Resisting the Truth
Sermon shared by Mike Rickman
Summary: Religion hung Jesus on a cross. It is time to stop and ask the question, "Is the Holy Spirit in our churches or is religion our God?"
Denomination: Assembly of God
Audience: Seeker adults
I. The problem. (Verses 45-48) The miracles of Jesus. What God had intended to draw people to Jesus had the opposite effect on the "religious". John 5:36, Jesus said, "But I have a greater witness than John?’s: for the works which the Father has given Me to finish - the very works that I do - bear witness of Me that the Father has sent Me." John 5:40, "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life."
The religious people had watched Jesus perform miracle after miracle, one supernatural act after another, culminated by the raising of Lazarus, and they still were saying, "show me." John 3:2 Nicodemus, a teacher of the people, said to Jesus, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with Him." Paul wrote, "The Jews request a sign." Matthew 12:38, "Then some of the scribes and the Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You".
Jesus’ response? "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign." What Jesus was doing was not new.
The prophets of old did miracles. Jesus made them commonplace and expected. He was operating in His own authority and not on the authority of someone else’s interpretation of the word. What about today?
Do miracles happen today? Look at this article from a perfectly legitimate Christian website. I’m sure these folks love the Lord, but... "It is absolutely impossible for people to perform miracles today. In the Bible, Christians could not perform miracles unless an apostle prayed for them and laid hands on them (Acts 8:14-17; 19:5-6). Since Paul was the last apostle (1 Cor. 15:8; cf. Acts 1:21-25), there are no apostles on earth today. Since there are not any apostles on earth to pray and lay hands on people to receive miraculous power, it is impossible for people to perform miracles." Yet Exodus 15:26 says, "If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you."
We know that God is eternal and unchanging. We know that the command was given to the Israelites. But God is the eternal God who heals and He is unchanging. We know that by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5 Peter says the same thing (I Peter 2:24) So what are we to believe - The tradition of a church (of men) or
The Holy Bible? Colossians 2:8, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." The problem is that people tend to love the world more than the word. When we take the supernatural out of the word of God and the gospel message it becomes just another philosophy. Paul dealt with the philosophers in Athens and they thought he was a babbler with some new philosophy. "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." (Revelation 12:11)
II. Their own High Priest prophesied about Jesus and they still didn’t get it. (49-52) "It is expedient that one man should die for the people." John says that this high priest, Caiaphas, did not speak on his own authority. How can it be that one who does to know the Lord can
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