Sermon:  Family Resemblance

Summary:  The obstacles to faith in Christ who is God and therefore the true light of life are 
enslavement to sin and its deeds.  Since your actions and not your lineage, membership, family 
history, etc. are what determines whether you are in God's family or the Devil's family, the solution 
is to come to Christ in faithful obedience so that he can free you from sin in order to be called 
Children of God

Know:  What makes you a child of God is not heritage, church membership, etc, but faithful obedience 
to your Father.

Feel:  The desire to be faithfully obedient to God

Do:  Reflect on your attitude toward Christ, his place in your life, your attitude toward sin, and the 
nature of your thoughts and actions and how reflective they are of your identity of a Christian.  

Text:  John 8:12-59

Scripture Reading:  John 1:9-13

1.  Do you look like anyone in your family, or know someone that does?
	a.  Always get kick out of seeing children that look like parents or each 
	b.  People thought Jer and Will were twins
	c.  Sounded same - Stacey always say, "Who are you?" when they talk
	d.  Other similarities get passed down, such as love of music, 
	     mannerisms, speech accents, etc.
2.  We all were created to resemble God
	a.  Bible says that God made us in his image
	b.  We bore the image of God
3.  Something happened that twisted and distorted it
	a.  Sin came and corrupted that image
	b.  Instead of life-death, light-darkness, beauty-ugliness, good-evil, 
4.  God has a solution, and the solution is Christ… from John 8
	Jesus begins with his identity  …

I.  Who is Christ?
	A.  In this section, Jesus returns to the issue of his identity
	B.  He identifies himself in several ways
		1.  (v.12) - Light of the world
			a.  Darkness and death as a result of sin
			b.  Light of Life as a result of Christ
			c.  His call - "follow me"
		2.  (v.13-19) - Son of God
			a.  They judge according to the flesh, Jesus is not judging
			b.  But IF Jesus were to judge, it would be true
				- Why?  He does not act alone
				- His "Father" judges truly
			c.  They didn't get it, they wanted to know where his Father 
			d.  They didn't know Jesus' Father because the didn't 
			      recognize Jesus and vice versa
				- Jesus and the Father are so much alike, if you knew 
				    one, would know the other
				- In fact, Jesus about to tell them he & father are one
		3.  (v.20-29) - Jesus is God
			a.  Jesus is not of this world
			b.  v.24 - Unless you believe "I am"
				- Where is the predicate of the sentence?
				- You are……. who?
				- Even translators supply a pronoun here that does 
				  not exist in the original text
				- Didn't realize Jesus was claming to be "I AM"
			b.  v.28 - When you life up Son of Man, will know "I AM"
				- What the Father does, the Son does
				- The two are one
	C.  At this point, many came to believe in him
	D.  They didn't fully understand, so Jesus goes on to teach them…	

II.  Teaching those who "believe"
	A.  (v.31-38) Jesus addresses their need
		1.  If they continue in his word, will know the truth, and be free
		2.  Free from what???  -- From sin!
			a.  All who commit sin are slaves to sin
			b.  ILL:  How can that be?  We have the Torah!  We are 
			     God's people!
				- God's law cannot save you
				- Mama fly had a law, don't play around flypaper
				- Baby fly did - he sinned, and got stuck!
				- Mama's law could not save him, it was done
			c.  Sin is like flypaper, you cannot undo what is done
			d.  The only hope is for someone to save you, doesn't matter 
			      if you are God's people
		3.  Their problem - They didn't recognize they were enslaved
			a.  They were trusting in the law - but the law can't save, it 
			      only tells you what to do or not to do
			b.  They trusted in their status as God's special people
	B.  v.39-47 - Deals with what it means to be God's people
		1.  (v.39-40) - Claimed Abraham was their Father
			a.  What did they mean?  Genetics, lineage, family
			b.  What did Jesus say about that?
				- "IF" you are, do the "DEEDS" of Abraham
				- You are trying to kill a man who speaks the truth
				- Abraham does not do this
		2.  (v.41-43) - Claimed God was their Father
			a.  What did they mean?
				- We were not born of fornication - throwing Mary's 
				   questionable childbirth in his face
				- They claim to be God's family
			b.  Jesus' response:
				- "IF" God were your Father, you would love me
				- Why?  Jesus is God's son, and therefore family
				- They didn't know God, because they no longer even 
				   recognized him or his Son, they not hear his word
		3.  (v.44-47) - The Devil was their Father.  Why?
			a.  They do the desires of the Devil
				- Reject and discredit Christ
				- Tried to use the law against Christ
			b.  The Devil was a murderer from the beginning
				- They were seeking to kill Jesus
				- Not interested in justice, just in shutting him up
			c.  The Devil does not stand in the truth, a liar
				- Devil deals in half truths, deceptions,
				- Devil will speak the truth, but not the whole truth
				- Jesus was speaking the truth, they rejected it
		4.  (v.48-59) - Their pitiful response - "You…you…Samaritan with a 
			a.  Resort to name calling
			b.  Jesus' reponse
				- Anyone keeps his word, never taste of death
				- He has seen Abraham
				- Before Abraham was, "I AM"
			c.  The Jews understood what he saying now - Jesus is God
	C.  Look how quickly their "belief" turned to hostility
		1.  I guess they were okay with Jesus being "I AM"
		2.  But they couldn't accept that they were enslaved due to sin
		3.  They were seeing, but not seeing, hearing, but not hearing
		4.  Their hearts had become dull
	D.  Result of their rejection?  They will enslaved to sin.

III.  Lesson for us:  Four things we must accept
	A.  Jesus is God
		1.  Three times, he says "I AM" v.24, 28 and 58
		2.  ILL:  Question to group of ministers - Would you baptize 
		     someone who not believe in Trinity but believes Jesus is the son 
		     of God who die on cross?  
			a.  Some said yes, I said NO, because this is central to faith
			b.  The character of God is central, and the trinity is part of it
			c.  Serious implications connected to Trinitarian nature
				- Nature of love, fellowship, missions, evangelism
				- God created us from love, not from necessity 
				  (already enjoyed fellowship/love within trinity)
			d.  Jesus explicitly says, "Unless you believe I AM, will die in 
			      your sins."
		3.  So we must accept that Jesus is God, it is not an option
	B.  Sin enslaves
		1.  Once you sin, cannot go back and undo it, it is on your "record"
		2.  You can't "un-sin" once you have sinned, what is done is done.
		3.  It is like flypaper, once you are stuck, you are stuck
		4.  Only hope is for someone to free you, don't let pride get in way
	C.  Only Jesus can truly free you
		1.  v.36 - If the son makes you free, will be free indeed
		2.  Since Jesus is God, only he can truly free you
	D.  Being a child of God is about faithful obedience
		1.  Their heritage, lineage, ethnic background, history, did not make 
		      them God's children
		2.  They were the Devil's children because they did his desires
		3.  ILL:  Ever heard of the church of Satan?
			a.  The founder, Anton Levey, claims it is larger than 
			b.  Said many are in Church of Satan and don't even know it.
  				- Because they are not faithful Christians
				- They do not do God's will, which means they are 
				   doing Satan's will
			c.  All you have to do, is not do what God wants
			d.  Anton Levey, though he is a Satanist, actually has a 
			     better understanding of what it means to be a Christian 
			     than some who profess to be Christians!
		4.  What does all this mean?
			a.  Your genealogy not make you God's child, nor 
			     church membership, growing up in a Christian family, 
			     being a "good person," and American, etc.
				- In long line of Church people for generations
				- Not about things like that though
			b.  Scripture Reading - Jn 1:12 - To those who receive 
			     Christ, he gave right to become children of God, born not 
			      of the will of flesh, or the will of man, but of God
			c.  SO what does make you a child of God?

1.  Have to accept Jesus as God, the "I AM"
2.  Have to recognize that you are in bondage to sin
3.  Jesus has to free you from your sin
4.  You need to be faithfully obedient
	a.  Faithful obedience show in action
	b.  Your thoughts, actions, deeds, that determine whose family you are in
5.  If you take a good look in the mirror
	a.  Look at thoughts, actions, deeds….etc.
	b.  Who do you resemble?

Small Group Notes:  Family Resemblance

Summary:  The obstacles to faith in Christ who is God and therefore the true light of life are 
enslavement to sin and its deeds.  Since your actions and not your lineage, membership, family 
history, etc. are what determines whether you are in God's family or the Devil's family, the solution 
is to come to Christ in faithful obedience so that he can free you from sin in order to be called 
Children of God

- Where did your ancestors come from?  How did they get to this country?

Explore  (John 8:12-59)

1.  In what ways does Jesus identify himself in this passage?  Which are most important and why?

2.  Why did the people have difficulty listening to and accepting what Jesus was saying?

3.  In this chapter, some came to believe in him, but wound up turning hostile toward Jesus in the 
end.  What appears to be at the root of their problem?

4.  According to the discussion in this chapter, what is it that determines whether someone is a 
child of God.  What is NOT a determining factor of whether one is a child of God?


5.  According to what you have learned here, what must you personally accept about Jesus and 

6.  According to what Jesus teaches in this chapter, what would be the way to identify who your 
Father is?  How can you identify God as the one who is your Father?  What actions, thoughts, 
deeds, etc. would be important in this?

7.  In what ways does this lesson challenge you?

8.  What is God calling you to do?