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Everybody's Doing It

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
July 23, 2021 8:00 am

Everybody's Doing It

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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July 23, 2021 8:00 am

A church struggles to come to terms with what it means to serve the Lord. But it's not easy. All around are greedy and debauched people. Inevitably some of sinfulness has begun to infiltrate the church. Sound familiar? This scenario is not just our own; the early church of Corinth faced many of the same problems! Dr. Boice's study in 1 Corinthians reveals a striking similarity between own battles and the struggles the early church, here on The Bible Study Hour.

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Welcome to the Bible study our reviewing Internet Ministry of the alliance of confessing featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce for more information please contact us by calling toll-free 1-800-488-1888 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically. One of the things I have been doing in the last 10 days or so as I've been flying all over America and Toronto in Portland, Oregon. This weekend, down to Memphis for the third of the PCR changes and what I've been doing is I have been flying around us trying to read at least in the airplanes when I'm on the ground. They have me speaking so many times that I get back here and I hardly have any voice left but at least in the airplanes. Nobody is bothering you and I try to catch up on some of the things that I wanted to read it not been able to lie read three or four books in flight. This time, and one of those was a very significant book. It's a new release by Francis Schaeffer and is called the great evangelical disaster.

I was very interested in and reading that because when I was out in Seattle Washington for the first of this year's conferences.

Somebody gave me a type that they said you just have to hear. I said this January in Washington at the National religious broadcasters convention.

Francis Schaeffer was supposed to speak and he was unable to do it so he sent his son Frankie to read the address that he would've given, and this is a recording of Frankie Schaefer reading Francis Schaeffer's address to the NRB and he said you must read that because he is speaking out against the failures of evangelicalism. So I did and I was very moved by that I was so moved by it as a matter fact that in our session meeting a week or so ago I talked to the elders about us. We made copies of that were circulating among the elders and at the end of that. After he had gone through the concerns that were clearly on the part mind, Francis Schaeffer, he said, and my father, Francis Schaeffer has recently published a book what you want to get your hands on because it's a fuller development of the things that I am reading for him. In this address that. It's called the great evangelical disaster and so with my mind the Lord that I was looking for in this past week I saw a copy and again to read.

It was equally disturbing because what Francis Schaeffer is saying in that book is something which if we're honest and we are always whatever honest look about us of the evangelical world. We are all too aware of that is that evangelicals in our time, unfortunately, and sometimes unconsciously, but nonetheless tragically or compromising some of the great standards of the word of God. The word Francis Schaeffer uses for it in this book is a combination sort of the theme of the book several places in it where he repeats the word three times. It's like the Scriptures, holy, holy, holy, only Francis Schaeffer's sake accommodation accommodation accommodation in what areas well. He talks first of all about biblical authority, something that I've been concerned about for a long time and the other members of the international Council and biblical inerrancy are equally concerned about the fact that the liberals deny that the Bible is the word of God.

So what's no been doing that for a long time. The problem is that the same spirit of putting the mind of man over the mind of God, of the intellect and the knowledge of the scholar over the Scriptures is permeating evangelicalism so those who generation or two ago would never have question Scripture are now in many evangelical so-called evangelical institutions beginning to compromise what is found here and say well it's true in a certain sense that this Bible is the word of God. But you have to understand that it is also the word of man, or if it is the word of God and the lease comes to us in a way which means it is not always absolutely accurate and we have to sift through it with our own intellect to see what we can believe in following he says I believe rightly that if evangelicalism keeps up on that pattern of accommodation the foundations of the church and therefore eventually evangelical church itself will crumble when he talks about the right to life issue that is something also that we are concerned about now it's somewhat different to the present moment because there has been a revival of interest in this and I think the quickening of evangelical conscience. Francis Schaeffer points out in that book that when he and Dr. C.

Everett coup reduced the film series. Whatever happened to the human race and schedule the seminars around the country that were meant to launch that film series and the related publications they did not get strong support from evangelical institutions. Matter fact they were in some cities, swear the well-known evangelical schools.

The colleges in particular wouldn't advertise why not they said, why not at least put up our posters. All they said our faculty is divided on that matter. Magic divided on the rights to life, the importance of life. Yet that was sadly the case or get a toxin that book about ecumenism. The desire to get all Christians together under the same umbrella whether or not they hold the cardinal doctrines of Christianity, and he refers because it's a recent book, as I said published just this February to the recent meeting of the world Council of churches in Vancouver, British Columbia, a meeting, which was a disaster by all objective accounts. So much so that even the secular magazines Newsweek and Time magazine. In particular, said how ironical it is for these men to be calling upon the name of Christ while they issue the kind of proclamations they do and yet strikingly, there were so-called evangelicals present at the world Council who wrote favorably about it and published articles, one in Christianity today saying really isn't so bad. These men are really godly. They really want to do the right thing and calling upon all evangelicals to get together and that godless assembly and then toward the end of the book he talks about the theme which is in our passage in first Corinthians 6 and also in the following chapter is matter of sexual morality, or which unfortunately is increasingly the case, sexual immorality, and Francis Schaeffer bemoans the breakdown of standards in that area within the evangelical church.

You don't have to know a lot about world Council of churches, ecumenism, or the details concerning biblical inspiration to know that at least in this area. The churches have a problem that which for years and years, centuries within the believing church in the Western world would without any question I've been considered a disgrace and obvious breaking of the moral law of God, a tragedy of epic proportion is an increasing number of any evangelical churches accepted the something well you know where all human. What did you expect after all we must be loving and therefore it must be all right. That's disturbing enough just to be able to talk about a situation in those terms. But I want to say that if there is anything which is even more disturbing than the situation that Francis Schaeffer describes it is the reaction in the evangelical churches to the description of the situation because I was a meeting not long ago of some key evangelical leaders, men whose names you would know the name of Francis Schaeffer came up because he's written this book and the people were there at the meeting said well you know Francis Schaeffer is getting old and getting kinda narrow kind of brittle kind of legalistic in his old age and when Frankie Schaeffer gave the condensed version of that book in a speech at the National religious broadcasters. As I mentioned a moment ago the reaction that I have heard even before somebody gave me the tape and said you really must listen to this was a reaction well Frankie, you know, he certainly an angry young man was interesting that the end of that type thing that Frankie Schaeffer finished by saying I think it wasn't in the script.

I think he was just adding it. What he said as he came to the end of it is don't say now when I'm done. Well, I don't like Frankie Schaeffer or I don't like the appearance of his father. That's not the issue. The issue is am I speaking the truth and that I am speaking the truth. What are you going to do about the apostle Paul would've understood that except that it was not as bad in his day. Always bad because it was there in the world. This accommodating spirit, but I say it wasn't as bad in his day because it wasn't in the church is in the world doesn't have any objective standard world doesn't know that there is a God.

It was given a moral law which is embodied in the Scriptures, so it's no wonder if the world drafts what is a tragedy is when the church of Jesus Christ. The professing church of Jesus Christ who knows there is a God who is revealed himself in the Scriptures does have a moral standard. When that your dining understand what has happened. We have to understand that the Western world, there has been an enormous change that has come in with what we sometimes call Modernism in a modernistic spirit which we sometimes call secular humanism or which, if were speaking in more technical terms we call Hegelian is by one of the names of the other philosophers that preceded him or came afterwards. After understand that what has happened is that we have had a remarkable change in recent memory, and in recent history and it's in the police these areas. One thing that is happened in the thinking of the modern world is that the intellectual community has moved from belief in an open system where God the invisible is nevertheless acknowledged to exist to what you have to call today a closed system in which all we see is all there is. That is the only thing that exists is the matter in the universe, of which we are apart.

There is no spiritual dimension in the past.

You see, there was the idea of God and from God came nature because nature was made by God and the laws of nature which were there because they reflect in some manner the nature of God and therefore man fit within that pattern in the wasn't an infinite amount of flexibility.

There was room for growth and so on. But it was an established order in the universe because it went back to a God who would establish the universe and then as God began to be removed as he was. People fell back on the idea of the laws of nature, but because it was no absolute anymore of God was denied even the laws of nature, became questionable, and instead of talking about the laws of nature or natural law which you have even in the legal sphere. People began simply to reflect upon nature and what before had been an attempt to examine things to find out what the eternal and abiding principles were became now merely a reflection upon things as they are, and whatever things happen became the norm. We had that enormous change and we had a change in man's look at himself before this even in countries where most certainly not everyone was a Christian, there was at least something of the Christian ethos and within the sphere of the Christian ethos land was seen as the creation of God, made in God's image is made by God and therefore responsible to God and unable to exist properly and function properly without some relationship to the one would made him but when God got pushed out of the picture. As he was in the thinking of most people, man became self-sufficient. A law unto himself able to establish his own righteousness and do his own deeds and defend them without reference to anybody else in the idea that came in the moral world for the concept of evolution entered in the theory was that man in such a system was therefore infinitely perfectible so quite contrary to the Scriptures.

Human beings were no longer seen as those who have fallen from what God made them rather as those who are on their way to become all that they were meant to be only as man gives the meaning and then, as 1/3 change and that's in the area of autonomy. This has to do with man as well. You see, before this when there was a God in the universe. The character in the law of this God was the law of man as well.

We may not like it.

We may fight against it, but that loss stands and we are not autonomous when there's a moral law on the universe. But you see, you push God out. You not only have a different view of man. You have a different view of man in relationship to law and the standard for law comes, therefore, not from God or from nature from when in man himself and what ever I want to do becomes a standard so we talk today about the me generation. It's just a way of saying in popular language.

What is happened philosophically man is the center of all things, and perhaps even to go further than that man is all things are to go even further than that.

I have all things that I am responsible to nobody else you know we have a great expression of that in our time in the self-development movements the human potential movements of our time. That is the exact expression of that secular spirit now.

I say that's the background to this I want to talk about these issues of morality and marriage.

Some tonight some next week because after seven. Those on the took talk about marriage, but I give this background because we can't understand properly what's happening in the church unless we understand that the church is simply at this point, reflecting the culture around us. Jesus said of the church are to be salt and light in the world but at the very time he said he acknowledged the possibility that the salt can lose its saltiness or the like can be hidden and that is what is happened as church has reflected the world's values. Let me say that the reflection of the world's values is not Christianity. In this passage explicitly as well as other passages in the word of God stands over against any spirit of accommodation, I want you to see how the points I just given points of come into the secular worldview is a result of the enlightenment of all of those things that happened a century or so ago how number one we have a closed universe number two man become self-sufficient in perfectible number three we desire and boast of our economy. Here Paul begins to talk about sexual immorality and look what he says, verse 12. Everything is permissible.

But not everything is beneficial saying there he saying that if we break the law of God, we do so at our peril.

Or to put it in other terms breaking the law of God's is harmful. You see, that's the direct antithesis of point number three and I'm autonomous I'm along to myself that I can do what I want and therefore what I do is right and good and I'm the one to determine that Paul says that is not true. I mentioned I would even be true if we did live in a closed universe without a God but it is most certainly not true. If we live in an open universe in which there is a God. So you see in the universe like this were gone for his own reasons permit sin and evil all sorts of things you can break God's law, you break God's law in this area of sexuality. There is no angel standing there with a flaming sword to keep you from doing you can do it. God says listen is harmful is harmful to you. You don't believe it. You do it you find out as time goes on, and it is harmful to society, which is only to say is harmful for other people to and in the same verse he makes another point he repeats himself. Everything is permissible for me said it's not beneficial everything is permissible for me. He says part number two I will not be mastered by anything what you talking about. There he saying if you break the laws of God. Not only is it harmful to slaving stirred by. That's the trouble with sin say we think we want to send recently signed a Hertz that's the first thing we do and then we say as well you know what is my choice. You know by want to get hurt a little bit and think it's worth it, that's all right. And when the pain gets too greater if the consequences are to elaborate simply because the Internet sin is like an octopus within the technical and you find there's another technical and that's followed by another technical and pretty soon you're caught. You can't get free. That's why we need to deliver. That's why we need Jesus Christ the Redeemer to break the fenders of our sin and any Christian I know that if you come to Jesus Christ as Savior.

You know that you're a sinner and not only do you know you need the forgiveness of sins getting deliverance from your sin and how Paul says in one who has known Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of the deliverer from sin and are likely once again and the sins clutches see the point I'm making. That is the opposite characteristic number two characteristic that says man is self-sufficient and perfectible, not in a sinful world not a part from the power and the grace of God in Jesus Christ. And then he says 1/3 thing, he begins to relate this not just in what we would call pragmatic terms to other people. Is it helpful, harmful, not only in terms of myself and my set free by sin nor does sin enslave me, but to God and see who is the ultimate point of reference. And Paul says at that point.

Listen, the body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord and at that point he brings God in and that is the direct antithesis of point number one. It is not a closed universe. God is in the universe. It is God's universe and we are responsible to him. I am impressed as I read that with the way in which he brings in the full Trinity talks about God. First of all, he mentions the Lord. That is the Lord Jesus Christ and down toward the end. Verse 13 he talks about the Holy Spirit saying to you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God. Is it a question Paul is asking is the question that the so-called church must ask itself in every generation and those who are members of it must in the deepest and most soul-searching way ask themselves the question is this what spirit are you of you of the spirit of this world, the spirit of this passing age.

This secular spirit that says there is no God, therefore I am on the myself or are you of the spirit of Jesus Christ came to reveal the true God and say you are not a law unto yourself and that happiness and fulfillment is to be found in obeying what the true God says if you're that letter spirit in you have to do what process as he concludes the chapter. First of all, you have to flee sexual immorality. Verse 18 you have a choice. If you're the world. Well, then, be a moral that's all right. That's what the world does and go to hell. But if you're the spirit of Jesus Christ.

Humorously, it and then secondly, and that's the positive side you must honor God with your body because I body is given to you from God and is yours but it is also his, and you must honor him with what you do with we worried about our country we worried about the moral slide.

I think we are before we talk about the moral slide in the secular world we better come to terms with the moral slide in so-called Christianity, and in our own lives of the spray.

Her father, there are passages of the Bible that are very hard for us to read at least read with understanding and this is such a one, we ask our father did by your grace because it is a strength in us by your grace, we might be enabled to live in a way that honors Jesus Christ because it's not just a matter of our words but it's a matter what we do in all areas, especially in this area of sexual morality which is such a problem in our time. We ask it in the name of Jesus are set for you and 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.

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