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February 15, 2020 12:01 am
The kingdom of heaven is a closed door until the Spirit causes us to be born again. Today, Steven Lawson studies the loftiness of the doctrines of grace as they are revealed in the gospel of John.
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Coming up next on Renewing Your Mind, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. No matter how religious he is, no matter how much he knows no matter how moral he may be, no matter what a high standing position he has in the nation in the religious community. He can now enter the kingdom of heaven is closed-door until he is born again will we construe own no nonsense words were, they speak of the exclusivity of God's kingdom, but they also speak of inability are inability to save ourselves to them Renewing Your Mind. We continue our look at the doctrines of grace. We will see from the words of Jesus himself that salvation is of God in this session we want to climb Mount Everest and we want to go to the summit. We want to go to the top and have the greatest eternal perspective. I think that we can find in Scripture on the doctrines of grace. I refer to the gospel of John, and I referred to the teacher none other than the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
So if you take your Bibles and turn with me to the gospel of John. I want to do what we did with Matthew last time I want to go to the gospel of John five times with you now in this session will probably only have opportunity to go through once maybe twice will save the rest for our next session, but the gospel of John has much to say on the sovereign grace of God, and I want to begin with the doctrine of total depravity.
I want to begin with the doctrine of radical corruption and as you recall, remember we have to have the bad news first before the good news is really good news.
And once you see the bad news. The good news becomes amazing Grace that is sweet to the sound that would save a wretch like you and me. So I want to start in John chapter 3 and the account between Jesus and Nicodemus to see the doctrine of total depravity that the entirety of man's being is polluted and plagued by sin his eyes but he cannot see has ears, but he cannot hear he has a heart but he cannot believe he is totally marred by sin. So in John chapter 3 in verse three. I want you to note. First is spiritual blindness. Jesus answered and said to him, just pause there for a moment. Nicodemus never asked the question for Jesus to answer him indicates that Jesus read him like an open book.
Jesus looked into his heart and looked into his soul than he knew what was the pressing issue within him and before he even asked the question Jesus answered him, Jesus return serve before a ball as he put employ truly, truly, I say to you, which is a way of introducing a statement of extraordinary importance. Everything that Jesus said was inspired and inerrant, but some things that Jesus said rose to a higher level of importance.
And this is one of those whenever he says truly, truly, I say to you, he is saying this is very important unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God and others difference tween may not and cannot may not as word of permission cannot is a word of ability.
You may, you just cannot Nicodemus's eyes were spiritually blind. He was like a man standing in a dark room with blind folders over his eyes at midnight. He could not see the spiritual truth of the reality of the kingdom of heaven. Even though he was the teacher of Israel, even though he was the one. Others came to to ask their spiritual questions, he nevertheless was the blind leading the blind.
Unless one is born again he can not see with understanding.
He cannot perceive with understanding the kingdom of God. When you and I talked to a lost person. There is a very real sense in which we are describing a beautiful sunset to a blind person but cannot see it. We are to continue to witness to them, but we are dependent upon God opening their eyes. The new birth is an eye-opening experience but at this point Nicodemus is blind. Look at verse five. Not only is he spiritually blind, but he is spiritually alienated from the kingdom of heaven. In verse five. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit and what that means is, metaphorically, the Spirit's ministry is pictured as water to wash away the defilements of sin.
It will be later in verse eight, represented as wind powerfully moving and blowing so two metaphors for the ministry of the Holy Spirit wind and water in verse five unless one is born of water and the spirit he cannot.
There's that word again moral inability, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
No matter how religious he is, no matter how much he knows no matter how moral he may be, no matter what a high standing position he has in the nation in the religious community he can. Not enter the kingdom of heaven is closed-door until he is born again speaks of the moral inability in an argument from the greater to the lesser. If Nicodemus cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
The teacher of Israel, neither can you. Neither can cannot in John chapter 5 in verse 25 Matthew five verse 25. This case becomes worse. None was he spiritually blind and spiritually alienated but those who are unbelievers are spiritually dead. Jesus said in John 525 truly, truly, I say unto you, is another one of these very pivotal statements, an hour is coming and now is such an important part of this verse is not referring to the end of the 80s, referring to this very moment, an hour is coming and now is when the dead will hear the voice, the son of God and those who hear shall live is not talking about a physical resurrection at the end of the age he's talking about a spiritual resurrection this very moment, but for those who need to be raised from the dead. This clearly more than implies it is directly stated they are dead.
Not talking about a dead corpse to talk about a dead soul talking about a dead inter-person and when you're spiritually dead. You have no capacity whatsoever to respond to a message to respond to spiritual stimuli. When you're dead you can't see when you're dead you can't hear when you're dead you can't believe when you're dead. The only thing you can do is speak Vanessa spiritual condition of everyone outside of Christ. That's pretty bad. What can a dead man do not much in John chapter 6 and verse 44 we see this spiritual inability again and the word can becomes one of the most important words in the Gospel of John and Jesus was a provocative teacher and many times he chose not to put something in the positive, but to put it in the negative so that his words will have a cutting edge to them. In John chapter 6 and verse 44 Jesus said no one can come to me to come to Christ is to exercise saving faith in Christ is not talking about get a better seat walk across the room. He's talking about taking a step of faith and coming all the way to Christ in order to embrace Christ as one's Lord and Savior by saving faith. He says no one can come to me that means no one can believe no one can repent. No one can come all the way to saving faith in Jesus Christ. No one, unless the father sent me draws him. We'll talk about that next time, but all we need to know is the first part of this, no one can come to me is the bondage of the will. Number 63. It is the Spirit who gives life.
The flesh profits nothing unless the spirit enables you to believe your flesh can do nothing towards God. Verse 65. For this reason I have said to you that no one can come to me that's all you need to know at this point under total depravity.
No one can come to me Dennis study this in the original language. This what it means this house best translated. No one can come to me. It says what it means and means what it says. No one can come to me unless it is been granted him from the father in John chapter 8 verse 34 is continue to walk through John's gospel John eight verse 34 speaks of spiritual slavery. Jesus answered them, truly, truly, I say to you isn't it amazing how this signature statement. Truly, truly, I say to you is at the beginning of these verses on the doctrines of grace rising to a higher level of importance. Everyone who commits sin that pretty much covers the field is the slave of sin. Sin is your master and slave do with their master tells them to do. The reason you sin is because sin is your master and you must obey sin and you will continue to sin until a greater master will set you free until a greater master will purchase you and by you and release you from your slavery to sin. Until that happens and becomes real in your life you will always be a slave of sin and you'll be a puppet on a string and you will be obeying the impulses of sin within your flesh. How strong are the chains of sin and the unconverted person's life while you're still here in John eight. Look at verse 44 and 45 speaks of the spiritual bondage to Satan. Jesus said to the religious leaders you are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father the air.
Everyone has one of two fathers leave you been born again in God is your father are even born once in the devil is your father by the way, that's why you need to marry another believer, or you can have the devil for your father-in-law.
You have your father the devil, and the reason why you're living the way you live as an unbeliever is because you want to do the desires of the devil. He has such a strong grip upon your wife you're a slave to sin and you're a slave to Satan. It's a double bondage, Jesus goes on to say he was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.
Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Therefore, every lie that you tell is a lie that in one way or another, has been influenced by Satan himself because he is the father of all lies.
Because I speak the truth, you do not believe me speaks of the state of total depravity year in bondage to Satan and you're in bondage to sin. And while you're here in this same chapter look at beginning in verse 43. There is also spiritual deafness. Why do you not understand what I am saying. Because you can not hear my word all you hear the sound of my word. But you do not hear the meaning of my word.
It doesn't strike you to the very core of your being. It doesn't resonate with you. Then, in the depths of your soul. It doesn't have the ring of truth for you. You cannot hear my word, and then he goes on to say he was of God hears the words of God.
You know why you hear what God is saying is your of God.
That means you been born of God and you belong to God. For this reason you do not hear them because you are not of God. If you are of God, you would hear the words of Christ and if you hear the words crisis because your of God.
But for those who are not of God. You just don't get it. It doesn't register with you.
You cannot hear any deeper than your ears. In John chapter 15 in verse 18 speaks of the hatred within the heart of unbelievers towards Christ towards the truth and towards other believers. John chapter 15 and verse 18. If the world hates you, that can be literally translated since the world hate you because the world hates you. The world here refers to the world of unbelievers and evil system of the world over which the God of the Satan, the prince of this world exercises dominion over unbelievers. The world hates you.
The world hates you, you know that it is hated me before it hated you. This hatred is the animosity of unbelievers toward God, toward Christ towards the truth and towards anyone who follows Christ and believes the truth now verse 24. If I'd not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin but now they have both seen and hated me and my father is well to package deal. You can't.
You can't love God and hate Christ sorry the love God get the love Christ the Lord Christ you are the father but verse 25. They have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law. They hated me without a cause that's the doctrine of the total depravity.
My friend that the hatred of the world toward Christ towards the truth about God and because of our identity with God in the gospel they hate us as well. So that's the doctrine of total depravity is pretty bad in this is your spiritual autobiography as well. This was true of you before your conversion. Even if you grew up in the church. This was true of you. Now let's look at sovereign election and let's start with John six in verse 37 must go through John's gospel one more time. Burnett Demuth, but John six verse 37 initiates our Lord's teaching on the doctrine of sovereign election. He says all that the father gives me will come to me before anyone comes to faith in Jesus Christ.
I have already been given to him and the fact is, they were given to him before the foundation of the world. They were given to him by the only one who could give them to him. God the father who chose his elect before time began, and gave them to the sun and Jesus recognizes here now that all that the father gives me will come to me and will look at this more carefully next time. Under the effectual call of God, and one who comes to me I will certainly not cast out.
This is the will of him who sent me, the sovereign will of God that gave these to Jesus and then sent Jesus into this world to secure their salvation. There is this group that the father has given to the sun long before this group ever comes by faith to the sun, it speaks beautifully of the doctrine of sovereign election.
John 10 verse one and following that this is the allegory of the good Shepherd and notice how does he begin verse one, you guessed it, truly, truly, I say to you that is like taking a yellow highlighter just highlighting everything that follows the flag our attention. Don't miss this one he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep climbs up some other way.
He is a thief and a robber. This is addressed to the Pharisees, by the way there's no break from John nine to John 10 and Jesus is addressing the religious leaders of Israel after he has healed the blind man and John 10 is one of the unfortunate chapter breaks this really is just one continuous narrative now leading into this discourse.
Verse two but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep to him.
The doorkeeper opens, now here's the why this would happen there would be a community sheepfold and at the end of the day as Shepherd would bring his flock into the community sheepfold and leave them there overnight and he would go to and in and spend the night he would come back the next morning for his flock there would be many different flocks inside this community. Sheepfold and so when the shopper would come back the next day the doorkeeper would give him access to come into the sheepfold and the pictures how Christ came lawfully fulfilling the messianic credentials that marked him out as the rightful good Shepherd and he stands in the door and he begins to call his own sheep in their let's say there are 10 different flocks that are in the sheepfold and went. Does she hear their shepherd's voice brown nose white ear Blackfoot that had just pops up as the voice of my shepherd the other sheet there, their heads remain down.
They hear but they don't hear it doesn't register because it's not the voice of their shepherd.
They just continued to nibble on what is on the ground in front of them. The window sheet to the voice of their shepherd that had pops up and they suddenly turn around and they begin to separate themselves from the rest of the flock and they are drawn to the voice of their shepherd and they go to where their shepherd is standing and they come stand in front of him. He now leads them out. The community sheepfold which represented the dead religion of Israel. The apostate nation of Israel in their spiritual deadness and in their false gospel of self-righteousness and human works in he leads them out. You can't stay in this dead system and he leads them out and they follow him and the other shepherds try to stop them they call out to the sheep to belong to the shepherd but another shepherd they will not listen to. They will only listen to the voice of their shepherd and they follow him and he leads them out in green pastures beside still waters. He built another sheepfold for them and he leaves an open and he lays down in it, and he becomes the very door of that second sheepfold. That is what is taking place here and standing behind all of this is the sovereign election of God the father, who gave the sheet to this shepherd long before he ever called them long before he called them by name. They then and within time separated and came to him in John chapter 13 verse 18 Jesus said, I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I've chosen okay is pretty clear and it I've chosen all of you.
I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I've chosen. There is an inner concentric circle within the larger circle. I don't speak of all 12 of you. I know the ones I chose and I know the 11 I've chosen the same principle is true just for the entirety of all of the elect. In John 15 verse 16. This one could not be any more clear. Jesus said you did not choose me, but I chose you literally the Greek it reads you did not choose me, but I chose you can be more clear in John 15 verse 19 Jesus said if you are of the world, the world would love its own, but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world because it is the world hate you. We are chosen out from among the larger group to belong to the Lord Jesus Christ because it is the father who has chosen them and given them to the sun. He didn't choose the whole world. It shows a smaller concentric group within the world to be given to him and and finally John 17 verse nine.
In his great high priestly prayer, Jesus prayed I I ask on their behalf. I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom you have given me, for they are yours. That is strong. They belong to the father because the father chose them. They are yours, and then the father gave them to the sun long before Jesus ever entered this world and Jesus just plainly says I don't pray for the world. But for those whom you have given me in his intercession and prayer is the same group that he makes intercession for on the cross and is the same group that he makes intercession for presently at the right hand of God the father understand this is a continuity of intercession and intercession in prayer and intercession at the cross on the cross in an intercession at the right hand of God the father is the same.
I do not pray for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. This is the doctrine of sovereign, that's Dr. Steven Lawson will be biblically focused look at what we call the doctrines of grace doctrines agrees that we find in the New Testament. You're listening to the Saturday edition of Renewing Your Mind. I'm we web and that, let me thank you for being with us today when we study Jesus words. It's incredibly clear. Salvation is not the result of our works for our choices is a gift of God, what we heard today is from a series by Dr. Lawson titled foundations of grace.
New Testament. These doctrines indeed are the foundation of the Christian faith. So this is a valuable study and we come in the series to you were making it available to you on three DVDs just requested when you give a donation of any amount to look in your ministries. There are couple of ways you can reach us.
We have a website it's Renewing Your Mind.org or you can call us with your gift at 800-435-4343 or Felder, Dr. RC Sproul said if we want to love God more. We have to know him more deeply. That's why we produce teaching series like the one we heard today. It's also why we published table talk magazine. Each monthly issue focuses on a specific theme. There are articles on that theme by trusted pastors and theologians, including Dr. Lawson and are also daily devotionals. You can learn more about it and request a free three month trial subscription would you go to try table talk magazine.com lunch with Dr. Lawson once again turns to the gospel of John to look at these doctrines of grace and his focus will be on the love of God in Christ, we hope you'll join us next Saturday for Renewing Your Mind