HYPER GRACE Documentary (feat. Dr. Michael Brown, David Ravenhill and Eric Ludy)

VIDEO by SermonIndex.net

Reclame

David Platt – Incarnation Wonder of Grace (Part 3 of 4)

God's grace Philippians 2:5-11 

Verse 8 – And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Why is the incarnation important? Why did it happen?

What belief, if any, separates Christianity apart from the world religions? Is there anything that is completely and totally unique to Christianity? That was the subject of debate and discussion, at a british conference years ago, on comparitive religions. And they were discussing, „Is there anything that makes Christianity unique? And while they were in their heated discussion, all these experts and religious scholars, a guy named C. S. Lewis wanders in. And he says, „What’s the fuss all about?” They say, „Well, we’re debating, trying to figure out if there’s anything unique about christianity”. And he responded immediately, „Well, that’s an easy one. One word: Grace”.

Grace is the why of the incarnation. It is incomprehensible to think about Christ becoming a man, because of the purpose for which He came. We should never cease to be a people that are not amazed about grace.

Three moves that Christ makes that helps to give us a picture of incomprehensible grace:

  1. He goes from exaltation to humiliation so that we might be exalted. His incarnate position as the Son of Man makes possible our eternal privilege as sons of God. 
  2. He goes from life to death, so that we might live. The reality: He was born to die a shameful, painful, cursed death. And even 2000 years later we are rejoicing at His mastery over death, because through Him we have life. You and I don’t walk around captive to our sin, we are freed to live. To live now, and for all of eternity. His shame on the cross becomes our honor. All that is shameful about us, our sin, our wickedness, the things we think, the things we do, the things that not even those closest to us don’t even know about, the things that would be exposed before God are transferred to Him (Christ). And He’s transferred to us His righteousness, and His beauty and His holiness, and His redemption. a)His humiliation becomes our honor. b)His pain becomes our joy, and c)His curse becomes our blessing. He left life to go to death, so that you and I might find life. We are not worthy of this kind of grace. May we never become numb, and tired and sleepy in the face of grace. This (grace) is a mammoth truth.
  3. He goes from rich to poor, so that we might be rich. The richness of all that He is, His divinity, His deity, His greatness, His majesty, and all that He owns, all the resources in the world belong to Him. Everything is His. For your sake though, He became poor. He entered a world of humiliation and depravation and poverty. The Creator of the world became homeless, so that we might become rich. See His poverty in the world: He gave up His rights, He gave us His resources and now, we are His people in the world. We are followers of Jesus Christ, who became poor so that others might become rich. And how can we ever show Christ if we don’t give up our rights and we give others our resources?

We talk glibly of the „Christmas Spirit,” rarely meaning more by this than sentimental jollity on a family basis.  But what we have said makes it clear that the phrase should in fact carry a tremendous weight of meaning.  It ought to mean the reproducing in human lives of the temper of him who for our sakes became poor at the first Christmas.  And the Christmas spirit itself ought to be the mark of every Christian all the year round.

It is our shame and disgrace today that so many Christians-I will be more specific: so many of the soundest and most orthodox Christians – go through this world in the spirit of the priest and the Levite in our Lord’s parable, seeing human needs all around them, but (after pious wish, and perhaps a prayer, that God might meet them) averting their eyes, and passing by on the other side.  That is not the Christmas Spirit.  Nor is it the spirit of those Christians- alas, they are many- whose ambition in life seems limited to building a nice middle-class Christian home, and making nice middle class Christian friends, and bringing up their children in nice middle-class Christian ways, and who leave the sub-middle-class sections of the community, Christian and non-Christian, to get on by themselves.

The Christmas spirit does not shine out in the Christian snob.  For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor- spending and being spent-to, enrich their fellow men, giving time, trouble, care, and concern to do good to others-and not just their own friends-in whatever way there seems need.

Excerpted from Knowing God by J.I. Packer.  Copyright 1973 by Intervarsity Press.

8 things Christians should be known for

Photo credit truth-saves.com

  1. Love (1 John 4:8)
    Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
  2. Grace (Ephesians 4:32) 
    Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
  3. Purity (Philippians 4:8)
    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
  4. Patience (Galatians 5:22)
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
  5. Sacrifice (John 3:16)
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
  6. Selflessness (Philippians 2:4)
    Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
  7. Commitment (Matthew 5:37)
    Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
  8. Respect (1 Peter 2:17)
     Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Read the article here – http://www.churchleaders.com

Why Grace Changes Everything – Chuck Smith

chuck smithWhy Grace Changes Everything
Introduction: A Love Relationship with God
1. Forgiven!
2. The Door is Never Closed
3. No Favorites in the Kingdom
4. A Portrait of Grace
5. One Step at a Time
6. A Garden, Not a Factory
7. Believing for the Blessings
8. The Struggle Begins
9. Free Indeed!
10. Won’t They Go Wild?
11. Booby Traps and Land Mines
12. All or Nothing13. Members of Royalty
14. Our Sole Responsibility
 A big thank you to Marius for providing this online book to us!

View this document on Scribd

Sin: The Dreadful Deformity of Our Soul

by John Piper Read the entire article here at – Desiring God

5PIPER12xx.jpgSomething terrible and profound happened to all humans when Adam sinned. All except Jesus, that is, “who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Something came into the world that had not been there before — something very powerful and very deadly in everyone of us.

But it was not exactly a “thing.” Yet it was more than the bad things we do. Sin and sinning are not the same. We do sinful things because there is this something in us called “sin.” It is a dreadful and deadly deformity of every one of us.

Consider these amazing statements from the Bible about who you are before and after conversion to Christ.

“All are under sin” (Romans 3:9). “I am sold under sin” (Romans 7:14). “You were onceslaves of sin” (Romans 6:17, 20). In other words, before the power of grace through Christ entered our lives, we were not just tempted by sin, we were ruled by it. Under it. Slaves to it.

So sin was not just what we did. It was the master that governed what we did. It was like a king over a territory. “Sin reigned” (Romans 5:21).

Sin is not just the bad deed and not just the bad desire, it is the doer and the desirer. So when Paul says he often does what he doesn’t want to do, he exclaims, “So it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me” (Romans 7:16–17). Sin is not just the bad deed or desire. It is the dreadfully deep, powerful doer of the deed and the desire.

Yet Paul does not excuse himself. “Wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:24). Which means that this dreadful, deep, destructive power is who we are apart from Christ. It is not like a virus in me. It is a profound defect of me. The dreadful nature of sin is not just that itindwells me but that it defines me. It is me.

Know this about yourself. Don’t be naïve. Don’t be ignorant of your very nature. How will you worship your Redeemer, if you do not know what he has done for you? How will you pursue righteousness, if you do not know the deepest obstacle?

“Christ has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26; 2 Corinthians 5:21). And when he died, all those who are his died with him and — united to him. “We have been united with him in a death like his” (Romans 6:5). This is what happens through faith in Christ, expressed in baptism.

“Our old self was crucified . . . that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Romans 6:6;Galatians 2:20). That dreadful, desire-producing, deed-producing, me-defining power died when I died with Christ.

––

What then shall we do? “You must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). In Jesus Christ! “Sin will have no dominion over you, since you are . . .under grace” (Romans 6:14). Once “under sin” as king. Now “under grace” as king — “so that, as sin reigned, . . . grace also might reign” (Romans 5:21).

“Sin will have no dominion over you, since you are . . . under grace” (Romans 6:14). “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God” (Romans 6:22). And it was God himself who freed you. “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart” (Romans 6:17).

It was God who dealt with sin in the death of Christ. It was God who put the monster sin to death. It was God who freed you from sin’s dominion. It is God who reigns over you. And it will be God who daily, through your faith, goes on putting the crucified monster to death (Colossians 3:5). “By the Spirit” you put sin to death (Romans 8:13). We are powerless in ourselves. God is the great sin-destroyer.

Worship him. And in his once-for-all victory over this dreadful deformity of our souls (Hebrews 9:26), do not let the defeated foe reign in your body (Romans 6:12). “Exhort one another every day . . . that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). God has worked a great victory over a great enemy. Live in it.

Jesus our Defense Dr. Timothy J. Keller

Photo via http://artistlight.blogspot.com/1-john-410.html

From monergism.com – The following sermon notes (an excerpt) preached by Tim Keller in 11/13/94 from a series on 1 John entitled: Knowing that we know God

„If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” ( 1 John 1:8-2:2)

…Only for people who see themselves as a moral failure. Only people who see that they are not worthy to go in, that they need someone to go in for them. If you don’t see that .. if you don’t see yourself as so sinful that you don’t have the right to just go to God and speak to Him you haven’t gotten the first point … You are not able to experience intimacy with the Father. Now, having said that, I immediately realize that you are going to fall into two categories here: As I just said, that John says, you have to see that you are sinner, such a sinner and so morally inadequate that you don’t even have the right to go in before God. As a pastor for almost 20 years now I have talked to people a great deal over the years and I have heard people’s reaction to this particular teaching of the Bible. And in general the teaching divides people. I find that people fall into one or the other category. Either they have a lot of trouble with this and they really don’t have that sensation at all … they don’t sense … they don’t feel that they are moral failures. They don’t think they are that bad, they don’t think they are that wicked. They don’t have this sense and they don’t see any reason why they can’t go to God and pray and talk to Him. They feel like, you know I have tried my best, I do pretty good. I am not perfect but I certainly have the right to go in. So some of you just don’t have nearly enough of this sense, according to the writer here. And others of you have an overwhelming sense of it. That are you just crushed under it. You can hardly look at Him. You don’t want anything to do with Him. Everybody [has the tendency] to go into one side or the other. Let me say something to both of you:

1st: Because it’s New York, maybe it’s wrong to say this … I would think that most of you …maybe not. More of you would tend to be in the first category … that you say, “I don’t feel that way … I don’t feel like I am such a rotten sinner. I know the Bible teaches this and I know conservative churches still teach this but basically that is an outmoded doctrine. We don’t believe that anymore. I don’t sense that at all, I don’t feel that way, I don’t see it that way.” But John says …look at … see verse 8. “If we say we are without sin we deceive ourselves. John says [in essence] beware you will not want to admit it. It is natural to deceive yourself on this. It is natural to say what you are saying. You will hide from yourself how self-centered you are, you will hide from yourself how much evil there really is in there. You won’t see it … you’ll repress it.

Everybody is talking about Union South Carolina, aren’t they? And the one thing that is so interesting since my wife and I ministered, we had a church in a city just like Union South Carolina. Similar size, similar kinds of people, it’s amazing. Same accent. Same phrases. And after it was discovered that the woman actually had killed her two children, the quotes in the newspapers from their friends went something like this: “she came from a good family – I knew her people – I sat with her in church, she praised the Lord, how could she do such a thing? I can’t believe it.” But what they mean is: “she’s just like me. She is my kind of people. I went to school with her. I went to church with her. She is just like me and I do not believe that I could do that.” And the reason they are so shattered and the reason they are so disillusioned and the reason they are so amazed is because of bad theology. They may be religious and may go to church and may even consider themselves conservative Christians but they are not reading their Bible. And as a result they are shattered and disillusioned. WE ARE capable of all sorts of things.

I think a lot of folks say, “Yeah, this is dirty pool, you shouldn’t pull this on us. I feel that person must be sick. To be capable of evil and wickedness … certain people are but I just don’t feel like I am that bad a sinner. And all I can tell you that no one has done a better job of explaining this than Charles Spurgeon. He is a Baptist minister and he has this great illustration which I have often had recourse to. He says, “Look at an acorn. What do you see in the acorn? He says, I know it is counterintuitive and I know it doesn’t really make sense, it doesn’t seem to be true but if you think about it you will know it is true. When you look into an acorn you will see an ocean of wood. Let me show you that. He says, first of all inside the acorn is a tree, a huge tree. And every single bit of that tree is in that acorn all scrunched up. In other words, there is not one thing on this huge tree that is going to come out of the acorn that is not in that substance. It’s in there. And that is counter-intuitive. Not only that, but on the tree that is in there are thousands of other acorns. And each acorn is another tree which means that inside that acorn is not only another tree but one thousand other trees and each one of them is a thousand other trees and he says, one acorn has the power to cover the entire world with an ocean of wood. That’s how much power is in there. But if that acorn falls on the pavement, within a couple of days it rots. All of its power goes to nothing. It doesn’t mean that the power is not there. To see the power, to understand the power, it has to actually fall on the soil; it has to get watered and so on. And Spurgeon would turn around and say, “what do you think murder is?” “What do you think it starts with?” Murder has to start with the thought that says “I wish that person weren’t here. I don’t like that person”… it starts with a grudge, it starts with selfishness, it starts with pride, it starts with self-centeredness. What do you think that is? He says, “in your heart, that acorn cup of your heart, there is and ocean of evil, and if you just happen, by God’s grace, to have fallen on pavement … if you have happened, by God’s grace, not to be in a situation where that evil is really being fertilized, if … you can’t see how much evil is in there it doesn’t mean that it is not there.

Now, if you still, considering all that say, „I just don’t see myself that wicked or evil. I don’t see myself capable of murder and extortion. I don’t see myself capable of any of those things”, then I will just say, “Ok fine I am done, I have got to move on. File what I am saying, would you please?” Because the great hymn writer John Newton once said in a letter, “you never learn you are a sinner by being told. You only ever learn that you are a sinner by being shown.” And I suggest to you that someday, some place you will find yourself in a situation in which the only way to explain the way you are acting or the way you are relating or the way you are being treated, is by recourse to the doctrine of sin. As Pascal says [and he was no stupid person] “certainly nothing offends us so rudely as this doctrine of original sin yet without this mystery, the most incomprehensible of all, we are incomprehensible to ourselves.” And if you are not incomprehensible yet to yourself, unless you believe in the radical depravity of the human heart, just wait … just file what I am saying. Alright?

On the other hand, a lot of you are the opposite. You are kind of crushed under the whole idea. In other words when you read this and you see John saying you need someone to go speak on your behalf, you don’t have the right to go in. You are not worthy to go to God. Right away, you immediately know that is true. But you have been crushed … even if you are a Christian. John is writing to Christians here and he knows something. He knows that in the lives of certain people there is a voice that has them nailed to a wall. I have met people … Christians that haven’t stopped going to church necessarily but they have done something in their past that maybe the world calls a great sin. As a result this voice come to them and it says things like, “how could you have done that? All the sermons you have heard, all the promises you have made, all the things you have said, all that you know and you have done this. How can you go to God? How can you expect God to listen to your prayers? How in the world could you even think of yourself as a Christian? You are not worthy to go before Him.” And that voice has you nailed to the wall and it has had you there for years. Maybe you have not given up on your profession of faith. Some of your have, you have completely given up on Christianity. When you get near it the voice just comes at you and you have decided that it is Christianity doing that. And all of its guilt trips. But some of you have stayed in and you’re just crushed. You are bound in shallows and miseries. Well what John has to say is especially for you.

So the first thing you have to see is that you are not worthy to go in. The second thing you have to see is that we have an advocate with the Father. Notice this: Now in chapter 2:1 “if anybody does sin we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins…” Now what is this teaching? Let’s ask three questions:

What is an advocate? Now you say “where is the word ‘advocate’, I do not see it.” The real problem is that there is a Greek word here. It literally says “we have, when you sin, a paraclete with the Father.” But in this particular context it’s a hard thing to get this whole idea across with one English word. So the translators actually take this and open it up and taking one [Greek] word and translating it “one who speaks to the Father in our defense” But the word here could be translated “an advocate”. Maybe that is the best way to put it. What is an advocate? What is this person? An advocate is someone who has an official relationship with you so that whatever the advocate achieves, you achieve, and whatever the advocate loses, you lose. An advocate is a legal proxy. An advocate is a legal representative. In philosophical/theological language an advocate is a federal head, from the Latin wordfoedus meaning covenant. It means you have entered into a relationship with this person so that this person represents you so that what that person does is transferred to you. Here are some examples … they are all over the place actually:

In the area of negotiations. In most countries, in fact in all countries, the national leaders can declare war and also surrender and achieve peace. You don’t have a referendum on war. We don’t have a popular election to decide whether we are going to go to war or not or decide whether we will surrender or not. You have a relationship with the national leaders so that they have the right to do that and, of course, if they make a bad move we are all involved … if they make a good move we are all involved.

Let me give you an illustration that is a little more clear than that. In ancient times you had the idea of a champion. Here were two great armies coming together and sometimes rather than have the battle and have lot and lots of people killed each army would put forth a champion. In the old days they even had a word for this in the ancient Greek, anArchegos. And the champion would stand forth and would represent the army and the country and would battle against the champion of the other country/army. Of course the agreement is that when you did that it meant that if your champion was skillful you were skillful, if your champion was foolish you were foolish, if your champion had victory you were treated as if you were the victors. If your champion was defeated you were treated as if you were defeated.

And of course the one we often use most nowadays is a lawyer, a legal proxy. Especially a lawyer who has what we call today “power of attorney”. And in that case the lawyer stands in and represents the client so that what the lawyer achieves the client achieves and what the lawyer looses, the client looses. It’s all transferred. Charles Hodge, a hundred years ago was a Presbyterian theologian who put it this way:

“The relationship of Christ to his people is that of a legal advocate to a client. The former personates the later. The lawyer stands in the clients place. It is, while it lasts, the most intimate of relationships. You may not even have to appear in court. You are not heard. You are not regarded. You are lost in your advocate who for the time being is your representative. The advocate, not you, is seen. The advocate, not you, is heard. The advocate, not you, is regarded.”

Now if Jesus is our advocate, what is he doing up there? That is the second question. What does he do? He’s speaking. He’s talking. And if we stick with the lawyer illustration, everybody knows why, because that is the job of a lawyer. You hired the lawyer to talk for you. You hired the lawyer because you say the lawyer can talk. The lawyer knows what to say and the lawyer can make a case I could not. Now when I first became a Christian … I heard about this idea that Jesus Christ was before the Father (there are a number of words in the Bible for this). In the book of Hebrews it says Jesus Christ stands as our high priest before the Father. It means he stands as our representative speaking on our behalf. Our legal proxy, our advocate. And He’s up there pleading before the throne for our sake. When I first heard about this at first it seemed at best foolish and at worst very nerve racking. At best it seemed kind of silly like why are you arguing with the Father. But at worst nerve racking because it means when I sin Jesus says “Oh Father, please don’t wipe him out. For my sake please, don’t wipe him out.” This is what I pictured it as and I saw that I would sin again and the Father would say, “I can’t believe that Tim Keller did that again and Jesus says “I know but wait a minute” (this is my idea) that Jesus gets in front of the Father and says “One more time, just give him one more chance, please for my sake Father.” And then I see the Father looking down at Jesus saying, “well, ok, for your sake, alright, one more time.” You see that is a nerve racking metaphor, you know, you sit there and say, “when does the Father finally say “I’ve had it”? When does the father finally say, “forget it”. But you see it doesn’t say the advocate is standing there as Jesus Christ the merciful. It also doesn’t say Jesus Christ the persuasive. It says, “Jesus Christ the righteous one” and it says what he is saying. You see, a really good lawyer doesn’t just play on the emotions of the court. A good lawyer has a case. And what Jesus case is: an atoning sacrifice, and therefore the teaching of this passage which is so absolutely startling and which is absolutely unparalleled in any other religion, is that Jesus Christ is not just standing up there asking for forgiveness … no. And he is not just up there asking for mercy … absolutely not. Jesus Christ is telling the Father what the law is. Now it is unworthy to think of Jesus as having to persuade the Father. You have to remember that the advocacy of Jesus Christ was the Father’s idea. We read in 2 Cor 5 “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.” You have to understand what this is about. What it is about is this: Jesus Christ stands before the Father. Before the justice of God, in other words. And relentlessly and continually says He something like this: ‘Father, yes Tim did do it again but I have died the death he should have died and have lived the life he should have lived in his place. I am his advocate. He is lost in Me. When you look at him you have to see Me. You have to see all that I have done. You have to see all that I am. And therefore Father it would be unjust for you to take two payments for this sin. I have already paid for it. Therefore Father I do not ask for mercy. I demand justice.”

Some people ask “c’mon where does it say that.” It says that in chapter 1 verse 9. “If we confess our sins”, it doesn’t say “he is faithful and merciful to forgive us our sins.” It does not say “he is faithful and loving’. He is of course faith and loving. He is of course faithful and merciful, I am not saying he is not. But it says when we confess our sins because we have an advocate with the Father, God forgives our sins because He is just. Listen, justice has to be stronger than mercy. If you ever have a judge and if that judges son or daughter would come to trial, no judge anywhere would be allowed or would allow themselves to sit and preside over a trial with their own kid. Why? Because justice has to triumph over mercy. Because justice has to prevail or you cannot have a civil order. But incredibly we have a situation in which the justice and the love of God demand that He accepts us. There is nothing beyond this. Nothing at all. “Father”, He says, “I don’t ask for mercy. I demand justice and there is no greater case than that. The justice of God on the scales. The thing we always worry about: the scales. And here are my deeds and my records and here is the justice of the law. And of course my deeds and my records can’t possibly outweigh the deeds of the law and so the idea of blind justice is a frightening thing unless you understand this: We have the law of God not on the other side against us. We have the law and justice of God completely for us. We have the justice of God completely for us. There is no such thing as this anywhere else. No other religion says this. This is far more than forgiveness. Most people seem to think that what it means that Jesus died for you and you go and ask for forgiveness is that “God now wipes off your past slate and your back now on probation, but now you better do a good job.” [rather] Jesus Christ has gone through the probation for us. He puts us beyond probation. Jesus Christ not only gives us forgiveness for our sins but has accomplished righteousness for us. He is not just the one who pays our penalty but is our advocate. He is the one who stands in for us. He is the archegos. It says that in Hebrews. He is our champion, He is the “author and finisher of our faith.” And you know what that word is “author” – archegos. That is in Hebrews 12:2. He is the one who accomplishes it for us.

How does that change your life? That is that last thing we will talk about and I will just tick it off.

Finally you can deal with your guilt. Finally!. Most people cannot deal with their guilt. The person who has got that voice nailing them down: “But I have done something wrong…” But you see God has not just given you forgiveness. People who think that is all that we get. The reason you can’t deal with your guilt is that you believe God is simply merciful. Well He is very merciful. It was mercy that brought forth the whole idea of Jesus dying on the cross and standing in for us but you must understand something else. That not only the mercy of God demands that He love and accept you and shower you with blessings and treat you as if you were His Son. And had done everything that Jesus had ever done, it is His justice that demands it too. Don’t you see the reason why Paul says “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”? Don’t you see why Paul will break in during that same chapter and say “who shall bring a charge against God’s elect.” See? ‘It is Christ who died yea rather that is risen again who is even at the right hand of the father. What shall separate us from the love of Christ?” See what is he doing at the end of chapter 8? He is going on and on that this is not just forgiveness. This is righteousness. God’s righteousness has come to us and it showers us and we are living in it. This is the end of the voice. You know, when the voice comes to us and says, “you call yourself a Christian. Look at what you have done.” And of course that great hymn:

Well may the accuser roar of sins that I have done
I know them all and thousands more and Jehovah knoweth none.

And if you don’t know the hymn, you have to be able to turn to the voice and say, ‘Jesus Christ is my advocate. Of course I have done these things. God knows that. But when he sees me he sees me in my advocate. I am lost in my advocate and all He sees is a beauty.” Do you know how to do that? If you say I am a Christian but I cannot deal with my guilt. If you say, I am a Christian but don’t feel worthy to go before God you don’t get this yet. Be here’s hope; keep reading about it. Keep thinking about it. Keep talking to somebody because when it dawns on you wait till you see.

But on the other had, what else does it bring you? Also it is the only way to deal with disappointment. I have come to the conclusion that most people get into despondency not over guilt necessarily but over the loss of a hope. Something in their life that is so important to them. Something in their life that is so valuable. Something in their life that means so much and you get despondent. You know why? Most of your deepest yearnings for success are actually efforts to be what only Christ should be for you. These things that you get so despondent when you lose they are your case, your arguments before God. They are the things that you look to and say, “see I am worthy” And when one of them falls through: This person doesn’t love me. This job has not worked out. Why are you so despondent? Because you don’t know the hiddeness.

Let me close with this. When Stephen, the great first martyr… you can read about him in Acts 6&7. When he was preaching and was brought into courts. And the religious authorities were upset that Christianity was spreading as it was. They looked at him and said we are going to execute you. Especially after he explained the gospel to them and told them they were wicked sinners. And it didn’t go over very well. You know the first part of the sermon tonight fortunately most of you probably will not try to execute me but some of you will probably be unhappy. In this case, Stephen was preaching to people who had the power to execute him so they did. And they took him out to stone him but just before they began to kill him God gave him something. He looked to the heavens and said “I see Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, standing at the right hand of God.” What did he see? He saw his advocate. And the thing that is so amazing is when on earth he was getting condemned – he was being called a loser, he was getting called a traitor, he was being called a cult leader and a liar. Everything he would want to claim. He would want popularity. He would want a good name. He would want success. He would want a good reputation. It was all being stripped away from him. What did he do in response? When he saw Jesus Christ as advocate standing up there, his face God radiant, it said. He says I see the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” In other words, to know that his advocate in Heaven, and his Father in Heaven loved him, commended him, acclaimed him and accepted him meant that all of the rejection and even an execution here on earth. – He got so excited he seemed to forget, if you read the text, that he was about to be executed – to the degree that you grasp the fact that you have an advocate with the Father you will be able to take criticism. This guy could take an execution. You will be able to take criticism. You will be able to take rejection. You will be able to take sin and guilt. You will be able to take the things that right now weigh you down. You will have the fullness of the Spirit to the degree that you grasp that when we sin we have one who speaks to the father in our defense: Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

A W Pink – The Law and the Saint (Part 1)

This is part 1 of 3 from A. W. Pink’s book ‘The Law and the Saint’ which is now in the public domain. In this first part Pink contrasts OT and NT law:
The Old Testament saints and the New Testament
saints are both saved in the same way, and that is, by the grace of
God through Jesus Christ alone.
.
„Of course the people did not keep the law. It only brought sin to
light and proved that righteousness could not come that way, as Paul
points out in the Epistle to the Romans. It made all the more
evident that there was a need for the work of Christ. But Christ
came not to put the law aside and introduce another plan. I came not
to destroy’, He declared, but to fulfill’; not to dissolve the
obligations of the law and release us from them, but to substantiate
the law and make good all that it required. In the Sermon on the
Mount He expounded and expanded the law, in all its depth and
breadth, and in all its searching sweep. This Sermon spoke to His
disciples; it was His law for them. It was not intended for another
age and another people; it set forth the kind of life He expected
His own people to live in the present age.

Arthur and Vera pink July 20, 1928 (via amazon.com)

   
                                Introduction

   It has been said that every unregenerate sinner has the heart of a
   Pharisee. This is true; and it is equally true that every unregenerate
   sinner has the heart of an Antinomian. This is the character which is
   expressly given to the carnal mind: it is "enmity against God"; and the
   proof of this is, that "it is not subject to the law of God, neither
   indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). Should we be surprised, then, if we find the
   underlying principles of Phariseeism and Antinomianism uniting in the
   same mind? Surely not. There is no more real opposition between these
   apparently opposing principles, than there is between enmity and pride.
   Many a slothful servant has hated his master and his service, and yet
   had he pride and presumption enough to demand his wages. Phariseeism
   and Antinomianism unite, like Herod and Pilate did, against the Truth.
.
   The term Antinomian signifies one who is against the Law, hence, when
   we declare that ours is an age of lawlessness, it is only another way
   of saying that it is an age characterized by Antinomianism. There is
   little need for us to pause and offer proof that this is an age of
   lawlessness. In every sphere of life the sad fact confronts us. In the
   well-nigh total absence of any real discipline in the majority of the
   churches, we see the principle exemplified. Not more than two
   generations ago, thousands, tens of thousands, of the loose-living
   members whose names are now retained on the membership rolls, would
   have been dis-fellowshipped. It is the same in the great majority of
   our homes. With comparatively rare exceptions, wives are no longer in
   subjection to their husbands (Eph. 5:22, 24); and as for obeying them
   (1 Pet. 3:1, 2, 5, 6), why, the majority of women demand that such a
   hateful word be stricken from the marriage ceremony. So it is with the
   children--how could it be otherwise? Obedience to parents is almost
   entirely a thing of the past. And what of conditions in the world? The
   abounding marital unfaithfulness, Sunday trading, banditry, lynchings,
   strikes, and a dozen other things that might be mentioned, all bear
   witness to the frightful wave of lawlessness which is flowing over the
   country.
.
   What, we may well inquire, is the cause of the lawlessness which now so
   widely obtains? For every effect there is a cause, and the character of
   the effect usually intimates the nature of the cause. We are assured
   that the present wide-spread contempt for human law is the inevitable
   outgrowth of disrespect for Divine Law. Where there is no fear of God,
   we must not expect there will be much fear of man. And why is it that
   there is so much disrespect for Divine Law? This, in turn, is but the
   effect of an antecedent cause. Nor is this hard to find. Do not the
   utterances of Christian teachers during the last twenty-five years go
   far to explain the situation which now confronts us?
.
   History has repeated itself. Of old, God complained of Ephraim, "I have
   written to him the great things of My Law, but they were counted as a
   strange thing" (Hosea 8:12). Observe how God speaks of His Law: "The
   great things of My Law"! They are not precepts of little moment, but to
   be lightly esteemed, and slighted; but are of great authority,
   importance, and value. But, as then, so during the last few years--they
   have been "counted as a strange thing". Christian teachers have vied
   with each other in denouncing the Law as a "yoke of bondage", "a
   grievous burden", "a remorseless enemy". They have declared in trumpet
   tones that Christians should regard the Law as "a strange thing": that
   it was never designed for them: that it was given to Israel, and then
   made an end of at the Cross of Christ. They have warned God's people to
   have nothing to do with the Ten Commandments. They have denounced as
   "Legalists" Christians of the past, who, like Paul, "served the Law"
   (Rom. 7:25). They have affirmed that Grace rules the Law out of the
   Christian's life as absolutely as it did out of his salvation. They
   have held up to ridicule those who contended for a Christian Sabbath,
   and have classed them with Seventh-Day Adventists. Having sown the
   wind, is it any wonder that we are now reaping the whirlwind?
.
   The characters of the cause determinates the character of the effect.
   Whatsoever a man sowth that (the same in kind) shall he also reap. Unto
   them who of old regarded the great things of God's Law as a strange
   thing, God declared, "Because Ephraim hath made many alters to sin,
   alters shall be unto him to sin" (Hosea 8:11). And because many of our
   Christian leaders have publicly repudiated Divine Law, God has visited
   us with a wave of lawlessness in our churches, homes, and social life.
   "Be not deceived; God is not mocked"!! Nor have we any hope of stemming
   the onrushing tide, or of causing Christian leaders to change their
   position. Having committed themselves publicly, the examples of past
   history warn us that pride will keep them from making the humbling
   confession that they have erred. But we have a hope that some who have
   been under the influence of twentieth century Antinomianism will have
   sufficient spiritual discernment to recognize the truth when it is
   presented to their notice; and it is for them we now write.
   In the January 1923 issue of a contemporary, appeared the second
   article from the pen of Dr. McNichol, Principal of Toronto Bible
   School, under the caption of "Overcoming the Dispensations". The
   purpose of these articles is to warn God's children against the perils
   which lie "in the way of much of the positive pre-millennial teaching
   of the day". Quoting, Dr. McNicol says:
.
     "1. There is danger when the Law is set against Grace. No scheme of
     prophetic interpretation can be safe which is obliged to represent
     the dispensations of Law and Grace as opposing systems, each
     excluding the other and contrary to it. If this were the case, it
     would mean that God had taken opposing and contradictory attitudes
     towards men in these two different ages. In the last analysis this
     representation of the relation of law and grace affects the
     character of God, as everything which perverts the Scriptures,
     disturbing thereby the mirror of His mind, ultimately does.
.
     "So far from being opposing systems, law and grace as revealed in
     Scripture are parts of one harmonious and progressive plan. The
     present dispensation is spoken of as the age of grace, not because
     grace belongs to it exclusively, but because in it grace has been
     fully manifested. When John declared that the law was given by
     Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ', he was contrasting
     law and grace, not as two contrary and irreconcilable systems, but
     as two related parts of one system. The law was the shadow, Christ
     was the substance. The law was the pattern, Christ was the reality.
     The grace which had been behind the law came to light through Jesus
     Christ so that it could be realized. As a matter of fact, grace had
     been in operation from the beginning. It began in Eden with the
     first promise of redemption immediately after the fall. All
     redemption is of grace; there can be no salvation without it, and
     even the law itself proceeds on the basis of grace.
.
     "The law was given to Israel not that they might be redeemed, but
     because they had been redeemed. The nation had been brought out of
     Egypt by the power of God under the blood of the slain lamb, itself
     the symbol and token of His grace. The law was added at Sinai as the
     necessary standard of life for a ransomed people, a people who now
     belonged to the Lord. It began with a declaration of their
     redemption; I am the Lord thy God who brought thee out of the land
     of Egypt, out of the house of bondage' (Ex. 20:2). It rested on the
     basis of grace, and it embodied the principle that redemption
     implied a conformity to God's moral order. In other words, the very
     grace that redeemed Israel carried with it the necessity of
     revealing the law to Israel. The law was given that they might walk
     worthy of the relation in which they now stood to God, worthy of a
     salvation which was already theirs. The covenant of the law did not
     supersede the covenant of promise, but set forth the kind of life
     which those who were redeemed by the covenant of promise were
     expected to live.
.
     "The law was not a covenant of works in the sense that Israel's
     salvation depended upon obedience to it. The devout Israelite was
     saved by faith in the promise of God, which was now embodied in the
     tabernacle services. He looked forward through the sacrifices to a
     salvation which they foreshadowed, and by faith accepted it, as we
     look back to the Cross and by faith accept the salvation which has
     been accomplished. The Old Testament saints and the New Testament
     saints are both saved in the same way, and that is, by the grace of
     God through Jesus Christ alone.
.
     "Of course the people did not keep the law. It only brought sin to
     light and proved that righteousness could not come that way, as Paul
     points out in the Epistle to the Romans. It made all the more
     evident that there was a need for the work of Christ. But Christ
     came not to put the law aside and introduce another plan. I came not
     to destroy', He declared, but to fulfill'; not to dissolve the
     obligations of the law and release us from them, but to substantiate
     the law and make good all that it required. In the Sermon on the
     Mount He expounded and expanded the law, in all its depth and
     breadth, and in all its searching sweep. This Sermon spoke to His
     disciples; it was His law for them. It was not intended for another
     age and another people; it set forth the kind of life He expected
     His own people to live in the present age.
                                     Photo - Tissot's Sermon on the Mount
.
     "Of course we cannot fulfill the law of the Sermon on the Mount                                    
     as an outward standard of life. Our Lord did not leave it at 
     that. He was Himself going to make it possible for His 
     disciples to fulfill it, but He could not yet tell them how.      When He died and rose again and ascended into heaven, and His 
     Holy Spirit--the same Spirit which had fulfilled and                
     exemplified that law completely in His own life--came flowing 
     back into the lives of His disciples, then they
     had to keep it. The law was written on their hearts. Their 
     lives were conformed to the law, not by slavish obedience to an     
     outward standard, but by the free constraint of an inward 
     spirit. The ordinance of the law was fulfilled in them when 
     they walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.
.
     "It is this very feature of grace which seems to make it an entirely
     different and separate system from the law, for it did not exist in
     the Old Testament dispensation. It could not be realized before the
     redemptive work of Christ was done and the Holy Spirit came. The
     Israelites occupied a different position toward the law from that
     occupied by the Christian now. The law demanded an obedience which
     the natural heart could not give. In its practical working,
     therefore, the law necessarily came to stand over man as a creditor,
     with claims of justice which had not been satisfied. These claims
     Christ met on the Cross and put out of the way. More than that, by
     virtue of our union with Him in His death and resurrection, He has
     brought us out of the sphere where the law as an outward authority
     demands obedience of the natural man, into the sphere where the law
     is written upon the heart by the power of the Holy Spirit. He has
     created us a new man' whose nature it is to fulfill the law by an
     inward power and principle. This is what Paul meant when he said, I
     through the law died unto the law that I might live unto God' (Gal.
     2:19), and when he wrote to the Romans, Sin shall not have dominion
     over you, for ye are not under the law but under grace' (6:14).
.
     "This new revelation to the law has been created by the grace of God
     through the work of Jesus Christ. But the law still remains. It is
     the reflex of His own character and the revelation of His moral
     order. He cannot set it aside, for then He would deny Himself. The
     wonder and glory of grace consists in this, that it came in, not to
     oppose the law and substitute another plan, but to meet and satisfy
     all its claims and provide a way of fulfilling all its obligations.
     It has pleased the Lord by His grace to magnify the law and make it
     honorable."
.
   With the above remarks we are in hearty accord. [1] It is a superficial
   and erroneous conclusion that supposes the Old and New Testaments are
   antagonistic. The Old Testament is full of grace: the New Testament if
   full of Law. The revelation of the New Testament to the Old is like
   that of the oak tree to the acorn. It has been often said, and said
   truly, "The New is in the Old contained, the Old is by the New
   explained"! And surely this must be so. The Bible as a whole, and in
   its parts, is not merely for Israel or the Church, but is a written
   revelation from God to and for the whole human race. It is indeed sad
   to see how little this elementary truth is grasped today and what
   confusion prevails.
.
   Even the late Mr. F. W. Grant in his notes on Exodus 19 and 20 was so
   inconsistent with himself as to say, First, "It is plain that
   redemption, as bringing the soul to God, sets up His throne within it,
   and obedience is the only liberty. It is plain too, that there is a
   righteousness of the law' which the law itself gives no power to
   fulfill, but which is fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but
   after the spirit' (Rom. 8:4). What is merely dispensational passes, but
   not that which is the expression of God's character and required by it.
   Nothing of that can pass ... grace still must affirm this, therefore,
   not set it (obedience) aside; but it does what law does not--it
   provides for the accomplishment of the condition. First of all, the
   obedience of Another, who owed none, has glorified God infinitely with
   regard to those who owed but did not pay. Secondly,--for this even
   could not release (nor could there be blessing in release) from the
   personal obligation,--grace apprehended in the heart brings back the
   heart to God, and the heart brought back in love serves of necessity"
   (italics ours).
.
   With the above quoted words from The Numerical Bible we are in entire
   accord, and only wish they might be echoed by Mr. Grant's followers.
   But second, and most inconsistently, and erroneously, Mr. Grant says:
   "In the wisdom of God, that same law, whose principle was do and live',
   could yet be the type of the obedience of faith in those who are
   subjects of a spiritual redemption, the principle of which is live and
   do'. Let us remember, however, that law in itself retains none the less
   its character as opposed to grace, and that as a type it does not
   represent law any longer: we are not, as Christians in any sense under
   the law, but under grace" (italics his). This is a mistake, the more
   serious because made by one whose writings now constitute in certain
   circles the test of orthodoxy in the interpreting of God's Word.
.
   What has been said above reveals the need for a serious and careful
   examination of the teaching of Holy Scripture concerning the Law. But
   to what do we refer when we speak of "The Law"? This is a term which
   needs to be carefully defined. In the New Testament there are three
   expressions used, concerning which there has been not a little
   confusion. First, there is "the Law of God" (Rom. 7:22, 25, etc.).
   Second, there is "the Law of Moses" (John 7:23; Acts 13:39, 15:5,
   etc.). Third, there is "the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2). Now these three
   expressions are by no means synonymous, and it is not until we learn to
   distinguish between them, that we can hope to arrive at any clear
   understanding of our subject.
.
   The "Law of God" expresses the mind of the Creator, and is binding upon
   all rational creatures. It is God's unchanging moral standard for
   regulating the conduct of all men. In some places "the Law of God" may
   refer to the whole revealed will of God, but in the majority it has
   reference to the Ten Commandments; and it is in this restricted sense
   we use the term. This Law was impressed on man's moral nature from the
   beginning, and though now fallen, he still shows the work of it written
   in his heart. This law has never been repealed, and in the very nature
   of things, cannot be. For God to abrogate the moral Law would be to
   plunge the whole universe into anarchy. Obedience to the Law of God is
   man's first duty. That is why the first complaint that Jehovah made
   against Israel after they left Egypt was, "How long refuse ye to keep
   My commandments and My laws" (Ex. 16:27). That is why the first
   statutes God gave to Israel were the Ten Commandments, i.e. the moral
   Law. That is why in the first discourse of Christ recorded in the New
   Testament He declared, "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or
   the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill" (Matt 5:17),
   and then proceeded to expound and enforce the moral Law. And that is
   why in the first of the Epistles, the Holy Spirit has taught us at
   length the relation of the Law to sinners and saints, in connection
   with salvation and the subsequent walk of the saved: the word "law"
   occurs in Romans no less than seventy-five times, though, of course,
   not every reference is to the Law of God. And that is why sinners (Rom.
   3:19) and saints (Jas. 2:12) shall be judged by this Law.
.
   The "Law of Moses" is the entire system of legislation, judicial and
   ceremonial, which Jehovah gave to Israel during the time they were in
   the wilderness. The Law of Moses, as such, is binding upon none but
   Israelites. This Law has not been repealed. That the Law of Moses is
   not binding on Gentiles is clear from Acts 15.
.
   The "Law of Christ" is God's moral Law, but in the hands of the
   Mediator. It is the Law which Christ Himself was "made under" (Gal.
   4:4). It is the Law which was "in His heart" (Psa. 40:8). It is the Law
   which He came to "fulfill" (Matt. 5:17). The "Law of God" is now termed
   "the Law of Christ" as it relates to Christians. As creatures we are
   under bonds to "serve the Law of God" (Rom. 7:25). As redeemed sinners
   we are " the bondslaves of Christ" (Eph. 6:6), and as such we are under
   bonds to "serve the Lord Christ" (Col. 3:24). The relation between
   these two appellations, "the law of God" and "the Law of Christ" is
   clearly intimated in 1 Cor. 9:21, where the apostle states, that "he
   was not without Law to God," for he was "under the Law of Christ". The
   meaning of this is very simple. As a human creature, the apostle was
   still under obligation to obey the moral Law of God his Creator; but as
   a saved man he now belonged to Christ, the Mediator, by redemption.
   Christ had purchased him: he was His, therefore, he was "under the Law
   of Christ". The "Law of Christ", then, is just the moral Law of God now
   in the hands of the Mediator and Redeemer--cf Ex. 34:1 and what
   follows!
.
   Should any object against our definition of the distinction drawn
   between God's moral Law and "the Law of Moses" we request them to
   attend closely to what follows. God took special pains to show us the
   clear line of demarcation which He has Himself drawn between the two.
   The moral Law became incorporated in the Mosaic Law, [2] yet was it
   sharply distinguished from it. The proof of this is as follows: -
.
   In the first place, let the reader note carefully the words with which
   Ex. 20 opens: "And God spake all these words." Observe it is not "The
   Lord spake all these words", but "God spake". This is the more
   noticeable because in the very next verse He says, "I am the Lord thy
   God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt", etc. Now the
   Divine titles are not used loosely, nor are they employed alternately
   for the purpose of variation. Each one possesses a definite and
   distinct signification. "God" is the creatorial title (see Gen. 1:1).
   "Lord" is God in covenant relationship, that is why it is "Lord God"
   all through Gen. 2. In Gen. 1 it is God in connection with His
   creatures. In Gen. 2 it is the Lord God in connection with Adam, with
   whom He had entered into a covenant--see Hos. 6:7, margin. The fact,
   then, that Ex. 20 opens with "And God spake all these words", etc.
   prove conclusively that the Ten Commandments were not and are not
   designed solely for Israel (the covenant people), but for all mankind.
   The use of the title "God" in Ex. 20:1 is the more forceful because in
   vv. 2, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12 "the Lord" is named, and named there because
   Israel is being addressed.
.
   In the second place, the Ten Commandments, and they alone, of all the
   laws Jehovah gave to Israel, were promulgated by the finger of God,
   amid the most solemn manifestations and tokens of the Divine presence
   and majesty.
.
   In the third place, the Ten Commandments, and they alone, of all
   Jehovah's statutes to Israel, were written directly by the finger of
   God, written upon tables of stone; and written thus to denote their
   lasting and imperishable nature.
.
   In the fourth place, the Ten Commandments were further distinguished
   from all those laws which had merely a local application to Israel, by
   the fact that they alone were laid up in the ark. A tabernacle was
   prepared by the special direction of God, and within it an ark was
   placed, in which the two tables of the Law were deposited. The ark,
   formed of the most durable wood, was overlaid with gold, within and
   without. Over it was placed the mercy-seat, which became the throne of
   Jehovah in the midst of His people. Not until the tabernacle had been
   erected, and the Law placed in the ark, did Jehovah take up His abode
   in Israel's midst. Thus did the Lord signify to Israel that the moral
   Law was the basis of all His governmental dealings with them.                                                  
   Thus it is clear beyond any room for doubt that the Ten Commandments,
   the moral Law of God, were sharply distinguished from "the Law of
   Moses." The "Law of Moses," excepting the moral Law incorporated
   therein, was binding on none but Israelites, or Gentile proselytes. But
   the moral Law of God, unlike the Mosaic, is binding on all men. Once
   this distinction is perceived, many minor difficulties are cleared up.
   For example: someone says, If we are to keep the Sabbath day holy, as
   Israel did, why must we not observe the other Sabbaths--the Sabbatic
   year, for instance? The answer is, Because the moral Law alone is
   binding on Gentiles and Christians. Why, it may be asked, does not the
   death penalty attached to the desecration of the Sabbath day (Ex.
   31:14, etc.) still obtain? The answer is, Because though that was a
   part of the Mosaic Law, it was not a part of the moral Law of God, i.e.
   it was not inscribed on the tables of stone; therefore it concerned
   none but Israelites.

Articole in Limba Romana

 

John Piper – Future Grace, the Word of the Cross, and the Purifying Power of God’s Promises – Part 2 of 2 from the Desiring God Conference September 28, 2012

See Part 1 here – John Piper – Putting Sanctification in Its Place – Part 1 of 2 from the Desiring God Conference September 28, 2012

See the full resource: desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/act-the-miracle-future-grace-the-word-of-the-cross-and-the-purifying-power-of-god-s-promises

For complete transcript click on link above. Here are some points from the message:

  • A Divine Miracle in Us. God is wholly engaged in bringing your life and this world to its appointed destiny of holiness. And this full engagement of God in the process of your sanctification is no limitation on yourengagement, but is in fact it’s the creation of your engagement. He works the miracle of sanctification; you act the miracle. He produces it; you perform it. And if you don’t use your will to act the miracle, there is no miracle. God’s sovereign enablement of holiness does not contradict the act of duty, it creates it.

–When God fills you with compassion, it is you who exercise your will to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and visit the prison and take in the refugee.

–When God gives you merciful humility, it is you who turn the other cheek.

–When God inclines your heart to his word, it is you who get out of bed early in the morning to read your Bible.

–When God gives you the courage and love, it is you who share Christ with your neighbor.

–When God makes his glory more satisfying than lust, it’s you who turns away from pornography.

–When God gives you a sweet satisfaction in your future reward, you are the one who blesses your enemies and does not curse them.

Act the Miracle: Future Grace, the Word of the Cross, and the Purifying Power of God’s Promises (John Piper) from Desiring God on Vimeo.

Phil Johnson at Shepherd’s Conference 2012 – The Lessons of Grace

Titus 2:11-15

A few highlights from Phil Johnson’s message with extensive notes below the video:

  • But, just as emphatically, I despise the common evangelical tendency to write off as legalistic every call for obedience and every summons to holiness as if grace were a sanction for disobedience and immorality and as if the Gospel gave us license to continue in sin that grace might increase. May it never be, Paul said. How shall we, who are dead to sin, still live in it?
  • …it is a serious blunder, also condemned in the strongest possible terms by the apostle Paul, to imagine that the Gospel disagrees with the moral standards that are set by the law. To think that justification by faith eliminates the need for obedience or to think that the perfect freedom of God’s grace gives license for unholy living. All of those things are errors as profound as legalism. Good works and obedience to God’s commands and encouragements and admonitions to be holy; those things are necessary aspects of the christian life. Not necessary in the way the legalists suggest, to earn favor with God. In fact, our works are worthless, totally impotent for that purpose.
  • But, obedience is the natural and inevitable and essential expression of love for Christ and gratitude for His grace and this is the chief, practical lesson we learn from the principle of grace. Grace compels us to love and good works. Grace constrains us to renounce sin and to pursue righteousness.
  • …the Gospel is more excellent than the law, but the two do not disagree when it comes to the moral standard. Believing the Gospel sets us free from the law’s condemnation, but it does not release us from the moral standard set by the law.
  • But if we properly understand the principles of sola fide, it should make us zealous for good works, earnest in the pursuit of holiness, eager to obey the Lord’s commands. We don’t need to be the least bit hesitant to provoke one another to love and good works. If you are hesitant like that, especially in your preaching… shame on you.
  • Paul’s point is that the vital, practical duties of holiness and obedience are in perfect accord with sound doctrine. And calls to obedience and exhortations to virtue are not inconsistent with the doctrines of grace, much less are they opposed to grace.
  • The distinction between law and grace has nothing to do with the commandments or the moral content of the law. What grace eliminates and overturns are the law’s curses. As far as the moral imperatives of the law are concerned, grace is in full agreement.

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Phil Johnson at Shepherd’s Conference 2012, posted with vodpod

Notes from Phil Johnson’s message:

Just 3 years ago I spoke from verses 7 and 8 of Titus 2; that’s where Paul tells Titus:

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

That message was titled Sound Words, Sound Doctrine”. It was a plea for purity in doctrine and dignity and soundness in our speech, both words and conduct that are beyond reproach.  That was the example Paul was urging Titus to model for the young men in his flock. In Paul’s time, as now, adolescent males were especially prone to bad language and unhealthy companionships and raunchy jokes and undignified conversation about  indecent subject matter and things like that in a similar vein and those things were undermining the church’s testimony in Crete and it seems that the chief culprits were immature young men. Cretan bad boys. Vulgar talk was then, as it is now, the common tendency of adolescent boys. And not just lewd language but also salacious subject matter and boorish behavior and those are today even, in our culture the main features of typical male adolescent misbehavior.

Unless you’ve been sleepwalking through the past decade, you know that those very same characteristics have become common badges of identity among certain celebrity mega church pastors and their acolytes. My point 3 years ago was that the drift of the evangelical movement is the exact antithesis of what Paul is calling for in this chapter. Worst of all, the problem begins too often in the pulpit.

There has been no end in the media, about evangelical preachers who purposefully use profane language, their sermon series relentlessly exploit risqué, sexually oriented subject matter. They do advertising that is deliberately designed to be suggestive. It is a nationwide problem. Literally, hundreds of churches have been sending out tasteless publicity for sermon series after sermon series on sex.  Honestly, I think it has gotten worst in the last 3 years.

In the current climate of evangelicalism you can’t even whisper a word of disapproval about that without someone, somewhere labeling you as a legalist. If you dare to suggest that Christians should not be trying so hard to please this world’s elite, but instead we ought to cultivate sobriety and godliness and righteousness, a chorus of angry voices will rise up to explain to you that all of this is necessary. It’s what contextualization demands. And it’s the only alternative to the world’s obsession with sex and perversion and so christians need to talk about such things almost non stop in Jesus’ name.

Legalism has become the all purpose evangelical retort to any mention of hones and obedience or good works. And it’s a potent „scare” word and legitimately so. I don’t want to be a legalist. I hate legalism. Legalism as defined in Galatians 5:1 is the error of abandoning our liberty in Christ in order to take on a yoke of legal bondage. To the legalist, good works are necessary to earn God’s favor. And I have no sympathy for those who believe that a person with the weakest conscience or the Bible College with the strictest rules should get to define holiness for everyone. I’m quite happy to let scriptures set the parameters of sanctification. And where scripture is silent, I think we should be too.

The principles of Romans 14 are sufficient to cover questions the scripture doesn’t answer either expressly or by giving us clear principles that may be deduced by good and necessary consequence. Where scripture speaks, in either way, explicitly or implicitly, we need to obey scripture. But, beyond that, we should just shut up. I explore every hint of legalism and I want to make that clear.

But, just as emphatically, I despise the common evangelical tendency to write off as legalistic every call for obedience and every summons to holiness as if grace were a sanction for disobedience and immorality and as if the Gospel gave us license to continue in sin that grace might increase. May it never be, Paul said. How shall we, who are dead to sin, still live in it?

The line of demarcation between Gospel and law is absolutely vital and you will never hear me say otherwise. One of the great advances of the Protestant Reformation came in the way Martin Luther stressed the distinction between law and Gospel. Law is not Gospel and vice versa. And I appreciate those who labor to differentiate between the two. There is hardly any more theological distinction and let me say once more with emphasis: To confound law and Gospel is no small error. It’s an easy error to make and let’s be candid. There seems to be something in the fallen human heart that makes us prone to that kind of error. It’s the error that lies at the heart of every kind of legalism and I think it’s a tendency of every fallen human heart to default towards legalism and it’s right that we should resist that tendency. Galatians 5 urges us to resist that tendency. There is no more deadly blunder in all of theology than to confound law and Gospel.

Some of the strongest words of condemnation anywhere in the New Testament were aimed at those who supplanted Gospel promises with legal demands (Galatians 1:6-9). So are we clear on this? I hate legalism with a holy passion. However, it is a serious blunder also condemned in the strongest possible terms by the apostle Paul, to imagine that the Gospel disagrees with the moral standards that are set by the law. To think that justification by faith eliminates the need for obedience or to think that the perfect freedom of God’s grace gives license for unholy living. All of those things are errors as profound as legalism.

Good works and obedience to God’s commands and encouragements and admonitions to be holy; those things are necessary aspects of the christian life. Not necessary in the way the legalists suggest, to earn favor with God. In fact, our works are worthless, totally impotent for that purpose. But, obedience is the natural and inevitable and essential expression of love for Christ and gratitude for His grace and this is the chief, practical lesson we learn from the principle of grace. Grace compels us to love and good works. Grace constrains us to renounce sin and to pursue righteousness.

Listen, the Gospel is more excellent than the law, but the two do not disagree when it comes to the moral standard. Believing the Gospel sets us free from the law’s condemnation, but it does not release us from the moral standard set by the law.Or, to say it another way, the principle of sola fide, justification by faith alone, that principle is not hostile to good works. The Gospel puts good works in their proper place . But if we properly understand the principles of sola fide, it should make us zealous for good works, earnest in the pursuit of holiness, eager to obey the Lord’s commands. We don’t need to be the least bit hesitant to provoke one another to love and good works. If you are hesitant like that, especially in your preaching, shame on you.

Mai mult

John Piper – For Men: Augustine, Sin and Sovereign Joy at Campus Outreach National Conference-Dec.31,2011

Source- http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/for-men-augustine-sin-and-sovereign-joy?utm_source=Desiring+God   Campus Outreach website – http://conationalconference.com/

John Piper spoke to the men at the CO National Conference on December 31, 2011. He used the life of Augustine to relate to the men at conference. He referenced Augustine’s book Confessions.

For mp3 format go here.

„Read Romans 6. We are ensalved to sin or we are enslaved to God. There is no hovering in the middle. And the only way to move from here (sin) to here (God),  Augustine discovered biblically and experientially, is,, „I have to be set free. I can’t do it, I can’t do it'”. It doesn’t sound real „male”, so don’t try to be theologically machismo. Be theologically childlike. Unless you turn and become like a little child, you’ll never enter the kingdom of heaven. To be a child, you say, „God, I’m a slave. I’m a slave to cravings and desires and longings and yearnings. I can’t make myself love godliness. I can’t make myself love Jesus. I can’t make myself love chastity. I’m jet in love with all this stuff.”  That’s true, you can’t. That’s what Augustine discovered.

So let me read to you his amazing understanding of what happens.

Augustine:

During all those years of rebellion, where was my free will, where was the secret , hidden place from which it was summoned in a moment so that I might bend my neck to your easy yoke, o Lord? How sweet, all at once, it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose? You drove them from me. You, who are the true, the sovereign joy.

Can you imagine anything better than to be set free, not by sovereign wrath, or sovereign anger, or sovereign severity, but sovereign joy, meaning, well let’s keep reading:

You drove them from me …and took their place. You, who are sweeter than all pleasure. You, who outshine all light, yet are hidden deeper than any secret in our hearts. You, who surpass all honor, though not to the eyes of men who see all honor in themselves. Oh Lord, my God! My light! My Wealth! My Salvation!

The way grace works, according to Augustine, and he’s right about this. Biblically true, is that in grace God is giving us sovereign joy in himself, that triumphs over the pleasures of sin. Grace is God’s giving us freely, powerfully, a sovereign joy in Him that is superior to the pleasures of sin and thus, severs the root of their power. Any other way of trying to get free results in despair or legalism. Either you fail in despair or beat everybody else up with your self righteousness. But if you are set free by a blood bought, Christ exalting sovereign joy… you don’t boast in doing what you want to do, you boast if you do really hard things and people admire you and pity you ‘cause you sacrifice so much. So if you’re set free by God’s sovereign, supreme, superior joy you’re not only  free from, you’re now (not hovering here) but increasingly satisfied by what’s good and beautiful, and holy, and God exalting,  which means you can do what you want to do. That’s freedom. This is why I want the Second Coming yesterday. You know what’s gonna be best about the Second Coming? After seeing Jesus? Not sinning anymore. Not even battling sin. Not feeling the slightest inclination for any sin, anymore. Can you imagine a more magnificent freedom than to do what you wanna do for a billion years.

Augustine penetrated to the bottom of his own soul and to the bottom of the Bible when he realized every man „Every man, whatsoever his condition, desires to be happy. There’s no man who does not desire this, each one desires it with such earnestness that he prefers it to all other things. Whoever in fact desires other things, desires them for this end.” If that’s true, and it is, I believe, then the battle for godliness is the battle for joy. If you try to deny your quest for joy, you will deny that you are a human being. God made you to be happy. You wanna be happy like you wanna eat.

Saving grace, sanctifying grace, conveying grace for Augustine, is God giving us a sovereign joy  in God that triumphs over other joys. We can be free, and he gives us that gift now. Now, in measure. That’s why I began saying, „I wanna help you in the fight of faith, not the drift of faith, or the coasting of faith in 2012. It will be a fight. But, when you’ve tasted the sovereign joy, when the sovereign joy has laid decisive claim on the roots of your emotions and your heart, then you know you can fight in the strength that God supplies and get the victory.

In the last 10 minutes John Piper talks about how all of life is the pursuit of maximum pleasure….

Men’s Rally – Augustine

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