When in doubt, remember love birthed you.
JULY 13, 2020
Zach Van Dyke:
When in doubt, remember, love birthed you. Let’s talk on Key Life.
You’re listening to Key Life. We’re here to communicate the freeing truth that God’s not mad at his children. Steve Brown invited Zach Van Dyke to do the teaching in this week. Zach’s the teaching pastor at Summit Church here in Orlando, Florida. If you’re a struggling believer, you’ve come to the right place.
Zach Van Dyke:
Thanks Matthew. And y’all, it is so good to be with you this week. Steve is taking the week off, but he’ll be back on Friday for Q & A. So make sure that you tune in for that. But I hope that even though it’s me, you’ll stick with me all week. Cause I’m excited about what we’re going to talk about this week. And in fact, we’re starting a kind of a series we’re going to spend the next three times I’m here, talking about our doubts and how John in his letter to the church in I John, kind of helps give us some, uh, ways in which to wrestle with and express those doubts. And so I’m titling this week When In Doubt Part One, when I’m here in August, we’ll do Part Two. And then when I’m back in September, Lord willing, we’ll do Part Three and we’ll, we’ll be in the Letter of John to the church. And so I’m excited about it. I hope you, uh, will be with me all week. I love that I get to do this. Um, I just, I think it’s crazy that Steve lets me do this, but I’m so thankful that he does. Um, you know, and so I thought we’d start off by just talking a little bit about the world that we find ourselves in. Now a lot has changed. Um, you know, our new normal is, is different and frustrating. And I mean maybe some, maybe some of you like the new normal, I personally don’t like the new normal. Um, but one thing that I have observed as we have gone through all of this together, this global pandemic together over the last several months, um, is that, and I knew this beforehand, but it became more and more clear during the season that we live in a world that operates as if the root of the universe is power. And you can see that in our government, our businesses Wall Street, I mean even in our churches, but it feels like then all that kind of has been crumbling right before our eyes and our need for relationship. Real genuine relationship is becoming so apparent. I mean, listen, if you make eye contact with me while we’re on a walk, while I’m on a walk or, or I’m in the grocery store, even if I don’t know you, we’re having a conversation and it might go on for a while, cause I have, I am an extrovert and I need human interaction. Um, but one of the very first things God ever said to us was after creating the universe and saying everything is good. He tells us that we are very good. And then he says, it’s not good for man to be alone. So, I want to start off this exploration of doubt, talking about a relational God. And for many of you, you already know this, this is just a reminder, but maybe you turned on this station because all the crazy that’s happening in the world has made you start asking questions. And maybe you’re not a religious person. Maybe you’ve never been to church. Maybe you didn’t go to church or you went to church and the church hurt you. And so you said, he’d never go back, but now you’ve turned on this Christian program and you’re just kind of curious. I’m so glad that you did. And I want to tell you that our God is relational and maybe that’s not the God that’s been presented to you. And that’s the God that John in his Letter to the church wants to make sure the church knows. And so, like I said, we’re starting this kind of three part series in the Gospel of John called When In Doubt. Let me tell you a little bit about the Letter first. The Letter was written probably 50, maybe 60 years after Jesus’s death and resurrection. It was written by a disciple of Jesus, John, uh, a man who was probably only a kid when he started following Jesus is probably, I mean, a lot of people think he was like 15, 16 years old when he first met Jesus and started following him, which means he wasn’t more than 19 or 20 at Jesus’s death. But now he’s an old man and, and probably in his eighties, close to death, cramming for finals. And he decides, I need to write a Letter to these young Christians. I need to write a letter to the church. And he wants us to know this relational God that has forever changed his life. So I want to start by just looking at the introduction to the Letter. A lot of times you don’t spend a whole lot of time in the introduction, but that’s, that’s where I want to spend this week is in I John 1:1-4. So here it is,
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. This life appeared; we have seen it and testify 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 also 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.
This is God’s word. That which was from the beginning. John jumps, right in no high, no ‘sup, he doesn’t even introduce himself. He is so excited. Even as an old man, his excitement about sharing what he knows or rather who he knows comes through in the, in the way he begins his Letter. He starts by telling us who he knows and who he wants us to know. And he wants us to know that that who he knows and who he wants us to know was from the beginning, really from before the beginning. And John likes this, John likes to take us back to the beginning and the Gospel account of the life of Jesus that John writes. He begins in a very similar way. The beginning of the Gospel of John, he says in the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning, through him, all things were made without him, nothing was made that has been made. And then John goes on to say, the word of God is the son of God. And the son of God is Jesus. So right at the beginning of this Letter to the early church, John is talking about God, who is the word of God.,who is the son of God, who is Jesus. Got it? Right, track with me for just a bit, and I promise it’ll all make sense, why I’m going here and why John starts with that, which was from the beginning. I think there’s something so uniquely personal about God that John wants us to see that right from the start. It’s the reason that both his Letter to the early church and his Gospel begins so similarly. If we go back all the way to the beginning of the story, to the beginning of the Bible, we read in the very first verse in Genesis 1:1, In the beginning, God. So there was God. In verse two, the spirit of God was hovering over the deep. So there’s the spirit of God. And then in verse three, then God said, let there be light. It doesn’t say God made light. It says he spoke light. All of creation happens through the word of God, who is the son of God, who is Jesus. Remember? So see, John is pointing us all the way back to the beginning because he wants us to know something about the universe. He wants us to know that at the core of the universe is a God who is relational. He is one God in three persons, father, son, and Holy spirit. Now, listen, I’m not going to delve into this. I’m not going to talk a whole lot about the Trinity. In fact, I had a professor in seminary who said, if you try to talk about the Trinity for more than a few minutes, you’re going to say something heretical and listen, Steve doesn’t need the letters. So I’m not going there. But, I do want to say this matters and why it matters that God is triune, that he’s three in one, it matters because it reveals to us that relationship existed before the beginning, because God is triune, because he himself is relational, you and I can know that relationships are primary. That relationships matter. That means that ultimate reality. It’s not based on power, but it’s based on relationships. It’s based in love. In John’s Gospel, he records a prayer, Jesus prays before going to the cross. Listen to what Jesus prays. He says, father glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. I desire that the world may see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. That’s John 17:5 and 24. Jesus says before the beginning, there was love. There was love inside God, God was love. God was literally love. Not just loving. He’s not simply a loving God. God is love. The father, son and Holy spirit were loving each other, delighting in each other from all eternity and out of that love came the power of creation. So, you see love before power, love before creation. This has profound implications if love birthed you. You matter. So as we’re in this disruption, as we’re going through this situation where everything that we have been striving for all the ways in which we’ve tried to gain control of our lives, all the ways we’ve been seeking power, because everything in our, in our culture, everything in our world says that ultimate reality is power. He who has the power, wins. As that has all been crumbling away. And as we’ve had to distance ourselves from each other, as we’ve had to spend time apart from loved ones, as we’ve had to watch loved ones in hospitals, uh, not be able to have face to face interaction. What’s the thing that keeps bubbling up for all of us. That really it’s about relationship and that points to a relational. God. John intentionally starts his letter pointing us all the way back to the beginning, so that we would know our God is not first and foremost, all powerful, that our God is first and foremost relational. And he’s a God, who’s all about grace.
Thank you Zach. That was Pastor Zach Van Dyke, speaking to us about doubt and teaching us from I John 1, if you have been struggling with doubt, is it a coincidence that you’re listening today? Hmm? I don’t think so. Please make sure you join us again tomorrow and all the rest of the week as well. Well, here we are smack dab in the middle of summer. I don’t know about you, but some of our big family summer plans had to get scrubbed due to this coronavirus thing, but you know what family keeps on trucking? That’s right. The Key Life CD family. Are you a member? If you are, you get two free CDs from Steve each and every year as funds permit. Now, we do give away a lot of CDs featuring content from Key Life and Steve Brown Etc. But, these CDs are different. This audio is from talks from various events where Steve speaks throughout the year. Get in on this now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CDs. By mail, send your request to
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