|"JESUS: WHY HE CAME" JOHN 18April 7, 2003|
"Pilate said, 'So You are a king!’ Jesus answered, 'You are the one saying I am a king. This is why I was born and came into this world, to tell people the truth. And everyone who belongs to the truth listens to Me.'" John 18:37 (NCV)
We’re living in a time when it’s tough to tell fact from fiction, the truth from a lie, right from wrong. There are more shades of gray than there have ever been. We don’t have a standard truth by which we can judge what’s real and what’s not. What should we believe in and what’s false? Not only did Jesus tell us here, “I have come to tell you the truth,” on another occasion Jesus said, “I am the truth.” We can line our life up next to Jesus and we know whether we're in line or out of line, whether or not whether we’re living a lie or living near the truth.
Truth #1 - The truth of it is, I cannot hide my _________________ from God.
Have you ever tried to hide something from God? I was reading in the newspaper not too long ago about a woman who had to spend time in a Jamaican prison. She was from Florida. She had tried to smuggle two pounds of cocaine into Jamaica. She tried to smuggle it by hiding it in her hair and the authorities were tipped off because her hair was so big.
Why is it that we believe we can smuggle our sins past God? What makes us think that we can sneak something past the all-seeing eyes of God? Past the all-hearing ears of God? Past the all-knowing mind of God? Why do we think that? We’ve been doing it from the beginning. We believe that we can just pass something by God and He’ll never see it, He’ll never know. Back at the beginning of time when God created Adam and Eve the Bible says that He put them in the Garden of Eden and they were naked and they weren’t ashamed. They were living in perfect innocence. Then when they decided to disobey God, they immediately felt shame. Sin led to shame. Shame led to secrets. Secrets made them feel like they needed to cover up. So the Bible says in the cool of the evening God came to the Garden and He asked people the first question, “Where are you?” I tried to imagine what would that moment be like? God might have said, “What’s that you’re wearing?” This old thing? Like God wouldn’t notice that they’re trying to cover up their shame and their sin and their secrets. We try just as ineffectively to deal with the sin in our lives. We do all kinds of things to try to deal with the sin problem in your life and my life.
THREE INEFFECTIVE WAYS TO DEAL WITH SIN IN OUR LIFE:
1. ____________ It
This is living in a place called denial. In your own experience, based on your own observations, don’t you have to agree that there’s evil in this world? And it resides in the life of other people? How many times have you stood with your mouth open – stunned – by what you’ve seen somebody else do? How many times has somebody else’s mouth been open – stunned – by what they’ve seen you do. We have to acknowledge, based on our own experience.
But if that wasn’t enough, the Bible tells us we have all sinned. None of us have lived our lives perfectly. All of us have decided to do things our way instead of God's way. Everybody in this room! And to try to ignore our sin is very ineffective if we ever hope to take care of the sin issue in our life.
2. ______ ______________
This is what is behind every New Year’s resolution you’ve ever made. Every time you make the declaration, “I will never do that again,” you’re thinking by your own willpower you could do good from that point forward. Can you? Just by sheer determination solve all the problems in your life?
3. _____________ It
Do you know what’s true? In a crowd this size there are people today who believe, “God doesn’t know how I’m living. God doesn’t know what I’m thinking. God doesn’t know what I’m doing. God doesn’t know the secrets in my life.” If this Bible story teaches us anything it teaches that God knows all about your past, He also knows what’s going on in your life today. That’s why we say in our recovery groups around here all the time, you’re only as sick as your secrets. You can’t get well. You cannot have your spiritual thirst quenched until you’re ready to say, “God, I'll just admit it. I know I can’t hide anything from You so I’m going to be truthful about it.”
That’s why I’ve given you a first step you can take toward the truth. Be honest with yourself and be honest with God.
Take a First Step Toward Truth: Be _________ with yourself and be ________ with God!
Truth #2 - The truth of it is, Jesus knows ____________________, and still loves me.
The very reason we try to hide our sins from God is because we believe that God won’t like us if He discovers everything about us. So we think if I could just hide parts of my life then God will still like me. Does the Bible teach us that the moment God discovers things about us He stops loving us or caring about us? Is that what the Bible really teaches?
Every saint has a _______ and every sinner has a _________!
It was of this husband and wife and they’re on a Friday night date. They’re holding hands and they’re walking through the mall window-shopping having a great time. The man hears a voice that says, “Hey, mister!” Reflexively he looks around and says, “What?” He hears the voice say, “You’re not smart and your wife’s ugly.” He’s shocked by that and he’s trying to figure out who said it. He can’t see anybody. Then he has this thought, “This is one of those candid camera things.” So he’s really cool. He got his wife’s hand and they’re just walking. He hears the voice again, “Mister!” He looks around. “You’re not smart and your wife’s ugly!” Now he’s starting to get a little irritated. About that time they pass a pet store there in the mall. At the door on a perch is this little parrot. He sees the parrot. It says, “Hey, mister!” He talks to the parrot and says, “What?” The parrot says, “You’re not smart and your wife’s ugly.” He’s really offended. He goes into the pet store manager and says, “Your parrot offended me, offended my wife and I want to know what you’re going to do about it.” The pet store manager said, “I’m so embarrassed. That parrot has offended everybody today. I'll take care of it right now.” He goes out to the parrot, grabs the parrot by the throat, smacks his little beak, sets him back down on the perch. The parrots just holding on. The manager goes back into the man and woman and says, “Please accept my apology.” The man says, “You did far more than I thought you’d do. Sure we’ll accept your apology.” He takes his wife’s hand and they’re walking out of the pet store. As they past the parrot the parrot whispers, “Hey mister!” The man says, “What!” The parrot says, “You know what!”
This is the idea we have about God. We think that God just dogs our steps, stays in our shadow, never lets us forget. He says, “You know the truth about your life. You know what’s true about you. You know what.” He never lets us off the hook.
Jesus wasn’t brutal like that.
It’s not only about your past, it’s also about your future. That’s why God loves us cause He knows what we can be and He knows the plan that He has for our life. Every saint has a past. We could all dwell on that. But every sinner – and that’s all of us – we have a future. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
Take a Second Step Toward Truth: Believe that the one who __________ you best, loves you most!
Truth #3 - The truth of it is, my sin has its __________________.
Someone once said sin is fun on credit. You have fun now you pay later. I found that to be true. Here’s what I also discovered. When we sin we don’t get to choose how much we pay. When we sin we don’t get to pick the consequences and we don’t know what the consequences will be until after we’ve sinned.
It’s kind of like this. Suppose you go into a store. The rule in the store is if you touch anything you have to buy it. It’s also true in this store that there are no price tags and you won’t be told how much it cost until you have to buy it. So you go in and you’re very timid. You tell your children, “Don’t touch anything.” But then you see something that you want. You’d like to have that... You’d like to do that... You’d like to experience that. Then the thought runs through your mind, “But then I'll have to pay and I don’t know how much it costs.” And you have this momentary moral dilemma, “I think it will be worth it. I don’t care what it costs. I’m going to go my way.” And then we carry that item to the cash register and we ask with a bit of fear, “How much is this going to cost me?” Then our knees almost buckle when we hear someone say, “That? That costs your reputation. That one? That will cost your marriage. If that’s what you want to do that will cost your kids. That one is going to cost your peace of mind.” See what happens?
That’s why I want to tell you today, sin has a consequence. You and I will pay a price. We don’t get to choose what it is. When we sin we pay.
A man left work on Friday afternoon. It was payday. Instead of going home he decided “I think I’m just going to party with my friends all weekend,” and that’s what he did. He didn’t go home until Sunday night and all of his money was gone. He walked into the house and his wife was livid. For two hours she tore into him. She concluded her tirade. “How would you like it if you didn’t see me for two or three days?” He said right back, “That would be just fine with me!” Monday passed he didn’t see her. Tuesday and Wednesday came and went and the same results. By Thursday the swelling in his eyes went down a little bit and he could see her out of one.
"What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others - ignoring God! - harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life." Galatians 6:7,8 (Message)
Take a Third Step Toward Truth: Understand that God loves us just the ______ _____ ______, but He loves us enough not to _________ us that way.
Truth #4 - The truth of it is, Jesus is the only one who can satisfy my __________________.
"As a deer pants for streams of water, so I long for You, O God. I thirst for God, the living God." Psalm 42:1,2 (NLT)
"If you knew who I was, you would have asked Me and I would have given you living water." John 4:10 (NAS)
"Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst again, but the water I give shall become inside a well of water springing up to eternal life." John 4:14 (NAS)
"See, God has come to save me. I will trust in Him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation." Isaiah 12:2,3 (NLT)
Jesus said, "I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost." Rev. 21:6 (NAS)
We’re so thirsty! We’re thirsty for a clean conscience. When was the last time you were able to peacefully put your head on your pillow at night, guilt free, no more shame. All your secrets exposed to heaven and you discover God loves you still. When’s the last time you felt like your slate was wiped clean? When’s the last time you felt like you had a fresh start with God? We do like the woman at the well. We say relationships will do that for me. How many of you have ever been disappointed by a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend? That just doesn’t get the job done. How many of you thought, “I'll just accomplish more. I'll earn enough money and I'll be financially secure. I'll invest it in Nasdaq.” “I live for the weekends. Recreational pursuits. Good times!” And Monday morning I’m still thirsty.
And Jesus just sits next to you and says, “I’m the only one who can quench your soul thirst, the only one who can make you right with God.” That’s exactly what He’s offering you this morning.
Final Steps to Truth: ________ your emptiness and ________ Jesus' offer of satisfaction.
"If you are thirsty, come to Me! If you believe in Me, come and drink!"
John 7:37 (NLT)