The Thiepharisees- John 10

On the last post we considered the blind man who was healed by Jesus and who was thrown out by the Pharisees.  The same story goes on in chapter 10 as Jesus continues his response to the Pharisees who were with Him.

And I don’t think that before now I had ever considered the fact that chapter 10 was doing just that, continuing Jesus’ response to the Pharisees.  So a new thought came to mind as I read today, specifically I thought about who Jesus was talking to (and why He was talking to them) when He said in verse 10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”

(An interesting note here, the word kill in verse 10 is specifically used of sacrifice.  It is not the common word for killing)

The Pharisees were angry with Jesus because He healed this blind man on the Sabbath.  The great keepers of the Law, as John pointed out earlier in this book, thought that by Scripture they possessed eternal life.  They built their empire of the Law and Jesus was a threat.  Not because He transgressed the Law, but because He transgressed their “law”.

Jesus wasn’t concerned with serving their misconceptions and lies.  He was concerned with saving people, and He knew that the Law kills.  It’s a righteous law, and that is exactly why it kills.  It kills rightfully.  People deserve eternal condemnation for sin… every one of us, who have turned away from God.  And there’s nothing we can do about it.

These Pharisees though, they thought they found life in the Law, and they were going to do whatever it took to slay their own people with this “life”.  And with that misuse of the Law, which claims to impart life to the sinner instead of death, they were able to do only three things… steal men’s hearts from God, sacrifice the people, and destroy them.

Lately brother Hugh Barton has been doing studies on Wednesdays that contrast the Law of the Letter with the Law of Grace.  He’s been pointing out the biblical truth that there is indeed life, but it is not found in the Law.

We, every person, need to remember that the Law holds no promise for us as sinners.  It is good, and serves as a tutor to show us our need for forgiveness and our need for righteousness.  But it cannot impart those things upon the transgressor, nor does it ever claim to.  We can never be good enough.

Do not believe the lie.  A man cannot work his way to heaven.  Salvation by works was the lie that the Pharisees pushed, but God called them thieves for it.  “Salvation by works” is a lie that ONLY steals, sacrifices and destroys…

Don’t believe the lie…

But know that there is hope…

There is a Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for His sheep…

There is Christ!

Gennao Anothen (John 3)

What does it mean to be born again?  Nicodemus, a teacher and leader amongst the Jews, couldn’t understand it.  Many today seem not to understand it.

We know from Romans 6 that it happens at baptism.  It’s clear that it is the beginning of a new way of life.  Completely new.  Jesus tells us in this passage that it is a thing of the spirit.  He goes on to talk about the necessity of believing in Him, even though men love the darkness.  He says that when we live in the truth we come into the light so that it may be plain to see that what we’ve done is only by God.

I find that I must pause and really consider if this describes me.  In so many ways people can point to my life and say “Look, it’s still the same old Cris.  He does as he pleases.”  In so many ways I fail to live anew.  Sometimes I fool myself by taking pride in the good works I’ve done.  Sometimes by emphasizing to myself that I have been baptised just like He told me to be.  But I must remember that it is His blood that makes those things of any worth.  And the application of that blood always begins with the truth of my sin.  Without Christ they are empty and in vain.

But I must believe that God will continue the good work He has started in me, and that He’ll see me through all the way.  I must believe that because the Bible says it.  And when I do take time to pause and look at my life, I find it is plain that God has done some amazing things in me.  It’s even plainer that it was only through God that I was able to do those things.  One doesn’t need to know too much about me, or anybody else for that matter, to see the need for God.  And when one accepts God, truly accepts Him and is born again, it will be plain that what they’ve done is through God.

So look at your own life, I ask you, and see if it is plain that God has worked through you.  Remember not to get proud, because if it is indeed plain that God has worked through you then you have nothing to boast about… Only God does. 

Is it plain that through God, and not through yourself, that you are Gennao Anothen?

Here’s a couple of videos from Andrew Peterson.  Watch them as you consider whether you are truly a new creation…