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October 6, 2022 4:00 am
Light shall shine out of darkness, salvation is the light of Christ shining in the dark and hard. The creative act.
That's why think really it's 517 says any man be in Christ he is a new one. Preacher you have been created in your new creation had a basic knowledge of the gospel, but now you can't take it for granted that someone is even heard about sin or the resurrection or even Jesus Christ.
So in a society that is becoming more and more biblically illiterate and more hostile to Christ. What is the most effective way to preach the gospel. Do you need to master a new technique.
John MacArthur has an answer you want to hear. As he looks at why the light of God's truth can penetrate even the most sin darkened heart. It's part of John's brand-new series titled the world versus the kingdom of God and now here's John with the lesson. As we come to the revelation of God in his word.
We are drawn back to second Corinthians chapter 4 second Corinthians chapter 4 we have been talking about the fact that there are two kingdoms in the world. There are two rulers in the world there is the kingdom of light ruled by Christ who rules by the power of his spirit through his church by indwelling believers, and there is the kingdom of darkness ruled by Satan, who by his demons and human agents and by the influence that he has on the human heart rules the world is passing away. Jesus said, my kingdom is not of this world. The kingdom of this world is evil and headed for hell.
However, Jesus said, my kingdom is present in this world. It is the kingdom of righteousness and the folks in that kingdom were headed for heaven. That's the simple way to look at the world around you kingdom of darkness manifest by sin, kingdom of light manifest by righteousness. The kingdom of darkness ruled by Satan and all who are outside of Christ are in the kingdom of darkness and they follow their father the devil, who is a liar and a murderer kingdom of righteousness manifest in the church, the true church. The king is Christ, and he indwells every true believer. Why does the Lord leave us in the world. We have been looking at that. It's an obvious answer all who are in the kingdom of light are commissioned to shine the light of the gospel into the darkness so that the Lord can redeem his elect people now as you look at second Corinthians 4. This becomes clear to us. If you look at verse three. The apostle says if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, so they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. I just want to focus on that incredible statement the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, the light is just that that defines the light that we shine into the darkness.
It is the light of the gospel, the good news of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God says it again down in verse six the one who has shone in our hearts has done so to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ the light is the gospel of Christ. Christ is the very incarnation and image of God. That's why we're here and that's why he says in verse five we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus is Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus sake back in chapter 1 verse 19 we read for the son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us by me and Savannah's and Timothy was not yes and no, but is yes in him for as many as are the promises of God in him. They are yes therefore also through him is our amen to the glory of God through us. What is Paul saying there.
He is saying all the promises of God are bound up in Christ, he is the yes to the promises of God.
So for us to shine the light means the light of the gospel, the good news of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. Acts 412 says there's no salvation in any other Romans 1017 says they can't be saved unless they hear the message concerning Christ. Unlike the preachers the Jeremiah address who preach the deceptions of their own mind who speak a vision from their own imagination. We do not preach ourselves, we preach Christ now necessarily when you're preaching Christ you're calling sinners to repent.
It is necessary if they are to receive the good news that they hear the bad news they don't want that. They love the darkness rather than the light they cherish their sins. They flaunt their sins, to 1° or another. Even Jesus said in John 77. You hate me because I tell you, you deeds are evil, that is what generates the hostility and the hate because first of all, the dominating human sin is pride. People want to defend their goodness, their nobility, and when you unmask the wretchedness of their hearts there usually angry in the flash their angry and apart from the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. They will remain angry in the face of opposition.
Then the question is, in the face of hostility and in the face of persecution. How do we remain bold in proclaiming Christ, which means confronting sin while Paul answers that in this text as we saw last time you notice in verse one. He says at the end of the verse. We do not lose heart and then down in verse 16 he says it again.
Therefore we do not lose heart soy sort of brackets the revelation here with this idea that he doesn't lose heart. He doesn't the fact he doesn't give up. He doesn't give in.
He doesn't demonstrate cowardly flight. He doesn't give into evil. The could actually come to the end of his life and did and he said I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith. I finished the course. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord to give to me, but not to me only, but to all the love his appearing. All of us would want to come to the end of life and sat fought the good fight right. I kept the faith. I finished the course. How do you do that, realizing that the confrontation of sinners is going to result in hostility. Jesus said as I pointed out, if they hate you.
Don't be surprised if they hated me they're going to hate you, and they hated him to the point that they actually executed him in spite of all the good good that had never been seen in the history of humanity never will be seen again until Jesus comes to kill him anyway because he confronted their evil we have to recognize that that's a reality, and it cannot be avoided if you avoided you are defecting. If you avoid the confrontation with sin. You are defecting now is to be done with love and graciousness, mercy, very kindness of God is extended and salvation to the sinner and we have to bring that message and that same fashion.
Now what Call lockdown on his spiritual responsibility, no matter how much persecution he received and how do you have that kind of courage. It comes from convictions comes from down inside related to the things that you believe that are nonnegotiable and we been looking at those that I just want to remind you of the first one the first thing that was a conviction, a certainty in Paul's mind was. He was certain about the superiority of the new covenant in verse one.
Since we have this ministry, what ministry is he talking about the one he just described in chapter 3 go back to chapter 3 and you look.
For example, in verse seven he describes the old covenant, the law is the ministry of death and letters engraved on stones it had glory so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face fading as it was if there was glory in the law, which only condemned how will the ministry of the Spirit failed to be even more with glory. For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory all he is saying that the new covenant in Christ has far more glory than the old covenant law. He had no this is important. He had no hesitation regarding the truth of the gospel for everything starts. That's why we make such an issue out of you. Understanding the gospel. You must understand that you must believe it.
You must understand its superiority and its absolute uniqueness and excellence. Paul had certainty about the superiority of the new covenant, from personal experience. He was passionate about making sure sinners heard the good news. Secondly, he was certain that ministry was a mercy he says we have this ministry, as we received mercy. That is to say he never lost sight of the fact that this was an overwhelming mercy to allow him to preach this message.
This is not something that that you earned by your education. This is not something that you earned by your erudition. This isn't something you earn because you have a gift for speaking any of us who is ever been given the privilege of proclaiming the gospel knows it is a mercy, we preach a far better message than we can live but we also understand that if God couldn't use flawed people he can use anybody because were all flawed. Paul never got over the mercy of putting them into the ministry.
The third certainty in his life that we looked at last time was he was certain of the need for a pure heart and that's what he says in verse two we pronounce the things hidden because of shame. There's no secret life. There's no hidden life. There's nothing to be discovered.
Some men's sins follow after them. Paul says Paul had no fear of that no fear of that, no, no fear of a postmortem episode where the truth would come out because he had no hidden life of shame.
He said his conscience was clear he was winning the spiritual battle on the inside and if you want to be useful to the Lord need to be a clean vessel and we saw fourthly that he was certain of the duty to accurately preach the word he says not walking in craftiness, or deceptiveness or adulterating the word of God, but rather by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God, not walking in craftiness, or adulterating the word. That's the negative but by manifestation of the truth. That's the positive. He was commending himself even to the unbelievers and in the sight of God that brings us to 1/5 point, Paul was certain that salvation is the sovereign work of God immediately in verse three he says and this is this is so helpful to us because were asking the question, so we have a pure life. So we are faithful in handling the word of God proclaiming the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. Why we have results why we get the results we want. Paul immediately says. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The category of people who by nature are perishing, those who are perishing to them. He says in first Corinthians 118. The gospel is foolishness.
It is not understandable first rent is 214 the natural man understands, not the things of God. There foolishness to him. It's incomprehensible because the people in the category of the perishing, those who are on the way to hell are by definition dead in trespasses and sins. They have no mechanism to respond to the truth further or not. Not only are they perishing, but the God of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, the very category of perishing is it consistent as it is a consistency or state of a blindness, but he adds a kind of double blindness. The satanic kind of blindness so people can see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
So this is the this is the resistance we have that they resist us because they're offended they resist us because they are bound in death. They resist us because there satanically blinded. Romans 11 eight says God gave them a spirit of stupor eyes to not see not in ears to hear, not they can't see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
They can't comprehend.
They are stone blind just to comment on that phrase.
The light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. Christ has glory as the image of God right. He has glory. And he shares the glory of the father he was. One is the exact representation of the father. The image of the father in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily. He is the fullness of God's revelation. John 114 the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, and it was the glory as of the only begotten from the father full of grace and truth.
So he has glory in his incarnation as God has glory is the image of God. But there's a second kind of glory being talked about here and it is this. He has the glory of the gospel. Yes, he has glory is the image of God. That's is intrinsic glory that belongs to him eternally. That's why John 75 he said to the father restore to me the glory I had with you before the world began that glory. He eternally possessed the divine glory of the eternal son of God. He always possessed that intrinsic glory as God, but in the gospel. His glory is manifested in a new way in a new way the gospel allows the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ to be demonstrated in a new way. And I think the most wonderful way to understand that, perhaps, is to look at Ephesians chapter 1 in Ephesians chapter 1 we have a repeated phrase. If you look down diverse six you'll see a phrase to the praise of the glory of his grace to the praise of the glory of his grace. That is really the new revelation of his glory. He is glorious as the image of God. But there is a new manifestation of that glory, the glory of his grace by his death and by his resurrection. He triumphed to provide regeneration for his people.
He defeated Satan conquered death satisfy divine justice propitiated God's wrath redeemed, reconciled, rescued his people from judgment and hell and so perfectly fulfilled that assignment God gave him the God gave him the name above every name, the name Lord in which every knee should bow forever. We will be worshiping Christ as the sacrifice the lamb that is the glory of his grace. Yes, we will worship him as the creator, but the celebration crescendos past creation to the glory of his grace. This is the high point of his glory. Do you understand that when we get to heaven he will be the slain lamb with the scars salvation. Grace will be the primary theme of heaven is glorious as he is as brightly as he shines is wondrous is his eternal light of perfection and as blessed as the glory of his grace appears in the gospel. The perishing in the blind cannot see the have any hope. This is where we turn to verse six. How can the dead center. The blind sooner believe, for God said he's looking back to Genesis 13 let there be light light shall shine out of darkness, that's creative God spoke light into existence and creation and the one who said light shall shine out of darkness, is the one who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
How do you come to a correct understanding of the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ because God does a creative miracle, God shines in our hearts, light shall shine out of darkness, salvation is the light of Christ shining in the darkened heart. The creative act.
That's why segment is 517 says if any man be in Christ he is a new one creature you have been created your new creation and again thinking of Ephesians chapter 1 unmistakably the apostle Paul gives all credit to God.
Blessed be the God and father verse three of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before him in love he predestined us to the adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the kind intention of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the beloved God will to speak life to us. Jesus talking to Nicodemus in John three Nicodemus is how can a man experience a new birth regeneration being born from above in our Lord is essay will pray this prayer that'll take care of it. The Lord says well, like the wind blows where wills you know where it's coming from or where it's going but you feel it so it is with the Holy Spirit regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit is sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. What role does the sinner have, the sooner the sinners role is to believe the repent and believe.
Can an unaided sinner repent. No, that's why Paul says God has to grant repentance and unaided sinner believe. No, that's why you're saving by grace and that not of your selves.
Even the faith is a gift of God.
God gives you the gift of repentance and faith because he wills to give you life. So what are all these people doing try to come up with mechanisms that are going to save people.
There's only one way that people will ever be redeemed and taken out of their death and darkness. And that is by a sovereign creative miracle of God which produces in them repentance and faith. At the hearing of the gospel. So what do we do we preach not ourselves. We preach Jesus Christ as Lord. This is grace to you with John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary's current study is showing you the invisible battle between the world versus the kingdom of God. John today he looked at God's sovereignty and salvation the doctrine of election that subject is foreign to many Christians and when they first hear about it. Among the questions they have is one that we received recently on our Q&A line will listen to the question now and then. John, please respond to it. Colin from going drinking on LX can have great concerns with it long and short and it is when God created people that arch had anything to say that each people not to say I hope you can understand what I'm trying to ask you here in reference election. Thank you very much. Thank you Lisa that is a provocative question, and all of us ask it in all of us struggle with the right answer that the bottom line in the Bible is that no one is saved by his own power, not by might not by power but by my spirit says the Old Testament and the New Testament puts it this way, who are born not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. The New Testament is clear about the doctrine of election names written in the Lamb's book of life before the foundation of the world chosen in him before the foundation of the world predestined all that's in the Bible it is obvious that if God chooses some to be saved. He passes by others. That is what Scripture teaches the balancing aspect of that, however, is that God holds all people responsible to put their trust in Christ and to be saved now, while those two things seem mutually exclusive.
The Scripture lays them side-by-side. The sinner is responsible if he rejects he is accountable if the result rejects the gospel, and he is punished because he would not believe we have to hold those to intention and realize that the the harmony in the unity of those two is clear in the mind of God. But it's beyond our comprehension for us all we need to know is that if we come to salvation. It's by the power of God and if we reject it's because of our own will and we are responsible right. Thank you, John, and friend. Keep in mind our Q&A line is open to everyone.
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John is continuing his series the world versus the kingdom of God with another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you