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Deliverance: The Neglected Doctrine

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2022 3:00 am

Deliverance: The Neglected Doctrine

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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January 10, 2022 3:00 am

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The word deliverance is not a part of Christian vocabulary, but really should be that the fact that it isn't is a serious failure on our part because the word opens to us. Category of truth pointedly clarifies God's with him that truth. That's what John MacArthur's going to talk about here on grace to you as he begins a study titled delivered by God John in some of our listeners minds the expression deliverance ministry might evoke a lot of bizarre imagery about strange religious practices, and so on and so as you get started here, I want to leave things open and simply ask you what made you originally decide to dig into this concept of deliverance and teach a whole series on it. Well, I think it was the idea that the word salvation.

It has been so isolated to religion that people don't understand its meaning in the simple sense the word salvation means deliverance to be saved is to be delivered. Those kinds of words that are theological words are familiar Christian words sort of take on. I guess a bit of a spiritual meaning and maybe they aren't as precise and so II wanted to use a synonym for saved, which is delivered a synonym for salvation which is deliverance and that's why we decided to do the series and the lesson that we start with is deliverance.

The neglected doctrine because I actually think that people talk about salvation, but don't see it as deliverance right which is exactly what it is, what is it mean to be saved. It means to be delivered from sin it means to be delivered from Satan to be delivered from judgment to be delivered from death to be delivered from eternal punishment.

It's a rescue operation that may be for some people fresh new grasp of what salvation really is. You know I feel you know this, there are people who talk about salvation, but deny that it's a deliverance right that they deny that you are a totally new creation. They deny that you've necessarily been delivered from sin, they might say your delivered from judgment but not from sin, you, you know, we've dealt with that through the years you still going to be the same center you could still fall into unbelief and all of those sort of no Lordship ideas.

So what prompted the idea of deliverance is that that is exactly what salvation is. It is a complete deliverance from sin and death and judgment and eternal punishment. So when we go together into this series delivered by God. What you're going to be seeing is the full richness of salvation. Don't miss the day right this study is going to answer two of the most important questions you could ever consider what does it mean to be a Christian and how should your life change when you become one. So stay here now, as John shows you what it means to be delivered by God. One of the great words in the Bible is the word deliverance.

It is however not commonly used in the Christian vocabulary. I don't recall in my life ever having heard a sermon on deliverance. I don't recollect in any part of the world where I have talked with Christians who speak my language that they have used the word deliverance unless it has been used in some context related to demons or exorcism the word deliverance is not a part of Christian vocabulary, but really should be that the fact that it isn't is a serious failure on our part because the word opens to us a category of truth that pointedly clarifies God's redemptive purpose. In fact, deliverance may be the best. It may be the most comprehensive and it may be the most clarifying word to explain God's gracious powerful work in our lives, in spite of its infrequent use.

I have searched some theology books looking even in the subject index at the back of the book to find any discussion of deliverance and I found it very rare. It's a great word biblically and it's a great word in the English language we all understand the English word deliverance. In fact, that word has in it a certain tone of adventure doesn't there's a certain drama in the word deliverance even in English we think of deliverance and if you are asked to give a synonym.

The immediate word that probably would come to your mind would be rescued when we think of deliverance. We think of somebody being rescued out of a situation of grave danger and that is what the word does in fact mean it connotes somebody in an impossible dilemma from which they don't have.

Personally the power to extract themselves somehow being rescued by some greater power. The word deliver is a much more common term and the concept of deliverance much more readily understood in English then is the term salvation. In fact, we rarely use the word saved. It seems unless were talking about something that's put away for safekeeping. Something like an account somewhere or something. You're holding back for future usage. We don't use the word save for the most part, to speak of being rescued from danger.

For that we tend to use the word rescue or deliverance. So were talking then about God as a rescuer God as a deliverer, God bringing a plan of deliverance and that's why some 68 verse 20 says God is to us a God of deliverance is plural. There are many facets to God is our deliverer.

Psalm 40 in verse 17 thou art my help and my deliverer. Oh my God, same as quoted in Psalm 70 verse five in the familiar words of Psalm 144 verses one and two. Blessed be the Lord, my rock, my lovingkindness, my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer. Now, whenever in the Bible your reading in your own Bible you come across the word saved save salvation or Savior, you can substitute some form of the word deliver because that's exactly what is meant now this will help us emphasize what salvation really is, is deliverance when someone becomes a Christian they are delivered from certain very dangerous and deadly matters. Things that pose a fatal danger to the eternal soul true salvation and the work of God is deliverance. It is the dramatic rescue of the sinner from the elements of life that threatened to destroy and damn him ours. Then in the work of evangelism is a work of rescue we, on behalf of God have been sent out to tell sinners, God has a rescue plan God who is by nature a deliverer, the only deliverer as a deliverance plan by which he will deliver the sinner from all those things that damn him. In fact, there may be no better way to understand the power of God's Spirit in the believing sinners life then do understand that the spirit is working on a work of deliverance when we talk about conversion.

We talk about regeneration.

We talk about new birth being born again new life transformation. When we talk about these matters of grace we are really talking about being delivered from certain things.

In fact, deliverance, as we will see in the series defines what it means to be a Christian.

A Christian is a person who has been listen permanently delivered from certain deadly damning realities. This is what defines a Christian Christian is not someone who says they believe in Jesus. A Christian is not someone who prays a certain formula. Prayer Christian is not a person who goes to church or belongs to some clinical Christian institution. A Christian is not someone who feels good about God are good about Jesus. A Christian is a person who has been what delivered this is absolutely critical to understand because they're so much confusion about who was a Christian.

The answer is Christians are the people who have been delivered.

Now were not talking here about justification, which is a forensic thing which is the declaration on God's part, which is obviously an essential.

It is an accounting of God by which he credits righteousness to our account and puts our sin to the account of Christ who pays the penalty for that is forensic that is a judicial act of God were not talking about that because that's not manifest.

That's not visible. We can't know a Christian by a forensic declaration of God. The only way we can know a Christian is by a transformed life and so for us to assess who is a believer, we have to look and see if that person has been delivered not to put this in the current context I think you know me well enough to know that that my passion is to teach the Bible but at the same time.

I have a passion to teach the Bible. I have a passion for the church in the big picture of the church as the church is in serious trouble. Not talking about our local church I'm talking about: quote the evangelical church. It is of it is a grave grave blight that strikes the church in our day and it is a tremendous grief to me.

I'm certain that I'm grieved in my own heart because I understand enough about the Bible to know what the Lord wants the church to be and it's not that always.

I massively see if I can work my way into this context always unmask questions when I travel around you people asked me a lot of questions and when I go other places people asked me questions all the time.

Questions about the Bible and about issues in regard to Scripture and I am always asked this question. What do you think is the main problem facing the church. I'm always asked that question I always answer basically the same way. The main issue facing the church is the lack of discernment that is the main issue facing the church. The church doesn't distinguish between truth and falsehood. It has a defective immune system. It has a case of spiritual aids. It does not have the ability to fight error because it doesn't know the truth, it doesn't have enough truth antibodies to fight off error. The church is ignorant.

It is blissfully ignorant and consequently is victimized easily by error. This is a serious serious problem. Week theology, shallow, superficial knowledge of Scripture all kinds of uncalled unqualified people standing in pulpits who were not sent by God, like the false prophet Jeremiah talks about and don't have the word of God and don't understand and are inventing all kinds of things that the church is buying into superficial knowledge of Scripture week theology all kinds of error flooding into the church cripples discernment and what makes it worse is that there is a movement to say that the tolerance of all of this is the purest expression of Christian love right and if you call these people into question, and you call what they're saying into question and say it's not true.

It's error, you are on loving your divisive and you're striking a blow against the unity of the church and so you have error flooding the church. The church is by its theological and biblical ignorance, unable to fight against that error and tolerance is being elevated as a supreme virtue, which aids and abets the problem. This is an contradiction to the command of first Thessalonians 521.

Examine everything carefully and hold on to what is good and put away what is evil the church as gun itself in a position where it cannot distinguish between God's word and Satan's lies. That said, that's if were going to be discerning about anything. There is one thing we have to be discerning about and it's this, who is a Christian. That's the most critical one of all that is the most critical issue of all at the top of my list in this matter of being discerning as we need to know who the true Christians are, because if we don't, then we've invited the enemy into the camp. Now I've been all over the world as you know, and had lots of discussions with lots of Christian leaders and I've read lots of things about the church in the history of the church in the theology of the church had been all over everywhere and I can just tell you this right now in this day and it's been this way for a long time. Through this 20th century. The biggest problem in the church. Is it inability and unwillingness to distinguish true Christians from fault. It's it's literally killing the church and I guess that it's time to just stand up and say that there has to be a line drawn the issue of who is truly a Christian is at the very center of the church's life and ministry. This has to be protected. There isn't any fellowship between light and darkness. Is there second Corinthians 6 there is any Concorde between Christ and Satan.

To can't walk together, unless they be what agreed you have to come out from among them and be separate and touch not the unclean thing in here is the church absorbing all of this not so confusing that the church itself doesn't even know who's a Christian, and frankly I don't think they particularly care as long as you say you believe in Jesus, a friend Ian Murray who was a gifted theologian and a great biographer wrote the massive two-volume biography of the of the Martin Lloyd Jones is also written on Jonathan Edwards and many others. She is a very esteemed Englishman and is been here many times we spent many hours together has written a book called evangelicalism divided in which Murray is tracking the 20th century decline of evangelicalism and it's a book of history that is very, very revealing, and Murray says and I think he's absolutely right. He says the inability of the evangelical church to distinguish between a Christian and the non-Christian is quote the greatest failure of professing Christianity in the English-speaking world in the 20th century." He understands the implications if you redefine non-Christians as Christians you obliterate the distinctiveness of the church, and you therefore create an environment in which you have to tolerate error because these people represent error. He further writes this is very important and insightful. The health of the church any speaking as a historian here, having attracted very carefully the health of the church has always been in proportion to the extent to which the difference between Christian and non-Christian has been kept sharp and clear absolutely right. The starting point for the church is to be absolutely clear about who is saved and who is not. If were not clear about that. Then we don't know who's on our side and we don't know who we really need to reach from the time that God began to form a people for himself. Satan endeavored to intrude from the time that the demons cohabitated with the with the daughters of men in Genesis 6 Satan has been trying to pollute and mix all the way down to sewing tares among the wheat, it's really true. Murray says the most insidious opposition to the gospel has come from within worldly churches for most of the last part of the 20th century the last 50 years there has been a sustained effort to invent and promote a popular definition of Christianity which is neither biblical nor legitimate and to fill the church with non-Christians we have to recover the identification of a true Christian and that means we have to get back to the doctrine of deliverance. That's the connection. Because if you understand the doctrine of deliverance, then you have a criteria by which to understand, who's a Christian, we can obviously know the heart that we can't be sure about everyone that that's not within our capability. We can always distinguish between the wheat and the tares, but it is true that even Jesus said by their fruit you can.

What you can know them so there is there is marked demonstration in the life of a person as to whether or not they have in fact been delivered and such deliverance listen is the common experience for all believers in Christ there is a dramatic change in their personal life.

Not talking about again.

Forensic things are talking about actual transformation. There is a dramatic change in their personal life their personal nature, and this is the work of the Holy Spirit. They are new creations and they have been delivered from some very specific dangers into some very specific new patterns of behavior Ian Murray again writes when churches have recovered from apostasy. Historically, such as at the time of the Reformation in the 18th century evangelical revival that's from Wesley through Jonathan Edwards. When churches have recovered. It has always been. I love this by a return to such discriminating preaching and practice what he means is when there's ever a recovery from a time of apostasy. It has come when preaching has become discriminating wasn't me to discriminate. If you say you discriminate what is it mean if you say your people to be a discriminating buyer. What is that mean that means that you can choose the best out of the lot right. You know how to discriminate means to dessert. The only hope for the church is discriminating discerning preaching and not only does any organizational answer on the need more meetings, more seminars we need preachers who will stand up and preach discriminating messages and Murray says given the great decline in the English speaking churches of the 20th century. The chief need again was the reassertion of the meaning of being a Christian. While the chief hope for the church is discriminating preaching primarily directed at the issue of who is a Christian and sometimes I wonder if those who can't discern the true church can't discern it because are not a part of it.

I know people who aren't a part of it can't discern it because the natural man understands, not the things of God. I don't expect non-Christians to be discerning about the church but I do expect Christians to be discerning about the church and yet you have people who have risen to prominence and evangelicalism of defined evangelicalism on a large scale who lack that discernment and what we need is exactly Murray says we have to have some discriminating preaching his time. It's time to draw the line again. That means to be unpopular hate to say fact if you if you try to be the discriminating preacher if you try to bring the truth into the situation.

Your problem but this is not new either. John Wesley and volume 8 of Wesley's works, said this in our days to be a true Christian is really to become a scandal. There was Wesley in the midst of apostate.

The church's apostate church in England, the 18th century, a true Christian preaching.

A true gospel being so scandalized that it ultimately had the persecution of the true Christian may have to be that way. But isn't it interesting that it's the church, the persecuted, the true believers you know when the people came and founded America. They were coming here for religious freedom. Did you know that because they were being persecuted, not by the secular world.

They were being persecuted by hope the church, the apostate church. So how would you draw this line about who's a true Christian. Well the simplest way that I know to do it in the biblical way to do it is to realize the true church is the living society of the delivered pelvic. That's necessarily a great name for a church, first Church of the delivered but that that's the idea, the true church is the living society of the delivered how do you know somebody's delivered while first of all start with categories of deliverance. True Christians have been delivered from lies to the truth from error to the truth. That's pretty obvious. Secondly, they have been delivered from sin to virtue or from ungodliness to godliness. Thirdly, they have been delivered from fear to joy. They have been delivered from the love of the world to the love of the church.

All of these things are manifestly noticeable in the life of a true Christian it's it's it's not the issue of when and where you made some decision. It's not that you belong.

Or that you believe in Jesus. Some the church is the living society of the delivered no this gets us back to the gospel and this is really a battleground.

It always been, many years ago I wrote the gospel according to Jesus, and I wrote what I thought would be just a nice book to state the Jesus is Lord, if you confess Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart. God raised him from the dead. Your say Romans 10 right but safe enough, confess Jesus is Lord. I wrote that book and it started a firestorm that hasn't stopped because there are so many people in the church who think you can be saved without confessing Jesus as Lord and that's rising again when you try to be discriminating or discerning or biblical clear, theologically precise, you really do expose the vulnerability of those in error but you must do it for the sake of the truth, and the sake of the souls of men the sake of the purity picture.

It's been a long siege you know, for the truth, but we continue to proclaim it, and shall continue by talking about what the delivered people are like, so that you can be able to tell who's true Christian is his grace to you with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us. John's pastor, author and Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary's lesson today was the first installment of his study titled delivered by God. No friend before too much of the year goes by, let me suggest you get a copy of the updated MacArthur daily Bible. This new addition comes in the new American Standard translation and it's in a durable leather soft binding to grace to you exclusive and it's an ideal resource for anyone who wants to read God's word more consistently in 2022 to order the new MacArthur daily Bible. Contact us today. Call us toll-free at 855 grace or go to our website Jide each day.

The MacArthur daily Bible gives you a portion of Scripture to read from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.

It's a helpful tool that you can use with your family or in your personal devotion again to order the MacArthur daily Bible, call 855 grace or go to our website Jide TY.keep in mind that you can download all eight lessons from John's current series delivered by God free of and for an even deeper study of what it means to be delivered by God pickup John's classic book the gospel according to Jesus, it's a clear biblical look at what Jesus had to say about salvation what he meant when he said, follow me to place your order. Call 855 grace or go to Jide for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson. Thanks for tuning in today and join us tomorrow when John looks at Christ's power to deliver you, me and every Christian from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. It's another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time racing you

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