Reforming

I love great Christians from the past. Spurgeon is one of my heroes. Several months ago when doing some reading, I came across a passage written by Spurgeon that grabbed me. It is from that passage that this sermon was developed. Enjoy.

WE R REFORMING. I want to take you on a journey and teach you along the way some foundational truths that are most important truths you can ever know. But, first let me remind you of my testimony. I grew up in a pastors home, went to church every Sunday, lived a moral life, no drugs, clean, religious, not bad, I knew the answers and knew the talk…but in 2008 I had a change.

I fell in love with Jesus.  I started to grow up as a Christian. I had to recognize that I needed to learn more, needed to grow, needed to desire God in my life. I repented of my pride, saw my own arrogance, sat back and saw me how God sees me as a sinner, and made a conscious choice to change.

I had a personal moment of reformation. 

We as Christians, live in a world where most believe they are better than they are. I started this Rated R series and preached on it the last last two weeks because we think we are better than we are. We are arrogant, we are proud. You are arrogant, you are proud. I am arrogant, I am proud. The only hope we have is to be growing. Always repentant and learning. We must be in a constant state of reforming. We must always be growing, always praying, always maturing.

C.H. Spurgeon, live over 140 years ago. He was called the prince of preachers, he was England’s best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1854, just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 20, became pastor of London’s famed New Park Street Church. The congregation quickly outgrew their building, moved to Exeter Hall, then to Surrey Music Hall. In these venues Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000—all in the days before electronic amplification. In 1861 the congregation moved permanently to the newly constructed Metropolitan Tabernacle.

Spurgeon was a great baptist theologian, a writer, a preacher, and just before his death in his later years of wisdom he stated something that is ever so true for today’s christian church. He saw a pattern, he saw people calling themselves a christian, calling themselves better, cleaner than they are. Saying they know more than they know.

This is true here in this church. I believe that most don’t know enough, yet think they know alot.

Here is what Spurgeon said,

“I believe that, at this present time, we are in great danger of being burdened with a crowd of so-called converts who do not really know anything as it ought to be known. They attended a revival meeting, were much excited, and thought they were converted; but just ask them to explain to you the simplest truths of the gospel, and you will soon discover how little they know. Could they explain the three R’s, ruin, redemption, and regeneration. Do they know what the ruin is? Do they know what the remedy for that ruin is? Do they understand at all what it means to be born again? Do they comprehend what the new nature is, or what “justification by faith” means. Perhaps someone says, “They do not comprehend your theological terms.” I do not mind whether they know the meaning of the terms that are familiar to many of us; but do they know the truths themselves? There is a certain degree of Christian knowledge which is absolutely necessary to salvation.” (ca.1860)  Charles H. Spurgeon

Question?

Do you know what the Ruin is? Do you know what Redemption is? Do you know what Regeneration is?

You see I believe that many are not true followers of Christ because they don’t know. Today, we will take a journey down the road of Theology. My goal is to show you some Bible truths that will help you see yourself as you really are, recognize your need for constant reforming and then point you down the path. To do this we start by defining some basic truths and then diving into systematic theology.

Theology is the study of God. It is the systematic science of understanding what the Bible says about truth, life and everything in between. Historically Christendom has held a reformed view of theology. That is, that… 

Theology is defined by Five Foundation Premises: 

Centered on God – Sovereign God who rules and reigns

Based on God’s Word Alone – Bible is the highest standard of truth

Committed to Faith Alone – Justification (being made right before God only by faith in Christ)

Devoted to Jesus Christ – Prophet-Jesus fulfilled OT, Priest– lamb to be slain, Jesus is the high priest who stands up for us, and King– Jesus fulfills the OT prophecy of an eternal kingdom from Davids line.

Structured by Three Covenants (Promises) – (our beliefs have been called Covenant or Reformed Theology or Promise Theology because it is Scripture based truth that is come to pass) the three covenants are:

-Covenant of Redemption – The Covenant of Redemption started in Heaven and doesn’t directly include human beings. This covenant is rooted in eternity for God’s plan of redemption was no after thought, designed to repair a creation run a muck, for with God there is no plan B. God worked out his plan before creation, before the fall, though He conceived it in light of man’s fall and designed it to effect redemption from the fall. Basically, it is That the Father loves, the Son is Sent and the Spirit is come.

-Covenant of  Works – Genesis 2 gives us Adam & Eve in the garden, in a perfect place, with a conditional covenant of don’t eat this, if you do…death. IT was a conditional promise. If you obey, blessed…if you disobey, damned.

-Covenant of Grace – The Westminster Confession of Faith says: “Man by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second covenant, commonly called the covenant of grace. Wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him that they may be saved.” Genesis 3:15 tells us someone would come and take care of Adam’s sin, someone would give us what we don’t deserve… grace, amazing grace.

With this in mind, what did Spurgeon mean by Ruin, Redemption and Regeneration?

  • What is Ruin?

Ruin is that you are depraved. It is that you are a sinner, it is that sin has affected your soul, mind and body. You are corrupt in and of yourself. You need a Savior.

Romans 3:9-18

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;  11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

  • What is Redemption?

Redemption is that you need a Savior, You need God to come exchange himself for you, because of your sin. You need to be redeemed. Redemption is that God in His foreknowledge (sovereign rule over time), predestined a calling upon your life (sent the gospel to you) for justification (Jesus in your place) so that one day you may be glorified(made righteous before God) in heaven, for the purpose of using your life for His honor and glory.

Ephesians 1:3-12

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

  • Do you know what Regeneration is?

The lack of desire for good, our depravity renders us morally unable to choose good. Without a righteous inclination to the good, no one can choose good. Our choices follow our inclinations. For me to choose the things of God, I must first be inclined to choose them. Since the flesh makes no provision for the things of God, grace is required for us to be able to choose them. The unregenerate person must be regenerated before He has any desire for God. The spiritually dead must be first made alive (quickened) by the Holy Spirit before they have any desire for God.

John 6:63-68

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Jesus was giving a universal negative proposition. It is a universal inability. For to come to God, it must first be granted to them. We cannot come to Christ on our terms in our flesh, but only by the grace, the Holy Spirit, by God’s permission.

Ephesians 2:1-5

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.

What now? The Christian must learn the truth from the Bible, grow, apply, and mature. The reason why you get so offended so easily is because your an immature twit who doesn’t know any better. The reason why you struggle so much is because you have not yet applied the truth you know, to learn the truth you haven’t studied yet.

My prayer is that you give yourself away, you fall in love with Jesus, you desire God.

Isaac Newton wrote:

Alas and did my Savior bleed,   And did my Sovereign die.

Would He devote that sacred head,   For such a worm as I?

Was it for sins that I had done,  He groaned upon the tree?

Amazing pity, grace unknown,  And love beyond degree.

Well might the sun in darkness hide,  And shut His glories in,

When Christ the mighty Maker died , For man the creature’s sin!

Thus might I hide my blushing face,  While His dear Cross appears,

Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,   And melt my eyes to tears,

But drops of grief can ne’er repay,  The debt of love I owe;

Here, Lord, I give myself away,  ‘Tis all that I can do.

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