Summary: A sermon on the danger of unbelief.
"Three Timeless Truths"
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Introduction: Someone has well said that John 8:24 is the Gospel in a nutshell. All of the greatest truths about the depravity of man and the divinity of our Lord are encapsulated within this one short verse. In it you have three of the greatest truths found anywhere in God's Word. In it you have the disobedience of man, the divinity of the Master, and the destiny of the miscreants. This morning I want to share those three great truths with you and my prayer is that we would have open hearts and minds to what God has for us. First John speaks of:
I. The Greatest Transgression "...for if ye believe not..."
What would you say is the greatest transgression? Everybody probably has their own idea about what that would be. A short list would look like this; murder, adultery, lying, theft, envy, covetousness etc. Did you know that there is one transgression that is greater than all others combined? I hope that I have your attention now because this is really important, to you, to me, to all of us. The greatest transgression of all is unbelief and I can prove it. First, it is the greatest transgression of all because:
a. It is the original transgression
(Gen 3:1) Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
(Gen 3:2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
(Gen 3:3) But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
(Gen 3:4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
(Gen 3:5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
(Gen 3:6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
(Gen 3:7) And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
b. It is the transgression we all have in common
(Isa 53:6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
c. It is the transgression that nailed Jesus to the Cross.
A GLIMPSE OF ME
In Mel Gibson's Movie, "The Passion of Christ" there is an obscure detail in the crucifixion scene that probably goes unnoticed by most people, but it is a detail that says so much.
When Jesus is being placed on the cross, the camera comes close to watch as a large spike is positioned in the middle of Jesus' hand. Then, a mallet comes into focus, and a rugged hand swings it to drive the spike. Those are all things you expect to see.
But there is something you don't see. You never see the face of the one who drives that nail. You never get a glimpse into the eyes, or heart of the one who so assuredly pounds away until the spike has passed through Jesus' flesh and comes to rest in the wood of the cross.
You might be interested to know that the person who plays that role in the movie is the director himself, Mel Gibson. But why does he never show the face of the one who put Jesus on the cross? Why does he not give us the identity of the one who had the gall to put the Son of God to death?
He didn't show us that face because that face was his. It was ours. We are the ones who put Jesus to death. It wasn't the Romans. It wasn't the Jews. It was our sin that nailed Jesus to the cross.
Colossians 2:13-14 says: "And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross." ESV