Jesus People Skills

Speak the Truth

June 10, 2018 • Monty Mullenix

Jesus People Skills: Speak the Truth John 8:12-30 I. Truth comes from God, our Father; 8:12-20. 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." 13 The Pharisees challenged him, "Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid." 14 Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me." 19 Then they asked him, "Where is your father?" "You do not know me or my Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew me, you would know my Father also." 20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple area near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his time had not yet come. Jesus’ opening words, “I am the light of the world,” are very impressive. The follower of Jesus “will never walk in darkness.” Far from being confined to darkness they will have “the light of life.” He is quickly challenged. Jesus appeals to the Father and Himself, and there is no other to whom He can appeal. The Jews prided themselves on their knowledge of their God; Jesus tells them they have no knowledge of Him at all. Jesus is the light to truth. He has provided all the proof we need. He wants to guide you to the truth of God. If you want to know God, you must know Jesus. Choose to know Jesus as Savior now, or face Him as Judge later. II. Truth is we’re all destined to die in our sin; 8:21-24. 21 Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come." 22 This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, 'Where I go, you cannot come'?" 23 But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." Jesus began by telling the Jews that He will leave them, and they will not be able to follow Him where he goes. The crowd concludes that Jesus must be going to His death. Jesus will indeed die, and this departure will be a return to His Father in heaven. They, however, will die in their sins. There is only one way of avoiding this fate; by believing in Jesus. Otherwise, we too will die in our sins; the worst thing that could happen to anyone. III. Truth is found in pleasing God; 8:25-30. 25 "Who are you?" they asked. "Just what I have been claiming all along," Jesus replied. 26 "I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world." 27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. 28 So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." 30 Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him. The crowd misses the point altogether. He is not a man with religious insight (from below, from the world), but God's Son (from above, from heaven). This prompts His audience to ask, "Who are you?" "Just what I have been claiming all along." But this sort of insight is beyond their grasp. Jesus goes on to point out that He has many things to say “about” (not “to”) them, and that these things concern judgment. But the right place and the right time to say such things are not yet. In the first section the discussion concludes with speculation about Jesus' capture. Now we have a description of some who believe. These two reactions parallel what we observed elsewhere in the Gospel where Jesus' audience divides: Some completely oppose Him, while others are receptive and welcoming. You can’t speak the truth, until you know the truth. When exposed to the truth that Jesus is the Son of God and the only way to God and eternal life, some are receptive, and others oppose until they die in their sins. With a gospel conversation, we are communicating the truth; truth that connects us to our Creator, our purpose, and how not to die in our sins.

Jesus People Skills

Love the Sinner Not the Sin • June 3, 2018 • Monty Mullenix

Jesus People Skills: Love the Sinner not the Sin John 8:1-11 1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" 11 "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." These men are making a legal charge. They possess the evidence the law requires to convict the woman. The law required strong testimony from two witnesses who saw the couple in a sexual context. The two witnesses had to see these things at the same time and place so that their testimonies would be identical. The law also expected that if a person witnessed another about to commit a sin, compassion required them to speak up. These witnesses stand silently, neglecting their moral obligation to give guidance to the woman. They apparently wanted to catch her and use her. The oral law in Jesus’ day specified that an unfaithful fiancé should be stoned, but wives strangled. In the present passage, the woman therefore must be engaged. But if so, where is her fiancé? If they were caught in the act, he was caught too. The accusers have permitted him to get away. The irony for women historically is that men have sinned with them—and then later accused them of sexual misconduct. Jesus responds with his often-quoted statement, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." This does not mean that this woman's accusers must be sinless or morally perfect in order to bring charges against the woman. In such a case, accusations would be impossible at any time. This is simply a direct reference to Deuteronomy 13:9 or 17:7, which says that those who witness a crime and bring home a successful accusation must be the first to stone the victim. But then the accusers must engage in self-examination. Women who transgressed social mores could find themselves in legal jeopardy much more quickly than their partners. Jesus may thus be cutting through the double standard to force the men to reflect on their own hypocrisy. Jesus resumes his writing, and the religious leaders begin departing one by one. John pictures one teacher departing, who is then followed by a succession of people eventually walking away, so that the accusers arrayed against the woman crumble bit by bit. But in the end, Jesus and the woman are left alone. Eventually you and Jesus stand alone to deal with how you dealt with your sin. Jesus straightens up and speaks to her for the first time. His questions do not imply that the woman is innocent since he warns her to cease a sinful life that has been her habit. Jesus' final words again do not imply innocence but reflect his sovereignty to forgive sin. Sin was not treated lightly by Jesus, but sinners were offered the opportunity to start life anew. Through the story she moves with shocking speed from death to life. This morning whoever you are and whatever you’ve done or are doing. Jesus offers forgiveness you to just as he did this woman. His words are the same. I don’t condemn you. I offer forgiveness if you put your faith in Jesus and ask for His forgiveness and repent or stop sinning. Jesus never offered forgiveness to those who planning on keeping on doing what they were doing. We as followers of Christ are called to live the sinner and point them to the forgiveness Jesus offers them without condoning, accepting or diminishing the sin. Our culture believes that to live the sinner you must accept their sinful lifestyles and choices. That it is impossible to live the sinner and not the sin, but this is exactly what Jesus did and still does through his body. The solution to the habitually sinful, the sinful lifestyles of someone in your life: Overlook or accept the sin. Condemn and reject the person. Love them and point them to forgiveness in Jesus, while never accepting or condoning the sinful choices.