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August 12, 2022 4:00 am
If you continually indulge your liberty and you're free to do this and you are free to do that at all. You're concerned about is your freedom your freedom your freedom and you run your freedom out to the very limits your level of Wolof innocent if they will have the freedom to go do something, I have continually flew around the edges of the system running liberty out as far as I temptation find out today on grace to you as John MacArthur continues his series from first Corinthians chapter 10 titled the pitfalls of Christian liberty, not before we look again at first Corinthians, John.
It may interest our listeners to know that for about the past year and 1/2 at Grace Church.
You have been re-preaching the book of Ephesians you first taught through Ephesians in the 1970s and now you're doing it again. And of course you've also work through other books more than once Revelation in the Gospel of John come to mind. Do you find that the process of study and discovery in preaching is different when you go back over material that you've already given careful attention to, and do you read your own commentaries do read my own commentary yes because it gives me the opportunity to access the full interpretation that I did at the time but I don't develop the sermon out of that commentary.
I take afresh you run at the text and I sort of start with what I already know and what I've already said and to satisfy my own mind of my own curiosity, I inevitably go beyond that. I've noticed that you would if you do something a second time. You always go deeper. What used to be a one message study will turn into two or three sermons.
Yeah, I think that may be a reflection somewhat of the difference between what Paul said to the Corinthians.
We talked about milk and meat.
There is there's a milk level interpretation of Scripture so that you would give to the average believer there's a meat level. Those are two different doctrines. Those are two different truths. They speak of the depth and richness and breath of those truth so when back in the 70s I was really getting started in ministry. I was feeding my own soul at a level that my own soul was ready to take in the word and the same with our congregation and now you know if 40 years later or more, it's it's much different because I'm I'm loaded up with so much more knowledge of the word of God and I find that I definitely go deeper and I see more implications on a broader level as well. So it's is more than just yelling in different places. When you read preach a sermon for me it's a whole new experience of that text and I actually love it because I love to be able to build on what I already know but dig deeper. We're thankful that you do that as well.
John and now friend stay here as John highlights biblical principles that you can use to overcome temptation and experience victory in Christ. This is part of John's current study on the pitfalls of Christian liberty and now here's John first Corinthians chapter 10 were looking at verses 1 to 13 and considering what is a very important passage in a so much here I kind of feel like I just don't know how to dive in because there's so much and I want to tied in with the other parts of first Corinthians in particular this context. And yet there's so much in itself that I don't want to belabor that point basically were going to center on verse 13. The key word in verse 13 is the word temptation.
Now, I mentioned the word temptation. It doesn't leave a lot of mystery in anybody's mind that is a very familiar word to the Christian and it's even a more familiar experience. We all understand the term a temptation. Whatever the word is you as you understand a certain thing and we all experience temptation.
There's no question about that, but the Greek word for you Greek students per Roz Maas, the Greek word has no moral connotation at all. The Greek word isn't necessarily bad or good. It's strictly a neutral word and it means simply to test or to try and approve or the case of metal to assay a SS a Y a to modern ears. You know whatever you say the word tempt somebody automatically think of something bad a seduction to evil to seduce somebody and it was soon but the word itself in the Greek the word is used here has no moral connotation at all in itself. It simply means to test for example in Matthew chapter 4 verse one it says and the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. Says the King James by the devil. Matthew take the word there simply to mean something bad, then you got the Holy Spirit leading Jesus directly into something bad. What happened there was the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tested.
It was not to be a solicitation to evil, but it was to be a solicitation to good to manifest the righteousness of Christ to manifest the fact that he would not fall that he would not sin and to give him that confidence at the beginning of his ministry and to give the rest of the world that confidence that this was one who would not sin. The Holy Spirit used Satan to test him. But the Holy Spirit did not want to seduce him to evil, but rather to test him to prove his righteousness. See the difference.
Now, the Holy Spirit will bring into our lives. Tests to bring us to righteousness now wants. But Satan will want to turn those into temptations to solicit evil and that's basically what we must understand about this word. For example, take the case of Job, God did not want Satan to make Job sin.
God wanted Satan to test Job to prove Job's righteousness right so sometimes the test will even involve Satan. Sometimes God will even allow Satan to move in and to do things in our lives. But God's design is always that we would come out righteous. Not that we would be seduced into evil, the word simply means a test. For example, in Hebrews 1117 it says God, in effect, this is God tempted Abraham. That's the King James translation, but that didn't tempt Abraham, God and try to get a ram to some bad God tested him and it refers to Genesis 22 God tested him by asking him to give his son Isaac on older knees testing his faith was you really believe you really trust we really obey me at any price. Look at James 113 will have to start there before we can backup because this is probably the most clear statement defining temptation. James 113 let no man say when he is tempted I am tempted of God. Now hear the word has a negative meaning and is given a negative meaning only by the context and you'll see that in a minute.
The word per Roz Maas of the verb provides all gets its meaning from the context, if it's a negative context and is a negative or tempting meaning. If it's a positive context like God tested Guerin has a positive meaning toward righteous.
It depends on the source of it and the purpose of it now. Here let Matt no man say when he is tempted, I'm tempted of God, for God can't be tempted with evil, neither to see any man.
Now he does test us doesn't God does test us because I just told you, but it says neighbors 1117 a God tested Abraham in the New Testament Peter even says God will test us.
But God does not solicit men do evil.
Now listen, but every man is tempted, and the evil sense when he himself is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed.
Now temptation to evil comes out of a man's last. That's what James is saying, not from God. There's no contradiction here just because it says God attempted Abraham in Hebrews 1117 and here it says God temps no man there is in the contradiction.
It's just two different uses of the term. That's a neutral term God solicited Abraham to righteousness, but your own lust solicits you to do evil or test you with a view toward falling failure can have a bad or a good source and consequently a bad or good view in mind and therefore has a bad or good connotation. Now that you understand that is important backup in James and look at verse two of chapter 1.
Here is the same comparison again same term. My brother, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations the old King James they say wait a minute, count it all joy, all yes knowing this, the testing of your faith, or the tempting same word of your faith works patience and let patience have her wet perfect work so you mean there is some temptation that has perfection in mind that's right same word exactly as used in verses 13 and 14 olein 13 and 14 at you is to bring about an evil result in chapter 1 verse two, three and four to bring about a righteous result. The word is neutral, its meaning comes from its source. When you're tested by God it's with righteousness in view when you're tempted by your last or by Satan it's with unrighteousness, in view now. That's the meaning of the word in John six and verse six the very same word is used and it's referring to Jesus in 66 and this he said to test him or attempt to terrazzo again. And here again it is not a solicitation to evil second grade. In chapter 13 verse five it says test yourselves prove yourselves as Christians. It doesn't mean draw yourselves in the sin it means draw yourselves into righteousness, examine yourselves, test yourselves prove yourself. I to begin within whenever you see the word temptation in the Bible. Realize this. It is a neutral word. It could be translated. Try test proved assay or attempt it gets its its qualitative meaning.
That is its moral value from the context from who is doing the testing and what the purpose of it is now. That's just the beginning. That's an introduction. Now let's go back to first Corinthians, and will see how this thing helps us to understand. The 13th verse of the 10th chapter of the Corinthians.
Remember were enjoying their freedom in Christ. They had been set free from ceremonial is him in the Judeo success they had been set free from the customs of pagan religion.
They had been set free from the curse of the law they had been set free from death, as it were from from sins dominion. They had great liberty, as Paul called it the glorious liberty of the children of God and in their freedom. They were really running their freedom to its limits. They were living it up and so Paul writes first Corinthians 8, nine and 10, in effect, to say to them what I'm happy for your liberty, but there should be two things that govern your liberty. It's fine you exercise your freedom. But two things have to be kept in mind there are two things that limit our liberty in Christ. I have the freedom to do many things in the non-moral area. The neutral area. As a Christian, but I limit those many things on two bases number one, don't offend somebody if my liberty offend somebody else that it's wrong. I may have the right to do certain things, but if that becomes an offense to somebody. I don't do it. Now that's a subject in chapter 9 member, Paul said, I have a right to receive money from you a right to ask for support from you and even though that's my right.
I don't ask it because I'm afraid it would offend some people. So I set that right aside, even though it's my liberty and that's principle number one I have liberty but I don't let my liberty offend somebody so I limit my liberty for the sake of love toward other second principle. The second limiter on your liberty is will it disqualify you if you continually indulge your liberty and your free to do this that you're free to do that at all.
You're concerned about is your freedom your freedom your freedom and you run your freedom out to the very limits your level to fall off innocent if they will have the freedom to go do certain thing but was from a debt I have treated with you continually flirt around the edges of the system running your liberty out as far as a lability level to follow and fall into sin and be disqualified from usefulness and chapter 10 illustrates that Israel with all their assets with all their liberty set free from the bondage of Egypt on their way to the promised land. They had everything going for them and because they live too close to the edge of their liberty. They fell into sin and you see where it was there sin in verse seven, the sin of idolatry. In verse eight, the sin of immorality in verse nine, the sin of testing God. In verse 10, the sin of complaining, griping and murmuring and all of these sins disqualify them.
They all died in the wilderness as many as 2 million people died in only two of the originals entered into the promised land. That's is I can't use you to be a witness and community for me.
I can't use you in the ministry of reaching the world is my witnessing nation simply because you followed it is sin. You are disqualified right that Israel wasn't too close to the edge as they Longing for the former life in chapter 9. The point is you can't offend your brother in chapter 10. The point is, you better be careful that you don't disqualify yourself by living so close to the edge of your liberty that you fall into sin and you can't be used in God's or that's his illustration now wearing that chapter 10 section, and Paul wants the Corinthians to see that they just can't continue to go to all the pagan festival when they can do it. The Bible is up a bit, but they just can't continue to expose themselves to these. They constantly expose themselves to idolatry because even though not involved because an expose themselves to immorality that goes on without having affect them sooner or later without being eventually drawn into this thing so they have to be very careful not having stated the illustration he applies it.
Let's look at the application of verses 11 to 13 I gave you the assets of liberty the abusive liberty. Now here's the application. Verse 11. Now all these things happening to them for examples, and stop there for everything that happened in Israel's life happened is an example to us both so that you learn that you have all the blessings you could be free.
You could be in the been the unit of God's witnessing community under the headship of Christ as they were under the headship of Moses you can be led by God. You can be guided by God. You can be fed by God and given water by God as they were. You have all those blessings and yet you can lose out by misuse of your liberty. You fall in the same even though you have freedom you need to learn to temper that freedom can find that freedom in order that you might really stay close to where God wants you to be you not get out on the fringes. All these things happen to Israel for an example to us. He said learn the lesson?
They are written back to verse 11, they are written for our admonition. We talked about the word admonish news they tell admonition. It simply means to counsel somebody to change their behavior in light of judgment if you keep going the way you're going, you're going to get in trouble, you better change so he says to the creek is all that I've been telling you about Israel is to help you to change their written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are, that's it would be the last dispensation.
What happened to Israel as a model to those of us who live in this last day before Christ, learn your lesson. People you can be blessed of God you can be a part of the witnessing community and yet you can forfeit your usefulness to God, not your salvation. That's not the point here.
You can forfeit your usefulness of God. The price of winning people to Christ you can forfeit that by falling into sin because you run your liberty too far and then he principle lies is the whole 11 verses he takes that whole 11 verses and draws in the one principal verse 12 wherefore let him that thinks he stand take heed what lusty that's the principle that's a timeless principal. It's in Proverbs, is it pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
That's not anything new, and he's simply saying when you think you can handle it like the Corinthians were so smug and so independent they could pack up their liberty and take it anywhere they wouldn't have to worry is is your trouble. You better realize that just when you think you stand is just when you ready to fall because you let your guard Sardis in Revelation 33 a crisis to Sardis watch or your regular overtaken in effect and they knew what he was talking about because in their history.
Cyrus attacked the city. They had Acropolis a high place all cities had a high place in the Acropolis were from where the defendant, the city and it jutted out like a spurred end of it seemed to be to Cyrus. There was no way to take so we offer reward to any soldier's arm. You can figure out a way to take the Acropolis of Sardis so one soldier stayed up all night watching and he noticed in the moonlit night that a soldier from Sardis had dropped his helmet inadvertently fell off his header was knocked off and it fell off the edge and tumbled down to the bottom of this spur as we watched how the soldier went down to get it.
And as he watched he knew that they knew away down in the way back up and he followed the path the middle of the next night. He took a band of men would write back up that path inside and opened the gate and the troops came in to conquer this. Be on guard but him but think of the standard take heed lest he fall. That's the point, you can be in the service of the Lord just like Israel called to be a witness in communities like the Corinthian church called to be witnessing community but if we think were secure. That's just what were the most vulnerable because we stop leaning on the Lord why no so much. I got so many Bible verses and I know what I'm doing.
I got my theology straightened out. I got control of the that's just wonderful.
When you stop leaning on him.
He stand in your own resources. My father always says you have to maintain that in visible means of support, you have to stay tied to the source of power. Now listen to verse 13 and see how it ties in now after all that warning. Paul closes with a very important it's almost like a PS or footnoted somewhat disconnected and yet connected the Corinthians ago to say what Paul you're you're telling us to to cool it with our liberty are telling us to kind of wine things down and not get out of the fringes and Kenneth circumscribe our lives a little more and stable closer to the middle and and all that would listen. Paul me how to prevent being in temptation. You can help with you at no matter where you go, what you do you when I get into the thing.
I mean, what could happen when we get out there and work were just trying to do what we are doing. We get tempted what's going happen so use of the word of comfort here, cases, there's no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. God is faithful will not permit you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way to escape, that you may be able to bear no license is not only to comfort them, but never to let them know that if they do fall into sin. They can't blame the circumstance right was two points in his first number one Corinthians.
I know it is an easy be comforted in the fact that you never get into something that you can't get out. But secondly, be aware this but if you get into some and you don't get out of it. Whose fault is your full because God will always make the way out. So keep in mind, usually pretty you get temptation God will provide a way out, but if you'll take that way. A cheerful housing in verse 13 and take it apart look at it in individual pieces. Now, there has no temptation taken. Stop right there. No temptation taking, there's our keywording. Are we to understand its meaning watches understand the broadest sense, there is no testing taken okay, let's not given an evil meaning.
Right now, right, let's just take it as its minutes notice that there is no testing taken. Maybe it's good maybe it's that we could be there. Here let me show you what I mean. I'll try to give you distinction it will help to understand the word temptation. As I said in the very beginning have to distinguish between a trial in the temptation in the sense of a good and evil.
Okay Alice external circumstances that you fall into provide a test, God will bring external circumstances into your life as tests right. I think with me as I want you to stay with me.
External circumstances that we fall into provide a test.
James 12, count it all joy when you carry Pepto fall into many tests there external they're not inside. We sort of fall into them there. There, for example, a financial shortage. That's a test right too much month at the end of the money or maybe you you you gotta get a $3000 balloon payment on your house and that your balloon is busted and you don't know where your resources are.
You got a financial primary that a medical bill that's decimated all of your all of your surplus and your down to to really live in from hand to mouth and you got that that presents an external circuit that that's not inside that's outside or on the other hand, I sent back and plans you had great plans laid out for something to bully the bottom thought your plan. That's an external that's a test and God allows us to test any will to Joe Wright. He had the financial shortage. Any austerity plans all winter. He got sick all kinds of there's another one disease or sickness that that's an external circumstance death Job's family.people have death in their families and their circle of friends and that's a test probably doesn't have any solution you thought it out everywhere you can.
There's no answer that's a test that's an external or maybe earn a deal in your urine. This particular deal you got involved and also you find out that somebody in this thing at the heart of the deal scrub your go through the little shady think that's test persecution. Maybe your maligned maliciously gossip against murmured about persecuted for your fate that's that's an external test or maybe you find yourself in a place where people are always sending in your always in a test. I always think of Joseph in the house, a pot of you know Joseph was under a test all the time he was there. It wasn't just when he got in the bedroom with Potiphar's wife and took off. That guy was in a test. The whole time he was there live in a pagan house. Maybe you're in a situation like this. These are tasks noticeably when you take that external tax and usually internalize it, then it becomes a temptation when you internalize it and it kindles your last and begins to entice you to do evil exemplary salmon financial shortage or status word. This is great. What an exciting time for you to review yourself terrific.
However, I could I could take a few more deductions a makeup text Hubble or Elbit sick now. Your test has become a temptation. Why, because instead of leaving it externally and giving it to the Lord you've internalized it and it's kindled your last or maybe you had a setback in your plans and you say Lord, how glorious are going to change my plans. What do you have for me. On the other hand, why me God, why is it my plans. All our limited they gave internalize at the you've allowed to become a solicitation to an evil thought and it's become a temptation when it talks about the difference between a test and a temptation in the Scripture one is an external opportunity for you to grow but easily can be translated into a an internal solicitation for you to do evil. When you respond to a trial or a test with an internal solicitation to evil. It has become a temptation Alice and it isn't sin. Yet a temptation is and since sin is sin right temptation is in sin. But you can't go from a trial to assume without going through what a temptation first so you hang in there on the trial you will be a lot better off. So that'll bring a test delivering a temptation. Gotta bring a test in your life and external circumstance brings a pressure on you to stretch your spiritual muscle. And God wants you to grow by but if you internalize that thing and let it become a solicitation to do evil. You know what's done that not God. James 114 man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own. What lusts and entice you've internalized God's test your growth and turned it into solicitation for evil now is still time to grab it and stop it and let it be a process of growth. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John's current study is helping you avoid the pitfalls of Christian liberty. A friend of this series has shown you how to honor Christ in the gray areas of life or how God graciously equips you with everything you need to overcome temptation. We love to hear about it. Your letters are a major encouragement to John in the staff when you have time send a letter are way you can email your note to email@example.com that's firstname.lastname@example.org or if you prefer regular mail. You can write to Grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 while you're at TTY.org. Make sure to take advantage of the thousands of free resources created with you in mind the grace to you blog you can read practical articles on subjects like salvation, the person of Christ.
The website also has daily devotionals written by John or you can follow along with the reading plan in the MacArthur daily Bible and don't forget you can download all of John's sermons for free get the audio or transcripts of over 3500 messages again. You can find those free Bible study tools at TTY.L4 John MacArthur on Phil Johnson encouraging you together with your family and watch grace to you television check our website to see if it's now available in your area and then join us Monday when John shows you how to stay faithful to Christ even in your toughest trials. John will be continuing his series pitfalls of Christian liberty with another half hour of unleashing God's truth on race