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Grace in Providence

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

Grace in Providence

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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April 18, 2020 12:01 am

God's electing love for us in eternity meets us in the providence of history. Today, Steven Lawson continues his study of the Lord's sovereign grace in Romans to hone in on the doctrines of irresistible grace and the perseverance of the saints.

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Today on Renewing Your Mind that you may know someone who wants committed their life to Christ and our supposedly committed their life to Christ prayed a prayer joined the church and then we never see them again and someone would so I will say they lost their salvation is one of the arguments used against the doctrine known as perseverance of the slaves were preservation of the same, the Bible, however, teaches the true believers cannot lose their salvation and today Dr. Steven Lawson turns to the book of Romans to show how the apostle Paul provides an unmoving foundation assurance. In this session we want to continue to look at the doctrines of grace in the book of Romans and as we began to dig into some verses by way of introduction, I want to remind us that the book of Romans is the first epistle placed into the canon of Scripture. It was not the first epistle in the New Testament to be written but it is intentionally placed here, because arguably it is the most important. This was Paul's magnum opus.

This was his theological masterpiece. If we are to master any epistle in the New Testament it has to be the book of Romans.

This is where Paul lays out his theological foundation for our understanding of how salvation works now. We've already looked at total depravity and sovereign election and definite atonement.

In this session I want us to look now at the effectual call the sovereign call of God and the preserving grace of God as you have your Bible turn with me to Romans one, Romans one and verse six. At the very outset of this book. Paul introduces us to the call of God. In fact, he identifies all true believers as those who are called, in fact that's what the word church means the called out one checklist see and so here in Romans one in the prologue.

Paul began talking in verse one about the gospel of God centered in his son, verses three and five and now as we come to verse six we we learn that God guarantees the success of all gospel preaching that God guarantees the success of the fulfillment of the great commission that has the gospel is proclaimed, God will call out his chosen ones to faith in Jesus Christ. And so in verse six we read, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ and this call here refers to God's internal call by which he apprehends the one who is called and draws them to faith in Jesus Christ as this call overcomes the resistance of the center. We all, like sheep have gone astray, each one of us is turned to his own way. There is none who seeks after God, no, not one is that when the gospel is preached, the person who is that Christ continues to run away from Christ. And so God must call and apprehend now when I preach the gospel that's referred to as the external call, but I can only bring the gospel to your ear. There must be the internal call of God that goes from the ear to the heart and really lays hold of the center and draws them to faith in Christ that this call is in reality a son is even stronger than that it's a subpoena by which God apprehends the one called.

He overcomes the resistance and they become trophies of his grace. This call will never go unanswered. This call will never be resisted and if you come to Romans chapter 8 and of text that we looked at in our last session versus 29 and 30.

This text, with which you are so familiar. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to become conformed to the image of his son so that he would be the firstborn among many brethren. Verse 30 and these whom he predestined, here we are. He also called in these whom he called, he also justified and then he will say he also glorified the group that God began with an eternity past is the group that God concludes with an eternity future.

There are no dropouts along the way. There are no additions along the way and the first to take place in eternity past those whom he foreknew and predestined the next to take place within time.

The last 1 Takes Pl. in eternity future. Those are glorified well within time he calls and he justifies and it is the call of God that brings into reality in the life of the one who was chosen in eternity past, it brings into reality the salvation that Christ has purchased for them upon the cross. This call is so loud it it's not an actual voice that we hear it's much louder than that. It is the power of God that brings the one who is chosen into the kingdom of God. This is God's doing. He will say more about this in Romans chapter 9, which we looked at last time, but to bring this to your attention again II want you to know how inseparably bound together God's sovereign choice and his effectual call are coupled together in Romans nine verse 11 we read, for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to his choice would stand, not because of works but because of him who calls all who are chosen are called and when they are called they come none who are chosen will fail to be called by God to himself. Idiots. It's the inseparable welding together of these different links and God's golden chain of salvation. In fact, we see the same again in verse 23 and 24 of Romans nine and he did so to make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which she prepared beforehand for glory. Even us, whom he also called Natalie from among Jews only, but from among Gentiles here in this chapter that is all about God's sovereign election. We read in verse 24 that he also calls those who are chosen as this is wonderful this this is the binding together of God's sovereign purposes they cannot fail, they cannot falter and they cannot fail to come to pass, we say it again all him. He chosen eternity past, will be called within time that we were all chosen at one moment in eternity past, we are called at individual times according to God's providence in our life. Some of you were called many years ago. Some of you have been called very recently, some of you were called in church. Some of you were called at home. Some of you were called at a conference or at a camp that the timing will change the place will change, but it is the inevitable bringing home to our hearts, the gospel of Christ and the granting of saving repentance and faith to believe in this gospel. Well, that is his effectual call. Now, we would ask the question will those who are called and come into the kingdom will they always stay in the kingdom will any exit the kingdom who have entered the kingdom and the answer to that is no that God will preserve by his grace, all whom he calls and they are just as certain. For heaven the moment they believe, as though they have already been there 10,000 years some and have you look one more time. In Romans eight verse 29 and 30. I'm sure you already have it memorized it for sure you'll have it memorized. Now this is as wonderful as it can be for us to study this so those whom he foreknew and predestined that was in eternity past, verse 29. He also called and justified. That is within time. These he also glorified. That is an eternity future now. Would you please note the verb tense for glorified. It doesn't say will be glorified.

It's actually an heiress tense verb that is translated as a past tense verb and this is very intentional on the part of the apostle Paul and it indicates that this is so certain. Our future glorification. It is as though it is already come to pass that he it is as though the reality has already transpired in our lives and Ephesians does tell us were already seated with Christ in heavenly places. This is the truth of the eternal security of the believer as some people call it once saved always saved once called always called and always kept by the Lord and the perseverance of the Saints goes even further, that not only are we eternally secure in Christ. But the one who is called will pursue holiness and there will be a change in their life and they will bear the fruit of repentance, and they will grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ they will persevere in the faith. This is such a wonderful truth we see it again as long as were here in Romans 810.

Why leave Romans eight this is a wonderful place to be.

Beginning in verse 35 Paul reinforces what he has just told us he said, who will separate us from the love of Christ and be separated from the love of Christ is in reality to be separated from Christ himself, so can a believer ever be separated from Christ can gain a believer ever become an unbeliever can a believer ever fall away from their confession of Christ and the answer is no. Now you may know someone who wants committed their life to Christ and our supposedly committed their life to Christ prayed a prayer joined the church and then we never see them again and someone would say will see they lost their salvation. They were never saved to begin with the faith that fizzles before the finish at a flaw from the first. Okay that was that was a bogus faith that they had. It was in a genuine, real saving faith that God gives to those whom he calls will herein in verse 35 we see the impossibility of any believer ever being separated from Christ are being separated from the love of Christ.

So he asked this question who will separate us from the love of Christ will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword and is he pulls together that list. He tries to think of every force that could be brought to bear upon a human soul that would cause that faith to crack and to disintegrate persecution, famine, sword being led to a martyrs stake so he says in verse 36 just as it is written, for your sake we are being put to death all day long. We were considered a sheep to be slaughtered, so he reinforces the possibility even the probability that we will suffer much affliction in this world.

I'm appalled does say all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. There is a promise to put on your refrigerator. We we will be persecuted in this world. Will it ever separate us from Christ will notice what he says in verse 37, but in all these things we in the way, refers to all believers in refers to all who were foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified. We over Wyoming will he conquer not just that we conquer, but that we are given all sufficient grace that sustains us in those moments when we are our medalist put into the fire.

We overwhelmingly conquer through him, not through us through him who loved us. It is also worth noting that there's only one verse in the Bible and the New Testament versus Jesus loves us right now. It's always in the past tense. Looking back to the cross as the greatest demonstration of Christ's love for us in here we see that again.

So now verse 38 for I am convinced and you and I need to be convinced of this as well.

This needs to be an anchor for our soul that we were not just dogmatic about this wearable dogmatic about this. Okay, for I am convinced that neither death nor life that pretty much covers the for neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities that refers to not just the visible world which we live. That refers to the invisible world of angels and demons for things present, nor things to come. That pretty much covers the field doesn't, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, and that last little addition there any other created thing, that's just open-ended. Anything else I could come into your mind anything else that you could think of. This is an all inclusive comprehensive statement of any pressure any force that would be brought to bear against your soul and your life.

Could it ever cry you loose out of the hand of the Lord Jesus Christ. Well here's the answer or any other thing will it be able to separate us from the love of God, the answer is no. It will never separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is how eternally secure that we are in the Lord Jesus Christ. Though our body is here on the earth. In reality, our future home in heaven that is awaiting us.

It is guaranteed that we will arrives there one day. So this is the eternal security that we have and he turned back to Romans five. I just happen to think of of this verse.

Romans five in verses one into we see again something of our eternal security that we have in Christ.

In verse one of Romans five.

Therefore, having been justified by faith. Remember, we read that in Romans eight verse 30 those whom he called he justified, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and this is what justification does.

We were previously at war with God. We read in and see with God about today. What's even worse, God was at war with us.

God is angry with the wicked every day.

The Bible says, but through the active justification we now have peace with God. We now are friends of God. We are sons and daughters of God. We are now accepted in the beloved. So for how long will we be in this state of being at peace with God will verse two will tell us, through whom that refers to Jesus Christ. Also we have obtained our introduction by faith, your translation may say access into this grace in this grace refers to the fullness of every aspect of his saving grace. Notice what he says in which we stand. Who here made to stand in grace and we will never fall from grace and we will never be removed from this grace we are made to stand in this grace and it is in this grace that forever we will stand and he says we exult in the hope of the glory of God. The word hope here means a certain expectation of the future is not how we so often use the word hope, we say.

I hope it doesn't rain this afternoon. I hope I get what I want on my birthday admit it. It's it's a speculative word that's not how the Bible uses the word hope when the Bible uses the word hope it speaks of a certainty about the future. A present expectation that we have that something in the future will come to pass. That's why the second coming of Christ is referred to as the blessed hope will hear this, says that we have a certain expectation of the future of something and what is that the hope of the glory of God, that one day we will stand face-to-face in the very presence of God we will bow hold his glory. We will we will see Christ as he is and we will be glorified as Romans 830 says listen this is our hope. This is our sure certain expectation of the future and what a glorious thing it is to know that nothing can cause this to fail to come to pass them could continue to look just for a second and in in verse three. Not only this, but we also exult in and Paul now brings to bear. Tribulations will tribulations cause this future glory to not come to pass will was read. We exult in our tribulations. So how can we rejoice in our tribulations that James once this is considered all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials will yet to know something and note the next word knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance when we go through times of tribulation. It builds up our spiritual muscles.

It brings about an endurance and steadfastness in our faith, we would be weak in our faith without the tribulation and then he says and then perseverance verse four proven character, God is using the tribulation to grow us in Christ likeness and develop proven character and notice the outcome of proven character, hope were back where we started. Nothing can shatter the hope that we have in the future of our standing faultless in the very presence of of God in heaven because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. We are held in the grip of his grace and he will never let us go is not a matter of me holding on to him. It's a matter him holding onto me, as Spurgeon said Noah fell down many times in the ark that he never once fell out of the ark, and you and I will fall down in the Christian life. Many times, but will never fall out of the Christian life will never fall away from the Christian life, because the Lord is the one who holds us in the grip of his hand and this speaks again of the preserving grace that Paul wants us to know about. You are just as certain or have in this moment as though you've already been there 10,000 years.

If you're in Jesus Christ right now it's a comforting doctrine. Those who are truly in Christ will never fall away. Maybe this is new to you or your raise the tradition that rejects this doctrine. Dr. RC Sproul provided a helpful perspective when he said that too many people assume eternal security means that we are saved merely by professing faith in Jesus. Even if we later fall into unrepentant sin. Yet this assumption he said denies the inseparable link between loving Jesus and obeying him. Those who are genuinely saved are also genuinely changed her message today was from Lloyd in her teaching fellow Dr. Steven Lawson, by the way, was one of Dr. Sproles students and a Dr. of Ministry program many years ago. Each Saturday we returned to Dr. Lawson series, foundations of grace and 24 messages. He takes us through the New Testament showing the clear message of God's sovereignty and salvation will send you this three DVD set with our thanks when you give a donation of any amount to what inner ministries are web addresses Renewing Your or you can call us with your gift at 800-435-4343 applicator ministries. We believe that a growing believer is a morning believer. It's only as we dig deep into God's word that we will see progress in our walk with Christ. That's why recommend that you download the free link in your app at home or on the go. You will have immediate access to thousands of discipleship resources from Dr. Sproles, beleaguered teaching fellows and other gifted Bible teachers. You might think of it is carried to a theological library with you at no cost. So search for Liggett here in your app store will next week. Dr. Lawson will take us to first Corinthians, to continue his series on the doctrines of grace will see in that Paul continues to lay out a clear case for God somebody and salvation. We hope you'll join us next Saturday for Renewing Your Mind

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