Sermon – Blessed Assurance and the Pleasure of God (1 John 3:19 – 3:24) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Sermon 11 of 17

Blessed Assurance and the Pleasure of God

Pete Woodcock, 1 John 3:19 - 3:24, 15 December 2019

Pete speaks on the reasons to have assurance in God's salvation from 1 John 3:19-24.

1 John 3:19 - 3:24

19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

And we're going to be reading from verse 11 to the end of the chapter 1 john 3. For this is the message you heard from the beginning, we should love 1 another. Do not be like Kain who belonged to the evil 1 and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brothers were righteous.

Do not be surprised my brothers and sisters if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is. Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need, but has no pity on them, How can the love of god be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence. If our hearts condemn us, we know that god is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before god and receive from him anything we ask because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

And this is his command, to believe in the name of his son, Jesus Christ, and to love 1 another as he commanded us. The 1 who keeps God's commands lives in him and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us. We know it by the spirit he gave us. Well, good morning.

My name's Pete Woodcock and, the pastor of the church. It's lovely to have you if you're visiting. And we've been going through this book this year slowly, 1 John and seeing some great truths in it. And this will be our last of the year in 1 John, and we're gonna finish up 3. Let me pray.

Father help us now. Please, to, hear by your spirit, what you say through your spirit word, that you would enliven us to these truths, that you would speak not only to our hearts and our minds, but for the very way we live. Please would you be kind to us? Help us not to be heroes and then forget what we hear help us to hear and in faith and repentance respond to it in Jesus' name. A hypochondriac, according to, to a dictionary definition, is someone who lives with the fear that they have a serious but undiagnosed mental medical condition.

A serious but undiagnosed medical condition. That's what a hypochondriac is and the classic picture of a hypochondriac is someone who's, you know, constantly questioning their health. They're obsessed with what might have gone wrong with them. And, they spend all their time on the internet now sort of examining any symptom that they might have and going for the worst possible outcome that they can think of and they panic and often just hide under the duvet and think gonna be dead soon anyway. So I might as well stay in bed.

So much of their time can be taken up with sort of health checks and checking their symptoms that they actually really just don't live. They don't live the healthy life that they've got, which is a strange thing, isn't it? Now it can be, and it very often is a very comical figure. You can make great fun out out of a high hypochondriac. It is quite funny, and and lots have been done on that.

But it is actually also a very sad figure, really, isn't it? A small ailment, a cough, a spot, and it's hyped up to say my whole body's dead, I might as well die now. I'm a walking dead man. There's no hope for me. I'll stay under the duvet.

And I won't even go to the doctor because they're liars. He'll tell me I'm alright, and I know I'm not. It's that sort of thing, isn't it? Now personal health health checks are are probably good and, medicals are fine and proper and even on a regular basis, they can be very good things, but we're meant to have them so that we then go and live a life. That we don't just be ruled by small symptoms and so and so forth.

And of course, there is the reverse hyperchondry act that never wants a health check just in case they find something. So they won't look at a lump or a spot at all. Just in case it's bad news. Now all of this applies not only in the physical realm, but it can apply in the spiritual realm as well. So when we examine ourselves before god, and we see our failures, and we see our sin.

And we think, am I really healthy? Am I a follower of god, or am I lost? Is it is it worth me ever coming to god? Because I'm so lost because I've done it again. There's that spot again.

There's that cough again. Now, just hold that illustration. Let me take you to another 1. Just turn to John chapter 13. It's the foot washing incident.

We've looked at this before in our 1 John series, but we looked at it from a very, for a very different reason just to show how much got, Christ loves and serves. But in, in John 13 then we have this, Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, but he comes to Peter's turn. And just look at verse 6, He came to Simon Peter, who said to him lord, are you going to wash my feet? Jesus replied, you do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand. No, said Peter.

You shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered, unless I wash you, you have no part of me. This is classic, Peter, then law Simon Peter replied, not just my feet but my hands and my head as well. We've gone from now to everything. Jesus answered this, and this is what I want you to see.

Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet. Their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every 1 of you, for he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not everyone was clean. So what you've got here is you've got those who have had a bath have been washed and, their whole body is clean and Peter is 1 of those. Yeah.

That's what Jesus is saying. And then there are those who haven't had a bath and aren't washed and Judith. He's the 1 that Jesus is talking about here, the betrayer. Is 1 of those. But if you are clean, if you have been bathed, you only need your feet washed.

That's the illustration. Now let me put the 2 illustrations together. The feet washing and the hypochondriac, if we can. Yeah. The hypochondri Act would see the dirty feet and say, that's it.

I can't walk. I'm filthy all over. I've had it. I've never been clean. I'm not clean.

I'm not even a Christian. I must die in my sin. Look at my feet. So the hypochondriac will never live their life. They see a spot and instead of dealing with it, they're totally debilitated that the spot means something else.

And they're like dead men walking, and that can happen with genuine Christians, spiritually. Last week, we were looking at those verses 11 to 18. If you weren't here, you can hear that online and they're very important verses. And John does some very strong health checks for us in those verses 11 to 18, and he shows us some symptoms of very bad spiritual health. Just look at some of the verses, verse 11.

We should love 1 another. There's a spiritual health check. We should love 1 another. Look at verse 12. Do not be like Cain who belonged to the evil 1 and murdered his brother.

Don't be like that. Don't be like Cain. There's a spiritual health check. Verse 14. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love each other, Anyone who does not love remains in death.

My goodness, that's a challenging health check, isn't it? Look at verse 15. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. Wow. That's a check.

And then verse 16, we're told to be like Jesus who lays his life down. For the brothers. So here's John. He's doing a spiritual health check. He's asking the questions as I did at the end of last week sermon, are you more like Cain or you're more like Jesus?

Cain took life. Jesus gave his life. Which 1 are you more like? And John is basically saying this is a good examination. In fact, it's good to regularly examine yourself under the word of god, the seeing word of god.

To see if there's any signs of corruption forming in you to see whether you need your feet washed. And of course, we do need them washed regularly. Get them washed before disease comes. Or come to Jesus and get them washed at least. So John, he sees this sort of examination of a health check as something normal, I think.

This is the normal Christian life, by the way, and what we which we should be about. The normal Christian life is 1 of examination against under the word of god and that's why we preach every week. That's why you need to hear the word of god. Is that is there some puddle you've you've jumped in and your feet are filthy. Get them washed.

So he sees this as a normal thing, but when you have examined yourself, then you confess, repent, and have faith. Just go back to 1 John chapter 1 and verse 8 and 9. Look. If we claim to be without sin. We deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Do you see? The examination will show us up and then we confess our sins and he's faithful and just to forgive us our sins. And purify us from all unrighteousness. See how it works?

But this is the problem, isn't it? When we hear teaching like 1 John, are you a cane or a Jesus? When you hear a sort of preacher pointing the finger at you and going for you. It's really easy at that point to say, I'm not Christian. There's no way I could be.

I don't think I am. I think I'll just hide under the duvet. And I I won't go back to that church because it makes me feel even more cringing or or I just will have to pretend and try and liver a lie as a hypochondriac. I mean, you don't know what my week has been like. I've been much more like Cain than Jesus.

Now the thing is, in this, John really, really wants us to know that fundamentally you are healthy before god. He wants us to know that that all we need is our feet being washed by the lord Jesus Christ if you use that illustration. He wants us to know that and this is what these verses are are doing that we're looking at today versus 19 to 24. He's dealing with what we would call Christian assurance that you can be sure you are right with god. And he writes this so that we may know.

Look at verse 14. We see the word we know. We see in verse 16. We know verse 19. We shall know verse 24.

We know. He's saying I want you to be absolutely certain that you're a Christian even though you have dirty feet. Don't be the hypochondriac that just runs away and high Christian assurance is simply this. It's being sure. It's It's easy, isn't it?

It's being sure that you are really in the family of god, and it's confidence, and that confidence is built on facts. So it's not a sort of vague confidence, a whistling in the dark as they call it, to try to cheer yourself up. It's based on facts, and that's where you've gotta be very careful of feelings. Assurance is much much much much much much more than your feelings. And your emotions, it's on facts, certainty, things that you can be certain of, You see feelings?

It was interesting. Those that were at the film club last night, we were seeing I think it's I really think it's 1 of the best films I've ever seen. And I've seen it many times. What's it called? Muppett's Christmas Carol.

It is extraordinary for loads of reasons it is an extraordinarily good film, just the way they've done it, just to how they communicate, frightening things to children, They have a bit of fun that doesn't take away from the seriousness just to lead children into the it's it's amazing film anyway. I'm not doing a review of that. But scrooge when he sees the first ghost says this could be just a little bit of cheese in the belly. I don't know whether I'm seeing truth or is this just a dream or a bit of cheese or a bit of wind? And feelings are like that, aren't they?

You overeat the cheese, and you feel high or low depending what what your body does. Feelings. Don't go on feelings. You need to know and that's why why John is using the word know. We know.

It doesn't say we feel We know. We know. We shall know. We know. God has not only provided a way by which we can be saved, and he's not only saved us, he's actually shown us for certainty that we can know that we are saved, that there's no doubt or uncertainty.

There's a fantastic little book by, the old, he was the first bishop of of Liverpool called, JC Ryle. Hundred and 50 years ago whenever he wrote it. He wrote a little book called Holyness. It's really a classic, and, it's worth definitely worth a read. And in it, he talks about Christian Assurance.

There's 1 chapter on Christian Assurance. Let me just give you some of his headings. Of why Christian Assurance is so important and actually what it brings. Christian assurance, he says, here, here are his headings. Christian assurance brings comfort and peace.

If you're assured that you are healthy in god's sight that you've been washed and bathed and it's just your feet that need re washing. If you're assured, then you will be happy. There's comfort and peace. It's miserable to think that you are not the lords. And that you're dying of some disease, of sin, that you're lost.

The chains of dread and fear they're awful. Ryal puts it like this. Christian Assurance enables the Christian to feel that the great business of life is a settled business. The great debt paid debt. The great disease are healed disease, and the great work finished on my behalf.

To know that brings comfort and peace. Second thing he says, Christian assurance will help us in poverty and loss. It teaches the Christian that you have an eternal home and a heaven and a father. And even though this world may not be up to what you would want and there's loss and poverty in this world. You know for sure it's not gonna be long before you're in the riches of He says Christian Assurance will support us when bereaved He says friends come and go, friends we've invested in.

They come and go, but Jesus is alive forever. The friend always with you. He says Christian Assurance will help us in prayer. It gives us confidence to pray. We're gonna see more of that in just a minute.

He says Christian assurance will make us more active in our Christian work because we won't be the hypochondri act hiding away. Thinking that we can't do anything because we're not even Christian but we'll have a confidence to work. The illustration he gives is not the hypochondriac but of a man who has inherited a field. It's a great illustration. Here is a man or let's say 2 men that inherit a field.

It's their field. 1 man is unsure all the time that his it's his field, and he keeps on going back to the council to check that the deeds are in his name. Are they in my name? Are they in my name? Is it really my field?

I'm not sure. Is it my field? The other man knows that it is his field. He believes the deeds. The first man because he's checking the deeds and worrying whether it's his field leaves the field and weeds grow, and there's no harvest.

The second man, because he knows it's his field digs and tills and weeds and plants and has a harvest. Christian assurance is very important then. And if you're suffering with spiritual hypochondriac or unsure that you are right with god. It will have implications The joy of the lord says the Bible is your strength, but if you don't know that joy, you'll be weak. So these verses, I'm getting to them.

I am getting to them. It's a long introduction. I realized I should have told you it was a it was the shortest of all my points. Now it's the longest of all my points, the introduction. So John writes these verses in verses 19 to 24.

And he writes them to strengthen Christian Assurance is amazing. Even listen to this, even when we find ourselves not doing the things that we ought to do and the things that John has shown us and challenged us on. We can have Christian assurance even when sin lurks and stomps and shouts out into our thoughts and words and actions. We can have Christian assurance, John is gonna show us even when our feet are filthy through deliberately jumping in mark. We can have Christian assurance even when last week I felt I was more like Kain than Jesus.

Taking life than giving my life. And so he spells out how you can do that. When you have doubts, This is what you do. Now that was all the introduction, and here's my first point. 0.1, a condemning heart set at rest.

Do you see this? Look at verses 19 to 20. A condemning heart set at rest. Do you see this? Look, this is how we know that we belong to the truth.

And how we set our hearts at rest in his presence. If our hearts condemn us, we know that god is greater than our heart. And he knows everything. So here's John, describing a heart, not at rest, and a heart that condemns the person. Do you did you feel the the heartbeat here?

This is a heart condemning and not at rest. And I don't know whether you've ever had that when your heart beats too fast. You perhaps had too much coffee and stuff like that and you find your heart races even though you're not running or anything, you're just sitting there and your heart races and you feel breathless and you feel the heart going It's not a pleasant feeling. It's unrestful, isn't it? Or perhaps you can't sleep at night because you're worried about something and your heart is not at rest and it's beating.

Here's this racing heart and it's wearing us out. John is describing this. And and you if you hear the beat, it's failed again, failed again, failed again. Not a Christian. Not a Christian, not saved, not saved, not saved, not saved.

Delta health. Delta health. You can hear it beating and it's exhausting. And many true Christians, real genuine Christians can know what it is to have a heart that is not at rest and it's condemning them. And am I really saved?

So what are we to do, says John to set our heart at rest? How do we bring the heartbeat down? What is the pacemaker that is going to cause our heart to beat properly? Well, when your heart beats like that, he says, apply your mind. Your mind.

Look at verse 20. For if our hearts condemn us, we know knowledge word. We know that god is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. What John is doing here is almost like he's painting a picture of a courtroom here. There you are in the dock.

Okay? You're up up up in a courtroom case, and you're in the dock. And who's the witness in the witness box against you? Your heart. Your heart, and your heart is accusing you, condemning you, failed again, failed again, not a saved.

You're not saved. Yeah? But who is the judge says John in the doc? It's god, and god knows all things more than your heart. And so the whole court case depends on who, your heart, or the judge.

And he says, no, it depends on the judge, the god who knows everything. And that god is bigger and full of more knowledge than you but god knows everything. He says. So you see what's happening here, and I want this is so important. When our hearts condemn us, we're not to argue with our hearts.

We don't start saying sin doesn't matter to the heart because it does, and John showed us that. We don't start trying to excuse it where, you know, we all do it. We're all a bit I mean, she was like grumpy old so and so anyway. So no wonder I treated her like Kain. Don't just ignore the pricking of your conscience or your troubled heart.

That in self is a gift of god, not to doubt your salvation, but to rub in how big god is in salvation. You've sinned again, glory to god he forgives in. It's an opportunity to praise him. Not to doubt. He's bigger.

And this John says is the very thing that pleases God. Do you want to please God? You don't run and hide under the duvet. You wanna please god, then you come to him. If you've sinned, where's the best place to go if you're a sinner?

To the sin forgiver. That's the best place to go. So this is a great opportunity for you to know your salvation a little bit more and how big god is for you. Not to doubt. When the alarm of your conscience is tripped and your heart is troubled, you deal with it.

Don't hide. Don't say that's it. Don't put on a pretense. Maybe you spoke impatiently to a brother or sister in Christ. Where you need to amend that relationship and the great opportunity is that you can mend the relationship.

For the church is about forgiveness. Maybe you made a decision motivated by pride or greed or envy and you need to reconsider that. The great thing is that god is so big. He allows you to reconsider it. And that's a growing point.

Maybe you've been drifting from your close fellowship with God and his people, and your conscience and your heart is raising a red flag. Prompting you to get your priorities right. Well, do it. It's a great opportunity to come to the god who says, I love it. To help you grow in this area.

Whatever the case may be, rather than ignoring your conscience or your troubled heart, It drives you to god to the safest place on earth. The fact that you feel bad about these things, my dear friends means that you're not Kain, Do you remember the story of Cain? When god came to Kane and said, where's your brother, Kane? What did he say? Am I my brother's keeper?

I don't care. I couldn't care too. He's dead. I don't care. The very fact that you don't wanna be like Cain is evidence of god pushing you again to confess your sin and understand that god is the big god Who is the big god in this courtroom?

Just have a look back at chapter 3 verse 1. Listen again to these words. See what great love the father has lavished on you. Remember that word lavished lavished on you? That we should be called children of god, and that is what we are.

The love this isn't a stingy minzy father that says, ah, you done it again. Yuck. Well, I don't like people like you. He lavishes his love on us. He loves to have a because he's a father.

He loves the dirty feet because he's big into feet washing. It's wonderful. Look at verse 5 of chapter 3, but you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. He's about the sin removal business.

Yeah? It's a joy, isn't it? The dustbin man picks up all your crap. Isn't that a joy? What do you do with your rubbish?

Hide it from the dustbin man. Oh, mustn't let him see it? Oh, don't let him see that that rubbish and all the food we've thrown away. It's a joy when you put it out in the front. You display it.

There it is and it's your delight to pick it up for me. How wonderful a dustin man comes around or whatever they're called today. God loves to deal with sin. It pleases him, delights him. Don't use it to get under the duvet and hide away and say, oh, no.

That's the joy, isn't it? In fact, the very fact that you know that you've sinned and you've failed shows you some truth. Just go back to 1 John chapter 1 verse 8 again. Let me read it. Listen.

If we claim to be without sin, We deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. So even the very fact that you're disappointed with yourself and your feet are filthy, and you're recognizing that, shows you the truth is in you. It shows you that. It's a sign from god, the greatness of god God is greater than your sin and your condemning heart. He's bigger than it.

He's bigger than your sin. When he looks at you, he says, I know you. I know your sin. And actually, I know that the sin that you're so condemned under is worse than you think, but you're my child. And my son died for you and cleansed you and you've been bathed.

Let's just wash these feet here. Let's get up and get on. You see how resting the heart is understanding who god is? Be at rest weary heart and troubled condemning heart. You are a sinner, absolutely.

But Christ died for sinners, so there you go. That puts you in his camp. You're washed Just need to come to Jesus and have your feet washed in that sense. That's the first point. Here's the second as a condemned heart set at rest.

Here's the second. They all flow into each other. A confident heart set to pray. A confident heart set to pray. You get it in verses 21 and 22.

The heart can't condemn a only god can condemn us and he won't condemn us because Jesus took our condemnation. So now verse 21, because your heart is not condemned verse 21 dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, They can't because only god can condemn us and he doesn't condemn us because Jesus would condemn on our behalf. Shall I do it again? Dear friends, If our hearts do not condemn us, they can't, because god is the 1 in the in the dock. If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before god and receive from him anything we ask.

Because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. Because we're not condemned, we can come to the father Even when we have done the inexcusable in our lives, we're still his children. Because we're not condemned. We come and we confess and we ask him in prayer for help to obey. If you confess your sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

And you you realize at that point that god is a good god. He loves to forgive He loves to purify. That's what he's about. That's what the whole gospel is about. And then you come with a new confidence.

He is your father and as a father, he loves to talk about your struggles. That's what children do with fathers. How am I gonna pay this off? I've been a bit stupid here. I blew it here.

What do you think I should do? He's so pleased to be a father. He loves you to come like that. Understand who he is. You don't have to be the hypochondriac that says, oh, proves I'm not a Christian.

I can't go to god. I'll go into the duvet. I'll hide. You don't have to be the reverse hypercontract Christian and say, I never want to hear any of the word of god that will condemn me and, or or rather show up my dirty feet and so I'll hide. There's confidence.

The prayer of the Christian is meant to be not uncertain, but confidence. We're not meant to read prayers. We're not even mental recite prayers. We're boldly come and ask. It's talking.

Look at 1 John chapter 2. Just go back to chapter 2 and verses 1 and 2. My dear children I write this so that you will not sin. Don't sin. Remember that?

I write this that you will not sin. Okay. We're gonna live our life for God and not sin, but If anyone does sin, well, that's me, we have an advocate with the father Jesus Christ the righteous 1. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and not only for our sins but the for the sins of the whole whole world. Do you understand that?

That we can come confidently when we know we're sinners because he deals with sin. We have 1 there with the father speaking on our behalf. We can boldly come. With our sin. Sin should drive us to the advocate drive us to the atoning sacrifice.

So a condemning heart 0.1, set at rest, a confident heart 0.2 set to pray. Here's my third point. A commanded heart set on Jesus. Or you could say a continuing heart, keeping going with Jesus. It's verse 22 and to verse 24.

The end of verse 22 because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command to believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ and to love 1 another as he commanded us. The 1 who keeps god's commands lives in him and he in them. And this is how we know he lives in us and we know it by the spirit he gave us. The very and this is the point I'm trying to get across.

I I hope I am. I don't know. It's always hard when you're preaching. The very action of bringing your condemned heart to the father through Jesus. Confessing your sin, asking god's help, is exactly the thing that pleases him.

Do you see that? See, we think sin. God hates it. Run, hide. Can't be a Christian.

But it's the exact opposite in Christian thinking. It should be sin. Oh, confess, repent, go to the place where sin is dealt with. Run to my father and say help me with this, will you? I keep falling on this 1, and he's chuffed to bits.

Yes. He loves it. He's pleased. That's the word. Do you see that?

He's pleased. God is pleased with that. Because you're honoring his son who died for sin. To hide your sin and cover up and pretend and is not honoring the sun. He's pleased with that, and it shows the spirit of god is living in you Just look at verse 23 again.

It's a fantastic little sentence. And this is his command to believe in the name of his son, Jesus Christ. And to love 1 another as he commanded, it's a single command, actually, with with its double barreled. It's basically trusting and obeying. Trust and obey.

There's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. Simple little hymn, Brilliant, isn't it? It's not complicated. Trust and obey. Trust and obey.

Trust and love. That's Christian life in a nutshell. That's really the Christian life. You trust that Jesus, the name of his son Jesus Christ the savior of the world will deal with your sin and then you pick yourself up and continue. You have a command and you continue in that command.

However, much you fail, you trust, that he will deal with your failure, and then you go out and do it again. Love. Yeah? Is that hard? Facing Christ.

Is the root. Loving Christians is the fruit. You you'll do it authentically. You won't do it perfectly. You'll do it authentically.

You'll fail in doing it authentically. But you can rest assured that Jesus deals with that sin, and so you get up and you have another go at it. That's Christian Assurance. Continue in sting, when you've failed, he will cleanse you of your sin, and then get on Get your feet washed and march out there and love an an another Christian. Then look at verse 24.

We're nearly done. The 1 who keeps god command god's commands lives in him and he in them, and this is how we know he lives in us. We know it. By the spirit he gave us. Do you see father, son, and holy spirit in this passage?

They're all working for us. And by trusting Christ to deal with our sin and then going out and continuing with that command to love our brothers and sisters, is the spirit's work in you? That is a that is a definition of the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. That's holy spirit power, that is. When you, a sinner, trust Jesus and continue to love your brothers and sisters.

Isn't that wonderful? Isn't that wonderful? Jesus said the mark of the family of god that is that we love 1 another when we continue in that. We'll do it badly. We'll do it falteringly.

That's why we learn to forgive. That's why we ask for forgiveness. That's why we don't just stomp out on each other's lives when we hurt each other, which we will, when we offend each other, which we will, we need to deal with that. Stop being offended and get up and deal with it, and trust in Jesus, and obey love. I read a thing.

I I was trying to, I was trying to ask, Emily, whether this was true or not, but she didn't know. But, I read, I couldn't verify this. So I can't say this is true, but it's a great illustration, so it doesn't really matter. But I read about, Beethoven, which I wish I don't like his music personally, but, you know, he's supposed to be like the greatest writer of music to some people anyway. But Beethoven, Cassie went deaf in his old age.

He was completely deaf, in fact. But in his old age, he would write some what people would say, oh, his best symphonies and his best music, but he was deaf. He couldn't hear them. And he wrote them on an old harpsichord that was totally out of tune and broken. And so the people listening to him writing this stuff was like, that is terrible.

I mean awful, but in his head, This is where how the story goes. He would often cry because he could hear the music as he hit them bad notes. He couldn't hear the bad notes. He only hear the good, and he wrote these symphonies. And we're like that.

That's why I like the illustration. You look at me and you hear planc, bang, bing, bong, as I fumble my through way through to try to love you, as I mess up with you, as I let you down, as I offend you. But god is writing a symphony. So we don't stop With the bum note that we seem to have hit, we trust that 1 day we will be a symphony and the symphony is Christ And god hears that, as we trust and obey in our faltering life, as we wash our feet and know that we are a child of god, as we love other people. So remember, God is pleased when he sees you and hears you, trusting and obeying.

Father help us please now to think these things through, to sit under your word, allow it to do its work in our lives and hearts we pray. In Jesus' name.

Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

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