Grasping God Vs. Gripped by God
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Delivered By
Brian Winburn
Delivered On
September 17, 2017
Central Passage
John 7:14-19

These are the Pastors notes. He gives them as a help.

John 7:14-19 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” 16So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?”

Their question also implies a way to insult and reject Him. He is not qualified so where did He get this knowledge? No where in this passage do they actually examine what He was teaching. You see those who have rejected God and His ways can never overcome the message so they go after the messenger.

Even deeper is this truth the Jews viewed theology as something that they grasped or possessed. In other words, it was common to be able to claim a certain school or teacher in those days or to be able to tell who someone’s teacher was based on their theology. The focus was on the person and their ability to grasp God.

I hope you see the terror in that. The bible is not something to be grasped, but rather something to grasp you. I had an advisor that warned me that our relationship could not last long due to our views of scriptures. He was loving correct. The grip that God has on me is amazing to me. I do not have a view of scripture. Scripture has a view of me.

In any situation where I have correctly taught God’s word, it is not I that gets the credit. It is my teacher, God. Where I am wrong I painfully reject myself and beg for God’s and your forgiveness.

V 16- My teaching is not my own.

How is it that Jesus can go up and teach where they are trying to harm Him? How can a preacher ever speak a message at, about, and to those that are living in sin? Look at what is happening. Jesus can’t change the message because it’s not His message. We can’t change the message or then it becomes ours. But the message of Christ that we proclaim is the message of God almighty. He doesn’t need me to defend it because it is alive, a sword, a hammer, and a consuming fire.

Jesus is always giving credit to the one that sent Him and the one that taught Him. Is this how you respond when people discuss your teaching/preaching?

Is your response, this is what God says or here’s how I see it?


V17 If we determine to do God’s will then we will set out to do the will of God. In other words, if we want to learn to type or read, we must set our mind to do that very thing.

You see many love the IDEA that God’s word is in the grey. They love to pretend that it is hard to know what God is saying. Who is to say that you are wrong and I am right? Look at what Jesus just said.

If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority

He will know- Jesus leaves no doubt. If you are gripped by the grace of God to seek the will of God, you will not be left in the grey or the dark. God reveals His will to those who are moved to do His will.

When you seek to do God’s will you must set your face to obedience. Not obedience to preachers/teachers, but to God.

A great example is that I had a man claim to get saved, shortly after he stopped smoking and began throwing his alcohol away. Why? I hadn’t told him to. It was because they were his false gods. He trusted in them. Now that he had set his mind on following Christ, the Lord, told him to get rid of it. Sadly, the person didn’t. within a couple of weeks they no longer attended church.

**You can’t truly follow God until you reject your views of God and the world. Let that sink in. Until you are grasped and reject the idea of gripping God, you can’t truly follow Him. To grasp God is to imply that you are greater and can control God. That you define, God, life, love, everything. To be grasped, means that we humbly accept His grace. That we are lost and undone. We desperately need God and His teaching.**

V18 shows this clearly. those that speak with their authority, seek their glory.

He also points out that those that seek their own glory do not fear God. They do not mind clouding the judgement of others by tempting them to choose their glory over the glory of God. Satan is always trying to deceive us. He wants us to believe the lie that he told eve and adam. God wont do anything, go ahead and do as you please! What a lie. What a shame when someone lives for their glory and leads others astray.  What a shame when we use religion to keep the church from being obedient. The only thing worse is that know the will of God, but refuse to stand up to the church bullies that prevent the church from being obedient.

Jesus is standing up and showing that those closest to you can tell you what to preach and where to go, but if you fear God, you will not obey them. You will obey God.

Now Jesus fully removes the mask from the religion oppressors of the world. Those that were set apart to reveal God’s will, but have rejected fearing God.

V19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?”

  1. The oppressive people of the church will use the law of God in order to oppress you.
  2. So Jesus uses that law to show that they do not love the law. In fact, they hate it. How?
    1. They will break the law as often as they desire when it benefits them. Therefore, they care nothing about the law, just the glory they get by keeping the parts they like and exalt.
    2. If they despise the law, then they can not really love the law.
    3. Since the law was what they were using to justify their anger at Jesus. The law they despised and therefore didn’t love. Something else was causing their anger.

They sought to kill Jesus because He testified that they hated God and loved themselves. They were wicked, lost and unable to save themselves, but He is good, loving, and merciful. If they would humble themselves and reject themselves they would see its not our love of God that saves us, but God’s love for us.

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