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January 13, 2022 3:00 am
Let me say and in a general way.
Salvation is a great subject.
The subject of God's work in the lives of sinners is a great theme of redemptive history and it is the great theme drugs were really entered a rehabilitation program and then after claiming to be clean. They continued to have problems again and again. Clearly their claims didn't square with reality. Now when you say one thing but your actions tell a different story. You've got a problem yet.
Some people see no problem when a person claims he's a Christian, but his actions, attitudes, his way of life.
Even his words bear no resemblance to what the Bible says a Christian should be like that sort of thinking compelled John MacArthur to examine what being a Christian, what being delivered by God really means. So stay here now as John continues his study called delivered by God, let me say and in a general way. Salvation is a great subject. The subject of God's work in the lives of sinners is the great theme of redemptive history and it is the great theme Scripture is not to be understood anyway you want to understand it is to be understood the way God has revealed. There are so many rich elements to the great truth of salvation, but they are divided. I would send it to categories. There are those non-experiential realities and salvation. And then there are those experiential ones. There are those realities with regard to salvation that occur on the divine level and there are those that occur on the human level, there are those which affect the way God views us, and there are those which affect the way we view God. There are realities in our salvation that are not experiential, that is, you can't feel them, you can't see them you don't manifest them. There are realities in our salvation that we could say our divine perspectives or divine directives or divine adjudications or verdicts or decisions or choices or acts as such, they are not manifest in our lives such as justification, which is God declaring us righteous by virtue of the application of the righteousness of Christ to us because our sins have been paid for by him on the cross, such as redemption and act by which God buys us back from sin and death and hell that encompasses the idea of the ransom. There is also the idea of adoption. The Bible tells us that in salvation we are adopted into the family of God.
That is an official new legal status and then there is the great truth of reconciliation that the sinner has the enmity between himself and God removed so that he is suitable for God's presence and eternal life.
Things like justification, redemption, ransom adoption reconciliation are ways in which God changes his relationship to us by the application of the work of Christ on our behalf through grace.
They are not experiential. They are not manifest as such, but accompanying those are some manifest experiential realities and salvation. They change not our status they change, not just what God thinks about us or how God views us, but they change us, not just legally but actually they make a difference in our lives. They are manifest. They change our nature.
They change the way we think they change are will they change our desire they change our speech. They change our behavior of these spiritual realities in that second category are what make up the understanding of the great truth of deliverance through Christians don't just have a change in status. They have a change in nature. They are not only new in terms of their position before God, but they are new in terms of their creation.
That's why we use terms like regeneration born again new life conversion. We have not only a change in status.
We have a change in nature and to understand the doctrine of deliverance in its fullness.
We need to understand the dramatic change that is manifest in the life of a delivered soul. This is the most critical matter in the life of the church. There isn't anything more important in the life of the church than being able to distinguish between who is a true Christian and who is a false one to know who is real and who is not as critical for a number of reasons.
One, because we know the enemy would like to. So in the church as many false believers as possible to suck the life out of the church to be leavened that.
Leavens the lump that that is to be like a rotten apple spoils the whole barrel and also the devil would like the church to be confused about who a true Christian is in order that false Christians might live in a continued state of deception and false security.
When the church fails to make this distinction. It gives place to the chairs.
The bits that the enemy would so it allows people to carry on their life under the delusion of belonging to God when in fact they don't and it literally destroys the great impact and power of the church in the world when it functions in its true purity of identity.
So in this brief series that we have been looking at the matter of who is a Christian. By examining this issue of deliverance, and in particular that element of deliverance which relates to the change in our person. The real change that takes place in a believer. We should be able to look at someone and see manifest characteristics of deliverance. The first element of deliverance that will be manifest in the life of a true Christian is that they have been delivered from error to truth, they have been delivered from error to truth and I pointed out to you that there is this new idea. This new notion this new a movement in Christianity that you can be a Christian and not embrace the truth but when you look at the New Testament. What you see is quite different than that. You see, the manifest work of God in delivering true believers from error to truth, so that a true believer can be known by their affirmation of the truth, but the Colossians chapter 1. This is the text we looked at and this is the text that needs to be footnoted. Colossians 1 I take you back the verses 12 and 13, giving thanks to the father. This is of course move obvious.
We thank God for our salvation, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints. Now that would be forensic. That would be non-experiential that would be a change in our status, a change in our position, but we have been given the privilege of sharing in the inheritance of the saints in light that becomes experiential, for he delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son.
We have been delivered out of darkness into light and light is synonymous with Jesus Christ, who said he is the light of the world.
We have been delivered out of the domain of error darkness synonymous with her out of the domain of error into the domain of truth which is synonymous with the kingdom of his beloved son, who is himself the truth so first of all, a delivered person has been delivered by the power of God through the work of the Holy Spirit from error to truth. Truth is our domain. We understand the truth.
We believe the truth we embrace the truth we obey the truth.
We love the truth we proclaim the truth and we would even take up our cross and die for the truth. Truth is synonymous with Christ who is the way the truth and the life who is the light so it is not true to say that someone is going to be included in heaven in the kingdom of God that someone has a true relationship with the living God, but does not believe the truth, there is only one way to enter into a relationship with God and that is to be delivered from error to truth. Go back with me to John chapter 8 and I will remind you of a very notable and important chapter John chapter 8, by the way, this matter of who is a Christian and who is not was a very significant and important truth in John's mind and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit plays a great amount of attention to it in his gospel as well as in his epistle, but in John chapter 8 verse 32, says, you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Back to verse 31 if you abide in my word, which is synonymous with the truth, then you are truly disciples of mine a true, they taste like those a true disciple of Christ abides in the word because it is the truth that has set him free from error. It is truth that is at the very heart of deliverance drop down to verse 41 and the Jews are making a profession.
Here they say we have one father, even God is what a lot of people are saying today. I will have one father we all worship the same God doesn't matter where you are on this religious spectrum of this sort of pantheon of mono theistic viewpoints doesn't matter where you are in this thing we all have one father, even God.
That's what the Jews are climbing ice posy.
The reasonable thing to client.
After all, they believe in the creator God of the Old Testament. They believed in Elohim, Yahweh. They believed in the and the God who was the creator and the God who was the covenant God, who granted the great covenant to Abraham and other covenants, the God of Israel, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and they they said we have the same God.
We we have exactly the same God and that the modern mentality today. Well of course you have the same God is not wonderful. We all have the same God is not great. And Jesus said to them, if God were your father you would love me.
Plain and simple. Somebody doesn't love Jesus Christ. God is not there father that couldn't be more clear and when you say love Jesus Christ. What do you mean by that you mean that you love Jesus Christ in the same way that you love God for verse 42 says I proceeded forth and have come from God to love Christ as you love God don't tell me that you worship the same God unless you love Jesus Christ as God of very God, unless you believe the right thing about Christ embrace the right thing about Christ, and love him you don't know God. God is not your father. You don't have a relationship with God. No man comes unto the father but by me. In fact, it's very serious. Verse 44, actually you are of your father whom the devil anybody who doesn't believe in the true Christ, the true Christ and his true work and a true salvation by the true means which Scripture has identified doesn't have God as their father error about the person of Christ error about the work of Christ error about the salvation that is provided in Christ and you don't have God as your father that your father is the devil of Jesus.
Couldn't have said it more starkly, Cody was speaking to those people pride themselves on knowing the true God and the evidence in verse 44 is you want to do the desires of your father, and he was a murderer from the beginning. Listen to this and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. You show me somebody who is in error and I'll show you a child of the devil, Jesus, the truth is the dividing line. Nobody is a child of God who doesn't believe the truth about Jesus Christ and then Jesus says in verse 45 because I speak the truth you don't believe me, I listen to this. Nobody is a child of God who doesn't believe the truth about Jesus Christ and love Jesus Christ and somebody who doesn't believe the back of the truth about Christ, inevitably look at it inevitably doesn't believe when somebody proclaims that truth, in other words, they don't believe the truth and they don't believe people who try to make it understandable to them. Jesus is the fact that I'm speaking the truth manifests who you really belong to, because you can't connect with.
Truth is our domain truth is the spirit of our existence. Truth is synonymous with Jesus Christ.
Verse 46. He says if I speak truth, why don't you believe me any answers the question in verse 47 he who is of God hears the words of God. For this reason you don't hear them because you're not of God. You're very religious.
You got the Old Testament you're very devout and very fast hideous about your legalism you're very concerned that you are the elite in the world because you worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the creator God. But I'm telling you right now your father is the devil, and you don't know God and you're not God's children. You're the devil's children and the reason I know you're the devil's children is you don't love me and you don't believe what I say that is the initial definitive line to draw between a believer and a nonbeliever is not a matter of sincerity and sincerity.
It is a matter of truth was taken a step further, go to John's epistle. First John chapter 4 in verse five of first John four. John speaking of unbelievers says there from the world. Therefore they speak as from the world and the world listens to them in the world has its own frequency and all of the antenna are set to that frequency and the world understands itself, and it listens to itself. We verse six are from God. He who knows God listens to us for this is so good. Now listen with me, to be billed distal sequence for in the John eight Jesus said if you belong to God you love me, you, you believe in me is the very God of gods, you affirm the truth about me and you love me and you listen to me and you obey me here. He says if you're from God. You not only listen to Jesus but you listened to John, that is to say, you affirm the truth of apostolic doctrine, you affirm the truth of the teaching of the apostles, he who is not from God doesn't listen to us. John is taking a step beyond Christ and he is saying if you are of God, you listen to what we say. The apostles and and by the apostles and those associated with them. The New Testament was written, and a true believer believes in the apostles writings believes the New Testament believes that the message of salvation. The truth of God is singularly revealed on the pages. The New Testament whoever is not from God doesn't. In verse six he says. By this we know the spirit of truth in the spirit of air there is a spirit of truth was that the only one spirit of truth who is the Holy Spirit really the Holy Spirit is the spirit of true skull that John's Gospel, the spirit of truth when he comes, will lead you into all truth, whether many spirits of error.
All of the demonic hosts and Satan himself are all spirits of error and the spirit of truth is in conflict with the spirit of error. And what is John saying he says we know when somebody is under the power of the Holy Spirit. And when somebody is under the power of a lying spirit the way we know it is how they view the apostles teaching what happened in the day of Pentecost annexed to the people were say that they instantaneously saved these Jewish people on the day of Pentecost.
Thousands of them, as we remember were saved on that one day, and immediately it says they continued in the apostles. What Dr. how was that how could they make such a transition of conviction.
Such a transition of confidence. Such a transition of absolute total trust. How could they come to grasp the complete authority of the New Testament so rapidly answer the work of the Holy Spirit of truth who convicted their hearts and convince them so you're going to believe Christ to be exactly who is revealed to be in the Scripture. And you're going to believe him to the point where you love him, which means you render to him that which belongs only to God, whom we are to love with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Not only that you are going to believe and embrace the writing of the apostles, because the spirit will do that in your heart. We have an anointing. First John 227 from God. We don't need human teachers.
The anointing from God the Holy Spirit teaches us all things. The spirit of truth will lead you into all truth. The anointing the spirit of truth will teach you all things that's really not the end of it.
Go to verse seven and we take it to another step. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God wanted doesn't love doesn't know God drop down to chapter 5, verse one. Whoever believes in Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the father loves the child born of him loves the one born of him now follow the thought here. John is saying if you're born of God. First of all you're going to listen to the apostles you're going to believe what the apostles have written because the spirit of truth is going to convince you of that and you're going to brace apostolic teaching and apostolic truth and one step further, you're going to love those that are born of God that would of course include Jesus Christ. But it goes beyond that you're going to love the brethren.
You're going to love because you've been taught to love by God. And because you know God you're going to love those who also know God. True believers then believe all the claims of Jesus. They believe all the writings of the apostles.
They love the truth in Jesus. They love the truth in Scripture and they love the people who love the truth because the truth is our domain. The light is where we live people who are content to sit in a system of darkness they don't know the truth or they don't love the truth and they don't love the people the truth. That's the first area of deliverance. Pray with what can we say father is Jonathan Edwards put it, we can't just stand around and try to figure out how it was that we came to the knowledge of the truth.
All we can do is fall on her face and think. Thank you that once we were darkness. And now we are light.
Once we knew only error. Now we know truth. The truth about Christ. The truth of apostolic doctrine and we love the people of the truth because we are's subjects of the King of truth dwell in the kingdom of light all how glorious it, that's John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary, helping you better grasp what being a Christian really means delivered by God. That's the title of his study here on grace to you John, you said today that no one can be a child of God unless you are she believes the truth about Jesus Christ. But let's be clear about this. You're not saying are you that a person must become an advanced theologian in order to be saved know I'm not saying that you have to become advanced theologian in order to be saved because the fact of the matter is you could never become an advanced theologian unless you were saved right because the natural man what understands not the things of God. So it's ridiculous to assume that you would have to be a very profoundly trained theologian to embrace the gospel, the opposite is true. It's a simple act of faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
An example of a of a doctrine that people might not completely understand. For example, when they come to saving faith would would be the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. They they might not understand that they might not even hear about it. They they might not fully understand day of the union between deity and humanity. They are some profound aspects of that they might not be able to fully grasp the Trinity, which is beyond human comprehension, and in many senses, so know where we are not saying that your theology comes before you come to Christ. Your theology comes after you come to Christ because the Holy Spirit then becomes your teacher and fills out all the rest of the richness of theology, but what you must understand to be saved is that you are a sinner you are under divine judgment. You can do nothing about that you have offended God and no work that you do or accumulation of works or ceremonies or rituals can ever change your status before God, which is one of alienation and being an enemy of God. The only way that you can change that status is to recognize that Christ alone can save you if you put your trust in him is not by works is by grace. It's by repenting of your sin and embracing Jesus Christ as the one who died in your place paid the penalty for your sin and confessing him as Lord. At that point you coming into the kingdom like a child and then your theology begins to clarify as you grow in grace right and friend. If there are certain doctrines or parts of the Bible that you want to know better. Let me encourage you to pick up the MacArthur study Bible its standout feature 25,000 footnotes that explain virtually every passage in Scripture to place your order. Contact us today. You can order by calling 855 grace or go to our website TTY.org. The study Bible is available in hardcover leather and premium goatskin ended comes in the new American Standard new King James and English standard versions reasonably priced and shipping is free to get your MacArthur study Bible, call 855 grace shop email@example.com and friend. As we mentioned many times before. Your letters are great encouragement to us. So if John's teaching has helped deepen your worship or show you where to look in Scripture for comfort in your trials or maybe even lead you to salvation. Won't you let us know. Send your letter to Grace to you.
Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org that's our email address one more time. email@example.com now for John MacArthur and the entire grace to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson. Thanks for making grace to you part of your day. Join us tomorrow when John looks at the telltale characteristics that indicate genuine salvation core beliefs that every Christian will have John continues to study delivered by God with another half hour of unleashing God's true one verse at a time on grace to