This is M Street weekly podcast of Mercy Street Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado. If you live in the Denver area and would like to know more about us like when we have our weekly Bible studies and services visit Mercy Street reformed. O RG. That’s Mercy Street reformed. Org.
This is Pastor Chris Moulton. Thanking you again for listening to em Street as you just heard this podcast is produced in part any way to promote interest in Mercy Street Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado. And so if you live in the Denver area, or if you know someone who does then please know that you or they are invited to join us for our Bible studies and Lord’s Day Services. Of course, this podcast is also produced. So as to be a blessing to all who take the time to listen to it and so by God’s grace, I hope and pray that this episode like all the others will be just that for all who hear it including yourself.
What’s up, about 20 years ago or thereabout. I was working as a part-time carpet installer in between my full-time teaching job. And on one occasion. I was installing carpet in the family’s basement wherein I opened what I thought was a closet door only then to find that instead. It was a small area maybe 2 foot deep by about four foot wide with about three or four shelves on it all lined with various trinkets statues and pictures I ask the homeowner what it all meant. Did he explain to me that as a family they practice the Hindu religion and that all of those little trinket statues pictures and what have you were or at least represented their gods their many deities that they worshipped and prayed to having never seen anything like that. I remember taking a minute or two to process at all after which I asked the man if he had ever heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As I recall, he said that he had not and so I was able to share it to present it to him as best as I knew how at that point at the conclusion of which he told me that he would like to add Jesus Christ to the rest of his collection of deities. So as to worship him right alongside all of his other so-called Gods little G.
So sadly that man that family and many others like them had some idea that there is such a thing as a God who deserves our worship, but neither he nor they had any idea who the one true and living God is or that there is only one true and living God and again the same thing holds true for a multitude of people all across this world.
I’ll come back to that. In just a minute. But first let me say a few words again about Auto fireguard the device that is designed to immediately extinguish fires in your home vehicle or business whether you are present when the fire breaks out or not. I read recently that according to the National Fire Protection Association nearly one-third of all total loss house fires occur in the months of December and January and February and also that the average household can expect five fires in the lifetime of us residents most of which are put out before they do much damage, of course, but not all and in many instances those same fires as well as the damage that does occur because of them could be greatly lessened. If only a certified auto fireguard device were in place.
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So getting back to the reality that there is one true and living God and only one true and living God. We as human beings and therefore as those made in God’s image have what we might call an innate desire and motivation to worship a god a being who is worthy of our praise and adoration. And yeah because we also naturally did the one true and living God we instead worship a God or Gods as the case may be of our own making the famous 16th century reformer pastor and theologian John Calvin wrote that we are all Naturally Speaking Idol factories. In other words, those that are ready and able to produce in our own minds all sorts of false gods that we enjoy worshiping praising the voting at least some portion of Our Lives to and again, that’s because as long as we’re left to ourselves, we will consistently and stubbornly refuse to believe the revelation.
The one true and living God which he gives us both from his word and also from his creation.
This episode of M Street I want to talk about the fact that first there is a God and that he reveals himself to us and those two ways through his word and through his creation and then Lord willing next time that he is one rather than many followed by the fact that he is also a Triune God, which I probably won’t get to until two or three episodes from now.
But so in the opening few words of the Apostles Creed which I spoke about last time. We State we confess that I believe in God the Father maker of heaven and Earth and yet even just the first four words of that statement namely I believe in God is worth considering before we go any further since like I just said in a sense that’s what all human beings believe I’ll be at in most cases. They believe in a God or an idol of their own making so what do we mean by the word god? Well stated simply the name God means one who is above all and or Supreme and therefore worthy of our Adoration of Our Praise of our worship and so on that there is such a one and only one is something like I said that many people deny and so instead of adoring praising and worshiping The God Who is
They come up with one of their own making even if it’s themselves, which sadly is often the case.
But now the next question we might ask is since there is one and only one true God how might we know that in other words if he has revealed himself to us. How did he do it so that we might by searching out his revelation of himself to us. Come to know him.
The answer to that question is that he has revealed himself to us primarily in two ways one is through what we call Natural Revelation or the evidence of his creative Majesty that we experience all around us on a daily basis.
While the other is what we sometimes call special Revelation or the word of God revealed in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, which is as Louis berkhof. Put it special Revelation par exsalonce.
I want to pause here and say that in considering the fact that there is a God and that he has made himself known to us through those means even though that’s absolutely true. Neither. I nor anyone else can simply provide the evidence to someone who dis believes that he exists and y La now, they suddenly believe
As we heard last time faith is in the saving variety wherein we believe and hold true all that God has revealed to us in his word is a gift which he gives to his own and not something that we merely figure out after having been given enough evidence.
For by grace, are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God Ephesians 2:8 and so I make that point now so as to be clear that some will likely hear what I’m about to say and give a hearty. Amen. While others will hear it and yet remain like the Hindu man in that house. I worked at and unbelief.
But so and thinking first then about God’s revelation of himself to us in nature, the evidence literally abounds of there being not some kind of accidental or chaotic first cause of all things that has now brought about what we know through evolutionary change, but instead it reveals an intelligent designer and Creator who himself is the first and sustaining cause of all that we touch see hear smell Etc when it comes to the earth and the space all around us.
Many of you have probably heard before the analogy used by Fred Hoyle years ago where and he talked about the possibilities of hurricane sweeping through a junkyard and thus assembling a Boeing 747. He been stated that the possibilities of that ever happening or something like one and 10 to the 40,000 power. In other words. It’s impossible in a similar but perhaps more advanced analogy Hugh Ross writes in his new book The Creator and his Cosmos that the universe is fine-tuning or another words the intricacy in intelligence and its design is 10 to the 43rd times more Exquisite more detail than its Precision. Then someone blindfolded with just one try randomly picking out a single marked proton from all the existing protons within the entire extent of the observable universe.
It’s so not simply from all the existing protons within your own backyard mind you or even in your own city, which is in itself a massive amount. But from all the protons in the entire observable universe universe. And again, it’s basically just another way of saying that what we call nature is abounding with evidence of an intelligent designer Creator and sustainer of all things rather than it all coming into being due to some sort of random explosion or through time plus chance, which is the god of evolution.
Horse much more can be said about that aspect of God’s revelation to us in nature. But because this isn’t a very long podcast and because we just ran out of time. I’m now going to say a few words about God’s other means of Revelation to us namely his special or written Revelation which we receive in his word the Bible.
So is beautiful and as clear as natural Revelation is to us that there is a God and that he did create it all including us. It still doesn’t tell us very much about himself like who he is his attributes what he requires even who we are as Fallen sinful human beings that need to save your to redeem us from our sin. And so God has graciously seen fit to further revealed himself to us through his written and preserved word from about the early fifteen hundreds BC up until about two thousand years ago. God inspired certain human Riders to take pain and hand as it were in right or record exactly word for word what he wanted them to write and nothing more. That’s not to say that is each one of those human writers wrote that they were then put into some kind of Supernatural trance where they became like robots writing words without any knowledge or understanding what they were doing.
But instead to court again from Louis berkhof got to use them just as they were but their character and temperament their gifts and talents their education and culture their vocabulary diction and style. He that is God a lumens their minds prompted them to write repress the influence of sin on their literary activity and guided them in the choice of their words and in the expression of their thoughts.
And again in doing so God therefore produced or offered for us a special written and preserved revelation of himself so that we could then take it up and read it. So as to know all that we need to know about him and in the context of what we’re hearing in this episode most particularly that he and he alone is the one true and living God.
Also adds with God’s natural Revelation more to can certainly be said in regard to his special or written Revelation to us. But for now, I’ll close with this besides his word simply reviewing to us the fact that he is God also reveals to us in his word the way that we can come to know him and be loved by him. And that way is Jesus Christ. He is the way the truth and the life only through faith in him only by resting our souls upon his finished work only through saving faith in Jesus Christ. Can we have the one true God as our God and have him in that way forever.
From beginning to end the way of Salvation through Jesus Christ is revealed to us in God’s word. And so may we all take it up and read it to the glory of God and to the edification of our soul. I’ll close with that and until next time May the mercy that God bestows on sinners like myself be yours.
This is Benham Street a weekly podcast of Mercy Street Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado to find out more about us or more about the Reformed Church in the United States to visit Mercy Street. Reform. O RG. That’s Mercy Street reformed. Org.
This is M Street. The weekly podcast of Mercy Street Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado. If you live in the Denver area and would like to know more about us like when we hold our weekly Bible studies and services visit Mercy Street reformed. Org. That’s Mercy Street reformed. Org.
This is Pastor Chris Moulton and I want to thank you for listening to another episode of M Street. I recently came across a statistic which stated that as of June 2018. There were over half-a-million podcasts to choose from and so that you would choose to spend a few minutes of your time listening to this one something that I’m thankful for. It’s also something that I hope and pray will be a blessing to your soul after speaking on the subject of Faith particularly the saving variety as I did last time it now makes sense to say a few words about the object of that saving faith that truth which Christian faith rests upon.
In what’s perhaps a more narrow sense of Christians faith has for its object the promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ while in the more broad sense, we might say that our faith rest upon the entire word of God, which is really much the same thing since all of God’s word reveals that same gospel to us and so from the initial in the beginning of Genesis 1:1 to the final. Amen a revelation 22 every word every sentence every passage every chapter every one of the 66 books that make up the Bible is all the very word of God, but she has sovereignly chosen to reveal to us his church and with that being the case then we have no right no proper right anyway to doubt or to disbelieve any part of it.
But instead were to receive it and to believe it as the final authority of all truth again given to us from the one true and living God.
Not to be sure in those 66 books which are made up of 1189 chapters and a little bit over 31,000 versus there is a lot for us to take you in to comprehend, especially when it comes to what God reveals about himself about his law about us has fallen sinful human beings about the only way that he has provided for us to be delivered from our sin to Jesus Christ. And so forth those major doctrines that scripture teaches because of that and because we as Christians want to be able and need to be able to confess what we believe concerning God’s word.
And to do so in some sort of summary fashion. God has therefore raised up learning to individuals to Faithfully summarize for us those major themes those major points that are revealed to us in the Bible and then to write them down in the form of Creeds and confessions. So as to be preserved for the church in the ages to come
Now the word creed is in the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed comes from the Latin word Credo which simply means I believe and so will Creed is really just a statement albeit somewhat brief to the point statement which describes what a person believes concerning a certain something and in the case of the well-known Creed’s of Christianity that certain something would be what is believe when it comes to God’s word. Similarly a confession is in the belgic confession or the Westminster Confession of faith is also a statement usually a bit more. And then agreed would be of what a Christian believes and confesses to be true again concerning those major teachings of the Bible together, then the historic Creeds and confessions of the church are those same written down and preserved statements that have been used that are still being used by the church to declare and to be clear on.
What she believes God’s word to teach now. Probably you like me have heard at some time in the past. Those who claim that the only Creed in the the only confession they need is the Bible something like no Creed but Christ.
Well, besides that kind of statement in itself actually being a confession or a creative what a person believes what that kind of conviction also does for a person who holds it is. It leaves them open to false teachers who could very easily come in and twist scripture to their own hurt and other words it easily allows false teachers to lead others astray from the truth of what God’s word actually teaches take the deity of Christ. For example, throughout history. There has been and again there continues to be those with Bible in hand mind you like the two Mormons that I recently spoke with that have stated that Jesus Christ wasn’t or isn’t the second person of the godhead fully human and fully divine.
Because those same individuals have either greatly are either been greatly deceived themselves or are bent on deceiving others or both. They’re then able to turn to various Bible verses so as to quote on quote prove their point or so they think
but then by ignoring the Creeds and confessions which again give us a faithful and I underline those two words a faithful summary of what God’s word really and truly teaches concerning Jesus Christ there then leaving themselves all the more susceptible to the enemies lies. None of us including the smartest biblical scholar you may know of are in and of ourselves able to Simply read and then rightly interpret all that God’s word reveals to us. We need to glean from those that God has called and ordained throughout history to study and make clear the major doctrines of scripture so that we can then so that we can then begin to know the truth and to become more mature in the face.
To ignore that history to deny all that the major church councils and send it to have have put forth by way of biblically sound Creeds and confessions is nothing more than selfish pride in Romans, 10 13 and 14. We read these words for whoever calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved how then shall They Call On Him whom they have not believed and how should they believe on him? Whom they have not heard and how shall they hear without a preacher?
So what are the major things that we learn from that passage is that God is a God that uses means and that one of the means one of the chief ways that he has chosen to use when it comes to blessing. His church is preachers and teachers that study and then proclaimed most often verbally, but sometimes in written form as well the truth contained in his word even as a pastor who’s calling is to spend a significant part of my time in the study for me to ignore the teaching of others is foolishness. I need just like everyone else needs to feed upon the fruitful labors of those that have gone before and especially those that have by the grace of God given us those faithful summaries of his word.
And well written article on the subject of the church’s historical Creeds and confessions Pastor in seminary Professor Ligon Duncan wrote how that those same Creeds and confessions have been and are still used by the church in three ways first, he wrote that they defined and defended Doctrine and thereby protected the church from false teaching second. They’ve been used for catechizing that is training and equipping Believers with a well-rounded overview the Bible teaching on the main points of religion. And third they have been used for doxology and worship. In other words in the form or Liturgy of the church. Mainly he said they’ve been used for those first two ways, but all three show us how the Creeds and confessions are employed.
in that same article, he wrote how that everyone is confessional in other words everyone confesses to believe something but whether it’s written and biblical is another matter speaking of which when it comes to the Creeds and confessions of the church, we always want to make sure that we keep in mind that they are not the final Authority only God’s word is that
Reverend Duncan also wrote that confessions themselves are not inherently authoritative. They point to the final authority of God’s word confessions only help us say we believe and teach this because we believe the Bible and by the way, he added 20 centuries of Christians agree with us, which is to say that we like so many professing brothers and sisters in Christ before us confess and agree with the same summary statements concerning what the final authority of God’s word teacher.
Turn out why all this talk about the Creeds and confessions of the church. Here’s why in the Heidelberg Catechism the question that comes just after the one we went over last time, which asks what is true faith is the question that asks what then is necessary for a Christian to believe with the answer be all that is promised us in the gospel which the articles of our Catholic or Universal undoubted Christian faith teach us in summary. Just after that comes to the question which asks, what are these articles? And the answer to that question is word-for-word the Apostles Creed which is then used more or less as the basis for the next 40 questions or so. And again since it’s a faithful summary of what God’s word reveals to us when it comes to the main points of Christianity.
It makes perfect sense to do so.
Now it’s called the Apostles Creed not because the apostles wrote it but because it Faithfully represents the apostolic teaching or the same teaching that we read when we go through the New Testament. It does date back to a very early time. Of the New Testament Church around 3:50 ad and its earliest form with the final wording as we know it today dating to around the night Century ad as well. See as we continue it has a wonderfully Rich testimony of the trinitarian nature of God. And in fact, that’s how it is divided into three parts the first part dealing with God the Father the second part with God the Son and the third part with God the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps, you know the Apostles Creed by heart. Maybe you recite it on a regular basis. I know that I do but even though that’s a common experience for many of us. I also know that it can be one of those things that we just do without giving much thought as to what were actually confessing to believe as a Christian. Hopefully this study that we’re about to undertake in the weeks to come and looking at the Apostles Creed in more depth will challenge us to know all the more what we really believe so that we’re not merely going through the motions and also then to know what God has revealed to us concerning himself particularly in his word to know him to know his love to know his mercy and Grace to us in Christ is Mankind’s greatest. Joy, and as we use the means of Grace that he’s given us even this faithful summary of his word.
Maybe may we all come to know that mercy and Grace in our own lives and until next time May that’s a mercy that God bestows on sinners like myself be yours.
This is Benham Street weekly podcast of Mercy Street Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado to find out more about us or more about the rcus. Visit Mercy Street. Reform. Org. That’s Mercy Street reformed. Org.
This is M Street weekly podcast of Mercy Street Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado. If you live in the Denver area and would like to know more about us like when we hold our weekly Bible studies or our services visit Mercy Street reform too. O RG, that’s Mercy Street reformed. Org.
Hello. Again, this is Pastor Chris Moulton. And for those of you who have listen to previous episodes of M Street. Welcome back for those of you who may be listening for the first time. Thank you for tuning in and I do hope that you’re blessed and doing so.
So the other night my wife and I watch the game show Deal or No Deal and if you’re not familiar with that particular program then let me make it as simple as I can and just say that the basic premise is the same as just about every other game show, which is when the biggest prize you can without getting skunked.
Matilda contestant on the night in which we watched kept talking about how much he believed that he was going to win at 1.2 even got the entire audience chanting the word believe believed believed over and over again as though as long as he and maybe even the audience believed well enough believe strongly enough maybe even believe long enough when he was then going to walk away with a big prize. So guess what in the end he walks away with a whopping $5. So all that believing didn’t quite work the way that he and everyone else was hoping it would but then understand this that’s really all that was it was hoping was wishing that in the end of the big prize would be one not really anything more than that. Certainly not face.
Unfortunately, we often confuse. Hope or are wishing that something would be true with faith and what actually is and that’s true. Not just when it comes to game shows but in many other areas of life as well. You see true faith is always grounded on something outside of one’s self and not on something that we simply want to be. We all have certain thoughts and ideas about things things that we wish were true or at least we’re true for ourselves. For instance. I might wish that I could fly or I might wish that I could ski like Candide thovex which is sort of the same thing. And in fact, I might even believe that one day if everything just worked out right that I would actually be able to fly indoor ski like that crazy Frenchman, but then even if I could it still not Faith still not true faith that I have.
He said it would just be something that I longed for which may or may not come to past true faith on the other hand has for its foundation its substance.
That which is true, whether we believe it or not and when it comes to True saving Faith, even the kind that saves our soul from hell that Foundation that substance is the gospel of God. Is this reveal to us in God’s word the Bible.
Last time we heard about why it is that not everyone born of the first atom and therefore wretched Sinners are saved from their sin by Jesus Christ.
The reason why everyone isn’t saved from their sin is because only those who possess true Faith or engrafted into Christ and receive all his benefits and four more on that subject. You could listen to last week’s episode. But so that then raises another question. What is true faith?
If only those who possess it are ultimately saved from the wrath of God that their sins deserve which is huge then what is it? And how does a person obtain it?
What’s the answer to that same question? Particularly? What is true faith that the Heidelberg Catechism looks at next and for that reason and because it logically fits with the order of things will do the same.
What’s on Romans chapter 3 verse 4 we read let God be true, but every man a liar and other words, even if no mere human being wherever to believe forever to trust that what God reveals to us in his words were true. It would still be true. Anyway regardless of what everyone else thinks about it. And so that’s the foundation. That’s the substance that I was speaking about a few minutes ago God’s word. The Bible is outside of us. It’s not something that we dream up on her own instead. It’s the most solid the most reliable reality that there is.
Of course, there always has been and there always will be those who mock God word who say and believe that Christians were the ones who were dreaming is in dreaming that the Bible is actually God’s revealed word of Truth to mankind. But again, that doesn’t change the reality of what it actually is God’s very word his inerrant infallible Revelation to mankind.
Know what does God reveal to us in that word? Well, he reveals how creation began and how we all got here. He reveals how our first parents fell from their original estate of sinlessness and how not only themselves but all of their offspring then became Sinners deserving of Grey deserving of death.
He reveals how that even very early on in history. God promised the way of deliverance from sin by means of his providing a perfect savior. Would one day come and destroy sin and death.
Along those same lines reviews to us just to that savior is Jesus Christ and what is necessary for him to be our savior who does forgives our sins personally? No other vital truths like them are all revealed to us in God’s holy word the Bible and in all that reveal to us there we can rest assured that it is 100% true now and always
So true face then is the catechism puts it holds for truth. All that God has revealed to us in his word and we might say that that’s the outside part of Saving faces again. It’s what’s outside of us. It’s not dreamed up by us either. Is it something that we just hope for because it sounds like something we like to have instead it comes to us from
well, then that’s what’s outside of us when it comes to True faith. And this is what’s inside of us a sure knowledge and Hardy trust or an assured confidence and all that the word of God reveal.
To truly believe something means that we first have to know something about it. For example, it would be silly for me to say that I believed in the third law of thermodynamics. If I had no idea what it was more realistically perhaps to say that I believe in the government of lichtenstein’s national policy on growing rice. I don’t even know if they have such a policy so it would be silly for me to say I believe it was the same thing when it comes to God’s word if I said that I believe that but I’ve never read it and never had it read to me and never had it explained.
But then I would be professing to believe something that I knew nothing about all of which makes no sense.
For that reason true Faith, isn’t that but instead it’s a sure knowledge of what God’s word review.
Now it may not be an exhaustive knowledge. In fact in the life of any True Believer his or her faith will continue to be ever-increasing ever increasing in the knowledge of the Bible is they sit under its preaching?
But it is still a faith that rest upon what it knows to be true as it’s been revealed in God’s word.
At the same time truth is also a Hardy or a confident trust and what we know concerning God’s revelation to us. So for instance when it says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God or when it says that there is none righteous. No, not one.
The person who possesses true Faith doesn’t doubt those things especially and how it relates to them personally, but instead they hardly agree with it. They read God’s law. They know what it requires of them personal perpetual and perfect obedience, and they also then know themselves to be violators of that law on there for Sinners deserving of God’s Wrath.
But that along with that the True Believer has a hearty trust in the fact that those who repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved. And so with the knowledge of both of those biblical realities they possess are there for saved by or through that instrument of true faith in the gospel of God. It isn’t wishful thinking it isn’t something based on any mere human being that with a mini mere human being could come up with but instead it rest on the word of God and it’s a Shore knowledge a Hardy trust that resides inside a person’s heart of hearts, which is another way of saying in the core of their being
Okay, but so that’s what true Faith rests upon. That’s also what it is. But then where does it come from in other words is true saving Faith something that you or I can just figure out on her own sort of like we do with math or the skill of painting or something like that.
Winstead the true face like God’s word have another source outside of ourselves even a Divine source.
Let me answer that question in this way using what we just went over trusting heartily and God’s word. We come to know.
That a person any person is saved Not By Their Own Strength, but by grace through faith and listen, not of yourselves. It is a gift of God as it says in Ephesians 2:8 another words neither are being saved nor the true faith that we come to possess so that we can have a sure knowledge in a Hardy trust is something that we come up with our own but instead it’s all from beginning to end a work of God’s grace that he works in Us by his holy spirit.
Besides Ephesians 2 we could turn to John 3 or John. I’m sorry where Jesus said that unless a person is born again as in born again from above Born Again of God that he cannot enter into the kingdom of God after which Jesus said that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is Spirit.
Course, we’re all naturally born of the flesh from our first parents, but we then need is to be born again the second time in the spiritual sense so that we can then know and trust God’s word and it’s the work of the holy spirit that enlightens our minds to that truth as he makes us new creatures in Jesus Christ. All of which comes then from a Divine Source again outside of ourselves.
I like how George Bethune put it when he wrote that sin has so disordered and impaired our moral faculty. So as to render us incapable of understanding or relishing the truth of the Divine word into our hearts are at enmity against God. Therefore there must be a regeneration or recreating of our natures and enlightening of the eyes of our understanding so that we may then know and prove the good and acceptable will of God cuz it’s revealed to us in his word.
That’s what I need. That’s what you need. That’s what each and every sinner ever born into this world needs the work of the Holy Spirit recreating us so that we can then and only then be able to not only possess but also walked by live by faith in the gospel of God.
How close is this week’s episode of one more George Bethune quote one that nicely sums up what we just went over all dreams or visions or Supernatural intimations of any kind. All Impressions sentiments or impulses of our own all dictates of public opinion, ecclesiastical decrees or traditions of men are Unworthy of trust. They are not the instruments by which the Holy Spirit works. The sword of the spirit is the word of God Alone. We believe God and his testimony we need no more.
We will take no less.
Until next time May the mercy that God bestows on sinners like myself be yours.
This is Benham Street. The weekly podcast of Mercy Street Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado to find out more about us or more about the rcus. Visit Mercy Street reformed. Org. That’s Mercy Street reformed. Org.
This is M Street. The weekly podcast of Mercy Street Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado to find out more about Mercy Street Reformed Church, like when we meet for weekly Bible studies as well as our Sunday Services visit Mercy Street reform. Org. That’s Mercy Street reformed. Org.
Welcome back to M Street. This is Pastor Chris Moulton. And I want to thank you again for listening. We’ve now reached over 1,000 downloads which may not sound like much to some but I’m thankful to the Lord for that blessing will also praying that according to his will it might increase all the more not merely for number sake but so that his truth sent out through this medium might be a blessing to many. I also want to mention that there won’t be a typical advertisement for auto Fire Guard this time speaking of that. It’s not that M Street is really sponsored by afg firepro., It’s just that that’s a side business that my wife and my wife and I are attempting to run in order to help support our work here in Denver. It is a good product that really does offer a viable way to put out a fire. That’s why we try to sell them. Anyway, that’s as much advertising is I’ll do this episode other than to say if you haven’t already done, so please check out afg fire Pro. Com.
All right. So this is certainly the time of year where in there are a lot of colored and sometimes not so colored lights plugged in drive through a neighborhood drive by certain buildings, maybe even in your own home. And there they are they’re plugged in there lit up. Now. I know that what I’m about to say is basic electricity 101 but typical house at least in the US has electricity running to it by a power lines that are connected to a power plant of some kind at the same time. There are plugs or Outlets that more or less contain that electrical power so that once a device that operates on electricity is plugged into one of those receptacles will then it works in the case of Lights it lights up as long as a lamp or string of lights remain unplugged. Of course unless they’re the kind that runs on batteries or solar power will then they remain unlit or dark.
Welcome back to that in just a minute. But now because each one of these episodes follows a certain order which is the same basic order followed by the Heidelberg Catechism. Let’s briefly consider what we’ve gone over so far in M Street as well as an introduction to what’s next again just to have some order to all of this after first going over what a person’s only comfort in life and death truly is from about episode 2 till about episode 6 we heard about who we are as miserable sinners in the next few episodes we heard about who it is that can change or cover over or who provides a way of escape from that sin and misery namely Jesus Christ and now in this 14th episode and probably in the next couple of episodes as well will focus our attention on how it is that he provides that way of Escape how it is that God has ordained salvation to work or become effectual and alive,
Of those who are truly saved and so again that’s more or less where we’ve been and as far as this episode in the next few or concerned, that’s where we’re going. All right. Now I think with me again about the lights and their need to be plugged in in order for them to do what they’re meant to do which is light up and along with that think of us miserable Sinners that we are including myself is being like those lights who are left in the dark not operating as we were originally created to operate which is as those living in a loving relationship with our Creator God as long as we remain unplugged or unattached to God.
In John’s gospel chapter 3 verse 19. We read Jesus words to Nicodemus where he said and this is the condemnation that the light has come into the world and Men loved Darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.
Now who are those men who are those people that love darkness and Tuesdays are evil. It’s us it’s you and me is every other person ever born into this world except one. And that one is Jesus Christ. His deeds were never evil neither was he ever in darkness? And neither was he ever Darkness himself, but he said he always was he always will be light the kind of like that reveal to us the love of God In His glory even as our first parents Adam and Eve new and experienced before falling into sin.
Then because of that fall into sin and because we are all Naturally Speaking In Adam inheriting from him the same kind of sinful nature that he had plus and having him as our head or the federal representative of us as human beings. Are we all naturally love darkness? And it’s as Jesus said that is our condemnation namely that we love sin and hate God.
Now in considering what we’ve been hearing in our previous episodes and in particular how it is that Jesus Christ the second Adam The One and Only God man is also the one who has restored to sinful mankind. What was lost in the first Adam or is opened the way for Sinners to have their sins forgiven and themselves reconciled back into God’s favor. The question naturally then arises are all men are all sinners then saved by Christ as they have perished in a dim and other words does the bible teach a universal Redemption an all-encompassing atonement? Whereby everyone that was lost in the first atom are now restored saved in Jesus Christ.
Being a former PE teacher and Coach. I know something of the value of physical exercise and so I tried a somewhat frequently workout at a local gym. When I go there so many times and other guy who works out there and in talking with him a few times, he’s told me that he believes that everyone and I do mean everyone for him. Even the fallen angels and Satan himself will one day be safe. And the reason why he says he knows that is because scripture teaches that Christ died for all
What’s up, in one sense? He’s right scripture does say the words that Christ died for all infect and 2nd Corinthians 5 14 and 15. We read for the love of God compels us because we judged us that if one died for all then all died and he died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and rose again,
We’re also told in Romans 5:18. Therefore as through one man’s offense and that one man, there would be the first atom judgment came to all men resulting in condemnation even so through one man’s righteous act and there that one man would be Jesus Christ the second Adam the free gift came to all men resulting in justification of life until those in other passages like them might lead someone to think that God is teaching us that yes all people universally speaking or saved or Justified are reconciled to God but
What the man at the gym and others like him fail to exercise is their use of the whole of scripture, which also says this in Matthew 25 when the son of man comes in his glory and all the Holy Angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory all the nations will be gathered before him and he will separate them one from another as a Shepherd divides his sheep from the goats and he will set the sheep on his right hand. But the goats on the left then the king will say to those on his right hand come you blessed of my father inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world and then a little further in that passage. Then he will also say to those on the left hand depart from me you cursed into the Everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
And these will go away into Everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
There’s also what we’re told and John 3, except a man be born again. He cannot see the kingdom of God and he that does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God.
So those in other passages like them make it clear that not everyone is Justified not everyone is saved not everyone is reconciled back to God, but only those who live by faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
What about those verses that make it sound like all will be saved or that there is such a thing as universal Redemption. Well, we need to understand that the little word all doesn’t necessarily mean all of mankind but instead that it can mean sometimes does mean people from All Nations as opposed to just the Jews as it was primarily in the Old Testament dispensation, or it can also mean all of God’s chosen ones even all that. He chose from before the foundation of the world as we just heard from Matthew 25.
Let’s go back to that analogy. I use earlier about us being like lights that are unlit in the dark as it were unless and until we are plugged into the receptacle at which time we’re giving the ability to do what we were originally made to do to live as lights in the world and power to do so by God. That’s of course an analogy that I thought of but the biblical analogy that used in both John’s gospel and enrollments and it’s also referred to in the answer given to the question in the Heidelberg Catechism concerning whether or not everyone is saved by Christ.
Is that of being like branches of a rotten dying Vine better than taken by a gracious husbandman or farmer and grafted into the stem of a living and vibrant Vine or tree causing us to have a fruitful life filled with what’s good and right listen to Howard George Bethune commented on that analogy used by John in the Apostle Paul, when he wrote these words by Nature. We are branches of a condemned and pernicious Vine bearing only evil fruit and soon to be cast Into the Fire of ourselves. We cannot separate from the accursed stem much less make ourselves part of the Living Vine Jesus Christ.
God by his holy spirit takes us Cuts us off from the ruined Vine and graphs us into the stem of Christ. The vital Union is then formed a new life flows into the grafted branch and it blossoms buds puts forth leaves and yields good fruit not from itself, but by virtue of the life it derives from the stem Christ is still the vine. The fruit is also all his but he makes the once wildbranch part of himself.
And so makes it fruitful and himself fruitful is not a great way of stating it. We all need to be United to we all need to be grafted into Jesus Christ to be plugged in to him if you will and yet we all love darkness, which means we don’t want what we need. We don’t love what we need. What we do what we do want is to remain in our sin. But because God has chosen again from before the foundation of the world to graciously and mercifully take some out of that darkness and bring them into His Marvelous Light into Christ grafting them into him.
He ever so Sovereign Lee does what he is determined to do.
Not from our standpoint. It does appear as though we make that choice based on our knowing that were Sinners based on our knowing that we need to save your face. Tonda are knowing that we that the only true savior is Jesus Christ while in actuality, it’s God that works that in us that same Saving Face to believe to know to trust in all of those things. And so knowing that we then give all the glory to whom
What we give it to God alone for his Amazing Grace which saves wretched sinners like you and me through faith.
Lord willing will continue to hear more about that same Saving Face next time and until then may the mercy that God bestows on sinners like myself be yours.
Thank you again for listening to M Street. If you would like to know more about Mercy Street Reformed Church in Denver Colorado. If you’d like to know more about the Reformed Church in the United States visit Mercy Street reformed. Org, that’s Mercy Street reformed. Org.