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The Golden Chain

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
December 1, 2020 12:01 am

The Golden Chain

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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December 1, 2020 12:01 am

All those whom God has elected for redemption in Christ will be called, justified, and ultimately glorified. Today, Derek Thomas expounds on the tremendous hope and encouragement this gives to Christians in every stage of their lives.

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Today on Renewing Your Mind the fact that your Christian know-how is not to say well because I believed in Jesus. I made the decision that I can date the decision in Polish. If you said and say no. The reason you're a Christian is because God just done something though there are things that you do you do it in response to something that God does Romans calculate the apostle Paul lays out the order of salvation that he makes it incredibly clear that God is always in a sovereign plan to save his people today on Renewing Your Mind, looking her teaching fellow Dr. Derek Thomas takes a close look at what's known as the Golden chain of redemption and how it ensures salvation to those who are called them back to studies of Romans eight where calling it the best chapter in the Bible and in our previous study. The best verse in the Bible probably verse 28 and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose and having mentioned calling. He now expands on that in verse 29 in verse 30 for those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Some those whom he predestined he also called on those whom he called he also justified on those whom he justified he also glorified the good in verse 28. We know that for those who love God all things work together for good and in a previous study we said the good was our final glorification.

He intends us to come all the way home and to be in those mentions that Jesus said had been prepared for us. That's the goal. And that's the ultimate good that God has in store for us and he ensures in all things good things bad things evil things and things that we don't understand, he weaves and coordinates in his sovereignty to ensure that final outcome. But before we get there this year and before we were here this eternity in the past, and I'm so Paul, as it were up, pulls the camera out from the circumstances of difficulty and distress and the weakness in the futility of this world and is a door panels the camera I wrote in order to see that our salvation by the ultimate good that God has in store for us is actually something that begins in eternity and ends in eternity and the way in which he does that is that he intends to conform us some notice in verse 29 to conform us to the image of his son. So in answer to the question, what is thought ultimate goods that God has in store. One answer is to glorify us.

But what does that mean or perhaps what does that look like and the answer to that is to look like Jesus to be as holy as Jesus is holy, he intends to mold and shape us and he intends to mold and shape the circumstances in which we find ourselves, to conform us to the image of his son. What is sanctification Jesus likeness to be like Jesus. So there is a sense in which we could ask the question what would Jesus do in this circumstance so that circumstance and there is a sense in which that question can be the wrong question to ask, because Jesus was a unique person and he was the Messiah, and therefore what he would do would not necessarily be what we would do but in moral questions of what is right and wrong in questions with regards to the purposes of following God and yielding our wills to God's will and I think it is perfectly appropriate question to ask what would Jesus do in the circumstances. So God is going to make you and me like Jesus.

To the extent that were not like Jesus is the extent of the work that is still left to do some of us have a lot left to do, and we are still in the workshop, which is down here until we get to the showroom which is up here. Now this passage is famous because it introduces us to the idea of the order of salvation. What we sometimes call the ordo salute to us in Latin and there are five links of a chain that brought to the surface.

Let me explain where that image comes from William Perkins was a Puritan preacher, teacher, Prof. of systematic theology at Cambridge University. He was born in the middle of the 1500s and died in the first decade of the 1600s. Had you been a Puritan preacher in the late 1500s. You would've gone to Oxford or Cambridge in order to study on the Puritans were some of the best students and most educated ministers in the land and had you going to Cambridge. She would've got William Perkins and William Perkins was an astonishing man in the prodigious author even as I speak. His collected writings are being re-published.

They have had to be re-edited. The works were still in the Elizabethan English and had to be brought up to date under 10 volumes due to republished of the works of William Perkins's most famous works are a treatment of predestination, a statement about predestination and perhaps his most famous famous work was the Golden chain. And he based it on this passage. Romans 829 and 30 and especially verse 30 those whom he predestined he called on those whom he called he justified and those whom he justified he also glorified. So in verse 29 you have for knowledge and predestination and then calling and then justification and then glorification and there is a sequence to that there's a logical sequence to, but there's also to some extent a chronological sequence to it in the sense that calling comes before justification and not the other way around. I'm calling comes before glorification and not the other way around.

And so you've got five links of a chain, the Golden chain from foreknowledge to predestination to calling to justification to glorification when we today study the order suited to this, we had things that are not in here from the rest of the New Testament and that they be things like faith and repentance and adoption and sanctification both in its definitive un-progressive aspects and the perseverance of the saints and all of those are definable aspects of what our salvation means and what it looks like the shape of those we sometimes speak all of those aspects of the ordo salute this in terms of their relationship to one unifying theme union with Christ and sometimes I like to think of union with Christ as the hub of a wheel in which the spokes are foreknowledge, predestination, faith, repentance, justification and sanctification, perseverance, glorification, and so on and sometimes using more technical language we see union with Christ as the architectonic principle that unifies the totality of the shape of our salvation.

This dive into the text and try and unpack all of that dimensions. First of all, foreknowledge is swinging the camera back widening the shop a little. In the say the fact that you're a Christian now how is that what is the cause.

What is the reason that you're a Christian and you say well because I believed in Jesus. I made the decision that I can take that decision and so on and so forth and polish shaking his head and say no.

The reason you're a Christian is because God has done something because you are dead in trespasses and sins and and though there are things that you do you do it in response to something that God does three times the camera all the way out to me says back in eternity before there was you actually before there was anything before there was a world before their atoms and molecules and magnetic forces the prescribed God in three persons, father, son and Holy Spirit and God foreknew you so the Armenian comes in and says yes I understand foreknowledge God can see into the future and he can see you making a decision and that's what Paul is talking about piquant it is for sites and you can see that you make a decision and polish shaking his head and missing on amusing foreknowledge here in the way the Bible uses the word foreknowledge to knowing the Bible means to love Adam knew his wife, and they became one flesh. It's a word that is synonymous with with love. Genesis 19 speaks of God for knowing, loving Abraham before he was called Abraham and the idea here is that God set his affection upon you in eternity. He made a compact. He made a covenant with his son, but he would set his affection upon you. Having decreed that sin would enter into the world's. He also decreed salvation that he would send a Messiah that he would send a Savior to redeem his people and he decrees to elect and predestined some so the text goes on, whom he foreknew he also predestined and this is the great word this indented sphere in the Bible.

It's the election word is the preen destination would it's too set to your destiny beforehand. Preen destination before you were born before you could make a decision before you had a will will before you had in existence dawned issued a decree he planned. He purposed predestined.

He foreknew he set his love upon he set his affection upon and he set a course of action predestined and this is where our minions and Calvinists disagree that the Synod of Dorton, 15, 18, 15, 19, they discussed the fire of remonstrance is of the Arminian platform and one of the doctrines that they discussed.

Remember we sometimes use the acronym tulip total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace in the perseverance of the saints, and this is the you the unconditional election and our minions believed in free will at the some concept of free will that we were free to make any decision that we wanted to make, including decisions about salvation and the Calvinists said no. I will sell in bondage. One of the first books that Martin Luther wrote for example at the beginning of the Reformation in the 1520s was the bondage of the will and that we are dead in trespasses and in sins, and that that sin has affected every aspect of our being, including our wills including our ability to make decisions relating to salvation.

We come up choose the good that we ought to choose because there was a predisposition within us to choose that which is five things and evil. I sought the Lord, but afterward I knew he moved my soul to seek him seeking me it was not Ali that found no Savior true know I was found of the now, we all believe that on our minions believed this when you get on your knees send you talk to God than you think about your salvation and you say Lord, thank you that you save me. I know I made the decision.

Nine. And I know I I said, Lord Jesus, I want to I desire you with all of my heart that if you hadn't been there. It wouldn't have happened.

You moved me to do that because you and you think God for your salvation now and Arminian list from the menu was true and loyal to his or her convictions. They would say timeout Lord.

This is me this is all of my doing, I'm I'm just going to have a mean moment and I'm going to pat myself on the back and say that was a good decision. I was a very good decision was a best decision imaginable, but it was all of me now Lord where will we actually have never heard anyone say any such thing, but that would be a logical thing to do if you really think the salvation was entirely your decision.

Paul is saying if salvation is your decision, then it should be a work it would be something that you would be credited with. It would undermine justification by faith alone in Christ alone and that faith is a gift of God not of works lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 2.

Actually that's what the Calvinists said to the Arminians that they were just like Roman Catholics and accents who base their salvation on works on performance, not performing the ritual of the sacramental treadmill was Roman Catholics did, but worshiping at the shrine of the freedom of the human will and saying that salvation was entirely my decision and Calvinists said that makes faith.

The work that undermines justification by faith. He foreknew he predestined and comes into time and space and he says in the call he called theirs. In general, call and then there's an effectual call. Some of us have the skull many many times before we actually yielded to the call and we heard this call in reading the Bible or in sermons or in somebody witnessing tourists or attract or for something of that nature. Then there was the effectual call.

Paul is speaking of here. He writes to the Corinthian sent he calls them in the very opening verses of Corinthians.

He calls them the holy called once called to be holy, you could translate if the holy called once what is a Christian. A Christian is somebody who has heard a call and responded. We are the called once. Now we don't speak like that but that would be perfectly New Testament and Paul to say that I'm a Christian I'm a called one.

I've somebody who's received a call in the call was effectual was a call to faith. There was a call to surrender as a call to repent of my sins. It was a call to come to Jesus with empty hands and say nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling to call Saul.

Saul, why do you persecute me a call like that and you may not be conscious of that call in the sense that it wasn't a voice that you heard some of you experience that call in listening to a sermon some of your experience that call because after a long period of conviction like say John Bunyan and Pilgrim's progress eventually. That burden got so heavy that you fell on your knees and you cried, what must I do to be saved like the Philippian jailer and you heard the answer believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be safe and some of you can't remember that call at all because you have always been conscious of one who believes in Jesus from your earliest days.

And God called you when you were still a little child and perhaps you have no memory of it and I believe God can call even in the mother's womb. As I think John the Baptist was called to faith in his mother's womb those whom he foreknew he also predestined in verse 30 and those whom he predestined he called those whom he called, he also justified what is justification justification is a declaration by God that we are in the right relationship with him. It is a legal forensic verdict on behalf of God, the judge, but we are not guilty that our sins though they are red like crimson, not as white as snow. On the basis that Jesus was made sin for us, who knew no sin that we might be reckoned the righteousness of God in him. Justification is a declaration that we are just not just in ourselves, but just in Jesus Justin Christ because we where the spotless role of Christ's righteousness. We are justified wearing a right relationship with God, being justified by faith.

Romans 512 we have peace with God and then Paul jumps from justification you'd expect him to say those whom he justified he sanctified those whom he justified deep enabled to persevere, but instead he goes straight from justification to glorification because follow Paul's logic when you have justification through justification in the sentence you have everything because what is justification justification is the declaration that God will pronounce on the day of judgment brought in to the here and now it is the naughty act verdict brought into the here and now. So in Paul's logic once you are justified. There's nothing that can undo that. Now there's a process that you going to go through, and God is going to conform you to the image of his son is going to sanctify you is already told us in verses 12 and 13 that were to mortify the deeds of the flesh in order that we might live with to engage in a holy war against sin in the words of John Owen whereafter Tilson before he kills you where to kill sin or parts of the sin every single day where to put on where to put often better put on the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, and so on. More and more as we leave our way through this life. We are to be progressively sanctified, becoming more and more, actually holy, but in a forensic sense, in a legal sense, we are is holy is we can never be where is holy as Jesus is holy because the holiness that justifies this is the holiness of Jesus Christ and that holy is spotless and pure. So in the logic of Paul's thought.

Once you are justified truly justified.

You're going to be glorified and nothing can stop you and those whom he predestined he also called and those recalled he justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified from eternity to eternity in God is a hold of you and nothing in between.

Not life nor death, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. The door anything in all of creation, can separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.

So Paul is giving us a little cameo of how salvation works itself out in us, and it begins in eternity with foreknowledge and predestination, and it comes into space and time with calling justification and again soon eternity again, and glorification. God is at work.

This is all God foreknowledge, the predestination recalling the justification glorification was all things God does.

There are responses that we make faith, repentance, progressive sanctification, and so on. Salvation from beginning to end all of God. Praise the Lord for that. It is what glorious good news. Those who believe will be glorified. You're listening to Renewing Your Mind in a message from a series on Romans chapter 8 teacher is Dr. Derek Thomas and as you heard them say today, he considers this to be the greatest chapter in the Bible.

The apostle Paul explained salvation so completely and he gives believers every reason to have hope and assurance would like to send you this complete series you will receive 12 messages onto DVDs. When you give a gift of any amount to look in your ministries you can make a request online@renewingyourmind.org or you can call us with your gift at 800-435-4343 Dr. RC Sproul founded the Wegener Valley study center back in 1971 with the goal of proclaiming the fullness of God's holiness to as many people as possible were a ministry that has always had a laser focus on theology and this week Dr. Derek Thomas is helping us understand the theology of salvation and assurance to request this 12 part series when you call us at 800-435-4343 or web address again is Renewing Your Mind.org dent in advance, let me thank you for your generous gift tomorrow. The good news of Romans eight continues years of review. How is it possible for Jesus to have accomplished all that was necessary to save us on that that accomplishment not be applying as a possible Jesus has accomplished everything that is necessary for our salvation. It stands to reason, it will be applied and will be applying to the letter we as believers can have confidence in the saving work of Christ. We invite you to join us for the message titled, no expense spared next Wednesday. On Renewing Your Mind


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