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The Science of Overcoming Sin - Part 2

David Shin
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David Shin

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

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  • January 11, 2020
    11:30 AM
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On the screen I have an artist's depiction of Augustine Bishop of Hippo and he lived in the 3rd century into the 4th century and he is a remarkable individual cording to one scholar. He states this by. A statement about the impact of Augustine he says after Jesus and Paul Augustine of Hippo is the most influential figure in the history of Christianity Augustine is responsible for framing the theological structure of not only Catholicism but also Protestantism to this day and the impact of Augustinian theology can be a topic of reflection for a lifetime now when Augustine was doing theology in the very beginning he imported from Greek philosophy an understanding of human nature that is prevalent today in I would say 99 percent of Christian theology and beliefs and it was this concept of the soul and the body soul dichotomy he adopted this from Plato and Plato came up with this idea of Greek ontology of this dichotomy between the body in the soul in other words you have this exterior husk and then you have the Soul that is within and this Soul is timeless in a philosophical sense not having a past present or future continuum and Augustine rather than going to the Bible to come to an understanding of human nature he said you know what Plato has described ontology and epistemology and metaphysics why not adopt from Plato and so he said why do all the hard work and go to the Bible to come up with an understanding of human nature and so we imported this from Greek philosophy and as one of my professors says in his groundbreaking dissertation a criticism of theological reason he indeed. Hated that all of modern philosophy today is a series of footnotes to Plato and he contends in his dissertation that theology from the very beginning adopted not a Biblical ontology but rather a philosophical ontology built on platonic metaphysics So here we have it the body soul dichotomy now you may be wondering Pastor David like why are we talking about this this doesn't have huge implications Well let me give you one implication that this hasn't it has to do with the idea of what happens after you die let's see how a belief of human nature in packs This Ok so the majority of Protestants today I would say classical or conservative Protestants and Catholics believe in the existence of a soul not because of biblical understanding but because a platonic understanding of human nature so what happens when you die according to our Protestant Catholic friends your soul goes to heaven and so after you go to heaven you're looking down here on Earth and I've been to funerals and bless their hearts Ok they don't know that they're coming from a Greek philosophy a Greek ontology and they say our dear sister is looking down on us right now even to a funeral like that Ok And this is based on this concept of the immortal soul that goes to heaven so you can see how this understanding of human nature impacts the practic of how we think and how we act and how we relate to those that are deceased I remember having a Bible study with an individual with a Catholic background and he told me that his grandmother had died and if fact it his existence day to day because he would talk to his grandmother. Ok believing that her soul was in heaven looking down so this had very practical implications to day to day life now we're in our series entitled The science of overcoming sin let's look at sin based on this type of understanding of human nature when you look at Lutheran theology and Protestant theology they had a very pessimistic understanding of human nature and the notion in the idea of total depravity in other words human nature was totally depraved even the soul was depraved so sin by its very definition is not a thought or Naksha something that you decide sin was ontological meaning that it had to do with your very soul so sin is not something that you do or that you act on scene is something that you are seen is a state of being Now this has huge implications as to whether you can ever have victory over sin if sin is something that you are can you have victory over it ultimately no you know I'm I'm a Korean I can't do anything about that I praise the Lord I'm a Korean you know I don't I don't regret that but hey we just end up I'm Korean. You know it's who I am genetically and so with this idea of sin being not only affecting the body but also affecting the soul it is something that you are in so the idea of victory of overcoming is foreign from a theological sense to the Protestant mine and the Catholic mine so much so that in the Catholic systematic theology Jesus could not come with the same nature that we did why because if he did he would be a sinner by birth and so they had to come up with this idea of the Immaculate Conception and so forth and so this thing gets systematized All right so when we talk about sin in overcoming sin we need to go to the Bible to understand human nature 1st rather than Greek philosophy because from the very beginning a mistake of Augustine has been incorporated into Christian theology and here we are and the revolution of Adventism was look let's go to the Bible and see what the Bible has to say about human nature Now what does the Bible have to say in the beginning in the book of Genesis in the King James version it says that God breathed into man the breath of life and man became a living soul you read that before so the biblical understanding of the soul is not a Greek understanding like we see here on the screen the biblical understanding of a soul is look at the person next to you that's a soul the the whole entity of the human being is the soul look you don't open the hood of a car and say Where is the car right. Because the whole thing and so you don't say where is the soul the soul is the whole thing insole the Bible presents an historical view of human nature meaning a past present future flow of history and sin also follows the past present and future implications of sin for instance when Adam many ate of that fruit this had implications historical implications for where we are today meaning when they ate of that fruit whatever it was all of the human race would be affected by their physical implications and consequences of that act on us absolutely you know I come up here in church tongue in cheek and I say look I'm 5 foot 6 as a result of sent. It is Ok. I'm I'm thankful for whatever height I am but look we were never meant to be this short this is this is not this is the result of sin Ok wrinkles is a result of sin Ok you know our our our our physical nature the breaking down of our physical nature was impacted by the historical act of Adam many we are here genetically affected by the nature of sin Ok Also our intelligence was impacted all right people say that if you have an i.q. of $130.00 or $140.00 that you're bright Well that was not Adam and Eve's i.q. in the very beginning Ok we would be in remedial classes in Eden All right so our mental capability was affected do you think our psychological mental health wasn't packed it by sin absolutely our emotional health every dynamic of it our spiritual nature was impacted by sin we are born into this world Ok with the cultivated and inherited tendencies to sin we call to bait some of our own and I inherited some from my father and my grandfather going back to the 3rd and 4th generation according to Scripture and we you know to our point kids we pass them on as well and so there are these implications and these results of sin that we pass on but the beauty of what God does and even how we define sin sin is not something that you are in an ontological Greek sense sin all Tim in the comes down all right to our decision in our choice. Which has an impact Ok on our Jenner on the on our posterity and the people around us now Jesus expand sin from the fairest SAIC a model of just the action to the thoughts in the Gospels in Matthew chapter 5 he says look if you if you lust after a woman in your heart Ok you have committed adultery with her so Jesus expand sin from the fairer Sakal view of of just actions that he even goes to the thoughts and the imagination and the motivations and so sin is bigger than just the exteriors action all right but Jesus does not subscribe to this view of the soul and body down economy all right now that was just the introduction Ok and that's to give you some background now let's go to the Bible and see from scripture in our series examining the science of overcoming sin and I want to look at this unique relationship between human effort and divine power in our cooperation with God in this process of victory over sin and so we know from Scripture that sin is not something that we are sin is a choice whether it's the thought of choice of thought choice of motivation choice of action but it's something that we determine now want to back up here when we talk about this concept between man's part and God's part I want to read from Philip in chapter 2 in verse 12 listen actually back up to verse 12 therefore my beloved brother in as you have obeyed not as in my presence only but now much more in my absence and here comes the next phrase that gives many people heartburn and some people an aneurism mean you could just feel it come warning you I'm warning you right now Ok. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling now how do you feel when I've read that. We live in an age where there's a huge reaction to legalism especially for the baby boomer generation reacting to legalism and so when you read those that phrase work out your salvation with fear and trembling now verse 13 is the one that everyone loves to quote write for it is gone who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure now to be very clear here from the beginning Paul is not saying that we're saved by our works the Bible is very clear that there is nothing we can do to inherit our salvation we're not saved by works we can't contribute to salvation meritoriously But how can we be faithful to the text Ok when he says Work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure now verse 13 very clearly indicates that God not only works for us he works in us he works from the inside to give us new desires and new heart a new motivation from the inside out but the 1st part of that verse or this passage is very troubling work out your celebration with fear and trembling I think of a slide here. Talking about this tension between dance part and man's part now I want to compare and contrast several theological structures here from the beginning and show you how theologians have grappled with this for hundreds of years Ok God's part and man's part what is the relationship between the 2 and what is our emphasis Let's take predestination and Calvinism otherwise known as the reformed theological structure now Calvinism. In the relationship between God's part and man's part where is the emphasis of Calvinism it's God's part it's emphasizing the sovereignty of God In other words it's not just an emphasis it's an emphasis on God's part to the total exclusion of man's part God arbitrarily chooses who's going to be saved and who's going to be lost we have nothing to do in the matter we have no say in the matter the sovereignty of God the divine will of God according to Calvinistic theology and according to Luther's own bondage of the will he says he acts he decides your say. I will demonstrate here but let's say God says you know my wife is saved David Shinn you're not saved and I'm like I want to appeal that sorry that's the sovereign will of God totally outside of human choice and so the elect are saved and God chooses in the end outside of human free will there is no free will God has made the decision ultimately And so this is one way to Calvinistic theology of reacting to Thomas's m and legalism So this was a way of reacting they said you know man makes no contribution matter fact God makes all of the decision it is all based in God And so if you're part of the Elect How much assurance do you have 100 percent matter of fact there's nothing you can do to be lost God made the decision now I've never met a person in Reform Theology that believes that they're not part of the elect. And my question is how do you know that I mean in the fastening and so this is Calvinistic theology now on the other side of this Ok is another theological structure known as Catholicism and in my master's degree I did a master's in historical theology I did a paper on Erasmus Erasmus was doing a rebuttal to Lutheran theology and Erastus made a fascinating point he was a Catholic theologian and Erasmus said that man's part had little merit merit is a theological word meaning that man's part made some contribution towards the salvation process in other words man in a little way earned their salvation and so this is the theological ground of Catholicism that you make a contribution toward your salvation and that has merit and earns your salvation and so the reaction of Protestantism was predestination to legalism now in Adventism believe it or not there is a swinging pendulum in our own community of faith as well all right I would be naive to stand up here and say oh we don't have any of these problems Ok now it's not as extremist predestination Ok now in some circles there is an emphasis on man's part believing that man's part I'm talking about in our own community of faith makes some sort of meritorious contribution now in the Catholic framework it's the 7 sacraments have little merit you do the sacraments that's meritorious toward earning your salvation now in Amman tism we have in some circles our own sacraments. All right. Meritorious begin ism. Ok now I'm not saying that being an ism is wrong but are you following me in other words you're being given and that has little merit and contribution toward salvation all right or other things that creep in there Ok into our thinking that we're making some sort of contribution and saying look I I got points God you've got to save me I'm making some sort of contribution now I'm going to back up here and tell us where these things come into our plane a Christian experience but but they're not meritorious Ok you can't earn your salvation by anything that you do and say look here it is I've done this this is this is like a transaction I've earned my salvation that's not how it works all right then there's the other extreme even in evidence the illogical circles where it emphasizes Gaunts part to the extreme of saying don't do anything just stand still all right and let God do everything for you you don't have to pray you don't have to read the Bible you don't have to ask for the Holy Spirit just stand still Ok so that's on the other side of that now what is the Biblical perspective of this tension between God's part and man's part and I believe that Paul beautifully blends this reality between God's part and man's part and that's why this verse is so challenging Let's read it here again Philip in chapter 2 verse 12 and 13 therefore my beloved as you have obeyed not as in my presence only. But now much more in my absence work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure what Paul is doing here is blending God's part and man's part now I want to be very clear just because our part does not have any merit doesn't mean that we don't have a part to play you following me some people like a if I don't get credit I don't want to do it well that's not how it works now now God gives us the ability who gives us the ability to do our part God does so even the ability comes from God so we can't claim any credit even your desire to desire comes from God So God gets all the credit now God places you in a position so that you can act in choose but then he says look the choice is up to you aren't So we have a responsibility in this cooperation and when I talk about God's part in man's part we're really talking about cooperation with what God intends to do in our lives and the only illustration that I could think of this co-operative process is agriculture which was in our children's story or the germination of a plant Jesus use the analogy of Agriculture multiple times to describe the Christian experience now think about the implications of Agriculture Ok when you take a seed Ok and you place it into the ground and that seed germinates and grows can you take any credit for the creation of that life absolutely not. But is there a part that you need to play to unlock that potential absolutely if you get a jar of seeds and you just put them in your shelf Ok it can last there for decades. And we're not going to get any fruit All right so we need we have a role to play we need to take that scene out of that jar Ok we need to till the soil we need to plant the seed Ok to fulfill the conditions for that life to take place but that life was always there we're just fulfilling the conditions we're we're cooperating now who gave you the ability to take that seed in planted in the ground God Did God did and so there is this collaborative co-operative process that we have in our relationship with God God did not say that the Word of God is like a a nuclear bomb in his analogy of course they never nuclear bombs back there back then but you can say the kingdom of heaven is like an hydrogen bomb Ok he said the kingdom of heaven is like a seed. In other words the potential is there God has given you the ability to fulfill the conditions but he leaves the ball in your court as to whether you're going to unlock that potential It takes cooperation and that's what I believe that Phillip in Chapter 2 is alluding to now some people may ask what what is man's part does that mean that I need to get up every day and just pull myself up by my bootstraps and say oh today I'm just going to a human effort and divine power I'm just going to I'm just going to grit through this well when when we look at the saying sure where we see the collaborative cooperative process is implied So this is where Adam and Eve where we alluded to this last Sabbath in the in the Garden of Eden in the presence of God the Holy of Holies then then afterwards because of sin the entire human race was placed down here and then the process of salvation is where gone bring Hugh in here Ok you accept Him as your savior you're baptized at the laver then he bring you in here now just for the sake of helping us to understand this for Libyans chapter 2 I believe is this experience this experience is we're gone works for you he worked for you at the cross on your behalf before you're even born All right the plan of salvation was instituted thought up before before sin Ok so see you work for a search he works for is to the process of baptism here he works in us Ok and the whole process is bring us here now look how he brings us power in our day to day life it is through these 3 articles of furniture Ok and noticed the way that we relate to the symbolism here 1st we have the table of showbread. Food Bible says mansion I live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Think about the way that food in gauges with us does God provide for our food absolutely but do we have a part to play to get the benefits of that food absolutely Ok you got it I mean this is a very. Vulnerable process there's a lot of trust when you put something in your mouth and you you know a lot of faith and you swallow it Ok so so you put the food into your mouth Ok you chew the food all right you digest the food and so this is a part that we have to play and the Word of God is available here it is all the power is here Ok but we need to make the effort Amen we need to make the time to eat to to take advantage of the benefits that takes effort that is our responsibility God is not going to wake us up or he will wake us up if you ask but God's not going to come down and pull the sheets off your bed Ok open your eyelids and say here all right you better read this because you need this today are now God has given us the ability to study the word he gives us the desire to study the word but we need to choose to study the word so that's man's part all right our part is to go where the power is all right this is where the power is we need to engage this daily this is our responsibility to tap into the power that is readily available to us each and every day let's go to the next article furniture the altar of incense which represents the prayers of God's people aren't beautiful thought the king of the universe clears his calendar for you any time anywhere any place you can talk to him and have the power of. But God will not force you to pray that's our part God will give you the desire God will give you the capability to take advantage of that opportunity him and cry out to him and say Lord I don't even know what to say but I need you I meant he's like all right all right let's do this but but that's our part that's our responsibility that is something that God has placed in our courts he's like I'm here you call me any time Ok he gives you a special satellite phone Ok high tech All right you know you know doesn't require any space you just say it in your mind or vocalize it and he's like I'm listening I'm here to talk to me so Bible study requires a cooperation with Gone prayer requires a cooperation with God and then we come to the last article of furniture right here and that's the candlesticks high priests the priest would come in every day with a job oil and he would fill the lamps with oil daily that lamp stand represents us you know we leak oil we need to be filled daily so Jesus says in the Chapter 11 Ask ask ask ask ask ask ask Sister 6 times ask for the Holy Spirit in the Greek it says keep on asking So keep on asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit book of John says the Holy Spirit brings with him the presence of Jesus now do you want Jesus in your heart every day amen the Holy Spirit brings him with him to holy the presence of Jesus and the fruit of the Spirit in your day to day life but God says look I'm going to put the ball in your court it's your part to ask. I'm going to give you the ability to ask I'm going to give you the desired ask but look I want you to ask and so in these 3 articles of furniture we have what our part is this is not like legalism where I'm going to just get up in and pull myself up by my bootstraps and say look I'm going to be loving today or you know just just grit it out no you you you imbibe the Word of God You do your part you pray to God for help you get power from God You ask for the Holy Spirit and then the fruit of the Holy Spirit comes out as a natural result of being filled love joy peace longsuffering gentleness goodness faith making this and last but not least we all need self-control and a man and so the works is not going to be self-control today the cooperative effort is Lord I'm going to ask for the Holy Spirit today to be filled work in me both to will and to do of your good pleasure there's another important part that we need to play and that is the power of choice this is foundational every day I get up in the morning I kneel down and say Lord I'm yours today I gave you my will. That's a part that we play God has given us free will but he wants us to use it to make that choice and here it is steps Christ page 47 as we close many are inquiring how are made to Miss surrender myself to God you desire to give yourself to him but you are weak in moral power in slavery to doubt control by the habits of your life how many of you felt like that before your promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand you cannot control your thoughts your impulses your affections what you need to understand is the true force of the Will this is the governing power in the nature of man the power of decision or of choice everything depends on the right action of the will the power of choice God has given to man so who has given you even your ability to choose God you can't claim any credit you can't say I chose God I get merit I get credit card is given you the power of choice you can't claim any credit for it Ok but it's yours God has given it to you the power of choice God has given to men it is there is to exercise you cannot change your heart you can not of give of yourself give to God it's affections but you can choose to serve Him you can give him your will thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ this precedes Bible study this precedes asking for the Holy Spirit This precedes you know this since a precedes prayer it is prayer foundationally the 1st prayer that you should praise the Lord today I kid you my. Most powerful thing that you can do every day God's like Ok We have cooperation here. We can work miracles. That happen in your life that's destroying you that addiction that secret sin God says I'm going to give you the victory I'm going to give you power today to live a victorious life how many of you want that today how are you I say Lord I give you my will help me to be willing to be made willing father in heaven we see you see these hands it's a symbol of a spiritual decision made you work in us both to will and to do of your good pleasure we're not talking about working our way to heaven we're not talking about earning our salvation we're talking about cooperating with you with the divine power that you have given us Lord help us to cooperate you don't force your way into our lives help us to be willing to be made willing for we ask these things in the precious name of Jesus a man in a man this media was brought to you by audio verse 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 servant leader visit w w w audio verse or.

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