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April 20, 2022 12:00 am
The principle of predestination which Paul so passionately describes in Romans 8:29-30 is not a negative principle but a positive one. Paul isn't crippling our freedom of will; he is giving it wings to fly even higher.
Jesus is something that many would like to ignore. John 644 no one can come to me unless the father said he draws him that I was nobody ever presumes the margin of the front of God. It's okay, here I am already from our perspective we might've seen it at some moment following some message or something. We learned dark something we read from the mind and perspective of God he drew was at that moment, so that even the timing of our coming is defined and determined is God was drawing to himself. It was God who orchestrated the events that led to your salvation today on wisdom for the heart. Stephen Davies explores this theological truth were turning our attention to Romans eight verses 29 through 30. This is the first lesson in a series that Stephen calls blessed assurance. The message you're going to hear today is called the unbreakable chain here. Stephen today's Bible lesson I'm going to be preaching text that is produce more controversy perhaps than any other text in the New Testament. You read in the text for whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son. I'm going to preach a lot as volatile, disruptive, explosive topics, none of the church. It is the topic of divine predestination, divine election just saying those words. I can hear the ammunition dropping into the chambers. If you have trouble with what I just read were rolling in a trouble with chapter 9. If you look over there very briefly here in the chapter 9 with the working of God's sovereignty over the issue of salvation is so clearly this blade. Romans 911. Rebecca's about to have twins in the text says, for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad in order that God's purpose according to his choice might stand, not because of works but because of him who calls God is speaking Jacob have I love but Esau I hated. Imagine that how you handle that.
Jacob I love, but Esau I hated. I didn't love is God unjust. Paul anticipates the reader asking that in verse 14 he says there is no injustice in God is there. Imagine the implications of her 17 look there for the Scripture says to Pharaoh for this very purpose. I raised you up to demonstrate my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth. In other words, Pharaoh's unbelief was part of God's plan. Paul goes on in verse 18 to apply the truth God has mercy on whom he desires and he hardens whom he desired every fiber in your body says that can't be right.
Surely they can be right and if it is right.
I want to have a word with God while Paul anticipated at this or read in verse 20 the very next verse.
Who are you all manual answers back to God and others. Who are you to tell God what he ought to do what he cannot do so there's going to be a really controversial subject. Today Bob kept the truck running. By the way, what I want to do is deal with the subject that theologians call inscrutable to get term inscrutable, inscrutable means it's too deep. It's unfathomable he can't touch the bottom you remember the first time you go into the deep end and he couldn't feel the bottom how to make you feel he felt nervous.
Assume for the side.
He couldn't quite touch it and that made you frightened, inscrutable means you can't touch the bottom.
It's unfathomable. It means that you do not have the ability to reconcile that is, it is inscrutable. Love the way one theologian said tongue-in-cheek. Our problem is we try to unscrew that which is inscrutable and is oriented today, so get ready to dive into the deep and where your feet will never touch the bottom want to give you the fivefold chain of God's sovereign purpose and design, and salvation in each of five keywords forged together to make to create an unbreakable strong sovereign chain. Paul then write this to get everybody upset he didn't write this to divide churches and people and start the hot debates he wrote this to encourage the reader that God is involved in their salvation. Designed by his sovereignty. He is at the beginning of it and he is at the end of it and you'll see how these five words go together so get your pencil ready to circle them in the text verse 29. Again, for whom he foreknew that's the first. He also predestined us. The second word to become conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn that literally could be rendered that he might be preeminent that he might have the priority among the brethren in whom he predestined, these he also called as the third word those he called, he also what justified is the fourth word those he justified he also what glorified you to give you the word to define the word show you how it shows up in Scripture and then I'm in a run for the truck right the first word is foreknowledge means this the believers salvation began, and it begins in the mind and counsel of God.
It began in the mind of God that some would say the word means the God simply knows before hand, who will believe and then he elects on the basis of that foreknowledge. Since God knows everything, he just looks into the future and he sees who will believe in is is all make it 1 mile act. He looked down the corridor of time he saw Stephen 817 trust Christ as his Savior. He said okay I'll make him one of Myla. That is what God means that is what the word means. There are number of problems with defining foreknowledge in that way. First of all, as a relates to the origin of salvation.
If that were true salvation would begin with the mind of man man would be sovereign God without a chosen man man would've chosen God, but John wrote in first John 419 we love God because God first loved us. The truth is, fallen man cannot reach out his hand to receive the gift of eternal life because there is no power in his hand. God must act first, God must take the initiative toward those whom he is chosen along that same line.
Another problem is that the church no longer simply accepts or even tries to understand what it means. We talk about the depravity of man. That's the second problem. The Bible describes the unbeliever is blind, deaf and dumb. He has no source of saving faith within himself. By the way of all foreknowledge meant that God would be able to see before hand, those who would respond to him if he didn't intervene. The only thing the gods foreknowledge would reveal is that all of mankind would do what this believe that all of mankind would refuse him that all of mankind would reject him, without the intervention of God's sovereignty of all he did was look down the annals of history and future.
Yet to come. All he would see as all of us disbelieving. Lessee played an active role in changing that Paul wrote, there is no one righteous, not even one that doesn't leave room for even what one no one who understands and no one who seeks God. Romans three know we talk and misunderstanding are talking about people who seek after God.
Every passage it talks about people seeking God as written, the people who believe in God, the unbeliever does not seek God he might seek fulfillment he might seek peace, he might see something he knows he doesn't have it takes the gospel to reveal what he really needs and it takes the work of God open his heart and eyes and ears to hear Paul what the unbeliever cannot accept the things of the spirit of God, for they are life.
They are foolishness to him. Apart from the intervention of God. The cross is foolishness to believe that somehow you go to God and you admit your sinful and that you're going to hell without a want that stupidity. That's foolishness.
Jesus Christ himself said light has come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were what were evil.
John 319. Again, Paul wrote the God of this world. The enemy has blinded the minds of the unbeliever that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. In other words without the initiating work of God on behalf of his chosen people. Nobody would ever believe nobody would ever see no one would ever listen to the truth of the gospel. So God's foreknowledge means not only knowing in advance. It means ordaining in advance the true biblical word to define here not only means knowing, but it includes intention.
Jesus said in John 1014, I am the good shepherd and I know my own does anything that know anybody else not in this way means that there is an him and began before time began, and he also says that is rather terrifying words in Matthew 723 to a host of people who stand before those disbelieve and he says to them and among them are very religious people and he responds to their comments. They said we prophesied in your name and we cast out demons in your name and we did miracles in your name and he will respond to them. God will say I never what do you does that mean I did know your name or I know you are on planet or somehow you missed me means they didn't have a relationship with him is an even more specific text regarding God's foreknowledge and its intention in the very first sermon preached in this dispensation was preached by the apostle Peter in acts 22 verse 23 in the very first sermon. He said this, listen carefully, this man is referring to Jesus. Jesus was handed over to you by God's. You would think and say something by God, submission, or the sun. Submission of the father's will or something like that though, he says Jesus was handed over to you by God's purpose and foreknowledge same word used in Romans eight and you will with the help of wicked men put them to death by nailing them on the cross that was Jesus a puppet. No. Was Jesus able to choose to follow the will of God.
Certainly we are to pray the guard, not my will but thine be done. However, Peter says that Jesus was handed over to them by God's foreknowledge doesn't mean the guy just looked down to the annals of time the father and he saw Jesus come to earth and he and Diana Crossan, the father said, you know that'll fit really well. I just want to work that out to the end of die for the sins of the world of this was set before the foundation of the world. This would occur in God's purposes were in fact fulfilled. Paul uses the second word that strengthens the chain of God sovereign work even beyond that it is the word predestination for trouble with foreknowledge you get to really stumble over this one verse 29 for whom he foreknew he also predestined that means to mark out or determine before hand pro or predestined pro Reds before hand. The destination is marked out running one author summarize the way we feel about that pretty well, at least within this country is. Is it almost sounds unpatriotic to the American mind, especially, we find ourselves immediately wanting to guard the tree of human liberty with more zeal than Patrick Henry ever dreamed of.
The thought of an all-powerful God making a choice for us makes us cry out, give us our choice or give us death. The very word predestination makes us think of fatalism. It means were meaningless puppets for that God is about playing games with us and we naturally feel all of those things as we tread water and we can touch the bottom in this inscrutable doctrine, but what we have to be careful about ladies and gentlemen is that we do not determine what we believe by what we feel that we will determine what we believe by what we can understand, unless understands the Trinity, unless understands the virgin birth, unless understands eternal punishment.
Jesus Christ said as we hold our feelings.
Captains of the word of God. This truth, you did not choose me, but I chose you. John 15 unit I choose me, but I chose you and I ordained, I appointed you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain the way to second. I remember choosing God. Do you remember from our perspective, we certainly did.
I can remember as a 17-year-old going to my knees, saying, okay, I accept God through Christ. But on closer inspection I discovered that I chose him because he had chosen me first. That is staggering. Paul intended to give the believer. This sense of security.
The God not only determine the purposes for your life so that all of the events fulfill his holy purpose, but that God chose us to. Peter wrote to you. You are a chosen race that we are his royal priesthood. We are his holy nation. We are a people of God's own possession.
What is a cause us to hide somewhere. Counter lucky stripes cigar thumbs in our lapels and say well I want to the elect. No Peter goes on to say that you might show forth the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light pole as 1/3 link to the strong chain of our salvation. It is the word calling those whom he predestined, these also he call called could be defined as that inward drawing to the side of God. Jesus said something that many would like to ignore. John 644 no one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him did you hear that nobody comes in.
The father unless the father draws him, and I was nobody ever presumes the march into the throne of God. It's okay, here I am.
I'm ready. From our perspective we might've seen it at some moment following some message or something. We learned or something. We read from the mind and perspective of God he drew was at that moment, so that even the timing of our coming is defined and determined by his sovereignty makes us makes us incredibly small. That makes us the total recipient of the grace of God and also makes God very big.
We will leave here not having had our feet touch the bottom feeling very small, but hopefully rejoicing in a very great God chose us and drew us to his side. You need to understand that the New Testament alternates depending on the context between an open invitation and open calling, and what we call an effectual and effective calling and the New Testament gives passages work either one or emphasized Jesus Christ himself stood and he preached to his Jewish audience and he said to them come to me all you who are weary, and I will give you what I will give you rest. What is he talking about a nap. Some of you look like you need it know is talking about salvation, redemption, take off the yoke of everything you're trying to do all of the legalities of the law come to me and I will give you rest from all that and what if they do, they came forward and mass and believe, right they rejected him.
Does that mean his invitation wasn't sincere. Does that mean he didn't do an effective job preaching that sermon was he just playing games know the general open invitation is necessary. Listen to this, it is necessary because it is within that general calling that God's specific calling brings some life.
So we deliver the gospel we spread the seed we tell everybody's virgin set of God painted a stripe down the back of the elect. I would just go around London lifting shirttail and I know to talk to but God didn't do that.
So I preach the gospel to everybody. The doctrine of election is given to those who believe it's what we know. It gives us incredible security that God sees from the beginning all the way through the ending we go out and we deliver truth of the gospel.
That's what Paul said. He said Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If that's true then people must hear the gospel in order to believe they must know Jesus Christ is in order to be drawn to his side right. Paul then says, how will they believe in, whom they've never heard and how shall they hear without a preacher. Romans 1014 70 I got here without a messenger so we go out and we deliver the open invitation, knowing it is entirely up to God.
Who among that open calling receives the effective calling this audience today. These three hours is large enough that I'm sure without any doubt that there are people who will die in their sin listening to me right now and go to a priceless eternity in hell will leave here and not believe both heard the invitation of the gospel over and over and over and over again and there are those who hear it and it is used by the Spirit of God to bring about true saving faith. There are those who hear it and part of God's drawing too aside from our perspective looks a lot like this troubled and on missing something. I need something at a couple in my office a few weeks ago. They been coming for just a very short time. In fact, less than a month. The very first visit to a Protestant church was this church. The very first service that came in the music just blew them away. They listen to the preaching, they began to be troubled.
I made an appointment to come and see me and after sitting there, they began to say things like we just know something is missing in our lives and we don't know what it is we just feel like there's a piece missing to the puzzle. We've heard what you said were just not sure what it all means were not sure what to do and I'm sitting there trying hard not to grin from ear to hear why God is obviously drawing them in their so ripe all you have to do is give the limb a little shake fall into the kingdom of God. So I deliver to them the gospel. I didn't say that while you're obviously one of the lack leave one and sell. No I said here's what it means. Here's what God is doing in your life is always pulling the blinders back. You need to know about Jesus Christ. You need to understand the gospel and I delivered we held hands in my study, and they prayed to receive the gift of eternal life came to true faith in Christ. The final two words we have studied in detail in any disorder race through them, of whom he called these he also justified the justification is the legal declaration that we are right with God.
Justification doesn't mean he calls bad people, good.
It just means he call centers right before God because he has deposited all of Christ's righteousness to your account, and he is taken all of your sinfulness out of your account and put it up on Christ.
He declares you justified. You don't have to add anything to that effect.
You're not even in this text are you faith is not even mentioned believe is not even mention this is from the perspective of God in his sovereignty.
You'll find membership of the church are giving our baptism or anything in here you are justified alone by the work of God alone. Through Christ alone. The final word is glorification. These he also glorified.
You could define this as a future fact of uncorrupted bodies, minds and hearts.
What I love about this is this is in the past tense verb in the past, in the mind of God you were foreknown and guess what you are already glorified. That's why Paul could write that we are already seated with Christ where in the heavenly's. There is incredible security in their United fall out of it. He began it, and he's gonna end it you are already foreknown before time began, and you are already glorified before time.
Then you can know more work your way out of salvation than You Could Work Your Way in God we have learned in Romans 828 is already determined everything to work together for his good will, and glory in him and his name in cause and in your life is Artie chosen, all things work.
To that end, now you find out that is already chosen you.
It is inscrutable. What happens if you don't believe it when I was at the church if it refuses to take the Scripture face value you before five things without the belief in God's word here is released to his sovereign purpose in election number one emotionalism becomes more important than examination profession of faith. Today is the issue not possession of faith and there is a vast difference number two disbelieve this and mankind become sovereign God becomes the servant. Isaiah 46 says I am God. There is no other. I am God. There is no one like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times, things which have not been and I say I will accomplish all my good pleasure. God will do right ladies and gentlemen, no one will accuse him. Romans nine says without sovereign election. Third, the messenger becomes responsible for salvation and must then take either the blame for the credit for the salvation of souls. I really want to manage those who boasted, give me any man alone for 15 minutes and I will get a decision for Christ. What utter arrogance sovereign election reminds us that producing decisions is not our objective producing disciples is for tinnitus in the majority opinion is more valuable than the soul declaration of Scripture. I say that because evangelical church, especially in my generation, the longer believes most of what I'm teaching today. Why because the Scriptures no longer determine what we believe we will only believe what we can understand we can only acknowledge that which makes us comfortable that which we can feel what happens when a church that's the word of God aside and says well you know what the movement of men is going this direction the movement of popular opinion is going this direction and we will simply follow that will how far can we go depends on what you believe to be a difficult passage to believe we have been watching the news. Of course with the Episcopalian church struggling with this very thing they believe a hard passage to believe would be that which condemns us in homosexuality right in the last month.
One of the 60 bishops who voted to ordain this man. Gene Robinson is the Episcopal Church's first open active homosexual Bishop one of the bishops was speaking this past month in the last three weeks at his annual meeting to the diocese and he was encouraging them to stay together to not splinter do not divide any made this absolutely shocking statement, but it follows the line of reasoning that I'm talking about here. He said that if the church must make a choice between heresy and schism. We must always choose heresy.
And so what a great quote for a relativistic, not absolute independent man is sovereign culture.
If you got to choose between God's word and your friends choose your friend go down in the boat with your friend a denial of sovereign election fifth means that the ability of man to pursue God is simply more appealing than the truth. The depraved man can never choose God.
One author called sovereign election the most pride crushing doctrine taught in the Bible it eliminates pride entirely. We take no benefit. We accept no credit. It is all of God in his sovereign grace. Perhaps at the end of the sermon here maybe asking the question will how do I know from one of the elect.
When the Bible says, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be what you shall be saved. The question is, and am I one of the elect would have you believe. Have you believed in the gospel so was that we yeah sure I did I sign that card. No believing in Christ means you believe in his claim of your life. You believe in his character, which becomes your holy person you believe in his commands, which you now seek to obey perfectly to have you believed in Christ like that the invitation is open to all to believe you came in this auditorium and you can imagine, as you walked in over the doorway of verse, whosoever will become the open invitations to everyone with those of you who believe in the claimant character in command of Jesus Christ leave and you can go back through those doors and you can look over them and it could be written to you. Ephesians 111, before the foundation of this is all of God. God for new God predestined God called God, justified in God has already in his mind and from his perspective glorifies your listening to Stephen Dave Pastor of the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina. If you're unclear on the message of the gospel.
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