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The Book of Beginnings

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
September 15, 2021 12:01 am

The Book of Beginnings

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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September 15, 2021 12:01 am

The sovereign grace of God echoes throughout the book of Genesis. Today, Steven Lawson shows how the doctrines of grace form a theological foundation for the rest of Scripture.

Get the ‘Foundations of Grace Old Testament' DVD Series with Steven Lawson for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/1856/foundations-of-grace-old-testament

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We read in the book of Genesis, that Cain rose up against Abel and killed him. This is radical corruption at the very beginning to the very first offspring to get to come from Adam and Eve came here exemplifying one who tries to come to God in his own efforts and with his own self-righteousness. We don't know who, for the Bible do to man's total depravity about consumer permeates every aspect of our being. But if I were to ask you how far we need to read before we learn about God's grace. What would you say some might say that we don't discover grace until the New Testament, but today I'm Renewing Your Mind, Dr. Steven Watson is going to take us all the way back to Genesis Genesis which is the book of beginnings is also the book of beginnings for the doctrines of grace because we find in these pages in this opening book in the Old Testament. Many of the doctrines of grace that are clearly taught here so I want us to hop and then begin to investigate these very carefully and I want again just with the principle of divine sovereignty, which is the foundation upon which the five pillars of the doctrines of grace rest the sovereignty of God is seen throughout the entire book of Genesis, we clearly see from creation on through chapter 50 the sovereignty of God. God defines how he is to be worshiped God sent a cataclysmic flood God scattered the human race at the Tower of Babel God called Abraham out of God initiated the Abraham a covenant and even with Joseph what they meant for evil God meant for good that we see the sovereign hand of God on virtually every page of the book of Genesis. But as we look now more carefully. I want us to note. First, radical corruption or total depravity at this comes through loud and clear in the book of Genesis and in Genesis 5 in verse three we read a very interesting verse that is often overlooked in reach. When Adam had lived 130 years he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. Please note, not in God's image, but in Adams image. Yes, he was made in the image of God but that image was flawed it and corrupted by sin, and so forth. Seth to be made in the image of Adam is a clear indication that the sin of Adam has been passed down to his posterity that has been passed down to his own children in his own children now are created differently. Then Adam was created Adam was created innocent in the image of God. But now Seth and every child born in the human race would be born in the image of Adam and to be born in the image of Adam. These were the sin nature with the total depravity of the human nature. The mind the affections and the will are all now dominated by sin and being born in this state.

Seth and all who would be born of the human race would be born dead in transgressions and sin to back up just one chapter as we consider Cain and able Genesis 4 we see this in verse three, Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground, Cain was of an independent spirit he would come to God is on why he would invade his own religion he he would not come the way that God had prescribed and so we see the sin nature of of Cain emerging. He is self-righteous is a self-styled religion. In verse five we read God had no regard for his offering God flatly rejected.

It didn't matter how sincere Cain was, for he was sincerely wrong and then we read that Cain was very angry. It wasn't humbled. He wasn't convicted, he wasn't repentant he was angry and with whom was he angry. He was angry God. It shows that the pride that this stinking pride within his own heart. His ego was offended because God rejected his sacrifice and it is God think he is to reject my offering.

That's exactly where Cain was. And we see total depravity on steroids. We see total depravity, glaring in the fourth chapter of Genesis and in verse four.

God says if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Will this sin is pictured here like a lion crouching at the door ready to to lead and to devour Cain and of course, this sin is the power of sin and it is with in Cain as sin is ready to to consume him.

And then God said, and its desire is for you.

There is this now principal and power of sin within Cain that desires to dominate Cain and to master Cain, and to destroy Cain and the problem is with sin, and the result of that we read Cain rose up against Abel and killed him. This is radical corruption at the very beginning to the very first offspring to get to come from Adam and Eve came here exemplifying one who is outside a saving relationship with God, who tries to come to God in his own efforts and with his own self-righteousness. When we come to Genesis 6 we read of the generation before the flood, and we read that the world is not becoming better and better. We read that man is not evolving upward. That man is devolving downward as he is in a freefall, spiritually speaking, falling deeper and deeper into sin and Genesis 6 verse five this verse just stands out like a bright star in a dark night as it speaks to the total depravity of the entire human race has been well said the Bible has to be inspired by God because if man wrote it, man would never be so self condemning of what is being put into the Scripture that this has to be God's diagnosis of the human race. And so we read then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great, not small great on the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. I at every word of this verse is just pregnant with truth regarding total depravity and this is a snapshot of the entire human race that includes the comprehensive diagnosis of the human race.

Every family save one family that would be put onto the ark, who had believed in God's Look at these words in Genesis 65 wickedness the Lord saw that the wickedness of man. The word wickedness here speaks of moral pollution and inward corruption and filthy depravity. The wickedness of man, the word man is a a is a comprehensive word that speaks of the whole human race. Everyone alive on the planet was great, not small.

Great, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart. Did you hear that every intent from within the thoughts of the heart. The problem is not as environment on the outside. The problem is. His heart on the inside and every single thought is polluted by sin is like taking one drop of cyanide and putting in a glass of water and it just permeates the whole, and there is death inside the entire glass from the top of man's head to the bottom of his feet.

Every engine every ounce of it is now polluted and permeated by sin.

That's what we mean by total depravity that every capacity of man. His mind, his heart, his will, the totality of the inner person is affected by sin, and his thoughts are only evil, not sometimes good, sometimes evil, even what would appear from a human perspective to be a good intention is in reality as God diagnoses it still stained with selfishness.

It was only evil, listen to this last word and adverb continually 24 hours a day seven days a week every inch every ounce of every person on the planet only evil continually. That was before the flood that he thinks will be any better after the flood, because those were sinners that got onto the ark right now. Redeemed sinners justified sinners, but nevertheless sinners and as they come off the art they bring the contamination of sin with them.

And as they now began to populate the earth. Here is a continuation of exactly the same as before the flood.

And so, in Genesis 8 and verse 21 after the flood second verse, same as the first in his kiss more the sign and we read the intent of man's heart.

Now please note what is describing here, not the outward action, but the inner intent of the heart that will be the writer of the ship that will guide all of the outer actions, but it is not just something that total depravity that just lays on the surface of a person's life there outward faade if we just change their there outward behavior then man would be okay.

Another problem is he's been injected with the poisonous venom of sin and it's on the inside of him. So it says in Genesis 821 for the intent of man's heart is evil.

But it one word description. Bottom line is every intent is evil. For how long is it been this way the last three words from his youth. The sin start when he went to college. This didn't start me started dating the wrong girl that this didn't start once he got his first job.

Note that this was from his youth that this was injected into him really. When he was conceived in his mother's womb, and when he came forth from his mother's womb and delivered into this world from his youth, his every intent was on evil that this is God's diagnosis and I will remind us of what Romans three says let God be found true. Let every man he found a liar. This is God's diagnosis of the entire human race. From the very beginning so you say, then how in the world would anyone ever be saved if every man is running away from God. If every man is hiding from God. If every man is a dread of God.

If every man's thoughts and intentions of the heart are on evil continually. Then how is anyone to ever enter into the kingdom of God and the answer is, it must originate with God. It must begin with God, and it began with God really in eternity past, when God chose his elect. When God chose those whom he would save the Springs is now to the doctrine of sovereign election. This is the most glorious truth, perhaps, and in all the Bible because if man cannot choose God, how glorious it is that God chooses sinners to be saved. What man cannot do and what man will not do God has done from before the foundation of the world. So when we read in Genesis 12 and verse one the Lord said to Abram, go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house to the land which I will show you what God did his God made a distinguishing choice that in a pagan culture and in a pagan cosmopolitan city of the Chaldees God chose Abram for his own possession. God looked past other sinners and passed over other sinners. And God chose this center to save and we know that God chose a room because Nehemiah 9 in verse seven says quote the Lord God chose Abram."

Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture and so God made this distinguishing choice and then as we trace this down through the book of Genesis we see that with every offspring. God is making distinguishing choices, and so we read in Genesis 17 that with the birth of Isaac, and with the birth of Ishmael, though Ishmael was born first, God chose Isaac and passed over Ishmael and chose Isaac to be the one upon whom he would set his savings sovereign grace and then as we continue to look in Genesis, we come to Genesis 18 in verse 19. This is a wonderful verse and as we come to this verse. It reads, for I have chosen him.

God says I have chosen Abram to save energy use and to be my instrument and his word for chosen is a Hebrew word that is sometimes translated to know to know with love to know in an intimate personal way and what this verb. God is saying is that God chose, with great love to set his heart of affection and tender mercy upon this undeserving center. Abram, he did choose Abram because of a room. He chose Abram in spite of Abram he chose Abram simply because he chose to save Abram and then in Genesis 25 in verse 23 as it comes time for the birth of Jacob and Esau to twins. Two sons in the womb, God chose to set his heart upon Jacob and not upon Esau and according to human perspective, we would have chosen Esau by birthright and by birth order, but God's ways are higher than our ways in God's thoughts are beyond our thoughts and God's ways are so counterintuitive to us so many times and according to the inscrutable purposes of God. For reasons known only to God alone. Jacob I loved, and Esau I hated sovereign election clearly taught in the book of Genesis and we kind of book of Romans and Paul wants to make his case for sovereign election.

In Romans chapter 9 where does Paul go. Paul goes to the Old Testament. He's already gone to the Old Testament when he taught justification by faith he went back to Abraham and he went back to David and now to teach sovereign election. Where does he go he goes back to Genesis to show us it's always been this way. This is not a new truth for New Testament times.

The truth of sovereign election was taught in the Old Testament it was demonstrated in the Old Testament it was exercised by God in the Old Testament sovereign election course we see some foreshadowing's of definite atonement, but only in whom I call vague ways types and pictures got accepted Abel's blood sacrifice. You remember and we just learned some elementary truths that we as sinners can only approach a holy God and be received by holy God as we bring a sacrifice as we bring up on the basis of a blood sacrifice. And then in Genesis 22 in verse two God said to Abram, take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac and go to the land of Moriah and offering.

There is a burnt offering.

Again, just a foreshadowing of God taking his son, his only son. His son, whom he deeply loves to sacrifice him upon the altar of Calvary's cross. One day for sinners like you and me will finally, I want you to see effectual call here in Genesis 11. In verse 31 Abram and Sarai, they they went out together from the of Chaldees and later in Genesis 15, seven we are given a stronger description of their going out. It tells us they were brought out who brought them out was the one who was calling them. It was none other than God himself and the call was so powerful that that call late hold of them and began to draw them to himself and into guide them to the place where they will enter into a personal relationship with God in Genesis 15, verse seven we read God's own testimony of their testimony.

God says I am the Lord who brought you out of the earth Chaldees listen. They didn't go out by their own initiative and God didn't come to me just nudge them or give him a little bump in the right direction God brought them out and that that pictures God apprehending them in laying hold of them and bringing them out of darkness and out of paganism and out of worldliness into a land where God will reveal himself to them in their Abram believed God affect the very previous verse Genesis 15 verse six Abram believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. There's a doctrine of justification by faith alone and is the very next verse that speaks to how it is that he believed in God. He believed in God because he had been brought out of darkness and brought to a land into a place where God made himself known to Abram and made known to him, his saving mercy and grace. And he believed in God because he had been brought to believe in God by God himself. And that leads finally to preserving grace once entering into relationship with God would never fall out of that relationship because God said in Genesis 17. Verse 19 I will establish my covenant with him for and listen to this for an ever lasting covenant. If Abram had entered into this covenant and fallen away would been a tenure covenant a five year covenant, but it was an everlasting covenant right. Therefore, his eternal destiny with God was settled and sealed while he was here upon this earth, and he could never fall out of the covenant because it was God who initiated this covenant and God who grafted him into this covenant and God who has sealed him in this covenant, and he could never fall out of this covenant.

This is the preserving grace of God and this will be opened up and elaborated on in so many ways. As we work our way through Scripture. With so many truths and metaphors and analogies and and images of the eternal security that we have your believer in Jesus Christ you're a part of this eternal everlasting covenant. What is settled for eternity cannot be undone such comforting news for the believers and we can never fall out of the covenant actually get your teaching fellow, Dr. Steven Lawson with a message from his teaching series, foundations of grace Old Testament the doctrines of grace is a shorthand way of describing God's sovereign will and saving his people you may know them better is Calvinism or by the acrostic tulip Dr. Lawson series traces these doctrines of grace through the entire Bible, would you give a donation of really about today leader ministries we'd like to send you both the old and New Testament portions of the series of special edition sector were offering only here on Renewing Your Mind, you can request all 38 messages when you go online to renew your mind.org or would you call us. Our phone number is 800-435-4343, we were reminded today with these doctrines of grace are not a 16th-century invention. They are in fact God's doctrines revealed in his word all the way back to Genesis will be encouraged by the series.

So I did request foundations of grace. When you give a donation of any about our numbers 800-435-4343 and or web address is Renewing Your Mind.org and an advancement on behalf of all of my college years would dinner ministries. Thank you for your generosity tomorrow will take a look at the doctrines of grace in the New Testament will see that man sin is presented, the same way the Gospels, as we saw presented today in Genesis is one of the beautiful things about God's word use consistent. I hope you'll join us Thursday for Renewing Your Mind

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