Why should we know God's Word?

In our day and age where anti-intellectualism runs rampant in the visible church, it is not surprising to see poll after poll verify what students of scripture have known for many years. The visible church does not know much about the scriptures they profess to believe in. This is sad considering many saints during the Reformation period lost their lives for the sake of being able to read and study God's word. Not to mention the many passages in scripture that speak as such:

Isaiah 66:2 This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
John 8:31-32 Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Psalm 19:7-8 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.

The posts on this blog will address essential Biblical doctrines of the Christian faith. You can find much of the background for the posts here. My prayer for these posts is that the people who read them will be encouraged to open their Bibles and not just read a verse or two, but learn them and indeed, be transformed by them. As Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." (John 17:17). This is my prayer as well.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sin and its effects part 3

- Inherited corruption – Not only was Adam’s sin imputed to us and therefore his guilt, but we also inherited the sinful nature of Adam.

- Scriptural proof:

o Psalm 51:5 - Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

§ The sin nature we have is clearly from conception and therefore we are sinners from birth.

· See also Psalm 58:3 - The wicked are estranged from the womb; these who speak lies go astray from birth.

o Ephesians 2:3 - and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

§ What other verses?

· Ephesians 2:1-2 – Dead in sin and followed course of this world.

· Colossians 1:21 – Hostile in mind

· Romans 8:6-8 – Flesh is hostile toward God and cannot submit to God’s law.

o There are no exceptions in the world for there is no one righteous (Romans 3:10)

- This means we are born with a disposition to sin all the time.

o Example: Do you teach your children to say “No”?

§ How many train your children to disobey?

· Does this mean nobody can do any good in any sense of the word?

o No - as Grudem says, “This inherited tendency to sin does not mean that human beings are all as bad as they could be, nor does it mean that we can do no good in any sense of the word. However, our inherited corruption, our tendency to sin… means that as far as God is concerned, we are not able to do anything that pleases Him.”

§ This can be seen in two ways.

- First, we lack any spiritual good before God – Every aspect of us is affected by sin: heart, mind and soul.

o Paul says in Romans 7:18 - For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.

o Titus 1:15 - To those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.

o Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt, who can understand it?

§ Reiterates that unbelievers can do good in some senses, but we cannot do any spiritual good apart from God

· Quotes Ephesians 4:18

- Second, actions cannot do spiritual good.

§ Romans 8:8 - Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

§ John 15:5 – Apart from Christ we can do nothing.

§ Romans 14:23 - Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

· Hebrews 11:6 - Without faith it is impossible to please God.

§ Isaiah 64:6 - all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.

· Scripture clearly teaches our actions cannot please God, on there own.

- What does this do to our wills?

o Jeremiah 13:23 helps explain - Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.

§ This is a helpful description of the condition and what is often called total depravity.

· For it helps us see that what we determine to do is a product of who we are.

§ Can a leopard change itself?

o No! It will do what is in accordance with its nature.

§ The same with sinful man.

o Man has a will, but as a sinful man he will do only what is sinful. Romans 3:11 - no one understands; no one seeks for God. Read all of Romans 3:10-19

§ Man is enslaved to His sin Romans 6:17-20.

- This explains verses such as Romans 9:15-16 – It does not depend upon human will, but God who has mercy.

o And John 6:44 (also vs 65) – No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws Him.

§ John 10:26 – You do not believe because you are not my sheep

o It is not that people are trying to break down the door into the kingdom of God, and just cannot do so!

§ They do not want it!

o We will revisit this again before we speak about the effective call of God and irresistible grace.

- Punishment of sin – By far the worse effect of sin

o John 3:36 - Those who do not believe in Christ have the wrath of God abide upon them.

o In 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10 – Those who disobey the gospel will be eternally punished.

o The wrath of God is a result of our sin (Romans 1:18).

- What attribute of God necessitates this punishment of sin? Justice of God.

o Psalm 9:7-8 He (the LORD) has established his throne for justice, & he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness.

o Isaiah 61:8 For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense.

§ The great consequence of our sin is separation from God and punishment of God

o Proverbs gives us a verse that makes our case seem almost hopeless.

§ Proverbs 17:15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.

· God must punish sin, for Him not to do so would make Him an unrighteous God.

o God did something to not hinder His love on one hand and not compromise His justice on the other hand.

§ He sent His Son Jesus.

o We will look in depth at the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus in the weeks to come.

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