Reconstruction (John 6:67-69)May 8, 2022 | Brandon Cooper
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Good morning. Go ahead and open up to John chapter six, starting in verse 60. This morning, John six, starting in verse 60, will apologize up front, you can probably hear my voice already and most likely see my facial expression as well. But I am well under the weather. So if I am more incoherent than usual, I think that’s the reason it could just be my general incoherence. As you’re turning to John chapter six, though. So, Easter is, of course, pretty big deal in our family. And it’s pretty important today, for me in my career as well. So naturally enough, the night before Easter, around 8pm, I will not name offending parties, but somebody put something down our drain that was not supposed to go down a drain, and the garbage disposal did not handle it well. So we’re stuck. I’m not particularly mechanically inclined, I’m actually the opposite of it. But there I am, you know, eight o’clock or so at night with my head under the kitchen sink, pulling apart all the pipes. And because of where the clog was having the pipes vomit all over me, it was really fun. Yes, exactly what I wanted to be doing, and then trying my very best to put everything back together again, where it had come from and you know, squeezing everything tight and running the water, make sure it was actually going and it was all going just fine. And then I saw the other pipe lying on the ground still. So what do you do? In that situation? You put your house up for sale, right? I mean, there’s nothing else to do? No, you pull it apart again and put it back together. And that’s what I had to do. And that’s really what we’re talking about this morning, exactly the process that I would commend to you, as we continue to walk through this whole deconstruction phenomenon of deconversion, pulling apart your faith, seeing what’s clogging the drain, how to put it all back together again. In fact, I think this is a particularly helpful analogy. Because there were two people at fault. In this whole drain situation, whoever put the eggshells down in the first place. And then me putting it back together incorrectly. That’s usually the case, right? Usually, there’s input from other people that’s messing with your faith in some way. But there’s probably also some things that you’ve got put together wrong at the same time, the fault doesn’t really matter. What matters is does the thing work or not? Can we get faith flowing through the pipes again? And so what are we going to do pull it apart, and put it back together? Again, that is you know, kind of going off our title of a series stilled, we just want to raise face to the ground and just have a pile of rubble when it’s done, or do we want to raise faith raise up a new edifice stronger now than we had initially. Don’t stop at pulling it apart, put it back together. That’s exactly what I mean by reconstruction, the theme of our message this morning, look, we see the value of reconstruction. All around us right now. You’re welcome to Tour parts of our building. What do you do in reconstruction, you pull out the rat, you pull out the stuff that is outdated or broken or fit a different time but doesn’t make sense now, but then you don’t just leave it there like people happy with how it looks out front? Of course not. We got to finish the process you rebuild. So how is it that we rebuild our faith? Unsurprisingly, we are going to look to Jesus for our help here. In fact, Derek rich, Molly, gives us advice in particularly speaking to those who are in the process of deconstructing thinking about it. And he says my two pieces of advice are number one, as you walk down this road, approach it intentionally, don’t just let it happen to you. And then second, you need a guide, something or someone to help you focus on what really matters. And I can think of none better to fill that role than Jesus Himself, His words, His action, and his person. So we’ve tried to be intentional throughout this series. We’ll try to be intentional today as well. And we’re gonna let Jesus be our guide. In particular, we’re going to look at what Jesus has to say at a moment when a large group of people walk away from him, deconstruct if we could use that language, and see what he has to say. So I’m going to read John chapter six, verses 60 to 69. And then we’re going to talk about the interplay of three elements in this story all instructive for us. Jesus is hard teaching the community and then of course, Jesus Himself. When we read John six, or 60 to 969.
On hearing it, many of His disciples said this is a hard teaching, who can accept it? Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, Does this offend you? You know what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before the Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing, the words I have spoken to you, they are full of the spirit and life. If there are some of you who do not believe, for Jesus had known from the beginning, which of them did not believe and who would betray him, he went on to say, this is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has enabled him. From this time on, many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed him. You did not want to leave to do you, Jesus asked the 12. Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, we’ve come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God. Then Jesus replied, have I not chosen you the 12? That one of you is the devil. He meant Judas and go from there. So let’s start with the hardest teaching. First of all, the hard teaching, let’s not skip past the harsh reality of Scripture, which is that Jesus routinely says things that offend even those who are curious about him. Routinely, in this case, the offending line a little bit earlier, from where I started reading this morning was, you need to eat my flesh and drink my blood? Sure, that’s a hard teaching, is it not? This is the reason why, early on in the Roman Empire, they referred to Christians as cannibals, because the Lord’s Supper will take together in a moment here and this whole idea of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, this freaked people out, kind of understandably. And so they push back on him, what exactly are you saying here, Jesus, and in pushing back, they exemplify the current mood in so many ways, because they see Jesus as really interesting, like a good, but maybe not perfect, moral teacher. And the thing, of course, is, if he’s not perfect, well, then that means there are moments where we could correct him, challenge him push back, that raises some difficulties of its own, of course, because if he is not the standard of perfection, what exactly is the standard of perfection? How are you going to know at which moments to correct a Jesus? Is this just your opinion? Because now you’ve made yourself the standard of perfection and your spouse and kids have something to say about that? And also, you know, a possibility is the the mood of the moment, you know, what does our culture say? But there are issues there as well, because again, why would we think our culture has arrived at perfection all evidence to the contrary. But this is the current move. But notice, then what happens next? Jesus doubles down. And this is a hard teaching who can accept it? And Jesus doesn’t go okay. All right. Let me rephrase. Sorry, I should have said it differently. No, he says, Does this offend you? Like he expects to offend people in his teaching? He then confirms his authority? Is this venue, what if you see the son of a man ascend to where he was before? Sitting beside the Ancient of Days, with all authority, and everlasting dominion, and he predicts apostasy as well. There are some of you who don’t believe there are some of you who are going to walk away, not everyone is going to stick with me, which is important. I said that week one, but it’s worth repeating, of course, that the reality is that some people will not believe. In fact, Jesus even says, verse 65. This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has enabled them. This is an act of God, those of us who believe, which is itself a hard teaching, isn’t it masked regularly? Does that mean there are some that God doesn’t choose? And what do we do with hard teaching? Well, maybe we no longer follow him. So this is often what causes the drain, isn’t it? Not the only thing there are other issues for sure. But often what causes the drain is that Jesus teaches hard things that we don’t really like. Those hard things are different in different cultures. So, you know, what offends us here today is not what would have offended somebody living in Africa in the 12th century or something like that. But it offends every culture in different ways. Excuse me, that won’t be the last time that happens. What are some of the main issues that offend people today? Might be yours, somewhere on this list? Sex and biblical sexual ethic. Race, usually not Jesus’s teaching on race but the church’s response to it. Politics.
Man sent me a short sermon. Follow Jesus. Thank you. Let’s close in prayer. All right, justice, and those sorts of issues, science, and what it has to say about what the Scriptures claim, and just generally an anti intellectualism among Christians or the church, it seems like and you gotta check your mind at the door if you’re gonna be a Christian. And of course, the issue of hell, in judgment and wrath. These are some of them. You come across those issues, and we can grumble. We probably all have at some point or another. To which Jesus says, Well, you don’t want to leave me now to do you think it’s a fair question. Peter’s response, I think, is key. Because Peter says, To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. That is, he recognizes Jesus’s authority. If Jesus is who he says he is, in verses 62, and 63, and who Peter says, He is in verse 69, you are the Holy One of God, that not only does Jesus have the right to say hard things, but the hard things he say will be right. Because he’s the All Knowing God of the universe. His words will be words of life words, that when properly understood, and received and believed, will generate life in us. A little bit like the nourishing bread to which he compares himself earlier. I’m the Bread of Life is why you got to eat my flesh, drink My Blood, as he says, Thank you Mark, your top Deacon today, man.
What does that mean? That it means that we should certainly lean into Jesus’s hard teaching, get if he is who he says he is, then when it’s hard, we should go, okay. What made this or What’s he trying to say? Let’s ask those honest questions in search of honest answers. And as Derek Reshma, we said, we must be intentional here, right? Like, what exactly does the Bible say? What did Jesus really teach? And let’s dig deep into some of these issues. So like we did a seven week series or two years ago, we did a seven week series on the biblical sexual ethic. Seven weeks, and I feel like we skimmed the surface, it was called a better Yes, still worth listening to. If you weren’t here, then these are not questions that have become irrelevant at this point, of course. But what were we trying to do? We’re trying to open up the walls on the biblical teaching, and see if there’s rot inside test again, the the bearing capacity of the soils underneath. And so we looked at them that this is not just a question of what what does the Bible teach about sexuality? But the why question, which is so often neglected by both sides of the debate today, we look at things like can we trust our moral intuition when it comes to this? Because we’re so deeply influenced by our culture? Why would we assume that our moral intuition is automatically right, we might also need to check our anthropology, which is influenced by culture. Because our anthropology today says so much about the fact that the real you is the you that’s inside, you need to discover that and let that out. It’s known as expressive individualism. And it’s really popular today. It’s also really fraught with all sorts of complications. It makes us inherently selfish, and we’re already pretty selfish, I’m not sure we need the help. And of course, it also reduces truth and value to relativism, because now all of a sudden, whatever I find inside of me, that’s my reality. At the same time, though, I just want to knock the outside, there’s lots of bad teaching about sex in the church. We talked about some of it last week with the matt Chandler story and the who wants the rose idea, like there are places here where we just do need to clear out some of the rot or maybe with a science one is more your question. We talked about this one a lot, especially when we preach through Genesis because you know, Genesis has some things to say about science, God created the universe in seven days from nothing. That’s a hard teaching. After Darwin and Dawkins and people like that, let’s pull it apart. Again. What exactly does the Bible say Hear the Bible is and this will shock some of us I know not a science textbook, doesn’t mean it doesn’t say true things about science, but it’s not trying to give us a scientific account of how the world began. So maybe we need to go back and say, Okay, what exactly is scripture trying to say in this moment, at the same time, what does science say? Mean? The scientific method assumes certain truths that really don’t make sense apart from a biblical worldview. We could talk about Some of those, and frankly, the more we know about science, the more we understand the world and how it came to be and stuff, the more that Christianity makes sense. And the less that naturalism does, on issues like Race and Justice. Well, it’s definitely time to reconstruct. I read a great quote recently, it was saying that the problem that we see so often today on issues like this, even within the church is that conservatives betray conservativism, by conserving rot, and then progressives betray progress by blowing up the foundations on which the whole thing is built. We could do better, we could try a third way, couldn’t we? So where does humanity’s intrinsic worth and value come from? The Bible has something to say about that. And whose justice gets to win out if there is no objective standard? We do not have agreement about justice, not by any means. And what does the Bible actually say about Race and Justice? Because that might help us as we look back on history, is the problem that Christianity is rotten, or is the problem that Christians have not lived up to the Christianity they profess? Those are really different answers. Or maybe the issue again, is hell or judgment, or wrath, all those words that sound like relics of a bygone era. And thank goodness, the era is gone. This is the era of religious wars, and all of that the pride and the judgment. God is a God of love, or at least he ought to be if he exists, we think the problem with that, of course, is that there’s such squishy definitions there. What do you mean by God? What do you mean by love? For that matter? Does love preclude anger?
Quite the contrary, of course, I’ve quoted Miroslav Volf. Before I’ll quote him again. Today, he is speaking he’s a Croatian theologian. So he’s speaking of what he witnessed in the Balkans during the wars, there in the 90s. But I would encourage you to listen to this. With Ukraine, on your mind and what’s happening there. At this moment, he writes this, he says, I used to think wrath was unworthy of God. Isn’t God love? Shouldn’t divine love be beyond wrath? God is love. And God loves every person in every creature. That’s exactly why God is wrathful against some of them. My last resistance to the idea of God’s wrath was a casualty of the war in former Yugoslavia from which I come. According to some estimates, 200,000 people were killed over 3 million displaced. My villages and cities were destroyed. My people shelled day in and day out, some of them brutalized beyond imagination. And I could not imagine God not being angry. He goes on to talk about Rwanda as well. 800,000 people hacked to death in a matter of about 100 days. And he says, How did God react to the carnage by doting on the perpetrators and grand apparently fashion, by refusing to condemn the bloodbath, but instead of affirming the perpetrators Basic Goodness, wasn’t God fiercely angry with them. Though I used to complain about the indecency of the idea of God’s wrath, I came to think I would have to rebel against a God who wasn’t wrathful at the sight of the world’s evil. God isn’t wrathful in spite of being love, God is wrathful because God is love. We hear that and we look at Ukraine and we go, okay, that makes some sense to me. But the problem, of course, is that we all think everyone else is evil deserves punishment, whereas mine is, you know, okay. It’s not really serious. This is a hard teaching, that sin is sin, that all sin merits punishment, because at its root, it is rebellion against a good and gracious God. Sin is ultimately deicide. We want God dead so that we can live the lives we want to live, and it is literal deicide since we actually killed Christ, in the process of rebelling against God, look, I haven’t answered any of those hard questions. Now, by any stretch of the imagination. That was my point, much more to say about all of them. But the point stands still, we need to lean into the hard teaching, to make sure that we understand what Jesus is saying and why he’s saying it to ask him. Jesus, in what sense? Are these words of yours life? In what sense? Do they generate life when believed and received and acted upon? Don’t just pull it apart? Right? Don’t just let the pipes vomit, the potato peels and eggshells on you. Put it back together again. See how this works? See how it’s supposed to work. But we do that in community. Second point, do all that in community. In fact, it’s interesting that even Peter phrases his question in the plural to whom would we go? Like I think part of what we need to do here as we dig construct deconstructionism and think through this whole process is to reject individualism. One reason we reject it is because it’s about 10 minutes old, historically speaking, and anytime something is that new, you want to go hang on now, how come nobody’s done this for the last 5000 years, like they probably had good reasons. So reject the individualism that says I can be my own standard, and instead, move into community. I read part of verse 70. I wasn’t supposed to. But Jesus reminds us there in verse 70, that he chooses a group have I not chosen you, the 12. A plurality, not just a collection of individuals, of course, Jesus is gathering a people. In fact, that’s what the word church means. The Greek word for it is the assembly, the called out ones who are gathered together, we need community in this process of deconstruction, dis inculturation and reconstruction, because otherwise, we will be bound by our limited perspective, just what you can see in your experience and all that your personal bias and your individualism, I get that this is complicated. My whole saying, like you need to do this in community, some of you are deconstructing because of the community. Right, like the pipes are clogged because someone at church stuffed something down them. So why would you want to go back to church to get that problem taken care of the church is so often responsible, and it is.
But that doesn’t change the point. Sometimes, of course, the pipes aren’t working because you don’t know how to put it back together. We gotta acknowledge that piece, as well. We need input from others, like YouTube videos might work might help you figure out how to do some home plumbing, it would be far better to have someone that you know and trust that your side if I had to choose between YouTube and John Arvidsson in my kitchen. I am choosing John for sure. Right? We need that input from people that we trust. This is one of the reasons why in the Creed’s, we keep talking about the one holy universal Catholic lowercase c. Apostolic Church, we all belong to one church, local expressions of it absolutely. But there’s one church, and that church needs to speak to each other across time across distance. This is why we’ve got a church history class going on right now. So that we get that input from other Christians. Remember what I said last week, we come to our knowledge, what we know to be true, or at least believed to be true, because of a combination of facts, experience, and community. And we all want to think it’d be in that order. But it’s not. It’s exactly the reverse. We believe what we believe because of our community, first and foremost, then our experiences. And then generally, we just squeezed the facts to fit our preferred narrative understanding at this point. What that means, though, then, if this is the top one, we need to choose our community so carefully, as we have this conversation, as we go through this process, give you at some point, considered yourself a Christian, why did you first believe in the resurrection? Was it because of the facts? Or was it just because of the community? I believe in resurrection, because that’s what Mom and Dad told me. And so what happens then again, you find a new group, find a new community, and then we drop that belief, because that was the whole basis for our faith system. By the way, notice the influence of community again, I know almost no one who deconstructs who isn’t doing it in a community of people who are walking away, even hear. On hearing it. Many of his disciples said, this is a hard teaching, verse 66. And this time, many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed him. I think we’re just one he’d kind of stick in the back, keep his head down sort of thing, right? There’s safety in numbers, it’s easier to leave when someone else goes first. So do you believe what you believe about Christianity being false on the basis of nothing more than your community? It’s a fair question. But again, let’s do this in community. What if our community could actually help here because the community is that place to sort through the facts like an Easter we handed out that little book, your verdict on the empty tomb, dealing with the facts of the resurrection, which are important. I still think that’s a great book to read in community and to chat through the experiences that you and others have had. And to see what they have done like we need fell all pilgrims on this journey. But what if you’ve been wounded by the church? Well, meaning that’s not good. I’ve said before I’ve been wounded by the church, I get it. But that does mean you give up on her. Alright, stick with me put it this way, you pretty much cannot be hurt deeply except in relationships. You also can’t find healing, except in relationships, like people are the problem and the solution, because we’re sinners, of course. But we’ve also got inherent worth in us as well. So we need people, even if we’ve hurt each other, been hurt by each other to come together. Because because we actually want the healing the reconstruction, you could certainly find groups of people who will embrace you in your hurt, you got hurt by the church. Alright, let’s do it. Let’s just have our little survivors group together here and talk about how bad the church is. But the problem is, they won’t treat the wound so that you’re basically left to bleed out in this new community. And the pain just gets worse and worse. Like we need embrace, absolutely find people who will embrace you. But we also need the wound treated, so that doesn’t get gangrene and all that. What will heal that? How about words that give life? That’s what we’ll do it? We need those words that give life frankly, we also need a standard by which to call out the wound. Again, what is it that we’re saying we say the church has hurt us? Usually we’re saying they are
objectively wrong. That was weird. They did something that was objectively wrong. How do we know it was objectively wrong because of the standard that Jesus Himself gives us? So based on what I’m saying about community here, and how we need to reconstruct and community, there’s an implicit exhortation church here, isn’t there? Like what I’m saying is that that we, those of us who are deconstructing must become the community where this can happen. I’ve got to face this way you guys don’t get to hear anymore, sorry. Just touch everything. Hopefully, it sticks. We must become the sort of community where this can happen. I think a roughly contemporary model for what I’m talking about would be Francis Schaeffer is Aubrey, which translates to the shelter? Which I love. By the way, isn’t that exactly what you want the church to be a shelter, a place where people can come in from the storm and find refuge. So Schaefer started Labrie, when European college students were dealing with post modernism, and a postmodern critique of Christianity before that word even existed, but they were a hearing all these things that the professors were saying, and they lost that sense of meaning, and purpose, and value, or even their values themselves. And so they’re asking all these questions. So what do you do with a group of people like that, I can tell you what the church normally does, either close the doors, so that that doesn’t infect the church. We got to keep our kids save from, you know, hard questions. So let’s make sure they can’t come in here. Or let’s just win them with our cover arguments. Here are 36 reasons why you’re an idiot for thinking that this is my default mode, by the way, so I’m being redeemed here. That’s not the approach Shaffer tips, though, neither one would Shaffer did was throw the doors open. His approach was one of warm hospitality, he would welcome these questions and questionnaires into his home. And people who are like strung out on drugs and stuff like sweet, you can sleep on the couch kind of thing. And he listened first. This is where many of us lose the plot for sure. He listened. First, what are the real concerns of the person in front of me? Not culture generically, but this person here, and then he would invite them not into a program or a curriculum, but into a dialogue, student driven dialogue? Again, what are your questions? Let’s talk about that. And many, as a result of the shelter, came to or returned to the faith. And you could go back and if people did this, and they talk to these people who came to Christ in the shelter, and they’d ask them, Why, what was it that led you to Christ or back to Christ? And they would not point to Shaffers brilliant arguments. And if you read Schaefer, the arguments are brilliant. That’s just not what they said, though. They always pointed to the uniqueness of the community that they found there, because this is a community that balanced truth and love and they said Never found that anywhere else. Not really, you’d always find a community that was one or the other. So they could go to places where they would find inclusive acceptance of whatever it was that they believed. You’re welcome here, you can think what you want to think. But it came with relativism, there were no standards, there was no truth. Or they could have the truth, you know, a dogmatic orthodoxy. But with exclusivism, we’re right, you’re wrong. And we really want to keep the wrong people out of this community. But that lovely. And in Christ’s community, they find both. They find Christianity, it’s what they find real Christianity, the Christianity of Jesus who said, I am the truth. No one comes to the Father, apart from me, that’s exclusive dogmatism. And whosoever will come, you’ll find welcome here. That’s the community we need to become. Don’t quit after pulling it apart, put it all back together. And as you’re putting it back together, solicit input, and what I hope is in a genuinely Christian community, as you do, lastly, then let’s end the most important part, which is Jesus. As we do all of this, of course, we focus on what really matters. Jesus Himself. It’s the question that hangs over all the Gospels, who do you say that I am? Or as he even says, Here, are you going to lead me to?
This is ultimately a question of Jesus and your relationship to Jesus, Jesus is the issue, as he himself claims to be here and on almost every page of the Gospels. Again, he looks at the group that’s leaving, saying, I’m sorry, that offended you. But what if you see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? And this is like the vision of Daniel 12. Right there, you’re gonna see him sitting beside God Almighty, with all authority ruling over an everlasting kingdom. What if you see him there? What then, like, we must reckon with who Jesus claims to be, and must understand that this is the real reason that we all go astray. And we all go astray. Of course, we all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Why do we do that? Because we want to be God. Like, maybe you’ve had this conversation with someone I know, I have many times where I’ll be engaged in debate. And again, my default is always intellectual. And when this argument kind of thing, they’ll be winning the argument. And the person will not fall to their knees weeping, repenting and believing in Christ. Just really confusing to me. And so a couple of different times, I’ve asked like, Okay, if I could answer all of your questions like prove the resurrection beyond a shadow of a doubt, would you believe? And almost inevitably, the person will look at me and go, probably not. Because the issue isn’t intellectual. The issue is one of authority. I don’t want to live under crisis. I don’t want Jesus to tell me how to live my life. Like we got to remember the issues under the issues as we talk about all this. I’ve said this before, a couple times said it this morning, even explore our class. Sometimes, you know, the people who leave in college, they’re not leaving because of intellectual objections to Christianity. They’re leaving because their extracurricular activities changed. And then they needed to justify their new immorality. Oh, we’re fools. Also, if we don’t think that a fear of people drives some of our deconstruction tendencies, because Christianity is not terribly popular right now, in some of those areas that I’ve already mentioned. We don’t want to be canceled. We don’t want to be scolded, disapproved of don’t want to be seen as uncool, or regressive, or worse, even oppressive, and so surely some of that’s going on. Or maybe it’s even more basic than that. Like, we’d love to tell ourselves stories, we’d love to tell ourselves stories about ourselves. Even one of the most powerful stories is of course, the coming of age story. Well, what if that coming of age story involves you rejecting the faith of your parents? It’s like Oedipal at this point, I want to be my own person. I always want to believe what I was told to believe. Now, I’m not saying those are the only reasons not by any stretch of the imagination. There are real intellectually honest doubts about Christianity, but I still think we need to have that healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to ourselves. But do you see with all that junk inside of us, factoring into it, it might be best to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus instead? Like I think navel gazing is a really bad idea here, let’s look at Jesus instead. Why? Because we are not called to assent to an abstract set of doctrines. When we believe in Christianity, we are called to trust a person, Jesus. So stay in the gospels, listen to him what he has to say, see if you can’t trust him on his terms. And by the way, you got to trust Him on His terms or reject him outright. You can’t trust them on your terms, because that is rejecting him outright. Because then you’re still just saying, I get to be God, I get to decide how this works. You’re trusting in yourself instead. But can you trust Him on His terms, breezy claims to have words of life. And his earliest followers agreed, and agreed even more so when they saw how his life played out. I mean, we’re still fairly early on in Jesus’s ministry here, we’ve not seen His death and resurrection. Yet. The Jesus didn’t just speak with authority and say true things. Although he did that he embodied that truth. I mean, Jesus is himself the Word made flesh that gives life. This is what he says John 651. Again, this is the hard teaching that causes people to walk away. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life
of the world, which I will give for the life of the world. Jesus did not come to scold, to condemn, to moralize. Jesus came to live, and then to die for our sakes, for our life, that we might have life in him. You may not have committed the horrors of war. But we have every one of us used others for our own pleasure. We have defied God to whom we belong. And we are under His just judgment. But God takes no delight in our death. And so in love beyond all reckoning, he sent his son to those who had rejected Him, and allows himself to be wielding li murdered in order to reconcile
us to himself. That’s a hard teaching. That’s a hard teaching. Because it forces us to take an honest look at who we are.
We belong to God because He made us so we’re his we’re not our own. And we’re treasonous. And therefore deserving of wrath also forces us to take an honest look at what Jesus did and why. It tells us that we couldn’t do it can’t do it. And so he had to do it for us, which is why he lived and died in our place, and that humbles us, even while it exalts us, he came that we might have life, what we seek is found in him, eat this bread, you never hunger, again, spiritually speaking. So what’s clogging your drain? Is it science? Because Jesus is saying, I’m the Logos, the explanation for everything that the theory of everything, you want to explain why matter and mind and morals exist? Look at Jesus? Is it justice? Well, here’s the judge, the one who knows the hearts of all people whose judgment is always perfect, but who’s willing to be not just just, but also the justifier of those who trust in Him? That is He He establishes this standard, and he will hold all of us to it, but he also makes away for any who would come? Like what a fascinating tension within Christianity, that we have this confidence that absolutely no evil will be left unpunished. And yet there is Grace available, so that we don’t need to be punished for the evil that we have done. Is it a sexual ethic that clogging the drain? Jesus says here is love. Perfect intimacy, union with the Godhead. That’s what we’re really seeking marriage and sex. They’re just pointing to that intimacy, which is far deeper, greater, richer and more satisfying. Maybe what’s clogging your drain is guilt, or shame, and the way that people have made you feel you’re wondering if you can find welcome in a community. And what does Jesus say here is hope. A fresh start a second chance. Remember from last week, Jesus is the one saying I want the rose throws have been trampled by your bad choices. I want the rose to Who will you go? Who else has the word who is the word that gives life to all who believe deconstruct deconstruction. We don’t just want a pile of rubble, right? So let’s, let’s look at the process and what it is that we’re trying to do deconstruct deconstruction, then descend culture eight, talked about that last week, what is the gospel, the kernel, and what’s just a dried husk, that you can let some breeze carry away, deconstruct, disrupt culture, but then reconstruct, don’t quit, after pulling it apart, put it back together again. And as you do, let Jesus be your guide, and your foundation, the pipes in the water that flows through it, trust in Him, let’s pray. Father, we pray that even now you would help us to fix our eyes on Jesus. Because we know that we are not called just to believe in abstract set of propositions, but to trust in a person who is the embodiment, the physical embodiment of all that you are, who is Himself, God. And who shows us your goodness, your holiness, your justice, your mercy, your compassion, your love, your grace. Lord, as we look at Jesus, we pray that that would help us to sift through all that we’ve heard from everyone else. The Christianity that we’ve seen, practiced, sometimes for better sometimes for worse, some of the stuff that we probably do need to let go, because we want to follow you and not just our traditions or our culture. I pray God that as we come to the end of this series, you would be working especially in the lives and hearts of those who are deconstructing or thinking about it. And that you would draw them back to Jesus Himself.
And restore them to faith would help them to reconstruct, to rebuild what has been pulled apart, maybe for bad reasons, maybe for some really good reasons, but to raise a faith, or once more, in a stronger edifice than before. And Lord, I pray for us the church as we seek to be a community in which that can happen. Would you continue to convict us, chasing us where we’ve been off in our approach where we have loved something more than Jesus and made that a part of who we are? And then grow us so that we might be that community of truth and love that exemplifies the values of Christ. We pray this for your namesake