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A Young Man Decides

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
July 7, 2020 8:00 am

A Young Man Decides

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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July 7, 2020 8:00 am

Taken captive and marched off to another country, Daniel and his friends have some amazing adventures in Babylonia. But through it all, they are faithful to God. As you enter into their story, you'll learn more about: the sovereignty of God, and why we must be holy and Christian living in a secular culture. In the latter half of this book, Daniel's own visions are recorded, and--in them--we catch glimpses of the future. How are these visions relevant to our lives?

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Welcome to the Bible study reviewing convincing featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Bortz for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our repair you to think and act biblically the time of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century to rightist reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin each issued commentaries from the book of Daniel. Luther produced two studies that were published in 1524 1544 Calvin produced one that was published in 1561. Interesting facts, however, that in spite of all of Luther's right popularity, which continues to this day. Neither of his two works on Daniel has been translated into English. While Calvin's work was rendered into English within 10 years of its publication in the original Latin version. This in spite of the fact that it ran to nearly 1000 pages. Why was Calvin's commentary so popular there may be a number of reasons, certainly one of them was Calvin's particular ability as an expositor and a preacher. Generally, those who read his work think that it is because of Calvin's unique achievement in applying the struggles of Daniel in his age to the struggle of Christians in his own therefore also to our own times. Calvin lived in an age of religious ferments in war time of great persecution in Germany in 1546 Charles V began a war to exterminate Lutheranism from German lands in France between 1540 and 1544 Francis the first tried to do the same thing that it was in connection with the persecutions of those years that so many of the Waldensians were massacred one year along 23 leeches were burned.

Thousands of young men and women were killed, others were sent to the galleys work for years as slaves and then in 1562, one year after Calvin's commentary appear the wars of religion began in, which lasted for many many decades and for which Europe itself didn't recover for at least 200 years. Many during this time Flanders exile. Some of them to Switzerland. Calvin himself was in exile so you can see how in his commentary he identified with Daniel in exile in foreign Babylon. Now use the lessons of this book to minister to those who were suffering the very beginning of his commentary.

Calvin dedicates it to the pious Protestants of France and he urged study of the book of Daniel upon them for their own comfort. He said this, I have a very justification of showing your beloved brethren in this mirror he meant in the book of Daniel how God proves the faith of his people in these days by various trials and with wonderful wisdom is taken care to strengthen their minds by ancient examples they should never be weakens by the concussion of the severest storms and tempests, or at least if they should taught her at all that they should never finally fall away. Although the servants of God are required to run in the course impeded by many obstacles you ever diligently reads this book will find in it whatever is needed by voluntary and active runner to guide them from the starting point goal of good and strenuous wrestlers will acknowledge that they have been sufficiently prepared for the contest here we observe as a living picture that when God spares and even indulgence. The wicked for time he does it to prove his servants like gold and silver so that we ought not to consider it a grievance to be thrown in the furnace trial while profane man enjoy the coldness, repose.

We don't live in an age of religious persecution.

Osama's lease to live in this country but we nevertheless quite often suffer grievous things sometimes sickness and often abuse because of Christian profession and any rate we do live in a very pagan land. What Calvin saw in Daniel and what we will see as we proceed with the study of this book is the kind of thing is necessary for us if we are to live effectively as God servants times we need to begin with the fact is I tried to show in our last study that the Bible and to which Daniel was taken was a very pagan place was a secular land was a land that was quite willing to use whatever abilities he may have an even to some extent. Train them the highest peak of achievements and using those abilities but nevertheless land that required eventually choice between allegiance to its pagan values allegiance to its pagan gods are allegiance to the true God of Israel by Nebuchadnezzar had in mind becomes very plain in the early chapter of Daniel because we find is this transition in the lives of the young man is explained that what Nebuchadnezzar had in mind was taking leaders from the conquered land bringing them to his capital training them in doing so in such a way that they would become loyal to him in the Empire and is much as possible. Forget their homeland at least forget any loyalty that they may have their former God or God's receipt and a number of ways. I think it's self-evident: for example, that he took young man as he took those that could be easily molded. Daniel was undoubtedly very young.

This time he lived through four kingdoms.

The guy even old age between perhaps 70 years of age of 90 years of age, he was nevertheless obviously very young. At this time perhaps 15 or 16 adolescents very impressionable age, and the king knew what he was doing when he chose men who were that all men of great ability, but moldable so I brought them to Babylon where he would instill them as we are told all of the literature and learning of the Babylonians.

Second thing he did was try to entice them you wanted to show them how wonderful Babylon could be that was the meaning of these young men being fed with food and drink from the king's own table and have to do that but he gave them the choice delicacies of Babel. He wanted to show them how attractive put it in our terms the world would be chiefly however we notice what he was doing by that way he handled the names of these young men you notice. I'm sure you don't need to know a great deal of Hebrew notice this, that in their original forms. The names of each of these young men had the word for God in it, or a word for God.

There Hebrew names were Danielle Hyland Misael and Azariah, two of them.

Danielle and Misael have a name for God. L. Names L is the word that we know better in its plural form Elohim plural name meeting gone. It's very common in the Old Testament. Daniel means God is my judge Misael means who is like God. Things were great reminders of their heritage and the other two names had aligned on Azariah. Both contain a shortened form of the great name God Jehovah had a line of means. Jehovah is gracious. Azariah means Jehovah is my helper over there Hebrew forms. Each of these four names was a reminder of the true God and of the heritage that these young men brought with them the Babylon King changed their names wasn't just accommodating them to his capital he was supplying them with names which had instead of the Jewish name for God. The name of the true God. The names of one or the other of the Babylonian deities a cooler negative or some such other name as a way of saying you say that those who had been servants of Jehovah were now to be servants of the gods pagan Babylonian Pantheon didn't work. That's the important thing to say that it has or had the power to change the young men's names, but he did not have the power to change the young men's hearts young men stood firm in their hearts of all storing Daniel in these early chapters shows how they did stamp, I want to apply that her own age. In this way because the sense the same thing that Nebuchadnezzar tried to do with these young men and the changing of their names is done by the world and our time in the changing of the great ideas for words in both Christian vocabulary and liberal theology. For example, liberal theology doesn't abandon the great ideas the Christian faith outright. It simply changes the meaning of the words.


Word like sin.

Example sin which Westminster confession of faith defines as any want of conformity unto our lack of obedience to the law of God and it says, well, sin is actually the kind of oppression that resides in the social structures so it becomes not a personal thing where you and I individually rebelled against God put something out there something wrapped up in the system, something that can be overcome by revolution name Jesus is changed by liberal theology, Jesus according to traditional Christian understanding as second person of the Godhead, God the son become man for our salvation was Jesus who died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead from our justification as Paul says in Romans, this is not the way it's handled in liberal theology Jesus instead becomes something of an example DOS anyone who achieved anything for us but an example is what we should be wrapped in some forms of liberal theology becomes an expression of the highest evolutionary peak of the human rights salvation, slots God's deliverance Thomas by his grace from the penalty due is for our sins, but it becomes being freed from the social structures set oppression.

Faith becomes slots that obedient responsible heart to God's declaration of what is done, but becomes something like commitment thing the Marxists speak up when they say Faith is becoming aware of the situation of determining to do something about it and I will these terms are changed receipt of course secular terms even more radically made for an example only the way in which the word born-again has been handled in modern advertising have all kinds of born-again experiences buying a car buying hairspray and such things, and in that manner.

These great terms are watered-down. The point I want to make, however, is that although the world can change the words world cannot change the reality reality is really in the hearts of Christian people. We have to be careful to preserve the words we want to do that much as we can. Why we take time to find them and say what we mean search the Scriptures order that we might have a fuller understanding of these things well really is an effective dry to do this if the reality of these great things that are hearts and that's what it was. In the case Daniel and his friends on the second thing I notice in this first chapter is this great decision.

Daniel magnets in verse eight, and it's the key verse in chapter says Daniel resolves not to defile himself with the royal food and wine here was Daniel, young man, a follower of the most high God transported to the great capital of Babylon, the secular pagan worldly city just like our cities and he determines in this little thing the food and wine that he would not file himself with the king's food.

I asked the question, how do you respond to that you say is I am sure many would save more than the Bible, but they were simply facing situation with young people to die. Now look at this true that sometimes young people and impetuous and certainly they have high ideals of all of that is very good but you have to understand that we do live in the world you have to get along in the world. Go along to get along and you should really take this matter of Jewish diet to seriously after all, you're not in Jerusalem anymore there in Babylon than what you ought to do is each this food that is provided by your great benefactor. As a matter fact you can in regard that is coming from God because God is certainly giving you a great opportunity here. After all, we would say this matter food and drink is just very little thing you think that way when you read about Daniel's decision. Let me begin by saying that it is a very little thing.

We mustn't distort this matter of food and drink into giving it greater prominence as it is just a little thing. It's a symbol of something else perhaps but in itself it is little that is just the point was Daniel young man at the beginning of his career. Whatever it will become in Babylon and this young man determines from the very beginning that he is going to look for God in smallest things that's important to realize most young people that I speak your particularly to the young have high ideals. I don't know many young people confess they don't want to be anything or achieve anything. Sometimes I give the impression that they don't want to achieve anything. By the way in which they work.

Most of the really want to amount for something they have great ideals but the difficulty is that they're not willing often to pay the price they say. Well, someday I'll have my great opportunity and then I'll do what's right and then I'll really amount to something less of Daniel and his friends is that you never amount to anything regarding the big things unless you're willing to act regarding the small things first. Jesus himself said it. He said whoever is faithful in little things will be made faithful in many things and given responsibility for many things.

So if you're going live for God in a big way later. You have to begin by living God in a small way it is in the small things of life, but the big things, like the characters may God is in the business of building up character requires great movements in history are miracles in history. While God can do that all by himself. He doesn't even need us what God chooses to do his work.

Those were his spiritual sons and daughters by developing in them the character Jesus Christ happens in small ways.

First, you have the example of Daniel who determines the live for God and not defile himself the King's food and drink. What this really means of courses that Daniel had determined to be holy.

Holiness means living for God, being fully committed to God. Following his way not being deterred by the world's way and Daniel had determined from the start that he would live a holy life. One of the great books on holiness. Perhaps the greatest book on holiness that is ever been written was written by the great English bishop of the last century, John Charles Ryle bears that title, holiness, and after having taken a few pages at the beginning to define holiness which she describes as being separation on the God devotion to God service to God, being of one mind with God and wanting God's will. Ryle goes on to give eight reasons why you and I as Christian people must be holy. Listen to what they are number one." We must be holy because the voice of God in Scripture plainly commands it.

You know that he does. Peter writes in his first letter as obedient children do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. It's written be holy because I am holy is not optional. You say God didn't side now. What I would like you to be is holy.

But if that isn't on your particular agenda.

We just won't worry about that now would deal with something else doesn't speak that way. God says be holy even as I am holy and that means we must be holy because God commands to, we must be holy because this is the one grand and and purpose for which Christ came into the world may say at that point but I thought this came into the world to save us from our sins stroke is precisely what he came to save us from the penalty of our sins and the power of our sins in order that we might live a holy life before Paul writes about it in Ephesians, Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and presented to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Christians think that they would like to have the benefits of salvation without the obligation to live for God were not able to do that because if we try to believe and live a simple life. We are frustrating the very purpose of God in the atonement uses died we might be holy. Number three. We must be holy because this is the only sound evidence that we have of the saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ house that's all you know how James deals with in his letter, James distinguishes between dead faith in the living faith dead faith is the kind of faith that will acknowledge intellectually the doctrines of Christianity are true.

It's the kind of faith, he says, even the devils have low, they tremble. I know that Jesus is God, they know that Jesus died for his people on the cross and all those things the devil himself is a far better theologian you and I will ever be what is not a saving faith, living faith says James is a faith which issues inevitably in good works. Among those good works is obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ which leads to holiness. Ryle has a section as he talks about this in his study were to comments on so-called deathbed conversions, says in his judgment and 99 cases out of 100, these deathbed conversions are an illusion, he says, with rare exceptions men die just as they have lived.

Therefore, the only safe evidence that we are one with Christ in Christ is in us is a holy life before.

We must be holy because this is the only proof that we love the Lord Jesus Christ and sincerity is very plain about that he himself is one that Saturday said whoever has my commands and obeys them.

He is the one who loves me said if anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. He said you are my friends if you do what I command you love Jesus will obey him will be holy.

You are not holy. If you are not obeying Jesus you do not love him regardless of what you may say we have a chorus in which we sing all how I love Jesus. Many people sing that display by way they live their lives, not loving at all. Number five, we must be holy because this is the only sound evidence that we are true children of God is made that point when he was talking to the Pharisees.

The Pharisees were sure they were children of God because they were children of Abraham said we are children of our father Abraham a man everything is all right with us and Jesus replied them by saying if you were Abraham's children, you would do the things that Abraham, in other words, they would live as Abraham lived they would live a holy life. Also, the same thing in Romans the eighth chapter.

Those who are led by the spirit of God are the sons of God.

The fact that we live a holy life is evidence that we are God's true children. Number six, we must be holy because this is the most likely way to do good to others was people in our age have desire, though they may not follow up on it much to do good other people and they think perhaps mistaken like that.

The way to do good other people's just not to challenge them in any way in their conduct. Don't do good other people by advocating or endorsing a low moral standard. You don't do good to other people by running counter to the commands of God.

God has given us the standards that we might be blessed by them and live in them and it is by living according to the standards of Scripture that the greatest good is done in this world, people come to Christ. As a result of the holy conduct of others.

Peter wrote to wives at one point in his letter saying wives, be submissive to your husband so that if any of them do not believe the word they be be one over without talk by the behavior of their wives when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

No doubt many besides sub and one by holy consistent behavior. Some Christian number seven. We must be holy because our present comfort blessing depends much upon it, all suffering in this world is the direct result of an individual sin, we tend to think that we have only to think of the words of the Lord about the man born blind disciples saw him lying called attention to him and said, Lord, who was the center of this man or his parents that he was born blind. They said evil in the world is the direct one to one relationship to some sin does not necessarily follow Jesus denied the conclusion he said neither this man nor his parents, but rather he was born blind in order that the glory of God might be revealed doesn't follow that all suffering is the direct result of an individual sin.

On the other hand does follow when we reverse it all. Sin produces suffering. Therefore, way too full and blessed life is by repudiating that which is contrary to God's law number eight. Lastly, says while we must be holy because without holiness on earth we shall never be prepared to enjoy heaven.

Hebrews 1214 says without holiness no one will see the Lord. Revelation 2127 speaks of heaven, saying nothing impure will ever enter into it. Normal anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life this point. I suppose the people would say well yes I get the point. Holiness is important, the decisions of youth for the decisions even of old age that lead to holiness are the crucial decisions of life. You know, in my case it's just not possible. I just can't do it. I tried it.

I failed. I'm in a situation where I did the right thing. I'd lose my job, I lose my reputation friends say I just can't do it. Let me say that you don't know that follows you think you can't do it because perhaps you don't want to do it even if it's impossible with men were told in Scripture with God all things are possible. And God comes to the aid of those and determined to live for him.

That's what this first chapter of Daniel teaches us about Daniel and his three friends. These men determines the file themselves with the king's food and drink and the guard was in charge of them said I can't let you lay this aside, because if you eat poor food. It's going to show the way you look and I'm the one that is going to get in trouble. Daniel said trust in God. Let's put it to the test. Give us 10 days to see what we want to eat simple food, vegetables, and water in. You met all of the others were here in training eat the king's food in the end of the 10 days you look at us and see which of us seems healthier, brighter and more fit for the Kings service told God intervenes God blessed them when at the end of those days there parents was compared to that of the other young man they were seems to be healthier and better nourished than any of the young man wait a royal food in the chapter we have proof of Daniel and his friends.

As a result of their three years of training. Verse 20 in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the can question them. Nebuchadnezzar found them 10 times better. All the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. Don't say is we inclined to do standard is good, but I can't do it say rather God giving me strength.

That is precisely what I'm going to do because we do live God by his standards we find his blessing in our lives. And there's a sense in which, as Jesus said in the sermon on the mount of all these other things are added to us as well. It's not understand that sometimes we don't get what we desire is often true and it is often true that we don't often receive the world's claim, but we are blessed by God and in the final analysis, that's all that really matters for us and it's only those who are blessed by God to make any real difference in this wicked world spray father Leslie's studies to our hearts, and particularly the study of the decision that Daniel and his friends made early years of their living in ancient Babylon rented something like that might be true of us as well.

We might live for you courageously determining even the small things to do what pleases you, blesses that decision. Strengthen us in that decision.

We pray sake of Christ for his kingdom.

A man you have been listening to the Bible study our production of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals lines of confessing Evangelicals exist to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of Reformation theologians from decades, even centuries gone by. We seek to provide contemporary Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. The alliance ministry includes the Bible study are featuring Dr. James voice every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Rieke and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Gray Barnhouse.

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