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January 16, 2021 3:00 am
Is today's church ready to pass the gospel on to the next generation. It's a task that requires a solid understanding of basic Christian doctrine today on Truth for Life weekend.
Alastair beg explains that every Christian needs to know what he believes and why he believes more in Colossians chapter 1 verses 21 to 23 with the message titled, believing the affirmations of the Christian faith all have to do with the being of God. They all have to do with eternal truths and the being of God. God as God and these eternal truths are not available to us by our own uncreated comprehension. In other words, there is no intellectual route to a knowledge of God.
We cannot evidentially simply get to God by thinking it out. God is given signs and indications in our moral being in the nature of creation, and so on. But in all of that general revelation that is only enough to convince us that we need a God that is not enough to convert us and it is in the special revelation that he gives in the person and work of the Lord Jesus, that such a conversion may take place only when God is pleased to take the initiative and reveal himself. May we know just what it is and why it is we believe it that happens as we saw last time. As a result of God using his word and as a result of God working by his spirit case you weren't here last time this draw your attention to the wonderful story of how God worked in the ladies life. This lady was a prosperous lady. She had a nice home. She had the gift of hospitality and she actually was a worshiper of God. Why is it up pretty well takes care of her business wonderful hospitality, a worshiper of God a nice place to live.
She's all set. There's nothing more that would be needed no she didn't know the God that she worshiped and when Paul and some of his colleagues arrive at the prayer meeting that they find done by the river and they meet this lady, Lydia, and then Luke tells us, the Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message he preached the message the Lord opened her heart. There is no point in running through a list of core Christian beliefs apart from our own discovery of Jesus as Lord and Savior and King.
You don't have to know all of these things to become a Christian, but having become a Christian you cannot nor can I adequately fulfill the responsibilities of Christian life without an experiential grasp of these essential doctrines know it's been well said that it takes a whole Bible to make a whole Christian and one of the great dangers that is represented in a study of doctrine is that it is studied in a very lopsided fashion so you go to one church and emphasize one thing and you go somewhere else in the banging on about something else and you you find people to come to Parkside and they always have a certain question.
It's probably a good question, but it you can see them.
I can identify them before they even speak they they have a mark about them.
I know this is going to be a King James version? This is going to be one of the one of the other questions.
I don't mean that in any unkind or dismissive way but I just overtime the same way when a doctor sees somebody walking. He says oh here we go again. This will be a tonsillitis. I'm pretty sure.
And of course it is, why does he know that he just has built up a six sense overtime. Well, that's what happens in pastoral ministry as well. And so it is that you need to be in a church where the pastors of that church are urging you, not so much to listen to what they say as to turn to the Bible from which they teach. We can start you off, but even with the best of attempts it's going to involve your own determination. Now it is, then, in these things that we have the anchor for our spiritual life. Send the anchor for our intellectual discoveries as well.
Incidentally, intellect is not the key in learning Christian doctrine.
Obedience is the key in learning Christian doctrine. You can be a PhD three times over, and a theological nincompoop and you can be a crafter in the Highlands of Scotland with a solid grasp of the Bible you can be noncredentialed in every way. And yet you may be a teacher of the brightest intellects. Why because it is not about intellectual capacity is about morality is about moral response is about obedience to the truth as it comes to us while they limit on this list. I been telling about all this for an hour and just give it to you is going to read them. I'm not going to stop. I didn't stop.
When dreadful difficulty. Number one the unity of the father the son and the Holy Spirit in the Godhead. The unity of the father son and Holy Spirit. In other words, the doctrine of the Trinity number two the sovereignty of God in creation, revelation, redemption, and final judgment. Thirdly, the divine inspiration of Scripture. It's infallibility as originally given its sole authority.
Complete sufficiency in all matters of faith and conduct the universal sinfulness and guilt of human nature.
Since the fall rendering men and women subject to God's wrath and condemnation. Redemption from the Guild penalty and power of sin.
Only through the sacrificial death as our representative and substitute of Jesus Christ, the incarnate son of God. In other words, the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement. He died in our place. We can only make sense of his self sacrificial love. When we understand what it was he was doing. He bears in himself all that we deserve, but I'm not supposed to comment on these next one is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Not a resurrection in the minds of people, not a resurrection, and the spirits of the apostles, but a literal physical resurrection from the dead, the necessity next of the work of the Holy Spirit to make the death of Jesus effective to the individual sinner granting him repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ and the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the one holy universal church which is the body of Christ and to which all true believers belong and the expectation of the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ and power and in glory all of those are main things and all of those are plain things. I don't expect you to have remembered more than one or two of them, but we do need to labor to ensure that this generation and the one that follows not only understands them but believes them.
And, furthermore, believes that it is so important to believe them as probably the greater challenge of this point.
So that's okay if you want to believe that kind of thing.
And if you wanted emphasize that kind of thing over Parkside but is not really. It's tangential to the main issue isn't know it's not. It is foundational. Paul's final letters are replete with warnings about false teachers just go to first Timothy and let me show you this first Timothy chapter 1 right out of the gate. He reminds Timothy verse three of chapter 1.
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer. Not to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These are the things that promote controversy rather than God's work, which is by faith go to the fourth chapter. You only need to turn the page and what is he say the Spirit clearly says that in the later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and he goes on to say how important it is that Timothy is aware of this and he alerts his congregation to into the six chapter and verse 20 and listen to how he wraps up the letter Timothy guard what has been entrusted to your care.
Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some of professed and in so doing have wondered from the faith and then into his swansong to Timothy go to chapter 3 back on this same story is easy. Verse one. Mark this, there will be terrible times in the last days and then he goes on to describe the nature of the impact falsehood describes these people who are both deceived themselves and they are being deceived and he has very straightforward things to say concerning the depravity of their minds in relationship to the faith. You can see that in verse eight and then the antidote in verse 14 of the same chapter but as for you Timothy you continuing what you've learned and have become convinced Zeta here.
You don't become convinced of the vacuum, you're only convinced of nothing.
There has to be a body of material that that that your convinced now that is the work of the Spirit of God without doubt the spirit of God confirms what is the veracity of the Bible. It is a mysterious thing but not in any self focused way I recognized as I prepare this talk, but somehow along the journey of my life wittingly or unwittingly mature people have taken me aside and made sure that I understood these things Sunday afternoons learning the Bible of my heart in a little green hot my was sent to my by my parents.
The fellow said I could win a car if I memorized enough of the Bible that was enough for me. I'm memorizing might not of been the best of motivations, but I learned that time of the Bible and some of you are involved in our children's ministries and you wonder what you're doing well if you're giving them the elementary knowledge of the gospel you're actually beginning to fashion and form the very the very lines down which their tiny minds are running you are providing them with the wherewithal so as to be able to adjudicate as time goes by, so as to be able to detect error when it comes their way here at the very heart of the whole operation and the same is true as we run throughout the congregation. I may finish by making just one point of application because it seems to me that in one sense this is pretty ho-hum. People could say well after all it is our church and they do a Bible and their stuff in the Bible and are supposed to know the Bible. What's the big deal about that but you know when you read the epistles you recognize that Paul is saying to Timothy in his generation.
What actually needs to be said in every generation, and in some generations more than others, namely Timothy don't fall asleep at the wheel. Stay alert to the context in which your ministry and make sure that those under your care are grounded in the foundations.
Now these are my observations with the help of some of my friends as I conclude and I don't give any authority to them beyond any authority that you may find in them with the concurrence of your own thinking. As you consider the Bible but it is my observation that at the present time within the claimant of contemporary evangelicalism America, the lack of clearly defined belief is a clear and present danger is my observation that the lack of clearly defined belief is a clear and present danger and the reasons for that are multifarious but one comes from an interesting source because there is a prevalent belief. If I'm listening correctly.
If I'm reading publications properly. There is a prevalent belief that the only way for the church to survive in the modern world is to adapt the Christian faith in some way to that world know if you know any history of tall, you will know that that is exactly what liberal Christianity assumed to be the case in the early part of the 20th century. They said to themselves if we're going to reach a world that has been ravaged by these wars if we are going to reach people who now are post-Scopes monkey trial. If we are going to reach men and women who are educated and intelligent.
Then we're going to have to adapt our message to the so you know like miracles.
It's not a problem. We got rid of them for you.
You got a problem with the deity of Christ.
That's okay, we'll just talk about his humanity you don't like the idea of the resurrected Jesus. That's okay. We haven't believe it for some time ourselves and so unwittingly. Generations of people here language that sounds Orthodox from lips that are unorthodox, which finally bleed into a subsequent generation, the very destruction of anything that was there to begin with all you say how could that possibly be akin to what is happening today in this way it is an increasing Lee influential notion among contemporary evangelicals. Some that the way that we need to add that now is not in adapting our theology are not suggesting that I'm not suggesting that people are saying we're going to dismiss theology. No, we're going to adapt in the form of our delivery and that reason is very very important question and the question is this whether Orthodox Christianity can be dressed up in contemporary forms and still survive intact. Other duties out and it may take another generation to discover whether I am a false prophet or true but the question is still on the table. Is it possible to appeal to the consumer mentality to adopt the methodologies of Disney World which creates a little world where there is no filth on the street. No cigarette but ends know nothing at all. Everything is wonderful and everything nasty is buried underground and makes people tick themselves out of the ugly world in which they live and live in a funny world we created specially for you and it's all there to cater to what you want and what you need and what your children want so that you can be absolutely happy and contented and fine.
Can you take that as a methodology and wrap the gospel of a crucified Savior and it without having it make an impact on the story of the gospel itself. I suggest to you that you can't says David Wells, the very way in which survival is being sought raises questions as to whether that strategy for survival may not in itself bring on the demise of its orthodoxy, just as it did in liberal Protestantism. You see what happens in those churches is that they are bound together not by a theological vision of the world, but there bound together by a common strategy for reaching particular segments of society and by a common methodology for accomplishing their strategy and says Wells again. It is a methodology which can be hitched up equally as well to evangelical faith as to new age belief or to anything in between. And why is this so the reason is that there is no theological truth upon which the methodology is predicated and upon which it insists because theological truth doctrine. It is thought is not what builds churches so let's go back to Sunday afternoon in Lund and ask whether that is not to go back to the future writing to his congregation in 1880, Spurgeon asked Howard to week how are we to expect the gospel to be kept alive in the world. If we do not hand it on to the next generation as the former generation handed it down to us all. Shall it ever be said century. Hence, the people of 1880, never thought of us of 1980. They let the gospel go. They allowed the doctrines to be denied. One after another, or shall it be said in 10 years from now in half a century from now all these people with all their slick ideas and their clever methodologies tried to wrap up this radical message in this beautiful package and the people grabbed the package and never got the message but since everybody was consumed with numbers and success. They decided to settle for their apparent victory while failing to recognize that they were actually suing the seeds of their own destruction doesn't matter what we believe as it dives. Do you know what you believe, why you deleted. I tell you, and I said to you.
Sincerely we will do better as a church in the next period of time than we have ever done as a church and helping young and old, to come to terms with basic Christian doctrine. Understanding basic Christian doctrine is a foundational building block for passing the gospel message on to the next generation. That's today's message titled, believing on Truth for Life weekend with Alastair beg Alister will be back in just a minute to close with prayer so please keep listing. In addition to understanding the basics of Christian doctrine. It's important for us to understand the heart of Jesus. But it's an insight we might miss vectors only one place in the gospel where Jesus describes his heart. It's in Matthew's gospel where he says I am gentle and lowly of heart gentle and lowly is the title of a recently released book that helps us understand what Jesus was saying as he described his heart this way is compassion for sinners. In fact, the book's subtitle is the heart of Christ for sinners and the sufferers. This exploration of scriptural results in a wonderfully encouraging portrait of a Savior who promises to never abandon us regardless of our failures. It's a wonderful book that will reveal new insights about Jesus, no matter how long you've known him learn about how you can request the book gentle and lowly today by tapping on the image on the mobile app or by visiting Truth for Life.org again that's Truth for Life.org a Truth for Life. We carefully select books to supplement the clear and relevant Bible teaching that you hear on this program. 365 days of the year and we do it with three outcomes in mind. First, we want to see unbelievers converted as they come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Secondly, it's our hope that those who already believe will gain a deeper understanding of Scripture and will become more established in their faith. And then thirdly, our desire is that local churches will be encouraged to rely solely on the Bible as their foundation for worship and fellowship. When I ask you to pray for us today that we will be faithful in carrying out this mission. And now, here is Alister to close in prayer. Father, we thank you that you have given to us the Bible we thank you that you've given to is the Holy Spirit so as to illumine the printed page 2. Isn't sensitize our hearts to its truth. We thank you that you've given us intellect so that we may be able to think rationally about things and when we think about the nature of the world in which we are set in the blurring of so many distinct tips save us from any undue schismatic tendencies last refill to embrace all who are laboring in the gospel but savers also from cowardice. That's unprepared to say hey you sure about that.
Do you think that's right.
Savers to from the very ease of things from settling down to the drift helpers as individuals to become men and women of the book you have exalted above all things, your name and your word every other name is subservient to yours every other shepherd points to you. The great Shepherd. Every teacher is a learner from you, Christ, the great teacher of, and it is in you, Lord Jesus Christ alone that all of our hope is found.
You are everything to us. Jesus and may we share you in the days of this coming week. We pray in your precious name. Amen about the pain. Thanks for joining us or listen again next weekend. As we continue our series titled Christian basics will be looking at what it means to live a life of obedience with Christ as our focus and foundation. The Bible teaching of Alastair beg is furnished by Truth for Life for the Learning is for Living