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What God Requires (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
December 31, 2020 3:00 am

What God Requires (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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December 31, 2020 3:00 am

No one wants to be gripped by fear—yet the events of 2020 have shaken all of us. Listen to Truth For Life as Alistair Begg explains how the world’s brokenness can prompt questions about our knowledge of God and His requirements.


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Many of the recent events in our world laid a foundation of fear that has gripped many of us today on Truth for Life Alastair big explains how these events have sparked a surprising shift in views about objective morality, prompting people to ask the question, do I know God how to answer that question. Our study today begins in the book of Micah and it's titled what God requires going to read from the Old Testament in the book of Micah and chapter 6 and if you are able to turn to it in your Bible wherever you are. I let me encourage you to do that.

Micah chapter 6 and reading from verse one hear what the Lord says arise, plead your case before the mountains and let the hills hear your voice. Here you mountains the indictment of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against his people and he will contend with Israel, all my people, what have I done to you. How have I really do answer me, for I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery and I sent before you Moses and Aaron and Miriam. All my people, remember what dialect, king of Moab devised and what Baylon, the son of beer answer to and what happened from Shelton to Gill, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord with what shall I come before the Lord and found myself before God on high. Shall I come before him with burnt offerings with carves a year old. Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams with 10,000s of rivers of oil. Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression.

The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul. He has told you all men, what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God. Amen. What if we have attached for this morning and I suppose we do it would be the eighth verse of the passage that we read.

He has told you all man what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God. I should say that I'm going to take quite a while to get there.

I hope I won't frustrate you along the journey. Let me begin in this way by asking a question, do orchestras really need conductors of France are well surmised I would surely answer yes to that question, but after all he is the conductor of the Cleveland Symphony and I would imagine although I haven't checked that along with him all the members of that orchestra would agree.

If the conductor were to be deposed by then in some kind of coup and the members decided that what they were going to do was simply go with your feelings at play whatever they felt at any particular time and whatever volume they chose, and so on all of course. Clearly, the end product would be chaotic and would be unappealing.

All of the harmony that was potentially there in submitting to the orchestra score and in borrowing under the bat on the BDI of the conductor.

I would of course have been 4 feet. Let me ask a second question, how are we to accountant for the absence of harmony in our world and one way of answering that and it is the Bible way of answering that is to acknowledge that we have deposed the conductor that the Bible tells us we have been created by God and for God and yet we have been separated from God and we have been scattered in the imagination of our hearts, and so that is why you find people saying and you may say this yourself one who needs a score. We can make the plays up as we go along, we can just play whatever children we like and whatever it is to me is what is important and what it means to somebody else will just have to find its place. Furthermore, people might say, the idea of a conductor. The idea of one who oversees us, and so on is just so far away from all that we now hold to end a firm note in this you, you may not agree, and you may find that the metaphor is far too clichd for you, but there are a few people that I meet at the moment who would be prepared to deny the fact that our world is out of kilter.

It is as our friend Melanie Phillips suggests a world turned upside down. It is a world that is not only fractured but it is fearful.

It's a fearful place inhabited by people who are themselves increasingly filled with fear and that fear has a basis that is a foundation for the fearfulness and were dealing acts actually at the moment.

It would seem that with a three-headed monster were dealing with it pandemic we are life's have been completely changed as a result of this virus which has swept the world and every morning that we await the new statistics. There are conflicting solutions varied attempts to restrain the virus. The constant and obvious search for a vaccine in the middle of all of that, the novel and somewhat dreadful experience of being continually isolated from one another and not least of all in the experience of illness and then the sadness of death, who would ever have planned for a virtual funeral not only pandemic we but also economically is not for me to give any kind of instruction in this regard.

I like you just simply read what I find day today but it would seem obvious that we have been confronted now by levels of unemployment by mountains of dad that we are told will take more than time to relieve or to repay and then racially pandemic way economically and racially our nation now has been fractured and is brokenness has been high related in the demonstrations that have come in the aftermath of the unspeakably brutal and cruel death of George Floyd and again fear grips the nation which is the worst of the viruses we would find ourselves saying that which threatens as pandemic where economically or racially. What is the antidote to racial prejudice is almost impossible to come to Micah chapter 6 and verse eight without certainly in these days, saying something along these lines to observations one. I've chosen to use the more old-fashioned term ratio prejudice or racial discrimination and the reason for that is because language is no so abused that for example a term like fascist which which has a real meaning of the real origin is used at all kinds of times and in different ways and with different people or not see in the same way and also now the word racist the word racist is no been so abused that it is virtually lost its meaning. So I say the issue we deal with is racial prejudice just one observation. The second observation is this that with the events of the last few days, objective morality has no made a reappearance. What I mean by that. What matters now are immediately identified as being either right or wrong so right and wrong is now bank on the agenda which is quite surprising because Western culture certainly over the last 50 years has increasingly come to regard ethics as a matter of personal taste. After all, with no conductor we can play one antigen we want, but the only caveat being as long as it doesn't bother anybody else but even that doesn't play much of a bar as I drove here this morning. One of the signs read racism is wrong, which of course it is however you want to define it. We know what were talking about today, but the thought that occurred to me was isn't it interesting that it doesn't say something like racism is a bad idea or my personal view is that it is this now.

It simply says it is wrong because every honest person knows that it is wrong and from a biblical perspective clearly so, because when we turn to the Bible, we realize that the Bible says there is only one God and there is only one reality which is that man has been made men and women made in the image of divinity in the image of God and as a result of that, there is only one morality and that morality emerges from God himself. Therefore God is a God who says I'll tell you what's right and I'll tell you what is wrong know people react to that today, but he reacted to it in every day. Listen to how Paul given address along these lines, he was asked to speak to a group of people in Athens and this is how he began.

I I've shortened in order that the impact may help us. This is Paul speaking to the gathered group. He says them God who made the world and everything in it, made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place that they should seek God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day when he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and all of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. Now, in light of that, it is impossible to say nothing matters. What Paul is affirming is what the Bible declares that we do not live in a random universe. We are not cured by chance. We are not sustaining ourselves by our own endeavors were intricately put together in our mother's womb and all the days of our lives have been written in his book before one of them came to be, to say nothing matters is ridiculous in all matters. It matters for more than we know because it matters to the creator it matters to the lawgiver and for this reason black lives matter, it is impossible to be otherwise. In fact, in this we will not delve into this morning. These issues of such brutality and murder matter far more than our culture is prepared to accept the sanctity of human life, the sanctity of human life is bound up in the fact that man was made in the image of God that is not a random collection of molecules held in suspension. He is not the product of time plus Metroplex chance he was put together purposefully.

His genetic code was written by the creator himself and that is why the Bible says that if you take a man's life. You forefeet your own life and the recognition of the sanctity of life is revealed not only in the way we care for those in the fragile elements of life, but in the way that we are prepared to acknowledge that capital punishment for such murder is not only legitimate, it is divinely ordained, then we care about life. We don't care about life enough. God cares God made us God loves those who have been so tragically believed in our great need. As we have been reminding ourselves through these days of covert chaos are great need in all of these discussions is to have a solid does of theological realism. All of us have emotional attachments. All of us of backgrounds that are unique to ourselves, and so on.

But the real question is, are we going to gain an understanding of things by looking to the Scriptures themselves.

My opinion is as valid as the next person's opinion. Perhaps it's true. If it's good, but by and large we all are in need of being taught by the one knows the answers to all the questions and that is essentially the role of the prophet and the minor prophets, but Mike is one of the minor prophets that doesn't mean that you know you have like grade a profits and then grade B profits and that he's basically a be. It just has to do with the amount of the material he just has seven chapters. Isaiah has a ton of chapters so he would be majored in terms of length and Mike and the others. In fact, there were 12 of them altogether in escrow for a long while. What is my cut of the prophet, saying, what is he providing for the people well is not talking about his own ideas. Look at how the chapter begins here. What the Lord says this is the role of the prophet. This is the role of the preacher of the Bible, not for the for me or for anybody else to stand up and give you our views but to stand up and say listen. Listen now listen to God.

That's why we constantly see your sensible people examine the Scriptures to see if these things are so notice that he is speaking to his people, that is God here who is speaking, and he is speaking to his people and he is reason to contend with them to indict them and the reason for that is because if you work your way back through the text, you will see that they have been devising wickedness. They have been working evil on their beds. They can wait to get up in the morning to perform it, and it is in there, the power of their hand to do. That's the beginning of chapter 2 and so it goes on and so he is addressing them and he is addressing them with reason for contention. Also, you will notice that in addressing them. His tone is one of entreaty twice in verses 3 to 5 you have the opening phrase all my people all my people, that sense of tenderness.

All this about, like all, all my people know what he then dies is see reminds them of his righteous act. She was seated on in verse five the righteous acts of the Lord note is just giving them essentially a little reminder of history, the redemption that is brought about in verse four in bringing them safely out of Egypt. The leadership that he then gave to them so that they might make progress in Moses and Aaron and Miriam. The way in which in the events of bail I can bail them. God in his great providence turned curses the blessing and in the encounter from shipment to go call.

He simply reminding them of the events that were there when they cross the Jordan.

And remember, if you recall that story how I was in full state not a good time to try and cross the river and yet when the priests put their feet in the water. The waters were held back in the people walk through and ground dry ground as of as another reminder to them of the God of the Exodus was the gardener was looking after them. These he says are the righteous acts of the Lord and notice that you may know, the anxious rights of the Lord Nettie doesn't mean that you might be able to rehearse them know the knowledge that he speaking about here is a life transforming knowledge that you might know the righteous acts of the Lord that when you think about what God has done for you. It might be transformative knowledge of the truth of God is the basis then for making sure that our emotions and our feelings are both given full effect and in the same time held in check and so he says I want you to know the righteous acts of God, I don't want you just to be able to say this is what happened and this is what happened and so on. Know that you may know, that's the real question. Do you know God's people had completely lost sight of all that God had done for them. That's why he says them. What have I done to you. However, I wearied you answer me it all become tedious to become tiresome this and always the same old material.

It was routine became irrelevant. It was dangerous as we understand the righteous acts of God, we find sustained comfort in a broken world. That's part one of today's message titled what God requires on Truth for Life with Alister when something is broken. We want it to be restored and Alister is with us today to share briefly about the one who can bring restoration to our lives, and he explains why that message is essential. Truth for Life as you listen to this message. Perhaps it is become even clearer to that our world is fractured and in desperate need of a Savior Bible makes it clear that we don't live in a random universe we been purposefully created by God sustains our lives. He holds authority over us that one day he will judge us. For that reason you need of the hour is always that we might know the gospel truth that is conveyed in the five that in Jesus we have a Savior more than friends that his invitation is to come to him to believe in him to rest entirely upon and is proclaiming that message the Truth for Life is all about every day on the program we been opening the Bible, hearing God's word.

Learning what it means to know him (and Seraphim by God's grace in your financial partnership.

We want to continue boldly into 2021. Please contact us before tonight's midnight deadline with a needed donation every gift matters you're giving will go directly to the distribution of this program and to the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. Thank you. Thank you Alister your giving allows us to boldly enter into 2021 proclaiming the message of the gospel on Truth for Life to make sure that your gift reaches us before the midnight deadline tonight. You can donate right now online of Truth for or you can donate by calling 888-588-7884 when you do we want to invite you to request a book that will set a positive tone for your family worship time in 2021. The book is titled exploring the Bible together.

This is an incredibly helpful book for parents who are busy because it lays out a plan that is easy to manage. You read about five verses a day, and as you do, your family will read verses beginning in Genesis all the way to Revelation at the end of the year and each daily entry in the book exploring the Bible together combines Scripture reading discussion questions.

There's a key spiritual lesson to take away and the closing prayer provides everything you need to be able to lead a devotional time that your kid to look forward to and that will strengthen your own faith. This is also a great book for grandparents or those involved in children's ministry because it helps children who Scripture is a treasurer that is waiting to be uncovered. This is the last thing this book is being offered, so be sure to request your copy when you give today.

Simply tap the image you see on the mobile app or visit Truth for can also request the book when you call 888-588-7884 if you prefer to mail your donation along with your request for the book right to Truth for Life at PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, OH 44139 again to make sure that your gift applies in 2020. Picture your envelope is postmarked today about Lapine for joining us here on New Year's Eve. We hope you will be with us on New Year's Day tomorrow as we begin 2021 with part two of our message titled what God requires. Learn how to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly by relying on Jesus for strength to timely message to begin the new year. The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life. Learning is for Living

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