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Grace Throughout the Ages

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2020 12:01 am

Grace Throughout the Ages

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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January 25, 2020 12:01 am

The Lord has guaranteed the successful enterprise of His gospel. Today, Steven Lawson maintains that the doctrines of grace are not only true, they’re also glorious.

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Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul

Coming up next on Renewing Your Mind, the church of Jesus Christ always needs that doctrines of grace in every generation as a safeguard from being pulled away into gospel gimmicks and theological new trends. The church has always been the strongest when the doctors of grace have been the strongest doctrines of grace. The stunning fruit God sovereignly calls and saves his people. Welcome to Renewing Your Mind on the Saturday today would in her teaching fellow Dr. Steven Lawson continues his introduction to the doctrines of grace in the New Testament.

As we made our way through the series. Dr. Lawson has shown his 12 characteristics of the Weiss time together has we were laying our foundation. We looked at number 12 lovingly initiated the recall so I want to continue to move the fenceposts out now and I want to give you several more important headings to round out our understanding of the doctrines of grace before we begin to look more specifically a chapter and verse and I want you to note number 13. They are personally demanding. Despite these doctrines being deeply steeped in divine sovereignty. They in no way relieve man of his personal responsibility to believe the gospel. Every human being is directly accountable to God to come to faith in Jesus Christ. No exceptions in the doctrines of grace can never be understood to be an excuse for why one would not believe in Jesus Christ, the illustration of Charles Haddon Spurgeon gives of a building that's on fire and up on the fifth floor is a man who is trapped and cannot come down the stairs in the fire department has come in night. They have their open blankets ready to catch the manager telling him to jump and I'll catch him there is no other way for him to be saved and the man up on the fifth floor sizzle before I can jump I need to know if I'm predestined to jump the fire is a just job will explain it to you later know I need to know is I chosen to jump just job. Then he says I need to know the origin of the fire and AA. Those are all excuses if he had remained on the fifth floor.

The responsibility lay with him for why he is in the flames.

And so it is with the center. Everyone who goes to hell goes there because they deserve to go there because they have hardened their hearts against Almighty God, and no one can pass the buck and say well God didn't choose me in a sense, but not in the fullest sense because your blood is on your own hands because you have made the choice not to believe in Jesus Christ. Now I understand the dilemma they are morally unable to believe, but that does not remove their responsibility to believe. I may not be able to pay my income taxes, but that doesn't relieve me of my responsibility to pay those income tax.

The government could care less if I'm able or unable they just want to be paid. And so it is with the center. Yeah, you can't appeal to the fact we are not able know you are responsible and accountable to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ is the same old, it cannot say to the potter wide you done this.

Who are you, oh man to answer back to God. Know every human being is responsible before God to believe the gospel, and they cannot pin the blame on God. If they do not believe that was your choice not to believe so is personally demanding. Listen we are Calvinist, but we are not hyper Calvinists and we present the gospel to people we are to persuade. We are to plead we are to urge and we are to attempt to bring people to win people to faith in Christ were not passive where the active were to be aggressive in going after souls. Which leads me now to Numbers 14 and I got a little bit ahead of myself. I couldn't help myself. Number 14 evangelistic lay engaging these doctrines of grace are high octane fuel in our tank that propel us out into the world to reach lost souls with the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are no excuse to sit back and be the frozen chosen and just do nothing and trying to reach the gospel of Jesus Christ. He would be better if you didn't even know the doctrines of grace. If you're not going to live up to the doctrines of grace or at least try to live up to the doctrines of grace know. Our goal is for souls. We want to take as many people to heaven. With this, as we possibly can and you read Paul's prayer at the beginning of Romans nine my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is for their salvation and Paul's is to be willing to be a Kirsten can go to hell if only they could go to heaven and then goes into his big diatribe on the sovereignty of God in Romans nine working at tab the whole chapter of Romans nine.

We just can't pick and choose and so I love the doctors of grace, but I don't love souls and I don't love evangelism and I don't love reaching people. That's nonsense. The doctors of grace are evangelistic.

Lily engaging hear me say this, we are responsible to God to preach the gospel to bear witness for Christ to pray for lost souls to be saved to live a godly life to be bridge building towards unconverted people to be engaged in global emissions. This is our duty before God.

Not only are they responsible to believe, but we are responsible to preach the gospel and to bear witness and we can't just sit at home and stared her navel and twiddle our thoughts and just say well what will be will be that. That is, fools talk, we must be involved in reaching the world for Christ. In fact, this build up our confidence in reaching the world for Christ. God it goes before us and God is preparing hearts and God is already marked out people who will believe the truth and who will come to faith in Jesus Christ. How liberating for us and so our responsibility is to share the gospel of the whole world and we just leave the results to God but God for bid make annoyed so that we not be fully involved in engaged to whatever degree God gives us opportunity to reach lost souls for Jesus Christ. I wish I had time to take us to a lot of passages will eventually be going to some of these passages is not either/or, it's both and that I need to keep going here. Number 15. They are historically affirmed by that I mean this the strongest men the strongest preachers the strongest theologians down through the centuries have attested and affirmed the doctrines of grace in the first of the fifth centuries, the leading church fathers taught these truths, Clement of Rome. In fact, the opening lines of his first letter testifies to the elect of God in the church, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Ira Naess, Tertullian, Cyprian, Athanasius, basil Gregory Ambrose, Augustine.

I mean, this is like the Mount Rushmore of church fathers.

To a man they all affirmed the doctrines of grace. You come to the mid-evil. It's a Dorey of Seville and Gottschalk can and sell men. Bernard of Clairvaux and Thomas Brad were nine of of Oxford that these men were strong in the doctrines of grace.

You come to the pre-reformers John Wycliffe John Hus. These were stalwarts of the faith, and these were card carrying doctrines of grace, man, you come to the Reformation.

You know what you've gotten you come to the Reformation, Martin Luther, Zwingli, William Tyndale, John Calvin Bullinger John Knox to a man they were doctrines of grace, many wonder why because they were Bible men and if you're a Bible man, then you are doctrines of grace man and if you're not is because you had spent enough time in the Bible because you cannot teach the Bible and go down deep in the Bible and come up in another line you enter are in this long line of godly men and then after the reformers standing on their shoulders and reaching at higher were the Puritans that golden age in time.

Does anyone permit us to begin to talk about all the Puritans, but to a man they were doctrines of grace men Samuel Rutherford John Owen John Bunyan Matthew Henry Thomas Boston Stephen char knocked Thomas Watson etc. etc. etc. it was a an army of doctrines of grace. Men and then you come to the American colonies you come to the great awakening greatest movement of the spirit of God on American soil. Jonathan Edwards cotton Mather preceding him George Whitfield when he came from England listen.

It was the doctrines of grace that electrified the early colonies as it was trumpeted and preached and proclaimed from pulpits and in this soon gave way to the modern missions movement William Carey doctrines a grace man Andrew Fuller doctrines of grace man, Henry Martin, Robert Moffat, David Livingstone, John Patton, the these were men who believed in the sovereignty of God, and it drove them to get on boats and leave their mother and father and to leave their homeland in many cases never to come back again, never to even take a sabbatical believing that there are the elect of God in these other nations and when the gospel is brought to them, God will spiritually resurrect their soul and they will be brought to saving faith in Jesus Christ. The modern missions movement was ignited and birthed by sovereign grace and the great Victorian era ever heard of Charles and Spurgeon Jacey Ryle Charles Simeon that these were these were men who believed in the sovereign grace of God, then we come to the evangelical movement of the 20th and 21st century Martin Lloyd Jones James Montgomery Boyce RC Sproul John MacArthur John Piper Al Mohler etc. etc. etc. listen, if you're not in this line you're in the wrong line is John MacArthur's told me if you're not reform jury relevant today what God is doing in the world is in a resurgence of the doctrines of grace. MacArthur is told me he said listen, there are rice farmers in fields in China who got little earbuds in their ears behind oxen plowing their fields being taught the doctrines of grace around the world is language by language, by language, by language, is coming to the knowledge of these doctrines of grace as far as scope and extent.

There has never been a time in the history of the world like there presently is for the spreading of these truths of the doctrines of grace and those who are on the front lines who are advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ. The most are those who have a firm footing in the doctrines of grace. Yes, there are some exceptions, but that's the point. They are the exceptions and not the rule. 16th, they are politically protective. By that I mean the doctrines of grace help guard the purity of the gospel. They help guard the one true saving gospel of Jesus Christ from all kinds of doctrinal errors that would distort and dilute its truth.

The doctrines of grace are like guardrails on the side of the road that prevent the church from staring off the highway and going down cul-de-sacs of false doctrine and false Gospels.

The doctrines of grace provide a firewall around the purity of the gospel. The doctrines of grace help preserve and protect the very essence of the saving message of the sin bearing substitutionary death of Jesus Christ upon the cross, that the doctrines of grace help preserve the necessity and the nature of the new birth the doctrines of grace help preserve the doctrine of soul of the day and justification by faith alone. The doctrines of grace are the pure light of truth that expose false aberrations of the gospel that hide in the darkness, the church of Jesus Christ always needs the doctrines of grace in every generation is a safeguard from being pulled away into gospel gimmicks and theological new trends that would be departing from old paths, the church has always been the strongest when the doctrines of grace have been the strongest in the church has been the weakest when the doctrines of grace have been forsaken they are politically protective they help preserve the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints and finally number 17. They are gloriously triumphant. These doctrines of grace, promise, and produce the ultimate triumph of the salvation of all of the elect of God, that none will be left behind, that all whom the father chose from before the foundation of the world shall be safely delivered into his very presence in eternity future and there they shall be around the throne of God throughout all of the ages to come. All those whom he foreknew in eternity past, he predestined, and those whom he predestined he called in those whom he called he justified, and those whom he justified he glorified. There are no dropouts along the way are none added along the way and there are none subtracted along the way.

The group that God began with an eternity past is the group that will be with him forever in eternity future.

This is the glorious triumph of the doctrines of grace. They speak of the final salvation that is predestined to occur you what the word predestination means the destination is determined before the journey begins. You cannot undo predestination. These doctrines of grace guarantee right that were damp guarantee. The inevitable outcome of the final glorification of all the elect that these truths speak of the certainty of the advancement and growth of the church, the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 16 verse 18 I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it and standing behind that statement are the doctrines of grace asked to verse 47 the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. The church wasn't adding to their number. The Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

And Peter said next to verse 38, as many as the Lord our God shall call to himself and enacts 13 verse 45 it says as many as were appointed unto eternal life believed. Please note the order first. Your appointed unto eternal life, then you believe, as many as were appointed to eternal life believed you anymore. Believe new any less. Believe as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.

Praise God for that. And do you know that that was spoken in the midst of Paul's first missionary journey or at least Luke's commentary and account it even an evangelistic setting that he makes this glorious statement that is many as were appointed unto eternal life believed.

Not one of the elect will perish all the elect will be safely transported to glory. Listen. There is no defeat. It's all victory. The Lord has guaranteed the successful enterprise of the gospel.

The doctrines of grace guarantee that Christ did not die in vain they guaranteed that not one drop of his blood was shed in vain. The doctrines of grace guarantee that the preaching of the gospel will be successful. The doctrines of grace guarantee that our personal witnessing will fulfill all of the eternal purposes of God that there will be a bride for the Lord Jesus Christ. The doctrines of grace guarantee that our evangelism will be successful and that missions will triumph and that the church will be established around the world. The doctrines of grace scream good news. The doctrines of grace are like a trumpet blast in our ears that should rally our own hearts to rise up and to put our shoulder to the plow and to be fully engaged and fully involved in the work of God, it cannot fail. It will triumph, and it is the truths that are found in the doctrines of grace that absolutely guarantee that it will come to pass.

And when you come to the last book in the Bible when you come to the book of Revelation in John is caught up in heaven and areas in the throne room and he sees the throne and he sees one who sits upon that throne. And then he sees one approach that throne, who is the lion of the tribe of Judah, and he takes the book from his hand and he begins to break the seals and be the executor for the final hour of human history. Everyone around the throne of God.

Know exactly who he is and what he has done and what he will accomplish in all of heaven.

Verse into glorious praise for him and they sing out to him that he is he is worthy to receive honor and glory and power and all the praise because he is purchased for God a people out of every tribe and nation in language of people and we will join our voices and sing his praises because not one drop was shed and defeat or invent every drop that was shed upon that cross has bought and purchased for himself and for the father of the bride to sing his praises for the wonderful truth. You know when we understand the doctrines of grace, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross joins even brighter, Jesus didn't die, hoping that some might choose him knows we just heard Dr. Lawson say every drop of blood was effective to save those for whom he died. Dr. Steven Lawson has been her teacher, as we have been very portions of his series, foundations of grace. He taught this in two parts, one from the Old Testament and one from the new.

We'd like to send you the New Testament portion today for your gift of any amount to regular ministries 24 messages on three DVDs you can give securely online. When you go to Renewing Your or you can call us with your gift of any about it. 800-435-4343 Renewing Your Mind is the listener supported outreach of legionnaire ministries Dr. RC Sproul felt it would enter ministries in 1971 in the small town called Lincoln or Pennsylvania but God's kind Providence where we have grown into an international ministry, but our purpose has not changed.

To proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible is only through your financial support that were able to carry out this important work.

So we thank you for your generosity and to show our appreciation would like to send you this series by Dr. Steven Lawson is one of our teaching fellows.

It's called foundations of grace.

New Testament dinner number is 800-435-4343 but you can also make a request and give your gift online when you go to Renewing Your will actually Dr. Lawson turns to what we refer to as the synoptic Gospels to discover that the doctrines of grace leap off the pages. There is well will see the total private man in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. We hope you'll join us next Saturday for Renewing Your Mind

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