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Certainty Through Experience

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2020 9:00 am

Certainty Through Experience

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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April 14, 2020 9:00 am

The first disciples believed in Jesus because of the miracles they witnessed: the healing of the sick and blind, the calming of storms, and the resurrection. But now that Jesus has returned to heaven, how can we have that same experience and the same assurance that those first disciples had? We’ll discover the answer as Pastor J.D. continues our new series titled, Assured.    

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Today on Senate life with JD Greer you know that your experience with God is real, you know you not swept up in some kind of crowd deception.

How do you know that you're actually part of the movement. Most people that I know have dealt with this.

You never asked the question you probably probably rate disciples witnessed some pretty incredible miracles either believe in the blind storms and course the resurrection Jesus has returned to heaven. How can we possibly have that same experience the same solid assurance that those first disciples had our subject today on Senate life as JD Greer continues our new series titled short. If you missed any of the previous messages you can catch up online. JD now here's Pastor Janie with the message he calls certainty through experience Bible take it out to the book of first John, the book of first John we started last week and we're going to continue looking at this letter that John the apostle wrote the book of first job shot is all about how you could know that the gospel that you believe is true and how you can know that your experience with God is genuine.

As I admit should be the epistle of first John was written by John who was one of the closest disciples to Jesus personally and here is the question that he returns to over and over and over again in this letter is how can you know that your experience with God is genuine, but it's interesting to me that most of the letters of the New Testament identify specific target audience to the churches in Galatia, Galatians, to the churches in Ephesus. Ephesians 2 Timothy two Titus, John is one of the only letters that does not identify target audience because this is something that everybody deals with how do you know that your experience with God is real, you know you not swept up in some kind of crowd deception. How do you know that you're actually part of the movement.

Most people that I know have dealt with this never asked the question you probably you probably should have told you last week that that that you got and I have my own book coming out called stop asking Jesus in your heart how to know for sure that you are saved the deals of the same questions and I wrote that summer because how many times I dealt with it in my life and how many people I talked to at our church dealt with that question.

First, about five points.

John is about five points he makes in answer to the question how you can know for certain that you know God.

But here's the thing.

He weaves them and announce, in no particular order, and there's all kind of jumbled together.

If the apostle Paul had written this book will be like .1 subpoints appoints a boy .2 subpoints appoints appointment etc. jobs like point which honestly makes personal difficulties because if you been reading like he makes all five points about every seven versus so what were working to do that for five weeks is cannot go to the book of first John, probably four times to pick up themes and penetrates them through the book of first John the thing that we are going to chase this morning. Is this what it is how you can be certain about your experience with God through an experience of fellowship with him how you can be certain that what you believe is true through an experience of fellowship with him else when you what I mean by that got a Bible first John chapter 1.

Let's look at verse one, verse John 11.which was from the beginning.

John says that which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and in touch with her hands concerning the word of life. The life was made manifest as we have seen and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the father and was made manifest to us now. There for a minute and think about what John is actually trying to say here John is saying that the reason that he was so sure about what he was teaching is that he and the other apostles actually saw Jesus they observed his miracles. They felt his resurrected body.

John is saying this is not a is important to note that the apostles listen, never attempt to draw their authority from the fact that Christianity is a superior explanation of the world. They draw their authority from the fact that Jesus was God come down from heaven and verified to them through his miraculous works. The proof of Christianity to them was not and how why is Jesus's teaching seem to them the printer them was the fact that Jesus had miracles and resurrection to back it up great example of this son in John's Gospel, John records the story of a man who had been born blind which to Jesus out of God's judgment. Jesus healed and so this guy's never been educated, he was blinded never to go to school so the religious leaders get this guy who's been healed and they say to him, you can't go around saying that Jesus healed you because we theologians know that Jesus is a sinner and that Jesus teaches wrong things and the God's response is absolutely classic.

John 925. Whether he is a sinner or not, I would have to let you theologians and professional philosophers decide.

One thing I know I was blinded.

Now I see what John is saying is the reason that we are or are sure about what we believe we do is not because we can explain it all because Jesus rose from the dead.

We actually saw we touch them.

We felt the wounds in his body after his resurrection, and in light of his resurrection. We decided to doubt the doubts that we had and we decided to trust in Jesus, but away before I move on.

John's statement here confronts one of the most commonly held cultural assumptions about religion in our culture most commonly held assumption about religion is that it's personal preference right that it works for you then work for me this earlier works for me and it's it's subjective preference. It's not objective truth.

In fact, that's actually a quote from Immanuel Kant was the father of modern philosophy. I got a stuffed of religions are not objectively true. There subjectively helpful difference in objective and subjective truth that we have that's on that for a minute difference in such subjective is preference is what's true for you. Objective is what's true regardless if present subjective. If I say are you are you hi if I say I'm not not meeting on good-looking but I mean if I'm like that would be objectively false. But if I said I feel hot I feel hot. There are, but you being here would neither have you got a lot to others and being here to see your beloved like I feel cold now. It's not that I'm right and you're wrong.

It's based on how either of us feel my wife and I have this discussion just about every night before we go to bed its eyes gold is just it's it's true for both of us. That's subjective. But then there's objective truth like what is the F so what is the capital of New York and you said all clearly New York City. The most famous city in New York it's cities and I seem to twice its units is clearly out of the New York City that does make sense, while yes you guessed, but no, it's actually Albany and you well enough to really passionately about it be in New York City that works for the better.

It's easier to remember and you turn around to your friends you like.

Let's all will always back here in the section we also like it to be New York City and majority rules and so New York City is our capital, New York back now you and I appreciate that, but no matter how you feel how many people agree with you you're wrong because there's only one B organize Albany. People love to put Christianity in the subjective preference. It works for you. What John is saying is there when nothing subjective about the resurrection of Jesus. We believe this because it made us feel warm and cozy on a winter night. We believe this because a guy would be dead got out of the grave and that's where our preferences stop and his objective reality started.

Now some of you listening this shot. Well, okay, good for John. Greg you kudos to him. He got to see Jesus and touch them.

What good does that do for me adding to see and touch Jesus. That's a great question. I'm so glad you asked. Verse three that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you so that you too may have fellowship with us. Fellowship means a shared experience in Greek is the word coin in the hunt.

What John is saying is we wrote these things that you would be in the same boat with us so that you would have the same kind of experiences with Jesus that we had experiential knowledge of God, but you say will how good we can to observe Jesus's miracles to see the things you feel the things that he that he felt dim, great question answers in verse two Jesus that John touched.

What's this, and the miracles that John observed were a manifestation of the life of God. A life that you can share in see the miracles that Jesus did were never an end to themselves. The miracles were always a pointer there called signs that pointed beyond himself to some higher reality. That's what assign does right at points outside of itself, something else to Jesus's miracles were Jesus did not prove he was the son of God by levitating it all you like it would've that our original put numbers behind your smile back in and guess and what they were freeze himself in a black eye for six months or six Jesus's miracles always had a message and it pointed beyond themselves to a reality that you were to participate in as an example, John chapter 6 John records Jesus feeding the 5005 loaves and two fish.

But Jesus explains that wanted that miracle is not that he could do magic with loaves of bread. The point is that he is the bread of life and all those who are spiritually starving, income and feast upon him, and they will find the deepest part of their soul satisfied the question have you ever experienced that had you ever had the experience of having the love of God so overwhelmed that you realized that it is more glorious and more satisfied than any of the rest of the bread of the world can offer you might not have seen Jesus lead the 5000 but you been like a starving man who crawled out of the desert and sat down a seven course meal that something you can feel God's John chapter 4. Jesus meets this shady woman who has all the secrets and a passion. Jesus reveals that he knows every single thing about her heaters things that nobody else is ever known.

He knows all her dark and dirty secrets, but he loves her. Anyway you ever had that experience were God's spirit basically reveals to you in your heart to God is everything about you, but he loves you he loves you even despite the fact that you are flawed and despite the fact that you are shameful that his log presses in on you and you had the sense of love and acceptance that you have never known that heavenly father. The universe presses in on you and sweeps you up. Have you had that experience because that's what John 422 book about book of Mark chapter 4 Jesus is into the boat is asleep with his disciples are on the middle of the ocean and the storm is raging. I think were gonna die even care so awake about what got you to Paris G stands out what sleep out of his eyes will dries like hey shut up to the storm and the fingers call you ever had that experience. Maybe not you exactly like that but there was something going on in your life and you prayed and God stood up and God called the storm, or maybe even better yet God called the storm in your heart and God showed you that even when the circumstances around you are out of control. He was in the boat with you in his loving sovereignty was in control and he brought peace to your heart in the middle of a great storm has that ever happened. That's the life of God that he things are .211 favors Mark chapter 8 Jesus in one of the strangest miracles recorded that I still cannot totally figure out I'm certain details and here I'm like I have no idea what happened Jesus meets a blind man, so how is he doing the hawkers on the ground and you German clothes are like what in the world he doing is elitist that's on the ground.

That's a strange part but I can figure out here's strange part he takes the mud made from his spit any whites in the guys eyes and says now wash it off guy watch as it often Jesus, can you see now because as well, sort of things Gloria and I see people walk around the trees so Jesus gets on the ground again makes more whites on his eyes, watches it off. It is now. You see, because I got into 20/20.

Now why did he do it that way. What were Jesus's batteries low the first time did he not, you know that they didn't misfire like you glance off the guys eyes and going like you a dog or something. It will what habits why did he do it because it was a sign. It was a sign of how God brings awakening to you. Have you ever had a similar experience where as God begins to come in your life, you start to see some things with greater clarity, but then as you walk with Jesus more he brings even more clarity to your life until you begin to see clear spiritually that it's not always a one stop process.

Sometimes never had that what John is saying to you is all these miracles were things appointed to an actual experience with God and the question is are you having those experiences coined in the I is an experiential word as you experience these things, you gain greater confirmation that this is all true Christianity is very much a taste and see religion. This sometimes the best evidence for the greatest assurance comes from how you're the life of God confirms that this is true that ligament limits from clear. I'm not saying that the proof of Christianity rest on your experience.

What I'm saying is these experiences that you have validate what the Bible teaches because they give you a felt sense of the things that you're reading the Bible is the word of life is made manifest to you Christianity is an experience felt religion in which you interact with an actual God. This theme reappears in a different form in first John chapter 2, so flip over one chapter in your Bible, is go to first John two Michelle John talks about it here burst onto verse 21st John 220 is what John says but you have been anointed by the holy one, the Holy Spirit and you will have knowledge, who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ.

Verse 26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you, but the anointing that you received from him abides in you and you have no need that anyone should teach you that would be clear this is not saying that I should not have a job okay you don't need a teacher in a fireplace that's already saying what's your clear about that. What he is saying. It's a little confusing but he is saying that the Holy Spirit gives you an innate sense of God in which the truth about Jesus just makes sense to you.

That's the anointing he's talking about. You had the sense of God. We like we had that just makes sense.the voice of God it is what's John Calvin called a census. The Benetton tests or a sense of the divine and it works like every single one of your other senses if I walk up to you and touch you on your arm and say how do you know that I touched you. It's not because you build a philosophical case for why I'm there and you're there. It's is that what I sense that I felt it the way that you perceive the truth about God is God gives you a sense for your like we have. That's the voice of God. You hear the voice of God. I don't mean actual words in your head but you hear the voice of God you that's God God is speaking in that other people hear the sound but they don't discern the voice of God, which is why they can understand why you're doing what you're doing, they could see the light but they don't know it's the voice of God is that make sense is he gives you an innate sense of God that works like every other sense now under some of your life. All okay wait a minute, then how come, what about people who say they can't sense God will see the apostle Paul is soonest possible.

Says one of things that happen as a result of the fall is that we lost our ability to sense God that we are now spiritually blind our hearts are dull our ears are closed so the voices speaking but we cannot hear it's so what God does when he awakens you easy gives you years to hear a voice that is in speaking old-time God created you with the ability to know him. But sin, clogged up there.

His ears, and when God gives you ears to hear, that's a process we call regeneration regeneration just means making alive again is making new God regenerates your ears so that you have ears to hear the voice of God and eyes to see what has been speaking the whole time, and by the way, to so were clear. That's grace that's not something you're smart enough or moral enough to figure out on your own. God gives it as an act of grace to you. People act like you're doing God a favor for believing in him new/God does not need you to believe in him. God already believes in himself. He knows he's real he's not paid a complement by the fact that you believe in him is an act of grace that God gives you the ability to see him.

That's his grace to you. That's why it is for the book of John, Jesus would frankly say things like this label as ears to hear letter near there is a sense of the Holy Spirit gives you that anointing. That just gives you ears to hear what God has been saying so that you hear the voice of God as you read the Bible and you say that's him for taking notes. Write this down one of the signs that you really know God is you have fellowship going to kneel with him to the spirit, God begins to come alive to you, God begins to speak to you. It's not just doctrines that you're learning. It's not just listen a lifestyle that you're practicing. It is a God that your fellow shipping with God is speaking to you that you take an x-ray gazelle coined in the cornea is the manifestation of the word of the gospel in your heart coin Amia is the manifestation manifestation meet magnification. In John's day there was a movement called Gnosticism, which is really just an old version of the New Age movement because of nothing new about the New Age movement. It's as old as hell itself.

That's what comes out of.

If it is what Satan pulled on them in the gardening is like a liquid in them by God. Just like I'm not talking about that because that some of the spirit does the spear done reveal himself. He reveals the gospel towards what the spirit, I told you is like the lights on the Washington Monument driven through DC on the interstate you like 10 miles away and you can see the Washington Monument and the reason is because millions of dollars of lights gone into liking that monument, but you never noticed lights of all you notice is what they are eliminating the spirit of God doesn't illuminate himself. The spirit of God illuminates the gospel so that the gospel comes alive in your heart is never things that contradict Scripture by the way, it's certainly not new illumination, a contradiction. I am still at this church blown away. Sometimes, by the way you want to make my hair prematurely gray and drive me to an early grave say something like this well guy just give me a piece about leaving my wife. I got told me was Kaylee my wife. Oh yeah well you know what in the garden of Eden. Satan gave him a piece about disobeying God damning the human race to my guess is that peace in your heart, probably seven God is probably from the same one that see them. Satan's goal is to give you peace in your heart about disobeying the word of God not talking about the spirit saying things to you that contradict his work were talking about the spirit taking the word of life and magnified it so it comes alive in your heart that you were talking about a genuine experience with God.

Fellowship coin Amia is the magnification of the word of the gospel in your heart you begin to feel the word of life.

The cross becomes larger. Your sin gets more bitter and more real. God's grace gets sweeter. The old words of life press in on your heart, and they become new, like I described before looking at one of those white looking at one of those on magic eye pictures the cross or are just right.

You see, the three-dimensional image and it reviewed first time that you saw those things totally affected razor at you like oh yes it does. You stared at it for an hour.

You can see, you get to people looking at the same think right.

One of them to see is a morass of meaningless dots and the other one by looking at it the correct way sees the three-dimensional image coming out of it what he's talking about is not new doctrines that you learn assist of the old ones take on a very svelte and experiential knowledge of them when suddenly listen the doctrines of the gospel suddenly come alive in your heart and you realize that it's not a statement about what Jesus did in the past.

It's a statement about what he did for you and becomes personal is ever happened to you, John Wesley, who was that you know when the guys behind the great awakening who was one of our country's greatest evangelist ever talks about when he was converted PI EEE was that I was not a Christian, a friend of invited him to church for an evening service that started at 9 o'clock in the evening. The preacher that evening. I just had not prepared his sermon so the preacher was just reading the introduction to Luther's commentary on the book of Romans not talk about a recipe for a nap church at 9 o'clock, where pastor is reading the introduction for my 300-year-old book that's that's not but John Wesley says he says if I misquoted at about 9:15 as the pastor ran Luther describing the change which God works in the our bathing rights and I felt my heart suddenly and strangely, I saw in that moment that Christ had taken away my sins and that he would save me from the law sin it when he did learn something new, just came alive in your doctor the reality we can personally experience near listening to send it my turn on their Jeannie Greer if you join us a little late getting you can hear the entire message free of charge when you go to Jeannie were passionate about bringing gospel centered Bible teaching to as many people as possible every single day only possible thanks to supporters like you and to say thanks for your donation suggested level of $25 or more will send you a brand-new devotional by Pastor Janie titled sure reflecting on your security and God's family be one of the first to have this brainy resource from Pastor Janie exclusively available on Senate life. This is a foundational 10 day devotional with reflection questions and prayer guide for each day, perfect for wrestling with this cancer cell for harassing the gospel with others so ask for the 10 day devotional assured when you get by calling 835-2866 54 Jenny and request online JD Greer. I'm only minutes inviting you to join us tomorrow.

We will continue learning how we can experience personally and powerfully.

Be sure to listen Wednesday Senate life with JD Greer, 19

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