Share This Episode
Truth for Life Alistair Begg Logo

Love is Forever (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
February 17, 2021 3:00 am

Love is Forever (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 979 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

February 17, 2021 3:00 am

While biblical knowledge and spiritual gifts are helpful, they don’t necessarily indicate spiritual maturity. Genuine Christianity is measured by God’s presence in our lives. How do we know He’s at work? Find out on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Verdict
John Munro
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Summit Life
J.D. Greear

The Corinthian church thought they had reached affection because of their spiritual gifts and knowledge of the apostle Paul confronted them about their level of maturity. What were they lacking today on Truth for Life.

Alastair Beck identifies those shortcomings and point out the clear evidence of God's presence in the local church and in our lives. Paul, in writing the letter makes it clear to them that they cannot claim to have a perfection which will only be theirs in heaven, and indeed he must face the fact of their immaturity and they must understand and today she comes now.

What are the genuine marks of true Christian expedience is maybe quite a surprise to some of us tonight to try to summarize the paragraph under three simple headings. First of all Paul says in this final paragraph you check this for yourselves, your sensible people.

The gifts of the spirit are not signs of final perfection. Secondly, and this is the part that I don't think comes out to many places and we may be on thin ice, but you can judge for yourselves. I think what is being said here, especially in verse 11 is this while, then we will experience perfection in terms of being absolutely free from the implications of sin. Now we do not simply sit in babyhood. But now, says Paul, is about maturity maturity, which is not perfection because he says we only see in a mirror one day we'll see face-to-face. Heaven is then this is now we live now we let the Lord down now we stumble now we fall were not best the good we want to do.

We don't do. You can have, then now we live now in anticipation of then that's what he saying here. You see, when he says now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even now as I am fully known just in passing.

One of the keys to understanding your Christian life is working out the difference between now and then never go grow to maturity in our Christian living and so we understand what is now and was then because we start thinking that then is now. We will mail the live now. Now understand I will be telling people that was then, as now and confusing them because they can get that now and then supposed to get it now because it's only coming then. Right now we are no fully known. Right now that is a wonderful phrase your underline that I am fully known by God summarizer here tonight were downright lonely when Emile only in a big crowd. We may be away from our families away from Hallman University. We may have had changes in the circumstances of our lives on the buffeting is and they are beating us and here's a wonderful statement for your encouragement. I am fully known. One of the angels in heaven. Turns around to God and he says God do you know John Smith classes do I know John Smith. Let me tell you John's Angel says you know Mary Evans. I can tell you all about evidence.

She is my shame belongs to me. I know now is no God like that though quest for spiritual maturity in Paul's mind is that I may know him and the part of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering, but he knows that even it is best knowing it will be an empathic knowing. But one day we shall know even as we are known dumb questions that we mass this past week will be answered in an instant when we gaze into his face. All of our uncertainties about pain and about illness and all of our heartache for our brethren will be answered in a moment when we know even as we are known calls for patients it calls for trust calls for biblical realism. One day we will see him and we will be made like him you find the same emphasis we picked it up in chapter 8 concerning knowing he said remember about the food sacrificed to idols, we know that we all possess knowledge and knowledge puffs up, but love builds up the man who thinks he knows something is not yet know as he ought to know by the man who loves God is known by God, Jesus, he knows knows my name. He knows where I sleep, he knows where I go. He knows where I've been, knows the creator of the universe. No ox. The Corinthian's were so stuck on playing the trumpets and banging their tambourines and playing with gifts. As always, the I lost sight of the really big thing.

Paul should've told them you know the main things are the plain things in the plan things are the main now you see the smart Alec in the Corinthian church or in any church for that matter, who has all the answers and all the gift does not necessarily in himself provide evidence that God is at work. That's what he say the five euro walking biblical compendium of knowledge doesn't mean you know God by that I can preach or teach or do my thing and mean. I know God. The fact that I could speak in ecstatic doctrines's with no indication that I know God, so if I hang my hat on all of those things. I miss the point because what is Paul saying there's only one real characteristic.

There is only one truly evidential signing the sign is love brings me to my third and final statement the Triad here in verse 13. These three assets are factors is the essence is provides for is the essence of genuine Christian expedience. We said.

First of all, that the gifts of the spirit.

Another signs of final perfection. Secondly, now where we live is about maturity that is not perfection that's heaven. And thirdly, if we want to know what genuine Christian experiences. We need to go to verse 13. Let me try these remaining moments to drive this home with the help of God to our hearts and lives. Listen carefully.

Once you Paul in verse 13 is not describing natural qualities. Verse 13 is not a verse representative of the kind of man who finds it easy to believe. Nor is it indicative of the person who is naturally hopeful order of the individual who is warm and friendly because this little Triad appears all over the place as well. You can find it in the little books when you're buying a book in the bookstore and it pops out all over the place you can find it in Hallmark, faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love and it ended as this, I mentioned to her that may convince says that what is being described here is something that anybody can display at any moment in time and can opt into the fight this tonight love ones that are non-Christian people who are are quick to believe things that are non-Christian people who are naturally optimistic and are non-Christian people who are as warm and friendly as anybody you ever might meet Paul's not addressing that in the 13's. He is describing here divine distinctive certain evidence of God's work in our lives. Indeed, verse 13 answers the question, what is a true Christian. If you are uncertain about that tonight. Hopefully it will be clear moments from now this is if you like Paul's short 10. He uses this little Triad again and again in his letters. Let me give to you two examples of it. If you turn over a few pages to Colossians chapter 1, you will find in referring to the exact same things. Colossians chapter 1 he thanks God the father for the church in Colossae verse four because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus. Okay. Secondly, all the love you have for all the saints, and thirdly, on the whole in you all heaven that springs from that faith and love. When you go to first Thessalonians you find the exact same thing.

He blesses the Thessalonians. Remember thing in them in prayer. Verse three of chapter 1 of first Thessalonians because he says I remember your work produced by faith, your labor, prompted by love and your endurance inspired by whole in the Lord Jesus Christ. So now what are the very essence of Christian experience. Now, where at the apex of spiritual maturity. Now we know what will characterize a genuine spirit filled assembly of God's people, irrespective of the die mentions of gifts that God chooses to give to them or to withhold from notice that the faith is not simply somebody saying I believe in God, what the individual says knows this faith. The converted born again Christian is not saying I believe in God but my faith and my trust are in Jesus alone. I'm not relying on external characteristics.

I'm not relying on works of righteousness.

I'm not relying on my baptism. I'm not relying on my attendance.

I'm not relying on any of that. My faith has found a resting place, not in device and creed.

I trust the ever living one his blood for me shall plead I need no other sacrifice I need no other plea is enough that Jesus died and that he died for me that is the faith to which it affairs. It is the faith and trust implicitly in the Lord Jesus and in his atoning death.

The love is also clearly designated clarified again in Colossians 1.

This is not a warm feeling in your tummy. There are plenty of churches that are warm feeling tummy places their warmhearted in their cozy they would give you coffee till the cows come home.

They're very nice to you. They welcome you in the door. The lady ask if they can help with it with anything during the week and they are to be commended for their warmhearted nurse, but that is not the love to which he is referring the love to which he refers here is a love for our fellow Christians remember he describes earlier in first Corinthians.

He says you know there'll be no homosexuals get to heaven will be no idolaters know me know I don't first know me no lies will be no thieves will be nine these people you imagine writing it down. People reading going that's right that's right that's right. And then he had someone from underneath the apricot.

He goes and such were some of you and the where and we were in some of you know this, far better than someone like myself is being reared and brought up in a Christian context, but some of you could stand up here right now and testify to the fight that you used to think the born-again Christians were the biggest freaks. The world is ever seen. If ever there was a church the way you would not go. It would be one of those kind of churches you are not of those people University you avoid them like the plagues of Egypt and now you sit with them.

Now you talk to them.

Now you let them ask. Jesus said that it's seen as genuine Christian experience of faith that is in Christ, and I love that is for those who love Christ is what worship is about.

I was glad when they said to me go to the house of the Lord. No young boy or girl in the right mindset is that you can coerce your kids into not okay fine I understand that I'd been there. But when this God likes them they'll surprise themselves.

Then the Bible becomes a living book and praise becomes the expression of their hearts.

Then compassion becomes a reality of their life and braces for older souls.

That's when I'll know my children are saved, not when they walk and I'll sign a pledge make a statement. I'll know because they will have a trust in Jesus and the love for God's people, not 100% love may not even be much more than a 40% or 30% for a while, but it will be there. It will be somewhere there will be a leave flame at least okay and one of the Holt, one of the whole. These three remain faith, hope and love for this hope is an assurance of the life of the world unless the Holy Spirit is at work in a person's heart there, devoid of any assurance of heaven, they cannot put their head on the pillow at night with any sense of certainty that if you should live or that thing we teach our kids before I go to said as I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and if I die before I weigh.

I pray the Lord my soul to take. God bless my hands, my uncles, my grandmother and I amen gone, to the natural man secular man cannot say that needed and fall asleep, except that he pumps himself up with bravado, but when the spirit of God changes her life.

He engenders within that person faith in Jesus love for the Jesus people and an absolute shoes, not an assurance that removes anxiety but ID seated assurance that heaven is my home. So there's the text there is a test of all of that all of us need to take tonight if your personal trust and faith is in Jesus and God is giving you a love for those who love Jesus and if you found in your heart whole in an assurance of heaven. I say to you, no matter how weak you are. How young you are, how shaky and sinful. You might be you have in your life.

The evidences of genuine Christian faith. These are the marks. These are they identifying signs that God is at work.

These are most valuable and more important than all the spiritual gifts of God, these are the very stuff of Christian experience. Indeed, minus them.

You're not a Christian.

This is not God in a vacuum. God, in the abstract.

It is God at work in and through the human heart, producing these faith whole lot that your life message of the gospel as if it is not. It can be for ever you leave this building to while it begs the final question if faith, hope and love her present and they remain why is the greatest love. I give you that is your homework or extend the Sears by another week, which I didn't do let me try and said as quickly as I can think about it and I think the penny will drop for you fairly quickly. Why would love me the greatest does God have faith. Who does God believe in nobody. He's got he doesn't trust her fate. Does God have hope. As you see in heaven.

My hope is pinned on this, not to run something else now God doesn't have hope in anything else because he is the source of all our hopes so God doesn't trust in God doesn't hope can God love the that's there the penny drops her God is love. That's why the greatest is the Bible nowhere says God is faithful God is trusting God as hopeless as God is love. And when God is working in new life in our life's then there we should switch begin to emerge in our lives which are moms and dads OC and our friends will begin to identify and suddenly into the. The deadness of the winter of our prior spiritual experience. These green shoots begin to spring up and one springs up and has a thing.

I am on the end of it Faith and another one springs evidences and another one springs up and says love your friends and understand what happened to you.

You're still a nice guy you still play golf with me. I mean, we still do business together.

But he should say I don't understand the issue whether you've got a wonderful opportunity to tell the greatest thing that can happen to anyone in their life is to see the shoots of marriage as a result of God's grace and only one of them goes all the way into eternity faith and hope are a means to the end which is love, but love lasts forever. That's why it's true. When we sing the greatest thing in all my life is loving you, knowing you, because tonight he knows us and one day we will know him so the greatest thing for a church for life is not the manifestation of spectacular gifts, but it is that the world might see something and is, no matter how tiny that looks like God.

This is a great challenge other people, save all this guy can talk or warmaking saying all their big nursery thing or on the show. The children because anybody can reproduce that the real test is low, we can speak ecstatically but if there's no sign in my life that God is at work on making a noise I may be highly effective as a preacher may have great knowledge and faith. But if there's not the least evidence of God's presence. I am nothing. I may display radical self-sacrifice but devoid of the fragrance of his presence. As far as God's concern.

It doesn't mean a thing.


The Corinthians held up Tom's prophecy and knowledge, all of which were means to an end. Paul directs their attention to faith, hope and love the heartbeat of our relationship with God is not in gifts we display, but is in the fight that God knows is in one day we shall know him in response to the high regard which the Corinthians had for the spectacular Paul tells them that the really important things are not tongues and the like, but faith, hope and love. And there is nothing greater than so may God produce that love within my heart and you and in our church for his namesake.

Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with great joy to the only wise God our Savior be glory and majesty, dominion tonight and forevermore.

Faith and love compelling evidence that God is in fact this is Truth for Life from Alistair Begg with the message called love is forever and this concludes our series called love in the local church today. We've been reminded that there is nothing greater the blog Jesus told his disciples the true spirituality begins with loving God with all your heart. The Bible means when it talks about our heart. But the topic of the book we are featuring today, aptly titled, with all your heart in this book you will learn that when the Bible talks about the heart. It means the very core of our being.

Everything we think and feel and do that. The author says the heart is the most important word in the Bible to describe who we are within a matter fact word heart is use more than a thousand times in Scripture we love the unique perspective. This book brings will help you better understand yourself your sin and your Savior will send you a copy of the book, with all your heart when you make a donation and requested, or when you partner with us to help provide clear, relevant Bible teaching to men and women all around the world by becoming a monthly truth partner. The book is our way of saying thanks for your donation to support the Bible teaching you hear on this program. Regular monthly giving by true partners makes these daily programs. Possible trick partners or listeners like you who are passionate about the difference God's word makes in the heart of the life they support this ministry on an ongoing basis.

When you join this vital team, your monthly financial support makes Alistair's Bible teaching possible free of charge for so many. You can sign up or click the image you see on the app or call 88858878. If it's easier for you to mail your donation along with your request for the book right to Truth for Life PO Box 39000, Cleveland, OH. ZIP Code is 44139 Bob Lapine tomorrow. Alastair brings us a special message that was originally delivered at a conference titled God's patience hope you'll join us Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by pulling the learning is

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime