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Christian Lifestyle

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
June 14, 2022 12:01 am

Christian Lifestyle

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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June 14, 2022 12:01 am

Our purpose as human beings, and particularly as Christians, is to manifest the glory of God. But how do we do that? Today, R.C. Sproul puts forward several biblical principles that govern a Christian lifestyle.

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At the very beginning of creation God creates man with the special capacity to mirror his nature and we are to do that in our lives. And so the reason why we should be asking the question what is a Christian lifestyle is the answer the very basic question of creation. How will I manifest the glory of God.

Looking to renew your mind of this Tuesday we will know after digging into the leader or because we have built a message from Dr. C Spruill is never heard of the program before. In fact, this entire week is been set aside to like this archive the programs we set aside exclusively for our ministry partners in today's message deals with the Christian lifestyle is that lifestyle look like we have to conform in certain areas and working with different but showing first thing I want to do is call your attention to a very basic and fundamental distinction that we find between the manifestation of the people of God in the Old Testament and the manifestation of the people of God in the New Testament, in the old covenant. You remember the principle of separation of Israel from all other nations into a body of her tremendous amount of uniformity of living and lifestyles. The people ate the same kind of foods they follow a similar pattern of dress. Their whole visible lifestyle is distinctive and unique and easily discernible as far as a culture is concerned, even their dietary laws.

Their medical loss. Everything that they do is distinguish from the culture around them and we know that there's a reason why they have a distinctive lifestyle and that reason is made very clear in the Old Testament that these people are called out of the world by God to be what a holy nation that's their primary calling to be a holy nation. I know that when we think in terms of holiness. We tend to associate it with a particular kind of Pietism or particular kind of personal or social righteousness, but the root meaning of course of holiness means what set apart different kind of nonconformist pattern, and God gives the mandate Israel calling them to be his people, saying you shall be my people and I will be your God and you shall be holy because I am holy.

Now why is God concerned to move Israel into a different holy, set apart consecrated people he calls Israel to be the restoration of humanity, because the first mandate or the first responsibility given to man in creation is to do what to be the image of God, and I think there's been a lot of misunderstanding of what it means to be created in the image of God. For example, there are those many of those who think that the biblical statement of being made in the image of God means primarily that there's a certain sense in which we are like God. The Mormons take up to a radical extreme and thinking that it means that the God has a body and we have boys and we look like God. That sort of thing, but traditionally in the history of the church with only understood the image of God concept to mean that God has a will. We have a will. God has in mind and we have a mind and God has a capacity for love and we have the capacity for love that sort of thing.

And so the we have a tendency to see this mandate to be created in the image of God. To mean that there's a certain sense in which there's a way in which we are like God.

Why think that that that's true as far as it goes, but I don't think that's the basic point of the creation account of man. The whole concept of image in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament has to do with the principle of reflection of manifesting of making something clear making something visible. Mirroring is the word I like to use in terms of this image concept so that man in creation is called to reflect and to mirror the nature of God to glorify God. No, this whole concept of glory and holiness very very closely related.

What does glory, me, what is the glory of God's word we use every day in the Christian community glory. We glorify God, and we speak about living to the glory of God. What is glory only play with it for just a second linguistic and see if we can get some handles on the term because it is one of those words we use every time, but I suspect that if you were asked to give a specific concrete definition of the term, you find it difficult particulate in the Old Testament the word that is used is translated by the English word glory is the word car bowed comes from the root combo, which means literally in the Hebrew weightiness or happiness in the New Testament the word is don't say from which we get doxology but at the root of the word is this concept very concrete concept in Hebrew thinking of something that's heavy and wait so that the glory of God has to do with his heaviness to make mockery of God biblically is to make light of him and so the heaviness of God points the fact that there is something substantial something weighty about God that is different from everything else in the universe that is transitory, but comes into being that undergoes generation and decay passes out its dependent its contingent. It's all of that. Where is God in the power of his being is eternal self existent weight substance.

Notice in the New Testament that Jesus is called the one who speaks with authority that is in a weighty kind of way. Now the Latin term. That's equivalent to both of those, I think, gives us even more of a key stored pigment costs from which we get the word dignity to what is dignity when you lose or feel a sense of the loss of your dignity you experience humiliation or frustration and perhaps might enter into a protest movement we saw in the 60s, a massive movement in this country that centered around the question of the dignity of a race of people. What is dignity is not one of those words very difficult to define except again the people were saying. I am someone. I am something. There is value there is worth to who I am.

My being, my existence as weight. It has value.

So at the very beginning of creation God calls man and creates man with the special capacity to mirror and to reflect his dignity, his nature and we are to do that in our lives.

And so the reason why we should be asking the question what is a Christian lifestyle is to answer the very basic question of creation. How will I manifest the glory of God, how I manifest who God is, to this world.

How does that mirror become deep thought and clear so that people can look at me and somehow come to a deeper understanding of who God is, that we know that we are not God's.

We know that we can never be more than images, but we can be images so Israel is called to a lifestyle that is separate from different from everybody else in the world so that God's holiness may be made manifest to the world that Israel might be a light to the Gentiles the goes right down to food, not because whether he one food or another food is intrinsically special, but God.CIs and cross the tees to make sure that the uniqueness of Israel is preserved at every even seemingly small, insignificant, pedantic, but what happens in the development. Israel begins to major and minor. Israel begins to see the trust in the small little points and think that they are fulfilling the mandate of reflecting the holiness of God so that by the time Jesus comes in the world who is called in the New Testament the express image of his person. The brightness of his glory. Jesus comes as the light into the world as the one who truly fulfills the mandate that was first given to Adam to Mary and to reflect the glory of God and brings the glory of God into our midst and unparalleled and unprecedented way. When he comes he comes in judgment on those who appear to be by their lifestyle. The cream of the crop of his the Pharisees and what's his basic critique on the Pharisees. They strain out gnats.

They swallow can they tie their meant and their common, but they omit the weightier matters of the law.

And so Jesus critiques those who have a superficial way of reflecting the glory of God that I'm not going through this just for the sake of historical reconnaissance because I'm going to this so that we can see that as we wrestle with the question of what is a Christian lifestyle we understand some of the mistakes that have been made in effect and we see this not only the Old Testament but since the advent of the New Testament we have seen, generations, and generations go who have sought a way by which they could manifest themselves as a unique Christian people we see people living in this world today who don't wear buttons and they were hooks and eyes, and I don't drive cars or use anything of electrical nature do all their planning and plowing with horses and primitive implements and they have preserved themselves as an island within the midst of our culture as a unique people we call them Amish but the Amish or the Pennsylvania Dutchman. If you asked them why they preserve their distinctives.

Most times the answer will be. So the world will know where Amish were originally the movement was designed to preserve a Christian lifestyle, a nonconformist pattern that people be able to look at them and say this is what it means to be a Christian. This is what it means to participate in the kingdom of God but they got lost in thinking that a Christian lifestyle is found in wearing straw hats and blue denim clothes.

We see circles of fundamentalism that distinguish themselves by saying they don't go to movies for wear lipstick or dance or play cards because Christians don't do those things that would be alien to a Christian lifestyle and we see what happens in the worst forms of that kind of Christianity that people feel that if they fulfill the obligation to refrain from playing cards or going to the movies or wearing lipstick, about which the kingdom of God has nothing to do that they have somehow maintained a high level of Christian witness majoring in minors or we see another person getting the vision that the best way to manifest the life of Jesus is by taking a poverty ball give away all your money and go around sackcloth and ashes and here's what I think all of these things have in common, and these are just a few examples. There are easy or cheap there superficial. It's the same problem with the first of doing that which is it's really not hard to go without lipstick, but it may be hard to sacrifice your life, your daily life in behalf of the people of God to put away to live. Lipstick is one thing to give your life, body and soul to the ministry of Jesus Christ is quite another thing but we set up a new kind of standard as to what it means to be a Christian and I think this is one of the basic things that the New Testament does away by telling us that the kingdom of God is not anything to drink. It's not in whether your wear blue denim closing blue suede shoes. That's not what the kingdom is made.

I see in the New Testament.

A movement to a great principle of variety of lifestyle among Christian people.

The mystery that had been hidden and now is revealed is Christ in the Gentiles Christ in you the Gentiles, the hope of glory and to bring in people from all different nations in all different cultures when the first things that God does to build the kingdom and the New Testament is the lay aside some of the old principles of dietary regulations ceremonies in order to preserve an external lifestyle, but the call to reflect the glory of God is not set.

In fact it's laid upon the Christian community with a much greater sense of urgency than Israel ever thought about and the task of making visible the invisible kingdom of God is made the top priority of the great commission only, not for a moment before I wrap this up. First of all, notice that the New Testament does not command that all the evangelists does not command that all be teachers. It does not command all be preachers. It does not command all be poor is not command all be rich does not command all be slaves or I'll be master's does.

But what is one obligation but is laid in one vocation that is laid upon every Christian in the new covenant, to bear witness to the ascension into the enthronement the coronation of Jesus Christ as King. So the basic question we have to ask in every generation in every culture is how does my style of life and what I say what I do, how I live bear witness to the fact that Jesus Christ is king. Can I do that by the suit of clothes.

Obviously we have principles given to us about our dress, but not a dress code, principles of modesty are laid out for us principles of stewardship are given to us but not a mandate to a level of income that every Christian must have the principle of stewardship light appointments and enormous amount of freedom was an enormous amount of responsibility. I just like to simplify by can it be little bit reductionistic to some very basic principles that are laid upon us in the New Testament that must govern whatever style of living we manifest.

First of all, that our life and whatever style it takes must be lived in the presence of God.

What I mean by that, and we make it an imperative to live your life in the presence of God Coram day. How can we do that when we know that in a certain sense we do it anyway as God sees everything we do we catch the hairs on our head of the lack of them. He notices so all that we do the things that we think in private and secret is aware that were not talking about living in the presence of God in that sense, but in a conscious sense to know that my whole life is an open book before God and I have to have that in my head thinking of that as I live that what I do on Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday 30 project is visible to God. And so I'm asking myself by being aware of that. Am I living a kind of life that is pleasing to him. In other words, I must strive to live my life first before God and second before the world, but remembering that when my life is before the world. It's also before God. The second principle that must govern any Christian lifestyle is my life must be lived under the authority of, but authority biblically is found in the word of God's commandment. And the only place I can really discover with clarity the commandments of God or in the holy Scriptures.

So what it means to me when I say that we are to live our lives under the authority of God. It means that we are to live under the authority of Scripture, not under the authority of the lifestyle of the group that turns me on and finally the Christian lifestyle has to be instructed by the mind of Christ we are called to be nonconformists but are nonconformity rests not so much in diet or in close or that kind of stuff, but in what and transformation of our lives by the renewing of our minds that are uniqueness to be discerned.

First of all in how we think we are intellectual nonconformists. That's the first Mark of the Christian lifestyle if it's going to be authentic.

We are intellectual nonconformists. We do not by the values of this world.

We do not bar the axioms of this world. We do not buy the evaluations or the judgments of this world because we look at the world we look at man. We look at the state we look at the church we look at the whole creation from the perspective of God himself. If we have the mind are nonconformity. The bill upon the transformation of our findings of the renewal of online patterning our thinking after the mind.

That's not Jersey's sprawl is referred there to Romans chapter 12 the verse that gave us the name of this program. Renewing Your Mind were grateful that you joined us for this special edition of Renewing Your Mind. On Tuesday I believe web this week, we have chosen some rarely if ever heard messages from Dr. sprawl. Our purpose is to highlight the benefits of becoming a ministry partner. I recently had the privilege of talking with the two of our ministry partner Scott and Renée from taxes they have been friends of leader for many many years and I asked them why they have chosen to give month after month, year after year, and here's what they had to say. There's a great need for discipleship.

And that's true both domestically and internationally and to me it was just wanting to be a part of getting that word out and having that same help it like you and our understanding of Scripture we wanted to be a part of expanding that rage both nationally and globally, and it's a joy to be a part of that and I can tell you so many different ways it helped us and provided resources for our understanding and growth that we wanted to spread the world and especially a downturn and biblical knowledge and biblical preaching, and so I think their second meeting because we become very knowledge Scripture and God needed and you absolutely grateful for Scott and relate ensuring that with his son.

Joy near the studio by my colleague Dick W. Bingham they can. It really is with legionnaires all about right. I love what Scott Monet said there is a great need for discipleship and is a ministry partner myself as I think about it. One of the great benefits of being a ministry partner is knowing the impact that your financial and prayerful support is having. I was speaking recently to ask leading your team and they were telling me about a prison outreach.

Listeners know that we regularly send Reformation study Bibles out to those who been converted in prisons and I were telling me that is very common for a prisoner to read the Reformation study Bible from Genesis all the way through the revelation read all of the notes and comments that are in there and then send a long letter into the house looking your team with all of the questions about all of the Bible and the slick and your team is equipped standing by to provide answers to those questions and that some of the discipleship that a ministry partners enable or I was talking to a dear lady recently and she shared how providentially she listened to Dr. sprawl series chosen by God and for the first time understood the sovereignty of God and was less than a year later that her young child died and she said that if it wasn't for that teaching from Dr. sprawl helping her understand the goodness of God the sovereignty of God.

She would not have been able to walk through that dock. And difficult trial in her life and such well ministry partners out there want to say thank you for your support because you are allowing the teaching of God's word to go out and for God's people to be discipled so that they can be fruitful and go through even those difficult times. Let me echo my gratitude as well. Nathan and that if you're listening and you're not a ministry partner, but the message you heard from Dr. sprawl today resonated with you or these testimonies resonate with you. Let me encourage you to become part of this very special group of people who pray for us and provide a monthly gift. You can sign up by calling us at 800-435-4343 or if you prefer, you can do that online at Renewing Your Mind God were going to give you that phone number again though it's 800-435-4343 thank you for being with us today Renewing Your Mind is the listener supported outreach ability or ministries. We help you make plans to join us again tomorrow

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