Summary, Part 4 (final) But the focus of our attention today is our Saviorâs thankfulness to God: not simply for the elements that picture His sacrifice, but for the privilege of being that sacrifice. What was the joy set before Himâthe salvation of Godâs electâevoked heartfelt thankfulness in our Lord. Imagine the scene: His arrest, His trial, His being mocked, His scourging, and Godâs wrath being poured upon Him. He foresaw all things as He distributed the bread and passed the cupâthe very emblems of His suffering and shame. Yet they are also the foretokens of His once-for-all sacrifice for sinners, accepted by His Father, to expunge their record and to render them righteous. Jesus saw all these things in the bread and the cup. Each time we approach the table, let us grow in gratitude for all of this.
Summary, Part 3 THIRD, we should be especially thankful that Jesus prevails in His prayers for usâand that God answered Himâwhen the accomplishment of our salvation was at stake. Despite all the forces gathering against Christ at His Passion, He still prayed for us, and the Father answered. We remain Christians because He continues to pray for us. III. JESUS WAS THANKFUL TO GOD FOR APPOINTING HIM THE SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS, AND WE SHOULD BE, TOO [38:04]. At the Last Supper, letâs underscore here that Jesus did not transubstantiate the bread and the wine, nor does it ever happen at the Lordâs Table. The bread and wine remain what they are: a sacred meal that commemorates the New Covenant and His welcoming of the New Covenant family, and reminders of the price He paid to win our ransom and the forgiveness of our sins.
Summary, Part 2 3) We especially have no room to complain that certain sinners are not saved if we are not actively praying for them and faithfully witnessing to them. âHow shall they hear without a preacher?â THIRD, we should also thank God for His sovereign saving grace toward our brothers and sisters in Christ, not just privately, but also publicly. The disciples heard and saw Christ thank the Father for their saving grace. He taught by word and by example. Paul did the same for the churches. Are you thankful for Godâs sovereign grace toward you and your brethren? Our Lord is thankful for us. Imagine that! II. JESUS WAS THANKFUL FOR GODâS HEARING AND ANSWERING OF HIS PRAYERS, AND WE SHOULD BE, TOO [29:08]. In Jn 11:37-41, we see Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. Note His gratitude to the Father for answering His prayers. What lessons can we take from this? FIRST, we should be thankful that Jesus continues to pray for His people. He still does it in Heaven. SECOND, we should be thankful that God always hears and answers Jesusâ prayers. We prevail because Jesus prays.
Summary, Part 1 Ingratitude is a characteristic of unbelievers, and will even characterize professing Christians in the latter days. Gratitude to God is both a grace and a duty. I. JESUS WAS THANKFUL FOR GODâS SOVEREIGN, DISTINGUISHING GRACE IN SALVATION, AND WE SHOULD BE, TOO [starting at 3:55 of the audio]. In Mt 11:25-27, we see that the Gospel was hidden from some and revealed to others, but that Jesus was not shy in expressing publicly His thankfulness to God for His sovereign saving grace. We cannot come to Christ but by grace from on high. Implied in Jesusâ thanksgiving is His unity with the Father in the matter of sovereign grace in salvation. Christ did not note this with passive resignation, but proclaimed it proudly as pleasing to His Father. What lessons can we take from this? FIRST, we should be thankful to God for His sovereign saving grace; none would otherwise come to be saved. He had to will to reveal Christ to us. SECOND, we should not quarrel with God as to why He saves some and doesnât save others: 1) Salvation is Godâs business. We are saved by His will, not ours. 2) No one deserves to be saved, least of all us. Grace and mercy are emptied of meaning otherwise.
Summary, Part 3 (final) 5. GOD IS IMMUTABLE, BUT HE IS NOT UNYIELDING OR UNAPPROACHABLE [44:35]. He is easy to be entreated. He can suspend blessings until we approach Him in prayer (note this in Ex 32:10-14). God not only ordained the ends, but also the means to the ends. 6. GOD IS IMMUTABLE, BUT THAT DOES NOT PROHIBIT DEVELOPMENT IN HIS COVENENTAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS PEOPLE [48:14]. The sacrificial system was temporary, the Levite priesthood was temporary, and Jer 31:31-34 foretold our present, better covenant of faith in Christ. 7. GOD INCARNATE HAS IMMUTABLE DEITY, NOT IMMUTABLE HUMANITY [51:19]. He is mutable in His human nature. He grew from childhood to manhood in body, mind, and soul, yet He never set aside His divine nature. IN CONCLUSION [56:57], Godâs immutability is a source of comfort for the Christian.
Summary, Part 2 3. GOD IS IMMUTABLE IN CHRISTâS INCARNATION [13:45]. Jesus is God incarnate. He can never undo His humanity. He is forever the God-man. This is His mediatorial permanency. He took our humanity upon His deity. B. SEVEN IMPORTANT QUALIFICATIONS OF GODâS IMMUTABILITY [15:49]. 1. GOD IS IMMUTABLE, BUT HE IS NOT INACTIVE OR LIFELESS. He is the eternal fountain of life. He is constantly at work in His creation. 2. GOD IS IMMUTABLE, BUT HE IS NOT ANTI-SOCIAL OR IMPERSONAL [18:28]. He doesnât avoid contact with His creation. 3. GOD IS IMMUTABLE, BUT HE IS NOT APATHETIC OR INEXPRESSIVE [20:27]. He is not the pagan âunmoved moverâ, but a responsive God. He responds to prayer, sin, and righteousness. Throughout Scripture, we God being sorry, moved, regretful, etc. However, nothing catches Him by surprise. He decreed everything, even His own responses. 4. GOD IS IMMUTABLE, BUT HE IS NOT MERCILESS OR OBSTINATE [31:00]. He actually can and does relent. He does not always keep His anger. When men repent, He can withhold His judgments. This isnât illogical, but super-logical: beyond our ability to understand. He is not wishy-washy, but immutable in His integrity and kindness. That He deals with men conditionally does not negate His immutability.
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*.] If God were like the temperamental Greek gods, we would have no certainty or hope. His immutability is an attribute: He doesnât change and cannot change. He is the eternal I AM. I. THE BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF GODâS IMMUTABILITY [starting at 7:47 of the audio]. A. THE THREE BASIC ASPECTS OF GODâS IMMUTABILITY. 1. GOD IS IMMUTABLE IN HIS PERSON [8:35]. In eternity, when only God was, He was immutable. All He ever was, all He now is, and all He will always be is summed up in His assertion, âI, the Lord, do not change.â This marks every aspect of His personal and spiritual nature. 2. GOD IS IMMUTABLE IN HIS DECREE [10:57]. Ps 33:11 declares that what God decides is permanent and unchangeable. This is Godâs irreversibility. Ps 102:26, 27 compares the unchangeable Creator with His changeable creation. The creation is corruptible, but the Creator is not. This is Godâs incorruptibility. Mal 3:6 exalts God as the unchangeable redeemer. This is Godâs indefectibility.
Great Sermon! THE ABIDING MESSAGE: 1. We are reminded of Godâs astonishing grace and mercy to send His Son into the world to save sinners. None of us deserve it, but God is a God of mercy. 2. No sinnerâs case is beyond the scope of Jesusâ saving grace and power. Paul called himself the chief of sinners, yet proclaimed his salvation to the end. 3. Every Christian should reflect often and deeply upon his sin in light of Jesus Christâs saving grace. The grace that saves us should humble us. Paul used the present tense when calling himself the chief of sinners. Godâs people in Ezek 36:31 had already been converted. The Bible doesnât teach us to forgive ourselves, but forgive others as Christ forgave us. 4. How dreadful is the case of those who refuse to believe and be saved. The wrath of God abides upon them. 5. If we believe the Gospel, we will share it with other sinners and urge them to believe the only savior of sinners. Note Paulâs joy in delivering the Gospel to sinners. Someone did this for us; we must do it for others.
Summary, Part 2 3. THE SAVING MISSION HE ACCOMPLISHED [22:20]. It cost Him agony, suffering, and His life. The work He accomplished was a perfect life, and under the penalty of the law He paid the price for our sins. By that, we are born again and may continue the sanctifying work that He enables us to do through the Holy Spirit. B. ITS ASTOUNDING IMPORTANCE [29:57]. We examine this in three facets: 1. IT IS COMPLETELY RELIABLE [30:30]. It is a trustworthy statement. It isnât theory, but fact. Men are not reliable, but God is utterly reliable. 2. IT IS UTTERLY PHENOMENAL [34:05]. We wouldnât have believed it if God hadnât said it or if others hadnât lived it. Note Paulâs self-depreciation 1 Tim 12:14, and the testimony that follows in the very next verse. Paul truly was a lion who laid down with the lambs. 3. IT IS FULLY ACCEPTABLE [41:18]. We should believe the Gospel because God wrote it in the blood of His Son. What more could He have done for us? It is so wonderful and glorious that it deserves acceptance. His grace is greater than our sin. Jn 1:12: it may sound too good to be true, but because it comes from God, it is true.
Summary, Part 1 Two of Paulâs favorite topics were the glory, power, and faithfulness of Christ, and the great things He did for Paulâs soul. A. THE ASTOUNDING MESSAGE [starting at 6:30 of the audio]. God the Father sent His Son into the world to save sinners. We can break this message down into three parts: 1. THAT JESUS CHRIST CAME INTO THIS WORLD [8:40]. Who is Jesus Christ? He is God the Son who became the God-man, fully both natures, qualified by God to redeem sinners. Paul delighted in reflecting on the person of the Savior. 1 Tim 3:16 may have been a confession of faith in the early church. Our London Baptist Confession of 1689 offers a compact, yet rich proclamation of His person in chapter 8.2. 2. THOSE WHOM HE CAME TO SAVE [16:30]. He wasnât born in a place, but a stable for animals. From there, He was rejected, hated, and despised without cause (contrast this with Jn 1:1-11). Thatâs quite a life for the one by whom all was created. Not one of us is good, yet He came for the sinners, not the ones who think themselves righteous.
Summary, Part 3 (final) B. THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF GODâS SPECIAL PRESENCE IN TIME [33:30]. 1. It encourages us in every season and in all difficult service. He hasnât left us as orphans. By His spirit we cry âAbba Fatherâ. We donât just labor in the Lord, but with Him as well. Remember all the trials that Paul faced: when he realized his weakness, he had need for Godâs strength. 2. It summons us to a life of holiness and hope for Christâs return [39:00]. Instead of asking how long the Lord will tarry, let us be holy in an unholy world. The holier we are, the more hopeful we are. And let us remember that He will come like a thief in the night: without expectation. Even the wicked recognize the power of a holy life. 3. It summons us to appreciate and sanctify the Lordâs Day [42:20]. Do you love the Lordâs Day? Or is it an interruption in your schedule? Is it the best day of the week that you spend with the Lordâs people? What we think of this day reflects what we think of the Lord and whether weâre fit for Heaven. If we donât like church, weâre going to hate Heaven. To parents: be wary of teaching children that church is fun. It is joyful, edifying, and meaningful, but be clear about that.
Summary, Part 2 2. 2 PETER 3:10-13 [12:50]. That day is known as the Day of the Lord, and also as the Day of God. It is the day of consummation. But it is also the day of the resurrection of the just and the unjust, and the day of recreation. This passage calls us to two things: first, holiness. How holy can we be when we live for that which is to be destroyed? Second, hope. Without holiness, there is no living in hope. What hope is there in things that will be destroyed? We look forward to a utopia of a world to come, not a âperfectionâ of this world. 3. REVELATION 1:10 [19:30]. Even in these last days, God has appointed a time as His own: the weekly Sabbath. It is a creation ordinance, a moral duty, and a sign of the new covenant. Where God entered His rest on the seventh day (Saturday), Christ entered His resurrection rest on the first (Sunday), and His people received the Holy Spirit at the Pentecost, also on the first day. As Christians, we are to hallow the Sabbath. How we typically spend that day reflects our communal state with God. III. SUMMARY OF THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF GODâS RELATION IN TIME [NOTE: part A, THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF GODâS ETERNITY AND EVERPRESENCE, was covered in the previous message].
Summary, Part 1 In the previous message in this series, we examined II. THE SURVEY OF THE BIBILCAL WITNESS TO GODâS REVELATION TO TIME: HIS TEMPORAL SUPREMACY. We examined A. THE BIBLICAL WITNESS TO GODâS ETERNITY AND EVERPRESENCE. This week, we move on to B. THE BIBLICAL TESTIMONY TO GODâS SPECIAL PRESENCE IN TIME [starting at 3:13 of the audio]. To review: God is always present in Heaven; this is His everpresence. There, we see Godâs permanence. But we see change in His special presence on earth (from Eden, to Beth-el, to Sinai, to the Tabernacle, to the Temple, to the Lord Jesus Christ, to the Holy Spirit in every Christian and in every true church wherever they gather). 1. MATTHEW 28:18-20 [8:10]. This passage rests upon two facts: that God is eternal, and that He is always present. His presence is perpetual. He will be the God of our old age as much as He was the God of our youth and is the God of our present. His perpetual presence is not a threat, but a promise. It is an incredible source of strength for every Christian, no matter where he finds himself.
Summary, Part 3 (final) IN THE NEW TESTAMENT: 1. It confronts us with the mystery of God incarnate [52:30]: the mystery of godliness. Jesus Christ is our Emmanuel (âGod with usâ). 2. It renders sinners inexcusable, since it is displayed to all men in creation [53:10]. Evolution is a lie in the face of the God-given conscience. 3. It guarantees the enactment of His decree to save [54:40]. Without election, there is no hope for salvation. 4. It evokes our adoration, blessing, and praise to God alone [56:03]. We could never have conceived His plan of salvation. 5. It teaches us to wait patiently for Him to work [57:05]. Adopt His decree instead of humanityâs own limited sense of time. The elect are still being saved.
Summary, Part 2 III. SUMMARY OF THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF GODâS RELATION TO TIME. A. THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF GODâS ETERNITY AND EVERPRESENCE [34:49]. IN THE OLD TESTAMENT: 1. It admonishes us to fear Godâs wrath. Our grumbling is a subconscious challenge to Godâs wisdom. 2. It teaches us to face the brevity of life [34:49]. Do we live as though tomorrow is guaranteed? 3. It calls us to pray for seasons of gladness, for the perpetuation of our work, for deliverance from premature death, and for His blessing on our children [40:10]. Godâs eternal essence encourages us to take the most important issues to Him. 4. It shows us how great He is and how little we know [44:45]. We are to repent of our sin of assuming Godâs place. 5. It encourages us to seek security in God [47:06]. We were made to be dependent upon Him. What are we depending on instead? God is our rock; nothing else is. 6. It certifies the reliability of His word [49:10]. Do we stand on His word, or do we look for certainty somewhere else? He is our Rock. As we often sing, âall other ground is sinking sand.â 7. It assures us that He is always accessible to humble and contrite men [50:46]. Are we proud and independent, or broken and dependent? Pride is the foundation of idolatry.
Summary, Part 1 Continuing from last week at II. SURVEY OF THE BIBLICAL WITNESS TO GOD'S RULE OVER TIME; A. THE BIBLICAL WITNESS TO GOD'S ETERNITY AND EVERPRESENCE: 5. ISAIAH 57:15 [starting at 5:43 of the audio]. In the first place, because God is eternal, His promises are reliable. This would not be so if God had some constraints upon His holiness. If He werenât eternal, He couldnât be trusted to finish what He started. Open Theism denies this. 6. JOHN 8:58 [14:44]. Jesusâ testimony to His eternal existence. The Bible calls us to faith in its matters where we donât fully understand. 7. ROMANS 1:20 [20:29]. The evidence of our eyes AND the testimony of our consciences affirm that the creation has a creator. 8. ROMANS 16:25-27 [22:51]. God saves sinners and builds His church as He ordained in eternity, and no force of human history can stop it. 9. 1 TIMOTHY 1:17 [26:59]. Our election should move us to such praise. 10. 2 PETER 3:8-9 [29:29]. We are not on Godâs time wave. Our impatience misinterprets Godâs longsuffering and covenant promises, and it will not manipulate Him.
Summary, Part 5 (final) 3. PSALM 93:1-2 [40:52]. Because God is eternal, we may enjoy security and stability. His eternal, unchanging power created and preserves the universe. Even just recent secular thinking is filled with cataclysmic dread: global warming, meteor strikes, etc., and even some Christians fall for it. History is secure because of Godâs eternal decree. We have the habit of finding security in things more enduring than ourselves, such as statism, nationalism, or environmentalism. But the blessed elect find it in the eternal God. 4. PSALM 102:24-28 [45:55]. This passage offers three practical applications: a. OUR HOPE IS NOT IN WORLDLY SECURITY (v. 24). We all face the possibility of premature death, and the best care and safest environments donât change that. b. OUR HOPE IS NOT IN THE CREATION (vv. 25-27). Even the heavens wonât last forever. Severe affliction makes us feel our insecurity acutely. There is no other rational place to fix our hope than God, who endures unchangingly forever. c. GODâS CHILDREN WILL CONTINUE (v. 28). Because He is enduring, His covenant promises will endure as well. Church history confirms this.
Summary, Part 4 In vv. 16.17, it teaches us TO PRAY THAT GOD BLESS OUR CHILDREN AND PERPETUATE OUR WORK [32:25]. When we die, everything we left behind will be out of our hands: our families, our property, our business. No matter what we may request in a living will, we canât guarantee that it will be carried out. 2. JOB 36:26, 38:1-4 [36:05]. Godâs eternity displays how great He really is. If we have a difficult time comprehending the wisdom of the elderly from all their life experience, how much less can we fathom the wisdom of the omniscient, eternal God? When God pressed this reality on Job, all Job could do was see his own state and repent. Weâve no right to question the afflictions God chooses to send us: He does it from a point of sovereign holiness that we will never fathom. Evolutionists live in a moment of time, but claim an intellectual right to override the creator God who was there before the beginning.
Summary, Part 3 c. GOD'S ETERNAL BEING TEACHES US INVALUABLE LESSONS (vv. 11-17) [24:10]. i. In v. 11, it teaches us TO FEAR HIS ETERNAL WRATH [24:17]. Moses didnât have an idea of a winking God in Heaven. At any moment, an unbeliever can die and be damned forever. In fear, we ought to be moved to pray for their salvation. ii. In v. 12, it teaches us TO PRAY FOR THE WISDOM TO GRASP THE BREVITY OF OUR LIFE [26:46]. Growing age and deceased acquaintances should not be the only reminders of our own mortality. Wisdom teaches us that our short lives are in Godâs hands at every moment, and always at His mercy. Are we trying to add years to our lives, or are we sooner unto Heaven? What if we die with unfinished plans? The wise donât waste their time. iii. In vv. 13-15, it teaches us TO PRAY THAT GOD WOULD BALANCE OUR AFFLICTION WITH BLESSING [29:41]. When we realize the brevity of our lives, weâre far less prone to take His blessings for granted. We appreciate the tranquility of a God-centered life (some canât even handle this, and go out and look for trouble). Constant contention is never worth it.
Summary, Part 2 C. GOD IS SPECIALLY PRESENT IN TIME [11:00]. We can think of this as His covenant presence. He is specially present in Heaven in an unchanging way, but in a changing way here on earth. He was specially present in Eden, then Beth-El, then Sinai, then in the Tabernacle, then in the Temple, then in Jesus Christ, and now wherever true Christians gather in the name of Christ, such as in church. The Lordâs Day is a stated day of His special presence. II. SURVEY OF THE BIBLICAL WITNESS TO GOD'S RULE OVER TIME [15:50] A. THE BIBLICAL WITNESS TO GOD'S ETERNITY AND EVERPRESENCE [16:20] 1. PSALM 90:1-17 [16:48]. This text specially sets forth Godâs eternity. a. GOD'S ETERNAL BEING GIVES HIS PEOPLE SECURITY AND STABILITY (vv. 1,2) [17:35]. Godâs people have a security that unbelievers donât. No matter what happens on earth, Christians understand that the Lord is still on His throne. For us, He is always a sure place of return. b. GOD'S ETERNAL BEING EXPOSES OUR BREVITY AND FRAILTY (vv. 3-10) [20:23]. Where God is eternal, our lives are but a vapor. His eternity puts our lives in a proper perspective.