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Truth and Love (Part 1 of 2)

1 Thessalonians 2:7–12
Program

Truth and love are essential elements of the Christian life. So how can we make sure that they always exist side-by-side? We’ll consider the answer to that question on Truth For Life as Alistair Begg teaches from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians.

From the Sermon

Truth and Love

1 Thessalonians 2:7–12 Sermon Includes Transcript 42:25 ID: 1779

Renewed Minds

Renewed Minds

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Airport control towers are fascinating places. For such small rooms, they contain tremendous capacity and power. The instructions given from these towers prevent chaos and ensure safety. If anything goes wrong in them, the impact is felt beyond their walls and often constitutes great peril.

Similarly, we could say that our minds are the control towers of our bodies. What we do with our bodies is directly related to what is happening in our minds. In our minds we have the capacity to consider possibilities, make decisions, judge our feelings, and shape our affections. It’s no wonder, then, that Paul says that if we are to “present [our] bodies as a living sacrifice” in response to God’s mercy to us in Christ (Romans 12:1), our minds are crucial.

Being a Christian involves taking on a radically altered mindset that results in increasingly pure thoughts and holy behavior, which are not seen in a life without Christ. As Paul writes earlier in Romans, “Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). This change in perspective comes by the power of the Holy Spirit as He instructs us in the truth of God’s word.

Such a change is a process. Each day, we are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Our minds—indeed, our entire lives—are being renewed. We’re neither all we ought to be nor all we’re going to be—but we’re also not what we once were. And when our minds are under the jurisdiction of God’s Spirit and God’s word, the rest will inevitably follow as He intends. We realize that God’s way is best and are delighted to walk in it. We think before we act. We refuse to be shaped by the molds of this world, learning to see where we are being sold a mindset that is based on a lie rather than the truth of God’s word.

So trust that the power of God’s word will renew your mind, and ask the Spirit to work it in you. Look for ways in which the world is calling you to conform, and see those as opportunities to allow your mind to be transformed by godly wisdom instead. And do so not because you ought to but because it is your joy to, for you know that “blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold … Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:13-14, 17).

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Further Reading

Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart

1My son, do not forget my teaching,

but let your heart keep my commandments,

2for length of days and years of life

and peace they will add to you.

3Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;

bind them around your neck;

write them on the tablet of your heart.

4So you will find favor and good success1

in the sight of God and man.

5Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not lean on your own understanding.

6In all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make straight your paths.

7Be not wise in your own eyes;

fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

8It will be healing to your flesh2

and refreshment3 to your bones.

9Honor the Lord with your wealth

and with the firstfruits of all your produce;

10then your barns will be filled with plenty,

and your vats will be bursting with wine.

11My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline

or be weary of his reproof,

12for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,

as a father the son in whom he delights.

Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom

13Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,

and the one who gets understanding,

14for the gain from her is better than gain from silver

and her profit better than gold.

15She is more precious than jewels,

and nothing you desire can compare with her.

16Long life is in her right hand;

in her left hand are riches and honor.

17Her ways are ways of pleasantness,

and all her paths are peace.

18She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;

those who hold her fast are called blessed.

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Footnotes
1 3:4 Or repute
2 3:8 Hebrew navel
3 3:8 Or medicine

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotionals by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, 2022, The Good Book Company.

Promises Fulfilled

Promises Fulfilled

Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O well! Sing to it!”

This well was famous in the wilderness because it was the subject of a promise: "That is the well of which the LORD said to Moses, 'Gather the people together, so that I may give them water.'" The people needed water, and it was promised by their gracious God. We need fresh supplies of heavenly grace, and in the covenant the Lord has pledged Himself to give us all we require.

The well also became the cause of a song. Before the water gushed out, cheerful faith prompted the people to sing; and as they saw the crystal fountain bubbling up, the music grew more joyful. In similar fashion, we who believe the promise of God should rejoice in the prospect of divine revivals in our souls, and as we experience them our holy joy should overflow. Are we thirsting? Then let us not grumble but sing. Spiritual thirst is bitter to bear, but we need not bear it—the promise indicates a well; so let us be of good heart, and look for it.

Moreover, the well was the center of prayer. "Spring up, O well." What God has promised to give, we must seek after, or we show that we have neither desire nor faith. This evening let us ask that the Scripture we have read, and our devotional exercises, may not be an empty formality but a channel of grace to our souls. May God the Holy Spirit work in us with all His mighty power, filling us with all the fullness of God. Lastly, the well was the object of effort. "The nobles of the people delved, with the scepter and with their staffs." The Lord wants us to be active in obtaining grace. Our implements are ill suited for digging in the sand, but we must use them to the best of our ability. Prayer must not be neglected; the gathering of God's people must not be forsaken; ordinances must not be set aside. The Lord will give us His peace most generously, but not on the path of laziness. Let us, then, stir ourselves to seek Him in whom we find all our fresh and flowing springs.

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org. Used by Truth For Life with written permission.

Daily Bible Reading for June 17

Deuteronomy 22, Psalm 110, Psalm 111, Isaiah 49, Revelation 19

Various Laws

1“You shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep going astray and ignore them. You shall take them back to your brother. 2And if he does not live near you and you do not know who he is, you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall stay with you until your brother seeks it. Then you shall restore it to him. 3And you shall do the same with his donkey or with his garment, or with any lost thing of your brother's, which he loses and you find; you may not ignore it. 4You shall not see your brother's donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and ignore them. You shall help him to lift them up again.

5“A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.

6“If you come across a bird's nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. 7You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long.

8“When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring the guilt of blood upon your house, if anyone should fall from it.

9“You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole yield be forfeited,1 the crop that you have sown and the yield of the vineyard. 10You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. 11You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together.

12“You shall make yourself tassels on the four corners of the garment with which you cover yourself.

Laws Concerning Sexual Immorality

13“If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then hates her 14and accuses her of misconduct and brings a bad name upon her, saying, ‘I took this woman, and when I came near her, I did not find in her evidence of virginity,’ 15then the father of the young woman and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of her virginity to the elders of the city in the gate. 16And the father of the young woman shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man to marry, and he hates her; 17and behold, he has accused her of misconduct, saying, “I did not find in your daughter evidence of virginity.” And yet this is the evidence of my daughter's virginity.’ And they shall spread the cloak before the elders of the city. 18Then the elders of that city shall take the man and whip2 him, 19and they shall fine him a hundred shekels3 of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name upon a virgin4 of Israel. And she shall be his wife. He may not divorce her all his days. 20But if the thing is true, that evidence of virginity was not found in the young woman, 21then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done an outrageous thing in Israel by whoring in her father's house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

22“If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.

23“If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, 24then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor's wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

25“But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. 26But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor, 27because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.

28“If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, 29then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.

30“A man shall not take his father's wife, so that he does not uncover his father's nakedness.5

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Footnotes
1 22:9 Hebrew become holy
2 22:18 Or discipline
3 22:19 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
4 22:19 Or girl of marriageable age
5 22:30 Hebrew uncover his father's skirt

Psalm 110

Sit at My Right Hand

A Psalm of David.

1The Lord says to my Lord:

“Sit at my right hand,

until I make your enemies your footstool.”

2The Lord sends forth from Zion

your mighty scepter.

Rule in the midst of your enemies!

3Your people will offer themselves freely

on the day of your power,1

in holy garments;2

from the womb of the morning,

the dew of your youth will be yours.3

4The Lord has sworn

and will not change his mind,

“You are a priest forever

after the order of Melchizedek.”

5The Lord is at your right hand;

he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.

6He will execute judgment among the nations,

filling them with corpses;

he will shatter chiefs4

over the wide earth.

7He will drink from the brook by the way;

therefore he will lift up his head.

Psalm 111

Great Are the Lord's Works

11 Praise the Lord!

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,

in the company of the upright, in the congregation.

2Great are the works of the Lord,

studied by all who delight in them.

3Full of splendor and majesty is his work,

and his righteousness endures forever.

4He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;

the Lord is gracious and merciful.

5He provides food for those who fear him;

he remembers his covenant forever.

6He has shown his people the power of his works,

in giving them the inheritance of the nations.

7The works of his hands are faithful and just;

all his precepts are trustworthy;

8they are established forever and ever,

to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.

9He sent redemption to his people;

he has commanded his covenant forever.

Holy and awesome is his name!

10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;

all those who practice it have a good understanding.

His praise endures forever!

Open in Bible
Footnotes
1 110:3 Or on the day you lead your forces
2 110:3 Masoretic Text; some Hebrew manuscripts and Jerome on the holy mountains
3 110:3 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
4 110:6 Or the head
1 111:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, each line beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet

The Servant of the Lord

1Listen to me, O coastlands,

and give attention, you peoples from afar.

The Lord called me from the womb,

from the body of my mother he named my name.

2He made my mouth like a sharp sword;

in the shadow of his hand he hid me;

he made me a polished arrow;

in his quiver he hid me away.

3And he said to me, “You are my servant,

Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”1

4But I said, “I have labored in vain;

I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;

yet surely my right is with the Lord,

and my recompense with my God.”

5And now the Lord says,

he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,

to bring Jacob back to him;

and that Israel might be gathered to him—

for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,

and my God has become my strength—

6he says:

“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant

to raise up the tribes of Jacob

and to bring back the preserved of Israel;

I will make you as a light for the nations,

that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

7Thus says the Lord,

the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,

to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,

the servant of rulers:

“Kings shall see and arise;

princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;

because of the Lord, who is faithful,

the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

The Restoration of Israel

8Thus says the Lord:

“In a time of favor I have answered you;

in a day of salvation I have helped you;

I will keep you and give you

as a covenant to the people,

to establish the land,

to apportion the desolate heritages,

9saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’

to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’

They shall feed along the ways;

on all bare heights shall be their pasture;

10they shall not hunger or thirst,

neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,

for he who has pity on them will lead them,

and by springs of water will guide them.

11And I will make all my mountains a road,

and my highways shall be raised up.

12Behold, these shall come from afar,

and behold, these from the north and from the west,2

and these from the land of Syene.”3

13Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;

break forth, O mountains, into singing!

For the Lord has comforted his people

and will have compassion on his afflicted.

14But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me;

my Lord has forgotten me.”

15“Can a woman forget her nursing child,

that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?

Even these may forget,

yet I will not forget you.

16Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;

your walls are continually before me.

17Your builders make haste;4

your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.

18Lift up your eyes around and see;

they all gather, they come to you.

As I live, declares the Lord,

you shall put them all on as an ornament;

you shall bind them on as a bride does.

19“Surely your waste and your desolate places

and your devastated land—

surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,

and those who swallowed you up will be far away.

20The children of your bereavement

will yet say in your ears:

‘The place is too narrow for me;

make room for me to dwell in.’

21Then you will say in your heart:

‘Who has borne me these?

I was bereaved and barren,

exiled and put away,

but who has brought up these?

Behold, I was left alone;

from where have these come?’”

22Thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,

and raise my signal to the peoples;

and they shall bring your sons in their arms,5

and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.

23Kings shall be your foster fathers,

and their queens your nursing mothers.

With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,

and lick the dust of your feet.

Then you will know that I am the Lord;

those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”

24Can the prey be taken from the mighty,

or the captives of a tyrant6 be rescued?

25For thus says the Lord:

“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,

and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,

for I will contend with those who contend with you,

and I will save your children.

26I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,

and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.

Then all flesh shall know

that I am the Lord your Savior,

and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Open in Bible
Footnotes
1 49:3 Or I will display my beauty
2 49:12 Hebrew from the sea
3 49:12 Dead Sea Scroll; Masoretic Text Sinim
4 49:17 Dead Sea Scroll; Masoretic Text Your children make haste
5 49:22 Hebrew in their bosom
6 49:24 Dead Sea Scroll, Syriac, Vulgate (see also verse 25); Masoretic Text of a righteous man

Rejoicing in Heaven

1After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,

“Hallelujah!

Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,

2for his judgments are true and just;

for he has judged the great prostitute

who corrupted the earth with her immorality,

and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”1

3Once more they cried out,

“Hallelujah!

The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”

4And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5And from the throne came a voice saying,

“Praise our God,

all you his servants,

you who fear him,

small and great.”

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

6Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!

For the Lord our God

the Almighty reigns.

7Let us rejoice and exult

and give him the glory,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come,

and his Bride has made herself ready;

8it was granted her to clothe herself

with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

9And the angel said2 to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 10Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant3 with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

The Rider on a White Horse

11Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13He is clothed in a robe dipped in4 blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

17Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave,5 both small and great.” 19And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence6 had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

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Footnotes
1 19:2 Greek bondservants; also verse 5
2 19:9 Greek he said
3 19:10 Greek fellow bondservant
4 19:13 Some manuscripts sprinkled with
5 19:18 Greek bondservant
6 19:20 Or on its behalf
Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

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