Classic Christianity – Christmas P2 (12-24-19)
You are wondering about the meaning of life? You notice a nativity set on the front lawn of a neighbor’s house. You cannot help but hear about a person named Jesus. So you decide you want to find out more about who this Jesus is. Another person is steeped in religion. He goes to what people call church. He too is wondering about the meaning of life. He has heard a few things about Jesus. He knows about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, but a message of what that accomplished for him personally has never been told, and certainly never understood. He is burdened down by all the things he is trying to get sins forgiven and decides he is tired of all this. He is looking for answers also. Why am I here? Where will I go when I die? Why do I feel empty inside?
This is a picture of the Jew and the Gentile. The lost Jew is steeped in religion, and although he has all of the law and the prophets, and has heard about God, he does not understand what the promised Messiah came to do. The Gentile hardly knows anything about God. He only hears about God’s dealing with the Jews from afar. But he hears a message about Christ and believes and is saved. Some Jews too hear a message about Christ and they believe the same message and are saved also. Now the Jew and the Gentile are now meeting together to grow in Christ, whom they have both come to know. They are one body, brothers and sisters, in Christ.
They came to Christ from two different perspectives. Both are saved the same way, by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. They have understood and believed what the death, burial and resurrection accomplished for them personally. They are now placed in the body of Christ, have become one body, and are meeting together as brothers and sisters in Christ.
As these people are meeting together, growth in Christ has to occur. Here is a Jew, whose conscience is bothered because he observes a Gentile eating meat. The Gentile is observing the Jew and is wondering about all these strange observances of new moons and Sabbaths. Paul comes to address these issues that arise because of people coming to Christ from different perspectives.
In all cases, we are to act in love to one another. To a brother whose conscience is weak, and whose faith is susceptible of being destroyed by what you approve, then is it love to flaunt eating of meat in front of him? No, it would be better not to eat meat until such a time he grows to understand that all foods are acceptable to God when you are giving thanks in your heart to the Lord. But he was so accustomed to meat sacrificed to idols, that he could not comprehend, at that time, why someone would dare to eat meat that has been sacrificed to an idol. To him, such eating of meat was like worshiping an idol. That is why Paul said I would rather not eat meat, not for my conscience, but for his. Let the love of God be your guide in all such matters.
4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
So whether you want to observe the birthday of Christ, on this day or that day, or not at all, let no one judge you by outward observances. Is Christ in your heart? Do you know the Savior? Is the Spirit of God living in you? If any such observance bothers you, from whatever associations connected to a former religious life you once lived, then do not observe it, for anything that does not come from faith is sin? If celebrating the birth of Christ, as in the culture we live in today with its various traditions, bothers you and hinders you from giving thanks to God in your heart, then do not observe it? But also do not look down on someone who does, whom the Spirit is in, and who is giving thanks to God in his heart. And if you do observe the birthday of Christ, and someone else does not, do not look down on him either. That also applies to whether you want to meet with believers on Sunday, Saturday, or some other day of the week. Worshiping Christ comes from within, the Spirit of God living in you, expressing itself in love, whenever and wherever you choose to meet.
All these observances the Jews did under an Old Covenant system are not the reality. They were preparation. They were for preparing men’s hearts to receive a Savior, the promised Messiah to come. Well, Christ is risen now, having accomplished all that he came to do. The reality is in Christ. He lives in you. He is your life now.
The book of Hebrews explains this real Sabbath rest, not the Sabbath that was a shadow of what is the reality now. Christ is now sitting at the right hand of God. God rested from his work and we too, in Christ, can rest from ours. You are no longer under the law of sin and death. Nor are you having to sacrifice animals to cover, or atone, for sin. Neither do you need to keep coming to a mass to get sins forgiven nor keep asking God to cleanse you of sins as if to keep short accounts with God for fear you are out of fellowship. In Christ, you are never out of fellowship with God because of sin. Is God counting our sins today? No. Jesus sacrificed for sins once and for all with the sacrifice of himself when he shed his blood on a cross.
See, when Jesus shed his blood, he put an end to all sacrifice. There is no need now of sacrifices to cover sin. Under an Old Covenant, Jews were instructed to sacrifice bulls and goats to cover sin. Why? Jesus had not come yet. It was a temporary covering, a shadow of a promised Messiah, who was to come to take away the sins of the entire world. The sun casts a shadow because the sun has not yet risen. Jesus came to take away the sins of both the Jew and the Gentile, your sin and my sin. And all of our sins were in the future when he died. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Jesus will not shed his blood again because it was all sufficient to take away the sins of the entire world from the eyes of God.
When Jesus was born into this world, there is more to the story than a man born in a stable. Jesus was not born the natural way. He was born of a virgin, a young girl who never had sexual relations with a man prior to the birth of Christ. He is God taking on flesh. The Spirit of God is in him and Jesus even said that before Abraham was ever born, He existed. Jesus is God in the flesh.
But all other men are born empty inside. Why? They are born without the Holy Spirit of God living in them. They are born physically alive, but spiritually dead. That is why the Spirit of God is drawing all men to himself. There is a longing in every man’s heart for the meaning and purpose of life that cannot be fulfilled without the Spirit of God put back into man. That is eternal life, to have the Spirit of God, who is your life, to be placed inside you. Salvation is not getting sins forgiven, something Jesus already did when he died on a cross, and that while we were still sinners. That was preparation, and was necessary for salvation. Salvation is the receiving of new life. Jesus is the only one who had a life to lay down. He is also the only one who has a life to give.
God so loved you and me that he sent His Son into this world to take away the cause of our death, which is sin, in order to be raised to new life again. Without taking our sins away, we could not receive the Spirit of God, life. For if we could receive life without the death of Jesus on the cross, the next time we sinned, we would die again. But the work is finished. Jesus not only died, but he rose again, and is seated at the right hand of God.
So cease striving in the energy of the flesh, trying to reach to God for his acceptance and approval by what you do, an impossibility. You cannot reach God by your efforts and obedience to the law or conscience. The Jews kept trying and trying to be made righteous by the law. The Gentiles kept violating their own God-given conscience. To us, Jesus kept raising the standard higher. The standard is absolute perfection. If you break one part of the law, you have broken all of it. If you just hated someone, you have already committed murder. We are spiritually dead and bankrupt. What a wretched man we are, without Christ!
God knew that and sent his Son. By seeing Jesus righteousness, we see our own unrighteousness. Then we come to the point we long for His righteousness, realizing we have none of our own. Salvation is about what Jesus did for us that we could never do for ourselves. If you are like one of those two people today, religious or not religious, Jew or Gentile, would you receive Jesus as your life today?
Is Jesus going to shed his blood again? How many times did he shed his blood? For how many people? All. For how long? Forever. Do you mean that every person that has ever been born, and will be born, he died for them? Yes. Without the shedding of blood, there is no more forgiveness, and there is no more shedding of blood, what do you have to conclude about the one time he did shed his blood? What do you have to conclude about that? It is finished. What did Jesus cry out on the cross? It is finished. He did not say his crucifixion is about to work. It means his work is completed.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
It is finished. It is done. Do you believe that? I know you do. But the average teaching in Christianity today does not know that. Here is the irony of all of this. We teach people that you are saved by getting your sins forgiven, but we do not believe we got our sins forgiven. If you believe that you got your sins forgiven, then why would you be asking for what you believe has already occurred? Did he finish or didn’t he? If it is over and finished, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness, and there is no more shedding of blood, and that means there is no more forgiveness. Why isn’t there any more forgiveness? Because he already done it.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
When he did it, he said it is finished. Do you want to walk by faith or presumption or do you want to walk by tradition? If you want to walk by tradition, then keep going to the confession booth. If you want to walk by tradition, then keep keeping short accounts with God. A person says, “That is the only way you are going to be in fellowship”. There is a problem with that. You are either in fellowship or out of fellowship. You are either in fellowship, saved, or out of fellowship, lost. Fellowship means there are two fellows in the same ship. Every time you sin, God cannot look upon sin, and that means he cannot look on you, so he spins around, and then you confess, and then he turns around. So he is up there spinning. Can you imagine how much spinning he would have to do just in this room alone? This is not even that big of a room. Just think what it would be in Prestonwood. That is nonsensical teaching.
2 Corinthians 5:19
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Jesus took away the sins of the world from the eyes of God. So people have been incorrectly taught that every time you sin, you have got to clear the deck. So you are taught to keep short accounts with God. I did that. You are told, “Don’t let any unconfessed sin remain in your life. It is okay to sin just not unconfessed.” So what are we thinking about every day of your life? If you are like me, sin. Any of you in here sinless? Any of you have been sinless just today?
1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
You see, folks, when you are preoccupied with sin, you are preoccupied with it all day long, if you are normal. So what he is saying to us is, “I took away that issue and until you deal with that truth, you are not ready to deal with what I came to give you, and that is life. You are not ready for it. That is why people remain immature, babies in Christ. All of their life, just keeping their sins confessed. Have you ever experienced life? Have you ever experienced Jesus living in you and guiding you? “No, but I got my sins confessed.” “Well, good for you. So did the Jews have their sins confessed when they went back to the day of atonement.” Until you finalize the cross in your heart, you are never going to realize the resurrection.
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Peter said that if you want to grow and mature, you need to realize something. He said the reason people are not growing and maturing is because they are blind indeed and have forgotten they have been cleansed of all of their past sins. That is why you cannot grow.
2 Peter 1:3-9
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
You cannot grow when you are denying what Jesus said is true. If you cannot agree with him in regard to what he accomplished on the cross, you cannot agree with him about anything. So you never get to know him. You never get that vital relationship with him. You never get to experience his love because fear casts out love. Just like perfect love casts away all fear.
1 John 4:18
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
What does fear cast away? Love. If I do not know I am a forgiven person, I would be one fearful person? Why? For the wages of sin is death.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I figured that one out. That means when I sin, I am in fear of God thinking that God will probably zap me. I do not care if you are out of fellowship or out of relationship, in either case, you have to figure out how to get back. Fear. Perfect love casts away all fear. Why? Fear has to do with punishment. What is God’s punishment for sin? Death. A man who fears cannot be perfected in love. You cannot be perfected in love when you are still fearful.
The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
So this legalistic teaching does not do anything except create fear in the hearts of man that keeps them from growing. Satan’s plan for your life is to keep you from ever growing. We sit here week after week, teaching the depths of God. Yet, people are still sleeping. If you are not interested in growing in the depth of God, then there is something deeply wrong, as in thinking, “I will be here maybe next week, ho hum”. You have too much bombarding you, and so do I, all week long. If you do not get yourself refreshed, where truth is going to refresh you, you are going to be wiped out.
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
Do not take this for granted. This is not something to take for granted. It is not something you have to do. It is something that you want to grow. If you do not want to live a defeated life, you must keep learning and learning about the depth of the word of God. It is not the shallowness. It is the depth. More and more you learn about Jesus, it gets deeper and deeper.
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
Yes, this time of year can be a time of much grief for some. Others can be rejoicing while others are mourning. God rejoices with those who rejoice and he also bears the load and grief of us all. Have you lost a loved one, a mother or father? Are you all alone? God knows all things. All our griefs and pains to bear. God is father to the fatherless.
31 For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.
Some people ask me, “Do you ever get tired of teaching the same thing all the time?” No, because it is never the same thing. Maybe the same thing to you, but not to me. It is always new, always fresh. Why? He is Jesus and he never gets old.
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Remember that. Grab a hold of that. If you never finalize that, do it today. There is no more forgiveness for your sins. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. There is no more shedding of blood. There is no more forgiveness. Therefore if you are in Christ, who are you? A forgiven person. Have you heard someone say, “Oh, you teach that, and people go out and sin.” They are doing quite well without teaching that. That is not the issue. The issue is that is truth. What I do with that truth is between me and God, but that does not negate the truth.
23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.
In other words, he wasn’t going in with someone else’s blood. It is pretty easy to sacrifice someone else’s blood. He went in with the sacrifice of his own. He didn’go into a man-made sanctuary where it talks about where every priest has to stand and perform his religious duties over and over and over again, which can never do what? Take away sin. He entered once. He offered himself one time. If Jesus entered into the heavenly sanctuary to offer himself again and again and again, then Christ, in order to do that, then he would have to suffer many times since the creation of the world. What does that mean? He would have to die again. Why? Because without the shedding of blood there is what? No forgiveness of sins. But now, he has appeared how many times? He appeared once and for all, at the end of the ages to do what? To do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Now did that mean that he came to do away with your sin? Is your sin done away with? In whose eyes? How about your eyes? Anybody’s sin been done away with? Do you really say, “I just do not know what sin is anymore. I used to remember what sin was before I was born again but I am just so holy now I can hardly remember what sin was.” What does it mean to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself? It means he took away the sins of the world from the eyes of God for eternity. Is that right or wrong? That sacrifice. What was the priest for? To represent man to God. Jesus says, ’Here I am. I am the sacrifice, God.” God says, “Okay”. What did this priest do? Offered himself. This is for the sins of the whole world throughout all eternity. And God said propitiation has taken place. I am satisfied. So he appeared once at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
What is the judgment? Death. What is the only judgment that is left? What have you done with my Son? Is your name in the book of life? There it is. Enter in. If your name isn’t there, you will be entering into another place. It will be worse than Texas. It will be hot.
14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin
Why is he not going to bear sin when he comes back? He has already done it. How many of you believe Jesus is coming back? When he comes back, is he coming to bear sin? No. What is he coming to do?
but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Why? Sin has already been taken care of. All you need now is salvation. What is salvation? If forgiveness is salvation, could you make that statement? Could you make that statement if salvation was getting your sins forgiven? No. Bearing sin would be important. He would have to do it again. He has done it. Now he is coming back to offer resurrected life just like the Holy Spirit is doing today.
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves.
Turn with me for a moment back to the book of Colossians 2:16.
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
What is he saying here? Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink. With all those dietary laws, as evident in Israel, and still today, for example, when you are told you cannot have meat and milk at the same time. Do not let anyone judge you for that. That is only a shadow of the things that were to come. The reality is found in Christ.
17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Do not anyone judge you by a religious festival. You got people saying you should not celebrate Christmas. You should not celebrate Easter. Do not let anyone judge you for that. It is only a shadow. When you are celebrating Christmas this year, is that a shadow or a reality? Do not let anyone judge you for that, a new moon celebration or a Sabbath day. Does God care what day you park your body? Does he care even if you do park your body?
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
You see, folks, the Sabbath day was a foreshadowing. He gave us the day in order to show a reality in Christ where we are to rest every day. Would it be ridiculous the only time I rested in Jesus was Saturday or Sunday. If that was the case, we are to be pitied of all people because we are tired when we get here, if we have only been resting one day a week. But it was a foreshadowing of the Sabbath rest that Christ was calling us to. Resting from our works just as he did from his.
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
When you consider that Joshua led the Jews into the promised land, but there was still no rest. Why? They were still sacrificing bulls and goats. What then happened to those of the older generation who died in the wilderness. Did they die because of their any sins? No. God had already made provision for that, a temporary covering for now. He left those sins unpunished until Christ shall come and finish the work. They died because they refused to believe the promise of God. That is why God said they will never enter my rest.
Romans 3:24-26 (TLB)
24 yet now God declares us “not guilty” of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins.
25 For God sent Christ Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to end all God’s anger against us. He used Christ’s blood and our faith as the means of saving us from his wrath. In this way he was being entirely fair, even though he did not punish those who sinned in former times. For he was looking forward to the time when Christ would come and take away those sins. 26 And now in these days also he can receive sinners in this same way because Jesus took away their sins.
But isn’t this unfair for God to let criminals go free, and say that they are innocent? No, for he does it on the basis of their trust in Jesus who took away their sins.
When Jesus finished his work, he said “it is finished”. He says, “When you are in me, it is also finished. So quit working at what I have accomplished. I have forgiven you. Quit working at being forgiven. I have given you life. Quit trying to improve in what I have forgiven you. I made you holy. Quit trying to improve on what I made you. Quit trying to improve in what I made you. Rest in it.” That is tough for us Americans. We do not like to rest. I want to work. I want something to do with this. That has something to do with our pride doesn’t it.?
Do not let anyone judge you by those things. They are a shadow of things to come. The reality is found in Christ Jesus. The same kind of statement made by Paul is the same statement made in Hebrews 10.
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices
Sacrifices were what was taking care of sin.
repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
It could not make you perfect. It could not make you complete. If they could, would they not have stopped being offered?
2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered?
If any sacrifice, such as that, could make you complete, it would only be one. That is why the sacrifice of Jesus was of such value to take away the sins of the world, but the blood of bulls and goats could not do it. Why? They are temporary and of this world. Jesus is eternal, having life in himself.
For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those [animal] sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Could the blood of bulls and goats cover sins? What was that called? Atonement. What did Jesus come to do? If Jesus came to atone for sins, his blood is on the same par as the blood of a bull and a goat. That would be an insult to Jesus. There is no place in the bible where Jesus came to atone for sin. He did not come to atone for sin. He came to take them away from the eyes of God never to see them again, once and for all.
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am – it is written about me in the scroll –
I have come to do your will, my God.’”
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” – though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Day after day every priest stands
Why does a priest stand? His work is never finished. A chair was a prohibited piece of furniture in the temple. You could never sit down and rest.
and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
It covered it but could never take it away. It could never be final. Same thing with you trying to keep short accounts with God. I am all clean, but the minute I sinned, I confess but then sinned again and then I got dirty again. Then going back and forth between dirty and clean after confessing sin.
12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
Why did he sit down? Because his work was finished. Again, is that just kind of yawn stuff, oh ho hum. Or is that something to be excited about? If I do not think I am a sinner then there is not much to get excited about. If I think I am basically a good guy, there is nothing much to get excited about. It would be like saying, “I would have done it for me, as good as I am. No wonder God loves me. (Kissing myself) I love me too.” But if I see what I am capable of doing. We are sitting in America with nice things. Just get put in a circumstance in life, where you are out on an island without any food to eat. There is a brother over there looking pretty good. You do not know what you are capable of doing. You do not have any food or money. Going to the grocery store and seems like nobody is looking. I do not need to be a thief. I got money. But are you capable of being a thief?
In the final analysis, God had to come to this earth in order to redeem us and save us from ourselves. That is exactly what He did. He did so out of love and mercy. He is a merciful God. Through all the ages, the teaching of the Old Testament, was the faithfulness of God in the midst of the rebellion of man. As rebellious as we get, he is still faithful. Faithful is he who called us who will also do it. Oftentimes, people think of God as a God of anger in the Old Testament, one who is quick to destroy. That is simply not true. He sent the prophets, and through the prophets, you can hear the heart cry of God to a stubborn and obstinate people.
Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Guys, do not ever give up on God. He is never giving up on you. It does not matter what you have done. He took it away at the cross so you can start into a new life. There are many people who have done things they are very ashamed of in your past or even in your present. God has taken that away. God says, “I want to start a new day with you.” That is why he told the lady, “Get up and sin no more. I do not condemn you. I knew what you would do before the foundation of the earth. Get up and sin no more.” So we are all get that opportunity, don’t we? To start a new day. To start anew. We can always start another day.
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Now we, quite frankly, have difficulty with mercy and kindness and goodness. We hang on and we just keep condemning people forever. If you ever do anything I do not like, I am going to bring it up. It makes me feel good to make you feel bad. That may be man but it isn’t God. If we are good enough for God, why should we not be good enough for each other. If God has seen fit to love you, then why should not we love you? That is what he said. Love one another even as I have loved you.
John 13:34 (KJV)
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Let us pray together.
Father, we want to thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ. His mercy exceeds all things that we could ever dream or imagine. His goodness, His kindness, His everlasting to everlasting love. We have seen your patience through the Old Testament. We saw your patience with the apostles in the new gospels. Many times, as you are standing there and telling people truth, you still have Peter with his foot in his mouth. You still had Thomas doubting. He loves us in the midst of it. Never stopping. Let us internalize that mercy to other people and to learn to be merciful, kind and loving people. We cannot do it in our own energy of our flesh. We can only do it as we allow the Spirit of God, who lives in us, to produce in and through us, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. So Father, we thank you for this life you have given us. Teach us to listen to You. You are always there guiding us into all truth and letting that truth setting us free. Let us keep listening to you. To have our ear bent toward your voice instead of the voice of this world. We are going to thank you for it in Christ’s name and for His sake. Amen.