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8 37-47 Do You Know Your Spiritual Father

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                                                  liberty bible church          9/28/08 a.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“Do you know your spiritual father?”

John 8:37-47

introduction

Illus. of “Fixing Our Mistakes” A minister and lawyer were chatting: "What do you do if you make a mistake on a case?" the minister asked. "Try to fix it if it's big; ignore it if it's insignificant," replied the lawyer. "What do you do?" The lawyer replied. "Oh, more or less the same. Let me give you an example. The other day I meant to say 'the devil is the father of liars,' but instead I said 'the devil is the father of lawyers,' so I let it go."

No one would ever want to admit that the devil is their father, yet for the majority of the world, the reality is that he is and they don’t even know it. The problem, if this is true, is who can you trust? How do we know if we are being told the truth by anyone? An even more important question is, how can we know if the devil is our father? The answer to this is in our passage today.

OPEN to the passage.

Prop. In this passage, we see how to tell who our spiritual father is.  

Open in PRAYER.

PREVIEW the passage. It’s been a couple of weeks since we have been here, but Jesus is still speaking with a crowd, among whom are many religious leaders, at the Feast of Tabernacles. He has claimed to be God and Messiah and some had even made a profession of faith in Him, how genuine that was we don’t know. The topic two weeks ago was whether or not those professing Christ lived like Christ and truth and the knowledge of the truth was a central theme. Cf. v 31-36 That theme is continued here in His discussion concerning the difference between the children of God and the children of the devil, there is no in between. SO, how do we know where we fit? Let’s start with…

 i. if god were your father… vs. 37-43

Illus. of every child carries traits from their father, some physical, some behavioral, but we exhibit their traits. We just spent some time with my family in Alabama and my dad’s brothers always tell me how I remind them of him, not so much in looks but mannerisms. The same is true spiritually. We will display the traits of our spiritual father. First, what are we like when our spiritual father is God? This first trait is seen in the negative.

a. You would not oppose Jesus and HIs WOrd     

V 37a   1. Jesus knew that they were Abraham’s descendants, physically. They were part of the chosen people. But, they were mistaken in thinking that made them children of God. They could be physical descendants of Abraham without being spiritual descendants. Cf. Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6, 8; Gal. 3:29

V 37b  2. They revealed who they were by the way that they responded to the person and words of Jesus. They rejected Him so much that the leadership was actively seeking a way to kill Him. Illus. of those today that cannot accept the Bible are merely revealing whose child they really are.

V 38    3. Jesus, as He has said before in this conversation, was merely speaking the words that His Father had given Him to say to these people. V 26 How they responded revealed whose child they were. They did exactly what their father had instructed them to do. This sounds a bit confusing at this point, which is why their answer upcoming was what it was.

V 39a   4. The Jews respond to Jesus by pointing out that Abraham was their father. They were trusting in their Jewish heritage. John the Baptist had warned them about the danger in this. Cf. Luke 3:8. Earthly heritage does not make us children of God. Cf. John 1:12-13 Second, if God were your father…

b. You would obey God’s word

V 39b  1. What were the works of Abraham? He believed and obeyed God. Abraham believed God and it was accounted to Him for righteousness. These people didn’t even believe the words of Jesus. How could they obey Him.

V 40    2. They were rejecting God’s messenger and His Word. Instead, they sought to kill Him. Abraham was obedient to God and His Word. Children of God obey Him.

V 41a   3. They did the deeds of their father. Their father was different as were their works.

V 41b  4. Their only argument was at least they knew who their father was. They felt that they had a heavenly origin with how Abraham was chosen, as were they. Perhaps they were taking a swipe at Jesus’ heritage. Perhaps it was rumored that He was illegitimate at His birth. Once again, children of God obey His Word. Third, if God were your father…

c. you would love him

V 42a   1. He’s part of the family. By nature, we love our families. If we don’t, that is a godless and unnatural state to be in. Jesus was from God. If they were, they would love Him.

V 42b  2. Jesus was God’s representative sent from God. Once again, if they loved God, they would love Jesus. Finally, if God were your father…

d. you would understand his word

V 43    1. They did not understand His Word because they were not able to spiritually discern it. If we oppose Jesus, we won’t understand what He says. We need to believe to receive His Spirit to understand fully His Word.

V 43    2. “not able to listen” means they are spiritually unable to respond. Without the Spirit, we cannot understand properly. Cf. 1 Cor. 2:14   

Trans. If God were your father, you would not oppose Jesus and His Word, you would obey God’s Word, you would love Him, and you would understand His Word. Now…

ii. if satan were your father… vs. 44-47

Illus. of DNA tests today can tell without a shadow of a doubt who a persons parents are. Jesus confirmed for these who their spiritual father was.

a. you want to do what the devil wants you to do    

V 44a   1. Our desire is to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. We do what we by nature desire rather than what God desires for us.

V 44b  2. Satan from the beginning wanted to bring death to the world and he succeeded by lies. He still does the same today. Cf. Gen. 3:4, 13

V 44c   3. He doesn’t even have the ability to tell the truth. If he does, it is just to set us up for a bigger lie later. Illus. gambling. We may win at first to set us up for a bigger fall later. Satan may tell truths or partial truths, but it is just to set us up for a bigger lie.

V 44d  4. He still seeks to lead people away from God, even believers. Cf. 2 Cor. 4:4 Any that embrace the lies of the devil prove their family origin, spiritually. When we live in the flesh, we prove Satan is our father.

b.  you refuse to believe in the power of God’s Word

V 45    1. They had no trouble believing the lies of Satan, but they did not believe in the Words that Jesus spoke. Children of the devil live in darkness because they hate the light. They hate what Jesus says. You cannot have God as father and live in darkness opposed to the Words of Jesus.

V 46a   2. They accused Jesus of many things, but they could not prove that He sinned. He was perfect. When they crucified Him, they had to bring in false witnesses to distort what happened.

V 46b  3. He was perfect, but they did not believe Him.

V 47a   4. This means that they hear and obey. Not just hear a sound. If God is your father, you obey His Word.

V 47b  5. The fact that they did not obey Jesus proved their spiritual origin. They were not of God. They were of the flesh and their spiritual father was Satan.

conclusion

If God were your father, you would not oppose Jesus and His Word, you would obey God’s Word, you would love Him, and you would understand His Word. If Satan were your father, you want to do what the devil wants you to do. You follow the flesh and you refuse to believe in the power of God’s Word. So, who’s your spiritual father?

1.      The good news is that you don’t have to keep the devil as your spiritual father. GOSPEL John 1:12-13

2.      Even as believers, we can fall into sin and our old ways. 1 John 1:9

3.      We can be overcomers by believing the words of Jesus and relying upon His power to have victory over sin.

Illus. of “800 Pacos” There’s a Spanish story of a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away, and the father set off to find him. He searched for months to no avail. Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father.” On Saturday 800 Pacos showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers.

God can be the father of all who come to Him, believing in His Son Jesus. He can be our protector, our guide, and our provider, if we trust in Him.

pRAY


“Do you know your spiritual father?”

John 8:37-47

introduction

No one would ever want to admit that the devil is their father, yet for the majority of the world, the reality is that he is and they don’t even know it.

 i. if god were your father… vs. 37-43

a. You would not oppose…    

                Cf. Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6, 8; Gal. 3:29; Luke 3:8; John 1:12-13

b. You would ____________________________________

c. you would ________________ ________________

d. you would ________________________ his word

                Cf. 1 Cor. 2:14    

ii. if satan were your father… vs. 44-47

a. you want to do what…   

                Cf. Gen. 3:4, 13; 2 Cor. 4:4

b.  you refuse to believe in…

conclusion

So, who’s your spiritual father?

1.        

2.        

                Cf. John 1:12-13

3.        

                Cf. 1 John 1:9

 

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