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January 22, 2021 3:00 am
The Christians were called to be a like the darkness to share our faith with others, but what does that look like where we even begin today on Truth for Life. Alastair Beck describes the effect of a life that is clearly committed to Christ and it starts with the confession Lord, I believe were in John chapter 9 verse 30 this afternoon. I wondered, would it be wrong to suggest that we could somehow try again.
Is it where to the communion of Jesus with his father because when we read the Bible when we read the Gospels, it becomes clear that a large part of Jesus life was directly related to his communion with his father that from the very outset of things. The disciples are perplexed because they can't find Jesus. And when they finally locate him. They discover that he has been out and he has been spending time in prayer with his father. Some of the prayers of Jesus we know because they're recorded far as in Scripture and with those instances, we can speak with clarity because we have the text before us that it is not about those things that I'm wondering is about the undisclosed times. It is about the occasions in which Jesus and the beginning of the day committed his day to the father and went out to do the father's will know for us to think in those terms may be unsettling, but as I say I think it's all right to do now look at the beginning of John nine as he went along, he saw a man blind from birth and the disciples made this man.
The occasion of a stock he perhaps saw the way in which the disciples looked at the man and he then was able to respond to the question that the disciples asked all the men but the incident in John chapter 9 falls within the great panorama of God's redemptive purpose from all of eternity that this moment in time with a man born blind and what is an apparently inconsequential stop in the middle of the day or the commencement of the day is part of the fulfillment of the promise of God to Abraham that through your seed all the nations of their will be blessed. It is part of the great ongoing consummating purpose of God to put together a company of people that no one can count, from every tribe and nation in language and people and it is part of the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus as he recounts it here in John chapter 6, so that although we have looked at John chapter 9 in a kind of atomized way in a way that is not only picked it out of the surrounding chapters of John but indeed is depicted out of everything I have the opportunity to remind you tonight that this is the in the unfolding drama of God's redemptive purpose and what I chapter John nine has proved to be. I certainly have learned a lot from it.
I hope that some of you have to. In the event of the healing of this man and what follows from it is remarkable. I found myself sitting in saying how did Jesus find this man and then how did Jesus leave this man, and in considering how he found him and how he left him there is actually the description of how Jesus finds men and women in their lostness and how he then leaves them as sheep that have been found. No, we don't know the amount of time that is involved in John chapter 9.
We don't know whether it's a day or a few days were not told, but what ever the punitive time is think with me just for a moment as we review chapter 9 about what is happened to this man.
Think of how he was when Jesus addressed in he was helpless and he was hopeless. He was a blind man and a better consent of the fight that Jesus sought him out, consider the fact that Jesus asked him to do something which was so strikingly dramatic that there must've been something in the very authority of Jesus voice that caused the man to allow this stranger whom he couldn't see to spit on the ground to make a paste and to rub it on his eyes, and then to be prepared at the word of this stranger to go and wash off the mind, consider the fact that he was made the object of God's supernatural intervention and that his sight was restored and as a result of that.
He then was given the opportunity to go back to his neighbors and to his family and to appraise them of this dramatic thing that it happened. He was severely tested as a result of this by the neighborhood community. He was denied the support of his parents who refuse to answer the question and pass the block.
As a result, he was cast back afresh on the mercy of God. When challenged again by the religious authorities, he confounded them by his answers and as a result of that he was reviled by them and then thrown out by he is then sought out again by the Savior, and he is taught by Jesus and as a result, he falls at his feet and devoted worship and it is there that we leave. That's where the Holy Spirit finally draws this picture to a close begins the picture of the at the outset of the chapter with a man in all of his hopelessness and his helplessness and ends the picture leaves him where this man will always and ever be as a worshiper of Christ, the Messiah, the Savior, the king, because actually that's where that man is tonight you understand or don't you that having died.
He is being ushered into the company of those having come to eternal life. A life which begins in the now and leads to the then having being ushered into the reality of that he now takes his place in that company. In Revelation 7 who are worshiping the lab for declaring that salvation belongs to the Lord our God, and to the Lamb who sits on the throne I would again remember in the morning. He praised his father father I'm going out today seeking worshipers. The blind beggar is addressed in the blind beggar's life is changed in the blind beggar's mind and start and what is he become a worshiper in fulfillment of the direct purpose of God. God is seeking those who will worship and as we think of the nature of this whole progression. It certainly speaks to us concerning not only the, the dimensions of what it means to come to Jesus, but also what it means to live in Christ when it says here that the man inquired who is who are you, that I may believe we said quoting Carson that mature and knowledgeable faith is far more a consequence than it is a condition of that decisive entry in to the promises of God and for however long this man would've lived, he would have grown in our knowledge, and then an understanding of who Jesus is and if you have recently become a Christian. If you have like this man said, Lord, I believe, and have become a worshiper of God. Then as you are growing in grace and then a knowledge of Jesus, you will be learning the main things of the gospel and as you think you're beginning to put the immensity of the picture together, that being God in his infinite mercy, Jesus came and took upon himself our nature, and he lived as a man amongst men and women you've been learning that his life was unique that he was absolutely perfect that by his death he dealt with sin that he took upon himself the sin that he had never committed. He was numbered with the transgressors. He died the righteous for the unrighteous to bring us to God you been learning that the father accepted the sufferings of Christ is the propitiation for all who believe in him and you discovered that tonight Jesus sits enthroned in heaven as the ascended king, and it is from there that he will come a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for. And if you have been gone to get a modicum of the if you have begun to grasp the smallest part of that, then you will understand why it is that the man cast himself before Jesus. The Greek verb expressed to Neil is the same word is in John four is the same word as in Revelation 7 and the cast themselves and their crowns before him, declaring salvation belongs to our God. One of the commentators says the ultimate reason for the decline in Christian worship must always ultimately be failure to recognize and experience the redeeming work of Jesus.
I think that is absolutely dead you can talk all you like about style of worship where you say in a company to run a company we receive in the 21st century of the 14th century where you are singing Gregorian chants or whether you're doing and to finally or what ever in the world you are doing.
But if you are in Christ. You understand that worship is a reflex action.
That phrase is a genuine reality and he said, Lord, I believe, and he cast himself down in obeisance and when you have men and women who do not understand what it is to praise who do not understand what it is to throw themselves down as it where at the feet of Christ.
You are dealing with a group of people who do not understand who Jesus is, or why he came, or certainly have lost sight of it along the journey congregation of God's people if they are in Christ must must be a worshiping praising congregation and the decline in worship in the 21st-century is because of the ascendancy of man and the divination of God because we are stuck on ourselves and our expectations and our hopes and our dreams and our affirmations and it is not all about us. It is all about God and it is not all about you and the songs you want to say more about me and the songs I want to say it is all about Lord and getting glory to his name and when I think that God's son not sparing, send him to die scarce can take it that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, he bled and died to take away my sin and sings my soul, but not until then. If you are not a worshiper. Check to see whether you are a believer. Check to see whether the first part of the sentence is hewers because the absence of the second is directly related to the absence of the first law.
I believe in you and then he worshiped and went to Spurgeon and I said what it Spurgeon do with this little section. Spurgeon wraps this material up by suggesting I'll only take a moment on this that not only do we have here an illustration of saving faith and not only do we have here the impact of saving faith in a life and that he worshiped but Spurgeon also says with his great mind is so what if only we had a small piece of his of his gray matter will be such a help, but he he is able to pick up the material and turn it around in ways that most mortals do not have the capacity buddy. He picks it up for one more time and he says and what we have in this section is an example of what we may do in endeavoring to lead men and women to faith in Jesus and is 26. He says if you wanted to follow this example in reaching people for Jesus number one seek out the oppressed seek out the oppressed.
The Bible says that we are to go into all the world and take the message to every creature. Spurgeon says. However, if you have any opportunity to look specially for some more than for others. Then he says, seek out the sick, the sad, the weary, the poor, broken down one's and especially such as have been thrown out by their systems of religion. Not only did Spurgeon understand about the cults understand that, and they come and pray on those who are disenfranchised and this fondant in relationship to whatever system the religion they have been reared we should consider that when Jesus decided to have a new disciple and a new missionary in the Samarian region in the region of Sica. He did not go to an illustrious woman like you.
Lydia of Philippi, whom Paul met but he actually went a very strange lady from that perspective and somebody with a checkered past.
It had five husbands and a live-in lover and Jesus went to her because she was going to be his missionary in the region since Spurgeon you should go to those people and find those people that you should go to those who are the out-of-the-way sinners. What Whitfield referred to as sweeping up the devil's castaways. The people that no one wants and no one will have Jesus once and Jesus will have Jesus has every right to anticipate that his followers will do the same.
Ask them questions. Then he says when you reach these people asking questions, just as Jesus did direct and pointed questions. Who is he, sir. The man asked why did he ask because Jesus asked him a question. Do you believe in the Son of Man.
Spurgeon and I must escort Spurgeon to hear because it is quite quite compelling. He says you know it is one thing for Jesus to ask that question. It is oh it is one thing for the evangelist to ask the question to the crowd, it is one thing he says for me to ask you, the members of the congregation, but he says this is my suggestion a speaking to his congregation.
He says put the inquiry pointedly and personally. Here I am up in the pool but firing the gospel gun in the short flies were God directs it, but you in the congregation who love the Lord and is aware hold up pistol close to the sinners and you think I'm direct T them separately. One by one and make them stand and deliver to the question as our Lord did do you believe see friend, you can say the minister has been preaching about faith. Do you believe this is what 9/10. Want somebody to come and make a personal application of the truth to the they are like soldiers out on the battlefield. They lie, they are wounded and bleeding, dying close by. There is all that is needed to bind up their wounds and plenty of it, then why do they lie there in agony leaning personal attention and it is your business as an army surgeon to go and put on the lint and bind up the wounds. All that we had multitudes who would do this and that all God's people constantly looking out for opportunities of making a personal application of the truth to those who hear it. Do you believe said the Lord Jesus to this matter and by that question, he held him fast. That is the way to win souls begin with a personal question thing about it when the service ended by the prompting of God's spirit not in an offensive way the congregation worked or turned to each other on the basis of what admin said.
Assuming that the pastor had not been on a fools errand in the disbursement of the truth and ask, do you believe in this Jesus, you have the first opportunity to lead somebody right of Christ before you head out the door because they managed to wiggle away from the pastor they manage the sale. We sang a hymn where I would now were going to lunch but if you were to turn and just say I'm sorry I don't know you but it seems that this is the issue. Do you believe in the Son of Man seek the oppressed ask them questions.
Be prepared to answer their questions. That's what Jesus did tell me sir so that I can believe said Spurgeon. We need to be able to answer their questions, tell them everything you know and if you can't tell them all they want to know and take them to someone who can then ask the Lord Jesus to reveal himself to them as Jesus to reveal himself to the because we can speak of Christ as he should be spoken of its only when he reveals himself that people will see him, and finally he says, glorify Christ by sharing your personal testimony any quotes from the high priestly prayer John 17, where Jesus is my prayer is not for them alone. That's for his disciples. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one through their message, their message said Spurgeon.
It was so kind yet just like not to say through my message. Of course it is his message, but to share your testimony of who Jesus is and what he means the is to take the truth the unerring truth of the message of the gospel and to pass it as it is aware through your own human personality and experience telling others of how you came to believe the change that Christ is wrought in your life. While I think that's enough for now.
Don't you the challenge. First of all to believe. Believing that issues in worship and believing that issues in a genuine sharing of our faith. The real test of our interest in the return of Jesus is not our ability to articulate schemes of eschatology, but the real test of my interest in the return of Jesus can be traced. I think probably to three things. One, it will be revealed in a genuine deep-seated concern for personal holiness. He who has this hope within him purifies himself, as he is pure.
It will reveal itself in a genuine commitment to the praise and worship of God and it will reveal itself in a compassionate convicting clear commitment to hold the gospel to our friends and family and colleagues and asked, do you believe in Jesus believe in Jesus will result in worshiping God and ensuring our faith listing to Alister Berrigan Truth for Life series called alike. In the darkness. Alister's message today. So clearly illustrates the description of how Jesus seeks lost men and women and makes us his followers. It's a beautiful picture of the lovable shepherd for lost sheep. That's what many of us learned as children in Sunday school, Jesus loves me as we continue to struggle with her own CM we can become discouraged.
We can even start to doubt Jesus love for us. That's why we are eager today to recommend a book titled gentle and lowly. This is a rich book that helpfully reminds us of Jesus never ending love. According to the author. Christ's heart was gentle and lowly toward us when we were lost and that should cause us to ask. Will his heart be anything different toward us. Now that were found this book gentle and lowly is the perfect book to remind each of us that Christ love for us is never feeling no matter what circumstances we find ourselves request your copy of the book today when you donate to support the ministry of Truth for Life. Visit Truth for Life.org/donate, click on the book image on the mobile app or you can call 888-5878 me remind you that you're invited to watch Alister teacher from Parkside church. When our Sunday service and streamed live to see if Alister is teaching this weekend. You can check the email@example.com/5 above Lapine.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hope you can join us again Monday for a message titled, are we blind to the Bible teaching of Alister is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living