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Certainty Through Experience

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
September 23, 2022 9:00 am

Certainty Through Experience

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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September 23, 2022 9:00 am

The first disciples believed in Jesus because of the miracles they witnessed. But how can we in the 21st century have that same experience and the same level of assurance?

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Today on Summit with JD Greer, how do you know that your experience with God is real, you know you swept up in some kind of crowd deception. You know that you're actually part of the movement. Most people that I don't have dealt with this question, you probably probably I'm your host Molly bit events okay. How great would it have been to actually see Jesus firsthand the first disciples witnessed some pretty incredible miracles that really solidified their beliefs the healing of the sick and blind in the calming of storms and of course the resurrection itself, but now that Jesus has returned to heaven. How can we possibly have that same solid assurance that those first disciples had that are subject today as Pastor JD continues our new teaching series titled short if you miss any of the previous messages you can catch up online. JD today. Pastor Jamie has called his message certainty through experience. So let's jump right in to get out of the book of first John I shot is all about how you could know that the gospel that you believe is true and how you can know that your experience with God is genuine. As I mentioned, the epistle of first John was written by John who was one of the closest disciples to Jesus personally and here is the question that he returns to over and over and over again in this letter is how can you know that your experience with God is genuine, but it's interesting to me that most of the letters of the New Testament identify specific target audience to the churches in Galatia, Galatians, to the churches in Ephesus. Ephesians 2 Timothy two Titus, John is one of the only letters that does not identify target audience is. This is something that everybody deals with how do you know that your experience with God is real, you know you swept up in some kind of crowd deception. How do you know that you're actually part of the movement. Most people that I know have dealt with this never asked the question you probably you probably should have told you last week that that meant.

To that end I have my own book coming out called stop asking Jesus in your heart how to know for sure that you were saved, the same questions that summer because of how many times I dealt with my life and how many people I talked to at our church dealt with the question about five points. John is about five points he makes an answer to the question how you can know for certain that you know God. But here's the thing. He weaves them in an ounce in no particular order and jumbled together. If the apostle Paul had written this book will be like .1 subpoints appoints a boy .2 subpoints appoints a boy that etc. jobs like point which honestly makes personal little difficult to teach. If you been reading it makes all five points about every seven versus so what were working to do this for five weeks is go to the book of first John, probably four times picked up themes penetrates them through the book of first John the thing that we are going to chase this morning. Is this what it is how you can be certain about your experience with God through an experience of fellowship with him how you can be certain that what you believe is true through an experience of fellowship with him else when you what I mean by that Bible verse John chapter 1. Let's look at verse one, verse John 11.which was from the beginning. John says that which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and in touch with her hands concerning the word of life. The life was made manifest as we have seen and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the father and was made manifest to us now. There for a minute and think about what John is actually trying to say John is saying that the reason that he was so sure about what he was teaching is that he and the other apostles actually saw Jesus they observed his miracles. They felt his resurrected body. John is saying this is not a is important to note that the apostles listen, never attempt to draw their authority from the fact that Christianity is a superior explanation of the world. They draw their authority from the fact that Jesus was God come down from heaven and verified to them through his miraculous works. The proof of Christianity to them was not and how wise Jesus is teaching seem to them. The approved of them was the fact that Jesus had miracles and resurrection to back it up great example of this in John's Gospel, John records the story of a man who had been born blind which Jesus out of God's judgment that Jesus healed and so this guy's never been educated, he was blinded never to go to school so the religious leaders get this guy who's been healed and they say to him, you can't go around saying that Jesus healed you because we theologians know that Jesus is a sinner and that Jesus teaches wrong things to God's response is absolutely classic. John 925. Whether he is a sinner or not, I would have to let you theologians and professional philosophers decide.

One thing I know I was blinded. Now I see what John is saying is the reason that we are or are sure about what we believe we can explain it all because Jesus rose from the dead. We actually saw we touch them. We felt the wounds in his body after his resurrection, and in light of his resurrection. We decided to doubt the doubts that we had and we decided to trust in Jesus, but away before I move on. John's statement here confronts one of the most commonly held cultural assumptions about religion in our culture most commonly held assumption about religion is that it's personal preference. Right it works for you then work for me this earlier works for me and it's it's subjective preference. It's not objective truth… You quote from Immanuel Kant. He was the father of modern philosophy. I got the stuff of religions are not objectively true. There subjectively helpful difference in objective and subjective truth that we have that's never minute difference in such subjective is preference is what's true for you.

Objective is what's true regardless subjective if I say are you you-I say I'm not not meeting. I'm good-looking but I mean if I'm likability objectively false. But if I said I feel hot I feel hot. There are about to be here would neither have you got a lot to others of being here to see your beloved like I feel cold now, except that I'm right and you're wrong. It's based on how either of us feel my wife and I have this discussion about every night before we go to bed its eyes gold is just it's it's true for both of us.

That's subjective. But then there's objective truth like what is the F I said, what is the capital of New York and you said all clearly New York City most famous city in New York it's cities and I seem to twice its units is clearly out of the New York City that does make sense might well yes you guessed, but no, it's actually Albany and I well enough to really passionately about it be in New York City that works for the better. It's easier to remember and you turn around to your friends you like look all will always back here in the section we also like it to be New York City and majority rules and so New York City is our capital, New York.

You and I appreciate that no matter how you feel or how many people agree with you you're wrong because there's only one B organize Albany. People love to put Christianity in the subjective preference. It works for you. What John is saying is nothing subjective about the resurrection of Jesus. We believe this because it made us feel warm and cozy on a winter night. We believe this because I got the day I got out of the grave and that's where our preferences stop and his objective reality started.

Now some of you eliciting this young well okay good for John grab you kudos to him. He got to see Jesus and touch up. What good does that do for me to see and touch Jesus. That's a great question.

I'm so glad you asked. Verse three that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you so that you too may have fellowship with us. Fellowship means a shared experience in Greek is the word coin in the what John is saying is we wrote these things that you would be in the same boat with us so that you would have the same kind of experiences with Jesus that we had experiential knowledge of God, but you say will how to observe Jesus's miracles to see the things you feel the things that he that he felt dim, great question answers in verse two Jesus that John touch watch this and the miracles that John observed were a manifestation of the life of God. A life that you can share in the miracles that Jesus did were never an end to themselves. The miracles were always a pointer. They were called signs that pointed beyond himself to some higher reality. That's what assigned us right at points outside of itself, something else to Jesus's miracles were Jesus did not prove he was the son of God by levitating it all you like it would've that our original put numbers behind your smile back in and guess what they were freezing himself in a black eyes for six months or six Jesus's miracles always had a message and it pointed beyond themselves to a reality that you were to participate in an example, John chapter 6 John records Jesus feeding the 5005 loaves and two fish. But Jesus explains that wanted that miracle is not that he could do magic with loaves of bread.

The point is that he is the bread of life and all those who are spiritually starving, income and feast upon him, and they will find the deepest part of their soul satisfied. Here's a question you ever experience that you ever had the experience of having the love of God so overwhelmed that you realize that it is more glorious and more satisfied any of the rest of the bread will get right back to today's teaching in just a moment. First let me you about our current resource for our Senate like listeners. One thing I've learned is that our greatest joy comes not when were working overtime to impress when were serving him from gratitude and the difference maker is the gospel.

This amazing gift that God is giving us doesn't merely printer ticket.

Having tried everything that we do as believers make these lessons are hearing on the program personal with an eight session video Bible study. This resource makes a great group Bible study steps submit these truths with those that live whatever the study looks like you like to encourage you to reserve this curriculum sent today by calling eight 335-1520 or visit us John chapter 4 Jesus this shady woman who has all the secrets and a passion. Jesus reveals that he knows every single thing about her eaters things that nobody else is ever known. He knows all dark and dirty secrets, but he loves her. Anyway you ever had that experience were God's spirit basically reveals to you in your heart to God is everything about you, but he loves you he loves you even despite the fact that you are flawed and despite the fact that you are shameful that his log presses in on you and you had the sense of love and acceptance that you have never known that heavenly father. The universe presses in on you and sweeps you up that you had that experience because that's what John 422 book about book of Mark chapter 4 Jesus is into the boat is asleep with his disciples on the middle of the ocean and the storm is raging finger to die care so awake about what go to Paris do you stand on what sleep out of his eyes will drives like hey shut up to the storm fingers home you ever had that experience. Maybe not you exactly like that but there was something going on in your life and you prayed and God stood up and God called the storm, or maybe even better yet God called the storm in your heart and God showed you that even when the circumstances around you are out of control. He was in the boat with you in his loving sovereignty was in control and he brought peace to your heart in the middle of a great storm has that ever happened. That's the life of God that he things are .211 favors Mark chapter 8 Jesus in one of the strangest miracles recorded that I still cannot figure out I'm certain details and here I'm like I have no idea what happened Jesus meets a bondman side of the hill and the hawkers on the ground and you German folks are like what in the world he do it usually starts on the ground.

That's a strange part but I can figure out here's strange part he takes the mud made from his spit any whites on the guys eyes and says now wash it off got washed as it often Jesus, can you see now because as well, sort of things Gloria and I see people walk around the trees so Jesus for the rent again makes more whites on his eyes, watches it off. It is now you say because I got into 20/20. Now why did you do it that way.

What were Jesus's batteries low the first time that he not you misfire like you glance off the guys eyes are going like your dog or something, or what habits why did he do it because it was a sign. It was a sign of how God brings awakening to you.

Have you ever had a similar experience where as God begins to come in your life, you start to see some things a greater clarity, but then as you walk with Jesus more he brings even more clarity to your life until you begin to see clear spiritually that it's not always a one stop process. Sometimes you had that what John is saying to you is all these miracles were things appointed to an actual experience with God and the question is are you having those experiences coined in the I is an experiential word as you experience these things, you gain greater confirmation that this is all true Christianity is very much a taste and see religion. This sometimes the best evidence for the greatest assurance comes from how you're the life of God confirms that this is true about ligament limits from clear. I'm not saying that the proof of Christianity rest on your experience.

What I'm saying is these experiences that you have validate what the Bible teaches because they give you a felt sense of the things that you're reading the Bible is the word of life is made manifest to you Christianity is an experience felt religion in which you interact with an actual God. This theme reappears in a different form in first John chapter 2, so flip over one chapter in your Bible, let's go to first John two Michelle John talks about here burst onto verse 21st John 220 is what John says but you have been anointed by the holy one, the Holy Spirit and you all have knowledge, who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Verse 26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you, but the anointing that you received from him abides in you and you have no need that anyone should teach you that we be clear, this is not say that I should not have a job okay you don't need a teacher in a fireplace that's already saying let's be very clear about that. What he is saying is little confusing but he is saying that the Holy Spirit gives you an innate sense of God in which the truth about Jesus just makes sense to you.

That's the anointing he's talking about. You had this sense of God.

We like we had that just makes sense.the voice of God is what's John Calvin called a census. The been atop this or a sense of the divine and it works like every single one of your other senses if I walk up to you and touch you on your arm and say how do you know that I touched you. It's not because you build a philosophical case for why I'm there in your there. It says that what I sense that I felt it the way that you perceive the truth about God is God gives you a sense for your like we have. That's the voice of God. You hear the voice of God. I don't mean actual words in your head but you hear the voice of God. That's God… God is speaking in that other people hear the sound but they don't discern the voice of God, which is what I can understand why you're doing what you're doing, they could see the light but they don't know it's the voice of God that makes sense is he gives you an innate sense of God that works like every other sense now under some of your like all that how come, what about people who say they can't sense God will see the apostle Paul is soonest possible. Says one of things that happen as a result of the fall is that we lost our ability to sense God that we are now spiritually blind our hearts are dull our ears are closed so the voices speaking but we cannot hear it's so what God does when he awakens you easy gives you years to hear a voice that is speaking old-time God created you with the ability to know him. But sin, clogged up those ears, God gives you ears to hear, that's a process we call regeneration regeneration just means making alive again. He is making new God regenerates your ears so that you have ears to hear the voice of God and eyes to see what has been speaking the whole time, and by the way, do so were clear. That's grace that's not something you're smart enough or moral enough to figure out on your own. God gives it as an act of grace to you.

People act like you're doing God a favor for believing in him new/God does not need you to believe in him got already believes in himself.

He knows he's real he's not paid a complement by the fact that you believe in him is an act of grace that God gives you the ability to see him.

That's his grace to you. That's why it is for the book of John, Jesus prophetically say things like this label has ears to hear letter near there is a sense of the Holy Spirit gives you that anointing. That just gives you ears to hear what God has been saying so that you hear the voice of God as you read the Bible and you say that's him for taking notes. Write this down one of the signs that you really know God is you have fellowship going to kneel with him to the spirit, God begins to come alive to you, God begins to speak to you. It's not just doctrines that you're learning. It's not just listen a lifestyle that you're practicing. It is a God that your fellow shipping with God is speaking to you.

You taken a drug is outgoing in the cornea is the manifestation of the word of the gospel in your heart coined Amia is the manifestation manifestation meet magnification. In John's day there was a movement called Gnosticism, which is really just an old version of the New Age movement is nothing new about the New Age movement.

It's as old as hell itself. That's what comes out of it. It's what Satan pulled on them in the garden. Babies like a liquid in them by God. John, the gun not talking about that because that some of the spirit does the spirit didn't reveal himself. He reveals the gospel towards what the spirit, I told you is like the lights on the Washington Monument driven through DC on the interstate like 10 miles away and you can see the Washington Monument and the reason is because millions of dollars of lights have gone into liking that monument, but you never noticed lights all you notice is what they are illuminated the spirit of God doesn't illuminate himself. The spirit of God illuminates the gospel so that the gospel comes alive in your heart is never things that contradict Scripture by the way, a genuine experience with God. Fellowship coined Amia is the magnification of the word of the gospel in your heart you begin to feel the word of life.

The cross becomes larger. Your sin gets more bitter and more real. God's grace gets sweeter. The old words of life press in on your heart, and they become mutually like I described before looking at one of those white looking at one of those magic eye pictures cross your eyes just right. See the three-dimensional image and it reviewed first time that you saw those things totally affected razor at you like oh yes it does. You stared at it for an hour. You can see, you get to people looking at the same think right. One of them just sees a morass of meaningless dots and the other one by looking at it the correct way sees a three-dimensional image coming out of it. He's talking about is not new doctrines that you learn assist of the old ones take on a very felt an experiential knowledge of them when suddenly listen the doctrines of the gospel suddenly come alive in your heart and you realize that it's not a statement about what Jesus did in the past. It's a statement about what he did for you and becomes personal. That ever happened to you. John Wesley was that you know when the guys behind the great awakening who was one of our country's greatest evangelist ever talked about when he was converted PI EEE was that I was not a Christian friend of invited him to church for an evening service that started at 9 o'clock in the evening.

The preacher that evening. I just had not prepared his sermon so the preacher was just reading the introduction to Luther's commentary on the book of Romans not talk about a recipe for a nap church at 9 o'clock, where pastor is reading the introduction from a 300-year-old book that's that's not but John Wesley says he says about me just quote them at about 9:15 as the pastor ran Luther describing the change which God works in the heart remaining right. I felt my heart suddenly and strangely warmed. I saw in that moment that Christ had taken away my sins, even mine and that he had saved me from the law of sin. It when he did learn something new, just came alive during daily reality, we can personally experience your listening to Summit life with pastor and author JD Greer.

We are passionate about bringing gospel centered Bible teaching many people as possible free single day, but that's only possible thanks to supporters like you. When you donate your really getting to your fellow listeners helping them dive deeper into the gospel through these daily messages and free online resources. We are so grateful for your partnership and to say thanks for your donation at the suggested level of $50 or more will send you a video-based Bible study by Pastor JD simply titled gospel. The objective of this Bible study is to help you. Simply abide in Jesus entire curriculum can is yours when you generously give to support this ministry today so ask for the gospel Bible study Additional study guides when you get by calling 866-335-5220 866-335-5224 donate and request the online fear failure on the website. Don't forget to spring up for our weekly newsletter ministry update information about new resources on the streets here in completely distinct JD I'm only benefit you to join us next learning experience sure to listen Monday to Summit my

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