Summary: 10 of ? The apostle John sheds light on the need for Spiritual Discernment in the Church. Spiritual Discernment is a necessity in the Church. But How is it to be achieved/accomplished? Moving(yourself, the Church, & others) toward spiritual discernment recognizes...
MOVING TOWARD SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT-X
—1John 3:23-24(3:19-24) of(3:10--4:21)
A woman rushes to see her doctor, looking very worried & frantic.
On the verge of tears, she rattles off, “Doctor, take a look at me. When I woke up this morning, I looked at myself in the mirror & saw my hair all wiry & frazzled up, my skin was all wrinkled & pasty, my eyes were blood-shot & bugging out, & I had this corpse-like look on my face! What's wrong with me, Doctor?”
The doctor looks her over for a couple of minutes, then calmly says,
“Well, I can tell you one thing . . . there's nothing wrong with your eyesight!”
Though it was lacking a great deal of detail, the doctor’s diagnosis was very Discerning!
*God’s people must also properly ‘spiritually diagnose’ themselves & their world in relation to God.
Individual Christians gather together, as the Church & body of Christ, for the purpose of being encouraged & strengthened in an overall Movement Toward Spiritual Discernment.
The apostle John shed light on a need for Spiritual Discernment in the Church.
Spiritual discernment is a necessity for the Church.
•How is Spiritual Discernment in the Church achieved/accomplished?
•What must be recognized in moving ourselves, the church, & others toward spiritual discernment.
We’ve found previously that:
Moving(yourself, the Church, & others) toward spiritual discernment recognizes...
1. OPPOSING SIDES(3:10)
•Children of God & Children of the Devil.
2. The FOUNDATIONAL MESSAGE(3:11)
•Love One Another.
3. IMPASSIONED BELIEF(3:12-13)
•Expressed from each side...The world hates you.
4(A-&-B). DECISIVE MOVEMENT(3:14-15)
•Passed from death to life.
5. FREEING EXPERIENTIAL KNOWLEDGE(3:16a)
•Knowing Jesus Laid Down His Life For Us.
6. FREEDOM’s(Unhesitating) RESPONSE(3:16b-19)
•Laying Down Our Lives For The Benefit of Our Brothers & Sisters In Christ.
7-A, B. A FREEING CONFIDENCE Of The HEART(3:19-22)(3:19-24)
•Assured of our relationship with God in our heart-of-hearts
Today we’ll continue looking at the fact that...
7-C—Moving toward spiritual discernment recognizes...
A FREEING CONFIDENCE Of The HEART-C(3:23-24)(3:19-24)
3:23—“And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ & love one another, as He gave us commandment.”
God’s “commandment” is inextricably/inseparably/inescapably bound up with “the name of” God’s only-begotten “Son Jesus Christ.”
•It is vital that a person “believes on” everything encompassed by “the name” of “Jesus Christ”(‘Anointed Savior’)...Because “the name” captures every aspect of who Jesus was, is, & will be.
•“The name” is further identified as being tied to God’s uniquely-begotten “Son”(Jn. 1:18; Lk. 1:35).
Jn. 1:18—“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”
Lk. 1:35—“And the angel answered & said to her[Mary], “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, & the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
You & I see people all the time who approach God as a heavenly ‘fairy’ or ‘wish-granter.’ And when their ‘wishes’ fall thru, they suppose God is anemic/powerless, & no different from other gods, because He does not answer their self-centered ‘prayers’ made in chosen ignorance.
Isa. 1:15—“When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.”
Isa. 59:1-3—“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity.”
•If God is not hearing your prayers, then He is actively CHOOSING to NOT pay attention to them!
Isa. 50:10—“Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD And rely upon his God.”
IF “JESUS” is NOT ‘FUNDAMENTAL’ to a person’s approach to asking something of God, then that person is praying to a false god & the wrong god! They are praying to a lesser god of their own making!
*Oh, & there is one other string/handle attached to God’s people getting their prayers answered(:22)...
•Those who see their prayers answered, are those who also “love one another” in Christ Jesus!
•The significance of the necessity of the Church’s “loving one another” in Christ, has been John’s whole point thru what we’ve been looking at from 3:10-18! Our verses here offer further evidence of that necessity.
In order for God’s people to see the answers to their prayers, they must simultaneously be living out a godly character of “loving one another” as God Himself has “given us commandment” to do. That is, our “love” for “one another” must be within the confines of God’s “commandment”—within His will for your/my “love.”