Wednesday, October 12

Keller's Beholding the Love of God

1 John 3:1-3
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.
Beholding the Love of God

Eusebius story of John chasing down lapsed convert
     young man ran away though armed
     'I'll gladly suffer death for you.'
where do you get this kind of courage?
from knowing God. from fellowship with God.
must be born again
John begins to emote here. 'Behold!'
       to make a present, bestow
we are adopted -- called
and we are -- made, nature, born again

1. way to know God
       personal experience
       John demonstrates in this passage
       truth overflows mind
       beyond knowing to 'seeing'
       truth goes through you like lightning through a lightning rod
       movement from analysis to intuition
       truth moves from something you understand to something you stand under
       moves from detachment to connections
       seems ancient and fresh at the same time
       moves from mind to heart
       moves from mere knowing to beholding
       in the 60s: experience has to be anti- or a-rational
       -pathway is still through truth, but it's more than truth
       Thomas Goodwin
               boy walking with father
               knows he's a son
               father picks up boy, hugs and kisses, 'i love you'
               no new knowledge
               knowledge becomes new, fresh
       knowing God means feeling His embrace
examples of 'radioactive' idea
       every great story is two stories
               we will fly (like Peter Pan)
               there is a Prince Who will kiss us and wake us from sleep to new life
               a Beauty will love us and transform us from beasts
               there is a Superman from another planet who comes to save us
       time in Philadelphia
               Xian record, Is 53 'the results of His suffering he shall see and be satisfied'
               we are the results of His suffering that satisfies Him
               can't program it. can't plan it.
       you have to seek it. you have to know it's posssible.
       go back into 1Jn2: if you're not experiencing God:
               1. are you obeying God? is your conscience clear?
               2. do you have fellowship with other Xians?
               3. study the Truth, ask God to open it up
2. the mark of knowing God
       you see God's love for you as a miracle
       Gk idiom: from what country?
               'Behold what country this love comes from'
                       from what planet? unreal?
                               Fisher King illustration
                                    'are you real?'
       a real Xian is a person who says 'it is an absolute miracle that God loves me. it's a miracle that i'm a Xian'
       there are two kinds of people who go to church: religious people and real Xians
               real Xians see everything as a gift. we're totally in debt to God.
               religious people work hard, try, make an effort, go to Bible studies, 'just say no'
               deny themselves trying to put God in their debt
               trying to save God through their good works, think God is in their debt b/c they've tried so hard
               Xians have a spirit of wonder: how miraculous. how unreal. me a Xian? incredible! unbelieveable!
               religious person: of course i'm a Xian. sure i'm a Xian. i've always been a Xian.
               if you're a Xian, there's no 'sure'ness about it. there's no 'of course'ness about it.
               acid test: spirit of wonder, even when things go bad.
               a moralist says: what good is all my religion. i tried hard. God owes me.
               a Xian says: it's amazing how good God is to me. i deserve much worse.
               it's all grace. every good thing is mercy

to the degree that we experience and behold God's love, we'll be able to handle 'bad' circumstances.
'my Father must have a purpose here b/c He loves me'. He doesn't owe me a good life.
and you're amazed by good things
if you've lost it you're slipping back into moralism
'Amazing love, how can it be, that You, my God, would die for me'
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