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Faith and Works - Part 1

David Shin

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David Shin

Dr. David Shin is the President of Ouachita Hills College.

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  • May 5, 2018
    11:30 AM
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Disparate says we pray Father in heaven we thank you for the opportunity and the privilege that is ours to come apart from this cares from the cares of this life as a community of faith to worship you this morning we pray that you would speak to our hearts inspire us by your presence for we ask these things in the precious name of Jesus Amen. On the screen I have a photograph that was taken by the Hubble telescope of the planet Mars that is the 4th planet from the sun and this was taken when the planet Mars was the closest to the Earth's orbit still 34000000 miles and there have been for centuries individuals that have been interested in the planet Mars and in the last 20 years or so there have been rovers that have been sent to the planet and this is a photograph that is taken of the landscape of the planet Mars it's amazing how they can transmit an image from 34000000 plus miles away and in $1605.00 YOHANNES Kepler was studying the planet Mars orbit around the sun and the math wasn't making any sense and he came to the conclusion that the orbit of Mars around the sun was not a perfect circle but rather it is an ellipse and it came to be known as Kepler's laws of planetary motion and an ellipse is different then in a circle you can do this at home kids you can get 2 tacks and a piece of string and draw an ellipse the difference between an ellipse and a circle is then an ellipse centers on 2 central points and a circle centers on. One in all of our planets in our solar system circled the sun in a perfect ellipse centering on 2 central points instead of one. One scholar reflecting on Christian theology has come to the conclusion that much of the theological disagreements in the last 2000 years of Christian theology can be solved and reconciled by not centering our theology on one central point but rather on let's go and talk about Christ ology So this is in the lips to central points and I took a class on Christ ology in my graduate studies and when you look at the history of thinking on the nature of Christ you have 2 things that seem to be contradictory you have the I can't speak this morning the divinity of Christ and the humanity of Christ and when you look at the early thinkers in the theologians some of them came up with some Gnostic or Dasa tism teachings and they said Oh Jesus is divine and he just appeared like he was human in other words he was not really human and during the Enlightenment other individuals came along and said Jesus was just a human Now what do we have if Jesus is just a human. We don't have Christianity if Jesus was divine but not human then the plan of salvation could not work and when we come to Christ ology we need to have an elliptical approach we need to appreciate both the humanity and the divinity and hold them in a tension and there is mystery and be OK with that say Jesus is human and divine it's not either or it's both and then we come to the whole theological thinking and discussion on whether it's about faith or reason is it about the head or is it about the heart is it about knowing God intellectually or is it about the experience and people kind of gravitate to one pole or the other and sometimes some want to come along and say hey Christianity needs to be intellectual We need to know God with our mind and then someone comes along and says No you just need to experience him it's about the emotions in the feelings and the Bible brings these together and says Thou shall love the Lord your God with what all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind it's all of it you can't say to your wife love Honey I love you intellectually. It be kind of funny to say I love your motion but not intellectually she like what do you mean you say I'm conflicted all that be bad OK so it needs to be both the heart and the head you need some counseling thing that are which when one of the points becomes the circle of truth we have what we call heresy a partial truth that becomes a whole air even though each point in the ellipse emphasizes truth worth dying for arguments will never end until a person accepts the total picture of the truce emphasized in both points there's a lot of these types of tensions in Scripture and we go back and forth on the pendulum and in the last 2000 years of Christian theology in my studies it can be summarized with one word penned a lot just goes back and forth in a reactionary biographical In other words it's not either or it's both and it's not the humanity or the divinity of Christ it's both the humanity and the divinity of Christ is not either the head or the heart it's both the head and the heart and the same is true for faith and works now I want to be very sensitive this morning because. We have in our own community of faith. History and in the fifty's sixty's and seventy's before I was born there was a an emphasis more on the side of works more legal the stick background so we have a whole generation of 7th Day Adventists that are growing up and growing out of a very legal istic background and I call it spiritual abuse. And the challenge is that sometimes when I mention the word works because of the history. It's easy for blood pressure to live to rise right I mean how do you feel when you hear the word works it's kind of like some people break out in hives and hyperventilate once joking but you know you know my what I'm saying is that we have this history and the the challenge is that right now I believe in our understanding of the Gospel experience Shelley that many times you have a reactionary theology that goes back and forth and that's why my ministry of directors said that when you have conservative parents they have liberal children and then when you have liberal parents sometimes you have conservative children and that's kind of how it goes back and forth now when we talk about faith and works. It's important for us to realize 1st of all we're not saved by our works Amen or Protestants right we don't believe in meritorious salvation we don't earn our way to heaven and the challenge is if we take a Works emphasis it becomes legal istic we know that how about if we take a faith emphasis and say works don't have any part of the Christian experience we have very extreme versions of this where you say we have to keep the law anymore we can do whatever we want we can kill steal commit adultery and no Mina lism no me in them can't say it right but you know what I'm talking about and then you have faith emphasis to the Nikkei sion of works but the important thing just like the humanity and the divinity of Christ is to realize that there is a relationship between each one there's a tension between the 2 In other words if you let God work in your well life there will be a visible change there will be a visible change and we're talking more about that So today we are talking about biblical balance and we use this in our Christian children story this morning about this gentleman that walked across the tightrope using a pole 38. Foot pole that he used to walk across the Twin Towers or on a cable between the 2 twin towers he had both sides on both sides of the cable and equal amount of the pole. And that tension helped him stay right in the middle. In my 2nd presentation I'll be talking about the biblical concept of balance very difficult to achieve it is a tightrope the devil doesn't mind he wants us to fall off on the right side or the left but there is a tension between these 2 realities to help us in our Christian experience now there's grace through the whole experience I think my biographical history of my Christian experience has been a pendulum swinging back and forth depending on the experiences that I've had and by the grace of God He can help us to stay centered in Christ Amen that's what he wants us to do so for the next 3 weeks actually caviar on that this is the 1st part of a 3 part series and the next Sabbath we have a Mother's Day special So you want want to miss that we have our men cooking for us for our fellowship meal and we'll have a special Mother's Day service put on our By put on by or Sabbath school divisions and I'll be preaching a sermon mothers in Israel or something along those lines from and so will take a pause and then I'll have the 2nd part of our series on faith and works on the main 1000 and then made 26 will be a 3 part series on faith in works of theological reflection on that and let's go very quickly and define our terms what do we mean by faith specifically in terms of salvation we're talking about faith in what God and Jesus does for us and what Jesus does in US These are 2 important realities it is what Jesus does for us and what Jesus does in let's talk about the 1st part what does Jesus do for us Psalms 32 verse one bless it is he whose transgression is for a given and whose sin is convert. If you find a naked dirty baby in Anchorage What do you do you cover and then you take the baby back home and then you give the baby a bath you cover and you cleanse the covering that God does for us the robe of righteousness is an X. terminal reality then after that we go through a cleansing process and that is an internal reality and is what God does for us and in it is still God's work this is an important text and 1st John chapter one verse 9 because you have both elements of what God does if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins as the covering his robe of righteousness and to cleanse this is what God does in us us from all unrighteousness he does both by God's grace he covers and He cleanses it is his work and this is what we mean by faith our only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and in that wrought by His Spirit working in and through us so we have to propositional phrases the work of God for us and the work of God in us they are important elements of what Grace does through faith in Jesus Christ the work of God for us and in us so let's talk a little bit about works what our works works are the result or the fruit of faith that is the relationship we're not saved by our works but if God works in us there will be a visible manifestation a visible fruit of what has taken place. This is from John Chapter 5 1st 15 verse 5 I am the vine you on the branches he who abides in me and I in Him bears much fruit for without me you can do nothing and caution Chapter one Verse 10 the Bible says bearing fruit in every good work in other words works are the natural. Of what God is doing in our lives it is the visible manifestation it is the visible evidence of what God has done James Chapter one Verse $27.00 this is an example of works to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world good works ministering to the homeless feeding this feeding the hungry clothing the naked These are all works that God does in and through us and this is from Charles Spurgeon he classifies works into the following category as works of obedience works of love works of faith and acts of the common life and I just want to expound on it very quickly here by works of B.D. and Spurgeon means obeying the commands of scripture. Or number 2 works of lump include both love for God and love for our fellow man with an eye to God's glory and works of faith refer to all that we do in reliance upon God and His promises by acts of common life he meant whatever we do at home at work traveling or on a sick bed that we do all to the glory of God So these are visible manifestations that God does through us and here's the fundamental question to our works earn our salvation. No they don't and we just read that in our scripture reading if he's in chapter 2 verse 8 through 10 For by grace Have you been saved through faith and not of yourselves it is the gift of God Not of works lest anyone should boast I think of that statement the desire of ages that says that all false religions are based on the promise that you can save yourself through your works meritorious salvation is the promise of all religions. So works is not a means of salvation and this is from Ellen White in the 888 study materials page 811 there is not a point that needs to be dwelt upon more earnestly repeated more frequently or established more firmly in the minds of all men than the in possibility of fallen man meriting anything by his own best good works sound vacation is through faith in Christ Jesus alone praise God Nothing we do earns our salvation even our good works it doesn't count for anything there is no credit to our account so there is no room for boasting in this equation this is from John Piper our inheritance is not earned by our lived out righteousness but belonging to the family of God and being an heir is confirmed by it this is from John Stott good works are indispensable to salvation not as its grounds or means however but as its consequence and evidence works are the by product of what God is doing in your life there is going to be a visible change a visible manifestation works are not meritorious they do not earn the sound mission work so the visible manifestations of what God does for us and in US Now this is an important point from faith and works about the working of God in and through us and any works this is from faith and works page $23.24 and any works that man can render to God will be far less then what. Then nothingness my requests are made acceptable only because they are laid upon Christ's righteousness this is an important point in our Reformation heritage to recognize that even when God is working in and through our lives it still needs the righteousness of Christ it doesn't count for anything so you can say Oh God is working in me therefore if there is credit it still needs the righteousness of Christ this is from 1st selected messages page 3440 that all may see that everything in obedience in penitence in praise and thanksgiving must be placed upon the glowing fire of the righteousness of Christ in other words even the good things that we do need the righteousness of Christ to be acceptable to him they are not meritorious there is no room for human credit in this process of salvation So here's the question if works do not earn salvation then what is the purpose of works. Motivation becomes an important part of our Christian experience you can do the same thing for the wrong reasons and I think that when we think of this relationally it really helps us I've used this illustration before and I mention it again you know if you go to your wife and she says Honey I'm very tired tonight can you do the dishes and you're like do I have to. And she says of course you don't have to and then you press or further you say are you going to divorce me if I don't think Oh of course not and then you say well then I don't want to do it. I don't want to do it later on you get to the evening in your wife says Honey I'm very tired this evening do you mind taking out the trash or doing whatever and you say do I have to do is it going to be a divorce issue if I don't you say no how long is that marriage going to last. It can be very challenging and sometimes we come to the Lord with a similar mentality we said Lord Is this a salvation issue if you ask that question that's an important question asking Is terms of context but if everything is a is this a divorce issue it becomes challenging 1st John says that we do what He commands and do what pleases him this is an important part of our relationship with a gun but works also has another function here it is in just Matthew chapter 5 Verse 16 the vamose of let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven in other words works is not for our credit it is for God's credit Furthermore works do not benefit us per se or the original purpose is not us but it is for the benefit of others and I have been in situations where the work of God in my life has been able to touch someone else's life and they say I know that God exists because I see him working in your life I think of this gentleman Mr Kim He was in Korea in the southern peninsula there is a lot of things happening right now but it was at a time of adversity after the Korean War and a group of guerrilla communists came to his door and they killed his family he escaped and later on he felt convicted to come back to his home he knocked on the door of his home and met the leader of the communists that it killed his family and he looked that man in the eye and he said sir I forgive you I forgive you for what you've done that man was so touched that he and his entire group of bandits. Gave their heart to the Lord Jesus and he started to church in that community later became the leader of the Korean campus crusades for Christ what happened that man saw a revelation of the forgiveness of Jesus Christ and it led him to the foot of the Cross this is what God wants to do in each one of our lives John Chapter 5 or 16 let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven it's not faith or works it is understanding the relationship between the 2 were not saved by or however if we allow God to work in our lives there will be a visible manifestation of the Christ in us the hope of glory let us pray Father in heaven we thank you so much for the power of Christ and for the potential of what you want to do in our lives we pray that Jesus may be seen through a reflection of his image. In our lives for we ask these things in the precious name of Jesus saying that this media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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