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Monday, December 15 2008
This is the sermon preached at Cornerstone Chapel on 12/14/08....

John 8

53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

The scripture that I read to you this morning from John 8 documents an exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees.  The Pharisees were experts in the law and they especially love the details of the law.  They were noted for their self-righteousness and pride and Jesus calls them a “generation of vipers” in Matthew 3:7.

In the conversation that we read in John 8, there are two words that literally rocked the world of the Pharisees.  These two words totaling three letters caused so much anger among the Pharisees that they wanted to stone Jesus. 

The two words “I AM”, revealed the deity of Jesus Christ and caused them to take up stones to kill Him for what they perceived as blasphemy or His claim to be God.  This two-word phrase was significant because at around 1441 BC, God was speaking to a man named Moses and said…

Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

The term “I AM” means self-existent one, but to the Pharisees it meant that Jesus was claiming to be God.  He was claiming to be the one that spoke with Moses in the burning bush and the God that called Abraham to the Promised Land. 

Although, the stories of Moses and Abraham may not seem significant to us today but its message rings clear for every generation…

The Bible states…

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

The most powerful man in the entire world is the President of the United States, but when he says I am the President of the United States, his power is limited to the authority given to him by the constitution of the United States. 

Each of us has titles that limit the power or authority for which we are able to operate.  I am a father, a husband and a pastor.  These titles cap my responsibilities and describe my relationships, but when God says I AM, He is not capping His responsibilities or abilities.  He is saying I AM…

Deuteronomy 10:17 – Lord of Lords
Psalms 89:18 – Holy One of Israel
Proverbs 18:24 – a friend that sticks closer than a brother
Psalms 62:7 – Our Rock
1 Corinthians 14:33 – Author of Peace
Psalms 18:2 - Our deliverer
Psalms 94:22 – Our refuge
Revelations 1:11 – First and Last
Revelations 22:16 – Morning Star

God is not limited to our thoughts or deeds.  He is all-powerful, everywhere and all knowing and although He is the most powerful force in the universe, He wants to have a relationship with each of us.  His plan to have a relationship with us started before the dawn of time…

1 Peter 1 (God’s Word Version)
18 Realize that you weren't set free from the worthless life handed down to you from your ancestors by a payment of silver or gold which can be destroyed.
19 Rather, the payment that freed you was the precious blood of Christ, the lamb with no defects or imperfections.
20 He is the lamb who was known long ago before the world existed, but for your good he became publicly known in the last period of time.

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