Summary: Today we are going to read the story about when the Pharisees caught a lady committing adultery and brought her to Jesus to see what He would do about this sinful situation.
Right thing the wrong way Pt 6
Why religious people are dangerous
A. Today we are going to finish our sermon series on ‘Doing the right thing the wrong way.” This has been an incredible sermon series and has really affected me and the way I go about representing God and the ways of God.
B. We need to be careful that we are doing the right thing but we need to more careful that we are doing it the right way. It is not right to excuse bad behavior by saying, “Well at least I did the right thing.” If we do it the wrong way, with the wrong attitude, being mean or rude it does not please God and it actually hinders the work of God and often sets people further away from God rather then helping them.
C. Today I want to look at one more situation about a group of people who were doing the right thing but went about it totally the wrong way. Today we are going to talk about why religious people are so dangerous! We are going to read the story about when the Pharisees caught a lady committing adultery and brought her to Jesus to see what He would do about this sinful situation. We will be reading in the Gospel of John today. Let’s see what God’s Word has to say about being religious in John 8:1-11.
The Pharisees were right, she should have been stoned
A. One day in Jesus’ life, there was a woman who was brought to Jesus by the ruling authorities. She was guilty. She was breaking the law of God and was caught committing adultery. There does seem something strange about this though.
B. What is missing here? (Let the people yell out, ‘The man.’) It is interesting that the women always catch this! Yes the man was missing. I am not sure why but it really does not matter. She was guilty and her punishment, according to the Law of God given to Moses, was supposed to be stoning to death. It would not have changed anything if they brought the man along with her or not. She was guilty. There was no way around this.
C. The religious leaders wanted her to pay the ultimate price. They wanted to condemn her to death by stoning. But before they carried out their plans, they brought the woman to Jesus to see what He might have to say about the whole thing. What Jesus did on that day changed her life forever. It gave her a brand new start. The Pharisees on the other hand did not really care about this lady. They cared more about following the rules of religion and punishing anyone who did not follow the rules. They were doing the right thing, but they were going about it the wrong way. Their incredible disrespect for this lady is shocking. Their love and compassion were non-existent.
Religious people are dangerous
A. They follow the letter of the law. That is all they are concerned about, people and people’s needs are never considered. They simply measure everything by the rules. Are you obeying the rules? Good. Are you breaking the rules? Then you get punished.
B. The law is good. We need rules to live in this world. Can you imagine if we did not have rules on the highway and people wanted to drive on either side or go as fast or as slow as they felt lead! That would not work. What if we did not have rules at work? You could show up whenever you wanted or leave whenever you wanted and still get paid the same amount. Rules are good, but we need to be careful we don’t live ONLY by them. They can make us mean and hurtful. They can lead us down a path of doing the right thing the wrong way.
C. There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling sin exactly what it is. God hates sin and makes it clear that sin will never have a place in His presence. As believers, we are called to hate sin and stand against sinful behavior. However, it is important to remember that God hates sin but He loves the sinner. Jesus died to redeem lost people, to buy them back from the penalty and punishment of sin. More important than our call to hate sin, is our call to love sinners. Far too often we forget this fundamental fact. We look at people, size them up, pass judgment and begin throwing stones. The sad truth s that we are far more willing to point out the faults and failures of others without realizing and recognizing that we are not without faults ourselves.
D. Religious people are dangerous because they are doing the right thing. But since they are doing it wrong, it brings confusion in people’s minds about God. It leaves a bad taste in their mouth and pushes people away from God. Since they are religious people who are doing this people can’t figure out why something not right. Many times unreligious people are intimidated by religious people!