That You May Believe–Journey Through John

Notes from Sunday’s Sermon – June 26, 2011


JOHN 8.13-30

13 So the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself. Your testimony is not valid.”
14 “Even if I testify about Myself,” Jesus replied, “My testimony is valid, because I know where I came from and where I’m going. But you don’t know where I come from or where I’m going. 15 You judge by human standards. I judge no one. 16 And if I do judge, My judgment is true, because I am not alone, but I and the Father who sent Me judge together. 17 Even in your law it is written that the witness of two men is valid.
18 I am the One who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.”
19 Then they asked Him, “Where is Your Father?”

“You know neither Me nor My Father,” Jesus answered. “If you knew Me, you would also know My Father.” 20 He spoke these words by the treasury, while teaching in the temple complex. But no one seized Him, because His hour had not come.

21 Then He said to them again, “I’m going away; you will look for Me, and YOU WILL DIE IN YOUR SIN. Where I’m going, you cannot come.”
22 So the Jews said again, “He won’t kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I’m going, you cannot come’?”
23 “You are from below,” He told them, “I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I told you that YOU WILL DIE IN YOUR SINS. FOR IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE THAT I AM HE, YOU WILL DIE IN YOUR SINS.
25 “Who are You?” they questioned.

“Precisely what I’ve been telling you from the very beginning,” Jesus told them. 26 “I have many things to say and to judge about you, but the One who sent Me is true, and what I have heard from Him—these things I tell the world.”
27 They did not know He was speaking to them about the Father.
28 So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing on My own. But just as the Father taught Me, I say these things. 29 The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what pleases Him.” 30 As He was saying these things, many believed in Him.

Scripture Introduction

The relationship between Jesus and the religious leadership continues to deteriorate. By refusing to acknowledge their importance, his ministry threatens their power and prestige. Therefore, they turn on him: attempted arrest, entrapment, theological tests, dismissing his answers on technicalities, and now mocking his words. Jesus responds with what we might call, “Tough Love.” He warns of their precarious position before God—they risk dying in their sin. Unless they find a provision for their failures, they will face their Maker clothed in their own righteous deeds, which the Bible calls “polluted garments,” or “filthy rags.” God records this interaction to challenge where our faith rests. Many claim Jesus without committing themselves to who he claims to be. May God give us grace to hear and examine ourselves in the light of the Word.


Illustration: “Can’t Cheat Death”

The story is told of a man walking in his neighborhood when he came face-to-face with Death. Death was obviously shocked to see the man, but said nothing; the two simply passed in the street. But the more that fellow thought about this strange meeting, the more frightened he became. So we went to a wise friend and asked what he should do. The friend told him that Death had probably come to take him away the next morning—he had best flee.
So the man headed to a distant city to elude Death. He traveled treacherous streets slickened by snow, roads rarely used at night because they wound through steep mountain passes. But he survived the terrible journey, and congratulated himself on having escaped. As he watched the sunrise, however, Death tapped him on the shoulder and said: “I have come for you.”
“What are you doing here?” exclaimed the terrified man, “I thought I saw you yesterday near my home!”
“Yes, you did,” said Death. “That was why I looked surprised—for I had been told to meet you today in this city.”


It reminds me of the inscription on the tombstone:

Someone scratched into the weathered cement these two additional lines:

  • To Follow You I’m Not Content,
  • Until I Know Which Way You Went.

There is a Faithless Seeking that Does Not Save (John 8.21-24a)

I am meticulous and perhaps a bit OCD when it comes to my books. This is particularly problematic when I am looking for a book that I can’t locate. I know where they are supposed to be. I could take you with little thought to almost any volume you asked for in my library with just the theme. So, when I’m looking for a book, especially one I’m more than a little familiar with and I can’t locate it I can become frustrated.

The fact is that when you “know” exactly what you are looking for, an unexpected difference can blind you and frustrate you. The Jews had long scanned the shelves of time for Messiah. They knew exactly how he would look: a mighty King like Solomon and David who would rescue and restore Israel to her former glory. But God wraps Messiah in a different “dust” jacket. They sought a lion; God provides a lamb. As a result, they cannot “see” God’s solution, resulting in this sad pronouncement: “You will seek me, and you will die in your sin.” Jesus—always attractive, always inviting, always welcoming—harshly warns: “Your seeking can be in vain.”

There are two ways to seek God and yet not find him.

(1) Seeking God from a Position of Self-Righteousness (22)

    • · They believed their own Press
    • · It was assumed that they would get into heaven based on behavior
    • · Jesus therefore had to be talking about someplace else they couldn’t go
    • o Suicide it was assumed would result in damnation…that must be it.

John MacArthur states: “Self-righteousness is a deadly deception, and utterly contrary to genuine salvation.”

  • For many there is a Veneer of Good Works over a Rotted Wood of Wickedness

(2) Seeking God from a Motivation to Stand Out (23)

    • Jesus refers to these Religious Leaders as being “of this world.” (lit. worldly)
    • Seeking God so that others will think more highly of me is not the seeking which saves—we will die in our sins.
    • For a picture of what this is let’s take a moment to think about a fella named Esau.

Genesis 25.27-34

27 When the boys grew up, Esau became an expert hunter, an outdoorsman, but Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for wild game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, exhausted. 30 He said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, because I’m exhausted.” That is why he was also named Edom. 31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your BIRTHRIGHT.” 32 “Look,” said Esau, “I’m about to die, WHAT GOOD IS A BIRTHRIGHT TO ME?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to Jacob and SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT to him. 34 Then Jacob gave bread and lentil stew to Esau; he ate, drank, got up, and went away. So ESAU DESPISED HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

The Birthright:

  • · Financially, a double portion of the family inheritance
  • · Spiritually, the line of the Lord’s Blessing

The World and Worldliness

  • · What the World Offers is Often Flashy
  • · What the World Offers is Often Easy
  • · What the World Offers is ALWAYS Temporary

Esau Sought What the World Offered and as a result “Despised” his birthright.

The Religious people Jesus is debating with sought the worldly praise and recognition of the people around them—how often Jesus called them out on their “public” lives in contrast to what was inside of them.

There is a Faithful Seeking That Does Save (24b-29)

John 8:24-29
24 Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
25 “Who are You?” they questioned. “Precisely what I’ve been telling you from the very beginning,” Jesus told them.
26 “I have many things to say and to judge about you, but the One who sent Me is true, and what I have heard from Him—these things I tell the world.
27 They did not know He was speaking to them about the Father.
28 So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing on My own. But just as the Father taught Me, I say these things.
29 The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what pleases Him.”

There are Two Ways to Die:

  • · You Can Die In Your Sins – Without the Lord
  • · You Can Die To Your Sins – In the Lord

Revelation 14:13
Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them!”

The debate was all over who Jesus is and claimed to be.

“Does it matter exactly who Jesus is?”

It matters because YOU MUST BELIEVE HE IS WHO HE CLAIMS TO BE in order to have the courage to ACCEPT WHAT HE OFFERS. He offers a way to die that yields eternal life and joy.

We can believe Him and trust Him for three reasons:

  • First, Because of His Proclamation. (25-27)
    • · He had been Declaring who He is from the Beginning
    • · His Message is from God
    • · He is Commissioned to Proclaim the Terms of Salvation
  • Second, Because of His Personification (28)
    • · Lifted up on the Cross as the Sacrifice
    • · Lifted up from the Grave as the Savior
    • · Lifted up into Glory as the Sovereign
  • Third, Because of His Perfection (29)
    • The age old excuse for our faltering: “I know I’m not perfect.”
    • God’s Standards and Holiness DEMANDS Perfection
      • · None of us measure up in terms of perfection.
      • · All of us have fallen short of God’s standard.
      • · The penalty for that shortcoming is separation from God.
      • · Unless someone who could live up to the standard
      • · And then Become a representative for us all we would be doomed.
      • That is exactly what we have in Jesus.
      • He ALWAYS did what pleased the Father, without exception or failure.
      • He Became the representative for us, taking out sin upon Himself at Calvary

Conclusion – How Will you Die? (FOX NEWS: We Report, You decide)

__ In Your Sin – Lost without Jesus Christ

__ To Your Sin – Saved through Jesus Christ

It Takes Faith in Jesus: Nothing More…Nothing Less


Your Relationship Can Go the Distance

Some of the Secrets We’ve Learned

One Sunday afternoon the pastor was reluctantly helping his wife wash and dry the dishes when he barked, “Washing dishes is a woman’s work, not a man’s.”

His wife lovingly replied, “Oh no, dear, in fact God specifically says differently.”

“What are you talking about?” the pastor demanded.

His wife set down her dish towel and picked up her Bible and opened and read, “and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down.”

“Where does it say that?” he asked, now curious.

“In 2 Kings 21.13.” she replied and held the Bible so he could see. Then she smiled and continued, “In fact, it is obviously not a woman’s work to do the dishes according to God.” With that she took off her apron and left the room while he finished his responsibilities as the man.

Twenty Six Years of Chores by Choice

Things have changed. In the days of the Honeymooners, Ward and June Cleaver, even Darrin and Samantha Stephens, the sit-com wives managed the whole household and the husbands were “the kings of their castles.” He could come home and miraculously his wife had cared for the household chores, the needs of the children, and was able to put a full dinner on the table waiting for her husband, all while having her hair, makeup, and dress in perfect order.

Hard to believe, but today marks our 26th year together. We started dating on June 25, 1985 after we met at a youth event in Poultney, Vermont. There have been plenty of struggles and difficulties in our lives over the two and a half decades we’ve been together, but by God’s grace we have weather the storms.

One thing is for sure, as idyllic as those fifties families made life appear, it’s not a realistic expectation today. Andie and I both work in demanding positions and find our days filled with tasks and challenges. If we didn’t work together life would overwhelm us.

One of the things that I think has helped us through is that we work hard in the home and do what needs to be done. I’ve never been allergic to house-work…in fact there probably aren’t any husbands who are afflicted with that allergy regardless of what they claim. We are all capable of doing our part to help out. We are partners in the home.

Figuring out how this will best work takes some time and exploring. Over time we have learned what we are best suited for or prefer to do. For example, I prefer working in the kitchen. Andie prefers taking care of the laundry—it helps keep her clothes wearable. We work together to keep the house picked up. I usually do the vacuuming and she takes care of the bathrooms. I usually do the shopping and she puts things away. It works for us. If one of us is busy or laid up the other picks up the slack. We do our chores by choice.

  • · So, guys – grab a dish rag and dry those dishes.
  • · Get the broom and sweep up the floor.
  • · Don’t drop your clothes on the floor in the bedroom.
  • · If we can keep it clean to begin with it will be easier to take care of later.

This is one of the secrets to going the distance. Perhaps in the weeks to come I’ll share some others that we’ve discovered.

Dirt Biscuits and Beach Houses

A Guest Post by Dr. Terry Dorsett

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Dr. Terry Dorsett serves as a church planting missionary with   the North American Mission Board of the SBC. He has a passion for helping young people discover a meaningful faith and then become leaders in sharing that faith with others
Dirt Biscuits and Beach Houses – by Dr. Terry Dorsett

I grew up poor. Though we often did not have what we “wanted,” we always had what we “needed.” With the help of scholarships, I worked my way through college, where I met my future wife. Through hard work, my wife and I have been able to provide a middle class lifestyle for our children. Though our children have never been rich, they have also never known the poverty I knew growing up.

This week my family is enjoying a lifestyle slightly more than middle class as we relax in a beach house for a week long family reunion with lots of relatives. Yesterday my kids and I were discussing how blessed we were to experience this level of luxury, even if only for a week. In the discussion we also talked about what it must be like for people who live in other nations in which such luxury is not possible, even for a week long vacation.

We specifically talked about Haiti, since our family will be visiting that small island nation next year on a mission trip. The poverty in Haiti is almost unimaginable by those of us who live in relative comfort in the United States. Food prices are so high in Haiti that many of the people eat what is commonly referred to as Dirt Biscuits. The biscuits are made from dried yellow clay mixed with water, salt and vegetable shortening or margarine. Though originally designed for medicinal purposes, the biscuits have now become the staple diet for a significant number of people in Haiti. It is hard for those of us who live in America to imagine people being so hungry they would eat a biscuit made from dirt. Yet, that is a common meal for far too many people in Haiti.

As we sit in our rented beach house enjoying family and eating far too much junk food, we cannot help but think about people in places like Haiti who tonight will eat a dirt biscuit to stave off hunger for one more day. Dirt biscuits have come up several times in our conversations the last few days. But it must be more than just a subject of conversation. It must translate into action. This is one of the reasons why our family will travel to Haiti next year to work with God’s Littlest Angels orphanage. We feel compelled to put feet to our conversation. We know we cannot change a whole nation in a week, but we can help a small group of children eat something other than dirt, even if only for a few days.

Those of us who have been blessed by God to have more than dirt biscuits to eat must do something to make a difference in the lives of those around us. The 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew reminds us that when we help the least of these in the name of Christ, then we have served Christ Himself. Let us learn to pray: “Lord, help those of us who have so much see the needs of those who have so little and respond in ways that can make a real difference.” And then let us put feet to our prayers.

The Original posting can be found at:

Written by Dr. Terry Dorsett:

Despite the rise of mega-churches in North America, the vast majority of churches remain small. It is often necessary for pastors of small churches to work another job in addition to serving their church, leaving them in danger of burnout if some of their duties are not delegated to others. Leadership teams working in partnership with pastors can truly make pastors healthier and ministry more effective. In Developing Leadership Teams in the Bivocational Church, Dr. Terry W. Dorsett provides concise and effective guidance for small-church congregations and pastors looking to build and strengthen their leadership teams.

Father’s Day Message 2011–What it Takes to be a Dad



Today we come to the page of the album where we see dad’s photos. Often he is pictured, fishing, teaching us to ride our bike, cooking at the grill, giving piggy-back rides, and teaching us to drive the car.

  • For some the page may be blank because dad wasn’t part of the picture.
  • For some the pictures may not be so happy and memories painful.

Psalm 68:4-6
4 Sing to God! Sing praises to His name. Exalt Him who rides on the clouds — His name is Yahweh—and rejoice before Him. 5 A FATHER OF THE FATHERLESS and a champion of widows is God in His holy dwelling. 6 God provides homes for those who are deserted. He leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a scorched land.

Three Familiar Fathers – Some Negative Examples

  • The Irresponsible Father “I’ll get around to it.”
  • The Dictator Dad – “King of this castle” (Irritable, Impatient, Inflexible)
  • The Absent Dad – “Where’s dad…hiding behind the newspaper

A Good Example from Scripture with 3 Crucial Characteristics

Luke 15:11-32
11 He also said: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me.’ So he distributed the assets to them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all he had and traveled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living. 14 After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing. 15 Then he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to eat his fill from the carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one would give him any.
17 When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired hands.’
20 So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father told his slaves, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, 24 because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate.


This Tells us something about the Father’s Relationship to His Child

Remember that this is a parable that illustrates God’s love for us.

  • He had an open and honest relationship with his son.
  • He Had a mature and Secure Relationship with his son


  • There are times when we need to hold on to our children.
  • There are times when we need to release our children. (Tough Love)
  • Letting Go will not be easy to do.
  • The Son’s Rebellion was severe – painful
  • The son’s rebellion was severing – departed
    • Apparently there were rules, standards, expectations
    • Consider Adam and Eve and the rebellion in the garden

Notice some things about the Return of the Son

  • The Son walked Home
  • The Father RAN to Greet him.
  • The Father’s Response Demonstrated
    • Compassion – moved when he saw his son
    • Passion – RAN to meet him
    • Expression – Ordered a Celebration
  • Express Emotion
  • Sharing Celebrations
  • Bearing Burdens


  • We do alright at showing Strength
    • We need to work at showing sensitivity
  • We do alright at showing displeasure
    • We need to work at giving praise.


  • To Know the Father’s Heart – Salvation
  • To have the Father’s Heart – Discipleship
  • To Share the Father’s Heart – Evangelism

I thought about something this week after considering the challenge we all have to be the LIGHT OF THE WORLD and REFLECT Christ to a “crooked and perverse generation.” Notice that none of the servants went to tell the boy that His father longed to have him come home. We must share the Father’s heart with the world of lost children.

That You May Believe–Journey Through John

Jesus: The Light of the World – John 8.12

Part Three

This is the final segment in the three part message on John 8.12.

If you would like information on how you can become a Christian through receiving the “Light of the World,” Jesus Christ, please contact me.  I can’t promise you that your life will suddenly improve, or that your circumstances will magically get better, all I can promise is what Jesus promised, you will exchange darkness for light, death for life.  Email me at or connect with me through FaceBook and let me share how you can make this life changing choice today.

Part Three of Message “Jesus: The Light of the World” John 8.12