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Acts & the Apostle Peter

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
November 18, 2020 12:01 am

Acts & the Apostle Peter

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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November 18, 2020 12:01 am

When the Apostle Peter preached evangelistic sermons, he did not hold back the doctrines of grace. Today, Steven Lawson considers how the sovereign grace of God permeates Peter's teaching.

Get the ‘Foundations of Grace: New Testament' DVD Series with Steven J. Lawson for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/1480/foundations-of-grace-new-testament

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Today plug Renewing Your Mind, forgiveness of sin is obviously a gift, is it not mean we weed it will provide our own forgiveness of sin. God must give to us forgiveness of sin right so also is repentance is a package deal. However, it is we come to have saving faith is exactly how it is that we have come to have repentance more trip to Jesus commands us to repent and believe those were we told that God rinses so who does sinners make the choice themselves recent the work of God today on Renewing Your Mind when you are teaching fellow, Dr. Steven Morse examines the book of acts to discover who's in charge of salvation during the earthly ministry of Jesus. He said a disciple after he's been fully trained will be exactly like his teacher. So what the teacher teaches the student learns and then teaches others in the great commission Jesus said that you are to teach them all things that I have commanded you. When Peter stands up on the day of Pentecost to preach and as he finds himself in subsequent settings. He is an echo chamber of what Jesus taught and preached and we are not surprised that when Peter opens his mouth.

What comes out are the doctrines of grace. He has been well taught by the master, the Lord Jesus Christ and he now is a preacher in the mold of Jesus Christ. And I also want you to note, as we will be looking at this, that, as Peter preaches in this evangelistic setting to unbelievers. He does not hold back the doctrines of grace. Becky put the trumpet to his lips and and sends out a loud clarion message on the sovereignty of God in salvation even to unbelievers. How powerful is the message of these doctrines of grace and they are able not only to edify believers and make us strong, but they are able to convert lost sinners as well. As we look at Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost in acts chapter 2 of the greatest sermon. I think in the history of the church in acts chapter 2 in verse 23 Peter says this man referring to Jesus delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God that that's that strong medicine when he says the predetermined plan that speaks to the eternal decree of God. The word predetermined is a Greek word Lorenzo. You can hear the word horizon on it and the idea is the destination is out there on the horizon and God has already marked out the horizon. God is already marked out the destination of the journey long before we arrive at the destination.

That's what the word predetermined means and means to to mark out on the horizon before you even arrive in in the word plan.

Goulet is a Greek word which means God's eternal purpose God's volitional sovereign will. In any speaks of the foreknowledge of God, which is God's for ordination and God's prearrangement of the future that includes his electing love of those whom he has chosen us pretty good way to start the sermon after having quoted Joel chapter 228 to verse 32. Well, he has much to say about the doctrines of grace and you'll note in verses 22 and 23 right here.

Specifically, verse 23 he he says you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men not good men godless men and they are representative.

In reality, of every unconverted person word godless here means lawless wicked, and this is his teaching on total depravity. In chapter 3 and in verse 14 and 15 as he preaches after healing the lame man he he he says to the crowd that gathered all around him, but you disowned the holy and righteous ones were disowned means to denied to reject and put to death the Prince of life that crowd that day is like any crowd anywhere that is unconverted. They disown and reject and deny the Lord Jesus Christ. That's what unbelief is.

It is a stiff farm against the Lord Jesus Christ.

In acts chapter 15 in verse seven, Peter appears that the Jerusalem Council that was pretty much headed by James. But Peter speaks hazes brother and you know that in the early days, God made a choice among you in this word choice means to pick out to select out of many possibilities. He acknowledges God's right as the potter to choose and to make out of the common lump of clay one vessel to be a vessel of mercy. He would come back to his sermon on the day of Pentecost.

I want to pick up his teaching on irresistible grace and on on taking it back and forth to some verses here in acts two in verse 39.

Again, he's preaching to thousands of unbelievers who next to verse 39. He says the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off Benny's both Jews and Gentiles your children refers to subsequent Jewish generations and for all who are far off far off referred to Gentiles as many as the Lord our God will call to himself again this very strong notice. The call is to himself as not to a program is not to a building.

It's not too even just a mere plan is to the person of Jesus Christ that that's what saving faith is it is committing your life to the person of Christ. But notice he says as many as the Lord our God will call to himself. This is the sovereign call of God is the effectual call, and it is far more than an invitation. It is a call that secures the result that is intended is a call that lays hold of the lapel of the one called and pulls them in draws them to faith in Jesus Christ. It is up powerful call. Also, I want you to note in the next chapter acts chapter 3 in verse 16.

This is a verse it would be very easy to Passover. I want to draw to your attention. Peter is preaching again in the temple area having healed the lame man and a and a crowd gathers all around a crowd of unbelievers and Peter goes into his gospel preaching mode and calls upon the people there to put their faith in Jesus Christ, but he will also speak to the means by which this faith will come to them. Notice verse 16 and on the basis of faith in his name faith.

Here is the commitment and the entrustment of their life to Jesus Christ and is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know and the faith that was this the faith which comes through him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all see Peter was a Southerner so what this verse teaches us is all faith in Christ is faith that has come from Christ all faith in Christ is a faith that has come through Christ to the sinner giving to them the gift of faith that they use to believe in Jesus Christ.

I mean, this is Romans 1136.

All things are from him, threw him into him. So is saving faith from him, through him, to him the gift of God. God must grant the gift of saving faith before anyone can believe in Jesus Christ.

That's why there is the bondage of the will, until God grants this saving faith that is a very important verse not come to acts five verse 31 acts five verse 31 and here is yet another important text in which we see the gift of repentance must be also granted to the center before they can repent. So, in acts five verse 31. He referring to Jesus Christ as the one whom God exalted to his right hand as a prince and a Savior to grant repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sin. But let's take these in reverse order, forgiveness of sin is obviously a gift, is it not I mean we we will provide our own forgiveness of sin. God must give to us forgiveness of sin right that's indisputable will then list back into the verse, so also is repented to the package deal. However, it is we come to have saving faith is exactly how it is that we have come to have repentance saving faith must be given as a gift.

Forgiveness of sin must be given as a gift so must repentance be given as a gift. Repentance is the other side of saving faith, all saving faith has repentance, faith is the turning to Christ. Repentance is the turning away from sin. It's a package deal is the heads and tails of the same coin. When you turn to Christ, you are automatically turning away from a life pursuit of sin as you turn to now follow Christ. You turn away from following sin and the world and so repentance must also be granted just as faith is also granted.

So what we learn from this. Here again is another aspect of the sovereignty of God in salvation. No one believes on the rent first Corinthians 12 verse three says no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit and no one can repent on their own. God must give it in granite, which he does to all his elect was coming out of the book of first Peter because we been talking about Peter in the opening chapters of the book of acts was stay with Peter were time at this long line of godly men and we began with the Lord Jesus, who we now want to focus on the lead apostle that the chief speaker in the early years of the church who was Peter. And while were talking about Peter in the book of acts. Let's not talk about Peter in his epistles, and must start with first Peter chapter 2 and verses nine and 10 and we want to begin with total depravity, radical corruption and notice what he says this is Peter writing and remember he had a very good disciple or the very best disciple or the Lord Jesus Christ for three years he he sat under the teaching of sovereign grace. So as he picked up a pen to write this letter. Guess what comes flowing out of that pin pure unvarnished sovereign grace and so he says, first Peter two verse nine God called you out of darkness.

Darkness. Darkness here has a twofold meaning it conveys spiritual ignorance and it conveys spiritual depravity and the two go hand-in-hand together when you're in the dark. He just can't see. You can't know what's in the dark and also darkness pictures impurity and a world of sin, and that's where even the elect were before they were called you were in darkness and that's where you were before God called you by name. Even if you grew up in the church you were in darkness until that day when he is the good Shepherd called you by name and called you to himself, and the spirit of God drew you to him self, but where he found you and where you were was in darkness and notice the next verse he says for your wants, not a people. That means your unconverted you are unregenerate you are not a part of the people of God, you, having been in a church that you were one of the people of God. Yet until he calls you and then you become the people of God. So he says. For once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. You had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy tax conversion that's coming to faith in Jesus Christ. That's coming out of the darkness and being drawn into the light and be drawn in the light is to enter into the knowledge of God and into holiness and purity of life while you're in chapter 2. Look at verse 25. First Peter two verse 25 and in here you have total depravity.

He writes for you were when he says usually talk about all the believers. This is your past and this wasn't restricted just to believers in the first century.

This refers to you.

This refers to me before we were called by name into the kingdom of God is that you are continually straying like she you you you had gone astray.

You were going astray. You are always going astray. You are wandering away from God not coming to God wandering away from God and he is a good Shepherd had to leave the 99 and go out in the night and to look for you and to look for me and to bring us into his sheepfold. Look, if you will, and first Peter four verses three and four and this is a laundry list that is just total depravity on steroids that this is total depravity in the full spectrum of the seven colors of the rainbow. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles.

Having pursued a course of sensuality, loss, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries in all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them in the same access dissipation, and they malign you, yet you once hung out with these people you once ran with these people you once partied with these people.

He wants were absorbed into this lifestyle before God called you out and as he describes what their lives once were disses where they once lived in sensuality and that word means unbridled, unrestrained vice of all sorts. He had no self-control you.

You are like you had like animal instincts just going after whatever it was in your flesh, and in the lusts of your heart. In fact, the next word is lost, which are sinful passions that drives people in the sinful indulgences is what lost is in an drunkenness that that's just habitual intoxication just basically living in the state and then carousing is the result of the drunkenness which is just wild parties and orgies, and then abominable idolatries which is worshiping false gods and then he says excesses in the plural, which your translation may have flooding and the idea is overflowing dissipation and dissipation is a state of mind so carnal, so thinking about evil that you are continually feeding your flesh and indulging your sinful passion is not a pretty picture and that's one reason we know the Bible is inspired by God because man would be talking about himself. This way, this is God's diagnosis of what was once wrong with your life and finally they malign you mean defame and slandering that this is total depravity.

My friend and this is where you once were and where I once was. Before we came to Christ, just different shades and in different living. This out one of the sovereign election will come back to chapter 1 verse one. So come back to the beginning of first Peter and and what I love about this is Peter doesn't hide this truth because he'd been sitting under the preaching of the Lord Jesus, and he saw Jesus preaching this even of the Pharisees and and just putting it out there and so is Peter picks up tenant and writes to the churches scattered abroad in Pontius, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia first thing out of his pin who are chosen. I mean, that's like the taproot and everything is growing out of this sovereign election. Every blessing coming out of being chosen by God and his word chosen to collect us. You can hear all election even in that act like toss the prefix act out of your chosen account of a world of sinners until he begins the book and then look at the next verse, verse two, according to the foreknowledge of God the father. According to those whom God previously loved with distinguishing loved Jacob I loved Esau I hated. It's a predetermined relationship foreknowledge and then in chapter 2 and verse nine but you are a chosen race started the church you not talking is really talking to the church here. Those who are believers who are living stones in the temple of God who are in alignment with the chief cornerstone, the Lord Jesus Christ your chosen race and this race has a dignity your royal priesthood. It has purity you're a holy nation, you're under new management and under new ownership. You're a people for God's own possession so to be chosen by God is to be a part of a royal priesthood.

It's humbling yet exulting and it marks you now put you on a new path. You know how you can know the elect are. One way is by their new lifestyle there holy nation them and set apart to God but they are now pursuing holiness from the heart and godliness and then you are a people for God's own possession. How wonderful how glorious it is to be chosen by God, we would have never chosen Christ, had he not first chosen us. We were continually going astray. We were in darkness and couldn't see and couldn't find a way to God, so God had to come to us and God first began to come to us in eternity past before the foundation of the world. He marked out our horizon. He marked us out to be his own possession and he chose us by himself and for himself and it was according to his foreknowledge.

It was motivated by his love as he chose to set his heart upon us with distinguishing love again is not a stoic sovereign just making computerlike moves in heaven with heart blazing with love for you and me as his elect said his heart upon us. Then within time he would send his son to die for us us in the spirit himself next time. God's plan of salvation is based on love for his people and he ensures the celebration of his elect listing to Renewing Your Mind on this Wednesday by Bui Webb, thank you for being with us over the next couple of days that we are pleased to feature a portion of Dr. Steven Lawson series, foundations of grace in the New Testament, there are 24 messages in the series in it. Dr. Lawson shows us that God's sovereignty and salvation is a theme that runs through the entire Bible. This is one of the issues that is caused a great deal of controversy in the church. We think it's important to understand the biblical roots of the doctrine series is a helpful place to begin your own study and you can request a three DVD set today with a donation of any amount to leader ministries. You can reach us by phone at 800-435-4343 or you can go online to Renewing Your Mind.work.

I think having a biblical view of God's sovereignty doesn't just change your understanding of salvation, it changes our understanding of virtually everything, if you want to further your reading of these doctrines, let me recommend leader ministries monthly Bible study magazine table talk every issue contains articles by trusted pastors and theologians plus daily guided Bible studies are offering a free three month trial subscription table talk.

If you've never subscribed before.

Why don't more try table talk.com will help you be with us tomorrow as we continue Dr. Lawson series and the foundations of grace in the New Testament will be addressing this question. Did the apostle Peter teach that Christ died only for the elect.

The doctrine of limited atonement tomorrow to Renewing Your Mind


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