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May 25, 2021 4:00 am
The love of God toward us is all bound up in Christ and the reason God has said is eternal love on us is because he has covered us with the righteousness of Christ so that his love for us is not conditioned on what we are, but on what Christ understood and that can't change that's an old and he explains what it means for you and for your salvation. Perhaps you recently yielded to a temptation that you had never struggled with before, or maybe wrestle with the same temptation day after day. How does that sin affect your ultimate standing with God. Is it possible to sin so badly that God would withdraw his saving grace from you.
John MacArthur answers that today as he continues his compelling study titled the grip of God. Now here's John open your Bible to Romans chapter 8 as we come to the final portion of this great chapter in Jeremiah 31 three God said to his people.
I have loved you with an everlasting love and that is the kind of love that God places upon those who belong to him eternally. And that's what we've been learning in this great chapter Scripture is filled with promises about the terminology of our salvation, that whom the Lord saves.
He secures forever, and of course that is what we've been seeing in this great chapter. It all began in verse one there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus fury in Christ. If you been placed into Christ in the union with Christ through faith in him.
There will never be any condemnation. The rest of the chapter goes on to demonstrate why that is true and culminates at the very end. In verses 31 to 39. By answering any possible objections. Verse 31 what then shall we say to these things, what could we expect as a response. Well, this anticipates that some will object some are going to say well in spite of all that we learned we could lose our salvation. It is possible and so Paul takes the conceivable objections and answers them as he closes this chapter we are God's elect, God has justified us, made us righteous. He's not about to turn us loose.
God cannot let go of us of his own will, because he is predetermined that we should be his forever and he is for us. Satan cannot somehow arrest us as it were from the hands of God, because God will not let it happen. He has given us the greater gift he will do the lesser work to hold onto us.
Christ won't let us go either.
He already died for us rose for us and now is at the right hand of God interceding for us and we saw that all in our last study, so it is not possible that we should be taken from the hand of God. There is not a person or persons who can cause us to lose our salvation.
Then we come to verse 35 and we come to the matter of circumstances. What if under the pressure of temptation.
We would fall and reject Christ. What if under the pressure of temptation, we would abandon our faith and remove ourselves as it were, what if the cost of discipleship is so high and the price to pay for following Christ so great that we are no longer willing to do that.
Well that's taking us into verses 35 to 37. What shall separate us from the love of Christ tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness peril, or sword just that as it is written, for thy sake we are being put to death all day long. We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered, but in all these things we overwhelmingly conqueror through him who loved us. Can we stand the pressure without forsaking Christ and Paul says yes absolutely. There isn't anything that can separate us from the love of Christ and Endo that implies our love to him.
It most notably speaks of his love for us. He loves us. To the fullest extent that it is possible for him to love his creature. He cannot love any creature more than he loves his own. That's just incredible's love is an everlasting love. He loves to the max and there is nothing absolutely nothing that can separate them from that love, you know, I'm drawn to what is the incredible illustration of this love turn to Ezekiel 16 and this illustrates the unbreakable love that God has. This is a chapter that many rabbis have forbidden to be read in synagogues. It is very graphic and it is very tragically dishonoring to Israel and that's why rabbis have not allowed it to be read but the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel as it was over by the river T-bar already in captivity.
The Lord was telling him that that he had been deported with one of the earlier groups and God was about to destroy Jerusalem and Judah.
And so in verse three the Lord speaks and he says to Jerusalem through the prophet, your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanite you remember that that was the land of the Canaanite when the Israelites came there conquered.
Your father was an Amorite, not your genetic father but your forebears in the land. Your mother Hittite. Those were the pagan nations were there when Israel came in.
As for your birth. On the day you were born your naval card was not cut nor were you washed with water for cleansing. You were not rubbed with salt which was done to infants as a disinfectant or even wrapped in cloth you know what happened. The baby was born, somebody just took that baby without cleaning it baby at all, leaving the umbilical cord hanging out of that little body and just pitch that baby out in an open field verse five. No, I looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you to have compassion on you. Rather, you are thrown out into the open field for you were hated on the day you were born. Abortion was less common in the ancient world throwing away newborn babies was quite common when somebody didn't want a child they just took that child ripped it as it were out of its mother's room left it in the condition it was in and just pitched it into a dirt pile that was Israel. God found Israel like a an unwanted baby lying in the dirt, unwashed, unclothed verse six when I passed by you and so your squirming in your blood. I said to you while you were in your blood live. I said to you while you are in your blood live that sovereign love folks that sovereign election God just finds this dirty outcast and gives it life purely because he chose to do it. I made you numerous like plants of the field and now we see God nurturing this life you grew up you became tall your reach the age for fine ornaments. Your breasts were forming your hair grown it your naked and bear. This is like a little girl who reaches the age of puberty and it is no longer appropriate for her to be unclothed passed by you and saw you. And behold, you are at the time for love. That's puberty so I spread my skirt over you and cover your nakedness. It's time now to put on your clothes in the speaks of God's wonderful blessings to Israel when he brought them as it were out of the, the infancy and the barrenness in the nakedness of the wilderness wilderness wanderings brought them into the land of Israel and end closed.
Israel I bathe you with water. I washed off your blood from you at the start. I anointed you with oil. I clothed you with embroidered cloth and I put sandals of porpoise skin on your feet and I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments for braces on hand. It's like God raising a daughter and and just decking her out your adorned with gold and silver your dress was fine linen silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey and oil you are exceedingly beautiful and advanced royalty.
In fact, the royalty of that nation was so remarkable that even the Queen of Sheba came to see it didn't. This is the story of God rearing Israel, your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty. It was perfect because of my splendor, which I bestowed on you, says the Lord God and God's, as I did all that what they have to do. They were nothing but a dirty filthy little infant lying in dirt and blood in the middle of the field. Verse 15 is quite interesting but you trusted in your beauty and you played the harlot you took off some of your close and intimate for yourselves high places various colors. Verse 15 says you poured out your harlotries on every passerby who might be willing us. They were so vile they didn't even care with whom they committed harlotry. This is idolatry. By the way, this is this be like a a wife would been given everything that a husband could possibly give a wife who went out as a prostitute and could care less who it was the that she engaged yourself with and you played the harlot and you took all that I gave you and you turned it into idol worship forms of idol worship you offered incense and oil to the false gods and he goes on to describe this verse 21 you slaughtered my children the day after actually offered their babies on the fire to the God Moloch headed that this is just an incredible story and even after all that verse 28 says you weren't satisfied so you play the harlot with them and you still want satisfied you had such a lust in such a passion for CF or evil. It couldn't even be satisfied matter what you did, couldn't be satisfied. Well, he goes on to the chapter's longest chapter in Ezekiel. I will go through the whole thing.
He down in verse 46. He says you are worse than Samaria and worse than Sodom Nellis and that very important. You were worse than your northern sister Samaria and you are worse than Sodom and believe me Samaria was wretched and Sodom was more wretched.
God destroyed Sodom with fire and brimstone in the end of verse 47 you acted more corruptly in all your conduct donated. You are worse than Samaria and worse than Sodom. Go to verse 60 nevertheless oil underline that word. Nevertheless, I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you is that unbelievable in spite of all of that my love for you is unbreakable for 62 all establish my covenant with you, you know that I'm the Lord in order that you may remember and be ashamed or never open your mouth anymore because of your humiliation.
When I have forgiven you for all that you have done replacement. There's a principal in Israel is distinct as a nation from us as individuals, but the principle is the same when God sets his love on someone. Nothing breaks it.
I'm not saying that were not going to fall the temptation.
I'm not saying were not going to sin. I'm not Dennis I'm not saying that when persecution comes, we don't fear those things not saying that we would never question God about those things that God loves us to the max with an unbreakable love, through which he will provide for us forgiveness and for us in the new covenant first Corinthian's 1013 no temptation will ever overtake us.
But such as is common to man and God is faithful, who will also make a way of what escape, that you may be able to to Barrett when God sets his love on someone.
In spite of all their failures.
It's permanent in Israel he says will someday remember and be ashamed and Zechariah says.
Someday Israel look on him whom they pierced and mourn for him. His only son, and a fountain of blessing will be open a fountain of cleansing and Israel will be saved because got a set his love on that nation individuals in that nation that constitute his special people. Well, back to Romans eight that was just a digression fought so what will separate us from the love of Christ. Nothing in all the things that come we will overwhelmingly conquer through him who loved us because his love for us will never be broken.
And in that love you provide sustaining faith.
Our faith will not die. We may have our moments of doubts, our faith will not die because he grants to us sustained faith and so he says and summing it up in verse 38, I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created things shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Folks that says everything that could possibly be said, I am persuaded. This is a confident declaration of the Holy Spirit inspired man. I have a settled conclusion and I'm telling you this, not even death. The great enemy not even death can separate us, not even the gates of Hades which Satan wants to use against us. Hebrews 2 says it's the weapon he uses for us precious in the side of the Lord is the death of his saints.
Death can't separate us from the love of Christ. In fact, death just ushers us into. It doesn't. What about life life with all its dangers life with all its difficulties, life with all its temptations, life with all its troubles, and what he is saying here is, there is no state of being here or there live or dead. There is no state of being in which we can be separated from the love of Christ.
Listen to first Corinthians 3 verse 21. All things belong to you whether Paul or Apollo's or Cephas or the world or life or death, or things present, nor things to come. All things belong to you and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
There is no sphere in which you could exist. There is no state of being in which you could exist which would be outside the eternal love of Christ. Nor are there any personalities that could separate you, nor angels. He says, and Paul probably hears thing about good angels.
No good Angel, not that they would.
This is hypothetical, but no good angel can alter our salvation is not possible for even a good Angel to do that it's impossible. And then he says principalities and probably there. He has in mind evil Angel because he uses that term to express evil angels in Ephesians chapter 6 and Colossians chapter 1, no holy angel and no demon.
That is to say there is no state of being in which you could be separated from the love of Christ, and there are no supernatural angelic beings either good or evil who could affect such a separation. No state of being and no demons or angels can alter our eternal glory. And then just throwing anything else, nor things present, nor things to come. There is nothing here and now. There's nothing in the present age in the present time at the present moment and there's nothing in any future time.
Any future age or any future moment, including the judgment of God that's coming on the world know it's really sad when you meet people who don't know if they're Christians who don't other than to make the dawn of the going to hang on, who were worried it may be okay right now but I don't what's can happen in the future and they live in fear and in the worst fear is I heard a preacher say this one time. If you ever die with any unconfessed sin you might not know about it but God does. And when you get to the judgment will be cast into hell.
There is nothing that could happen in the future, including the judgment of God, but could separate you from the love of Christ, no state of being, no supernatural power either good or evil angels, and no dimension of time or eternity, not the present and not the future. Not now and not ever could we be separated from the love of Christ and then he adds, nor powers, when plural when used plural in the plural form of the New Testament, it frequently most regally refers to miracles. There is no there is no mighty work there is no mighty miracle no mighty power. No state of being. No supernatural creature, no.
In time or eternity and no power source in existence could separate you from the love of Christ and then as if that's not enough, he says, nor height nor depth, so what is that Millett just covers everything. Height is an astrological term group.
Soma was a term used to describe the, the orbit of a star or that the apex of the orbit of a star when a star was at its zenith that the highest point that they could imagine or conceive. There's nothing there is nothing in infinite space above there's not an end by thoughts depth was the term used to describe the star at its lowest point of orbit. There is nothing at the at the extreme and infinite point of the highest heaven in the extreme and infant point of the lowest heaven and there's nothing anywhere from one end of heaven to the other that can separate us from the love of Christ. There is no state of being, not in time or eternity. There is no created being, whether holy angel or an evil one. There is no dimension of time, either in time or eternity. There is no source of power and there is no place in the endless universe where there is anything that could ever sever us from the love of Christ. Nothing in this life or the life to come. Nothing in time and nothing in eternity.
Nothing in the world of angels. Nothing in the world of demons, no power. Nothing on earth. Nothing in the infinite heavens. Nothing.
And just in case someone says except he adds, nor any other created thing, no exceptions. None shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Understand that the love of God toward us is all bound up in Christ and the reason God has said his eternal love on us is because he has covered us with the righteousness of Christ so that his love for us is not conditioned on what we are, but on what Christ is understood and that can change that's unalterable you notice in verses 31 to 34. The emphasis is on the love of God in verses 35 to 39 it's on the love of Christ and the two are linked inseparably inseparably. Nothing can change it. All of our failures in all of our foibles and all of our stumbling is in all of our sins and all of our willful disobedience doesn't change the fact that he loves us to the max and his love is ours from eternity to eternity.
He set his love upon us in eternity past, and he will love us throughout eternity future and loves us, not because we are but what we are but because of what we have become in Christ right. He loves what we are in Christ. One of the loveliest humans to the secure love of God was penned by a man named George Matheson. It was written 1882. Fact on June 6 of 1882 and George Matheson was born in the city of Glasgow in Scotland was born there in 1842 so was 40 years old when he wrote this, and he had as a boy, only partial vision. His sight failed rapidly and by the time he was 18, George Matheson was totally blind. So I had been blind for about 22 years when he wrote this lovely him.
Despite his blindness, by the way he was a brilliant scholar at the University of Glasgow, both in the University and the seminary and amazingly became the pastor of a 2000 member church in Edinburg came one of the greatest preachers of his day.
One of the purest pastors of his day as well.
George Matheson missed something in life I guess one might say he never married but there's a story about why he never married. He was engaged to his fiancée and all was going well until he told her just before their marriage that he had just learned that he would soon be totally blind. Upon hearing that he was in his late teens. At the time she left. It was out of the pain of that very experience that he wrote a tribute to the love of God which never forsakes the him went like this all love that will not let me go. I rest my weary soul in the I give the back the life I/O that in nine ocean depths its flow may richer and fuller with a girl that was a love that easily let them go with God. It was a love that wouldn't and right back where we started.
Jeremiah 31 three I have loved you with an ever lasting.
This is grace to you with John MacArthur.
Thanks for being with us. John's current studies showing you what it means to be forever sealed in the grip of God.
You know Jon, I was converted when I was 17 years old in the very first doctrinal question that occurred to me was about eternal security. I remember asking the pastor who baptized me to explain this issue to me and as I think about what you're saying in this study, the Lord goes to so much trouble to explain the permanence of his grip on our souls talk about what's at stake if we don't believe or don't understand that our salvation is forever will first of all, there's the doctrinal reality. If you don't understand that salvation is forever then you have diminished the work of God in the work of Christ. If you think that Christ did not accomplish the full satisfaction of divine justice in his own death on behalf of sinners, then you have diminished the work of Christ. And then I think that's where you have to start you diminished the work of Christ. Somehow, the sufficiency of Christ that we talk about is not complete.
In other words, he didn't.
He didn't do everything he got us part way there and we have to make sure we hang on, hold on don't fall away. That is an assault on the perfection of the atoning work of Christ, as well as the validation of the father on that atoning work by raising him from the dead. Secondly, and that comes to the personal side of it, you put yourself in a ridiculous position of trying to hang on to your own salvation, which again not only have you do if you believe you can lose your salvation. Not only have you diminished the work of Christ, but you've elevated your own power to appoint where you believe that you can do something to hold onto it. We know salvation is by grace alone through faith alone and not of works, so if it starts that way it has to continue that way your you're not saved by grace, and then kept by works right.
So you not only diminish the full, atoning and complete work of Christ on the cross but you overestimate your own power. So as we draw the series to a close. The grip of God. I hope you been encouraged. This is this is the most encouraging doctrine that God holds onto his own people. The grip of God series by the way, is available from grace. Do you seven MP3 downloads that you can order a GT Y.org or you can get a seven CD album of the cost is reasonable. We ship for free in the US. You can also review the manuscripts for the seven messages a GT Y.org I hope you'll do that yes and friend. As John said, knowing that your salvation is forever is one of the most encouraging doctrines in all of Scripture. So this is a great study to review when trials inevitably come your way to pick up the grip of God.
Contact us today our toll-free number here is 855 grace or you can order firstname.lastname@example.org again all seven messages from this series. The grip of God are free to email@example.com effect. All John's messages from 52 years of pulpit ministry are available to you free of charge at our website. GT Y.org and friend.
If you still have questions about your own salvation. After listening to today's lesson. Perhaps you're not sure if you're saved or if you'd like a helpful resource to put in the hands of someone you know is struggling without let me recommend John's book called saved without a doubt it spells out a biblical strategy for growing in assurance, and it can help you know for certain that you are God's child to order, call 855 grace or order firstname.lastname@example.org now for John MacArthur and the staff on Phil Johnson inviting you back tomorrow when John launches a series on some of the Bible's most popular but misunderstood passages that study is titled mishandled, setting the record straight on frequently abused versus don't miss the next half hour of unleashing God's true one verse at a time on Wednesdays. Grace