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Stages in Our Christian Pilgrimage

Anchored In Truth / Jeff Noblit
The Cross Radio
June 7, 2020 8:00 am

Stages in Our Christian Pilgrimage

Anchored In Truth / Jeff Noblit

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Grab your Bible.

So let's go back to first John as the aged John P.

In this letter to the churches calling the apostle of love because that's his theme. Much of the time, if not most of the time as he wrote his gospel and then wrote this epistle and these are very interesting verses are there not versus that easily just outlined themselves and I think in my mind's eye I see an aged man who's not at this point, wanting just to lay out 123456 precepts of the doctrine but wants to just talk about the goodness and the glories and the wonders of God in our salvation. Sort of a simple simplicity in it and there's a wisdom in the simplicity, but in this section he seems to outline the stages of our Christian pilgrimage was look at it together. First John chapter 2 and will be getting worse.

Verse 12 and got the verse 5014. I'm writing to you little children because your sins have been forgiven you for his namesake. I'm writing to you fathers, because you know him who is been from the beginning, I'm writing to you young men because you've overcome the evil one that I've written to you children because you know the father I've written you fathers because you know him and us from the beginning.

I've written to you young men because you are strong and the word of God abides in you and you have overcome the evil one talks about fathers. He talks about little children. He talks about young men and I see here probably the three stage development. In John's thinking that is those early stages when were first starting out in our Christian faith. Those submittal are made in the stages reflected by the phrase young men and in the in the in the old world young men would've been even teenagers and all into the earlier ages, and then the older man the adult men. The father she refers to, but I think what we have is beginning as white by way of introduction is a foundational verse in verse 12 races. I'm writing to you, little children, he said that again up in verse one of chapter 2 he likes that phrase little children you so much debate nicely talking about your my little children in the faith of the apostle Paul would talk to the Corinthians about. I'm your father in the faith, and so that's common phrase, but I think it means more than just that. I think he's pointing out your God's little children, your God's precious ones. I don't why don't just run by that. I want you to use on that for a moment, your God's precious little children. That's the phrase he uses its course are very tender. It's a very compassionate term. But how wonderful for us, even the older man who may be looked at in a patriarchal way and consider yourself ourselves strong and secure in the tour.

It's really good to know that I'm somebody's little child and that somebody's God, he is skews me precious little child. I think about how we look at our little boy's whether there your children are in my case, your grandchildren by their grand I'm just telling you they are grant three things. First of all, think about how attentive we are to them.

From the earliest ages we want to catch every coup, every yawn and repeat. We listen for that cry, listen to their breathing. Is it okay I mean got good, not our babies are on 24 hour monitors. I couldn't sneak and do nothing wrong, good day stay up all night to check all that is everything okay poster energy. Let me think she might be sick of this radio link. Think of how attentive we are to them.

Think how much more our heavenly father's attentive to us what he calls is your mobile children about you that blesses me that blesses me.

But not only attentive were also affectionate to them. We hugged them we hold them.

We caress them we stroke them. We kissed them we rub noses with them. We've bumped four heads with them.

We tease them.

We play we sing songs just, I mean that there would ask why we can't find enough ways to show our affection to our little ones, the third God's provision. Not all just the way we give attention and affection. But we want to provide for them. You and Mark 14 and in Romans chapter 8 the Bible tells us we can look up to God and we referred to him as Abba father. It's it's a word of familial endearing, but it's Papa or daddy yes he is our heavenly father. And there's a statelessness in the Majesty enough authority to that. But the Bible also says there's a tender affection to God that he wants you also to be them as your Papa or your daddy. Matthew chapter 7 the Jesus said you know what your heavenly father's like you sit think about you human fathers if you fathers if your scriptural child asked brought a loaf of bread you wouldn't give him a stone. Would you and in that dry arid Palestinian climate allow those rocks would be brown in and around the lock up a piece of bread. He said you wouldn't food your child like that. If your child asked for a piece of fish. You wouldn't give him a snake, the snake has scaled back like fish of skillful baby might not know the difference is that you would do something like that. Jesus know your father is going to do what's best for you what's right for you. Just like you fathers you being evil wouldn't all would only give good gifts to your children, so your father in heaven. How much more how much more and we think about it. One among humankind.

Are we like this.

Why do we give such attention to our children when we give such affection to our children and our grandchildren.

Why weeks so faithful to provide for them and be the provision for them.

You know what because we are made in the image of God. We didn't think this up in God, something radically different. Like this because I father is like this surveys all a lot better at it than we are. He's greater addict and we are he's more full of this kind of fatherly care and love and affection and attention were thought this is John writes little children will children then he says there verse 12 still counseling introductory foundation, your sins are forgiven you for his name sake. I will talk about his namesake at the answer won't go there.

But there's only one way God can call you his little children, and that is if is forgiven you for his own purposes and for his own glory. Have you been forgiven. Have you turned to Christ casting aside all hope in anything and everything else and saying I look today.

I look only to Christ not saying that you walked in the house. I'm not saying have you repeated a prayer that may be good and fun. I'm asking you from your heart. Has there been a time when you came to see there's nothing else but Christ cast away all bubble bath sometimes call this primary and secondary repentance.

Primary repentance is when you repent you turn from every thought, every philosophy, every teaching every person everything that you may be thinking can get you into heaven, you turn from all that you say I trust Christ alone. That's Primerica if you don't get that one right wrist repentance don't matter what you turn from trusting the church of the ordinances are baptism our good works or whatever if you turn from you Cocom like I like to say bankrupt and empty to Christ and by the way, he takes bankrupt and empty centers us on county sites. That's only counting types.

That's probably repentance. Then after you do that you you begin immediately.

A whole lifetime of secondary with it. I don't mean second in the since it is not important. Suggested matter. If you don't get the first one right if you don't turn to Christ first then interning to Christ. You continually become a re-picked her as the spirit works in your life through the word of God to expose to heart motives, desires, attitudes, thoughts, actions, behaviors that do not align with him.

If you're one of those who has turned to Christ and you become that repent or syrup. Mama young person you go through this life and sin didn't really, come to your mind. And really, you don't think about it much. Your audience if you are you gotten way way far away from marketing his is a mark of being in the light to the market being in the light is all the darkness in our heart becomes more and more apparent.

So we have to repent of it as we find it. If you're one of those who sins have been forgiven with all sins forgiven. The listen then you're one of those he looks to as his little children, brothers and sisters. The Bible does not teach universalism.

Only those who know Christ are his children. The rest are still his enemies.

The Bible tells us we were at enmity to God NaturallySpeaking all now that our sins are forgiven by his atoning work we have been made his little children and keeping with the three stages I see in this text were still his little child all the way through the stages of her life and there's a sense in which when we get older we kinda rekindle that childlike sweet joy they would have with Jesus. When we first started maybe as a young person somehow in the middle. We kinda get away from that. That's we get older we kinda get in that we kinda mortality sits in arthritis sits in all the other stuffs and all the sudden we realize we nothing in these everything, like he was when you first got saved, will we come come full circle come circling around some myself three thoughts here. Let's talk about the beginning stage or maybe the beginning years. I think John again is making is using the analogy of the physical growth experience. The show us something. Not everything. Second, this detailed, thorough exegesis, if you will, of all that's involved in the spiritual pilgrimages of life, but he's given us some good and precious insights here, but for example in third verse 13. The last phrase he says I've written to you children.

This time he doesn't use the phrase little children because you know the father. I think it's interesting pieces. Children, you know, the father because here's what's interesting in boys so it was so true in our life. When you first are converted when you first come to Christ. That's about all you know you don't know a lot of stuff Shirley did. I mean I told you this so many times but I mean I was so ignorant of just Christian truth in church life in general. Matter fact I'm glad I didn't know a lot about some of the church like a lot of it was ridiculous. A lot of what was going on in churches were newborn babies and you know a little baby. It didn't take long little baby, didn't know much they know anything about thermostats that only thing about put on closing thing up close and I think they don't hardly know anything about anything.

But they know mom and dad and little baby Christians don't know a lot, but they know they know God he's become real to them.

This spirit lives in their hearts they can even explain exactly what that means but they know the father. They know the father they don't know what baptism means they don't know what the Bible is not provided. Know the New Testament from the Old Testament. I used to call Nicodemus and economists.

I thought a leper was a leaper. I did know anything and I just breached it with all the heart, but I knew the father. I knew he'd invaded my life. I knew he'd forgiven my sins. I knew he had given me joy. I knew I'd be with him.

If I left this earth. By the last red to building, little children writing to you because you know the father. Romans 816 says the spirit testifies with our spirit that we are the children of God. I love this because to become a Christian and to be a part of God's church. You don't have this great knowledge. You have to know him yet of all the details of Dr. that should come because it is important that the ceiling the joy of our conversion be guided with truth.

I told you before I had more zeal that had wisdom had Mozilla not common sense as early Christian. We do need to teach them but is such a sweet and precious and wonderful thing that we were saved.

We know the father member the story next chapter 19. Paul's going through emphasis he runs across this fella are these fellows rather who been converted and are all excited to meet Paul and positive. Got a question, did you receive the Holy Spirit when you were saved and all of the responses, it wouldn't hurt anywhere that through the Holy Spirit that certainly they been affected by everything that you receive the Holy Spirit know we don't know what if there is or what was Holy Spirit of I dislike that you don't like that the guy like that in John chapter 9 Jesus comes upon the blind man and is pretty long narrative there. But Jesus ends up taking spittle and put it in the clay makes a Sabin and he applies it to the blind man's eyes and instruction to go wash in the pool of the mangoes washes in the pool and he can see he gets back to the Jewish religious authorities in their jealous of Jesus. Anyway, I thought, who's who's this doing miracles in getting the attention other than us and so they said he's not supposed to be healing on the Sabbath. That's not biblical so they they called up the parents of the blind man in it. We said we heard this about your son to this guy, heal him what's going on that you look basically don't ask him. So they called up the young man EN and said what do you think this Jesus is a prophet, and he said I don't know what he is all I know is I once was blind analysis. I like that just I just know it's the real deal. I love baby Christians like I make messes but I love that sweet joyous loving connection to cries like they can help us by way they can help us. By the way, the woman walking Jesus feet with her tears and the Pharisees don't pizza, don't you know this is a woman of the nocturne Jesus wicked and sinful woman while Jesus knows that he loved her and it forgiven her and she loved him.

That's all she knew. Matthew the tax collector get saved starts.

Given all this money away for just pieces I'm writing to you, little children, because you know the father. You might not know a lot about doctrine and stuff yet, but you know him.

Then John goes on, he talks about another stage. Then I just call that more the young adult stage. Maybe the middle lifestage. Somebody said to me not long ago you said your middle-age adjusted to have me hundred and 20-year-old man you say walk around like scope middle-age didn't quite what we call middle-age, but nevertheless that this is the young adult stage maybe will say in verse 13 in the middle part pieces I'm writing to you young men because you've overcome the evil one young man because you've overcome the evil one frothing in this stage the Roche and the 30 some of the joys of our salvation.

Maybe have worn off were in that struggle to live by faith were in that struggle to learn to listen to me that we learn by the act of the will, not by the emotions. That's what's wrong with our culture today. Everything is based on a motion you notice that objective truth.

Almost didn't matter, here's the here's the mantra of the religion you're seeing on your TV in the streets every not. If I feel it's real yeah but I feel so I dropped feel I've been oppressed. I feel I'm a victim.

I feel like this, whatever.

If I feel it if we Christians are out, the opposite is real and what you feel, but here's the cool thing that Christianity, if you do what's right. Your motions will catch up when you get excited about what really matters. You start feeling good about what's true will start with feel we start with truth that set middle stage of Christianity you been saved while in your beginning to learn God's beginning to show you. So what happens if I lose my joy.

You serve Jesus to get you joy back and I didn't do anything for many more. Okay will put in strobe lights and smoke machines, silly nonsense. I wonder what the circus church does when when a pandemic hits all I got this Google the word of God you're happy it's hard put on a three-ring circus wind when you're under the gun restrictions we been under I should get on that all-time should. But my point is, my point is, as we mature we begin to learn it's not all about the real and feelings and emotions, and it certainly not about entertainment. We learned to honor our Lord and try to serve our Lord.

When we feel like it. And when we don't not perfect at it but that's kind of the stage that is and by the way, we've come through that difficult stage. Those those teenage years. You know, in the physical realm are toughest teenagers are just trying to learn to be adults now that they think that I pushed adolescence on up to about 35 ago. Notice that if we could take the young white females off the streets right now 9% of her troubles will go away.

I mean think about it I'm in my watching TV in them sing these little girls out there screaming at police officers and stuff. Here's what I want to say where are their fathers.

Once it was summer 27 years old with Jeff you let one of my 20's of your daughters do that and see what happens-I'm serious, and even these young boys out here rioting and burning and doing those Worchester dance if you if we do if we just live the way the Bible teaches. It's all fixed that we can still protest and a make our voices known or something evil happens IN Minnesota weeks that that's right. But all this other stuff is wicked. The spirit of lawlessness in the spirit of it being irreconcilable in both of those are condemned in the Bible will back to that teenage the pharmacist foolishness is bound up in the heart of the child but a child can get saved I start getting some victory over that foolishness. I mean, when you're in the teenage years. You you're learning to make right decisions apart from instant gratification and apart from self gain hormones are stuck in overdrive your your your nose is too big for your face your feet grow too fast beyond your legs and have things trying to catch up and then your sex drive get stuck in high it's a tough period of time, but in that period of time in owning the young adult years.

You know what you learn. You learn how to overcome the evil one. That's what he says here you're faced with tough stuff and difficult stuff in your your learning just how is this to work out. Got helps you learn how to overcome it and do I talk a little bit more about that.

The moment of verse 14. The last part. I've written to you young men because you are strong, safe, even in the middle lifestage you learn to handle it. You learn to overcome. You learn to be repent or you learn to accept God's forgiveness and the word of God abides in you key phrase and you've overcome or have overcome the evil one. These are trying years with think about our precious Lord Jesus. First of all, he empathizes with our weakness with Bob since Jesus of the notice.

Like what I go through know he knows more so because at some point. You always give into temptation so you to get the full force of it. If you stand on the beach of the big wave comes, it pushes you some you to get the full force could you gave me at some point but to go bolder there on the beach just stands there takes the full brunt of the wave. It goes with the full force feels like what was Jesus. He's the boulder when he was here.

He felt the full flow the full weight the full duration of temptation, but he never sent and so when you're going through your trolley when you're struggling you when it started, you fail the Lord again. He felt the Lord getting your broken body in your bod, you say Lori didn't understand understand and I love you and you're still say you're still forgiven and you're still mine. He empathizes with us in our weakness but also he equips us to overcome what he says in verse 14.

The word abides in you, you've overcome the evil one.

We learned that we've got to get the word in us. We got to hear God's truth. That includes reading it, studying it, memorizing it meditating on it. Hearing it preached and we learn how to walk in the word of God is Psalm 119 911.

How can a young man keep his way pure by keeping it according to thy word I have hidden thy word within my heart that I might not sin against you. A lot of that's going on in this middle stage. Learning those things is not just having the word innocence faithful fellowship and a solid local church being accountable to brothers and sisters in Christ that here's a real key in overcoming the evil one. That's knowing that he erases our failure erases our failure see there's two things I think two chief ploys of the enemy to took to overcome. You defeat you number one just the destruction of sin number two the discouragement of guilt, but Christ frees you from both of those he can keep you from being in the stronghold of sin. And when we do fail pieces you do not stand in the gutter and in the dungeon and I think that's over this belt can't hold you down either. What that's Goodman's.

He gives me strength to fight if I fail, he lifts me out of the dungeon of guilt. Only Jesus folks only Jesus can do that.

Those of the kind of things we are learning in the middle of the Bible you never quit learning that, but I think there's those stage and I think that's why John says to the young men you've overcome since twice you've overcome the evil one because those are the years. You learn how to fight those battles. Well, the latter years. He says this in verse 13 AA in verse 14 a you father ceases. I'm writing you fathers because you've known him, who was from the beginning, and again I think there's something to that. I think he saying beginning because when you get in those senior days in your last decade or two with Jesus. I think there's a rekindling of the sweetness in the simplicity and the love for Christ that you had when you were first saved. I believe us true a bit of dissension where you come full circle and love him more the latter days like you did in the very first days, knowing that deep rich joy and peace of his nearness in his fellowship are latter years don't have to be just kinda some heard the story of a fella speaking to a retired man.

He said you been retired for a while what you do yourself a set well I just sit think and said in think sometimes I just see. I've seen people do that and you well that's that's not all bad.

I'm not saying necessary sin. But there's more than just that.

Opening, an obsolete outlook for two days and I do see it. Don't think thinking is my problem. Think too much to little boys were together one time and one a bullet to the little boy to sit for two glad we don't wear glasses and one little boy should little Sidwell. I'd like to have some glasses of I can get some glasses let my grandma's glasses is what you make glasses like your grandma's glasses, a sound she just can see things most people can't sleep. She can say when I'm unhappy, and she knows how to hug me and let me have she can see when I when I need I need a hug and she will give me the look she can see when I need her homemade chocolate chip cookies and she liked also my truck if I could get some glasses let my grandmother I like to have some what I'm saying is, is there some very special things God supported for us in our latter days. Let's make sure their God centered and for the glory of God, God still wants to use us in our latter years. Galileo made his greatest discovery at age 73. Hudson Taylor did some of his greatest mission work opening up inroads for the gospel in Indochina at age 69, Caleb defeated the stronghold of the Johnson age 85. Abraham Lincoln once what one time was advised to put a certain man into his cabinet and Lincoln wouldn't put the man on his cabinet mission presently can wobble to put this man on the cabin. He said as he said because I don't like his face. He said ever older men responsible for space of mercy, and live right in it showing up on their something they are and I would say this, I would say folks if you'll grow old without bitterness.

If you'll grow old with joy if your brawl was sweet forgiveness and if you'll grow old to listen to me, rediscovering the wonder of Jesus and his love you'll grow old with the sweet countenance you'll grow old, was a sweet countenance and ball will fit for me and I will fit for you. I found this some time ago. I don't know where found it, but you and I have heard of folks like this would just listen to this little story. This guy's name was some window. He was a pastor Wendell P. Loveless, and he just described a lady who was 64 years old and she'd been us shut in for 16 years.

She was confined to her bed and she was in constant pain. She was unable to move a limb, but she was one of the most thankful people you will ever meet. She rejoiced that God had left her with a great blessing. The use of the thumb on her right hand the other hand was clenched and stiff, and utterly useless. But I designed a two-pronged fork and fastened it to a stick and she learned how to put her glasses on and remove them. Took great effort, but she got it done and she learned how to feed her seven shipowner T. She did all this using only one thumb. She also learned to turn the pages and are lot large Bible when it was placed within her reach a bistro.

What's heard her joyfully say I have so much to be thankful for. When asked for the source of this happiness. She said now all my sins are forgiven. I can just lay back and daily drink in the great love of Jesus, my Savior asked if it times her restricted way of life, made her fretful and despondent replied perfectly perfectly content to live here as long as it pleases the Lord to let me stay in this world and also ready to leave whatever he cost me returning back to the sweet joy of being Jesus. Now I don't. I want to end with just a thought here and were done he says they are in verse 12 and what I'm considering the introductory verse of this section, I'm writing to little children because your sins have been forgiven for is names sake. He saved us, and he keeps us safe, for he is names sake the word name. Their main cyst character are. You could even say his attributes in one thing about God is God's not just because God ought to be just God's just because God's God.

God's not holy because there's some objective holiness in God just did better than everybody else in the universe had been holy know God gives holiness its definition.

Holiness is holiness because God's holy justice is just as busy as God and God is just. Righteousness is righteous, just because God is righteous. It all begins in him. So for his namesake. He saved you. Two thoughts came minimum on meditating on this. He saved you to satisfy his attributes and he saved you to magnify his attribute.

Think about that.

He saved you to satisfy his attributes and magnifies attribute. God is love that God didn't just learn to be loving got to be the best lover. There is no love is what it is because it comes out of the goddess. It just natural to him.

You and I have to learn it. He deposited something of an innocent common grace is very warped and unfinished. Then we get the agape factor will beget, say, do we begin to learn how to live out true love and we don't get done, but we do better as we mature in Christ. The God himself is the God of true love. And there was no way for that love to be satisfied unless he had loathes some of insipid wretched transgressors and sinners to extend that love to who could give him nothing back in return only that would manifest in satisfied accountable. Jesus Christ his son comes to the earth. He goes to a cruel Roman crawl sees nailed their innocent and sheds his blood. While the wrath of his father is poured out upon him, and there the justice of God is magnified and satisfied.

Just thing all about you to really all about him, but he does love you personally and your special, but it's for his namesake and and because there is an everlasting covenant with God's elect marvelous, marvelous.

We can't wrap our little puny brains around it, but somehow in eternity past, God chose those who would be his own, but all of those he chose to be his own would be born in sin would be irreparably's irreparably sustained with the defilement of depravity and everything in their being would be offensive to God if he just lets them off Scott free and he would be sitting against his own attributes his own justice. His own righteousness so his son goes to the cross place of those children, those children that he chose him back twice. He dies and God's justice is then satisfied God's righteousness is satisfied and therefore the children can be saved. If so, where his little children who now have our sins forgiven.

We belong to him for eternity. All for his name's sake is namesake in the wondrous thing of it all is if you lose yourself in him and think about it's all about him. It's all for his glory. I just glad I get in on it.

Then you become happier, more secure, more joyous when you were upside down thinking was really all about you and you just such a precious soul.

Jesus wanted to die for no euro worm and he chose to die for you to magnify his own love and justice and righteousness, and in doing so he turned a worm into a joint heir of his son Jesus Christ.

Glory, glory, glory, glory.

I hope for all of you other old people in here that your entering in on the sweetness and the joy of knowing Jesus and forgiveness, like you did when you first got when you first found in he first found you