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Assured Because of Your Love of the Father

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
September 29, 2022 9:00 am

Assured Because of Your Love of the Father

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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September 29, 2022 9:00 am

Jesus made it clear that it’s possible to call yourself a Christian and believe all the right things, but not truly be saved. So what’s the difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing him?

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Today on Summit Life, J.D. Greer talks about an important test of our faith. Maybe you don't know God at all. Maybe your experience with God has not been genuine. Because even if you're very religious, if this has not occurred in your heart, if this test, this is so foundational, if you don't pass this test, it indicates that something in you may have never actually encountered and met God. Welcome back to Summit Life with pastor, author, and theologian, J.D. Greer.

As always, I'm your host, Molly Vidovitch. In Matthew chapter 7, Jesus makes it clear that it's possible to call yourself a Christian and believe all the right things and do the right stuff without ever truly being saved. Jesus even says that it's possible to prophesy and cast out demons and do mighty works in his name without truly recognizing him.

So how do we know where we stand? What's the difference between knowing about Jesus and truly knowing him? Pastor J.D. answers that question for us today with a message titled, Assured Because of Your Love of the Father.

We are in week number four of a series that we are calling Assured. Assured, knowing for sure that you are saved and how 1 John speaks to that. My purpose in this series has been to help you find the assurance of salvation for at least a couple of reasons. The first is that I am concerned about a lot of people, even people here in our church who tell me that they are assured of their salvation on the basis of a prayer that they prayed that somebody told them if they would pray this prayer or go through this ritual that would punch their ticket for heaven and guarantee them that they would go to heaven when they die. And so they ask Jesus to come into their heart or they got baptized or they went through confirmation or whatever it was in your tradition. But listen, the Bible not one time ever says that because you pray a prayer you're guaranteed heaven.

Not once. There's one thing that lays hold of salvation and that is a genuine relationship with God that begins with repentance toward God and faith in the finished work of Christ. And so I have wanted to do this series to help you understand exactly what those things are and to know for sure if you have done them.

You can express repentance and faith in a prayer, that is true, but do not equate a sinner's prayer with repentance and faith because it is possible for you to pray the prayer without actually repenting and believing and it's also possible for you to repent and believe without praying the formal prayer. So that's one reason that I wanted to do this. The other reason is because I know that until you find assurance your spiritual life is never going to take off.

I know that from experience. You will never be able to go to great lengths for God until you are assured of where you stand with God. Assurance is the fuel for everything else in the Christian life. I mean think about it. How will you ever give away yourself for the kingdom of God until you know that you possess a God who is worth more than anything else you would give up?

Right? How are you going to give everything away for Jesus until you know that the Jesus you're giving it away for is actually worth it and that he belongs to you? The established church of Martin Luther, the reformer's day, believed that if you gave people the assurance of their salvation then that would take away their motivation for obedience. Because what God did is he dangled heaven out in front of us like a carrot. He was like, hey you want to go here? You want to avoid hell?

You better act right. And if you remove that carrot or you move that thread of hell then people would get lazy spiritually. Martin Luther labeled this correctly the damnable doctrine of doubt.

The damnable doctrine of doubt. He said it is true that if you coerce someone's behavior by threat of punishment you can coerce their behavior but you will never captivate their heart. And God does not want people who simply obey him because they're afraid of what he will do to them. He wants people who will obey him because they love him. And the way that you produce love for God in somebody is not by threatening them with punishment.

The way you produce that is by showing them God's great love for them. Love for God grows in the assurance of the love of God. You know by the way when he said all that he's just quoting 1st John. We love him because, because why?

1st John says. Why do we love him? Because he threatens us with hell if we don't. Because he promises to withhold blessing if we don't do it. No, we love him because he first loved us. And so I want you to have the assurance of where you stand with God because I know that your spiritual lives will never take off until you are assured of where you stand with God. You're never going to give everything away until you know that you possess the greatest treasure in the universe. God loves you. Do you understand that?

And when you love somebody you want them to know where you stand with them. You know throughout this book of 1st John you might have noticed this. John always refers to the believers as little children.

You'll see it again today in the text we're going to look at. Little children. I told you on the first week that a good father does not want his children to be unsure of where they stand with him. The only way that love for me will grow in my children is when they are assured of where they stand with me. When they're assured of their love for me. You have a heavenly father who feels about you 10,000 times more than I feel about my children. I never want my children to feel lonely. I never want them to feel like orphans when they are hurt, when they are broken. I want them to know that they can count on me and depend on me and that I am close to them. You have a heavenly father who is crazy about you and is always watching over you.

Who sees everything that you go through and the last thing that he would ever want is for you to doubt where you stand with him. So a hundred thousand times yes God wants you to know because it is the knowledge of your assurance that gives you the capacity to actually go places with him. So 1st John what he does is he gives you a series of ways of knowing that you are saved. Tests if you will that will will prove that your experience with God is genuine. And today we're going to come to one that is so fundamental, so foundational that if this test is not true of you, if you don't pass this test then there is something seriously wrong down in your heart. And it might indicate that though you have been in church for a long time and though you have considered yourself a very religious person maybe you don't know God at all. Maybe your experience with God has not been genuine because even if you're very religious if this has not occurred in your heart, if this test this is so foundational, if you don't pass this test it indicates that that something in you may have never actually encountered and met God.

Here it is 1st John chapter 2 verse 15. Do not love the world or the things in the world. Now watch this here's your statement of diagnosis. You should never ever in the bible confuse diagnosis with prescription. Diagnosis. If anyone loves the world the love of the father is not in him.

That's a description. If anyone loves the world that shows that the love of the father is not really in him. For all that is in the world the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life is not from the father but is from the world. Now first let me um note for you and discuss the confusing nature at least of the first part of this verse.

Do not love the world. If you've been around here for any length of time you may have noticed that the mission statement of the summit church is love God love each other love the world and you're like uh did you forget 1st John 2 15 when you said that or how about John 3 16. For God so loved the world. Was God confused? Was God schizophrenic? Was he like you know I love you then I hate you and he just didn't figure out which one he loved or hated the world. What is going on with by the way that's written by the same author John 3 16 and 1st John 2 15. Is John schizophrenic?

I mean he wrote both of them. Don't love the world. God so loved the world. All right so let's first talk about what that statement does not mean. All right when he says do not love the world he is not saying that Christians should not love first of all the created order. As in as in Christians hate earthly pleasures and they only love spiritual things.

I've done a lot of Christians who thought this they you think about heaven as sitting on a cloud somewhere in your diaper strumming a harp and that the closer you get to God the less you care about things in the world you turn into an ascetic who doesn't enjoy material blessings. You like plain food. You don't like fashion. You don't like vacations.

You would just rather sit around in a library and read ancient books. But God created the world and when God created the world he looked at his creation. You know what he said? What did he say?

This is a huge distraction. No he said this is good. God created the world to be enjoyed. When Jesus was here did you know they called Jesus a glutton and um and they called him a drunk. Now those were slurs because he was neither of those but it did point to the fact that he enjoyed a good meal. In fact if you read the book of Luke you will find that in Luke Jesus is always either going to a meal or coming from a meal.

Seriously the guy loved a good meal. So it shows you that that's not what he's talking about. It glorifies God when you enjoy great music or you enjoy a a nice vacation. It glorifies God when you enjoy an angus barn steak.

That's why he created it. Amen. You're listening to a message titled Assured Because of Your Love of the Father here on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. We'll rejoin this teaching in just a moment but I wanted to tell you about a daily email devotional from Pastor J.D. that's delivered straight to your inbox. Couldn't we all use encouragement first thing in the morning to remind us of God's love for us? Maybe you're looking to establish a daily routine of spending time with God and if that's you we've got the perfect free resource for you. These daily devotionals follow along with our current teaching here on the program so you can stay plugged in regardless of your schedule. Make the decision to carve out time with the Lord each day by reading and studying with us here at Summit Life. Sign up for this free resource right now at slash resources.

That's slash resources. Now let's return for the conclusion of today's message. Once again here's Pastor J.D. To love not the world secondly does not mean that you hate the economic or social structures of our society. As in if you're a Christian you just hate all government, all big business, you hate the music industry, you hate Hollywood just as a matter of principle. I've known a lot of Christians who thought that. In fact we were taught that because God hated the world like that we should go into Christian versions of those things. Don't go into business or politics come up with your own Christian version of that. Christian music industry, Christian arts, Christian businesses because God hates all the secular ones. That's not what he's talking about. Here's the third thing love not the world does not mean that you hate culture.

That you hate culture. When I grew up this verse was often interpreted to mean that you shouldn't listen to rock music because rock music was worldly. Even if you put Christian words to it it was still the devil's music because the devil owns the drum set.

That's his instrument. Anybody resonate with this? Anybody else hear this when they grew up? I was told that Christian rock music was like serving a t-bone steak on a plate of manure is what it was like. Nobody?

That was only me? All right. I was told I was told there ought to be a difference in the world's music and the church's music. That's the devil's music. Jesus likes southern gospel. That's what he likes.

Sometimes he can do a bluegrass but he really likes southern gospel. We were too plus when you play rock music extra flower the flower grows away from it and classical music that grows toward it. You heard that one? You didn't grow up like I did. We had to avoid worldly dress styles.

Remember this one? Christian guys we just we should look different. We wore ties. We have short hair. No beards.

Never ever ever should we get tattooed or pierced because we're just supposed to look completely different. Anybody? Come on now. I thought this would resonate more with you. I grew up in the south. I know many of you did.

We had a song for it. I kid you not. If your hair's too long there's sin in your heart.

Anybody? You cannot make that stuff up. You cannot make that up. Get it cut today.

Make a brand new start. I mean we we had the songs. Girls believe it or not had it even worse than we did. They had to wear those denim jumpers and culottes which were basically like a bell-bottom pants that stopped right below the knees. A friend of mine got expelled from our school because her bathing suit had a hole in the knee.

All right. That's a joke but there's probably a little truth in it. But the whole point is Christians were supposed to look different.

You should just look at us because we didn't have the world styles. That's not what it means here. It doesn't mean that you hate the people of the world. Sadly I've known a lot of Christians who felt that they were being godly when they expressed their hatred or their disgust toward non-Christians. But that's not what he means because John 3 16 God so loved the world that he gave his son. You don't give your most precious thing to something that you hate. John 3 17 God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but so that the world through him might be saved. When you are walking with God you don't have hatred and disgust toward the world around you.

You have such an intense love for it that you would be willing to offer your most precious thing to see it saved like God did. So if that's what it not means what does it mean? What does it mean to do not love the world? Here's what he means. He means the world as it is arrayed in rebellion against God.

That's what he means. Do not love the world as it is arrayed in its rebellion against God. He defines his own meaning in the next verse. So look at verse 16. For all that is in the world that is the lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the father it is of the world.

So that's what he means. Now the word that recurs several times in that little phraseology is the word lust. And that word lust is one that you really need to know because it occurs several times in the New Testament and it is core to understanding what sin actually is. When you see the word lust you automatically think sex. And it certainly can apply to sex but it means much more than that. Lust is the Greek word epithumia. Epithumia. And what it means is a craving or a desire that has taken on too much weight in your life. It is a craving that has taken on so much weight that it begins to dominate your emotions and begins to dictate your behavior.

Right? That's what an epithumia is. And it applies to a lot more than sex. In fact let's just go through that list he gave and I'll help you hopefully see a little bit what it means. The lust of the flesh. That's when some good thing some good thing God has created for the flesh becomes so important to you that you either feel like you could not be happy without it or it takes on such an important role in your life that you are willing to disobey the laws of God to get it. So let's take for example the example of sex. Sex is a good creation of God and ought to be greatly enjoyed in the way that God designed it to be enjoyed. But when you say I am going to have it or I want to have it regardless of whether or not I do it according to God's designs, I want to do it in my way, I want to have it when I want it, that is worldly. When you treat sex like it is an ultimate thing that it is something that defines the good life and you have to have it at all costs at that point it has become when he is talking about the lust of the flesh. Our culture has an obsession with sex.

Can we agree on that? I mean you just see it and how it advertises everything. I for the life of me cannot figure out what sex has to do with a GoDaddy website. I've told you before it seems like every magazine in the supermarket rack is trying to sell itself by promising me some way that I can have great sex if I buy this magazine. You know 10 ways to make your man holler or you know 30 ways to shake your bed across the floor. It's just on the front of the thing. Even magazines I've told you that seem to have nothing to do with relationships.

Have you noticed this? Field and stream, how to get your woman in the blind or something like that. You're like I don't even know what you're talking about when you say that. I was in Walmart the other day and I was standing in line and I look over out of the corner of my eye and I see one of these magazines and there it is just like you know five ways to make your man scream or something. My seven-year-old who was one of the most observant people about things that I don't want her to observe and not observant about things that I do want her to observe. She's standing there and all of a sudden her eyes get really big and she's looking that direction and she's like, dad look at what that says. And I was like don't look if you just don't look she's gonna ignore it and she'll get distracted by something we can just move on. But she wouldn't let it go.

She's like dad look look and she's pointing and so finally I was like oh I gotta acknowledge this so I turn over and I look but she's not pointing the magazine she's pointing at the thing behind the magazine that's the Walmart slogan that says save money live better and she's like dad no god live better and shakes her head and I was like thank you Jesus thank you Jesus save for another year. There is there is an obsession with sex that is worldly. The way our culture teaches girls to dress so that it highlights their sexuality and flaunts their sexuality is worldly.

Listen I got three daughters they are growing up I know that I'm going to deal with this a lot in my life and I know what girls tell me now like oh it's not worldly it's just fashionable. Yeah it's in the fashion of the world and if you're gonna follow Jesus you're gonna have to be willing to be unfashionable to the world so that you can be popular with him and so you've got to decide at some point whether or not you were going to dress in a worldly way whether you're gonna dress in a way that pleases God. Do not love the world don't love the lust of the flesh don't celebrate them as ultimate things as life defining things the way the world does because if you do the love of the father is missing from your life. Here's the second one the lust of the eyes the lust of the eyes that's when you see something good in the world that becomes so important that you feel like there's no way that your life could be happy without that thing but like like take for example money the lust of the eyes you see money or something that money could buy and you you couldn't imagine your life being happy without that level of income or that possession and so then that leads you to jealousy of those people who have that thing and you don't and resentment and that leads you to listen unwise poor decisions in pursuit of that thing. I'll give you an example you go into credit card debt lust of the eyes is usually what drives credit card debt I really want that so I'm going to have to go into debt even though I know it's an unwise decision so that I can possess that thing because I can't imagine a person like me or a family like mine not living at that level driving that kind of car living in that kind of house so you get all crazy in debt overworking that's one that's one that I really struggle with because I'm always like hey if I did this I could probably make a little extra over here and if I you know wrote this I could do this over here on the side and God really spoke to me this week in my time with God Proverbs 23 4 was in my my reading do not overwork to acquire wealth be wise enough to desist in other words I had to say I at some point I got to turn it off because I got to be wise enough to know that what is driving me is the lust of the eyes because I'm like I'd really like to be able to afford that and it isn't making me make unwise decisions about myself my health my family my job here it just it drives me many of you are the exact same way because you're driven by the lust of the eyes you make unwise decisions like not tithing or giving generously if you put yourself in a financial situation where you cannot give generously chances are you've been driven by the lust of the eyes that's how you got into that situation you're like well we just can't I mean there are some of you understand that are very dire straits but there's a lot of us that put ourselves in a position or about to put ourselves in a position we're making decisions now that put us in places because the cars we drive and the houses we live in that that are going to take away our ability to obey God by giving away at least 10% to his work those are unwise decisions you're driven by the lust of the eyes when you can't sacrifice something God tells you to sacrifice when you save so much money because you're worried about a rainy day that you don't give God and give to him generously today pastor JD has been describing how you can know with absolute certainty right now whether or not you're saved you're listening to summit life the bible teaching ministry of pastor author and theologian jd greer for more resources on this topic of assurance be sure to check out pastor jd sometimes we think of the gospel as you know this one-time event that occurs at conversion but what we've been learning about this month is that that's a really shallow view of it isn't it it's so much more right yeah you know all the bible writers particularly the new testament ones show you that the gospel is not just the way that you begin the christian life it's also the way that you grow in the christian life that's a major theme for us here at summit life is that is that it's by going deeper into the gospel that you grow more alive in christ the gospel is the one thing the one thing that is directly referred to as the power of God other than Jesus Christ himself the gospel is the only thing that's called the power of God the more of the gospel you have deep in your heart the more alive that you become in Christ and so this month molly we are offering a resource a video-based curriculum that i created called gospel that that will will take you deep into what that means like what does it mean to say the gospel is the center how do you go deeper in it the gospel bible study kit that's what you'll you'll get it has two dvds five study guides so that you can complete the study with others and a copy of the book called gospel so it's like an amazing and it's an incredible package and i think it'll really help you both with yourself with yourself your family and with other people that that God's put you in their lives to influence i'm really excited to recommend this just go to thanks jd the main objective of this bible study is to help you simply abide in Jesus when you're captivated by the love of christ the natural results are patience generosity self-control kindness get your study guide kit today when you support summit life with a generous financial gift call 866-335-5220 that's 866-335-5220 or give online at you could also write to us and request this newest resource our address is jdgrier ministries po box 122 93 durham north carolina 27709 i'm molly vidovich and who is anyone else feeling convicted by today's teaching it's time to put away those idols that distract us you'll want to join us tomorrow when pastor jd continues this teaching about idolatry it's time to get free join us friday on summit life with jdgrier today's program was produced and sponsored by jdgrier ministries
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-31 19:14:57 / 2022-12-31 19:25:05 / 10

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