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Surprised by Grace

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
June 21, 2021 8:00 am

Surprised by Grace

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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June 21, 2021 8:00 am

Grace is truly amazing, and yet it seems that, over time, grace loses its ability to enthrall. And after many years, amazing grace can even seem like boring grace. On The Bible Study Hour, Dr. James Boice explains that grace can only be amazing when viewed against the dark background of sin.

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Grace is truly amazing. And yet it seems that over time, even grace loses its ability to enthrall and after many years. Amazing grace can even seem like plain old every day grace today on the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce explains that grace can only be amazing when viewed against the dark background of sin to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly. We all want someone to blame for our soon at the very least you like to have an excuse for doing wrong mixed up family and addiction work money troubles now from Genesis 3, Dr. Boyd shows us that it's only an understanding of our own depravity that makes grace truly amazing were beginning a study of terribly important doctrine, but I want to get it in an unusual way. I want to begin it with a trivia question.

The question you can ask your friends and your left dinner party trivia question is a list of all the songs of ever been written. Song has been regarded most by the largest number of different vocal artists answer as you may guess from the subject of the series is amazing Grace great classic hymn of the faith written by John Newton, the former slave trader became a Christian and eventually a preacher, amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see amazing grace really is amazing to understand it is to understand at least in part how amazing it is the astonishing thing in our time is that grace seems to have lost its ability to enthrall many people say I years ago in his classic little study on knowing God had a section on grace and he said, quite rightly, I think that for many people.

Amazing braces become boring rice.

I just don't see their need for rent and therefore they don't appreciate the wonder of what God is not now that's what I like to study.

As we look at the subject from a variety of perspectives and try to consider in some kind of theological comprehensibility. What I often do when I come to a new subject like this because I plan services for Kim's and Sanchez to return to the hymnbook. See some of the great hymns that are written about grace when I did that using our Trinity hymnbook I found that it's listed in the back of the hymnbook in our index under an enormous number of heading hymnbook. You can find suggestions for converting grace. The covenant of grace, efficacious grace, the fullness of grace magnified grace, refreshing grace, regenerating grace, sanctifying grace, saving grace, and sovereign rights letter some compound headings, like the love and grace of God's love and grace of Jesus Christ loving grace of the Holy Spirit. Also, salvation by grace and then when you go from the index of the hymns themselves agree through the viewfinder number five additional phrases that are invented by writers. Phrases like this binding grace, abundant grace, amazing Grace title John Newton's him boundless grace the fountain of grace God of grace, indelible grace, marvelous grace, matchless grace overflowing grace pardoning grace plenty of grace unfailing grace and measurable grace, wonderful grace, wondrous grace, the word of grace, grace sufficient grace alone, the name Francis Scott Key. He wrote our national anthem. Did you know he also wrote a magnificent hymn about grace versus and it says praise the grace whose threats alarm they roused me from my fatal ease. Praise the grace as promised.

The praise, the grace whispered peace.

I favorite have about grace was written by Samuel Davies.

Most of us don't know who he is but he's a former is a former president of Princeton University Pres. Greg University writing him about grace and of all things. My favorite one. Daniel Davies wrote this great God of wonders, all the highways are worthy of myself lying in the bright mornings of my grace online, other wonders shine who is pardoning God like the US grace so rich, so free. Theologians become common grace, electing grace, irresistible grace and persevering grace of Bernini and grace in pursuing grace, saving grace that I haven't even begun to exhaust all of the terms used to explain what this me where we begin with the subject like this I'd like to begin at the beginning because of grace is important as we should understand they were going to find throughout the Bible so I want to go back to the book of Genesis the third chapter story of the fall of Adam and Eve look at it from my perspective. Now we know that chapter because we read it many times, Adam and Eve-based garden under ideal circumstances.

They were perfect to begin with perfect specimens of humanity had no sin.

I had no inclination toward it, so far as anything that came from God was concerned. Each was a perfect companion for the others weren't even lonely. The environment itself was perfect were no flaws in Eden and moreover they were giving meaningful work to do, so I couldn't even claim to have been yet into the midst of this idyllic situation came certain the devil's temptations.

They only had one restriction on the restriction was that they were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that was in the middle of the garden site from that they were free to do anything they wanted they were to be God's Regents universe along other than that one law.

They were 5 feet of x-ray. Well, I can imagine how Adam thought about that whereas sin came from but I know how it operated. He said not eat of the tree, why not God's given us all this freedom. We do anything honestly wonder why should he withhold entry from us so that tree.

Lori decided that's what he wanted. I can well understand that because at an experience of my childhood which I told on other occasions when I was a great school. I suppose about fourth or fifth grade.

I remember just before lunch one day the principal came into the classroom and he said now this is late in the spring on 4 July will be coming this summer and I have heard some of the students are fully around the firecracker know that's against the law in Pennsylvania and certainly against the rules of our school and any student brings a firecracker in the school will be dismissed school immediately dragged with the fear of God as well.

I am even thinking about buyer. But when you get to thinking about firecrackers. That really is an interesting subject and I thought I would be interesting to bring a firecracker in the school. I didn't have any on my new friend who had one.

So on the way home friend that I stop by our other friends house. We picked up one of his firecrackers rebounded back to school and we went into the room with it. We had a people where we thought we show up a little bit. That is what will do my friend.

Remember his name out pretty picture.

I said to Freddie, like you, you hold that in your hand what you do you pinch between your index finger in your budget real-time like the end of the fuse, but when it gets your fingers will go out and celebrate. All right, so we got everybody around me said that set off a firecracker and I lit the fuse. I forgot one thing and that is that it would barn my friends fingers when it burned his fingers and let it go, landed on the floor and loaded the largest cloud of blue smoke and little bits of white paper that you have ever seen. We were almost deafened by my small little enclosure Roman so we came staggering out along with the smoke of the little bits of paper.

Now the principal's office was at the other end of all, I thought we had come out of the cloakroom in a hurry, but he came out of his office. A great deal faster because about the time we emerged classroom. He came through the door he sent his home to go back with her parents. I remember sitting there in his office, humiliated, hearing them say over and over again. I can't believe I just can't believe it just about firecrackers, but I understood him, and I think perhaps he began to understand something about human nature, which he maybe didn't understand before. If you find that he couldn't believe it, or whether he was a Christian, I have no idea whether he was a Calvinist, but I think you must become one, at least so far as the doctrine of was concerned because it was perfectly evident that the issuing of the law provoke the disobedience. Now that is what seems to happen in the case of Adam, even participate with quite the abandonment. Adam seem to so require the work of the devil to persuade the disobeying God was really a good thing. You know the temptations he came to work with a number of them except first of all asking the question, did God really say you must not eat from any tree of the garden think he must've emphasized the word really not a God really say your varsity from any tree of the garden, but of course it told about the one tray woman was well aware that that's what got it set, but the very fact that the devil suggested the irrationality of the thing must've begun to put the question in her mind. True, God is not said you can eat of any tree in the garden, but it is truly did say there was one for you should need data that one tray well why not eat of any tray certainly an irrational thing she could why God would do that and so she had begun to doubt the essential benevolence of God while she had answered correctly and straightened the devil out. He replied with his next stratagem, and it was to deny the word of God, he said, look, God said you would die. But you will not surely die as a hidden reason behind what God says no you're not going to die. The reason he said that to say the reason he lied to you because he knows of the day you eat of factory you become like him and he wants to keep divinity to himself.

Never mind the fact that it already been made in the image of God. They were more like him in our unfallen state that they became afterward the strip and send them therefore they didn't know the difference between good and evil. So much was a come on, mom, and said to herself. Well, maybe it would be good to know the difference between good and evil so she went and looked at that tree again that good-looking, without some things in the garden don't look terribly good like things all wrinkled out, but that's beautiful.

Whatever it is. Besides that good for gaining wisdom is what the devil says.

And as far as I can tell from looking at it would even be good to each sliding past those three tests said well I guess I ought to do is eat it. So she took it and ate it.

You monitor husband did as well. I said a moment ago that I didn't think Adam was necessarily persuaded by the arguments think that was doubles approach to the woman, but perhaps it was one argument that the devil use the did appeal to Adam because when the devil spoke the last time to the woman he said, your eyes will be open. It will be like God, knowing good and evil and essentially that's what Adam wanted to do want to be restricted by anything that God had to say. So to be like God meant that he had to do anything you wanted and so that's what he tried to do about those three temptations works so well for Satan that is been using them ever since. No doubt of the regular variations of the proximate number of ways that we don't understand what he's doing, but that is exactly why temptations come to us today. Temptations number one God is not good. He restricts me from doing anything I wanted.

We must not be good because I can't be happy unless I do it and certainly God ought to want me to be happy. So he tells me not to do it really means that he must not be a good God number two God doesn't tell the truth he lives. I may have given us the Bible. Raised in a Christian home and I've been taught to believe that the Bible is from God may be, but I don't have to believe in all because it's not really true.

I have to be able to trust my own judgment spiritual things.

No matter that I don't have any real basis for evaluating spiritual. I certainly am not as wise as God, and I don't have the kind of knowledge he does. Nevertheless, that's a land that operate because basically if God disagrees with me. I'm going to believe me about God and the temptation I can't be fulfilled unless I'm free to do anything. I take it into my mind regardless of what it may do the other people I want to be gone soon as we analyze those temptations we find that is exactly the way we operate today, and therefore the story of Adam and Eve, though it's a true story happened long ago brought sin judgment and death upon the races.

Nevertheless, the kind of thing. You and I live on again and again and again in our daily lives.

Unless in this story at this point is that God came in judgment as God must, God can overlook sanity didn't came to Adam and Eve in the garden to require an accounting and ask what is this you.you eaten from that fruit tray. I told you not to eat from Adams wanting to ask first Adam replied he talked to God, blaming on his wife said why would the dinner all by myself. You know I will bet you wife some say no to my wife and I think as he was trying to get that out. He must've seen the frown on God's face because he realized that wasn't very convincing and so they elaborated it just a little bit. He said like you gave me gave me these words really your fault lay because I wouldn't of done it if you'd only given me a better wife then God turned to the woman he said, what have you done and she blamed it on the devil devil may be doing flip Wilson used the site devil made me do it. You say that isn't really any better because soon as you think a little bit about that simply a more subtle way of blaming God because all of the devil may have been the instrument who let the end of the garden in the first place. God strong enough to keep God's will. The devil was there. God's fault.

The woman let out a spray salon. People have been doing that very upset ever since were always trying to blame someone other than ourselves for our sin, we may say my genetic structure. In all, I have this terrible bad tempered, getting me into all kinds of trouble that I got for my father. My father had a bad temper or sometimes we blame it on her environment. We save only grown up in a better environment is element lay all of those excuses early ways of blaming God because all of God's providential God. We believe he is in charge of all things sovereign over the circumstances, it's gonna let me have the genes that I have God who allowed me to be more than the neighborhood in which I was born and thing that I can dissociate from my own moral responsibility ultimately can be blamed on the Almighty so we do the same thing then because the woman had adamantly blame the devil.

God began with the devil and he began to pronounce the judgments which occupy the major portion of the chapter person are you about all the livestock and all the wild animals crawl on your belly you will eat dust all the days of your life.

The God of the serpent of the woman I will greatly increase your pains and childbearing with pain, you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband he will rule over you in the Adam he said person is the ground because of you, through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field by the sweat of your brow you will eat your to be returned to the ground, since from it you were taken dust you are dust you will return that point in the story were tempted to say whatever happened to grace this is the point at which grace emerges.

You see, grace is only appreciated against the dark background of sin.

Until we understand property of the race nature of sin, willfulness, rebellious humanity, we never understand grace.

You don't understand those things we see in Adam and Eve are the very things that are in your heart. Behavior in Adam and Eve are simply illustrations of the way you behave every day of your life will never understand grace this point, you say the very depth of the judgment. Grace emerges, and it does so in a surprising and startling way to say how well three ways. First of all Adam and Eve did not die is not immediately know other people who say point out rightly that they did die spiritually showed it because they ran away from God and try to hide the trees of the garden God had to come: for all of that is true. Although physical death is a final punishment for sin.

They did not die immediately and that meant if it means nothing else that they now had an opportunity to repent of their sin and find salvation next study were going to be talking about common grace.

One of the amazing things about common grace the kind of grace that is shown to people is that it gives us time to repent of our sin, grace expresses itself in other ways by the fact that you and I are alive today in modern hello this very moment so gotcha grace traversable by sparing them.

That must've been astonishing to them because God said to them the day in which you eat of it you will surely die. God come to execute the judgment of the must've expected to die, but they didn't die instead of that they were living God showing his grace to them in a remarkable way. Second way in which God showed grace is that he promised a Redeemer in the midst of that judgment pronounced upon the serpent God said I will put enmity between you and the woman in between your offspring and hers.

He that is the offspring of the woman will crush your head, and you will strike his heel as one of the most important verses in Genesis because it's the first announcement of all the Bible of the Redeemer was to come. Theologians call it the proto-Avon daily so work based on two Greek words that it means the first announcement of the gospel, one who should comment actually bring redemption to humanity which was now fallen because of the sin of Adam and Eve know much about them. At that point they did know the name of the Savior. They didn't know when he was going to come probably thought he was going to come right away because when their first child was born. They named him Cain and Kate. As you can see from the notes in your Bible's acquisition or if you put it in contemporary jargon it means here. Yes, I think even the sun actually thought that she had given birth to the Redeemer because after all it's what God said enmity between the seed of the serpent in your seated here with her. See, this was the one I was going to crush the head of Satan. Instead of holding Jesus in her arm. She actually held the world's first murder. She had the right idea. Looking forward to Redeemer. They just know when he was going to call his name either name son came thing that be a good name for them knew his name, though the angel appeared to Mary said going to conceive a child by the Holy Spirit and you shall name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sin all down through those ages. Old Testament history Saints of God do their sin, and realized that salvation. They were to have it was going to be by grace alone.

Were looking forward to that Redeemer. Certainly that's what Adam and Eve did here exercised faith that one of us to come showed his faith by the way he named his wife Adam named her Eve Eve means mother life giver, God or even because he believed the promise of bottoms looking for the one life. Let's a second language. Gotcha grace the third way showed it was my saving them saved our first birth that is justified in verse 21 is all about the course they didn't understand much about it at the time and had to be expressed symbolism. Verse 21 says the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed the music had close before because they were ashamed nakedness was a symbol of their shame were naked before God and they had no shape where they were naked before one another and they had no shame there, even in their own eyes they had no shame but once they send a debt. That's why the hit want to try to cover themselves God, something doesn't ignore the sin and shame. Real sin is a real shame.

God exposes then God does is wonderful thing close garments made from the skin of animals in order to have the skin of animals he had to kill the animals. I suppose when Adam and Eve stood look at those animals.

They must've said to themselves well terrible that's what death is the wages of sin is death. We hadn't really understood how terrible a thing. Sin was before. Now we see what it leads to at least death. They must also have said, we see another principle here because God sent us the day with you to the trio surely die.

This is the day we did it, but we have not died in what is happened is that the animals died instead principle of substitution say God indicating there at the very beginning of the race is and unfair. The doctrine of grace which is developed and carried on throughout Scripture to its combination of the death of Jesus Christ. What God showed their resident innocent would die for the one who is guilty in order that the guilty one might live. Moreover, when he took the skins of the animals and clothed our first parents with the skins was a way of saying you can be close with a righteousness that is not yours. I can never attain an innocent original righteousness that is gone, it's gone forever.

You and I reminded us of that we can never get innocence back. We can go backwards we can go forward the way we go forward as by means of salvation that God himself is provided. What happens in justification is that God was able to do this puts our sin upon Jesus Christ dies in our place and he takes the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputes it awesome what justification is all about. We stand before him, is justified righteous men and women that we do are not our own righteousness.

Righteousness of our all that's gone forever and has been ever since the sin of Adam, but we do stand there, we will have a righteousness of Jesus Christ died in our place is a marvelous thing to say. Adam and Eve expected to die. Instead, they found wife must've expected immediate execution of God sent instead on acted towards them in raising grace and so it's been for other sleep. The other stories are found scattered throughout the Scripture. How about Thomas Thomas doubting Thomas is as it appeared to the disciples. Thomas wasn't present. I went to Thomas and they said we seen the Lord, said to them, not me. You're not going bring me in with a hoax like that. I don't believe in resurrections once that always dad and I'm not gonna believe unless I see the print of the nails in his hand and the wound in his side to be able to put my anger in the holes and thrust my hand in the side I on empirical evidence before I believe a thing like that. Thomas wasn't a mere doubter. He was cloaked in absolute unbelief. I suppose Jesus would've said well believe I can choose you walked all want to but I work with those who do.

That's what Jesus did. Jesus appeared next week. Thomas being present and in great grace except Thomas did want to put your fingers holes in my hand and put your hand in the wound in my side. Go ahead.

Here I am.

Make your test. You know what Thomas that Thomas fell at his feet and he confessed my Lord and my grace overwhelmed Thomas about Peter Peter is not that Dr. Peter was a self-confident when Jesus said all of the disciples were going to betray him and abandoned him on the night of his arrest. Peter said what that might be true. The others what is not true of me. You know me more all solid Peter on the rock, me, but when the arrest came Peter fled away like the others. Not only that, he denied three times when the Lord looked upon him and he realized what he had done mortified that he knew so little about himself. He boasted that he would never betray the Lord and not only left him he denied him and he went out and what better. God didn't abandon Peter Lord came to him after the resurrection recommissioned to service.

He said Peter do you love me. He said, Lord, you know I love the reset feed my sheep, three times.

Not only forgiving recommissioned that Medicaid work to do and Peter spent the rest of his life trying to feed the sheep Christ writing up all all, not merely an outer denier betray her all the great enemy of the church all considered the Christian gospel was heresy and preached an extra God all Jews no was only one God Jehovah Jesus obviously was a false Messiah. He needed to be rejected on side of the lake that was to go around the Christian so he did what he could to get rid of them and he started with Stephen the first martyr. After that he got letters in order to go to Damascus and do the same thing where it says he wanted to arrest him and bonds and bring them to Jerusalem for trial killing them up because he thought he was serving God. Yet Paul found grace because Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus said to him, I am going to rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I'm sending you to open their eyes turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins place among those who are sanctified by faith. Paul also found grace your believer in Jesus Christ, you will found it to. You're not. That's what you need. Above all else, grace is the most important thing in the entire universe say more important than a job all yes people of lost a job, gone to heaven or important to my family more important than things more important than my feelings. You asked for more important because apart from grace. You and I condemn the parish without hope and without God in the world is only by the grace of God in Christ. Salvation is offered to people just like you and me.

Prayers that you might find it and find it early and thrive on grace going on from strength to strength God of all grace, who is amazing the way he deals with us her father, we thank you for grace. None of us would be here today if it weren't for your grace, one would ever have been saved if it weren't for your grace, even understand spiritual things or not for your grace to teach us about it.

Help us to grow in the knowledge of languages really all important and then by your grace. Also make us ministers grace as we testify about you listening to Bible study hours with a Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce Lister 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 Reich 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.

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