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October 7, 2020 12:01 am
Scripture tells us that man fell in the garden of Eden. But how far did he fall? How deep does sin penetrate our souls? Today, R.C. Sproul considers the reality of our radical fallenness.
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To say that RC Sproul admired Martin Luther would be an understatement. Hello this is Lee web host of Renewing Your Mind.
RC loved Luther's passion for the biblical gospel and his courage to defend it. That's why I think he would thoroughly enjoy a new podcast religion are ministries coming October 10. It's called Luther in real time. Take a listen to this.
I think you want to subscribe to the 1015 20. The Jiminy man places a document in the hands of a monk by the name of Martin the most powerful person in the world has the Clinton effectively heretic Lisa has 60 days to recount the site communicate with folks doing time to sanity since take exactly 500 years after the events occurred. Join Martin Luther, week by week, in real time as his fight draws closer and closer for the second so I can save a Christian speak against you. I cannot find position for five times. I often wish that God, in real time. Newport cost polygamy ministries, the clock starts ticking on October 10 in John chapter 6, Jesus says something rather shocking.
No one has the ability to come to me ASAP. Now let me ask this question does man himself, according to Jesus, have the ability to come to Jason's know no one has the ability to come to Jesus square that with Jesus command to repent and believe Renewing Your Mind. I'm doing well. RC will address that question that in just a moment. As we continue airing his series chosen by God right now I'm joined by regular ministries, chief academic officer and the president of Reformation Bible College, Dr. Steven Nichols, Steve. I know you have a funny story related to RC's book chosen by God to share that with us. I do so I was thinking a friend of mine to meet RC and introduced them set up their time together and so my friend shakes his hand meets a man says Darcy.
You know the first time I met you I read you and was chosen by God and then he says in the first time I read that book I got so angry I threw it against the wall. Actually, RC · the first one to tell me that you nearly that actually points to what especially this lecture is about and we talk about man's radical fallenness were talking about a doctrine it's been held for centuries. Total depravity, but it's also a doctrine that it seems like in every age it's met with resistance if not outright rejection and what this reminds us of his were not.
And we need to see ourselves as fallen or we will never understand what Christ was doing on the cross and will never cry out for it unless we see a man thank you for that Steve. Let's join Dr. RC scroll from his series, chosen by God turn our attention. First of all to the six chapter of John's Gospel, where Jesus says in verse 65 and he was saying. For this reason I have said to you that no one can come to me unless it is given to him by the father. Let's look at that verse.
No one can come to me unless it is given to him by the father.
The first two words in this statement no one. Some translations raise no man, no person no one that statement if we apply the categories of logic to this and the laws of immediate inference, and so on. We say that this statement is what we call a universal negative that is to say it is all inclusive. What Jesus is saying is, without exception, there is no human being who can come to him unless it is given him the father.
So this is an absolute is a negative absolute wrapped understand that now the next word is also crucial to our understanding. It is the word can. No one can know the word can place the word is used here in the Greek text is less ambiguous than the word can is in our language because in our language. The word can is often mistaken for what other work may that's right, we've all been corrected. I remember when we were children going to school and we put our hands up and say teacher can I sharpen my pencil and she would always say, I'm sure you can and you also may and she would then take an opportunity to teach us that lesson that seems so difficult for us to learn of the difference between the word may which suggests permission and the word can. The word can has to do with ability.
So what this verse is saying is that to say that no man can is to say that no one has the ability to do something. If I say no one can run 30 miles an hour.
That means no one has the ability to run 30 miles an hour right now what is it that no one has the ability to do Jesus talking about her. No one has the ability to come to me a sense Melanie asked this question does man himself, according to Jesus, have the ability to come to Jason's know there's some men have the ability to come to Jesus and of themselves. Note no man can come to Jesus on glass now we see a clause that follows that we call an accepted clause unless introduces an exception unless points to what we call in philosophy, a necessary condition, but what is a necessary condition. A pre-requisite something that has to happen before something else can possibly happen is when a prerequisite is so Jesus is saying that there is unnecessary condition that must be met before anyone can come to him now.
What does he identify in this verse as the necessary condition for anyone to be able to come to him unless the father gives it to him or other translations unless it is granted by the father. Another translation raise unless the father enables him hello's words don't all mean the same thing. The grant means to get permission to give names to give a gift and to enable means to empower right so there is a certain ambiguity here about what that necessary condition is and there's another question that is still hanging out here and that is a necessary condition is provided not now nothing about coming to Jesus in any situation.
If a necessary condition is provided in a situation does a necessary condition, guarantee that the result you want will in fact take place now. That's why we make a distinction between necessary conditions and sufficient conditions.
A sufficient condition is a condition that if it is met, guarantees the result, it suffices. So all of this verse is teaching is in terms of man's natural ability, not of us has the ability, in and of ourselves to come to Christ. Unless God does something were still not sure exactly what it is that God does still not sure that if God does it, it will guarantee that people will, all we know is whatever it is that God does is a necessary condition. A prerequisite so all of this verse is teaching is that in terms of man's natural ability, not of us has the ability, in and of ourselves to come to Christ. Unless God does something were still not sure exactly what it is that God does and were still not sure that if God does it, it will guarantee that people will, all we know is that whatever it is that God does is a necessary condition. A prerequisite some of jump to another verse here in John six, where Jesus says, all whom the father give to me come to me and that suggests that everybody who gets this necessary condition, then indeed do, but that's not exactly how those two verses are related to each other as if were sharp enough to see the difference. Jesus says that all whom the father gives to me.
Come to me.
No one can come to me unless the father gives it to him. That almost sounds like that everybody that is given to him to come are those who are included in the ones of the father gives the son, but remember in the one case, the giving is to us in the other case, the giving is to Jesus so we can equate those two statements even though I believe they are in fact parallel, but linguistically we can't prove it. So were still left with this ambiguity as to what must happen.
What is the nature of this necessary condition will notice that Jesus here said that he already told him that, but he's indicating that this is a repetition. He says for this reason I have said to you, so he's not repeating himself.
So let's see if we can find the earlier statement that is either identical or close enough to probably be the statement that Jesus referring to what we look earlier in the chapter we have another universal negative in another statement about necessary conditions about man's moral ability, we find that in verse 44 no one can come to me that's unfamiliar.
No one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him now. It's not quite as ambiguous.
Here, the necessary condition that Jesus spells out is that the father draw somebody so can we say this categorically, without any fear of being contradicted that our Lord Jesus Christ taught that it is impossible for human thing to come to the Lord Jesus Christ, unless that person is drawn by the father. I want out at this point, but both those of Augustinian persuasion and semi pledge and persuasion agree that there is some kind of necessary condition that God must supply God must draw people, but there's still a debate in the debate is what does it mean that God draw us well if classical Arminian approach to this were semi pledge and approach to this is that nobody can come to Jesus unless the father entices him or woos him again that usually tied in the some notion of preventing grace or the influence of the Holy Spirit to woo and to entice in the word draw here is interpreted to mean to woo or to attract justice honey draws bees and lights draw moths, but the idea is that the drawing that God does is still resistible and those who respond to the enticement. Those who respond to being wooed are then redeemed. According to Arminianism and those who do not respond to being drawn are subsequently lost Augustinian interpretation of the verse is that the word to draw means more than simply to entice or to woo. Now let's see how this Greek word is used elsewhere in the New Testament if we would turn our Bibles here to James chapter 2 verse six we will find the same Greek word used in the New Testament. Also read the verse, but you have dishonored the poor man.
Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court and ask you to guess which word is used in this verse that is exactly the same Greek word that is translated by the word draw in John six anybody have a guess. Dried malice to supply these semi pledging interpretation, but you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally will you into court. Let's look at another one must look at acts chapter 16 verse 19 which I will rate when her master saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities.
Can you guess again which word in this text is the same Greek word again. It's the word dried again substitute, entice or woo, they seized Paul and Silas and wooed them into the marketplace before the authorities. This text clearly indicates an act of force in dragging Paul and Silas in to the marketplace that would make you wonder why it is that the translators use the word draw, rather than the word drag. I can only guess and I'll try to guess in a moment but first let me just go further whenever we have doubt as to the precise meaning of a word in the Scriptures. The first thing we do is we go to the Greek then after we go to the Greek were still dependent upon the science of linguistics and lexicography in order to have an understanding of the meaning of that term. At the time it was used in the writing of the documents. I think it's safe to say that in the academic world.
The most highly respected linguistic and lexicographic resource that the churches ever had for the meeting of Greek words is skittles theological dictionary of the New Testament and kindles theological dictionary of the New Testament the word that is being translated draw here in this text is defined by Kittle as meaning to compel by irresistible superiority.
I might add that the framers of the dictionary were anything Calvinistic but they recognize that the classical that is the meaning in the Greek language of this verb is to compel the force of this verse is the force of divine compulsion, and if that is true, then I would say that verse in that verse alone is sufficient to end the debate forever with respect to man's ability or lack of it to incline himself to choose Jesus Christ because Jesus himself says that no man can do it unless the father compels him to do it and that is pure Augustinian-ism only stated much earlier than St. Augustine. But if that isn't sufficient with respect to man's ability. Let's look earlier in chapter 3 of John's Gospel, where John describes the encounter that Jesus has with the Pharisee theologian Nicodemus, which he says in verse three Jesus answered and said him, truly, truly, I say to you, unless what does that word indicate what's coming. A necessary condition and lasts one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God by what has to happen. According to Jesus, before a person can see the kingdom of God. He has to be born again.
So regeneration precedes seeing the kingdom of God is that a legitimate interpretation of this passage is that nobody can see it all, unless they are first what born again regenerate goes on to say Nicodemus's puzzle.
How can a man be born when he is old he can enter second time in his mother's room. Born Kami Jesus said, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. So regeneration is a prerequisite for entering and seeing the kingdom of God. Semi Palladian's have people choosing Christ before they are regenerate semi Palladian's have people in their human nature cooperating with Providian price responding to this ruling and enticing and attracting of God the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is not yet in them having regenerated them so the bottom line is the Arminian position has people who are not yet born again.
Seeing and choosing the king of the kingdom of God boggles the mind doesn't. That's why the axiom Augustinian theology is this regeneration precedes faith regeneration the same as a necessary condition for faith, even as Paul elsewhere teaches us in Ephesians 2, when he says that while we were dead in sin and trespasses. God has quickened us. That is, made us alive in Christ. Okay when we were dead and then tells us that, therefore, it is by grace you are saved through faith and that is not of yourselves but is the gift of God.
So we see faith is the gift of God. That is the result of the Spirit's work of regeneration within us that God himself supplies the necessary condition to come to Jesus. That's why it is so law Grazie by grace alone that we are saved now. Jesus says that which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Do not marvel that I said to you that you must be born again to say why should this surprise you, your theologian, Nicodemus don't you understand the fundamental point of man's fallen nature that that which is born of the flesh is flesh elsewhere tells us that the flesh profits. What nothing but if we believe that God entices us to Christ, and all we have to do in the flesh prior to our regeneration is cooperate or assent to that, if we can in fact cooperate, and ascend to premeeting grace to the end that we enter into the kingdom of God and are redeemed forever and were doing that well were still in the flesh.
Then I ask you, what would the flesh profit, not just something everything your eternal salvation. Call speaks about this himself.
In chapter 8 verse seven of the book of Romans started first five for those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those are according to the spirit, the things of the spirit.
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile towards God, for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do it now.
Here the apostle tells us something about man's moral inability in the flesh. He says that man in his fallen state in the flesh is hostile to the law of God, and he does not obey the law of God, he is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed what can eBay so that fallen man. The apostle is saying here is he not cannot obey the law of God and those who are in the flesh cannot please God, I might add to that if God only wound us to Christ and left it to us to make the final decision. I can't think of anything that would please God more than that we would respond positively to that enticement to that willing apostle here tells us that in the flesh. There's nothing man can do to please God, but now here's is the crush crushing point verse nine. However, you are not in the flesh but in the spirit. How we know somebody's in the flesh or in the spirit you are not in the flesh but in the spirit. The next word is crucial.
What does if indicate a necessary condition. Indeed, the spirit of God dwells in you. Now how many regenerate people have the spirit of God dwelling in them.
All of the okay so if you are regenerate, then you are no longer in the flesh. If you are in the flesh, you are not regenerate secular so when he speaks about those in the flesh is speaking of unregenerate people and it's unregenerate people who cannot please God, who cannot obey God, who cannot be subject to God who experienced this dreadful situation of moral inability about which we have been speaking, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
But if anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him figures on the say. However, if anyone does have the spirit of Christ, then he does belong to Christ, so that the crucial prerequisites for salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit. That is the necessary condition. The prerequisite for faith to be present. That's why we insist that the first step of our justification, that which quickens us from spiritual death and makes us enables us to come to Jesus at all is the gracious work of God the Holy Spirit and is never the fruit of RC carefully explaining a doctrine that is found in the Bible the word predestination is in the Bible, but the concept of God's election permeates Scripture would like to send you this full series 6 messages onto DVDs for your donation of any amount to look at your ministries. You can reach us by phone at 800-435-4343 but you can also give your gift online at Renewing Your Mind God work.
Our number again is 800-435-4343 our web address is Renewing Your Mind.org and as always, let me tell you how much we appreciate your financial gifts tomorrow. RC addresses a question that inevitably raises eyebrows when it comes to the doctrine of election.
Does God create unbelief.
We hope you'll join us Thursday for Renewing Your Mind