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December 30, 2020 3:00 am
The culture where belief is subjective truth is relative, it's your truth. We can find ourselves wrestling with the question. What exactly do I believe today on Truth for Life. Alistair Begg shows us how we can look to the Scriptures to find answers to those existential questions with which we wrestle our study today begins in the third chapter of second Timothy message titled, not one shot although it took time for the New Testament to finally be recognized and finalized somewhere around the end of the fourth century.
We need to realize to that you don't have to fed it around in your Bible to realize that even Charlie on the picture of the authoritative elements of the New Testament are quickly becoming apparent even in first Timothy, for example, when Paul is writing their quotes saying of Jesus at this as the same time as he's quoting from the Old Testament and he refers to them both Scriptures at Peter in the same way refers to the letters of Paul and referring to them as Scripture and in all of this. The point of it as we see in the text is that the message of the Bible in the Old Testament and in the New Testament is salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will Paul is doing in speaking to Timothy here in his apostolic framework is making sure that when Timothy exercises his ministry he's going to be absolutely convinced of this and it is on account of that is already issued a clear call to him to continue and what he has learned to continue in what he is firmly believe you see the imperative nature of what is Donald Guthrie who taught me and I'll be seeing New Testament I think is the one who said from a human perspective. The church at this point from Paul to Timothy trembled humanly speaking on the brink of annihilation. There was no guarantee that it was going to make the transition from the apostolic to the post-apostolic church. That's the importance of the Scriptures. That's the importance of what Paul is saying. Be aware, Timothy of its authority is reliability of its finality.
Same for us.
We no longer have profits. We don't have the Lord Jesus physically present with us as he was with his disciples. We do not have new organs of Revelation as in the time of the apostles John Murray puts it, Scripture is the only revelation of the mind and will of God available to us. It is the only extent. Revelation 3 word of God, and it is of course that confidence and sufficiency in its confidence that was to mark out Timothy and it is clear from all that followed, that he held the line I looked one forward one day to reflecting with Timothy and what it is to have a godly mother and a godly grandmother. Paul leads into Christ, his grandmother and his mother laid a foundation shooting him God again guiding them waking him up in the morning with the Shema hero, Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is one, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and Timothy would've begun his deal with life. At least with his mom and he would've ended his day with and there came a day when the pieces of the jigsaw fell into line.
What a day. Well, you say, but that was Ephesus is a long time ago.
This is London. Oh yes it is. And here we are in the real question for us now is not actually what did Jesus believe and what do the apostles believe about what you and I believe John Murray writes wonderfully helpfully when he reminds the reader. It is possible to be formally committed to the five that the word of God is living and authoritative without being ourselves arrested by summoned into its presence and borrowing in reference before the one to him that points with that said, I want to make some comments that I'm glad I'm leaving directly after I've made them what you and I believe I say lives the eye of an Orthodox view of the Bible and some assess even the boss on your way home.
Well, why, why, on what basis do you believe in the infallible nature of Scripture or even to say give them a course in apologetics as helpful as that may be no the only ground for that belief is in the witness of Scripture itself to itself that can be no higher authority and that's the wonderful thing about the Bible. When you teach it because it is not like any other book. Any other book, but there is a textbook on a novel or whatever might be. We sit down.
Whether we get a couple of theories and I'm going to see if I can understand this book. Now when we come to the Bible, of course, we do not come to the Bible initially with views about infallibility or inerrancy or anything until we were reading this when reading it and trying to pay attention to it. But somewhere along the line, it suddenly becomes apparent to us. This book understands me is so much that I'm trying to understand it understands me. What kind of book is this a normal basis. Do I believe in its authority and could I ever believe laughs as I say, and Jesus himself believe now it is and what kind of context that we face the question what do I believe.
I don't want to be alarmist and unkind in any way, but we we we face this question in I would suggest to you a collapsing culture is easy to say some of you are familiar with the writings of Douglas Murray is just on a new book, the madness of crowds, gender, race and identity and in his introduction to the book he writes as follows. We are going through a great crowd derangement in public and in private families just been out here walking around both online and off. People are behaving in ways that are increasingly irrational, feverish Herod right and simply unpleasant me and comment on contemporary culture.
It is time we began to confront the true causes of what is going wrong what it's all about. Well he says we've been living through a period of more than 1/4 of a century in which all our grand narratives have collapsed in the vacuum. We are then left to come up with explanations and meanings of our own so that crowds on the Metropolitan lying on an average rush-hour commutes are squeezed in tight with one another, never talking trying to see other people in the reflection and if they're honest saying to themselves, who am I what am. How many TDs can I keep doing this and does anybody will suddenly come forward and say that there is meaning and purpose to all of this.
At times during the times London. If you read it on September 10. Read it every day you would've read Melanie Phillips comment in which he announced. Students pointed out that the BBC film which is planned to be shown in schools to pupils between the ages of nine and 12 claims that are more than 100 gender identity that's the fill George Melanie Phillips, a practicing Jew says in her opening sentence. How did we get to a stage where such absurd nonsense is promulgated by our cultural avatars. How did we get to a stage where such absurd nonsense that immediately sends him sick. We are not allowed to say nothing is absurd nonsense. It may be absurd nonsense to her, but is not upset and I know if we go on that sliding scale. Why does she do that. She's usually the Old Testament. She understands the nature of God and his creation, 41, another indication of the member. The old days when I used to be the story of an impending judgment and there was sin. And then there was a story of redemption and and so on. And then the church decided that there was a better way to go at that. And nobody came to listen well this just read your newspaper, it's all back.
It's all back. The church of climatology now, irrespective of your view of whether you like plastic straws or not the fact of the matter is that this fascinatingly is increasingly the world's version of a secular religion. It transcends gender. It transcends race. It transcends cultures. It transcends political convictions.
It is absolutely throughout the whole Western world and it is a theology says my man this claimant theology and much of Europe and in sections of America has replaced traditional Christianity is the ultimate source of authority over human behavior comprising both an all embracing teleology of our existence, and a prescriptive moral code. I find it quite sticky some things I speak to my friends is a you know that it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that comes judgment, as I never heard anything is ridiculous in all my life that we just walk around for about 1/2 and is a you know what I would say within three decades the world going to burn up and be done as I never have gotten so ridiculous in all my life. So there we are polar opposites.
On what basis do you have this on where is this what is this the mouth of God. Is this the word of God. That's what I'm saying to you is one thing to say. I believe in the Bible yes is a great idea is another thing to say. I believe in the Bible when it intersects radically against the cultural milieu in which I live.
Because then I have to do something with it would be great if the collapsing culture was more than matched by a church that was ready to go.
Instead of a church that is confused in the 1950s James Stewart just happened to be a Presbyterian Scotsman addressing students and faculty at Yale at the Divinity school.
He warned them about embracing the view of Scripture that was theologically vague and harmfully accommodating.
Is it really wrong.
Is it unkind for me to suggest that the warning has gone unheeded in many quarters of the church that we are prepared for whatever reason, to revise the cutting edge of Scripture when it says that marriage is a heterosexual, monogamous, lifelong union, or are we really confused. Is that because the Bible isn't clear. Think about it in our day. Your sensible people reach church history. Consider the contrast between my own background in Scotland in the church of Scotland and all that is going on in the last 10, 15, 20 years in Scotland, consider the response.
By and large that we've seen in our own time. In contrast to the response of the Evangelical's in the middle of the 19th century in the succession of the church of Scotland 18th of May 1843, described as a sorrowful, yet glorious day when in the context of all this unraveling star 451 ministers stood up in the assembly and walked out commentating on that one of my friends wrote principal had triumphed over expediency Scripture over human laws and the whole of Scotland was confronted with the example of men who were prepared to suffer for Christ and to suffer for his word. It was about the Bible. The Bible can allow us to do this. Here's what's fascinating and alarming incipient denials of Scripture like when it's not really obvious in the culture are not in the office of the church. Those little denials may take decades to become apparent.
But they will eventually yield the bitter fruit of unrighteousness and the issues tonight in Western culture related to gender answers.
Human sexuality and to personal identity are matters concerning which the authority of the Scripture modest be brought to bear.
Collapsing culture confused church, cowardly and compromised clerics postcards to Timothy and all the Timothy's to follow was clear. Keep your head endure hardship to the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry, and fundamental to that for Timothy was a clear conviction in his one heart and life concerning the eventual the gospel that he was then to proclaim which evangelism that is going to be preached aggressive mage and came to Britain many years ago he tackled this very subject and in his own unmistakable way. He said a man who is on fire with a message never tax in that wretched feeble way but proclaims the truth joyously and fearlessly in the presence of every high thing that is lifted up against the gospel of Christ, less if you deny the challenge remains the opportunity is before us. Perhaps, as never before. The pool puts all of our nations require men convinced that the word of God. Does the work of God by the Spirit of God reach church history in the city of London.
It was here in London that Spurgeon preached did you go to the van Gogh exhibition, did you realize that van Gogh went to Georgia listen to Spurgeon preach and what of Thomas Watson in the 17th century or John start just on the road or Lloyd Jones over here and it goes on and on. Somebody saying to themselves all.
Yeah, I had bring out the old boys. The word lease. They are all gone. Well listen here doesn't matter if they're gone.
We dare look to the past. We don't rest in the heritage believe they are not the lights. They were sent to bear witness to the light. He was the true light was coming into the world education DC around wonderfully in volume 7, page 269 says to his readers. Fear not for the church of Christ with ministers Diane sensor taken away. Christ can never mentee in his own cause he will raise up better servants and brighter stars.
The stars are all in his right hand leave off all anxious thought about the future cease to be cast down by the measures of statesmen or the plots of wolves in sheep's clothing.
Christ will ever provide for his own church wonderful reminder is not so an outpost of us to serve the next generation by expounding and proclaiming and applying living in loving the Bible itself is no small task as it to declare the Bible's assessment of humanity's sinful, guilty responsible and loss you going to do that is going to come across while a final word will be to Peter before that one other Scotsman okay this is Hugh Martin. Alas, he says that so many who are to be teachers deal as falsely and irreverently with the oracles of God is a cat playing with her kittens, or a kitten with a cork. I am sorely afraid that that is to be a great decline in our church. A great lack of holy courage and contending for the infallible truth of the entire Scriptures and truly man that can tolerate the substitution of the natural for the supernatural of human reason for divine revelation are not only no longer worthy of their assassination, which was an important word. At that point but are no longer worth their salt.
May God raise up men talk from a bath and volume for every joint, and tittle of divine truth what it shall stand should have another class away and if you need any. After I'm gone. Who do courageously stand for all revealed truth. Give them my compliments and tell them to be strong and of a good courage, for now, even at this present time there head shall be lifted up above there follows let them heal, not to the current sentimental Christianity that would convert men's faith in the living glorious inexhaustible infallible word into empty headed empty hearted speculations no better than Chinese puzzles or active charades who God will avenge such trifling the Scripture cannot be broken. It is the testimony of who is himself the eternal word and Peter says all flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers, the flower falls the word of the Lord remains forever, and this is the work that by the gospel was preached as Alister Beck just said Scripture cannot be broken.
Courage reminder that God's word stands firm, even when our culture seems to be crumbling. That's the conclusion of today's message titled, not one jot or tittle on Truth for Life with Alister Greg and Alister joins us today to talk briefly about the Bible's view of contemporary culture and he explains how that reflects on our purpose here the Truth for Life. Well, I don't know if Paul Simon was right when he said that the signs of the prophets are written on the subway walls and whispered in the sounds of silence, but I do know that the Bible makes clear where our culture is today, all the evidences of a society that has turned its back on God's rule and his authority seemed particularly in the issues of marriage and gender God's sovereign rule. So where does that leave us well as you heard postcards to Timothy is straightforward. Keep your head endure hardship discharge all the duties of your ministry. In other words, Timothy and all the Timothy's that come after him were not to be ashamed of the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rather, to proclaim it with boldness and that of course is what were doing here Truth for Life the opportunity before us is to preach the word of God with courage, with clarity and at the same time with genuine compassion and obviously conviction. We do this using an extraordinary platform that God has given us through radio and through all of these online channel by God's grace and your giving Truth for Life, which is a global audience. Every day of the year and so in these final hours of this year.
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