[Gary Thompson, Campus Pastor, ECC Jackson Lake Campus :: Sunday Mar. 4, 2012]
More Than Rules
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
Both the man and the woman were supposed to brought to trial, but in this case it was only the woman. And the teachers of the law were trying to trap Jesus.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
Some scholars think that Jesus might have been writing in the sand the names of the sins that each of the teachers had committed. There’s no way for us to know for sure what he wrote.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:1-11 NLT)
Jesus forgave the rule breaker..and he forgives us too.
Have the rules become more important to you than Jesus?
Have you become more interested in the rules othes have broken than the ones you have broken?
1. Rules are important, but can get heavy when carried by ourselves.
Like getting trapped under weights when on the bench press. We need a spotter. We need help.
We can’t possibly follow all of the religious rules all of the time. Not by ourself. Jesus didn’t mean for it to be like that.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)
Rules get heavy when we try to carry them by ourselves.
When we think we have it figured out we can quickly become judgmental. We think that the sin of others is worse than our own sin.
2. Rules are important, but they don’t save us.
(video called Jesus is greater than Religion)
When rules are magnified, it becomes religion.
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (Ephesians 2:4-9 NLT)
Saved and Sanctify go hand in hand.
We are saved by grace..at the cross..one time.
Then we begin sanctification..which includes grace and effort on my part..and is a process.
Salvation happens once, but sanctification is a life long process.
3. Rules are important, but they don’t keep us around.
No one goes to church because of their great rules. We want to go to church at a place that accepts us when we fail.
Eastridge is a place that is hard against sin but soft against sinners.
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25 NLT)