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November 13, 2021 7:00 am
Well, I think probably most of us here know who Alan Jackson is, he was a well-known country singer in the 1990s, but in 2001 on his career store to a completely new level when he wrote and performed a song about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The song was entitled. Where were you when the world stopped turning the song. One single of the year in one song of the year in one Alan Jackson, a Grammy, but the reason I bring Alan Jackson's name is because he wrote another song that I want to point out to you today to sign the title of this song that he wrote is we are all God's children and I like to read a little bit of the verse to you. Here comes I would sing it, but you don't want to hear you. Here's how the song goes, it says here comes a Baptist. Here comes a Jew, there goes a Mormon and a Muslim to I see a Buddhist and Hindu to I see a Catholic and I see you were all God's children were all God's children were all God's tool room. So why can we be one big happy family. Now you know most of secular America agrees with the theology of Mr. Jackson as expressed in this song. For example, in an interview on MTV then presidential candidate John Kerry said and I quote, Americans have a right to be who they are, where all God's children in a speech on July 13, 2003, Pres. George W. Bush said and I quote. We base our history and our decision-making, our future on solid values. The first value is where all God's children" in her New York Times bestseller embraced by the light. Betty Edie tells about her not near death experience where she met Jesus who told her to come back to tell the human race that were all God's children that were all divine and that were all going to heaven, speaking for the gay and lesbian community. Christopher Sellars said and I quote, I pray that one day sooner or later the church will remember that were all God's children, gay or straight, for better or for worse. And finally I turned to that eminent theologian Jaelyn Rose, NBA player for the Toronto Raptors and I quote the thing about life is you've got to give the next man, his respect because were all God's children" now the question is friends is that right. The question is are we all really God's children and that's what we want to talk about today. Remember that we're in a series entitled Jesus is most outrageous things were going to the gospel accounts and were picking out 12 of the most radical things that Jesus never said it was spending a week on each one of them and were asking the question.
Well, so what we've already done 10 and if you miss any of the 10. I hope you go to the concert to the bookstore and get the CD of the tape. Today were ready for number 11, and for that if you brought survival.
I want to ask you to open it to John chapter 8 Matthew Mark Luke John fourth book in the New Testament, chapter 8 and if you did not bring a Bible. Our main auditorium we have a copy of the Bible you can borrow right under the armrest next to you were to be on page 758, page 758. In our copy. The Bible John chapter 8 in your coffee, and while you're turning. Let me give you little bit of background here in John chapter 8, the Lord Jesus is involved in a heated argument with the rabbis. The issue they're arguing about is whether Jesus is really the Messiah and the way he claimed to be, as the argument grows nastier, the rabbis make a prudent remark about Jesus, his virgin birth. Here's what they say. Look at verse 41 they say to him.
We are not illegitimate children.
The new American Standard translates it.
We were not born a fornicate. We have one father they say even God and his comment by the rabbis now creates a whole new level of discussion a new discussion about who is really a child of God and who isn't who he really has God for their father and who doesn't. And I want to see what Jesus says to them about that.
Look at verse 42 Jesus said to them, if God were your father you would love me for I came from God. Now the key word in this sentence is the word were Jesus didn't say if I wall if God was your father, indicative mood. Jesus said if God were your father subjunctive mood, not just in case you forgot since you were in high school English. Let me go back to the American heritage book of English usage and remind you what the subjunctive mood is all about in that we find that we use quoting now the subjunctive mood to describe an occurrence that we assume or presuppose to be false or contrary to fact." So, for example, we say if he were sorry but is not he would've apologize by now we say.
If America were still a British colony, but it isn't, we'd all be drinking tea for lunch and Jesus said in the same way if God were your father but by using the subjunctive he makes it clear that God isn't their father. The point is that if from the very beginning of this discussion, Jesus's position is that these rabbis are not God's children. God is not their father, which is why he use the subjunctive mood instead of the indicative mood and now having set that up. Jesus goes on to say one of the most outrageous things that he ever said, he says, verse 43. Why is it that you don't understand what I'm saying will verse 44, here comes this outrageous thing. It's because you are of your father the devil, wow, do you understand what's going on here Jesus is speaking not just the Jewish people, my friends, Jesus is speaking to the religious elite of Israel.
The Pharisees and Sadducees describe the teachers of the law. These guys would've been akin to the date of the Pope and the Cardinals in Israel and he says to them in public. You are not children of God, you are children of your father the devil, verse 47 Jesus goes on to say he will belongs to God hears what God says and the reason that you guys do not hear is because you guys do not long to God, let's make sure we fully grasp what Jesus is saying here he saying to these guys.
Even though your Jewish and even though you are the religious leaders of Israel, and even though you are dripping with religious performance.
Even with all of those kudos to your credit, Jesus says, verse 44, God is not your father and verse 47 he says you do not belong to God. So here in John chapter 8 Jesus makes it clear that in God's mind all of the human race can be divided into two categories here in one category of the other. You are either a child of God. We the children of God, or else we are children of the devil. This forms the basis for what the apostle John said in first John three verse 10 he said this is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are and then he goes on to explain the distinguishing marks between the two friends.
What this means is that Alan Jackson was wrong.
What this means is that John Kerry is wrong. What this means is Pres. George W. Bush is wrong.
What this means is that Betty Edie is wrong to gay and lesbian community is wrong. Jailing roses wrong. As human beings we are God's creatures. Yes, as human beings we are God's creation. Yes, but everyone of us are not God's children.
I'm sorry to be a child of God is a privilege that is reserved exclusively for people who place their personal faith and trust in Jesus Christ and what he did for them on the cross is then and only then that we enter into a family relationship with God is then and only then can we become God's children and he becomes our heavenly father by my salon. Are you sure you're not reading way too much into the subjunctive mood here. I mean really well, wait a minute, the whole rest of the Bible says the same thing John chapter 1 verse 12 to every person who believes in Jesus Christ to them. And I might add to them only God gives the right God gives the authority to become children of God writing to followers of Christ in Galatia. Paul said in Galatians 326 for you are all children of God. But notice how you are children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Writing to the believers in Ephesus. Paul said God predestined us to be adopted as his children through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 15 writing to the believers in Galatia again. Paul said, Galatians 44 when the time it fully come, God sent his son, born of a woman to redeem us so that we might be adopted as his children, writing to the believers in Rome. Paul says in Romans 815. So then you have not received ace Garrett of slavery, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as children by which you're able to call God of which means in Hebrew father friend to see nobody is born a child of God.
As a matter fact for the very opposite is true. Ephesians chapter 2 verse one says everyone of us is born spiritually dead. Everyone of us is born alienated from God separated from God. Children of the devil and to become one of God's children, we must be adopted by God and he adopts us when we put our faith in Jesus Christ. Now this is the great news of the Bible. My friends, the great news of the Bible is the God loves me so much he loved you so much he loved every human being in the world so much that he came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ and died on the cross so that the option would be available to us that we could be adopted into the family of Almighty God. And that's why John says. First John 31. How great is the love that the father has lavished on us that we should be called the children of God. When we believe in Jesus Christ and that is exactly what we are. Johnson now if you're here today.
Let me take a break and just say.
And you never trusted Jesus in real and personal way than the friends. This is what God wants to do for you. He wants to adopt you into his family. He wants to make you his child and become your heavenly father and he will do that if you just give him the opportunity is a lot more that comes our way when we trust Jesus Christ than just going to heaven. We get God as our personal heavenly father and you know no matter how hard you try the other way. There's only one way to get adopted into the family of God friend and that through faith in Christ. If these Jewish leaders. It is these remember these were Jewish people by birth. Most of you aren't. These were rabbis and religious leaders in Israel. Most of you are and if they were not children of God by their own human and religious effort.
Certainly you Gentiles are going to be understand what I'm saying you I'm saying that if those guys couldn't get it on their own to be children of God. We are certainly not going to make it, but there is a way to make it. That has nothing to do with our performance friends or our religious activity is when we trust Christ. God adopts us what wonderful deal if you're not an adopted child of God through faith in Christ and I'm here to ask you what in the world is holding you will I don't understand why you turn a deal like that they'll hope you'll think about what the stars want to go in our passage right now because I want us to stop and ask our most important question you know what I most important question is are you ready are you ready ready.
Here we go. 123 year salon someone say you know what I still don't understand the subjunctive mood lawn.
I still don't think I could get it right in the center and frankly I didn't come here for an English lesson. So what in the world. Differences any that makes me what you just said well let me let me try to bring it home to you that you know in the New Testament that God calls himself, our heavenly father as followers of Christ over to hundred and 60 times. He refers to us as this is our our heavenly father. I believe the reason God repeats this so much is because he wants us to understand that he's serious about his role as being our father and if you're a follower of Christ here today you had an earthly father that was not so good and you're not so proud to claim him and maybe you don't know who he was.
He walked out on you.
Well I got great news for you God wants to be the father that you never had any serious about that role in your life and even if you're here today is a follower of Christ and you had a pretty good father friends when you gave your life to Jesus Christ you got another father a new father whose will wants to take the ministry of being a father to a whole new level in your life when we come into that kind of family relationship with God where we are his children and these are father and the benefits come all over the place that I want to tell you about a few of the benefits that come from being a child of God by faith in Christ here that here some of the benefit number one we get a father number one who loves us unconditionally.
We get a father whose log is not based on how we perform. We get a father who loves us and values us and treasures us just for who we are, who loves this in a way that sets us free and heals us to be healthy people. Romans chapter 5 verse eight God demonstrated the kind of love he has for us in that while we were yet sinners, while our performance really stunk. Christ died for us, because God doesn't love us because of our performance friends who loves us is because were us number two second benefit we get. As we get a father who promises never to abandon or forsake us to desert us.
Hebrews 13 five Jesus said I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you what that means is, no matter how bad it gets. No matter how thick the bullets are flying no matter how deep the black hole is that we feel were in Jesus Christ, our heavenly father standing there right beside us. Every single moment of every single day because that's his commitment to us is our father. Number three benefit number three we get a father who promises to meet all of our earthly needs.
Matthew chapter 7 verse 11. If you then know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give what is good to his children. Number four we get a father benefit number four who is tender and patient with us. Psalm 103 verse 13.
Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. Number five we get a father who was more merciful and more forgiving than you and I deserve Psalm 103 continues. The Lord does not treat us as our sins deserve stop for a minute that good news or one. The Lord does not treat us the way our sins deserve. Please don't ever tell God you want what you deserve, because it he gave it to you. You'd be very sad about him. Given it to you.
You want from God. What you don't deserve. You want mercy you want grace you want kindness and the beautiful thing about it is when we have God as our heavenly father. That's what we get the verse continues, nor does he repay us according to our wrongdoings.
Thank God for that benefit number six we get a father who was emotionally available to us. The father that we can go to without pain and are suffering and are hurt Google connect with us and that pain who will comfort us and soccer us in that pain.
Hebrews 4 verse 15 we have a high priest, Jesus Christ who can sympathize with our weaknesses. For he, when he was here on earth was tempted in all ways as we are yet without sinning. Therefore let us approach his throne of grace with confidence that we may receive mercy and grace in our time of need, and finally benefit number seven we get a father who cares about us and takes a genuine interest in our lives, Peter says, first Peter 57 cast all your cares on him.
Why, because he cares for you.
You know, I think maybe some of us are around the Christianity in the Christian faith in the Bible so much that we begin to take simple truths for granted sometimes. This is a simple truth. He cares for you and me (God help us never to take that for granted. Think about that the God of the universe who made every atom. Every molecule keeps them all sticking together. The God of the universe who keeps Pluto from bumping in the Neptune out there somewhere, the God of the universe cares about you and me and the little tiny trivial things that go on in our lives. He cares about that. I tell you that is an amazing truth that in 35 years of walking with Jesus Christ. I have never gotten over that he cares about me, the God of the universe in uninhabited like that, growing up maybe.
Why, maybe this that's why this is so amazing to me. My dad growing up, took no interest in my life at all. I was like a picture on the wall in my house. I was like a piece of furniture in my house. My dad would pass me in the hallway, but he wouldn't stop and relate to me anymore than he relate to a piece of furniture and you know I would lay in bed at night.
As a child. I can still remember this and I would fantasize about what it would be like to have a dad who really cared for me what it would be like to have a dad that I could talk to about my problems in school. My struggles my dreams my hopes what I wanted to grow up and be in a dad who cared enough that he would partner with me to say son let's see if we can help you reach that goal in your life.
I lay there in bed and thought about it but you know what I I knew that was never going to happen with my dad and you know what it never did. And because I had a dad like this, I turned out to be a very sick human being. I mean a 21 years old and age. I was so dysfunctional that they were giving out trophies for dysfunctionality. I would've won the Heisman. That's all I gotta tell you, but when I gave my life to Jesus Christ in 1971 I found that my new heavenly father came into my life and he began to go back and repair some of that damage that I have suffered from having such an imperfect earthly father and dog three fathering of me over the last 35 years has been the most healing in the most restorative and the most wonderful experience I've ever had in my life now how healthy I am today might be a matter of debate, but I'm definitely better than I was 35 years ago when the Lord picked me up I come a lot better and this is what the Bible says Psalms 68 verse five it says God is a father to the fatherless, and friends. That's what I was I was a fatherless human being and God says come on over his son will follow you now. And maybe that's you. Maybe you came from a home where you had a dad like I had. Or maybe you came from all over you and know that friends. I got great news for you, your heavenly father will start preparing that damage. He will start offloading that baggage he will heal your life and father you as no one else can father you if you just given the opportunity to do that. Let's summarize being a follower of Christ involves a lot more than just getting a ticket to heaven. We've seen we seen.
It means being adopted into God's very own family. It means being loved by the greatest father in the universe.
It means being cared for, perhaps for the very first time in your life just because you're you, but I got one more aspect of God. Father what I want to give you before we quit this morning and is found in Romans chapter 5 verse one. Therefore, the verse is, since we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have been granted access by our faith in Christ. To this gracious position with God in which we now stand. Is that what is that mean friends. What that means is when you give your life to Christ. God gives you access to gives you M3 into a whole new position in God's sight into a whole new standing in God's life.
When we become adopted children of God. God grants us this national position that he calls a gracious position, meaning that the position we have with God always enjoys God raised it always enjoys God's kindness and his mercy. It means that everything that happens in our life. We can be sure God will always treat us with mercy, with tenderness and with undeserved kindness because we have a new standing in his thigh. We are now his children so long. I'm not sure I understand exactly how this works.
Can you come up with some handles on it practically forming love to know I have three sons my middle son Justin who was just a wonderful son. I love them to death. These 24 entering his third year of law school at the University of Michigan and I just couldn't be more proud of it when Justin first got his driver's license at 16, he had four accidents in the first year for town. In fact, that we have so many that I actually had the claims Department of my insurance company on the dial on my telephone no. And he would always come in with an excuse. He always had an explanation why wasn't his fault that he had this accident even left the scene of an accident. Once and told me the other kid left the other kid did leave after he left I called the folder open and threaten the father that he needed to pay for all the damages robs them to turn his kid into the police finally will be. Got the story right just to pay for all the damages anyway. In those days.
Let me tell you what I did.
I kept listening to his explanations with patients. I Forgiving him. I kept fixing his automobile and I kept paying for his insurance, which went off and and and I just want you to know if any of you here have done this to me.
I want to cut your insurance off in a heartbeat but it's very wide and cut my sons to insurance off. It was really simple because my son has a special relationship with me that you don't have. He has a special standing with me that you don't have. He is my child and as a result, he gets more grace for me to get more mercy from me because more kindness for me to get more understanding for me and he gets more patience for me than you do, because he has a special position with now. That's the whole point of what God's trying to tell us in Romans chapter 5 that because you are God's child through faith in Christ, you get more grace you get more mercy you get more kindness you get more patients and you get more understanding from God than the rest of the human race does because you have a special relationship with him that the rest of the human race does not have, and I don't know how. I guess any better than that I don't I don't know how I can out of the how to deliver you better news than that. Remind me remind you what John said. First John chapter 3, verse one.
He said how great is the love the Father has lavished on, then we should be called the children of God, and that is exactly what we are friends. God want you to understand without equivocation that when you embrace Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.
You entered into a radically new relationship with God a relationship with the rest of the world does not have with God.
We are not all God's children. Don't you ever believe we are all God's children. Don't you ever go out please and say to anybody. We are all God's children because the Bible says that is not true, but if you're a follower of Christ, you are God's child, now what does God want to do with that friends. First of all he wanted to know it, and second of all he wanted to treasure it and last of all he wants you to enjoy. He want you to enjoy the special standing that you have with you now is just an excuse for license is having a gracious standing with God. Does that mean we go out live. Anyway, we want to live as were his children know it doesn't. Hebrews chapter 12 says God spends his children to and you know I spank my son Justin a lot back when he was 16. I actually thought about restoring that whole process in our family. Please don't think that as his children. This gives us license to go out and disobey God, live any way we want to live that is not what the Bible is telling us to what the Bible is telling us is that even when we try hard to obey God which we should as our father even when we seek to do those things that please him the most, which we should try to do as our father friends were still going to fall short because were human, and when we fall short. Isn't it wonderful to know that we have a special standing with God that ensures us. We will always be treated with compassion. We will always be treated with mercy. We will always be treated with kindness and tenderness in spite of the mistakes that we make. I think that's the balance of the Bible and that's great news. I hope not only will you know it and treasure it friend.
I hope you'll enjoy enjoy having the kind of safe relationship with Almighty God is pretty good what Jesus, thanks for talking to us today about who was a child of God and who isn't.
Thanks for giving us accurate information to counter the propaganda that we face everyday out there in our world propaganda that would seek to lump us all in together in the mind of God.
When the Bible says that were not all lumped in together more. Thank you so much for your love for us that you would come to earth and make a way for us to be adopted as the children of God through faith in Christ and as your children.
Lord, may we seek to honor you. May we seek to please you.
May we seek to obey you in every area of our life, but more thank you for the wonderful news that when we fall short.
We can be confident of your mercy and your on told kindness because we have a special standing with you that the rest of the world does not enjoy or thanks for telling us that today may that bring just a solid feeling and a solid standing to our life and we pray these things in Jesus name. And God's people said