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Loving Community (Part 2 of 3)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
May 13, 2022 4:00 am

Loving Community (Part 2 of 3)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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May 13, 2022 4:00 am

Jesus praised the Ephesian church for being committed to the truth of the Gospel and for steadfastly serving God. So how was it possible that they were still in danger of spiritual bankruptcy? That’s the question Alistair Begg explores on Truth For Life.



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Jesus had a lot of things to say about the Ephesian church committed to the truth of the gospel steadfastly served God in spite of their suffering. So why would they still in danger of going spiritually bankrupt. That's the question Alastair Begg explores today on Truth for Life. He's teaching from chapter 2 of the book of Revelation were in verses one through seven let me just say a word of encouragement and X rotation two is in relationship to the state how tough are you as a church house strong and steadfast and persevering and how about the man. I'm pretty sure the women are fairly tough and strong and persevering.

Why is the average teenage boy so turned off Christianity. In many cases, the answer lies in the absence of role models that have combined spiritual conviction manually commitments and a sense of living in a real world without real love for Christ against his commendation as he looks upon the community rally comes to our just a staff gentleman in the home and in the church and in the community and its top. So what your son comes home from his first game of rugby and he's crying was wrong on well he threw me on the ground. Yeah the ball away when I yeah I like that will shut up Tom, that's me.

You want to play rugby blatantly links to little things we can you believe you want to blame me. That's what now I say that you can tell I just looked like a rugby player.

I don't when I left Glasgow the second city of the British Empire and went and went to nuclear Yorkshire and lots.

I I discovered there to my grave concern that there wasn't any commitment of football in the school so they endeavored to make me a rugby player put me out on the wing as far away from the action as possible. I think there were some days when I'm not sure that I ever touch the ball. It's all because our team was so poor that the ball never made it that far out on the line, but eventually because I could kick.

They made me the fullback and I still recall the sense of absolute terror and waiting for the ball kicked from the opposing team to come to me, hoping desperately that the law of gravity would bring it down and into my arms before these horrible boys that were running at me would reach me, and I think, quite honestly, to my shame.

There were occasions when I saw them and I saw the ball and I just moved off to one side, I can only recall one thing being said to me at halftime when they Deputy Director Mr. Whitaker was looking after the team. At that point I gathered is all around and had a word for this one and that one never forget the look in his eyes. He couldn't conceal a sense of disappointment almost disgust as he looked at me and he said to me you beg you been there for 40 minutes young name go you need brown and my shorts were immaculate. My sure is beautiful. My hair was this nice.

I was completely useless looks down in the Ephesian church as I commend you folks you're giving yourself so that tax your top.

Thirdly, I want to commend you for the fact I want to praise you for the fight that you're committed to the truth. They were susceptible to every passing wind of doctrine. They were prepared to test those who came with claims last their claims prove to be spewed is as in some cases they did check these people out.

He says in verse two and you have found them to be false and down in verse six, I'm able to praise you for this that you hate the practices of the Nicollet absence. That's good. He says because I also hate the practice of the Nicollet absence. Now we don't know anything about these people beyond what is actually given to us here in Revelation apart from external sources to Scripture that can fill in a little bit of the blanks, but they were clearly heretical group. Their views were so close to orthodoxy that it made it difficult to detect one needed to be discerning. They were probably akin in their teaching to what will see later.

That was the teaching of Baylon in the teaching of Jezebel. Indeed, there the Nicollet Hansons and those who follow the teaching of Baylon, Jezebel may actually be descriptive of one kind of three-headed monster of immorality and idolatry and their immortal deeds and the impunity of so much that Mark them probably related to the kind of nonstate notions which sought to divorce spiritual life and compacted and isolated from the functions of the physicality of man, thereby allowing people to perversely convince themselves that they could do certain things with their bodies by the same time maintaining the purity of their spiritual life, so they were able to handle offered to men and women as contemporary cults often are able to do the idea of religious experiences that in no way impinge upon their self indulgent lifestyles, which of course is a powerful combination. You mean I can do anything I want and still of an intimate awareness of God. Yes will sign me up for the rights and Jesus says I hate the practices of the deeds of the Nicollet attends and I know you also hate them. There are issues before us in the contemporary church in the West today where if we have enough courage and conviction we must be prepared to say I hate these practices and I know that Jesus does to I don't have it is in the UK I'm divorced from the ongoing development of things the church in America if it loses its grasp.

More significantly than it read it already, that is more than uneven possibility that it will lose its ability to speak with clarity and power and conviction to the contemporary culture in the matter of human sexuality. First of all, as a result of total confusion and disobedience concerning the uniqueness of man and woman within the home. Then, in terms of that function within the church and most depressingly in the steamroller dry to include the perversity of homosexual practice within the framework of an acceptable Christian community. The same loving Lord Jesus says I hate the practice of these Nicollet absence and I have a word of commendation for you to because you're prepared to acknowledge that you do also. That's the first main heading, and you should know if your encouragement that I will spend longer there than I ever do on the remainder. So far so good. It feels a little bit like when you're sitting in a room. You've just written a paper for your history future are your English future and it's gone too well for too long and you know that there's a butt coming somewhere while I think you're very good in the opening section and in the middle you mention one or two things in I see that you've paid good attention to the contrast with the such and such and you just know from the tone of voice that they are about to drop the rest of it on you and the rest it might be fairly painful.

Well, that's exactly what happens your notice there's four begins, yet it's you are the folks who are to be commended for your commitment to the truth you're to come be commended for being tough you are to be commended for fulfilling the task, but it's let me move now from the praise that he offers to the problem that he confronts and it is summarized in just a phrase notice. I hold this against you, you have forsaken your first love. Here is the Achilles' heel for this task oriented, tough-minded, truth telling, fellowship, says mounts every virtue carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction. We noted yesterday that the church, the measure of a church isn't to be found in its programs of his achievements, his reputation or even in his doctrinal orthodoxy in its spiritual life of this morning, we may simply substitute the word life with the word love and say the same thing. The test of a church is ultimately not in any of those things, but it is found in its long if you, for example, took your paper and started on the right hand side of the paper.

Moving back towards the left just writing zeros that 010000 good 10 zeros. There what he zero put a one in front of it and all the other zeros change so when you take the task and the toughness and the truth and everything else that may be commandeered to me concerning a fellowship such as in Ephesus it all ultimately amounts to zero without the one of love placed strategically at the head of the list. Not only is Christ looking down upon that which is a living community but he is looking down on that which must be a loving community.

You can see how this happens and some of us come from fellowships that tend in this direction.

In seeking to ensure that the Ephesian Christians excluded those who would imposters. They may well have created amongst themselves, a claimant of suspicion that was not conducive to a sense of brotherly love. They were so on the lookout for the mistaken individuals, the mistaken men and women that they had somehow in the process rooted out others who were just fledgling in their faith.

In doing genuine students and concerns and who were still bringing with them the background of the that the mud that was still on the books if you like of their of their newfound Christian expedience.

Perhaps in the process of interviewing them for membership because they couldn't squeeze out of them the right kind of clichd expression and articulation of evangelical and conservative faith. The yard on the site of becoming cold and metallic and refrigerated and formalized all because of our realistic and necessary commitment to truth what he had lost sight of was a fight that unless love envelops all of this and impinges upon all of this than the same warning that is issued here needs to be issued in every location where this becomes attendance Beasley money commentating on this says if the price paid by the Ephesians for the preservation of true Christianity was the loss of love. The price was too high for Christianity without love is a perverted faith.

JB Phillips paraphrases this, you do not love as you did at the first you do not love as you did in the first to try everything to see is not in a marriage where people grown cold to one another. There still together, but living single's there's a formality to it. You can see it in their eyes you understand it in the way they express themselves to one another.

If there is no fresh discoveries.

There's no vibrancy about it is just hold harmless the same old jazz pretty hopeless.

Many times it is sustained simply by fear rather than by any genuine sense of undying affection down in Florida you're living amongst the newlywed and the nearly dead and there is nothing gives me a greater thrill than seeing these ancient couples and I use the word ancient, guardedly because I'm moving fast and I direction myself, I understand, but seeing these ancient couples walking in the morning sun still holding hands with each other. Now admittedly, in some cases is to prevent each other. Falling down, but they could do that with us, you know I my only assumption is that it is an expression still about love that exists between you see Christianity is about the explosive power of a new affection of falling in love with Christ. The sense of the immensity of his pursuing energizing grace that I found a friend or such a friend. He loved me and I knew him and he drew me with accords of love in the scene following me to him around my heart so closely entwined ties that no it can sever but I am his and he is my forever and for when begins to go and will look a lot like this church will was in their love for Christ. You seem to be suggesting that all wasn't their love for each other or was it our love for those who were the unbelieving community around them. I don't and we have to choose between Phillips paraphrases right out. We are not loving the way you did in the beginning, from the heights of their ardent devotion to Jesus they'd fallen into the plains of mediocrity and the plane was very full of tenants.

This picture of course run through the other throughout the whole of the Old Testament, God speaking of his people. In terms of the marriage covenant Jeremiah to.

I remember the devotion of your youth. Your love is a bright, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. I remember that he says but look at what I have now. You do not love is your love and the force in terms of their love for one another when love for Christ is not what it should be that our love for each other will be sadly affected your miserable customer in your congregation. I can tell you that you do not love Jesus. As you once did, or if you want. If your miserable soul in the community.

Just a miserable soul Bill Gaither wrote the song, I'm so glad you're part of the family of God, you know, saying it looking round on your congregation. I'm surprised that you are part of the family of God, you sing the chorus as you go home in the car. Everybody should know everybody should know I have such a critical spirit that everybody should know what happened to you man what happened to you, sir, you do not love the way he wants to.

Your eyes are dry. Your prayers are cool doesn't creep up on so easily. When we love God we keep his commandments, for this is love for God. John tells us that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not burdensome. Therefore, failure to love God will mean disobedience. The demineralization of my love for Jesus will be directly related to disobedience in my life and disobedient Christians are not good people to plan on spending much time with you do not want to commit yourself in friendship to a disobedient boy, young lady. I don't care what he says about your eyes. If he is disobedient to Christ. He will shower whatever love you have for Jesus.

The same is true and diverse and also what about love for the unbeliever, presumably in Ephesus there evangelistic zeal, which it made it the most significant church in the first century had begun to dissipate. Somehow or other, their words and their actions were no longer conveying the love of the Lord Jesus borders were growing tighter their actions worse, smacking more of religious formalism they were going through the routines they still held onto it, but they didn't have that compassionate interest in in the non-Christian world. I don't know why my sense of the application is going in this direction. This morning, but I'll just stay with that. In speaking to the student community and to the young people listen. I have grown weary listening to our young man are a young woman tell me again and again how, as a result of disobedience to Christ they got involved with the non-Christian person to whom they took a shine non-Christian person was a very nice person and not right and so long as the same story. A million times. They never ever told their unbelieving friend that he had an undying devotion to Jesus because invite the admin disobedient and therefore they had no undying devotion to Jesus. And when all of the thing had fallen apart and disintegrated. They wet and what happened was they had not love Jesus. Other love is the love that the fires in the draining away of love expressed itself in disobedience. A backslidden condition made it easy for them to hang with the wrong loss of conviction about the absolute necessity of the curbs that are provided in the word of God to keep us on track and on the straight and narrow that we don't end up in doubters casserole and BiPAP metal don't end up listening to timbers and mistrust. We don't listen to formalist and hypocrisy. We stay on track. Unfortunately I'm way off and all of some of your office morning you may have come out to this world alive. We can use it maybe still be a word for me. Somewhere along the line is the absence of brotherly love.

Because if you have a non-Christian friend, you have an undying devotion to Jesus and you believe that your non-Christian friend stands between time and eternity, then presumably your undying devotion to Jesus is going to convey itself to this new non-Christian friend that you've me, Jesus, as you know, you are much better at this Ephesus than you are now, there's a discordant sound among you is a lot of resounding thongs clanging symbols it's replace the harmony of parts entwined with devotion to the Lord Jesus of the problem in Laodicea was that of spiritual complacency and the problem here in Ephesus are there there staring in the face spiritual bankruptcy Christianity without love is a perverted frame listing to Truth for Life. Alister big is explaining what true faith involves love for Christ love for one another in love for the unbelieving community. You often hear me talk about our mission here at Truth for Life.

Our goal is to teach the Bible with clarity and relevance. We do this knowing there are three outcomes that will result as God's word is taught first. Unbelievers will become followers of Jesus. Second, those who already believe you will have a better understanding of Scripture will be more established in their faith and third pastors and church members will be encouraged to rely solely on the Bible as the centerpiece for their worship and the source of their fellowship. We also take great care to select biblically sound books on a wide variety of topics. These books are chosen to help you grow in your faith recommending today a book titled women and God hard questions. Beautiful truth, the author of the book looks to Scripture to explore why God made women the way he did. What is his plan for a woman's role. Why is different from the role he gave to man. How should we honor these unique differences in a world that often blurs them together just a few days left for you to request your copy of women and God.

It's available when you give to support the teaching you hear in this program.

Just click on the picture of the book in the app is a Truth for Life.org/donate. If you request women in God with the donation and would like to purchase additional copies to share with others are always available in our online store and there available to purchase at cost or books are available while supplies last.

So if you'd like to purchase additional books.

It's best to do so. While the book is being offered popular titles often select quickly to find out what's currently available go to Truth for Life.org/store about Lapine glad you joined us today. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and can worship together with your local church. Be sure to listen Monday will learn how to restore a dwindling church by doing the basics will most of the time. The Bible teaching of Alister big is furnished by Truth for Life learning is prolific


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