1 Peter 5:4 Psalm 23 John 10:27-20
Seven Statements: From Chuck Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary (page 108)
1. Never forget that we’re living in treacherous times – Matthew 24:11; 2Timothy 3:1-9
2. Doctrinal discernment plays a vital role in surviving . . . and thriving – 2 Timothy 3:14-16; 1 Timothy 4:1-16
3. Historical roots and doctrinal truth must continue to be valued and embraced – 1 Peter 1:10; Jude 1:1-25
4. Each generation of believers has a serious responsibility to keep the faith – 2 Timothy 3:10-17
5. The church’s leaders are called to guide well the church’s ministry – Ephesians 4:1-16
6. The church’s leaders are given the task of guiding the church’s people – Epehsians 4:1-16; Acts 20:28-32
7. A strong and healthy church today is no guarantee of the same tomorrow – ! Timothy 4:1
Quick facts on 1 John: (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary vol.14 Page 10).
It was written around AD 90.
It was written either in Ephesus or Patmos by John the apostle, son of Zebedee
Why was it written?
So that believers would have fellowship with the Father and the Son and fellowship with one another in the Spirit resulting in a joyful clean discerning and confident life. (1: Jn. 1:3-4; 2:1; 5:13).
• Fellowship produces a joyful life (1:1-10).
• Fellowship produces a clean life (2:1-17).
• Fellowship produces a discerning life (2:18-4:6)
• Fellowship produces a confident life (4:7-521)
• Spirit = pneuma (Strongs 4151) “breath or wind”
• Test = dokimazo (Strongs 1381) to examine, check it out, is it really authentic.
• Confess or acknowledge = homologeo (Strongs 3670) factual, wholehearted, a profession of allegiance ie (Titus 1:16).
• Truth versus Error
• Children of God versus antichrist (those in the world, those from the world, see also Eph.2:1-10).
• We are victors not victims.
Quote from Francis A Schaeffer, Two Contents, Two Realities
…First it means Jesus had an eternal pre-existence as the second person of the Trinity, and then it means he came in the flesh. When a prophet or a spirit comes to you, the test of whether he should be accepted or rejected is not the experience that the spirit or prophet gives you nor is it the strength of the emotion which the spirit or the prophet gives you. Nor is it any special outward manifestation that the spirit or the prophet may give you. The basis of accepting the spirit or prophet—and the basis of Christian fellowship—is Christian doctrine. There is no other final test. Satan can counterfeit and he will.
Also Francis A. Shaeffer states in his book “The Church at the end of the 20th Century page 103,
. . . biblical Christianity must make very plain that it will deal only with hot communication. Biblical Christianity rest upon content, factual content. it does not cause people to react merely emotionally in the first-order experience.
. . . Our faith must be discriminating, discerning, distinguishing faith.
“Do not believe every spirit” and “test the spirits” (4:1).
Seven Statements: ( From Chuck Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary page 108).
1). Never forget that we’re living in treacherous times (Matt.24:11; 2Tim.3:1-9).
2). Doctrinal discernment plays a vital role in surviving . . . and thriving (2 Tim. 3:14-16 1 Tim.4:1-16).
3). Historical roots and doctrinal truth must continue to be valued and embraced (1 Pet.1:10; Jude 1:1-25).
4). Each generation of believers has a serious responsibility to keep the faith ( 2Tim.3:10-17).
5). The church’s leaders are called to guide well the church’s ministry (Eph.4:1-16).
6). The church’s leaders are given the task of guiding the church’s people (Eph.4:1-16; Acts 20:28-32).
7). A strong and healthy church today is no guarantee of the same tomorrow (1 Tim. 4:1).
The author Scott David Allen in his book “Why Social Justice Is Not Biblical Justice” on pages 56-58 explains the ideological differences between Social Justice movement and the Biblical Worldview.
CORE TENETS OF IDEOLOGICAL SOCIAL JUSTICE CONTRASTED WITH THE BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW:
What is ultimately real?
• SJ: The human mind defines what is ultimately real.
• BWV: The God of Genesis 1:1 defines ultimate reality: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Who are we?
• SJ: Creatures whose identity is wholly socially determined. We are products of our race, sex, and gender identity.
• BWV: Creations and image bearers of a good, holy, and loving God with inherent dignity and immeasurable worth.
What is our fundamental problem as human beings?
• SJ: OPPRESSION: White, heteronormative males have established and maintained hegemonic (dominance or control over all facets of society) power structures to oppress and subjugate women, people of color, and sexual minorities.
• BWV: REBELLION: All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Our rebellion against God has resulted in broken relationships – between God and man, between man and his fellow man, and between man and his creation.
What is the solution to our problem?
• SJ: REVOLUTION: Oppressed victims and their allies must unite to unmask, deconstruct, and overthrow these oppressive power structures, systems, and institutions.
• BWV: THE GOSPEL: On the cross, God incarnate bore the punishment we deserved for sinful rebellion in order to show us a mercy we could never deserve. His death on the cross and His resurrection opened the way for the reconciliation of all our broken relationships.
How can we be saved?
• SJ: Victims are morally innocent and do not require salvation. Oppressors can never be fully pardoned, but partial salvation is available if they confess their complicity in oppression and support the revolution.
• BWV: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. … everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” ( Roman 10:9, 13)
What is our primary moral duty?
• SJ: To stand in solidarity with, protect, and defend the oppressed: women, people of color, sexual minorities (LGBTQ+),etc.
• BWV: To love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength ( which involves living in obedience to all that Christ commanded) and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
How do we know what is true?
• SJ: The notions of objective truth, reason, logic, evidence, and argument are discredited tools that oppressors employ to maintain their hegemony. We gain knowledge of “truth” through victims, who, based on their lived experience of oppression, have greater insight than oppressors. This is referred to as Standpoint Epistemology.
• BWV: Divine Revelation: (1) God’s written Word (2 Tim. 3:13); (2) the “law written on our heart,” or human conscience (Romans 2:15) and God’s revelation in creation (Romans 1:20). To this we apply our God given capacity for reason, logic, discussion, and debate to assemble and weigh evidence in pursuit of truth.
Who has ultimate authority?
• SJ: Victims are the final authority. The claims of victims based on their subjective, lived experiences must be believed without question.
• BWV: God ( and His revealed Word in Scripture) is the final authority.
Is there a future, final judgement?
• No. There is no god who will return to punish the wicked and reward the upright. Rather, injustice must be rooted out here and now by those with the power to do so.
• Yes. Jesus will return and accomplish perfect justice. He will preserve all that is good and rid the world of all that is evil. Until then, He extends mercy and forgiveness to sinful people.
Nobody Home, Nowhere To Run, Just a Dead End Alleyway (following quotes from the Complete Works Of Francis Schaeffer volume 4 & 5.
• “For man is not just a chance configuration of atoms in the slip stream of meaningless chance history”. NO, MAN, made in the image of God, has a purpose-to be in relationship to the God who is there.”
• “What marks our own generation? It is the fact that modern man thinks there is nobody home in the universe. NOBODY TO LOVE, NOBODY COMFORT HIM, even while he seeks desperately to find comfort in the limited, finite, horizontal relationships of life.”
• The Fragmentation of Humanity:
Theological: fragmentation between God and man
Psychological: fragmentation between man and his mind, his soul or heart
Sociological: fragmentation between man and his neighbor (humanity & nations)
What or who fills the fractures?
• Resulting ethos: The erosion of cultural norms (absolutes, form and freedom, the Constitutional authority) that has led to a vacuum thereby lending to an elite group who give authoritative arbitrary absolutes. To quote FAS “… if there is no absolutes by which to judge society, then society becomes absolute.”
Our confrontation now in America is with the Kingdom of Man: TYRANNY>ONENESS
Our Hope for Humanity comes in an Invitation to the Kingdom of God:
• Repent: “RETHINK YOUR THINKING. Repent , as Jesus commanded in Matthew 4:17. REPENT just means to turn back on how you are thinking about things and reconsider”.(book by Dallas Willard, “Living In Christ Presence” p. 15).
• Seek First the Kingdom of God:
Hebrews 11:6; Jeremiah 29:13
Authenticity in seeking
• The Story of Nicodemus: an example of authentic seeking
• Rebirth: Born IntoThe Kingdom Of God (Metamorphosis)
• A renewed existence, a second birth, the real you whom God indwells creating a masterpiece to accomplish great things in you and through you.
• A NEW PERSON: see 2 Corinthians 5:16-18
• A NEW IDENTITY: 1Peter 2:4-12
• A Kingdom Life: Colossians 1:11-14
Ephesians 2:1-10 Genesis 3 Genesis 6 Genesis 11 Genesis 12 Jeremiah 1:4-5 Jeremiah 29:11 Acts 17:22-31
John 21:9-19 2 Peter 1:1-3 Ephesians 4:13 Philippians 3:7-10
2 Corinthians 13:1-14 2 Corinthians 13:1-4 Paul’s Final Warning: Power of God/Christ crucified 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine/Test 2 Corinthians 13:8 Truth 2 Corinthians 13:11 Rejoice Aim for Restoration Comfort One Another Live in Peace 2 Corinthians 13:12 Greet Each Other 2 Corinthians 13:14 Grace Love Fellowship
Chuck Swindoll in his Study Bible:
I have found that searching questions are one of the most helpful ways to deal with my heart when it grows cold and distant or hard and calloused. Here are a few searching questions that I ask myself on occasion:
Has worship become merely formal and proper for me?
Has prayer become a series of meaningless words, just a matter of moving filthy lips, like Isaiah says?
Does God seem strangely distant and out of touch?
Have I forgotten that He really sees me and knows exactly where I am, what I’m doing, and why?
Am I getting too preoccupied with externals?
Is human opinion too important to me?
Do I allow my will to invalidate the authority of God’s Word in my life?
Are there wicked things being tolerated, even cultivated, in the deep chasms of my being?
Have I stayed in this condition so long that I’ve become blind to theses things?
I urge you to ask yourself searching questions like these. If you do it honestly, you will find that God is willing to come into the deepest places of your heart and transform you. Chuck Swindoll
Psalm 73:1-28 The Goodness of God but … Psalm 73:1 Asaph’s Reflections: Psalm 73:2-12 Asaph’s Responses: Psalm 73:13-16 Asaph’s Retreat: Psalm 73:17-20 Asaph’s Realness: Psalm 73:21-22 Asaph’s Rest: Psalm 73:23-28
Intro: A brief story of Esther 1) God is exact in all He does, you are no accident. He created you for the exact moment in which you are living. Acts 17:22-31 2) God is gracious towards all people, cultures and nations. 1 Peter 4:10; 2 Peter 3:15-18 3) You are His Workmanship. Ephesians 2:8-10…