do not have the Father for Jesus came from the Father. We can try to justify our lives based on our works, our ethical standards, and even our religiosity but if we do not have Christ then we are still slaves of sin.
New Life, Jesus is the I AM that saves. If you want to be a child of God, a child free from slavery, then you need to be born into the family. “If Son sets you free, you are free indeed.” May His grace drive that point into our hearts today and remind us of how blessed we are to have Him as our Lord and King.
PS. Please continue to pray for our STM Team of Sarah, Patience, and Sarang as they serve faithfully in Cambodia and for their safe return.
Photo Credit: Here