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Series Theme:  "Faith Sermons"




















































Title:  23. What Sort of God?

                   (Preached at a Baptismal Service)




•  The other day I asked someone to give me five words that describe God

•  What would be your 5 words? Think on it.

•  This person clearly had some sort of religious upbringing.

•  They said – holy (though couldn't explain it), all knowing, everywhere, understanding and “I suppose” loving.

•  Let me tell you a simple story from Jn 9 and see then what you think of God


A. Jesus at Work – Jn 9:1-3, 6,7, 24,25

•  v.1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.

•  Jesus and his followers are just walking along the road and come across this blind beggar who is obviously well known – he'd been blind from birth.

•  v.2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

•  His followers are wanting to apportion blame

•  v.3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

•  Jesus has none of it, let's just take it as an opportunity to heal him!

•  v.6,7 Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

•  It's all a bit strange and we aren't told why like this – don't expect answers to every question

•  v.24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. "Give glory to God," they said. "We know this man is a sinner."

•  This was the religious people – they'd already had one go at this man. They didn't like Jesus because he didn't conform, he showed them up, and he mixed with bad people

•  v.25 He replied, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"

•  The man has only one simple answer – I don't know but he changed me!


B. People being Baptised

•  They are young Christians and they haven't got all the answers

•  What is even more embarrassing, they aren't perfect!

•  But they know one thing – they've encountered Jesus and they are changed.

•  Now? Now they're on a road, going somewhere.

•  It will mean constant change, it will mean learning and changing

•  Their being baptised is simply a public expression of what has already happened and they're saying to us – I'm now different and I'm on the way, with Jesus!



C. Where are we at?

a) In terms of our attitudes about God?

•  Do we think God is concerned to blame – look again at Jesus?
•  Do we think God only likes nice people? - look again at the blind beggar
•  Do we think God has consigned us to a life that is stuck in guilt, powerlessness, hopelessness – look again at what Jesus did for this man

b) In terms of our direction in life?

•  Is your life godless – God seems a million miles away
•  Is your life aimless – you're just plodding on from one week to the next – you'll be the same next year as this.
•  Is your life powerless – I've tried to be good, but if I'm honest my life doesn't stand up to really close scrutiny.


D. A Strange Experience

•  Some of us may find we feel frustrated by life

•  We have wanted to go in one direction but found it didn't work out

•  Our hopes were shattered.

•  Sometimes this is the work of God

•  Quote: Yes God does work to destroy man's hopes. The reason for this is that man ‘hopes' in his own achievements. We each have hopes and dreams but so often they are self-centred and God knows they are not the best for us. He alone knows what is best for us. When He sees that we are aiming for something else, something less than the best that He knows we could be with His help, He works to undermine our false or inadequate ‘hopes'. Why? So that we will come to our senses and realize our helplessness or our low self worth, and turn to Him for Him to remake us in the image of the one He knows we could be.

•  God knows best

•  God has a plan He wants to bring into being which means the best for our lives

•  Sometimes we have to acknowledge we haven't got it right – perhaps His way will be best.



E. Responses

•   Sorry – that I've been godless – ignored you
•   Thank you – that you sent Jesus to die for my sins
•   Please – come into my life and lead it from now on