Definition of Key Terms, Part 2 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #60)

The Bible says in Matthew 19:25-26: “When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from John MacArthur. He said: “Saving faith is not just believing that Jesus lived and died. Faith that saves is the confident, continuous confession of total dependence on, and trust in Jesus Christ to meet the requirements on your behalf to give you entrance into God’s Eternal Kingdom. It’s the surrender of your life in complete trust to Him to do what you cannot do.”

Our topic today is Definition of Key Terms (Part 2) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

Christians sometimes use words and phrases that are foreign to those who are not saved. As we close out the Understanding God’s Great Salvation podcast, we are going to look at what some of these words and phrases mean. If you are a new believer or thinking about becoming a believer, this will be very beneficial to you.

Grace. The unmerited favor of God in giving His Son and all the benefits that result from receiving Him.

Impute. To reckon or ascribe something to someone; e.g., God’s ascribing the righteousness of Christ to the believer.

Justification. To declare a person righteous. God does this for the believer because He has imputed the righteousness of Christ to that person. People justify others when they see their good works.

Lord. A superior. In the New Testament, it means sir, sovereign, master, God, owner, and husband.

Lordship salvation. The teaching that to be saved a person must not only trust Jesus as Savior but also as the Lord of his life, submitting (or at least being willing to submit) his life to His sovereign authority.

Perseverance. The belief that a believer cannot fall away from grace but will continue in good works to the end of life.

Predestination. God’s planning before time the destiny of His children to be conformed to the image of Christ.

Bringing Many Sons to Glory, Part 2 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #55)

The Bible says in Ephesians 1:3-6: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from G.V. Wigram. He said: “God has set us in His Son, hidden us in Him. As Moses was put into the cleft of the rock, so God has put us into Christ.”

Our topic today is titled Bringing Many Sons to Glory (Part 2) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

THE PEOPLE ADOPTED

Part of God’s Grand Plan includes being predestined to the adoption as sons. When God adopts, He places the believer in His family as a fully privileged adult. Adoption (a Pauline doctrine) makes us adults in God’s family; the new birth (a Johannine doctrine) causes us to be born as babes in God’s family. Adoption includes and guarantees full standing and privileges in the family. Being born into the family brings with it the need for growth and development and maturity. Being adopted and being born both occur simultaneously at the moment one receives the Savior.

Adoption cuts off all the relationships and responsibilities of the former family. At the same time, God, the head of the new family, has promised never to cut off those whom He adopts. Therefore, adoption assures us that all the adopted sons will be brought to glory.

Bringing Many Sons to Glory, Part 1 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #54)

The Bible says in Hebrews 2:10: “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from John MacArthur. He said: “Saving faith is not just believing that Jesus lived and died. Faith that saves is the confident, continuous confession of total dependence on, and trust in Jesus Christ to meet the requirements on your behalf to give you entrance into God’s Eternal Kingdom. It’s the surrender of your life in complete trust to Him to do what you cannot do.”

Our topic today is titled Bringing Many Sons to Glory (Part 1) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

I once kept an account at a bank that offered what they called “The Grand Plan.” Those bank customers who kept a certain amount of money on deposit could qualify for the Grand Plan, which offered a number of free benefits. As a matter of fact, Grand Plan customers received checks with a Grand Plan logo printed on them so that any teller could see immediately that you belonged to that special group. It was a good deal for those who could qualify.

God has the ultimate Grand Plan. To qualify requires only faith in Christ as one’s Savior. Then the benefits become available immediately and continue forever. His Grand Plan began in eternity past and continues throughout eternity future. Its purpose is to bring or lead many sons to glory.

THE LAMB PROVIDED

The roots of God’s plan of redemption existed before the foundation of the world. Even before man was created, the Lamb was provided. Certainly before man sinned in the Garden of Eden, the Lamb had already been provided. God did not have to scurry around seeing what plan He could come up with when Adam and Eve rebelled against Him. The Lamb, without spot or blemish, had already been provided in the purpose and Grand Plan of God.

In the fullness of time God sent the Lamb. He lived a sinless life and thus proved to be spotless and fully qualified as the acceptable sacrifice for sin. He died, and by that death He paid for the sins of the whole world, although the personal appropriation of that payment comes through faith. He reconciled the world to Himself, yet to make that applicable to me personally, I have to be reconciled to God through faith.

Fruitful or Faithless? Part 5 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #17)

The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:3-6: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from the Bible Knowledge Commentary by Dr. John F. Walvoord and Dr. Roy B. Zuck:

As in modern times, some in the Ephesian church were prepared to question the validity of a prayer for the salvation of all men. Thus Paul defended his instructions by pointing out that such a prayer is good, and pleases God our Savior. Literally, the Greek says that such a prayer is “acceptable before” (in the presence of) God. Many prayers are unacceptable to God, but not this one.

The reason this prayer is acceptable to God is that it is a prayer “according to His will.” God, who is by nature a Savior, wants all men to be saved. Paul repeated the words “everyone” and “all men.” The same Greek word “all” is used in each case, referring all three times to the same group. God desires that no one perish, that the entire human race come to know the truth through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the Truth. (Of course not all do come to salvation; Paul was not teaching universalism.)

We will continue looking at this passage in our next broadcast.

Today’s quote is from Jonathan Edwards. He said: “If there be ground for you to trust in your own righteousness, then, all that Christ did to purchase salvation, and all that God did to prepare the way for it is in vain.”

Our topic today is titled “Fruitful or Faithless? (Part 5)” from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

This subtopic is titled, WHAT ARE BIBLICAL FRUITS?

Back to the biblical teaching on fruit. What is fruit? Actually the question ought to be phrased in the plural: What are fruits that a Christian can bear? The New Testament gives several answers to the question.

First, a developing Christian character is fruit. If the goal of the Christian life may be stated as Christlikeness, then surely every trait developed in us that reflects His character must be fruit that is very pleasing to Him. Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit in nine terms in Galatians 5:22–23, and Peter urges the development of seven accompaniments to faith in order that we might be fruitful. Two of these terms are common to both lists: love and self-control. The others are joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, virtue, knowledge, endurance, piety, and brotherly love. To show these character traits is to bear fruit in one’s life.

Second, right character will result in right conduct, and as we live a life of good works we produce fruit. This goes hand in hand with increasing in the knowledge of God, for as we learn what pleases Him, our fruitful works become more and more conformed to that knowledge. When Paul expressed how torn he was between the two possibilities of either dying and being with Christ or living on in this life, he said that living on would mean fruitful labor or work. This phrase could mean that (1) his work itself was fruit, or (2) fruit would result from his work. In either case, his life and work were fruit. So may ours be.

Third, those who come to Christ through our witness are fruit. Paul longed to go to Rome to have some fruit from his ministry there, and he characterized the conversion of the household of Stephanas as the firstfruits of Achaia.

Fourth, we may also bear fruit with our lips by giving praise to God and thankfully confessing His name. In other words, our lips bear fruit when we offer thankful acknowledgment to the name of God. And this is something we should do continually.

Fifth, we bear fruit when we give money. Paul designated the collection of money for the poorer saints in Jerusalem as fruit. Also, when he thanked the Philippians for their financial support of his ministry, he said that their act of giving brought fruit to their account.

To sum up, fruit includes: (1) a Christlike character, (2) a life characterized by good works, (3) a faithful witness, (4) a pair of lips that praise God, and (5) a generous giving of one’s money.

Straw Men and Salvation, Part 4 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #9)

[audio https://www.buzzsprout.com/26114/201379-straw-men-and-salvation-part-4-understanding-god-s-great-salvation-9.mp3]

The Bible says in Luke 2:10: “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from the Bible Knowledge Commentary by Dr. John F. Walvoord and Dr. Roy B. Zuck:

An announcing angel and other angels appeared at night to a group of shepherds and heralded the birth of the Savior in the town of David, that is, Bethlehem. The shepherds may have been caring for lambs which were destined for sacrifice during the time of Passover. The appearance of the angel and of the radiant glory of the Lord terrified them. The Greek word for “terrified” (literally, “they feared a great fear”) stresses the intensity of this fear. The angels’ message was comforting. The shepherds were told not to be afraid. The message was that “a Savior,” Christ the Lord, was born. This was good news of great joy. Throughout Luke “joy” is often associated with salvation. This news was to be proclaimed to all the people. These were specifically the people of Israel, but perhaps Luke also hinted that the Savior would be for all mankind.

Today’s quote is from R.A. Torrey. He said: “I am ready to meet God face to face tonight and look into those eyes of infinite holiness, for all my sins are covered by the atoning blood.”

Our topic today is titled “Straw Men and Salvation (Part 4)” from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

The fourth straw man underscores the need to represent accurately opposing viewpoints. Quoting from someone exactly (as indicated by quotation marks around the quote) guarantees an accurate representation of what the person believes. That is what proponents of lordship salvation sometimes do when they lift from context quotes by those who hold a position contrary to their own.

It is not difficult to extract a quotation from its context and make it seem to say what you wanted it to say rather than what the author intended it to say and what in fact it does say. That kind of straw man is easily demolished, especially if you quote something that seems ridiculous out of context.

The misuse of exact quotations has always made me very wary when writing book reviews. A good book review should evaluate a book from several aspects — what is good about it, what may have been omitted, what the reviewer disagrees with. Relatively few books I have reviewed in my lifetime have been totally and completely bad. Therefore, I try to point out in what areas the book will be helpful. But what often happens is that when the second edition of the book appears, the publisher will redo the dust jacket to include excerpts from published reviews. It goes without saying that the publisher will not publicize any detrimental comments. But in quoting only positive remarks from reviews, the reviewer’s evaluation will be misrepresented and sometimes grossly so.

I reviewed a book some years ago and said that it filled “an important gap in our literature,” that it “should be studied,” and that “The publication of this book will be welcomed by evangelicals.” But I also pointed out some of the author’s basic presuppositions with which I disagreed and some of his exegesis which I thought to be wrong. What do you think the publisher quoted on the jacket to the second edition?

So be on guard. If for any reason you suspect that a quotation does not fairly represent what you think you know of someone’s teaching, then check into it. It goes without saying that to misrepresent intentionally, even if quoting exactly, is unworthy of a Christian author or publisher.

Other straw men, such as using the phrase “cheap grace” or saying that salvation has no practical consequences, will be examined in subsequent chapters. But for now, exposing the four which we have covered may help clear the air and focus our attention on the meaning of the biblical text about salvation. That’s where the truth is, and if we understand it accurately and express it with semantic clarity, both the truth and those to whom we communicate it will be well served.

Straw Men and Salvation, Part 3 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #8)

The Bible says in John 6:37: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from the Bible Knowledge Commentary by Dr. John F. Walvoord and Dr. Roy B. Zuck:

The Father works sovereignly in people’s lives. There is an election of God which is the Father’s gift to the Son. The Son has no concern that His work will be ineffective, for the Father will enable people to come to Jesus. Jesus has confidence. But people may have confidence also. One who comes to Jesus for salvation will by no means be driven away.

Today’s quote is from Blaise Pascal. He said: “It is good to be tired and wearied by the futile search after the true good, that we may stretch out our arms to the Redeemer.”

Our topic today is titled “Straw Men and Salvation (Part 3)” from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

The third straw man concerns the antiquity or recency of a teaching. If something was taught by the early church, then it must be true. If a teaching is more recent, then its truthfulness is at least suspect, if not untrue.

Christians can be carnal, living by and for their fleshly desires. This teaching, however, is said to be new in this century, allegedly making it suspect, if not unbiblical. On the other hand, lordship and lordship-like statements by those who lived earlier in the history of the church must surely indicate that the lordship view is true.

Sometimes this straw man has a mate. Not only does the antiquity of a view make it truthful but also the number of people who held or hold it makes it true. The more the better to substantiate its truthfulness.

Of course, the smoke screen this straw man and its mate throw up can be easily dispelled. The fact that something was taught in the first century does not make it right (unless taught in the canonical Scriptures), and the fact that something was not taught until the nineteenth or twentieth century does not make it wrong, unless, of course, such teaching is clearly unscriptural.

Baptismal regeneration was taught in the early centuries, but it is wrong. The majority of the church doesn’t practice immersion. Does that make a belief in immersion wrong? Today, the majority of the church is not premillennial (believing in Christ’s return for His church before His earthly reign). Does that make that doctrine wrong? The ransom-to-Satan theory regarding Christ’s atonement (i.e., that in His death Christ paid a ransom to Satan) was taught in the early church. Does that make it right?

The antiquity or recency of a teaching and the number of people who are for or against it make for interesting study, but neither factor proves or disproves the truth of that teaching. The charge of newness was leveled against the teachings of the Reformers. With characteristic straightforwardness, John Calvin responded to it this way:

“First, by calling it new they do great wrong to God, whose Sacred Word does not deserve to be accused of novelty…. That it has lain long unknown and buried is the fault of man’s impiety. Now when it is restored to us by God’s goodness, its claims to antiquity ought to be admitted at least by right of recovery.”