Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11574
11:00 AM on 11/11/2018
Would you stand with me in the name of Jesus. Good song. I like the rhythm of the song and the voices. A great couple there.
I want you to have a good spirit and attitude. The anointing of God is on us today. Maybe you are quiet and cold. Maybe you came out on a cold morning day. Maybe you are focused and ready to listen to a good message. Encourage the person next to you quietly or personally or loudly. Make sure you are up and awake. Have you ever felt that the Christian life is somehow complicated? Maybe a bad question. Let’s move on! Let me say it this way. Have you ever met someone on the street and you explain to them your faith and they say it’s too complicated. Have you ever knocked on a door, we did yesterday talking and sharing and someone said I believe in God but I’m not interested in organized religion. Have you ever met someone not a believer and they say it’s too much for me. There’s Baptists and Presbyterians and Pentecostals and Muslims and Jews and philopshers. How can you figure that out? How can you be a believer? How do you know I was talking recently to a young man and he was saying to me that do you think you know and other people can’t know? What do you think, you know the way? Are you the only one? How would you talk to them?
The answer is in Jn 7. I want to use this chapter for our learning today. The main point of our message is the simplicity that is in Jesus Christ. We are in a divided world. Is my microphone too loud? It’s driving me crazy. We are in a divided world. The culture of our country it seems like there is something godly like I want to be responsible. I want to restrain my impulses. I want to have moral restraint. I want to be accountable to authority. I want to be wise. I want to sacrifice if I need to sacrifice. If it’s the right thing to do I will do it. Then there is another way. Don’t tell me what to do, what is right and wrong. There is no such thing anyway. It’s man made. I can do as a I please. I don’t like authority and I’m not looking for it. It’s nothing new. In both worlds there is a great need for what we are going to speak about today. I’m so glad as we come to the holiday there are people that are asking these questions and looking for something deeper and personal which Jesus Christ came into the world to give us. We have to say it’s sometimes hard for people to find the way. When I talked to this young man who said you think you know the way that you are right? I answered him. If I had 100 people lined up and asked them what they believed, how many different ideas would there be? Maybe 100. I join the group and I say something and how do I know what I am saying. I’m just another voice. I said to him, I am not the answer. But there is somebody that is the answer. And this is Jn 7. I love this chapter because it’s all about confusion. This chapter is about confusion.
Let me draw a diagram of confusion. In this chapter, this is how the chapter goes. Jn 7:5 Jesus’ brothers and sisters did not believe in him.
vs. 12. Jesus is a good man some say. No, he deceives the people.
vs. 15. What does that verse mean? They were amazed. Basically he doesn’t have a rabbi. He hasn’t been to school. He doesn’t have a rabbi. How did he learn these things? When he was 12 as a little boy and now he’s 30 and got the crowds listening to him.
Lk 4:32, they are amazed how he talks, his depth and wisdom. Yeah, but he has a demon. He’s deceiving the people. No, he’s a good man. In our world, there is a lot of confusion. There is confusion about social issues. There is abortion and homosexuality and marijuana – what is good for the people, bad for the people. Poverty question, racial question, education and the lack of it. When it comes to Jesus Christ, he is always someone they can’t figure out.
vs. 20. What a terrible thing to say to Christ. You have a devil. You see in this chapter Christ is in a troubled world, very divided and they can’t figure him out. It hasn’t changed. When you meet people who are not believers, don’t be upset or disturbed by it. In the middle of the chapter is the answer for all the confusion.
vs. 25-27. Where did they get that idea?
Micah 5:2 says Bethlehem, you are the smallest of all in the tribe of Judah yet out of you comes the Everlasting One from Bethlehem. They didn’t have Google. They couldn’t have an IPhone. They couldn’t do the research. There is that kind of talk in theological circles too. People who study the Bible and haven’t found Christ. I grew up in a particular church all my life but I didn’t know Christ. The same is happening in this chapter. When you touch the humanity of Jesus, you think you are touching only a human being but when you touch Christ, you are touching God. We are starting our holiday series and handing out cards to take to work and share the message and bring people to church during the holidays. The theme is “Mary, what did you know?” from the song Mary Did You Know when touching your baby you were touching the face of God. Mary, what did you know? There are people that hide behind the complexity and confusion and say you can’t know. Nobody knows. You don’t know. And then they talk. This is a lot of talk.
vs. 31, 40, 41, 43, 46, 47, 50. There is Nicodemus appearing. He meets Jesus in chapter 3. He is giving a word here.
vs. 51, 53. They went to their own house. What should we do with this chapter? Everybody goes to their own house and are in unbelief. Some are believers and some are not sure, some are confused. The answer in the middle of the confusion.
Jn 7:16. If you took 100 people and asked them what they believe, what would they say? I believe. Next person, I believe. Next one. I believe. You ask Jesus. My doctrine is not mine but he sent me.
vs. 17. Here’s the simplicity. He will know of the doctrine. Is it of God? You know what he will say? It is of God. He will know that if he does his will. This is the world of opinion and confusion and talk and excuses. You’re a Baptist, a Presbyterian or this and that. It’s too much for me. I’m not interested. Here’s a good answer. If you do his will, you will know the doctrine that it is of God. You will know God if you do his will. But if you escape your responsibility by your excuses and be tired of the confusion, then it’s enough to tire out anybody. It’s frustrating. I hear people talking and it’s exhausting.
To those that hear and believe that Christ is the answer then it says in Jn 1 and vs. 16. That he is the fullness of God. When Jesus was here, he was not only a human being. God walked amongst us and they beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father. The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by J.C. This is our celebration that it’s simple and real and it works.
God is interesting because Ps 36:9 he says in your light we will see light. It’s almost the Lord is not expecting us to sort through all the confusion in life but walk in the light we have received. As we walk in that light, the light is real light.
The light of the righteous…shining ever brighter unto the perfect day in Prov. 4:18. Things about Christ we discover when we believe in him and do his will. The life of Christ is what we find and discover.
Col 1:15-21, seven descriptive titles of who Christ is, unique characteristics of Christ. We see him in his humanity but this is Christ as God. And this is why we worship him.
Ex. 20 says you can’t worship anything God has created, no animal, people, stars or moon or cosmos. Nothing God has made. Jesus comes made as a human but we have to understand him as more. God pulls a veil back and this is not just a man or prophet or miracle worker. This is God in the flesh. This is God touching us and coming into our world. This is where we find out who God is. Left to ourselves, we wonder who God is. We cannot really see him or handle him without him coming here. This is the marvel of our faith. The living God, the Almighty God came here to reveal himself to us. Many people make mistakes about him. They considered him only a deceiver or prophet or some rabbi of some kind. This was much more. This was the word became flesh and dwelt amongst us. In the U.S., there are a lot of different values. A lot of things are changing. People that don’t have moral roots, they want to leave them or have left them. Instead of sacrifice, I am free to do what I want to do. My passions and desires and feelings. This is sad. Life is made to be lived a certain way. In Proverbs this word discretion. I did a word study on it.
It’s used in Prov. 1:4 a man having discretion. It’s a positive meaning and negative meaning too for evil people having planning or purpose or plot. In a positive way, it is linked with knowledge and prudence. It guards someone from being harmed.
Defining wisdom by the writer and it has the meaning of plot, Prov. 30:32 and wise woman of Prov. 31:16 to consider her ways or plotting or discretion. She sees things and how they are going. Where could I find this wisdom or discretion? God became a man and we could be with him and receive an understanding of what works. Another thing about this wisdom is ultimately the bottom line is does it work in practice. This is what happened in your life. Jesus came into your life and you started to figure out how this goes. Make decisions based on what the Holy Spirit says to you. Based on the mind of Christ in the Bible.
You become a worshipper of Jesus not just as a man but Jesus as the image of God, Col. 1:15. Let’s look at this list. The image of the invisible God. When we see Jesus, we see God. We hear his parables and we heard God. See his quiet, tender kindness we see God. When we see him on the cross without violence. He is violated but he is forgiving. We see God. He is the firstborn of every creature. He is the beginning of the creation of God. Before the creation, he is the one who is going to create. He is the tool, the instrument, the trinity by which everything is made. He is the executor of the Father’s heart and plan. The Father made, the Son made. The universe was made by God the trinity. Some verses we see the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. Christ is the one mentioned here in this verse. The creator. By him were all things created. Mary did you know when you touched the baby Jesus you touched the face of God? We have found Christ and we have found the fullness of God. A never ending well. A fountain that has no end. An inexcusable fountain of resource, the pleroma or fullness of God. We are believers in Christ. We have found Christ. Out of our belly will flow rivers of living water. Infinitely without any end. God does not get weary. I listened to a short clip of Dr. Stevens on YouTube. He said God doesn’t get weary of our sin. He is grieved by our sin but he doesn’t get weary. He doesn’t faint.
Is 40:28. If I sin, if I sin, if I sin. Who is Christ? He is the Christ that forgives our sin. He is the restorer of our soul. He is the way, truth, life. He is the transcendent God. We touch his humanity and we don’t know we are touching God. Thomas found him and put your finger in my side. He went down on the ground, my Lord and my God. For a Jew that is out of the box. A human being, my Lord and my God.
Remember the controversy of Jesus forgiving sin in Mark 2. He forgave the paralyzed man. Who could forgive? Only God could forgive. Such blasphemy. Jesus discerning and knowing what they are thinking. You find it incredible I forgive sin? It’s also incredible I say take up your bed and walk. This is not just a man. This is the fountain, the never ending resource, the solution for humanity. Our country is divided and will be in some measure but we are here to say out of the 100 people. My doctrine is not mine. I am not the answer for the problems. I add to the confusion. I know him who said my doctrine is not mine. You will know the doctrine if you do his will. I don’t speak of myself. Everyone is speaking from themselves whatever comes through their house. Whatever impulse they have, whatever they want to say and do and that’s how they live but no discretion. When we find Christ, we find discretion. I have self-restraint because of the Holy Spirit. I‘ll do God’s will and I will know of the doctrine. I will have the joy of God, the clarity of God in my heart and life, some sense of direction from Jesus. People say how do you live your life? Why do you have peace and joy? Believe me it’s not me. It’s not complicated. The world would say it’s so complicated so quit. Don’t try. No. If you want to find him, you can find him. If you seek him, you will find him. If you knock, it is open. Ask and you will receive. Luke 11.
Col 1:16, who has believed our report. To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? I know some of you know this because we said it through the years. When God made the universe, he used his fingers. By his fingers he made the universe. When he saved you, what did he use? His arm. What was harder? Creation or salvation. I don’t know actually but it seems to me when he came here it was a manifestation of God that angels never saw before. They saw his power in creation but in his salvation they see his humility and his love. I think as Americans we need more love in our lives. We have an amazing country. I love our country.
The wrath of God does not fulfill the will of God in James 1. When the world is angry, the believer is peaceful, wise, discretion, God’s wisdom, sacrifice, responsibility, emptiness of self and ministry of life. What our country needs is a revival, a spiritual discovery of J.C. Not arguing over our different positions. There is a place. I understand. But so much talk and anger and frustration between people. We find another way. In Bethlehem, there was worship and angels. Peace on earth because of him. Good will toward men. Good will toward you. Good will towards men because our God is not a man he would lie or take up a sword and fight as some religious mindsets do. He is a living God and humble and kind and gracious and sacrificial and listening and wise. This is what Jesus is saying in the midst of this confusion. Every man went to his own house. I wonder what they are thinking in their own house. He’s a devil. Another house. It’s sad. When we find Jesus, we find each other. We find Jesus Christ in fellowship. We find Jesus and we are worshipping Jesus in God’s house. My own house, my own party, my own group. We find Jesus and he breaks the walls down. We understand it is very complicated but we have found simplicity, reality, God, and a solution. We find Jesus is the way. We find love for each other, wisdom and discretion. We are able to refrain ourselves morally because we have spirituality. I feel like it but won’t do it because it’s not right. I’m going to do God’s will. As I do God’s will, I find the doctrine. The doctrine is from God that sets the soul free from itself. We find peace now and depth.
vs. 18. He is the head of the church, the Body. We were in Israel two weeks ago and went into one church, a holy site and a lot of tourists were around. At the pool of Bethesda where the man was laying for 38 years is a church there from the 12th century. We had our devotion there. I said we can go into the church and look around. It was filled with a hymn, a gospel hymn. There were Americans in there singing as a choir. We all joined in because we all knew the song. Big vacuous ceiling echoing with a beautiful song. We are worshipping with people we don’t know and they are our sisters and brothers because we have the same Christ. Who knows where they are from but are American folks and a few hundred. Our group was added in and Filipinos and pilgrims in Israel. We were singing. I was thinking of heaven. Christ is the head of the church. The church is real. We are not talking about whether you believe this or that. If we do his will, we will know the doctrine. He is not speaking for himself. His will for us is to love one another. To care for each other and have God’s heart and mind and live with discretion in difficult times. Understand the difference between truth and a lie and a smoke screen and mirrors and smoke.
I was reading Jer. 17:9, the heart is deceitful above all things. We know the verse for 40 years. I was thinking about it. Above everything. It’s deceitful above everything. The decoy, the duck, floating decoy. How many Saddam Hussein’s were there? Nine different ones. Would the true Saddam Hussein come forward? Copies of documents. Deceit. But most deceitful thing is the human heart. No human being can find the real one. God says the only answer for it is death and my Son did it. I am God and the human heart can know God. The most deceitful thing has been judged by God and he gave us a new one. You can be face to face with God and say I’m not lying. Jacob as a deceiver. It’s like the human race. You can’t tell. Jesus cuts through all of it. If you do his will, you will know the truth. The truth will be real for you. When you know God, you have this supply of God. This forgiveness from God. He doesn’t get weary or tired. He is the everlasting God and he says there is no end to my love, my forgiveness, my patience, my nature. When you find Jesus you find God. When you know Christ by faith, you are knowing the living God. This is our privilege and honor. He said to the woman at the well, I give you water and you’ll never thirst. She said nothing to draw with. She is thinking of a bucket. She had no idea who she is talking to. I draw water forever and ever and ever and water that is not like this water but it is everlasting water and there is no end. It is forever and ever. I am Christ.
That’s who he is for us. That’s the reality. He is the head of the church. He is the Christ, the way, the bread, the door, the living water. The ultimately answer for the human heart. We don’t have to worry about the complexities of the world. We do his will and know the doctrine that is not from men. It’s God.
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