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November 26, 2021 12:01 am
The message of Christianity is the message of salvation. But there are many people in the world who see no need for a Savior. Today, R.C. Sproul answers an objection raised by those who claim that Jesus is irrelevant or unnecessary.
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Today on Renewing Your Mind. If I had no love of Christ. The sheer understanding of his righteousness on the righteousness of God would drive me to flee to him with all of my energy because I would understand this simple conclusion that there is nothing in this universe. I need more than a Savior. Yet there are millions of people who believe otherwise under RC Sproul was addressing the common objections to the Christian faith. This week will get to his message in just a moment but first to Chris Larson our president and CEO here is regular ministries is struck by the studio in the grace we continue to be amazed at how God is awakening. So many people to their need of a Savior in that I understand you brought with you and credible example of that today. Lien inmate wrote to us recently expressing how God used a radio broadcast of Dr. Sproles to save not only his life but also the soul. Listen to this.
He writes I am an incarcerated man doing a life sentence here in the Montana state prison. I'm a wretched sinner who is presently housed in solitary confinement for my actions on the prison's general population, and for being a high-ranking member of the gang.
I'm facing several years in solitary confinement for disciplinary and affiliation purposes. It is likely that I'm facing more charges as well. The only properties I am allowed to present our books and a radio life was looking very bleak and I began to despair of life and was contemplating suicide because I grew up in the system and was a state raised child being abandoned by family at the age of eight I had no outside love ones were support structure. I become very lonely and could find no reason to carry on in this long sentence. I had turned my radio to family radio and listen to a message by Dr. RC Sproul while I was braiding strips of ripped sheets and planning to hang myself as I'm confined to my Excel for 23 hours a day.
I heard the gospel of the ministry of reconciliation to the person and finished work of Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the sole ground of salvation.
It all made sense to me and as a result, the grace and love of God to the Lord Jesus Christ has been shed abroad in my heart I have been set free. I think God and pray for this ministry and listen out every day.
God is so merciful, he writes, thank you for your faithfulness in the ministry of the gospel of Christ, and for your time, grace and peace. That's Brett writing from the Montana state prison leaks in solitary confinement in his story. Chris is is not unique.
We've heard from several men like this we are receiving hundreds of letters every month here at the ministry and that pace is only quickening, and so were continuing to grow our response team to make sure that we can serve God's people behind prison bars and God is doing an amazing work in the prison facilities in these United States. And so were continuing to press on this outreach and want to just do more and more in the months and years, that is an amazing story. Chris, thank you for sharing that with Shannon as we turn to Dr. Sproles message today, we realize all the more everyone is in need of a safe as we continue now with hours body of the most frequent questions and objections that people raise about Christianity. One of those most frequent objections that I hear that have been documented is the objection after we have carefully explained the essence of the Christian faith and tried to give a reason for our confidence in the existence of God and so on. The objection that is raised is simply the statement. So what, what's the big deal. Who cares those responses are usually tied with the following statement that I have heard literally hundreds of times in my life I've had people say to me I don't see the need for religion. I accept RC that you find some significance and meaning and happiness out of your devotion to Christ and the things of God and so on. But that's not really a small part of my everyday life and I know friends who have gotten religion and that's cool for them but I personally don't feel the need of it. I tried to live a good life.
I try to do what's right. As I understand it I'm not overburdened with some sense of guilt are not preoccupied with my shortcomings were all imperfect and I just don't get it. I don't see why you need it and I try to answer that in a brief way in a succinct way in a direct way.
Similarly, try to explain to you why I think I need it and why I think that if you're anything like me, you may need it to. At the heart of our convictions about the things of God is the first assertion that God exists and that the God who exists is holy that that God is perfectly righteous. He is altogether good and altogether just now, I would grant to you that if he is not good if he is not righteous if he is not just. Not only do we not need him.
We don't want him I wouldn't waste five seconds of my time and energy trying to persuade people to devote their lives to and on just God to an on righteous BA that I would equate with Satan worship those who are interested in worshiping evil let them go to the occult, but I would not command anybody to giving worship and adoration and devotion to one who is not good, but I say to my friends a state that that's the first proposition. God is good. The second proposition is I am not good. Now this flies in the face of the culture because just as 95% of the people in our culture say they believe that God exists. I don't know the exact percentage but it is the majority of people in our culture believe that human beings are basically good there willing to grant that no one is perfect, and that all of us have made mistakes but in the main, in general, basically fundamentally were good.
Yes, there may be some bad apples and maybe people who commit murder and rape and that sort of thing. But the average person in America does not commit violent crimes were basically good and so if you are basically good and God is good. What's the problem. Well, the question is this, are we good enough to pass the holy judgment of God because of Jesus of Nazareth taught anything he taught emphatically and clearly that every single human being. At some point in the future will stand before the righteous judgment of God. I don't know about you, but the thought of my standing alone and make before the perfect tribunal of God terrifies me. If I had no love of Christ.
The sheer understanding of his righteousness on the righteousness of God would drive me to flee to him with all of my energy because I would understand this simple conclusion that there is nothing in this universe.
I need more than a Savior know the idea that we don't need a Savior that we don't need Christ that we don't need religion so to speak is not new at all this same kind of question this same kind of objection was raised in Jesus day to Jesus himself, and I want us to look at that account as we find it in the New Testament in the gospel according to St. Luke in the 18th chapter of Luke beginning at verse 18 we read this narrative again. It's Luke 18 verse 18.
Now a certain ruler asked him, saying, good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life. No notice here that this rich young ruler. This young man who was a ruler. He was a leader in the community, presumably an educated man. He didn't come to Jesus with the question so what they at least had enough interest peaked in his mind to probe a little more deeply into this message that Jesus was teaching and he says to Jesus, first of all, good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life. He was interested in this idea of eternal life.
He didn't dismiss that is irrelevant.
He wants to live forever.
They heard about this teaching of the possibility of having eternal life of the asset. The Symbicort will not and what does Jesus say Jesus answers this question with a question. He says to the man. Why do you call me good. Notice that before Jesus answers the man's question the man's question. What must I do to inherit eternal life before Jesus even addresses that question he addresses the terms of greeting that the young ruler made to Jesus again.
Remember when the man came to Jesus. He said that she's a good teacher and then proceeded immediately to his question, Jesus stops him in his tracks and Holland wait a minute wait just a minute, why do you call me good. It's as if Jesus were speaking to us in the 20th century into our opinion polls that celebrate the foundational goodness of ourselves and would stand up today and say as loud as he possibly could. Why do you call you ourselves good or why do you call me good, no one is good but God. Now listen carefully. Jesus is not saying here young man. I am not God.
I'm not Emmanuelle I'm not God incarnate, so it's completely inappropriate for you to call me good because only God is good… Jesus is chases new where the young man was coming from.
And Jesus knew that the young man did not know to whom he was speaking. Jesus understood that this young man assumed that Jesus was just another teacher a good teacher. Perhaps relatively consider but Jesus immediately focuses on the issue. That is, the barrier to eternal life. Human goodness and he understands at the very beginning of the discussion that the young man is not under stand what goodness is the young man wanted to focus on the requirements for obtaining eternal life. Jesus doesn't completely ignore that, but he wants to get the young man to see at the outset that the big barrier to eternal life that you face and that I face is lack of goodness. But this man came, assuming a view of goodness that was wrong and Jesus challenges it and lays it bear in the subsequent discussion, let's go on with the discussion. So Jesus said to him, why do you call me good, no one is good but one, that is God. You know the commandments, do not commit adultery, do not murder. Do not steal, do not bear false witness. Honor your father and your mother again what is Jesus implying here that you want to go to heaven by law live a good life be good be good and you have eternal life. You have nothing to worry about because what Jesus is teaching this man and what we need to hear from the lips of Jesus is the only thing that will satisfy a good God. At the last judgment is goodness that only the good will have eternal life.
If you think you don't need Christ you're squirming by now, unless you have a hugely exaggerated concept of your own goodness. But you're right, it's gonna take goodness to get you into heaven and Jesus says you know the law. Thou shall not steal well shall not kill those not commit adultery.
And what does the rich young man say hoops the oh I'm in trouble by steel hut kill somebody I commit adultery I don't have a chance.
That's not his response is studying. It's almost audible that he breathes a sigh of relief that he says that Jesus all these things have I done for my youth. Jesus is that all it takes to get in heaven is to keep the law of God, not to kill, not the steel not to commit adultery not to covet the bear false witness. I've kept all those laws since I was a little kid and so Jesus said, well done my good and faithful servant and are now into the kingdom of God is prepared for you from the foundation of the world known distant challenges directly is much more subtle. I say capital law, this one thing you lack is one thing, one small little shortcoming on your part go, so all that you have.
Take up your cross and follow me. It's as if Jesus were saying a notice I said, as if Jesus were saying right.
Your evaluation of yourself is correct. You have been a model citizen. You've been up right and righteous and dealing with integrity just one little shortcoming here. One thing you have failed, take up your cross. Don't give your possessions to the poor and come and follow me. Obviously I'm combining visa statements here and look to those that are made another Gospels. Luke's version simply says go install your treasures and so on. But the point that Jesus is making here is the man wasn't quite as good as a fine class. He lacks something that before we get to what it was that he lacked. Let me try to read the mind of Jesus here for you.
I don't want to be presumptuous, but I'm speculating this is vintage sprawl in the text doesn't say this but I think what Jesus could've said the man was oh you have stolen you have committed adultery you haven't killed. I perceive young man that you weren't there the day I preached the sermon on the Mount, you missed that sermon when I explain to the people there that the law of God that says that you must not steal, and you must not kill, and you must not commit adultery cannot be understood in a simplistic superficial way because I explained to the people at the sermon on the Mount that the full extent of God's prohibition against killing.
For example, means that you cannot be angry at your brother without just cause, and that you cannot hate your brother, and that even when you lust after woman, you have broken God's commandment against adultery. Maybe you haven't committed the actual act of adultery. Since you were a boy. Maybe it never robbed the bank since you were a boy and maybe you've never actually taken somebody's life since you were a boy, but if you look carefully at what the full import of the law of God is you haven't Any of those commandments that you say that you Since you were a child you get them so you got your bed this morning but that's not what Jesus did. He could've done that and could've shown this young man that his understanding of goodness was plus a clay simplistic.
Instead, he takes a more dramatic notice that when Jesus rehearsed the law with the young man he started with what we call the second table of the law now goes the first day.
What's the very first amendment and the 10 Commandments thou shalt have no other gods before me. And it's as if Jesus said to this young man oh you keep the law of God your good well let's just go down the list. Let's start with number one also have no other gods before me. Because Jesus knew where that man's heart was Jesus knew what that man worshiped and what that man lived for it wasn't for God. It was for possessions and Jesus said okay and keep the law. Let's see if you keep the law go and get rid of all your possessions in the Bible tells us that the young man shook his head sorrowfully and walked away.
He missed the kingdom of God. He missed the crucial point that what he needed more than anything else was goodness that he did not and could not possess enough himself the gospel of Christ does not teach that God negotiates goodness at the last judgment and that God just simply waives the requirement. The good news of the gospel is that God himself supplies the goodness that you and I do not, to everyone who will receive Christ and that he gives to us the very righteousness of Christ. If we trust in him. When somebody says to me I don't need Christ.
I want week because unless that person is perfect and I know that person really doesn't believe that they are perfect they need Christ they need Christ more desperately than they need anything more than they need error more than they need water more than I need for more limited shelter more than I need companionship with other mortals in this world need Christ. There is nothing more relevant to unjust people than the gift of the righteousness of Christ, who alone can satisfy for me and for you. The demands of a perfect and holy judge may review it. If God is righteous and you are not righteous and he is going to judge you, according to his righteousness. You need help in the good news of the gospel is that help has arrived. He is our help in times of trouble because he comes bearing the thing we need the most becomes offering his righteousness, he will give to you as your possession in the sight of God. If you claim and the good news of the gospel is that help has arrived. It can be a mystery why some people feel their need for a Savior, while others do not. But as we heard Dr. RC Sproul say today, placing faith in Christ is our Savior is not just another option. We are free to reject Christ is our only hope were glad you joined us today for Renewing Your Mind.
Stay with us because RC will have a final thought force in just a moment. The message referred today comes from RC series objections answered in eight lessons.
He answers common questions like, what about the innocent native who's never heard the gospel. Why is Christ the only way and does God exist would like to send you the digital download of the complete series. Just contact us today with a donation of getting about Tlingit air ministries defending the Christian faith can seem intimidating. That's why we want to equip you with this series, and when you contact us today will also include defending your faith. That's a 32 message series that equips you with typical knowledge and sound logic you can request both series email@example.com. Our staff is at home celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday.
So this is an online offer only. Again, the website address is Renewing Your Mind.org now here's RC again in our quorum Deyo thought for today.
Let me say to you, dear friends, you may not want Christ.
You may not want to be bothered with religious things. But, dear friend. You need Christ you know you're not perfect. You know that you're not wholly and you know that God is holy and the biggest problem you will ever face in your existence is how to reconcile that problem and what Christianity is all about is that righteousness has been achieved by somebody else for me and for all who put their faith in him. God provides what you need if you despise that you lose everything all of us here at beginner ministries hope that you have a relaxing and joyful Thanksgiving weekend and let us remember to whom we offer our thanks the Lord be with you and we hope you'll join us again Monday for Renewing Your Mind