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May 10, 2022 8:00 am
God loved us in Christ before the foundation of the world. And if you've been saved if the spirit of God's work in your heart.
Your loving in response to that work of his God does not love you because you first loved him you love God because he first loved did God choose you.
Did you choose him. Well, that's a question that has had Christians at odds with each other for centuries hello and welcome to the truth pulpit with Don Greene, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm Bill Wright and today Don brings our series called reflections on our Lord to a close by clearing up the confusion surrounding the subject of predestination right now to continue in his ministry of teaching God's people. God's word here is done green from the truth. Pulpit God shows us he adopted us into his family so that we can say that we are children of God, and for this reason Scripture says in first John three for this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know him but beloved Scripture says. First John three 111 behold what manner of love the Father has given to us that we should be called the children of God, and we are in for that.
We praise his name and go further, go further and take it and work it out into what it means for your daily life here today as you're walking through difficulties. Struggling with temptation dealing with difficult family are different matters that you know all of us. All of us face step back from all of that. You can't begin to understand the that the that the purposes of God in those difficulties until you remember the big picture of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You must view all of that through the lens of the fact that God chose you and saved you in order to deliver you into the his heavenly kingdom and as a result of that when you see that overarching eternal perspective, you realize that in the midst of your difficulties. It must be true that God is favorably disposed toward you, even though it seems like your circumstances are set hard against you don't interpret the goodness of God through the lens of the difficulty of your circumstances rather reverse it. Start with the eternal purpose of God.
Understand your security and blessing in Christ. My Christian brother, my Christian sister and do everything through that prism so that you say what ever else is happening in these relational or financial or physical reversals that I'm facing, whatever else it, I might think about them. It has to be that God is favorably disposed to me in the midst of them, because he chose me and adopted me into his family and he and prepared that blessing for me before the beginning of time we have to go back to that again and again and again. Paul goes on and you know if you're new to our church. You can go find you know I did a number of sermons on this passage and so were just doing a little bit a summary of this insight, your interests than no go and look for those sermons online to where we discuss in greater detail. It's not just the God shows us in Christ. Secondly, he redeemed us, he redeemed us in Christ.
Paul open, talking about our God and father in verse three, and then he moves and he brings the Lord Jesus Christ into it and speaks more specifically about the work of Christ in verse seven as he goes from the what the father is done for us to what the son has done for us and in verse seven it says in him we have redemption through his blood, obviously the shed blood of Christ on the cross and what was it that the shed blood did for us.
It brought about our redemption. It brought about the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished on us at the cross Jesus Christ paid the price necessary to bring us out of our slavery to sin and if you would just turn toward the end of your Bible. A couple of books to the book of Colossians. The book of Colossians, which was written at about the same time in prison. As the book of Ephesians. You get a divine commentary on this just exactly what it was a Christ did for us when he redeemed us in verse 13 of Colossians chapter 1 Colossians chapter 1 verse 13 he rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Scripture describes Paul an unsaved man as being in an and multiple bondage's of slavery where we are slaves to our own sin. That's why people can't break their bad habits is because I don't have control over their hearts and their lives in their own affections. Scripture describes us as being bound to Satan, blinded by him and in it a place of complete spiritual helplessness. Having no ability of our own to respond to God, having no ability to to give ourselves new life. Having no no ability as a natural man to overcome the supernatural bondage in which Satan was holding us in the supernatural bondage of the power of sin.
Beloved, you and I were lost and hopelessly helpless, hopelessly helpless, and what had God appointed what had Christ done redemption through his blood at the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ secured your salvation. He made it infallibly certain to occur.
That's why he could say it is finished and at the cross Christ by his shed blood, and by the power of God in the resurrection by the resurrection power of God, the power of sin, the power of Satan was broken by our Lord Jesus Christ, and he did this on our behalf. He did it for us. Satan had no binding of over Christ.
Satan had no power over Christ. Christ did need to deliver himself from the power of Satan.
Christ had no sin, and so there was no sin for him to be delivered from. Don't you see that when he went to the cross he was doing it for us he was doing it for his people. And why would he do that, that's the question of the hour. Why would Christ do that. Why would God the father choose us and adopt us into his family.
Why would Christ go to the cross after living a righteous life for some 30 years. Why would he do that for sinners like you and me. Why would he do that. The text tells us verse four. It was in love verse seven it was according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished on us boundless grace. Boundless mercy gladly showered upon us by the Lord Jesus Christ and not in a miserly stingy way. He lavished upon us. He ported out in abundant measure far more than anyone could've asked for and why did he do that beloved. It was not because you deserved it because you did not.
He did it because that's what he's like he is a generous and loving, gracious Savior, who gladly brought you into the family of God through his redemptive work on your behalf. He gladly did that.
He graciously did that and when you start to recognize that you start to do two things. One, you are humbled by the reality that your position in Christ was secured, not by your goodness, but by his you are humbled to realize you did not deserve this. So there are times where you cry out Lord, why me and is not the why me of why am I suffering which is no common to unredeemed men to say now the Christian should be saying, Lord, why me, why such love and grace on me because it wasn't anything in me that could've prompted that the city hall and then the sun starts to rise on your understanding and it must be because of you.
It must be because of your love and grace that you have done this on my behalf undeserved love and undeserved grace lavished upon me, and unworthy center so when that starts to form in your understanding you praise God, and you praise him not primarily or. First and foremost for any earthly blessings that is given to you set everything earthly aside and you look up the majesty of his being and you thank him for the grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. So we praise him because he chose us. We praise him because he adopted us, we praise him because Christ redeemed us at the price of his own blood, beloved, you know, if we if we understood something about the physical tortures of the cross.
It would change our perspective before infinitely more if we understood something about the nature of the redemptive work of Christ and how how we suffered the wrath of Christ for all of our sins. God shows you by name before the foundation of the world. Christ was suffering for you by name on the cross he was somehow in the infinite mind of Christ and the infinite justice of God, the infinite grace of God. Christ was absorbing every individual sin that you ever committed suffering.
The punishment for it. Christ suffered for my covetous thought yesterday around 2 o'clock along with the thousands if not millions of other sins of which I'm guilty and he gladly did it as a brother to the redeemed is the elder brother to the redeemed. He gladly saved us and paid the price for all our sins. At Calvary, how can you not love him and how could anyone understand this and not say you know what henceforth and forever more.
The only purpose in my life is to live to the glory of this one who loved me and gave his soul up for me like that. How could you have any other kind of response and understand this beloved. I say this sympathetically but I say it I say clearly and directly, Scripture teaches us that those who have heard clearly the gospel of Jesus Christ and reject him.
Scripture says that those who have heard the gospel and deemed the son of God unfit for their submission and worship. They will face the strictest judgment of them all. It won't be the murderers. It won't be those that have committed crimes are viewed as the most heinous by man in God's eyes. The most heinous crime that you can commit is to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ to hear and see before you set before your eyes, the glory and majesty of his holy name. The majesty of his person.
The majesty of his work and then to reject that and say I will not have that man reign over me. I will be my own hobby my own God. All worship what I want to but I will not submit to Christ. I will not submit to the holy word of God written in the 66 books of the Bible man. If you walk away from that.
If you reject that the lowest hottest part of hell is reserved for you because that is a direct insult that is high-handed rebellion against the Christ to freely offers this gift of salvation to everyone who will believe someone walks out of here today, unbelieving understand this. It won't be because of of anything on God's side. You will walk out unbelieving walk out rejecting Christ because of the sin and rebellion in your own heart and you will face accountability before a holy God for that. So if I were you. If I were you I would repent. Right now I wouldn't wait to the end of service you would. You should bow your heart now and say Lord I see how clearly I drive rebel I see how clearly my my life is been against you, have mercy on me, the center yes, I've done all of these wicked things in my flesh but I see now that my greatest sin is vertical. I've ignored you have rejected Christ. I've mocked him, I treated him as unworthy of my time and attention. God is here cry for mercy like that 11 Jesus said come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and will give you rest. There is no unwillingness in God for you to be saved. The unwillingness is found in your own wretched heart. If you walk out of here and are not a Christian. Well, there's one more aspect here and I'm just going to go through. I'm just going to leave it here will save the rest for another time, God the father chose us adopted us, Christ, the son redeemed us with his shed blood and we see the work of the Holy Spirit and the kindness of the Holy Spirit to us as well and that he he sealed us. Look at verse 13 where it says this says in him that is in Christ, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation having also believed, you believed in response to the work of God you believe you know your faith. Beloved, I'm going a little tangent here faith true faith true saving faith is an indication is the evidence in your heart that you've been chosen by God for salvation. The fact that you believe in Christ truly believe in Christ is one of the initial marks that you've been chosen for salvation. But understand that it is the choice of God.
It is the work of God that produced faith in your heart and it is the work of the spirit of God that produced faith in your heart is not something that you conjured up in your own power in order to believe and then God said all I must respond now because he's believe no no you believe because the spirit of God was graciously working in your heart in order to take out your heart of stone and put in a warm beating heart of flesh, that would respond to the living God in the invitation to Christ, you had nothing in you that would've responded.
You were cold you were dead you were bound by Satan bound by sin. There is nothing in you that could possibly possibly started this process is why Scripture says we love because he first loved us. Don't ever reverse that sequence. God loved us in Christ before the foundation of the world and in if you've been saved if the spirit of God's work in your heart. Your loving in response to that work of his God does not love you because you first loved him you love God because he first loved you. It's very important for each one of us to get that straight in our minds because that sequence changes everything that you think about genuine salvation, and it determines the way that you respond to God in your life the way that you live in obedience to Christ and what you give your life over to what you give your love to how you respond to your trials. Everything is determined by what you think about that sequence. If God chose me, and I believe in response to his choice. I'm humbled by it because I realize it's not anything that I deserved. If I think that my choice determined the outcome of my salvation. Then there's an inevitable sense of boasting the comes I believe that I'm different, you know you don't believe I had the insight to see it. And there's boasting there and there's boasting in the presence of God.
I received a you know I chose you don't go down that Arminian road that lead you to bad places when you really think it out and see the consequences of it all. Here in verse 13 we see that the spirit sealed us.
Verse 13 in him and all what this means is just phenomenal in him you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation having also believed, you were sealed in him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession to the praise of his glory when Paul here talks about the ceiling of the Holy Spirit understand that in those times that the seal and I think about a seal being impressed on on warm clay in the imprint of the seal is being left on on the seal and so that Clay would be used to seal official documents and things like that the seal was a mark of ownership. The one who owned the seal was the one who is putting his imprint on the on the clay Paul uses that as a metaphor to help us understand what God has done for us and salvation.
But God has done with the spirit of God has done is he has sealed us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
God has marked us as his own. God has set us apart and he is marked us by the indwelling Holy Spirit in a way that shows that we belong to him. One of the marks of of having the indwelling's Holy Spirit is a transformed life is having a heart that is tender to the word of God that believes the word of God that loves the Lord Jesus Christ that longs to obey. Even if you obey imperfectly as you do, but there's this longing. There's this there's this captivity of your heart, your heart is taken captive to the beauty and wonder of the Lord Jesus Christ and you see him as the greatest thing of all, the object of your highest affection and none can rival for it. If family must go for the sake of your loyalty to Christ you say family must go if the world hates me. I understand that the world hated Christ before it hated me and I'd rather be identified with Christ in the opposition of the world than to be on the world side in opposition to Christ.
There is just this clear dividing line that the comes my point is this is that that that heart of love and affection for Christ that longing for obedience is the sure inevitable mark of a genuinely converted heart and that evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit shows that God has marked you out as his own and therefore you belong to him and that mark of ownership that pledge of our inheritance. In verse 14 is it's the language of a down payment. What it means is this the fact that you have the indwelling Holy Spirit within you now in the plan and outworking of the way salvation works.
It's like a down payment that God is given you the down payment of the indwelling spirit is the earnest payment, meaning that there's more to come. If you have the spirit, now it's the sure guarantee the sure promise of God that there's more to come, that God will keep you through this life. None of those that the spirit saves could possibly ever be lost. God will keep you through this life. God will bring you safe into heaven.
You will be in his eternal kingdom enjoying the riches and glory of Christ forever and ever. Without in having been made perfect in him glorify the presence of sin thoroughly banished. No more tears, no more sorrow no more pain, no more temptation, utterly removed from all of the effects of sin glorified made like Christ and being with him throughout all of eternity.
The presence of the Spirit in your life today is a down payment that that greater gift will certainly be fulfilled for you in the end step back from that.
What can you say Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He's blessed me with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, he chose me and adopted me into his family. I can rightly be called a child of God, a child of God, by redemption, not simply not simply that God made me but God loved me and redeemed me and I belong to him and he wants me in his family, and I am head of the Christ was on the cross he was he was done that for me he loved me and gave himself up for me. Galatians 220 says first person singular in the spirit indwells me and is keeping me in a sanctifying median even though I'm unworthy of it.
To this day, God has set his love upon me like that so that I am fully assured that he is favorably disposed to me.
Indeed, we love him because he first loved us. You're listening to the truth pulpit with Don grain and today's lesson brings our series called reflections on our Lord to a close and if you'd like to have a copy of this message or the entire series for yourself or a friend or loved one go to the truth. Pulpit.com when you're there you'll find all of Don's teachings along with other great free resources.
That's all it the truth. Pulpit.com and I Don, would you please share any final thoughts on this series with our listening will bill what I hope that this series has done for each one of us is to remind us of the glory of Christ all over and fresh again. It is just so wonderful and so transforming to realize that the eternal son of God left his throne in heaven. In order to come to earth live a perfect life and offer that life on the cross for guilty sinners like you and me as a sacrifice in shed blood that satisfied the wrath of God against our sins. What a wonderful Savior. And when you realize that he is done that you see how great his love is for sinners just like you and so if you're convicted of sin. Today you're feeling estranged from God, go directly to the Lord Jesus Christ and ask him to have mercy on it is why he came became to seek and to save the lost. Thanks Don and Fred will see you next time right here on the truth pulpit were done green teaches God's people. God's word