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1725. Love Is A Christian’s Nature

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
March 8, 2024 10:21 pm

1725. Love Is A Christian’s Nature

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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March 8, 2024 10:21 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues a discipleship series entitled “Truth and Love” from 1 John 4:7-8.

The post 1725. Love Is A Christian’s Nature appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.


Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. His intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything so he established daily chapel services. Today, that tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University Chapel platform. Today on The Daily Platform, Dr. Steve Pettit is continuing a study series entitled Truth and Love, which is a study of the book of 1 John. I'm going to ask you to take your Bibles and turn with me please to 1 John chapter 4. I want to begin this morning as we've been looking at this passage of scripture and we're kind of moving along through it and we talked the first couple of weeks as we got into the passage about the truth side of what John is addressing here in this passage where he dealt with false teachers and false prophets and how to discern a call to discernment and now we are going into the section where he is addressing the subject of love and last week we started out by talking about why God commands us to love and we we spent our whole week our whole time last time just on the nature of God that God is a God of love and so I want to pick up from there and I want to begin this morning with an illustration of one of the most famous conflicts that took place in church history that was in the fifth century and it took place between two very well-known men at that time. The first was a man named Pelagius and the second was a man named Augustine. Both of these men were spiritual leaders. Pelagius was from Great Britain and Augustine was from North Africa. Pelagius traveled to Rome and upon his arrival he was so shocked by the moral depravity of the people that he began to fervently preach and teach a very strict rigid moralism calling the people to a purity of life. In his teaching he emphasized the natural innate human ability and autonomy to attain salvation. His view of man's nature was that man is basically good and therefore could merit salvation without the internal workings of the grace of God. Well when Augustine who's the Bishop of Hippo and this was located in what is now Algeria in northern Africa when he looked into what Pelagius was actually teaching he realized that for all his Christian language Pelagius had fundamentally misunderstood the nature of God and the nature of the gospel. Pelagius was teaching that we had done wrong things and therefore we have to start doing right things if we're going to heaven. It did not seem to have occurred to Pelagius that man was actually created to know and to love God and thus for Pelagius the aim of the Christian life was not to enjoy God but to use God as the one who sells us heaven for the price of being moral. Augustine saw these things very differently knowing the nature of the triune God is love he held that we were not created simply to live under his moral code hoping for some paradise. Rather we were made to have an all-satisfying relationship with God where we find our rest and our satisfaction in him.

Or as the Westminster Confession of Faith says that the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. Moreover Augustine said that man's problem is not so much that he behaves wrongly but that he loves wrongly. Augustine argued that since we are made in the image of God of the God of love we are always motivated by what we love and going back to the beginning this is why Adam and Eve disobeyed God.

They sinned because they love something else more than they love God. So Augustine showed that our profound need was not what Pelagius was teaching when he urged us to alter our behavior but what we need is a new heart that causes us to love and to obey God. Last week as we began our passage of Scripture in verse 7 where he said beloved let us love one another for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and he begins to launch out into this whole idea of love that the next verse is from verse 7 all the way down to verse 21 the word love is mentioned more than any other time in the Bible. So for us to enter into these scriptures and really try to grasp them is foundational for our own spiritual life and our own spiritual health and our own spiritual direction. And last week we asked the question why are believers to love one another and last week we just took the time of talking about the fact that this was the nature of God. We should love one another beloved let us love one another why for love is of God.

I want to begin this morning then going to the second reason why we are commanded to love one another and then as time allows we are going to look at how God has displayed that love so that we will understand it and it will capture our hearts and our emotions so that we too are motivated by love. So let me begin this morning with the second reason why believers are commanded to love one another. Notice what he says in verse 7 beloved let us love one another for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. The second reason why believers are to love one another is not only because it's God's nature that is love is his nature but secondly it is actually the nature of the believer. A true Christian has the love of God dwelling in his heart. Notice what he says and everyone that is loving reveals that they are born of God. Now in the Bible the idea of born of God is is the idea of the new birth is the idea of regeneration it's the idea of a new creation a new person a new man. So let me ask you this question then this have you been born again?

That's the first question. Do you are let me ask you this do you believe what Pelagius believed or what Augustine believed? Do you believe that essentially your relationship with God is based on a moral code and you live up to God's standard and that's the basis of your relationship or do you believe that God is a God of love and God is mercifully loved you because we love him because he first loved us and that love literally is in your heart. I mean that's really the difference between a legal religion and really a biblical faith and so he writes and he tells us that everyone that loves is born of God. So what is the new birth?

Let me give you just a simple statement. The new birth is a spiritual experience whereby God's own nature and I'm going to use the phrase a modern phrase is downloaded into your heart. It's imparted unto you just like you would download an app onto your computer and phone literally God's nature is downloaded within the human heart and the result of this new life is that the gift of God's own nature the nature of love is literally poured into your heart. Listen to what Paul says in Romans 5 5 because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. God's own person comes to dwell within our heart and the manifestation of his presence is a love for God and a love for others.

One writer said it this way a person cannot come into a real relationship with a loving God without being transformed into a loving person. Now this is not the world's natural love okay. This is not what Taylor Swift sings about. Love story okay.

That's not it. This is a spiritual love. This is God's own love. This is a supernatural love.

Unbelievers do not and cannot possess this. This is God's love imparted to us by God's special power and saving grace so that two things happens. Number one we start to love God and by loving God it means that I want to know him because if you love somebody you want to know them and you want to know them in a greater intimate way and if you love someone not only do you want to know them but you want to please them. You want to be with them.

You want to do things for them. In this case for the child of God it's obedience to God because that's what God wants. So obeying God is not a chore it is a delight and not only do we love God but we have a compassion and a love for other people.

We love people that others would never love and yet God puts that if I could say it this way that gush in our hearts. That desire to want to bless and to serve even those who others would not want to serve and love really is the epitome of the Christian life. I mean think about it 2nd Peter 1 where he says giving all diligence add to your faith and he gives seven different qualities. He starts with virtue which is moral excellence then he goes to knowledge and then he goes to patience or endurance and to the temperance self-control to godliness to brotherly kindness and then what's the last one?

The last one is charity or love and that is the end game of spiritual maturity is to be someone who is loving others. It's actually the whole point of the idea of learn love and lead. It's all about the same thing.

It's not just a tagline. It's really what 2nd Peter is all about. It's what Paul prays for us in Ephesians when he says that we would be able to comprehend with all the Saints with all the God's people the same thing.

What is that? The breadth length and depth and height and to know the love of Christ which passes all knowledge. D. Martin Lloyd-Jones said love is the ultimate test of our profession of Christian faith.

Do we love one another? So here's what he is saying. The reason why we should love is a command is because it's God's nature and then secondly it is the nature of all believers. Now I want you to go back to your passage of Scripture this morning and I want us to look then as what John does is John takes this idea and he basically expands it. He elaborates on it and that's what we find beginning in verse 9. He says in this was manifested the love of God toward us because that God sent his only begotten son into the world that we might live through him. Here in his love, not that we love God, but that he loved us and he sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. What is John doing here? He's commanding us to love one another beloved love one another and now what he is doing is if I could say it this way he's expanding the breadth the height the depth the length of God's love as God has displayed it to us.

He says in this was manifested excuse me that came off there and this was manifested the love of God. In other words what he's saying is I want you guys to get it. Have you ever heard anybody say he doesn't get it?

She doesn't get it. Well God wants you to get it. He wants you to get a grip. He wants you to get a handle on the love of God and this was manifested love of God towards us because that and now he's explaining how God has displayed his love for us and there are two things I want you to notice about God's display of love here. Notice he says because that God sent his only begotten son into the world that we might live through him. Divine love has been put on display first of all through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Look at what John says in this was manifested to display the love of God toward us okay he's showing it to us how because that let me stop there. Let's take that word that and let's put some feeling into it.

You know John 3 16 for God so loved the world what's the next word that okay let's put some feeling into it. Let's interpret it this way he did that? I can't believe he would do that.

Man I've never heard anything like that. That's what he's trying to say to us. What did God do? He says he sent his only begotten son into the world. The word sent is used twice. One in verse 9 and one in verse 10 it's the word for apostle. It refers somebody who is being sent out on a mission. If I could say it this way Jesus was a missionary.

He left one land to come to another land. He was sent by heaven's mission board the Father and the Spirit and what he's saying is that the Father reached out to us by sending his son down for us and the word sent is in the perfect tense. What does that mean? It means that he did something at a point in time that has the same effects taking place right now and what he means here is that when he sent his son in the past what he did when he came in the past the same effects are taking place right now.

So that when Jesus died and when Jesus rose from the dead and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and the disciples went out and preached what happened then on the basis of why he was sent is happening today right now. That's exactly what it means. What does it mean? It means he sent his only begotten son in the world that we might live through him.

What is he saying? He was saying people were being born again at that time when Jesus was here and people in the same exact way are being born again right now. The work of Jesus Christ that started when he was sent continues on to this very hour. Now to me that's exciting because we would all love to go back and see what Jesus did but what he's saying is what he came to do he's doing right now. People are getting saved right now. People are being born again right now. The miracle of the new creation is taking place right now. And so he's saying that the love of God is being poured forth into people's hearts who never had it through the new birth experience.

And he says he's demonstrated the love and that he sent his only begotten son. What does only begotten mean? We don't usually use that phrase. It comes from the Greek word monogenes. The word has two basic words in it. The word mono which means only or alone. And the word ganes or genomai means to become so to become only to become alone. And we put it in modern language it means a one and only. Only one in a class unique special one of a kind not another person like him. So what he is saying is that God sent his unique special one-of-a-kind one and only son. So what made Jesus special or unique in the idea of only begotten? Well our tendency is to think he's referring to Christ's unique conception.

His virgin birth. And by the way that is true within that phrase. But that's not the primary idea of the word. It's actually referring not so much to Christ's unique conception. It's referring to Christ or if I could say it this way the Father's unique affection. It's speaking of the love the Father had for his son. When Jesus was baptized and he came up out of the Jordan River there was a voice that spoke from the heaven and the Father said this is my what? This is my what?

Say it. Beloved son. This is the son of my love. The word mono-ganess is found nine times in the New Testament. Five times is written by John referring to to God's only begotten Son. But four times it was used in other places to describe the unique relationship between a parent and its child. So for example the widow of Nain and her son.

Listen to Luke 7 12. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city behold there was a dead man carried out the only son of his mother. The only begotten son. The one and only.

The special. The unique son. It's referred to the daughter of Jairus in Luke 8 41 and behold there came a man named Jairus. He was a ruler of the synagogue. He fell down at Jesus's feet and besought him that he would come into his house for he had one only daughter an only begotten daughter. And then we find it referred to in Luke chapter 9 where it speaks of the father with a demon-possessed son. It says and behold a man of the company cried out saying master I beseech thee look upon my son for he is mine only son my only son my one and only my unique my special son. So we have we have a young son we have an older son probably 19 years old and we have a 12 year old girl in all of them were called one and only monotonous children. Now let me ask you a question. Do you think Jesus may have related to the feelings of those people because he was a one and only son?

I mean let's be honest. How many of you are homeschoolers? Raise your hand.

How many of you have a tendency to relate to homeschoolers better than people that went to a public school if you're a homeschooler? Raise your hand. Sure you got something identified.

You do that in your state I mean you know we have people like we have a couple of students here from Idaho I mean you know what's in Idaho and and you know if you're from Idaho and you're in other person's right you relate to them. And when Jesus came upon this son this daughter and this young boy and all the parents said this is my one and only son. Let me ask you a question. Do you think it resonated in the Jesus's heart? And the Bible tells us that broken-hearted parents who uniquely loved their suffering children were miraculously healed by Jesus.

The point I want to make is that God has demonstrated his love for us and that he said his one and only unique special son the son of his heart the son of his affection. My youngest son called me this morning. He's 26 years old and he's kind of my buddy both my sons are but but just because of his special when he was born he he was the son he was a son that my wife and I were blessed with totally unexpectedly.

So when he was born I was 42 and my wife was 40. So he kind of grew up with me so we're kind of like exactly the same we talked the same we think the same and he called me this morning. Now how do you think I felt towards him? What do you think my heart was? Number one I love hearing his voice. Hey dad. I said what's up son and then he did what he always does he starts asking me questions and I said tell me what's going on and he told me what he was doing and we talked about this and our conversations are always philosophical and then when we said goodbye I really didn't want to say goodbye but he had to take a call and I had to go and when we departed from a what one another in our conversation guess what I said to him guess what he said to me and both of us left acknowledging our love for one another and what God is trying to get in our heart is that the reason why we are to love one another is because God has displayed and put it on notice for all of us to understand that he loves his son and he sent his son into the world to do for us what we could never do for ourselves because God wants to change our hearts. He wants us to love him supremely and by loving him supremely we will love one another completely or perfectly as we will learn later on about God's perfect love for us so I want to stop there and ask you this question is this in your heart I don't care about the externals right now what is in your heart do do you have that love in you have you been born again and then secondly are you growing in an immense and greater and daily understanding of the love of God that he had for his own son and because we are in Jesus because we are in Christ he loves us with the same unique affection because each one of us are sons and daughters of God Lord thank you that you love us and you love us because you have displayed the love in the love you have for your own son and thank you Lord that that same love we have entered into by becoming your children Lord help us to live this love out on a daily basis as we love you and walk with you in Jesus name amen you've been listening to a sermon from the book of first John by dr. Steve Pettit if you would like more information about how the biblical principles of creation fall and redemption are applied in Christian education we would like to make you aware of the textbook division of Bob Jones University called BJU Press BJU Press produces textbooks and educational materials for preschool through 12th grade and the textbooks are filled with biblical worldview integration not just in the Bible course textbooks but in all academic subjects as stated on their website we shape each subject according to the lens of Scripture each discipline takes on a new meaning when we apply the themes of creation fall and redemption if you would like more information about BJU Press for both Christian schools and home schools go to about where you can find out more about how biblical worldview academic rigor and critical thinking is integrated into all of their textbooks and classroom material once again that's about thanks again for listening join us again next week as we continue the study in first John on The Daily Platform
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-09 00:49:50 / 2024-03-09 00:58:37 / 9

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