A Challenge to Faith. John 15:18-16:4. Story of Lord of the Rings. As we are rooted in Jesus’s life we will be hated and loved…. Radical Change. Radical Change Radical Challenge. Radical Change Radical Challenge Radical Closeness.
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A Challenge to Faith John 15:18-16:4
Radical Change • Radical Challenge
Radical Change • Radical Challenge • Radical Closeness
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.
22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’
26“But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.
Radical Change • Come back to the Hobbit image
Radical Change • Come back to the Hobbit image • Image of Love?
Radical Change • Come back to the Hobbit image • Image of Love? • Diognetus
For Christians cannot be distinguished from the rest of the human race by country or language or customs. They do not live in cities of their own; they do not use a peculiar form of speech; they do not follow an eccentric manner of life...They live in their own countries, but only as aliens. They have a share in everything as citizens, and endure everything as foreigners. Every foreign land is their fatherland, and yet for them every fatherland is a foreign land. They marry, like everyone else, and they beget children, but they do not cast out their offspring.
They share their board with each other, but not their marriage bed. It is true that they are "in the flesh," but they do not live "according to the flesh.” They busy themselves on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. They obey the established laws, but in their own lives they go far beyond what the laws require. They love all men, and by all men are persecuted. They are unknown, and still they are condemned; they are put to death, and yet they are brought to life.
They are poor, and yet they make many rich; they are completely destitute, and yet they enjoy complete abundance. They are dishonored, and in their very dishonor are glorified; they are defamed, and are vindicated. They are reviled, and yet they bless; when they are affronted, they still pay due respect. When they do good, they are punished as evildoers; undergoing punishment, they rejoice because they are brought to life.
They are treated by the Jews as foreigners and enemies, and are hunted down by the Greeks; and all the time those who hate them find it impossible to justify their enmity. To put it simply: What the soul is in the body, that Christians are in the world.
“I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. 2 For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. 3 This is because they have never known the Father or me. 4 Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.
Radical Challenge • Acts – Saul of Tarsus
Radical Challenge • Acts – Saul of Tarsus • 12th Benediction against the Christians
12th Benediction "For the apostates let there be no hope. And let the arrogant government be speedily uprooted in our days. Let the Nazarenes and the heretics be destroyed in a moment. And let them be blotted out of the Book of Life and not be inscribed together with the righteous. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who humblest the arrogant"
Radical Challenge • Acts – Saul of Tarsus • 12th prayer against the Christians • Early Christian Experience – by the blood of the martyrs…
“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. 6 Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. 7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. 8And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more.
11Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged. 12“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’
Radical Closeness • Intimacy of being within
Application • Modify spiritual challenge into persecution
Application • Modify spiritual challenge into persecution • Reflect on if we are a part of the persecution