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January 20, 2022 3:00 am
As followers of Jesus stand forgiven on the basis of Christ's work on the cross Jesus paid it all. But does that mean were free to live our lives any way we choose today on Truth for Life. We continue our study in Ephesians chapter 5 Alister bag delivers a warning for all of us. It is not uncommon to hear people say, well, as far as I understand it all.
Once you are declared righteous in Jesus because of what Jesus has done, then an actual flag. Your lifestyle is not shown deal.
And so the person says, as in Romans six.
Why don't I just go out and sin so that grace may abound and prove that I really understand the doctrine of justification, the answer is you clearly don't understand the doctrine of justification, because to put it in a nutshell, God does not justify those whom he does not sanctify those who were predestined he also called and those whom he called he also justified.
Romans 830 around and those whom he justified he also glorified. So you can take one piece of the puzzle and separated from the unfolding drama of God in salvation.
So the justified person is the being sanctified person and the person who is not being sanctified or is not giving any evidence of it either has never been justified or doesn't understand what it means to live within the framework of God's great salvific purpose.
I hear it all the time. I don't have to deal anything with the law. That's the Old Testament, they tell me the kingdom of God was different. The kingdom of Christ is in you notice the translation. No one has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. I think what Paul is saying is, it don't play that stunt don't play the idea that the Old Testament was really concerned about this and the New Testament isn't concerned about it at all and if you have any doubt about that and just keep reading your Bible Romans chapter 8 and as Paul makes it clear that the law could never put a person right with God because nobody could ever keep the jolly thing. We've all broken the law. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So if our view of Christianity is what you're supposed to do is you get involved with a group of people and they just try your best for the rest of your life and hopefully you'll be able to overcome some of the bad stuff you been doing. If you have a bad week then try and have a good week offset the bad week and so on.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here we have it verse three of Romans eight God God has done what the law weakened by the flash could not do couldn't do.
How was he done it by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the spirit. For those who live according to the Spirit set their mind on the things of the spirit.
For the things of the flesh is death, and so on. He goes with his argument. Now remember, William started he started gloriously, there is now therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.
Those who have been justified by faith. Romans chapter 5 verse one and he is gone through six. The challenge there and is reported that why don't we just do what we want is a God forbid, you've never even understood justification into chapter 7 the good that I wanted to. I don't do the bad I don't want to do I end up doing that I'm involved in a continual and irreconcilable war will then who am I what I might pick the struggle of seven is more than matched by the reality of a you live your entire Christian life in seven and any and it is the reality of seven that is met by the glory of chapter 8, but in case they were going to go wrong.
He says to them. By the way the law could not do God has done in the person of his son in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, not so that we can be lawless note, I can see you looking at me and you're wondering a little bit about this. In actual fact, what this has to do with his understanding of the doctrine of justification and the doctrine of sanctification and will really make a mess of these two verses if we don't get a hold of this. So let me just let me quote the catechism because it saves time and is really good question 33 of the shorter catechism asked the question what is justification, here's the answer.
Justification is an act of God's free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in his sight only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and received by faith alone right so the same way that a judge is able to declare a person in the dog free from condemnation. The judge does not declare the person sinless and does not make the person free from condemnation in the same way.
Justification is forensic it is legal. Every so often I hear people praying they say thank you thank you that you have made as righteous through our justification know he hasn't. He doesn't make us righteous through our justification, he declares us righteous even make us righteous while in the world is going to make us righteous hat is the process of sanctification.
Justification is instantaneous justification precedes sanctification by justification. As I said before, does not exist on its own, placed in a right relationship with God by what Christ has done for us, so that not only are our sins forgiven, but we are accepted in his sight. Question 35.
What is sanctification answer. Sanctification is the work of God's free grace same whereby we are so renewed in the whole man after the image of God and are enabled more and more to die under sin and to live on to righteousness.
So the one is if you like legal and forensic. The other is moral and ongoing. The one is a crisis if we can use that word and add that eventually will be met by another crisis. If you if you think it's not a great word, but I've use it now, so stick with it.
But if you think of justification as like a crisis instantaneous event. If you think of glorification as a crisis instantaneous event when I see him I will be made like and that will not be a process that will be in the moment, in the twinkling of an eye changed into his image, but in the meanwhile, tomorrow morning when I have to go back to the things I do tomorrow morning. You do do what is it that God is doing. He is working in the realm of sanctification to conform us to the image of his son.
Therefore he says you better get this clear in your mind that if your life is marked by sexual immorality, by adultery, by the things that our world, our culture this morning says are just absolutely fine. You have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God's dramatic is and the reason this dramatic is because it is absolutely crucial. God, I say to you again does not justify those he does not sanctify.
So what you have in this verse is first of all, a warning and then actually you have a test. You have a warning about how important it is to be in right standing before God and how that is revealed in a progressively sanctified life. You have a test not the only test we have a test against which you can get yourself and actually the verse provides a means to the very end. You see, how does God sanctify me by not only his promises, but by his warnings. That's why that's why if you read, for example in Hebrews. In Hebrews chapter 6 in one of the close apostasy passages.
If you read the apostasy passage and you just scan right through an ego while I'm sure is very important for somebody and not me. You are to be more worried than you realize we are to read the apostasy passage say. Dear Lord Jesus, help us not to be me get because because justification is not a synonym for presumption is not a synonym for presumption, it does not allow us then to presume on things it actually fashions us according to these things and so unless my life testifies to being in the process and of being perfected by the process I'm forced to conclude that I'm gonna have to start at the very beginning again. Among going to be able to pass goal.
I'm not going to be able to collect 200 pounds dollars. Now I'm going to have to unlearn of the start of the beginning was the beginning of the cross of Jesus Christ acknowledging that what I've been doing is calling you, Lord, Lord, for you know, my Lord have been actually try my best to put myself in a good standing with you and I'm completely messed up because it doesn't work that she see what it does is not supposed to make us go all I'm sure there's not me to remember when Jesus has his disciples in the room and he says to you, he says to them. He says one of you is a betrayer to them or the response was to a man they said Laura snow me isn't it all go all year. That's that's all Judah Syria we know it. No, in fact, Judas was adapted say, Lord, Lord. He had a button that what we better to say a word about verse six.
It's no surprise then that he says let no one deceive you with empty words, let no one deceive you with empty words, because he realizes that there's only a whole ton of people that come around and say all you have to believe that stuff the Gnostic heresy and that period of time was very, very attractive, because the Gnostics taught that anything that you do with the physicality of your body cannot affect your spiritual standing before God or heck of a deal right so your secure quotes somewhere in the inner place and inground.
We want sleep with anyone you want. Do it anyone doesn't matter if you deal with this issue are that it's it's not it's not an issue. Pulses do not be deceived by vain and empty words. She said what we don't have that today doing are you kidding me think of all the empty words that are part and parcel of our everyday life God. They say people say if he exists is far too kind to punish anyone. We don't believe the wrath of God anymore.
There's clearly it's not.
It's not something it's it's an old-fashioned idea and and really we must distance ourselves from people say the same thing though say it's all about living in the moment sounds so good doesn't it is on the golf course today when I play the PGA.
The final Eastlake will hear it again again again and as of there's absolutely validity to know everything about. If you're going to win it. You better just make sure you have those five are to stay in the moment, that's true.
Jesus said insufficient in the day is the evil they are off. But Jesus was saying the now matters because of it. Then contemporary philosophy says the now matters because there is no that you see this is that point society. This is Robin Williams.
What a tragedy when I think of Robin Williams. He probably believed that s in the corridor look at all the people around the school before you. Where are they now go nowhere and you will be nowhere therefore carpe diem. Seize the moment because this is all you have. That is one of the great lies of the evil one. This is not all you have. There is a reality beyond this transient life. It is called eternity and it is the destiny of every created being under God, but is vein jangling words, the hotel you know it's not there.
The autonomous self says it doesn't matter how I conduct my my my being.
I am entirely in charge of my own destiny. Where is this come from goodness gracious and people are regular talks about Darwin and his evolutionary hypothesis, but it's all it's a whole they are actually laying under the root of all Darwin but you know, do you really believe we are we are animals involving upward where all involving upward without a good go at it since about the 1840s Cindy since he explained to us that there is no God who created as there is no God that stands outside of time he's created the philosophical construct of the scientific methodology to allow us just to say forget all that nonsense. But deep inside our hearts we know it isn't true because every sunset says it isn't true. Every breath of a little child says that in truth, the whole of creation cries out, it isn't true, but we suppress the truth of God to embrace a lie. And those vein words come out as I began it again again and so Paul says if you want to live a life that is marked by godliness you are going to be up against it left right and center and we are today. Everything. The psychologists have psychology eyes away sin. The educational installers that were only just a few courses away from getting everything perfect. And so we go down the line and where the world are we there more murders this weekend in Chicago than in some continents said then then then in some countries of Western Europe in one city.
There is indiscipline in the home. There is chaos in the school.
There is there is loss of structure in the courts. There is fearfulness in the realm of medicine you just go right down the line and you hear the vein words coming back. Don't listen to that stuff. We know that isn't true. Were all evolving upwards. It's all going to be fine in the end, and don't let anyone tell you about the wrath of God. Know all God would not be that way.
I visited a lady Friday afternoon in the oncology Ward 1 of the oncology wards of the Cleveland clinic and I'll tell you right now that whoever her oncologist is hates that cancer in her with a passion. It's justifiably committed to eradicating every last element out of her body if she or he can and nobody would stand back and say well that's not the right thing to do in five. It makes perfect sense.
You see the Roth of God is not the fiery outburst of our dad who's lost his temper and kicked the cat and driven his car into the wall. No, it's not like that at all.
It is the settled response of the entire holiness and character of God to everything that he knows is marring and spoiling and and disappointing and and and just destroying life. Don't be led away by these vein words, while the bitterness the unhappiness the brokenness the wretchedness well it's the wrath of God. Read Romans one God says you want to do it on your own. This is how it goes. Read Romans one.
How does it go suppress the truth.
Idolatry, immorality, homosexuality, the destruction of a culture you want on your own. Let me show you how it works. No culture in history has survived the kind of stuff that our culture is going through right now and the one thing that you mustn't do is stand up and say you know what God actually says about this and you know why because and you know that he send his son to die on the cross so that all this brokenness and wretchedness and disintegrated life could be found in all its fullness that we can understand who we are what we are why we are in him.
That's the message Paul you're just always hear his heart began to what are you going to do about this in light of the fact that it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this comes the judgment. If you go to funeral services margin. Some of you do so much that an occupational hazard. The older we get is quite remarkable to me as I do go to services every so often that I don't ever don't have a part in an end and they often do I Sam. 90 but he always exerted.
Not always, but it's often servers like this. Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations and before the mountains were brought forth, whatever you formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Hey wait a minute, he dismissed a big chunk you return man to dust and say return no children of my you sweep them away like a flood.
We are brought to an end by your anger, and by your Roth we are dismayed where is the answer to the wrath of God.
Where has God's Roth been poured out his been poured out on the cross of his dearly beloved son, in order that we might be able to heed the word of Hebrews flee from the roster, you have the same thing when they do. Two Corinthians 5. Two Corinthians 5. We know this earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God is not waving hands is lovely. The picture of the tent going away and do so goes on and then he finished verse nine verse 10 is the kicker for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to receive what each one has done in their body, whether good or bad, will you say in Alastair that with them were justified by our good deeds. No, how could I that wouldn't be true. The ground of our salvation is in the work of Jesus Christ for us, not as a result of something done in us. Definitely not done by us, but the evidence of the fact that we have been brought into the realm of the justify is in the ongoing of his work in us, which is teaching us to say no to ungodliness to stand away from these things to nip it in the butt because of who we are, can still hear my father's voice nonaction on the boy that's not my boy, you do not want to do that. Are you the appeal to my identity.
The father looks down says you might go into that area and if you've done you better come down bow your knee.
Let's get it back on.
Let's go onward and upward. The reason we say no to ungodliness is because we understand we belong to God. That's Alastair big today on Truth for Life and Alastair joins us again. In just a minute to close with prayer we heard today that living a life marked by godliness is a process. Part of the process is spending time with God in his word, and that's easy to do when you subscribe to the new Truth for Life daily devotional. It presents a passage of Scripture, followed by a reflection from Alastair. All of these daily reflections are taken from his recently released book titled Truth for Life 365 daily devotions. You can sign up for the free email email@example.com/365 and while you're on the website. Be sure to look for our featured book this month.
The book is called spiritual disciplines for the Christian life reading God's word is just one of the ways that as believers we become more like Jesus in this book will see that there are other areas of discipline to help us grow in godliness and will find out why pursuing these disciplines is so important for our spiritual maturity. You can request the book, spiritual disciplines for the Christian life. When you donate online at truthforlife.org/donate, give us a call at 88858878849 let's join Alastair in prayer. Father, thank you. We commend one another into your loving care made a love of the Lord Jesus draws to him. May the joy of the Lord Jesus fill our hearts as we seek to serve and follow him. May the peace of the Lord Jesus keep us when all the vein and prevailing voices sound in our years so that we might on the day stand before you clothed in Christ's righteousness and unashamed. To this end, we pray in Jesus name, amen. You've often seen before and after pictures in advertising, they show the physical changes that a product can make tomorrow will hear about the kind of transformation. All of us need one. You can see pictures of that happens on the inside sure to listen tomorrow.
The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life.
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