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December 7, 2020 7:00 pm
BJU President Steve Pettit continues a discipleship series entitled, “Truth and Love” from 1 John 4:9-10.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform.
Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University is continuing a study series entitled truth and love which is a study of the book of first John, there's a study booklet available that Dr. Pettit has written for this series. If you would like to follow along. You can order a printed copy from the website. The Daily Platform.com. Let's now listen to today's message entitled divine love on display run to read here in first John chapter 4 verses nine and 10 in just a moment, but I'd like to begin with an illustration as we prepare our hearts and minds to receive the truth that we find here concerning the love of God today. One of the most famous conflicts in church history took place in the fifth century between two men. Their names were Calais GS and the second man's name was Augustine. Both of these men were spiritual leaders. Calais GS was from Great Britain, and Augustine was from North Africa. Pelagius traveled to Rome, and upon his arrival.
He was so shocked by the moral depravity of the people that he began to fervently teach and preach a very strict rigid moralism, calling the people to a purity of life in his teaching, he emphasize the natural in a human human ability and autonomy to attain salvation that is that you can change yourself, his view of man's nature, was that he was basically good and therefore he could earn salvation without the internal workings of God's grace. Now, when Augustine the Bishop of hippo and hippo is a town and what we know is a city today in Algeria and North Africa. When he looked into what collegiate Pelagius was actually teaching.
He realized that for all of his Christian language. Pelagius had fundamentally misunderstood the nature of God and the nature of the gospel for Pelagius was teaching that we had done wrong things. We understand that, and we must start doing right things. If we're going to enter into heaven. It did not seem to have occurred to Pelagius that the man that man was created to actually know and to love God and thus for Pelagius. The aim of the Christian life is not to enjoy God, but it was to use God as the one who sells us heaven for the price of being moral. Augustine obviously saw things very differently knowing that the nature of God's love. He held that we were not created simply to live under God's moral code hoping for heaven but we were made to have an all satisfying relationship with God where we actually find rest, and satisfaction in him or as the Westminster confession confession of faith states the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. Moreover, Augustine said that man's problem is not so much that we behave wrong is that we love all. Augustine argued that since we are made in the image of of the God of love and everything that we do is motivated by love and he reached back to the very beginning to Adam and Eve and why they disobeyed God they send because they love something else more than they love God and Augustine showed that our profound need was not what Pelagius was teaching when he urged us to alter our behavior.
What we need is a new heart that causes us to love and obey God. Now this entire section of first John chapter 4 that we are studying is teaching us that the motivating force in the driving calls behind everything that we do in our life as a believer should be love.
Look at verse seven he said beloved, let us love one another forget, for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and know with God. He that loveth not know is not God, for God is love.
Last week we focused on the love of God, we saw two things. Number one that God's nature is love everything that God does is motivated out of love. Secondly, the believers nature. His new heart is a heart of love so that all of our actions should be motivated either out of a love for God or love for man. Now this morning were going to look at verses nine and 10, where John gives us a deeper dive into understanding God's love and that is God has communicated his love to us, and he is displayed to us his divine love. So my message this morning is entitled divine love on display and let's read verses nine and 10.
It says in this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten son into the world that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we love God but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. Now what is John saying here. Basically it's this that it is designated point in time in human history.
There was something that happened in human history. A special event where the God of the universe, put his love on display to the world and he did it in such a way that every human being on earth can get a grip alone and I handle on the love of God. God did it in such a way that we can all understand it. Look at verse nine in this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that this statement is interpreted by the that clause and what God is doing is he is telling us how it is that God is displayed his love and we see that this morning into specific ways. Number one God's love was displayed to us through Christ's incarnation, and this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that and then he says into the world that we might live through him.
I think it's helpful to say that with the right emphasis that we do this all the time to emphasize a point.
So let's say it with an emphasis he did that. I can't believe he would do that.
I have never ever ever heard of anything like that what he is doing is pointing to something that happened and what did God do it says he sent his only begotten son into the world that we might live through him. The word sent, there is a word for apostle. It refers to somebody being sent out on a missionary you could say that Jesus was a missionary sent by heaven's mission board. The father reached out to the world by sending his son down to this earth and the word sent is in the perfect tense which means something takes place at a point in time, and yet it's a fact continues to this very hour via fax of God sending his only begotten son in the past is that people are still finding life in him today. He says that we might live through him. That is, that action of God sending his son, is the way in which we can find life and meaning today. So what is the word only begotten son me is one of those words that course. Many of us have memorized John 316, and other verses but maybe not really grasp the meaning of the word, only begotten is one word in the Greek is the word mono good day's it comes from two words word mono which means only or alone, and the word get on my the verb which means to become defined. It means one and only unique special one-of-a-kind.
Not another one like God said into this world. His unique, special, one-of-a-kind, not another like him.
He said him into the world. So the question is what is it that made Jesus so special in the idea of only begotten, I think our natural response would say it's referring to Christ's unique conception, that is, Jesus was miraculously born of a virgin and I don't think that that's a bad answer but I think there's a better answer and that is the subject here is not Christ. The subject is the father is the father who sent into the world's only begotten son, and I believe that it is referring to what made Jesus special and that is he was the father's. He was the son of the father's love. It's referring to the unique affection that God had for his own son is very interesting that this word mono grimaces found nine times in the New Testament. Five of those times, it refers to Jesus and only John use the word John 114, 118, 316, 318 and first John 49. The other four times.
However, it describes the unique relationship between a parent and a child, let me just make note of those those for illustration. The first one is the widow of Nadine and her son who died that Jesus raised from the dead, and Luke seven in verse 12 it reads now when he came night to the gate of the city hall.
There was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother or the mono can they of his mother. The second illustration is in Luke eight verse 41, which referring to a man named John Harris and his daughter verse 41 of the hall there came a man in gyroscope and he was a ruler of the synagogue and he fell down at Jesus's feet and besought him that he would come into his house for he had one only daughter. His daughter was a mono good base unique, special, one-of-a-kind, and then the third L illustration is a father who had a demon possessed son. Most everybody who has a father whose a father and has at least more than one son feels like at least one of his sons are demon possessed, and you can understand that Luke 938 and behold a man of the company cried out, saying master, I beseech the look upon my son for he is my only child. He is my mono good makes now all of these illustration center on a broken hearted parent who uniquely loved their suffering child, the widow of name and her dead son John Harris's daughter and his dead daughter in gyroscope in his dead daughter. The father who had a demon possessed son. They were all love their serve suffering children and Jesus who is the beloved son.
Show them the father's love by healing them, but there's 1/4 illustration that speaks not so much of the suffering child, but of the suffering father and that's found in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 17 it says by faith when Abraham was try. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac and he that received the prominent promises offered up his only begotten son is really unique to me that Isaac is called Abraham's only begotten son.
No doubt Isaac had a unique conception. I mean his father and mother were past childbearing years because dad was 100 and mama was 90. So obviously when he was born. It was a unique conception, but the focus of the Old Testament is actually the father's affection and we see that in Genesis chapter 22, when God comes to Abraham and tells him. I want you to offer your son as a sacrifice, and the words of the Scripture or poignant listen. What is says take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there is a bird offering. How much did Abraham love Isaac. I don't know when his son was born. Dad's 100 years old so he's, like the ultimate grandfather and sterile his whole life was wrapped up in that boy. But we don't really need to imagine all we need to do is take what God says for he says take your only son, whom you love. And if God said you love him you love him. The Septuagint reads and he said, take thy son, the beloved one whom thou has loved. Isaac was Abraham's unique, special, one-of-a-kind son, whom Abraham loved, but Abraham showed the depths of his love for God by what being willing to offer his son as a sacrifice. And I think that what God is doing through these illustrations is that God is transparently opening up his heart. You and I understand this, we have surface conversation with people and then we have openhearted conversation we just sort of open up the inside and show you what's there and that is exactly what God has done for us. He opens his his heart to show to all the depths of his own love for us and how did he do that he sent his own son.
His unique special son of his love, so that you and I threw him can enter into eternal life, and have a relationship with the father and the son. John Stott said no greater gift was conceivable because no greater gift was possible. Never before was God's love so dynamically displayed as it was in the fact that he sent his son into the world so that you and I can live if you ever question God's love.
All you have to do is look at Jesus, for he is the demonstration of the father's heart.
But then I want you to notice. Secondly, the God's love was displayed not only in the incarnation of Jesus coming into this world. But secondly love was displayed through Christ's propitiation.
Look at what the Scripture says in verse 10 herein is love, not that we love God but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. Here is love. Here's how God demonstrates at a point in time in human history. God's son became the propitiation for our sin that John's already mentioned that in first John two verse two, he says he's the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
So exactly what is propitiation mean again is a biblical word that we need to understand.
Perhaps the simplest way to define the words meaning is through an illustration. What is the illustration is the Jewish day of atonement in the Old Testament for on that day, the high priest of Israel offered to goats as a sacrifice for the sins that Israel had committed against God. The first goat was killed.
His blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat in the room called the holy of holies for reason and that is to satisfy God's wrath and anger against sin but goat bore the guilt satisfied the law and took the wrath of sin in his own death within. There's a second ago and that goat is commonly called escape goat. This goat had the sins of the people transferred to his head when the high priest laid his hands on the head of the goat and confess the sins of the Jewish people that's transferring or what we would say imputing the sins to this note. The goat was then sent out into the wilderness to show that God had removed the sin and he remembers the sin no more. So these two goats clearly picture the idea propitiation number one that is that propitiation means to satisfy the wrath of God through death. God's justice against sin. Demand satisfaction and that satisfaction can only come through death, the innocent dying for the guilty.
When Jesus died on the cross, he suffered the wrath of God against himself. He took it upon himself. But what was he taking he was taking your deserved wrath, but in secondly propitiation means to take the sin away just like that goat who was sent out into the wilderness, removing the sin.
So God has forever removed our sin and taken away. So no longer are we living under guilt and bondage. But the power that sin is been broken and has been removed. The book of Hebrews makes it clear that no animal sacrifice can atone for sins.
It says, for it is not possible to the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin is in the only begotten son of God that we find full atonement for our sins. The propitiation of Jesus means that the wrath of God was fully exhausted and the removal of sin is totally complete through and by Jesus Christ. How do I know that God loves me.
I need to look at the cross. The cross is the demonstration is the testimony it's God putting it out visible God opening his heart and saying I've forgiven you. And justice is been satisfied. So let me is your question how important is it that we preach on the incarnation and the propitiation of Jesus. I mean it's like for us. What happens if we remove the preaching of the atonement. What is that mean today. What if we shallow down to water down the word of God where we deemphasize the message to the point that this is not the core of of our preaching when we water down the message in incarnation and propitiation is not being preached that people don't really understand the love of God. Here is love fast as the ocean. Lovingkindness is the flood, when the Prince of life. I ransom shed for us his precious blood on the mountain crucifixion fountains open deep and wide through the floodgates of God's mercy float a vast and gracious tide, grace and love like mighty rivers poured incessant from above in heavens peace and perfect justice just a guilty world and love. So here's what here's what John is doing. He says I want you to dive deeply into this that God has displayed his love for us by sending his son through the incarnation and through his suffering on the cross through the propitiation of Christ.
That's God's level displayed in here is John's glycol is a resting point and that is God displays this love to those who don't love him can I say this morning why it is that were so bad it's not just because we break God's laws and we do bad things. Do you know why were so bad because actually we really don't love God, we really don't say will. Who do we love we love ourselves. John in first John uses a word to describe our love for self because it lost the lust of the eyes. What we see the lust of the flesh. What we feel the pride of life.
What we want to become an here's what's amazing is that the world does not love God. It is never love God. It will never love God is not even capable of loving God. There is nothing in us that naturally loves God, neither is there anything us that would naturally cause God to love us. God is not drawn to us because of what he sees in us in the sense that he sees the good that is in us. John is saying that God loves those who did not, could not and would not love him because we love ourselves more. And yet despite all this, God still loves us. God doesn't love you because your good God loves you because he is God. God is love. Love emanates from his nature.
God set his love upon us. It was his choice. It was out of his heart and what John is continuously doing is zeroing in on our own motivations, beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another and what should be the result of this, how is it that we should exemplify that love and the answer is by doing exactly what Jesus did. Jesus came into the world on mission. You know what our lives should have a mission to it. A purpose look either you live for yourself or you can live for God's glory. We should we should in this world live alone mission.
Jesus came into the world and what did he do, he sacrificially gave himself what should be our mission in life is the giving of ourselves to reach out to the world so that people could live through him. Jesus Christ is the ultimate missionary I'm not speaking of full-time missions or me going to a mission field as a missionary is raising funds support. I'm just saying mission of life that whether you're a doctor whether your dentist or whether you're a law your or a businessman or an accountant or nurse or teacher or what ever you're doing in this world. The mission that we should be own is the exact mission that Jesus and that is to give ourselves and love sacrificially why that others might live through him. That's love and that's the only thing that will really motivate me and life to live the love of God.
Father, thank you that you came in you display to us your love.
You helped us understand it you put it in such a way that we could comprehend it and get a grip on your love because of what your son did.
Father I pray for each one of us that we would live on mission that we would give ourselves sacrificially so that others might live in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon from the book of first John by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. If you would like to order the study booklet titled truth in love written for the series, visit our firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Thank you for listening to the daily plan. If you're looking for a regionally accredited Christian liberal arts university.
I invite you to consider beating you which is purposely designed to inspire a lifelong pursuit of learning loving and leading. For more information about Bob Jones University visit BJ you.edu or call 800-252-6363. Thanks again for listening Joyce again tomorrow as we continue the study in first John on the daily