Sermon Follow Up - Week 47, 2022
TWO GUIDING QUESTIONS DURING THIS SERMON SERIES
Are you growing in the knowledge of God?
Are you growing in loving God and loving people?
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:28–31 ESV)
A life of humble, happy hope is ours because of God’s gift of Salvation.
1. The Divine Act of Salvation
What we come to in our text is what God has done to you and for you for his glory and for your joy. And when you know these things, it causes you to get up in the morning with faith. God's saving work ignites the humble heart with joy-filled hope that radically alters the Christian’s life.
The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ and all that he did in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension to accomplish salvation for humanity. Therefore, the gospel is not a human action or achievement but rather an objective, historical, divine achievement that remains true and unchanging regardless of human opinion or response (Sovereign Grace Churches Statement of Faith).
a) Those Whom He Foreknew
God knows you and he has set his affection on you.
To know refers to his covenantal love in which he sets his affection on those whom he has chosen (Thomas Schreiner).
The good is achieved when believers are conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. The call refers to God's work in history by which he summons through some the gospel to himself. Those whom God called he also justified. this verb denotes god's saving activity by which believers are made right with God (Thomas Schreiner).
b) He Predestined Us to Be Conformed to the Image of His Son
God is continually making us more holy transforming us into the likeness of his Son.
As the all-sufficient Savior, Christ also sanctifies his people, cleansing them from the impurity of sin and setting them apart for God and his service. The renewing work of the Holy Spirit breaks their bondage to sin and Satan and raises them to new life, enabling believers to put sin to death and grow in likeness to Christ. Sanctification is therefore both a definitive act of God and a progressive work of the Spirit (Sovereign Grace Churches Statement of Faith).
c) That Jesus Christ Might be the Firstborn Among Many Brothers
For Christ to be the firstborn among many brothers tells us that we are brought into the very family of God. Adopted as the Father’s sons.
Those whom God justifies, he adopts into his family, granting them the full status, rights, and privileges of beloved sons. As God’s children, we receive his name, enjoy access into his presence, experience his care and discipline, and eagerly await the glorious inheritance he promises his own (Sovereign Grace Churches Statement of Faith).
d) Those He Predestined He Called
Through the preaching of the word, through the proclamation of the gospel, the call is made and all whom God chose to save (Eph. 1:4-5), all whom the Father had given to Jesus (John 10:27-30) will come to him and be saved.
God commands the gospel to be proclaimed to all people everywhere, but all people are spiritually dead and unable to respond to this saving news. Therefore, God graciously and effectually calls to himself those he chose to save in Christ. Through the proclamation of the gospel, the Holy Spirit regenerates the elect and brings them into a living union with Christ, bestowing new spiritual life, opening their eyes to see God’s glory in Christ, and enabling them to respond to the gospel in faith and repentance. With a renewed heart and mind, we receive Christ and rely fully on him for salvation, turning from our sinful, self-seeking way of life to love and follow Christ in joyful obedience. Only those who respond to the gospel in this way will be saved, yet even this response is a gift of God’s merciful grace, ensuring that he alone receives the glory for our salvation (Sovereign Grace Churches Statement of Faith).
e) Those He Called He Justified
Your status if you are in Christ is this. Guiltless, clean, not condemned. Accepted. Declared righteous before God.
In their union with Christ, believers freely receive all the benefits of the gospel. Those whom God effectually calls to himself, he justifies in Christ, forgiving all of their sins and declaring them righteous and acceptable in his sight. This declaration is judicial, addressing not our nature but our status with regard to God’s law; it is definitive, being neither gradually gained nor able to be lost; and it is gracious, a free gift of God’s righteousness based on nothing worked in us or by us, but received freely by faith. The sole ground of our justification is the righteousness of Christ, whose life of perfect obedience is imputed to us and whose substitutionary death on our behalf completely satisfies the demands of God’s justice toward our sins. Those whom God justifies, he adopts into his family, granting them the full status, rights, and privileges of beloved sons. As God’s children, we receive his name, enjoy access into his presence, experience his care and discipline, and eagerly await the glorious inheritance he promises his own (Sovereign Grace Churches Statement of Faith).
f) Those He Justified He Also Glorified
All of our suffering, our hardship, hatred that dwells within us, sorrow, or hatred we receive, grief and exhaustion will end. Those trials that right now in this moment seem timeless and never ending are in fact temporary. Our God promises to keep you, his chosen, loved, predestined, sanctified, called, and justified son or daughter, he promises to carry you, to restore you, and to bring you comfort.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31–39 ESV)
2. The Distinct Effect of Salvation
When we understand the gospel of utter grace and mercy, we grasp that we did not earn this at all. Our salvation is a complete and utter gift that was given out of mercy and love. We are the recipients of that grace and when we get that, it should humble us and freshly remind us that unless God chose and predestined and called and justified and adopted us, we would yet be without hope and running headlong away from God. But God who is rich in mercy set his love on us, called us according to his purpose – and for that we should be the most humble of people.
This truth erupts in a kind of deep happiness that my greatest need has been met. My body will fail, and in this world there will be significant trial, but I am adopted into the family of God, accepted and loved and kept until the day I see him face to face on that day of glory.
Hopeful that all things are working together for our good. Hopeful that we are being conformed to the image of Jesus. Hopeful that he who began a good work in us will complete it. So certain is this that Paul tells us that just as certain as all the aspects of our salvation are – our election, our calling, our regeneration, our conversion, our justification, our adoption, our sanctification and our perseverance – so is our glorification – the day we see Jesus face to face. Indeed he who began the work will complete it. He is the author AND finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Resting in Christ’s finished work never renders our effort unnecessary but rather enables the joyful pursuit of loving and pleasing God. Compelled by grace, believers grow in the knowledge of God, obey Christ’s commands, walk by the Spirit, mortify sin, and pursue God’s priorities and purposes. Although such actions are not the ground of our salvation, they demonstrate the authenticity of our salvation and are a means by which God keeps us faithful to the end (Sovereign Grace Churches Statement of Faith).
- In what area of your life do you want to be a more authentic Christian. Is it in your thought life? Your sexual purity? The way you speak to your kids? Your spouse? Your co-workers? Is it how you spend the money the Lord has given you? Is it how you love those in your life who are difficult to love?
- Humbly focus on one area to grow in these coming months and be filled with certain hope that as you submit to God and center your mind, your speech, your finances, your relationships on the Lord the Holy Spirit will change your heart and mind and make you increasingly happier in Christ.
- Commit to read of, sing of, tell of his salvation. As we enter this week of Thanksgiving and the Advent season let us be a humble, happy, hopeful people who express specific gratitude for what God has done. May we allow these truths and the joy found in these truths, as those who have been given mercy, to infiltrate our friendships, our talk and our speech with family, and friends, and the way we interact with an increasingly godless society.
- SOVEREIGN GRACE CHURCHES STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Gospel and the Application of Salvation by the Holy Spirit
- THE ORDO SALUTIS/ORDER OF SALVATION - "Ordo salutis" is Latin for "the order of salvation which refers to the sequence of conceptual steps involved in the salvation of the Christian. The sequence is meant to be logical instead of chronological; some steps occur sequentially while others occur instantaneous.
SONG TO ENCOURAGE
I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED - (2 Timothy 1:12) - I grew up singing the following hymn and it's been on my lips all afternoon as it speaks to some of the realities we considered today. Couldn't find a newer version of it, but the following will do...
I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
But “I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”
I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.
I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.
I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.