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1726. Divine Love On Display

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
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March 11, 2024 6:00 pm

1726. Divine Love On Display

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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March 11, 2024 6:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues a discipleship series entitled “Truth and Love” from 1 John 4:9-10.

The post 1726. Divine Love On Display appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform. Our program features sermons from chapel services at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Every day, students are blessed by the preaching and teaching of the Bible from the University Chapel Platform. Today on The Daily Platform, Dr. Steve Pettit is continuing a study series entitled Truth and Love, which is a study of the Book of 1 John.

I'm going to ask you to take your Bibles this morning and please turn with me to the Book of 1 John, 1 John chapter 4. We've been working through our series this semester on the theme Truth and Love. Last week, we started out talking about how God's love has been placed on display. I often think about what Paul says that we as believers need to be able to pray that God will help us to comprehend the breadth, the length, the depth, and the height, and to know the love of Christ.

In other words, that is an expansion of our capacity to really comprehend the love of God. Last week, as we began our message, we talked about two men in church history. One was a man named Pelagius and the other was a gentleman named Augustine. And essentially what we said is that Augustine said that man's problem is not so much that he behaves wrong, it is that he loves wrong. Augustine argued that since we are made in the image of the God of love, then we are by nature, we are motivated by what we love. And this is why Adam and Eve disobeyed God.

They love something more than they love God. So Augustine showed that the greatest need was not what Pelagius was teaching when he urged us to alter or change our behavior to be accepted by God. But what we really need is we need a new heart. We need to be born again. We need a transformation of our innermost being that causes us to love and obey God. Now let me just stop here and say that's all good information for the head, but the reality is that has to be in your heart. And that is, has there been a transformation of your heart where God has placed within your heart his own love so that you love him and you want to obey him.

And I didn't say that you don't have temptation to sin because you have a sin nature, but you also have a new nature and the new nature is more powerful than the old nature. It's like the law of aerodynamics is more powerful than the law of gravity. We all understand the law of gravity. What goes up must come down and you'll never change the law of gravity. If you jump off the balcony and you start flapping your arms, you're going to experience the law of gravity. But we all understand the law of aerodynamics, which allows it to overcome the law of gravity, and that is we're able to fly and as long as we stay operating in the law of aerodynamics, we will always overcome the law of gravity. The law of the spirit of life in Jesus Christ makes us free from the law of sin and death.

What does that mean? That doesn't mean that we don't have a downward pull in our sin nature, but we have an upward pull that is more powerful. And we know this, that in life, love is more powerful than anything else. And so this section that we're studying, 1 John, is teaching us that love is the motivating force or the driving calls behind the actions of a true believer. Look at what he says in verse 7. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.

He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love. He tells us that the nature of God is love and he tells us that the nature of the believer is love. So beginning in verse 9, what does he do?

He expands. He elaborates our understanding of what is meant by or what is demonstrated by the love of God. So you could say, beginning in verses 9 and 10, he's describing God's love put on display. Let's look at what it says. And this was manifested the love of God towards us.

Here it is. You want to understand God's love? Here's how he displays it. Because that God sent his only begotten son into the world that we might live through him. The first demonstration of the love of God put on display that he intends for us to think about, to meditate upon, to dwell upon, is that God, God's son, became a human being. God's only begotten son. So we will call that the incarnation. And that's what we started with last week.

And we got through most of that first point. But there's one other element that I want to talk about before we get to the second way God has displayed his love to us. So let's go back and consider what he said. He said God has demonstrated his love in that he sent his only begotten son into the world. And I want to remind you that the word only begotten comes from one Greek word.

It's the word monogenes. It's found nine times in the Old Testament, excuse me, New Testament. Five times by the Apostle John in his letter, once in his letter, and four times in his gospel.

Okay. But there's four other times in the New Testament the word only begotten is given. And I believe it gives us basically an illustration of what God means by only begotten son.

Because it means one and only, special, unique, one of a kind, not another one like him. And Luke gives us three times out of those four illustrations, three times he gives us an illustration of an only begotten child. The first only begotten son that we find here in the book of Luke is the widow of Nain.

And that her son, her 19 year old son had died and Jesus raised him from the dead. The second is an only begotten daughter, the daughter of Jairus whom Jesus raised from the dead. The third illustration is the father who has a demon possessed son.

All of this is found in the book of Luke and Jesus delivers the boy from the demons. And one of the things that I find this very interesting is that Jesus had to have identified with these children because he himself was an only begotten son. And so in that we see the compassion of the Lord in raising the dead and delivering people from diseases and demons out of his own nature, out of his own compassionate heart.

And we see in these three parents their broken hearts for their uniquely loved children. And what we learn about the only begotten son is not referring so much to the unique conception of Jesus, his virginal birth, but really the unique affection that the parents have for that particular child. Because what God is wanting us to understand is that the love that he has for his son is the love that he has for us. And there's one other illustration I want you to see this morning that describes God's only begotten son. And that's found in the book of Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 17.

And I want you to turn in your Bibles if you will please there because I really want you to take note of this amazing illustration that God intends for us to think about. And by the way, all the illustration, if you think about the Bible, it's written in narrative form. It's written in storytelling form.

Why is that? Because we like stories, you know? Hence, beauty and the beast. We like the story. We remember the stories. And stories not only affect the way we think, but they also affect the way that we feel. And you can't separate knowledge from emotions.

It's all the way we're made up. And so the Bible is written in narrative form because God intends for us to think about and understand, comprehend, and feel the story. And one of the most compelling stories in the entire Bible is the story of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his own son Isaac.

And we see this in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 17 when it says, By faith Abraham, when he was tried, put to the test, offered up Isaac and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. His unique one-of-a-kind son. Now no doubt Isaac was a unique one-of-a-kind son. Why? Because when he was born, his dad was a hundred years old and his mom was 90.

Go figure. Could you imagine them going into the market and Isaac is holding his father's hand and somebody says, Is this your great-great-grandfather? Nah, it's just my dad.

I mean think about it. Mom is 90 years old. If a woman in America today at 90 years old had a baby, you think it might be on Fox News? You think it might make CNN? Or the evening news, you know?

Breaking news, 90 year old woman has a baby? I mean it just doesn't happen. Well if it doesn't happen today, it doesn't happen then. It didn't happen then because it was as much a miracle then as it would be today. So everybody knew, everybody in that area knew, that the birth of Isaac was obviously a miracle. And that miracle is a type or it is a picture of the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ coming into this world whose mother was a virgin. However, the point of an only begotten son is actually not so much about the unique conception, but it's the unique affection that the father has for the son. How do we know that? I want you to listen very carefully to Genesis chapter 22 in verse 2 where we find God telling Abraham to offer his son Isaac.

Listen to what it says. It says, take your son, your only son Isaac, that's only begotten, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you. By the way, that mountain today is the temple mount in Jerusalem. It's the same mountain where the temple was built under Solomon and under Zerubbabel. It's the same temple mount where Jesus went to worship.

That is the mount of sacrifice. And I want to read to you the translation into the Septuagint. What is the Septuagint? It's the Old Testament that was translated into Greek before the birth of Jesus Christ. And listen to what the Septuagint says of Genesis 22. And it says, and he said, take thy son, the beloved one, whom thou hast loved and offer him as a sacrifice. What is the testimony of the Old Testament? It's not just that Isaac was Abraham's unique, special, one-of-a-kind son.

It is that Abraham intensely loved his son. Now, I often think about this, and I've mentioned it before, I have two sons. My boys' ages are 34 and 26, and I deeply love them.

But I really love my grandsons, Judah, Shiloh, Luca, and Sonny. I'm 67. Now, add 30 years to my life, okay? You say, man, you look bad now. What are you going to look like in 30 years?

Dead. So, but add 30 years to my life, and I'm almost 100 years old. And I'm just going to tell you this, that a father is proud of his son.

But could you imagine, I mean, a 100-year-old man having a baby, his wife has a baby at 90. How he's going to feel towards his son. I mean, let's be honest, he's in retirement. So what is he going to do today? Same thing he did yesterday, hang out with Isaac. He taught Isaac how to play baseball.

Well, not baseball, they didn't play baseball then. He taught him how to throw a rock with a sling. He showed him how to whack a sheep with a crook.

He showed him how to do all these kind of things, and that was his life. And he was immersed into his son's life for 20 years, because when Isaac was offered up as a sacrifice, he was a 20-year-old young man. By the way, the Jewish people don't often talk so much about the sacrifice that Abraham was willing to make, but actually the willingness of Isaac to be bound in sacrifice. Because if your dad's 120 and you're 20, who's stronger?

I think the 20-year-old, okay? And yet, Isaac had such a relationship with his dad, that when his dad offered him up as a sacrifice, he was willing to trust his own dad. And the whole point of the binding of Isaac and the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son is to have us see the heart of God. God is opening up his heart to show us the depths of his love, because what Abraham was willing to do, God did do. That the father sent his son into the world to display in a dynamic way his own love for us, and that the son of his love, the son of his heart, he was willing to give him up as a sacrifice for our sins.

This is the very thing that should captivate our thinking. Because if he loves his son this much, and he gave him up to be a sacrifice for us, how much does he love us? We love him because he first, what?

Loved us. So I want to say to you this morning, God loves you that much. And that we see it through his own son. But then there's a second way in which he's displayed his love, and this is really the segue. Because from the incarnation and the love of the father for his son, now we see God's love displayed in the propitiation of Christ. Look at what he says in verse 10. Here in his love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and he sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. So how does God display his love to us? He displays his love to us in that he sent his one and only unique, special, one of a kind son to be something for us.

What is that? He was the propitiation for our sins. Now what does that mean? Well we already know that John has used this term in 1 John chapter 2 verse 2. It says in Jesus is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. So what exactly does propitiation mean? First of all, we don't use that terminology today. We don't say, well, he needs to be propitiated for this.

I mean, nobody here even uses that word. So we either get rid of the word and get one we understand, which is the wrong thing to do, or we understand what it means. What does propitiation mean? And probably the simplest way to define the word's meaning is actually through an illustration, because we can see it better.

And what is the illustration? It took place on the Jewish day of atonement. We call that Yom Kippur. It is on this day that the high priest of Israel offers two goats as a sacrifice for the sins that Israel committed against God.

So let me say it again. On Yom Kippur, which means day, that's Yom Kippur, covering or atonement. On the day of atonement, on that special day, all the Jewish people fasted an entire day for 24 hours, and they were waiting for these sacrifices to be given. And there were two goats that were to be sacrificed. And these two goats actually explain to us what propitiation means. The first goat was a goat that was to be sacrificed, and by that we mean it was to be killed.

Generally, they would slice its throat so that the blood would gush out and they would capture the blood in a bowl or a basin. They would then take the animal and they would skin him and they would take his body and they would burn it on an altar in a burnt offering completely in dedication to God. And this goat was killed and his blood was taken and it was brought into the temple into the room called the Holy of Holies because behind the veil there was a piece of furniture called the Ark of the Covenant.

And above the Ark of the Covenant was a slab of gold called the Mercy Seat. And the high priest once a year would take this blood from this goat and go in and he would sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat and God would accept this sacrifice and would forgive the people of their sin for that year. And in this sacrifice what was taking place was that the goat was dying for the sins of the people. You could say it this way, the goat bore the guilt, satisfied the law, satisfied God's judgment by dying. The wages of sin is death.

That goes all the way back to Genesis chapters 2 and 3. When God says that if we eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil that sin we will die? And God's payment for death has always been the blood shed of an innocent victim, an innocent sacrifice. You and I cannot be forgiven of our sin by just confessing our sins. We can only be forgiven of our sins when there is a blood sacrifice. And God used this goat to show us the necessity of that sacrifice. He bears the wrath, he receives the guilt, and he dies and his blood is shed. Then there's a second goat. That goat is not so much the sacrificial goat. He's called the scapegoat.

And why is this important? Because what happened is that the high priest after he offered the blood of the sacrifice of the first goat, he would come out of the temple and there would be the second goat and he would put his hands upon the head of the goat and he would publicly confess the sins that the people had committed that year against God. I often think about that. How long did that take him? He obviously didn't have a teleprompter to remind him. So over the year he had been riding out all the sins that the children of Israel had been committing against God and he memorized every single sin. And when he confessed the sins and put his hands on the head of the goat, literally the people's sins were being transferred to the goat. And so he was taking upon himself, the goat was, the sins of the people.

And then they would take that goat and they would take him out into the wilderness and send him out into the wilderness to teach a lesson. Because God was saying, I am removing your sin and I'm going to remember it no more. So in these two goats we clearly see through this illustration the idea of propitiation.

What does it involve? Number one, it involves the satisfaction of the wrath of God through death. God's wrath, God's judgment, God's condemnation against sin, the wages of sin is death. All of this is satisfied, fulfilled in that goat taking upon himself the judgment and the wrath of God. Then secondly we see in propitiation the removal or the taking away of our sins. So not only is our sins paid for by the death of the animal, but the sins are taken away so that he will never bring them up and remember them again. So when we talk about propitiation this is what we mean. The book of Hebrews makes it clear that no animal sacrifice can atone for sins. Hebrews 10 4, for it is possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should, it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

What is he saying? He is saying God's only begotten son, the unique, special, one of a kind, not another one like him. That son has become the propitiation.

He is the fulfillment of the type of the two goats. For he took upon himself our sins. That's what Isaiah 53 is all about. He bore our iniquities, the chastisement of our pieces upon him. By his stripes we are healed. God looked upon him, the Bible says, and he was satisfied, satisfied in that all of God's wrath was exhausted on his son. His son drank the cup of suffering. But not only does he take upon himself our sin and take it away, but he removes it. Our sins are thrown in the depths of the deepest sea. They are put behind his back so as never to remember them again.

They are thrown as far as east is to west. And what is he showing? He is showing his love to us. God demonstrates his love to us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

And here is to me the most arresting point. And that is this, God displays this love to those who do not love him. Here in his love, not that we love God, but that he loved us.

John is emphatic. The world does not love God. It has never loved God. It will not love God because it is not capable of loving God. I want to tell every one of you sitting here, you do not love God by nature.

You do not. You say, I love God in my heart. The only way you could ever love God in your heart is that God puts his love in your heart. There is nothing in us that naturally loves God and there is nothing in us that would cause God to naturally love us. John is saying that God loves those who did not, could not, and would not love him. The world cannot love God because the world is incurably selfish. Our disposition, our inclinations in every one of us turn towards self and away from God. What we really love are the desires of this life, the desires to what we want to feel, to what we want to see, to what we want to be, to what we want to have, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

That's in every one of us. And yet despite all of this, God still loves us. May I say to you that in the midst of your sin, God still loves you. Love emanates from his nature, not our nature. And God chooses to set his love upon us by his own sovereign choice and out of his own infinite love. And what is he saying to us? He's saying, Beloved, if God so loved us, that is, he set his love upon us, then we ought to love one another.

Why? Because he has implanted his nature within us. I remember clearly when I became a Christian how that the people I would have never loved, God put in my heart a love for that person. And this is the demonstration of God's love. I am so excited that I get to share with you in my last couple of messages, something I've been waiting all semester to do. And that is the end goal of John in the life of all of us. And that is that we would be perfected in love. You've been listening to a sermon from the book of 1 John by Dr. Steve Pettit. Thanks again for listening. Join us again tomorrow as we continue the study in 1 John on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-11 22:56:20 / 2024-03-11 23:05:54 / 10

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