Tuesday, June 5, 2012

a window on spiritual reality (notes)


Here is Chris Faith's outline from Sunday's message, "A Window on Spiritual Reality", from John 17:1-5.  Sermon MP3 and PDF is here.  


Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."  (John 17:1-5)


A window on spiritual reality


I. Spiritual reality is all about relationships. 
II. The persons of God are caught up in glorifying one another.
III. Eternal life is experiencing relationship with the “other-glorifying” persons of the Triune God.


I. Spiritual reality is all about relationships.


Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world began. (John 17:5)


...baptizing them in the NAME of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  (Matthew 28:19)


Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  (I Corinthians 12:4-7)


“The doctrine of the Trinity is the central dogma of Christian theology, the fundamental grammar of our knowledge of God.” 


“The doctrine of the Trinity gives expression to the fact… that God has opened Himself to us.” 


“God draws near to us in such a way as to draw us near to Himself within the circle of His knowing Himself.” 


(Thomas Torrance, Trinitarian Perspectives)


So we see…
1. the community at the center of the universe draws near to us. 
2. in such a way as to draw us near to Himself (the US God)
3. within the circle of His knowing Himself.
(Thomas Torrance, Trinitarian Perspectives)


This is the nature of spiritual reality…Hence we become lovers of God, lovers with God, and lovers in God.


Implications:
1. As disciples of Christ we are co-lovers with God of God. (the very heart of the Christian life and the only source of true 
love, joy and peace. Anything else is merely idolatry.)
2. As disciples of Christ we are co-lovers with God of one another.
3. As disciples of Christ we are co-lovers with God of the world. (Darrell Johnson, Experiencing the Trinity)


Conclusions:
1. The most important thing in life is not managing my existence, but learning to love as God loves within the Trinity.
2. God invites us to learn to love our primary relationships. 
3. We am not natural born lovers. Selfless love only comes by God working in us through the gospel. 
4. Since LOVE is the greatest commandment, my lack of love is my worst sin.


II. The persons of God are caught up in glorifying one another.


Jesus prays: "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, … Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."


...for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. (John 16:13-14)


"Our problem is operating out of our glory-void, where we seek to use others for our own filling. This is the very essence of 'ungodliness.'”


"Our joy comes by turning to Christ where we get caught up in glorifying Him along with the other persons of the Trinity." 


III. Eternal life is experiencing relationship with the “other-glorifying” persons of the Triune God.


"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:3)


Misconceptions: eternal life is NOT…
1. an eternal extension of the natural life.
2. a reward for good behavior.
3. pie in the sky by and by.

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