Text: John 8:31-33
For as long as human beings have walked the earth, people have gazed up in wonder at the night sky, beholding the awesome majesty of the Creation of God. We have seen the multitude of stars in the sky, unable to comprehend the vastness of it all and wondered how we fit into such an immense Creation.
What does it all mean, why am I here, where can I find meaning for my life?
These questions, and others along similar lines, have been asked by everyone at one time or another; many say that they have no answer. Many others say that there is no answer, for there is no particular meaning to anything; it just IS.
Philosophers have made their theories, religions have made their theories too, and even politicians have taken a stab at it.
Jesus Christ answered the questions, all of them.
Since January of this year, we have studied these great questions, even though I haven’t posed them before as such. We’ve gone all the way back to the Creation in Genesis chapter 1 and seen that God created the universe and everything in it. We have also seen that He created humanity, and that He created us for a very real purpose. We have seen that God created humanity so that we humans could be in intimate relationship with Him, and that we would, as bearers of His image and likeness, subdue the earth and exercise His dominion over it.
Sadly, we have also seen that through a series of poor choices, the humans He created for such a lofty purpose chose instead to rebel and pursue their own purposes. Yet we also saw that God did not give up on us, and that over time He worked patiently to restore that intimate relationship, and that in the fullness of time He sent His Son to complete the process and make it possible for humans to be restored to relationship with God by grace through faith in Him.
In the past several weeks, we have seen how, through this process, He has come to place His Holy Spirit within each of us who accept His grace through the blood of Jesus Christ, and how God has revealed His Spirit within us through manifestations of His Spirit in us that we call “Spiritual Gifts”. Furthermore, we have seen that by recognizing the spiritual gifts that He has so richly blessed us with, He reveals His perfect plan for each one of us to serve His Kingdom during our time on this earth as disciples of Jesus Christ. It seems clear enough that this is what Jesus had in mind when He was speaking with the people one day long ago…
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus addressed these comments to Jews in the group who believed Him, but there were Pharisees there too, who were not going to believe anything Jesus told them. They jumped in:
They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
Obviously, those Pharisees had forgotten about the experience of the forefathers in Egypt, but Jesus took a different approach, instead discussing their bondage to sin. Those Pharisees would not see their hope, for they were blind to the realities of Christ. They wanted to follow their own purposes, to make their own rules; they were bound in religion. But Jesus did not come to earth to set Man free to follow their own paths or to bind themselves in religion, but instead to follow God Himself in spirit and in truth.
We surely know better than they.
Even so, we have come to a choice: Will we follow God’s plan and purpose for our lives by using the gifts He has given us to serve His Kingdom purpose for our lives, or will we look the other way and carry on with business as usual?
I have made my choice, and I have given you the information you need to make yours− the rest is up to you.