Summary: Jesus knows all about our struggles
Intro: the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is one of the most important doctrines in scripture, that Jesus (part of the Trinity) became man. False religions all attack the concept of the God-man. They give us that Jesus was a prophet, teacher, miracle worker, but not Divine. God had to become man so that He might defeat sin in the flesh, so that we could live in victory. Tonight, let’s examine how Jesus can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities--- or can be sympathetic with our weaknesses, for He was tempted in all the ways we are, yet without sin.
TOUCHED BY OUR WEAKNESSES
Background: one thing I have realized by being part of religion for 47 years of living, most people don’t want to admit that they have weaknesses in their flesh. Religion tries to hide behind masks and many people feel uncomfortable around so-called Christians because they feel they just could never measure up to the superiority of people within the church. Many times as a Pastor I have people say, when I get a few things worked out in my life I will come to church, it is like, I need to get cleaned up a little so that I will be worthy to be among the members. But the Word of God clearly states that Jesus was tempted to sin. Some may say, yeah right, as if God could really sin, but in the flesh, walking with human weakness, Christ had the ability to fail. Don’t forget, He asked the Father in the Garden if He could bypass taking the cup of suffering and shame. I love that Jesus is real, and that He really knows what it is to struggle with weakness, yet without sin.
Why is this such a comforting thought, and why are these verses so important in approaching God?
1. God knows that I am not perfect, but loves me anyway—For God so loved the world—not Christians, not church members, not an elite group of superior people, but God loves this world, and gave Himself for it. All that call on the name of the Lord shall be saved, He will in no wise cast out those who come to Him. Here is the point: we all fall short of the glory, but in Christ we will share in the glory of God.
2. you are not a bad person because you go through temptations. I guess one of the greatest lies of Satan is this: if you were really a Christian you wouldn’t battle with any temptations. Paul said, there is a battle within between the Spirit and flesh. If the flesh wins we do those things we don’t want to do, if the Spirit wins, we do those things we are suppose to do.
· Being tempted is not a sin---you can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, just don’t let them build a nest on it.
· The bible says confess your faults one to another—James 5:16-now I am not suggesting you openly share all your battles with everyone you meet, but spiritual accountability is good if you have someone who will really help you through different struggles you may face in your walk with God.
3. God is approachable—even the worst sinner can approach Him. Here is the next lie of Satan, don’t bring that to God, He will be disgusted with your terrible, awful sins. Here is a scenario that is played out a million times. A person who is trying to live for God fails miserably, the devil comes to them with condemnation, and assures them that they have crossed the line and God will not hear their prayer. So they don’t approach God and become even more bound in those sins until they hit bottom. In desperation they cry to God and God hears and comforts them and they regret not coming to Him sooner because sins do have consequences in our life.
4. Imperfection isn’t hypocrisy—here is a classic—some people are so sure that everyone in the church is perfect, without any temptations or failures, they use the line, I will come to the Lord when I can really do it right. It is not of self, it is the gift of God, it is not of works lest any man should boast. You will never get it right, because Jesus got it right for you. We are saved through Christ, if we try to save ourselves we do despite to the Spirit of Christ and trample under foot the blood of Christ.
5. touched—with the feeling or weakness of our flesh. I know, “ Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God,” is a classic sermon, but here is the absolute truth, God knows what we are facing, knows our struggles in every way, and God doesn’t hate the sinner, He hates sin. He hates what sin causes, separation, hurt and fear. This gives me peace, that Christ can identify with us. One of the most freeing things the church can do, is when someone fails, come along side them, love them through the failure, and let them know, we don’t judge you for your failure, we love you in the Lord.