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Jesus Christ and NT Authority #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
March 7, 2024 12:00 am

Jesus Christ and NT Authority #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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March 7, 2024 12:00 am

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Welcome to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, Founding Pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. It is our joy to continue our commitment to teaching God's people God's Word. Today Don is continuing with the second part of a message we started last time.

So let's get right to it. Open your Bible as we join Don now in The Truth Pulpit. When we receive Christ, we receive Him in the fullness of His person. He is Lord, He is Savior, He is Prophet, Priest, and King. We receive Him for the fullness of all that He is.

We don't get to parcel out what we like. I'll take Him for salvation from sin, but I'll keep my own way of thinking, my own way of living. I'll pursue my own worldly pursuits without any thought to Christ.

That's not true. That's not Christianity, beloved. And for those of you that have heard it presented differently, I thank God for the opportunity to set it before you plainly to the contrary.

I'll say it again. If Jesus Christ is not Lord over every aspect of your thinking, here's what I mean by that. If you're conscious of thinking differently than Scripture, thinking differently than Christ, opposing Christ in your mind, and unwilling to submit yourself to Him as your Lord over your mind, there's no reason to think He's the Savior of your soul. Because true saving faith apprehends and receives Christ for all that He is. Without, you know, without trying to receive the benefits that we like with one hand, while pushing away with the other hand His authority over us.

It doesn't work that way. We receive Him with both hands. We receive His authority. We receive His Saviorhood gladly.

Gladly in recognition of His love for us, in recognition of our desperate condition apart from Him. You know, I'm sure that some find this difficult to accept, but beloved, it all boils down to the person of Christ. Do you say that Christ is Lord? Good.

I'm glad you do. The implication of that is that He's the Lord over your mind and has authority to tell you how to think and how to believe. This is a working out of New Testament Christianity. Scripture comes to us and commands us. These are not suggestions. These are not, you know, competing papers offered at an academic society.

This is not a cafeteria where you take the, you take the beef but reject the chicken that you don't like. God makes a comprehensive claim through His word on all of our mind. Now last time, on Tuesday, and last Sunday also I guess, I kind of lose track. We've seen that Christ affirmed Scripture in general as perfectly true. He said in Matthew 24, 35, Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. A statement of the utter unchangeability of Christ.

Matthew 5, 17 and 18, Not a jot or tittle will pass away from the law until all is accomplished. After His resurrection, Luke 24, He said, you know, all the law, the psalms, the prophets, they all point to Me. So He affirmed Scripture in general. Last time, on Tuesday, we saw that He affirmed the Old Testament.

And we saw that it was very, very powerful the way that Christ used the Old Testament. He affirmed its history in general terms. He affirmed, and we looked at three specific examples of all of these points. He affirmed its history generally. He affirmed the controversial aspects of history, like Noah and the flood, and Jonah and creation.

He affirmed its ethical teaching. And we saw also that in His hour of crises, in His humanity, in His temptation, and as He hung on the cross, what was on His mouth except the Old Testament texts. Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit. Quoting the Old Testament as He's giving up His life on the cross. Well, all of those things combined show very powerfully that Christ affirmed and received the authority of the Old Testament and affirmed its historical value, not simply its teaching on faith and morals. In fact, the history that He pointed to, we saw, He used that to establish and to advance and to assert the revelatory purposes of God and the very nature of His own person. Scripture's teaching on this is very profound, and if you've not yet heard that message from Tuesday, you need to read the transcript or listen to it because it is very essential to what we're establishing here, how to know the Bible is true. We look at what Christ did in His humanity, we see how He handled the Old Testament, and we're left with no other conclusion but its absolute reliability, authority, its inerrancy, its infallibility, and everything that Christ said about the Old Testament advanced it as an authority in our lives. Generally speaking, we see it in the Old Testament, now we come to Christ and the authority of the New Testament. The New Testament. Here, beloved, the nature of the argument, the nature of our understanding of how Christ affirms the authority of the New Testament is different from the Old Testament, and that's to be expected.

If you just think about it in the simplest of terms. There was the Old Testament, there were 400 years of silence from the prophet Malachi until Christ came, or until John the Baptist came, you could say. Christ lived and died, rose again, and then after His ascension, the New Testament was written between 4550 AD and 95 AD with the book of Revelation. And so when Christ lived and died and rose again, the New Testament as we have it now was still future. So He couldn't say, I affirm these New Testament writings because they weren't yet in existence.

The Old Testament was, so He could quote and assert and defend them. The New Testament was future at the time of the ascension of Christ. And so how do we understand the teaching of Christ to indicate the authority of the New Testament? Well, what we're about to enter into over the next three or four, five messages or so, beloved, this is some of my favorite biblical teaching of all time. I've taught a few different things over the years, but to teach about this theme on the New Testament and the authority of the apostles is one of the great treasures in Scripture, and it's one of the things that is nearest and dearest to my heart.

It's something that's easy to miss, and I say this to help you, to encourage you, to build a sense of anticipation. There are many people in the church that have never heard thorough teaching about the authority of the apostles and the difference that that makes in the way that we think about things. Everything about new revelation, whether it's coming through Mormonism or the new apostolic revelation or through additions to written authority through the Catholic Church and their tradition and all of the nonsense that they have put out over the centuries on those things. All of those things, beloved, we discern and we are able to decisively and confidently reject when we understand these things that you and I are going to be looking at over the next two or three weeks, as we understand and come to grips with the nature of the apostles and how Christ established them for the unique purpose, the non-repeatable purpose that they had in God's revelatory program.

So, here's the bottom line summary statement, and then we'll unpack this. When it comes to Jesus Christ and the authority of the New Testament, here's what you need to understand. During his earthly ministry, Jesus pre-authenticated the New Testament.

He pre-authenticated the New Testament. I'll say it a different way. He established it in advance. I'll say it a different way. He made provision for it before he ascended into heaven.

I'll say it a different way. He laid down the principles upon which it would be built after his departure. And in every way, he guaranteed that the New Testament would... Oh, this is so important.

In every way, during his earthly ministry, Jesus did everything that was necessary to guarantee that an authoritative New Testament would come into existence through the ministry of the apostles. And you will see this without question by the time we're done in a couple of weeks on this matter. There's so much here. There are several messages. Today, what remains is just an introduction to the whole matter. So I did an introduction from Romans 1-7 to an introduction that's going to introduce other things later on. How did Jesus provide for the New Testament in advance?

Well, point number one here this morning. He prepared for its writing. He prepared for its writing. And he prepared for it by telling his disciples, telling his inner circle what was going to come soon after his departure. Here we need to look at the Gospel of John. And I invite you to turn to John 14, 15, and 16. John 14, 15, and 16.

And because there's much more to come in coming weeks, this is just going to be a little bit of an overview that will flesh out incoming messages. Jesus Christ made provision for the New Testament canon on the eve of his crucifixion. The disciples are gathered around him. He established the Lord's Supper at that time. Judas was identified as the traitor and sent away. And now he's there with the 11 remaining ones.

And he's preparing them for his coming absence in the flesh and helping them understand what is to come and what their responsibilities will be after he is gone. It's essential to remember that, by and large, the apostles were ordinary men. And to borrow the language from John MacArthur's book, they were 12 ordinary men.

There was a tax collector. There were fishermen there. The apostles were not taken from the rank of the academic elite at the time at all. They were ordinary men like you and me. How, how, how is it possible, men of flesh like you and me, how is it possible that these uneducated Gentiles produced writings that revolutionized the world, that speak with the power of God and the authority of God?

How is it possible that men like fishermen could be so mightily used? Well, Christ made provision for it. And he told them and he told us in advance of how this process was going to work. Notice John chapter 14, verse 24. I told you earlier that we receive Jesus as our teacher and that that is essential to, as essential to being an actual true Christian and that we must receive his word as it is or we do not belong to him. Well, in verse 23, John 14, verse 23, that's exactly what Christ said. He said, if anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words and the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me to keep, to have them, to receive them, to protect them, to own them, to take ownership, not in the sense that we own them but that they own us.

We keep them. Jesus says, examine the way you look at my word and you get a good idea of whether you're a disciple of mine or not. Now, Jesus transitions in verse 25. He says, these things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.

So he's anticipating his departure and he looks to the future. Notice the future tense in verse 26. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Oh, that changes everything. Jesus tells these apostolic representatives of his. He says, after I'm gone, something's going to happen. The Father is going to send the Holy Spirit, the third member of the blessed Trinity, and that Spirit is going to have a ministry in your life. And he's speaking particularly to the eleven. This is not a promise directly made to the whole church or anything like this.

He's speaking to the eleven in front of him. And he says, the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. In other words, when it came time to write the gospels, when it came time to write the epistles, Jesus provided and sent the Holy Spirit to be with these disciples so that as they taught, as they wrote, the Spirit would guide them. They were not subject to the limitations of human memory like you and I are as they were writing the scripture. The omniscient Spirit of God was with them and upon them, guiding them so that they would remember exactly what Christ said and record it for us without error.

He pre-authenticated. Jesus prepared for the writing of the New Testament canon. This is important enough that he goes over it again, chapter 15, verses 26 and 27.

He's still in the upper room. He's still speaking to the eleven. He says, when the Helper comes, it's a reference to the Holy Spirit, as you'll see. When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you.

Who's the you? The eleven in front of him. I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth. You see, in this one verse, the whole Trinity is at work here.

The Father. You see, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. The Holy Spirit will supernaturally testify to your mind, he says to the disciples. And as a result of the ministry of the Spirit within them, there will be an outward proclamation that comes from the apostles. Verse 27, and you also will bear witness because you have been with me from the beginning.

From the beginning of his earthly ministry. Beloved, beloved, none of us today can say that that's true of us. None of us have been with him from the beginning of his earthly ministry like these eleven were.

There's no one like that in existence today. That's why there are no more apostles. That's why there is no such thing as apostolic succession. These are promises and authority that were given to those that were in his inner circle at the time. And Christ says the Spirit will bear witness about me to you, to them.

And then in chapter 16, look across the page or turn the page. Chapter 16, verses 12 through 14. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

He says this is not the time and place for all that needs to be said to be said to you. And so, there's a future dynamic that Christ promises. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will, notice a future tense, Jesus preparing for what is to come after his resurrection.

When the Spirit of truth comes, I say to you eleven in front of me, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears, he will speak and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. And once again, we see the Trinitarian nature of everything that Jesus is saying here.

Verse 15, all that the Father has is mine, therefore I said he will take what is mine and declare it to you. And so, in a triplet form here, Jesus has promised to the disciples the work of the Holy Spirit in them after he is gone. It's not simply that he's going to indwell them to comfort them in their problems, he's coming with the power and the purpose and the assignment to assist them in giving forth the revelation of God in the New Testament. One writer says this, and I quote, This all indicates a special, superintending work of the Holy Spirit, whereby the disciples would be able to remember and record, without error, all that Jesus had said. Now, beloved, step back for a moment, think about the fact that you are loved, called by God, you're a saint of God, and realize the magnificent provision that the Lord Jesus Christ has made for you and for us and has made for his people for all time in this blessed book that we know as the 66 and no more books of the Bible. Jesus called men to be his disciples, and then he supernaturally, through a triune work of God, he supernaturally provided for them to be able to record for us all that we needed to know about what Jesus said and did and taught. And there's this colossal work and this colossal plan of God in operation that the Spirit of God would come and work in the minds of these men and through the minds of these men to give us a book that we could know is true and could rely and stake our eternal destiny on. That's what Jesus is talking about and what he equipped the apostles to do. And when you understand that, one of the things that you do is you fall down in grateful worship.

Really? Lord, you did that? You gave us a book that would transcend and that would never pass away. The earth on which we walk and the buildings in which we enter into, they're all going to fall down and be destroyed and consumed with fire at the end, but I have in my hand something of eternal endurance, and this is what you provided for us? Oh, Christ, you're far too good. You're far too kind.

You're far too gracious. The grace of having a book like this far exceeds anything that I could have asked or thought. Certainly is infinitely beyond what I actually deserve from your holy, righteous judgment. And so, yes, beloved, and now I'm speaking to you, not praying, as it were, in the middle of my message. Yeah, beloved, when you understand these things, this book becomes the most precious thing of them all. Nothing else matters in comparison to the authority and sufficiency and the finality of this book. When you realize the great purpose, the great work, the great provision that Christ undertook to make sure that we would have it and providentially preserve it through the millennia so that you and I could gather on a Sunday morning in Cincinnati, Ohio as one aspect of his overall eternal purpose, you and I could gather in a building on the east side of Cincinnati and read and hear the Word of God for ourselves and have the plan of eternal redemption set forth before us in an authoritative, inerrant way that we could base our eternal destiny upon. That having belonged to him and having been chosen by him and being the object of his saving love and mercy, to be able to know him through his Word, yeah, I get animated about that. I feel a great weight of responsibility to teach and defend a book like that.

I don't know what else to do. I don't know how over time, year by year, decade by decade, anyone could presume to teach the Word and not at some point be so captivated by this in his mind and in his affections that he has to let it out. As Jeremiah said, there's a fire in my bones and I'm weary from holding it in. It's not just pastors. It's men and women like you who love Christ. It's men and women like you who've been redeemed from darkness of false religion. And the Word of God changed you, didn't it? The Word of God revolutionized your life. The Spirit worked and opened your eyes to the truth of this book. And you looked at what you believe in the past and you said, I now know that is false. And now I have the truth and the truth is precious to me. And whereas before you wandered in darkness and you feared the coming of death not knowing what would happen to you, having been threatened with thousands and ten thousands of years in purgatory to burn off the sins that somehow Jesus' sacrifice wasn't enough to take care of. Now you read the book of Hebrews and you say it's once for all.

He did it for all time. One sacrifice is enough. And your heart is filled with joy and peace and confidence.

I am his and he is mine, you say. Well, there's something in you. Those of you that know that, there's something in you that takes this book metaphorically, figuratively if not literally and just holds it close to your chest. See, this is the most precious thing of them all. Heaven and earth will pass away but this Word, this Word won't. The Lord who saved me, he'll never leave me. I fear no evil for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Well, beloved, how do you know those promises except in this precious Word?

Of course it's precious. And so, how do we know the Bible is true? We've only started. I'm going to stop here for today.

I have no idea what time it is. But what we see here is this, is that in a comprehensive matter and what we know is the Old Testament and in the New Testament, we look at the work and ministry and teaching of Christ and we see that he provided for us an inerrant Word and he showed us by his teaching, his precept and his example that we are to follow, that we embrace the Old Testament in that same way. And we find the foundation for the revelatory purpose and program of God in its pages and we do not question its authority.

We do not question its truthfulness at any point that it asserts and affirms. And now we look at the New Testament and we see that there was this triune promise. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, this great work of the ineffable Godhead saying in advance, while Christ was on earth, there will be a work of the Holy Spirit that will guide you into all that I taught and all that you need to know and nothing will be missing. And so we look to Christ as our teacher and Lord.

We look and see that, understand the process by which he did it. He establishes the apostles as ones uniquely and exclusively authorized to speak on his behalf, to give revelation on his behalf. The church that comes later, the faithful church, what we do today, we don't give new revelation.

We have no new word from God. We simply come to the Scriptures and teach what it has already said. And in that, God has given us a great and perfect gift. That's why, beloved, this is why, in part, that we believe that the Bible is true. It's why, in the purpose of our heart, whether we would rise to the occasion, the challenge, if it happened or not. But in principle, we realize that if need be, we would lay down our lives for this book, just like so many of our brethren in the centuries that have preceded us have done. Better to die than to deny this book. Better to die than to undermine it. Better to die than to sacrifice and to give up what we have in the treasure of this precious word.

Better to die, beloved, than to abandon the Bible. The Bible is true. We know it by the word of Christ, and as we'll see in future messages, we know it by the internal work and testimony of the Spirit to our hearts. To the believing heart, the Spirit gives us an inner assurance that testifies to the magnificence and the authority and the truth of what He Himself produced. And there is no higher authority than God Himself. There is no higher authority than Christ. Christ authenticates this work, and the Spirit now, today, in believing hearts, asserts and affirms its authority in a way that goes beyond anything else that any other argument could do. One writer said this, God speaks in the words of the Bible in such a manner as to remove all doubt as to its divine origin, character, and authority. In the final analysis, only God can be an adequate witness to Himself.

All other testimonies, such as historical evidence or philosophical deduction, can at best possess only secondary value. Scripture doesn't need someone else to tell us that it's true. Scripture is sufficient.

Scripture is its own witness to its truthfulness and authority. And here we stand, beloved. We can do no other. God help us.

Amen. Let's pray together. As we bow in prayer in response to the teaching of the Word of God, my dear friend, let me just ask you, by way of application, are you in the love of God? Has Jesus Christ saved you? Has the Spirit of God set you apart for the praise and purpose of God? Oh, don't take these things for granted. If the majesty of God's Word has struck you today with fresh power, cry out to Him.

Cry out to Him like I did some 40 years ago. God, I always thought I was a Christian, but now I'm not sure. I thought I knew the truth, but I'm so overwhelmed by the majesty of the testimony of the Spirit to my heart that I just plead with you to make me your own. Embody soul and spirit in the fullness of whatever mental faculties you've given me. I give it all to you.

Just make me your own. Save me based on the redemptive work of the cross and the resurrection. My friend, seek peace with God alone, in Christ alone, based on the Scripture, the 66 and no more books of the Bible alone. Oh, God, may you work this out according to the need of each heart. In the blessed name of our risen Lord, we pray. Amen. That's Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thank you so much, friend, for listening to The Truth Pulpit. Join us again next time as Don begins a new message as we continue teaching God's people God's Word on The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-07 04:48:33 / 2024-03-07 04:59:31 / 11

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