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July 14, 2021 12:01 am
The Bible promises that believers in Jesus Christ will have joy. But you might be surprised by how we obtain it. Today, R.C. Sproul identifies the cost of sharing in the joy of Christ.
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John chapter 15 Jesus says that he wants to share his joy with us the fullness of his joy and the fullness of his joy is reached when he sits down at the right hand of his father and receives back to himself the glory that he had with the father from eternity and it's that joy that he shares with you as followers of Christ.
We read many wonderful promises that are trying God makes to we considered this when what is often as we should, especially over the last few months. Think about it though ruin centers more in meeting yet adopted by the king and allowed to share in his joy. Welcome to the Wednesday edition of Renewing Your Mind as we begin today. Dr. RC Sproul was reading from John chapter 15 starting at verse nine as the father love me.
I also have loved you abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have My father's commandments and abide in his love these things. I've spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.
No longer do I call you servants for a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I've called you friends for all things that I heard from my father and made known to you, you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain. And that whatever you ask the father in my name he may give you these things I command you, that you love one another as the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. And if you were of the world, the world would love its own yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hate you remember the word that I said to you servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they also persecute you. They kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for my namesake because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, now they have no excuse for their sin. For you hates me hates my father also if I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin, but now they have seen and also hated both me and my father, but this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their Law. They hated me without a call when the helper comes to Marshall send to you from the father, the spirit of truth who proceeds from the father. He will testify of me. And you also will bear witness because you have been with me from the beginning, he who has ears to hear the word of God, let them hear. Maybe sick where looking bit by bit at the discourse that Jesus had with his disciples in the upper room the night before his execution. And though several weeks pass as we come together and glimpse the text we remember that these things that he was saying to them, flowed right close to each other in the passage of time.
The discourse that were looking at this morning's part of that discourse in which our Lord announced his legacy saying peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you, it still part of the discussion were our Lord said let not your hearts be troubled and so he expands here on that legacy on the inheritance that he is leaving behind to his disciples.
In addition to peace the gives them to other things. He leaves behind his love, and he leaves behind his joy and so these must be connected.
The peace that he gives is inseparably connected to the love that he sheds a broad in the hearts of those who are his.
And that love and that peace are the basis and the source for our participation in his joy, peace, love and joy.
No part of this chapter is a little bit awkward in its English translation and in its awkwardness can really easily mislead us from the original but in verse nine, Jesus said, as the father love me. I also have loved you.
Let me stop right there for second if you ever wonder how much Christ loves you where if he loves you at all.
If you are his. Think for a moment of the incredible comparison that he is making here Jesus is not simply saying that the father loves me and I love you and you love each other and everybody's happy know what he is saying here is that I love you the same way that my father loves me now. Who of us can possibly plumb the depths of the love that God the father has for God the son.
The son, whom the Scriptures call the beloved of the father and so our Lord is saying loving you the same way that my father loves me. Then he goes on to say in this were again can be misleading. Abide in my love stay in my love still giving us more exposition of the metaphor of the vine that we considered last week. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love ears. I don't like the way that's translated because this makes it same conditional. This makes it same that I'll love you as long as your obedient, but the moment your disobedient, you can kiss my love goodbye that is not the import of what Jesus is saying he is giving away team mandate to his disciples to persevere in their faith to stay close with them and to be fruitful and to be obedient, but really what he saying is if you stay in my love, you will be obedient because his love is not a result of our obedience.
Rather, our old medians is the result of our love for him.
That's what he said elsewhere if you love me, keep my commandments, and he's deepening that by saying because I love you and have chosen you out of the world, and have brought you into myself. You will be fruitful.
You will be obedient.
I've mentioned this before long time ago but I'll never forget my professor in graduate school in Amsterdam saying in one of his lectures. He said gentlemen, the essence of Christian theology is grace and the essence of Christian ethics is gratitude were not driven to obey Christ in order to get in good with him. We are driven to obey Christ out of a heart that is filled with gratitude for the way that he has plucked us out of this world and poured his love out to us. These things are spoken to you, that my joy remain in you, and that your joy may be full. Again, let me just comment briefly on this, our Lord is called elsewhere in Scripture. Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He is a man who was known paying beyond any major from what we have ever experienced. And yet, beyond the pain beyond the sorrow beyond the afflictions and the humiliation of Christ stands the incarnate one whose life is marked by joy and this again is his legacy. We may weep. Beloved, we may be crushed from the exigencies of life and the afflictions that we endure in this world, but nevertheless in the deepest part of our hearts, and that the lowest level of our soul.
There must be a spirit of joy. There is nothing more clearly the mark of the Christian them that we are people of joy forever. Joy joy joy joy where down in our hearts, down in our hearts, not just today but to stay that my joy Jesus says may stay with you, may remain with you and that you may experience the fullness of my joy and the fullness of his joy is reached when he sits down at the right hand of his father and receives back to himself the glory that he had with the father from eternity and it's that joy that he shares with you and with us. This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you, like that one I can try to love you but to love you as much as he has loved me, pushes it beyond my natural ability. No wonder he keeps talking about sending the Holy Ghost to help us but he loved us when we were unlovely and we are called to model that kind of love is greater love has no one than this, the delay down one's life for his friends from another perspective it's greater delayed on your life or your enemies is Paul labors of course, in Romans.
But what Jesus is talking about here is the nature of friendship and the greatest love that you can show a friend is to lay down your life for your friend to sacrifice everything that you have, to be a friend.
I've told this story before to an incident that happened shortly after Charles Colson was released from prison and he was speaking at an Ivy League school. I believe it was Yale on that occasion Yale or Harvard, one of the two, and as he began his address a group of students were tackling him in the back of the room and kept interrupting his speech and they were shouting out saying to him.
How could you have defended Richard Nixon. Colson stopped his speech we looked at the hecklers and he said because he was my friend and instantly the student body was on their feet, applauding and so Jesus says crater love has no one than this, so they lays down his life for his friends how he gives further exposition of his meaning when he says you are my friends again. If you do whatever I command you know you are my friends and you will do whatever I command you is what the force of the text is no longer do I call you servants for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends now. This does not mean that Jesus is at this point I ceased being your Lord and you are no longer my servant. But Jesus is saying I have related to you as a master relates to his students. You been my disciples. You've enrolled in my school I been your professor you been my subordinates and all of those things are true, but today is graduation day from now on I want to look at me as your friend. I had a professor like that. My mentor in seminary. Dr. Gerstner. I remember after I came back from Europe and from graduate school and had dinner with Dr. Gerstner.
I said to him it's good to see Dr. Gerstner, niece of Nona. No Roberto Yost, Roberto Isaac call me Jack and I had a friend of mine who worked with me and every time he saw Dr. Gerstner I would call him Jack syndrome. When I you call him Jack recently wants is to: Jack Isaac might want to call Gerald L never called him Jack.
To this day, except in this illustration I have never ever referred to him as anything but Dr. Gerstner. That's what happens when a student is deeply impacted by a teacher or by a professor, that dignity that esteem lasts for one's entire life and you want to show your affection and show your respect by using the title will the disciples continued to call Jesus is Lord.
But Jesus is saying I am bringing you into a close relationship with me. That goes beyond the classroom that goes beyond my tutelage. I'm calling you friends, because I'm confiding in you, the deepest things that my father has confided to me we are friends of Christ with respect to our being. The recipients of his privileged revelation.
That's why we should never take these matters lightly and as I said when we started this examination of this discourse we are, as it were eavesdropping on this final discussion the Jesus as with his disciples.
I have called you friends for all the things that I heard from my father. I've made known to you. You didn't choose me I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain so that whatever you ask the father in my name he may give you now in verse 18, the dark side of the legacy we receive as his disciples amasses friends is peace is love and his joy, but once we are joined to Christ and participate in the legacy that he gives to this church. We must also participate in the inheritance that he receives, not from the father but from this world and the legacy of this world to Christ is its enmity, its scorn, its rejection, and yesterday he uses the intense word here for hatred. She said if the world hates you, you know, it hated me first. It hated me before it hated you. And if you were of the world, the world would love you because you would be its own, but because you're not of the world, but because I chose you out of the world. Therefore the world hates you. Remember that I sent you a servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. One of the greatest embarrassing experiences of enlightenment I ever had was the first months that I've become a Christian. I became a Christian in college and I went home for a weekend visit and when I came back on Friday night in my town I went to the drugstore were all the guys always gathered on Friday nights and frankly I was their leader all the way through high school. I was their leader, and when I came back to share with my friends.
The greatest thing that ever happened to me in my life. The cause of my highest happiness my discovery of Christ as my Savior and I sat down and I told my buddies about Christ. I fully expected. Every one of them to get in line and say way to go.
RC were right with you. Instead they were unanimous in their rejection of everything that I said and knowledge that they reject what I said but they manifestly rejected me and thought I had lost my mind for the first time in my life identified with Capt. quick. I was hurt because I told them these things because they were my friends and I loved them and I wanted them to meet my new friend Jesus is ever been a Christian who was ever been converted by the grace of God who didn't want to share that with all of his friends with all of his relatives. After a while we learn to be more discreet because we experience that often low-key but nevertheless real hostility that is deeply embedded in this world.
This world hates the things of God by nature this world by nature hates Christ they can have peace with Christ as long as we make sure that we strip him of his real identity, but if you look at the biblical Christ and you proclaim the biblical Christ and you follow the biblical Christ with allegiance. You will be despised at some point by this world. That's why the Bible says, beware of the person of whom everyone speaks with because if you've made friends with the world that only if done by compromising the convicting yet encouraging message from Dr. RC Sproul, we as believers have a great privilege of sharing in the joy of Christ. We also get to share in his reproach. Thank you for joining us for the Wednesday edition of Renewing Your Mind. This was a sermon by Dr. Strohl from the Gospel of John.
And when you contact us today with a donation of any amount we would like to send you RC's hardbound commentary on this gospel, the ghost of the book verse by verse and provides easy-to-read explanations for each passage. This is a great addition to your library so we encourage you to call us today at 800-435-4343. You can also make your request and give your gift online and Renewing Your Mind.word each day. The sweeper featuring a sermon by Dr. scroll from a different New Testament book so as you listen you will have the opportunity to request a particular commentary today. It's the commentary on the Gospel of John and again her phone number is 800-435-4343 or web address is Renewing Your Mind.org and in advance let me thank you for your generous donation.
It was interesting that in explaining the gospel of the apostle Paul refers to the Old Testament patriarch Abraham. What does he have to do with those of us who were saved under the new covenant will find out tomorrow as Dr. scroll preaches from Paul's magnum opus, the book of Romans Thursday here on Renewing Your Mind