Giving Life To Sin

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Standard;  Joh 8:28 Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.
 29 "And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him."
 30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.
 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
 32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
 33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, 'You will be made free'?"
 34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
 35 "And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
 36 "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

You never know when faith will come as you witness to others.  Jesus states some simple spiritual facts and it results in the salvation of many in His audience. , “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He.”

Not exactly the words you might hear at a Billy Graham crusade to get people to come forward to make a commitment to Christ are they?  Yet Jesus utters them and we read “As He spoke these words many believed in Him. Many were granted the gift of faith.

What was He saying? He was saying the moment you exalt the Son of Man, then you will know that He is the Messiah. The idea of exalting someone is increasing their rank.  These believers had advanced from regarding Jesus as a Samaritan with a demon (v48)
advanced from regarding Him merely as a gifted teacher,
advanced Him from regarding Him as the mere son of a carpenter in Nazareth.

They had advanced Him to His proper rank and title just as Peter did when Jesus asked Him who do you say I am?  Mt 16:16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."  17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
God granted this same revelation to these many Jews listening to Jesus in the temple and when they elevated the rank of Jesus from “Son of Man to Son of God” they became believers.  

This is a precious revelation. It is the most vital piece of information that could ever be revealed to you. And if you are still considering Jesus as just a good teacher, or just a good moral example then pray that the Father would give you the same revelation He gave Peter and these Jewish believers. It's all that matters! Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God!

Not everyone in this room however are believers. But Jesus knows who they are and speaks directly to them. And He says, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
 32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

What does it mean to “abide in the Words of Jesus?” The King James says, “if you continue in My Word...... The warning is explicit. Once God gives you the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, you must continue in His Word or you will cease being a disciple.  (Your God-granted faith will be snatched away.)

You say you have faith? Then show me a dustless Bible! Show me the worn out cover, the rounded, tattered, marked up dirty old pages of your Bible. You cannot claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and not have a hunger for His Word!

But it's not just about habitual Bible Study and a quest for knowledge. It's not about just getting into His Word, it's about letting His Word get into you. It's about the continual work of the Holy Spirit in your life changing your attitude and your actions to be conformed to the image of Christ. It's about imitating Jesus who says in v 29, “I always do the things that please Him.

This was the proof of His sonship. He is God and obeyed His Father perfectly. The proof of our discipleship is SEEKING to do the things that please Him. This is the first step of discipleship....get into the Word!

It only makes sense. Once you have exalted Jesus to the position of King, you need to find out about the kings decrees....His truths. As you understand them and put them into practice in your life, you will experience treue freedom.
“But Duane, I don't understand God's Word, I don't have a degree in theology. It's too hard for me.” Are you listening to Jesus or not? In this very same room that He was speaking were the religious Jews of the day. They probably had more letters behind their names than they had letters in their names. Jesus doesn't care about your educational background.

Look who He chose for His disciples........stinking fishermen. I love watching the Deadliest Catch TV show on the Discovery channel, because it reminds me of the men that Jesus chose to bring the gospel to the world.  The next time you watch it, picture these guys as hand-picked disciples  of Jesus.  These guys are brave, hard working, hard living, men, but for the most part about as smart as a room full of anvils.

No Jesus doesn't care about your educational credentials  He cares about being the Lord of your life. “When you elevate Him to the throne of your heart and if you continue in His Word you “shall” not would or could bu t shall come to know the freeing truth of His Words.

And if you are not getting into God's Word, you might want to check the throne of your heart and see if you haven't been nudging Him out.

Now let's look at the second group present in the temple. They aren't the “those who heard Him and believed,” They are the “they that answered Him, they that took issue with what He had said.  And they said, How can you say we will be MADE free,” we've been baptized! We've been given the Word of God. We know the Scriptures backward and forward! We're Lutherans!

But Jesus reminds us all that freedom is not found in tradition or customs or hand me down identity or religiousity, freedom is found only in freedom from sin.

 Pr 5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be held with the cords of his sin.

That's what sin does, it ensnares us, enslaves us, and unless we find a way out we will remain a slave and a slave does not abide in the house forever.

Vonage has a great commercial out now. It shows a man signing up to be bundled. You know you get cable TV, internet service and telephone service for one set price. A man is talking on the phone and he says ok to the idea of being bundled and the cable comes out of the wall and wraps around him and ties him up and the announcer says've been bundled!”

Vonage intimates that part of their competitors plan will include a phone rate increase after three months, but you will be locked into the plan and can't get out. Whereas their plan is just so much a month with no introductory rate.

But that's how sin operates, we get drawn in because it doesn't seem so bad and if we aren't careful, it's not long before we are bundled.

Now please not that the slave of sin is still abiding in the house, these religious Jews were still connected to the church in an external way much as many nominal and hypocritical Christians are connected today, but if they are slaves to sin, they will not be allowed in the house for eternity. Only a son abides forever.  Because a son always seeks to please the Father (v29)

So who is a slave to sin? Jesus says in v34 “whoever commits sin.”  Based on your understanding of those words are there any here today who are not slaves to sin? Are there any here today wwho are disqualified from eternal life?  We all are aren't we? So something must be wrong with our understanding of this passage,

What's wrong is our understanding of the word “commit.”  We think of it in terms of a one time action. A baseball player “commits” an error. A robber commits a crime, but the meaning of the word here is far different.  

To commit sin here is to give it a life of it's own. Sin takes on a life of it's own when it is not dealt with by the individual. Sin must be put to death.

  Ro 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

 Ro 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

Sin must be mortified! How do we do that? Through daily confession, contrition, and repentance.  

 1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we don't kill the sin in us by these methods,  sin will take on a life of it's own and it will have been committed and with a life of it's own it will ensnare us again.  It will eventually dominate us and disqualify us from eternal life.  

 Heb 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

So confess your sins on a regular basis, and then believe God's promises about confession. Put your sins under the precious blood of Jesus and be set free!

 1Jo 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

The blood of Jesus cuts the bonds of sin. Believe it! He came to set the captives free! He came that you and I might put sin to death, that it may no longer rule in our mortal bodies, He came that we would no longer give life (commit sin.)

You have an opportunity here today. If you have given life to sin, if you have delayed confessing it and putting it under the blood of Jesus. If sin has begun to creep back into your life. Confess it now! Today! And come forward for communion and put it to death. For Jesus Himself said that the Lord's Supper is for the remission of sins. Stop committing sin, stop giving it life, lest it rob you of yours.