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November 25, 2020 7:00 am
If God is sovereign.
Do our actions have any real meaning. I mean, if we believe that God is sovereign wooden we become lazy. Why should we take responsibility for what we do. But when we believe that God is sovereign, we find that surprising things happen and we've seen it all. Throughout history, welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet program with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly turn with me now to Romans chapter 11 verse 36 where we'll learn how all things are for the glory of God. Title of this study is not an exact translation of the last half of our text Romans 1136 are chosen because it was the way they Protestant reformers expressed the truth that is in the text and also because the words even though there were in Latin are very well known. Solely Dale Gloria means to God alone be the glory only down to God alone, Gloria match expression say virtual mono of the Reformation reformers. As you know very fond of that word, shameless meeting alone and I combined it with a variety of nouns to preserve the very essence of the gospel as they understood it spoke for example, send the Scripture meant Scripture alone or concerning using that phrase is worth what they meant to say by using it.
Does the Scripture alone is our authority and authority of the church councils are denominational traditions, still less personal intimations the will of God are subjective feelings but Scripture alone mean to say. Of course with those other sources of authority. Mike bought in some instances have some value in that there might not be something that should be considered being said by the other sources but if the Scripture comes in conflict with them, or if these other ideas come in conflict with the Scripture. The Scripture alone must prevail, and so they insisted on solo Scripture. They also talked a lot about solar file means by faith alone and there concerning using this phrase was the purity of the gospel.
They wanted to say is that the believer is justified by the work of God received through faith alone that no human works are added to it. We don't get to heaven by faith plus works only way were saved by the work of God received through faith alone works hello the nylon and all that they said and Maria try to make something that you can do with what God has done is the basis of your salvation is a false gospel and you're not say so.
They were concerned without smoke about solar file. We also talked about solar Gladio what they meant to say when they were talking about solar drawing or grace alone is that sinners have no claim upon God was anything God saves Islam as he does know that he saves his lack through the work of Christ in the application of work of Christ to them by the Holy Spirit, he does it purely at his own good pleasure. And we can say he opposes anything so they were concerned with that.
Now there is a sense in which each of those other phrases is contained in the phrase that were looking at now solely Dale Gloria God alone be the glory because that is preeminently true in each of those other areas. Scripture, for example, where did Scripture come from it comes from God. How do we get it we got it because the Holy Spirit so guided the minds and hearts of the biblical writers that they presented what God wanted to be preserved impassive on the slots it's forth for God's glory because the purpose of it all is to bring many sons and daughters out of darkness and the light they might be children of God takes faith, word has faith come from faith comes from God Bible says even that's not of yourself the gift of God works with anyone should boast. How does it come to essence through the work of the Holy Spirit.
He regenerates us and it's a result of the new birth and life within the we believe much of Florence for the glory of God because when we believe we believe in what God has done what we have done we trust him for what he's done to glorify him what it's done. Take grace. Grace has its source in God. Grace comes to us through the work of Jesus Christ our behalf and rations to God's glory.
At the very meaning of the term wonder, therefore, that many Christians have taken those words as their motto. Many Christian organizations of done some Christian organizations and even taken it as their name. I know, for example, of one publishing company today neighbor which is solely Dale Gloria to God alone be the glory is known under either that we sing as we go in our morning worship services is what we call the Gloria know how it goes. Glory be to the father and of the song Holy Spirit was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. A man is exactly what Paul says as he comes to the very end.
Romans 11 says an appropriate phrase study as we come to the end of our study of this great doctrinal section of the word of God should not let me remind you of something I said quite a few years ago the very beginning of the studies of Romans. What I was introducing them.
I mentioned Robert Halladay, the Revival Took Pl. in Europe under his leadership called holdings revival other remarkable story tell you little bit about Robert Haldane was one of two brothers who were members of the Scottish aristocracy the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. His brother James Haldane who was a pilot with the British East India Company a very significant position and Robert himself own grapes estates and Scotland's foods main estate was binary moisture that he owned other lands as well. In the last decade of the 18 century Robert Haldane was converted when he became a Christian he sold most of the estates and use the proceeds from the sale to advance the gospel in Europe. Brother James became worse all and evangelists for many became a preacher from Edinboro, where he served her church for 52 years now. In the year 1815, Robert Haldane visited Geneva and this is the part of the story I told earlier. One day he was in the park reading his Bible and he got into a conversation with some young man over there in the park as well. It turned out they were theology students. I noticed him reading the Bible that Sally got into the conversation but is holding talk to them.
He realized that they hadn't the faintest understanding of what the gospel was about going to the University of Geneva and its theological school was a liberal school. I didn't know the gospel so holdings in one study the Bible together invited them up to his flat. They began to study the Bible twice a week which each for considerable length of time each one of those students became converted through that and they became great leaders in the European church. Some of them we know the name Adobe example was one of Haldane student. She became famous for his classic history of the Reformation of the 17th century and we now attend English Best Buy the title the life and times of Martin Luther's best biography on Luther. You can have another of these men was Louis Dowson, author of a book called they'll produce the required from second Timothy 316. It's a book on the inspiration of the Scriptures. Others were Frederick Mont chief architect and founder of the three churches in France.
Boniface became an important theologian Cesar Milan was another distinguished leaders were so influential and they made such a difference. The French church, especially in Switzerland and France slipped as I said the movement became known as holdings revival of the reason I'm going in to this is because of something. Haldane later wrote about might ask the question what is there in the study of Romans that produce such a remarkable change in these young man who awakened them out of their dead liberalism and bring them to the point where they would serve or Jesus Christ as effectively as history shows that he did. Robert Haldane explains it, wrote a letter some years later after this it happened to a man his name was M. Chin of the air. He was pastor of the Swiss Reformed Church in one of the professors at the divinity school at the University of Geneva, and he says in this letter to this man that what produce the changes in these men was the study of the very theme that we are studying and even more particularly study of the last four verses of Romans 11, I want to read your part of this letter. Again, you know, when you read the document that's more than 100 years older, about 100 years old language that sometimes it's hard for us to follow raised on paper as we are in television, but I think you can follow that.
Let me read you what he says. There was nothing brought under the consideration of the students of divinity. You attended Mia Geneva which appeared to contribute so effectively to overthrow their file system of religion founded on philosophy and vain deceit as the sublime view of the majesty of God presented in the four concluding verses of this part of the epistle of him and through him and to him are all things here, God is described as his own last and in everything he does. Judging of God in such a one is themselves.
They were at first startled at the idea that he must love himself supremely, infinitely more than the whole universe, and consequently must prefer his own glory to everything. Besides, when they were reminded that God, in reality, is infinitely more amiable and more valuable than the creation, and thus consequently if he views things as they really are a must regard himself as infinitely worthy of being more valued and loved. They saw that this truth was incontrovertible. Their attention was at the same time directed to numerous passages of Scripture which assert that the manifestation of the glory of God is the great end of creation that he has himself chiefly in view all his works and dispensations and that it is a purpose in which he requires that all his intelligent creatures should acquiesce and seek and promote it as their first and paramount duty. I read that I reflect on it, I say to myself, where do you hear that sort of thing today talking about the liberal church only or anything their evangelical churches where you hear anybody today. John Michael churches talking about the glory of God is the great end of creation, we see that that's what we are studying in Romans 9 to 11 when we were reading chapter 9 we were trying to answer the question why is it that God elects on the salvation passes over others. We saw the answer that's given the answer is that God might be glorified in his grace of those essays is glorified in his justice and wrath, and those he punishes what people don't hear that today like people hardly understand it today and yet not talking about the blowing of God is the chief end of all creation. How in the world can we expect the blessing of God in any great measure upon the things we do think, especially in terms of revival and I want to say reason we do not see great periods of revival today is that the glory of God in all things is been largely forgotten why the contemporary church.
We talk about revival but is not the glory of God we have in mind that we have in mind is not somehow moving to make things nicer for us to solve our problems are somehow cut down on the time in our neighborhoods were not considering the glory of God. That's true were not likely to see revival again until the truths that exalt and glorify God and salvation recover Calvin's its fullest extent is what we need. How can we expect God to move among us greatly again until we can truthfully say as the reformers did that God alone be the glory forever. I like to look at the text itself. It's the first doxology in this letter, but is followed by another one comes at the very end of the letter so were going to come to it again.
One of the end is a bit more complete than this one.
Romans 1627 it says that the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ, so that adds to dimension the wise God, which is not said here and through Jesus Christ, which is in said here but significant isn't it that both doxology speak of the glory of God and that forever so let's ask questions about statement. First of all is the obvious one who is who is to be glorified. The answer obviously is the sovereign God, the God of my imagination little God like me… The God of the liberals was unable to do anything are the God of the Arminians who asked to stand back and wait for us somehow to make a decision toward him before he can save God, was so concerned with God that he started regarding everything he does that he ended with God in everything he does and is a matter of fact you can organize this entire book of Romans around what it tells us about God. I want to give you an example of someone who did that on a gray Barnhouse published 10 volumes of Romans. In his lifetime. The last thing he did that were on the radio station just before his death. These 10 volumes except for the first volume all have the name of God in the title volume is entitled. Man's will and by chapter 1 understand that that's going on is the way it went. God's wrath. God's remedy God's River God's grace God's freedom God's heirs. God's covenant God's discipline and God's glory is what Romans is about as any surprise, we come to the end of this great doctrinal section of the letter as we are also going to come to the end of the final section of the 16th chapter, we find ourselves saying what Paul God alone be glory forever is the second question, how should God be glorified and why should God be glorified answer is God should be glorified because as the verse says from him and through him and to him are all things, particularly the way of salvation, we ask a bunch of questions are answered and see if it doesn't follow personally. Why is man say it's because of anything in men and women have anything to offer to God. No merit of our own, but it is because of God's grace God's elect to this do it is predestined to select people to salvation before the foundation of the world to God alone be glory by the question how this man say the answer is by the redeeming work of the Lord Jesus Christ very son of God, we can save ourselves God and Savior's through the atoning death of his son Jesus. However, we brought the faith in Jesus mother question answer is by the power of the Holy Spirit throughout theologians call effectual calling ourselves were dead in trespasses and sins Holy Spirit awakens us to life. We hear the voice of Jesus and we respond to the question, how can we become holy holiness is not something originates in scores achieved by officers sustained by us capable of being holy. But God does that in us by joining us to Jesus Christ.
Before that we were dead in trespasses and sins be made alive were joined to Jesus Christ our kids were not what we were before, and as a result of that we can go back to being what we were before. We may want to at times say well I remember those sins which are used when dogs are like to try them out again, but you really can't go back to them if you genuinely converted at the Canyon is a work of God is no direction for us to go forward with the question, where we had the answer is to have and it's because Jesus is gone there is propelling the police first arriving there is because God who began the work of our salvation will continue it until we do a number began a work but he doesn't bring a happy and complete conclusion. So we say to God alone be glory forever. Amen. There's a way. Charles Hodge puts it one of the great commentators such as the appropriate conclusion of the doctrinal portion of this wonderful epistle in which more fully and clearly than in any other portion of the word of God. The plan of salvation is presented in defendant.
Here are the doctrines of grace doctrines on which the clients of all ages and nations arrested their hopes of having though they may have had comparatively obscure innovations of their nature. Leading principle of all is that God is the source of all good and fallen man, there is neither merit or ability salvation consequently is all of grace as well. Satisfaction is partners will election is eternal glory for all him and through him and to him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. So I say let's give God the glory stop thinking about man primarily.
Let's stop putting our own desires. The top of our priority list. Stop thinking we have within us the ability to be something either human life or before God, to God be the glory see from him and through him all things God tells us very clearly.
It is noted to be that way because he says I'm not going to give my glory to another ways is it in Isaiah chapter 42. I am the Lord. That is my name. I will not give my glory to another or my praise idols. Several chapters later chapter 48 for my own sake. My own sake.
I do this, how can I let myself be defined. I will not use my glory to another in the ministry.
Now, almost 25 years. My testimony is of the weakness of the church in America. In this day as we do not understand this was a man centered sentiments of the objections because I know there are objections and they go like this will be will become immoral if you're ascribable to God because according to that theory. Salvation by grace, not by works.
People are morally have to work for your salvation with all three wanted to encourage morality. People lose the power of making choices and abandon all sense of responsibility before God and other people is due to the elected grace of God of gods, and I will do anything when people cease to work for worthwhile goals therefore quit all useful activity when they become lazy. Isn't this a philosophy that in the end produces spiritual and moral catastrophe on a number of years ago we had a Philadelphia conference on reformed theology in which we address this theme in the personal address it directly. Was Roger Nicole time he was Prof. of systematic theology at Gordon Conwell Divinity school in Massachusetts is not reformed theological seminary in Orlando, Florida. He brought us an address by this title. It was called solely Dale Gloria part of it was based on an earlier address by a Frenchman's name was Emile Merrick, a pastor who for many years was evangelical seminary in southern France, answers these questions he takes in three categories. I will ask questions that I want you to hear Roger Nicole's answer. First of all, doesn't believe in the sovereignty of God encourage evil by setting people free from restraints, here's the answer. I suppose one could proceed to discuss this in a theological manner to examine arguments considered objections lineup points in an orderly disposition, but I would like instead to challenge you in terms of an historical consideration in the Reformation. There was a group of men who made precisely these assertions over against the prevailing current.
They said that man is radically corrupt and is therefore totally unable by himself to please God is incapable of gathering any merits, let alone merit for other people do these assertions damage morality were these people a group of scoundrels who satisfy their own sinful cravings under the pretense of giving glory to God. One does not need to be very versed in church history to know that this was not so were that time, thefts, burgers, unjust wars, even within the church there was a keenness of shameful trafficking of sacred positions.
But what happened these people who believe that man is corrupt and that only God can help him came forward like a breath of fresh air brought in the new recognition of the rights of God and of his claim upon the lives of men.
They brought in new chastity new honesty new unselfishness new humbleness and a new concern for others honestly think you been so used to say morality was not promoted was checked by the recognition of the sovereignty of God is impossible. Some people say, but it happened.
Here's a second question, doesn't believe in the sovereignty of God eliminate man's sense of responsibility and destroy human freedom. Again, rather than going into the arguments of the matters is Nicole what's your examine what happened in the 16th century when the sovereignty of God was asserted to the people involved, allow themselves to be robbed of all initiatives they reduced to slavery under the power of God.
Not at all. On the contrary, they were keenly aware of the responsibility they had the sense for everything they were doing saying and thinking they were accountable to God. They live their lives in the presence of God and in the process they were pioneers in establishing and safeguarding precious liberties liberties of speech, religion and expression, all of which are the foundation of the liberties we cherish in the Democratic world are from eclipsing their sense of freedom. The true proclamation of the sovereignty of God move them toward the recognition and expression all kinds of human freedoms for which God himself had provided and he's given it to those who were created and redeemed somebody will say it's impossible that you Wrapped the third and last question presents commitment to God's sovereignty undercuts strenuous human activity doesn't make people passes well what did these people Calvin Farrell boxes are what they do relate to people who reclined on the soft couch saying if God is pleased to do something in Geneva. Let them do it. I don't get his way, or if God wants to have some feces nailed to the door of the chapel at Wittenberg Castle. Let them take a hammer.
I won't interfere very well that was not so not people lacks an activity were not lazy, may be accused of many things but one thing is seldom been accused of his laziness on the sovereignty of God is recognized meaningfulness comes to human activity. Then, instead of seeing our efforts as the puny movements of insignificant people unable to resist the enormous momentum of a universal, much larger than ourselves. We see our activity in the perspective of a sovereign plan in which even small and insignificant details may be very important. Far from undermining activity. The doctrine of the sovereignty of God has been a strong incentive for labor devotion of Angelo's him and missions possible someone says what happened in the first century, the world was in a terrible condition. You don't have to be a student of Roman history to know that the empire was collapsing due to its rampant hedonism and the dissolution of mortals just like our time that points God was pleased to send them to the world that great preacher of sovereign grace. The apostle Paul and this introduced a brand-new principle of the total structure it didn't work. The collapse of the Roman Empire, but postponed it for hundreds of years. For centuries, and it permitted the creation of a body of believers that persisted through the terrible invasions of the barbarian words and even down through the dark ages the time of the Reformation. Think of the 16th century church had by that time. Succumb to the corruption. It was corrupt in its hand and its members as they said many ways. It was a cesspool of inequity. Luther said when you get to Rome sitting over the top of hell. People that they didn't know how to change the situation or save the church. They tried councils, internal purges, monastic orders, none of these things seem to work conditions continued as they were.
But again, God raised up to his glory. Men who proclaim the truth of his sovereignty, and the truth of his grace proclaiming this truth, they brought a multitude of the children of God into a new sense of their dependence upon their relationship to Jesus Christ are small. These men of the Reformation may have little money little power little influence.
One was a portly little monk Germany. One was a frail little professor, Geneva mother was a ruddy but lonely man in Scotland. What good is men do themselves will answer nothing at all by the power of God.
Bishop the world. What were they radically corrected that certain testimony by unrighteous not long length of themselves and the number radically corrected by God's grace sovereignly purified, radically enslaves the power of sin, unable to break free from an unable even to understand the things of God except for the work of God by the Holy Spirit, but by the grace of God sovereignly emancipated, radically unable unable to accomplish anything, let alone stand against that great monolithic structure of the church of the Middle Ages, but by the grace of God. They were sovereignly empowered with the blessing of God the world to God alone. The glory does not know God is perhaps the most foolish of all statements. Why should we glorify God glorify me that's what we see all the things we do but praise man.
Let's make that our objective that's where the unsafe those who know God are those who were being saved that statement to God alone be glory is not only a right statement. It is a happy wise true inescapable and highly desirable confession. So we make it. We make and gladly, be the glory forever. All God's people said her father. We are so weak and so ignorance when we approach spiritual things that we don't understand and we don't know how to respond.
And even if we didn't can't do its except by your grace. Therefore, when we, as we have by your grace to a position that we do begin to understand some of these things and we don't realize how important it is all that you be glorified in our glory consists in doing exactly that we see that then we do find ourselves purified set free and still with power label actually to do something of value in this world. Father we pray by your mercy, by grace raise up a new generation of people who think that way sake of our church were you have been listening to the Bible study our ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Montgomery voice.
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