Classic Christianity – Book of John p4 (10-17-18)
Bob George, continues his teaching from God’s word from the book of John. He has a passion to share insight from God’s word to help the listener walk in true freedom. Beginning with this very passage, Bob elaborates on foundation principles for walking in freedom. How do you overcome fear, depression and anxiety? These are problems common to all men, and Jesus alone knows how we are made and has the solution. Then, after a short break, he speaks on a subject titled “Prepared or Scared”. He exhorts believers to be prepared for tribulation to come and the importance of spiritual training, contrasting the training offered in the natural realm, such as universities or the corporate world, with an appeal to believers to show yourself as an approved workman, rightly dividing the word of truth.
In the first half of the sermon, Bob elaborates on a passage in John 2:23-25.
Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.
Bob, as in his usual way in discerning God’s meaning of scripture, starts off by asking questions. Who created mankind? Jesus. Does Jesus know what we are made of? Yes Why then do we go to men for answers to life’s common problems? Does Jesus need the testimony of man? Do we need the testimony of Freud, or Skinner, or whoever so-called professional psychologist, to explain man? Would it not be wiser to go to the manufacturer? Who created our body, our soul, our mind? Jesus alone knows the solution to our problems. After all, he was God in the beginning and is the creator. Does Jesus know the thoughts of man?
After such an introduction, Bob asks why go to the ungodly for advice?
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly
The ungodly advice you hear is that depression or anxiety is a disease. Or to take a pill for your depression! What really is the root cause of depression? Is it not caused by what is put in the mind, what one chooses to dwell on? So, depression really is a thinking problem, and not an emotional problem? Bob shares from scripture the exhortation to guard your mind.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is
excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
So, according to the word of God, are we instructed to not be anxious? What then does scripture instruct us to think on? What will be the result when we dwell on such things we are instructed to dwell on?
Bob goes on to say that depression is caused by what we put in our mind and choose to dwell on. Emotions are dumb as a mule and only respond to what is put in your head, those things that are put there through the five senses that you later recall from the mind. What does Satan, our enemy, try to do? Does he not entice you to focus on bad things, to respond to those fantasies in your mind, and to get you to doubt God’s character and provision? So when one is depressed, do you ask “What are you feeling?” No. The better question to ask is “What are you thinking?”.
When a person is preoccupied with thoughts, such as a son who got drunk, do you project that he will always be a drunkard, and imagine things in the future to come to pass, thinking he will always be a drunkard? How does that make you act today? Would you not experience worry, fear or anxiety? For what reason? Fantasies, or distortion of truth, by what you have placed in your mind!
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
What instruction or insight is the Holy Spirit teaching you from this instruction in scripture?
In the second half, Bob introduces the subject: “Prepared or Scared.” He provides a brief testimony of his early training though college and on the job training in the corporate world. He does so to make a point. How much investment of time and money is expended to prepare young people for things that only last for this life, products that are sold that do not last. He further mentions that all of us will face tribulation in this world. It is not a matter of if, but when. How prepared are you for tribulation? Would you be as scared if you were prepared for tribulation to happen? We will all eventually die or be raptured, but we also will face troubles in this world before that happens. He shares from the following passage of scripture:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
How is it that we are instructed to be of good cheer? Who has overcome the world? Does he know you? If he is in you, will he also be with you? What does he know about tribulation that he can inform us? How did he overcome tribulation? Consider also this passage of scripture.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Should our focus be on eternal things, things that last? How is it that the Apostle Paul was rejoicing in prison? Was he dwelling on the fact he was in prison? Why then was he rejoicing? Recall Philippians 4:6-8 shared earlier.
Then Bob went on to exhort believers the importance of spiritual training that lasts. Consider this exhortation.
2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
How much time do you spend studying God’s word, letting the Holy Spirit teach you, to form proper doctrine? Do you rely on men to teach you or do you diligently study the scriptures to correctly handle the word of truth? Do you ask the holy Spirit to teach you? Can you apply the wisdom and knowledge from God, both for your own life and the life of others, so as to walk in true freedom?
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