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Ask Ligonier

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
March 13, 2020 12:01 am

Ask Ligonier

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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March 13, 2020 12:01 am

Over the years, R.C. Sproul answered countless questions from growing Christians. That legacy lives on through Ask Ligonier. Today, Nathan W. Bingham joins us in the studio to highlight questions recently answered by guest teachers and to explain how you can get answers to your own biblical and theological questions.

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You mind putting them into something a little different. I'm pleased to be enjoying here in the studio by our resident Australian Nathan W. Bingham reserves will get your ministries as our director of communications link evocative program thankfully is good to be here like what you are. Listeners know about a resource which has generated a great deal of interest and interaction with regular students around the world is ask willy-nilly and make them for those who may not be familiar with it, that would you explain what it is and how it works well as… Probably not looking at ministries is approaching our 50th anniversary and if we go back 50 years ago, one of the things that made legionnaire so distinct was selling the doctors produce to cold gabfest's and some people would gather there the leak in your Valley study center and you know, no question was off the table and and Dr. Spruill would answer them. I was reading one account recently and it's it was a full house and people were lining up outside just to listen in on these gabfest's seductress Pro was thrilled in 2017 as he sold the team preparing to launch as she sadly asked.

We can hear a biblical and theological chat service to the people could in real time chat to a well-trained team member and get answers to the questions that I had and that's available 24 hours a day differently 24 hours a day six days a week. We pull together all of Dr. Sproles answers from his conferences and panel discussions of live events as well as answers from other teachers that have been with the ministry center chatting in real time with agents positioned across the country and around the world are we receiving these questions via live chat, social media, email, Facebook and places like that. So as we approach this 50th anniversary of leader ministries.

I'm struck by the fact that the more things change the more they remain the same.

That's right it's it's part of the DNA legionnaire has always been that place where people knew they could go to find trusted answers to the most important questions no you talk about this team of well-trained agents throughout the United States and around the world, but you also bring in special guest from time to time that's rightly witnessing such encouraging feedback from the slick in your chat service that we decided on occasion we would bring in a special guest teacher bring them into the studio for them into the hot seat as it where and have them answer these questions live on camera and stream and around the world for thousands of people to watch and as I as I think about those. Eventually I really have the easy job.

On the one asking the questions today. We'd love to be to share some of those answers without renewing a mindlessness will let's do that right now I want to be your special guest was Dr. Burk Parsons who is one of our league in your teaching fellows as well as our chief publishing officer your leader ministries and the question that was submitted was this how do I cultivate a renewed mind, we have to pray for you.

We don't believe in the Holy Spirit, to the degree that we ought to we don't trust him to agree that we ought to.

Which means were not really trusting God to do what he promised he would do. We don't ask God for the things he told us to ask him for we have not because we ask not. We have to ask the Lord to renew our minds and he does that by the spirit of God, and he does that not only from studying his word and I'm in process of studying his were not just reading his word need to read the work.

We also need to study the word read always.

But study in depth in chapters and passages in verses and phrases and words to study the word of God.

We need to be around godly men and women we need to be around the church.

If if you're not in church directly if you're not in worship regularly. You don't care about a renewed mind set simple. You don't really care if you are not attending to the ordinary means of grace. The word prayer, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper if you not participating in the fellowship, the church, you actually really don't care about a renewed mind and a transformed life because that's really where it begins.

That's what helps us and informs us in our own study of Scripture as we are hearing not only from our pastors from our elders but as we are studying and learning and imitating the faith of older saints around us. And if you're in a church where there's just young people you need to find a church with their older people. And if you're in a church was only older people.

You need to find a journeyman or some young people so that you can be involved in teaching and training in discipling this work younger and so it is in manifold ways we can't do it in an isolated way.

We are made for community and we are made to study together and to grow together and to learn together to get off our videogames to get off our mobile devices and interact face-to-face with real people and so if you have an online church. It get to worship.

Get there early stay late.

Get involved get involved in the community, hang around, ask questions, see what's going on get into a Bible study, learn and grow in community.

That's what God intended. And how many questions do you think we've answered through ask leaders since it was launched since launching the chat service. Sleep well over 100,000 questions have been answered and that number just continues to grow as amazing really, really is and these questions are coming in from around the world. Countries like Iraq, Austria, Brazil, Kenya, the Philippines, and even as far as Australia. So is so encouraging and at the listeners today would like to ask a biblical theological question I can do it and find all the waste honestly can hear by visiting they can do your your special guest like Dr. Parsons did they know the questions in advance so a lot of people asked me that.

And yes these life events really live and our guests do not know the question that is coming up next. I one of those questions I asked Dr. Sinkler Ferguson a teaching fellow here. Like Enea I think it's a question we all wrestle with at some point and that is this.

Since God is sovereign and his plan.

All things, why should we pray, we understand what we do as Christians we do for variety of reasons. One is because God has taught us to do this work so the bargain-basement level answer to the question is that we pray because God has told us to pray, even if we don't understand how prayer walks on how the employees of prayer. So what's the first thing the second thing is to say that the sovereignty of God does not destroy human responsibility but is actually the foundation for and the sovereignty of God never destroys secondary causes so what we want to say is God plans all things we pray because, among other things. Our prayers are positively instrumentation God has planned in order that he would fulfill his purposes, so this is this is really when you think about it. It's a really wonderfully gracious thing but got us the power to do things without ties, without our prayers will back out into section, but he saw father honestly wants to. Contessa and his purposes, just like a father would do with his own children.

You know you could say it. Get out my way out to, but true human father doesn't do, not true human father comes along and brings us children along to bring some into his purposes and delights to see them grow in fulfilling his aspirations for such wonderful biblical wisdom there from Dr. Sinkler Ferguson, Nathan, you mentioned that your special guests don't have the questions in advance and an answer like that reflects the many years of experience and biblical wisdom that they've accumulated over the years. Yeah, we get so many questions that come in as a team of people compiling them from YouTube and Facebook and other places and they put the question upon a screen that only I can see sometimes I look at the question. I just think how in the world is this person to be at answer it with no preparation. As you said, it just reflects their years of study and it's just remarkably apt to be able to sit there and to hear such incredible biblical wisdom come from these men indeed and you generally open these live streaming events with a lightning round. Explain how that works well because we get so many of those questions, and we try and have a couple of lightning rounds. I will really forcing the guests to answer in about 30 to 45 seconds and you know it's a challenge, because it got to get right to the crux of the answer. I one of those questions in a lightning round up but to Dr. John MacArthur and I asked him what is it mean to fear the Lord, that I think fear is just another word for worship and adoration.

It's hard to put that in a lightning round and because fear the Lord is the beginning wisdom that that's where everything starts is having a reverence of God and SRC would say that the greatest need of any human being believer or unbeliever is to know God and until you know the fullness of God you don't know what it means to fully fear God, and the ability to fear God is directly correlated to how much you know about him. The more you have imbibed the wisdom and revelation of God's character on the pages of holy Scripture more glorious he becomes. The more you see his beauty.

The more you will have all in fear and worship Nathan, we mentioned that these are live events but can people go back and watch them later. Absolutely if they simply search for possibly Kinnear on YouTube. The find all of those recordings.

They are looking his YouTube channel and of course they are available on as well. We also don't avoid asking the difficult questions during these events.

I asked Dr. Ferguson how we explain the doctrine of election to unbelievers. What I think the first thing I would say is not is not the place to be gotten in talking to a nonbeliever. The second thing is that since the reality of election is matched only by faith. That's what we really need to emphasize. I think the thoughts thing.

However, I might say is the one thing that the doctrine of election does his underlying but we are utterly helpless and we need God to save us on. I think it's true that people sing about laminate on and yet when you asked him about this and I don't really believe about it, what's the most common song of a religious or spiritual kind that people seem to sing with gusto in the United States. Amazing Grace sweetness on the same direction like me. But once those people stop singing you know whatever listing all mass on your Seo cigarette you know what the doctrine of election really says is you have no capacity to save yourself.

God needs to save you.

And in that sense, one of the things that the doctrine of election made to when a non-Christian hears about it is is bring out their rebellion against God bring out their sense of self-sufficiency that then makes it possible to probe a little on to show them that, such as their spiritual condition but they're not capable of coming to faith in Christ without God. First of all, loving them and drawing them to himself. So sometimes people have said to me, and responds well to know I can. I can choose to follow Jesus Christ whenever I want and I say to them you know I'm your friend and I really care about you.

So that's okay. But would you just do it. Just not to prove to me that you really can do it when you want and if you know people well enough to press not a little on. I think it may help them to realize that absolutely powerless to come to Christ himself as Dr. Sinkler Ferguson in the Nathan another leader. Teaching fellow that you featured on one of these live events is leaders chairman Dr. W.

Robert Godfrey and speaking of controversial questions you posed one to him as well.

Yeah, I asked him if you are an Armenian if you don't hold to reform the Calvinistic view of salvation. Can you be saved.

That's a great question that was asked of William Ames at the center of Dort you ever have written a book on the Synod of Dort in that book I talked about how William Ames who was a great English Puritan and had had to flee from England because he wouldn't conform to the Church of England. He was a Congregationalist and had found a home in the Netherlands among the welcoming Dutch and William Ames was a personal secretary to the president of the Synod of Dort in the early 17th century, and someone came to William Ames and said is Arminianism a heresy which was a question in that old sense of heresy is, is Arminianism a theological error so serious that it will deprive someone of salvation and Ames, a staunch Calvinist, a staunch Puritan responded by saying no, Arminianism is not a heresy, but it is a serious error tending to heresy and what you see at the second of Dort is that already in the nine years between the death of Jacob Arminius who was the father of Arminianism and the meeting of the Synod of Dort Arminius died in 1609 your member and the Senate met in 1618. In those nine years, Arminius federally radicalized and become more and more belligerent and I think Ames had a sense of that that Arminianism is an unstable theological position, so it may be a position that tries to really emphasize grace, but it ends up usually more and more emphasizing free will and instead of focusing on God focusing on man's response and the more you focus on man's response.

The greater danger.

Your end of moving into kind of heretical position. Religion is about man not about God. So you have to ask yourself what kind of Arminianism are we confronting and it can in its most radical forms become heresy, but in its forms, trying to stress grace and responsibility. They can be quite evangelical just like this broadcast. The goal of Ousley Kinnear's ability to fill minds with with knowledge and desires that by God's grace would have our minds renewed and lives transformed because what we truly believe is seen in how we live so question that came to Dr. Nichols of the president of Reformation Bible college also on about teaching fellows. He was asked about the reformers and the Puritans view of piety or personal holiness in the Christian life. So we have this image of the Puritans is almost super Christians and so one of things I think we better be aware of is understanding how they understood piety, as I think it can help us not see them as some example were unable to follow but actually see them as helpful to us in sucking back to Edwards.

Edwards is very pious person but he also recognized that he could worship God as the one on horseback rides through the Connecticut River Valley and I can't tell you in the 1700s the Connecticut River Valley meeting today. It's one of the most beautiful places and then rose the pristine nature of the Connecticut River Valley had to be beautiful and so there wasn't earth leanness to Edwards piety and there was an earth leanness to the Puritans piety and we miss that sometimes the only thing we want to say is this is the development from Calvin this is Calvin so count is piety in here too we think of Calvin as this rational figure my favorite forces in these suits is that the sections on prayer. Towards the end of the fourth. Calvin has a beautiful discussion he says is like imagine you've got a treasure chest in your yard, and he never bothered to dig it up. Just leave it there, you know it's there. You don't even bother you shovel the pieces that prayers like an and as you neglect prayer is like leaving this treasure unrehearsed writing fee by Judy. This is in the institutes of the Christian religion right but what can we learn, I think we need to recognize that piety is ultimately godly living solidus. It's recognizing that the call to being a Christian is a holistic call to all walks of her life, and all areas of life, and there's no area of her life that is outside the view of worshiping God and it's either to be done to advance our self interests or to advance our own well-being. Orders can be done to advance God and done in worship of him in the Puritans grasp that in all of life. I'm going to worship God and they had a capacious view of what serving God meant it.

Sometimes I think we just we bifurcate these things we we we say we hear this is spirituality is the church stuff and there is my job and then there's my family. And then there my hobbies and I don't know how they fit so they don't Puritans would not get that and so I think they help us make and we talked about asked leader being a trance service as well as a live event that you host about is a resource that is expanded in recent weeks. Would you tell us about that that's rightly early this year we launched us click any of the podcast so if you love podcasts and listen to podcasts. I encourage you to search for Ousley Kinnear new favorite podcast app will visit asked.Lee a recent question that Dr. Derek Thomas one about teaching fellows and sit exclusively on the podcast was this what hope is there for Christians who experience chronic suffering. First of all this, the hope of recovery. That is the hope of healing. That is the hope of the miraculous or the superintendence of God in medicine and so so this prayer. Their days of suffering, but you're asking about chronic suffering that is the hope of heaven.

That is the hope of a day when there will be no suffering, no tears, no pain in heaven and in the new heavens and new but suffering is also one of God's ways to grow us in the face to humble us to experience the nearness of the Holy Spirit to help us walk in godliness and mortify the deeds of the flesh, so there's the hope of increased holiness. There's the hope that since God is totally sovereign. He may bring us into situations of usefulness that otherwise would never experience and so there are lots of areas of hope even for those who chronically suffer such an encouraging and helpful answer as it relates to suffering a Dr. Derek Thomas there drawing on his many years of experience writing and teaching on the book of Job another guest on the asked leader podcast is Dr. Steven Lawson, who is another of our teaching fellows and that one of the questions posed to him was this how is faith a gift will a gift is something that has to be getting tea and what is given to you is something that you do not already possess.

The Bible teaches that all unbelievers are dead in trespasses and sin.

I did person cannot believe in Christ. In fact, I remember the day when as a seminary. The professor asked the question what can a dead man day and one fellows stayed in the back row said stink. That's really all a dead man can do. There is the bondage of the will. There is no inherent faith towards Christ that is present in the spiritually dead center. This is a very important theological truth. Therefore, if anyone is to call upon the name of Jesus Christ. Faith must be given to them. In fact, a new heart must be given to Dan that turns them around, away from their sin in the world and they are turned. It's a heart that now is alive in a God in his turn to Christ and in that very moment faith is imparted by the Holy Spirit to the spiritually made alive center and in that second date, call upon the name of Christ with the faith that is given to them. Many other passages teach the same Hebrews 12 verse two says Jesus is the author and perfecter of faith all faith within the one who believes was authored by Jesus Christ.

Philippians 129 says it's been granted unto us to believe in Jesus Christ and asked three verse 16 says all faith in Christ is faith that has come from and through Christ. So all faith in Christ originates in Christ himself. He must grant this faith and he granted to those who have been chosen by God from before the foundation of the world. Second Peter 11 says faith must be given their many other passages to which we can go you quoted Ephesians 289 which says, for by grace you have been saved through faith that not of yourselves is the gift of God not as a result of works, lest anyone should boast the antecedent to gift is actually faith. The closest antecedent is not grace it's actually faithless to the verse again. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves. What's not of yourself. Well, if it's anything in that sentence is. Faith is not of yourself but it's really both both grace and faith are not of yourself so the glory of the gospel is, is that God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Not only does God provide the salvation, but he also provides the face to believe in this so great salvation.

So faith must be given before anyone can call upon the name of the Lord solely if the listeners want to take advantage of us. Click any or encourage them to visit asked.Lee and I can find an old ways they can ask the biblical and theological questions and also find all the information to be a subscribe to the weekly podcast. This is been so helpful make and we appreciate you being with us may be wondering why is this important. This is not just an academic exercise asking difficult questions and then getting the answer. Our goal, our hope in everything we do accurately ministries is to see minds that are renewed and lives that are transformed.

Dr. RC Sproul recognized early on in his ministry that ideas have consequences. In fact, one of his classic teaching series is the consequences of ideas 35 messages and today is the final day that you can reserve this special edition DVD set RC follows the movement of Western philosophy throughout history showing how these ideas have shaped our lives today, and this offer includes a bonus 10th disc where you'll find a digital study guide for the series helpful for personal or group study. So to request this DVD set to simply call us at 800-435-4343. You can also go online to Renewing Your will let me think our director of communications Nathan W.

Bingham for being with us. Nathan again remind our listeners about how they can access this wonderful resource known as ask Lee Kinnear. I would encourage you listeners to simply visit us.Lee and they can find all the ways that they can honestly Kinnear right there and you will be hosting more large events in the coming weeks. Yes, next month I'll be joined by Dr. Steven Lawson one of these. Honestly Kinnear events so that listeners haven't already, I encourage them to subscribe to look in his YouTube channel so they'll be notified when your life will look forward to that. Nathan and again thank you for being with us. I hope you'll join us Monday as Dr. schoolteachers from the book of Romans, and specifically from the passage which which became the catalyst for the Reformation, the just shall live by faith. We hope to see you right back here next week for Renewing Your Mind

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