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April 9, 2022 4:00 am
Psalm 119 describes the Bible is a lamp to our feet on the light to our path may be referred church described as a safe harbor in the storm. These are all good things right today on Truth for Life weekend.
Alastair beg shows us why the Bible can be a very dangerous book in the church can be a perilous place were studying Luke chapter 6 verses 46 through 49, when Mary and Joseph take Jesus into the temple as Luke records it in the second chapter and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, this child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. In other words, this little boy says Simeon is going to grow up to represent a crossroads in the lives of men and women there will be those who in responding to him will rise to all that eternal life may mean and there will be others who, in rejecting him will fall into the awful emptiness of eternity without God. When John the Baptist stands on the stage and points the way to Jesus you find in the 17th verse of chapter 3. The makes essentially the same point. Speaking of the one who will come and baptize them with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
He says of Jesus, his winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire of these are the great absolutes of heaven and hell that are being referred to.
And Jesus says John and says Simeon and says the Bible stands as it were. As a crossroads in the face of eternity, and in a moment in time commends himself to the minds of his listeners and says to them, if you will bow beneath my lordship then I will gather you up as the Betty wheat and you will live in eternity with me if you refused to bow to my lordship that I will cast you aside as the chaff and you will spend eternity without me. And indeed all of the message of this sermon is cast within the immensity of that eternal perspective gathering with the Jesus crowd being able to see all the Jesus words singing all the Jesus songs is no ticket of admission into heaven. That's were going to see and it is that fact which gives this closing paragraph is most chilling impact. What I want to do is notice the question and then the illustration and then a word of application. First of all, you will notice the question which Jesus asks is concise. Verse 46. Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say I which part of that is difficult to understand.
Luke chapter 6 verse 46. Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say.
What a warning. This contains what an investigation it conducts what an examination it demand. This is like going through a biblical CAT scan and the contrast you will notice is between our lips and our lives is between saying and doing it as being between the individual who is able to call him Lord and have the same time does not do what a profession of lordship demands is whether a variable profession is accompanied by moral obedience notice than the illustration. The question is concise. The illustration is clear and when you come to this illustration of Jesus gives you will notice that he changes the contrast the contrast in the question is between saying and doing the contrast in the illustration is between healing and doing. Why do you say this and don't do this and then he says let me give you an illustration of the person who hears, but it doesn't do on the person who hears and who dons the illustrated in the familiar story of the two builders that are a number builders here this morning and I have to be very careful lest I betray my ignorance of any nature of building by seeking to delve into an illustration that you would be better able to use than I but I think it's safe to say that if we had gone down the road and seeing these two homes under construction.
At least once they had begun to bear testimony to their frame or to the structures of the walls. We would not have been aware of any difference between the two structures we might have wondered why it was that in the earlier days before the walls have begun to come up. The first individual had only spend so much time down under the ground. We may even have said to ourselves, you know, I must make a mental note that if ever I build a house. I want to go with the second builder because the first builder seem to waste a dreadful amount of time and I'm sure he is being paid by the hour and I don't want him down there digging in the foundations all the time. I like a builder who can get started immediately, and everyone in my neighborhood can see that the house is coming up quickly and successfully second chat we might've said to herself is far more efficient, and he's obviously faster, no apparent difference, though, once the walls began to rise. So what then gave testimony to the difference in the structures well were told when the day the rain came when the river burst its banks when the wind beat against the structures, then and only then the fundamental fatal difference between the two became apparent the one with the foundations verse 48 says good not be shaken because it was well-built because the men had dug down deep he laid the foundation on the rock. And yet the one without foundation in verse 49, collapsed like a pack of cards.
What a wonderful teacher. Jesus is everyone can understand this anybody was a Lego set can understand this anybody was any notion at all of raising something above the ground, knows the importance of putting it in properly when it is a mailbox or a lamppost or whatever else it is resolved. You will see these mailboxes lying around like dead dogs and part of the problem is that whoever decided that he was putting it up some Saturday afternoon was so excited to show his wife how quickly he managed to get it in place and that it would only take very small amount of wind for the lie over looking absolutely pathetic. Just as his building promise wasn't his wife understood and she said to him over breakfast one morning. Do not think it would've been better to dig down a little further portable concrete and put the thing and so that I don't have to get out of my car and lie down on one site in order to get my mail's he survived it for a while that look just as good as the neighbors across the street. Lawyers who didn't find, there was no apparent difference between the two of them until this dreadful storm blew down the street and then it is obvious to all. So it is that professing Christians tend to look much the same from the outside that you see is why the Bible is a very dangerous book and while church is a very dangerous place to be. Some of you would be better off not here. It's all in the sense that you would not be living with a strange and forlorn idea that because you are attending the Jesus event and listening to Jesus stories and singing Jesus words that somehow or another you're actually living under his Lordship, it would be better if you were down the street with no interest in it at all and you came to the awareness and the emptiness of it all that you never used his name and you never sang a song and you never heard his word and you discovered in all that lostness that you need to go and find Jesus.
But when you come in here this is real dangerous.
The danger is that you look at the mailboxes down the street and you look at the houses on the street and you say will that when standing this when standing in this when standing, and therefore there's really no difference between them. It's all of course arisen to any of us.
I can tell if your true you can tell if I'm true you should misunderstand the gifts that God has given me is an indication of my genuine commitment to Jesus Christ. Should you.
That's what the passages say we all attend the same services we all hear the same sermons we all learn the same truths.
If people conducted exit poll is going out of the church this morning. If the interview maybe a dozen or two dozen people and came back to report their findings, they would say there was very my very little detail between the tall found in talking with them that they were equally nice. They were equally polite. They were equally Orthodox and they were equally enthusiastic whose detail between the answer is God. That's why you see all the superficial judging and the censorious nest that Jesus is already condemned early in the chapter is ultimately bogus and unhelpful because we are moving to the day when we stand before the bar of God's judgment so at issue for the hearers of Jesus sermon and we are part of that group. Are we not this morning.
At issue is not whether they hear, nor is it whether we believe it or affirm it. But the issue is whether we do it. How then will become apparent with her.
There are foundations are not in our lives.
See, this is a peculiar challenge again to an environment such as this where conservative evangelicalism makes much of the importance of a veritable profession of faith that trots people through the waters of baptism, justifiably so. And asked them in a minute to explain therein rather than out as if somehow or another in our ability to convey that within the space of 60 seconds and get ourselves completely drenched and then go out and dry out. Aaron come back in with the evidence to wise and to all concerned that we were genuinely Christ's church does not baptize on a shooting Sophie on the shootings of salvation. The church baptizes on profession of faith, so that in being baptized. I am professing publicly what I have believed privately what I have been prepared to convey verbally findingthese I want to see if there are foundations I want to see if this is skin deep.
I want to see if this is words words words I want to know if you are in the company of those relying on giftedness relying on verbal profession, minus moral obedience relying on intellectual awareness minus the transforming life. If you are among the company of those to whom I will say on the day. I'm sorry folks, depart from me because you have come from the company of the evildoer it doesn't give you Alec Tronic charge that runs up your spine.
You are more dead than you realize. If you are sitting there. I am standing here thinking of someone that this sermon is great for I have missed the point. The Bible says that this is great for you and you take your Bible and looking at to see your face and Jesus says okay followers. Simple question call me Lord Lord and wonder what I'm telling you, I want to show you when you're lying like a guy who built the house without digging down deep in putting the foundations and you will fall down in the evil day I'm X like the individual who dug down deep into the foundations on the rock and Jesus as I am the rock and then the evil day will prove the reality of the difference you see it's when the flood comes when the torrent strikes sound like sound of music when the bow breaks when the tree falls when I'm feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things.
Okay, but I just made me think about the syntax of it, but it is when the flood comes in when the torrent breaks and when all hell lets loose on our lives.
That's when we find out and incidentally that's why God allows all hell to let loose on our life. You understand it's not the shares is to beautify its business and was come on now don't go over that cliff don't do the hats go for one instant thing you can do that.
Do you know what's on the other side of that some of you are here this morning and not simply in relationship to temptation. But in relationship to disappointment and bereavement and disaster and foolishness. You've been there, but that's in the past.
This is, this morning, and you're still here given every indication of the fact that when the when the foundations go down deep. Jesus keeps us in his care to change the analogy to vessels on the sea.
If you look at vessels on the sea and I don't know much anymore about vessels that I do about building but they're all girls sit in their counterparts. If you like, you know with that with the chains and the bits of rope hanging off the front and we go through them and we say all they all have their anchors down all happy Saturday afternoon anchor time at the at the ocean and then all of a sudden from nowhere. The huge storm comes blowing through some of them are turned over, and some of them are cast adrift and some of them are all over the place.
Why because they drop their anchors down and they went nowhere. We are anchor holding the storms of life. When the clouds unfold their winds of strife when the strong tides lift the cable strain. We are anchor drift or firm remain when your eyes behold through the gathering light.
The city of gold in the harbor bright will you anchor their in that heavenly shore with the storms all past forevermore.
We have an anchor that keeps the soul steadfast and sure while the billows roll and it's fastened to the rock which cannot move its grounded firm and deep in the Savior's love.
You see what Jesus is not seeing here is this he is not saying I kind of get you started and then you keep yourself going and you can be assured as long as you're a wonderfully obedient person is not what he said the ground about insurance this morning even with our wanderings in our mumblings and are stumbling is the fact of God's unmerited grace to his in Christ. If someone says do you know that you're going to heaven in Christ you can say yes I hope so, yes, why because of Christ. Now, having said that, now you come to the church service and you listen to the sermon and what is the same Christ say to you. He says I want you to answer me a question call me Lord will you do the things I'm telling bear fruit that benefits your repentance. Calvin puts it, so hopefully what he says. True piety is not distinguished from its calendar feet till it comes to the trial. The question is concise. The illustration is clear and the application is absolutely crucial. Jesus is not. I say to you again teaching that entry into the kingdom of heaven is by way of the good works of obedience to do that from this passage is to make a nonsense of the Bible. The message of Luke is that Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost income to call the righteous, who are trying their best. He came to call sinners to repentance. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. Plus nothing all that we bring to Christ is the sin from which we need to be forgiven. So then what is the emphasis of Jesus here simply this, Jesus makes it clear that only those who obey him expressing their faith by their works.
Only those have truly heard the gospel. It is as Luther said faith alone that saves by the faith that saves is not a long John picking up on the words of Jesus writing his first letter says if we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness were just telling lies. James confronts the readers of his day and he says faith by itself, it is not accompanied by action, is dead and look how dreadfully crucial all of this is Jesus makes clear to his listeners of the manner in which we hear and obey his word has significance for all of eternity.
The whole sermon is a challenge. It's a warning it's an invitation. There are two kinds of builders ones. A wise chap the other ones foolish. This matter is more important than who you're going to marry where you want to live.
We want to spend your life with. What are you going to be single or whatever it is any of those questions pale into insignificance before this one salad three challenging chilling investigation.
Some of you have known this for years because you saying it in Sunday school.
The wise man built his house upon the rock and the rain came tumbling down the foolish man built his house upon the sand and the rain came tumbling down in the house on the sand collapsed in the house on the rock stood for and I hear the voice of the old spiritual scene in my ears hope sooner man we want to run to all on that day. Your under the rocks.
Rocks one night going run to the fact that you attended regularly.
The church one night going run to Jesus words in Jesus songs in the Jesus group one night. How firm a foundation of the saints of the Lord is laid for your faith in his excellent word. What more can he say than to you he is said to you who to Jesus for refuge of flat. That's ultimately the dividing lines. We walk out of this building this morning. Those who fled to Jesus for refuge on those who contend themselves by say, Lord, Lord.
That's where Jesus ascended, so let me in there to your religion is only skin deep. It will crumble storm faith built on the solid rock of Christ will withstand the trials of life listing to Truth for Life weekend. That's Alister Bragg with a message titled obedience. Evidence of a strong foundation keep listening. Alister will be back in just a minute today is the last day in our series titled the Christian manifesto. If you missed any of these messages.
You can find them online. Available for free at Truth for Life.now with Easter just weeks away.
We are recommending a brand-new book written by Sinclair Ferguson titled lessons from the upper room in the his gospel. The apostle John describes an upper room event where Jesus and the disciples heard a final meal before he was handed over to Herod. John writes that Jesus told his followers, many things that they struggled to understand that might this book takes us through these memorable moments with vivid imagery, so much so that you begin to feel like you're actually there with Jesus and the disciples in the upper room, Sinclair unpacks the discussion that transpired. He connects the dots between what Jesus said to his disciples. In those hours and what Jesus says elsewhere in his word find out more about the book lessons from the upper room would you visit our website at Truth for Life.and as Easter draws near you might enjoy listening to Alister's study titled journey to the cross. It picks up where Sinclair's book leaves off in John chapter 18 Alister's five messages trace the events told in John's gospel that describe Jesus arrest through his resurrection. You can search for journey to the cross firstname.lastname@example.org or search the title in the mobile app that hears Alister to close with prayer Lord we want to be able to say my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. Thank you father that you are the one who takes our feet from the miry clay and sets it on a rock and establishes are going and puts a song in our hearts.
Song of praise to our God bring us again and afresh in line with the truth of your war and onto him who is able to keep us from falling when the flood beats upon us, and to present asphalt's before the presence of his glory with fantastic and outrageous joy to the only wise God our Savior be glory and majesty, dominion and power. Today and forever more on Bob Lapine.
Thanks for listening. Sure to join us next weekend for special Easter sermon he screws about so much more than bunnies in colorful legs will hear a message from Alister filled with hope and forgiveness. The Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is furnished by truth for like the Learning is for Living