Summary, Part 4 (final) 2. BY WISE COUNSEL FROM GODLY CHRISTIANS. Experienced Christians are guided by the word and guide with their own experiences. 3. BY CLEAR, PROVIDENTIAL DIRECTION. He guides the meek in judgment and shows them His covenant. The Christian may plan his way, but the Lord will guide his steps. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS [50:00]: 1. This command is encouraging as well as reproving. God guides those who trust Him every step of the way. We stagger when our trust sputters. 2. The prohibition does not forbid us from using our own understanding, but instead from trusting it. Christians who claim to be led by the spirit without consulting the word are often misled. The spirit is the spirit of truth. 3. Those who obey are not promised immunity from trials, but are promised Godâs safekeeping. In fact, obedience often leads to trials in this fallen world. What are you having a hard time trusting God with in your life right now, and what makes you think you can handle it better than He can?
Summary, Part 3 b. BECAUSE WE FOOLISHLY TRUST THE INCLINATIONS OF OUR HEARTS [37:13]. So often, the world tells us to trust our hearts, but where has that gotten us? Many carry deep scars heeding that advice. Trust in the Lord brings deliverance. Look back to Henryâs outline regarding this passage. c. BECAUSE WE TRUST OTHERS RATHER THAN GOD [39:29]. Christians fall into grievous error and sin trusting false teachers rather than trusting the Lord. When we follow men, we will turn away from the Lord. The Bereans didnât trust Paul until they first measured his words with the Lordâs word. 2. WHAT MAY WE EXPECT WHEN WE VIOLATE THIS PROHIBITION? [41:56] a. ALL MANNER OF TRIAL AND TROUBLE. The way of the transgressor is hard. b. THE LORDâS CURSE. It is a life of impotency and judgment. c. ETERNITY IN HELL. The path is straight and victorious for the believer, but dark and calamitous for the unbeliever. C. THE PRECIOUS PROMISE [45:35]. The one we trust is the one who makes our paths straight. Straight is translated as agreeable, pleasing, right, safe, secure, peaceful, and happy. How does He do this? 1. BY HIS SPIRIT THROUGH HIS WORD: not just His spirit. The word of God is the only way we know that the spirit is leading us.
Summary, Part 2 2. THE EXTENT OF THIS COMMAND [19:40]. a. WITH ALL YOUR HEART: with all our thinking, meditating, feeling, and reasoning. i. Trust Him implicitly. He is our first trust; it should be the default of every Christian. ii. Trust Him entirely: He has never failed us when we trusted Him. iii. Trust Him exclusively: let no other trust intrude. iv. Trust Him enduringly: always and without interruption. God does not promise to guide half-hearted trust. b. IN ALL YOUR WAYS [24:15]: in all our planning, actions, experiences, trials, triumphs, successes, failures, in small and big decisions, use of resources, preferences, influences, and circumstances. B. THE PERTINENT PROHIBITION [32:10]. Our default is to lean on our own understanding, and so this exhortation needs this negative counterpart. Where has this folly led us? Understanding is a gift from God given to us to help us understand Him. Weâre not commanded to not use understanding, but rather to not lean on our own vain understanding disconnected from God. 1. WHY IS THIS PROHIBITION GIVEN? [35:27] a. WE TEND TO BE PROUD AND REBELLIOUS. This is a native tendency. Our first parents defied God for wisdom, and what did it get them?
Summary, Part 1 Matthew Henry outlines the source text as follows: constance in duty keeps us happy (vv. 1-4), dependence on God keeps us safe (vv. 5-6), and fear of God keeps us healthful (vv. 7-8). In this message, we will focus on the second point. In those verses, we see a comprehensive command, a pertinent prohibition, and a precious promise. A. THE COMPREHENSIVE COMMAND [starting at 4:12 of the audio]. 1. THE ESSENCE OF THIS COMMAND [4:35]. It is expressed in three synonymous words. a. TRUST, which here means reliance. Its other Old Testament translations connote boldness, confidence, security, reliance, carelessness (as in âwithout a careâ), and complacency. The Christian life is essentially one of faith. Without faith, we cannot please God. b. ACKNOWLEDGE [9:20], which connotes an intimate knowledge, such as a manâs knowledge of his wife. It is not an abstract head-knowledge of God, but a spiritual, experimental knowledge of Him in all our ways. c. LEANING [12:00]. Though we are not to lean on our own understanding, we are to lean upon Him. It is also translated as ârestâ. The idea is to prop ourselves on Him to carry our weight: to trust Him and rely on Him. It is our only safe, lit passage. Our own wisdom and feelings lead us astray.
Summary, Part 4 (final) PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS [30:33]: 1. Heaven is a real place where Christ now is. It is not a figment of manâs imagination. 2. We are called to reverent worship. How we prepare ourselves for the highest dignitary should not compare to how we prepare ourselves for Godâs presence. Church shouldnât entertain men; it should entertain God. 3. The godly are comforted in their trials and afflictions. The Lord will never leave or forsake us in our troubles. 4. It emboldens Godâs servants in danger and difficulty. The Christian response to trial is far different than the worldly one. We have a God who works all to our good, but how does the unbeliever respond to his trials? 5. It urges Christians to keep their bodies free from sexual impurity. Holiness isnât just an attitude of mind, but a way of observable life. 6. It requires churches to separate from the wicked. The standard of holiness has not changed from Paulâs day. It is discouraging how many churches today seek to win the lost by adopting their attitudes. Do they not have the same Bible to which Paul contributed? 7. We are called to glory in the deity and sufficiency of Jesus Christ, the very one who is in our presence. 8. It moves us to desire to be with Christ in heaven. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Summary, Part 3 2. THAT NO TRUE CHRISTIAN SHOULD JOIN OR REMAIN IN A CHURCH FELLOWSHIP WITH A SOCIETY OF WICKED MEN [20:25]. True Christians should sever their ties with apostate churches. God does not expect an elect to suffer the darkness of an impure body, but to leave and find a pure one. 3. THAT EACH TRUE CHURCH SHOULD SEPARATE FROM THE UNGODLY AND THEIR WICKED WAYS [21:13]. It should not receive the unsaved into membership, and should discipline members who fall astray of any basic tenet of the faith. This requires vigilance, diligence, and courage, but most of all the exaltation of God and not popularity. Pastors who practice this kind of zealousness tend to never lose their church no matter how much resistance they endure, even from their own flock. Jesus did not cleanse the Temple with diplomacy, but with holy anger at what had been done to His Fatherâs house. How would Jesus respond to the typical church in America today? E. COLOSSIANS 2:9 [27:30]. This text states the complete sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Summary, Part 2 B. 1 CORINTHIANS 3:16-17 [8:21]: Christâs special presence in His church. The church house becomes holy as Godâs people gather there. We should never forget that we are on holy ground when we participate in church life. Sadly, we are more tolerant of the desecration of the church than God is. We are the temple of God, but what kind of temple are we? Are we white hot or lukewarm? C. 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19 [12:02]: the Christian as a temple. We are not His by creation, but by new creation. God cannot be glorified by a Christian who gives his body to sin. D. 2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-7:1 [14:37]. The righteous should not join in Christian fellowship with the wicked, who threaten and violate the identity of the church. They are invited to attend so that they may be convicted, saved, and then joined to the church. This principle calls our attention to three things: 1. THAT NO TRUE CHURCH SHOULD FELLOWSHIP WITH SOCIETIES OF WICKED MEN [18:01]. This includes those who deny the deity of Christ or who promote ungodly behavior such as homosexuality. Parachurch organizations are often a source of this. Congregations that donât avoid this are prone to welcoming wickedness into the fellowship and bringing judgment on their churches.
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*.] In this message, we continue from last week to examine the biblical witness to Godâs special presence: what does the Bible say about it? III. SURVEY OF THE BIBLICAL WITNESS TO GODâS SPECIAL PRESENCE. This survey is hardly exhaustive, but we will examine five key texts. A. GENESIS 28:17 [starting at 3:52 of the audio]. Godâs emphatic presence was with Jacob at Bethel, and feared Jacob. Our demeanor in Godâs house should not be flippant, carnal, or casual, but sincere and reverent. How much do we need to hear this message today! A true church is a place of Godâs special presence, and casualness thereâin dress and attitudeâ is a curse in todayâs church.
Summary, Part 4 (final) CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS [49:05]. 1. The grace of God that brings salvation brings a radical change in a personâs life. This refutes the belief that a forgiven person can go on living in wickedness. 2. Any hope of Christâs return that does not motivate a life of practical godliness is a false and deluding hope. Do we look for translation from our sins as much as we look for translation from this life? 3. Christians are not their own; they belong to the Lord. He saved us to serve Him. Salvation doesnât just deliver us from Hell, but fits us for Heaven. 4. Christ came to save sinners, sinners of every kind.
Summary, Part 3 C. THE SACRIFICIAL FOUNDATION FOR GODâS SAVING GRACE (verse 14, âwho gave Himself for usâ) [40:03]. All these blessing point to the one who gave Himself so we may give ourselves to Him. This statement entails that His sacrifice was intentional: He wasnât murdered against His will; it was special, done for a special people: the elect; and it was fruitful, producing a special effect in those people, primarily their salvation. D. THE OBSERVABLE EFFECTS OF GODâS SAVING GRACE [43:40]. Negatively: that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and to be zealous for good deeds. A fruitful Christian is one who learns to engage in good works. Positively: that He might produce purified, consecrated Christians for Himself. It is imperative for the Christian to openly own these blessings and not apologize for them. Christ died not only to make us forgiven, but to make us good.
Summary, Part 2 B. THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF GODâS SAVING GRACE (verse 12) [21:07]. It delivers us from the power of sin to the power of Godâs discipline and instruction. 1. IT TRANSFORMS A CHRISTIANâS CHARACTER AND CONDUCT [22:30]. Negatively, it transforms self-indulgence into self-denial. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness: we once suppressed the truth, rejected the faith, and indulged the flesh. It also teaches us to say no to worldly desires. The world is hostile to God; its driving principles glorify the flesh and not God. But Christians are merely in the world, not of it. Positively, it transforms Christiansâ relations to others and to God. It reorients our lives toward pleasing God. In ourselves, we turn from self-indulgence to self-control. Toward others, we conform to Godâs moral law: where we were once hateful, opportunistic, and self-interested, we turn toward fidelity and charity. Toward God, we turn from vanity toward reverence and holiness. 2. IT TRANSFORMS A CHRISTIANâS PRESENT HOPE AND FUTURE PROSPECTS [33:54]. Where we once feared Christâs return, we now look forward to it eagerly. It is now a blessed hope and a holy homecoming. This holy longing begets holy living.
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*.] It is remarkable that Godâs grace is greater than our sin. In this message, we examine the power influence and obvious effects of Godâs saving grace by way of Titus 2:11-14. A. THE GLORIOUS APPEARANCE OF GODâS SAVING GRACE (verse 11) [starting at 6:30 of the audio]. This not Godâs common grace, which He bestows upon all men, but the effectual grace of salvation, which delivers men from their sin. 1. Its glorious scope [8:11]. It reaches every race, nation, age, and both genders, thus leaving no category beyond its reach. We should regard no sinnerâs case as hopeless. 2. Its glorious display [13:00]. It delivers us from guilt and penalty, sinâs power and domination, cleanses us from moral defilement, delivers us from the enslaving power of the world and the power of the devil, liberates us from the fear of death, spiritually resurrects us, and teaches us how to conduct our lives after salvation.
Summary, Part 3 (final) 2. HIS SPIRITUALITY CALLS US TO WORSHIP HIM IN TRUTH [50:13], which is His word, especially the Gospel. The Gospel liberates us from the Levitical format given to the Jews and into the spiritual priesthood. Divine revelation, not human tradition, defines how we are to draw near to Him. CONCLUDING QUESTIONS [56:23]: 1. Does Godâs supreme spirituality enter your thoughts when you come to worship Him? 2. Do you see how irreverent is formalistic or creative worship? 3. Do you understand that worshipping God acceptably is not something peripheral to the Christian life?
Summary, Part 2 Godâs capacity to feel is unoriginated, eternal, ideal, perfect, pure, absolute, immutable. He does have emotions, but they are not to be mistaken for human emotions. His are exalted. 4. HIS DIVINE MORALITY [33:36]. Only God is morally ideal: He can never be morally improved or tarnished. He is incapable of flaw (yes, there are things God cannot do): He can never look upon evil with favor, let alone commit it. Even the heavens are not pure in His sight. He cannot be tempted by evil, nor can He tempt to evil. 5. HIS DIVINE PERSONALITY (His triunity) [38:55]. Even before the creation, God could have holy communion; He can never be lonely. Thus He didnât create us for companionship with Him. No other personality is like this. B. THE EXPERIENTIAL IMPORTANCE OF GODâS SPIRITUALITY [42:45]. In Jn 4:24, the Lord is stressing this practical principle. In the passage, He addressed the timeless religious misunderstanding that worship is prefaced by place and tradition. True worship is rooted in Godâs nature, and He seeks and requires worship in spirit and truth. What does this mean? 1. HIS SPIRITUALITY CALLS US TO WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT [48:39]: that is, with our hearts and entire souls in sincerity and not empty ritual, which God condemns.
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*.] In this message, we look at the things that uniquely true of God as a supreme Spirit [starting at 4:10 of the audio]. Though spirits have communicable traits, divine spirituality is incommunicable. God is supreme in His faculties. So we consider things that are true of His spirituality alone. A. DIVINE INCORPOREALITY [12:36]. This means immaterial: without a body. 1. HIS MAJESTIC FORM [13:05]. He is thus invisible, indivisible, impassible (without appetites), and indissoluble (permanent). 2. HIS DIVINE ANIMACY (His power) [16:00]. He is unoriginated, omnipotent, immortal, immutable, and ideal. 3. HIS DIVINE FACULTY (His supreme mind, will, and affection) [22:00]. His understanding is infinite and exalted (âMy thoughts are not your thoughtsâ); By His will, He works all things to its purpose; none of them fail, and none are changed by anyone. It is absolute: without cause or restraint. His exalted will is understood as Godâs sovereignty.
Summary, Part 4 (final) B. THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF HIS INFINITE FLAWLESSNESS [51:27]. 1. It calls us to humble and contrite submission to whatever He ordains in our lives. 2. It calls us to trust in His integrity, not to blame Him for temptation or sin, even though we cannot understand how He sovereignly controls temptation or sinners. 3. It calls us to strive to imitate his flawless character. He is not only a heavenly Father, but a model Father.
Summary, Part 3 3. MT 5:48 [39:56]. Godâs perfection is the standard of Christian obedience and behavior. Though we canât hope to satisfy it, Christ makes no sense if this is not what this means. Godâs ideality has profound implications for Christian ethics. Sinless perfection is communicable, but perfection is not. 4. JAS 1:13 [42:58]. God is inherently incapable of sin. Again, only faith in Godâs word resolves the tension of God controlling Satan without any responsibility for Satanâs actions. II. SUMMARY OF THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF GODâS IDEALITY [46:01]. A. THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF HIS INEXHAUSTIBLE SUFFICIENCY [46:45]. 1. It calls us to praise Him for making our lives complete. 2. It calls us not to second-guess Him, but rather to fear Him. 3. It calls us to give Him all the credit for all we have. 4. It calls us to trust and ask Him to supply all our material and spiritual needs. 5. It calls us to cling to Christ for all we need and beware whatever draws us away from Him.
Summary, Part 2 I. SURVEY OF THE BIBLICAL WITNESS TO GODâS IDEALITY (HIS ABSOLUTE PERFECTION) [17:31]. A. BEHOLD THE BIBLICAL WITNESS TO GODâS INEXHAUSTIBLE SUFFICIENCY. 1. PS 18:30-32 [18:11]. Because God is perfect, we can safely depend upon Him, even for our own perfection. Not sinless perfection, but evangelical obedience as completeness. From our perspective, we donât see our lives as the complete tapestry God made them to be. 2. ECC 3:14 [24:16]. All God does is ideal, since God Himself is ideal. We cannot improve His work. 3. ROM 11:35-36 [26:07]. God is in debt to no one and needs nothing from anyone. 4. EPH 1:22-23 [27:36]. God lacks nothing. 5. COL 2:8-9 [30:33]. Christ is ideal (which makes this a good passage to share with Jehovahâs Witnesses). Everything we need is found in Christ. Humanistic philosophy doesnât teach this. B. BEHOLD THE BIBLICAL WITNESS TO GODâS INFINITE FLAWLESSNESS [32:56]. 1. JOB 4:17-18, 15:1-16 [33:31]. Compared to God, even the heavens are unclean and the angels are foolish. Our own charge from this is to walk humbly. We have no right to complain to God about our misfortunes. 2. HAB 1:13 [37:31]. Why does God use the godless to chastise His people, or at all for that matter? Trust in God resolves the tension. Faith doesnât end the mystery; it only diffuses it.
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*.] INTRODUCTION [starting at 1:25 of the audio]. âExistentialâ refers to existence. Existential properties, then, refer to the general parameters of existence: completion, dependence, limitation, origin, duration, and alteration. Thus, we define Godâs existential attributes when we answer these very questions about His being. When God created the universe, He entered relations into the things He made. When we thus distinguish absolute and relative attributes, we must exercise great caution. It would be wrong to say that it is absolutely necessary for God to be omnipresent in space, or ever-present in time. In all this, we must uphold Godâs unchangeableness. He does not change. Thus, we expound Godâs existential attributes in terms of His relations to space, time, creatures, and sin. Godâs ideality is His inherent and infinite perfection. âPerfectâ means complete and flawless.
Summary, Part 3 (final) 2. CONSIDER THE DISTILLED ESSENCE OF GODâS IMMANENCE (vv. 27-28) [32:34]. Paul points out the analogy between how dependent children relate to parents and how dependent men relate to God. III. CONSIDER THE PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS OF GODâS INDEPENDENCE [34:56]. A. The general implication: men must repent (vv. 29-31). B. The specific implications: 1. To worship only God, not His creatures. 2. To humbly recognize that God doesn't need us. C. The specific implications of Godâs immanence: 1. To be grateful to God for our life and possessions. 2. To acknowledge our complete dependence on God. 3. To courageously fear God more than we fear men. In conclusion: how many are the sermons that teach that Paul blew it at Athens when he preached philosophy and not Christ crucified. Many who profess the gospel reject Godâs sovereignty.