Summary, Part 3 (final) 3. BY SANCTIFICATION [37:54]. Regeneration is the seed of sanctification: where we grow and conform to the image of Christ. Those who God adopts as His children grow to bear more of Christâs likeness (Rom 8:29). Rom 8:14 â our adoption frees us from the limitations of fallen Adam into the eternity of the sinless Christ. And like a good Father, God delivers affectionate chastening when we misbehave (cf. Heb 12:5-7). So let us not dismiss these chastenings, and let us not faint under them. 4. IN GLORIFICATION [48:10]. Rom 8:23 â our yearning for the end of our sanctification. Heb 2:10 â even Christ was perfected by suffering in order to perfect our salvation, of which He is the author. From these passages, we learn that God gives us the Savior for our sanctification and glory, that we long for the coming resurrection, that this cost our Savior His life, and that glorification is the goal of our adoption.
Summary, Part 2 C. CHRISTIANS, UNLIKE ALL OTHER MEN, ARE GODâS CHILDREN BY ADOPTION [19:26]. God has only one spiritual family: a peculiar people. In the Bible, âadoptionâ means the placing of a son, as into a particular family (see the London Baptist Confession, Chapter 12, âAdoptionâ). How does God adopt His children? 1. BY PREDESTINATION [23:12]. Eph 1:4-6 â what a statement about us despite our later rebellion and disobedience (cf. 2:1-3). 2 Tim 1:9, Rom 9:11-16 â our being Christians was entirely Godâs choice, not ours. From these passages we can deduce that our election was Godâs choice in eternity past, that we were not chosen by anything inherent in us by anything that differed in us from the unelect, that election is in Christ, and that it glorifies Godâs grace. 2. BY FAITH THROUGH REGENERATION [30:35]. It is not just a transfer from one family to another, but a spiritual change in the adopted. This is why Christian adoption is the beginning of a new life (cf. Jn 1:12-13). Together with the new birth discussed in Jn 3, we learn that God is the author of our new life and that He is the giver of our faith in Christ (cf. Phil 1:29, Eph 2:8, Gal 3:26). Rom 8:16 â the Spirit bears witness in us that we are children of God (cf. Gal 4:6).
Summary, Part 1 Not so much today, but children were often given names that told something about them. When God Himself names (or renames) someone, it is very telling indeed, not just about that person, but about God Himself. I. IN WHAT WAYS ARE CHRISTIANS THE CHILDREN OF GOD? [starting at 7:34 of the audio]. A. CHRISTIANS, LIKE ALL MEN, ARE GODâS CHILDREN BY CREATION (cf. 17:28). Luke traces Christ all the way back to Adam. A child bears the image of his parents, and through that he bears the image of his heavenly Father. Gen 1:26 â man is the crown of Godâs creation. Not even the angels bear Godâs image. Adam and Eve abandoned their first estate for the lie of deification. Fortunately, the fall did not change their status as Godâs children. We were warped, but not destroyed. Only in Christians is Godâs image being restored because we are new creations in Christ: the second Adam. B. CHRISTIANS, LIKE ALL MEN, ARE GODâS CHILDREN BY PROVISION [14:27]. Ps 145:9, Lk 6:35 â God is good and merciful to all, even evil, ungrateful men. He never leaves Himself without witness. But sin hardens us and ingratitude depraves us. Rom 1:19-21 â there is no such thing as a true atheist.
Summary, Part 4 (final) d. LET US GRACIOUSLY RECEIVE GODâS COMFORT FROM THE MEANS HE HAS APPOINTED [51:13]. i. From our pastors through their ministry of the word. It is awful to hear Godâs word and do little more with it than to sit through it and practically forget it afterward. We are not alone: God is with us (Ps 23:4) and so are the brethren (Rom 1:12, Pr 27:17, Ecc 4:12, 3 Jn 4). ii. Through our fellowship with Godâs people, especially on the Lordâs Day. Heb 10:22-25 â the Lordâs day is a means of grace for Christians to comfort one another. God did not intend for us to go to heaven as scattered individuals, but as a flock under a comforting shepherd.
Summary, Part 3 iii. Let us regard ourselves as stewards of those comforts so that we may later minister them to others. Like Ebenezers, we should remember our comforting experiences to remind ourselves and other Christians that Godâs comfort is available and effectual. b. BEWARE OF MISAPPLYING GODâS COMFORTS [36:57]. God doesnât comfort those who are comfortable in their sins. We must be cautioned about using comfort as a means of enabling. Ps 28:13 â we need to be honest in the face of sin, and we must encourage repentance (see Is 40:1-2). c. LET US SEEK TO GIVE COMFORT APPROPRIATE TO THE NEED OF EACH SITUATION [42:00]. Rom 12:15 â join one in his joy or grief, even if you are not of the same mood. Job 2:11-13 â Jobâs friends were most comforting in silent commiseration. Note where their speculations had gotten them by verses 13:4 and 16:2. Truth heals, but only when properly applied. Weâre channels of Godâs comfort; God is the one sending it.
Summary, Part 2 c. GOD INTENDS THE CHRISTIAN LIFE TO GOD-CENTERED AND OTHERS-SERVING RATHER THAN MAN-CENTERED AND SELF-SERVING [26:02]. As members of one body, Christians are members of one another. Job 30:28 â Job was alone in his suffering. We may seek comfort, but we must be givers of comfort even more. To only seek comfort is actually parasitic. Ps 69:20 â Davidâs experience pictured Jesusâ experience on the cross. In our own day and place, we feel this sense of abandonment more and more, and it is even creeping into the church. 2. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR THE GIVING AND RECEIVING OF COMFORT [32:11]. a. LET US LEARN TO STORE UP GODâS COMFORTS SO THAT WE MAY BE READY TO MINISTER COMFORT WHEN AND WHERE THEY ARE NEEDED. i. If we would store up comforts, we first learn to bless God amidst our afflictions. Knowing that God afflicts us to among other reasons comfort us restores our hope. ii. Let us meditate upon those comforts amidst our afflictions. His comforts should be something for which our souls yearn. Ps 27:13-14 â David exhorted himself to wait upon Godâs comforts.
Summary, Part 1 Returning to 2 Cor 1:1-11, we conclude this series. 1. GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ABOUT AFFLICTIONS IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE [starting at 6:49 of the audio]. a. AFFLICTION IS PART OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. Our path to heaven is laden with trials and sufferings. The Word of Faith movement is wrong about Christians being spared these trials: as Jesus learned obedience in His sufferings, we must do the same if we are to bear His image. 1 Thes 3:3 â our sufferings are our God-given destiny. Heb 12:6 â God singles us out for His discipline. Right after Paul survived a stoning, he preached that âthrough many tribulations we enter the Kingdom of Godâ (Acts 14:22). 2 Tim 3:12 â persecution attends our faith. God sends us afflictions to enrich our lives. A life of ease is usually a life of spiritual stagnancy. b. ONLY CHRISTIANS ARE PROMISED GODâS COMFORT IN THEIR AFFLICTIONS [14:47]. God extends common grace even to those who hate Him, but he only comforts those who know Him as their comforter (cf. Rom 3:16-17). 2 Cor 12:1-10 â spiritually, weakness is strength. When we disinvest ourselves of the worldâs affections, we find Godâs grace. Affliction simplifies things and gets us back to the basics. Whatever afflicts us now, God ordained it as a means for His comfort for us.
Summary, Part 3 (final) PRINCIPLED APPLICATIONS [37:27]: 1. Parents, be reminded of your duties to your children. 2. Non-parents, aid parents in this enterprise. 3. Israelâs rejection and rebellion were too similar to ours to escape notice (Rom 1:16-32). 4. There is hope of repentance and restoration. Ps 78:32-35 â chastisement can bring us remembrance of Godâs word; vv. 67-72 â a greater-than-David has already come. 5. There is a remnant whose duty it is to rest in the justice and righteousness of the King. God will avenge His institutions, glory, and name. 6. We are to be the church militant on the earth. It can become very costly, but we are to stand steadfast. 7. There is a stern and fearful warning to the children of godly parents (vv. 34-39): Godâs graciousness is why we âcoast alongâ, not necessarily because everything is fine. Each of us comes to the cross alone and often. 8. Do we have the courage of our convictions? Do we apply our biblical teachings? Do we sacrifice our worldly blessings for our faith?
Summary, Part 2 II. THE PROMISE OF THIS INSTRUCTION (vv. 5-8) [28:16]. If weâre all fallen, what can we hope? God is not just one of grace but one of means; He brings about His will by what is here on earth. We hope for five things: 1. That His word will breed teachers. 2. That the children will set their hope in God. 3. That it will lead them to not forget His works. 4. That they would keep His commandments (cf. Ecc 12:13). 5. That they may escape the pattern of their fallen fathers. (their rebellious ancestors, vv. 9-11). The Ephraimites turned away from trials, even though they were well-equipped. A helpful example: where did King Josiah come from? His mother was named (2 Kgs 22:1). Timothyâs mother and grandmother were tremendous influences on his later faith (2 Timothy 1:5).
Summary, Part 1 The emphasis of Ps 7:8-11 is the importance of each generation teaching the next about Godâs word. What happened to them, and whatâs happening to us? I. THE PARENTAL DUTY OF PERPETUAL INSTRUCTION [starting at 12:11 of the audio]. We all have an interest in passing on biblical principles to the next generation, whether or not weâre parents. A. ITS CONTEXT (vv. 1-3) (13:27). Asaph himself is the pattern, and acts as a father to those whom he is writing. He commands their attention. We see this again and again in the Proverbs (Pr 4:10-13, 20-27, cf. Deut 6:4-9). B. ITS CONTENT [20:53]. Note three things: 1. The praises of the Lord. 2. Instruct the children in His strength. They must be convinced of Godâs trustworthiness and power. 3. Instruct the children in His wonderful works that He has done. This is especially effective with children. If we donât teach this, we erase Him from history. C. ITS CULTIVATION (vv. 5-6) [24:36]. Our instruction should leave a pattern and example of the aid of future instructors because we want to be a generation that sets a hope in God in the next one.
Summary, Part 3 (final) VI. ABIDING SIN DISTRESSING THE SAINTS UNTIL THEIR RECONSTITUTION (Rom 7:13-16) [51:13]. We have a tendency to violate Godâs law, even when we donât want to. Only glorification will free us from this. The law is good, but it doesnât save us: it reminds us of our fallen state. CLOSING PASSAGES [54:55]: 1. Heb 12-22-23 â the saints who have gone before us have spirits made perfect before the throne of God. They are no long distressed by sin, and they wonât be when their glorified bodies are joined to them. 2. Phil 3:20-21 â it is easier for the Lord to transform our bodies than our natures, but that He will do the former means that He will do the latter.
Summary, Part 2 A. HOW IS THIS DONE [29:23]? 1. BY A GLORIOUS CONTRASTING MANIFESTATION OF HIS OWN GLORY (Is 6:1-5, Lk 5:3-8, Job 42:1-6). When Godâs holiness is plain to us, it becomes plain that we can never compare to it. His awesomeness can only put us on our knees. 2. BY THE SPIRIT-QUICKED APPLICATION OF HIS WORD (Acts 2, 1 Cor 2:9-12) [35:05]. The believers repented in the face of the power of the Pentecost. Their response to this was cutting conviction. The Holy Spiritâs workings show us our true selves. V. DEPRAVITY PARDONED AND MORTIFIED IN THE REGENERATE [40:30]. How does a child of wrath become an object of Godâs love? He quickens our spirits by His sovereign grace and grants us pardon; He will not condemn us (Eph 2:1; Titus 3:3-7; Rom 4:7, 8:1). Rom 6:5-7, 11-14 â the first stop in mortification is to realize that God has cleansed us; we are no longer slaves to sin. Remember who you are in Christ. Rom 8:12-13 â if we donât put sin to death, sin will put us to death. The strength to put sin to death is by the Spirit, not by our own strength. The way of the flesh is the way of death. Mortification is the way of life for the Christian. The sons of God are led by the Spirit of God.
Summary, Part 1 In 1 Cor 2:4-10, Paul explained to the Corinthian church that his message was supported more by the gospelâs power than by intellectually stimulating arguments. Conveying the deep things of God requires this. As fallen beings, though weâre quick to embrace Godâs good promises, we reject the truth of our spiritual state without understanding its foundational essence in the gospel. Good news implies bad news. Yet so deep is our depravity that we deny that there even was a flood. Continuing from last week, we move on to IV. DEPRAVITY SEARCHED OUT AND DISCOVERED BY THE SPIRIT [starting at 14:30 of the audio]. In Jer 10:23, the prophet tells speaks of our spiritual state. Though we can direct our physical steps, we are blind to our fallen spirits walking us away from God. Weâre conscious, but our consciousness is incomplete (1 Cor 2:14; 2 Kgs 8:7-13; Mal 2:13-14, 3:8; Jn 9:39). We should always be wary of talking about âwhat we would never doâ. And we should be wary of religiosity, which only dresses our depravity in transparent trappings. He with light who still lives in darkness is especially condemned. Jer 17:9 â we donât understand the capacities of our own hearts, yet God searches them and shows us what they contain. Job 40:6-14 â the Lord alone has the power to humble us.
Summary, Part 4 (final) APPLICATIONS [39:34]: 1. The Flood underscores that man left to himself will corrupt his ways more and more. Right after the Ark found dry ground, God instituted capital punishment. Noahâs rescue was not perfect sanctification. 2. Environment is not the breeding ground of sin. It can aid and abet it but not author it. 3. Our fallen nature is undeniable. Gal 3:22 â the Scripture has fenced us into acknowledging our condition. But mercifully, it also supplies the good news: that God offers mercy and pardon upon our repentance. 4. All of us were born under the condemnation of Scripture, with no means of rescuing ourselves. Let us remember that it was Godâs grace that saved us, and let the unsaved know that His grace is available to them. Let the darkness of our condition be the background of the light of the gospel.
Summary, Part 3 OBJECTIONS [33:55]: Donât we find people in our midst to be generally civil? Yes, but mercifully, they (and we) are restrained from living out our inclinations to the full. We fear the consequences of loss, shame, a lesser position, etc. Rom 2:14-15 â the Bible points out that even those without revelatory light bear evidence of Godâs image and His law on their hearts, and even those with that light bear evidence of total depravity. What about infants? Arenât they innocent? And doesnât that show that they didnât inherit sin from their parents? Even nature shows that the gentle baby will grow into a savage state without any prompting. It is the outworking of his nature (cf. Ps 51:5).
Summary, Part 2 1 Cor 15:22 â though we are all fallen in one man, we can be born again in another. We arenât sinners because we sin; we sin because weâre sinners. Any random look at the world proves this. II. SIN PROPAGATED BY ORDINARY GENERATION [19:44]. Gen 5:3 â the first birth of a human being in the image of man, which is a fallen state. Our depraved nature is universal. Note how mankind was worth destruction just a single chapter later. III. SIN MANIFESTED BY ITS DEEDS [21:50]. Again, a random look at the world is proof of this. Sin flows readily, with only the restraints of society to keep it from its full expression. Even when restrained, our sinful natures still burn in our hearts. Gen 6:11-12 â just one of many biblical proofs of the universal nature of sin (cf. Rom 3:9-18, 1 Jn 1:8-10). Gen 6:5 â the source of sin within us is our own hearts. What we conceive there is impure and evil. Notice the universal terms that the verse uses to describe it (every, only, continually), and they are not limited to the antediluvians (Jer 17:9, Mk 7:14-22).
Summary, Part 1 In Gen 6:5-13, we learn of Godâs destruction of the world by flood due to the depravity of men. But God spared Noah and his family. Historically, it has been quite rare for the church to emphasize manâs total depravity. Despite Calvinismâs flickers of light from time to time, humanism soon followed and put it out. But by Godâs grace, the embers remain lit. For our present purpose, Calvinism is the set of biblical doctrines affirming Godâs sovereignty and His administration of grace. Its signature is the fivefold doctrine known as TULIP, and today we will examine the T: total depravity. I. TOTAL DEPRAVITY INTRODUCED BY THE FALL [starting at 14:57 of the audio]. Depravity is the moral corruption of our person that constitutes us as sinners. This was not our created condition. Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, where all their needs were in abundant supply. They were given one commandment: to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Through Satanâs manipulation, they fell and were driven away into a cursed world, with death appointed to their future. Rom 5:12 â Adam was the federal head of mankind, and all mankind inherited his fallen nature.
Summary, Part 3 (final) b. AS GODâS GOOD PLAN TO MAKE US COMFORTERS [47:53]. This is only learned in the school of suffering. God does not comfort the comfortable, and the bitter cannot be comforters: they can only share complaints, which are infectious. It is a sin against God to hoard our blessings. 2. LET US LEARN FROM OUR AFFLICTIONS TO EMPATHIZE WITH THE AFFLICTIONS OF OTHERS [52:39]. We can seek out those who suffer pains weâve suffered, but at the risk of neglecting others in pain. 3. BE QUICK TO TAKE NOTICE OF THE GRIEFS AND AFFLICTIONS OF OTHERS [54:16]. If we donât, then we offer awkwardness instead of comfort. Even silent commiseration can be comforting (it was the best thing Jobâs friends did for him). We must let them know that their struggle will become a matter of urgent prayer for us. 4. YOUR MINISTRY OF COMFORT TO AFFLICTED BRETHREN MINSTERS FRESH COMFORT TO YOUR OWN SOULS [57:46]. How do we talk of Godâs goodness without taking joy in it? IN CONCLUSION, our only credential to be Godâs comforters is to have received His comfort.
Summary, Part 2 LESSON: Your suffering and your comfort from God as you look to Christ is not all about you. This means a few things practically. First, it helps us to see that our afflictions are purposeful. They have a good end. Second, it helps us to see that our comforts are also purposeful. They too have a good end. They donât stop with us. Third, it helps us to see the great privilege and honor God bestows upon His comforters. Our suffering and comfort trains us to become ready comforters. 3. IF WE ARE TO COMFORT OTHER CHRISTIANS IN THEIR AFFLICTIONS, LET US IMITATE EXAMPLES WE FIND IN THE BIBLE [29:41]. a. With Godâs sure promises. 1) Mosesâ encouragement of Israel (Deut 3:22-23, 28). 2) Jonathanâs comfort of David (1 Sam 23:14-18). 3) Paulâs comfort of his shipmates (Acts 27:33-36). b. Christians comfort each other with clear instructions from the Scriptures (Acts 15:30-33). c. Christians comfort each other with the sober truth that afflictions are a necessary part of the Christian life (Acts 14:19-23). APPLICATIONS [45:46]. 1. LET US LEARN TO PROPERLY VIEW OUR AFFLICTIONS. a. AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE GODâS COMFORT. The happiest and most prosperous Christians are not free from trials. They are held up by God as much as every other Christian.
Summary, Part 1 Still considering III. THE GRACIOUS DESIGN FOR OUR COMFORTS, we continue with B. GOD COMFORTS US SO THAT WE MAY COMFORT OTHERS [starting at 8:26 of the audio]. God has called us to be comforting channels to our suffering brethren. This means at least three things: 1. WE MUST HAVE FIRST EXPERIENCED GODâS COMFORT BEFORE WE CAN MINISTER HIS COMFORT TO OTHERS. 2 Cor 2:5-11 â The church was to comfort and forgive a repentant sinner. God also comforted the repentant church (2 Cor 7:6-7, 13). QUESTION: Since God calls His people to be comforters, what comfort from the Lord might you be keeping to yourself that you need to share with others? We are not to hoard our blessings. When we are saved, we become part of a body. 2. IF WE ARE TO COMFORT OTHERS, WE MUST LOOK BEYOND OUR AFFLICTIONS TO THE GRACIOUS PURPOSE GOD HAS IN OUR AFFLICTIONS [18:09]. We cannot see the God beyond our afflictions if we wallow in those afflictions. The school of Christ is a school of suffering; we must keep Godâs greater purpose in mind. Christ is our great model. Heb 4:15-16 â Do we bring our afflictions to our great High Priest? Heb 2:18 â Christ lived a life of suffering and never sinned.