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People think of God as a Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine chapel depicting a gray bearded man floating through the clouds with a host of angels attending.  Others see him sitting on a throne surrounded by clouds.  Probably the most popular answer is a vision of God on a Judges bench with a scowl and his finger point accusingly right at them.

This does not come close to representing the Biblical view of God.

STORY:  Lack of vision is not good

Three older widow ladies were meeting and gossiping in the nursing home common area when in walks a man new to the nursing home.  They had just been talking abou the lack of eligible bachelors in the nursing home  so with a great degree of interest one of them calls him over and flirts, “Hello stranger, where are you from?”

The man replied, “I just got out of prison after 50 years.”

Her interest piqued she asks, “What were in for?”

He replied, “I killed my wife.”

The widow quickly replied, “So you’re available.”

THE PROBLEM IS NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE THINGS AS THEY REALLY ARE

1.  When you think of God where do you see Him?

People think of God as a Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine chapel depicting a gray bearded man floating through the clouds with a host of angels attending.  Others see him sitting on a throne surrounded by clouds.  Probably the most popular answer is a vision of God on a Judges bench with a scowl and his finger point accusingly right at them.

This does not come close to representing the Biblical view of God.

3.  Where God was seen in ancient times. God has always had a visual manifestation of his presence on earth:

Personally in the Garden of Eden. – Genesis 3:8-9

As fire and cloud among the Israelites – Exodus 13:21

In the Temple – I Kings 8

In Jesus Christ  – John 1:14-18 (the temple curtain was torn in two)

4.  What the Word says about where He is today.

He’s in the temple again

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 2:18-22

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

See also: 1 Peter 2

BACKGROUND INFO I John

He in us  We in Him

We Know, We Know, We Know

http://bible.org/seriespage/background-and-setting-1-john

What we can discern about the setting of the Johannine Epistles from the letters themselves is limited and fragmentary, but it appears that 1 and 2 John, at least, are rooted in controversy.31 The author of 1 John appears to be writing to a community to which he himself is well-known (and to which he himself may belong). He attempts to reassure those to whom he writes, because their Christian community has undergone a serious split whereby a substantial part of the community has withdrawn from fellowship over doctrinal issues. The author of 1 John describes the group which has left as made up of ‘antichrists’ and ‘false prophets’ (strong language by any account).

This group (which has split off and withdrawn from fellowship with the community to which the author writes) is continuing to propagate its own beliefs. The secessionists are seeking to win converts for their own views, even from among the community to which they formerly belonged. In light of this threat, the author of 1 John is writing both to reassure and strengthen the faithful members of that community, and to warn them to continue to resist the proselytizing efforts of the false teachers who have gone out from among them. In 2 John the author is writing to a particular congregation to warn the believers there against giving aid or shelter to the false teachers in their ongoing missionary efforts

5.  When we think of God why do we not see ourselves? Not as God but as the dwelling place of God,

STORY:  Mark Twain

“Mark Twain told a wonderful story about one man’s search for the world’s greatest general. The man spent an entire lifetime looking for the general and finally the day came for him to travel on. When he arrived in heaven he walked over to St. Peter and said, ‘I’m looking for the world’s greatest general.’” “St. Peter said, ‘I know, I know, we’ve been expecting you, and I have good news. If you’ll look right over there, you will see the world’s greatest general.’” “The old man excitedly looked over and said, ‘That is not the world’s greatest general. That man was a cobbler on main street in my hometown!’” “St. Peter responded, “But had he been a general, he would have been the greatest general ever.”

1.  Where we see God determines how we see ourselves.

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.   This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

1 John 3:9-10

2.  Where we see God determines how we love each other.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

1 John 3:16-18

Love is not an Allsups Chimichanga kind of love – superficial

Love in context of Christ dying because of unconditional love for the world, regardless of any of the conditions we normally place on our love.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

John 15:9-12

WE ARE THE VISIBLE REPRESENTATION OF GOD IN THE WORLD TODAY– HIS WORKMAN

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.   And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:4-10

What about the ages to come…

Genesis 1 to Revelation 21

Genesis = God created the heavens and the earth

Revcelation = God creates the new heavan and the new earth (FOR US and WITH US)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

Revelation 21:1-3

For right now…we have work to do.