20 July 2002, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
TITLE: THE TRUTH
SCRIPTURE READING: JOHN 8:12-32
THEME: THE TRUE DOCTINE OF GOD RELATED TO TRIBULATION AND SUFFERING
In John 8:32 Jesus stated that if we "continue" in His word, we "shall know the truth, and the truth will make (us) free". Again in John 7:16-17 He said, " My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me, If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God,..."
If that is so why is it that we have division and confusion of thought over why suffering and trouble come our way. Why does God allow the world to throw so much negative stuff at us?
This week two people in particular asked me the BIG WHY? Why has my grandson been unprotected from drugs. Why has so much tragedy and sadness been allowed to harass my family for years? WHY? "I thought God was kind and loving", one person said. I had to honestly say that I did not know the detailed reasons for the apparent disinterest of God.
So today even in our church there is division and some confusion as to what God is on about.
I would like to survey Scripture today and make some suggestions as to how Jesus dealt with division and confusion over The Truth and the True Doctrine.
JOHN CHAPTER 7 Read the entire chapter
In John chapters 7 and 8 we find clues as to how Jesus handled the division among the Jews as to the doctine of God and the Divinity of Jesus as Messiah.
It is about mid-term in Christ's Ministry. It is about 29A.D. The leaders of the Jews were seeking to kill Jesus Christ. He was at this time in Galilea. The Feast of Tabernacles was about to convene in Jerusalem. His own brothers were prompting him to go to Judea and show off his miraculous works and "supposed" divine powers. They did not believe in him. Verse 5 makes this clear.
The entire chapter deals with the division and confusion among the Jews in Jerusalem. Verse 12 sums it up, some said He was a good man others believed he was a deceiver of the people. Jesus went to the temple and taught there, and Jews marvelled as to his ability to speak and depth of His knowledge.
In verse 16 it appears that Jesus is claiming that the source of the truth and doctrine He shares is God the Father. He is also claiming that the Father sent Him to explain about God and the Messiah whom He was. He is declaring His own divinity, see verses 28-29. Some believed some said He was at least possessed of a devil. The Pharisees and chief priests sent officers to arrest Christ for trial and killing. The debate continues to deepen.
On the last day of the feast Jesus appealed to all to come to Him for spiritual drink. He virtually claimed divinity and power to give the Holy Spirit. see verses 37-40. The division grew, see verse 43. Some claimed He was The Prophet and others The Messiah. The chief priests and Pharisees were angry that the officers sent to "get" Him, returned empty handed. It only added insult to injury when they claimed that they were impressed by Him and that they had never heard anyone like it! verse 46. The Pharisees asked them if they knew of any Pharisee who was "deceived" by Him. Nicodemous, himself a Pharisee, obviously was impressed by Christ because He plead for justice on Christ's behalf and the debate was adjourned. See verses 45-53.
JOHN CHAPTER 8
The next day we find Jesus in the Temple continuing with teachinfg the people. The scribes and Pharisees also returned to continue their discussion, division and disbelief. They dragged in before him an unfortunate lady caught in adultery. This, not to judge her, they beleived the Law took care of that issue. Their aim was to judge and condemn Jesus. They sought Jewish justice. Jesus gave heavens justice. He displayed their seduction and sins in the dust and accused them of their hypocricy. Jesus displayed His divine power to forgive sin and recommended that the women depart and plan to sin no more. see verses 1-11.
In verse 13 and following, Jesus continues to claim His divinity and His relationship with the Father.
"I am the light of the world, ... the light of life." see also verses 16 and 18 where He claims again that He is divine and sent by the Father. In John 14:6 He made the definitive statement, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me." End of discussion. No need for division and confusion of the doctrine of God and the Messiah. Questions ? Yes. We still have the whys, we cannot understand. Jesus dealt with that issue also.
The key to the issue of our whys? The key to the Jews problem and cause of their unbelief is laid open by
Jesus in vers 15. "You (we) judge" (come to incorrect conclusions) because you (we) are "flesh." That is it. We are human and have human understanding and ideas. As He explained further in verse23, "you are from beneath; I am from above; you are of this world; I am not of this world." That is why we may never know in the life the answer to WHY? Why God allows suffering and tribulation to be thrown at us by the world. Main reason is that we are here in the devil's kingdom. Then comes the warning in verse 24. If we do not beleive Him we will die in our sins. Twice He made that plain. That is the issue. That is the doctrine. That is the truth. His father is God. He is the divine human Son and was sent to suffer and die for us so as to save us from our sins. He suffered living under the threat of death by the Jews. He suffers rejection as God. In verse 26 Jesus emphasises that the Father who sent Him is "true", reliable, trustworthy and can be depended upon.
In verses 28-29 Jesus claims that the One who sent Him works in tandum with Him. He stated that when He would be crucified He would be knownn as Messiah. How did Christ suffer. "The Father has not left me alone." Jesus was not left to suffer alone. That is the issue, nor are we left to suffer alone.
Again Jesus makes it plain to us all. If we continue to believe His word and remain and continue as His disciples, we will know and understand the the doctrine of truth and it will make us free. Free from division and free from confusion. Free from the torments of WHY?
The division of the Jews continues. Jesus continues to claim divinity and accusses them of being devils - of their father the devil. Then in verse 51 comes the climax to the issue. If you obey my message you "shall never die" Now it is obvious that we all die. He was saying that we will never die the second death - for ever. Jesus here is intimating that the gift of resurrection is for all who believe and obey. All those who believe that He is Messiah and sent by God the Father. So WHY do we suffer.
WHY? WHY? WHY?
Jesus never promised otherwise. In John 16:33 he promised the worst forms of suffering and trouble. " In the world you shall have tribulation." But I have spoken so that you will "have peace" of mind and understanding. We are to be cheerful because He has overcome and we can share that victory.
So remember. We cannot blame God or the devil for all of our suffering. Much of our trouble is self inflicted and personally brought upon ourselves. Yes, Satan is the father of sin but we have the choice of who we obey. Some more verses in the N.T. that cast light on the WHY problem, see Romans 8:17-18; 2 Tim 3:12; Phil1:29; 1 Peter 2:21; 5:10.
HOW TO HANDLE THE WHYS
Believe and trust God unconditionally. Believe "the doctrine." Believe "the Truth."
Job left us an example. Job 13:15-18. "Though He slays me yet will I trust Him"
The Hebrew saints who were threatened with a good cooking with fire 7 times hotter under their tails made their views on Why very clear. Whatever God allows Nebuchadnessar , you know and understand, "we will not serve your Gods." Dan 3:16-18
Out attitude, our perspective our, handling of the issue, our belief of the doctrine of God is summarized in
2Cor 4:7-18 by Pastor Paul.
Whatever, God is love. God is faithful. God is merciful. God is compassionate and Jesus Christ is all of that and they NEVER leave us ALONE in our suffering.
So, let us believe the Doctrine.
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