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Bible Questions and Answers, Part 43

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
November 29, 2021 3:00 am

Bible Questions and Answers, Part 43

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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November 29, 2021 3:00 am

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All wisdom, all the benefits of wisdom divine wisdom all righteousness, all of that is found in Christ, everything is found in price passage of Scripture is going to field some questions from his home church about the Bible and the Christian life.

Maybe some questions you've wrestled with as you study God's word. Questions like what parts of the gospel. Do you need to believe to be saved, you need to believe in the Trinity and should children take communion if they're not baptized. Those are just a few of the practical issues. John's going to look at.

So let's get started. You want to hear a member of Grace Community Church ask a question and then John will respond.

My question is concerning the death of Christ, and I know that the words of faith people as I teaching a very erroneous teaching on the death of Christ and going to hell and being born again, and so forth. But it seems like some sound teachers there denying the spiritual death of Christ along to kind of dispute. What the word faith people are saying and I like you. If you would to answer the question did Christ die spiritually on the cross and what are some of the scriptural texts in regard to that spiritual death is usually defined as separation from God in that sense I would say yes Christ did die spiritually. We know he died physically and that's obvious because they crucified him, and he yielded up his spirit right in the spirit of side. Out came the pericardial fluid mixed with blood, which indicated probably that his heart burst and so we know he died physically what beyond that he experienced was a separation from God and I believe in that sense there was a spiritual alienation. There was a spiritual death, spiritual death is alienation from God and Jesus articulated that when he said, my God, my God, why have you forsaken and I think in and the experience of bearing sin in his own body literally pulses being made sin for us. The separation occurred and so I think there was a spiritual element to his death. Now obviously, his nature was not defiled. Okay that's that's the that's the caveat that you have to place their while he bore the sins of many. He himself never became a sinner.

That's the mystery of he was made sin in the sense that all our sin was placed upon him, but he himself was not culpable so that his death was a voluntary substitutionary death, not one for his own iniquity, and that's where the word faith. People just completely misrepresented that the price they have Christ dying on the cross as a sinner going to hell in their suffering punishment for his sins and then being born again coming back to the world on his resurrection morning, but you're right in disputing that we cannot dispute the reality that Christ was made sin, and in being completely covered with sin.

He was alienated from God, which is the essence of what spiritual death is besides the reference in Matthew you have any other scripture that would talk about that separation. I know in Psalm 22 that's well yeah that's it has. That's where he drew that from from Psalm 22 I just got off the top of my head I'm trying to remember if there's any specific one. My mind is trying to Colossians chapter 2, where it says that the certificate of debt. Verse 14, consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us, which was the accumulated sin debt that we had accrued against God.

He has taken it out of the way, having nailed to the cross and I think it again.

What this is saying is that the whole body of sin was placed upon Christ and nailed with him there and I think it's it's just inherent in that that there will be an alienation from God as he bears this sin. Another text that comes to mind is in Hebrews where we see Christ depicted as the scapegoat as the one who has to suffer. Remember outside the camp. Remember the scapegoat high priest would put his sins on the scapegoating and he would be taken outside the camp indicating that sin was taken away.

Christ is the scapegoating suffers without the camp, and there again you have the same concept of alienation where he is sent out into the wilderness bearing sin. I can't just off the top my head. Think of any other specific statement that regard you have any in mind while the verse in first Peter chapter 3 verse 18 for Christ also has suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God and this is being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, and I wondering that quickened by the Spirit is that what is what is not know what I what I think that means and I and what I think you have to have the holder and its why wouldn't refer this verse, particularly this issue. I think it simply means he was he was dead physically, but he was alive in his spirit. In other words, that would be true of anybody who dies right I mean you can kill the body but can't kill the soul.

And I think that's what it means that his body was killed but his soul did not go out of existence. So when we talk about spiritual death were not talking about someone stole going out of existence, and it tells us there. That being alive in the spirit. He then went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison. It is true that he did go to the about of demons, but he didn't go their suffering went there to preach. So all that's saying is that while his body was dead. The real Christ was still alive that doesn't speak of the alienation that he experienced on the cross and bearing sin. Good question thank you. Recently a friend and I had some discussions concerning the amount of information that is needed for salvation. We were discussing the week even in Africa. Question and his point was that a person could actually be saved without actually having the name of Jesus Christ mentioned or having the gospel like the word of God read to them or preach to them, because God could actually speak to that person and they would be saved much the same way as Abraham was saved in Romans chapter 4 were Abraham believed God, and was reckoned to him as his righteousness, and I disagree with him as I think know because God is given the word because what needs to be brought to them and I brought to him. Romans 10 that sure preacher needs to comment.

So we come to you at this point, I think you're exactly right in the first place. Abraham was was deemed to be saved because he believed the revealed word of God, not because of some private conversation any Old Testament saints could be said to be saved or in faith believing God when he believed all that God had revealed at that point and it wasn't just all that God revealed to him but all that God had disclosed about himself and there obviously is a saving amount of truth.

Abraham could not of been saved.

Simply, if he'd known God was a creator he had to know God and Savior. He had to understand his sin and it was abundantly clear even in the in the early chapters of Genesis wasn't that God had a standard of righteousness and that God would judge one who violated that standard, we see that with Adam and Eve, but God instituted symbols of the sacrifice of his son early on in the proper offering that Abel brought so all of that and you can go back in the Old Testament you can see many many indications that there was a full knowledge that God was a God of righteousness and wrath, and that men were sinners and that God provided an atonement and that there was to be a provision for sin, and if men would believe all that God revealed about that, up to a given time, the godly count that as faith and grant them salvation.

When you come to the New Testament, it is unequivocal in the New Testament. Once the New Testament has been revealed that the gospel must be understood and believed nothing short of that verse 30 of the acts 17 and therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance God is now declaring demand that all everywhere should repent because he fixed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom he has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising him from the dead. In other words, there was a time when God was patient and tolerant but now he's commanding all men, to repent, and the whole heart and soul of that repentance message is the resurrection of Jesus Christ of faith comes by hearing a speech about Christ. This is not true.

There it is not possible to become a believer. Apart from understanding the gospel now whether you know the name Jesus, for the name Christ or the name Lord Jesus Christ are part of that are none of that. You certainly would have to understand that he was God in human flesh and was the perfect substitute for sin to pay the penalty for your sin and believe in his death and resurrection and that basically has to be communicated from the missionary or another person. It is conceivable, it is conceivable that God could put that in the heart of an individual. It is possible that God could do that. I don't want to say that God could not do that is, it is conceivable that that that CPS chosen people somewhere, but he'll have to reach like that, but it is more reasonable to assume that he knows where his elect are.

And he will take to them. Someone to preach the truth mean we don't want to say that God is capable of electing and redeeming. He just can't figure out how to get the word to so you know what I'm saying but I don't want to say that there couldn't be a situation where God could not reveal himself in the heart because it is conceivable that he could do that. It wouldn't be. Certainly for me to say that God could never do that he could disclose the gospel supernaturally to someone if he chose to do that and that may be the case.

I don't know what to say that that's the norm know and to say that they don't have to hear the gospel is wrong. Okay, there's more that could be said about that but maybe that tenant gets going in the right path. You see that's leans in a been a very disastrous direction because now you're going to diss dispossessed people of the responsibility to go and now you're going to want to let anybody who believes basically anything in and luck. The gospel that the Gospels Matthew Mark Luke and John. Don't even get close to that there were in the other direction saying there a lot of people who know all the right stuff and aren't even say to say nothing of people who would be saving don't know anything we not so far away that the warnings of Scripture are directed at people who know but whose faith is not saving faith in us. Now I'm saying there is not the other way. He doesn't say well you know if anybody's got some kind of a general idea about what's going on therein.

Not hardly. Many will say in the me Lord, Lord, and not enter in. What about the people don't even know what to say. What chance, have they okay could you talk about children and communion and should they wait till they're baptized to take communion. That's a good question. I think it's it's so hard to know specifically in the life of the child when they reach the age when genuine salvation occurs in me. I watch my own four children growing up never did they rebel against Christ. What point was their childlike faith saving faith. I don't know. But as soon as they wanted to participate. We were willing to let them I think they need to come to a certain level. I remember the first time my father had a conversation with me about it. These reminded me several times and he said were going to the Lord supper tonight and we want you to come to be your first time and I said well I hope they don't have peas.

This is basic response was I think will wait a while so that there there may be an appropriate time to start letting a child participate when they understand. I think it can be instructive in the I don't think that the date that you should become necessarily legalistic and say you know baptism is the entrée into that. I think it can be instructive at a time when children understand its meaning and they believe in their hearts that they believe. I mean it would be hard to say to say a seven or eight-year-old who says I love Jesus and I've asked them into my heart.

Well, I'm not sure this is really true and we don't know whether we let you do this if it's there good intention to honor Christ in the understand that were remembering his death and resurrection, then I think the intent of their heart is consistent with the intent of God in the service that that's a that's good instruction and then they'll reach a point at some juncture, when that saving faith is real and that service has its full meaning to them. Okay good for the first two people wait a minute, what was that again if Adam and Eve were the first two people selling ratios, how to get so many races that's a good question.

This is a very complex question, but let's go at it another way, the races that we experience today. Didn't really come from Adam and Eve you know why because everybody on the face of the earth got drowned except for Noah and his three sons and their wives so all the races came from Noah and Mrs. Noah 33 little Junior Noah's Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and that they are all you member rescued in the flood and they came back and began to populate the earth. They obviously through the years adapted themselves to their area.

A course began to develop in all the races. He eventually came but apart from what might be the scientific and historical explanation is the statement of acts 17 where it says the God who made the world and all things in it since he is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands me the resistor by human hands, as though we have need of anything. She made from one every nation so that's the best answer back 17 verse 26 God from Noah and Mrs. Noah and Jim Emma Japheth created the nation.

Now one major component in that happened at the Tower of Babel courseware God scattered all the nations all over the face of the earth and change your language, so the best answer is right there next 17, God did it in God's will tweak their ears and tweak their eyes and nose hair color of their skin, and all those genetic unique things in his creative power through the process of providential genetics to create all the different races okay hi Jimmy this evening and I was wondering if you could articulate for me your own personal theology. I know you came from a dispensational background thousand and if you could talk about, like the history of your studying the Bible and be confirmed with covenant theology and how you sort of come to the conclusion you come to, and when that happened. Well let's see I was born at a very early age fortunately was born near my mother and the say while no I was raised in a dispensational environment is no question people used to say of me that his hope is built on nothing less than Scofield's notes on Moody press, and I sort of grew up in that dispensational environment but as I got into seminary I began to test some of those things and I have been perhaps aptly designated as a leaky dispensational list or the reform people who want to claim me as reform say I'm I'm a reformed but confused but here's my dispensationalism okay I'll give it to you in one sentence. There's a difference between the church and Israel. If you understand that you understand the essence of what I believe is a legitimate biblical. Dispensationalism that permits a kingdom that demands a kingdom and that makes you premillennial because if you believe there's a distinction between Israel and the church and the church is not Israel, and if the church is not Israel. The promises of the kingdom of Israel have to come to pass and that's why you have to have a kingdom. I came to understand that more narrow definition of dispensationalism. I while in seminary, at least to begin to understand it and if and found that there my study of Scripture over the last 30 years has yielded an affirmation that is in fact correct. At same time in seminary began to be exposed to reading among more reformed theologians and found myself drawn toward carefully examining Scripture and over the years of executing the Scripture. It has again yielded to me a reformed theology, but it is the byproduct of exegesis.

I've always said a man is no right to claim a theology if he is not an exegete because how can you know what the whole is if you can interpret the parts so it's been a process, i.e. I was convinced of it when I started and I'm more convinced of it now as I've gone through the text. I was convinced of it when I started because I I read so many noble men who held that view. It was more at that point, hero worship, and now it's become my own. Okay that's squeezing okay okay one final question. Thank you. Yes, there a Mormon asked me this question a number of years ago and to the years.

Church a vast number of people is questioner seems to be a divided opinion on it and wanted to get your opinion for so people asked.

She asked me it was a Mormon lady asked me when I was witnessing to her. You have to believe in the Trinity to become a Christian and I did not answer at the time I would answer yes if you don't believe in the Trinity. Then you don't understand who God is. You may say the word God, that you don't understand his nature. Secondly, you couldn't possibly understand who Christ I know what I'm saying when I say that is going to not only impact people that you may have witnessed to but there are even people who believe in a kind of moralism aware God is God for a while and then he gets to be Christ for a while and he gets to be the Holy Spirit for a while but is never all three at the same time it is my conviction that true salvation is built upon an understanding of the deity of Jesus Christ that he is both God fully God and that God at the same time as fully God and that that's the whole point of what he did in the Gospels, Jesus was never satisfied with having people accept him as anything other than God, not just God the son, but God what the father I think that was the whole thing that he was demonstrating was the Trinitarian nature of God. So I think not. To understand the Trinity is not to understand who God is and it's not to understand who Christ is and therefore it's not to understand the gospel properly.

Same question arises about the virgin birth, I would say a person to become a Christian.

If they didn't know about the virgin birth because they would assume the Jesus Christ must've had a unique birth if he was both God and man right. But if someone says I would deny the virgin birth, then all you got is a man you got something less than the incarnate God. It is conceivable that somebody would say no, he wasn't born of a virgin. He was born of Joseph and Mary and God just infused the log spirit into him and get a little confused.

That way, but basically I think you need to believe that God is expressed fully in Christ, and yet exist as God in the spirit of God was doing the work through Christ. That's what he said and anything less than that. He said if you don't see the spirit working in me. What is that blasphemy so I think the Trinity is inherent to the gospel and think the question what's bound prayer father. Thanks for a great evening. Go with us now to strengthen us to serve you.

We pray in our Savior's name name that's John MacArthur here on grace to you. The format was a bit different today. You not only heard from John. You also heard from the congregation of Grace Community Church during a helpful question and answer session, you know, John, one of the benefits of the Q&A like this is that it shows how comprehensive and how thoroughly sufficient Scripture is it's true that the Bible raises a lot of questions but also answers them, and more important, Scripture has the power to transform us and not just answers there are alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the dividing of thunder of soul and spirit. The word of God is alive and powerful. So when you get an answer to a question from the word of God, you're really empowering people in the spirit uses that to sanctify as well as to save along that line.

People asked me a lot of questions and I'm pretty much aware that that the questions tend to be similar wherever I go in whereafter year and most of the questions that people asked me in Q&A environments are already answered in the MacArthur study Bible.

Somewhere the Scriptures that are relevant to the question have notes that explain the biblical answer, so I would just encourage people. I know you you will read the Bible and you have questions.

And that is exactly why the MacArthur study Bible has been produced has 25,000 footnotes are so from Genesis to Revelation. And those notes are intended to explain the text to explain the significance of the text to give you the background the culture the geography the language whatever might be necessary for an accurate interpretation, you're going to find in the footnotes and is going to make the Bible live and I promise you the answers to your questions. You'll find in those notes. They also direct you to other passages of Scripture that clarify an issue as well. We have all kinds everything from a hardback book to high premium leather gift edition it's getting close to Christmas. This is a this is a lifetime gift.

This is a gift that will give somebody all those precious truths of God's word that do the transforming work in the heart of all of us. So this is a way you can express the deepest degree of love by giving something to someone is going to make a difference in their spiritual life. Keep in mind that now through December 23 the price of the MacArthur study Bibles is reduced by 25% take advantage of the sale prices order the MacArthur study Bible today, 25% off regular prices yes friend take advantage of that discount and get the MacArthur study Bible whenever you come across versus you don't understand the notes will help make the meaning clear to order the MacArthur study Bible. Contact us today.

You can order the MacArthur study Bible available in the new King James new American Standard and English standard versions by calling toll-free 855 grace or shop This is a comprehensive resource that makes an ideal Christmas gift. Any student of Scripture again to get the MacArthur study Bible at 25% off the regular price. Visit or call 855 grace and if you'd like to put the MacArthur study Bible on your phone. Let me recommend ours that he Bible app. It includes multiple translations of Scripture, and it gives you immediate access to all the resources of our website, blog articles, devotionals, and much more. And for a reasonable price. You can add the study notes from the MacArthur study Bible study Bible that it's just one of thousands of resources available free of that's now on behalf of John MacArthur and the entire grace to you staff this is Phil Johnson.

Thanks for joining us today and be here at the same time tomorrow when John launches his study titled why I teach the Bible with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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