Who’s Your Daddy?

Posted: May 17, 2015 in John

John 8:37-47, “Who’s Your Daddy?”

Some things run in the family.  Remember the very first time a phrase escaped your lips that you swore you’d never say?  Or the first time you looked in the mirror and saw something that more resembled your parents than you?  Some family resemblances can be funny – others can be downright alarming, depending on how you view it (and how much hair you want to keep!).  Other family resemblances aren’t so much physical as they are behavioral.  We all tend to pick up certain tendencies from our parents (for good or ill) – it’s just inescapable. 

Family resemblances aren’t just a fact among physical families, but spiritual ones as well.  Christians tend to look like the Christians who came before them, Jews look like Jews, etc.  That’s all to be expected – but we ought to be realistic about it.  Someone who claims to be a Christian who acts anything BUT Christian ought to just admit their family resemblance isn’t entirely accurate.

That was the case with Jesus and the Jews.  They claimed a familial heritage going back to Abraham, and that they were the children of God – but their behaviors told a different story.  They appeared to be the children of a much different daddy – one that they wouldn’t want to admit.  At this point, tensions were already high between Jesus and the Jews, but He had to point it out to them.  If they never realized the problem, they would never humble themselves and seek God for the solution.

It’s always difficult to pick up in the middle of a conversation, but that’s where we find ourselves.  Actually, the conversation goes back quite a ways to Jesus’ time in Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles.  The feast has come to an end, but some of the issues brought up during that time have had a long shelf-life.  Jesus continually made the claim that He had been sent by God, and that those who believed God would believe Jesus as the One sent by God.  In response, the Pharisees and other Jews were divided over Him – some potentially following Him in faith, others looking to kill Him.

More immediate to our context is what Jesus told the Jews in 8:31-36.  The Jews were in bondage, and they didn’t even realize it.  They claimed a political freedom (which didn’t exist in reality), but missed the fact that the most important freedom they could have is spiritual freedom – and they didn’t have that either.  They were slaves to sin and death because they rejected Jesus and the gospel.  They didn’t abide in Jesus’ word, so they didn’t have life.

So if that’s the case, what are the ramifications for that in regards to their covenant with God?  Remember that the Jews took great pride in their physical lineage from Abraham.  They had inherited a special covenant relationship with God as His own special people.  The Old Testament goes into great detail affirming this.  Yet there’s a huge disconnect at play.  On one hand are the covenant promises of God regarding the children of Abraham; on the other is the sheer disobedience of Abraham’s children.  At what point do children stop acting like legitimate children?  At what point is the family resemblance gone?  Or perhaps better yet: did a family resemblance to Abraham ever exist?  Or did the Jews more resemble someone different out of the past?

There’s bound to be some family resemblance somewhere.  Who you imitate and listen to is likely your true parent.  Those who hear and receive the gospel of God are of God; those who don’t, aren’t.

John 8:37–47
37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.

  1. Jesus is revisiting the issues that arose just a few minutes (verses) before.  Earlier, He said “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed,” (8:32) and the Jews had responded that they were “Abraham’s descendants,” (8:33).  Jesus first took the time to establish the fact that they were enslaved, and now addresses their descent from Abraham & relation to the word of God.
  2. Jesus acknowledges their ancestry, and yes they did physically come from Abraham.  But there was a massive disconnect between their actions & Abraham’s actions (as Jesus will make clear in 39-40).  One of the most striking examples was that they wanted to “kill” Jesus.  Earlier, they denied the fact that they wanted to kill Him (7:20), but now Jesus says it plainly without any pretense of an argument from them.  The Jews did want Jesus dead, and they didn’t bother denying it any longer.
    1. Think about that for a moment.  They didn’t want to simply refuse Jesus, debate Him, or even just ignore Him.  They wanted to kill Him.  What had Jesus done to inspire this sort of visceral reaction?  He healed a lame man on the Sabbath day, and told the people the truth that He came from God.  For that, they wanted Him dead.  What was their issue with this?  Jesus demonstrated the power and authority of God, and they couldn’t have that.  If Jesus had simply claimed it, they could write Him off as a nutcase.  The problem with Jesus is that He had the power to back it up.  When Jesus spoke, He demonstrated that He words were true.  For them to deny Jesus’ words, they had to have a dead Jesus.
    2. People still have this sort of reaction to Jesus.  There’s an actual website entitled “If Jesus returns kill him again.”  The modern new atheism isn’t content to ignore Christianity; it seeks to actively dismantle it and remove it from society.  So many people don’t want to deny Jesus, but to destroy Him.  And if people can’t kill Christ, then they want to kill His followers.  There’s a reason why ISIS and Boko Haram are as violent as they are against Christians.  Or why it’s illegal in many places across the Islamic Middle East to convert to Christianity.  There’s a reason why the atheistic government of China persecutes free Christian churches and force them underground, or why North Korea in its dictator worship forbids worship of Jesus and has imprisoned up to 70,000 Christians in labor camps.  They hate Jesus.  John 15:18–19, "(18) “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. (19) If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."  Persecution is a reality, and we ought never forget to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who face it on a regular basis.
  3. Why did Jesus say they wanted to kill Him?  He said “because My word has no place in you.”  There was no place for the gospel.  Remember that in vs. 31, Jesus said they needed to abide in His word to be free disciples; they didn’t abide.  Jesus’ word/teaching found no home among them. They rejected the gospel, and thus they rejected Jesus Himself (even to the point of death).
    1. People don’t often think of it in these kind of extreme terms, but that’s what it is.  There are some who want a New Age Hippy Jesus, but nothing to do with a Holy Righteous Jesus.  There are some who want a Red-Letter Jesus, not a Jesus that inspires the words of the rest of the Bible.  There are some who want a Leftist-Marxist Jesus, or others who want a Flag-waving American Jesus – either extreme being a false caricature of the Biblical Jesus.  When the full gospel truth of Jesus is rejected (His word not abiding in us), then Jesus Himself is rejected.  It’s all or nothing. 

38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”

  1. As Jesus is talking about heritage, He notes that they come from different places.  They have different fathers – something to which the Jews will strenuously object.
  2. Jesus spoke of the witness He had from His Father. He was an eyewitness to eternity, and Jesus was faithful to report of it to mankind.  As the prologue to John’s gospel proclaimed, the Son of God “declared” the Father to us (1:18).  Jesus spoke what He saw.  It’s not that Jesus didn’t act – He did many signs and wonders, far more than what were specifically detailed in the Scriptures for us.  But the emphasis He makes here is on His teaching.  The most important part of Jesus’ ministry (apart from the cross and resurrection) was Jesus’ teaching about God; not His miracles.  The miracles only served to give a credible platform from which Jesus taught, but they weren’t the focus of His ministry; the gospel was.
  3. The Jews did the works of their father.  Jesus was a witness for His Father, and the Jews were witnesses of their father.  (Thus far unnamed.  Jesus seems to purposefully build the argument here through inference.)  Again, it’s not that Jesus did nothing (He did much), but His words also lined up with His actions.  That wasn’t the case for the Jews.  They claimed to be of Abraham, but their actions demonstrated a different family line.

39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” …

  1. The Jews object.  They claim their Abrahamic heritage. Physically speaking, they were correct (which Jesus already admitted in vs. 37).  Any Jewish family that had not converted as a proselyte was a physical descendant of one of the original 12 tribes of Israel, all of which ultimately traced their roots back to the great-grandfather of the patriarchs, Abraham.

The problem was that this lineage didn’t mean nearly as much as what they thought it did.  John the Baptist pointed this out in his ministry, saying that God could raise up children of Abraham from the stones (Lk 3:8).  Abrahamic DNA could be generated out of thin air by God.  It didn’t even necessarily apply only to the Jews.  The Ishmaelites (Muslims) can legitimately claim Abraham as their father as well, as can the children of Abraham that came from his later wife Keturah (whom Abraham married after Sarah died).  Yet that didn’t give them any special rights.  Abrahamic birth did not automatically include them in the covenant of God.  They needed something more than a birth certificate.

  1. The issue here is false confidence.  The Jews were physical children of Abraham, so they thought they could just check it off the list.  Their relationship with God was one less thing they had to worry about.  Because they were of Abraham, they were circumcised, and they kept the Sabbath, everything else was gravy.  It was a misplaced, false confidence.  They trusted in ritual instead of reality.  They trusted in circumstance rather than spiritual truth.
    1. Too many people today likewise have a false confidence.  They place it in their baptism, their church membership, their family history, even their Bible knowledge – but in the end, though all of them can be wonderful none of them save.  People can walk through the rite of baptism without exercising any saving faith.  People can belong to a fantastic church or have loads of Scripture memorized without saving faith.  Even the devil memorizes Scripture.  Beware that your eternal confidence isn’t falsely placed!  If our hope for salvation isn’t squarely placed in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior – if our confidence isn’t 100% in Him – then we truly have no real confidence at all.

…Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.

  1. Jesus rebuts the Jews.  Actions speak louder than words.  They claimed to be of Abraham, but they certainly did not “do the works of Abraham.”  Where is the family resemblance to their so-called father?  It was lacking.  Abraham hadn’t done what the current Jews were doing.  Abraham was a man of faith who welcomed God.  Abraham was a man who heard the voice of God and obeyed Him; not reject Him or seek to kill Him.  Abraham certainly wasn’t perfect, but he most definitely acted differently than the Jews of Jesus’ day.
    1. No doubt, the Jews would claim otherwise.  They would claim that they did the works of Abraham, even if they rejected Jesus.  After all, they kept the law and traditions of their forefathers.  (Actually, they didn’t – to break one aspect of the law is to break the entire law.  They never were able to keep the whole law, but that’s another issue.)  But even granting this for argument’s sake, is it possible for the Jews to still truly do the works of Abraham even if they lack faith in Jesus?  No.  That’s Jesus’ whole point.  Faith in Christ is part & parcel with faith in God.  Faith in Jesus IS obedience to God.  The two cannot be separated.  God gave many rituals to the Jews, but God is not a God pleased by rituals.  The rituals were there to point them to Christ, so that they would have faith in the promises and person of God.  Just to walk through the rituals of religion meant nothing.  True faith is what makes it all valid.  True faith is what would make them (and us) children of Abraham.  Galatians 3:7–9, "(7) Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. (8) And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” (9) So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham."  Abraham’s greatest “work” (so to speak) was a work of faith.  He “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Gen 15:6, Rom 4:3, Gal 3:6, Jas 2:23)  When we exercise faith in Jesus, we too are doing the work of Abraham.  When people deny Jesus, they do the opposite of Abraham, no matter what their DNA is in regards to ethnic Israel.
  2. What was Jesus’ crime?  He told the “truth.”  One would think this wouldn’t be a problem, but that all depends on your perspective.  To someone who values the truth, the truth is a wonderful thing.  But what if you’re invested in a lie?  What if everything you believe is based upon an untruth?  You’d want to hold to that firmly, and get rid of any possibility that might undermine your falsehood.  If that meant killing the messenger, so be it.
    1. Jesus tells the truth.  Not everybody likes it, appreciates it, or values it – some even rail against it kicking and screaming.  But it doesn’t change it.  Truth is truth, no matter what.  The facts are what the facts are.  And the fact is that Jesus is the Son of God in the flesh who died for our sins upon the cross and rose again from the grave.  That is the truth.  It is a historical fact.  What you do with that fact is up to you.  You can rail against the messenger, or you can respond in humility and faith.
  3. Did you catch the claim to deity Jesus slipped in?  In vs. 38 Jesus said He spoke the things He saw from His Father, and in vs. 40 He said that He spoke the truth He heard from God.  Who does Jesus say His Father is?  God.  If that didn’t cause enough stirring among the Jewish ranks, what Jesus says about God later in vs. 58 really gives them fits!  At that point, Jesus will remove all doubts to His claim to deity.

41 You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”

  1. Jesus hints again at their true father, demonstrated by their deeds.  Whoever it was, it certain wasn’t Abraham!  Their deeds pointed to someone far more insidious.
  2. The Jews object once more, easily picking up on Jesus’ meaning.  So insulted by it, they turn it around, insinuating that Jesus was of illegitimate birth.  It wasn’t the first time this had happened – the Pharisees did it earlier when accusing Jesus of witnessing of Himself (8:19).  This seemed to be a favorite tactic of theirs, in their attempt to undermine Jesus’ credibility.
    1. Interestingly, the gospel of John never directly writes of Jesus’ birth or childhood.  He left that to the accounts in Matthew and Luke.  However, John alludes many times to the rumors surrounding Jesus’ birth, and he doesn’t seem to feel the need to elaborate on it.  It’s an argument for how well-known the story of Jesus’ birth actually was.  This wasn’t something later imposed upon Jesus’ ministry to somehow make Him look “more” divine – it was something everyone knew from the start.  The people of Jesus’ day understood well that Joseph was not His birth father, and that Jesus claimed a different parentage altogether.  The proof of His claims was provided in His resurrection from the dead.
  3. So first the Jews claimed to be children of Abraham, now they claim to be children of God.  Which is it?  Both.  The first was claim of physical lineage, but now they understand Jesus to be speaking of spiritual lineage.  Spiritually, they declare they are the children of God.  And the Old Testament bears this out, as even the book of Deuteronomy says “You are children of the Lord your God…” (Dt 14:1).  Of course, they leave out some vital information along these lines.  God did say He was their Father, but they certainly weren’t acting like His children.  Even the reference from Deuteronomy was in regards to the Israelites acting differently than the nations surrounding them (not cutting themselves or making special markings on their bodies for the dead).  By rejecting the Messiah sent by God, they were acting no different than any of the nations that totally rejected God.  Where was their faith in their supposed Father?

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.

  1. Notice the “If” here.  The grammar assumes the condition is false.  Jesus knows they don’t love Him, thus God is not their Father.  Only if they loved Jesus would God be their Father.  The proof of a true Godly parentage (spiritual heritage) would be a love of Christ.
    1. What does it mean to love Christ?  It means to stand fast in faith.  For Peter, as he was restored to ministry by Jesus, he was asked three times if he loved Jesus.  To each affirmative answer, Jesus told him to feed/tend His sheep (21:15-18).  Peter needed to stand firm in what Jesus had given him to do, trusting Jesus as the ultimate Shepherd who was in control.  To the rest of the disciples prior to His crucifixion, Jesus linked their love of Him to obedience to His command (14:21).  It wasn’t obedience that would save them, but it certainly was evidence of their faith.  Ultimately, our love of Christ comes down to what we do with the gospel.  John 14:23–24, "(23) Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. (24) He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me."  Do you believe the gospel?  Do you abide in His word?  Do you cling to the promises of Christ? Do you love Him?
  2. Jesus answers their insinuation with the incarnation.  They implied He didn’t know who His Father was, and that He was the one born of fornication; not the Jews.  Quite the contrary – Jesus knew exactly from whence He came: God.  This is a direct reference to the incarnation of Christ.  This is not His origin as a Person, but it is His origin as a human. Being fully God, Jesus has always existed as the 2nd Person in the Trinity.  … …
  3. Not only did the Son come from God, but He was specifically “sent” by God.  As Jesus taught many times earlier, He was came with a specific purpose – He was commissioned by God on a quest – He was the original Apostle. …

43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.

  1. Jesus acknowledged that they did not understand Him. The reason?  They could not understand Him.  They had no ability to do so.
  2. The same is true of people today.  Those who seek God in humility and faith will find Jesus, because Jesus will reveal Himself to them.  Those who don’t have no ability to understand the will and word of God at all.  It’s impossible; it’s just not in their capability to do.  1 Corinthians 2:14, "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."  The gospel will always sound with foolishness until we choose to humble ourselves, and come before God in faith.  That’s a choice each one of us needs to make. …

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

  1. Jesus drops a massive truth bomb on them.  Thus far, He has said that the Jews had a different father than Him that wasn’t God, but had left this other parent unnamed.  He had left the definite implication that it was Satan, but the Jews repeatedly objected to it. (Understandably so…who would like this?)  But now Jesus removes all inferences and simply lays it out there.  The Jews may have thought their father was God, but their father was really the devil.  That was their strongest family resemblance.
  2. They did not simply do the deeds of the devil, by engaging in sin; they wanted to do his “desires.”  They claimed God as their Father, but they didn’t want to do the desires of God; they desired the deeds of God’s enemy.  That’s what unbelief is: a rejection of the righteousness of God and an embrace of that which is Satanic.  Sounds rather harsh, doesn’t it?  But those are the facts.  Part of our problem is that we’ve lost sight of how sinful the sin of unbelief actually is.  We’ve written it off to a mere choice of religions, rather than a conscious rejection and rebellion against the Creator God.  We don’t have to actually engage in murder to do the desires of the devil; all we need do is rebel against God.  That’s what Satan did in his fall, and that’s what rebels have been doing ever since.
    1. Of course the Jews of Jesus’ day took it a step further, and sought to kill Jesus.  Truly they desired to do the desires of the devil when they wanted to kill the Son of God.
  3. The devil was & is a “murderer” and a “liar.”  That’s who he is, and that’s who he has always been.  As we think back over the Old Testament, we might easily remember the lies of Satan in the Garden of Eden, but what about murder?  We probably don’t have any problem believing Satan “was a murderer from the beginning,” but where do we see it?  At the same time and place.  Remember what the penalty was for Adam’s sin: death.  Satan knew this, and he lied in order to get Adam to sin.  That’s murder.  The devil didn’t use a handgun to commit murder; he used deception.  How dangerous is the devil?  He kills with his lies.
    1. He still does.  What is suicide, other than someone giving in to the lies spouted at them by Satan?  Multitudes upon multitudes are lost in the false religions of Islam and Mormonism, each of which were founded upon supposed angelic visions, and the Bible tells us that Satan can appear as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14).  Each one who dies in those deceptions has been indirectly murdered by the devil.
  4. Satan is so much a liar that there is “no truth in him.”  Even when the devil says something partly true (as he did when he quoted Scripture to Jesus during the wilderness temptation), it’s always couched in a lie, designed to deceive.  Satan is the inventor of lies, being the “father of it.”  Jesus puts this in the strongest of terms.  All things originate from God, being that God is the Creator.  But if there is one thing that Satan can perhaps claim to have personally created, it is lying.  In that Satan “speaks from his own [resources.]”  The Bible tells that that God does not lie (Num 23:19), and that God actually cannot lie (Tts 1:2).  Lying was something that Satan came up with all on his own.
    1. Being that’s the case, why do so many people believe him?  If we know he’s a liar, why listen to him?  Because he’s good at it.  He’s really good at it.  The devil makes us believe that sin won’t hurt us (when it actually brings death).  He makes us think that sin is fun – that there won’t ever be any consequences – that God is really trying to hide the good stuff from us – that there are all kinds of ways to getting into heaven – that this life is all there is, anyway – and much more.  The devil has showered his lies upon the earth, and the world has believed them in abundance.
    2. Beware the lies of the devil!  Even born-again Christians can get caught up in them (and often do).  Never forget that Satan’s very first lie was served up to a man and woman who walked in full faith and communion with God, and even they were deceived.  No one knew the truth better than Adam and Eve, who personally walked with the pre-incarnate Christ in the cool of the day, and yet they believed the lie of Satan.  If they can be deceived, we can be deceived.  All we need to do is start questioning the word of God, and all of a sudden the door to deception has been thrown wide open.

45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.

  1. Here’s the contrast with the devil.  This is why the Jews did not believe Jesus.  They bought into the lies of their lying father, and Jesus spoke the truth.  They were children of the liar, and thus rejected the Man who IS the truth.

46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?

  1. Jesus throws down a challenge: who could convict Him of any sin?  Jesus claimed to speak the truth (and He did) – who would prove Him guilty of a lie?  Who would be able to legitimately find Him guilty of any sin…particularly a sin worthy of death?  They wanted to kill Him – prove that they had a reason for doing it.  It was impossible.  Jesus was completely innocent.
    1. Keep in mind “innocent” is not the same thing as “impotent.”  Some get the idea that because Jesus is innocent of all sin, that He is a precious little waif of a thing, incapable of any harm.  Not so!  Jesus is the all-powerful Son of God.  It’s true that in His earthly ministry that Jesus was meek & gentle, and wouldn’t break a bruised reed in His compassion towards men and women who humbly repented and sought God in faith.  But Jesus is also coming back to judge the living and the dead.  He’s coming back in all power and glory and will destroy the armies of Antichrist simply with His presence.  And Jesus will do so, still being without sin.  He is & will always be completely innocent of sin, though the Almighty God.
  2. So Jesus never lied, nor sinned of any kind.  Since Jesus spoke the truth, why didn’t the people believe Him?  It’s a good question!  He gives the answer in vs. 47.

47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

  1. The Jews didn’t believe Jesus because they were “not of God.”  The proof was in the pudding.  They showed they were children of the devil through their rejection of the gospel.  It didn’t matter what their ancestral ties to Abraham might be – it didn’t matter what religious traditions they inherited from earlier generations of Hebrews tracing back to the very moment that God spoke to Moses.  The behavior and unbelief of the Jews belied their true family resemblance, and it wasn’t that of God.  They weren’t of Him.
    1. BTW – this doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a plan for ethnic Israel.  He most certainly does.  As Paul writes to the Romans, God has not cast away His people (Rom 11:1), and one day all Israel will be saved (Rom 11:26).  But while they reject Jesus as Messiah, they are not saved.  Anyone who dies apart from faith in Jesus Christ dies apart from God because they are not of God.  Jesus is our one hope for salvation, and without Him, we have nothing.
  2. Those of God hear God.  Those born of God the Holy Spirit have the Spirit of God inside us, and thus we hear and understand the voice of God.  We receive the word of God.  We believe the gospel.  Even when it comes to certain mysteries in the Scriptures, things difficult to understand (the inner-workings of the Trinity, the eternal counsels of God, etc.) we still have the ability to hear God.  Why?  Because we’re of God.  We’re His children, and we bear His family resemblance.   As Jesus will teach later on, His sheep hear His voice and follow Him (10:27).
    1. Do YOU hear?  That’s the test, is it not?  We know whether or not we hear the voice of God – we know whether or not we truly hold to the truth of the gospel.  And we know whether or not we’re really faking it all, just showing up with everyone else in church because it’s what we do.
  3. BTW – what happens if you don’t hear?  What if you want to believe the gospel in order to be saved, but you just can’t for some reason?  What if you simply lack the faith, but not the desire?  Ask God to open your ears, to humble your heart, to give you the faith that you lack.  Faith is a gift, and it’s one that can be received…but you need to be willing to ask for it.

Conclusion:
So who’s your daddy?  What is your family resemblance?  As for Jesus, there is no question.  He proceeded forth from His Father, testified of the things He had seen from His Father, did the will of His Father, and spoke the word of His Father.  Jesus is the perfect Son in every sense of the word.  As for the Jews on the other hand, there is also no question – only the answer isn’t at all what they thought it was.  They did the desires of their father, but their father wasn’t God; it was the devil.  They may have had a physical line to Abraham & a theological history with God, but they didn’t show any evidence of current faith.  Everything they did pointed to the murder, lies, and rebellion of Satan.  They couldn’t both belong to God and desire the will of Satan – those things cannot coexist.  If they believed God they would show they belonged to God, but since they rejected Jesus they demonstrated they were of the devil.

It really is an either/or proposition.  We can’t have it both ways.  People inherently rebel against that, desiring to pick & choose what we believe.  We want a little of this, a little of that, and whatever we don’t like about the Biblical Jesus and the gospel we can leave behind.  No.  Ultimately, that is just one more lie from the father of lies.  We have to receive Jesus for who He is, or we really haven’t received Him at all.

So what’s your response to Jesus?  Do you hear His voice?  Have you recognized Him as God the Son?  If so, you have the wonderful assurance of belonging to God, being His own child!  Those who have responded to Jesus in faith have the promise of joining His family.  We have been born of God, indwelled by the Spirit of God, and been given the spirit of adoption by God.  Praise God for the gospel!  Now cling to it!  Don’t let go of it – don’t compromise with it – don’t let it get watered down one lie at a time. Even the strongest concentration of liquids can be eventually watered down if enough drops of water are placed in it.  If we’re not careful, we can do the same thing as we give audience to the lies of the devil.  Stay in the truth.  Stay in the word of God.  Stay grounded in the gospel of grace, listening to the voice of Jesus through His word.  Listen to the words of your Father, and do them.

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