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The Certainty of Truth #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
May 22, 2024 12:00 am

The Certainty of Truth #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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May 22, 2024 12:00 am

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Welcome to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, Founding Pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. It is our joy to continue our commitment to teaching God's people God's Word. Today Don is continuing with the second part of a message we started last time.

So let's get right to it. Open your Bible as we join Don now in The Truth Pulpit. Why is it certain also that true salvation will lead to a broken relationship with sin? The person of Christ is central to that.

Look again at verse 18 with me. We know that everyone who's been born of God does not keep on sinning, but instead of that false reality, here's the true reality, a spiritual reality that is seen by faith, a blessed reality, he who was born of God, a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ, he who was born of God protects him. That is, he keeps the one that he saves. This is the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. Christ saves us, then Christ protects us. Christ keeps us so that we can never be lost once we've truly been born again. Christ keeps us so that we do not fall back into our former way of life. Colossians chapter one says he delivered us from the domain of Satan and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son. You've been taken out from the lordship of Satan and delivered into the lordship of Christ. The power of controlling sin has been broken, and now the spirit indwells you.

These are certainties about the Christian life. Turn toward the back of your Bible, just a couple of pages, to the book of Jude and the benediction that we often use here at Truth Community Church, and look at what it says that illuminates this for us in verse Jude 24 and 25. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever.

Amen. Now, people come, join our church. When I say join, what I mean by that is, you know, start attending, having come from other versions of Christianity, if I can put it that way. You know, and I know that some of you grew up in environments where you were told again and again and again that if you didn't keep on obeying that you would lose your salvation.

And I know that that has been an oppressive weight on your mind, and it's something that your soul can never get out from under except by the power of absolute unchanging truth. My friend, if Jesus Christ has saved you, he intends to keep you. He didn't save you part time. He didn't go to the cross just to make salvation possible and leave it up to your self-effort to get over the goal line, so to speak. He saved you to keep you. He saved you because he set his eternal love upon you. And in his eternal love, he sought your well-being, not just for a short period of time, not just for earthly benefits, but for all of eternity. The love of Christ as he spread out his hands and yielded himself to crucifixion, the love of Christ as he hung there and bore your sins in his body on the cross. The love of Christ, where he chose you out from among others in humanity that you might be before the foundation of the world, that you would belong to him, that he died for you at the cross, that the spirit caused you to be born again at some point in the past and now indwells you.

Understand that the whole point of that was that because he chose to save you, because he did save you at the cross, he's keeping you now. And there is no possibility that anything would ever separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans chapter 8 verses 38 and 39. Now look, beloved, everything that we hold dear and every ounce of security and assurance that we have depends upon those things being true.

And it depends on those things being unchanging and not subject to the whims and opinion of men. All of these great certainties of our salvation depend on them being transcendently true, eternally true, not subject to change or variation. And your hope, your confidence, your assurance, your peace in all of these things is found not in your ability and in your effort to try to somehow keep up your salvation, which if you've tried that for any length of time, you know what a miserable weight that is to try to do. It's not by laying hold of a stronger effort of your own will, it's by faith believing the truth, by faith laying hold of Christ, of his unchanging love, of his promise that he will never leave you nor ever forsake you, Hebrews chapter 13, and resting in that. And you are able to rest in that only because it is true, and it is true meaning it is absolutely true that truth exists independent of you.

Truth exists as God exists, God has made it known, we believe and we live in response to him. Now, that's exactly the takeaway that John wants us to have in his gospel and in his letter. Go back to John chapter 20 with me. John chapter 20.

And again, for our purposes today, we're kind of doing parallel tracks of what we're trying to communicate. There's the substance of the reality of Christian salvation, which is fundamental. Alongside that, I want you to see that it all depends upon the existence of truth. Now, that John would have you settled and comforted in your Christian experience as an ongoing basis, not as a fluctuating thing based on whether you just ate a good meal, whether you have good health or not. These are the things that sustain you on your deathbed. These are the things as you're staring down the pit of death, conscious that you're drawing your last breath and saying your goodbyes to your loved ones, these are the things that sustain you in that moment. These are the things that will carry you on angel's wings across the river and into glory.

And that's the way it's meant to be. Not a life of uncertainty, not a life of continued sin. Look at John chapter 20 verse 30. Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples which are not written in this book, but these are written so that, here's the purpose of it all, you may believe that Jesus is the Christ.

He's the Messiah, God's anointed one, the one who is able to deliver you completely from your sins. Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name. And you are meant to know that you have this life. Go back to 1 John chapter 5. The blessing of God, the purpose of God for His children, is that we would know these things and that we would live in the confidence and the overflow of joy that comes from knowing that we are in the family of God and that we are safe throughout all of eternity. And if you knew how much I was restraining myself from tangents, you would congratulate me. 1 John chapter 5 verse 13, 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.

This is true. If you are in Christ, you are meant to know that it is true and to have confidence, to have assurance that this is real for you so that you could live with a sense of joy and certainty going forward, free from doubt, free from the assaults of Satan, confident in Christ, resting as it were with your head on His chest as John did at the Last Supper, resting with your head on your chest and saying, Lord, I am confident in you. I take your faithfulness as the pillow for the head of my soul and I rest in you. Everything about that blessed picture depends on absolute, unchanging truth. So in verse 14 we read, This is the confidence that we have toward Him that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us so that you may know, so that you may believe, so that you may be confident.

He hears us. And so what Christ does when He saves us is He keeps us so that we do not fall back into our former way of life. Jesus said, No one can pluck them out of My hand.

John 10. No one can take them out of My hand. Once He lays His hand on someone, saves them and brings them as it were, speaking metaphorically here, once He saved you and brought you to His chest within His hand, nobody can go and pry His fingers open and take you away. The very thought of it is absurd. The very fact that anyone thinks that that's possible is a sign of unbiblical, ungodly thinking and a complete lack of appreciation for the love of Christ, which compelled Him to come to earth in order to save us. Satan cannot grab us. He cannot harm us because Christ protects us. Look at verse 18, 1 John chapter 5, verse 18. He who was born of God protects Him and joined together with that reality of the protection of Christ, the positive protection of Christ is joined with this negative denial.

The evil one does not touch Him. Satan cannot pluck you out of the hand of Christ. And if you are a true Christian, your heart should be bursting with joy and gratitude at that reality. Whatever else is happening in life, whatever other sorrows are buffeting your soul, step beyond all of that and look at the reality that Christ has saved you, Christ loves you, Christ keeps you, and Satan cannot touch you and jerk you out of the hand of Christ. And that depends not upon your power to keep yourself, it depends on the promise and power of Christ, which He declared in advance, that He will keep His own, even to the end. Now, we're still subject to temptation, we still go through adversities, but the Lord keeps us, He strengthens us so that we do not falter ultimately and finally, falling away. All of these certainties about our salvation, beloved, grounded in the fact that there is fixed, unmovable, absolute truth, which we can know because God has made us in His image, He has given us His Spirit, His Word is clear, it can be understood, and that delivers us from all of the uncertainty and ungodliness of the present age in which we live. The certainty of sanctification is rooted in Christ and in His truth. Now, that's one certainty of our salvation, the certainty of our sanctification. And along with that, let's just look at 1 John 5.19 and the reality of our separation. These are all the certain realities of our salvation. Christ sanctifies us and now we are separated from this world, verse 19. John says, we know that we are from God and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. Note the conflict, note the two realms, there is God and there is the world over which is the evil one. We belong to this realm of God, the apostle John says, the world is outside and is in the power of the evil one.

Now, earlier, and I'm so glad you're here today, I hope that these things from God's Word are a great encouragement to you. Look at 1 John 3, verse 1 in this context. We have been delivered from the world. We have been delivered from the world and delivered into the love of God. We have been delivered from spiritual death into spiritual life. So that in 1 John 3, verse 1, we read, see what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God.

And we are. We belong to the family of God. God has spiritual children over which he is Father. And if you are a Christian, you belong to his family.

What a wonderful thought in this world of just innumerable fractured families, abused children, confusion, heartache, heartbreak, so many vulnerable girls not even knowing who their father is, wanting a sense of family, and because of the sin and selfishness of those that gave biological birth to them, it's all withheld from them. To find here a better family, a better father, a lasting family, the Father has given us that we should be called children of God, and we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Scripture tells us to think about ourselves as belonging to the family of God. He has removed us from the world and delivered us into new life in Christ. And by contrast, the world is helplessly in the bloody hands of Satan himself. Those outside of Christ are trapped in the realm of Satan, following the prince of the power of the air. And beloved, if you are a Christian, you have been born again, and you are set free from all of that slavery. You are delivered from it all. All of the darkness now light instead.

All of the hatred now love instead. Look at chapter 3, verse 14. And actually looking at verse 13, we're apart from the world. We're against the world.

And it's not just in its philosophies, but in its very essence. And so it's not surprising that there are certain consequences for that. Verse 13, 1 John chapter 3. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. Don't be surprised if your family hates you.

Don't be surprised if your friends reject you. Don't be surprised when people that you thought were Christians diverge. Don't be surprised by that. Just go back to the realities of truth and your salvation, verse 14. We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers. We've passed out of death into life. Those who have been born again, alive.

Secure. They know. Those outside of Christ, slaves of Satan, false religion, rebellion, foolishness. All of these realities, beloved. If it seems like I'm belaboring a point, it's because this is in some ways the most important point of them all. All of these realities rooted in absolute truth. And beloved, here's the beauty of it.

Here's the wonder of it. This body of understanding. This clarity of conviction is attainable for each one of you who are in Christ.

These realities are the subject of attainable, fixed understanding, mature belief, grown-up faith because transcendent truth actually exists, and God has ordered the universe, he has ordered the human mind, he has ordered his revelation so that these things can be received and understood and believed. It's the certainty of truth. Now, just in the brief time that we have remaining, let me show you our second point here today, the certainty of our Savior. The certainty of our Savior.

I'm going to do my best to go through this quickly. The Son of God came in order to deliver us into all of those blessed realities that we've been talking about here today. To rescue us from spiritual darkness and to deliver us into these eternal, absolute blessings of which we've been speaking. Look at 1 John 5, verse 20. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding.

Let's stop there for a moment. He's imparted illumination. He has helped us grasp the truth and substance of what has been revealed so that you can discern true reality, the way things really are as God himself sees them.

He gives us discernment to grow in the knowledge of him. Now, beloved, understand this. All of that is utterly incoherent and inconceivable under a postmodern philosophy of truth. If truth is subjective, if truth is just what you make it up to be, if it's based on feelings, if there's nothing absolute, none of what John says in 1 John 5 can come to pass and be a reality. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot say truth is determined by what I feel and I believe the Bible.

You've got to let one of them go. There's got to be a final, absolute, transcendent standard, and it can't possibly be the way that any man feels about something. Jesus said, I'm the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me. He's the truth.

Not your mind, not your feelings, not Oprah, thank God. Jesus Christ, the truth. And beloved, if you're in Christ, you know the true God. If you're not in Christ, you're lost.

You do not know God, and yet an invitation is still held out to you to come, to know Him, to receive Him, to yield to Him. And so everything that John has written supports this great climax. Look at the end of verse 20, this great climax.

Everything from chapter 1, verse 1 was pointing to this climax at the end of verse 20. He's given us understanding so that, one, we may know Him who is true. Second, we are in Him who is in true, in His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. The reality of absolute truth, the reality of knowing that God exists, the reality that knowing the Bible is true, that Jesus Christ is Lord, it all points you into this spiritual climax, this spiritual summit, this top of spiritual Mount Everest that you can know that you are saved, you can know that you are going to heaven when you die, you can know the true God and that you yourself have eternal life.

Everything points to this. And all of that glory is sacrificed. A dagger is plunged into the heart of the sacrifice when you sacrifice the principle of absolute truth.

You can't have any of this with the spirit of the age. So Jesus Christ is the true God. To know Him is to have life. To reject the concept of absolute truth is to reject Him utterly and finally. Now, thirdly, we spent most of our time looking at the certain realities of salvation. We just glanced at the certain reality of our Savior. What's this mean for us going forward as Christians?

The corresponding responsibility of salvation, point number three, the corresponding responsibility. John, as he closes this letter, I love this. I've loved the letter of 1 John for a very, very long time. He doesn't give a formal farewell like we do. Every one of you, when you end a conversation here after the service tonight, today, and it's all fine, you'll say something like, I'll see you later, goodbye, and what have you, all of those niceties of social discourse in the 21st century.

That's great, do that. But just understand that that's not how John ended the letter. John said all of these things and, you know, there could have been, I suppose, an inspired way for him to say, you know, I commend you to the grace of God, goodbye.

He doesn't do anything like that. It's so abrupt. It's so abrupt, it's so different from the way that we relate, and yet it's so telling, it's so instructive for what we are to do with all of this. Look at verse 21, he says, he says, little children, keep yourselves from idols. Here's what he's doing here, and here's how it applies to everything that we've said here today. John says, in light of all of these things that you have read in my letter, in light of all of the things that have been said, and by extension and application, in light of everything that we've heard from God's word here this morning, today, October 8, 2023, what do we do with this, beloved? We obey it. We obey it.

We respond to this. John commands, issues a command, said, little children, in light of all of these things, you keep yourselves from idols. Now, in that day and age, in the first century, literal physical idols were everywhere. You read anything about the archaeology, say, for example, the cities in western Asia Minor, you know, that western edge of modern-day Turkey, and it's just filled with idolatry and temples, and the worship of the emperor, and the worship of all of these false deities.

That stuff was everywhere and permeated the culture in a way that's different from our culture. Our culture is permeated not with physical idolatry, but with mental idolatry that rejects truth, rejects God, rejects His word, rejects Christ. Christians, in the first century, were living out their salvation in the midst of that kind of pagan religion. We, today, are living it out.

We have the same responsibility in response to the same truth. It's just a different manifestation of the deception of Satan. We live it out in a philosophical environment that denies truth and attacks everything about God and His revelation. What you are to do is to keep yourself away from that kind of thinking, recognize it, repent of it where it controls you, discern it, dismiss it, and commit your life and affections to what God has revealed in the truth. Because what God has given us in the Word is the truth. It is the true Christ. And so you guard against that false teaching which denies truth, which denies Christ.

You test the spirits and you know what is true so that you can grow up and be a mature Christian like you're supposed to be. We're not supposed to be confused, sniveling cowards in the midst of the world that we live in. We're not to be so earthly-minded that we're more worried about local government than we are about the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven and His revealed truth and being people of the Beatitudes.

You won't hear that in political conferences. And so today what this means for us is that you guard yourself against those things that undermine truth. You guard yourself against those things that undermine the certainty of salvation. And you rest your eternal destiny on these certainties about Christ, the recognition of true salvation, and you walk in joy and assurance because of what God has spoken.

We come to Christ, the true God who is eternal life. And as you live that way, beloved, you will find spiritual victory in this hostile world. Let's pray together. God, may it be so for each one of us. May we be simultaneously sobered and greatly encouraged by these things that we have heard from your Word today. Father, our lives are passing and we don't know what our lives will be like tomorrow. Help those who are outside of Christ not to put off repentance and faith, but to respond today, respond in this hour, respond now in repentance and faith toward Jesus Christ because today is the day of salvation and deliver them from the presumption that there might be a tomorrow.

There might not be. And Father, for those of us to whom you've given the truth, grant us grace to believe it and to live by it. Yes, grant us courage and grace to speak it within the circle of our influence.

Father, because some of these faces that we see today, one day we'll wake up and they'll be gone. Father, we pray for those that have lost loved ones. We pray that you administer your grace to them. And for those that have lost loved ones that have gone into a Christless eternity, help them to see beyond the fate of their loved one to the need of their own eternal soul. For the family of my dear friend Ray, Father, I pray that they would come to a saving knowledge of Christ even after his passing. We commit all of these things to you.

In Jesus' name, amen. That's Don Green here on The Truth Pulpit. And here's Don again with some closing thoughts. Well, my friend, before we go after today's broadcast, I just want to invite you to look me up on Facebook, Don Green on Facebook.

I often make original posts. I make comments about ministry and other matters of biblical importance there that do not make their way into this broadcast. And so if you are on Facebook, I invite you to join me, look for Don Green, and join us on Facebook for another way to connect with our ministry. That's Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thank you so much for listening to The Truth Pulpit. Join us next time for more as we continue teaching God's people God's Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-22 04:46:37 / 2024-05-22 04:57:13 / 11

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