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A Profound Preface, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
June 2, 2020 7:05 am

A Profound Preface, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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June 2, 2020 7:05 am

Living Right in a Wrong World

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Rich Eisen

Today on Insight for living God's life emanates life and his wife came to live among intangible form called the word of life is a life that goes as far back as you can think in the eons beyond it into infinity and it goes all the way in the future beyond what you can imagine the eons into the future and all the way from one to the other. There is a life and it is called eternal life. When the word of God is Chuck Swindoll's home church school Texans serves as senior pastor is not unusual for the congregation to stand out of reverence for the Scriptures about Insight for living it's our intent to express that same kind of respect by reading the passage together before presenting Chuck's message today is no exception. As we continue our fascinating journey through the practical book of first John R series is called living right in the wrong world just after the congregation sang amazing Grace. Chuck offered these opening remarks. Many of the great songs and hymns were birthed from wounds of woe. Profligate lives, whom God changed not overnight but in the process of time, this one that we all love amazing Grace, written by a man who describes himself as a rich not to be humble, but to be truthful, lived a profligate life reared himself virtually on the streets of London lied about his age joined up in the Royal Navy wound up on the slave ship was engaged in all kinds of wildlife. Ultimately escaped. Raised in through later years by a woman who beat him mercilessly and made him eat off the floor on and on. The story goes, the life of this rich finally was brought back on a ship and because he had brought with him plenty of booze. He got the crew drunk and some of them threw him overboard into getting back on the ship's skipper Park to get them back in the hold of the ship bleeding broken pretty well finished. John Newton remembered the teachings of his mother when he was just a little lad and turn to Christ later was involved in the writing of verse and found its way into amazing grace, how sweet the sound gives new meaning to through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come. That's our story and the great we all start there. The details of different but overall a pack of riches, even though we don't want folks to know it but a secret sin on earth is open scandal in heaven. As Dr. chafer used to say. So we live our lives open before him grateful for his word that guides us. First John is the letter were looking at. Don't confuse it with the gospel by John. This is very near the end of your Bible.

If you're not familiar, that's okay, you get over pretty close to revelation and work backwards you come to the three letters that bear John's name were going to the first letter today were looking at the first four versus I'd take more but I don't have time so will get through for him today. In this profound preface stand with me. Out of respect for the Scriptures as we hear the reading of this word of God has been given for our admonition.

What was from the beginning what we have heard what we have seen with our eyes.

What we have looked at and touched with our hands concerning the word of life and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the father and was manifested to us what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also so that you too may have fellowship with us and indeed our fellowship is with the father and with his son Jesus Christ. These things we write so that our joy may be made completely and got onto the reading the declaration and ultimately the living out of his please be seen to search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindoll sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight and other message called a profound preface what appears on the surface is rarely a reflection of what's going on down beneath, and sometimes even the more placid in quiet.

The surface may be the bigger the stuff going on down underneath I'm reminded of many years ago when my father awoke me long before dawn. We were vacationing as a family at a little bay cottage in South Texas not far from fallacious. He told me the night before going to get you up early son working to go out never fished before, but be ready to get up sir.

I forget what time felt like 2 o'clock. He shook me and it was dark and nieces come on, put your sneakers on. Let's go so we walked out of the boat house and we got a little fishing boat not not even 16 feet long, 35 hp Evinrude. I remember started up so cool that morning and so quiet that the water was a slick, which is fishing term for not a rip.

There's is no wind and and we we spread across the waters of our little baby and moved out toward the pass pass deep waters, deep oyster reef. He shut her down and we slid up over this deep reef. I remember in a long pole he could hear it as it bumped the bottom.

This is the reef and we silently let the anchor in he's back by the by the motor and I'm upfront in the balance of got my little cane told me Scott is rotten really lights up her Roy Tan cigar and casts out. He looks over at me and he said sit still. Son, there's big stop down in their well I thought we would get shampoo into minutes waiting by and I bring a malign amateur would back out again and he sit and still he said sit still. Son, be quiet. That 15 minutes passing just the early light the Erie.

Dawn light. I get fidgety and impatient start squirming, scratching, I spit in the water. Recent sit still is big stuff down in their all of a sudden a huge golf cart jumps out of the water does a flip in their does not doubt his water. All I thought I would miss my my dad never move told you there's big stuff down in their I will never forget it was there ever is.

I was digging into this little letter of first John item but better. You rest the story at the end okay and keep her from walking out as I as I was digging this I was digging into first John not IIII could almost feel the breath of old 90-year-old John breathing over my shoulder telling me sit still. Son is deep stuff real deep big stuff down in here and I didn't get through the first paragraph before I I agreed. I mean, there's a reason I've been over 45 years preaching and never once tackled first John mama didn't raise no dummy. You see what's what's disarming about first John is is you you don't know it's this difficult or profound when you first started to read it. In fact, all of you will be listed to know in first-year Greek and Dallas seminary. If you learn the basic rudiments of of the alphabet and vocabulary little bit of syntax and and and just enough Greek to be dangerous. They had to buy a New Testament in Greek will and you turn to first John. It's the first part of the Bible you ever begin to translate role sit around together. I mean you really know very little, but you feel like Greek scholar you got it New Testament Greek book in your hand and you're going through first John a member going home and telling Cynthia's I'm looking in the bathroom mirror you looking at it Greek scholar here because it looks so easy is so easy you mean this vocabulary Johnny just keeps it so simple and and I'm thinking, how easy is this and we were in it about a week and I started thinking, as I had to interpret what I was reading this is this is difficult. How by the end of the second week say this is impossible, is unbelievably difficult. What in the world easy getting when you know what it is and it looks placid and smooth and simple and easy.

On the surface, but there's big stuff done and so you have to think that's novel you have to actually think and you gotta work your way through some rather complicated sentence structures and will, for example, listen to John Stott's comment about the first paragraph is just here this. All commentators have found this first paragraph involved in syntax and abstruse in meaning. It is in fact a grammatical tangle. The first sentence begins with four relative clauses in opposition to each other, followed by the phrase the word of life. Verse two is actually a parenthesis and this parentheses so interrupts the flow of the sentence that verse three opens with the presumptive relative clause before leaving we finally reach the main verb. Do you know what you just heard there's big stuff in here. He doesn't even get to the main verb to verse three we proclaim and when I'm reading and I'm thinking John give us a break unravel this number come to realize it really isn't impossible, but it is challenging, but one section of it is one of my favorite lines to read in one of my friends in writing is is the line where he admits the author confesses he doesn't know one thing about what the writer had in mind at this point Oliver said something like that.

I don't have a clue. Now this going to the next verse in that great verses one through four.

It's easy to get hung up. So let me keep it simple. That's my job so that you won't get hung up and find yourself bored or disinterested.

Let me show you the big stuff get your pin ready in Mark word of life in verse one.

God is portrayed in three word pictures in the first. God is life. He says it three times is the word of life, the life that was manifested in fact, before verse two is over. He calls it self, the eternal life.

I get to that in a moment. This is a kind of life that isn't normal on every day earthbound existence. It's the kind of life.

Only God can make possible life that has its origin in the father from him emanates life. He is life and his life came to live among us in tangible form called the word of life. We know him today as Jesus of Nazareth but this life is transcendent in nature. That means it, it goes beyond all bounds all barriers. It is a life that goes as far back as you can think and then eons beyond it into infinity and it goes all the way in the future beyond what you can imagine, and eons into the future and all the way from one to the other. There is a life and it is called eternal kind of life we hope you appreciate that this in the Greek text is called a restrictive attributed that's not important. What's important is that this particular syntactical instructed construction emphasizes the adjective and it appears periodically through the New Testament example on 15 I am the true vine, and my father is the vine dresser, the true vine is a restrictive attributed and it reads in the Greek.

I am the vine, the true one.

The point being, he's different from all others who call themselves vine their faults. He's the true one. It appears in Matthews writing toward the end where he repeats and records the words of Jesus. Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these my brothers you have done it unto me the least is a restrictive attribute, inasmuch as you have done under the least of these my brothers you have done it on to me Craig. I get excited over syntax. That's how weird I am, but I come to this and this is the life eternal life.

This is a live like no temporal life. This is a life like no romantic life. This is a life like no physician could talk about life. This is a life even beyond our slaying get a live this is an eternal dimension of life that is known only by the father and is transferred to us through his son Christ, who is the word of life.his life and the next I want you to mark is in verse five. God is light see it. He is light.

Don't miss something important here as you look at verse five will be there later but just for now little preview of coming attractions. John not only tells us what he means God is like. He tells us what he doesn't mean it continues and in him is no darkness at all. The double negative in the English would make a positive, but the double negative in the original draws a line under the negative in him is absolutely no darkness what ever there never has been darkness, even when the earth was formless and void. As we read about in a moment even when all of this universe was shrouded in inky black darkness in God's presence there was light. That's why in heaven there will be no light bulbs. There will be no candles there will be no need for torturous flashlights or temporary light because he is the light, the Lamb is the light of it. God is a light and he emanates light and it represents his pristine holiness. Darkness is a word picture for evil in him is no evil.

What so ever. Not even a hint not even evil. There is no evil, and his motive. There is no evil of his plan. There was no evil and what he is doing in your life and in my life. Painful though it may be in him is life in him is light and there is no darkness at all. Now the third thing that John tells us about God is over. In chapter 4 God is love from my earliest days in Sunday school. That was the verse I memorized to start my spiritual education and probably the same God is love. God is my whole mind.

This is profound. God defines love verse eight the one who does not love does not know God, for God personifies love is love. It appears again in verse 16 toward the middle of the verse we have come to know what to believe. The love which God has for us. God is love it out reaches and transcends all love. That's human's love explains why created and crafted the world as he did his love explains how we are to love him in return is love defines why Jesus came and died on the cross God. So what love the world that he gave his one and only son. It is his love that explains his providence in his plan. The one that you and I stumble over because it just doesn't seem fair. Spoke to a father following the first service who son was normal and everything was rolling along and there was a terrible accident in the borne out today exist in a coma, he's unconscious here stands a father with tears in his eyes struggling with the providence of God. Thankfully, he's one of these rare individuals who said but I never question is love. The plan is mysterious, I'm telling him the desire of my heart is that he would come out of the coma. But I know that I God of love is watching over all of the. The only motive God ever had.

This is prompted by life. God is love. Love explains why he hasn't obliterated all of us from the face of the earth.

God's let's go back to the beginning verse one. What was from the beginning in the Bible there are three major beginnings. In fact, one is even before there was a beginning, it doesn't even have a starting point, but will get there. Turn to Genesis 1. This is the one we're most familiar with Genesis 1 verse one in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth pause right now.

Put your mind on pause push replay go all the way back before there was even matter before there was time before there were stars of the sky, sun and moon before there was earth or sea back before and come to the point where God said, let there be.

It was the beginning of creation. We can go back to that point though it's debatable what the date would be, but there is a beginning, when this earth started its orbit. There was a beginning of the star.

A beginning of life teaching from the New Testament letter of first John, you're listening to Chuck Swindoll and Insight for living it's a series we're calling living right and a wrong world. To learn more about Chuck for this ministry. Visit us online at inside world.or today's lesson featured a lot of helpful background from the Greek language. Not all of us have time to become Bible scholars and seminarians that it Insight for living. We've developed a variety of resources designed to deepen your understanding of God's word.

Francis Chuck is written a commentary on first John.

It's part of the Swindoll's living insights New Testament commentary set in this particular volume includes not only first, second and third John. But the book of Jude as well to purchase a hardbound copy for your personal library. Go to or call us if you're listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 a bear in mind, it's not the provision of resources that fuels the ministry of insight for living that we rely on voluntary contributions from friends like you to make these daily programs possible and if you're among those who give let me encourage you with a recent comment we received this person said I live with a disability and although I have my Masters degree. I passed up for full-time employment because of my wheelchair so your Bible teaching and broadcast. Keep me grounded and faithful. While I remember that man looks on the outside but the Lord looks at the heart. Thank you Chuck with this listener gave his gratitude to Chuck, but it really belongs to those who partner with us. Your contributions truly make a difference in touching lives to thank you Dave, how can it be that Cynthia and I've been isolated for several weeks on in. But it never felt a more intimate relationship with our listening family.

It's really true. Most mornings long before the sun rises.

Cynthia denies sent in our family room over on our back porch just quietly talking together and our fondness toward listeners like you is often the subject how big God would use these isolated moments hunkered down in our respective caves to draw us together with a stronger sense of unity, then we've ever known before. We are truly in this pandemic together.

Maybe his isolation in the cave inspired David to say of his Lord for you God are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble you surround me with songs of victory as we shelter in place. Let's remember we are not alone. First, our faithful Lord is never absent for many of us. Let's hide our souls in him.

Second, though the miles may separate you and me. We are never apart. And third of this be absolutely certain Insight for living is right here for you just as you were there for us. We have a critical deadline coming on June 30 is the day we close our financial books on another year of ministry and let me assure you this isn't an arbitrary date next year's ministry hangs in the balance as we wait on God's people to financially supply what we need in order to continue. I know many people are struggling financially right now Insight for living ministries is also struggling in a serious way as well.

Please as you are able send a generous donation and do that today. Your gift is urgently needed to touch men and women who are isolated in God's hiding place. They desperately need to hear the life-giving songs of victory. You can be the one to help make that possible. Cannot count on you to respond today. I believe I can. Thanks, Chuck call us right now listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 again 1-800-772-8888 or simply go to our website insight.or, thank you for your generous support of this nonprofit ministry are web address one more time is insight.or Chuck Swindoll, Siri living right in on continues Wednesday insight for living. The preceding message of profound preference in the sound recording were copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited

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