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Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx
Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx

Episode 117 · 1 month ago

In The Upper Room: Obedient Love

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In The Upper Room: Obedient Love

John 14:15

Dax Bryant: Preaching

Was at a Puritan conference this week, at conference on the Puritan Those men mightily used by God in the sixteen seventeenth part of the eighteenth century UH and really shaped even the history of this nation. And so in the spirit of the Puritans, we're going to be looking at just one verse this morning. I'm gonna be looking at John fourteen, verse fifteen, one verse, And I have two two primary goals in mind with this one verse this morning. First of all, as always, I want to establish the context to explain the meaning point us to Jesus and then attempt to apply the scripture to our lives. But secondly, I want to also established this single verse this morning a sort of an introduction to UH an important Christian doctrine that we're going to actually continue to explore starting kind of today but for the next several weeks. And you'll know when I mentioned that. So first I'll allow me just to read the passage again, the same passions that Jason just read, for us to place it in its proper context. We're just focusing on verse fifteen, but I want you to see again twelve through seventeen. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me, will also do the works that I do, and greater works than these will he do. Because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper to be with you forever. Even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. As as we read these words, as if you've been here, and if you know this passage, you'll remember that the disciples are gathered in the upper room. Jesus has washed their feet. Judas's betrayal has already been announced by Jesus, Peter's upcoming denials have been predicted by Jesus, and so here now in in the beginning of verse fourteen, all the way down to where we're at, Jesus has been speaking to these men, speaking words of comfort to reassure them, because he's told them, among other things, that he's leaving them these words, especially what we looked at last Lord's Day Versus twelve through fourteen. They're very much in this spirit of what Charles Spurgeon once said. Spurgeon said, I should not attempt to teach a tiger the virtues of vegetarianism, but I would hopefully attempt that task, as I would try to convince an unregenerate man of the truths revealed by God concerning sin and righteousness and judgment to come. Then, Spurgeon continues, these spiritual truths are repugnant too carnal men, and the carnal mind cannot receive the things of God. Gospel truth, he says, is diametrically opposed to fall in nature. And if I have not a power much stronger than that which lies in moral persuasion or in my own explanations and arguments, I have undertaken a task in which I am sure of defeat, then he concludes. Except, or he means, unless unless the Lord endow us with power from on high, our labor must be in vain and our hopes must end in disappointment. Do you hear what he's saying. It's what we saw last Lord's Day as Jesus is in the upper room. It's the night before his death. The minutes are just ticking away, and he is He is appointing these men to the high privilege and responsibility of continuing his ministry advancing the Kingdom of God through the proclamation of the Gospel, which, as we talked about last time, is an honor, to be sure, but it is a humanly impossible task given the nature of the human heart. But what Jesus is saying is that as a result of him going to the Father, him leaving them, the Spirit of God is going to come and in dwell these men and empower them with everything they need to carry out this otherwise impossible task in the greater Works of Gospel ministry.

We talked about all that last time, But now as we come to these these next few verses, I want to slow down here a bit because I want us to think deeply these next few weeks about an important doctrine, the doctrine of newmatology. Anyone know what that word means, neumatology. It's the doctrine of the Holy Spirit Numa. It's the Greek word for spirit, that the person and the works of the Holy Spirit is what we want to give attention to, starting a little bit today, more to come in the next weeks. Why do we want to do this, Why do we need to do this? For me? It's because I don't want to make any assumptions about what y'all might think, or know or conceive of the Holy Spirit. There is a tremendous amount of confusion about the Holy Spirit today, even in professing churches. On one hand, you have people crediting the Holy Spirit for all kinds of extraordinary experiences, speaking in exotic languages, hearing audible voices, receiving a so called second baptism, receiving predictions of the future, laughing, barking, and even more bizarre things than that. On the other hand, in reaction to all of the confusion and abuses and excess, there are other Christians, and I often find myself over here who can spend more time explaining what the Spirit does not do. Which is important to distinguish that, but not when it reaches the point of nearly excluding the beauty and the magnificence of the Spirit and his absolute necessity to the application of Christ's finished work. So when it comes to the person and work of the Holy Spirit. It seems a lot of Christians and a lot of churches kind of land in those two extremes, right, They either are distorting the ministry of the Spirit, or as a reaction to those distortions that they see, they effectively ignore or deny the work of the Holy Spirit altogether. Now, knowing most of you in this room, I know that most of you would reject the label charismatic. I would as well for good reason. I think we can argue about that later if you want. But sometimes that means people like us start to get nervous or a little bit fearful whenever we even talk about the Holy Spirit too much, give too much attention to the Holy Spirit. We don't want to fall into those same kind of crazy distortions that are out there. So we stay away over here, and if we're not careful, brothers and sisters, we can end up being the kind of Christian that an old country preacher described as straight as a gun barrel, but just as empty. I don't want us to be any less straight, but we ought to have around in the chamber. So what I'm trying to say is this is I try to tie this back to what we what we talked about last time, thinking not the greater works of gospel ministry will never realize the accomplishment of those greater works of gospel ministry until our knowledge and experience of the Holy Spirit is more than just talking about what he doesn't do. So for the next few weeks, we're gonna have something of a series within a series on the person and work of the Holy He that subject of pneumatology. And my prayer is as we look at that, that that each one of us, as we more clearly understand who he is and what he does, that that each one of us and all of us together will be compelled to worship him, to depend more upon him, to pray that his power will infuse our ministry efforts here at this church. So along those lines, I said, I want this to be kind of an introduction to that bigger topic. This is gonna help us get at our big idea this morning, just asking one question. That question is to whom is the gift of the Holy Spirit? Given? To whom is the gift of the Holy Spirit? Given that seems like a simple question, but my goodness is their confusion about this today. Two? Whom is...

...the gift of the Holy Spirit given? Was the spirit we're reading John fourteen just given to these apostles or maybe does this include those early Christians who lived during the time of the apostles? What about elders and deacons, prophets and evangelists. Do they receive the spirit? Do they receive an extra dose of the spirit? What about every day, ordinary average Christians? How does that relate to receiving the spirit? To whom is the gift of the Holy Spirit given? And we want the context of this passage to help us answer that question. So let me ask you another question that again gets back to what we talked about last week. So look at look at the text there up in John starting in verse twelve, where we began reading, Who is it that receives the privilege of carrying out the greater works that Jesus speaks of? What does it say there verse twelve, whoever believes in me, Jesus says, will also do the works that I do, And greater works than these will he do? Who is it that does the greater works those who believe in Jesus, not just these believers, but this includes all believers throughout the history of the Church, Those people who, by God's grace have realized the hopelessness of their condition, leaves them condemned and guilty before a holy God facing his judgment, who therefore turned from their sin and place all of their trust and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, in his sin, conquering death, in his death conquering resurrection. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, this is your legacy. This is for you the accomplishment of these greater works. But how does it happen? Not by our power, not by our strength or effort. We can't do it. Remember what Jesus says that the end of verse twelve, greater works than these will he do? Why? How? Because I am going to the Father. And remember that going to the Father includes his death, his resurrection, his ascension, and particularly relevant for our purposes, it includes the sending of the Holy Spirit to endwell and empower believers in order to accomplish these greater works. And that's what Jesus begins to explain, even as you go down to verses sixteen and seventeen, that that he, as the exalted Son of God, will ask the Father to send his people the Holy Spirit and only then will the greater works begin to be accomplished. But before he gets there, Jesus makes it very clear in verse fifteen about who it is that receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, just as up in verse twelve you made it clear about who would accomplish the greater works. In both cases, even though he's describing it in different terms, maybe from different angles, he's referring to the same group of people. So let's look at verse fifteen. If that's a conditional clause, if you love me, then we could insert you will keep my commandments. Don't miss the first word of verse sixteen, and we don't begin a new thought with the word, and that word and connects what is about to be said with what was just said. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another helper. Let's hear that again. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And still speaking to those who love me as demonstrated by their obedience to my commandments, I will ask the Father and he will give you another help See how that verse connects to verse fifteen. Notice they're...

...also in verse sixteen, and he will give you another helper. Who is this? You well let's back up to verse fifteen. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. The same group, same group who's keeping the commandments is the same group who's receiving the Holy Spirit. So we could answer our question this way, to whom is the Holy Spirit given to the person whose relationship with Jesus is characterized by obedient love? The Holy Spirit is given to the person whose relationship with Jesus is characterized by obedient love. So let's let's try to ties them of this together here. So back to verse twelve again, where Jesus says, whoever believes in me, that is the person and who receives the Holy Spirit to accomplish the greater works. So there we can ask to whom is the Holy Spirit given? Very obviously he's given to the believer, the one who believes. But now in versus fifteen and sixteen, Jesus says it's the person who loves and obeys him who is given the Holy Spirit. So either Jesus is contradicting himself here in a very short amount of time, or else, And this is right. The definition of the one who believes, at least includes the fact that their relationship with God is characterized by obedient love. In other words, obedient love for God and to God is part of what it means to be a believer. Do you understand what is being said here? He is equating belief with obedient love. Do you do you know this to be true, That that you cannot separate true belief from obedience, that that idea is incompatible with the scriptures. And what's interesting here. I don't know if you remember this, but when we rounded the corner and came into the Upper room back in John thirteen, I mentioned that the now one of the new overarching themes of this upper room discourse is love. Remember that it's been a while since we've seen it here. Now that word comes up again, but for the very first time in John's gospel, Jesus speaks now of the disciples love for him. Until now, the emphasis has been on his love for them, on God's love for them, even even the very night. What has he done. He's expressed his love for them in an unforgettable fashion by washing their feet. And then when he when he finishes that, remember what he says, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. And of course, very soon, within a matter of hours, he will display the full extent of his love for them by going to the cross to die for them in their place. But here now, for the very first time, he speaks about their love for him. Remember, they are emotional Rex at this point of the night. They're distraught, They're sad Jesus is leaving, they can't come with him. Men that they've known for years and trusted are going to do terrible things. And it's clear that they love Jesus right even just by the grief that they are showing. It's it's why Jesus is speaking these words of comfort to them. So they are showing grief out of love for him. But that is not the display of love that Jesus is seeking, because though he will very soon die, he is the living Lord and he will be the living Lord, and so grief is not really a suitable lasting emotion for this occasion. And so he gives them a better means of displaying their love for him. And it's right there in verse fifteen. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I mean, it seems important just kind of standing there by itself. Can we just take that at face value?...

Does Jesus have anything else to say about this, well, look look down at verse twenty one, same conversation. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me? Wow. Two times he says it. Oh, verse twenty three, if anyone loves me, he will keep my word three times verse two. This one's a little trickier because it's stated in the negative. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. Do you think this is important? Four times in seven verses Jesus says the same thing, and it echoes the rest of the New Testament. This much is clear when you read the New Testament. One primary test of your love for Jesus Christ is your obedience to him. Your love for Jesus is not measured in the words you profess. It's not measured in the songs that you sing. It's not measured in the feelings that you feel. It's not measured in the promises that you make. According to the Bible, your love for Jesus is measured by your obedience to him. And yet, because we squirm at that, people want to separate their love for Jesus and their obedience to Jesus, as if they are two totally different things, and that's what's behind that that popular sentiment that you may be here in the world. Yes, I love Jesus, but I also love living my life the way that I enjoy. And you can kind of insert your favorite sin over here, or if you speak Christian ease, you might hear it this way. I've accepted Jesus as my savior, and later I might make him lord of my life. Have you run into that kind of thing, make him lord? Jesus is lord. You don't make him lord. It's who he is you. You don't accept him as savior now and then maybe think about sometime down the road submitting to him as lord. The fact that Christ is Lord is what makes it possible for him to be savior, not the other way around. He is Lord. That's why he can say, if you love me, you will keep my commandments. You don't see that kind of thing coming out of the mouth of Abraham or or Moses or or any of the prophets or any of the apostles. That kind of authoritative statement can only come from the mouth of God himself. My commandments. Jesus Christ is Lord, and so the commandments that he issues are binding up on us. You see this in the Great Commission at the end of Matthew's Gospel. Jesus says, all authority, it seems pretty inclusive, pretty all encompassing, all authority that speaks of his lordship. To make it even more explicit, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, Jesus says, And as a result of that, he issues a command. As a result of this authority, he says, two believers, go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them what teaching them all the commandments that I've given to you. No, not quite teaching them to observe, to obey all the commandments that I've given to you. Brothers and sisters. There is no such thing as an authentic believer who does not obey. Let me let me first make that point hard, and then I'll add some needed nuance. So this is the hard part. Where did we come up with the idea of degrees of...

...belief in Christ? He's a really strong believer. She's not really walking very close with the Lord right now. The nuances coming The hard part is, aren't there really only two categories of people saved unsaved? But we make this so complicated. Someone claims to be a Christian and then there's absolutely no evidence of transformation or or the fruits of salvation in their lives, and and then we start to agonize. But but I I saw them come forward that Sunday. Yeah, I know they repeated a prayer. I saw them raise their hands. Aren't they Aren't they really saved? And we make it more complicated than scripture does. Can we tell you what I'll stop speaking. Let me just allow the Word of God to speak for itself for a moment. Can we agree that what the Word of God says we can agree on? And it's probably worth seeing this with your own eyes, So so keep your finger In John fourteen, turned to First John chapter one, verse six, First John Chapter one, verse six. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we i and do not practice the truth? Is that hard to understand what he's saying? Notice the contrast in verse seven. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin? Does that does that seem complex? First John, Chapter two, verse three. And by this we know that we have come to know him. So so here it is, how can you know if you are or someone really knows Christ? If we keep his commandments. Whoever says I know him but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Again, is that? Does that seem pretty clear? And notice the contrast again in chapter two, verse five. But whoever keeps his word in him, truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him. This is how you can know that you belong to Jesus. Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. According to this, is it difficult to determine whether a person is a Christian or not? Chapter three? First John, Chapter three, verse four. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness. Sin is lawless us. You know that he speaking of Jesus, he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. Therefore, no one who abides in him keeps on sinning. Seems pretty simple, No, one who abides in Jesus continues in an unrepentant habitual lifestyle of sin. Verse John three, verse six. No one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practice his righteousness is righteous as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil? Is that difficult to decipher? Now watch this verse nine, First John three, verse nine. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning. In...

...other words, no one who has been born again, notably not no one who has prayed a prayer, no one who has gone forward at an altar call. Rather, no one who has experienced the new birth from above continues practicing sin. Why continues? For God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. Listen to this next line. By this it is evident who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil. In other words, it shouldn't be that hard to figure out. Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God. Nor is the one who do who does not love his brother. I mean, we could go on, but I trust you get the idea. It's it's really pretty simple. But because we have these kind of funny sentimental ideas about evangelism and salvation, we start creating all these special subcategories for people so that we can still think of someone as a Christian even though they have never consistently displayed any ounce of obedience to Christ. Come forward, pray this prayer, raise your hand, write the state down in your Bible. Now can God use those kinds of things to save people? Absolutely? I'm sure that some of you in this room we're saved in such a way. My point is you can't rely on that experience once upon a time as evidence of the new birth now the necessary nu One. Of course, it is not that our obedience earns us favor with God or contributes to our salvation in any way. Don't don't miss the point of John fourteen fifteen. It's not that you obey God first and then receive the Holy Spirit. What about the reality of unbelievers in the world who generally, at least from the world's perspective, live pretty good, moralistic, clean lives. What do we do with those people or or what do we do? Maybe more pertinent to most of you in this room, What do we do about the reality that a believer will continue to struggle with sin and will experience times when it seems like God is distant, and that will be our experience for the rest of our days on earth. What do we do with that? At that conference I was at this week, John Piper put the question this way, how do you obey God's commands when you don't feel like it? Can you think of some of the commands in scripture? Love your enemies, do not be anxious about anything, Pray without ceasing, submit to your husband's love your wives, obey your parents. How do you obey God's commands when you don't feel like it? You can't not on your own. You can't do it on your own strength. Just like earlier in this passage speaking of accomplishing the greater works, you can't do that on your own. Neither will you be able to obey God's commands on your own. So what is the solution? Listen to God's promise from the Old Testament Ezekiel, chapter verse God gives us the answer way back then. He says, I will give you a new heart and a new spirit. I will put within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Listen to what he says next, and I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules. Do...

...do you hear that promise? The point is when the Holy Spirit regenerates a human heart, that newborn child of God wants to obey because now his desires have been made God's desires. He is now desiring to act in keeping with his or her new transformed identity. Yes, you'll have to battle your flesh for the rest of your life, but in general, you will now start to desire to live as the person that God intended you to be. And when you don't feel like it, that is when you get on your face and you ask the spirit of God who in dwells you, to give you that desire to make you feel like it. You pray, right along with the early church father St. Augustine, Give what you command, Oh God, and then command whatever you will. He's saying, give me the strength to do what you say, and then tell me what to do. Or, as Paul writes in Philippians Too, it is God who works in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure. But here's the other side of that, out of the nuance, back to the heart. When someone who professes to be a Christian persistently refuses to obey Christ. I'm not talking about the occasional sin that is repented of, but a persistent rejection of Christ commands that does more than cast doubt on their profession of faith. It quite likely points to the existence of an unregenerate heart. And we need to be able to call that what it is to to call that person to repentance and faith. And I know that sounds harsh, but this is the simple teaching of scripture. We've just seen it in first John. Let's let's let's scripture speak for itself here another time, and try to keep from imposing our distorted sentimental views upon it. I suppose you ought to look at this with your own eyes too, so you don't think I'm making it up. Matthew seven a passage you'll be familiar with. Towards the end of the Sermon on the Mount Matthew chapter seven, there's a familiar passage. Like I said, I wonder if you've seen this before, though, so Matthew seven. Beginning in verse one, Jesus says, not everyone who says to me, Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. Noticed first of all, these people, they recognize that Jesus Lord right there, calling him lord first on that day, many will say to me, Lord Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? We preached God's word and cast out demons in your name? We engaged in spiritual warfare, and do many mighty works in your name? We performed signs and wonders. These people not only recognize that Jesus is the Lord, they believe that they're saved. It's it's not like Judas, who who we saw earlier in the Upper Room discourse, who knows that he's a hypocrite. These people recognize that Jesus is Lord, and they're banking on what they've been able to accomplish as proof that they belonged to him. And what does Jesus say verse three? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of lawlessness? How can this be? Go back to verse one, Read carefully with me. Not everyone who says to me, Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. But the one who does that's in the present, continuous tense, the one who keeps on doing the will of my Father who is in heaven. Will you allow me to say it this simply for those who may need to hear this. If the habitual pattern of your life is disobedience to the will...

...of God, you have not been born again, my friend, may be very well that you need to think deeply about this today. Now back to John fourteen, and I want to try to wrap this up with four simple statements by way of application. Number one, this phrase will cover all all of these except for the last word. Will change. To love and belong to Christ means to obey him. Number one absolutely, to obey him absolutely, And what I mean by that is without hesitation, without reservation, not just because obeying Christ might happen to line up with what you agree with or what you prefer, or with what you enjoy, but obeying him simply because the command comes from him. Jesus speaks, you obey. If you love Christ, you obey him absolutely. Number two, to love and belong to Christ means to obey him completely. And I suppose this is somewhat connected to the first statement. It really flows out of that first statement. If you obey Christ absolutely first of all, because the command comes from Him, then you will obey him completely. You will obey all of his commands. In other words, you don't pick and choose which commands you're going to obey and which ones you're going to ignore. If you obey Christ because of who he is, then you obey him in all things. If you love Christ, you obey him completely. And by the way, we didn't read this in First John, but doing this is also how you know that you love your Christian brothers and sisters. First John five two says by this, we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments. To love and belong to Christ means to obey him absolutely. It means to obey him completely. Number three, to love and belong to Christ means to obey him gladly, gladly Psalm forty verse eight, I delight to do your will, Oh my God, your law is within my heart's home one nineteen. Several places sprinkled throughout that psalm, I will delight in your statutes, Your testimonies are my delight. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. To obey Christ, believer, is the delight of your heart. It's what you desire to do. Not that obeying Christ means that there will be no difficulty in your life. In fact, obeying Christ often means that there will be increased adversity that comes your way. But as a child of God, come what may Obedience to Christ brings you joy and delight and peace and contentment and rest. Christ commandments, I can't remember which song it is. They become your happy choice. His commandments then become your happy choice. Why because they're His commandments. His commandments, Him whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light, Him who is infinitely wise, wonderfully kind, graciously benevolent, and uncompromisingly good. And if all that is true, then you can be sure that His commandments exist for your ultimate good and well being, which is wrapped up in His glory. And so think about this from the other side. When you disobey Christ, then what are you doing? What are you saying? You're calling His character into question, You're elevating your wisdom over his. I know what Christ commands in this situation, But just like Adam and eve, I think I might know what's best for me. But even more than that, First John five three says,...

...for this is the love of God that we keep his commandments. That sounds familiar, listen to what comes next. This is a precious promise that when you feel the weight of obedience pressing down on you, you need to cling to this. And His commandments are not burdensome, so it's not man got to obey Jesus again. I guess I better get the church this morning. We're running late, but I don't want to miss it because I'm gonna feel guilty, always ruining my phone, always ruining what I want to do. That's obedience out of obligation, out of guilt. We're talking about obedience that comes out of a place of love and delight. Obeying out of any other motivation is antithetical to the relationship that God has established with you. Piper again said it this week, and I agree with him mostly. He said, where delighting in God is not the supreme treasure of your heart, even professed obedience is rebellion. The point he's trying to make is that if you love Christ, you obey him gladly and Finally, number four, to love and obey Christ. To love and belong to Christ means to obey him number four persistently, persistently. If you love me, John, you will keep That's in something called the future tense, which means it keeps on going. It doesn't stop, It just continues on. The one who loves Jesus will contin you on into the future to obey him. Now, let me, let me, let me be clear so that we don't miss this. We're not talking about sinlessness, right. I hope that I've been clear about that. You understand that as a believer, you will only experience sinlessness in heaven. So we're not talking about perfection attaining perfection in this life. But we are talking about direction, the direction of your life, and if you are a Christian, the direction, the the ongoing progressive pattern of your life is increasing conformity to the image of Christ. It doesn't look necessarily like a straight line right there may be like the stock market, a little down, a little loop de loop, but generally if you zoom out far enough, you see the overall direction is conformity to Christ. And that is a result of loving Christ and obeying him persistently. So now let me bring this to bear on you. Do you love Christ? Do you love him like this? Do you love him by obeying him? Do you obey him? Completely, absolutely, gladly, persistently. According to Jesus, this is what a believer looks like. And of course, who is the greatest example of this kind of obedient love? It's no surprise, is it. It's the same answer every week. It's Jesus himself over in John chapter verse ten. We will get there. He says, if you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love. Here's the point of comparison. Just as I have kept my father's commandments and abide in his love, Jesus is the living illustration of this principle of obedient love. Brothers, why should you remain sexually pure when the world around us mocks that virtue? Sisters? Why should you be submissive to your husband's You know their faults better than anyone. Children? Why should you obey your parents when they're so strict If it's not because they're better than other parents, it's not because your husband or wife is perfect. Why should you refuse you cheat at school or steal at work? Why should you give...

...to the Lord. Why do you choose not to watch certain movies? Why do you labor with integrity? Why do you come to this place on the Lord's Day. If your motivation for things like these is anything less than your love for Jesus Christ, you will fail. A genuine love for Jesus is the only motivation that will prompt and sustain this kind of obedience that he's talking about. The The ongoing pattern of a person who loves Jesus is obedience to his commands, and on the flip side, an ongoing pattern of disobedience is always a manifestation of a lack of love for Jesus. To those who obediently love him, true believers, they received the greatest gift ever given, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, to accomplish the greater works. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever. Let me ask you again, because I know if you're like me, sometimes you walk out of this place and you forget everything that happened. And it's important for there to be times in your life where you take stock of your own soul. We're about to go to the Lord's supper here in a few minutes, so this is a good time as any. Do you love Jesus like this, with an obedient love that is absolute, complete, glad, persistent, Or have you set limits on your love? How have you set limits on the scope of your obedience to him which actually only reveals a lack of love for him? Maybe the real question, the better question to ask, isn't do you love Jesus? Maybe the better question is how are you displaying your love for Jesus now? Because if you love Jesus like this, it is proof that the spirit of God is dwelling in your heart. Is that true of you? Are you sure are there areas in your life where you are resisting obedience to God's commands? If you don't think about it now, you're probably not going to think about it when you drive home, or when you head to work or whatever you have for tomorrow. Are you sure that the spirit of God has taken up in taken up residence within you? And I sure hope that you don't have to point back back too. Once upon a time when you pray, to prayer or came forward at an event or or got baptized. If there is no current, ongoing evidence of your growing love and obedience towards Jesus Christ, that should be the cause of great concern in your heart. And if you have questions or concerns, or doubts or worries about any of this stuff that we're talking about, I would love to talk to you about those things. Next week, Lord William, we'll look at another question, Who are what is the Holy Spirit? But our question this morning is to whom is the gift of the Holy Spirit given? The answer from the text is to the person whose relationship with Jesus is characterized by obedient love. See how I spent time with at that conference on the Puritans this week, It's fitting that I let one of them have the last word. Here one of John Newton's lesser known hymns, and it ends like this. Listen to his words. Our pleasure and our duty, though opposite before, since we have seen his beauty, are joined to part no more. It is our highest pleasure, no less than duties. Call to love Him beyond measure and serve him with our all. Let's pray, Lord, help us to see ourselves rightly. M God impressed upon us our...

...need for your ongoing work of sanctification in our lives. Where there are areas in which sin and disobedience lingers, help us to cut it out at the root. Give us a desire to display our love for you throughout the course of our daily lives, not just on Sunday morning. Compel us to live holy and obedient lives, growing in consistency for the rest of our days on earth. Help us to obey you absolutely and completely, and gladly and persistently, not out of any other desire than a sincere love for the Lord Jesus Christ. We pray these things in his precious name. Amen.

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