Friday, August 02, 2019

2019.08.02 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 15:18-25

Questions for Littles: What attitude toward followers of Christ does John 15:18 anticipate the world having? Against whom else has the world had this attitude? How could His followers have been loved by the world (John 15:19)? Why aren’t His followers still of the world? With what command does John 15:20 begin? What did the world do to Christ? What will they do to His followers? Why will they do “all these things” to Christ’s disciples—Whom do they not know (John 15:21)? What particular sin do they have because of Christ’s coming and speaking (John 15:22)? What does Jesus call it to reject what He says (John 15:23)? Whom else does someone hate, if they reject Jesus? What particular sin do they have because of Christ’s working miraculous sign-works among them (John 15:24)? Why did these things happen (John 15:25)?
As the churches have lost the knowledge of the depth of man’s sinfulness, they have also fallen for the idea that there is a way to be loving enough that unbelievers will find us likeable. This passage is a startling reminder that this idea represents the expectation or suspicion that we can be more loving than Jesus!

No, the problem with unbelievers is not that they just haven’t happened upon likeable-enough Christians. It is that they hate the Christ.

The motivation to love them as ourselves must be to reciprocate to the Lord Jesus obedience to His commandments that comes from wholehearted love to Him because He first loved us. We must not be motivated by the idea that we will be “likeable” enough.

Jesus came as the revelation of His Father (John 1:18—and really the whole book of John). He actually expected to be hated without a cause—both because the Scripture said so (John 15:25) and because He was speaking words and doing works that were from the One whom the world already hates (John 10:25-39; John 14:10-11).

Now, we should expect to be hated. If we are speaking gospel words and still being “liked,” we may begin in love to press the issue of guilt and grace. For, it may well be that when we have striven not to be world-liked but Christ-like, and we are not hated and persecuted for it, that the cause is a work in the heart that God the Spirit has begun in them.

But let us not fear or shrink from being persecuted and hated! This they did to our Master, and this passage reminds us that it is wickedly arrogant to expect that we would receive differently.
Whom have you been telling about Christ to whom you might speak more plainly?
Suggested songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations” or TPH2B “Why Do Heathen Nations Rage”

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