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January 20, 2022 3:00 am
If you were ever born of God. The principle of sin has been broken and the practice of sin has been interrupted. Somebody looks like they're Christian and all of a sudden wanders off into sin and stays there.
They never had that new birth birth if they were born of God was born of God practices put up a small building lifesaving station where volunteers would watch for shipwrecks and bring in the people they rescued a noble endeavor. And yet over time the station became a mere social club, a place to enjoy each other's company, not a place of serious mission its original strategic purpose saving lives was forgotten. Well, that story raises this question. How focused are you and your church on rescuing people lost in sin is your church involvement more a social gathering.
Then, for the purpose of saving lives and saving souls practical questions to consider today as John continues his series called delivered by God hears John with a lesson.
It has been of great concern to me that the evangelical church has seemingly been willing and content to abandon sound doctrine not talking about liberal church.
Something about those. It would be confessedly evangelical.
Many popular evangelical leaders and writers, pastors and professors. People who are the influencers are content with the lack of discernment as if it were some spiritual virtue, they have entered upon what I suppose if we were living in Spurgeon's time would be called a downgrade churches on a slippery slope evangelical church is progressing down away from the heights of truth in the honor of God is willingly abandoning its discernment willingly abandoning Bible exposition and therefore a deep and accurate understanding of truth Lutheran 1533 said the word of God is the greatest most necessary most important thing in Christendom and is now tell you what you turn away from the book and you have endless problems. You turn away from the book and Jesus becomes a clay toy. You can shape them anywhere you want.
Truth becomes a clay toy can shape it anyway you want.
John Piper says Luther had one weapon to rescue Christ from being sold in the markets of Wittenberg.
He drove out the money changers. The indulgent sellers with the whip of the external word. The book" I don't think you can do ministry in this climate. Today, the way God wants it done without a radical commitment to the Bible and I say radical because it it's resisted even within the framework of evangelicalism at NN.
As I said before, the meaning of Scripture is the Scripture should clear the fog and revealed a meaning that is the Scripture that's the truth of God and that puts God on display that gives people discernment gives the church power and I just think their people don't do the hard work can look at Calvin he he wrote prolifically wrote his institutes.
He wrote his commentaries several shelves of my study are filled with his volumes.
He preached 10 sermons every two weeks. All of it Scripture exposition same with Luther between 1510 and 1546 he preached 3000 sermons many days a week and many times a day preached in all that with family struggles with his wife Katie gave them six children.
Some of them died. The rest of them. He catechized on Sunday afternoon when your typical Sunday for Martin Luther 5 AM was the first service. It was an exposition of an epistle. 10 AM was the second one was an exposition of the gospel in the afternoon. He taught the word of God to his children at 5 o'clock he came back to expositor book in the Old Testament on Monday and Tuesday he taught more exposition on Wednesday. He taught on Matthew on Thursday and Friday. He taught on an apostolic letter on Saturday he expositor the gospel of John your people roll out of bed leader Reformation. You understand that there's a reason why these people had the influence that consumed was Scripture with its understanding and its proclamation.
All he did was preach and preach and preach and preach in the people worship he went down they went up. It's better to be deep and not shallow. It's better to be thorough, not superficial.
Back to John Calvin here. He never wavered from expository preaching for almost 25 years from 1536 to 1564 Geneva any. He even ignored Christmas and Easter, and every other event just kept doing his exposition. He didn't give any special messages just stayed with his exposition scope of his pulpit is really amazing.
Just amazing preach for six years on the book of acts. He gave 46 sermons on Thessalonians hundred and 86 sermons on Corinthians 86 sermons on for second Timothy and Titus 43 sermons on Galatians 48 sermons on Ephesians in 1559. The spring he started a study of the Gospels expositor in the Gospels in a Harmony fashion and he didn't finish when he died 1560 for the month of May. That was on the Lord's day and in the middle of the week he preached 159 sermons on Job 200 on Deuteronomy 353 on Isaiah 923 on Genesis and so on and so on and so and all that took preparation and study used preaching on Easter 1538 after a sermon he left the pulpit of St. Peter's Church through an out-of-town city Council banishing they had enough of them only to preach in for a couple of years there, but he was so strong, so powerful that they through an out-of-town after his term, he came back just a little over three years later and picked up his exposition at the next verse. As I was saying biographers tell us that Calvin believe the word of God was the only lamp in that the lamp would be taken away from the church is and that's what I believe Calvin had a horror of those people who preach their own ideas in a pulpit believe that expounding the Scriptures was the only thing that God wanted done Calvin believe that God's majesty was revealed in his word and if you didn't preach the word and you didn't give glory to God and you know wasn't easy for Calvin preaching 10 times in two weeks. Lecturing three times in theology having a Friday Bible study visiting the sick, counseling people reading and writing in a weak stomach had severe migraines and the only way control is migraines by eating one meal a day you work night and day with scarcely a break. Wide-eyed young 1564 when he was 53 years old. He wrote his position, describing colic, spitting up blood egg you get out the excruciating sufferings of hemorrhoids, kidney stones, etc. etc. same time his wife gave birth to children they they died one after another and she died. Turn the world upside down. This literally turn the world upside down because of the power to bring in the word of God to bear contemporary evangelical church. Sad to say, is not interested in biblical depth, and therefore it doesn't experience biblical height. It tends to be shallow and worldly and we can self deceiving deceiving itself a superficial success at the heart of this is this tragic thing of embracing non-Christians as if their Christians without a deep grass or biblical truth there is no discernment with no discernment and you just can't tell who's a Christian and who's not. So Satan comes into the church comes into the leadership comes into teachers colleges and teach at seminaries and write books and get on Christian TV on and on it goes in the as I told you what we don't have the truth and you don't have the preaching that brings clarity and discernment in the glory of God. You have terrible problems in the first one is people no longer distinguish between who's a Christian who is not this the grist for the great reality Reformation, the Reformation said you are not Christians. You're not the Civil War Christian then you're not. It's time for us to take the stand at the same point in this day the way you distinguish a true Christian from non-Christian a matter what they claim is found in this category the work: deliverance right and what have we been saying what you can tell who's a Christian because they been delivered the ministry of the Lord is to deliver the rescue to save in a Christian isn't known by some acts some events some prayer, some signing of the cards some going forward son being baptized him joining a church not identified by any event, but by deliverance. True Christians are those who been delivered and deliverance is this general truth that contains the realities of salvation and first we said true Christians have been delivered from error to what to truth and that that was was a big issue and it's an issue we need to be clarified on nobody as a Christian folks who doesn't believe the true gospel. That's pretty sweeping statement. You have to believe the true gospel or you're not a Christian, you can't believe a false gospel after believe the gospel.
You can't believe the liberal message of good works, and social change. You can't believe some aberrant kind of thing about who Jesus is, you can't be a non-Trinitarian believe in a God who is not a Trinity be a Christian. Christians believe the truth because we saw clearly in Colossians 112 and 13. We been delivered out of the domain of darkness into the kingdom of the son of God's love, we become saints in light gone out of the darkness of ignorance and error into the light of truth, and I'm being specific with you because I feel like we have to do that. Who's a Christian, somebody is been delivered from error to truth you come to understand, to believe, to embrace the truth. Secondly, we said true Christians have been delivered not only from error to truth, but from sin to righteousness turn to first John three. First John three John is is is just giving us very black-and-white. Look here first John three in verse Teresa's beloved, now we children of God are were children of God, you know that you know when somebody's a child of God. You know when somebody belongs to God when they are true believer go down to verse four everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness and sin is lawlessness. Okay verse five, you know that he appeared in order take away sins. I stop right there. Why did Jesus come into the world take away what sin so what should be characteristic of a Christian that sin is taken away occurs that Matthew 121 and only came to save his people from their sins.
So he John is simply say the appeared to take away sin.
So what's true about a Christian is. Sin has been replaced by righteousness and he goes on to explain that verse six no one who abides in him sins presidents continues in sin and that same pattern doesn't mean we never sin because back in chapter 1. He said if you say you don't have sin in your making God a liar course you have sent. But you do not continue in that constant pattern of sin that's a present tense verb in the Greek, which indicates continuous action. No one who abides in Christ continues in that same pattern of sin and no one who continues in that same pattern of sin has seen Christ or knows Christ. People say all the time. You know well I I know I know there looking like this and are doing this but I know there Christians I know their Christians because because I remember when this happened in that event lock. Christians don't continuing a pattern of sin that's unbroken verse seven is a key little children.
Let nobody what deceive you. Don't let anybody deceive you the one who practices righteousness is righteous, is that is that the difficult to grasp, whose righteous people do righteous things. It's a matter of nature to matter of the life principle the life power and he makes it very clear the one who practices verse eight sin is of the devil, you got the old nature under the control of Satan the devil is a sinner from the beginning, but the son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil and one of the works of the devil sin second time. Verse by verse eight, the sun came to destroy that pattern of sin to destroy that principle of sin that power of dominant sin. So in verse nine no one who is born of God practices sin practices that idea of constant unbroken continual sin, because he has a new seed in him. He sees the analogy of birth, human birth a baby is the product of its parents. It bears the life of its parents the seed the egg. The parents have create the essence of that child, that child is literally the coming together of the two lives that produced it and the child will manifest characteristics be shaped like its parents little look at in the face. Like its parents. It'll have a physical mannerisms. Like its parents. It'll have some intellectual capabilities like its parents. Maybe some other capabilities as well little reflect the genetic structure inherited from parents, and that's essentially what he saying if you're born of God. Sure going to be a product of that new birth and you're not going to continue to practice sin. But what's going to happen is you have a new seed in you and you can't continue in sin because you're born of God.
Look, if you were ever born of God's principle of sin has been broken and the practice of sin has been interrupted.
Somebody looks like there Christian and all of a sudden wanders off into sin and stays there.
They they never had that new birth because if they had a new birth if they were born of God. No one who is born of God practices sin has to do with what you desire, we sin, as Christians, we hate that's love righteousness like Roman seven.
I want to do things and in my flesh gets in the way and I don't do what I want to do and I do what I don't want to do but I know that's a wretched thing and I despise that and I cry out to be delivered from it. One of the great reasons to go to heaven. Talk to people with by going to heaven and they sell well, you know streets of gold, and love.
You know the best thing about heaven.
No sin is the most appealing thing about it, but you get sick of it. I'm not talking about sin and your spouse something about yours. No one who is born of God continues in an unbroken pattern.
Sin can happen. Why, because his seed is in you, you have an incorruptible seed.
Peter says a new life and new nature, a new creation in verse 10, sums it up as I distinguish the children of God and the children of the devil so obvious. I like how obvious is it anyone. A dozen practice righteousness is not of God. That's enough for me.
How do you know who's a Christian, somebody loves what is right who loves the law of God, who hates who is a pattern of righteousness interrupted by sin, that sin that he hates. It's the residual of his old self sold disposition. Galatians 220 apostle Paul talks about this and he says I have been crucified with Christ. What you mean, Paul. I'm I'm dead. The old Paul's gone the old life is died is no longer I who live, that old go that old I was gone. Christ lives in me. While that of Christ lives in you. Everything is different everything there is a new life principle that produces a new life practice.
If we don't understand who are true Christians, we are confused of the most critical point we because we can't tell a person their true spiritual condition that may be lost on the way to hell that doesn't help them to tell them there Christians and we've also invited Satan's terrors into the church people who do not love God's truth, who do not love is righteous law who do not hunger for what is right. Don't have a new heart don't have the new birth don't have an incorruptible seed don't have Christ living in them. They have been delivered. If the heart hasn't been changed to love God's word. If the heart hasn't been changed to love God's law.
If the heart hasn't been changed to desire to obey the law of God is Ezekiel 36 puts it, if the heart hasn't been changed to pursue virtue, not sin, then you that heart has been changed at all. The hallmark of salvation folks is you understand you believe you embrace the truth of the gospel you love that truth and you love righteousness, and you hates true Christians worship God love the word of God and obey the word of God.
They are like the deer we read about in Psalm 42 pants for the water brooks, their soul pants after God, says my soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Psalmist says in Psalm 119 97. Oh how I love your law so if you have a child or spouse or a brother or sister or friend and acquaintance who really wants to send plans to sin finds fulfillment in sin doesn't have a passion for righteousness doesn't have an interest in the truth person has been delivered, not a Christian matter what they claim real deliverance produces change life whispering father what clarity, what precision your word provides. Thank you for the examples of men of the past that we talked about who's testimonies are instructive to us because of their faithfulness power of their lives which you so mightily use give your church a restored confidence or restored passion, a restored hunger for truth, for the word of truth. We pray father that you will give us the discernment so that we can truly judge a person's spiritual condition protect your church from the downgrade of truth, the downgrade of Scripture we just pray father that you will awaken pastors and leaders. Be faithful to preach Bible truth in Bible dress relentlessly and passionately for all the years of their ministry that you might do a mighty and a true work and hearts. Thank you for the deliverance you have provided us by your grace in Christ.
That's John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary showing you what it means to be delivered by God. That's the title of his current study here on grace to you now just thinking through everything John said today about how to recognize a Christian really what it comes down to is this a Christian is a sinner who has come to God on God's terms. And of course John the shocking thing is that within the church. Today there's been a great amount of debate over exactly what are God's terms. What is the gospel and what are its demands and John you been on the front line of that debate for decades talk about that debate. Well, yes I can remember when we first started doing this, but it was very early in the ministry almost 50 years ago. Actually your first sermon at Grace Community Church 1969 you hit this theme there was my theme Matthew seven. Not everybody who says Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of my father who is in heaven.
Yeah that's right it came out of the gate, saying not everybody who claims to be a Christian is a Christian.
The things that some people believe may not be saving truth so getting the good news right is absolutely crucial. And again I've mentioned this for two days and want to say it again. A recent survey said that 70% of Christians surveyed think there are many other ways to heaven other than through Christ. What that tells you is that these people are the product of heresy and gross error about the gospel and most of that comes about because preachers don't want to tell the truth because the truth offends the sinner the truth literally alienates the unrepentant sinner, and if you want to win the world and make people think you're nice you don't want to tell them their deeds are evil.
Jesus said that.
That's why they killed him. But we have to go back to the truth. Look, God will save through the truth and elect sinners knocking to be able to resist when the spirit of God promises hard, you can only respond to the truth. We want to help you with the gospel.
So I want to mention the book called good news, good news. Jesus once asked his disciples, who do you say that I am well that's the most important question. That's the basic question who is Jesus Christ. That's essential to salvation. The Bible is clear about Jesus identity of what he came to earth to accomplish on behalf of sinners, so we've gathered that truth into this book called good news. Excellent for your own study devotional reading, but it's also an equipping book that get you directly to the truth about Christ, you need to explain to an unbeliever so they can be saved.
That shows you precisely that Jesus is the Messiah, the only way to heaven.
The head of the church and much more hundred 50 pages quick but profound reading affordably priced in hardcover from Grace to you the title again good news. You can order one today.
Yes friend. Make sure you know how to answer the all-important question, who is Jesus Christ pick up a copy of John's book titled good news when you contact us today. Call toll-free 855 grace order email@example.com good news the gospel of Jesus Christ. Cost $11 and shipping is free. The book isn't ideal resource for anyone who wants to know more about the person of Christ. It looks at what the writers of the Old Testament and the New Testament said and what Jesus himself said about his identity.
Again the number to call is 855 grace or if you prefer to shop online to TTY.org. That's our website and while you're there, take advantage of a popular free Bible study tool called race stream. It's a unique way to listen to John's teaching through the New Testament. It runs continuously in the starts in Matthew goes through revelation and then starts all over again. You'll just hop in wherever John's teaching and you will hear sermon after sermon to get you into God's word fast and holds your attention.
Book after book. Listen to race stream firstname.lastname@example.org now for John MacArthur and the entire grace do you staff on Phil Johnson saying thanks for joining us today and listen again tomorrow when John looks at the world's temptations and the power God gives you to overcome them. It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you