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A Sinful Allegience

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As Christians what should we be spending our time and energy on? Where should our focus be? Should it be on work, family, church? Life is a balancing act isn’t it? So, how should we spend our time? What should be our focus?

“We all get meaning from our communities,” Zuckerberg said.
“Whether they’re churches, sports teams or neighborhood groups, they give us the strength to expand our horizons and care about broader issues. Studies have proven the more connected we are, the happier we feel and the healthier we are. People who go to church are more likely to volunteer and give to charity — not just because they’re religious, but because they’re part of a community.”
These are the words of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at a facebook communities summit on May 25, 2017.
Zuckerberg thinks of church as no different than a ball club with a coach as it’s leader.
“Think about it. A church doesn’t just come together. It has a pastor who cares for the well-being of their congregation, makes sure they have food and shelter. A Little League team has a coach who motivates the kids and helps them hit better. Leaders set the culture, inspire us, give us a safety net and look out for us.”
He even asked his community administrators to start acting like clergy do. He calls clergy leaders of this community group.
Now, there are a few ways that we can take thees statements.
1) We can look and say that he is encouraging facebook to take their inspiration from churches
2) That he is suggesting that facebook is and can replace churches
Problem with this is a misunderstanding of church. A misunderstanding of who the leader of the church really is: Jesus
But, here is what I took away from the article that is most disturbing and lean toward Zuckerberg suggesting that facebook could replace the church.
The other announcement in this article is tat facebook just surpassed their previous goal of 1 Billion users by announcing that they have successfully reached 2 Billion users.
Now, out of those 2 Billion how many of those are Christians? How many Christian’s are spending more and more time on facebook seeking something only the church can provide through other avenues.
Warning: We need to be aware that Satan works in some very creative ways but he also uses some very simple and subtle ways to promote that remaining sinful nature within us who are called Children of God.
What happens when God closes the eyes of men.
Satan works in subtle ways that takes our eyes of of Jesus and places them on things of this world.
Let’s look at the story before us to see what I mean:


Still trying to show Jesus as innocent.
He had not broken any Roman law nor was guilty of being a criminal in need of crucifixion.
John 19:12 ESV
From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”
We know Pilate was afraid of the crowd. Yet, he found no fault in Jesus. This was his dilemma.
So, he took a passive aggressive stance and listened to the people with the hopes of keeping the peace and not having a revolt.
He sat on his judgment seat - Elevated platform where judgments were made. It was his role to judge on behalf of the dilemma.
John 19:12–13 ESV
From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha.
Then he makes a great statement:
John 19:14 ESV
Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
John 19:
At this point he could be pronouncing him as their King. This may not be a mocking tone, but more of a statement of inauguration.
Pilate would have the authority to make Him King of the Jews.
John 19:15–16 ESV
They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus,
How did this crowd get so angry with Jesus that they wanted to kill him?
These men were consumed with the sin of their hearts. They were so filled with hate that they would say whatever they needed to so this man would die.
The men were so full of sin that they wanted this man dead. No grace, no mercy,
When God turns men over to their sin
Their s


Providence of God
God allowed this all to transpire so that Jesus would accomplish what he was sent to do - be the sacrificial lamb that the Passover represented
Illus: Abraham and Abimelech the king of Gerar (Gen 20)
Abraham told the King that he and Sarah were siblings and not married.
The King then took her to be his wife.
But, then he gets a visit from God:
Genesis 20:3–7 ESV
But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, “Lord, will you kill an innocent people? Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. Now then, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”
Gen 20:
So, God restrains sin or allows it to consume men as He desires.
For those who are not Christian and are unrighteous Paul says
Romans 1:21–25 ESV
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
God used this crowds indwelling sin to cry out: “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!”
When God turns men over to their sin there is usually a horrific result
John 19:15 ESV
They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
John 19:15
Their allegiance was to the civil authorities rather than to God
Why? Sin had been fostered in their hearts to have such a hatred for Jesus
As Christians we have been delivered from that, but it does not mean that sin will never be a challenge for us.
We call this Christian Liberty/Liberty of the Conscience:
Christian Liberty
The Westminster Confession of Faith: Edinburgh Edition Chapter XX. Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience

THE liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law; and in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin,b from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation; as also in their free access to God,d and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love, and willing mind. All which were common also to believers under the law;f but under the new testament, the liberty of Christians is farther enlarged in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected, and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.i

Jesus victory over sin and death is a real and present victory in this battle of sin that we have
It is a victory of obedience to God rather than to Satan’s temptation or our sinful desires
Satan simply takes the desires of our hearts and twist them to be appealing and pleasing
The Westminster Confession of Faith: Edinburgh Edition Chapter XX. Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience

III. They who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, do practise any sin, or cherish any lust, do thereby destroy the end of Christian liberty; which is, that, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

Christian liberty gives us the freedom to obey God. Something the world does not have.
So, how oh dear Christian are we faring in this battle?
I can tell you from what I have heard this week in many conversations that many of us are failing. I can tell you as your pastor that I too often fail.
What things consume our minds and thoughts that draw us away from God? What conversations are on our tongues that cause division and bitterness rather than community and love.
Illus: One of the reasons I don’t use facebook as much as I used to is because it is a very unhealthy way to communicate. I have read comments by others that are definitely straight from a sinful heart and have nothing to do with Christian love and charity. And, these people claiming to be Christians neither show nor dare I say have ever tasted the love of Christ in their own heart. And, I become saddened. So, I read less and engage less.


1) In God’s providence he has not let sin consume us. This does not mean that the battle does not continue. Let us pray to him and ask for him to continually remove the sins of our hearts.
As David said:

10  Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and renew a right spirit within me.

11  Cast me not away from your presence,

and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

12  Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Are we devoted to obedience to Jesus Christ or obedience to our own heart’s desires?
2) Thank God for Liberty of the Conscience
That he has freed you from the bondage of sin and given you the ability to utilize those mans of grace to be drawn closer to him rather than closer to sin.
As Christians where we spend our time and energy says a lot about what we are devoted to and dedicated to doesn’t it?
Are we devoted to obedience to Jesus Christ or obedience to our own heart’s desires?
3) Thank God that he has given us the source of what we need in relationship and community - Jesus Christ and His Church
Jay Adams puts it this way - when two Christians come together and real conversations happen, those with depth and meaning, then the Spirit of Jesus in each of us is stirred up and there is a quickening that takes places. We are edified by one another, not torn down, not manipulated, not destroyed, but lifted up as a redeemed child of God and encouraged.
This is something no other source or attempt to foster community and relationships will ever accomplish. There is nothing more simple than a group of like minded redeemed by the blood of the lamb individuals gathering around the means of grace and being drawn to Christ Jesus.
Back to facebook for a minute:
The reason Mark Zuckerberg thinks this way is because he has no idea what the church is. And, I would argue that many of us do not either.
The reason facebook can never supplant the church is for one very good reason: Jesus is the King and the Head of it. Facebook cannot make that claim.
Where do we spend our time? In prayer, in His word, in the things of this world? Now, don’t get me wrong, we must take care of the daily agendas and work before us. But, in what ways do we spend drawing closer to God and away from our sin? Are there times when we are watching TV, checking facebook, surfing the web, or for some maybe even worse, when we should be seeking God’s grace?
Folks, we need to be careful with all avenues in which Satan uses to occupy our heart and time. I am not saying facebook is bad. All things in moderation can be useful. What I am saying is many of us are falling prey to the devil and entering into his playground daily in various ways to allow for our sin to be fostered. And, here is why this scares me. It does so because as sin takes root and is allowed to grow and mature in our life we quickly become blind.
And, dare I say we confess the same thing daily which the Jewish leaders did in this story.

“We have no king but Caesar.”

May it never be so . . . Amen
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