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Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Stephen Nutter  |  Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Sermon7/18/16 3:45 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 5 of 5
Stephen Nutter
4
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“ Summary, Part 4 (final) ”
OBJECTION 3 [40:12]: “UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION NECESSARILY LEADS TO LOOSE LIVING.” If the key to salvation is being chosen, then how we live doesn’t matter. ANSWERS: 1. God also predestines us to good works. 2. God calls His chosen with a holy calling (2 Tim 1:9). 3. God calls His chosen to a life of practical godliness (Titus 1:1-2). 4. God equips the elect with personal diligence and circumspection (2 Pet 1:3-11). 5. The elect will be careful to live a righteous life (2 Tim 2:19). OBJECTION 4 [45:27]: “BELIEF IN UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION KILLS EVANGELISTIC ZEAL.” If the elect are guaranteed to be saved, why witness? ANSWERS: 1. Calvinists believe that bringing the lost to saving faith is the work of God, not a work of man. 2. Calvinists believe that God chose the elect and the means of their salvation, which is the gospel. Acts 13:46-48 – The apostles’ witness was fueled by God’s sovereignty in salvation (cf. 2 Cor 2:14-17). 3. Calvinists have always been on the leading edge of evangelism, even to the most pagan of peoples.

Sermon7/18/16 3:44 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 5 of 5
Stephen Nutter
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“ Summary, Part 3 ”
OBJECTION 2 [27:47]: “UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION FAILS TO SEE THAT GOD’S CHOICE IS ACCORDING TO FORESEEN FAITH OR GOOD WORKS.” This is another way to argue for man’s free will, which doesn’t exist, and presumes that God looks for inherent goodness in the sinner, which also doesn’t exist. That something good is the sinner’s faith in Christ. But from where does that faith come? For Arminians, it is prevenient grace; for Calvinists, it is a gracious gift from God. What do the Scriptures say? ANSWERS [33:33]: 1. God’s choice of sinners is utterly irrespective of the sinner (2 Tim 1:9, Rom 9:11-16, Acts 13:48). 2. Saving faith is granted as a gift through Christ and produces good works (Phil 1:29, Titus 3:5-7, Eph 2:8-10, 2 Cor 9:8). 3. If God chose sinners because of their faith, then salvation is initiated by man and comes by man’s merit.

Sermon7/18/16 3:43 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 5 of 5
Stephen Nutter
4
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
OBJECTION 1 [9:46]: “UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION IS UNFAIR BECAUSE IT MAKES GOD A RESPECTER OF PERSONS.” The general misunderstanding of ‘foreknowledge’ is that God sees who will come to faith and then chooses them. But this is a misunderstanding of man’s nature, which is totally depraved and totally at enmity with God. Further, if fairness is the issue, then the only true fairness would be damnation for everyone. Rom 2:11 is often used to support this ‘fairness doctrine’, but it is support for verse 10, which distinguishes the saved and the damned. Acts 10:34 – Peter had made the wrong distinction. Cornelius wasn’t saved because he was a Gentile, but it showed Peter that Gentiles were saved in the same way as the Jews. OBSERVATION: Even Arminians must admit that not all men are given the chance to hear the gospel.

Sermon7/18/16 3:43 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 5 of 5
Stephen Nutter
4
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
We continue III. THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION at D. ITS ARMINIAN OBJECTIONS [starting at 3:11 of the audio]. First, let us happily acknowledge that Arminianism (at least evangelical Arminianism) contains enough biblical truth to save sinners. Arminians may be in error, but they are not in heresy. They are our brethren. In fact, many Calvinists were saved in an Arminian context. Many Arminians also live more righteous lives than many Calvinists. Second, let us humbly acknowledge—we who profess to believe that the Lord is the one who makes men to differ—that our understanding of the gospel is not due to greater smarts or deeper piety. God had to open our eyes to these truths and make them plain to us; He deserves the praise, not our intellects. We believe the doctrines of grace, but do we show the grace of the doctrines (see the 1689 LBCF, Chapter 3.5)?

Sermon7/11/16 3:57 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 3
Stephen Nutter
2
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“ Summary, Part 2 (final) ”
1) Under the old covenant, God chose Israel to be His covenant people. His choice was exclusive, affectionate, purposeful, and redemptive. The lesson is that Israel’s being and blessing are due to God’s blessing. 2) Under the new covenant, God chose the church as the new Israel to be His covenant people. These are the believing Jews and Gentiles: the true circumcision (1 Pet 2:9-10). e. God chose INDIVIDUALS for salvation [43:11]. Jn 15:19 – The world only loves its own, not the brethren. It not only hates the doctrine of election, but it hates the elect themselves. 1 Thes 1:4 – God chose us, in Christ, before the creation, even though we are ordinary sinners. CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS [53:35]. 1. The Bible clearly reveals that God is a choosing God. Whoever argues against this doctrine argues against God Himself. 2. Let us relish the doctrine of election and revel in the mercies that it so wonderfully displays both to saints and to sinners. To sinners: you could never be saved apart from God’s election. To saints: a. God’s election displays His eternal love in Christ for unworthy sinners like you. b. God’s election reveals His reason for sending Jesus to die for your sins. c. God’s election guarantees a present protection and a glorious inheritance for all whom He has chosen.

Sermon7/11/16 3:56 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 3
Stephen Nutter
2
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
We continue III. THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION at B. ITS BIBLICAL EXPRESSION [starting at 2:34 of the audio]. This means its vocabulary, which contains three general word-groups. 1. FOREKNOWLEDGE. God’s knowledge of future events encompasses all of them, since He determined all of them. The word indicates an intimate delight in His people. Rom 8:29 – His mercy was upon His people even before their salvation. 2. PREDESTINATION [10:17]. This is translated from the Greek as making and determining a plan in advance. 3. CHOOSING [18:48]. a. God chose HIS SON. 1) God chose Jesus as the object of His delight to be Messiah and to establish the Gospel among the nations (Is 42:1, Mt 12:18, Lk 9:35). 2) God chose Jesus to be the head of His church (1 Pet 2:4, 6-7). b. God chose THE (GOOD) ANGELS. 1 Tim 5:21 – Even the good angels were aided by a holy influence to resist the angelic rebellion. c. God chose HIS MINISTERS [27:42]. God has also chosen human instruments. In the Old Testament, He chose Moses, priests, prophets, and kings. In the New Testament, He chose disciples and apostles, even unbelievers and one who would betray Christ (Jn 6:64, 70). d. God chose A PEOPLE as His special possession [37:47].

Sermon7/11/16 3:54 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 4
Stephen Nutter
3
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“ Summary, Part 3 (final) ”
a) THE DIVINE APPOINTMENT OF THE ELECT. You can see election in a saved person. God predestined the good works in which they walk. He chose them to believe and be saved and to be sanctified. b) THE EXACT IDENTITY OF THE ELECT. This details the identifying marks of the elect, when they are saved, the procedure of their salvation, and their being kept by Christ throughout. c) THE EXCLUSIVE OBJECTS OF THE ELECT. No one can come to Christ unless the Father draws him to Christ (cf. Mt 22:14). The elect do not apostatize. c. ITS PRUDENT HANDLING (paragraph 7) [48:36]. We derive three things from this paragraph: i. God never introduced this doctrine to satisfy man’s speculations. It is a practical, evangelical, and reverent truth. ii. God intends that we prove our election by the way we live (2 Pet 1:5-11). iii. The doctrine of election should lead obedient Christians to worship in praise, reverence, humility, and diligence and abundant consolation.

Sermon7/11/16 3:53 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 4
Stephen Nutter
3
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
ii. ITS UNCHANGING SPECIFICITY (paragraph 4) [13:19]. What God ordains in eternity He carries out in time. The number of the elect has always been certain. 2 Tim 2:19, Mt 22:14 – No one is chosen in time; all were chosen in eternity. We pray for the elect to be saved, even though they are already chosen. We don’t know who is elect, but our duty is to witness to everyone (cf. Deut 29:29). b. ITS POSITIVE OUTWORKING: THE ELECTION OF THOSE PREDESTINED (paragraphs 5-6) [20:19]. i. THE GRACIOUS BASIS OF ELECTION (paragraph 5). We see five things from this: election is according to God’s choice, not ours; God’s choice is grounded in His own counsel; predestination to life is in Christ; election assures those saved arriving in everlasting glory; and predestination is not due to anything meritorious in man. ii. THE EFFECTUAL EXECUTION OF ELECTION (paragraph 6) [35:55].

Sermon7/11/16 3:53 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 4
Stephen Nutter
3
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
We continue III. THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION at C. ITS CONFESSIONAL FORMULATION: THE 1689 LONDON BAPTIST CONFESSION, CHAPTER 3, “OF GOD’S DECREE”. 1. THE GENERAL DECREE OF ALL EVENTS (paragraphs 1-2) [starting at 5:14 of the audio]. Several facts about God’s decree are derived from these chapters: it is is an expression of His will alone, it is from eternity, it exhibits His absolute freedom over all things, it is not contrary to the will of His creatures, and it is brought about absolutely by His power (nothing frustrates it, nothing escapes it, and nothing conditions it). 2. THE SPECIFIC DECREE OF PREDESTINATION TO LIFE (paragraphs 3-7). a. ITS MAJOR ATTRIBUTES (paragraphs 3-4). i. ITS DISTINGUISHING SELECTIVITY (paragraph 3) [10:39]. God’s selectivity in election exalts His grace, while the condemnation of the rest exalts His justice. No sinner deserves to be chosen for salvation; they are saved purely by grace.

Sermon6/27/16 2:08 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 2
Stephen Nutter
4
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“ Summary, Part 3 (final) ”
c. That those elected and predestined to salvation in Christ unto the Father are forgiven of their sins through the blood of Christ. d. That the atonement of Christ is according to the will of God and according to the riches of His grace. 4. THE PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS IN A STATE OF GRACE UNTO GLORY [46:21]. The Father’s election and Jesus’ redemption ensure a believer’s perseverance and secures his title to heaven, and then to the resurrection of the righteous at the end of the age (Jn 6:39, Jn 10, Jude 1). Rom 8:28-30 – notice that the Golden Chain of Salvation is given in the past tense: though it plays out in time, it was set in eternity before time for every believer. ABIDING MESSAGE [50:56]. 1. Christian, humbly rejoice in the sovereignty of God which made you to differ. We are no better than the lost. We are only chosen and restrained by holiness in this life. 2. Christian, glorify the Father and the Son for their unity in the work of redemption. They are the same God and have the same plan of salvation. 3. Christian, be confident that the God Who chose you and the Son Who redeemed you will keep you all the way to glory. We couldn’t save ourselves, and we can’t bring ourselves to heaven.

Sermon6/27/16 2:07 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 2
Stephen Nutter
4
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
c. None who are spiritually dead will respond in faith to God’s message of salvation in Christ. This is because such are naturally opposed to the things of God (Rom 8:5-8). d. The natural man, who lives according to the flesh, is not only unable to understand spiritual truth, but is also opposed to God and cannot and will not trust in Christ to be saved (Jn 5:40). e. God must overcome our opposition and unwillingness to come to Christ to be saved. God has to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves (cf. Rom 3:11, Jn 6:44, Acts 26:18). Acts 5:31 – Even repentance is granted from God. Eph 2:8-10 – Even our faith is God’s creation. 3. CHRIST’S ATONEMENT [38:32]. Jesus teaches that He died for His sheep. Jn 10:11, 14-15, 17-18, 26-30 – Only His sheep will hear Him. They are the ones the Father delivered to Him. Everyone else may hear Christ’s words, but they won’t comprehend them, let alone respond to them. Eph 1:1-7 – Paul also connects the election of the Father with the atonement of the Son. Notice: a. This connection stated in vv. 1-2. b. That election and predestination are in Christ unto the Father.

Sermon6/27/16 2:07 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 2
Stephen Nutter
4
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
We continue this study of Christians as “Chosen” with III. THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION, A. ITS NECESSARY CONNECTIONS [starting at 4:06 of the audio]. This doctrine does not stand alone; it supports a number of doctrines found throughout Scripture. 1. GOD’S ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY. Pagan gods, however mighty they’re portrayed, are useless compared to the one true God. Ps 115 – God possesses all, and His will is always done (cf. Is 14:24-27, 46:10-11). We think we’re in charge of our doings, but God has ordained all that comes to pass (Pr 19:21, 21:30; Jer 10:23; Pr 16:9). Eph 1:9-11 – we didn’t choose God; He chose us (2 Thes 2:13). 2. MAN’S DEPRAVITY [18:46]. This connection is established by a number of things. a. Those who are born in sin a spiritually dead and under the wrath of God for their sin. Eph 2:1-3 – Dead men cannot choose to live; God has to give them life. b. Until God grants us a new birth and indwells us by His Spirit, we are dominated by the flesh. We are natural men in this state, not spiritual men. 1 Cor 2:14 – “Spiritual” means to be with the indwelling Holy Spirit, not the way the world understands the term.

Sermon6/27/16 2:06 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 2
Stephen Nutter
4
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
We continue this study of Christians as “Chosen” with III. THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION, A. ITS NECESSARY CONNECTIONS [starting at 4:06 of the audio]. This doctrine does not stand alone; it supports a number of doctrines found throughout Scripture. 1. GOD’S ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY. Pagan gods, however mighty they’re portrayed, are useless compared to the one true God. Ps 115 – God possesses all, and His will is always done (cf. Is 14:24-27, 46:10-11). We think we’re in charge of our doings, but God has ordained all that comes to pass (Pr 19:21, 21:30; Jer 10:23; Pr 16:9). Eph 1:9-11 – we didn’t choose God; He chose us (2 Thes 2:13). 2. MAN’S DEPRAVITY [18:46]. This connection is established by a number of things. a. Those who are born in sin a spiritually dead and under the wrath of God for their sin. Eph 2:1-3 – Dead men cannot choose to live; God has to give them life. b. Until God grants us a new birth and indwells us by His Spirit, we are dominated by the flesh. We are natural men in this state, not spiritual men. 1 Cor 2:14 – “Spiritual” means to be with the indwelling Holy Spirit, not the way the world understands the term.

Sermon6/20/16 2:06 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 1
Stephen Nutter
3
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“ Summary, Part 3 (final) ”
OBSERVATIONS [41:07]. 1. Notice Paul’s focus upon Christ as the central figure in the redemption of the elect of the Father (v. 4). 2. Notice Paul’s emphasis upon the work of Christ as essential for the salvation of those chosen by the Father. 3. Notice that the work of the Holy Spirit in sealing believing sinners is tied to the person and work of Christ. 4. Notice that Paul praises and worships each Person of the glorious Godhead after summarizing the work of each in the salvation of sinners—again focusing upon the central work of Jesus Christ in their salvation (vv. 6, 12, 14). Christ has preeminence. CONCLUDING APPLICATIONS [45:35]. 1. That God has chosen Christ and sent Him into this world to save sinners should give us assurance that all for whom Jesus died will be saved. 2. That God has chosen Christ to save sinners gives us much matter for praise and worship. 3. That Christ submitted to the Father’s will in coming to save sinners provides us a model in submitting ourselves to serve the needs of others (Phil 2:3-5). 4. That Christ was foreknown before the foundation of the world and has appeared to save us should move us to godly fear, holy behavior, and faith and hope in God (1 Pet 1:17-21).

Sermon6/20/16 2:06 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 1
Stephen Nutter
3
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“ Summary, Part 12 ”
Jesus was conscious of His mission and God’s plan. John’s Gospel abounds with references to the Father sending the Son into this world, especially for the purpose of redeeming those He had given Him to save. OBSERVATIONS [26:32]. 1. Jesus speaks about the rescue mission that brought Him from heaven to earth to save a world of sinners out of every branch of mankind (Jn 3:17). 2. Jesus speaks of those the Father has given to Him (Jn 6:37-39). 3. Jesus alludes to God’s eternal decree, in which the Father bestowed upon and entrusted to Him a people to save, to receive unto Himself, to grant them eternal and imperishable life, to be their shepherd, guarding and protecting them throughout this life, as One united with the Father to fulfill the Father’s saving mission (Jn 10:27-30). 4. In Jesus’ high priestly prayer before going to the cross to fulfill the Father’s saving mission, He pulls back the veil that separates time from eternity and speaks of the mysteries of God’s decree (Jn 17:5, 7-8, 24). Our 1689 London Baptist Confession, in chapter 8.1, succinctly summarizes the biblical teaching of the ordination and commission of the Son by the Father in eternity [37:47]. Eph 1:1-14 lays this out plainly.

Sermon6/20/16 2:05 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Chosen - 1
Stephen Nutter
3
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
I. THE CONCEPT OF ELECTION: OUR GOD IS A CHOOSING GOD [starting at 2:29 of the audio]. God is a choosing God. There is nothing random about Him. All falls into His providential plan, be it the things He created or the events He ordained. Before time, He selected a remnant of Adam’s family to save from their sins and deliver to a glorious eternity (cf. Eph 1:11). II. THE FOUNDATION OF ELECTION: CHOSEN IN THE CHOSEN ONE [9:00]. 1 Pet 1:13-21 – He offers incentives for us to live holy lives. We were bought with the blood of Christ, not with the most precious things of the world, which cannot buy eternity. OBSERVATIONS [13:52]. 1. The sending of the Savior to purchase sinners was no afterthought in the mind of God. Christ’s sacrifice was planned by God before time began. 2. God foreknew the One whom He sent to save sinners. “Foreknowledge” here indicates an intimate relationship, not a response to the future (cf. Rom 8:29). 3. God’s foreknowledge is certain. There isn’t a particle of randomness in God’s universe. This doctrine of God’s choice of His Son as the Savior is not confined to the New Testament (cf. Is 42:1).

Sermon6/13/16 2:38 AM
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“ Summary, Part 3 (final) ”
B. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO COME TO CHRIST? “Coming to Jesus” is a favorite term our Lord uses to describe saving faith (Jn 6:35-37). It is also described as feeding upon Christ, or internalizing His substance (Jn 7:37, Is 55:1-3). It indicates a willingness to obey Him as Lord (Lk 6:46-47). And it implies a commitment to love Him supremely (Lk 14:27). We love Him because He first loved us. IV. THE PROMISE GIVEN TO ALL WHO ACCEPT JESUS’ INVITATION [40:05]. “I will give you rest.” What is this rest? Remember what it is to be weary and heavy-laden. This rest includes rest from the fear of sin, the fatal attraction to the world, the fear of the law, enslavement to the devil, the crippling anxiety of adversity (cf. Rom 8:28), the fear of death, and the dread of damnation and hell. CLOSING CONCERNS [47:58]. 1. Dear sinner, will you not come to Christ that you might find rest? Rest comes from Christ, and the time to come to Him is always now. You’re not guaranteed the next day or even the next hour. 2. Beloved brethren, continue coming to Christ that you may have rest (cf. Phil 1:21). Does He grow far from us, or do we grow far from Him? Are we giving our whole lives to Him, including our sins? He doesn’t offer rest for what we don’t confess to Him.

Sermon6/13/16 2:37 AM
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
B. WHO THEY ARE. They are “sensible sinners”: they who know their wickedness and desperate need of pardon. They crave purification and lament their sin. They hate their delight in sin and want to be delivered from it forever. “Weary” means “worked to the point of exhaustion (cf. Lk 5:5), and the weary never find relief from the toil of their sin. “Heavy-laden” refers to those burdened with pointless religious duties; they save no one. III. THE NATURE OF THE RESPONSE REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION [28:32]. A. WHAT IT DOES NOT MEAN TO COME TO CHRIST: It does not mean to get yourself ready by working out your own righteousness. He didn’t say “Go”, but “Come”. It does not mean to send for a priest or to put your soul in the care of saints and angels. Such people never find rest. Nor does it mean to go to church, as if coming to Him is to be confused with coming to church. Many go to church without ever going to Christ. It does not mean to observe sacraments. Many have died in their sins trusting them. And it does not mean hearing sermons. Many hear the light of truth without ever accepting it.

Sermon6/13/16 2:37 AM
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
J.C Ryle once expounded on Jesus’ gracious invitation to sinners in Mt 11:28. I. THE ONE WHO ISSUES THIS INVITATION [starting at 3:17 of the audio]. The world makes many promises, few of which yield blessings. Sadly, this includes a lot of churches and their leaders today. But Christ is a perfect exception. A. HE IS ABLE TO PROVIDE WHAT HE OFFERS. He has divine authority and power (Mt 11:27, 2 Cor 1:20). B. HE IS WILLING TO PROVIDE WHAT HE OFFERS. Where would we be if Jesus wasn’t the sinners’ friend? He came to seek the lost and sacrifice Himself for them. He is more willing to save us that we are willing to be saved. C. HE IS FAITHFUL TO PROVIDE WHAT HE OFFERS. We can rest our heads on His promises as comfortably as John rested his head on Jesus’ bosom. Yet despite our urgency in the face of earthly danger, we are numb to the danger of eternal damnation. II. THOSE TO WHOM THIS INVITATION IS DIRECTED [11:31]: the weary and heavy-laden. A. WHO THEY ARE NOT. They are not the down-and-out, the sick and afflicted, or the depressed. They may feel awful, but they don’t necessarily feel depraved. Lk 17 – Jesus healed ten lepers, yet only one came back to worship Him. Nor are they the haughty, who ride on the wave of their own self-esteem (cf. Mk 2:17).

Sermon6/6/16 2:08 AM
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Sermon:
Christians as Sons and Slaves
Stephen Nutter
3
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“ Summary, Part 3 (final) ”
c. With respect to their gospel service to sinners. 1 Cor 9:19-23 – In this example, Paul shows how he picks his gospel battles. d. As those who serve God and obey His commandments. This is the ethical and moral dimension of Christian slavery. Rom 6:16-23 teaches five things: i. That saving grace puts us under God’s dominion. This is true freedom. ii. That righteousness is evangelical obedience to God’s commands. iii. That sanctification is the product of righteousness. iv. That sanctification leads to eternal life. v. That the eternal life of sanctification is God’s free gift. Because we are slaves to God and righteousness, we delight in doing His will (cf. Ps 119:45, 32, 133). CONCLUDING OBSERVATION AND PRACTICAL APPLICATION [54:21]. Supposing that Christian adoption and Christian slavery are opposed is a false dilemma. They are complementary. When one dismisses our slavery, one assumes that God is not our authoritative master, that God is limited in the ways He relates to us, and that the idea of Christian slavery is unpleasant (cf. Jn 14:15). 1 Pet 2:16 – This is not a contradictory statement.

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