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The Danger of Overconfidence, Part 1 A

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
August 8, 2022 4:00 am

The Danger of Overconfidence, Part 1 A

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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August 8, 2022 4:00 am

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It all boils down to the problem of overconfidence. When a Christian gets to the place where he sold his maturity and so spring that he thinks he can handle anything. He's really in a very precarious position, but that doesn't mean the Bible has nothing to say about how you engage in those thing today on grace to you. John MacArthur begins a series that will give you a biblical framework to help you make decisions and to avoid the subtle dangers in those gray areas. The study is titled the pitfalls of Christian liberty. John many people may not know why this is such an important topic. They might not know exactly what Christian liberty means there has long been confusion about the believer's freedom in Christ. In fact, the misunderstanding goes all the way back to the first century church and Paul himself who straighten them out and we can be grateful that he did because there is a popular viewpoint that's been around since soon and I suppose going back to the New Testament era and that's why Paul had address and it's still here because you're under grace. You're free to do anything in grace covers everything you know Paul gets irate at that point shall we sin, that grace may abound and uses that phrase in Greek may get annoyed may it never be right. Grace is never an excuse to free you up to sin, but this comes around all the time. I mean, I don't think it's ever died as it surges and then account a phase really gets rebuffed and it comes back again and we are talking today you and I feel about a guy who should know better who is not become an advocate for this is a well trained pastor who's been seduced by this Christian liberty stuff and it it panders to the flesh, there is a is needed at this enough fall is left, even in a believer to to be drawn toward the idea of abusive liberty so this is a really really important study that were going to do on the pitfalls of Christian liberty, meaning that you can take Christian liberty to the point where it becomes dangerous and damaging at salvation. Believers are given spiritual life and we are free from the consequences of sin doesn't mean were free to sin. We never want to let that freedom become an excuse for lasciviousness. That's what the New Testament says so. There are pitfalls to keep in mind even when you exercise your freedom in Christ and in the study from first Corinthians chapter 10 really see how the church in Corinth stumbled in their understanding of the liberty they had in Christ, most importantly, will see how Paul educated and exhorted the Corinthians about the dangers of overconfidence, idolatry and selfishness and temptation. The lesson from first century Corinth critical for you and your church today so very practical days ahead here on grace do you stay with us and learn how to avoid the pitfalls of Christian liberty. That's right, and friend. If you are a Christian, often the loudest and clearest testimony to your faith in Christ is how you use your liberty. So learn how to glorify the Lord with your freedom right now as John begins his series. The pitfalls of Christian liberty. One of the problems the church of Corinth was facing was the problem of how to determine what they should do in the areas of life and living that the Bible doesn't speak about it says a lot of things are right in the Bible it says a lot of things are wrong.

You should do this, you shouldn't do that, but it doesn't say anything about a whole lot of other things and how does a Christian know whether or not he has the right to do certain things that are not mentioned in the Bible we call them gray area between the black and the white of the bad and the good and some from chapter 8 through the first verse of chapter 11 that whole section, Paul is discussing the answer to that question in chapter 8. Paul sent out a principal and the principal is that in the gray area you're free.

That is, as a Christian you have liberty if it isn't wrong you have the technical and the moral right to do it but there are two things basically that should determine whether you do not number one. Even though it is technically right. How will that affect others. That's his point in chapter 9, number two, even though it is right morally or technically how will it affect you if you do it, so there are two considerations when you're talking about something the Bible doesn't forbid how will affect others. If you do it and how will it affect you if you do it in chapter 9 he dealt in great detail with how it would affect others and use an illustration of his own life in chapter 10.

He will deal in detail with how it will affect you and uses an illustration from the life of the nation Israel to show how misuse of liberty will affect you and bring you into temptation and it is sin, and ultimately disqualify you from service for Christ. I will entitle the section. The danger of overconfidence. The danger of overconfidence in the Corinthians case they were saying hey we are saved we are baptized where instructed where mature we come behind it. No gifts. We've seen many things in our spiritual lives. Where free we can go about and do all these things and are not going to have any effect on us were too far along to get Trent were not concerned but the weaker Christians in the Corinthian church were saying but wait a minute. Some of the things you feel free to do and not be tempted. I can't do like maybe he's just been saved out of some idolatrous worship, the more mature Corinthian goes to that particular thing and just eats the meal there with his friends and talks and has a little social time and ignores the idolatry going on around him. But the weaker Christian just saved if he was to go would find himself so attached to that former way of life, from which he is just a merge that it becomes a stumbling block to him that it becomes a hindrance he looks at that other mature Christians is how can you be a part of this. How can you have anything to do with this terrible idolatry and this other fellow saying I ignore the idolatry.

I just eat the food of the weaker Christian can't separate the two. And so Paul has said in chapter 9.

You gotta consider that man and what you might be able to handle he taking your example and attending might not be able to handle and you might think that in our society today. You might see some form of entertainment of some kind of activity or indulgence that you can handle, but it weaker Christian just saved out of that seeing you doing it and then going at do it, thinking it's right would find himself terribly compromise and think less of you as a Christian, you never understand how you could do it at this point positive effect on but now in chapter 10. His point is how is it will affect you. You think you can handle it but can you can you live on the thin edge of your liberty without falling. Look at verse 27 of chapter 9. Let's get a running start. I keep under my body and I bring it into subjection listed by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.

In other words, he said you know I could be a preacher and be active and be serving God and if I don't discipline myself and bring my body into subjection.

I could become disqualified in the misuse of my liberty.

I could run my liberty out to where I'm forwarding on the thin edge of liberty and I could fall into temptation and sin to be disqualified from serving Christ and you know many people in Christian service have been disqualified many in serving Jesus Christ and using their liberty in abusing their liberty, they render themselves useless and disqualified. So Paul in this passage is saying you can't run your liberty out to all of its extremities without noting the danger of falling into sin yourself that smug Corinthian who goes to the festival and says I'm only going there for the food.

After all, it's the only social contact. I have, it's what everybody else is doing. I meet my friends there. I ignore whatever worship of a false God or whatever Lord you may be going on. I I just ignore it. Paul says that Menno do you really are you able to flirt on the thin line there and really make it, or would you not be better off to avoid all appearance of evil and not have to face the temptation to turn it all boils down to the problem of overconfidence. When a Christian gets to the place where he so confident of his maturity, and so confident of his strength that he thinks he can handle anything. He's really in a very precarious position.

Notice verse 12. That's the sum of the first 13 verses. This is the the German but this is the heart of it. Verse 12 wherefore, that means based on the 11 verses just preceding on this basis. Let him that thinks he stand take heed what West default. It's just when you think everything is fine, that you're in bad shape that the Bible warns, and I want to back up a little bit from the text that I want to show you something about the Bible says about overconfidence as Christians you can be mature I can be mature and strong but at the same time I have to be careful what I do have my liberty because I too can be tempted and fall into sin, and such soon as could disqualify me from service and you as well. The Bible says a lot about this because God is very concerned about and over and over in the Bible God humbles the proud over and over again in Proverbs 1618 pride goes before destruction and a proud spirit before a fall.

In fact, in Proverbs 29, 23 this is a man's pride shall bring him low. That's paradoxical but it's true. Let me show you some illustrations of pride and how God dealt with at some illustrations of overconfidence look at Esther chapter 6 Esther is a fascinating book. Esther was a Jewish lady who was very beautiful. She was living in a Persian kingdom. The Persian king got very upset his wife because she was drunk one night, King has US or Xerxes. He was drunk and he says bring me my wife. It was a party going on is is I want everybody to see how beautiful she is so or something like that so so they said for his wife vanished.

I was her name and she says nothing doing on that come in there just wants to put me on display probably wanted possibly even to disrobe in front of everybody and she was right in the sense that she didn't come so she says no I'm not coming so they the wise men in the land said, we're in trouble because your wife will not turn any says she is out as Queen. She is deposed. If we don't do that, then every woman in this kingdom will come when her husband wants her because everybody does what the Queen does and so they deposed Ernie said now want to find me. Queen and he found Esther Chapman be Jewish.

Let became a problem because were some anti-Semitic people in the country, namely, one man named Haman who decided that he would plot to kill all the Jews even build a gallows at his house to use in hanging one particular Jew name Mordecai and so Haman at this whole plot all worked out and Esther did become the Queen and the king heard about the plot and he was going to honor Mordecai, the Jew in chapter 6 tells us in verse four and the king said, who is in the court.

Haman was come to the outer court of the king's house to speak to the king to hang Mordecai here comes Haman were to hang Mordecai all the time the King's think of honoring Mordecai Z. Haman was to get rid of. And the king servant said, and behold, Haman stands in the court.

The king said on the commitment and Haman came in. The king said to him, what shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor Haman help me I got a problem. I want to honor this man and I like to know what you think we should do really just give this guy the red carpet now. Haman thought in his heart to him with the king to like to do honor more than the myself must be me he has in mind and Manny -related on getting the royal apparel you hello Betsy thought it was good to be the noble princes and parading through town on horseback and proclaiming boy just really laid it on Donald on said wonderful that's what I'll do with Mordecai. Well to make a long story short, what happened in the end, when the king heard about the plot is recorded in chapter 7 verse 10 Haman was going to kill Mordecai and Esther and everybody else was Jewish so they hang Haman on his own gallows. That's the danger of overconfidence in Daniel chapter 4.

Another illustration it's very graphic is an illustration of the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuchadnezzar felt himself to be invincible. It says in verse 28. All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar here comes at the end of 12 months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon is walking in the palace.

The king spoke and said, is not this great babble and that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power and for the honor of my Majesty, look what I've got is incredible how mighty I am well the words in the king's mouth there fell a voice from heaven saying oh king Nebuchadnezzar to the is spoken. The kingdom is departed from the your little overconfident.

That's the end and they shall drive the front man and they did the Medes and the Persians and I dwelling shall be with the beast of the field they shall make the grass like an oxen seven times shall pass over the until thou know that the most high rule within the kingdom of men, and given that the whomsoever he will in the same hour was the thing fulfilled on Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from men did eat grass like oxen. His body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hairs were grown like eagles feathers in his nails like birds claws became a raving maniac sleeping in the grass and eating it like an animal crowd. Obadiah will try to find it.

Just listen or read to Obadiah is a prophecy against Edom. Edom was a southern area east and south of the nation of Israel across the Dead Sea into the South extent and the great city in Eden was the city of petro Peter was a city that was carved out of the cliffs in a canyon and you can ride in there been there a couple times on horseback, you can ride right into petro the fantastic experience. There's an area there were only one person can pass, and so it's fortified incredibly justice a single man for all intensive purposes, I can block the entrance and there is no other way in and so Edom was very self-confident that they were invincible. In verse three. The pride of thine heart hath deceived the thou that dwellest in the cleft of the rock. They all live in the caves they live in the caves carved out of the rock and there were so proud that they were invincible in their heart. They said we shall bring me down to the ground, though thou exalt thyself, like the eagle and though thou set thy nest up among the stars.

From there, will I bring the down, says the Lord, and he did that city of Peter was destroyed.

To date, animals and birds occupy that place and that's all overconfidence in Matthew chapter 26 we have a New Testament illustration that gets very personal of overconfidence. Matthew 2630 and when they had sung to him. They went out into the Mount of olives. This is just after the Lord had communion with the disciples the night before his death, and then said Jesus to them. Matthew 26, 31, all ye shall be offended because of me this night, for it is written, I will smite the shepherd and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad, you're all going to be offended by what's going to happen and you're going to scatter that's Zacharias prophecy but after I am raised up again.

I will go before you into Galilee, Peter answered and said to him, though. All men shall be offended because of the yet will I be offended, I'm there. Lord everybody else may go. I'm in count on me.

Jesus said to him, truly I say to you that this night before the clock rose, you will deny me three to overconfidence. You see the Bible again and again and again and again and again hits that issue of overconfident when you think you stand.

You are the closest to falling that you will ever be. It's like Aesop's fables same thing. The tortoise and the hare and you all know who won the race. Now this is the message of first Corinthians chapter 10 verses 1 to 13. Let's look at it now and consider what it says. The Corinthians smug proud confident of their spiritual maturity felt they could do whatever they wanted to get eat meat offered to idols. I could attend idle fees they could go to the festivals and it wouldn't bother them at all. They didn't care about anybody else. They didn't care about offending others and they felt they could handle it themselves. So Paul really hits the issue in this whole section he says there's two things wrong with indulging your liberty to excess one.

It offends others to it's going to bring you to the brink of sin and wind up disqualifying you from service to Christ must be self-denial must be self-control and discipline as he says in verse 27 keeping that body. In subjection, discipline and denial maybe of something you have a right to be like an athlete. He denies himself the things he has a right to because he trains to win a race. Paul says in verse 24. I'm in a race and I'm in a run to win the prize and I know that if I'm a do that have to be temperate. That means I have to be self-control and I would have to say no to some things that I have a right to in order to discipline myself to win the race.

And what's the prize the prizes to win people to Christ. The prizes the mature saints.

That's the price, but I'm after it takes self-discipline to reach that goal and is not talk about salvation is talking about service. The Christian is to be effective in services. The want to self-discipline who sets his liberties aside if need be, so he doesn't offend a brother or another person who's even unsaved, and so that he doesn't put himself on the brink of temptation. People say well I'm freeman I can handle anything. I'm so mature and old once in a while a shady immoral are moving bother me I just pick out the philosophy of I just study the human interest factor I can handle it all. I know those office parties a while but I go via because I just I have a seven up and sit in the corner. I can make my mature I know it's kind of a mad celebration but that's all right. Oh yeah I can. I can have a few drinks with the boys than bother me just like him little exposure that everything can keep you in touch my mature got to be where they are. You can't win them here was Paul saying here is saying yeah maybe those things fit.

Maybe, maybe they fit into the category that you have thought about maybe what you are in your mind justifying as the right of your liberty is nothing but pandering your lust and thinking it's all right. You see, that was Israel's problem. Let's look at the illustration beginning in chapter 10 he says here's a perfect illustration of a whole nation of people that all became castaways because they couldn't handle her liberty, and they took their liberty and put it right on the thin edge of sin, and they fell into the pond as it they couldn't stand on the precipice. They fell and he has three movements that will look at and just briefly the assets of liberty. The abusive liberty in any application we will get to all of it but just the beginning.

He shows how Israel experience God's blessing. Experience God's privilege and yet all perished in all died in the wilderness useless to God. They were all disqualified the whole pile from service doesn't mean they all also salvation is not the issue at service that is talking about the race he's running. Here's the race to win people to Christ. The race to mature the saints. The race to live a disciplined Christian life. They all lost the race and God just checked them all started with a new group and took a whole new generation into the promised land.

Let's look beginning within the five verses that begin the chapter. The assets of liberty will call the assets of liberty and he begins with the things of the Israelites enjoyed because there are parallel to the Christian now notice verse one.

Moreover, that's just the Greek word Gar, it's just that transitional word that shows that this whole section is based on verse 27 on this idea being disqualified. Your Bible may say castaway.

It means disqualified, but brother and I would not that you should be ignorant.

In other words, I don't want you to forget this is a strong statement here. I want you to know this. Please do not forget this. Forget what that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. Is that what you talking will.

What was this occasion in the life of Israel when they all passed through the sea and under the cloud, listen. It was the Exodus was not for over 400 years Israel had been in bondage in Egypt. This is a fascinating section here, so hang in there and you'll see some really fascinating thing Israel was in bondage for over 400 year in Egypt they were not their own people. They did not have their own national identity. They were mismatched into a society.

The society dominated in the society. Call all the shots. They had no identity. They were in abject kind of slavery, and from that platform. There was little or no hope that they would ever be a witness to the world but finally God said it's time for you to be established as a witness in community and I'm going to set you free. And God did that God parted the Red Sea and they walk through on dry land and God had his cloud and his cloud led them what verse one is talking about is the liberation of Israel.

It was the cloud and the sea that symbolized Israel's freedom from bondage.

That became the touchstone of the Jewish religion, and it still is what a Jew wants to go back to identify the fact that he is part of God's elect people.

Then he goes back to the Exodus. That's where God called Israel out and separated them from any other nation and gave them an identity independent of any other.

So don't be ignorant that all our fathers, and they are our fathers as Christians in the sense of faith we are not the racial dissent of Abraham, but Galatians 329 says were his seed by faith.

So they are in a sense, our spiritual forefathers who living by faith and living as God's people are related to us to move by faith.

And as God's people. Although we are not Jewish racial and so he says all of them came out all of them were set free all of them were protected by divine provision in the cloud and in the sea rolling back so that they might pass. What a fantastic God freed his people their election. Now notice people. This is important their election out of Egypt was to be a national witness and that is precisely what he is referring to here notice this. This is not a picture of the salvation of Israel isn't the fact that when everybody laughed, they all got instantly say if you get saved by walking through the Red Sea, we better charter flight that is not how you get say you believe God and some of those Israelites were saved while they were in Egypt they believe God even their right. I believe Moses was truly a believer, a righteous man before he ever learn about there were many others, some of them were regenerated by faith in the wilderness later on.

Some of them were regenerated by faith, as it were in the in the promised land. So whether they were in Egypt or the wilderness or Canaan, they were believing personally for righteousness sake. It never was national. It was it all right everybody out of Egypt and into the kingdom know it wasn't in a universal salvation act.

It was calling out a witnessing community.

It was taking a people who were subjugated and from a vantage point where they couldn't set a pattern for the world to see of what godliness is. It was calling them out and setting them up as an independent self identified connected to God community that the world could look at and save that's what the people of the Lord are like this is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John's current study is looking at the pitfalls of Christian liberty now friend as new technologies and social issues continue to pop up knowing how to navigate the gray areas of life is only going to get more important and so I encourage you to download this series and master these principles. The series is free at our website and you can download it when you contact us today every message in this current series titled pitfalls of Christian liberty is free in audio and transcript format. Just go to our and infect all of John's sermons and every series we broadcast on grace to you is free at our website, including popular studies like the fulfilled family believers, armor and God's will is so important, why can't I find begin to start downloading those sermons go to our website TTY.for to purchase them on CD. You can call us at 855 and when you get in touch.

Make sure to let us know how your list. Whether it's on your local radio station or online or through the grace to you at. Of course we'd also love to hear how John MacArthur's verse by verse teaching has strengthened, perhaps you better equipped to explain the truth of salvation to friends and neighbors.

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Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to join us tomorrow another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time wasting

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