Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Banner of Truth 2007 -- Session #2


Before the session started it was announced that next years conference is planned to be held on May 27-29, 2008. The scheduled speakers (names may be spelled incorrectly) are Rick Phillips, David Campbell and Ian Hamilton at this point.

SINCLAIR FERGUSON -- “Our Holiness: The Father’s Purpose and the Son’s Purchase”
(This talk was originally to be done by Walter Chantry, but due to health he could not do so. Dr. Ferguson graciously agreed to do these sessions using the same scripture texts and titles selected by Walt Chantry)

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and Godly lives in the present age,
13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
Titus 2:11-15 (ESV)

The homework is to reflect on the question of whether you had three addresses on Holiness would you have used these three themes? (see titles originally selected by Walt Chantry)

Two things strike us about holiness.
1=would you say my people's greatest need is my holiness?
-we come conscious of the fact that this is one of the areas of our greatest weakness
-but we know an excellent level of holiness is a requirement for ministry
-dominant emphasis that is required for Christian leaders is an excellent level of holiness
-so people can point to elders and say they are an example of what it means to be saved by the precious blood of Christ
-all men should see our progress (Paul's words to timothy)
-are all men seeing your progress in this?
-would the congregation You serve point to your progress?
-makes me wonder if they would even consider this important
-as we move to look a holiness
we need to remember that the imperatives of holiness are always grounded in the indicatives of the gospel on which they rest
-often in our preaching the indicatives are not strong enough to uphold the imperatives of holiness
-so the imperatives become a whip
-we constantly need to remember that these imperatives are so frequently grounded in the indicatives of the the trinity
-remember 1 peter early verses in ch 1
-woven into the NT exposition of what it means for us to be holy
-is that the self existent, three times holy, triune God has committed himself to bringing about the holiness of his own people
-fathers purpose
-sons purchase
-Spirit ministry(?)
-to be a gospel minister is to be caught up in the working of the triune God
-this is Gods will for you, even your sanctification
-our holiness has been planned in the eternal purpose of the father
-not explicit in Titus
-but implicit in speaking of the grace of God appearing
-referring to coming of Christ
-and behind that the fruit of divine plan/purpose
-he has chosen us that we might be holy
-col 2:12ff
-this is what we should look like as Calvinists
-if you don't have this you are not a Calvinist
-because all that is rooted in the eternal counsels of God
-Romans 8:28-29
-purpose that we be conformed to the son
-that is what holiness is
-we must understand that
-holiness is being like Jesus Christ,no more, no less
-possible to have all kinds of ability, acute understand, to be intellectually and affectionately thrilled by the doctrines of grace
-but if not holy no use
-God divine election grounds our holiness
-the only people who see election as a problem to holiness are those who don't believe in election
-God chosen people to be his
-and to be like himself
-even when touched by God's grace there are still things in me that make me slothful and lethargic
-but for Gods purpose there would be no hope
-God has seen his image fractured and distorted
-he is not content with this
-God dealing with Satan is merely a means to an end
-God wants his portrait back
-God is getting rid of the things in us that are not holy
-similar to sculptor removing all the stuff from a block of marble that isn't what the carving is
-nothing can stand in the way of what God is doing (see romans 8:28ff)
-if God is for us we know the good he has purposed to do will prevail
-he is getting everything in the entire universe that is against displaying his glory
-he is de-constructing us
-as he crafts us to be more and more like Christ Jesus
-triune God is devoted to us being conformed to the image of the son
-cause of wonder humility and worship
-that he might take me to conform me to the son
-it is all purchased by the work of the son
-but his work goes beyond this
-important to remember that holiness was purchased for us by the son
-the very essence of Christ's work so he could destroy death and sanctify (Hebrews 2)
-holiness is as much part of the purchase of Christ as any other part of salvation
-we can get so focused on the pardon purchased
-that we lose sight of fact he purchased our holiness
-there are no blessings that come to us in any other way than through his death and resurrection
-we have nothing that Christ has not purchased for us
-reason is obvious
-that Christ died according to the scriptures for our sins
-in scriptures sin is a multifaceted reality
-OT rich in its vocabulary of sin
-so we can see the many aspects of sin
-the difficult part of our sanctification is that as the Spirit works he starts to pull the weave of our life apart
-so we see how sin is interwoven in all the parts of who we are
-if we are going to be saved by his blood
-then he must through his blood deal with all these different aspects
-to deal with sin completely
-so he must through his death doing so also to bring holiness
-we need to point them to all this
-price paid not just for forgiveness but for everything that gets int he ways of their holiness
-five or six things that Jesus purchases release from sin and all its area
1. Propitiation-the redemption that answers to the wrath of God
-doesn't that just deal with justification
-yes it deals with justification
-but also our holiness
-for as long as we are under the wrath of God
-or even feel under wrath of God
-enervated from all movement to holiness
-not possible for one who feels under wrath of God cannot be motivated to holiness
-when we know we are justified
-then we know we can stand before him with the identical confidence of Christ
-because we stand with righteousness of Christ
-the propitiation so delivers me to the assurance of the righteousness that is mine in Christ that I need no longer despair or be crushed by Satan when he drives me to despair
2expiration of our defilement
-our consciences are cleansed by work of Christ
-that sins washed away
-heart washed clean
-we often miss that our sins are washed away
-but our consciences are also cleansed
-my conscience is cleansed from dead works
-and set free from condemnation that paralyzes holiness
3. Our holiness is effected at the purchase price of the blood of Christ because in shedding his blood Christ died to sin Romans 6:10
-he died to sin
-seems to be different from saying he died for sin
-purpose there in romans is to explain what it means to be baptized Christian
-believer is someone who died tor reign of sin
-not under dominion of sin
-it has no claim on us
-our death to sin is grounded in Christ's death to sin
-can't conceivable mean we died for sin in propitiatory or expiatory way
-so when he says Christ died to sin
-it means at the very least that in his death Jesus in his humanity came under the reign of sin when he died for it
-so he not only purchased pardon and reconciliation
-he also purchased in his death that freedom from the dominion of sin that makes it possible for the believes once free from sin to live for God
-in some way Jesus purchased death to sin for those who are his
two main problems are convincing those under sin that they are under sin, and convincing those dead to sin they are no longer under power of sin
4. To free us from the bondage of Satan
-some of our great Christian hymns of easter catch this theme
-that Jesus entered into enemy territory
-Hebrews 2 to destroy the one who has power of death
-apart from redemptive work of Christ men and women are lifelong slaves to fear of death
-see it in all types of non-Christian funerals
-from the dark and dower to the ones that through false joy try to ignore
-funeral of true believers funeral
still a hope and openness in Christ to what Christ has achieved
-we don’t seem to catch this
-evangelical church is best when speaking about man
-and weakest when speaking about God and the work of the holy Spirit
-we need to grasp that Christ has crashed through the gates of death in his resurrection
-we find it difficult to speak about what it means to be raised to new life
-the shear power of the resurrection is missed
-does it really make much of a difference to my life that Christ is raised
5. He purchases for us the gift of the holy Spirit
-it is as a direct result of the work of Christ on the cross that the holy Spirit comes to us
-unless Christ goes the Spirit will not come
-but if he goes he will send him
-blood and water from Christ's side
-out of him shall flow rivers of flowing water
-Spirit that river (see earlier in john)
-acts 2
-think of peters explanation of Pentecost
-meaning of this v33 is that having been exalted at the right hand of the father he has received the promise of the holy Spirit and poured it out
-Jesus is fulfilling his promise of the upper room discourse
-that he would ask the father and he would send the Spirit
-as the Spirit has been poured out
-Peter says this is what was happening in heaven
-nations as an inheritance to Christ
-so holy Spirit poured out
-son came to father and son asked that father fulfill his promise
-so same Spirit that was on Christ
-is poured out on the people of Christ
-so they can become more like Jesus
-Jesus said when he(Spirit) comes he will take from what is mine and show it to you
-we are bought with a price of blood of Christ
-so glorify God in our body
-like going into store
-and see something that you need
-call over salesperson
-ask to purchase
-as about to pay they notice a note, already purchase by someone else
-and they say, you can't buy it
-that is what it is like for believers
-already purchased
-so they can be holy
-question that haunts Sinclair
-does anybody out there who watches me that there is something here that reminds me of Jesus
-that is the most important part of ministry
-not great gifts that he blesses but great likeness to Jesus

Hymns Sung:
Opening -- Rock of ages
Closing -- O for a closer walk with God


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