Deeply Rooted: Assurance - Message 2 - Part 2

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Tune in to listen to Pastor Mike give his messages on Assurance in Tennessee at the Deeply Rooted Conference.  

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Welcome to No Compromise Radio Ministry, deeply rooted conference assurance. What we've done is we've taken these messages that I preach down in Tennessee with deeply rooted podcasts,
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Justin Bice's permission. We're playing them on No Compromise Radio. We hope you're encouraged.
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Well, God, thankfully, generously, graciously, kills an animal and covers
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Adam and forgives his sin. What Adam deserved, that animal got.
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But there still needs to be obedience. There still needs to be
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God's creature, Adam, to obey. And so many times people think, well, why did
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Jesus just not come down on Friday, die and be raised from the dead on Sunday? Because Jesus need to come and to be the perfect man and to obey
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God, to perfectly, entirely, exactly and perpetually obey God.
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What are those things, what do they call those little marshmallow things during Easter that are at the cash register that look like little chickens?
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Peeps. I want to redeem peeps for you tonight. I want you, every time you go to the supermarket around Resurrection Sunday time, you see the peeps and I want you to redeem the peep.
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Peeps aren't just these marshmallow things, but I want you to remember personal, entire, exact, perpetual obedience.
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Peep, that's the acronym, peep, because that's what God requires to get into heaven. And so justification is not simply forgiveness.
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God doesn't want to just forgive you, he blesses you, how? Yes, he forgives your sins and trespasses and iniquities and all the words for sin, because Jesus paid for that, even though he was sinless.
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He didn't die for his own sins, he paid for those sins and we know it was an effectual salvation and death because the
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Spirit of God vindicated him by raising him from the dead. But he also lived for us and Jesus actually perfectly, entirely, exactly and perpetually obeyed for you.
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He didn't have to for himself, he's inherently righteous. Can you imagine, have you ever met a man who's never sinned?
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Who could say, I always do what's pleasing to the Father, only the Lord Jesus. And so if we have
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Jesus's righteousness, his obedience, we have sin forgiven by the Lord Jesus, confirmed by the resurrection, how can any charge be brought against us?
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He goes on, verse 34, who is to condemn? I mean, if judgment has been given by the
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Father to the Son, will the Son condemn us? No, because Christ Jesus is the one who died, more than that, who was raised, who is at the right hand, who is indeed interceding for us.
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Like Hebrew 7 says, do you know Jesus always lives to make intercession for you? You ever had a prayer partner?
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I think I've lost five people in my life that while they were living, they've said to me,
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Mike, we pray for you every day. Now, I think other people probably pray for me every day, but five ladies, one lady named
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Iva, and she was a dear lady, 80 years old, and she said, Mike, I pray for you every day.
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And then Iva died, I have one less person to pray for me, believe me, I need these prayers every day.
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And I think, that's true, it's good to have prayer partners, it's good to have prayer warriors for you. Sometimes you have no ministry except to pray, that's the greatest ministry.
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But like it's been said by many folks, if I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies.
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Yet distance makes no difference, He is praying for me. I mean, if Jesus is praying for you now, you're safe.
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I think last time I checked, every prayer that Jesus ever prayed, God answered, yes.
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Your assurance is based outside of you. Your assurance is based on the empty tomb.
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Your assurance is based on who Jesus is. And by the way, one of the ways you could increase your assurance is to study
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Sola Fide, justification by faith alone, because it's all about who Jesus is. It's about His righteousness, about Him paying for our unrighteousness.
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It's about this great declaration where that gavel goes down to be reminded, I stand before God based on the work of another.
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If I were to come to your worship service and watch the Lord's Supper, I wonder what it would be about.
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You say, well, you know, we're supposed to examine ourselves and you have to be careful there. Okay, I agree, the text says it.
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But remember what the Lord Jesus said, do this in remembrance of your sin, do this in remembrance of me.
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The table is to remind us about the Lord Jesus. Here's the table, here's a means of grace. Dear Christian, I know you're thinking,
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I know you don't wanna think this, but I know you're thinking that you're standing before God as based on your holy living this week.
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And the table reminds you you're standing before God as based on the work of another. You're welcome.
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What's close fellowship back in the day? To have dinner together, to be invited. Can you imagine every single time you celebrate the
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Lord's Supper? The picture is, as Sean talked about today, and I'll add, the picture is, you're welcome to eat at the table of Jesus.
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Please come and have dinner with me. Please come and have fellowship. Here, sit at my right hand. Here, be with me.
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Recline at the table with me. That's what the Lord's Supper proclaims. I mean, how many times have we been in churches?
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I think I used to do this as a pastor for years. It's just the beat down and you're like, I don't even think I should.
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And I said an untoward thing to my wife. Of course, confess those. Take care of those before you even have the
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Lord's Supper. I understand, yes, do that. But the Lord's Supper is about the Lord. And he's offering you with this great anticipation.
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One day there's gonna be the ultimate supper. It's the Lord's Supper. My wife said to me sometimes, you know what?
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It seems like the Lord's Supper at our church is like a funeral. Who died?
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Well, I wanna say, well, Jesus died. Yeah, but she'd say, well, who rose? You get to be asked to the
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Lord Jesus's table. You're welcome at the table. Yes, but what about my unholy living this week? I know, paid for.
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Confess it, wash your hands, wash your feet, and sit down at the table and dine. Your holiness, as I said last time, is not your
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Savior. The Lord is. When darkness seems to hide his face,
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I rest on his unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.
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His oath, his covenant, his blood support me in the whelming flood. When all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay.
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When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in him be found, dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before his throne.
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That's why when you have a low assurance, the answer is not simply to do more and to do more good works.
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It's back looking to the Lord Jesus. Question two. Why must we start with objective assurance?
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Why do I call it objective assurance? Because the object is Jesus. Why must we start with objective assurance? I've said it many times tonight, but just to make it explicit, is because we start with justification and then we move to sanctification.
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We start with Christ for us, declared righteous, Christ in us, the
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Holy Spirit, power to say no to sin, mortification, yes to righteousness, vivification.
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If you start with sanctification first and holiness, you are going to really, really struggle.
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Case in point, turn your Bibles please to 1 John. 1 John. Many people have this book taught as a series or a test of saving faith.
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It couldn't be farther from the truth. This is a book to give you assurance, not to test you to see if you have it.
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And let's just have a little test here. What happens when you start with Christ in you, sanctification, subjective assurance before objective assurance?
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1 John chapter two. I've been to conferences before where the Q &A panel, I get asked this question.
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Well, Mike, you're talking about assurance all the time. What about 1 John three, or 1 John two, three and following?
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What about it? Let's read it. 1 John two, three. And by this, we know that we have come to know him if we keep his commandments.
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How you doing by the way with that? Whatever, whoever says I know him, but does not keep his commandments is a liar.
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And the truth is not in him. And whoever keeps his word in him, truly the love of God is perfected.
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By this, we know that we are in him. Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
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Amen. I agree. We could talk about the context and who John is writing to. But here's my point.
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If I told you, look at 1 John two, verse three, you should also be thinking, I think there's a couple other verses before 1
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John two, three. And those verses are 1 John two, verses one and two, the center of the book, the hub of the book.
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If you don't have these two verses, you don't have 1 John. It's all gone. These two verses revolutionize your thinking about 1
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John and turn it from test of saving faith to trying to grant you assurance. My little children, 1
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John two, one. I'm writing these things so that you do not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate, present tense, with the
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Father, face to face before the Father. Jesus Christ, we're not righteous, but he is the righteous.
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He is the propitiation. He assuages wrath for our sins, and not only ours, but also for the sins of the whole world.
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I mean, when I was a younger Christian, I basically wanted to fight about the end of verse two. Oh, it's just the whole world, the elect, this, that, or the other.
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We're missing the entire point if we do that. John writes, so that you might have joy, that you might have confidence that you're a
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Christian, you might not sin. But if you sin, you have an advocate. You have an advocate.
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What do they call people who try to represent themselves in court and have no lawyer? Pardon me?
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Did you say dumb? No. No. You have an advocate.
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A mediator stands between you and someone. To have a mediator between God and man, the man
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Christ Jesus. That's good. That's Job chapter nine. Oh, if only I could have a mediator, somebody who could touch
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God and touch me. And of course, only the God -man, the Lord Jesus, whose divine could do that and whose human could do that.
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But an advocate doesn't stand between you and someone else. Like a mediator, the advocate stands what?
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With you. Next to you. Beside you. I don't wanna sin.
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That's one of the reasons why he writes this. But if we do sin, and by the way, we do sin, we have an advocate with the
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Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. We have a defense attorney, right before the
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Father, the righteous one. Calvin said, if you wanna understand 1 John, of course, you wanna make sure you obey and you are holy and you have a duty.
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But he said, but we ought to observe the way in which the faith is confirmed. For the apostle says he wrote these things, that is, that eternal life is to be sought nowhere else but in Christ, in order that they who were believers already might believe, that is, make progress in believing.
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It is therefore the duty of the godly teacher in order to confirm disciples in the faith, to extol as much as possible the grace of Christ, so that satisfied with that, we may seek nothing else.
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And last question, number three, what's the proper way to look to Jesus? What's the proper way to look to Jesus?
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There's three ways. By faith, look to his person. By faith, look to his love. By faith, look to his promises.
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Take your Bibles and turn to John chapter nine, please. Let's look at the person of Jesus first.
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Of course, I never wanna disassociate his work from the person, but sometimes we're so involved with the great doctrine of reconciliation, redemption, propitiation, we forget about who
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Jesus the person is and we're just after what he's done. But who he is and what he's done go together. John chapter nine, it's more than a man being born blind.
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There's some spiritual aspects of spiritual blindness back here, but here's my point. If you go through John chapter nine and you wanna see the person and work of Jesus, it's amazing because in nine, you have this man that was born blind and he's brought, verse 13, before the
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Pharisees. They're asking him, what happened, verse 15. Verse 16, this man isn't from God.
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He doesn't keep the Sabbath. They say, verse 17, what do you say about him?
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Is he a prophet? Over and over and over. Then they bring his parents in. By the way, here's this young man who needs some help.
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I think it'd be fair to say that. The religious leaders are after him. His parents are after him.
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Who's gonna take care of this man? Who's gonna protect this man? Who's gonna provide for this man?
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Who in the world would shepherd this man? And the dumb moment is,
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John chapter 10 follows John chapter nine. Like, oh yeah, I forgot. John nine and John 10 go together.
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It's this long running theme and you see this great eternal son who becomes flesh and he's the great shepherd, just like Exodus chapter,
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Ezekiel chapter 34. And so what happens after all this? Truly, truly,
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I say to you, he who does not enter the sheep fold by the door but climbs in. By another way, that man's a thief and a robber,
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Pharisees. But he who enters by the door of the sheep shepherd is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens.
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The sheep hear his voice. He calls his sheep by his own name and leads them out. And what does he go on to say?
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He is the good shepherd and he lays down his life for the sheep. I love to read the gospels because yes,
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I see theologically what Jesus is doing but I see his person. How many times does it say he had compassion on the crowds?
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How many times does it say he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd? How many times does it say, oh, of Lazarus, he was so sad, he weeps.
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When Christ saw people in misery, his bowels yearned within him, Richard Sibbes says.
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You have to read that book, by the way, that Sean referenced, The Bruised Reed. That passage by Richard Sibbes.
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You know what Richard Sibbes' nickname was? I don't know if I have a nickname in our church. I hope I don't. Probably behind the scenes they call me something.
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What was the nickname of Richard Sibbes who talked a lot about dealing with bruised reeds, smoldering wicks?
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It's a funny nickname, kids. The sweet dropper. Sweet dropper. What do you mean the sweet dropper?
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Because he would just drop little sweet things about the Lord Jesus and his person all the time in the sermons. I teach preaching classes quite a bit and I say to my students, you men are so afraid to smile because people might think you're
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Joe Osteen. But when you're talking about the love of God, you better send a missionary to your face, come on.
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And I think we also, I know I did this in the past, so much ambiguity about the love of God and amorphousness and God loves everybody the same way.
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No special love, no redemptive love. It's just he loved, God is love, love, love and he's never holy. I think many times men in our public these days are afraid to talk about the love of God and Christ Jesus as this great shepherd.
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May that not be. And when you study Jesus in the
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Gospels, my question for you is, if Jesus was so kind to sinners on earth, is he any less kind now that he's in heaven?
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And he's your savior? Of course not. Probably every morning, nine times out of 10,
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I get up and have a cup of coffee, I'm reading my Bible and then when I get ready, getting my clothes on and everything like that,
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I just listen to the Bible being read. And probably 80 % of the time, I'm listening to John chapter five through John chapter 10.
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Just over and over and over, just thinking about who Jesus is, who Jesus is, who Jesus is.
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I was helped by that because J .I. Packer said, lots of times people think that if you read the epistles, that's really the mark of spirituality.
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But Packer said, this attitude is a very bad sign, suggesting that we're more interested in theological notions than in fellowship with the
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Lord Jesus in person. We should think rather of the theology of the epistles as preparing us to understand better the disciple relationship with Christ that's set forth in the
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Gospels. And should never let ourselves forget that the four Gospels are, and as often and rightly been said, the most wonderful books on earth.
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Not only should you look to the person of Jesus, but also by faith in the scriptures to the love of God.
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To the love of God. Turn your Bibles to first John chapter four while we're there in first John.
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I think we're just in chapter two. I just looked down at my tie and thought
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I had salmon on my tie. And I thought I was quite the hypocrite. I've got salmon on my tie. Stood at the door one time, greeted people before COVID, and a lady came up to me with all seriousness.
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And she said, I don't like your tie. I'm like, welcome to New England. I didn't say anything, but I wanted to say, how in the world could you say that when your husband's got a polyester suit on with some tie from like 1930?
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But now the 1930 ties are in. So I'm glad I didn't say it. If you had to define the love of God, how would you define it?
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Well, how would John define it? Beloved, first John four seven, let us love one another for love is from God.
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And whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love.
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In this, the love of God was made manifest among us that God sent his only son, only begotten son should be translated into the world so that we might live through him.
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Listen, verse 10, and this is love. Not that we have loved
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God, but that he loved us and tied together here theologically. He wants you to think of something when you think of love.
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He loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation, assuaging wrath for our sins.
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John is saying, when you think about love, I want you to think about the father sending the son to be a propitiation.
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When you think about propitiation, you think about love. When you think about love, you think about propitiation.
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When you think about propitiation, it will be because you're thinking about the son.
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One of the most important things that can happen when you're a Christian and you realize that you're a child of God, yes, even a son or a daughter, is your relationship to God has changed from God being judged and now
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God being father. This is what we call the third use of the law.
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God is holy, his law is holy. God's law is not floating around out there somehow. It's a reflection of his essence and his nature and he's holy and therefore his law is holy.
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And he expects obedience. But now that we are in Christ, instead of having the law condemn us and show us the need of a savior, the law guides us and teaches us how to live.
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And now we have a relationship with God as father. And if you disobey the father, of course you get chastened, but you don't get kicked out of the family.
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It's very, very fascinating when I think about the relationship I have between God now as father.
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In my church study, I put up some pictures of children who draw pictures of me while I'm preaching.
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We have a pulpit mic that's here and I always bend it down because I have one of these annoying things on my ear.
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So they draw a pulpit and they draw their little microphone down like that and then they draw like stick figures of me.
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And they come and they bring them to me and they say, pastor, we drew a picture of you. Thinking what parent will let their kid eat
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Cheetos and draw pictures during worship service? I don't think they'd say that. I say, oh, thanks.
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I get down. Oh, that's me. Thank you. And I put it up. I'm gonna get me some tape. I'm gonna put that up right now.
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Why do I do that? The pictures are awful. I hate them. I don't look like that at all.
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They're gross. But when God is our father, he accepts our less than perfect works because he accepts us in Christ.