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Faithlife

The Disciple's Emotions

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Abiding in Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  55:13
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If you’re a disciple of Jesus, then your abiding in Christ and His abiding in you defines everything about who you are. In this series we’ll see how the disciple’s mission, mind, emotions, body, will, and relationships are affected by his or her relationship to Jesus. Understanding our identity in Christ is crucial as we seek to follow him faithfully.

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Notes & Transcripts

The Foundational Truth

Well good morning again. If you have a Bible, and I hope you do, let me invite you to open with me to . Everything that satisfies comes from God.
Last week I talked about awesome steaks. Did I make anybody hungry? I know I was. It gave me a craving for a steak. So I had a leftover ribeye last Sunday evening that I had grilled. It was good.
And I’m guessing we’ve all got cravings across this room. You may crave food, or maybe even things deeper than that. Here’s the question. Do you think we have cravings in us just accidentally? Or do you think these cravings, these desires in us are there for a reason?
What I’d like us to do is dive a few steps deeper than even craving for food, and go on a journey where Jesus challenges some folks to let their craving for food go a little deeper, and to really think about if we’ve got these cravings, then why do we have them? Has God created us with these cravings for a reason?

Christ alone can fulfill our desires.

What I’d like us to do is dive a few steps deeper than even craving for food, and go on a journey where Jesus challenges some folks to let their craving for food go a little deeper, and to really think about if we’ve got these cravings, then why do we have them? Has God created us with these cravings for a reason?
And so, at this point, I want us to begin to think about how those cravings or those desires inside of us relate to our faith. This is not something we talk about a lot. How does our faith relate to our cravings? How does our faith relate to our desires? How does our faith relate to our emotions? A lot of the times when we talk about faith, we stop where we stopped last week in talking about our minds, and filling our minds with truth, and Jesus transforms our minds. And yes, that’s key, but there’s also something that happens in our emotions when Christ comes into our lives. And I think we have a tendency to go to one side of the spectrum or the other on this picture.
Christ alone can fulfill our desires.
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 957.Christ alone can fulfill our desires.
And so, at this point, I want us to begin to think about how those cravings or those desires inside of us relate to our faith. This is not something we talk about a lot. How does our faith relate to our cravings? How does our faith relate to our desires? How does our faith relate to our emotions? A lot of the times when we talk about faith, we stop where we stopped last week in talking about our minds, and filling our minds with truth, and Jesus transforms our minds. And yes, that’s key, but there’s also something that happens in our emotions when Christ comes into our lives. And I think we have a tendency to go to one side of the spectrum or the other on this picture.
So, is there a way that truth and emotions can both come together? I think they’re intended to come together. I think we’re intended not to get carried away in our emotions. At the same time, we’re not supposed to ignore our emotions. This is one of my favorite parts of reading Jonathan Edwards, who was writing in the middle of the Great Awakening. And this was a time in the church where people were going to one of those sides or the other. They were either getting carried away in sensationalism and emotionalism, and they left the Word behind, or the other side was saying, “We don’t want to become like that, so we’re going to study the Word, and you won’t ever see a smile on our faces when we do.” And so, Jonathan Edwards comes on the scene. He writes a book called Religious Affections. And I want to share with you one of my favorite quotes from that book. Listen to what he said:

God created us to crave.

David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 957.God created us to crave.
So, is there a way that truth and emotions can both come together? I think they’re intended to come together. I think we’re intended not to get carried away in our emotions. At the same time, we’re not supposed to ignore our emotions. This is one of my favorite parts of reading Jonathan Edwards, who was writing in the middle of the Great Awakening. And this was a time in the church where people were going to one of those sides or the other. They were either getting carried away in sensationalism and emotionalism, and they left the Word behind, or the other side was saying, “We don’t want to become like that, so we’re going to study the Word, and you won’t ever see a smile on our faces when we do.” And so, Jonathan Edwards comes on the scene. He writes a book called Religious Affections. And I want to share with you one of my favorite quotes from that book. Listen to what he said:
Our external delights, our earthly pleasures, and our reputation, our human relationships, for all these things, our desires are eager, and our appetites strong. When it comes to these things, our hearts are tender and sensitive, deeply impressed, easily moved, much concerned and greatly engaged. We get depressed at our losses. And we’re excited and joyful about any worldly success or prosperity—Then he makes the shift. He says—When it comes to spiritual matters, though, how dull we feel. How heavy and hard our hearts. We can sit and hear of the infinite height and length and breadth and love of God in Christ Jesus, of His giving His infinitely dear Son, and yet sit there cold and unmoved. If we’re going to be excited about anything, shouldn’t it be our spiritual lives? Is there anything more inspiring, more exciting, more loveable and desirable in heaven or on earth than the gospel of Jesus Christ? We should be utterly humbled that we are not more emotionally affected than we are in the church.

Our cravings are designed to be satisfied by our Creator.

David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 957.Our cravings are designed to be satisfied by our Creator.
Our external delights, our earthly pleasures, and our reputation, our human relationships, for all these things, our desires are eager, and our appetites strong. When it comes to these things, our hearts are tender and sensitive, deeply impressed, easily moved, much concerned and greatly engaged. We get depressed at our losses. And we’re excited and joyful about any worldly success or prosperity—Then he makes the shift. He says—When it comes to spiritual matters, though, how dull we feel. How heavy and hard our hearts. We can sit and hear of the infinite height and length and breadth and love of God in Christ Jesus, of His giving His infinitely dear Son, and yet sit there cold and unmoved. If we’re going to be excited about anything, shouldn’t it be our spiritual lives? Is there anything more inspiring, more exciting, more loveable and desirable in heaven or on earth than the gospel of Jesus Christ? We should be utterly humbled that we are not more emotionally affected than we are in the church.

We cannot separate faith in Christ from feelings for Christ.

Satisfaction is not found in gifts, but in the Giver.

What we’re going to see in is that if we know God, we will be affected by God.
As we see in our picture in our notes, Christ in You affects not only your mind, but also your emotions.
And the question I want to ask is, “What if God intends for you not only to know Him, but what if He intends for you to enjoy Him?” That would make sense, wouldn’t it, that God would get great glory in being not only known by His people, but enjoyed by His people? And I want us to think about the disciple’s emotions based on a conversation Jesus has with some folks in .

Our deepest craving is not for something, but for Someone.

Our deepest craving is not for something, but for Someone.

John 6:25–35 NKJV
25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?” 26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” 28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” 30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” 32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” 35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
And the question I want to ask is, “What if God intends for you not only to know Him, but what if He intends for you to enjoy Him?” That would make sense, wouldn’t it, that God would get great glory in being not only known by His people, but enjoyed by His people? And I want us to think about the disciple’s emotions based on a conversation Jesus has with some folks in .
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 959.Our deepest craving is not for something, but for Someone.
This is an incredible conversation that Jesus enters into with the crowds, all these people who are following Him, but all these people who had misconceptions about who He is. And so, what He does is He begins to address some of the deepest things that are going on in their lives, and takes things many steps deeper than just talking about food, to talk about the hunger that is at the core of their souls.
This is an incredible conversation that Jesus enters into with the crowds, all these people who are following Him, but all these people who had misconceptions about who He is. And so, what He does is He begins to address some of the deepest things that are going on in their lives, and takes things many steps deeper than just talking about food, to talk about the hunger that is at the core of their souls.
And what I want you to see is three glorious truths that come out of this picture, this dialogue between Jesus and the crowds in , that give us a picture of the hunger that’s at the core of each one of our souls in this room this morning.

Christ alone can fulfill our desires

David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 959–960.Christ alone can fulfill our desires

Christ alone can fulfill our desires

Jesus ignores the crowds question completely. He goes right to the heart of the issue, and starts talking about food.
John 6:26 NKJV
26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
But I want you to notice that Jesus doesn’t say, “You shouldn’t want food.” Instead He said, “If you’re going to eat, make sure you’re eating the good food, not the bad food.”
John 6:27 NKJV
27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
I want to pause here a minute and see a picture that began all the way back at the beginning of the Bible. Let’s look at . This is the truth...

God created us to crave

Look in verse 15...
Genesis 2:15–16 NKJV
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
The first command God gives… “you are free to eat.” Obviously God created man with a craving, with a desire. Did Adam have needs? Our first instinct would be to say, “No, he didn’t have any needs.” But think about it. He needed to breathe. He had a need for God to provide breath. He had a need to eat. He also had many other needs.
But don’t miss this… How was Adam expected to get these needs filled? By the Creator.

Our cravings are designed to be satisfied by our Creator

That’s the picture in . But when you get to all that changes. Sin enters the scene. The result is mankind begins to look for his or needs to be fulfilled by the things of this world instead of from the hand of their Creator.
Now with that background, we come back to , and I want you to see how Jesus is addressing exactly that. Look in ...
John 6:30–31 NKJV
30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”
See, they’re comparing Jesus to Moses. They’re saying Moses did that. But what are you going to do for us? Notice how Jesus answers in verse 32.
John 6:32 NKJV
32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
Notice what Jesus does? He says Moses didn’t give you anything. It was God who gave you bread from heaven. You see where they were looking for their satisfaction? And He gets real personal here. He shifts it in verse 33… He says the bread of God is a person...
John 6:33 NKJV
33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
J
It’s not a thing, it’s a person. And they say, “Well, give us this bread.” Verse 35 is when He brings out that in a statement...
John 6:35 NKJV
35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
This is one of Jesus’ “I AM” statements.
Here’s the picture. Jesus is saying, “You were created with cravings that can only be satisfied by your Creator, and here I am. I am your satisfaction. Don’t miss it. Satisfaction is not primarily found in gifts from God, but in the Giver, God Himself...

Satisfaction is not found in gifts, but in the Giver

God has created each one of us with a craving in our souls, a hunger in our souls that can only be satisfied by Him, over and above even His gifts.
So where do we look for our satisfaction in this life? Our job? Our family? Our bank account? Our hobbies?
We’ve got to realize...

Our deepest craving is not for something, but for Someone

This is exactly what Paul is saying in , when he says, “I take all the best things this world has to offer—family, religion, schooling, everything, everything that’s good this world has to offer, and its rubbish compared to one thing—the surpassing greatness of Christ.” That’s the picture. “Even if you take away everything this world has to offer from me,” Paul says, “I’ve got all I want in Christ.”

Sin and satisfaction…

This is exactly what Paul is saying in , when he says, “I take all the best things this world has to offer—family, religion, schooling, everything, everything that’s good this world has to offer, and its rubbish compared to one thing—the surpassing greatness of Christ.” That’s the picture. “Even if you take away everything this world has to offer from me,” Paul says, “I’ve got all I want in Christ.”
Think about sin and satisfaction, and the trigger of sin. It is an emotional trigger in ’m not saying it’s devoid of our minds, but there’s an emotional trigger there. When she saw what was good, what was pleasing, what was desirable, she ate it.
Sin and satisfaction…
Think about sin and satisfaction, and the trigger of sin. It is an emotional trigger in ’m not saying it’s devoid of our minds, but there’s an emotional trigger there. When she saw what was good, what was pleasing, what was desirable, she ate it.
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 962.
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 963.Sin and satisfaction…

Sin and satisfaction…

The trigger of sin is this…

Looking to the things of this world to satisfy us apart from our Creator.

That’s sin. This is the trigger of sin, thinking that this activity, that person, that this thing in this world will satisfy us instead of the Creator. That’s the trigger of sin.
And the tragedy of it is...

We run from the One our souls long for most.

We run from the One our souls long for most.

by seeking satisfaction in the things this world has to offer us.
The core truth that Jesus is communicating here is that He alone can fulfill our desires. Christ alone can fulfill your desires. You have cravings. All of us have cravings in this room that were given to us to drive us to our Creator. The problem is many of our cravings right now, this week, are driving us away from our Creator. This is why we need Christ to transform our desires and our emotions and our cravings, not just our minds.

Christ alone can transform our tastes.

The core truth that Jesus is communicating here is that He alone can fulfill our desires. Christ alone can fulfill your desires. You have cravings. All of us have cravings in this room that were given to us to drive us to our Creator. The problem is many of our cravings right now, this week, are driving us away from our Creator. This is why we need Christ to transform our desires and our emotions and our cravings, not just our minds.
This leads us to the second truth...
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 963.

Christ alone can transform our tastes.

It leads us to this second truth: Christ alone can transform our tastes. See, here’s the problem. Okay, Christ is the bread of life, and He alone can fulfill our desires, but we’ve still got struggles with sin. “So, how do we deal with that, Pastor? How do we deal with our desires for the things of this world as opposed to our desires for Christ and Christ alone?”

Our options…

It leads us to this second truth: Christ alone can transform our tastes. See, here’s the problem. Okay, Christ is the bread of life, and He alone can fulfill our desires, but we’ve still got struggles with sin. “So, how do we deal with that, Dave? How do we deal with our desires for the things of this world as opposed to our desires for Christ and Christ alone?”
I want you to come with me to verse 28, ,
John 6:28 NKJV
28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 963.Our options…
This is a thoroughly Jewish statement. They’re saying, literally, “What kind of works do we need to work in order to get to God? Give us the list, outline the list of the things we need to do, and we will do those things.” And it’s our way, too.

We can conquer sin by working hard to change our deeds.

But listen to what Jesus says. He answered, “The work of God.” verse 29
John 6:29 NKJV
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 963.
John
And changes from the plural to one work. So we’ve got two options here. As we look at our battles with sin across this room, we’ve got two options.

We can conquer sin by working hard to change our deeds.

That’s one option. “Give me a list of things to do, Pastor, that’ll make my Christian life better, and I’ll do them.” We can work to conquer sin by transforming our behavior and by changing our deeds.

We can conquer sin by trusting Christ to change our desires.

That’s one option. “Give me a list of things to do, Dave, that’ll make my Christian life better, and I’ll do them.” We can work to conquer sin by transforming our deeds and by changing our deeds.
This is the pattern of the religious world. Give me rules I can follow so I can check them off my list. Jesus comes on the scene and says it’s no matter how hard you work or what list you check off. That’s one option. But it’s not the option Jesus lays out. Option number 2 is...
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 963.

We can conquer sin by trusting Christ to change our desires.

John 6:37 NKJV
37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
What Jesus is saying is, “If you want to conquer sin in your life, then you come to me, you believe in me, you trust in me as the one who alone can satisfy. This is so much deeper.
Faith is no longer a prayer you pray, or a card you sign.
Think about our faith. How will we overcome the pleasures of sin? And the answer is… don’t miss it...

How will we overcome the pleasures of sin?

How will we overcome the pleasures of sin?

By letting Christ overcome us with the power of His satisfaction.

This is ...
Galatians 5:24 NKJV
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
We have a whole new set of desires when we come to Christ because we know that He satisfies.
Remember what we said last week? Once we’ve tasted of what God has to offer, nothing else will satisfy. Nothing this world offers will last. That’s the picture in . We don’t have time to turn there, but write it down and go look at it this week. It’s an incredible picture of God saying to His people, “I have give you a fountain of life, and you have gone to broken cisterns in this world that can’t even hold water, and you’re trying to drink from those, when I give you everything.”
How can we overcome sin? By being ravished with the beauty and the glory of the majesty of Jesus Christ, seeing Him for who He is. And so this is our prayer...

God, increase our desire for pleasure.

And you’re probably saying, “What do you mean by that?” I thought when we became a Christian, we should have said “No” to pleasure. You’re not supposed to have fun when you’re a Christian. That’s not what it means. When you come to Christ, you’re saying, “I want the greatest pleasure.” Here’s a quote from C.S. Lewis...

God, increase our desire for pleasure.

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from the world, and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises reward, and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.
If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from the world, and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises reward, and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.

Christ alone can guarantee our satisfaction.

And then he says these words that are so piercing, “We are far too easily pleased.”
Did you catch that? We’re feasting on the things of this world like a child with a mudpie, when we could be having that $300 steak. You had to be here last week.
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 965.
And so we pray, “God, increase our desire for the greatest pleasure. The pleasure only You can provide.”

Christ alone can guarantee our satisfaction.

John 6:34–35 NKJV
34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” 35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
John 6:34-35
So what’s the basis of His guarantee…

The basis of His guarantee…

The initiative of the Father.

Six times in , six times Jesus talks about how the Father is the one who is working. Listen to verse 37...
John 6:37 NKJV
37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
Literally, the Father is drawing people to come to Me. Second...

The obedience of the Son.

Listen to what He says in verse 38...
John 6:38 NKJV
38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Jesus knew that obedience to the Father brought the most satisfaction. And third...

The promise of resurrection.

He says that twice at the end of verse 39...
John 6:39–40 NKJV
39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Death cannot stop this satisfaction.
The bottom line is we have two options…

We can live for the fleeting pleasures of this world.

Or we can live for the everlasting pleasures of the world to come.

This world is not our home.

He promises to fill our deepest cravings.

Not only that...

He prevents us from even craving anything else.

Psalm 43:5 NKJV
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
“Taste and see that I’m good.” He satisfies in a way that you don’t need the things of this world anymore. God, help us get there.
And He...

He preserves our salvation for all of eternity.

Is it possible to follow this Christ and not desire Him? Is it possible to follow this Christ and not feel deeply for Him? I’m not saying that our emotions drive this picture. When we know Christ, though, we will feel for Christ, and we will want the glory of Christ. We need a change of our desires, and we need Him to save our desires, our emotions our cravings.
David Platt Sermon Archive Christ Alone Can Guarantee Our Satisfaction

Is it possible to follow this Christ and not desire Him? Is it possible to follow this Christ and not feel deeply for Him? I’m not saying that our emotions drive this picture. When we know Christ, though, we will feel for Christ, and we will want the glory of Christ. We need a change of our desires, and we need Him to save our desires, our emotions our cravings.

Is it possible to follow this Christ and not desire Him? Is it possible to follow this Christ and not feel deeply for Him? I’m not saying that our emotions drive this picture. When we know Christ, though, we will feel for Christ, and we will want the glory of Christ. We need a change of our desires, and we need Him to save our desires, our emotions our cravings.
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Emotions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 969.
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