Call to worship: Psalm 19:7-14
Text: John 8:31-47
Jesus addresses those who have just believed in Him and, more specifically, His words. It seems like this is the sort of faith John means to affirm as true and saving. However, as the text bears out, this faith too is superficial. True disciples of Jesus abide in His Word. True professions are proven by perseverance over time---perseverance in doing the Word of Jesus. This is a free person, a person free from the power of sin to live to God. The inauthenticity of this faith becomes immediately evident in their response to Christ's Word. They have not come to fully entrust their souls to the Son of God and Savior of sinners. Self-righteousness persists. And as Jesus exposes it as a fraudulent hope, their true state comes out. They do not love Jesus. They cannot bear His Word. They are not 'of God.' For all their religious badges, sin is still their lord, and the devil, in fact, is their 'daddy.' Once again, Jesus proves patient in affirming professions of faith. The fallout of this text is the reason why---why we must affirm His wisdom in this and follow in His footsteps. Most importantly, however, we must put our own lives under this microscope: if you are truly My disciples, you will abide in My Word. Here again is light from the Light of the world.
- True disciples of Jesus abide in His Word. (8:31-38)
- Abiding in the Word of Jesus is a family matter. (8:39-47)
- Read John 8:31-47.
- Per 8:31, who is Jesus speaking to from here on out to 8:59? How does Jesus define true disciples? Why must He even give such a definition? How does His patience in affirming professions of faith sit with us? How might it shape our understanding of conversion and the affirmation of those who truly belong to the family of God? What is the one great mark of true disciples? Are we a people who 'abide' in His Word?
- How do the 'believers' respond in 8:33? What do you make of their response? How does Jesus respond to their assertion that 'they have never been enslaved to anyone'? What's the slavery that Jesus is talking about? How should that shape our interactions with unbelievers? Do people have the power to set themselves free? If not, Who does? How does Jesus describe those who had believed His words in 8:37?
- Beginning in 8:39, abiding in the Word of Christ is proven a family matter. 'Who's your daddy?' Who do they contend (still) to be their father? Why do you think they fall back on that? How does Jesus challenge it? Who do they contend to be their father in 8:41? For what reason do you think they believe that? How does Jesus challenge it? What's the chief mark of a true child of God (8:42)? How is that manifest (8:43)? How does that come about (8:47)?
- Why can't they bear to hear His Word? Who is their father? What does that mean about their wills? Should we expect unbelievers to believe the truth (8:45)? What point is Jesus trying to make to (about) them by asserting His sinlessness in relationship to His teaching and their rejection of it? Why can't they 'hear' the words of God through Jesus? How does this text give new insight into the imperative of Jesus, 'you must be born again'? How does the new birth relate to new life?