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Sermon 04-27-07

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Title: Seeing the Light

Date:  27 April 2007

Theme:  Truth

Biblical Reference:  John 8:31-36

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you  abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

33They answered Him,  “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And  a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36  Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Introduction: 

Lead Sentence:  In a world that is consumed with darkness and evil, it may become difficult to see any hope.  Many have searched for different reasons as to why we exist or whom should we believe in.  In a crucial moment before Jesus’ death, we see that Pontius Pilate asked Him “what is Truth?” (John 18:38) Perhaps we see that this man of power had many things under his control but he was lacking the key to real life.  Many believe that the truth lies in money, fortune, fame, and other things.  As we pay close attention, not only to what we read in the Bible, but also to what we see in society today, we notice a trend that has been man’s downfall.  There are at least two things that have blinded humanity from seeing the truth.

1.    PridePride was one of the chief reasons that Lucifer, a high-ranking angel who ministered to God fell.  He thought himself better than God and tried to assume God’s throne. (Isaiah 14:12-15)  In the same way, we, the human race, have patterned ourselves to “think” that we are better than God.

2.   Power:  Many would probably agree that another reason we can look to is power.  This five-letter word has caused the destruction of countless families, empires, and enterprises.  After all Rome was one of many empires in the history of humankind to see themselves rise, maintain, and lose power.  Just like pride, when we think that we have outsmarted God, he has always proven that He is in control.

Sermonic Explanation:  It is not only important to analyze these two things which I have pointed out, but also to reflect on what the biblical perspective of truth is and how we measure up to it.

Proposition:  Living in Biblical Truth will produce freedom to have fellowship with God.

Transitional Sentence:  Every person who believes in Jesus Christ can experience freedom if they are willing to live in the truth.

Body:

1.    What is life like before the Truth? (vv. 34-35)

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And  a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.

a.   It is a life concentrated solely on “us”.  We have completely disregarded God and have taken Him out of the equation.  Jesus considers us to be “slaves to sin” when we live this lifestyle.      

                                         i.    If we are a slave, this means that we are owned by something

1.    The life that we live is not our own, but it’s a life that is driven by an obsession, object, or desire.

2.   You are bound to something and therefore become an instrument of labor for it.

                                       ii.    “Slaves to sin” do not glorify God

1.    We live in willful disobedience of God.

2.   This can occur in 3 ways

1.    thoughts

2.   deeds

3.   words

b.   This is a typical behavior that we not only believe to be the best thing for us but ultimately it begins to steer us in the wrong direction, and can eventually destroy us.  Life without Jesus can easily spiral out of control.

2.    What is life like during the Truth? (vs. 31)

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you  abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  Where do we begin?

(Illustration)     When I went through Marine Corps Boot Camp at Parris Island SC.  It was a process of stripping away my old self and being indoctrinated into a military lifestyle.  This process was arduous and seemed impossible at times but at the end it was fruitful and was part of who I am today. How difficult can it be to abide in “His word”?

a.   We can begin our search for the truth by making Jesus the center of our lives.  

                                         i.    This action requires an active decision on our behalf.

                                       ii.    It takes us out of our comfort zone.

                                      iii.    This is contrary to what the flesh desires.

                                      iv.    We surrender our lives to His will.

b.   We may have to confront things about us that can seem to crush us.  The Holy Spirit begins His “cleaning house project” in our hearts, exposing deep hidden truths about who we really are.

                                         i.    Past situations: Divorce, adoption, abuses, etc.

                                       ii.    Current situations: Money, relationships, society, etc.

c.   We have to embrace the truth about who we are, we need to give up whatever is hindering us, and put it at the feet of Jesus.  Once we have reached this step, we should no longer be sitting on the throne of our lives.  It no longer is about us, but about Jesus.

d.   We cease being slaves to sin (vs. 35) 35 And  a slave does not abide in  the house forever, but a son abides forever.

3.   What is life like after Truth? (vs. 32)  

32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 36  Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

a.   Jesus exposes the truth about sin.

b.   We feel a sense of relief.  There is nothing else hidden.  God has given us a fresh start.

c.   We have access to God.

                              i.   We can cry out to God knowing he is there for us as a refuge.

                                       ii.    We can have fellowship with God

d.   We have been made free of our burdens (vs. 36)36  Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

                                         i.    Free to worship and glorify God.

                                       ii.    Free to live as a child of God Almighty.

e.   We have peace that surpasses all understanding!(Philippians 4:7) 

7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Objective Statement:  When we began this message, we started with a quote by Pontius Pilate when he asked Jesus “What is truth?” (John 18:38).  Many things have changed throughout history but as we can see truth today is as important to us today as it was when Jesus was on the earth. 

Conclusion:  It is important to realize the value of living in the truth that is Jesus Christ.  We can lie to ourselves but what we must realize is that God knows more about us as individuals then we know about ourselves.  If you are experiencing difficulty in your life, if you feel like your not free, I challenge you today to seek a more intimate relationship with Jesus.  We should all take a look in the mirror of our hearts and ask Jesus to give us an honest evaluation of who we really are.  Once you discover what is holding you back, you will find that the truth will give you victory in your walk with Jesus. Are you living in the truth?

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