|Pastor Don’s Friday’s Bible Study was on the POWER OF GOD
When Jesus was questioned by the Pharisees he told them He only did what He saw His Father do, and He only said what His Father said.
One image that people think of God’s power is natural phenomenon like a lightning strike. They will say, for example, that if they do this or that, God will strike them down with a lightning bolt. Granted, God could do this, but lightning is also a natural phenomenon, humidity and heat building to create an electrical charge. It was created by the power of God, set in space and time eons ago by design. Another example is the miracle of birth – that was set in motion from the beginning of time by God’s design.
The Power of God is not a phenomenon set in motion, but an interruption in the natural order of things, a release of the Power of God. And example is Joshua, during a battle, prayed that God would stop time. And God did. Scientists have found that there is a whole day missing when they calculate the rotation of the earth.
We can begin to ascertain about the Power of God by seeing Jesus’ ministry on earth.
John 8 deals with a test put to Jesus by the scribes and Pharisees. They brought to Him a woman caught in adultery and asked Him to pronounce judgment on her. They are saying that they are righteous and holy, and can do this. But the Law stated that the punishment was to be made on the man and the woman. They did not follow the law, because they only brought the woman to Jesus. You cannot commit adultery alone. Jesus does not condone adultery. If these scribes and Pharisees had had a genuine desire in their hearts to stamp out adultery, if they had brought both the man and the woman to Jesus, His answer might have been different. As it was, he asked the woman, after her accusers left because none was without sin, John 8:10 “Woman where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” He then tells her in verse 11 “Neither do I condemn you: go and sin no more.”
He did judge her actions as sin, and He told her not to sin anymore. But while He was on earth, Jesus did not come to condemn anyone to death, but He did judge. He was particularly hard in His judgments of the scribes and Pharisees. But His time on earth was not the time of His judgement of human fleshly sins. But one day Jesus will judge – He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords.
John 8:14-18 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true, for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent me. It is also written in your law that the testimony of two witnesses is true. I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of me.
Jesus judges no one according to the flesh, but He does judge according to the heart – which is a true judgment. He also judged while He was on earth, with the operating power of the Holy Spirit, so His judgments were true. There is a difference between condemning to death and judging. Judging examines the fruit – whether it is good or bad. But He did not condemn to death while He was on earth.
Notice that it says “You judge according to the flesh (semicolon) I judge no one. The semicolon shows a continuation of thought – that Jesus would not judge according to the flesh. Jesus relied on the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to judge those on earth.
When we judge in the flesh we base our judgments on appearance, on our likes and dislikes. The Holy Spirit gives discernment to see beyond the flesh.
Verse 15 “You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one.” and verse 16 “And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.” seems to contradict each other.
But it isn’t a contradiction, for God also does not judge according to the flesh, but to the heart. The Holy Spirit will guide Jesus to make true judgments. And when he said “I AM” with the Father who sent me – remember that God introduced Himself to Moses as I AM that I AM. Jesus is using the same words showing that He and the Father are One. (See the verse below).
Verse 18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.
Verse 21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.
That is true, because the Scribes and the Pharisees reject Jesus, and it is only through Jesus that they can come to the Father. They will not be able to go into the Kingdom where Jesus rules and reigns.
In this day and age, with the concept of tolerance, people are trying to get Christians to back down by saying that they cannot judge. We are to judge. We are to judge the fruit of a person’s life. We are to judge, but not to condemn to death. We do not have the right to say, “You are going to go to hell because of that action – for we do not know the heart of a person, only God can condemn.” But we are to judge if something is in line with God’s Word or not, if something bears fruit or not. When we have struggled and overcome a beam in our own eye, we can identify a speck in someone else’s eye. One of the people at our Bible study overcame drug addiction. She has the right to judge a person who is taking drugs and inform them that if they continue on that path, this is the outcome. We are to judge a lie from the truth.
We are to inform people that THERE IS A HELL TO BE SHUNNED AND A HEAVEN TO BE GAINED. If we really love people, we have to have a compassion to warn them of the consequences of their behavior. If we are still locked in a particular sin, then we are to keep our mouth shut.
I will continue this study tomorrow, we will be talking about planting seed which is our job as Christians.
Hoping you have a great weekend,
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