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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Damnable State of Hate


The Damnable State of Hate/Racism

The Blessed State of Faith

The Evidence

INTRO: Everyone in this room this morning was born with a sin nature and dead, spiritually speaking, without exception. To be dead spiritually is to be separated from God. It's entirely possible that some of you here this morning are still dead, separated from your Creator. To be dead in trespasses and sins is not a way of living we choose to live in, it is simply the state all of us are born in. But it is a state many choose to remain in.

According to the gospel of John, ch. 3, this is why. John 3:18-20 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. Without God's gracious and merciful intervention in our lives we all would have continued in that state.

TRANS: Lets take our Bibles and turn to 1 John, John's first epistle, not his gospel, and chapter 2. This is our starting point in our study this morning. We're going to go to other places in this same letter as we're recalling three kinds of evidence that stand either for us or against us presented in this letter. This is going to hopefully make us all eternally thankful that we have the Man Jesus as our attorney. 1 Jn. 2, vv9-11.

1 John 2:9-11 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

I'm not a lawyer and I've never played one on tv but I've watched a lot of Law and Order episodes, so I know what I'm talking about when I talk about the law and going to court and evidence.

ILLUS: Recently there was a preview on television of a movie that is playing now in theaters where two bumbling cops are speeding along a city street. One of the cops is scared out of his wits and says to the one driving, “What are you doing?” The other cop says, “Trust me. I've watched a lot of movies.” From what I've observed on tv shows there's basically two kinds of evidence presented in court. There's evidence for and there's evidence against. Does that sound pretty accurate?

Speaking of lawyers,

Q: What do you have when 100 lawyers are buried up to their necks in sand?

A: Not enough sand.

The first kind of evidence is that kind of evidence that's against the plaintiff, and here it is, “Hating your brother for any reason is evidence of an unsaved soul.”

1 John 2:9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

ARGU: That's disturbing, isn't it? We have all experienced hatred at times in our lives even as believers. But that isn't what this passage addresses. The verb “hates” refers to someone who lives in hatred to such a point that it characterizes his or her life. You and I know when we meet this kind of person what to expect. Sooner or later their hatred is going to come out.

It's like when we meet a person who's given to gossip. We know that sooner or later while we're talking they're going to gossip about someone.

Listen to these verses again:

1 John 2:9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

APPLI/ARGU: Did you catch that? But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. That speaks of the darkness and the deceitfulness of hatefulness.

Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ yet hate others who have faith in Jesus cannot see that they're dead and living in spiritual darkness. And please note that the hater is supposed to be a Christian because the one he hates is his “brother,” a Christian. This verse points out the darkness and deceitfulness of hatefulness that exists within the visible church..

It is common to be smug in one's hatefulness.

It is common to be comfortable in one's hatefulness. Being religious has a way of sanctifying sins. Being religious has a way of confusing light and darkness.

It is It is common to be blind to one's own hatefulness.

It is It is common to think one's hate is justifiable.

ILLUS/APPLI: Recent events that have been broadcast nation wide have brought haters to the surface. Police officers shooting unarmed men for whatever reason have kept the spirit of racism alive and well in our nation. And, beloved, racism has no place in the body of Christ. Racism is one manifestation of hatred. And hatred is the same as murder in God's judgment. 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

I love repentance. I need repentance occasionally. Perhaps you as one who is in Christ need the gift of repentance this morning. Remember, beloved, every Christian will experience hatred now and then but we don't live in it. We confess it and repent of it. I love repentance.

Even more, I love the grace of God. It may be that someone here this morning needs to experience the saving grace of God. It may be that the Spirit has shown you this morning that you are living in hate and that there is one remedy for it. If the Holy Spirit has shown you that then He has also shown you that Jesus is the Son of God.

Here is the second kind of evidence, the kind that is in favor of the plaintiff, and I'll phrase it this way, “Loving our brothers is evidence of the new birth.”

...and this evidence has evidence.

ILLUS/APPLI: I watch the tv show “Bones” and usually enjoy it. It is way beyond my head when they talk about scientific stuff but I do like it. If you've ever watched it you have probably noticed that cadavers can have lots of evidence within evidence. The body will show that the killer used a knife to kill the victim. But the stab wounds themselves will give evidence of what kind of knife was used. So when Bones and her husband or some other police officer finds a knife at the scene of the crime or in the home of a suspect, Bones can tell whether or not it was the weapon used in the murder.

ARGU: Here is the evidence within the evidence in our favor. Here is all the evidence we need in order to be able to say with confidence “I am in Christ. I am saved.”

#1, 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.

#2, 1 John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.

#3, 1 John 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

Can you see the evidence within the evidence? First you know that you love the brethren. Second you know you love the brethren because you are in Christ.

I will close with this, “God's love in us will always trump hate.”

10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

This is not to say we will never experience fleeting hate or hatred. It is to say that those who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ will recognize hatred when it arises and deny it from building a nest in our hearts.

Fleeting hate is like anxiety in a believer's life. We're told to be anxious for nothing, not to worry about anything, but we all experience times of worry and anxiety. It's what we do with worry and anxiety and hate when they arise that is important.

Where does the evidence lie in you life this morning? For or against you?

There's a simple solution. Your sins were paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. Trust Him if you're a Christian; trust Him if you aren't.




















































Inventory time again


An Inventory of Grace

In Paul's Letter To the Ephesians

Chapters 1-2



We are “saints,” “holy ones.” 1:1

We are blessed by God with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. v.3

We were chosen, predestined by God Himself before the foundation of the world. v.4

We were individually adopted by God Himself to be His children. v.5

We are the objects of His good pleasure. v.5

We are redeemed by the blood of Jesus. v.7

We have received abounding grace. v.8

We can now know the mystery of His eternal will. v.9

We have a guaranteed inheritance. v.11, 14

We have heard and believed the gospel. v.13

We are sealed by the Holy Spirit. v.13

We can know what God has done for us and given us in Christ. vv.17-19

We have the same power available to us that raised Jesus from the dead. v.19

We are the precious blood bought body of Christ .vv.22-23

We have been made alive out of a life of death and sin and trespasses. 2:1-5

We have been raised up with Jesus and made to sit in the heavenlies in Him. v.6

We have been saved by grace through faith. vv.8-9

We have a God-given purpose and work in this life. v.10

We Gentiles have been brought near to God by the blood of Jesus. v.13

We have peace with God in Him. v.14

We have been reconciled to God through the cross of Christ. v.16

We have on-going access to God the Father through Christ and by the Spirit. v.18

We are citizens of God's kingdom and members of God's household. v.19

We are a building built by God on the Rock foundation. v.20

We are the holy temple in the Lord. v.21

We are the dwelling place of God in the Spirit. v.22

A Spiritual Inventory


Taking a Spiritual Inventory

Ephesians

I never, ever liked taking inventory on any job I ever worked. It meant that we hirelings had to get up in every box or carton in our section and count and identify every little part we had on our shelves. Sometimes that meant I would be 20 ft. or more off the floor crawling around and over really dirty boxes and bins in order to identify the parts in a box and to count every loose part in open boxes. It was uncomfortable, boring and time consuming. And during inventory, the bosses seemed to be especially ill-tempered and picky, picky, picky.



TRANS/EXPLA/TEXT: This morning we're going to take an inventory of what every Christian possesses. We need to do this occasionally for our encouragement and it happens that Paul's letter to the Ephesians helps us do just that.

Ok, here's what we have on hand:

      1. We have every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies 1:3
      2. We are chosen and predestined 1:4, 5, 11
      3. We are holy and without blame 1:4
      4. We have His love 1:4, 2:4
      5. We are adopted 1:5
      6. We are accepted 1:6
      7. We are redeemed 1:7
      8. We have abounding grace 1:8
      9. We have a heavenly inheritance 1:11
      10. We have the Holy Spirit and His strength 1:13-14; 3:16
      11. We have the guarantee of eternal life 1:13-14
      12. We have the seal of assurance 1:13-14
      13. We have the wedding ring of assurance 1:14
      14. We have the hope of His calling 1:18
      15. The riches of the glory of His inheritance 1:18
      16. We have the exceeding greatness of His resurrection power working in us 1:19
      17. We have new life 2:4-5
      18. We have a new home, a new family and a new country 2:6, 19
      19. We have the soul-saving gift of faith 2:8-9
      20. We have liberty 2:16
      21. We have peace with God 2:14, 17
      22. We have access to the Father 2:18
      23. We possess the promises of God 3:6
      24. We have the knowledge of what God has done for us 3:1-7, 18-19
      25. We have the power of prayer 3:20
      26. We have gifts of the Holy Spirit for our encouragement and the building up of the body of Christ 4:11-16
      27. We have the whole armor of God 6:10-18
      28. We have the written word of God
      29. And, beloved, we have each other.