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Man’s Sin in the Synoptics

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
September 16, 2021 12:01 am

Man’s Sin in the Synoptics

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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September 16, 2021 12:01 am

As the sum and substance of the doctrines of grace, Jesus is the greatest Teacher of these truths who has ever lived. Today, Steven Lawson examines Christ's teaching on total depravity in the gospel of Matthew.

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Coming up next on Renewing Your Mind, the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart. That's the issue, and that's what Jesus is addressing here the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart. There's the problem there's the problem. You probably realize that is much as anyone probably didn't take you long to discover that you didn't have to teach your children to soon the desires there from the beginning in all of us. We inherited it from our first parents that's recorded for us in Genesis and we see proof of it on practically every ensuing page of Scripture were studying the doctrine of total depravity, because in order to fully appreciate the good news of the gospel must have a correct understanding of the bad, the sin which permeates every ounce of our being and we discover that Jesus himself was quite vocal about our sin, you have your Bible, I want to invite you to turn to the gospel of Matthew, and what I want us to look at is Matthew Mark and Luke, but in these parallel passages. They are basically from the gospel of Matthew, and what were going to be looking at is the greatest expositor who ever lived.

The greatest teacher who ever lived, and I do not mean Matthew, I mean the one of him. Matthew recorded his words, the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

Jesus was the greatest teacher of the doctrines of grace who ever lived. He not only is the sum and the substance of the doctrines of grace but he is the greatest expounder of the doctrines of grace as well. So we want begin to look in the gospel of Matthew and see how Jesus addressed all five doctrines of grace.

It will build an increase in the gospel of John, so with the gospel of Matthew and the synoptic Gospels are not as Matthew Mark and Luke.

We will begin to wade out into the water. But when we come to the gospel of John we will be fully submerged in the doctrines of grace, as taught by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

But if all we had was just the four Gospels Matthew Mark Luke and John.

We would be totally convinced of the doctrines of grace.

It would be a slamdunk presentation. The discussion would be fully established just from the lips of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We wouldn't even need Romans, we would need Ephesians we would need the other New Testament epistles and I think it is only right because Christ is the head of the church that he himself should directly and personally speak to this very important issue. So as we come to the gospel of Matthew. We want to go through it five times we want to look at total depravity, unconditional election definite atonement, irresistible grace and preserving grace of the perseverance of the saints.

Soren had to go through it. Five times now, it will not be until we come to the gospel of John that we will have at our disposal, a wealth of passages to work with. But let's begin.

Now I want to talk about total depravity and how our Lord addressed the doctrine of total depravity in Matthew chapter 5 in verse three. The very first words that come from the lips of our Lord in the sermon on the mount.

The greatest sermon ever preached in the history of the world by the greatest preacher who ever lived, Jesus Christ our Lord.

The very first sentence that comes out of his mouth is a statement of total depravity. So in Matthew chapter 5 in verse three Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Now only be quick to say this, everyone is poor in spirit is just there only a few who will recognize it. Even those who are unconverted, even those who are reprobates, even those who are the non-elect are poor in spirit. They simply are too haughty and too arrogant and too prideful to ever admit it or to ever see it in themselves. Jesus is announcing the blessing of God and to be blessed is the opposite of being cursed ureter blaster. Your cursed and be blessed is to be in a state of grace to be blessed is to be in the kingdom of heaven.

That's what he says here. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs, and the idea that there is theirs alone is the kingdom of heaven.

No one else is in the kingdom of heaven, except those who declare personal spiritual bankruptcy.

That's what it is to be poor in spirit is not to be poor and pocketbook is not to be poor and bank account to be poor in spirit small estimating your entire inner person in your many different words that are used in the New Testament for poor.

This is the lowest of the low, and it's a Greek word tow costs, which means to be a beggar that you have actually nothing in this day and time.

A beggar would sit in the corner and have nothing in his pockets had nothing in his hands and would just simply hold out an empty hand and be at the total mercy of the goodness of someone else who would come walking by to put something into the beggar's hand. The beggar had no ability to perform any work or to do anything otherwise, he would be doing it and wouldn't be without anything.

Many times it would be a leper.

Many times it would be a blind person. Many times it would be someone he was paralyzed or lame and there was absolutely nothing that they could do to earn anything and they would be too ashamed to even make eye contact it to even look up, and so they would even turn their head away and just extend an empty hand and be at the total mercy of the one passing by out of their goodness to take from their possessions and just place something in their hand. That is the word that Jesus is using here. Blessed are the poor in spirit, the one who recognizes in my hand. No price I bring, simply to thy cross I cling the one who recognizes that they have absolutely no spiritual capital whatsoever. They have nothing to contribute to their salvation. It is not even as though someone else buys the mail okay I'll do the tip know it's you have nothing.

Nothing to contribute whatsoever. This is the first thing Jesus said describes the one who inherits the kingdom of heaven that you have come to this point of recognition to statement of total depravity. It's a statement of spiritual bankruptcy that you have nothing to bring to God. Then in Matthew chapter 510. In verse 21 Jesus expands this out a bit more when he says to the Pharisees, especially who were a part of this crowd.

You have heard that the ancients were told, you shall not commit murder, and whoever commits murder shall be guilty before the court, but I say to you as Jesus says this now he gives the true interpretation of this commandment.

This is not a new teaching that he will give this is the interpretation that should have been given all along that it begins with a heart is not just the outward action. It begins with a heart but I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court and what Jesus is stressing here is that it begins with a heart and when there is anger in the heart. You are a murderer before God. You are one who hates your brother or your sister, your one who hates your neighbor or even an enemy. He then goes on to say that this person is guilty enough to go to the fiery hell and then a few verses later. You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her illicit wrong desires fantasizing in the mind has already committed adultery with her in his heart breaking the 10 Commandments begins with the heart long before the action takes place. Whether or not the action ever takes place. It's a matter of the heart and what foulness, what depravity, what defilement resides within the heart and all of this contributes to people being self deceived about where they stand with God. In Matthew chapter 7 in verse 21 is also found in Luke six, verse 46 Jesus said not everyone who says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. Meaning there are many people who are self deceived about where they stand with God. There are many people who have prayed a prayer. There are many people who have been involved in personal ministry. There are many people who have done many wondrous good deeds and when I die, they are expecting to wake up in heaven and instead will wake up in the flames of hell below, never to escape the part of total depravity that you are so convoluted about even your own relationship with God that you are so mistaken sin in an unconverted heart creates self deception is why Jesus is not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, use a Lord Lord till the cows come home. You can get on your knees and pray, and simply be parroting and insincere prayer, but that one will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

It's a bogus confession.

It is a false testimony is a dead testimony that has no validity or any reality whatsoever.

It speaks to the depths of total depravity that someone can just go through the religious gang of pretending to be a Christian when in reality they are not nieces the acid test is, but he who does the will of my father who is in heaven. Obedience to the will of God from the heart is the acid test of the one who is truly in the kingdom of heaven, at least according to Jesus, and then he goes on to say, many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and your name cast out demons in your name perform many miracles and then I will declare to them, I never knew you depart from a youth who work iniquity.

Now here's what I understand is taking place here. They are so self deceived about their relationship with God that they are self deceived even about their own ministry. They actually thought they were casting out demons when in reality was nothing but a charade. They actually thought that they were performing many wondrous works. They were not, and they actually thought that they were prophesying when in reality they were not. They were self deceived even about their own ministry because they were self deceived about their own relationship with God is speaks to the blindness of those who are in the grip of total depravity. It it speaks to the darkness within one's heart and soul. When they are unconverted in Matthew chapter 9 and verse 12 we see the fatal illness of sin in the life of the one who is unconverted in Matthew nine verse 12 but when Jesus heard this, he said it is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick and when he says sick. He is describing the spiritual state and condition of the one who is unconverted. This too is a part of total depravity that we know other analogies like Ephesians 2 verse one speaks of those who are dead in trespasses and sins we know it's far worse than just being sick.

But in this case sick describes the fatal illness of sin, the venom of sin is in the soul and it inflicts a dying state. This is the part of total depravity in the Pharisees thought they were well in just fine with God and Jesus is saying here and in no no you're sick you're just sick. In Matthew chapter 12 verse 34 and 35 which is also mentioned in Luke 643 to 45.

Jesus makes a quite a strong statement to the Pharisees and by the way, as he addresses the Pharisees the same seeds of sin are in every person who is outside of Christ, so that the Pharisees are just the tip of the iceberg. What is true. The Pharisees is true of any other person because the sin of Adam is passed down to the entire human race not just to the Pharisees and so in Matthew chapter 12 verse 34 Jesus had you brood of vipers. Now there's some preaching for you.

You brood of vipers, how can you being evil, speak what is good for the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good, but the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. There's an old saying was Nana welcomes up in the bucket and what is down and the heart comes out of the mouth.

The mouse is just the window into the soul mouth is just the window into the heart.

And Jesus is saying the reason that there are evil things coming out of your mouth is because your heart is filthy rotten sick the market. Total depravity and Jesus did not say to the Pharisees.

I'm okay you're okay and Jesus did not say to the Pharisees, will this is just a matter of semantics. You're actually kind of okay people, now he secures much of vipers near unconverted, and there is evil inside of you. There is evil lurking inside of you. There is evil lurking inside every unconverted heart and soul gets worse in Matthew chapter 15 and beginning in verse 10, Matthew 15 in verse 10 Jesus called the crowd to name and he said to them so.

He is saying this to the whole crowd. Okay hear and understand. In other words, he who has ears to hear leading here is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man in other words, your problem is not what's on the outside of you that you're going to take inside of you. He's gonna say no. Your problem is the total opposite is what's already on the inside of you that will be coming out of you.

When you open your mouth or carry out your actions. The problem is inside of you. The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.

That's the issue, and that's what Jesus is addressing here to look at it again. It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth. This defiles the man and then he goes on to say, but the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart.

There is the problem Jeremiah would say the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked who can understand this is but the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and those defile the man is not what comes into you it's what's coming out of you is what's already in you. It's in your character.

It's in your being. It's in your very personage.

He says, for out of the heart come now, what on earth could be inside that that that heart. This is quite a laundry list evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication's thefts, false witness, slanders Jesus said this to the whole crowd because what is true of one is true of the whole. These are the things which defile the man to heat with unwashed hands that does not defile the man.

What defiles the man and the woman. The boy and the girl is what was inherited at the moment of conception. It is the sin nature. That's what defiles the man in Matthew chapter 19 beginning in verse 23 is the account of the rich young ruler, and after Jesus has addressed him. The disciples I will you know will who can be saved and Jesus said, truly, I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. So we would ask.

Okay, so how hard is it for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God you how hard that is. That's impossible, it's impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, it's impossible for a poor man to enter into the kingdom of heaven is only by the grace of God that anyone can enter into the kingdom of heaven, and he goes on to say when his disciples heard this, they were astonished and said, who then can be saved.

They understood how narrow the narrow gate was in looking at them. Jesus said this is impossible, impossible for rich man impossible for poor man impossible for someone and middle-class society, but with God all things are possible. In Matthew 23. In verse 25 Jesus digs down a little bit deeper with the Pharisees and he says woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish so that the outside of it may become clean. Also, can you imagine if I can mow your house tonight and and you said come on over and have a meal tonight so I sit down at your table and you can you come bring out your very best China you know you haven't used it since you were married and and you bring it out of the china closet in his can be a special evening set it down right in front of me and it just looks so beautiful You know Wedgewood pattern or whatever it's it's just beautiful and you're in the kitchen getting Ray to bring the food out and I look inside the cup and there is just a chunk of dried meat that just stuck to the inside.

And then there is something green.

I only want to know what with that is a meal is like monkey brains or something.

This just stuck inside of their in and I realize this foul odor is coming out of the inside of the cup really doesn't matter how attractive the outside is when there is no way that I can eat or drink out of this is the point Jesus is making him and you look so religious on the outside yeah you you got this down to an art form but on the inside of your heart and on the inside of your soul. There is that which is odious and loathsome on the inside that's the doctrine of total depravity.

He goes on to say in Matthew 23. In verse 27 and yes it actually gets worse. He says woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you are like whitewashed tombs now whitewashed tombs. They look brand-new. There so clean. They are so beautiful in appearance on the outside, which on the outside appear beautiful but inside meeting inside the tomb.

They are full of dead men's bones or cephalic corruption on the inside and and all uncleanness returned to moral impurity and now. Great preaching is to the you solicitor the next verse, Jesus is so used to outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. That's the result of total depravity. That's what total depravity looks like total depravity is extraordinary at putting up a faade, a religious faade and giving the appearance of at times even being right with God, but on the inside. There is wickedness on the inside there.

There is an unconverted heart. There is dead men's bones on the inside. This is the doctrine of total depravity and this coming from the lips of the great physician who alone can make the accurate diagnosis of the human heart will Jesus will have more to say. As we address the other doctrines of grace, but this is Jesus on total depravity from the gospel of Matthew. This should be a controversial doctrine as the apostle Paul's who clearly points to the Ephesians we were dead in our trespasses and soon we needed someone to breathe new life into us today of redoing her by Dr. Steven Lawson is helpless to see this doctrine so clearly were not sinners because we assume we sin because we are sinners. It's vital that we have a correct understanding of doctrines like this and that's why I think a resource offer today will be invaluable to you in 24 messages. Dr. Lawson walked through the New Testament showing us God's plan of salvation for man's total depravity to God's sovereign the election to learn what the Bible says about the doctrines of grace we like to send you the three DVDs from the series. Just contact us today with your gift of any amount and request foundations of grace by Dr. Steven Lawson there a couple of ways you can reach us. What is online@renewingyourmind.org or you can simply call us her phone number is 800-435-4343 in an online article. Dr. RC Sproul said the reformed view is that the effects of the full extent of the core of our being that is, our sin is something that comes from our hearts. The doctrines of grace diagnose her problem with pinpoint accuracy. And they reveal God's solution with the glorious message of the cross. So again, we invite you to request a series by Dr. Steven Lawson foundations of grace.

New Testament give your phone number again it's 800-435-4343 our web address is Renewing Your Mind.org and in advance. Let me take you for your generosity.

Today we saw what Jesus taught about our sin problem.

Tomorrow will learn about God's grace from the same book that we studied today the gospel of Matthew. We hope you'll join us for Renewing Your Mind

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