When in doubt, tell someone the truth.
AUGUST 12, 2020
Zach Van Dyke:
When in doubt, tell someone the truth. Let’s talk on Key Life.
This is Key Life. We are here to communicate the freeing truth that God’s not mad at his children. Zach Van Dyke is the teaching pastor at Summit Church here in Orlando. He’s been teaching us all this week. If you’ve discovered that just trying harder, doesn’t make you better. Welcome to the party.
Zach Van Dyke:
Thanks Matthew. And thank you all for tuning in again today. If you’ve been with us this week, starting on Monday, we’re in a three part series called When In Doubt, where we’re looking at First John. This week, we’re in part two, part one can be found last month when I was here filling in for Steve. Um, and then when I’m here in September, we’ll wrap it up with part three. If you’re missing Steve, don’t worry. He’s coming back. He’s not gone for good. He’ll be back this Friday with Pete Alwinson for Q & A, which I just love. So, know if you have questions, you can always send those to Key Life and Pete and Steve will do their best to answer them. Uh, but you should definitely tune in for that, but you’re here this week and you’re here this week, as we, as we really look at, uh, kind of the first chapter of First John, uh, we’re, we’re dipping a little bit into chapter two because there’s, there’s just so much hope in those first few verses of chapter two, uh, that, you know, we can’t, we can’t not do those as well. Uh, but really the, the part that we’re looking at, we’re focused on this week is, is really John talking about how the deal with things as they really are. He talks about how God is light. And that’s what we talked about yesterday, which means God can’t deal with things that aren’t real. He can only deal with things as they really are. In fact, you know, uh, the Psalmist says that even the darkness is light to God. So you and I might try our best to wear masks, to look different, to present ourselves a certain way to the people around us. And we might be doing a really good job of fooling them, but there’s no fooling God. And yesterday, I ended by pointing to a story that John tells in his gospel account of Jesus, between Jesus and the Samaritan woman, and how in that story, we see that Jesus knew everything about this woman, this shamed woman, this woman, who’s been through five husbands and is now sleeping with someone who’s not her husband. She’s been shamed by her community. And Jesus knows all of that about her. And he still seeks her out. He still seeks relationship with her and how that changes her, her knowing that she’s already seen and loved before there’s even a movement towards her, is what frees her to trust Jesus, to be able to hear the message. And Jesus actually reveals to this woman for the first time, really to anybody who his true identity is. He says, I am in fact the Messiah, I’m the one that you’ve been looking for. You know, all those husbands you’ve had, you know, the relationship you’re in right now, what you’re ultimately looking for is relationship with me. Uh, and, and again, that only can happen because God deals with things as they really are. He doesn’t deal with our falsehoods. He doesn’t deal with our masks. He doesn’t deal with the posturing. He deals with us as we really are. And he talks about that. And then John kind of pivots and he says, listen, if we walk in the light, this is verse seven of First John 1.
If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us, purifies us from all unrighteousness.
I just want to focus on the first part. So he says two things happen in the light. You and I get our sins cleansed by the blood of Jesus. And we have fellowship with one another. Um, again, if you were here last month when I was, uh, teaching, or even if you listen yesterday, I referenced this John, when he’s writing this letter to the early church, he says, salvation isn’t really he goal. Salvation is important, but it’s really a means to an end. The end is true fellowship, true fellowship with God, the creator and true fellowship with each other, for all eternity. That’s, he says right there in First John 1 verse four, that he writes these things so that their joy may be complete, in that you and I will all have fellowship for all eternity with one another. And so he’s telling us how we can experience some of that, this side of eternity. He says, once we are in the light, as God is in the light, once we have fellowship with God, once the Holy one, the only one who can judge us, tells us he sees us that he knows everything about us and still loves us, that frees you and I up to tell each other the truth. Not only that, we must tell each other the truth. I’ve often asked God after confessing something to him, if that can be enough. Like, all right, I confessed it to you. Are we good? Are we done? And in my, my experience, his answer is always, no. James 5:16 says, confess your sins to one another so that you may pray for each other and be healed. God has designed us to live in true, authentic community. And that involves the confession of sins, the sharing of struggles, allowing other people to see us and know us. And that’s really hard to do. It’s hard to do. I, um, I talked about this a couple months ago when I was here talking on Psalm 13 and how I, I came to Psalm 13 in a period of my life where anxiety was really taking over. And it was at the start of this pandemic. And I had never struggled with anxiety or worry really in my whole life. It was a brand new thing for me. And I’ve never been that empathetic to people who struggled with it. I always acted empathetic, but like, I really didn’t understand it. I just thought, well, you know, if you just had more faith or if you just read the right Bible verses, you should be able to pull yourself out of it, like God conquers all. Um, but then all of a sudden I found myself like none of that helped me. Like I was just at this pit in my stomach constantly. I had these racing thoughts that no matter how much scripture I read or how much I prayed, like the thoughts didn’t go away. Um, and I have a son, my oldest son has struggled with anxiety and worry most of his life. And, uh, and as I was describing to him, kind of what I was going through in some of my symptoms and the things I was feeling, he’s like, Oh yeah, dad, that’s it. That’s what I feel all the time. And, uh, and I was so, uh, first of all, I was heartbroken that my son has struggled like this for so long. And, and me being so unsympathetic to it, or not understanding it. But then also just so thankful that I finally got in a place where I could understand it, where, where we were talking on the same level. C.S. Lewis famously said,
Friendship is born the moment when one person says to another, what? You too?
I thought I was the only one. And y’all, there is nothing like having your 15 year old son, uh, who very rarely wants to be with you. And constantly wants to be with this friends, look at you and say, what? You too? I thought I was the only one. That should be happening all the time with Christians. If you and I, if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have true fellowship with one another. That’s one of the gifts of Christianity. You and I don’t have to pretend anymore. We don’t have to act like we have it all together. You and I can tell the truth about each other, because God has seen all of it. He knows all of it. None of it is hidden from him. God is light. So if you and I, if we walk in the light, as God is in the light, you and I have freedom to tell the truth. My mentor, and the host of this radio program, Steve Brown, often says of us Christians that were just beggars telling other beggars where we found bread. So listen, if you are a person who’s listening to this who, who hasn’t kind of bought into the whole church thing and the Christian thing, mostly because you’ve met Christians, and you think, if that’s what Christianity is, I can’t even, I’m out. And not even because you don’t like them, but maybe because they present themselves so good. And you think if that’s what it means to be a Christian, I’ll never, I won’t fit. I’ll never live up to that standard. It’s very much like the younger brother and the prodigal son story, right? I mean, you know, he gets a bad rap for leaving home and asking his father for his inheritance early. But think about his life, he had to live his whole life with an older brother, like he had. Listen, if I have an older brother like him and y’all, I think I was that older brother. I’ve got two younger sisters who definitely have told me that this is how they felt. But if I had an older brother like that, who always did everything perfectly and was always so obedient and always looked perfect and never revealed any weaknesses or struggles, then I would have said, I’m out too. Because if that’s what it looks like to be a beloved son, I’ll never be a beloved son. I’ll never, I’ll never measure up. Listen ya’ll, Christianity isn’t about you and I measuring up. It’s not about you and I being so great. It’s about you and I being free to talk about how messed up we are. That’s one of the reasons I love Steve. That’s one of the reasons I love being a part of Key Life, is that this is a place where really we all just can be honest and say, we’re screwed up, and you are too. But we have a savior who loves us. Going back to that Samaritan woman story. Remember, she was seen and loved by Jesus before he ever even started talking to her. And then we’re told that after he reveals to her that he’s the Messiah, what does she do? She goes back into her town. She says, she runs back to town. She actually leaves her water jug behind because she’s so blown away. She goes back into town, into a town full of people that have shamed her. She’s walked around that town with a Scarlet letter, for who knows how many years, you know, there’s probably a lot of people there whose marriages she wrecked, whose life she’s really hurt, but she doesn’t care. She goes back into the town. She probably goes to the local pub where everyone’s hanging out and she says, guys, listen to this. You won’t believe this. I met a man who told me everything I ever did. And he still loves me. And he still wants me. She couldn’t help, but tell people, you got to come meet this guy. And the scripture tells us many Samaritans from that town believed in Jesus because of this woman’s testimony. What was her testimony? It was not a testimony of transformation. It wasn’t a testimony of obedience, but it was a testimony of being truly known and still loved because it’s all about grace.
Thank you Zach. Pastor Zach Van Dyke there continuing to teach us about what to do with doubt, as he leads us through First John 1. Zach will wrap up this week of teaching tomorrow. Make sure you join us. And as Zach mentioned this week represents part two of his series titled When In Doubt. I’m sure you’ve been enjoying this content, I know I have. So if you missed part one of the series, make sure you swing by our website keylife.org. keylife.org is also where you can find all our past Key Life episodes. And when you’re there at keylife.org be sure to sign up for our weekly email Key Life Connection. It goes out every Wednesday with fresh posts from the site. Plus the folks on our email list often get early and exclusive access to new content and occasionally some free gifts. If you listen to this program, you’ll definitely want to check out Key Life Connection. And while you’re there at keylife.org, look for our latest digital magazine. It has loads of great articles from your favorite Key Life contributors. So much good stuff there at keylife.org, and it’s all free. Thanks to the generous financial support of folks. Just like you. If you’d like to donate, just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. Or you can mail your donation to
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