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April 22, 2020 9:00 am
Janie Greer talks about experiencing God the fullness of the Spirit is to be filled with a sense of the love of God, not able to find fullness of the spirit is a bunch of times and probably see that stuff is got its place somewhere, but the primary evidence being filled with the spirit is when you are filled with the knowledge of the love of God love to say that I love tacos I love dogs. I love my kids and I love my husband and all of this might be true for me but they're obviously not the same kind of love so what does the Bible mean when it talks about loving your neighbor. Specifically, how do we define that kind of left pastor Janie Greer unpacks that for us today is a part of our series called sure grab your Bible for today's teaching title assured because of our love for others charge up before you have a Bible verse John chapter 4, we are concluding this weekend. Our series called assured in which we have studied through the book of first John together a few years ago I heard a story from one of our UNC students who had signed up to take an ornithologist class at UNC Chapel Hill user. What is ornithology ornithology is the study of birds. He thought that it would be an easy day away. A great way to pad his GPA.
He thought it look halfway interesting. He said I could not have been more wrong about the nature of this class.
He said it was the hardest class that I taught in college. He said the first three test. I completely failed. The said learning about all things birds.
He says my professor was a bird fanatic and I would never have the excitement about birds that this man had. He said when I came into the final exam.
I was doing so poorly that I knew that if I did not get a high a on the final exam.
I wasn't even going to pull a C in the course essential of all my exams.
He said I studied the most for this one is that I've mastered everything I thought you could know about birds. I knew what birds with what part of the world I knew what birds were almost extinct. I knew what the threats the birds around the world work that I thought I was prepared that I walked in and sat down. And in that exam room was only one thing displayed on the screen, he said, and it was a picture of 35 sets of bird legs with one question. Identify your final is to identify these birds by their legs. He said I was absolutely furious bird legs. She said are you serious this is what our final exam is that I have noted any bird legs that I shut my thing and I raise my head as a professor. This is not fair represses that I told you that everything was gay.
You should know. He said no this is not fair. I refuse to let it go. I met up with the first answer down because this is not fair questions that find you you you don't do anything to get a zero. He said 5 miles will take. As a result of flammable chart my memo my test book. I grabbed my stubble got busted fine as of right now you fell this course you get a zero what your name, son said I don't know when you tell me you tell me what my name is what that story may not be true, but the primary point and try to make is that there are some exams that may not seem fair right there something we all have had that experience. First John is a series of exam questions that are fair because it is examining you about what I would submit. She was the most important task you were ever going to take in your life and that is the test of whether or not you actually know God. John is writing a word and people who think they know God on their very religious people is not writing to irreligious people always writing to help you examine yourself whether or not you actually know God. I told you the first week of the series of 51% of the people in Raleigh-Durham believe that they are reconciled to God and right with him because they prayed a prayer to ask Jesus into their heart or they got baptized, so they went to confirmation or whatever your tradition called it, but they believe that that's what secure their relationship with God. That's just Christians. And then you got people born in the Christian religion or another religion to refill like they know God, because of the basis of what their religion has taught them to do. To know God and you say well why would you say there's cause for alarm.
Jesus said Matthew chapter 7 that on the judgment day there was going to be humongous throng of people who were going to stand at the judgment seat, thinking they're about to go into heaven.
That will look at Jesus and they will say Lord Jesus were ready to be received into heaven and they'll be turned away from heaven with the terrifying words depart from me, I never I never knew you, and they're going to object to the Savior, Jesus, we asked you into our hearts as you say yes, but I never I never knew you never to say, but we were moral, we were the best people in our societies is a yes. But I never knew you many of them are going to say, but we were involved in our church. We were involved in ministry in our church. So, yes, but I never knew you back number I told you this.
Matthew seven just involved in the Loki ministries. These were people that were involved in the demon casting out ministries not to know what you know about church ministry. But when you get To be in the demon casting out squad that's varsity right we think it's your cream of the problem we say God's got a demon. I want you to go to his house and throw it out like that means that we think about is highly of you as we can think these were people that had engaged in that level of ministry and they are going to be turned away from heaven with the words.
I never knew you. How do you know that you were not going to be in that group.
That's what the book of first John is written the answer. How do you know that your experience with God is actually genuine.
The key verse in first John first John 513 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life that again I would submit to you that it is the most important task you will ever take.
First John four verse seven, John is going to give us to final test in these verses, I will walk you through these verses, take some time to do that because I want to show you how John builds this argument out and then at the very end of the message you are are two points and talk about it for just a few minutes.
First John chapter 4 verse seven. So that's where will begin verse seven beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Right church. What here is the sign that you know God is not hard you love one another.
That's right very straightforward. Verse eight anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
This is one of the only times by the way where God is identified with one of his attributes. It doesn't say that God is loving it says that God is love.
Now don't over read that he is not saying that the emotion of love is itself God or that love is God's only attribute but what it does show you is that love is so core to God's being that the apostle John writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit feels comfortable identifying God with one of his attributes, not theologians point out that this is possible because God is a Trinity, meaning that he is one being who has eternally existed in three persons, and because of that God has always existed in a loving relationship with another nap you think about that for too long. Your head will explode, but this is the nature of our God and it is the foundation of our universe and what John is saying is if self giving self sacrificial love is not at the core of our being. There is no way that God is in us, because God at his core, by the nature of the Trinity itself is self sacrificing love. That's John's big idea in this passage verse nine.
In this the love of God was made manifest, Lord manifest. You know what you feel it.
The love of God was made manifest among us that God sent his only son into the world so that we might live through him. Now John goes to describing God's love.
God's love was not just a sentimental feeling God's love translated into an action in which he saved us an action which was framed by and defined by grace. Verse 10 in this is love, not that we love God but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation member that word simply means payment propitiation for our sins. God did the unthinkable, the creator God after having been rejected by his creation could have destroyed us all and just started over, and no personal cost to himself. He created us with a were the first time he could destroy us with a word and then re-create the whole human race of people with another word, but instead shows out of compassion to take on himself.
The penalty for our sin and to suffer the shame and the pain and torment for our sin for us in our place. Exploring the king dying for unrepentant traders creator dying for his creation, ashamed father humbling himself before his arrogant prodigal child of the trade lover offering himself as a sacrifice for an unfaithful betrayer. Would any of us have done that no he was not obligated to do it. He did not need to do it but he wanted to do it. He did not need us, but he wanted us so the defining characteristic of God is love, and the defining quality of God's love is the grace that he showed to us. That's one of those things that you should probably sit and meditate on for a long time until it just permeates your entire being. Charles Spurgeon, the silver tongued orator of the 19th century said that there were one subject that he would always talk about but one he felt utterly incapable of talking about it was the love of God, the greatest orators that the Christian church has ever known, said that the love of God makes me back away from this platform. Utterly ashamed of my poor feeble words. This love of Christ is the most amazing thing under heaven, if not in all of heaven itself. Martin Luther the reformer. If we had a full understanding of this love of God for men I joy so great would come to us that we would probably die because of it. I love Martin Luther from this we see how truly dull our hearts are that only a few of us taste even a few drops of this immense joy, not to mention the whole notion of it makes remind me that him that I sang when I was a kid. Could we with ink the ocean's feeling of this one or were the skies of parchment made where every stalk on earth, squealing every man a scribe by trade to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry. Nor could the whole contain the scroll stretched from sky to sky is something that whenever someone gets a glimpse of it in the Bible. The only thing that they can say about it. It is indescribable. That's literally what Paul writing in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says it's what John is saying when he says behold what manner of love the Father has given us. No one's ever known. This kind of love is a love that is as high as the heavens are above the earth. It is is love that he says is is deeper than the ocean itself never taking my daughter to the beach. My oldest daughter when the front 34 years old when the first time she could remember going to the beach and I'm walking around into into the water holding her hand, were about 2 feet deep. It's come up to about her mid waist with a small wave comes and watches overhead and she immediately knows that she sizzled that he too deep to deep South.
You have no idea how deep this ocean is you think of 3 feet is become too deep that is awesomely taste even a little bit of the love of God. We say it is so amazing. It is so beyond our comprehension. But those who have seen and known the love of God. Know that all the words that we have to describe it fall so far short of the actual reality it's indescribable. Verse 11 beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought therefore to love one another on its 1 Rabbit Trl. for just a minute just a minute, I promised a minute, but as you there linear thinkers and the like rabbit trails come at about 90 seconds.
Okay, just a minute on this because something is really born ought the Achilles' heel of atheism or agnosticism or philosophical naturalism, or whatever you want to call it, is that it is unable to provide a reason why we ought to love one another. Most agnostics and atheists will say that love is a good thing. And many of them hear me are loving people. Sometimes, in fact, they act more loving than a lot of Christians that I know, but philosophically they can provide no ought for their love no reason why love is good and right.
If we all evolve by purely natural processes from microbes.
Why, ought we to love one another. Why not let the survival of the fittest. Why not let that really all of our dealings with each other. Why would we ever voluntarily choose self-sacrifice for one another, or show grace to each other at great cost to ourselves.
Now I had people say back to me on that. Well it's it's best for the species if we all do that right be clear, that's not an ought that's just a fancy form of self interest. I am serving you because ultimately it's better for me and by the force of that logic. If I become convinced that killing you would be better for me and I was stronger than you and could pull it off and what should not do that.
What ought we to love one another. So when you're talking to someone like a Sam Harris or Barker men who says they can be moral without believing in God. Listen. Certainly they can they can because God created us in his image, and because of that we all have moral impulses and even an atheist can. Since these impulses know that their right and obey them quite well. Again, often better than some Christians insist that they cannot provide a philosophical basis and tautness if you will for their morality. The Christian says that we ought to love one another because that's the nature of God, in whose image we were formed and it's how God has been toward us. Therefore we ought to be like that toward each other and thus officially ends my rabbit drill okay so come back if you're if you check out there for minute verse 11 beloved of God so loved us, we also ought to love one another to his point is made is that the sign that you know God in the sign that you been born of God is that you love now is go to verse 13, because here watch this here John is back out and make the same point from a different angle, I told you that if you're linear thinker. John can frustrate you little bit is over here. These are merely battery here is how like he's only thing he's composing music and what he does here is, he makes a point and then he rewinds himself and backs up and he's going to come at it from a different angle. What you want to make the exact same point that he's going to be himself of the inner River 13. This is the one to point this of the two point by this we know that we abide in him and he had us because he's given us of his spirit right. Mrs. Barletta's logic like we know that we know God. How does this fearlessness well how do we know that his spirit lives in us. Unfortunately, no one has come up yet with a spirit reader like a Geiger counter of some kind recital. Yes, the force is wrong with this will be one that would be awesome if someone admits that we don't have that you cannot feel the spirit kicking around and you want a pregnant woman feels her baby feel that that's the spirit get regular preseason there there there are some people who were going to say that the proof of the Holy Spirit is some magical sign like you're speaking in tongues, a prophecy that proves the spirit is in you never ever met somebody like that.
That's how I know the spirit is MA because I speak in long drive to make some prophecy of some kind.
The Bible never tells you to look at that as a proof of the smears and you've never back Matthew seven the past I quoted earlier was one of the reasons that the people who were turned away from heaven was one of the reasons they think they're going in today had spirit power because they prophesied so so so having spiritual gifts or looking like you have been is no sign that the spirit is in you cannot prove you want to know how you know that the spirit is in you, you know well what John says he's on the road on the meals there may look at him. Verse 15 whoever confesses that Jesus is the son of God and x-rays God abides in him, the spirit of God lives in him and he and God.
Verse 14 you believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world, the evidence of the spirit being in you listen is that you recognize the truth about Jesus, namely that he is the son of God sent to be the Savior of the world that's assigned to God spirit is in you now. We explained that for a minute because some of you like one also thought that's a very convincing sign.
You review the smears and me.
I believe in Jesus you like.
I have so many outside MAPI that convinced of that but it's kind of like this. Imagine that you were blind, and you were in a room full of people who were blind and none of you have ever known. Any people who could see and then if you had ever been able to see them so you're not even aware there's a faculty of site right and all the sudden you and only you are healed from your blindness and now not only can you see you can see the different hues of various colors and now you're trying to describe to a room full of people would never even heard of site and that know it exists. What a color is how do you prove to them the existence of colors when they've never seen anything what you would end up saying is I don't know how to describe it to you.
I'm not sure you have categories for it, but I have seen it and all you can do is hope that one day their gay eyes get open to see the plain obvious things that you now see that's what conversion is conversion is new eyes to see the beauties of God's grace conversion is when the spirit of God gives you a new heart that since is this the gospel since is your sinfulness and the beauties of the weightiness of God's grace and suddenly you have eyes to see what was there all along. You were blind to it.
So when the spirit of God comes in you, you begin to see the gospel. Verse 16.
So we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. The evidence of the spirit is a felt awareness of the love of God, the fullness of the spirit listen the fullness of the spirit is to be filled with a sense of the love of God want people to find fullness of the spirit is a bunch of tongues and prophecy, and that stuff is got its place somewhere, but the primary evidence of being filled with the spirit is when you are filled with the knowledge of the love of God through Betsy John's are going to make this point, Paul makes a breakage of three teen watches. I pray that you may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge watch the next race that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
The fullness of the Holy Spirit is being filled with the knowledge of the love of God being filled with God is when your heart can sense and feel and taste the immensity of the love of God that Paul says surpasses all knowledge that the exact same point judges made the sign that the spirit is in us that were filled with first and felt knowledge of the love of God. So now what's this now.
John returns to the point he was making in those first verses want to repeat himself or 16 God is love and whoever abides in love abides in God. God abides in him makes sense right to be filled and knowledge of the love of God shows the spirit God is in you and Sanchez wasn't there is no way there's no possible way that you could have encountered the love of God.
There is no way that the spirit of God to open your eyes to the love of God, and you could have tasted of the spirit of God which is by definition, love, and not become a loving person yourself, verse 19 we love because he first loved us and we have perceived that in verse 20 if anyone says, I love God hates his brother, he is a what a liar. It is inconceivable that you could encounter the power and the love and the grace God has not become filled with that love and grace yourself first can usually encounter name transformational like yourself. Pastor Jeannie Greer asking us today. Have you really experience God's life on Senate life. I recently sat down with Pastor Jeannie and talked with him about this question of assurance that we've been learning about the past few weeks. What we can say to someone who struggling with the question of assurance.
In other words, they're not really sure where they stand with God so let's shed their next step be well the first thing I would tell them is I've been there for years and I struggle with doubting my salvation. I thought I was the only one. It was when I really began to press into what Paul was teaching about the gospel in Romans what first John teaches that I started to see that the path of assurance was different than I had been seeking it on what I realized was that the gospel was a declaration that Jesus is done everything necessary and that all I did was believing and resting and no matter how I felt or how unspiritual I felt that the fact was that Jesus and finish the work of my salvation and when I was leaning on that and depending on it.
That is conversion. Conversion is a posture of repentance and faith that you begin at one point but then you maintain it for the rest of your life and the way that you can be sure that you are in that posture of repentance and faith is to look at the posture of your heart right at this moment I put all this into a book called salvation.
Jesus in your heart. We turn that book into a devotional polisher and walk you through this path of assurance and show you not only I can find it for yourself and how you can help people around you find it, you might want to get this resource for a friend. I would love to give it to you just for becoming a partner here with our ministry.
If you go to JD grid.com you'll find expiration about how you can start that conversation when you get to Senate life today your helping us get these messages to anyone who needs them today at the suggested level of $25 or more to say thanks by sending you a copy of the new devotional but right in line with our current theories called short reflecting on your security copy when you get back going by.
I forgive online here.
I'm only reminding you to join us tomorrow when looking how John sure join us Thursday same time same place for Senate life