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“Let No One Deceive You” (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Cross Radio
January 19, 2022 3:00 am

“Let No One Deceive You” (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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January 19, 2022 3:00 am

Many people claim to be Christians. But is it enough to say we believe, or does faith require something more? Find out what it means to know, love, and follow Christ when you study along with us on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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There are many people claim to be but is it enough to simply say we believe or does saving faith requires something more today on Truth for Life. Alistair Begg examines what it really means to know and love and follow Christ in a message titled, let no one deceive you. Our study comes from Ephesians chapter 5. But Alastair begins in the book of Psalms Psalm 130, a song of a sense out of the depths I cry to you oh Lord, Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy. If you oh Lord, should mark iniquities or Lord who could stand, but with you there is forgiveness that you may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word. I hope my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning more than watchmen for the morning, or Israel hope in the Lord. For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption and he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Amen I'm right you to turn to Ephesians chapter 5. As we continue our studies in Ephesians and read the first six verses and our focus this morning will be primarily on verse 500 and into verse six. Ephesians 5 in verse one. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children and walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God but sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking which are out of place, but instead let there be Thanksgiving for you maybe sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous that is an idolater, has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Amen. We said that it is important to realize that in these verses, particularly when you come to verses three and four. He is not admonishing the culture, but he is addressing the church. Secondly, he is absolutely clear that God's standards are high and they are absolute. He doesn't equivocate in any way at all these things that he described in verses three and four are completely out of place. He says it is improper for those who are the sons and daughters of God to cultivate this kind of ethos amongst themselves to allow themselves to think down these tracks to include this kind of nonsense and immorality in in our conversation and then thirdly, we said that it is only through the gospel through the story of all that God has done for us in Jesus that any of us are ever enabled to live as God requires. We also set on that morning that if we start at the wrong end with these things, we will immediately go wrong. If we are tempted to think that the message of Christianity is ultimately about ours or ultimately about our happiness. Then of course we want know how to deal with life as difficulty and disappointment comes along and therefore is wonderfully reassuring and helpfully challenging to realize what we said then and reinforce now that God's interest in us is not our happiness, which may be a byproduct, but it is in our holiness and our holiness and this is not an emphasis unique to Ephesians. For example when he writes to Titus in chapter 2 encouraging Titus in Crete to be a minister of the gospel. He reminds Titus to remind his people quotes that he that is Jesus gave himself for us that he might notice the verb purify for himself a people for his on possession so he is in the business of purifying a people for his own possession and that is an ongoing process is were going to see this morning and it brings us through all kinds of changes and experiences in life, some of which are not immediately accessible to us are amenable to and we have to realize what God is doing is why we need our Bibles. That's why, for example, when you think along these lines, it's important to realize for the writer to the Hebrews is doing when he encourages the people in chapter 12 and he encourages them to realize that every good earthly father disciplines his children it's it's a nonsense to think that ill disciplined or undisciplined children are a testimony to anybody at all and so the writer argues from the lesser to the greater, and he quotes the Old Testament and he says have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons quotes, my son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son whom he receives it and goes down to verse nine he says we've earthly fathers who disciplined us for a while and we respected them. How much more than shall we be subject to the father of spirits, and live they disciplined us for a short time it seemed best but he disciplines is that is the father disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness that we may share his holiness.

So the disciplinary action of God in our lives that the fashioning of us a we could say quite honestly that just in the same way that are times when we have had occasion to go out to our bedrooms greatly discouraged and unhappy because of the intervention of our earthly fathers thinking that our earthly fathers know nothing at all of who we are what we need or what were like or what is best for us, only to discover further down the line that he knew all that is best for us and they were protecting us, as well as providing forms in other words, it was through unhappiness that we were to discover real happiness and often times in our Christian lives, that will be that which comes in that we can make no obvious! And it is helpful, at least to me, and I hope to you to to realize what God is doing. He disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

That's because his plan is to make is increasingly like Jesus. Note, Paul then continues to speak with great clarity and he does so because this matter is absolutely crucial when he goes from verse four into verse five, you will realize that there's a conjunction there for the little word for. We could translate it because no crude joking Thanksgiving because you can be sure of this, sure of what sure the fact that the actions to which the kind of conversation that he is just negated in verses three and four leads is the kind of activity that disqualifies a man or a woman from any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God as he puts it uniquely here that kind of activity is a disqualifying factor… Leave that's it for a moment and notice how he begins. You may be sure of this, or if you like. Colloquially, you can take this one to the bank. You can state your life on this is what you say. You may be absolutely sure of this, that everyone who then is acting in this way is disqualified now.

You will notice I hope if your Bible is open that in verse three.

The three elements that he mentions he comes back to in verse five, sexual immorality, impurity, covetousness was not even supposed to be talked about. He says so if is not even supposed to be talked about. That is no surprise that in verse five he says, everyone who is actually not just talking about it but living in this has no inheritance in the kingdom of God given to you in a sentence stolen from my good friend Sinkler visit with us how he puts it nigh. I think this summarizes it. If we get this we get it we cannot be heirs of a heavenly kingdom while living as citizens of a sinful one. We cannot be heirs of a heavenly kingdom while living as citizens of a sinful one now one of the things that inevitably must come to mind as well. Is this a peculiar emphasis or is this something that we find routinely in the Bible letting you know your Bibles well enough to know the answer to that is it's everywhere.

So for example when Paul writes to the church at Corinth again writing to the church at Corinth not writing to look at the culture of Corinth note of the church, he says them, don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived.

Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor violators nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God system. Don't you know, of course, the answer is yes, we do know, and then his point is, so why you living the way you live system is things going on in your place. The don't even have it among the pagans and is not talking other bathhouses of Corinth he's talking about the communion services and Corinth same emphasis in in in first John when first John and first John remember says that he who has this hope within them, purifies himself evenness as he is pure in others. He says if you if you say that you have the hope of the gospel in you that you are looking forward to entering into the inheritance of a heavenly kingdom, let me tell you how you'll know the purity of your life. That's the indication that you have the whole inner when when you get ready for your girlfriend coming all of a sudden you take a big big interest in you know how you're looking if she's not coming to Geneseo for four or five days.

You don't have to preen yourself and do all those things. But when you know that she's about to appear better be on your best behavior. You better be looking as good as you can. There's no there's no legalism, and that is the unit nobody gives you a big rulebook know you just do it. Why because you want that to be the case so he says the one who looks forward to the embrace of God purifies himself, even as God himself is pure, therefore impunity in my life either says I don't know God or actually I'm not really interested in going to meet God know I was going to mention that you are therefore extra. I was going to call this verse in first John chapter 2 in verse four, same emphasis.

One John 24 whoever says I know him, but does not keep his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in.

Whoever says I know him and doesn't keep his commandments, is a bare faced liar is what John says that striking is not to say what I don't like these apostles, I, I, and much prefer. I much prefer Jesus. I think we should spend far more time with Jesus. I couldn't agree more.

But you think for a moment, the apostles were saying anything other than Jesus taught them. You don't know your Bible if you say that Jesus in the sermon on the Mount is just giving a little piece on you better make sure that your tree is bearing fruit because it is the fruitfulness of the tree that it that allows people to understand energy and it good for good tree bad fruit Petri than he follows it up with a punchline. Goals not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven by the one who does the will of my father who is in heaven. One day, many will say to me Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name and do mighty works in your name and then will I declare to. I never knew you depart from me, you workers of lawlessness or in Ephesians 5, you sons and daughters of disobedience. Many will say that the indication is and what we do so what does this mean are we to the Jews that Ephesians 55 and these other passages to which I've now referred are we are we to assume that the Bible is teaching that if ever a person falls into one of these sins that they are then eternally excluded from the kingdom of heaven letting you know your Bible well enough to know the answer to that question as well.

Don't you the answer to that is no less) from Psalm hundred and 30, not arbitrarily, but I wanted to read verse four, but with you there is forgiveness.

This is the message of the gospel that if we confess our sins he is faithful and just and he forgives us our sins and he cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

That's the amazing story and that is at the heart of it all. Hence the incongruity that Paul now addresses and hence the danger that attaches to it. What he is referencing here are the life's of men and women that are if you like settled in this way.

It's the life of an idolater is the life of the person who in these terms has become sexually greedy he he he does not respond or she does not respond with thanksgiving to the precious gifts of God in the realm of human sexuality, but instead has made a lifestyle out of engaging in all kinds of things that take that individual and those in contact with him or her beyond the bounds of that which God has established for the well-being of his people.

With that said, it is not uncommon to hear people say, well, as far as I understand it all. Once you are declared righteous in Jesus because of what Jesus has done, then an actual flag.

Your lifestyle is premature and deal because after all, if I understand" justification then you are forgiven, past, present and future, and so the person says, as in Romans six.

Why don't I just go out and sin so that grace may abound and prove that I really understand the doctrine of justification, the answer is you clearly don't understand the doctrine of justification, because to put it in a nutshell law does not justify those whom he does not sanctify so you can take one piece of the puzzle and separated from the unfolding drama of God in salvation. So the justified person is the being sanctified person and the person who is not being sanctified or is not giving any evidence of it either has never been justified or doesn't understand what it means to live within the framework of God's great salvific purpose.

There's there's regeneration, the imparting of the spirit of God in our lives, without which we cannot even understand one Giotto Temple of the Bible without the illuminating power the Holy Spirit. The Bible, it could have been written in Chinese, for most of us because we were no grasp of it at all. What is it that one day suddenly allows us to see the truth of the Bible suddenly to read it and care suddenly to open it up and find that it speaks to me this is the power of God's spirit. He is the one who regenerates he is the one who illumines he is the one who justifies. He is the one who sanctified he is the one will bring it to completion. But when a person comes along side of said all I don't think so I don't get matters.

Christ bore the penalty of my sin, he met the demands of the law and therefore I'm free from all obligations of the law.

I hear it all the time. I don't have to deal everything with the law.

That's the Old Testament, they tell me the kingdom of God was different. The kingdom of Christ is in you notice the pride, the translation no one has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. I think what Paul is saying is, it don't play that stunt don't play the idea that the Old Testament was really concerned about this and the New Testament isn't concerned about it at all and if you have any doubt about that and just keep reading your Bible Romans chapter 8 and as Paul makes makes it clear that the law could never put a person right with God because nobody could ever keep the jolly thing. We've all broken the law.

All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So if our view of Christianity is what you're supposed to do is you get involved with a group of people and they just try your best effort for the rest of your life and hopefully you'll be able to overcome some of the bad stuff you been doing.

If you have a bad week and try and have a good week offset the bad week and so on. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here we have it verse three of Romans eight God God has done what the law weakened by the flash could not do. How was he done by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flash in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flash, but according to the spirit. For those who live according to the Spirit set their mind on the things of the spirit. For the things of the flesh is death, and so on.

He goes with his argument. Now remember, William started he started gloriously, there is now therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Those who have been justified by faith. Romans chapter 5 verse one and he is gone through six, and the challenge they are indeed reported that why don't we just do what we want to say, God forbid, you've never even understood justification into chapter 7 the good that I wanted to. I don't do the bad I don't want to do I end up doing that I'm involved in a continual and irreconcilable war will then who am I what I might pick the struggle of seven is more than matched by the reality of a I do wrestle against flesh against all these things because Christ lives in me. But sin, lives in. Therefore, I know the reality of that. Sometimes I wonder if I'm making any progress at all in my Christian life and that's why if you like. Chapter 7 is like the north side of the house orders like January in Cleveland right it's cold and it's it's it's threatening but Romans eight is the south side of the house late yesterday afternoon is 80° and gorgeous who would live anywhere else but we live in both sides of the house. The reality in Romans seven is a reality. The reality in Romans eight is a reality you don't get out of Romans seven to get into Romans eight you live your entire Christian life in seven and any and it is the reality of seven that is met by the glory of chapter 8, but in case they were going to go wrong. He says them.

By the way, what the law could not do God has done in the person of his son in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, not so that we can be lawless. We are looking at what real saving faith looks like a message from Alastair Begg today on Truth for Life. More on this topic tomorrow. If you're enjoying Alistair's teaching in our series titled love, light wisdom can own Alistair's complete study of the book of Ephesians. It's a nine volume series titled grace and peace. There are 83 messages in this series, all available on a convenient USB for just five dollars and the shipping is free of US look for it in the mobile app or our message today reminds us that the Christian life is a process God's purpose is to make us holy that comes as God disciplines us, but it also comes as we learn to pursue holiness by practicing spiritual disciplines, but we can't practice what we don't know. So today we want to recommend a book titled spiritual disciplines for the Christian life.

This book draws from Scripture to uncover the practices that God uses to make us more like his son.

You probably expect things like prayer and Bible reading to be on that list but about things like journaling or learning.

These are disciplines that may not be as familiar to you. And yet, they may just be the very disciplines God uses to further your spiritual growth.

You're welcome to request your copy of the book, spiritual disciplines for the Christian life. When you donate to support the Ministry of Truth for Life. Go to our website Truth for The image you see in our Bob Lapine, followers of Jesus stand forgiven because of Christ work on the cross, Jesus paid it all but does that mean were now free to live any way we choose, shirtless, and tomorrow is Alastair Begg delivers a warning for all of us. The Bible teaching of Alastair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life with the Learning is for Living