Misapplication of the Word
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Delivered By
Brian Winburn
Delivered On
May 27, 2018
Central Passage
John 19:7-11

What happens when we misapply the Word of God? What happens when we use the Word to attack THE WORD? The Jews have taken a biblical truth and twisted it for their own gain in order to crucify Jesus. I dare say that I am not any better than they are.

Below are the pastor's notes for this message. This is not a transcript.

John 19:7-11 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11Jesus answered him, You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion, was convicted in 1913 under the Mann Act for taking his white girlfriend across state lines for "immoral" purposes. The Mann Act purported to prevent human trafficking for the purpose of prostitution, but critics have argued it was applied inconsistently to criminalize African Americans and those with dissenting political views.

The law belongs to them, but they do not understand or believe it. Now they reveal what’s really going on. Up to this point they painted Jesus as being a King who would threaten Rome. Surely Pilate had heard of the miracles that Christ had done. He had to hear of the dead being raised to life, the blind seeing, and lame walking.

I have a question or questions that I cannot answer. How do we know whether we are applying the law correctly? I believe the answer lies somewhere between what they are using the law for and why? In short, what is the motive behind the application and why do you desire that result?

They drew a false conclusion from a true principle. No man should make himself out to be God, but this was no ordinary man. They failed to examine their own statement. When we take the principles of truth in the scripture but do not fully or properly apply them, then we use the truth to lead others into a lie. They should have asked for witnesses to which Jesus would have pointed to the word of God, God the Father, and His works.

V8 Pilate is now griped with fear and confusion. On one hand he didn’t want the Jews to revolt, but on the other, he didn’t want to kill God’s Son. Oh the depths of truth that could be drawn from this well. Here is a lost and evil man who when looking upon the beaten and torn body of Christ did not see anything, but at the mention of the name of God Pilate shakes with fear. How terrifying it is that the lost have more respect for the name of God than the people of God?

V9 Pilate is not asking what country or city Jesus came from. Pilate is asking are you from man or God?

It is shocking and upsetting to Pilate that Christ will not speak. Others would have quickly done all that they could to explain their innocent or at least plead for mercy, but Jesus did not come to be acquitted. Jesus came to be condemned.

V10 Will you not speak? 1 Timothy 6:12-13 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession,

What is the confession? That He was the King of the Jews, but just as powerful of a confession was His lack of words.

“Our Faith is ratified by the death of the Son of God. Christ made his confession before Pilate, not in a multitude of words, but in reality; that is, by undergoing a voluntary death; for, although Christ chose to be silent before Pilate, rather than speak in his own defense, because he had come thither -- devoted already to a certain condemnation; yet in his silence there was a defense of his doctrine not less magnificent than if he had defended himself with a loud voice. He ratified it by his blood, and by the sacrifice of his death, better than he could have ratified it by his voice. Socrates died but his death did not confirm his beliefs. The blood of Christ has confirmed what God has told us”

Don’t you know that I have the authority to release you or kill you?

How quickly Pilate has shaken off the fear that once gripped him. While James makes the argument that Faith without works is dead, he exclaims in:

James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

How many of us are quick to revere the name of God, even know things about God, but our works quickly reveal the truth. Where there are no works, there is no Faith. The works can’t save you, but they reveal whether you are saved or not. Jesus believed in the Father. His Faith was in the Judge that sits in Heaven and has earth as His footstool. In the greatest display of Faith known to mankind, Jesus remained silent, stood condemned, died, but knew that the Father would raise Him up on the third day.

I fear that there are many in this room who know about God. You even shudder at the coming judgement, but your works reveal your heart. You teach about God, but do not witness. You sing about God, but do not go on mission for God. What James is proclaiming is the lie that you can be a believer and not live for God. Satan has bewitched many into believing they are saved. He gives them worldly peace on each side of their lives, but God’s word describes the Christian life as being impossible apart from Christ. Rough, difficult, full of troubles, and brokenness. Our salvation rests in our belief in Jesus and God’s promise to save those that believe. That belief should constantly change us.

I read in a church’s bylaws and values something to the effect of we value change. Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

You have no authority at all…

It is true that God governs all and that no one has power that God has not granted or allowed, but on a much more personal note. Macro level, here is the Micro. Jesus is saying that Pilate needs to understand this on a personal note and not just in general. Part of why Jesus is there is because the Jews knew God in general but not personally. Jesus is telling Pilate, that he would not even be a ruler without God. Pilate, don’t boast over having such authority when there is a greater authority that you have to answer to.

The father imagines that he may do what he pleases towards his children, the husband towards his wife, the master towards his servants, the prince towards his people, unless when they look to God, who hath determined that their authority shall be limited by a fixed rule. - Calvin

Likewise when Jesus tells him that “the one who delivered me is more guilty.” Yes, Judas is guilty, Yes the Jews are guilty, but Christ is speaking even deeper than the general guilt. Christ is saying, you are abusing your powers by not using them for good, but even worse are those who have abused God’s word to twist a lost government into to doing the work of Satan.

Jesus told his disciples that temptation and sin would happen, but woe to the one who causes other to stumble. Those who have turned Christ over have not only murdered God, they have also led the lost astray.

When a child wrongs a sibling we correct them, but send them on their way. When a child wrongs a neighbor, oh, we make sure that restitution takes place. Imagine if we as a church stole from the lost, didn’t pay our debts to the lost, imagine using the church as a means to get the lost to harm others. How terrible is that?

When we don’t do the works of Faith, when we use our position to push people away from God, how do you wonder that God is going to respond? In silence He went to the grave, but when He returns, He will not be silent about your sin.

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