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
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
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'