Summary, Part 5 (final) B. GOD PURPOSED IN THE LORDâS DAY WORSHIP AND IN THE GOSPEL ORDINANCES A CONTINUAL COMMEMORATION OF THE EVENTS OF PASSION WEEK [53:20]. The Sabbath Day changed from Saturday to Sunday. We no longer commemorate the old creation and redemption from Egypt, but the new creation and redemption from death itself. C. GOD PURPOSE D IN THE INDELIBLE MARKS OF JESUSâ SUFFERING AND DEATH AN ETERNAL REMINDER OF PASSION WEEK FOR HIS GLORY AND FOR OUT GRATEFUL REFLECTION [55:40]. Even in Heaven, Christ bears the marks of His crucifixion. Glory doesnât erase them, it beautifies them.
Summary, Part 4 D. GOD PREDETERMINED CHRISTâS DEATH BY CRUCIFIXION [41:10]. Though Mosaic Law prescribed death by stoning for capital offenses, Scripture predicted crucifixion for Christ, though the Roman Empire was hundreds of years in the future. PSALM 22:11-18 cannot be about David, though he wrote it. DEUTERONOMY 21:23 â Moses declares that Godâs curse is on anyone who hangs from a tree, and Paul declares that fulfilled in Christ in GALATIANS 3:13. E. GOD PREDETERMINED CHRISTâS VICTORY OVER DEATH BY HIS GLORIOUS RESURRECTION [45:15]. LUKE 24:44-46 â Jesus explains that His death and resurrection were foretold in the Scriptures. PSALM 16:10 â Another of Davidâs pleas that could not have been about him (cf. ACTS 2:31). IV. GOD PURPOSED PASSION WEEK AS A REMINDER FOR THE SPIRITUAL BENEFIT OF HIS PEOPLE [50:00]. A. GOD PURPOSED AN INFALLIBLE WRITTEN RECORD OF THE HISTORICAL EVENTS OF THE PASSION WEEK AND THEIR DOCTRINAL IMPORT FOR OUR INSTRUCTION AND ENCOURAGEMENT [50:25]. We need the events of Passion Week and their theological import presented to us on a regular basis. They are the axis of history. By these events, we are assured that all other promises will be fulfilled.
Summary, Part 3 Note that His death was climactic, not final; death may be our final enemy, but we face it victoriously in Christ (1 CORINTHIANS 15:55-57). III. GOD PREDETERMINED ALL THE EVENTS OF PASSION WEEK [29:40]. A. GOD PREDETERMINED CHRISTâS REJECTION AND MURDER BY BOTH JEWS AND GENTILES [29:50]. Imagine if this were outside Godâs plan. ACTS 2:22-24 â Peter indicts his countrymen, who had Jesusâ blood on their hands, though God had predetermined it. ACTS 4:27-28 â we are not like marionettes when we carry out Godâs ordinances; we agree with our impulses at the time by our full participation in them. B. GOD PREDETERMINED CHRISTâS BETRAYAL BY JUDAS [34:30]. Judas was no puppet, either. LUKE 22:22 â God determined that there would be a betrayer. JOHN 17:12 â the perseverance of the saints determined by the preservation of the savior, and Judasâ betrayal determined by scriptural prophecy (PSALM 109:6-19). ACTS 1:16-20, 25 â Judas had to fulfill scriptural prophecy and go to a place made for him by God. C. GOD PREDETERMINED CHRISTâS DESERTION BY THE APOSTLES [39:45]. MATTHEW 26:31 â the disciplesâ desertion of Jesus was also predetermined by God (cf. ZECHARIAH 13:7), even though they said theyâd go all the way to death with Him.
Summary, Part 2 B. GOD PICTURED THE GRAND PURPOSE OF PASSION WEEK IN THE OLD COVENANT SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM [15:15]. God first gave this at Mount Sinai. Each sacrifice pointed to the coming perfect sacrifice. As HEBREWS says, they couldnât take away sin. HEBREWS 2:17 â Christ is the sacrificial lamb and the great high priest at the same time. C. GOD PROPHESIED THE ARRIVAL OF PASSION WEEK BY HIS SEERS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT [19:30]. God promised that He would raise up a Son who would bring blessing to the whole earth, who would come out of the tribe of Judah from the line of David. Further, David spoke of this descendant of his as his Lord; a shepherd King destined for death. Isaiah spoke of Him substituting Himself for His people under Godâs wrath. PSALM 22 and ISAIAH 53 forecast the suffering servant. But even believers in Christâs time saw things very indistinctly; even John the Baptist didnât understand that the Messiah had to be crushed before He could be the deliverer. Caiaphasâ utterance that Jesus had to die to spare the Jewish nation was meant politically, but not spiritually. ISAIAH 53 clearly teaches Godâs crushing of His Son and the reality of substitutionary atonement.
Summary, Part 1 This study views Passion Week in light of Godâs sovereign plan to save people from their sins. I. GOD, IN ETERNITY, PREDESTINED CHRIST TO BE THE SACRIFICE FOR HIS PEOPLEâS SINS AT THE CONCLUSION OF PASSION WEEK [starting at 5:35 of the audio]. Everything that happens was ordained before creation (EPHESIANS 1:11), including Christ the Lambâs slaying (REVELATION 13:8). Christ was foreknown (1 PETER 1:20), as was the people God chose for salvation (EPHESIANS 1:4-6). Being God, none of this was a surprise to Christ: He gave up His spirit according to plan (MATTHEW 27:50) and laid down His life according to plan (JOHN 10:18). He was no victim of circumstances. II. GOD PREFIGURED, WITH INCREASING CLARITY THROUGHOUT HISTORY, THE COMING OF PASSION WEEK [11:35]. A. GOD PROMISED THE COMING OF PASSION WEEK IN THE FIRST GOSPEL PROMISE IN THE BIBLE AFTER THE FALL OF ADAM [12:00]. GENESIS 3:15 â God used the occasion of our sin in Adam to announce the coming of a redeemer. Eveâs seed would deal the death blow to the devilâs seed. Hope for fallen man dawned on that day; one day, mercy would triumph through judgment.
Summary, Part 4 (final) e) FALLEN MEN ARE INCAPABLE OF KNOWING GOD THROUGH HIS WORD UNLESS THEY ARE CONVERTED BY A SUPERNATURAL WORK OF DIVINE GRACE (v. 14) [38:15]. An unsaved person is like someone who has AM frequency but not FM: he has reception, but it isnât clear; he can read the Bible, but he wonât get the meaning. God hasnât opened his heart; he is dead in his sins. CONCLUDING APPLICATIONS: 1. YOU CANNOT KNOW GOD SAVINGLY APART FROM THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST AND APART FROM GODâS CONVERTING GRACE [44:50]. If you donât know Christ, you donât know God. Finding Him through the conscience or heart are dead ends. 2. YOU NEED NOTHING BEYOND GODâS GOSPEL AND SPIRIT TO COME TO KNOW GOD SAVINGLY [45:55]. The new eyes, ears, and heart are given by God. Things like apparitions or warnings from the dead donât change hearts (cf. the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man). His grace is operative in those who cry out to Him. 3. THAT GOD SENT HIS SON, SPIRIT, AND GOSPEL INTO THIS WORLD PROVES THAT HE INTENDS FOR SINNERS TO COME TO KNOW HIM [49:40]. Christ was sent to remedy the problem. The gospel isnât men seeking God, but God seeking men (MATTHEW 11:25-30).
Summary, Part 3 b) GOD CAN ONLY BE KNOWN INTIMATELY THROUGH SELF-DISCLOSURE, FOR GOD ALONE KNOWS HIS HIDDEN THOUGHTS AND PURPOSES (v. 11) [27:30]. There is a sense in which knowing God is like knowing a man. God bares His heart to His people by His Spirit. c) GOD IS BOTH WILLING AND ABLE TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO MEN, FOR HE HIMSELF HAS DELIBERATELY ENABLED CHRISTIANS TO KNOW HIM (v. 12) [29:50]. The God who knows everything about Himself and His creation condescends to us to reveal Himself. This exposes the transcendentalistsâ folly. The truth is that God goes out of His way to reveal Himself and is the one who initiates it. d) GOD HAS IN FACT REVEALED HIS DEEPEST THOUGHTS AND PURPOSES IN THE SCRIPTURES (v. 13) [34:45]. Paul says that these are things we also speak. Before God gave us His Holy Spirit, we couldnât understand His word (cf. 2 THESSALONIANS 2:13). Verse 9 is often read at funerals, but the subject is not Heaven: verse 10 shows that it is salvation in this life.
Summary, Part 2 a) ITS ABSOLUTE NECESSITY [16:18]. No man knows God as Father without knowing Christ (JOHN 14:6, 1 JOHN 2:23, 5:20, 2 JOHN 9). The Bible makes it plain: one must know Jesus Christ savingly to know God. All other gods are just that: other gods. b) ITS UNIQUE SUFFICIENCY [20:15]. Christ has complete and intimate knowledge of God. Beyond Him, there need be no further revelation (JOHN 1:18). c) ITS GOSPEL METHODOLOGY [21:55]. Christ conveys saving knowledge only through the gospel. Reformation theology calls this the General Call, or the Free Offer, with what follows being the Effectual Call (RBCF, 7.2). In other words, The General Call is effectual to those whom He chooses. ii. THAT GIVEN TO SAINTS BY THE SPIRIT IN SCRIPTURE (1 CORINTHIANS 2:10-14) [24:15]. The depth of God is the focus of this text. By knowing the following things we can know Him intimately. a) GOD HAS COMPLETE KNOWLEDGE OF HIMSELF, EVEN OF HIS DEEPEST THOUGHTS AND PURPOSES (v. 10) [26:20]. If God couldnât know Himself fully, we couldnât be sure of anything about Him. So we can trust the Holy Spirit.
Summary, Part 1 [Pastor Nutter credits his former professor, Pastor Greg Nichols of Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the outline of this message, which can be found in Pastor Nicholsâ book, *What does the Bible say about God?: The Biblical doctrine of God*.] Last week, we opened Part VI: MANâS KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and considered A. THE UNIVERSAL KNOWABILITY OF GOD. Today we move on to B. THE KNOWLEDGE SOME MEN HAVE OF GOD: GODâS SAVING KNOWLEDGE [staring at 1:15 of the audio]. This knowledge is intimate and experiential, not mental and abstract. Some biblical witnesses for this knowledge: JEREMIAH 9:24, 31:34, DANIEL 11:32, MATTHEW 11:27-28, JOHN 10:14-15, 17:3, EPHESIANS 1:17-18, PHILIPPIANS 3:10, COLOSSIANS 1:9-10, HEBREWS 10:30, 2 PETER 1:2-3, and 1 JOHN 4:6, 5:20. All these witnesses teach that some throughout the Bible knew God savingly. 1. THE MAJOR FEATURES OF A SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. a. THE SOLE SOURCE OF GODâS SAVING KNOWLEDGE [12:35]: special revelation, which rests on two pillars: i. THAT GIVEN TO SINNERS BY CHRIST IN THE GOSPEL [14:45]. MATTHEW 11:27-29a establishes three things about this revelation:
Summary, Part 6 (final) b. MERE BELIEF IN A GOD DOES NOT SAVE ANYONE [48:25]. We donât know God truly until we know His Son savingly. Being âbasically goodâ makes people no better than Eliâs sons. Countless souls have followed this lie into the pit from where it came. Even the demons believe in the true God, yet theyâre not saved. Show such people ROMANS 1-2 to show them their folly, and then to ROMANS 3 to show them Christ crucified. c. MAY THE DAMNING KNOWLEDGE OF SINNERS URGE US TO TELL THEM THE TRUTH OF CHRIST [50:30]. They need to know the creator Himself; they need to know Christ.
Summary, Part 5 4. IMPLICATIONS [44:45]. a. THE IMPOTENCE OF GENERAL REVELATION TO SAVE THE WICKED. Natural revelation tells us that there is a powerful, creative, and righteous God. But we need the gospel to tell us that His the savior of lost sinners. We should also be warned to not take the conclusions of creation science as the gospel: they are confirmation for the saved and perhaps a matter of interest to the lost, but those lost still need to be led to Christ. We should further heed the warning to not appeal to a sinnerâs guilty conscience without telling him about the remedy of Christ. We must also not confuse such conviction with conversion. Feeling bad about sin does not mean forgiveness: thatâs the sorrow that leads unto death (2 CORINTHIANS 7:10). We may appeal to general revelation but, like Paul, only as an introduction to special revelation.
Summary, Part 4 3. IMPORTANT LESSON ABOUT THIS KNOWLEDGE [34:50]: we should never focus upon general revelation for two reasons: a. THE BIBLE DOESNâT FOCUS ON IT. b. GENERAL REVELATION IS POWERLESS TO SAVE SINNERS. Paul would often start with general revelation, but then move on to special revelation. PSALM 19 does as well: it starts with the works of God and ends with the word of God. If Paul had stuck with general revelation, his pagan audiences would have embraced him, but not been saved. It is unbiblical to impose the gospel onto the stars or some aspect of creation because none of it points to Christ. To know God savingly is to know Him as a redeemer. 1 CORINTHIANS 1:21 â this verse teaches three things: that natural revelation doesnât save souls, that God designed this as such, and that it is only through the preaching of the gospel that sinners are saved. All of manâs extra-biblical insight on God sums up to ignorance about God. Attempts to worship God through the creation lead away from God, not toward Him. We did not find salvation by reaching the conclusions of our searches; God had to open our eyes from blindness and our ears from deafness. He had to cleanse our hearts of filth and shed light into our darkness. He reveals Himself naturally, but intervenes supernaturally.
Summary, Part 3 Like a hammer hitting a nail, the Bible over and over again strikes the point that wicked men do not know God. We infer that not all Old Testament Hebrews knew God, not even some sons of priests; that many Jewish religious leaders didnât know God, and that even some early church members did not know God. If such proximity to the special revelation doesnât guarantee knowledge of God, what can we say of those with only general revelation? The scope is much larger than âthe heathen who never heard.â The Bible speaks of two ways of knowing God: generally and specifically; and we can draw some lessons from sinnersâ knowledge of God: a. THEY KNOW HIM IN ONE SENSE, BUT NOT ANOTHER [31:50]. It could be expressed as awareness of God, but not abidance in Him. b. THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IS IMPOTENT IN BRINGING THEM TO SALVATION [32:20]. If general revelation could save men, there would be no need for special revelation. General revelation can condemn men, but not convert them. c. ONLY THE BIBLE CAN BRING SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF GOD [33:15]. Faith doesnât come by beholding the universe or heeding the conscience, but by hearing the word of God (ROMANS 10:17).
Summary, Part 2 2. RADICAL INADEQUACY OF THIS KNOWLEDGE [18:35]. This message is not exclusively doleful: man needs to know the bad news of ROMANS 1-2 to set up the good news of ROMANS 3, and its urgency is alluded to throughout the scriptures. 1 SAMUEL 2:12 speaks of the worthlessness of the sons of Eli (NASB) because they didnât know the Lord. [The King James uses the term âsons of Belialâ; Belial is a demon whose name means âwithout valueâ. -IM] In PSALM 79:6, Asaph calls for Godâs wrath upon the nations that donât know God. In JEREMIAH 9:3, 6, the prophet calls his own people liars who donât know the Lord. In JOHN 8:19, 54-55, Jesus accused the Pharisees of never knowing God, since they donât know who Jesus was. In JOHN 16:3, 17:25, He warned the disciples of impending persecution from the Pharisees who didnât know God, but thought they did. In 1 CORINTHIANS 15:34, Paul tells some in that church that they are unrighteous and keep sinning because they donât know God. In GALATIANS 4:8-9, Paul warns of turning to old ways after salvation: knowing God. In 1 THESSALONIANS 4:5, he links ignorance of God with bondage to the passions, with retribution in 2 THESSALONIANS 1:8, and with denial despite profession in TITUS 1:16. John links it with disobedience in 1 JOHN 2:3-4.
Summary, Part 1 [Pastor Nutter credits his former professor, Pastor Greg Nichols of Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the outline of this message, which can be found in Pastor Nicholsâ book, *What does the Bible say about God?: The Biblical doctrine of God*.] ROMANS 1:18-2:16 is the source text of, Part VI: MANâS KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and today we will consider, A. THE UNIVERSAL KNOWABILITY OF GOD [starting at 9:05 of the audio]. 1. REVIEW AND SUMMARY. a. PROMINENT FEATURES. i. SOURCE [10:15]: He is known in creation (1:19-21) and the fall has not blinded us to this reality. He is also known in the conscience (1:32, 2:14-15). ii. SCOPE [11:25]: He makes Himself known to all men. The most precivilized person has this endowment as much as the most lettered academic. iii. SUBSTANCE [12:45]: He makes Himself known as the creator (1:20, 32, 2:14-15). It is absurd to look upon the universe and not understand that something bigger made it. b. DECEPTIVE RESPONSE [14:10]. Even atheists live lives dedicated to silencing God. c. DAMNING IMPACT [15:40]. Manâs mere knowledge of God is not a saving knowledge. It is informative, but not transformative. It is convicting, but not converting.
Summary, Part 5 (final) III. GOD CHASTENS THE BELIEVER WITH THE INCOMPLETE HEART [47:20]: 2 CHRONICLES 16:9 â if we should run from anything, it is unbelief: doubting God. Unbelief calls God a liar. We should expect Him to trouble us when our heart is divided. But when it is complete, he promises His strength. ABIDING MESSAGE [50:00]: 1. GOD MEASURES OUR COMMITMENT TO HIM NOT BY THE WORDS OF OUR MOUTHS OR EVEN BY OUTWARD ACTIONS, BUT BY THE CONDITION OF OUR HEARTS. God knows our hearts completely. Our actions can be sanctified, but God is the searcher of hearts. 2. GOD IS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR HEARTS COMPLETELY HIS THAT HE MAY STRONGLY SUPPORT. Are our besetting sins attacking us with unknown strength? Victory is ours if our hearts are given to the Lord. Our failures teach us that we are weak and dependent. 3. YOU MUST FORSAKE THE SINS AND OBSTACLES THAT PREVENT YOU FROM GIVING YOUR HEART WHOLLY TO THE LORD. What is clogging your heart? Do we fear our enemies without calling on God? Do we harbor lusts? Pride? Do we keep carnal company? 4. YOU SHOULD EXPECT GODâS CHASTENING IF YOUR HEART IS NOT WHOLLY HIS. Expect it. When God has the heart, He has everything else. He demands and deserves nothing less.
Summary, Part 4 So we can draw this observation: the heart of a Christian is better than his actions, while the actions of the unbeliever are better than his heart (PSALM 28:3, 55:21 (cf. ROMANS 7:15)); Christianity is a religion of being before it is a religion of doing. Formalism is only such when built upon an unconverted heart; otherwise, it is sanctification. Though they may appear alike, they are completely different. D. CHARACTERISTICS OF WHOLEHEARTED BELIEVERS [36:35]: 1. They fear the Lord (PSALM 86:11); 2. They hope in God (PSALM 33:18, ROMANS 8:24-25); 3. They live upright lives (PSALM 34:15, JOB 36:7). II. GOD SUPPORTS THE BELIEVER WITH THE COMPLETE HEART [40:55]. A. WITH HIS PROMISED PRESENCE IN ALL THEIR CONDITIONS OF LIFE [41:10]. PSALM 121:4 â Godâs eye is always upon us. He was with Peter just as much as when his heart wavered in the boat as He was with him at the transfiguration. His eye is always on the sparrow. How much more is it on the complete heart? B. BY INSTRUCTING AND GUIDING THEM WITH HIS WORD [43:15]. PSALM 32:8 â the Bible guides our every step. A whole heart is a teachable heart. C. BY ANSWERING THEIR PRAYERS FOR DELIVERANCE FROM THEIR ENEMIES [44:25]: PSALM 34:15-19 â the Christian life is an exegesis of this passage.
Summary, Part 3 The writer, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is looking at the totality of Asaâs life. There is a similar proclamation for David, despite his grave sins (ACTS 13:22). [Think of people we remember with fondness, especially children. We might say, âHe was always such a good boy.â Of course, thatâs not literally true of anyone. But the idea is that such people have good natures: they struggle with sin, respond to correction, and have genuine regret for their faults and mistakes, even big ones. They donât justify themselves, deflect blame, project, or dismiss their actions. Some look at others and focus only on their faults. But even God, who knows all and speaks only perfect truth, can look at the totality of oneâs life and declare it to be âperfect with the Lord all his daysâ. âIM] C. SOME PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS [29:15]: 1. There is indwelling sin in the best of Christians. Usually, the greater the man, the greater the weaknesses. 2. God does not accept us on our merits, but on Christâs merits. 3. God alone scrutinizes the heart infallibly; thus, we should judge others as charitably as possible. Another principle to draw is that mere outward obedience is no sure indicator that that personâs heart is the Lordâs (cf. 2 CHRONICLES 25:2); we canât âfoolâ God with our actions.
Summary, Part 2 In 1 KINGS 11:4, we see an example of an incomplete heart: Solomonâs heart divided between God and the gods of his wives. But in 1 KINGS 11:11-16, the parallel to our present text, we see the ways in which Asaâs heart was complete [18:00]: 1. He banished the cults and pagan shrines; 2. He stood for God even when his family stood against Him (cf. MATTHEW 10:34ff); 3. He returned the things dedicated to God by his father to the Temple and added his own holy dedications. [23:05] It also needs to be inferred that the complete or perfect heart is not sinless; it is united in its devotion to God, but harbors remaining sin. Though Asaâs heart was complete [23:30], 1. He failed to completely eradicate Judahâs âhigh placesâ. Commentators have suggested that this could have been because Asa left up the ones dedicated to the true God, or that he just wasnât able to get rid of all of them. 2. He suffered a lapse of faith; 3. He exhibited unrighteous anger, even vindictiveness, when he retaliated against the prophet who told him the truth. We canât excuse his sin (as God doesnât), yet when Asaâs life is viewed in its totality, the Bible proclaims that âAsaâs heart was perfect with the Lord all his daysâ (1 KINGS 11:14). Is this incorrect?
Summary, Part 1 2 CHRONICLES 14-16 records the 41-year reign of Asa, king of Judah. Today, we will focus on its latter end. As Christians, we hope to finish the race stronger than we began. Even the great kings in the Bible were not perfect. Unlike in his past, Asa had made the mistake of seeking manâs help instead of Godâs; in this case, using the Temple treasury to buy an alliance with an enemy against Israelâs aggression. From verse 16:9 we can infer some lessons: I. GOD SEES THE BELIEVER WITH THE COMPLETE HEART [starting at 7:50 of the audio]. A. THE EYES WITH WHICH GOD SEES [8:00]. There is the warrant in the text that there is such a thing as Godâs providence (cf. JOB 34:21, PROVERBS 15:3). God knows everything about everyone and governs all effectually to His own ends. He not only watches His people, but actively brings blessing to their lives; He creates opportunities to bless them. He doesnât just watch and convict, but also blesses. B. THE COMPLETE HEART WHICH GOD SEES [11:45]. The âcomplete heartâ is the inner man; the totality of his being (see PROVERBS 4:23). The heart that is complete is blameless, united, and entire in its focus on the Lord (e.g. 1 CHRONICLES 12:38, 28:9, 29:19).