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January 8, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Kerry McGonigal of the BJU Bible faculty continues a doctrinal series on soteriology entitled “Our Great Salvation.” The scripture is from Romans 1.
Welcome to The Daily Platform sponsored by Bob Jones University today Dr. Terry McGonagle of the BJ you Bible faculty continues our doctrinal series entitled our great salvation. My objective this morning is pretty simple and that is to take the topic that I've been assigned grace and mercy and really unleash those two on you like canine police dogs like a German Shepherd because when these two topics are unleashed grace and mercy. They they sniff out the sense of certain unlawful ways of thinking and so I'm going to give you my big idea because of what you know where were going with this message, I would encourage you through this chapel message to let the transforming truths of God's gospel grace and mercy loose in your mind. Let it loose in order to locate and eliminate two common ways of thinking that are absolutely contradictory to God's grace and God's mercy and our salvation. I'm thinking in particular of a sense of entitlement and our sense of superiority.
Let the transforming truths of God's grace and mercy loose in your minds.
What locate, isolate and then eliminate this sense of entitlement and superiority that we often struggle with. About this first problem of entitlement that I deserve special treatment, some as written entitlement, the definition might as well be Americans. It's the attitude of deserving. I deserve to live in an expensive house go to a private college make $70,000 right out of school.
Send my food back at a restaurant.
If I don't like it, sue someone for no reason at all and you get the point. The attitude almost doesn't exist in the rest of the world.
So how about you, me when author writes how you feel in life doesn't turn out how you expected single in your late 20s two years of trying and still not pregnant. No acceptance letter from your favorite college.
Five years later and still the same job with the same pay. You feel angry, jealous, depressed, you begin to distrust God or become angry toward him.
Unmet expectations are our first glimpse of entitlement, a sense that we deserve marriage.
We deserve kids we deserve more money. We deserve a better job of feeling that God owes me in that sense of entitlement that I deserve special treatment is actually rooted in the second one and that is pride.
I feel like I need or deserve special treatment because I feel that I'm special, and more so than others.
As I compare myself with other people. I feel this sense of superiority and also tends to lead toward prejudice and bias. Our pride becomes evident when we look at the way we view others in the conclusions that we come to about them because many of our conclusions about other people are made in a matter of seconds or minutes and there based on purely superficial considerations are judgments are influenced negatively by prejudices, fire biases by certain prevailing stereotypes and ultimately by her own pride and it's my intention this morning to let loose the grace and mercy of God in salvation to sniff those out in our hearts to isolate, identify and eliminate those ways of thinking to let me test you out of this. Do you immediately assume that people of a different color or race or gender are less educated and therefore less intelligent or do you immediately suspicion certain people's trouble simply based on the color of their skin or the way they look. Men, what is your response. When a wimp woman is placed on your project team, you immediately assume that she is a liability, not because you determined or seen that she actually is. But just because she's a woman you automatically rule people out because of the way they talk you immediately assume certain things about that person because their speech is slow or slurred, or they stutter. Or maybe they even speak southern you fear the presence of down and outers certain kind of people at your church. You get nervous when they start showing up for services. What comes to your mind when you see somebody with a tattoo somebody whose address is out of sync with your particular preferences or with your particular culture. Ladies, you look at what other women are wearing and instinctively determine their character or their significance and make cutting comments about them to your friends, what conclusions you come to when you see somebody in a wheelchair or someone with a disability or someone with the disfigurement. Are there certain kinds of people that you avoid simply because they're different. Are there certain kinds of people that you won't sit by and that you won't talk to you look down on people who serve in ancillary roles as if what they do is less significant than your more public and conspicuous role how you feel when you're around other believers whose standards are in your estimation lower than yours who don't take the moral high ground in your estimation who sing songs that you wouldn't sing in a style that you wouldn't condone who wear things that you wouldn't wear and go places that you wouldn't go.
The questions could go on and on and on but we do we see the problems that we see these ways of thinking, not just out there in society, not just out there in the student body as a whole, not just in our churches.
But do we see these ways of thinking. This entitlement is pride. This prejudice the sense of superiority to be see it infecting our own hearts look down on others because were lifted up in her own estimation so we compare ourselves, and we build a platform as it were. So like I am this morning I'm above you looking down on you. I've corrected this platform in my own thinking and I'm higher in superior elevated because other people aren't as intelligent or they're not as beautiful or handsome or winsome. They're not as well dressed horse talented or gifted not as well, like the well-known they're not as conservative or separated from the world as I am run the other hand, are not as liberated from legalism.
As I they're not as faithful to the ministry or significant to the ministry as I they're not as consistent in their parenting their kids aren't as well-behaved as mine. Are there not as grace based or gospel centered as I am on and on it goes. In some cases this actually turns into kind of a legalistic mindset of the words. It's not just comparing ourselves with one another, but we get the sense that were actually better in the sight of God that we actually have elevated ourselves to the point were actually closer on higher than you are and therefore closer to God and God must look on me more favorably beat more impressed with me because I'm superior a more righteous is a little bit closer to God because of my looks easier for God to like me because of my position.
My role, my popularity, my nationality, my political affiliations my theological positions personal standards of holiness in my intention this morning again is to let the grace of God in salvation. Let the mercy of God in salvation loose in our minds. So can do that, renovating, transforming work that we all need so I can't think of a better place to turn this morning, then Romans the gospel that Paul preaches in Romans if you would turn there with me to Romans chapter 1 because Paul is intent on unfolding the glories of God's grace and God's mercy in the gospel.
This is really his intention in writing this letter the Roman believers and and will see in just a minute that his intention is to let these gospel doctrines loose in the mind to transform and renovate us so look at chapter 1 verse one Paul begins his letter by saying he was separated unto the gospel, the good news of God. Verse nine he writes God is my witness whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his son, verse 15, Paul says I am ready to preach the gospel to you there in Rome also in verses 16 and 17 which are commonly recognized as the theme of the entire epistle Paul tells us why he's not ashamed to come. The Roman preach this gospel because he says I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for the gospel is the power of God and the salvation to everyone to believe if verse 17 for in it. In the gospel is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. So what we read from chapter 118 on is this gospel that Paul was separated unto is this gospel that Paul was eager to preach this gospel that Paul was unashamed of, but we come to chapter 12 verse one we reached the transition as many of you know, in the letter and Paul transitions from his proclamation.
His preaching of the gospel to his application. So now I want to talk about is is the application of force and the impact of this gospel message to believers and you see there. That transitional word. Therefore verse when I beseech you therefore, in light of the last 11 chapters in light of my preaching of the gospel to respond to it appropriately by consecrating your life in order to do the will of God and diversity, the Lord somebody that presents their body a living sacrifice is intent on doing God's will, but if you want to understand God's will for your life as described there at the end of verse two. Juergen have to come through the first part of verse two where Paul says, and don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. That's how you consecrate yourself the guy that's how you come to the point where you know the will of God. See you can do the will of God, you got have this renovation take place in the way you think is, like of you ever watched Chip and Joanna gains in their HDTV series fixer-upper you know this is like this is like demo day right it's demo day for the best day the gospel comes into the mind and it demolishes the gospel of God's grace and God's mercy in Jesus Christ, absolutely, utterly demolishes this sense of entitlement that I deserve to be treated special.
It demolishes the sense of superiority in this prejudice that we have if we let it. You can see Paul's application. The gospel is really specific to the mind. Notice how he contrasts not being conformed to this world with renovating the mind and often we come to this passage we externalize worldliness. We think of externals we think of conformity to certain external patterns and ways of living and dressing up. Paul is going much deeper he's going right to the way we think a certain mentality and I want to show you actually what he has in mind because we gotta keep reading in the past is to find out what Paul had in mind when he says be transformed.
Verse three says, for I say see the little word for there at the beginning of verse three connects back to verses wanted to I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, so no one is excluded from this application, the Paul's about to make. Now notice what he says not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think the Lords don't be conformed to the world in the way you think about yourself, be transformed and think a different kind of way. In other words, in the world system. It's all about status and position and prestige.
It's all about our placement in society thought about comparing ourselves with one another.
Paul says the gospel demolishes that way of thinking it renovate us so we think in a transformed way and what is that look like, but he says think soberly, think and judge according to reality, not what I have come to think about myself. Mike inflated estimation of myself, but think soberly, according to the truth as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.
So the first application of the right response.
The gospel is how believers think about themselves and by extension, how they view other people because if you go on and apply this to spiritual gifts and the use of gifts within the context of the church because I have a certain gift website preaching or teaching that doesn't make me any better or superior to others who have lesser gifts in terms of their conspicuousness or their public role. The gospel according to Paul, is designed to renovate so what are some of the facts about God's grace and mercy that he covers in chapters 1 through 11 that will come into our minds and renovate us maybe five of these transforming truths of the gospel of God's grace and mercy what's her sleaze this morning and apply them specifically to our struggle with a sense of entitlement superiority in the first one is not your birthday, not your birth exit word get that from both got from Paul Tripp.
Paul Tripp relates when he was a kindergarten teacher and one of the moms wanted to have a birthday party for her daughter Susie and so he said yes is always there but is invited that defines us as his mom shows up on the day the birthday party makes the whole classroom into a birthday kingdom and their balloons and all kinds of packages and Susie it's the sit at the end of the table and she got this pile of packages in front of her. He can hardly even see here because of the amount of gifts that are stacked up in front of her and all the children have little sandwich bags that are full of party favors.
And so they get some tootsie pops in lollipops and got a plastic whistle. There's one boy Johnny who was not content, who did not see that is fitting or appropriate. He felt like he deserved something special like he was having a hard time Susie getting all the attention and so he started to make his disgruntlement known and so he crossed his arms for his face to start going from a started doing it loud enough that everybody could hear is actually beginning to draw attention to himself.
So one of the teachers were one of the parents came over and knelt down beside Johnny very wisely and very gently said Johnny it's not your birthday. It's not your party and you what the gospel comes to us very wisely. Change gingerly and and and but very directly and says to us it's not your birthday.
It's Scott's birthday. It's God's party. This is about him receiving honor.
This is about him receiving gifts and so the gospel reminds us it it it it devastates our pride and our sense of our inflated sense of self because we want to privatize the gospel want to individualize the gospel want to make it it.
We love singing songs like it was for me. He died for me and I don't think any blessing away from the personalization of the gospel. That's certainly something we need to revel in. But we can't do that exclusively. It's not just for me. He died it was for him. He died. The gospel is designed to reveal something. I got back when he saw Paul explaining why he was so excited to come to Rome and preach the gospel is because of what the gospel reveals about God reveals his righteousness that God in his great wisdom would devise a way to justify the unjust and still be just. That's why the gospel was beautiful and so it's not surprising that when Paul comes the end of his preaching the gospel in chapter 11 of Romans. He ends this way for from him and through him and to him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. The gospel is ultimately reminding us that it's about God and not about us. So whenever were tempted to lift ourselves up to exalt ourselves. We need to remember this truth. It's God's party. God is the one to be exalted from beginning to end. Number two transforming truth number two, you're going to get what you deserve. Look at chapter 9 RCC chapter 3 and verse nine what then are we better than they know in no wise, for we have before prove both Jews and Gentiles that they are all under sin as it is written, there is none righteous.
Note not one. There is none that understand that there is none that seek after God.
They are all going out out of the way they are together become unprofitable. There is none that do with good no not one in the drop down to verse 19 now we know that what things over the loss affect sets of them who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight so the gospel reminds us that were all in the same boat and were all underneath the righteous judgment of God because we are all personally unrighteous so there's no one of us that has some kind of edge with God thing like this.
The good thing about cruise liner.
Think of all the people in that cruise liner. Think of the different places backgrounds.
Think of the different financial positions of those people on that boat thing. The different races, nationalities, ethnic groups, and yet let's say something happens to that cruise liner and it starts to go under in the middle of the ocean that cruise liner is no respecter of persons.
Everybody is going under. It is a matter how rich you are, doesn't matter what you look like as a matter how beautiful you are.
Does matter how talented, how athletic you are going down, and so when we wrestle with this sense of entitlement.
The honest truth is, apart from Christ.
I don't think you want to get what you deserve, because Paul says in Romans chapter 1 verse 18 the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and were all unrighteous.
What we deserve is to be banished forever from the presence of God to bear the punishment for our sins when God judges he judges objectively.
He judges according to the truth he judges according to our deeds. Chapter 2 verse six that leads us to this third truth that is God doesn't play favorites now over thinking about her judgment and condemnation. It's a frightening reality. But it's also true on the positive side chapter 3 verse 22 teaches that in spite of our universal sinfulness in our universal condemnation, that the righteousness of God is available to everyone because all have sinned, God's offer of salvation is indiscriminate.
It is available to all, not just to a particular subclass of people, not just of the educated, not just of the refined or the cultures or the religious it's available to all gospel transforming thinking knows that acceptance before God is not based on our personal performance that somehow we get closer to God because beautiful or well-off or stylish or likable or intelligent or conservative. None of those things matter the righteousness that we have before God is based on Jesus Christ and the grace of God that comes to us through him. So what basis do we accept other people. We make other people measure up before we accept we make them work to gain our approval in her favor.
If anyone is accepted before God is because of Jesus Christ number for everything you have is a gift. Look at chapter 5, verse one. Everything we enjoy as believers is because of our union with Christ and this is really the heart of grace. Grace is a gift, the gift of God and is given to people who don't deserve it. In fact, is given to people who deserve just the opposite. But look at chapter 5, verse one therefore, being or having been justified by faith, we have certain things we have certain possessions we have. First of all, peace with God, but I want you to notice that our peace is through our Lord Jesus Christ. Verse two Paul identifies her second position as a result of being justified by faith. He writes we have access by faith into this grace. It's like when you trust in Christ to enter sphere around them of grace and we stand in that realm. But don't miss that little prepositional phrase by whom. That is, by Jesus Christ, we have this access. As you read through the rest of chapter 5. Romans you find out that every blessing that we enjoy is due to the obedience of the one man, Jesus Christ.
Just like all of our disaster.
All of our condemnation was due to the disobedience of being in that disobedience of Adam. So all of the spiritual blessings we have find their source and are being united to Jesus Christ. We don't enjoy these blessings because were intelligent or male or female because we go to such and such a church we have these benefits.
We enjoy these benefits because were in Christ and that's true of every believer, regardless of their social grace or their hygiene. That's true. Every believer, regardless of their lack of athleticism, regardless of their fashion and sense of style.
They are in Christ, if there believer in the enjoy the blessing of God's grace and mercy, regardless of their gender regardless of their skin color, regardless of their nationality regardless of their physical disabilities are the way they talk of the way they walk in their obscurity of their lack of popularity. If you're in Christ that is the basis for God giving you what you have. It's like Paul says to the Corinthians. What you have that you did not receive and the more we meditate on that.
The more we let that loosen our minds, the more it demolishes and devastates the sense of entitlement in the sense of superiority that we often have and then lastly, you know there's only one word that explains all of this and to go back to chapter 12 verse one you see it I love it. Paul summarizes 11 chapters of gospel preaching with one word, mercy, mercies, plural God not giving us what we do deserve because he's compassionate because he pitied us. Verse one I beseech you therefore, brother, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, no discrimination in the availability of God's righteousness, that mercy no longer the object of God's wrath. That's mercy freely cared, declared righteous by virtue of faith alone in Christ alone.
That is mercy having the righteousness of Christ transferred to my account. That's mercy. Blessings in Christ that far surpassed everything I lost in Adam that friends is mercy, no condemnation in Christ Jesus. That's mercy so will you do this, will you let the transforming truths of God's grace and mercy revealed in the gospel and in the person of Jesus Christ, isolate, identify and eliminate the sense of entitlement and superiority. You've been listening to The Daily Platform. Bob Jones University president Steve Pettit invite you to visit our campus in Greenville, South Carolina, and see how God is working in the lives of our students.
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