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Radical Depravity: Our Absolute Need

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
August 9, 2022 12:01 am

Radical Depravity: Our Absolute Need

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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August 9, 2022 12:01 am

The truth of our radical depravity isn't hard to understand, but it is hard to swallow. Today, Steven Lawson shows that, in our bondage to sin and Satan, we never could have turned to Jesus Christ in faith without God's redeeming grace.

Get Steven Lawson's Teaching Series 'The Doctrines of Grace in John' DVD and Digital Study Guide for your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/2300/doctrines-grace-john

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Today on Renewing Your Mind. Everyone who is not of God does not hear the word of God. It never sinks in. It never is heard with understanding and with a sense of urgency that I must respond to the gospel was met with a blank stare as good as actually a biblical reality, but we shouldn't lose hope.

Dr. Steven Morrison continues his series on the doctrines of grace in the Gospel of John is focus today is on why some people react as they do to what we as Christians consider good views.

What we want to step back into our study. This will be our second study on radical depravity and where we left off last time is in John five verse 25 and so I would encourage you to take your Bibles and turn with me to John five verse 25 and we were talking about the spiritual condition of an unconverted person being in spiritual death and probably of all the text that will be looking at in this session, this one most graphically communicates the inability of the center one to contribute anything to his salvation but to even his inability to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Because what can a dead man do in the answer to that is nothing only read the verse again. I want you to see it in your Bible as well.

John 525 truly, truly, I say to you, and I remind you, Jesus is the speaker here. The great expositor of truth, the great teacher come from God, an hour is coming and now is not looking to the resurrection at the end of the age now is when the dead will hear the voice of the son of God will who is dead they would be hearing the voice of the son of God and who would herein live for the answer now is those who are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins.

Paul talks about this in Ephesians 2 in verse one that we were all formally dead in trespasses and sins. That is to say there was no spiritual life within us. We had a mere hollow empty existence. Now towards the things of this world. We had some degree of life we could respond to physical things around us, but responding to the Lord. We had no life within us that all that's how devastating was our state. We were spiritual courts. We could go up to a corpse and take up a needle, even in put the needle into the leg of the corpse of there.

There's no response.

You can shine a flashlight into the eyes of a courts there's no ability to see you could sing or play a symphony for a courts but a corpse cannot hear can all that's the state of one without Christ spiritually dead in trespasses and sins of flesh that out a little bit mind, emotion and will all aspects of man. Spiritual death the mind is dead and cannot understand and cannot see the truth. The heart is dead. The affections of the heart the passions towards God are also spiritually dead and there cannot be a love for God or response to the things of God, a desire does not exist in a dead heart toward spiritual things and the same is true with the will. Now that's a very controversial point with many people, especially here in America where there is liberty for all and freedom of choice, said to be told that I don't have freedom of will.

What about the universal offers of the gospel will again all have permission to believe, but not all have the ability to believe because all our dead in trespasses and sins that we need to be mindful of this, even in our witnessing with other people. We are asking them to do what they have no capacity to do you remember when Ezekiel was called by God in Ezekiel 36 to preach to the valley of dead men's bones makes no sense to go preach to dead men's bones, yet I do that every Sunday and and you do that with in-laws and outlaws and various neighbors and friends who don't know Christ and we are to witness to them. We are to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, we are preaching to dead men's bones, and you recall, in Ezekiel 37 how God commanded the winds of heaven to blow in and there was a resurrection and then the hip bone was connected to the thigh bone and we know how to sing that spiritual song, and only then was it mobilized as an Army glorious picture of the spiritual resurrection that must take place in the center's heart before the center can be enabled by God to believe, and so we must understand the state of spiritual death, in which the Lord has found us couple other verses. Ephesians 25 you were dead in your trespasses. Colossians 213, you were dead in your transgressions and these cross-references really support that the Bible speak with one voice on this that what Jesus said in John chapter 5 is what Paul said in Colossians 2 and Ephesians 2 there is one body of divinity. There is one standard of doctrinal truth taught in the entire Bible.

This also cause us to see what a miracle. Salvation is for anyone to believe because we were dead in trespasses and sins, but let's plow a little deeper into John's Gospel and only the sixth heading as we work our way through this not only spiritual death, but spiritual inability John chapter 6 verse 44 this is a knockout punch, what Jesus has to say here is this is unbelievable except it must be believable that he said this John six verse 44 Jesus taught that it is absolutely impossible for spiritually dead centers to exercise saving faith knows what John 644 says no one going to stop right there that there's there's no wiggle room in that statement there. There is there there are no exceptions to this there there's not another category of people over here in another line who may give a higher IQ are our had more exposure to spiritual things.

No one is here, President Bush say read my lips.

No one can see the next word doesn't say may it says can all have permission and the universal law for the gospel to believe, but none can. No one can come to me. The next three words to come to Christ is to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ. That is a synonymous way of expressing saving faith.

When Jesus says no one can come to me he is saying no one can believe in me. No one can put their trust in me.

No one can commit their life to make. No one can follow after me. No one can come to me unless the father draws him with this is saying is there is moral inability in the center towards the things of God.

Now on it natural level.

We have ability to wear blue shirt or white shirt to brush her teeth not brush her teeth mow the yard not mow the yard that's on a horizontal plateau, but on a vertical basis between my heart and God in Christ and the gospel towards the things of the Lord. There is spiritual inability, and if this were not enough, Jesus repeats it in verse 65 John six verse 65 rather than just stating it and never coming back to it. He comes back around and brings it back up again. For sake of emphasis to drive the point home, so notice John six verse 65.

For this reason I have said to you. He is very emphatic about this point when he says I am saying this to you that no one can come to me unless it has been granted him from the father is entirely completely, unequivocally, absolutely impossible for anyone to come to Christ in and of themselves that needs to really sink in. And as I said is very controversial right next verse I want to see how controversial it was for the Lord Jesus admit this this rock the boat.

When Jesus taught this and I was taught in seminary that if people aren't a little ruffled with this, you were clear enough because when you actually teach this with the edge that this has, it will always provoke the flesh, it will always be somewhat offensive are be a stumbling block to those who have much self-confidence and feel that they can do whatever is required of them by God without the Holy Spirit, and by the way John 15 five apart from me you can do nothing now that's a zero with the edges trimmed off. All right, that's not a whole lot notice verse 66 John six verse 66. The result of Jesus saying no one can come to me. Verse 66 as a result of this. As a result of what is a result of what he just said many of his disciples.

Now these disciples. Many of them were what we would call counterfeit disciples. They were just a part of the crowd. They were just eight hopped on the bandwagon.

Jesus had just fed the 5000 highest, easy to be a part of a movement like that, things are happening here. I want to be here. And then Jesus began to bring this very definitive doctrinal teaching and it shook things up. It always shakes things up notice as a result of this, many of his disciples withdrew and were not walking with him anymore. Earlier in verse 60 they said this is a difficult statement who can listen to it. This is strong doctrine. Non-Italian.

This is not hard to understand, which is hard to swallow is very easy to understand. We need the illumination of the Holy Spirit to press it to our hearts. The depth of this but no one, no one on planet Earth in any century at any time on any continent whenever the gospel was made known no one can come to Christ except the father drawled that person were to talk about irresistible grace and the irresistible call later in the series but were laying the foundation here of the desperate situation in which the center finds himself, and this will magnify the grace of God when we see what is necessary for someone to believe upon Christ. But let's continue to press on. We have many more verses to look at. So, John chapter 8 John chapter 8 verse 3420 1/7 heading not only spiritual inability poker jotting these down not only spiritual death and spiritual inability but spiritual bondage. This is what Jesus talks about here in John chapter 8 and verse 34 Jesus answered them, truly, truly, I say to you now again I want to comment on this Jesus is underscoring the importance of what is about to say everything that Jesus said is inerrant and infallible and inspired as it is found in Scripture, but some things rise to the surface of greater importance than other things. Some things are more pivotal. Some things more strategic.

This is one of those truly, truly, I say to you everyone I can.

That's it.

That's a global universal statement. Everyone who commits sin is in the present tense assignment, a lifestyle of sin is the slave of sin.

A slave is bound to obey his master slave is not free to obey another man's master. There is a binding relationship between master and slave, and as long as a slave is bound to his master. It is obligatory that he will obey his master other masters may call out to him, but there is no relationship. There is no obligation to obey. In fact, in this metaphor, we would say there is an inability to obey any other master. He will always respond to his own master and who is his master sin. I can assure you. Sin is not saying you need to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and you give your life to God. Now sin has a death grip upon every center metaphorically in this verse and keeps the sinner in a state of spiritual bondage. It is as though he is chained to sin with a ball and chain and as a prisoner with the iron band around his heart around his mind and around his will, he can. Not come to Christ because he is bound by his sin and he must obey his master, who is sin.

But if the sun shall set you free, you shall be free indeed. And we will talk about that later in this series but what a miracle it is for anyone to have those ties severed to our old master who is sin, but there must be that separation before there can be a coming to Christ was continue here in John chapter 8 only give you an eight heading and we just spoke of spiritual slavery. Also, spiritual bondage, which is really almost part and parcel of the same, but in John eight verse 44 Jesus announced that all unsafe people suffer from an even greater bondage. They are enslaved to Satan early two spiritual families in the entire world is a sobering truth there is a spiritual family of God and there is the spiritual family of Satan, and we were all born into this world in the wrong family. That's why we need to be born again. That's why Jesus said do not marvel that I say to you, you must be born again because you were born in this family and this family is on a path headed for destruction.

We were born with Satan as our spiritual father in the last of him we would do to be born again transfers us from that family to another family and start out in God's family, and then were born again and just recycled in the same family that we were born on the wrong side of town.

We were born on the wrong side of the tracks we were born in darkness and enslavement to Satan. Millie John eight verse 44 you very emphatic. You are of your father the devil, that kind of preaching will get you nailed to a cross. You are of your father the devil is talking about the spiritual family.

These are the most religious people in the history of mankind, to whom Jesus is speaking.

If if if other pagans had walked up and heard this I would find this almost hard to believe Jesus is saying this to the Pharisees to the scribes of those who were born within the religious system of this real, those who had grown up hearing that the law of God and going to the temple it and being involved in all the ritualistic requirements under the Mosaic law. These people had religion up to their earlobes.

Jesus said to them, your of your father the devil religion never saved anyone. Religion is a curse apart from being regenerated the spirit of God. He was a religious crowd the crucified Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said to them, your of your father the devil, and he says and you want to do the desires of your father is in your heart. These loss. These desires that he was a murderer from the beginning he does not stand in the truth that the and is a liar and the father of all lies. Listen, the whole rest of Scripture. This isn't just about the Pharisees is not just about the scribes. It's about every person born of woman that covers the field outside of Christ. Second Corinthians 4 for pulses. The God of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving Ephesians 2 verse three says that we were all under the tyranny of the prince of this world and the God of this age. Second Timothy two verse 26 says we were held captive by the devil to do his will.

There's the bondage of the will to the devil was in. You can sing 48 verses of just as I am no one is being saved until God intervenes and you one more, and will wrap this up.

Still in John 820 C verse 43 in verse 47 spiritual deafness, spiritual deafness, and then I'll tie this all together. Look at verse 43 Jesus said why do you not understand what I am saying. The question is not why do you not understand what I'm saying. The answer is because you cannot hear my word, they could hear the audible voice.

They could not hear the spiritual voice lesson I can bring this message right now to your ears, but I can go no further. It is the Holy Spirit who must take it from your ears to your heart I'm a stay at the front door.

I cannot proceed past your ears is why Jesus said he has ears to hear wedding here Jesus is saying that the unsaved man cannot hear what God is saying. You can hear audibly that you cannot hear with understanding to hear and not to respond is not to hear at all. When a child disobeys with the parent is saying. Often the parent will cite you not listen, you're not hearing what I'm signing out they heard there was just a deliberate choice to refuse look at verse 47, Jesus is equally clear he who is of God. That means he who is born of God. He who is in the other family hears the words of God. For this reason you do not hear them because you are not of God. Everyone who is not of God does not hear the word of God. Oh they hear as far as that was John 316, but it never sinks in.

It never is heard with understanding and with a sense of urgency that I must respond so I pull all this together rather quickly. What is the spiritual state of every unregenerate unconverted person they are plagued with spiritual ignorance spiritual blindness spiritual hatred spiritual defiance spiritual death, spiritual inability, spiritual slavery, spiritual bondage and spiritual deafness lesson out of nothing, nothing comes until God speaks into the darkness of such heart and enables a response.

There will never be a response to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Should we not be grateful for the fact that you and I are believers in the Lord right now do you see what a miracle it is that we are saved we are closed and in our right minds as this was true of every one of us and he would only be arrogance and pride. To deny this fact that he would be it would be blatant against the Scripture. If we did not truly understand the depth of our depravity: the next session were to talk about how the Lord has broken into our lives with sovereign saving grace to raise the dead to believe and we will look at the dock of sovereign election for the same session.despite the good news of our souls. God is the one who called us, drew us regenerated us and brought us into a saving relationship with himself. Salvation is truly of the Lord you're listening to Renewing Your Mind at a message from regular teaching fellow, Dr. Steven Lawson timely weapon.

I'm glad you to be with us today.

We are featuring Dr. Lawson series the doctrines of grace in John in the series.

He explains the five main biblical doctrines that reveal God's plan of salvation to help you in your own study of the doctrines of grace we like to send you Dr. Lawson's complete series. There are 12 messages on two DVDs and you can request them with your donation of any amount to look in your ministries. You can reach us by phone at 800-435-4343 or if you prefer you can go online to Renewing Your Mind.work why we believe that this is such an important study in our most recent state of theology survey.

One of the statements we asked people to respond to.

Was this one even the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation. More than half of those who profess to be evangelical Christians, 54% disagreed with that statement. Man's radical depravity is an essential element of Christian doctrine and we need to understand so we do hope you'll contact us to request the series tomorrow.

Dr. Lawson will address the doctrine of sovereign election and here's a preview before any center ever came to Christ. God had already given those to the sun and the reason God had given them to the sun is because God had already chosen them by himself and for himself. I hope you'll join us Wednesday for Renewing Your Mind


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