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Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter – Our home with Christ in the word “abide” – what is life?

RUTH-4-180530
length: 56:28 - taught on May, 30 2018
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Wednesday May 30, 2018
 

Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - Our home with Christ in the word “abide” - what is life?

 

The apostle John likely impacted Asia after the death of Paul. Polycarp places John in Ephesus and states that he died there. Paul stated that all in Asia had deserted him, which shows us that Gnosticism had poisoned the whole area. John’s first epistle addresses the same issue a number of years after Paul’s death, which reveals that Christianity had surged again, but also that the attacks of false doctrine also continued.

 

I think this reveals that throughout the history of the church sound Christian doctrine will wax and wane in areas and nations. The remnant of believers will always exist, yet being more or less in number, and the spreading of lies will never cease until the end of history.

 

Neither John, Peter, or Paul were afraid to confront the falsehood. In one of the churches began by a false teacher, John says he is coming to visit!

 

Truth is sufficiently powerful to confront falsehood.

 

3Jo 9 I wrote something to the church [a lost letter]; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say.

 

3Jo 10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, neither does he himself receive the brethren, and he forbids those who desire to do so, and puts them out of the church.

 

3Jo 11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.

 

John’s ministry in Asia was great. He would be able to cut down men like Diotrephes. But he couldn’t live forever, nor would he need to. The word was written and finished by him, and the revelation of the truth could then only be refuted by misinterpretations, which any humble student of the word of God should see right through.

 

Paul said much the same concerning the false teachers at Corinth.

 

1CO 4:19

But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power.

 

John stated to his readers to be sure to let the true doctrines, as opposed to the lies of the Gnostics, abide in you, as it was taught to you in the beginning. Make sure that the proper doctrine remain in you, in other words, don’t replace them with the nonsense that others are tempting you with, no matter how convincing they try to be or how good they may sound.

 

Jesus the man, who called Himself the Son of Man, is the Son of God. This is quite significant since He is the One who has made your home and your life. Home is life.

 

Let’s begin with the prologue in John’s gospel.

 

JOH 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

JOH 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.

 

JOH 1:3 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

 

JOH 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

 

JOH 1:5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

 

In verse 1 there are three statements. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

The first declares His preexistence. At the creation of the universe, He was there, and so He predates all things. There was no beginning to His being.

 

The second statement declares the distinctiveness of His person. He was “with God.” The Greek preposition is not sun or meta, but pros, which is expressive of a personal occupation with God, or face to face with God.

 

The third statement, “the word was God,” predicates His deity. His oneness in Godhood with Him whom the second statement speaks of. Jesus is the Son of God and the word of God.

 

Then after this there are some significant repetitions.

 

JOH 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.

 

This was stated in the first line, but there are no mere repetitions in the scripture. Sometimes a reiterated statement is confirming what has been already said or it is introductory to what immediately follows. Here we have the second instance. It is repeated that the same One was in the beginning with God because next, the existence of the universe is attributed to Him.

 

JOH 1:3a All things came into being by Him,

 

And yet, this also is repeated: JOH 1:3b and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

 

This is also not a simple repetition in the hope that we don’t miss it. Repetitions don’t need to be this close together to serve as reminders since we just read it a second ago. This is preparatory to a declaration that He is the Author of life: life, which exists in Him essentially, is bestowed through Him upon His creatures.

 

JOH 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

 

Life in Him is unoriginated. In Him was life. He is life. Since that is true, His creatures depend upon Him for it.

 

But what kind of life is it? What I mean by the question is the quality of life, and not generic human life or being alive. When Christ came into the world, the only perfect man who lived fully in the will of God, what was His goal and what was the meaning of His life?

 

At its simplest:

 

He came to save others by His love. He bids us to love as He loved.

 

He came to defeat evil. He bids us to walk as He walked.

 

The first: We are commanded to abide in His love. He told us that love lays down its life. He told us that all others are more important than ourselves. This is one of the two great keys to life. By the power of God the Holy Spirit, it is now our lives.

 

The second: He defeated evil on the cross. We are called to live a life that exposes evil and sin for what it is, not by judging people, for He did not come to judge the world. We walk as children of light, and by that fact, evil and sin are exposed for what they are.

 

When evil comes upon ourselves, our families, our children, our neighbors, co-workers, our church … it rears its ugly, weak head in our corner of the world, we expose it: we teach, we admonish, we serve, we give, we do whatever it takes to help deliver our loved ones and neighbors from it and deliver the good news to them at the same time.  

 

We cannot be combatants of evil while living evil and sinful lives ourselves.

 

It is important to resist temptation, sin, and evil because each of us has been called to stand firm against the opposition, against the schemes of the devil, and expose them. We cannot do it if we are slaves to the very flesh that is an enemy of Christ and of love.  

 

Jesus spoke the truth and He walked the truth and for this reason the world and the evil men in it were exposed. The gospel, the good news, exposes mankind for who he is. The cross defines mankind.

 

So, what is my goal in life? What is my meaning in life? If you can answer that then you know what life is and you will never lack for it. You will never say that life stinks, or is boring, or I wish I were doing something else; for you will always be living that which is indeed life. Jesus has come to earth to give it to each of us who believe in Him.

 

He came to save the lost by love. He came to lead the saved (His disciples) in love. He came to defeat evil and expose evil men to the gospel. He suffered for both but did so willingly. This is life and it is now ours.

 

JOH 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

 

In nature, light comes first and then life, but spiritually they are reversed. Their order is significant here. We do not walk in the life because we were given the light and now we can see. It is actually significant that the order is reversed.

 

If light was given and then I become life, then the life is secondary. But it is the opposite. The life was given and because it has been, we have the light. The life is the light. They are the same.

 

Christ brought life into the darkness and so He brought light into the darkness.

 

The resumption of the title “the Word” is taken up in verse 14.

 

JOH 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us

 

“Became flesh” declares that the Son of God did this voluntarily.

 

This brings us to the motivation for this life of living for others in love, all being more important than ourselves, and overcoming and exposing sin and evil. 

 

Some may look for motivation solely in the fact that the life is commanded. We are to fully follow the commands, but what I mean by this motivation is that the Christian doesn’t exactly want to do it all, but he will try because God commands. I don’t belittle this motivation for the less mature, but it will only take you so far. All of our lives have to go over to the Sovereign hands of God, and you do not want to voluntarily do so, then you will always hold something back from Him and you will only go so far.

 

Some will seek motivation in the fact that a good life is promised and rewards are promised. This is ultimately a selfish motivation. Such a motivation will take you less far than the one just mentioned. What about during times of suffering and loss? You lose all and your pain is high, where is your motivation now? Why not convince yourself that you can seek relief in the flesh or the world, rather than persevere, and you can try again later, after all, the rewards will still be waiting, right? With this motivation, you will never do it.

 

There is only one motivation. Voluntarily. Why did the Son of God do it? He loved Israel, the world, and He loved the Father. We have to come to know God and the will of God to love it. 

 

He loved the saving power of Deity. He loved the grace of Deity. He loved the power of Deity to overcome evil with the whisper of a word. He loved the free-will of man to freely choose for Him and to have a personal relationship with Him forever, sharing His glory, which is perfect and full joy and peace. He loved giving.

 

The Son of God has always known of all these things and has always loved them. On the other hand, we were born into this world hating them. We were changed at salvation, and with that change, we now have to come to know Him through the power of God the Holy Spirit. When we know Him, we will know the will of the Father and we will love both. That is the only motivation. We must love to do so, to live the life that is light, and so do so voluntarily.

 

 

 

 

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