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July 20, 2022 7:00 pm
Dr. Alan Benson concludes the series entitled “Our Great God.”
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today on The Daily Platform work, including a series called our great God. Today's message will be preached by BJ you Executive Vice President Dr. Alan Benson take your Bibles and turn with me if you would to first Peter chapter 5, first Peter chapter 5. They say that preaching a sermon is like flying an airplane that the two most difficult parts are getting the thing off the ground and then getting it back on the ground and I actually have found that something very similar is true, but with a series like a doctrinal series and I had the privilege to preach the first message in the series, and now I have the privilege of reaching the final message in the series and on any great doctoral thing that would be a challenge but in particular. As I sat and thought how do you bring to a close a series of messages that focuses on our great God, what he what you say in in the end and and we really have been privileged as we have worked through this theme, if you remember way back at the beginning, I challenged us with the thought that this wasn't the series about us learning more about God but us getting to know our great God and I asked the question many times in that message on purpose. Who is your God. I hope throughout the semester and throughout these messages you've come. Yes, to know more about God, but through that that you have grown to know God better and so we explore together the exclusivity of God.
Dr. Sykes led us in a and in a thought of the God who alone is to be worshiped by the Trinity. Dr. go to talked about that the God who is one, but three and why that is essential not just for him to be God and God alone, but for us to know him and Dr. McGonagle and and Dr. Miller helped us explore the attributes of God. Dr. Crockett helped us then explore the works of God in and making everything and in saving rebels. Dr. Olinger then helped us to stare at a God who is sovereign and in his grace and in his sovereignty governs all things remarkable truths about the one true and living God. I hope that all of those things have led you to a sense of awe about this God yet today what what I want us to do.
In conclusion, is to look and remember and think about that God and who he is a God that is omniscient and knows all things all the time. The same a God who is omnipresent, a God who is everywhere all the time. The same God who is transcendent above and beyond everything that he has ever made an awesome God. Yet today what I want us to see is that that God is a God who wants me to know and love him. Did you know that I know Tom Brady.
Some of you say I don't care. I know how old is I know where he was born. I already went to high school and we went to college I know how tall he is.
I know how much he weighs at least in season. I know his wife's name and Army children. He has many games. He's one. I know how many super Bowls. He is one is he is a problem in Tom and I's relationship and the problem in Tom and I's relationship is this Tom doesn't know me. Tom doesn't know anything about me fact Tom doesn't know that I exist. In fact, I no reason to think that Tom would ever want to know me or even to know that I exist.
Why do I point that out because friends frankly I want to be really stark in this comment, it does not matter that you know about it doesn't matter that you can name his attributes. It doesn't matter that you can itemize his works. As I was wrestling for this message this morning end and I was thinking about another question, one that maybe might grab a hold of us, like who is your God and I had the thought that question would be this. Do you know God, but you know the most significant question actually that a man must come to grips with is not a question. Do you know God, because were all to write answer that by itemizing things that would be akin to me telling you I know Tom Brady and I actually don't know middle see the most significant question that you must answer is not you know God. The question is actually does God know you, see Matthew seven Jesus said, every tree that bring if not fourth fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that do with the will of my father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils and sin.
I name done many wonderful works and then will I profess unto them, listen, I never knew you see this verse tells me that it is possible for you to know intimate details about who God is, but frankly friend Scripture just makes it very apparent that the more you know about God without a relationship with God more accountable you are.
This verse tells me that it is possible to have grown up in church grown up in a Christian school of grown up in a Christian home school to a God to attend and faithfully a Christian university go to chapel three days only and on and on we could go in for you face any time any separated from the God that wants you to know him this question. Does God know you is actually a question that brings intimacy to the relationships actually personalizes the knowledge does God look at you and find his name. There. That is the question know every relationship requires two things that require a lot of things, but they require two things in particular if they're actually going to grow. The first is this a genuine desire to know the other person you're in a relationship and it's not in your heart to continually grow in knowing them. Your relationship isn't going to grow and the second one is like unto it.
It is a genuine willingness to be known by the other person that takes a lot of trust, but those two things are true. At some point your relationship isn't going to grow and friends. That is true of our relationships with God. Do you have a genuine desire to know God, not just to know about what to know God, what are God's passions were God's desires are God's delights. What is God's divine will for you and do you approach God with a heart that readily says God I want to lay myself and bear before you, God, I want to be than the thought of a God that is a creator God and magnificent God, a sovereign God who is not right here. I can see and explore in the conversation with him through prayer is different than normal conversation is communication to me is different.
That task is daunting.
In fact, I would tell you, unless there's a God who wants to be known.
You could never know. And that's why I bring us then to first Peter chapter 5 and I really want us to see in first Peter chapter 5 in verse 10, four things about our God that ought to not only comfort our heart and knowing him, but actually ought to cause us to pursue knowing him so II want us to see.
First of all, the person we are to know our president and his message yesterday talked about the names of God and if you think about those names that God allows us to know him by all of them are revelatory. What is it mean for God to be our peace for God to be our provider for God to be our helper. All of those are dynamics that God does in life so that we might know him like I'm the first Peter chapter 5 in verse 10, you follow along as I read Peter writes but the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal life by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen said no you to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. So first I want you to see how Peter identifies God or the person we are to know. He said he is the God of all grace.
What a name went away to identify God. You see, when the Scriptures speak of the grace of God's there always speaking of the work of God demonstrated to men that is sourced in the care for of God, and in that sense, it is an unmerited act of God that is intended to draw attention to God as the giver rather than to man as the recipient. When I experience God's grace God's intention is that thing.
My attention is drawn to him as the giver rather than to me as the consumer. So in this name I the God of all grace what what is statement yes it maybe actually considered subjectively that he is a God who is completely gracious and that is true to him but he is also a God that that possesses and demonstrates every capacity, every facet of grace because he in all of those acts once Swanson you to know him him asking a question you experience the grace of God. You see, this is in a sense the means of knowing him, amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me I once was lost but now I'm found was blind but now I see you see the grace of God played a role in me going from lost and found it from blind to seeing we know this to be true, and salvation. Don't Paul wrote the Titus of the grace of God that bring us salvation has appeared to all men, and that grace then works in us, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present take your Bibles and flip over with me to a well-known passage Ephesians chapter 2 quickly, we want you to see the work that God by his gracious acts is doing in every man's life that comes to him and salvation by identifying who we were and what we face and then what he did and what resulted in the Erickson Ephesians 2, and one and you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein in time past you walked that's our lifestyle. According to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit, the network of the children of disobedience, among whom also we had our conversations are actual conduct in times past and the last of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flashes of the mind getting out and buying nature and the children's of wrath, even as others that so really what we were. That's what we face the world the flesh and the devil. He identifies all three as adversaries against God and against us coming to know God, then look at verse four. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, Quicken has made us alive together with Christ by grace you are saved and raised us up together made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, why not in the ages to come he might show the Lord to administrate the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus for by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It's a gift of God not of works lest any man should boast work.
We are his workmanship, his hands, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God ordained that we should walk in young people. As we come to the end of the series about our great God. I would be dreadfully remiss in my responsibility as one of declares God's word to you to not first ask you do you know God then does he know you would weigh heavily on my heart.
If we spent the semester giving you greater accountability because we brought you greater knowledge about God said you sit here and go through all of that but you say young person.
If you sit here today, and somewhere in the recesses of your heart.
There is a yearning to know God. You sit here and there's conviction of since you sit here today and there's an awareness that you know will spend eternity there something that is taking place in your heart and you're not sure what this whole salvation thing is understand acting in your heart is a sovereign God who by his grace is bringing that I ask you today, Liz said because God in his grace is biting through your last name is findings of the adversary of the God of this world wants to bring darkness and confusion and distance from God's gift buying against the powers of this world there are hell-bent against God, and eternity he's calling to you come to Christ if you sit here today and we look at the waning days of the school year and you yet don't know Jesus friend today is the day without the redemptive transaction of Calvary without you personally coming to the place where you realize I am a sinner and I can't save myself. I'll never work my way to God. I have no hope. Outside for the fact that Jesus satisfied the just wrath of God in my behalf that he pay the debt of my sin that I might be ready without you fully embracing that the submitter hard to the will of God.
You my friend will not spend eternity in heaven and it is the gracious act of God, that by Calvary you might be saved because that is the beginning point of you knowing God, and it is the only way that Jesus will know you see this is the means of knowing him.
It's the grace of God which Drew and salvation but but then I want us to see the pathway if you will, for knowing him. I think sometimes we get caught up in the temporary rather than the eternal. We live here. This is what we do, but somehow this stuff around us, the things that we acknowledge theologically are temporary become reality. I tell you that in a very real eternal sense. God is not about you getting a great education.
God is about you getting a great education so that you can know him. God is not about you finding a great career path, God is about you finding a great career path so you can know him and the right lenses upon which we should look at life is actually the lens that looks at life and says hello. Now can I know him better. Paul looked at life and he said yea doubtless, I count all things but loss for what for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for who have suffered loss of all things to count them but dung, that I may win Christ tends to be found in him, not having my own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.
And he says this that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death by any means I might attain of the resurrection of the dead, as though I had already attained her already perfect, but I follow after that I might may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. You see friends. Peter says this, who has called us onto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus. Life is the pathway. Then, of knowing this, God, if I is a hymn writer said I'm loved with everlasting love and led by grace this love to know that that result of that is that I come to an understanding that I am his and he is mine is relational and dynamic. But now I am in Christ, which is where you are and who you are.
If you are saved that I now live this life as a pathway that is on knowing my God. God, how will this dating relationship result in me knowing you better. God, how will this degree lead me to a life where I am pursuing knowing you better.
God, how will this marriage relationship, only moving to this city column that lead me to deepen my knowledge.
The intimacy of my relationship with you friends.
It's a different way of thinking about life. And frankly, it is not our default way of thinking. Think about what God did in order for us to know and write in six literal days, God breathed out the world and all that is why not because he was bored and thought it be need to make a picture with make it 3D. He did it so that we might know him some stuff and then fell into sin, and what did God do Jesus, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, he set aside his glory and came and became a man, so that we might know is that I've come to reveal the father. Think about what God did, that you might know him. Think about the fact that he is breathed out a word. All living books. That's really is truth. We might know him. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God and I tell you and all of these things.
It is God's intention that you know him and that that be what life is about.
Does that shape your thinking.
Peter then takes is another step he shows us the process of gaining knowledge, and I can't help but read this little phrase in first Peter five and think that it must be the most tongue-in-cheek statement in all of the Bible see the process of gaining knowledge of God he captures in this little phrase. After that he have suffered a little while.
There is a sense in this statement that he actually is talking about a theology of suffering. You realize that the trial of your faith works patient and that results in a formed faith brings a persevering quality to the way that we live. Jesus told his disciples, don't be surprised if they hate you, they hated me. The Scriptures tell us that we are appointed to suffering. The reality is we live in a fallen sin cursed world and we live in broken bodies with a sin cursed nature that has been redeemed and is being redeemed and God will lovingly invest life brings the trials of life, and he works them all together for the salvation good of his people, friends, some of you are sitting here in the very things that God intends to use the deepen your knowledge of him are keeping you from life is filled with persons and difficulty some of you sitting here today and you're struggling with. Why, after all of this do I have a professor that's going to give me an exam. Doesn't he care you're in the midst of doing projects right now and your mind is telling you this is nothing else other than one final twist of the knife at the end of an arduous semester with her suffering much beyond that is the sum of you sitting here today and your parents have cancer.
Some of you sitting here today and your parents have already gone to eternity are some of you sitting here today with heartbreak friends I want you to know that that is not due to the triumphant work of sin in the world your God is saying, you come to me. Cast your care only for I care for you and in doing so, find out something about me is the difficulties of life are the process in life by which God intends for us to run to him to come to him at times and helpless and wordless prayer that just says all hell. God I need you right now to make yourself real to me. I need to know you notice the wonder of this little tongue-in-cheek statement after you suffered a little that leads us than if you will to the final thing, the product of a life that knows God. We live in the same world. But as I grow in my knowledge of God secures what God accomplishes in me. He says make you perfect. I think that is something is not a breakdown of the other three statements God is going to bring about a maturing work in your life you will grow in spiritual depth and maturity. God will be forming his son in you, so that the knowledge is not just intimate and is integral. You are becoming like crimes and how does he do that in the midst of this life journey establishes and strengthens and he settles you.
How many of you looking at the end of the semester sale. Boy I need a really good dose of that I God to strengthen me. I need God to establish me right now because I'm quaking funny God to settle me because I feel very unsettled friend. The answer is no, your God better and he finishes with this little statement to him be glory a right opinion of and dominion living under the right authority of God, for ever and ever.
Amen. I ask you this question not just a you know God, but does the God of all grace know you friend if you're not safe. Today's the day of salvation. Believer you know him.
Are you allowing the struggles the difficulties of life to lead you to deepen your knowledge of him. Praise God today that the one true and living God is a God who wants us father, thank you, dismiss us with your blessing in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon preached by Beecher you VP Ellen Benson which was a final message in the series titled our great God. Join us next time for another sermon preached from the Bob Jones University Chapel platform