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1699. What Is Your Life?

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
February 1, 2024 9:30 pm

1699. What Is Your Life?

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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February 1, 2024 9:30 pm

Dr. Alan Benson concludes a series about the doctrine of man called “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” from James 4: 13-17.

The post 1699. What Is Your Life? appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. His intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything so he established daily chapel services.

Today, that tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from The University Chapel platform. Today, we're concluding a study of the doctrine of man called Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. Today's message will be preached by Dr. Alan Benson. We've had an interesting study, I think, and I hope you have understood and grasped the intention and the purpose. Fearfully and wonderfully made, if you remember all the way back to the beginning as we looked at that phrase in scripture, we weren't talking so much in this series about the fact that you are awesome and you are wonderful, but that you are made by someone who is awesome and wonderful and who made you in a way that is awesome and wonderful.

In other words, our lives, really, are all about our God. Do you know, doing some study in bioethics and in the area of personhood in particular, there are some really interesting things that are taking place in our world. We are hearing the surface, if you will, discussions about things like, what is life?

What is gender? These are interesting discussions. They're incredibly important discussions, but I want you to know that in the bioethical world, they are surface discussions because bioethics today is wrestling with what is a person? Do you know that it is harder today to be a person than it was when I was born?

Why? Because one of the premises upon which the discussion is being based today is this thought that you cannot determine personhood objectively. You don't walk up and say, you're a person and you're a person and you're a person.

It actually has to be determined subjectively. So in order to understand who a person is, we have to come up with a set of criteria around which we determine, okay, these things are there. This is a person. I got permission, so you are aware of this, but I want to introduce you to a couple of little people. The little one on the left is baby Tessa. She was born March 25th, and that is my granddaughter. And the little guy on the right, that is Owen, and he was born March 27th, and that is my grandson. I just think I'll leave these pictures up the rest of the time.

No, I better not do that. I get distracted. But I want you to see them because I want you to understand that there are criteria today being discussed in bioethics about whether or not people with certain criteria are people, and there is a large portion of that community that looks at these two little people and says, they're not people. They don't yet possess personhood. And that when they get to be old like me and come to the place where maybe their cognitive abilities begin to dwindle and their productivity and what they offer to society begins to diminish, that they at that point will cease to be people. One of the things I want you to understand from this study is this. Whether or not you are a person is objective, and it's answered in one clear criteria, were you made.

And you are fearfully yes and wonderfully made. And therefore, from the beginning of life to its final breath, you matter. And what you do matters.

Take your Bibles and turn with me to James chapter 4. You see, this whole discussion is one of the impacts of secular humanism on our Western society. It impacts the very core of who we are.

Why? Because if we can erode the foundation of who people are, then we now can make everything about what they do subjective. And I would tell you that the further it erodes that foundation, the more we are going to see our culture struggle with issues like identity and thus security and mental health. Because if I don't know who I am, I can't know what I'm supposed to do, and I then don't know where I belong. And young people, I hope in this series and even in my closing message today that you will receive a confidence from God that you matter because He made you.

But you know what? There's actually even a more glorious truth than that. Think with me for just one minute about Romans chapter 1, and you kind of know all that's there, and I hope you'll go and read it. But at the very core of that passage about the fallenness and brokenness of man, it says this startling truth that they rejected the Maker and chose to worship rather that which was made.

Mankind rejected the Creator without really thinking about what it would mean if they lived life as though they weren't made. And Paul introduces us to an incredible truth that you and I know very well because we know Ephesians 2, 8 and 9. And there we claim gospel truth in Ephesians 2, 8 and 9. But listen to the truth in Ephesians 2, 10 when he says this, for we are His workmanship, listen, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Young people, I want to give you maybe today a more startling, more redemptive, more empowering truth than the fact that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are fearfully and wonderfully remade if you are a believer in Jesus Christ. And you, you through redemption are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus with purpose unto good works that He has before ordained that we should walk in them, that there is a way that we should live. And I believe that is the theme that James is picking up on as he touches the topic of life.

What is your life? Look at James chapter 4 with me for just a moment. James chapter 4. James writing what we have come to understand as a New Testament wisdom book, mirroring, modeling much of the Old Testament wisdom literature and that it is marked by memorable pithy statements and it is marked by really pointed questions. And at the heart of the passage we're going to look at today is maybe the most pointed question about how you should live in light of who you are. He says this, James 4 and 13, go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we'll go into such a city and continue there a year and buy and sell and get gain.

Doesn't sound like a bad statement. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow, for, question, what is your life? It is even a vapor that appear for a little time and then vanish at the way for that you ought to say if the Lord will. We shall live and do this or that. But now you rejoice in your boastings. All such rejoicing is evil. Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

I really want us to look at just some startling but simple truths in this passage of scripture. Many of you are familiar maybe with the old game, the game of life. The game where you got a little vehicle and you raced around a track that was marked by the big events in life, getting a job, having a child, buying a home, all of those things. And by the time it was done, really the purpose of the game was to fill your little car and get to the end of the game faster than whoever you were playing with and your worth was determined by how much you put in the car. That is the secular humanist philosophy of life. But you don't begin filling your little car and then getting a bigger car and filling it with more stuff before you begin to realize that there is a law in life about stuff and it is the law of diminishing returns.

That what I think is actually not just valuable to me but is making me valuable somehow doesn't accomplish that. So whether you have a Toyota or you're moving to a Tesla, friend, if you get the Tesla and you think it's now going to make you seem like you are more valuable, I'm here to tell you, it won't. I love the picture, I was going to put it in here but I didn't, of the Tesla sitting on the side of the road with a gas generator attached to it trying to charge the battery. I just think that's hilarious.

I'm not against Teslas. If anybody has one you don't want it, I'll take it. But I just think that's hilarious. It is not your stuff that makes you valuable. And friends, life's not a game.

And that is what makes it valuable. You're not just running some colossal rat race as though it doesn't matter. So let's look at this passage of scripture and I really want us to see three things quickly. One, in this passage you'll see presumptions about life as we know it. Presumptions about life as we know it. We assume some things about life and this passage points it out in this somewhat atheistic statement that on the surface doesn't seem bad.

He says go to now or hey, let me cause you to stop and think for a minute. And he gives us a general philosophy of life. You that live life in a way that says today or tomorrow, some point, regular routine of life will go into some city.

It can be any city but will go into the city and what we're going to do there is we'll continue a year and we'll buy and sell and get caned. It's a philosophy of life. And in that he's talking about life as we know it.

I'll use that little phrase. Life as I experience it. The everyday life that I live. There are some things we assume about that life and here they are. We assume that life just happens. Like there are colossal things that happen in life or there are interruptions and those may be divine things and really God works in my life via divine interruptions.

That's really what God does. He shows up but outside of that my life just happens. It just unfolds and so the best thing for me to do is get a daily routine, follow that routine and from sun up I go through the process and I have some human interactions but at the end of the day basically it ends the same way.

It's now way too late and everything that I needed to get done for tomorrow is not yet done and so I'm going to go to bed and sleep it off. We just assume that life just happens. The other thing that we assume then is that some way, some shape, some form, there will be ups and downs and there will be bumps along the road but life just works out.

We'll continue a year, we'll buy and sell and at the end of it we'll get gain. There's this assumption that life just works out. And it may not have been exactly my plan but sooner or later things will get figured out and I'll be on maybe not exactly the path I had thought but somewhere close and maybe I won't make as much as I was going to make but I'll make enough and maybe I won't be as liked as much as I thought but I'll generally be liked.

Somehow, some way, some shape, life just works out. Let me ask you a question. How is that going for you so far? And if that's the way you're living and that's the way you're thinking I want to ask you this question. Are you satisfied?

Are you finding worth in that? Because the second thing he points out in this passage of scripture is they're not just assumptions about life as we know it. There are aching questions that come to us.

You know not what shall be on the morrow. And that is this truth that is interjected into my life philosophy that says life just happens and life will work out that has this nagging question that says will it really work out? Does it really work out?

And then secondly, will it last and if it does will it matter? Like am I making a difference? Does anybody care? Does somebody see me?

Does anybody see me? Do I really matter to somebody? Do the things that I do make me matter more or matter less? These are aching questions because we know this underlying life as we know it is unsure because I don't know what's coming tomorrow. Life as we know it is unsteady. I think I'm going to live it today and it's all going to work out but I have to actually live it and I'm not exactly sure how it will unfold today. Life as we know it then in a sense is untrustworthy and this is why we're having such trouble in our society with a sense of security that's affecting our mental health because in general it's all really untrustworthy. You see if we just live life with assumptions and face every day with the aching question what will happen tomorrow we will live our lives filled with fear and doubt and maybe even despair and the older you get the darker the clouds grow.

Why? Because the questions become bigger because I've got less time to fix it. There's a reality that rocks our assumption about our life as we know it and it is this I don't know what's coming tomorrow. So then let's look at the problems with life as we know it. James asks this question what is your life?

And he makes a remarkable statement it is a vapor that appears for a little time and vanishes away. It's a stunning question and it may be the most important question you will ask and answer in light of living a life that matters. What is it all about? What is it that makes it matter?

Why is it important? And here are the problems that we encounter. Life as we know it is short. Life as we know it is short. Ask those who have lived a long life 70, 75 years I have yet to encounter somebody like that where I said hey tell me about your life that said oh man it has been so long like I've been wondering when is this going to be over?

Like nobody says that. They all say it went by so fast. It has been a blur.

It has flown by. In fact my life seemed like it was so short that I had to call for reruns. Let me see that again. Let me feel that again. Let me experience that again but I can't go back and recapture it.

It went by so fast. But the use here of a vapor isn't just to capture the idea of its brevity. In fact I don't think that's the primary application. You see life as we know it is short but here's another truth. Life as we know it what we live every day it lacks substance. There's not just an urgency here.

There's a reality here. This doesn't just speak to the brevity of life. It actually speaks to the barrenness of life if it is lived without purpose. What does life accomplish? So I live my life. I carry out my career. I accomplish my goals. I do my stuff.

What does it matter? And this is actually the vanity that co-helleth the teacher. I believe Solomon captures for us in the book of Ecclesiastes. And if I live life under the sun as if there is no God it doesn't matter what I do because the more I do the more vanity I've accumulated. Life is just a vapor if it's lived without God. And you see there's a resignation in this message.

Can I really do anything that matters? But that resignation must be followed quickly by a recognition because James says you ought to say if God wills we will do this and that. That doesn't mean that you just get used to making some little statement well God wills and then it's really bad if you don't do exactly the same thing but you didn't say well God wills before it.

That's not what he's saying. This is actually a foundational truth in this passage of Scripture that actually matters. How do I live life intentionally pursuing first what is it that God would have me to do? Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. Listen, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. He tells us that if we pursue Him He will implant in us the desires of our hearts. God actually wants you to live in a way where your life does matter because it matters to Him. And so I want us to see in light of that truth the promise for life as we know it. The promise for life as we know it. And James tells us that God is the creator of life.

If the Lord wills we will live. Young people I hope in this series you've come to realize that God is the author of life. Jeremiah reminds us God speaking before I formed you in the womb.

I knew you. Job asked why did you bring me out of the womb? Ecclesiastes says as you do not know the way the Spirit comes into the bones in the womb of a woman with child. So you do not know the work of God who makes everything. There must be a pursuit to say God daily I want to do your will. I want to be who you made me to be.

I want to accomplish what you made me to accomplish. I find my meaning and I find my worth in being who I was created and recreated to be. He's the author of life but I want you to see secondly not just the creator of life he is the curator of life. If the Lord wills we will do this or that.

You know what this tells me? God is the one that orders the details of life. He arranges all the affairs of life. He is the one who is working all things together for good to them that love him and to those who are the called according to his purpose. The scripture tells us that length of days is in his hand and we're reminded that it is God that works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

God is the author of life not evolution. God is at work in the details of your life not chance or fate. So this passage is actually calling us to recognize the value of our life. That every moment every day every encounter your job your car your dating relationship the classes that you take the conversations that you have all of them can be incredibly valuable. But if you leave God out none of them are and you will struggle with your self-worth because you will feel like your life is a vapor and it's so brief that you don't have time to make it matter and it's so barren that the things that you do don't seem to have any value. Isn't it time to stop merely living life as we know it and start living life as God purposed it to be? Isn't it time to acknowledge that we don't know what tomorrow brings so I'll live today as a gift acknowledging that sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof and that I met every single new morning with renewed mercies from a God who made me for today. Isn't it time to realize that we need God and that he is the one who made life and can make it matter. Young people you are fearfully and wonderfully made and the one that made you is ordaining the affairs of your life not just so you can matter.

What is the end of man? To fear God and keep his commandments whether therefore you eat or drink the everyday stuff of life. Do all to the glory of God do it in such a way to give the right opinion of the one who made you and you know what you'll find when you make much of him you will find that your life matters.

Let's pray. Father thank you for loving us so much that though you made us in a glorious way we rejected you and you in mercy remade us again in Christ Jesus. Help us not to repeat the folly of rejecting our maker but to turn to him in a constant passionate pursuit of knowing you and Lord we can rest in the fact then that you and you alone will make our lives matter in Jesus name we pray amen. You've been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Alan Benson and this concludes the study series fearfully and wonderfully made on the doctrine of anthropology the doctrine of man. If you would like more information about how the biblical principles of creation fall and redemption are applied in Christian education we would like to make you aware of the textbook division of Bob Jones University called BJU Press. BJU Press produces textbooks and educational materials for preschool through 12th grade and the textbooks are filled with biblical worldview integration not just in the Bible course textbooks but in all academic subjects. As stated on their website we shape each subject according to the lens of scripture. Each discipline takes on a new meaning when we apply the themes of creation fall and redemption. If you would like more information about BJU Press for both Christian schools and home schools go to www.BJUpress.com slash about where you can find out more about how biblical worldview academic rigor and critical thinking is integrated into all of their textbooks and classroom material once again that's www.BJUpress.com slash about. Join us again next time as we feature sermons on the radio program from Bob Jones University, The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-10 05:12:53 / 2024-02-10 05:21:39 / 9

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