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January 16, 2022 7:00 am
Music info: Finlandia (Public Domain) performed by the Westminster Brass (arr. J. Hala, S. Davis) Used by permission.
Do not give dogs what is sacred and do not cast your pearls before swine. It's one of Christ's teachings. That seems a bit harsh. Indeed, it seems to contradict his command to go into all the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. How are we to interpret such a passage and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically the believer needs to discriminate at times when sharing the gospel. There are those so opposed to God's word.
The Christian is to have nothing to do with them. Who are these people and how can we know them.
Listen now as Dr. Boyce explains Christ's important teaching on the subject of spiritual discernment and claim it is we are to shake the dust from our feet and reserve our words for those who are thirsty.
It's a characteristic of the Christian religion that most of its doctrines are totally unacceptable to most men. Or to put it another way.
Most of what the Bible teaches is offensive.
Not long ago I heard of a young minister who went to a small church in one of the more fashionable denominations is not an evangelical church, nor was it particularly active, but he was both.
As a result of this, and through his preaching of the gospel. The church began to grow and much happened also turned out, however, that many would been in the church when he at first, were offended.
They disliked the teaching they love their old ways then deposed him. Finally, there was a point at which the young man was forced to resign and to seek service elsewhere.
I know of course that there are other reasons for this kind of friction in churches, but in this case, the offense was truly the offense of the gospel story illustrates the truth that for most men. Many of the Christian teachings are objectionable.
In Matthew seven verse six the verse, which is our text today is a teaching that is particularly offensive in which is even offensive. I believe to some Christians in the previous verse. Jesus had been talking of judgment and of why Christians must not judge each other hypocritically but then he adds, as if to correct the possible impression that a follower of Christ is barred from judging at all. Give not that which is holy under the dogs either cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and lacerate you to most persons. This verse implies the worst kind of intolerance, or prejudice.
While it's true that it does not actually teach prejudice. It is also true that it does teach the need for the most spiritual discernment and true discrimination on the part of Christians in the simplest terms, it means that there are some persons with whom Christ followers must not share at least some parts of spiritual truth or something in that statement that somehow goes against the highly permissive spirit of our age and for this reason, if for no other, it's necessary to place the teaching in the widest possible spectrum of biblical truth what is the context into which this verse fits quite clearly it's the teaching that some but not all men will be saved and that even among those who will not be saved.
There will always be some who are so opposed to God's truth that the Christian should have no dealings with them. That may give you some texts in Matthew 1514 Jesus said of the Pharisees, let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind of the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Other words, the disciples were to make no attempt to convert them.
The apostle John, who is noted for his great emphasis on love nevertheless said that if a person who does not believe in Christ. Divinity should come preaching the gospel, which is therefore not the Christian gospel. The Christian should not even welcome them into his house. He writes if there come any under you and bring not this doctrine received him not.
Into your house, neither bid him Godspeed either admitted him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds. Jude wrote and of some have compassion, making a difference.
That is discrimination. Paul added as we have said before, so now I say again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than you have received, let them be accursed. He did not say let him be converted in the light of these texts. It's obvious that Christ's call for discernment is not so out of place as it seems, in fact, it reminds us of a whole area of biblical teaching that is quite easily forgotten.
And it recalls us to the stern duties of discipline and understanding in the task of advancing God's claims through the gospel.
No, what does this statement give not that which is holy under the dogs mean practically what does it have to do with you with me and with the church of Jesus Christ generally the first thing it means also the easiest understand is that all of the truth of the Bible is not for the unbeliever.
In fact, the only truth that is for him is the truth of his own sinfulness, coupled with the offer of salvation through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that some will answer you mean to tell me that the ethics of Christianity are not for unbelievers. We are not the preach log, sacrifice, mercy, and other things. Everybody and I replied that that is exactly what I mean we saw at the beginning of these studies that it was for the poor in spirit, the proud, those who mourn for their sin, not the carefree ones whom God has made week, not the boastful, to whom these teachings are given. You must have this word of Christ within you. Before you can take up his ethics, someone else will say, but what about prayer. Can't you teach the non-Christian about prayer. Again, the answer is no. There is not a line in the Bible to support the idea of the value of prayer for any unbeliever fact the Bible explicitly states that God will not hear the prayer of unbelievers says when you spread forth your hands. I will hide mine eyes from you when you make many prayers, I will not hear the only prayer that God will ever hear from unbeliever is the prayer that I asked for salvation on the basis of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And this doctrine is the only one that we have authority to preach to anyone who has not already become a child of God by believing it. Moreover, isn't this precisely what we have in the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are persons who think of Jesus as going about the countryside preaching the gospel to everyone who would listen and telling them all about his kingdom. This is an accurate and it is probably closer to the truth to say that Jesus was the most discriminating of all preachers in terms of what he taught and to whom he taught it.
Take the case of the woman of Samaria, which John records in his gospel. There was a woman with a keen interest in religious questions Jesus could've spoken to her either in the basis of her theological understanding or her ethics instead he resisted her efforts to turn the conversation to those things and constantly redirected her thoughts to himself. He offered to give her spiritual water and she asked whether he was greater than her ancestor Jacob Jesus directed her back to the spiritual nature of what he was giving.
She wanted to talk about the proper place for worship we might call it detergents Jesus pointed to the fact that salvation was of the Jews, and that the Messiah was to come from Judaism.
Finally, when she began to debate about the coming of the Messiah Jesus said firmly that speak on the DM. He, for this woman is for all unbelievers.
That was to be no solution to religious or theological or ethical questions and told her was an acceptance of Christ and a true understanding of his person. I want to go on from here but before I do, let me call your attention to an important application of this in light of current practice within most of the Christian churches. It is true, as I've just indicated that all of the truth of the Bible are not for the unbeliever than it is readily apparent that church membership is not for him either for membership in the local church implies membership in the body of Christ, and no one becomes a member of Christ body except by believing in the gospel. Unfortunately, there are thousands of persons in the church of Jesus Christ today who would been received by transfer of R on some other basis without a clear statement of faith by committees who are more interested in the applicant's social position than in his position before Almighty God. These ought never to have been admitted to church membership. It's a scandal and it's a great weakness for such persons, and for the churches that permitted church membership has become a partial fulfillment of Malachi 2 verses one into which says, and now all you priests.
This commandment is for you if you will not hear and if you will not lay at the heart to give glory in the my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a course upon you I will curse your blessings. Yeah, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay at the heart.
In such cases, membership in the church of Jesus Christ, which should be a thing of great blessing and become a curse under which many a church and many a denomination are laboring. I am afraid to that there are many persons in our day, for whom the Lord's table has become a curse rather than a God-given blessing, for it has led many a person to think that he is right with God merely because he has followed some right of the Christian religion.
This couldn't be farther from the truth. One commentator writes how terrible it is for an individual to go to the Lord's supper and think that he is in a place of special privilege when he is no true fellowship with the Lord God was the only giver of blessings must not be said of many today. Let there table be made a snare, the communion table is not to be the table of just any professing Christian is the Lord's table.
We must remember that the Lord even gave the bread and the cup to Judas as is proved in the gospel according to Luke where the two sentences are put in such close union that there can be no doubt.
The Lord gave the cop saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you, but behold, I handed him the betray with me is with me on the table. Clearly, the table can be a snare that hardens the heart and makes a man think that he is satisfied God's demands for inward justice and righteousness because he is allied himself with the word rights of some form of the Christian religion. Let every man examine himself in early church writer once said, let no man eat or drink of your Eucharist event. The Lord's supper, except those baptized into the name of the Lord as regards this. The Lord is said give not that which is holy underdogs this early Christian was right. The Lord's table is for true Christians only, but those who are responsible for admitting nonbelievers in the church membership take warning of the final application of this text is the clearest and get the most difficult to speak of it relates to those persons who are more than mere unbelievers. There are those whom Jesus Christ called children of the devil. According to the full teaching of the Word of God. We are to preach only the gospel to mere unbelievers, but to these who have heard the gospel but who in the hardness of their heart. Actually despise a market we are to say nothing. Instead, like Jesus himself and Paul and all of the other disciples, we are simply to shake the dust from our feet and go elsewhere. I know that as I say this that there will be some who find this thought unacceptable, and who refused to admit that any man can be like this. But the truth is of God and all history provides examples in the Middle Ages. One of the most decadent of the Roman pontiff said of Christianity. What profit this farce has brought us Protestant King wishing to rule France by gaining the esteem of the people once followed his own instincts and took a Roman mass saying Paris is well worth the mass now time the same spirit makes light of the most holy of spiritual teachings and lessen the name of wit people right Custer died for your sins. Jesus is the answer, but what is the question or Jesus saves green stamps don't laugh. The words are the barking of dogs and the grunting of swine in the Christian is disobeying God when he cast. Such pearls before them.
Is there hope for such men. We cannot say, but if there is lines in the sovereignty of God and in the demonstrable reality of true Christian living, not in words.
William Barclay, the great British devotional commentator and writer once wrote is often impossible to talk to some people about the Lord Jesus Christ Erin sensitiveness their moral blindness. Their intellectual pride there cynical mockery. The tarnishing film may make them impervious to words about Christ, but it is always possible to show men, Christ the weakness of the church lies not in lack of Christian arguments, but in lack of Christian lives.
No, I really dealt with the problem of spiritual discrimination, unpleasant as it may have been before we end this study we did note a few entirely different but very pleasant things suggested by the word corals first, it suggests to us what we ought wisely to regard as our true riches. Just a few verses.
Previous to this Christ sermon Jesus had spoken of those who were overly preoccupied with Earth's riches now. He reminds us that the Christians real riches are actually found in God's word.
The crews of the world are treasure. Therefore we rightly sing by word is like a deep deep mine and Jules Richard rarer hidden in its mighty depths for every searcher there.
Second, the verse suggests that we should be content with this treasure which the world despises even though on the physical level, we should be asked to endure the most serious calamities of life.
Great Australian commentator Arthur W. Pink writes on this point, we may lose our health and wealth are friends and fame and yet this treasure remains.
Here is a lamp for the darkest night here is to be found comfort in the sorest affliction here are to be obtained. The songs of our pilgrimage. No Christian is ever more or destitute, who has these riches. Finally, the verse intimates how we are to use this treasure for pearls have high value and the wise man should be in great pains to secure them God's word is truly a pearl of great price. Do you so value it. You dig for the pearls. Do you cultivate the mine. You've encumbered these throws do you preserve them committing them to memory and thus walking them forever in your heart. David did this for he wrote by word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against the Mary did it. So did Martha. So have countless others. May this be your practice. Also now and as we continue our studies together in our father, we thank you for this life-giving treasure, and we rejoice in it, there really listening today who do not know the crews of this word bring them to the point where they will learn of the Lord Jesus and commit themselves to him on all of your own children who do believe that your peace, grace, love and mercy. Abide through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Listening to the Bible study our ring, the teaching of Dr. James Boyce. The Bible teaches that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light in order to deceive us. How can we learn to develop spiritual discernment to counter the wiles of the devil. Find out more in our free CD offer entitled spiritual discernment by the late Dr. Donald Gray Barnhouse's free gift is our way of saying thanks.
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I'm glad you two, when a child makes a request of his father. He patterns his petition after the father's nature and temperament. If the father is generous the child is in his knee with great confidence that his plea will be granted joint. Dr. James Boyce as he reveals the joy with which our father God will grant his children's requests. This next time on Bible study our billing you to think and act biblically