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Summary: 7 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-VII

—1John 3:16b-19(3:10--4:21)

Attention:

There will always be people who attempt to place all belief systems ‘in the same basket’ as it were. Claiming that all of them—Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, etc.— are ‘chasing after’ the same things, albeit in their own way.

And such people are satisfied that there are ‘many ways’ to a single conclusion regarding God’s existence & work in the world. These are convinced that God is ‘unknowable.’ And so the ‘details’ about God & from God can then be easily filled in ‘at will’—that is, thru a seemingly intelligent but desperately subjective will.

However to do that, paints with such stylized uniformity & broad strokes, that the ‘details’ of reality are completely covered, rather than openly revealed.

God’s people must see the importance, the seriousness, & the security of their Moving Toward Spiritual Discernment.

The Church gathering together, is for the purpose of being encouraged & strengthened in it’s Movement Toward Spiritual Discernment.

Spiritual discernment is fulfilled thru the scrutiny of godly love.

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?

--OR--

•What must be recognized in moving ourselves, the church, & others toward spiritual discernment.

Some things we must recognize when moving toward spiritual discernment.

These past weeks we’ve found 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)

•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.

‘Recognition’ of the things we’ll examine indicates the heart’s acceptance of what drives a person to honor God with their behavior.

Today we’ll look at the fact that...

6—Moving toward spiritual discernment recognizes...

FREEDOM’s(Unhesitating) RESPONSE(3:16b-19)

Explanation/Argumentation:(3:16b-19)

3:16—“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

*This sentence(:16b) sets the precedence in general terms, for the practical aspects of it that are detailed in verses :17-19.

“And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”—

Without the intervention of God in your life, you can only live by humanly derived love. And humanly derived love is untouched by God directly, & so can only BRIEFLY or MOMENTARILY experience agaph love:—When you fall head-over-heels in love; When you have a child; When you put yourself in danger to protect your wife &/or your children; When you ‘stress’—Over your children—Their education(spiritual & secular)...Their friends & girlfriend or boyfriend...Their being out at night....Their choice of a marriage partner...Their job choice, their career path, etc.; ...When you ‘stress’ over the one to whom you are a caregiver—nobody else in your family is equipped to give of themselves in that manner, & there is no means of affording professional help, etc., etc.

And thus by properly ‘applying’ Christ’s example, His people are also to “lay down” our very ‘soul’(quch) ‘for the sake of’, or ‘in behalf of’(uper) our Christian brothers & sisters(“the brethren”).

Jn. 13:34-35—““A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.””

•John IS NOT suggesting that anyone other than Jesus can atone for another’s sin—no one else has or can!—No one other than God can or has willingly surrendered His divine attributes in order to ‘take on’ human flesh. All people are answerable to God Almighty!

•John IS stating a godly principle—that Christian family loves & actively lives out that love thru Christian family. And that they do so mutually to the utmost of the other’s benefit. Christian family loves Christian family so much so, that the real benefit to a brother or sister ALWAYS involves losing one’s own life[quch] for their sake(Mat. 16:25), in Christ may even involve the loss of one’s physical life.

•Mat. 16:25—““For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

•And lest anyone get high-minded thinking a mere mental concept of love is enough:

1Cor. 13:3-8a—“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails....”

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