Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Banner of Truth 2007 -- Session #4


Session 4 Sinclair Ferguson -- “Our Holiness: Abiding in Christ’s Love”

John 15
Particularly verses 1-7
In center point of the teachings of the farewell discourse.
chapter 15 gives us what seems like a metaphor, but in the process it grows into a remarkable analogy of the relationship between Christ and his people.
Begin with a question, "asked last night if we would have ordered topics of holiness the way they have done here."
Especially would we have included the section in the middle with abiding in Christ, or would we not have used the theme of the conflict for sanctification. Suspects many of us would have passed abiding in Christ and went to the battle and finished with the Spirit. From and architectonic approach this would make sense, but sanctification at the end of the day is a matter of personal character. Holiness is what we become in Christ Therefore this topic of abiding in the love of Christ that is very important. It provides a very particular flavor.

We can become very tired of the statement that the heart of the Christian message is love, but the truth is that the heart of the Christian message is love. First fruit of Spirit mentioned is love. The summary of the law is love. The believer is one who abides or stays in the love of Christ

there is a false type of holiness that is a sanctification by vinegar. Where a person presents themselves as an example of sanctification which has something in it that not only repels unbelievers, but also repels weak believers.

The call is how we relate to the least of these. To the weak believers, that is a mark of our sanctification. A test of our holiness is how do we deal with the weak ones, and how we seek them out.

Abiding in Christ brings a new atmosphere to a persons life. Not like a house that is immaculate, but at the same time while it looks good it is filled with a sense of alienation. Instead it is to be homey comforting, loving.

Ch 15 verse 9 'abide in my love'
this is of the quintessence of true holiness. Love flows out of us to congregation only in so far as we abide in love of Christ.

Three headings
The love in which we abide
The union with Christ by which we abide
Characteristic marks
1. The love in which we abide
tendency to make it so ethereal that we think it cannot be described in words. But Jesus puts it into words. That is the pattern is first of all the love the Father has for the son. Love of son for the Father is rarely mentioned in John's gospel, but there are many references to the love of the Father to the son. So many examples of how the Father loves the son. From the beginning the intimacy implicit in the "pros ton theon" of the word with the Father. the Father has given all things into the sons hands (john 3:35). The Father loves the son and shows his all the things he is doing (john 5). Similar to Father teaching son his trade. Extraordinary love of Father in that he has no secret from the son, shows him what he does. John 8:32 do what Father does. John 15:9 John 17:24, 26 Or most significantly is John 10:17, for this reason the Father loves me because I lay down my life.

The love 9of the Father fros the son has more than one dimension because it is and eternal bond with one another. Mutual esteem, enjoyment, and mutual admiration. given a pale reflection of the love of a man and his wife who can spend much time just with one another. Before creation creation God was being intimate, loving his son. This is beyond our imagination.

Fellowship of Gods people is an analogy of the love of God for his son. That they may be one as the Father and son our one that the world may believe. It isn't normal. It isn't natural. It is supra natural.

The Father loves his son as his son from all eternity. The Fathers love for his son is unconditional, but the Fathers love for the son as a mediator is carefully conditions. It is capable of development and growth. Jesus in john 10 says there is a moment in his life as mediator where there is a moment of climactic consummation of the Fathers love for him. That Christ would become incarnate and enter Mary's womb. But, that paled into in significants when on the cross when he cried out, "my God why have you forsaken me." that was when Father cried out 'my Jesus I love they."

Jesus loved his disciples to the end. Speaking of his atoning love. see paralleled of Philippians 2:5-11 and John 13 where Jesus took form of servant and washed feet. when he finished he took his place at the head of the table. Whom he loves he loves to the end, not to their end and their death, but to his end, that he might love them more. That is what the atonement is all about, the efficacious love of God to salvation that he might love us more.

This fullness of love in which we are to dwell is not just in what he does to atone for us, but the love that brings atonement is the stepping stone to the love of complacency or delight in those for whom the atonement was made. So he now loves us as those he has atoned for. See that here in john 15. Owen speaks of this in a four fold manner.
1 love of delight--outflowing of love in appreciation and joy 15:11. Once atoned for there is a love of Jesus that overflows in delight over believers. We can so easily lose sight of this.
2. Love of value. He was made flesh and died for his people. His saving love for us expresses his value of us. Because he has died for us,we have become valuable. Not based in our value in ourselves. We are his treasured possession.
3. The love of pity or compassion. Expressed in many ways. Here in v 18 we find the world will hate us because he love us. So at the end of the passage he speaks of how the counsellor will come
4. The love of ? Love of the abundance of grace that is ours in Christ Jesus.

How well do you understand this in what it does to the style of your holiness?

the union in which we are to abide
1. A personal union. Abide in me and I in you. That is difficult for us to expound is that there is not a perfect analogy for this. Jesus uses the vine and the branches. The union we have with Jesus Christ is a union with his person. "Pistuo eis" eisis unique to bible. indicates union of persons. Not an impersonal union, it is the very person of the son of God in us by Spirit and us in him by the Spirit. The union with Christ we have is not that we somehow or another share his grace because following him there is no such thing as grace. Grace cannot be separated from Jesus Christ There is only the lord Jesus grace is not something. All there is is Jesus himself. let us not fail to understand that Christianity is Christ So you become like him because you live most closely with him. People in congregation start to be like their pastor, and their modeling of Christ is based in his modeling of Christ even in its distortions. Key is personal union with Christ
2. Spiritual union. In sense that it is a union forged by the Spirit. The same Spirit that indwelt him and empowered him as he walked this earth. There are not more than one Spirit There is only one holy Spirit, and he is the one who indwells all believes. Verse 23, if anyone loves me then my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him. He will more and more work in me by the holy Spirit so that I become more and more a fitting home for Christ
3. union that is regulated by his word. If my word abides in you, Jesus said. Col 3, let the word dwell in you richly. Our love for the lord Jesus will be manifested in what we are and how we are preaching. Not experts who stand over scriptures, but people who bring out beauties of the scripture and hold it up before them. that they see that we to are constantly learning more of scripture. That we with them are below the scriptures and sit where the congregation sits. Our ministry of the word weekly is a marvelous part of our abiding in Christ
4. Union of friends. Dr. Ferguson laments the easy use of Christian names today. Not like the days when one would draw one into friendship by saying, call me by my Christian name. Now he calls his disciples friends. This is also a growing union, like union with wife grows after marriage. This will grow forever in the coming age.
5. A union the causes pain. As the things that should not be part of us are chiseled away. We feel that pain, yet we don't understand why. We are pruned by the Father to cut away everything that gets into the ways of fruit

C. The marks of those who abide
1. Universal obedience to the lord Jesus commands
2. Respondent friendship to Jesus himself--he not just makes us friends but seeks a response of friendship. To think of ourselves as his friend.
3. Love for all those for whom Jesus has died -- love one another
4. A willingness to suffer in communion with Christ Union with Christ will bring suffering
5. a constraint to witness to Jesus name. When the helper comes he will bear witness and you will bear witness. V27. Because Spirit with Christ from the beginning
6. Christ's joy will be in us and our joy will be full. What does Jesus mean by this? Both our lives give Jesus great joy and the great joy of our Saviour dwells in us.

When this is true, our ministries will be different and Jesus like.
At the end of the day there is nothing else worth living fr.

Opening -- O The Deep Deep Love Of Jesus


Post a Comment