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October 7, 2020 8:00 am
It's not something you see much in real life a person discovers something so desirable and so valuable he's willing to sell everything he owns just to buy it.
You may never see such a thing in your lifetime, but it makes a great parable doesn't keep listening is Dr. James Boyce examines two parables about discovering the kingdom of heaven. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet program with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly.
Some people discover the kingdom of heaven almost by accident. Others run themselves ragged before they find what they been looking for. In Matthew 13 Jesus has a parable about each of them. Let's listen now to Dr. Boyce is a certain characterization of Calvinism, which I'm sure you've heard based on a misunderstanding of the way election and irresistible grace work imagines a case where certain individual we can call him George is resistant to the gospel he has heard it preached and he understands that what as far as he's concerned is nothing in it that appeals to him in any way at all. He tests the principles of Gracie love the exercise of sin and consequently he's determined to go his own way at any cost, that in spite of this he is elected by God. God is determined that he will be saved and so God reaches down and grabs it more or less by the scruff of the neck and drag them kicking and screaming, resisting with every ounce of strength at his disposal in the heaven.
On the other hand, here is another individual. We can call her Mary. Mary is very much in love with the gospel in lowball of Jesus Christ.
Every time she hears the word talk.
She wants to be there to soak up more of it retirement invitation is given.
She's anxious to be up out of her seat and down the aisle responding when the evangelists invites people to come forward and in spite of this, it's written in the book of heaven that Mary is not among the elect, and therefore, although she wants to come she can't. And God has to tell her I'm sorry Mary, your name is just not there. You'll have to stay where you are. Heaven is just not for you.
As I say is a misunderstanding because that's not the way election works. It's not the way.
Irresistible grace works.
It's true that the grace of God is irresistible, but only in the sense that it is not for office or desired bios when were still unregenerate. What happens is that God in his grace. First of all, reaches down and changes our disposition gives us a new well a new date. Your new desire and then as a result of that change. When we hear the gospel preached we come because we want to come not against our will, and if we find ourselves resisting that event has no appeal to us is because that work of God is not been done in our hearts. If George does not want to come.
George will not, George will not be saved very wants to call Mary may come and Mary will be say this is not in spite of God's degrees. This is because God has not only made his degrees, but has begun to work in the hearts of these individuals to draw them to himself I give that by way of introduction to these parables of the hidden treasure and the peril which the Lord tells about. As we have it in the 13th chapter of Matthew say that that's the basis upon which these are to be understood. The case of Amanda discovers a treasurer and determines it a habit in another manner discovers a pearl of great value and determines that you have it, reason, they determined to possess this which they perceived to be such a great treasure, and we understand it, of course, to be an image of the gospel is that these are already people of the kingdom. Now all the essential characteristics of these two individuals. The man who found the treasure and the merchant who discovered this pearl of great price.
These two individuals are alike. These are the characteristics of the people of kingdom that are held out for us. I think however that there is one point of distinction and it's worth looking at because it describes as I see it two different kinds of people to become Christians to tell by this story is Christ gives it would seem that this man who discovered the treasure hidden in the field was not looking for it.
He was just out in the field. Maybe he was digging around for some reason. Maybe he was walking by and he happened to see it exposed by erosion or some such thing. At any rate he wasn't looking. And suddenly there it was, and he recognized its value and went on to possess it, as the rest of the parable describes other people who are in the verge of Christianity, who are like that. They're not particularly seeking but they find it anyway. This would include, for example, those who are born into a Christian home and come to a knowledge of the gospel in the Christian all and believe and go on and grow in the faith of many indeed do this is not due to any special seeking on their part.
They just happen to have been born there other people who don't have that particular advantage but stumble upon the gospel. Nonetheless, they're not even particularly religious or not anti-religious. Either they just never thought about it very much and suddenly through some circumstance of life. They are brought into contact with Christian thing.
Sometimes it's a Christian family moves in next door. Sometimes it's another student down the hall or maybe because of the holiday season, it would just be a nice thing to go to church to do that at Christmas or Easter are some other religious holiday so there they are, and they never really thought about these things with the gospel is preached Jesus Christ is held up before their eyes, and almost like a boat of lightning. They recognize their knee. They see themselves to be sinners. They realize that Jesus Christ is the answer to their city, died on the cross for them they heard that said they never understood but now they know and they recognize as it were all at once that this is a treasure far above and beyond any treasure that has ever come into their life. Any value they never had and so they believe in. They come I would think that there is probably never a time that a preacher stands up and talks to a group of people that they're not people there who are in this category.
They have come that way or they are on the verge of coming that way and that's the case for you is the gospel speak you respond in that way then you become an illustration of the great verse in the Old Testament. Isaiah 65 verse one there Isaiah his writing, speaking for the Lord and says I revealed myself to those who did not seek me, and I was found of those who did not seek me out.
That's a wonderful thing.
Now, on the other hand, there are people who seek out his throw that even that seeking is not of ourselves, we seek because Christ is first of all sought out sleeve and sing it in one of our hymns we sing.
I sought the Lord and afterward I knew he moved my heart to see Kim seeking me.
It was not. I found those Savior Trudeau. I was found of the soap.
It's the case that nobody is ever come seeking God really seeking out not merely seeking a religious experience but actually hungering and thirsting after righteousness. God is not first of all, been there to seek them out, but the person doesn't always know this, and in his pursuits of reality and spiritual things he or she experiences many ups and downs. There are many blind alleys.
There are many discouraging misunderstandings.
All sorts of prejudices that have to be blown away. This person seeks and seeks and seeks and then eventually finds and that person seems to me is like a merchant who sought the peril is man was in the peril business after all. He knew the value of perils because he been dealing in pearls. He was hunting good 1000 and that he could sell here and by there make a profit to make his living that way. And so when he found the problem wasn't the same kind of accident, that it was for the man stumbled upon the treasure he was after that.
After all, and you're like that and if that's the case, or in the category of those the Lord talks about in the sermon on the mount when he says, asking you will receive seek and you will find knock and it shall be opened unto you. If you're in that category and on the verge. It may be the case that remains only for you to mark up on the door and find it open and you need to pass through the doors Jesus Christ because he said I am the door and he invites men and women to come to God through faith in him because of the points of difference. Yet, as I said the essentials of the story hinge upon the similarities strikes me that this man who stumbled upon the treasure and the merchant who found the pearl have four things in common.
First, when they discovered the treasurer of the pearl they recognized its value. I was the first thing and then secondly you having recognized its value. They determine the habit and then thirdly, having recognized its value in having determined the habit they sold everything I had in order that they could make the possession and then finally having sold everything they had. They took that final step and acquire the treasure for themselves.
What I like to suggest is that it's coming to faith in Christ receiving the gospel involves each of those stages. There's the recognition there's the determination there's the selling and finally there's a personal acquisition but we take the one of the time. Here you have these two men who stumbled upon the treasurer recognize the value now or not at all surprised that the merchant recognize the value of the peril set a moment before he was in the peril business. This would be if we put it in the spiritual terms like comparing religions. He been around people that shop in this religion and that religion and he recognized that there were none other than the spoke to the basic need of his soul. Now suddenly here was the one surprised that world little more surprised at the man who discovered the treasure we could imagine possibly that he would take that box or whatever it was walk on and not pay much attention to it were not terribly surprised because treasure is a treasure.
After all, and he saw that was in the box are uncovered what was in the bag. However, it was packing.
She recognize gold as gold, silver, silver releases, rubies say, we would say a person who whether they were seeking or not comes upon a treasure and leaves it lying there and walks on. Why is a full we can imagine anybody acting in that way. Yet, the tragedy of tragedies is that many people.
Millions of people act that way where the gospel of Jesus Christ is concerned. This is the greatest of all treasures. Anything else is for this life to keep up all kinds of wealth and you live in this life as a millionaire you have everything you could possibly desire and then death comes in is all gone again. There is a treasure what is valuable not only for this life and for eternity as well. Again, suppose you try to acquire for yourself all the things that your own personal efforts come from mine.
Whether that's comfort or esteem in the eyes of other people or fame or pleasure or whatever it may be one of these to compare with the offerings of the gospel of God is working in your life. The first thing you're going to notice is a change of values. Secondly, not only did these people. The man in the merchant recognize the value of what they found. They also determined in their heart that was going to be theirs. We can understand why this is essential. Second step is essential because of an inherent laziness and human disposition here is person we can imagine who comes upon this treasure in the field and says when to be wonderful.
That was mine. I recognize I can to simply walk off with it. It's too big. I wouldn't be able to carry it. Somebody would see me. The only way I can get it as if I purchased the field and how my ever going to do that why I have to sell everything I have. I might have to borrow that would mean I'd have to make trips to the bank and have to establish credit. Oh, what would people think.
And besides, it's too much effort. I guess I just have to leave it lying there and let somebody else get it or we can imagine the case of the merchant who discovers the pearl and says while here's a pearl greater than anything I've ever seen before and never in all my life thought that I would find anything this valuable my Sherwood like to have that why that pearl would be my fortune hello and effort that would be just to acquire the amount of money necessary to purchase it. I might have to sell every pearl I have people begin the wonder why I'm doing that, but neither this man who found the treasure of the merchant who discovered the program like that, having recognize the value they said all about all things. That's what I must have. So they determined in their hearts to habits because whatever anybody else does whatever anybody else may think whether there misunderstood by friends or neighbors. Whether the whole world calls them foolish.
This is the thing about you. This is what they must have and so they determine to have you see this treasure of the gospel of you see how valuable that is for yourself and you determine God giving you that determination. You must have a will and you will surely haven't.
This is third point. And here is perhaps the most difficult one of all. I think maybe this is why the Lord told these parables.
Not only did they recognize the value of their discovery. Not only did they determine the habit.
They then went out and sold everything they had in order to make their purchase. We don't buy the gospel to know the Lord does say that this man who found the treasure sold all the hand and walked the field and he does say that the merchant who discovered the pearl of great price sold everything he had and bought it. That's obviously there teaches something he repeated twice what is it that where to sell what is it that where to give up in order to have this treasure. We suggest a few things. One thing you have to sell off or your old prejudices will have them because we all have certain views of religion and the part from the work of God to make us alive in Christ of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to teach us properly about spiritual things. All of our ideas are wrong. We have an idea of God, apart from regeneration that makes God more or less like a man and if the truth is called we have an idea of man which makes man more or less like a God in any way with both on the same level. It's just like having got a little bit bigger than we are little holier than we are, but not by much. And that means were in the same camp and we operate the same category is that if I do something good. Well gonna take recognition of what it is that I'm doing and if he doesn't. What I don't have anything to do that kind of God. That's what many many people think spoken to many about the gospel and they say will of God is like that. I don't have anything to do with it or they say Christian people are like that.
I don't have anything to do with them. Why I would rather be and how nice people like myself that in heaven with all the credits you heard that as a kind prejudices you have to give up because that's a false view of God, and it's a false view of you.
It's a false view of other Christians slowed as a little bit of truth are you talking about other Christians what we have to see is that God is not a man, God's thoughts are not our thoughts. God's ways are not our ways and our sin is so corrupted us that there is no way under heaven whereby God would ever have anything to do with any of the righteousness that you and I can produce. We have to give up those false ideas understand that the gospel comes not through what we do or can do, but solely through Jesus Christ has done is another thing we have to sell off and that's our own self-righteousness.
You know the easiest way to increase the numbers of Christians that we could change the gospel would be to do away with this idea of justification by grace. If only we could somehow put a little bit of human effort into it when even have to be much people would be quite happy to have God do 99 and 44, 100% of it up. Your part as long as we could get in that tiny little bit of the impure part of our own efforts in all of we could say that here God has done everything that needs to be done all that has to be done now by you is that little bit dark that little bit why we could double the size of the church is overnight because people would, they would do that little bit.
They would stand there posting in the sight of God and other Christians say the reason we're here is that we did it. And the reason the others are not here is that they wouldn't do it and therefore I'm saved not entirely by my own efforts I did need a little help me with 9944 100% help, but I did a little bit of it myself that satisfies the heart of the natural man or woman, but it is precisely that we have to give up that old self-righteousness what Jesus is telling you here is that that's what's keeping you back the treasure, which is the gospel, you better sell off and sell it off in a hurry and I don't imagine it'll fetch much self-righteousness is always good in our lives. Not much of anybody else's. What you think anybody's going to pay you for your self-righteousness. Not much market down sell it in the gross rid of it quickly and be done with it and sell it off in order that you might come to Jesus is another thing I think we have to mention and that is our own sinful pleasures and actions by the Jeff give up pleasure is a pleasure that comes from God and God intends us for pleasure. There is a sinful pleasure. There is a practice of sin. There is doing what we want to do when we want to do.
It's in opposition to the laws of God which most certainly keeps you from the gospel because you cannot be a follower of Jesus Christ of the pursuit of your own sin.
At the same time. One of the other has to go so Jesus would say look, give that up to what gain is it. If you have your sin for the day or the hour and you lose your soul you cast these things off in order that you might come to Jesus is only that last point, after these two individuals abandon the merchant recognize the value of their discovery and determined to have it sold off all their goods order that they could make the purchase. They then went out. I made the purchase. I acquired it I got it. Personally, I think there is the point at which these two parables speak of personal acquisition or to put it over into spiritual terms. This is the point where faith comes in. Where commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ becomes a personal thing. Faith has three elements and has an intellectual element where we understand what it is were to believe it has a hard elements. Where were actually touched on the personal level moved by what we understand and, as a result of that wants to do the right thing to come to Christ that has this third all essential element, which is the element of commitment understanding moving of the heart and commitment that point where we, and say yes now I want that to be mine. And here I do everything that's necessary. I give it all in order that grades treasure the gospel might be mine personally.
That's what I recommend for you.
If you've never taken that step. Presumably, you've heard these things, you know what the gospel is about, you know that Jesus Christ died for you. You know that you need that you know that he's the answer to the problems of your life. Not only here but also for all eternity. This is the point at which you need not only to understand those things and to be moved by those things. Sometimes people are moved to tears by such teaching, but actually to make the purchase. Say yes. Here I give it all in order that I might have Christ I say just one last thing, if you make I purchase you will never regret that you've done. I just can't imagine that Manny found the treasure and sold all he had bought the field or that merchant who found the purlins all sold all he had and bought the pearl coming back six months, or years later and say you know I'm really sorry that I did what I did. It was a foolhardy thing say here I have a treasurer and see here I have a pearl if I give it to you.
Could I get my money in my fields of my earlier possessions back. That just isn't the way the stories told these men recognize when they saw the treasurer and when they saw the pearl that the possession of this thing would mean their fortune why.
From this point on, they would be the happiest man because they could possibly have desired would be there and so it is with the gospel. All we know the promise wrong thing. We don't want to promise the following in the steps of Jesus Christ is going to be without hardship is going to be without difficulties, persecutions, difficulties, there is no man or woman who is been made alive by the Spirit of God and was made that commitment to Jesus Christ who was ever said any point later on in spite of the hardships I made a bad bargain.
I got hardship. Now all I have to look forward to his glory hereafter. Rather, they recognize that is the greatest thing that could ever happen to them, and regardless of what may happen.
Now they have everything they could ever have desired in their Lord. And so it will be for you. I invite you to come come to Jesus, while he gives the invitation, even now, let us pray our father we ask you to speak to the hearts and minds of those not made that personal commitment to Christ as Savior or father draw them to Christ. Help them to make that commitment to him to say, old Lord Jesus Christ.
I am a sinner. I recognize the truth of that. I know I need you. I know you died for me. I want to follow you. I want to be your child take me now use me lately, and that the kind of man or woman that you would have maybe our father help such wants to do that in this moment and assure them of the presence of the Holy Spirit within the spiritual terms. Fortune has been made that they are now spiritual millionaires in Jesus Christ heirs with him of all the glory of heaven.
Now and in the life to come. You are listening to Bible study hour with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by. We seek to provide Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. Alliance broadcasting includes the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Aiken and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Barnhouse. For more information on the alliance including a free introductory package for first-time callers or to make a contribution. Please call toll-free 1-800-488-1888. Again, that's 1-800-488-1888. You can also write the alliance at Box 2000, Philadelphia PA 19103 or you can visit us firstname.lastname@example.org for Canadian gifts mail those 2237 Rouge Hills Dr., Scarborough, ON, and 1C, two line 9 ask for your free resource catalog featuring books, audio commentaries, booklets, videos, and a wealth of other materials from outstanding reformed teachers and theologian. Thank you again for your continued support and for listening to Bible study hour