Friday, February 1, 2019

2019.02.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 8:21-30

Questions for Littles: Who is speaking in v21? Where does He say that He is going? Who will seek Him? What will happen to prevent them from ever getting where He is? What do the Jews think Jesus might do (v22)? From where does Jesus say that they are (v23)? From where does Jesus say that He is? What do they have to believe about Jesus in order not to die in their sins (v24)? What do they ask Him in v25a? How does He answer? From whom does Jesus say His words and judgments about the Jews truly comes (v26)? What did they not understand (v27)? When did Jesus say that they would understand that He is God, who does everything in conjunction with His Father (v28)? Who is with Jesus (v29)? Who has not left Him alone? What things does Jesus always do? What did many do in v30? When? 
In the Gospel reading this week, Jesus states pretty bluntly one of the implications of the fact that He is God who has come to save the ones believing in Him.  That necessary implication is that if you don’t believe that He is God, you will die in your sins.

This should shut down, once and for all, any question whether theology of the Trinity or theology of Christ is important. You must believe in the true Christ, or you will die in your sins.

Who, then, is the true Christ? He is the One who is from above, who has existed from eternity as God, before He became a man on earth (v23). He is the One who was sent by the Father and whose words are the words of the Father (vv26-27). He is the One whose divine nature as the one, living, and true God was demonstrated most upon the cross (v28). He is the One whom the Father is always with, because He always has done what pleased Him (v29).

That last line of verse 29 bears repeating, “The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” Does that not make it all the more haunting to hear Christ say on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me”?!

The answer is obvious. I have not always done the things that please God. You have not always done the things that please God. And so, when God made Him who knew no sin to be sin with our sinfulness, God forsook Him. Likewise, when you and I believe into Him, God counts and credits us as righteous for His sake. And now the logic works the other direction: if we are in Christ, God can never leave us! (cf. Rom. 8)
Why did God forsake Christ? What, then, will He do to you if you are not in Christ?
Suggested songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations Rage?” or TPH268 “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”

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