Separation is a sin, but it’s a remedy, too.
AUGUST 10, 2022
Separation is a sin, but it’s a remedy, too. Let’s talk, on Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious cliches. Our host and teacher is seminary professor Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to the 15th chapter of Matthew. We’re looking at verses 36 through 41 as a part of our study in the book of Acts. And we’re looking, and I’m not going to read it to you again, but you might want to open your Bible to that particular text cause it’s not a, it’s not a pleasant text. I mean, I sometimes say to the Lord, you know, you could have left out the part about our forefathers beginning this whole thing with a con game, and you could have left out the part about one of our forefathers who lied about his wife and said she was his sister, so she could sleep with the king. You could have left the part out about David and all the bad stuff he did. And Jeremiah when he was such a coward. And Peter, when he was a hypocrite years after the resurrection. You could have left the part, and I could go, you could have left Paul’s confession in Romans 7 out. I mean, we don’t need to air our dirty laundry in public, but evidently and God never gives me a vote. He decided that we exactly needed to do that. Let me tell you something, in your library, do you have books, biographies, and I love biographies, by the way. Do you have biographies of famous Christians? Now, let me ask you something, in those biographies, do they tell you the good and the bad? I read a review of a new biography of Thomas Jefferson just this morning. And the reviewer said, the good thing about this biography is that it’s honest. He had a dark side and he had a light side. He said and did some wonderful things. And he said and did some horrible things. Now, when you have biographies and especially of Christians and they don’t tell you, for instance, if you’re reading about Spurgeon and they don’t tell you about his depression and the times he couldn’t even get into the pulpit. If they don’t, if you’re reading about John Wesley and you don’t read about the horrible marriage he had and the time that his wife chased him down the street with a lamp, trying to hit his head with it. If they don’t tell you that’s stuff, now listen to the old guy, this is what you ought to do with those books. Burn them, they’re not very helpful cause the Bible doesn’t do that at all. The Bible talks about some very fine and wonderful and obedient Christians that God uses in an amazing and wonderful way. But the Bible also tells you the downside. That downside is a place that God included for your encouragement. Somebody has said, Jesus was crucified between two thieves, one came running and that was so you would never despair. The other didn’t, so you would not presume. And something like that’s going on in Scripture. And it’s going on in particular, in this 15th chapter of John, where Paul and Barnabas have this disagreement and can’t work or stay in the same room together. Sometimes honest and open separation, as much as possible in love is an absolute necessity. For this reason, they can or will do, still get along. They just can do it better if they’re in different places. You know, I’ve understood and respected that. And I’ve learned a lot from this text and other places. At one particular time in my life, I changed denominations. I only did that once and I’ve never left a church, except one time. And, cause my biggest and most positive attribute is my loyalty. And my biggest danger is also my loyalty. Man, I just don’t leave. If we’re friends, we’re going to be friends until, I’m the friend, you know, a friend will forgive you if you killed somebody, but a real friend will help you bury the body. And I’m that kind of friend and so it’s very hard to leave. And I remember when I left the denomination, I had been angry, I had spoken on ecclesiastical, the floors of ecclesiastical meeting, I’d expressed my disagreement and my anger. And I thought I was right and they were wrong. And then a friend of mine said, Steve, you can’t leave, if you don’t cry when you do. You can’t leave, unless you cry when you do. A very good friend of mine, who had done the same thing, said the day may come, when I have to come before you, but I will do it with tears. And I will say brothers, I just can’t walk with you anymore. When I do feel like that, I won’t be glad, it will be a very sad time in my life. Did you know that Jack Wyrtzen, the founder of Word of Life and Billy Graham had some major disagreements. Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you the whole story, but I know the whole story, but they decided to go in different directions and God honored their decision. And now, they’re in heaven, standing around the throne and laughing together in love. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, continuing to teach us from Acts 15 about this seemingly unresolvable conflict between Paul and Barnabas. But of course, nothing is impossible with God. More from Acts tomorrow, make sure you join us then. And if you joined us any last week, well, then you heard our friend Pete Alwinson teaching us about the Beatitudes. And if you have heard Pete, then I know you’re gonna be interested in a special free CD we’re offering, a CD featuring a sermon from Pete. It’s called The Father You Need. Take a listen to part of that sermon, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Pete.
Victoria Secunda in her book, she’s not a Christian, in her book, Women and Their Fathers talks about the near universal father hunger, that women experience in our culture. Robert Bly, in his book, Iron John came out years ago, talking about the father wound. What we experience so much as people in this culture are the father wound, the father hunger. And it affects the church, it definitely affects the church. In fact, you could study the whole subject of the fatherhood of God, but I’ll tell you this, the way you understand the fatherhood of God will be seen through the lens of your earthly father experience. As objective as we are in seminary, and if I were Steve, I could get very deep at this point. My voice is not that deep. I prayed, I want you to know, I prayed that God would give me that voice. He hasn’t. But it’s very important to understand that our theological lens is clouded by our earthly father experience. And how you approach all of your theology. All of your exegetical studies are based on your earthly father experience, I believe. Trust me on this, your view of God is determined by your earthly father experience. Did you hear the story of the teacher who was giving a math quiz? And she said to one little boy, she said, what would you have if you had one dollar and your father gave you another? And the little boy said, I’d have one dollar. She said, you don’t know your math very well. And he said, you don’t know my father very well. . And the reality is, is that your view of your father affects your view of God. And I believe that it’s so important that when we, in seminary, I wish I had somebody point this out to me because it affected my whole life as a pastor. In fact, your view of God, if you can picture with me a square cut into quadrants. In the upper left, picture in that, of course that’s the upper right for you. But in the upper left, if you would picture being raised in a Christian home, above the midline, you’re raised in a Christian home, in the upper left with a positive father experience. Some of you are in the upper right quadrant and you were raised in a Christian, in a church with a negative father experience and it’s along the spectrum, isn’t it? You know, from a 10 down to a one, 10 being the best kind of father experience you could ever have, below the midline you have in the far left, you were raised in a, in a pagan home with a good positive father experience in the far right, pagan home without a positive father experience. The reality is, is that you will approach life differently. You will approach ministry differently. You will approach the people you minister in a very different way. And it’s absolutely crucial as we go into ministry. I wish I’d known this, when I first started out. I wish I’d known how important my view of my heavenly father was when I went into ministry. Now, with that said, let’s get to the text. The text I have for us is I John 1:1 through 4. A very familiar text.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched, this we proclaim concerning the word of life- the life appeared, we have seen it and testified to it and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us- we proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you may have
indicating purpose. They got it. They got it.
Here’s the purpose of this whole phrase.
So that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.
Just a couple of simple truths, the purpose of the incarnation was to reestablish relationship. Wasn’t it?
That’s good stuff. You can get that entire sermon at no cost just by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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