This broadcaster has 940 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
February 29, 2020 12:01 am
Prisoners of sin do not set themselves free. Today, Steven Lawson beholds the Holy Spirit’s power in drawing people to Christ and sustaining believers to the end.
Get the 'Foundations of Grace' New Testament DVD with Steven Lawson for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/1219/foundations-of-grace-new-testament
Don't forget to make RenewingYourMind.org your home for daily in-depth Bible study and Christian resources.
What happened to you when you became a Christian, everyone who comes to faith in Christ does so, not only because they been drawn and drug but because they have been taught by God. They suddenly see it, they suddenly Janet they suddenly had the dots connected mixes about the Bible suddenly gave her the photos recognize the person and saw clearly that you need a Savior question is was that the result of sharp thinking and decision-making skills on your part. Welcome to renewing the mind on the Saturday.
Today Dr. Steven Lawson continues his series on the doctrines of grace with a message titled, our calling and security.
If you were to ask me what my favorite book in the Bible is I have to answers. One is whatever book on preaching is my favorite book in the Bible, but second I would have to say the gospel of John is my favorite book one because it is so focused upon the person and work of Jesus Christ and to because it contains the very words of Christ himself, and the greatest teacher. The doctrines of grace and the greatest preacher of the message of salvation who ever lived, was Jesus Christ himself and what we have in the gospel of John is the theological profundity of his teaching is been said, the gospel of John is a book that you would give to an unbeliever to read that they would come to faith in Jesus Christ and the gospel of John is also a book that will take you deeper and higher and further and wider than perhaps any other book in the Bible is been put this way that the gospel of John is shallow enough for a little infant to crawl into and wait in but it's deep enough for a theologian to be in over his head.
That is the amazing feature of the gospel of John and we been looking at the doctrines of grace in the gospel of John.
There is far more a sovereign grace in the gospel of John. Then there is in Matthew, Mark, and Luke together that that's what I call this the Mount Everest of the Bible really and their twin peaks the gospel of John and Romans. And those two books tower, but in my estimation, my humble estimation of the gospel of John may be a few inches higher than even Romans and this message of sovereign grace, that we been looking at total depravity, sovereign election and definite atonement.
We still have two doctrines of grace yet to cover and we want to look at the irresistible call and preserving grace. So let's look now at the irresistible call, which is also the sovereign regeneration in John chapter 3 and hope your Bible just naturally opens the John chapter 3 because I'd I love this chapter John chapter 3 this encounter between Nicodemus and the Lord Jesus Christ.
And Jesus said something to Nicodemus that no one has ever said to him before that you must be born again.
Now in John three verse three Jesus answered and said to him, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.
In this metaphor of being burst into the kingdom of heaven is so consistent with the doctrines of grace because what did you do to be born physically on waiting.
I see some heads nodding horizontally indicating there was nothing that you did it was all of your parents and ultimately was all of God. That is why Jesus chose this analogy to communicate how it is that you and I enter into the kingdom of heaven.
It is that we are born again and just there as there was nothing we had to do with our physical birth in the truest and purest sense there is nothing that we can do for our spiritual birth. It is a sovereign work of God in our hearts and souls so Nicodemus said to him accurately and be born.
Verse four when he is old, he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born again in the essay I can start all over.
Jesus answered, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit and water. Here is a metaphor for the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit in the new birth, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you. You must be born again. This is what George Whitfield preaching the great awakening the nature and necessity of the new birth and woman was kind and said Mr. Whitfield. Why do you keep saying to us, we must be born again and he said because dear woman you must be born again.
This is a message we all need to hear again and again we must be born again and then Jesus speaks further about the sovereign operation of the Holy Spirit in the new birth.
He likens now in verse eight, the movement of the Spirit in the new birth to wind water verse five wind. In verse eight.
Those are the two metaphors for the ministry the Holy Spirit in the new birth, and he says in verse eight, the wind blows where it wishes man can't control the way a man can't start the wind. Man can't stop the wind. Man can't steer the wind. The wind has a mind of its own. The wind will go where God sends it pieces you hear the sound of it, meaning you can't see it, you can hear it. You can feel it and see the effects of it, but you can't say exactly the way it is with ministry the Holy Spirit in the new birth.
We we can't seem is invisible. We feeling we feel the force in the power of his invisible hand upon us and we see the effect of his operation in the lives of others as well as in her own life. He says you do not know where it comes from and where it is going. Meeting he has his own agenda. He has his his own plan and just when we think God can work here. He works over here and just when we think all this is the person will be saved.
Next he then saves the person that we think it would be the last person to be saved to the. The analogy here of what he is saying. He says so is everyone who is born of the spirit. Do you see the sovereign efficacious factual working of the Holy Spirit in the new birth as our Lord has taught in John chapter 5 and verse 25 is another powerful text that speaks of the sovereign operation of the Holy Spirit in bringing people to faith in Jesus Christ and in John chapter 5 in verse 25. Guess how this verse starts truly, truly, I say to you coming this rises to a higher level of importance. Don't miss this an hour is coming and now is when the dead doesn't refer to those physically dead.
He refers to those who are spiritually dead and ours coming in now is when the dead will hear the voice of the son of God and those who hear will live. Jesus is teaching here in order for people to be brought to faith in Jesus Christ. There must be a spiritual resurrection. Just as when Jesus stood before the tomb of Lazarus and said Lazarus come forth and it's been well said, if it only said, come forth the entire graveyard would've emptied, but Lazarus come forth. They called them by name, and in that call was the power to raise the dead hemp life surged back into the body of of Lazarus and he still it is grave close on and he came out of that tune in exactly the same way Jesus calls those who are spiritually dead and that call is far more than an invitation. It is far more than a gospel offer. It is a call that imparts life to the dead soul and it resurrects and raises to newness of life.
The one who is spiritually dead, who had no capacity whatsoever to respond to God or to the gospel or to the truth God must give life before one can respond right. That is why regeneration precedes faith and why regeneration produces faith, although it all happens in the same moment dead man can't hear. They must be given ears to hear, and given life to hear that's exactly what John 525 is saying look at it again and ours coming in now is when the dead will hear the voice of the son of God and those who hear will live. The miracle of the new birth. I believe the greatest miracle God ever performs as the miracle of the new birth greater than when he created everything out of nothing is when he makes you and me to be a new creature in Christ Jesus. Greater then than when he turned water to wine is when he turned you and me from being a sinner into a saint is the greatest miracle greater than when he walked on water is when he has given us life and we now walk a new path on the narrow path that is headed to life. Will you John six verse 37 John six verse 37 all that the father gives right now we've been talking about this group. These are the elect of God, these are those chosen by the father before time began.
Notice he says they will come to me surgeon says oh I love when God says they will. He says let a man say I'll do something, was a good four he says I will he never does it.
He says I will he never performs services.
But when God says I will. It will be when God says I shall, it shall be, and this is one of those glorious wills all that the father gives me will come to me and the one who comes to me I will certainly not cast out of course he will not cast him out because he is Artie been given them by the father in eternity past, verse 44 no one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him one of just pause for a moment on that word draws the senior Bible draws me. It's a Greek word that means to drag summonses.
Haakon wouldn't drag me into his kingdom will then you're not coming because you are so stubborn you are so obstinate you are so resistant is an unbeliever that you literally have to be drug by the power of the Holy Spirit and would you be to cross references on how this word is used elsewhere in the new testament in John 21 in verse eight he remember when the disciples went back up to Galilee there waiting on the Lord and went back to their fishing business and there out fishing and they caught 153 fish and it says they were dragging the net full of fish exact same Greek word those big burly muscle arms of Peter and the disciples as they are dragging that net full of hundred 53 fish exact same Greek word to give you another one. Maybe even stronger. Acts chapter 16 verse 19, Paul is in Philippi on his second missionary journey and he is preach the gospel, the Lord, open Lydia's heart and she has believed that it has created a consternation in Philippi and they come and apprehend Paul and they drag him into the marketplace. You think they were just kinda like come on come on now.
They laid hold of him physically bodily head dragged him into the marketplace and then threw them into the prison, the strong word that is used in John six verse 44 no one comes to accept the father drawled to powerful drawing that overcomes the resistance of the stiffnecked center and in verse 65. For this reason I have said to you that no one can come to me unless the father has granted it while you're here in John six.
I want you to look at John 645 one more time. We looked at it last time concerning the word all but it also speaks to how we must be supernaturally divinely taught by God in order to see the truth so John 645. It is written in the prophets, and they shall all be taught of God. Everyone who is heard and learned from the father comes to me to come to Christ is a synonymous expression for saving faith. Everyone who comes to faith in Christ does so, not only because they been drawn and drug but because they have been taught by God in that they suddenly see it, they suddenly Janet they suddenly had the dots connected that they suddenly see why Christ is coming to the world.
They suddenly see their their need for salvation that they suddenly see what others have been witnessing to them about what they they had blind eyes and closed ears. But then in that moment God gets through to them. They are taught of God. Everyone who is converted is taught of God.
They have to be because they are in darkness and they are so so thick headed spiritually speaking and so dense they have to be taught of God. And then we've already covered 12 John eight verse 32 and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free in the word free. There is to liberate a prisoner to to set at liberty from the dominion of sin. Listen prisoners don't set themselves free there in bondage there imprisoned there in chains, someone else has to set them free. Someone else has to release them from their chain. Someone else has to throw open that prison door and that is the operation of the Lord Jesus Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit in the sinner's heart to release them from their bondage to sin and to throw open the bars of their heart that they might receive Christ and be set free from a life in sin was talk about preserving grace the last of the five which is that once you are born again, you can never be unborn once you're in the family of God. You can never fall away. I would give you some versus John three and verse 15 says so that whoever believes will in him have eternal life now eternal life speaks to both quality-of-life and duration of life quality-of-life is eternal life, literally means the life of the ages to come. Heaven comes to you long before you ever go to heaven.
The life of heaven comes to indwell the life of God himself comes to live inside of you this with the new birth.
This is the life of God in the soul of the man in the soul of a woman. Justification is merely paperwork in heaven in a sense the new birth is the life of God himself coming to indwell you. But not only is it a new quality-of-life.
It is a new duration of life previously just had existence, a hollow, empty, meaningless, useless existence, but now you have eternal life, and is a life that will endure throughout all eternity. It's implied in the very name if you could be a Christian and lose your salvation. After five years you only had five your life if you can be a Christian for 10 years and in fall away from grace, you would only have 10 your life, but he is given to you eternal life and what is settled for eternity can never be undone within time. It is sealed throughout all eternity future John three verse 16.
The next first Council of the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, literally translated, shall not perish but have eternal life. John four verse 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him listen to this shall never thirst implied in that is eternal life and never perishing. If you if you will never thirst again. It is because you have received the life and the satisfaction that comes from God alone and you can never fall away from this life, you will never thirst again in John six and verse 38, five come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me this is the will of him who sent me that of all he has given me. You know that is all the elect. I lose nothing but raise it up on the last day for this is the will of my father that everyone who beholds the son and believes in him will have eternal life, and I myself will raise him up on the last day in the ideas to be raised up to be with him, body, soul and spirit forever. He eternally keeps us he loses not a one of us and that is what he says again in John six and verse 51 while you're in John six on the living bread that came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live for ever in the word forever. There is the idea of eternally with God throughout the unbroken age to come, in perpetuity and then in verse 58 this is the bread which came down out of heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. He who eats this bread will live forever. One bite and you'll live forever.
One swallow and you'll never thirst again in John 10 verse 27.
If all we had was John 10 verse 27 to 30 that that would be enough for me, but we have such a wealth of versus my sheep you're my voice and I know them and they follow me and I give eternal life to them and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
My father, who is given to me, is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of the father sent were held in the son's hand and in the son's hand is held in the father's hand. We are doubly sealed. Someone would have to pry open the hand of the father, and then pry open the hand of the sun, just to get to us that would require someone greater than God the father, God the son, such as not exist. He is the Almighty. There is no power outside of God.
The only power you and I have the only part of the devil has the only power anything else or anyone else has is a delegated power that is come from God.
He's the Almighty no one has power to pry open the sealed shut grip with which he holds us is not a matter of you, me holding on to him.
It's a matter of him holding on to us for eternally secure certain said. Noah fell down many times in the yard, but he never once fell out of the ark, and you and I will fall down in the Christian life and will get a little dirty like to get up and dust yourself off and get headed back but we will never fall away from Christ.
There were many times I held onto my little kids hands as we would cross the street and sometimes they didn't want me to hold her late. They wanted to do it themselves. But I never let go and they would trip and fall. But I still had a death grip on them and they would just be swinging in mid air and those little feet going back and forth until I put them back down on the ground. That's the way it is with the Lord in us and we may think we can do this sometimes on our own, but he never lets go of his grip on us. This is eternal security the believer. This is the perseverance of the saints John 1125 and 26 on the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. You'll die physically you'll just never die spiritually unless the Lord returns first and then delivering die physical so this is the preserving grace of God in John gives it to us. Clarity with the Greek word picture God has a preserving grip on his children and you'll never let us go. We just heard Dr. Steven Lawson continue his series, foundations of grace New Testament wearing the entire series here in the Saturday edition of Renewing Your Mind in the week by week. Dr. Lawson helps us see that God's sovereign control over salvation is nearly everywhere we look at our Bibles, we like to send you the entire series with 24 lessons producing teaching series like this is costly. It requires many hours of expert professional staging, lighting, videography, graphic production and editing, and that's why we asked for a donation of any amount when you make a request. You can reach is one of two ways you can go to our website it Renewing Your Mind.org work, you can simply call us with your gift of 800-435-4343. Many of you have let us know how much you appreciate ref that are 24 hour Internet radio station if you're not familiar with riff that we regularly feature messages from Dr. RC Sproul interlinear teaching fellows, including Dr. Lawson, plus you'll hear from Dr. John MacArthur Alastair Begg and many other faithful Bible teachers and preachers you can listen for free at any time when you go to ref net.FM or when you download the free ref net app. Dr. Lawson calls the book of acts, the most evangelistic book in the Bible. In fact, one out of every four versions as part of the sermon of some kind that will be your focus mix and we hope you'll join us on Renewing Your Mind