If you’re looking to dive deeper into what the Bible says about this topic, here’s a suggested Reading Plan, one passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:
- MONDAY: John 7:45 – 8:11
- TUESDAY: John 1:1-34
- WEDNESDAY: Colossians 1:15-23
- THURSDAY: Matthew 5:17-48
- FRIDAY: 2 Corinthians 3 (letter of the law v. spirit of the law)
- SATURDAY: Mark 2:23-28
- SUNDAY: Psalm 15
eGroup Discussion Questions – Great for personal reflection/journaling, too!
Sermon Notes: “Living in the Tension” ⤵️
Preacher: Robert Madu
Passage: John 8:1-11; John 1:14 (NKJV)
Title: Living in the Tension
Date: June 14, 2020
Today’s sermon notes were taken during the 9:30 livestream from the Ballentyne campus.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14, NKJV
- “I had an encounter with Jesus” = “I had an encounter with GRACE and TRUTH” (John 1:14)
- Living in the tension between GRACE and TRUTH
- Like working out with a tension band
- The four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) are like four different cameras, different lenses through which we see Jesus.
- “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
- The only way we can have life and hope to live in a dark world
- More than just a Christmas verse
- Thank God we have a Savior who understands what I go through [Pastor Robert used the theological term “Incarnation” to describe this: God incarnated as a human. He put on human flesh to live among us.]
- That is how we learn to have empathy for one another… because God had empathy for us and knows what we go through.
- How can Jesus be full of grace and truth?
- One of these things is not like the other
- They don’t go together
- Beauty and the beast
- Grace = God’s infinite mercy [forgives sin]
- Truth = God’s infinite holiness [can’t stand sin]
- How many of us have had to look at truth (about ourselves) that is ugly because of Covid-19?
- “Truth people” need the grace that they refuse to give.
- THE TENSION:
- Grace without truth ceases to be grace. [no need for forgiveness if there are no consequences]
- Truth without grace crushes people. [like the Pharisees]
- But grace with truth is medicine.
- The gospel flies on the wings of grace and truth.
- Jesus lived in the tension of grace and truth.
- The Pharisees could not understand: How could this rabbi who taught the law also hang out with messed up people?
- If these kinds of people are not drawn to the gospel, are we really preaching the same gospel Jesus was preaching?
2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”
John 1:2-5, NKJV
- A woman caught in adultery was brought into the temple while Jesus was in the middle of his sermon.
- Jesus is not shocked by your sin.
- He can handle it. He’s not intimidated.
- He came from heaven to earth to defeat sin.
- We have the tendency to look at sin in categories: big sins, small sins, etc, but Jesus looks at sin the same.
6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
John 1:6, NKJV
- All this was to trap Jesus.
- They knew what the law said. (Stone adulterers.)
- But the Pharisees were right and wrong at the same time.
- They knew the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law.
- They knew the Word, but not the Author.
- The trap, the tension: “Do I trample on the Word or trample on the woman?”
- “What do you have to say?”
- His immediate response is to doodle in the dirt.
- There’s a difference between a reaction and a response:
- A reaction is quick
- A response is deliberate. (James 1:19: “Slow to speak, slow to anger”)
- They call them an Emergency Response Team, not an Emergency Reaction Team.
- Jesus didn’t react. He responded.
- Some people think he wrote:
- Matthew 22:37-39: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.”
- The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)
- Jeremiah 17:13: “Lord, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water.”
- Names of the men and their sins
- But it’s okay to say, “I don’t know”
- And to be honest, “I don’t care.”
- Don’t focus on what he was writing and miss how he was responding.
- We were all caught in the act, and if the law had it’s way, we’d all stand accused.
- But Jesus’ response to the law was to come down to where we were to touch the dirt, then he raised himself up on the cross. [put on human flesh/Incarnation] “No man takes my life.” (John 10:18)
7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
John 8:7-9, NKJV
- What is Jesus saying with that statement?
- He’s saying, “I see you. I know what you did.” [Truth]
- He did the most powerful thing: He made them look at themselves.
- He made them realize, “I’m no different than this woman.”
- Jesus took care of the issues before she realized they were gone. [Grace]
10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
John 8:10-11, NKJV
- Thank God for a Savior who is full of grace and truth.
- “Neither do I condemn you.” [Grace]
- “Go and sin no more.” [Truth]
- God didn’t send us a condemner. He sent us a Savior.