Text: John 7:53-8:11 // James 2:19
- Example: If you up on me unexpectedly with a nine-iron in my hand—the way you see me (a crazed serial killer or a weekend golfer) will determine how you respond to me.
- Example: If you see me carrying a pocketbook in the lingerie department of department store the way you see me (a poor uncomfortable married fellow holding his wife’s pocketbook while she’s in the changing room or a man with an identity crisis) will determine what you think about me.
- In the same way, the way we understand who God is will determine how we respond to him and how we will live our lives.
Thesis/Premise: It is not enough to believe in God—even the demons believe that there is one God…and tremble (James 2:19). Of more importance is whether or not what you believe about God is correct.
- James 2:19 (NKJV) You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
Mission Statement: My mission for this message is to guide you toward a correct understanding of God—the ramifications are huge!
The great strategy of the devil is not to convince you that there is no God—in spite of all the noise out there, there actually are very few atheists. Having a belief in God is inherent in humans. In other words humans do not have to be taught that there is a God—it is the most rationale explanation for why things are they way they are and requires far less faith than believing in chance; most people get this.
For example: If you are an astronaut and you are on a mission to the dark side of the moon and when you get there you discover the ruins of an ancient city. The most natural conclusion is not that the ruins just happened—maybe a comet hit the moon and when the dust settled it looked like a city; the most natural conclusion is that some intelligent being designed and created the city.
- That’s what most people can see when it comes to the amazing Universe that we live in—belief in God does not require rocket science.
However, having said that, this does not stop the Devil; instead he uses it to his advantage. The way he does this is twofold:
- He defrauds and misrepresents the real God \\ he started this in the Garden with Eve.
- He replaces the real God with a false god or gods.
- So as I said, it is not enough to just believe in god—even the real God; what you believe about God is of paramount importance.
Vision Statement: My vision for you after hearing this message is that you will have a healthy and wholesome understanding of who God is and thus be able to get the maximum benefit from your relationship with Him.
- It’s the difference between being a child of an all-wise, all-powerful, and perfect-loving Father or being the victim of a distracted, self-centered absentee father or worse yet a brutal and abusive father.
What You Need to Know
(The Different Views of the “Real” God)
1) The Vindictive Legalistic God (the God of the Pharisees)
- VITAL: The Pharisees saw no contradiction in how they were treating the woman caught in the act of adultery and their relationship with God. That is because the way they saw God was misguided.
- Paul described them as zealous for God // like him—going to kill and imprison the early church—they thought they were “helping God”.
- Like – someone pushing you under water thinking you were trying to get something off the bottom of the pool while in reality you were drowning!
- A God that “catches” you
- A God that “exposes” you
- A God that is more concerned with his rules than you
- A God more interested in judgment than salvation
- A God that would use people to prove a point
The way the Pharisees and Priests felt about the people:
John 7:49 (NKJV) But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.
In other words, they couldn’t be saved and were not worth trying to save, i.e. “Publicans and Sinners”
2) The “Papa” God (the God of America)
- The indulgent God of America that lives to serve and pamper us while never asking much of us.
3) The God of the Cross and Righteousness
- NOTE: Jesus did not make excuses for the woman’s sin—He agreed with the judgment and the penalty. However, He also confronted everyone there with their sins.
- The irony is, Jesus was the only one there who could have cast the first stone—but He restrained himself; this is the true picture of God.
- God provides through the Cross forgiving mercy and enabling and persistent grace
What to do with what you know
1) Go, i.e. live your life—no matter what you’ve done.
Example: Those with prison records—even though they have served their time their crime stays on their record forever 😦 // but not with God.
- Go in light of the Cross // you can be forgiven // you can be healed // you can be redeemed!
- You only make a few major decisions in your life and you spend the rest of your life managing those decisions—God can help you manage them well.
- EXAMPLE: Both the Pharisees and Jesus sought people out—but their motivation was entirely different, i.e. the woman caught in adultery v. Zacchaeus.
2) Take an ax to the sin in your life
Luke 3:8-9 (NKJV) Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
- Jesus does not condemn; but He does command—Go and sin no more.
- Will you sin again? Yes!
- But what Jesus was telling the woman: “Put being an adulteress in your past.”
- In other words, that is not to be her lifestyle anymore.
- VITAL: Take a look at the power point slide template—what is going on there? (The way you see God is what you see there…)
- EXAMPLE: A block of ice can be broken and crushed but it is still as frigid as an iceberg. In the same way, I can try to beat you down with the Law of God but in the end your shattered heart will not be comforted…
- Isaiah 52:7 (NLT) How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!