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Religion--What is it Good for? Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
January 20, 2020 9:00 am

Religion--What is it Good for? Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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January 20, 2020 9:00 am

Billy Graham said that what sends most people to hell is not their sins but their good works, because good works make us think there is something good about us that can save us from ourselves. Pastor J.D. continues in this message from Romans to show us how religion cannot reform us and willpower cannot change our hearts–and the one thing we need to come to Jesus for salvation.

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Today on Senate life with JD Greer, God's righteousness is not a standard that we have to obtain that he will one day holds her standard and judged by the righteousness of God in Romans is a gracious gift that God gives all those who believe and trust that Jesus did it in their place. And when they believe that God implants in their heart resurrection life that begins to transform them into his image down Grammys to say that what hell is not there stands but their good works because good works make us think there's something good about us that can save us from ourselves yesterday, Greer continues in this message from Romans chapter 3. To show us how religion cannot reformat and willpower not change your heart. Let's join him now.

God, I know people who aren't even Christians in the church. Yet they are sincerely searching for the truth. What about people from other religions are made out of some very sincere Muslims who are really passionate about knowing God. Paul is not saying that no one ever seeks spiritual things or that nobody wants to connect to the supernatural. What he is saying is that nobody prompted by their own volition their own decision acting on their own ability. Nobody wants to truly find God. At least not the true version of him, people may seek God to get blessings from him. They made they may seek a reshaped God, who conforms to their needs, their prejudices and serve their agendas. But that is different than seeking the true God for his own sake she apart from his regenerating grace covered said we flee from God even as we see God. We may be seeking to know God, but our hearts are fleeing from his glory and his control. John 644 Jesus said nobody comes to me unless the father draws him which means that if you were being drawn to Jesus and you want to know Jesus. And there's a desire in your heart knowing that desire is not from you. That's a desire from your heavenly father who is drawing you. That's the only reason you would be here. Philippians 213. It is God who works in us both to will to desire and to do with his good pleasure. First, Riggins 12.


Nobody can come to the conviction that Jesus is Lord. Apart from the help of the Holy Spirit, which means that if you're being drawn to Jesus you want to know him and becoming convinced is Lord. That's because he's put in your heart and that's because he's after you see, even as I'm saying this is making sense to some of you rely on what that's for. This questions come from, and that's why these troubles have been happening and that's where all the stuff you see Brandon to make God has been drawing me. He strode that's what you learn from that, apart from his special regenerating grace.

All have turned away all alike you become worthless.

This which again is a quote from both Isaiah 53 and Psalm 33 is the essence of sin.

We've all turned away from God's truth and each of us saw her own way. As we all preferred our way to God's listen to me. There is one central lie that has propelled our rebellion since the garden to be one suspicion one doubt born in unbelief that has led to all the disaster of the human race, and that lie goes like this. I think my way is probably better than God's.

I know that he created everything I know that he's God.

But when it comes to making decisions for my life what's best for my life. I think I'm probably smarter than him, and I think my way is probably better that same lie continues to echo in the hearts of businessmen and women in their quest for ambition.

It echoes in the hearts of husbands were dissatisfied with their marriages. It echoes in the hearts of empty-nesters who were trying to decide what to do with this next chapter their lives. It resounds in the hearts of educators and homeschoolers and CEOs and retirees, and that life simply my way is probably better than God when it comes to choices for my life. Paul says there's nobody there's no one who does what is good, not even one now again you're like wait a minute Shirley Paul.

This is an overstatement.

Nobody does what is good. I mean, what about the Marine who is not a Christian you don't believe in God but those himself on a grenade to save his body may not a Christian, but that's still a good deed and it about the woman who sacrifices everything to their kids out of poverty. She works three jobs into scrapes buys that she can give her kids a shot of a life that she never had a shot at on those genuinely good things.

Yes they are but two things you consider your first the Bible only considers of the good. It is pure not just an informed, but also in motive I've shown you that if we do good deeds try to bolster our self-image reputation. We try to do her good deeds to earn blessing from God, then even if our deeds are good on the surface, they're not really good because they're inherently selfish right you get that right and so many really nice to you and then it turns out they were only be nice you because they wanted something from you. You have this happen right now. I cannot really our marriage wouldn't have any money. Like most newlyweds, but we really want to go on vacation, so we took one of those too good to be true offers were you can go down to lose timeshare places and I give you like three days at the beach all you do is sit there this little presentation right you think it's too good to be true.

It is too good to be true.

See you down there and tell you we got down there. They were so nice to us.

I may owe Mr. Greer would been waiting for you to come. We have your room prepared you like dark chocolate or do you like milk chocolate for your wife is so lovely. Just how can we take care of you. When I got your towels plugs everything, which is way and we felt like eating them going and we go to this little presentation right presentation and then we sit there and I was like a me for an hour.

I kept on got my man I am not had the thing from your breath. I can got no money. I got no money. The I couldn't do this. I wanted to.

It took me an hour to convince the guy that I was told the truth and eventually when it finally I could see it when it clicked that I really did not have any money. It was like somebody flipped the switch and that if you stand up living is that while I think your check out time 30 minutes ago. We ostensibly take your stuff and dumped it on the lawn and there's a couple trash that you get.

You got 30 minutes. We off our property right gear was apparently when that bad, but use it was apparent that all this hospitality was because they liked us all is because they wanted something from us they wanted us to sign a contract to if we are doing good to get something from God. Whether that's blessing or eternal life or whatever. That's an inherently selfish motive. It is not really good deed is only good in God's eyes it is motivated purely by love for God and others with no self-interest at all. The second reason that her good deeds are really not good. And Paul considers nobody good is is is that apart from faith, listen even her good deeds are good because, in light of our biggest sin. Our biggest sandwiches is cosmic treason, replacing God's authority and a lot of their own. In light of that, any good thing we do doesn't really seem that good.

It will meet me illustrate this by means of an analogy so you got a guy who's having an affair on his wife.

And so, as he is going into the hotel with this other woman to betray his wife to sin against his children, to destroy his family is going into this hotel. He generously tips the bellhop. That's a good deed right that's a genuinely good he's generous to the bellhop. That's a good deed but it's hard to call back deed good in light of the overall wickedness of what he is doing to his wife and his family. He found that what if our rebellion against God was like that, but a billion times worse, what if even throwing yourself on a grenade for somebody else. In light of your cosmic treason against God. In light of your rebellion in light of the fact that we don't want to worship and serve God for what if that was just like tip in the bellhop in light of our posture of cosmic treason.

It's hard to even call our goodness. Good. There is none good.

He says not even one disabled number but but Oprah said I was beautiful and special and precious. Yes you are.

You are beautiful and special and precious, and that's part of the paradox of the human race. You are a beautiful person made in the image of God, you are in your special and precious, but you have been ruined by sin and the ruin of that sin is greater than the loveliness of your creation, Jonathan Edwards, the Puritan theologian the slightest sin has an infinite amount of hatefulness and it enough to outweigh whatever loveliness the creature possess or Blaise Pascal unit was one of my favorite philosophers. What a contradiction man is on the one hand, judge of all things. On the other a stupid earthworm depository of truth in a heap of air, but glory and the refuse of the universe. Verse 13. Their throat is an open grave. They deceive with their tongues vipers venom is under their lips. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness know a place in our corruption most reveals itself is probably our words. Jesus said that our words uttered in private, are the best indicators of what is actually going on in our hearts that have at this church person once you consider your speech just from the last week what you said to yourself, do your family. Do you). Why don't you see if those words are not filled with gossip and impurity and slander and anger and boasting and half-truths are words carry about the stench of death that come from that open grave we call our heart that watches for us to follow my heart. You should not follow your heart be followed in the graves will take you.

Jesus said to by our words alone.

We will be condemned.

Verse 15. Their feet are swift to shed blood ruin and wretchedness are in their paths. The path of peace they have not known you like a far right. Finally one of them apply to me now never been part of a murder true. The point is that we all have a natural reaction to get violent when people get in the way of what we want right and as long as we got what we want were peaceable, but let somebody else get what we want. Let them take the promotion let them get the recognition let them get the boyfriend that you feel like you deserve. Let their kid get the honors that you want for your kid and you don't respond with excitement and gratefulness for them. You don't respond to contentment in the blessings God is giving you and trusting his good plan for your life know you struggle with hating that person you struggle with hating that woman you struggle with quit despising that man and wishing harm on him. That's what your ears perk up when you hear somebody point out something bad they done or criticizing it because you love to hear those who are your competitors criticized. That's always talking about either. Finally, verse 18, there is no fear of God before their eyes is, sums it all out will recognize God's eyes, and his goodness are important in our lives. We says there's no fear of God before our eyes. What he means is that God and his authority are just not that big of a deal to us.

We may recognize that it's out there, but what a really big deal to us. What's important what dominates our thinking is our needs and our desires and our agendas. That is what the big thing is in and in our heart.

This, ladies and gentlemen is what Paul says is the description of your heart from your Hebrew Bible servers 20. Is it any surprise that nobody will be justified in the sight of the works of the law on the knowledge of sin that you come to the law. The purpose of the law, Paul says, is not a correct sand. The purpose of the laws to reveal sin. The law was supposed to function like a mirror that just reveals to us how simple we are. By looking into the mirror of the wall. I'm supposed to see the shape of what my heart is supposed to look like and then be dismayed on what my heart actually is like. I'm so serene. For example, commandment nine. Thou shalt not lie answers to realize that my heart should love truth so much that I would never be tempted to been truth are twisted to gain personal advantage conference a look at commandment seven. Thou shall not commit adultery. That's supposed to show me that I should love purity so much that I would never dream of committing some kind of sexual act with somebody who's not married to me because I'd love purity more than I love any kind of sexual urgent notice want to do things God's way. Commandment number 10 thou shalt not covet. That shows me that I'm supposed to be so satisfied with God. So trusting of his plan in my life that I don't get jealous when somebody else has something that I think that I want to know about y'all but I read just those three commands and I think about harden like that my heart is not like that at all. That's what Paul means when he says it is the knowledge of sin in your heart. That's what the law's purpose is it is to reveal to you is to make you know the symptoms in your heart below to shows us how messed up and spiritually rotten art is pretty describable like an x-ray for 90s that his daughter went to a birthday party. One of those we hate kids and want to see them die trampoline warehouses you know you sent to John for a while. He said that piece of my daughters will be very tall comes up she could fight back tears and she's like to get her some pop when I landed my on my shoulder incessantly we even tell sums wrong. Took her to the emergency room gutter x-ray. He said insured on she popped her arm on the side of living of the all the stuff to get it in everything taken care of. She schools was mixing though is he says that x-ray I saw the price of that x-ray that x-ray was absurdly expensive and it didn't fix anything. All I did was show the problem right you think Panama's money would fix it.

But you go do something else to fix the problem. Below is like the x-ray assault is the x-ray that shows you how spiritually broken out of line.

Your heart actually is. But it is powerless to fix it and just forcing yourself to act righteous sudden change of heart and if anything, forcing yourself to act righteous just covers up the corruption see that that Tupperware container at the back of your refrigerator you like. How long is that men and their right were that come from and see you take it out and you you open up see within their them like four hours later they have to revive you because you know the moly checking the barbecue because of growing on it.

Your whatever when that happens, do any of you well. We need some good stout barbecue sauce not barbecue sauce would cover the taste that brought me nothing to be just fine. Nobody says I write you want to cover up the corruption yet to get rid of the corruption and covered it didn't change the fact that it's corrupt all the law does is it sweetens up your behavior without actually changing your heart. God created us to be so naturally righteous in our hearts that we would need a wall to do what was right. We would instinctively do what was right because we desire to do what was right. I don't need a law to do the things I love you never have to come in the desert never had no need any commands I do that instinctively you never have to command me to take a nap. Never recommend me to kiss my wife.

I love to do those things. So there is no law required.

The only time the law is required for me is when my heart wants to go the wrong direction.

Growing up, my granddad used to have pigs and will you whispered, then he could take me out window slop the pigs.

We are told slop the pig. Now nobody ever shall be a recipe for slop. I don't think there is an official recipe.

It is basically just like rats and rotten food in the stuff that was in the Tupperware container in the back of it put all that is big bucket and it is the nastiest smelling stuff you could imagine. The minutes ticked a loving and we carried out bearing cleared out there sometimes a member you have to put it down and go get some from the barn. Not one time did he ever have to say to me in a JD.

You were not allowed to eat that slop needn't say I wouldn't touch it easy told me to touch it. I wouldn't do it. Now this thing so I'm either behind the fence things now it's up on the ground and they're trying to get at is a loving that fence is required to keep them from doing the thing that they love but because I naturally hated you'll have to have any restraint between me and that because I would use it even if I had the opportunity God doesn't want spiritual pigs in heaven who only avoid the slop of sin, because they're afraid of what God will do to them if they do, God wants people in heaven who love righteousness and find the slop of sin, disgusting, and so they wouldn't do's and even if they had the opportunity they will need a law to do that. It's in their nature.

It's why we say that God is not just after obedience. God is after a whole new kind of obedience and obedience that grows from desire and obedience were you doing righteousness because you crave righteousness where you seek God because you love God. That is what the gospel is trying to produce.

Listen, you understand.

The same is not so much an action as it is a condition many people only think of sin is bad actions that we do stealing and lying. But Paul's analysis here is much more devastating the sin that we commit is because of the heart that we possess book of the words he uses in chapter 3. There much more about the heart condition, then they are the life action. He says that your throat, your hearts are open graves are filled with vipers venom you have, mouth full of cursing and bitterness, the actions we do are merely symptomatic of our hearts be. It's like being sick right you got sick because you show symptoms you show symptoms because you're sick in the same way were not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners we say and do with our malls and with her hands or just a symptom of the rightness of our hearts, which is why religion cannot fix us but now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been revealed attested to all arm of the law and the prophets. This Tim Keller says that word but is one of the biggest transitions in the whole Bible, God is going to changes. God is to make us righteous, but it's not to be mother commands a law under which the righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believed were not to be made righteous by doing anything were to be made righteous by something God did for us and by believing that Jesus kept the law place living the life we were supposed to live, die the death were condemned to die in our place believing this. Paul says connect you to the power of God is the power of God and the salvation, because in it he said the righteousness of God was revealed to the greatest thing about that righteousness was that God's righteousness is not a standard that we have to obtain that he will one day hold is our standard and judged by the righteousness of God in Romans is a gracious gift that God gifts to all those who believe and trust that Jesus did it in their place. And when they believe that God implants in their heart resurrection life that begins to transform them into his image and that is available to all people.

Paul says Greek Jew and Gentile, religious, irreligious, young, old, black, white, rich, poor baths and a religious therapist are all alike are just sinners and they going to believe that Jesus died in their place and rose from the dead that he can give them righteousness based on his record and he can give them resurrection power based on his resurrection, and then he turned to the Jews, and he says hey this is attested to the whole time, but along the prophets go back and read your Bible is not something new. I'm introducing this is what God was trying to say for the whole Old Testament me was what I was saying. For example, to Abraham when God told Abraham to sacrifice his son but at the last minute God revealed that there was this ram caught in the thicket and the ram was offered in sacrifice instead of Isaac see that ran that rims like Jesus who would one day be slain in the altar for you so that you can walk free, trying to show you to the Passover, when they had to take a lamb and kill the lamb and put the blood under the doorpost of the house of the death Angel Passover to that was a picture of what Jesus was going to do when he came is the Passover lamb. He was in the shed his blood to the with his blood was put on the doorpost of your heart. God's death Angel his death sentence would pass over you is what God was trying to show them in the wilderness when he told Moses to strike the rock to the water would come out and it would slake their thirst in the midst of this wilderness to that was a picture of how one day you would wander in the wilderness of sin and God would strike Jesus with his wrath and out of his broken body, and resurrection would come, eternal living water that would satisfy your soul and cleanse you forever. It's what God was trying to show through David when when we meet King David ran out onto the field all by himself to slay Goliath.

While the armies of Israel sat cowering in fear on the sidelines, unable to help, tells a picture of what Jesus would do one day to see he was given a comedy was said to be this unassuming warrior who would slay the real giant which was sin and death. While we, you and I stood on the sideline, unable even to lift a finger to help them. It was what God was trying to say through Isaiah when he talked about a suffering servant. He would call me would be wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. It was what Hosea was trying to give you a picture of when he was this ever faithful husband pursuing his ever unfavorable bride that was to be Jesus. It was going to come after you. And even when you put them on the cross so to say father forgive them you don't know what you're doing is not something new on I'm introducing to you. This is something that God told 3000 years ago. All these different authors in one message and that is you can save yourself. God started doing.

That's why Jesus's name in Hebrew is literally Joshua God is salvation.

The salvation you're looking for, not found. The law is not found your effort is not fun. Religion is found in God alone is blessed is the person who is made God his refuge and his strength.

That's not just talking about crises that you have in parenting God is your refuge and strength begins with salvation. I can't save myself. I can't make my heart new I can earn my place before God. God has to do God did it in my place you live the life I was supposed to live, died the death that was condemned to die, and all I can do is receive it as a gift through faith, through faith, I was made righteous through faith I was made alive faith I was made his faith. I am a new, there's the question have you ever received Jesus as your Savior.

Nothing like message is titled religion for its part of our series to the book of Romans. If you like to catch up on previous messages or if you want to review the transcript.

You can find them Romans is an important and powerful, but in this letter Paul invites us to mind the depth of the gospel like never before. As we journey through this but together will grow to understand God's righteousness mark on righteousness apart from him. The significance of God son, Jesus Christ, and the implications of the gospel message of our everyday lives is the subject of our newest Bible study will be a three-part series and you can get the first but now this first volume will investigate. Romans 125, which introduces us to God's righteousness in the gospel.

There are lengthy study of Romans, our hope is that we would all grow to see the gospel with greater appreciation and to love God with greater passion we seek to apply the messages of Romans in ways to impact our everyday lives was any better than the first study, but in a display box for the whole set as an expression of thanks when you donate today to support this ministry asked for Romans part when when you get by calling 866-335-5228 six 635-5220 we can get rather mail your donation and request for the same address is Janie Grimm ministries PO Box 12293, Durham, NC 27709 Ascertains this podcast asked anything you wanted yesterday asking honest answers to tricky question can find for your favorite interest inviting you to listening and Tuesday into Romans chapter 3 on seven life with Janie Greer

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