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Inner Sanctum

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
June 1, 2022 12:01 am

Inner Sanctum

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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June 1, 2022 12:01 am

In the Bible, you will never find an example of someone who meets the living God and is bored by the encounter. Today, R.C. Sproul shows us what it really means to be in the presence of the Holy One.

Get the 'Fear and Trembling' Teaching Series on DVD for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/2189/fear-and-trembling

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Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul

Coming up today on Renewing Your Mind. Years ago, a survey was taken outside of Chicago in which people were visited, who at one time in their lives have been members of Christian churches, but who dropped out the main question was why did you stop going to church in the number one answer the people gay was this church is boring and sending here is the way the number two answering the survey. The church was irrelevant.

Church leaders recognize the problem, so they tried to come up with clever and exciting ways to ensure the church is not boring or irrelevant. But are those efforts leading to a true encounter with God is Dr. RC Sproul me ask you that question you ever get the feeling the church is boring a different boarding church don't lie. I never felt that what was going on in church was irrelevant now asking someone worldwide doing well. When I heard the results of that survey, I thought again of the narratives that we find in sacred Scripture, particularly the Old Testament of what happens when people encounter God we've already seen what happened. Isaiah when he got an unveiled manifestation of the character of God mashing this was a board no way I made was on his face is screaming in pain and cursing himself. How did Job respond when God manifested himself to him. Joe says I will speak no more. Again, so I'll take my hand and place it over my mouth, I repent in dust and ashes Habakkuk went up into his watchtower remember and he was shaking his fist in the face of God, and demanding answers from God. And finally, God came to him.

Habakkuk 7 when he came my lips quivered my belly tremble rottenness came into my own to look at and you will see that not everybody who meets God in the Scripture has the same reaction. Some tremble, some get all excited.

Some rejoice, some fallen a swoon. They pass out and everything, but you will never ever find in the Bible. An example of somebodies meeting the living God and being bored because there is nothing less boring in all of reality than God himself. And can you imagine somebody like Isaiah having this experience of seeing God I am lifted up, and walking out of that situation going out on the street and say so what do I was irrelevant. If God is holy and effective.

God is so we have to say is the most relevant affirmation any creature can ever understand and that's why it boggles my mind. When people were saying that the reason they don't go to churches that they drop out of churches because their board and because they find it irrelevant.

That tells me one thing it tells me that when they come to church there. Not having any kind of encounter with the living God there coming to a human gathering that is focused on humans and not on him or we talk about what we mean when we say that God is holy, when what comes into your mind when you think of that word holy. What does it mean to be holy or the simplest answer I can give to that I learned with the first little prayer I learned in my family when I was a little boy my grandmother would visit our house and she would insist that before we ate our dinner that we had to say a little table grace and she taught me this little table grace to recite before the dinner was served, and we would say this never could really figure out how this works but it was God. He is great God is good and we thank him help me for this food. But my grandma said fluid to make it there. I got a straight guy was good and think that would suck any case, that was a first prayer I don't have any theological understanding of that but it says in that little kids prayer. Two things about God that said that he's great and it says that he's good and we have one word in biblical terms that captures both of these ideas about God and it is the word holy now usually when I ask people to define holiness where the word holy. They will answer my question. Something like this to say will be holy means to be really good or really righteous, or in fact to be perfectly you were without any defects without anything soiling our character or so on and so to be really holy is to be perfectly you now the Bible does use the term holy Leica and when the Bible says you shall be holy, even as God is holy. That's the reference it's making there that we are supposed to mirror and reflect the character of God's righteousness were supposed to behave in such a way that mirrors his own bag, but that's the secondary meaning of the term holy in the Bible.

It's a legitimate use of the word holy and one of the ways in which it is infected but it in terms of numerical frequency is second, the primary meaning of the term holy refers to what we would call the other nests of God the greatness of God. The sense in which God is different from you from me and anything in this created order. It refers to his transcendent majesty that majesty that is high above anything in the created realm. No. Sometimes when we talk about God, particularly when were teaching theology and things of that sort, we can define God as the supreme being and we define ourselves as human beings know what's the difference between a human being and the supreme back. Ever wonder about the what is it about God that makes him different for other than a human day what is it about God that makes him supreme overall or some irony here is a little surprise in this definition and it's this you know if you really want to find out what the differences between the supreme being and the human being is found in this work being because you know were really not beings because to be is to be in the state of pure essence that never changes anything that changes like you. You're getting older since you started here this morning. Your changing we'll change the we get older we get thinner we get fatter we get taller. Whatever we are becoming. We are always moving were always changing. There's nothing permanent about who we are. But God is never changing.

God never grows older or taller or heavier because he is eternally perfect in who we use and what he's now the biggest difference between every creature and God is this that I as a creature cannot live by my own power. I had a beginning time tonight of a birthdate so you alone can you live without oxygen.

Not very hello can you live without water. Not very long alone.

Can you live without food. If you lack these things. What happens you die because you are a dependent creature your fragile, your life could end this afternoon, but God can't die. He doesn't need water. He doesn't need food. He doesn't need anything because he has the power to be in himself, and not only does he have the power to be in and of himself, but he holds the power of everybody's existence. You know the blouses in him we live and move and have our being.

You can't move apart from the power of God you can't live apart from the power of God you can't be apart from a part of God because only God possesses being in himself of himself and by himself.

You don't have that power and I don't have the power in the universe doesn't have that we have people falling all over themselves in this day and age trying to account for you and that table in this universe for being without appealing to God will say such things is know the universe just exploded into being by itself, they resort to total irrational ideas to get away from. And yet understand that if anything exists right now if you exist at that table exist of that book exist of that right exist. If there's anything in existence. Then something must have eternal being, as if there was a time that there was nothing, absolutely nothing, not to be a rocket scientist or a philosopher to know that there was a time there was absolutely nothing. Think about absolutely nothing. What could there possibly be now. But there is something so somewhere somehow transcendently. Something has to have the power of being nothing could and that belongs to God and to God alone. Only God has the greatness of having the power of being within himself and when you contemplate that very concept of pure being you come up on tiptoe and you begin to look down into the deepest question the mind can ever contemplate when you contemplate the idea of pure being null early in the 20th century, a philosopher who was also a sociologist studied various world religions beyond the pale of Christianity and examine how people in different cultures different parts of the world and different societies reacted or responded to what ever they thought was holy and he found that there's a kind of pattern a uniform pattern across the world. Any time a human being comes into an encounter with that which they regard as sacred or holy. The universal reaction is the same fear in this theologian, anthropologist, sociologist identified this feeling is what he called the mysterious him tremendous tremendous mystery in the mysterious and parked in the tremendous apart as well. Calls attention to how we respond to the holy I can remember something that none of you can remember in your life. The advent of broadcast television, old enough that I grew up as a kid not watching TV but listening to the radio before television came up and when you listen to the radio every night and all these different programs run there. You had to use your imagination and all kinds of adventure stories and cops and robbers, stories, and all the rest, but there was one story on on Sunday night. That was the scariest story of all let a couple stores were scary.

One of them was called suspense gun Erie, but the scariest one the lead in to this radio program is you would hear this crypt. This cemetery vault door creaking open at night role here this thing creaked open on the radio and then this ungodly voice would come on the air and announced the program and you know the programs call in her sign them well never really registered on me when I was a kid when I listen this program gets scared to death that I'd I just knew that there was this creaky door in the scary voice never really thought about the title of the program. The title the program inner sanctum means within the holy and when I discovered the character of God is no wonder the entertainment industry in this country when they were trying to find some way to scare the big jabber set of people with the radio program they intuitively understood the scariest thing that could come up with was to be in the inner chamber work on class where the holy last like in Israel were the innermost portion of the tabernacle of the temple was the song to song for the holy of holies were only one person was allowed to enter and that person only once a year and even then after he had gone through an elaborate ritual of cleansing because you see the reset barrier and the barrier. The reason for the barrier was simple God who dwells in the holy of holies, is himself altogether. Holy and we are not, and those who are not holy fear. Whatever is holy, the Bible tells us that it is the reaction of fallen creatures to flee when no man person that the pagan trembles at the rustling of a leaf, tell a story of her friend of mine who was a professional golfer and he was out one afternoon getting ready to play in a tournament on the tour and on the day before the tournament started. There was a practice run and the practice round was made up of a foursome. The man who was the reigning champion of this particular event, who also was the previous years player of the year and he had three people playing with him in this tournament.

He had Jack Nicholas. He had the president of the United States and he had Billy Graham. So imagine a foursome of necklace reigning guy am I can give is nine present United States and delivery so my friend watched his guys tee off and then he did his practice and then at the end of the day watch when this foursome finished around and his body. The other golfer came off the 18th green and my friend walked up to him and he said Chase tell me what it was like playing golf with Billy Graham and the guy snapped at about bit is set off thesis, I will need to have him trying to shove religion down my throat and he stormed off and went to the practice. They got a bucket of balls stuck out his driver and started beating those balls to death, and my friend just patiently stood there and watch them until the guy cooled off and he finally said and he said to Billy really come on strong you golf course we got aside and put his driver in his bag and he turned to my friend and he said no he's not actually sit. Billy never said a word I just said about rent was going on. This guy was very uncomfortable in the presence of Billy Graham. Billy never said a word to everybody in the world. No what Billy Graham stood for and what he represented and this man was uncomfortable and probably would've gone home and said Billy Graham is one of these holier than thou self-righteous level. But what if you're Christian, you never have to say word anybody people know you're Christian you be accused of being self-righteous. Even if you never thought about being self because you represent something that actually none of us are in and of ourselves. You represent the one who is home and there is a natural bill in discomfort with every human being. That's why people flee from God. That's why churches compromise the integrity of the message of the Scripture because we know people are afraid of the God who really is.

That's the great tragedy because what Christianity is saying to all of us is that in Christ.

God removes the veil.

He doesn't stop being holy.

But he says to the who are unholy gives to us the righteousness of Christ. So he said you can come in my presence, you don't have to be pray. I'm giving you peace.

I'm giving you access come near to me it's the hardest thing we ever can work and there's a sense in which even in Christ, we will always have. I hope Elsie fear. The fear of respect, fear of all that when we contemplate who he is. We will still tremble before this week on Renewing Your Mind. We are pleased to bring you messages from Dr. RC Sproul series fear and trembling the trauma of God's holiness were learning that we must have a healthy fear of God, but through Christ because of what he accomplished on the cross. We also have peace with God. You can continue your study when you request this complete series. There are six messages onto DVDs and for your donation of any amount will be glad to send them your way. You can make your request online it Renewing Your Mind.org you can call a Sprint number is 800-435-4343 well if you listen to our program for any length of time you know that the holiness of God is a focus of this ministry.

RC was passionate about the subject and you'll hear that passion in an interview that our president and CEO Chris Larson did with RC at one of her looking her conferences. What I see is our mission chiefly this to try to unfold. God's revelation of himself to the people can come to an understanding of who God is on the back up just a second.

Back to my college days when I was in college. The first really runaway best-selling paraphrase of the New Testament was written by JB Phillips and at the same time JB Phillips wrote a little monograph entitled your God is too small and I remember reading that as a college student and being impacted by that as well that that is exactly the problem that as we begin our Christian walk as spiritual infants we don't really grow to the fullness of conformity to the image of Christ until we gain the mind of Christ and have the mind of Christ is to think like chiefs and Jesus thoughts were altogether theocentric. His thoughts were dominated by thoughts of the father of his being of his character of his will of his purpose of his mission and that has to be duplicated in the lives of Christians the for us to grow in grace with the growing our knowledge of God, not just so that we can puff up our intellect and become proud of our learning, but that we may know him well, they do provide you with a little better understanding of why we often talk about our mission.

Would your ministries to proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible.

I hope you join us tomorrow as we continue this series scroll. Take a look at how people reacted when they met Jesus.

Some realize right away that he is the son of God. Others that were frightened by his holiness. Join us for the lesson titled what manner of man is this Thursday on Renewing Your Mind


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