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January 26, 2022 12:01 am
Are we basically good people who occasionally make bad choices, or does the problem of sin go much deeper? Today, Michael Reeves presents the biblical view of sin recovered in the Reformation that drives us to rely on Christ alone for salvation.
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16th century scholar Erasmus wrote the show is something we choose to do, but it's not something that enslaves us. Martin Luther saw differently. Lutheran seems that is that the problem of sin is as deep in us as it possibly could. All the way down into our hearts, shaping what we want and love as a result, we never naturally want God that's not a popular view both in Martin Luther's day them in her own tendency is to deny the depth and severity of our sin, the culture, and unfortunately even some of the church would have us believe that man is basically good, more optimistic view of human nature may seem less condemning and more respectful in the long run, it leads to greater spiritual enslavement today and Renewing Your Mind, Dr. Michael Reeves helps us see that only biblical definition of sin leads to true freedom, welcome back where you came to look now I the question of sin. I see how differently. Sin can be understood on how different views of sin have profound practical consequences. Martin Luther grew up with a little view of sin.
I wasn't that he refused to take sin seriously. Quite the opposite sin he knew is the weight that will track us to help.
It is the closable misery assuages a death while he knew that sin is a severe problem.
He didn't think it was a very deep problem. It was a view that chimes well with today's sharing optimism about ourselves and our culture today in our culture, we know we do wrong things, but the suggestion that we might be Robinson deep down strikes our society today is possibly repellent nonsense.
Most believe today we are good people muddling through.
And of course we slip up every now and again sin is seen as a small problem, easy to fix, Lisa came to see. Surprisingly, is that such sunny stories of how basically good.
We all so attractive in that sharing us actually terrible enslaving lies… Day it was the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, who summed it up in his message was so widespread. Aristotle said, we become righteous by doing righteous deeds we become righteous by doing righteous deeds for all we become just by doing just acts. It was a self-help fake it till you make it message so if you work it out with righteous acts and keep doing them. They claimed you will actually become a righteous person and four years Luther lived by the Maxim. We become righteous by doing righteous deeds as a monk, he desperately did all the righteous deeds he could imagine fasting, praying till grooming monk array comedy slowly came to realize was the dream of becoming truly righteous by some simple change of behavior was just that an elusive dream holding its reward ever just out of reach for consistently promised righteousness without delivering it full time exacting a heavier and heavier behavioral Damond. In other words by dangling the hope of becoming righteous before him while repeatedly giving more deeds to do that idea gradually enslaved him worse.
While doing all those outward acts of righteousness.
They found it wasn't making him upright and hot, full of love for the Lord. Quite the opposite is even doing always. Apparently he thinks righteous acts he found resentment snowballing inside him for God to do my own so many deeds trying to sort himself out and become righteous by his own efforts was driving him deep into slavery, despair and hatred of God. Sin began to see was not so easy a problem to whisk away.
It went deep down in him deeper down than he could reach himself. So was in 1517, but Melissa decided to challenge Aristotle's offensive a few weeks before posting his more famous 95 theses, Luther posted his 97 theses and in them he wrote this here house directly taking on Aristotle. Luther wrote, we do not become righteous by doing righteous deeds raw. The having been made righteous. We do righteous deeds, that is how a sin is not. He saw something we can sort out by ourselves by adjusting our performance if we want to be righteous. We have to be made righteous.
So how does that work for Alyssa continues. He said the grace of God makes righteousness abound through Jesus Christ because it causes one to be pleased with the law.
We cannot do the grace of God does God in his kindness is able to reach down where we can't reach into our hearts and change not just the superficial layer of our behavior, but our very hearts, causing us to actually desire to be pleased with what is righteous and that uprightness of heart is the only true uprightness of this is just where Manny would part ways with the Reformation God saving people out of his sheer lovingkindness sounds wonderful for people needing to be saved because they are otherwise helpless in the sin sounds less pleasing. How would I like hearing bad news same in Luther's day in the early days of the Reformation, though many who vaguely sympathetic to the Reformation.
They sold the need for some sort of change sums the Reformation in the church. They wanted the corruption, the mismanagement cleaned up and they saw someone like me Lutheran thought is the new broom who can come in step up to the task and clean things up a bit. One subject matter I was Erasmus time the most celebrated scholar in the world.
The man whose published the Greek New Testament.
The converted Luther and Erasmus idea or of Reformation was like his view of Christianity.
He believed that what the Roman Catholic Church needed in his day was a few improvements.
It was dirty and needed a wash. But nothing more radical essential need a change in likewise with us all. Erasmus felt he thought we could do better.
We should do better but that doesn't mean were enslaved to sin when his daughter a bit more so in 1524, Erasmus wrote on the freedom of the will, arguing that sin is not something that affects us so deeply or powerfully that it actually enslaves us.
Lisa saw this as an assault on the very cycles of the Reformation and he responded with a blistering argument on the bondage of the will.
So talk to Lisa gave his work with the next year on the bondage of the wealth commonly throws people. The people think. I make free choices tonight is Luther saying I can't do what I want. This idea of the bondage of the will, but that's a complete nonsense they say for I do what I want every day. My will seems very free and actually listen would agree we do always do what we want false. You do not choose what to want underneath our wills, directing and governing our choices lie our hearts with a inclinations and desires. Proverbs 16 verse nine in his heart a man plans his course and that is why we choose to sin. We do not go through life neutrally weighing the odds of each decision. Should I go with a righteous option out of the sinful option and just sensibly choose between them neutrally we choose sin because that's what we want. We are carrying out Ephesians to the desires of the flesh, we naturally John three love darkness and so James one.
Each person is tempted when he is neutered and enticed by his own desire than desired. James rights when it's conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it's fully grown, brings forth death. James 114 and 15 Luther, it seems that is the problem of sin goes as deep in us as it possibly could fall away down into our hearts, shaping what we want and love as a result, we never naturally want God so quickly freely choose to do the things that we want and that includes we have the ability to live a life of outward morality and respectability we can do that but left to ourselves.
We will never choose called because we do not naturally want him. Erasmus had taken at that how problem is sinners is basically sloth. We are spiritually sluggish and sleepy. That's a problem and what we need if we are to be righteous is ourselves together.
Put in the proper affect many could do it loses an experience a given life will last left him saying often years of Moncrief.
I did not love, I hated the righteous God. I was angry with God and with that in his heart. Luther found he could strive as hard as he wanted on yet only find himself further than ever. From actually fulfilling the law by loving the Lord is God Luther new outward appearance of righteousness he could achieve.
But it would be nothing more than a whole OSHA made of self dependence, self worship, self-righteousness is so he was like a rocking tree producing rotten fruit sin was in his roots in the very grain of his deepest self and what Luther needed.
What he saw. Full sinners need was a practical renewal a new part that would really love and be pleased with God that he saw would only come about through the love of God being spread abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
We put it like this. The heart must be made glad it must grow warm and melt in the love of God and then praise and thanksgiving will flow from a pure heart sing. That is when someone tastes the love the grace the glory of God through the gospel then that eyes are opened and their hearts atonement and only then will they love God. From a pure heart of the difference between Luther and Erasmus meant they ended up with two very different visions of Christianity, a superficial view of sin and a deep view of sin, and in very different places for Erasmus, the church is most like an army and one of his best-known works was entitled the manual of the Christian soldier, an important thing he emphasized in that book for a Christian was keep the rules. Do your duty like a good Christian soldier for Luther on the other hand, the church is first and foremost, like a family knowing God the father is what matters about whole. So sin is not just substandard behavior, dereliction of duty.
It's worse sin is displeasing God. The act of sin has its roots in the Hawks and reveals that something other than God has become the true object of the heart's desire and adoration when played out in real life difference between those two visions becomes very obvious right behavior is the go methods of goal everyone can achieve if they simply exert themselves properly will in the church can run just like in all me fosters conservative is the Sergeant Major's drilling the troops into line because after all, is Erasmus believed everyone is capable of getting into line. While the people more holy because they're not trying hard enough.
God, if is Luther so we made for Deepika Fox to love, to glorify to enjoy God and if we cannot naturally love him because were enslaved to sin, then merely took the people to do what they can't is cruel. In other words, anyone who holds to Luther deep view of sin must find the compassion swell and build because people are not just naturally lazy.
They are helpless. They need their very hearts to be dealt with, not simply their performance above all they need. The one thing with the power to turn and liberate their hearts.
The gospel Luther asked how shallow a work please God if it comes from a reluctant resisting hot, stop enslaved to the charming lies of sin. If that to be one to God than the glory of God in the face of Christ must be made known to the Christ must be shown to be better more desirable when setting of that was how Luther would minister to people of the compound. Erasmus student counselor try harder with this from Luther Luther wrote I could not have faith in God. If I did not think he wanted to be favorable and kind to me. This in turn makes me feel kindly disposed towards God and I'm moved to trust him with all my heart.
I look to him for all good things for goes on the care.
This is how you must cultivate Christ in yourself. Faith must spring up and flow from the blood and wounds and death of Christ.
If you see in these God is so kindly disposed towards you even gives his son for you, then your hearts in time will grow sweet and disposed towards God is so because sin is a slavery and addiction Luther so he couldn't simply picked up all older people out of it. That might bring about such a bullying pasta could bring about behavioral change.
You can enforce that somehow but that will only reinforce the deepest self dependence note is need to be Oakland to the message of Christ and him crucified.
I need to be open to the unfathomable kindness and glory of the living God, and only in that gospel likes come true humility goodness and charity grow is he the Reformation was deep view of sin goes all the way down into the hearts, enslaving us, it looks initially unattractive, but if sin is not much of a problem. Christ is not much of a Savior. We don't need much grace. Only if I see my client is so bad I cannot fix it myself. Only then will I turn to Christ and depend on him instead of myself. Only then will I despair of my efforts and look outside myself. I hope that's what we see in the Gospels is in the Gospels is the one with the great debt canceled who loves most in Luke seven is the forgiven prostitutes and tax collectors who will weep with joy give away that wealth and love Jesus is the Pharisees, those who think they are something in themselves think they have something in themselves, on which they can depend for them. They are the ones who never find that liberation. The transformation cut historically to claims of church reformation and revival have consistently been marked by a radical view of sin. It was on the lips of the preachers of the great awakening men like George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards is much as it was in the mouths of the reformers assumption men new the coals for social improvement in better morality, while good things do not touch the hearts of the human condition corrupted all the way down. We cannot fix ourselves, our hearts must be renewed and that can only come through the gospel being preached and the glory of God being revealed whom reformations radical view of sin is why we sin's would throw us some guards grace, we are corrupted all the way down. We cannot fix ourselves, our hearts must be renewed. Instructor Michael Reeves teaching from his series Reformation truths you're listening to Renewing Your Mind on this Wednesday by we Webb, thank you for being with us.
Dr. Reeves, as president and professor of theology at Union school of theology in the UK is been a popular speaker at our ligature conferences over the years, featuring three of his messages from the series this week, but you can request all eight messages on a single DVD for your donation of any amount to winter ministries.
There are a couple of ways you can reach us. What is by phone at 800-435-4343 or if you prefer to make a request to give your gift online or web address is Renewing Your Mind.org many people today are confused about their identity and their purpose in life. Who am I what is my life all about to bring clarity in a time of confusion are our founder Dr. RC Sproul taught that the big idea of the Christian life is the Latin phrase Coram Dale means we are to live our whole lives in the presence of God under the authority of God and to the glory of God and that continues to be the focus of our ministry. That's why were grateful for your financial support.
You may wonder why we focusing on an event that happened 500 years ago. What does it have to do with the church today.
Does the Reformation still matter later, teaching fellow, Dr. Steven Nichols will address those questions tomorrow and we hope you'll join us for the Thursday edition of Renewing Your Mind