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October 21, 2018 1:00 am
Read your Bibles and go to Luke chapter 14 would you do that Luke chapter 14 where in a series entitled the unbreakable eight strand table of sovereign grace.
There are eight grand strands that are woven together and they dovetail together. You really can't separate them and that's why I'm really not real fond of series of messages like I'm doing today. Fuhrer, a visitor here today. This is unusual rock for most of the time. Verse by verse chapter by chapter. Expositional preaching two books of the Bible, but just for this topic. I want to bear in on the topic of sovereign grace. But be careful that you take each session and think it stands alone. They just can't in the Scriptures, they intermingle and overlap in dovetail and lock together. And that's why think that cable illustrated so vividly by the first strand that we talked about was the all-encompassing purpose of God to manifest his own glory. That's the citrus. That's what everything else is built upon it, God is an all encompassing passion to manifest his own glory to show forth his wisdom, his power and his beauty to all the universe. Thank God he's got that passion because that's how we get in on being converted, then the second strand was God's invincible love for his children, but in the heart of God. There is a love that is radically in contrast to any love you and I can comprehend or experience down here it's God love it so unique that the New Testament writers invented a word agape for this kind of love because it's not like any love man knows in the heart of God. There's this capacity to love that we're just learning and experiencing as his children will continue to learn and experience the dynamics of the depths of it for all eternity. The third strand was the irreparable fallen condition of man since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden man is in a fallen, corrupted position or standing before God. Every part of man's being is irreparably corrupted. He cannot fix repair restore turnover new leaf. There's nothing he can do to fix himself.
Strand number four God's bold choice to grant favor toward men.
Here God is in infinite holiness, perfect righteousness working on this fully and totally corrupted fallen human race and yet in that position, God makes a bold choice. The cast divine favor toward men and he's casted favor toward all mankind.
We studied in the Scriptures how he's cast unique and special particular favor for his children, called the elect last time we looked at the field strand. A perfect redemption. There had to be a price paid or had to be a ransom if you will pay to purchase us from the household of Satan and the corruption and condemnation of sin.
We couldn't pay it. It was a debt we could not pay but Jesus went to the cross and wrought out for his children, not just a good, certainly not just a potential but a perfect redemption for us, the price has been paid.
Now we come to the sixth strand. That's today's message and I've entitled it the unfailing call to faith the unfailing call to faith in our forefathers called it irresistible grace. God did all this work, but there's a time when it has to be applied to individuals and that's when God, the initiator calls us to faith in Jesus Christ was look at that today I'll be honest I have no idea whether this is will take one session or two years ago I knew how to write sermons and how long they were.
I don't know that anymore. I've lost the capacity to know how long. Sometimes you listen faster and that helps us Luke chapter 14, Jesus is giving a parable beginning in verse 16 and here's what he says is he's illustrating two different groups of people and their relation to being invited to this big dinner. Verse 16 Luke 14 but he said to him, a man was giving a big dinner and he invited many and at the dinner hour he sent his slate to say to those who had been invited, for everything is ready to pause out there for a moment two times he uses the word and by this men great get a great big dinner.
It's a great formal dinner, I mean you have to be prepared for dinner like this, especially in the ancient world. You had to come dressed in the right clothing.
You didn't just come to dinner and get prepared to become you to present yourself appropriately exist twice here in by a great many people invited a great many people invited our peers what happened.
Verse 17 are verse 18 but they all alike. How many they all alike begin to make excuses. The first one said to him about a piece of land and need to go and go out and look at it in an please consider me excused. Verse 19. Another one said what I bought five yoke of oxen. I'm going to try them out. Please consider me. Excuse another one. That said, I married a wife and for that reason, I cannot call verse 21. The slave came back and reported this to his master been the head of the household became angry and said to his slave go out at once to the streets and the lanes of the city and bring in here the poor. The cripple the blind and the lamest out there for just a moment. These are the poor, the cripple the blind and the lame. These are people who of their own means. Could likely not get to the supper are afforded the attire to be properly presented at the supper, but he didn't say go invite them in. He says go pouring them in with the church. The first group invite invite but know this second group from every human observation would not qualify or be capable to make it to the dinner descended when you go out there and you talk to these guys playing bailment here, the word bring can actually have the idea pick up and carry verse 22 and the sleigh said master what you have commanded has been done and there's still room verse 23 and the master said to the slave will go out in the highways and loan hedges just go out everywhere now and come pay all them to come in so that my house may be field uses point I'm going to have a full room full of guest at my dinner you if you gotta carry them. Are you gotta convince them and compel them, bring them in here to the dinner so we have a very different contrast to your the first group is all generally speaking, are invited within the second group of very specific specifically and particularly calls to get there, bring them in, compel them to come versus invite them now from time immemorial. This parable has been interpreted as the Jews were the invited and they rejected it. So God turned in the Gentiles are now embodied in. I believe that's true but I believe that's not all that the parable is teaching the parable is teaching that the revelation of God primarily to Israel was there. They knew the truth. I had the Old Testament writings in the prophets in the topology of the temple and everything else that pointed to Jesus. They were invited by all of that revelation and I didn't respond but now I'm going to go out and I'm going to find people whom I will bring in to my dinner two groups. One group is invited once the text I hear none of them would come the next group would necessarily invited they were to be brought in and compelled you know why is this great man was not going to have a dinner without the appropriate number of guests present. That's a picture of salvation that God has determined he's going to have his children at his supper. Now there's one imperative condition that practically all of Christendom would agree is essential for salvation, and of course that is faith. Faith.
The Bible says if you go to come to God you come by faith. The Bible says if you go to please God you please God by faith. The Bible says if you go to receive blessings from God universe receive those blessings in faith when God called Abram from the Chaldees to start his nation Israel.
He told Abraham he had to believe he required faith.
The last call we see in the book of Revelation is a call to faith the judges of the Old Testament work wonders through faith the apostles as recorded in the New Testament, marched onward against fierce persecution in faith all the promises of God are contingent upon faith. Glorious revelations came to me and as recorded in Scripture, godly men who would receive those revelations by faith. The Psalms are filled.
As the psalmist speaks of the glories and the wonders and the promises of faith in Jesus himself made a demand of all the world, place your faith in me now. Two aspects to faith. I want to talk about true saving faith must have an intellectual or historical knowledge of the truth, you must know enough about Christ. There must be a knowledge that he lived.
He was perfect. He died on the cross to pay for my sin.
He rose again from the grave and I know those facts and I embrace the that's part of saving faith, but just embracing the historical facts, intellectually giving us sin is not true conversion you need that that's essential but added to that, there must be a heart trust an intellectual grasp at least some of the truths about Christ and in a heart personal trust. We don't just trust an abstract story or abstract cold doctrine. We trust a person. The man, the God man Christ Jesus. A personal heart embrace and trust.
Some of you sitting here this morning you been as genuine as you know how to be a your your conscientious about your devotion to the things of the Lord in the religion but so far in your pilgrimage, you have it journey past embracing a system or I teaching you haven't crossed over to say but Christ, I look to Christ. I treasure Christ. I trust Christ personally him. I rely upon for my salvation, my continuing in her introduction, let me remind you that the entire Godhead is active and involved in rendering your salvation.
The entire Godhead is involved in saying that you get to heaven if you're one of these, the father, he authored the plan of salvation he elected those who would be say. That's what the father did the son he executed he procured he redeemed us primarily and centrally his work on the cross. Now we come to, what would it look a lot today. The spirit, the father authored and elected those to be safe. The sun went to earth, went to the cross and procured RC old settled their redemption and in the spirit of God applies to individualize the effect's about salvation.
Salvation authored salvation procured in the spirit of salvation applied, folks. This is basic so teleology that goes back many many centuries. In Protestant evangelical and Baptist understanding there's a problem though the heart of man is irreparably fallen and he is corrupt and in that fallen corruption.
His natural inclination and continual and unwavering inclination is to resist God to resist God's will and to resist God's purposes now. Paul's just a moment. Manning this fallen corrupt position will gladly put on religion. He will gladly become a good evangelical or good Baptist.
He will gladly jump through the hoops.the ice across the teaser.
Whatever you tell him he can do that just makes him feel good but that's not salvation. He can do all those things and still resist treasuring and trusting God son Jesus Christ from his heart the spirit that is sovereign cannot let you contemplate all that for a moment the spirit is not a force, you dictate to the spirit is not some cosmic higher power. You can manipulate if you check the right mantra.
The spirit is not some entity that you can control if you won't to the fraud of a Baptist church and find the magic spot. He is the sovereign third person of the Godhead is very much God is God the father is God is very much God is God the son is God please God the holy spirit which means he is sovereign. He does what he wants how he wants the way he wants and he has no influence upon him that coerces him or causes him to do anything or Thorton's purposes in any way the sovereign Holy Spirit produces a miracle in the heart of some birthing new life within them. And when he burst this new life within them. He gives them a new heart and as a result of this sovereign work of the spirit in the heart of God's children there change their inwardly changed and because of that inward change. They believe the gospel, evidenced by the fact that they be start becoming read printers about CN and everything that dishonors and displeases God as I understand it, they become repentance about CN and they become.
Faith errs in Jesus Christ. At the beginning. You don't understand a lot about it. You just know since bad in Jesus saves me a bit. As you grow your repentance grows and your faith grows. But how does your faith grow your faith grows not by studying faith, your faith grows by studying him. He is the object and the procurer and the gasoline you throw on your faith. Now I want to turn over to the book of acts would you turn their acts chapter 7 verse 51 turn their acts chapter 7.
Look at verse 51. As as the writer here gives us a vivid description of what all men are like NaturallySpeaking before God. Acts 751. The look you gotta think don't don't get in the doldrums. You think working understanding of the spirit say what God wants you to see you men who are stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears and are always resisting the Holy Spirit you are doing just as your fathers did the notice that your stiffnecked uncircumcised on the Lord you're not right in your heart inserts us in your heart and ears, and your always resisting the Holy Spirit just like your father's diverse bit. 52. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute. They killed those who had previa in previous announce the coming of the righteous one whose betrayers and murderers. You've now become you to receive the law as ordained by angels and yet did not keep it. Now though the Jews were more guilty than most, because they knew these truths I should've known in Christ was but but the preacher here says but look what you know you always push aside God spirit left to yourself, you will never find God and never find salvation, but now let's contrast that to acts chapter 9 – Chapter 9 verse one.
Here's a vile human being. Here's a rebel. Here's a resistor of God and God's truth verse one chapter 9. Now Saul still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord went to the high priest and asked for letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that he found any, belonging to the way both men and women he might bring them bound to Jerusalem and has he was traveling. It happened that he was approaching Damascus and he decided to believe on Jesus is not in the text is not there. Forget that phrase he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. God initiated this verse four and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me and he said with who are you, Lord, I do think you knew this was the Lord. The spirit showed him and if you're going somewhere God strikes you down the bright light you're laying on your grandma looking up at heavens, the best thing to say what you want, Lord, what that that's what happened. God tooth initiative brought Paul to his senses are Saul to his senses, then verse 6B get up and enter the city and it will be told you what you must do you know about yourself anymore dismayed you mind God said of the men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voices but seeing no one so here we have Saul of Tarsus radically being initiated upon by the spirit of God's truck to the ground and he becomes an immediate faith or in Jesus Christ.
Now the Baptist Faith and message is a confession of faith, a statement of faith that Southern Baptists put together in 1925 that very, very closely was drawn from the 1833 New Hampshire confession that some of the earliest Baptists in America put together our confession of faith, your grace life is primarily the New Hampshire confession. Not that the later Baptist faith in and message is not good.
It's good stuff. New Hampshire is a little more thorough and à la carte thoroughness. Okay, but our Southern Baptist forefathers got together esteemed men that were good men and we all respect and they rode out from the New Hampshire confession about 100 years that was written hundred years before their time and they rode out in 1925.
What became known as the Baptist Faith and message and now this Baptist Faith and message has been reaffirmed at least three times with slight revisions over the last 25 or so years that in latter years. It was an addendum was put on it defining marriage and God's intention for sexuality was I thought was a wonderful and good thing and we put that same type of addendum on our statement of faith as the world changes. Sometimes we have to make more clear. We believe a man well report out to your you listen you pastor this morning.
What I will point out to you is you and I in our journey to reform this church to sound doctrine and sound practice endured a lot of persecution from other Southern Baptists who would tell us what you're teaching and believing is not bad disk. It is certainly not Southern Baptist.
Here's what I challenge them reach her own statement of faith. Your forefathers went to these convictions in it and voted for this statement. This is this is what we believe and by the way, it passed every time they voted on it unanimously. Not one person stood up and said I don't know if I believe that the latest Baptist Faith and message was primarily authored by Adrian Rogers good man Jerry vines good man, Dr. Al Mohler priest here in our pulpit. A good man, but others contribute those men were primary movers in the document will what did they say in that document were first of all, under the Holy Spirit. Here's what they wrote I should we believe the spot Holy Spirit, he calls me into the Savior not to stop right there. How you get saying the Holy Spirit has to call you to the Savior. That's what I Baptist forefathers wrote pants Stick real strong Calvinist. So when people say we are, They don't know what they're talking about. They actually are condemning the whole backdrop of Baptist faith in an imperfection. He calls them into the Savior and Eve fax regeneration causes a person to be changed inside so that they can repent and believe that the Holy Spirit does that our forefathers Holy Spirit of at the moment of regeneration. He baptizes every believer in the body of Christ believing occurs after regeneration, and the moment you regenerated that moment.
You believe in that moment your added to the eternal body of Christ. Your names added to heaven's role did you get that your names added to heaven's role artless and read a little bit more of Dr. Adrian Rogers and Jerry vines and Al Mohler and all of our Baptist forefathers what they said we as Southern Baptist believe concerning salvation regeneration vessel were talking about this spirit comes in the call he has this unfailing call in her life and part of that call is regeneration or the new birth is a work of God's grace.
Who does this work God does all of this whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It's a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sitter responds sitter responds, God initiates the sitter responds in repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. You and I begin preaching Bob Pittman Prince that faithfully from this pulpit. It was a problem for years, but all of a sudden started being a problem. How to hold the sovereign grace doctrine sometime shortly called Calvinism, and when I came along to begin to preach it all.
Whatever broke loose and in man at the undermining the criticism, the condemnation we received. But you know what, that's not out a whole whole lot you know what the reasons why are you listening to me because every graduate school of theology that Southern Baptist have to train preachers now agrees with us. I'm not saying this to be boastful. We were already there before they got their schools cleaned up and now they called up to us folks when I'm leaving you to be biblical just stand on it will catch up eventually.
And that's exactly what's happened. Now let's go to another section, God's purpose of grace all election that really get you in trouble and so the bed to fly you other Southern Baptist preachers until you don't even mention the word. It just causes too much trouble. Well, Adrian Rogers, Jerry vines and Al Mohler and all the other forefathers of ours wrote this statement of faith for Southern Baptist. We unanimously firmness what we believe election is the gracious purpose of God according to which she is the person Holy Spirit. Now he regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and all the way to glorify sinners he doesn't often start. Could anything be clear. If you still bump in the subitems is I don't know why nobly, which I believe insight teacher statement of faith, here's the thing. It's not that people are against the truth. I just don't know the truth. Their theological they just haven't been taught sound doctrine been taught.
Pragmatism gimmicks weedy clever stuff, creative stuff.
The preachers learn how to be contemporary and relevant on and and and and and weedy and all this other stuff, but they're leaving out the sound doctrine part of this is what builds your faith. This is what causes you to lay in bed at night and sail God this is wonderful beyond compare.
That's my introduction to partner. So here we have our God who says my son and in eternity past, we've planned a great dinner. We've planned a great dinner and by the way, all Jesus stretches out his nail Prince Hans, if you'll receive when you come dinner in Luke 14 just what it says but every one of them rechecked the Lord said, now this is this is an anthropomorphic expression because God can't do this but I'm putting it in human terms.
To understand God said timeout.
You make my sons going down the cross will have beginner nobodies will be here no way I'm go see to it that all my children get here and so I'm going to send my son to redeem everyone among the cross. Then at the perfect set time and time and space history. I'm allow them to hear the gospel. I will send the Holy Spirit of God.
He's going to birth a new life in them, by which they respond. We just read that eventually the message they respond with repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ and every single one of them will make it all the way home to dinner. There is an unfailing call to faith. It can't fail because God the Holy Spirit cannot fail and that's what the Bible presents us with before we elaborate on that any further though, let's talk about the other call. It's not the unfailing call I call it I. The general invitation to come that vicious theologians from time immemorial have simply call this the general call now for ways God sends out a general call to all mankind.
One day the gospel is not the only means that we know his primary means of reaching his children with the gospel is the preaching of the gospel. That's why in a good intro admissions. All we do is support the preaching of the word of the gospel and building churches to put out more preachers and build more churches there are other good things we just don't do that because we can't find them in the Bible.
The Bible shows that's God's primary means of inviting all the preaching church. Grace, like churches, shows listen to your pastor. We will never, never, never shrink back from our conviction to share the gospel with every creature everywhere urging every man to repent and placed their faith in Jesus Christ were not were not hyper Calvinist was like I thought how those two go together.
You don't know how the treaty goes together either but you believe we're urging all men everywhere to repent and come to faith in Christ. That's the general call, the preaching of the words. The primary way that gets out, but also the Bible says and I'm limping in the preaching the word you sharing the gospel personally or Bible studies, all of that together, there is the witness of conscience. God is put a conscience in every man's heart that convicts him that he's not right with his maker. Man resist that it does not respond and go forward in the Bible since man has written got his God's law God is written is law in every man's heart which works with man's conscience. He knows stealing is wrong you can go to any culture anywhere that's never heard of the Bible and they'll tell you we know stealing from knows stealing is wrong because the law of God written in their hearts, and they know they're wanting because they know it's wrong with a steel steel.
I know it's wrong to lie but they still live. They know it's wrong thinking on the bench why particular the stake of them is wise new name. The culture they all believe it, but they violated know the words God's witness to them again to all and they refuse to go forward with it.
Not only conscience in the law but through nature.
The Bible says, a man can look at nature itself and know there's a great designer that I need to be right with, but he pushes away fermenting does not step forward so that the parable truth of Luke 14 is true again none take God up on it.
Jesus said in John 737. He was at one of the feasts there in the in the temple or in the at least in Jerusalem, and he said if anyone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink. That's all-inclusive.
It he says it.
If you thirst for the water that I am you have it, but to a man they all said were thirsty, but we can lock this religion. The Pharisees worked out for us.
It can works for us little bit better were thirsty bit, but were thirsty for a little bit of the Orthodox Bible teaching was some bail worship mixed as Bill worships fun and exciting… Given our flesh more were thirsty but were not thirsty for you. Jesus. Jesus is anyone is thirsty, listen to your pastor, anyone and everyone who will respond with repentance and faith in Jesus Christ will be saved. That means there God's elect, but this invitation to all what theologians call the general call is what theologians also call an ineffectual call effectual means it gets the desired affect. It accomplishes what it meant to accomplish so this call goes out to all men. Invitation is to all but is not effectual as the parable points out in many scriptures point out will look at some of those in a moment all rejected. For example, Romans chapter 3, beginning in verse nine what then are we better than they not at all, for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all undersea in the Paul's writing from the perspective that this whole thing is salvation didn't just singled out to the elect nation of Israel, God's elect now extends beyond them and matter fact, his particular point here is this the guilt of sin affects all men everywhere. All-inclusive and here's how they respond verse to an edge. It is written, there is none righteous, not even one. How many not even one verse 11 there is none who understands, we still want to do course, you don't because you're fully corrected by C and you can't understand what to do by yourself.
There is no one who seeks for God invitation to all but none will seek him. None will take him know I will respond. Verse 12 instead. All have turned aside, the words they got their own. I think that their own philosopher. They would talk about it like they're glad to put Jesus in on their philosophy will adhere minute into our viewpoint. Some of you men sitting here this morning.
You are so full of pride to go and go straight to hell in your pride because you've worked out your approach to life in your religion and you added Jesus own and you listen to me you know that Jesus did anything you take him fully holy is Lord.
You know that Jesus only. That's what he says here they all turn aside all turn aside to do their own idea of what they think is right or wrong, good or bad. Together they all of them have become useless. There's no one who does good, not even one call went out to all all invited. None respond Boyson Reich and wrote a good book that's very helpful on the doctrines of sovereign grace and I have this illustration in their said there was a major news organization. It has this logo. A lighthouse brilliant lighthouse and under the lighthouse believe that there are these words give the people the light and they will find their way sounds good but mentor to fall in to find their own way.
Matter fact the newspaper was likely not putting out the light of the gospel. Anyways is not just like it's the light that Mindy John 812 Jesus said I am the light of the world. I am the light of the world, but in John 319. This is the judgment that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their deeds were evil on the lot of the world. I've spread out my hands.
I've left me into their own good and wise dictate's will you choose me all turned aside all we like sheep have gone astray, all of them. The parable in Luke 14 says all of them begin to make excuses and wouldn't come.
That's the general call. That's the invitation to all but none will take on opponent. So what's God going to