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← Dangers of Loveless Orthodoxy & Eclipsing of the Gospel - Jesse Barrington

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Showing Revision 1 created 05/10/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. What is another concern or fear
  2. you might have for this generation
  3. of young believers that is coming up?
  4. Jesse: Another concern that I have

  5. for this generation coming up
  6. is what I call the eclipsing
    of the Gospel;
  7. the eclipsing of Jesus Christ.
  8. Meaning, whether it's the individual
  9. or the church finding its identity,
  10. its hope, its joy, its fellowship,
  11. its unity in something other than
  12. Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
  13. And it's a very subtle shift
  14. that happens without many people
  15. noticing that it happens.
  16. So often, so many people will come
  17. to the church,
  18. and they'll begin to discuss with them
  19. about they're looking for a church.
  20. And so often, brother,
    there are so many things
  21. people are looking for in the church -
  22. these byproducts of the Gospel;
  23. these byproducts of Jesus Christ,
  24. which are good things,
  25. but they become the source
  26. of their identity,
  27. they become the source
    of their fellowship;
  28. they're what they're
    looking for in a church,
  29. and they don't ask questions
    about Jesus Christ or the Gospel,
  30. and that's a great concern.
  31. James: Maybe you could
    give some examples there.

  32. What are things you've seen people
  33. looking for too much
  34. instead of the essentials of the Gospel?
  35. Jesse: I'll start with this.

  36. How about the whole
    family integration thought?
  37. Just this last week,
  38. a couple of young people
    came into the church,
  39. seemed like passionate,
  40. excited people.
  41. And the very first comments and questions
  42. were about family integration,
  43. family worship.
  44. Brother, our church worships
    together in that sense.
  45. And my home - we practice family worship.
  46. But when those things become
  47. the mark and identity of a church,
  48. or the mark and identity of the believer,
  49. and the evidence you can see
  50. that this is happening
  51. is this is what you talk about most.
  52. This is what you're passionate about most.
  53. And this is how you base your fellowship,
  54. even within the church -
  55. those who affirm you in these truths,
  56. those who practice in conscience
  57. the same things that you do
  58. whether it's homeschooling
  59. or how you do family worship.
  60. And the moment those things
  61. become the foundation of our relationship
  62. or the identity of the church,
  63. and Christ is no longer that foundation,
  64. inevitably, it will crumble.
  65. Question: What are the biggest dangers

  66. confronting the church today?
  67. The reformed church specifically?
  68. Jesse: It's kind of getting back to that

  69. whole eclipsing of Jesus Christ.
  70. And I'm going to preach on this here
  71. on Saturday.
  72. A great concern I have,
  73. especially in reformed circles:
  74. all genuine Christians love God,
  75. they love truth, they love doctrine.
  76. But in reformed circles,
  77. it's like we're known for our doctrine.
  78. Those are the doctrinally
    focused, sound people.
  79. We study through Revelation 2 -
  80. the letter to the church at Ephesus.
  81. And if you've ever read
    what Jesus commends
  82. about that church,
  83. they're a doctrinally sound church.
  84. They toil in truth.
  85. They defend truth.
  86. They expose false teachers.
  87. They can't stand evil.
  88. They can't stand the Nicolaitans
  89. and they're commended for all of that,
  90. but then Jesus says to them,
  91. "But I have this against you,
  92. you've left your first love."
  93. Now, you might say,
  94. well, that was a love for Jesus Christ
  95. and I would agree with you.
  96. But here's the concern I have:
  97. I think our love for Jesus Christ
  98. is most manifested for its true sense
  99. in our love for His people.
  100. In other words, I love Jesus.
  101. Well, how do I know I love Jesus?
  102. Well, it's evident in the way that I love
  103. and treat His people, the church.
  104. And what that church was warned about
  105. is what we might call loveless orthodoxy.
  106. So the concern I have
    for the reformed church
  107. is that we can have all of
    our doctrinal positions right;
  108. we can debate them left and right,
  109. but we lack love -
  110. a love for God and a love for His people.
  111. And it's a subtle shift again.
  112. People will say how can I have
  113. all my doctrine right and still struggle?
  114. And throughout the Bible, we see examples
  115. of churches that have
    their doctrine right,
  116. but they struggle with love towards God
  117. and love towards the church.
  118. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13,
  119. if I have all understanding,
  120. all knowledge, but I have not love...
  121. So the notion is I can have
  122. some of these things
  123. and be lacking in love.
  124. And I think one of the
    things we need to do
  125. in the reformed church
  126. is mark loveless orthodoxy
  127. as sin that needs to be repented of.
  128. It's not something, oh,
    we should do better in.
  129. It's sin to be repented of.
  130. The warning Jesus gave to that church
  131. is, "Repent and return,
  132. or I'll take away your lampstand."
  133. It's as serious as it gets.
  134. So this eclipsing of Jesus Christ,
  135. finding identity in something
    other than Christ,
  136. or believing we're good because
    we have our doctrine right,
  137. but if we lack love,
  138. we're nothing.
  139. Here's what I struggle with
    so much in this, James,

  140. is that when I preach on this subject -
  141. and I've preached on it, I think,
  142. probably ten times between men's meetings
  143. and the service and different things -
  144. ten times in the last year.
  145. And I keep getting accused of:
  146. well, you just are minimizing doctrine.
  147. You're saying that parts of
    God's Word are not important.
  148. And I'm like, listen, I've given my life
  149. to the study and preaching
    and teaching of doctrine.
  150. But I've come to realize by God's grace,
  151. you can be right in your doctrine
  152. and absolutely wrong.
  153. And I don't think people realize that.
  154. You can have the right doctrine
  155. and be nothing.
  156. And so what's the mark of maturity?
  157. In the reformed circle?
  158. Having all your doctrine right.
  159. What's the mark of maturity in Scripture?
  160. Love.
  161. Love.
  162. We begin to look at people as positions,
  163. where our conversations are not anymore:
  164. "how are you doing, brother?"
  165. "What's going on at your workplace?"
  166. "How is your marriage going?"
  167. It is, "where are you
    at in this position?"
  168. And brother, they're not people anymore.
  169. We're just viewing people as positions
  170. to win over to my camp.
  171. Be careful.
  172. Be careful.
  173. One of the sermons I preached on
  174. was Romans 14 in this.
  175. And I'll mention it some in the sermon,
  176. because this is not only, James,
  177. in the doctrines that we hold to,
  178. but it's also in the living out
  179. of our doctrines and convictions.
  180. And what I find so interesting
    about Romans 14 -
  181. if you say what does Romans 14 about?
  182. Oh, it's about Christian
    liberty and conscience.
  183. No, it's not.
  184. It's about living out love in the middle
  185. of a church that has differences.
  186. And it deals with Christian
    liberty and conscience,
  187. but how do you deal with someone
  188. who has a different understanding?
  189. You know what I love about Romans 14
  190. more than anything?
  191. Is Paul acknowledges:
  192. this brother has it wrong.
  193. And he doesn't really correct him.
  194. His greater concern is this:
  195. Are we welcoming one another?
  196. Now think of that.
  197. This brother - he says he has
    a wrong understanding.
  198. He is weak in faith,
  199. and it's leading him to make decisions
  200. that are wrong.
  201. And Paul acknowledges it.
  202. But he doesn't say:
  203. Go over there and correct your
    brother to the right doctrine.
  204. He says: Are you welcoming him?
  205. Are you loving him
  206. as Christ has welcomed you?
  207. And that doesn't mean
    we're indifferent to doctrine
  208. or we don't talk about it.
  209. But there's a spirit
    that if it's not there
  210. you can have all the right
    doctrine in the world
  211. and it means nothing.
  212. So, Lord, help us, brother.
  213. Question: After studying and preaching

  214. your recent series on, "Maintaining Unity
  215. in the Midst of Diversity,"
  216. what do you look back on
  217. and say most impacted you
  218. from your studies?
  219. Jesse: I think the most impactful study

  220. that I got from the study there personally
  221. was I thought I was a
    much more loving person.
  222. And I realized that the way Paul
  223. understands love is that we should not
  224. measure our love based on
  225. how we get along and respond with those
  226. who agree with us,
  227. but rather it's with those who disagree
  228. or offend us.
  229. So if we surround ourselves with people
  230. who just affirm us,
  231. and who agree on every point of doctrine,
  232. hold to all the same convictions,
  233. and have the same passions that we do,
  234. and we sit around and
    just affirm each other,
  235. you might look at that and say,
  236. look how loving we are.
  237. And I'm not questioning whether that's
  238. genuine love or not.
  239. What I'm saying is though
  240. the true reality or depth, you could say,
  241. of your love for people,
  242. is measured in how you respond
  243. with those who do not agree;
  244. with those who hold
    to different convictions;
  245. with those who have offended you.
  246. It is how you respond
    in those circumstances
  247. and those situations that reveals
  248. the depth of our love.
  249. And I'll go further than that.
  250. I think it reveals the depth
    of our love for Jesus.
  251. I think sometimes we can believe,
  252. oh, I love Jesus, it's just
    these immature Christians
  253. who don't see it the way I do -
  254. they I struggle with.
  255. But as I read through Scripture,
  256. I think of 1 John 3.
  257. How can you love God
  258. whom you have not seen
  259. when you can't even love your brother
  260. who you do see?
  261. In other words, this:
  262. Our love for Christ is always displayed
  263. in our love for the church;
  264. in our love for others.
  265. So our vertical love is always
    manifested horizontally.
  266. Or you could say the depth of it.
  267. And again, to take what Paul said then,
  268. and the reality of your love horizontally
  269. is not with those who agree.
  270. It's with those who disagree.
  271. So, I went into that thinking,
  272. I'm a pretty loving guy.
  273. And I walked away from it realizing,
  274. I have so much room to grow in my love
  275. as I look how I respond to those
  276. who disagree or offend me.
  277. Another thing I learned from that

  278. is I've watched people
  279. when they have disagreements
  280. maybe in doctrine or convictions
  281. or how they live out their convictions -
  282. how they begin to treat
  283. other genuine Christians, other believers.
  284. And it's almost like they create subgroups
  285. or you might say,
  286. second-class Christians.
  287. And I want to remind us all
  288. that there are no second-class Christians.
  289. That Jesus Christ identifies
  290. with the genuine believer who holds
  291. to the lowest view of doctrine;
  292. the struggling Christian.
  293. He identifies with them.
  294. And I'm really struggling in my own life
  295. and in the church and the church abroad
  296. with the response I'm seeing
  297. where people will say things like this:
  298. "Yes, we agree in the Gospel
  299. and in Jesus Christ,
  300. but in this other area of doctrine,
  301. we don't see eye-to-eye,
  302. and therefore I can't
    fellowship with you anymore."
  303. And that's that eclipsing of Jesus again.
  304. Brother, if you agree in Jesus Christ
  305. and the Gospel,
  306. I'm not minimizing all the other doctrines
  307. in the Bible - they're important;
  308. they're God's Word -
  309. but we have so much in common
  310. in Christ and the Gospel,
  311. and then you begin to maximize
  312. these other areas.
  313. I struggle to even use the term,
    because people get so angry at me.
  314. Non-salvific doctrine.
  315. But listen, there are other doctrines
  316. that you can be wrong
    in and still be saved.
  317. I think Dr. Mohler did a great job
  318. in helping in this.
  319. He called it spiritual triage.
  320. And he wrote, listen, we don't treat
  321. a skinned knee like we do
  322. a gunshot wound to the chest.
  323. And we have to have a doctrinal triage
  324. at some level, so that if you and I
  325. can't agree on some level of eschatology,
  326. but we see eye-to-eye on Jesus Christ,
  327. justified by grace through faith alone,
  328. you're my brother.
  329. We can be in fellowship.
  330. We may not be able to pastor together,
  331. but we can be in fellowship,
  332. and I need to treat you with the same love
  333. that I would treat anybody else.
  334. And brother, I'm not seeing that.
  335. I'm seeing divisions after
    divisions after divisions.
  336. And it's concerning.
  337. James: And why do you
    think the devil wants that?

  338. Jesse: Well, when the church is divided,

  339. something other than Jesus becomes
  340. the basis of our unity.
  341. Something other than Jesus becomes
  342. the basis of our fellowship.
  343. And the moment that happens
  344. and it's not Christ as the
    foundation anymore,
  345. the inevitability is we crumble.