The Struggle is REAL

conscience right

Sermon Notes and Pictures from Church

  • When I was in the Army- at the Tacoma Mall- in the bathroom stall- found a zippered envelope full of money and checks- thousands of dollars.
  • For a moment- I wanted to take the cash- leave the rest- closed bathroom stall- no one around-
  • Took it to the security kiosk at the mall- it was a fleeting thought-
  • Moral dilemmas are all around us- what will we do? what will we say? How will we respond?
  • Pilate had a dilemma-
  • John 19:1-24
  • TITLE-The struggle is REAL
  1. You can’t avoid your conscience
  • “I find no fault in this man.” Pilate knows that Jesus is innocent of the charges
  • Pilate cannot claim ignorance concerning Jesus guilt, he’s talked to him himself.
  • But here’s what I think is going on- Pilate has a feeling about Jesus that he can’t put his finger on
  • Most guys going to death would be bargaining John 19:10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?”
  • Jesus puts Pilate in his place with every answer he gives him- Jesus isn’t a normal prisoner
  • Kingdom of Jesus v Kingdom of Pilate Jesus truth v Pilate Truth
  • The jews say-John 19:7 “We have a law, and according to our law he must die because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
  • Pilate is now probably wondering if he really is God (Romans believed in gods)
  • Maybe this Jesus really is a supernatural being verse 8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid..
  • Then the craziest thing happens– Pilate’s wife had a dream.
  • Matt 27:19 “While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
  • Pilate struggling with his conscience- who is Jesus? How special is he? Then his wife gets a dream about it
  • Here’s the deal-
  • When it comes to a person interacting with Jesus- it demands a response. Jesus isn’t a non- issue
  • You either deny him, or you embrace him or you discount him. You can’t ignore him
  • Thats where you’re at today- And maybe you’ve already received him as savior
  • but even in Moral dilemmas- its the same way- When you have spent time with Jesus, your conscience works on you because you know the TRUTH of the situation at hand- You know what you NEED to do in a given situation- but YOU STRUGGLE WITH GOING WITH WHAT YOU KNOW IS TRUE- For YOU as a believer- the HS will tell you- What to give, serve, say, be etc
  • People know they need to come to Jesus- Thats why they dont come, They dont want to hear
  • God will use whatever he needs to get to you- to speak into your life- (even your wife)
  • Pilate failed to heed God’s warning.- wife Got a dream
  • Guys, if God speaks to your wife listen to her. I often ask people- did you ask your wife? 1 flesh
  • Pilate was not turned by a supernatural warning even though it had come through someone he could trust.
  • God will try to get to you whatever way that he can TO HELP YOU- don’t discount it He’s talking to you RIGHT NOW- MORAL Struggle- there is a voice of truth that is SPEAKING- LISTEN
  • Here’s what happening with Pilate
conscience right
  1. He wants to please the crowd
  • The Voice of the Crowd is in conflict with his conscience and he wants to please the crowd.
  • Pilate has a lot to lose- His position, his leadership, his power, respect,
  • Wife probably likes the big palace, the good money, he’s set for life.
  • But if he follows his conscience, he could lose all that
  • He sure doesn’t want to make the caesar mad- The caesar wants the tax revenue so he can expand rome and stay in power.
  • I’m guessng he’d be replaced if there was any indication that he couldn’t do the job
  • Jews know they have Pilate in a bind- v12 “let this man go and you are no friend to caesar”
  • The right thing to do is set Jesus free but is he willing to pay the price to do the right thing?
  • Pilate did what we are often tempted to do in a situation like this.
  • When faced with a Moral dilemma- we are inclined to bend what we believe to be true to please those around us- NO ONE WANTS TO BE THE ODD GUY OUT
  • High school- school dance- I go ready to be me- wear a christian shirt- judge dance contest!
  • didn’t have the courage to say no- so now I”m stuck judging baby got back contest w Christ shr
  • Friends, family, co-workers, church people, people we dont know
  • Can you imagine the intestinal fortitude it took for the Christians to stand up against the slave owners of the 1800s and tell them that they were wrong? To fight for civil rights?
  • We are entering into this same kind of fight folks- Moral relative theology that wants to subvert the basic teachings of Biblical Christianity
  • But we can’t be like Pilate- He valued the wrong things.
  • He valued temporal comfort and power over heaven and eternity.
  • This moment was pivotal- but he didn’t want to lose what he had- he was comfortable and wanted to keep it
  • Its a great feeling to accepted by those who are enticing you to sin- They want you to JOIN IN
  • Not even from a Christian perspective- from child- the crowd seems to be BAD
  • He feared the wrong things.
  • Prov 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare. Pilate knew that his past behavior would not hold up under scrutiny by Rome. Rome would have his job and his future
  • He was intimidated by the Jewish leaders threat to accuse him of disloyalty to Caesar.
  • Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
  • Although Pilate had a conscience and a certain fear of doing wrong, his fear of man was stronger than his fear of God. – So he did what would please man instead of God
  • Matt 10:28 Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
  • Do you want to please the crowd? Do you want to appease the masses?
  • Luke 9:25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
  • You know who I like? Tim Tebow- That guy- from college- very vocal about his faith
  • It cost him an NFL career- Some would say he wasn’t good enough- He was lambasted and no one wanted the bad press
  • Who do you want to please? God or the Crowd?
  • see here’s what happened-
conscience right

3.He tried to avoid the decision as much as he could.

  • tried to give it back to the jews (DEFLECT)
  • When the Jews brought Jesus to him he tried to hand him back to them.
  • John 18:31 Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law
  • couldn’t do it- jews can’t kill anyone without Rome saying yes
  • They say he’s a king to force the hand of Pilate- Pilate can’t have a insurreciton of a king on his hands.
  • Tried to put it on Herod
  • When Pilate heard that Jesus was from Galilee- he sent him to Herod- make it his problem
  • Herod soldiers beat and mocked Jesus and sent him back to Pilate
  • Tried to give them Barabbas
  • He even juxtaposed Barabbas and Jesus and made it a no brainer-
  • Release Jesus- lets kill barabbas- He was using the Passover custom to get out of it
  • He tried to satisfy them with a beating
  • He orders the soldiers to flog Jesus- The romans used whips with pieces of metal and bones in the whips Some would die from the flogging
  • I’m sure Pilate did not want to do this but he figured it was better than putting Jesus to death.
  • He Jesus before the crowd- hoping they’ll let him go- CRUCIFY HIM CRUCIFY HIM
  • The moral dilemmas of your life demand a response
  • You must address them- you must confront them- they are costly and will cost-
  • our life in Christ demands a response- and part of being a Christian is that we must contend for those things that are of God- we dont have to be a jerk about it- muslims eat pork for me?
  • we are the first society of Christians that have been trained to sit down and shut up
  • In the book of Acts 17 we see Paul engaging with the culture! He’s preaching at synagogues he’s arguing with philosophers. He’s in the town square confronting false religion
  • Folks, our avoidance of the moral dillemas of our day are going to end up marginalizing who we are in Christ because we refuse to make a decision on what we stand on-
  • This is human nature- avoidance is the path to apathy but we take it often
  • Today- if you have not made a decision to follow Jesus- make it right now and be honest about it
  • I am choosing to not follow Christ- or I am choosing to follow Christ
  • Maybe there is a moral dilemma that you’re facing at work or in your business that you’re struggling with
  • Do this- honor God and make the right decision. Stand on the side of the word of God and do the right thing
  • Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
  • If you’re struggling with a decision- think of this
  • Trust the Word of God- if its clearly articulated in scripture on what you should or shouldn’t do, always rest on what the word of God says
  • Trust the Holy Spirit- The HS will not guide you away from truth, but towards truth- if what the HS is telling you is not connected to the scriptures, its not of God
  • Trust the counsel of the wise- Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
  • when you talk to people who have walked down the path you are going and HAD SUCCESS listen to what they did and how they got there
conscience right
  1. He makes the wrong decision
  • John 19:16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
  • so he tries to make his conscience right
  • 27:24 I am innocent of this man’s blood, it is your responsibility.
  • The people reply-
  • Matt 27:25 “All the people answered, ‘Let his blood be on us and on our children!’”
  • By washing his hands before the crowd he was sending a message to the Jewish crowd. In fact, the ritual was not a Roman ceremony but a Jewish one.
  • According to Deut. 21:6-9 this is what the elders were to do in the case of an unsolved murder.
  • They were to publicly declaring their innocence in that way.
  • The ritual was an outward declaration of what was already true.
  • They were innocent and this was their statement of that fact.
  • But Pilate was not innocent of the blood of Jesus. flogged him and sent him to the crosee
  • Washing his hand in a ritual would not change this.
  • Even today people try to use religious rituals the way Pilate did.
  • People who have never surrendered their lives to Christ go through water baptism thinking that ceremony will by itself give them a right standing before God.
  • Water baptism is indeed a valid declaration of the work of God in a person’s heart.
  • But just doing a ritual without the spiritual reality is not sufficient.
  • people take communion thinking it forgives them
  • People come to church and think that attendance equals admittance to the kingdom.
  • People do acts of service thinking that it tips the scales in their favor
  • Even though Pilate’s ritual came from the Bible it did not remove his guilt.
  • The only way to satisfy a wrong decision is to be forgiven by the only one who can forgive
  • You have moral dilemmas in your life- you must make a choice to stand on the side of truth
  • but if by chance you make the wrong decision- dont use a ritual as a means of making it right
  • Bible reading doesn’t absolve you from sin. ONLY the trust in the blood of Jesus can wash away your sins- your bad decisions
  • Choose today to make the right decision- follow Jesus- stand up for truth. No compromise no matter the cost.
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