Biblical doctrine and life go hand in hand, and in that order. You see, when we think correctly about doctrine, we think correctly about life. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues his thought-provoking series on the great Biblical doctrines of our faith.
It's called Growing Deep in the Christian Life. Chuck titled today's message, Exposing the Dark Side. Bright, light side of life, but that is only half the message that the Christian has for the world.
I suppose we can't really appreciate the bright and beautiful side of life until we know how black the backdrop is. And so to be true to my calling and to be complete with the subject of Biblical doctrine, it falls my lot to talk for a while about the dark side. It was back in 1886, a man named Stevenson, Robert Lewis Stevenson wrote a work that talked about all our lives. He called it Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
You may not know it, but he was a little older, though a contemporary of Mark Twain, the American storyteller. And perhaps it was from that book, Jekyll and Hyde, that Twain came up with a statement so familiar to all of us. Everybody is like the moon.
We have a dark side we don't want anybody to see. No one ever said it better than Jesus when speaking to the Pharisees and scribes. And I quote, woe to you, hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. And then he adds, you outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. And lest you and I live under the assumption that that stopped in the first century, just be honest enough to think about your life over the past several days. Inwardly.
Not externally, more than likely you behaved yourself externally, but inwardly, just think of the impulses and the drives and the secrets and the actions you lived out in your mind, and perhaps some of them did surface in the flesh. One French essayist put it this way, there is no man so good who were he to submit all his thoughts and actions to the laws would not deserve hanging ten times in his life. Now all of these statements and my comments have to do with our most ancient and all pervasive disease. The most deadly killer of all isn't cancer.
It isn't. It is depravity. Because every one of us has it, and every one of us suffers from the consequences of it. Genesis chapter 6, take a moment and look if you will. Genesis 6, I think it's one of the most sweeping broad brush statements in all the scriptures on the nature of mankind without God. The nature within all of us. Genesis 6, 5, the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. You know what stands out to me when I read the verse?
Three words. Every, only, continually. Every intent, only evil and it's continually only evil. Describes a spiritual cesspool that produces the decay like life we live. Even from childhood this is true.
A crime commission a number of years ago released this statement. Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it. His bottle, his mother's attention, his playmates toy, his uncle's watch. Deny these and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness which would be murderous were he not so helpless.
He is in fact dirty. He has no morals, no knowledge, no skills. This means that all children, not just certain children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of his infancy, given free rein to his impulsive actions to satisfy his wants, every child would grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, a rapist.
Now that's the dark side of life and if your tendency is to ignore it, it still won't go away. Psalm number 51 is another section I want you to look at before we examine five lives rather briefly, exposing the dark side of each one of those lives. Psalm 51.
Let me take just the first five verses. Be gracious to me, O God, according to thy loving kindness. Earlier in our meeting this evening, I asked you to define grace.
Now's the time to see how you did. If someone were to ask me to define it, I could give you a brief definition or a little longer definition. Probably the most popular is unmerited favor. Grace means unmerited favor.
A little longer would say this. Grace is what God does for mankind, which we do not deserve, cannot earn, and will never be able to repay. We don't deserve it and we cannot earn it, therefore we're not able to repay for what he does for us. Nevertheless, it is our only hope, that's why his plea begins, be gracious. See, he doesn't deserve it. He's been sinful.
He's fallen, dishonest. And he says it must be according to your loving kindness. It can't be according to my merit. Let me continue. According to the greatness of thy compassion, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity.
Cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, I have sinned and done what is evil in thy sight.
So that thou art justified when thou dost speak, and blameless when thou dost judge. Behold, now he goes back to the root, behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. It doesn't mean that the act of conception was sinful.
It means what the Amplified Bible says of this verse. I was brought forth in a state of iniquity. My mother was sinful, who conceived me. And I too am sinful. I have come from sinful parents, and I have caught the same disease. So be gracious to me, O God.
In sin I came into this world. Now, one of the wonderful things about the Bible, and I believe one of the things that makes it so credible, is that it tells us the truth. I often say it doesn't airbrush the word pictures. It doesn't smooth over the rough spots. When it paints its heroes, it paints them warts and all.
The scars are not hidden. And about the time you're tempted to elevate certain men and women in Scripture to a to a pedestal, almost a pedestal of worship, God brings them down to size and says, now you're to worship me and not another. And I have made a study in the Scriptures for years of the great men and women, and it is amazing about the time my respect is at such a height, I find myself thinking of them more than my Lord. I come across a scar, a blunder, a failure, an awful act of sin, and I realize that, like Elijah said, they are men just like I am. They are women just like many of you. They're just people. Now I purposely picked in this Bible three from the Old Testament and two from the New who are perhaps the best known of all and the most respected.
I've had to skip some, obviously, but in choosing these five, I've chosen, I'm sure, one or two of your favorites. The first man is over in Genesis chapter 6, and what a wonderful man he was. He was just an unusual kind of fellow because of the times in which he lived. We just read that awful verse, verse 5, as it described the scene in this world in which verse 6 the Lord says that he was grieved in his heart that he even made man. He was grieved because of the condition. And so God gave a survey over the earth, and he looked for one who would qualify as a righteous man, and he found one.
Think of the decadent times in which they lived. He found one man, verse 8, who found favor in his sight. His name is Noah, Noah. Verse 9 says he was righteous, blameless, and he walked with God.
Now I'd say that's quite a resume. Here is a good man, unlike all the others in his day, so good was he that God appointed Noah to build the ark and to save his family from death. And that's exactly what Noah did. The earth was corrupt, and God picked a good man, and Noah built the ark.
He worked on it for 120 years. And when he finished the ark, he got his family inside, and the flood came, and they were saved from destruction. Chapter 9 brings them to the end of the flood and presents them as a family to a new earth. Now that the earth has been deluged with water, it has now changed. The whole strata, geological strata of the earth has changed. That's why I believe there's no way to date the earth. Everything changed so severely, plus the earth was created with the marks of age to begin with. Trees were full size. Adam was full grown.
Everything had the mark of age, so how can you know? And then on top of that is a flood that changes everything. But here is a man who has been walking with God for all these years. But there's a dark side to him. Verse 20, he began farming, and he planted a vineyard, and he drank of the wine and became drunk. On top of that, he uncovered himself inside his tent.
I don't know why, and I don't know all that that implies. It's sexually perverse for sure, because his sons are ashamed to be in his presence in that naked condition. Now it seems amazing, doesn't it, if you're a lover of Noah, that a good man, so good that he's picked above all other men, would find himself drunk in his tent and naked.
So much so that his sons are not only shamed by that, but cursed because of it. It's shocking unless you understand that even in Noah, there is a depraved nature. Every once in a while, a great man or a great woman will fall.
So great will be the fall that their lives will make headline attention, at least in Christian periodicals, and on occasion even in the national periodicals. And we find ourselves shocked. In one sense, I can understand the shock. In another sense, we have no reason to be shocked. We wanted to trust that person to clean up his life or her life, and to walk faithfully with their God.
Sometimes there is drunkenness, and sometimes there is sexual perversity. And the truth comes out, and our heroes die a painful death in our minds. Just learn a lesson from this study, that no one on earth deserves your worship. You tread on very thin ice when you make more of an individual than a human being who is being used of God. That is the end of your respect. It is never to come anywhere close to man worship. If it does, you are going to be terribly disillusioned, not if they fail you, but when they fail. It may not be as scandalous as this with Noah, but they will fail.
They will show intemperance, or they will show anger, or they will show impatience, or they will lack courtesy. In some way, if you get to know them well enough, you'll realize they're just people that have to put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you do. They are just depraved human beings who in this brief period of time are being used by God. Noah is a great man, but Noah is a man who lacks self-control, and perhaps had a bent towards sexual perversity. Good man, but not perfect. The second man is in Exodus chapter 2, and his name is Moses. I like Moses.
So do you. Who couldn't like Moses? I mean, he comes from this humble origin. He very graciously handles his early life. Hebrews 11 says that he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, and finally, though he was well educated and was really the Pharaoh elect, even though he had distinguished himself as a student, a man mighty in words and deeds, he was a man who decided to serve the Lord rather than himself. After a period of preparation, he was used to lead the people through the wilderness.
And you know his story. In fact, no other man talked with God face to face. When he came down from the mountain, his face literally glowed with the Shekinah, having been in the presence of God. He personally was there when the finger of God drilled the word into stone. He came down from the mountain and presented the first copies of the written word of God. He oversaw the building of the tabernacle. He led the people through the Red Sea. He stayed faithfully by their side, though they came at him with guns blazing.
Now, you'd think the man virtually could walk on water, but he couldn't. This same man, Moses, verse 11, chapter 2 of Exodus, has a record of murder in his life. It came about in those days when Moses had grown up that he went out to his brethren and he looked on their hard labors and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. He looked this way and that, and when he saw there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and he hid him in the sand.
Is that amazing? Not really, if you believe in the depravity of man. In a moment of rash decision, he acted in the flesh and he killed an Egyptian. He murdered him and he hid the evidence on top of the murder. Chapter 3, 40 years later. He's out in the wilderness. He thinks he's going to be leading sheep for the rest of his life, and God steps on the scene and says, you're the one that's going to lead my people out of Egypt.
Now here is an 80-year-old man with murder on his record. He knows that he has failed the Lord, and yet he hears God graciously coming back saying, now you are going to be my spokesman. You would think he would have learned enough to say right away, wherever you lead me, I will go. Does he do that? No. Don't call the last part of chapter 3 and the early part of chapter 4 humility. It's stubbornness. It's rebellion.
He tries every way in the world to get out of it. Look at chapter 3, verse 10, God's invitation. Come now and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt. Moses said to God, I'm ready to go.
No, he didn't. He said, who am I? Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt? In verse 13, he talks about not having all the answers. Verse 14 down to the end, God says, you'll have all of me. Chapter 4, Moses says, I won't have all their respect, and God answers, you'll have all my power.
Middle of chapter 4, he says, I don't have all the ability. I'm not eloquent. I can't speak in public. God says, I'll be your mouthpiece. I'll speak for you. Verse 13, chapter 4, he said, please, Lord, now send the message by whomever thou wilt. That sounds nice. What he's really saying is take somebody else and use them.
I'm not available. And God says in anger, okay, I'll send Aaron and he'll speak for you. By the way, who built the golden calf? Never, ever forget the story of Moses. When you stubbornly stand against what God is telling you personally to do, and then God compromises to use someone along with you, often that person, as a part of that compromise, becomes the Achilles heel, the albatross around your neck. Some things have to be done all alone. Some missions have to be accomplished just with you and God. You won't always have a partner. And if you plead for a partner, you won't go unless you get a partner. God's going to get the job done, and he graciously gives you what you wish, but he sends leanness to your souls.
Some of the jobs that have to be done have to be done in a lonely place, in a solitary way. That's what God wanted for Moses, and Moses took second best. He took Aaron. I personally entertain thoughts, chapter 20 of Numbers, that Moses suffered constantly from a temper. I think Moses had a short fuse. I think it got longer the longer he lived, but those of us who are impatient, and I lead the pack, I'm way ahead of whoever's listening right now, okay? But if you're impatient, you know what it is to fight a temper, and to keep the fuse wet.
If it gets dry, it tends to make everything explode. Here's a man who has this kind of nature. Why? Because he's depraved. He's a good man. He's a leader. He's God's spokesman. But he has a depraved nature, and you can't trust it.
You dare not trust your nature. Were it not for the grace of God, we'd all be wiped off this earth. Exposing the Dark Side, yet another important doctrinal study in the topical series called Growing Deep in the Christian Life. You're listening to Insight for Living.
To learn more about this ministry, visit us online at insightworld.org. Through this in-depth study, I'm sure you've gained a whole new respect for man's depravity and God's role in solving our dilemma. After all, we don't have any reason to hope until we truly face our lost condition.
Along those lines, I'm pleased to tell you about a brand new book that's now available through Insight for Living. It's intentionally written to help us surrender our circumstances to God. In our own strength, we don't have the capacity to handle our disappointment, fear, and even our failures. The title of Chuck's book is Life is 10% What Happens to You and 90% How You React. The title comes from a statement that Chuck made, one that's become quite familiar across our country. He said, The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
In fact, I'm convinced that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react. This statement has become the centerpiece of a new book from Chuck. With just seven chapters, Chuck has written about finding joy, maintaining relationships with the people in your life, and how to diffuse disharmony.
Whether for yourself, a son or daughter, perhaps a grandchild, we believe Chuck's new book will help you gain a new perspective on life, one that's squarely founded on the Bible. To purchase a copy, go to insight.org slash store. And then as God prompts you to support Insight for Living with voluntary donations, we invite you to do so. Here's the number to call if you're listening in the United States. It's 800-772-8888. You can also give online at insight.org slash donate.
Take it from Chuck Swindoll. There's nothing quite like the beauty of the great frontier. Wide open skies, pristine glaciers with various shades of blue and turquoise, mingled within them towering pine trees and all manner of wildlife. I'll tell you, Alaska is truly a masterpiece of God's creation. I've been to a lot of places and seen a lot of things, but honestly, nothing compares to the beauty in Alaska.
God is awesome. Come with us on the Insight for Living Ministries cruise to Alaska, July 1st through July 8th, 2023. When I'm in Alaska, I feel like I'm in an amazing painting created by God. Let yourself get lost in the majestic beauty. Spend quality time with those you love.
Allow God to refresh your soul as you reflect on His word and His goodness in your life. To learn more, go to insight.org slash events or call this number 1-888-447-0444. The tour to Alaska is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer urging you to join us again next time when Chuck Swindoll concludes his message titled Exposing the Dark Side here on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Exposing the Dark Side, was copyrighted in 1985, 1987, 2005, 2011, and 2022, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. The publication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-08 14:30:26 / 2023-02-08 14:39:21 / 9