Summary, Part 4 (final) Rom 14:19 â The Greek word for âpursueâ is sometimes translated as âpersecuteâ: to chase down with a holy vengeance. Rom 15:5-7 â This perseverance is a gift to glorify Him and His Son. 1 Cor 12:25 â If we care for one another, we will know Christian unity. 1 Thes 5:13 â A spirit of animosity will come through in the voice. What do we say and think about our brethren? Jas 5:9 â Complaining is not a spiritual gift. CONCLUDING APPLICATIONS [50:40]. 1. Let us regard our duty to serve one another self-sacrificially as a great privilege. Weâre never more like Christ when weâre serving others (cf. Eph 5:2). 2. Let us regard our duty to be kind and gracious to one another with cheerful anticipation. Happy is the Christian who is gracious to his brethren. Little things have done great things in peoplesâ lives. 3. Let us regard our duty to live in unity and at peace with one another as a great blessing. a. Mt 5:9 â we are to be the peacemakers because Christ is the ultimate peacemaker. b. It is worth the pain. Eph 4:3 â peace and unity donât maintain themselves. Rom 12:18 â be at peace with all men.
Summary, Part 3 What are some facets of Christian love? 1. BROTHERLY LOVE IS SELFLESS AND SACRIFICIAL [18:28]. Jn 15:12 â Here is our model. Think of what Christ did for unlovable people like us. 1 Jn 3:16-17 â Christian love is generous. If it doesnât have much, it still gives what it has. 1 Jn 3:15, 18; Jas 2:14, 17 â Our eternal destiny is dependent on whether or not we reach out and meet the needs of our brethren. Has God brought a needy Christian into your life? 2. BROTHERLY LOVE IS GRACIOUS AND KIND [27:24]. Rom 12:10 â Affection is the thrust of this passage. 1 Thes 2:5-8 â Paul went to that church as a loving parent. This sort of live is its own reward. Phil 2:3-8 â Again, Paul looks to Christ for the example. 3. BROTHERLY LOVE IS PEACEABLE AND UNIFYING [34:33]. It is a servant mentality, not a performance mentality. Gal 5:13-15 â Any Christian has enough self-esteem to blow a church to pieces. Rom 12:16 â This oneness of mind concerns the essentials of the Christian faith. Rom 14:13 â Churches can elevate secondary matters into primary ones and fall into legalism, which splits churches and drives Christians away.
Summary, Part 2 We can glean a few things from this passage: 1. Brotherly love is a commandment, not a suggestion. 2. More to the point: the command to love our Christian brethren is part of Godâs moral law. 3. This commandment extends to all Christians, since it extends to all men. 4. We show that we love our brethren as we obey the Ten Commandments; in other words, Godâs commandments express what brotherly love looks like in practice. 5. Love is a duty we can never fully discharge, either in this life or in the life to come. We will our love to our brethren forever. Some Christians who regard love only as an emotion â and that we cannot command our emotions â believe it wrong to command love. But that notion is wrong for three reasons: 1. Love is far more than a warm emotion. It is a dispensation to do what is right and good to other people. 2. It is right for God to command us to also have proper feelings toward them. 3. Not a few professing Christians appear to want to have the right to just spontaneously love others out of the goodness of their own hearts without needing to be prompted by God. This is the folly of following our hearts.
Summary, Part 1 We continue in III. WHAT MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITIES DO CHRISTIANS SHARE AS BRETHREN? with C. THE VARIOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF OUR MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITIES: OUR DUTY TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER IS EXPRESSED IN THE MANY âONE ANOTHERâ EXHORTATIONS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT [starting at 1:09 of the audio]. As impossible as it is for us to love God fully in this life, it seems easier than loving our brethren. This is why love is a crucial grace. There is nothing unlovable about God, but a lot that is unlovable about us. Despite that, we are growing less like our old selves and more like our Lord. Love is a grace that leaves us better than it finds us. Why should we love our Christian brethren? Because we are commanded to love our enemies and all men. If so, then we are certainly commanded to love our brethren. [9:17] Rom 13:8-10 â Love does no wrong; it does what is right.
Summary, Part 3 (final) Verse 4 shows the selfless nature of love. Verse 5 shows its lack of bias, opportunism, and vindictiveness. Verse 6 shows that love sympathizes with goodness. Verse 7 shows that love is long-suffering, hopeful, and enduring. A Christian is inwardly calm and outwardly gracious when mistreated. Verse 8 shows that love is eternal. Christian brotherly love should grow (2 Thes 1:3). Do you wish to grow in your love for the other members of your church? 1 Pet 4:8 [49:05] â Observe first Peterâs assumptions: he first assumes that Christians love one another. In fact, he assumes that certain fervency characterizes their brotherly love. Second, observe Peterâs exhortation: it is based upon his presumption that fervent brotherly love is evident among his readers. Third, Peter teaches that fervent Christian love deals graciously with the sins of the brethren.
Summary, Part 2 1. THE PERFECT MODEL FOR CHRISTIAN BROTHERLY LOVE [17:09]. This is Jesus. Jn 13:34 â What is new of this commandment is the model of this love; it is not new to the Scriptures. Jn 15:13 â Surely we understand little of Christâs love if we fail to understand what that love cost him (1 Jn 3:16). The rest of the verse reads, âand we ought to lay down our lives for the brethrenâ. Love for the brethren will always cost us something. John teaches that love begets love, and sacrificial love is fragrant in the nostrils of God (Eph 5:2). 2. 1 CORINTHIANS 13: LOVEâS VARIOUS QUALITIES [28:40]. It is observable (1 Thes 3:12). In 1 Cor 13:1, Paul describes the uselessness of a vain and loveless display of spiritual gifts, of tongues in particular. In verse 2, he regards a person who possesses the gifts of exalted prophetic knowledge and mountain-moving faith without love as being nothing. Verse 3 shows how utterly unprofitable any kind of self-sacrificial philanthropy is if it is not motivated by love.
Summary, Part 1 We continue the study of Christiansâ mutual responsibilities as brethren with B. THEY ARE EPITOMIZED IN LOVE [starting at 3:23 of the audio]. Right at the outset, we observe the duty of family love. As members of a family, we infer a sense of duty to family members. The earthly family is a helpful symbol for a Christian family, except that our identity is not physical but spiritual, and not temporal but eternal. Failure to recognize and to live out the practical implications of our essential identity as members of one another only weakens the church. The grace that should characterize a local church is its mutual brotherly love. First of all, we prove we are Christians by your love for one another (all other Christian graces are just practical expressions of love). Love for our Christian brethren proves that we possess saving faith (1 Pet 1:22). If we believe in Christ, we should love others who also believe upon Him (1 Jn 3:23). Love for our Christian brethren proves that we have been born of God and that we know and love God (1 Jn 5:1, 4:7). Godâs love for us puts us under a sacred obligation to love those whom He lovesâour Christian brethren (1 Jn 4:11).
Summary, Part 2 (final) B. It will be a matter of joy to the redeemed [20:42]. As the Hebrews sang praises to God after the overthrow of the Egyptian army (Ex 14:30-15:1), so will we sing praises to God at the casting down of the lost (Rev 15:3, Ps 91:7-8). C. Why the redeemed will rejoice at the condemnation of the wicked [26:53]. It is not because they love to see human pain. God has no pleasure even in the pain of a worm, and so it is with the redeemed. It is not because they will to see the destruction of their enemies. This is vengeance, an un-Christian feeling. Rather, they will rejoice because they will have no mind but Godâs, one that loves righteousness as He does (Ps 11:7). III. APPLICATIONS FOR THE LOST [30:42]. Learn how little comfort you will have in hell. Not only will God and Christ have no pity (Pr 1:26), but your redeemed loved ones will have no pity. If you have godly parents, or have sat under a godly ministry, consider that they will give the word that you should be condemned. Consider what precious time you have in this time of grace and hear the pleas of the redeemed. Because in your hour, God will no longer call upon you to repent and they will let go your hand.
Summary, Part 1 [A message preached by Robert Murray MâCheyne on December 11, 1842]. I. REV 19:3: âAND A SECOND TIME THEY SAID, "HALLELUJAH! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER." A. Who are the persons who sing this remarkable song? [starting at 4:36 of the audio] They are the saved, from all peoples and all times. B. What is the matter of this song? [6:40] âHallelujahâ is a praise of God in both joy and admiration. C. What is the occasion of this song of the redeemed? [8:03] The destruction of Babylon and the Antichrist. Yet the world mourned the destruction of Babylon. II. ON THE ETERNAL TORMENT OF THE WICKED [11:20]. A. It will be a matter of no grief to the redeemed. Though we dread the fate of the lost on earth, we will not in heaven. We will even watch our loved ones condemned at judgment and not shed a tear (cf. Lk 13:28, 16:22; Is 66:24; Rev 14:10, Ps 16:11). Our Rev 21:4 promise that there will be no more sorrow or tears includes in being in the sight of the lost as they are cast into hell.
Summary, Part 2 (final) Texts on the sanctity of the church: 1 Cor 12:12-27 â Each part of the church body makes up a whole body. 1 Thes 5:12-15 â The importance of peace and encouragement within the church. Heb 3:12-13 â The church being on watch against the creeping in of sin. Heb 10:24-25 â The importance of fellowship. Texts on mutual submission of the brethren: Eph 5:21 â Christ is the head of the body and we must be in subjection to each other in fear. Heb 13:17 â We must submit to our leaders. 1 Pet 5:5 â Humility is a blessed grace. Submission is essential to church unity and sanctification. 3. OUR SHARED AFFECTION [43:16]. Even troubled families can thrive if they love one another. The church at Thessalonica was such a family (1 Thes 4:9, 3:12). 2 Thes 1:3 â Paulâs prayer for greater love for one another was answered. Their love wasnât just warm affection, but an active love of works (1 Thes 1:3). 4. A SHARED DESTINY [50:54]. Heb 10:25 â As Christâs return draws near, it must encourage us to encourage each other (Heb 3:13). What are you willing to do to spend more time with the brethren, to encourage them in the day of Christâs return?
Summary, Part 1 We continue our examination of the term âbrethrenâ at III. WHAT MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITIES DO CHRISTIANS SHARE AS BRETHREN? [starting at 3:21 of the audio]. A. THEY FLOW OUT OF OUR SPECIAL PRIVILEGES [4:31]. Privileges entail responsibilities. 1. OUR SHARED FAMILY LIKENESS [5:55]. We are our brothersâ keepers, and that impacts our church life. We should strive to protect family oneness or unity. 1 Cor 12:25 â We are members of one body, of one another. This means that we must be honest and truthful with one another (Eph 4:25). We are to honor His name and commands and we are not to worship other gods. We follow God as we follow others who follow God (cf. Titus 2:3-8). When a church ceases to see itself as a family, it dies. Sardis was functioning, but it was a dead church (Rev 3:1-6). 2. OUR SHARED FATHERLY DISCIPLINE [20:36]. âDiscipleâ and âdisciplineâ are cognates. Most biblical discipline is formative rather than corrective. A disciple is a learner. When he strays, he is chastened. Texts on formative discipline: Mt 28:18-21 â The disciplesâ teaching would form the local churches. 2 Tim 4:1-2 â Charge to pastors on teaching. Heb 3:13 â Charge to the congregants on teaching one another. Titus 2:7 - Charge to the elderly to be examples to the young.
Summary, Part 2 (final) Phil 1:7 â Paul was alone, but he wasnât lonely. It is true spiritually as well as physically that there is strength in numbers. âBrethrenâ also connotes responsibility â we are indeed our brothersâ keepers. Organizationally, we are part of the church. We are members of one another. Church is expressive and organizational, and our union is a foretaste of heaven. II. WHAT SPECIAL PRIVILEGES ARE SHARED BY CHRISTIAN BRETHREN? [37:36]. A. FAMILY LIKENESS. Christians bear a similar spiritual image as families bear similar physical images. We have an active role in this. Heb 2:11 â Christ is not ashamed of us despite our fallenness. He is proud to call us His brethren. B. FATHERLY DISCIPLINE [45:45]. Godâs chastening is good when we learn and receive it. Heb 12:6-11 â Godâs discipline proves that He has received us into His family. C. MUTUAL AFFECTION [48:56]. Love is the capstone signature of the Christian life. Even sinners love those who love them. But love is proactive: we must not wait for love to give it (1 Jn 3:14, 1 Cor 13:1-4, 1 Pet 1:22). D. A GLORIOUS DESTINY [52:40]. 1 Thes 4:13, 2 Thes 2:1 â Christâs return will be a dramatic event that will herald the dawn of eternal glory. We will be gathered with our brethren unto Him on that day.
Summary, Part 1 The word âbrethrenâ is found almost a thousand times in the New Testament, and it always indicates believers of both genders. I. WHAT PRECIOUS TRUTHS ARE PRESUMED BY THE TITLE âBRETHRENâ? [starting at 3:03 of the audio]. A. THAT CHRISTIANS ARE MEMBERS OF GODâS FAMILY. 1. BECAUSE THEY ARE BORN OF GOD [5:00]. Jn 1:12-13 â No matter our backgrounds, we are spiritual siblings because we had a spiritual rebirth given by the same Father. 2. BECAUSE THEY ARE ADOPTED BY GOD [6:57]. We werenât just born again, but were gathered together. Rom 8:15 â We were saved and gathered under the Father and we all have distinctive family traits, which are known as the graces of the Spirit. Again, our backgrounds do not obscure them. B. THAT CHRISTIANS ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS WORLD [11:42]. This is self-evident: we cannot be brethren to no one. A Christian is never alone from the Spirit even though he can be alone if heâs in a family of non-Christians. Mk 10:29-30 â The lone Christian in the family testifies to his spiritual family when he fellowships with them. Communion is common union, sharing in the precious things of God. Rev 1:9 â Johnâs tribulation is in Christ and we all share it together.
Summary, Part 4 (final) OBJECTION 3 [40:12]: âUNCONDITIONAL ELECTION NECESSARILY LEADS TO LOOSE LIVING.â If the key to salvation is being chosen, then how we live doesnât 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]: âBELIEF IN UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION KILLS EVANGELISTIC ZEAL.â 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 â The apostlesâ witness was fueled by Godâs 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.
Summary, Part 3 OBJECTION 2 [27:47]: âUNCONDITIONAL ELECTION FAILS TO SEE THAT GODâS CHOICE IS ACCORDING TO FORESEEN FAITH OR GOOD WORKS.â This is another way to argue for manâs free will, which doesnât exist, and presumes that God looks for inherent goodness in the sinner, which also doesnât exist. That something good is the sinnerâs 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. Godâs 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 manâs merit.
Summary, Part 2 OBJECTION 1 [9:46]: âUNCONDITIONAL ELECTION IS UNFAIR BECAUSE IT MAKES GOD A RESPECTER OF PERSONS.â The general misunderstanding of âforeknowledgeâ is that God sees who will come to faith and then chooses them. But this is a misunderstanding of manâs 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 âfairness doctrineâ, but it is support for verse 10, which distinguishes the saved and the damned. Acts 10:34 â Peter had made the wrong distinction. Cornelius wasnât 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.
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 acknowledgeâwe who profess to believe that the Lord is the one who makes men to differâthat 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)?
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 Israelâs being and blessing are due to Godâs 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 â 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 â 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 Godâs election. To saints: a. Godâs election displays His eternal love in Christ for unworthy sinners like you. b. Godâs election reveals His reason for sending Jesus to die for your sins. c. Godâs election guarantees a present protection and a glorious inheritance for all whom He has chosen.
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. Godâs 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 â 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 â 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].
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 manâs 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.